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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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Shaikh ul-Islaam said, in 'Minhaaj us-Sunnah' (1/216), "The people have three sayings about the application of (the word) 'al-jihah'. A group negates it, another affirms it and the other explains the matter: and this divergence is found amongst the affirmers of the Attributes of the companions of the four Imaams and their likes. The dispute of the People of Hadeeth and Sunnah, however, regarding the denial and affirmation of it is a dispute regarding the word itself, it is not a dispute concerning the meaning. For this reason, a group from the companions of Ahmad, such as the Taimees [6], al-Qaadee in one of his two sayings negates it and another group the majority of which affirm it, and this is also the second of the two sayings of al-Qaadee. This (difference) is because the word 'al-jihah' (direction) sometimes refer to that which exists and can sometimes refer to that which does not exist. It is also known that there is nothing in existence save the Creator and the created. So when something that exists that is other than Allaah is intended by the word 'al-jihah', it is from the creation of Allaah, and nothing from the creation surrounds or encompasses Allaah, the Most High [7]. And if by 'al-jihah' (direction) something which does not exist is intended - and that is whatever is above the world, then there is nothing above it save Allaah alone." End of his words.

The summary of this discussion is that Allaah is above the Throne, the aayaat and ahaadeeth in this regard are overwhelming; that the Imaams of Islaam and their associates and companions have spoken with this and that whoever makes it binding that their saying leads to limiting and confining Allaah, then he has forged a lie against them twice: Firstly, since he fabricated against them that which they did not say, and made binding upon them (i.e. from their belief concerning Allaah) that which they did not make binding upon themselves and which they did not themselves say, in fact they criticised and denied it. Secondly, that this necessity which the philosophers talk about (i.e. the implication of affirming Allaah is above the Throne, above the Heavens, over His creation) is in reality falsehood and even in the words of others amongst the Ahl ul-Kalaam (such as Ibn Rushd) it is not correct and binding, rather it is falsehood according to them. Therefore, the actual dispute concerning the word 'al-jihah' (direction) is amongst the People of Truth and it is a difference with respect to the word not the meaning, since they are unanimously agreed upon the denial and negation of Allaah being encompassed and surrounded, and this is the meaning which is forbidden. So whoever says, 'The word 'al-jihah' (direction) is used because its meaning is that Allaah is above the Throne' and whoever says, 'The word 'al-jihah' is not to be used because it has not been narrated or reported (from the Salaf), rather it should just be affirmed that Allaah is above the Throne', then both of them have negated the meaning which is prohibited (i.e. that Allaah is limited and confined) and they have followed the aided truth. And by all of this, the deceit and suspicion is unveiled from its very foundation, and Allaah is the Guide.

Notes

1 I.e. that affirming Allaah is above the creation, above His Throne, necessitates that He is confined and limited to a place.

2 i.e. something can only be said to be in a 'place' or 'location' if it is surrounded by other things/objects. For it is in reference to these objects that something is said to be in a certain 'place' or 'location' and these surrounding objects constitute a holding place for it.

3 In other words there is a place at which the external surface of something stops and teminates and is distinct and separate from that which is besides it.

4 And in this is a denial of the very existence of Allaah!

5 Refer also to the Creed of the Imaam of Siyar, Imaam adh-Dhahabee, in his book 'al-Uluww'.

6 They are 'Abdul-'Azeez bin al-Haarith and his two sons 'Abdul-Waahid and 'Abdul-Wahhaab, and al-Hufaid Rizqullaah bin Abdul-Wahhaab, all of them are Taymees. Refer to 'Tabaqaat ul-Hanaabilah' of Ibn Abee Ya'laa (2/139, 82, 250).

7 As has preceded in the second point above.


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