It is in Quran - Say O’Prophet Allah (SWT) is one. Allah (SWT) is independent. He does not have children. Nobody has given birth to him. Nobody can match Him or equal Him”. (Al-Ikhlas - 1- 4).
It is in Quran - ‘There is nothing like Him, He is the All-hearing, the All-seeing (Ash-Shura – 11).
His attributes of ‘seeing, hearing, speech and omnipotence, etc., have no resemblance to creatures.
The basic principle in understanding the verses of Quran and Ahadiths is that these should be understood in their most absolute, literal and apparent meanings; unless there is a proof why they should not be understood in their textual meanings. Such proofs include; other Quranic verses, Ahadith and Consensus (Ijmaa). Mere preference of taking certain verses on their textual meanings is not acceptable.
This is known as Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence (Usul al-Fiqh). The rational purpose of this rule of requiring a proof is to avoid people interpreting Quran and Hadith any way they like.
One of the major principles of Fiqh is the recognition that, not everything in Quran can be understood literally or in its textual meaning, because that will result in one verse contradicting the other in its extracted meanings. This is the reason, Allah (SWT) sent messengers to explain the actual meanings of His scriptures. In the absence of messengers, the scriptures would have been subjected to merciless interpretations by different sects/groups to achieve political power.
When there are more than one Quranic verse or Hadith on the same subject and these seem to give different ‘apparent/literal meanings’, then we should not try to understand the meanings of these verses in a way that ‘we accept some at the expense of others’. This will be a great sin. If you reject a Quranic verse, or try to misinterpret some verses to prove your wrong beliefs, you will be out of Islam.
There is one more important issue. If you believe and give emphasis on the textual meaning of a Quranic verse, because Ibn Taymiyyah or Abdul Wahhab translated it that way, and try to interpret other Quranic verses to defend their beliefs, then you will be treated as ‘ blind follower of Ibn Taymiyyah and Abdul Wahhab at the expense of 4 established Imams of Islamic Jurisprudence viz., Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Shafi’i, Imam Maalik and Iman Ahmad Ibn Hanbal.
We are providing below translations of 23 Quranic verses and Ahadith which give information about Allah’s (SWT) Unity (Zaat) and His attributes.
We have mentioned 20 Quranic verses and three authentic Ahadith above that are generally the subject of discussion among different sects.
Let us read the above Quranic verses and Ahadith one more time. We will realize that, if we take literal (textual) meanings of all these verses, we will get confused. Like, one of the above Quranic verse declares that ‘no eyes can see Allah (SWT)’. But we have another Quranic verse and Prophet’s (SAWS) Hadith (Bukhari) commanding us to see Allah (SWT).
Similarly, Quran says ‘Nothing is like Him (Allah -SWT)’. This verse negates all types of forms, shapes, body and face for Allah (SWT); whether divine or creature like. If He had a divine body, He would have described for Himself ‘ No creatures body or form is like His”. Thus, we conclude that Allah (SWT) is free from the limitations of face, form, body, place or dwelling of all kinds. We cannot allow further discussion in this issue because this is the basic faith of Islam.
It is in Quran - ‘And who is more truthful in His word than Allah (SWT) (An-Nisa – 87).
Let us see this verse of Quran. “Fa ainama tuwallu fathamma Wajhullahi (Al-Baqra 115).
Salafis insist that in the above verse, they will take the literal/textual meaning of Arabic word ‘Wajha’ as face.
Salafis chose to understand Quranic verses and Ahadith as per the whims and imagination. They insist upon the literal (textual) meanings of the whole Quran and Ahadith. But for some verses they ignore this practice.
Look at the following Quranic verse.
It is in Quran - “Qala innama ana rasulu rabbiki li ahaba laki ghulaman zakiyya” (Maryam – 19).
The textual meaning of this verse is ‘ Hazrat Jibreel (AS) said to Hazrata Maryam (AS) ‘ I am the Apostle /messenger of Allah (SWT) and ‘ the reason I have come to you is to give you a son’.
As per their standard practice, by extracting its textual meanings, Salafis should declare that Hazrat Jibreel (AS) is a messenger of Allah (SWT) like many other messengers. And He gave Hazarata Maryam the celebrated son.
But they do not make that mistake here. Since, Hazrat Jibreel (AS) brings the message of Allah (SWT) to His Prophets/Apostles, Salafis understand this verse like any other Muslim does. Meaning, Hazrat Jibreel (AS) informed Hazrata Maryam (AS) that ‘He has come from Allah (SWT) to give her the good tidings of a son’. Giving a son is the work of Allah (SWT) and conveying this good news is the work of Hazrat Jibreel (AS).
If they had kept the same spirit in understanding Quranic verses related to Allah’s (SWT) attributes, they would have found the right path of Islam. But they do not want to follow the established principles in this context. As a matter of fact, they rebelled against all established rules of Islam. This attitude on their part has resulted in their acceptance of Hands, eyes, face, chair, dwelling for Allah (SWT).
Since they accept that ‘there is no one like Him’, therefore they claim that Allah (SWT) has hands, eyes, face, place, direction, dwelling, etc. but His body and limbs are not like that of human beings. Then how are these? They say that Allah (SWT) knows about it.
What a mess and what a misunderstanding! This confusion has led them to concede a body form for Allah (SWT) which has eyes, hands, face. They also claim that He uses a big chair to sit. They have even fixed a dwelling on Arsh for Him and claim that he descends from His place of residence to the first sky before dawn every night to listen to people’s prayers. Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.
Ibn Batuta, the famous historian has mentioned that he visited Ibn Taymiyya when he was in Damascus prison. He has written that he once attended Taymiyyah's lecture in a mosque, and when a person questioned Ibn Taymiyyah how Allah (SWT) descends to the first sky every night to listen to the prayers of the people; Ibn Taymiyyah walked down one step from the pulpit of the mosque to display to the people that "this is the way Allah (SWT) descends every night to the first sky".
This depiction of Ibn Taymiyyah clearly shows that he had made a shape / body of Allah (SWT) in his mind though he never said so publicly.
All Quranic verses whose textual meanings indicate creature like attributes for Allah (SWT) have to be understood in proper perspective so that our basic Islamic faith remains intact. Since Allah (SWT) is like no one, and He is free from creature like attributes, then the meanings of these verses will be ‘ the expression of His omnipotence, magnanimity, and His presence throughout the skies and the material world’. With this understanding if you read all the above verses, you will get the right path of Islam.
Allah’s (SWT) Unity envelops everything in this cosmos from within and outside. If you read the following Quranic verses with this understanding, you will get their correct meanings.
It is in Quran - ‘He is the First, and the Last, He is the Manifest (apparent) and the Immanent (actually present through out the material world) and is the knower of all things’. (Al-Hadeed – 3). At another place in Quran ‘Allah is the light (existence) of the Heavens and Earth’. (An-Noor -35). And at another place in Quran ‘‘He is in your own self, will you not then see’. (Az-Zariyat – 21).
Not only that, he also accused all Sufi Shaikhs of Ihsan, all Ulema of 600 years before him as polytheists / innovators / infidels and what not.
Shaykhul Islam al Hafiz Taqiyud-Din Ali Ibn Abdil-Kafi as-Subki - writes in the Preface of his book Ad-Durratu ‘l-Mudiyyah, as follows:
He said what leads to the attribution of a body and of composition to the Divine Essence, and that it is not impossible that Allah is composed by parts. He said that the Essence of Allah Ta`ala contains contingent elements (hawadith) that the Qur’an is also contingent, and that Allah spoke it after it was not, that He speaks and keeps silent, and that phenomena take place in Him in the same way they take place in created beings.
He crossed the limit to the point of claiming that the world is eternal, and was coherent with this assumption to the point of claiming that there is no beginning for the contingencies, Hence, he confirmed that – according to his opinion – the eternal attributes [of Allah ] are contingent and the contingent created entities are eternal. None has ever joined those two opinions together in any religion. He was not among the seventy-three groups into which the Ummah is divided [i.e. he is neither a Sunni, nor a member of one of the seventy two heretic sects, but rather the founder of a new sect of his own]. In spite of all of this being horrible kufr, it is little compared to what he innovated in the furu (other issues of Islam)’.” UNQUOTE
Five centuries later, Ibn Abdul Wahhab followed Ibn Taymiyyah's foot steps and created a large group of people who started believing in Allah’s (SWT) exclusive/ special hands, eyes, face, direction, etc.
It is in Quran - “Truly, the Devil is an enemy to you, so take him as an enemy: he only calls his party to become of the inhabitants of the blaze" (Al-Fatir - 6).
In explaining the above verse, the great scholar Ahmad Sawi writes in his Hashiya commentary in Tafseer-e-Jalaaleen, as follows.
QUOTE “ It is said this verse was revealed about the Kharijites [foretelling their appearance], who altered the interpretation of the Qur’an and Sunna, on the strength of which they declared it lawful to kill and take the property of Muslims — as may now be seen in their modern counterparts; namely, a sect in the Hijaz called "Wahhabis," who "think they are on something, truly they are the liars. Satan has gained mastery over them and made them forget Allah’s remembrance. Those are Satan’s party, truly Satan’s party, they are the losers" (Qur’an 58 : 18–19). We ask Allah Most Generous to extirpate them completely" UNQUOTE
Unless Salafis and their like minded groups change their basic faith about Allah (SWT) and Prophet Mohammad (SAWS), their chances of salvation on the Day of Judgment may be remote.
In Allah’s (SWT) court that day, either you are a Muslim or Non-Muslim. If your basic faith is not correct, then you may be declared as Non-Muslim or hypocrite (Munafiq).
Salafis argue that they are accepting Allah (SWT) is not like His creatures. Also accepting that creature attributes cannot be associated with him. But, in the same breath they claim hands, limbs, eyes, face, and limits (Hadd) for Him and say that all these are divine, not creature like. This is polytheism in Allah's (SWT) Attributes (Shirk fis- Siffat-e-Elahi).
Hindus and Christians also say the same thing. What is the meaning of divine face and body? This means that you have created a shape and body for Allah (SWT) in your mind. You have deliberately misinterpreted Quranic verses in this context. But you do not want to accept it openly. This is hypocrisy; a greater sin than polytheism.
Allah (SWT) knows what is in our heart. Let us not debate and argue as politicians do. Allah (SWT) will judge us as per our beliefs. Let us not be under any illusions about it.
All Quranic verses are truthful. When we read a verse that needs to be understood by interpreting its meanings, we should first say, "I believe in whatever Allah (SWT) means" then we should strive to find out their purported meanings.
It is in Quran - "The people who strive in our way, We show and put them on the right path' (Al-An-Kaboot - 69). Let us try to understand the meanings of the following Quranic verses.
(Allah - SWT) the Compassionate, is sitting on the Empyrean (Taha -5).
Sitting, standing, walking, etc., are the attributes of human beings and creatures. We cannot associate these attributes with Allah (SWT). He is pure from all such considerations. If we take literal meaning of the word ‘sitting’ in this verse, then, we will have to deny many Quranic verses where Allah (SWT) has said ‘His Existence in unconfined, unlimited’. Therefore, the meaning of the this verse will be ‘ Allah (SWT) – the Compassionate, occupies the seat of power. As a matter of fact Allah (SWT) occupies everything in this Cosmos. Therefore, the real (purported) meanings of this verse will be ‘Allah –SWT is wielding supreme authority’.
It is in Quran - His Chair spreads over the Heavens and the Earth. (Al-Baqra – 255).
Chairs, tables etc., are used by human beings. We cannot associate these attributes with Allah (SWT). He is pure from all such considerations. If we take literal meaning of the word ‘Chair’ in this verse, then, we will have to deny many Quranic verses that emphatically negate ascribing human attributes to Allah (SWT). Therefore, the meaning of this verse will be ‘His authority spreads over the heavens and Earth’.
(O’Prophet –SAWS) ‘You did not throw, when you threw, but Allah (SWT) has thrown. (Infe’al – 17).
Throwing, catching, etc., are human attributes. We cannot impose these attributes on Allah (SWT). The purport of the verse is to emphasize that ‘ (O’Prophet) when you threw handful of sand towards enemy’s armed forces, you did it on My (Allah’s -SWT) behest’. The purport of this verse is to emphasize that ‘this is exactly what Allah (SWT) wanted you to do.
Certainly, those who are doing ‘the promise of allegiance’ ( ba’ya ) to you, O’ Prophet (SAWS), they are actually doing the promise of allegiance to Allah (SWT). Allah’s (SWT) hand is upon their hand. (Al-Fath – 10).
Hands, eyes, ears, etc., are the attributes of human beings and creatures. We cannot associate these attributes with Allah (SWT). He is pure from all such considerations. If we take literal meaning of the word ‘hand’ in this verse, then, we will have to deny many Quranic verses. The purport of the verse is to emphasize that when you (O’Prophet –SAWS) were taking ‘ ba’ya ’ from people, you did that ‘on My (Allah’s -SWT) behest. ‘This is exactly what Allah (SWT) wanted you to do on that occasion’.
It is in Quran - "But construct an Ark under Our eyes, as we reveal and address Me no (further) on behalf of those who are in sin; for they are about to be overwhelmed (in the flood). (Houd – 37).
Hands, eyes, ears, etc., are the attributes of human beings and creatures. We cannot associate these attributes with Allah (SWT). He is pure from all such considerations. If we take literal meaning of the word ‘hand’ in this verse, then, we will have to deny many other Quranic verses which negate any form, face and limb for Allah (SWT). The purport of the verse is to emphasize to Prophet Noah (AS) to continue constructing the Ark and Allah (SWT) is watching you doing that. Allah (SWT) is commanding Prophet Noah (AS) to concentrate in his work rather than praying for those who do not deserve to be saved.
Let us see this verse of Quran. “Fa ainama tuwallu fathamma Wajhullahi (Al-Baqra 115).
The literal meaning of this verse is ‘wherever you turn, you will find the face of Allah (SWT). We know Allah (SWT) is free from the limitations of face, form, body, place and direction. Therefore, we understand the meaning of this verse as ‘Wherever you turn, you will find Allah (SWT).
It is in Quran - ‘When you read Quran, seek protection of Allah (SWT) from the evil Satan’ (An-Nahl – 98).