Wahhabi Contention: The Asharis and Maturidis contradict themselves. They affirm for Allah Life, Power, Will, Knowledge, Speech, Hearing and Sight, while making Ta’wil of Istiwa’, Nuzul, Maji’, Ityan, Wajh, Yad, Saq, Qadam, Janb, ‘Ain, and relocation in (various) levels. The basic rule with regards to the attributes is one, so if you affirm the seven attributes, what prevents you from affirming the rest? What is the difference? This is nothing less than a contradiction.
Sunni Response: There is no contradiction. Asharis do not deny any attribute that Allah has affirmed in the Quran, or that are established by flawless hadiths. What they do is believe that no attribute of Allah is like that of creation, because “He does not resemble anything.” This means that “yad” does not mean a physical hand, but something else in agreement with the Arabic language, and that nuzuul does not mean physical descent, but something else in agreement with the Arabic language. This is because Allah is not like creation, and limbs, location and movement are attributes of created things. All of Allah’s attributes are understood in this way in the Ashari school, including Life, Power, Will, Knowledge, Speech, Hearing and Sight, so there is no contradiction. The rule is to affirm attributes established unequivocally, and to deny that they have any resemblance to creation. To be clear: this is not denial of the attributes, but of their resemblance to creation.
The people who contradict themselves are those who say, for example, that “nuzuul” involves movement, because this contradicts with “He does not resemble anything.” Movement is a created attribute, because it has a beginning and needs specification. That is, it did not exist, and then it existed, so it needs a creator. Moreover, it needs a specification of “from where to where,” and “at what speed.” Clearly then, Allah is not attributed with movement, because his attributes are not created.
Moreover, to believe that Allah moves to the sky of this world, is to believe that Allah becomes inside the creation, because this is below the seven skies. This is blasphemy by consensus of all Muslims.
Finally, it has been established in a hadith narrated by Ibn Hibbaan and authenticated by Al-Asqalani (Fath-al-Baari, V.13/P.411) that the Prophet said:
“مَا السَّمَاوَات السَّبْع مَعَ الْكُرْسِيّ إِلاّ كَحَلْقَةٍ مُلْقَاة بِأَرْضٍ فَلاة وَفَضْل الْعَرْش عَلَى الْكُرْسِيّ كَفَضْلِ الْفَلاة عَلَى الْحَلْقَة””
The Seven Skies compared to the Kursiy is like a ring thrown on the ground in a desert, and the size of the Arsh compared to the Kursiy is like the size of the desert compared to the ring.”
Accordingly, if someone believes Allah descends physically, then he is saying that Allah is like a ring in the desert compared to the Kursiy, or that He crashes the skies on every descent, or that He is like a cloud passing through them. Can there be any doubt that all of this is blasphemy?
Author: Shaykh Abu Adam al Naruiji