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The Ash`arees
  A Reply to a Jahmee : Keller Unveiled
Source: Prepared by Abu 'Iyad as-Salafi & Dawud Burbank
Article ID : AQD060009  [56609]  
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Imaam adh-Dhahabee quotes from Abu Ubaid al-Qaasim bin Sallaam (d. 224H) that he said, while talking about the Laughter of Allaah, "These are authentic ahaadeeth, the Ashaabul Hadeeth and the Fuqahaa have conveyed them, some from others, and they are the truth in which there is no doubt according to us. But if it was said: 'How does He Laugh?' We say: we do not explain this, and we have not heard anyone explain it."

Adh-Dhahabee adds to this saying; "And the scholars of the Salaf explained the important and unimportant words (occurring in the Qur'aan and Sunnah)....and as for the verses and the ahaadeeth of the Attributes they never subjected them to ta'weel, and they are the most important in the religion, so if ta'weel was permissible than they would have undertaken it. So know with certainty that reciting them, and leaving them as they came is the truth, and there is no explanation for them other than this, so we believe in this, and we are silent following the Salaf, believing that they are the Attributes of Allaah....and that they do not resemble the attributes of creation". Siyar A'laam un-Nubulaa (10/505).

32 The aforementioned Jahmee said, in his lecture: "The hadeeth master Haafidh Ibn Katheer reports in al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah, that Imaam al-Bayhaqee related from Haakim: from Abu Umar ibn Sammaak: from Hanbal the son of the brother of Ahmad bin Hanbal's father, that, quote, "Ahmad bin Hanbal figuratively interpreted the word of Allaah, Most High, 'And your Lord shall come...' as meaning: His recompense shall come." Al-Bayhaqee said this chain of narrators has absolutely nothing wrong with it." End of the Jahmee's words - Alhamdulillaah.

The following observations are made in response:

Firstly, the fact that Ibn Katheer quotes the narration in no way proves his agreement to that particular interpretation [if it is authentic from Imaam Ahmad]. Rather, see what Ibn Katheer says in his tafseer, which is what we have mentioned above - and which the Jahmee, failed to mention - and also what at-Tabaree has quoted in explanation of the aayah in his tafseer- also quoted above.

Secondly: Regarding what al-Bayhaqee sometimes attributes to the imaams of the Salaf with respect to ta'weel then the Shaikh, Abdul Azeez ibn Baaz - may Allaah protect him - says: "As for what occurs in the words of al-Bayhaqee - may Allaah have mercy upon him - in his book 'al-I'tiqaad' with regard to such things - then this is from what entered upon him from the speech of the mutakallimoon (people of theological rhetoric), and their false additions. This was passed to him and he believed in the correctness of that, whereas the truth is that it is from the speech of the People of Innovation, not from the speech of the People of the Sunnah." Tanbeehaat Haammah alaa maa katabahu ash-Shaikh Muhammad Alee as-Saaboonee fee Sifaatillaahi - Azzawajall (p.23)

And among al-Bayhaqee's shaikhs is Abu Bakr ibn Fawrak. Adh-Dhahabee described him as 'Shaikh of the Mutakallimoon (people of theological rhetoric)" and also "He was an Ash'aree, a head in the field of theological rhetoric (kalaam)", and "I say: He was taken in chains to Sheeraaz for his beliefs (aqaa'id) and Abdul-Waleed related that the Sultaan Mahmood asked him about Allaah's Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) so he said: "He was Allaah's Messenger, but as for today, then no", so he ordered that he should be killed with poison. And Ibn Hazm said: "He used to say that the soul of Allaah's Messenger has expired and faded away - and is not in Paradise." End of adh-Dhahabee's words. See as-Siyar (17/214/216). So al-Bayhaqee - may Allaah have mercy upon him - held a position in certain issues in which he was influenced by his shaikhs and he believed them to be correct - although he was mistaken in that.

Thirdly: This narration that has been attributed to Imaam Ahmad has not been established from him, nor from his books, nor from the books of his companions and its mentioning by al-Bayhaqee is not to be depended upon since it is known that al-Bayhaqee - may Allaah have mercy upon him - used to resort to ta'weel with respect to some of the Attributes and thus his narrating and quoting - in those issues in which he resorts to ta'weel - is not to be taken with full acceptance. Rather, it is established with certainty from Imaam Ahmad the necessity to affirm the Attributes alal-haqeeqah (in a real sense) and not to resort to ta'weel - and that which is known, established and certain from him is not left and abandoned for something that is merely suspected. In this issue Imaam Ahmad has also authored ar-Radd alal-Jahmiyyah waz-Zanaadiqah which is well-known and also printed.

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