Imam al-Tahawi’s Beliefs of Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama`a

32. He is the one who has been sent to all the jinn and all mankind with truth and guidance and with light and illumination.

33. The Qur’an is the word of Allah. It came from Him as speech without it being possible to say how. He sent it down on His Messenger as revelation. The believers accept it, as absolute truth. They are certain that it is, in truth, the word of Allah. It is not created as is the speech of human beings, and anyone who hears it and claims that it is human speech has become an unbeliever. Allah warns him and censures him and threatens him with Fire when He says, Exalted is He: “I will burn him in the Fire.” (al-Muddaththir 74:26) When Allah threatens with the Fire those who say “This is just human speech” (74:25) we know for certain that it is the speech of the Creator of mankind and that it is totally unlike the speech of mankind.

34. Anyone who describes Allah as being in any way the same as a human being has become an unbeliever. All those who grasp this will take heed and refrain from saying things such as the unbelievers say, and they will know that He, in His attributes, is not like human beings.

35. The Seeing of Allah by the People of the Garden is true, without their vision being all-encompassing and without the manner of their vision being known. As the Book of our Lord has expressed it: “Faces on that Day radiant, looking at their Lord.” (al-Qiyama 75:22-3) The explanation of this is as Allah knows and wills. Everything that has come down to us about this from the Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in authentic traditions, is as he said and means what he intended. We do not delve into that, trying to interpret it according to our own opinions or letting our imaginations have free rein.

No one is safe in his religion unless he surrenders himself completely to Allah, the Exalted and Glorified and to His Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and leaves the knowledge of things that are ambiguous to the one who knows them.

36. A man’s Islam is not secure unless it is based on submission and surrender. Anyone who desires to know things which it is beyond his capacity to know, and whose intellect is not content with surrender, will find that his desire veils him from a pure understanding of Allah’s true unity, clear knowledge and correct belief, and that he veers between disbelief and belief, confirmation and denial and acceptance and rejection. He will he subject to whisperings and find himself confused and full of doubt, being neither an accepting believer nor a denying rejector.

37. Belief of a man in the seeing of Allah by the People of the Garden is not correct if he imagines what it is like or interprets it according to his own understanding, since the interpretation of this seeing or indeed, the meaning of any of the subtle phenomena which are in the realm of Lordship, is by avoiding its interpretation and strictly adhering to the submission.

This is the religion of Muslims. Anyone who does not guard himself against negating the attributes of Allah, or likening Allah to something else, has gone astray and has failed to understand Allah’s glory, because our Lord, the Glorified and the Exalted, can only possibly be described in terms of oneness and absolute singularity and no creation is in any way like Him.

38. He is beyond having limits placed on Him, or being restricted, or having parts or limbs. Nor is He contained by the six directions as all created things are.

39. Al-Mi`raj (the Ascent through the heavens) is true. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was taken by night and ascended in his bodily form, while awake, through the heavens, to whatever heights Allah willed for him.

Allah ennobled him in the way that He ennobled him and revealed to him what He revealed to him, “and his heart was not mistaken about what it saw” (al-Najm 53:11). Allah blessed him and granted him peace in this world and the next.

40. Al-Hawd, the Pool which Allah has granted the Prophet as an honour to quench the thirst of his Community on the Day of Judgement, is true.

41. Al-Shafa`a, the intercession which is stored up for Muslims, is true, as related in the hadiths.

42. The covenant which Allah made with Adam and his offspring is true.

43. Allah knew, before the existence of time, the exact number of those who would enter the Garden and the exact number of those who would enter the Fire. This number will neither be increased nor decreased.

44. The same applies to all actions done by people, which are done exactly as Allah knew they would be done. Everyone is eased towards what he was created for and it is the action with which a man’s life is sealed which dictates his fate. Those who are fortunate are fortunate by the decree of Allah, and those who are wretched are wretched by the decree of Allah.

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