Tafwid of Imam Mujir ad-Din al Hanbali (d. 927H)

Imam Mujir ad-Din al Ulaymi al Hanbali (d. 927H) comes from a notable family of Hanbali scholars as well as a descendant of Amirul Mu’mineen Umar bin al-Khattab (rad). Born in Ramla, the capital of Palestine in those days, he later moved to Bayt al Maqdis (Jerusalem) where he served as the Chief Hanbali Qadi.

Below quoted are few of his interpretations of the Quran from his tafsir work فتح الرحمن في تفسير القرآن , from which it will be clear to see the methodology of tafwid that he adopts with regards to that which is attributed to Allah, and its difference with modern day pseudo-Salafi sects or the Tayymiyun.

On Istawa

In commentary to the verse {ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ} [Q 7:54], he explains,

{ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ} استواءً يليقُ بعظمتِه بِلا كيفٍ، وهذا من المشكِلِ الذي يجبُ عندَ أهل السُّنَّةِ على الإنسانِ الإيمانُ به، ويَكِلُ العلمَ فيه إلى الله عَزَّ وَجَلَّ، وسُئِلَ الإمامُ مالكٌ رضي الله عنه عن الاستواءِ فقالَ: “الاستواءُ معلومٌ؛ يعني: في اللغة، والكيفُ مجهولٌ، والإيمانُ بهِ واجبٌ، والسؤالُ عنهُ بِدْعَةٌ” ، وسُئِل الإمامُ أحمدُ رضي الله عنه عن قوله تعالى: {الرَّحْمَنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى} [طه: 5]، فقال: “هُوَ كما أخبرَ، لا كما يخطرُ للبشَرِ” ، والعرشُ في اللغة: هو السريرُ، وخُصَّ العرشُ بالذكرِ تشريفًا له؛ إذ هو أعظمُ المخلوقات.

http://shamela.ws/browse.php/book-14404/page-3835#page-1089

Rough translation:

” (ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ) Istawa that befits His Majesty without Howness, and in this intricacy/ambiguity it is necessary with Ahlus Sunnah for the people to have Iman in it, and relegate knowledge of it to Allah. Imam Malik said when asked about Istawa: “Istawa is known, meaning: in the language, and Howness in unknown, faith in it is obligatory, and questioning about this is an innovation. And Imam Ahmed said about the saying of Allah {الرَّحْمَنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى} [طه: 5]: “As He informed, (and) not what crosses the mind of humans”. And the (meaning of ) Arsh (throne) in the language: It is bed/couch, and the Arsh has been singled out in mentioning as a honor to Himself, because it the greatest of creation.”

and it gets even more clear, in commentary to the verse {الرَّحْمَنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى}[Q 20:5],

{عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى} استواء يليق بعظمته بلا كيف، وهذا من متشابه القرآن، نؤمن به، ولا نتعرض لمعناه، وقال الإمام مالك بن أنس رضي الله عنه لرجل مسألة عن الاستواء، فقال له مالك: “الاستواء معلوم -يعني: في اللغة-، والكيف مجهول، والسؤال عنه بدعة، وأظنك رجل سوء، أخرجوه عني”، فأدبر الرجل وهو يقول: يا أبا عبد الله لقد سألت فيها أهل العراق وأهل الشام، فما وفق فيها أحد توفيقك (1).
وسئل الإمام أحمد بن حنبل رضي الله عنه عن قوله: {الرَّحْمَنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى} فقال: “هو كما أخبر، لا كما يخطر للبشر”.
وتقدم الكلام على ذلك مستوفىً (2) في سورة الأعراف.

http://shamela.ws/browse.php/book-14404/page-1965#page-1965

“{عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى} Istawa that befits His Majesty without Howness. This is from the Mutashabiha (unclear/ambiguous verses) of the Quran, we believe in it, (however) we are not exposed to its meaning”.  After which he quotes the same above saying of Imam Malik and Imam Ahmed.

We see here how the methodology of Hanbali scholars with regards to such verses is no different to the Tafwid methodology that is adopted by Ashari & Maturidi schools. Also note how the saying of Imam Malik is interpreted in that when it said “its meaning is known” it means that the meaning is known in the language and not that the real meaning of the verse or when attributed to Allah is known. Rather, it is from the Mutashabiha verses.

On the verse {Do you feel secure (from) who (is) in the heaven}[Q 67:16]

{مَنْ فِي السَّمَاءِ} وهذا المحل من المتشابه الذي استأثر الله بعلمه، نؤمن به ولا نتعرض إلى معناه، ونكل العلم فيه إلى الله، قال ابن عباس: “أأمنتم عَذَابَ مَنْ في السماء إن عصيتموه”

http://shamela.ws/browse.php/book-14404/page-3489#page-3489

“This is from the ambiguous/unclear (mutashabih) whose knowledge is with Allah alone, We believe in it and we are not exposed to its meaning, and we relegate its knowledge to Allah. Ibn Abbas said: “Do you feel secure of the torment from in the sky…”

Here again, the verse is explicitly stated as from the mutashabih.  Further more despite this tafwid the Imam also quotes a tawil from Ibn Abbas (rad.). That is, being on tafwid does not mean an absolute rejection of tawil and the scholars using tafwid had validated tawil when they found enough basis for it.

On the verse {Do they await but that Allah should come to them in covers of clouds} [Q 2:210]

والأَوْلى في هذه الآيةِ وفي ما شاكَلَها أن يؤمنَ الإنسانُ بها، ويُمِرَّها كما جاءت بلا كيفٍ، ويَكِلَ علمَها إلى الله سبحانه، وهو مذهبُ أئمةِ السلف وعلماءِ السنة، قال سفيانُ بنُ عُيينةَ: كلُّ ما وصف الله تعالى به نفسَه في كتابه، فتفسيرهُ قراءتُه، والسكوتُ عنهُ، ليسَ لأحدٍ أن يفسِّرَهُ إلا اللهُ ورسولهُ .

http://shamela.ws/browse.php/book-14404/#page-358

“Firstly in this verse and what is similar is for people to have faith in it, and to pass it as it has come without howness, and relegate knowledge of it to Allah, and this is the madhab of the Imams of the Salaf and scholars of Sunnah. Sufyan al-Thawri said: All that which Allah attributed to Himself in His book, its tafsir is its recitation, and silence about it, for no one can explain that except Allah and His Messenger.”

We see knowledge of the verse is relegated to Allah and His Messenger. If these verses and its meaning was no different to any other verse in the Quran as the neo-Salafis claim, then there would be no need specifically relegate meaning to Allah in this verse only.

On the verse {And your Lord has come}[Q 89:22]

{وَجَاءَ رَبُّكَ} [قال الإمام أحمد: معناه: جاء أمرُ ربك]

http://shamela.ws/browse.php/book-14404/#page-3736

{And your Lord has come} Imam Ahmed said: meaning: command of your lord has come.

On the verse {Rather, both His hands are extended}[Q 5:64]

{بَلْ يَدَاهُ مَبْسُوطَتَانِ} وليسَ المرادُ حقيقةَ الجارحةِ المتركِّبَةِ؛ لأنه تعالى منزَّهٌ عن التركيبِ، وإنَّما هي صفةٌ من صفاتِ ذاتِه؛ كالسمعِ والبصرِ، قالَ جلَّ ذكرُه: {لِمَا خَلَقْتُ بِيَدَيَّ} [ص: 75] , وقال – صلى الله عليه وسلم -: “كِلْتَا يَدَيْهِ يَمِينٌ”، واللهُ أعلمُ بصفاته، فعلى العبادِ فيها الإيمانُ والتسليمُ، وأَنْ يُمِرُّوها كما جاءتْ بلا كيفٍ؟

http://shamela.ws/browse.php/book-14404/page-879#page-879

“{Rather, both His hands are extended} It does not mean in reality (Allah has) a limb superimposed because Allah is far above from being a composition. It is an attribute from the Attribute of His Self (Dhat), like His Hearing and Seeing. Allah said “Whom we created with both hands”[Q 38:75] and the Prophet said “both His hands are right”. And Allah knows best His attributes, what is required of (us) slaves is belief and acceptance, and to pass it as it has come without Howness”

On the verse {the heavens will be folded in His right hand}[Q 39:67]

{قَبْضَتُهُ} أي: في تصرفه، والمراد: الأرضون السبع؛ لقوله: (جَمِيعًا).  {يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَالسَّمَاوَاتُ مَطْوِيَّاتٌ بِيَمِينِهِ} أي: مجموعات بقدرته.

http://shamela.ws/browse.php/book-14404/page-2895

“{in His Grip} that is: in His disposition, …….{on the Day of the Resurrection and the heavens will be folded in His Right Hand} that is: collected with His Power.”

On the verse {the hand of Allah is over their hands}[Q 48:10]

{يَدُ اللَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ} أي: حولُه وقُوَّتُه فوق حولهم وقوتهم؛ أي: في نصرك ونصرهم، وهذا تعديد نعمة عليهم مستقبَلة مخبر بها.

http://shamela.ws/browse.php/book-14404/page-3145

“{the hands of Allah is over their hands}: That is: His Might and His Power is above their might and their power, that is: in help and victory. This is the mentioning of blessing on them…”

On the verse {bounty is in the hand of Allah} [Q 57:29]

{وَأَنَّ الْفَضْلَ بِيَدِ اللَّهِ} في تصرفه وملكه

http://shamela.ws/browse.php/book-14404/#page-3356

“{and that the bounty is in the hand of Allah} in His disposal and His possession”

On the verse {Sailing under Our eyes} [Q 54:10]

{تَجْرِي بِأَعْيُنِنَا} أي: بحفظنا وحمايتنا

http://shamela.ws/browse.php/book-14404/page-3270#page-3270

“{Sailing under Our eyes} That is: under our guarding and protection”

On the verse {The Day the shin will be uncovered}[Q 68:42]

{يُكْشَفُ عَنْ سَاقٍ} أي: يشتد الأمر، قال ابن عباس: “هو أشدُّ ساعة في القيامة”، يقال: كشفت الحرب عن ساقها؛ أي: شدتها.

http://shamela.ws/browse.php/book-14404/page-3509

“{The Day the shin will be uncovered} that is: command intensifies. Ibn Abbas said: It is the most intense hour in Resurrection. ….”

Allah is not a body

In commentary to the verse {Allah-us-Samad}[Q 112:2] he says:

لأنّه تعالى ليس بجسم ولا مركب

http://shamela.ws/browse.php/book-14404/page-3835#page-3835

“The Most High is not a body nor a composite”

 

Salafi creed: God has a literal left and right

The late Salafi leader Ibn Baz in one of his fatwa explains two authentic narrations one of which mention the “yad”(lit. hand) of Allah as being a left and a right, and the other which apparently seem to contradict that by mentioning both as right.

Ibn Baz said:

“The Ayahs (Qur’anic verses) and Hadiths are intended to emphasize that Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) has a Right Hand and a Left Hand in view of the literal designation, but both of them are blessedly Right Hands in merit, without imperfection in any manner.”

http://www.alifta.net/fatawa/fatawaDetails.aspx?languagename=en&View=Page&PageID=4927&PageNo=1&BookID=14

According to this “Salafi” creed, left and right are literally attributed to Allah. That is, the Salafiyya not only confine Allah with a direction of above (or below) but also with directions of left and right. Noting also that this is another example of Salafi figurative interpretation when it suits them, in this case explaining figuratively the part of the hadith that says “both His Hands are Right”.

Compare this creed to how renowned authoritative commentators of the Quran have explained the following verse of the Quran that relates to the same theme and subject in these hadiths:

{ They have not appraised Allah with true appraisal, while the earth entirely will be [within] His grip on the Day of Resurrection, and the heavens will be folded in His right hand. Exalted is He and high above what they associate with Him.} [ Quran 39:67]

Imam Ibn Jarir al Tabari in his commentary to this verse initially mentions several narrations that are related to this verse and later says

 

وقال بعض أهل العربية من أهل البصرة { والأرْضُ جَمِيعاً قَبْضَتُهُ يَوْمَ القيامَةِ والسَّمَوَاتُ مَطْوِيَّاتٌ بِيَمِينِهِ } يقول في قدرته نحو قوله:
وَما مَلَكَتْ أيمَانُكُمْ }
أي وما كانت لكم عليه قدرة وليس الملك لليمين دون سائر الجسد، قال: وقوله { قَبْضَتُهُ } نحو قولك للرجل: هذا في يدك وفي قبضتك.

والأخبار التي ذكرناها عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وعن أصحابه وغيرهم، تشهد على بطول هذا القول.

Rough translation:

“Some of the Arabs from Basrah (in Iraq) has said (about the verse) {while the earth entirely will be [within] His grip on the Day of Resurrection, and the heavens will be folded in His right hand} in His Power like His Word {those whom your right hands possess}[Q 4:36] that is, what you have in your power, and not (meaning) just in possession by only the right hand without the rest of the body. And His Word {His grip} is similar to a person saying: This is in your hands and in your grip.

And all the reports that we have mentioned from the Prophet salatonmassenger and His companions and others, attest to the strength of this saying.”

As we see here, Imam al-Tabari rather than indulging in affirming a literal left and right, instead explains the verse {heavens will be folded in His right hand} using the verse {those whom your right hands possess} that it means ability/power.

And this explanation was common among many mufassirs, for example

Imam Abu Layth al-Samarqandi (d. 375H) in his tafsir says:

ثم قال { وَٱلأَرْضُ جَمِيعـاً قَبْضَـتُهُ يَوْمَ ٱلْقِيَـٰمَةِ } أي في قدرته وملكه وسلطانه، لا سلطان لأحد عليها، وهذا كقوله
{ مَـٰلِكِ يَوْمِ ٱلدِّينِ }
[الفاتحة: 4] وقال القتبي: في قبضـته: أي في ملكه نحو قولك للرجل: هذا في يدكَ وقبضتك، أي في ملكك { وَٱلسَّمَـٰوٰتُ مَطْوِيَّـٰتٌ بِيَمِينِهِ } أي بقدرته، ويقال في الآية تقديم معناه، والسموات مطويات بيمينه يوم القيامة أي في يوم القيامة، ويقال بيمينه، يعني عن يمين العرش، وقال القتبي: بيمينه أي بقدرته، نحو قوله:
{ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـٰنُهُمْ }
[الأحزاب: 50] يعني: ما كانت لهم عليه قدرة، وليس الملك لليمين دون الشمال، ويقال اليمين هاهنا: الحلف، لأنه حلف بعزته وجلاله ليطوين السموات والأرض،

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=11&tSoraNo=39&tAyahNo=67&tDisplay=yes&Page=1&Size=1&LanguageId=1

“Then He said {the earth entirely will be [within] His grip on the Day of Resurrection} that is, in his Power and His Possession and His Authority, …..Ibn Qutaybah (d. 276H) said: In His Grip: that is in His Possession like the saying of the person: This is in his hands and his grip, meaning to say, in his possession, {and the heavens will be folded in His right hand} that is His Power, …….. Ibn Qutaybah said: His right hands meaning: His Power, like His Word {those whom your right hands possess} meaning: that which is in your power, and does not mean possessed by the right hand without the left hand…..”

Imam Abu Ishaq al Thalabi (d. 427H) in his tafsir said:

وقيل: هو معنى القوة، كقول الشاعر:
تلقاها عرابة باليمين

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=75&tSoraNo=39&tAyahNo=67&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=1

“It is said: It means Power….”

Imam Abul Hassan al Mawardi (d. 450H) in his tafsir says:

{ والسموات مطويات بيمينه } فيه وجهان:أحدهما: بقوته لأن اليمين القوة.

الثاني: في ملكه كقوله
وماملكت أيمانكم }
[النساء: 36].

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=12&tSoraNo=39&tAyahNo=67&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=1

“{the heavens are rolled in His right hand} has two views:

One of them: His Strength because the right (signifies) strength

Second: In His Possession (like) His Word {those whom your right hands possess} [4:36]”

In tafsir of Al-Khazin (d. 741H), Imam Abu Sulayman al Khattabi (d. 386H) is quoted as saying:

قال أبو سليمان الخطابي ليس فيما يضاف إلى الله عز وجل من صفة اليدين شمال لأن الشمال محمل النقص والضعف وقد روى كلتا يديه يمين وليس عندنا معنى اليد الجارحة إنما هي صفة جاء بها التوقيف فنحن نطلقها على ما جاءت ولا نكيفها وننتهي إلى حيث انتهى الكتاب والأخبار المأثورة الصحيحة وهذا مذهب أهل السنة والجماعة وقال سفيان بن عيينة كل ما وصف الله به نفسه في كتابه فتفسيره تلاوته والسكوت عليه.

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=18&tSoraNo=39&tAyahNo=67&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=1

“Abu Sulayman al Khattabi said, Allah has not been attributed with left hand because left hand implies deficiency and weakness, it was narrated “both his hands are right” it does not mean al yad (lit. hands) is a limb, (rather) it is an attribute that has come and and we say as it has come without likening and we end where ends the Book and Sahih narrations. This is the madhab of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamah. Sufyan bin Uyanah said: “All that which Allah attributed to His Self in His Book, its interpretation is its recitation (tilawat) and be silent about it (beyond that)””

In the tafsir of Sultan al Ulema Izz ad-Din Ibn Abd as-Salam (d. 660H),

{ قَبْضَتُهُ } أي هي في مقدروه كالذي يقبض القابض عليه في قبضته { بِيَمِينِهِ } بقوته لأن اليمين القوة، أو في ملكه لقوله
{ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ }
[النساء: 3].

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=16&tSoraNo=39&tAyahNo=67&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=1

“{in His grip} that is in His Power like the one caught clutched in His Grip {in His right hand} in His Strength because the right (signifies) strength, or in His Possession like His Word {or those whom your right hands possess}[Q 4:3]”

Imam al-Qurtubi (d. 671H), in his tafsir,

واليمين في كلام العرب قد تكون بمعنى القدرة والملك؛ ومنه قوله تعالى:
{ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ }
[النساء: 3] يريد به الملك؛ وقال
{ لأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُ بِٱلْيَمِينِ }
[الحاقة: 45] أي بالقوّة والقدرة أي لأخذنا قوته وقدرته.

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=5&tSoraNo=39&tAyahNo=67&tDisplay=yes&Page=1&Size=1&LanguageId=1

“And right hand in the Arabic language could be in the meaning of Power and Possession, (like) in the saying of Most High {or those whom your right hands possess} [Q 4:3] intending in his possession, and (Allah Most High) said {We would have seized him by the right hand} [Q 69:45] that is to say, with strength and power, that is (the meaning of the verse is ) We would have seized with strength and power. “

Similarly in Tafsir al Jalalayn:

{ قَبْضَتُهُ } أي مقبوضة له: أي في ملكه وتصرفه { يَوْمَ ٱلْقِيَٰمَةِ وَٱلسَّمَٰوٰتُ مَطْوِيَّٰتٌ } مجموعات { بِيَمِينِهِ } بقدرته

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=8&tSoraNo=39&tAyahNo=67&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=1

“{in His grasp} in other words it shall be grasped by Him: meaning that it will be in His possession and at His disposal {on the Day of Resurrection and the heavens will be rolled up} brought together {in His right hand} by His power.”

Differentiating the Scholars of the Religion from Scholars of Evil

Shehu Uthman ibn Fuduye (d. 1817) and Imam Abd al Kareem ibn Muhammed al-Maghali (d. 909H) are both considered as revivers of Islam in West & Central Africa (formerly known as “Bilad as-Sudan”) . In the book “Siraaj ‘l-Ikhwaan” by Shehu Uthman ibn Fuduye (available via siiasi.org), there is a chapter on distinction between righteous and evil scholars which is a useful piece of information for our time.

siraajl-ikhwaan-2-05siraajl-ikhwaan-2-06siraajl-ikhwaan-2-07siraajl-ikhwaan-2-08

 

Some of the notable points:

  • Two necessary characteristic of a righteous scholar to look out for: Ilm and Taqwa
  • Prohibition of following and asking from those who do not possess Ilm and Taqwa nor from those whose Ilm & Taqwa are unclear and not established.
  • The enormity of evil that can come as a result of an evil scholar. And hence when it is established and clear that a person claiming to be scholar is lacking in Ilm and Taqwa then staying away from him become obligatory and warning against him become obligatory to those whom forbidding evil is obligatory.
  • Characteristics of the reviver of Islam who come in every century is such that in terms of commanding good, forbidding evil, rectifying the affairs of the people, spreading justice amongst them, assisting the truth against falsehood and assisting the oppressed against the oppressors, that they are contrary and unique when compared to remainder of the scholars of the time.
  • And the above characteristics are what makes them Ghareeb (strange), which is a description that has come in the hadith. Their “strangeness” is not because of some unheard doctrine they have come up with nor based on mere rejection of Muslim majority just so that he can appear as being “different”. Nor is it referring to takfiris of our time who do not posses even elementary levels of ilm and taqwa to start with, and yet consider themselves as “Ghuraba” (strangers).
  • Furthermore the reviviers are a remedy for the Ummah and despite opposition they might face during their life, they at the end become successful, recognized and agreed among Muslims as revivers of Islam and fruits of their efforts seen, as opposed to someone who comes with a heterodox doctrine rejected & remaining rejected by Muslims or someone who opposes the Ummah based on ignorance and desires.

           Moreover it is to be noted that “strangers” are individual revivers of Islam and not a separate sect of it own. The characteristic of being “strange” is an explicit characteristic of the Awliya of Allah as mentioned in the hadiths (quoting from Gibril Foud Haddad):

Narrated respectively by Abu Hurayra and Abu Malik al-Ash`ari:

[Abû Hurayra:] The Prophet said: “Truly there are servants, among the servants of Allâh, that are not Prophets but whom the Prophets and martyrs yearn to be like.” Someone asked: “Who are they so that we may love them?” He said: “They are a folk who loved one another with the light of Allâh, without kinship nor affiliation. Their faces are light on pulpits of light. They shall not fear when all people fear, nor shall they grieve when all people grieve.” Then he recited: {The Friends of Allâh! Truly no fear shall there be for them, nor shall they grieve} (10:62).

[Abû Mâlik:] When the Prophet finished his prayer he turned facing the people and said: “O people! Listen to this, understand it, and know it. Allâh has servants who are neither Prophets nor martyrs and whom the Prophets and martyrs yearn to be like, due to their seat and proximity in relation to Allâh.
” One of the Bedouin Arabs who came from among the most isolated of people twisted his hand at the Prophet and said: “O Messenger of Allâh! People from humankind who are neither Prophets nor martyrs and yet the Prophets and the martyrs yearn to be like them due to their seat and proximity in relation to Allâh? Describe them for us!” The face of the Prophet showed delight at the question and he said:
“They are of the strangers from here and there. They frequent this tribe or that without belonging to any of them. They do not have family connections with each other. They love one another for the sake of Allâh. They are of pure intent towards one another. On the Day of Resurrection Allâh shall place for them pedestals of light upon which He shall seat them, and He will turn their faces and clothes into light. On the Day of Resurrection the people will be terrified but not those. They are {the Friends of Allâh upon whom fear comes not, nor do they grieve} (10:62).”

[Narrated from Abû Hurayra by Ibn Hibbân (2:332-334 #573) with a sound chain according to Shaykh Shu`ayb al-Arna’ût, and al-Nasâ’î in al-Sunan al-Kubrâ (6:362 #11153), al-Tabarî in his Tafsîr (11:132), and al-Mundhirî in al-Targhîb (=4:20); from Abû Mâlik al-Ash`arî by Ahmad, al-Tabarânî, and Abû Ya`lâ with a chain of trustworthy narrators [except for Shahr ibn Hawshab who is mostly reliable]; also by al-Baghawî in Sharh al-Sunna (13:50 #3464) and al-Tabarî in his Tafsîr (11:132)]; from Abû al-Dardâ’ by al-Tabarânî with a fair chain according to al-Mundhirî]; and from `Amr ibn `Abasa al-Sulamî with a chain of narrators considered trustworthy, all three gradings according to al-Haythamî (10:276-277, 10:77); from `Umar by Abû Dâwûd with a chain of sound narrators, Abû Nu`aym in the Hilya (1985 ed. 1:5) with a good chain as per al-Arna’ût, and al-Tabarî in his Tafsîr (11:132); from Ibn `Umar by al-Hâkim (4:170-171 sahîh, confirmed by al-Dhahabî); and from Abû Umâma by al-Tabarânî with a good chain according to al-Mundhirî (=4:20) and al-Haytamî (10:277); also by Ibn `Asâkir, Ibn Abî al-Dunyâ in Kitâb al-Ikhwan, Ibn Abî Hâtim, and Ibn Mardûyah.]

As seen here, “strangers” are individuals and not a whole sect or party of people and they are individuals who have reached high spiritual stations and not laymen calling themselves “Ghuraba”. Also notable from this narration is that the “strangers” are distinguished from martyrs.

  • It is obligatory to seek out, rely and support these specific scholars of the religion who have these characteristic from from among the rest of the general righteous ulema.
  • Finally, Shehu Uthman ibn Fuduye (r) mentions elsewhere in this book with respect to duties of a righteous ruler:

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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.

Takfir of Asharis by the Wahhabi Movement

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The text quoted is from the infamous book “ad-Durar us-Sanniyyah fil-Ajwibatil-Najdiyyah”, which is a compilation of Wahhabi history and thoughts by their scholar Ibn Qasim an-Najdi (d. 1973),

وهذه الطائفة: التي تنتسب إلى أبي الحسن الأشعري ، وصفوا رب العالمين ، بصفات المعدوم والجماد؛ فلقد أعظموا الفرية على الله ، وخالفوا أهل الحق من السلف ، والأئمة ، وأتباعهم؛ وخالفوا من ينتسبون إليه ، فإن أبا الحسن الأشعري ، صرح في كتابه: الإبانة ، والمقالات ، بإثبات الصفات؛ فهذه الطائفة المنحرفة عن الحق ، قد تجردت شياطينهم لصد الناس عن سبيل الله ، فجحدوا توحيد الله في الإلَهية ، وأجازوا الشرك الذي لا يغفره الله ، فجوزوا: أن يعبد غيره من دونه ، وجحدوا توحيد صفاته بالتعطيل .
(ص211) فالأئمة من أهل السنة ، وأتباعهم ، لهم المصنفات المعروفة ، في الرد على هذه الطائفة ، الكافرة المعاندة ، كشفوا فيها كل شبهة لهم ، وبينوا فيها الحق الذي دل عليه كتاب الله ، وسنة رسوله وما عليه سلف الأمة ، وأئمتها من كل إمام رواية ودراية .
ومن له نهمة في طلب الأدلة على الحق ، ففي كتاب الله ، وسنة رسوله ، ما يكفي ويشفي؛ وهما سلاح كل موحد ، ومثبت؛ لكن كتب أهل السنة ، تزيد الراغب ، وتعينه على الفهم؛ وعندكم من مصنفات شيخنا رحمه الله ، ما يكفي مع التأمل؛فيجب عليكم هجر أهل البدع ، والإنكار عليهم .

Sighted from: https://twitter.com/a_ttass/status/777434718832824320

Here as highlighted,  the Asharis are being described as committing “shirk” and “worship of other than Allah” and that they are “Kafir”.

Imam al-Samiri al-Hanbali (d. 661H) on tawassul

Imam Nasrruddin Muhammad ibn Abdullah al-Samiri al-Hanbali (d. 616H), whom Imam al-Dhahabi described as “Shaykh of the Hanbalis” and “from the senior jurists”, mentions in his book “al-Mustawab” in the chapter “Book of Hajj” section “Chapter in visitation of grave of Prophet of Allah” that as part of the supplication one should say:

“O Allah you have said in your book about the Prophet salatonmassenger {And if, when they wronged themselves, they had come to you, [O Muhammad], and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Accepting of repentance and Merciful} and I have come to you seeking forgiveness, hence I ask You, to obligate forgiveness for me as you have made it an obligation for those who came to him during his lifetime”

after which he mentions the famous supplication of tawassul that was taught by the Prophet salatonmassenger:

“O Allah, I ask You and turn to You through our Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy; O Muhammad, I turn through you to my Lord, that He may fulfill my need”

samirii-hanbali-on-ziyarah-1  samirii-hanbali-on-ziyarah-3

Taken from: https://twitter.com/balag40/status/777752082245939200

Imam Sulayman ibn Ali, father of Muhammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab, recommends tawassul

Imam Sulayman ibn Ali ibn Musharraf al-Tamimi al-Najdi al-Hanbali was the father of the founder of Wahhabi movement Muhammed bin Abdul Wahhab. He was a prominent scholar of Hanbali school and comes from a prominent family of scholars.

In his book ” كـتـاب مـصـبـاح الـسـالـك في أحـكـام الـمـنـاسـك  Kitāb Miṣbaḥ al-salik fī aḥkam al-manasik” he writes in the section dealing with Visitation of the tomb of Prophet salatonmassenger  that one should say as part of the supplication:

O Allah (swt)! You said, and Your saying is truthful: {And had they, when they were unjust to themselves, come to you and asked forgiveness of Allah (swt) and the Messenger (saw) had (also) asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah (swt) Oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful,} and I have come to you seeking forgiveness for my sins, seeking intercession through you to my Lord, hence I ask You (O Lord) to obligate forgiveness for me as you have made it an obligation for those who came to him during his lifetime.

 

father-of-miaw-on-tawassul-1father-of-miaw-on-tawassul-2

 

Taken from: https://twitter.com/balag40/status/776674757471244288

Shaykh Muhammed al-Yaqoubi on takfiri doctrines of Daesh

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To add to this, Imam al-Thalabi (d. 427H) says in his tafsir for this verse (Quran 5:44):

فأما من يحكم ببعض ما أنزل اللّه من التوحيد [وترك] الشرك ثم لم يحكم بهما [فبين] ما أنزل اللّه من الشرائع لم يستوجب حكم هذه الآيات.

“As for those who judge by some of what Allah has revealed from Tawhid and (leaving) shirk (and) then he did not judge from what Allah has revealed from the Shariah (laws), (then) the judgement of this verse does not necessitate”

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=75&tSoraNo=5&tAyahNo=44&tDisplay=yes&Page=2&Size=1&LanguageId=1

Also see: TAKFIRI DISTORTION OF THE VERSE ﴾AND HE WHO DOES NOT JUDGE ACCORDING TO WHAT GOD HAS REVEALED, THEN THEY ARE THE DISBELIEVERS﴿

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

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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.

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=93&tSoraNo=4&tAyahNo=171&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2

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.

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=93&tSoraNo=6&tAyahNo=159&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2

{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.

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=93&tSoraNo=58&tAyahNo=22&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2

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.

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=93&tSoraNo=48&tAyahNo=10&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2

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).

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=93&tSoraNo=26&tAyahNo=5&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2

On the creation of the Prophet

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

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=93&tSoraNo=2&tAyahNo=30&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2

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,

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=93&tSoraNo=53&tAyahNo=13&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2

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.

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=93&tSoraNo=11&tAyahNo=40&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2

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].

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=93&tSoraNo=59&tAyahNo=7&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2

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.

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=93&tSoraNo=8&tAyahNo=72&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2

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.

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=93&tSoraNo=7&tAyahNo=205&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2

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!’

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=93&tSoraNo=33&tAyahNo=35&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2

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.

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=93&tSoraNo=2&tAyahNo=3&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2

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’

http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=93&tSoraNo=45&tAyahNo=13&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2

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.

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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.

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