Archive for December, 2006

adh-Dhahabi on Allah’s Hands

Posted on December 20, 2006. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

al-Imam al-Dhahabi says:

“Why do you say: ‘A hand in reality is this bodily limb’? Rather, a ‘hand’ is homonym, and it is in accordance with, and of the same category of what it is attributed to. Therefore, if the thing described therewith is an animal then the hand would be a bodily limb. If it were was statue made of brass and stone, the hand would also be of brass and stone. If it were an image drawn on the wall, the hand would be a drawing. If it were that of which neither there is a like, nor it is a body, the hand would also be that of which neither there is a like, nor it is a body”

He also says:

“If it is said: ‘In its conventional usage, a hand only refers to the limb that we all know of’ We would say in reply: Similarly, in conventional usage, knowledge, hearing and seeing are only accidents that subsist in bodies. Where, then, is the difference?”

Ithbat al-Yad lilLahi subhanah p. 42-44 by al-Imam al-Dhahabi.

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The Position of the Salaf on Divine Attributes

Posted on December 17, 2006. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

16. His statement, “Indeed, we were once highly respected among the adherents of the various schools; but here we are today berated, expelled, repressed, etc.”—is an indication from him to the effect that our Salaf followed certain doctrines and that we follow others; that we have thus innovated doctrines other than theirs, for which we deserve to be punished. But this is falsehood and defamation; it is the statement of one who has neither decency nor piety! Let him tell us what it is that we have innovated, and in which doctrine we have differed from our Salaf. If he should say, “you have abstained from the interpretation of the Quranic verses and the traditions which have come down to us with regard to the divine attributes,” claiming that the Salaf did interpret them and explain them, then he is uttering falsehood, forging lies, and is guilty of the most grievous aberration. For there is no question about (more…)

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Ibn Aqil’s Retraction

Posted on December 9, 2006. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

5. The cause leading to his retractation, as related to me, was as follows: When this scandal had proceeded from him, Sharif Abu Ja’far[1] deemed his blood fit to be shed, and issued, together with his companions, legal decisions to permit the taking of his life. Ibn ’Aqil was in hiding for fear of being killed. One day, while he was on board a ship, he heard a young fellow-passenger say: “I wish that I could find this zindiq Ibn ’Aqil, so that I could advance myself in the favour of God by killing him and pouring forth his blood!” Thus frightened, Ibn ’Aqil disembarked, went to Sharif Abu Ja’far and made his retractation, asking for God’s forgiveness.

6. I shall now relate his retractation and its circumstances, citing the chain of transmitters, so that it be known that (more…)

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Author’s Introduction

Posted on December 9, 2006. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

IN THE NAME OF GOD, THE COMPASSIONATE, THE MERCIFUL

1. Praise be to God in due proportion to His gifts and with due thankfulness for His bounty. I testify, with the testimony of a person sincere in declaring the unity of God (tawhid), that there is no god save God alone, and that He has no associate. I testify that Muhammad—God’s blessing and peace be on him—is His servant and Apostle, Seal of the Prophets and the best of His servants. May the blessings of God be on him, on his family, on his Companions and on all those who cling to his Sunna and follow his example.

2. To proceed—I have come upon the scandal (fadiha) of Ibn ’Aqil which he had called (more…)

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About the Treatise

Posted on December 9, 2006. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

The treatise comes nearly a century after Ibn ’Aqil’s death, indicating his continuing influence over some of the Hanbalis. Ibn al-Jawzi, being one of the most prominent Hanbalis influenced by Ibn ’Aqil’s writings, does spring to mind as the one being addressed by Ibn Qudama in this treatise; however, the wording therein indicates that those addressed were most probably alive at the time it was written, that is between 603 and 620 AH, whereas Ibn al-Jawzi passed away in the year 597 AH. Nevertheless, it is still quite possible that Ibn al-Jawzi was one of those intended by this treatise, since historically, he is the most prominent, if not the only candidate for censure, who was renowned as a spiritual student of Ibn ’Aqil, and an inheritor of his legacy. The obvious link between Ibn ’Aqil and Ibn al-Jawzi was confirmed in Dhayl ’ala Tabaqat al-Hanabila by Ibn Rajab where it states: “[Ibn al-Jawzi] would also hold Abu al-Wafa Ibn ’Aqil in great respect, and follow most of his beliefs, in spite of refuting him in some issues. Despite Ibn ’Aqil’s excellence in Kalam, he was not au fait on traditions and narrations, due to which he was inconsistent in this subject, with variegated opinions. Ibn al-Jawzi’s opinions were as vegetated as his.”[1]

There are several titles this treatise is known by, the most prominent of them: tahrim al-nadhar fi kutub ’ilm al-kalam (The Prohibition of Studying Works on Speculative Theology). It was translated into English and published by George Makdisi in 1962. This version is, in essence, Makdisi’s translation; however, we have taken the liberty to alter the translation where necessary, and further added explanatory notes.

[1] Ibn Rajab, al-Dhayl ‘Ala Tabaqat al-Hanabila 2/487-8, ed. Dr. al-‘Uthaimin, Maktabat al-‘Ubaikan 2005

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Background

Posted on December 7, 2006. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

Ibn ’Aqil was one of the most notable, intelligent and eloquent Hanbalis of his time. However, in his early days, he was censured by his fellow Hanbalis for attending lessons with Ibn al-Walid and Ibn al-Tabban, the two renowned Mu’tazili Shaykhs. Ibn Rajab asserts that Ibn ’Aqil would study kalam with them in secret; that often there would appear from him signs of heresies, some of which remained with him until he died, despite of his sincere repentance.

It was not until 461 AH, that it was discovered in some of his writings praise for the Mu’tazila, and prayers for al-Hallaj, the infamous pantheist. The writings were then presented to the powerful and influential leader of the Hanbalis, Sharif Abu Ja’far, much to his horror, though not surprise, after which he issued a decree that Ibn ’Aqil be pursued and killed on sight. Following the decree, Ibn ’Aqil went into hiding for four years, until he finally decided to repent from his heresies in the presence of Sharif Abu Ja’far and the rest of his Hanbali colleagues.

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Prohibition of Studying Works on Speculative Theology

Posted on December 7, 2006. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

Preface

Indeed, all praise is due to Allah who continues to bestow His endless favours upon His creation, religious guidance being the most precious of them. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the noblest of Messengers, Muhammad, and all those adhered to his path, until the Day of Resurrection.

This small treatise is amongst the many works of (more…)

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How Ash’arism Spread – al-Maqrizi

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

The reality of the Ash’ari school
Taqi al-Din Ahmad b. ‘Ali al-Maqrizi (d. 845)

An excerpt from al-Khitat al-Maqriziyya 4/184-5

The reality of the school of al-Ash’ari – may Allah be merciful with him – is that he followed a way between the negation of attributes, that being the Mu’tazili school, and the affirmation thereof, that being the school of anthropomorphists, and further debated his beliefs and supported his school with proofs. Thereafter, a group of theologians inclined towards and relied upon his school; from them, al-Qadhi Abu Bakr Muhammad b. al-Tayyib al-Baqillani al-Maliki, Abu Bakr Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. Furak, al-Shaykh Abu Ishaq Ibrahim b. Muhammad b. Mihran al-Isfaraini, al-Shaykh Abu Ishaq Ibrahim b. ‘Ali b. Yusuf al-Shirazi, al-Shaykh Abu Hamid Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Ghazzali, Abu al-Fath Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-Karim b. Ahmad al-Shahrastani, al-Imam Fakhr al-Din Muhammad b. ‘Umar b. al-Husayn al-Razi and others, the mention of whom would take a long time. They championed his school, debated and disputed according to it, and supported the school with proofs in an uncountable number of works. Due to their efforts, (more…)

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