Bismillahi Al-Rahmani Al-Rahim

A Question On `Aqidah

Assalamu 'Alaykum,

What is the meaning of the lafdh 'bila kayf' according to the Atharis? Does it entail that Allah has no kayfiyya (like the Ash'aris), or that his kayfiyya is unknown (like the Salafis)?

Wa `alaykum al-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

This topic has been covered in English in far more detail than is needed. The `aqida found in short primers such as Imam al-Tahawi's al-`Aqidah al-Tahawiyyah and Imam al-Ghazali's `Aqidat al-`Awwam, is what each and every Muslim needs to know in preparing for the grave. For the vast majority of us, anything in addition to the above is likely to fall under the category of harmful knowledge—right next to witchcraft.

Imam al-Saffarini wrote in his al-Durrah al-Madiyyah, a well known manzumah of Hanbali `aqidah:

مِنْ غَيْرِ كَيْفٍ قَدْ تَعالى أَنْ يُحَدّْ

سُبْحانَهُ قَد اسْتوى كَما وَرَدْ

Sublime is He! He established Himself just as He mentioned, * without modality—Exalted is He from being limited!

كَذا لا يَنْفَكُّ عَنْ صِفاتِهِ

فَلا يُحِيطُ عِلْمُنا بِذاتِهِ

So our knowledge does not encompass His essence, * just as He is not separated from His attributes.

The language is sufficiently clear that there is no reason to provide more commentary.

And Allah knows best.

Wa al-salamu `alaykum,