Part 2- Were The 4 Imaams Mufawwidhah With Regards To The Sifaat of Allaah
Based on the article of Hafidh Muhammad Zubair
Further Additions/ Modifications and Translated Abu Hibbaan & Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari.
A Hanafi scholar published an article, discussing the names and attributes of Allaah and in the article the hanafi scholar attempted to rebuke the Salafis and portrayed that we are stauch in this issue. We, however without going into the polemics at this moment in time and wanting to address the issue of whther Salafis are staunch or not would like to focus and concentrate on rectifying a fundamental mistake the hanafi scholar mentioned in which most of the current day hanafis are engrossed in.
The Hanafee scholar has cited 3 positions of Ahlus Sunnah with regards to the Asmaa Was-Sifaat of Allaah and he asserts the postion of the majority of Ahlus Sunnah ie companions, the taabieen the taba taabieen, the 4 Imaams with regards to the Asmaa Was-Sifaat of Allaah was that they did tafweedh (ie relegated the meaning of these names and attributes to Allaah alone) in other words let alone them ie Ahlus Sunnah mentioning the kayfiyyah ie the howness of these names and attributes they did not even believe in the arabic linguistic meaning of these names and attributes whether they were real ie haqeeqi or majazi ie metaphoical.
The Hanafi scholar writes,
(1) The First Position
The position of the majority of Ahlus Sunnah is these texts are from the mutashaabihaat ie unclear or ambigious texts and the meaning of which only Allaah knows. So after they have been affirmed and accepted their real or metaphorical meaning cannot be mentioned or specified. So in reality they are mutashaabihaat in terms of their meaning and the kayfiyyah ie howness, ie the Quraanic Ayah, “nobody knows their meaning except Allaah.” So this position is what we known as the position of tafweedh and this is the position of the earlier scholars of Ahlus Sunnah and the 4 Imaams.
(SUMMARY: THE MEANING (ma’ana) IS UNKNOWN AND THE HOWNESS (kayfiyyah) IS UNKNOWN (of the attributes)
(2) The Second Position
The texts about the sifaat are left to their real meaning and reality and accepted and the meaning of these sifaat is accepted just as it befits Allaah the Mighty and Majestic. So the meaing is affirmed but the howness of the sifaat is unknown as to how the sifaat is. The well known and famous statement, “al-Istiwaa Ma’loom Wal- Kayf Majhool Was-Suwaal Anhu Bidah.” (al-Istiwaa is known and the howness is unknown and questioning about them is an innovation) and “al-Iitiwaa Ghair Majhool Wal Kayf Ghair Ma’qool Wal-Eemaanu Bihi Waajib.” (al-Istiwaa is not unknown, the howness has not been mentioned and believing in it is obligatory.) These 2 statements are from Imaam Maalik and his teacher Rabee’a bin Abdur Rahmaan.
(SUMMARY: THE MEANING (ma’ana) IS KNOWN AND THE HOWNESS (kayfiyyah) IS UNKNOWN (of the attributes)
(3) The Third Position
This position is to mention a majaazi ie metaphorical meaning for the sifaat away from the haqeeqi ie real meaning as befits Allaah the Majestic and whilst formulating a metaphorical meaning it must be done within an acceptable scope. Ie Yadd (Hand) to mean Qudrah (power), Wajh (face) meaning Dhaat (ie Essence), Istiwaa(rising) to mean Isteela (Conquering). This position is known as the position of Ta’weel ie figuratively explaining and the majority of the later scholars of Ahlus Sunnah adopted this way. It must also be added the metaphorical or majaazi meaning that is explained for the meaning of these sifaat they are yaqeeni ie certain or Qat’i ie definitive and nor do the people of ta’weel have firm conviction in the aqeedah of these meanings, rather they hold them to be from the level of Dhann ie uncertainty, conjecture and possibly. So they do say Yadd (hand) means Qudrah (ie Power) and they do this taweel but they also say this explanation is just a possibilty or uncertain.
(SUMMARY: THE MEANING (ma’ana) IS FIGURATIVLY EXPLAINED IE TA’WWEL AND THE HOWNESS (kayfiyyah) IS UNKNOWN (of the attributes). As the Imaams of Ahlus Sunnah this ta’weel is in essence and reality denying the meaning so this aqeedah should also be understood as THE MEANING (ma’ana) IS UNKNOWN AND THE HOWNESS (kayfiyyah) IS UNKNOWN (of the attributes).
The hanafi scholars goes onto differ with the opinion of another well known hanafi scholar, ie Shaikh Abdul Hayy Lucknowi who said the second position was the position of the Scholars of Ahlus Sunnah and the third position as the madhab of the later mutakallimeen ie those who were upon theological rethoric. Shaikh Abdul Hayy Lucknowi goes onto say,
“There are a number of positions on this from the scholars, one position is of taweel that istiwaa means isteela and yadd means qudrah ie power and wajh means dhaat ie essence so and so forth and this is the well known adopted position of the later mutakallimeen ie those into kalaam. The second madhab is the meaning and the howness are unknown and the third position is that the meaning is known but the howness is unknown, and so from these positions the truth (the Haqq) is with the third position we have mentioned and this was the madhab of the companions, the taabieen and imaams of ijtihaad, hadeeth and fiqh ie the mujtahideen, the muhadditheen and the fuqaha and the Muhaqqieen Usooliyyeen ie the researching scholars of principles.”
The Hanafi scholar says, “The truth is the position of the majority of the scholars was the first position ie of tafweedh (no meaning and no howness) and this is well known and famous as the position of tafweedh and this is the best and the most comprehensive madhab.” the hanafi scholar goes onto say, “Allamah Ibn Tamiyyah and Allamah ibn Qayyim were staunch and ardent in this issue however the salafis and the ghair muqallideen consider only themselves to be upon the truth and this is what they deem to be the position of Ahlus Sunnah and in this manner consider everyone else to be upon misguidance and falsehood, etc….”
The position of the hanafi scholar is is in total contradiction to the truth whereas the statement of Shaikh Abdul Hayy Lucknowi conforms to the truth that the companions, taabieen and the 4 imaams were not upon total tafweedh rather they believe and accepted the meaning of the sifaat and stopped at the howness of them.
I would like to before we discuss this issue in great detail talk about why the muqallideen say it is haram to do taqleed of the 4 Imaams in Aqeedah. So the hanafis abandon the taqleed of Imam Abu Haneefah in Aqeedah and in order to save themselves from the accusations of abandoning their Imaams Aqeedah they offer all sorts of explanations and answers.
Those who have consulted the books of Islaam and history will realise and come to know that staunch taqleed of the imaams started after the 4th century and what followed with this was the atmosphere of debates and argumentation between the followers of the Imaams, for example such arguments and debates between the hanafis and shaafiees have continued for centuries. Over time the shaafiees spread and prospered in malysia and indonesia and the hanafis spread and gained notoriety
TO BE CONTINUED…