Conceptualizing Tawheed Al-Asmaa Was-Sifaat (XI)

Tuesday 19-Feb-2019, 8:04PM / 66

Adaptation and Translation by Abul Aamaal Misbaah Olagunju


Bismillaah-ir-Rahmaan-ir-Raheem

Explanation of the Perfect Names and the Lofty Attributes

[31] ASH-SHAHĪD

Allah the exalted said:
وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ شَهِيدًا
"And All-Sufficient is Allah as Ash-Shahīd (a Witness)." - Surah Al-Fath: 28

Ash-Shahīd
He is a watcher over His creation, He testifies for Himself unitary and equity, He testifies for the believers when he is all by himself, and also testifies for His messengers and His angels. 

Points from the Exemplary Principles:

Bin Al-Uthaymeen said in Qawā'id al-Muthlā:

Principles regarding the attributes of Allah: The sixth principle: It is obligatory when affirming the attributes of Allah, to free oneself from two great perilious conceptions: the first of them is tamthīl and the second is takyīf.

As for takyīf: it is for the affirmer of the attribute to believe that the attribute have such and such description and features, without qualifying it with any example. And this is a baseless belief according to textual and intellectual proofs.

Proofs from texts: From them are His statements: 

وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِهِ عِلْمًا
"and they will never compass anything of His Knowledge." (Ta'Ha:110), and 
وَلَا تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ ۚ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولَٰئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْئُولًا

"And follow not that of which you have no knowledge. Verily! The hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those you will be questioned" (Al-Isrāi:36). 

And from what is certain is that we have no knowledge of the description of the attributes of our Lord, because He —the exalted— is the one who informed us about them, but did not inform us about their description and features, therefore, our attempt at describing them will amount to following something for which we have no knowledge, and speaking regarding that which we couldn't possibly comprehend.

[32] AR-RAQĪB

Allah the exalted said:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا
"Surely, Allah is Ever Raqīban (All-Watcher) over you." - Surah An-Nisā': 1

Ar-Raqīb
He is well acquainted with his slaves, and He reckons their deeds, not a single glance or thought (of His slaves) escapes Him. 

Points from the Exemplary Principles:

Bin Al-Uthaymeen said in Qawā'id al-Muthlā:

Principles regarding the attributes of Allah: The sixth principle: As for takyīf: it is for the affirmer of the attribute to believe that the attribute have such and such description and features, without qualifying it with any sample. And this is a baseless belief according to textual and intellectual proofs.
Proofing the baselessness of takyīf from the intellect:

Since the description of the feature of a thing is not known except after the knowledge of the nature of it's features, or known by observing its equivalent, or known through the information of a trustworthy informer about it, and all these means are not realisable when considering the description of the attributes of Allah —the mighty and sublime—, then it becomes binding that the takyīf (description) of Allah's attributes be baseless.

[33] AL-QARĪB

Allah the exalted said:

فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ ثُمَّ تُوبُوا إِلَيْهِ ۚ إِنَّ رَبِّي قَرِيبٌ مُجِيبٌ
"then seek His forgiveness and turn to Him in repentance. Certainly, my Lord is Qarīb (Near), Mujīb (Responsive)." - Surah Hūd: 61

Al-Qarīb
Near, by way of His Knowledge and Strength to the entirety of His slaves, and (near) by way of His Kindness and Favour to His believing slaves, and He is at the same time above His throne in His essence, not mingling with the creation.

Points from the Exemplary Principles:

Bin Al-Uthaymeen said in Qawā'id al-Muthlā:

Principles regarding the attributes of Allah: The sixth principle: As for takyīf: it is for the affirmer of the attribute to believe that the attribute have such and such description and features, without qualifying it with any example. And this is a baseless belief according to textual and intellectual proofs.

For this reason, when Imam Mālik was asked concerning the statement of Allah: 

الرَّحْمَٰنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَىٰ
"The Most Beneficent Istawā (ascended over) the (Mighty) Throne" (20:5); "How did He Istawā (ascend)"? 

Mālik (may Allah have mercy on him) lowered His head until he began to perspirate, then he said:- "Al-Istiwā is not unknown, the detail of its how (manner) is incomprehensible, believing it is obligatory and raising questions about it's details is an innovation." and a similar report was also related from his teacher Rabī'ah - "Al-Istiwā is not unknown and it's how (manner) is incomprehensible". So the people of knowledge after them have treaded upon this standard till date. 

Therefore, if the how (details) is incomprehensible and there exist no text of revelation about it, then both means of proofs; textual and intellectual evidences, are not available to establish it, then it becomes binding to abstain from speaking regarding it.

Adapted and Translated from:
Aahkaamu Tahamul Muslim
Sharhu Qawaa'idul Muthlaa'