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Asmaa was-Sifaat
  The Names and Attributes of Allaah
Author: Shaikh `Abdul-`Aziz Bin Baz
Article ID : AQD030001  [82009]  
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So, Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah affirm for Allah -The Most Perfect -what He has affirmed for Himself in His Noble Book, or what has been affirmed for Him by His Messenger Muhammad (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) in the authentic Sunnah. Affirming without tamtheel (resemblance) and freeing Allaah - the Most Perfect - from any resemblance to His creation, whilst also rejecting and being free from ta'teel. So whosoever holds fast to the truth which Allaah sent, humbling and accepting it, whilst being sincere to Allaah in the quest for it, then it is the way of Allah - the Most perfect - that He will grant such a person harmony with the truth and show them His clear evidences, as Allaah - the Most High - mentions:

"Nay! We hurl truth against falsehood, so it destroys it: and behold, falsehood is vanquished.." (15)

And Allaah-the Most High -said:

"And no example or similitude do they bring, except We reveal to you the truth and the best explanation thereof..." (16)

Al-Haafidh Ib Katheer(d.774H) (rah) explained in his famous tafseer - whilst commenting upon the saying of Allaah - the Mighty and Majestic:

"Indeed your Lord is He who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then He ascended (istiwaa) over the throne" (17)

He explained this issue in a most beautiful manner, which I have quoted here in its entirety,due to its great benefit.

Ibn Katheer(rah) said:

"The sayings of the people in this issue are very many. However,this is not the place to enter into a detailed discussion about it.Indeed,the path we travers in this issue is to follow the way of the Salafus-Saalih( pious predecessors) such as: Maalik,al-Awzaee, ath-Thawree, Layth ibn Sad, ash-Shafiee, Ahmad, Ishaaqibn Raahaawaih, and other from the scholars of the Muslims - both past and present. And their way is: to recite them as they are, without takyeef, tashbeeh, nor tateel. Indeed,Allaah does not resemble anything of His creation in any way:

"There is nothing like Him, He is all-Hearing, all-Seeing" (18)

Rather,the matter is as the scholars-such as Nuaym ib Hammad al-Khuzaee(d.228H), the Shaykh of al-Bukharee -said: "Whosoever makes tashbeeh (resemblance) of Allaah to His creation, has committed kufr (disbelief), and whosoever denies what Allah has described himself with,has also commited kufr. Indeed, all that Allah has described Himself with, or what His Messenger has described Him with, then there is no tashbeeh in it at all" (19) So whosoever affirms for Allaah - the Most High - what is related in the clear Aayaat and the authentic narrations - in a way which befits. Allaah's Greatness and Majesty - whilst also denying and negating from Allaah - the Most High - any defects and imperfection, then such a person has truly traversed the path of guidance" (20)

The Shaykh (rh)-also said: (21)

"Tahreef (distortion) means: changing the wordings of the Names and attributes, or changing their meanings. Like the saying of the Jahmiyyah that istiwaa(ascending above) is istawlaa (conquering and having dominion over); and like the saying of some of the Innovators that al-Ghadab (Anger) when refering to Allaah means 'intending to send blessings'. And all of this is tahreef. And their saying about istiwaa that it is istawlaa is tahreef of the wording, and their saying that ar-Rahmah is intending to send to send blessings and al-Ghadab is intending to punish is tahreef of the meaning.The true saying,howvere is that istiwaa means ascending and being above- as is clear in the Arabic language. And the QURAN came to show that its meaning is ascending and being above the arsh (Throne) in a manner which befits Allaahs Majesty and Greatness. Likewise,al-Ghadab and ar-Rahmanhare two real Attributes befitting Allahs Majesty and Greatness-just as is the case with the rest of the Attributes reported in the Book and the Sunnah.

Tateel (divesting) means; removal of the attributes and to deny them for allaah -the Most high. It is taken from their saying: 'A graceful neck without adornment (muattal) .So the Jahmiyyah and their like divest Allaah of His attributes and are thus called the Muaattilah. And this saying of theirs is totally futile, since it is not posible for there to be anything in existence without attributes - and the Quran and the Sunnah repeatedly affirm Attributes (for Allaah) in a manner befitting Allaah's Majesty and Greatness.

Takyeef means: Explaining how the Attributes are. So it is not said :"How did he ascend?" Since, speaking about the Attributes of Allaah follows the same principle, and is treated the same, as speaking about the Dhaat (Essence/Self) of Allah. So just as He has a Dhaat and we do not not know how it is,t hen likewise, He has Siffat (Attributes) and we do not know how they are either, no one knows that except Him. But we believe in the reality of their meaning.

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