That we DO NOT deny them (i.e. do not do ta'teel - which means to deny
Why is this. This is because Allaah knows what He revealed and He knows the
language better than anyone else. If we deny that He has said such things, then
it is like denying the whole of the Book. Denial can be simple and plain,
someone just denies them. But denial can also occur by changing and distorting
the meanings (which is the next principle)
The Second Principle:
That we DO NOT change the meanings of these things (i.e. do not give them
other meanings) This is tahreef (which means 'to change/distort something).
An example of this is like when someone says "Well when Allaah says
'Hand', it really means 'power' or 'favour'. Or when Allaah says 'istiwaa' (i.e.
Allaah ascends the Throne), that is really means 'to conquer/control'.
This is something that a group called the Mu'tazilah used to do (and they are
the very naughty people which we mentioned earlier - but there are others as
well and we will mention them later). Can you see why this is wrong? This is
because they are trying to give meanings to these descriptions that Allaah has
given Himself based upon their own intellects and understandings. They do not
really know whether that is what Allaah meant or not? They have no way of
verifying it either. Revelation has stopped and no one after the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)
can receive revelation. So how can they know whether the meaning they are trying
to give, is what Allaah actually intended or not?
There is actually a word which describes this action of giving other
meanings. It is called Ta'weel. This means to give a figurative explanation to a
word, or to give an allegorical meaning. i.e. to give it a meaning which is not
its obvious meaning in the language. For example if I was to say to you that 'I
sat on a table' - its obvious and clear meaning is that I sat on something with
four legs and also a flat top - it doesn't mean that I have a table consisting
of 3 rows and 5 columns drawn on a piece of paper and that I sat on top of that?
This is an unclear meaning - it is not obvious in the language and if I said 'I
sat on a table' no sensible person would think other than what it obvioulsy and
clearly means. Another group of very naughty people called the 'Asharees' are
well known for doing lots of 'ta'weel'(They must really enjoy it since they
neverseem to get sick of doing it). And this was never the way of the Salaf
Read the following two quotations: