Imam ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisee (d.620H) on "Belief (Creed) in Allah’s Names and Attributes"

Posted on February 10, 2011

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He (Allaah) is described by what He has attributed to Himself in His Magnificent Book and upon the tongue of His honorable Prophet.We are obligated to believe in and to welcome with submission and acceptance everything that is mentioned in the Qur’aan and that is authentically reported on the Prophet (Peace by upon him) concerning Allah’s Attributes.And we must abandon opposing it (which is done) by-

  • Radd (rejection),
  • Ta’weel (distortive interpretation; hidden meaning),
  • Tashbeeh (comparison), and
  • Tamtheel (representation).

As for what appears unclear from that, then we are obligated to affirm its wording and not oppose its (literal) meaning. We are to return the precise knowledge of it to the One who stated it and we entrust it upon the one who transmitted it, following the example of the ones who are deeply endowed with knowledge, those whom Allaah has praised in His manifest Book, saying:

“And those who are firmly grounded with knowledge say: ‘We believe in it (the Qur’aan); the whole of it (clear and unclear verses) is from our Lord'”

[Surah Aali-Imraan (3):7]

And He says, disprasing the one who seeks the Ta’weel (hidden meaning) of the unclear verses of His revelation.
“As for those in whose hearts there is deviation, they follow that which is not entirely clear thereof, seeking fitnah (mischief) and seeking for its ta’weel (hidden meanings), but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allaah.”
[Surah Aali-Imraan (3):7]

Thus Allaah has placed the aspect of seeking after the hidden meanings (ta’weel) as a sign of deviation. And He has placed a barrier between them and that which they aspire and He cuts off their ambitions from what they seek after, by saying:

“But no one knows its hidden meanings except Allaah.”

[Surah Aali-Imraan (3):7]
Concerning the ahadeeth: “Verily, Allaah descends to the lowest heaven” and “Verily, Allaah will be seen on the Day of Judgement” and what is similar to these ahaadeeth, Imam Abu ‘Abdillaah Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullaah) said:
“We believe in them and we attest to their verity, without saying how and without ascribing a (fixed) meaning for them. Nor do we reject any part from them. We know that whatever the Messenger came with is the truth. We do not reject what Allaah’s Messenger came with, nor do we describe Allaah with more than He has described Himself, without limits.
Allaah says: ‘There is nothing whatsoever like Him (in comparison). And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.’ We say as He said. We describe Him with what He has described Himself and we do not transgress that. The description of those who (attempt to) describe Him, cannot grasp Him. We do not reject any of His Attributes due to a discomfort (that we may perceive towards it). We do not transgress the Qur’aan and the Hadeeth. And we have no knowledge of how to understand them, except through the affirmations of the Messenger and the confirmation of the Qur’aan.”
Imam Abu ‘Abdillaah Muhammad ibn Idrees Ash-Shaafi’ee, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
“I believe in Allaah and in what has been reported concerning Allaah, upon what was intended by Allaah. And I believe in the Messenger of Allaah and in what has been reported concerning the Messenger of Allaah, upon what was intended by the Messenger of Allaah.”
This is the way that the scholars of the past and present have followed, may Allaah be pleased with them. They all unanimously agreed on acknowledging, accepting, and affirming what has been mentioned in the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (Peace be upon him) concerning the Attributes, without turning towards the use of ta’weel. 

pg. 5-6, Lum’at-ul-‘Itiqaad [Sufficiency in Creed] – by Imam ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisee (d.620H)
Download the Book “Sufficiency in Creed” here.

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