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Discussing Correct Aqida

Ustadh Farid Dingle is asked for advice on how to counter the objections of those who say that Ash‘ari and Maturidi aqida is not true to Islam.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

How do we answer objections that say the Aqida of the Ashari and the Maturidi is not the Aqida of the Salaf? They mention how Imam Abu Hanifa’s Fiqh al-Akbar was not actually written by him.

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assaalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Dear questioner,

If you are talking to students of Islam, please have them read The Ash‘aris & Maturidis: Standards of Mainstream Sunni Beliefs.

Otherwise, they would do well to read the following:

دفع شبه التشبيه بأكف التنزيه لابن الجوزي
إلجام العوام عن علم الكلام بتحقيق الكوثري
أهل السنة الأشاعرة : شهادة علماء الأمة وأدلتهم

Note: Don’t busy yourself with what divides the Umma and fuels the fire of cyclical debates. As the Shah al-Kirmani said, “Whoever looks at others with his own eye, falls into lengthened arguments with them; whoever looks at others with the eye of Allah, overlooks what they made do or say, and doesn’t busy himself with them.’

I pray this helps.

Farid

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


 

Did I Commit Wrongful Takfir?

Ustadh Farid Dingle is asked if calling saying or thinking that a Muslim is non-Muslim wrongfully puts one outside of the fold of Islam.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I once typed a message saying some Muslims I do not like were not true Muslims, whispering the words to myself as I typed them. but then I remembered that Muslim laypeople are not allowed to say that and deleted the message. Did I still commit the sin of wrongful takfir? Does that make me a non-Muslim as that one hadifh said?

 

Answer:

Wa alaykum assaalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

The only way you leave Islam is by rejecting what made you a Muslim to begin with.

That said, we should all be very careful about what we say, because throwing words and labels around is not permissible.

I pray this helps.

Farid

 

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


 

The Two Eyes of Faith – Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

Shaykh Yahya Rhodus reminds us that simple acts arising from complete submission to the will of Allah can do more than move mountains, they can bring people to the religion.

 

We always begin by praising our Lord, Exalted and Most High, and recognizing that al-hamd, that is all praise, is due to our Lord, Exalted and Most High. He is the One that is simultaneously deserving of all praise because of everything that He gifts, not only human beings but all of creation, and He is the One, Exalted and Most High, that is praised for every gift that we experience.

That we show our shukr (gratitude) and our hand (praise) to our Lord, Exalted and Most High, in the greatest blessing of all of the blessings: it is the blessing of “la ilaha illa Allah. Muhammad rasul Allah.” The blessing of being affiliated to the best of creation, the Khatim al-Nabiyyin, the Seal of the Prophets, sayyidina Muhammad, blessings and peace be upon him and his Family and Companions.

This is a blessing that is so great no matter how much that we come to know and appreciate that blessing here in this world, we will only truly come to appreciate it on day on the Day of Judgment. For anyone that is ignorant of whom Muhammad is in this world, everyone will come to know who Muhammad is in the next world. For him belongs the praiseworthy station (maqam mahmud). For him belongs the greatest of all intercessions (shifa‘a al-kubra).

And we know that our Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, will prostrate beneath the throne and then it will be said to him: “Ask and you will be given. Intercede and you will be granted intercession.” and then our Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, will intercede for people. But this Day of Judgment is a day that is not easy. It is a day that is subjectively experienced, meaning every single human being will experience the Day of Judgment based upon their degree of faith and upon their acts that they have done.

The very best of all possibilities is for it to be like to light rakats: a couple of minutes. but the very worst of possibilities is that it will be like fifty thousand days. It will be like fifty thousand years. It will be like fifty thousand years – from two light cycles of prayer to fifty thousand years. And there will be people that are somewhere in between.

The Greatest Gift Is Faith

This is why that the greatest gift that we’ve been given as believers is the gift of faith, which means that we can live a life of purpose. This is likewise one of the greatest gifts that we can give to the modern world in which we live. In a day and age where you find people moving further and further away from belief, and that the state that results is oftentimes a state of agitation and a state of panic, because Iman is related to Aman. Iman is related to security.

If you do not have Iman how can you ever ever feel a sense of security? It’s that security that you recognize that you have a Rabb. And our Rabb is Rabb al-‘alamin. He is the Lord and the very meaning of the Rabb is that He is the giver of tarbiya. In other words, that He takes something from its beginning and that He sustains that and He allows it to grow and to thrive until it reaches its fruition.

The ‘alamin is everything that Allah Most High created. Specifically, yes, that we refer to the angels and mankind and the jinn-kind. However, it relates to everything that Allah Most High has created. Everything that we know and everything that we do not know. There is a large percentage of Allah Most High’s creation that we will never ever come to know, because you can’t see it through a microscope or a telescope.

And successively that you find that in relation to the dimensions of creation, that they are larger and that they are larger, and they are more and more vast. And what does our Lord say about the Kursi – Our Lord’s footstool? His footstool encompasses everything that is in the heavens and in the earth.

If you just look at the terrestrial heaven and you look at all of the amazing things that we’ve discovered and the incredible intergalactic distances of the known world, that world that we can either see and observe or that we can determine by a mathematical calculation, it is immense. It it is vast.

But you imagine then what it would be like the other worlds that Allah Most High has created. The other dimensions, the seven heavens for instance, what type of distances are we speaking about here? We can only understand them as a concept. We can’t understand them in reality. If that applies for things even within the terrestrial heaven, what about the other things that our Lord has created, Exalted and Most High?

Seeing with Two Eyes

What is the meaning that we take from that, that relates to our Iman? That we that find a source of security in that, because the Rabb is the One who is going to take care of what He created and what He brought to fruition. This is why we always have to remind ourselves that history is in good hands, with no anthropomorphic meaning. Our Lord is the Lord of history and the Umma of our Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, is an Umma marhuma. There are many things of this Din that you cannot fully understand or comprehend until you take into consideration the next world, the afterlife.

There are certain things that you will never fully come to understand their wisdom in this world, until you see the way that it’s played out in the next. Much of the suffering that we see happening right now, as we speak to the Muslim world, to the Muslim community, and to individuals. We don’t even need to list names because there’s such a long list now that it would take too long to list in how many places that there is affliction and calamity and difficulty, that were you to think about just one incident, it’s hard to really wrap your head around.

Well, what gives you a source of solace is to know that we have a Lord who is Just, and that no one, not one human being ever that has ever lived, after the Day of Judgment happens, will ever feel like they have not been given their right. Everyone will be gifted their right. Every single human being who was wronged will be given retribution.

We should always remember that history is in good hands. We should always remember that the Umma of our Prophet, blessing and peace be upon him, is an Umma marhuma. That Allah brings forth, in other words, the punishment of this Umma when we go astray in this world before the next.

One Foot in the Hereafter

We have to learn, to teach ourselves to see things from two perspectives. We have to see everything from the standpoint of it being the divine decrees unfolding right before our eyes. Snd also how it is that we that judge that particular incident outwardly from the standpoint of the Shari‘a. We have to look at everything simultaneously in two ways.

That applies to even a sickness that we get. If we all of a sudden find out that we’ve been diagnosed with cancer what is our first response? If we’re no different than any other people, our first response will be one of panic. But to degree that there is Iman will be to the degree that we see that illness or sickness or disease or terminal condition in light of our faith.

I actually know an individual, and this is someone that I met and saw him with my own eyes. This might sound a bit strange but this shows you what happens when you have strong Iman. You have an ability to interpret or, in other words, respond to the divine decree in a way that other people simply can’t do.

This person, when he was informed that he had cancer, the very first thing he did was smile. And they asked him, “Why on earth are you smiling?” He said, “I see this as: now this is the time that I’ve been waiting for. which this is the time for me to meet my Lord.” He interpreted that sickness in a very different way than someone else would.

And we don’t enjoin sickness upon anyone. We don’t want that for our own selves, but when it comes, outwardly you do all the treatments necessary to cure yourself of that disease or sickness. However, when the time comes for us to meet our Lord what is our state? What is going to be our state when we take our last breath, which for us is the ultimate moment of truth?

We Die the Way We Live

Generally speaking we die according to the way that we lived and we will be raised according to the way that we die. So we need to remind ourselves of the life that we’re living here in this world. This world is perishing in and of its nature. It’s been created to do so. Whether it’s going to collapse on itself or whether it’s going to expand so much that it freezes. We don’t really know what’s going to actually happen, and how our Lord, Exalted and Most High, is going to destroy the heavens in the earth. Hut we know it’s going to happen when He wills it to happen.

For us when we take our last breath, that is the Sa‘at al- Sughra. That is the “lesser of the two hours,” because we should always remember that sleep is the brother of death. Likewise our own death is, in that sense, the little brother of the greater Hour, because then we transition into the next world.

Our Prophet taught us, blessings and peace be upon him, that the grave is the first stage of the stages of the afterlife. We know that the grave will either be a garden from the gardens of paradise or a pit from the pits of hell. May Allah, Blessed and Most High, grant us refuge from any punishment in the grave, because if we’re unable to bear that punishment in the grave – and who can? – then how are we going to be able to bear the punishment of the Day of Judgment, let alone what happens after that?

We are all, in that sense, miskin (in dire need) before our Lord, Exalted and Most High, who has decreed that there are two final abodes. This is not about the human beings’ choice. Will the human being have everything that he desires? It is not about what you want, and it is not about what I want, or what anyone else wants. This is the decree of the One who has the traits of Irada, of Divine Will, and He does whatever He wants. If He wills for something to happen, He says “Be! And it is.” How do we respond to that? With complete and total submission.

This is one of the most beautiful things of all, if anyone has had that experience here in this blessed masjid – to have not been in a life of faith and then convert to this blessed religion, and to experience the beauty of submission. Because the reality is is that we’re not in control. If anyone thinks they’re in control it’s a delusion. Thinking that we’re in control is illusory. It’s a delusion.

We Have No Control

We are not in control. And when we learn to submit to the One who is truly in control… How many times in the Qur’an are we reminded to have tawakkul – to place our trust in Allah? How many times in the Qur’an are we reminded of these traits? “And I assign my affairs over to Allah.” None of this negates taking the means. We are required to take the means, but we’re also required to place our trust in our Lord, Exalted and Most High.

Living up to these principles is what’s going to enable us as a community to navigate any difficult time. And for us this is really what it’s all about. In the society outside this door, when you walk out through the streets, when you meet and greet people ,when you’re in the store, when you’re at work, when you’re at school, I just have a plea.

Please remember that whether you realize it or not there will be people looking at you. There will be people that take their understanding of Islam based upon how you interact with them. I just want you to remember that people like myself who didn’t know anything about Islam, if we would have met people who brought a bad name to Islam, how would we have entered into this Din?

This is an absolute responsibility upon the shoulders of every single person in this room. No one is exempt – man woman and even children, although they’re not taken to account until they become legally responsible. We are required to have principled engagement. What is principled engagement? It is that we immerse ourselves in the meanings of Iman, in the meanings of Islam, and in the meanings of Ihsan. Then we engage based upon these principles.

We make contributions in every situation or circumstance that we find ourselves in. It’s very simple there’s people think that there’s some type of overly sophisticated, complicated, philosophical way that we need to be in the societies in which we live. Yes, there is an element of strategy that needs a lot of thought. However, it’s very simple. As believers we very simply need to be.

Try to Just Be Muslim

If we would just be in all the meanings of being – bringing to life the Sunna of our Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, that would speak with mute eloquence, much more eloquently than anything else that we could say merely on the tongue. Our actions would speak much louder than our words, and what would happen then is that the light of the teachings of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him – which is the secret of the penetration of Iman and it’s absorption in the heart of individual – would spread amongst the peoples’ hearts that are around.

Our Lord speaks about “the one who was dead and We brought him back to life,” and then what? That “We brought him back to life and We made him light spread amongst people.” If you look at the way that this is expressed, it is that light flows and it emanates in mankind (fi al-nas).” And for those for whom it has been preordained, they’re going to accept that guidance. It will come to their hearts.

The more that we live up to these teachings, that we live up to these principles, the more people will experience the beauty of “la ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad rasul Allah.” By Allah! There is nothing more beautiful than this Din. There is nothing more beautiful than the way of our Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, his Sunna and all of his teachings.

What we’re required to do is to embrace that beauty so we become beautified through it. To embrace that light so we become enlightened through it. And then share it freely with people, inwardly and outwardly, and see ourselves as servants of all of humanity. If we did this we would see amazing things.


This article is a edited transcript of a Friday sermon given by Shaykh Yahya Rhodus at London Muslim Mosque as part of the Age of Anger – Southern Ontario Tour, April 2017.


 

Passing Thoughts and Sins of the Heart

Ustadh Farid Dingle is asked if inappropriate passing thoughts about Allah are sinful.

Do demonic or comical thoughts about Allah take one out of the fold of Islam?

Actively bringing such an image or ideation to mind would be sinful. It merely coming across one’s mind has no ruling. Believing it would be disbelief.

Please also see Types of Thought, Blasphemy, and Sin.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

The Quandary of Disbelief

Shaykh Farid Dingle gives advice to a person who is struggling with the problem of disbelief, why Allah is as He is, and how one justifies this to oneself.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I’ve spent most of my life following Islamic principles with a devoted love toward Allah and often myself able to find answers to many of the perplexing questions about faith that many people have, except for one. No matter how much ways I’ve attempted to look at this question through theology, philosophy, or simple common sense, the math doesn’t seem to add up, and I’m hoping for a helping hand in getting through this hard question that’s starting to shake my soul in recent months.

I don’t see any logical reason for suffering or disobedience or evil, except for one consideration: Allah willed to be known (Hadith Qudsi), so He created us. He created evil (pain) so that we’d know what existence would be without Him, since knowing is not the same as wisdom, which is experience. It would be like trying to describe what an orange tastes like to someone who never tried it and the way we exist as creation is through our senses, so we’d have to actually eat an orange to understand it.

But that still doesn’t explain the reason for creating people He already knew would end up in Hell, because that would be essentially creating them to belong in Hell, and it doesn’t fit with the conceptualization that a Just, Compassionate, and Wise Lord would create something just to torture it for eternity. That’s sadism.

Why would Allah create those He knew, in His Eternal Knowledge, would disobey Him and even disbelieve in Him, thereby condemning them to Hell forever before they are even brought into existence?

Is there any guidance for me through this?

Jazak Allah khayr.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Dear questioner, the mind is a tool to help us understand what Allah wants us to do, not necessarily to understand what He is or why He does things.

The key issue that I can see in your question is that Allah’s creating people who are destined to the Hell-Fire necessitates sadism. This is not true. Allah has a wisdom in doing what he does, and that is enough: “He is not asked about what He does, but they will be asked.” (Sura al-Anbiya 21:23)

We should use our mind to eliminate foolish beliefs from our mind, and foolish actions. That is the limit of the mind.

Rather than trying to find a justification for what Allah does, we should focus on ourselves. We should think about our deeds and our ultimate end, and think about what we have to say for ourselves when we stand before Allah on Judgment Day.

My advice to you would be to work on the quality of your prayer by thanking Allah when you say, “Alhamdulillahi rabbil alamin,” and in your prostration. Thank him for your existence, your faith, your well-being, safety and wealth. Try to feel the verse of the Quran, the words that will be said when all is done and dusted on Judgment Day, “And the last thing they will say is, ‘All praise and thanks be to Allah, Cherishing Lord of all beings.’” (Sura Yunus 10:10)

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Studying Philosophy in a Secular University

Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: I have an interest in studying Philosophy after my Undergraduate degree, but have heard that many times the ideas presented in secular philosophy courses lead young people away from Islam.

I hope to one day become a seeker of Islamic knowledge, I’m diligent in my salah, fast occasionally and try to be good to my parents and family. So, I’m an average Muslim with no scholarly background. What is your advice about studying philosophy at a Secular university?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

I would strongly advise you to not study philosophy in a secular university until and unless you have a strong foundation in traditional Islamic studies, particularly theology and spirituality. Even then, one must be careful and always consult senior scholars and spiritual mentors.

We have seen too many cases of people getting confused, and even losing their faith (Allah forbid), by studying philosophy without a solid foundation in traditional Islamic studies. I say ‘traditional’ because even studying ‘Islamic studies’ in a secular university is dangerous unless one has a strong foundation and adequate time spent with righteous inheritors of our Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him)

For a more detailed discussion, you can read some of the related works of Hujjat al-Islam Imam Ghazali, particularly his “Munqidh min al-Dalal” (Deliverance from Error). As the Imam points out, it is not that the philosophers have strong arguments for their disbelief. Rather there are many secondary issues that might confuse one who is ill-equipped, causing him to be open to their positions of disbelief.

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Allah’s Relationship with Time and Space

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: If Allah’s power enters time and space, such as in our lives, and Allah’s power is a part of him, then why could Allah not incarnate himself in the form of a human on this earth?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

Allah Most High is transcendent above any quality of His creation, including existing within time or space, as that would entail being limited.

Imam Tahawi states in his well-known creed, “Contrary to all created things, He is well exalted above limits, end points, pillars, or limbs; and the six directions do not encompass Him.”

Allah Himself states, “There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him, and He is all-hearing, all-seeing” (42:11), as well as “No one at all is equivalent or similar to Him” (112:4).

Divine Attributes

As for divine power (qudra), it is a timeless attribute ascribed to Allah’s entity. It is one of Allah’s seven affirmative attributes (sifat al-ma`ani), which are: power, will, knowledge, life, speech, hearing and sight.

All of these attributes are ascribed to the divine entity and are hence timeless, having no beginning or end. Therefore, they do not ‘enter’ creation or our lives. Rather, in the language of our theologians, they have what are termed ‘associations’ (ta`alluqat).

Divine power, for example, is ‘associated’ with everything conceivable: He brings into existence, or takes out of existence, whatever He wills of things conceivable. The created things are in time and space. The divine attribute is eternal, without beginning, end, or change.

How Exactly It Works

As for the nature of these associations, that is a realm the mind cannot penetrate. The exact relationship between the timeless attribute of divine power and its temporal effects in creation is one of the mysteries of the cosmos. And despite the amazing nuance of our theology, it remains a theology of humility and embracing our own limits. Trying to enter such realms causes only problems and misgivings.

As the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “Reflect on creation, but do not reflect on the Creator, for verily you cannot give Him due estimation.” [Abu Shaykh]

We cannot ‘encompass’ the Divine, but the Divine fully encompasses us. As Imam Tahawi states, “Thoughts cannot reach Him, and minds cannot grasp Him.”

Or in the words of Allah Himself, “Sight cannot reach Him, but He reaches all sight. And He is ever-subtle, fully aware” (6:103).

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Related Answers and Courses:

A Reader on Understanding the Attributes of Allah

Islamic Beliefs for Seekers: Dardir’s Kharidah Explained

Did the Maliki Jurist Ibn Abi Zayd Believe Allah is Literally Above the Throne?

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah

 

After studying for a while and increasing my understanding in many issues, one issue still causes me confusion, and that is the issue of Allah and the ‘Arsh. I accept the verses of the Qur’an as they are about this matter and do not even translate them but accept them “bi la kayf”. However, I came across a translation of Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani’s Risalah. In that translation it mentions on page 18: “He is upon His glorious throne by His essence, yet is in every place by His knowledge.”

 

The main confusion I have is over the expression “bi dhatihi”. Why did the Shaykh mention this in this way. As far as I know, no verse of the Qur’an or Hadith uses this expression. I have asked two scholars about this issue but neither of them explained it. Also, I feel a bit uncomfortable about asking as Imam Malik censured a questioner for asking about the ‘Arsh. I just want an explanation of why al-Qayrawani used this expression. I only know a tiny bit of Arabic so I cannot access the Arabic commentaries.

 

 

Answer: This is a very good question and one that is essential for all serious seekers of knowledge to know what the scholars have said about this. The line that you are referring to from the Beliefs portion of the Risala of Ibn Abi Zayd is one that has caused numerous discussion among scholars and students from past and present. The line, in most available copies reads, “And He [Allah] is above the Throne al majeed bi dhatihi.” I have left untranslated the words “al majeed bi dhatihi” because that is where there must be a discussion.

Allah is Not Contained by a Direction

The main problem in the line is that it could lead someone to believe that Allah is in a direction, which goes against the belief of Ahlus Sunna wal jama’ah. Imam Al Tahawiyy says in his widely accepted book on the beliefs of Islam, “He [Allah] is not contained by the six directions” [Al-Tahawiyy, Aqidatul Tahawiyya]. Some of the Maliki scholars, such as Sidi Ahmed Zarruq, have said that the line in the Risala that indicates Allah being in a direction (above the Throne) is something that was added in by deviant people and it was not part of the original manuscript [Zarruq, Sharh al Risala]. This is one explanation for the line that is given by the commentators of the Risala.

Metaphorical Aboveness

If we are to assume that Ibn Abi Zayd actually wrote the line, then the explanation given by the Maliki scholars is that he meant “above” in a metaphorical sense and not a literal sense. In other words, that Allah is above the need of the throne or that He is above it in grandness. They say that Ibn Abi Zayd could not have meant it in a literal sense because that would make him from the people that believe Allah to be in a particular direction, which is a deviant belief. We know that Allah does not resemble creation and that directions are a part of creation. One of the most basic principles of belief is that “Everything that you can conceive, Allah is different than that.”

Why Would Ibn Abi Zayd Use the Word “Above”?

Sidi Ahmed Zarruq, may Allah be pleased with him, said that one of the explanations of why Ibn Abi Zayd would say that Allah is “above” His Throne is that there were people at in his time that believed Allah to be on earth. These people were the ‘Ubaydiyyah, also known as the Isma’ilis, and were deviant in many aspects of their belief and practice including believing that one of their rulers was God. Therefore, Ibn Abi Zayd was using this line to teach people that Allah is not on earth and he is above, in a way similar to the slave woman who was asked where Allah was [Zarruq, Sharh al Risala].

“Al Majeed bi dhatihi.” Honorable Owner or Honorable Throne?

Another issue with the line is understanding where the adjective of the word honorable (majeed) is linked to. If we say that Honorable is an adjective to the word Throne, then the line would read as, “And He is above the Honorable Throne in His essence.” This would be a very strong statement indicating that Allah, in His Essence, is above the Throne and we would have to go through our list of explanations for the use of this phrase. But, if we look at the word Honorable as an adjective for Allah, the line would read as, “And He, Honorable is His essence, is above His throne,” and it would not be as easily interpreted that Allah is literally above the throne. To decide on what it is an adjective for, we can look at the ayah in 85:15 where Allah uses “majeed” to describe Himself and not the throne. Since Ibn Abi Zayd was using many verses and Hadiths in his section on creed, we would use the verse from the Quran as a guide to understand the grammar of the text’s line.

Above in the Quran

One thing to note is that although the line in the Risala uses the preposition “fawq” in Arabic to describe Allah in relation to the Throne, nowhere in the Quran do we find this preposition used with the Throne. In the Quran, all the verses that speak about the Throne use the preposition “ala.” So, if one is to stay true to the texts of the Quran and Hadith, saying “fawq al arsh” is not acceptable. Many people that believe Allah to be in a direction use the line of Ibn Abi Zayd as a proof. The response should be that we use the verse as it is and say “ala”. Then, we have to understand that the prepositions can have literal and metaphorical interpretations.

One place where the preposition “fawq” is used is in the verse 48:10 but it is not in relation to the Throne. The people that believe Allah to be in a direction say that this preposition of “fawq” (above) is metaphorical, yet when they read the preposition “ala” for the throne, they say it is literal and that Allah is literally on His throne. They have contradicted themselves by allowing metaphorical interpretation sometimes and other times not. Contradiction is a sign of falsehood as truth does not contradict itself (Quran 4:82).

One last thing I would like for those who believe Allah to be in a direction to ponder on is the nature of our universe. When a person stands upon the earth and says that Allah is in a direction and points up, that up is the down of the person on the other side of the earth. So, if Allah is up for you, does that mean that He is below the person on the other side of the Earth? Allah is exalted above what people falsely ascribe to Him.

Rami Nsour

Related Answers:

How Do We Understand the Hadith Stating that Allah Descends to the Lowest Heaven in the Last Third of Every Night?

What Is Our Stance Regarding the Statement of Some That Allah “Sits” on the Throne?

Is There a Way to Physically Describe Allah?

The Purpose of Our Lives and the Prophet Jesus

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: What do Muslims live and die for and how do they get to heaven? How does Islam differ from Christianity in regards to Prophet Jesus, peace and blessings be upon him?

 

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful

Assalamu alaikum,

Thank you for your question.

I would suggest looking into taking an Islamic theology class with SeekersGuidance. Your questions go back to the very foundations of this religion.

Muslims, like all other human beings, were created to live purposeful lives so that when death overtakes them they leave this world in a state of obedience to God. In the Qur’an, God has promised an eternal reward for those who believe in Him and follow His guidance. Jesus, peace and blessings be upon him, was an honored prophet and messenger who brought a message whose essence was later reflected in the teachings of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.

May Allah reward you,

Zaynab Ansari

Does the Mahdi Have a Higher Rank Than Prophet `Isa (Peace be upon him)?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: There are various aḥādīth that state that Mahdi [عليه السلام‎] will come and rectify Islam. I also understand that he will lead ʿĪsā [عليه السلام‎] along with others in salah, does this mean that Mahdi [عليه السلام‎] has a higher ranking than that of ʿĪsā [عليه السلام‎]?

If this is correct, does this mean that Mahdi [عليه السلام‎] has a higher status than other Prophets, except of course the Prophet Muhammad?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

No, the Mahdi does not have a higher rank than the Prophets (Allah bless them all).

The line of reasoning mentioned in the question is not valid as the very premise that the mere act of leading another in prayer indicates superiority is not sound.

This is an addition to the fact that:

(a) The narrations on the issue mentioning our liege-lord `Isa (Allah bless him) praying behind an individual of this community, though sound, are probabilistic in their establishment and indication and as such cannot be used to formulate a point of belief (if it indicated one) that goes contrary to decisive texts.

(b) These very narrations indicate the reason for our liege-lord `Isa’s (Allah bless him) refusal to lead prayer when offered to do so, namely to show how Allah has honored the community of Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace). Thus, when requested to lead he will reply, “No, for some of you are leaders upon others out of Allah’s honoring this community.” [Muslim]

(c) The fact that our liege-lord `Isa (Allah bless him) was offered to lead indicates that people understood his superiority over all others. His refusal was on account of other considerations as mentioned above.

Superiority of Prophets over Non-Prophetic Figures

There are a number of proofs from both the Qur’an and sayings of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) that demonstrate the superiority of a prophet over non-prophetic saints.

Proofs From the Qur’an

1. The statement of Allah Most High after naming numerous prophets, “each one We preferred above all beings.” (6:86)

Imam Baydawi in his commentary on this verse states, “there is proof in this for their superiority over those other than them from among created things.” [Anwar al-Tanzil]

The reason for this, as Imam Razi clarifies, is that the word used in the Qur’an is “`aalamin”, which refers to every existent thing apart from Allah. This includes non-Prophetic saints as well, as there is no proof that they are exempted from the general purport indicated by the word “`aalamin” within this verse.

Further, this verse also shows the superiority of a single prophet over non-prophetic saints as the purpose of the verse is not to state that all prophets together are given preference and superiority over all of creation but that a single prophet, on account of being given the duty of prophethood, is superior to all other created things who are not prophets.

2. The statement of Allah Most High, “God chose Adam and Noah and the House of Abraham and the House of Imran above all beings.” (3:33)

3. The statement of Allah Most High, “Whosoever obeys God, and the Messenger – they are with those whom God has blessed, Prophets, just men, martyrs, the righteous; good companions are they.” (4:69)

This verse indicates four ranks among those blessed by Allah, with the Prophets (Allah bless them) coming foremost.

Proofs From the Statements of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace)

1. Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas said, “I stated, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, which person is most afflicted [in this world]?’ He replied, ‘The messengers then the most superior and then the most superior after them.’” [Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ahmad (with a sound chain according to Ahmad Shakir)]

This narration clearly shows that the messengers are the most superior of all people as affliction has been made commensurate to one’s superiority in the religion.

2. The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Allah selected my companions over all created things apart from the messengers and prophets.” [Bazzar]

If the companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) are superior to all created things apart from those Allah sent as messengers, it logically follows that these messengers are superior to all created things including the companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace).

All of the above goes to show that the rank of a prophet is superior to the rank of a non-prophetic figure. As Imam Mahdi is a non-prophetic figure, it is contrary to our creed to consider him superior to our liege-lord `Isa (Allah bless him).

Salman

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani