Ibn Taymiyyah / Philosophy & Theology

Imam Ibn Taymiyya: On the Attributes of Allah

Ibn Taymiyyah: Sifat of Allah (swt)

 Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah states the following in the `Aqidat al-Wastiyyah

ثم في سنة رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وسلم) ، فالسنة تفسر القرآن وتبينه وتدل عليه وتعبر عنه ، وما وصف الرسول به ربه عز وجل من الأحاديث الصحاح التي تلقاها أهل المعرفة بالقبول وجب الإيمان بها .فمن ذلك مثل قوله (صلى الله عليه وسلم) : “ينزل ربنا إلى السماء الدنيا كل ليلة حين يبقى ثلث الليل الآخر فيقول : من يدعوني فأستجب له؟ من يسألني فأعطيه؟ من يستغفرني فأغفر له؟” [متفق عليه].[1] وقوله (صلى الله عليه وسلم) : “لله أشد فرحاً بتوبة عبده من أحدكم براحلته” [الحديث متفق عليه].[2]  وقوله (صلى الله عليه وسلم) : “يضحك الله إلى رجلين يقتل أحدهما الآخر كلاهما يدخلان الجنة” [متفق عليه].[3] وقوله : “عجب ربنا من قنوط عباده وقرب غيره ، ينظر إليكم أزلين قنطين فيظل يضحك يعلم أن فرَجكم قريب” [حديث حسن].[4] وقوله (صلى الله عليه وسلم) : “لا تزال جهنم يلقى فيها ، وهي تقول : هل من مزيد؟ حتى يضع رب العزة فيها رجله”[5] وفي رواية : “عليها قدمه فينزوي بعضها إلى بعض فتقول قط قط” [متفق عليه].[6]

 وقوله : “يقول تعالى : يا آدم ، فيقول : لبيك وسعديك ، فينادي بصوت : إن الله يأمرك أن تخرج من ذريتك بعثا إلى النار” [متفق عليه].[7] وقوله : “ما منكم من أحد إلا سيكلمه ربه وليس بينه وبينه ترجمان”.[8] وقوله في رقية المريض : “ربنا الله الذي في السماء تقدس اسمك ، أمرك في السماء والأرض كما رحمتك في السماء اجعل رحمتك في الأرض اغفر لنا حوبنا وخطايانا أنت رب الطيبين، أنزل رحمة من رحمتك وشفاء من شفائك على هذا الوجع فيبرأ” [حديث حسن رواه أبو داود وغيره].[9]  وقوله : “ألا تأمنوني وأنا أمين من في السماء” [حديث صحيح].[10] وقوله : “والعرش فوق الماء والله فوق العرش، وهو يعلم ما أنتم عليه” [حديث حسن رواة أبو داود وغيره] .[11]

وقوله للجارية : “أين الله؟” قالت : “في السماء”. قال : “من أنا؟” قالت : “أنت رسول الله”. قال : “أعتقها فإنها مؤمنة” [رواه مسلم].[12]  وقوله : “أفضل الإيمان أن تعلم أن الله معك حيث ما كنت” [حديث حسن].[13] وقوله : “إذا قام أحدكم إلى الصلاة فلا يبصقن قبل وجهه ولا عن يمينه فإن الله قبل وجهه ، ولكن عن يساره أو تحت قدمه” [متفق عليه][14]. وقوله (صلى الله عليه وسلم) : “اللهم رب السماوات السبع والأرض ورب العرش العظيم ربنا ورب كل شيء خالق الحب والنوى منزل التوراة والإنجيل والقرآن أعوذ بك من شر نفسي ومن شر كل دابة أنت آخذ بناصيتها أنت الأول فليس قبلك شيء وأنت الآخر فليس بعدك شيء وأنت الظاهر فليس فوقك شيء وأنت الباطن فليس دونك شيء اقض عني الدين وأغنني من الفقر” [رواه مسلم].[15]  وقوله لما رفع الصحابة أصواتهم بالذكر : “أيها الناس أربعوا على أنفسكم فإنكم لا تدعون أصم ولا غائبا إنما تدعون سميعاً بصيراً قريباً إن الذي تدعونه أقرب إلى أحدكم من عنق راحلته” [متفق عليه] [16]. وقوله : “إنكم سترون ربكم كما ترون القمر ليلة البدر لا تضامون في رؤيته فإن استطعتم أن لا تغلبوا على صلاة قبل طلوع الشمس وصلاة قبل غروبها فافعلوا” [متفق عليه] .[17]

إلى أمثال هذه الأحاديث التي يخبر فيها رسول الله )صلى الله عليه وسلم( عن ربه بما يخبر به ، فإن الفرقة الناجية أهل السنة والجماعة يؤمنون بذلك كما يؤمنون بما أخبر الله به في كتابه، من غير تحريف ولا تعطيل، ومن غير تكييف ولا تمثيل .بل هم الوسط في فرق الأمة ، كما أن الأمة هي الوسط في الأمم ، فهم وسط في باب صفات الله سبحانه وتعالى بين أهل التعطيل الجهمية وأهل التمثيل المشبهة ، وهم وسط في باب أفعال الله بين الجبرية والقدرية وغيرهم، وفي باب وعيد الله بين المرجئة والوعيدية من القدرية وغيرهم ، وفي باب أسماء الإيمان والدين بين الحرورية والمعتزلة وبين المرجئة والجهمية وفي أصحاب رسول الله )صلى الله عليه وسلم( بين الرافضة والخوارج .

وقد دخل فيما ذكرناه من الإيمان بالله الإيمان بما أخبر به في كتابه وتواتر عن رسوله وأجمع عليه سلف الأمة من أنه سبحانه فوق سماواته على عرشه على خلقه ، وهو سبحانه معهم أينما كانوا يعلم ما هم عاملون ، كما جمع بين ذلك في قوله : )هو الذي خلق السماوات والأرض في ستة أيام ثم استوى على العرش يعلم ما يلج في الأرض وما يخرج منها وما ينزل من السماء وما يعرج فيها وهو معكم أينما كنتم والله بما تعملون بصير(.وليس معنى قوله : )وهو معكم( أنه مختلط بالخلق ، فإن هذا لا توجبه اللغة ، وهو خلاف ما أجمع عليه سلف الأمة، وخلاف ما فطر الله عليه الخلق ، بل القمر آية من آيات الله من أصغر مخلوقاته وهو موضوع في السماء، وهو مع المسافر وغير المسافر أينما كان، وهو سبحانه فوق عرشه رقيب على خلقه مهيمن عليهم مطلع عليهم .. إلى غير ذلك من معاني ربوبيته .

وكل هذا الكلام الذي ذكره الله – من أنه فوق العرش وأنه معنا – حق على حقيقته لا يحتاج إلى تحريف ، ولكن يصان عن الظنون الكاذبة ، مثل أن يظن أن ظاهر قوله : ” في السماء ” أن السماء تقله أو تظله ، وهذا باطل بإجماع أهل العلم والإيمان ، فإن الله قد وسع كرسيه السماوات والأرض ، وهو الذي يمسك السماوات والأرض أن تزولا، ويمسك السماء أن تقع على الأرض إلا بإذنه ، ومن آياته أن تقوم السماء والأرض بأمره .

وقد دخل في ذلك الإيمان بأنه قريب مجيب ، كما جمع بين ذلك في قوله : )وإذا سألك عبادي عني فإني قريب . . . الآية( ، وقوله )صلى الله عليه وسلم( : )إن الذي تدعونه أقرب إلى أحدكم من عنق راحلته( . وما ذكر في الكتاب والسنة من قربه ومعيته لا ينافي ما ذكر من علوه وفوقيته، فإنه سبحانه ليس كمثله شيء في جميع نعوته، وهو عليُّ في دنوه قريب في علوه .

ومن الإيمان بالله وكتبه الإيمان بأن القرآن كلام الله منزل غير مخلوق ، منه بدأ وإليه يعود، وأن الله تكلم به حقيقة ، وأن هذا القرآن الذي أنزله على محمد )صلى الله عليه وسلم( هو كلام الله حقيقة لا كلام غيره . ولا يجوز إطلاق القول بأنه حكاية عن كلام الله أو عبارة ، بل إذا قرأه الناس أو كتبوه في المصاحف لم يخرج بذلك عن أن يكون كلام الله تعالى حقيقة ، فإن الكلام إنما يضاف حقيقة إلى من قاله مبتدئاً لا إلى من قاله مبلغاً مؤدياً . وهو كلام الله حروفه ومعانيه ليس كلام الله الحروف دون المعاني ، ولا المعاني دون الحروف . انتهى

Translation:

“And there is [belief in] the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saw) which interprets the Qur’an, clarifies it, indicates to it and expresses its meaning. Whatever the Messenger (saw) described his Lord (The Almighty, The Exalted) with through authentic narrations and which the people of experiential knowledge (ahl al-ma`rifah) have accepted, belief in that is obligatory. These include his saying (saw):

1. “Our Lord descends during the last third of each night to the lower heaven, and says: ‘Is there anyone who calls on Me that I may respond to him? Is there anyone who asks Me that I may give unto him? Is there anyone who requests My Forgiveness that I may forgive him?’”

 And his saying (saw):

 2. “Indeed, Allah is happier with the repentance of his `abd [worshipper] than any one of you is with finding his lost riding camel.”

 And his saying (saw):

 3. “Allah laughs about two men who kill each other but both enter paradise.”

 And his saying [saw]:

 4. “Our Lord marvels about the despair of His creatures [`ibad], while the changing of their situation from bad to good is very near, He looks at you, and you are very desperate, so He keeps laughing, because He knows that your relief is very close.”

 And his saying (saw):

 5. “[On the Day of Judgment] when a group of unbelievers is thrown into Hell, Hell will ask: ‘are there any more?’ until the Lord Almighty puts His foot into it. And in another version: puts His foot on it and then it folds up saying: ‘Enough, enough!’”

 And his saying [saw]:

 6. “Allah The Exalted, says: ‘Adam!’ And Adam answers: ‘Here I am, at Your service!’ Then a voice calls: ‘Verily! Allah orders you to send a delegate from your offspring to Hell’.” 

 And his saying [saw]:

 7. “Allah will talk to each person directly without a mediator between them.”

 And the saying of the Prophet [saw] on curing the ill:

 8. “Our Lord Allah Who is in heaven, may Your name be sanctified, Your affair is in the heavens and on earth; As Your Mercy is in heavens so make Your Mercy on earth. Forgive our faults and our sins. You are the Lord of the good people, bestow some of Your Mercy, and some of Your Cure on this pain that the sick may be cured.”

 And his saying [saw]:

 9. “Do you not trust me, while I have the trust of Him Who is in Heaven?”

 And his saying [saw]:

 10. “The Throne is above the water, and Allah is on the Throne; He knows what you are up to.”

 And the saying of the Prophet (saw) to the maid:

 11. “Where is Allah?” And she answers: ‘In the sky.’ And he [saw] asks: “Who am I?” And she replies: ‘You are the Messenger of Allah.’ And [the Prophet then] ordered: “Free her. She is a believer.”

 And his saying [saw]:

 12. “The most excellent faith is knowing that Allah is with you wherever you are.”

 And his saying [saw]:

 13. “When any one of you stands up for prayer, you must not spit in front of you nor to your right, because Allah is in front to you; But you may spit to your left, or under your foot.”

 And his saying [saw]:

 14. “My Lord! The Lord of the Seven Heavens, and The Lord of the great Throne, our Lord and The Lord of all, The Creator of plants and trees, The Revealer of the Tawrah (Old Testament), the Injil (New Testament) and the Qur’an: I seek refuge in You from the evil of myself and from the evil of all creatures; You are The First; Nothing is before You. You are The Last; Nothing is after You. You are the Outward; Nothing is over You. You are the Inward; Nothing is inside of You. Help me to pay my debt and keep poverty from me.”

 And the saying [of the Prophet, (saw)], when his companions raised up their voices in invocation (dhikr):

 15. “0 people, restrain yourselves. Indeed, you are not calling One Who is deaf or absent; Rather, you are calling a Hearer, One very close by; The One Who you are calling is closer to each one of you, closer even than the neck of your riding animal.”

 And his saying [saw]:

 16. “You will see your Lord as you see the full moon; Nothing will impair your view of Him; And if you are able to keep the dawn prayers and the mid afternoon prayers, do it.”

 And many more of these narrations (ahadith) in which the Messenger of Allah (saw) relates of his Lord all that he related.

 The Saved Group (al-firqah al-najiyyah) are The People of the Sunnah and the Jama`ah who believe in these things, just as they believe in what Allah informed about in His Precious Book without distorting (tahrif) or denying (ta`til) and without modality (takyif) or likeness (tamthil). Rather, they comprise the middle ground (wasat)[18] of the groups of the Ummah just as the Ummah comprises the middle ground of all nations.

 With regard to the Attributes of Allah (The Glorified and The Exalted), they comprise the middle ground between the denying Jahmiyyah and the people who draw an anthropomorphic likenesses with Allah (ahl al-tamthil al-mushabbihah); And they comprise the middle ground between the Qadariyyah and the Jabriyyah with regard to the acts of Allah (the Exalted); [the middle ground] between the Murji’ah and the Wa`idiyyah of the Qadariyyah and others with regard to Allah’s threat and between the Haruriyyah and the Mu`tazilah and between the Murji’ah and the Jahmiyyah with regard to the terms (asma’) of faith and religion, and between the Rawafid and the Khawarij with regard to the Prophet’s (saw) Companions.

[Allah is above Everything]:

 What we mentioned of belief in Allah included belief in what Allah has revealed in His Book and what has been reported from His Messenger (saw) via tawatur, and what the early generation (al-salaf) of the Ummah unanimously agreed upon: That Allah (The Glorified) is above His heavens on His Throne, exalted above His creatures and that He (The Glorified) is with them wherever they be and knows whatever they do. He summed it up in His saying: (He is the One Who created the heavens and the earth in six days; Then He Settled on the Throne. He knows what goes into the earth and what comes out of it and what descends from heavens and what ascends into it; He is with you wherever you are; Allah sees all what you do).[1]

His saying (He is with you) does not mean that He is commingled with the creatures. The language does not indicate this and it is against what the salaf agreed upon, and contrary to Allah’s creation of all things. For example, the moon is one of Allah’s Signs to be found amongst the smallest of his creatures. It is placed in the skies where it is at the same time with both the traveller and the non-traveller, wherever they are; and He (The Glorified) is on the Throne, watching over His creatures, ruling over them. This is, as well as other meanings of His Lordship.

All that Allah (The Glorified) mentioned – that He is on the Throne (al-`arsh) and that He is with us – is true in itself does not warrant distortion but should be protected from false conjectures, such as thinking that the apparent meaning of His saying (in the Heavens) means that the heavens contain Him. This is invalid according to the consensus of all the people of knowledge and faith. (Indeed, His Seat encompasses heavens and earth, and it is He Who holds heavens and earth so they do not perish and He Who holds heaven so that it not fall on earth except by His Permission. “It is among His Signs that heaven and earth stand fast by His Order”).[2]

[The closeness of Allah to His `ibad]:

Included in this is the belief that He is very close to His creatures, responding, as He has summed it up in His saying: (If My `ibad (worshipers) ask you about Me; [say that] I am very close, answering the caller when he calls on Me).[3]

And the Prophet (saw) said to his Companions when they raised their voices in invocation of Allah: “0 people! Restrain yourselves. Verily, you are not calling One Who is deaf or absent, the One you call is nearer to each of you than is the neck of your riding animal.”

What has been revealed in the Book and in the Sunnah – of His Closeness and His Concomitance – does not contradict what has been reported of His Exaltation and Highness. Indeed, Glory be to Him, there is none like Him in all His Attributes, and He is High in His Nearness and Near in His Highness.

[The Qur’an is the Word of Allah]:

Part of the belief in Allah and His Books is the belief that the Qur’an is Allah’s Word revealed, not created, that in Him it originated and unto Him it returns, that Allah truly uttered it, that this Qur’an which He revealed to Muhammad (saw) is truly the Word of Allah not the word of any other, that it is not allowable to say it is a narrative of the Word of Allah or an interpretation of it. That if the people read it or write it in books does not mean it is not the true Word of Allah (The Exalted) because speech is attributed to the one who spoke it initially, not to the one who narrated it. It is the Word of Allah, its letters and its meaning. The Word of Allah is not the words only, without meaning, and not the meaning only, without words…”

Notes

  • “Authentic traditions” (ahadith al-sihah): This implies that weak traditions (ahadith al-da`ifah) cannot be used as a basis of establishing doctrinal information and content.
  • “People of experiential knowledge of Allah” (ahl al-ma`rifah): acceptable or orthodox body of knowledge is embodied in the views and understandings of people of knowledge who have the authoritative understanding.
  • The reports regarding Allah’s attributes (especially creaturely ascriptions) are to be taken without distortion/tahrif, change or negation/ta`til.
  • Certain historical sects are condemned as heretical but not necessarily as disbelievers.
  • These historical sects are not the ‘Saved Sect’ (al-firqah al-najiyyah); the latter being the only one worthy of and assured of salvation.
  • Nowhere in the passage does it condemn the Ash`ariyyah or the Maturidiyyah for their doctrinal positions nor does it compare them to the Mu`tazilah.
  • The meaning of: (He is with you wherever you are…) does not mean Allah is amongst His creation, mingling and mixing with them. Hence the literal interpretation is negated.[19]
  • Similarly, the expression of Allah being exalted above the heavens on its literal or apparent rendering (zahir) is absurd which would entail that Allah is encompassed by the heavens.[20]
  • Allah’s word/speech (kalam) is not created (ghayr makhluq).[21]
  • The enunciation of the Qur’an is also eternal and uncreated.[22]

  

a. The Ash`ariyyah on the ‘Enunciation’ (lafziyyah):

Ibn `Asakir remarks: 

وكذلك قالت المعتزلة كلام الله مخلوق مخترع مبتدع وقالت الحشوية المجسمة الحروف المقطعة والأجسام التي يكتب عليها والألوان التي يكتب بها وما بين الدفتين كلها قديمة أزلية فسلك رضي الله عنه طريقة بينهما فقال القرآن كلام الله قديم غير مغير ولا مخلوق ولا حادث ولا مبتدع فأما الحروف المقطعة والأجسام والألوان والأصوات والمحدودات وكل ما في العالم من المكيفات مخلوق مبتدع مخترع…

“…The Mu`tazila said that the Speech of Allah (Most High) is created, invented, and brought into being. The Hashwiyya, who attribute a body to Allah (The Exalted) claimed that the ‘disjointed letters’ (al-huruf al-muqatta`a), the materials on which they are written, the colours in which they are written, and all that is between the two covers [of the volumes of Qur’an] is beginning-less and pre-existent (qadima azaliyya). [Imam al-Ash`ari] – Allah be pleased with him – took a middle road between them and argued that the Qur’an is the beginning-less speech of Allah (Most High) unchanged, uncreated, not of recent origin in time, nor brought into being. As for the disjointed letters, the materials, the colours, the voices, the elements that are subject to limitations (al-mahdudut), and all that is subject to modality (al-mukayyafat) in the world, then all this is created, originated, and produced…”[23]

Argument

  1. For any act that is a speech, if it is originated, then it cannot be ascribed to Allah.
  2. The enunciation of the Qur’an is originated speech.
  3. Therefore, the enunciation of the Qur’an cannot be ascribed to Allah as His speech.

Premise 2 is the key premise: 

  • If speech is temporal and hence originated phenomena, it cannot be positively ascribed to God as that would entail contingencies in the Divine Attributes and Essence.[24] 

b. The Mu`tazilah

  • The Mu`tazilites believed in the created nature of the Qur’an.
  • They held an equivalence between: 
  1. The sifa/attribute.[25]
  2. The wasf/description[26] and
  3. The ism/name/designation.
  • They espoused an uncompromising rational doctrine of transcendence.

Argument:

  1. If the Qur’an is God’s word/speech, then either it is co-eternal with God or it is not co-eternal with God.
  2. If the Qur’an is co-eternal with God then it is uncreated.
  3. If the Qur’an is not co-eternal with God then it is created.
  4. The Qur’an is not co-eternal with God.
  5. Therefore, the Qur’an is created.

 Premise 4 is based on the assumption/principle that:

a)      Contraries are not to be simultaneously affirmed of God (e.g. unity and multiplicity).

b)      Co-eternal speech/word undermines Divine transcendence.

c)      God’s word is located in time and space, i.e. it is revealed.

  • A created Qur’an was espoused in order to defend or uphold a radical observance of Divine transcendence (tanzih). But this became problematic, e.g. consider the argument that arises out of believing in the created nature of the Qur’an:

Argument:

  1. If the nature of the Qur’an is created, then the Divine Attributes are not real.
  2. The nature of the Qur’an is created.
  3. Therefore, the Divine attributes are not real.

But theologically, this conclusion is absurd. Premise 1 is based on the notion that:

  • A created Qur’an presupposes God’s attributes are not real but revealed and therefore any descriptions of Divine Attributes are merely a language about God for human comprehension.

 

  • Thus, paradoxically, Mu`tazilite rational directives or reason delimits God’s transcendence by negating His attributes!
  • Their rational impetus further results in picturing the Qur’an as a ‘creature’ (i.e. ‘thing created’).
  • Also, their extreme insistence on utter and absolute transcendence by eschewing anthropomorphic determinations leads to a reductive notion of transcendence, i.e. they undermined the personal character and nature of God implied by a neuter qualification becoming close to classical Greek conceptions of a deity as opposed to a monotheistic deity grounded in revelation.
  • Moreover, they collapsed the Divine Attributes into the Divine Essence, i.e. absolutely reduced it, e.g. God has property/attribute F, G, H, … = to the Essence. 

 


[1] See Q. 57:4.

[2] See Q. 30:25.

[3] See Q. 2:186.


[1] The hadith is sahih. See:

  1. Bukhari, Sahih (no.1145, 6321 & 7494).
  2. Abu Dawud, Sunan (no.4733).
  3. Ahmad, al-Musnad (= Shakir’s edition.), 14/46.
  4. Ibn Khuzaymah, Kitab al-Tawhid, 1:325.
  5. Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Kitab al-Tamhid, 7:128 and al-Istidhkar, 2:511.
  6. Ibn al-`Arabi, Ahkam al-Qur’an, 4:326.
  7. Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmu` al-Fatawa, 3:387, 12:311 & 16:421.
  8. Al-Albani, Sharh al-Tahawiyyah, p.461; Sahih Abi Dawud (no.1315 & 4733), Sahih Ibn Majah (no.1132-1133); Sahih Adab al-Mufrad (no.580); Tammam al-Mannah (no.182) and Kitab al-Sunnah (no.492-494 & 503).

[2] The hadith is sahih. See:

  1. Muslim, Sahih (no.2639, 2674 & 2744-2746).
  2. Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmu` al-Fatawa, 7:445 & 8:141 and al-Rasa’il wa ’l-Masa’il, 5:333.
  3. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami` (no.5030-5033, 4595, 7079).

 [3] The hadith is sahih. See: 

  1. Bukhari, Sahih (no.2826).
  2. Muslim, Sahih (no.1890).
  3. Ibn Khuzaymah, Kitab al-Tawhid, 2:569.
  4. Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Kitab al-Tamhid, 18:344.
  5. Al-Mundhiri, al-Targhib wa’l-Tarhib, 1:298.
  6. Al-Haythami, Majma` al-Zawa’id, 2:258.
  7. Al-Sakhawi, al-Qawl al-Badi`, p.264,
  8. Al-Albani, Sahih Ibn Majah (no.159); Sahih al-Jami` (no.8100); Sahih al-Targhib wa ’l-Tarhib (no.630); Sahih al-Nasa’i (no.3166) and Da`if al-Jami` (no.1738).

 [4] The isnad is hasan. See:

  1. Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmu` al-Fatawa, 3:139.
  2. Al-Albani, Silsilat Ahadith al-Sahihah (no.2810); Sahih Ibn Majah, 1:78; Kitab al-Sunnah (no.554) and Da`if al-Jami` (no.3585).

 [5] The hadith is sahih. See:

  1. Bukhari, Sahih (no.6661).
  2. Muslim, Sahih (no.2848).
  3. Al-Tabari, al-Jami` al-Bayan, 13:208.
  4. Ibn Khuzaymah, Kitab al-Tawhid, 1:221.
  5. Ibn al-`Arabi, `Aridat al-Ahwadhi, 6:340.
  6. Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Mustadrak `ala ’l-Majmu`, 1:226.
  7. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami` (no.7286); Sahih al-Tirmidhi (no.3272) and Kitab al-Sunnah (no.534).

 [6] The hadith is sahih. See: 

  1. Bukhari, Sahih (no.4849-4850, 7449 & 6661).
  2. Muslim, Sahih (no.2846 & 2848).
  3. Al-Tabari, al-Jami` al-Bayan, 13:207.
  4. Ibn Khuzaymah, Kitab al-Tawhid, 1:221-223.
  5. Ibn al-`Arabi, `Aridat al-Ahwadhi, 6:340.
  6. Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Mustadrak `ala ’l-Majmu`, 1:226.
  7. Ibn al-Qayyim, Tariq al-Hijratayn, p.328
  8. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami` (no.2919 & 7286); Sahih al-Tirmidhi (no.3272) and Kitab al-Sunnah (no.531).

 [7] Narrated by Bukhari in his Sahih (no. 4741 & 7483).

 [8] The hadith is sahih. See:

  1. Bukhari, Sahih (no.7512).
  2. Muslim, Sahih (no.1016).
  3. Al-Tabari, al-Jami` al-Bayan, 5:157.
  4. Ibn Khuzaymah, Kitab al-Tawhid, 1:366.
  5. Al-Haythami, al-Zawajir, 1:193.
  6. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami` (no.5798), Sahih Ibn Majah (no.1505 & 5795) and Sahih Tirmidhi (no.2415).

 [9] The hadith is hasan. See: 

  1. Abu Dawud, Sunan (no.3892).
  2. Al-Bazzar, al-Bahr al-Zukhar, 10:18.
  3. Ibn Muflih, Adab al-Shari`iyyah, 3:96.
  4. Al-Dhahabi, al-`Uluw, p.29.
  5. Al-Mizzi, Tahdhib al-Kamal, 6:420.
  6. Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmu` al-Fatawa, 3:139.
  7. Al-Mundhiri, al-Targhib wa’l-Tarhib, 4:238.
  8. Ibn al-Qaysarani, Dhakhirat al-Huffaz, 4:2207.
  9. Ibn `Adi, al-Kamil fi’l-Du`afa’, 4:145.
  10. Ibn Hibban, Kitab al-Majruhin, 1:386.
  11. Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, Hidayat al-Ruwat, 2:164.
  12. Al-Tabrizi, Mishkat al-Masabih (no.1500 = al-Albani’s edition.)
  13. Al-Albani, Da`if Abi Dawud (no.3892); Da`if al-Jami` (no.5422) and Da`if Targhib (no.2013).

 [10] Narrated by Muslim in his Sahih (no.1064) and Abu Nu`aym in Hilyat al-Awliya’, 5:83.

 [11] See: 

  1. Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmu` al-Fatawa, 3:139.
  2. Al-Dhahabi, al-`Uluw, p.79.
  3. Ibn al-Qayyim, Sawa`iq al-Mursilah, p.435 (= the mukhtasar edn.)
  4. Al-Hakami, Ma`arij al-Qubul, 1:154.
  5. Al-Albani, Mukhtasar al-`Uluw, p.48.

 12] The hadith is sahih. See:

  1. Muslim, Sahih (no.537).
  2. Abu Dawud, Sunan (no.930 & 3282-3284).
  3. Al-Shafi`i, Kitab al-Umm, 1:33.
  4. Ahmad, al-Musnad, 15/31.
  5. Ibn Khuzaymah, Kitab al-Tawhid, 1:279-284.
  6. al-Khatib, Tarikh Baghdad, 9:344.
  7. Al-Bayhaqi, Sunan al-Kubra, 7:387.
  8. Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Kitab al-Tamhid, 75:22 and al-Istidhkar, 6:342.
  9. Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmu` al-Fatawa, 5:258.
  10. Al-Dhahabi, al-`Uluw, pp.15-16.
  11. Ibn al-Mulaqqin, al-Badr al-Munir, 8:163.
  12. Ibn al-Qayyim, Sawa`iq al-Mursilah, 4:1533.
  13. Al-Subki, Tabaqat al-Shafi`iyyah, 6:331.
  14. Al-`Iraqi, Haml al-Asfar (= takhrij of the Ihya’ of al-Ghazzali), 3:18.
  15. Al-Haythami, Majma` al-Zawa’id, 1:28 & 4:247.
  16. Al-Albani, Silsilat Ahadith al-Sahihah, 7:458, 461, 464; Sahih Abi Dawud (no.930 & 3282); Sahih al-Nasa’i (no.1217); Da`if Abi Dawud (no.3284) and Kitab al-Sunnah (no.489) and his Mukhtasar al-`Uluw, p.95.

 [13] The isnad of the hadith is hasan. See:

  1. Abu Nu`aym, Hilyat al-Awliya’, 6:133..
  2. Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmu` al-Fatawa, 3:140.
  3. Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur’an al-`Azim, 8:35.
  4. Al-Haythami, Majma` al-Zawa’id, 1:65.
  5. Al-Albani, Silsilat Ahadith al-Da`ifah (no.2589) and Da`if al-Jami` (no.1002).

 [14] The hadith is sahih. See:

  1. Muslim, Sahih (no.3008).
  2. Ahmad, al-Musnad, 7/183.
  3. Abu Dawud, Sunan (no.485).
  4. Ibn `Adi, al-Kamil fi ’l-Du`afa’, 9:58.
  5. Al-Haythami, Majma` al-Zawa’id, 2:169.
  6. Al-Albani, Sahih Abi Dawud (no.485) and Sahih al-Nasa’i (no.723).

 [15] The isnad is hasan. Narrated by:

  1. Abu Dawud, Sunan (no.5051).
  2. Tirmidhi, Sunan (no.3481).
  3. Ibn Khuzaymah, Kitab al-Tawhid, 1:265.
  4. Ibn `Adi, al-Kamil fi ’l-Du`afa’, 2:464.
  5. Al-Qaysarani, Dhakhirat al-Huffaz, 2:850.
  6. Al-Zayla`i, Takhrij al-Kashshaf, 3:179.
  7. Al-Haythami, Majma` al-Zawa’id, 10:124.
  8. Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, Hidayat al-Ruwat, 2:477.
  9. Al-Albani, Sahih Ibn Majah (no.3104 & 3137); Sahih Abi Dawud (no.5051); Sahih al-Tirmidhi (no.3481); Sahih Adab al-Mufrad (no.909) and Sahih al-Jami` (no.4424).

 [16] See:

  1. Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmu` al-Fatawa, 15:17.
  2. Ibn al-Qayyim, Bada’i` al-Fawa’id, 3:7 and Mukhtasar al-Sawa`iq al-Mursalah, p.482.
  3. Al-Albani, Silsilat Ahadith al-Sahihah, 7:1459; Kitab al-Sunnah, p.618 and Sahih al-Jami` (no.7864).

 [17] See:

  1. Bukhari, Sahih (no.4581 cf. 7437).
  2. Muslim, Sahih (no.2968).
  3. Abu Dawud, Sunan (no.4730).
  4. Tirmidhi, Sunan (no.2557).
  5. Ibn Khuzaymah, Kitab al-Tawhid, 2:427.
  6. Abu Nu`aym, Hilyat al-Awliya’, 8:235.

 [18] Or alternatively, ‘balance’ and ‘medium’.

[19] Cf. al-Maturidi, Sharh, p.15 and al-Ash`ari, al-Ibanah `an Usul al-Diyanah, p.38.

[20] Although for the Hanbali school the apparent lexical sense (zahir) is the norm, it nevertheless must be grounded in correct exegesis (tafsir) as well as canonical tradition (ahadith) and early understandings of the Companion and successors (tabi`un). See Abu Ya`la, Tabaqat al-Hanabilah, p.325.

[21] See Abu Ya`la, Tabaqat al-Hanabilah, pp.12. 24, 41, 62-63, 78-82, 101-102, 115, 125, 204, 217, 238, 240, 247 & 276. However, the Hanbali believe the enunciation (lafziyyah) of the Qur’an is not created as held by the Ash`ariyyah. Cf. Abu Ya`la, Tabaqat al-Hanabilah, pp.134-135.

[22] This doctrine of the enunciation (lafziyyah) of the Qur’an was heavily censured by early pietistic hadith scholars. Ishaq ibn Ibrahim al-Naysaburi reports Ahmad’s uncompromising stance against those who did not believe the lafziyyah of the Qur’an was eternal. A person’s prayer, according to Ahmad would be invalid behind a person who believed that the lafziyyah of the Qur’an was created! See al-Naysaburi, Masa’il al-Imam b. Hanbal, p.60. Cf. however, al-Bayhaqi’s narrations with his own isnads (that are sahih) that mentions Imam Ahmad rebuking anyone who informs people that he taught the pronunciation of the Qur’an being created. See al-Bayhaqi’s narrations in al-Asma’ wa ’l-Sifat (= al-Kawthari’s edn. pp.265-266; al-Hashidi edn. 2:18); Salih ibn Ahmad’s book al-Mihna, pp.70-71, Ibn al-Jawzi’s Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad, p.155 and Ibn Taymiyyah in Majmu` al-Fatawa, 12:360 & 425.

[23] See Ibn `Asakir, Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari, p.150-151. See also Ibn `Abd al-Salam, al-Mulha, p.44 (= Haddad’s edn.); al-Subki, Tabaqat al-Shafi`iyyah, 2:118-119 and al-Buti, Kubra al-Yaqinat, pp.125-127.

[24] There is thus a mutual exclusivity between ‘contingency’ (huduth) and ‘eternality’ (qidam). See Ibn Khafif, al-`Aqidah, art. 11, p.6 (= Haddad’s edn. from MS. Fatih, no.5381 and 5391 and MS. Hagia Sophia, no.4792, fols.746b-748a).

[25]  = sifa is some intrinsic property of an Agent, S.

[26] = wasf is some property given as a descriptive report of an Agent, S.

Why not leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s