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A Comprehensive Compilation of Reliable Narrations

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3 hours ago, Islamic Salvation said:

That is the end of كتاب الرجال (Book of Narrators) --- Next is كتاب التوحيد (Book of Divine Unity) 

       - The blessed night of the Wilada of the Wasi - 13th Rajab 1439 AH 

JazakAllah Khayran Brother, May Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى bless you and give you mercy. You are in my prayers.

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كتاب التوحيد

The Book of Divine Unity

 

4.1. Divine Unity and Negation of any Partnership in Essence, Creation, Worship and Regulation of the Universe

https://sites.google.com/site/mujamalahadith/vol1/book-of-divine-unity/divine-unity-and-negation-of-any-partnership-in-essence-creation-worship-and-regulation-of-the-universe

 

[1/298] التوحيد: ابن إدريس، عن أبيه، عن ابن هاشم، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن هشام بن سالم قال: سئل أبو عبد الله عليه السلام فقيل له: بم عرفت ربك؟ قال: بفسخ العزم ونقض الهم، عزمت ففسخ عزمي، وهممت فنقض همي

[1/298] al-Tawhid: Ibn Idris from his father from Ibn Hashim from Ibn Abi Umayr from Hisham b. Salim who said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام was asked: By what (thing) did you know your Lord? He said: By the dissolution of resolutions and the invalidation of plans. I resolved but He dissolved my resolution and I planned but He invalidated my plan. 

 

[2/299] التوحيد ومعاني الاخبار: أبي، عن محمد العطار، عن ابن عيسى، عن أبي هاشم الجعفري قال: سألت أبا جعفر الثاني عليه السلام ما معنى الواحد؟ قال: المجتمع عليه بجميع الالسن بالوحدانية

[2/299] al-Tawhid and Ma’ani al-Akhbar: My father from Muhammad al-Attar from Ibn Isa from Abi Hashim al-Ja’fari who said: I asked Aba Ja’far the Second عليه السلام - what is the meaning of ‘the One’? He said: Whose Oneness is united upon in all tongues (languages).

NOTES:

Any human who is upon the undistorted Fitra (primordial nature) when asked a fundamental questions like - who created you - will always return to the ‘One being’. As the verse says: 

وَلَئِنْ سَأَلْتَهُمْ مَنْ خَلَقَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ

And if you were to ask them about who created them - they will say Allah (43:87)

 

[3/300] العلل: أبي، عن سعد، عن ابن عيسى، عن محمد البرقي، عن حماد بن عيسى، عن حريز، عن جعفر بن محمد عليهما السلام في قول الله عزوجل: وَقَالُوا لا تَذَرُنَّ آلِهَتَكُمْ وَلا تَذَرُنَّ وَدًّا وَلا سُوَاعًا وَلا يَغُوثَ وَيَعُوقَ وَنَسْرًا ، قال: كانوا يعبدون الله عزوجل فماتوا فضج قومهم وشق ذلك عليهم، فجاءهم إبليس لعنه الله فقال لهم: أتخذ لكم أصناما على صورهم فتنظرون إليهم وتأنسون بهم وتعبدون الله، فأعد لهم أصناما على مثالهم فكانوا يعبدون الله عزوجل، وينظرون إلى تلك الاصنام، فلما جاءهم الشتاء والامطار أدخلوا الاصنام البيوت فلم يزالوا يعبدون الله عزوجل حتى هلك ذلك القرن ونشأ أولادهم، فقالوا: إن آباءنا كانوا يعبدون هؤلاء، فعبدوهم من دون الله عزوجل، فذلك قول الله تبارك و تعالى: وَلا تَذَرُنَّ وَدًّا وَلا سُوَاعًا

[3/300] al-Ilal: My father from Sa’d from Ibn Isa from Muhammad al-Barqi from Hammad b. Isa from Hariz from Ja’far b. Muhammad عليهما السلام about the words of Allah Mighty and Majestic: “They said: do not abandon your gods. Do not abandon Wadd, Suwa’, Yaghuth, Ya’uq and Nasr” (71:23) - He said: They (the people named in the verse) used to worship Allah Mighty and Majestic then they died. Their people cried out (because of that) and it weighed heavily on them. Iblis - curse of Allah be upon him - came to them and said: ‘I will make idols for you in their image, you will look at them and obtain comfort while continuing to worship Allah’. He made for them idols in their likeness. They used to worship Allah Mighty and Majestic and look upon those idols. When winter and the rains came they transferred the idols inside their houses. They continued worshipping Allah Mighty and Majestic until that generation died out and their sons grew up. They (the second generation) said: ‘Our fathers used to worship these (idols)’ so they began worshipping them instead of Allah Mighty and Majestic. This then is the interpretation of the words of Allah Blessed and Elevated: “Do not abandon Wadd nor Suwa’a …”        

 

[4/301] التوحيد: أبي، عن سعد، عن ابن عيسى، عن ابن فضال، عن الحلبي وزرارة، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: إن الله تبارك وتعالى أحد صمد، ليس له جوف، وإنما الروح خلق من خلقه نصر وتأييد وقوة يجعله الله في قلوب الرسل والمؤمنين

[4/301] al-Tawhid: My father from Sa’d from Ibn Isa from Ibn Fadhal from al-Halabi and Zurara from Abi Abdillahعليه السلام  who said: Allah Blessed and Elevated is One, Compact, He does not have any hollowness, while the spirit (al-Ruh) is a creation from among His creations and is an aid, support and power which Allah places in the hearts of the messengers and believers.

 

[5/302] التوحيد: أبي، عن سعد، عن إبراهيم بن هاشم، ويعقوب بن يزيد، عن ابن فضال، عن ابن بكير، عن زرارة، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: سمعته وهو يقول في قوله عزوجل: وَلَهُ أَسْلَمَ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا قال: هو توحيدهم لله عزوجل

[5/302] al-Tawhid: My father from Sa’d from Ibrahim b. Hashim from Ya’qub b. Yazid from Ibn Fadhal from Ibn Bukayr from Zurara from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام. He (Zurara) said: I heard him (the Imam) saying about His words Mighty and Majestic: “and to Him have submitted whomsoever is in the heavens and the earth whether willingly or unwillingly” (3:83) - this is their acknowledgment of Oneness to Allah Mighty and Majestic. 

 

[6/303] الكافي: أحمد بن إدريس، عن محمد بن عبدالجبار، عن صفوان بن يحيى، عن أبي أيوب، عن محمد بن مسلم، عن أبي عبدالله عليه السلام قال: إن اليهود سألوا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله فقالوا: انسب لنا ربك فلبث ثلاثا لا يجيبهم ثم نزل قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ إلى آخرها

[6/303] al-Kafi: Ahmad b. Idris from Muhammad b. Abd al-Jabbar from Safwan b. Yahya from Abi Ayyub from Muhammad b. Muslim from Abi Abdillahعليه السلام  who said: The Jews asked the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله saying: Relate for us the genealogy of your Lord. He (the prophet) remained three days not answering them then it was revealed “Say: He is Allah the One” to its end (112:1-4).

 

[7/304] الكافي: علي بن إبراهيم، عن محمد بن عيسى بن عبيد، عن الحسن بن محبوب، عن ابن رئاب وعن غير واحد، عن أبي عبدالله عليه السلام قال: من عبدالله بالتوهم فقد كفر ومن عبد الاسم دون المعنى فقد كفر، ومن عبد الاسم والمعنى فقد أشرك، ومن عبد المعنى بإيقاع الاسماء عليه بصفاته التي وصف بها نفسه فعقد عليه قلبه ونطق به لسانه في سرائره وعلانيته فأولئك أصحاب أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام حقا. وفي حديث آخر: اولئك هم المؤمنون حقا

[7/304] al-Kafi: Ali b. Ibrahim from Muhammad b. Isa b. Ubayd from al-Hasan b. Mahbub from Ibn Riab and more than one from Abi Abdillahعليه السلام  who said: Whoever worships Allah by imagining him then he has disbelieved. Whoever worships the name and not the meaning (essence behind the name) then he has disbelieved. Whoever worships both the name and the meaning then he has associated (God with another). Whoever worships the meaning (only) while applying the names to Him, which are His attributes which He described Himself by, setting his heart upon that, expressing it by his tongue, both in public and secret, then such are the true companions of the Commander of the Faithful عليه السلام. And in another report: those are the true believers.  

NOTES:

This narration and others with a similar theme (see below) indicate that one of the philosophical controversies at the time of the Imams was whether a Name is identical with that which is Named. This controversy erupted within the context of the attempts to reconcile the plurality of the attributes of God with His singular being. 

 

[8/305] الكافي: علي بن إبراهيم، عن العباس بن معروف، عن عبدالرحمن بن أبي نجران قال: كتبت إلى أبي جعفر عليه السلام أو قلت له: جعلني الله فداك نعبد الرحمن الرحيم الواحد الاحد الصمد؟ قال: فقال: إن من عبد الاسم دون المسمى بالاسماء أشرك وكفر و جحد ولم يعبد شيئا بل اعبدالله الواحد الاحد الصمد المسمى بهذه الاسماء دون الاسماء إن الاسماء صفات وصف بها نفسه

[8/305] al-Kafi: Ali b. Ibrahim from al-Abbas b. Ma’ruf from Abd al-Rahman b. Abi Najran who said: I wrote to Abi Ja’far عليه السلام or I said to him: May Allah make me your ransom - Do we worship The Beneficent, The Merciful, The Unique, The One, The Eternal? He said: Whoever worships the name and not the one named has polythesized, disbelieved, denied and has not worshipped anything. Rather worship Allah the Unique, The One, The Eternal who is called by these names and not the names (themselves). The names are attributes which He has described Himself by.       

 

[9/306] الكافي: علي بن إبراهيم، عن محمد بن عيسى، عن يونس، عن عبدالله بن مسكان عن أبي عبدالله عليه السلام في قول الله عزوجل: حَنِيفًا مُسْلِمًا قال: خالصا مخلصا ليس فيه شئ من عبادة الاوثان

[9/306] al-Kafi: Ali b. Ibrahim from Muhammad b. Isa from Yunus from Abdallah b. Muskan from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام about the words of Allah Mighty and Majestic: “(Ibrahim was) a Hanif, a Muslim” (3:67). He said: sincere and devoted, not having in it (his faith) anything whatsoever of the worship of idols.

 

[10/307] الكافي: علي بن إبراهيم، عن أبيه، عن النضر بن سويد، عن هشام بن الحكم أنه سأل أبا عبدالله عليه السلام عن أسماء الله واشتقاقها: الله مما هو مشتق؟ قال: فقال لي: يا هشام الله مشتق من إله والاله يقتضي مألوها والاسم غير المسمى، فمن عبد الاسم دون المعنى فقد كفر ولم يعبد شيئا، ومن عبد الاسم والمعنى فقد كفر وعبد اثنين، ومن عبد المعنى دون الاسم فذاك التوحيد أفهمت يا هشام؟ قال: فقلت: زدني قال: إن لله تسعة وتسعين اسما فلو كان الاسم هو المسمى لكان كل اسم منها إلها ولكن الله معنى يدل عليه بهذه الاسماء وكلها غيره، يا هشام الخبز اسم للمأكول والماء اسم للمشروب والثوب اسم للملبوس والنار اسم للمحرق أفهمت يا هشام فهما تدفع به وتناضل به أعداء نا والمتخذين مع الله عزوجل غيره؟ قلت: نعم، قال: فقال: نفعك الله به وثبتك يا هشام، قال هشام فوالله ما قهرني أحد في التوحيد حتى قمت مقامي هذا
 

[10/307] al-Kafi: Ali b. Ibrahim from his father from al-Nadhr b. Suwayd from Hisham b. al-Hakam - that he asked Aba Abdillah عليه السلام about the Names of Allah and their derivation saying: What is Allah derived from? He (Hisham) said: so he (the Imam) said to me: O Hisham, ‘Allah’ is derived from ‘ilah’ and ‘al-ilah’ connotes the one who is worshipped. The name is other than the named. Whoever worships the name without the meaning then he has disbelieved and has not worshipped anything. Whoever worships the name and the meaning then he has disbelieved and worshipped two (distinct things). Whoever worships the meaning without the name then that is true monotheism. Have you understood O Hisham? He (Hisham) said: I said: increase for me. He said: Allah has ninety nine names, if the name was identical to what is named then every name among these (ninety-nine) would be a god, rather Allah is a meaning to which these names point to, and each one of them is other than him. O Hisham, ‘bread’ is a name for what is eaten, ‘water’ is a name for what is drunk, ‘clothes’ is a name for what is worn, ‘fire’ is a name for what burns, have you understood Hisham? an understanding through which you can repel and defeat our enemies and those who betake others apart from Allah Mighty and Majestic. I said: Yes. He said: May Allah benefit you by it and make you firm O Hisham. Hisham said: by Allah no one has defeated me on the subject of Tawhid to this day when I stand in the position I do.    

NOTES:

This narration proves that the name ‘Allah’ (الله) is derived from ‘al-Ilah’ (الاله) which was contracted because of frequent usage. ‘Ilah’ is a verbal-noun from the verb ‘alaha’ (اله) - ‘he worshipped’. It works on paradigm of al-fi’al (الفعال) with meaning of al-maf’ul (المفعول). Thus ‘al-Ilah’ (الاله) has the meaning of the object-noun ‘al-Ma’luh’(المألوه)  i.e. ‘worshipped one’ just as ‘al-Imam’(الامام)  has the meaning of the object-noun ‘al-Mu’tam’ (به المؤتم) i.e. ‘followed one’.

 

[11/308] التوحيد: ابن الوليد، عن الصفار، عن ابن عيسى، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن هشام بن الحكم قال: قلت لابي عبد الله عليه السلام ما الدليل على أن الله واحد؟ قال: اتصال التدبير وتمام الصنع، كما قال عزوجل: لَوْ كَانَ فِيهِمَا آَلِهَةٌ إِلَّا اللَّهُ لَفَسَدَتَا
 

[11/308] al-Tawhid: Ibn al-Walid from al-Saffar from Ibn Isa from Ibn Abi Umayr from Hisham b. al-Hakam who said: I said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام: What is the proof that Allah is one? He said: the continuing regulation (of the universe) and the perfection in creation, as the Mighty and Majestic said: “if there were in them other gods apart from Allah then they (the heavens and the earth) would have fallen apart” (21:22)

 

[12/309] قصص الانبياء: بالاسناد عن الصدوق رحمه الله، عن ابن المتوكل، عن الحميري، عن ابن عيسى، عن ابن محبوب، عن الاحول، عن بريد بن معاوية قال: سمعت أبا جعفر عليه السلام يقول في مسجد النبي صلى الله عليه وآله: إن إبليس اللعين هو أول من صور صورة على مثال آدم عليه السلام ليفتن به الناس، ويضلهم من عبادة الله تعالى، وكان ود في ولد قابيل وكان خليفة قابيل على ولده وعلى من بحضرتهم في سفح الجبل يعظمونه ويسودونه، فلما أن مات ود جزع عليه إخوته وخلف عليهم إبنا يقال له: " سواع " فلم يغن غناء أبيه منهم فأتاهم ابليس في صورة شيخ فقال: قد بلغني ما أصبتم به من موت ود عظيمكم، فهل لكم في أن اصور لكم على مثال ود صورة تستريحون إليها وتأنسون بها ؟ قالوا: افعل. فعمد الخبيث إلى الآنك فأذابه حتى صار مثل الماء، ثم صور لهم صورة مثال ود في بيته فتدافعوا على الصورة يلثمونها ويضعون خدودهم عليها ويسجدون لها، وأحب سواع أن يكون التعظيم والسجود له، فوثب على صورة ود فحكها حتى لم يدع منها شيئا، وهموا بقتل سواع، فوعظهم وقال: أنا أقوم لكم بما كان يقوم به ود، وأنا ابنه، فإن قتلتموني لم يكن لكم رئيس، فمالوا إلى سواع بالطاعة والتعظيم فلم يلبث سواع أن مات، وخلف إبنا يقال له: " يغوث " فجزعوا على سواع فأتاهم إبليس وقال: أنا الذي صورت لكم صورة ود، فهل لكم أن أجعل لكم مثال سواع على وجه لا يستطيع أحد أن يغيره؟ قالوا: فافعل، فعمد إلى عود فنجره ونصبه لهم في منزل سواع، وإنا سمي ذلك العود خلافا، لان إبليس عمل صورة سواع على خلاف صورة ود، قال: فسجدوا له وعظموه، وقالوا ليغوث: ما نأمنك على هذا الصنم أن تكيده كما كاد أبوك مثال ود، فوضعوا على البيت حراسا وحجابا، ثم كانوا يأتون الصنم في يوم واحد، ويعظمونه أشد ما كانوا يعظمون سواعا، فلما رأي ذلك يغوث قتل الحرسة والحجاب ليلا، وجعل الصنم رميما، فلما بلغهم ذلك أقبلوا ليقتلوه فتوارى منهم إلى أن طلبوه ورأسوه وعظموه ثم مات وخلف إبنا يقال له: يعوق فأتاهم إبليس فقال: قد بلغني موت يغوث، وأنا جاعل لكم مثاله في شئ لا يقدر أحد أن يغيره قالوا: فافعل، فعمد الخبيث إلى حجر أبيض فنقره بالحديد حتى صور لهم مثال يغوث فعظموه أشد مما مضى، وبنوا عليه بيتا من حجر، وتبايعوا أن لا يفتحوا باب ذلك البيت إلا في رأس كل سنة، وسميت البيعة يومئذ لانهم تبايعوا وتعاقدوا عليه، فاشتد ذلك على يعوق فعمد إلى ريطة وخلق فألقاها في الحائر، ثم رماها بالنار ليلا فأصبح القوم وقد احترق البيت والصنم والحرس وأرفض الصنم ملقى فجزعوا وهموا بقتل يعوق فقال لهم: إن قتلتم رئيسكم فسدت اموركم، فكفوا فلم يلبث أن مات يعوق وخلف إبنا يقال له: نسر، فأتاهم إبليس فقال: بلغني موت عظيمكم فأنا جاعل لكم مثال يعوق في شئ لا يبلى فقالوا: افعل فعمد إلى الذهب وأوقد عليه النار حتى صار كالماء، وعمل مثالا من الطين على صورة يعوق ثم أفرغ الذهب فيه، ثم نصبه لهم في ديرهم واشتد ذلك على نسر، ولم يقدر على دخول تلك الدير فانحاز عنهم في فرقة قليلة من إخوته يعبدون نسرا، والآخرون يعبدون الصنم حتى مات نسر، وظهرت نبوة إدريس فبلغه حال القوم وأنهم يعبدون جسما على مثال يعوق، وأن نسرا كان يعبد من دون الله، فسار إليهم بمن معه حتى نزل مدينة نسروهم فيها فهزمهم، وقتل من قتل، وهرب من هرب فتفرقوا في البلاد، وأمر بالصنم فحمل وألقى في البحر، فاتخذت كل فرقة منهم صنما، وسموها بأسمائها فلم يزالوا بعد ذلك قرنا بعد قرن لا يعرفون إلا تلك الاسماء ثم ظهرت نبوة نوح عليه السلام فدعاهم إلى عبادة الله وحده، وترك ما كانوا يعبدون من الاصنام، فقال بعضهم: لا تذرن آلهتكم ولا تذرن ودا ولا سواعا ولا يغوث ويعوق ونسرا

[12/309] Qasas al-Anbiya: Via his chain to al-Saduq from Ibn al-Mutawakkil from al-Himyari from Ibn Isa from Ibn Mahbub from al-Ahwal from Burayd b. Muawiya who said: I heard Aba Ja’far عليه السلام saying in the Masjid of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله: Iblis the accursed was the first to fashion an image in the likeness of Adam so that he could tempt the humans and divert them from the worship of Allah the Elevated. 

Wadd was one of the sons of Qabil and his (Qabil’s) successor over the rest of his siblings and all those living nearby at the foot of the mountain. They would all revere and follow him. When Wadd died his brothers mourned him greatly. He had placed over them a son called Suwa’ as his successor. But he (Suwa’) could not reach the stature of his father in their estimation. Iblis came to them in the form of an old man and said: ‘I have come to know of your suffering because of the death of Wadd your great one. What would you say if I were to fashion an image in the likeness of Wadd from which you could seek comfort and ease?’ They said: ‘Do it’. 

The Repulsive One directed himself to lead and melted it until it became liquid. Then he fashioned for them an image in the likeness of Wadd in his house. They turned to the image and began kissing it, and placing their cheeks upon it, and prostrating to it. However, Suwa’ wished that the veneration and prostration be for him, so he sprang upon the image and started scraping it until he had left nothing of it. They (the people) were driven to kill Suwa’ but he admonished them saying: ‘I take the place that was taken by Wadd, I am his son, if you kill me then you will have no chief!’ They inclined to Suwa’ in obeying and showing reverence to him.  Suwa’ did not stay long and died. He left behind a son called Yaghuth. They grieved over Suwa’ and Iblis came to them and said: ‘I am the one who fashioned for you an image of Wadd. What do you say to me making for you (an image) in the likeness of Suwa’ in a way that no one will be able to change it?’ They said: ‘Do it’.         

He directed himself to wood and hewed it then fixed it in the house of Suwa’. That wood was called Khilaf (‘opposite’) because Iblis fashioned the image in an opposite way to (how he had done with) the image of Wadd. He (the Imam) said: they prostrated to him and venerated him. They said to Yaghuth: ‘We do not trust you over this idol, you might scheme against it the way your father schemed against the likeness of Wadd!’. They decided to appoint guards and attendants (to protect the idol). They used to come to the idol on a single day, venerating it more excessively than they used to venerate Suwa’. When Yaghuth saw that he came and killed the guards and attendants one night and crushed the idol to pulp. When news reached them they attempted to kill him but he concealed himself from them until they searched for him and eventually made him their leader and venerated him. Then he died and left behind a son called Ya’uq.         

Iblis came to them and said: ‘I have come to know of the death of Yaghuth. I am going to make an image of his using something that no one will be able to distort’. They said: ‘Do it’. The Reviled One turned to white stone and hammered it using iron until he had fashioned for them an image of Yaghuth. They venerated it more excessively than all the previous ones. They built for it a room made of stone. They made an oath among themselves that they would not open the door of that room except at the beginning of every new year. What they did was called ‘Bay’a’ on that day (for the first time) for they made a pledge (‘Tabaya’u’) and a pact upon that. This became unbearable for Ya’uq so he took soft sheets and other shabby clothes set them on fire and threw them one night (into that house). The people woke up to find the house, the idol, the guards all burnt down and the remains of the idol discarded. They grieved because of that and desired to kill Ya’uq but he said to them: ‘if you kill your leader then your affairs will disintegrate’ so they decided to hold back. It was not long before Ya’uq died and left a son called Nasr as his successor.

Iblis came to them and said: ‘I have come to know of the death of your great one. I will make for you (an image) in the likeness of Ya’uq using something which can never perish’. They said: ‘Do it’. He directed himself towards gold and heated it by fire until it became liquid. Then he sculpted a statue in the likeness of Ya’uq using clay and poured the molten gold into it. He set it up for them in their houses. This became unbearable for Nasr but he could not enter into those houses. He decided to separate himself from them together with a small group of his brothers who worshipped him (Nasr), and the rest kept worshipping the idol (Ya’uq). 

Then Nasr died and the prophethood of Idris began. He came to know the state of the people. That some worship a body in the likeness of Ya’uq and that Nasr was worshipped by others instead of Allah. He marched to them with those who were with him and decamped in a town whose people supported them (Idris and his followers). They defeated them (the idol-worshippers).  Some were killed while others ran away. They (the idol-worshippers) became scattered in the lands. He (Idris) ordered that the idol be brought and it was cast into the sea. Every group (of the scattered remaining idol-worshippers) took for itself an idol and gave them names. They remained like that generation after generation not knowing anything except those names. Then came the prophethood of Nuh. He called them to the worship of Allah alone and abandoning what they used to worship of idols, whereupon some of them said: “do not abandon your gods, do not abandon Wadd, nor Suwa’ nor Yaghuth, nor Ya’uq nor Nasr”.  

NOTES:

The narration details the origins of idol-worship. It is relevant to the study of the evolution of this practice in human history. It is probable that the different materials used to make up the idols in each subsequent generation (wood, stone, iron) has a deeper metaphorical meaning apart from attesting to straightforward technological advancement.

It might seem that this narration is contradictory with [3/300] above, but the latter can be taken to be a summarization where the different phases are squeezed into one passage. It must also be noted that the ancestors like Wadd, Suwa’ etc. are presented as worshippers of Allah therein, while this narration portrays them as active participants in promoting idol-worship. A way to reconcile the two should be found. 

There is a debate about the chains of the Shaykh Hibatallah Rawandi (d. 573), the author of Qasas al-Anbiya, to al-Saduq (d. 380), from whom he quotes a lot in the aforementioned book. Refer to Discussion No. 34 in Buhuth fi Ilm al-Rijal for detail.

An indicator (Qarina) that strengthens the reliability of this particular narration is that al-Saduq himself included it in truncated form in his Ilal al-Sharai as follows:

أبى رحمه الله قال: حدثنا سعد بن عبدالله بن، عن أحمد بن محمد ابن عيسى عن الحسن بن محبوب عن النعمان عن بريد بن معاوية العجلي قال: قال أبوجغفر عليه السلام: انما سمى العود خلاف، لان ابليس عمل صورة سواع من العود على خلاف صورة ود فسمى العود خلافا

وهذا في حديث طويل اخذنا منه موضع الحاجة

My father – Sa’d b. Abdallah – Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa – al-Hasan b. Mahbub – al-Nu’man (sic. Muhammad b. Ali b. al-Nu’man al-Ahwal) – Burayd b. Muawiya al-Ijli who said: Abu Ja’farعليه السلام  said: The wood was called Khilaf (opposite) because Iblis fashioned the image of Suwa’ using wood in an opposite way to the image of Wadd, so the wood was called Khilaf.

al-Saduq comments: This is part of a long narration, we have only taken the relevant part.    

This indicates that al-Rawandi was faithful in his attribution to al-Saduq and did indeed possess authentic material from him.

 

[13/310] الكافي: محمد بن إسماعيل، عن الفضل بن شاذان، عن صفوان بن يحيى، عن منصور ابن حازم قال: قلت لابي عبدالله عليه السلام: إني ناظرت قوما فقلت لهم: إن الله جل جلاله أجل وأعز وأكرم من أن يعرف بخلقه بل العباد يعرفون بالله، فقال: رحمك الله

[13/310] al-Kafi: Muhammad b. Ismail from al-Fadhl b. Shadhan from Safwan b. Yahya from Mansur b. Hazm who said: I said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام: I debated a group and said to them: Verily Allah Majestic is His Majesty is more Majestic, Strong and Gracious that He be known through His creatures, rather the slaves are known through Allah. He said: May Allah have mercy on you.    

 

[14/311] الكافي: محمد بن يحيى، عن محمد بن الحسين عن الحسن بن علي بن يوسف بن بقاح عن سيف بن عميرة، عن إبراهيم بن عمر قال: سمعت أبا عبدالله عليه السلام يقول: إن أمر الله كله عجيب الا انه قد احتج عليكم بما قد عرفكم من نفسه

[14/311] al-Kafi: Muhammad b. Yahya from Muhammad b. al-Husayn from Ali b. Yusuf b. Baqah from Sayf b. Umayra from Ibrahim b. Umar who said: I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام saying: The affair of Allah is totally strange (unknowable), however, He only holds you to account over that part which He has given you knowledge of about Himself.

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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4.2. God’s Timelesness and Spacelessness

https://sites.google.com/site/mujamalahadith/vol1/book-of-divine-unity/gods-timelessness-and-spacelessness

 

Introduction

The narrations below demonstrate the ‘Aimma pre-empting the advanced reasoning about the Essence and Attributes of God which only came to maturation much later among Islamic theologians. This is not surprising since we believe that they took from the fount of divine inspiration.

We find here an expression of some of what became the immutable first-principles of Islamic Kalam (theology) such as -  ‘God cannot be spoken of in terms of Space because He is the one who created it and existed prior to it’, ‘God being contained in Space would make Him limited’ etc.

Al-Muhsini notes that most of the narrations have to do with negating that He is in Space but not as much the fact that He is unaffected by the passage of Time. He attributes this to the state of knowledge in the early years of Islam which did not conceptualize Time in physical terms (as it did Space). In fact he bemoans the fact that even most contemporary scholars of religion do not keep up with the latest advances in theoretical physics which can shed light in understanding some of the more obscure narrations about God and the creation.

Nevertheless, he notes that by negating Space for Him the ‘Aimma would also be indirectly doing the same for Time seeing as though we now speak of a single consruct called space-time (as the fabric of the universe). This is called زمكان (Zamkan) in Arabic. A combination of مكان (space) and زمان (time).

 

[1/312] الكافي: عدة من أصحابنا، عن أحمد بن محمد بن خالد، عن أحمد بن محمد بن أبي نصر قال: جاء رجل إلى أبي الحسن الرضا عليه السلام من وراء نهر بلخ فقال: إني أسألك عن مسألة فإن أجبتني فيها بما عندي قلت بإمامتك، فقال أبوالحسن عليه السلام: سل عما شئت فقال: أخبرني عن ربك متى كان؟ وكيف كان؟ وعلى أي شئ كان اعتماده؟ فقال أبوالحسن عليه السلام: إن الله تبارك وتعالى أين الاين بلا أين وكيف الكيف بلا كيف وكان اعتماده على قدرته، فقام إليه الرجل فقبل رأسه وقال: أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله وأن عليا وصي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله والقيم بعده بما قام به رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وأنكم الائمة الصادقون وأنك الخلف من بعدهم

[1/312] al-Kafi: A number of our companions from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Khalid from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Abi Nasr who said: A man came to Abi al-Hasan al-Ridha عليه السلام from behind the Balkh river and said: I will ask you a question - if you answer it in accordance to what I have (consider correct) then I will believe in your Imama. Abu al-Hasan عليه السلام said: Ask whatever you like. He said: Inform me about your Lord - when was He? How was He? Upon what thing was His reliance? 

Abu al-Hasan عليه السلام said: Allah Blessed and Elevated defined the ‘where’ when there was no ‘where’ and defined the ‘how’ when there was no ‘how’ and His reliance was on his Power. The man stood up, kissed his forehead and said: I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, that Ali is the vicegerent of the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله and the one who took charge of what the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله was taking charge of after him, that you all are the truthful leaders and that you are the successor after them.       

NOTES:                

The Commander of the Faithful عليه السلام who was the Imam of the Monotheists had previously alluded to this same point:

حين قيل له: أين الله؟ فقال: إن الذي أين الأين لا يقال له أين. فقيل له: كيف الله؟ فقال: إن الذي كيف الكيف لا يقال له كيف

When he was asked ‘where is Allah?’ - He said: The one who defined the ‘where’ it cannot be said about him ‘where?’. It was said to him: ‘how is Allah?’ -  He said: The one who defined the ‘how’ it cannot be said about him ‘how?’ 

He is also quoted as saying:

إن الذي أين الأين لا أين له وإن الذي كيف الكيف لا كيف له

The one who defined the ‘where’ does not have a ‘where’ and the one who defined the ‘how’ does not have a ‘how’

In another narration Imam al-Ridha عليه السلام says to a Zindiq:

ويلك إن الذي ذهبت إليه غلط هو أين الاين بلا أين وكيف الكيف بلا كيف فلا يعرف بالكيفوفية ولا باينونية ولا يدرك بحاسة ولا يقاس بشئ

Woe be upon you! You have made an error. He is the one who defined a ‘where’ when there was no ‘where’ and defined a ‘how’ when there was no ‘how’ - so He cannot be known by asking the questions ‘how’ and ‘why’. He cannot be comprehended by the senses nor can He be compared to something. 

 

[-/2] علل الشرائع: الهمداني والمكتب والوراق جميعا، عن علي، عن أبيه، عن الفضل بن يونس قال: كان ابن أبي العوجاء من تلامذة الحسن البصري فانحرف عن التوحيد فقيل له: تركت مذهب صاحبك ودخلت فيما لا أصل له ولا حقيقة، قال: إن صاحبي كان مخلطا يقول طورا بالقدر وطورا بالجبر فما أعلمه اعتقد مذهبا دام عليه، فقدم مكة تمردا وإنكارا على من يحج، وكان يكره العلماء مجالسته ومساءلته لخبث لسانه وفساد ضميره، فأتى أبا عبد الله عليه السلام فجلس إليه في جماعة من نظرائه فقال: يا أبا عبد الله إن المجالس بالامانات، ولابد لكل من به سعال أن يسعل أفتأذن لي في الكلام؟ فقال الصادق عليه السلام: تكلم بما شئت ... فقال ابن أبي العوجاء: ذكرت الله فأحلت على غائب. فقال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: ويلك كيف يكون غائبا من هو مع خلقه شاهد، وإليه أقرب من حبل الوريد، يسمع كلامهم ويرى أشخاصهم، ويعلم أسرارهم. فقال ابن أبي العوجاء: فهو في كل مكان أليس إذا كان في السماء كيف يكون في الارض؟ وإذا كان في الارض كيف يكون في السماء؟ فقال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: إنما وصفت المخلوق الذي إذا انتقل من مكان اشتغل به مكان وخلا منه مكان، فلا يدري في المكان الذي صار إليه ما حدث في المكان الذي كان فيه، فأما الله العظيم الشأن الملك الديان فلا يخلو منه مكان ولا يشتغل به مكان ولا يكون إلى مكان أقرب منه إلى مكان

[2/-] Ilal al-Sharai: al-Hamdani, al-Mukatib and al-Warraq all together from Ali from his father from al-Fadhl b. Yunus who said: Ibn Abil Awja was among the students of al-Hasan al-Basri but then deviated from Tawhid. It was said to him: You have left the Madhhab of your fellow (Hasan al-Basri) and entered into that (belief) which has no authentic origin nor any reality. He said: My fellow was confused. Sometimes he would assert belief in free-will and sometimes predestination. I have not known him to hold on to a position and stick to it. 

He traveled to Makka and began showing arrogance and opposition to those making the pilgrimage. The scholars would dislike sitting and debating with him because of the vulgarity of his tongue and his corrupt heart (intentions). He came to Aba Abdillah عليه السلام and sat in his presence (circle) together with a number of his peers. He said: O Aba Abdillah, discussions are conducted with guarantee of protection (against persecution for what is said) and it is incumbent for every one who has a question to ask. Do you allow me to speak? Al-Sadiq عليه السلام said: Speak whatever you wish (freely) … 

Ibn Abil Awja said: You spoke of Allah and thus settled upon (referred to) one who is Hidden. 

Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: Woe be upon you! How can He be hidden one who is witnessed (evident) through His creatures, and is closer to him (his creature) than the jugular vein. He hears their speech, observes their forms and knows their secrets. 

Ibn Abil Awja said: That would mean He is everywhere. Is it not the case that if He were in heaven how can He also be on earth? And if He is on earth how can He be in heaven (at the same time)? 

Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: You have described a created thing which if it departs from a place then one place is occupied by him and another place becomes empty of him, and he cannot know what is happening in the place he used to be in from the place he has moved to. As for Allah The Great in Stature, the King and Judge, then no space is empty of Him, nor does He occupy space, nor is He closer to one point with respect to another.                

NOTES:

‘No space is empty of Him’ in terms of His knowledge of it and power over it, not that He is everywhere by His essence (See the narrations below which clarify this). Indeed the Imam clarifies this possible misconception by immediately declaring ‘nor does He occupy space’. 

 

[3/313] التوحيد: أبي، عن سعد بن عبد الله، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى، عن الحسن بن محبوب، عن أبي حمزة الثمالي قال: سأل نافع بن الأزرق أبا جعفر عليه السلام فقال: أخبرني عن الله متى كان؟ فقال له: ويلك، أخبرني أنت متى لم يكن حتى أخبرك متى كان، سبحان من لم يزل ولا يزال فردا صمدا لم يتخذ صاحبة ولا ولدا

[3/313] al-Tawhid: My father from Sa’d b. Abdallah from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa from al-Hasan b. Mahbub from Abi Hamza al-Thumali who said: Na’fi b. al-Azraq asked Aba Ja’far عليه السلام saying: Inform me about Allah - when was He? He (the Imam) said to Him: Woe be upon you! You inform me when wasn’t He then I will inform you when He was. Glory be to the One who is and has always been Singular, Eternal, not betaking to Himself partner nor off-spring.  

 

[4/314] التوحيد: أبي، عن سعد، عن محمد بن الحسين، عن صفوان بن يحيى، عن عبد الرحمن ابن الحجاج قال: سألت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام عن قول الله عزوجل: الرَّحْمَٰنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَىٰ فقال: استوى من كل شئ فليس شئ أقرب إليه من شئ، لم يبعد منه بعيد ولم يقرب منه قريب، استوى من كل شئ

[4/314] al-Tawhid: My father from Sa’d from Muhammad b. al-Husayn from Safwan b. Yahya from Abd al-Rahman b. al-Hajjaj who said: I asked Aba Abdillah عليه السلام about the words of Allah Mighty and Majestic “The Beneficent Istawa over the throne” (20:5). He said: He has transcended over all things. Thus, nothing is closer to Him than another thing. The distant is not far from Him and the near is not close to Him. He has transcended over all things. 

NOTES:

The key issue is how to understandاستواء  (Istiwa) in the verse seeing as though it carries multiple meanings. Some scholars interpret is as ‘rose’ above the Throne while others as ‘settled’ Himself on the Throne. Both of which imply a location for Him.

The novel interpretation given by  the Imam is المساواة في النسبة (al-Musawa fi al-Nisba). That is to say, all things are equal with each other in relation to Him. The Imam explains this in terms of things being equi-distant to God. Since this is not possible in the physical universe (things in different locations cannot be equi-distant to God if He was at a fixed point in the universe), it necessarily implies that He is beyond space and time. I have used the word ‘transcend’ to describe this concept.

There is an indication here that Arsh (Throne) denotes all created things because the Imam interprets ‘Istiwa over the Throne’ as ‘transcending over all things’. This is consonant with the biblical symbolism ‘the heavens and the earth are His footstool’.    

 

[5/315] التوحيد: العطار، عن سعد، عن ابن يزيد، عن الحسن بن علي الخزاز، عن مثنى الحناط، عن أبي جعفر أظنه محمد بن النعمان قال: سألت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام عن قول الله عزوجل: وَهُوَ اللَّهُ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَفِي الْأَرْضِ قال: كذلك هو في كل مكان. قلت: بذاته؟ قال: ويحك إن الاماكن أقدار، فإذا قلت: في مكان بذاته لزمك أن تقول في أقدار وغير ذلك، ولكن هو بائن من خلقه، محيط بما خلق علما وقدرة وإحاطة وسلطانا، وليس علمه بما في الارض باقل مما في السماء، لا يبعد منه شئ، والاشياء له سواء علما وقدرة وسلطانا وملكا وإحاطة

[5/315] al-Tawhid: al-Attar from Sa’d from Ibn Yazid from al-Hasan b. Ali al-Khazzaz from Muthanna al-Hannat from Abi Ja’far - I think him to be Muhammad b. al-Nu’man (al-Ahwal) - who said: I asked Aba Abdillah عليه السلام about the words of Allah Mighty and Majestic: “and He is Allah in the heavens and in the earth” (6:3). He said: That is how He is - everywhere. I said: by His essence? He said: Woe be upon you! Physical spaces have limits, so if you were to believe that He is ‘in a place by His essence’ then it would be necessary for you to also assert that He has limits and other such (deficiencies). Rather He is distinct from his creation. Fully encompassing what He created in terms of (His) knowledge, power, awareness and authority. His knowledge of what is in the earth is not less than that of which is in heaven. Nothing can become distant from Him. All things are equal to Him in terms of (His) knowledge, power, authority, ownership and awareness (over them).      

NOTES:

Is Allah everwhere? The Imam answers in the affirmative, but then clarifies that this is by His knowledge, power, authority and awareness which extend and cover every particle, not that he Himself in His person (by His essence) can be found everywhere. Because if He (by His essence) was contained in space that would mean that He is limited with the same limits that are inherent in space.

 

[6/316] التوحيد: أبي، عن علي، عن أبيه، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن هشام بن الحكم قال: قال أبو شاكر الديصاني: إن في القرآن آية هي قوة لنا. قلت: وما هي ؟ فقال: وَهُوَ الَّذِي فِي السَّمَاءِ إِلَٰهٌ وَفِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَٰهٌ فلم أدر بما اجيبه، فحججت فخبرت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام فقال: هذا كلام زنديق خبيث، إذا رجعت إليه فقل له: ما اسمك بالكوفة؟ فإنه يقول: فلان، فقل: ما اسمك بالبصرة؟ فانه يقول: فلان، فقل كذلك الله ربنا في السماء إله وفي الارض إله، وفي البحار إله، وفي كل مكان إله. قال: فقدمت فأتيت أبا شاكر فأخبرته فقال: هذه نقلت من الحجاز

[6/316] al-Tawhid: My father from Ali from his father from Ibn Abi Umayr from Hisham b. al-Hakam who said: Abu Shakir al-Daysani said: There is a verse in the Qur’an which supports us (the Dualists who believe in two gods). I said: Which one is it? He said: “and He is the One who is god in Heaven and on Earth god” (43:84). I did not know how to answer him. I made the pilgrimage and informed Aba Abdillah عليه السلام (about this). He said: These are the words of a wretched heretic. When you go back say to him: ‘What is your name in Kufa?’ he will say ‘so and so’, then say: ‘What do they call you in Basra?’ he will say ‘so and so’ (the same name). Then say: In the same way is Allah our Lord – (He is Called) God in Heaven and God on Earth, and in the oceans God, and God in every place. He (Hisham) said: I returned and proceeded to Aba Shakir and informed him of this. He said: This has been relayed from the Hijaz (i.e. the Imam in Madina).

 

[7/317] الكافي: عدة من أصحابنا، عن أحمد بن محمد بن خالد البرقي، عن أبيه، عن النضر بن سويد، عن يحيى الحلبي، عن ابن مسكان، عن زرارة بن أعين قال: سمعت أبا عبدالله عليه السلام يقول: إن الله خلو من خلقه وخلقه خلو منه، وكل ما وقع عليه اسم شيء فهو مخلوق ما خلا الله والله خالق كل شئ، تبارك الذي ليس كمثله شئ وهو السميع البصير

[7/317] al-Kafi: A number of our companions from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Khalid al-Barqi from his father from al-Nadhr b. Suwayd from Yahya al-Halabi from Ibn Muskan from Zurara b. A’yan who said: I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام saying: Allah is empty of His creations and His creations are empty of Him. Whatever can referred to by the name ‘thing’ apart from Allah then it is a creation, and Allah is the creator of all things. Blessed is the one whom there is nothing like Him and He is the All-Hearing the All-Seeing.

 

[8/318] الكافي: محمد بن يحيى، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى، عن الحسين بن سعيد، عن النضر بن سويد، عن عاصم بن حميد، عن أبي بصير، عن أبي عبدالله عليه السلام قال: من زعم أن الله من شئ أو في شئ أو على شئ فقد كفر، قلت: فسر لي؟ قال: أعني بالحواية من الشئ له أو بامساك له أو من شئ سبقه

[8/318] al-Kafi: Muhammad b. Yahya from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa from al-Husayn b. Sa’id from al-Nadhr b. Suwayd from A’sim b. Humayd from Abi Basir from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام who said: Whoever asserts that Allah is from something, or in something, or on something, then he has disbelieved. I said: Explain this for me. He said: I mean (to assert) that He is contained by something (which encloses him), or that He is held up (resting on something), or He is (derived) from something which preceded Him.    

NOTES:

وفي رواية اخرى: من زعم ان الله من شئ فقد جعله محدثا، ومن زعم أنه في شئ فقد جعله محصورا، ومن زعم أنه على شئ فقد جعله محمولا

In another transmission: Whoever asserts that Allah is from something has made Him generated. Whoever asserts that He is in something has made Him constrained. Whoever asserts that He is on something has made Him carried.

 

[9/319] التوحيد: حمزة العلوي، عن علي، عن أبيه، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن ابن اذينة، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام في قوله عزوجل: مَا يَكُونُ مِن نَّجْوَىٰ ثَلَاثَةٍ إِلَّا هُوَ رَابِعُهُمْ وَلَا خَمْسَةٍ إِلَّا هُوَ سَادِسُهُمْ وَلَا أَدْنَىٰ مِن ذَٰلِكَ وَلَا أَكْثَرَ إِلَّا هُوَ مَعَهُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كَانُوا فقال: هو واحد أحدي الذات، بائن من خلقه، وبذاك وصف نفسه، وهو بكل شئ محيط بالاشراف والاحاطة والقدرة، لا يعزب عنه مثقال ذرة في السماوات ولا في الارض ولا أصغر من ذلك ولا أكبر بالاحاطة والعلم لا بالذات لان الاماكن محدودة تحويها حدود أربعة فإذا كان بالذات لزمه الحواية

[9/319] al-Tawhid: Hamza al-Alawi from Ali from his father from Ibn Abi Umayr from Ibn Udhayna from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام about His words Mighty and Majestic: “there is no private conversation of three except He is the fourth of them, nor of five except He is the sixth of them - and no less than that and no more except that He is with them wherever they are” (58:7). He said: He is One. Unique in Essence. Distinct from His creation. That is how He described Himself. He encompasses everything in terms of supervision, awareness and power. Nothing escapes Him even the weight of a particle in the Heavens and in the earth nor smaller than that or bigger - in terms of awareness and knowledge not by (His) essence, for locations are bounded, delimited by the four bounds (height, width, depth), so if it was by essence then that would necessarily imply containment. 

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4.3. Negation of any Possibility of Seeing or Imagining Him

https://sites.google.com/site/mujamalahadith/vol1/book-of-divine-unity/negation-of-any-possibility-of-seeing-or-imagining-him

 

[1/320] الكافي: عدة من أصحابنا، عن أحمد بن محمد بن خالد، عن أحمد بن محمد بن أبي نصر قال: جاء رجل إلى أبي الحسن الرضا عليه السلام من وراء نهر بلخ فقال: إني أسألك عن مسألة فإن أجبتني فيها بما عندي قلت بإمامتك، فقال أبوالحسن عليه السلام: سل عما شئت فقال: أخبرني عن ربك متى كان؟ وكيف كان؟ وعلى أي شئ كان اعتماده؟ فقال أبوالحسن عليه السلام: إن الله تبارك وتعالى أين الاين بلا أين وكيف الكيف بلا كيف وكان اعتماده على قدرته، فقام إليه الرجل فقبل رأسه وقال: أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله وأن عليا وصي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله والقيم بعده بما قام به رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وأنكم الائمة الصادقون وأنك الخلف من بعدهم

[1/320] al-Kafi: Ahmad b. Idris from Muhammad b. Abd al-Jabbar from Safwan b. Yahya who said: Abu Qurra the Hadith scholar asked me to seek permission for him to enter upon Abi al-Hasan al-Ridha عليه السلام. I sought permission and he (the Imam) granted it to me. He (Abu Qurra) entered and asked him about the Halal, Haram and the rulings until he reached the topic of Tawhid. 

Abu Qurra said: We have narrated that Allah divided vision and speech between two prophets. He gave speech to Musa and vision to Muhammad. 

Abu al-Hasan عليه السلام said: Then who was it who conveyed on the authority of Allah to the Two Weighty ones from the Jinn and humans (the following): “sights do not reach him” (6:103), “they do not encompass Him in (their) knowledge” (20:110) and “there is nothing like Him” (42:11) - is it not Muhammad? He (Abu Qurra) said: Yes (it was). 

(The Imam said:) How can a man come to all creation and inform them that he has come from Allah and that he is calling them to Allah by the command of Allah and say: “sights do not reach him”, “they do not encompass Him in (their) knowledge”, “there is nothing like Him” and then say: I have seen Him by my eye and have encompassed Him in knowledge - he is in the form of a man?!

Do you not feel ashamed?! Even the heretics did not dare accuse him of this - that he (the prophet) would come with something from Allah and then later come with something contradicting that! 

Abu Qurra said: He (Allah) says: “and he (Muhammad) surely saw Him in another descent” (53:13). Abu al-Hasan عليه السلام said: there is after this verse an indication of what he saw when He said: “the heart did not lie about what it saw” (53:11). He is saying: Muhammad’s heart did not lie about what his eyes saw - then He specifies what he saw when He said: “he saw of the great signs of his Lord” (53:18) - the signs of Allah are not Allah. 

Allah said: “they do not encompass Him in (their) knowledge” - if eyes could see Him then knowledge has encompassed Him and realization (of Allah) has been attained.

Abu Qurra said: So you reject the narrations? Abu al-Hasan عليه السلام said: If the narrations are opposed to the Qur’an then I reject them. Furthermore, what the Muslims are united upon is that He is not encompassed in knowledge, sights do not reach Him, and there is nothing like Him. 

NOTES:

al-Muhsini: The Imams words: “… if eyes could see Him then knowledge has encompassed Him and and realization (of Allah) has been attained …” alludes to a very intricate argument that the Mu’tazili and Imami theologians have overlooked when arguing against the beatific vision. 

God’s essence is simple (not complex), and if one could look at Him it would imply knowing His reality and this is the ‘encompassing’ whose possibility has been denied in the Qur’an. 
The report also indicates that narrations which go against the Qur’an and the consensus of Muslims do not possess Hujiyya (probative force). This would suggest that the consensus of Muslims possesses probative force.

 

[2/231] الكافي: وعنه، عن أحمد بن إسحاق قال: كتبت إلى أبي الحسن الثالث عليه السلام أسأله عن الرؤية وما اختلف فيه الناس فكتب: لا تجوز الرؤية ما لم يكن بين الرائي والمرئي هواء ينفذه البصر فإذا انقطع الهواء عن الرائي والمرئي لم تصح الرؤية، وكان في ذلك الاشتباه، لان الرائي متى ساوى المرئي في السبب الموجب بينهما في الرؤية وجب الاشتباه وكان ذلك التشبيه لان الاسباب لابد من اتصالها بالمسببات
 

[2/231] al-Kafi: From him (Ahmad b. Idris) from Ahmad b. Ishaq who said: I wrote to Abi al-Hasan the Third عليه السلام asking him about the vision (of God) and the differences of people about that - he wrote: Vision is impossible when there is no air between the viewer and the viewed. Air which the eye can penetrate through. If there is no air between the viewer and the viewed - vision cannot take place. And this (needing air in between) would entail likening (Allah to His creatures). Because whenever the viewer becomes equivalent with the viewed in terms of sharing the condition necessary for vision between them (to occur) then they would necessarily be alike (in some manner) and that would be anthropomorphism. For causes are necessarily linked to effects.  

NOTES:

In variant of the same report in al-Faqih:

لا تجوز الرؤية ما لم يكن بين الرائي والمرئي هواء ينفذه البصر فإذا انقطع الهواء وعدم الضياء عن الرائي والمرئي لم تصح الرؤية ...

Vision is not possible so long as there is no air between the viewer and the viewed which the eye can pierce through. So when air is lacking and when there is no light between the viewer and the viewed - vision cannot occur …

As for the physics in question, it is possible that the Imam meant by ‘air’ a medium in which light propagates (although light does not need a medium), or he meant ‘space’ like when things are zero distance from each other and light cannot propagate between them.

The phrase ‘eye can penetrate through’ was used by some to support one of the pre-modern theories of light propagation i.e. vision occurs because of light emitted from the eye (it was not the only theory). However, even pre-modern commentators have noted that this could just be a metaphor for ‘sighting with the eye’. 

The Imam makes the argument that being able to see an object necessarily means sharing something in common with it. At the very least you share the conditions necessary for vision to occur (both object and the on-looker are similar in so-far as they share the condition of a presence of air between them or light to travel in between them), and this if true for God would mean that He is being likened to the one who can see Him.

Anthropomorphism follows from this because both God and the one looking at Him would need to be in different locations on the same plane with a medium between them, and once God is localized like this then it means limiting him in space and attributing a corporeal body or form to him. 

Causes are necessarily linked to effects” - that is, the effect of ascribing possibility of vision of God is anthropomorphism, one cannot be logically claimed without following through with the other.

 

[3/322] الكافي: أحمد بن إدريس، عن محمد بن عبدالجبار، عن صفوان بن يحيى، عن عاصم ابن حميد، عن ابي عبدالله عليه السلام قال: ذاكرت أبا عبدالله عليه السلام فيما يروون من الرؤية فقال: الشمس جزء من سبعين جزءا من نور الكرسي والكرسي جزء من سبعين جزءا من نور العرش والعرش جزء من سبعين جزءا من نور الحجاب والحجاب جزء من سبعين جزءا من نور الستر فإن كانوا صادقين فليملاوا أعينهم من الشمس ليس دونها سحاب

[3/322] al-Kafi: Ahmad b. Idris from Muhammad b. Abd al-Jabbar from Safwan b. Yahya from A’sim b. Humayd from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام. He said: I talked to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام about what they (proto-Sunnis) narrate concerning the vision (of God). He said: The sun is one-seventieth parts of the light of the Chair. The Chair is one-seventieth parts of the light of the Throne. The Throne is one-seventieth parts of the light of the Veil. The Veil is one-seventieth part of the light of the Covering. If they are truthful then let them stare with their eyes at the sun on a cloudless day.    

NOTES:

This should not be taken to mean that Allah is Light in a physical sense as was done by many early theologians. Rather, the Imam is making the point that even if He was Light, for argument’s sake, then the fact that the human eye cannot withstand the sun means that it would never be able to withstand Allah. This is because Allah would necessarily be brighter than the sun seeing as though Allah is greater than the sun.

 

[4/323] الكافي: محمد بن يحيى وغيره، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى، عن ابن أبي نصر، عن أبي الحسن الرضا عليه السلام قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله: لما اسري بي إلى السماء بلغ بي جبرئيل مكانا لم يطأه قط جبرئيل فكشف له فأراه الله من نور عظمته ما أحب
 

[4/323] al-Kafi: Muhammad b. Yahya and other than him from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa from Ibn Abi Nasr from Abi al-Hasan al-Ridha عليه السلام who said: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله said:  When I was made to ascend to Heaven - Jibril led me to a place where Jibril had never tread on. (The Imam says:) It was then unveiled for him (the prophet) and Allah showed him of His Light of Grandeur what He wished. 

NOTES:

The Light of Allah is not Allah Himself.

 

[5/324] الكافي: محمد بن يحيى، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى، عن ابن أبي نجران، عن عبدالله بن سنان، عن أبي عبدالله عليه السلام في قوله: لَّا تُدْرِكُهُ الْأَبْصَارُ قال: إحاطة الوهم ألا ترى إلى قوله: قَدْ جَاءَكُم بَصَائِرُ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ ليس يعني بصر العيون فَمَنْ أَبْصَرَ فَلِنَفْسِهِ ليس يعني من البصر بعينه وَمَنْ عَمِيَ فَعَلَيْهَا ليس يعني عمى العيون إنما عنى إحاطة الوهم كما يقال: فلان بصير بالشعر، وفلان بصير بالفقه، وفلان بصير بالدراهم، وفلان بصير بالثياب، الله أعظم من أن يرى بالعين

[5/324] al-Kafi: Muhammad b. Yahya from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa from Ibn Abi Najran from Abdallah b. Sinan from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام about His words: “sights (Absar) do not reach Him” (6:103) - he (the Imam) said: (It means) comprehension by the imagination (is impossible for Him).

Do you not see His words: “There have come to you insights (Basair) from your Lord” (6:104) - He does not mean sighting of the eyes. “Whosoever will see (Absara) then it will be for his own self” (6:104) - He does not mean by (the word) ‘see’ through his eye. “and whoever is blind is against it” (6:104) - He does not mean the blindness of the eyes.

He means comprehension by the imagination - as is said: So-and-so is insightful (Basir) in poetry, So-and-so is insightful in jurisprudence, So-and-so is insightful in coins (telling forgeries from the real thing), So-and-so is insightful in clothes. Allah is greater than to be seen by the eye.

NOTES:

‘Comprehension by the imagination’ means to understand Him fully through thought.

 

[6/325] الكافي: محمد بن يحيى، عن أحمد بن محمد، عن أبي هاشم الجعفري، عن أبي الحسن الرضا عليه السلام قال: سألته عن الله هل يوصف؟ فقال: أما تقرء القرآن؟ قلت: بلى قال: أما تقرء قوله تعالى: لَّا تُدْرِكُهُ الْأَبْصَارُ وَهُوَ يُدْرِكُ الْأَبْصَارَ؟ قلت: بلى، قال: فتعرفون الابصار؟ قلت: بلى، قال: ماهي؟ قلت: أبصار العيون، فقال: إن أوهام القلوب أكبر من أبصار العيون فهو لا تدركه الاوهام وهو يدرك الاوهام

[6/325] al-Kafi: Muhammad b. Yahya from Ahmad b. Muhammad from Abi Hashim al-Ja’fari from Abi al-Hasan al-Ridha عليه السلام. He (Abi Hashim) said: I asked him about Allah - can He be described? He said: Don’t you read the Qur’an? I said: Yes (I do). He said: Don’t you read His words the Elevated: “sights do not reach Him but He reaches the sights” (6:103)? I said: Yes (I do). He said: Do you know the sights (meant)? I said: Yes. He said: What are they? I said: The sighting of the eyes. He said: The imaginings of the heart are greater than the sighting of the eyes - thus He is such that imaginations do not reach Him while He reaches the imaginations.   

NOTES:

While the literal meaning of “sights do not reach Him” would be sighting by the eyes - the Imam takes this one level higher by giving it a figurative meaning of comprehension by the imagination (understanding Allah through thought).

The narrations [5/324] and [6/325] do this in different ways. [5/324] uses the dichotomy Basar (eyesight) and Basira (insight) which are closely related in linguistic terms and cites other verses where the figurative meaning is meant to extend it to the verse in question.

[6/325] uses the concept of maximal interpretation. If the Qur’an uses ‘sight’ in relation to God then all its implications including the more loftier ones are also included within it in keeping with the perfectness of God. Since ‘imaginings of the heart’ (conceptual) is greater than ‘sighting of the eyes’ (physical) then Allah cannot also be conquered by the latter.   

 

[7/326] التوحيد: الهمداني، عن علي، عن أبيه، عن الهروي قال: قلت لعلي بن موسى الرضا عليه السلام: يا ابن رسول الله ما تقول في الحديث الذي يرويه أهل الحديث: إن المؤمنين يزورون ربهم من منازلهم في الجنة؟ فقال عليه السلام: يا أبا الصلت إن الله تبارك وتعالى فضل نبيه محمدا صلى الله عليه واله على جميع خلقه من النبيين والملائكة، وجعل طاعته طاعته، و مبايعته مبايعته، وزيارته في الدنيا والآخرة زيارته، فقال عز وجل: مَّن يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ وقال: إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ اللَّهَ يَدُ اللَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وقال النبي صلى الله عليه واله: من زارني في حياتي أو بعد موتي فقد زار الله. ودرجة النبي صلى الله عليه واله في الجنة أرفع الدرجات، فمن زاره إلي درجته في الجنة من منزلته فقد زار الله تبارك وتعالى قال: فقلت له: يا ابن رسول الله فما معنى الخبر الذي رووه أن ثواب لا إله إلا الله النظر إلى وجه الله؟ فقال عليه السلام: يا أبا الصلت من وصف الله بوجه كالوجوه فقد كفر، ولكن وجه الله أنبياؤه ورسله وحججه صلوات الله عليهم، هم الذين بهم يتوجه إلي الله عزوجل، وإلى دينه ومعرفته، وقال الله عزوجل: كُلُّ مَنْ عَلَيْهَا فَانٍ وَيَبْقَىٰ وَجْهُ رَبِّكَ وقال عز وجل كُلُّ شَيْءٍ هَالِكٌ إِلَّا وَجْهَهُ فالنظر إلى أنبياء الله ورسله وحججه عليهم السلام في درجاتهم ثواب عظيم للمؤمنين يوم القيامة، وقد قال النبي صلى الله عليه واله: من أبغض أهل بيتي وعترتي لم يرني ولم أره يوم القيامة، وقال صلى الله عليه واله: إن فيكم من لا يراني بعد أن يفارقني، يا أبا الصلت إن الله تبارك وتعالى لا يوصف بمكان ولا يدرك بالابصار والاوهام. قال: فقلت له: يا ابن رسول الله فأخبرني عن الجنة والنار أهما اليوم مخلوقتان؟ فقال: نعم، وإن رسول الله صلى الله عليه واله قد دخل الجنة ورأى النار لما عرج به إلى السماء. قال: فقلت له: إن قوما يقولون إنهما اليوم مقدرتان غير مخلوقتين. فقال عليه السلام: ما اولئك منا ولا نحن منهم، من أنكر خلق الجنة والنار فقد كذب النبي صلى الله عليه واله وكذبنا، وليس من ولايتنا على شئ ويخلد في نار جهنم، قال الله عزوجل: هَذِهِ جَهَنَّمُ الَّتِي يُكَذِّبُ بِهَا الْمُجْرِمُونَ يَطُوفُونَ بَيْنَهَا وَبَيْنَ حَمِيمٍ آَنٍ وقال النبي صلى الله عليه واله: لما عرج بي إلي السماء أخذ بيدي جبرئيل فأدخلني الجنة فناولني من رطبها فأكلته فتحول ذلك نطفة في صلبي، فلما هبطت إلى الارض واقعت خديجة فحملت بفاطمة، ففاطمة حوراء إنسية فكلما اشتقت إلى رائحة الجنة شممت رائحة ابنتي فاطمة

[7/326] al-Tawhid: al-Hamdani from Ali from his father from al-Harawi who said: I said to Ali b. Musa al-Ridha عليه السلام: O the son of the Messenger of Allah - what do you say about the report narrated by the Ahl al-Hadith that “the believers will visit their Lord from their homes in Paradise”?

He عليه السلام said: O Aba Salt - Allah Blessed and Elevated favoured his prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه واله over all his creations including the (other) prophets and the angels. He made obedience to him (the prophet) equal to His obedience, pledging allegiance to him (the prophet) equal to pledging allegiance to Him and visiting him (the prophet) in the world and the hereafter equal to visiting Him. This is when He Mighty and Majestic said: “Whoever obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah” (4:80) and also: “Those who pledge allegiance to you are in fact pledging allegiance to Allah, the hand of Allah is over their hands” (48:10). The prophet said: “Whoever visits me in my lifetime or after my death has visited Allah”. The station of the prophetصلى الله عليه واله in paradise is the highest station, so whoever visits him in this station of his in paradise (setting out) from his home then he will have visited Allah Blessed and Elevated.

He (Abu Salt) said: I said: O the son of the Messenger of Allah - what is the meaning of the report which they narrate that “the reward of ‘there is no god but Allah’ is looking at the face of Allah”? He said:  O Aba Salt - Whoever describes Allah as having a face like the typical faces has disbelieved. Rather, the face of Allah is His prophets, messengers and proofs صلوات الله عليهم. They are the ones through whom (one) turns (lit. his face) towards Allah Mighty and Majestic, His religion and recognition of Him. Allah Mighty and Majestic said: “Whoever is on it will perish and will remain the face of your Lord” (55:26-27) and He Mighty and Majestic also said: “Everything is to be destroyed except His face” (28:88), thus, looking at the prophets of Allah, His messengers and proofs عليهم السلام in their stations is a great reward for the believers on the day of judgment. The prophet صلى الله عليه واله said: “Whoever hates the people of my Household and my descendants will never see me nor will I see him on the day of judgment” and he صلى الله عليه واله also said: “There is among you one who will never see me (again) after separating from me (in this world)”. O Aba Salt - Allah Blessed and Elevated is not described as being in space and neither sights nor imaginations can reach Him.

He (Abu Salt) said: I said to him: O the son of the Messenger of Allah - inform me about Paradise and the Fire - are they already created at this moment? He said: Yes. The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه واله entered Paradise and saw the Fire when he was made to ascend to Heaven. He (Abu Salt) said: I said to him: There is a group which says that ‘they (Paradise and Hell) are only destined to be at this moment but not yet created’. He said: Such (people) are not from us nor are we from them. Whoever denies the creation of Paradise and the Fire has belied the prophet and has belied us. Such a one has nothing to do with our Wilaya and will abide forever in the Fire of Hell. Allah Mighty and Majestic says: “this is Hell which the criminals deny. They will go around between it and scalding water” (55:43-44) and the prophet صلى الله عليه واله said: “When I was made to ascend to Heaven, Jibril took me by the hand and made me to enter Paradise. He handed me one of its fruits. I ate it and it formed seed in my loin. When I returned to the earth I met with Khadija and she became pregnant with Fatima - a human Houri. Whenever I desire to smell the scent of paradise I smell the scent of my daughter Fatima”.   

NOTES:

al-Muhsini raises three doubts about the contents of this narration:

The interpretation of Wajh (face) as the prophets, messengers and Imams has to contend with the Qur’anic context of the verse in question from Surat al-Rahman which seems to indicate that it is God’s essence which is meant when it ends by characterizing the face as ‘full of majesty, bestowing honour’ (55:27)

“this is Hell which the criminals deny. They will go around between it and scalding water” (55:53-54). These words are seemingly what will be said on the Day of judgment itself, using them as proof for the present existence of Hell seems questionable.

Rejecting Paradise and Hell-fire outright would indeed be Kufr (disbelief) seeing as though it would be rejecting the truth of the ressurrection which is one of the essentials of faith. However, the question of whether the two are already existing or will be created on the day of judgment is a secondary derivative which allows the possibility of disagreement. It is hard therefore to see why the Imam would be proclaiming Takfir on such a one.                  

In light of this, al-Muhsini claims the possibility that these reflect the personal understanding of al-Harawi (the primary narrator) which have been mistakenly attributed to the Imam. This is a problem of Riwaya bil Ma’na where the exact words of the Imam are not preserved verbatim.

 

[8/327] التوحيد: ابن الوليد، عن الصفار، عن اليقطيني، عن ابن أبي نجران قال: سألت أبا جعفر الثاني عليه السلام عن التوحيد فقلت: أتوهم شيئا؟ فقال: نعم غير معقول ولا محدود، فما وقع وهمك عليه من شئ فهو خلافه، لا يشبهه شئ ولا تدركه الاوهام، كيف تدركه الاوهام وهو خلاف ما يعقل وخلاف ما يتصور في الاوهام؟ إنما يتوهم شئ غير معقول ولا محدود

[8/327] al-Tawhid: Ibn al-Walid from al-Saffar from al-Yaqtini from Ibn Abi Najran who said: I asked Aba Ja’far the Second عليه السلام about Tawhid saying: Should I imagine a thing (when conceiving of God)? He said: Yes, (something) neither cognisable nor delimited. Whatever your imagination falls upon is different than He. Nothing is like Him and imaginations do not reach Him. How can imaginations reach Him when He is other than what can be cognised and other than what is represented (image formed) in the imaginations? It is imagined something neither cognisable nor delimited.   

NOTES:

This is the basic doctrine of المخالفة - the ‘otherness’ of God. Whatever you imagine is by definition other than Him. This is because He cannot be processed by the mental faculty and is not bounded. Whatever we think of is limited and cannot be Him.

 

[9/328] التوحيد: ابن الوليد، عن إبراهيم بن هاشم، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن مرازم، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: سمعته يقول: رأى رسول الله صلى الله عليه واله ربه عزوجل - يعني بقلبه

[9/328] al-Tawhid: Ibn al-Walid from Ibrahim b. Hashim from Ibn Abi Umayr from Murazim from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام. He (Murazim) said: I heard him (the Imam) saying: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه واله saw his Lord Mighty and Majestic - that is - by his heart.

NOTES:

The meaning of ‘see’ in the narrations of the ‘Aimma is ‘knowing Him’. That is why the organ involved is the heart

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3 hours ago, Islamic Salvation said:

the organ involved is the heart

alhamdulillah, i was looking for you, kept forgetting, alhamdulillah still

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4.4. Negation of Corporeality or Likeness for God

https://sites.google.com/site/mujamalahadith/vol1/book-of-divine-unity/negation-of-corporeality-or-likeness-for-god

 

[1/329] امالي الصدوق: ابن الوليد، عن الصفار، عن ابن معروف، عن علي بن مهزيار قال: كتبت إلى أبي جعفر الثاني عليه السلام: جعلت فداك اصلي خلف من يقول بالجسم، ومن يقول بقول يونس - يعني ابن عبد الرحمن؟ فكتب عليه السلام لا تصلوا خلفهم ولا تعطوهم من الزكاة وابرؤوا منهم، برأ الله منهم

[1/329] Amali of al-Saduq: Ibn al-Walid from al-Saffar from Ibn Ma’ruf from Ali b. Mahziyar who said: I wrote to Abi Ja’far the Second عليه السلام: May I be made your ransom - should I pray behind the one who asserts (the doctrine of) ‘the body’ (God is corporeal) or the one who subscribes to the doctrine of Yunus - that is the son of Abd al-Rahman? He عليه السلام wrote: Do not pray behind them nor not give them anything of the Zakat. Disassociate from them. Allah has disassociated from them.

 

[2/330] امالي الصدوق: ابن الوليد، عن الصفار، عن البرقي، عن أبي هاشم الجعفري قال: سمعت علي بن موسى الرضا عليه السلام يقول: إلهي بدت قدرتك ولم تبد هيئتك فجهلوك و به قدروك والتقدير على غير ما وصفوك، وإني برئ يا إلهي من الذين بالتشبيه طلبوك، ليس كمثلك شئ، إلهي ولن يدركوك، وظاهر ما بهم من نعمك دليلهم عليك لو عرفوك، وفي خلقك يا إلهي مندوحة أن يتناولوك، بل سووك بخلقك فمن ثم لم يعرفوك، واتخذوا بعض آياتك ربا فبذلك وصفوك، تعاليت ربي عما به المشبهون نعتوك

[2/330] Amali of al-Saduq: Ibn al-Walid from al-Saffar from al-Barqi from Abi Hashim al-Ja’fari who said: I heard Ali b. Musa al-Ridha عليه السلام saying: My God, your power is manifest but your form is not. Because of this they became ignorant of you and with that (ignorance) estimated you. While the (true) estimation is other than how they described you. O My God, I am disassociated from those who seek you by likening you (to your creatures). There is nothing like you. My God, they will never reach you. What is apparent of your blessings around them is an indicator towards you. If only they recognized you. And in your creation - O my God - there is ample to understand you. However, they equated you to your creation and because of that did not attain recognition of you. They took some of your signs as Lord (instead of you) and with that (imperfect attributes) described you. Elevated are you My Lord from that which the Likeners impute to you.             

NOTES:

In a variant of the same supplication as found in al-Irshad of al-Mufid:

إلهي بدت قدرتك ولم تبد هيئته فجهلوك وقدروك بالتقدير على غير ما به أنت شبهوك ...

My God, your power is manifest but its form is not. Thus they became ignorant of you and measured you with an estimation. On the basis of what you are not did they compare you …

 

[3/331] التوحيد: ابن المتوكل، عن الحميري، عن ابن عيسى، عن ابن محبوب، عن حماد، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: كذب من زعم أن الله عز وجل من شئ، أو في شئ، أو علي شئ

[3/331] al-Tawhid: Ibn al-Mutawakkil from al-Himyari from Ibn Isa from Ibn Mahbub from Hammad from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام who said: He has lied the one who claims that Allah Mighty and Majestic is from a thing, or in a thing, or upon a thing.

 

[4/332] الكافي: عدة من أصحابنا، عن أحمد بن محمد بن خالد، عن أحمد بن محمد بن أبي نصر، عن صفوان الجمال، عن أبي عبدالله عليه السلام في قول الله عزوجل: كُلُّ شَيْءٍ هَالِكٌ إِلَّا وَجْهَهُ قال: من أتى الله بما امر به من طاعة محمد صلى الله عليه وآله فهو الوجه الذي لا يهلك و كذلك قال: مَّن يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ

[4/332] al-Kafi: A number of our companions from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Khalid from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Abi Nasr from Safwan al-Jammal from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام  about the words of Allah Mighty and Majestic: “Everything is to perish except His face” (28:88). He said: Whoever comes to Allah with what he had been ordered (to do) in terms of obeying Muhammad صلى الله عليه وآله then he is the ‘face’ who will not perish. In a similar vein Did He say: “whoever obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah” (4:80).   

NOTES:

Any one who obeys Allah and His Messenger and turns (directs himself) towards Allah then he will remain eternally in the Gardens. He becomes the Wajh (‘face’) of Allah among His creation and the means through whom Allah turns to ‘face’ His servants (this is why He attributes the face as belonging to Him) and also the means through whom His servants turn to ‘face’ Allah. 

Obviously, the first to be implied in this verse are the ‘Aimma who are the most perfect obeyers of Allah and His Messenger, and the means to such obedience, thus they qualify to be ‘Wajh of Allah’ primarily before this term can be applied to the other believers secondarily. 

 

[5/333] التوحيد والعيون: أبي، عن سعد، عن ابن عيسى، عن الحسن بن علي الخزاز، عن أبي الحسن الرضا عليه السلام قال: إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه واله يوم القيامة آخذ بحجزة الله، ونحن آخذون بحجزة نبينا، وشيعتنا آخذون بحجزتنا. ثم قال: الحجزة: النور

[5/333] al-Tawhid and al-Uyun: My father from Sa’d from Ibn Isa from al-Hasan b. Ali al-Khazzaz from Abi al-Hasan al-Ridha عليه السلام who said: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه واله will hold on to the waist-knot of Allah on the Day of Judgment, we will hold on to the waist-knot of our prophet, and our Shia (followers) will hold on to our waist-knot. Then he said: waist-knot means light.

NOTES:

al-Jazari says in his al-Nihaya fi Gharib al-Hadith wa al-Athar:

أصل الحُجْزَة: موضع شدّ الإزار، ثمّ قيل للإزار: حُجْزَة للمُجاوَرة. واحْتَجَزَ الرجُل بالإزار: إذا شَدّه على وسَطه، فاسْتَعاره للاعْتِصام، والالْتجاء، والتمسُّك بالشّيء، والتَعلُّق به

The Origin of Hujza (الحُجْزَة) is the location where the wrapper (loin cloth) is fastened. Then the loin cloth itself was called Hujza because of close association. Then it was used figuratively to mean holding onto, seeking refuge in, resorting to, attaching oneself with something or someone.

That the figurative is meant in the above report is further clarified in another narration as follows:

  عن محمّد بن الحنفيّة عن أميرالمؤمنين عليه السّلام: إنّ رسول الله صلّى الله عليه و آله يوم القيامة آخذ بحُجْزَة الله، ونحن آخذون بِحُجْزَة نبيّنا، وشيعتنا آخذون بحُجْزَتنا. قلت: يا أميرالمؤمنين! وما الحُجْزة؟ قال: الله أعظم من أن يوصف بحُجْزة أو غير ذلك، ولكن رسول الله صلّى الله عليه و آله آخذ بأمر الله، ونحن آلَ محمّد آخذون بأمر نبيّنا، وشيعتنا آخذون بأمرنا

Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya – The Commander of the Faithful عليه السّلام who said: The Messenger of Allah صلّى الله عليه و آله will hold on to the waist-knot of Allah on the Day of Judgment. We will hold on to the waist-knot of our Prophet. Our Shia will hold on to our waist-knot. I said: O Commander of the Faithful! What is the “waist-knot”? He said: Allah is greater than to be described as having a waist-knot or something like that, rather the Messenger of Allah صلّى الله عليه و آله will hold on to the Order of Allah, and we the Family of Muhammad will hold on to the Order of our Prophet and our Shia will hold on to our Order. 

 

[6/334] التوحيد والعيون والامالي: ابن المتوكل، عن علي، عن أبيه، عن الريان عن الرضا عن آبائه، عن أمير المؤمنين عليهم السلام قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه واله قال الله جل جلاله: ما آمن بي من فسر برأيه كلامي، وما عرفني من شبهني بخلقي، وما على ديني من استعمل القياس في ديني

[6/334] al-Tawhid, al-Uyun and al-Amali: Ibn al-Mutawakkil from Ali from his father from al-Rayyan from al-Ridha from his forefathers from The Commander of the Faithful عليهم السلام who said: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه واله said: Allah Majestic is His Majesty said: He has not believed in Me the one who interprets My words by his opinion. He has not known Me the one who likens Me to My creatures. He is not upon My religion the one who uses analogy in My religion. 

 

[7/335] الكافي: علي بن إبراهيم، عن محمد بن عيسى بن عبيد، عن يونس، عن هشام ابن الحكم قال: سألت أبا عبدالله عليه السلام عن سبحان الله فقال: أنفة لله

[7/335] al-Kafi: Ali b. Ibrahim from Muhammad b. Isa b. Ubayd from Yunus from Hisham b. al-Hakam who said: I asked Aba Abdillah عليه السلام about ‘Subhanallah’. He said: (It means) Exaltation (belongs) to Allah.

NOTES:

The Imam defines Subhanallah by the verbal noun أنفة لله Anafata lillah. This goes back to the verb انف Anifa.

The verb refers to being free (purified/absolved) from something (تنزه عنه), usually a defect or imperfection. Thus it also connotes a distancing in an upward direction (elevation) from a thing (ترفع عنه). There is also an element of disdain/scorn in rejection/negation of the defect or imperfection, a deeming of oneself as esteemed/having dignity over it, because the defect or imperfection is beneath you. This adds an element of haughtiness/pride to the usage (استنكف عنه وكرهه وشرف نفسه عنه)

It is difficult to find a single word English equivalent that conveys all the above, however, the general meaning is that Allah is exalted i.e. far removed and high above - being free in His unique essence from all that which is not worthy of Him such as defects or imperfection.

In another similar narration:

علي، عن أبيه، عن عبدالله بن المغيرة، عن هشام بن الحكم قال: قال أبوعبدالله عليه السلام: ما من كلمة أخف على اللسان منها ولا أبلغ من سبحان الله ... قال: قلت: الحمد لله ولا إله إلا الله قد عرفناهما فما تفسير سبحان الله؟ قال: أنفة لله، أما ترى الرجل إذا عجب من الشئ قال: سبحان الله

Ali – his father – Abdallah b. Mughira – Hisham b. al-Hakam who said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: There is no word lighter on the tongues but more far-reaching than ‘Subhanallah’ … He (Hisham) said: We know ‘Alhamdulillah’ and ‘La Ilaha illa-llah’ but what is the meaning of ‘Subhanallah’? He said: Exaltation is due to Allah. Don’t you see that when a man marvels at a thing (becomes astonished by it) says: Subhanallah. 

It is because of Allah’s perfect nature that marvel arises when and if an unbefitting characteristic is ascribed to Him, or when one has a jarring encounter with a shocking experience, subsequently any imperfection inherent in other than Him is distanced and negated from Him by re-affirming his Exaltedness.

 

[8/336] التوحيد: ابن المتوكل، عن الحميري، عن ابن عيسى، عن ابن محبوب، عن يعقوب السراج قال: قلت لابي عبد الله عليه السلام: إن بعض أصحابنا يزعم أن لله صورة مثل الانسان وقال آخر إنه في صورة أمرد جعد قطط! فخر أبو عبد الله عليه السلام ساجدا ثم رفع رأسه فقال: سبحان الله الذي ليس كمثله شئ، ولا تدركه الابصار، ولا يحيط به علم، لم يلد لان الولد يشبه أباه، ولم يولد فيشبه من كان قبله، ولم يكن له من خلقه كفوا أحد، تعالى عن صفة من سواه علوا كبيرا

[8/336] al-Tawhid: Ibn al-Mutawakkil from al-Himyari from Ibn Isa from Ibn Mahbub from Ya’qub al-Sarraj who said: I said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام: One of our companions claims that Allah has a form like that of a human and another says that He is in the form of a beardless youth with very curly hair!

Abu Abdillah عليه السلام fell down in prostration then he raised his head and said: Glory be to Allah whom there is nothing like Him. Vision cannot reach Him. Knowledge cannot encompass Him. He does not give birth for an off-spring resembles his parent. He was not born so that He could resemble one who came before Him. He will never have among His creatures any rival. Elevated is He from the description of the one who equates Him - a great elevation.    

 

[-/9] امالي الصدوق: محمد بن محمد بن عصام، عن الكليني، عن علان، عن محمد بن الفرج الرخجي قال: كتبت إلى أبي الحسن علي بن محمد عليهما السلام أسأله عما قال هشام بن الحكم في الجسم، وهشام بن سالم في الصورة. فكتب عليه السلام: دع عنك حيرة الحيران واستعذ بالله من الشيطان، ليس القول ما قال الهشامان

[9/-] Amali of al-Saduq: Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Assam from al-Kulayni from Allan from Muhammad b. al-Faraj al-Rukhaji who said: I wrote to Abi al-Hasan Ali b. Muhammad عليهما السلام asking him about the position of Hisham b. al-Hakam regarding ‘the body’ and the position of Hisham b. Salim regarding ‘the human form’. He wrote: Leave the confusion of the confused, seek refuge in Allah from the Shaytan, the (true) position is not what was said by the two Hishams.

NOTES:

Al-Muhsini does not consider the chain reliable because the same narration is found in al-Kafi which has:

علي بن محمد رفعه عن محمد بن الفرج الرخجي قال: كتبت إلى أبي الحسن عليه السلام ...

Ali b. Muhammad (i.e. Allan) raising it to Muhammad b. al-Faraj al-Rukhaji who said: I wrote to Abi al-Hasan عليه السلام

This points to the presence of un-named intermediaries making the chain disconnected.

 

[10/337] التوحيد ومعاني الاخبار: ابن عصام، عن الكليني، عن العلان، عن اليقطيني قال: سألت أبا الحسن علي بن محمد العسكري عليهما السلام عن قول الله عزوجل: وَالْأَرْضُ جَمِيعاً قَبْضَتُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَالسَّماوَاتُ مَطْوِيَّاتٌ بِيَمِينِهِ فقال: ذلك تعيير الله تبارك وتعالى لمن شبهه بخلقه، ألا ترى أنه قال:  وَمَا قَدَرُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ قَدْرِهِ ومعناه إذ قالوا: إن الارض جميعا قبضته يوم القيامة والسماوات مطويات بيمينه، كما قال عزوجل: وَمَا قَدَرُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ قَدْرِهِ إذ قالوا: مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَى بَشَرٍ مِنْ شَيْءٍ، ثم نزه عزوجل نفسه عن القبضة واليمين فقال: سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

[10/337] al-Tawhid and Ma’ani al-Akhbar: Ibn Assam from al-Kulayni from al-Allan from al-Yaqtini who said: I asked Aba al-Hasan Ali b. Muhammad al-Askari عليهما السلام about the words of Allah Mighty and Majestic: “the entire earth will be His grip on the Day of Resurrection and the Heavens will be folded in His right hand” (39:67).

He said: That is a rebuke of Allah Blessed and Elevated against the one who likens Him to his creation. Don’t you see that He said (in the same verse): “they have not estimated Allah His true estimate” (39:67). The meaning of this is (a reply to) when they said: ‘the entire earth will be His grip on the Day of Resurrection and the heavens will be folded in His right hand’.

This is just as He Mighty and Majestic said: “they have not estimated Allah His true estimate” (6:91) when they said: “Allah has not sent down anything to a human” (6:91). Then He Mighty and Majestic declared Himself free of (possessing attributes such as) ‘gripping’ and ‘right hand’ by saying: “Glorified is He and Elevated above what they associate (with Him)” (39:67).

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Abu Qurra said: So you reject the narrations? Abu al-Hasan عليه السلام said: If the narrations are opposed to the Qur’an then I reject them. Furthermore, what the Muslims are united upon is that He is not encompassed in knowledge, sights do not reach Him, and there is nothing like Him. 

This is interesting, nowadays most of the Muslims do believe they can see Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى in hereafter. It seems that in the time of imams (as) such a belief was not even common.

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28 minutes ago, Abu Nur said:

nowadays most of the Muslims do believe they can see Allah سُبْحَا

It mostly comes from Salafi doctrine of Ibn Taymiyya.

salafi Wahhabi belief in Anthropomorphism

 https://youtu.be/ZTksLD9VXyI

 

 

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1 hour ago, Ashvazdanghe said:

It mostly comes from Salafi doctrine of Ibn Taymiyya.

salafi Wahhabi belief in Anthropomorphism

 https://youtu.be/ZTksLD9VXyI

 

 

Actually it is not because of Salafis, it is because of Sahih Bukhari and Muslim hadiths of about seeing Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى.

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On 3/30/2018 at 5:57 AM, Follower of Ahlulbayt said:

salam brother. Do you know how on the site - https://sites.google.com/site/mujamalahadith/vol1/book-of-narrators we can see the notes. Here after you mention the hadith, the notes are given but i can't see notes on the site

W. Salam brother.

The notes have not been added to that site. Maybe in the future God willing.

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On 4/28/2018 at 1:47 PM, Islamic Salvation said:

[4/301] al-Tawhid: My father from Sa’d from Ibn Isa from Ibn Fadhal from al-Halabi and Zurara from Abi Abdillahعليه السلام  who said: Allah Blessed and Elevated is One, Compact, He does not have any hollowness, while the spirit (al-Ruh) is a creation from among His creations and is an aid, support and power which Allah places in the hearts of the messengers and believers

Salam brother, 

Is it possible to change the word "place" to "make" in this tradition? 

The word جعل is commonly translated as "make/making." Is there a specific reason that you've chosen to translate it as "places"? 

 

In this case, the proper understanding of this word is crucial to our understanding of the nature and complexity of روح. 

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4.5. God’s Knowledge and Power

https://sites.google.com/site/mujamalahadith/vol1/book-of-divine-unity/gods-knowledge-and-power

 

[1/338] الكافي: محمد بن يحيى، عن محمد بن الحسين، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن هشام بن سالم، عن محمد بن مسلم، عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: سمعته يقول: كان الله عزوجل ولا شئ غيره ولم يزل عالما بما يكون، فعلمه به قبل كونه كعلمه به بعد كونه

[1/338] al-Kafi: Muhammad b. Yahya from Muhammad b. al-Husayn from Ibn Abi Umayr from Hisham b. Salim from Muhammad b. Muslim from Abi Ja’far عليه السلام. He (Muhammad b. Muslim) said: I heard him (the Imam) saying: Allah Mighty and Majestic was there and there was nothing other than Him. He always knew what was to be. His knowledge of it before it came into being is identical to His knowledge of it after it comes into being.  

 

[2/339] الكافي: محمد بن يحيى، عن سعد بن عبدالله، عن محمد بن عيسى، عن أيوب بن نوح أنه كتب إلى أبي الحسن عليه السلام يسأله عن الله عزوجل أكان يعلم الاشياء قبل أن خلق الاشياء وكونها أو لم يعلم ذلك حتى خلقها وأراد خلقها وتكوينها فعلم ما خلق عندما خلق وما كون عند ما كون؟ فوقع بخطه: لم يزل الله عالما بالاشياء قبل أن يخلق الاشياء كعلمه بالاشياء بعد ما خلق الاشياء

[2/339] al-Kafi: Muhammad b. Yahya from Sa’d b. Abdallah from Muhammad b. Isa from Ayyub b. Nuh that he wrote to Abi al-Hasanعليه السلام  asking him about Allah Mighty and Majestic: Did He have knowledge of things before He created the things and brought them into existence or is it that He did not have prior knowledge of them until when He created them and intended their creation and bringing them into existence - so He knew about what He created at the moment of creation and what He brought into existence at the moment of bringing into existence? 

He wrote in his handwriting: Allah never stopped being knowledgeable about the things before he created the things the same as His knowledge of the things after He had created the things. 

NOTES:

There was an early controversy among the Shia about the attributes of Allah.

The divine attributes of knowledge, power, seeing, and hearing, which were considered immutable attributes of essence by some, were treated by some as subject to change.

A group argued that God cannot be described as eternally having knowledge, power, seeing, and hearing, because knowledge, power, sight, and hearing, require objects (i.e. there needs to be an object to know, have power over, see and hear). These attributes, therefore, cannot be ascribed to God before He produces the things.

It is said that Hisham b. al-Hakam held that God does not know things eternally for that would necessitate the eternity of the things known by Him. God knows only existing things.   

Hisham’s disciple al-Sakkak similarly maintained that God cannot be described as knowing a thing before it comes into existence: knowledge of the nonexistent is impossible.

Muhammad b. al-Nu’man (Sahib al-Taq) held that God knows things when he determines i.e. wills them.

Another group maintained that God’s knowing is His acting.

علي بن محمد، عن سهل بن زياد، عن جعفر بن محمد بن حمزة قال: كتبت إلى الرجل عليه السلام أسأله: أن مواليك اختلفوا في العلم فقال بعضهم: لم يزل الله عالماً قبل فعل الأشياء، وقال بعضهم: لا نقول لم يزل الله عالماً لأن معنى يعلم يفعل فإن أثبتنا العلم، فقد أثبتنا في الأزل معه شيئاً، فإن رأيت جعلني الله فداك أن تعلمني من ذلك ما أقف عليه ولا أجوزه؟ فكتب عليه السلام بخطه: لم يزل الله عالماً تبارك وتعالى ذكره

Ali b. Muhammad – Sahl b. Ziyad – Ja’far b. Muhammad b. Hamza who said: I wrote to the man (i.e. Imam)عليه السلام  asking him: Your Mawali (followers) have differed among themselves concerning the Knowledge (of God). Some of them say: Allah never ceases being knowledgeable even before doing something (acting). While some of them say: We do not say that ‘Allah was always knowing’ for the meaning of knowing is acting, so if we affirm that He always knew it means we have affirmed that there was always something pre-eternally existing with Him (for if He was always acting on something - that thing would have always been with Him). So if you deem it appropriate - may Allah make me your ransom - to teach me about that - what I will stop at (follow) and not go beyond. He wrote عليه السلامin his handwriting: “Allah never stopped knowing Blessed and Elevated is His mention”     

The Imam refutes that God’s knowledge is subject to constant change and considers it an immutable attribute of essence.

 

[3/340] التوحيد: أبي، عن سعد، عن ابن هاشم، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن ابن حازم، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: قلت له: أرأيت ما كان وما هو كائن إلى يوم القيامة أليس كان في علم الله تعالى؟ قال: فقال: بلى قبل أن يخلق السماوات والارض

[3/340] al-Tawhid: My father from Sa’d from Ibn Hashim from Ibn Abi Umayr from Ibn Hazim from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام. He (Ibn Hazim) said: I said to him (the Imam): Consider all that which was and is to be up to the Day of Judgment - was it not in the knowledge of Allah the Elevated? He said: Yes. Before He created the Heavens and the Earth.  

 

[4/341] التوحيد: ابن الوليد، عن الصفار، عن اليقطيني، عن يونس قال: قلت لابي الحسن الرضا عليه السلام: روينا أن الله علم لاجهل فيه، حياة لاموت فيه، نور لاظلمة فيه قال: كذلك هو

[4/341] al-Tawhid: Ibn al-Walid from al-Saffar from al-Yaqtini from Yunus who said: I said to Abi al-Hasan al-Ridha عليه السلام: We have narrated that Allah is Knowledge with no ignorance in Him. Life with no death in Him. Light with no darkness in Him. He said: That is who He is.

NOTES:

This is a crucial narration because it gives us Allah’s attributes of essence. This means that Allah is All-knowledge, All-Life and All-Light. This is the very essence of who He is - not that they are attributes additional to Him (as a separate entity).

al-Muhsini: Perhaps ‘Light’ here means Existence, for it cannot be interpreted to mean the usual guidance in this context. And Allah knows best.

 

[5/342] التوحيد: ابن المتوكل، عن الحميري، عن ابن عيسى، عن ابن محبوب، عن ابن سنان، عن جعفر بن محمد، عن أبيه عليهما السلام قال: إن لله علما خاصا، وعلما عاما فأما العلم الخاص فالعلم الذي لم يطلع عليه ملائكته المقربين وأنبياءه المرسلين، وأما علمه العام فإنه علمه الذي أطلع عليه ملائكته المقربين وأنبياءه المرسلين، وقد وقع إلينا من رسول الله عليه صلى الله عليه واله

[5/342] al-Tawhid: Ibn al-Mutawakkil from al-Himyari from Ibn Isa from Ibn Mahbub from Ibn Sinan from Ja’far b. Muhammad from his father عليهما السلام who said: Verily there is for Allah a special knowledge and a general knowledge. As for the special knowledge then it is the knowledge which no one has seen (access to), not His angels brought-near nor His prophets who were sent. As for  His general knowledge then it is His knowledge which has been seen (accessed) by His angels brought-near and His prophets who were sent. And this (last) has reached us from the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه واله

NOTES:

This division of knowledge does not pertain to the actual knowledge of Allah itself which cannot be divided, rather it is a classification based on related details, such as whether others have access to it or not.

 

[6/343] التوحيد: أبي، عن علي، عن أبيه، عن ابن أبى عمير، عن عبد الله بن سنان، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام في قول الله عزوجل: وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ فقال: السماوات والارض وما بينهما في الكرسي والعرش هو العلم الذي لا يقدر أحد قدره

[6/343] al-Tawhid: My father from Ali from his father from Ibn Abi Umayr from Abdallah b. Sinan from Abi Abdillahعليه السلام  about the words of Allah Mighty and Majestic: “His Chair extends over the Heavens and the Earth” (2:255) - He said: The Heavens, the Earth and what is between them is within the Chair while the Throne (Arsh) is the Knowledge whom no one can estimate its limit.   

NOTES:

The Knowledge of Allah is infinite.

It has come already an interpretation of Arsh as all that which exists, and this (that it is the knowledge of Allah) is another interpretation. It is possible that it can mean both in different contexts pursuant to usage.  

 

[7/344] الكافي: على بن ابراهيم، عن محمد بن عيسى، عن يونس، عن منصور بن حازم قال: سألت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام هل يكون اليوم شئ لم يكن في علم الله بالامس؟ قال: لا، من قال هذا فأخزاه الله قلت: أرأيت ما كان وما هو كائن إلى يوم القيامة أليس في علم الله؟ قال: بلى قبل أن يخلق الخلق

[7/344] al-Kafi: Ali b. Ibrahim from Muhammad b. Isa from Yunus from Mansur b. Hazim who said: I asked Aba Abdillah عليه السلام: Does there happen something today which was not in the Knowledge of Allah yesterday? He said: No. May the the one who says that be abased by Allah. I said: Consider whatever has happened and whatever will happen up to the Day of Judgment - is it not in the knowledge of Allah? He said: Yes. Before He created the creation.     

NOTES:

al-Muhsini: It is easier to demonstrate God’s knowledge of all things since He is their creator and it is not expected that the one who gave knowledge to the knowledgeable scholars in the first place should be deficient in this regard. More difficult is to establish that God knew all things from eternity via logical proof.

This is because knowledge as we conceive of it is a product of ‘thought’ and ‘mental images’ of things processed in the brain, and it is not possible to attribute such ‘thoughts’ as occurring in the essence of God. Furthermore, ‘thoughts’ or ‘images’ are themselves contingent (originate in time) not eternal. Even if one were to maintain that God’s thoughts are eternal then the first question of the relation between thought and His essence remains.

I have not seen any of the theologians and philosophers attempting to prove this except Mulla Sadra in his Asfar where he makes the argument of ‘multiplicity within unity’. For more elaboration on this refer to my book on theology ‘Sirat al-Haqq’ wherein a general argument is given to establish His detailed knowledge (even particulars) of all things as part (at the level) of His essence.

 

[8/345] التوحيد: ابن إدريس، عن أبيه، عن الاشعري، عن علي بن إسماعيل، وابن هاشم معا، عن صفوان، عن ابن حازم قال: سألت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام هل يكون اليوم شئ لم يكن في علم الله عزوجل؟ قالا: لا بل كان في علمه قبل أن ينشئ السماوات والارض

[8/345] al-Tawhid: Ibn Idris from his father from al-Ash’ari from Ali b. Ismail and Ibn Hashim from Safwan from Ibn Hazim who said: I asked Aba Abdillahعليه السلام  - Does there happen something today which was not in the knowledge of Allah Mighty and Majestic? He said: No. Rather it was in His knowledge before He generated the Heavens and the Earth. 

 

[-/9] بصائر الدرجات: عبد الله بن جعفر، عن محمد بن عيسى، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن ربعي، عن الفضيل، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: إن لله علما يعلمه ملائكته وأنبياؤه ورسله ألا ونحن نعلمه، ولله علم لا يعلمه ملائكته وأنبياؤه ورسله

[9/-] Basair al-Darajat: Abdallah b. Ja’far from Muhammad b. Isa from Ibn Abi Umayr from Rib’i from al-Fudhayl from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام who said: Allah has a knowledge which is known by His angels, prophets and messengers. Behold! We too do know it. Allah also has a knowledge which His angels, prophets and messengers do not know about. 

 

[10/346] التوحيد: أبي، عن سعد، عن البرقي، عن ابن يزيد، عن حماد بن عيسى، عن ربعي ابن عبد الله، عن الفضيل بن يسار قال: سمعت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام يقول: إن الله عزوجل لا يوصف 

قال: وقال زرارة: قال أبو جعفر عليه السلام: إن الله عزوجل لا يوصف بعجز وكيف يوصف وقد قال في كتابه: وَمَا قَدَرُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ قَدْرِهِ؟ فلا يوصف بقدرة إلا كان أعظم من ذلك

[10/346] al-Tawhid: My father from Sa’d from al-Barqi from Ibn Yazid from Hammad b. Isa from Rib’i b. Abdallah from al-Fudhayl b. Yasar who said: I heard Aba Abdillahعليه السلام  saying: Allah Mighty and Majestic cannot be described (as He really is). 

Zurara said: Abu Ja’farعليه السلام  said: Allah Mighty and Majestic cannot be described with (having) any Incapacity.

How can He be described (as He really is) when He says in His book: “they have not estimated Allah His true estimate” (39:67)? Thus He is not described with (a level of) power except that He is greater than that. 

 

[11/347] التوحيد: ابن مسرور، عن ابن عامر، عن عمه، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن أبان بن عثمان، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: جاء رجل إلى أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام فقال: أيقدر الله أن يدخل الارض في بيضة ولا تصغر الارض ولا تكبر البيضة؟ فقال له: ويلك إن الله لا يوصف بالعجز ومن أقدر ممن يلطف الارض ويعظم البيضة؟

[11/347] al-Tawhid: Ibn Masrur from Ibn A’mir from his uncle from Ibn Abi Umayr from Aban b. Uthman from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام who said: A man came to the Commander of the Faithful عليه السلام and said: Is Allah capable of inserting the Earth into an egg without the Earth becoming smaller or the egg becoming larger? He said: Woe upon you - Incapacity cannot be attributed to Allah. Who is more capable (of doing that) than the One who diminishes the Earth and enlarges the egg?!  

NOTES:

This question has been answered differently by the Imams depending on the level of knowledge of the questioner.

In the above report the Imam draws attention to the power of Allah over diminishing the earth and enlarging the egg (which begins as a very small cell). Events which happen every day. He rhetorically questions whether the power of such a one can be doubted over other things.

Another way to answer it is to use the metaphor of the eye.

ابن البرقي، عن أبيه، عن جده أحمد، عن البزنطي قال: جاء رجل إلى الرضا عليه السلام فقال: هل يقدر ربك أن يجعل السماوات والارض وما بينهما في بيضة؟ قال: نعم وفي أصغر من البيضة، وقد جعلها في عينك وهي أقل من البيضة، لانك إذا فتحتها عاينت السماء والارض وما بينهما، ولو شاء لاعماك عنها

Ibn al-Barqi – his father – his grandfather – al-Bazanti who said: A man came to al-Ridhaعليه السلام  and said: Is your Lord capable of fitting the heavens, the earth and all that which is between them in an egg? He said: Yes. Even in something smaller than an egg. He has placed it in your eye and it is smaller than an egg. For when you open it (the eye) you see the sky and the earth and all that is between them, and if He had wished He would have blinded you from it.

However the most complete answer (which requires some thought) is as seen below:

ماجيلويه، عن عمه، عن البرقي، عن علي بن أبي أيوب المدني، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن ابن اذينة، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: قيل لامير المؤمنين عليه السلام: هل يقدر ربك أن يدخل الدنيا في بيضة من غير أن تصغر الدنيا أو تكبر البيضة ؟ قال: إن الله تبارك وتعالى لا ينسب إلى العجز، والذي سألتني لا يكون

Majilwayh – his uncle – al-Barqi – Ali b. Abi Ayyub al-Madani – Ibn Abi Umayr – Ibn Udhayna – Abi Abdillahعليه السلام  who said: It was said to the Commander of the Faithful عليه السلام: Is your Lord able to fit the Earth in an egg without the Earth becoming smaller or the egg becoming larger? He said: Incapacity cannot be attributed to Allah Blessed and Elevated. What you asked me does not happen (is impossible). 

Al-Majlisi comments:

لان القدرة تتعلق بما يصح حصوله ويمكن وجوده، فما هو ممتنع وجوده ومتعذر حصوله لا تتعلق به القدرة، ولا يصح أن يسئل عنه بأن الله قادر ان يفعله أم لا ؟ فاثبات عموم قدرته وتنزيه ساحته عن العجز والقصور لا ينافى عدم امكان حصول تلك الامور، وبالجملة فالنقص في القابل، دون الفاعل

Power applies to that which is possible and exists. Power has nothing to do with that which is impossible to exist and does not happen and it is not correct to ask whether Allah is capable to do it or not. Affirming His power and negating for Him any incapacity does not contradict with the impossibility of those things. In summary, the deficiency is in what has been asked to be done and not the one who has been asked to do it. 

One of the scholars says: 

لكن هذا السؤال غلط مِن الأساس; لأنَّ مفهوم هذا السؤال كون العالم كبيراً وصغيراً في ذات الوقت، وهو من قبيل القول بأن موجوداً طوله عشرين متراً وعشر أمتار في آن واحد، فهذا تناقض محال. ولو طلبت من طالب أن يقسّم عشرين جوزة بين ثلاثين طالباً على أن لا يصل لكلٍّ منهم أقل من جوزة كاملة ما استطاع الطالب فعل ذلك، فهل التقصير منه أو من طلبتك غير الممكنة؟ طبيعي أن لا تعكس هذه المسألة عجز الطالب بل انَّ المسألة غلط

This question is illogical from the very beginning. The question implies that the earth can be both large and small at the same time. It is like saying that someone has both the height of 20 meters and 10 meters at the same time. This is an impossibility. If you were to ask someone to divide 20 pieces between 30 students and place a condition that all students have to get one complete piece - no one will be able to do this. Now is the deficiency in the one you have demanded this from or in your demand which is impossible? This cannot be used to demonstrate the incapacity of the one you demanded this from but rather the question itself does not stand. 

Another says:

أي إن القدرة تتعلق بالشيء، وما ذكرته ليس بشيء كي تتعلق القدرة به، واللاشيء إما ممتنع وإما معدوم، وهو لفظ لا مصداق له، فليس صحيحا أن تسأل: هل الله قادر؟ بل الصحيح ان تسأل: هل الله قادر على كل شيء

Power exerts itself on a thing. What you mentioned is not a thing so that power can apply itself to it. A non-thing is a logical absurdity. Your question does not mean anything. It is not appropriate to ask: Is Allah capable? Rather it is correct to ask: Is Allah capable over all things

 

[12/384] التوحيد: أبي، عن سعد، عن ابن أبي الخطاب، عن البزنطي قال: جاء قوم من وراء النهر إلى أبي الحسن عليه السلام فقالوا له: جئناك نسألك عن ثلاث مسائل، فإن أجبتنا فيها علمنا أنك عالم، فقال: سلوا. فقالوا: أخبرنا عن الله أين كان، وكيف كان، وعلى أي شئ كان اعتماده؟ فقال: إن الله عزوجل كيف الكيف فهو بلا كيف، وأين الاين فهو بلا أين، وكان اعتماده على قدرته فقالوا: نشهد أنك عالم 

[12/384] al-Tawhid: My father from Sa’d from Ibn Abi al-Khattab from al-Bazanti who said: A group came from Beyond the River to Abi al-Hasanعليه السلام  and said to him: We have come to ask you three questions. If you answer us in them we will know that you are the Scholar. He said: Ask. They said: Inform us about Allah - Where was He? How was He? Upon what thing was His reliance? 

He said: Allah Mighty and Majestic howed the how so he is without ‘how’ and whered the where so He is without ‘where’ and His reliance was on His Power. They said: We bear witness that you are the Scholar. 

NOTES:

By Ma wara an-nahr (lit. ‘what is beyond the river’) is meant Transoxiana (Central Asia), the river being Amu Darya, the ancient Oxus, frontier of the former Sasanid empire in the North East.   

I have kept up a literal rendition of the Imam’s answer to preserve the sense of the word-play involved. However the meaning is:

Allah is the one who in the first-instance placed conditions on things other than Himself (every phenomenon is governed by rules like cause and effect), such that someone can ask ‘how’, and He did this without Himself being bound by conditions (they did not precede Him) - so how can ‘how’ be asked of Him?

Allah is the one who in the first-instance gave ‘place’ to place, such that someone can ask ‘where’, and He did this without Himself being bound by space (it did not precede Him) - so how can ‘where’ be asked of Him?

قال الصدوق رحمه الله: يعنى بقوله:  وكان اعتماده على قدرته - أي على ذاته لان القدرة من صفات ذات الله عزوجل

al-Saduq comments: He (the Imam) means by his words ‘and His (God’s) reliance was on His Power’ that it (reliance) was on His essence (i.e. on Himself). Because Power is one of the attributes of the essence of Allah Mighty and Majestic.

  

[13/349] التوحيد: حمزة العلوي، عن علي، عن أبيه، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن ابن اذينة، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام في قوله عزوجل مَا يَكُونُ مِن نَّجْوَىٰ ثَلَاثَةٍ إِلَّا هُوَ رَابِعُهُمْ وَلَا خَمْسَةٍ إِلَّا هُوَ سَادِسُهُمْ وَلَا أَدْنَىٰ مِن ذَٰلِكَ وَلَا أَكْثَرَ إِلَّا هُوَ مَعَهُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كَانُوا فقال: هو واحد أحدي الذات، بائن من خلقه، وبذاك وصف نفسه، وهو بكل شئ محيط بالاشراف والاحاطة والقدرة، لا يعزب عنه مثقال ذرة في السماوات ولا في الارض ولا أصغر من ذلك ولا أكبر بالاحاطة والعلم لا بالذات لان الاماكن محدودة تحويها حدود أربعة فإذا كان بالذات لزمه الحواية

[13/349] al-Tawhid: Hamza al-Alawi from Ali from his father from Ibn Abi Umayr from Ibn Udhayna from Abi Abdillahعليه السلام  about His words Mighty and Majestic: “there is no private conversation of three but He is the fourth of them, nor of five but He is the sixth of them - and no less than that and no more except that He is with them wherever they are” (58:7). 

He (the Imam) said: He is One. Unique in Essence. Distinct from His creation. That is how He described Himself. He encompasses everything in terms of (His) supervision, awareness and power (over them). Nothing escapes Him even the weight of a particle in the Heavens and in the Earth nor smaller than that or larger - in terms of awareness and knowledge not by (His) essence, for locations (space) are bounded, delimited by the four bounds (left-side, right-side, in-front, behind), so if it was (that He was encompassing) by essence than that would necessarily imply containment (which is impossible for Him).         

NOTES:

God’s knowledge is His very essence, so when the Imam says: ‘in terms of awareness and knowledge not by (His) essence …’ it is merely to avoid a potential misunderstanding for the listeners by clarifying that He is not physically in space.  

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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On 5/10/2018 at 9:55 AM, Islamic Salvation said:

I have used the word ‘transcend’ to describe this concept

سلام brother Islamic Salvation,

عرش does refer to all things. In another authentic hadith, Imam Ridha (as) refers to استوا as "power and knowledge." God has power and knowledge or control over all things. He has equal access to all things, through His knowledge and power. 

I worry that the word "transcend" may be understood as "above" or "over", opposite of "immanent." 

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On 5/10/2018 at 9:55 AM, Islamic Salvation said:

Nothing escapes Him even the weight of a particle in the Heavens and in the earth nor smaller than that or bigger - in terms of awareness and knowledge not by (His) essence, for locations are bounded, delimited by the four bounds (height, width, depth), so if it was by essence then that would necessarily imply containment. 

سلام

Could you please clarify this part for me? According to this statement and others like it, the essence of Allah may have a physical location. His power, knowledge, awareness, and supervision do not. But it seems His essence does. 

 

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18 hours ago, SoRoUsH said:

سلام, 

What does it mean for creatures or slaves to be known through Allah? 

Wa Alaykum Salam.

I will let Mulla Salih Mazandarani explain:

 

(فقلت لهم: إن الله جل جلاله أجل وأعز وأكرم من أن يعرف بخلقه) أي بإرشاد خلقه والحجج عليهم السلام هم المرشدون إلى سبيل المعرفة وأما الهداية فموهبية كما دل عليه بعض الروايات، ودل عليه أيضا قوله تعالى * إنك لا تهدي من أحببت ولكن الله يهدي من يشاء * أو بصفات خلقه لأن معرفته بها شرك بالله العظيم

I said to them: Verily Allah Majestic is His Majesty is more Majestic, Strong and Gracious that He be known through His creatures

that is, through the guidance of His creatures. For the prophets and Imams are callers to the path of knowledge (recognition of God) but as for guidance then it is a gift (which only God can give), as has been indicated in a number of narrations, and has also been indicated in His words the Elevated: “you cannot guide the one you wish rather Allah guides whomsoever He wishes”.

Or it means (God cannot be known) by the attributes of His creatures for knowing Him through them (equating them) is associating with Allah (Shirk).

(بل العباد يعرفون بالله) أي يعرفون الله بهدايته وتوفيقه أو بما عرفهم به من نفسه من الصفات اللايقة به كما مر في الحديث الثاني من هذا الباب

rather the slaves know through Allah

that is, they come to know Allah by His guidance and facilitation. 

Or by what He has made known to them of Himself and of His attributes befitting Himself …   

ويحتمل أن يقرأ يعرفون على البناء للمفعول ويكون المقصود حينئذ أنه تعالى لا يعرف حق المعرفة بالنظر إلى خلقه والاستدلال بهم عليه بل الخلق يعرفون بنور ربهم كما تعرف الذرات بنور الشمس دون العكس وليس نور الله في آفاق النفوس أقل من نور الشمس في آفاق السماء قال عز من قائل * وأشرقت الأرض بنور ربها * فضوؤه قاطع لرين أرباب الضماير، ونوره ساطع في أبصار أصحاب البصاير، ولا يبعد أن يكون قول أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام " الحمد لله المتجلي لخلقه " إشارة إلى هذا القسم من المعرفة

It can also be read as “yu’rafuna” -

rather the slaves are known through Allah

the meaning then would be that He the Elevated cannot be known the way He ought to be known (the way He really is) by looking at His creatures and using them to evidence Him. Rather, the creatures are known by the Light of their Lord. Like the way sand particles are known by the light of the Sun and not the opposite. The Light of Allah in the horizons of the self is not less than the light of the sun in the horizons of the sky. He said: “and the earth was illuminated by the Light of its Lord”. Thus His brilliance is a remover for the rust (accumulated in the hearts) of the possessors of intellect, and his Light is radiant in the vision of the people of insight. It is not far fetched that the words of the Commander of the Faithful: “All praise is due to Allah who is illuminated to His creatures” is an allusion to this kind of knowledge.

 

I preferred this latter vocalization because it is more in line with the narration as a whole and al-Majlisi agrees:

و يمكن أن يقرأ " يعرفون" على بناء المجهول بل هو أظهر، أي الأنبياء و الحجج عليه السلام إنما تعرف حقيقتهم و رسالتهم و حجيتهم بما أتاهم من المعجزات و البراهين، أو به يعرف جميع الخلق بما أشرق منه عليهم من نور الوجود

It can also be read as “yu’rafuna” -  in fact this is more apparent.

rather the slaves are known through Allah

that is to say, the reality of the prophets and Imams (the slaves), and their being messengers and leaders, becomes known only because of what He gave them of miracles and proofs i.e. He is the one who made them known.

Or that through Him is the whole creation known because of what has become illuminated on them from Him of the Light of existence.   

 

What I have highlighted in red is the best meaning when studied in context ...

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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17 hours ago, SoRoUsH said:

سلام

Could you please clarify this part for me? According to this statement and others like it, the essence of Allah may have a physical location. His power, knowledge, awareness, and supervision do not. But it seems His essence does. 

 

Actually, the Imam is arguing against physical location for the essence. 

He is saying: 

Nothing escapes Him even the weight of a particle in the Heavens and in the Earth nor smaller than that or larger - in terms of awareness and knowledge not by (His) essence, for locations (space) are bounded, delimited by the four bounds (left-side, right-side, in-front, behind), so if it was (that He was encompassing) by essence then that would necessarily imply containment (which is impossible for Him).

The Imam is arguing that if He was encompassing everything by His essence it would mean He is in space, space which is inherently limited, and that would imply He is contained.  

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4 hours ago, Islamic Salvation said:

Actually, the Imam is arguing against physical location for the essence. 

He is saying: 

Nothing escapes Him even the weight of a particle in the Heavens and in the Earth nor smaller than that or larger - in terms of awareness and knowledge not by (His) essence, for locations (space) are bounded, delimited by the four bounds (left-side, right-side, in-front, behind), so if it was (that He was encompassing) by essence then that would necessarily imply containment (which is impossible for Him).

The Imam is arguing that if He was encompassing everything by His essence it would mean He is in space, space which is inherently limited, and that would imply He is contained.  

سلام 

Thank you! 

But can't that statement be read differently: His essence doesn't encompass everything, His power, awareness, and knowledge do. 

There's a functional distinction made between His essence and His power and knowledge. The former doesn't encompass, the latter does. 

 

 

Edited by SoRoUsH

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On 7/11/2018 at 2:23 PM, SoRoUsH said:

سلام 

Thank you! 

But can't that statement be read differently: His essence doesn't encompass everything, His power, awareness, and knowledge do. 

There's a functional distinction made between His essence and His power and knowledge. The former doesn't encompass, the latter does. 

It can also be read in that way.

But the problem would be that we have narrations which define power and knowledge to be His very essence and not additional attributes borne by Him. Thus the scholars do not wish to make a distinction between the two.  

One way to reconcile is that the Imam interprets Him to be 'encompassing' everything as having power over everything and knowledge of everything, negating the thought that He is by His essence physically encompassing everything within space.

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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