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The Intra-Sunni Divide: A history of the schools of Aqeedah wrt Sifat

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  • Abu Sulayman
    replied
    Describing Allah with a meaning that applies to humans is disbelief

    The great Hanafi Imam al-Tahawi (d. 321 AH) said in his famous 'Aqida:

    ومن وصف الله بمعنى من معاني البشر فقد كفر

    Whosoever describes Allah with a meaning from among the meanings (Ma'na min al-Ma'ani) [that apply] to humans has disbelieved.
    - end of quote -

    The Hanbali Imam Ibn Qudama (d. 620 AH) said in his Tahrim al-Nadhar:

    وإنما يحصل التشبيه والتجسيم ممن حمل صفات الله سبحانه وتعالى على صفات المخلوقين في المعنى ونحن لا نعتقد ذلك ولا ندين به بل نعلم أن الله تبارك وتعالى { ليس كمثله شيء وهو السميع البصير } وأن صفاته لا تشبه صفات المحدثين وكل ما خطر بقلب أو وهم فالله تعالى بخلافه لا شبيه له ولا نظير ولا عدل ولا ظهير { ليس كمثله شيء وهو السميع البصير

    Now, tashbih and tajsim-anthropomorphism result only from him who makes the attributes of God accord in meaning with the attributes of created beings. But we do not believe this, nor do we follow it as our religion; on the contrary, we know that so far as God is concerned, “There is nothing anything like Him. He is the Hearing, the Seeing,”[42:11] and we know that His attributes do not resemble those of created beings. All that which occurs in the mind or the imagination, God is different therefrom. He has neither a match, nor an equal, nor a similar, nor an auxiliary; “There is nothing anything like Him. He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” [42:11].
    - end of quote -

    If it is now said that Allah ta'ala is described with Basar (seeing) and the creation too and whether this does not oppose what has been mentioned, then the answer is:
    Detecting that which can be seen is what is necessitated or that which follows from the attribute of Basar and not the attribute itself. The only thing common between the Creator and the creation is in naming, but the reality is completely different.


    That which is common between the Creator and the creation is only in naming, but not in reality!

    From Tabaqat al-Hanabila:

    أن البارىء سبحانه موصوف بأنه: حي عالم قادر مريد والخلق موصوفون بهذه الصفات ولم يدل الاتفاق فِي هَذِهِ التسمية عَلَى الاتفاق فِي حقائقها ومعانيها هكذا القول فِي أخبار الصفات ولا يلزم عند تسليمها من غير تأويل إثبات ما يقتضيه الحد والشاهد فِي معانيها

    The Maker - glory be to Him - is described with being Living (Hayy), Knowing ('Alim), Powerful (Qadir) and Willing (Murid) while the creation is also described with these attributes and this agreement in the naming does not show their agreement in their realities (!) and meanings (!) and likewise is the statement regarding the narrations of the [divine] attributes; submitting to them without interpretation does not necessitate to affirm that which is implied by limitation (Hadd) and by the Shahid (that which we can perceive) regarding their meanings.
    - end of quote -



    The only action intended by the Ayat of the Sifat is to believe in them and not more!

    Imam Ibn Qudama said in his Tahrim al-Nadhar:

    فإنه لا حاجة لنا إلى علم معنى ما أراد الله تعالى من صفاته جل وعز فإنه لا يراد منها عمل ولا يتعلق بها تكليف سوى الإيمان بها. ويمكن الإيمان بها من غير علم معناها. فإن الإيمان بالجهل صحيح. فإن الله تعالى أمر بالإيمان بملائكته وكتبه ورسله وما أنزل إليهم وإن كنا لا نعرف من ذلك إلا التسمية. وقال سبحانه وتعالى: { قولوا آمنا بالله وما أنزل إلينا وما أنزل إلى إبراهيم } الآية

    For indeed, there is no need for us to have knowledge of the meaning (!) (Ma'na) that Allah ta'ala intended from His attributes - jalla wa 'azz -, because there is no action intended by them and neither is any responsibility attached to them besides believing in them.
    And having faith in them without having knowledge of their meanings is possible, because having faith with ignorance [of their meanings] is correct, for indeed Allah ta'ala has commanded [us] to have belief in his angels, his books, his messengers and that which was been sent down upon them even though we do not know from them except their names.

    [Allah] - subhanahu wa ta'ala - says: { Say, "We believe in Allah and what is sent down to us and what was sent down to Ibrahim, ... } [2:136] until the end of the Aya.

    - end of quote -


    Answering the doubt of those who say "how is it possible that Allah reveals something while its meaning is not known"?

    Imam Ibn Qudama said in his Rawdhat al-Nadhir (after mentioning that the Ayat of the Sifat are from the Mutashabihat and that their correct interpretation is only known to Allah ta'ala):

    فإن قيل: فكيف يخاطب الله الخلق بما لا يعقلونه، أم كيف ينزل على رسوله ما لا يطلع على تأويله؟ قلنا: يجوز أن يكلفهم الإيمان بما لا يطلعون على تأويله؛ ليختبر طاعتهم، كما قال -تعالي-: {وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ حَتَّى نَعْلَمَ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ مِنْكُمْ وَالصَّابِرِين} ، {وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الْقِبْلَةَ الَّتِي كُنْتَ عَلَيْهَا إِلَّا لِنَعْلَم ... } الآية، {وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الرُّؤْيا الَّتِي أَرَيْنَاكَ إِلَّا فِتْنَةً لِلنَّاس} . وكما اختبرهم بالإيمان بالحروف المقطعة مع أنه لا يعلم معناها. والله أعلم

    If it is said: "How then does Allah address the creation with something that they do not comprehend or how does He sent down something on his Messenger regarding which the interpretation is not disclosed?"
    We say: It is possible that He tasks them with having faith in something regarding which they do not know its interpretation in order to test their obediance as [Allah] ta'ala says:
    { And We shall indeed test you until We make known the warriors and the steadfast among you } [47:31], { We had appointed the qiblah which you formerly observed only to see (test) ... } [2:143] until the end of the Aya, { and We did not create the spectacle which We showed you except to try mankind } [17:60].
    Just like He has tested them with having faith in the disconnected letters (!) (al-Huruf al-Muqatta'a) even though their meaning is not known. And Allah knows best.

    - end of quote -

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  • Abu Sulayman
    replied
    The reasoning behind disallowing translating a description like Yad regarding Allah ta'ala, while allowing translating 'Ilm, Irada, Qudra, etc.

    The reasoning behind this is from one side the Arabic language and from the other side the risk of misunderstandings.

    When it is said in the Qur`an al-karim { إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ } ("indeed Allah knows all things") [29:62] or { إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ } ("indeed Allah is Able to do all things") [35:1], then it's not like the word 'Alim or Qadir in these contexts can have a lot of meaning or interpretations in the Arabic language, rather there is only one meaning or interpretation that is understood. Translating this meaning into other languages does not cause any misunderstandings.

    When it is however said { يَدُ اللَّهِ فَوْقَ أيْدِيهِمْ } [48:10] ("the Yad of Allah is above their hands"), then the word Yad can have DIFFERENT meanings in this context according to the Arabic language (refer to classical Tafsir books). Translating the word Yad literally with hand can at the same cause misunderstandings and this is why a leading scholars like Imam Abu Hanifa (d. 150 AH) explicitly disallowed translating Yad into persian [and other langugages] in his al-Fiqh al-Akbar.

    If someone claims that Yad regarding Allah ta'ala is to be understood literally, then this is rejected because in the Arabic language a literal Yad is a Jariha (limb) (refer to any Arabic dictionary, whether classic or modern) and this is wrong by agreement of the scholars of Ahl al-Sunna.



    So how did the early scholars understand descriptions like Yad, Wajh and 'Ayn?

    What they did is to accept these descriptions in the Ayat as they have come and they did not speak regarding their meaning with more than what is mentioned in the authentic religious texts and they stayed silent regarding that which is beyond human comprehension (i.e. the reality of the divine Self) while being sure that there is nothing like Allah ta'ala whatsoever, so they said "pass it on as it has reached us" and "its reading is its interpretation" and what is similar to that.
    This way of understanding is called as Tafwidh (consignment) and the way of early Muslims and the way to success.

    Imam Ahmad bin Hanbali (d. 241) - one of the leading scholars of Islam - said as mentioned in Nihayat al-Mubtadi`in and Lawami' al-Anwar:

    أحاديث الصفات تمر كما جاءت من غير بحث عن معانيها ، ونخالف ما خطر في الخاطر عند سماعها ، وننفي التشبيه عن الله تعالى عند ذكرها مع تصديق النبي - صلى الله عليه وسلم - والإيمان بها ، وكل ما يعقل ويتصور فهو تكييف وتشبيه وهو محال

    The narrations (Ahadith) regarding the [divine] attributes (Sifat) are to be passed on as they have come without searching for their meanings, and we go against that which comes to the mind upon hearing them, and we reject attributing similarity (Tashbih) to Allah ta'ala when they're mentioned while confirming [the words of] the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - and having belief in them; and whatever can be comprehended and imagined is from the attributing of modality (Takyif) and similarity (Tashbih) and that is impossible [regarding Allah ta'ala].
    - end of quote -

    A group from among the scholars then said that these descriptions are divine attributes (Sifat) and that therefore figurative interpretations (Ta`wil) of these descriptions are not allowed and they are the Atharis and Hanbalis.
    Another group of scholars said that these descriptions may be divine attributes, but they may be also descriptions going back to other attributes such that the meanings that one reaches through figurative interpretations (Ta`wil) are also possible. This group were the Ash'aris and Maturidis.

    This means that the Atharis / Hanbalis and the Ash'aris / Maturidis agreed on declaring the Creator transcendent from similarity and likeness to the creation and they agreed on consigning the exact interpretation or meaning to Allah ta'ala, but they disagreed on whether the meanings one reaches through figurative interpretation are possible options or not and based upon this one group disallowed Ta`wil (i.e. Atharis) while the other one allowed it (i.e. Ash'aris), but only as a possible option.



    Is Ta`wil (figurative interpretation) of descriptions like Yad the same as Ta'til (rejection)?

    This is a common misunderstanding and based upon not understanding the way of the Mu'tazila.
    The Mu'tazila did not believe that God can be described with eternal attributes (Sifat) in the first place and they would also reject a lot of authentic narrations connected to the issue of the divine attributes. According to them God was able (Qadir) to do all things for example, but He could not be described with power (Qudra). So when they said "Yad means power", then it's not like they believed that God can be described with power in the first place. This is what is called as Ta'til (rejection)!

    That is why the Hanbali Imam Ibn Abi Ya'la (d. 526 AH) - while describing the beliefs of his father al-Qadhi Abu Ya'la (d. 458 AH) and his Hanbali predecessors - differentiated between the Ta'til of the Jahmiyya [and Mu'tazila] and the Ta`wil of the Ash'aris in his famous Tabaqat al-Hanabila:

    واعتقدوا: أن الباري سبحانه استأثر بعلم حقائق صفاته ومعانيها عن العالمين وفارق بها سائر الموصوفين فهم بها مؤمنون وبحقائقها موقنون وبمعرفة كيفيتها جاهلون لا يجوز عندهم ردها كرد الجهمية ولا حملها عَلَى التشبيه كما حملته المشبهة الذي أثبتوا الكيفية ولا تأولوها عَلَى اللغات والمجازات كما تأولتها الأشعرية. فالحنبلية لا يقولون فِي أخبار الصفات بتعطيل المعطلين ولا بتشبيه المشبهين ولا تأويل المتأولين مذهبهم: حق بين باطلين وهدى بين ضلالتين: إثبات الأسماء والصفات مَعَ نفي التشبيه والأدوات إذ لا مثل للخالق سبحانه مشبه ولا نظير لَهُ فيجنس مِنْهُ

    And they believed that the Maker - glory be to Him - is exclusive in having knowledge of the realities of his attributes and their meanings (!) [without anyone] from the worlds [having this knowledge] and He is [completely] different from all that has descriptions; so they believe in them and have conviction in their realities while being ignorant of the realization of their nature.
    According to them it is not allowed to deny them (the divine attributes) as the Jahmiyya did or to understand them upon attributing of similarity (Tashbih) as the Mushabbiha - who ascribed modality [to Allah] - did or to interpret (Ta`wil) them according to the languages and the metaphoric meanings like the Ash'aris did.
    Because the Hanbalis are not upon the rejection (Ta'til) of the rejectors regarding the narrations of the [divine] attributes nor are they upon the attributing of similarity (Tahsbih) of the those who liken [Allah to His creation] nor the interpretation (Ta`wil) of the interpreters, so their way is the truth between two falsehoods and guidance between two deviations (meaning: between Ta'til and Tashbih): Affirming the names and attributes [of Allah ta'ala] while rejecting attributing similarity (Tashbih) or tools (Adawat) for their is no likeness to the Creator - glory be to Him - so that [anyone] becomes similar [to Him] nor is there a match to Him so that [something] becomes from his kind.

    - end of quote -

    The Hanbali Imam Ibn Hamdan (d. 695 AH) also differentiated between the Ta'til of the Mu'tazila and the Ta`wil of the Ash'aris in his Nihayat al-Mubtadi`in.

    If the above is not clear enough, then let's add this statement from Tabaqat al-Hanabila shortly after the above quote:

    وقد أجمع علماء أهل الحديث والأشعرية مِنْهُمْ عَلَى قبول هَذِهِ الأحاديث فمنهم من أقرها عَلَى ما جاءت وهم أصحاب الحديث ومنهم من تأولها وهم الأشعرية وتأويلهم إياها قبول مِنْهُمْ لها إذ لو كانت عندهم باطلة لاطرحوها كما أطرحوا سائر الأخبار الباطلة. وقد روي عَنِ النَّبِيِّ - صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ - أنه قَالَ: " أمتي لا تجتمع عَلَى خطأ ولا ضلالة

    Indeed the scholars of Ahl al-Hadith - and the Ash'aris are from among them (!) - are agreed upon accepting these narrations: From among them are those who accept them as they've come - and they are the Ashab al-Hadith - and from among them are those who interpret them - and they are the Ash'aris -; and their interpretation of these [narrations] is their acceptance to them, because if these narrations would be false for them they would have thrown them away just like they did with the rest of the false narrations.
    For indeed, it has been narrated from the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - that he said: "My nation will not agree upon falsehood or deviation."

    - end of quote -
    Last edited by Abu Sulayman; 02-06-20, 04:32 PM.

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  • aMuslimForLife
    replied
    Originally posted by Muhammad Hasan View Post
    [U]Lists of some scholars representing each School/Sect[/LIST]
    Ashari School - Early
    • Imam Ahlus Sunnah Abu Hasan al-Ashari Rahimullah
    • al-Baqillani Rahimullah
    • al-Bayhaqi Rahimullah
    • al-Juwayni Rahimullah (rejected Tawil at the end of his life)
    • Hujjat al-Islam al-Ghazali Rahimullah
    • and many more.
    Ashari School - Late[LIST][*]Fakr-ad-din al-Razi Rahimullah[*]an-Nawawi Rahimullah[*]Qadi Ayyad Rahimullah[*]al-Zamakhshari Rahimullah[*]Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani Rahimullah[*]Yusuf an-Nabhani Rahimullah[*]and many more.


    Why do you class the early school and late school, in this fashion?

    Qadi Iyad

    It is my understanding that Qadi Iyad followed a unique school of Aqida called Muwahidoon separate from the Ashari. The Malikis were introduced to the Ashari school by Ibn Arabi al Maliki. This is my understanding.

    (Early)

    Imam al Ashari followed Tafwid.
    Imam al Baqillani introduced Tawil to the Ashari school.
    Imam al Bayhaqi
    Imam al Juwayni

    (Late)
    Imam al Ghazali (I would include him part of the late school because his text is still studied)
    Imam al Sanusi
    Imam al Bajuri
    Imam Ibrahim al Laqqani
    Imam Ahmad al Dardir
    Imam Taftazani

    I would include the Muhaditheen and Mufasireen, as they preserved the Athari part of the Ashari school.

    Imam al Nawawi, Imam Ibn Hajar Asqalani, Imam Qurtubi, Imam al Alusi, Imam Fakr al Din al Razi part of the late school.

    And Allah knows best.




    Leave a comment:


  • aMuslimForLife
    replied
    Originally posted by Muhammad Hasan View Post

    There's a number of things you have stated that I disagree with, mostly the way you frame the way the schools of Aqeedah have developed.

    I maintain two schools of Aqeedah have not really changed much or at all since conception (the Maturidi and Athari schools), and I believe the Ashari school only changed due to the changing nature of the opposition.

    Also something you might not realise is that issues regarding the letters and sounds etc. are valid ikhtilaf according to Ahlus Sunnah.

    But nevertheless, I would love to discuss these things with you. I will open a new thread where I will discuss my findings and feelings having listened to a traditional Athari and read Ibn Taymiyyah Rahimullah's creed.

    - Salam
    What about Ashari school do you disagree about?

    Leave a comment:


  • Muhammad Hasan
    replied
    Originally posted by aMuslimForLife View Post

    Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah is comprised of Shafi, Maliki, Hanafi, and Hanbali scholars. These scholars are the preservers of corpus of Sunni Islam, Quran, Hadith, Usul, Arabic, etc etc.. These scholars not only developed these sciences, they were also instrumental in developing the science of Aqida.

    In modern times, there are three main schools of Aqida from Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah. Asharis, Maturidis and Atharis. These three schools came from the Salafus Salih, which include the Sahaba, the Tabieen and the Tabi Tabieen, those early Muslims scholars that followed them.

    Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah collectively made statements of belief which the Sahaba did not.

    For example:

    That the Speech of Allah is uncreated.
    There is no difference of opinion among the Asharis, Maturidis and Atharis concerning this. Yet, Sahaba never taught this.

    There is ijithad in Aqida. Ijtihad exist in Aqida because, controversies arose after the time of the Sahaba, that scholars felt compelled to respond to. And not all Sunni scholars agreed on how to respond to these controversies, thus these schools of Aqida, developed.

    Concerning the Speech of Allah.

    The Late Asharis school, teach that Allah Speaks without letters and sounds. The Sahaba did not teach this, and the Early Ashari school, did not delve into this. However this is what I learned from modern day Ashari Shaykhs
    A strand of Late Athari school, teach, that Allah speaks with letters and sounds. The Sahaba did not teach this and the Early Hanbali school, did not delve into this. However this is what I learned from modern day Salafi Shaykhs

    Imam Tahawi said, "The Quran is the Speech of Allah that emanated from Him without, howness in its expression."

    I've studied with Ashari Shaykhs and Salafi Shaykhs. However, on this particular issue, I follow Imam Tahawi position, which seems sounder to me.

    BOTH ASHARIS and SALAFIS say things about Allah that the Sahaba never said. You have to be fair and truthful brother.

    And Allah knows best.
    There's a number of things you have stated that I disagree with, mostly the way you frame the way the schools of Aqeedah have developed.

    I maintain two schools of Aqeedah have not really changed much or at all since conception (the Maturidi and Athari schools), and I believe the Ashari school only changed due to the changing nature of the opposition.

    Also something you might not realise is that issues regarding the letters and sounds etc. are valid ikhtilaf according to Ahlus Sunnah.

    But nevertheless, I would love to discuss these things with you. I will open a new thread where I will discuss my findings and feelings having listened to a traditional Athari and read Ibn Taymiyyah Rahimullah's creed.

    - Salam

    Leave a comment:


  • aMuslimForLife
    replied
    Originally posted by eesa the kiwi View Post

    so your beliefs haven't changed since the time of the sahabah radiallaho anhum. Does that mean the sahabah held the asharriyah position
    Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah is comprised of Shafi, Maliki, Hanafi, and Hanbali scholars. These scholars are the preservers of corpus of Sunni Islam, Quran, Hadith, Usul, Arabic, etc etc.. These scholars not only developed these sciences, they were also instrumental in developing the science of Aqida.

    In modern times, there are three main schools of Aqida from Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah. Asharis, Maturidis and Atharis. These three schools came from the Salafus Salih, which include the Sahaba, the Tabieen and the Tabi Tabieen, those early Muslims scholars that followed them.

    Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah collectively made statements of belief which the Sahaba did not.

    For example:

    That the Speech of Allah is uncreated.
    There is no difference of opinion among the Asharis, Maturidis and Atharis concerning this. Yet, Sahaba never taught this.

    There is ijithad in Aqida. Ijtihad exist in Aqida because, controversies arose after the time of the Sahaba, that scholars felt compelled to respond to. And not all Sunni scholars agreed on how to respond to these controversies, thus these schools of Aqida, developed.

    Concerning the Speech of Allah.

    The Late Asharis school, teach that Allah Speaks without letters and sounds. The Sahaba did not teach this, and the Early Ashari school, did not delve into this. However this is what I learned from modern day Ashari Shaykhs
    A strand of Late Athari school, teach, that Allah speaks with letters and sounds. The Sahaba did not teach this and the Early Hanbali school, did not delve into this. However this is what I learned from modern day Salafi Shaykhs

    Imam Tahawi said, "The Quran is the Speech of Allah that emanated from Him without, howness in its expression."

    I've studied with Ashari Shaykhs and Salafi Shaykhs. However, on this particular issue, I follow Imam Tahawi position, which seems sounder to me.

    BOTH ASHARIS and SALAFIS say things about Allah that the Sahaba never said. You have to be fair and truthful brother.

    And Allah knows best.
    Last edited by aMuslimForLife; 29-05-20, 05:22 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • aMuslimForLife
    replied
    Originally posted by Muhammad Hasan View Post

    If I could remove it I would, but the edit button seems to dissappear after some time.
    Your arguments makes more sense than Abu Abdullah. I don't think it is necessary remove your post. But I would like to discuss some of these positions with you.

    Leave a comment:


  • Abu 'Abdullaah
    replied
    Originally posted by Muhammad Hasan View Post

    If I could remove it I would, but the edit button seems to dissappear after some time.
    If only we could erase our deeds, eh...

    Leave a comment:


  • Muhammad Hasan
    replied
    Originally posted by Abu 'Abdullaah View Post

    Projecting your own insecurities onto others again? Look, I know you think you're some kind of academic but you can't display arrogance like this and pretend to be humble at the same time.
    If I could remove it I would, but the edit button seems to dissappear after some time.

    Leave a comment:


  • TazkiyyatunNafs
    replied
    Originally posted by TazkiyyatunNafs View Post

    ... Having said that I don't wish to discuss this topic with you any further for the same reason I mentioned to Abu Sulayman and some additional ones. Wa Allaahu a3lam.
    I said that in my last reply to you, which you didn't reply back. Discuss, debate it's all the same to me. I see no benefit in it and thus should refrain, even if I were to have a response to what you say. As for the additional reasons I mentioned above then I'll take this opportunity to expound on it, since you tagged me in your comment asking for a discussion.

    I mentioned that Abu Sulayman and I hold different beliefs. I've seen some of his threads on this topic and based on that think it's of no benefit to discuss this with him since he seems very grounded in his beliefs and it would just be an endless going back and forth of things we interpret and understand differently. I see no khayr in that, just a waste of time. The same goes for you at this point. However, I don't see you the same as Abu Sulayman. I think you're making additional errors and I don't like your style of debating.

    As for the errors, then what I mean by that is the following.
    You tried to reject my quote because you saw Shaykh Fawzaan as an unreliable transmitter, yet posted a lecture to defend your opinion by someone who has deviated in matters of Aqeedah in your own opinion nonetheless. Then you're giving me a lecture about trustworthiness and taking things from people who's status is unknown trying to justify why you rejected the quote I shared, even though you yourself totally disregarded any of that when you posted from Yasir Qadhi. You try to apply principles on me and Salafis, while you yourself disregard them.

    As for your style of debating, then I don't think you realise you're doing it. You try to display great manners and conduct, but in reality, in between the lines you're a bit passive aggressive and over the top in some of your approaches. You come with things like oaths, assumptions and other than that. All that in between the extra soft talk. I ignored and excused most of it since I don't think you're aware of it and I think it stems out of ignorance in some cases, but in addition to the standards you set for others while not holding on to them yourself like the point I mentioned above, your debating style becomes simply put a bit annoying. It also contains a lot of kalaam that I'm not interested in. Like trying to come up with a solution on how to make a mubtadi come to Ahlus-Sunnah while Ahlul-Bid3ah teaches him not to listen to others, "how can we reach such a person?" Which is funny you tried to apply that just a few comments ago to me. Especially considering the things you displayed on this thread that actually fit some of the discriptions you gave of this person. But I digress..

    In the end I only blame myself for entertaining any of this. I'm the fool responding in the first place, since time can better be spend elsewhere and I should practice what I preach. And in the end Muhammad, I don't have anything personal against you as all of this is not personal in my eyes at all.
    Last edited by TazkiyyatunNafs; 29-05-20, 12:09 PM.

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  • Abu 'Abdullaah
    replied
    Originally posted by Muhammad Hasan View Post

    I will just quote Tafsir Ibn Kathir:



    Note: I dislike that the Saudi-based Darussalam has translated the Arabic Yad from Ibn Kathir's tafsir as "hand" so I have replaced it in blue. Yad is known linguistically, but not intepreted, it is an attribute of Allah and its nature is known to him.
    Another meaningless reply brought to you by Muhammad Hasan.

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  • Abu 'Abdullaah
    replied
    Originally posted by Muhammad Hasan View Post
    After contemplating Abu Abdullah's comments, I have realised what his confusions are about...
    Projecting your own insecurities onto others again? Look, I know you think you're some kind of academic but you can't display arrogance like this and pretend to be humble at the same time.

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  • Muhammad Hasan
    replied
    After contemplating Abu Abdullah's comments, I have realised what his confusions are about.

    Two Aspects - Verse and Attribute

    There are two aspects we are talking about - the verse and the attribute. Example would be Surah Maidah, Verse 7:
    And the Jews say, "The [Yad] of Allah is chained." Chained are their hands, and cursed are they for what they say. Rather, both His [Yadahu] are extended; He spends however He wills. And that which has been revealed to you from your Lord will surely increase many of them in transgression and disbelief. And We have cast among them animosity and hatred until the Day of Resurrection. Every time they kindled the fire of war [against you], Allah extinguished it. And they strive throughout the land [causing] corruption, and Allah does not like corrupters.

    (Sahih International's Interpretation of al-Quran, Surah al-Ma'idah, verse 64, with my changing of the interpretation of some words to english transliteration of the Arabic in blue.)
    First let us deal with the Attribute, Yad, mentioned in the verse.

    The Attribute

    Ibn `Asâkir wrote:

    The Mu`tazila said: He has a Yad but His Yad is his power (qudra) and favor (ni`ma), while His wajh is His existence. The Hashwiyya said: His Yad is a jâriha, and His Wajh has a sûra. Al-Ash`arî took the middle road and said: His Yad is an Attribute and His Wajh is an Attribute, just like His hearing and His sight.
    There are three possible things you can say about this word "Yad":
    1. It is Allah's Power or Favor.
    2. It is a limb (unlike our limbs).
    3. It is an attribute (similar to his hearing and sight)
    To say number 1, to say Yad is his power or favor (i.e. to do figurative tawil of the attribute) is Ta'til, rejection of the attribute. Allah has ascribed the Yad to himself saying Yadullah so it is impermissible to negate any reality to Yad. This is the position of the Mu'atillah e.g. Mutazilites/Jahmiyyah etc.

    To say number 2, to say Yad is a limb he has (though it is unlike our limbs) is a blameworthy innovation and moreover it is likening Allah to his creation, it is Tasbih. This is the position of the Mushabihah e.g. Mujasimmah/Hashwiyyah etc.

    To say number 3, that it is an attribute Bi La Kayf (without howness) is the correct position. One can also say Bi La Kayfa Wa La Ma'na as said by some late Atharis (negating meaning to the attribute - meaning as in an interpretation of what/how it is), but technically this is not required as if one negates Ta'til and Tasbih then one negates the two forms of Tawil of the attribute (figurative and literal) which implies La Ma'na anyway.

    So to make it clear Ahlus Sunnah hold any interpretation (Ta'wil) of the Attribute (not the verse) is prohibited, whether figurative (Batin) or literal (Zahir).

    Ahlus Sunnah, i.e. the Maturidis, the Asharis and the Atharis are united upon saying that Yad is an attribute of Allah, the divine reality of which is with him.

    The Verse

    This is where the schools of Ahlus Sunnah differ.

    How do we deal with Surah al-Ma'idah, verse 64?

    There are three ways of dealing with it.
    1. Tafwid: To say we do not know what it means/ we do not interpret it and so pass over the verse. A layperson naturally does this with verses of the Quran he doesn't understand anyway. Tafwid means to literally consign the meaning/interpretation to Allah.
    2. Figurative Tawil: To give an interpretation of the verse within the confines of the Arabic language that is metaphorical or symbolic that can be understood from the verse.
    3. Literal Tawil: To give an interpretation of the verse likening the attribute in it to a human body part.
    All three schools agree upon the first point, point 1 - Tafwid, even the Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi Rahimullah does Tafwid some times.

    But the difference is over the second one, point 2 - Figurative Tawil.


    The Athari school prohibits this, saying only do Tafwid and pass over the verse. They have held this position throughout history.

    The Maturidi school permits this and e.g. Imam Maturidi Rahimullah will do Ta'wil of Surah al-Ma'idah, verse 64. They have held this position throughout history.

    The Early Ashari school prohibited this (the likes of Imam Abu Hasan al-Ashari Rahimullah himself, al-Ghazali Rahimullah etc.), but the late Ashari school permits and does this (the likes of Imam an-Nawawi Rahimullah). The Ashari school seems to have changed their position to reflect the changing nature of deviancy since the early period of the Ummah.


    All three schools agree upon their position with regards to point 3, i.e. it is prohibited as it is likening Allah to his creation. Moreover, it does not matter if you state "Yad is his attribute" if you will just go ahead and make a literal interpretation of the verse surrounding it anyway.

    Examples of Ulama who did Tawil of the verses of Mutashabihat:
    The Sahabi Ibn Abbas Radiyallahu An, Imam at-Tabari Rahimullah (an early example after the Sahabah), Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi Rahimullah (same period as al-Tabari Rahimullah), Ibn Kathir Rahimullah and an-Nawawi.

    What is Ibn Taymiyyah Rahimullah's position?

    I will not misrepresent his position, I will ask people of this forum who ascribe to his position e.g. TazkiyyatunNafs to clarify to me his position in the same manner I have clarified the position of the three schools of Ahlus Sunnah i.e. with regards to the Attribute itself and the Verse.

    Jazakallah, Insha'Allah we can have a good discussion, not debate, on this where you present your views.
    Last edited by Muhammad Hasan; 29-05-20, 07:55 AM.

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  • Muhammad Hasan
    replied
    Originally posted by Abu 'Abdullaah View Post


    Please explain how you interpreted/translated the words highlighted in red.

    I will just quote Tafsir Ibn Kathir:

    Allah states that the Jews, may Allah's continuous curses descend on them until the Day of Resurrection, describe Him as a miser. Allah is far holier than what they attribute to Him. The Jews also claim that Allah is ppor, while they are rich. 'Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas commented on Allah's statement,

    (" وَقَالَتِ ٱلۡيَہُودُ يَدُ ٱللَّهِ مَغۡلُولَةٌ‌ۚ")

    ("The Jews say, Allah's [Yad] is tied up.")

    "They do not mean that Allah's [Yad] is literally tied up. Rather, they mean that he is a miser and does not spend from what he has. Allah is far holier than what they attribute to Him." Similar was reported from Mujahid, Ikrimah, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ad-Dahhak.

    - Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 10 Vols. English, Vol. 1, p. 221
    Note: I dislike that the Saudi-based Darussalam has translated the Arabic Yad from Ibn Kathir's tafsir as "hand" so I have replaced it in blue. Yad is known linguistically, but not intepreted, it is an attribute of Allah and its nature is known to him.
    Last edited by Muhammad Hasan; 29-05-20, 05:31 AM.

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  • Abu 'Abdullaah
    replied
    Originally posted by Muhammad Hasan View Post

    Subhanallah, I leave this debate. No point discussing this with you. Take the advice of Ibn Kathir Rahimullah, Ibn Taymiyyah Rahimullah's student:
    Thanks, I think I already follow that advice.

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