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Misconceptions About the Scholars of the Salaf
  Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah and al-Jihah (Direction for Allaah)
Source: Daf' Shubhah al-Ghawiyyah (trans A. Iyaad)
Article ID : MSC060002  [13533]  
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Then he said, "And the doubt which the deniers of 'al-jihah' (direction) used to reject it, is that they held that affirming direction necessitates a place, and affirming a place necessitates the affirmation of a form (jismiyyah). But we say that all of this is not necessitated, for direction is something other than a place and this is because direction is either the surfaces of an object itself which encompass it and they are six, and it is from this that we say that (material) things have a 'bottom', 'top', 'right', 'left', 'front' and 'behind', or (direction) is the surfaces of another object which encompass the first object from the six directions. As for the surfaces which are of the body itself then they do not constitute a place/location for the body itself, fundamentally. But as for those surfaces of another object/matter which encompass and surround it then they constitute a 'place/location' for it. [2] An example is like the surfaces and planes of the winds/atmosphere which surround man, or the surfaces of the celestial bodies (planets) which surround the winds/atmosphere - these too constitute a place for the winds/atmosphere. These celestial bodies too, some of them encompass and surround others (due to their orbits etc.) and (as such) constitute a 'place/location' for them.

As for the external surface of a celestial body, it has been demonstrated that it is not outside of it with a form of itself, because if that was the case then that outer form too would have to have another form outside of that, and this would go on and on till it never ends.[3] Therefore, the surfaces of the extreme ends of the universe do not constitute a place, since it is not possible to find another 'object/form' (jism) there (i.e. outside of it, after its end has been reached). Thus, if evidence is established to prove the existence of something in this location, it should exist there without a form (jism), for that which prevents its existence there, is the exact opposite of what the people presume it to be..."

And this is an inescapable rational proof, the essence of which is that if whatever is above the sky is a confined and limited place, then it must have something which confines and restricts it, so that it is surrounded, confined and restricted by a place other than it (otherwise it cannot be defined as a 'place' as Ibn Rushd explains) and then there must be another place confining and surrounding this one and so on till there is no end [4]. Therefore it is obligatory to stop at a place (jihah) at which all other places terminate, and that is what is above the sky, and Allaah is above that, without place, limitation, encompassment or inclusion. And this refutes what the deniers of al-'Uluww (Allaah's being high above the creation) presume and imagine. This (refutation) arose from a philosopher, skilled in their sciences and who was well-known for theological rhetoric and philosophy. He demonstrated with clear rational proof the falsehood of what they have thought to be rational and for which they have twisted and interpolated the texts. It has become clear from this that the foundation upon which ta'weel (allegorical interpolation) and denial is based in this issue, the 'rational' or 'intellectual proof', is a shattered foundation in the view of the philosophers themselves, let alone those besides them!

The Third

Shaikh ul-Islaam placed in 'Dar' ut-Ta'aarud' (6/250) an invaluable chapter which contains quotations from the Scholars of the ummah and their most senior persons (of knowledge) regarding the affirmation that Allaah is above the Throne and he quoted their words from their books by the very letters. If it were not for the fear of lengthening the affair I would have quoted it all, with its length, however I will suffice with only a portion from each book and quotation, perhaps it may accomplish what is desired.

He - may Allaah have mercy upon him - said, "The Shaikh, Abu Nasr as-Sijzee said, in the book 'al-Ibaanah', 'Our Imaams, such as Sufyaan ath-Thawree, Maalik, Sufyaan ibn 'Uyainah, Hammad bin Salamah, Hammaad bin Zaid, 'Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak, Fudayl ibn 'Iyaad, Ahmad bin Hanbal, and Ishaaq bin Raahawaih are unanimously agreed that Allaah is above His Throne with His Essence (bi Dhaatihi).'

And Shaikh Abu 'Umar at-Talamankee al-Maalikee, one of the Imaams of his time in Andalus, said in his book 'al-Wusool ilaa Ma'rifatul-Usool', 'And the Muslims from Ahl us-Sunnah are agreed upon the meaning of His saying, 'And He is with you wherever you may be' [Hadeed 57:4] - and what is similar to that in the Qur'aan - that that is His knowledge, that Allaah is above the heavens, with His Essence (bi Dhaatihi), and that He ascended His Throne in the manner that He wishes.'

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