Thursday, 21 February 2019   







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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Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi Clarifies the Methodology of the Salaf Regarding the Attributes And Refutes the Mu'attilah, Mufawwidah, Mu'awwilah (the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Ash'ariyyah) and the Mujassimah and Mushabbihah
Posted by Abu.Iyaad, in Articles
Topics: Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi Sifaat Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi Sifaat

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Imaam adh-Dhahabi in his book, "Mukhtasar al-Uluww" has documented the statement of al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (d. 463H) regarding the Attributes of Allaah. The Ash'aris claim that al-Khatib was an Ash'ari or had leanings towards the Ash'aris. And it is from the habit of the Ash'aris that where there is even just a single expression from a Scholar that can be construed to tend towards their madhhab (even if the Scholar actually intended something entirely different to what they crave) they include him to be amongst the "Ashaa'irah" to lengthen that list a little - and when one looks into the actual overall madhhab of that Scholar and his creed as a whole, we find their claim to be spurious. The case of al-Khatib al-Baghdadi is a prime example.

Adh-Dhahabi brought the saying of al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (Mukhtasar al-uluww, p. 273, no. 332):

This creed of Khatib al-Baghdadi is also found in a single preserved manuscript in adh-Dhaahiriyyah Book House in Damascus, collection no. 16.

The translation of what adh-Dhahabi has quoted from al-Khatib is:

Al-Mubarak bin Ali as-Sayrafi said in his book: Muhammad bin Mazrooq az-Za'farani informed us: Al-Hafidh Abu Bakr al-Khatib (rahimahullah) informed us, saying:

As for what has been reported of such Attributes in the Authentic Compilations (as-Sunan as-Sihaah) - the madhhab of the Salaf - may Allaah be pleased with them all - is to affirm them, and to carry them upon their apparent meanings (alaa dhawaahirihaa) and to deny [knowledge of] their kaifiyyah (their true reality) and [to negate] tashbeeh (resemblance) from them.

And the principle in this matter is: That speaking about the Attributes is a branch of speaking about the Essence (Dhaat) and thus follows it exactly and takes its example.

So when it is known that [making] affirmation of the Lord of all the Worlds - the Mighty and Majestic - that it is an affirmation of existence, not an affirmation of defining the reality [of His existence] (tahdeed) and how it is (takyeef) [in reality] , then it is the same for affirming His Attributes. Indeed, it is an affirmation of their existence, not an affirmation of defining their reality (tahdeed) and how they are (takyeef) [in reality].

So when we say: Allaah has a hand, hearing and seeing, then these are Attributes which Allaah the Exalted has affirmed for Himself and we do not say: The meaning of hand is 'power' and nor do we say: The meaning of hearing and seeing is 'knowledge'. And nor do we say: They are limbs and instruments for action. And we do not resemble them with [those] hands, [and faculties of] hearing and sight which are the limbs and the instruments of action [in created beings].

And we say: Affirming them is obligatory because at-Tawqeef (the texts of the Qur'aan and the Sunnah) have reported them and it is obligatory to negate tashbeeh (resemblance) from them, due to the saying of the Blessed and Exalted:

There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. (Shooraa 42:11)

and His saying - the Mighty and Majestic -:

And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him. (Ikhlaas 112:4)

And adh-Dhahabi commented on the saying of al-Khatib, saying:

And the likes of this saying has been said by one of the notable [Scholars] before al-Khatib. And this is what I know from the madhhab of the Salaf. And what is intended by "their apparent (meanings)" is that there are no hidden meanings (baatin) to the words of the Book and the Sunnah - other than (the meanings) designated for them (by convention), as has been said by Malik and others, "al-Istiwaa is known". And the saying regarding hearing, seeing, knowledge, speech, will, face and so on is the same. These things are known and so we do not need any (further) clarification and explanation. However, the kayf (true reality) in all of them (the attributes) is unknown to us. And Allaah knows best.

And al-Khatib (rahimahullah) was the second Daraqutni, there was not in Bagdhad after him anyone like him in knowledge of this affair. He died in 463H and his first hearings (of hadeeth) were after 400H.

Notes and Comments

Point 1: The sifaat Khabariyyah have been related in the Six Books of Hadeeth

Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi said:

أما الكلام في الصفات ، فإن ما روي منها في السنن الصحاح

As for what has been reported of such Attributes in the Authentic Compilations (as-Sunan as-Sihaah)...

The Ash'ariyyah (and all the Jahmites in general) often find fault with some of the books compiled by the Scholars of Ahl us-Sunnah, and claim that they are "compilations of tashbeeh and tajseem" merely because they included within these books the authentic ahaadeeth that are reported abundantly and which make mention of Allaah's Attributes, such as hearing (as-sam'), seeing (al-basr), face (al-wajh), hands (yadaan) and the likes.

However, what they cannot deny is the fact that the authors of the six books of hadeeth have dedicated specific chapters and books in their works to refuting the Jahmiyyah and their likes from the deniers. So we see, "Kitaab ut-Tawheed", and "ar-Radd 'alal-Jahmiyyah" and titles similar to these in the two Saheehs and the four Sunan - and in which their authors - may Allaah have mercy upon them all - refute the ta'teel and ta'weels of the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah and their rejection of the Attributes of of the Essence such as Face, Hands, Eyes and so on.

Thus, it is undeniable that these reports are authentically related from the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), and that the Ummah as a whole has taken them with acceptance. And any charges of Anthropomorphism leveled against the later Scholars upon the way of the Salaf who compiled such ahaadeeth into books dedicated specifically to the subject, must also be leveled against the authors of the six books of hadeeth for the reason that their authors were refuting the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah in their ta'teel and ta'weel of the sifaat Dhaatiyyah, such as Face, Hands, Eyes. The Later Ash'aris took the same path of denial, following the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah in that - opposing thereby the path of the earlier Ash'aris.

Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi here has also demolished and laid to waste one of the main usool (foundations) of the Jahmiyyah (and Mu'tazilah and Ash'ariyyah) which is that the khabar ul-waahid do not provide what amounts to "ilm" (knowledge) and that they cannot be accepted in the affairs of creed.

So after establishing that these are authentic ahaadeeth (that cannot be rejected) al-Khatib then outlines the madhhab of the Salaf with respect to them, in that their way is the truth and is to be followed:

Point 2: The Madhhab of the Salaf Regarding the Attributes

Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi said:

فمذهب السلف رضوان الله عليهم إثباتها وإجراؤها على ظواهرها ، ونفي الكيفية والتشبيه عنها

... the madhhab of the Salaf - may Allaah be pleased with them all - is to affirm them, and to carry them upon their apparent meanings (alaa dhawaahirihaa) and to deny [knowledge of] their kaifiyyah (their true reality) and to negate tashbeeh (resemblance) for them.

And here, al-Khatib has laid down four principles that characterize the position of the Salaf towards these attributes.

  • Al-Ithbaat which is accepting and affirming these attributes on account of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) having spoken with them, and as transmitted in the books of hadeeth - and al-Khatib does not distinguish between the mutawaatir and the khabar ul-waahid - unlike the Mu'tazilah and Ash'ariyyah.

  • Ijraa ala adh-dhawaahir which is to take them upon their apparent meanings - and in this is a refutation by al-Khatib of those who claim that the apparent meanings a) necessitate tashbeeh or b) are not intended. Rather, the apparent meanings are affirmed whilst negating tashbeeh from them is what al-Khatib speaks of and not rejecting the apparent meanings because they give the presumption of tashbeeh. And this is further corroborated by the fact that al-Khatib rejects ta'weel of these texts as occurs in his speech a little later. And what al-Khatib has said here is the very thing meant by the Salaf who said regarding such texts, "Pass them on as they have come..."

  • Negation of kaifiyyah, which is having knowledge of the kaifiyyah, which is the true reality of the attributes. This is not negation that a kaifiyyah and haqeeqah exists, for all of Allaah's Attributes have a true reality of which only He knows and that knowledge is denied for the creation. Negating that there is a kaifiyyah and a haqeeqah (true reality) is a negation of the attribute itself. And this point is an important point that helps distinguish the way of the Salaf from the way of the deniers of the attributes, since the deniers of the Attributes claim that there is no kaifiyyah (or haqeeqah) that exists for such attributes - this is a clear invalidation of the attribute itself.

  • Negation of tashbeeh, which is resembling the realities of the Attributes to what is found within the creation of such attributes, such as when it is said, "Hearing like my hearing", "Seeing like my seeing", "Hand like my hand", or "Face like my face" and so on.

Point 3: The Principle Regarding the Attributes Follows on from the Principle Regarding the Essence

Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi continued:

والأصل في هذا أن الكلام في الصفات فرع على الكلام في الذات ، ويحتذي في ذلك حذوه ومثاله ، فإذا كان معلوماً أن إثبات رب العالمين عز وجل إنما هو إثبات وجود لا إثبات كيفية ، فكذلك إثبات صفاته إنما هو إثبات وجود ، لا إثبات تحديد وتكييف

And the principle in this matter is: That speaking about the Attributes is a branch of speaking about the Essence (Dhaat) and thus follows it exactly and takes its example.

So when it is known that affirming the (existence) of the Lord of all the Worlds - the Mighty and Majestic - that it is an affirmation of existence, not an affirmation of defining the reality [of His existence] (tahdeed) and how it is (takyeef) [in reality] , then it is the same for affirming His Attributes. Indeed, it is an affirmation of their existence, not an affirmation of defining their reality (tahdeed) and how they are (takyeef) [in reality].

This statement of al-Khatib (rahimahullaah) is very profound if you care to reflect over it because it refutes all the various factions on a number of levels, and leaves them absolutely no room or space to budge, not even an inch, in any direction. Basically you are subdued and encircled from every angle, al-Khatib said what he said out of deep profound knowledge - you can't escape, run or hide.

Here al-Khatib has established that just like Allaah's Essence exists, and that it has a reality that cannot be defined, then likewise for the attributes that have come in the revealed texts, they have a real existence. And these texts include the ahaadeeth regardless of whether they are mutawaatir or aahaad - as has preceded - since he made reference to the Sihaah Sittah in their generality. So affirmation of these attributes is an affirmation of their existence, that they exist and are true and real.

And here are the specific rebuttals contained in this speech of al-Khateeb (rahimahullaah):

  • Rebuttal of the people of explicit ta'teel and this is clear and manifest.

  • Rebuttal of those who claim that this affirmation is merely an affirmation that "the text and wording exists". Pay attention here, this is one of the secret hideouts of the Mu'attilah and this is how they deceive people. They claim that the way of the Salaf was to acknowledge that the "text" exists, not that they affirmed the attribute actually exists in reality. And this is how they fraudulently try to interpret the saying of Imaam Maalik, "al-Istiwaa is known, and its kayf (how it is) is unknown", so they say Imaam Maalik is simply saying, in meaning, that "the verse mentioning istiwaa is known", i.e. we know the verse is there, and it mentions "istiwaa" - and this is what they mean - and this is blatant lie against Imaam Maalik. They (the Jahmiyyah) intend "affirmation of the existence of the text", whereas al-Khatib al-Baghdadi cleaned out their secret hideout with a single sweep saying that it is "ithbaat wujood" (affirmation of actual true and real existence of the attribute itself) just like it is for Allaah's Essence. So walillaahil-hamd, al-Khatib has destroyed one of their main Taaghootee principles by which they try to deceive the people away from the truth - may Allaah reward this great Imaam and have mercy upon him - and with this, he has also clarified the statement of Imaam Maalik (rahimahullaah).

  • Rebuttal of the people of ta'weel who try to rebut this affirmation of existence (ithbaat wujood) by altering the meaning of the text to something else, for when they do this, they have fallen foul of what al-Khateeb said at the beginning, that the madhhab of the Salaf is to carry them upon their apparent meanings. This rebuttal is further emphasized when he gives an example of their ta'weel of "hand" to "qudrah" (power) in what follows of his speech. Further, they were not ordered except to merely negate tashbeeh and takyeef from the texts, not to negate the meanings they came with by coming up with their own meanings, and for which Allaah sent down no authority and revealed no knowledge (to them) as to whether these meanings are what He intended or not. It this behaviour that is intended by the sayings that have come from the Salaf "...bilaa ma'naa (without meaning)" - meaning, that we leave the texts as they are, upon the apparent meanings they came with, and not devise our own meanings - which is what the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah were doing when the likes of these statements were made by the Salaf in the second and third centuries.

  • Rebuttal of the people of tafweed - who try to rebut the affirmation of existence (ithbaat wujood) by firstly claiming the apparent meaning is not intended (already refuted by al-Khateeb earlier on), and thereafter claim we don't know of any meaning for it, and we entrust its knowledge to Allaah. So here they have rejected the affirmation of existence (wujood) by rejecting the text has any known meaning at all - and as for their claim of submitting its knowledge to Allaah then it means Allaah has revealed no knowledge to us about it at all in reality - and thus they have emphasized their bold rejection of the affirmation of existence (ithbaat wujood) that al-Khatib has affirmed.

  • Rebuttal of the people of Tajseem and tashbeeh who - after making the affirmation of existence for the attributes - define Allaah's attributes by specifying the "howness" (kaifiyyah) and defining their realities (tahdeed). And we will look at this matter with further details.

Important Note Regarding the Issue of Tashbeeh

The issue of tashbeeh needs a little explanation because it is the crucial point around which great confusion lies and it is the arena of the dispute between the Salaf and their opposers from the various factions of the Mu'attilah. So regarding this:

When we say "hearing" and "seeing" and "speech" and "life" and "knowledge" and so on then we only know of the meanings of these things through what we directly see and experience in observable existence. And if had not been that we witness and observe these things first with our perceptive faculties and then acquire them as concepts and meanings in the mind, we would not be able to have knowledge of or understand anything that we cannot directly see.

If this was not the case (i.e. the universal meanings and concepts arising in the mind on account of what is observed) - then knowledge would be limited to only what is directly perceived with the five sense and we could not know or affirm the existence of, or understand anything we have not directly seen.

The Soul and Its Attributes

Following on from that, to illustrate with an example, the soul (ar-rooh, an-nafs), then we know it exists (mawjood), it is living (hayy), it knows, it hears and sees and so on - so in the mind these meanings are clearly understood (existence, life, knowledge, hearing, seeing) but because one has not seen the soul directly or something like it then two things are denied:

  • takyeef, describing how this soul and its attributes are
  • tahdeed, defining in words, the precise reality of this soul

So this is what is impossible for us to know and define. However, at the same time, we clearly understand in our minds and we are able to distinguish in our minds between each of the meanings of "life" and "hearing" and "seeing" and "speech" - and all these meanings are clear in our minds and are separate and distinct from each other. Yet our minds are not able to make takyeef or tahdeed of the soul and its life, knowledge, hearing and seeing and other attributes affirmed for it in the revealed texts. This is because we can only know the reality (haqeeqah, kaifiyyah) of something if we have a) seen it directly, or b) seen its like - and both these are denied for the soul.

And the same applies to attribute such as face (wajh) and hand (yad) and the other attributes - and the Salaf never distinguished between the attributes of hearing and seeing, and the likes of face, hands and so on as it relates to Allaah the Most High - and this is plain and manifest in all their works and in the books of compilation of hadeeth as has preceded.

Example of the Attribute of Hand

To illustrate with an example, when we say "(yad) hand" there are two things - a concept, meaning and then added to that is the takyeef and tahdeed, so we say the takyeef of "hand" as we see it in the creation, and its tahdeed is that it consists of bones, flesh, blood, blood vessels, skin and so on, and it can grasp and also be outstretched. The manner in which it grasps and outstretched follows on from its takyeef. However, removing the takyeef from our minds, we still understand a general universal concept of hand and we can distinguish that meaning in our minds, devoid of takyeef and tahdeed, from the meanings of "face" and "hearing" and "seeing" and so on - just like in our minds we can conceive of the concept or meaning of "hearing" whilst distinguishing it from "seeing" or "face" or "hand" in our minds, disassociated from any takyeef.

So with respect to Allaah's Attribute of Hand, the hands that we have and see in the creation, then they have a kayf (how they are) and a hadd (description in words of their reality), but as for Allaah's Hand, then it does not have that kayf of the hands of the created beings, such as being made up of bones, flesh, skin, ligaments, blood vessels and so on - this is the takyeef for what is found in the creation. And so we negate that the haqeeqah (reality) of Allaah's Hand has this kayf and we negate having any knowledge of the actual kayf and the actual haqeeqah (reality) of Allaah's Hand. And alongside all of this, we can affirm and clearly distinguish in our minds the concept and meaning of "hand" from other meanings such such as "hearing", "seeing", "life", "face" and so on.

It is understanding this point here, that will allow us to truly understand the position of the Salaf, and in fact of those Early Ash'aris as well who were following the creed of Ibn Kullaab (d. 240H) - such as al-Qadi Abu Bakr al-Baqillani (d. 403H)- who affirmed the sifaat Dhaatiyyah such as Face, Hands and Eyes. They did not reject these attributes and nor make ta'weel of them and nor consider it tashbeeh or Tajseem to affirm them. They rejected the Sifaat Fi'liyyah (those attributes tied to Allaah's will and power), which to them necessitate occurrences (hawaadith) and which they could not reconcile with their (flawed) intellectual proof of "hudooth ul-ajsaam" which they, unfortunately, made to be the foundation of the religion. Despite that, they actually refuted the Mu'tazilah and their allegations of tashbeeh and Tajseem, and their ta'weels of these attributes. The Later Ash'aris tended back towards the views of the Mu'tazilah and Jahmiyyah, and thus they began speaking with speech of the Mu'tazilah. Now, it is extremely shameful on the one hand, and disgraceful on the other, that most naive Ash'aris do not know this. We will quote al-Baqillani (d. 403H) a little later inshaa'Allah on this subject.

In short - the failure to distinguish between the ma'naa (meaning) on the one hand and the takyeef on the other is what has made the Later Ash'aris to simply follow in the footsteps of the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah before them, despite the fact that the Early Ash'aris affirmed the attributes of Face, Hands and Eyes without ta'weel or tafweed whilst at the same time refuting the ta'weels and accusations of Tajseem made against them by the Mu'tazilah and the Jahmiyyah for affirming such attributes! (See an example here from al-Baqillani). The Early Ash'aris were upon the creed of Ibn Kullaab - before the likes of al-Juwaynee (d. 478H) took much of this creed back in the direction of the Mu'tazilah and Jahmiyyah - and thus they affirmed these attributes for Allaah, following the Kullaabiyyah in that.

Point 4: Refutation of the Ta'weels of the Later (Jahmite) Ash'aris

Al-Khatib then said:

فإذا قلنا : لله تعالى يد وسمع وبصر ، فإنما هي صفات أثبتها الله تعالى لنفسه ، ولا نقول : إن معنى اليد القدرة ، ولا إن معنى السمع والبصر العلم ، ولا نقول : إنها جوارح ، ولا نشبهها بالأيدي والأسماع والأبصار التي هي جوارح وأدوات للفعل

So when we say: Allaah has a hand, hearing and seeing, then these are attributes which Allaah the Exalted has affirmed for Himself and we do not say: The meaning of hand is 'power' and nor do we say: The meaning of hearing and seeing is 'knowledge'. And nor do we say: They are limbs and instruments for action. And we do not resemble them with [those] hands, [and faculties of] hearing and sight which are the limbs and the instruments of action [in created beings].

Here al-Khatib has laid down some important issues:

  • In the examples he has given from Allaah's attributes he mentioned "hand (yad)" alongside "hearing" and "seeing". This is a rebuttal of those Jahmites who attempt to distinguish between what they believe to give the presumption of a "limb" and what does not give the presumption of a "limb". So al-Khatib has closed the door for them and sealed their deception for good. These people have problems with these attributes because the sickness originated in their minds, and they were not able to distinguish, in their minds, between the meaning on the one hand and the takyeef and tahdeed on the other - and thus, they imposed the takyeef and tahdeed in their minds upon the revealed texts, then they accused Ahl us-Sunnah with their own sickness, which Ahl us-Sunnah are free of. So al-Khatib, walillaahil-hamd did not leave any doors for anyone - neither a Mu'attil nor a Mushabbih.

  • You need to really carefully reflect upon this part of what al-Khatib has said because it pulls out from the very roots, and demolishes, annihilates, pulverizes, turns to dust, and renders obsolete one of the major misconceptions of the later (Jahmite) Ash'aris (those who left the Kullaabi creed on the sifaat Dhaatiyyah and went towards the Mu'tazili Jahmee creed). Al-Khatib said (in relation to the attributes of Hand, Hearing and Seeing of Allaah):

    ولا نشبهها بالأيدي، والأسماع، والأبصار التي هي جوارح، وأدوات للفعل

    And we do not resemble them (i.e. Allaah's Attributes of Hand, Hearing and Seeing) with [those] hands, [and faculties of] hearing and sight which are the limbs and the instruments of action [in created beings]

    Recall that the Ash'aris affirm the attributes of hearing (as-sam') and seeing (al-basr) and recall that they attempt to make a distinction between these attributes and those others which they claim give the presumption of Tajseem and tashbeeh, such as Hand, Face, Eyes and so on. Here, al-Khatib has used the attributes of "hearing" and "seeing" as examples and put them alongside the attribute of "hands", and treated them all as "limbs" and "instruments of action" in the context of created beings and has stated that we don't resemble the same attributes which exist for Allaah with these attributes which are but the limbs and instruments of action in the created beings. So he has equated "hearing" and "seeing" with "hand" in the course of his discussion. What this means is that the Ash'aris must either affirm the attributes such as Face, Hands, Eyes and so on, alongside "hearing", "seeing" without ta'weel and tafweed, or just reject "hearing" amd "seeing" outright for the same reason that they reject "Face", "Hands" and so on. So take note of what the words of al-Khatib contain of completely subduing and encircling the Mu'attilah, closing all the doors and openings, and not giving even an inch of space to move - walillaahil-hamd. So he has demolished that false distinction the Ash'arites attempt to make between the attributes of hearing, seeing, speech and between face, hands, eyes and so on.

  • Al-Khatib has refuted the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah and Ash'ariyyah, and in particular the Ash'ariyyah by giving two examples of their ta'weels. The ta'weel of "hand" to mean "power" and the ta'weel of hearing and seeing to mean "knowledge" which is the view of some of the Ash'aris who say that Allaah being Samee' (hearing) and Baseer (seeing) actually goes back to Allaah being Aalim (knowing). Although the Ash'aris differ on this matter, their view amounts to the saying that "hearing" and "seeing" are both "knowledge" - refer to the book "Kitaab Lubaab ul-Uqool" (p. 213-318) of Yusuf bin Muhammad al-Mukalaatee (d. 626H). So they make ta'weel of not just "hand" - upon their false presumption of tashbeeh - but also of hearing and seeing to "knowledge", although in the latter case it is for a different reason to what al-Khatib has mentioned here (we can address this in a separate article). Nevertheless, they are rebutted by al-Khatib.

  • Al-Qadi Abu Bakr al-Baqillani said in refutation of the Mu'tazilah, in his book "Kitaab ut-Tamheed" (see this article here for full details):

    "And if someone said: What has led you to deny that His Face and Hand is a limb when you do not understand hand as an attribute, and face as an attribute except [in the form of a] limb? It is said to him: That is not necessitated, just like it is not necessitated when we do not understand a living, knowing, able (being) except to be a body (jism) that we, us and you, should judge Allah with the same.

    And just like it is not necessitated when He is established by His own Essence (qaa'iman bi dhaatihi) that He is substance and body just because we, and you, do not find anything established by itself (qaa'imun bi-nafsihi) in what we (outwardly) observe except that it is like that (i.e. Substance and body).

    And the answer to them is likewise if they say: It becomes necessary that His knowledge, life and speech and all of His attributes belonging to His Essence (dhaat) are non-essential incidental attributes (a'raad), genuses, or occurrences (hawaadith), or changes, or coalesce (merge) in Him, or are in requirement of a heart, and they adduced the existence (wujood) [that they observe] as argument [in this regard] "

    And you can read more from al-Baqillani (d. 403H) and the earlier Ash'aris who were upon the creed of Ibn Kullaab (d. 240H) here and here. As you can see in this statement here, al-Baqillani, has exposed the accusation of today (Jahmite) Ash'aris against those upon the creed of the Salaf as an outright intellectual fraud.

  • Al-Khatib has also refuted the Mushabbihah by rejecting resemblance of the "Hand", "Hearing" and "Seeing" of Allaah, the Most High, to the "hands", "hearing" and "seeing" of whose takyeef and tahdeed we have direct knowledge and can see and observe.

Point 5: Summary of the Methodology of the Salaf

Al-Khatib continues:

ونقول : إنما وجب إثباتها ، لأن التوقيف ورد بها ووجب نفي التشبيه عنها لقوله وتعالى : ليس كمثله شيء وهو السميع البصير وقوله : ولم يكن له كفوا أحد

And we say: Affirming them is obligatory because at-Tawqeef (the texts of the Qur'aan and the Sunnah) have reported them and it is obligatory to negate tashbeeh (resemblance) from them, due to the saying of the Blessed and Exalted:

There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. (Shooraa 42:11)

and His saying - the Mighty and Majestic -:

And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him. (Ikhlaas 112:4)

Here al-Khatib has simply affirmed that the methodology of the Salaf was the obligation of affirming these attributes (with an affirmation of existence) coupled with the obligation of negating tashbeeh - and this is the way of the Salaf.

As for the way of the Innovators, then their way is to:

  • Claim that there is the presumption of tashbeeh in the apparent meanings of the revealed texts - that's because in their minds, they could not separate between the ma'naa (meaning), and the kayf (how something is), and they thought that the kayf is the actual meaning - and they did not heed the two verses mentioned by al-Khatib.

  • Following on from the mistake above, to then reject those apparent meanings, and in turn to specify their own meaning (ta'weel), or to claim its true intended meaning (after rejecting its apparent meaning) is not known to us (tafweed).

And al-Khatib has closed the doors for these people in what are very concise, very powerful words. And the strangest thing is that the Ash'aris claim al-Khatib was an Ash'ari! Absolved and free is al-Khatib from their desires.

What adh-Dhahabi has quoted from al-Khatib is just part of his treatise on the Attributes, and inshaa'Allaah, we will bring the passage that remains, and treat that in a separate article as a continuation of this article.


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