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Never see Ash'ariyyah in the same light, ever again! Aristotle of Stageira, Philo of Alexandria, Augustine of Hippo, the Sabeans of Harraan, the Mu'tazilites of Basrah and Baghdad and the Jahmite Ash'ari Heretics of Today Claiming Orthodoxy. Read the first article, the second article, the third article, the fourth article, the fifth article.
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Ibn Taymiyyah Compared With the Philosophers: Exposing Abu Adam al-Naruiji's Academic Fraud - Part 3: The God of Aristotle and al-Naruiji Compared with the God of the Sunni Muslims
Posted by Abu.Iyaad, in Ibn Taymiyyah
Topics: Abu Adam Al-Naruiji

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1st Comparison: The Claim Ibn Taymiyyah Believes Allaah is an "Eternal Body"

This is the first of al-Naruiji's frauds and you can see his comparison table to the right. There are numerous issues raised here and they include a) whether Ibn Taymiyyah believes and states "Allaah is a jism (body)", b) the citation al-Naruiji made to make this allegation against Ibn Taymiyyah, c) the issue of tasalsul (infinite regress, or endless chain). Inshaa'Allaah we will address the first two issues in this article.

Readers should by now be familiar from Part 1 and Part 2 that speaking of Allah in terms of "negation of jismiyyah" is a purely Aristotelian concept taken straight out of Aristotle's treatise on Metaphysics. The Jews, Christians and Sabeans played with Aristotle's conceptual baggage in their own theological language and thus a particular language can be found in their books which revolves around bodies (ajsaam) and accidents (a'raad) and negating Aristotle's Ten Categories from Allaah. See this illustrated clearly in Philo the Jew of Alexandria (50CE) and Augustine of Hippo (430CE) and the (post Christian era) Sabeans in these five articles [(see here, here, here, here and here)]. This was the very "Kalaam" that all the Imaams of the Salaf condemned and declared as a heretic anyone who spoke on its basis with respect to Allaah's Names and attributes. This is the history that academic shysters and fraudsters like al-Naruiji wish you don't learn about and find out about. Hence, anyone who disagreed with the Ahl al-Kalaam and did not speak with their innovated theological language was accused of claiming Allaah to be a body (jism), and when they (the Ahl al-Kalaam) submitted to the Philosophers that this conceptual language and baggage is the platform upon which their differences can be debated (such as on the issue of the eternity of the universe or its origination), they were forced to adhere to all the binding necessities this conceptual baggage required from them in their speech in describing Allaah or negating from Allaah. Then in turn, they tried to impose this upon Ahl al-Sunnah who had nothing to do with this at all, and were free and innocent of it and who condemned and refuted the Ahl al-Kalaam in their time (second, third centuries). This is why objective history (of the first three hundred years hijrah) scares the wits out of cowards and fraudsters like al-Naruiji.

[Ibn Taymiyyah and Jismiyyah]

Al-Naruiji said:

He believed that Aļļaah is an eternal body...

First: This is buhtaan (slander, fabrication) upon another Muslim, and whoever reads any of the books of Ibn Taymiyyah knows for sure that he does not say Allaah is a "body (jism)" or an "eternal body (jism)." Second: The position of Ibn Taymiyyah is that Ahl al-Sunnah do not come under the jurisdiction of "kalaam theology" such that they can be accused of holding Allaah is a "jism (body)" if they do not adhere to the language of the Ahl al-Kalaam in describing or negating from Allaah. We have elaborated on this matter in more detail in our refutation of another academic fraudster by the name of Asrar Rashid (please read it here), (The Jurisdiction of the Language of Kalaam), and we can cite from it the following which establishes our intent:

Thirdly: we see Ibn Taymiyyah's position clearly explained in all of his well known books and his position is that the use of the word jism (body) in both affirmation and negation is a reprehensible bidah (innovation) in the religion. We can bring only a small sample of quotes here: He said in Minhaj al-Sunnah (2/135):

As for the word jism (body), it is an innovation (bid'ah) in both negation or affirmation, there is not in the Book or the Sunnah and nor the saying of any of the Salaf of the Ummah and it's leading Imaams who applied the word "jism" with respect to Allaah's attributes, neither in negation nor in affirmation.

He said in 'Bayaan Talbees ul-Jahmiyyah Fee Ta'sees Bida'ihim al-Kalaamiyyah' (tahqeeq: al-Hunaydee) (1/283):

And those who said that He is a "jism (body)" are of two types: The first: And this is the saying of their scholars - that He is a jism (body) but not like the [created] bodies, just like it is said, a dhaat (essence, self) but not like the [created] essences, and mawsoof (described) but not like the [created entities that are] subject to description, and a thing (shay') but not like the created things. So these people say that He, in His reality, is not like those besides Him from any angle at all, however this affirmation (of jism) is merely (to indicate) that He has a real existence by which He is distinguished [from whatever is besides Him]. Like when we say, "mawsoof" (something being subject to description), then this is an affirmation of a reality (haqeeqah) that (a thing) can be distinguished by... ...And as for the second type, they are the majority, those about whom it is narrated that they said, 'He is flesh and bones' and similar things to this. This saying of their's which is the most obvious corruption, if He had been flesh and bones - as it is understood - then what is permissible upon (the created types of) flesh and bone would be permissible upon Him, and this leads to the tamtheel (resemblance to the creation) that Allaah has negated from Himself...

Then he said, after that:

...So whoever speaks with this tashbeeh (resemblance), which comprises such Anthropomorphism (Tajseem), then he has made Him like the [created] bodies which are other than Him, [considering] Him to be greater in status [in this tajseem], and this is clear and manifest falsehood from both a rational and sharee'ah point of view. And such people are the Mushabbihah (Anthropomorphists) whom the Salaf have criticised. And they (the Salaf) said: "The Mushabbih is the one who says: Seeing like my seeing, and Hand like my hand and Foot like my foot", and so this is making resemblance in the genus (jins) [of a thing], even if that being attributed with resemblance is greater in status than that to which it is being resembled.

And he says in Dar' al-Ta'aarud (10/306):

The leading Imaams of the Sunnah and Hadeeth never differed in anything of the foundations of their religion. For this reason, not a single one of them said, "Allaah is a jism (body)" and nor "Allaah is not a jism", rather they rejected the negation when the Jahmites from the Mu'tazilah and others innovated it, and they also rejected the negation of the Jahmites of the attributes, alongside their rejection of those who resembled His attributes with those of His creation. In fact, their rejection of the Jahmiyyah Mu'attilah was greater than their rejection against the Mushabbihah, because the disease of ta'teel is greater than the disease of tashbeeh...

Note that this last statement of Ibn Taymiyyah is also said by al-Ghazali and al-Razi, that ta'teel is worse than tashbeeh, and it is far better to leave a people upon belief in Allaah with something of tashbeeh than have them fall into complete denial and Atheism (see here and here).

And he says in Dar' al-Ta'aarud a little later, (10/308):

So it is said to the one who asked about the word "jism" (body): What do you mean by your saying? Do you mean that He is of the genus (of things) found in the creation? If you mean that, then Allaah, the Exalted, has explained in His Book that there is no likeness (mithl) or equal (kofu) or rival (nidd) for Him, and He said, "Is one who creates like one who does not?" (16:17). Hence, the Qur'an indicates that nothing is like Allaah, neither in His essence (dhaat) nor in His attributes and nor in His actions. So if you mean by the word "jism" that which comprises likeness to anything from the creation, then Allaah is purified of that, and your answer is in the Qur'an and Sunnah, and when Allaah [in His essence] is not like of the genus of water, or air, and nor the soul that is blown into us, and nor from the genus of Angels, or the celestial orbits, then that He should not be from the genus of the body of man, his flesh, his bones, nerves, flesh, hand, foot, face and other such organs and limbs is even more the case and more befitting. And this type of (affirmation) and its likes which is referred to as tashbeeh and Tajseem, all of it is denied in the Book and the Sunnah, and there is not in the Qur'an, a single verse which indicates, neither textually, (nassan) nor apparently (dhaahiran), the affirmation of any of that for Allaah...

This is only a small sample of literally hundreds of statements which can be found across all of Ibn Taymiyyah's works. Now, when the deceiving lying fraudster al-Naruiji knows this full well, and he is not ignorant of this fact, he chose to act like the vermin he is by finding an obscure passage upon which he could base his allegation, and we shall look at this next. But before that, for the sake of completion, we should cite statements of Ash'ari and Maturidi scholars on the usage of the word "jism", and if for argument's sake, Ibn Taymiyyah permitted the use of the word "jism" (which is completely untrue and false), then what is the most that intellectual fraudsters like al-Naruiji could have said? The following quotes are documented in this article:

From al-Eejee in his al-Mawaqif:

...So the Karraamiyyah, that is, some of them, said, "He is a jism (body), meaning, existent (mawjood)". And (another) people amongst them said, "He is a jism (body), meaning established by Himself (qaa'imun bi-nafsihi)". So there is no dispute with them upon [either] of these two explanations except in the naming, meaning in the application of the word "al-jism" to Him.

And from Sullam ul-Wusool of al-Mutee'i:

...As for the one who said, "He is a jism (body) but not like the [created] bodies", then he has negated [from Him] the necessities (lawaazim) of the [created] bodies, such that nothing remains from them [in relation to Allaah] except the mere naming [with al-jism]. So this, as our Shaykh has said, there is no angle for any differing in this, because nothing remains except merely naming Him with [the word] al-jism (body).

And from Sharh ul-Aqaa'id al-Adhudiyyah of al-Dawwaaniyy:

...And in this manner does such a one negate from Him all of the special [qualities] of a [created] body (jism) until nothing remains except the mere label (ism) of a al-jism. And these [people] are not declared disbelievers, as opposed to those who are explicit in affirming Jismiyyah (i.e. a body like the created bodies).

And from the Hanafi Ash'ari scholar, Abu Ja'far al-Simnani (d. 444H), and is cited by al-Dhahabi in al-Siyar (17:540), who in turn is citing from Ibn Hazm (d. 456H):

[Ibn Hazm]: He is Abu Ja'far al-Simnani al-Makfuf, he is the greatest of the companions of Abu Bakr al-Baqillani, and the forerunner of the Ash'arites in his time. And from his statements are: "Whoever labelled Allaah a "jism" for the purpose (of explaining) that He has attributes in His essence, then he is correct in the meaning, but has erred in the labelling (tasmiyah) only."

So if - even just for argument's sake - we assert the validity of the false claim that Ibn Taymiyyah said Allaah is a body (jism), then the affair does not go beyond what these Ash'ari and Maturidi scholars have stated, but we do not even need to go there, as is clear.

[The Quote from Ibn Taymiyyah Used to Make the False Allegation That He Considers Allaah to Be a Body]

So what was the quote he used as evidence to prove Ibn Taymiyyah holds Allaah to be a body (jism)? Well before we get to it, we have to provide a historical context so you understand what is going on and mark our words well, the Jahmites are enemies of historical context, mention "historical context" and these Jahmites will quickly gather their wares and flee on their heels, and you will soon see why when we expose the great fraud behind al-Naruiji's use of this particular quote to claim, as he says, that Ibn Taymiyyah, "believed that Aļļaah is an eternal body (i.e. limited in all 6 directions - a 3 dimensional shape)." This is the quote:

فهذا القول الوسط من أقوال القاضي الثلاثة هو المطابق لكلام أحمد وغيره من الأئمة وقد قال إنه تعالى في جهة مخصوصة وليس هو ذاهبا في الجهات بل هو خارج العالم متميز عن خلقه منفصل عنهم غير داخل في كل الجهات وهذا معنى قول أحمد "حد لا يعلمه إلا هو" ولو كان مراد أحمد رحمه الله الحد من جهة العرش فقط لكان ذلك معلوما لعباده فانهم قد عرفوا أن حده من هذه الجهة هو العرش فعلم أن الحد الذي لا يعلمونه مطلق لا يختص بجهة العرش

Now we won't translate this just here, because it will not make sense until after we have provided the background. So here goes:

[The Imaams of the Salaf (Ibn al-Mubaarak, Ahmad bin Hanbal), the Jahmiyyah, the uluww of Allaah, and the Discussions Between Ash'ariyyah, Karraamiyyah and the Kalaam Hanbalis Such as Abu Ya'laa]

All revealed Books and all sent Messengers came with the belief that Allaah, the Exalted and Sublime, is above His Throne, above the creation, and that His essence is unlike all other essences. This is what the Companions and Taabi'een were united upon. When al-Ja'd bin Dirham brought the conceptual baggage of Aristotelian Metaphysics into the Ummah, taking it from the Hellenized Jews, Christians and Sabeans, in the form of the kalam cosmological argument that was with the Sabean Philosophers of Harran (see here), he abided by its necessities - [Allaah cannot be described with anything that the bodies He caused and brought into existence are described with] - and thus he was the first one to deny Allaah is above His Throne, and to deny Allaah will be seen in the Hereafter, and that Allaah spoke the Qur'an with speech tied to His will and power and that Allaah spoke to Moses direct and that Allaah took Ibraaheem as His khaleel. This denial was based upon this proof of al-ajsaam wal-a'raad that was used to argue the origination of the universe. This was then spread by al-Jahm bin Safwaan and from him it was taken by the Mu'tazilah such as Amr bin Ubayd and others. However, al-Jahm bin Safwan, following his debates with the Indian Philosophers (Sumaniyyah), who confused and perplexed him began to say that Allaah is in all places and is not in one place exclusive to another and that there is nothing over the Throne and there is nothing that Allaah can be described with such that His existence is one separate to that of His creation.

This saying of the Jahmiyyah spread, namely, that Allaah is everywhere, on this earth, in the heaven, within everything in the creation, not separate from it and so on - and alongside this, He cannot be seen, nor heard, nor perceived in any way, and nor can He be described with anything that give Him a distinct existence from all that is besides Him. These sayings of the Jahmiyyah of both Hulool (indwelling) and ta'teel (divestment) regarding Allaah and His attributes emanated from al-Jahm's debates with the Sumaniyyah and also what al-Jahm took from al-Ja'd bin Dirham from speaking about Allaah with negatives (sifaat salbiyyah) which al-Ja'd took from the Sabean Harranian Philosophers (following on from the proof of huduth al-ajsaam). And it became from their well known sayings, "we do not believe in a Lord that is in one place exclusive to another" - and this phrase and this terminology was their invention, and by necessity this meant that they had to deny Allaah was above the Throne, since if He was above the Throne, it would clash with their belief. At first they did not initially raise this specific matter, as their falsehood would have become readily apparent, because this matter was firmly established in the hearts of the common folk (their fitrah), let alone the Scholars. So instead they raised the other issues of seeing Allah (ar-Ru'yah) and that of the Qur'aan being created, and through these affairs they were hinting or alluding to Allaah not being above the Throne, but were not saying it outright at first.

So when these people emerged with this orientation before the middle of the second century (around 125H onwards), the Imaams of the Salaf knew what they were trying to do and this is why you see statements from the Salaf from at least before 131H, such as the following from the great Imaam, Ayub al-Sakhtiyaani: Abul-Qasim Sulayman bin Ahmad at-Tabarani brings in "Kitaab us-Sunnah", as does adh-Dhahabi in "Mukhtasar al-Uluww" (p.132-133) from al-Abbaas bin Fudayl al-Asfaatee from Sulayman bin Harb who said:

I heard Hammaad bin Zayd (b. 98H, d. 179H) (saying): I heard Ayyub as-Sakhtiyaani (d. 131H), the Mu'tazilah were mentioned, so he said: "The central axis of the Mu'tazilah is that they want to say there is nothing above the heaven".

And adh-Dhahabi, in his "Mukhtasar al-Uluww" commented on this saying: "This isnaad is like the sun in its clarity and like a pillar in its affirmation from the head and scholar of the people of Basrah (i.e. Hammaad bin Zayd)." And also from Hammaad bin Zayd, as reported by Imaam ad-Dhahabee, in Mukhtasar al-uluww (p.146):

Sulayman bin Harb said: I heard Hammad bin Zayd (d. 179H) saying: "They are circulating around [the issue of] of wanting to say that there is no deity above the heaven". He means the Jahmiyyah.

So note here what Hammaad bin Zayd said that the Jahmiyyah, in their speech, they were circulating around the issue of wanting to express that Allaah is not above the Throne, without going as far as saying that explicitly. And the saying of Yazeed bin Haroon (d. 208H) as quoted by al-Qadi Abu Ya'laa in his Ibtaal ut-Ta'weelaat:

Whoever claimed that "ar-Rahmaan ascended above the Throne" is [understood up a meaning] different to what is established in the hearts of the general folk is a Jahmee.

Meaning that it is established with the common folk that Allaah ascending above the Throne means He is above the Throne and not within or merged with the creation. And then what has been said by 'Abbaad bin al-Awwaam al-Waasitiyy (d. 185H), as has been reported by al-Khallaal in "as-Sunnah", adh-Dhahabee in al-uluww (p.88), Ibn al-Qayyim in "Ijtimaa' Juyoosh al-Islaamiyyah) (2/216) and Abdullah bin Ahmad in "as-Sunnah" (no. 65):

I spoke to Bishr al-Mareesee (d. 218H) and his associates, and I saw that the final (part) of their speech ends up with them saying there is nothing above the heaven.

And then what has been said by Abdur-Rahmaan bin Mahdee (d. 198H) as narrated by al-Khallaal in "as-Sunnah", and Abdullah bin Ahmad in "as-Sunnah" (no. 147), and Ibn Taymiyyah also referenced it to "ar-Radd 'alal-Jahmiyyah" of Ibn Abee Haatim:

There is not amongst the people of desires [those] more evil than the companions of Jahm [bin Safwan]. They are revolving around [the issue] of wanting to say that there is nothing above the heaven. I consider, by Allaah, that they are not to be married into, and nor should inheritance (be given to them or taken from them).

So when this occurred and the Imaams of the Salaf knew and understood what these people were intending (that Allaah is in every place), we find statements from them in refutation of this and in clarification of the truth and some of the Salaf expressed that Allaah is above the Throne, (بحد) "bi haddin" (with demarcation) - meaning by this that Allaah is not within the creation, rather He is separate and distinct from it, in opposition to what the Jahmites were trying to spread amongst the people, that Allaah's existence is indistinguishable from the creation and does not have any independent definition that would otherwise remove it from the realm of non-existence into the realm of existence as a distinct essence which possesses attributes. In the second half of the first century, this doctrine was propagated by Bishr al-Mareesee al-Hanafi al-Jahmee (d. 218H). So within this context a number of statements were related from the Imaams such as Ibn al-Mubaarak who stated Allaah is above the Throne with a (حد) "hadd." Their intent by this phrase was to defend the truth and repel falsehood, and the likes of this term, when it has a meaning of truth, then it is from the baab (field) of al-ikhbaar (informing) about Allaah, which is wider than the field of the Names and Attributes.

In the Tabaqaat ul-Hanaabilah of Ibn Abee Ya'laa there occurs (1/267):

Muhammad bin Ibraaheem al-Qaysee said: I said to Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal: It is quoted from Ibn al-Mubaarak that it was said to him: How do we know our Lord - the Mighty and Majestic? He said, "Above (fee) the heaven, upon ('alaa) His Throne with a hadd (limit, demarcation)." So Ahmad said, "This is how it is with us".

  • Ad-Daarimee reported it in 'ar-Radd 'alal-Mareesee' (p.34)
  • And also in his 'ar-Radd 'alal-Jahmiyyah' (162)
  • 'Abdullaah bin Ahmad in 'as-Sunnah' (1/175)
  • al-Bayhaqee in 'al-Asmaa was-Sifaat' (p.427) from the route of 'Alee bin al-Hasan bin Shaqeeq who said, "I asked 'Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak, I said, 'How do we know our Lord?' He replied, 'Above (fee) the seventh heaven, upon His Throne.' I said, 'But the Jahmiyyah say He is like this!' He replied, 'We do not say as the Jahmiyyah say, we say He is as He is.' I said, 'With a limit (bi haddin)?' He replied, 'Yes, by Allaah, with a limit (bi haddin).'"
  • And Imaam adh-Dhahabee said in 'al-'Uluww' (p.152 of its 'Mukhtasir'), "This is saheeh (authentic) from Ibn al-Mubaarak and Ahmad, may Allaah be pleased with him."
  • And Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said in 'al-Hamawiyyah' (5/184 of Majmoo' ul-Fataawaa), "This is well-known from Ibn al-Mubaarak, established from him from more than one angle and it is also affirmed from Ahmad bin Hanbal, Ishaaq bin Raahuyah and from more than one of the Imaams."

So now we have our context and we understand what is going on. In the face of the Jahmites, the Salaf affirmed that Allaah is above the Throne, with His Essence, separate and distinct from the creation, and this is why the Imaams from the Salaf spoke with the likes of these terms (بحد) "with demarcation" and (بائن من خلقه) "separate and distinct from His creation", meaning that Allaah is not within the creation, not merged with it - so the debate is between the Salaf and the Jahmites, and the Salaf used these phrases. At this point we have to remember that on one side is the entire Ummah who affirm Allaah is above His Throne, with His essence, and on the other side are the vermin, the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah, who claim this is Tajseem and kufr. This is according to the Aristotelian Metaphysics of al-ajsaam and al-a'raad, if something has the incidental attribute of "above", then it must be in spatial location (as they see it), and following on from this, it must be a body, since bodies have magnitude, hence it is kufr to affirm what Allaah revealed in His Book and upon the tongue of His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). This is because Aristotle, the Shaykh and Imaam of the Mutakallimeen taught so, when he said in Metaphysics 12, "God is separate from sensible things because God has no magnitude (megethos), God is without a body or a spatial existence..." Now, when it came to the time of Imaam Ahmad (d. 241H), he also spoke, but he had a number of sayings, one in which he confirmed what Ibn al-Mubaarak said that Allaah is above His Throne, (بحد) "with demarcation" and this is famous and well-reported from Imaam Ahmad through his associates and it is also reported from Ishaaq bin Raahuyah (d. 238H). And the other in which Imaam Ahmad said (أن الله تعالى على العرش كيف شاء وكما شاء بلا حد ولا صفة يبلغها واصف أو يحده أحد) "That Allaah, the Exalted, is above His Throne how and as He wills without any hadd or sifah which anyone describing can reach or which anyone can define..." which is reported by al-Khallaal. So we see here that which appears to be conflicting views in the statements of Imaam Ahmad, but the reality is not like that.

Now in the fifth century, al-Qadi Abu Ya'laa (d. 458H), a Hanbali jurist, he had been studying with the Ash'arites and he became affected by ilm al-Kalaam and the language of al-a'raad and al-ajsaam, and in his writings to he tried to make sense of what Imaam Ahmad was saying in both his affirmation and negation of al-hadd, and as such Abu Ya'laa expressed a number of different viewpoints. It is these explanations of Abu Ya'laa that Ibn Taymiyyah is commenting upon at the juncture where al-Naruiji quoted from Ibn Taymiyyah. Before we look at that, the following should be clearly borne in mind:

[The Quote from Ibn Taymiyyah]

With the above historical context set, we now know exactly where al-Naruiji is positioned in the overall scheme of things. And once that is cleared and out of the way, we can now come to Ibn Taymiyyah's coverage of Abu Ya'laa's attempt to explain the speech of Imaam Ahmad in affirmation and negation of "hadd" for Allaah, and we can summarize his entire discussion with the following points, and we are using the 2006 print, ten-volume edition of Bayaan Talbees al-Jahmiyyah and the section is at the end of volume 2, the last 20 or so pages, and the beginning 30 or so pages in volume 3.

  • From (2/612) in the second volume through to (2/628) Ibn Taymiyyah documents all the statements related from Imaam Ahmad about both the affirmation and negation of hadd, after which he comments:

    So this speech from Imaam Abu Abd Allaah Ahmad (rahimahullah) explains that he denied that the servants can define (يحدون) Allaah, the Exalted, or His attributes with a definition, or to give it any estimation, or to be able to reach [the reality of] its description and that does not conflict with what has preceded of the affirmation that He has a hadd (demarcation) which only He knows and no one else knows (of its reality), or that He describes Himself (with attributes). And such is the speech of all of the Imaams of the Salaf, they affirm the realities (الحقائق) and deny the servant's having knowledge of their quiddity (كنهها) [as in exactly how they are], just as we have mentioned from their sayings in other than this place which explains all of that.

    So this is clear, there is a tahdeed (giving of definition of realities) which is denied, then there is another tahdeed (mere statement of attributes but not their realities) which is Allaah affirming for Himself the attributes and actions we find in the revealed texts (so this is Allaah defining Himself through descriptions arising from Himself), and then there is affirmation of a hadd (that by which Allaah is distinguished from whatever is besides Him) which is affirmed for Him (as a refutation of the Jahmites), the reality of which none knows but He.

  • After this, Ibn Taymiyyah then discusses (2/629) how the Hanbalis, when they saw these two types of statements from Imaam Ahmad, they had different approaches towards their interpretation. So he says that some of them saw a contradiction and negated "hadd" and quoted those statements and others affirmed "hadd" and quoted those narrations, and others interpreted the "hadd" to be in reference to the Throne, and others affirmed both sayings, and others gave a different explanation for the negation of "hadd". Ibn Taymiyyah explains that negation (of hadd) was the approach of Abu Ya'laa first but then he had other sayings too. Here we reach the end of the second volume.

  • In the third volume (3/3 onwards) Ibn Taymiyyah documents the statements of al-Qaadee Abu Ya'laa (who was an Ash'arified Hanbali) regarding al-istiwaa, and explains how he, along with other Ash'arified Hanbalis like Abu al-Hasan bin al-Zaghuni (d. 527H) would speak with the negations of Ahl al-Kalaam and such express the negation of hadd (demarcation), jihah (direction), jism (body), tarkeeb and ta'leef (composition) and the likes. But then later he turned back from denying hadd and jihah.

  • Then Ibn Taymiyyah discusses (3/21-25) how Abu Ya'laa tried to interpret the speech of Imaam Ahmad regarding affirmation and negation of hadd for Allaah, and within his interpretation he claimed that the hadd (demarcation) Imaam Ahmad was affirming when mentioning Allaah is above the Throne is that Allaah has a hadd (demarcation) in the direction of the Throne and the hadd that Imaam Ahmad was negating when mentioning Allaah is above the Throne, is the negation of Him having a hadd in any other direction.

  • After this (3/25) Ibn Taymiyyah says (about Abu Ya'laa's interpretation):

    I say: This (explanation) by which He reconciled between the two sayings of Ahmad, and (in which) He affirmed a hadd (demarcation) in the direction of the Throne, below, as opposed the other five directions opposes how he first interpreted the saying of Imaam Ahmad with an explanation that agrees with the explicit words of (Imaam Ahmad), when he (Abu Ya'laa) said, "For he (Imaam Ahmad) has negated hadd from Him for the mentioned attribute, and it is [negation of] (the hadd) that His creation knows." (i.e. negation that the creation knows the hadd of Allaah)

    In other words, about the sifah (of Allaah being above the Throne), Imaam Ahmad said about it Allaah (being above the Throne) has a hadd (demarcation) but whose reality none of His creation knows, and this is all that was meant by Imaam Ahmad. This affirmation of hadd here is to indicate that Allah exists above the Throne and that He does not exist everywhere, in all places, but rather He exists with a hadd, the reality of which nobody knowns (following from the fact that nobody knows the reality of His essence). And this is the view that Ibn Taymiyyah is supporting and it is the truth.

It is here the quote comes which al-Naruiji tried to use to malign Ibn Taymiyyah, and we shall cite it here (3/26):

فهذا القول الوسط من أقوال القاضي الثلاثة هو المطابق لكلام أحمد وغيره من الأئمة وقد قال إنه تعالى في جهة مخصوصة وليس هو ذاهبا في الجهات بل هو خارج العالم متميز عن خلقه منفصل عنهم غير داخل في كل الجهات وهذا معنى قول أحمد "حد لا يعلمه إلا هو" ولو كان مراد أحمد رحمه الله الحد من جهة العرش فقط لكان ذلك معلوما لعباده فانهم قد عرفوا أن حده من هذه الجهة هو العرش فعلم أن الحد الذي لا يعلمونه مطلق لا يختص بجهة العرش

So this is the moderate saying amongst the three sayings of al-Qadi [Abu Ya'laa] and it is in conformity with the speech of Ahmad and others from the (leading) scholars.

And he (Abu Ya'laa) had said:

He, the Most High, is in a specific direction [meaning here, above the Throne] and He does not go (extend) in all [six] directions, rather He is outside of the universe, distinguished from His creation, separate from them, not entering (into the creation) in all directions. And this is the meaning of the saying of Ahmad, "[With a] hadd, that no one knows except He".

And if the intent of Ahmad - rahimahullaah - had been "al-hadd" in the direction of the Throne only, then that would have been known to His servants, for they knew that His hadd in this direction is the Throne. It is known therefore, that the hadd which they do not know (i.e. that which Imaam Ahmad is speaking of, as cited by Abu Ya'laa) is unqualified and not specific to the direction of the Throne.

[The Meaning of This Quote]

By now, from everything which has preceded, this should be clear and it is as follows: When the Jahmiyyah claimed Allaah is not above His Throne, but is in all places, and cannot be distinguished such that it can be said He has a distinct existence - and when it is the belief of all of Muslims that Allaah is above the Throne, the Imaams of the Salaf made a statement affirming a "hadd" (demarcation) for Allaah being above the Throne, and their intent was to simply state that Allaah is distinct from His creation with a hadd that only He knows of, which His creation do not know of and which distinguishes His existence from the existence of what is besides Him. However, some Kalaam Hanbalis (poisoned by the Ash'arites and speaking upon speculation), when they tried to make sense of Imaam Ahmad's affirmation and negation of "hadd", they stated (in one of their opinions) that the "hadd" Imaam Ahmad is speaking of is that which is in the direction of the Throne, but not the other directions, and this is an error, and this is what Ibn Taymiyyah is hinting at in the above comment after quoting Abu Ya'laa. Rather, those who used the word "hadd" against the Jahmiyyah (like Ibn al-Mubarak, Ahmad and Ishaq bin Rahuyah) applied "hadd" unrestrictedly, and simply meant that Allah is above the Throne and His essence is not infinite (as opposed to what the Jahmites were saying) and hence, His essence has a hadd, the reality of which no one knows but Allaah himself, and this is all that these Imaams meant, alongside their affirmation that Allaah is indeed above His Throne, and they never added any further speculative speech or discussion. Rather they spoke with what was sufficient to refute the falsehood of the Jahmiyyah and then remained silent. At this point please remember that we are in the house along with all of Ahl al-Sunnah, and Ibn Kullaab and al-Ash'ari and their early followers and other factions of Kalaam such as the Karraamiyyah and the many other scholars influenced by Kalaam who were all united that Allaah Himself is above the Throne, with His essence. After being united upon this there is discussion between them about language and terminology and expression, "Allah is above the Throne and is not a jism", "Allaah is above the Throne and is a jism (but with the meaning of mawjud)" as the Karraamiyyah said, and "Allaah is above the Throne with a hadd", "Allaah is above the Throne without a hadd" and so on. And remember also that al-Naruiji and the Jahmites who were calling to what amounts to Atheism are outside in the barn with the animal fodder, and they have no place in the discussion at all, rather they snort away in the barn, despised and scorned, out of sight and out of mind. So that is how it is...

[Why Is This Bothersome to Shaykh Aristotle and His Mutakallimin Students From the Hellenized Jews, Christians, Sabeans and the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Ash'ariyyah and Maturidiyyah?]

A person of sound fitrah and reason can grasp what is being said above and there is no caution in any of that and it is nothing but what is contained in the revealed texts, that Allah has a true and real existence, outside of the mind, outside of His creation, with an essence described with attributes, and He informed that He is above His Throne, and thereafter He is not "infinite" with His being otherwise there would be nothing in existence except Allaah, and thus we would be led to the aqidah of Hulool (indwelling) and wahdat ul-wujood (unity of existence) and for that reason some of the Imaams of the Salaf employed certain terms in order to distinguish and protect the belief of the Muslims, hence we find what is related from Ibn al-Mubaarak, Ishaq bin Rahuyah and Imaam Ahmad, and all Ibn Taymiyyah did was to document and clarify their sayings and correct those who wrongly particularized their statements. However, as is usual, the Asharis do not make mention of this, because their intent is to deceive the people and make it look as if Ibn Taymiyyah is the originator of all of this, when in fact, the issues arose in the time of the Salaf in their refutations of the Ahl al-Kalaam.

Once you understand this you can see that their objection to Ahl al-Sunnah arises because they believe the God of Aristotle (in as far as the above descriptions by Aristotle are concerned) is the true and real description of God and that the God of the apparent texts of the Qur'an and Prophetic Sunnah is, to use their evil and wicked words, "a limited body with parts located in space" (which must be given figurative interpretation) and they said this because they placed the kalam and aql of a pagan, star-worshipping disbeliever, above and beyond the revealed texts (naql). Finally, we say to this al-Naruiji' and all other Asharite pretenders (who pretend to follow al-Ash'ari when they are in fact his disputants and disputants to Ibn Kullab and all of their early followers): Distinguish your God for us from one two things at the same time: a) from non-existence and b) from being all of existence. Please write an essay of no more than 1000 words and show us how you would distinguish Allaah from non-existence and from being all of existence - and we only have one condition in what you write: Any quotes you bring can only be from the first 300 centuries hijrah. That's it. Thereafter, the truth will be known whether you are upon the beliefs of the Sunni Muslims and whether you drink from the fountain of revelation in seventh century (CE) Arabia, and the fountain of the Sahabah, Tabi'een, their followers and greatest Imaams of the Ummah in the first three centuries or from the fountain of a star-worshipping idolator of fourth century (BC) Greece, his language and conceptual baggage which came to the Muslims in a box labelled "ilm al-Kalaam", after it had passed through and excreted by the Hellenized Jews, Christians and Sabeans.


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