Q&A about attributes and ambiguities

1) what about those who say Allah is settled( istiqrar) above the throne without contact or touching etc ??

Answer: To settle means to become still after moving. If this is what they understand from it, then it is kufr.

2) which category of verses do the sifat of Allah fall under i.e figurative or clear ?

Answer: It depends. When it says that Aļļaah knows everything, then this is clear, but if it says wajhu Aļļaah, then this is not literally meant, and there are several possible meanings. The reason why it is not clear, is that the literal meaning of wajh is “face,” and a face needs a creator to specify its form. Since Aļļaah is not created, He does not have a face. The meaning of wajh then, must be some other meaning than face. Some of the scholars chose to interpret the word wajh, while others preferred to remain silents about the meaning.

3) do we know the meanings of the sifat of Allah??

Answer: To a certain extent, but never the complete reality. For example, I know that Aļļaah knows everything, but I don’t know the reality of His knowledge; I cannot know more than that. I do know, however, that it does not involve a brain or another place or container or instrument. I also know that it does not change or develop, and that it is flawless and unlimited.

4) we know the meaning when we say Allah is attributed with hearing etc. but when we say Allah is attributed with yad, istawa, etc. ,do we know what they mean?

Answer: We know they are not literally meant and we know some possible meanings according to the Arabic language, but the reason why many scholars preferred to keep silent about their interpretation, is that there is more than one possible meaning and they were not sure which one is meant. They preferred therefore to stay silent in order to avoid speaking about Aļļaah’s attributes based on what they could not be certain to be correct. This is why you see, on the other hand, some interpret with confidence what others consider to be ambiguous. What is ambiguous to some, is not ambiguous to others. Moreover, some engaged in specifying an interpretation in their teaching in order to prevent people from thinking of the literal meaning. See also this article, and this one.


3 Responses to Q&A about attributes and ambiguities

  1. Zejnullah says:

    selam muslim brother,
    greetings to you…

    i am in turkey,i hear some people claiming a name to Allah.They say ”Cenabı Hakkı or Allah Cenabı Hakkı”.i have readed that sunni schoolars have forbidden this once to say referıng to ALLAH.
    so do yoou have any proof of sunni schoolars or what is judgement of islam considering this word…

  2. Ahmad-Qadri says:

    Salam Alaikum

    Many subcontinentals, in Urdu use the words “Sahab” (Mister/Sir) or “Miyan” (Mister/Sir) along with the Ism Al-Jalalah (they say “Allah sahab” or “Allah miyan”).

    The scholars of the subcontinent have called it as haram (I do not quite remember if they say kufr for it as well, but the common people use these words free handedly). These words are used for humans too in respectful salutations.

    Recently with the over popularized infautation with the satanic filth that is bollywood, youngsters have picked up the word “uuper-wala” from movies, which means “the one who is above”. Now in a country as multi-ethnic as India, that term is a “politically correct” terminology used by people instead of mentioning a specific deity of a particular religion. Some people say it without even pondering over it, just like parrots, some say it with attributing direction because of their little minds.

    Needless to say, the wahabis don’t have a problem with it. So thats a majorly serious epidemic in the subcontinent. Theres a few shuyukh of the Ahlus Sunnah who are now working to combat the usage of this word amongst the masses. Alhamdulillah my sheikh has also issued directives saying that who ever attributes “directional aboveness” to Allah should renew his eemaan.

    The Turkish word “Cenap” (pronounced with J) as shown on this website below means “excellency” and “majesty”


    Personally, I’ve never seen the Turks use this word for anyone other than Allah, but the website seems to indicate it can be used for humans too.

    Allah knows best what the Turkish mutakallimeen say in regards to it. But just about every Turkish imam I know, uses the word.

    As I know the word exists in Urdu and maybe Arabic too. However in Urdu, just like “sahab” it just means “sir” or “eminence” but not “majesty”. People say “janab” or “aali janab” with respect. I’ve never seen an Urdu speaker use it for Allah.

    I think I might have heard the Ahbash say the Prophet, 3alaihis salam, is “aalil janaab” (not sure if it was with 3ayn or wihout it).

    I know the kings of Saudi Arabia before the current one and the one before, used to be called “saahib al-jalaalah” as are many other Arab leaders even now. As I know, that is unallowed.

    Jazak Allah to brother Zejnullah for bringing this topic up as a lot of people use various “salutations” for Allah, some of which, if not all, are haram/kufr.

    My sheikh emphasizes heavily to just use “subhaanahu wa ta3aala” and “3azza wa jall” only instead of the other ones which are either haram or kufr or doubtful at best.

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