The wahabis in their desperation are trying to make people think that As-Sanuusiyy agrees with Ibn Taymiyyah regarding Ar-Raaziyy’s argument of the need for composition for something with size. The need for composition Ar-Raaziyy speaks of, and denies could be true of Aļļaah, is an argument As-Sanuusiyy accepts, and validates. That is, his quoted refutation of the argument for implied composition is not absolute, but for its use in a different context than this, and without admitting that there is any implied need for composition at all.
As-Sanuusiyy denies that affirming that Aļļaah has attributes such as knowledge implies composition.
The context in which As-Sanuusiyy criticizes Ar-Raaziyy, is for the latter’s weakness in facing up to the argument of the philosophers for denying that Aļļaah has attributes. They argued that since the attributes are many, they would need to be composed. As-Sanuusiyy refutes this absolutely and says that the argument for need is false, because there is no composition implied. Why is that? Because the attributes are necessary, perfect, eternal and unchanging. This is the essence of what As-Sanuusiyy says.
As-Sanuusiyy affirms that things with size do need composition, and validates this argument.
Ar-Raaziyy is not talking about Aļļaah having attributes in the argument against anthropomorphists which Ibn Taymiyyah responds to. In essence Ar-Raaziyy says that declaring Aļļaah to be something that can be pointed at means that He would then have a border, and therefore be in need of composition, like all things with size. This is true, because all shapes are possible and in need of specification.
This is not an argument that As-Sanuusiyy is against. His books are full of this type of argument, such as in “A Commentary on the Creed of Al Sanusi“. The need for bodies to be specified in shape and composition is a theme throughout, on which he bases the proof for the createdness of all things with a size. Accordingly, As-Sanuusiyy’s refutation of the argument of the need for composition of parts does not apply for the issue of physical aboveness, and is not intended by him. This is because shapes are possible, and not intrinsically necessary in themselves, so they do indeed need to be specified and composed.
Why Ibn Taymiyyah affirms implied composition and need.
Since Aļļaah has a size in Ibn Taymiyyah’s view, and its shape is possible, there is an implied need for composition. He says in affirmation of size:
That something existing should not be increasing, or decreasing, or neither increasing nor decreasing, and yet exist and not have a size – this is impossible.1 (Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah, 3/146).
In affirming composition etc., he says:
We have already clarified what possibilities (in terms of what they mean) are associated with the words composition, settling in place, being other (having different sides or parts), and need, and that the meaning meant by this is something all existing things must be attributed with, whether necessary in existence (he means Aļļaah) or possible in existence (creation.) Verily, to say that this is impossible (for Aļļaah to be attributed with,) is pure sophistry.2. (Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah, 1/33)
The proof that Ibn Taymiyyah affirms that his deity’s shape is possible,and not necessary, is in his Bucket Theology, where He says: “and it is known that Aļļaah is able to surround3….” i.e. able to take on a shape to do so, which means that it is not a necessary shape, but a possible one, and therefore in need of specification. (Majmuuˆu-l-Fataawaa, 6/574)
1قال ابن تيمية: فأما كون الشيء غير موصوف بالزيادة والنقصان ولا بعدم ذلك وهو موجود وليس بذي قدر فهذا لا يعقل (بيان تلبيس الجهمية, ج3/ص146).
2قال ابن تيمية: قولك إن كان منقسما كان مركبا وتقدم إبطاله تقدم الجواب عن هذا الذي سميته مركبا وتبين أنه لا حجة أصلا على امتناع ذلك بل بين أن إحالة ذلك تقتضي إبطال كل موجود ولولا أنه أحال على ما تقدم لما أحلنا عليه وتقدم بيان ما في لفظ التركيب والتحيز والغير والافتقار من الاحتمال وإن المعنى الذي يقصد منه بذلك يجب أن يتصف به كل موجود سواء كان واجبا أو ممكنا وإن القول بامتناع ذلك يستلزم السفسطة المحضة (بيان تلبيس الجهمية ج 1 ص 33).
3قال ابن تيمية: وَالْإِحَاطَةُ قَدْ عُلِمَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ قَادِرٌ عَلَيْهَا وَعُلِمَ أَنَّهَا تَكُونُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِالْكِتَابِ وَالسُّنَّة وَلَيْسَ فِي إثْبَاتِهَا فِي الْجُمْلَةِ مَا يُخَالِفُ الْعَقْلَ وَلَا الشَّرْعَ ؛ لَكِنْ لَا نَتَكَلَّمُ إلَّا بِمَا نَعْلَمُ وَمَا لَا نَعْلَمُهُ أَمْسَكْنَا عَنْهُ وَمَا كَانَ مُقَدِّمَةُ دَلِيلِهِ مَشْكُوكًا فِيهَا عِنْدَ بَعْضِ النَّاسِ كَانَ حَقُّهُ أَنْ يَشُكَّ فِيهِ حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْحَقُّ وَإِلَّا فَلْيَسْكُتْ عَمَّا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ . (مجموع الفتاوى – 6 / 574)