`Abd al-Husayn’s Objections Against the Hadith Regarding the Descending of Allah Towards the Sky of the Earth Every Night

`Abd al-Husayn Expresses Surprise Regarding the Hadith of Sulayman’s `alayh al-Salam Visiting a Hundred Wives in a Single Night
December 4, 2015
`Abd al-Husayn Objects to the Hadith, “The Fire Will Not Be Filled Until Allah Places His Leg in it.”
December 8, 2015

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‘Abdul Hussain’s Objections Against the Hadith Regarding the Descending of Allah Towards the Sky of the Earth Every Night

On page 69, ‘Abdul Hussain quotes the hadith. He says:

 

 نزول ربه كل ليلة إلى سماء الدنيا تعالى الله أخرج الشيخان من طريق ابن شهاب عن أبي سلمة وأبي عبدالله الأغر عن أبي هريرة مرفوعاً قال: ينزل ربنا كل ليلة إلى السماء الدنيا حين يبقى ثلث الليل الأخير يقول من يدعوني فأستجيب له …

His Rabb descends to the sky of the earth, Allah is pure from such attribution. Sheikhayn (al Bukhari and Muslim) report from ibn Shihab — Abi Salamah and Abi ‘Abdullah al Agharr — from Abu Hurairah who narrates that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

Our Rabb descends every night to the sky of the earth during the last third of the night. He says: “Who will supplicate to me so I may answer him?…”[1]

 

The author, as usual looks for discrepancies and tries to create doubts. He says:

 

تعالى الله عن النزول والصعود والمجيئ والذهاب والحركة والانتقال وسائر العوارض والحوادث ،ثم قال: إن هذا الحديث والثلاثة التي قبله كان مصدرا للتجسيم في الإسلام ، كما ظهر في عصر التعقيد الفكري وكان من الحنابلة بسببها أنواع من البدع والاضاليل ولاسيما ابن تيمية الذي قام على منبر الجامع الأموي في دمشق يوم الجمعة خطيباً ، فقال أثناء أضاليله : إن الله ينزل إلى سماء الدنيا كنزولي هذا ونزل درجة من درج المنبر يريهم نزول الله تعالى نزولا حقيقيا …

Allah is beyond descending, climbing, coming, going, movement, shifting and all other temporary conditions and occurrences. This hadith and the three ahadith before it are the basis for anthropomorphism in Islam, as it became apparent in the era when doctrine was sophisticated. The Hanabilah, as a result of it brought about a whole range of innovations and deviations, especially Ibn Taymiyyah who stood on the mimbar of the Umayyad Jami’ Masjid in Damascus to deliver a talk on a Friday. He said in the midst of his deviated views, “Allah descends to the sky of the Earth in the same way that I am descending,” and he descended by one step of the mimbar. He was explaining to them that descending was meant literally.

 

Our comment: The ahadith on nuzul[2] have been reported by both, us and them. I will soon prove from al Kafi (which ‘Abdul Hussain describes in his al Muraj’at as the oldest, greatest, best and most accurate of the four books). As well as other books of theirs, which are considered reliable, that they are the actual promoters of anthropomorphism in Islam. This will be an appendage to the various narrations of the hadith which was used against Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarding nuzul, from those who are considered infallible. A group of Shia Muhaddithin and reliable scholars, including the likes of al Saduq, al Kulayni, and others have narrated the hadith of nuzul.

 

Establishing the Hadith of Nuzul from the Ahlul Bayt

Al Saduq reports in his al Tawhid with his own chain from Hisham ibn al Hakam under the hadith of the debate of al Sadiq with the idolaters and the irreligious ones. The hadith is regarding an irreligious person who approached Abu ‘Abdullah:

 

قال : سأله عن قوله: { اَلرَّحْمٰنُ عَلٰى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوٰى } قال أبو عبدالله (ع): بذلك وصف نفسه ، وكذلك هو مستول على العرش بائن من خلقه من غير أن يكون العرش حاملاً له ، و لا أن يكون العرش حاوياً له ، ولا أن العرش محتاز له ، ولكنّا نقول: هوحامل العرش ، وممسك العرش ، ونقول من ذلك ما قال: { وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمٰوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ } فثبتنا من العرش والكرسي ما ثبته ، ونفينا أن يكون العرش أو الكرسي حاوياً له وأن يكون إلى مكان أو إلى شيئ مما خلق بل خلقه محتاجون إليه قال السائل : فما الفرق بين أن ترفعوا أيديكم إلى السماء  وبين أن تخفضوها نحو الأرض ؟ قال أبو عبدالله (ع): ذلك في علمه وإحاطته وقدرته سواء ، ولكنه امر   أولياءه وعباده برفع أيديهم إلى السماء نحو العرش لأنه جعله معدن الرزق فثبتنا ما ثبته القرآن والأخبار عن الرسول حين قال: ارفعوا أيديكم إلى الله وهذا يجمع عليه فرق الأمة كله . قال السائل : فتقول: أنه ينزل إلى السماء الدنيا؟ قال أبوعبدالله (ع): نقول : ذلك لأن الرويات قد صحت به والأخبار ، قال السائل : فاذا نزل أليس قد حال عن العرش وحووله عن العرش صفة حدثت، قال أبوعبدالله (ع) ليس ذلك منه ما على يوجد من االمخلوقين الذي تنتقل باختلاف الحال عليه والملالة والسأمة وناقلة ينقله ويحوله من حال الى حال بل هو تبارك وتعالى لا يحدث عليه الحال ولا يجري عليه الحدوث فلا يكون نزوله كنزول المخلوق الذي متى تنحى عن مكان الى مكان خلا منه المكان الأول ، ولكنه ينزل إلى السماء الدنيا بغير معاناة وحركة فيكون كما هو في السماء السابعة على العرش كذلك هو في السماء الدنيا ، إنما يكشف عن عظمته ويرى أولياءه نفسه حيث شاء ويكشف ماشاء من قدرته،ومنظره في القرب والبعد سواء

He asked regarding the verse, “Al Rahman has made istiwa upon the Throne.”

Abu ‘Abdullah replied: “That is the way He described Himself, and that is the way He is. He is in full control of the Throne, but He is not physically attached to His creation. The Throne does not carry Him, encompass Him or contain Him. He is the one who carries the Throne and holds it. We also believe in what he says, i.e. ‘His Kursi includes the heavens and the earth.’ We establish regarding the Throne and the Kursi that which he establishes, but we negate that the Throne or the Kursi encompasses Him. He is not in need of a place or anything else that He created, rather, His entire creation is totally dependent upon Him.”

The person then asked: “Then what difference does it make whether you raise your hands to the sky or you face them to the ground?”

Abu ‘Abdullah replied, “Both are equal in respect of His knowledge, His encompassing of His creation and His limitless ability. However, He commanded His friends and servants to raise their hands towards the sky, in the direction of the Throne as He made that the source of sustenance. Thus, we have complied with the Qur’an and the narrations from the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in which he said, ‘Raise your hands to Allah.’ This is something that all the sects of the Ummah have agreed upon.”

The person continued, “So do you say that He does nuzul to the sky of the earth?”

Abu Abdullah replied, “That is what we believe as the narrations and traditions relating to it are authentic.”

The questioner then asked, “When He does nuzul, does He not leave the Throne? Is this act of leaving it not a quality of huduth (the occurrence of a new condition or creation of an object. This necessitates that the affected entity is a creation)?”

Abu ‘Abdullah replied, “Those occurrences do not affect Him in the same way as they affect the creation, who are affected by different conditions. They are overtaken by tiredness and exhaustion. Thus, the creation is put through different conditions. Rather, no new condition is brought upon Him, the Most Exalted and Most Blessed, and no huduth takes place as far as He is concerned. Therefore, when His nuzul is not the same as the descending of the creation, that when they move from one place to the other then the first place becomes unoccupied by them. He does nuzul to the sky of the earth without any effort or movement. The result of this is that just as He is in the seventh heaven upon the Throne, in the same manner He is in the sky of the earth. However, He does reveal some of His grandeur by showing Himself to His friends at a place that He wishes. He also reveals whatever He wishes to from His power. Seeing Him from close by is the same as seeing Him from a distance.”[3]

 

Al Kulayni reports in his al Kafi from Kitab al Tawhid, with his chain from Muhammad ibn ‘Isa who says:

 

كتبت الى أبي الحسن على بن محمد (ع): ياسيدي قد روي لنا أن الله في موضع دون موضع على العرش استوى ، وأنه ينزل كل ليلة في النصف الأخير من الليل إلى السماء الدنيا ، وروي أنه ينزل عشية عرفة ثم يرجع إلى موضعه ، فقال بعض مواليك في ذلك: إذا كان في موضع دون موضع ، فقد يلاقيه الهواء ،ويتكيف عليه والهواء جسم رقيق يتكيف على كل شيئ بقدره ، فكيف يتكيف عليه جل ثناؤه على هذا المثال ؟ فوقع (ع): علم ذلك عنده وهو المقدر له بما هو أحسن تقديرا وأعلم أنه إذا كان في السماء الدنيا فهو كما هو على العرش  الأشياء كلها له سواء علما وقدرة وملكا وإحاطه

I wrote to Abu al Hassan ‘Ali ibn Muhammad, “It has been narrated to us that Allah only occupies a certain space of His throne which He did istiwa upon. He descends during the final third of every night to the sky of the earth. It has also been narrated to us that he descends during the evening of ‘Arafah and then He returns to His place. Some of your associates have commented regarding this in the following way, ‘If He is only in one part, then He is definitely surrounded by the air which is such a subtle substance that it affects other things in accordance to their volume.’”

He deliberated for a while and then said, “The knowledge of that is with Allah. He grants it its proportions in the best possible manner. Know well that when He is in the sky of the earth, then He is still upon His Throne as He usually is. All objects are equal before Him as far as knowledge, control over them, owning them, and encompassing them are concerned.”[4]

 

The commentator and editor of al Kafi, Sayed ‘Ali Akbar al Ghifari says in his commentary of this hadith:

 

قوله (ع): علم ذلك عنده أي علم كيفية نزوله عنده سبحانه وليس عليكم معرفة ذلك

The knowledge of that is with Allah, i.e. the knowledge of the manner in which he descends is with Him and it is not possible for you to understand it.[5]

 

This is wonderful as it points out that the view of the Imam was not ta’wil (interpreting the text against the literal meaning, but within the linguistic framework of the word). This was the view of the salaf (pious predecessors). This is the view of the Ahlul Bayt regarding the sifat (attributes of Allah), viz. establishing it without delving into how it happens, without likening it to anything, interpreting it, or rendering it meaningless. Abu ‘Abdullah said, “This is because the narrations regarding it are authentic,” as explained.”

Let us go back to all the narrations of the Ahlul Bayt which correspond to the narration of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Jabir al Ju’fi narrates:

 

سمعت أبا عبد الله (ع) يقول: إن الله تبارك وتعالى ينزل في الثلث الباقي من الليل إلى السماء الدنيا ، فينادي هل من تائب يتوب عليه ؟ وهل من مستغفر يستغفر فأغفر له ؟ وهل من داع يدعوني فأفك عنه ؟ وهل من مقتور يدعوني فأبسط له ؟ وهل من مظلوم ينصرني فأنصره

I heard Abu ‘Abdullah saying, “Allah does nuzul during the final third of the night to the sky of the earth. He then calls out, ‘Is there any repentant one? Is there anyone seeking forgiveness so that I may forgive him? Is there anyone who will supplicate to Me so that I may emancipate him? Is there any pauper who will ask Me, so that I can grant him abundance? Is there any oppressed one who I may help?’”[6]

 

The hadith of nuzul is also established by their Sheikh who is considered an extraordinary researcher, Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al Ahsa’i in his book ‘Awali al La’ali:

 

 إن الله تعالى ينزل إلى السماء الدنيا في الثلث الأخير من الليل، وينزل عشية عرفة إلى أهل عرفة، و ينزل ليلة النصف من شعبان

Indeed, Allah does nuzul to the sky of the earth during the last portion of the night, He does nuzul to the people of ‘Arafah on the eve of ‘Arafah, and He does nuzul on the fifteenth night of Sha’ban.[7]

 

Muhsin al Kashani, their esteemed muhaddith says:

 

 الأول: أن يترصد لدعائه الأوقات الشريفة كيوم عرفة من السنة ،وشهر رمضان من الشهور، ويوم الجمعة من الأسبوع، ووقت السحر من ساعات الليل ، قال الله تعالى: { وَبِالْأَسْحَارِ هُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُوْنَ } ولقوله:( ينزل الله كل ليلة إلى السماء الدنيا حين يبقى ثلث الليل الأخير فيقول: من يدعوني فأستجيب له، من يسألني فأعطيه، من يستغفرني فأغفر له

Firstly, he should choose the blessed moments for his supplications, such as the day of ‘Arafah from the entire year, the month of Ramadan from among the months, the day of Friday from the entire week, and the time of dawn from the hours of the night. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says, “During the closing portions of the night, they were seeking repentance”. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Allah does nuzul during the final third of the night to the sky of the earth and says, ‘Is there anyone who will supplicate to Me so that I may respond to him? Is there anyone to ask Me so that I may grant him? Is there anyone seeking forgiveness so that I may forgive him?’”[8]

 

He says at another place:

 

وسئل رسول الله” أي الليل أفضل ؟ فقال: نصف الليل الغابر” يعني الباقي ، ومن آخر الليل وردت الأخبار بإهتزاز العرش وانتشار الرّياح من جنات عدن  ونزول الجبّار إلى السماء الدنيا وغيرها من الأخبار

The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was asked, “Which portion of the night is most virtuous?”

He replied, “The latter portion.”

There are narrations which state that towards the end of the night, the ‘Arsh trembles, winds blow from the everlasting Jannat, al Jabbar does nuzul to the sky of the earth etc.[9]

 

Yet another hadith states:

 

ينزل الله تعالى في كل ليلة إلى السماء الدنيا فيقول: هل من داع فأستجيب له

Allah does nuzul to the sky of the earth every night and says, “Is there anyone to supplicate so that I may respond to him?”[10]

 

We move onto those narrations of the Shia which inform us that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala does nuzul to the Earth on a camel. Zaid al Nursi reports in his book, from ‘Abdullah ibn Sinan who says:

 

سمعت أباعبدالله(ع) يقول : إن الله ينزل في يوم عرفة في أول الزوال إلى الأرض على جمل أفرق يصال بفخذيه أهل عرفات يميناً وشمالا ، فلا يزال كذلك حتى إذا كان عند المغرب ويقر الناس وكل الله ملكين بحيال المازمين يناديان عند المضيق الذي رأيت : يارب سلّم سلّم ، والرّب يصعد إلى السماء ويقول جل جلاله : آمين آمين رب العالمين ، فلذلك لا تكاد ترى صريعاً ولا كبيراً

I heard Abu ‘Abdullah saying, “Indeed Allah does nuzul towards the Earth as soon as the sun reaches its zenith on the day of ‘Arafah on a camel with widely spaced humps, which places its thighs upon all the people of ‘Arafat, scattering them from the right to the left. He continues in this manner until the time of Maghrib when the people settle down. Thereupon He appoints two angels at the reigns to call out at the passage that you have seen, ‘O My Rabb, (Grant us) salvation! (Grant us) salvation!’ This is while the Rabb, whose splendour is sublime, ascends towards the sky saying, ‘Amin Amin, the Rabb of the universe!’ That is why you will neither see anyone in the convulsion of an epileptic fit, or suffering broken bones.”[11]

 

Sulaiman ibn Khalid narrates that he heard Abu ‘Abdullah saying:

 

إن الأعمال تعرض كل خميس على رسول الله فإذا كان يوم عرفة هبط الرب تبارك وتعالى

The actions (of the Ummah) are presented on every Thursday to the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. However, on the day of ‘Arafah, the Rabb, most blessed and exalted does hubut (similar to nuzul).[12]

 

‘Ata reports from Abu Jafar, who narrates from his forefathers from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, who narrates from the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam a lengthy hadith in which he says:

 

ثم أن الله أوحى إلى جبرئيل بعد ذلك أن أهبط إلى آدم وحواء فنحهما عن مواضع قواعد بيتي لأني أريد أن أهبط في ظلال من ملائكتي إلى أرضي فارفع أركان بيتي لملائكتي ولخلقي من ولد آدم … قال ثم أن جبرئيل أتاهما فأنزلهما من المروة وأخبرهما أن الجبار تبارك وتعالى قد هبط إلى الأرض فرفع قواعد البيت الحرام بحجر من الصفا وحجر من المروة وحجر من طور سينا وحجر من جبل السلام ..

Then Allah revealed to Jibril, “Go down to Adam and Hawwa’ and move them away from the place of the pillars of My house as I wish to do nuzul in the shade of My angels to the Earth so that I may raise the pillars of My house for My angels and My creation from the children of Adam…”

Thereafter, Jibril came to them and placed them in Marwah. He informed them that al Jabbar, the Most Blessed and Exalted had done nuzul to the earth, after which He elevated the pillars of al Masjid al Haram using slabs from Safa, Marwah, Mount Sinai, Mount Salam…”[13]

 

Jabir narrates:

 

قال أبوجعفر(ع) في قوله تعالى: { فِي ظُلَلٍ مِّنَ الْغَمَامِ والْمَلَائكَةُ وَقُضِيَ الأمْرُ} قال: ينزل في سبع قباب من نور ولايعلم في أيها هو حين ينزل في ظهر الكوفة فهذا حين ينزل

Regarding the verse, “And the angels, beneath the shadow of clouds and for matters to be decided, Abu Jafar said, ‘He does nuzul in the midst of domes of light. No one knows in which one He is when He does nuzul to the centre of Kufah, so this is when he does nuzul.’”[14]

 

Jabir ibn Yazid al Ju’fi narrates:

 

قال أبو جعفر محمد بن علي الباقر(ع) يا جابر كان الله ولا شيئ غيره ولا معلوم ولا مجهول فأول ما ابتدء من خلق خلقه أن خلق محمداً وخلقنا أهل البيت معه من نور عظمته – إلى أن قال – ثم أن الله هبط إلى الأرض في ظلل من الغمام و الملائكة وهبط أنوارنا أهل البيت معه وأوقفنا نوراً صفوفاً بين يديه نسبحه في أرضه كما سبحنا في سمائه

Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al Baqir said, “Allah existed when nothing else existed, neither anything that is known nor something that is unknown. The first creation that He created was Muhammad and He created us, the Ahlul Bayt, together with Him; all from the illumination of His grandeur… thereafter Allah did nuzul to the Earth with the angels, beneath the shadow of clouds. He brought our illumination (the Ahlul Bayt) along with Him and He erected us as illumination in rows so that we may praise Him on His earth, the way we praised Him in His sky.”[15]

 

Tafsir al Burhan reports from Yunus ibn Zabyan who narrates from Abu ‘Abdullah:

 

إذا كان ليلة الجمعة هبط الرب تبارك وتعالى إلى سماء الدنيا فإذا طلع الفجر كان على العرش فوق البيت المعمور

The blessed and lofty Rabb does nuzul on Friday nights to the sky of the Earth. Then when dawn breaks, He is upon the ‘Arsh, above the Bayt al Ma’mur.[16]

 

Sulaiman ibn Khalid narrated that he heard Abu ‘Abdullah saying:

 

أن الأعمال تعرض كل خميس على رسول الله فاذا كان يوم عرفة هبط الرب تبارك وتعالى وهو قول الله تبارك وتعالى: { وَقدِمـْنَا إِلَى مـَا عَمِلُواْ مِـنْ عَمِلٍ فَجَـعَلْنَـاهُ هَبـَـآءً مَّـنْـثُـورًا }

The actions (of the Ummah) are presented on every Thursday to the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. However, on the day of ‘Arafah, the Rabb, most Blessed and Exalted does hubut (similar to nuzul). This is what is referred to when Allah says, “We will then turn to their deeds and reduce them to scattered dust.”[17]

 

Abu Hamzah al Thumali narrates from Abu Jafar:

 

أن الله تبارك وتعالى هبط إلى الأرض في ظل من الملائكة على آدم بوادي يقال له الروحاء وهو واد بين الطائف ومكة

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala did nuzul to the Earth in the shade of clouds upon Adam at a valley named al Rawha’. It is a valley between Makkah and Ta’if.[18]

 

Aban narrates from Abu ‘Abdullah:

 

إن للجمعة حقاً وحرمة فإياك أن تضيع أو تقصر شيئ من عبادة الله والتقرب إليه بالعمل الصالح وترك المحارم كلها فإن الله يضاعف فيه الحسنات ،ويمحو فيه السيئات  ويرفع فيها الدرجات قال: وذكر أن يومه مثل ليلته فإن استطعت أن تحييها بالصلاة والدعاء فافعل فإن ربك ينزل من أول  ليلة الجمعة إلى سماء الدنيا فيضاعف فيه الحسنات ويمحو فيه السيئات فإن الله واسع كريم

The day of Friday is sanctified and it has a right, so be careful not to destroy or neglect any portion of worshipping Allah and drawing close to Him by means of righteous actions and complete abstinence from forbidden acts. Indeed, on this day, Allah doubles virtuous acts, wipes out sins and raises ranks.

Aban added, “He stated that the day is similar to the night, so if you are able to stay awake by sending salat and supplicating, then do so as your Rabb descends to the sky of the Earth during the first portion of the night of Jumu’ah. He doubles in it the reward of good and He wipes out sins. Undoubtedly Allah is All Encompassing and exceptionally Benevolent.”[19]

 

The researcher of the book, al Hujjah, al Sayed Hassan al Kharsan comments:

 

قوله فإن ربك ينزل من أول ليلة الجمعة . يحتمل أن يكون من باب التعليل يكون المراد نزول ملائكة الرحمة ، أو المراد بنزوله تعالى : نزول للملائكة ورحتمه مجازا ويمكن أن يكون المراد نزوله من عرش العظمة إلى مقام العطف على العباد

His saying, “Your Rabb descends to the sky of the Earth during the first portion of the night of Jumu’ah,” could be referring to the reason, i.e. the descending of the angels of mercy. Another possible meaning of Him (the Most Exalted) descending is that the angels and His mercy descends, which would be the figurative meaning. It is also possible that the meaning is that He descends from the ‘Arsh of grandeur to the station of compassion upon the servants.

 

It is reported in Tafsir al Burhan from ‘Abdul Karim ibn ‘Amr al Khath’ami who says:

 

سمعت أباعبدالله (ع) يقول : إن ابليس قال أنظرني إلى يوم يبعثون فأبى الله ذلك عليه ، فقال يوم الوقت المعلوم وهو آخر كرة يكرها أمير المؤمنين (ع) – إلى أن قال – فكأني أنظر إلى أصحاب أمير المؤمنين(ع) قد رجعوا إلى خلفهم القهقري مائة قدم ، وكأني أنظر اليهم قد وقعت بعض أرجلهم في الفرات فعند ذلك يهبط الجبار في ظل من الغمام والملائكة وقضي الأمر ورسول الله أمامه بيده حربة من نور

I heard Abu ‘Abdullah saying, “Iblis said, ‘Grant me respite until the day they are resurrected.’ Allah refused him that and then said, ‘until an appointed time’. This refers to the final comeback that will be done by Amir al Mu’minin… it is as if I am looking at the companions of Amir al Mu’minin taking a hundred steps backwards and it is as if I am looking at them and some of their legs entered into the Euphrates. At that juncture al Jabbar will descend in the shade of clouds along with the angels, and the matter will be decided. The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will be in front of Him with a spear of illumination in his hand.”[20]

 

Muawiyah ibn ‘Ammar reports from Abu ‘Abdullah:

 

قال علي بن الحسين(ع): أما علمت أنه إذا كان عشيّة عرفة بزر الله في ملائكته إلى سماء الدنيا، ثم يقول: انظروا إلى عبادي أتوني شعثاً غبراً أرسلت إليهم رسولاً من وراء وراء فسألوني ودعوني

‘Ali ibn al Hussain said, “Do you not know that when it is the evening of ‘Arafah, Allah comes out, amongst His angels to the sky of the earth and then says, ‘Look at My slaves, they have come to me all dishevelled and dusty. I sent to them a Messenger from far off and they are now asking Me and supplicating to Me.”’[21]

 

The Rabb Descends and He Visits the Graves of the Imams Among Other Acts

I really cannot comprehend how is it that ‘Abdul Hussain denies the hadith of nuzul which is agreed upon! Did all the narrations of these great erudite scholars escape him, which are worse, more blasphemous, and hair-raising—according to the view of ‘Abdul Hussain—than the narration of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu? We will present a few of the narrations of the ‘infallibles’ in which it is stated that Allah visits the Imams in their graves accompanied by the Ambiyaʼ and the angels.

Abu Wahb al Qasri reports:

 

دخلت المدينة فأتيت أبا عبدالله(ع) فقلت له : جعلت فداك أتيتك ولم أزر قبر أميرالمؤمنين (ع) فقال: بئس ما صنعت لو لا إنك من شيعتنا ما نظرت إليك ، ألا تزور من يزوره الله تعالى مع الملائكة ويزوره الأنبياء ويزوره المؤمنون !!، قلت : جعلت فداك ما علمت ذلك ..

I entered Madinah and visited Abu ‘Abdullah. I said to him, “May I be sacrificed for you, I came to you before visiting the grave of Amir al Mu’minin.”

He responded, “You have indeed done something evil! If you were not from our Shia, I would not have even looked at you. Will you not visit the one whom Allah visits accompanied by the angels and the Ambiyaʼ also visit him, as well as the mu’minin?”

I answered, “May I be sacrificed for you, I was unaware of that.”[22]

 

Mani’ ibn al Hajjaj reports from Safwan al Jammal:

 

قال لي أبو عبدالله (ع) لمّا أتى الحيرة قال: هل لك في قبر الحسين ؟ قلت : أتزوره جعلت فداك  ؟ قال: وكيف لا أزوره والله يزوره في كل ليلة جمعة يهبط مع الملائكة إليه والأنبياء والأصياء ومحمد أفضل الأنبياء ونحن أفضل الأوصياء فقال صفوان :جعلت فداك أفزوره في كل جمعة حتى أدرك زيارة الرب؟  قال: نعم يا صفوان الزم زيارة قبر الحسين وتكسب وذلك الفضيل، هي

Abu ‘Abdullah said to me when he arrived at Hayrah, “Are you interested in the grave of Hussain?”

I replied “Do you visit it, may I be sacrificed for you!”

He replied, “How can I not visit it when Allah visits it every Friday, during the night? He comes down to him accompanied by the angels, Ambiyaʼ and Awsiya’. Muhammad is the most virtuous from the Ambiyaʼ and we are the most virtuous from the Awsiya’.”

Safwan asked, “May I be sacrificed for you, should I visit him every Friday so that I may witness the visitation of the Rabb?”

He replied, “Yes O Safwan, be steadfast upon visiting the grave of Hussain and keep earning. That is indeed ideal.”[23]

 

Abdul Hussain condemned Abu Hurairah for narrating the hadith regarding nuzul, but he found no objections regarding the narrations that we have mentioned, i.e. those which mention that the Rabb, Most Exalted, visits the graves of the Imams! Ponder over their narrations, O my ‘even-handed’ brother, especially those which state that Allah the Most Exalted visits the graves of their Imams, shakes their hands, and sits upon a sofa with them.

Their learned scholar, Mirza Muhammad Taqi, who was granted the title Hujjat al Islam, quotes a narration from Madinat al Ma’ajiz, who in turn reports from Dala’il of al Tabari:

 

قال أخبرني أبو الحسين محمد بن هارون عن أبيه عن أبي علي محمد بن همام عن أحمد بن الحسين المعروف بابن أبي القاسم عن أبيه عن الحسين بن علي عن محمد بن سنان عن المفضل بن عمر قال: قال أبو عبدالله (ع) لما منع الحسين(ع) وأصحابه الماء نادى فيهم من كان ظمآن فليجئ فأتاه رجل رجل فيجعل أبهامه في راحة واحدهم فلم يزل يشرب الرجل حتى ارتووا فقال بعضهم والله لقد شربت شرابا ما شربه أحد من العالمين في دار الدنيا فلما قاتلوا الحسين(ع) فكان في اليوم الثالث عند المغرب أعقد الحسين رجلا رجلا منهم يسميهم بأسماء آبائهم فيجيبه الرجل بعد الرجل فيقعد من حوله ثم يدعو بالمائدة فيطعمهم ويأكل معهم من طعام الجنة ويسقيهم من شرابها ثم قال أبو عبدالله (ع) والله لقد رآهم عدة من الكوفيين ولقد كرّر عليهم لو عقلوا قال ثم خرجوا لرسلهم فعاد كل واحد منهم إلى بلادهم ثم أتى لجبال رضوي فلا يبقى أحد من المؤمنين إلاّ أتاه وهو على سرير من نور قد حفّ به ابراهيم وموسى وعيسى ! وجميع الانبياء ! ومن ورائهم المؤمنون ومن ورائهم الملائكة ينظرون ما يقول الحسين(ع) قل فهم بهذه الحال إلى أن يقوم القائم و إذا قام القائم(ع) وافو فيها بينهم الحسين(ع) حتى يأتي كربلاء فلا يبقى أحد سماوي ولا أرضي من المؤمنين إلاّ حفّوا بالحسين(ع) حتى أن الله تعالى يزور!! الحسين(ع) ويصافحه !! ويقعد معه !! على سرير!! يا مفضل هذه والله الرفعة التي ليس فوقها شيئ لا لورائها مطلب

Mufaddal ibn ‘Umar narrates from Abu ‘Abdullah, “When Hussain and his companions were denied water, he called out amongst them, ‘Whoever is thirty should come forward!’ They began coming to him one after the other. He inserted his thumb into the mouth of each one of them who drank until his thirst was quenched. Some of them then said, ‘I have drunk such a drink that none in this world has drank the like of it.’ Thereafter, when they fought alongside Hussain, on the third day after Maghrib, Hussain began seating them one by one. He called each person by his name and the name of his father. They also began responding to him one after the other and they began sitting around him. Then he called for a dining table, fed them, and ate and drank with them from the food and drink of Jannat.”

Thereafter Abu ‘Abdullah said, “By the oath of Allah, many of the people of Kufah had seen them again and again. If only they understood! Thereafter, they went for their missions, each one to his own city. Thereafter he arrived at the Ridawi Mountain. Every single mu’min will come to him whilst he will be on a sofa of illumination, surrounded by Ibrahim, Musa, ‘Isa, and all the other Ambiyaʼ. The mu’minin will be behind them and the angels will be behind the mu’minin; paying attention to the speech of Hussain. They will remain in this condition until Qiyamah. When Qiyamah appears, they will arrive in this manner, with Hussain in their midst until they reach Karbala’. At this point, all the mu’minin from the skies and the earth will surround Hussain, to the extent that Allah will also visit him, shake his hands, and sit next to him on the sofa. O Mufaddal, by the oath of Allah, this is the pinnacle of elevation! There is nothing that is worthy of attaining beyond this!”[24]

 

Thereafter he comments on the narration saying:

 

( يقول محمد تقي الشريف مصنف هذا الكتاب هذا الحديث من الأحاديث المستصعبة!! التي لا يحتملها إلاّ ملك مقرب أو نبي مرسل أو مؤمن امتحن الله قلبه للإيمان

Muhammad Taqi al Sharif, the author of this book says, “This hadith is among the extremely difficult ahadith. It can only be comprehended by an angel who is gifted with close proximity, a nabi, or a mu’min whose heart has been examined and purified by iman.”[25]

 

This Hujjah states at another place:

 

وأمـّا المعصوم (ع) فهذا المقام حاصل له مساوقا لبدء خلقه فليس بين الله وبين حجته حجاب في حال من الأحوال كما مـرّ صريح الحديث في ذلك في القسم الأول من الكتاب نعم أنهم (ع) يلبسوا بعض العوارض بالعرض في هذه الدار الفانية ليطيق الخلق رؤيتهم فيتمكنوا من تكميلهم و هو أحد الأسرار!! في بكائهم واستغفارهم إلى الله تعالى من غير ذنب لحق ذواتهم فافهم فإذا خلعوا هذا اللباس العرضي وانتقلوا إلى الدار الباقية خلص لهم ذلك المقام يزورهم الرب تعالى !! ويصافحهم!! ويقعدون معه!! على سرير واحد !! لاتحاد حكم العبودية مع حكم الربوبية

As for the ma’sum, he was granted this position as soon as he was created. Under no circumstances is there a barrier between Allah and his hujjah, as stated in the explicit hadith which already passed in the first section of the book. Yes, they did adopt some temporary conditions in this temporary world so that the creation could see them through which they could speak to them. This is one of the secrets behind their crying and seeking forgiveness from Allah even though they were sinless. This is a point that is worthy of understanding. Once they remove these temporary conditions, and move to the everlasting abode, that position will be granted to them. The Rabb, Most Exalted, will visit them, shake their hands, and sit with them on the same pedestal. This is because the law of Rububiyyah (being a Rabb) is the same as the law of ‘Ubudiyyah (being a slave).[26]

 

Will ‘Abdul Hussain pass the same judgement regarding his Imams as he passed regarding Abu Hurairah? What is the view of ‘Abdul Hussain and his group regarding the likes of these explicit ahadith? Are the Imams anthropomorphists? Are they the reason why different types of innovations and deviation have come about? Or did these deviated beliefs come about as a result of your narrators whom you praised in your alleged correspondences? The anthropomorphism of the Jews was well-known, but the first to introduce it among the Muslims was the Rawafid this is why al Razi says:

 

اليهود أكثرهم مشبهة ، وكان بدء ظهور التشبيه في الاسلام من الروافض مثل هشام بن الحكم ، وهشام بن سالم الجواليقي ، ويونس بن عبد الرحمن القمي وأبي جعفر الأحول

The Jews are the greatest anthropomorphists and it was introduced in Islam by the Rawafid such as Hisham ibn Salim al Jawaliqi, Yunus ibn ‘Abdur Rahman al Qummi, and Abu Jafar al Ahwal.[27]

 

‘Abdul Hussain claims in the footnote:

 

بأن الشيخ ابن تيمية  مثّل لنزول الله إلى سماء الدنيا بنزوله درجة من درج المنبر الذي كان يخطب عليه يوم الجمعة، وأن  هذه الواقعة حضرها  ابن بطوطة بنفسه ورآها وسجلها ..

Ibn Taymiyyah imitated the descending of Allah towards the sky of the earth by coming down one step on the steps of the pulpit from which he was delivering his lecture on the day of Friday. This incident was personally witnessed by Ibn Battutah and he recorded it.

 

Our comment: This is nothing but a lie. Refer to the writing of ‘Allamah Bahjat al Baytar regarding the life of Ibn Taymiyyah in which he refutes what Ibn Battutah says. Ibn Taymiyyah is not the one who ‘imitated’ the descending of Allah to the sky of the earth by going down one step of the pulpit; instead, your infallible imam is in fact the one who imitated the sitting of the Rabb. Abu Hamzah al Thumali says:

 

: رأيت علي بن الحسين قاعداً واضعاً إحدى رجليه على فخذه فقلت : إن الناس يكرهون هذه الجلسة ويقولون : إنها جلسة الرب ، فقال: إني إنما جلست هذه الجلسة للملالة، والرب لا يمل ولا تأخذه سنة ولا نوم

I saw ‘Ali ibn al Hussain sitting down with one leg placed upon his thigh, so I said, “People despise this sitting posture and they say, ‘It is the sitting posture of the Rabb.’”

He replied, “I only sat in this manner as I was tired whereas the Rabb does not tire, nor is He overtaken by drowsiness or sleep.”[28]

 

So, who is the one who, according to you likened Allah (to his creation), Ibn Taymiyyah or your ‘infallible’ Imam?

 

NEXT⇒ ‘Abdul Hussain Expresses Surprise Regarding the Hadith of Sulaiman’s ‘alayh al Salam Visiting a Hundred Wives in a Single Night


[1]Al Bukhari in al Jumu’ah and al Da’wat and Muslim in Salat al Musafirin wa Qasriha.

[2]  Nuzul literally means to descend. However, the literal meaning is not implied in these ahadith.

[3]  Al Saduq: Al Tawhid, pg. 28. The last portion, “So do you say that He does nuzul to the sky of the earth?” Abu ‘Abdullah replied, ‘That is what we believe as the narrations and traditions relating to it are authentic…” is not found in the popular version of the book. Al Majlisi established them in his Bihar, 3/331, Kitab al Tawhid, chapter 14. Refer to ‘Ali in the Qur’an and Sunnah, 2/687, as well.

[4]Al Usul, 1/126, Kitab al Tawhid, the chapter of movement and shifting, # 4; al Mahasin, 1/140.

[5]Hashiyat al Usul min al Kafi, 1/126.

[6]Bihar al Anwar, 87/168, chapter regarding the one who supplicates before dawn.

[7] Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al Ahsa’i: ‘Awali al La’ali, 1/119, chapter seven, # 44.

[8]Al Mahajjat al Bayda’, 2/285, Kitab al Adhkar wa al Da’wat, the chapter of etiquettes of du’a and they are ten.

[9]Al Mahajjat al Bayda’, 2/373.

[10]Al Mahajjat al Bayda’, 5/15.

[11]Riyad al ‘Ulama’, 2/404.

[12]  Al Saffar: Basa’ir al Darajat, pg. 426, # 15; al Burhan, 2/158; Bihar al Anwar, 23/345, # 37.

[13]Tafsir al ‘Ayyashi, 1/37, # 21; Bihar al Anwar, 5/49-50; al Burhan, 1/84-85.

[14]  Refer to Tafsir al Burhan, 1/209, # 2,5,6,7; al ‘Ayyashi, 1/103, # 301, 303; Tafsir al Safi, 1/183; al La’ali, 5/83; ‘Ali fi l-Qur’an wa al Sunnah, 1/85; Bihar al Anwar, 25/19; al Jadid fi l-Qur’an, 1/247; Tafsir al Qur’an al Karim, 5/392; Hilyat al Abrar, 1/16; Madinat al Ma’ajiz, 2/41; al Sahifah, 1/61; al ‘Ayyashi, 1/37, pg. 103, # 301, 303.

[15]Sahifat al Abrar by Mirza Muhammad Taqi 1/160-161

[16] Tafsir al Burhan, 3/146.

[17]Tafsir al Burhan, 3/159; Bihar al Anwar, 23/354; al Basa’ir, pg. 426.

[18]Al Burhan, 2/300; al Sahifah, 1/160-161.

[19]Furu’ al Kafi, 3/414, # 6, the chapter regarding the virtue of the day and night of Jumu’ah; al La’ali, 3/40.

[20]Tafsir al Burhan, 2/343, 1/209; al Shumus al Tali’ah, pg. 410.

[21]Mustadrak al Wasa’il, 10/47, # 1. Refer to al Mahasin, pg. 65.

[22]Al Tahdhib, 6/20, the chapter of the virtue of visiting him; al Mufid: Kitab al Mazar, pg. 30, # 2, the chapter of visiting Amir al Mu’minin; Bihar al Anwar, 25/361, 100/257-258, the chapter on the virtue of visiting him; Furu’ al Kafi, 4/579-580, the chapter of visitations and their rewards; Wasa’il al Shia, 10/293-294, the chapter that visiting Amir al Mu’minin is desirable; al Maladh, 9/51, the chapter on the virtue of visiting him; al Sahifah, 1/341.

[23]Al Suhbah, 1/341; Bihar al Anwar, 101/60, # 32; Kamil al Ziyarat, pg. 222-223, # 326, chapter: 39.

[24]Sahifat al Abrar, 2/140; Dala’il al Imamah, pg. 78, (abridged version of the hadith); Madinat al Ma’ajiz, 3/464, # 980, chapter: 25, when his companions drank from his thumb and he gave them food and drink from Jannat.

[25]Sahifat al Abrar, 2/140.

[26]Al Sahifah, 2/141.

[27]I’tiqadat Firaq al Muslimin wa l-Mushrikin, pg. 97.

[28]  Refer to al Usul 2/661, the chapter of sitting; Mir’at al ‘Uqul, 12/563, 564, # 2, al Majlisi stated that this hadith is accepted; Hilyat al Abrar, 2/74, chapter: 21, regarding mufradat and pg. 187, chapter: 18, etiquette of eating such as remembering Allah etc.

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