Wahhabism: Understanding the Roots and Role Models of Islamic Extremism

Whoever says:  He is established on the Throne ‘in person’ (bi dhatihi), has diverted the sense of the verse to that of sensory perception.  Such a person must not neglect that the principle is established by the mind, by which we have come to know Allah, and have attributed pre-eternity to Him decisively.  If you said:  We read the hadiths and keep quiet, no one would criticize you; it is only your taking them in the external sense which is hideous.  Therefore do not bring into the school of this pious man of the Salaf – Imam Ahmad [Ibn Hanbal] – what does not belong in it.  You have clothed this madhab [or school of jurisprudence]  with an ugly deed, so that it is no longer said ‘Hanbali’ except in the sense of ‘anthropomorphist’

Sulayman ibn `Abdul Allah ibn Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Wahhab, the grandson of the Wahhabi movement’s founder, says:

Whoever believes or says:  Allah is in person (bi dhatihi) in every place, or in one place: he is a disbeliever (kafir).  It is obligatory to declare that Allah is distinct from His creation, established over His Throne without modality or likeness or exemplarity.  Allah was and there was no place, then He created place and He is exalted as He was before He created place

Just as Bilal Philips affirms a form to Allah in his mind, and Ibn Baz confirms limits to Allah in his mind, al-Uthaymeen confirms that Allah is literally sitting ‘in person’ on the Throne in his mind.  All of them have loyally followed the footsteps of Ibn Taymiyyah and Muhammad ibn `Abdul-Wahhab – the two arch-heretics who were instrumental in causing tribulation (fitna) and division among the Muslim masses because of their reprehensible, unorthodox interpretations of the Islamic sources.

Wahhabi anthropomorphists say: Allah is in a direction, Allah has limits, Allah is literally above the Throne, and that Allah is sitting ‘in person’ on the Throne.  To a Muslim, the fact is that the Throne is located in a particular direction and a certain place.  By understanding Allah to be above the Throne literally as the Wahhabis do, they are attributing Allah with created attributes and, as a result, are implying that a part of the creation was eternal with Allah.  This opposes what the the Qur’an and the following hadith authentically related by al-Bukhari says:

Allah existed eternally and there was nothing else [italics mine].

Sunni orthodoxy clears Allah of all directions and places.  To a Sunni, Allah has always existed without the need of a place, and He did not take a place for Himself after creating it.  Orthodox Sunni scholars have said exactly what was understood by Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Companions (ra).  Imam Abu Hanifah, the great mujtahid Imam who lived in the time period of the Salaf said:  “Allah has no limits…”, period.  And this is what Sunni orthodoxy represents.

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

© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

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