Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 3 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439

Subscribe to our mail list

Home » Fatwas » Faith & Creed » Beliefs

God is not in something, on something or from something

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq said: "He who claims that Allah is in something or on something or from something, commits ash-shirk (polytheism). Because if He was in something, He would be contained, and if He was on something, He would be carried, and if He was from something, He would be a creature." Is this an authentic report?

Answer

This non-Prophetic tradition [Ar.Athar] was reported through imam Ja'far al-Sadiq son of imam Muhammad al-Baqir son of imam Ali Zain al-Abdeen son of imam Abu Abd Allah al-Hussein (peace be upon all of them). It is defiantly an authentic statement.
• The erudite scholars of Sunnah [orthodox Islam] mentioned this Athar in their books as evidence proving that the righteous predecessors were among the great people who magnified Allah Almighty above anything else. This includes:
- The great scholar imam Abu al-Qasim al-Qushairi [D.365A.H] in his book "Al-Risalah al-Qushairiyah fi al-Suluk".
- The great scholar and orator of Sunnah of his own time, Abu Bakr al-Baqlani [D.403 A.H).
- The righteous imam, Ahmed al-Rafi' al-Shafi' in his book "al-Burhan al-Mu'ayd".
- Imam al-Tha'alabi in his book "al-Kashf wa al-Bayan. And he attributed this Athar to imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (may Allah honor him).
- Sheikh ibn 'Ajibah attributed this Athar also to imam Ali in his book, "Iqaz al-Himam fi Sharh al-Hikam".

- The great scholar Abu al-Abbas al-Qurtubi said in his book "al-Mufhim lima Ushkil fi Sharh Sahih Muslim (21/19): "this statement is consistent with the opinion of accomplished truthful scholars who exalt Allah Almighty above being limited to a place—i.e. sky and earth. For He can never be restricted to a certain place. If He is like this, then He would be created". He was also quoted in another context of Sharh Muslim as saying: "Allah, The Creator, is far above being restricted by places and directions since these are the mandatory characteristics of created things. Really, it was good to say: if The Creator was in something, He would be contained, and if He was on something, He would be carried, and if He was from something, He would be a creature."
The predecessor and successor generations of the people of Sunnah and community [Ar.Ahlu Assunah wa Aljama'], the consensus of Muslims and all books of Islamic creed approve off this meaning and precisely illustrate it.

- Ibn Taymiyyah mentioned in his book "Al-Istiqma' (1/191), "These statements and their likes—of what scholars have agreed to be fabricated against Ja'far—are similar to many of what Abu Abd al-Rahman mentioned in Haqa'ia al-Tafsir. There are numerous widespread fabricated lies against Ja'far. What have been reported by trustworthy scholars is well-known and they contradict the narrations of those who belied him". This citation is nothing but an utterance that bears no evidence. The scholars at ibn Taymiyyah's time condemned such utterances through which he used to attack the opinions of others in order to assert his own views on groundless basics. Hence, his above saying is unacceptable since having no evidence. Moreover, the succession of the previous and new generations of scholars who attributed this saying to Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) prove and affirm that it is authentic even if ibn Taymiyyah was not furnished with its origin.

- According to one of the established maxims of the Shari'ah: 'Affirmation takes precedence over negation".
- It is known through searching the scholars' methodology that unlike Prophetic traditions, scholars approve off such non-prophetic narrations as long as they are consistent to the rulings of the Shari'ah.
- In this respect, it is worthy to mention that nothing in this statement is denied since it is consistent with the sayings of Allah Almighty,

"Invent not similitude for Allah" [16:74].
"But they shall comprehend Him not" [20:110].
"There is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He is the Al-Seeing, Al-Hearer" [42:11].
"And there is none like unto Him" [112:4].
"And He (Allah) encompasses all things" [4:126].

 

Related links
» Procedures to embrace Islam
» My Muslim husband expresses his doubts in Islam. Should I stay with him?
» Is it acceptable to lie if your purpose is to avoid hurting someone?
» What is the difference between reason and revelation in Islamic thought?
» What does the concept of "Ummah" mean in Islam?