"Salafi" forgeries/manipulations
by Sh. G. F. Haddad


It seems that every fifteen minutes another textual tampering or distortion of meaning is born at the hands of a certain sect, and to refute them is like trying to reason with Gog and Magog. However, the following reply is not addressed to them.

Qadi Iyad: "It was from this standpoint, of this high estimate of Imam Malik, that ash-Shafi'i argued convincingly against Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybani, the student of Abu Hanifa, in support of the superiority of the knowledge of Malik over that of Abu Hanifa when the two of them argued with each other on this point. (Etc.)

This is without doubt a forged report as indicated by Imam al-Bayhaqi himself when he cited it in Manaaqib al-Shafi`i.

Al-Qurtubi al-Maliki (d.671) said, "and not a single person from the righteous salaf rejected that His Istawaa upon His Throne was literal, and He specified the Throne because it is from the greatest of His creation. And they were ignorant of the kayfiyyah of His Istawaa.and Imaam Maalik said, -al-Istawaa is known' meaning in the language, -and the nature is not know known, and to ask about (how) is a bid'ah'" [ -al-Jaami lil Ahkaam al-Qur'aan' of al-Qurtobee under the verse -then He rose over His Throne', see -Mukhtasar al-Uluw' (pg. 286).]

The above is cut-and-paste and a lie against the great Ash`ari Maliki Imam al-Qurtubi. The authentic position of al-Qurtubi from his Tafsir is thus:

1. The original quote from al-Qurtubi in al-Dhahabi's `Uluw [full edition, 600 pages edited by Hasan al-Saqqaf] here states (p. 574): "for its reality cannot be known." This is also what is found in al-Qurtubi's Tafsir. This tampering is one among many examples of the mendacity of al-Albani and his followers! The reason for this particular tahrif is that when the Salafiyya were faced with the reality of Tafwid (committal) among the Salaf, they invented the subdivision of Tafwid al-Kayfiyya ('committal of modality'!) so as to deny that the Salaf actually practiced Tafwid al-Ma`na ('committal of meaning'!) which is pure and unadulterated nullification (ta`teel). So when proof to actual committal of meaning comes up, they deny it or manipulate it, as in this case.

2. Al-Qurtubi stated verbatim: "Istiwa' is one of the Attributes of acts (min sifat al-af`al) according to the majority of the explanations." Al-Qurtubi, Tafsir (18:281). This is is the exact same position of Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ash`ari RadyAllahu `anh and the position of the entirety of the Ash`ari School. There is no disagreement over the fact that istiwa' is real. Anyone that denies it is a kafir since it is in the Qur'an. What is rejected is vulgar, meddlesome, ignorant literalism and the attribution of istiwa' to Allah SWT as an attribute of the Essence as if the Throne existed without beginning, like the Essence!

3. The continuation of al-Qurtubi's words quoted in Mukhtasar al-`Uluw (p. 286) states: "And He mentioned His Throne specifically because it is the greatest of His creations. However, they actually did not know the modality or howness of his Istiwa' for its haqiqa cannot be known." This shows that al-Qurtubi understood the modality of istiwa' to be the same as the actuality of istiwa'. Why do the Hashwiyya (gross anthropomorphists) not mention this when they cite from Mukhtasar al-`Uluw?

4. Then al-Qurtubi continues, in his Tafsir (al-A`raf 54): "I SAY: the `Uluw [exaltation] of Allah Most High and His irtifa` [elevation] are an expression of the `uluw of His Majesty, Attributes, and Dominion. Meaning: There is nothing above Him whatsoever in the sense of Majesty and its qualities, nor with Him as a partner. Rather, He is the Most High in absolute and unconditional terms - exalted is He!" Why do the Hashwiyya not mention this when they cite from Tafsir al-Qurtubi?

5. To cite Imam al-Qurtubi in support of literalism and anthropomorphism in the Attributes is the height of ignorance and impertinence, as his strong Ash`ari position is clear as the sun in his book on the Names and Attributes of Allah SWT titled al-Asna fi Sharh al-Asma', in print in two volumes. But it is the historical proof against the Mujassima of Ahl al-Bid`a that just as their predecessors lied, they have no choice but to lie also. The examples of Tahreef and distortion in their books today are simply beyond count. See the introduction and appendices to our translation of Sayyid Yusuf al-Rifa`i's Nasiha to the Ulema of Najd for many examples of such tampering and misreprentations of the Ulema of Islam and their books. (Forthcoming at the Islamic Supreme Council of America publications insha Allah.)

The Reviver of the Sunnah, Abu Muhammad al-Baghawee said, ".The Finger is an Attribute from amongst the Attributes of Allah, and likewise everything of this nature that occurs in the Book and Sunnah, for example the Face (Wajh), Eye (Ayn), Hand (Yad), Leg (Rijl), Coming (Ityaan and Majee), and the Descent to the Lowest Heaven, His Rising over His Throne, Laughter (Dahk), Joy (Farh).so these and their likes are Attributes of Allah in which it is obligatory to have faith in, and to leave them upon their literal meanings turning away from ta'weel and distancing from tashbeeh, with the belief that none of the Attributes of the Creator resemble anything from the attributes of the creation, just as His Self does not resemble the selves of the creation. Allah said, -there is nothing like Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing' And it was upon this that the salaf of this nation, and the scholars of the Sunnah were upon, they accepted them all with faith and stayed away from tamtheel and ta'weel. And they relegated the knowledge (of their kayfiyyah) to Allah." [-al-Mu'jam al-Lateef' (no.66) of adh-Dhahabee who quotes from him with his own chain of narration. See also -Sharh as-Sunnah' (1/168+) of al-Baghawee verified by the Salafi Hanafi Imam Shuaiyb al-Arnaut who according to Keller should be an anthropomorphist)

Yet another example of manipulation: What Imam al-Baghawi said is that "they relegated their knowledge to Allah." He never said "They relegated the knowledge (of their kayfiyyah) to Allah."

As for Shaykh Shu`ayb, whoever said he is a "Salafi"? Rather, most of his marginal comments on the hadiths of the Attributes in his editions of the Musnad of Imam Ahmad, Sahih Ibn Hibban, Sharh al-Sunna of al-Baghawi, and Riyad al-Salihin of al-Nawawi, show clearly that he follows the Ash`ari position. Now watch them turn against him just like the Yahud, after first praising him, turned against `Abd Allah ibn Salam when they learnt he was now a Muslim.

[for an updated version see below ]

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad ©

 

More tamperings of Salafis

Someone wrote:

1. "Abu Haneefah (RH) said, when asked of his opinion of the one who says, 'I do not know whether Allah is above the heavens or on the earth.' - "He has disbelieved, because Allah says, "The Most Merciful rose above the Throne." , and His Throne is above His seven heavens.' He was then asked , 'what if he said that Allah is above His Throne but he does not know whether the Throne is in the heavens or on the earth?' He said, 'He has disbelieved, because He has denied that He is above the heavens, And whosoever denied that He is above the heavens has disbelieved." ['al-Uluww' of adh- Dhahabee, also 'Sharh Aqueedah at-Tahaawiyyah' of ibn Abee al-Izz al-Hanafee]"

Mawdu` and a lie in its attribution to the Imam. Al-Dhahabi himself states [Mukhtasar p. 136 #118; al-`Uluw p. 391 #327] that everything above was reported from the Imam by Abu Muti` al-Hakam ibn `Abd Allah al-Balkhi who is DISCARDED as a narrator according to Imam Ahmad, Ibn `Adi, Abu Dawud, a liar according to Abu Hatim, and a forger according to al-Dhahabi himself as reported by Ibn Hajar in Lisan al-Mizan (2:407)!.

Even so, the text mentioned by the Hanafi authorities is: "Whoever says, 'I do not know whether my Lord is in the heaven or on earth' is a disbeliever and, similarly, whoever says, 'He is on the Throne and I do not know whether the Throne is in the heaven or on earth ' is a disbeliever."

As to its meaning: al-Bayadi said in Ishaaraat al-Maraam: "This is because he implies that the Creator has a direction and a boundary, and anything that possesses direction and boundary is necessarily created. So this statement explicitly attributes imperfection to Allah Most High. The believer in [divine] corporeality and direction is someone who denies the existence of anything other than objects that can be pointed to with the senses. They deny the Essence of the Deity that is transcendent beyond that. This makes them positively guilty of disbelief." As quoted in al-Kawthari, "Khuturat al-Qawl bi al-Jiha" ("The Gravity of the Doctrine That Attributes Direction [to Allah Most High]") in his _Maqalat_ (p. 368-369).

Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi states something similar in Sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar, and others.

2."Abdullah bin Nafi' reported: Malik bin Anas said: 'Allah is above the heavens, but His knowledge encompasses everything. Nothing escapes His knowledge.'" [Abdullah bin Ahmad, as-Sunnah, and others. ]

From Mutarrif ibn 'Abd Allâh - al-Bukhârî's shaykh - and Habib ibn Abî Habib on the h.adîth of descent ("Our blessed Lord descends in the lat third of the night"): "It is our Blessed and Exalted Lord's command which descends 1 ; as for Him, He is eternally the same, He does not move or go to and fro."2 Ibn Rushd in Sharh. al-'Utbiyya - a commentary on an early work of Mâlikî jurisprudence by Muh.hammad ibn Ah.mad ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz al-'Utbî al-Qurt.ubî (d. 254) - stated that Mâlik's position is: "The Throne is not Allâh's location of settledness (mawdi' istiqrâr Allâh)."3 The report attributing to Imâm Mâlik the words: "Allâh is in the heaven and His knowledge is in every place" is a condemned (munkar), anomalous (shâdhdh) report of questionable authenticity narrated through Ah.mad ibn H.anbal from Surayj ibn al-Nu'mân al-Lu'lu'i 4 from 'Abd Allâh ibn Nâfi' al-Sa'igh from Mâlik.5 Imâm Ah.mad himself declared 'Abd Allâh ibn Nâfi' al-Sa'igh weak (da'îf), Abû Zur'a frowned at his name and declared him "condemned" (munkar), al-Bukhârî questioned his memorization, and Ibn 'Adi stated that he transmitted oddities (gharâ'ib) from Mâlik.6 As for the content of the report, Shaykh 'Abd al-Fattah Abû Ghudda noted in his commentary on Ibn 'Abd al-Barr's al-Intiqa' that it is contradicted by what is firmly established in mass-transmitted narrations from Mâlik and by al-Sa'igh's other report from Mâlik omitting the above words.7 The report is made further dubious by the fact that Mâlik was well-known to condemn any statements about the Essence and Attributes of Allâh Most High other than sound reports, particularly statements that suggest anthropomorphism.8 Al-Awzâ'î said: "Whoever holds on to the rare and unusual positions of the scholars has left Islâm."9

NOTES

1 The bracketed words are only in the wording cited by al-Qâdî 'Iyâd in his Tartîb al-Madârik (2:44).
2 Narrated from Mutarrif by Ibn 'Abd al-Barr in al-Tamhîd (7:143) with a weak chain because of Jâmi' ibn Sawada as per al-Dâraqut.nî in Ibn H.ajar's Lisân (2:93). Also narrated from Salih ibn Ayyûb from Habib ibn Abî Habib - who is very weak - by al-Dhahabî in Syar A'lâm al-Nubalâ' (8:418). The latter reported in his Mîzân (1:452) from Ibn 'Adi's Kamil (2"818) the opinion that all of Ibn Abî Habib's narrations are forged but this is an extreme statement in light of three factors: (a) Ibn 'Abd al-Barr in al-Tamhîd (24:177) mentioned Habib as merely weak, adding: "His reports from Mâlik are full of mistakes and condemned matters"; (b) Salih ibn Ayyûb said: "I mentioned this report to Yah.yâ ibn Bukayr and he said: "Excellent, by Allâh! and I did not hear it from Mâlik." Narrated by al-Dhahabî who describes Ibn Bukayr in Tadhkirat al-H.uffâz. (2:420) as "the muh.addith of Egypt, the Imâm and trustworthy h.adîth Master... one of the vessels of knowledge together with truthfulness and complete reliability... Where is the like of Ibn Bukayr in his leadership in the Religion, his insight in fatwâ, and the abundance of his learning?" (c) Ibn 'Abd al-Barr in al-Tamhîd (7:143) also narrates this report from Habib, then goes on to narrate it from Mutarrif, adding: "It is possible that the matter be as Mâlik said, and Allâh knows best." It is established that Jâmi' did narrate from Mutarrif, as stated by al-Mizzî in Tahdhîb al-Kamâl (28:71).
3 As quoted in Fath. al-Bârî (1959 ed. 7:124 #3592).
4 Misspelt Shurayh in al-Saqqâf's edition of al-'Uluw (p. 396 #340) and al-Mahdî's edition of al-Shari'a (p. 293 #663-664). Shurayh ibn al-Nu'mân al-Sa'idi al-Kûfî is a Tâbi'î who died before al-Sa'igh was born.
5 In Ibn 'Abd al-Barr's al-Intiqa' (p. 71), al-Dhahabî's Mukhtasar al-'Uluw (p. 247), and al-Ajurrî's al-Shari'a (p. 293 #663-664).
6 Al-Dhahabî, Mîzân (2:513-514 #4647); al-'Uqayli, al-Du'afa' (2:311), Ibn 'Adi, al-Kamil (4:242 #1070=4:1556); Abû Hatim, al-Jarh wa al-Ta'dil (5:183); Ibn H.ajar, Tahdhîb al-Tahdhîb (6:46-47 #99). Dr. Nur al-Dîn 'Itr, however, states in his margins on al-Dhahabî's al-Mughnî fî al-Du'afa' (1:513 #3396) that al-Sa'igh is very reliable when narrating from Mâlik and that Ibn H.ajar declared him trustworthy (thiqa) in al-Taqrîb. Yet, the latter grading was downgraded to "truthful" (sadûq) by al-Arna'ût and Ma'rûf in al-Tahrir (2:277 #3659). Al-Albânî in his notes in Mukhtasar al-'Uluw (p. 140) criticized al-Kawthari for citing al-Sa'igh as weak in his introduction to al-Bayhaqî's al-Asmâ' wa al-Sifat (p. 0), but he himself cites him as weak in al-Silsila al-Da'ifa (2:231-232) as pointed out by Shaykh H.asan al-Saqqâf in his edition of al-'Uluw (p. 397 n. 708)!
7 In Ibn 'Abd al-Barr, al-Intiqa' (p. 71 n. 3 and p. 73).
8 For example, Mâlik said: "Allâh is neither ascribed a limit nor likened with anything" (lâ yuhaddad wa lâ yushabbah). Ibn al-'Arabi, Ahkam al-Qur'ân (4:1740).
9 Cited by al-Dhahabî, Siyar A'lâm al-Nubalâ' (1997 ed. 7:99).

3. Imaam adh-Dhahabee said in the final lines of his most excellent work, 'al-Uluww lil-'Aliyyil-Ghaffaar' (pp.286-287):

I have this edition in front of me and the title is incorrectly reported. The actual title is: Mukhtasar al-`Uluw i.e. the abridgment - in 300 pages - edited by the chief innovator of our time, Nasir Albani. The complete edition is not that of Albani but that of Hasan al-Saqqaf - in over 600 pages - which I also have.

Now, if it was a "most excellent work" then why did al-Dhahabi disclaim it later in his adult career (he wrote the book as a young man)? He wrote on its manuscript with his own hand, "I have realized it [this book] contains baseless narrations and statements by many people that spoke loosely, and so I neither subscribe to those expressions nor follow those people in them - may Allah forgive them - nor do I consider them binding upon me as long as I live, and this is my firm conviction, and I know that Allah - there is nothing whatsoever like Him." As reported by the Hadith Master Ibn Nasir al-Din al-Dimashqi in his handwriting on the front page of the original manuscript of al-`Uluw.

"Al-Qurtubee said concerning the saying of Allah, the Most High, "Then he ascended (istawaa) the Throne", We have explained the sayings of the Scholars regarding this issue in the book 'al-Asnaa fee Sharh al-Asmaa al-Husnaa' and we mentioned fourteen different sayings therein"

I have that book also and al-Qurtubi in it makes abundantly clear that he is against the position of the anthropomorphists!

up until he said, "And the Salaf of the very first times - may Allah be pleased with them all - never used to negate direction (al-jihah) for Allah and nor did they used to express this (negation). Rather, they, and all of the others, used to speak with its affirmation for Allah, the Most High just as His Book has spoken about it and just as His Messengers informed of it. And not a single one of the Salaf denied that his ascending (istawaa) the Throne was real and true (haqeeqah) (as opposed to metaphorical, majaaz)."

The continuation of al-Qurtubi's words quoted in Mukhtasar al-`Uluw (p. 286) states:

"And He mentioned His Throne specifically because it is the greatest of His creations. However, they actually did not know the modality or howness of his Istiwa' for the reality of its modality cannot be known."

NOTE: The original in al-Dhahabi's `Uluw [full edition, 600 pages edited by Hasan al-Saqqaf] here states (p. 574): "for its reality cannot be known." This is also what is found in al-Qurtubi's Tafsir. This tampering is one among many examples of the mendacity of al-Albani and his followers! The reason for this particular tahrif is that when the Salafiyya were faced with the reality of Tafwid among the Salaf, they invented the subdivision of Tafwid al-Kayfiyya so as to deny that the Salaf actually practiced Tafwid al-Ma`na. So when proof to the latter comes up, they deny it or manipulate it, as in this case.

THEN al-Qurtubi continues, in his Tafsir: "I SAY: the `Uluw [exaltation] of Allah Most High and His irtifa` [elevation] are an expression of the `uluw of His Majesty, Attributes, and Dominion. Meaning: There is nothing above Him whatsoever in the sense of Majesty and its qualities, nor with Him as a partner. Rather, He is the Most High in absolute and unconditional terms - exalted is He!"

See the introduction and appendices to our translation of Sayyid Yusuf al-Rifa`i's Nasiha to the Ulema of Najd for many more examples of their tampering and misreprentations of the Ulema of Islam and their books.

As for the Ghunya: it is not an integrally preserved text and the copies we have today are corrupt. As for the book Ijtima` al-Juyush al-Islamiyya it is crammed with forgeries - like al-Sunna by `Abd Allah ibn Ahmad - and Ibn al-Qayyim is a notorious Mujassim.

In conclusion:

Those who call themselves Salafiyyah do not mind lying about the Ulema they quote; make up their own definitions of tafwid and ta'wil; and generally have no idea of the accurate positions of the Salaf and the latter are innocent of them. Allah is our refuge from their bid`a and dalala. And Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad ©

[March 10, 2001]

Refutation of the "Salafi" refutation

Refutation of the "Salafi" refutation of the Encyclopedia of Islamic Doctrine

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

Quotations from troid.org site as of March 2003. See also the chapter "More tamperings of Salafis" above and < Ibn Taymiyya, a survey >

(1) "Salafi" refutation of Imam Ahmad's Ta'wil.... [Interpretation of the "coming of Allah" as the coming of his order (amr) or that of his reward (thawab).] (Ibn Hazm, al-Fisal (2:173). Al-Kawthari in his edition of al-Bayhaqis al-Asma wal-Sifat (p. 448 cf. p. 292) states that Abu Yala also narrates it from Ahmad. See also Ibn al-Jawzis Daf Shubah al-Tashbih (Saqqaf ed. p. 110 and 141).
The "Salafis" said:
This presentation of Imaam Ahmads view is rejected for a number of reasons: i. The chain of transmission of the narration which al-Bayhaqee mentions from Haakim from Aboo Amr ibn as-Sammaak is weak. Adh-Dhahabee said in his Talkhees of al- Haakims al-Mustadrak (1/539) that Aboo Amr ibn as-Sammaak is unknown.

Look at the ignorance of those people who take bladders for lanterns. Abu `Amr ibn al-Sammak is one of the great Hadith Masters, the Shaykh of al-Hakim and al-Daraqutni over whom there is no doubt. Al-Dhahabi called him "the Shaykh, the Imam, the abundant Muhaddith, the truthful, the Musnid of Iraq, `Uthman ibn Ahmad ibn `Abd Allah..." (Siyar) and he mentions him in Tadhkirat al-Huffaz also.

The one referred to in Talkhis al-Mustadrak is a different person. How ignorant to confuse the two! Here is the chain in question: Haddathana Ibn al-Sammak, haddathana Muhammad ibn `Isa al-Mada'ini, haddathana Shu`ayb ibn Harb, haddathana jaarun lana yukanna Aba `Amr = one of our neighbors called Abu `Amr narrated to us. The latter is the unknown, not Ibn al-Sammak.

The "Salafis" said:
ii. What is authentically related from Imaam Ahmad is that which al-Qaadee Aboo Yalaa narrates in his book Ikhtilaaf ur-Riwaayatain (1/250) and also ibn al-Qayyim in Mukhtasar us-Sawaaiq (p.386): "Hanbal said: I said to Aboo Abdullaah (Imaam Ahmad): Allaah - the Mighty and Magnificent - descends to the lowest heaven? He said: Yes. I said: Is His descent by His Knowledge or what? He said to me: Be quiet about this, and he became very angry and said: Pass on the hadeeth as it has come". And Abdullaah bin Ahmad said in his book as-Sunnah: "I asked my father: Allaah descends to the lowest heaven. How is his descending, is it His knowledge or not? He said: Be quiet or severe punishment shall afflict you! Then he said: Pass on the hadeeth as it has come."

The above is false on many levels. First, the narration from Ahmad under discussion is his ta'wil of the "coming" and "arrival" - maji' and ityan - of Allah Most High in the Qur'anic verses to that effect, NOT the hadith of Nuzul.

Second, Abu Ya`la is considered unreliable by the Hanbalis themselves in matters of `Aqida and he is notorious for being a Mujassim; as is Ibn al-Qayyim without doubt, not to mention the centuries between him and Imam Ahmad in the first place - where are their isnads to begin?!

Third, the book named al-Sunna and attributed to `Abd Allah ibn Ahmad contains things like "Is istiwa' any other than sitting??" and contains MOSTLY FORGERIES according to Shaykh Shu`ayb al-Arna'ut.

Fourth, a few lines below these people adduce that same man's - Ibn al-Qayyim - claim that Hanbal ibn Ishaq is supposedly unreliable in relating matters from Ahmad. Consider how they produce him when it suits them and reject him when it suits them!

The "Salafis" said:
iii. Ibn Taymiyyah said: "There is no doubt that that which is reported in mutawaatir form from Ahmad opposes this narration (in which Imaam Ahmad is supposed to have resorted to taweel) and makes it clear that he does not say: The Lord comes (meaning) His command comes and descends, rather he rejects the one who says that." (ibn Taymiyyah, Sharh Hadeeth an-Nuzool, p.202)

Note that the above is a purely conjectural argument because he is unable to weaken the report outwardly. So he resorts to zann i.e. "He couldn't have said so." It is typical of Ibn Taymiyya to use grand terms such as the attribution of tawatur and so forth to defend his views. The fact is, he is notorious for his unreliable manner in quoting the Salaf.

For example, in Majmu` al-Fatawa (4:319) you find:
"The view that the Prophets were protected from the major sins but not from the minor sins is that of the majority of the Ulema of Islam and all the groups. It is even the view of most of the people of Kalam; as mentioned by Abu al-Hasan al- Amidi, this is the view of most of the Ash`aris. It is also the view of most of the people of Tafsir and Hadith and the Fuqaha'. In fact, nothing was reported from the Salaf, the Imams, the Companions, the Tabi`in, and their successors except what conforms to this view...."

The above is a thoroughly inaccurate statement. Qadi `Iyad in al-Shifa' said that the Jumhur of the Fuqaha' from the schools of Malik, al-Shafi`i, and Abu Hanifa, agree that the Prophets are protected from all minor sins because one is required to follow them in the minutest matters. It is even reported from Malik that this is obligatory to believe.

As for the report from al-Amidi it is inaccurate. He actually said in al-Ihkam (1:171) that all but the Khawarij concur Prophets are protected from the minor sins if the latter bear on their character. If, however, it comes to a rare word spoken out of anger, then the majority of the Ash`aris and Mu`tazilis allow it. So the issue is not by any means as clearcut as the words attributed to Ibn Taymiyya would lead one to believe. Ibn Taymiyya often relies on tahweel - verbal intimidation - with phrases such as "the Book, the Sunna, the Companions, the Tabi`in, their successors, and the Imams all support what I am saying." This impressed the public in his time as it continues to do in ours and there is no power save by Allah.

The "Salafis" said:
iv. Ibn al-Qayyim wrote: "As for the narration reported from Imaam Ahmad - then his companions are divided into three groups regarding it. The first: That this is mistakenly attributed to him since the only one who spoke about it is Hanbal and he is one who has many opinions/reports which are in opposition to what is well known from the madhhab of Ahmad... However, what is correct is that it is a rejected narration (shaadh) which opposes the essence of his madhhab."

This is among the typical high-handed statements of Ibn al-Qayyim and his teacher. Ibn Abi Ya`la in Tabaqat al-Hanabila narrated that al-Khallal - the principal compiler of the early Hanbali Madhhab - said of Hanbal that his narrations from Ahmad were so good that "I might compare them to those of al- Athram in excellence, thoroughness, and perfection"! It is no use to attempt ta`til of his reliability. More importantly, note that the positions of Imam Ahmad in `Aqida are one thing and those held by later Hanbalis are another! Even in his own lifetime, Imam Ahmad had a problem with some of his students in their attributing to him things he never said. I have discussed this in some detail in my new book _The Four Imams and Their Schools_, please look it up.

The "Salafis" said:
Ibn al-Qayyim went on to say that a similar difference arose amongst the companions of Imaam Maalik: "Something similar to this difference occurred in the madhhab of Maalik. It is well known from him and from the Scholars of the Salaf to affirm the texts of the Attributes and the prohibition of resorting to taweel (interpolation). It has been reported from him (Maalik) that he interpolated the saying (of Allaahs Messenger):
Our Lord descends

with the meaning: His command descends. This report (from Maalik) has two chains of narration; the first: from Habeeb his scribe, and this Habeeb is not the actual Habeeb, rather he is a liar (kadhdhaab) and a forger (waddaa) by unanimous agreement of all the Ahl ul-Jarh wat-Tadeel and not a single one of the scholars depended upon him in his narration and in the isnaad. The second, in which there is an unknown person (majhool) whose condition is not known. Therefore, amongst his companions are some who affirm this narration and amongst them are those who do not because the most famous of his companions have not narrated anything like this from him." (ibn al-Qayyim, Mukhtasar us-Sawaaiq al-Mursalah, 2/260- 261)

The above is more of the same unreliability in reporting in addition to a mindless mistake in translation. What one of the Ulema said is: This Habeeb is no habeeb i.e. he is not lovely as his name claims - etc. - not "this Habeeb is not the actual Habeeb"!!

To address Ibn al-Qayyim's argument: first, we are not discussing interpolations in Malik's discourse - a claim which also requires proof - but a narration authentically related from Imam Ahmad and verified by the Huffaz. It is useless to discuss other matters rather than focussing on this chain: it is either false or true.

Second, Ibn al-Qayyim has not gotten all the facts about the narration he brought up from Imam Malik. If he had, he would have seen that it supports the opposite of what he is trying to claim. Namely, that the SECOND narration from Malik to that effect is from Mutarrif ibn `Abd Allah, one of al-Bukhari's authorities, a most reliable companion of Malik and most definitely one of his most famous ones. Nor does his chain contain any unknown narrator. I refer to it again further below.

Third, the bases of Ibn al-Qayyim's argument is that the Malik report is definitely inauthentic, which is not at all the position of the Hadith Masters - namely, Salih ibn Ayyub, Yahya ibn Bukayr, Qadi `Iyad, and Ibn `Abd al-Barr! `Iyad even questions the weakening of Ibn Abi Habib as exaggerated. In all, it is evident that Ibn al-Qayyim is swayed by his bias in `aqida, which clouds his judgment.

The "Salafis" said:
v. Furthermore, ibn Jareer at-Tabaree in his Tafseer of 89:22 reports the following narrations from the Salaf in explanation of the verse: Ad-Dahhaak said: "the angels descend in ranks of separate lines, then the Exalted King descends with Jahannam next to Him, on His left." Qataadah said: " and Allaah comes on that Day with Jahannam." He also said: "Paradise and Hellfire are next to Him when He descends from His Throne to His Kursee to judge His creation."

Yet another irrelevancy. The above refers to another verse and has nothing to with the discussion at hand. Further, the chains from Qatada are very weak because of Ibn Humayd who was accused of lying while the report from al-Dahhak refers to the *vision* of Allah together with the vision of Hellfire, not their *being* side by side - subhan Allah! Even supposing the above were authentic, we can mention far many more reports from the Salaf confirming the view of Imam Ahmad's ta'wil.

The Tâbi`î Abû al-`Aliya (d. 90) and al-Rabî` (d. 139) said of 2:210: "It means the angels come in the clouds. It is confirmed by His saying: {A day when the heaven with the clouds will be rent asunder and the angels will be sent down, a great descent} (25:25)."1

Al-Bayhaqî said: "[Abû al-`Aliya's] commentary rightly establishes that the clouds are a place and vehicle only for the angels, whereas there is neither place nor vehicle for Allâh Almighty."2

Al-Ash`arî said that Allâh Almighty on the Day of Judgment shall bring about a certain act (fî`l) which He named "coming" and "arrival."3

Al-Qurtubî reiterated al-Ash`arî's explanation and said: "It is based on the lexical meaning of ityân, which is to proceed to do something (al-qasd ilâ al-shay'). The meaning of the verse is thus: Wait they for naught else than that Allâh should cause to pass a certain act with some of His creatures whereby He shall proceed to requite them and judge them, just as He brought to be a certain act which He called `descent' and another which He called `establishment.'"4

The grammarian al-Akhfash (d. 210) said that {that Allâh should come} (2:210) is not understood literally concerning Allâh, but means that His order (amr) should come.5

The grammarian al-Zajjâj (d. ~310) said: "It means the promised reckoning and punishment shall come to them in the form of a cloud, as in His saying: {Allâh visited them from a place whereof they recked not} (59:2), that is: by abasing them."6

Al-Fakhr al-Râzî reiterated Ahmad's interpretation of verse 2:210: "It means that His order should come unto them, as proved by His saying: {Await they aught save that the angels should come unto them or your Lord's command should come to pass?} (16:33). The two verses relate a single event, and one explains the other."7

Al-Râzî further said that the saying of Allâh {Wait they} (2:210, 16:33) is referring to the Jews: "His saying: {O you who believe! Come, all of you, into submission} (2:208) was revealed only concerning the Jews.8 Then His saying {And if you slide back after the clear proofs have come unto you} (2:209) addresses the Jews, and therefore His saying {Wait they} is referring to them.9 The meaning is: "They shall not accept your Religion except if Allâh comes to them in the shadows of the clouds so that they can see Him distinctly, for the Jews were anthropomorphists (mushabbiha). They considered it possible for Allâh to come and go, and they said that He manifested Himself to Mûsâ - upon him peace - on the Mount in the shadows of the clouds. So they asked for something similar in the time of Muh.ammad MHMD upon him blessings and peace."10

Concerning the h.adîth: "On the Day of Resurrection, Allâh shall come to the people in the form (s.ûra) that is familiar to them" 11 Imâm al-Bayhaqî said:

This can be interpreted to mean that He shall come to them in the Attribute (s.ifa) that is familiar to them... What confirms this interpretation is the Prophet's saying MHMD upon him blessings and peace - in the narration of `At.â' ibn Yasâr from Abû Sa`îd al-Khudrî: "Then Allâh will come to them in a form lower [or more suitable] (adnâ) than the one wherein they had seen Him," 12 whereas they had not seen Him at all prior to this. One understands therefore that the meaning of "form" here is "Attribute."13

Similarly, Imâm Abû Sulaymân al-Khat.t.âbî said:

The meaning of 'Allâh shall come to the people etc.' is He shall lift the veil for them so that they shall see Him with the eyes (h.attâ yarawnahu `iyânan) just as they used to know Him in the world through proofs (kamâ kânû `arafûhu fîl-dunyâ istidlâlan). And the sight of Him after they used not to see Him, is equivalent to the coming of someone never seen heretofore.14

Similarly Sult.ân al-`Ulamâ':

His coming (majî'uhu) is a figure of speech (majâz) for His being present (h.ud.ûr) and His appearing for the eyes to see following invisibility, as in the verse {And your Lord shall arrive with angels, rank on rank} (89:22).15

Similarly Shaykh al-Islâm:

Know that there are two positions among the people of learning on the narrations and verses of the Divine Attributes. The first one - and this is the school of the majority of the Salaf or rather all of them - states that one does not address their meaning but says: We are obliged to believe in them and we hold, concerning them, whatever befits the majesty of Allâh Most High and His magnificence, at the same time categorically believing that Allâh Most High - {Nothing whatsoever is like unto Him} (42:11) and that He is declared transcendent (munazzah) beyond corporeality (al-tajsîm), displacement (al-intiqâl), dimensionality (al-tah.ayyuz) in any given direction (jiha), and all the rest of the attributes of creatures. And this position is that of a group of the scholars of kalâm and a group of their verifying scholars have preferred it. And it is the safest position (wa-huwa al-aslam).

The second position - and it is that of most of the mutakallimûn - is that such texts be interpreted (tata'awwal) according to what befits them in their respective contexts, and that this is permissible only to those who are qualified to interpret them. Namely, one thoroughly versed in the language of the Arabs, the principles of jurisprudence, and the branches of the Law, with mastery in learning. According to this position one says, about the words "Then Allâh shall come to them": the "coming" (al-ityân) is an expression for their seeing Him. For custom dictates that whoever is absent from someone else cannot be seen by the latter except by coming to him. So the "coming" and "arrival" (majî') here express the vision metaphorically (majâzan). It was also said that the "coming" is an act among the acts of Allâh Most High which He named "coming." It was also said that by the coming of Allâh is meant that one of the angels of Allâh comes to them. Al-Qâd.î `Iyâd. said: "This latter meaning is the most correct for the h.adîth in my view."16

The above suffices to refute any claim of a supposed consensus of the Salaf (as claimed by a modern Wahhabi) whereby they did not interpret the "coming" of Allâh Most High as His order.17

NOTES

1 Narrated from Abû al-`Aliya [al-Riyâh.î the student of Ibn `Abbâs] by al-Bayhaqî in al-Asmâ' (Kawtharî ed. p. 448; H.âshidî ed. 2:370 943) through al-H.âkim with a chain containing Abû Ja`far al-Râzî (`Isâ ibn Abî `Isâ Mâhân) whom al-Khat.îb and Ibn H.ajar declared "truthful but poor in memorizing" - although considered trustworthy (thiqa) by Ibn al-Madînî, Ibn Ma`în, Abû H.âtim, and al-D.iyâ' al-Maqdisî - and by al-T.abarî, Ibn Abî H.âtim, al-Qurt.ubî, and al-Suyût.î in their Tafsîr (verse 2:210), also by Abû `Ubayd ibn Sallâm and Ibn al-Mundhir as stated in al-Suyût.î's al-Durr al-Manthûr.

2 Al-Bayhaqî, Al-Asmâ' wal-S.ifât (Kawtharî ed. p. 448; H.âshidî ed. 2:370).

3 Ibid. (Kawtharî ed. p. 448; H.âshidî ed. 2:371).

4 Al-Qurt.ubî, Tafsîr (verse 2:210).

5 As cited by al-Qurt.ubî in his Tafsîr (verse 2:210).

6 Ibid.

7 As cited by al-Kawtharî, Al-Asmâ' wal-S.ifât (Kawtharî ed. p. 447).

8 As established in al-Wâh.idî's Asbâb al-Nuzûl and al-Suyût.î's Asbâb al-Nuzûl.

9 This is also the position of Ibn Kathîr, al-Qurt.ubî, and others on verse 2:210.

10 As cited by al-Kawtharî, Al-Asmâ' wal-S.ifât (Kawtharî ed. p. 448).

11 Narrated in a long h.adîth from Abû Hurayra and Abû Sa`îd by al-Bukhârî and Muslim.

12 Narrated by al-Bukhârî.

13 Al-Asmâ' wal-S.ifât (Kawtharî ed. p. 296; H.âshidî ed. 2:70).

14 In Ibn al-Jawzî, Daf` Shubah al-Tashbîh (1998 al-Kawtharî repr. p. 35).

15 Ibn `Abd al-Salâm, al-Ishâra ilâ al-Ijâz (p. 106-107).

16 Al-Nawawî, Sharh. S.ah.îh. Muslim (Turâth ed. 3:19).

17 "To explain these verses as a reference to the coming or arrival of the order of Allâh is unsound because it contravenes the literal meaning (z.âhir al-lafz.) of the verse and the consensus of the salaf, and there is no proof for it." Muh.ammad ibn S.âlih. al-`Uthaymîn, Commentary on Ibn Taymiyya's `Aqîda Wâsit.iyya (Cairo: Maktabat al-`Ilm, p. 23). In reality, such interpretation is in strict conformity with the principles of Qur'anic commentary nor is there any consensus to its contrary, as shown by the above quotes. As for its proof, it is given in the verse (16:33) adduced by Imâm Ah.mad.

The "Salafis" said:
vi. And ibn Katheer, despite recording the statement attributed to Imaam Ahmad in his al- Bidaayah, wrote in his Tafseer of 89:22: "The Lord - Blessed and Exalted is He - comes as He wills, and the Angels come in front of Him, ranks upon ranks."

The phrase "as he wills" in no way contradicts the ta'wil reported from Imam Ahmad.

The "Salafis" said:
Just as al-Haafidh ibn Hajar indicated: "The one who takes the path of the Khalaf cannot be sure that that which he makes taweel of is the intended meaning and it is not possible to be certain of the correctness of the taweel." (Fath al-Baaree 13/436 of ibn Hajar)

Can they read?? They are attributing to Ibn Hajar what in fact is his quotation of al-Amidi, one of the famous mutakallimun of the Khalaf, in a long passage in which al-Amidi begins by quoting the positions of those who support the way of the Khalaf as wiser and explaining what they mean - namely, that it is more complex and detailed for persuading atheists or skeptics - then he moves to the contra argument and says: Others said that one who takes the path of the Khalaf cannot be sure..." There is no doubt that al-Amidi supports qualified ta'wil.

The "Salafis" said:
Imaam al-Juwaynee explained in his retraction from the way of the Asharees: "I did not find anything by which he (the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) followed up such texts (about the Attributes) with which he described his Lord, neither with another text nor with anything that would cause the meanings to be removed from their real (haqeeqah) meaning or cause taweel to be made of them I did not find that he sallallahu alayhi wa sallam used to warn the people from having faith in what was apparent in his speech with which he described his Lord, whether it was concerning Allaah being above His creation or the Hands of Allaah or other than these. There is nothing recorded from him which proves that these Attributes have another inner meaning other than what is apparent from their meaning" (Risaalah Ithbaatul-Istawaa wal-Fawqiyyah, pp.176-183, which is part of Majmooatur-Rasaail al-Muneeriyyah)

Note that the Juwayni in question here is not Imam al- Haramayn - Abu al-Ma`ali - but his father Abu Muhammad. More importantly, the above epistle is SPURIOUS. Even if it were authentic, his own son followed the Ash`ariyya and so did the latter's student, Hujjat al-Islam al-Ghazzali. As for the "Salafis'" reference to Fath al-Bari 13:350 to show that Imam Ibn al-Juwayni - Imam al-Haramayn - abandoned `Ilm al-Kalam and the way of the Ash`ariyya, it is another falsehood built on a deliberate misrepresentation of Ibn al- Juwayni's words. What Ibn Hajar said is that he embarked on the perilous seas of Kalam i.e. he over-specialized in it, and this is why he recommended to others not to follow his path. Al-Shafi`i disrecommended kalam to al-Muzani on the very same grounds: "You are in Taran" i.e. a whirlpool in the Black Sea. This does not mean that their involvement in Kalam was not necessary. Rather, it was both necessary and useful since it is by such involvement that they defeated the heretics of their time. However, the exact words of Ibn al-Juwayni do not even mention kalam but sound more like a Sufi search for the simplest direct taste (dhawq) of faith: Ibn al-Sam`ani in Dhayl Tarikh Baghdad narrated from Abu Ja`far Muhammad ibn Abi `Ali al-Hamadhani that Imam al- Haramayn said:

"I read fifty thousand times fifty thousand [folios]. Then I left behind the people of Islam and their Islam of outward sciences in those books. I took to the vast sea and probed what Muslims deem prohibited to probe. I did all this in the pursuit of truth. I used, in bygone times, to flee from imitation. Now I have returned from all this to the word of truth: 'Cling to the faith of old women' (`alaykum bi-din al-`aja'iz). If Allah does not catch me with His immense kindness so that I shall die with the faith of old women and my final end be sealed with the uprightness of the People of Truth and the pure declaration: la ilaha illallah - then woe to al-Juwayni's son!"
Ibn al-Subki comments in Tabaqat al-Shafi`iyya al-Kubra (5:191-192):
"Ash`aris have two well-known positions regarding the affirmation of the Attributes and whether they are let pass according to their literal meaning but in confirmity with Transcendence, or whether they should be interpreted. The first position is that which is traced back to the Salaf and forms the Imam's choice in al-Risala al-Nizamiyya as well as in other passages of his kalam works. So his 'return' means a return from interpretation (al-ta'wil) to committal (al-tafwid). Neither the latter nor the former are condemned for it is a question of ijtihad. I mean the question of interpreting on the one hand or committing together with Transcendence. The great problem and terrible disaster consists in letting them pass according to literal meaning while believing that the latter is the actual meaning and that it is not impossible for it to apply to the Creator. And that is the creed of the idol-worshipping anthropomorphists. {Those in whose hearts is doubt} (3:7), their doubt impels them to pursue that which is allegorical {seeking to cause dissension}. Allah's curses be upon them uninterruptedly! How bold they are in committing lies, and how little is their understanding of realities!"
As for the "Salafis'" citation of Imam al-Dhahabi in his Siyar A`lam al-Nubala' censuring Ta'wil, our reply is that al-Dahahabi is not ma`sum. He claimed that the Salaf "never subjected the verses and hadiths of the Attributes to tawil" but this is not entirely true. Yet, what is more to the point here, is that the Salaf never subjected the verses and hadiths of the Attributes to ta'wil leading to tajsim, which is what the "Salafis" do at the drop of a hat. The same goes for their citation of a similar claim by Ibn Qudama in Tahrim al-Nazar: he requests proofs of the ta'wil of the Salaf. But these proofs are many and can be readily accepted by those who have no leaning to anthropomorphism.
The "Salafis" said:
Abul Hasan al-`Ash'ari said: "And he has two eyes without any mention of how." (Imam al-`Ash'ari, Al Ibanaah 'an Usul ad-Diyanah, Page. 9 and Maqalat, Page 290)

The above is definitely not al-Ash`ari's original text. Ibn `Asakir's citation of the same passage in Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari (p. 158-159) states: "[Our position is] that He has an eye (`aynan) without saying how." A recent edition of the Ibana by Bashshar `Uyun (p. 44) consequently amended its own tradition to follow the text cited by Ibn `Asakir since the evidence of the Qur'an and the Sunna mentions {My Eye (`ayni)} (20:39) in the singular and {Our Eyes} (52:48, 54:14) in the plural but never two eyes in the dual. Accordingly Ibn Hazm said:

"Saying: 'He has two eyes' is null and void and part of the belief of the anthropomorphists... Allah I said 'eye' (`ayn) and 'eyes' (a`yunin)... so it is not permissible for anyone to describe Him as possessing 'two eyes' because no text has reached us to that effect." Al-Fisal fil-Milal (2:166).
Today's anthropomorphists continue to insist on the attribution of two eyes without proof, adducing the Prophet's statement, upon him peace: "The Antichrist (al-dajjal) is one-eyed whereas your Lord is not one-eyed" [Narrated from Ibn `Umar in al-Bukhari, Muslim, and the Sunan] but ignoring or rather pretending to ignore that Ahl al-Sunna explained this statement to mean that Allah Most High is exempt of defects and of the attributes of creatures, whereas the Antichrist is both created and imperfect. Cf. Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari and al-Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim.

Further down, in all versions of the Ibana, the text states: "Allah Most High said that He possesses a face and an eye which is neither given modality nor defined"! Al-Ash`ari also said, in two editions of the Ibana (Dr. Fawqiyya Husayn Mahmud's 1977 edition and Abbas Sabbagh's 1994 edition):

"And [we believe] that He established Himself over the Throne in the sense that He said and the meaning that He wills in a way that transcends touch, settlement, fixity, immanence, and displacement. The Throne does not carry Him, rather the Throne and its carriers are carried by the subtleness of His power, subdued under His grip. He is above the Throne and the Heavens and above everything to the limits of the earth with an aboveness which does not bring Him nearer to the Throne and the Heavens, just as it does not make Him further from the earth. Rather, He is Highly Exalted above the Throne and the Heavens, just as He is Highly Exalted above the earth. Yet He is near to every entity and is {nearer to [the worshipper] than his jugular vein} and He witnesses everything."
Al-Ash`ari also said, in his Risala ila Ahl al-Thughar, that it is categorically obligatory to affirm that Allah is not a body and that such attributes are not in the sense of organs, and that Allah has no limit and does not move from one place to another. He said these were a matter of Ijma` among Ahl al-Sunna.

Can you comment upon the tradition narrated through 'Uqbah Ibn 'Amir whereby the Prophet SAW pointed to his two eyes upon reciting verse 58 of Surah Nisa
verily the Lord heres and Sees

This hadith has been graded Hasan by Ibn Hajar (Fath al-Bari, 13/373).

More precisely, he MHMD upon him peace - "placed his thumb on his ear and his index finger on his eye." You will find this hadith explained by our Sunni Imams - Ibn Hibban and al-Bayhaqi with further comments by al- `Izz Ibn `Abd al-Salam - in the PDF file "The 'Hand' of Allah Most High" available at http://www.aqsaonline.co.uk/

(7) Can you check al-Buti's 'Supposed-defense' of Ibn Taymiyya in his Kitab titled Nadwa Ittjahaat al-Fiqr al-Islami,, Page. 264-265. If you do not have the text, you can read the report on page 25 of the attached document.

It is evident that al-Buti has a mixed opinion of the man as is clear from his suspecting Ibn Taymiyya of following Aristotelian causality and his accusing him of over-involvement in philosophy and kalam cf. al-Buti, al-Salafiyya (p. 164-175).

(8) What can you say regarding Ibn Kathirs report in defence of Ibn Taymiyya's books, 'Aqida Wasitiyya and 'Aqida al-Hamawiyya? The text from Ibn Kathir's Bidaya is referenced and found on page 26 of the attached document (at the top).

Such defense was probably because he was a loyal young student of Ibn Taymiyya and probably thought that he deserved better consideration for his learning. A close examination of Ibn Kathir's Tafsir and his other works shows that he shared none of the anthropomorphist errors of the Hamawiyya and Wasitiyya but steered clear of them.

Ibn Abbas's interpretation of Allah's throne as meaning >His knowledge (al-Khazin, Tafsir, 2:255) cited through >Ibn Abi hatim by Ibn Ibn kathir. The isnad of this >report has been declared weak by Ibn Kathir in at- >Taqreeb, No. 960 and by al-Dhahabi in his Mizan al-I'tidal >No, 1536.

This is narrated marfu` from the Prophet MHMD upon him peace - by Sufyan al-Thawri in his Tafsir with a sound chain according to Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari (1959 ed. 8:199) and al-Tabarani in al-Sunna. It is narrated mawquf at Ibn `Abbas by al-Tabari with three sound chains in his Tafsir (3:9-11) and others. Al-Tabari chooses it as the most correct explanation: "The external wording of the Qur'an indicates the correctness of the report from Ibn `Abbas that it [the kursi] is His `ilm and the original sense of al-kursi is al-`ilm." Also narrated in "suspended" form (mu`allaq) by al- Bukhari in his Sahih from Sa`id ibn Jubayr (Book of Tafsir, chapter on the saying of Allah Most High: {And if you go in fear, then (pray) standing or on horseback} (2:239). Its chains are documented by Ibn Hajar in Taghliq al-Ta`liq (2/4:185-186) where he shows that Sufyan al-Thawri, `Abd al-Rahman ibn Mahdi, and Waki` narrated it marfu` from the Prophet MHMD upon him peace - although in the Fath he declares the mawquf version from Ibn `Abbas more likely. This report was never declared weak by Ibn Kathir nor by Ibn Hajar, the author of al-Taqrib. Yes, al-Dhahabi tends to weaken its chain in Mizan al-I`tidal because, like Ibn Kathir, he prefers the "footstool" version. The report from Ibn `Abbas is also found in `Abd Allah ibn Ahmad's book al-Sunna (2:501). They rely on it when it is convenient to them then they disregard it when it is invonvenient to them. Imam al-Bayhaqi in al-Asma' wal-Sifat (2:272), like the rest of the Salaf already mentioned, gives precedence to Ibn `Abbas's authentic explanation of the Kursi as "His Knowledge."

The "Salafis" said:
these and their likes are Attributes of Allaah in which it is obligatory to have faith, leaving them upon their literal meanings, turning away from taweel and keeping a distance from resemblance, along with the belief that none of the Attributes of the Creator resemble anything from the attributes of the creation, just as His Self does not resemble the selves of the creation. Allaah said: It was upon this that the Salaf of this nation and the scholars of the Sunnah were upon, they accepted them all with faith and stayed away from likening Allaah to His creation and taweel. They relegated the knowledge of the how (of the Attributes) to Allaah." (Sharh as-Sunnah, 1/170, of al-Baghawee)

And this is a flagrant example of their perverse tampering of the books of Islam as Imam al-Baghawi never said anything close to their words "They relegated the knowledge of the 'how' (of the Attributes) to Allah" but what he said is "wa-wakalu al-`ilma fiha ila Allah" - meaning, "they RELEGATED ALL KNOWLEDGE PERTAINING TO THEM [THE ATTRIBUTES] TO ALLAH." {Qaatalahum Allah anna yu'fakun.}

What is the authenticity of Imam Awza'i's report (al-Bayhaqi in Asma Wa Sifat (Pg. 408), San[a]d graded jayyid in Fath al-Bari 13/406) which states that Allah is above the throne.

It is narrated by al-Bayhaqi in al-Asma' wal-Sifat (Kawthari ed. p. 408=Hashidi ed. 2:304 #865 isnad layyin) with a weak chain containing Muhammad ibn Kathir al- Missisi who is da`if cf. al-Arna'ut, Tahrir Taqrib al- Tahdhib (3:310) while Muhammad ibn `Ali al-Jawhari is unknown. Yet Ibn Hajar grades its chain "good" (isnad jayyid) in the Fath (13:406) while others go to rather typical excess such as Ibn Taymiyya who claimed the chain was sahih in his Fatwa Hamawiyya and Bayan Talbis al-Jahmiyya (2:38) as did Ibn al-Qayyim in his Ijtima` al-Juyush al-Islamiyya (p. 69) while in al-Sawa`iq (2:211) he claims, "Its narrators are all trustworthy Imams"! As for al-Dhahabi his case is the strangest of the four as he declares the chain sound in Tadhkirat al-Huffaz (1:181-182) although he himself states of al-Missisi in the Siyar (Fikr ed. 9:113): "His narrations can be written but, as for providing any proof, they are not up to it."

The "Salafis" said:
Imaam Maalik: "Allaah is above the sky and His Knowledge is in every place, not being absent from anything." (Aboo Dawood in al-Masaail p.263, al-Aajuree in ash-Shareeah p.289, and others)

From Mutarrif ibn 'Abd Allâh - al-Bukhârî's shaykh - and Habib ibn Abî Habib on the h.adîth of descent ("Our blessed Lord descends in the lat third of the night"): "It is our Blessed and Exalted Lord's command which descends 1 ; as for Him, He is eternally the same, He does not move or go to and fro."2 Ibn Rushd in Sharh. al-'Utbiyya - a commentary on an early work of Mâlikî jurisprudence by Muh.hammad ibn Ah.mad ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz al-'Utbî al-Qurt.ubî (d. 254) - stated that Mâlik's position is: "The Throne is not Allâh's location of settledness (mawdi' istiqrâr Allâh)."3 The report attributing to Imâm Mâlik the words: "Allâh is in the heaven and His knowledge is in every place" is a condemned (munkar), anomalous (shâdhdh) report of questionable authenticity narrated through Ah.mad ibn H.anbal from Surayj ibn al-Nu'mân al-Lu'lu'i 4 from 'Abd Allâh ibn Nâfi' al-Sa'igh from Mâlik.5 Imâm Ah.mad himself declared 'Abd Allâh ibn Nâfi' al-Sa'igh weak (da'îf), Abû Zur'a frowned at his name and declared him "condemned" (munkar), al-Bukhârî questioned his memorization, and Ibn 'Adi stated that he transmitted oddities (gharâ'ib) from Mâlik.6 As for the content of the report, Shaykh 'Abd al-Fattah Abû Ghudda noted in his commentary on Ibn 'Abd al-Barr's al-Intiqa' that it is contradicted by what is firmly established in mass-transmitted narrations from Mâlik and by al-Sa'igh's other report from Mâlik omitting the above words.7 The report is made further dubious by the fact that Mâlik was well-known to condemn any statements about the Essence and Attributes of Allâh Most High other than sound reports, particularly statements that suggest anthropomorphism.8 Al-Awzâ'î said: "Whoever holds on to the rare and unusual positions of the scholars has left Islâm."9

NOTES

1 The bracketed words are only in the wording cited by al-Qâdî 'Iyâd in his Tartîb al-Madârik (2:44).
2 Narrated from Mutarrif by Ibn 'Abd al-Barr in al-Tamhîd (7:143) with a weak chain because of Jâmi' ibn Sawada as per al-Dâraqut.nî in Ibn H.ajar's Lisân (2:93). Also narrated from Salih ibn Ayyûb from Habib ibn Abî Habib - who is very weak - by al-Dhahabî in Syar A'lâm al-Nubalâ' (8:418). The latter reported in his Mîzân (1:452) from Ibn 'Adi's Kamil (2"818) the opinion that all of Ibn Abî Habib's narrations are forged but this is an extreme statement in light of three factors: (a) Ibn 'Abd al-Barr in al-Tamhîd (24:177) mentioned Habib as merely weak, adding: "His reports from Mâlik are full of mistakes and condemned matters"; (b) Salih ibn Ayyûb said: "I mentioned this report to Yah.yâ ibn Bukayr and he said: "Excellent, by Allâh! and I did not hear it from Mâlik." Narrated by al-Dhahabî who describes Ibn Bukayr in Tadhkirat al-H.uffâz. (2:420) as "the muh.addith of Egypt, the Imâm and trustworthy h.adîth Master... one of the vessels of knowledge together with truthfulness and complete reliability... Where is the like of Ibn Bukayr in his leadership in the Religion, his insight in fatwâ, and the abundance of his learning?" (c) Ibn 'Abd al-Barr in al-Tamhîd (7:143) also narrates this report from Habib, then goes on to narrate it from Mutarrif, adding: "It is possible that the matter be as Mâlik said, and Allâh knows best." It is established that Jâmi' did narrate from Mutarrif, as stated by al-Mizzî in Tahdhîb al-Kamâl (28:71).
3 As quoted in Fath. al-Bârî (1959 ed. 7:124 #3592).
4 Misspelt Shurayh in al-Saqqâf's edition of al-'Uluw (p. 396 #340) and al-Mahdî's edition of al-Shari'a (p. 293 #663-664). Shurayh ibn al-Nu'mân al-Sa'idi al-Kûfî is a Tâbi'î who died before al-Sa'igh was born.
5 In Ibn 'Abd al-Barr's al-Intiqa' (p. 71), al-Dhahabî's Mukhtasar al-'Uluw (p. 247), and al-Ajurrî's al-Shari'a (p. 293 #663-664).
6 Al-Dhahabî, Mîzân (2:513-514 #4647); al-'Uqayli, al-Du'afa' (2:311), Ibn 'Adi, al-Kamil (4:242 #1070=4:1556); Abû Hatim, al-Jarh wa al-Ta'dil (5:183); Ibn H.ajar, Tahdhîb al-Tahdhîb (6:46-47 #99). Dr. Nur al-Dîn 'Itr, however, states in his margins on al-Dhahabî's al-Mughnî fî al-Du'afa' (1:513 #3396) that al-Sa'igh is very reliable when narrating from Mâlik and that Ibn H.ajar declared him trustworthy (thiqa) in al-Taqrîb. Yet, the latter grading was downgraded to "truthful" (sadûq) by al-Arna'ût and Ma'rûf in al-Tahrir (2:277 #3659). Al-Albânî in his notes in Mukhtasar al-'Uluw (p. 140) criticized al-Kawthari for citing al-Sa'igh as weak in his introduction to al-Bayhaqî's al-Asmâ' wa al-Sifat (p. 0), but he himself cites him as weak in al-Silsila al-Da'ifa (2:231-232) as pointed out by Shaykh H.asan al-Saqqâf in his edition of al-'Uluw (p. 397 n. 708)!
7 In Ibn 'Abd al-Barr, al-Intiqa' (p. 71 n. 3 and p. 73).
8 For example, Mâlik said: "Allâh is neither ascribed a limit nor likened with anything" (lâ yuhaddad wa lâ yushabbah). Ibn al-'Arabi, Ahkam al-Qur'ân (4:1740).
9 Cited by al-Dhahabî, Siyar A'lâm al-Nubalâ' (1997 ed. 7:99).

[from above]

The "Salafis" said:
Shaykh ul-Islaam Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak (d.181H): "He is above the seventh heaven above His Throne and we do not say as the Jahmiyyah say: He is here on the earth." (Khalq Afaalul-Ibaad no.13 of al-Bukhaaree, ar-Radd alal Mareesee pp.24, 103 and ar- Radd alal-Jahmiyyah p.50 of ad-Daarimee and Abdullaah ibn Ahmad in as-Sunnah pp.7, 25, 35 and 72)

Imam al-Bayhaqi said in al-Asma' wal-Sifat (Kawthari ed. p. 426-427; Hashidi ed. 2:334-336):

As for the report to which cling those who believe that Allah Most High has a direction, whereby `Ali ibn al-Hasan said: 'I asked `Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak, "How (kayf) do we know our Lord?" He replied, "In the seventh heaven on His Throne." I said, "The Jahmiyya also say He is such." He said, "We do not mean it like the Jahmiyya. We mean He Himself (huwa huwa)." I said, "With a limit (bi-hadd)??" He said, "Yes, by Allah, with a limit!"' [Narrated mostly in anthropomorphist works: `Abd Allah ibn Ahmad's al-Sunna, `Uthman ibn Sa`id al-Darimi's al-Radd `ala al-Marisi and al-Radd `ala al-Jahmiyya, al-Dhahabi's al-`Uluw, and Ibn Taymiyya's Hamawiyya.] - `Abd Allah only meant by 'limit' the limit dictated by transmission (hadd al-sam`), namely, that the truthful report stated that {He established Himself on the Throne} (20:5), so He is on the Throne as He related. By saying this, he meant to belie the Jahmiyya who claimed that He is in every place. His other report confirms this, and Allah knows best.
From `Ali ibn al-Hasan ibn Shaqiq: 'I heard `Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak say, "We know our Lord to be above (fawq) seven heavens, [He established Himself over His Throne], distinct (ba'in) from His creation, and we do not say as the Jahmiyya said, that He is right here' - and he pointed to the ground (hahuna fil-ard)."' By the term 'distinct' he means, as he explained directly afterwards, to negate the claim [of intermixing (imtizaj)] of the Jahmiyya, NOT to suggest direction on the opposite side. He means what the Law said in absolute terms, and Allah knows best.

Al-Kawthari pointed out that nowhere in the Qur'an and Sunna are the terms "in the seventh heaven" applied to Allah Most High nor the term "on His Throne" other than exactly as the verse of istiwa' said and that that report from Ibn al-Mubarak is therefore munkar regardless of its chain.

The "Salafis" said:
Al-Haafidh ibn Hajar wrote: "Some embarked to affirm (the Attributes of Allaah) whilst others negated it. The former went to the extent of making resemblance between Allaah and the creation, whilst the latter went to the extent of denying the Attributes of Allaah (tateel). The rejection of thisfrom the Salaf, such as Aboo Haneefah, Aboo Yusuf and ash-Shaafiee, and their sayings in regards to the censure of the people of kalaam, is well known. The reason for such censure was that the people of kalaam spoke about those matters which both the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam and his Companions remained quiet about The people of kalaam did notcontent themselves until they filled the Religion with issues and the sayings of the philosophers. They made this philosophy the basis and the foundational principle to which everything was referred back to, and all that which opposed it from the narrations then false interpretation (taweel) was made of them, even if they were averse to the result. They claimed that what they had compiled was the noblest branch of knowledge and the most deserving to be acquired, and those who did not utilise what they had laid down, then they were from the laymen and the ignorant ones. So delight is for the one who clings to what the Salaf were upon and distances himself from the innovations that the khalaf introduced. However, if one cannot keep away from it, then let him take only that which he needs and let the way of the Salaf be his intended goal." (Fath al-Baaree, 13/253)

May Allah ever curse the liars and the people of ta`teel and tahreef. The above excerpt deliberately cuts out the core of Ibn Hajar's words in which he identifies the culprits that are meant. Namely: "It is established from Malik that in the time of the Prophet, upon him peace, and that of Abu Bakr and `Umar, there was nothing of these idle lusts - *meaning the innovations of the Khawarij, Rawafid, and Qadariyya*." This is the passage that was suppressed from the above excerpt, in place of the ellipsis.

The "Salafis" said:
Imaam Aboo Yusuf, a leading student of Imaam Aboo Haneefah, said: "Whoever seeks his religion through kalaam is a heretic (zindeeq)." (Taweel Mukhtalif al-Hadeeth (p.43) of ibn Qutaybah; Tabyeen Kadhib al-Muftaree (p.333) of ibn Asaakir; Sharfu Ashaab al-Hadeeth (p.4) of al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadeel; and Sawn al-Mantiq wal-Kalaam (p.60) of as-Suyootee)

As Imam Muhammad Abu Zahra said in his book on Abu Hanifa (p.133): "Whenever you hear Abu Yusuf or Muhammad [ibn al- Hasan] or al-Shafi`i or Ibn Hanbal and others [among the early Imams] revile the science of kalam and those who take knowledge by following the methods of the mutakallimun, know that they only meant by their criticism the Mu`tazila and the methodology of the Mu`tazila." In fact, beginning with Sayyiduna `Ali and through the time of the four Imams, Ahl al-Sunna did involve themselves in kalam to the extent that they refuted the innovators, just as we now wade through those time-consuming proofs against illiterate promoters of Salafitic kalam to stem somewhat the tide of moneyed misguidance now flooding the Muslim world.

The "Salafis" said:
Al-Haafidh ibn Abdul-Barr wrote (citing ibn Khuwaizimdaad): "The people of the innovated sects in the view of (Imaam) Maalik and the remainder of our companions (of the Maalikee madhab) are the people of kalaam. Every person of kalaam is from the people of the innovated sects and innovations, whether he is an Asharee or other than an Asharee, and his witness is never accepted in Islaam. Indeed, his witness is to be ostracised and he is to be punished for his innovation, and if he persists then repentance is sought from him." (Jaami Bayaan al-Ilm, 2/117)

Ibn Khuwayz Mindaad died in 390. He is NOT a companion of Imam Malik but came 200 years and seven biographical layers later. When he says "Maalik said..." he is not a reliable source unless he is confirmed independently. This, even if he produced his chain to Malik's supposed statement; what then if he does not even have a chain! Ibn Khuwayz Mindaad's reports from Maalik "contain anomalies" and he "contradicts the Madhhab in both Fiqh and Usul nor do the [Maliki] experts rely on his positions" according to al-Qadi `Iyad (d. 544) in Tartib al-Madaarik (Moroccan ed. 7:77-78). `Iyad also said: "He was not insightful in his positions nor strong in fiqh. Abu al-Walid al-Baji said of him: I never heard him mentioned once by the Ulema of Iraq." `Iyad also exposes Ibn Khuwayz Mindaad as an extremist in his anti-kalam stance: "He alienated the Mutakallimin of Ahl al-Sunna and ruled that all of them were among the people of vain lusts (ahwa') concerning whom Malik said his famous statement on [avoiding] their marriage, [rejecting] their witness and leadership, and alienating them." Ibn Farhun (d. 799) cites all of the above in al-Deebaaj al-Mudhahhab (#491). Imam Malik meant the Mu`tazilis and their sub-sects by consensus in the statement in question, as is made clear (among other sources) by Ibn `Abd al-Barr himself in his report from the same Ibn Khuwayz Mindaad in the previous page cf. Jaami` Bayaan al-`Ilm wa Fadlih (1994 Saudi ed. 2:942-943 #1800). It is known that Imam Malik never retained any Mu`tazilis, Qadaris, or Khawaarij in his Muwatta' as narrators, while the Two Shaykhs (al-Bukhari and Muslim) and their students such as Imam al-Tirmidhi did narrate from Qadaris and even Jahmis. See on this the relevant chapter in al-Suyuti's Tadrib al-Raawi. Clearly, the misguided view Ibn Khuwayz Mindaad expressed in including the Ash`aris among the people of innovation was rejected by his own School and is not considered in the least valid by the major Maliki Huffaz and Fuqaha' such as Qaadi `Iyaad, al-Maazari, Abu Bakr ibn al-`Arabi, Abul-Walid al-Baaji, al-Qurtubi, and others - all thorough Ash`aris.

The "Salafis" said:
As for al-Subkis son, Taaj ad-Deen al-Subki, he went to extremes in criticising ibn Taymiyyah. Such that as-Sakhaawee endorsed the following words about him, following his statement: "Did any of the Hanbalees raise their heads (i.e. become prominent)?" "This is from the strangest of things, and the most sectarian/partisan of attitudes, and this is why the Qaadee of our time, and Shaykh of the madhhab al-Izz al-Kanaanee wrote under this statement: 'And likewise Allaah did not raise the heads of the Mu'attila' and then he said about Taaj ad-Deen Subki: 'He is a man having little manners, lack of scholarly integrity, ignorant of Ahl as-Sunnah and their ranks.'" (al-I'laan bi at-Tawbeekh liman Dhamma at-Taareekh (94-95) of as-Sakhaawee)

The passage in question in al-Tawbikh (p. 56-57 of the Dar al-Kitab al-`Arabi ed.) is about criticism by Ibn al-Subki of his teacher al-Dhahabi, not Ibn Taymiyya. It is inside a series of excerpts from Ibn al-Subki's Tabaqat. Al-Sakhawi considers that Ibn al-Subki exaggerated in his criticism of al-Dhahabi and cites al-`Izz al-Kinani's violent comments to show the counter-effect of those exaggerations. This never means that he approved of - even less endorsed - al-Kinani's comments! Ibn al-Subki may have gone too far against al-Dhahabi, but he is unanimously respected, especially in the Shafi`i madhhab. To call him ignorant or a mu`attil is itself a mark of ignorance and disrespect that does not speak well for the accuser. Similarly, al-Sakhawi does not approve of all of Ibn al-Subki's criticism of al-Dhahabi or the excessive, sweeping barb against the Hanbalis ("Did any Hanbali ever merit to raise his head?...") at which al-Kinani rightly took offence, but al-Sakhawi did approve of some of it as he states further down (p. 76): "He [Ibn al-Subki] went too far in his anti-Hanbali fanaticism as I showed before... although I do not exonerate al-Dhahabi from some of the charges he brought against him." Al-Sakhawi probably quotes Ibn al-Subki as a historian more than anyone else in al-Tawbikh - a book written in praise of history and historians. WAllahu a`lam. Was-Salam,

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad
[11 Mar 2003]

 

see also:
- "Salafi" Tampering of Tafsir Ruh al-Ma`ani
- Another example of tahrif is this misconstructed sentence in AL-Bukhari in Khan's translation.





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