The Sunni Belief – Al-Taftaazaaniyy

August 6, 2013

I thought some of you might appreciate the below. I have inserted some comments of my own for clarification purposes in [brackets like these]:

The way of the Sunnis is to believe that:

  • The world has a beginning.

وطريقة أهل السنة أن العالم حادث

  • The Creator is beginningless and is attributed with attributes that are beginningless.
  • The attributes of the Creator are not Him Himself [i.e. Aļļaah is not merely an attribute, e.g. we do not believe that Aļļaah is power, but that He is attributed with power], nor other than Him [i.e. His attributes are not divisible or parts].

والصانع قديم متصف بصفات قديمة ليست عينه ولا غيره

  • The Creator is One, He does not have a like [so He is not something with size nor something that has bodily characteristics], or an opposite, or a partner [i.e. there is only one Creator]

وواحد لا شبه له ولا ضد ولا ند

  • He does not have an end [to His existence or to that of His attributes] or a shape, or a limit. [Thus, He is not a body, or a plane or a particle or dot.]

ولا نهاية له ولا صورة ولا حد

  • He does not exist in something else [because He does not need anything]

ولا يحل في شيء

  • Events do not occur in Him, and [hence,] He is not attributed with movement or changing position [or stillness, since He is not a body] or ignorance, or lying, or imperfection.

ولا يقوم به حادث ولا يصح عليه الحركة والانتقال ولا الجهل ولا الكذب ولا النقص

  • He is seen [by Muslims] in the Hereafter without being in a location or direction. [I.e. seeing Him is not like seeing a creation.]

وأنه يرى في الآخرة وليس في حيز ولا جهة

  • Whatever He has willed will be, and whatever He has not willed will not be.

ما شاء كان ومالم يشأ لم يكن

  • He does not need anything.

لا يحتاج إلى شيء

  • Nothing is incumbent upon Him.

ولا يجب عليه شيء

  • Everything created [i.e. everything that has a beginning, including bodies and what occurs in them of movement, color, shape, ideas, intentions, etc.] is according to His predestination, specification, and will.

كل المخلوقات بقضائه وقدره وإرادته ومشيئته

  • [All acts of creation are created by Aļļaah,] however, acts of creation that are said to be ugly due to their sinfulness [by Aļļaah’s legal prescription] are not said to be liked, ordered or accepted by Him.

[Note: Aļļaah is not attributed with emotions, since emotions imply needs as well as change in state of being, and Aļļaah does not change. Hence, words like mahabbah (literal translation: love) are ascribed to Aļļaah in Arabic with reference to certain acts of creation to mean that these acts are rewardable in the Hereafter].

لكن القبايخ منها ليست برضاه وأمره ومحبته

  • bodily resurrection [not just in soul];
  • the torture of the grave; the accounting of the deeds [in the Hereafter];
  • the Bridge [that crosses from the plain over Hell to Paradise];
  • the scale [with pans and a fulcrum on which deeds are weighed]
  • that non-Muslims will stay in Hell without an end, but not sinful Muslims. [i.e. Muslims sent to Hell will eventually come out of Hell and go to Paradise];
  • that Aļļaah forgives [without punishment in Hell] some sinful Muslims [whose bad deeds are more weighty than their good deeds] ;
  • there is intercession.

وأن المعاد الجسماني وسائر ما ورد به السمع من عذاب القبر والحساب والصراط والميزان وغير ذلك حق وأن الكفار مخلدون في النار دون الفساق وأن العفو والشفاعة حق

  • The signs of the day of judgment are true, such as the coming of Dajjaal, as well as Ya’juuj and Ma’juuj; the descent of Jesus, the sun rising in the west, the coming of the beast [that will tell everyone whether he is a Muslim or a Blasphemer].

وأن أشراط الساعة من خروج الدجال ويأجوج ومأجوج ونزول عيسى وطلوع الشمس من مغربها وخروج دابة الأرض حق

  • The first of the prophets is Adam and the very last is Muhammad.

وأول الأنبياء آدم وآخرهم محمد

  • The first Khaliifah was Abu Bakr followed by Umar, Uthman and Ali, may Aļļaah please them.

وأول الخلفاء أبو بكر ثم عمر ثم عثمان ثم علي رضي الله عنهم

  • The status of these four is in the same order, except for some [strange and unusual] hesitation regarding the order between Uthman and Ali.

والأفضلية بهذا الترتيب مع تردد فيها بين عثمان وعلي رضي الله تعالى عنهما

  • The famous scholars of Sunni beliefs in the areas of Khurasan, Iraq, Levant, and most areas in general, are the Ashˆaris, the companions of Abu Al-Hasan Ali son of Ismaaˆiil son of Ishaaq son of Saalim son of Ismaaˆiil son of Abdullaah son of Bilaal son of Abu Burdah son of Abu Muusaa Al-AshˆAriyy, the companion of the Prophet. He was the first [student of Al-Jubbaa’iyy] to disagree with Abu Ali Al-Jubbaa’iyy [the Muˆtazilite] and reject his school of thought in order to embrace the way of the Sunnah, i.e. the way of the Prophet (may Aļļaah raise his rank further) and the jamaaˆah, i.e. the way of the companions.

والمشهور من أهل السنة في ديار خرسان والعراق والشام وأكثر الأقطار هم الأشاعرة أصحاب أبي الحسن علي بن إسماعيل بن إسحق بن سالم بن إسماعيل بن عبدالله بن بلال بن أبي بردة بن أبي موسى الأشعري صاحب رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وسلم) أول من خالف أبا علي الجبائي ورجع عن مذهبه إلى السنة أي طريقة النبي e والجماعة أي طريقة الصحابة

  • [The famous scholars of Sunni beliefs] in the lands behind the river [i.e. Amu Darya] are the companions of Al-Maaturiidiyy, who was the student of Abu Nasr Al-ˆiiaađ, the student of Abu Bakr Al-Jurjaaniyy, the companion of Abu Sulaymaan Al-Jurjaaniyy, the student of Muĥammad ibn Al-Hasan Al-Shaybaaniyy, may Aļļaah have mercy upon him. Maaturiid is a village in Samarkand [in today’s Uzbekistan].

وفي ديار ما وراء النهر الماتريدية أصحاب أبي منصور الماتريدي تلميذ أبي نصر العياض تلميذ أبي بكر الجرجاني صاحب أبي سليمان الجرجاني تلميذ محمد بن الحسن الشيباني رحمه الله وماتريد من قرى سمرقند

  • Some disagreement has appeared among these two groups with regard to belief and methodology issues like that of takwiin, exemption in belief [i.e. does the one who says “I am a believer – in shaa’ Aļļaah” imply doubt or not? All agree that doubt is kufr], the belief status of the imitator [but all agree that the imitator that thinks he might leave Islam if the one he imitates leaves is a kaafir, because ones commitment to the belief must be unconditional), and some other issues.

وقد دخل الآن فيها بين الطائفتين اختلاف في بعض الأصول كمسئلة التكوين ومسئلة الاستثناء في الإيمان ومسألة إيمان المقلد وغير ذلك

  • The great authenticators from the two groups of scholars do not accuse one another of bad innovation or heresy. This is unlike bigots that may even base heresy accusation on disagreements regarding detailed legal issues like animals slaughtered without mentioning the name of Aļļaah when it was not due to forgetting, or the wuđuu’ not breaking due to najis coming out of other than the private organs, or the validity of marriage without a waliyy, or prayer without reciting Fatihah.

والمحققون من الفريقين لا ينسبون أحدهما إلى البدعة والضلالة خلافا للمبطلين المتعصبين حتى ربما جعلوا الاختلاف في الفروع أيضا بدعة وضلالة كالقول بحل متروك التسمية عمدا وعدم نقض الوضوء بالخارج النجس من غير السبيلين وكجواز النكاح بدون الولي والصلاة بدون الفاتحة

  • The bigots do not recognize that bad innovations are the new matters in religion that either:
  1. were not existent [i.e. accepted] in the time of the companions or those who met the companions [and died as Muslims], or
  2. do not have a legal Islamic proof as a basis.

ولا يعرفون أن البدعة المذمومة هو المحدث في الدين من غير أن يكون في عهد الصحابة والتابعين ولا دل عليه الدليل الشرعي

  • Some ignorant people claim that all things that were not present at the time of the companions are bad innovations, even if there is no legal Islamic proof for it being bad. They base this on the saying of the Prophet (may Aļļaah raise his rank even further) [literal translation:] “Beware of new matters…” They do not know that what is meant by this is making a matter part of the religion when it is not a part of it.

ومن الجهلة من يجعل كل أمر لم يكن في زمن الصحابة بدعة مذمومة وإن لم يقم دليل على قبحه تمسكا بقوله عليه الصلاة والسلام إياكم ومحدثات الأمور ولا يعلمون أن المراد بذلك هو أن يجعل في الدين ما ليس منه

May Aļļaah protect us from following deviant whims and make us firm in following the guidance of the Prophet and His followers.

عصمنا الله من اتباع الهوى وثبتنا على اقتفاء الهدى بالنبي وآله


Source: Sharĥ Al-Maqaaşid, SaˆdudDiin Al-Taftaazaaniyy (712-793 H.), ˆAalam Al-Kutub, 1998, p. 231-232

As-Ghazaaliyy in his book “Iljam Al-Awam”: Those who believe Allaah is a body are idolaters

July 29, 2013

Al-Ghazaaliyy says in “Iljaam Al-ˆawaam” that denying bodily characteristics for Aļļaah is a primary duty of all Muslims, scholars and commoners alike. He makes it clear that believing that Allaah is a body (i.e. something that has size) is kufr and idolatry:

I mean by “body” something with length, width and depth that prevents something else to exist where it exists…. So if it came to someone’s mind that Aļļaah is a body composed of limbs, then this person is an idol worshiper. The reason is that all bodies are created, and to worship something created is kufr. After all, idol worship is kufr because the idol is created, and the idol is created because it is a body. Hence, the one who worships a body is a kaafir by the consensus of the Muslim Nation, both the salaf and those later.

Against those who speak ill of Kalaam – based on Muqaddimaat al-Maraashid, Part 2

July 25, 2013

As for what is narrated from Al-Shafiˆiyy in blame of Kalaam, it is most likely, based on who he is and on his status, that he never said any of it. However, even if it is true, what he was referring to was some deviants in his time, because the science of Kalaam includes all of the different groups and sects. Indeed, Kalaam science began, was recorded in books, was studied and became part of the Sunni curriculum for the purpose of refuting the Muˆtazilites and other deviants….

Indeed, how would Al-Shafiˆiyy be against Kalaam as a science when he himself wrote the book “Kitab Al-Qiyas” in Kalaam science and wrote a book refuting the Brahmans (Indian philosophers)!? Likewise Abu Haniifah wrote books in Kalaam, such as “al-ˆAalim wa Al-Mutaˆallim” and “Al-Wasiyyah”. Further, Malik studied Kalaam for some 15 years … but he did not author books.

Moreover, Al-Shafiˆiyy founded the science of Foundations of Fiqh, which is strongly related Kalaam Science. After all, it needs to begin with abstract definition such as the meaning of “knowledge”, “will”, “speech”, details on the meaning of “order”, “forbidding”, etc. He would not object to Kalaam as a field of science when his own books are full of Kalaam topics!

Source: Muqaddimaat al-Maraashid, Ali ibn Ahmad As-Sabtiyy (614/1217), Maktabah Al-Thaqaafah Al-Deeniyah, 2008, p. 26-27

(Updated) Takwiin, effective pertainment and AI-‘Iijiyy on Allaah not being in time

July 23, 2010

By actions the Asħˆariyys mean the created things themselves that exist by the influence of Aļļaah’s attribute of power, or what they call effective pertainment. Effective pertainment is the pertaining of Aļļaah’s power to what exists of created things, as opposed to valid pertainment, which is the pertaining Aļļaah’s power to everything possible. The Maaturiidiyys say that the attribute of power is Aļļaah’s power to bring into existence, while the bringing into existence is another attribute called takwiin. So what Asħˆariyys explain as (1) "effective pertainment" and (2) "valid pertainment" is explained as two attributes, respectively: (1) "takwiin" or "creating" and (2) "power to create" according to Maaturiidiyys.

Aļļaah’s providing, giving, bringing into existence, etc. is called effective pertainment in the Asħˆariyy school, while in the Maaturiidiyy school these are different names for takwiin according to what the attribute of takwiin pertains to.

When we remember that Aļļaah is not in time according to all, then it becomes easy to understand that this is mainly a semantical difference; using different words to explain the same thing. Although the Asħˆariyys say that the effective pertainment has a beginning, this is with respect to us, because we are in time. So we say that Jill was created yesterday, but the time element of yesterday is a created attribute of Jill, where as the attribute of Aļļaah is creating Jill with the "yesterday" as one of her attributes, the meanings associated with her being, sort of like color. In other words, Aļļaah does not pass through a state of time called before creating Jill and after creating Jill, because He is not in time.

This means that Aļļaah Himself did not change during those six days in which He created the Heavens and the Earth. What changed is creation; those six days are for creation. Accordingly, the Imam of Guidance, Abuu Manşuur Al-Maaturiidiyy says: “A fundamental belief principle is that whenever Aļļaah is ascribed an attribute, then this attribute is eternal (i.e. without a beginning or end). One says that He is attributed with knowledge, power and providing eternally without a beginning and without an end. If He is mentioned with regard to His management of creation and orders to it, then time is stated, but this time is for creation, not for Him. For example, it is said, "Aļļaah knows eternally that you are sitting here," or "(sitting here) at this time." I.e. Aļļaah knows eternally without a beginning or an end that the person is sitting now…. This is all to prevent people from thinking "How were the created things in eternity?”[1]

An-Nasafiyy, the second most important scholar in the Maaturiidiyy school after Al-Maaturiidiyy himself, said: "His eternal attribute of creating does not lead to saying that the world is eternal, because the possible in existence cannot be eternal, and because creating is not for the immediate existence of the created, but for the time of its existence."[2] He also said: "The Karraamiyyah all claimed that Aļļaah’s creating (takwiin) is an event in Aļļaah with a beginning, and that events occur in Aļļaah. Aļļaah is greatly above what the unjust ascribe to Him."[3]

It must be understood that Aļļaah’s creating is not a sequential action, it is an action without a how. It has no beginning or end. If it was sequential, one previously non-existent action coming into existence after another, then each action would itself need to be brought into existence. This is because it did not exist previously. Then if that action of bringing the action into existence also had a beginning, we would need a bringing into existence of that one also, etc. to infinity, which would mean that one single act of creating would need an infinite amount of bringings into existence prior to it. This means that the act of creating can’t ever exist, because the prerequisite infinite amount of bringings into existence cannot ever be concluded. The solution to this is to say that Aļļaah’s act of bringing into existence does not have a beginning, and therefore does not need to be brought into existence.

In other words, Aļļaah created the world in six days, without His act of creating it having a beginning or an end, because Aļļaah is not in time; His attributes do not change and do not renew.

Further to this concept, here is what the two famous asħˆariyys, ˆAđududDiin Al-‘Iijiyy, and Asħ-Sħariif Al-Jurjaaniyy have to say about Aļļaah not being in time. Al-‘Iijiyy’s words are bolded in brackets, while the rest is Al-Jurjaaniyy’s explanation[4]:

الشرح (المقصد الرابع إنه تعالى ليس في زمان) أي ليس وجوده وجودا زمانيا ومعنى كون الوجود زمانيا أنه لا يمكن حصوله إلا في زمان كما أن معنى كونه مكانيا أنه لا يمكن حصوله إلا في مكان

(The fourth topic: on Aļļaah not being in time.) That is, His existence is not in time. The meaning of existence in time is that it cannot be except in time, just as the meaning of existence in a location is that it cannot be except in a location.

(هذا مما اتفق عليه أرباب الملل ولا نعرف فيه للعقلاء خلافا) وإن كان مذهب المجسمة يجر إليه كما يجر إلى الجهة والمكان

(This is one of the things that the people of all sects and religions agreed upon, and we do not know of any disagreement upon this between rational beings.) This is so, even if the anthropomorphists imply that, just as they imply direction and location.

(أما عند الحكماء فلأن الزمان) عندهم (مقدار حركة المحدد) للجهات (فلا يتصور فيما لا تعلق له بالحركة والجهة)

(As for according to the philosophers, this is because time) according to them (is the amount of limited movement) in any direction (so being in time cannot be true of what does not have to do with movement or direction.)

وتوضيحه أن التغير التدريجي زماني بمعنى أنه يتقدر بالزمان وينطبق عليه ولا يتصور وجوده إلا فيه والتغير الدفعي متعلق بالآن الذي هو طرف الزمان فما لا تغير فيه أصلا لا تعلق له بالزمان قطعا نعم وجوده تعالى مقارن للزمان وحاصل مع حصوله وأما أنه زماني أو آني أي واقع في أحدهما فكلا

That is, gradual change is in time, in the sense that it is measured in time, and coincides with time, and its existence cannot be other than in time, and a momentary change defines the “now” which is a the last point in time [i.e. so far]. Accordingly, what does not change at all, is not related to time at all. Yes, Aļļaah’s existence is affirmed as true and real no matter what time one is in, but it is not in time, or momentary. That is, it is not occurring in a time or a moment.

(وأما عندنا فلأنه) أي الزمان (متجدد يقدر به متجدد فلا يتصور في القديم فأي تفسير فسر) الزمان (به امتنع ثبوته لله تعالى)

(As for according to us, this is because it) i.e. time (is something renewing by which something else renewing is measured, so it cannot be true of the beginninglessly eternal. Accordingly, no matter how we define it,) i.e. time (it cannot be affirmed as being true of Aļļaah.)

(تنبيه) على ما يتضمنه هذا الأصل الذي مهدناه آنفا (يعلم مما ذكرنا أنا سواء قلنا العالم حادث بالحدوث الزماني) كما هو رأينا (أو الذاتي) كما هو رأي الحكيم (فتقدم الباري سبحانه عليه) لكونه موجدا إياه (ليس تقدما زمانيا) وإلا لزم كونه تعالى واقعا في الزمان بل هو تقدم ذاتي عندهم وقسم سادس عندنا كتقدم بعض أجزاء الزمان على بعضها

(Important note) regarding this principle that we have just explained: (It is known from what we mentioned previously that regardless of whether we say that the world has a beginning that is in time) as is our view, (or that it is in being) as is the view of the philosopher (it is still true that the precedence of Aļļaah over creation) by His being its Creator (is not a precedence of time.) Otherwise He would be in time. Rather, it is a precedence of being, according to the philosophers, and a sixth meaning [of precedence] in our view [that is not in time], like the precedence of moments of time over other moments of time [The sixth meaning of precedence is that of Creator over created, not in time, and this is beyond what our minds can grasp, because the reality of Aļļaah’s existence cannot be grasped. The precedence of moments of time over other moments is mentioned to show that precedence in existence is not necessarily in time].

(و) يعلم أيضا (أن بقاءه ليس عبارة عن وجوده في زمانين) وإلا كان تعالى زمانيا بل هو عبارة امتناع عدمه ومقارنته مع الأزمنة (ولا القدم عبارة عن أن يكون قبل كل زمان زمان) وإلا لم يتصف به الباري تعالى

(Moreover,) it is also known (that His everlastingness is not an expression meant to indicate His existence in two consecutive times,) otherwise He would be in time. Rather, it is an expression meaning that it is impossible for His to cease to exist, or accompany time [i.e. to be thought of as passing through time]. (Furthermore, His beginningless existence is not meant to express that there is a time before all times,) otherwise it would not be ascribed to Him.

(وأنه) أي ما ذكرناه من أنه تعالى ليس زمانيا (يبسط العذر في ورود ما ورد من الكلام الأزلي بصيغة الماضي ولو في الأمور المستقبلة) الواقعة فيما لا يزال كقوله تعالى إنا أرسلنا نوحا وذلك لأنه إذا لم يكن زمانيا لا بحسب ذاته ولا بحسب صفاته كان نسبة كلامه الأزلي إلى جميع الأزمنة على السوية إلا أن حكمته تعالى اقتضت التعبير عن بعض الأمور بصيغة الماضي وعن بعضها بصيغة المستقبل فسقط ما تمسك به المعتزلة في حدوث القرآن من أنه لو كان قديما لزم الكذب في أمثال ما ذكر فإن الإرسال لم يكن واقعا قبل الأزل

(In addition it) [i.e. the fact we have mentioned regarding Him (تعالى) not being in time] (justifies what has been revealed of Aļļaah’s speech expressed in the past tense, even for what pertains to the future) and happens with a beginning, such as His saying (تعالى):

إنا أرسلنا نوحا

Meaning: Verily we have sent Nuuĥ.

This is because if He is not in time, neither in His Self, nor His attributes, then His beginningless and endless Speech has the same relation to all times. It is just that His wisdom dictates revealing expressions regarding some issues in past tense, and some in future tense. Accordingly, the claim of the Muˆtazilites regarding the Qur’aan [i.e. the attribute of speech that the expressions in the revealed book refer to] having a beginning is invalid. [They claimed invalidly that it must have a beginning, and cannot be an eternal attribute, saying:] because otherwise the expressions like the one mentioned would be untrue, since the sending [of Nuuĥ in this case] did not happen before beginningless eternity.

(وههنا أسرار أخر لا أبوح بها ثقة بفطنتك) منها إذا قلنا كان الله موجودا في الأزل وسيكون موجودا في الأبد وهو موجود الآن لم نرد به أن وجوده واقع في تلك الأزمنة بل أردنا أنه مقارن معها من غير أن يتعلق بها كتعلق الزمانيات

(There are other hidden realities known through this that I will not mention explicitly, based on trust in your intelligence.) Among these is the fact that if we say “Aļļaah existed before creation, and shall exist forever, and He exists now,” then we do not mean by this that His existence falls in these times. Rather, we mean that His existence is true at all times, without Him being in them the way things in time are.

ومنها أنه لو ثبت وجود مجردات عقلية لم تكن أيضا زمانية

Another [fact known from this] is that if it was established that there are beings with a beginning that are not in place, then they would not be in time. [This is true according to the philosophers’ definition of time, because it is dependent on space. In Sunni terminology, however, it is not acceptable to say that such beings would not be in time. This is because such beings would pass through renewed existence, as they are not necessary in existence, and can change in knowledge or will, or other attributes.]

ومنها أنه إذا لم يكن زمانيا لم يكن بالقياس إليه ماض وحال ومستقبل فلا يلزم من علمه بالتغيرات تغير في علمه إنما يلزم ذلك إذا دخل فيه الزمان

[Yet] another [fact known from this] is that if He is not in time, then the measures of time in terms of past, present and future would not hold true of Him. Accordingly, it is not necessitated from His knowledge of changing things that His knowledge should change. It would only be necessary if He was in time [and He is not.]

[1] Abuu Manşuur Al-Maaturiidiyy (333 AH), Ta’wiilaat Ahlu-s-Sunnah, 9/473.

[2] Abu-l-Muˆiin An-Nasafiyy, Maymuun ibn Muĥammad (508 AH/ 1115 AD), Tabşiratu-l-Adillah, 1:1/99.

[3] Ibid., 1:1/401.

[4] Asħ-Sħariif Al-Jurjaaniyy (740-816 AH/ 1340-1413 AD) and ˆAđudu-d-Diin Al-‘Iijiyy (756 AH/ 1355 AD), Sħarĥu-l-Mawaaqif, 3/41.


Abu-l-Muˆiin An-Nasafiyy, Maymuun ibn Muĥammad (508 AH/ 1115 AD). Tabşiratu-l-Adillah. Edited by Dr. Huuseyin Atay. Vol. 1. 2 vols. Turkey: Ri’aasat al-Shu’uun al-Diiniiyyah lil-Jumhuuriyyah al-Turkiyyah, 1993.

Abuu Manşuur Al-Maaturiidiyy (333 AH). Ta’wiilaat Ahlu-s-Sunnah. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Kotob Al-ilmiyah, 1426.

Asħ-Sħariif Al-Jurjaaniyy (740-816 AH/ 1340-1413 AD), and ˆAđudu-d-Diin Al-‘Iijiyy (756 AH/ 1355 AD). Sħarĥu-l-Mawaaqif. 3 vols. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Jiil – Shaamilah, 1997.

FakhrudDiin Ar-Raaziyy on getting blessings from dead souls by their graves

May 5, 2010

The Wahabis have lately claimed that Ar-Raaziyy had their ideas about visiting graves and merely calling a dead person. From the quotes found in this article, however, we can understand that Ar-Raaziyy meant nothing against benefitting from visiting graves of blessed muslims when he said in his tafsiir:

The fourth (kind of idolaters) put idols with the shape of their prophets and most important people, and claimed that when they worked on worshiping these images, then those great people (that the images represent) will be intercessors for them to Aļļaah. The equivalent to that in this day and age is the preoccupation of a lot of people with glorification of the graves of great people, with the belief that if they glorified their graves, then they will be intercessors for them to Aļļaah.[1]

What he is speaking of is glorifying graves, and glorifying graves is indeed equivalent to idolatry. There is no disagreement between Ar-Raaziyy and today’s Sunnis on this matter. There is a huge difference, however, between glorifying a grave and benefitting from the blessings of being physically near the pious person in the grave. As we shall see, Ar-Raaziyy affirms created perception and created causation (created acts to cause a created result based on how things normally correlate) to the souls of the dead.

In Al-Maţaalib Al-ˆAaliyah in the context of proving that the soul remains after the death of the body Al-Fakħr Al-Raaziyy said:

Verily the human being might see his father and mother in his dreams, and ask them about things, and they give correct answers, and might even guide him to something hidden in a place nobody knows. I say, when I was a child in the first stages of learning and I was reading about the idea of events without a beginning, I saw my father in a dream and he said to me, “The proof (against this notion of events having no beginning) is to say that motion is a transfer from one state to another, so it requires, according to its nature, something to precede it (i.e. a state to transfer from). Being without a beginning, however, contradicts with having something preceding it. Therefore, it is impossible to join between the two concepts.” I say, this is apparently the best angle on what can be presented regarding this issue.[2]

After stating a number of other proofs he stated:

Accordingly (because of such dreams), we must definitely conclude that after leaving the body, the soul perceives particulars of events, and this is a noble and beneficial principle with regards to the knowledge of resurrection. Moreover, it becomes apparent from this, the truthfulness of the Prophet’s saying[3]:

إِذَا وُضِعَتْ الْجِنَازَةُ فَاحْتَمَلَهَا الرِّجَالُ عَلَى أَعْنَاقِهِمْ فَإِنْ كَانَتْ صَالِحَةً قَالَتْ قَدِّمُونِي وَإِنْ كَانَتْ غَيْرَ صَالِحَةٍ قَالَتْ لِأَهْلِهَا يَا وَيْلَهَا أَيْنَ يَذْهَبُونَ بِهَا يَسْمَعُ صَوْتَهَا كُلُّ شَيْءٍ إِلَّا الْإِنْسَانَ وَلَوْ سَمِعَ الْإِنْسَانُ لَصَعِقَ

“If the dead body is placed (on the bench for carrying it), and then carried by the men on their necks, then if it was not (that of) a pious person, it will say to its family, ‘woe to it, where are you taking it?!’ (meaning him/herself) Its sound is heard by everything except humans, and if a human heard, he would faint (or die.)"[4]

In the hadiith above by Ar-Raaziyy it is clear that the perception of sight, as well as the ability to speak is still with the soul after death. Another ĥadiitħ tells us that the soul also has the perception of hearing. The Prophet told us that when the dead has been put in his grave, and his companions turn around and leave it:

وَإِنَّهُ لَيَسْمَعُ قَرْعَ نِعَالِهِمْ

"Verily he hears the flapping of their slippers"[5]

Later Al-Raaziyy explained the way a person benefits from visiting the dead and their graves. After affirming the life of the soul after the body’s death, he said that two premises are needed to understand this benefit[6]:

First, those souls that left their bodies are stronger in some ways than those that are still attached to bodies, and vice versa. As for the souls having left being stronger in some aspects; this is because when they left their bodies, the veil was removed. The world of the unseen and the dwelling places of the afterlife thus became apparent to them. The knowledge that had previously been based on proofs, became observable reality after leaving the body….Consequently they reached a certain kind of perfection.” He continued stating that the souls attached to their bodies are stronger in that they still have the tools for seeking and acquiring, and are gaining new knowledge every day.

Second, the souls that have left their bodies on the other hand miss their attachment to their bodies. This is is indicated by the fact that all of a person’s worldly activities were concerned with bringing comfort and good to it. This strong attachment, Al-Raaziy stated, does not go away with departure from the body, as the soul itself has perception and speech after death.

Based on these two premises, Al-Raaziy says:

“If a person went to the grave of someone with a strong soul, complete in essence, strong in influence, and stood there for a while, and was influenced by the soil there – the soil that the soul of the dead is attached to – then a mutual attachment occurs between these two souls due their gathering on that soil. They become like two polished mirrors reflecting each other’s rays; all that has been acquired in the visitor’s soul of proof-based knowledge, knowledge gained from effort, and high morals like submission to Aļļaah, and being content with what Aļļaah has predestined, reflects a light that travels to the soul of the dead host. Likewise, all the knowledge that has been acquired in the dead person’s soul of radiating and complete knowledge reflects light that goes to the soul of the living visitor. In this way this visit is a cause for the occurrence of great benefit and happiness for the soul of the visitor as well as that of the host. This is the basic reason for the religious prescription of visiting graves. It is also not unlikely that there are other secret events that are more subtle and deep than what has been mentioned here. Complete knowledge of the real nature of things is something Aļļaah only has.”

In his commentary on the Qur’aan, Al-Naaziˆaat 3,

"وَالسَّابِحَاتِ سَبْحًا”

Literal interpretation: “By those that sail a sailing….”

he states[7]:

“The human souls that are free of any bodily connections that yearn to connect to the higher world, after their exit from the darkness of their bodies, go to the world of the Angels and the holy dwellings in the fastest of ways in a state of peaceful rest and surrounded by bountiful provision. This meaning of traveling is what the concept of sailing is referring to. Having said that, there is no doubt that the levels of the souls in terms of their aversion towards this world and yearning to connect with the higher world are many. Thus, the higher the level of aversion (to this world) and yearning (for the next), the faster will be the souls rising to the higher world. On the other hand, the lesser the aversion and yearning, the heavier will be its rise.

There is no question that the faster souls are more noble, so it is not strange that Aļļaah swore by them (in the Aayah above). In addition, these noble and high souls, are not unlikely to have in it what has an apparent effect on this world, due to its strength and nobility. Accordingly, they are:

"فَالْمُدَبِّرَاتِ أَمْرًا”

Literal interpretation: “…and by the conductors (as created causes) of (worldly) matters.”

Isn’t it true that the human being might see his master teacher in his dreams, asks him about a problem, and then gets guidance from him to its solution? Isn’t it true that a son may see his father in a dream guiding him to a hidden treasure? Isn’t it true that Galen[8] said, “I was sick and unable to treat myself. Then I saw in my dreams someone that gave me guidance towards the way of treatment.” Isn’t it true that Al-Għazaaliyy[9] said, “Noble souls, when they leave their bodies, and happen to meet someone <alive> similar to them in body and soul, are not unlikely to become attached to this <person met’s> body. This to the extent that it becomes an aid to the soul of that <live> person in doing good deeds, and then that aid is called “intuition”. Its equivalent for mean souls (i.e. Devil Jinn, not dead people, because they are tortured in their graves) is evil whispers in the mind.”

These meanings, even if not transmitted from the <ancient> Quranic commentators, are very close to the words in meaning.”[10]

As support for what Ar-Raaziyy said, consider what the great Imaam of belief and fiqh, the encyclopedic authenticator and verifier, SaˆdudDiin Al-Taftaazaaniy[11] said regarding this same issue in his book Al-Maqaaşid[12]:

“What is apparent from the principles of Islaam, is that there are renewing perceptions of parts for the soul after leaving the body as well as looking at some parts of the lives of the living, especially of those that had a relationship with the dead person in this world. This is why there is benefit in visiting graves, and seeking support from the souls of the pious that have died in terms of seeking experiences and fending off weariness. This is because the soul after leaving the body is attached to the body and the soil it was buried in. So if the living visited this soil and faced the soul of the dead person, then there will be an attachment between them and streams <of light>.”

Moreover, the encyclopedic scholar Asħ-Sħariif Al-Jurjaaniy[13] on his commentary on the book Al-Maţaaliˆ, discussed the benefit of Tawassul in terms of streams of light flowing to the visitor. He said,

“Someone might say that this Tawassul is only conceivable if the dead were attached to their bodies, but not if they were detached from their bodies, since there is no aspect in this case that would lead to a connection[14]. The answer to this objection is that the fact that they were attached to them, heading for perfection of the flawed soul with great determination, is enough by itself. This is because the influence of that remains in them. For this reason, the visit of their resting places are prepared for much flow of light from them to the visitors[15]. This is observable for those with eyes that see.”[16]

Clearly then, the Wahabis have misrepresented Ar-Raaziyy’s viewpoint on visiting graves and merely calling a dead person. Let us take another look at what he said in his tafsiir:

The fourth (kind of idolaters) put idols with the shape of their prophets and most important people, and claimed that when they worked on worshiping these images, then those great people (that the images represent) will be intercessors for them to Aļļaah. The equivalent to that in this day and age is the preoccupation of a lot of people with glorification of the graves of great people, with the belief that if they glorified their graves, then they will be intercessors for them to Aļļaah.[17]

There are a few points to note here. First, he is not speaking of people who claim to be Muslims, but about the human race in general, and the kinds of idolaters there are out there. Second, he is speaking of glorifying the graves themselves, not about getting blessings or help from great Muslims in their graves.

This has been mentioned before, but is worth mentioning again in context of the above: Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (691-751AH/ 1292-1350 AD), the second in command after the Grand Sħaykħ of Anthropomorphism[18], Aĥmad Ibn Taymiyyah (661-728 AH/ 1263-1328 AD), makes an strong defense for someone that calls a dead person, in his book Ar-Ruuĥ (The Soul). This is astonishing, because it is him and his sħaykh that invented the saying that calling a person is shirk (worship of other than Aļļaah) unless he is alive and present.

In what follows below you will find some quotes from this book. For example, after mentioning that one should fee shy from the dead when visiting the graveyard, because the dead perceive their visitor, he says:

“Even further than that; the dead knows about the works of the living among his relatives and brothers."[19]

Then he states:

“On this issue there are many narrations from the companions, and some of the relatives of ˆAbduļļaah ibn Rawaaĥah used to say, ‘O Aļļaah, verily I seek your protection from doing anything that I will be brought in shame for in the eyes of ˆAbduļļaah ibn Rawaaĥah.’ He (they) used to say this after the martyrdom of ˆAbduļļaah.

It is enough evidence regarding all this that the Muslim that visits the dead is called ‘visitor’, for if they did not perceive him, then if would be invalid to call him ‘visitor’. This is because the visited, if they do not know of the visit of the person visiting, then you cannot say, ‘he visited him.’ This is what is understood from ‘visiting’ by all nations. The same is the case for ‘greeting’, for greeting a person that has no perception, and does not know the greeter is impossible, and the Prophet taught his nation that if they visit graves, they should say ‘salaam ˆalaykum (Aļļaah’s peace be upon you) O People of the abodes that are Muslims, and verily we are by the will of Aļļaah catching up with you. May Aļļaah give mercy to those among us and you who go in advance and those that go later. We ask Aļļaah for safety for you and us.‘ In this there is greeting, addressing and calling of something existing that hears, addresses and understands and responds, even if the Muslim does not hear the response. Moreover, if the person prays nearby, then they witness this, know about his prayer, and wish they could do the same….”[20] (Because the life of accountability has ended for them.)

Another place in the book, after mentioning a ĥadiitħ he states:

This ĥadiitħ expresses the speed of the dead’s soul’s movement from the Throne to the Earth, and then from the Earth (back) to its place, and for this Maalik and other imams said ‘the soul is set free, and goes wherever it wishes.‘ Furthermore, what people see of dead peoples’ souls and their coming to them from far away places is something known by people in general, and they do not doubt it…. and Aļļaah knows best.

As for the salam greeting to the people in their graves, and speaking to them; this does not mean that the souls are not in Paradise, and that they are in the graves (only), for the master of Humankind, whose soul is in the highest of places, in the care of Aļļaah; He is (also) in his grave and answers the salam greeting of a muslim. Moreover, Umar (the second kħaliifah, or ruler of all muslims), may Aļļaah give him mercy, agreed that the souls of the martyrs are in Paradise, and yet they are greeted at their graves, just like other people who have passed away. Similarly, the Prophet taught us to greet them, and the companions used to greet the martyrs of the battle of Uĥud. Moreover, it has been firmly established that their souls are in Paradise, going wherever they please, as mentioned earlier.

Your mind should not be so narrow as to not accept that the soul is in Paradise going wherever it pleases, and yet hears the greeting of a Muslim to him at his grave, and then goes down to answer it. The soul is another matter than the body.”[21]

Then he says:

“Among the things that one should know is that what we have mentioned regarding the soul is relative to the individual souls’ power, weakness, bigness, and smallness. So the great and large soul has among what we have mentioned what the lesser soul does not have, and you can see how the rules of the souls differ greatly in this world according to the souls’ differences in modality, power, slowness, speed and getting help…….. This is how it was while captivated in its body, so how would it be if it became independent and departed from the body, and its powers were gathered, and it was at the outset a lofty, pure and big soul with high sense of purpose??? This soul has after the departure a whole other importance and other actions. In this regard dreams have been collaboratively mass narrated among human kind about the actions of souls after their death, actions they were not able to do while in their bodies, such as one, two or a few souls defeating entire armies and the like. Very many people have seen the Prophet with Abu Bakr and ˆUmar in their sleep having defeated the armies of kufr and injustice, and then their armies are overwhelmed and crushed despite large numbers, and the weakness and small numbers of the Muslims (Ar-Ruuĥ, P. 102-103).”[22]

So if this is what Ibn Al-Qayyim believes, then where is the shirk in calling a dead person for help? After all, as the author states, the great soul is even more able to help after death, than before death, and has perception of hearing all the way from Paradise to his grave.

Even more so, who in his right mind will claim, after believing all this, that traveling to visit the Prophet’s grave is forbidden?

[1] FakħrudDiin Al-Raaziy, Mafaatiiĥ Al-Għayb, 17/49.

مفاتيح الغيبدار الكتب العلمية – (17 / 49): ورابعها أنهم وضعوا هذه الأصنام والأوثان على صور أنبيائهم وأكابرهم وزعموا أنهم متى اشتغلوا بعبادة هذه التماثيل فإن أولئك الأكابر تكون شفعاء لهم عند الله تعالى ونظيره في هذا الزمان اشتغال كثير من الخلق بتعظيم قبور الأكابر على اعتقاد أنهم إذا عظموا قبورهم فإنهم يكونون شفعاء لهم عند الله

[2] FakħrudDiin Al-Raaziy (544-606 AH), Al-Maţaalib Al-ˆAaliyah, 7/228.

قال الرازي في " المطالب العالية ": إن الإنسان قد يرى أباه وأمه في المنام ويسألهما عن أشياء وهما يذكران أجوبة صحيحة ، وربما أرشداه إلى دفين في موضع لا يعلمه أحد ، وأقول أني حين كنت صبياً في أول التعلم ، وكنت أقرأ مسألة حوادث لا أول لها فرأيت في المنام أبي فقال لي : أجود الدلائل أن يقال الحركة إنتقال من حالة إلى حالة فهي تقتضي بحسب ماهيتها كونها مسبوقة بالغير ، والأزل ينافي كونها مسبوقاً بالغير ، فوجب أن يكون الجمع بينهما محالاً وأقول والظاهر أن هذا الوجه أحسن من كل ما قيل في هذه المسألة.

[3] Ibid., V. 7/ P. 261-262. Note that Ar-Raaziyy mentions the ĥadiitħ by meaning, so this has been substituted here with the wording of Al-Bukħaariyy.

[4] Muĥammad ibn ‘Ismaaˆiil Al-Bukħaariyy (194 – 256 AH), Şaĥiiĥu-l-Bukħaariyy, 2/86.

[5] Ibid., 2/99.

[6]Muĥiqqu-t-Taqawwul Fiy Mas’alati-t-Tawassul, Muĥammad Zaahid Al-Kawtħariy, Al-Maktabah Al-Azhariyah li-t-Turaath.

محق التقوّل في مسألة التوسل – (ج 1 / ص 6): وقال أيضاً في الفصل الثامن عشر من تلك المقالة – والفصل الثامن عشر في بيان كيفية الإنتفاع بزيارة الموتى والقبور – : " ثم قال سألني بعض أكابر الملوك عن المسألة ، وهو الملك محمد بن سالم بن الحسين الغوري – وكان رجلاً حسن السيرة مرضي الطريقة ، شديد الميل إلى العلماء ، قوي الرغبة في مجالسة أهل الدين والعقل – فكتبت فيها رسالة وأنا أذكر هنا ملخص ذلك فأقول للكلام فيه مقدمات . المقدمة الأولى : أنّا قد دللنا على أن النفوس البشرية باقية بعد موت الأبدان ، وتلك النفوس التي فارقت أبدانها أقوى من هذه النفوس المتعلقة بالأبدان من بعض الوجوه . أما أن النفوس المفارقة أقوى من هذه النفوس من بعض الوجوه ، فهو أن تلك النفوس لما فارقت أبدانها فقد زال الغطاء ، وانكشف لها عالم الغيب ، وأسرار منازل الأخرة ، وصارت العلوم التي كانت برهانية عند التعلق بالأبدان ضرورية بعد مفارقة الأبدان ، لأن النفوس في الأبدان كانت في عناء وغطاء ، ولمّا زال البدن أشرفت تلك النفوس وتجلت وتلألأت ، فحصل للنفوس المفارقة عن الأبدان بهذا الطريق نوع من الكمال . وأما أن النفوس المتعلقة بالأبدان أقوى من تلك النفوس المفارقة من وجه أخر فلأن آلات الكسب والطلب باقية لهذه النفوس بواسطة الأفكار المتلاحقة ، والأنظار المتتالية تستفيد كل يوم علماً جديداً ، وهذه الحالة غير حاصلة للنفوس المفارقة .

والمقدمة الثانية أن تعلق النفوس بأبدانها تعلق يشبه العشق الشديد ، والحب التام ، ، ولهذا السبب كان كل شيء تطلب تحصيله في الدنيا فإنما تطلبه

محق التقوّل في مسألة التوسل – (ج 1 / ص 7)

لتتوصل به إلى إيصال الخير والراحة إلى هذا البدن . فإذا مات الإنسان وفارقت النفس هذا البدن ، فذلك الميل يبقى ، وذلك العشق لا يزول وتبقى تلك النفوس عظيمة الميل إلى ذلك البدن,عظيمة الإنجذاب ، على هذا المذهب الذي نصرناه من أن النفوس الناطقة مدركة للجزئيات ، وأنها تبقى موصوفة بهذا الإدراك بعد موتها ، إذا عرفت هذه المقدمات فنقول : إن الإنسان إذا ذهب إلى قبر إنسان قوي النفس ، كامل الجوهر شديد التأثير ، ووقف هناك ساعة ، وتأثرت نفسه من تلك التربة – وقد عرفت أن لنفس ذلك الميت تعلقاً بتلك التربة أيضاً- فحينئذ يحصل لهذا الزائر الحي ، ولنفس ذلك الميت ملاقاة بسبب إجتماعهما على تلك التربة ، فصارت هاتان النفسان شبيهتين بمرآتين صقيلتين وضعتا بحيث ينعكس الشعاع من كل واحدة منهما إلى أخرى .

فكل ما حصل في نفس هذا الزائر الحي من المعارف البرهانية ،والعلوم الكسبية ، والأخلاق الفاضلة من الخضوع له ، والرضا بقضاء الله ينعكس منه نور إلى روح ذلك الميت ، وكل ما حصل ذلك الإنسان الميت من العلوم المشرقة الكاملة فإنه ينعكس منه نور إلى روح هذا الزائر الحي. وبهذا الطريق تكون تلك الزيارة سبباً لحصول المنفعة الكبرى ، والبهجة العظمى لروح الزائر ، ولروح المزور ، وهذا هو السبب الأصلى في شرع الزيارة ، ولا يبعد أن تحصل فيها أسرار أخرى أدق وأغمض مما ذكرنا . وتمام العلم بحقائق الأشياء ليس إلا عند الله اهـ .

[7]See Ar-Raaziy’s tafsiir for Al-Naaziˆaat, 7.

[8]Galen <جالينوس> (d. ca. 216 AD) was the most important physician of the Roman Empire and arguably the most influential physician in medical history. U.S. National Library of Medicine,

[9]The famous scholar.

[10] FakħrudDiin Al-Raaziy, Mafaatiiĥ Al-Għayb, 31/29.

تفسير الرازي – (ج 31 / ص 29) قال المؤلف: ثم الأرواح البشرية الخالية عن العلائق الجسمانية المشتاقة إلى الاتصال العلوي بعد خروجها من ظلمة الأجساد تذهب إلى عالم الملائكة ، ومنازل القدس على أسرع الوجوه في روح وريحان ، فعبر عن ذهابها على هذه الحالة بالسباحة ، ثم لا شك أن مراتب الأرواح في النفرة عن الدنيا ومحبة الاتصال بالعالم العلوي مختلفة فكلما كانت أتم في هذه الأحوال كان سيرها إلى هناك أسبق ، وكلما كانت أضعف كان سيرها إلى هناك أثقل ، ولا شك أن الأرواح السابقة إلى هذه الأحوال أشرف فلا جرم وقع القسم بها ، ثم إن هذه الأرواح الشريفة العالية لا يبعد أن يكون فيها ما يكون لقوتها وشرفها يظهر منها آثار في أحوال هذا العالم فهي { فالمدبرات أَمْراً } أليس أن الإنسان قد يرى أستاذه في المنام ويسأله عن مشكلة فيرشده إليها؟ أليس أن الابن قد يرى أباه في المنام فيهديه إلى كنز مدفون؟ أليس أن جالينوس قال : كنت مريضاً فعجزت عن علاج نفسي فرأيت في المنام واحداً أرشدني إلى كيفية العلاج؟ أليس أن الغزالي قال : إن الأرواح الشريفة إذا فارقت أبدانها ، ثم اتفق إنسان مشابه للإنسان الأول في الروح والبدن ، فإنه لا يبعد أن يحصل للنفس المفارقة تعلق بهذا البدن حتى تصير كالمعاونة للنفس المتعلقة بذلك البدن على أعمال الخير فتسمى تلك المعاونة إلهاماً؟ ونظيره في جانب النفوس الشريرة وسوسة ، وهذه المعاني وإن لم تكن منقولة عن المفسرين إلا أن اللفظ محتمل لها جداً .

[11] SaˆdudDiin Al-Taftaazaaniy (712-793AH/ 1312-1390 AD), Masˆuud ibn ˆUmar ibn ˆAbdullaah. Az-Zirikliyy, Al-‘Aˆlaam (2002), 7/219. He is was an imam in Arabic and rhetoric, and one of the authenticators of the sciences of belief, fiqh methodology and logic.

[12] SaˆdudDiin Al-Taftaazaaniy (712-793AH/ 1312-1390 AD), Sħarĥu-l-Maqaaşid Fiy ˆIlmi-l-Kalaam, 2/43.

قال التفتازاني: الظاهر من قواعد الإسلام أنه يكون للنفس بعد المفارقة إدراكات متجددة جزئية واطلاع على بعض جزئيات أحوال الأحياء سيما الذين كان بينهم وبين الميت تفارق في الدنيا ولهذا ينتفع بزيارة القبور والاستعانة بنفوس الأخيار من الأموات في استنزال الخبرات واستدفاع الملمات فإن للنفس بعد المفارقة تعلقا ما بالبدن وبالتربة التي دفنت فيها فإذا زار الحي تلك التربة وتوجهت تلقاء نفس الميت حصل بين النفسين ملاقاة وإفاضات (شرح المقاصد في علم الكلام ج 2 ص 43)

[13] Asħ-Sħariif Al-Jurjaaniyy (740-816 AH/ 1340-1413) ˆAliyy ibn Muĥammad ibn ˆAliyy (Az-Zirikliyy, Al-‘Aˆlaam (2002), 5/7.) He was an imam of Arabic, belief, fiqh methodology and logic.

[14] They mean that there is no means by which there would be a connection between the dead’s soul and his visitor, because he is no longer in that place, and there is no other means for a connection, such as a living friendship and the like.

[15] He means to say, and Aļļaah knows best, that the soul of a great pious person has so much power and light that this is enough for the connection to take place. In other words, the aspect for connection is the power of and overflow of light of the great Muslims soul.

[16]"فإن قيل هذا التوسل إنما يتصور إذا كانوا متعلقين بالأبدان ، وأما إذا تجردوا عنها فلا ، إذ لا وجهة مقتضية للمناسبة . قلنا يكفيه أنهم كانوا متعلقين بها متوجهين إلى تكميل النفوس الناقصة بهمة عالية ، فإن أثر ذلك باق فيهم، وكذلك كانت زيارة مراقدهم معدة لفيضان أنوار كثيرة منهم على الزائرين كما يشاهده ، أصحاب البصائر" ا هـ .

[17] FakħrudDiin Al-Raaziy, Mafaatiiĥ Al-Għayb, 17/49.

مفاتيح الغيبدار الكتب العلمية – (17 / 49): ورابعها أنهم وضعوا هذه الأصنام والأوثان على صور أنبيائهم وأكابرهم وزعموا أنهم متى اشتغلوا بعبادة هذه التماثيل فإن أولئك الأكابر تكون شفعاء لهم عند الله تعالى ونظيره في هذا الزمان اشتغال كثير من الخلق بتعظيم قبور الأكابر على اعتقاد أنهم إذا عظموا قبورهم فإنهم يكونون شفعاء لهم عند الله

[18] He falsely believed that Aļļaah is in a place or direction, with limits, borders and size, like created things.

[19] Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (691-751AH/ 1292-1350 AD), Ar-Ruuĥ, 7.

الروح, ابن القيم, دار الكتب العلمية, 1395 – (1 / 7) قال المؤلف: وأبلغ من ذلك أن الميت يعلم بعمل الحى من أقاربه وإخوانه

[20] Ibid., 8.

الروح, ابن القيم, دار الكتب العلمية, 1395 – (1 / 8) قال المؤلف: وهذا باب في آثار كثيرة عن الصحابة وكان بعض الأنصار من أقارب عبد الله بن رواحة يقول اللهم إنى أعوذ بك من عمل أخزى به عند عبد الله بن رواحة كان يقول ذلك بعد أن استشهد عبد الله ويكفي في هذا تسمية المسلم عليهم زائرا ولولا أنهم يشعرون به لما صح تسميته زائرا فإن المزور إن لم يعلم بزيارة من زاره لم يصح أن يقال زاره هذا هو المعقول من الزيارة عند جميع الأمم وكذلك السلام عليهم أيضا فإن السلام على من لا يشعر ولا يعلم بالمسلم محال وقد علم النبي أمته إذا زاروا القبور أن يقولوا سلام عليكم أهل الديار من المؤمنين والمسلمين وإنا إن شاء الله بكم لاحقون يرحم الله المستقدمين منا ومنكم والمستأخرين نسأل الله لنا ولكم العافية وهذا السلام والخطاب والنداء لموجود يسمع ويخاطب ويعقل ويردو إن لم يسمع المسلم الرد وإذا صلى الرجل قريبا منهم شاهدوه وعلموا صلاته وغبطوه على ذلك

[21] Ibid., 101-102.

الروح, ابن القيم, دار الكتب العلمية, 1395 – (1 / 101-102) قال المؤلف : ففي هذا الحديث بيان سرعة انتقال أرواحهم من العرش إلى الثرى ثم انتقالها من الثرى إلى مكانها ولهذا قال مالك وغيره من الأئمة أن الروح مرسلة تذهب حيث شاءت وما يراه الناس من أرواح الموتى ومجيئهم إليهم من المكان البعيد أمر يعلمه عامة الناس ولا يشكون فيه والله أعلم وأما السلام على أهل القبور وخطابهم فلا يدل على أن أرواحهم ليست في الجنة وأنها على أفنية القبور فهذا سيد ولد آدم الذي روحه في أعلى عليين مع الرفيق الأعلى عند قبره ويرد سلام المسلم عليه وقد وافق أبو عمر رحمه الله على أن أرواح الشهداء في الجنة ويسلم عليهم عند قبورهم كما يسلم على غيرهم كما علمنا النبي أن نسلم عليهم وكما كان الصحابة يسلمون على شهداء أحد وقد ثبت أن أرواحهم في الجنة تسرح حيث شاءت كما تقدم ولا يضيق عقلك عن كون الروح في الملأ الأعلى تسرح في الجنة حيث شاءت وتسمع سلام المسلم عليها عند قبرها وتدنو حتى ترد عليه السلام وللروح شأن آخر غير شأن البدن

[22] Ibid., 102-103.

الروح, ابن القيم, دار الكتب العلمية, 1395 – (1 / 102-103) قال المؤلف: فصل ومما ينبغي أن يعلم أن ما ذكرنا من شأن الروح يختلف بحسب حال الأرواح من القوة والضعف والكبر والصغر فللروح العظيمة الكبيرة من ذلك ما ليس لمن هو دونها وأنت ترى أحكام الأرواح في الدنيا كيف تتفاوت أعظم تفاوت بحسب تفارق الأرواح في كيفياتها وقواها وإبطائها وإسراعها والمعاونة لها فللروح المطلقة من أسر البدن وعلائقه وعوائقه من التصرف والقوة والنفاذ والهمة وسرعة الصعود إلى الله والتعلق بالله ما ليس للروح المهينة المحبوسة في علائق البدن وعوائقه فذا كان هذا وهي محبوسة في بدنها فكيف إذا تجردت وفارقته واجتمعت فيها قواها وكانت في أصل شأنها روحا علية زكيه كبيرة ذات همة عالية فهذه لها بعد مفارقة البدن شأن آخر وفعل آخر وقد تواترت الرؤيا في أصناف بنى آدم على فعل الأرواح بعد موتها ما لا تقدر على مثله حال اتصالها بالبدن من هزيمة الجيوش الكثيرة بالواحد والاثنين والعدد القليل ونحو ذلك وكم قد رئى النبي ومعه أبو بكر وعمر في النوم قد هزمت أرواحهم عساكر الكفر والظلم فإذا بجيوشهم مغلوبة مكسورة مع كثرة عددهم وعددهم وضعف المؤمنين وقلتهم

Wahabi contention: Al-Baaqillaaniyy believed Aļļaah’s aboveness to be in the sense of location

December 13, 2009

The wahabis are claiming that Al-Baaqillaaniyy is an “early ‘Ashˆariyy” and quote him to show, as they claim, that the so called “early ‘Ashˆariyys” believed Aļļaah to be in a location above the Arsh. They quote him, saying:

And if someone says: Where is He? It is said to him: Asking where (al-ayn) is asking about place (al-makaan) and He is not one that a place (makaan) is permitted to enclose (yahwee), and nor [one that] places can encompass. Except that we say: Indeed He is Above His Throne, [but] not with the meaning of a body [being as such] through contact and adjacency, Exalted is He above that with a Lofty Exaltation.

As you can see, Al-Baaqillaaniyy explicitly denies place, and even the validity of asking “where?” Yet the wahabis claim that this is somehow different from saying Aļļaah’s aboveness is not in the sense of direction or location. In other words, they claim that he means that Aļļaah is located above the throne, in a direction to be pointed at, yet not a body. We have shown previously that this is a nonsensical idea.

This is not what Al-Baaqillaaniyy means, and I suspect they know that, but they will go very far in defending their ideas, even forgery and lies. An example being when they claim that there is a difference between “bringing into existence in Himself” and “creating in Himself” to defend their idea that Aļļaah brings about changes in Himself, a plain kufr belief. The father of their kufr and verbose word games, Ibn Taymiyyah, was much more explicit than they are, openly stating that Aļļaah has a size and six limits, i.e. a body, even if he does not usually call it that.

Here is an explicit statement showing that Al-Baaqillaaniyy did not mean that Aļļaah is in a direction:

And Aļļaah, (تعالى) is neither ascribed with directions, nor that He is in a direction. 1

قال الباقلاني في كتابه الإنصاف : والله تعالى لا يوصف بالجهات، ولا أنه في جهة. 2

He also said:

If someone said, “How is He?” then it is said to him, “If you mean by howness composition, form or kind, then (the answer is that) He has no form or kind to tell you about. If you meant by “how is He?” to ask, ”What is His attribute?” then the answer is that He is attributed with Life, Knowledge, Power, Hearing and Seeing. If you meant by “How is He?” to say, “How does He deal with His creation?” then the answer is: “By justice and grace.” 3

قال الباقلاني (ت 403 هـ) في [التمهيد : "فإن قال قائل وكيف هو قيل له إن أردت بالكيفية التركيب والصورة والجنسية فلا صورة له ولا جنس فنخبرك عنه. وإن أردت بقولك كيف هو أي على أي صفة هو فهو حي عالم قادر سميع بصير. وإن أردت بقولك كيف هو أي كيف صنعه إلى خلقه فصنعه إليهم العدل والإحسان" اهـ

So for those who need to be spoon-fed, I hope that would be enough. All Al-Baaqillaaniyy is doing is saying that Aļļaah is ascribed with aboveness, but not in the sense of direction, just as many of the Salaf did, like Aţ-Ţabariyy. They did not explain it further, and simply left it at that. This is what we call tafwiiđ. Then there are those that explain it further, such as Al-Qurţubiyy in this quote.

Note that the wahabis have also claimed explicitly or implied that Abuu Ĥaniifah, Al-Qurţubiyy, An-Nawawiyy and Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy believed Aļļaah to be in a direction. We have shown previously shown this to be false. If you are interested, click on their names to see.

1Abuu Bakr Al-Baaqillaaniyy (338 h. – 403 h.), Al-Inşaaf, 177.

2الباقلاني, الإنصاف, 177.

3Abuu Bakr Al-Baaqillaaniyy (338 h. – 403 h.), Tamiid, 300.

Abuu Bakr Al-Baaqillaaniy, Al-Qaađii al-Baaqillaaniy (338 h. – 403 h.)

December 11, 2009

Muĥammad ibn Al-Ţayyib ibn Muĥammad ibn Jaˆfar, Abuu Bakr Al-Baaqillaaniy, Al-Qaađii al-Baaqillaaniy (338 h. – 403 h.) was the head of the Asħˆariyys/ Sunnis of his time. He wrote many books, some of which are in print (Al-‘Aˆlaam, 6/176).

Al-Dħahabiyy in his “Taariikħu-l-Islaam” V. 28, P. 89 relates that Al-Baaqillaaniy was once sent by the Muslim ruler to debate the Christian scribes of the Roman Emperor. When he arrived to the emperor’s hall they had made the entrance to the emperor very low, to the extent that one had to bow down in order to enter. Al-Baaqillaaniy realized that it was a trick to make him bow to the emperor, so he turned and entered back end first. Once there, he turned to one of the monks and said, “How are the wife and kids?” Astonished, the emperor replied, “Do you not know that the monk elevates himself having a wife or kids?” Al-Baaqillaaniy closed his trap by quickly replying: “You consider him above this, but you do not consider Aļļaah to be clear of and above having a female companion and child?” He was also mockingly asked, “What happened to ˆAa’isħah?” They were referring to the time that she, the Prophet’s wife, was accused by the hypocrites of having been unfaithful. They wanted to make him lose his temper by their insinuations. Al-Baaqillaaniy answered: “Like what happened to Maryam. (They were both accused of adultery), then they were both declared innocent by Aļļaah, and Maryam brought a baby, while ˆAa’isħah did not.” They could find no response to this, because he had shown them that permitting the slander of ˆAa’isħah would imply permitting ugly and heretical slander of Maryam even more1.

1الأعلام للزركلي – (ج 6 / ص 176): القاضي الباقلاني (338 – 403 ه = 950 – 1013 م) محمد بن الطيب بن محمد بن جعفر، أبو بكر: قاض، من كبار علماء الكلام. انتهت إليه الرياسة في مذهب الاشاعرة. ولد في البصرة، وسكن بغداد فتوفي فيها. كان جيد الاستنباط، سريع الجواب. وجهه عضد الدولة سفيرا عنه إلى ملك الروم، فجرت له في القسطنطينية مناظرات مع علماء النصرانية بين يدي ملكها. من كتبه (إعجاز القرآن – ط) و (الانصاف – ط) و (مناقب الائمة – خ) و (دقائق الكلام) و (الملل والنحل) و (هداية المرشدين) و (الاستبصار) و (تمهيد الدلائل – خ) و (البيان عن الفرق بين المعجزة والكرامة الخ – خ) و (كشف أسرار الباطنية) و (التمهيد، في الرد على الملحدة والمعطلة والخوارج والمعتزلة – ط) (1).

تاريخ الإسلام ج28/ص89: قلت أخذ ابن باقلاني علم النظر عن أبي عبد الله محمد بن أحمد بن مجاهد الطائي صاحب الأشعري وقد ذهب في الرسلية إلى ملك الروم وجرت له أمور منها أن الملك أدخله عليه من باب خوخة ليدخل راكعاً للملك ففطن لها ودخل بظهر ومنها أنه قال لراهبهم كيف الأهل والأولاد فقال له الملك أما علمت أن الراهب يتنزه عن هذا فقال تنزهونه عن هذا ولا تنزهون الله عن الصاحبة والولد وقيل إن طاغية الروم سأله كيف جرى لعائشة وقصد توبيخه فقال كما جرى لمريم فبرأ الله المرأتين ولم تأتِ عائشة بولد فأفحمه فلم يُحر جواباً