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Imam Ibn ul Hajj Al-Maliki As-Sufi al-Ashari

Posted by muhammedm on June 24, 2012

As-Salamu ‘Alaykum, أبدأُ بالحمدِ مُصَلِّياً على مُحمَّدٍ خَيِر نبيْ أُرســـــِلا

This is a continuation proving the ascription of scholars to a particular school of theology. The following are words of Imam Ibn ul Hajj, the student of the famous Ashari Sufi who needs no introduction in the scholarly scholar Ibn Abi Jamrah, Allah ta’ala have mercy on him. The following words in regards to the Ayat of Sifat indicate his preferred school of Aqidah, namely the Ashari School.

The Imam, on pg. 32 of the 2nd volume of al-Madkhal, under the chapter heading of “Words regarding verses and narrations those that have difficult apparent (Thahir – wording)” states: “He shouldn’t have with him books that are read and it contains difficult narrations for the listener in regards to the apparent wording, and at the same time there is no one to clarify the rulings and meaning, and clear the difficult passages, and even if there is somone who can clarrify the difficult wording then it a must that his voice encompass everyone that is in the gathering just like the voice of the recitor of Quran which encompasses it’s listeners, because if he doesn’t raise it then most likely there will be some who will leave (the gathering) and will carry with them doubts in regards to creed. Imam Malik was asked regarding the narration of the funeral of Sayyidina Sa’ad bin Mu’adh in regards to the throne shaking, and in regards to the narration “Allah ta’ala created Adam in his Surah” and regarding “the Saaq”, so he said (Imam Malik) “They should not be narrated nor should that which an individual wants to be narrated while knowing it is (a cause for) confusion. Ibn al-Qasim said, “it is not proper for the one who fears Allah ta’ala to narrate narrations similar to this, it was said to him, what about the hadith of “Indeed Allah ta’ala laughs” then he didn’t consider it from it and allowed it (the narration thereof).” After Ibn Rush narrates the complete narrations he says, “Imam Malik prohibited from narrating these two narrations and the narration of Allah ta’ala creating Adam in His Surah and those similar to it because their apparent wording necessitates resemblence (tashbih). If a narration is authentic regarding it, then it is (permitted) to interpret upon that which would negate resemblence to Allah ta’ala with any of His creation, as is done with that which has come in the Quran, the apparent of which necessitates resemblences and they are plenty, such as “al-Ityan (the Coming), al-Maji’ (Coming).” (And that) leaves two possibilities (in terms of solutions), one of which is the meaning of His words, “… Allah ta’ala will come” meaning (the coming) of His punishment and revenge if He is rejected”..”The second possibility the meaning would be appearance (Ath-Thuhur) for there is no difference between the Dunya (this world) and the Afterlife in relation to Him, Glory be to Him, for the veil is to us (from Him), for when He unveils the curtain (Hijab) from us, He will appear to us without limit (Hadd) and modality (Takyif) of form and howness, Glory be to Him… Imam Ibn ul-Hajj ends the discussion with saying “and if that is like that (the different possibilites of interpretations), then the matter is divided into three types, (the first one) and it is the best rather it is that which should not be turned away from, it is returning to the words of Imam Malik: not to narrate these narrations from fear upon the weak for some fitnah entering their beliefs, then how can that be done to the Laymen and the women, for the predominant nature is that they enter (the masjid) while believing and leave while being Maftun (subject to confusion)”

Translated with ommited portions.

The above clearly indicates the position of Imam Ibnul Hajj in regards the verses and narrations on the Sifat of Allah ta’ala. His agreement and position is taken from the early Maliki scholars including Imam Ibn al-Qasim and Imam Malik himself. It is only proper that Imam Malik’s words be interpreted and expanded from those who are experts in his thought, and Imam Ibn Rush and Imam Ibnul Hajj are two of those personalities. The above words of Imam Ibnul Hajj leaves no doubt as to his ascription to the Ashari school as the above is in line with the predominant Ashari position.

The link to the work:

Ma’ Salam


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