Nov 12, 2011

Sifat 20 صفة or The 20 Attributes of Allah


Apa itu Sifat 20 ?


 What is the Sifat 20 
(the 20 attributes of Allah)

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صِفَة  (Sífat) - feature, attribute/features or attributes of Allah 

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Sifat 20 adalah ceraian (Faslun - فصل) dari bab yang besar kepada bab yang lebih kecil bagi menyatakan sifat yang wajib, mustahil dan harus bagi Allah. Ianya adalah sebahagian dari Ilmu tauhid.

Sifat 20 is subsection (Faslun - فصل) from a large chapter to smaller chapter states Sifat wajib (obligatory attribute or the “must”- attributes of Allah), Sifat Mustahil (impossible sifat or the “must not”-attributes of Allah) and Sifat Harus (the “may” attribute). Sifat 20 is part of the knowledge of monotheism (tauhid).

Ini juga dipanggil cara khalaf iaitu mempelajari sifat-sifat Allah dengan cara baru / cara orang yang terkemudian. Boleh juga mempelajar sifat-sifat Allah dengan cara Salaf iaitu cara lama / cara terdahulu.

This is also called as Khalaf way, meaning a new way or later way in learning the attribute of God. Another way called as Salaf way of learning means to learn the attribute of God by the older or previous way.

Boleh mempelajari sifat-sifat Allah dengan cara Khalaf atau Salaf kerana kedua-duanya bertujuan untuk mentauhidkan Allah. Tidak perlu mempertikaikan mana-mana cara kerana kedua-dua cara itu betul dan sesuai dengan keadaan pendengar / orang awam semasa cara ilmu itu diperkenalkan.

Can learn the nature of God by Khalaf way or Salaf way because both of them seek for monotheism of God. No need to dispute any of the ways because both of them are correct and appropriate to the audience or public during the way of the knowledge was introduced

Contohnya dalam menyatakan sifat Allah :
Example in saying the sifat of Allah

Cara Khalaf : Allah bersifat dengan Qidam
Khalaf way:  Attribute of Allah is Qidam

Cara Salaf : Dia lah Yang Awal dan Yang Akhir ( هو الأول والآخر  )
Salaf way: He is the First (nothing is before Him) and the Last (nothing is after Him)

Dinamakan sifat 20 kerana dinyatakan yang wajib diketahui satu persatu itu ada 20 sifat. Jika di tanya berapakah sifat Allah, adakah hanya ada 20 sifat sahaja. Jawapannya sifat Allah itu tidak terkira banyaknya. Sifat 20 ini hanyalah 20 sifat yang diistiharkan oleh ulama. Di mana menurut pandangan ulama memadai atau mencukupi untuk membawa kita kepada beriman atau bertaqwa kepada Allah.

Named as the 20 attributes of Allah because mentioned as an obligatory to know the natures each by each and they are 20.

If asked how many actually the attributes of God, are there only 20 attributes (sifats). The answer is that God's attribute is countless. The attribute of 20 only the attributes declared by Ulama (Scholar). In which in the scholars point of view they are sufficient or enough to lead us to the faith of Allah or to be in the way of Taqwa

Sifat 20 ini bukanlah sekadar untuk dihafal tetapi untuk difahami.
The 20 attributes of Allah are not just to memorize but to understand.

Islam prohibits its followers from thinking about the substance of God or imagining His essence. Such questions as: “what does God look like” are strictly discouraged as they are beyond the reach of human understanding.
Sifat Allah (Allah's attributes) which incorporate sifat wajib (the “must”- attributes), sifat mustahil (the “must not”-attributes) and sifat jaiz/harus (the “may” attribute). 
The sifat wajib correspond to an affirmation of divine perfection, qualities that must be ascribed to God. There are twenty of these and hence they are known as sifat dua puluh (the twenty attributes). 
Besides the Sifat Wajib as stated earlier, there is sifat mustahil (the “must not”-attributes), correspond to the negation of any defective qualities and, therefore, must not be ascribed to God. Standing in contrast with sifat wajib, there are also twenty sifat mustahil: ‘adam (non-existence); huduts (recency); fana’ (perishability); mumatsalatu lilhawaditsi (similarity with the created); ikhtiyaju bighairihi (non-self-sufficiency); ta'addud (plurality); ‘ajzu (weakness); karahah (unwillingness); jahlu (ignorance); mawtu (inanimated); ashommu (deafness); a'ma (blindness); bukmun (speechlessness); He, who or that which could be in a state of being: ‘ajizan (powerless); karihan (unwilling); jahilan (ignorant); mayyitan (dead); ashomman (deaf); a'man (blind), abkaman (non-speaking).

There is, however, only one sifat jaiz/harus (the “may”-attribute): God's prerogative to do or not to do something.

 As well as describing God in terms of these attributes, He can also be described in terms of Beautiful Names which are called as Asma'ul husna (God's Beautiful Names)

For the time being, this posting will go in details on the Sifat Wajib first.

Sifat 20

01- Wujud ﻭﺟﻮﺩ

- Ertinya ada. Maksudnya wajib kita beriktikaf dengan aqedah yang putus Allah memang wujud
- Means there is Allah. Meaning it is an obligatory (wajib) to have firm believe that Allah exists and that there is no doubt about Allah Existence. Allah exists without a place. Time does not lapse on Allah.

- Existence (al-Wujud): It is obligatory to believe in the Existence of Allah. Allah said:
أَفِي اللهِ شَكٌّ} which means: [There is no doubt in the Existence of Allah.]
 Hence, it is obligatory to believe in the Existence of Allah. It is an eternal and everlasting attribute. Allah exists without a beginning, without an ending, and without a place.

02- Qidam ﻗﺪﻡ

- Sedia ada

- Allah is Eternal; there is no beginning to Allah Existence. Allah has existed since before the creation and there was no beginning on the existance.

- Eternity (al-Qidam): It is obligatory to believe Allah is Eternal, i.e., there is no beginning to His Existence. His attributes are also eternal. Nothing is eternal except Allah and His attributes.

03- Baqa ﺑﻘﺎﺀ

- Kekal / Abadi - Wujud selama-lamanya, tiada pengakhiran bagi kewujudan Allah
- Eternal Allah Ta'ala. Exist forever, there is no ending to the existence of Allah Ta'ala
- Allah is Everlasting; Allah existence does not come to an end. Allah does not perish.

- Everlastingness (al-Baqa'): It is obligatory to believe Allah is everlasting i.e., His Existence does not end. His Existence is everlasting and His attributes are everlasting. There is nothing everlasting in itself except Allah, because annihilation does not apply to His Self. However, Paradise and Hell are everlasting because Allah willed their everlastingness. Hence, they are everlasting--not in their selves--but because of other than their selves. This is why they are among the intellectual possibilities, and they are part of this universe.

Allah said:

{هُوَ الأَوَّلُ وَالآخِرُ }

which means: [Allah is the Eternal, without a beginning, and the Everlasting, without an ending.]

04- Mukhalafatuhu lilhawadith ﻣﺨﺎﻟﻔﺘﻪ ﻟﻠﺤﻮﺍﺩﺙ

- Menyalahi atau berlainan bagi Allah dengan suatu yang baru ( Allah tidak sama dengan makhluk)
- Allah does not resemble any creatures ( Difference with the new * )
* Other than Allah called " new " (creatures) and Allah is not the same as new.
- Non-resemblance to the creations

- Non-Resemblance to the Creation (al-Mukhalafatu lil-hawadith): Allah does not resemble any of His creatures--neither in His Self nor in His Attributes nor in His Doings. Allah said:

{لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَىْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ}

which means: [Absolutely there is nothing like Him.] Imam Abu Hanifah said: "The Creator does not resemble His creatures."

05- Qiamuhu binafsih ﻗﻴﺎﻣﻪ تعال ﺑﻨﻔﺴﻪ

- Berdiri-Nya dengan sendiri
- His stand on its own
- Non-neediness of others. Allah does not need any of His creations and they are all in need of Him

- Non-neediness of others (al-Qiyamu bin-Nafs): Allah said:

{اللهُ الصَّمَدُ}

which means: [Allah is the Master Who is resorted to in one's needs.] Allah does not need anything. He does not need one to give Him existence because He exists without a beginning. Also, He does not need one to specify Him with Knowledge, instead of ignorance, or other than that among His Attributes, because His attributes exist without a beginning.

06- Wahdaniah ﻭﺣﺪﺍﻧﻴﺔ

- Esa
- Oneness
- Allah is One without any partners. Allah is One in His Self, His Attributes, and His Actions

- Oneness (al-Wahdaniyyah): It is obligatory to believe Allah is One without a partner. Allah said:

{فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّهُ لا إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنبِكَ}

which means: [Know that no one is God except Allah.] Allah is One in His Self, Attributes, and Doings--hence Allah has no equal. So we say, for example: "Allah is the Creator and no one is a creator except Allah". Allah is One but not as in numbers, because numbers are created. Rather, He is One in that there is no partner with Him.

07- Qudrat ﻗﺪﺭﺓ

- Berkuasa
 Omnipotence
- Allah has Power over everything

- Power (al-Qudrah): It is obligatory to believe Allah is attributed with Power, which is defined as an eternal and everlasting attribute of Allah related to giving existence to and annihilating what is intellectually possible. Allah said:

{إِنَّ اللهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ}

which means: [Allah has the Power over everything.] That is, Allah's Power relates to all things that are intellectually possible. Hence, the Power of Allah is not related to the intellectually necessary neither in creating nor annihilating, because annihilation does not apply to it in the first place. The power of Allah is not related to the intellectually impossible neither in creating nor annihilating because existence in the first place does not apply to that which is intellectually impossible. The fact that the power of Allah is not related to the intellectually necessary and the intellectually impossible is not powerlessness, but rather indicates the perfection of Allah. Also, this fact conforms to the judgment of the mind: the intellectually impossible does not turn into an intellectual possibility, and the intellectually necessary does not turn into an intellectual possibility. The Power of Allah is related to the normal impossibilities. For example, although the existence of a sea of mercury is an intellectual possibility, it does not occur, and the Power of Allah is related to it.

08- Iradat ﺇﺭﺍﺩﺓ

- Berkehendak menentukan
- Everything that occurs in this world is by the Will of Allah

- Will (al-‘Iradah): It is obligatory to believe Allah is attributed with Will. It is defined as an eternal and everlasting attribute by which Allah specifies the creatures who are intellectual possibilities with some attributes among what is possible for them. An example is specifying a green colored board with green instead of other possible colors. There is no difference in that regard between good and evil, blasphemy and belief, winning and losing, and other opposites among what is intellectually possible.

09- Ilmu ﻋﻠﻢ

- Mengetahui
- Knowing
- Allah knows about all things before they occur. Allah knows what happened, what is currently happening and what is going to happen in the future

- Knowledge (al-^Ilm): It is obligatory to believe Allah is attributed with Knowledge. This is an eternal and everlasting attribute of His Self. Allah knows eternally about His Self, attributes, and what He creates. Nothing is absent from His Knowledge.

10- Hayat ﺣﻴﺎﺓ

- Hidup
- Alive
- Allah is alive without a soul, skin, or heart. His Life is not similar to ours. He is alive and does not die.

- Life (al-Hayah): It is obligatory to believe Allah is attributed with Life. Allah said:

{اللهُ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ}

which means: [There is no God but Allah, and He is attributed with Life, and His existence does not end.] Life is an eternal and everlasting attribute of Allah. The Life of Allah is not like our life, because our life needs a combination of body and soul; however, the Life of Allah is His attribute.

11- Sama' ﺳﻤﻊ

- Mendengar
- Hearing
- Allah hears all what is hearable, without an ear or any other organ

- Hearing (as-Sam^): It is obligatory to believe Allah is attributed with Hearing. This is an eternal and everlasting attribute of Allah with which Allah hears all things that are hearable. There is no difference between what is near to us and what is far from us because Allah is not in a place. He hears without an ear, without means, and without instruments. His hearing is not subject to weakening nor change because weakness and change are non-befitting to Allah. Allah said:

{وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِير}

which means: [He is the One attributed with Hearing and Sight.]


12- Basar ﺑﺼﺮ

- Melihat
- Seeing
- Allah sees everything he want to see, without a pupil or any other organ

- Sight (al-Basar): It is obligatory to believe Allah is attributed with Sight. This is an eternal and everlasting attribute of Allah with which He sees all things that are seeable, without an instrument and without means. He sees the things that are far away from us and those that are near to us without any difference because Allah is not in a place. His attribute of Sight does not change or develop, because the One whose Self is eternal does not develop or change. Allah's attributes are eternal and do not develop or change.

13- Kalam ﻛﻼﻢ

- Berkata-kata
- Speaking / Talking
- Allah's Speech is without a tongue or lip. His Speech is not in a language, Arabic or anything else. His Speech does not resemble the speech of the humans

- Speech (al-Kalam) : It is obligatory to believe Allah is attributed with Speech (Kalam). This is an eternal and everlasting attribute with which Allah orders, forbids, and informs. It is not a letter nor a sound nor a language. The Qur'an and the other revealed Books are expressions of the eternal Kalam of the Self of Allah. When we write the word "Allah" it is an expression of the Self of Allah. Likewise, the words and sentences of the revealed Books are expressions of the Kalam of Allah. The Qur'an is called the Kalam of Allah because it is not authored by Prophet Muhammad or Angel Jibril. The Qur'an is also used to mean the eternal Kalam of the Self of Allah. Allah said:

{وَكَلَّمَ اللهُ مُوسَى تَكْلِيمًا}
which means: [Allah spoke to Musa with His eternal Kalam] i.e., Allah created in Prophet Musa the ability to hear the Kalam of the Self of Allah, which is not a letter nor a sound.

14- Kaunuhu qaadiran ﻛﻮﻧﻪ ﻗﺎﺩﺭﺍ

- Keadaan-Nya yang berkuasa / He is in a state of powerful

15- Kaunuhu muriidan ﻛﻮﻧﻪ ﻣﺮﻳﺪﺍ

- Keadaan-Nya yang berkehendak menentukan / He is in a state of being willing

16- Kaunuhu 'aliman ﻛﻮﻧﻪ ﻋﺎﻟﻤﺎ

- Keadaan-Nya yang mengetahui / He is in a state of being knowing

17- Kaunuhu hayyan ﻛﻮﻧﻪ ﺣﻴﺎ

- Keadaan-Nya yang hidup / He is in a state of being alive

18- Kaunuhu sami'an ﻛﻮﻧﻪ ﺳﻤﻴﻌﺎ

- Keadaan-Nya yang mendengar / He is in a state of being hearing

19- Kaunuhu basiiran ﻛﻮﻧﻪ ﺑﺼﻴﺭﺍ

- Keadaan-Nya yang melihat / He is in a state of being seeing

20- Kaunuhu mutakalliman ﻛﻮﻧﻪ ﻣﺘﻜﻠﻤﺎ

- Keadaan-Nya yang berkata-kata/ He is in a state of being Speaking

Sifat 20
in Bahasa Melayu

Adalah sifat-sifat yang wajib bagi Allah s.w.t. yang wajib bagi Allah yang wajib diketahui dengan tafsil ( satu persatu ) iaitu 20 sifat :
1. Wujud : Ertinya Ada
Iaitu tetap dan benar yang wajib bagi zat Allah Ta'ala yang tiada disebabkan dengan sesuatu sebab. Maka wujud ( Ada ) – disisi Imam Fakhru Razi dan Imam Abu Mansur Al-Maturidi bukan ia a'in maujud dan bukan lain daripada a'in maujud , maka atas qaul ini adalah wujud itu Haliyyah ( yang menepati antara ada dengan tiada) .
Tetapi pada pendapat Imam Abu Hassan Al-Ashaari wujud itu 'ain Al-maujud , kerana wujud itu zat maujud kerana tidak disebutkan wujud melainkan kepada zat. Kepercayaan bahawa wujudnya Allah s.w.t. bukan sahaja di sisi agama Islam tetapi semua kepercayaan di dalam dunia ini mengaku menyatakan Tuhan itu ada.
Firman Allah s.w.t. yang bermaksud :
" Dan jika kamu tanya orang-orang kafir itu siapa yang menjadikan langit dan bumi nescaya berkata mereka itu Allah yang menjadikan……………"
( Surah Luqman : Ayat 25 )

2. Qidam : Ertinya Sedia
Pada hakikatnya menafikan ada permulaan wujud Allah s.w.t kerana Allah s.w.t. menjadikan tiap-tiap suatu yang ada, yang demikian tidak dapat tidak keadaannya lebih dahulu daripada tiap-tiap sesuatu itu. Jika sekiranya Allah Ta'ala tidak lebih dahulu daripada tiap-tiap sesuatu, maka hukumnya adalah mustahil dan batil. Maka apabila disebut Allah s.w.t. bersifat Qidam maka jadilah ia qadim. Di dalam Ilmu Tauhid ada satu perkataan yang sama maknanya dengan Qadim iaitu Azali. Setengah ulama menyatakan bahawa kedua-dua perkataan ini sama maknanya iaitu sesuatu yang tiada permulaan baginya. Maka qadim itu khas dan azali itu am. Dan bagi tiap-tiap qadim itu azali tetapi tidak boleh sebaliknya, iaitu tiap-tiap azali tidak boleh disebut qadim. Adalah qadim dengan nisbah kepada nama terbahagi kepada empat bahagian :

1 ) Qadim Sifati ( Tiada permulaan sifat Allah Ta'ala )
2 ) Qadim Zati ( Tiada permulaan zat Allah Ta'ala )
3 ) Qadim Idhafi ( Terdahulu sesuatu atas sesuatu seperti terdahulu bapa nisbah kepada anak )
4 ) Qadim Zamani ( Lalu masa atas sesuatu sekurang-kurangnya satu tahun )

Maka Qadim Haqiqi ( Qadim Sifati dan Qadim Zati ) tidak harus dikatakan lain daripada Allah Ta'ala.

3. Baqa' : Ertinya Kekal
Sentiasa ada, kekal ada dan tiada akhirnya Allah s.w.t . Pada hakikatnya ialah menafikan ada kesudahan bagi wujud Allah Ta'ala. Adapun yang lain daripada Allah Ta'ala , ada yang kekal dan tidak binasa Selama-lamanya tetapi bukan dinamakan kekal yang hakiki ( yang sebenar ) Bahkan kekal yang aradhi ( yang mendatang jua seperti Arasy, Luh Mahfuz, Qalam, Kursi, Roh, Syurga, Neraka, jisim atau jasad para Nabi dan Rasul ).
Perkara –perkara tersebut kekal secara mendatang tatkala ia bertakluq dengan Sifat dan Qudrat dan Iradat Allah Ta'ala pada mengekalkannya. Segala jisim semuanya binasa melainkan 'ajbu Az-zanabi ( tulang kecil seperti biji sawi letaknya di tungking manusia, itulah benih anak Adam ketika bangkit daripada kubur kelak ). Jasad semua nabi-nabi dan jasad orang-orang syahid berjihad Fi Sabilillah yang mana ianya adalah kekal aradhi jua. Disini nyatalah perkara yang diiktibarkan permulaan dan kesudahan itu terbahagi kepada tiga bahagian :
1) Tiada permulaan dan tiada kesudahan iaitu zat dan sifat Alllah s.w.t.
2) Ada permulaan tetapi tiada kesudahan iaitu seperti Arash , Luh Mahfuz , syurga dan lain-lain lagi.
3) Ada permulaan dan ada kesudahan iaitu segala makhluk yang lain daripada perkara yang diatas tadi ( Kedua ).

4. Mukhalafatuhu Ta'ala Lilhawadith. Ertinya : Bersalahan Allah Ta'ala dengan segala yang baharu.
Pada zat , sifat atau perbuatannya sama ada yang baru , yang telah
ada atau yang belum ada. Pada hakikat nya adalah menafikan Allah Ta'ala menyerupai dengan yang baharu pada zatnya , sifatnya atau perbuatannya.
Sesungguhnya zat Allah Ta'ala bukannya berjirim dan bukan aradh Dan tiada sesekali zatnya berdarah , berdaging , bertulang dan juga bukan jenis leburan , tumbuh-tumbuhan , tiada berpihak ,tiada ber-
tempat dan tiada dalam masa. Dan sesungguhnya sifat Allah Ta'ala itu tiada bersamaan dengan sifat yang baharu kerana sifat Allah Ta'ala itu qadim lagi azali dan melengkapi ta'aluqnya. Sifat Sama' ( Maha Mendengar ) bagi Allah Ta'ala berta'aluq ia pada segala maujudat tetapi bagi mendengar pada makhluk hanya pada suara sahaja. Sesungguhnya di dalam Al-Quraan dan Al-Hadith yang menyebut muka dan tangan Allah s.w.t. , maka perkataan itu hendaklah kita iktiqadkan thabit ( tetap ) secara yang layak dengan Allah Ta'ala Yang Maha Suci daripada berjisim dan Maha Suci Allah Ta'ala bersifat
dengan segala sifat yang baharu.

5. Qiamuhu Ta'ala Binafsihi : Ertinya : Berdiri Allah Ta'ala dengan sendirinya .
Tidak berkehendak kepada tempat berdiri ( pada zat ) dan tidak
berkehendak kepada yang menjadikannya
Maka hakikatnya ibarat daripada menafikan Allah s.w.t. berkehendak
kepada tempat berdiri dan kepada yang menjadikannya.
Allah s.w.t itu terkaya dan tidak berhajat kepada sesuatu sama ada
pada perbuatannya atau hukumannya.
Allah s.w.t menjadikan tiap-tiap sesuatu dan mengadakan undang-
undang semuanya untuk faedah dan maslahah yang kembali kepada
sekalian makhluk .
Allah s.w.t menjadikan sesuatu ( segala makhluk ) adalah kerana
kelebihan dan belas kasihannya bukan berhajat kepada faedah.
Allah s.w.t. Maha Terkaya daripada mengambil apa-apa manafaat
di atas kataatan hamba-hambanya dan tidak sesekali menjadi
mudharat kepada Allah Ta'ala atas sebab kemaksiatan dan kemung-
karan hamba-hambanya.
Apa yang diperintahkan atau ditegah pada hamba-hambanya adalah
perkara yang kembali faedah dan manafaatnya kepada hamba-hamba-
nya jua.

Firman Allah s.w.t. yang bermaksud :
" Barangsiapa berbuat amal yang soleh ( baik ) maka pahalanya
itu pada dirinya jua dan barangsiapa berbuat jahat maka bala-
sannya ( seksaannya ) itu tertanggung ke atas dirinya jua ".
( Surah Fussilat : Ayat 46 )

Syeikh Suhaimi r.a.h berkata adalah segala yang maujudat itu dengan
nisbah berkehendak kepada tempat dan kepada yang menjadikannya ,
terbahagi kepada empat bahagian :
1) Terkaya daripada tempat berdiri dan daripada yang menjadi-
kannya iaitu zat Allah s.w.t.
2) Berkehendak kepada tempat berdiri dan kepada yang men-
jadikannya iaitu segala aradh ( segala sifat yang baharu ).
3) Terkaya daripada zat tempat berdiri tetapi berkehendak
kepada yang menjadikannya iaitu segala jirim. ( Segala zat yang baharu ) .
4) Terkaya daripada yang menjadikannya dan berdiri ia pada zat
iaitu sifat Allah Ta'ala.


6. Al – Wahdaniyyah.
Ertinya : Esa Allah Ta'ala pada zat , pada sifat dan pada perbuatan.
Maka hakikatnya ibarat daripada menafikan berbilang pada zat , pada
sifat dan pada perbuatan sama ada bilangan yang muttasil ( yang ber-
hubung ) atau bilangan yang munfasil ( yang bercerai ).
Makna Esa Allah s.w.t. pada zat itu iaitu menafikan Kam Muttasil pada
Zat ( menafikan bilangan yang berhubung dengan zat ) seperti tiada zat
Allah Ta'ala tersusun daripada darah , daging , tulang ,urat dan lain-lain.
Dan menafikan Kam Munfasil pada zat ( menafikan bilangan yang ber-
cerai pada zat Allah Ta'ala )seperti tiada zat yang lain menyamai zat
Allah Ta'ala.


Makna Esa Allah s.w.t pada sifat iaitu menafikan Kam muttasil pada
Sifat ( menafikan bilangan yang berhubung pada sifatnya ) iaitu tidak
sekali-kali bagi Allah Ta'ala pada satu-satu jenis sifatnya dua qudrat
dan menafikan Kam Munfasil pada sifat ( menafikan bilangan –
bilangan yang bercerai pada sifat ) iaitu tidak ada sifat yang lain
menyamai sebagaimana sifat Allah s.w.t. yang Maha Sempurna.


Makna Esa Allah s.w.t. pada perbuatan iaitu menafikan Kam
Muttasil pada perbuatan ( menafikan bilangan yang bercerai –cerai pada
perbuatan ) iaitu tidak ada perbuatan yang lain menyamai seperti
perbuatan Allah bahkan segala apa yang berlaku di dalam alam semua-
nya perbuatan Allah s.w.t sama ada perbuatan itu baik rupanya dan
hakikatnya seperti iman dan taat atau jahat rupanya tiada pada hakikat-nya seperti kufur dan maksiat sama ada perbuatan dirinya atau
perbuatan yang lainnya ,semuanya perbuatan Allah s.w.t dan tidak
sekali-kali hamba mempunyai perbuatan pada hakikatnya hanya pada
usaha dan ikhtiar yang tiada memberi bekas.


Maka wajiblah bagi Allah Ta'ala bersifat Wahdaniyyah dan ternafi bagi
Kam yang lima itu iaitu :
1) Kam Muttasil pada zat.
2) Kam Munfasil pada zat.
3) Kam Muttasil pada sifat.
4) Kam Munfasil pada sifat.
5) Kam Munfasil pada perbuatan.
Maka tiada zat yang lain , sifat yang lain dan perbuatan yang lain
menyamai dengan zat , sifat dan perbuatan Allah s.w.t .
Dan tertolak segala kepercayaan-kepercayaan yang membawa kepada
menyengutukan Allah Ta'ala dan perkara-perkara yang menjejaskan
serta merosakkan iman.



7. Al – Qudrah :
Ertinya : Kuasa qudrah Allah s.w.t. memberi bekas pada mengadakan
meniadakan tiap-tiap sesuatu.
Pada hakikatnya ialah satu sifat yang qadim lagi azali yang thabit
( tetap ) berdiri pada zat Allah s.w.t. yang mengadakan tiap-tiap yang
ada dan meniadakan tiap-tiap yang tiada bersetuju dengan iradah.
Adalah bagi manusia itu usaha dan ikhtiar tidak boleh memberi bekas pada mengadakan atau meniadakan , hanya usaha dan ikhtiar pada jalan menjayakan sesuatu .
Kepercayaan dan iktiqad manusia di dalam perkara ini berbagai-bagai
Fikiran dan fahaman seterusnya membawa berbagai-bagai kepercayaan dan iktiqad.
1) Iktiqad Qadariah :
Perkataan qadariah iaitu nisbah kepada qudrat . Maksudnya orang yang beriktiqad akan segala perbuatan yang dilakukan manusia itu sama ada baik atau jahat semuanya terbit atau berpunca daripada usaha dan ikhtiar manusia itu sendiri dan sedikitpun tiada bersangkut-paut dengan kuasa Allah s.w.t.
2) Iktiqad Jabariah :
Perkataan Jabariah itu nisbah kepada Jabar ( Tergagah ) dan maksudnya orang yang beriktiqad manusia dan makhluk bergantung kepada qadak dan qadar Allah semata-mata ( tiada usaha dan ikhtiar atau boleh memilih samasekali ). 3) Iktiqad Ahli Sunnah Wal – Jamaah :
Perkataan Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaahialah orang yang mengikut perjalanan Nabi dan perjalanan orang-orang Islam iaitu beriktiqad bahawa hamba itu tidak digagahi semata-mata dan tidak memberi bekas segala perbuatan yang disengajanya, tetapi ada perbuatan yang di sengaja pada zahir itu yang dikatakan usaha dan ikhtiar yang tiada memberi bekas sebenarnya sengaja hamba itu daripada Allah Ta;ala jua. Maka pada segala makhluk ada usaha dan ikhtiar pada zahir dan tergagah pada batin dan ikhtiar serta usaha hamba adalah tempat pergantungan taklif ( hukum ) ke atasnya dengan suruhan dan tegahan
( ada pahala dan dosa ).



8. Al – Iradah :
Ertinya : Menghendaki Allah Ta'ala.
Maksudnya menentukan segala mumkin tentang adanya atau
tiadanya.
Sebenarnya adalah sifat yang qadim lagi azali thabit berdiri pada
Zat Allah Ta'ala yang menentukan segala perkara yang harus atau setengah yang harus atas mumkin . Maka Allah Ta'ala yang selayaknya menghendaki tiap-tiap sesuatu apa yang diperbuatnya.
Umat Islam beriktiqad akan segala hal yang telah berlaku dan yang akan berlaku adalah dengan mendapat ketentuan daripada Allah Ta'ala tentang rezeki , umur , baik , jahat , kaya , miskin dan sebagainya serta wajib pula beriktiqad manusia ada mempunyai nasib ( bahagian ) di dalam dunia ini sebagaimana firman Allah s.w.t. yang bermaksud :
" Janganlah kamu lupakan nasib ( bahagian ) kamu
di dalam dunia " .
( Surah Al – Qasash : Ayat 77 )

Kesimpulannya ialah umat Islam mestilah bersungguh-sungguh
untuk kemajuan di dunia dan akhirat di mana menjunjung titah
perintah Allah Ta'aladan menjauhi akan segala larangan dan
tegahannyadan bermohon dan berserah kepada Allah s.w.t.



9. Al – Ilmu :
Ertinya : Mengetahui Allah Ta'ala .
Maksudnya nyata dan terang meliputi tiap-tiap sesuatu sama ada yang
Maujud (ada) atau yang Ma'adum ( tiada ).
Hakikatnya ialah satu sifat yang tetap ada ( thabit ) qadim lagi azali
berdiri pada zat Allah Ta'ala.


Allah Ta'ala Maha Mengetahui akan segala sesuatu sama ada perkara
Itu tersembunyi atau rahsia dan juga yang terang dan nyata.
Maka Ilmu Allah Ta'ala Maha Luas meliputi tiap-tiap sesuatu di
Alam yang fana' ini.


10. Al – Hayat .
Ertinya : Hidup Allah Ta'ala.
Hakikatnya ialah satu sifat yang tetap qadim lagi azali berdiri pada zat
Allah Ta’ala .
Segala sifat yang ada berdiri pada zat daripada sifat Idrak ( pendapat )
Iaitu : sifat qudrat , iradat , Ilmu , Sama’ Bashar dan Kalam.


11. Al - Samu’ : Ertinya : Mendengar Allah Ta'ala.
Hakikatnya ialah sifat yang tetap ada yang qadim lagi azali berdiri pada
Zat Allah Ta’ala. Iaitu dengan terang dan nyata pada tiap-tiap yang maujud sama ada yang maujud itu qadim seperti ia mendengar kalamnya atau yang ada itu harus sama ada atau telah ada atau yang akan diadakan. Tiada terhijab ( terdinding ) seperti dengan sebab jauh , bising , bersuara , tidak bersuara dan sebagainya. Allah Ta'ala Maha Mendengar akan segala yang terang dan yang tersembunyi. Sebagaimana firman Allah Ta'ala yang bermaksud :
" Dan ingatlah Allah sentiasa Maha Mendengar lagi Maha Mengetahui ".
( Surah An-Nisa'a - Ayat 148 )


12. Al – Bashar : Ertinya : Melihat Allah Ta'ala .
Hakikatnya ialah satu sifat yang tetap ada yang qadim lagi azali berdiri
pada zat Allah Ta'ala. Allah Ta'ala wajib bersifat Maha Melihat sama ada yang dapat dilihat oleh manusia atau tidak , jauh atau dekat , terang atau gelap , zahir atau tersembunyi dan sebagainya. Firman Allah Ta'ala yang bermaksud :

" Dan Allah Maha Melihat akan segala yang mereka kerjakan ".
( Surah Ali Imran - Ayat 163 )



13 . Al – Kalam : Ertinya : Berkata-kata Allah Ta'ala.
Hakikatnya ialah satu sifat yang tetap ada , yang qadim lagi azali ,
berdiri pada zat Allah Ta'ala. Menunjukkan apa yang diketahui oleh ilmu daripada yang wajib, maka ia menunjukkan atas yang wajib sebagaimana firman Allah Ta'ala yang bermaksud :
" Aku Allah , tiada tuhan melainkan Aku .........".
( Surah Taha - Ayat 14 )

Dan daripada yang mustahil sebagaimana firman Allah Ta'ala yang
bermaksud :
" ........( kata orang Nasrani ) bahawasanya Allah Ta'ala
yang ketiga daripada tiga..........".
( Surah Al-Mai'dah - Ayat 73 )

Dan daripada yang harus sebagaimana firman Allah Ta'ala yang
bermaksud :
" Padahal Allah yang mencipta kamu dan benda-benda yang
kamu perbuat itu".
( Surah Ash. Shaffaat – Ayat 96 )

Kalam Allah Ta'ala itu satu sifat jua tiada berbilang.
Tetapi ia berbagai-bagai jika dipandang dari perkara yang dikatakan
iaitu :
1) Menunjuk kepada 'amar ( perintah ) seperti tuntutan mendiri-
solat dan lain-lain kefardhuan.
2) Menunjuk kepada nahyu ( tegahan ) seperti tegahan mencuri dan lain-lain larangan.
3) Menunjuk kepada khabar ( berita ) seperti kisah-kisah Firaun
dan lain-lain.
4) Menunjuk kepada wa'ad ( janji baik ) seperti orang yan taat
dan beramal soleh akan dapat balasan syurga dan lain-lain.
5) Menunjuk kepada wa'ud ( janji balasan seksa ) seperti orang
yang menderhaka kepada ibubapa akan dibalas dengan azab
seksa yang amat berat.


14. Kaunuhu Qadiran :
Ertinya : Keadaan Allah Ta'ala Yang Berkuasa Mengadakan Dan Mentiadakan.
Hakikatnya iaitu sifat yang berdiri dengan zat Allah Ta'ala ,
tiada ia maujud dan tiada ia ma'adum , iaitu lain daripada
sifat Qudrat.


15.Kaunuhu Muridan :
Ertinya : Keadaan Allah Ta'ala Yang Menghendaki dan menentukan tiap-tiap sesuatu.
Hakikatnya iaitu sifat yang berdiri dengan zat Allah Ta'ala ,
tiada ia maujud dan tiada ia ma'adum , iaitu lain daripada
sifat Iradat.


6.Kaunuhu 'Aliman : Ertinya : Keadaan Allah Ta'ala Yang Mengetahui akan
Tiap-tiap sesuatu.
Hakikatnya iaitu sifat yang berdiri dengan zat Allah Ta'ala , tiada ia maujud dan tiada ia ma'adum , iaitu lain daripada sifat Al-Ilmu.



17.Kaunuhu Haiyan : Ertinya : Keadaan Allah Ta'ala Yang Hidup.
Hakikatnya iaitu sifat yang berdiri dengan zat Allah Ta'ala, tiada ia maujud dan tiada ia ma'adum , iaitu lain daripada sifat Hayat.



18.Kaunuhu Sami'an : Ertinya : Keadaan Allah Ta'ala Yang Mendengar akan tiap-tiap yang Maujud.
Hakikatnya iaitu sifat yang berdiri dengan zat Allah Ta'ala, tiada ia maujud dan tiada ia ma'adum, iaitu lain daripada sifat Sama'.


19.Kaunuhu Bashiran : Ertinya : Keadaan Allah Ta'ala Yang Melihat akan tiap-tiap yang Maujudat ( Benda yang ada ).
Hakikatnya iaitu sifat yang berdiri dengan zat Allah Ta'ala, tiada ia maujud dan tiada ia ma'adum , iaitu lain daripada sifat Bashar.



20.Kaunuhu Mutakalliman : Ertinya : Keadaan Allah Ta'ala Yang Berkata-kata.
Hakikatnya iaitu sifat yang berdiri dengan zat Allah Ta'ala, tiada ia maujud dan tiada ia ma'adum , iaitu lain daripada sifat Qudrat.
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Buah Sifat 20 Dalam Hidup 
oleh Dr. Musthafa Umar, Lc. MA

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Literalism and the Attributes of Allah

Literalism and the Attributes of Allah © Nuh Ha Mim Keller


I received a letter in Jordan not too long ago from a British Muslim, asking me questions about modern calls to replace traditional Islam with an ostensible "return to the way of the Salaf, or ‘early Muslims.’" When I answered one of these questions, I realized that many other people might be wondering the same thing, and thought that presenting the question to you tonight in a wider forum might be of greater benefit to the British Muslim and non-Muslim audience.

The letter asked me:

Are the Hanbali Mujtahid Imams al-Dhahiri and Ibn Hazm considered Ahl al-Sunna? And was Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal an anthropomorphist—meaning someone who ascribed human attributes to Allah? Can you provide me examples of the sayings of Imam Ahmad that show he did not have anthropomorphic ‘Aqida?

The questions proved to be related in ways unsuspected by their author. What unites them is literalism as an interpretive principle, which is the subject of my talk tonight. We will look at it first in respect to ijtihad, meaning the ‘qualified deduction of Islamic legal rulings from the Koran and hadith.’ But we will look at literalism also, and most carefully, from the point of view of ‘aqida or Islamic belief, in understanding the Koranic verses and prophetic hadiths that are called mutashabihat or ‘unclear in meaning’—such as the verse in Surat al-Fath that says,

"Allah’s hand is above their hands" (Koran 48:10)

—termed ‘unclear in meaning,’ mutashabih, because linguistically hand can bear multiple interpretations, and its ostensive sense seems to imply ‘belief in a God with human attributes,’ that is, anthropomorphism, an understanding categorically rejected by the Koranic verse in Surat al-Shura,

"There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him" (Koran 42:11).

We shall see that literalism was a school of thought in Islamic jurisprudence, though not considered a very strong one by traditional scholars. But in tenets of faith, and particularly in interpreting the relation of the mutashabihat to the attributes of Allah, literalism has never been accepted as an Islamic school of thought, neither among the Salaf or ‘early Muslims,’ nor those who came later.

In answer to the first question, "Are the Hanbali Mujtahid Imams al-Dhahiri and Ibn Hazm considered Ahl al-Sunna?" Dawud ibn ‘Ali al-Dhahiri of Isfahan, who died 270 years after the Hijra, and Abu Muhammad ibn Hazm, who died 456 years after the Hijra, were not followers of Ahmad ibn Hanbal but Dhahiris or ‘literalists’ in jurisprudence. Whether Dawud al-Dhahiri was a mujtahid—meaning qualified to issue expert Islamic legal opinion—has been disagreed upon by Muslim scholars, not only for reasons we will discuss, but also because little that he wrote has come down to us.

As for Ibn Hazm, traditional Islamic scholars have not accepted his claims to be a mujtahid, the first qualification of which is to have comprehensive knowledge of the Koran and hadith. Scholars point to his many substantive mistakes in hadith knowledge, and adduce, for example, that if someone doesn’t even know, as Ibn Hazm did not, about the existence of the Sunan of al-Tirmidhi, who died nearly a hundred and fifty years before Ibn Hazm did, it is not clear how he can be considered a mujtahid. But aside from their qualifications, what interests us tonight is their Dhahirism or ‘textual literalism’ as an interpretive method.

What the Dhahiris are most famous for is their denial of all qiyas or analogy. It is recorded, for example, that Dawud held that the Koranic prohibition of saying "Uff" in disgust to one’s parents did not prove that it was wrong to beat them, since the literal content of the verse only concerned saying "Uff," and no analogy could be drawn from this about anything else. Similarly, Ibn Hazm seems to have believed the prohibition in hadith of urinating into a pool of water did not show that there is anything wrong with defecating in it. These are two examples of denials of what is called in Arabic a qiyas jaliyy meaning an a fortiori analogy.

Denying the validity of the a fortiori analogy is so counterintuitive, that Imam al-Juwayni, who died 478 years after the Hijra, has said:

The position adopted by the most exacting of scholars is that those who deny analogy are not considered scholars of the Umma or conveyers of the Shari‘a, because they oppose out of mere obstinacy and exchange calumnies about things established by an overwhelming preponderence of the evidence, conveyed by whole groups from whole groups back to their prophetic origin (tawatur).

For most of the Shari‘a proceeds from ijtihad, and the uniquivocal statements from the Koran and hadith do not deal [n: in specific particulars by name] with even a tenth of the Shari‘a [n: as most of Islamic life is covered by general principles given by Allah to guide Muslims in every culture and time], so they [the literalists] are not considered of the learned" (al-Dhahabi, Siyar a‘lam al-nubala’ [Beirut: Mu’assasa al-Risala, 1401/1984], 13.105).

From Juwayni’s remark that "the uniquivocal statements from the Koran and hadith do not deal with even a tenth of the Shari‘a," we can understand a main impetus of Dhahiri thought by which it differed from the four schools of Sunni jurisprudence; namely, that it radically truncated the range and relevance of the Shari‘a to nothing more than those rulings established by the literal wording (dhahir) of hadiths or verses. And this is perhaps one reason today for renewed interest in the long-dead school, namely, that it frees people from having to learn and follow the large part of the Shari‘a deduced from the general and comprehensive ethos of the Koran and sunna.

But secondly, if one reflects for a moment on the fiqh questions we hear urged today by youthful reformers in our mosques, it is plain that a great many of what are termed "Salafi ijtihads" are not salafi (early Muslim) at all, but mere Dhahiri or literalist interpretations of hadiths. To their credit, the movement we are speaking of has revived interest in hadith among Islamic scholars across the board. But it has also given rise to a bid‘a or ‘reprehensible innovation’; namely, that the emphasis on hadith and its ancillary disciplines to the exclusion of other Islamic sciences equally necessary to understanding the revelation, such as fiqh methodology, or the conditioning of hadith by general principles expressed in the Koran, has created a false dichotomy in many Muslims’ minds of either fiqh or hadith, where what is needed is fiqh or ‘understanding’ of hadith.

For example, a young man, after leading us at salat al-fajr prayer in Chicago a few months ago, told a latecomer to the first rak‘a (who had been finishing his sunna prayer when the iqama (call to commence) was made): "If the prescribed prayer begins, you don’t finish the sunna, but quit and join the group. Don’t listen to Abu Hanifa, or Malik, or Shafi‘i; the hadith is clear: La salata ba‘da al-iqama illa al-maktuba ‘There is no prayer after the iqama except the prescribed one.’"

Now, the dhahir or ‘literal meaning’ of the hadith was as he said, but the Imams of Shari‘a have not understood it this way for the very good reason that Allah says in Surat Muhammad of the Koran, "And do not nullify your works" (Koran 47:33), and to simply quit an act of worship—namely, the sunna rak‘as before fajr—is precisely to nullify one of one’s works.

Scholars rather understand the hadith to mean that one may not begin a sunna (or other nafila) prayer after the call to commence (iqama) is given. And this is very usual in human language: to use a general expression, in this case, "There is no prayer" to mean a specific part or aspect of it; namely, "There is no initiating a prayer." Consider how the Koran says, "Ask the village we were in, and the caravan that we came with" (Koran 12:82), where the dhahir or literal meaning of village and caravan; namely, the assemblage of stone huts and the string of pack animals, are not things that can be asked—but rather a specific aspect or part of them is intended; that is, the people of the village and the people of the caravan, or rather, just some of them. There are many similar expressions in every language, "Put the tea on the stove," for example, not meaning to heap the dried leaves on the stove, but rather to put them in a pot, add water, and light the stove, and so on. It is all the more surprising that anyone, Dhahiri or otherwise, could have ever imagined that Arabic, with its incomparable richness in figures of speech, could be so impoverished as to lack this basic expressive faculty.

In reference to modern re-formers of Islam, such literalism necessarily forces itself upon someone trained in hadith alone, as most of them are, when they try to deduce Shari‘a rulings without mastery of the interpretive tools needed to meet the challenges that face the mujtahid, for example, in joining between a number of hadiths on a particular question that seem to conflict, or the many other intellectual problems involved in doing ijtihad. This has made some contemporary Muslims seriously believe that it is a matter of either following "the Koran and sunna," or one of the schools of the mujtahid Imams.

This idea has only gained credibility today because so few Muslims understand what ijtihad is or how it is done. I believe this can be cured by familiarizing Muslims with concrete examples of how mujtahid Imams have derived particular Shari‘a rulings from the Koran and hadith. Such examples would first show the breadth of their hadith knowledge—Muhammad ibn ‘Ubayd Allah ibn al-Munadi, for example, who died in 272 years after the Hijra, heard Ahmad ibn Hanbal say that having memorized three hundred thousand hadiths was not enough to be a mujtahid—and second, would show the mujtahids’ mastery of the deductive principles that enabled them to join between all the primary texts.

Until this is done, the advocates of this movement will probably continue to follow the ijtihad of non-mujtahids (the sheikhs who inspire their confidence), under the catch phrase "Koran and sunna" just as if the real mujtahids were unfamiliar with these. The followers perhaps cannot be blamed, since "for someone who has never travelled, his mother is the only cook." But I do blame the sheikhs who, whatever their motivations, write and speak as if they were the only cooks.

Finally, if the shortcomings of Dhahiri interpretation is plain enough in fiqh, in ‘aqida, it can amount to outright kufr, as when someone reads the Koranic verse,

"Today We forget you as you have forgotten this day of yours" (Koran 45:34),

and affirms that Allah forgets, which is an imperfection, and not permissible to affirm of Allah. Of this sort of literalism, Dawud al-Dhahiri and Ibn Hazm were innocent, for this is anthropomorphism, meaning to believe Allah has human attributes, and as such is beyond the pale of Islam.

Regarding the second question that I received in my letter, of whether Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal was an anthropomorphist, this is something that has been asked since early times, particularly since someone forged an anthropormorphic tract called Kitab al-sunna [The book of the sunna] and put the name of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal’s son Abdullah on it. It was published in two volumes in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, by Ibn al-Qayyim Publishing House, in 1986.

I looked this book over with our teacher in hadith, Sheikh Shu‘ayb al-Arna’ut, who had examined it one day, and said that at least 50 percent of the hadiths in it are weak or outright forgeries. He was dismayed how Muhammad al-Qahtani, the editor and commentator, could have been given a Ph.d. in Islamic faith (‘aqida) from Umm al-Qura University in Mecca for readying for publication a work as sadly wanting in authenticity as this.

Ostensibly a "hadith" work, it contains some of the most hard-core anthropomorphism found anywhere, such as the hadith on page 301 of the first volume that "when He Most Blessed and Exalted sits on the Kursi, a squeak is heard like the squeak of a new leather saddle"; or on page 294 of the same volume: "Allah wrote the Torah for Moses with His hand while leaning back on a rock, on tablets of pearl, and the screech of the quill could be heard. There was no veil between Him and him," or the hadith on page 510 of the second volume: "The angels were created from the light of His two elbows and chest," and so on.

The work also puts lies in the mouths of major Hanbali scholars and others, such as Kharija [ibn Mus‘ab al-Sarakhsi], who died 168 after the Hijra, and who on page 106 of volume one is quoted about istiwa’ (sometimes translated as being ‘established’ on the Throne), "Does istiwa’ mean anything except sitting?"—with a chain of transmission containing a liar (kadhdhab), an unidentifiable (majhul), plus the text, with its contradiction (mukhalafa) of Islamic faith (‘aqida). Or consider the no less than forty-nine pages of vilifications of Abu Hanifa and his school that it mendaciously ascribes to major Imams, such as relating on page 180 of the first volume that Ishaq ibn Mansur al-Kusaj, who died 251 years after the Hijra said, "I asked Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, ‘Is a man rewarded by Allah for loathing Abu Hanifa and his colleagues?’ and he said, ‘Yes, by Allah.’" To ascribe things so fatuous to a man of godfearingness (taqwa) like Ahmad, whose respect for other scholars is well attested to by chains of transmission that are rigorously authenticated (sahih), is one of the things by which this counterfeit work overreaches itself, and ends in cancelling any credibility that the name on it may have been intended to give it.

The ascription of this book to Ahmad ibn Hanbal’s son ‘Abdullah fails from a hadith point of view, since there are two unidentifiable (majhul) transmitters in the chain of ascription whose names are given as Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Simsar and Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Harawi, of whom no other trace exists anywhere, a fact that the editor and commentator, Muhammad al-Qahtani, on page 105 of the first volume tries to sweep under the rug by saying that the work was quoted by Ibn Taymiya and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya.

But the fact that such a work even exists may give one an idea of the kinds of things that have been circulated about Ahmad after his death, and the total lack of scrupulousness among a handful of anthropomorphists who tried literally everything to spread their innovations.

Another work with its share of anthropomorphisms and forgeries is Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya’s Ijtima‘ al-juyush al-Islamiyya [The meeting of the Islamic armies], published by ‘Awwad al-Mu‘tiq in Riyad, Saudi Arabia, in 1988, which on page 330 mentions as a hadith of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), the words "Honor the cow, for it has not lifted its head to the sky since the [golden] calf was worshipped, out of shame (haya’) before Allah Mighty and Majestic," a mawdu‘ hadith forgery apparently intended to encourage Muslims to believe that Allah is physically above the cow in the sky.

On page 97 of the same work, Ibn al-Qayyim also mentions the hadith of Bukhari, warning of the Antichrist (al-Masih al-Dajjal), who in the Last Days will come forth and claim to be God; of which the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, "Allah has sent no prophet except that he warned his people of the One Eyed Liar, and that he is one-eyed—and that your Lord is not one-eyed—and that he shall have unbeliever (kafir) written between his two eyes" (Sahih al-Bukhari, 8.172). Ibn al-Qayyim comments, "The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) negated the attribute of one-eyedness [of Allah], which is proof that Allah Most High literally has two eyes." Now, any primer on logical fallacies could have told Ibn al-Qayyim that the negation of a quality does not entail the affirmation of its contrary, an example of the "Black and White Fallacy" (for example, "If it is not white, it is therefore black," "If you are not my friend, you must be my enemy," and so on), though what he attempts to prove here does show the kind of anthropomorphism he is trying to promote. Forged chains of hadith transmission in Ibn al-Qayyim’s Ijtima‘ al-juyush al-Islamiyya are the subject of a forthcoming work by a Jordanian scholar, In Sha’ Allah, which those interested may read.

For all of these reasons, the utmost care must be used in ascribing tenets of faith to Ahmad ibn Hanbal or other Imams, especially when made by anthropomorphists whose concern is to create credibility for the ideas we are talking about. Many would-be revivers of these ideas today have been misled by their uncritical acceptance of the statements and chains of ascription found in the books of Ibn Taymiya and Ibn al-Qayyim, which they cite in print and rely on, and from whence they get the idea that these were the positions of the early Muslims and prophetic Companions or Sahaba.

Umbrage has unfortunately been taken at the biographies I appended to my translation Reliance of the Traveller about Ibn Taymiya and Ibn al-Qayyim, which detail the gulf between Ibn Taymiya’s innovations and the ‘aqida of the early Muslims, though anyone interested can read about it in any number of other books, one of the best of which has been published in Cairo in 1970 by Dar al-Nahda al-‘Arabiyya, and is called Ibn Taymiya laysa salafiyyan [Ibn Taymiya is not an early Muslim], by the Azhar professor of Islamic faith (‘aqida) Mansur Muhammad ‘Uways, which focuses primarily on tenets of belief. Another was written by a scholar who lived shortly after Ibn al-Qayyim in the same city, Taqi al-Din Abu Bakr al-Hisni, author of the famous Shafi‘i fiqh manual Kifaya al-akhyar [The sufficiency of the pious], whose book on Ibn Taymiya is called Daf‘ shubah man shabbaha wa tamarrada wa nasaba dhalika ila al-sayyid al-jalil al-Imam Ahmad [Rebuttal of the insinuations of him who makes anthropomorphisms and rebels, and ascribes that to the noble master Imam Ahmad], published in Cairo in 1931 by Dar Ihya’ al-Kutub al-‘Arabiyya. Whoever reads these and similar works with an open mind cannot fail to notice the hoax that has been perpetrated by moneyed quarters in our times, of equating the tenets of a small band of anthropomorphists to the Islamic belief (‘aqida) of Imam Ahmad and other scholars of the early Muslims (al-salaf).

The real (‘aqida) of Imam Ahmad was very simple, and consisted, mainly of tafwid, that is, to consign to Allah the meaning of the mutashabihat or ‘unapparent meanings’ of the Koran and hadith, accepting their words as they have come without saying or claiming to know how they are meant. His position is close to that of a number of other early scholars, who would not even countenance changing the Koranic order of the words or substituting words imagined to be synonyms. For them, the verse in Sura Taha,

"The All-merciful is ‘established’ (istawa) upon the Throne" (Koran 20:5)

does not enable one to say that "Allah is ‘established’ upon Throne," or that "The All-merciful is upon the Throne" or anything else besides "The All-merciful is ‘established’ (istawa) upon the Throne." Full stop. Their position is exemplified by Sufyan ibn ‘Uyayna, who died 98 years after the Hijra, and who said, "The interpretation (tafsir) of everything with which Allah has described Himself in His book is to recite it and remain silent about it." It also resembles the position of Imam Shafi‘i, who simply said: "I believe in what has come from Allah as it was intended by Allah, and I believe in what has come from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) as it was intended by the Messenger of Allah."

It should be appreciated how far this school of tafwid or ‘consigning the knowledge of what is meant to Allah’ is from understanding the mutashabihat or ‘unapparent in meaning,’ scriptural expressions about Allah as though they were meant literally (‘ala al-dhahir). The Hanbali Imam Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Khallal, who died in Hijra year 311, and who took his fiqh from Imam Ahmad’s students, relates in his book al-Sunna through his chain of narrators from Hanbal ibn Ishaq al-Shaybani, the son of the brother of Ahmad ibn Hanbal’s father, that

Imam Ahmad was asked about the hadiths mentioning "Allah’s descending," "seeing Allah," and "placing His foot on hell"; and the like, and Ahmad replied: "We believe in them and consider them true, without ‘how’ and without ‘meaning’ (bi la kayfa wa la ma‘na)."

And he said, when they asked him about Allah’s istiwa’ [translated above as established]: "He is ‘established’ upon the Throne (istawa ‘ala al-‘Arsh) however He wills and as He wills, without any limit or any description that be made by any describer (Daf‘ shubah al-tashbih, 28).

This demonstrates how far Imam Ahmad was from anthropomorphism, though a third example is even more explicit. The Imam and hadith master (hafiz) al-Bayhaqi relates in his Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad [The memorable actions of Imam Ahmad], through his chain of narrators that:

Ahmad condemned those who said Allah was a "body," saying, "The names of things are taken from the Shari‘a and the Arabic language. The language’s possessors have used this word [body] for something that has height, breadth, thickness, construction, form, and composition, while Allah Most High is beyond all of that, and may not be termed a "body" because of being beyond any meaning of embodiedness. This has not been conveyed by the Shari‘a, and so is rebutted" (al-Barahin al-sati‘a, 164).

These examples provide an accurate idea of Ahmad’s ‘Aqida, as conveyed to us by the hadith masters (huffaz) of the Umma, who have distinguished the true reports from the spurious attributions of the anthropomorphists’ opinions to their Imam, both early and late. But it is perhaps even more instructive, in view of the recrudescence of these ideas today, to look at an earlier work against Hanbali anthropomorphists about this bid‘a, for the light this literature sheds upon the science of textual interpretation, and I will conclude my talk tonight to it.

As you may know, the true architect of the Hanbali madhhab was not actually Imam Ahmad, who did not like to see any of his positions written down, but rather these were conveyed orally by various students at different times, one reason there are often a number of different narratives from him on legal questions. It is probably no exaggeration to say that the real founder of the Hanbali madhhab was the Imam and hadith master (hafiz) ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Jawzi, who died 597 years after the Hijra, and who recorded all the narratives from Imam Ahmad, distinguished the well-authenticated from the poorly-authenticated, and organized them into a coherent body of fiqh jurisprudence.

Ibn al-Jawzi—who is not to be confused with Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya—took the question of people associating anthropomorphism with Hanbalism so seriously that he wrote a book, Daf‘ shubah al-tashbih bi akaff al-tanzih [Rebuttal of the insinuations of anthropomorphism at the hands of transcendence], refuting this heresy and exonerating his Imam of any association with it.

One of the most significant points he makes in this work is the principle that al-Idafatu la tufidu al-sifa, meaning that an ascriptive construction, called in Arabic an idafa, ‘the x of the y’ or in other words, ‘y’s x’ does not establish that ‘x is an attribute of y.’ This is important because the anthropomorphists of his day, as well as Ibn Taymiyya in the seventh century after the Hijra, used many ascriptive constructions (idafa) that appear in hadiths and Koranic verses as proof that Allah had "attributes" that bolstered their conceptions of Him.

To clarify with examples, you are doubtless familiar with the Koranic verse in Surat al-Fath of the Sahaba swearing a fealty pact (bay‘a) to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), that says,

"Allah’s hand is above their hands" (Koran 48:10).

Here, with the words yad Allahi ‘the hand of Allah,’ Ibn al-Jawzi’s principle means that we are not entitled to affirm, on the basis of the Arabic wording alone, that "Allah has a hand" as an attribute (sifa) of His entity. It could be that this Arabic expression is simply meant to emphasize the tremendousness of the offense of breaking this pact, as some scholars state, for the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) placed his hand on top of the Sahaba’s, and the wording could be a figure of speech emphasizing Allah’s backing of this action; and classical Arabic abounds in such figures of speech. The Prophet himself (Allah bless him and give him peace) used hand as a figure of speech in the rigorously authenticated (sahih) hadith, Al-Muslimu man salima l-Muslimuna min lisanihi wa yadih "The Muslim is he who the Muslims are safe from his tongue and his hand," where hand means anything within his power to do to them, whether with his hand, his foot, or by any other means. As Imam al-Ghazali says of the word hand:

One should realize that hand may mean two different things. The first is the primary lexical sense; namely, the bodily member composed of flesh, bone, and nervous tissue. Now, flesh, bone, and nervous tissue make up a specific body with specific attributes; meaning, by body, something of an amount (with height, width, depth) that prevents anything else from occupying wherever it is, until it is moved from that place.

Or [secondly] the word may be used figuratively, in another sense with no relation to that of a body at all: as when one says, "The city is in the leader’s hands," the meaning of which is well understood, even if the leader’s hands are missing, for example (al-Ghazali, Iljam al-‘awam ‘an ‘ilm al-kalam [Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-‘Arabi, 1406/1985], 55).

We have already mentioned the school of thought of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Shafi‘i, and other early Muslims of understanding the mutashabihat or ‘unapparent in meaning,’ scriptural expressions about Allah by tafwid or ‘consigning the knowledge of what is meant to Allah.’ But secondly, we have seen from the example of the hand, that because of the figurative richness the Arabic language, and also to protect against the danger of anthropomorphism, many Muslim scholars were able to explain certain of the mutashabihat or ‘unapparent in meaning’ expressions in Koranic verses and hadiths by ta’wil, or ‘figuratively.’

This naturally drew the criticism of neo-Hanbalis, at their forefront Ibn Taymiya and Ibn al-Qayyim, as it still does of today’s "reformers" of Islam, who echo these two’s arguments that figurative interpretation (ta’wil) was a reprehensible departure (bid‘a) by Ash‘aris and others from the way of the early Muslims (salaf); and who call for a "return to the sunna," that is, to anthropomorphic literalism. Now, the obvious question in the face of such "reforms" is whether literalism is really identical with pristine Islamic faith (‘aqida). Or rather did figurative interpretation (ta’wil) exist among the salaf? We will answer this question with actual examples of mutashabihat or ‘unapparent in meaning’ Koranic verses and hadiths, and examine how the earliest scholars interpreted them:

1. Forgetting. We have mentioned above the Koranic verse,

"Today We forget you as you have forgotten this day of yours" (Koran 45:34),

which the early Muslims used to interpret figuratively, as reported by a scholar who was himself an early Muslim (salafi) and indeed, the sheikh of the early Muslims in Koranic exegesis, the hadith master (hafiz) Ibn Jarir al-Tabari who died 310 years after the Hijra, and who explains the above verse as meaning: "‘This day, Resurrection Day, We shall forget them,’ so as to say, ‘We shall abandon them to their punishment.’" Now, this is precisely ta’wil, or interpretation in other than the verse’s ostensive sense. Al-Tabari ascribes this interpretation, through his chains of transmission, to the Companion (Sahabi) Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be well pleased with him) as well as to Mujahid, Ibn ‘Abbas’s main student in Koranic exegesis (Jami‘ al-bayan, 8.202).

2. Hands. In the verse,

"And the sky We built with hands; verily We outspread [it]" (Koran 51:47),

al-Tabari ascribes the figurative explanation (ta’wil) of with hands as meaning "with power (bi quwwa)" through five chains of transmission to Ibn ‘Abbas, who died 68 years after the Hijra, Mujahid who died 104 years after the Hijra, Qatada [ibn Da‘ama] who died 118 years after the Hijra, Mansur [ibn Zadhan al-Thaqafi] who died 131 years after the Hijra, and Sufyan al-Thawri who died 161 years after the Hijra (Jami‘ al-bayan, 27.7–8). I mention these dates to show just how early they were.

3. Shin. Of the Koranic verse,

"On a day when shin shall be exposed, they shall be ordered to prostrate, but be unable" (Koran 68:42),

al-Tabari says, "A number of the exegetes of the Companions (Sahaba) and their students (tabi‘in) held that it [a day when shin shall be exposed] means that a dire matter (amrun shadid) shall be disclosed" (Jami‘ al-bayan, 29.38)—the shin’s association with direness being that it was customary for Arab warriors fighting in the desert to ready themselves to move fast and hard through the sand in the thick of the fight by lifting the hems of their garments above the shin. This was apparently lost upon later anthropomorphists, who said the verse proved ‘Allah has a shin,’ or, according to others, ‘two shins, since one would be unbecoming.’ Al-Tabari also relates from Muhammad ibn ‘Ubayd al-Muharibi, who relates from Ibn al-Mubarak, from Usama ibn Zayd, from ‘Ikrima, from Ibn ‘Abbas that shin in the above verse means "a day of war and direness (harbin wa shidda)" (ibid., 29.38). All of these narrators are those of the sahih or rigorously authenticated collections except Usama ibn Zayd, whose hadiths are hasan or ‘well authenticated.’

4. Laughter. Of the hadith related in Sahih al-Bukhari from Abu Hurayra that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,

Allah Most High laughs about two men, one of whom kills the other, but both of whom enter paradise: the one fights in the path of Allah and is killed, and afterwards Allah forgives the killer, and then he fights in the path of Allah and is martyred,

the hadith master al-Bayhaqi records that the scribe of Bukhari [Muhammad ibn Yusuf] al-Farabri related that Imam al-Bukhari said, "The meaning of laughter in it is mercy" (Kitab al-asma’ wa al-sifat, 298).

5. Coming. The hadith master (hafiz) Ibn Kathir reports that Imam al-Bayhaqi related from al-Hakim from Abu ‘Amr ibn al-Sammak, from Hanbal, the son of the brother of Ahmad ibn Hanbal’s father, that

Ahmad ibn Hanbal figuratively interpreted the word of Allah Most High,

"And your Lord shall come . . ." (Koran 89:22),

as meaning "His recompense (thawab) shall come."

Al-Bayhaqi said, "This chain of narrators has absolutely nothing wrong in it" (al-Bidaya wa al-nihaya,10.342). In other words, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, like the Companions (Sahaba) and other early Muslims mentioned above, sometimes also gave figurative interpretations (ta’wil) to scriptural expressions that might otherwise have been misinterpreted anthropomorphically. This was also the way of Abul Hasan al-Ash‘ari, founder of the Ash‘ari school of Islamic belief, who had two views about the mutashabihat, the first being tafwid, or ‘consigning the knowledge of what is meant to Allah,’ and the second being ta’wil or ‘figurative interpretation’ when needed to avoid the suggestion of the anthropomorphism that is explicitly rejected by the Koran.

In light of the examples quoted above about such words about Allah as ‘forgetting,’ ‘hands,’ ‘shin,’ ‘laughter,’ ‘coming,’ and so forth, it is plain that Muslims scholars of ‘Aqida, whether of the Ash‘ari school or any other, did not originate ta’wil or figurative interpretation, but rather it had been with Muslims from the beginning, because that was the nature of the Arabic language. And if the above figures are not the salaf or ‘early Muslims,’ who are? Ibn Taymiya and Ibn al-Qayyim, who died more than seven centuries after the Hijra?

In view of the foregoing examples of figurative interpretation by early Muslims, we have to ask, Whose ‘early Islam’ would today’s reformers of ‘Aqida have us return to? Imam Abu Hanifa first noted, "Two depraved opinions have reached us from East, those of Jahm [ibn Safwan], the nullifier of the divine attributes, and those of Muqatil [ibn Sulayman al-Balkhi, the likener of Allah to His creation" (Siyar a‘lam al-nubala,’ 7.202).

These are not an either-or for Muslims. Jahm’s brand of Mu‘tazilism has been dead for over a thousand years, while anthropomorphic literalism is a heresy that in previous centuries was confined to a handful of sects like the Hanbalis addressed by Imam Ibn al-Jawzi in his Daf‘ shubah al-tashbih, or like the forgers of Kitab al-sunna who ascribed it to Imam Ahmad’s son ‘Abdullah, or like the Karramiyya, an early sect who believed Allah to be a corporeal entity "sitting in person on His Throne."

As for Islamic orthodoxy, the Imam of Ahl al-Sunna in tenets of faith, ‘Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi says in his ‘aqida manual Usul al-din [The fundamentals of the religion]:

Anyone who considers his Lord to resemble the form of a person [. . . ] is only worshipping a person like himself. As for the permissibility of eating the meat he slaughters or of marriage with him, his ruling is that of an idol-worshipper.

. . . Regarding the anthropomorphists of Khurasan, of the Karramiyya, it is obligatory to consider them unbelievers because they affirm that Allah has a physical limit and boundary from underneath, from whence He is contact with His Throne (al-Baghdadi, Usul al-din [Istanbul: Matba‘a al-Dawla, 1346/1929], 337).

In previous Islamic centuries, someone who worshipped a god who ‘sits,’ moves about, and so forth, was considered to be in serious trouble in his faith (‘aqida). Our question should be: If anthropomorphic literalism were an acceptable Islamic school of thought, why was it counted among heresies and rejected for the first seven centuries of Islam that preceded Ibn Taymiya and his student Ibn al-Qayyim, and condemned by the scholars of Ahl al-Sunna thereafter?

To summarize everything I have said tonight, we have seen three ways of understanding the mutashabihat, or ‘unapparent in meaning’ verses and hadiths: tafwid, ‘consigning the knowledge of what is meant to Allah,’ ta’wil, ‘figurative interpretation within the parameters of classical Arabic usage,’ and lastly tashbih, or ‘anthropomorphic literalism.’

We saw that the way of tafwid or ‘consigning the knowledge of what is meant to Allah,’ was the way of Shafi‘i, Ahmad, and many of the early Muslims. A second interpretive possibility, the way of ta’wil, or ‘figurative interpretation,’ was also done by the Companions (Sahaba) and many other early Muslims as reported above. In classical scholarship, both have been considered Islamic, and both seem needed, though tafwid is superior where it does not lead to confusion about Allah’s transcendence beyond the attributes of created things, in accordance with the Koranic verse,

"There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him" (Koran 42:11).

As for anthropomorphism, it is clear from this verse and from the entire history of the Umma, that it is not an Islamic school of thought, and never has been. In all times and places, Islam has invited non-Muslims to faith in the Incomparable Reality called Allah; not making man a god, and not making God a man. Wa jazakum Allah khayran, wa l-hamdu li Llahi Rabbil ‘Alamin.
- The above was copied & pasted from 
 spl.qibla.com


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Reader have to and must refer to teacher or Ustaz for the real understanding

This posting only for the purpose of highlighting of the Sifat 20 of Allah

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