The difference between the Wahabi creed and Islam

I am often asked to make a list of things that are different between the wahabi creed (i.e. that of their leaders) and Islam.

The core difference is that when wahabis say that Aļļaah does not resemble His creation, they mean that He is different in the same way as created things differ from one another, like in the case of fingerprints. Everybody has different fingerprints. So when they say Aļļaah has a hand, but “not like ours,” they mean that it has different physical characteristics, such as color, number of fingers, or print, or something like that. This is true, because they believe Aļļaah is something that can be pointed at in a direction and has a limit, i.e. a shape and size. For simplicity, let us call it a body, because a body is anything with a size and shape, even if many wahabis do not like this word.

All creations as observed by our eyes, have a shape, and differ only in the form of the shape, and in size. Since the wahabis believe that their god is a body, their belief is that he is only different in bodily characteristics, such as the exact form and size. This means that he would be part identical to creation, and part different; the way created things differ.

On the other hand, Sunnis say that the reality of Aļļaah’s existence absolutely does not resemble that of His creation. They do not believe that Aļļaah is different from His creation merely in the way created things differ from one another. For this reason, Sunnis say that the reality of Aļļaah’s existence is not bodily. That is, He must be without size or shape.

Another way to express the Sunni belief in Aļļaah’s non-resemblance to creation is to say that Aļļaah is clear of resemblance to whatever needs specification. The reality of Aļļaah’s existence cannot require specification. This is because requiring specification means being dependent on something else to be specified by. In other words, it means being dependent upon a creator to provide specification and existence according to the specification.

Bodily existence, which entails size and shape, is in need of specification of its size and its shape, because no shape or size has a higher priority for existence intrinsically. No size is more likely to exists than any other without influence from other than it. Likewise, no shape is more likely to exist than any other without influence from other than it. It needs therefore to have specification from other than it. Anything that has bodily existence must therefore be a creation, and cannot be the Creator. That is why the Salaf, though they did not explain in detail, always stated that Aļļaah’s attributes are without a how, that is, without specification, that is, without shape or change. Due to the closeness to the time of prophethood, they had great minds, and a profound understanding of the religion, They understood that Aļļaah is not limited or having boundaries, or less than perfect in any sense, and that He is therefore not in a direction or changing. They expressed all this with the simple phrase: “without a how,” They took this phrase from the quranic: “He absolutely does not resemble anything.” That is, the reality of His existence does not resemble that of creation.

In conclusion, the wahabi belief is that Aļļaah differs from creation the way creation differ from one another. They believe that His existence is bodily, like that of creatures. This is the most fundamental difference between Sunnis and wahabis.

The other core difference, their unique concept of shirk, is really a consequence of this. Let me explain…

When human beings worship a 3 dimensional shape, they feel a need to somehow make it different than other objects. The reason is that the essential reality of the existence of what they worship, is the same as all other things around them. After all, a 3 dimensional shape is just a 3 dimensional shape with respect to its kind of existence, i.e. bodily existence. Thus, this difference that they seek can only be in terms of:

-what is seen, i.e in appearance, i.e. in shape, size or color, or location

-some unseen characteristic claimed, or

-how one behaves towards this object.

That is why you will find a buddhist or anemist (those who worship trees and other objects found) makes sure to decorate his idol, gives it a weird shape, such as several heads, and if he is rich he’ll buy one made from gold. You will also find him putting it in a special location in his house. This takes care of appearance. He will claim that the idol has godly power, or knowledge, or the like, to attempt to rationalize its worship. Then he will behave with special ceremonial rites in its physical presence. A lot of attention is paid then to the idol’s location, ceremonial behavior related to this location, and ornamentation to distinguish it from other object. This is to contribute to the illusion that it is essentially different from other objects, and make it seem plausible that it is a god.

The wahabis are the same, because just like ordinary idol worshipers, they worship what is essentially a 3 dimensional thing. However, their object of worship is not present, so they will simply say regarding its appearance, “not like other objects, and we do not know how.” This way they leave it open, and can tell a buddhist, “our object is so much better than yours,” and when asked “how?” They will say, “we do not know, but it the best that can be.”

In the appearance aspect of location, their special location is “above the world in direction.” Here they have exceeded all other idol worshipers by choosing a really, really special location that cannot be reached by the senses.

But they are at a conceptual loss for what on earth Aļļaah’s oneness would mean, as it is not an absolute to them. After all, any single physical object is “one” in count, but not in kind, and since they believe He is an object, the meaning of “one” that would be worth being zealous about becomes quite foggy, and they have quite a dilemma. All they can do is say that only the body they call Aļļaah (but is actually not Him) deserves worship, while the other objects/bodies do not. But what would be their bases for this claim?

They cannot claim this based on the reality of the existence of their object of worship, because it is a body, and there are very many bodies around with the same mode of existence.

They cannot claim distinction based on unseen characteristics, because if omnipotence, omniscience and eternal existence could be attributes of a 3 dimensional being, then there is no way to rationally prove that one such thing could have them, while another not. That is, basing it on the claim that this object has all sorts of unseen characteristics, such as power, would not satisfy them in their search for the meaning of oneness that would make them different from other idol worshipers. After all, all idol worshipers claim their idols have all sorts of powers, so this wouldn’t make them special, or different in an essential way. This is especially when compared to religions with an identical belief regarding the reality of the creator’s existence, namely bodily existence, such as the christians, and especially the jews.

In practice, however, wahabi’s have achieved an advantage over other object worshipers, because they could break physically present idols, and claim that their (o so conveniently absent) object is unbreakable, and no competing idol worshipers would be able to prove them wrong, even if they themselves cannot prove that they are right.

In these ways, the wahabis can make themselves feel superior in the distinguishing game of idol worship (like when Hindus claim their idols are better than those of Bhuddists and vice versa). However, this is all very weak by itself, because it is based on the physical absence of their idol, and the existence of such a fantastic idol is impossible to prove. This is because physical objects cannot be proven to exist except by observation. The proofs for the existence of a creator that Muslims use do not help them, because they are all based on the idea that what has a size and shape and changes needs a creator, which means that their idol would need one also.

This is where their concept of shirk comes to play; they needed something to make them really different in their claim to be uniquely monotheist. They felt a need to make their worshiped object different than other objects in a more tangible way. After all, they are a people that do not think much of non-tangibles. They, or rather Ibn Taymiyyah, invented the concept of Aļļaah’s oneness being a matter of our behavior, a matter of who can be called for help and who cannot. This is their equivalent to the Buddhists ceremonious behavior around where the idol is placed, to their own physically absent idol, in order to distinguish it from other bodies. They made it the only body that can be called for help, regardless of whether one believes the called upon to have actual and real independent power or not.

All the other differences they argue for, such as their saying that all scripture texts must be understood literally, are inconsistent ideas that they use only when it suits their purpose. After all, if it suits their purpose they will go against all Arabic dictionaries in their understanding of a word, as is the case with (خلق) kħalaqa – to create, and (أحدث) aĥdatħa – to bring into existence. This is when they say that Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech is muĥdatħ but not makħluuq. An interpretation does not get more far-fetched than that, and yet they will cry “deviance!” if someone chooses a meaning from the dictionary, if it does not agree with their belief that Aļļaah is a body.

33 Responses to The difference between the Wahabi creed and Islam

  1. Rashid says:

    Assalam u Alaikum,

    Although, I am not someone who has read a lot of books, articles, but still, I would like to say that this is one of the most unique and effective approach I have seen to unravel their* concept of Shirk.

    *those who believe Allah Almighty is a 3-dimensional body. Na’oozu bILLAH!

  2. An article full of claims and accusations without a shred of proof for those accusation, plz show us proof that “wahhabis” believe what you said, and I mean your claim that they believe Allah is
    – a body
    – 3 dimensional shape
    – that the difference between Allah’s Attributes and that of creation is in color, size … etc.

    and it must be explicit.

    • OK, but I am curios, why do you need proof that they believe that Allaah is a body AND a 3 dimensional shape? Is there a difference between being a body and being 3-dimensional, and if so, what is it? I think it is important to clarify this for me to answer in a way that you can understand. Note for now, however, that it is not the words that are important here, but the meanings. What is normally understood from the word “body” is something with size, and it is necessarily 3 dimensional for the intents and purposes here (without getting into planes and strings, because they are not relevant here). Having said that, there is no doubt that anyone who believes Allaah to be in a location, believes that Allaah is 3 dimensional, because something in a location is either going to be in all locations, or in a specific location. If it is in a specific location, then it is going to have a boundary defining its location, which means that it has a size according to the size of the location, which means that it is a body. That is why you find Ibn Taymiyyah says that Allaah has 6 boundaries, namely, up, down, front back and 2 sides. To not call this a “body”, or “3-dimensional” is just playing word games, which the wahabis love, as did Ibn Taymiyyah, but I hope you don’t have any more time for it than I do. Ibn Taymiyyah said:
      بيان تلبيس الجهمية في تأسيس بدعهم الكلامية – (1 / 438) فهذا القول الوسط من أقوال القاضي الثلاثة هو المطابق لكلام أحمد وغيره من الأئمة وقد قال إنه تعالى في جهة مخصوصة وليس هو ذاهبا في الجهات بل هو خارج العالم متميز عن خلقه منفصل عنهم غير داخل في كل الجهات وهذا معنى قول أحمد “حد لا يعلمه إلا هو” ولو كان مراد أحمد رحمه الله الحد من جهة العرش فقط لكان ذلك معلوما لعباده فانهم قد عرفوا أن حده من هذه الجهة هو العرش فعلم أن الحد الذي لا يعلمونه مطلق لا يختص بجهة العرش
      “This moderate saying among the three sayings of Al-Qaađii Abuu Yaˆlaa is the one that agrees with what Aĥmad says and others among the imaams. He [i.e. Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal – and this is a lie, Aĥmad believed what Muslims believe, but that is another matter (Trans.)] has stated,
      ‘Aļļaah is in a particular direction, and He is not spread out in all directions. Rather, He is outside the world, distinct from His creation, separate from it, and He is not in every direction.’
      This is what Aĥmad, may Aļļaah have mercy upon him, meant when he said,
      ‘He has a limit that only He knows.’
      If Aĥmad had meant the direction towards the ˆArsħ (Throne) only, then this would be known to Aļļaah’s slaves, because they know that Aļļaah’s limit from this direction is the ˆArsħ, so we know then that the limit they do not know is unqualified, and is not specified for the direction of the ˆarsħ.” (Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah, 1/438)

      Of course, Ahmad did not say that Allaah has a limit, but I am quoting Ibn Tayimiyyah.

      • souphienne says:

        Bismillah wassalam’aleykum ,

        As for modern wahabi here is a statement of Ibn Baz in this regard in his commentary of the Tahawiyya available in the website dedicated to his works discussing this point of the ‘Aqida At Tahawiyya :

        {Allāh is above} the status of{having limits, extremes,
        corners, limbs or instruments}

        Ibn Baz said:

        “Thus by the word
        (limit) the author means the limits known by humans(creatures). Indeed Allah Ta’ala,no one except Him knows His limits.”

        wassalam,
        Souphienne

      • Gabriel Hernandez says:

        Salaam:

        I came across a piece by Um Abdullah in which she criticizes Ibn al Jawzi’s (Rahmatullah Alayhi) argument against those who have anthropomorphous interpretations of Allah’s attributes.

        You could find it here:

        http://umabdullah.wordpress.com/2008/09/11/a-comment-on-ibn-al-jawzis-statement-regarding-the-belief-allah-is-neither-in-his-creation-nor-outside-of-it/

        She has a very telling argument against Ibn al Jawzi’s in which she says:

        “Because they (Ibn Jawzi, the Ashariyyah, and the Mutakalimeen) could not comprehend a hand that is not like what we see and know, because of Their inability to conceive of a reality beyond material experience led them into bewilderment and to liken the attributes of the Transcendent God to the attributes of originated things [that is, to commit tashbīh] in their minds.

        She goes on to give an explaination of how Allah’s transcendent Hand is, which seems to go beyond the Atharis’ tendencies to leave the “how” up to Allah SubhanaHu. Here it is:

        “The belief in Allah having a yad (hand) that is different than that of creation, a hand that we could not imagine because of not seeing something similar to it, for Allah is not like anything, is not impossible.
        Yes, it puzzles the mind, it is uncomprehendable because it is something that we have not seen anything like, but it is not impossible, only puzzling and bewildering. If someone had told the people of the past, who came thousands of years before us, about the computer and internet that we have today, they would not beleive it because they wouldn’t be able to comprehend it since they have not seen anything even close to it, but does that mean it is impossible just because they couldn’t comprehend it, or seen anything like it? No. ”

        The reasons I pointed these comments out to you, Shaykh Abu Adam, are two:

        1. I couldn’t see her perspective of comparing Allah’s transcendent Yad to something tangible as a computer with internet as not being of antrophomorphous tendencies, although she begs to differ.

        2. I think your discussion with Um Abdullah lends relevance to my questions.

        JizakAllah Khayr wa Afwan

      • Yes, this computer analogy is from the principle that I mentioned: “The core difference is that when wahabis say that Aļļaah does not resemble His creation, they mean that He is different in the same way as created things differ from one another, like in the case of fingerprints. Everybody has different fingerprints. So when they say Aļļaah has a hand, but “not like ours,” they mean that it has different physical characteristics, such as color, number of fingers, or print, or something like that. This is true, because they believe Aļļaah is something that can be pointed at in a direction and has a limit, i.e. a shape and size. For simplicity, let us call it a body, because a body is anything with a size and shape, even if many wahabis do not like this word. ”

        You have to know their principles to understand what their aiming at in all their beatings around the bush. This is the tradition of their imam Ibn Taymiyyah, he was described by one scholar, saying, “you are like a sparrow, flying here and there.”

  3. Rashid says:

    Assalam u Alaikum,

    Ya Shaykh, what if they say that ALLAH Almighty has a limit only towards ‘Arsh (This is to say that He does not mixes with creation), and not any other limit. So, even if they believe Allah Almighty to be a body, how are they saying that it is a three-dimensional body? Because limit is ascribed only in one-direction, and not others.

    Believing Allah Almighty to be in a location, and a body* is Kufr, and all this mess is a result of this corrupt belief.

    *By body, I mean a physical being formed from limbs, and not that I deny the existence, He exists, but The Reality of Existence is unknown, and we should not ponder over it.

    • This adds at least one more impossibility. Anyway, we don’t need to deal with this, because they follow Ibn Tayimiyyah, and he believed in limits in all directions for what he claimed to be the creator.

  4. “Wahhabis” do not believe that Allah is in a location like you have described , they don’t believe that Allah has boundaries like a 3 dimensional object, from six directions.
    They believe in 2 different boundaries, one is Allah being seperate from His creation, Allah does not mix with creation, nor creation with Allah, Exalted be He.
    The other boundary (if that is the correct word to use) is the distinction of Allah from His creation, what distincts Allah’s Attributes from that of creation (this is the hadd that Ibn Taimiyyah said is mutlaq), so the other hadd is about the reality/kayfiyyah of the Attributes, this is the hadd/boundary/distinction that we do not have knowledge about.
    If you still insist on Ibn Taimiyyah believing that Allah has 6 directions, then you should easly find a clearer statement by him on that, since we have many of his books
    available today, and most of them discuss issues of aqeedah, especially the the topic of Allah’s Attributes.
    You also have many books by contemporary “wahhabi” scholars on aqeedah, especially the topic of sifat, if they truely believe in this (i.e. 6 directions, 3 dimensional ..etc.), then you shouldn’t have a problem finding a clear statement by them that Allah has 6 directions, or that Allah s a body, or that He has a 3 dimensional shape (Exalted be Allah).
    One last thing, when you find a statement by any scholar that is not very clear, or could be interpreted different ways, then it should be interpreted in light of other statements by that scholar, in order to understand it correctly, and not accuse him of something he did not intend.

    • Um Abdullaah,
      You said, “Wahhabis do not believe that Allah is in a location like you have described , they don’t believe that Allah has boundaries like a 3 dimensional object, from six directions.”
      Comment: These are word games as I expected, “not in a location like you have described,” is not a denial of location, but an attempt to escape. Like I said, “something in a location is either going to be in all locations, or in a specific location.” Wahabi’s believe that Allaah is above the Arsh in the sense that he can be actually pointed at. This is a specific location, and this means they believe He has a shape, at least on one side, and that He has depth, width and height (i.e. is 3-dimensional) to infinity from there, i.e is a body of infinite size, or has limits in other directions as well. There may be some of them that believe Aļļaah to be spread out in all other directions, as is one of the sayings of the anthropomorphist Abuu Yaˆlaa, as we shall see below, but this is not the saying of Ibn Taymiyyah, as we shall also see.
      Um Abdullah said, “Wahhabis believe in 2 different boundaries, one is Allah being separate from His creation, Allah does not mix with creation, nor creation with Allah, Exalted be He.”
      Comment: If Aļļaah is not in a location in their belief, then why do they believe in a boundary? Something is either said to exist in a location or not. If it is in a location, then it needs a boundary to be separate. If it is not in a location, then it is nonsense to speak of a boundary because what is not in a location cannot be mixed with what is in a location, because mixing is about being in the same location.
      Um Abdullah said: “The other boundary (if that is the correct word to use) is the distinction of Allah from His creation, what distincts Allah’s Attributes from that of creation (this is the hadd that Ibn Taimiyyah said is mutlaq), so the other hadd is about the reality/kayfiyyah of the Attributes, this is the hadd/boundary/distinction that we do not have knowledge about.”
      Comment: You say this boundary is unknown, which implies that the other one is known. What is it, if it is not a boundary of location, is there another kind of boundary? Please stop playing games.
      Second, if the wahabis don’t know, as you put it “what distincts Aļļaah’s attributes from that of creation,” then this is means they do not admit that Aļļaah is not bodily, otherwise they could say like Muslims, namely that He does not resemble what has a beginning, and is therefore not a body and not bodily and does not change.
      Um Abdullah said: “If you still insist on Ibn Taimiyyah believing that Allah has 6 directions, then you should easily find a clearer statement by him…”
      Comment: Ibn Taymiyyah’s statement is very clear. He says that the “known boundary is in the direction of the Arsh,” i.e. that what he worships has a lower limit/ underside that can be pointed at adjacent to the Arsh, i.e. a physical boundary defining the specific location of what he believes is Allaah toward the created universe. If this is not clear to you, then I think you are being unreasonable. He says that this boundary is known by everybody, and that the other limits are not known. Here is the full context and improved translation to make it abundantly clear:
      Ibn Taymiyyah quotes Abuu Yaˆlaa on this issue of boundary, where Abuu Yaˆlaa says that Aĥmad’s said “Aļļaah is on the Throne without a limit” and then says:
      معناه ما عدى الجهة المحاذية للعرش وهي الفوق والخلف والأمام واليمنة واليسرة (بيان تلبيس الجهمية في تأسيس بدعهم الكلامية, 1 /437 (
      “It means ‘other than in the direction adjacent to the throne’, which are above, behind, front, right and left.” I.e. He is saying that Aļļaah has a limit under Him, but is unlimited and without a boundary in all other directions. I.e. He is spread out in all other directions.
      Then Ibn Taymiyyah comments on this saying:
      قلت: هذا الذي جمع به بين كلامي أحمد وأثبت الحد والجهة من ناحية العرش والتحت دون الجهات الخمس يخالف ما فسر به كلام أحمد أولا من التفسير المطابق لصريح الفاظه حيث قال فقد نفى الحد عنه على الصفة المذكورة وهو الذي يعلمه خلقه والموضع الذي أطلقه محمول على معنيين (أحدهما) يقال على جهة مخصوصة وليس هو ذاهبا في الجهات بل هو خارج العالم متميز عن خلقه منفصل عنهم غير داخل في كل الجهات وهذا معنى قول أحمد: حد لا يعلمه إلا هو (والثاني) أنه على صفة يبين بها عن غيره ويتميز فهو تعالى فرد واحد ممتنع عن الاشتراك له في أخص صفاته قال منعنا من إطلاق القول بالحد في غير موضع من كتابنا ويجب أن يجوز على الوجه الذي ذكرناه فهذا القول الوسط من أقوال القاضي الثلاثة هو المطابق لكلام أحمد وغيره من الأئمة وقد قال: إنه تعالى في جهة مخصوصة وليس هو ذاهبا في الجهات بل هو خارج العالم متميز عن خلقه منفصل عنهم غير داخل في كل الجهات وهذا معنى قول أحمد: حد لا يعلمه إلا هو ولو كان مراد أحمد رحمه الله الحد من جهة العرش فقط لكان ذلك معلوما لعباده فانهم قد عرفوا أن حده من هذه الجهة هو العرش فعلم أن الحد الذي لا يعلمونه مطلق لا يختص بجهة العرش. (بيان تلبيس الجهمية في تأسيس بدعهم الكلامية, 1 /437-438(
      <>
      Now, note that the first saying of Abuu Yaˆlaa is that Aļļaah has an underside, but no front, back, right, left, or top, and is therefore unlimited in these directions. Then note Ibn Taymiyyah agrees about the underside being towards the throne, saying that this is “known to Aļļaah’s slaves, because they know that Aļļaah’s limit from this direction is the ˆArsħ.” What remains to disagree with then is Abuu Yaˆlaa’s denial of boundaries in the other five directions, which Ibn Taymiyyah does saying, ” Aļļaah is in a particular direction, and He is not spread out in all directions,” and Ibn Taymiyyah claims that those limits, preventing the spread in all directions, are what Aĥmad affirmed when he (according to him) said, ‘He has a limit that only He knows.’ That is why he also says elsewhere:
      بيان تلبيس الجهمية في تأسيس بدعهم الكلامية – (1 / 601) فأما كون الشيء غير موصوف بالزيادة والنقصان ولا بعدم ذلك وهو موجود وليس بذي قدر فهذا لا يعقل
      “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.” (Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah, 1/601(
      In other words, he is of the opinion that everything that exists, including the Creator, must have a size. According to Ibn Taymiyyah then, Aļļaah has a size limited by 6 limits. He also says:
      It has been narrated through the acceptable scholars and Muslim saints (‘awliyaa’) that Muĥammad, the Messenger of Aļļaah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) will be seated by His Lord on His throne with Him. (Majmuuˆu-l-Fataawaa, 4 / 374)
      قال ابن تيمية في مجموع الفتاوى – (4 / 374) فَقَدْ حَدَثَ الْعُلَمَاءُ الْمَرْضِيُّونَ وَأَوْلِيَاؤُهُ الْمَقْبُولُونَ : أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يُجْلِسُهُ رَبُّهُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ مَعَهُ .
      So here you see him affirming at least one side to make room for the Prophet.

  5. Ibn Ismail says:

    The anthropomorphic literalists inaddition to the direction “down” are also forced to accept other directions/limits for their God like “front”, “left”, etc as mentioned in the hadiths.

    wa salam

  6. Abdul-Salaam says:

    Assalamualykum,
    could you please read the bottom part of this link where the man claims that imam al Ghazali said in one of his books, which i don’t have access to, that imam Ahmad said that Allah has a direction. Do you know if there is a link to imam Ahmad for that statement, if so what is it’s status? It comes from what seems to be a Maliki website.

    jazakAllah khayr

    • Waˆalaykumussalaam,

      No, Al-Ghazaaliyy would not have accused Ahmad of such silliness. Ahmad is well known for his strict adherence to the wordings of the scriptures, and direction is not mentioned anywhere. In fact, it has been narrated from Ahmad that he says the one who says that Allaah is a body is a kaafir, and Ahmad definitely understands that whatever has a direction, must have a size and dimensions, and therefore be a body.

  7. Kane Amadou says:

    I read your suggestions but am still confused and could not understand well. Is ALLAH a person? Why would you given a for to Allah while anyone and any mind can imagine how he is. We must imagine what is imaginable first. I think we must focus our imagination on how to approach him.

    • No, Allaah is not a “person.” Allaah is the creator of everything and is not like His creation. He cannot be imagined, because He is not something with a shape or form, and He does not have a beginning and does not change.

  8. Kane Amadou says:

    Let’s suppose after death God says to all creations: You are back in the Garden and there is no Paradise and no Hell.
    So what would be believers behavior?

    • This is not going to happen, so this is a pointless question. All prophets taught that non-believers will be in Hell. Since you are not Muslim you need to start at the beginning, with the belief in god, in order to understand Islam. See this article.

  9. Kane Amadou says:

    I am a muslim since before my birth and practice it as well. I believe in God his prophets, his books, his angels.
    I pray 5 times a day, fast in Ramadan, I did my pilgrim, I do not give jackat since I am poor. What else? I discuss these questions only to improve my faith and I did not get answers I expected from you.

    • If you want to understand Islam better you must learn starting from the basics. One cannot learn Islamic beliefs by asking questions. Your question cannot be asked by a Muslim, because it implies that the Prophets could have been lying. This is a blasphemous implication.

  10. Mohammad says:

    Asalamu Alaikum,

    I have a question regarding Ibn Tamiyyah. I heard that he wrote a tafseer on Surah Ichlaas, in there, he claims that Allah surrounds the creations. If you have his Tafseer, can you place the Arabic text with English translations?

  11. HanafiMazhab says:

    Shaykh Abu Adam,

    Djazaa Kallah Ghair. I have learned a lot from this site. I have one question:

    Can you give the definition of Jism?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Salaams, this was a great article to read. I did not really know why wahabi belief was so different. I agree that it is wrong to imagine Allah as he is unimaginable, but what approach should we have towards him, as I am sure many people imagine some sort of image in their mind whilst praying etc. It is established that he has no bodily form since that would mean that he is 3 dimensional, so how are we to think of him whilst praying, repenting and doing good deeds to please him? Are we meant to simply think he is everywhere since he has no border or limit? Are we meant to think of him as a presence rather than something with some sort of form? … Surely he is exalted above anything else, and I simply want to make sure that my approach towards him is right, since it is an important foundation of imaan to have the right approach right? Please shed some light on this,

    Thank you.

    • You must not think of His Self at all. As you said yourself, Allaah cannot be imagined. He is not said to be everywhere, because He is not in a place at all. To say or believe that Allaah is everywhere, or somewhere in particular, like the Sky, or have doubts about it makes one a non-Muslim. To become Muslim again one must reject such beliefs and with the intention to return to Islam say: “I firmly believe that there is no god but God, and Muhammad is His messenger” or any statement equivalent in meaning.

      Aļļaah does not resemble anything that one can imagine in the mind. This is because an imagination has a beginning, is therefore a creation, and cannot be like Allaah, as He does not have a beginning in any sense at all. Based on this, the scholars taught people the rule that “whatever you can imagine in your mind, Aļļaah does not resemble it.” Similarly, the cousin of the Prophet Muĥammad, and famous companion, Ibn ˆAbbaas said, “Ponder about everything, but do not ponder about the Self of Aļļaah.” (Fatĥu-l-Baariy 13/383) He said this because such dwelling leads one to draw analogies between the Creator and the created, which is blasphemy. It contradicts the belief in Aļļaah’s Oneness, as it involves the heretical belief that Aļļaah has an equal in some aspect. It also contradicts the Quranic “Absolutely nothing resembles Him.”

      Accordingly, Aţ-Ţaĥaawiy stated in his creed: “Whoever attributed to Aļļaah an attribute that has a meaning among the meanings that apply to humans has committed blasphemy.” Note the categorical sense of “a meaning,” which tells us that this is true for any meaning that applies to humans, not just some. For example, having a direction, a body, changing or the like.

      What you should keep in mind then, is that neither Allaah nor His attributes can be imagined, and reject any idea contrary to this belief. So we believe that Allaah exists but His existence is not like ours, He has Power, but His Power is not like ours, and so on. Take a look at this article.

      • Abu Fatimah says:

        Assalamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullah, Shaykh Abu Adam!

        You wrote:

        “Accordingly, Aţ-Ţaĥaawiy stated in his creed: “Whoever attributed to Aļļaah an attribute that has a meaning among the meanings that apply to humans has committed blasphemy.” Note the categorical sense of “a meaning,” which tells us that this is true for any meaning that applies to humans, not just some. For example, having a direction, a body, changing or the like”.

        Question. Imam at-Tahawi, radiyaLLahu ‘anhu, said in Tahawiya that it was “bayan” of Ahlu Sumnnah beliefs.

        Does this word “bayan” mean that Imam’s words are clear and need no additional explanations/comments to be understood correctly?

        I mean this words: “Whoever attributed to Aļļaah an attribute that has a meaning among the meanings that apply to humans has committed blasphemy.”

        If these words are clear and need no further comments then there is no other way of understanding them rather than saying that those who attribute direction to Allah commit kufr.

        This question arose because some talibs say “we have to find out what imam at-Tahawi wanted to say by this words”. Those talibs are Asharee’s, but as I understand they just don’t want to be fast in takfeer of Ahlu Qibla.

        wassalam.

      • wa3alaykumussalaam,

        It is very clear. What At-Tahaawiyy is emphasizing is the meaning. He is avoiding the issue of what words people use. So if someone understands the word direction to mean what is commonly understood from this word, namely one of the 6 directions, and he attributes this to Allaah in that sense, then this person has without question committed kufr. See also this.

  13. Ibrahim Islam says:

    assallaam aleykum Shayh, im a convert,no one gave dawah to me, alhumdulelah i converted thru a dream, anyway just wanted to say that alhumdulelah, you are truthfull, with your claims, i understand and my brain excepts your creed which is my aqeedah aswell, the creed of Muslims. i hope inshallah we get to meet 1 day,..if not,..i hope we meet in paradise 1 day, may Allah protect you, and grant you fardous,..ameen

  14. Ahmad says:

    What intellectual and textual proof would you use to refute those people who claim that it isn’t kufr to believe, that Allah is a body unlike other bodies?

  15. saad says:

    Assalaamuˆalaykum
    you said

    “The core difference is that when wahabis say that Aļļaah does not resemble His creation, they mean that He is different in the same way as created things differ from one another, like in the case of fingerprints. Everybody has different fingerprints. So when they say Aļļaah has a hand, but “not like ours,” they mean that it has different physical characteristics, such as color, number of fingers, or print, or something like that.”
    can you please explain it in a much better way…I have heard from the Wahabis quite often….and it does imply that their definition of “different” is contrary to those of ashari’s. So can you explain it in a much better way
    Regards

    • wa3alaykumussalaam,

      When Muslims say that Allaah is different from creation, they mean that His attributes are not like that of creation. Then wahabis say this they simply means different, but with remaining similarity. This is because they believe Allaah to be something that has a size (2 or 3 dimensional) and shape, i.e. a body that goes through changes such as movement. So the difference, in their belief, is merely in the kind of size, shape and changes, but not in being a body. This is exactly how created things differ from one another also. That is why I said “they mean that He is different in the same way as created things differ from one another”.

      Muslims, on the other hand, believe that Allaah is not a body, does not have a size or a shape, and does not change. This means there is no similarity, because created things are all bodies with bodily attributes, whereas Allaah is not a body and does not have bodily attributes. Moreover, the attributes of creation change, whereas the attributes of Allaah are eternal (because they are not create) and do not change.

  16. Asvad says:

    A text on the *Wahabi/Salafi’s Kufriya Belief* states the following:

    The Prophet’s words [as they claim is his words, but aren’t -Ed.], “Adam was created in His image” means that Allaah created Adam in His image, “FOR HE HAS A FACE, AN EYE, A HAND, AND A FOOT, and Adam had a face, an eye, a hand, and a foot… but that does not mean that these things are exactly the same. “THERE IS SOME SIMILARITY, BUT IT IS NOT EXACTLY THE SAME” Similarly the first group to enter Paradise are likened to the moon, but they are not exactly the same. This confirms the view of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, who say that none of the attributes of Allaah can be likened to the attributes of created beings, without distorting or misinterpreting, or discussing how or likening Him to His creation. See Sharh al-‘Aqeedah al-Waasitah by Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 1/107, 293.

    – End Quote.

    Although whole of the passage is absurd and pathetic i.e. comparing Allah to Adam (alaih salam), but what on earth does the sentence mean when they say:

    “There is “SOME” similarity, but its not exactly the same!!”

    It is Kufr al Azeem even if they say there is “SOME SIMILARITY”

    • Of course it is kufr to say there is some similarity. It is in plain contradiction to several statements in the Qur’aan, let alone sound reason. The meaning of “his image”in the hadiith referred to is known from the context of the hadiith in which a slave had been beaten in the face. The Prophet (sall-Allaahu 3alayhi wa sallam) forbade such beating, i.e. to the face. He (sall-Allaahu 3alayhi wa sallam) explained why, stating that Allaah created Adam in the same image as the slave. So the pronoun “his” in “his image” is referring to the slave, not to Allaah. It means that the human face is respected in the religion and cannot be beaten without a valid reason.

      It boggles the mind how the author explicitly affirms similarity. What an ugly kufr it is. It shows a profound ignorance of the Creator. Actually, in the same text the author admits that he is committing tashbiih, he just doesn’t like being called “mushabbih” (someone who makes tashbiih). He encourages his students therefore to use the word “tamthiil” instead of “tashbiih”, which means the same.

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