The Belief Of True Salaf
The Belief Of True Salaf
Allah is Attributed with Perfection
Bismillah, Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, to Him belong the endowments and the befitting perfections and commendations. I ask Allah to raise the rank of Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and to protect his nation from that which he fears for it, Thereafter:
Allah, ta’ala, exists without a place is the belief and the creed of the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the Companions and the True Salaf and Khalaf, those who graciously followed them, and it shall be until the Day of Judgment. The proof of this precious statement is what Allah said in the Qur’an, in Surat ash-Shura, ayah 11 which means: “There is nothing like Him and He has the attribute of Hearing and Seeing.” This ayah absolutely and totally clears Allah of resembling the creation. It comprises that Allah, ta’ala, is different from the creations in the Self, Attributes, and Doings. Hence, it shows that Allah, ta’ala, exists without a place, because the one who exists in a place would, by nature, be composed of atoms, i.e., he would be a body, occupying a space, and Allah, ta’ala, is clear of occupying spaces.”Allah existed eternally and there was nothing else.” This hadith proves that Allah was alone in al-‘azal, (the status of existence without a beginning,) i.e., before creating any of the creation. There was nothing with Him: no place, no space, no sky, no light, and no darkness. It is determined in the rules of the Religion and the judgments of the sound mind that Allah, the Exalted, does not change. Hence, it is impossible that after having been existing without a place, He would become in a place, because this is a development, and the development is a sign of needing others, and the one who needs others is not God.
“…. What was mentioned towards the end of the hadith is an indication of denying Allah has a place and denying the slave is alike to Allah, wherever he was in proximity or remoteness. Allah, the Exalted, is adhDhahir–hence, it is valid to know about Him by proofs. Allah is al-Batin–hence, it is invalid that He would be in a place.”
“Some of our companions used as a proof to refute the place to Allah the saying of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam : ‘You are adh-Dhahir and there is nothing above You, and You are al-Batin and there is nothing underneath You.’ Therefore, if there is nothing above Him and nothing underneath Him, He is not in a place.”
Abu Ja’far atTahawiyy, who was born in the year 237 after Hijrah, and was one of the Heads of Great Salaf wrote a book called Al-‘Aqidah atTahawiyyah. He mentioned that the content of his book is an elucidation of the creed of Ahl asSunnah wal Jama’ah, which is the creed of Imam Abu Hanifah, who died in the year 150 after alHijrah, and his two companions, Imam Abu Yusuf al-Qadi and Imam Muhammad Ibn alHasan ash-Shaybaniyy and others. He said in his book: “Allah is supremely clear of all boundaries, extremes, sides, organs and instruments. The six directions do not contain Him–these are attributed to all created things.” Such is the saying of Imam Abu Ja’far who is among the heads of as-Salaf. He explicitly stated that Allah is clear of being contained by the six directions. The six directions are above, below, in front of, behind, right, and left.
<In the explanation of al-Bukhariyy in the chapter on Al-Jihad, Hafidh Ibn Hajar said: “The fact that the two directions above and below are impossible to be attributes of Allah, does not necessitate that Allah would not be attributed with aboveness, because attributing aboveness to Allah is a matter of status and the impossibility lies in it being physical.”
The scholar Imam Zayn ad-Din Ibn Nujaym, the Hanafiyy, in his book Al-Bahr arRa’iq, on page 129 said: “Whoever says it is possible that Allah would do a doing in which there is no wisdom commits blasphemy, and also he commits blasphemy by affirming a place to Allah, the Exalted.”
“He who claims that Allah is in something or on something or from something, commits ash-shirk. Because if He was in something, He would be contained, and if He was on something, He would be carried, and if He was from something, He would be a creature.”
“Allah existed eternally and there was no place; He existed before creating the creation. He existed and there was not a place, a creation or a thing; and He is the Creator of everything. He who says ‘I do not know if my Lord is in the heavens or on the earth,’ is a kafir. Also is a kafir whoever says that ‘He is on al-‘arsh, and I do not know whether al-‘arsh is in the heaven or on the earth’.”
Imam Ahmad declared a kafir whomever says these last two phrases because they contain attributing a direction, boundary, and place to Allah. Everything which has a direction and boundary is by necessity in need of a Creator. Thus it is not the intention of Imam Abu Hanifah to prove that the heaven and al-‘arsh are places for Allah, as those who liken Allah to the creation claim. This is by virtue of the aforementioned saying of the Imam: “Had He been in a place needing to sit and rest, then before creating al-‘arsh where was Allah?”, which is clear in negating that Allah has a direction or a place.
Existence, Oneness, Eternity, Everlastingness, Non-neediness of others, Power, Will, Knowledge, Hearing, Sight, Life, Speech, and Non-resemblance to the creation.
The explanation of the attributes of Allah is as follows:
- Existence: It is obligatory to believe that Allah exists and that there is no doubt in His Existence.He exists without a place.Time does not lapse on Allah.
- Oneness: Allah is One without any partners.He is One in His Self, His Attributes, and His Actions.
- Eternity: Allah is Eternal; there is no beginning to His Existence.He has existed since before the creation.
- Everlastingness: Allah is Everlasting; His existence does not come to an end.He does not perish.
- Non-neediness of others: Allah does not need any of His creations and they are all in need of Him.
- Power: Allah has Power over everything.
- Will: Everything that occurs in this world is by the Will of Allah.
- Knowledge: Allah knows about all things before they occur.
- Hearing: Allah hears all what is hearable, without an ear or any other organ.
- Sight: Allah sees all what is seeable, without a pupil or any other organ.
- Life: Allah is alive without a soul, skin, or heart.His Life is not similar to ours.He is alive and does not die.
- Speech: Allah’s Speech (Kalam) is without a tongue or lip.His Speech is not in a language, Arabic or anything else.His Speech does not resemble the speech of the humans.
- Non-resemblance to the creations: Allah does not resemble the creations.