The Albaani Site

Translation from the Works of the Reviver of this Century

Tag: attributes

Are the Aayahs About Allaah’s Attributes Regarded as Being from the Precise or Unspecific Aayahs [Muhkamaat and Mutashaabihaat]?


Questioner: A questioner is asking whether the aayahs and hadiths that talk about Allaah’s Attributes are from the precise [muhkamaat] aayahs or hadiths] or the unspecific ones [mutashaabihaat, cf: Surah Aali-Imraan 3:7] … as the Shaikh of Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said …

Al-Albaani: From one angle, namely in that which is connected to the exact nature [i.e., the ‘how?’] of those Attributes, they are from the unspecific aayahs [al-mutashaabihaat, but] from the other angle they are not [regarded as being from the unspecific ones but rather are from the precise [muhkamaat] aayahs] in that they have a clear meaning.

As we just said now that the saying of the Salaf, ‘Pass them on/relay them as they have come,’ i.e., as they are understood in the Arabic language and we mentioned the example of [Imaam] Maalik about that previously too. So in this sense they are not from the unspecific [aayahs], i.e., in that they have a [linguistic] meaning well-known in the Arabic language.

But as regards the exact nature [of those Attributes they talk about] then they are regarded as being from the unspecific aayahs [mutashaabihaat], because it is not possible for us to know the exact nature [i.e., the ‘how?’] of Allaah’s Dhaat, and following on from that it is not possible for us to know the exact nature of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic’s, Attributes either.

For this reason some of the Imaams of Hadith, like Abu Bakr al-Khateeb [al-Baghdaadi], author of the well-known [encyclopaedia], ‘The History of Baghdaad,’ [said that] the same is said concerning the Attributes as is said concerning [Allaah’s] Esssence/Dhaat, both in negating and affirming, that which is said concerning the Esssence/Dhaat is said concerning the Attributes.

So just as we affirm [Allaah’s] Essence/Dhaat [i.e., His very existence] and we do not deny it–for such a denial is total and utter rejection [of Allaah]–then we say the same about [Allaah’s] Attributes: we affirm them and do not negate them, but just as we do not ask exactly ‘how?’ His Essence/Dhaat is [but still affirm it], then in the same way we do not ask ‘how?’ His Attributes are [but still affirm them].

This is the answer to the question.

789 | Fatwaawaa Imaraat, 2.

The video:

Are Allaah’s Attributes Limited?

Questioner: Noble father, may Allaah protect you, the Prophet of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said in a hadith reported by Muslim, “His veil is light; if He were to uncover it, the splendour from His Face would annihilate the creation as far as His vision extends.” [Muslim] My question is whether this means that His Sight سبحانه وتعالى has a limit?

Al-Albani: … the creation as far as His vision extends, i.e., it is the creation that has a limit.  As for His Sight, the Most High, and all of His Attributes, none of them have a confined limit.

It is, rather, the creation that is limited. This is what is meant by the hadith. The limitation has no connection to the Attributes but to the creation only.

Rihlatun-Noor, 29.

A Discussion Concerning the Difference of the Companions in Creed [Aqidah] | 2


Continuing from the first post.

Shaikh al-Albaani continues, “And a group called the mufowwidah can be found which is between these two.

They [incorrectly] do not believe or accept the apparent meaning of the proofs from the Book and the Sunnah which are connected to the Attributes [of Allaah] while declaring Him free of any likeness to His creation and not ascribing the qualities of the creation to Him [tanzeeh]. They do not perform ta’weel as the Khalaf do about whom we spoke earlier and who are the ones who say, ‘Indeed the madhhab of the Salaf is safer, but the madhhab of the Khalaf has more knowledge and is more precise.’

So the disagreement [with these groups] is not in the [subsidiary] parts, it is not possible to escape that, but rather in the foundational principle.

What is the rule that the Salaf go by?

It is to have that faith in everything reported from Allaah and His Messenger which includes believing in the apparent, clear, linguistic meanings [of the words reported] in the texts while declaring Him free of any likeness to His creation and not ascribing the qualities of the creation to Him [tanzeeh], as occurs in the Most High’s Saying–and this is a proof which is often used, “There is nothing like Him. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” [Shooraa 42:12]

So in this sentence our Lord the Mighty and Majestic firstly mentioned, “There is nothing like Him …” declaring Himself free from having any likeness to His creation and then He followed this negation of likeness with an affirmation, which is His Saying, “… And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.”

So now, when we want to tread upon the path of the Salaf, [we find that] they did not differ whatsoever in understanding [the meaning] of “… the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” For the belief they held was that the attribute of Hearing is not like that of Seeing and that [in addition to this] both of the attributes are just like the rest of the Divine Attributes: we affirm them as they have been reported while differentiating between each one and while declaring Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, to be free of any likeness to anything from His creation [tanzeeh].

What is the stance of the Mu’tazilah, the ones who negate the Attributes? They take the first part of the aayah, “There is nothing like Him …” [believing in it] declaring Allaah to be free of any likeness to His creation and not ascribing the qualities of the creation to Him [tanzeeh]–but they went to extremes in this tanzeeh and they [ended up] negating the meaning. So they said the meaning of, “… And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer,” is ‘The All-Knowledgeable.’

Thus they negated these two Attributes, because humans can hear and see and so they thought [that by affirming this it would mean that] they were the same [as Allaah]. And they thought that by fleeing from affirming these two Attributes they were performing tanzeeh without ta’teel [negation of the Attribute], but they didn’t notice that the thing which they thought they were fleeing from is what they fell into …

So there is, as the Shaikh of Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy on him, said, an association in the wording but no such real association [between Allaah and the creation] in the meaning.

The Attributes of Hearing and Seeing and the Eye, are three Attributes which our Lord, the Blessed and Most High, has been described with in the Quraan just like [He has been described with] the other Attributes mentioned in the Quraan.

But that does not mean that a person’s hearing, seeing and knowledge is like the Hearing, Seeing and Knowledge of Allaah.

For this reason, when the Mu’tazilah fled to this incorrect interpretation of the Hearing, Seeing and Knowledge [of Allaah], it is said to them that they negated two true and real Attributes from the Attributes of Allaah, the Blessed and Most High.”

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