The Philadelphian Jahmite Ash'ari Scandals Of 2009: Regarding Ibn Taymiyyah, Allaah's Nuzool and the Jahmee Invented Doubt Concerning Whether the Throne Becomes Unoccupied or Not
Posted by Abu.Iyaad on Tuesday, July, 07 2009 and filed under Articles
Key topics: Nuzool Jahmite Ash'aris Ibn Taymiyyah Jahmite Nuzool Jahmite Ash'aris Ibn Taymiyyah Jahmite

Amongst the many scandals of the Jahmite Ash'aris is the manner of their discussion regarding Ibn Taymiyyah and the issue of when Allaah descends, whether His Throne becomes unoccupied (yakhloo minhu al-arsh) or not (laa yakhloo minhu al-arsh) - an issue spoken of by the Salaf in response to the statements being made by the Jahmites of the time.

In his lecture on the biography of Abu Hasan al-Ash'ari one amongst the Jahmite Ash'aris of Philadelphia said:

So this was their methodology, we don't say Allaah made istiwaa on the Throne "bi hadd", with a limit, with a boundary, with a barrier. So he made istiwaa over the Throne and then there is a barrier between him and the Throne, that's the takyeef, thats giving it a kaifiyyah that's, a modality and they did not used to say that. They didn't say that He made istiwaa over the Throne and the Throne became full of Him and He descends to the first heaven without the Throne becoming empty of him. They did not say nothing like that ...some people who came later who were Hanbalees said some of that stuff [with a snug smile on his face] .... OK Ibn Taymiyah used to say that [laughter from audience] he is the one who used to say that... this was not the methodology of the early Hanbalee scholars and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (rahimahullaahu ta'aalaa) himself. So this needs to be kept in mind.

Although there are numerous issues in this statement (some of which we have addressed elsewhere) we will suffice with only the parts that have been highlighted. To see some of the previous issues clarified see these articles: Here, here and here.

Understanding What These Jahmites Are Upon From a Historical Perspective

First we need to look at the behaviour of the Salaf towards the likes of these Jahmites - for their negating that Allaah is above the Creation, separate and distinct from it, and we will take from the example of Abdullaah bin Abi Ja'far ar-Raazee (d. after 200H) - as is narrated by Ibn Abee Haatim in his "ar-Radd 'alal-Jahmiyyah" and which was quoted by Imaam adh-Dhahabi (in al-Uluww):

Here is a translation of the above quote:

From Saalih bin ad-Darees who said: Abdullaah began beating the head of a relative of his who held the view of Jahm. So I saw him beating him on his head with a sandal whilst saying, "No (I will not stop), (not) until you say Ar-Rahmaan ascended above the Throne, separate and distinct from His creation (ar-Rahmaanu 'alal-arsh istawaa, baa'inun min khalqihi)."

And by Ibn al-Qayyim (in Ijtimaa' Juyoosh al-Islaamiyyah):

And the translation of the above quote:

Saalih bin ad-Darees said: Abdullaah bin Abi Ja'far (ar-Raazee) began beating a relative of his - who held the view of Jahm - on his head with a sandal whilst saying, "No (I will not stop), (not) until you say Ar-Rahmaan ascended above the Throne, separate and distinct from His creation (ar-Rahmaanu 'alal-arsh istawaa, baa'inun min khalqihi)." It was mentioned by Abdur-Rahmaan bin Abi Haatim in the book "ar-Radd alal-Jahmiyyah".

The Jahmites were the first to start denying Allaah is above His creation, above the Throne, and they were the first to start denying the Sifaat Fi'liyyah or af'aal iktiyaariyyah (those actions of Allaah that are tied to His will and choice) - and this happened well over a century, if not two, before the Ash'arites were even known as a faction - so the Salaf stood to refute their falsehood, and to discipline them - and we see Abdullaah bin Abi Ja'far ar-Raazee using a sandal for someone affected with the poison of Jahm - and today - it is befitting that such people are beaten with two sandals - because they have no excuse in following the falsehood of Jahm bin Safwan which has been exposed the world over - so there is no excuse for following falsehood once its reality has been made manifest - and is there any falsehood that is not as abundantly clear than that of the Jahmites who negated their is a Lord above the heaven?

The Jahmites began to say, "Allaah is in every place" and these were the Hulooli Jahmees, and there were other Jahmites who began to say, "Allaah does not have a place", and they were the Mu'attil Jahmees, those who were saying things like, "He is not inside the universe, nor outside of the universe". And they also began to say regarding Allaah's Nuzool, "We disbelieve in a Lord that moves from His place", and they said this latter phrase in order to deny Allaah's actions such as al-istiwaa (Ascent over the Throne) and an-Nuzool (Descent). And they began reviling the narrations and raising doubts such as whether Allaah leaves the Throne when descending or not. So the Salaf stood to expose, refute and discipline such people and to clarify the truth. And you have to remember that this was almost two centuries before the As'hari madhhab was formalized and known as such.

And the Jahmites whom we are addressing in this article are simply the 20th century offsprings of those Jahmites of old - they haven't brought anything new, since falsehood merely regenerates itself and brings nothing new. So these Jahmite Ash'aris whom we are addressing they are negators of Allaah being above His creation, above His Throne, and they are negators of Allaah's istiwaa and negators of Allaah's Nuzool. And their precedence in that is their Jahmite ancestors of old.

Buth the (later and contemporary) Jahmite Ash'aris negate these attributes of Allaah because they reverted back to the original roots of ta'teel which lie in the doctrines of the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah.

And their reasons are that saying that Allaah is "above" means, by necessity, declaring him to be a body, subject to non-essential, incidental attributes (a'raad, such as space, location, direction, length, breadth, depth, etc.) and also because performance of actions by Allaah means that events occur within Him and this necessitates change (which only the creation is subject to) - and in reality these claims they made were the heritage of the Jahmites as well as the fabrications of their own minds - and they are not the necessities of the clear verses of the Qur'aan and the clear ahaadeeth of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

And inshaa'Allaah we will address their doubts and misconceptions and let this article be the disciplinary sandal of Abdullah bin Abi Ja'far ar-Raazee (rahimahullaah) ...

Uncovering the Jahmite's Dishonesty and Scandalous Fraud

Before proceeding to uncover the scandal it is appropriate to demonstrate exactly how these Jahmite's behave and there is nothing more appropriate to illustrate than what has been quoted in another article:

There emerged a group who showed enmity towards Ibn Taymiyyah, some of them did not understand his words, and some of interpreted his words upon the foundational principles of those besides him, so such a one did not act justly, even if he [Ibn Taymiyyah] spoke the truth. So for example, an-Nawawee in al-Majmoo' says, "Whoever claims Allaah is a jism (body), then he is a disbeliever by the unanimous agreement of the Muslims".

And Ibn Taymiyyah when he was asked, "Can the [saying] be applied to Allaah that he is a jism (body)?". So he replied: "This is innovated speech, however I do not declare the one who says Allaah is a body (jism) to be a disbeliever". So then they said, "Ibn Taymiyyah says that Allaah is a body (jism)". Yet Ibn Taymiyyah says, "This is innovated speech" and in other places in his books, such as "Sharh Hadeeth in-Nuzool", he says, "We say to the one who says Allaah is a body (jism): What is your intent by this? If your intent is that Allaah is divisible and separable (into parts), then this is a statement of disbelief, the one who says it is more severe in disbelief than the Jews and the Christians. And if the intent of the one who says it is that Allaah is true (i.e. exists and is true and real), that He is separate from the creation (aalam) and can be alluded to, then this is an innovatory statement, but the one who says it is not a disbeliever".

Remember this well, for this is the behaviour of the Jahmite Ash'aris in what they quote from and ascribe to Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah. Pretending to wave the flag of Tanzeeh (which is in reality ta'teel and Tahreef) does not grant you authority to use deception when discussing the statements of others.

Point 1: On Integrity in Quoting and Narrating Other People's Statements

When you ascribe a viewpoint or statement to others - even if they are your opponents or adversaries - it is not permissible to fabricate lies upon them and to accuse them of originating something they did not originate when it is in fact the saying of someone else which they mentioned, discussed and evaluated.

So when we look at the book of Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah "Sharh Hadeeth in-Nuzool" - the explanation of the Hadeeth of Descent - we find that the entire book was written in response to a question.

Here is the opening page of the book:

In the opening page of the book we can see that a question has been posed to Shaykh ul-Islaam:

What does our chief and our shaykh, Shaykh ul-Islaam, the good example for mankind, may Allaah strengthen him and be pleased with him, say regarding two men who argued concerning the hadeeth of an-Nuzool (descent), one of them an affirmer and the other a negator:

The affirmer said: Our Lord descends every night to the lowest heaven when there remains the last third of the night. The negator replied: How does He descend? The affirmer replied: He descends without asking how. The negator replied: Does the Throne become unoccupied (of Him) or not become unoccupied (of Him). The affirmer replied: This is an innovated saying, and a fabricated opinion.

The negator replied: This is not my answer, rather it is evading the answer. The affirmer replied: This is your answer.

The negator replied: It is His command (amr) and mercy (rahmah) that descends. The affimer replied: His command and His mercy descend at all times (kullu saa'ah) and the descent has been specified by the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in the last third of the night.

The negator replied: The night is not equal in the countries, for in one country the night is fifteen hours long and its day is nine hours long. And in another country it is sixteen hours long while the day is eight hours long, and vice versa. Hence, there is variation in the length and shortness of the night, according to regions and countries. And in some countries the night and day are equal, and in some countries the night extends until it lasts for most of the twenty-four hours with the day only lasting for a short time. It is necessitated from this that it is always the last third of the night, and that the Lord is always descending to the heaven.

And putting and end to this doubt and ambiguity, and subduing the people of misguidance is what is being requested.

He (Shaykh ul-Islaam) responded ...

Thus, the entire book was written in response to this question. And as we shall see, this question arose because of the doubts of the Jahmees who negated the Actions of Allaah tied to His will, the sifaat fi'iliyyah, like istiwaa and nuzool. And with no surprises - that's what the Ash'aris are upon too.

And in attempting to negate Allaah's Nuzool, they began to raise questions such as "Is Allaah always descending since it is always night at some place or other"? And "Does the Throne become unoccupied of Him or not?" And they started saying "We do not believe in a Lord that moves from His place (yazoolu an makaanihi)", intending by that to negate the sifaat fi'liyyah. This was their aim in raising these doubts.

They were the first to raise these questions of doubt and ambiguity aimed at nullifying the texts - and today's Jahmite Ash'aris simply follow their ancestry. The difference being that the very first Jahmites never had access to the philosophical ideas of the Greek and Hindu Mushriks (Atomism) which the Mu'tazili and Ash'arite Theologians used and by which they continued the work of the Jahmiyyah in stripping Allaah of His Attributes based upon rational and philosophical arguments.

And this is typical of the Jahmite mindset which simply inherited the ta'teel of the Mushrik Sabean Philosophers amongst the Chaldeans of the people of Nimrod. And it is said that al-Ja'd bin Dirham (the originator of the negation of Allaah's attributes in this Ummah) was from the land of Harraan where the remnants of these people remained and he took their sayings. And then from al-Ja'd did Jahm Ibn Safwaan take his speech and popularize it.

Point 2: On Actually Understanding or Grasping What Your Opponent or Adversary is Saying or Discussing Before Ascribing to Them or Imputing Them With Anything

Ibn Taymiyyah discusses each part of the abovementioned question posed to him, and we will take up the discussion from when he discusses the issue raised by the negator in the original dialogue between the two men as to whether the Throne becomes unoccupied or not when Allaah descends.

The subject is introduced on pages 132-133, when Ibn Taymiyyah begins addressing the doubts invented by the Jahmee negators:

Ibn Taymiyyah's Commentary and Discussion on the Topic

We can summarise Ibn Taymiyyah's words on this topic in the following points:

ONE: Ibn Taymiyyah says that the person saying this maybe one who negates Allaah is above the Throne or one who affirms Allaah is above the Throne. Depending on what he believes will determine how he is to be answered. If he does not affirm Allaah is above the Throne to begin with, then his question, "Does the Throne become unoccupied of Him or not" is false speech, since it is something that follows on from Him being above the Throne. And if he affirms Allaah is above the Throne, then there is a different course of dialogue with him, and Ibn Taymiyyah covers that response over the next few pages (pp. 135-137). And as the person asking this question could be:

  • One who claims Allaah is in every place (like the Huloolee Jahmees), or
  • It could be one who says He is neither separate from the creation nor within it (like the Mu'attil Jahmees), which means He does not exist as this is something impossible, or
  • It could be one who affirms Allaah being above the creation but he denies the Nuzool (descent) making ta'weel of it (with Allaah's "mercy" or "command") .

Then each one has a different response, so Ibn Taymiyyah refutes each one of these and deals with the false ta'weels of the last group in detail, demolishing them from their foundations (pp.139-149).

And from the noteworthy things he mentions in the course of refuting the ta'weel of the last group is (p. 138):

And one of the negators of al-uluww (Allaah being above the heavens, above His Throne) was asked about the Nuzool (Descent) and he replied: "His command descends". And so the questioner said to him: "To you there is nothing above the universe, so from whom did the command descend? From pure nothingness?" And so he was stupefied (overcome).

TWO: Between pages 149 to 162, Ibn Taymiyyah mentions what has been reported from the affirmers (Ahl ul-Ithbaat) on the specific issue of whether when Allaah descends, does His Throne become unoccupied of Him or not? And he mentions the three sayings held by the Ahl ul-Hadeeth wal-Athar.

Here are the relevant pages where he quotes the opinions from the Salaf:

He states:

Then after all this: When He descends, does the Throne become unoccupied of Him or does it not become unoccupied? This is a different matter about which the affirmers (Ahl ul-Ithbaat) have spoken:

  • So amongst them are those who said: the Throne does not become unoccupied of Him, and this is transmitted from (Imaam) Ahmad bin Hanbal in his risaalah to Musaddad, and from Ishaaq bin Raahawaih, and Hammaad bin Zaid and Uthmaan bin Sa'eed ad-Daarimee and others ... (p.149)

And Ibn Taymiyyah mentions some of these narrations that have been transmitted from those whom he mentions (p. 151):

Al-Khallaal said in the book "as-Sunnah" - [mentions chain of narration]: Bishr bin as-Suraa asked Hammaad bin Zaid (d.179H): "O Abu Ismaa'eel, the hadeeth which has come: Our Lord descends to the lowest heaven, does He move from one place to another (min makaanin ilaa makaanin)? So Hammaad remained silent for a while and then said: "He is where He is (huwa fee makaanihi), and He comes close to His creation however He wills".

And the verifier of the treatise adds in the footnote, "This narration was reported by al-Uqaylee in his book ad-Du'afaa (1/142) through Ja'far al-Firyaabee. And Ibn Battah also reported it in al-Ibaanat ul-Kubraa with something similar, as occurs in Mukhtasar al-Ibaanah (p. 197) through Abu Haatim, from Sulayman bin Harb. And Ibn Taymiyyah also reported it in Dar ut-Ta'aarud al-Aql wan-Naql (2/24) and in al-Isfahaaniyyah (p. 25) and he ascribed it to al-Khallaal in Kitaab us-Sunnah.

And Ibn Taymiyyah also brings on page 151 the same narration from Ibn Battah in his al-Ibaanah.

Then on page 152 he brings another narration from Ibn Battah:

Ibn Battah said: [mentions chain of narration]: Alee bin Khushram said: Ishaaq bin Raahawaih said: I entered upon Abdullaah bin Taahir [the Ameer] and he said: "What are these ahaadeeth that you are narrating?" I said: "[About] what thing, may Allaah rectify the Ameer?" He said, "YOu are narrating that Allaah descends to the lowest heaven". I said: "Yes, the trustworthy (narrators) who also narrate the (ahaadeeth) of the ahkaam (rulings) have narrated them". He said: Does He descend and leave His Throne?" He (Ishaaq) said: I said: Is He able to descend without the Throne being unoccupied of Him?" He said: "Yes". I said: "And why are you speaking about this?"

And on page 153 Ibn Taymiyyah comments on this, saying:

And Abdullah bin Taahir - and he is the best of those who had authority over Khurasaan. He used to know that Allaah was above the Throne, but His descending became difficult for him due to his impression that this would necessitate the Throne being unoccupied of Him. So the Imaam, Ishaaq confirmed from him (that he holds) that He is above the Throne, and he said to him, "Is He able to descend without the Throne being unoccupied of Him", and the ameer said, "Yes", and Ishaaq said to him, "Why are you speaking about this?"

So he (Ishaaq) says that if He is able to do that, then it is not binding from His descending that the Throne becomes unoccupied of Him, and thus it is not permissible to object against the Nuzool (descent) because it necessitates that the Throne becomes unoccupied of Him. And this would be an easier (situation) than the objection of one who said: "There is not anything above the Throne" as a result of which (such a one) rejects both this and that (i.e. Allaah being above the Throne, and His descent).

And Ibn Taymiyyah continues on page 160, saying (about the other two views):

And this translates:

And the Ahl ul-Hadeeth have three sayings regarding this (having already covered the first on page 149):
  • Amongst them: The one who rejected that it should be said: It becomes unoccupied or does not become unoccupied, as al-Haafidh Abdul-Ghaniyy al-Maqdisee and others say (p.161).

  • And amongst them: The one who says "Rather, the Throne becomes unoccupied of Him" and Abul-Qasim Abdur-Rahmaan bin Abee Abdillaah bin Muhammad bin Mandah has authored a work which he called, "A Reply To The One Who Claimed That Allaah Is in Every Place (Fee Kulli Makaan), and To the One Who Claims Allah Does Not Have a Place (Laysa Lahu Makaan) And To The One Who Interpreted the Descent Upon Other Than the Descent"...

And the intent of Ibn Mandah (d. 475H) was to refute the Jahmiyyah, those who said that a) Allaah is in every place (the Hulooli Jahmees) and also those who claimed that b) Allaah does not have a place, which means He does not exist and this faction are those Mu'attil Jahmees who said "He is not outside the creation, nor within the creation" and also c) those who made ta'weel of the nuzool to something else.

And here some of the Salaf used the word "makaan" in response to the sayings of the Jahmiyyah (see further below) - and they used this word when quoting what the Jahmiyyah were saying and clarifying the truth in that regard, and their intent was clear - that Allaah exists, separate and distinct from His creation and that Allaah is where He is, above His Throne, above the seven heavens, without that necessitating enclosure, since there is nothing in existence, outside of and separate and distinct from the creation, except the Creator - in opposition to the Jahmites who began to say either a) He is in every place or b) He is not in any place. So some of the Salaf like Hammaad bin Zayd (d. 179H), said - in relation to the Nuzool, which the Jahmites (both the Hulooli and Mu'attil types) tried to reject - "huwa fee makaanihi" meaning, He is where He is (above the Throne) and He comes close to His creation however He wills.

And we are speaking here just after the middle of the second century (i.e. around 150H) and the clangor of the Mutakallimoon Ash'arite Theologians about terms they began using such as "makaan" (space, location) and "jihah" (direction) and enclosure by space (tahayyuz) and so on - in order to deny Allaah's uluww (ascendancy with His Essence) - had not happened at this point. That happened well over a century after (at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth century) when they inherited the legacy of the Mu'tazilah and Jahmiyyah (in denial of the attributes).

THREE: And between these pages (pp.149-161) Ibn Taymiyyah mentions narrations from the Salaf in this regard which show the doubts raised by the Jahmites - and from them:

What is narrated by Abu Bakr al-Athram in "as-Sunnah" regarding Fudayl bin 'Iyaad (d.187H)

Ibraaheem bin al-Ash'at said: I heard Fudayl bin 'Iyaad say: When a Jahmee says to you, "I disbelieve in a Lord that moves from His place (yazool an makaanihi)" then say, "I believe in a Lord that does what He wills".

And Ibn Taymiyyah explains this by saying:

Al-Fudayl bin Iyaad (may Allaah have mercy upon him) intended to oppose the Jahmee who says that no actions tied to will and choice (al-af'aal al-ikhtiyaariyyah), actions tied to Allaah's will) are established with Him, and thus, we cannot imagine about Him that He "comes (majee')" or "arrives (Ityaan)" or "descends (Nuzool)" or "ascends (istiwaa)" and other such actions from the actions tied to will and choice (al-af'aal al-ikhtiyaariyyah) that are established with Him. So al-Fudayl said: When a Jahmee says to you, "I disbelieve in a Lord that moves from His place (yazool an makaanihi)" then say, "I believe in a Lord that does what He wills". So he commanded him to believe in a Lord that does what He wills of the actions that are established with His Self, and which He wills, he (al-Fudayl) did not mean the performed actions (occurring in the creation, that Allaah creates) separate from Him [but he meant the actions established with His Self]. And the likes of this is what has been reported from al-Awzaa'ee (d. 157H) and others from the Salaf, that they said regarding the hadeeth of Nuzool: "He does what He wills".

And Ibn Taymiyyah quotes from al-Laalikaa'ee, who narrates Ahmad bin Alee al-Abaar that he said:

I heard Yahyaa bin Ma'een (d. 233H) say: When you hear a Jahmee say: "I disbelieve in a Lord that descends", then say: believe in a Lord that does what He wishes".

And then Ibn Taymiyyah refutes the opinion of the Mutakallimoon (Theologians, amongst the Ash'arees) and others who tried to use the saying of al-Fudayl bin Iyaad "I believe in a Lord that does what He wills" to mean that Allaah creates the action of "Nuzool" in something else that is separate from Him (i.e. something in the creation) and thus when it is said, "Allaah's Nuzool" it is not an action established with Allah but an action that Allaah created, established in other than Him - making the fi'l (action) to be the maf'ool (that which is done). So Ibn Taymiyyah explains that they say this because

  • To them the actions of Allaah refer to actions He creates in the creation which are established with other than Himself, and that He does not perform actions Himself as such and
  • They deny that any affairs (actions) that are tied to His Will occur from Him, because this necessitates in their view that He undergoes changes (hawaadith, events).

So Ibn Taymiyyah refutes them on this issue (pp. 155-160) and establishes that what al-Fudayl bin Iyaad meant by his saying was to establish those actions for Allaah that are tied to His will and choice (al-fi'l al-ikhtiyaariyy).

FOUR: With respect to Ibn Mandah (the son), Shaykh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah discusses his viewpoint in the risaalah that he wrote (referred to ealier) and he spends the next 40 pages summarising what Ibn Mandah (the son) said. Ibn Mandah was attempting to refute three groups of people who all denied the Nuzool but in different ways. And they were

And Ibn Mandah also wrongly held that those who clarified that when Allaah descends, He is able to descend without the Throne becoming unoccupied of Him, - and they said that in response to the Jahmites who were saying, "I disbelieve in a Lord that moves from His place" - he (Ibn Mandah) held that by saying such a thing, they also denied the Nuzool, due to his mistaken notion that Nuzool can only be by the Throne becoming unoccupied of Him.

We can summarize and highlight the main points from the 40 page discussion with the following points:

(A) Ibn Taymiyyah covers the critique of Ibn Mandah (the son) upon the authenticity of the risaalah of the Imaam Ahmad to Musaddad in which there occurs, "and then He (Allaah) descends to the lowest heaven and the Throne does not become unoccupied of Him (laa yakhloo minhu al-arsh)..." - as this opposes Ibn Mandah's opinion and methodology of refuting the Jahmees, so he argues that it is not authentically ascribed to Imaam Ahmad. However, this risaalah is established from Imaam Ahmad, and Ibn Taymiyyah says (p. 201):

As for the risaalah of Ahmad bin Hanbal to Musaddad bin Musrahad, then it is well known to Ahl ul-Hadeeth was-Sunnah from the companions of Ahmad and others, they all took it with acceptance. And Abu Abdullah Ibn Battah mentioned it in his book "al-Ibaanah", and more than one (person) relied upon it, and wrote (a copy of it) with his own script, such as al-Qaadee Abu Ya'laa.

(B) Ibn Taymiyyah mentions that Ibn Mandah (the son) narrated all the ahaadeeth on the subject and said that none of them mention that the Throne becomes unoccupied of Him and he treats those who said "Allaah descends and the Throne does not become unoccupied of him..." [and they said this in refutation of the Jahmiyyah] to be the same as those who say, "No space is empty of Him" and those who say, "Allaah is in no place". And Ibn Taymiyyah comments on this view of Ibn Mandah (the son) saying:

I say: Those who speak with that (from the Ahl ul-Hadeeth) [meaning those who say "the Throne does not become unoccupied of Him"] did not say: "This wording is in the hadeeth", and there is not anything in the hadeeth that "the Throne does not become unoccupied of Him" or "the Throne becomes unoccupied of Him" as is claimed by those who claim that. So there is nothing in the hadeeth, neither the wording of those who affirm that, nor the wording of those who negate that...

(C) Ibn Taymiyyah mentions what Ibn Mandah (the son) quotes from his father (d. 395H) on page 175-176:

My father said in refuting the one who made ta'weel of the descent (an-nuzool) to other than the descent and who sought to use fabricated ahaadeeth to nullify the authentic narrations: "And al=Mareesee (d. 218H) claimed that he speaks with the hadeeth of descent, but he distorted it in front of those who attended his gathering, and in his khutbah he rejected what Allaah revealed of proofs in His Book, and what the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) explained in that He descends with His Essence (bi dhaatihi), and he interpreted the descent figuratively to mean "Command (al-amr)" and "Prohibition (an-nahee)", not a real descent, and he claimed that their scholars, knowledgeable of the usool declare Allaah free of movement (changing places), and so he nullified everything that has been narrated on this subject, since his madhhab is other than what is manifest from the hadeeth, and (due to) his dependence upon the futile figurative interpretation, and corrupt understanding...

And after Ibn Mandah (the son's) quote from his father, Ibn Taymiyyah said (p.179):

So this is what Abdur-Rahman (Ibn Mandah) quoted from the speech of his father, and his father was more knowledgeable than him, had greater understanding and was more upright and exact in his speech.

(D) Ibn Taymiyyah continues to cover Ibn Mandah's reply and documents the part where Ibn Mandah treats those who say, "I disbelieve in a Lord that descends and ascends" to be the same as those who say, "I believe in a Lord [whose] Throne does not become unoccupied of Him" - and he considers both of these to be negators of Allaah's Nuzool. This is because of his erroneous understanding of the hadeeth, as Ibn Taymiyyah points out himself. Ibn Taymiyyah says regarding the likes of al-Fudayl bin Iyaad and what they said (i.e. "I believe in a Lord that does what He wills"):

It is known that the intent of those (i.e. the likes of al-Fudayl bin 'Iyaad and Yahyaa bin Ma'een) was to affirm al-fi'l al-ikhtiyaariyy (the action of Allaah tied to His will) that is established with Him. However, alongside this, there is nothing in their speech that shows that they believed that the Throne became unoccupied of Him, or that He does not remain upon the Throne (due to His descent) - as Abdur-Rahmaan has mentioned and as he claims is the meaning of the hadeeth.

Here Ibn Taymiyyah (p. 182) declares Ibn Mandah (the son) to be in error with regard to his understanding of the hadeeth itself (of an-Nuzool) and of what some of the Salaf said in refuting the Jahmiyyah (like al-Fudayl and Yahyaa bin Ma'een).

The essence of what Ibn Taymiyyah discusses in this section is that Ibn Mandah wrongly thought that when they (the Salaf) said "We believe in a Lord that does what He wills", that they understood the Throne to become unoccupied of Him and that He no longer remains above the Throne - and he (Ibn Mandah) thought that this is a defense of the affirmation of the descent (an-nuzool) and that anyone who denied this was negating the descent (an-nuzool) but he was mistaken in that - and as a result of some of what he put in this book he was spoken against, as Ibn Taymiyyah mentioned previously.

Although we have not finished this article yet, the deception and scandal of the Jahmite Ash'ari in his casual and snide remark in what we have quoted from him at the very beginning should be manifestly clear at this stage, even though we have not finished yet. Ibn Taymiyyah is simply discussing the various viewpoints held by the Ahl ul-Hadeeth wal-Athar regarding questions and doubts raised first by the Heretical Jahmites to whom they were responding. And these Heretical Jahmites began saying "Does Allaah move from His place?" and "Does the Throne become unoccupied of Him?" and so on, and so they invented these phrases and these doubts and the Salaf investigated these sayings with a view to arriving what is correct regarding them.

FIVE: Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah at the end of this section, after mentioning all of the narrations that Ibn Mandah (the son) included in his treatise, then says on pages 200-201:

You should pay very close attention here, as this represents the essence of the whole discussion on this issue:

... and he (meaning Ibn Mandah) shows rejection against the one who says "the Throne does not become unoccupied of Him", and he considers this (statement) to be the same as the one who says, "He is in every place" and (the same) as the one who says, "He is not in a place".

And his (Ibn Mandah's) speech is of the same category of speech as the faction that thinks that only two sayings are possible:

  • The saying of the one who says: He descends with a descent in which His Throne becomes unoccupied of Him
  • The saying of the one who says: There isn't any descent at all, to begin with - such as the saying of the one who says: He does not have any action established with His self that occurs out of His choice.

And these two groups [i.e. Ibn Mandah on the one hand and the Mutakallimoon, those who negate the sifaat fi'liyyah]: There is no Nuzool in their view except the Nuzool that the bodies of the servants are described with, [that] which necessitates the vacating of one space and occupying of another.

  • Amongst them [the first group] are those who negate the descent (an-nuzool) from Him, freeing him from the likes of that.
  • And amongst them [the second group] who affirm for him a descent of this type, which necessitates vacating a place and occupying another.

So those (the first, those negating the nuzool) say (to the second group), "This is falsehood", thus the first saying is incumbent - just as those who oppose them (the second group) say (to the first group) "That saying is falsehood", so the second saying is incumbent.

And they (the second group, such as the likes of Ibn Mandah) carry the speech of the Salaf, "He does what He wills" to mean that it is a descent in which His Throne becomes unoccupied of Him, and those who oppose them (from the Mutakallimoon) carry it upon the meaning that (Allaah doing what He wills means) it is an action separate from Allaah [meaning Allaah does not do the action of Nuzool, but creates the act in something other than Him, thus making it from His maf'oolaat and not His af'aal].

And to sum up: Those who say that the Throne becomes unoccupied of Him are a very small faction amongst Ahl ul-Hadeeth. And the majority of them are upon (the view) that His Throne does not become unoccupied of Him (laa yakhloo minhu al-arsh), and this is what is reported from the Imaams known for the Sunnah.

And there has not been reported from any single one of them with an isnaad that is authentic or weak that the Throne becomes unoccupied of Him and what Abdur-Rahman (Ibn Mandah) has mentioned about weakening those narrations from Ishaaq (bin Raahawaih), then we have mentioned the other established narration which Ibn Battah and others have reported.

And we mentioned also the wording established from Sulayman bin Harb and Hammaad bin Zayd, reported by al-Khallaal and others.

As for the risaalah of Ahmad bin Hanbal to Musaddad bin Musrahad, then it is well known to Ahl ul-Hadeeth was-Sunnah from the companions of Ahmad and others, they all took it with acceptance. And Abu Abdullah Ibn Battah mentioned it in his book "al-Ibaanah", and more than one (person) relied upon it, and wrote (a copy of it) with his own script, such as al-Qaadee Abu Ya'laa.

The affair is crystal clear. Ibn Taymiyyah has simply narrated what has come from the likes of Imaam Ahmad, Ishaaq bin Raahawaih, Hammaad bin Zaid and others all of whom clarified that Allaah does not have to leave the Throne in order to descend, and this clarification was made in response to the Jahmites, the Huloolis and the Mu'attils amongst them, who attempted to negate the Nuzool in their own ways - amongst which was their saying, "I disbelieve in a Lord that moves from His place (yazoolu an makaanihi)" . So the Salaf clarified that Allaah does whatever He wills and His Nuzool does not mean He leaves the Throne and becomes encompassed within the Creation - and this is what the Jahmites intended, and they reviled these narrations which were reported through tawaatur (successive, large-scale transmission).

So we request the Philadelphian Jahmite Ash'ari to recant and to make clarification of his error in his claim about Ibn Taymiyyah, that he was the one who originated this matter. Rather it was the theological ancestors of this Jahmite who initiated this matter in the time of the likes of Abdullah Ibn al-Mubaarak, Hammaad bin Zayd, and Fudayl bin Iyaad, and these Scholars clarified the truth, as did Imaam Ahmad and Ishaaq bin Raahawaih.

Its no surprise that it was the Jahmites who stirred this issue against Ishaaq bin Raahawaih by complaining to the Ameer Abdullaah bin Taahir about his narrating the ahaadeeth of Nuzool, exactly as they have come.

And its no surprise that the same Jahmites stirred this issue in the time of Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah.

And its no surprise that it is the same species of Mareesee Jahmite in our times, the likes of al-Kawtharee, al-Habashee and their followers and tail-ends who have stirred this issue against Ahl us-Sunnah - there precedence in all of that being none other than al-Ja'd bin Dirham and al-Jahm bin Safwan.

SIX: Right at the very end of this book "Sharh Hadeeth in-Nuzool" Ibn Taymiyyah states what is obligatory in this matter (p. 459):

Ibn Taymiyyah said:

And that which it is obligatory [to speak with] definitively: Is that Allaah, there is nothing that is a likeness to Him in everything that He has described Himself with. Thus, anyone who describes Him with the likeness of the attributes of the creation in anything from amongst the things, then he is errant, definitively, absolutely. Such as the one who says, "He descends, undergoing motion and movement (yataharrak, yantaqil) just like a person descends from the roof to the lowest part of the house" and like the saying of the one who says, "His Throne becomes unoccupied of Him, and so His descent is vacating one space and occupying another", and this is baatil (false), it is obligatory to free the Lord from this, as has preceded.

And here Ibn Taymiyyah has made it very clear - that those who speak about Allaah's Nuzool in the terms of what is found in the creation - are speaking with falsehood - and that it is obligatory to free Allaah from this.

POINT 3: What is Now Obligatory Upon the Jahmite Ash'ari Who Sought To Accuse Ibn Taymiyyah Of Originating This Matter

After everything that has preceded the Jahmite Ash'ari has no option except to apologise and recant for what he said. More specifically, it would be befitting and in accord with the truth for him to say:

  • I take back my mockery and sarcasm against Ibn Taymiyyah when I implied he was amongst the first of those who said that Allaah's Throne does not become unoccupied of Him when He makes the Nuzool. I acknowledge my factual error in this regard and accept that in actual fact this is narrated from the Salaf and Ibn Taymiyyah was simply discussing why and how this issue arose and he quoted specifically from Imaam Ahmad and others. So I am mistaken in that regard and take this back.

  • I realise that my Jahmite belief of negating that Allaah is above the Throne, above the seven Heavens, does not in any way allow me to misrepresent the words of my opponent, or to falsely accuse my opponent of something that did not originate with him, and that I should apply the Qur'anic principle of not letting hatred of a people prevent from abiding by justice.

  • I acknowledge the feebleness of my intellect, in fact, the feebleness of the intellects of a thousand Jahmites like me combined, compared to that of Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah and I now understand and appreciate what adh-Dhahabee means when he says, in his various statements of praise for Ibn Taymiyyah:

    ...the prodigy of the era, author of amazing works, and (a manifestation) of excessive intelligence...His associates and also his enemies humble themselves in front of his sciences, acknowledge the swiftness of his understanding, that he is a river which has no banks (i.e. no end), a treasure for which there is no equal...He would not approach (any matter) with a faulty and evil understanding, rather he had excessive intelligence. And nor would he approach any matter with lack of knowledge, for he was an overflowing ocean, having firm knowledge and insight of the Book and the Sunnah, without there being any equal to him in that... And if he was to talk about the various religions and factions, no one who was more vast in knowledge or greater in meticulousness could be seen. He surpassed his contemporaries in every science and my eyes have not seen the likes of him and nor have his eyes seen the likes of himself...

    For Ibn Taymiyyah discussed the issue with breadth and depth - and taking it all from the Salaf - and it wasn't simply something he said of his own accord, and what I stated was simply an ignorant and shallow statement that completely misrepresents the truth of the situation.

  • I acknowledge that it was actually the Jahmites who originated this issue - those with whom I share the belief that Allaah is not above His Throne, above His creation, and that He does not have actions tied to His Will and Choice - they (the early Jahmites) originated this issue in order to deny the Nuzool - something which I also do - following them in that.

  • Following on from the last point, I acknowledge that the reason why this issue arose was because my Jahmite Ancestry began to say "Allah is in every place" and "Allah is in no place", and "It is not Allah that descends, but His Command, or His Mercy that descends" and "I disbelieve in a Lord that moves from His place" and so when my Jahmite Ancestry began to raise these issues, the likes of Hammaad bin Zayd, Abdullah Ibn al-Mubaarak, Fudayl bin Iyaad, Ishaaq bin Raahawaih and others stood to clarify the truth and to warn from falsehood - and that this was in the middle to the end of the second century, well before the likes of Abul-Hasan al-Ash'ari and Abu Bakr al-Baqillani.

  • I acknowledge the severity of the Salaf in dealing with the poison of Jahm (of negating Allah being above the Throne, and negating His having sifaat Fi'liyyah), such as what was done by Abdullah bin Abi Ja'far with his relative who began speaking with the speech of Jahm - and I realise that all of this took place centuries before the later Ash'arite Mutakallimoon acquired this same Jahmite poison into their kalaamist theology - and this helps me to position my own Jahmite aqeedah more accurately in terms of what its real sources and roots are.

  • I understand the importance of actually understanding what my opponent said, and what he actually wrote before opening my mouth, and so I resolve not to do this again.