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The safest position on the issue of Istawā' ʿalā al-ʿArsh and the likes

The safest position on the issue of Istawā' ʿalā al-ʿArsh and the likes

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Published by Zuber Karim
ʿAqīdah The safest position on the issue of Istawā' ʿalā al-ʿArsh and the likes By Zuber Karim © Zuber Karim 2009 The Salafis, Deobandis or Barelwis of whatever Manhaj leanings, whether Ashʿarī, Māturdī or of whatever inclinations among the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamaʿah agree upon the fact that the safest Madh-hab regarding these types of issue is that o f the Salaf al-Sālihīn, Sahābah ( ) and ultimately, Rasūlullah ( ) . That is to believe unreservedly in all that has come from All ah through his
ʿAqīdah The safest position on the issue of Istawā' ʿalā al-ʿArsh and the likes By Zuber Karim © Zuber Karim 2009 The Salafis, Deobandis or Barelwis of whatever Manhaj leanings, whether Ashʿarī, Māturdī or of whatever inclinations among the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamaʿah agree upon the fact that the safest Madh-hab regarding these types of issue is that o f the Salaf al-Sālihīn, Sahābah ( ) and ultimately, Rasūlullah ( ) . That is to believe unreservedly in all that has come from All ah through his

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Published by: Zuber Karim on Feb 21, 2010
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ʿAqīdahThe safest position on the issue of Istawā' ʿalā al-ʿArsh and the likesBy Zuber Karim© Zuber Karim 2009The Salafis, Deobandis or Barelwis of whatever Manhaj leanings, whether Ashʿarī,Māturdī or of whatever inclinations among the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamaʿah agreeupon the fact that the safest Madh-hab regarding these types of issue is that of the Salaf al-Sālihīn, Sahābah (
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) and ultimately, Rasūlullah (
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) . That is to believe unreservedly in all that has come from Allah through his Messenger (
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). This belief should be from the heart and tongue. This is what Imān is all about. This is also the command of Allah. Allah Taʿālā states:
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 “Say ye: "We believe, in Allah and the revelation given to us and to Abraham Isma`il Isaac Jacob and the Tribes and that given to Moses and Jesus and that givento (all) Prophets from their Lord we make no difference between one and anotherof them and we bow to Allah (in Islam)." (136) So if they believe as ye believethey are indeed on the right path; but if they turn back, it is they who are inschism; but Allah will suffice thee as against them, and He is the All-Hearingthe All- Knowing. (137)”(2:136-137) Whilst observing verse 137, it reveals that if others uphold the same belief asyou, the believers, then they are guided, otherwise they are in schism. Al-Qurṭubī states that you ( ye) in this verse is an address to the Prophet (
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) and his Ummah. The belief outlined previously in verse 136, is unreserved Imān (faith) in Allah and all His revelations to His stated Messengers andprophets, which entails belief in them (the prophets) too.Rasūlullah and his companions as well as the Salaf after them remained steadfaston this belief, thus, one does not find any Madh-hab of Ta'wīl in in the Aḥādīth nor the statements of the latter. This is the quality of ʿUlama Rāsikhīn fī al-ʿilm as mentioned in the Holy Qur'ān.Man has always inquiries. He is inquisitive by nature. He is always in search of truth and since his childhood, pines for knowing the how-ness, what-ness and why-ness of things around him. Hence, the birth of philosophy is logical. Does aphilosopher always reach the truth? Is he in need of a tool, in this case, revelation, to assist him in solving the mysteries that baffle him? The writer doesnot wish to answer these questions, however, seeks to make them as introductionto the following.The inquiry being a human nature, has never become dislodged from the prophets too. Take an example of ʿUzair (
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Or (take) the similitude of one who passed by a hamlet, all in ruins to its roofs. He said: "Oh! how shall Allah bring it (ever) to life, after (this) its death?" But Allah caused him to die for a hundred years, then raised him up (again).
 
He said: "How long didst thou tarry (thus)?" He said: "(perhaps) a day or part of a day." He said: "Nay, thou hast tarried thus a hundred years; but look at thyfood and thy drink; they show no signs of age; and look at thy donkey: and thatWe may make of thee a Sign unto the people Look further at the bones, how We bring them together and clothe them with flesh! When this was shown clearly to himhe said: "I know that Allah hath power over all things." (2:259)His question about how the ruined city will be revived in “Oh! how shall Allah bring it (ever) to life, after (this) its death?" But Allah caused him to die fora hundred years, then raised him up (again). He said: "How long didst thou tarry (thus)?”, was not of a negator but of a wonder-struck believer who believed inthe power of Allah of resuscitating the life in this once bustling city, thus he wondered about Allah's mechanics or how-ness of its reconstruction as highlighted by Jalālayn. He slept for a hundred years as the verse proves, in which period his donkey was reduced to fractured skeleton, yet he and his provisions, the juice and fresh figs remained intact during the said time. During the same period, the city underwent re-building. The commentators point that he was overpowered by sleep after making his inquiring statement in the morning and woke up after a century in the later hours of the day, thus, answering to Allah that hisrest was for "(perhaps) a day or part of a day." Allah informed him that the time was more than that, 100 years. Allah, the Almighty told him to observe two sets of items, i) the juice and the fig and ii) the donkey. The first set was intact while the second was in skeletal form. The bones started joining togetheruntil the the flesh-less skeletal structure stood. The flesh and later the skinwere incorporated to it until the life was inserted to it when it brayed, on seeing this he concluded, "I know that Allah hath power over all things."The Messenger of Allah, Ibrahim's (
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) inquiry on how does Allah bringthe mortals to life is another example to the natural quest in human beings. Allah knowingly asks, “
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”, “Do not you believe?” He responded, "Yes (I believe), but to be stronger in Faith.” These incidents point to the fact that unreserved belief was present but the inquiry was human in nature as part of wonder and not as part of doubt in faith, let alone negation in belief. Ibrahim's (
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) nearness to Allah, gave access to such bravery and to serve as Hujjah(evidence) for us. Analysing this type of inquiry and comparing it with that of philosophers, one finds a great deal of difference in approach and thought, thus my former questions persist, “Is he (the philosopher) in need of a tool, in this case, revelation, to assist him in solving the mysteries that baffle him?” And does a philosopher always reach the truth? Perhaps a ponderous look into theafore-mentioned verses and other verses on the same subject may assist in calming the yearning to climb the peaks of knowledge the hard way and help conquer them fast.The onslaught on the pure ʿAqīdah of Salaf happened during the entry of Hellenistic philosophy into the lands of Muslims. Thus, the Muʿtazilī school was an affirmative testament to this. While, on the contrary, Ashʿarī and Māturdī schoolsof Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamaʿah were a philosophical response to it. These schools which soon gained momentum and succeeded in challenging the Muʿtazilites during debates were fast gaining rigidity. As time passed, Muʿtazilī thought whose backbone was the ruling class weakened. The philosophical debate was won by theAshʿarī and Māturdī schools. At all times, the popular stance in ʿaqīdah (Creed) was that of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamaʿah. The debates brought about the Madh-hab of Ta'wīl, which was incorporated into the scientific works of Ahl al-Sunnahwa al-Jamaʿah. The reason for its introduction was to speak the same language(lingua franca) as the philosophers' and remedy their quests. It was the need of the said time that compelled bringing about this madh-hab, thus serving as barrier to any absurd philosophical entry into the system of Deen that may corruptit and serving as material of defence to any philosophical onslaught in the future.Do philosophers in their quest for truth get always right or do they sometimes d

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