The “Hand” of Allâh   by GF Haddad

The “Hand” of Allâh  
by GF Haddad – Rajab 1423

“I heard Mâlik [ibn Anas] say: ‘Whoever recites (the Hand of Allâh) (3:73, 5:64, 48:10, 57:29) and indicates his hand, or recites (the Eye of Allâh) (cf. 20:39, 11:37, 23:27, 52:48, 54:14) and indicates that organ of his: let it be cut off to discipline him concerning the Sacredness and Transcendence beyond what he has compared Him to, and above his own comparison to Him. Both his life and the limb he compared to Allâh are cut off.” Ibn Wahb.1

Ibn `Asâkir wrote:

The Mu`tazila said: He has a “hand” (yad) but His “hand” is his power (qudra) and favor (ni`ma), while His “face” (wajh) is His existence. The H.ashwiyya said: His hand is a limb (jârih.a), and His face has a form (s.ûra).2 Al-Ash`arî took the middle road and said: His hand is an Attribute and His face is an Attribute, just like His hearing and His sight.3

The Salaf and later scholars interpreted the Hand of Allâh (swt) in various ways depending, among other factors whether the singular or the plural is used.

Concerning the verse ” We have built the heaven with (Our) hands ” (51:47),

al-T.abarî narrated in his Tafsîr that Ibn `Abbâs said: “It means: with strength.” He reports an identical position from Mujâhid, Qatâda, Mans.ûr, Ibn Zayd, and Sufyân al-Thawrî. This is also Imâm al-Ash`arîs explanation a reported by Ibn Fûrâk in the latters recension of Ash`arîs school.4

However, al-Ash`arî in al-Ibâna and his student Ibn Khafîf pointed out the difference between the plural hands (aydin) on the one hand, and the singular and dual on the other.5

The tawîl of the Salaf with regard to the plural hands is based on the lexical possibility of the meaning of al-yad among the Arabs as signifiying strength (al-quwwa). Thus the same verse (51:47) is cited in al-Zabîdîs massive Arabic dictionary as an illustration that “hands” means “strength.”6

This is also the interpretation retained by al-Nawawî in his commentary on Muslims S.ah.îh. and other later Ash`arîs. It is confirmed by the verse:

(Make mention of our bondmen, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, men of parts [literally “of two hands”] and vision) (38:45) meaning men possessing strength.

It also means ownership (al-mulk) as He said: (Lo! the bounty is in the hand of Allâh) (3:73).

According to some scholars it also means favor (al-ni`ma), as it is said: “So-and-so has a hand over so-and-so,” to mean that he owes him a favor.

It also means a kind of link, as Allâh said: (Or he agrees to forego it in whose hand is the marriage tie) (2:237).

Other meanings are generosity, kindness, and mercy. Dr. al-Bût.î wrote:

“The hand of Allâh (swt) is His strength in His saying: ‘The hand of Allâh is over their hand’ (48:10) and

His generosity in His saying: ‘Nay, both His hands are spread wide, and He bestows as He wills’ (5:64).”7

Imâm al-Bayhaqî said in his masterpiece al-Asmâ wal-S.ifât:

Some of the keenest scholars have said that the Right (al-yamîn) signifies the Hand (al-yad), and the Palm (al-kaff) likewise, in the sense that the hand for Allâh is an Attribute, not a limb.8 Thus every passage that mentions it in the Book and the authentic Sunna carries a meaning in connection with the object of mention such as folding up, taking, seizing, spreading, sweeping, accepting, giving, and other acts connecting the personal Attributes to what those attributes entail, without touch nor contact. There is never in all this any likeness between Allâh and creation whatsoever. Others have said that the handful (al-qabd.a) [in the verse (The whole earth is His handful on the Day of Resurrection) (39:67)] may be by means of a limb – exalted is Allâh beyond that! – while others said that it may mean dominion (al-mulk) and power (al-qudra).. . . as in His saying: (From among those whom your right hands possess) (30:28) which signifies property. It was also said that by the verse (and the heavens are rolled in His right hand) (39:67) is meant that the heavens are bound to disappear according to his oath. That is, He swore an oath to abolish them. . . .

About the Prophet’s  h.adîth: “No one spends something good in charity – and Allâh accepts nothing but good – except the Merciful takes it with His right hand (yamînih), if only a date; it increases in the palm of the Merciful (kaff al-Rah.mân) until it exceeds the size of a mountain, just as one of you makes his parcel of land productive.”9
His saying “The Mercifuls palm” (kaff) means His dominion and sovereignty according to the keenest scholars.10

Al-Mâzarî said: “This h.adîth and its likes are only expressions that follow their usage so that they would understand his [the Prophets] meaning, so it metaphorically refers (kannâ) to the acceptance of alms as the right hand and to its reward as its increase.” `Iyâd. said something similar, both as reported by Ibn H.ajar.11

Al-Bayhaqî continues:

About the h.adîth whereby a Jew ( or: one of the rabbis ) said to the Prophet : “Allâh places the heavens on a finger, the earths on a finger, the trees on a finger, the undersoil on a finger, and all creatures on a finger.” Hearing this, the Prophet  smiled until his molar teeth showed. A version in the two S.ah.îh.s specifies: “he smiled in confirmation of the rabbis words.” Then he said: {and they esteem not Allâh as He has the right to be esteemed} (39:67).12 Abû Sulaymân al-Khat.t.âbî said:

The Jews are anthropomorphists, and they claim that part of the revealed Torah consists in expressions that support anthropomorphism. However, the Muslims do not accept such expressions among their doctrines. It is established that the Prophet  said:

“Whatever the People of the Book narrate to you, neither believe nor disbelieve them, but say:

{We believe in Allâh and whatever was revealed to us} (2:136).”13

The Prophet  is the most apt of all creation to have applied this command in the above report. The proof for the veracity of this fact is that he did not utter a single word to confirm nor deny it. All that he let show was a smile, which in one case expresses approval, in another, surprise and disapproval. Then he recited the verse which may apply to either case, but there is no mention of fingers in the verse. As for the words of one of the narrators – “in confirmation of the rabbi’s words” – they are pure speculation, and the matter of this supposed confirmation remains a weak view for what he let show does not explicitly disclose one view over the other … To adduce a proof from smiling or laughter in such a tremendous instance is therefore not allowed in the presence of two conflicting interpretations for the evidence.14

About the Prophet’s  h.adîth:

“There is no heart except it lies between the two fingers of the Merciful. If He wishes, He will set it aright; and if He wishes, He will lead it astray.”15

It means that the hearts are under his power and dominion. They were mentioned specifically because Allâh Almighty has made the heart the seat of passing thoughts, will, resolutions and intentions, which are all the introductories of actions. Then He made all the limbs dependent on the heart in their motions and stillness, thereby showing that our actions are all measured out by Allâh and created, and that nothing happens without His will.

The Prophet  exemplified for His Companions the Divine pre-eternal power with the illustration clearest to their own understandings,16
for none has more power over something than when he has it between his fingers. It may also mean the two favors of benefit and protection, or the two traces of Divine favor and justice.17

Of the h.adîth of the Rabbi, Shaykh al-Islâm al-Nawawî said: “This is among the h.adîths of the Divine Attributes. We already mentioned the two schools on this. One school gives an explanation and the other refrains from giving an explanation together with belief in it and the conviction that the outward sense is not meant. According to those who gave an explanation, they interpret the fingers here to power and strength. That is, He created them in all their vastness without the least fatigue nor weariness. People speak of the fingers in this context for exaggeration and deprecation. For example, they say: ‘With one finger I can kill X.’ Meaning, it requires no effort on my part. It was also said that the finger of one of His creatures may be meant. This is not impossible. In any case, the hand as limb is precluded [for Allâh]. As for the narrators words, ‘the Messenger of Allâh  smiled in surprise (ta`ajjuban) at what the rabbi had said and in confirmation (tas.dîqan) of his words then he said:

{and they esteem not Allâh as He has the right to be esteemed}:

the apparent meaning here is that the Prophet  confirmed the rabbis words that Allâh (swt) seizes the heavens and the earth and all creatures with the fingers, then he recited the verse that indicates something like what he had just said. Al-Qâd.î said that one of the Scholars of kalâm [al-Khat.t.âbî] said: `His smiling  and his surprise and recitation of the verse do not constitute a confirmation for the rabbi but rather a refutation of what he said, disapproval, and surprise at his wrong belief. For the Jews are anthropomorphists and he [the Prophet ] understood this from him. As for the words “in confirmation of him,” they are an interpolation on the part of the narrator according to his understanding.’ But the first explanation is stronger.”18

These interpretations are all acceptable and they do not imply the slightest denial of any of the Divine Attributes on which there is consensus. We should nevertheless obligatorily believe that the word yad (hand) does not mean an organ as we know it, in accordance with the verse: {There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him} (42:11) and that the word yad does not imply a resemblance to creatures. Hence, Ibn
H.ajars statement:

“The elite of the mutakallimûn said: ‘He knows not Allâh, who attributes Him resemblance to His creation, or attributes a hand to Him, or a son.”19

Contrary to this, the doctrine of the Literalists consists in attributing an actual hand to the Creator. Thus Bin Baz charges al-Qâd.î `Iyâd. and Ibn H.ajar with abandoning the way of Ahl al-Sunna for stating that the Hand of Allâh does not pertain to a bodily appendage.20 This is similar to the pretext of the anthropomorphist who said: “We expelled Ibn H.ibbân from Sijistân for his lack of Religion: he used to say that Allâh is not limited.”

As for the saying reported from the Prophet : “The Black Stone is the right hand of Allâh,”21 if established as true, then it is interpreted figuratively according to the doctrinal necessity that Allâh is neither spatially confined anywhere nor divisible, and the fact that the senses witness that the Black Stone is not really the right hand of Allâh. Therefore, the h.adîth is taken variously to mean prosperity, blessing, acceptance, and the context of the Muslims pledge of loyalty to their Creator. Yet Ibn Rajab relates that Ibn al-Fa`ûs al-H.anbalî (d. 521) would say: “The Black Stone is the Right Hand of Allâh in reality (h.aqîqatan),” for which he was nicknamed “The Stony” (al-H.ajarî).22 Ibn Fûrâk writes that he embarked on a study of kalâm because of this h.adîth.23 Ibn Qutayba said that it was actually a saying of Ibn `Abbâs, and he relates a saying of `Âisha )#  that the Black Stone is the depository of the covenant of human souls with Allâh on the Day of Promise (alastu bi rabbikum). He interprets the Black Stone as representing the place where one declares ones pledge of fidelity to the Sovereign.24 Ibn H.ajar cites al-Khat.t.âbîs and al-Muh.ibb al-T.abarîs similar interpretations.25 Al-Qurt.ubî said: “It means that the Black Stone has the standing (manzila) of the Right Hand of Allâh”? metaphorically speaking.”26

Another h.adîth brought up by the anthropomorphists is the narration of Abû Hurayra that “The Prophet  recited the verse (Lo! Allâh commands you that you restore deposits to their owners, and, if you judge between mankind, that you judge justly. Lo! excellent is this which Allâh admonishes you. Lo! Allâh is ever Hearer, Seer) (4:58) whereupon he e placed his thumb on his ear and his index finger on his eye.”27 This h.adîth must be read together with Ibn H.ibbâns commentary:

By placing his fingers on his ear and eye the Prophet  wanted to let people know that Allâh Almighty does not hear by means of the ear that has an auditory meatus and curves, nor does He see with the eye that has eyelids, a pupil, and a white part. Highly exalted is our Lord above any likeness with His creatures in any way whatsoever! Rather, He hears and sees without organ (âla) in any way He wishes.28

Al-Bayhaqî said of the same h.adîth:

What is meant by the gesture narrated in this report is the verification that Allâh is described as possessing hearing and sight. He therefore pointed to the two places of hearing and sight in us to affirm that Allâh possesses the Attributes of hearing and sight.29

Ibn `Abd al-Salâm gave the following fatwâ concerning the interpretation of yad:

Q. What is the meaning of the Prophets e saying: “The heart of the believer is between two fingers of the Merciful, He turns it over as He wishes”? Does one contravene his obligation if he says: “I do not say anything concerning the verses and the h.adîths on the Attributes. Rather I hold the same belief concerning them as the Pious Salaf held. To speak about them is an innovation (bid`a), and I let them pass according to their external sense,” or is interpretation necessary?

A. The meaning of the Prophet’s  saying, “The heart of the believer is between two fingers of the Merciful” is that Allâh exerts His custody over it with His power and determination as He wills, changing it from disbelief to belief and from obedience to disobedience or the reverse.

It is like His saying: (Blessed is He in Whose hand is the dominion) (67:1) and: (O Prophet! Say unto those captives who are in your hands) (8:70). It is understood that the captives were not left in the physical hands of the Muslims but that they were subdued and conquered by them. The same applies to the expressions: “Specific and non-specific matters are in the hand of so-and-so,” and “The slaves and the animals are in the hand of so-and-so.” It is understood that all these mean that they are in his control (istîlâ) and disposal and not in his physical hand. Similarly the saying of Allâh: (Or he agrees to forgo it in whose hand is the marriage tie) (2:237). The marriage tie is not in his physical hand, but the hand is only an expression of his empowerment and his ability to dispose of the matter.

For one to say: “I believe in this matter what the Salaf believed” is a lie. How does he believe what he has no idea about, and the meaning of which he does not know?

Nor is speaking about the meaning a reprehensible innovation, but rather an obligatory excellent innovation (bid`a h.asana wâjiba), whenever something dubious appears. The only reason the Salaf kept away from such discourse is that in their time no one construed the words of Allâh and those of His Prophet to mean what it is not permissible to construe them to mean. If any such dubiousness had appeared in their time they would have shown it to be a lie and rejected it strenuously! Thus did the Companions and the Salaf refute the Qadariyya when the latter brought out their innovation, although they did not use to address such matters before the Qadariyya appeared on the scene. Nor did they reply to the individuals who mentioned them. Nor did any of the Companions relate any of it from the Prophet  since there was no need for it. and Allâh knows best.”30

The Mâturîdî position is comprehensively stated by Fakhr al-Islâm al-Pazdawi (d. 482):

For us [Mâturîdîs], (those who are firmly grounded in knowledge) (3:7) have no share in the knowledge of the ambiguous content of Qurân (al-mutashâbih) other than pure acquiescence (al-taslîm), believing in the real nature of the meaning (h.aqqiyyat al-murâd) in the Divine presence and that the pause at His saying: (None knows its explanation save Allâh) (3:7) is required (waqf wâjib). The People of Belief belong to one of two levels in knowledge: some over-zealously demand that it be read without pause – those are tested with a form of ignorance – and some demand the pause – those are honored with a form of knowledge”?. An example of the ambiguous verses are the individual letters that open certain suras. Another example is the affirmation of the vision of Allâh (swt) with the sight of the eyes in reality in the hereafter, according to the explicit text of the Qurân: (On that day will faces be resplendent, looking towards their Lord) (75:22-23). For He exists with the Attribute of perfection, and the fact that He can be seen both by Himself and others, is among the characteristics of perfection; moreover, the believer is apt to receive such bestowal of the Divine gift. However, the affirmation of direction is precluded (ithbât al-jiha mumtani`). It follows that the description of the vision is among the ambiguities, ans so it is obligatory to acquiesce to it while believing in its reality. Similarly, the affirmation of the Hand and the Face are real (ithbât al-yad wal-wajh h.aqq) in our School, known in its principle but ambiguous in its description (ma`lûmun bi as.lihi mutashâbihun bi was.fihi). It will not be permitted to invalidate the principle on the grounds that one is unable to comprehend the description. The Mu`tazila went astray only in this respect, for they rejected the principles because of their ignorance of the Attributes and became nullifiers-of-the-Attributes (mu`at.t.ila).”31

Allâh knows best.

[1] In Ibn al-`Arabî al-Mâlikî, Ah.kâm al-Qur’ân (4:1740).

[2] This is the “Salafî” position as stated by `Abd Allâh al-H.âshidî, who openly attributes form and shape to Allâh in his comments on al-Bayhaqî’s al-Asmâ’ wal-S.ifât (2:60): “As for our Lord, we affirm that He possesses a form (sûra)” and (2:67) “As for us we affirm a form (sûra) for Allâh unlike forms.” Rather, as the first line in Ibn `Abd al-Salâm’s Mulh.a states, “He is not a body endowed with form.” Note that the Karrâmiyya said: “Allâh is a body unlike bodies.” Al-Dhahabî, Siyar (10:10). Worse yet is the citation of the Torah’s verse “We shall create man in our image and likeness” by the anthropomorphist author of `Aqîdat Ahl al-?mân fî Khalqi ?dama `alâ S.ûrat al-Rah.mân! (“The Doctrine of the Believers Concerning the Creation of ?dam in the Image of the Merciful”). The pure Sunnî position is: “Allâh is described with the Attribute of Face and that of Hand, together with the upholding of His Transcendence (tanzîh) above having a form (s.ûra) and a limb (jârih.a).” `Ala’ al-Dîn al-Bukhârî (d. 730) in his commentary on al-Pazdawi’s Us.ûl entitled Kashf al-Asrâr (1:60). Al-Bayhaqî states the Sunnî position thus: “It is impermissible that the Creator be attributed form (s.ûra), nor does He possess form, because form is variegated (mukhtalifa) and appearances are mutually contrasted (al-hay’ât mutad.âd.d.a). Because of their mutual contrast He cannot be described as having them in general; likewise, he cannot be described as having one of them in particular.” Al-Asmâ’ wal-S.ifât (Kawtharî ed. p. 289; H.âshidî ed. 2:60). Cf. Ibn al-Jawzî in Daf` Shibah al-Tashbîh (1998 al-Kawtharî repr. p. 35): “Know that it is obligatory upon every Muslim (rad.i-Allahu `anhu) “Muslim” to firmly hold that it is impermissible to attribute to Allâh (swt) form (sûra), which consists in physiognomy (hay’a) and combination (ta’lîf).”

[3] Ibn `Asâkir, Tabyîn (p. 150-151).

[4] Abû Bakr ibn Fûrâk, Mujarrad Maqâlât al-Ash`arî (Beirut, 1987) p. 44.

[5] See Ibn Khafîf’s al-`Aqîda al-S.ah.îh.a §28.

[6] Tâj al-`Arûs (10:417).

[7] Al-Bût.î, al-Salafiyya (p. 132-133). For “Hands” = kindness, mercy, generosity, etc. see al-Qârî, Mirqât al-Mafâtîh. (1892 ed. 2:137, 1994 ed. 3:302) and al-Nawawî, Sharh. S.ah.îh. Muslim, h.adîth “Then He stretches out both hands, saying: `Who shall loan One Who is neither indigent nor inequitable?’” This phrase concludes the h.adîth of descent in one of Muslim’s narrations.

[8] Cf. Imâm Mâlik as narrated by Ibn Wahb in this Appendix.

[9] Narrated from Abû Hurayra (rad.i-Allahu `anhu) “Abû Hurayra” by Muslim (rad.i-Allahu `anhu) “Muslim” , Ah.mad, al-Nasâ’î, Ibn Mâjah, and al-Tirmidhî who said it is h.asan s.ah.îh..

[10] Al-Asmâ’ wal-S.ifât (Kawtharî ed. p. 330-331; H.âshidî ed. 2:159-160).

[11] In Fath. al-Bârî (3:280).

[12] Narrated from Ibn Mas`ûd by al-Bukhârî, Muslim, al-Tirmidhî, and Ah.mad (rad.i-Allahu `anhu) “Muslim”.

[13] Narrated from Abû Hurayra (rad.i-Allahu `anhu) “Abû Hurayra” by al-Bukhârî. The complete narration states: “The People of the Book would read the Torah in Hebrew and explain it in Hebrew to the People of Islâm, whereupon the Prophet   said: `Neither believe nor disbelieve the People of the Book, but say: (We believe in Allâh and whatever was revealed to us) (2:136).

[14] Al-Asmâ’ wal-S.ifât (Kawtharî ed. p. 334-338; H.âshidî ed. 2:169-170). Al-Qurt.ubî also explained the Prophet’s   smile here to mean disapproval in light of the verse that follows it and rejected the phrase “in confirmation of the rabbi’s words” as an narrator’s interpolation. Cf. Al-Asmâ’ wal-S.ifât (Kawtharî ed. p. 336) and Fath. al-Bârî (13:398) for both al-Khat.t.âbî and al-Qurt.ubî’s explanations. This is also al-Qâd.î `Iyâd.’s position as mentioned by al-Nawawî in Sharh. S.ah.îh. Muslim (rad.i-Allahu `anhu) “Muslim” and it is confirmed by another narration connected with the revelation of verse 39:67. Al-Mubârakfûrî typically voices the opposite opinion in Tuh.fat al-Ah.wadhî and cites Ibn Khuzayma’s (d. 311) vituperation in his al-Tawh.îd that whoever claims the Prophet   smiled in lieu of explicitly upbraiding, does not deserve to be called Muslim. This shows that the interpretation of the smile as meaning disapproval existed among the Salaf and long before al-Khat.t.âbî.

[15] Narrated from `Abd Allâh ibn `Amr by Muslim and Ah.mad (rad.i-Allahu `anhu) “Muslim” , from Anas by al-Tirmidhî (h.asan s.ah.îh.) and Ibn Mâjah, and from al-Nawwâs ibn Sam`ân al-Kilâbî by Ah.mad, al-Nasâ’î, Ibn Mâjah, Ibn H.ibbân, al-H.âkim, and others, all with sound chains. Al-H.âkim declared the h.adîth sound and al-Dhahabî concurred. The continuation of the h.adîth states that the Prophet   used to say: “O Transformer of hearts! Make firm our hearts in Your Religion,” and that he also said: “and the balance is in the hand of the Merciful, He elevates a people while he abases others, and so until the Day of Resurrection.”

[16] This is also al-Wâh.idî’s (d. 468) explanation in his Asbâb al-Nuzûl (p. 312 #774).

[17] Al-Asmâ’ wal-S.ifât (Kawtharî ed. p. 341; H.âshidî ed. 2:174).

[18] Al-Nawawî (rad.i-Allahu `anhu) “Nawawî” , Sharh. S.ah.îh. Muslim (rad.i-Allahu `anhu) “Muslim” (17:129-131).

[19] Ibn H.ajar, Fath. al-Bârî (1959 ed. 3:361 #1425).

[20] Ibn H.ajar, Fath. al-Bârî (1959 ed. 3:361 n.; 1989 ed. 3:357 n.)

[21] Narrated from Ibn `Abbâs, Jâbir, Anas, and others by Ibn Abî `Umar (rad.i-Allahu `anhu) “Umar” al-Ma`danî in his Musnad, al-T.abarânî, al-Suyût.î in his Jâmi` al-Saghîr (1:516 #3804-3805), Ibn `Asâkir in Târîkh Dimashq (15:90- 92), al-Khat.îb in Târîkh Baghdâd (6:328), and others. It is considered forged by Ibn al-Jawzî and Ibn `Adî (al-Kâmil 1:342). Cf. al-Ah.dab, Zawâ’id Târîkh Baghdâd (5:321-323 #949). However, al-`Ajlûnî stated that it is s.ah.îh. as a halted report from Ibn `Abbâs as narrated by al-Qud.â`î with the wording: “The Corner [of the Black Stone] (al-rukn) is the Right Hand of Allâh on earth … ,” and declared it h.asan as a h.adîth of the Prophet  . Ibn Qutayba in Ta’wîl Mukhtalif al-H.adîth (1972 ed. p. 215=1995 ed. p. 198, 262) said that it was a saying of Ibn `Abbâs and relates a saying of `Âisha (rad.i-Allahu `anha) `Âisha “that the Black Stone is the depository of the covenant of human souls with Allâh (swt) on the Day of Promise (alastu bi rabbikum). Its mention in the Reliance of the Traveller (p. 853b) as “narrated by al-H.âkim, who declared it s.ah.îh., from `Abd Allâh ibn `Amr,” is incorrect. Note: An authentic narration states that the Black Stone shall appear with two eyes and a tongue on the Day of Resurrection. Narrated by al-Tirmidhî, Ibn Mâjah, Ah.mad, al-Dârimî, Ibn H.ibbân (#3711-3712), and others.

[22] Ibn Rajab, Dhayl T.abaqât al-H.anâbila (1:173-174 #74).

[23] As related by Ibn al-Subkî in T.abaqât al-Shâfi`iyya (4:129).

[24] Ibn Qutayba, Ta’wîl Mukhtalif al-H.adîth (1972 ed. p. 215; 1995 ed. p. 198, 262).

[25] In Fath. al-Bârî (1959 ed. 3:463 #1520).

[26] In al-Asnâ fî Sharh. Asmâ’ Allâh al-H.usnâ (2:90-91).

[27] Narrated by Abû Dâwûd, Ibn H.ibbân (1:498 #265) with a sound chain, his shaykh Ibn Khuzayma in al-Tawh.îd, al-H.âkim (1:24), al-Lâlikâ’î in Sharh. I`tiqâd Ahl al-Sunna (3:410 #788) and al-Bayhaqî in al-Asmâ’ wal-S.ifât. Al-Kawtharî comments (Asmâ’ p. 179 n. 2): “This h.adîth is narrated only through [H.armala ibn `Imrân al-Tujîbî] al-H.âjib, and if it were considered authentic among the people of Madîna, the Imâm of the Abode of Emigration would not have shown the greatest severity in prohibiting this gesture, as in al-Qâd.î `Iyâd.’s al-Shifâ’.” (See above, n. NOTEREF _Ref439133760 \h 1.) Al-H.âshidî, quoting this comment, alters it to read (Asmâ’ 1:463 n.): “This h.adîth is narrated only through al-H.âjib, although it is authentic …”!

[28] Ibn H.ibbân (1:498 #265).

[29] Al-Asmâ’ wal-S.ifât (Kawtharî ed. p. 179-180; H.âshidî ed. 1:462-463).

[30] Al-`Izz ibn `Abd al-Salâm, Fatâwâ (p. 55-57) and al-Fatâwâ al-Maws.iliyya (p. 45-47).

[31] Al-Pazdawi in `Ala’ al-Dîn al-Bukhârî’s commentary on al-Pazdawi’s Us.ûl entitled Kashf al-Asrâr (1:55-60). `Ala’ al-Dîn al-Bukhârî comments: (1:60) “By saying: `For us,’ the Shaykh shunned the position of those who say: `Allâh is not to be described as possessing a face and hands, rather, what is meant by the face is contentment (al-ridâ) or the Essence (al-dhât) and the like; and what is meant by the hand is power or favor and the like.’ The Shaykh therefore said: Rather, Allâh is described with the Attribute of Face and that of Hand, together with the upholding of His Transcendence (tanzîh) above having a form (s.ûra) and a limb (jârih.a)…. Similarly with the affirmation of modality (ithbât al-kayfiyya): its description is ambiguous, therefore it is obligatory to acquiesce to it, firmly believing in its reality without busying oneself with interpretation.”

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