Their Denial of the Attributes of Allah

BACK⇒ Return to Table of contents

 

Discussion Two

Their Denial of the Attributes of Allah

 

After they had exaggerated in affirming the attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, the Shia dogma began to change in the latter portion of the third century. This was primarily due to the Shia being highly influenced by the school of the Mutazilah (rationalists) whose salient feature was the denial of the attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala confirmed in the Qur’an. This tendency rapidly increased in the fourth century with the works of al Mufid, al Musawi (also known as al Sharif al Murtada), and Abu Jafar al Tusi who relied greatly upon the works of the Mu’tazilah; to the extent that many of the aspects they cover in their books were copied verbatim from the books of the Mu’tazilah.[1] Likewise, the exegesis which they present for the verses of the Sifat (attributes) of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and those pertaining to Qadr (pre-destiny) are all sourced from the exegeses of the Mu’tazilah.[2]

Hence, the one who studies the works of the later Shia scholars will not sense any difference at all between them and the works of the Mu’tazilah with regards the names and attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, for rationalism (as they claim) is the criterion which induces all their opinions. The issues that the Mu’tazilah assert in this regard are the very same issues asserted by the later Shia scholars, e.g. the issue of the Qur’an being the created word of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, denying the belief that the believers will see Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in the afterlife, and refuting the attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. In fact, the doubts that the Mu’tazilah once raised are the very doubts raised by the later Shia scholars.

Yes, the only difference that the reader will pick up is that the Shia have in this regard forged narrations (which emphatically deny the attributes of Allah) and projected them to the Imams. Whereas as Ibn Taymiyyah states:

 

أسسوا دينهم علي أن باب التوحيد والصفات لا يتبع فيه ما رأوه بقياس عقولهم

They have decided in principle that in aspects pertaining to the oneness of Allah and his attributes they will not subscribe to the conclusions of their intellect.[3]

 

This (applying reason and intellect in matters of belief) is very clearly noticeable in their polemical works the likes of al Nukat al Itiqadiyyah of al Mufid and Nahj al Mustarshidin of Ibn Mutahhar among others.

This is in complete contrast with the Shari (legal), academic, and rational proceedings of our din, for the attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala are from the realm of the unseen and hence the knowledge thereof is purely based upon the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

Despite the reliance of the Shia upon logical arguments like the Mu’tazilah, you will notice that they present many narrations to support their stance with regards the denial of the attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, they fabricate reports and ascribe them to Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and some of the scholars of the Ahlul Bayt like Muhammad al Baqir and Jafar al Sadiq, suggesting that they were also of the opinion of denial. Hence, we find that one of their contemporary scholars asserts that this is the fundamental proof for their denial of the attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. He says:

 

هل يبقي مجال للبحث عن الصفات وهل له طريق إلا الإذعان بكلمة أمير المؤمنين رضي الله عنه كمال الإخلاص نفي الصفات عنه

Is there any room for any discussion with regards to the attributes, and is there any other way besides having conviction in the verdict of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu: “Complete devotion to him is by denying the attributes.”[4]

 

You thus see that this nation has no fixed approach, this is obviously because any stance that is based on uncritical following is vulnerable to contradiction. So at times they rely upon logic and at times they rely upon reports. And, thus, they are swaying between a purely tradition based approach and a completely rationalistic one.

Having said this, it is established from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt that they affirmed the attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala… The narrations in this regard are abundant and authentic in the books of the scholars.[5] Likewise, amidst the appallingly plentiful narrations of denial some narrations of theirs also concede this, a few of which will feature in the pages to come.

The examples of narrations ascribed to the Ahlul Bayt which emphatically deny the attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala are overwhelming. E.g.

و كمال التوحيد نفي الصفات

The completeness of Tawhid lies within the denial of the attributes.[6]

 

Likewise:

وحمد الله نفي الصفات عنه

And the praise of Allah is in denying the attributes.[7]

 

 ولا نفي (للتشبيه) مع إثبات الصفات

Rejecting anthropomorphism is not possible with affirming the attributes.[8]

 

Their scholar Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli has emphatically stated that their stance is like that of the Mu’tazilah.[9] Some of them have even said:

 

و كمذهب الفلاسفة

And (our stance) is like that of the philosophers.[10]

 

Just as a great many of their narrations describe Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala with negative attributes, which they have made part of their denial of the established attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, Ibn Babuwayh has documented more than seventy narrations which state that:

 

لا يوصف بزمان ولا مكان،ولا كيفية،ولا حركة،ولا انتقال،ولا بشيء من صفات الأجسام و ليس حسا ولا جسمانيا ولا صورة

Allah cannot be described with time and space, movement and locomotion, nor with any of the attributes of bodies. He is not discernible, a possessor of body, or a form…[11]

 

Their scholars have all treaded this beguiling path of denying the attributes which feature in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and of describing Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala with negative traits. Their scholar Muhammad al Hussaini, famously known as al Qazwini, (d. 1300 A.H) who they awarded the title of the ‘thirteenth Imam’ due to him meeting the awaited Mahdi three times. He says in describing Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala:

 

لا جزء له،و ما لا جزء له لا تركيب فيه،و ما ليس بمركب ليس بجوهر ولا عرض وما ليس بجوهر ليس بعقل ولا نفس ولا مادة ولا صورة ولا جسم وما ليس بجسم ليس في مكان ولا في زمان ولا في جهة ولا في وقت،وما ليس في جهة لا كم له ولا كيف ولا رتبة،وما لا كم له و كيف له ولا جهة ولا وضع له،وما ليس له وضع ولا في وقت ولا في مكان لا إضافة له ولا نسبة،وما لا نسبة له لا فعل فيه ولا انفعال،وما ليس بجسم ولا لون ولا في مكان ولا جهة لا يري ولا يدرك.

He has no composite parts; and that which does not comprise of composite parts does not possess a collective whole; and that which does not have a collective whole is not a substance or abstract; and that which is not a substance is not intelligent, self-subsistent, material and is not characterised by form or body; and that which does not have a body is space-less and timeless, it is not in a direction or in a specific time; and that which does not have a direction does not have quantity, quality, and a status; and that which does not have quantity, quality, and a direction does not have a specific shape; and that which does not have a shape and does not exist in time or space has no apposition and external link; and that which has no external links has no actions and emotions; and that which is not a body nor a colour nor does it exist in a place or direction cannot be seen or grasped.[12]

 

As you can see, he has sourced this pure denial from the works of the philosophers and heretics which entails the denial of the existence of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.

سبحن ربك رب العزة عما يصفون و سلام علي المرسلين و الحمد لله رب العالمين

Pure is your Lord, the Lord of honour, from that which they describe. And peace be upon the Messengers, and all praises belong to Allah—the Lord of the Universe.[13]

 

This is nothing new, for this is the path of all those who digressed from the way of the Prophets ‘alayh al Salam, such as the disbelievers, the polytheists, the People of the Book, those who infiltrated their ranks from amongst the Sabians[14], the philosophers, the Jahmiyyah[15], and the Batiniyyah[16], etc. For they describe Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala with negative attributes with completeness of detail whereas, on the other hand, they only affirm the existence of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala generally which amounts to nothing in essence; for this leads to ultimately denying the very existence of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. This is because their denial of the names and attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala ultimately leads to the denial of his existence. Just as it necessitates Tamthil (assimilating Allah with the creation) in the sense that they assimilate Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala with improbabilities, non-existent entities, and inanimate things.[17]

They all try to avoid one thing but eventually get gripped in something just like it or even worst. That is besides the fact that they become victims of interpolation and denial.[18]

Whereas Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has sent the Prophets ‘alayh al Salam with the elaborate affirmation of his attributes and the general denial of traits that do not befit his majesty.[19] This is exactly what we see in the Qur’an as well (i.e. the detailed affirmation of the attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and a general negation of all unsuitable traits).[20] Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيْعُ الْبَصِيْرُ

There is nothing like Him and He is the All Hearing, All Seeing.[21]

 

Hence, the negation is general. This is the methodology of the Qur’an in most cases. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

هَلْ تَعْلَمُ لَهُ سَمِيًّا

Do you know a namesake for Allah?[22]

 

In other words, an equal who deserves the same name as him. It is also said: Any competitor who can compete with him.[23]

This is the meaning of what is narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, “Do you know any equal to him or anyone similar to him.”[24]

Likewise Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

وَ لَمْ يَكُنْ لَّهٗ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ

And there is no one equal to Him.[25]

 

As for the affirmation of the attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, it is explained in complete detail like:

 

وَهُوَ السَّمِيْعُ الْبَصِيْرُ

And He is the All Hearing All Seeing.

 

And like the concluding verses of Surah al Hashr:

 

هُوَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِيْ لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ هُوَ الرَّحْمٰنُ الرَّحِيْمُ هُوَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِيْ لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْمَلِكُ الْقُدُّوْسُ السَّلَامُ الْمُؤْمِنُ الْمُهَيْمِنُ الْعَزِيْزُ الْجَبَّارُ الْمُتَكَبِّرُ سُبْحَانَ اللّٰهِ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ هُوَ اللّٰهُ الْخَالِقُ الْبَارِئُ الْمُصَوِّرُ لَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيْزُ الْحَكِيْمُ.

He is Allah besides Who there is no deity. He is the Sovereign, the Most Pure, the Giver of Peace, the Giver of Security, the Vigilant, the Mighty, the Dominant, and the Glorious. Pure is Allah from what they ascribe to Him. He is the Creator, the Perfect Maker, the Fashioner. For Him are beautiful names. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorify Him. And He is the Mighty, the Wise.[26]

 

There are many examples of this nature.[27]

Therefore, the method of these people is not in harmony with the Qur’an, just as it is inharmonious with sound human disposition and evident rationality. Instead it is frowned upon by humans in praise of humans. So how can Allah, the Lord of the multi-verse, be praised in this manner?[28]

Although the Shia narrate from the Imams that “the creator should not be described but with attributes with which he has described himself”, they have disregarded this just as they have disregarded the Book of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, the demands of rationality, and the dictates of sound disposition. All of this is affected by uncritical following and the remnants of perishing philosophies. Or else why would an intelligent person rely upon an inadequate brain, a faltering thought-process, self-contradictory human assumptions, and their conflicting conjecture in matters of the unseen; which can only be affirmed and realised by way of divine revelation.

The scholars of Islam have very vehemently refuted the claims of these Muattilah (deniers of the attributes of Allah), thus, I will not repeat the same and return to their refutations… However it would be fruitful to sketch this contentious issue from the books of the Shia, from the narrations of their Imams, and the statements of their scholars, since these are primarily in support of the deniers. In this way the extent of their contradiction, aloofness from their Imams, and the extent to which the Saba’i hands were influential in corrupting the creed of the Imams, forging narrations of denial, and uncritically approbative of its outcomes, will become abundantly clear.

For this, I will choose three issues:

  1. The created/uncreated nature of the Qur’an
  2. Seeing Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in the afterlife.
  3. Divine descent.

Thereafter, I will endeavour to illustrate by way of textual proof extracted from Shia sources that the stance of the Imams were moderate; neither was it exaggeratedly anthropomorphic, nor was it rigidly denying. This exactly is the stance of the Ahlus Sunnah and it is in accordance with reliable texts and profound reason.

 

1. Their stance with regards to the Qur’an being created

The Qur’an is the revealed uncreated Word of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. This is what is asserted in the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and the consensus of the early scholars of the Ummah.[29] The Ithna ‘Ashariyyah on the other hand have treaded the path of the Jahmiyyah in positing that the Qur’an is the created word of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Al Majlisi, the grand Shia scholar of his time, has established a chapter in his Bihar regarding the Qur’an, which he titled, Chapter regarding the Quran being created.[30] Therein, he has documented eleven narrations. However, most of these narrations prove the opposite of his viewpoint, but the Shia have a method of manipulating them which we will mention after a while.

The Shia scholar Muhsin al Amin states:

قالت الشيعة والمعتزلة القرآن مخلوق.

The Shia and the Mu’tazilah say that the Qur’an is created.[31]

 

This is due to them denying the attribute of speech for Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and due to them claiming that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala:

 

يوجد الكلام في بعض مخلوقاته كالشجرة حين كلم موسي وكجبرئيل حين أنزله بالقرآن.

Creates speech in some of his creation, like the tree when it conversed with Musa, and Jibril when Allah sent him with the Qur’an.[32]

 

This is some of what their scholars have said in this regard.[33]

If you source the narrations which they transmit on the authority of the Ahlul Bayt you will find that most of them oppose this stance which the Shia have taken. One of them is the narration which appears in Tafsir al Ayyashi:

 

عن الرضا أنه سئل عن القرآن فقال… إنه كلام الله غير مخلوق.

Al Rida was asked regarding the Qur’an he said, “… It is the uncreated Word of Allah.”[34]

 

And in Rijal al Kashshi it is mentioned:

إن الكلام ليس بمخلوق

The speech is uncreated.[35]

 

And in Ibn Babuwayh al Qummi’s book al Tawhid the following is mentioned:

 

قيل لأبي الحسن موسي رضي الله عنه: يا ابن رسول الله ما تقول في القرآن: فقد اختلف فيه من قبلنا فقال قوم: إنه مخلوق، وقال قوم: إنه غير مخلوق، فقال رضي الله عنه: أما إني لا أقول في ذلك ما يقولون، ولكني أقول: إنه كلام الله عزوجل.

Abu al Hassan Musa was asked, “O the son of Rasul Allah! What is your opinion regarding the Qur’an? Because the people in our region have disputed the matter; some say that it is created while others say that it is uncreated.”

He replied, “Behold! I do not say what they say. Instead I say that it is the Speech of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.”[36]

 

There are many narrations in this regard.[37] However, the Sheikh of the Shia in his time Ibn Babuwayh al Qummi whilst interpreting these reports has leaned toward a totally different view; he proves that the words “uncreated (Ghayr Makhluq)” means:

 

أنه غير مخلوق أي غير مكذوب لا يعني به أنه غير محدث

It is Ghayr Makhluq, i.e. it is not a lie. It does not mean that it is not created.[38]

 

He further says, “The reason why we refrained from applying the meaning of ‘creation’ is because the word Makhluq literally at times means a lie; it is said: Kalam Makhluq, i.e. a lie.”[39]

There is no doubt that this interpretation is not sound, because it is obvious that the previously cited narrations oppose the stance taken by the Mu’tazilah with regards to the creation of the Qur’an. Hence, the pious predecessors refuted their claims asserting that it is the uncreated Word of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. They did not intend that it is not a lie as Ibn Babuwayh and others claim, for no one amongst the Muslims ever claimed that it was a lie, instead this is blatant disbelief which every Muslim is aware of. In essence, what they (the Mu’tazilah) said was that Allah created his speech in something. This is what the pious predecessors rejected it, as is documented in multiple narrations and in many books.[40]

In Tafsir al Sirat al Mustaqim of Ayatollah al Burujardi he quotes a text of Ibn Babuwayh al Qummi wherein he interprets the aforementioned texts with the taint of Taqiyyah. Thus, he says:

 

و لعل المنع من إطلاقه الخلق علي القران إما للتقية مماشاة مع العامة أو لكونه موهما لمعني اخر أطلق الكفار عليه بهذا المعني في قولهم إن هذا إلا اختلاق

It is very likely that abstaining from attributing creation upon the Qur’an was either due to Taqiyyah in order to outwardly agree with the commonality (i.e. the Ahlus Sunnah) or due to it insinuating an undesirable meaning which the infidels would intend in their saying, “This is not but a fabrication.”[41]

 

It is clear that these scholars found nothing to support their stance besides the idea of Taqiyyah and its like. This proves that they have no solid anchorage and that the mere possibility of Taqiyyah being present in every text has ruined their faith and has stripped it of any essence. Their faith has thus become the faith of al Majlisi, al Kulayni or Ibn Babuwayh al Qummi rather than it being a faith based upon the traditions of the Imams.[42]

It thus became plausible for every Sheikh, heretic, or fraudster—who masquerades as a Sheikh and flaunts his knowledge—to choose a view from among these conflicting views which appeals to his heterodoxy, ignorance, or ego; and discard the other views even though they may be true. In supporting his stance he substantiates it by way of Taqiyyah or by the claim that it opposes the view of the Ahlus Sunnah—for in opposing them lies guidance. In this deceitful way does he destroy knowledge, the truth, and the faith, and predetermines disunity and discord for the Ummah by way of these methodologies which stem from the inspiration of the devil and his cunningness.

If any Shia scholar desired good for the Shia he would have treaded the path of the majority and would have accepted from Shia narrations only those which are harmonious with the Qur’an and those which are accepted by the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah. He would have freed himself from the ploys of al Qummi, al Kulayni, and al Majlisi; especially when the Imams have time and again complained of the fraudsters who forged things and attributed lies to them. They said:

 

بأن الناس أولعوا بالكذب علينا

People are obsessed with lying against us.[43]

 

If you really intend to apply this methodology, i.e. accepting those narrations of the Ahlul Bayt which are in harmony with the traditions of the Ahlus Sunnah; you will find that the books of the Shia record many narrations from the Ahlul Bayt which clearly state that the word of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala is revealed and uncreated; just as you will find that the books of the Ahlus Sunnah are replete with narrations containing the same. Imam al Bukhari radiya Llahu ‘anhu in his book Khalq Afal al Ibad[44], Ibn Abi Hatim[45], Abu Sa’id al Darimi[46], al Ajurri in al Shariah[47], al Bayhaqi in al Itiqad[48] and al Asma wa al Sifat[49], al Lalika’i in Sharh Usul Itiqad Ahlus Sunnah[50], and Abu Dawood in Masail al Imam Ahmed[51] have all documented a narration on the authority from Jafar al Sadiq that he was asked with regards to the Qur’an whereupon he replied:

ليس بخالق ولا مخلوق

Neither is it the Creator nor is it created.

 

Ibn Taymiyyah says that this has been very popularly narrated from Jafar al Sadiq.[52]

So why is the unanimously agreed upon meaning not taken and why is the falsehood not discarded, for it is not supported but by the verdicts of scholars who desire to plant the seeds of disquiet and dispute in the Ummah, who seek peculiarity and aloofness in order to conveniently amass big sums of money in the name of Khums (one fifth of the wealth of people) and so that they may preside over the lofty position of representing the hidden Mahdi; therefore, we find them always emphasising that in any thing that opposes the Ahlus Sunnah there is guidance.

Whereas if the word al Ammah (commonality) is taken in its literal sense the Mu’tazilah whom they have emulated also fall part of it, for the stance of the Qur’an being created was the stance of the Mu’tazilah. ‘Abd al Jabbar says in his Sharh al Usul al Khamsah:

 

و أما مذهبنا في ذالك (اي في القران) فهو أن القران كلام الله تعالي ووحيه و هو مخلوق محدث

As to our stance with regards to this matter, the Qur’an is the speech of Allah and His revelation and it is created and brought into existence.[53]

 

This is one of the many ideas of the Mu’tazilah which the Shia have assimilated into their dogma… which suggests that they didn’t really succeed in opposing the ‘commonality’.

The first person to invent this idea was al Ja’d ibn Dirham.[54] ‘Abd al Rahman Ibn Abi Hatim states:

 

أول من أتي بخلق القران جعد بن درهم فهو اول من قال بمبدأ التعطيل في هذه الأمة ثم تلقي ذلك عنه الجهم بن صفوان

The first person to coin the idea of the creation of the Qur’an was al Ja’d ibn Dirham.[55] Similarly he is the first person to deny the attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala; thereafter, al Jahm ibn Safwan learnt them from him.

 

Some suggest that this idea returns in its origins to foreign influences, for Ibn al Athir, Ibn Taymiyyah, and others have mentioned that al Ja’d had taken this idea from Aban ibn Sam’an, and he from Talut—the son of the sister of Labid ibn al A’sam (the Jew who had poisoned Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who was of the opinion that the Tawrah (old testament) is created. Talut was irreligious and was the first to write a book in this regard. Then, al Ja’d promulgated it.[56] Just as al Khatib al Baghdadi mentions that the father of Bishr al Murrisi, one of the proponents of the idea of creation from among the Mu’tazilah, was a Jew.[57]

From here the Jewish influence on this idea becomes evident.

Ibn Taymiyyah makes further mention of foreign influences upon the idea. He mentions that al Ja’d ibn Dirham was from Harran, therein there were some Sabians and philosophers who rejected the message of Ibrahim ‘alayh al Salam. He thus denied that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala conversed with Musa ‘alayh al Salam and that he befriended Ibrahim ‘alayh al Salam concurring in this regard with Firoun and Namrud based on their principle of denial in that neither speech can co-exist with Allah, nor can love for someone else. Hence, the Muslims had him executed subsequent to which many devious people followed his path.[58]

Those narrations which feature in the books of the Shia which assert that the Qur’an is revealed and uncreated represent the position of the early scholars among the Shia as is indicated by the scholars;[59] for the position that the Qur’an is a creation is from the innovations of the later Shia scholarship.[60]

Likewise the position that the Qur’an is revealed and uncreated is proven to be the position of the Ahlul Bayt. For there is not a single Imam from the Ahlul Bayt, the likes of ‘Ali ibn al Hussain, Abu Jafar al Baqir, and his son Jafar, who was of the opinion that the Qur’an is created. However, the Shia oppose majority of the principles of the Ahlul Bayt.[61]

As for their statement that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala created his speech in a tree when conversing to Musa ‘alayh al Salam, it is in complete contrast with the explicit verse:

وَكَلَمَ اللّٰهُ مُوْسٰي تَكْلِيْمًا

And Allah spoke to Musa specially.[62]

 

The emphasis with the verbal noun ‘taklim denies any possibility of a metaphorical explanation of the verse. Hence, many scholars have said that emphasis created by way of a verbal noun disallows the concession of metaphor.[63]

If their interpretation was to be considered correct, then there remains no exclusive virtue for Musa ‘alayh al Salam, mention of which Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala makes in the Qur’an:

 

من سمع كلام الله من ملك او من نبي أتاه به من عند الله افضل مرتبة في سماء الكلام من موسي،لانهم سمعوه من نبي،و موسي سمعه من شجرة…ويلزمهم أن تكون الشجرة هي التي قالت: إنني أنا الله لا أله إلا أنا فاعبدني. وهذا ظاهر الفساد.

A person who hears the Speech of Allah from an angel or from a Nabi who conveys it on his behalf is more privileged than Musa ‘alayh al Salam, because they are hearing it from a Nabi whereas Musa ‘alayh al Salam heard it from a tree… this also obviously posits that the tree addressed Musa ‘alayh al Salam saying, “Indeed I am Allah, there is no deity besides me, so worship me.” And this is evidently wrong.[64]

 

The refutation of the Jahmiyyah who are deniers of the attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala is abundantly found in the works of the Tabiin (the successors of the Sahabah), their successors, and the great luminaries. There are extensive narrations discussing the nature of the Qur’an[65] which are documented in dedicated works. However, it would be interesting to add here in critiquing the Shia doctrine after the emergence of their literature to the fore and its proliferation that they, despite not according this virtue to Musa ‘alayh al Salam by denying that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala spoke to him and claiming that the tree in fact spoke to him, did not deny this in respect of their Imam and they completely overlooked this issue when extoling the virtues of the Imams.

There appears a chapter in one of their canonical works Bihar al Anwar by the name Chapter: Regarding Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala conversing with the Imam[66] in this chapter the author presents a few narrations discussing the topic and thereafter he attributes them—as is his habit—to a group of their reliable books. One of these narrations state:

 

لما بعث رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم ببراءة مع أبي بكر و انزل الله عليه:تترك من ناجيته غير مرة، و تبعث من لم أناجه؟ فأرسل رسول الله صلي الله عليه و آله فأخذ براءة منه و دفعها الي علي رضي الله عنه فقال له علي:أوصني يا رسول الله، فقال له، إن الله يوصيك و يناجيك، قال: فناجاه يوم براءة قبل صلاة الأولي إلي صلاة العصر

When the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent Abu Bakr with Surah Bara’ah, Allah revealed to him, “You are leaving the person whom I addressed a few times and are sending someone who I did not converse with at all?”[67]

The Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam thus sent for him, took Surah Bara’ah away from him and gave it to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

‘Ali thus said, “O Rasul of Allah, advise me.”

He said, “Allah will advise you and address you.”

He says that Allah conversed with him on the Day of Bara’ah from before the Salat al Fajr up until Salat al ‘Asr.[68]

 

Another narration states the following:

إن الله ناجاه (يعني عليا) يوم الطائف و يوم عقبة تبوك، و يوم حنين

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala conversed with ‘Ali on the Day of Ta’if, the Day of Tabuk, and the Day of Hunayn.[69]

 

And in Basair al Darajat, al Ikhtisas, and Bihar al Anwar there is a narration which says:

 

عن أبي عبد الله قال: قال رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم لأهل الطائف: لأبعثن اليكم رجلا كنفسي يفتح الله به الخيبر، سوطه سيفه (ثم تذكر الرواية اختبار علي لهذه المهمة، و أن الرسول لحق به و لما وصلها) (كان علي علي رأس الجبل فقال له رسول الله سلي اله عليه وسلم :اثبت فثبت، فسمعنا مثل صرير الزجل فقيل يا رسول الله ما هذا؟قال: إن الله يناجي عليا رضي الله عنه

Abu ‘Abdullah al Sadiq says that the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to the people of Ta’if, “I will send to you a man like me upon whose hands Allah will give victory in Khaybar; his whip will be his sword…”

(The narration then mentions that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was chosen for this task and that the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam tagged along behind him. When he reached him,)

‘Ali was at the head of the mountain.

So the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to him, “Remain firm, remain firm.”

Thus we heard something like thundering.[70] It was said, “O Rasul of Allah! What is that?”

He said, “Allah is conversing with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.”[71]

 

Aside from the historical flaws in the narration and confounding the battles of Khaybar and Tabuk, the reader will most probably note the resemblance given to the speech of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala; for the element of anthropomorphism is clear in the words “like thundering”. And the narration does not indicate that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu heard this from a tree or anything of that sort. So what is wrong with them? At times they lean toward utter denial whilst at other occasions they lean toward anthropomorphism. Do these narrations perhaps suggest the phases through which Shi’ism traversed from first being anthropomorphist and then switching to utter denial in the third century when the winds of I’tizal were violently blowing? Or is it that the fabricators of these narrations represent every creed with the result that each one of them fabricates that which his creed dictates to him?

In essence, love for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is a virtue so meritorious that coupled with it no sin is harmful, as they allege.

And they do not find any reason to justify their standing besides Taqiyyah. And not one of their scholars is able to identify the view which is based on Taqiyyah from the other except by asserting that it is the one that opposes the commonality (i.e. the Ahlus Sunnah), for in it lies guidance. If only they said, “That which is harmonious with the Qur’an is the truth and that which opposes it is Taqiyyah.

Lastly, is it not sufficient in exposing the falsity of their dogma that it is a foreign element to the ummah, that it is against the creed of the Ahlul Bayt, that it is against many of their narrations which are in harmony with the narrations of the Ahlus Sunnah, and that their narrations are all riddled with contradiction?

 

2. Seeing Allah in the afterlife

For the people of Jannat to see Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, without encompassing His Being and without any specific manner, is true as is mentioned in the Qur’an:

وُجُوْهٌ يَّوْمَئِذٍ نَّاضِرَةٌ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهَا نَاظِرَةٌ

On that day some faces will be radiant, gazing at their lord.[72]

 

As for the traditions of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his Sahabah which establish seeing Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, they are mass transmitted and have been documented by the authors of the Sihah, the Masanid, and the Sunan.[73]

The Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, their successors, and the renowned acclaimed scholars of the Ummah who were known for their supremacy in din were all proponents of seeing Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Likewise was the opinion of all the theologians who subscribed to the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah.[74]

The Jahmiyyah, Mu’tazilah, Khawarij (those who rebelled against ‘Ali), and the Twelver Shia[75] were opponents of seeing Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Their stance, however, is baseless and rejected by the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and the consensus of the pious predecessors.[76]

Hereunder I shall quote the opinion of the Shia from their sources in this regard:

The Shia have, due to conforming to the Mu’tazilah, inclined toward the denial of seeing Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. There are many a narrations which Ibn Babuwayh has cited in his al Tawhid, majority of which were later quoted by al Majlisi in his Bihar al Anwar. These narrations reject that which appears in clear-cut verses and traditions with regards to the believers seeing Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in the afterlife. These narrations, for example, falsely allege that Abu ‘Abdullah Jafar al Sadiq was asked:

 

عن الله تبارك و تعالي هل يري في المعاد؟فقال سبحان الله و تعالي عن ذالك علوا كبيرا..إن الأبصار لا تدرك إلا ما له لون و كيفية،والله خالق الألوان و الكيفية

“Will Allah Ta’ala be seen in the afterlife?”

He said, “Pure is Allah and Exalted is He from that… The eyes can only grasp that which has colour and modality whereas Allah is the creator of colour and modality.”[77]

 

This narration contradicts what the author of al Kafi has reported from Abu ‘Abdullah. He said:

 

ولكن لا بد من إثبات أن له كيفية لا يستحقها غيره ولا يشارك فيها ولا يحاط بها ولا يعلمها غيره

However, it is necessary to affirm his modality which no one else besides him is worthy of, no one besides him can share, which cannot be fully grasped, and no one can have knowledge of.”[78]

 

Jafar al Najafi, the student of Kashif al Ghita’ states:

و لو نسب إلي الله بعض الصفات…كالرؤية حكم بار تداده

If a person ascribes some attributes to Allah such as the possibility of Him being seen, he will be considered a renegade.[79]

 

Al Hurr al ‘Amili has enumerated the denial of seeing Allah from the fundamental beliefs of the Imams. He has established a chapter to prove this which is, Chapter: that no eye will see Allah in this world and the hereafter.[80]

So their denial of seeing their Lord in the afterlife is digressing from the dictates of the divine texts just as it is defecting from the creed of the Ahlul Bayt. Some of their narrations confirm this. Hence, Ibn Babuwayh al Qummi narrates from Abu Basir that he asked Abu ‘Abdullah:

 

أخبرني عن الله عز و جل هل يراه المؤمنون يوم القيامة؟قال:نعم

“Tell me about Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Will the believers see him on the day of judgement?”

He said, “Yes.”[81]

 

3. The descent of Allah

Furthermore, the descent of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala is something that is very extensively narrated in the Sunnah of the Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the pious predecessors of the Ummah, and the scholars of Sunnah and Hadith have all unanimously accepted it[82] and established it (as it befits his majesty and is unique to his grandeur).

However, there are many a narrations which feature in the books of the Twelvers which negate this.[83] Whereas simultaneously there are other narrations which establish the descent of Allah; these are the narrations which are in harmony with the narrations of the Ahlus Sunnah. The following narration appears in the books of the Shia:

 

قال سئل لأبي عبد الله: تقول إنه ينزل إلي السماء الدنيا؟ قال أبو عبد الله: نقول بذالك، لأن الروايات قد صحت به و الأخبار

A person asked Abu ‘Abdullah, “Do you say that Allah descends to the first heaven?”

Abu ‘Abdullah said, “That is what we say, because this is what is authentically proven in the narrations and reports.”[84]

 

A similar narration to this appears in Tafsir al Qummi, the most authentic and fundamental exegesis of the Shia as is asserted by the author of al Bihar,[85] even though the publisher of the book and its commentator modified the meaning[86] by adding on to it without realising, however, the rest of the narration exposes the counterfeit addition.[87]

The apparent contradiction in these narrations necessitates that one of them is undoubtedly false. An there is no doubt as to the fact that the narrations which are coherent with the Qur’an, the Sunnah of the Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and the unanimous stance of pious predecessors are the valid ones; despite the Shia denying them due to their conformance with the Mu’tazilah.

In addition, the difference of opinion which we find between the early Shia scholarship and its successive scholarship necessarily suggests that either the early or the later scholars were astray.[88] Narrations from the Shia literature posit that the stance of the Ahlul Bayt in this regard was one of moderation; not exaggeratedly affirming like that of the early Shia and neither exceedingly denying like that of the later scholars.

The author of al Kafi has established a chapter, Chapter: Regarding the prohibition of describing Allah in a manner that he has not described himself. In this chapter he has cited twelve narrations from the Imams. He commences the chapter with the following narration:

 

عبد الرحيم بن عتيك القصير قال كتبت علي يدي عبد الملك بن أعين إلي أبي عبد الله عليه السلام إن قوما بالعراق يصفون الله بالصورة وبالتخطيط فكتب إلي سألت رحمك الله عن التوحيد وما ذهب إليه من قبلك فتعال الله الذي ليس كمثله شيء و هو السميع البصير تعالي عما يصفه الواصفون المشبهون الله بخلقه المفترون علي الله فاعلم رحمك الله أن المذهب الصحيح في التوحيد ما نزل به القرآن من صفات الله جل وعز فانف عن الله تعالي البطلان و التشبيه فلا نفي ولا تشبيه…لا تعدوا القرآن فتضلوا بعد البيان

‘Abd al Rahman ibn ‘Atik al Qasir mentions, “I dictated the following to ‘Abd al Malik ibn A’yan in a letter to Abu ‘Abdullah ‘alayh al Salam, ‘A group of people in Iraq describe Allah with a form and with elaborate details.’

He wrote back saying, ‘You have asked, may Allah have mercy on you, about the oneness of Allah and the view that some have adopted in your region. So Allah is exalted, there is nothing like him, he is All Hearing and All Seeing. He is beyond the descriptions of those who describe Him, likening Him to the creation, and who falsely forge things against Him. Behold! The correct stance pertaining to the oneness of Allah is that which the Qur’an has descended with regarding the attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Hence, negate from Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala Butlan (baselessness) and Tashbih (assimilation). There is no room, thus, for complete negation of his attributes. Neither is there any permissibility for likening him with the creation…[89] Do not transgress the limits of the Qur’an, or else you will go astray after clear guidance.’”[90]

 

Mufaddal says:

سألت أبا الحسن عن شيء من الصفة فقال: لا تجاوز ما في القرآن

I asked Abu al Hassan about an aspect pertaining to the attributes of Allah.

He said, “Do not exceed that which is in the Qur’an.”[91]

 

Note that this text which appears in the most authentic of their four early canonical works orders them to follow that which is revealed in the Qur’an with regards to the attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Therefore, whoever uncritically follows the Mu’tazilah or makes his reason the criterion and turns away from the Qur’an has not followed the Qur’an, nor has he followed the bequest of his Imam.

Al Rida says:

 

للناس في التوحيد ثلاثة مذاهب: نفي، و تشبيه، و إثبات بغير تشبيه. فمذهب النفي لا يجوز، و مذهب التشبيه لا يجوز، لأن الله تبارك و تعالي لا يشبهه شيء و السبيل في الطريقة الثلاثة إثبات بلا تشبيه.

People have three opinions with regards to the oneness of Allah: Complete denial of His attributes, assimilating Him with the creation, and affirming them without assimilating Him with the creation. Hence, the stances of denial and assimilation are unacceptable, for there is nothing that resembles Allah. Therefore the straight path is in the third stance which is affirmation without assimilation.[92]

 

The early Shia leaned toward assimilation and the later Shia leaned toward denial and they all collectively discarded the moderate stance which was the stance of the Imams as is attested to by their books. This shows that they have no sound grounding in this regard, for they have not taken the approach of the Qur’an and the Sunnah, nor have they adopted the stance of their Imams who they claim are their leaders. Instead they first went the way of the assimilators and opposed the verse, “There is nothing like him,” then they treaded the path of the deniers and disregarded all the texts containing the attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.

 

NEXT⇒ Discussion Three – Describing their Imams with the Names and Attributes of Allah


[1] Minhaj al Sunnah, 1/229.

[2] Ibid, 1/356.

[3] Minhaj al Sunnah (with the research of Muhammad Rashad Salim), 2/78-79 or 1/232 of the Amiriyah print.

[4] Al Zanjani: ‘Aqa’id al Imamiyyah al Ithnay ‘Ashariyyah p. 28.

[5] Minhaj al Sunnah 2/144.

[6] Al Tawhid p. 57.

[7] Ibid p. 34-35

[8] Ibid p. 40.

[9] Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli: Nahj al Mustarshidin p. 32.

[10] Majalis al Muwahhidin fi Usul al Din p. 21.

[11] Al Tawhid p. 57.

[12] Qala’id al Khara’id fi Usul al ‘Aqa’id p. 50; Nahj al Mustarshidin p. 45-47; Majalis al Muwahhidin Fi Usul al Din p. 21.

[13] Surah al Saffat: 180-182.

[14] Many of the Sabians have adopted the stance of describing Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala with negative traits. Bayruni thus mentions regarding the Sabians of Harran: they describe Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala with negative qualities rather than positive ones, e.g. he cannot be confined, cannot be seen, does not oppress and does not wrong. They apply the beautiful names of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala to him metaphorically, for they do not believe in the literal attributes. Just as they ascribe the running of the world to the skies and its orbiting bodies. (Al Athar al Baqiyah ‘An al Qurun al Haliyah p. 205). There is difference of opinion with regards to the ethnicity of the Sabians; Ibn Jarir al Tabari has documented a narration wherein Mujahid and others mention, “The Sabians are a people who are not purely fire-worshippers nor Jews or Christians; they do not really have a faith (Tafsir al Tabari 2/146). This is the preferred opinion of Ibn Kathir as well (Tafsir Ibn Kathir 1/107). Al Razis preferred opinion is that they were a sect that worshiped stars in the era of Ibrahim ‘alayh al Salam (I’tiqadat Firaq al Muslimin wa al Mushrikin p. 142). Shahrastani states that there were two groups: the Sabians and the Hunafa’, (the monotheists) (al Milal wa al Nihal: 1: 230). They were known as the Sabi’ah (denouncers of faith) due to digressing from the teachings of the Prophets, for Saba’a literally translates as going astray (Ibid 2/5). Also refer to al Asfara’ini’s al Tabsir fi al Din p. 89.; Ibn Taymiyyah’s al Radd ‘ala al Mantiqiyin p. 287-289, 454-457; al Muqrizi’s al Khutat 2/344.

[15] The followers of al Jahm ibn Safwan. From amongst his deviances is the denial of the attributes and other innovative beliefs such as Irja’ (sinning with iman is not harmful) and Jabr (the belief that all servants are divinely coerced) and that Jannat and Jahannam will one day perish. See: Imam Ahmed: al Radd ‘ala al Jahmiyyah p. 64; al Bukhari: Khalq Af’al al ‘Ibad p. 118; al Ash’ari: Maqalat al Islamiyyin 1/214; al Malati: al Tanbih wa al Radd p. 218; al Asfara’ini: al Tabsir fi al Din p. 63; al Maqdisi: al Bad’ wa al Tarikh 5/146 and Tarikh al Jahmiyyah wa al Mu’tazilah etc.

The term ‘Jahmiyyah’ was not only applied to the followers of Jahm ibn Safwan. Ibn Taymiyyah says, “The pious predecessors would dub any person who denied the attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, said that the Qur’an is the creation of Allah, or believed that Allah will not be seen in the afterlife, as a Jahmi.” (Majma’ al Fatawa 12/119) He says in another place, “And from among the Jahmiyyah are the philosophers and the Mu’tazilah who claim that the word of Allah is created.” (Ibid 12/523)

[16] One of the titles of the Ismaili Shias.

[17] Ibn Taymiyah: al Tadmuriyyah p. 16.

[18] Ibid p. 19.

[19] Ibid p. 8.

[20] Sharh al Tahawiyyah p. 49.

[21] Surah al Shura: 11.

[22] Surah Maryam: 65.

[23] Al Tadmuriyyah p. 8; Lisan al ‘Arab (under the root letters سمي)

[24] Tafsir al Tabari 16/106.

[25] Surah al Ikhlas: 4.

[26] Al Hashr: 24.

[27] Shaikh al Islam Ibn Taymiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu has discussed most of them in his book al Risalah al Tadmuriyyah p. 8.

[28] The commentator of al Tahawiyyah states: “Pure negation does not entail any praise. Not forgetting that with it is disrespectful. If you were to say to the king, “You are not a street sweeper, a cupper or a weaver.” He would admonish you even though you are articulating the truth. However, if you negating all negative traits in very broad terms saying, “You are not like any of your subjects” is indeed extolling his virtues and showing respect to him. (‘Ali ibn Abi al ‘Iz: Sharh al Tahawiyyah p. 50.

[29] See: Imam Ahmed: al Radd ‘ala al Zanadiqah wa al Jahmiyyah; Imam Bukhari: Khalq Af’al al ‘Ibad; al Darimi, al Radd ‘ala al Jahmiyyah, Radd ‘Uthman ibn Sa’id ‘ala al Murrisi; Ibn Qutaybah: al Radd ‘ala al Jahmiyyah wa al Mushabbihah and al Ikhtilaf fi al Lafz; al Najjad: al Radd ‘ala man Yaqulu al Qur’an makhluq; Ibn Mandah: Al Radd ‘ala al Jahmiyyah.

[30] Bihar al Anwar 92/117-121.

[31] A’yan al Shia 1/461.

[32] Ibid 1/453.

[33] Ibn Taymiyyah when asked regarding a person who holds this view, ruled that he is an infidel and that he should be asked to repent. He also said that he will be hailed an infidel even though he says, I do not disbelieve in the verse, “Allah specially spoke to Musa,” (al Nisa’: 164) rather I affirm that these words are true but I deny its literal meaning. He says, “These are the Jahmiyyah regarding whom the early scholars and leaders are unanimous that they are the worst of the deviant sects, to the extent that some of them have even excluded them from the seventy two sects of Islam.” (See: Ibn Taymiyah, Majmu’ah al Rasa’il wa al Masa’il 1/474; Majmu’ Fatawa Sheikh al Islam 12/502). He says in another place, “The early scholars of the Ummah have dubbed the Jahmiyyah who say that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala created speech in some bodies which Musa ‘alayh al Salam heard as infidels.” (Majmu’ Fatawa Sheikh al Islam 12/533).

[34] Tafsir al ‘Ayyashi 1/8.

[35] Rijal al Kashshi p. 490.

[36] Al Tawhid p. 224.

[37] Al Bihar 92/117-121; al Tawhid p. 223-229.

[38] Al Tawhid p. 225; al Bihar 92/119.

[39] Ibid.

[40] Majmu’ Fatawa Sheikh al Islam 12/301.

[41] Tafsir al Sirat al Mustaqim 1/304.

[42] See: al Durrah al Najafiyyah of Hashim al Bahrani p. 60 onwards, for he has endeavoured to explain the variant narrations which exist due to Taqiyyah and he has revealed their confusion with regards to which view is to be taken; should the first one be adopted or the last, should the matter be left pending, should any of the two be chosen or what should he do with these conflicting reports and views. Hence, Taqiyyah has, as al Bahrani states, the basis of any ruling is not void of doubt and confusion due to the excessive divergence of opinion and the contradictory supporting elements. (Al Durrah al Najafiyyah p. 61). Also see the chapter of Taqiyyah in this book.

[43] Rijal al Kashshi p. 135-136. For more details refer to the chapter regarding their belief with regard to the Sunnah of this book.

[44] Khalq Af’al al ‘Ibad (revised by Badr) p. 36 & p. 135 (revised by al Nashshar and ‘Ammar al Talibi).

[45] Minhaj al Sunnah (revised by Muhammad Rashad Salim) 2/187-188.

[46] Al Radd ‘ala al Jahmiyyah p. 101.

[47] Al Shari’ah p. 77.

[48] Al I’tiqad p. 36. Al Bayhaqi thereafter states, “This is a famous authentic report from Jafar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, it has been narrated from Jafar ibn Muhammad from his father, from ‘Ali ibn al Hussain. And al Zuhri has narrated it from ‘Ali ibn al Hussain. We have narrated it in variant ways from Malik ibn Anas and this is the stance of all the former and latter scholars. (Ibid p. 39)

[49] Al Asma’ wa al Sifat p. 247.

[50] Sharh Usul I’tiqad Ahlus Sunnah 2/238, 241-242.

[51] Masa’il al Imam Ahmed (Beirut) p. 265 or p. 106-107 (in the compilation of the beliefs of the pious predecessors).

[52] Minhaj al Sunnah 2/163.

[53] Sharh al Usul al Khamsah p. 528; al Muhit bi al Taklif p. 331.

[54] Ibn Hajar says, “Al Ja’d is considered from the era of the Tabi’in; he was a deviant innovator who claimed that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala had not befriended Ibrahim ‘alayh al Salam and had not conversed with Musa ‘alayh al Salam. He was executed in Iraq on the day of Nahr (tenth of Dhu al Hijjah). There are many narrations discussing his deviations. (Lisan al Mizan 2/105; Mizan al I’tidal 1/399; Ibn Nabatah, Sarh al ‘Uyun p. 293-294.

[55] Sharh Usul I’tiqad Ahlus Sunnah p. 382. After this text the following is mentioned, “He promulgated this idea somewhere after 120 A.H.” However the author has not critiqued this narration despite the fact that al Ja’d was executed around the year 118 A.H.

[56] Ibn al Athir: al Kamil 5/294; Ibn Taymiyah: al Hamawiyyah (included in Fatawa) 5/20, 21; Ibn Nabatah: Sarh al ‘Uyun p. 293; al Saffarini: Lawami’ al Anwar 1/23.

[57] Tarikh Baghdad, 7/61.

[58] Dar’ Ta’arud al ‘Aql wa al Naql 7/175-176.

[59] Minhaj al Sunnah 1/296.

[60] Al Ash’ari: Maqalat al Islamiyyin 1/114.

[61] Minhaj al Sunnah 1/296.

[62] Surah al Nisa’: 164.

[63] Majmu’ Fatawa Shaikh al Islam 12/515.

[64] Al I’tiqad ‘ala madhhab al Salaf p. 33.

[65] Majmu’ Fatawa Shaikh al Islam 12/418.

[66] Bihar al Anwar 39/151.

[67] Take note that at this juncture they allegedly claim that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala reprimanded Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and exposed his mistake…This blatantly opposes the claim of complete infallibility with which they describe Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Imams…contradiction is very rampant in all their texts.

[68] Bihar al Anwar 39/155.

[69] Bihar al Anwar 39/154. Al Ikhtisas p. 328.

[70] The translation is taken from the explanation given in: Bihar al Anwar 39/156; al Ikhtisas p. 200.

[71] Al Ikhtisas p. 200-201; Bihar al Anwar 39/155-156; Al Saffar: Basa’ir al Darajat (refer to previous reference).

[72] Surah al Qiyamah: 22, 23. The text is cited from Imam al Tahawi (see: Sharh al Tahawiyyah p. 146.

[73] ‘Ali ibn al ‘Iz: Sharh al Tahawiyyah p. 151.

[74] Sharh al Tahawiyyah p. 146.

[75] Ibid.

[76] Imam Ahmed: al Radd ‘ala al Zanadiqah p. 85; Radd al Imam al Darimi ‘Uthman ibn Sa’id ‘ala al Murrisi al ‘Anid p. 413; al Lalika’i: Sharh Usul I’tiqad Ahlus Sunnah 3/454; al Ajurri: al Tasdiq bi al Nazr ila Allah; Abu Shammah: Daw’ al Sari ila Ma’rifah Ru’yah al Bari; al Shirazi: al Tabsirah p. 229; Sharh al Tahawiyyah p. 146; Mukhtasar al Sawa’iq al Mursalah p. 179.

[77] Bihar al Anwar 4/31. He has referenced this from the Amali of al Saduq.

[78] Usul al Kafi 1/85.

[79] Kashf al Ghita’ p. 417.

[80] Al Fusul al Muhimmah fi Usul al A’immah p. 12.

[81] Al Tawhid p. 117; Bihar al Anwar p. 4/44; Rijal al Kashshi p. 450 (narrations no. 848).

[82] Ibn Taymiyyah: Sharh Hadith al Nuzul p.6; Abu Sa’id al Darimi: al Radd ‘ala al Jahmiyyah p. 384; Radd al Imam ‘Uthman ibn Sa’id ‘ala al Murrisi al ‘Anid p. 377; Ibn Abi ‘Asim: al Sunnah 1/216; Sharh Usul I’tiqad Ahlus Sunnah 3/434.

[83] Usul al Kafi 1/125-127; Bihar al Anwar 3/311-314.

[84] Bihar al Anwar 3/331. Al Majlisi has sourced this narration from al Tawhid of Ibn Babuwayh. Upon referring to the book I found the narration but with the portion affirming the descendence omitted. However, the reviser of the book has alluded to the presence of it in some manuscripts of the book in the footnotes. But he does not bring it in the book because it goes against his stance (See: al Tawhid p. 248)

[85] Bihar al Anwar 3/315.

[86] He says, “His command descends.” (See: Tafsir al Qummi 2/204).

[87] For the narration goes as follows:

إن الرب تبارك و تعالي ينزل كل ليلة… فإذا طلع الفجر عاد الرب إلي عرشه

Verily the blessed and exalted lord descends every night… when the dawn breaks he returns to his throne.

(Bihar al Anwar 3/315; Tafsir al Qummi 2/204). It should be noted that the sentence, “Then he returns to his throne,” is overstating this specific attribute of Allah.

[88] Minhaj al Sunnah 1/275.

[89] The stance of the Salaf is a moderate stance between two extreme stances and guidance between two deviations, i.e. affirming the attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala coupled with the denial of his assimilation with the creation. So the verse: ‘There is nothing like him’ is a refutation of those who assimilate Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala with the creation. And the verse, ‘And He is All Hearing and All Seeing,’ is a refutation of those who negate his attributes (Majmu’ Fatawa Sheikh al Islam; 5/196). However, the word Tashbih (assimilation) has now become a very vague word; at times the correct meaning is intended and that is negating what the Qur’an has negated and is rationally supported, i.e. none of the creation can be described with the attributes of Allah, nor is any of the creation like Him in any of his attributes. And at times the incorrect meaning is intended, and that is denying the attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala completely. (Sharh al Tahawiyyah p. 40)

[90] Usul al Kafi 1/100.

[91] Ibid 1/102.

[92] Bihar al Anwar 3/263.