Archive for September, 2006

Ibn Katheer on the Attributes of Allah

Posted on September 30, 2006. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

Let us take a quick look at the position of Ibn Katheer on the Attributes of Allah.

Firstly, Ibn Kathir was a devout student and an admirer of Ibn Taymiyya, and would follow him in many of his views and opinions, as he would also accompany him on his Hisba missions of commanding good and forbidding evil. Anyone who reads Ibn Kathir’s account of Ibn Taymiyya in his Bidaya will be aware of this, in particular, when Ibn Kathir proudly relates how Ibn Taymiyya punished a Sufi Zindiq at his time and made him repent, in Ibn Kathir’s presence.

Ibn al-Imad in his Shadharat quotes Ibn Qadhi Shuhba from his Tabaqat: ‘He (Ibn Kathir) had a special relationship with Ibn Taymiyya, whom he would defend and follow many of his views. He would issue verdicts according to the view of Ibn Taymiyya in the issue of Talaq, due to which he was tested and harmed. He died in Sha’ban and was buried in the Sufi cemetery next to his Sheikh Ibn Taymiyya’.

Secondly, what Ibn Kathir says in tafsir of Allah’s Hands, etc, is not the Ta’wil which involves the negation of the dhahir.

The Salaf affirmed two things from the verses regarding the Attributes:

(more…)

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Did Imam Ahmed Make Ta’wil?

Posted on September 30, 2006. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

The narration about Imam Ahmad supposedly making Ta’wil of ‘Your Lord will Come…’ is narrated by Hanbal alone, the uncle of the Imam. The Hanbalis are very cautious when it comes to narrations transmitted by Hanbal alone on the issues of Fiqh, so how about the issues of Aqida? Many Hanbali Imams claimed that Hanbal erred while reporting this, for Salih b. Ahmad b. Hanbal was also a witness to this discussion and trial, but never reported anything of the like in his account. Furthermore, Hanbal also narrates several times from Imam Ahmad literally affirming Allah’s descent.

Other Hanbalis affirm this narration and say that he said this to them as a response to their argument, and not that it was his belief.

(more…)

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Tafwid al-Ma’na in Istiwa?

Posted on September 21, 2006. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

Tafweed al-Ma`na is -not- a belief that the Attributes of Allah “have no meaning”. It is the belief that -certain- attributes of Allah are clear and -certain- ones are not. In these that are not clear we relegate the Ma`na to Allah alone. One example is ar-rahmanu `ala-l `arsh-istawa. We accept it as a literal reality and reject that it is figurative in anyway that Allah did istawa regarding His Throne. The word “istawa” has a wide variety of meanings in the Arabic language and a simple gloss of Lisan al-`Arab will confirm this. However, the exact understanding of this istawa we relegate to Allah. Tafwid means “relegation”. Tafwid al-Ma`na means “relegation of the meaning”.

Here is what Mar’i al-Karmi al-Hanbali (d. 1033) said in his work Ta’wilat al-thiqat. This comes as a direct refutation of this claim, from a post-Ibn Taymiyya Hanbali scholar, from a book which some claim shows the supposed difference between Ibn Taymiyya and Hanbali creed:

Many of the Mutakallimun said, such as al-Tilmisani and others, that the meaning of their statement: “al-Istiwa is known” is that the various meanings of al-Istiwa are lexically known” after having negated al-istiqrar (being settled), as al-qahr (subduing), al-ghalaba (overpowering) or intending to creating something in the Throne, and so on from the various meanings of al-Istiwa. Hence, these meanings are all known in the Arabic language. “The kayf is unknown”, meaning: to pin-point one of those meanings, being Allah’s intended meaning is unknown to us. “To question it is bid’âh”, meaning: to pin-point it speculatively is bid’âh, for the Companions were not known for considering the Names of Allah and His Attributes based on speculation.

I say (Mar’i al-Hanbali): This tafsir is not pleasing to me, (more…)

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

One Part of Allah’s Mercy on Earth?

Posted on September 21, 2006. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

How do we understand the issue of saying Allah’s mercy is infinite when the authentic hadeeth related by Abu Hurayrah in al-Bukhari and Muslim describes dividing mercy into one hundred parts. Would ‘mercy’ in this hadeeth be an attribute of His, the Most High? Is there anything in the authentic Sunnah describing Allah, the Most High, with those Arabic terms mentioned as its English equivalent is frequently used?

There are two versions of this hadeth:
(more…)

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Ash’ari Textbooks – Qur’an is Created

Posted on September 21, 2006. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

Sharh Jawharat Tawheed of Bayjuri is a classical Ash’ari textbook for aqeedah. In it he says that “it is only permitted to teach that the Qur’an is created in a classroom setting.” Here is a scan from this book (this is from a printing edited by Dr. ‘Ali Jum’ah).

ash'aris quran is created

It should be noted that even the Ash’aris themselves translate this accordingly, here is one example. This is the passage referenced above as translated by Abdullah bin Hamid Ali,

And it (i.e. the expression) is applied to both meanings (i.e. the Book and to the eternal quality of Allah). It has also been stated that the phrase is a homonym ishtirak; just as it has been said that it literally applies to the unuttered (uncreated) speech, while it is metaphorically applied to the uttered (created) speech. (At any rate) All who deny that all that is between the two covers of the book (mushaf) is the word of Allah (kalam Allah) are guilty of unbelief unless one means that it is not the quality present with His divine essence – High is He. And in spite of the fact that the words (lafz) we recite happen to be emergent, it is still only permitted to say “The Qur’n is emergent (or created)” in a classroom setting, because it sometimes applies to the quality present with His divine essence even though only metaphorically according to the strongest view. And it might be imagined from stating in a general fashion that “The Qur’n is emergent (or created)” that (one is saying that) the quality present with His divine essence – High is He – is emergent (or created).”

This can be found here on pg. 1.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Short Bio of Abul-Hasan by Ibn al-Jawzi

Posted on September 14, 2006. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

Ibn al-Jawzi said in his al-Muntadham about Abul-Hasan al-Ash’ari:

“He was born in 260 AH. He delved into the Kalam, and was upon the madhab of the Mu’tazila for a long time. He then decided to oppose them and proclaimed a doctrine which muddled up people’s beliefs and caused endless strife. The people never differed that this audible Qur’an is Allah’s Speech, and that Gabriel descended with it upon the Prophet – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. The reliable imams declared that the Quran is eternal, while the Mu’tazila claimed that it is created. Al-Ash’ari then agreed with the Mu’tazila that the Quran is created and said: ‘This is not Allah’s Speech. Rather, Allah’s Speech is an Attribute subsisting in Allah’s Essence. It did not descend on the Prophet, nor is it audible.’ Ever since he proclaimed this belief, he lived in fear for his life for opposing the orthodox community (ahl al-sunnah), until he sought refuge in the house of Abu al-Hasan al-Tamimi fearing assassination. Then some of the rulers began to fanatically follow his madhab, and his following increased, until the Shafi’is abandoned the beliefs of al-Shafi’i and instead followed al-Ash’ari’s doctrine”

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Ash’aris/Maturidis – Is the Qur’an Speech or Meaning?

Posted on September 13, 2006. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

The statement,

The Maturidiyyah and the Ashaairah are of the opinion that Allah’s Speech refers to the ma’aani (meaning and message) not the sound and letters

is slightly inaccurate.

The Ash’aris and the Maturidis believe (more…)

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Kalami Reason Ash’aris Make Ta’wil and Tafwid

Posted on September 2, 2006. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

There is a Kalami reason why the Ash’aris either make ta’weel of Attributes such as Hand, Face, etc, or make Tafweedh, while in both cases they negate the dhahir – the literal meaning – which the Salaf affirmed as confirmed by al-Khattabi, al-Khateeb and even al-Qushayri the hardcore Ash’arite.

Now, why did they deny that Allah has Hands and Face?

They said that Hands and Face etc are parts, and Allah is not composed of parts.

Why isn’t Allah composed of parts? Because only bodies are composed of parts.

So what if Allah is a body composed of parts? i) A body composed of parts is in need of all other parts without which it remains deficient, and Allah is not in need of parts. ii) All bodies are made up of substances and Allah is not a substance.

Why isn’t Allah a substance? Because substance have subsisting in them accidents.

So what if (more…)

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Ash’aris Believe Quran is Created and Ibn Qudama’s Refutation

Posted on September 1, 2006. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

The Ash’aris believe that Allah’s Speech subsists in His Essence and is without sound or letters, and therefore, Allah could not have said Alif-Laam-Meem.

The Mu’tazilah believed that the Quran is Allah’s Speech; and Allah’s Speech is created.

The Ash’aris believed that the Quran is not Allah’s Speech, so while Allah’s Speech is uncreated, the Quran remains created.

al-Bayjuri the Ash’ari theologian says in his Sharh Jawharat al-Tawheed:
“it is still only permitted to say “The Qur’an is emergent (or created)” in a classroom setting”

Ibn al-Jawzi says in al-Muntadham of al-Ash’ari:
“The people never differed that this audible Qur’an is Allah’s Speech, and that Gabriel descended with it upon the Prophet – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. The reliable imams declared that the Quran is eternal, while the Mu’tazila claimed that it is created. Al-Ash’ari then agreed with the Mu’tazila that the Quran is created and said: ‘This is not Allah’s Speech. Rather, Allah’s Speech is an Attribute subsisting in Allah’s Essence. It did not descend on the Prophet, nor is it audible.’ ”

Ibn al-Jawzi would often say on the pulpit:
“The heretics (the Ash’aris) claim; i) there is none in the Heavens, ii) neither is there Qur’an in the Mushaf, and iii) nor is there a Prophet in the grave; ‘your three shameful facets’” (al-Dhayl)

Ibn al-Jawzi writes, (more…)

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Ibn Qudama on Tafwid

Posted on September 1, 2006. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

It is true that some scholars have opined that ibn Qudama is a Mufawwidh.

However, upon reading the rest of his statements in Lum’at al-I’tiqad, as well as his other books in theology, it is clearly noticed that he affirms the dhahir of the texts, and therefore, by the term tafwidh, he means tafwidh of the kayf and not negation the dhahir.

The following examples will prove beyond doubt that Ibn Qudama affirmed the dhahir, and he was not a mufawwidh.

Ibn Qudama says in Lum’at al-I’tiqad: ‘From the verses that have come in relation to Allah’s attributes is the saying of Allah, ‘the Face of your Lord…’, and His saying, ‘Rather His two Hands are outstretched’. He then mentions a number of verses affirming a self for Allah, His Coming, His Pleasure, His Love, His Anger and Dislike. He then mentions the Hadeeth about Allah’s descent every night, His Amazement, and His Laugh, and considering it all from His Attributes. He then says:

‘These texts and the like, the chain of which has been authenticated, and the narrators of which are upright, we believe in them, and do not reject them nor deny them, nor do we give them a ta’wil which opposes their dhahir.’

From this we deduce, a) If he had negated the dhahir of the texts, he would not have affirmed the Face and Hands of Allah as His Attributes, and b) his objection to any ta’wil which opposes the dhahir of the texts clearly shows that he does not negate the dhahir, rather he affirms it, and therefore, he is not a mufawwidh.

2) He then quotes (more…)

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

« Previous Entries
  • Subscribe

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...