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Misconceptions About the Scholars of the Salaf
  Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah and al-Jihah (Direction for Allaah)
Source: Daf' Shubhah al-Ghawiyyah (trans A. Iyaad)
Article ID : MSC060002  [15062]  
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Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah is undoubtedly one of the foremost Imaams of Ahl us-Sunnah and his efforts in reviving the creed and methodology of the Salaf us-Saalih is a reality unquestionable to those with a share of knowledge, justice and wisdom. The following paragraphs expound upon the stances of Shaikh ul-Islaam with respect to certain issues related to the Attributes of Allaah and will hopefully efface and demolish the childish distortions and fabrications made concerning him by the Ahl ul-Bid’ah, those lacking any sense of fairness and justice. The material below is an excerpt from the book 'Mountains of Knowledge' (Salafi Publications 1998)

The Creed of Shaikh ul-Islaam in the Issue of 'al-Jihah' (Attributing Direction to Allaah)

The basis of this matter and its essence is that Shaikh ul-Islaam - may Allaah have mercy upon him - affirms in his books Allaah's highness above His creation and that He is above His heavens and His Throne - free is He from imperfection - just as He described Himself, and he makes it clear that this is the saying of the Imaams of the Sunnah, and of the Scholars of the Sharee'ah without any exception. In fact he quotes the concensus from more than one person, as will be mentioned in detail.

However, a group from among the philosophic theologians said, "These words necessitate from him that Allaah is in a particular direction, threfore he must be in a certain place surrounded by the creation, and therefore he must be a body (jism) like the other types of bodies, which is all in opposition to how He described Himself:

There is nothing like Him and He is the all-Hearing, all-Seeing [Shooraa 42:11]

This saying can seem correct to the one who has been deceived - due to a group amongst these philosophical theologians who fill weak Muslims with terror and alarm - as a result of which they deny Allaah's being high above His creation and that He is above His Throne, because this necessitates, in their view, that Allaah has a direction, and this is confining Allaah and a false encompassment!!

They then come with a rational proof which is that the transcendency of Allaah (His being above the creation) necessitates that Allaah is limited and confined. Having made this (initial) claim they then bring forth a textual proof , "There is nothing like Him and He is the all-Hearing, all-Seeing [Shooraa 42:11]" and they end up with the result which is (but) a denial of the verses of Allaah and the affirmed sunan and interpolating them with what agrees and reconciles with the base and foundation, the claimed 'rational proof'.

Is there is any soundness or proof for this foundation? What is the correct saying regarding the word 'al-jihah' (direction)? The answer is completed by the following:

The First

Know that the meaning which is prohibited and shunned - which is that Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic is in a direction where He is surrounded, encompassed and held - then Shaikh ul-Islaam has not spoken by it ever, and nor has any amongst the Imaams of the Sunnah. And this meaning - which is suspected by the common-folk and their likes due to their thinking that it is necessitated by those who affirm the highness of Allaah above the creation that they say it and speak with it - is a false meaning, and is a ridiculous way of confusing the truth.

Shaikh ul-Islaam said in 'Bayaan Talbees ul-Jahmiyyah' (1/559), "And when it is firmly established in the souls of those being addressed that Allaah is the Exalted, the Most High (al-'Aliyy al-A'laa), that He is above everything, then that which is understood from His saying that He is "in the sky (fis-Samaa)" [Mulk 67:16] is that He is high and raised and that He is above every single thing. Likewise the slave-girl, when he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said to her, 'Where is Allaah?', replied, 'In the sky (fis-Samaa)' and she intended (by this) Allaah's highness and being above and over everything (al-'Uluww) but without designating for Him a created body and His containment in it.

And when it is said 'al-'Uluww', it represents what is above the whole of creation. So whatever is above it, is (said to be) in the sky (fis-Samaa), and it is not necessitated or required by this that there be something in existence which envelopes Him, since there is nothing in existence above the creation except for Allaah."

Then he said, "Then, whoever presumes that Allaah's being above the sky (fis-Samaa) with the meaning that the sky encompasses and holds Him, then He is a liar if he narrates this from someone else, and he is astray if he believes this regarding His Lord, and we have not heard anyone understand this from the wording and nor have we seen a single person narrate this from anyone." End of his words.

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