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Misattributions Against Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal and His Salafi Creed: Part 1 - What is Ascribed to Ahmad Through the Al-Tamimi Family
Posted by Abu.Iyaad, in Articles
Topics: Abu Fadl Al-Tamimi Rizqullah Al-Tamimi Imaam Ahmad Bin Hanbal

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Introduction

Imam Ahmad on Allah and His Attributes

The same snotty-nosed Jahmee kid we dealt with in a previous incident (see the series here), where GF Haddaad had fed them rotten leftovers and then did a runner when their nappies needed changing - well he is back with another caper. He's posted a series of quotes regarding Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal, to misrepresent his creed. So we see the title given as follows:

Imam Ahmad on Allah and His Attributes

And a person would think: Mmm... we are going to see quotes from the famous and well-known close associates of Imaam Ahmad like Al-Khallaal and Harb bin Ismaa'eel al-Kirmaanee and his sons Abdullaah, Saalih, and through the likes of Abu Daawood al-Sijistaanee, or Ishaq bin Mansur al-Kawsaj, or Abu Bakr al-Marroodhee, Ibraaheem al-Harbee or Uthmaan al-Daarimee, or Abu Zur'ah al-Raazee, or Baqee bin al-Mukhallad, or Abu Bakr al-Athram or Muhammad bin Muslim and others (in attributing speech about al-ajsaam wal-a'raad and tarkib and the likes) to Imaam Ahmad - but what do you get? Quotes through Ash'arite sources through Hanbalis who were learning from and influenced by Ash'aris, and who lived 150 years after Imaam Ahmad without any chain of narration to Imaam Ahmad himself. Rather all that is in their two books is "Imaam Ahmad used to say...", "And he used to believe..." And then these are the works that al-Bayhaqi relied upon! So straight away this is talbees (deception) because if you are going to ascribe the language of Kalaam and ajsaam and a'raad to an Imaam amongst the Imaams, you should be doing it through connected chains of narration that go straight back to his associates and companions. Not to narrations which end at kalaam-influenced, Hanbalis (the al-Tamimis, see below) living 150 years after Imaam Ahmad with cordiality and good friendship with the Ash'arites of their times, and who never saw Imaam Ahmad's face for a minute of their lives, let alone experience Imaam Ahmad's very severe positions towards the likes of al-Haarith al-Muhaasibee and Husayn al-Karaabeesee who are the Kullaabi forerunners, predecessors of the Ash'arites themselves(!!) Not everyone who ascribes to Ahmad is upon his actual way, just like not everyone who ascribes to Abu Hanifah, Malik and Shaafi'ee is necessarily upon their way.

But then the poster adds a subtitle and gives his game away from the very beginning:

Quotes Attributed to him by the Ulema

Now pay attention: Quotes "attributed" to him. At least the snotty little Jahmee who wrotes this has been honest and indicated the weakness or outright spuriousness of what he is about to fabricate against Imaam Ahmad's creed through posting dubious narrations. But we think that deep in his soul he knows that the weakness in what he is about to quote and for that reason from the angle of "knowledge-based integrity" he has added this little disclaimer, "Quotes Attributed to him by the Ulema." Yes, why not be a little honest in your dishonesty? You can still deceive, but just be good about it!

The First Quote

So lets take a look at the first quote:

The Imam and hadith master (hafiz) Ahmad ibn al-Husayn al-Bayhaqi (d. 458/1066) relates in his Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad [The memorable actions of Imam Ahmad], through his chain of narrators that:

Ahmad condemned those who said Allah was a "body," saying, "The names of things are taken from the Shari'a and the Arabic language. The language's possessors have used this word [body] for something that has height, breadth, thickness, construction, form, and composition, while Allah Most High is beyond all of that, and may not be termed a "body" because of being beyond any meaning of embodiedness [emphasis mine]. This has not been conveyed by the Shari'a, and so is refuted"

وروى البيهقي في مناقب الإمام أحمد بسنده عن أبي الفضل هذا أنه قال :"أنكر أحمد على من قال بالجسم وقال إن الأسماء مأخوذة من الشريعة واللغة، وأهل اللغة وضعوا هذا الإسم على ذي طول وعرض وسمك وتركيب وصورة وتأليف ، والله تعالى خارج عن ذلك كله فلم يجز أن يسمى جسماً لخروجه عن معنى الجسمية ولم يجيء في الشريعة ذلك فبطل

And we can address this with the following:

Firstly: Note how the Jahmee coward mentions that al-Bayhaqi relates "through his chain of narrators that: Ahmad condemned those who ...", so the English reader gets the impression al-Bayhaqi is quoting a chain of narration directly to Imaam Ahmad. However, in the Arabic we see that al-Bayhaqi is quoting with his chain of narration only to Abu al-Fadl al-Tamimi (d. 410H) who is the one [allegedly] ascribing to Imaam Ahmad what he is ascribing. So who is Abu Fadl al-Tamimi? Well he is from the well known al-Tamimi Hanbalis (his son is Rizqullah al-Tamimi) who were upon Kullaabi views, they denied the sifat khabariyyah, fi'liyyah (imagine them being actually being present in the time of Imaam Ahmad in the presence of Imaam Ahmad), and they kept close company with the likes of al-Baqillaani and also studied with the Ash'arites like Abu Muhammad Ibn al-Labaan (d. 446H) (a student of al-Baqillaani), as did al-Qadee Abu Ya'laa (d. 453) who was also influenced by that Kalaam. So straight away you can now see the route this is coming from. You would do well to read our article on those Hanbalis who strayed from the way of Imaam Ahmad and ascribed to him what he is free of.

Secondly: Pay attention to the Arabic and look at the mistranslation in the text. Here is our translation:

وروى البيهقي في مناقب الإمام أحمد بسنده عن أبي الفضل هذا أنه قال :"أنكر أحمد على من قال بالجسم وقال إن الأسماء مأخوذة من الشريعة واللغة

Al-Bayhaqi narrates in Manaaqib al-Imaam Ahmad, which his chain of narration to this Abu al-Fadl [al-Tamimi] [d. 410H] that he [Abu al-Fadl] said: Ahmad rejected against the one who spoke with al-jism. And he [Abu al-Fadl] said: Indeed the names are taken from the Sharee'ah and the language...

Now you can see the mistranslation from the Jahmites who are trying to put the words of the Kullaabi Ash'ari Hanbali, Abu al-Fadl al-Tamimi, onto Imaam Ahmad. As for the first part, "Ahmad rejected against the one who spoke with al-jism", then there is no rejection against this, as is known to be from the way of Imaam Ahmad in rejecting innovated words and phrases in both affirmation and negation. But what comes next is from Abu al-Fadl al-Tamimi and is the language of Kalaam and it has nothing to do with Imaam Ahmad, however the translator was trying to deceive the audience in his translation, trying to make it appear to be the speech of Imaam Ahmad. So lets look at this separately:

Thirdly: We see in the speech of Abu al-Fadl al-Tamimi the following:

وقال إن الأسماء مأخوذة من الشريعة واللغة، وأهل اللغة وضعوا هذا الإسم على ذي طول وعرض وسمك وتركيب وصورة وتأليف ، والله تعالى خارج عن ذلك كله فلم يجز أن يسمى جسماً لخروجه عن معنى الجسمية ولم يجيء في الشريعة ذلك فبطل

And he [Abu al-Fadl] said: Indeed the names are taken from the Sharee'ah and the language, and the people of the language have use this noun (al-jism) for whatever has length, breadth and depth, composition, form and formation. And Allaah, the Exalted, is outside of all of that. Hence, it is not permissible for Him to be labelled a jism due to Him being outside of the meaning of Jismiyyah (embodiment), and this has not come in the Sharee'ah, hence it is invalid.

There are a number of comments on this:

First, this is not the definition of jism in the Sharee'ah nor the arabic language, rather this definition is a hybrid definition of a number of the definitions of the Ahl al-Kalaam. The word jism only has two meanings, it either refers to the entity itself, or the meaning of thickness, depth, associated with the entity. As for all these other definitions "whatever has length, breadth", "whatever is composed, formed," these are not from its correct definitions in the language.

Second, the manhaj of Imaam Ahmad is to reject the application of innovated labels both in affirmation and negation - just go and ask Husayn al-Karaabeesee (the Kullaabi) and he will tell you how severe Imaam Ahmad was in this regard. And what Abu al-Fadl al-Tamimi is doing here is that he is falling into an innovation that Imaam Ahmad would have rejected just as severely, for he [Abu al-Fadl] then goes on to negate the label of jism from Allaah which too is a reprehensible innovation, since the word "jism" is an ambiguous word by which both truth and falsehood can be intended. For this reason, the Scholars of the Salaf prohibited both affirmation and negation of innovated terms. Our point here is that it is not from the way of Imaam Ahmad to affirm or deny innovated terms, unlike the way of Ahl al-Kalaam. And hence, what Abu al-Fadl al-Tamimi is doing, is stating the way of Imaam Ahmad in rejecting the application of innovated labels, but then falling foul of the way of Imaam Ahmad by making negations of innovated labels in his subsequent innovations. In the debates of Imaam Ahmad with the Jahmiyyah on the issue of the Qur'an, one of the affairs they tried to argue through was the use of the word jism, and Imaam Ahmad would say, "I don't know what you mean by the word jism, all I know is what Allaaah says..." and what is similar to this speec, so he would not enter their deception and be fooled by them.

Fourthly: There was also a couple of other narrations posted:

In I'tiqad Imam Ahmad bi Riwaya Tamimi (page 4) the Imam is quoted as saying

Allah ta'ala has Yadayn. They are attributes of His Essence which are not two limbs, nor two composite parts, nor a body...

وكان يقول إن لله تعالى يدين وهما صفة له في ذاته ليستا بجارحتين وليستا بمركبتين و لا جسم ولا من جنس الأجسام ولا من جنس المحدود والتركيب ولا الأبعاض والجوارح

As we said Abu al-Fadl al-Tamimi (d. 410H) is not citing with an isnaad, in this book all he does is to say "Imaam Ahmad used to say..." and then he puts his own interpretations of what he thinks Imaam Ahmad was upon, when the reality is otherwise. And this statement is not from the statement of Imaam Ahmad. And the one who posted this material already knows this, and you can tell this from the language used, "In I'tiqad Imam Ahmad bi Riwaya Tamimi (page 4) the Imam is quoted as saying." So those who translate and post this material know inside their souls that they are munaafiqoon (in action) when they reject Ahmad's book al-Radd alal-Jahmiyyah with the claim that it's isnaad to Imaam Ahmad is weak, and then they are happy to deceive the people by ascribing matters of creed to Imaam Ahmad without any isnaad (and a gap of 150 years). Note here they did not translate the full alleged statement, because if they did, doubt would be cast in the audience as to whether Imaam Ahmad actually used that type of language, and that would give the game away. Let's translate it fully, to show what they missed out:

وكان يقول إن لله تعالى يدين وهما صفة له في ذاته ليستا بجارحتين وليستا بمركبتين و لا جسم ولا من جنس الأجسام ولا من جنس المحدود والتركيب ولا الأبعاض والجوارح

And he used to say: Allaah, the Exalted has two hands and they are an attribute of His in His essence. They are not two limbs and nor two composite parts, and nor a body (jism) and nor from the genus of ajsaam (bodies) and from the genus of mahdud (confined, delimited things) and tarkib (composition) and nor parts (ab'aad) or limbs (jawaarih).

This is the language of pure Ahl al-Kalaam, or those affected and influenced by them and Imaaam Ahmad is exonerated from this type of innovatory speech. But as we said, you can tell from the language of these academic fraudsters that inside their souls they know this is not really the speech of Imaam Ahmad, but they are trying it on and trying to deceive the audience, because the audience mostly will not know any better. That's why these people really are like scorpions like our Salaf said, evil indeed is their way...

Summary

We see here a number of mistranslations in this text that deceive the reader into thinking that this is a direct citation from Imaam Ahmad with an isnaad going all the way back to Ahmad when that is false, and also making it appear that the elaboration of Abu al-Fadl al-Tamimi in that above quote is the actual speech of Imaam Ahmad and that is also false for the reasons explained. The moral of this story is - as we have stated before - never, never, ever, ever, trust a contemporary Jahmite Ash'ari in citation. And never, ever, ever, trust a Jahmite Ash'ari's reading or interpretations of the statements of our Sunni, Athari scholars. They [the Jahmites posing as "Ash'aris"] are diseased with Kalaam and we don't want that disease being thrown upon the statements of our Scholars. Finally, the creed of Imaam Ahmad is not taken through anyone except his famous and well-known associates who are plenty and abundant.


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