The Campaign of the Ash`aris Against the Hashwiyya

a) Others said: Allah is a body uncharacterized by any of the attributes of other bodies. He is neither long nor large and cannot be described by color, taste, and touch, nor by any of the attributes of bodies. He is not in things, nor is He on (`ala) the Throne except in the sense that He is above it (fawqah) without touching it. He is above things and above the Throne, and there is not, between Him and those things, anything other than that He is above them.

b) Hisham ibn al-Hakam said that His Lord was in one specific place exclusively of others, and that that place was the Throne, and that He was in contact with the Throne, and that the Throne contained and circumscribed Him (hawahu wa haddahu).

c) One or more of His colleagues said that the Creator fills the Throne and is in contact with it.

d) One or more of those who profess the science of hadith said that the Throne is not entirely filled by Him, for He will make His Prophet sit with Him on the Throne.[59]

III. Ahl al-Sunna and the specialists of hadith said that Allah is not a body, nor does He resemble things, and He is on the Throne in the way that He said in the verse: “The Merciful is established on the Throne.”(20:5) Nor do we venture to speak of its meaning in front of Allah. Rather, we say: istawa bila kayf, He is established without “how”.


[54] Narrated with its chain by Ibn `Asakir in Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari (p. 106) and al-Subki in his Tabaqat al-Shafi`iyya (3:396).

[55] The Najjariyya were the followers of al-Husayn ibn Muhammad al-Najjar, a third-century Mu`tazili. See biographical notices.

[56] See in further posts, paragraph entitled “HIS ACTS”, and Appendix entitled “Istiwa’ is a Divine Act.”

[57] Ibn `Asakir, Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari (p. 150-151).

[58] The trend of attributing limit to Allah was at one time dominant in Khorasan and Sijistan, whence Ibn Hibban (d. 354) was expelled for refusing to assert limits to Allah. Isma`il al-Harawi asked the opinion of Yahya ibn `Ammar about Ibn Hibban as a narrator. Ibn `Ammar said: “He was very learned but had little religion. He came to us and denied that Allah had a limit, so we expelled him from Sijistan.” Al-`Ala’i comments: “O wonder, by Allah! Who is more deserving of being expelled and declared an innovator lacking in religion?” and Al-Subki comments: “Look at the ignorance of this critic of hadith scholars! I truly wonder who deserves criticism more: the one who asserts limits for His Lord, or he who denies them?” Quoted in al-Subki, Tabaqat al-Shafi`iyya (Halabi ed.) 3:132 and his Qa`ida fi al-jarh wa al-Ta`dil, p. 30-32.

[59] See in further posts, set entitled “The Prophet’s Seating on the Throne.”

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

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

© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

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