MUHAMMAD AL-GHAZALI (b. 1917) ON IBN TAYMIYYA [cont]

by Dr. Ahmad Hijazi al-Saqqa

Regarding Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn Qayyim, Ibn `Uthaymeen

Shaykh Ibn `Uthaymeen differentiates between the 'kursi' and the '`arsh'. He says ('SharH al-`aqeeda al-waasiTiyya' p. 15): "The kursi is the place of the two feet, and the `arsh is that upon which Allah made istiwaa'." The meaning of his words is that Allah sits on the `arsh and then places His Feet on the kursi. This is anthropomorphism (tajseem).

Furthermore, it is not permitted to differentiate (between kursi and `arsh), for the one who sits on the `arsh does not place his feet on the kursi; also, there are many texts adducing that the `arsh is the kursi.

The Shaykh Ibn `Uthaymeen reinforces his opinion concerning anthropomorphism by saying ('SharH' p. 42):

"It is established that Allah the Exalted has feet (al-qadam thaabit lillahi ta`aala), and the People of the Way of the Prophet (ahl al-sunna) have explained the leg and the foot (al-rijl wa al-qadam) as being literal according to what befits Allah (haqeeqatan `ala al-wajhi al-laa'iq billah); whereas the People of Figurative Interpretation (ahl al-ta'weel) have explained 'al-rijl' as being the group which Allah will place in the Fire, and 'al-qadam' as being those who are sent forth (muqaddameen) to the Fire... and I reject and return their explanation to them on the grounds that it contravenes the external meaning of the words (bi annahu mukhaalifun li zaahir al-lafz)."

[Note: See al-Sufuri, 'Nuzhat al-Majalis', entitled "[6] Correct Belief": "Concerning the Prophet's (s) saying: "The Fire (Jahannam) will not cease to be thrown into, and it will say: 'Is there more?' until the Lord of Might (Rabb al-`izzat) places into it His 'qadam' [lit. "foot"]," Hasan al-Basri (r) said that 'qadam' means those whom God has sent forth (qaddamahum Allah) from the most evil of creatures, and has established as inhabitants of the Fire. Others have said that the 'qadam' are a creation which God creates and then casts into the Fire. It is confirmed by what is found in the sound narrations: "Paradise will remain partly vacant until God gives rise (yunshi') to a special creation and makes them dwell in it and fill it." Another sound narration has "His 'qidam' (timelessness)," and another narration has: "Until the Lord of Power (al-Jabbar) places his 'rijl' [lit. "leg"]..." 'Rijl' is an expression to mean a large assembly (jamaa`a), and it is said: "A 'rijl' of locusts have fallen upon us."]

What inspired Ibn `Uthaymeen to say such words (as God's feet or legs being literal) is the external meaning of the ahadith such as the following: "al-Khallal said in 'Kitaab al-Sunna' on the authority of Qutaat ibn al-Na`maan who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (s) saying: 'When Allah was relieved from His creation he established Himself over His Throne (istawaa `ala `arshihi) and reclined (istalqa) and placed one of His legs on top of the other (wa waDa`a iHda rijlayhi `ala al-ukhra), and said: Verily it does not befit human beings (innaha la tuSliHu li bashar)." Al-Dhahabi and others said: "Its chain of transmission is sound according to the criteria of Bukhari and Muslim." And note well that the Salaf are the "People of hadith" (ahl al-Hadeeth), and that they do not practice figurative interpretation (la yu'awwiloon)!


From 'Daf` al-shubuhaat `an al-Shaykh Muhammad al-Ghazali' [The Refutation of False Arguments Made Against the Shaykh Muhammad al- Ghazali] (Cairo: Maktabat al-kulliyyaat al-azhariyya, 1410/1990) p. 59.

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions


Refuting Ibn Taymiyya:  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 |

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