6. THEY CHANGE THE WORDING OF THE QUR'AN TO PASS ANTHROPOMORPHISM FOR ISLAMIC BELIEF

Insha Allah it will be clear after this paragraph that the other falsehoods of the attackers are nothing compared to their readiness to misrepresent Allah's speech. They claim in their attack (p. 5) that Allah said: "Do you feel secure that He (Allaah), who is above the heavens, will not cause the earth to sink with you[?]" (67:16) and this is a clear example of the manipulation of the literal meanings of the Holy Qur'an, which does not say "above the heavens" (man fawq al-samawat) but "in the heaven" (man fi al-sama'): see for example Pickthall or Yusuf Ali, which are the translations universally recognized and accepted by English-speaking Muslims, and also Shakir and Daryabadi:

PICKTHALL: Have ye taken security from Him Who is in the heaven that He will not cause the earth to swallow you when lo! it is convulsed?

YUSUF ALI: Do ye feel secure that He Who is in heaven will not cause you to be swallowed up by the earth when it shakes (as in an earthquake)?

SHAKIR: Are you secure of those in the heaven that He should not make the earth to swallow you up? Then lo! it shall be in a state of commotion.

DARYABADI: Are you secure that He Who is in the heaven willk not sink the earth with you, and then it should quake?

Immediately further in their pamphlet (p. 5-6) the "Salafi" attackers proceed to also manipulate the text of the hadith towards the same ends: they cite a hadith from which, again, they change the original wording to a wording that supports their lust. The hadith in question is the well-known account of Mu`awiya ibn al-Hakam's slave-girl who is asked by the Prophet: "Where is Allah?" and she answers: "In the heaven" (fi al-sama'). The "Salafis" changed the answer to "Above the Sky"!

Allah spoke about those who make the Book say other than what it says: "min al-ladhina hadu yuharrifuna al-kalima `an mawadi`ihi" (4:46) "Some of those who are Jews change (Allah's) words from their context" and "fariqun minhum yasma`una kalam Allahi thumma yuharrifunahu min ba`di ma `aqaluhu wa hum ya`lamun" "a party of them would listen to the Word of Allah, then change it" (2:75). The scholars have further explained the meaning of yuharrifun in the Qur'an: Bukhari relates in his Sahih, Book of Tawhid, chapter entitled: Bal huwa qur'anun majid (85:22):

yuharrifun -- they change its wording -- means: yuzilun -- they erase it, yet no one erases the wording of a single Book of the Books of Allah, but they change it in the sense that they interpret it as other than its actual sense (yata'awwalunahu `ala ghayri ta'wilih).


E?CE ?????? C?????? E???C??? ( E??? ???? ????A?? ?????I? ??? ?????? ???????U? ) ( ??C??????? ????E?CE? ????????? ) ??C?? ??E?CI?E? ????E??E? ( ??????????? ) ??I??????? ( ??? ????? C????E?CE? ) ??????E? C????E?CE? ?????????? ( ??C ??????U? ) ??C ??E???????? ???? O????? ?????C ??E?E? ???????? ????C?? CE??? ??E??C?? ????E?E? C??I????? ??C?O????? ( ???????????? ) ?????????? ???????? ????I? ??????? ????U? ??E?CE? ???? ??E?E? C?????? ????? ??????? ????????????? ?????????????? ??E????????????? ????? U????? E??????????


The above clarification from Bukhari should help all Muslims to identify any and all who stretch their arms to change the wording and the meaning of Allah's words and those of the Prophet, most especially in matters of doctrine and belief!

Let us now turn to the Sunni understanding of the verse and the hadith brought up by the anthropomorphists.

THE MEANING OF "HE WHO IS IN THE HEAVEN"

As for the verse: "Do you feel secure that He Who is in the heaven will not make the earth swallow you while it quakes?" the Maliki mufassir and hafiz, al-Qurtubi (d. 671) says in his twenty-volume al-Jami` li ahkam al-Qur'an (Encyclopedia of the Rulings Derived from Qur'an):

[It] may mean: "Do you feel secure that He who is the Creator of whomever is in the heavens will not make the earth swallow you, as He did Korah?" The more exacting hold that it signifies, "Do you feel secure from Him who is over the heavens," just as Allah says, "Journey in the earth" (9:2) meaning over it; not over it by way of physical contact or spatialization, but by way of omnipotent power and control. Another position is that it means, "Do you feel secure from Him who is over (`ala) the heavens" just as it is said, "So-and-so is over Iraq and the Hijaz," meaning that he is the governor and commander of them." The hadiths on this subject are numerous, rigorously authenticated (sahih), and widely known, and indicate the exaltedness of Allah, being undeniable by anyone save an atheist or obstinate ignoramus.

The position of Ahl al-Sunna with regard to Allah's aboveness (fawqiyya) is stated very clearly by Imam al-Ash`ari in his Ibana:

He is above the Throne and above everything down to the extremities of the lower earth, with an aboveness that does not make him any closer to the Throne or to the heavens. Rather, He is as exalted high over the Throne as He is exalted high over the lower earth, and together with this He is near every creature, and He is nearer to His servant than his jugular vein, and He is witness over everything.

The above is confirmed by what al-Tabari said in his Tafsir: "Allah made Himself exalted over the heaven with the exaltation (`uluw) of sovereignty and power, not that of displacement and movement," and by the clear explanation of the Shafi`i hafiz Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani in his Fath al-bari:

Al-Kirmani (d. 786) said: "The external meaning of "in the heaven" (fi al-sama') is not meant (in the Prophet's hadith: "Do you not trust me who am trusted by the One in the heaven?"), for Allah is transcendent above incarnation in a place; but because the direction of elevation is nobler than any other direction, Allah predicated it to Himself to indicate the loftiness of His Essence and Attributes." Others than Kirmani addressed in similar terms the expressions that came down concerning elevation and similar topics.

The fact that the two directions of "above" and "below" are inapplicable and impossible for Allah does not preclude His being described with the attribute of elevation (`uluw), for such description is only from the standpoint of the meaning of elevation, not that of sensory perception.

Bukhari warned those that might predicate spatial elevation to Allah (`uluw fawqi) that both the direction in which the heaven is believed to be and that in which the Throne is believed to be are created, lorded over, and brought into existence by Allah Who existed before all that and before everything else. Thus these places were created, and his existence, being eternal without beginning, precludes reference to him as being bounded by them. And Allah knows best.

THE MEANING OF WHERE IS ALLAH? IN THE HEAVEN

Malik in his Muwatta' and Muslim in his Sahih relate that Mu`awiya ibn al-Hakam came to the Prophet and told him: "I am very newly from the Jahiliyya, and now Allah has brought Islam," and he proceeded to ask about various Jahiliyya practices, until at last he said that he had slapped his slave girl, and asked if he should free her, as was obligatory if she was a believer. The Prophet requested that she be brought, and then asked her, "Where is Allah?" and she said, "In the sky (fi al-sama')"; whereupon he asked her, "Who am I?" and she said, "You are the Messenger of Allah"; at which he said, "Free her, for she is a believer."

The Hanafi hafiz and faqih Mulla `Ali al-Qari relates in his commentary on Mishkat al-masabih in relation to this hadith:

al-Qadi `Iyad said: "By asking this, the Prophet's intent was not to ask about Allah's place (makan), for verily He is above and beyond space, as He is above and beyond time. Rather the intent of his question to her was to find out whether she was a believer in oneness (muwahhida) or someone who associated partners to Allah (mushrika), because the unbelievers of the Arabs used to worship idols, and each tribe used to have a specific idol in its midst which it worshipped and aggrandized, and it may be that the simple-minded and ignorant ones among them did not know any other object of worship than that idol. The Prophet tmeant to determine what she worshipped. When she said: "in the heaven," -- and another narration says that she made a sign towards the heaven -- it was understood that she was a believer in oneness. He meant by this line of questioning the disavowal of the gods of the earth (nafi al-aliha al-ardiyya) which are the idols, not the establishment of the heaven as a location for Allah, and Allah is greatly exalted from the sayings of the wrong-doers!"