Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy does not believe Aļļaah is in a direction

Regarding direction, he says:

فتح الباري لابن حجر – (6 / 136): وَقِيلَ مُنَاسَبَة التَّسْبِيح فِي الْأَمَاكِن الْمُنْخَفِضَة مِنْ جِهَة أَنَّ التَّسْبِيح هُوَ التَّنْزِيه فَنَاسَبَ تَنْزِيه اللَّه عَنْ صِفَات الِانْخِفَاض كَمَا نَاسَبَ تَكْبِيره عِنْد الْأَمَاكِن الْمُرْتَفِعَة ، وَلَا يَلْزَم مِنْ كَوْن جِهَتَيْ الْعُلُوّ وَالسُّفَّل مُحَال عَلَى اللَّه أَنْ لَا يُوصَف بِالْعُلُوِّ لِأَنَّ وَصْفه بِالْعُلُوِّ مِنْ جِهَة الْمَعْنَى وَالْمُسْتَحِيل كَوْن ذَلِكَ مِنْ جِهَة الْحِسّ ، وَلِذَلِكَ وَرَدَ فِي صِفَته الْعَالِي وَالْعَلِيّ وَالْمُتَعَالِي وَلَمْ يَرِد ضِدّ ذَلِكَ وَإِنْ كَانَ قَدْ أَحَاطَ بِكُلِّ شَيْء عِلْمًا جَلَّ وَعَزَّ .

It is said, the suitability of tasbiiĥ in high places is in the sense that tasbiiĥ it so declare Aļļaah clear of non-befitting meanings, so one denies lowness from Aļļaah, just like it is suitable to say Aļļaahu akbar in high places. And it is not necessary from the directions of up and down being impossible to be true of Aļļaah that He not be ascribed highness, for it is in sense of meaning, and the impossible is for it to be in the sense of tangibility. For this reason it was stated as His attributes Al-ˆAliyy, Al-Mutaˆaalii, and the opposite was not stated, even if He encompasses everything in knowledge. 1

Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy says:

فتح الباري – ابن حجر – (3 / 30) قَوْله : ( يَنْزِل رَبّنَا إِلَى السَّمَاء الدُّنْيَا )اِسْتَدَلَّ بِهِ مَنْ أَثْبَتَ الْجِهَة وَقَالَ : هِيَ جِهَة الْعُلُوّ ، وَأَنْكَرَ ذَلِكَ الْجُمْهُور لِأَنَّ الْقَوْل بِذَلِكَ يُفْضِي إِلَى التَّحَيُّز تَعَالَى اللَّه عَنْ ذَلِكَ . وَقَدْ اُخْتُلِفَ فِي مَعْنَى النُّزُول عَلَى أَقْوَال : فَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ حَمَلَهُ عَلَى ظَاهِره وَحَقِيقَته وَهُمْ الْمُشَبِّهَة تَعَالَى اللَّه عَنْ قَوْلهمْ . وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ أَنْكَرَ صِحَّة الْأَحَادِيث الْوَارِدَة فِي ذَلِكَ جُمْلَة وَهُمْ الْخَوَارِج وَالْمُعْتَزِلَة وَهُوَ مُكَابَرَة ، وَالْعَجَب أَنَّهُمْ أَوَّلُوا مَا فِي الْقُرْآن مِنْ نَحْو ذَلِكَ وَأَنْكَرُوا مَا فِي الْحَدِيث إِمَّا جَهْلًا وَإِمَّا عِنَادًا ، وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ أَجْرَاهُ عَلَى مَا وَرَدَ مُؤْمِنًا بِهِ عَلَى طَرِيق الْإِجْمَال مُنَزِّهًا اللَّه تَعَالَى عَنْ الْكَيْفِيَّة وَالتَّشْبِيه وَهُمْ جُمْهُور السَّلَف ، وَنَقَلَهُ الْبَيْهَقِيُّ وَغَيْره عَنْ الْأَئِمَّة الْأَرْبَعَة وَالسُّفْيَانَيْنِ وَالْحَمَّادَيْنِ وَالْأَوْزَاعِيُّ وَاللَّيْث وَغَيْرهمْ ، وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ أَوَّله عَلَى وَجْه يَلِيق مُسْتَعْمَل فِي كَلَام الْعَرَب ، وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ أَفْرَطَ فِي التَّأْوِيل حَتَّى كَادَ أَنْ يَخْرُج إِلَى نَوْع مِنْ التَّحْرِيف ، وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ فَصَلَ بَيْن مَا يَكُون تَأْوِيله قَرِيبًا مُسْتَعْمَلًا فِي كَلَام الْعَرَب وَبَيْن مَا يَكُون بَعِيدًا مَهْجُورًا فَأَوَّل فِي بَعْض وَفَوَّضَ فِي بَعْض ، وَهُوَ مَنْقُول عَنْ مَالِك وَجَزَمَ بِهِ مِنْ الْمُتَأَخِّرِينَ اِبْن دَقِيق الْعِيد

His saying (literal unmeant translation):”Our Lord descends to the Sky of the World” has been used by those who believe Aļļaah is ascribed with a direction, and said, “He is in the direction above.“ This was denied by the masses, because this saying implies Him being in a space, and Aļļaah is greatly above and clear of that. There are also those that denied the soundness of these ĥadiitħs in general, and they are the Kħawaarij and the Muˆtazilites, and this is arrogance. It is strange how they figuratively interpreted the likes of it in the Qur’aan, and denied what is in ĥadiitħs, either out of ignorance or stubbornness. Then there are those that passed on its narration as is, believing in it in general, while denying that Aļļaah has a modality or like, and those are most of the Salaf, and Al-Bayhaqiyy and others narrated this position from the four imams (Abuu Ĥaniifah, Maalik, Asħ-Sħaafiˆiyy and Aĥmad,) and the two Sufyaans (Sufyaan Atħ-Tħawriyy and Sufyaan Ibn ˆUyaynah) and the two Ĥammaads (Ĥammaad ibn Salamah and Ĥammaad ibn Zayd) , as well as Al-‘Awzaaˆiyy and Al-Laytħ and others. Then there are those that figuratively interpreted this according to what befits and is used in the Arabic language. Then there are those that went to extremes in interpretation to the extent that they went almost to the extent of a kind of perversion. Then there are those that differed between what can be interpreted in a likely manner, and what cannot be interpreted except by getting far fetched and unacceptable. So they interpreted in some cases, and other times they would go by tafwiiđ. This is what has been narrated from Maalik, and was insisted upon as correct by later scholars, such as Ibn Daqiiq Al-ˆIid.2

1Ibn Ĥajar Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy, Fatĥu-l-Baarii Sħarĥu Şaĥiiĥi-l-Bukħaariyy (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Marefah, 1379), 6/136.

2Ibid., 3/30.

4 Responses to Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy does not believe Aļļaah is in a direction

  1. Salmaan says:

    assalamu alaikum ya sheikh,

    i think theres a typo into the first sentence of the the first quote of Sheikh ibn Hajar.

    other than that, thankyou for this article because i’ve heard many wahhabis claim that ibn Hajar al Asqalani attributed direction/place to Allah in his fath al bari.

    jazakallahu khairan

    Wassalamu alaikum

  2. uponsunnah says:

    it is sickening when you jamhees are confronted with an ayah or a hadeeth, you resort to quoting the opinion of some scholars whose opinion fall in line with your desire.
    why dont you come out and say, the prophet peace upon him the sahabas as well as teh tabeen and the scholars who came right after them ananymously agreed that there is no deity above the heaven?

    • First of all, the only thing we deny is aboveness of geography, we affirm, however, that Allaah is attibuted with aboveness over Heaven and everything else in the befitting and beautiful sense, namely in power and glory. And why don’t you come and say that Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy is a deviant Jahmiyy? And Salaaĥuddiin Al-Ayyuubiyy, who freed Jerusalem from the crusaders? Or An-Nawawiyy? Or Al-Qurţubiyy? Or Abu Sulaymaan Al-Kħaţţaabiyy? Or Abuu Bakr Al-Baaqillaaniyy? Or As-Suyyuuţiyy? Or Al-Bayhaqiyy? Or Aţ-Tabariyy? Or Abu Ĥaniifah? Or Zaynuddiin Al-ˆIraaqiyy? Or Al-Bulqiiniyy? Or Al-Ghazaaliyy? Or Qadi ˆIiaađ? Or Ibn Al-ˆArabiyy (the hadith scholar)? Or Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy? Or al-Qusħayriyy? Or Abu Isĥaaq As-Sħiiraaziyy? Or Al-Juwainiyy? Or Ar-Raaziyy? Or Al-Maaturiidyy, whom the Hanafis call “the imam of guidance”? Or Al-Asħˆariyy, whom just about all subsequent Maalikis and Shaafiˆiyys consider their imam?… and the list goes on. None of these believed that Allaah is something that can be pointed at in a direction.

      Yet none of them denied Allaah’s aboveness, it is just that they understood His aboveness over all creation to be one of glory and might, not one of physical borders and geography. You keep failing to understand that aboveness is not only in location, but in meaning as well, and the one in meaning is the one that befits Allaah without a doubt, and is the most beautiful of the two senses of aboveness. That is why we must believe in this aboveness, and not the other one, because Allaah said that He does not resemble His creation, so He does not have attributes that need to be specified by someone and brought into existence, such as borders, because borders could be put anywhere, so they need to be specified by someone. This is not a beautiful meaning, but a meaning of need for specification to exist, and Allaah said:
      اللَّهُ لا إِلَهَ إِلا هُوَ لَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَى
      Meaning “There is no god but Him, He has the best namings.” (Taahaa, 8 )

      When you say Allaah is something that can be pointed at in a direction, then you have said that He has such a border, as Ibn Taymiyyah realized and therefore believed, because he did not believe that anything could exist except something that has a size, and that there is no problem in believing that Allaah has a shape and that He can be changed into something smaller. If this is not kufr, then there is no kufr!

  3. Ahmad-Qadri says:

    There are plenty of indications of metaphor used in Quran and Hadith.

    I wonder what these people think about the hadith that “heaven lies at the feet of the mothers”. If they continue with their literalist garbs, that would imply all women who are mothers are in a physical location ABOVE heaven, heaven being at their feet level and below.

    … and then the many more Ahadith Qudsiy regarding Allah saying that He “becomes” the feet of the slave by which he walks and the eyes by which he sees and so on; and the Quranic verse which states that Allah is the “noor” of the heavens and the earth. They never seem to take that verse literally, for obvious reasons of being laughed at.

    It seems they are trying their best to present a “version” of Islam as close to judeo-christian anthropomorphism as possible, I guess to “blend in” with their masters somehow pretentiously claiming a superficially different identity.

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