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On Eemaan, Ibaadah and Tawheed : Their Link and Interrelation.
  Lesson 2: How to Believe in the Attributes of Allaah
Author: Abu Iyaad as-Salafi
Article ID : SCL010002  [22137]  
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1. Ibn Attaar, the student of an-Nawawi said in 'al-'Itiqaad al-Khaalis': "…And he, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said, 'Allaah created Firdaus with His Hand, and the Gardens of Paradise with His Hand, and wrote the Taurah with His Hand.' And narrations other than this, it is obligatory upon us to believe that this is the truth. And it is forbidden upon us that we say: that Allaah has addressed us with what we understand, and we do not understand 'hand' except that which possesses a palm and fingers and therefore liken it to the creation and hence arrive at tajseem. Allaah is Exalted above what the unjust say. Or that we say: the meaning is favour and power, because it is unfeasible to take it to mean the 'hand' we understand, so therefore it necessitates taking it to mean this fearing tashbeeh! And this is tahreef (distortion) containing ta'teel, how is this possible when the consensus is that the Attributes are to be stopped at (tawqeefiyyah - i.e. in terms of nature and not likened to creation). And the meaning of what they make ta'weel of is not established, and this is the way of the Mu'tazila and Jahmiyyah, we seek refuge with Allaah from that. And so it is necessary to absolve the Creator, Azza wa Jall, from tashbeeh and ta'teel by distancing from tahreef and takyeef and tamtheel (likening), and taking to His saying, 'there is nothing like Him, and He is the Hearing and Seeing' May Allaah favour us with understanding and cognisance upon the road of tawheed and eliminating anthropomorphism. And this is the saying on all that is affirmed from the Attributes. And Allaah knows that corrupt from those that purify……( pp. 24-26)

….So when the Book and authentic narrations speak with affirming (the Attributes of) Hearing, Seeing, Eye, Face, Knowledge, Power, Strength, Greatness, Will, Desire, Words, Speech, Pleasure, Displeasure, Love, Hatred, Delight, Laughing - it is obligatory to believe in them literally without tashbeeh to the creation. And stopping at what Allaah said (about Himself), without adding or increasing or takyeef or tahreef or tabdeel (changing) or tagyeer, or removing the meaning from the word that the Arab understands from it…. (pp. 26-27)

And some of them negated Nuzool (the descent of Allaah to the lowest heaven at the last third of the night), and weakened the ahaadeeth or made ta'weel of them fearing confinement (tahayyuz - i.e. of Allaah) or movement or transmission which would necessitate a body. And the researching scholars affirmed them and obligated faith in them as Allaah wills….(p.19)…

….And all of the verses and ahaadeeth affirming Coming and Nuzool, and affirming face and other than that from the Attributes, the scholars obligated faith in them, and leaving contemplation of them and or depicting a form for them…..(pg. 19)"

2. Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaanee said, " the one who takes the path of the khalaf (i.e. the later generations after the Salaf who deviated from the way of the Salaf in these issues) cannot be sure that that which he makes ta'weel of is the intended meaning, and it is not possible to be certain of the correctness of the ta'weel." ['Fath al-Baaree' of ibn Hajr (13/436)]

So see how these two scholars are confirming what we mentioned earlier. That whoever does this, how does he know that the meaning he has invented is correct or not?? He cannot know and for this reason, whoever does this is in a way, lying against Allaah, saying about Him that which He doesn't know.

The way of the Salaf however was to take these attributes literally, in accordance with their clear and obvious meanings in the language.

Read the following quotations:

1. Ibn Abdul Barr (d. 463H) said: "Ahl us-Sunnah are agreed in affirming all the Sifaat (Attributes) which are related in the Qur'aan and the Sunnah, having eemaan (faith) in them and understanding them alal-haqeeqah (in a real sense), not alal-majaaz (metaphorically)."[5]

2. Shaikh Abdul-Qaadir al-Jeelaanee (d. 561H) said: "It is essential to carry the attribute of Allaah al-Istiwaa (Allaah's Ascending) upon its apparent sense - without ta'weel, and that He ascended by His Dhaat (Self) over the Throne. Istiwaa does not mean sitting or touching - as the Mujassimah and Karraamiyyah say. Nor does it mean uluww (grandeur and highness) - as the Ash'ariyyah say; nor does it mean isteelaa (conquering and dominating over) - as the Mu'tazilah say. None of this is related in the Sharee'ah. Neither has this been related by any one of the Salaf us-Saalih (Pious Predecessors) from the Sahaabah and the Taabi'een, nor from the Ashaabul-Hadeeth (Scholars of Hadeeth). Rather, it is related from them that they carried the meaning of Istiwaa with its apparent meaning."[6]

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