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Abdul-Qadir al-Jeelaanee (d. 561H): On Allaah's Uluww, Istiwaa and Nuzool and a Refutation of the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah and Ash'ariyyah
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Monday, November 16 2009 - by Abu.Iyaad
Key topics: Abdul-Qadir Al-Jeelaanee Al-Uluww Al-Istiwaa Nuzool

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Shaikh Abdul-Qaadir al-Jeelaanee (d. 561H) said (Ghunyat ut-Taalibeen, 1/73):

وهو بجهة العلو مستو على العرش محتو على الملك محيط علمه بالأشياء

And He is in the direction of al-Uluww (meaning above), ascended over the Throne, owning the dominion, His knowledge encompassing [all] things.

He also said (1/73):

وينبغي إطلاق صفة الاستواء من غير تأويل ، وأنه استواء الذات على العرش لا على معنى القعود والمماسة كما قالت المجسمة والكرامية ، ولا على معنى العلو والرفعة كما قالت الأشعرية ، ولا معنى الاستيلاء والغلبة كما قالت المعتزلة ، لأن الشرع لم يرد بذلك ولا نقل عن أحد من الصحابة والتابعين من السلف الصالح من أصحاب الحديث ذلك ، بل المنقول عنهم حمله على الإطلاق

It is essential to apply the attribute of al-Istiwaa (Allaah's Ascending) without restriction - [meaning] without ta'weel, and that it is an ascension with His Dhaat (self) over the Throne. Istiwaa does not mean sitting (qu'ood) or touching (mumaassah) - as the Mujassimah and Karraamiyyah say. Nor does it mean uluww (grandeur and highness) - as the Ash'ariyyah say. Nor does it mean isteelaa (conquering) and ghalabah (dominating) as the Muýtazilah say. The [revealed] legislation did not mention any of this. Neither has this been related by any one from Sahaabah and the Taabi'een from the Salaf, [nor] from the Ashaabul-Hadeeth (Scholars of Hadeeth). Rather, it is related from them that they carried [al-istiwaa] unrestrictedly.

It is apparent from Shaykh Abdul-Qadir (rahimahullaah), who was a Hanbali, that al-Istiwaa, which is Allaah ascending over the Throne, with His Essence, is carried unrestrictedly without:

  • The tajseem of the Mujassimah (see note below)
  • The ta'weel of the Ash'ariyyah
  • The ta'weel of the Mu'tazilah

He also said (1/74)

وأنه تعالى ينزل في كل ليلة إلى سماء الدنيا كيف شاء وكما شاء ، فيغفر لمن أذنب وأخطأ وأجرم وعصى لمن يختار من عباده ويشاء تبارك العلي الأعلى ، لا إله إلا هو له الأسماء الحسنى ، لا بمعنى نزول الرحمة وثوابه على ما ادعته المعتزلة والأشعرية

And that He, the Exalted, descends to the lowest heaven every night, however He wills, as He wills, and He forgives the one who sinned, erred, wronged and disobeyed, to whomever He chooses and wills from His servants. Blessed is the Lofty, the Most High. There is none worthy of worship except He. To Him belong the most beautiful Names. [The Nuzool] is not with the meaning of the descent of mercy (rahmah) and His reward (thawaab) as is claimed by the Mu'tazilah and Ash'ariyyah.

The Jahmiyyah have attempted to claim these are not the sayings of Abdul-Qadir al-Jeelaanee without bringing any evidence whatsoever! This is despite the fact that Ash'arites such as al-Izz bin Abdus-Salaam acknowledged this to be the creed of Shaykh Abdul-Qadir al-Jeelaanee as is indicated by adh-Dhahabi in his Siyar (20/443):

قال شيخنا الحافظ أبو الحسين علي بن محمد سمعت الشيخ عبد العزيز بن عبد السلام الفقيه الشافعي يقول ما نقلت إلينا كرامات أحد بالتواتر إلا الشيخ عبد القادر فقيل له هذا مع اعتقاده فكيف هذا فقال لازم المذهب ليس بمذهب . قلت يشير إلى إثباته صفة العلو ونحو ذلك ومذهب الحنابلة في ذلك معلوم يمشون خلف ما ثبت عن إمامهم رحمه الله إلا من يشذ منهم وتوسع في العبارة

Our Shaykh, the Haafidh, Abul-Husain Alee bin Muhammad: I heard the Shaykh, Abdul-Azeez bin Abdus-Salaam, the Shaafi'ee Jurist, saying: "The karaamaat of anyone have not been narrated to us through successive large-scale transmission (tawaatur) except (those of) Shaykh Abdul-Qadir." It was said to him: "This alongside his belief?" He replied, "The binding implication of a madhhab is not considered to be the madhhab".

I [adh-Dhahabi] say: He is referring to his [Abdul-Qadir's] affirmation of the attribute of al-Uluww and what is similar to that. And the madhhab of the Hanbalis regarding that is known, they traverse behind what has been established from their Imaam [Ahmad bin Hanbal] may Allaah have mercy upon him, except [whoever] separated from them and took liberties in expression.

The senior amongst today's Jahmites have had to humbly admit that this indeed was the creed of Shaykh Abdul-Qadir al-Jeelaanee (rahimahullaah), and they affirm and corroborate his use of the phrase "bi dhaatihi" (with His Essence), as this occurs in other books of his too.

Refer also to:

  • Abdul-Qaadir al-Jeelaanee (d. 561H): From the Views of the Jahmiyyah is That Allaah Is Not Above the Throne - read article here.
  • Abdul-Qaadir al-Jeelaanee (d. 561H): 'Allaah is in the Direction of Above and is Ascended Above the Throne' - read article here.
  • Abdul-Qaadir al-Jeelaanee (d. 561H): Refutation of the Saalimiyyah Sect Who Claim Allaah is Everywhere And Not Above His Throne Exclusively - read article here.

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