Wahhabism in the light of Salaf

Imam Muslim’s defense of Imam al-Bukhari on the subject of pronunciation of the Qur’an

Shams al-Dīn Ibn Khallikān al-Shafi (d. 681) in his biographical dictionary “Wafayāt al-aʿyān wa-anbāʾ abnāʾ az-zamān” under the section for Imam Muslim quotes from Imam al-Khatib al-Baghadi (d. 463H) and Hafiz Ibn Yakub (d. 344H)

Ibn Khalikan on Muslim -1Ibn Khalikan on Muslim -2


Ibn Khalikan on Muslim -3

Source: https://books.google.com/books?id=-8dLAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA357&lpg=PA357#v=onepage&q&f=false

For more on the subject, refer: https://asharis.wordpress.com/2014/07/06/the-quran-is-the-speech-of-allah-not-a-creation-but-its-utterance-is-created/


The saying of polytheists, “you have a partner under your ownership”

Update 23/01/2017 (Original post 07/05/2012)

In authentic narrations, it is mentioned that during the practice of Hajj the idolators used to say in their Talbiyah: “You have no partner except the partner that You have, You own Him and whatever he owns”. The followers of Muhammed Ibn Abdul Wahab cite this saying of the polytheists to argue that polytheists believed in the oneness of Allah’s Lordship or oneness in His Ownership.

In this saying “You have no partner except the partner that You have, You own Him and whatever he owns” we see on the one hand the polytheist explicitly ascribing a partner to Allah, yet they are claiming the partner to be under Allah’s ownership. The Wahhabiyya take the latter statement in isolation as a proof for their argument that polytheists recognized the oneness of Allah’s Lordship. But the reality of its meaning can be understood by noting the following Quranic parable against the belief of polytheists:

{He gives you this example, drawn from your own lives: do you make your slaves full partners with an equal share in what We have given you? Do you fear them as you fear each other? This is how We make Our messages clear to those who use their reason.} [30:28]

This above verse was revealed as a response to this talbiyah of Mushriks, as mentioned by Ibn Kathir in his tafsir:

At-Tabarani recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, “The people of Shirk used to say in their Talbiyah, `At Your service, You have no partner except the partner that You have, You own Him and whatever he owns.’ Then Allah revealed the words: {Do you have partners among those whom your right hands possess to share as equals in the wealth We have bestowed on you, whom you fear as you fear each other}”

From this verse we see that Allah analogized their belief with that of a master who took his slave as an equal partner. This belief is self contradictory. This is because; if the slave was made into an equal partner of the master then the slave would no longer remain a slave. So it is impossible that he could be a slave and partner at the same time. If he was a slave then he would no longer be an equal partner, and if he was a partner then he would not be a slave. It was such inconsistent or rationally absurd creed the polytheists ascribed to Allah. It is such self contradicting belief contained in the saying of idolators “You have no partner except the partner that You have, You own Him and whatever he owns”, because a partner of Allah cannot be under His Ownership. This is similar to the self contradiction of the Christians who say God is one as well as three.

Moreover we also clearly see from this parable in the Quran that the Mushriks believed these partners have an equal share in the ownership over creation and that they believed Allah feared these partners.  This is all blatant shirk in Allah’s Lordship.

To add to all of this, we see in another verse,

{And say, “Praise to Allah , who has not taken a son and has had no partner in [His] dominion and has no [need of a] protector out of weakness; and glorify Him with [great] glorification.”} [Quran 17:111]

In this verse, Allah rejects belief that Allah has son, a partner in his dominion or that he needs a protector, which are all shirk in Ruboobiyah.

Ibn Kathir in commentary to this verse says,

Ibn Jarir recorded that Al-Qurazi used to say about this Ayah,
{And say: “All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has not begotten a son…”} that the Jews and Christians said that Allah has taken a son; the Arabs said, “At Your service, You have no partner except the partner You have, and You possess him and whatever he owns;” and the Sabians and Magians said, “If it were not for the supporters of Allah, He would be weak.” Then Allah revealed this Ayah : {And say: “All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has not begotten a son, and Who has no partner in (His) dominion, nor is He low to have a supporter. And magnify Him with all magnificence.”}

We see that this verse was revealed against those Arabs who said the same “You have no partner except the partner that You have, You own Him and whatever he owns”. And yet notice the verse here shows that the Arab polytheists believed Allah has partner in His “Mulk (dominion)” thereby refuting therefore the argument given by the Salafiyya that the talbiyah proved the Mushriks did not associate such a partner.

Imam al-Qurtubi says in commentary to the above verse:

قوله تعالى: { وَقُلِ ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ٱلَّذِي لَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَداً } هذه الآية رادة على اليهود والنصارى والعرب في قولهم أفذاذاً: عزير وعيسى والملائكة ذرية الله سبحانه؛ تعالى الله عن أقوالهم! { وَلَم يَكُنْ لَّهُ شَرِيكٌ فِي ٱلْمُلْكِ } لأنه واحد لا شريك له في ملكه ولا في عبادته.


Rough translation: “{Praise to Allah , who has not taken a son} This ayah is a refutation of the Jews, Christians and Arabs in their saying: Uzair, Isa and the angels are offspring of Allah…{and has had no partner in [His] dominion} because (He is) one and has no partner in His dominion and in worship”

Imam Ibn Adil al Hanbali (d. 880H) in commentary to this verse says:

وهذه الآية ردٌّ على اليهود في قولهم
{ عُزَيْرٌ ٱبْنُ ٱللَّهِ }
[التوبة: 30]، وردٌّ على النصارى في قولهم
{ ٱلْمَسِيحُ ٱبْنُ ٱللَّهِ }
[التوبة: 31] وعلى مشركي العرب في قولهم: ” المَلائِكةُ بنَاتُ الله “.

والنوع الثاني من الصفات السلبية قوله: { وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ شَرِيكٌ فِي ٱلْمُلْكِ }.

والسَّببُ في اعتبار هذه الصفة: أنَّه لو كان له شريكٌ، فلا يعرف كونه مستحقًّا للحمد والشُّكر.


Rough translation:

“This verse is a refutation of the Jews who said {Uzair is the son of Allah} , and refutation of the Christians in their saying {the Messiah is the son of Allah} and the Arab Mushriks in their saying “angels are daughters of Allah” …………. {and He has no partner in [His] dominion} the reason for mentioning this attribute is that: If he had a partner, then he is not in truth worthy of praise and thanking.”

From all this we see that from among the beliefs of the Arab Mushriks who use to say the talbiyah was that the angels were daughters of Allah which is shirk in Lordship by itself and that they  were made as equal partners to Allah in His Dominion and that Allah was in fear of them and in need of them, which are beliefs that constitute shirk in Lordship. And it is because of such plethora of beliefs that the Mushriks denied Allah alone was worthy of worship.

Reciting poetry in the Masjid


One of the prominent practices among Muslim communities during the month of Rabi-ul Awwal and the day of birth of our Prophet ﷺ (as well as otherwise) is to hold gathering in which poetry is recited in praise of the Prophet ﷺ. One of the clear evidence for this as cited by scholars is the practice of the Sahabi Hassan Bin Thabit رضى الله عنه who was known to be skilled in reciting poetry in defense and praise of the Prophet ﷺ.

Imam Muslim in his Sahih, mentioned a number of hadiths under the header “The Virtues Of Hassan Bin Thabit رضى الله عنه”. The first two of the narrations are quoted below:

دَّثَنَا عَمْرٌو النَّاقِدُ، وَإِسْحَاقُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، وَابْنُ أَبِي عُمَرَ، كُلُّهُمْ عَنْ سُفْيَانَ، قَالَ عَمْرٌو حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ بْنُ عُيَيْنَةَ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، عَنْ سَعِيدٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ عُمَرَ، مَرَّ بِحَسَّانَ وَهُوَ يُنْشِدُ الشِّعْرَ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ فَلَحَظَ إِلَيْهِ فَقَالَ قَدْ كُنْتُ أُنْشِدُ وَفِيهِ مَنْ هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِنْكَ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ الْتَفَتَ إِلَى أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ فَقَالَ أَنْشُدُكَ اللَّهَ أَسَمِعْتَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏“‏ أَجِبْ عَنِّي اللَّهُمَّ أَيِّدْهُ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ اللَّهُمَّ نَعَمْ ‏.‏

Abu Huraira reported that ‘Umar happened to pass by Hassan as he was reciting verses (i.e., poetry) in the mosque. He (Hadrat ‘Umar) looked towards him (meaningfully), whereupon he (Hassan) said: I used to recite (poetry) when one better than you (the Holy Prophet) had been present (here). He then looked towards Abu Huraira and said to him: I adjure you by Allah (to tell) if you had not heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: (Hassan), give a reply on my behalf; Allah help him with Ruh-ul-Qudus (Gabriel). He (Abu Huraira) said: By Allah, it is so (i. e. the Prophet actually said these words).

حَدَّثَنَاهُ إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، وَمُحَمَّدُ بْنُ رَافِعٍ، وَعَبْدُ بْنُ حُمَيْدٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّزَّاقِ، أَخْبَرَنَا مَعْمَرٌ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، عَنِ ابْنِ الْمُسَيَّبِ، أَنَّ حَسَّانَ، قَالَ فِي حَلْقَةٍ فِيهِمْ أَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ أَنْشُدُكَ اللَّهَ يَا أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ أَسَمِعْتَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏.‏ فَذَكَرَ مِثْلَهُ ‏.‏

Ibn Musayyib reported that Hassan said to a circle in which there was also Abu Huraira: Abu Huraira, I adjure you by Allah (to tell) whether you-had not heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saying like this.

Imam Nawawi in his commentary to Sahih Muslim, comments on these narrations:

قوله : ( إن حسان أنشد الشعر في المسجد بإذن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ) فيه جواز إنشاد الشعر في المسجد إذا كان مباحا ، واستحبابه إذا كان في ممادح الإسلام وأهله ، أو في هجاء الكفار والتحريض على قتالهم ، أو تحقيرهم ، ونحو ذلك وهكذا كان شعر حسان . وفيه استحباب الدعاء لمن قال شعرا من هذا النوع . وفيه جواز الانتصار من الكفار ، ويجوز أيضا من غيرهم بشرطه . وروح القدس جبريل صلى الله عليه وسلم .


Imam Nawawi here says that it is permissible to recite poetry in the masjid, and mustahabb (recommended/virtuous deed) if the recitation is in praise of Islam and its people.
 The following are relevant points to be noted:
  • Poetry was read in the masjid during the presence & life of the Prophet ﷺ as well as after.
  • Poetry was read in presence of a circle/gathering (as mentioned in the second narration) which included the prominent companion Abu Hurayra رضى الله عنه.
  • This was not just a permissible practice but a sunnah & rewarding deed when done in praise and defense of Islam, the Prophet ﷺ and the people of Islam.
  • It is mustahabb/recommended to make dua for those who recite such poetry, as mentioned by Imam Nawawi above.
  • Prophet ﷺ actively encouraged Hassan Bin Thabit رضى الله عنه as well others from the companions to recite such poetry, as seen in another following narration from Sahih Muslim where the Prophet ﷺ sent for a number companions such Ibn Rawiha رضى الله عنه and Ka’b bin Malik رضى الله عنه to recite poetry in defense of Islam.
  • Prophet ﷺ prayed and informed Hassan Bin Thabit رضى الله عنه  that he was supported by Angel Jibril عليه السلام while in another narration that the Angel Jibril عليه السلام will continue to support him as long he continues to defend Allah and His Messenger.
  • The Sharia has not limited this practice to any fixed form or fixed day and therefore does not prohibit such gathering on Rabi ul Awwal and on the day of the birth of our Prophet ﷺ.

Finally, Imam al-Bukhari in his book Al Adab al Mufrad dedicated an entire chapter for the subject of poetry. In one of the hadith, the Prophet ﷺ explicitly approved of poetry as a form of praise of Allah (i.e. dhikr & worship of Allah).

Al-Aswad ibn Suray’ said, “I was a poet and went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and asked, ‘Shall I recite some praises I have written for my Lord?’ He said, ‘Your Lord loves praise,’ and did not say anything more.” [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 861]


Imam al-Ajurri (d. 320) on Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamah

The early jurist and hadith scholar Imam Abu Bakr Muhammed bin Hussein al-Ajurri (d. 320H), in his commentary to the hadith foretelling the division of Ummah into 73 sects from which one of them is the saved sect, says the following:


قَالَ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْحُسَيْنِ: فَالْمُؤْمِنُ الْعَاقِلُ يَجْتَهِدُ أَنْ يَكُونَ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْمِلَّةِ النَّاجِيَةِ بِاتِّبَاعِهِ لِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ، وَسُنَنِ رَسُولِهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَسُنَنِ أَصْحَابِهِ رَحْمَةُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ، وَسُنَنِ التَّابِعِينَ بَعْدَهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ، وَقَوْلِ أَئِمَّةِ الْمُسْلِمينَ مِمَّنْ لَا يُسْتَوْحَشُ مِنْ ذِكْرِهِمْ، مِثْلُ سُفْيَانَ الثَّوْرِيِّ، وَالْأَوْزَاعِي، وَمَالِكِ بْنِ أَنَسٍ، وَالشَّافِعِيِّ، وَأَحْمَدَ بْنِ حَنْبَلٍ، وَأَبِي عُبَيْدٍ الْقَاسِمِ بْنِ سَلَّامٍ، وَمَنْ كَانَ عَلَى طَرِيقِهِمْ مِنَ الشِّيُوخِ، فَمَا أَنْكَرُوهُ أَنْكَرْنَاهُ، وَمَا قَبِلُوهُ وَقَالُوا بِهِ قَبِلْنَاهُ وَقُلْنَا بِهِ، وَنَبَذْنَا مَا سِوَى ذَلِكَ


Rough translation:
“The believer strives to be from this saved sect by following the book of Allah Almighty, and the Sunnah of Prophet of Allah salatonmassenger, and the Sunnah of the Sahabah may Allah have mercy on them, and the Sunnah of the tabieen after them in good, and the saying of the Imams of the Muslims …such as Sufyan al-Thawri, Al Awzai, Malik bin Anas, Al Shafii, Ahmed bin Hanbal, Abu Ubaid al-Qasim bin Salam, and be on the ways of the Shuyukh, forbid what they forbid, and accept and say what they accept and say, and abandon anything besides it.”
As one can see, path of the saved sect or Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jammah is not limited to “following the Quran and Sunnah”  but in following the Quran, Prophet salatonmassenger, Sahabah, Tabiin, as well as the Mujtahid Imams of the Muslims.

Selected Sayings of Sahl al Tustari (d. 283H)


Imam Abu Muhammed Sahl ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Tustari (203-283H) was among the early scholars of Sufism/Tasawwuf. Ibn Taymiyya included him as an adherent of “Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamah” saying:

“The great shaykhs mentioned by Abu `Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami in Tabaqat al-sufiyya, and Abu al-Qasim al-Qushayri in al-Risala, were adherents of the school of Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama`a and the school of Ahl al-hadith, such as al-Fudayl ibn `Iyad, al-Junayd ibn Muhammad, Sahl ibn `Abd Allah al-Tustari, `Amr ibn `Uthman al-Makki, Abu `Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Khafif al-Shirazi, and others, and their speech is found in the Sunna, and they composed books about the Sunna.”  [Ibn Taymiyya, al-Risala al-Safadiyya (Riyad: matabi` hanifa, 1396/1976) 1:267.]

Some of the sayings of Sahl al Tustari (may Allah preserve his secrets) in commentary to the verses of the Quran are quoted below:

On abiding by Quran, Sunnah and Ijma

{O People of the Scripture do not go to excess in your religion} That is, do not exceed the limits in your religion through innovations (bidaʿ), or by deviating from the truth, which is the Book, the Sunna and consensus (ijmāʿ), by inclining towards the desire of your lower selves.And he [Sahl] said:The backbone (qiwām) of religion and this world is in three things: knowledge (ʿilm), propriety (adab) and initiative (mubādara). However, the ruin of religion and this world comes from three things: ignorance (jahl), folly (khurq) and laziness (kasal).On another occasion, I heard him say:There are four things which are among the buttresses (daʿāʾim) of the religion: to uphold the truth even against your own self and others; to renounce falsehood in yourself or others; to love the people who are obedient to God and to detest those who disobey Him.


On opposition to heretical bidah

Sahl b. Abd Allah al-Tustari said: “No one has ever innovated a thing in matters of religious knowledge, but that he is questioned about it on the Day of Resurrection; should he conform to the Sunna, well and good; otherwise, he shall perish.” [Ibn Qudama in Tahrim al-Nazar fi Kutub al al-Kalam]

{As for those who have divided their religion and broken up into factions} He [Sahl] said:They are the people of whims (ahwāʾ) and innovations (bidaʿ) in religion. For them there is no form of repentance. Thus, has it been related from the Prophet that he said, ‘For every sin there is a form of repentance except for that of the people of whims and innovations, for truly I disown them just as they disown me, and God, Mighty and Majestic is He, has excluded them from repentance (tawba).’ That is, He has made the way to repentance difficult for them.


{You will not find a people who believe in God and the Last Day loving those who oppose God and His Messenger, even were they to be their fathers} He [Sahl] said:No person whose faith is sound enjoys the company of the innovator (mubtadiʿ), nor does he comply with him, eat with him, drink with him or keep his company. Rather, he shows him hostility and loathing from himself. On the other hand, whoever fawns over an innovator will have the sweetness of [following] the Prophet’s ways (sunan) removed from him by God, and whoever shows love for an innovator, seeking honour in this world and some worldy gain (ʿaraḍan minhā), will find that God humiliates him with that honour and impoverishes him through that wealth. Moreover, whoever jokes with an innovator will find that God removes the light of faith from his heart. As for the one who doubts this, let him try it for himself.


On the meaning of the verse {the Hand of God is above their hands}

{the Hand of God is above their hands} He said: That is, the power (ḥawl) of God and His strength (quwwa) is above their strength (quwwa) and their action (ḥaraka). This is in their saying to the Messenger at the time of the pledge (bayʿa), ‘We have pledged to you that we will not flee, and we will fight for you.’ There is another possible meaning of the Hand of God is above their hands, which is, the grace (minna) of God is above them in their being guided to take the pledge, and His reward (thawāb) for them is above their pledge and their obedience for you.


On Quran as the Speech of Allah

{And there would never come from the Compassionate One any reminder that is new, but that they used to disregard it.}  He said: That is, whenever there came to them, through revelation, knowledge of the Qurʾān which was new to them and of which they had no prior knowledge, they would turn away from it. This is not to say that the Reminder (dhikr) itself is created (muhdath), however, for it is from among the attributes of the essence of God, and is therefore neither existentiated (mukawwan) nor created (makhlūq).


On the creation of the Prophet

He created Adam from the clay of might consisting of the light of Muḥammad


God, Glorified and Exalted is He, created him as a light within a column of light (nūran fī ʿamūd al-nūr), a million years before creation,


the light of the prophets is from his [Muḥammad’s] light, the light of the heavenly dominions is from his light and the light of this world and the Hereafter is from his light.


On the principles of his school of Tasawwuf 

He said: The principles of our school are three: consuming what is legitimate; following the example of the Messenger in his character (akhlāq) and actions (afʿāl), and sincerity of intention (ikhlāṣ al-nīya) in all works. He then said:Impose upon yourselves three things, for the best of [all] that is in this world and the Hereafter is contained within them: keeping [your self] close to [lit. making it consort with, suḥbatuhā] His commandments and prohibitions by adherence to the Sunna; establishing within it the attestation of God’s oneness, which [brings about] certainty (yaqīn), [and imposing upon it] knowledge (ʿilm), through which the spirit attains union (fīhi ittiṣāl al-rūḥ). The one who possessesthese three [traits] is more knowledgeable about what is in the earth’s core than about what is on its surface, and he regards the Hereafter more than he regards this world. Furthermore, he is better known to the angels in heaven than he is on earth to his own family and relatives.He was asked: ‘What is the knowledge through which the spirit attains union?’ [He replied]:It is the knowledge that God is taking care of it, and being contented [with that].


On Jihad al Nafs

He [Sahl] said:All forms of obedience to God involve struggle with the lower self (jihād al-nafs). There is no struggle easier than the struggle with swords, and no struggle harder than opposing the lower self.


On Remembrance of God

{And remember your Lord inwardly, humbly and fearfully} [Sahl was asked], ‘What is the true reality of remembrance (ḥaqīqat al-dhikr)?’ He answered:It is the realisation (taḥqīq) of the knowledge that God, Exalted is He, witnesses you, and it is that you see Him close to you with your heart. Thus, you feel shame before Him and give Him priority over yourself in all your affairs. Then he said:The one who claims to keep remembrance (dhikr) is not necessarily one who [truly] remembers [God] (dhākir).He was asked, ‘What is the meaning of the saying of the Prophet : “The world is accursed and what it contains is accursed save the remembrance of God (dhikr Allāh), most High?”’ [He replied]: His saying ‘the remembrance of God’ here means renouncing what is unlawful (zuhd ʿan al-ḥarām), that is, when something unlawful comes a person’s way he remembers God, Exalted is He, and he knows that God is watching him, so he avoids that unlawful thing.


Sahl was asked, ‘What is remembrance (dhikr)?’ He said, ‘Obedience (ṭāʿa).’ Then someone asked, ‘What is obedience?’ He replied, ‘Sincerity (ikhlāṣ).’ Then he was asked, ‘What is sincerity?’ and he answered, ‘Witnessing (mushāhada).’ Someone then asked, ‘What is witnessing?’He replied, ‘Servanthood (ʿubūdiyya).’ Then they asked: ‘What is servanthood?’ He answered, ‘Contentment (riḍā).’ Then they asked, ‘What is contentment?’ He replied, ‘Neediness (iftiqār).’ He was asked: ‘What is neediness?’ and he said, ‘It is humble entreaty (taḍarruʿ) and seeking refuge [in Him] (iltijāʾ). Submit! Submit, until death!’


On Kashf

Indeed, God willing, I have been granted wisdom and [knowledge of] the unseen which I was taught from His unseen secret (min ghayb sirrihi), and thus He sufficed me from the need for all other knowledge…and He completed what He had begun with me out of His grace and beneficence.


On Karamat

Sahl used to say to a youth who kept his company, ‘If you are afraid of predatory beasts then do not keep my company.’ And he was asked, ‘How does a man reach the rank of charismatic gifts (karāmāt)? He replied:‘Whoever abstains from (zahada) the world for forty days in veracity and sincerity (ṣādiqan wa mukhliṣan), will have charismatic gifts (karāmāt) manifested to Him from God, Mighty and Majestic is He. But if [such gifts] are not manifested to a person, it is due to the lack of true faith and sincerity in his renunciation’


On Awliya, Abdal & Awtad

{Assuredly God’s friends, no fear shall befall them, neither shall they grieve} Sahl said: They are those whom the Messenger of God described, saying, ‘When they are seen, God is remembered.’ They are those who strive in God’s cause, who outstrip others in their [journeying]towards Him, and whose actions are constantly in conformity (muwāfaqa). Those are the true believers [8:4].And he [Sahl] said: All goodness comes together in four things, and through these they [believers] become ‘Substitutes’(abdāl): an empty stomach, seclusion from people, the night vigil, and observing silence. He was asked why the Substitutes (abdāl) are called Substitutes. He answered: It is because they substitute their spiritual states (aḥwāl) [one for another]. They have submitted their bodies to the vigour (ḥīl) in their innermost secrets (asrār). Then they move from state (ḥāl) to state, and from knowledge (ʿilm) to knowledge, so that they are constantly increasing in the knowledge of that which is between them and their Lord. He was asked, ‘Who are more excellent, the Mainstays (awtād) or the Substitutes (abdāl)?’ He answered, ‘The mainstays’. Then he was asked, ‘And how is that?’ He replied:It is because the Mainstays have already arrived and their principles (arkān) are well established, whereas the Substitutes move from state to state. [On this subject] Sahl also said:I have met with one thousand five hundred veracious [servants of God] (ṣiddīq) among whom were forty Substitutes (abdāl) and seven Mainstays (awtād), and I found their way (ṭarīqa) and method (madhhab) to be the same as that which I follow.

Furthermore, he used to say, ‘I am the proof of God (ḥujjat Allāh) against you in particular and against the people in general.’ It was [Sahl’s] way and his conduct to be full of gratitude and remember [God] a great deal. He was also constant in observing silence and reflection. He would dispute little and was of a generous spirit. He led people through his good character, mercy and compassion for them, and by giving them good counsel. He held fast to the principle[s] (aṣl) [of religion] while putting into practice [the rules] that are derived from it (farʿ). Truly God filled his heart with light, and invested his speech with wisdom. He was among the best of Substitutes, and if we include him among the Mainstays he was the Axis (quṭb) around which the millstone [of the world] revolves.


Faith in God is established (thābit) in the heart, and certainty is firmly rooted (rāsikh) [in it] through veracity (ṣidq). Veracity of the eye is refraining from looking at all that is forbidden. Veracity of the tongue is relinquishing engagement in that which is meaningless. Veracity of the hand is not extending it to seize what is forbidden. Veracity of the feet is refraining from walking in quest of indecent acts. The truth of veracity (ḥaqīqat al-ṣidq) in the heart is that it constantly reflects on the past and refrains from regarding what is to come. Verily, God, Exalted is He, has granted the veracious (ṣiddīqūn) so much knowledge that if they spoke of it, the ocean would dry up with their speech. They are hidden and do not appear in public before people, except when it is [absolutely] necessary for them, and until a virtuous [servant] (ṣāliḥ) appears, at which point they make themselves known, and teach the learned (ʿulamāʾ) from their different branches of knowledge.


Imam Ibn Hibban (d. 354): Allah is not in time or place


Imam Abu Hatim Muhammed ibn Hibban (271-354H) was an early hadith scholar and a Shafi jurist. From among his teachers were hadith scholars Imam An-Nasai and Imam Ibn Khuzaimah. His famous work “Sahih Ibn Hibban” is said to be the most authentic collection of hadiths after Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah. In this work, Imam Ibn Hibban at times provides his commentary to the narrations, some of which are quoted below and roughly translated.

Allah is not in time or place

قَالَ أَبُو حَاتِمٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ: «وَهِمَ فِي هَذِهِ اللَّفْظَةِ حَمَّادُ بْنُ سَلَمَةَ مِنْ حَيْثُ فِي غَمَامٍ إِنَّمَا هُوَ فِي عَمَاءٍ، يُرِيدُ بِهِ أَنَّ الْخَلْقَ لَا يَعْرِفُونَ خَالِقَهُمْ مِنْ حَيْثُ هُمْ، إِذْ كَانَ وَلَا زَمَانَ وَلَا مَكَانَ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يُعْرَفْ لَهُ زَمَانٌ، وَلَا مَكَانٌ وَلَا شَيْءٌ مَعَهُ، لِأَنَّهُ خَالِقُهَا، كَانَ مَعْرِفَةُ الْخَلْقِ إِيَّاهُ كَأَنَّهُ كَانَ فِي عَمَاءٍ عَنْ عِلْمِ الْخَلْقِ، لَا أَنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ فِي عَمَاءٍ إِذْ هَذَا الْوَصْفُ شَبِيهٌ بِأَوْصَافِ الْمَخْلُوقِينَ»


“….He means the creation does not know where the Creator is, as He was without time and without place, and one does know of time or place or anything with him….”

This is similar to what Imam Ibn Hibban has said in his book “Ath-thiqah” (Volume 1, page 1) :

الحمد لله الذي ليس له حد محدود فيحتوى, ولا له أجل معدود فيفنى, ولا يحيط به جوامع المكان, ولا يشتمل عليه تواتر الزمان

“Praise be to Allah, Who is free of limits … who is not situated by any of the places and who is not subject to the passage of time ”

Taken from: https://islamsunnite.wordpress.com/2011/07/01/le-hafidh-ibn-hibban-dit-que-allah-est-sans-endroit-et-quil-ne-depend-pas-du-temps/

Nuzul (lit. Descent) of Allah is not a movement from place to place

قَالَ أَبُو حَاتِمٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ: صِفَاتُ اللَّهِ جَلَّ وَعَلَا لَا تُكَيَّفُ، وَلَا تُقَاسُ إِلَى صِفَاتِ الْمَخْلُوقِينَ، فَكَمَا أَنَّ اللَّهَ جَلَّ وَعَلَا مُتَكَلِّمٌ مِنْ غَيْرِ آلَةٍ بَأَسْنَانٍ وَلَهَوَاتٍ وَلِسَانٍ وَشَفَةٍ كَالْمَخْلُوقِينَ، جَلَّ رَبُّنَا وَتَعَالَى عَنْ مِثْلِ هَذَا وَأَشْبَاهِهِ، وَلَمْ يَجُزْ أَنْ يُقَاسَ كَلَامُهُ إِلَى كَلَامِنَا، لِأَنَّ كَلَامَ الْمَخْلُوقِينَ لَا يُوجَدُ إِلَّا بِآلَاتٍ، وَاللَّهُ جَلَّ وَعَلَا يَتَكَلَّمُ كَمَا شَاءَ بِلَا آلَةٍ، كَذَلِكَ يَنْزِلُ بِلَا آلَةٍ، وَلَا تَحَرُّكٍ، وَلَا انْتِقَالٍ مِنْ مَكَانٍ إِلَى مَكَانٍ، وَكَذَلِكَ السَّمْعُ وَالْبَصَرُ، فَكَمَا لَمْ يَجُزْ أَنْ يُقَالَ: اللَّهُ يُبْصِرُ كَبَصَرِنَا بِالْأَشْفَارِ وَالْحَدَقِ وَالْبَيَاضِ، بَلْ يُبْصِرُ كَيْفَ يَشَاءُ بِلَا آلَةٍ، وَيَسْمَعُ مِنْ غَيْرِ أُذُنَيْنِ، وَسِمَاخَيْنِ، وَالْتِوَاءٍ، وَغَضَارِيفَ فِيهَا، بَلْ يَسْمَعُ كَيْفَ يَشَاءُ بِلَا آلَةٍ، وَكَذَلِكَ يَنْزِلُ كَيْفَ يَشَاءُ بِلَا آلَةٍ مِنْ غَيْرِ أَنْ يُقَاسَ نُزُولُهُ إِلَى نُزُولِ الْمَخْلُوقِينَ، كَمَا يُكَيَّفُ نُزُولُهُمْ، جَلَّ رَبُّنَا وَتَقَدَّسَ مِنْ أَنْ تُشَبَّهَ صِفَاتُهُ بِشَيْءٍ مِنْ صِفَاتِ الْمَخْلُوقِينَ


In commentary to the hadith of the Nuzul of Allah during the Night, he says:

“….the attribute of Allah cannot be likened nor measured with the attributes of creation, just as Allah is (attributed to be a) Speaker without (need for) instruments, tongue, teeth, lip like creatures do …..It is not permissible to liken the Speech of Allah with speech of creation as it (speech of creation) cannot exist except as instruments, and Allah Almighty Speaks as He Wills without instruments, similarly the Descent is without instruments, nor movements, nor transition from place to place, similar to this is the Hearing and Seeing, ….He Sees as He Wills without instruments and Hears without Ears…and instead Hears as He Wills without instruments, (similarity) He descends as He Wills without instruments,  It is not to be likened to the descent of creatures….”

Tawil of  Saq (lit. Shin) to mean Severity

قَالَ أَبُو حَاتِمٍ : السَّاقُ الشِّدَّةُ


On the narration which mentions of “Saq” used by Salafiyya to attribute Allah with legs, Imam Ibn Hibban interprets it to means “severity”. This tawil is no different to tawil by Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Qatada, Ibn Qutaybah and others from the Salaf (may Allah be pleased with them), as related by Imam Tabari and others in commentary to verse of Quran 68:42. Imam Ahmed Bin Hanbal also narrated the tawil of Ibn Abbas رضي الله عنه‎‎:

اعلم أنني سلكت في تفسير هذا الحرف سبيلَ كثير من [علماء السنة]، وسوّغ ذلك: أن ابن عباس والحسن في جماعة من التابعين فَسَّرُوه بهذا التفسير، ونقله الإمام أحمد ورواه.
قال الزجاج في معانيه: أخبرنا عبدالله بن أحمد بن محمد بن حنبل قال: حدثنا أبي، أخبرنا محمد بن جعفر، عن شعبة، عن مغيرة، عن إبراهيم قال: قال ابن عباس في قوله: { يَوْمَ يُكْشَفُ عَن سَاقٍ }: الأمر الشديد.


On the hadith “Allah puts His Qadam (lit. Foot) in Hell”

With regards to the authentic hadith that says:
“Hell would continue to say: Is there anything more, until Allah, the Exalted and High, would place His foot therein and that would say: Enough, Enough”
[In another narration it is said: “And as regards the Hell it would not be full until Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, places His foot therein, and it would say: Enough, enough, enough, and it would be then full” which if taken in bare literal terms would mean hell would fill up with the “foot” of Allah]
Imam Ibn Hibban explains that,
قَالَ أَبُو حَاتِمٍ: هَذَا الْخَبَرُ مِنَ الْأَخْبَارِ الَّتِي أُطْلِقَتْ بِتَمْثِيلِ الْمُجَاوَرَةِ، وَذَلِكَ أَنَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يُلْقَى فِي النَّارِ مِنَ الْأُمَمِ وَالْأَمْكِنَةِ الَّتِي عُصِيَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهَا، فَلَا تَزَالُ تَسْتَزِيدُ حَتَّى يَضَعَ الرَّبُّ جَلَّ وَعَلَا مَوْضِعًا مِنَ الْكُفَّارِ وَالْأَمْكِنَةِ فِي النَّارِ، فَتَمْتَلِئُ فَتَقُولُ: قَطْ قَطْ، تُرِيدُ: حَسْبِي حَسْبِي، لِأَنَّ الْعَرَبَ تُطْلِقُ فِي لُغَتِهَا اسْمَ الْقَدَمِ عَلَى الْمَوْضِعِ، قَالَ اللَّهُ جَلَّ وَعَلَا: {لَهُمْ قَدَمُ صِدْقٍ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ} [يونس: 2]، يُرِيدُ: مَوْضِعَ صِدْقٍ، لَا أَنَّ اللَّهَ جَلَّ وَعَلَا يَضَعُ قَدَمَهُ فِي النَّارِ، جَلَّ رَبُّنَا وَتَعَالَى عَنْ مِثْلِ هَذَا وَأَشْبَاهِهِ
in Arab linguistic usage foot is used to mean position/locus,  like in the verse {Warn mankind and bring unto those who believe the good tidings that they have a sure footing with their Lord} [Quran 10:2] where “sure footing” here according to him means sure position, and Imam Ibn Hibban says it (the narration) does not  mean that Allah will place His “Qadam” (literally foot) in fire.
I.e. just as the Quranic verse does not mean the believers will have their literal foot with Allah and instead the foot is metaphor to a position, or a reward, or reference to the Prophet (saw) as mentioned in tafsirs of this verse; similarly this hadith does not mean a literal “foot” is placed in hell.


On the hadith “Allah created Adam in his image”

He says that “his image” cannot be referring to Allah as it Kufr and Allah has no likeness, and instead it means image of Adam عليه السلام himself, in the sense that image of Adam عليه السلام was created by Allah directly such as his appearance and height, while others in creation are not directly created but go through means and phases such as meeting of male & female and physical phases in the womb.

قَالَ أَبُو حَاتِمٍ: «هَذَا الْخَبَرُ تَعَلَّقَ بِهِ مَنْ لَمْ يُحْكِمُ صِنَاعَةَ الْعِلْمِ وَأَخَذَ يُشَنِّعُ عَلَى أَهْلِ الْحَدِيثِ الَّذِينَ يَنْتَحِلُونَ السُّنَنَ، وَيَذُبُّونَ عَنْهَا، وَيَقْمَعُونَ مَنْ خَالَفَهَا بِأَنْ قَالَ: لَيْسَتْ تَخْلُو هَذِهِ الْهَاءُ مِنْ أَنْ تُنْسَبَ إِلَى اللَّهِ أَوْ إِلَى آدَمَ، فَإِنْ نُسِبَتْ إِلَى اللَّهِ كَانَ ذَلِكَ كُفْرًا، إِذْ {لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ} [الشورى: 11]، وَإِنْ نُسِبَتْ إِلَى آدَمَ تَعَرَّى الْخَبَرُ عَنِ الْفَائِدَةِ، لِأَنَّهُ لَا شَكَّ أَنَّ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خُلِقَ عَلَى صُورَتِهِ لَا عَلَى صُورَةِ غَيْرِهِ، وَلَوْ تَمَلَّقَ قَائِلُ هَذَا إِلَى بَارِئِهِ فِي الْخَلْوَةِ، وَسَأَلَهُ التَّوْفِيقَ لِإِصَابَةِ الْحَقِّ وَالْهِدَايَةِ لِلطَّرِيقِ الْمُسْتَقِيمِ فِي لُزُومِ سُنَنِ الْمُصْطَفَى صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَكَانَ أَوْلَى بِهِ مِنَ الْقَدْحِ فِي مُنْتَحِلِي السُّنَنِ بِمَا يَجْهَلُ مَعْنَاهُ، وَلَيْسَ جَهْلُ الْإِنْسَانِ بِالشَّيْءِ دَالًا عَلَى نَفْيِ الْحَقِّ عَنْهُ لِجَهْلِهِ بِهِ.
وَنَحْنُ نَقُولُ: إِنَّ أَخْبَارَ الْمُصْطَفَى صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِذَا صَحَّتْ مِنْ جِهَةِ النَّقْلِ لَا تَتَضَادَّ، وَلَا تَتَهَاتَرُ، وَلَا تَنْسَخُ الْقُرْآنَ بَلْ لِكُلِّ خَبَرٍ مَعْنًى مَعْلُومٌ يُعْلَمُ، وَفَصْلٌ صَحِيحٌ يُعْقَلُ، يَعْقِلُهُ الْعَالِمُونَ.
فَمَعْنَى الْخَبَرِ عِنْدَنَا بِقَوْلِهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: » خَلَقَ اللَّهُ آدَمَ عَلَى صُورَتِهِ «: إِبَانَةُ فَضْلِ آدَمَ عَلَى سَائِرِ الْخَلْقِ، وَالْهَاءُ رَاجِعَةٌ إِلَى آدَمَ، وَالْفَائِدَةُ مِنْ رُجُوعِ الْهَاءِ إِلَى آدَمَ دُونَ إِضَافَتِهَا إِلَى الْبَارِئِ جَلَّ وَعَلَا – جَلَّ رَبُّنَا وَتَعَالَى عَنْ أَنْ يُشَبَّهُ بِشَيْءٍ مِنَ الْمَخْلُوقِينَ – أَنَّهُ جَلَّ وَعَلَا جَعَلَ سَبَبَ الْخَلْقِ الَّذِي هُوَ الْمُتَحَرِّكُ النَّامِي بِذَاتِهِ اجْتِمَاعَ الذَّكَرِ وَالْأُنْثَى، ثُمَّ زَوَالَ الْمَاءِ عَنْ قَرَارِ الذَّكَرِ إِلَى رَحِمِ الْأُنْثَى، ثُمَّ تَغَيُّرَ ذَلِكَ إِلَى الْعَلَقَةِ بَعْدَ مُدَّةٍ، ثُمَّ إِلَى الْمُضْغَةِ، ثُمَّ إِلَى الصُّورَةِ، ثُمَّ إِلَى الْوَقْتِ الْمَمْدُودِ فِيهِ، ثُمَّ الْخُرُوجِ مِنْ قَرَارِهِ، ثُمَّ الرَّضَاعِ، ثُمَّ الْفِطَامِ، ثُمَّ الْمَرَاتِبِ الْأُخَرِ عَلَى حَسَبِ مَا ذَكَرْنَا إِلَى حُلُولِ الْمَنِيَّةِ بِهِ.
هَذَا وَصْفُ الْمُتَحَرِّكِ النَّامِي بِذَاتِهِ مِنْ خَلْقِهِ وَخَلْقِ اللَّهِ جَلَّ وَعَلَّا آدَمَ عَلَى صُورَتِهِ الَّتِي خَلْقَهُ عَلَيْهَا، وَطُولُهُ سِتُّونَ ذِرَاعًا مِنْ غَيْرِ أَنْ تَكُونَ تَقْدُمُهُ اجْتِمَاعُ الذَّكَرِ وَالْأُنْثَى، أَوْ زَوَالُ الْمَاءِ، أَوْ قَرَارُهُ، أَوْ تَغْيِيرُ الْمَاءِ عَلَقَةً أَوْ مُضْغَةً، أَوْ تَجْسِيمُهُ بَعْدَهُ، فَأَبَانَ اللَّهُ بِهَذَا فَضْلَهُ عَلَى سَائِرِ مَنْ ذَكَرْنَا مِنْ خَلْقِهِ، بِأَنَّهُ لَمْ يَكُنْ نُطْفَةً فَعَلَقَةً، وَلَا عَلَقَةً فَمُضْغَةً، وَلَا مُضْغَةً فَرَضِيعًا، وَلَا رَضِيعًا فَفَطِيمًا، وَلَا فَطِيمًا فَشَابًّا كَمَا كَانَتْ هَذِهِ حَالَةُ غَيْرِهِ ضِدَّ قَوْلِ مَنْ زَعَمَ أَنَّ أَصْحَابَ الْحَدِيثِ حَشْوِيَّةٌ يَرْوُونَ مَا لَا يَعْقِلُونَ وَيَحْتَجُّونَ بِمَا لَا يَدْرُونَ»


Allah Sees not with eyes and Hears not with ears

In a hadith where the Prophet  places his finger over the ear and eyes while reciting the verse {Allah is ever Hearing and Seeing}, he comments on it that it does not mean Allah Sees with eyes or Hears with ears, and instead Allah Sees and Hears without instruments as He Wills.

قَالَ أَبُو حَاتِمٍ: أَرَادَ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِوَضْعِهِ أُصْبُعَهُ عَلَى أُذُنِهِ وَعَيْنِهِ تَعْرِيفَ النَّاسِ أَنَّ اللَّهَ جَلَّ وَعَلَا لَا يَسْمَعُ بِالْأُذُنِ الَّتِي لَهَا سِمَاخٌ وَالْتِوَاءٌ، وَلَا يُبْصِرُ بِالْعَيْنِ الَّتِي لَهَا أَشْفَارٌ وَحَدَقٌ وَبَيَاضٌ، جَلَّ رَبُّنَا وَتَعَالَى عَنْ أَنْ يُشَبَّهَ بِخَلْقِهِ فِي شَيْءٍ مِنَ الْأَشْيَاءِ، بَلْ يَسْمَعُ وَيُبْصِرُ بِلَا آلَةٍ كَيْفَ يَشَاءُ


On the hadith “It (date) is nurtured in the hand of Ar-Rahman”

Imam Ibn Hibban under the following header,

ذِكْرُ الْخَبَرِ الدَّالِّ عَلَى أَنَّ هَذِهِ الْأَخْبَارَ أُطْلِقَتْ بِأَلْفَاظِ التَّمْثِيلِ وَالتَّشْبِيهِ عَلَى حَسَبِ مَا يَتَعَارَفُهُ النَّاسُ بَيْنَهُمْ، دُونَ كَيْفِيَّتِهَا أَوْ وُجُودِ حَقَائِقِهَا
“….reports …. with wording that are comparison and metaphorical…without howness and presence of reality”
mentions the narration of Abu Hurairah narrating that: the Messenger of Allah  said: “None gives charity from Tayyib – and Allah does not accept but Tayyib – but that Ar-Rahman accepts it with His Right (Hand). Even if it is a date, it is nurtured in the Hand of Ar-Rahman until it is greater than a mountain, just as one of you nurtures his foal or young camel.”

After which he says,

 قَالَ أَبُو حَاتِمٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ: قَوْلُهُ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «إِلَّا كَأَنَّمَا يَضَعُهَا فِي يَدِ الرَّحْمَنِ» يُبَيِّنُ لَكَ أَنَّ هَذِهِ الْأَخْبَارَ أُطْلِقَتْ بِأَلْفَاظِ التَّمْثِيلِ دُونَ وُجُودِ حَقَائِقِهَا، أَوِ الْوُقُوفِ عَلَى كَيْفِيَّتِهَا، إِذْ لَمْ يَتَهَيَّأْ مَعْرِفَةُ الْمُخَاطَبِ بِهَذِهِ الْأَشْيَاءِ إِلَّا بِالْأَلْفَاظِ الَّتِي أُطْلِقَتْ بِهَا


that the saying  “it is nurtured in the Hand of Ar-Rahman” shows the wording of report is a comparison without presence of reality.


Ibn Abi Dunya (d. 281H) on tawassul of the Salaf

The hadith scholar and ascetic, Imam Ibn Abi Dunya (d. 281 H) in his book “مجابو الدعوة” which is a compilation of various supplications used by the Salaf, records the following:

 حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو هِشَامٍ، سَمِعْتُ عَنَ كَثِيرِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ كَثِيرِ بْنِ رِفَاعَةَ قَالَ: ” جَاءَ رَجُلٌ إِلَى عَبْدِ الْمَلِكِ بْنِ حَيَّانَ بْنِ سَعِيدِ بْنِ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ أَبْجَرَ، فَجَسَّ بَطْنَهُ، فَقَالَ: بِكَ دَاءٌ لَا يَبْرَأُ، قَالَ: مَا هُوَ؟ قَالَ: هُوَ الدُّبَيْلَةُ، فَتَحَوَّلَ الرَّجُلُ، فَقَالَ: اللَّهُ، اللَّهُ، رَبِّي لَا أُشْرِكُ بِهِ أَحَدًا، اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَتَوَجَّهُ إِلَيْكَ بِنَبِيِّكَ مُحَمَّدٍ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، نَبِيِّ الرَّحْمَةِ، يَا مُحَمَّدُ، إِنِّي أَتَوَجَّهُ بِكَ إِلَى رَبِّكَ وَرَبِّي أَنْ يَرْحَمَنِي مِمَّا بِي رَحْمَةً يُغْنِينِي بِهَا عَنْ رَحْمَةِ مَنْ سِوَاهُ – ثَلَاثَ مَرَّاتٍ ثُمَّ دَعَا إِلَى ابْنِ أَبْجَرَ، فَجَسَّ بَطْنَهُ، فَقَالَ: بَرَأْتَ، مَا بِكَ عِلَّةٌ “


(as translated by others),  a person came over to see ‘Abd-ul-Malik bin Sa‘īd bin Abjar (who is from the Tabi’ Tabieen). ‘Abd-ul-Malik pressed his belly and told him that he was suffering from an incurable disease. The man asked him: ‘what is it?’ ‘Abd-ul-Malik replied that it was a kind of ulcer that grows inside the belly and ultimately kills the man. It is said that the patient turned round and then he said:  Allāh! Allāh! Allāh is my Lord. I regard no one as His rival or partner. O Allāh! I beseech You and submit myself to You through the mediation of Your Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), the merciful Prophet. O Muhammad! Through your means I submit myself to your and my Lord that He should take mercy on me in my state of illness. It is said that ‘Abd-ul-Malik pressed his belly again and said: ‘you are cured, you are no longer suffering from any disease.’

As one can see, the practice of Tawassul was a practice of Muslims from the earliest of times going back to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) himself who taught the dua of tawassul as in the hadith of the blind man and practiced by the Sahabah as in the hadith of man in need and continued to be practiced by the Salaf, scholars and laity until today. In fact, Ibn Taymiyya in his book قاعدة جليلة في التوسل والوسيلة quotes this narration and says,

قلت: فهذا الدعاء ونحوه قد روي أنه دعا به السلف، ونقل عن أحمد بن حنبل في منسك المروذي التوسل بالنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في الدعاء، ونهى به

“I say this dua’ and similar (dua’) has been narrated that the Salaf used to ask (in supplication) with, and it’s been reported in the Manasik  of Al Marrudhi that Imam Ahmed (encouraged) tawassul through the Prophet in his dua’”.


The above saying of Ibn Taymiyya also refutes the bogus claim of pseudo salafis that the tawassul which scholars allowed is restricted to calling upon Allah only such as “Oh Allah we seek by your Prophet…” while instead we see from the narration above that it is not restricted to such.


Takfiri Distortion of the verse ﴾And he who does not judge according to what God has revealed, then they are the disbelievers﴿

Source: http://sanad.network/downloads/sanad-Deviance_Isssue_01_En.pdf

Falsehood & Extremism of the Salafist Doctrine

One of the religious movements that is featured with extremism is a movement that started in the 19th century. After conducting some deep investigations and researches in an attempt to unravel their understanding of the Islamic doctrine, we found that their understanding is limited to issues that are both secondary and scholarly debatable.

They only hold tight to a minority of scholars who share their same religious belief and they chose to turn a blind eye on the overwhelming majority of scholars who are widely known for their intellectual discernment and religious scholarship.

This extremist religious movement adopted an initiative which called for returning back to the Islamic heritage.

This initiative first appeared in Egypt during the British occupation and was used as a slogan for the movement of religious reform that was led by Gamal al Din al Afghani and Muhammad Abduh. Egypt at that time suffered from a constant increase of different types of unlawful innovations and heresies that had nothing to do with the true teachings of Islam. As a result people were divided into two groups, the first advocated for joining the Western civilization releasing themselves from the shackles of religious edicts and rulings.

The other group was adamant on rectifying and correcting the religious beliefs of Muslims to bring them back to the pure teachings of Islam away from heresies, illusions and myths.

The second group was also keen on connecting Islam with the modern world and finding ways of reaching coexistence between Islam and the western civilization. Therefore the aim behind using the slogan of going back to the pioneers of Islam who left us a vast Islamic heritage was to get rid of all the sediments of heresies and myths which adulterated the purity of Islam in order for Muslims to return back to the correct teachings of their religion and take the earlier Muslims generations as their pioneering example.
Moreover, when the second group of reformers initiated the call to go back to the way of thinking of the early Muslim pioneers, they wanted people to make an intellectual comparison between their miserable status and the illuminated one during the time period of the early Muslims. They aimed at stimulating the resentment of people against their current despicable status of backwardness and ignorance.

During this time, a new extremist school was established and spread in Najd and some remote areas in the Arabian peninsula. The common feature between the Najd school and the movement of religious reform in Egypt was the determination to fight against heresies and false innovations.
In this way the initiative which called for returning back to the Muslim pioneers of earlier generations turned from a slogan associated with a religious reform movement to a term adopted by a school of thought whose advocates believe that they exclusively hold the correct version of Islam that matches the thoughts of the early Muslims and expresses their understanding and application of Islam.

As a matter of fact, following the early Muslims is not by the mere confinement to the literal wording that they uttered or abiding by their juristic positions that they took regarding secondary issues. The early Muslims themselves did not ask for that. The true emulation would be through turning to the tools and maxims they adopted in textual interpretation and the principles used for conducting independent legal reasoning (ijtihad). The early Muslims were pioneers in writing down the guiding maxims and in developing a scientific methodology which enabled them to differentiate between the primary overarching issues and the secondary debatable ones.

Therefore, the true Muslims are the ones who abide by the scientific methodology that the early ones developed in order to deal with scriptural text of the Quran and the Prophetic traditions. Whoever adopts this methodology automatically falls under the appellation of the early Muslims even if he lived centuries away from them and similarly whoever abandons their methodology is not considered one of them even if he lived in the first century of Islam.

Within the fold of the methodology developed by the early Muslims lies a room for multiple opinions and different views. This diversity did not tear their Islamic unity apart or the unity of the later generations of scholars. On the contrary their diversified opinions left a huge intellectual heritage which stands as an eye witness of scholarly diversity and freedom of thinking.

The early Muslims themselves did not use a certain term in and of itself to correspond to some special characteristics or to refer to a specific intellectual form which would distinguish them from the rest of Muslims. Similarly they did not place their theological beliefs or their ethical conduct and framed it in an Islamic school which has its own independent philosophical and intellectual characteristics. They rather were interactive with their successors (al Khalaf) and had an amiable atmosphere of intellectual debate and scholarly diversity under the umbrella of the scientific methodology which is used as the measure to accept a debate or dismiss it for lacking the needed sound scientific methodology of thinking.

Neither the salaf nor the khalaf had in mind that a barrier would be constructed by a group of Muslims to block the way of interaction between the two parties and setting them apart from each other coloring each party with an independent type of thoughts, concepts and approaches.

More importantly, the early Muslims did not reach a consensus to follow a certain juristic school when it comes to secondary issues pertinent to particularities and the differences in the branches of jurisprudence which had been transmitted down to us represents in principle the differences among the early Muslims themselves over these issues. Therefore it is not acceptable for anyone to claim that a certain juristic ruling over a specific secondary branch of jurisprudence was adopted by the early Muslims. This claim entails two issues; the first of which is that they had a specific juristic school on which they agreed and that is a mere illusion.

The second issue is that this claim insinuates that the juristic views and schools of thought of the early Muslims were not transmitted by the leading scholars of the schools of jurisprudence which makes their juristic diversity self claimed with no connecting roots to the early Muslims.

The fact of the matter is that the different legal schools of jurisprudence represented the diversity found among the early Muslims and through these different juristic schools, their views were transmitted. Therefore, it would be a deviation from truth for anyone to say regarding any matter that this was the juristic school of the early Muslims because when it comes to secondary matters, what they actually reached consensus on are a handful of issues.

-The features of extremists in modern time

We notice that the opinions, approaches, behaviors, positions, and judgments of most of those who associate themselves falsely to early Muslims are wrongly based. These five elements are essential for students who would like to analyze this phenomenon. More importantly, they often adopt a clashing mentality and this mentality has three assumptions within its fold:
The first assumption is that the whole world hates Muslims and that there is a constant war to demolish them through three main entities Zionism, proselytization and secularism. They also assume that Muslims are the main targets of plots and conspiracies which are sometimes concealed but most of the time they are out in the open.

The second assumption is that clashing with this world is a necessity to revert the aggression and tyranny along with avenging for what is happening in the Muslim world. The necessity of clashing takes two forms, the first is killing nonbelievers which include all non Muslims and the second form is killing hypocrite apostates who are presumably Muslims yet opposing their line of thinking. We can readily observe the mythical fallacies and erroneous beliefs which unfortunately might attract some ignorant youths to their false call.

The third assumption is that their methodology of thinking is meant to spread widely to become one of the current methodologies of thinking in our world today and this means that their methodology does not need to be confined to a certain organization or a specific institution which we can track but rather spread freely and the loyal believers of this methodology have a free hand to do what they can to spread this methodology with no higher commandment or official orders.

This will only lead to more chaos and this methodology is tightly connected with the theory of creative chaos which is a term that is widely used in our modern literature yet a lot of people are oblivious of its roots, meaning and consequences.

Redirecting the path of these extremists is becoming a real burden on both the progress of Muslims and the renovation of the Islamic religious discourse along with the comprehensive development that the whole Muslim world needs. Unfortunately this extreme line of thinking is becoming a fertile soil for developing extremist ideologies and a base for disintegrating the society and a call for isolating oneself away from his surroundings which most of the time he is incapable of dealing with in the first place.
We ought to exert our efforts to fight against this extreme ideology which no longer represents a danger to itself alone but is forming an eminent threat to our youth and society in whole.

Source: http://eng.dar-alifta.org/foreign/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=51&CategoryID=5

Mausoleum of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (d. 54H)


Eyup Sultan mosque built over the mausoleum of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari(r) by Sultan Mehmed II when Muslims first conquered Constantinople in 1453 AD . Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said: “Verily you shall conquer Constantinople. What a wonderful leader will he be, and what a wonderful army will that army be!”

Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (may Allah have mercy on him), a prominent companion of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), was present during the first battles for Constantinople. He had fallen severely ill during those battles and personally requested his companions that after his passing away they are to penetrate deep into enemy territory and bury him near the walls of the fort of Constantinople. His companions than buried him as requested.

Ibn Asakir (d. 571H) in his book “Tariqh Dimashq” narrates the events surrounding the death of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari where he also than mentions the details of the mausoleum that was built over the grave, quoting from the salaf, that he:

أبا أيوب الأنصاري وهو خالد بن زيد غزا بلاد الروم فمات بالقسطنطينية فقبر مع سور المدينة وبني عليه
………died in Constantinople and his grave is at the walls of the city and built upon.

and further quotes that :

قال فبنوا عليه قبة بيضاء وأسرجوا عليه قنديلا قال أبو سعيد وأنا دخلت عليه القبة في سنة مائة ورأيت قنديلها فعرفنا أنه لم يزل يسرج حتى نزلنا بهم
built upon (his grave) is a white dome and a lamp is lit over it (i.e., the grave). Abu Said said he visited the dome in year 100H and saw the lamp still hanging …

and in another narration (which is also recorded in al Khatib al Baghdadi’s “Tariqh Baghdad“) quotes:

قال الوليد هذا قبر أبي أيوب الأنصاري صاحب النبي (صلى الله عليه وسلم) فأتيت تلك البنية فرأيت قبره في تلك البنية وعليه قنديل معلق بسلسلة

Al Walid saying that he came to the structure and saw the grave with a lamp hanging in chains over it.

His grave was a infact a famous place of visitation and tawassul. Imam al-Hakim in his “Mustadarak”, Ibn al-Jawzi in “Sifat al Safwa”, Ibn Asakir in “Tariqh Dimashq” and others quote al-Waqidi (d. 204H) saying:

محمد بن عمر قال وتوفي أبو أيوب عام غزا يزيد بن معاوية القسطنطينية في خلافة أبيه معاوية بن أبي سفيان سنة اثنتين وخمسين وصلى عليه يزيد بن معاوية وقبره بأصل حصن القسطنطينية بأرض الروم فلقد بلغني أن الروم يتعاهدون قبره ويرمونه ويستسقون به إذا قحطوا
“………It has reached us that the Eastern Romans visit his grave and seek rain through his intercession when they suffer from droughts.”

Ibn ‘Abd-ul-Barr (d. 463H) in “al-Istiab” narrates a similar saying from Imam Malik:

الَ ابْن القاسم، عَنْ مالك: بلغني عَنْ قبر أبي أيوب أن الروم يستصحون به ويستسقون

And recorded by Ibn ‘Abd-ul-Barr in the same book “al-Istiab” is another report [also narrated in Ibn al-Jawzi’s “Sifat al Safwa”; Abu Nu’aym’s Hilya al-Awliya’; al-Dhahabi’s Mizan and Siyar]:

قَالَ مجاهد: كانوا إذا أمحلوا كشفوا عَنْ قبره فمطروا
Mujahid said: “People would uncover the space above his grave and it would rain.”

From all of this we see the following:

  • The mausoleum of the companion Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (RA) was constructed at the time of the salaf.
  • The mausoleum was not labelled as idolatry or “shirki temple” or “shiasm” and destroyed as the 18th century Wahhabi religion preaches.
  • Tawassul was sought from the time of salaf and proves tawassul by the grave was an established practice in Islam, and this practice continues to be followed by Muslims till today.
  • Non-Muslims also sought tawassul and none of the Muslims objected to that nor labelled that as perennialism and mixing of religions, as the Wahhabiyya would like to portray. The Muslims instead mentioned it in praise of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (may Allah have mercy on him).