“The Originator of the heavens and the earth; He made mates for you from among yourselves, and mates of the cattle too, multiplying you thereby; there is nothing like unto Him; and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” (Qur’an 42:11)
This verse is sufficient to refute the rational proofs that the Ashari may try and bring forth to assert that Allah (swt) is perceptible.
This article will give the position of the Ibadi School, The Muslims, also known as: (Ahl al Haqq wal Istiqamah) on seeing Allah (swt) on the day of judgement.
We will critique the position of our brothers from Ahl Sunnah. As Ahl Sunnah is divided on this issue we need to make sure that our arguments are addressed to both sides of the divide among Ahl Sunnah itself.
The school of Ahl Sunnah that asserts that Muslims will see Allah (swt) in an apparent sense. (Athari, Salafiyya)
The school of Ahl Sunnah that asserts that Muslims will see Allah (swt) as being perceptible in the heart or mind.
In our estimation, the Athari, Salafiyya among the Ahl Sunnah are more consistent in their principles on ‘seeing’ Allah (swt) than are the Ashari. We will leave that to you the reader to decide where lay the truth.
Whereas we regard the Ashari/Maturidi to be the most inconsistent in this regard, as there are a few positions of them on this matter. Insh’Allah that will be shown in this article. We will present two examples straight away to prove this point:
“The Day the shin will be uncovered and they are invited to prostration but the disbelievers will not be able.” (Qur’an 68:42)
Ask all the Ashari/Maturidi on the planet, do they take the outward meaning of this verse? Certainly, this would be a strong verse to support their position? That people will see Allah (swt) by seeing the ‘shin’ of Allah (swt).
“People asked the Prophet (saw): O’ Messenger of Allah will we see our Lord in the Day of Resurrection? Then the Messenger of Allah replied: Is there any dispute among you whether a full moon is visible? They answered: No. then The Prophet (saw) continued asking them: “ Is there any dispute among you whether the sun is visible in a cloudless sky? They replied in the negative. Then The Prophet stated (saw): “Then you will see your Lord JUST LIKE this”. Allah will get the people together in the Day of Resurrection then He says: those who were worshiping any deity shall follow it. Then the ones who were worshiping the sun will follow the sun and the ones who were worshiping the moon will follow the moon and those who were worshiping Rebels will follow Rebels …Then Allah will come to them in a FORM other than WHAT THEY KNEW and say: “I am your Lord”, they reply: “We seek refuge in Allah from you. This is our place until our Lord Comes to us, and when our Lord comes to us, we will recognize Him. THEN ALLAH WILL COME TO THEM IN A SHAPE THEY KNOW and will say, I am your Lord’ They will say, ‘(No doubt) You are our Lord,’ and they will follow Him.”
Source: (Al Bukhari hadith no.6573 Book Of Ar-Riqaq)
They (Ashari/Maturidi) leave their students absolutely gob smacked that on the one hand, they battle against fellow Sunni who takes the outward meaning and they(the Ashari/Maturidi) constantly deny corporeality, and space/time for Allah (swt) and yet at the same time assert that we will see (sorry Mohamed Ghilan) I mean look upon Allah (swt) !!
We will show the strength and consistency both textually and intellectually of those of us who say that we will not see Allah (swt) on the day of judgement.
We will also be interacting with material from two videos. In the first video, you will only need to watch the first half-hour. That is the only section relevant to this post. https://youtu.be/5_6zRI0eH44 When we quote from this we will reference this as video A.
The second video is quite long.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsFrP55SiM4&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3oWTMdhyYLY69QDXuiOdUw4FSccfLwWUPURapr0GTnTVwjw7k7gHbDVbg When we quote from this we will reference this as video B.
I personally was quite shocked and taken aback as I listened to our respected brother Mohamed Ghilan. Yet, as I listened he showed such what has to be described as a simple understanding of basic tenets of creed and certainly did not understand the beliefs of others. May Allah guide him and us.
Mohamed Ghilan echoing Shaykh Hamza Yusuf calls seeing Allah (swt) in the hereafter as “beatific vision” borrowing terminology from Roman Catholics. He states this @ 54:14 seconds (Video B) into the discussion.
Like when he says about Moses and the burning bush…
“He really spoke.”
Oh, do tell us what do you mean when you say that, “He (swt) really spoke”??
What follows will be from video A above. The Ustaz ask:
First Question: Is it rationally conceivable that Allah (swt) can be seen?
The Ustaz says that we can conceive of images in our minds. So Allah (swt) is being compared to temporal objects and bodies with accidents!
Now, this is important you will notice some bait and switch tactics going on with Ahl Sunnah. They are all over the place on this point of creed. All of this about “seeing” Allah (swt) and yet the first point is to talk about “seeing” Allah (swt) in the mind! Not with the eyes, not with the faces nor with the hearts.
So the Ustaz ask” “Is it possible in the mind?” He responds: “Yes he can! Why? Because he is existent. He is an existent being!”
That is a very weak argument. Because what will soon to follow will be likening Allah (swt) to spatial objects with accidents and bodies.
And sure enough @14:51 The Ustaz does exactly that. “Now this pen is made of substance body (plastic) and it’s made up of accidents, colour, shape size, weight, occupying space, etc, moving not moving. These are all accidents. Now can you is it possible in the mind for you to see this body without the accidents. Now you don’t see it. You don’t see it separate from its accidents but that does not mean it’s not possible. There is nothing in your mind to say to you, hear me out. There is nothing in your mind to say that you cannot see substance without the accidents except that you are unable since bodies do not exist except with accidents. But there is nothing inconceivable in your mind. There is nothing that is blocking it in your mind.”
@21:19 the Ustaz continues… “Is it a contradiction in the mind that an accident can be seen. It’s not a contradiction. It actually can be seen because it exists. Anything that exists as an existent being can be seen.”
Notice the student @21:49 (whomever he is) he is brilliant. He tried to save the whole creed and its nonsense by saying what they should be saying, that is: “Because Allah exists it’s possible we can grasp his existence.” Then the teacher responds abruptly “That he is seen yes.” My response: “WOW!”
The student was on to something brilliant but the teacher wanted to quickly make sure that he affirms his (the teacher’s) position in the creed.
So the questions we really should be asking is:
“Is Allah an accident or a substance?”
“Is Allah’s wujud like or unlike his creation?”
The argument that Ustadh is making is that you can’t see accidents but that it is possible. However, he failed to give a single example of someone actually seeing an accident. So you can’t affirm something is possible when you haven’t given a single example of untold thousands of examples of this being a reality. That is even in relation to created things! How much more for that which is not contingent upon or dependent upon anything?
One of the students uses an argument about a man in a dark room. He is there but you cannot see him. So then the Ustaz replies that:
“The reason he can be seen is because he exists is not the means by which he is seen.”
This is fallacious. The reason he can be seen here is that he is a substance, a body. Which still does not make the argument the Ustaz is trying to establish at all. In fact, even in the case of the man in the darkroom, there are many things to be said:
He can’t be seen but he could be perceived. He could be perceptible without even being seen.
Even if you saw him would you say that you comprehend him?
The man has that which you can see his outward and that which you cannot see his inward.
It is part of the fitra that Allah (swt) created us and actually, a proof of his wahdat al wujud is the fact we can’t see him. The Ustaz can’t give a single example because it goes against the fitra. Another example that Allah (swt) has put inside of human beings that is quite powerful is the following:
The concept of nothing. It is part of your fitra, that you cannot picture nothing in your mind. Your mind will either picture an all-black space or an all-white space. That is still something. The irony here is that you can comprehend nothingness but you cannot see nothingness. Certainly, Allah (swt) is more than nothingness! If you cannot see nothingness how much more do you think you can see Allah (swt) who is the wahdat al wujud! You cannot comprehend Allah (swt) let alone see Allah (swt).
“Or were they created by nothing, or were they the creators.” (Qur’an 52:35)
On the possibility of seeing Allah (swt) this claim is demolished by the fact that there are so many invisible existents The soul, the intellect, the sense, perception, sounds, ether, etc.
Their opening the door of comparison of the Creator and the creation will lead to describing Him with many of those that are impossible about Him, Exalted is He. The existence of creatures cannot be perceived except with the existence of space and time. Perishing existents do not have the capacity to see the Eternal.
The peak of perceptibility of Allah (swt) ends with: “There is nothing like Him, and He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing” (Qur’an 42:11)
Muslim narrated from Abu Dhar, he said: “I asked the Prophet Muhammad (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), Have you seen your Lord? He replied: ” A light. How can I see Him”.
Source: (Sahih Muslim hadith 341. Kitab Al Iman)
The aforementioned evidence is enough to demolish the rational proofs that the Ashari/Maturidi bring forth in trying to liken Allah (swt) to his creation. May Allah (swt) protect the believers from it!
BE CAREFUL OF THE BAIT AND SWITCH-RUHYA-IDRAAK-NAZAR
I want to caution you the student of knowledge the seeker of truth on something very important. Do yourself a favour and note down every time someone from Ahl Sunnah uses these words ‘Ruhya’ or ‘Idraak’ or ‘Nazar’. I have often found that one speaker will claim Ruhya means this and Idraak means that and then another speaker will actually turn around and say the exact opposite!
Also, take note of the proof text they use. When they use a proof text from the Qur’an which word is being used there and why? Are they using ‘Ruhya’ or are they using ‘Idraak’ or are they using ‘Nazar’?
When they use a proof text from the hadith which word is being used there and why? Are they using ‘Ruhya’ or are they using ‘Idraak’ or are they using ‘Nazar’?
What about Idraak?
Be familiar with these arguments because the advocates of seeing Allah (swt) will rush to this argument first. It is perhaps the strongest they feel that they have. Even in the comment section below you will see one of our brothers from Ahl Sunnah rush to it.
“And what will make you know (idraka) what the Reality is?” (Qur’an 69:3)
The meaning of idraka here means perception when it is connected to the senses.
It has the sense of seeing when connected to the eyes or sight. When Idraak is connected to sight (ba sad ra) it means to see.
In this text yud’rikkumu is to reach or overtake.
“Wherever you may be, death will (yud’rikkumu) reach you, though you should be in raised-up towers. And if a good thing visits them, they say, ‘This is from Allah’; but if an evil thing visits them, they say, ‘This is from you.’ Say: ‘Everything is from Allah.’ How is it with this people? They scarcely understand any tiding.” (Qur’an 4:78)
So will we totally comprehend Allah (swt) or not? To totally comprehend Allah (swt) undermines the Wahdat al Wujud of Allah (swt). Can it be said that the finite will comprehend the infinite?
If we only partially comprehend Allah (swt) this means Allah (swt) would be broken into parts. He would be a part that we can comprehend and a part that we cannot comprehend. If we do not comprehend Allah (swt) at all it strengthens the argument of those of us who say that we will not see Allah (swt) at all. This is because comprehension is of the eyes.
Now, one has to be careful when dealing with various translations of the Qur’an. No doubt the translators have to toe the line of the various theologies they are beholden to.
The faculties of seeing (tudriku) cannot grasp Him, and He grasp all–seeing (yudriku), He is the All-Subtle and All-Aware.” (Qur’an 6:103)
Now the Ustaz in (video A) gave to his students the impression that Idraak means to ‘behold something in its entirety’. ‘To encompass‘ ‘To see something in its entirety to comprehend it‘.
There is a difference between reaching (idrak) and encompassing (ihata)
There is no lexical reference work which interprets idrak as ‘encompassing’. That is sufficient proof as to the error of this interpretation by the respected Ustaz and anyone else who follows suit in this.
One’s saying (for example) lahiqtu al-jidara bi yad-i (I reached the wall with my hand) does not mean anything other than touching the wall. It is impossible that the hand should ‘encompass‘ the wall.
if someone says, “ahata bi-hi al-sahmu (the arrow reached him) it is sensible. If someone says “ahata bi-hi al-sahmu (the arrow encompassed him) then no reasonable person will regard his utterance as anything but senseless.
“Allah will say, “Enter among nations which had passed on before you of jinn and mankind into the Fire.” Every time a nation enters, it will curse its sister until, when they have caught up with one another (‘iddarku) therein, the last of them will say about the first of them “Our Lord, these had misled us, so give them a double punishment of the Fire. He will say, “For each is double, but you do not know.” (Qur’an 7:38)
“when they catch up with one another.” It does not mean that each group encompassed the other.
If I cannot make you see this and if the usage of the lexicons cannot make you see it than I pray that Allah (swt) will open your eyes and your heart to what the pure Arab, and mother of the believers had to say about this.
I said to ‘Aisha, “O Mother! Did Prophet Muhammad see his Lord?” Aisha said, “What you have said makes my hair stand on end! Know that if somebody tells you one of the following three things, HE IS A LIAR: Whoever tells you that Muhammad saw his Lord, IS A LIAR.” Then Aisha recited the Verses:
‘No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is overall vision. He is the Most Courteous Well-Acquainted with all things.’ (Qur’an 6:103)
‘It is not fitting for a human being that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration or from behind a veil.’ (Qur’an 42:51)
Source: (Al Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 378)
Notice our mother Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her). Notice the response? “What you have said makes my hair stand on end!”
Now a desperate response to the above text after realizing that the first argument did not work is they may well say:
“The negation is without any condition, and therefore not bound to any meaning of ‘for all time’.”
Response to that claim:
Obviously this is now how our mother Aisha (r.a) understood this verse. She did not reason that perhaps he did see that time whereas other times he did not. No. In fact, that argument also works in our favour as it is not conditioned upon a time (this life or the life to come).
Other textual evidence from the Qur’an.
“When Moses came to the place appointed by Us, and his Lord addressed him, He said: “O my Lord! show (Yourself) to me, that I may look upon you.” Allah said: “You shall never see me; But look upon the mount; if it abides in its place, then you will see me.”
When his Lord manifested His glory on the Mount, He made it as dust. And Moses fell down in a swoon. When he recovered his senses he said: “Glory be to Thee! to Thee I turn in repentance, and I am the first to believe.” (Qur’an 7:143)
This is a powerful text against the claims of the Ashari/Maturidi and all those who say that we can see Allah (swt)!
Moses was dealing with his stubborn and rebellious people and demonstrated them the futility of their request which was:
“The People of the Scripture ask you to bring down to them a book from heaven. But they had asked of Moses [even] greater than that and said, “Show us, Allah, outright,” so the thunderbolt struck them for their wrongdoing. Then they took the calf [for worship] after clear evidences had come to them, and We forgave them for that ˹after their repentance˺ And We gave Moses a clear authority.” (Qur’an 4:153)
“And [recall] when you said, “O Moses, we will never believe you until we see Allah outright”; so the thunderbolt took you while you were looking on.” (Qur’an 2:55)
“And Moses chose from his people seventy men for Our appointment. And when the earthquake seized them, he said, “My Lord, if You had willed, You could have destroyed them before and me [as well]. Would You destroy us for what the foolish among us have done? This is not but Your trial by which You send astray whom You will and guide whom You will. You are our Protector, so forgive us and have mercy upon us; and You are the best of forgivers.” (Qur’an 7:155)
Comments: There is so much to be said about the above-mentioned ayats. First of all Allah (swt) said, ‘you will never see me‘. However some of these people have no shame nor fear of their Lord and they will play with the English translations and perform all kinds of maneuvers to make you think that this verse should be understood as, “You will not see me now” meaning the possibility of being seen in the future is there.
In fact, the Ustaz in (video A) unfortunately, he did exactly that.
This is similar to the following verse:
Say: Shall I choose for a protecting friend other than Allah, the Originator of the heavens and the earth, Who feeds and is never fed? Say: I am ordered to be the first to surrender (unto Him). And be not you (O Muhammed) of the idolaters. (Qur’an 6:14)
No one who reads the Arabic text understands this as Allah (swt) is not currently fed but has the possibility of being fed in the future! Authubillah min dhalik.
Not only that but if we do not understand the negative imperative to include all times what does it say about the laws of Islam? Does it ever occur to the mind that there will be a time in the future where shirk would be permissible? Authubillah! There will be a time in the future where adultery and taking the soul without the right will become permissible? Authubillah!
This argument is also negated by the fact that there is division among the Ahl Sunnah as regards Allah (swt) will be seen in this life or not.
Look at the hadith again.
“People asked the Prophet (saw): O’ Messenger of Allah will we see our Lord in the Day of Resurrection? Then the Messenger of Allah replied: Is there any dispute among you whether a full moon is visible? They answered: No. then The Prophet (saw) continued asking them: “ Is there any dispute among you whether the sun is visible in a cloudless sky? They replied in the negative. Then The Prophet stated (saw): “Then you will see your Lord JUST LIKE this”. Allah will get the people together in the Day of Resurrection then He says: those who were worshiping any deity shall follow it. Then the ones who were worshiping the sun will follow the sun and the ones who were worshiping the moon will follow the moon and those who were worshiping Rebels will follow Rebels …Then Allah will COME TO THEM in a FORM other than WHAT THEY KNEW and say: “I am your Lord”, they reply: “We seek refuge in Allah from you. This is our place until our Lord Comes to us, and when our Lord comes to us, we will recognize Him. THEN ALLAH WILL COME TO THEM IN A SHAPE THEY KNOW and will say, I am your Lord’ They will say, ‘(No doubt) You are our Lord,’ and they will follow Him.”
Source: (Al Bukhari hadith no.6573 Book Of Ar-Riqaq)
Can it really be imagined that Allah (swt) who knows all things, and is perfect in the expression of his language would say to Moses (a.s), ‘You shall never see me’ knowing that Moses (a.s) would see him in the afterlife?
Someone should ask the Ustaz (from video A) what form is it that the believers KNOW concerning Allah (swt)?
Not only that but if the negation in this verse is taken to mean for this world, not for the hereafter, then it must be allowed in similar verses, like His saying:
“Slumber does not overtake Him, nor sleep.” (Qur’an 2:255)
“He has neither a companion nor a son” (Qur’an 72:3)
“He is not brought forth from like-kind nor does like kind come forth from him.” (Qur’an 112:3-4)
Whatever is forbidden in this world like slumber, sleep, companion, peers must be permitted in the hear-after. Should we really reason like this?
It is obligatory for every Muslim to believe that this world and the next world have no effect on the essence of Allah!
It is impossible for Allah (swt) that time can affect him or space to accompany him. His essence never changes and his attributes never shift.
What are we to do about the challenge of Allah (swt) in the Qur’an?
“But if you do not – and you will never (walan) be able to – then fear the Fire, whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers.” (Qur’an 2:24)
This negation is eternal and permanent. Is the Ustaz (in video A) or any other going to claim no this statement of Allah (swt) is only for a ‘period of time’. Which means it is possible people will create the like of the Qur’an!
Also, we know that the mountain did not abide. Allah (swt) didn’t set his being perceived on the condition of the mountain but on his knowledge that it is not possible and that was manifest clearly to the people of Moses.
Also, note the concept of blasphemous ideas and concepts being related to mountains being destroyed as with the following blasphemous concept.
“The heavens almost rupture therefrom and the earth splits open and the mountains collapse in devastation That they attribute to the Most Merciful a son.” (Qur’an 19:90-91)
These are the people of disbelief. It is obvious when they say that they will not attain to faith until they see Allah (swt) plainly at which it says in response that the thunderbolt overtook them! Think about it! They are the ones who wanted a golden calf a ‘sura’ a form. These are the same people who want to look upon Allah (swt). They are wanting something perceptible to the eyes.
The people who adhere to the Ashari/Maturidi doctrine need to think clearly on this matter.
Again we have the following text…
And those who do not expect the meeting with Us say, “Why were not angels sent down to us, or [why] do we [not] see our Lord?” They have certainly become arrogant within themselves and [become] insolent with great insolence.” (Qur’an 25:21)
So now let us look at the positive proof that the Ashari/Maturidi will bring forth from the Qur’an to try and establish their proofs. Let us see if it is consistent with
a) The Qur’an itself.
b) with their own theology concerning Allah (swt) not being in space/time
Positive proof for the Ashari/Maturidi position from the Qur’an.
“The heart did not lie [about] what it saw. So will you dispute with him over what he saw? And he certainly saw him in another descent. (Qur’an 53:11-13) &
” And without doubt, he saw him in the clear horizon.” (Qur’an 81:23)
#1) If we are to believe that this is Allah (swt) then it clashes with the clear text of the Qur’an.
#2) If we are to believe that this is Allah (swt) then it clashes with Ashari/Maturidi Aqidah. For example:
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, said, “Our Lord descends to the lowest heaven in the last third of every night, and he says: Who is calling upon me that I may answer him? Who is asking me that I may give him? Who is seeking my forgiveness that I may forgive him?”
Source: (al-Bukhārī 1094,Muslim 758)
So do the Ashari/Maturidi believe that in the hadith above that Allah (swt) descends?
Do the Ashari/Maturidi believe that distance is a hindrance to Allah (swt)?
Do the Ashari/Maturidi believe that Allah (swt) does the ascending and descending depending on the time of day as (the last third of every night) is depending upon the relative timings of the globe?
So if the Ashari/Maturidi use the above verses to argue that the Blessed Messenger (saw) had seen Allah (swt) then they must believe the part where it says, “certainly saw him in another descent.”
#3) It goes against reason as already mentioned above. Allah (swt) is imperceptible.
#4) Lastly, it contradicts well-established hadith on the matter:
It is narrated that `Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: “I asked the Messenger of Allah about these two verses. He said, “That is Jibreel; I never saw him in the form in which Allah created him except on these two occasions. I saw him descending from the heavens, with his huge size filling the horizon between heaven and the earth.”
Source: (Muslim Book 1 Hadith Number 0337 Book of Faith)
`Aisha may Allah be pleased with her, was asked about the verse (which means): “Then he [Jibreel] approached and descended.” [Quran 53:8] She, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “That is Jibreel. He used to come to him (the Prophet ) in human form, but on this occasion, he came in his real form, and he filled the horizons of the sky.”
Source: (Muslim Book 1 Hadith Number 0340 Book of Faith)
Those counter proofs should be enough to ground to powder any Ashari/Maturidi pretension concerning those verses.
The big verse that the Ashari/Maturidi use to support their position from the Qur’an is the following:
“ Some faces, that Day, will be radiant, Looking toward their Lord. And some faces, that Day, will be contorted, Expecting that there will be done to them something backbreaking.” (Qur’an 75:22-25)
So here the Ashari/Maturidi interpret the word Nazar as looking, seeing. (Insh’Allah we will come back to this, especially in the context of brother Mohamed Ghilan above).
This word (Nazar) is more general than ru’yah.
Will they see with their faces?
Will they see with their eyes?
Will they see with some sixth sense?
This confusion is clear evidence that they do not have any ground for their opinion.
Remember the hadith:
“Soon you will see your Lord openly as you see the moon on the night of the full moon.”
We understand this verse as: “waiting for their Lord”.
We need to again ask if the Ashari/Maturidi position contradicts the following:
a)The Qur’an itself.
b) with their own theology that Allah (swt) is not in space/time.
We would translate or understand the text as: “Faces, that day looking forward to receiving mercy from their Lord.”
The first thing that should be pointed out, is that no one from the Ashari/Maturidi school can find fault with our interpretation of the text. Observe yourself and see the many forms, as a verb, noun, active participle, and passive participle.
Second, the context of the verse itself shows the people of the station waiting to receive their just rewards:
‘Some faces will be radiant, looking forward to receiving mercy from their Lord. Some faces will be contorted, expecting something backbreaking.’
To give you (the truth seeker) a solid proof to show you that Nazir does not have to mean seeing ponder the following text.
“Indeed, those who exchange the covenant of Allah and their [own] oaths for a small price will have no share in the Hereafter, and Allah will not speak to them or look at them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them; and they will have a painful punishment.” (Qur’an 3:77)
If Nazar in this verse is interpreted as seeing, it will lead to the meaning that Allah will not see these people on the Day of Resurrection. This is not possible, and such a belief is in real error because it is a rejection of faith in Allah (swt)! There is no way but to interpret Nazar here as mercy and favour. Allah (swt) will not show his mercy or favour upon them.
Now going back to what our brother Mohamed Ghilan said in his talk @ 54:32 “But the Sunni position is that we will actually see Allah (swt), but you can but that does not negate that Allah is above everything and he’s above comprehension.”
The other thing that our brother Mohamed Ghilan does is bring in a straw man argument. This is clear evidence that he is not confident of his position.
Thus, he brings up the following verse:
“And if you invite them to guidance, they do not hear; and you see them looking at you while they do not see.” (Qur’an 7:198)
It is clear to me that our brother Mohamed Ghilan by bringing into the discussion a non-argument he is preaching to the choir.
Perhaps our brother Mohamed Ghilan can mention to his students who among the Ahl Al Haqq Wal Istiqimah (The Muslims), the Mu’tazilis, the Jahmis, the Zaydi’s , the Imamis-12er Shia and from among those who scholars from Ahl Sunnah who are independent of taqlid, who among them holds to the position or view that Allah (swt) is comprehensible?
Again a straw man.
As regards Qur’an 75: 22-25 The Ahl Sunnah differ who will see him in the next life.
They are of three views;
1) Only believers will see Him.
2) All people will see him at the Station, believers and unbelievers then the unbelievers will be veiled from him.
3) The third is that hypocrites will see Him but not the unbelievers.
This is enough to prove the weakness of the foundation on which they have established their belief.
By contrast, the truth cannot bear such conflict, because its arguments are clear and its path is straight.
Is this a special treat for the believers only? Is this a special treat just for the believers and people who have remained steadfast?
Apparently not. Ponder the following:
“Soon you will see your Lord.”-Hadith The context of this hadith requires the seeing to take place at the station where all are gathered. It will not be restricted to believers only, Hypocrites, “and this ummah will remain with its hypocrites. Then, Allah, Exalted is He, will come to them in a form other than what they knew, then he will say: “I am your Lord.” Then they will say: “We seek refuge in Allah from you. This is our place until our Lord comes.”
It also follows from it that Allah, will be seen by this ummah believers and hypocrites- This goes against the verse in the Qur’an from
Moses: “NEVER WILL YOU SEE HIM.”
Why the unbelievers and hypocrites from the time of Moses did not get to see Allah (swt) but the unbelievers and hypocrites will be able to see now?
As regards this hadith. Let me put the hadith again for you to read and reflect upon it.
“People asked the Prophet (saw): O’ Messenger of Allah will we see our Lord in the Day of Resurrection? Then the Messenger of Allah replied: Is there any dispute among you whether a full moon is visible? They answered: No. then The Prophet (saw) continued asking them: “ Is there any dispute among you whether the sun is visible in a cloudless sky? They replied in the negative. Then The Prophet stated (saw): “Then you will see your Lord JUST LIKE this”. Allah will get the people together in the Day of Resurrection then He says: those who were worshiping any deity shall follow it. Then the ones who were worshiping sun will follow the sun and the ones who were worshiping moon will follow the moon and those who were worshiping Rebels will follow Rebels …Then Allah will COME TO THEM in a FORM other than WHAT THEY KNEW and say: “I am your Lord”, they reply: “We seek refuge in Allah from you. This is our place until our Lord Comes to us, and when our Lord comes to us, we will recognize Him. THEN ALLAH WILL COME TO THEM IN A SHAPE THEY KNOW and will say, I am your Lord’ They will say, ‘(No doubt) You are our Lord,’ and they will follow Him.”
Source: (Al Bukhari hadith no.6573 Book Of Ar-Riqaq)
First point. It also follows from it that His Essence (dhat), Exalted is He, changes from one form to the other. Such change is a characteristic of contingent existents (huduth).
Shaykh Ahmed Al Khalili (May Allah continue to benefit us through him) asked our brothers from the Ahl Sunnah, the following:
“Whoever has read the Book of Allah and has studied the Sunnah of His Messenger must know that real form in which He will see His Lord, Exalted is He, so that, when he sees Him in another form he does not recognize Him. Then please bring me the description of this form and definition of it from your knowledge through your reading of the Qur’an and your study of the hadiths of the Messenger (saw)? Then they were taken aback and their arguments became void.”
Both wordings are clear that their knowledge of His form will be a result of previous seeing. There is no way for those who take the hadith literally but to say that He is seen in this world. Yet most of them have rejected that (the seeing of Him in this world).
Most believers in the seeing hold that it will happen without kayf (without an understanding how it will happen). The comparison in the hadith with the seeing of the moon ‘like that you will see Him‘ contradicts this view. So too does the mention of the form in the hadith and their not recognizing it when it has changed from what they were familiar with.
Fifth point. How will an angel be commanded to lie? It is a shameful thing.
Abu Musa reported: The Prophet (saw) said, Verily, In Paradise are two gardens with silver vessels and two gardens with golden vessels. Nothing comes between the people and their looking at their Lord but the mantle of Majesty on His Face in the Garden of Eden.”
Source: (Sunan al-Tirmidhi 2527)
In other words, you won’t be seeing Allah (swt) in the afterlife after all!
Remember the Ashari/Maturidi understand face as Allah himself, his essence! That ‘mantle of majesty‘ will prevent you from looking at Allah (swt).
“It is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration or from behind a veil.” (Qur’an 42:51)
“The Messenger of Allah stood among us with five words he said Verily Allah exalted is he does not sleep, and that is not appropriate for Him. He lowers the Balance and raises it. To him are carried aloft the actions done in the night before the actions done in the day and the actions of the day before the actions of the night. His veil is “light” (and on one narration “fire”). If He lifts the veil then the light of His Face will burn whatever it reaches of His creation.” The universe itself will be utterly annihilated! Allahu Akbar!
Source: (Sahih Muslim 179a, Book 1 Hadith 352 English reference Book 1 Hadith 343)
“And call not, besides Allah, on another god. There is no god but He. Everything that exists will perish except His Face. To Him belongs the Command, and to Him will you all be brought back.” (Qur’an 28:88)
So regarding this verse that those of our brothers from Ahl Sunnah believe that the Qur’an 75:22 to be strong proof. However, it is weak from all conceivable angles.
It also goes to show to anyone who has eyes and a heart after the truth that the Ahl Sunnah and their consensus down through the ages, has not been guided on this matter. Rather they are in error.
Is it reasonable to assume that the seeing of Allah (swt) is merely hinted at in the Qur’an whereas food and drink, accommodation, gardens, rivers are mentioned time after time with clear phrases with no scope for any other interpretation? Think about it. May Allah (swt) be with you.
So we can see that the Ashari/Maturidi position concerning thee verses in question contradicts other clear text of the Qur’an.
It also contradicts their own theological position.
It also contradicts reason.
The difference between us Ibadi (Ahl Haqq Wal Istiqama) and our brothers from the (Ahl Sunah) when it comes to Qur’an 75:22 is that we use an understanding that is consistent with the verb form itself, used throughout the Qur’an: in the way we translate and interpret it, and is consistent with the clear verses of the Qur’an, that clearly negate seeing Allah (swt).
We do that in all verses that indicate corporeality, or time/space for Allah (swt). It is clear that some of our brothers from Ahl Sunnah do so only when it suits them. Allah (swt) knows best.
“Would you question your Messenger as Musa was questioned before? But whoever changes from faith to unbelief has strayed without doubt from the even way.” (Qur’an 2:108)
28 responses to “On Seeing Allah”
Well apparently ‘Abdullah had a comment which he than deleted. Perhaps if you are reading this ‘Abdullah you would like to come back with all the concerns you brought up.
I must’ve accidentally deleted the post because I didn’t even know that was possible. Here are my concerns again:
“No one who reads the Arabic text understand this as Allah (swt) is not currently fed but has the possibility of being fed in the future! Authubillah min dhalik.
The Arabic doesn’t even use the same words for negation in both verses so what’s your basis for comparison?
“These are the same people who want to look upon Allah (swt)”
That’s not a fair rendering. What actually happened was that they DEMANDED the vision before wanting to believe. The jews being rebuked for their attitude does not prove that the vision is impossible. Also, just because a christian or a jew wants paradise does not mean paradise doesn’t exist.
“Again we have the following text….
And those who do not expect the meeting with Us say, “Why were not angels sent down to us, or [why] do we [not] see our Lord?” They have certainly become arrogant within themselves and [become] insolent with great insolence. (Holy Qur’an 25:21)”
So is angels being sent down just as impossible according to you as seeing Allah(swt)? Or is one possible but the other impossible?
“No vision can perceive Him, but He perceives all vision. He is the Most Subtle and Well Acquainted, with all things. (Holy Qur’an 6:103)
Mash’Allah! This verse is very clear.”
You’re relying on an interpretation in English and you don’t even touch upon the discussion about idraak vs ru’ya.
“That Allah (swt) will not show his mercy or favour upon them.”
But here you said:
“We would translate or understand the text as: “Faces, that day looking forward to receive mercy from their Lord.””
So you’re saying, in one verse nathara ilaa means to show mercy and favor, and in another, to receive mercy and favor?
As for the ”shin” argument then that is silly and doesn’t even adress the ash’ari position. Also, you said ”the shin of Allah”, which the verse doesn’t say anyway, i.e. the verse doesn’t even mention the shin belongs to Allah(swt). So the outward meaning is not what you say it is.
Which Ash’ari texts are you relying upon for their arguments?
Salaam inshAllah I’ll answer these concerns soon. You also had a point you raised but as you deleted your post you may not remember but it related to Ghilan making the straw man argument concerning comprehending vs looking
Again thank you for raising your concerns.
Salaam before I reply in full could I kindly know what you’d understanding of the word “idraak” is?
Do you have definitions from Arabic lexicons and dictionaries?
Also in terms of misrepresentation of the Ashari position (one that I held before I dropped it)
Do you feel that the following text:
“Definitive Proof In The Study of Theology” by Muhammad Salih Farfur and
“The Attributes of Allah” by Abd Al-Rahman Ibn Al Jawzi are reliable text?
Or for example do YOU have your own article detailing your position?
None of this is directed at you personally (unless you’re a staunch Ash`ari).
“You’re relying on an interpretation in English and you don’t even touch upon the discussion about idraak vs ru’ya.”
I don’t understand the point of quibbling over this when the arguments used by Asha`irah indicate that seeing is meant rather than merely the nebulous concept of comprehension (which if we’re all being honest with each other smells suspiciously like some ad-hoc shenanigans). For instance, when the Mu`tazilah (such as myself) argue that the “nazara” (looking) used in the ayah of Surah al-Qiyamah should be interpreted to mean “intizar” (anticipation, which happens to actually make sense not only theologically but also in the context of the verses), the Asha`irah insist that no — it must mean “looking.”
But shway shway habibi, that still leaves you some wiggle room. “Nazara” doesn’t necessarily mean “seeing.” It can mean looking WITHOUT seeing. Close call, right? Wrong, because you’ve just made God a body again since looking at something still necessitates that it be in a direction (unless you magic it away a-la-Catholicism by just saying it doesn’t).
Okay, forget it then. Let’s say it means “comprehension” so we can have our cake and eat it too.
But a created, limited, contingent being cannot possibly fully comprehend God; surely we can all agree on that (this excludes Salafis who attribute God with limits that only He knows about… so maybe their chair-sitting giant space monster might let the Salafis who made it to Salafi Paradise in on the secret so they can do as much “ru’ya/idrak” as they want). So how about believers in Paradise “comprehending,” say, a bit of God…? But wait… a bit of God? Shoot, now you made God a composite, contingent being! Darned if you see, darned if you comprehend.
The Ash`aris are so good at reading other things in context and interpreting them accordingly (I still have my own issues with their formulation of “attributes,” but let’s stay on topic); why, oh why, have they made such an embarrassing blunder when it comes to this doctrine?
(That’s a rhetorical question.)
“what you’d understanding of the word “idraak” is?”
My understanding is that several Sunni scholars argued that it’s not necessarily identical to ru’ya
“Do you feel that the following text:
“Definitive Proof In The Study of Theology” by Muhammad Salih Farfur and
“The Attributes of Allah” by Abd Al-Rahman Ibn Al Jawzi are reliable text?
The first text I’m not familiar with, and as for the second then ibn al-Jawzi was not an Ash’ari so I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a reliable text when it comes to representing the Ash’ari position.
What is YOUR understanding of the word Idraak?
Is that a screenshot of Grand Muftī al-Khalīlī’s “The Overwhelming Truth?”
Yes brother if you followed the links to binti ibadh website you will see the full PDF file there.
Oh, I read it ages ago. It was one of the things that helped tip me into a full Mu`tazilī. Great, great work. Can’t say enough good things about it!
MashAllah I hope more will read it and reflect on it.
Salam dear brother,
I am a supporter of the Primaquran approach. I am closer to Sunni than Shia because I am appalled at the level that my Shia brothers give to who they call the 12 Imams.
However, I am in agreement with Shia, Mutazili, Ibadi, and I think some Ahl Bait Sufis that we cannot see Allah in hearafter.
The whole issue is silly for Allah does not have a body.
It’s like asking when will we see the bachelor’s wife.
The whole framework of the question will we see Allah is problematic since it induces the false idea that Allah has something that is even something that can be seen….something that can reflect light.
Allah is the creator…we are the creation….creations can reflect light….Allah creates light…HE is the light of the heavens and the earth…I don’t mean physical light. But light of existence that gives existence to everything else and light of wisdom that allows everything to be intelligible to a limited degree to limited beings.
Glory be to Allah above all descriptions…
Subhanallahi amma yasifoon.
This verse in a deep way refutes idea that Allah can be seen..
HOWEVER, this does not mean that our relationship with Allah will be less since we cannot see him.
We cannot ever see “love” but we don’t doubt its existence.
We cannot ever “see” justice but we don’t doubt it’s existence.
Allah is not inanimate or impersonal like abstract concepts of love and justice…HE is fully personal with a will and an intellect that is in full fullness.
But He cannot be seen through electromagnetic radiation (he cannot be seen).
Ali was supposedly asked do you see Allah.
He supposedly said how can I believe that what I don’t see …..I don’t see Him with my eyes but with my heart.
Brother, please make dua for Muslims in Kashmir and India…India trying to take citizenship away from Muslims in Assam and put them in detention centers (concentration camps)….and still keeping Kashmiris in the dark despite more than 1 month illegally removed their autonomy which was basis on which it came into federal relationship into India. The BJP are from RSS and RSS founders looked to Nazi Germany as the model.
In Allah is our trust for protection from oppressors. Ameen.
Walakum salam wrwb dear brother ty for your feed back.
We should keep Muslims in India, Kashmir, Myannmar in our dua, all Muslims regardless of their denomination in our dua.
We should pray for all those inflicted and ask for peace in the region. Amin!
I know one Sunni scholar who was hanafi denyed the seeing of Allah called Abu bakr al jassas
Do you know any more Sunni scholars who have also rejected it ???
Have you heard of contemporary Seyyed Hasan Al-Saqqaf? He is the director of Dar Al-Imam al-Nawawi (دار الإمام النووي / Dār al-Imām al-Nawawī), a publisher and distributor in Amman Jordan.
According to the following web site G.F Haddad a renown contemporary Sunni Muslim scholar attributes the following works to him:
The Jordanian scholar Hasan `Ali al-Saqqaf who wrote the two-volume Tanaqudat al-Albani al-Wadiha fi ma Waqa`a fi Tashih al-Ahadith wa Tad`ifiha min Akhta’ wa Ghaltat (“Albani’s Patent Self-Contradictions in the Mistakes and Blunders He Committed While Declaring Hadiths to be Sound or Weak”), Ihtijaj al-Kha’ib bi `Ibarat man Idda`a al-Ijma` fa Huwa Kadhib (“The Loser’s Recourse to the Phrase: `Whoever Claims Consensus Is a Liar!'”), al-Qawl al-Thabtu fi Siyami Yawm al-Sabt (“The Firm Discourse Concerning Fasting on Saturdays”), al-Lajif al-Dhu`af li al-Mutala`ib bi Ahkam al-I`tikaf (“The Lethal Strike Against Him Who Toys with the Rulings of I`tikaf), Sahih Sifat Salat al-Nabi Sallallahu `alayhi wa Sallam (“The Correct Description of the Prophet’s Prayer – Allah bless and greet him -“), I`lam al-Kha’id bi Tahrim al-Qur’an `ala al-Junub wa al-Ha’id (“The Appraisal of the Meddler in the Interdiction of the Qur’an to those in a State of Major Defilement and Menstruating Women”), Talqih al-Fuhum al-`Aliya (“The Inculcation of Lofty Discernment”), and Sahih Sharh al-`Aqida al-Tahawiyya (“The Correct Explanation of al-Tahawi’s Statement of Islamic Doctrine”).
I was in touch with a student of his, Shaykh Al Saqqaf but he has since disappeared.
Abū Bakr al-Jassās was Mu`tazilī, btw.
with regarding to the incident mentioning musa. they mention that the if musa asking to see allah was for the people then why does he ask allah to see him as he should ask allah to show himself to the people as well.
Musa (a.s) was rendered unconscious for no other thing than that he asked for the seeing in order to prevent his people by the severe response to his asking from overstepping the bounds, and so cut the roof of their excessive desire. As soon as he came to his senses he said: “Glory be to You, I turn to you in repentance and I am the first of the believers (Qur’an 7:143)
please u r deleting ur post plzz don’t do this plzz plzzzzzzzz
Several Quranic Verses imply that God
(as in Islamic Thought),
has already been seen and witnessed by all humanity
(e.g Quran 7:172)
this if true (rationally) or even if its taken true in lawyerly sense, fully diminishes the worth of beatific vision and makes heaven the greatest blessing
This threatens the Christian understanding of
Beatific Vision or more precisely the traditional understanding of seeing God,
(for they insist that seeing the God is the greatest blessing and incomparable mercy which kind of an equates with emotions), something, that is apparently denied by the Quran, and in fact seems more, to be ridiculed.
Quran rather seems to be asserting that heaven is the greatest blessing, and seeing the God or not, is no blessing at all or isn’t much of the bigger deal, (Quran on addition seems to imply that seeing God but simultaneously being in an eternal hell is no blessing or any beatific mercy at all),
In short Quran is as if, it is, asking the lawyers, and judges, that what true good exists in seeing the God, when you are not in heaven but in an eternal hell?
Making Quran highly formalistic here, and lawyerly (to the point), no emotional appeals, and maintaining rational sanity.
Good to see you Arjum
“Several Quranic Verses imply that God (as in Islamic Thought),
has already been seen and witnessed by all humanity.”
Unfortuanately there are no such verses at all.
Let us start with the one you brought to our attention.
And ˹remember˺ when your Lord brought forth from the loins of the children of Adam their descendants and had them testify regarding themselves. ˹Allah asked,˺ “Am I not your Lord?” They replied, “Yes, You are! We testify.” ˹He cautioned,˺ “Now you have no right to say on Judgment Day, ‘We were not aware of this.’
It really shows you the weakness of such a view when in the opening salvo this is the verse that is appealed to. It does make one wonder how anyone reading this text could even imply that anyone was seeing Allah.
Yes, the Christian/Sunni/Ashari/Athari/Maturidi beautific vision is not something supported by the Qur’an and Sunnah.
Basically the whole idea was that,
in Quran, it is legally reasoned and retrograted
“What Good Use is to See the God, if You Are in an Eternal Hell”?
thus, seeing the God isn’t really beatific at all, it has no weight, and the request is to of no true use.
I countered Sunni position by their own logic,
Tit for Tat!
Bro, I want to get in touch with you insh’Allah. Glad to see you are still at it!
sure, thank you
good time and Deus Vult 💘
I wrote a full paper on it, and discounted the beatific love vision theme, and demonstrated how useless the idea intrinsically is.
it is available on my research gate cite