Sunday, June 24, 2012

Come to the Point Please

There are some people who insist that we should be Atharis.
It means, in a nut shell, that we should think of Allah (SWT) like an idol.

And then they also tell that Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (RA) thought exactly in the same way.
On the face of it this looks like an irrefutable argument - how could the honourable Shaikh (RA) be wrong?

Luckily they give quotations also. And the quotations are from Ghuniya by Shaikh (RA). This is a bit surprising because Ghuniya is not supposed to be deep treatise on Islam. Shaikh (RA) is a giant of a figure in the history of the universe - a tribute to the truth of Deen of beloved Prophet (PBUH) and he is capable of saying those things that can be impenetrable to accomplished scholars but Ghuniya is a different matter altogether.

So what is that he (RA) said in Ghuniya that has the Atharis in high spitits?

Here is one link.

No they do not get to the point straight - you have the relevant information some where in the end. Let us quote it here:

“Allaah rises over His throne. Allaah is upon His throne and he is separate from the creation and nothing is hidden from his knowledge and it is not correct to say he is present everywhere and this is what Allaah has mentioned in the Qur’aan: ‘The most Merciful rose over the Throne’ (20:5).” (Al-Ghuniyyah, 1/121-124)

It is essential to carry the Attribute of al-Istiwa' (Allaah’s Ascending) by His Essence over the Throne. Istiwa' does not mean sitting (qu'ud) and touching (mumassa), as the Mujassimah and Karramiyyah say, nor does it mean highness ('uluww) and elevation (rifa') as the Ash'ariyyah say; nor does it mean conquering (istila') or domination (ghalaba), as the Mu'' tazilah say. Nothing of this has been reported in the Law (shari'ah). Nor has this been related from any of the Salaf al-Salih, from the Companions and the Followers, or from the Ashab al-Hadith. Rather it is reported from them that they carried al-Istiwa' with its apparent meaning" (Al-Ghunya li-Talibee Tareeq al-Haqq 'aza wa jal, pg. 50)

And it is proper to mention regarding the Sefaat of Establishing/Istiwah (upon the 'arsh) literally without ta'weel. And it (means) Establishment of the self (istiwah adh-dhaat) upon the Throne, (but) not meaning by way of Bodily settlement (qu'ud), and making physical contact (al-mumassa) as the Mujjasimah and Karamiyyah say, nor (does it) mean exaltedness (al-'uluw) and elevated dignity (al-rif'a) as the Ash'ariyyah say, and nor does it mean control (al-'istila) and dominaton (al-ghalaba) as the Mu'tazilah say, the shar'a has not come with anything supporting these (doctrines) not one of the sahaaba, or tabi'een from the salaaf as-salih from the Ashaab ul-Hadith have passed anything to support them. Rather the evidences point towards the literal (itlaaq) expression (Al-Ghunya li-Talibee Tareeq al-Haqq 'aza wa jal, volume 1, pg. 124)
And if you have gone through these three passages then one thing is clear that Shaikh (RA) categorically refuses to indulge in any interpretation of the attribute of sitting on the throne. We are talking about those attributes of Allah (SWT) about which we should not indulge in any kind of interpretation. That is precisely what the honourable Shaikh (RA) did.

So what the fuss is about?

Well these brothers who are calling themselves Atharis in this context are the very same brothers who try to play down Tasawwuf  in another context. In yet another context they try to advocate that one does not have to follow any school of Fiqh - Hanafi, Maliki, Hanbali or Shafei.

But one might get an impression of something being negated by Shaikh (RA). If one looks at the quotation in an earlier post then this doubt disappears:
... He has no limits and limitations. He (SWT) is neither in the front nor the back, neither beloe nor above, neither before nor later nor any comment or question be raised on Him - such attributes of Allah (SWT) do not occur in Sharah but does occur that Allah (SWT) is on 'Arsh, as it occurs in Qur'an and Hadith. He is the creator of all around and He (SWT) is free from the attributes of measure and phase.

Now Hanafi, Shafei and Maliki scholars do have very strong arguments to demolish the Athari arguments to demolish Tajseem, idol like interpretation for Allah (SWT). They think they have got an ally in Shaikh Jilani (RA), a Hanbali.

By the grace of Allah (SWT) words of Shaikh (RA) are not amenable to any such interpretation.