“There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” (Qur’an 42:11)
It is like the question which came first the Chicken or the Egg?
We know that Allah (swt) came before human beings. So in that sense, it is not appropriate to say that they are likening Allah (swt) to his creation rather Allah (swt) is endowing creation with attributes that he has.
However, the problem with this line of thinking is that in terms of those outward attributes like hands, face, shin, foot, and so forth is that all of these attributes of humans are contained by space/time. They are parts and appendages connected to other parts and appendages.
The other problem with this is that it is not analogous to the Creator. The Creator has not been described as having a nose, ears, neck, etc.
Likewise, when someone says, we say ‘Hand but not like other hands‘ It is still comparing the Creator to the Creation. For example, I have a hand but it’s not like other human hands. Even identical twins have different hands with different patterns. Many animals have hands and those hands are not like the hands of other animals. This is actually Tashbih.
“There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” (Qur’an 42:11)
What ends up happening is that many Muslims take a partial negation of likening Allah (swt) to his Creation and not a full negation of likening Allah (swt) to his creation. So they will affirm a hand for Allah (swt)
However, what is the apparent meaning of hand but hand? Then they will quickly add (but unlike other hands). Did the text say “unlike other hands”?
“And the Jews say, “The hand of Allah is chained.” Chained are their hands, and cursed are they for what they say. Rather, both His hands are extended.” (Qur’an 5:64)
Did this text say:
“Rather, both His hands (which are unlike other hands) are extended?” No! The text doesn’t say that. So on what basis do they deny that the hands are like other hands? They claim on the basis of this text.
“There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” (Qur’an 42:11)
Yet they turn around deny that because they do not allow the usage of the Arabic language to take effect. They continue to say Allah is like his creation. After all, the creation has hands and Allah too has hands.
So what are the principles when dealing with statements in the Qur’an about hands, face, shin, and so forth?
The first and most obvious point is that the Qur’an was sent down in Arabic.
“Indeed, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an that you might understand.” (Qur’an 12:2)
“And thus We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an and have diversified therein the warnings that perhaps they will avoid sin or it would cause them remembrance. “ (Qur’an 20:113)
“And that behold, it will be for Us to explain it.” (by-ya-nahu) (Qur’an 75:19)
As the Qur’an came down n the Arabic language it would employ the understanding that the Arabs would have of its grammar, syntax, metaphors, and so forth.
“Thus Allah makes plain to you His revelations, that perhaps you may reflect”. (Qur’an 2:219)
If something in the Qur’an is not made plain to us it falls under the category of open to interpretation or unclear.
“It is He who sent down the Book to you from Him: verses that are absolutely clear — they are the foundation of the Book — and others which are open to interpretation. As for those whose hearts are given to swerving, they follow that of it which is open to interpretation, seeking discord and seeking its interpretation. And none know its (tawil) interpretation save Allah and those firmly rooted in knowledge. They say, “We believe in it; all is from our Lord.” And none remember, save those who possess intellect.” (Qur’an 3:7)
“Whenever they bring you an argument, We come to you with the right refutation and the best explanation-tafsiran.” (Qur’an 25:33)
The verses about hands, face, and shin are not absolutely clear. If they were clear it would be enough to simply let them pass by their outward meaning, hand, shin, a face without adding the caveat (but unlike his Creation).
Also, those Muslims who claim that Allah (swt) has hands, face, and shin (but unlike his Creation) have admitted that they have no model of comparison and thus ultimately they don’t really know what it means. At this point to insist that we accept hands, face, and shin for Allah (swt) while admitting that they ultimately do not know what it means is committing a very heavy sin.
A sin of speculation about the Creator that Allah (swt) warned us about.
Say, “My Lord has only forbidden immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed – and sin, and oppression without right, and that you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down authority, and that you say about Allah that which you do not know.” (Qur’an 7:33)
Thankfully Allah (swt) has given us the Arabic language, with its rules of grammar and language pertaining to what is figurative interpretation, literal, metaphorical and so forth.
Also, as we will see that those who are grounded In knowledge have shown that these are indeed figurative and metaphorical devices that are used by Allah (swt) about himself.
The Qur’an abounds with figurative language in regards to Allah (swt) that if taken by their apparent meaning will lead to some very problematic conclusions concerning our Sovereign Lord.
“Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over? And it is Allah who withholds and grants abundance, and to Him, you will be returned.” (Qur’an 2:245)
It should go without saying that Allah (swt) is not in need of a loan. There are three other places with such wording: Qur’an 57:11, 57:18, and 64:17.
“O you who believe! Be helpers of Allah, just as Jesus son of Mary said to the apostles, “Who are my helpers unto Allah?” The apostles replied, “We are helpers unto Allah.” Then a group from the Children of Israel believed and a group disbelieved. So We strengthened those who believed against their enemies, and they came to prevail.” (Qur’an 61:14)
It should go without saying that Allah (swt) does not need any help. A similar statement is found in Qur’an 3:52.
“They desire to deceive Allah and those who believe, and they deceive only themselves and they do not perceive.” (Qur’an 2:9)
It should go without saying that Allah (swt) cannot be deceived.
“The hypocrite men and hypocrite women are of one another. They enjoin what is wrong and forbid what is right and close their hands. They have forgotten Allah, so He has forgotten them accordingly. Indeed, the hypocrites it is they who are defiantly disobedient.” (Qur’an 9:67)
It should go without saying that Allah (swt) does not forget. A similar verse is in Qur’an 59:19
“Those who hurt Allah and His Messenger — they Allah has cursed in the present world and the world to come, and has prepared for them a humbling chastisement.” (Qur’an 33:57)
Are we really to believe that Allah (swt) can be hurt?
“And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, “My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up when I was small.” (Qur’an 17:24)
An apparent reading of this text is that human beings have at least two wings one of which is the ‘wing of humility’ that we should lower to our parents from time to time.
“Lo! those on whom you call besides Allah are slaves like unto you. Call on them now, and let them answer you if you are truthful!” (Qur’an 7:194)
Are we really to believe from this that Allah (swt) is giving permission for a momentary practice of shirk to prove a point?
“And whoever is blind in this life will be blind in the Hereafter and more astray in way.” (Qur’an 17:72)
Are we really to believe from this that Shaky Abdul Aziz bin Baz (who was blind in this life) will be raised up blind in the next life?
THE “FACE” OF ALLAH?
“And whoever submits his face to Allah while he is a doer of good – then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold. And to Allah will be the outcome of all matters.” (Qur’an 31:22)
“Nay, whosoever submits his face to Allah, while being virtuous, shall have his reward with his Lord. No fear shall come upon them; nor shall they grieve. “ (Qur’an 2:112)
“So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. Adhere to the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created all people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most people do not know.” (Qur’an 30:30)
Anyone care to explain how I ‘direct my face towards the religion’?
Or what does it mean to ‘submit my face to Allah’? If I take it at the apparent meaning does this mean I don’t have to submit my heart to Allah?
So let me tell you something about the Salaaf and these expressions in the Qur’an. Either one of two situations is possible.
Either you were told by people themselves who are not informed that these people (the early Muslims) did not employ the usage of the Arabic language to make sense of these expressions.
You were deliberately lied to.
We have already written an article in which we have shown that Ibn Taymiyya himself applied Ta’wil or figurative interpretation (based upon the tafsir of the Qur’an by the Qur’an and the usage of the Arabic language). In turn, got this information from people like none other than Jafar As Sadiq (r.a).
Please see the very short entry here:
THE “TWO EYES” OF ALLAH?
“Cast him into the chest and cast it into the river, and the river will throw it onto the bank; there will take him an enemy to Me and an enemy to him.’ And I bestowed upon you love from Me that you would be brought up under My eye.” (Qur’an 20:39)
“Build the Ark under Our eyes and Our direction. And do not supplicate Me concerning those who have engaged in wrong-doing. They are doomed to be drowned.” (Qur’an 11:37)
“Sailing, before Our eyes, a reward for him who was denied.” (Qur’an 54:14)
Now for a people who claim not to liken Allah (swt) to the creation, they sure did drop the ball on this one! They claim that Allah (swt) has two eyes of which they have absolutely 0 proof.
Abu Bakr Ibn Khuzaymah, stated:
“We say: Our Lord, the Creator, has two eyes and He sees with them what is beneath the soil, and what is beneath the seventh and lowest earth, and what is in the highest heavens, and whatever is between them, whether small or great…”
Source: (Kitāb At-Tawheed p. 52, Dār Al-Kitāb Al-Ilmiyyah)
Ibn ‘Uthaimeen stated:
“We believe that Allah, The Most High, has two real eyes. And this is the saying of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamā’ah. Abul-Hasan Al-Ash’aree said: The saying of Ahlus-Sunnah and the As-hāb Al-Hadeeth is that Allah has two eyes, without saying ‘how’ just as Allah has said, “[It was] sailing under Our Eyes.” (54:14).”
Source: (See Izālatus-Sitār ‘an Al-Jawāb Al-Mukhtār li-Hidāyatil-Muhtār of Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, p. 22; also Al-Maqālāt Al-Islāmiyyeen 1/345)
What they do is rely upon the following hadith:
Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, (saw) said, “No prophet was sent but that he warned his nation of the one-eyed liar. Verily, he is blind in one eye and your Lord is not. Verily, between his two eyes is written the word of unbelief.
Source: (al-Bukhārī 6712)
Through the above hadith, they rely upon contrast distinction.
This should be a dead give away to the discerning reader whom Allah (swt) has guided as to the reality of their beliefs!
First point. Notice that they are contrasting two very real eyes for Allah (swt) with the creation (Dajjal)? If that Is not telling I don’t know what is. They have to one-up the Dajjal by attributing to Allah (swt) two eyes!
Second point. If they are going to take that route why not say Allah (swt) has ‘three very real eyes’? After all a careful reading of the hadith says, “between his two eyes‘.
Third point. As they have relied upon the hadith about the Dajjal and one eye, it is proof enough that they don’t feel the Qur’an informs them as to the actual “number of eyes” Allah (swt) really has. So from that perspective, Allah(swt) could have hundreds of thousands of eyes.
Fourth point. As their Shaykh Uthaymeen has said that Allah (swt) has “two real eyes” and Ibn Khuzaymah who said, “he sees with them,” this is unlike Satan who apparently doesn’t need the use of eyes to see us!
“O children of Adam, let not Satan tempt you as he removed your parents from Paradise, stripping them of their clothing to show them their private parts. Indeed, he sees you, he and his tribe, from where you do not see them. Indeed, We have made the devils as allies to those who do not believe.” (Qur’an 7:27)
Thankfully these people seem to be slowly backing away from this position as we have seen more sensible translations (within the parameters of the Arabic language) coming out of Saudi Arabia.
“And construct the ship under Our observation and Our inspiration and do not address Me concerning those who have wronged; indeed, they are [to be] drowned.” (Qur’an 11:37 Sahih International)
“Sailing under Our observation as a reward for he who had been denied.” (Qur’an 54:14 Sahih International)
“She floats under our eyes (and care): a recompense to one who had been rejected (with scorn)!” (Qur’an 54:14 Yusuf Ali Original 1938 and Saudi Revised 1985)
That the Sahih International doesn’t opt for a literal translation is a softening of their approach. The fact that even the Yusuf Ali Saudi Revised 1985 edition which has in brackets (and care) shows that this is exactly what ‘under our eyes’ means. Both are good signs for the Muslim ummah.
THE “LAUGHTER” OR “CHUCKLING” OF ALLAH
Now to be honest this is very bizarre indeed. Only in the minds of the people who liken Allah (swt) to the Creation is it necessary to affirm as a point of creed (I am looking at you Aqidah Al Wasatiyyah) that Allah (swt) laughs.
Imagine being ex-communicated from religion for refusing to believe in a God that laughs? Now they affirm laughter for Allah (swt) with the caveat “in a way that befits his majesty.”
Abu Razin reported: The Messenger of Allah, (saw), said, “Allah laughs at the despair of his servant,for he will soon relieve him.” I said, “O Messenger of Allah, does the Lord laugh?” The Prophet said, “Yes.” I said, “We will never be deprived of goodness by a Lord who laughs!” Source: (Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah 181)
“It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: Allah chuckles at the two men both of whom will enter Paradise (though) one of them kills the other. They said: Messenger of Allah, how is it? He said: One of them fights in the way of Allah, the Almighty, and Exalted. and dies a martyr. Then Allah turns in mercy to the murderer who embraces Islam, fights in the way of Allah, the Almighty, and Exalted, and dies a martyr.” Source:(Muslim Kitab Al-Iman hadith number 4658)
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, (saw), said, “Allah laughs at two men, one of them killed the other, yet they both entered Paradise. This one fought in the way of Allah and was killed, then his killer repented and was also martyred.” Source: (al-Bukhari 2671, Muslim 1890)
Apparently, Imam al-Bayhaqi reports that Imam al-Bukhari said concerning the hadith: “Allah laughs at two men, one of them kills the other, and both of them enter Paradise,” that laughing means, “mercy.” That is, ‘Allah shows mercy to both of them.”
Source: (Al-Asma wa al-Sifat: page 298 and 470 Imam al-Bayhaqi)
I notice the inconsistency in the translation here. If “Allah Chuckling“ is to be equated with his mercy than the above hadith should have translated the word used for ‘chuckling‘ or ‘mercy‘ twice.
All of these hadiths seem to be confused and mixed up and I have a huge doubt that any of them were passed down impeccably. The fact that the ahadith seem to mix things up should be apparent to anyone reading them. So I would like to have good thoughts that indeed we are talking about the mercy of Allah (swt).
If not this presents a very dark picture of the Creator laughing and chuckling at people who are in despair. People who are contemplating suicide, the plight of the Palestinians, or even the Blessed Prophet (saw) being distraught over conveying Islam.
“You would only, perchance, worry yourself to death, following after them, in grief, if they believe not in this Message.” (Quran 18:6)
I believe another point of consideration is that if Allah (swt) chuckles and laughs is there sound? Is this part of his speech? If so does this mean that the chuckling and laughter of Allah (swt) is an eternal sifat? Are we to imagine our Creator laughing/chuckling for all eternity?
Take heed seekers after truth! This is the kind of creed that many among the Muslims are calling you too, unfortunately!
THE “TWO HANDS” OF ALLAH?
Let us get something out of the way from the very beginning. There is not a single narration from the Blessed Messenger (saw) where when he speaks of Allah’s “hands” that he (saw), says, “In a way that befits his majesty” or “unlike his creation.”
I challenge any of those people who make such a disclaimer statement after mentioning “hands”, “foot”, “eyes”, “shin” “leg” “foot” or “side” to show this!
The fact that such people have to put a disclaimer after such a statement is an innovation!
“They have not appraised Allah with true appraisal, while the earth entirely will be within His grip on the Day of Resurrection, and the heavens will be folded in His right hand. Exalted is He and high above what they associate with Him.”(Qur’an 39:67)
This verse also demolishes the claim that Allah (swt) is above the throne in a literal sense. When Allah (swt) folds up the heavens there goes the throne as well!
“Allah said, “O Iblis, what prevented you from prostrating to that which I created with My hands? Were you arrogant then, or were you already among the haughty?” (Qur’an 38:75)
Some of these people have tried to argue that this word translated as “hands” must be understood as “hands” as something special in relation to the creation of Adam. However, this is refuted by the following text of the Qur’an:
“Do they not see that We have created for them from what Our hands have made, grazing livestock, and then they are their owners?”(Qur’an 36:71)
Are we to say that cattle have an advantage or distinction over other animals because they were created by the “hands” of Allah?
“And the sky we built it with hands.” (Qur’an 51:47)
Look at how all three of these Saudi English translations of the Qur’an translate the above text!!
“And the heaven We constructed with strength, and indeed, We are its expander.”(Qu’ran 51:47 Sahih International)
“With power did we Construct heaven. Verily, We are able to extend the vastness of space thereof.” (Qur’an 51:47 Muhsin Khan & Muhammed Al Hilali)
“With power and skill did We construct the Firmament: for it is We Who create the vastness of pace.” (Qur’an 51:47 Yusuf Ali Saudi 1985)
“And the Jews say, ‘The hand of Allah is tied up.’ Chained are their hands, and cursed are they for what they say. Rather, both His Hands are extended, HE spends however He Wills.” (Qur’an 5:64)
What this verse means is that both the power and generosity of Allah (swt) is on full display.
“He wrote the Tawrāt for you with His Own Hand.”
Source: (Bukhāri, no. 6614, Muslim, no. 80)
TWO RIGHT HANDS OF ALLAH?
“The Prophet [saw] said: “Those who are just and fair will be with Allah, Most High, on thrones of light, at the right hand of the Most Merciful, those who are just in their rulings and in their dealings with their families and those of whom they are in charge.”Muhammed (one of the narrators) said in his Hadith: “And both of His hands are right hands.” Source: (Sunan an-Nasa’i 5379 Book 49, Hadith 1 English reference: Vol 6, Book 49, Hadith 5381)
This cannot be said to be attributed to the Blessed Messenger (saw). This is the statement of the sub-narrator.
Other uses of the word hand in the Qur’an.
“Indeed, those who pledge allegiance to you, they are actually pledging allegiance to Allah. The hand of Allah is over their hands. So he who breaks his word only breaks it to the detriment of himself. And he who fulfills that which he has promised Allah – He will give him a great reward.” (Qur’an 48:10)
This is a metaphorical usage of the word hand that is allowed within the context of the Qur’an itself. Will it be said that people who have no hands or people who are amputees could never make such a pledge?
“And whatever strikes you of disaster – it is for what your hands have earned, but He pardons much.”(Qur’an 42:30)
Are we to understand from the above verse that as long as we do evil with our tongues, eyes, feet that disaster will not befall us? As far as those who do not have physical hands does this verse still apply to them?
“And also prohibited to you are all married women except those your right hands possess.” (Qur’an 4:24)
Are we to understand by this verse that a person who has no right hand or a person who was an amputee would not be permitted to marry women as he has no “right hand” to possess them? Certainly not.
“Oh Prophet, say to whoever is in your hands of the captives, “If Allah knows any good in your hearts, He will give you something better than what was taken from you, and He will forgive you, and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Qur’an 8:70)
Are we supposed to imagine that the Blessed Prophet (saw) was a giant with little tiny people in his hands!?!
“And remember Our servants Ibrahim and Ishaq and Yaqoub, men who possessed hands and vision.” (Qur’an 38:45)
Here the word hands literally do mean power. Look how virtually everyone under the sun translates this!
“Or he in whose hand is the knot of marriage remits.” (Qur’an 2:237)
AFFIRMING THE “SHIN” FOR ALLAH
“The Day the shin will be uncovered and they are invited to prostration but the disbelievers will not be able.” (Qur’an 68:42)
The Shin. Why the shin?
Just ask that question of those who say that it is a matter of creed to accept this on its apparent meaning. Without going into linguistics this alone should expose to everyone under the sun their anthropomorphic creed.
If this is not a metaphor and we are to understand that an attribute of Allah (swt) called, “The Shin” ‘ (but a Shin, unlike the creation, is shown) o.k fair enough, but….. umm.WHY THE SHIN?
Why not the hands, face, foot, leg, or side? Think about it. Take all the time that you need.
What did the Salaaf say about the shin? What did those early Muslims say about the “Shin”?
Ibn Abbas (r.a) understood this to mean “severity”. That is, “The day that severity will be laid bare.” Explaining this verse, Imam al-Tabari said:
A group of the Prophet’s companions and their disciples, and the people of figurative interpretation have said: “He will uncover a severe matter.” And among those who interpreted the shin to mean “severity” from the Imams of Quranic exegesis are Mujahid, Sa’id bin Jubayr, Qatada, and others, Allah (swt), said,: “And the sky, we built it with hands, And it is We who give expanse.” (Quran 51:47). Ibn Abbas said concerning it: “with strength”.
Source: (Tafsir al-Tabari 27/57)
AFFIRMING THE “LEG” OR “FOOT” FOR ALLAH
And his saying, (saw) Hell will continue to be filled and will say: Are there any more? Until the Lord of honor places His leg (and in another narration: His foot) over it and some of its parts retreat from each other and it says: Enough! Enough!’ All of its parts will be filled together and Allah will not wrong any of His creatures. As for Paradise, Allah will create a new creation with which to fill it.” Source: (Al-Bukhari 4569 and Sahih Muslim 2847)
Abu Sulayman al-Khattabi a Shafi’i hadith master said concerning this:
“The meaning of the qadam here is possibly a reference to those whom Allah has created of old or “sent forth” for the Fire in order to complete the number of its inhabitants. Everything that is “sent forth” is a qadam, in the same way, that the verbal noun of demolishing (hadama) is a hadm or ruin, and that of seizing (qabada) is qabd or a seizure. Likewise, Allah said:
“They have a sure foundation (qadam sidq) with their Lord.” (Qur’an 10:2). With reference to the good works which they have sent forth. This explanation has been transmitted to us from Al-Hasan al-Basri”
Source: (Al-Khattabi, Mu’alim al-sunan (Hims ed.) 5:95)
This is the nature of our brothers from Ahl Sunnah who try and come up with interpretations to save the narrations. Otherwise, we will end up believing disgraceful things concerning our Creator.
For us, Ahl Haqq Wal Istiqama there are a few points we might make as regards this hadith. As mentioned by al-Khattabi there is scope for a figurative interpretation. Otherwise, that hadith will clash with these two verses from the Qur’an:
“Allah said, “O fire, be coolness and safety upon Abraham.” (Qu’ran 21:69)
Upon the command of Allah (swt) the fire became cool why would Allah (swt) need to stamp it out with his foot or leg? He can just make the command.
“Had they really been gods they would not have entered it: They will all abide in it forever.” (Qur’an 21:99)
We know that Allah (swt) is really God. So on the basis of this verse hell is for that which is evil, vile and false and Allah (swt) is Haqq, not falsehood.
AFFIRMING THE “COMING” OF ALLAH
“Do they await but that Allah should come to them in covers of clouds and the angels as well and the matter is then decided? And to Allah, all matters are returned.” (Qur’an 2:210)
“And thy Lord shall come with angels, rank on rank.” (Qur’an 89:22)
‘Are they waiting for the angels to come, or for your Lord to come, or for some of the signs of your Lord?’ (6:158)
This is Imam Ahmad’s ta’wil of the “coming”
Ibn Kathir reports in al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya that Imam Ahmad said about Allah’s saying: “And Your Lord comes”, “That is, His reward comes.” Imam al-Bayhaqi said, “This is a chain with no dust on it.”
“Wait they aught save that your Lord’s command (amr) should come to pass?” (Qur’an 16:32)
Imam Ahmad’s nephew Hanbal said that he heard Imam Ahmad say:
They argued against me on the day of the (great) debate [munazara], and they say: ‘Sura al-Baqara will come on the Day of Resurrection.” He [Imam Ahmed] said: “So I said to them: “That is merely the reward of Sura al-Baqara that will come.”
Source: (Imam al-Razi’s Asas al Taqdis p 108 and Dhahabi’s Siyar Alam Al-Nubala: 5/11)
Also telling from this group is their treatment of the following hadith:
“Allah says…..And whoever comes to Me walking, I come to him running.”
Source: (al-Bukhari 7405 Book 97, Hadith 34/English Volume 9, Book 93, Hadith 502)
Concerning the above hadith they have been reported to have said::
In Fatawa al-Aqida by Muhammad b. Salih b. Uthaimin, page 112, he says:
وأي مانع يمنع من أن نؤمن بأن الله تعالى يأتي هرولة
“What could forbid us from believing that Allah performs jogging/trotting [harwala]?” [!!!]
“If My slave comes to Me walking, I go to him running”. Source: (Al-Bukhari, vol. 9, Book 93, Number 627)
Ibn Baz cites the hadith in his Fatawa and adds:
“Interpreting such hadith metaphorically and avoiding relying upon their literal meanings is the practice of the heretic Jahmiyyah and Mu’taziliyyah”.
Source: (Fatawa Ibn Baz, vol. 5, p. 374)
Al-Albani is very explicit on the point: “Running is an attribute of Allah that we lack a base for denying”. Source: (Fatawa Al-Albani, p. 506)
Again, Ibn Baz adds:
Question: Is running an attribute of Allah?
Answer: Yes, as it has been shown in the holy divine hadith…..” and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running. narrated Bukhari and Muslim.
Ibn Baz, The Everlasting Garden for Scientific Research and Legal Opinions Vol.3 Page 196. The heading of the subject where this fatwa was issued is called “Sifat al-harwala” , the attribute (Sifa) of running.
Source: (The fatwa issued here is number 6932 Book title: Fatawa al-Janna al-Da’ima Lilbuhuth al’ilmiyah wa al’ifta)
“Standing firm on justice” (Qur’an 3:18)
You may also ask these people if they believe that Allah (swt) is “sitting” on the throne or do they believe that Allah (swt) is “standing” as this verse says. Perhaps some of them believe it is both and will simply add “without asking how.”
AFFIRMING THE “SIDE” OF ALLAH
“Lest anyone should say, Alas for me, having neglected the side(janbi) of Allah, and having been one of those who scoffed!” (Qur’an 39:56)
Thankfully this one escaped the Aqida Al Wasatiyyah! I haven’t heard yet these people asking Muslims to affirm the “side” of Allah (swt) as an attribute. Praise be to Allah (swt) that common sense and usage of the Arabic language prevailed here!
In fact all three of the usual suspects, all three Saudi Arabian English translations have translated Arabic as such:
“Lest the soul should (then) say: ‘Ah! Woe is me!- In that, I neglected (my duty) towards Allah, and was but among those who mocked!’- (Qur’an 39:56 Yusuf Ali Saudi Version 1985)
“Lest a person should say: “Alas, my grief that I was undutiful to Allah (i.e. I have not done what Allah has ordered me to do), and I was indeed among those who mocked (at the truth! i.e. La ilaha ill-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), the Quran, and Muhammad SAW and at the faithful believers, etc.)” (Qur’an 39:56 Muhsin Khan & Muhammed Al Hilali)
“Lest a soul should say, “Oh [how great is] my regret over what I neglected in regard to Allah and that I was among the mockers.” (Qur’an 39:56 Sahih International)
In fact, this is a rare occasion of total consensus in the English language in which all translations have translated at the word as other than “side”.
AFFIRMING THE “DESCENT” OF ALLAH
I believe that the following article covered this subject.
In the end, ultimately this type of concept concerning Allah (swt) falls flat. If these people will refer back to the Salaaf and bring us a single statement where the Blessed Messenger (saw) said, “hand in a way that befits his majesty” or “foot in a way that befits his majesty”. If they are unable or unwilling to understand metaphor, figurative speech and/or rhetorical devices than perhaps they will listen to this Imam of the Hanbali school, none other than Ibn Jawzi (May Allah have mercy on him)
“Regarding Abu Ya’la ibn al-Farra, the scholars have been particularly harsh. Ibn al-Athir relates that Abu Muhammed al-Tamimi said of him that he had stained the Hanbalis with such distortion and disgrace that the waters of the sea will never wash them clean.” Source: (Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil 10:52)
Furthermore, Ibn Jawzi relates:
“Al-Qadi Abu Bakr ibn al-Arabi says: “One of my shaykhs whom I consider trustworthy has related to me that Abu Ya’la used to say in relation to the meanings of Allah’s attributes: “No matter what justifications you give to me, I consider it necessary for Him to possess everything in the way of attributes, except a beard and genitals.” Source: (Abu Bakr Ibn al-Arabi al-Awasim 2:283)
What an evil thing to muse about Allah (swt). May Allah (swt) guide these people back to the right path.