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‘Allama As-Saffarini al-Hanbali al-Khalwati al-Athari’s: Proponent of Tafwid

Posted by muhammedm on July 6, 2010

أبدأُ بالحمدِ مُصَلِّياً على مُحمَّدٍ خَيِر نبيْ أُرســـــِلا

Before going into the discussion, I’ve given a snippet of ‘Allama Saffarini’s connection to tassawuf and Mutakallim scholars, and the response of the salafi editor.

One of his main teacher and his shaykh in Tassawwuf:
On Page 167 he praises Abdul Ghani an-Nabulusi in over six lines, and the Muhaqqiq (the salafi editor), as usual, has problems with him. He studied Thulathiyat, Tafsir Baydawi and books on tassawwuf.

Regarding his shaykh in tasawwuf in the Khalwati path, he says, “from the greatest of my shuyukh, and highest in rank and most well known is the Sayyid al-‘Arif, al-Mutamakkin, al-Awwah al-Muhaqqiq as-Shaykh al-murabi al-Musallik, al-Humam as-Sayyid Mustafa bin as-Sayyid Kamal ud Din al-Bakri al-Khalwati, the Wonder of his time, The Unique of time and age…I read a number of his works with him, from them: on Mi’raj, al-Mawlid, al-Wird which is read in the morning time, it’s commentary both al-Kabir and as-Saghir, and other poetry and prose works, which will lenghten the description, and he gave me Ijazah in all of it, and in the Khalwati Tariqa, and permisiion to give Ijazah to whom I see fit, Allah ta’ala have mercy on him and be pleased with him..” (Muhaqqiq has a problem with Tariqas and Saffarini’s taking the Tariqa).

Transmition of Imam Sha’rani’s work:
On Page 151 he says, “we narrate the works of al-‘Allama as-Sufi as-Shaykh Abdul Wahhab as-Sha’rani such as ‘al-‘Uhud al-Kubra, ‘Uhud al-mashayikh as-Sughra… and others” (The muhaqqiq goes on to say Sha’rani was a bad sufi, and other usual nonsense). On page 172, Saffarini says, “the knower of Allah ta’ala, Ocean of vas knowledge and outward states as-Shaykh AbdulWahhab bin Ahmed as-Sha’arini”.

Transmision of Qasidah Burda
On page 153 he says, “we narrate ‘Burdatul Busuri’, and the rest of his works of prose and poetry with the aforementioned chain on the authority of al-Kamal bin Hamza al-Husayni…” (The salafi Muhaqqiq says “the people of knowledge who are well-grounded don’t agree with some of the overstepping of boundries in the Burdah”).

Misc matters where Saffarini differs with salafis: the place where the Prophet’s noble body contains is better than the ‘Arsh and Kursi, as held by Ibn ‘Aqil, Muhammed bin Zayn as-Shafi’i, Page 204. Page 224, Saffarini does tawassul through the Prophet. Page 222, Saffarini mentions poetry that describes the Prophet as ghawth al-Barriyya. Page 309, does tawassul.

Saffarini believes Ayat of Sifat are from Mutashabihat, taken from Sharh al-‘Aqidah as-Saffariniya entitled al-Kawakib ad-Durriya by Shaykh Muhammed AbdulAziz Mani’:

“Whatever has come in the Ayat or is authenticially reported in narrations, from trustworthy narrators in ahadith and athar which give an impression of tashbih, then it is from the Mutashabih which no one knows except Allah ta’ala“. Page 42 The Salafi commentary says regarding the last statement, “to say that the meanings of the names of Allah ta’ala and His attributes are from the Mutashabih or are the Mutashabih is completely incorrect, and it hasn’t come from any of the Salaf.”

On Page 44, Saffarini says, “the Madhab of the Salaf is to not delve in it, and to keep silent regarding it, and to relegate (Tafwid) it’s knowledge to Allah ta’ala“. To this the Salafi commentator (Shaykh Ibn Mani’) says, “What he ascribed to the Salaf that their madhab was Tafwid is not correct.”

Then as-Saffarini quotes Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbas as saying, “this is from the hidden which shouldn’t be interpreted” and likewise other Sahaba and Tabi’in said it.” Another Commentator (Ibn Sahman) says regarding the mistake ‘Allama as-Saffarini supposidly made, “Know O my brother, that this statement that Saffarini ascribed to sayyidina Ibn Abbas and others of the Sahaba, if it’s authentic, the meaning isn’t what Saffarini claims that the text of the Book and Sunnah which contain the Names of Allah ta’ala and His attributes which give the impression of Tashbih thus making it included amongts the Mutashabih which only Allah ta’ala knows, and is from those we can’t understand it’s meaning nor can it be interpreted. And this discussion has preceded in the discussion on Tafwid.”

‘Allama as-Saffarini devotes many pages on Sifat being from the Mutashabih in his commentary on the poetry, the same opinion held by ‘Allama Ibn Qudama al-Hanbali.

Note: The Thabat of as-Saffarini, the commentary by Shaykh Mani’, and his own commentary are available online.

Wa ‘alaykumus Salam


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‘Allama Ibn Qudama al-Hanbali a Mufawwid

Posted by muhammedm on July 5, 2010

A – ‘Allama Ibn Qudama considers the Ayat of Attributes to be from the Mutashabihat, as is stated in Rawdatun Nadhir. After stating this position, he says the correct stoppage in the ayah that talks about Muhkamat and Mutashabihat is “No one knows it’s interpretation except Allah ta’ala. Those grounded in knowledge say we believe in it…” The point where Ibn Qudama considers the correct stopping point is after except Allah ta’ala, meaning He’s the only one that knows the Mutashabihat, and no one else. And Ibn Qudama has stated that from the Mutashabihat is the Ayat on Sifat, thus concluding that the knowledge of Sifat is only known to Allah ta’ala, just like the Huruf al-Muqat’at. It’s clear from his statement his position on it. This is the position of Tafwid al-Ma’ana, as propounded by the Ash’irah and Maturidiya and in opposition to todays salafi scholars whom I will quote regarding their statements on the Mutashabihat.

B – Another indication of tafwid al-Ma’ana is Ibn Qudama’s statement in Lum’atul Itiqad, wherein he states, “What is difficult from those (ayat of Sifat) affirmation of it’s wording is necessary, and to leave delving into it’s meaning, and we leave it’s knowledge to the one who Spoke it (Allah ta’ala), we place it’s responsibiltiy on the one who transmited it, following the path of those grounded in knowledge, about whom Allah ta’ala praised in His Clear Book by His statement, “and Those firmly grounded in knowledge say we believe in it, all of it is from our Lord.”
C – It’s clear from his statement where he says we affirm the wording, yet we relegate the meaning to Allah ta’ala. Ibn Qudama goes on to say Allah ta’ala censures those who seek the interpretation of the Mutashabih (the ayat of sifat amongst them), “He said regarding the censure of those who seek interpretation of the Mutashabih of Quran, “As for those who have deviancy in thier hearts because of which they go after the Mutashabih, intending to spread fitnah and seeking it’s interpreation, and no one knows it’s interpretation except Allah ta’ala. Ayah” Clearly the intent of Ibn Qudama is to drive home the point that only Allah alone knows the Mutashabihat, and the Ayat of Sifat are from the Mutashabihat according to Ibn Qudama. And thus we don’t know it’s interpreations.

D – Another passage he states after the hadith “Allah ta’ala will be seen on the day of judgement”, “and similar to these ahadith, we believe in them, and affirm them, without modality and meaning, and we don’t reject any of it…’ Again Ibn Qudama is driving home the point that the meaning as well as the modality is unknown. The rules of arabic grammar state that when Waw is used, as it’s used in Ibn Qudama’s words, the default meaning of it is dissimilarity between the thing before and after the particle waw. So, Kayf and Ma’ana are two different things, not same, as some of tried to distort.

In response to these passages, it’s interesting to note what salafi scholars have said, and their criticism of Ibn Qudama.

Shaykh Salih’s criticism of Ibn Qudama:
Shaykh Salih Fawzan says regarding point B mentioned above, “this sentence isn’t accepted from the Shaykh (ibn Qudama), Allah ta’ala have mercy on him, it’s as if he’s dividing the texts of the Attributes into two kinds, one kind the meaning and interpreation is apparent, and this we believe in, as well as it’s meaning and interpretation, and the second kind, the meaning isn’t apparent to us, and this we relegate to Allah ta’ala, and this is wrong. Because meaning is known of all of the text of the Names and Attributes. Nothing from them is obscure or from the Mutashabihat, so the text of Names and Attributes aren’t from the Mutashabih nor do they enter into the category of Mutashabih, as Ibn Taymiyya explained…”

On Page 75 Shaykh Muni’ says, “What is correct is that the Ayat of Sifat aren’t from the Mutashabihat.”

Disparity regarding Ibn Qudama’s quote of Imam Ahmed’s words: “Without Modality and Meaning”:
Shaykh Fawzan says regarding “without Meaning”: “the meaning that the innovators have given, and that is ta’wil”, while Shaykh Muni’ says, “it means the essence, we don’t delve into the essence of the attribute.”

Shaykh Fawzan answering question regarding Sifat from Mutashabih, pg 296;
Q – “Is it true that Ibn Qudama in Rawdatun Nadhir mentioned the Ayat of Sifat in the Mutashabih, and are his words there the same as here (in Luma’)?
A – The correct and considered opinion is his words here, however he divided the Sifat into two categories, clear and obscure/difficult, and this wrong. All of the Attributes are clear, nothing from it is difficult. As for what’ in the Rawdah, he agreed with the later Usulis such as the Asharis and others, and it’s said that rawdah is taken from Mustasfah of Imam Ghazali, and Imam Ghazzali is Ashari’, it’s possible that he missed this note (him being an Ashari’?).

Shaykh Muhammed bin Ibrahim Aal as-Shaykh says regarding Ibn Qudama:,
“As for what he mentioned in al-Luma’, it’s in agreement with the Madhab of Mufawwidah (relegating it’s meaning to Allah ta’ala), and this is from the worst of Madhahib, and the author is an Imam in regards to the Sunnah, and he’s the most distant of people from the Mufawwidah madhab and other innovative groups. And Allah ta’ala knows best.”

Shaykh ‘Afifi affirming Ibn Qudama to be a Mufawwid –

An objection is raised regarding Ibn Qudama’s statements above and his other statements regarding leaving it upon the dhahir (the apparent). The only way to reconcile this contradition, as it’s well known Ibn Qudama considers the Ayat of Sifat to be from the Mutashabih and only Allah knows their meaning, is that the position of Ibn Qudama is to leave the words alone. Not to give explantion of it (it’s meaning) nor it’s interpreation that would take away the apparent meaning, such as Qudrah for Yad. So ibn Qudama’s position is we leave Yad alone without saying it means such as such, and also we leave it’s interpreation being Qudrah, as that would nullify the Sifah.

As for those who say, we know the meaning of Yad for humans, as well as for Allah ta’ala. I ask, the meaning for yad for humans is a limb consisting of flesh and bone, what is the meaning, if you say you know it, of Yadullah?

Another posting will be done regarding Salafis opinion on the Mutashabih and the Hanbali scholars, as well as the argument why would Allah ta’ala reveal something of which we don’t understand, InshAllah.

Works cited:
Sharh Luma’atul Itiqad by Shaykh Salih Fawzan
Sharh Luma’tul Itiqad by Muhammed bin Ahmed al-Muni’
Sharh Luma’tul Itiqad by Shaykh Uthaymin

Wa ‘alaykumus Salam

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