Aqidah Gems From Imam al-Tabari's Works! Part 1 - Al-Tabari's Proof for Allaah Being the First, Before Everything And His Affirmation of the Sifaat Khabariyyah and Sifaat Fi'liyyah
Posted by Abu.Iyaad on Monday, January, 03 2011 and filed under Articles
Key topics: Ibn Jarir Al-Tabari Muhdath Haadith


When a Jahmite is bold enough to lie against Allaah that He is not above His Throne, and does not have the attributes of face, hands and eyes (all as attributes of His essence) despite Allah having affirmed that for Himself and the entirety of the Salaf (and the very early Kullaabis and Ash'aris) having taken all of that with acceptance (with negation of tamtheel and without any ta'weel and tafweed), and similarly when a Jahmite belies the Messenger (alayhis salaam) in these matters, then it is of no surprise that this Jahmite will think anything of lying upon the Salafi scholars and attributing to them what they are free of or twisting their words upon other than what they meant or decontextualizing their statements in order deceive the unsuspecting audience. This is not surprising to say the least. So we have one of these such Jahmites who tried it on with the following:

First of all note how there are not any references given, as in page numbers and editions, which is common practice with these people when it comes to these particular types of citations. But it makes sense, if you want to commit a crime, you've got to make sure you make it as difficult as possible to unravel, so you can't really fault the Jahmee for this. They need to make it as difficult as possible for people to go and verify for themselves and to see what is actually being said. They drop a few quotations, the audience who does not know any better, laps it up like milk, and the shyster will even receive a few pats on the back through the comments section, "Hey, well done, I am learning so much!" So this is the type of operational scam that is going on here.

Further, many of these people themselves are complete ignoramuses, they don't even have a clue about their own theology, but they think they know it. And with this flawed, deficient understanding of their own theology, they then approach the sayings of the Salafi scholars, only to completely misunderstand and misapply them. So this is the type of clown we are dealing with here. For an in-depth illustration of what has just been mentioned in this paragraph, please study the antics of this clown which we covered in detail. That will give you a standard benchmark with which to judge the circus performances that these Jahmites are doing these days.

Now this shyster has brought five or so matters in the above post and we will try to address them one by one inshaa'Allaah.

Ibn Jareer al-Tabari and Demonstrating That Allaah is the First Before Whom There is None, Who Originated Everything

The first of these doubts the shyster tried to bring, by presenting one sentence, clipped and isolated from an entire discussion, relates to a demonstration of Allaah originating all things. Here is what this person quoted (as you can see above):

-Imam Tabari says in his Muqaddimah to his Tarikh, "That (essence) which is not devoid of al-Hadath (accidents) there is no doubt that it is Muhdath (has a beginning)." A jahil has said that this statement is that of Ahlul Bida' Mutakallimin, and has stated that the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah have obtained this statement not because it is rationally correct but from Jahm intending thereby that Maturidis and Asharis are descendents of Jahm! What ignorance!

As pointed out earlier, note how there is no reference given. It's deliberate. As for what is stated, we have to really look at the entire passage to see what is going on here, (we will do that in a moment), but what this ignoramus is trying to do here is to confuse between the Jahmee, Mu'tazilee, Kullaabee, Karraamee, Ash'ari, Maturidi, Saalimee principle of "Whatever is not devoid of hawaadith (events, occurrences) is itself Haadith (originated)" with a statement that Ibn Jareer made when speaking of the origination of an entity ('ayn, pl. a'yaan) by virtue of action being performed upon it, such that it is Muhdath (brought about by an agent). These are two separate matters.

The Full Passage from Ibn Jareer al-Tabari

This statement occurs in Tareekh al-Tabari (known as Tareekh al-Rusul wal-Muluk) with tahqiq of Muhammad Abu al-Fadl Ibraaheem, Dar al-Ma'aarif, 2nd edition (1/28). Let's show the entire passage here:

Let's explain what al-Tabari is putting across, his argument here is about Allah being the first before everything and that everything was brought about through His power, and that everything that is originated then it is undoubtedly through the action of an external agent:

He begins with a chapter title, "The Statement Regarding the Indication that Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, the Eternal, the First Before [Every]thing and That He is the Originator of Everything By His Power, Exalted Be His Remembrance" and then proceeds to explain that everything in the universe from what can be directly observed or not directly observed is either a jism or a meaning residing in a jism and that the jism is either combined (through formation) or separated (through separation). He says that both these meanings are presumed for a body, where one exists (e.g. separation), the other can be presumed for it (i.e. plausibility of combination), and that when one follows the other (i.e. a body is formed through combination, whilst previously being separated), then it shows recency (Haadith). What al-Tabari is alluding to here, is the actions of combination and separation that are from Allaah and which bring about the recent origination of entities (a'yaan). Within this context he says:

So when the affair is like this for whatever is in the universe, and the ruling of what is not observed [from the universe] and what is from the genus of what we observe is in the meaning of either a jism or what is established in a jism, and [when] there is no doubt that that which is not devoid of recency (origination) is brought about (Muhdath) through the [act of] combining of the one who combined it, if it is combined, or [through] the [act] of separating of one who separated it, if it is separated...

Note here that in this last sentence, al-Tabari is saying that everything that is not devoid of recent origination (hadath) - which is everything besides Allaah - then there is no doubt that it was brought about through the actions of an external agent, and this is very different to the Jahmee, Taghootee principle, "Whatever is not devoid of hawaadith is itself haadith" and by which they mean that anything having attributes (labelled as a'raad) or actions (labelled as hawaadith) is itself originated, and on account of which the Ahl al-Kalaam, to varying degrees, deny for Allaah what He affirmed for Himself, based on their differences as to what can be said to be a'raad (incidental attributes). Hence, there is a difference between what al-Tabari is saying:

ما لم يخل عن الحدث لا شك أنه محدث بتأليف مألف له إن كان مجتمعا وتفريق مفرق له إن كان مفترقا

There is no doubt that that which is not devoid of being originated is brought about (Muhdath) through the [act of] combining of the one who combined it if it is combined, or [through] the [act] of separating of one who separated it if it is separated.

And between the taaghoot of the Jahmiyyah (and their offshoots) which is the foundation of their ta'teel:

ما لا يخلو عن الحوادث فهو حادث

Whatever is not devoid of hawaadith [meaning attributes and actions] is itself originated (Haadith).

And al-Tabari, as we shall see, affirms all of Allaah's attributes and likewise Allaah's actions, like al-istiwaa' and al-nuzul and he refutes the Ahl al-Kalaam on these matters, and this is found in his book al-Tabseer Fee Ma'aalim al-Deen from which this academic fraudster and shyster is using clipped and isolated quotes from to deceive the people.

Al-Tabari continues:

...and [when] it is known through that, that the one who combined it, if it was combined, and the one who separated it, if it was separated is one who does not resemble that thing (being combined or separated) and one upon whom combination and separation is not permissible, and He is al-Waahid al-Qahhaar, the one who brings together the variant (dispersed) things, the one who does not resemble anything, and He is powerful over all things - then it becomes clear through what we have described that the Maker of things and their Originator was before everything, and that the night, day, time, hours, are originated things, and that the one who originated them, who regulates the manages them is before them, since it is impossible that something originates something unless the one originating it is before it, and that in His saying, the Most High, "Do they not look at the camels, how they are created? And at the heaven, how it is raised? And at the mountains, how they are rooted and fixed firm? And at the earth, how it is spread out?" (Al-Ghashiyah 88:17-20) is hte most far-reaching of evidences, and the most indicative of evidences - for the one who reflected with intellect and ponderedd with understanding - for the eternity of their Maker, and the recent origin of whatever is similar to them, and that they have a Creator that does not resemble them.

After this section, al-Tabari states in the last paragraph (in the Arabic quote further above) that all of these things mentioned in this verse, of mountains, the earth, camels, that the son of Aadam can observe it and reflect upon the change in state, deterioration and destruction and the likes that these things go through and that these are things that likewise take place in him (man). And that alongside that, man is unable to bring about anything from nothing. And that it is known that the one incapable of bringing about anything did not bring himself into being. He says at the end that the one who originated him, created him, brought his entity into existence is the one who is not rendered incapable by anything that He wishes, and nor is it impossible for Him to originate anything He wills to originate, and He is al-Waahid al-Qahhaar.

The Difference Between The Righteous Salaf and the Kalaam Innovators

Now that we have the speech of al-Tabari, as in the entire passage, in full, we are in a position to explain the difference here between Ahl al-Sunnah and the Ahl al-Kalaam.

First: Ahl al-Sunnah believe that Allaah's essence is unknowable and unfathomable. Thus, all analogies are rejected. As Allah said, "There is no likeness unto Him" (42:11). As for Ahl al-Kalaam, then there is an assumption that is required for their entire theology to exist in the first place. This analogy is qiyas al-shumul or qiyas al-tamthil, or qiyas al-ghaa'ib alaa al-shaahid. Whilst there are subtle differences between these analogies the end result is actually the same. What this means practically is that they transfer the application of the lawaazim (binding necessities) that apply to created bodies to Allaah, and thus are able to speak about Allaah, in affirmation or negation, based upon these lawaazim that apply to created bodies. This is the crucial bridge upon which their entire theology rests. Without this there is no Kalaam theology. You have to truly appreciate this point here, and we believe that if any of these people poisoned by Kalaam fathom the reality of this point, they will see the falsehood of their entire theologicaal language, we ask Allaah to guide these people to the truth of this matter.

Second: Because of this analogy, these people are forced to apply the same necessities to Allaah, and this the essential driver behind their theological language. We will give two illustrations here. The first: They say that we do not see in anything of the created things that if it is said to be "above", it must be a body (jism) - due to direction, spatial occupation and place. And hence (since they have already included Allaah within the genus of these created things through the types of analogy mentioned above), if it said about Allaah that He is "above", the binding necessity (laazim) must also apply that He is a body (jism). Hence, we have to deny and reject Allaah is "above", this is kufr and clashes with the proof, since "aboveness" is an 'arad (incidental attribute) and all a'raad are hawaadith (events, came to be, recent) and since bodies contain these hawaadith, they too must be Haadith (originated, recent), because "Whatever is not devoid of hawaadith is itself haadith." As for Ahl al-Sunnah they say that Allaah is unlike His creation, no false analogies can be made for His essence, and therefore when it is said, "Allaah is above His Throne" this is a correct, true statement, pointing to an actual reality, and there are no false necessities applicable here, so we affirm this as a true and correct meaning and as for the actual reality, then we do not have knowledge of it. The lawaazim applying to bodies do not constitute knowledge regarding Allaah's essence such that they can be employed to deny what He and His Messenger affirmed for Him. The second: We can use the example of pleasure (ridhaa) and anger (ghadab), these denote "change" to Ahl al-Kalaam and they include them within the label of "hawaadith", and on this basis, they deny that Allaah can be described with these attributes. This is because they analogised between Allaah and His creation and held that the lawaazim (binding necessities) applying to created bodies also apply to Allaah, such that if Allaah is described with something non-permanently it equates to hawaadith (events) and taghyir (change). It would be an idea for you to read this article on the phrase "hulul al-hawaadith" at this point. Basically, Ahl al-Sunnah deny "change" in the sense that Allaah acquires an attribute He never had before. Thus Allaah is eternally one who speaks as and when He wills, He is eternally seeing, hearing, and so on. He never acquired any new attribute He never had before. This change is denied for Allaah. Likewise change in the sense of deterioration and deficiency, this is denied for Allaah. But as for Allaah never ceasing to be one who becomes pleased if He wills, or angry if He wills, or to speak as and when He wills, and what is similar to this, then all of these are Allaah's chosen actions (Af'aal Ikhtiyaariyyah). This, to Ahl al-Sunnah is not the deficient "taghyir" that Ahl al-Kalaam imply it is through their labelling of it as "hawaadith (events, occurrences)", rather this is from utmost perfection, that Allaah has actions tied to His will and power.

Third: Following on directly from the last point, it is possible for Ahl al-Sunnah to argue on the basis of the fact that we see things all around us, undergoing change, transformation, deterioration and so on as a proof for Allaah's existence and Him being the first before whom there is none. And indeed, this is one of just many, many ways to prove Allaah's existence. Ahl al-Sunnah do not restrict the proof of Allaah's existence to just one method (which is what the Jahmiyyah, the Mu'tazilah, the Later Ash'aris and the Maturidis did). There are many proofs (for Allah's existence and His Tawhid), the proof through the emergence of entities (a'yaan), the proof through transformation (e.g. development of the embryo, or the living into the dead and the dead into the living, or development and deterioration of things), the proof through fitrah (natural disposition) [i.e. demonstrating that every originated thing (Muhdath) must have an originator (muhdith) which is ingrained in the fitrah], the proof through miracles of the Prophet, the proof through the character of the Prophet, the proof through the rulings of Islaam, the proof through ijmaa' (consensus), the proof through idtiraar (compelling necessity) and so on. Ahl al-Sunnah are not bound to start denying Allaah's attributes or actions in order to "remain consistent" because they are not operating upon false analogies for Allaah in the first place such that they have to apply the lawaazim to both the creation and to the Creator, and nor are they limiting the proof for Allaah's existence to one matter exclusive to all others, such that they have to limit their theology around the language and necessities required by that one matter (in this case huduth al-a'raad wal-hawaadith fil-ajsaam).

From this you should understand the clear difference between what scholars like al-Tabari do (and likewise Ibn al-Qayyim) in arguing for Allaah's existence through the actions of Allaah, meaning His handiwork in the creation, in what is observed, of the emergence and transformation of entities and phenomenon and between the ilm al-Kalaam taken from the students of the Hellenized Jews, Christians and Sabeans, that of al-ajsaam wal-a'raad, which they used to prove Allaah's existence by mixing correct observations (bodies have attributes) with false theoretical premises, and then being forced to remain consistent with the resultant corrupt proof by denying what Allaah affirmed for Himself!

The Creed of Imaam al-Tabari is a Salafi, Sunni, Athari Creed

Let us see what al-Tabari believes, and we will quote from al-Tabseer Fee Ma'aalim al-Deen, the very book that this shyster is using to deceive others and let us see his great fraud. We have with us a 1996 first edition print published by Dar al-Aasimah, Riyaadh, with tahqiq by Ali al-Shibal.

From page 132 onwards, he has an entire chapter titled "The Statement Regarding That Whose Knowledge is Known Of the Attributes of the Creator Through Report (Khabar) Only, Not Through Deduction", so this is a chapter on the sifat khabariyyah.

He says (p. 132) that Allaah has names and attributes which can only be known through reports, not through sensory perception or reason. He says that no one to whom this knowledge comes is excused, the only way he is excused is if he is ignorant of it, and since it cannot be known through reason or direct perception, he is not held to account on that alone, but only when the khabar (of the Messenger) comes to him.

Then he starts giving examples of such attributes along with the proofs (p. 133 onwards) and from them are:

  • Allaah has two hands (yadaan)
  • Allaah has a yameen (right hand)
  • Allaah has a face (wajh)
  • Allaah has a foot (qadam)
  • Allaah laughs (yadhak)
  • Allah descends to the lowest heaven (huboot, nuzul)
  • Allaah is not one-eyed (a'war) meaning He has two eyes
  • Allaah will be seen by the believers through the vision of their eyes
  • Allaah has fingers (asaabi')

The way of the Salaf in all these matters is affirmation (ithbaat) with denial of knowledge of the kaifiyyah and haqiqah (reality). Then a little later (p. 139) he starts answering observations and rejections which he cites, and from which is that he says:

What is correct of this statement (of affirmation) in our view is that we affirm their realities (haqaa'iq) upon what we know from the angle of affirmation (ithbaat) and negating resemblance (tashbih), just like He negated that from Himself, lofty be His praise, so He said, "There is no likeness unto Him, and He is all-Hearing, all-Seeing" (42:11). So it is said, Allaah is hearing (samee'), seeing (baseer), He has hearing and sight since the name of "hearing", "seeing" is not understood in the language, nor in reason, in what is known by habitual customary usage, except as [a name] for one who has the [attributes] of hearing and seeing.

Then he proceeds to outline a refutation of the Mut'azilah in particular who deny the attributes such as hearing and seeing, and speech (Kalaam). Then he says (p. 142) that it is established therefore that these meanings which have been mentioned (in the texts) that they have come upon what is understood to be an affirmation of the reality of their existence, with negation of tashbih from them. Then he explains what this means, so he says that Allaah hears all sounds, but without this being through ears or limbs like with humans. He sees but without that being like the vision of humans which are like limbs. That He has two hands (with a yameen, right hand) and a face but not like the faces of humans which are blood and flesh, and that He laughs but not like the laughter of the creation, and that He descends to the lowest heaven every night.

Then he says (p. 142) that if anyone rejects anything we have mentioned, then we give to him the example of Allaah's coming (majee'). Then he proceeds to quote the verse "And your Lord and the Angels will come, ranks upon ranks" (89:22), and he uses this as a basis to start demolishing the arguments of those who deny these attributes, and the ones whom he is specifically addressing are the Mu'tazilah. Now this since this particular subject relates to one of the citations brought by the academic shyster and fraudster we are dealing within this article, we will leave this for a separate article and deal with it in detail.


Just another neo-Jahmite pseudo-Ashari swindling shyster who has exposed himself, showing the complete absence of honesty, dignity and trustworthiness, coupled with a crippled, deformed intellect, unable to understand or grasp what it is reading. And this is just Part 1!