Did the Salaf practise T'awil?
Understanding Islam
Bayaan at-Talbees Ahlul-Takfeer
Ahlu-Sunnah Versus the Ashari/Sufi Movement
The Senior Scholars Warn Against Extremism and Exageration in Religion
Muslim Authorities
Countering Islamaphobia
To Non Muslims
Salafi Conferences With Scholars
undoing the complete absurdities of ash'ari distortions of what they view t'awil is when in fact it is not

Kabbani states on (pg. 31) that 'many of the pious Salaf, including the Four Imaams and the imams of hadith, such as Bukhari, to apply ta'weel in its proper place. This has been proven by scholars such as ibn al-Jawzi al-Hanbali in his 'Daf' Shubah at-Tashbeeh', Qadi Iyad al-Maliki in his commentary to Muslim, Ali al-Qari al-Hanafi in his commentary on Iyads 'al-Shifa', and Imam Nawawi ash-Shafi'i in his commentary on Muslim. What follows is a presentation of their views on some of the relevant texts."

As will become clear in the following pages neither was it the practice of the Salaf to delve into ta'weel or the practice of the 4 Imaams, and neither was it the practice of al-Ash'aree himself! The fact that some later scholars fell into this innovation is not a proof of the permissibility for ta'weel and can never be taken as such!

It is important however to make one thing clear: that any scholar, who is sincere and desiring the truth, when he exercises his ijtihaad and arrives at a wrong ruling, then even if that ruling is an innovation, the scholar is still rewarded for his ijtihaad and the label of innovator can never be applied to him.

Examples that the Asharees give to prove that the salaf delved into ta'weel.

As mentioned previously the Ash'arees not content to merely delve into ta'weel, ascribe it to the Salaf, may Allaah be pleased with them all, and quote narrations from them to do so.

A number of examples will be quoted below taken from the lectures of Nuh Haa Meem Keller, some of which can be found in the book of Kabbani.

Then while reading some of the refutations of the true traditional scholars to the footnotes of Hasan Saqqaaf to the work 'Daf' Shubah at-Tashbeeh' I found that Keller had merely quoted from this work. For Saqqaaf brings a section in his introduction wherein he tries to prove that the Salaf practiced ta'weel. Needless to say, he filled this introduction with semi-quotes, misquotes, fabrications, and distortions. And we could go through each and every example he brings and prove them false as done by some scholars, but we will suffice with mentioning only a few to show that not content with merely slandering the great scholars of Ahlus Sunnah he has to go on and put lies into the mouth of our Righteous Salaf!

  • Over the verse in which Allaah addresses the unbelievers on the Day of Judgement, "Today We forget them (nansaahum) as they have forgotten the meeting of this Day of theirs "[7:51]

Keller states, "which the early Muslims used to interpret figuratively as reported by a scholar who was himself an early Muslim - salafee - and indeed the shaykh of the early Muslims in Qur'aanic exegesis, the hadeeth master....Haafidh ibn Jareer at-Tabaree, who died 310 years after the Hijra and who explains the above verse, 'today We forgotten them as they have forgotten this Day of theirs', as meaning, "this Day, resurrection Day, we shall forget them, so as to say, we shall abandon them to their punishment" Now this is precisely ta'weel - or interpretation in other than the verses ostensive sense...." He goes on to say that this same 'ta'weel' was reported by ibn Abbaas and his student Mujaahid.

It is surprising, how a few eloquent words can fool the people, for in reality the meaning of the above words is empty. For all Keller does is betray his ignorance with regards to the Arabic Language for the word nansaakum, coming from the root verb nasiya, yansaa can mean, either to deliberately leave and abandon or to forget and fail to remember [See 'Lisaan al-Arab' for example]. Therefore the meaning of this verse is clear and that is 'Today we abandon them as they have abandoned this Day of theirs' and this is not taking the verse from it's clear and literal meaning as Keller claims.

This is the tafseer that at-Tabaree gives following ibn Abbaas and Mujaahid,


"We will abandon them in the punishment which cuts them off, leaving them hungry and thirsty without any food or drink, just as they abandoned action for the Meeting on this Day, and they rejected preparation for it.... And we have explained clearly the meaning of His saying 'nansaahum' previously along with it's witnesses, so their is no need to repeat it."

Further the implication that Keller leaves is that the Salafees who take the verses literally must then believe that Allaah forgets, and this is evil and a lie against the Salafees, for no one has ever said this for the very reason mentioned above.

  • Over the verse, ' And the sky with built bi Aydin, verily we outspread it "

Keller assumes that 'bi Aydin' means 'with Hands' and then states, following Saqqaaf, "at-Tabaree ascribes the figurative explanation - ta'weel - of 'with Hands' as meaning, quote, 'with Power', through five chains of transmission to ibn Abbaas...."

Again the argument is empty for the word Alif Yaa Daal, which is the root of 'bi Aydin' means 'Power', and not hands as Keller thinks, and can be found in any Arabic dictionary. So how can there be ta'weel here?! Also this verse, even if taken to mean 'with Hands', does not link them to Allaah, i.e. as being the Hands of Allaah, so there is no proof in this verse for the ta'weel of the Ash'arees from any perspective! [See 'as-Sawaa'iq wa ash-Shuhab' of Shaykh Abu Wadaa'ah al-Atharee (pg. 40)]

the word "aydhayn in arabic means "power" not "hand. thus it is not "t'awil" but simply pure deception or utter ignorance on part of whoever decides to delude the non arabic audience.

Ibn Kathir says in tafsir of Allah’s Hands, etc, is not the Ta’wil which involves the negation of the dhahir.

When we take the attributes, it is the way our predecssors from the Salaf affirmed two things from the verses regarding the Attributes:
1) The Attribute itself, and
2) The meaning of the Attributes plus the context.

For example, with the verse: ‘Lo! The bounty is in Allah's Hand’

The Salaf affirmed:
1) Allah has a Hand, and
2) Allah is the ultimate owner of all bounties.

If Ibn Kathir, or any of the Salaf for that matter, negated the dhahir, then the Ash’aris might have a leg to stand on. However, Ibn Taymiyya gave the Ash’aris of his time three years to search through the heritage of the Salaf to find one scholar making ta’wil, and they were unable to comply.

All they could bring were statements of the Salaf regarded verses that had nothing to do with the Sifat.

For instance, the verse: ‘The heavens that We Created with Aydin’, many of them say that the Salaf made ta’wil of the word Aydin by saying it refers to power.

Yet, the verse has nothing to do with Allah’s Attributes, because the word ‘Aydin’, literally and linguistically refers to power, and not hands.

The word ‘Aydin’ is a verbal noun (masdar) for the verb ‘aada’, meaning ‘strengthened’, and therefore completely different to the word ‘yad’ (hand), linguistically, morphologically, let alone literally.

But the Ash’arite problem is ignorance of the Arabic language.

Another verse which clarifies the meaning of Aydin is: ‘Remember our servant, Dawud, the one with Aydin…’

Aydin here, linguistically refers to power and not hands, for if it literally meant ‘hands’, the verse would surely sound strange:
‘Remember our servant, Dawud, the one with hands’!

In this regard the Shafi’i Imam Ibn Khuzayma says: ‘Some of the Jahmites claimed the meaning of the saying: ‘Allah Created Adam with His Two Hands’, i.e. with His power. Hence, they claimed that al-Yad (hand) refers to al-Quwwah (power), and this is also from changing (the wording/meanings:Tahreef). This is also ignorance of the Arabic language. For power is called ‘al-Ayd’ in the language of the Arabs, and not ‘al-Yad’ (a hand). Therefore, the one who cannot differentiate between ‘al-Yad’ and ‘al-Ayd’, he is more in need of education and enrolment in a school, than seeking leadership or a theological debate!’ (al-Tawhid p. 87)

So if one were to ask: but you Salafees take the Qur'aan upon it's literal meaning, so how can you use the argument above? The reply is: that the founding principle is that we take the Qur'aan and Sunnah as it was understood by the Salaf, so what they took literally we take literally, and where they departed from the literal meaning, we too depart from the literal meaning. This is what is indicated in the previous sayings of the scholars that it is from the rights of the Words of Allaah that they be taken literally unless an evidence indicate otherwise e.g. the understanding of the Salaf. What has happened here, as is common, is that the Ash'arees have put arguments into the mouths of the Salafees that in reality do not exist and then go on to refute them so as to misguide the unaware listeners. Shaykh Yusuf Muhammad Siddique said, "and the ta'weel of one who says: 'What is intended by Yad is power is not correct since it is not correct for the saying of Allaah: ' one who I created with My Two Hands...' to mean: 'with My Power' when Hand has been mentioned in the dual. And if that had been correct then Iblees would have said: 'and You created me also with Your Power, so he (Adam) has no superiority over me in that.' However, Iblees, along with his disbelief, is more knowledgeable of his Lord than the Jahmiyyah." ['Daqaa'iq Aqueedah inda A'immatul Arba'ah' (pg. 11-12)]

Know also that the Mu'tazila used the very same verse above as a proof for ta'weel, saying, "'the sky we built with Aydin'. Al-Aydee means power (quwwa), and hence it is necessary that the meaning of 'My Two Hands' be: My Two Powers"

Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'aree replied to this ta'weel saying,


"it is said to them that this ta'weel is wrong (faasid) from many perspectives the last of which is that 'al-Aydee' is not the plural of yad (hand) because the plural of yad which is used to mean ni'ma (favour) is 'Ayaadee' and all that Allaah said was 'to the one who I created with My Two Hands (bi yaday)' so it is false that the meaning of His saying, 'with My Two Hands' be the meaning of His saying, 'we built it with Power'." ['al-Ibaanah' (pg.134)]

And there are many verses in the Qur'aan, many Ahaadeeth and the consensus of the Salaf that Allaah has Two Hands without asking how and likening them to the hands of the creation. Reading any early work on Aqueedah will establish this.

  • Over the hadeeth, "Allaah the Most High Laughs about two men, one of whom kills the other, but both will enter Paradise. The one who fights in the way of Allaah and is killed and afterwards Allaah forgives the killer, then he fights in the path of Allaah and is martyred."

Keller claims, following Saqqaaf, "the hadeeth master al-Bayhaqee records that the scribe of Bukhaaree, Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Farabree, related that Imaam Bukhaaree said quote, "the meaning of Laughter is Mercy". This statement of al-Bayhaqee occurs in his 'Asmaa was Sifaat' (pg. 470) but he quotes no chain of narration for it, and therefore it cannot be depended upon as indicated in the words of Abdullaah bin al-Mubaarak said,


"The isnaad is from the Deen, were it not for the isnaad, whosoever willed could say whatever he wished."

Imaam Bukhaaree, may Allaah have Mercy upon him, was clearly upon the way of the Salaf, meaning he affirmed the Attributes of Allaah as they befitted Him, and this is seen in his work 'Saheeh al-Bukhaaree' and his work 'Khalq Af'aal al-Ebaad.' As for the above hadeeth, Bukhaaree mentions it in two places in his 'Saheeh':

1) Book of the merits of the Ansaar, chpt. 10
2) Book of Tafseer, chpt. 6

And nowhere does he mention the aforementioned ta'weel. In fact ibn Hajr says, after quoting the words of al-Bayhaqee, "I have not seen this in any of the manuscripts that we have come across."['al-Fath' (8/631)]

Adh-Dhahabee quotes from Abu Ubaid al-Qaasim bin Sallaam (d.224) that he said, while talking about the Laughter of Allaah,


"These are authentic ahaadeeth, the Ashaabul Hadeeth and the Legal jurists have conveyed them, some from others, and they are the truth in which there is no doubt according to us. But if it was said, "how does He Laugh?" We say: we do not explain this, and we have not heard anyone explain it."

['Siyar' (10/505). The statement of Abu Ubaid is also mentioned by ibn Abdul Barr in 'at-Tamheed' (7/149). Abu Ubaid is the faqeeh, linguist, and muhaddith. He studied under a group of the taabi'een like Sufyaan bin Uyaynah and Abdur Rahmaan bin Mahdee. Imaam Ahmad said about him, "Abu Ubaid is a teacher, every day he increases in good." And Yahya bin Ma'een said, "the people should ask Abu Ubaid".]
And adh-Dhahabee adds to this saying,


"and the scholars of the Salaf explained the important and unimportant words (occurring in the Qur'aan and Sunnah)... and as for the verses and the ahaadeeth of the Attributes they never subjected them to ta'weel, and they are the most important in the religion, so if ta'weel was permissible than they would have undertaken it. So know with certainty that reciting them, and leaving them as they came is the truth, and there is no explanation for them other than this, so we believe in this, and we are silent following the Salaf, believing that they are the Attributes of Allaah...and that they do not resemble the attributes of creation"

So again the way of the Salaf was to take the Attribute of the Laughter of Allaah as it came without asking how, and likening it to creation. And the meaning of 'reciting them' is that the clear meaning is sufficient for us, and there is no need to delve into ta'weel, as has preceded.

[Refer to 'As-Sawwa'iq wa ash-Shuhab' (pg. 44+), 'Rudood wat Ta'qubaat' (pg.131+), 'Ittihaaf Ahl al-Fadl' (pg. 1/82+)]

Over the verse, " And your Lord shall come " ( wa jaa'a rubbuk)

Keller states, "the hadeeth master Haafidh ibn Katheer reports in his 'Bidaayah wan Nihaayah' that Imaam Bayhaqee related from al-Haakim: from Abu Umar ibn Samaaq: from Hanbal (ibn Ishaaq), the son of the brother of Ahmad ibn Hanbal's father, that quote, 'Ahmad bin Hanbal figuratively interpreted the words of Allaah, Most High, "And your Lord shall come", as meaning: His recompense shall come." Al-Bayhaqee said, "this chain of narration has absolutely nothing wrong with it.""

This taken from Hasan Saqqaaf from his introduction (no.4) who also mentions two further examples wherein Imaam Ahmad is supposed to have made ta'weel (no's 5,7) all from the narrations of Hanbal bin Ishaaq, who is alone in reporting these narrations - and the scholars have discussed that it is common to find that what Hanbal is alone in narrating contradicts the famous and well-known stances of Imaam Ahmad, and therefore some of the Hanbalee scholars like al-Khallaal and others did not depend upon these type of narrations from him.

Imaam ibn al-Qayyim says, "indeed these narrations are erroneously attributed to Imaam Ahmad, for indeed Hanbal is alone in narrating them from him, and he has many narrations which he alone reports that contradict the famous stances in his madhab, so when he is alone in transmitting that which contradicts a famous stance of his (i.e. Ahmad) then al-Khallaal and his companion Abd al-Azeez do not consider these narrations to be established while Abu Abd Allaah bin Haamid and others considered these to be established.

And what is correct is that these narrations are irregular/odd (shaadh) contradicting the mainstream/essence of his madhhab."['Mukhtasar Sawaa'iq al-Mursilah' (2/452) of ibn al-Qayyim]

And this statement of ibn al-Qayyim is supported by what Qaadee Abu Ya'laa reports from Abu Ishaaq bin Shaaqalaa after mentioning this narration from Imaam Ahmad, "...'there is no doubt that this is an error from Hanbal', and Abu Ishaaq meant that his (Ahmad's) madhhab was to take the verse upon it's clear and literal meaning i.e. the Coming of the Person (of Allaah), this is what is obvious from his words, and Allaah knows best." ['Ibtaal at-Ta'welaat' (1/132) of Abu Ya'laa]

Ibn Taymiyyah said, "and there is no doubt that mutawaatir narrations from Imaam Ahmad contradict this narration, and it becomes clear that he did not say: indeed the Lords' Command comes or descends, rather he rebuked the one who said this."['al-Fataawaa (5/401)]

And what is authentically related from Imaam Ahmad is what Qaadee Abu Ya'laa narrates, "Hanbal said: I asked Abu Abdullaah: 'Allaah the Mighty and Magnificent - Descends to the lowest heaven?' He said, 'yes.' I said, 'is His Descent by His Knowledge or what?' Then he said to me, 'be silent about this,' and he became very angry and said, 'leave the hadeeth as it came.' ['Ikhtilaaf ar-Riwaayatain' (1/250) of Abu Ya'laa and also 'Mukhtasar as-Sawaa'iq' (pg. 386)]

This narration is supported by what Imaam Abdullaah bin Ahmad reports in his book 'as-Sunnah', "I asked my father, 'Allaah Descends to the lowest heaven. How is His Descending, is it His Knowledge or what? He said, 'be quiet or severe punishment shall afflict you, leave the hadeeth as they come."

So as Jareer at-Tabaree says: Coming (Majee and al-Ityaan) are Attributes of the Lord, and it is not permissible for anyone to go beyond bounds in discussing this except with a narration from Allaah or from a Messenger who is sent. ['Tafseer ibn Jareer' (2/191)]

Imaam Abul Hasan al-Ash'aree said, "We say: That indeed Allaah, Azza wa Jall, will Come on the Day of Judgement as He said, ' and your Lord shall Come, and His angels - rank upon rank'."['al-Ibaanah' (pg.61), see also 'Tabyeen al-Kadhib al-Muftaree' of ibn Asaakir.]

In the same category falls the narration that Keller quotes from Imaam Ahmad, "we believe in them and consider them true without how and without meaning" for it is also singularly narrated by Hanbal bin Ishaaq. And even if it were authentic then Shaykh Saalih al-Uthaymeen said, "the meaning that Imaam Ahmad negates in his words is the meaning that was initiated by the Mu'attila from the Jahmiyyah and others, by which they changed the texts of the Qur'aan and Sunnah from their literal meanings to meanings that contradicted them. And the fact that he negated the kayfiyyah and meaning, so that his words are taken to refute both parties: the Mu'attila and Mushabbiha, indicates (the truth of) what we have mentioned."[ Talkhees al-Hamawiyyah' (pg. 63) of ibn Uthaimeen. And the truth of his words can be seen in what has preceded, that if the meaning of the Attributes is negated then their would be no conceivable need to negate the kayfiyyah also.] [ See 'as-Sawaa'iq wa ash-Shuhab' (pg. 42-44, 51+), 'Rudood wat-Ta'qubaat' (185+), 'Ittihaaf Ahl al-Fadl' (1/32+)]

So from what has preceded it becomes clear that Imaam Bayhaqee's, may Allaah have mercy upon him, authentication of the narration is erroneous, and this along with the earlier example lends weight to the truth of Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan's statement, "and mentioning al-Bayhaqee for this is not to be depended upon, because al-Bayhaqee, may Allaah have mercy upon him, had something of ta'weel of the Attributes. So his reporting of this subject is not to be trusted, because maybe he was lenient in his reporting."['at-Ta'qeebaat alaa Kitaab as-Salafiyyah laysat madhaban' (pg. 33) of Saalih al-Fawzaan, his refutation of the book by al-Bootee.]

Likewise Shaykh Abdul Azeez bin Baaz said, "as for what occurs in the words of al-Bayhaqee, may Allaah have mercy upon him, in his book 'al-I'tiqaad' with regards to such things - then this is from what entered upon him from the speech of the Mutakallimeen and their false additions. This was passed to him and he believed in the correctness of this, whereas the truth is that it is from the words of the People of Innovation, not from the words of the People of the Sunnah." ['Tanbeehaat Haamah alaa maa katabahu ash-Shaykh Muhammad Alee as-Saaboonee fee Sifaat Allaah - Azza wa Jall' (pg.23)]

The truth of the above words can be ascertained when we come to know that from the teachers of al-Bayhaqee was Abu Bakr ibn Fawraq. Adh-Dhahabee described him as "the Shaykh of the Mutakallimeen" and also, "he was Ash'aree, a head of the field of kalaam" and, "I say: he was taken in chains to Sheeraz for his beliefs. And Abdul Waleed related that the Sultaan Mahmood asked him about Allaah's Messenger (SAW) so he said: 'He was Allaah's Messenger, but as for us today then no,' so he ordered that he be killed with poison. Ibn Hazm said, 'he used to say that the soul of Allaah's Messenger has expired and passed away - and is not in Paradise.'" End of quote from adh-Dhahabee. ['as-Siyar' (17/214-216)]

Not only this but the isnaad of that al-Bayhaqee mentions includes Abu Amr ibn Samaak who is not known as stated by adh-Dhahabee in his 'Talkhees' (1/539) so it is not possible to be an isnaad having nothing wrong with it! So in conclusion, 'Coming' (Majee') is an Attribute of Allaah and as such is to be taken without asking how or likening to creation. And as for those that claim that taking this Attribute literally necessitates that we believe Allaah to move from one place to another etc.

Then the reply to this is: only a person who resembles Allaah to His creation would believe this, and we do not, rather we say that it is an Attribute, which like all of His Attributes is to be taken without tashbeeh or takyeef. And in fact your accusation in and of itself betrays the fact that it is you who liken Allaah to His creation, for this is what you have to do to accuse us in the first place! I.e. you and your likes only understand the Attributes as they would befit the creation, not as they befit Allaah as the Salaf did! Not only this but you have fallen into that which the Ummah is agreed upon is forbidden - you have started to discuss the kayfiyyah of the Attributes!

  • Over the hadeeth of Nuzool (Allaah's Descending to the Lowest Heaven at the last third of the night)

Saqqaaf states in his ta'leeq to 'Daf' Shubah at-Tashbeeh', "ta'weel of Imaam Maalik, may Allaah the Exalted have mercy upon him: al-Haafidh ibn Abdul Barr reports in 'at-Tamheed' (7/143), and al-Haafidh adh-Dhahabee mentioned in 'Siyar A'laam an-Nubulaa' (8/105) that Imaam Maalik, may Allaah the Exalted have mercy upon him, made ta'weel of the Nuzool (of Allaah) which occurs in the hadeeth to descent of His Command. And this is the text from 'Siyar',

'ibn Adee said: Muhammad bin Haroon bin Hissaan narrated to us from Saalih bin Ayyub from Habeeb bin Abu Habeeb that Maalik narrated to me: "Allaah the Exalted sends down His Command, as for He then He is Everlasting , still (Laa yazool)." Saalih said, "I mentioned this to Yahya bin Bakeer and he said, 'good by Allaah although I have not heard this from Maalik"'

I (Saqqaaf) say: the narration of ibn Abdul Barr is via another route so be aware, and we have mentioned this from Imaam Maalik in the ta'leeq number 129."

This is what he said in number 129: "and from those that made ta'weel of the hadeeth of Nuzool by the descent of His Mercy was Imaam Maalik and he was from the Imaams of the salaf as is narrated...." And he mentioned what is in 'as-Siyar'.

In this book this person has blackened it's pages by abusing the Imaams of the past and by quoting phrases that betray only his lack of investigation and enmity and jealousy to the true scholars of Ahlus Sunnah, past and present, and showing a sectarianism that is blind to the truth.

For in the above quote he narrates only a portion of the statement of adh-Dhahabee, for adh-Dhahabee follows on by saying, "I say: I do not know Saalih, and Habeeb is mashhur (famous)!! And what is preserved from Imaam Maalik, may Allaah have mercy upon him, is the narration of Waleed bin Muslim that he asked him about the ahaadeeth to do with the Attributes of Allaah and he replied, 'we take them as they are, without explanation (tafseer).' So the Imaam would have two sayings on this if the narration of Habeeb is authentic."

The narration of Habeeb is not authentic, adh-Dhahabee says about him, "Ahmad said: he is not trustworthy. Ibn Ma'een said: he used to read to Maalik...(?)...and I was asked about him in Egypt and I replied, 'he is nothing'. Abu Dawood said: he is the most lying from amongst the people. Abu Haatim said: he narrated fabricated ahaadeeth from the son of the brother of az-Zuhree. Ibn Adee said: all of his ahaadeeth are fabrications. Ibn Hibbaan said: ...(?)...and he narrated fabrications from trustworthy narrators. He used to include in their ahaadeeth what they did not narrate." ['al-Meezaan' (1/452)]

Ibn Adee said about him, "the scribe of Maalik, he fabricated ahaadeeth...and the ahaadeeth of this Habeeb are all fabricated, from Maalik and from other than him.... And frequently the hadeeth of Habeeb from Maalik are hadeeth that he fabricated against him..." ['al-Kaamil' (2/818)]

So this is the state of Habeeb, and when we also consider that the isnaad also contains an unknown narrator then know that it is impossible to depend upon this chain of narration from any perspective! So how is it that this Saqqaaf overlooks all of this? Truly it is as is said: the innovators take what is for them and 'forget' what is against them. As for what is narrated by ibn Abdul Barr then he said, "and Muhammad bin Alee al-Jiblee - who was one of the trustworthy Muslims of Qayrawaan - said that Jaami bin Sawaadah in Egypt narrated to us from Matraf from Maalik bin Anas that he was asked about the hadeeth, "indeed Allaah descends to the lowest heaven" so Maalik replied, 'He sends down His Command.' ['at-Tamheed' (7/143)]

Then this isnaad is also da'eef for Jaami' was declared weak by ad-Daaruqutnee and he reported it in 'Gharaa'ib al-Maalik' with three other narrators between him and Maalik. And so it becomes clear that this ta'weel is not from Imaam Maalik and in fact what is affirmed from him contradicts this as has preceded.

And it is seems clear that this ta'weel is from Habeeb himself as quoted from him in 'at-Tamheed' of ibn Abdul Barr (7/143), and the condition of Habeeb has preceded.

This is what scholarly research free from sectarianism dictates. And it is the madhhab of the Righteous Salaf that they took the Attribute of Nuzool as it befitted the Majesty of Allaah without takyeef, tashbeeh and ta'weel. [This discussion is taken from 'Rudood wat-Ta'qubaat' (pg. 93+) and 'as-Sawaa'iq was Shuhub' (pg. 45+). For a similar discussion see 'Mukhtasar as-Sawaa'iq' of ibn al-Qayyim.]

  • Over the verse, " the Day when the Saaq (Shin) will be exposed."

Keller states, following Saqqaaf, "at-Tabaree says a number of exegetes of the Companions - and their students - held that, 'A Day when the Shin shall be exposed' means that, quote, "a dire matter shall be disclosed".....This was apparently lost upon later anthropomorphists who said that the verse proved, quote, "Allaah has a Shin," or according to others, "two Shins" as one would be unbecoming. At-Tabaree also relates from Muhamamd ibn Ubayd al-Muharabee who relates from ibn al-Mubaarak from Usama ibn Zayd, meaning al-Lythee, from Ikrimah, from ibn Abbaas, that the Shin in the above verse means, quote, "A Day of war and direness" all these narrators are those of the saheeh - except Usama ibn Zaid whose hadeeth are hasan."

This claim includes a number of misconceptions, unfounded allegations and distortions.

Firstly: the narrations that at-Tabaree reports from ibn Abbaas via a number of routes, regarding these Shaykh Saleem al-Hilaali says, "Summarising what has been reported from ibn Abbaas on this issue: with this you will know, O beloved (reader) - may you learn the good - that the chains of narration that are reported from ibn Abbaas to do with his explanation of His saying, "the Day when the Shin will be exposed" cannot be used to establish a proof, because they are all da'eef.

So if it is said: can they be considered under the definition of hasan li ghayrihi (i.e. hasan due supporting each other) I say (in reply): indeed the weakness of them is such that they cannot support one another...

Some of them are severely weak and cannot be used to support rather they make the matter worse. For example: the route of Usama bin Zayd from Ikrimah from him (ibn Abbaas), and it is no. 1

the route of the Uofiyyeen and it is no. 2

the 'masaa'il' of Naafi bin al-Azraq, and it is no. 8

Some of them have a single deficiency, and that is inqitaa (missing links in the chain), so when this is the case then they do not support or strengthen others, and they are:

the route of Alee bin Abee Talha from him and it is no.3

the route of Ibraaheem an-Nakha'i from him and it is no.6

the route of Dahhaak bin Mazaahim al-Hilaalee and it is no.7

Some of them cannot support others because they do not have the same meaning:

So in some of them he says, "distress and severity"

in some of them he says, "the matter will be exposed and the actions will be shown"

in some he says, "a severe matter"

in some he says, "the Day of Judgement and the Hour due to it's severity."

... And due to this we are certain that the narration is not authentic to ibn Abbaas (RA)." ['al-Manhal ar-Raqraaq' (pg. 30) of Shaykh Saleem]

Secondly: We assume that the narration is authentic and accept that there are other authentic narrations from the Taabi'een that mention this explanation. In this case the interpretation of ibn Abbaas still cannot be considered to be a case of ta'weel of one of Allaahs attributes, for, as ibn Taymiyyah and others [For example the Shaafi'ee Imaam, ibn Mandah in his 'Radd alaa al-Jahmiyyah' (pg. 37)] point out, the salaf had two understandings of this verse:

1) Those who say that it was not a verse relating to an Attribute of Allaah, but rather a description of the Day of Judgement, since ALLAAH DOES NOT MENTION IT AS ONE OF HIS ATTRIBUTES IN THE ABOVE VERSE and therefore it can be used according to the Arabic Language to mean severity and distress, as reported by ibn Abbaas who explained this verse according to the Language. This is not therefore the case of the Ash'arees who make ta'weel of the Attributes of Allaah and therefore they have no proof in this verse.

2) Those that say that this verse does refer to an Attribute as was the opinion of Abu Sa'eed al-Khudree and others, this due to the hadeeth that he narrates,


"So Our Lord will uncover His shin, and every believing male and female will prostrate to Him, and only those will remain standing who prostrated in the world for show and repute." [Bukhaaree and in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayra the Prophet then recited the verse in question.]

So it is possible that this hadeeth did not reach ibn Abbaas just as the ruling that grandmothers inherit did not reach Abu Bakr (RA) and so on. And if it had reached him then he would have explained the Verse according to it. ['al-Fataawaa' (6/394)]

Likewise Qaadee Abu Ya'laa said, "as for what is narrated from ibn Abbaas concerning the ta'weel of the Shin then ibn Mas'ud contradicted him and he understood the Shin as an Attribute of Allaah, and it is possible that the saying of ibn Abbaas be understood in the light of the linguistic definition of Shin: i.e. severity..." ['Ibtaal at-Ta'weelaat' (1/58)]

And he likewise mentions that of the opinion of ibn Mas'ud were Abu Hurayra and Abu Sa'eed. [Ibid. (1/160)]

Thirdly: Consider another narration from ibn Mas'ud narrated from him by ibn Mandah that ibn Mas'ud recited the above verse " as His Two Shins " 'Radd alaa al-Jahmiyyah' (pg. 37)] so if this narration is authentic then the aforementioned tafseer of ibn Abbaas and others is seen to be incorrect because, the language only allows Shin to be interpreted as severity when used in the singular. Also the fallacy of what Keller states becomes clear, "or according to others 'Two Shins' as one would be unbecoming."


It is befitting to mention that adh-Dhahabee says that the first one to bring t’awil into the ummah was none other than Jad bin Dirham. So how was t’awil ever a practice that the salaf performed when the only “salaf” who performed this feat was none other than those who received a vehement attack from ahlu-sunnah.

So in conclusion, the Shin is an Attribute of Allaah which is to be taken without takyeef and ta'weel and tashbeeh. And the attempts of the Ash'arees to show that the explanation of ibn Abbaas is ta'weel of Allaahs Attribute is seen to be false.

And Allaah the Most High Knows best, and He is the One who guides to attaining the truth.