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Belief of Hanbalis / Atharis (past) vs "Salafis"

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  • The Jahmites and the Mu’tazilites, who were among the first deviant sects to emerge, denied the attributes of Allāh claiming that this was the essence of tawḥīd. Therefore, they had to deny that the Qur’ān is the actual speech of Allāh. They claimed that confirming any attribute to Allāh other than His eternal essence entails an approval of multiple eternals and hence confirming that the speech of Allāh is one of His attributes which is different from his essence, means the same thing; the presence of multiple eternals.

    The misguided sects adopted a philosophical mindset of critical examination of the grounds for fundamental beliefs. They used this principle in every aspect of the religion including theology, until they came to the conclusion that Allāh Himself cannot be believed in, until one first doubts His existence and then intellectually proves it.

    To prove the existence of Allāh, or the Prime Mover as the philosophers say, they devised the well-known Kalam Cosmological Proof for the Existence of God. This was their version of the cosmological theory of atomism as proposed by some the ancient Greek philosophers. This proof for the existence of God became widely accepted by not only the Jahmites, but also the Mu’tazilites, and later on the Ash’arites and Māturīdiyyah. It was upon this fundamental understanding and premise that all these groups interpreted the rest of the religion; including the beautiful names and attributes of Allāh. This became a crucial point at which they left the universally held beliefs of the Early Muslims (salaf) and adopted a completely different approach to understanding Islām. As it was rooted in Greek philosophy, they were termed as “mutakallimūn”, the scholars of speculative theology.

    By adopting such an approach they were faced with the following problem: if this was the most sound way God’s existence could be proved, it must hold that the argument is correct at every level. If the premises of the argument were true, then affirming attributes such as speech to God would be problematic as it would imply rendering the Creator a locus (maḥal) for originations (ḥawādith), which are considered finite occurrences, and according to the premise of argument it follows that a locus for infinite occurrences be also originated (ḥadīth). This would therefore mean that created things, in this case speech, subsists within His Divine Essence or that He Himself is created! Thus, they concluded, speech when attributed to god must be understood differently. It is not true speech but something else. At this point the various groups came up with their own interpretations until there were nine different understandings of what “kalāmullāh” meant, and subsequently what the status of the Qur’ān was. Some denied the attribute outright, others explained it figuratively, and others still neither affirmed nor denied it. As a result none of them, save Ahl al-Sunnah, believe that the Qur’ān is the Word of Allāh, in both meaning and wording. These different views can be summarised into three:

    The Jahmites would say that the Qur’ān is a book created by Allāh and He called it “kalāmullah”. They outright denied that Allāh Speaks.

    The Mu’tazilites view was similar except that they said that Allāh created the Qur’ān within Jibrīl who then expressed it in words. They therefore maintained the notion of revelation but nevertheless negated that Allāh spoke it.

    The Ash’arites, taking their stance from the Kullābiyyah [1], said that the Qur’ān is the Kalām of Allāh in terms of its meaning. It is when this “meaning” is expressed into Arabic (al-natham al-‘arabi) that it becomes the Qur’ān. Before that it was expressed in Syriac and became the Injīl, and before that it was expressed in Hebrew and became the Torah. They meant by this that the Kalām of Allāh is in fact inaudible as it is an internal speech (kalām nafsī), similar to thoughts in one’s mind, except that it is eternal. Therefore, the Qur’ān in their view is merely an expression of Allāh’s Speech (kalāmullah).[2]

    First came the view of the Mu’tazilites and Jahmites. When the Ash‘arites and those that followed them (the Māturīdiyyah), observed the contention between the Mu’tazilites with their claim that Allāh does not speak and Ahl al-Sunnah, they strove to reconcile between the two views. They essentially attempted to find the middle-ground as they too perceived a conflict was present between logic (‘aql) and the orthodox belief in Allāh Speaking. However, as noted by Ibn Taymiyyah, they based their novel understanding on the Kalām of Allāh on same logical premise as the Mu’tazilites, even though they were attempting to rebut them. Although they vehemently denied that the Qur’ān was a created entity, as the Mu’tazilites claimed, they also maintained that the Qur’ān was not the spoken word of Allāh, Exalted is He. Instead they said that kalām linguistically refers to meaning (ma’nā) and not letters and words; speech is merely the idea of the spoken before it is uttered. This was something explicitly said by Ibn Kullāb during the era of Imām Aḥmad, and he was subsequently refuted by both Ahl al-Sunnah and the Mu’tazilites.

    Kalām of Allāh, therefore, is an internal attribute of Allāh, eternally subsisting within Himself and not spoken or heard by any; and thus the Qur’ān, as they claimed, is not the words of Allāh but rather the words of either Jibrīl (‘alay hisalām) or the Prophet (Ṣallāhu ‘alayhi wa salam) who understood the internal Kalām of Allāh. It is internal and part of Allāh’s Divine Essence (dhāt) as one singular eternal entity and therefore the Qur’ān which is an expression of that attribute is not created- this is how the Ash‘arites affirmed Kalām of Allāh and disassociated themselves from the Mu’tazilites. It is internal and was never uttered as speech and therefore the Qur’ān cannot be the words of Allāh- and so this is how they departed from the understanding of Ahl Sunnah.

    At the heart of the debate amongst the Ash‘arites was a reconciliation between their fundamental understanding of tawḥīd of Allāh and what human beings understand by the concept of speech. They believed that tawḥīd relates to the Divine Essence of Allāh being one as an entity, and not two, three, four or five; and that as one independent entity He was also indivisible, without parts or limbs. If they affirmed what is commonly understood by speech as the ability to express one’s will by articulate sound it would imply likening Allāh to the creation as speech is only ever realised with a tongue, lips, vocal cords and lungs. Moreover, it would imply that Allāh has parts, as speech is not eternal (qadīm) but only exists at the moment when spoken and ends with the last utterance. Their conclusion was ultimately an attempt to redefine the word kalām as relating not to sound, letters and words but only the idea, will, or thought behind them. Ibn Fawrak (d. 406H), a prominent early Ash‘ari, says: ‘If someone says that Allāh says or Allāh speaks, then what is meant by that is not the origination of a word or speech but rather origination of something heard and understood from a statement that is eternal’. [3]

    When comparing the views of the two camps: the Mu’tazilites and Jahmites with the Ash‘arites, it may seem as though the two are divergent and distinct. However, upon closer analysis, there is a shared understanding on one particular fundamental. Both factions believe in the impossibility of temporally generated or originated events (ḥulūl al-ḥawādith) subsisting within the Divine Essence as such events, according to them, necessitate that the Divine Essence itself is generated or originated.

    Attributing speech to Allāh in its true sense of the word would therefore imply that Allāh, Exalted is He, speaks, and decides when to speak and when not to speak. Such temporal attributes that are exercised upon will are an impossibility for God, as only created matter is temporal. If God really did speak it would mean their infamous Kalām Cosmological Argument for the existence of God would be compromised. This shared understanding was highlighted by Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728AH) when he said: ‘And they [the Ash‘arites] concurred with the Jahmites and Mu’tazilites fundamentally in their view that the Kalām of Allāh is not linked to His Will or Power or subsisting within Him as a temporal matter (ikhtiyāriyyah). Therefore He did not rise above His Throne after creating the Heavens and the Earth, nor will He approach the plane of resurrection on the Day of Judgment; He did not call out to Mūsā when He called out, nor does He become angry with the sinner or pleased with the worshipper, and He does not become elated by the repentance of the guilty’.[4]

    An appreciation of the root cause and underlying premise clarifies why the Ash‘arites opted to redefine the word kalām in order to maintain and validate their view on Tawḥīd and God’s existence.

    The view of the Ash’arites concerning the Kalām of Allāh, which is still held until today within the broad spectrum of Sunni Islām, can be understood through the example of a mute person who wishes to convey or express a meaning but is unable to do so through the use of words. Anyone who knows this person well can understand through the context what the mute person is trying to communicate and therefore may tell you: ‘So-and-so is saying this’ –however it is not the direct speech of the mute person but what the communicator has understood from it and has conveyed to you. If the communicator speaks English then the speech will be in English and if he speaks Arabic the speech is in Arabic. It is just the representation of the actual meaning.

    Similarly they say that Allāh did not directly speak the Qur’ān, however He inspired its meaning to Jibrīl who conveyed it using his own words. Such a belief is utterly reprehensible as it implies a great deal of imperfection to Allāh, Exalted is He. Denying that Allāh Speaks impacts directly on who we view the Qur’ān. If Allāh does not speak with real speech it can only mean that the Qur’ān is created.



    [1] See Majmū’ al-Fatāwā by Ibn Taymiyyah p. 296-7 vol. 6. They took their name from their founder Ibn Kullāb who died 245 AH.
    [2] Iḥyā ‘Ulūm al-Dīn, by al-Ghazālī (d. 505 AH)
    [3] See Mushkil al- Ḥadīth by Ibn Fawrak, p. 235 & 233.
    [4] See Majmū’ al-Fatāwā by Ibn Taymiyyah, vol- 6: p. 294-5.

    Comment


    • Two persons who need to be ignored in this thread:

      - The dishonest troll who for some reason is also a mod. Note that this guy asked me the very same question before (regarding translating the divine attributes and so on) and I answered his question. Ignore him and don't feed the troll.
      - The other guy worships a being with a size and this being maybe even found on the back of mosquitos! This guy is only good at copy-pasting off-topic things and thereby polluting this thread.

      ​​

      ​​
      Last edited by Abu Sulayman; 10-01-21, 10:16 PM.

      Comment


      • Regarding the actual topic of this thread:

        It's a comparison between the creed of the classical Hanabila and that of the modern "Salafis" and we have already seen how the major Hanabila explicitly and openly declared Allah ta'ala transcendent from any similiarity in His reality to the creation including the rejection of corporeality and temporality regarding Him jalla jalaluhu.
        We have also seen that "Salafis" clearly oppose the Hanabila in their complete rejection of similarity and that these "Salafis" believe that God is a physical being and shares therefore a certain amount of similarity with His creation. (High Exalted is Allah above what they claim!)


        ​​​​​​I will post the updated table of contents when I get time insha`Allah in order to faciliate finding the relevant posts that contain proofs for what has been stated above.

        It should be known here that I only mentioned a part of the proofs regarding this issue and that it's easy to find hundreds of further proofs if one is able to understand the original Arabic texts.

        Comment


        • Is it necessary to know these detailed discussions regarding the divine attributes?:
          No, rather the understanding of the Tawhid of Allah ta'ala of a person is correct, if he has understood Surat al-Ikhlas and believes in it firmly.
          So when it comes to the divine attribute, then it's enough to know that the Creator is described with the attributes of absolute perfection and is free from flaws, likeness or any similarity.
          ​​​​​
          Why then this thread?:
          The modern "Salafi" movement started to discuss detailed issues of creed in a mindless manner in front of simple laymen and also attacked the scholars of this Umma and presented them as "deviants" to them and thereby they caused deviation and confusion among many laymen.
          They also started speaking regarding greater issues of creed with very dangerous statements, which sometimes reaches the level of disbelief. Among that is them trying to present the Creator as a physical being, which is a form of paganism.

          Due to this it's important to show that these "Salafis" have deviated from the correct way and that they have no predecessors for their statements other than the heretics before them.

          Since their newest evil plan was to hide behind the Hanbali Madhhab, it was important to show that these people are NOT Hanabila in any way or form.

          By the grace of Allah ta'ala it has been shown that the absolute majority of the Hanabila were people of Tanzih and followers of the Sunna and not wretched materalists like the Najdi "Salafis".
          Last edited by Abu Sulayman; 10-01-21, 11:31 PM.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Abu Sulayman View Post
            Regarding the actual topic of this thread:


            We have also seen that "Salafis" clearly oppose the Hanabila in their complete rejection of similarity and that these "Salafis" believe that God is a physical being and shares therefore a certain amount of similarity with His creation. (High Exalted is Allah above what they claim!)
            Not that I'm aware of.
            Furthermore, the subject of what Allah SWT is and isn't doesn't much help anybody on the day of judgement .. particularly as there are many things that we don't know for sure. It is better to concentrate on the things that we do.

            shaytan often traps us into making claims/fatwas without knowledge.
            Naturally, we are entitled to our opinion, but unless we know for sure, it is not a good idea to "make claims" about Allah SWT
            He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters - Psalms (Zaboor of Dawood)

            Comment


            • Are the traditional Hanabila and the Asha'ira (both of whom are people of the Sunna) rejectors of the divine attributes as "Salafis" claim? :

              No, by Allah! They believe that Allah ta'ala is described with absolute perfection and transcendent from any similarity!
              The "Salafis" however are trying to force other Muslims to be mindless like them and to affirm similarity and flaws for the Creator!


              - So when they see the Muslims stating that Allah ta'ala is described with absolute highness and that He is above the throne without modality and beyond all of His creation and not in space, they attack them and claim "you have rejected His highness" and this because these "Salafis" believe in a physical or sensory highness.

              - And when they see the Muslims stating that Wajh, 'Ayn and Yad are meanings of absolute perfection that the Creator described Himself with and not to be understood as 3-dimensional things, they claim that they have rejected the divine attributes, because in their understanding God is 3-dimensional and consists of eternal inseparable parts.

              - And when they see the Muslims stating that Allah ta'ala is described with Nuzul without modality and that this should not be understood as a movement, they claim again that they are among the rejectors and this because they believe that God is described with the genus of movement and stillness.

              - And when they see the Muslims declaring Allah ta'ala beyond time and space they claim that they are worshiping nothingness and this because they are materialists and only believe in the existence of physical beings.

              To make it short: "Salafis" have a problem with ALL other Muslims, because of them believing in Allah ta'ala and not some physical being who maybe found on the back of mosquitos!


              ​​​​​

              Comment


              • What is among the greatest of reasons for these weird "Salafi" ideas regarding the divine attributes like their claim that "God is described with a literal cloak and wrapper" or them thinking that "God has a literal face and we don't know whether it is round or rectangular or another form":

                It's their ignorance regarding the language of the Arabs! Even their major so called "scholars" have not mastered the sciences of the Arabic language and in addition to this they lack basic understanding and this is how they can come up with absolutely ridiculous claims like "God literally gets bored".

                Don't think being able to speak Arabic means one has mastered this beautiful and rich language. Take for example Ibn 'Uthaymin: This man spoke Arabic, but was at the very same time nowhere proficient in it and this lead him to make all types of mistakes, which not even laymen would do!

                This is why one should not take one's religion from such ignorant people!
                Their "major scholars" are lower in knowledge than any serious student of knowledge upon the classical way!
                And as for their level of comprehension then it's lower than that of unlearned laymen and this should be enough as a humiliation!
                Last edited by Abu Sulayman; 10-01-21, 11:36 PM.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Abu Sulayman View Post
                  [

                  To make it short: "Salafis" have a problem with ALL other Muslims
                  ​​
                  ..perhaps you are looking in the mirror.
                  Can you see yourself? Are you saying that 'salafis' are not Muslims?

                  shaytan seeks divide and rule .. don't play his game .. it is more wise not to criticise your brother, and to instead find the good in him.

                  Those who love Allah SWT and love to pray in congregation for His pleasure should not be held in contempt.
                  Yes .. aqeeda is important. Major innovation leads away from truth towards the fire.

                  Truth is important .. but being arrogant and claiming you know everything about Allah is foolish and unwise.

                  Show me among modern salafi scholars who claim they know "all about Allah".
                  Show me which scholar says it is part of his aqeeda that Allah is physical / non-phyical etc.
                  Last edited by isa_muhammad; 10-01-21, 11:46 PM.
                  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters - Psalms (Zaboor of Dawood)

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Abu Sulayman View Post

                    By the grace of Allah ta'ala it has been shown that the absolute majority of the Hanabila were...
                    Just for the record it should be mentioned that anyone who reads your posts without fact-checking and doing their own research in Arabic is essentially making Taqleed of your Ijtihad in matters of religion. I'm not saying that as a dig to your sincerity or character, but it's simply just a fact. You have also not provided any Shuyukh that speaks English for anyone to say "Shaykh so and so said.." and neither has a student of knowledge hopped on the forum to challenge your views.

                    Last edited by AmantuBillahi; 10-01-21, 11:32 PM.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by isa_muhammad View Post

                      ..perhaps you are looking in the mirror.
                      Can you see yourself? Are you saying that 'salafis' are not Muslims?

                      shaytan seeks divide and rule .. don't play his game .. it is more wise not to criticise your brother, and to instead find the good in him.
                      "Salafis" are innovators and their so called "scholars" are also innovators or maybe even heretics. I believe the same regarding the Rafidha.

                      ​​​​​​I don't beleive in tolerating their views. That's it!

                      Go and tell these Najdis and the Rafidha why they are attacking this religion from within instead of preaching tolerance to me for these mindless creatures.

                      ​​​

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by AmantuBillahi View Post

                        Just for the record it should be mentioned that anyone who reads your posts without fact-checking and doing their own research in Arabic is essentially making Taqleed of your Ijtihad in matters of religion. I'm not saying that as a dig to your sincerity or character, but it's simply just a fact. You have also not provided any Shuyukh that speaks English for anyone to say "Shaykh so and so said.." and neither has a student of knowledge hopped on the forum to challenge your views.
                        Correction: You did mention Shaykh Yusuf Bin Sadiq but he does not promote the exact same conclusions that you have made throughout the thread, at least not in his Facebook live sessions.

                        Abu Sulayman

                        Comment


                        • I'm not re-posting this merely to score points (there's not really much to score with this), but here's an example of a respected Shaykh who essentially agrees with the "semantics/Ilm al-Kalam" narrative:

                          Dr. Hatem al-Haj's Facebook post on June 28:

                          Alhamdulillah,

                          The Athari/ Ash‘ari divide is one of the oldest divides in our intellectual history. If we are unable to deal with it in a beautiful manner, we will only have ourselves to blame for the many ills that result from this failure. Hostilities from both sides have been a recurrent theme in our history. However, there were always shining examples of people on both sides who knew how to handle this disagreement, without dismissing it as superfluous or showing hostility to their opponents, but rather fairness and ample recognition of the greats on both sides.
                          The late scholar Muhammad al-Musayyar (rA) is one of those examples. He was not a fire-brand speaker. In fact, he was a frequent guest of mainstream media in Egypt. Despite that, he would never shy away from “shocking” his hosts with the plain truth in any matter of any size, whether it challenged the state or public opinion. Anyone can do that on Facebook or on the minbar of their masjid. Very few people would do it when they risk losing the recognition of the establishment or worse yet, earn its wrath.
                          Sh. Muhammad al-Musayyar was busy defending Islam. He was inclined to the Ash‘ari school. Interestingly, some of his children were Athari and some Ash‘ari. He would not force his convictions on them. When they argued about doctrine, he would only ask them to be honest and methodical.

                          Please visit his page to learn more about him.
                          https://www.facebook.com/DrAlmosayar

                          One of the later posts on his page has links to more than 20 of his books. Those who can read Arabic, please avail yourselves of these great resources.
                          A brother by the name of Ahmad Sabbahi commented:

                          There is an Athari v Ash’ari divide no doubt but there is also an Athari+Ash’ari v Salafi divide and we should not conflate the two. Ash’aris don’t have much of a problem with the mainstream Hanbali creed but they do have a problem with most of Ibn Taymiyah’s positions that deviated away from mainstream Hanbalism and was later supported by Muhammed bin Abd elWahab.
                          Hatem al-Haj replied:

                          Ahmad Sabbahi Jazaka Allah Khayran for the comment. I disagree. Imam Ibn Taymiyyah supported the Athari creed by kalam so that is what made him seem different. You will find my answer to this notion in this book:
                          https://www.amazon.com/Between-God-P.../dp/B085KHLL6C
                          Dr. Hatem continued:

                          Ahmad Sabbahi Hanbali is not the same thing like Athari. Ibn Abd al-Barr was Athari not Hanbali. Ibn al-Jawzy was Hanbali not Athari. Hanbalis don’t always agree among themselves on fiqh or creed. There are more than 110 positions in one book by Ibn Qudamah that later Hanbalis didn’t consider “authorized.”
                          The book has a detailed discussion about tafweed almaana. It is the least philosophically coherent out of the three: ithbat, ta’weel and tafweed almaana. It presumes that the prophet didn’t know the meaning of what he was preaching and/or the companions didn’t know the meanings of what he was saying. Anyway, part of the difference between the two types of tafweed has to do with one’s concept of language, and whether one is realist, nominalist or conceptualist. There is a kindle version of the book for 1 dollar. You can also email me for a copy at [email protected]. Boorikt.
                          Dr. Hatem continues:

                          Ahmad Sabbahi Ahsana Allah ilayk. وما يعلم تأويله إلا الله if you stop there, it refers to the ontological reality or حقيقة الشيء وكنهه not the simple meaning. It is impossible that whole phrases were meaningless in the mubeen speech of God and His messenger. It is impossible that they were like disjointed letters when they were in complete harmony with the surrounding text.
                          Ibn ‘Arabi (rA) was not Taymiyyan. Here is what he says about tafweed al-maana:
                          "One group said, “We believe in this wording as it came, without comprehending its meaning, until we become in this belief like one who did not hear [it], and we hold on to the indicants of reason that precluded the primary meaning of this statement.” This group is also stubborn, but uses refined rhetoric, and they rejected what came to them from Allah with that rhetoric. They made themselves like those who had not heard this [Divine] speech. Another group said, “We believe in the wording according to what Allah knows about it and [what] His Messenger [knows about it].” Those said [in effect] that Allah spoke to us in vain because He addressed us with that which we do not comprehend, whereas [on the contrary] Allah says, “And We did not send any messenger except [speaking] in the language of his people to state clearly for them.” [Ibrâheem 14:4] He (pbuh) brought this, and he made it clear as Allah said, but those denied that it was clear." End of Ibn ‘Arabi's quote.
                          Some Hanbalis made tafweed and even ta'weel, but that is not the position of the madhhab. Any one who reads al-Khallal's reports from the imam will know his positions.
                          Did al-Hafiz Ibn Asakir defend Imam al-Ash'ari against Ibn Taymiyyah. Was Ibn Khazaymah, al-Darimi, Ibn Surayj Taymiyyan? Wasn’t Ibn Khuzaymah’s book al-Tawheed called al-Shirk by some Ash’aris? Was fitnat alqushayri because of Ibn Taymiyyah? Was the prosecution of Imam al-Harawai because of Ibn Taymiyyah? Wasn’t Ibn Taymiyyah himself working to calm down the fitan between the Asharis and Hanbalis of Damascus? This narrative is just indefensible. It takes a man that reached the pinnacle of knowledge, jihad and piety according to scores of the most distinguished scholars of our history and demonizes him to wage an ad hominem attack on a position that is as old as Islam is.
                          This doesn't necessarily prove that his historical Ijtihad of the Athari creed is correct, but it does at least show that your notions are challenged by respectable figures.
                          Last edited by AmantuBillahi; 11-01-21, 12:12 AM.

                          Comment


                          • I'm also going to make this my last post in the thread at least until after Ramadhan. If anyone quotes or mentions me then I apologize for not responding in advanced.

                            JazakumAllahu Khayran.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by AmantuBillahi View Post

                              Correction: You did mention Shaykh Yusuf Bin Sadiq but he does not promote the exact same conclusions that you have made throughout the thread, at least not in his Facebook live sessions.

                              Abu Sulayman
                              Can you provide some examples please?
                              My Blog ---> Reflections of the Traveler http://baraka.wordpress.com

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by maturidee View Post
                                And it was said to Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal, "So and so says that when Allaah created the letters, they all prostrated except the Alif, which said, 'I shall not prostrate until I am commanded'." He replied, "This is disbelief."

                                So he showed rejection against the one who said letters are created, because if the genus of letters are created it is necessary that the Arabic
                                Qur'aan and the Hebrew Tawraat and other than them are created.

                                Alsof it is related from him (Ahmad bin Hanbal) that he said, "
                                Whoever said a letter from the letters of the alphabet is created then he is a Jahmite because he has traversed a path towards innovation, and whoever said that (the letter) is created then he has said that the Qur'aan is created."

                                And Ahmad as well as others from the Imaams have explicitly stated that Allaah has never ceased speaking when He wills and He made it clear that Allaah speaks with His will.
                                So the letters are eternal with Allah even though they are separate entities?

                                Comment

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