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Ashʿariyyah: Denying the Hands of Allāh, Relegating the Attributes to Seven

Shaykh Mūsá Richardson

Excerpted from the audio lecture ‘Affirmation of the Hands of Allāh and His Descending’ from the ‘Aqīdah Class (Summer ’07) based on the Hā’iyyah poem of the famous scholar Ibn Abī Dāwūd as-Sijistānī.

From the points discussed:
  • The Denial of the (Right) Hands of Allāh, interpreting and explaining them away logically instead of sticking to the texts
  • The lack of evidence for the Ashaʿirah to relegate Allāh’s Attributes to Seven, the ludicracy of affirming Sight and Hearing for Allāh yet negating other Attributes
The Ashāʿirah will accuse Ahl al-Sunnah of likening Allāh to his Creation, due to their following the way of the righteous Salaf in declaring the Names & Attributes of Allāh, as they came, without distortion, logical analysis or likening them in any way to the creation. Taking them as they are, full-stop. The Ashʾarīs due to their background in qiyās (logical reasoning) hold that declaring Allāh’s Hands as they are, without implying that it means ‘blessing, power etc.’ is likening Allāh to his creation since many created beings have hands. Rather, this accusation is more fitting for themselves, why is it that they cannot affirm Allāh’s attributes as they are, instead of explaining away these attributes as something else, in fact this, in reality, is likening Allāh to his creation since they cannot fathom Allāh having a Hand without comparing it to creation and thus deducing something else!

The full lecture explains the following lines of poetry from Ibn Abī Dāwūd’s Ḥāʾiyyah:

(10) And certainly a Jahmī will deny His Right Hand as well,
While both of His Hands are giving out all kinds of bounties.

(11) And say: The Ever-Compelling descends each night,
Without asking how magnificent is the One God and most worthy of praise.

(12) Down to the lowest heaven, granting bounties from His Grace,
As the gates of the heavens are opened and spread widely.

(13) He says: Is there anyone seeking forgiveness who would like to meet a Forgiver?
Or anyone seeking bounties of goodness and provisions, so he could be given (what he requests)?

(14) A group has reported this whose reports are not to be rejected,
But sadly some have went wrong and did not believe them, marrying themselves.

Summer Courses 2007 – Masjid al-Furqān – Toronto, Ontario

Translated by Mūsá Richardson
Edited by Ḥasan al-Ṣumālī

Published: December 6, 2007
Edited: January 2, 2023


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