Belief in Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aala)


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The first principle:

Declaring that Allah is far above any of His Attributes resembling any of the attributes of His creatures. This principle is indicated by the aayaat (verses):

...There is nothing like Him...

(Qur’aan 42: 11)

And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.

(Qur’aan 112: 4)

So put not forward similitudes for Allah (as there is nothing similar to Him, nor He resembles anything)...

(Qur’aan 16: 74)


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The second principle:

Believing in Allah as He has described Himself, because Allah cannot be described by anyone who knows Allah better than Allah:

...Say, ‘Do you know better or does Allah?...’

(Qur’aan 2: 140)

And (this principle includes) believing in what the Messenger :saw: has said describing Allah, because no one knows Allah, after Allah Himself, better than the Messenger of Allah :saw: of whom Allah said:

Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. It is only a Revelation revealed.

(Qur’aan 53: 3-4)


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The misguidance of those who follow only one of these two principles and not the othe

The Shaykh (rahimahullaah) condemned those who followed only one of these principles. He counted those who deny an Attribute which Allah has affirmed for Himself as people who are obstinate before the Lord of the heavens and the earth, and he regarded the actions of those who deny an Attribute which Allah has affirmed for Himself as an audacious attitude towards Allah.

He regarded this as being the ultimate misguidance, because the person who denies this, looks at the attributes of perfection and majesty which Allah has affirmed for Himself, then, this poor ignorant fool, comes before the Compeller of heaven and earth and says, what You have attributed to Yourself does not befit You, for it implies imperfection; I will interpret it (in a way that differs from its apparent meaning) and deny it, and replace it with something else from my own ideas, without any basis in the Qur’aan or Sunnah.

Similarly misguided is the person who affirms the attributes of Allah but he likens the attributes of the Creator to the attributes of His creatures.

The one who is successful and saved, who is following the straight path, is the one who believes in both of these principles, and does not distinguish between them. He believes in the attributes that Allah has affirmed for Himself, and at the same time he declares Him to be above resembling His creatures in any of His Attributes. Thus he is a believer who believes Allah to be above resembling His creation, and is free from any indulgence in either tashbeeh (anthropomorphism) or ta’teel (denying all attributes of Allah).


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These principles are indicated by a verse in the Book of Allah

These two principles are indicated by a verse in the Book of Allah, which is:

...There is nothing like Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.

(Qur’aan 42: 11)

In this aayah, Allah affirms that He has the Attributes of hearing and seeing, whilst at the same time denying that there is anything like Him. This clearly indicates that it is not permissible for people to deny that Allah can hear and see by claiming that only created beings possess hearing and sight and that affirming that Allah can hear and see will lead one to liken Allah to His creatures.

The meaning which the aayah points to is that Allah has the attributes of hearing and seeing, but His hearing and seeing in no way resemble the hearing and seeing of His creatures. His hearing and seeing befit His Majesty and Perfection, and the hearing and seeing of His creatures are suited to their situations. So there is no comparison between the attributes of Allah and the attributes of His creatures.


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The third principle:

The one on which the issue of the divine Attributes centres – as Ash-Shanqeeti says – is that there is no hope of understanding the true nature of how these attributes are, because understanding their true nature is impossible, Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) has stated this clearly in Soorah Ta-Ha where He says:

He (Allah) knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them (in the Hereafter) but they will never compass anything of His Knowledge.

(Qur’aan 20: 110)

This means that it is impossible for the human mind to encompass the attributes of the Lord of the heavens and the earth.

What the Shaykh said about the impossibility of ever knowing the true nature of Allah or His Attributes is sound logic, because the human mind, no matter how intelligent it is and how great its powers of understanding, is totally incapable of knowing the true nature of things.

Man is incapable of knowing the true nature of the soul that resides in his body; he is incapable of knowing the true nature of light which is the most apparent of things; he is incapable of understanding the true nature of matter, or of the atoms of which matter is composed, so how can he hope to understand the true nature of the Divine Essence and Attributes?


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Those Who Deviate from the Correct Methodology and the Reasons for Their Deviation

Deviation from the correct methodology regarding the Names and Attributes of Allah comes about as a result of the undermining of one of the three principles mentioned above. We can divide the deviation of people, past and present, concerning the Names and Attributes of Allah, into three categories:


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1 – The deviation of the mushrikeen

The deviation of the mushrikeen was mentioned by ‘Ibn Abbaas, Ibn Jurayj and Mujaahid. The mushrikeen misinterpret the Names of Allah and changed them from their true meaning. They used them to name their idols, distorted them by adding and taking away. So they derived “al-Laat” from “Allah”m “al-Uzza” from “al-Azeez” and “Manaat” from “al-Mannaan”.

Another aspect of their heresy is that they denied some of the names of Allah, such as Ar-Rahmaan:

...While they disbelieve in the Most Gracious (Allah)...

(Qur’aan 13: 30)

And when it is said to them: ‘Prostrate yourselves to the Most Gracious (Allah)!’ They say: ‘And what is the Most Gracious?’...

(Qur’aan 25: 60)

This also includes those who described Allah as being imperfect, such as the evil ones among the Jews who said:

...’Truly, Allah is poor and we are rich!’...

(Qur’aan 3: 181)

...Allah’s Hand is tied up (i.e. He does not give and spend of His Bounty).’ Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for what they uttered...

(Qur’aan 5: 64)


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2 – The deviation of tashbeeh (anthropomorphism)

These people attribute to Allah that which He attributed to Himself, but they do not declare Allah to be above any resemblance to His creatures. They focus only on the end of the aayah,

...There is nothing like Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.

(Qur’aan 42: 11)

- and they overlook the beginning. If they had paid attention to the beginning, they would realise that there is nothing that is like unto Allah, and they would not have dared to say what they said, which is so utterly shocking and which makes the heart tremble, which is their suggestion that Allah has a hand, sight and hearing which is like our hands, hearing and sight – exalted be Allah far above what they say.

They made their object of worship like the idols. Hence the scholars of the salaf said: “The anthropomorphist worships an idol.” They have uttered kufr by these words which take them beyond the pale of Islam. Among these people were Dawood al-Jawaaribi and Hishaam ibn al-Hakam ar-Raafidi. These two groups were opposites in their heresy: the former mushrikeen raised the creation to the level of the Creator and made them equal to him, whilst the anthropomorphists brought the Creator down to the level of His physical creation, and likened Him to them. Exalted and sanctified be Allah above their lies and misguidance.


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3 – The deviance of the deniers, who fall into three categories

a – A group who denied the Names and the meanings to which they refer; they described Allah is terms of absolute negation (what He is not). These are the Jahamiyah. The fact of the matter is that their deviation is disbelief in Allah, just like the deviation of the mushrikeen.

b – A group who affirmed the names of Allah as words, without accepting the attributes of perfection that they imply. They said, Rahmaan (Most Beneficient), Raheem (Most Merciful), without Rahmah (Mercy) Hakeem (All-Wise) without wisdom, Qadeer (All-Powerful) without power, Samee’ (All-Hearing) without hearing, etc. These are the Mu’tazilah.

c – A third group who affirmed seven of the Sifaat al-Ma’aani (characteristics), namely: like, knowledge, power, will, hearing, seeing and speech, but they denied all the other attributes. These are the Ash’aris.

(Abu’l-Hasan al-Ash’ari (may Allah have mercy on him) did not subscribe to this view)

In the case of those who disbelieved in the names and Attributes of Allah, those who likened His Attributes to the attributes of His creatures and those who denied His Names and Attributes, their misguidance is quite clear, because they are opposing Allah and His Messenger, disbelieving in the Qur’aan and Sunnah. Their position is quite clear and does not require further explanation.

The ones whose faulty belief needs to be exposed are the Ahl al-Kalaam (Islamic philosophers/scholastics) who claim that they are declaring Allah to be above any resemblance to His creatures, so they deny attributes of Allah which have been narrated in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, on the basis that this may lead to tashbeeh (anthropomorphism or thinking of Allah as being like His creation). So they resort to interpreting these attributes in a manner that takes them far away from their true meaning.

(Some contemporary figures such as Hasan al-Banna and Hasan Ayyoob tried to be lenient towards those who made this mistake, who are known as the khalaf (successors), and they tried to reconcile between the views of the salaf (pious predecessors) and the khalaf. But the fact of the matter which must be understood is that the view of the khalaf who claim that the apparent meaning of the attributes of Allah is not what is meant, is far removed from the correct view. There is no meeting point between this and the view of the salaf. The fact that some of the khalaf had good intention is no excuse, because good intentions do not make falsehood true.)


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7 – The View of Ahl As-Sunnah Wa’l-Jama’ah Concerning the Attributes of Allah

Ibn Taymiyah summed up the view of the righteous Salaf (Pious Predecessors) on this topic:

“The basic principle regarding this matter is that Allah is to be described as He has described Himself, and as His Messenger :saw: has described Him, in terms of both affirmation and negation. We affirm for Allah what He has affirmed for Himself, and we deny for Him what He has denied for Himself.

It is known that the method of the salaf and Aaimmah (the reputed scholars and guides) of this ummah is to affirm the attributes which Allah has affirmed for Himself, without asking how or making comparisons, and without distorting or denying them.”

(Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 3/3)

The ‘aqeedah (belief, creed) of the salaf (Predecessors) has been stated by many scholars, including Tahaawi, on whose ‘Aqeedah a commentary was written by Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Abi’l – ‘Izz al-Hanafi, entitled Sharh al-‘Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyah; Abu’l-Hasan al-Ash’ari, Al-Ibaanah ‘an Usool ad-Dayaanah; As-Saabooni, ‘Aqeedat as-Salaf; and many others. We are following in their footsteps, asking Allah to gather us with them on the Day of Judgement.

Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) has warned us against deviating from the method of understanding that He explained in His Book with regard to His Names and attributes. He says:

And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie or deny (or utter impious speech against) His Names...

(Qur’aan 7: 180)

The root of the Arabic word ilhaad (yulhidoon – translated here as belie or deny (or utter impious speech against)) means turning away, leaning, deviating or going to extremes. From the same root comes the word lahd (niche in the side of a grave), because it tilts the body of the deceased towards the direction of the qiblah.

(Ma’aarij al-Qubool, 1/88)

Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) declares Himself to be above that which the misguided heretics and mushrikoon (idolaters) attribute to Him:

Glorified be Allah! (He is free) from what they attribute unto Him!

(Qur’aan 37: 159)

Glorified be your Lord, the Lord of honour and power! (He is free) from what they attribute unto Him!

(Qur’aan 37: 180)

But He (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) excludes from that the things that His sincere slaves attribute to Him:

Except the slaves of Allah, whom He chooses (for His mercy, i.e. true believers of Islamic Monotheism who do not attribute false things unto Allah).

(Qur’aan 37: 160)

And in another aayah He (subhaanahu wa ta’aala), greets the Messengers with salaam for the soundness of what they say and what they ascribe to

Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala):

And peace be on the Messengers!

(Qur’aan 37: 181)


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Imam Abu’l-Hasan al-Ash’ari’s ‘Aqeedah concerning the attributes of Allah

Some of those who do not accept the madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnah try to stir up feelings against the Ahl as-Sunnah by claiming that the madhhab (school) of the Ash’aris goes against that which we affirm. They claim that their madhhab is the madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnah. We will quote here the madhhab which Abu’l Hasan al-Ash’ari narrated from the Ahl as-Sunnah and scholars of hadeeth, at the end of which he stated that he believed in this and followed it.

He gave this statement the title, “This is the report of the views of the scholars of hadeeth and Ahl as-Sunnah.” Then he said:

“The summary of the beliefs of Ahl al-Hadeeth wa’s-Sunnah is belief in Allah, His angels, His Books and His Messengers, what came from Allah, and what is narrated by trustworthy sources from the Messenger of Allah :saw:. They do not reject any of that.

(Note how he made saheeh ahaadeeth proof for ‘aqeedah, because he is speaking about issues of ‘aqeedah, not about ahkaam (rulings). So he does not differentiate between mutawaatir and aahaad. The way in which he derives evidence concerning issues of ‘aqeedah in his books proves that what we have stated above is true.)

And they believe) that Allah is One God, Unique, Eternally Self-Sufficient. There is no god except He, and He does not have a wife or son. And (they believe) that Muhammad :saw: is His slave and Messenger. Paradise is real, Hell is real, the Hour will undoubtedly come and Allah will resurrect those who are in the graves. Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala), is above His Throne, as He says:

The Most Gracious (Allah) rose over (Istawaa) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty).

(Qur’aan 20: 5)

He (subhaanahu wa ta’aala), has two Hands, but we do ask how, as He says:

...I have created with Both My Hands...

(Qur’aan 38: 75)

...Nay, both His Hands are widely outstretched...

(Qur’aan 5: 64)

And He (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) has two eyes, but we do not ask how, as He says:

Floating under Our Eyes...

(Qur’aan 54: 14)

And He (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) has a Face, as He says:

And the Face of your Lord full of Majesty and Honour will remain forever.

(Qur’aan 55: 27)

We cannot say that the names of Allah are something other than Allah, as the Mu’tazilah and Khawaarij said. They (Ahl al-Hadeeth wa’s-Sunnah) said that Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala), has knowledge as He said:

...He has sent it down with His Knowledge...

(Qur’aan 4: 166)

...And no female conceives or gives birth but with His Knowledge...

(Qur’aan 35: 11)

They affirm that Allah can hear and see; they do not deny that as the Mu’tazilah do. And they affirm that Allah has power, as He (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says:

...See they not that Allah Who created them was mightier in strength than them...

(Qur’aan 41: 15)

They say that the Qur’aan is the word of Allah and is not created. The idea that we should not give any opinion on this matter or that the recitation (but not the Qur’aan itself) is created, is a bid’ah in their view. It cannot be said that the pronunciation of the Qur’aan is created and it cannot be said that it is not created.

They believe that people’s eyes will see Allah on the Day of Resurrection just as they see the moon at night when it is full. The believers will see Him but the kaafireen (disbelievers) will not, because they are veiled from Allah as He (subhaanahu wa ta’aala), says:

Nay! Surely they (evil-doers) will be veiled away from seeing their Lord that Day.

(Qur’aan 83: 15)

And they believe that Moosa (Moses) (aalayhis-salaam) asked Allah to let him see Him in this world, but Allah manifested Himself (appeared) to the mountain and He made it collapse to dust. Thus Allah showed Moosa that he would not see Him in this world, but he would see Him in the Hereafter.

They believe in the ahaadeeth narrated from the Messenger of Allah :saw:, saying that Allah descends to the lowest heaven and says “Is there anyone who is seeking forgiveness?” – as is stated in the hadeeth narrated from the Messenger of Allah. They affirm that Allah will come on the Day of Resurrection as He (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says:

And your Lord comes with the angels in rows.

(Qur’aan 89: 22)

(And they affirm) that Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) is close to His creation in the manner that He wills, as He says:

...And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein (by Our Knowledge).

(Qur’aan 50: 16)

Abu’l-Hasan al-Ash’ari concluded his narration from the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Ahl al-Hadeeth by saying: “This is the summary of what they believe and teach. All that we have quoted of their views is also our view and our opinion. We have no strength except by Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala), He is sufficient for us and the best Disposer of our affairs. His help we seek, in Him we put our trust, and to Him is our final destination.”

(See Maqaalaat al-Islamiyeem, Pp. 290-297. We have quoted only that which has to do with the attributes of Allah; we have not quoted the rest of the beliefs of Ahl as-Sunnah and Ahl al-Hadeeth of which he have approved.)

This quotation makes it quite clear that the belief of Abu’l-Hasan al-Ash’ari is identical to the belief of Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah concerning the names and attributes of Allah.


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Alhamdu'lillaah. This thread should bring us all closer to fearing and hoping in Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aala). I hope it is beneficial to any non-Muslims that are reading in relation to our beliefs.

I will keep this thread closed until a few adjustments (alignment of paragraphs and so on) are made and it will be re-opened. I can see the thread is very big :) although you do not necessarily have to read it from start to end - I will clarify this when I re-edit my first post Insha'Allah.

May Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aala) bless us with beneficial knowledge and strengthen our faith.



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It took me a long time to get back and properly finish this thread.

Now it is finished, Alhamdu'lillaah.

I have made some small changes to each post; adding the title of each post. It just makes it look clearer. Importantly I have edited the 1st post so that you can access each relevant section from the post it begins from. This makes it easier to navigate and read (I hope). No real other major changes. If you notice any errors then please PM me.

I think this book is excellent because it provides one with a proper solid belief in Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aala) from the Qur'aan and Sunnah.

I hope that Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aala) guides us, protects us and purifies our intentions.