Bismillah 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.