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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  [55747]  
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Fourthly: Ibn al-Qayyim - may Allaah have mercy upon him - said: "As for the narration reported from Imaam Ahmad - then his companions are divided into three groups regarding it. The first: That this is mistakenly attributed to him since the only one who spoke about it is Hanbal and he is one who has many opinions/reports which are in opposition to what is well known from the madhhab of Ahmad. So when he is alone in holding that which opposes the well-known - and al-Khallaal and his companion Abdul-Azeez do not establish that as a report from Ahmad [but] Abu Abdullaah bin Haamid and others establish that from him. However, what is correct is that it is a rejected narration [shaadhah] which opposes the essence of his [Ahmad's] madhhab. And this [something being rejected on account of its opposition to what is well-known] occurrs in the matter's of furoo' (the branches i.e. matters of fiqh) - then how about in this matter? And another group has said: "Rather, Hanbal has been precise in what he narrated and preserved but then they differ regarding the explanation of this text. So a group amongst them says: "That Imaam Ahmad said that as an argument against them [the Jahmiyyah] since the people used to interpolate (perform ta'weel) from the Qur'aan the [Attributes] of Arriving (Ityaan) and Coming (Majee) with the coming of His command - the Most Perfect. In this there was nothing to prove that by ascribing Coming and Arriving to Him [in this interpolated sense], that He is created. So likewise Allaah's describing His Words with Arriving and Coming is the same as His describing Himself with Arriving and Coming. Therefore this does not prove that His Word is created since it can be taken to mean the coming of His recompense - just as you (i.e. the people who resort to ta'weel) have taken His Coming - the Most Perfect - and His Arriving upon the meaning of the Coming of His command and His punishment. So Ahmad mentioned that as an argument against them and as something that is necessitated (by their way) to argue against that which they used to believe - and which was [a line of reasoning] that was the same as that which they used as evidence against him - not that he believed that, since using something as proof [against somebody] does not necessitate that the one who is using something as a proof believes in the correctness of what he is using to dispute [his opponent]...". Ibn al-Qayyim continues later saying : "And something similar to this difference occurred in the madhhab of Maalik. It is well known from him and from the Scholars of the Salaf to affirm the texts of the Attributes and the prohibition of resorting to ta'weel (interpolating them). It has been reported from him (Maalik) that he interpolated the saying [of Allaah's Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)]: "Our Lord descends...", with the meaning: His command descends. This report has two isnaads (chains of narration): The first: From Habeeb his scribe, and this Habeeb is not the actual Habeeb, rather he is a liar (kadhdhaab) and a forger (waddaa') by unanimous agreement of all the Ahl ul-Jarh wat-Ta'deel and not a single one of the scholars depended upon him in his narration and in the isnaad. The second, in which there is an unknown person (majhool) whose condition is not known. Therefore, amongst his companions are some who affirm this narration and amongst them are those who do not because the most famous of his companions have not narrated anything like this from him." End of his words. Mukhtasar us-Sawaa'iq al-Mursalah (2/260-261).

And Shaikh ul-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah says: "And there is no doubt that that which is reported in mutawaatir form from Ahmad opposes this narration [in which Ahmad is supposed to have resorted to ta'weel] and it makes it clear that he does not say: 'The Lord comes [meaning] His command comes and descends', rather he rejects the one who says that." Sharh Hadeeth in-Nuzool (p.202).

And what is authentically related from Imaam Ahmad is what al-Qaadee Abu Ya'laa narrates in his book: Ikhtilaaf ur-Riwaayatain (1/250) and also by Ibn al-Qayyim in Mukhtasar us-Sawaa'iq (p.386): "Hanbal said: I said to Abu Abdullaah: 'Allaah - the Mighty and Magnificent descends to the lowest heaven?' He said: 'Yes.' I said: 'Is His descent by His Knowledge or what?' Then he said to me: 'Be quiet about this', and he became very angry and said: 'Pass on the hadeeth as it has come".

And Abdullaah bin Ahmad said in his book as-Sunnah: "I asked my father: 'Allaah descends to the lowest heaven. How is his descending, is it His knowledge or not?' He said: 'Be quiet or severe punishment shall afflict you!' Then he said: 'Pass on the hadeeth as it has come."

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