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Some Revision Of What Took Place Previously and Some Reminders
Three individuals Faqir, Abu Bilal Maliki and Muhammad Fahmi were involved in a scam in trying to discredit the book al-Ibaanah with claims of tampering merely because there appears to be a variation between what is cited by Ibn Asaakir (d 571H) in his book Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftaree and todays printed versions. They had been fed with rotten leftovers by GF Haddaad who was the initiator of this hoax. In particular, they played upon the issue of the variation in the mention of eyes in the dual (aynaan) and the singular (ayn). We covered this in detail (see here, here, here and here) and exposed that charlatanry and showed that this is just a red-herring used to deceive.
Now there are a number of layers of deception involved here so you have to catch them all.
Firstly, these pseudo-Ash'aris do not even affirm the attribute of eye(s) as an attribute of Allaah's essence to begin with, as the standard established Ash'arite view today is these are not from Allaah's attributes since they imply limbs. In this view, today's pseudo-Ash'aris oppose all the early Kullaabi Ash'aris such as al-Ash'ari, Ibn Mahdee al-Tabari, al-Baqillaani and we can include al-Bayhaqi who also affirmed the attribute of eye for Allaah, they affirmed these as actual attributes of the essence although they entered into a methodological departure from the way of the Salaf by making specific negations. However, they never delved into ta'weel nor tafweed in relation to these attributes. So the first thing is that you are not even on our side of the fence on this issue, where there are the Salaf, and those Kullaabi Ash'aris we just mentioned. You are on the other side of the fence, with the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah and the animal fodder.
Now, if you read up on those earlier articles (see series here) you will realize that they were making comparisons between today's published versions of al-Ibaanah which rely upon around six or so manuscripts between them, and between a passage that Ibn Asaakir cited from his copy of al-Ibaanah from the beginning of al-Ibaanah. Now, it so happens that there are also numerous manuscripts of Ibn Asaakir's Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftaree, where this citation is made. And in most of these manuscripts, Ibn Asaakir actually quotes "two eyes". Now this is very, very significant. What this means is that the scam is bigger and deeper and more serious. Because if you were truly and really honest, you would have admitted and said:
Hey, there are numerous manuscripts of Ibn Asaakir's Tabyin in which "two eyes" are mentioned. In fact in most of those manuscripts "two eyes" are mentioned. And so from the angle of academic honesty, we can't really use this as an issue to claim tampering of the text of al-Ibaanah of al-Ash'ari. Rather, what appears to be most correct, when considering all of the evidence together, is that what is correct in al-Ibaanah in those places is the mention of two eyes. This appears to be the case in almost all manuscripts of al-Ibaanah and likewise, this appears the case in all manuscripts of al-Tabyin as well (in which Ibn Asaakir was quoting from his copy of al-Ibaanah). Further, since we see that in al-Maqaalaat al-Ash'ari also mentions "two eyes" and al-Baqillaani also affirms two eyes in his book al-Tamhid, and likewise we even see al-Juwaynee, al-Aamidee, al-Shahrastaanee and al-Baghdaadee all confirming that the earliest Ash'aris affirmed two eyes, then we'll just resign from this scam and drop it alltogether. This scam is unlikely to work because overwhelmingly the evidence is against us.
So you get the idea of what is going on. But these fools decided not to drop it alltogether and opted to get caught out instead with unchanged nappies... (the evil outcome of consuming GF Haddaad's rotten leftovers).
The Various Manuscripts of al-Tabyin
Those involved in publishing Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari - for which numerous manuscripts exist - such as Muhammad Zaahid al-Kawthari, and Ahmad Hijaazee al-Saqaa failed to point out those other manuscripts. And since one is going to publish such an important work, it is from scholarly standards that you actually do a decent job of it, which is to refer to all available manuscripts, and then strive to publish an edition which relies upon as many as possible so that the reader has the most authoratitive text in his hands. And if you can't do that, at least acknowledge the presence of all of these manuscripts. So this was not done. Here are other manuscripts:
In addition to this, there are also citations from the Tabyin by Imaam al-Dhahabi and Ibn al-Qayyim who were citing from manuscripts they had. Note in the Oxford, Leiden, and Leipzig manuscripts the word eye is mentioned in the dual ('aynayn). The other two have not been seen for us to state whether the singular or dual is used. And the same (use of dual) is found in al-Dhahabi's quote in Mukhtasar al-'Uluww (p. 242) and Ibn al-Qayyim in Ijitmaa' Juyush al-Islamiyyah (p. 288, Maktabah al-Rushd, 1995) whose quote is identical to what is below in the Leipzig manuscript. So all the evidence seems to show that al-Kawthari's and al-Saqaa's prints of Tabyin are erroneous in claiming ayn (eye) is mentioned in the singular in Ibn Asaakir's citation, and that two yes (aynayn) is what is correct. And it is on this error that the likes of GF Haddaad and his blind-followers based their scam which you can read about starting with this article and this one and the rest that follow.
The Leipzig Manuscript
This is the opening page for the book:
Here we have the citation from the opening passage of al-Ibaanah:
The part highlighted with red line reads:
And they denied that Allāh has a face, despite His saying, "And the Face of your Lord shall remain (the Face) full of Majesty and Honour." (55:27) and they rejected that Allāh has two hands, despite His saying, "What I created with My Own Two Hands" (38:75), and they denied that He has two eyes, despite His saying, "Floating under our eyes" (54:14)
And here is the other part where two eyes are mentioned in his citation:
The part highlighted with red line reads:
And that Allāh ascended over His Throne, as He said, "The Most Merciful ascended over the Throne" (20:5), and that He has a face, just as He has said, "And the Face of your Lord shall remain (the Face) full of Majesty and Honour." (55:27) and that He has two hands, as He said, "Nay both His Hands are oustretched" (5:64), and He also said, "What I created with My Own Two Hands" (38:75), and that He has two eyes, without kayf, as He said, "Floating under our eyes" (54:14)
It is apparent that in the print editions of Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari (by al-Kawthari, and al-Saqaa), they have not established and verified the true and correct wordings in those two passages from the opening of al-Ibaanah which are cited by Ibn Asaakir, and it is more correct that the actual wording in all cases is "aynayn" (two eyes) as is evident from at least three of the manuscripts and through what is cited by other authorities like al-Dhahabi and Ibn al-Qayyim who were quoting from what they had with them. This means that the hoax and scam of the likes of GF Haddaad and his blind-followers is very apparent in that they tried to use what is really an immaterial matter in the first place (the mention of eye in singular or dual), in order to hoodwink the audience. The scam is made worse by the fact that these pseudo-Asha'rites do not even affirm these sifaat khabariyyah, as in attributes of Allaah's essence, in the first place, such that they should be in any position to be discussing one eye or two eyes. Take a look at what they say about these attributes in this article where we addressed their historical and academic fraud.
To the right is an image of the quote from Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftaree from Ibn al-Qayyim in his book Ijtimaa' Juyoosh al-Islaamiyyah (top) and likewise a quote from the Tabyin by al-Dhahabi (as occurs in Mukhtasar al-Uluww) and they are identical quotes to the two parts above in the Leipzig manuscript.
So we say: If you dont' affirm the attribute of eye for Allaah to begin with as an actual attribute of His essence (which today's Ash'arites do not and further, they make ta'weel of seeing (basr) to mean knowledge (ilm), so they don't really affirm "basr" for Allaah as an attribute), then the scholarly discussion regarding one eye or two eyes in the manuscripts of al-Ibaanah has got nothing to do you with you. You are over yonder on the other side of the fence, with the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah and the mounds of animal fodder. You are not allowed on this side of the fence with the Salaf, Ibn Kullaab, al-Ash'ari and their earliest followers, (whether they affirm eye in the singular or dual), it makes no difference. You are not allowed on this side of the fence to start faking concern over this matter.
Just like in the issue of Nuzool, when your ancestors the Jahmiyyah began to fake concern, "Does Allaah leave His Throne or not?", these doubts were first raised by the Jahmiyyah, because it grieved them that Allaah is above the Throne and that He has actions tied to His will and power (such as al-istiwaa and al-nuzul) which they considered hawaadith (events, occurrences) which clashed with their proof of al-ajsaam wal-a'raad. So the answer to them was that this issue is not for you, because you don't even believe there is a Lord above the Throne to begin with, such that this question should arise for you "Does He leave the Throne or not?" Rather, this is just mischief on your behalf and doubts you are trying to create.
So these are the realities of these people, be not in doubt about it, and they simply play games and make calculated deception and rely upon the naivety of their audience, most of whom will not be in a position to research and verify matters.
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