The Names & Attributes of Allah
Shaykh ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Bin Baz -hafidhahullaah-said: [Al-Aqeedatus-Saheehah wa Ma Yudaadahaa (pp.9-13)]
From Eemaan (faith) in Allaah is to have eemaan in those of His Asmaa’ul-Husnaa (Beautiful names) and Sifaatul-Ulyaa (Lofty Attributes) that occur in His Great Book and that have been affirmed by His trustworthy Messenger (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) -without tahreef (distorting the wording or the meaning), tateel (divesting or denying the Attributes), takyeef (asking how) or tamtheel (resembling Allaah to any of His creation). Rather,it is obligatory to leave them as they came, without takyeef (asking how) or tamtheel (resembling Allaah to any of His creation). Along with this, it is also obligatory to have eemaan in the meaning that Allaah-the Mighty and Majestic-has been described with, in a way which befits Him: without resembling Him to His creation in any of His attributes.
Allaah-the Most High -says:
“There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearing,the All-seeing” (42:11)
Allaah -the Mighty and Majestic -also says:
“And do not put forward any similitudes for Allaah. Indeed,Allaah knows and you do not know” (16:74
So this is the ‘aqeedah (belief) of Ahlu-Sunah wal-Jammaaah from the Companions of the Messenger (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) and those who followed them in goodness. This is what has been recordeed also by Imaam Abul-Hasan al-Asharee (d.324H)(rah) in his book:”Al-Maqaalat ‘an Ashaabul-Hadeeth wa Ahlus-Sunnah”. This has also been stated by many others from the people of knowledge and eemaan.
Imaam al-Awzaee (rah) said:
‘I asked az-Zuhree and Makhool about the aayaat pertaining to the sifaat (Attributes of Allaah), so they said:Leave them as they are,” [Related by al-Harawee in Dhammul-Kalaam (p.18)].
He is Abdur-Rahmaan ibn ‘Amr al-Awzaee-the scholar, worshipper and mujaahid.Al-Haakim said: “Al-Awzaee was the Imaam of the people of his time ingeneral ,and he was the Imaam of the people of Shaam in particular.” He died in Bayroot,in the year 157H.Refer to at-Tadhkirah(1/178 and al-Hilyah(6/135) for his biography.
Rabee’ah ibn Abee ‘Abdur-Rahmaan (rah) said:
“Al-Istiwaa (Allaah ascending) is not unknown , and how is not comprehendable, and from Allaah is the Message, upon the Messenger is to clearly convey it, and upon us is to affirm it” [Ibn Taymiyyah said in Majmoo’al-Fatawaa(5/365):”It is established from Rabee’ah”. He also said in al-Hamawiyyah(p.80): “Al-Khallal narrated it with an isnaad all of whom are thiqaat(precise and reliable)”]
He is Rabee’ah ibn Abee’Abdur Rahmaan -better known as Rabee’atur-Raaee-one of the Tabioon of al-Madeenah. Al-Khateeb said:’He was a faqeeh,a scholar and Haafidh in Fiqh and Hadeeth. “He died in the year 136H.Refer to Taareekh Baghdaad(8/420)and HilyatulAwliyaa(3/259) for his biography.
The words of the Scholars about this matter are very numerous indeed, and it is not possible to relate them all in such a short space. However, whosover further desires to be acquanted with this topic, then let him turn to the books by the Scholars of Sunnah about this subject,such as the book: Kitaabus-Sunnah by ‘Abdullaah the son of Imaam Ahmad (d.290H), Kitaabut-Tawheed by the great Imaam, Muhammad ibn Khuzaymah(d.311H), Kitaabus-Sunnah by Abdul-Qaasim al-Laalikaaee at-Tabaree(d.418H),a nd Kitaabus-Sunnah by Abu Bakr Ibn Abee -‘Aasim (d.287H)
Refer also the reply given by Shakykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) to the people of Hamah (entitled al-‘Aqeedatul-Hamawiyyah), as it is a great reply, full of benefit. In it he (rah) – has made clear the aqeedah of Ahlus-Sunnah, and has recorded many of the sayings of the scholars, as well as giving proofs from both the Sharee’ah and sound reasoning about the correctness of what Ahlus-Sunnah say, showing also the futility of those who oppose them.
Likewise, his book entitled al-‘Aqeedatut-Tadmurriyah in which he established and explained the aqeedah of Ahlus-Sunnah with both textual proofs and proofs from sound reasoning. In this treatise he has-for all those of understanding ,intending righteousness and desiring to realise the truth – thoroughly refuted all opposition, by clarifying the truth and refuting the falsehood.
All those who oppose Ahlus-Sunnah in their aqeedah concerning Allahs names and attributes, have indeed fallen into opposing the textual evidences and sound reasoning along with clearly contradicting all that Allah has affirmed or negated for Himself.
TERMS TO KNOW:
Tashbeeh (resemblance): to claim that Allah is similar to His creation in one or some of His Attributes and Actions. [student’s note]
Tamtheel (resemblance): to claim that Allah is similar to His creation in ALL of His Attributes and Actions. [student’s note]
So it is not said: Allaah has a Dhaat (Essence) like ours,or resembling ours,etc. Thus, it is not said about the Attributes of Allaah that they are like –or resembling — our Attributes. Rather,the Believer must stick to His – the Most High’s –saying: “There is nothing like Him”. And the meaning is that there is none who resembles Him. [from the footnotes to at-Tanbeehaatul-Lateefah ‘alaa mahtawat ‘alayhil-‘Aqeedatil-Waasitiyah (pp.15-16)]
Tahreef (distortion): to change the wordings of the Names and Attributes, or to change their meanings. Like the saying of the Jahmiyyah that istiwaa(ascending above) is istawlaa (conquering and having dominion over); and like the saying of some of the Innovators that al-Ghadab (Anger) when refering to Allaah means ‘intending to send blessings’. And all of this is tahreef. And their saying about istiwaa that it is istawlaa is tahreef of the wording, and their saying that ar-Rahmah is intending to send to send blessings and al-Ghadab is intending to punish is tahreef of the meaning.The true saying,howvere is that istiwaa means ascending and being above- as is clear in the Arabic language. And the QURAN came to show that its meaning is ascending and being above the arsh (Throne) in a manner which befits Allaahs Majesty and Greatness. Likewise,al-Ghadab and ar-Rahmanhare two real Attributes befitting Allahs Majesty and Greatness-just as is the case with the rest of the Attributes reported in the Book and the Sunnah. [from the footnotes to at-Tanbeehaatul-Lateefah ‘alaa mahtawat ‘alayhil-‘Aqeedatil-Waasitiyah (pp.15-16)]
[Students note] Tahreef is also referred to as Ta’weel.
Tateel (divesting) means: to remove the Attributes of Allah and to deny them for allaah -the Most high. It is taken from their saying: ‘A graceful neck without adornment (muattal) .So the Jahmiyyah and their like divest Allaah of His attributes and are thus called the Muaattilah. And this saying of theirs is totally futile, since it is not posible for there to be anything in existence without attributes – and the Quran and the Sunnah repeatedly affirm Attributes (for Allaah) in a manner befitting Allaah’s Majesty and Greatness. [from the footnotes to at-Tanbeehaatul-Lateefah ‘alaa mahtawat ‘alayhil-‘Aqeedatil-Waasitiyah (pp.15-16)]