The Creed of Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee (d. 371H) And Refutation of the Ash'ariyyah Jahmiyyah: Affirmation of Allaah's Nuzool Without Kayf
Saturday, December 12 2009 - by Abu.Iyaad
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I'tiqaad Ahl is-Sunnah

The Book "I'tiqaad Ahl is-Sunnah" (manuscript copy sample, first page, to the right) is authentically ascribed to Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee, and it has been mentioned by Abu Uthmaan as-Saaboonee (d. 449H) in his book "Aqeedat us-Salaf wa Ashaabil-Hadeeth", and likewise by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali in "Jaami al-Uloom wal-Hikam", referring to it as "the risaalah of Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee to the people of the mountain." The book has a connected chain of narration to its author and it has been narrated with its chain by Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisi in "Dhamm ut-Ta'weel", ad-Dhahabi in "al-Uluww", and in "Tadhkirat ul-Huffaadh" and "Siyar". And in his book "al-Arba'een Fee Sifaati Rabbil-Aalameen", adh-Dhahabee says, "And this creed (al-mu'taqad), we have heard this from him with a saheeh isnaad (authentic chain of narration)" (p. 118). The book also has three hearings (samaa') in the years 574H, 617H, and 667H, the details of which are found in the manuscripts. So the book is firmly established and corroborated as being the work of Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee. In these articles we will be quoting from the tahqeeq of Jamaal Azzoon, first edition, 1999, Dar Ibn Hazm.

Brief Note Regarding Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee and the Contemporary Jahmiyyah Parading Under the Label of "Ash'ariyyah"

We see these spurious, fraudulent lists of so called "Ash'ari" Scholars being circulated and spread on blogs and websites, with an impressive array of names mentioned therein, and Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee's name is often found in these lists. This is one of the greatest of frauds being perpetrated by the Jahmite Machinery that has taken on the label of "Ash'ariyyah" in the 20th and 21st century. Whilst this is not the place to digress away from the subject of this article, let it be known that Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee was a Salafi, Sunni, Athari (all synonymous terms representing only one approach and one aqidah) and his creed is in opposition to the Jahmiyyah Ash'ariyyah. He affirmed Allaah's Uluww, with His Essence, affirmed the attributes of Face, Hands, Eyes, and affirms that the Names of Allaah are not created (unlike the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah and Ash'ariyyah - see here), and affirmed that this Qur'an present with us is uncreated, and opposes the Lafdhiyyah Jahmiyyah (i.e. Ash'ariyyah) who say that al-lafdh al-maqroo' is created (see here). And he opposed the Jahmiyyah and Ash'ariyyah on the subject of Eemaan, affirming that it is belief and action, that it increases and decreases. And further he affirms the Nuzool, without takyeef or ta'weel or tafweed, on account of it being reported in the authentic narrations. Inshaa'Allaah these details of belief from Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee will be the subject of this series of articles. We demand the contemporary Jahmiyyah to abide by the criterion laid out in this article when imputing Ash'ariyyah to any Scholar.

Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee And Affirmation of Allaah's Nuzool Without Kayf And His Affirmation Of the Tawheed of the Messenger, In Opposition to the Negation of So Called "Hawaadith" (Events) Which Is the Pole and Axis of the Tawheed of al-Jawhar wal-'Arad

Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee said:

And that He, the Mighty and Majestic, descends to the heaven [based upon] the report that is authentic from the Messenger of Allaah, without holding belief in a kayf regarding it.

The hadeeth regarding the Nuzool are firmly established and collected by al-Bukhaaree, Muslim and others, and the Ummah has taken them with acceptance and submission, with the exception of those in whose hearts is perversion. So he has affirmed that this is what Ahl us-Sunnah who have preceded him believe in, and he is simply conveying their creed, saying what they say.

Abu Uthmaan as-Saaboonee (d. 449H) on Affirmation of Allaah's Nuzool Without Kayf

Abu Uthmaan as-Saaboonee (d. 449) said in his book "Aqidah as-Salaf wa As.haab il-Hadeeth" (tahqeeq Nasir al-Judai', p. 192):

وقرأت في رسالة الشيخ أبي بكر الإسماعيلي إلى أهل جيلان أن الله سبحانه ينزل إلى السماء الدنيا على ما صح به الخبر عن الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم، وقد قال الله عز وجل: (هل ينظرون إلا أن يأتيهم الله في ظلل من الغمام) وقال: (وجاء ربك والملك صفا صفا) ونؤمن بذلك كله على ما جاء بلا كيف، فلو شاء سبحانه أن يبين لنا كيفية ذلك فعل، فانتهينا إلى ما أحكمه، وكففنا عن الذي يتشابه إذ كنا قد أمرنا به في قوله عز وجل: (هو الذي أنزل عليك الكتاب منه آيات محكمات هن أم الكتاب، وأخر متشابهات فأما الذين في قلوبهم زيغ فيتبعون ما تشابه منه، ابتغاء الفتنة وابتغاء تأويله، وما يعم تأويله إلا الله، والراسخون في العلم يقولون آمنا به كل من عند ربنا وما يذكر إلا أولو الألباب)

أخبرنا أبو بكر بن زكريا الشيباني سمعت : أبا حامد بن الشرقي يقول: سمعت أحمد السلمي وأبا داود الخفاجي يقولان: سمعنا إسحاق بن إبراهيم الحنظلي يقول: قال لي الأمير عبدالله بن طاهر: يا أبا يعقوب هذا الحديث الذي ترويه عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم " ينزل ربنا كل ليلة إلى السماء الدنيا. كيف ينزل؟ قال، قلت: أعز الله الأمير، لا يقال لأمر الرب كيف؟ إنما ينزل بلا كيف.

And I read in the risaalah of the Shaykh, Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee to the people of Jeelaan that Allaah, the Sublime, descends to the heaven [based upon] the report that is authentic from the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

And Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic has said:

Do they then wait for anything other than that Allaah should come to them in the shadows of the clouds and the angels? (Al-Baqarah 2:210)

And He said:

And your Lord comes with the angels in rows. (Al-Fajr 89:22)

And we believe in all of upon the manner in which it has come (in these texts) without a kayf [asking or enquiring into the 'how']. If Allaah, the Sublime, had willed to explain the kaifiyyah of that to us, He would have done so. Thus, we stop at what He made precise and clear [i.e. the meaning], and we hold back from that which is ambiguous [i.e. the kaifiyyah], since we have been commanded with this in His, the Mighty and Majestic's saying:

It is He Who has sent down to you the Book. In it are Verses that are entirely clear, they are the foundations of the Book, and others not entirely clear. So as for those in whose hearts there is a deviation (from the truth) they follow that which is not entirely clear thereof, seeking tribulation and seeking for its explanation, but none knows its explanation save Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in it; the whole of it (clear and unclear Verses) are from our Lord." And none receive admonition except men of understanding. (Aali Imran 3:7)

Abu Bakr bin Zakariyyaa ash-Shaybaanee informed us; I heard Abu Haamid bin ash-Sharqee saying: I heard Ahmad as-Sullamee and Abu Dawud al-Khafaajee both saying: We heard Ishaaq bin Ibraaheem [ar-Raahawaih] al-Handhalee saying: The Ameer Abdullaah bin Taahir said to me: "O Abu Ya'qub, this hadeeth that you narrate from the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam): 'Our Lord descends every night to the lowest heaven', how does He descend?". He [Ishaaq] said: I said: "May Allaah strengthen and honor the ameer. It is not said regarding the affair of the Lord, "how?" Verily, He descends without [specifying or asking about a] how.

The foundation of the Tawheed of Ahl us-Sunnah and the Jamaa'ah of the Muslims is to affirm for Allaah whatever He or His Messenger affirmed for Him whilst negating takyeef and tashbeeh. This is the deen of the Muslims.

The Freedom of the Salaf, and the Generality of the Muslims From the Jawharist Kalaamists, the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Kullaabiyyah, Ash'ariyyah, Maturidiyyah

The foundation of the deen of the people of falsehood is to negate from him the qualities (Sifaat), incidental attributes (a'raad) and events (hawaadith) of bodies (ajsaam, jawaahir) - having used this properties of bodies as part of a proof of the createdness of the universe, demonstrated to the atheist philosophers, to whom these very words, terms, and classifications belong to in the first place.

Thus, the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah (the pioneers of this proof) rejected any descriptions for Allaah, with the Mu'tazilah appearing to affirm the Names but on the surface only, not in reality. They rejected any description for Allaah to avoid declaring Him a body (jism) through such attributions. And the Kullaabiyyah affirmed the Names and the Sifaat dhaatiyyah (attributes of the Essence), but rejected the Sifaat fi'liyyah because they amount, in their view, to events (hawaadith). And the Ash'ariyyah simply popularized the deen of the Kullaabiyyah, and it took on the name of "Ash'ariyyah".

And those revealed texts which appeared to them to be what they called events (hawaadith), such as Allaah's istiwaa, Nuzool, love, anger, pleasure and so on, they had to reject, because it clashed with this proof. Thus, they made ta'weel of these texts with what was unknown to the Salaf, and it was really the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah who pioneered the various ta'weels, and when this approach was not satisfactory to the Kullaabiyyah Ash'ariyyah, they innovated tafweed ("Hey, the apparent, obvious meaning is not intended, and we don't know what these texts mean, these texts are just like a foreign alphabet to us, Allaah knows best what they mean") and they tried to impute this to the Salaf, who are free of it - for the Salaf knew nothing of the "Tawheed of al-Jawhar wal-Arad" that these people are upon.

And all their arguments between each other are simply on subsidiary issues about what can and cannot be affirmed or denied for Allaah, without invalidating the intellectual proof (hudooth ul-ajsaam) that they are all united upon, or which is the common ground between them.

So we see that Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee affirms, like all the Salaf, the attribute of Nuzool whilst negating knowledge of a kayf, and he is not upon the falsehood of the Jawharists, whose speech regarding Tawheed is built around negating Aristotle's Ten Categories (al-Maqoolaat al-Ashar) from Allaah the Most High!

Ibn Suraij as-Shafi'ee (d. 306H) said, as narrated from him by Abu Ismaa'eel al-Harawi in "Dhamm ul-Kalaam" and as mentioned by Ibn Taymiyyah in "Bayaan Talbees al-Jahmiyyah":

توحيد اهل العلم وجماعة المسلمين أشهد أن لا اله الا الله وان محمدا رسول الله وتوحيد اهل الباطل الخوض في الأعراض والأجسام وانما بعث النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بانكار ذلك

The Tawheed of the people of knowledge and the jamaa'ah of the Muslims is "I testify none is worthy of worship except Allaah (alone) and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah". And the Tawheed of the people of falsehood is disputing about al-a'raad (incidental attributes) and al-ajsaam (bodies) and the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was sent with the rejection of that.

Imaam ash-Shaafi'ee (d. 204H) said, as reported by as-Suyuti in Sawn al-Mantiq (1/47-48):

ماجهل الناس ولااختلفوا إلا لتركهم لسان العرب وميلهم إلى لسان ارسطوطاليس

The people did not become ignorant and nor differ (with each other) except due to their abandonment of the language of the Arabs and their inclination to the language of Aristotle.

This statement of ash-Shaafi'ee (rahimahullaah) is true both in the affairs of creed (aqidah) and in jurisprudence (fiqh), for both the metaphysics and the flawed syllogistic and other forms of logic of Aristotle corrupted both of these disciplines for those who turned to the language, logic and metaphysics of Aristotle.

From all the above, it is established that Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee is free of the Jahmiyyah who spuriously impute "Ash'ariyyah" to him by including him those long lists of so called "Ash'ari" scholars.

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