Abd al-Qahir al-Baghadadi

21. al-Sifat 22. Tafdil al-Faqir al-Sabir `ala al-Ghani al-Shakir 23. Tafsir al-Qur’an 24. al-Tahsil fi al-Usul 25. al-Takmila fi al-Hisab 26. Ta’wil Mutashabih al-Akhbar 27. Usul al-Din, in which he cites, among those who consider the verse of istiwa’ one of the mutashabihat or Qur’anic ambiguities, Imam Malik ibn Anas, the seven jurists of Madina, and al-Asma`i. In it he states:

– “Allah’s establishment on the Throne is an action He has created named istiwa’ and related to the Throne, just as He has created an action named ityan (coming) related to a certain people; and all this implies neither descent nor movement.”

– “The correct position according to us is the interpretation of the Throne in this verse (20:4) to mean sovereignty (al-mulk), as if He meant that sovereignty has not been established for any but Him. This interpretation is taken from the saying of the Arabs: ‘So-and-so’s throne has toppled’ if he lost his power.” He then cites three examples from Arabic poetry illustrating this. Like Ibn Battal, he attributes the interpretation of istawa as istawla (“He conquered”) chiefly to the Mu`tazila.

– “The book Tarikh al-Sufiyya (History of the Sufis, more commonly known as Tabaqat al-Sufiyya) by Abu `Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami comprises the biographies of nearly a thousand sheikhs of the Sufis, none of whom belonged to heretical sects and all of whom were of the Sunni community, with the exception of only three of them: Abu Hilman of Damascus, who pretended to be of the Sufis but actually believed in incarnationism (hulul); Husayn ibn Mansur al-Hallaj, whose case remains problematic, though Ibn `Ata’ Allah, Ibn Khafif, and Abu al-Qasim al-Nasir Abadi approved of him [as did the Hanbalis Ibn `Aqil, Ibn Qudama, and al-Tufi]; and al-Qannad, whom the Sufis accused of being a Mu`tazili and rejected, for the good does not accept the wicked.”

Toward the end of Abu Mansur al-Baghdadi’s life the Turkmen dissension forced him out of Naysabur to Isfarayin, where he died and was buried next to his teacher Abu Ishaq.

Main sources: Ibn `Asakir, Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari (p. 249-250); al-Dhahabi, Siyar A`lam al-Nubala’ (13:372 #3991); Ibn al-Subki, Tabaqat al-Shafi`iyya al-Kubra (5:136-148 #468).


1 This position was refuted by Ibn Furak and the majority of Shafi`is, and Ibn al-Subki discussed the dubious authenticity of its attribution to al-Shafi`i in his Sharh al-Minhaj.2 See al-Shawkani, Nayl al-Awtar, book of Tahara, chapter on the invocations that pertain to ablution (al-tasmiya `ala al-wudu’).3 As stated by Ibn al-Subki in al-Tabaqat al-Wusta, cited in his Tabaqat al-Shafi`iyya al-Kubra (5:143 n. 5).

Allah’s Blessings and Peace on the Prophet, his Family, and all his Companions.

© As-Sunna Foundation of America[permission granted to reproduce with author’s consent.]

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

© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

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