Imaam Ahmad negating meaning?
This is a discussion on Imaam Ahmad negating meaning? within the Islamic Theology and Ideology forums, part of the Islamic Knowledge category; Bismillah Alhamdulilah wa salatul wa salam ala rasuhullah Imaam ahmad rahimullah said to the hadith of Allaah's Descent to the ...
- 4th April 2007 #1
Imaam Ahmad negating meaning?
Alhamdulilah wa salatul wa salam ala rasuhullah
Imaam ahmad rahimullah said to the hadith of Allaah's Descent to the lowest Heaven "We believe in it and affirm it without seeking HOW or its MEANING"
The mufawidh love to qoute this in refutation to Ahluh Haq, Ahlus Sunnah, The noble Jamaah, the followers of the pious predecessors. However, we know that Imaam Ahmad rahimullah took the sifaat upon its apparent meaning.
So one ask, Then why did he say 'or its meaning'
Well brother abu zubayr explained this well, he also qouted ibn qudamah rahimullah saying the same thing but showed at the same time that ibn qudamah affirmed sifaat literally without tashbih. So he proved that by negating MEANING he did not mean the dhahir rather he met the meaning of the innovators.
So lets look at another qoute from Imaam ahmad that also shows that his NEGATION OF MEANING was negating meaning that the innovators give to it.
The explanation of imam ahmad negating the meaning is indicated by what he said in regards to the statement of Muhammad ibn al hasan's statement, "The schoalrs have unanimously agreed all of them from east to west upon having eemaan in the Quraan and the authentic ahaadeeth that have come from the messenger of Allaah salalahu alayhi wa salam pertaining to the attributes of the Lord without making an explanation (tafseer) of them, without describing them, and without making them similar to anything else (tashbeeh)"
Imaam Ahmad rahimullah said regarding this statement that the meaning of "making an explanation of them" or tafseer, is the explanation of the jahmiyyah who make ta'teel. They innovatede a distorted explanation of the attributes in opposition to what the companions and their followers held regarding them of affirming them" (Al-Majmoo al-fataawaa, 5\50 and Fath al-baaree 13\407)
MashAllaah this is exactly the path of the Salaf. So his negating meaning is not like those who make TAFWID. And this is clear from his qoutes affirming literally the attributes of Allaah aza wa jal.
- 4th April 2007 #2
akhi do u have the arabic quote?
I am trying to find it in fath al bari, what you quoted but haven't found it so far.
- 4th April 2007 #3
as salaamu alaykum
Unfortunately I dont i was taking it out of Explanation of a summary of al aqeedatul hamawiyyah of ibn taymiyah rahimullah by the noble Shaykh ul islaam Imaam Allaamah Muhammad ibn salih al uthaymeen rahimullah.
I just extracted his qoute on imam ahmad rahimullah.
- 5th April 2007 #4
- 6th April 2007 #5
I think I found it in fath al Bari
but not the exact wording above but close
but I am doing more research on the topic.
keep up the good work
some of ur posts have led me to doing some research that resulted in discovering little treasures.
- 6th April 2007 #6
I all honesty, it is not advisable to refer to ibn Qudaamah with regards to asmaa was Sifaat as he does have the opinion of tafweedh ie making nafy of the meaning. We studied in the Jaami’ah that he considers the meanings of the sifaats from the ‘Mutashaabihaat’. Just like Allaah said in the Qur’aan:
((0It is He Who has sent down to you the Book (this Qur'ân). In it are Verses that are entirely clear, they are the foundations (majority) of the Book; and others not entirely clear (the mutashaabihaat). So, as for those in whose hearts there is a deviation (from the truth) they follow that which is not entirely clear thereof, seeking Al-Fitnah, and seeking for its hidden meanings, but none knows its hidden meanings except Allâh. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in it; the whole of it (clear and unclear Verses) are from our Lord." And none receive admonition except men of understanding. ))
So there have been many different understandings of this Aayah, ie what is intended behind ‘mutashaabihaat’ and also, do the Ulamaa know the meanings behind them based on the saying of Allaah in the same verse:
((…but none knows its hidden meanings except Allâh. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in it; the whole of it (clear and unclear Verses) are from our Lord.))
Some Ulamaah said that you stop reading after “knowledge” so that the meaning is:
((…but none knows its hidden meanings except Allâh, and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge. They say: "We believe in it; the whole of it (clear and unclear Verses) are from our Lord.))
So the point is, that ibn Qudaamah holds the first meaning to be the most correct (for reasons no need to mention here). So from that understanding he holds that Allaah alone knows the meanings of His Names and Attributes. However the correct opinion if we agree with ibn Qudaamah that the first understanding is the most correct it that Allaah alone knows the “Haqeeqh” or “reality” of his Attiributes, but as for the meaning in the words then they are clear.
So Ibn Qudaamah made a mistake on this issue, but he is still a part of Ahlus-Sunnaah. There is a difference between someone making a genuine mistake and someone who deliberately leaves the truth. Just like a person who celebrates the prophets birthday. If he really did not know that it was not from Islaam then Allaah will reward him for his intention (not the action) and for his love he had for the ProphetÕáì Çááå Úáíå æ Óáã (if that was the reason why he was celebrating it). However, once he knows it is wrong, then he become an innovator if he continues and receives sin for his opposition to the sunnah (the previous example I just brought can be found in ibn Uthaimeens explanation of a book by shaykh al-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah, but I forgot which tape number it was).
As for what was narrated from Imaam Ahmad, then it is “mujmal” (ie has more than one meaning, none of them are more apparent from the other). It could mean the ‘apparent meanings of Allaahs sifaat’, it could mean ‘the false meanings’ as was stated in a previous post, it could mean the ‘metaphoric meanings’. So it is not fair for anyone to use this statement and single out one of those meanings and raise it high as if it is the only meaning that it could be. However, if we look in Imaam Ahmads book ‘A refutation upon the heretics and Jahmiyyah’ we clearly see that he affirmed the meanings. He said upon refuting the Jahmiyyah:
“…so when Allaah said ((We ‘Ja’ala’ it an Arabic Qur’aan)) this ‘Ja’ala’ means (refers to) an action from Him and does not mean ‘Created’ (like the Jahiyyah assume)”
So as you can see from this quote, he affirmed one meaning and negated another ie that the Qur’aan is created.
So in sha Allaah, if imam ahmad did make that initial statement, it should be clear that he did not intent negation of every meaning of the sifaat, but just the deviated meanings assumed by the people of innovation.
- 6th April 2007 #7
Ibn Qudama was 100% Salafi and a muthbit of Allah's attributes.
Refer to the following article:
Ibn Qudama and Tafweedh
Are Hanbalis and Salafis the same?
There is nothing wrong with considering the verses pertaining to Allah's Attributes from the Mutashabihat, as does Ibn Taymiyya in his al-Musawwada. It does not negate the fact that Ibn Qudama, Ibn Taymiyya and the rest of the Hanbalis still affirm the dhahir of these texts.
Refer to the following for more info:
Dhahir and Mutashabih
Are Hanbalis and Salafis the same?
Are Hanbalis and Salafis the same?A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
- 6th April 2007 #8A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
- 8th April 2007 #9
Jazaakallahu khairan for your post, it was very beneficial.
With regards to what I said (ie that he had with him tafweedh) then I made a mistake. What I heard from ulamaa was that he had statements that were in agreement with those who make tafweedh, but I mis-understood that to mean that he believed that. Upon revising what I had read before and reading brother abu Zubair’s post, it became clear that he does make ithbaat of the sifaat of Allaah.
For example, a fatwaah from the previous muftee of Saudi Arabia Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem started that ibn Qudaamah’s statement in his book of aqeedah (lum’atul I’tiqaad) was the statement of the mufawwidhah and that it was wrong. However, upon reading it further, the shaykh affirms that ibn Qudaamah is far from the aqeeda of the mufawwidha and that his statement was a mistake and incorrect. This can be found in fatwa number 328 date 28/7/1385. There have been other statements that I read which gave me the wrong impression, for example ibn Qudaamah stating that sifaat of Allaah are from the mutashaabihaat (unclears verses). There is no problem saying that the verses of the Qur’aan that refer to Allaah’s sifaat are from the mutashaabihaat, but the misunderstanding was when ibn Qudaamah held the opinion that none knows the meaning of the mutashaabihaat except Allaah. However it has become clear that what was meant was that none knows the reality and the how of Allaah’s attributes except Allah.
Also, in his book that brother abu Zubair quoted from above link (Tahrim al-Nadhar fi Kutub al-Kalam), ibn Qudaamah said:
"ÅÐÇ ÓÃáäÇ ÓÇÆá Úä ãÚäì åÐå ÇáÃáÝÇÙ ÞáäÇ: áÇ äÒíÏß Úáì ÃáÝÇÙåÇ ÒíÇÏÉ ÊÝíÏ ãÚäì Èá ÞÑÇÁÊåÇ ÊÝÓíÑåÇ ãä ÛíÑ ãÚäì ÈÚíäå æ áÇ ÊÝÓíÑ ÈäÝÓå, áßä ÞÏ ÚáãäÇ Ãäø áåÇ ãÚäì Ýí ÇáÌãáÉ íÚáãå ÇáãÊßáã ÈåÇ, ÝäÍä äÄãä ÈåÇ ÈÐáß ÇáãÚäì. ãä ßÇä ßÐáß ßíÝ íÓÃá Úä ãÚäì æ åæ íÞæá áÇ ÃÚáãå¿ æ ßíÝ íÓÃá Úä ßíÝíÉ ãÇ íÑì Ãäø ÇáÓÄÇá Úäå ÈÏÚÉ æ ÇáßáÇã Ýí ÊÝÓíÑå ÎØÃ æ ÇáÈÍË Úäå ÊßáÝ æ ÊÚãÞ¿"
Which translates as:
“If a questioner asks us about the meaning of these words (ie Allaah’s sifaat), we say:
We will not increase upon the words anything extra that give it a meaning, rather its explanation is it recitation (reading) without a specific meaning or explanation. Rather, we know that it generally has a meaning, which the one speaking it (ie Allaah) knows. We believe in it upon that specific meaning. So whoever is like that, how can he be asked about the meaning when he himself says that he does not know it? And how can he be asked about the ‘How’, when he feels [it] should not be asked as it is an innovation, and talking about it’s explanation is a mistake, and searching for it is going too deep.”
So as you can see, this statement and others he has made seems problematic, especially when it keeps on re-occurring in different books. However, as brother Abu zubair rightly pointed out that in practice he does affirm the meanings. So we can maybe understand from his statements that he means by “meaning” the reality and the ‘how’ of Allaahs attributes.
Jazaakallahu khairan brother abu Zubair for that correction.
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