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Forty Hadith of Nawawi

Forty Hadith of al-Nawawi: Discussion of Hadith #23

2013 Spring Session (April 2 to June 4 2013)

Class taught by Shaikh Jamaal Zarabozo


Course Outline:

Discussion of Hadith #23, “Purification is half of the faith…” starting with, “and Subhanallah and alhamdulillah fill that which is between heaven and earth”  


Recommended Textbook:

Commentary on the 40 Hadith of al Nawawi by Jamaal Zarabozo



Hadith #23 from the Forty Hadith of Nawawi:

On the authority of Abu Malik al-Harith bin Asim al-Asharee (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:


The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Purification is half of faith. ‘Al-hamdu lillah’ fills the scales, and ‘subhan-Allah and ‘Al-hamdulillah’ together fill or each fill that which is between heaven and earth. And the salah is a light, and charity is a proof, and patience is illumination, and the Qur’an is an argument either for you or against you. Every person starts his day as a vendor of his soul, either freeing it or causing its ruin.”  


It was related by Muslim.



عَنْ أَبِي مَالِكٍ الْحَارِثِ بْنِ عَاصِمٍ الْأَشْعَرِيِّ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ :

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه و سلم

" الطَّهُورُ شَطْرُ الْإِيمَانِ،

وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ تَمْلَأُ الْمِيزَانَ،

وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ تَمْلَآنِ - أَوْ: تَمْلَأُ- مَا بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ،

وَالصَّلَاةُ نُورٌ،

وَالصَّدَقَةُ بُرْهَانٌ،

وَالصَّبْرُ ضِيَاءٌ،

وَالْقُرْآنُ حُجَّةٌ لَك أَوْ عَلَيْك،

كُلُّ النَّاسِ يَغْدُو، فَبَائِعٌ نَفْسَهُ فَمُعْتِقُهَا أَوْ مُوبِقُهَا ".

رَوَاهُ مُسْلِمٌ [رقم:223].


2013-04-02 Class Notes


Prophet is giving us the virtues of subhanallah and alhamdulillah. The narrator of the hadith was not certain whether each phrase fills the earth or together they fill the earth. This is the doubt of the wording of the hadith that is passed down to us.


Many narrators link it to the previous phrase about mizan which is the scales during the day of judgement.


In what sense do these phrases fill what is between the heaven and earth, we will not know exactly what it means, but the important part is that these phrases are very important and that is being conveyed over here.


Words of Dhikr


The different kinds of dhikr that Allah swt has guided us to, these words have been chosen for us specifically. These are the words that Allah swt want us to utter and he likes to hear from us, and we should live according to these words. These words of dhikr are a great blessing from Allah swt. If we understand these two phrases, we will have a good grasp of tawheed.


These two words capture the core message that we need to understand and that we need to remind ourself. However these two words are not sufficient, since Allah swt is greater than them. These words do not capture the greatness of Allah swt.


Hadith: Prophet used to say this dua late at night. “I cannot praise you enough .... and you are as you praise yourself.”


Only Allah swt can recognize the words of phrase that describe him and praise him. We try our best to understand within our limitations. On the day of judgement, Allah swt will give Prophet some words of dhikr that he has not given to anybody else. So the words of dhikr that we know are beyond the majesty of Allah swt.


Hadith: When Prophet would go and prostate towards the throne of Allah swt. Prophet said, that “And then Allah swt will guide me towards a guidance that he has not granted anyone else.”


This will keep us alert and set our heart to praise Allah swt as much as we can. We know our abilities are limited. We have to turn to these expressions that Allah swt has given us, we should understand them properly.


Even though these words are short and concise, they don’t take much effort to utter. They are very light on the tongue, but they are heavy on the mizan and beloved to Allah swt.


Hadith: Prophet said that there are two statements that are light on the tongue but heavy on the scale and they are beloved to Allah swt. They are subhanallah and alhamdulillah.


Subhanallah


This concept of tasbeeh is one of the most important actions that a Muslim should perform. Many people say these words because they are taught to recite them. And inshallah if they say with good intention, they will be rewarded by it. But to understand them and to reflect upon them would be of a greater benefit.


We have to understand tasbeeh properly. Ibn Rajb said that not every tasbeeh is mahboob (that which is liked). We will discuss the disliked tasbeehs later.


Is Subhanallah easy to translate?


Abdullah Yusuf Ali translates it as glory to Allah. Ahmad Ali says praise be to Allah. Mawdoodi said glorified be Allah. Daryabadi said that hallowed be Allah. Sahih International says exalted is Allah.


What does glory mean?


Worshipful praise, honor and thanksgiving, something that secures honor and renown. Most of the dictionaries say that when referring to god it means praise and thanksgiving offered as an act of worship to a deity. However this sounds very much like alhamdulillah. Hallowed means to make something holy.


Have you ever seen the word subhanallah without the fatah???


Tasbeeh is the mastar noun of the sabbaha. This verb sabbaha is not the base form which is Form2. The base form is sabaha without the shaddah which is Form1. So what is the meaning of the base word?


It means swimming, flowing in an orbit, are all derived from that root word. The root meaning is “being or becoming remote” or distancing (Arabic word for it is tadbayyi??????)


The meaning of subhanallah or tasbeeh is to separate Allah swt from any kind of shortcoming or deficiency or a partner. This is the essence of the word.


When you go from Form1 to Form2, there are number of reasons for it. When move from Form1 to Form2, the mubalagaha or the strength or intensity of the action is emphasized. So when we make tasbeeh, we are emphasizing the great distance from any shortcomings or partners etc. The Form2 is also transitive.


Tasbeeh comes from sabaha????. The verbal nouns follow a pattern and generally do not have exceptions. The word subhanallah is mansoob, it is accusative. It is the object of the verb. Doesn’t the word subhanallah look different than any other word in Arabic?


There is fatha and kasra in the word subhanallahi. You will not find this word in any other form other than the accusative. However the word subhan cannot be from the root word sabaha. There is some doubt whether it is from sabbaha.


Tasbeeh is the verbal noun and subhanallahi is ...... Subhanallah means that Allah swt is far removed from any imperfection and impurity.


In the word subhanallahi, Allah is the object of the word, what is the verb? Is glory be to god a complete sentence? No it is not, similarly in Arabic the phrase sentence is incomplete, there is an implied reference to the person who is saying it or it is related to .....


Allah swt relates subhanallah to ta-allah, he is saying subhanallah to himself (ta-allah) over and above what they are saying about him.


What kind of speech is ta-allah? These are verbs in Form 6. It means to be exalted. Here Allah swt is exalting himself. ta-allah is similar to ta-barakta, etc


When we say subhanallah, the doer of the action is Allah swt himself. When you say the word, it means more than Allah is far removed from any imperfection, it means that Allah by his nature is far from any imperfection. It could also mean that the person saying it says that I declare that Allah swt is far from any imperfection, weakness, or anything similar to him.


So there is something unstated and we have to understand what is being unstated in the phrase.


So there are two understandings either the individual is stating that Allah swt is free from any imperfections or that Allah swt is exalting himself. And most probably both of the meanings are to be understood.


Subhanallah is stating the negation, that Allah swt is separated from the unstated which is any kind of imperfection. And Alhamdullilah is the positive. That is the reason why you see those two words used together, so it is similar to la ilaha illalah (in the sense of negation and the positive).


2013-04-09 Class Notes


Importance of the phrase Subhanallah


This is an extremely important concept used by Quran and Sunnah, if we understand it properly, it will help us understand our deen properly. The concept of subhanallah and the way it is translated, there is a big chasm between it.


Some ulema have mentioned that these words of dhikr which we are guided to say over and over, have come from Allah swt. If we try to replace them with some other phrases, you will not be able to do so in any manner that is complete or close to what Allah swt guided us to.


Many muslims deviated from the Quran and Sunnah, and they came up with their own terms. These groups called Allah swt Qadeem instead of Awwal. Qadeem means old, whereas Awwal means first.


Accusative Form


The word subhanallah is in the accusative form, and there is a word missing or understood. The entire phrase implies that Allah swt is above and distinct and separate from any kind of partner or any kind of defect.


However there are times the doer of the action could be the individual who said the phrase. For example, if somebody were to force a Muslim to accept Jesus as god, and if the Muslim says subhanallah in response, here it could mean that I declare that Allah swt is free from any kind of partner.


Tasbeeh is Statement of Fact


The word subhanallah could also be understood as a statement of fact, very similar to la ilaha illalah. And when you say this word, there is an implication that you will leave up to that fact. Similarly when you say subhanallah, you should then put Allah swt in the proper place in your heart, a concept known as tadeem.


Shariah Meaning


Sometimes the shariah meaning is different than the lexical meaning of the word, as we have seen earlier, when we studied the shariah meaning of salat. The lexical meaning of salat is dua, but the shariah meaning is much more detailed than that.


Hadith: Sahabah asked the Prophet about the meaning of Subhanallah. The Prophet used the word tanzeeh (which means to remove some kind of filth or something bad) which is very similar to the lexical meaning of the word that we have seen so far.


This hadith has been narrated in many books, all of its chains have some defects in it. It is also narrated by ibn Abbas, which can be taken as support for this hadith.


Nawawi said that all of the mufassireen agree that the shariah meaning and the lexical meaning of subhanallah are the same. He stated that it is not worthy of ......


Translations of Subhanallah


There are other translations that we did not mention earlier.


Translation of Subhanallah by Abraham Davis Johnson who translated the small booklet on Forty Hadith of Nawawi - How far is Allah from every imperfection


Muhammad Muhsin Khan - To honor Allah and to make him free from all of the unsuitable things that are ascribed to him


The verb and doer is not in the phrase, and both of the translators took a different approach to capture it. These two translations are much better translations than others.


Subhanallah and Alhamdulillah


One of the narrators of the Hadith #23 could not recall whether both of the words or each word fill what is between heavens and the earth.


Some scholars (ibn Rajab) point out that subhanallah in order for it to be complete needs something. He says negation requires some confirmation. Sometimes it is accompanied by phrases of praise such as subhanallahi wa alhamdu lillahi, some other time it is accompanied by some other name of Allah swt such as subhanallahi adheem.


Negation can attest to affirmation


Subhanallah by itself is negation (that Allah swt is free from all imperfection). And our deen is not complete without some kind of affirmation such as alhamdulillah.


However suppose, I were to say, Richard is not stupid. Is this a praise? It is a backhanded compliment. However in another context if I were to say when he is signing a contract or some other deed that requires intelligence, then it could mean that it is praise since he would not do so if he were stupid.


Similarly the negation is a praise in the context in which we are saying. When we say that Allah swt is free from any deficiency, then we are affirming Allah swt’s independence from needing any partners.


This negation is a type of tadeem to Allah swt in certain contexts.


Prophet in hadith was explaining qualities of salat. He said that I prohibit you from reciting Quran in the rukuh or sajdah. When you are in the rukuh you should be extolling the greatness of Allah. We are supposed to make tasbeeh, and we follow it up with another name of Allah swt, we do not just say tasbeeh.


When Allah swt is saying sabbaha, then it must accompany affirmation and not just negation.


Dua to make in rukuh


...... need to capture this dua .... if you know it can you please add it????????


Qudoos is very close in meaning to subbuhoo, which also means very pure and perfect. We say in this dua after stating these qualities of Allah and then follow it up by saying that he is rabb of the angels and the ruuh. The word ruuh could mean Angel Jibrael or it could mean some other angel.


Is al Subbuhu one of the names of Allah?


Subbuhu is one of the attributes of Allah. But an attribute does not mean that it is a name of Allah swt. You cannot automatically go from siffat to a name, you need more evidence.


It is an intensive attribute stating that Allah swt is free from any deficiency or impurity.


ibn Qurtubi, ibn Taymiyyah, ibn Uthaymeen and others say that Subbuhu is a name of Allah swt. There are other scholars who do not mention that it is not a name of Allah swt are some of the students of the scholars mentioned earlier to highlight this difference.


Tasbeeh comes from sabbaha


It is Form2 of the verb (Fa aa lah) and it is transitive (verb that takes an object). If the verb is not transitive, you can make it transitive by using the harf li etc. Even though it is transitive, it is still used with the particle li or bi.


What does the particle li or bi after the transitive verb imply?


Surah Noor verse 42: Sabbihu lahu

If sabbaha is transitive, then this la is not needed


If the verb is already transitive, then what is the meaning of the particle that is introduced. One meaning is that it is introduced for emphasis, this is common in the language.


Another interpretation is that laam is giving us the reason for the tasbeeh, we are making tasbeen for the sake of Allah swt.


A third meaning of the laam is for ikthisaas, you make this tasbeeh only for Allah swt since he is the only one deserving of it.


The strongest meaning is that the intent changes the meaning. If the intent is just to signify the separation from any defect then laam is not needed, but if the actual implementation of the tasbeeh is that of rukuh or sajdah, then laam is used.


Sabbahi lillaahi ma fis samawati ...

2013-04-16 Class Notes


We were discussing the meaning of Subhanallah and the ramifications of its meanings.


When I say “My wheels are cooler than your wheels”, the word wheels refers to the car and not just the wheels. We say wheels for cars because it is an essential component of the car. Similarly it is not uncommon in the text of the Shariah to use a part of something in order to represent the whole. By doing so, you are also emphasizing the importance of that part.


We have been discussing the word Subhanallah from the lexical and the shariah meanings. However there are other meanings of this word, because it highlights the relationship of this concept to other aspects.


One of the meaning of the words is that the act of tasbeeh refers to the obligatory prayers. There is a narration of ibn Abbas that says, every mention of tasbeeh in the Quran is actually referring to the Salah. He implies that in general it is the case.


Surah Qaf verse 39 and 40


Sahih International

So be patient, [O Muhammad], over what they say and exalt [ Allah ] with praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting,

Sahih International

And [in part] of the night exalt Him and after prostration.


These verses are referring to Salah when using the word sabbehe.


Similarly Surah Rum verses 17 and 18 which have similar meaning.


Hadith: Prophet was sitting with the sahaba and looking at the full moon, he said that you will surely see your Lord, just like you see the moon, you will have no trouble seeing him, and he said that we should try not to miss the salah before sunrise and sunset. And then he recited these two verses of the Quran.


Based on this evidence, we can say that these two verses are referring to the salah. We have this narration from other sahabah.


We have other verses such as Surah Taha verse 130 which uses the word sabbehe to refer to the Salah. For this verse we do not have a statement of the prophet, but there is statement of Ibn Abbas who informs us that the sabbehe refers to the five salah.


Ibn Abbas also says Surah Rum verses 17, 18 also refers to the five salah.


The translations of Surah Qaf verse 39 and 40 present a problem for the translators if they are not using footnotes, should they translate the literal meaning of the word, or should you capture the actual meaning of the word.


Even in Arabic you have to refer to the tafseer in order to get the meaning of the phrase sabbehe behamdika rabbika.


Khan and Hilali try to give you these additional meanings by inserting the words in parenthesis or brackets, but it takes away from the beauty of the translation.


Allah swt is using sabbehe in order to refer to the obligatory salah. When you refer to the whole by its parts, you are emphasizing its importance. This act of making tasbeeh both in what we are saying and thinking during our salah. This shows that having the understanding of tasbeeh is a very important part of the salah and the act of making tasbeeh is an important aspect of the salah.



Hadith: Prophet said that at the time of Fajr or Nasaa (time of Asr or Maghrib) whoever says subhanallahi 100 times will not come to the day of judgement but with .....


Hadith: Prophet said whoever says subhanallahi bi hamdi 100 times during the morning or evening will get a greater reward ....


One of the secondary meanings of the word sabbehe is that it refers to the obligatory prayers, and another meaning of the word is that it also refers to the voluntary prayers.


Surah Qaf verse 39 and 40 which we quoted earlier, when it says wa adbare sujud, according to Ibn Abbas??? it refers to the voluntary prayers after Maghrib.


You can use the word subbaha to specifically refer to voluntary prayers.


Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Rabiyah said that he saw the Prophet performing voluntary prayers while traveling while on the camel. He used the word sallaha subbaha to refer to these prayers.


Prophet said that there will be a time when the rulers will delay the prayers, he advised us to offer our prayers on time and then pray with them with the intention of subbaha (which means voluntary prayers).


Ibn Taymiyyah says that tasbeeh is one of the most important components of salah and it distinguishes it from other ????


Sabbaha also means concept of dhikr as well in addition to the meanings of obligatory and voluntary salah.


Hadith: Sabbahu bukratan asila..... here sabbahu refers to dhikr


All words of dhikr are related in one way or another to subhanallah or there is a relationship to the word subhanallah. Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illallah are all related to Subhanallah. So if you use the word tasbeeh it fits the concept of dhikr.


Hadith: Prophet was counting the tasbeeh on his fingers. Here tasbeeh means dhikr.


Surah Al Qalam verse 28 and 29


People with the garden who forbid poor people from entering the garden. Allah swt said they made the plan but did not say Insha-allah. And later when their gardens were destroyed and realized what they did, one of them said didn’t I tell you that we did not say al istithnaa and says lawla tusabbihum.  


So the point is that the Quran is using the word al istithnaa to refer to Insha-allah. What is the relationship between the concept of al istithnaa and sabbahau? Why would you say lawla tusabbihum to refer to Inshallah?


Because Al istithnaa is attesting to subhanallah. Another stylistic usage is to use the greater concept to capture the more specific concept. So by saying sabbihum to refer to istithnaa you are using a greater concept to refer to a specific concept.


Surah ... which refers to the swallowing of Prophet Jonah (Yunus) by the whale.


According to many mufassireen, the word sabbihum means that he used to remember Allah swt and make ibadah. This shows that tasbeeh is an important aspect of ibadah.


For our ibadah to be accepted by Allah swt should have the proper intention, proper ikhlaas, which means purity. The action is done purely for Allah swt and nobody else. You will never do an act of ibadaah to anybody other than Allah swt. This shows the relationship between ibadah and subhanallah.


The term subhanallah also has been referred to as Dua in Surah Yunus verse 10. Allah swt is describing those people in the Jannah. Their dawa is subhaka alhamdulillah and ....


Hadith (not authentic which is use to highlight dhikr) says, if someone is so preoccupied in making dhikr that he cannot ask me, then I will give him better than ....


Footnote: Some say that it is recorded by Bukhari. Imam Bukhari had many books, it was recorded not in Sahih Bukhari but in his other book ...   So if somebody said that “it is recorded by Bukhari” then they are not doing something that is good.


What is the relationship between dua and tasbeeh?


Part of the etiquette of making dua is to extol the virtues of Allah, this is part of the explanation, but there is more to it.


Hadith: Prophet said dawah of Jonah (Yunus) when he was in the stomach of the whale, he made this dua ...... And then the Prophet said that nobody makes this Muslim but Allah responds to it.


Footnote: Dawah is the singular of Dua


Scholars say that there are two kinds of dua, both of them are closely related to each other and there is overlap between them.


Dua al maslahah is the dua of asking. When you ask Allah swt for something, this action has ramifications on your aqeedah.


When you make dua, you believe that Allah swt can hear us. We are also testifying that Allah swt can respond to the dua. Sometimes we may not be cognizant of these aspects.


Dua al ibadah is the ...


There are some specific times when dua is mentioned or in response to some event. This is known as Dua al Taajub???????



2013-04-23 Class Notes


We are discussing the concept of tasbeeh. We discussed the lexical meaning of tasbeeh and then discussed the secondary meanings of the tasbeeh and its dependent words. The concept of tasbeeh is central to the prayer and ibaadah.


One of the basic meanings of taajub is surprise, wonder, etc and in response to this taajub we say subhanallah. This is something that is mentioned by Allah swt in the Quran and by the Prophet. Bukhari has a chapter in Sahih Bukhari which is called “To say tasbeeh in response to taajub”.


We say tasbeeh whenever we are surprised by a statement that contradicts sound belief. So if we hear something that is completely incorrect, we say subhanallah. This example is very clear in the Quran, it is used by Allah swt in this manner in the Quran. In Surah Baqarah, when they say that Allah swt has taken a son, Allah swt responds Subhanallah, Allah swt is beyond what they say ....


Allah swt tells Prophet to respond when somebody says that if you are a prophet why dont you have a house of gold, Allah swt tells the Prophet to say Subhanallah I am just a human being just like you...


In the days of jahiliyyah they would hang their swords on a tree in order to get some blessings. Some new muslims asked the Prophet why don’t you make a tree like this for us. The Prophet replied, Subhanallah, this is like what the people of Moses told him to make an idol for them ...


These are clear examples from the Prophet, when somebody makes an incorrect statement about belief, we say subhanallah. This is taught to us by Allah swt and the Prophet.


What is the relationship between subhanallah and this occasion?


When you hear a statement of kufr, you are hearing something that is incorrect about Allah swt, and you are responding by saying that Allah swt is far away from what they say about him, which is the essence of subhanallah.


Saying Subhanallah in response to munkar (inappropriate behaviour)


Here it is not a matter of aqeedah, but we see or hear something that is clearly improper. If somebody makes an inappropriate statement about the Prophet’s wives or the sahabah etc.


In Surah Noor verse 16, when Ayesha was accused of adultery, Allah swt says that the proper response of the believers should be, why when you heard it, did you not say that exalted are you (Subhanaka ala buhtanan allima)


We are recognizing our weakness and inferiority in front of Allah swt. And we are also recognizing that this munkar is not something that Allah swt wants from us, and it is something very far away from Allah swt. Allah swt is not pleased by this and even though it is done by irradatun will, it is far away from what Allah swt wants from us.


Saying Subhanallah when witnessing the majesty of Allah swt’s creation


We see examples in the Quran, towards the end of Surah Ali Imran. In the creation of night and day, heaven and earth ....... they ponder over Allah swt’s creation and they say that Allah swt has not created this in vain and they say Subhanallah. And then we ask Allah swt to protect us from hellfire.


In another example, Allah swt is guiding us to this understanding of tasbeeh, in Surah Al Isra. Exalted be the one who took his servant from Masjid Al Haram to Masjid Al Aqsa. This verse talks about Miraj. To this day, this is something that only Allah swt could accomplish.


Surah ....


Saying subhanallah when being frightened or being distressed


When the Prophet was shown what would happen on the day of judgement, he said Subhanallah. There are couple of examples of distress.


When we are fearful or distressed, it is a reminder for us, this calamity or stress is a hikmah for us. And Allah swt will protect us from any harm that might come from it. Saying subhanallah might be a way for us to become calm.


Saying subhanallah when being surprised


Sometimes you assume that people know something, and when they do an act that goes against this assumption, then you might say subhanallah.


Abu Hurairah was in a state of sexual defilement and Prophet took him and asked him to sit next to him. Abu Hurairah quietly left the company and then returned back. Prophet asked him what happened. Abu Hurairah said that he was impure and did not like to sit next to him in this state. Prophet replied Subhanallah, we do not become impure.


Here Subhanallah was said by the Prophet because he assumed that Abu Hurairah would know that we do not become impure, we are in state of defilement and we remain pure.


Tanzeeh


When we say that Allah swt is free from every imperfection, what does it mean really? There are certain aspects that we should know clearly. This concept of tanzeeh falls under two categories.  


By saying subhanallah we are saying that Allah swt would not have any blemish, shortcoming or defect. The Arabic word is ..... And we say that Allah swt is free from any partners. Both of these concepts are complementary and we should live up to them.



Ramifications of Tanzeeh


#1 Allah swt is living without any blemish


We affirm that Allah swt is living, and living is opposite of death. We are saying that he is living without any blemish or shortcomings. We experience fatigue and tiredness, Allah swt is far away from it. Allah swt says in Ayat al Qursi, that sleep or weariness does not overcome him. So it is not just sleep but any characteristic of tiredness before sleep does not come to him.


#2 Allah swt is Samad


The root meaning of samad means it has no empty interior and does not eat or drink. One of the basic needs of a human being is eating and drinking. This is a weakness or deficiency. Allah swt has no need for anyone else.


#3 Allah swt has many attributes that negate their opposites


Allah swt has affirmed for himself many qualities. These qualities imply that he is free from their opposites. When we say Alim, we say that he is not ignorant.


#4 Allah swt has positive qualities and free of negative qualities


Eating implies a need for something. Whereas speaking does not imply a need. Speech is a positive quality and if somebody does not have the ability to speak, then it is a weakness. When Allah swt talks about idols, he says they cannot speak, hear or see.


The types of shortcomings that we have denied from Allah swt are divided into two categories, one deals with the nature of Allah swt such as death, ignorance, falsehood, miserliness, being in need, etc.


#5 Allah swt is very different from human beings


When human being gets into a state when he no longer can eat or drink, they are in a vegetative state. So this state is exactly opposite from Allah swt, since he has no need for food or drink.


Similarly there are some attributes that belong to Allah swt would be considered a shortcoming for us. Allah swt praises himself, he is stating it as a statement of fact, this is a praiseworthy act for Allah swt.


Hadith: You should have the ikhlaaq or characteristic of Allah swt. This is a fabricated hadith. Allah swt is very different from us. We try to take lessons from the attributes and do not try to take the ikhlaaq of Allah swt.


#6 Allah swt is far from blemishes


Blemishes that are far from Allah swt, for example saying that Allah swt has a child or a partner. Even to say that there is an intercessor to Allah swt. No one has the right to intercede with Allah swt except with the permission of Allah swt.


There is no wali other than Allah swt. To put somebody as an equal to Allah swt is incorrect.


Quran: Allah has the most excellent and beautiful names.


Allah swt’s qualities are the most excellent and beautiful. And Allah swt has the loftiest descriptions.


Quran: Allah swt has the loftiest description ....



#7 Deny any partner with Allah swt  Laysa kamlihi shayyun


The letter ka in kamlihi is not necessary. This is known as harf al zayeedah. You would put this letter for emphasis. This is a strong emphasis.


There is another interpretation of harf al zayeedah. You don’t assume that a particle is redundant and you come to that conclusion if you have no other choice. One meaning is that there is nothing similar to something that is similar to Allah swt.


So we deny that there is nothing that is similar to anything that is similar to Allah swt. This is stronger form of denial of anything that is similar to Allah swt.


This is a point where the Muslims are making grave errors.



2013-05-07 Class Notes


Last week’s class was cancelled due to Sh Jamaal’s illness.


The key meaning behind Subhanallah is that we are declaring Allah swt free from two categories of things, one category is that he is free from any kind of deficiency which we discussed it last time.


Surah A’raaf 7:180 verse

Sahih International

And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them. And leave [the company of] those who practice deviation concerning His names. They will be recompensed for what they have been doing.


Allah swt has the most beautiful and excellent names. Allah swt has the highest and loftiest description.


The second key aspect is tanzee allah ...... we are declaring Allah swt free from any kind of peer or rival. Allah swt emphatically denies that there can be anything similar to him. We saw the verse laysa kamlihi shayyun and the intensity that is captured by the verse.


The creation does not share anything with Allah swt any of the aspect that is similar to him.


To give Allah swt any of the attributes of human beings is incorrect and vice versa. If you do either of this then you are do tashbeeh (making equal) and you are doing something wrong.


Nothing even comes close to Allah swt.


However there are many attributes that are shared by human beings such as being living, being able to see, etc. This aspect that we have attributes that are similar has led to many divisions in the history of Islam. It is now easier for us to see these concepts that the earlier people could not fathom.


For example, we can say that our phones can hear, but it is different from the hearing of the human being. There is an abstract meaning of the concept of hearing. We can say that a person can conceive that a sound occurred, comprehend it, analyze it.


And we know that two different entities can have two different types of hearing.


So to say that Allah swt hears the same as we do is incorrect. And to deny that he hears is also clearly incorrect.


So we can speak about hearing as an abstract concept, so we say Allah hears and we hear. But each has distinct qualities. Allah’s hearing is greater in every way than our hearing.


But we don’t say anything about the means of hearing. E.g. we can’t say Allah has ears.


Similar is the case with knowledge. Human beings have knowledge and Allah swt has knowledge. But the knowledge of Allah swt is different than the knowledge of human beings.


When we say that there is nothing comparable to Allah swt, it includes all of his attributes.


If you say that Allah swt cannot hear, does it not contradict the first component of tasbeeh?


Allah swt makes it clear to us that hearing is an aspect to the glory of Allah swt. But suppose somebody says that Allah swt does not have ears, then this is a problematic statement, because we are making a claim that we have no knowledge about. Edit: All of our knowledge of Allah swt has to be rooted in the Quran and Sunnah.


We can say that similar to the abstract concept of hearing, there is an abstract concept of ear, or hand (yad). The similar understanding of the conceptualization of hearing can be applied to the other concepts such as hand.


Any time we mention hand, we are not restricting to a specific definition of a hand. So if these attributes are mentioned about Allah swt by Allah swt and the Prophet, then we have to accept them and realize that these qualities are different than what we have.


Footnote: In Arabic language, we define the second aspect of tashbeeh as tamtheel (تمثيل) and tashbeeh (تشبيه).  These are commonly used by scholars of ‘aqeedah. There is a difference between the two concepts. Tamtheel means to be very similar very closely. Tashbeeh means that it resembles in some qualities.


Errors in Tanzeeh - Tamtheel al Khalaq al Makhlooq which means that you make the creator just like the created.


Our understanding of Allah swt is going to have an effect on our attitude and our worship.


So if we create an analogy and similarity between Allah and the creation, then that is going to affect our ability to worship Allah fully and perfectly.


Here are some examples from the Old and the New Testament to highlight the tamtheel al khalaq al makhlooq.


Example: In the old testament, the description of God makes it look like God has many shortcomings. It’s not surprising therefore that Western culture doesn’t respect God -- when you look closely, you see that it pretty much expected.


Example from Genesis: After Adam and Eve ate the apple, they knew that they did something wrong. Here is the scripture: http://niv.scripturetext.com/genesis/3.htm:


8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”


Similarly, in Genesis 32 -- Jacob wrestled God and Jacob won.


In Exodus, King James version: and the Lord intended evil and then later repented.


They are giving attributes to Allah swt that are similar to what human beings possess, they are saying that he is walking, he is repenting from doing evil, he is wrestling, etc.


One of the keys to worshipping Allah swt is the attitude that you possess in your heart. And the above examples will affect your imaan and your actions.


They are not anthropomorphizing Allah swt but these are damaging descriptions of Allah swt. However they also commit the error of raising the human being to the level of Allah swt.


Raising Isa (PBUH) to the level of Allah swt is one of the prime examples of this error. Many Christians pray to Jesus. If you raise a human being to the level of Allah swt and say that all of your provisions are from him.


Children look up to their parents for providing the provisions, but if Allah swt wills and takes away this provision, then they will not be able to provide it to their children.


Examples of raising human beings to the level of Allah swt are:

1. Claiming they have the ability to give life and death

2. Making dua to them

3. Making sajdah to them


Catholic church has a saint for every day of the year. The saints are not always intermediaries or interceding to Allah swt, but for some of their duas they are the end result. They claim that the deceased human being has the ability to hear when in fact it is taken away from them.


Unfortunately some of the groups of bida’ make the same type of errors. They say that their Imams have all of the knowledge and nothing happens without their knowledge.


Sufis have the concept of ghauf al ...... they make dua while they are in stress???


The particular aspect of tanzeeh, that of giving the human beings the specific attributes of Allah swt is a very great fitnah for Muslims. Many Muslims have been convinced that law based on religion does not work any more. They say it is backwards and it does not work. So if you accept this premise, what is the outcome of such thinking?


In theory, democracy is giving the rights of legislation to the people (but we know it is really to the people with money). Why is this a problem?


When you say subhanallah, you are denying that Allah has any imperfections. But we are replacing Allah swt and making human beings hakameeyah the ability to make laws.


The aqeedah al-tahaawiyyah says there are three characteristics:

- Al-Uloohiyyah -- as the one who is the creator and is to be worshipped.

- Al-Ruboobiyyah -- as the one who is to be obeyed.

- Al-Ismaa wal-Sifaat -- unique in his names and attributes.


So the ability to make laws is touching upon all three types of ...


Allah swt tells us in Surah Yusuf verse 40


Sahih International

You worship not besides Him except [mere] names you have named them, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority. Legislation is not but for Allah . He has commanded that you worship not except Him. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.


So turning to Allah as the only law-giver is part of the worshipping Allah (SWT).  


Surah Taubah verse 31



Sahih International

They have taken their scholars and monks as lords besides Allah , and [also] the Messiah, the son of Mary. And they were not commanded except to worship one God; there is no deity except Him. Exalted is He above whatever they associate with Him.


http://quran.com/7/54



Sahih International

Indeed, your Lord is Allah , who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne. He covers the night with the day, [another night] chasing it rapidly; and [He created] the sun, the moon, and the stars, subjected by His command. Unquestionably, His is the creation and the command; blessed is Allah , Lord of the worlds.


http://quran.com/5/50Sahih International

Then is it the judgement of [the time of] ignorance they desire? But who is better than Allah in judgement for a people who are certain [in faith].


So the opinion that taking Allah’s law as the supreme law goes against this concept of tasbeeh or subhanallah. It contains so much -- including this.


Tasbeeh is one of the important core concepts of our deen. We deny that Allah swt has any imperfections and also that there is nothing similar to him. So we have accept both of these facts. They go together and imply one another. These two concepts make Allah swt complete and ....


One of the clear signs of Iman is that you are making tasbeeh to Allah swt and that is one of the important aspects of your prayers to Allah swt.


Allah swt describes angels that they are making tasbeeh continuously to him.


Angels that are carrying the throne ... they are making tasbeeh and seeking forgiveness for those who believe.


http://quran.com/40/7


الذين يحملون العرش ومن حوله يسبحون بحمد ربهم ويؤمنون به ويستغفرون للذين آمنوا ربنا وسعت كل شيء رحمة وعلما فاغفر للذين تابوا واتبعوا سبيلك وقهم عذاب الجحيم

Sahih International

Those [angels] who carry the Throne and those around it exalt [ Allah ] with praise of their Lord and believe in Him and ask forgiveness for those who have believed, [saying], "Our Lord, You have encompassed all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who have repented and followed Your way and protect them from the punishment of Hellfire.


http://quran.com/32/15


إنما يؤمن بآياتنا الذين إذا ذكروا بها خروا سجدا وسبحوا بحمد ربهم وهم لا يستكبرون

Sahih International

Only those believe in Our verses who, when they are reminded by them, fall down in prostration and exalt [ Allah ] with praise of their Lord, and they are not arrogant.


When we say subhanallah, this is an act of tauheed, an act of iman and an act of purification.


If say subhanallah without reflecting on its meaning, then you reward will be for just uttering it, when you make tasbeeh at the right time.  But those who understand and think about what it means, and says it with thought and meaning then it is an act of tauheed, iman and purification.


Ibn Rajb said that not every act of tasbeeh is praiseworthy. We will discuss this statement and try to understand what he meant by it.

2013-05-14 Class Notes


We have been discussing the meaning of subhanallah in detail, which is also known as tasbeeh. The concept of tasbeeh is one of the most important concepts and central to the idea of tawheed. The message that we have to convey includes this concept of tasbeeh and it is the beauty of our religion.


The two things that led Sh Jamaal led to Islam were the purity of the text and the purity of the message. If you compare Islam to any religion, it becomes obvious.


Christians believe that Jesus is son of God and they say that he is part human and part God, he was divine and then it left him etc. These are all issues that are confusing.


Allah swt says in Surah Yusuf verse 108


Sahih International

Say, "This is my way; I invite to Allah with insight, I and those who follow me. And exalted is Allah ; and I am not of those who associate others with Him."


This aspect of subhanallah and avoiding any kind of shirk is something that we have to be very familiar with and understand its relationship to aqeedah as a whole.


The concept of tasbeeh is waajib with respect to our aqeedah, it is obligatory wrt to our beliefs.

Surat Al-'Aĥzāb 33: 41-42


Sahih International

O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance. And exalt Him morning and afternoon.


Allah swt ordered us to make tasbeeh for example, make much remembrance of Allah and exalt him early and late. We are commanded to make tasbeeh in numerous places, it is obligatory upon every Muslim, and to worship Allah swt and adhere to its principles. If somebody does not understand tasbeeh then there is deficiency in his aqeedah.


Every scholar agrees that every muslim has to believe in tasbeeh and if you don't do so, then you are making kufr, since you are violating a core concept of aqeedah. It is also obligatory to act upon it.


Our beliefs have to be followed up by actions. If you don't have corresponding actions, this goes against your claim of believing in the tanzeeh and the tasbeeh. This can be kind of a kufr that takes you out of Islam, or it is a lesser form of kufr which doesn't take you out of the fold of Islam, but it is very dangerous to your iman.


Is it obligatory to say the tasbeeh?


It is obligatory to believe in the tasbeeh, but is it obligatory to say that you have to say it. Does it matter if you say it within the salaah or should it be said outside of the salaah too? How did the Prophet apply it?


With respect to Surah Nasr, Ayesha said that the Prophet used to say the command from Surah Nasr often and add Oh Allah forgive me. Ayesha said that he used to say it in his salaah.


Most of the scholars (fuqaha) say that tasbeeh in the salaah is recommended but not obligatory. You can make sajdah without saying tasbeeh. Do we have evidence that sajdah is invalid without the tasbeeh?


Different madhabs say that it is not waajib, their evidence is the hadith about the one who prayed poorly. The Prophet was in the mosque and somebody comes and prays and makes salaam to the Prophet, the Prophet asked him to pray again, this happens three times. Then the person asks the Prophet, I do not know and show me how to pray. Then the Prophet described to him how to pray. ......


This hadith is a very important hadith in the fiqh of salaah. One of the argument is that if the person does not know how to pray and if it is obligatory to know how to pray and the Prophet described him how to pray, and if tasbeeh in the sajdah in the prayer, then how come the Prophet did not describe to him to make tasbeeh in the sajdah. This is their argument for why tasbeeh is not obligatory.


It is possible that what the Prophet informed him was just the aspects of the salaah that he was missing and he was only emphasizing those aspects since he was missing them in his salaah.


One of the common approaches of the madhabs is to say what is not included in this hadeeth is not part of the salah. But in reality it is the opposite. Also the Hanafis do not accept mafhoom al mukhalafah as the basis for evidence.


Allah swt has ordered us in the Quran to make sujood and make rukooh. This is the most definitive evidence. And if you are adding any more to the sujood and rukooh, they say that you have to present additional evidence.


Ibn Taymiyyah says that tasbeeh is obligatory in the sujood and rukuh and he presents evidence for it. He says that there are commands to make tasbeeh in numerous places in the Quran. And he says that the Prophet implemented them in the salaah. He says that it must be implemented foremost in the salaah. The verse is referring to the salaah. Sometimes the salaah is referred to by something else and whatever word is used to refer to salaah, such as the standing for the night prayer, (قُمِ اللَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا) which becomes one of the most important aspects of the night prayer.


Reciting of Quran in the Fajr prayer is another way to refer to the Fajr prayer and it highlights the importance of reciting Quran in the Fajr prayer. Similarly the action of tasbeeh refers to the salaah in order to highlight the importance of reciting tasbeeh.


Hadith: Prophet ordered us to say tasbeeh in your sujood .....


Allah swt says, Establish the salaah for my remembrance. This means the words of the salaah are the words. Because you can bow and prostrate without thinking about Allah swt.


Prophet said in reference to somebody saying salaam while in salaah, it is not proper to have any kind of speech with others in the salaah, but it is proper to have .... tasbeeh and Quran ..... in the salaah.


Prophet also reminded us to pray as he used to pray. Can you use this as evidence for saying tasbeeh in our salaah?


The Prophet would open his salaah with different types of dua, he would sometimes make different types of dhikr. ....


Conclusion: It is obligatory to say the tasbeeh during the sujood and rukuh. However we will not discuss whether it is required to say once or three times.



Is it obligatory to say tasbeeh outside of the salaah?


The verses that are not referring to the salaah are considered to be good actions. You have to go back and see how the Prophet and the sahabah implemented the various verses of the Quran where tasbeeh is mentioned.


Most of the scholars say that it is obligatory in the salaah but it is not obligatory outside of the salaah.


Conclusion:

It is obligatory for every Muslim to believe in the tasbeeh. It is recommended to say tasbeeh outside of the salaah.



Tasbeeh can only be made to Allah swt


Tasbeeh can only be said only in respect to Allah swt. Even in the Arabic language, it is not permissible to say subhana and add somebody else’s name, it can only be used for Allah swt and no one else.


Ibn Abbas mentioned that subhana can only be said with respect to Allah swt.


Surat Al-Fath 48:9

Sahih International

That you [people] may believe in Allah and His Messenger and honor him and respect the Prophet and exalt Allah morning and afternoon.


The two words tuazzirahu تُعَزِّرُوهُ  and tawaqqiru تُوَقِّرُوهُ mean to support and to honor and revere. The word tuazzirahu has a pronoun at its end, who does it refer to. In general who does the pronoun refer to? It goes back to the closest noun, closest antecedent.


We just now said that the tusabbihu تُسَبِّحُوهُ  can only refer to Allah swt. If you compare the various translations, you can see that tusabbihu only refers to Allah swt.


However the two words tuazzirahu and tawaqqiru there is difference of opinion about it, some say it only refers to Allah swt alone, others say it refers to both Allah swt and the Prophet.


Allah swt has ordered that the belief is shared right between both Allah swt and the Prophet, sabbihu is only for Allah swt and .... for just the Prophet??????


Allah swt at the end of Surah ٍSaffaat 37: 180-181

Sahih International

Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe. And peace upon the messengers.


When we read the verses of the Quran, we should recognize that there are relationship between different verses of the Quran. Many tafseer are atomicic, they focus on specific words or verses.


What the messengers are saying about Allah is correct and Allah swt is deserving of all the praises.


In order for us to know the proper way of making tanzeeh and tasbeeh, it is the way of the messengers. What we say about Allah swt, what we negate about Allah swt, has to be learned from what the messengers have taught us.


Ibn Rajb said that not every act of tasbeeh is praiseworthy. Because you might be saying it, thinking that you are praising Allah swt, but if it does not agree with what the Messengers have taught us, then you are making tasbeeh that is not praiseworthy.


In Islamic history, we have had many examples of tasbeeh that are not praiseworthy. The proper tasbeeh has to be in the way that Allah swt has informed us about him.


Allah swt informs us about himself in the Quran and the sunnah. Allah swt is giving us this knowledge in order to effect our heart, in order to make us closer to him and increase our love for him, it should have an overall effect on our imaan. Our aqeedah and approach to aqeedah has to be from Allah swt. Quran is not just a book of facts, it is something that should touch our heart.


The groups in our history who did not have aqeedah based on the way of the Prophet, you will find their writings to be very dry and it does not touch our hearts.


Four Principles about tasbeeh and tanzeeh


We can see four basic principles from the Quran and Sunnah about the concept of tasbeeh and tanzeeh.


Principle #1: Al Ijmaal fi tanzeeh bi ghaliban

When Allah swt is negating things about Allah swt, he will do so in general terms and not specific.


For example, if you want to praise a ruler, you would say that you are the best ruler of the time and there is nobody comparable to others. Compare it to this praise, that you are the best ruler because you are not lazy, not coward etc. But if you forget to negate any quality, then your head might get chopped off because of mafhoom al mukhalafaq.


Principle #2 Tafseel al Idfaah


Giving details when affirming things about Allah swt


We know 99 names of Allah swt, we have many positive points about Allah swt. We have many details about the positive names and attributes of Allah swt. The human heart is not going to be attracted to empty things.


These details bring us closer to Allah swt. And they tell us what Allah swt is not.


Principle #3 Tafseel fi Tanzeeh bi ayyanan fi ..... ?????

Sometimes in the Quran you will find some detail about negation.


This is due to some reason, such as to deny something that is said about Allah swt.


The Jews made many statements about Allah swt such as that he is faqeer or his hands are tied. There were verses revealed in response to these references and that is the reason for the details about negation.


Principle #4 Iffat bi Mathalul al alaa??????

Affirming that Allah swt has mathalul al alaa


Mathalul al alaa means his analogy will be greater than you can imagine. And if you think of a negative aspect, it would be far away from it.


If you understand these four aspects, then you know how Allah swt conveys tasbeeh and tanzeeh to us in the Quran. And when you study the groups that went astray, you will find how they were not able to follow these four principles

The Basis for the proper tasbeeh of Allah


Surah As Saffat verses 180-182


Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe.And peace upon the messengers. And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds [Sahih International]


In these verses, Allah has indicated that the way of the Messengers is the proper way of making tasbeeh and tanzeeh above and beyond what is ascribed to Allah and in a way that is consistent with all praise being given to Allah.


Below are some of the key points of the proper form of tasbeeh with respect to what one believes about Allah and His Names and Attributes.

Stating negations in a general fashion in most cases

الإجمال في التنزيه غالباً


Examples in the Quran of Allah declaring Himself exalted over what polytheists and others ascribe to Him. Surah Al Anbiyya verse 22

Surah Al Qasas verse 68


Examples of Allah making tasbeeh for Himself in a general, unrestricted sense

Surah Yaseen verse 36

Surah Yaseen verse 83


Examples of tasbeeh and tanzeeh but without tasbeeh

Surah Al Shoora verse 11

Surah Al Ikhlaas verse 4

Surah Maryam verse 65


Stating details in matters of affirmation (specifically mentioning the names and attributes that indicate tasbeeh)

التفصيل في الإثبات


Examples:

Ayat al Kursi Surah al Baqarah verse 255

Surah al Ikhlaas

Surah Al Hadeed verses 1-6 - from these set of verses you can derive seventeen names or attributes

Surah Al Hashr verses 22-24


Stating details in negation  sometimes due to specific causes

التفصيل في التنزيه أحياناً لأسباب


#1 Refuting or denying false claims made about Allah

Denying that Allah has a child, see Surah Al Taubah verse 30 and Surah Al Nahl verse 57

Denying that Allah is poor, see Surah Ali Imran verse 181


#2 Denying the possibility that an attribute may have some deficiency

Allah is living but His living is not susceptible to death, Surah Al Furqaan verse 85

Allah has knowledge and His knowledge is not susceptible to forgetfulness, Surah Maryam verse 64


#3 Explaining and emphasizing the meaning of one of Allah’s attributes

The duaa: You are al Awwal and there is none preceding you.


#4 Stating the negative as a type of warning

Allah is not negligent of what you do, see Surah Al Baqarah verse 74


Attributing the highest and loftiest of similitudes to Allah

إثبات المثل الأعلى لله


Examples:

Surah Al-Nahl verse 60

Surah Al-Room verse 27



Tasbeeh of Allah with respect to his names and attributes


#1 Affirmation with Negation

الإثبات مع التنزيه


One affirms the wordings and meanings of the names and attributes mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah while negating that those names and attributes have any shortcoming to them or that are similar to any of the created beings.

#2 Negation while affirming the completeness of the negation

النقي مع إثبات كمال الضد

He does no wrong or mislead anyone, implying perfect justice.


#3 Remaining silent with respect to matters not mentioned in the Quran or Sunnah


#4 Tending to specific matters with respect to what one attributes to Allah

For example, some attributes are only mentioned with respect to certain individual or acts.

Tasbeeh of Allah with respect to his actions and statements

Denying that Allah does useless or meaningless acts or speech

Denying any kind of wrong (dhulm) to Allah

Denying the ascription of any form of evil to Allah










2013-05-21 Class Notes


We should not deny anything that we are supposed to affirm. We will clarify some of the misconceptions of tasbeeh and tanzeeh that are not correct.


Discussion of the handout


The correct path of tanzeeh is the way of the messengers and the way of the servants of Allah swt who are on the straight path.


When Allah swt speaks to us about himself, he denies negative aspects without giving details, it is in general fashion. But when he gives positives about himself, he gives us details. We know more than 99 names and attributes of Allah swt. This has an effect on our understanding of Allah swt.


In some cases, when there are causes, he gives us details, such as specific false claims made against him are refuted in detail.


How are we supposed to deal with the names and attributes of Allah swt?


The first aspect is that we should affirm without negation. We affirm all of the names and attributes and actions of Allah swt that he has informed us about himself. We should also deny any kind of similitude to Allah swt. We affirm his names in a manner that is befitting Allah swt.


We deny what Allah swt is denying of the negative qualities and at the sametime we affirm the opposite of the negative qualities. For example, when we deny that Allah wrongs anyone, we also affirm that he has complete justice.


We should remain silent about matters that are not mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah. There are three subcategories:

#1 something is not mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah but it can be affirmed from it,

#2 something is not mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah but Quran and Sunnah directly point to negation,

#3 we do not find anything that is mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah and there are no indicators about it.


If we find no indicators about some quality or attribute such as jism (body) or direction, then we should be silent about it. However in the past, there were many Islamic creeds were developed that discussed these types of attributes.


This approach of the misleading groups forced other groups to discuss them.


The key is to narrow down what they are discussing, and then find out whether the Quran and Sunnah are mentioning anything about it, such that we can refute them????, if there is no mention about it.


There are ten names and attributes that always come together. They are known as siffat al ......?????


Is Allah swt al Daar? What does al Daar mean? Daar comes from Daraar which means harm, so is Allah swt al Daar?


He is Naafe wa al Daar, these two names always come together, these two names together are known as asmaa wa ....


Similarly to the attributes of misleading it cannot be referred to by itself. These names have to be taken in proper context, otherwise you are giving attributes to Allah swt that do not exist.


Example 2: Makr or plotting. We don’t call Allah a Maakir (plotter), because it is only in response to other plotting by the non-Muslims.


Allah swt only deceives those who try to deceive Allah swt, this is in reference to the hypocrites. So we should know the proper type of tasbeeh and tanzeeh.


You have to know the siffat names, asmaa attributes and khabar information about Allah swt.



We declare Allah swt free from any kind of useless act or speech. We deny any kind of wrong doing or dhulm.



Harms of incorrect tasbeeh and tanzeeh


The real tasbeeh and tanzeeh involved denying what needs to be denied about Allah swt as well as affirming what needs to be affirmed about Allah swt. This discussion would take too much time, instead we will discuss how wrong type of tasbeeh takes us away from the proper path.


Allah swt has mentioned in Surah Saffat verse 159 and 160 that not everybody who makes tasbeeh is making the proper tasbeeh.


The belief in Allah swt is in the nature of the human being (fitra). This has led to many types of tasbeeh and tanzeeh that are not proper. Ibn Rajb mentions that not every tasbeeh is praiseworthy.


We will discuss improper tanzeeh from most egregious outside the fold of Islam and then to the misguided groups within Islam


#1  There are people whose incorrect tanzeeh of Allah swt has led them to become atheists


Some atheists say that god would be too great to create such a creation that has too many wrongs or evil. And since there are so many wrongs, hence god does not exist.


What is the flaw in their reasoning?


Muslims point to this creation as a proof that God does exist, whereas they are saying that the wrongs in this world indicates that god does not exist. Allah swt is not going to create something meaningless, he is not unjust.


They are making a claim about god, how can they prove it? We have limited knowledge about this creation, we do not truly know the reasoning behind it, our vision is very short-sighted, and we truly cannot comprehend everything about the creation.


#2 Deists believe that god created the creation and is so lofty and majestic that he does not care about what happens to the creation


If you don't have proper knowledge and make your own understanding of Allah swt, this is the type of incorrect tanzeeh you fall into it.


#3 In Christianity, once you commit sin, you cannot come close to Allah swt. So when Adam committed sin, then he could not get close to Allah swt.


Since sin means death and we cannot get close to Allah swt, this is their tanzeeh. And they came up with the theory that the only way to get rid of the sin is for God to sacrifice his only sin.


Here you can see that their incorrect tanzeeh about sinners led them to an incorrect path


#4 Mushrikeen say that God is above and beyond and he is not approachable by them and they need an intermediary to get closer to him.


Allah swt says that those who have taken idols and others as their Rabb other than Allah swt.


Their first mistake is that Allah swt is not approachable due to his greatness.



#5 Incorrect Mutazillah belief about negation of Allah’s attributes that are not mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah


Muhammad Asad who was strongly influenced by the Mutazillah. In his appendix to the translation of the Quran mentions that Allah swt has no form ...... etc


In another book of Aqeedah shahr al aqeedah fi nassafiyyah???? when speaking about Allah swt wrote, he does not have any form ..... no shape, nor form, no length, no depth, no smell, no ........ complete exhaustive list of negations related to the form or shape .....


This leads to a dry and abstract understanding of Allah swt.


What Allah swt mentions to us about himself, increases our love for Allah swt and makes us come closer to Allah swt. Quran touches our heart and brings us closer to Allah swt.


Basically this incorrect negation, leads them to believe in something that does not exist???????


If you don't have proper understanding of tanzeeh even among Muslims, this is what you fall into. If you live according to the proper principles of tasbeeh you won’t fall into this incorrect belief. However they claimed that their understanding was the correct understanding.


....


Arabs have different names for camels. Al Ishaar are full term camels that are just about to give birth.


The verse says on this day, the she camel that are about to give birth are being neglected. ....


The group who does an act is known as ....and the act itself is known as at tauteel?????



2013-05-28 Class Notes


Handout sent by Sh JamaalWe are discussing the concept of tasbeeh and subhanallah. This concept of tasbeeh is one of the most important concepts, it is one of the important components of the salat, and it is of great benefit if we understand it clearly. And that is the reason why we are spending so much time on it.


This concept of tasbeeh is also easy to misapply, if they do not abide by the proper principles. Last time we discussed the improper conceptions of tasbeeh. We should know that there are two extremes and it is easy to fall into either, we have seen many groups fall into these extremes.


In the names of tasbeeh and making Allah swt free of any partner, but they go to far and end up saying the wrong thing about Allah swt. They are fleeing from shirk but end up in something that is bad.


Tasbeeh is the core essential of proper tauheed and our understanding of Allah swt. When it comes to knowing the names and attributes of Allah swt and getting close to him with proper knowledge and understanding is to follow the correct methodology to understanding the names and attributes.


Six principles for the proper understanding of the names and attributes of Allah swt


We should handle the names and attributes of Allah swt with proper understanding and knowledge. There are four to six principles according to scholars. If you understand these principles, then it will save you from following into one of the categories of misunderstandings.


Affirming the names and attributes of Allah swt with the following conditions


#1 Without modality (التكييف)- Without asking how exactly “is” the attribute


#2  - Without Similarity (التشبيه)


#3 Tamtheel - Without peer (التمثيل)


#4 Tahreef - Without distortion (التحريف) - Here you have distorted the meaning without any relation to the word???


#5 Taweel - Without Reinterpretation (التأويل)


#6 Tatheel - Without denial or rejection (التعطيل) -


We believe whatever has been revealed to the Prophet by Allah swt without tathel, tamtheel, tahreef, taweel.


History of Muattilah


We also affirm that Allah is lord rabb and Allah is god ilah. However some groups believe that Allah is rabb and ilah but deny some of the names and attributes of Allah swt.


Any type of denial of the names and attributes of Allah swt does not come from the Prophet or the sahabah. The first time this happened in Islamic history is when it was done by Jahd ibn Dirham. He died in 736 / 118 AH , he was the teacher of Jahm ibn Safwan. This sect is known as al Jahmiyyah, which is names after the student of Jahd.


History of Pure Muattilah - Jahmiyyah


Jahm took his teacher’s teaching much farther. He debated buddhists, he spent 40 days clueless about Allah swt. The height of this movement was during khalifah of ....


Jahmiyyah are such an extreme that none of their followers remain, however they influenced many groups. They denied the names and attributes of Allah swt, they denied that Allah can be called by a name or that he has any attributes, except in a figurative sense.


Some of their groups say that they accept only two names for Allah swt, which are Khaliq (الخالق) and Qaader (القادر).


They reject all of the names except Khaliq and Qaader, because all of the other attributes are the ones that are in common with human beings such as living, hearing etc. They deny any attribute of Allah swt that is similar to the human beings. They say that if you accept these attributes then Allah swt is like us.


They accept the name Al-Khaliq, despite the fact that Allah describes himself as Ahsan Al-Khaliqeen -- te best of creators. But that means that there are other creators, a logical issues.


They accept the name Al-Qaader because they believe that human beings do not possess irada or free will since everything is predestined by Allah swt.


According to them recognition of Allah swt is a feeling of the heart, it does not involve submission.


Eventually they strip out any positive attributes of Allah swt and the only attributes remain are the negative attributes. This way of aqeedah is rooted in the Jahmiyyah belief. The pure jahmiyyah (Jahimites in English)  had some influence on the muslims, but most people recognize that they are extremes.


History of Partial Muattilah - Mu’tazilah


The partial muattilah do not go as far as the Jahmiyyah and among them are the Mu’tazilah. This group was not named by their founder but they were named after an incident that occurred.


Few people called themselves mu’tazilah (except Al-Zamakhshari). They would otherwise call themselves Ahlul-Adl wal-Tawheed (أهل العدل والتوحيد). They were founded by Waasil ibn ‘Ataa.


Took stuff from many different groups of Bid’a: including the Jahimites, the Qadaris, the Kharijites and the Rafidah. They say that Allah (SWT) has some attributes and those are the ones that are essential for His essence and anything outside of his essence they deny.


Any attribute that describes Allah (SWT) essentially doing something they deny that (e.g. they will deny that Allah is pleased with the believers or displeased with the unbelievers.


They also deny that something has happened to Allah swt. From the philosophers point of view, there can be no change, or if he speaks and before he did not speak this leads to a change in Allah, and hence they deny it.


They say that Allah is aware by his essence and not by knowledge. They say Allah has knowledge but it has nothing to do with creation or outside of Allah swt.


They say that Allah does not have sight or hearing or ability. The root of all of these is in order to make tasbeeh and they want to remove any non essential.


They are like the Jahimites in negating the names and attributes of Allah swt. They accept it only in figurative sense.


They say Allah is All Knowing without knowledge (عليم بلا علم), his essence has ability but no ability (قدير بلا قدرة), he is all hearing without hearing (سميع بلا سمع), he is all seeing without sight (بصير بلا بصر) .... (Edit: Sh mentioned these concepts in Arabic but were difficult to translate it properly in english.)


Position of majority of the Muslims is that Allah swt will not call himself by that name without him possessing that attribute. But the Mu’tazilah deny that.


Muhammad Asad is greatly influenced by the Mu’tazilah.



History of Kullabiyyah


At the time of ibn Kullab’s life, the Mu’tazilah, the Jahmiyyah and the Shia were present. There was no deviation in ahle sunnah, the other groups were known to be not from the ahle sunnah. But when ibn Kullab came this distinction was removed. Among his group some of them denied the names and attributes of Allah swt.


The Kullabiyyah do not exist any longer, but the Asharis which are considered from the ahle sunnah, rejected some of the names and attributes of Allah swt.


ibn Kullab affirmed the necessary attributes of Allah swt and he rejected any of the attributes that had to do with Allah’s will and essence.


Ibn Kullab debated the Mutazilah, he also wrote some book, his teachers were scholars of hadith. He had different methodology for studying hadith and studying aqeedah.  You can still see this kind of bifurcation happening today.


Unfortunately, in refuting the Mu’tazilah, he accepted some of their premises.


He said that you cannot make an analogy between Allah swt and human beings. He said that when you say Quran is speech of Allah swt, he defines it as some kind of meaning that sits internally with Allah swt and that angel Jibreel took it from Allah swt and brought it down.


All of his followers and students were then absorbed into the Ashari school. You see further and further distancing from the sahabah. And more and more deviations started creeping in.


ibn Kullab says that none of the attributes of Allah swt are objects of his power and ....  Allah is not pleased at one occasion and pleased at another occasion. They deny any kind of action. They deny Allah’s love, pleasure, hate, anger. They say that they have to take this approach because otherwise Allah swt is affected by contingent things.


The kullabiyyah and the Asharis after them, we can divide attributes of Allah swt into three categories:


#1 Attributes of Allah swt that are accepted by them.


#2 Actions of Allah swt such as Allah swt spoke to Musa, Allah judges according to his will, they left with anger of Allah upon them. These actions are rejected by them.


#3 There are some things that are attributed to Allah swt that are from this dunya, such as baytullah and the camel of Allah. All of them agree that this is honor to that thing.



History of Asharis


Ashari was a Mu’tazilah and then rejected them and started refuting them. But in his teachings there are deficiencies because it is not from the way of salaf.


He wrote a book called al ibaana which he says that he was on the way of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, who was tortured for his beliefs, to show that he is on the way of the salaf.


Asharis would say that he was Mutazilah and then a salaf and then he founded his madhab.


When it comes to matters of aqeedah or matters related to prophethood, they say that the source for these are human reasoning, which was influenced by the Mu’tazilah.



History of Maturidis


Their founder died nine years after the founder of Ashari. -- pretty similar to Ash’aris. They also reject all of the attributes of Allah swt that are rejected by aql or human reasoning.


Amongst some of these schools are a huge variation, some reject more, some are more or less similar to Ahl us Sunnah -- some of them are similar to the shafi’is and malikis in their fiqh.



Among the Ash’aris and Maturidis they accept only seven or eight attributes of Allah swt, life, knowledge, ability, will, hearing, seeing, speech,


Sh is asking them rhetorically, why do you need the Quran and Sunnah if you are going to be satisfied with just these seven attributes of Allah swt.


They affirm these seven attributes but not in the proper manner as understood by ahle sunnah. They say that Allah swt has ilm but he does not have knowledge. Some of them say that Allah swt does not know the details, he just knows the particulars.


They say that we will suspend any understanding of some of the attributes, they say only Allah swt knows them. This is called tafweed (تفويض)


We have to understand why these approaches of tasbeeh and tanzeeh are wrong. And how we can avoid the same mistakes made by them????





2013-06-04 Class Notes


Edit: This is the last class for the quarter. However tonight’s class will consist of two one-hour lectures.


Purification is the first half of Iman, the second half of Iman is dhikr, and the most important dhikr is Subhanallah and Alhamdulillah. We are discussing tasbeeh, which is declaring Allah swt free of any shortcoming and anything comparable to him. This concept is important to the clear understanding of tauheed.


When tasbeeh is misapplied or misunderstood or abused, it can lead to an incorrect understanding of Allah swt which is harmful to your deen. We should have proper knowledge about Allah swt.


Nobility of the knowledge is known by the nobility of its topic. This is the most noblest knowledge and if you can acquire it, then you are truly blessed. Knowing Allah swt leads to increase in love and hope of Allah swt, it will lead you to turn towards Allah swt and lead to happiness in this life and the hereafter.


Ibn Qayyim tells us that Allah swt created us in order to worship him, and the key to the call of all messengers and essence of the message is knowing the names and attributes of Allah swt.


In any distortion in this subject matter and this concept is very harmful, unlike making mistakes in usool al fiqh or some other topic. We discussed two approaches that have gone astray, which are the pure muattilah which reject all the names and attributes of Allah swt, and the lesser??? muattilah who waver between acceptance and rejection of the names and attributes of Allah swt and when they do accept, they make changes to the correct understanding of the names and attributes of Allah swt, they make taweel that the names and attributes are not literal. They make taweel of various attributes of Allah swt, they say hand or yad means power, they say rahmah means to give to the individual what he deserves, which is a very strange understanding of rahmah.


Their misunderstanding is partially due to their incorrect understanding of the names and attributes of Allah swt. We will discuss their other mistakes in today’s lecture.


Q&A


Their theories and premises came from sources outside of Islam, which we will discuss it later. We should not assume that they had some kind of bad intention or goal when they were misled. It is quite possible that their goal was to make tanzeeh and tasbeeh of Allah swt. They were good practicing Muslims.


If we start with the wrong premise in understanding the tasbeeh, then you would fall into this incorrect approach. They bought into Greek philosophy as the correct knowledge, which was by then a lost civilization, the Islamic civilization was its peak. They tried to reconcile or make Islam compatible with the Greek philosophy. Our ummah is making this same mistake once again. If we do not learn from our mistakes in the past, then we are bound to repeat the same mistakes again.




Critique of the Muattilah understanding


What should be our response to the Muattilah approach to the names and attributes of Allah swt?


Their approach is not derived from the Quran, Sunnah and Salaf. This statement should be enough for us to know that they were not on the correct path.


They have some philosophical foundations that are related to terms and concepts that are in no relationship to the Quran and Sunnah.


Just because a concept is new, we do not accept it or reject it. We have to define it and understand it and find out how much about is true and correct. Unfortunately they did not do it. The concepts from philosophy were vague and not properly understood.



Premises from Greek Philosophy


They use the term arad (أعراض) or accidents which is from Aristotle. It is a quality that is not essential to the thing in discussion.


For example, being rational is an essential quality of a human being, but being musical is not essential to the human being -- it is an accident or arad.


An accident is flawed and therefore is blemished. Therefore it can not be attributed to Allah.


Similarly, there must be a body (jism) for action to occur.


These are the premises and points that they get to and then they conclude that if attributes require an accident which is imperfect and Allah is imperfect, therefore Allah does not have that characteristic.


Similarly for actions, actions must occur on a body and bodies are imperfect and therefore it must not belong to Allah swt. They say it is QED and it must be rejected.


Even the idea of more than one attribute, necessitates waajib al wujood (واجب الوجود)  the concept of prime mover. The being that brought everything into existence. Is waajib al wujood a name of Allah swt, is there any verse that mentions it? No. Allah swt is awwal, there was nothing before him, but he is not waajib al wujood.  


What they argue is that if you have more than one attribute, then you have more than one waajib. Everything else is essential or derivative, but there can only be one essence.


They got to what they got to via premises and theories that have nothing to do with the Qur’an and Sunnah. All of their books in Aqeedah start with discussions of these kinds of aspects, none of which is mentioned in the Qur’an.


This premise is their understanding of Allah swt. They prove the names and attributes of Allah swt using these premises.


There are Muslim philosophers who believe that this creation is eternal, which is from Greek philosophy. They were greatly influenced by Greek philosophy.


If your whole life, if you read Quran and Sunnah, and then stumble upon these Muslim philosophers, you will stumble upon their terminology. You will need a dictionary to understand it and even then their definition of it is not in accordance with it.


Their philosophy is not of tawheed al-uloohiyyah -- ie of worshipping Allah swt, their philosophy is one of just proving al-ruboobiyyah -- that there is a creator. And they do this at the expense of asmaa-wal-sifaat, and knowing Allah’s attributes.


Their concepts of matter, space, jism, compound etc has nothing to do with the proper understanding of Allah swt.


One of their terms is tarkeeb (تركيب) which is compound, they ask is Allah swt tarkeeb, is he made of more than one thing?


You should ask what is tarkeeb. There are seven different definitions and then based on their definition you have to ask the question whether it applies to Allah swt or not.


So some definitions include the following: making something out of two different parts, forming particles of the same kind, e.g. atoms, combination of matter and form (e.g. ring of silver), combination of essence and attributes (mutazillah call it tarkeeb), combination of essence and existence.


So based on these definitions, can any one of these apply to Allah swt?


The concept of thaat (ذات)  or essence is not mentioned in Quran and Sunnah, but we accept that the thaat or essence of Allah swt exists. They say that if Allah swt is tarkeeb or compound of essence and attributes, then there must exist some tarkeeb that does not have these attributes, and hence we must reject all attributes of Allah swt.


No one can doubt that this is not the approach of Quran and Sunnah.


Sh quoted a Mutazillah scholar describing Allah swt using a bunch of negations such as Allah swt has no body, no smell, no odor, he is indivisible having no parts, he has no dimension right left front or behind, he is not wet or dry, he has no length depth or breadth, he does not move nor does he rest, .......... and it keep on going and going


There is brevity when it comes to negation and details when it comes to affirmation of the name and attributes of Allah swt as mentioned in the earlier class. And the Muattilah are doing exactly opposite of the above principle.


When Allah swt negates, he negates it in such a way that it points to a positive attribute. When we say that Allah does not commit injustice, it means that Allah is just.


When you say that Allah swt has no smell or odor, to what positive attribute does it point to? If Allah swt were to negate it, wouldn’t it be mentioned in the Quran or Sunnah? They spend a lot of time negating the attribute but for no purpose. This is an example of their incorrect tanzeeh.


The talk about Allah swt being ahad and waahad. They say that this itself makes them deny any attributes of Allah swt, since it implies one unique thing and it cannot have any attributes. They say if something has more than one attribute then it is not ahad or waahid.


You can disprove this statement from the Qur’an. When Allah swt describes inheritance rights, when it comes to one single woman she gets half. Allah swt describes her as waahida, and she does have a body and form.


Allah swt uses the word ahad for mushrikeen.


You can disprove their incorrect understanding of ahad and waahid from the Quran and Sunnah. And how the Arabic language defines these words??????



Laysa kamithlihi


They use another piece of evidence laysa kamithlihi which is Quranic verse to prove that Allah swt does not have any attributes. They say that this verse implies that there are no attributes of Allah swt


Tasbeeh says that you deny any shortcomings or weaknesses from Allah swt, so how come we are not all jahmayyites.


The verse gives us the answer. It shows us affirmation and negation of the attributes of Allah swt. The verse is very clear, there is both negation and affirmation. When you affirm anything about Allah swt, you have to do it in the light of laysa kamithlihi, but you cannot use that verse to reject everything about Allah swt.


This is the essence of their problem. They cannot separate an abstract concept from that concept being attached to an entity. The concept becomes specific when it is attached to something, such as the abstract concept becomes specific when we say the hearing of the birds, the animals, and the human beings. So our understanding of hearing of Allah swt is according to his majesty.



Does Allah swt live?


When does a plant die? Allah swt talks about bringing back plants back to life. After a long draught, they come back to life. So if their living is not similar to ours, why do we call it living?


It is because there is an abstract concept of living that exists. And the living of the plant is different than the living of the human beings. Attaching an abstract concept and making it specific is something they did not comprehend.



Rationalists end up being irrational and inconsistent


They claim to be rationalists. But strangely, they never achieved their goal. They tried to eliminate any attribute that might have corresponding attribute to human beings. But they could not do it.


The Asharis could not reject that Allah swt is living. They could not reject that Allah swt has knowledge. They had to accept it even though these attributes are common with human beings. So why did they pick and choose some attributes and not the others. So if they can accept these attributes, then why could they not accept rahmah ????


They ended up contradicting themselves. They affirm some of the attributes in a way that is different from the human beings, then why could they not do the same for all of the other attributes of Allah swt.


The Mutazillah say that Allah swt has hayy without life, he has ilm without knowledge. But they cannot explain this statement.


The Jahmayyites reject all of the attributes except khaliq and ??? They have reasons for it, which we will get to later.


So just on rational terms, they are not rational, they are inconsistent and do not apply their own principles.


They start from rejecting any human like attributes to Allah swt in order to understand Allah swt, but they ended up in a worse position since they end up defining Allah swt as an empty abstract concept.



Which of the two extremes is the worst?


Those who reject Allah swt’s attributes -- the mu’attils end up worshiping nothing. They worship an abstract imaginary concept.


The other extreme is that of anthropomorphism -- the mumathils, who ended up worshiping idols.


The Asharis and Mathuridies do not deny the essence of Allah swt, the jahmiyyites deny the essence of Allah swt. However the path followed by them is just the same. Their path leads to striping any attributes from Allah swt and ends up with a bare abstract concept of Allah swt.


The Asharis and Mathuridies were forced to accept the attribute of living, otherwise they would have denied that too.



Which of the two extremes is more dangerous?


Our scholars say that the people of ta’attil to be one of the worst innovative groups in Islam. Some have defined them as the worst of ahl al hawaa???????


Abdullah bin Mubarak says that we can narrate the speech of jews and christians, but we are unable to do that with the speech of Jahmiyyites (meaning that we cannot even repeat what they said).


Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said that there is no group within Islam that has caused more harm than Jahmiyyites. Their only goal is to destroy the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet.


Al-Mujassamah -- The ones who gave anthropomorphic characteristics is that it goes so much against fitra that it is easy to stamp out. (Note, the Mujassamah were a sect of the Shia. The shi’a eventually moved towards mu’attil position).  



Are the people of ta’tillah (mu’attilah) doing kufr?


Does rejecting or make taweel for the names and attributes of Allah swt imply kufr?


Basically all of these groups have a portion of kufr when they deny any of the names and attributes of Allah swt. The Jahmayyites were declared kufr by many of the earlier scholars????


The Muattizilah and others still believe in laysa kamlithi and because they are making taweel about the names and attributes however incorrect, which according to many scholars does not lead them to declare them to be kufr. The scholars are very careful in declaring some groups as kaafir (takfeer)


There is a difference between recognizing something as an act of kufr versus saying that a certain person is a disbeliever.


The Asharis are trying to defend the sunnah and convey the sunnah, even though they have some incorrect understanding of aqeedah.


Our goal is not to declare takfeer (say some group are outside the fold of Islam), but our goal is to correctly identify kufr.


Footnote: In general the Shi’a are not considered kufr. There are extreme Shi’a such as the Alawites who are kufr. According to one scholar, the scholars among the Shi’a are considered kufar but not the masses.



Why are the Mu’attilah views dangerous?


This view of the mu’attilah are very dangerous for Iman -- the essence of what they are trying to prove is tawheed al-ruboobiyyah. The approach of the Qur’an basically takes ruboobiyyah as a given.


Foonote: For example the famous story of Imam Razi, a woman encounters him and asks: who is this man? A man replies that it is Razi -- he has 1000 proofs for the existence of God. And she says: Is there any doubt about that? The point is that existence of Allah swt is given.


Tawheed al ulooliyah is the more important concept in Islam as compared to Tawheed al Ruboobiyyah.


Ash’ari and related beliefs are the dominant ones across the world -- and Sh thinks there is a correlation between this perspective and the loss of Iman.


When it comes to tasbeeh and tanzeeh (esp wrt the names & atts of Allah swt), the correct way is the way of the Qur’an and the salaf. These different groups claim to be rational, and they would have harsh words.


These groups claim to be rational or using aqal but in reality they are anything but rational and consistent. The modernists claim to be aqlaani. We should not forget what happened to our groups in the past. Nothing is going to match the words of Allah swt. Any man made philosophies will have inconsistencies and inaccuracies and will not match the Quran and Sunnah.


All of the modern movements have some problems in their basis. We should make sure that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past.



Many Mu’attilah scholars have refuted their earlier beliefs


Many of the scholars who were well grounded in Mu’attilah, before they died, repented and realized that their philosophies did not lead to a greater understanding of Allah swt.


Imam al Jurayni said that I have travelled all of the oceans, I have fleed from .... proper understanding of tawheed .... and now I am giving it up to follow the path of the salaf.


Fakhruddin Razi says that after all of this research, I did not get any from it, other than quotations. He made taubah at the end of his life.


Shahrastani’s book Al-Milal wal-Nahal which covers the different approaches, says something similar.


In Al-Ash’ari’s book Al-Ibaanah, he says he follows the madhab of Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Al-Ash’ari was mu’tazili for 30 years, then he made his own madhab (borrowing from Ibn Kullab), then he became a salafi.


Many of the Asharis and Mathuridis made taqleed in the matters of fiqh?????


Abu Yusuf said “whoever seeks the deen using kalaam (philosophy) he ends up a zandaq -- outside the fold of Islam”


Imam Shafi’i says my judgement for ahl al kalaam is that they should be flogged and their faces should be blackened and taken to all of the tribes to show that this is the result of rejecting quran and sunnah.



Tasbeeh is one of the most important parts of the salaah. We should appreciate the greatness of Allah swt in a correct way. It would come to you if you understand aqeedah properly, then salaah would have more of an affect upon you.



What is Al Qadar?


The four levels of Qadar gives you a good idea about Qadar.


#1 Allah has the knowledge of everything even before it takes place


#2 Allah swt has recorded everything that will take place before it takes place


#3 Allah SWT willed for whatever to take place to take place


#4 Allah SWT creates that action to take place



History of Al Qaadiriyyah


In our history we had a group called Al-Qaadiriyyah. They reject the concept of Qadar as we have described above. They say that all of the actions that take place are not under the decree of Allah swt.


Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal say that Qaadiriyyah are the ones who claim that they possess for themselves ... guidance and disobedience, they say that an individual does an action without any help from Allah swt.


They are called Qaadariyyah not because they deny qadar, but because they ascribe it to themselves.


First appeared at the the end of the time of the Sahabah. Shortly after Ma’bad Al-Juhani appeared -- the founder. Note that many of these groups come from Iraq (where there was a mix of different believers from Persia and Christian areas).


Ghaylaan Al-Dimashqi are also from Iraq


Mu’tazliah have adopted some of the beliefs of the Qaadiriyyah.


Originally the qaadariyyah denied all four levels, but later only rejected #3 and #4.



Why are we discussing Al Qaadariyyah in relation to the topic of tasbeeh?


In the actions of the human beings we have sharr and dhulm. In order to deny sharr and dhulm from Allah swt, the only way to do so is to deny that Allah swt has anything to do with sharr and dhulm.


And they say that if you believe in Qadar then you cannot believe in reward and punishment.


What they mean by Adl (justice) is that Allah swt does not will or create the actions of human beings. Because if Allah swt willed it, then Allah swt will be unjust if he punishes them. And by denying Qadr, they say that human beings will be held responsible for their actions.



How do you refute Al Qaadariyyah?


It is clear from the Quran, Allah swt’s will is over everything. Allah swt also informs us that guidance is in the hands of Allah swt.


The Qaadariyyah failed to distinguish between the iradatul kawniyya and iradatul shar’iyya.


Is it problematic that Allah swt willed for dhulm to occur? Does that mean he approves of it? If someone commits kufr, is it possible that Allah swt willed for it to occur?


Iradatul Kawniyya is the free will that is given to the human beings. Allah swt allows many things to happen from his creative will. He allows it to be created and allows it to occur. But it does not mean that he approves of it.


In Iradatul Shariyya, Allah swt describes the limits and boundaries, and asking us to .....


There is no inconsistency here. Allah swt in different places in the Quran, makes it clear that guidance is in his hands. Even accepting Islam is in his hands.


Quran verse: They are making it look that they are doing a favor to you by accepting Islam. But they are doing a favor to themselves ???



Al Jabariyah - Reject free will


They are the opposite of Qaadariyyah. They say that everything is pre-determined and there is no free will. Asharis are more Jabari in their belief and the Mu’atizillah are more Qaadari in their beliefs.


The Jabaris also claim to be making tanzeeh for Allah (SWT) -- They are making human beings a competitor to Allah swt.


This is a common excuse for those making Shirk, as mentioned in the Quran.


Allah swt makes it clear in many places in the Quran that human beings have free will. Allah swt says that the actions that you did, tafalu .... which shows that human beings have free will.



Reject good and evil or reject any purpose behind any deeds


There groups says that they can do whatever they want, because there is no purpose behind any of these actions. They say that if there is purpose behind it, then Allah swt would get pleasure from it. They say there is no such thing as good and evil. There are Sufi groups that have this belief. They are also doing a type of tanzeeh for Allah swt.



We did not describe when Allah swt does tasbeeh for himself, or when angels make tasbeeh, or when the entire creation makes tasbeeh.

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