On Allah’s Nuzool (Descent)

Posted on August 27, 2006. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

Speaking of Nuzūl, he quoted Imām al-Bayhaqī saying:
“The safest position is Imān in it without ‘how’, and remaining quiet about what is intended by it unless expounded upon by the truthful and confirmed one (i.e. the Messenger of Allah) sallallahu alayhi was sallam whereby we could hold to that…and from the evidence for that, is their agreement that the particular Ta’wīl is not obligatory, so in that case, Tafwīd is safer.”
Again, Imām as-Safārīnī quoted without anything but tacit approval and acceptance.
Imām as-Safārīnī quoted al-Qādī (I suppose he is referring to Qadī ‘Iyād, although there is a possibility that he means Qādī Abdul Wahhāb) in explanation of the Hadith of Nuzūl¬:
“We do not affirm a Nuzūl (that means a Nuzūl) from a high position to a lower one, rather, (we affirm) a Nuzūl whose meaning is not comprehended and it is not comprehended in reality.” (page 250)
In this same page, Imām as-Safārīnī explicitly affirms Nuzūl without movement (Harakah) or relocation (Intiqāl)
He goes on to quote the words of Shaykh ‘Imād ad-Dīn al-Wāsitī who said:
“His (Allāh’s) Nuzūl is established and known and not Mukayyaf (given a ‘how’) with movement and relocation that is fitting for something created. Rather, His Nuzūl is as befits His Grandeur and Might. So His attributes, the Exalted, are known in general and affirmed, not comprehended in terms of ‘howness’ and Tahdīd. So the believer sees them (understands them) from one angle, and is blind from another. He sees (understands) in the sense of affirming their existence, and he is blind in the sense of ‘howness’ and Tahdīd and by Allāh is all strength.” (page 250)
In this text quoted above, it is clearly shown that Tahdīd is not synonymous with a new fangled term called Tafwīd al-Kayf.

As usual, the deceptive author brings what he clearly does not understand, nor does he realise that his quotations are in fact in opposition to the Jahmite Madhab of tafwidh he adheres to, which is to negate the literal meanings.

1) al-Saffarini begins the chapter on Allah’s Descent by saying: ‘The Attribute of Descent, is what the Salaf affirmed without making ta’wil: the Attribute of al-Bari’s Descent – Jalla wa ‘ala – to the lowest Heaven’. Hence, al-Saffarini clearly affirms the Attribute of Allah’s Descent to the lowest Heaven, in accordance with his methodology of accepting the literal meanings of the Attributes.

2) al-Bayhaqi’s quote that the author is referring to is a proof against him and not for him, for al-Saffarini only quoted him to show that he affirms the Attribute of Descent, and does not deny it. As for the Tafwidh mentioned in the citation, then as demonstrated numerously, that is the very tafwidh of kayf, otherwise, affirming the literal meaning will be meaningless. Unless, of course, the author sinks to new depths of foolishness by making Tafwidh of al-Saffarini’s words, too!

3) What consolidates that al-Saffarini believes in the literal meaning is that he quotes al-Tufi al-Hanbali saying: ‘The famous opinion (which is also the mu’tamad) amongst the followers of Ahmad – May Allah be pleased with him – that they do not make ta’wil of the Attributes that are from the genre of movement, such as al-Maji’, al-Ityan (both in the meaning of Coming), al-Nuzul, al-Hubut (both in the meaning of Descent), al-Dunuw (to come close) and al-Tadalli (Descent), just as they do not make ta’wil of other Attributes, which is indicative of affirming the meanings that are disputed over’. Hence, do we expect the author to show justice and admit that al-Saffarini’s silence on al-Tufi’s belief in ‘Divine Movement’ and its ascription to the Hanbalis, is also a tacit approval?

4) He then quotes many narrations from the Salaf, literally affirming Allah’s Descent, such as al-Fudhayl’s statement: If a Jahmite says to you, ‘I disbelieve in a lord that descends from his position!’ Then say, ‘I believe in a Lord who does what He wishes!’

5) He then cites Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyya from his Sharh of al-Isfahaniyya, quoting a number of scholars from the Salaf, literally affirming Allah’s Descent. Amongst the scholars Ibn Taymiyya cites, and al-Saffarini tacitly and explicitly agrees with, is Abu ‘Uthman al-Nisaburi who says about the Hadeeth of Descent that Ahl al-Hadeeth: ‘…narrate the authentic report as it has been reported, maintaining its literal meaning (‘ala dhahirihi).’

6) al-Saffarini then quotes al-Imam ‘Uthman b. Sa’id al-Darimi from his famous rebuttal of Bishr al-Marrisi, over two pages, literally affirming Allah’s Descent. Knowing that the author’s Imam, al-Kawthari, regards the whole book and its author to be pagans, there is hardly any need to quote from the book. He then quotes the Shafi’i Imam Ibn Khuzayma in this vein, and the reason for not citing him here is, again, testimony of al-Kawthari, who declared the book to be outright paganism. Since Imam al-Saffarini did not object to the so-called ‘paganism’ of al-Darimi or Ibn Khuzayma, it shows that he agreed with them tacitly, nay, explicitly by affirming the literal meaning of Allah’s Descent.

7) al-Saffarini then makes an import point: ‘That which is necessitated for the one who affirms the Attribute of Descent (i.e. tajsim), the same is necessitated for the one who affirms the Attribute of Allah’s Life, Hearing, Seeing, Knowledge, Speech, Ability and Will. For nothing can be understood from these Attributes accept accidents (a’radh), that do not subsist except in our limbs. Hence, just as we both say – us (Hanbalis) and them (Ash’aris) – that His Life, Hearing and Seeing are not accidents (a’radh), rather they are Attributes as they suit Him, and not as they suit us; likewise we say exactly the same of His Descent, Elevation (fawqiyya), Rising, etc.’ Hence, once again, al-Saffarini affirms Allah’s Descent literally, just as the Ash’aris affirms the seven Attributes for Allah literally. He then goes on to quote Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyya, as he always does in every chapter, discussing at length, how the truth is only with the Salaf.

8) As for the Qadhi that al-Saffarini is referring to, which the author of the rotten article could not determine who he was, then be certain, dear readers, that the term ‘al-Qadhi’ when used by the early and the middle Tabaqa of the Hanbalis, or in the Hanbali books of ‘Aqida, then it only refers to al-Qadhi Abu Ya’la al-Farra, the Grand Sheikh, the undisputed authority and the champion of the Madhab of Imam Ahmad. In the Fiqh works of the latter Hanbalis, however, the term ‘al-Qadhi’ refers to al-Mardawi, the author of al-Insaf; but this, of course, only a genuine Hanbali will know!

9) al-Saffarini then quotes a number of Hanbali scholars, such as Ibn Hamdan, Ibn al-Banna, al-Qadhi Abu Ya’la and Ibn ‘Aqil, negating that Allah’s Descent necessitates movement (haraka) or relocation (intiqal), yet it does not necessarily mean, as the author suggests that al-Saffarini agrees with them. For he mentions the narration from Imam Ahmad himself, on page 261: ‘Imam Ahmad – may Allah be pleased with him – once heard a person narrating the Hadeeth of Descent and saying: He Descends without movement (haraka), relocation (intiqal), or change in state (taghayyur hal). Imam Ahmad reprimanded him over this and said: ‘Say as the Messenger of Allah – SallAllahu ‘alaihi wa-sallam said it, for he is more jealous over his Lord than you!’ Therefore, if anyone al-Saffarini is more likely to tacitly agree with, is his own Imam, Ahmad b. Hanbal; that Allah is described as He described Himself, which means to affirm what He affirmed for Himself, and to negate what He negated from Himself, nothing more, nothing less.

10) al-Qadhi Abu Ya’la says in his mu’tamad (reliable) book in the Madhab, Kitab al-Riwayatayn wal-Wajhayn that the Hanbalis have agreed that Allah Descends every last third of the night, yet they differed with respect to the nature of this Descent. Some (such as his Sheikh Ibn Hamid) maintained that the Descent takes place with movement, while others simply hold on to the narration of Hanbal, that the Descent is actually His reward; while others literally affirm Allah’s Descent, yet refuse to affirm or negate movement from Allah, and that this is the Madhab, as reported in various narrations of Imam Ahmad; one of which al-Saffarini himself quoted in his Sharh as mentioned above. This is precisely the opinion of Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn al-Qayyim as stated in al-Sawa’iq.

11) The author then refers to ‘Imad al-Din al-Wasiti as quoted by al-Saffarini, as usual, being ignorant of who he is. ‘Imad al-Din al-Wasiti was a Shafi’i-Sufi scholar, a great admirer and supporter of Ibn Taymiyya, and one of the many ‘converts’ to Hanbalism from Ash’arism in creed, of course, thanks to Ibn Taymiyya’s efforts. ‘Imad al-Din said of Ibn Taymiyya addressing the latter’s students (Shadharat al-Dhahab 3/83): ‘For Wallahi! And again, Wallahi! And yet again, Wallahi! None has been seen under the heavens like your Sheikh Ibn Taymiyya, in knowledge, in action, in status, manners… We have not yet seen in our time, one who clarifies the Muhamaddan prophethood, and the traditions thereof, in speech and actions, except this man (Ibn Taymiyya). Every sound heart bears witness, that indeed, this is the true following (of Islam)’. The same author wrote an ‘anthropomorphic’ work according to the author’s standards called: risala fi Ithbat al-Istiwa wal-Fawqiyya (i.e. A treatise on affirming (Allah’s) Rising and Elevation), in which he distances himself from his early Ash’arism.

12) The very quote the ignorant author brings from al-Wasiti demolishes his Madhab of negation, for he clearly affirms, while negating takyif and tahdid. As usual, the author regards ‘tahdid’ to be ‘meaning’, and we have already shown his ignorance in theology, Kalam and logic, as we have also explained the term tahdid that it is indeed, a ‘definition’ and not a ‘meaning’. Therefore, al-Wasiti affirms the literal meaning of Descent, yet, like his role model, Ibn Taymiyya, relegates the ‘tahdid’, i.e. the definition thereof to Allah.

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