Aqeedah Issue with Abu Rumaysah

By Samarqandi on


I was reading an article by abu rumaysah a few weeks back but I just never had time to respond to a certain point he made in which the average reader will be misguided from the facts. Abu rumaysah comments on the verse:


Over the verse in which Allaah addresses the unbelievers on the Day of Judgement, “Today we forget you (nansaakum) as you have forgotten this Day of yours”
Keller states, “which the early Muslims used to interpret figuratively as reported by a scholar who was himself an early Muslim – salafee – and indeed the shaykh of the early Muslims in Qur’aanic exegesis, the hadeeth master….Haafidh ibn Jareer at-Tabaree, who died 310 years after the Hijra and who explains the above verse, ‘today we have forgotten you as you have forgotten this day of yours’, as meaning, “this Day, resurrection Day, we shall forget them, so as to say, we shall abandon them to their punishment” Now this is precisely ta’weel – or interpretation in other than the verses ostensive sense….” He goes on to say that this same ‘ta’weel’ was reported by ibn Abbaas and his student Mujaahid.
It is surprising, how a few eloquent words can fool the people, for in reality the meaning of the above words is empty. For all Keller does is betray his ignorance with regards to the Arabic Language for the word nansaakum, coming from the root verb nasiya, yansaa can mean, either to deliberately leave and abandon or to forget and fail to remember [See ‘Lisaan al-Arab’ for example.] Therefore the meaning of this verse is clear and that is ‘Today we abandon you as you have abandoned this Day of yours’ and this is not taking the verse from it’s clear and literal meaning as Keller claims.
This is the tafseer that at-Tabaree gives following ibn Abbaas and Mujaahid, “We will abandon them in the punishment which cuts them off, leaving them hungry and thirsty without any food or drink, just as they abandoned action for the Meeting on this Day, and they rejected preparation for it ….and we have explained clearly the meaning of His saying ‘nansaakum’ previously along with it’s witnesses, so their is no need to repeat it.”
Further the implication that Keller leaves is that the Salafees who take the verses literally must then believe that Allaah forgets, and this is evil and a lie against the Salafees, for no one has ever said this for the very reason mentioned above.

Now if abu rumaysah understood the underlying principle there he wouldn’t have made such a blunder and what does he start to say is that the author is ignorant of the Arabic language.

1. Firstly he should have understood the principle the author was trying to state which is if you lay down a certain principles i.e. taking the verse literally then that principle shouldn’t change but should stay the same.
2. Secondly words within the Qur’an can linguistically bare more than one meaning. Which abu rumaysah himself proves from his above research.
3. In addition that was only one verse that was cited when in fact there are numerous examples within the qur’an in which certain verses are not taken literally hence if there is room for ta’weel on certain verses then that can pave the way for other verses.

The example above which he tries to disprove and then state that nansakum can linguistically bare more than one meaning, THEN the ashari’s state that istiwa, yadd, wajh, saaq etc can linguistically bare more than one meaning, that’s why salaf did ta’weel and if people try to interetate them incorrectly then the ashari’s resort to ta’weel. I will cite a few examples of words that bare more than one meaning:

ISTIWA has 15 meanings: sit, subjugate, to get mature, to equal, to be above by status, to be above by place, established in a place, being above with distance, regularity, steadiness, straightness, evenness and includes other meanings as well (in arabic some of the definitions include: istila, altamam, ishtadda, nadhuja, intaha). Qadi Abu Bakr ibn al-Arabi said that istiwa has 15 meanings among of which are to sit, to subjugate, to protect, to conquer, and to preserve. As mentioned in kitab mukhtar al-sihah by Imam Zayn ul-Deen Muhammad Abu Bakr, also in Qadi Abu Bakr’s commentary to the Jami of at-Tirmidhi called 3aridat al-Ahwazi fi Sharh at-Tirmidhi. Murtada Az-Zabedi who is a famous linguist and a Hanafi scholar and he said that Istiwa can have 10 different meanings as mentioned in it7af al-sada al-motaken fi sharh ihya uloom ud-deen. Ibn Mandhour the author of lisaan ul Arab has demonstrated that istiwa can bare many meanings as well.

YAAD has probably the most meanings; examples will include: when we say in Arabic assda eelay yadda (to do someone a favour), ann yaddahu (with his help, through his good offices), thul yadd (powerful, holder of actual control). Also when we say: ‘Abdul was in safe hands’ which means Abdul was in safe protection. For further examples please refer to the classical Arabic lexicons al-Qamus, Lisan ul-Arab and Taj ul-Uroos.

WAJH this word can bare a lot of meanings as well, face, dominion, looks appearance, outside surface, direction etc the definitions for this word are immense. Refer to the classical Arabic lexicons al-Qamus, Lisan ul-Arab and Taj ul-Uroos.

SAAQ, Imam Jafar as-saadiq has said ‘that SAAQ has 8 meanings, 5 of which are obsolete and the other 3 are the parts of the body between the knee and the ankle, hence saaq can also mean guard or slope of a hill and these are all created’.

That’s should be sufficient in answering abu rumaysah’s claim, insha allah I will post something which I have improved on i.e. looking at ayats and the so-called salafi approach [I posted it before in another thread which I cannot recall]. I believe it to be imperative that we need to look at their methodology since they are always claiming to follow the salaf, but its just a mere claim!

When the scholars of the past mentioned that we should recite the verses but assign the meaning to Allah, they knew the implications when unqualified people start to interpret these verses, such as the so-called salafiyyah. That is why the scholars use taweel as a means to answer them as Imam Nawawi may Allah be pleased with him has stated in his sharh saheeh Muslim;

وهذا أشهر المذهبين للمتكلمين: وقال آخرون لا تتأول بل يمسك عن الكلام في معناها ويوكل علمها إلى الله تعالى ويعتقد مع ذلك تنزيه الله تعالى وانتفاء صفات الحادث عنه: فيقال مثلا نؤمن بأن الرحمن على العرش استوى ولا نعلم حقيقة معنى ذلك والمراد به مع أنا نعتقد أن الله تعالى (ليس كمثله ش&#1574 وانه منزه عن الحلول وسمات الحدوث وهذه طريقة السلف أو جماهيرهم وهي أسلم إذ لا يطالب الانسان بالخوض في ذلك فإذا اعتقد التنزيه فلا حاجة إلى الخوض في ذلك والمخاطرة فيما لا ضرورة بل لا حاجة إليه فان دعت الحاجة إلى التأويل لرد مبتدع ونحوه تأولوا حينئذ: وعلى هذا يحمل ما جاء عن العلماء في هذا والله أعلم

”If there is a need for interpretation (ta’wil) in order to refute innovators and their like, then they (the Salaf) went ahead and applied interpretation. This is the correct understanding of what has reached us from the scholars concerning this subject, and Allah knows best.”

Otherwise we assign the meaning to Allah. What really needs to be highlighted is the so-called salafi methodology when dealing with these verses; since they are obsessed with using the additional terms haqiqan (literally), bi-dhati (physically) etc. And taking the literal meanings, however they have inconsistencies in their methodology since they only choose what verses to take literally and are reluctant to apply the same rule for other verses, as is apparent from their methodology. This has also been stated by Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni in his kitab ul irshad: “one of the areas of caution is necessary is opposing the literalists on the basis of the verses where they accept the allegorical interpretation of them so that when they pursue the method of interpretation in one case they open themselves to the use of that same method in areas of controversy…”.

Such examples will include:

“Allah is with you, wherever you are” وَهُوَ مَعَكُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ} } Suratal-Hadid ayah 4 (literally this would mean Allah is everywhere, which would contradict the so-called salafi understanding that Allah is sitting on the throne in person)

“Allah surrounds everything” {رَبِّهِمْ أَلاَ إِنَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ مُّحِيطٌ} Surat-Fussilat, ayah 54

“There is no conversation among three people but that he is the forth of them, nor five but he is the sixth” مَا يَكُونُ مِن نَّجْوَىٰ ثَلاَثَةٍ إِلاَّ هُوَ رَابِعُهُمْ وَلاَ خَمْسَةٍ إِلاَّ هُوَ سَادِسُهُمْ Qur’an 58:7 (literally this would imply that allah is amongst us)

“Allah’s yadd is above their hands” { يَدُ ٱللَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ}Qur’an 48:10 (literally this would mean Allah’s hand is above the peoples hands, so does it further mean Allah’s hand is in this created world, the question would also arise of how big is Allah’s hand?)

“To Allah belong the East and the West, and where so ever you turn, there is Allah’s wajh” {وَللَّهِ ٱلْمَشْرِقُ وَٱلْمَغْرِبُ فَأَيْنَمَا تُوَلُّواْ فَثَمَّ وَجْهُ ٱللَّهِ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ} Qur’an 2:115 (literally this would mean that where ever you turn you see the face of Allah, the question would arise how many faces does a person see?)

“Everything will perish save His wajh” {كُلُّ شَيْءٍ هَالِكٌ إِلاَّ وَجْهَهُ} Qur’an 28:88 (literally this would mean that even Allah’s hands, shin, and feet will perish according to the so-called salafiyyah understanding)

“And [mention] when your Lord said to the angels, ‘Truly, I will create a man from clay. So when I have completed him, and breathed into him of My spirit, then fall down prostrate to him.’ And the angels prostrated one and all. Save for Satan, who was too proud to, and disbelieved. He said to him, ‘O Satan, what prevented you from prostrating to what I have created with bee-yadayya? Are you arrogant, or too exalted?’ He said, ‘I am better than he; You created me from fire and created him from clay'”

{ إِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلاَئِكَةِ إِنِّي خَالِقٌ بَشَراً مِّن طِينٍ } * { فَإِذَا سَوَّيْتُهُ وَنَفَخْتُ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِي فَقَعُواْ لَهُ سَاجِدِينَ } * { فَسَجَدَ ٱلْمَلاَئِكَةُ كُـلُّهُمْ أَجْمَعُونَ } * { إِلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ ٱسْتَكْبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنَ ٱلْكَافِرِينَ }
{ قَالَ يٰإِبْلِيسُ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَن تَسْجُدَ لِمَا خَلَقْتُ بِيَدَيَّ أَسْتَكْبَرْتَ أَمْ كُنتَ مِنَ ٱلْعَالِينَ } * { قَالَ أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ }

Qur’an 38:71-76. (Literally this would mean that Allah’s spirit is divisible, so is Adam peace be upon him, apart of Allah?)

Tradition narrated by Imam Tirmidhi in his al-Jami (vol.5, pp. 376-377, no. 3298, under Kitab Tafsir al Qur’an, as edited by the “Salafi” – Ahmad Shakir) narrated:

والذي نفس محمد بيده لو أنكم دليتم بحبل إلى الأرض السفلى لهبط على الله

Which means: “By Him in whose yadd Muhammad’s soul is, if you were to drop a rope to the lowest ard (land/earth), it would descend upon Allah.”

If the so-called salafiyyah believe that Allah is in the heavens in person then what would this imply, that the rope hits or lands on Allah?

Also the tradition in Saheeh Bukhari:

Muhammad ibn Uthmãn ibn Karãma < Khalid ibn Mukhad < Sulaym ibn Bilãl < Sharik ibn Abdallah ibn Abi Nimr, that Abu Hurayra said: ‘Allah’s Messenger said: “Allah the Exalted has said: ‘whoever harms a friend [wali] of Mine, I declare war on him. My slave draws near to Me with nothing more beloved to Me than that which I have made obligatory upon him. And My slave continues to draw nearer to Me with optional acts of devotion [nawafil] until I love him. And when I love him, I am his ear with which he hears, his eye with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his foot on which he walks. If he asks Me, I surely bestow it upon him, and if he asks My protection, I surely grant it to him. I do not hesitate in anything which I am to do more than in taking the soul of the believer; he dislikes death, and I dislike to bring him harm.”

Does the above tradition mean that Allah comes into the man?

That should be clear unless any wahabi, neo salafi has any side comments!

wassalaamu alaikum

I will continue further since its important to look into a few of the issues that abu rumaysah brings up such as the ta’weel of Imam Bukhari may Allah have mercy on him. This is what abu rumaysah says:


Over the hadeeth, “Allaah the Most High Laughs about two men, one of whom kills the other, but both will enter Paradise. The one who fights in the way of Allaah and is killed and afterwards Allaah forgives the killer, then he fights in the path of Allaah and is martyred.”

Keller claims, following Saqqaaf, “the hadeeth master al-Bayhaqee records that the scribe of Bukhaaree, Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Farabree, related that Imaam Bukhaaree said quote, “the meaning of Laughter is Mercy”.
This statement of al-Bayhaqee occurs in his ‘Asmaa was Sifaat’ (pg. 470) but he quotes no chain of narration for it, and therefore it cannot be depended upon as indicated in the words of Abdullaah bin al- Mubaarak said, “the isnaad is from the deen, were it not for the isnaad, whosoever willed could say whatever he wished.”

Imaam Bukhaaree, may Allaah have Mercy upon him, was clearly upon the way of the salaf, meaning he affirmed the Attributes of Allaah as they befitted Him, and this is seen in his work ‘Saheeh al- Bukhaaree’ and his work ‘Khalq Af’aal al-Ebaad.’ As for the above hadeeth, Bukhaaree mentions it in two places in his ‘Saheeh’:

Book of the merits of the Ansaar, chpt. 10
Book of Tafseer, chpt. 6
And nowhere does he mention the aforementioned ta’weel. In fact ibn Hajr says, after quoting the words of al-Bayhaqee, “I have not seen that in any of the manuscripts that we have come across.” [‘al- Fath’ (8/631)]

As for abu rumaysah’s claim above then the reader should be warned that although imam al-Bayhaqi cited that quote from one of the scribes. Then that still can be used since imam bayhaqi was closer to the time of Imam Bukhari. Also if imam ibn Hajr did not see a manuscript that doesn’t mean that it didn’t exist. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, in his book, Al-Fath al-Bari, Volume 6, page 39-40, said: “….. In reference to al-Bukhari’s saying that the attribute of Allah, ad-dahik, means ‘mercy,’ it is closer to say that it means ‘acceptance of deeds.’ [I was surprised to see abu rumaysah quoting ibn Hajr on this matter]. What further substantiates this is Imam Bukhari’s clear cut ta’weel in surah al-Qasas ayat 88. Now did abu rumaysah miss this part or did he over look the saheeh of Imam Bukhari? This ta’weel can be traced back from today’s scholars with a muttassil chain back to Imam Bukhari and can be found in the manuscripts. Al-albani the so-called muhadith found it extremely difficult to answer this and blurts out this cannot be the creed of a Muslim. Dr muhsin khan leaves it in Arabic in his translation which was signed by ibn baz and matariji has it in his copy as well.

Now the questions to be asked are:

1. Why doesn’t abu rumaysah mention Imam Bukhari’s ta’weel rather what he mentions is that imam bukhari was on the way of the salaf which we all believe since some of the salaf did practice ta’weel.
2. Why doesn’t he class Imam bukhari has a jahmi mubtadi for his ta’weel. Since that what he believes of the people who do ta’weel
3. Where are abu rumaysah’s principles why is he so reluctant to mention this! his misguidance is what prevents him from mentioning this!

Reference for the ta’weel:

Muhammad Ibn Ismail al-Bukhari 194 – 265AH, (belongs to the salaf because he died before the year 300ah and he acquired his knowledge from the followers of the tabeieen):

In the book of tafsir in saheeh al-Bukhari under the chapter of interpretation of surah al-qasas (28) ayat 88. Imam Bukhari’s taweel has not been fully translated by the author into English as can be seen in Dr Muhsin khans translation vol6 page 278, whereas he only translates the ayat but does not translate what imam bukhari has said regarding the ayat. In addition, if you read mahmood matrajis translation of bukhari under the same chapter, fails to translate imam bukhari’s ta’weel, vol 6 page 237-8. ‘kullu shayin haalikun ila wajhahu imam bukhari said the wording wajhahu means ila mulkahu’ (mulk means dominion e.g. paradise and hell). Which would be translated as; “everything shall perish except Allah’s dominion”. Imam Bukhari mentions other information as well. In Tafsir at-Tabari it says wajh can mean huwa (he): “everything shall perish except Allah”.

واختلف فـي معنى قوله: { إلاَّ وَجْهَهُ } فقال بعضهم: معناه: كلّ شيء هالك إلاَّ هو.

Now even Imam Tabari is mentioning that there was ikhtilaf amongst the ulema as to what wajh means!

As for the mubtadi innovating misguided folks who did not answer Brother Abul Hasan’s questions, then we know why they never! May Allah increase your ilm brother Abul Hasan and may allah guide this mubtadi’s ameen!

I will leave it to that and as for the issue of Imam Ahmad’s quote then that has been answered in another thread by brother faqir.

I think i forgot to comment upon what abu rumaysah says above:


Abdullaah bin al- Mubaarak said, “the isnaad is from the deen, were it not for the isnaad, whosoever willed could say whatever he wished.”

This is surprising hearing a so-called salafi qoute such statements when they are in a dire need! only if he could apply this same principle to the qoutes he provides in the same article he would know that majority of those qoutes have no sanads or are daeef. also the qoute of imam abu Hanifa, the sanads for that come through the maturidi’s and i believe even the maturidis dont recognise abu rumaysah!

Also how many so-called salafis have mutassil sanads, that would be really interesting to know!

Last remark abu rumaysah in the same article seems to be confused about the ashari’s and the maturidi’s in terms of their principles, he needs to sit down with some ashari and maturidi imams instead of doing his own personal research and look how many people are reliant on him and misguided by his works!

barak allah feekum
Allah guide us all ameen and all mistakes are from me!
wassalaamu alaikum

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