Qaadee Abu Bakr al-Baqillani (Early Ash'ari) Affirms the Sifaat Dhaatiyyah and Sifaat Fi'liyyah (Nuzool, Ityaan) Without Takyeef or Ta'weel
Posted by Abu.Iyaad on Monday, June, 29 2009 and filed under Articles
Key topics: Abu Bakr Al-Baqillani Sifaat Fi'liyyah Nuzool Ityaan Abu Bakr Al-Baqillani Sifaat Fi'liyyah Nuzool Ityaan

Who is Abu Bakr al-Baqillani?

He is the Qaadee Abu Bakr al-Baqillani who was born around the middle of the fourth century (hijri) and died in 403H (around 1013CE) in Baghdad. He is a prominent Ash'ari theologian and is touted by the Ash'aris as one of their luminaries - and Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah has words regarding him, stating in meaning that he was amongst the better ones of the Ash'aris - as he was closer to the truth in certain affairs. al-Baqillani was the one who laid down many of the intellectual foundations for the Ash'ari madhhab and he is held as the second most important figure in the Ash'arite theology.

He is the author of the book: "At-Tamheed al-Awaa'il wa Talkhees ud-Dalaa'il" - a book which focuses on the issues of creed, and it is found with a different name in the Paris manuscript, "at-Tahmeed fee ar-Radd 'alal-Mulhida was-Raafidah wal-Khawaarij wal-Mu'tazilah". He also has other works such as "adh-Dhabb an Abi Hasan al-Ash'ari" and a work titled "al-Ibaanah" and he has some letters he has written which are mentioned and quoted in the works of some of the Scholars.

In this article we will quote what Imaam adh-Dhahabee (rahimahullaah) has quoted from al-Baqillani's works on the issue of Affirmation of Allaah's Attributes of the Essence (Sifaat Dhaataiyyah), al-uluww (Allaah's highness above the creation), and some of Allaah's Sifaat Fi'liyyah (Attributes of Action)

Al-Baqillani Affirms the sifaat Dhaatiyyah and Sifaat Fi'liyyah in Opposition to the Later and Contemporary Jahmites Who Ascribe Themselves to Abu Hasan al-Ash'ari - Free Is He Of Them

From adh-Dhahabi's Mukhtasar al-uluww (p.258-259) from al-Baqillani's book "adh-Dhabb an Abil-Hasan al-Ash'ari":

Likewise, our speech regarding all of what is reported from the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) regarding the Attributes of Allaah - when they are authentic - such as affirmation of the two Hands, and the Face, the two Eyes. And we say that He will come (ya'tee) on the Day of Judgement upon the shadows of the clouds, and that He descends (yanzilu) to the lowest heaven (as-samaa ad-dunyaa), as occurs in the hadeeth, and that He is ascended (mustawin) above His Throne ...

until he said:

And we have already explained the religion of the leading scholars and [of] Ahl us-Sunnah that these attributes are to be passed on as they have come, without takyeef (asking about or delving into their true nature), tahdeed (defining), tajnees ( classifying) and tasweer (imagining) - just as has been reported from az-Zuhree and Maalik regarding al-istiwaa (Allah's ascending above the Throne). So whoever goes beyond this has transgressed, innovated and gone astray.

Benefits From The Above

  • al-Baqillani affirms not just the sifaat Dhaatiyyah, such as Hands, Face, Eyes, but also some of the Sifaat Fi'liyyah, such as Allaah arriving (Ityaan) on the Day of Judgement, and Allaah descending (Nuzool) to the lowest Heaven and Allaah ascending above His Throne - affirming them as they have come in the ahaadeeth.

  • al-Baqillani affirms such Attributes in a manner that befits Allaah the Mighty and Majestic, affirming their meaning - just as has they have come in the texts - but negating any likeness between their true nature and between and those of the Creation and stating that the one who transgresses beyond this, making takyeef of them - is astray. And this is the path of Ahl us-Sunnah, the Ahl ul-Hadeeth, the Salaf us-Saalih.

  • al-Baqillani never spoke of the necessity of making ta'weel of these attributes because of the argument that leaving these texts upon their apparent meanings indicates Tajseem or tamtheel - he never mentioned this, rather he spoke of affirmation of these attributes without takyeef [and he never spoke of any necessity of ta'weel in relation to these attributes (playing with the meanings and assigning meanings to the texts without any authority or proof from Allaah and without the knowledge as to whether Allaah actually intended those meanings or not)]. So al-Baqillani's path in this regard is different to the Jahmite Ash'aris of our time.

  • As for the path of the Jahmite Ash'aris of later times, their way is to ascribe Tajseem (Anthropomorphism) to anyone who affirms these attributes for Allaah - without takyeef or ta'weel - in a manner that befits Allaah.