Ibn Baz

Ibn Baz’s Najdi friends commit the same ugly innovation: `Abd Allah al-Hashidi in his edition of al-Bayhaqi’s al-Asma’ wa al-Sifat – written in rebuttal of al-Kawthari’s landmark edition – states: “As for us we affirm a form (sûra) for Allah unlike forms,” while al-Albani in his Sharh approvingly quotes Muhammad ibn Mani`’s remonstration of Imam al-Tahawi for this particular article and his pretense that the Imam, perhaps, did not write it in the first place: “The Imam and author was in no need at all for these invented, wrongly suggestive words, and if someone were to say that they are interpolated and not his own words, I would not think it improbable, so as to keep a good opinion of him”![1]

Ibn Baz also suggests corporal limbs for Allah Most High and Exalted in his statement in Taliqat Hamma `ala ma Katabahu al-Shaykh Muhammad `Ali al-Sabuni fi Sifat Allah (“Important Comments on What Shaykh al-Sabuni Wrote Concerning the Divine Attributes”) that “To declare Allah transcendent beyond possessing body (al-jism), pupils (al-hadaqa), auditory meatus (al-simâkh), tongue (al-lisân), and larynx (al-hanjara) is not the position of Ahl al-Sunna but rather that of the scholars of condemned kalâm and their contrivance.”[2]

By his phrase “the scholars of condemned kalâm” he disparages Ibn Khafif, Ibn `Abd al-Salam, Ibn al-Juwayni, Ibn Hibban, Ibn `Arabi, al-Ghazzali, al-Razi, al-Qadi `Iyad, al-Maziri, al-Nawawi, al-Pazdawi, al-Bayhaqi, al-Qurtubi, al-Khatib, Ibn al-Jawzi, Ibn Daqiq al-`Id, Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, Shah Wali Allah, the entire Ash`ari and Maturidi Schools and, lately, al-Sabuni, all of whom asserted transcendence in similar terms. As Ibn Hajar stated in Fath al-Bari: “The elite of the mutakallimûn said: `He knows not Allah, who attributes to Him resemblance to His creation, or attributes a hand to Him, or a son.”[3] Contrary to this the doctrine of the Literalists consists in attributing an actual hand to the Creator. But Ibn Baz in his notes on Fath al-Bari charges al-Qadi `Iyad and Ibn Hajar with abandoning the way of Ahl al-Sunna for stating that the Hand of Allah does not pertain to a bodily appendage.[4] This is similar to the pretext of the anthropomorphist who said: “We expelled Ibn Hibban from Sijistan for his lack of Religion: he used to say that Allah is not limited!”[5]

Ibn Baz’s acolyte Muhammad Zinu mumbles a similar claim of corporeality in his book Tanbihat Hamma `ala Kitab Safwat al-Tafasir (“Important Cautions Regarding [al-Sabuni's three volume Qur'anic commentary] `The Quintessence of Commentaries’”). Al-Sabuni blasted both of them in his 1988 rebuttal, Kashf al-Iftira’at fi Risalat Tanbihat Hawla Safwat al-Tafasir (“Exposing the Lies of the Epistle `Cautions’”).

Ibn Baz explicitly attributes a geographical direction to Allah Most High and Exalted, and affirms that such was the belief of “the Companions and those who followed them in excellence – they assert a direction for Allah, and that is the direction of height, believing that the Exalted is above the Throne.”[6]

In his tract translated into English as Authentic Islamic Aqeedah and What Opposes It (p. 16), Ibn Baz calls those who visit the graves of saints “unbelievers” who commit what he calls kufr al-rubûbiyya. This fatwa compounds three innovations: (1) the dreadful sin of indiscriminately declaring millions of Muslims kâfir without the proofs and due process required by the purified Shari`a: (2) the blind, wholesale dismissal of the numerous orders  of the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – in the authentic Sunna to visit the graves for they are reminders of the hereafter; (3) the branding of Muslims with an innovated classification of disbelief he calls kufr al-rubûbiyya.

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