Shaikh al-Albaani

Translations From His Works

Tag: uluww

The Extremist Sufi Saying, ‘Allaah is a monk in a church …’ The Disbelief of Those Who believe in the Unity of Being [Wahdatul-Wujood] |End


Then he عليه السلام implemented this method with a Companion of his: it reached him that Abdullaah ibn Amr ibn al-Aas–the Companion, the son of a Companion, may Allaah be pleased with them both–it reached him that his father married him off to a girl from Quraish.  He [i.e., Amr ibn al-Aas] visited her one day and asked her about her husband [i.e., his son].

So she said to him, ‘There is no problem with him except that he has not yet approached our bed. He stands to pray at night and fasts during the day,’ i.e., he got married but didn’t get married.

This was difficult upon Amr so he complained about his son to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. So he عليه الصلاة والسلام said to him, ‘O Abdullaah! It has reached me that you spend the night in prayer and fast during the day and that you do not approach women [i.e., your wife].’ He said, ‘It is as such, O Messenger of Allaah!’

And this hadith is long and I will summarise it by saying that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم laid down a methodology for him which he could worship Allaah through and gather, as they say today, between the right of the body and the right of the nafs on the other hand, and the right of the soul, i.e., worship.

So he said, and he used to stand all night finishing the Quraan in it, and would always fast, he said regarding the recitation of the Quraan and this is at the end of the story which is long, he said, ‘Read the Quraan in three nights. For whoever reads it in less than three has not understood it.’

And concerning that which was connected to fasting he told him initially to fast three days every month, and a good deed is rewarded tenfold, so it would be as if you would have fasted the entire month, so Abdullaah would reply, ‘O Messenger of Allaah! I am a youth and have strength. I can do more than that.’

And here you will notice the difference between that generation and our generation of today.

A youth in his prime, whose father married him off to a girl from Quraish, he turns away from her and [instead] stands to pray all night and fast during the day and … so on and so on.  And when the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم tells him to take it easy upon himself he replies to him saying, ‘O Messenger of Allaah! I am a youth and have strength. I can do more than that.’

Today you have the opposite of that.

A youth will grow up upon obedience to Allaah and all around him you will find people repelling him, both those near to him and those distant: firstly the father, secondly, the mother, they will say to him, ‘You’re still a youth. You can worship later.’

Look at the difference between that time and this.

The point is that eventually he صلى الله عليه وسلم told him to fast a day and miss the next for such was the Fast of Dawud عليه السلام who would not flee from the enemy when he met them.

[But] Abdullaah replied, ‘O Messenger of Allaah! I want better than that.’  He replied, ‘There is nothing better than that.’

So where is this pretentious ascetic Sufism, contradicting the Quran and Sunnah [by going further than what the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم instructed his Companions with].

Thus, that which in Sufism truly agrees with the Quraan and the Sunnah, then remove this name [i.e., ‘Sufism,’ from it] and remain on the Book and the Sunnah and the methodology of the Pious Predecessors.

And whatever opposes the Book and the Sunnah, then we throw it aside.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 632.

A Discussion on the Ascendancy of Allaah, the Most High, and a Critique of the Belief that He is Present in all Things | 4


Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab

Reciprocating this misguidance is another which is even greater: [the claim] that Allaah the Mighty and Majestic is not inside the world nor outside it.

The one who says that Allaah the Mighty and Majestic is inside the world, i.e., the one who says that Allaah is everywhere or Allaah is present in all things, has affirmed Allaah’s existence but he has likened Him to His creation [tashbeeh], and tashbeeh is false and futile, ‘… there is nothing like unto Him …’ [Shuraa 42:11], for this reason this [belief] is misguidance.

But the one who is even more misguided is the one who says, ‘Indeed Allaah is not inside the world nor outside of it.’ Half of this sentence is true: Allaah [indeed] is not inside the world. This is a correct statement. He is, rather, above all of the creation.

[But] as for following this statement with their saying that, ‘… nor is He outside of the world …’ then in the language of the scholars this is called ta’teel [neutralisation] of the existence of The Truth [i.e., Allaah], i.e., a denial of the existence of The Truth. Since as we mentioned just now in the hadith of Imraan ibn Hussain, Allaah the Mighty and Majestic was and there was nothing with Him.

Allaah was and there was no created thing with Him, but afterwards He created these things as can be seen, it is obligatory to have faith in that, that there are two existences, as we mentioned.

So if Allaah the Mighty and Majestic was not inside the world–and this is the truth–when someone adds to that saying, ‘… and neither outside it …’ it means that there is no deity.

It is to belie [His very Existence], a total denial and rejection [of it].

It is a return to the creed of the extremist Sufis, and I don’t say a return to the creed of the Sufis, because the Sufis are of two types. From them are extremists and those less than them.

The extremists are the ones who say that that which is present is one, at the head of these Sufis is Ibn Arabi who said that that which is in existence is one. As for the Muslims then they say, ‘Laa ilaaha ilallaah.’

So this aayah, ‘So know that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah …’ [Muhammad 47:19] affirms two existences: that of the One who is worshipped, The Truth, and that of the false deities.

As for Ibn Arabi and whoever was misguided by him, then they say that that which is in existence is one, and they have [other] terms through which they make their shirk and misguidance clear.

So for example they say that everything you see with your eye is Allaah, everything that you see with your eye is Allaah, it is Allaah, that which is in existence is one. What do you see, you see a man, a stone, a tree, the sky, the earth–all of this universe is Allaah, this is the creed of the atheists, the creed of communists–there is no god.

This results in the total and utter rejection of the existence of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic.

So when it is said that Allaah is not inside the world and nor outside of it then it means that that which is in existence is one, this is [as we stated] the creed of the extremist Sufis [who say that] everything you see with your eye is Allaah.

When the people of Noah worshipped the idols as is mentioned in the Quraan, ‘And they said, ‘You shall not leave your gods. Nor shall you leave Wadd, nor Suwa, nor Yaghuth, nor Ya’uq nor Nasr.’ [Nooh 71:23] Did they worship other than Allaah? The answer, according to the extremists from the Sufis, is that when the Magians worshipped the fire, they didn’t worshipping anything other than The One, the Irresistible Subduer.

This is total and utter rejection.

So when it is said that Allaah is not inside the world nor outside it … this [incorrect] creed [mentioned above] which today is said to be that of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah has returned. There are people who spread books, commenting on them, comments being an overstatement, stating that this creed, i.e., ‘… that Allaah is not inside the world nor outside it,’ is that of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah,

Allaah the Mighty and Majestic was and nothing was with Him, so He is now just as He was before–He is in no need [self-sufficient] just as before He was in no need of the entire creation. When He brought those created things into existence He said that He rose above them, ascended, ascended, i.e., rose above.

And to clarify this [point of] creed, a little sound intellect must be used.

After we have established through the texts of the Book and the Sunnah that Allaah the Mighty and Majestic is above all created things and not inside them, we must thereafter discuss [this issue] with those people who deny Allaah’s existence totally, even if they say that there is a deity, [and even if they say] Laa ilaaha ilallaah–but since they say that Allaah is not inside the world nor outside it then they have rejected the existence of Allaah–so we say to these people: you are [in agreement] with us that Allaah was and nothing was with him. So when He created the creation one of three things must [be true]:

  1. When He created the creation, Allaah must have entered into His creation, and they are in agreement with us that Allaah is not in every single place so thereafter the second remains:
  2. When He created the creation, Allaah must have placed it above Himself, and this is falsehood, for Allaah is above all things.
  3. Thereafter only the third option remains, that when Allaah created the creation, He rose over it, [that He] ascended over it–and this is what is becoming of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic.

A Discussion on the Ascendancy of Allaah, the Most High, and a Critique of the Belief that He is Present in all Things | 3


 

The summary of what can be said in nullifying this misguided saying, ‘Allaah is everywhere,’ [is that] researching this topic is long and in this regard I advise that the book called, Al-Uluww lil-Aliyyil-Ghaffaar or lil-Aliyyil-Adheem [‘The Summary of the Ascendancy of the Most High, the Oft-Forgiving’] of Haafidh adh-Dhahabi be read, and it is more appropriate that the summary of this book be read since it deals with the topic more succinctly, being a refinement, written by me, of the original.

In ‘The Summary of the Ascendancy of the Most High, the Oft-Forgiving,’ he [i.e., Imaam adh-Dhahabi] mentioned aayahs which establish that Allaah the Mighty and Majestic has the characteristic of being above all created things, and that He is not in a place, along with many good hadiths which are in harmony with the texts of the Quraan [stating] that Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, is above all creation. Then [he mentioned] Salafi narrations from the Companions and their followers and their followers all the way up until the time of Imaam adh-Dhahabi, to just after the seventh century of the year of the Flight [Hijrah].

Tens if not hundreds of scholars who nullified this falsehood that, ‘Allaah is everywhere,’ and who established that Allaah is above all of creation.

From the clearest examples of that is the hadith of the slave girl–the authenticity of which the scholars of hadith are united upon–the summary of which is that a man from the Companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم whose name was Mu’aawiyah ibn al-Hakam used to have a slave girl who would tend to his flock of sheep in Uhud. A wolf came and attacked the sheep. As a result her master became angry and slapped her on her cheek–and then regretted what he had done.

So he came to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah! I have to expiate [for that sin] by freeing a slave and I have a servant-girl,’ i.e., he was asking the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم whether freeing this servant-girl would fulfil his penance (kaffaarah) of freeing a slave.

He told him to bring her and so when she came, the Prophet of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘Where is Allaah.’ She replied, ‘Above the Heavens.’ He said, ‘Who am I?’ She said, ‘You are the Messenger of Allaah.’ He said to her master, ‘Free her, for she is a believer.’

The Prophet of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم regarded the testimony of the slave-girl that Allaah was above the Heavens to mean that she doesn’t only testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah but that she also believes that Allaah is One in His Essence, the only One who should be worshipped, One in His Attributes.

So beware of falling in to this misguidance, because we hear it [often]. We’ll be in a gathering and it will be as though someone is remembering Allaah saying, ‘Allaah is present in all things,’ don’t you hear this phrase? This is present amongst us [i.e., the Muslims], ‘Allaah is present in all things.’

There are two existences. The first is the necessarily existent [waajibul-wujood], i.e., Allaah, and there was nothing with Him, as you heard [previously].

The second are the contingent/possible existents, i.e., the creation.

So we have a [type of] existence, and Allaah the Mighty and Majestic has an eternal existence. He has no beginning or end.

So [their incorrect belief that] Allaah is present in all things [would necessitate that He] is present inside our existence which we are in right now. This is the meaning of that misguidance that, ‘Allaah is everywhere,’ so beware of saying, ‘Allaah is everywhere,’ or, ‘Allaah is present in all things.’ No, [this is not true].

There is no misguidance greater than this, because it negates that which we have mentioned and which has been reported in the Quraan and the Sunnah and the Salafi narrations which state that Allaah the Mighty and Majestic is above all created things.

A Discussion on the Ascendancy of Allaah, the Most High, and a Critique of the Belief that He is Present in all Things | 1


 

Questioner: We hear some people say that Allaah سبحانه وتعالى is in all places and we hear [others] say that He is above His Throne, above the Heavens or the Seventh Heaven. [Could you] benefit us [with an answer], may Allaah reward you with good.

Al-Albani: Yes, in reality this is an important question connected to the present day situation of the ummah.

Since that which delights the heart is that there is an Islamic awareness, and I do [indeed] believe that there really is an awakening, but it is in its early stages.

Part of it is that, as you see, I’m almost about to reach my eighties, forty years ago I would not hear, ‘Allaah said … the Prophet of Allaah said …’ on the tongues of the preachers and admonishers or those directing the people except for very few indeed.

And when one of them would speak about an aayah, he would not know its tafsir properly because he wouldn’t know the principles upon which the noble aayah should be explained.  And if he reported a hadith from the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم he would do so without verifying its authenticity.

As for today, then I think that you have all witnessed along with me that many times you will hear, ‘This hadith is authentic … and this [hadith] is reported by Bukhari … by Muslim … that Ibn Jarir at-Tabari explained this aayah to mean such and such and Ibn Kathir the Damascene explained it to mean such and such …’ and so on.

So this, without doubt, is from the signs of an awareness, but as I said just now, we are still in its early stages.

You raised the question of Allaah’s Names and Attributes, so is what some of these people talk about [actually] from the Attributes of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic?

Rather, [is] what all of the general masses today, and some of their scholars, amongst them being some who associate themselves with the schools of thought of theological rhetoric or tawheed, like the Ash’aris or the Maturidis, let alone the Mu’tazilah who are barely mentioned nowadays apart from a few individuals who have gone astray following their misguidance–[is what some of these people talk about [actually] from the Attributes of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic?]

For part of the creed of the Ash’aris and the Maturidis, following on from that of the Mu’tazilah, is that Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, is everywhere–so is this from the Attributes of Allaah, the Blessed and Most High?

Is having a place from the Attributes of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic?

Us humans have a place, we are now in one of Allaah’s houses, we are in a place–but is Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, in a place?

The answer is that Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, is far removed from being in a place. For even while bearing in mind all of the differences in this issue and others, there is unanimous agreement amongst all of the Muslims that Allaah was and there was nothing with Him. Allaah was and nothing was with Him as occurs in the hadith of Imraan ibn Husain in Sahih Bukhari.

Thus Allaah was and there was nothing with Him, and there was no universe with Him, i.e., saying that Allaah is everywhere is from major shirk which negates the Oneness/Uniqueness [tawheed] of Allaah in His Names and Attributes.  How so?

Let us look at what Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, has described Himself with.

Did He describe Himself in an aayah or an authentic hadith as being everywhere?

I do not say that not only have such statements not been reported in a hadith, but rather that this is speech for which Allaah has sent down no authority [whatsoever]. That is because it opposes what Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, described Himself as.

And as for the aayahs in which Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, has described Himself stating that the characteristic of complete and total ascendancy over all of His creation is His, and that He is not in anything from His creation but rather that He is above every [single] thing from it–then [such] aayahs [are so numerous that they] cannot be counted.

Like the aayah …, ‘The Most Gracious rose over the [Mighty] Throne [in a manner that suits His Majesty],’ [Taa Haa 20:5]. ‘The Most Gracious rose over the [Mighty] Throne [in a manner that suits His Majesty] …’

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