The consensus of Ahlus Sunnah regarding three principles related to Allah’s Attributes
Selected pearls from the books of the People of Knowledge and Fiqh
The consensus (amongst Ahlus Sunnah) which has been conveyed regarding three principles related to Allah’s Attributes
The First Principle: Regarding Allah the Most High’s Attributes, there is no place for the intellect (in deriving) them.
Al-Haafidh as-Sijzee mentioned in his book “Ar-Radd ‘ala man Ankara al-Harf wa as-Sawt”, pg. 121: “The Imaams have agreed that the Attributes are not derived except by way of refrainment” (i.e.refraining from affirming an Attribute for Allah until there is proof).
The Second Principle: Belief in the Attributes of Allah is by affirming their literal meaning not figurative.
Al-Haafidh Ibn ‘Abdil Barr mentioned in his book “at-Tamheed”, 145/7:
“There is a consensus amongst Ahlus Sunnah that the Attributes (of Allah) are affirmed, all of them, which have come in the Qur’aan and Sunnah and believing in them and understanding them according to their apparent meaning, not figuratively, except that they (Ahlus Sunnah) do not establish the ‘how’ of these Attributes nor do they establish or determine the reality of them.”
However, Ahlul Bid’ah, the Jahmiyyah and Mu’tazilah – all of them – and the Khawaarij deny them (Allah’s Attributes) and they do not understand any of them according to their literal meaning.
Those who deny Allah’s Attributes also claim that whoever affirms them, then he is one who has likened Allah to His creation and conversely, those who do so are considered from amongst the people who negate the One Who is worshipped according to those who affirm Allah’s Attributes.
The ‘Allaamah al-Maqreezee mentioned in his book “al-Muwaa’idh wal I’tibaar bi Dhikr al-Khutat wal Aathaar”, 188/4:
“And all of them (Ahlus Sunnah) have narrated understanding the Attributes as they have come.”
The Third Principle: The literal meaning texts of the Attributes are known to us in light of their linguistic meaning and they are unknown to us with regards to the ‘how’ of these Attributes.
Al-Imaam adh-Dhahabee mentioned in his book “al-’Arsh”, 195/1 whilst commenting on the statement of Imaam Maalik: “The ascension of Allah on His Throne is not unknown (its known linguistically) and the ‘how’ of it is incomprehensible”:
“And what Imaam Maalik said is what the texts have come with and this is what ALL of the Salaf were upon.”
Selected by Shaykh ‘Abdul Qaadir al-Junayd
Translated by Abu Afnaan Muhammad Abdullah