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Thread: Ibanah of Imam Abul Hasan al-Ashari

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    Default Ibanah of Imam Abul Hasan al-Ashari

    Can someone please refute this post:
    [Edited by MOD: Sorry no links to anti-traditional Islamic sites]

    Bismillahi al-Rahmani al-Rahim,

    To "maturidi" and others who rely on G.F. Haddad and his unreliability in issues like these,

    I will mention part of what I've prepared so far in refutation of the allegation that al-Ibanah 'an Usul al-Diyanah, of the Imam Abu'l-Hasan al-Ash'ari, has been tampered with - on the issue of Eyes (multiple) & [Two] Eyes (dual), Insha'Allah.

    Amma ba'd:[/u]

    [u]FIRST,

    I have in front of me two works of Imam Abu'l-Hasan al-Ash'ari:

    - al-Maqalat al-Islamiyyin

    - al-Ibanah 'an Usul al-Diyanah

    In al-Maqalat, which is authentically ascribed to the Imam and no one has - as far as we know - found difficulty in the phrase which mentions,

    "And He has Two Eyes, without how (wa-lahu 'aynayn bila kayfa)",

    the ascription of the Attributes of Two Eyes is a fact.

    So no one may claim: 'It is a forgery!' On what basis? Has the man found new manuscripts which states otherwise? Has he found earlier quotes, such as of copyist of the Maqalat-passage? - May Allah give to the liars what they deserve!

    [Source: al-Ash'ari, Maqalat al-Islamiyyin, ed. Ritter, Istanbul, p. 290]


    SECOND,

    The Ibanah-editions in front of me are 4 in number:

    - Kitab al-Ibanah 'an Usul al-Diyanah, Hayderabad edition from 1321/1904 - in Sab' Rasa'il.

    - Kitab al-Ibanah 'an Usul al-Diyanah, Cairo edition from 1348/1929.

    - al-Ibanah 'an Usul al-Diyanah, Cairo edition of Miss Fawqiyyah H. Mahmud, published in 1397/1977.

    - al-Ibanah 'an Usul al-Diyanah, Cairo print from 1413/1992.

    We shall refer to these volumes with: "1904", "1929", "1977" and "1992".

    The First Relevant Passage - in Bab fi Ibanat Qawl Ahl al-Zaygh wa'l-Bid'ah.

    In 1904 it is said:

    "They deny that Allah has Two Eyes, while His Saying, Subhanahu is { Under our Eyes it floated} and.."

    The same passage in 1929 says:

    "They deny that Allah has an Eye, while His Saying.."

    The same passage in 1977, i.e. Fawqiyyah Husayn Mahmud's edition:

    "They deny that Allah has Two Eyes.."

    Lastly, in 1992 is stated, exactly as Fawqiyyah!:

    "They deny that Allah has Two Eyes.."

    So far, all agree that there must be 'Two Eyes' in the passage, except one which state 'an Eye'.

    The Second Relevant Passage - in Bab fi Ibanat Qawl Ahl al-Haqq wa'l-Sunnah.

    1904:

    "And He has Two Eyes.."

    1929:

    "And He has an Eye.."

    1977, Fawqiyyah:

    "And He has Two Eyes.."

    1992:

    "And He has an Eye.."

    The Third Relevant Passage - in the title of a chapter which says:

    In 1904:

    "Saying about the Face, the Two Eyes, the Seeing and the Two Hands"

    And in 1929: (I've forgotten to note this one in my photo-copies/notes)

    I believe exactly as the three others - but I will not state this positively for I'm not like the type you quote from! - as for the 1948 Hayderabad edition, which is as far as I see it a reprint of the 1904 edition - and therefor I haven't included it here - it states, "al-kalam fi'l-wajh wa'l-'aynayn wa'l-basar wa'l-yadayn", i.e. the same, thus affirming Two Eyes.

    In 1977, Fawqiyyah:

    "Saying about the Face, the Two Eyes, the Seeing and the Two Hands"

    In 1992:

    "Saying about the Face, the Two Eyes, the Seeing and the Two Hands"

    So woe to the people of Innovation! Those who deny for Allah the Attributes of Two Eyes, while they contradict themselves, the Muslims, their Imams they claim to follow, not to speak about the other A'imma.. Subhan Allah al-'Azim!

    See how he contradicted himself, in his saying:

    Quote:
    Imam al-Ash`ari (d. 324) said in the authentic version of his Ibana published by Dar al-ansar and edited by Fawqiyya Husayn Mahmud


    Is then Two Eyes acceptable or not?! For Fawqiyyah stated it positively in:

    THREE passages!

    And he acknowledged one himself in his saying,

    Quote:
    The passage: "[Our position is] that He has two eyes (`aynayn) without saying how; just as He stated: {That ran under Our eyes (a`yuninâ)} (54:14)."16 Ibn `Asakir's citation of the same passage in the Tabyin states: "[Our position is] that He has an eye (`aynan) without saying how."17


    Quote:
    16Al-Ash`ari, al-Ibana (Mahmud ed. 2:22=Sabbagh ed. p. 36), cf. Maqalat al-Islamiyyin (`Abd al-Hamid ed. 1:345=Ritter ed. p. 290).
    17Ibn `Asakir, Tabyin (p. 159= al-Kawthari ed. p. 158).


    And plus! He gives us the information - which i don't trust untill I see it with my own (two!) eyes - that the same phrase is edited as such by the 1994 edition of Sabbagh - which I could not use, unfortunately.

    So tell me, O ignorant one who does not look with his own eyes what is stated in the books of the Imams - but relies in stead on one who aint reliable as he himselfs indicates.

    Thus he says,

    Quote:
    The "Salafis" said:
    Abul Hasan al-`Ash'ari said: "And he has two eyes without any mention of how." (Imam al-`Ash'ari, Al Ibanaah 'an Usul ad-Diyanah, Page. 9 and Maqalat, Page 290)
    The above is definitely not al-Ash`ari's original text. Ibn `Asakir's citation of the same passage in Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari (p. 158-159) states: "[Our position is] that He has an eye (`aynan) without saying how." A recent edition of the Ibana by Bashshar `Uyun (p. 44) consequently amended its own tradition to follow the text cited by Ibn `Asakir since the evidence of the Qur'an and the Sunna mentions {My Eye (`ayni)} (20:39) in the singular and {Our Eyes} (52:48, 54:14) in the plural but never two eyes in the dual.


    Then did he notice the reader the other passages with state that al-Ash'ari affirms Two Eyes - I mean in the same book but in other places?!

    Besides, what the Hafidh Ibn 'Asakir mentioned on the authority of al-Ibanah of al-Ash'ari is not an Eye, in the singular form, for sure - since, the Hafidh al-Dhahabi quotes (from the khatt of his own son? - I think I read it in al-'Uluww, but I've not the book right now with me to state so) from the Tabyin this:

    "Qala al-Hafidh al-Hujjah Abu'l-Qasim Ibn 'Asakir fi Kitab al-Tabyin.. wa-anna lahu 'aynayn bila kayfa" !!!

    Further, the man said:

    Quote:
    Further down in all versions of the Ibana the text states: "Allah Almighty and Exalted has said that He possesses a face and an eye which is neither given modality nor defined."20


    Quote:
    20Al-Ash`ari, al-Ibana (Mahmud ed. 2:121 [lahu wajhan wa `aynan wa lâ tukayyafu wa lâ tuhadd]=Sabbagh ed. p. 97 [lahu wajhan wa `aynan lâ bi kayf wa lâ hudűd]= `Uyun ed. p. 104 [lahu wajhan wa `aynan lâ yukayyafu wa lâ yuhadd]).


    See what he has done here! He refers to p. 121 of Fawqiyyah's edition with states what he says, but he DELIBERATELY hides the chapter heading which, we quoted above - and says:

    al-Kalam fi al-Wajh wa'l-'Aynayn wa'l-Basar wa'l-Yadayn

    So woe to the one who misinforms the true words of a Muslim - the lying one who has no shame.

    Could he not state that those three above - incl. his own Fawqiyyah edition (see above what he said about it) - state Two Eyes - all of them (and maybe the 1929 edition too but I have to check on that, Insha Allah)!

    So do not doubt - my brothers - that falsehood will vanish, and truth will see the light.

    And the passages which state that He, Subhanahu wa-ta'ala, has an Eye - By Allah! I believe that Allah has an Eye unlike eyes, and that {Nothing is like him}!

    So do not doubt brothers - to state positively that He has an Eye is correct, and Imam al-Ash'ari stated that so, and that is true. And Imam al-Ash'ari stated that He has Eyes, and that is true. And Imam al-Ash'ari stated that He has Two Eyes - in more then one place, and in more then one book - and that is true - May Allah let the truth shine forever, and destroy doubts and lies!

    Amin. Ya Rabb al-'Alamin.

    Wa-Salamu 'Alaikum.
    _________________
    "Be a Shafi'ite, but not an Ash'arite; be a Hanafite, but not a Mu'tazilite, be a Hanbalite, but not an anthropomorphist"

    (Source: Ibn al-Jawziy, al-Muntazam, X, p. 106 - see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/radd_ashariyyah)

    That was in reply to our Sheikh Dr. GF Haddad's post.


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    I'm not a Salafi, I'm a Muslim of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa'l-Jama'ah.


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    I'm a follower of Imam Ahmad in 'Aqidah. As for Imam al-Ash'ari, rahimahullah, he's one of my beloved Imams who struggled against the people of innovation - such as the Jahmiyyah. I'm an Ash'ari as much al-Ash'ari a Hanbali is.


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    No, I dont believe that Allah has two eyes whatever they may mean.

    RATHER: I believe that Allah has Two Eyes, Attributes of Him, which mean what Allah intented by it.

    This is not particular to His Eyes, but to all His Attributes. As the Imam of the Ahl al-Sunnah said, Imam Abu'l-Hasan al-Ash'ari:

    "And He has Two Eyes, bila kayfa (without how), as He has said {Under Our Eyes it floated}" (Ibanah)

    and he said this because,

    "We accept all the traditions for which the people of Hadith give credit: the Descent to the lower heaven, the Lord's saying [Is there any who has a request Is there any who asks forgiveness?] and the other things they relate and confirm.." (Ibanah)

    So,

    "We praise Him as He praises Himself, and as He merits and deserves!"

    al-Hamdulillah al-Rabb al-'Alamin.


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    He did not say he has two eyes.

    He did not write any of his texts in English.

    Once you translate it like that you are assigning meaning.

    You are restricting it to the English understanding of "eyes" - it is no longer bila kafyah.

    Stick with arabic and leave it alone.

    Be very, very careful.


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    Let me take that with a grain of salt..


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ibn_Abi_Yala
    Let me take that with a grain of salt..
    No masala? You can have some maslaha instead if you like. It's not in the public interest to discuss attributes in a limiting language when it clearly states nothing is like him. Kinda like "translating" the Qu'ran and passing it off as the same as the original


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    kitab al-ibanah: really Imam al-Ashari's final work? one of his works? or a complete forgery? see attachment


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    www.masud.co.uk

    The Corrupt Text of al-Ash`ari’s al-Ibana:

    The above lists exclude al-Ash`ari’s al-Ibana `an Usul al-Diyana but Ibn `Asakir explicitly attributes it to him in the first few pages of Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari, an attribution confirmed by al-Bayhaqi, Abu al-`Abbas al-`Iraqi, Abu `Uthman al-Sabuni, and other hadith masters. The book dates from the beginnings of al-Ash`ari’s Sunni career according to a report narrated by Ibn Abi Ya`la in Tabaqat al-Hanabila and adduced by al-Dhahabi in the Siyar. The report is phrased rather oddly since it depicts a fawning Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ash`ari visiting the Hanbali Abu Muhammad al-Barbahari upon entering Baghdad and enumerating before him his refutations of the Mu`tazila and defense of Ahl al-Sunna in order to win his approval, to which al-Barbahari coolly responds: "We only know what Ahmad ibn Hanbal said." "Whereupon," the report continues, "al-Ash`ari went out and wrote al-Ibana but they [the Hanbalis] did not accept it from him." Al-Dhahabi cites this report at the opening of his biographical notice on al-Barbahari in the Siyar directly following the extremely brief notice on Imam al-Ash`ari. Apart from its obviously Hanbali-biased terms, the report clearly shows that al-Ash`ari composed the Ibana upon first coming to Baghdad or shortly thereafter. Shaykh Wahbi Ghawiji cites a statement explicitly confirming this date from Imam Abu al-Hasan `Ali ibn Ibrahim al-Muqri (Ibn Matar) who died in the year 306: "Imam al-Ash`ari composed it in Baghdad upon entering it."

    However, despite the authenticity of al-Ash`ari’s authorship, the text of the Ibana itself has undoubtedly not reached us in its original authentic form but in a corrupted version which comprises interpolations along two main ideological slants:

    (1) the anthropomorphist interpretation of the divine Attributes and

    (2) the apostatizing of Imam Abu Hanifa for supposedly holding, with the Jahmiyya, that the Qur’an was created.

    Shaykh Wahbi Sulayman Ghawiji has shown in his analysis of the work entitled Nazra `Ilmiyya fi Nisba Kitab al-Ibana Jami`ihi ila al-Imam al-Ash`ari ("A Scientific Look at the Attribution of al-Ibana in Its Entirety to Imam al-Ash`ari") that these two stances are contradicted by what is known of al-Ash`ari’s authentic positions in his and his students’ works.


    1. The anthropomorphist interpretation of the divine Attributesis illustrated by the following examples:

    *

    The passage: "[Our position is] that He has two eyes (`aynayn) without saying how; just as He stated: That ran under Our eyes (a`yuninâ) (54:14)." Ibn `Asakir’s citation of the same passage in the Tabyin states: "[Our position is] that He has an eye (`aynan) without saying how." A recent edition of the Ibana consequently amended its own tradition to follow the text cited by Ibn `Asakir since the evidence of the Qur’an and the Sunna mentions My Eye (`aynî) (20:39) in the singular and Our Eyes (52:48, 54:14) in the plural but never two eyes in the dual. Further down in all versions of the Ibana the text states: "Allah Almighty and Exalted has said that He possesses a face and an eye which is neither given modality nor defined."
    *

    The passage: "When supplicating, the Muslims raise their hands toward the sky, because Allah Almighty and Exalted is established (mustawin) over the Throne which is above the heavens… The Muslims all say: `O Dweller of the Throne’ (yâ sâkin al-`arsh)!" This kind of faulty reasoning can hardly come from al-Ash`ari for the following reasons:
    *

    The Attributes are divinely ordained (tawqîfiyya) and al-Ash`ari considers it impermissible to make up or derive new terms such as mustawin and sâkin al-`arsh if there is no verse or authentic hadith transmitting them verbatim: "My method in the acceptance of the Names of Allah is Law-based authorization without regard to lexical analogy."
    *

    The argument of supplication on the basis of location leads to placing Allah Almighty and Exalted inside the Ka`ba according to the same logic, an absurd impossibility.
    *

    The claim that "the Muslims all say: `O Dweller of the Throne’" is unheard of. Yet Ibn Taymiyya cites it and attempts to justify it with the narration: "Allah created seven heavens then chose the uppermost and dwelt in it," adducing a condemned report to support an invented phrase!
    *

    Three editions of the Ibana have, "O Dweller of the heaven (yâ sâkin al-`samâ’)" which further casts doubt on the integrity of the text in addition to being equally anthropomorphist.
    *

    The passage: "If we are asked: `Do you say that Allah has two hands?’ The answer is: We do say that, without saying `how.’ It is indicated by the saying of Allah Almighty and Exalted The Hand of Allah is above their hands (48:10) and His saying that which I have created with both My hands (38:75). It was also narrated from the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – that he said: `Allah created Adam with His hand then He wiped his back with His hand and brought out of it his offspring.’ So it is established that He has two hands without saying how. And the transmitted report reached us from the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – that `Allah created Adam with Hand, created the Garden of `Adn with His hand, wrote the Torah with His hand, and planted the tree of Tuba with His hand,’ that is: with the hand of His power (ay biyadi qudratih)." The last clause contradicts the entire reasoning that precedes and follows, and is actually suppressed from the latest edition of the Ibana! The text further states: "They say: `the hands’ (al-ayd) are the strength (al-quwwa), so the meaning of with both My hands has to be `with My power’ (bi qudratî). The answer to them is: That interpretation is wrong." Al-Ash`ari’s actual position on the Attribute of hand according to Ibn `Asakir is: "Al-Ash`ari took the middle road [between the Mu`tazila and the anthropomorphists] and said: His hand is an Attribute and His face is an Attribute, just like His hearing and His sight."
    *

    The following passage is missing from two of the editions of al-Ibana but is found in two others: "And [we believe] that He established Himself over the Throne in the sense that He said and the meaning that He wills in a way that transcends touch, settlement, fixity, immanence, and displacement. The Throne does not carry him, rather the Throne and its carriers are carried by the subtleness of His power, subdued under His grip. He is above the Throne and the Heavens and above everything to the limits of the earth with an aboveness which does not bring Him nearer to the Throne and the Heavens, just as it does not make Him further from the earth. Rather, He is Highly Exalted above the Throne and the Heavens, just as He is Highly Exalted above the earth. Nevertheless, He is near to every entity and is (nearer to [the worshipper] than his jugular vein) and He witnesses everything."


    2. The apostatizing of Imam Abu Hanifa for supposedly holding, with the Jahmiyya, that the Qur’an was created. Imam al-Tahawi stated that Abu Hanifa held the opposite position in his Mu`taqad Abi Hanifa or "Abu Hanifa’s Creed," also known as the `Aqida Tahawiyya. Nor did al-Ash`ari mention Abu Hanifa in the chapter on those who held the Qur’an was created in his Maqalat al-Islamiyyin. Al-Ash`ari lived in Baghdad – the seat of the Caliphate and home of the Hanafi school – at a time the Hanafi school had long been the state creed and would probably have been executed or exiled for making such a charge. Furthermore, al-Bayhaqi stated that "al-Ash`ari used to defend the positions of the past Imams such as Abu Hanifa and Sufyan al-Thawri among the Kufans." The charge of the Ibana is therefore almost certainly a later interpolation, as enmity against the Imam al-A`zam and his school and followers typifies fanatic Hanbalis and their "Salafi" successors.

    There are also blatant errors which al-Ash`ari the heresiographer and former Mu`tazili would never commit, such as the attribution to the Mu`tazila as a whole of the belief that Allah Almighty and Exalted is everywhere, when he himself reports in his Maqalat that the vast majority of the Mu`tazila said, like Ahl al-Sunna, that it was the controlling disposal (tadbîr) of Allah Almighty and Exalted that was everywhere. Furthermore, there is apparently no known chain of transmission for the Ibana from the Imam despite its ostensible fame and the abundance of his students, nor do any of his first or second-generation students – such as Ibn Furak – make any mention of it. Finally, Imam al-Qushayri’s Shikaya Ahl al-Sunna bi Hikaya Ma Nalahum Min al-Mihna provides an additional external sign that the tampering of al-Ash`ari’s Ibana took place possibly as early as the fifth century:

    They have attributed despicable positions to al-Ash`ari and claimed he had said certain things of which there is not one iota in his books. Nor can such sayings be found reported in any of the books of the scholars of kalâm who either supported him or opposed him, from the earliest times to our own – whether directly quoted or paraphrased. All of that is misrepresentation, forgery, and unmitigated calumny!

    In conclusion it is possible to say with a fair degree of certainty that the Ibana attributed to al-Ash`ari today is actually the anonymous, chainless rewriting of an anti-Ash`ari, anti-Hanafi literalist with clear anthropomorphist leanings and a willingness to adduce Israelite reports typical of the works of anthropomorphist doctrine while the unaltered version known to Ibn `Asakir, Abu `Uthman al-Sabuni, and other Ash`aris did not reach us. It is a telling confirmation of this conclusion that the early anthropomorphists used to reject the Ibana while those of later centuries quote it without reservation. And Allah knows best.
    Imam al-Zarqani said in his book Manahil al-Irfan: 'Our Scholars agreed that if a word carries 99 aspects of disbelief and one aspect of faith, it must be interpreted according to the best of meanings, which is faith'.

    Visit www.asharis.wordpress.com and the Marifah website


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    salaam alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatahu

    This thread is good but this topic has been discussed so many times i wonder why people dont have a break

    Alhamdulillah i like the replies tho masha-allah, one of the things mentioned about the text al-ibana i.e. about imam abu hanifa is what clarifies the point, because the shia qoute the ibana against imam abu hanifa and then u got these same so-called salafiyyah affirming this text as authentic. I dont need to comment further this is becoming a joke!

    In addition to this i was surprised by seeing abi yala's reply to a brothers question, this was his reply:

    RATHER: I believe that Allah has Two Eyes, Attributes of Him, which mean what Allah intented by it.
    I dont need to coment further however i have a question to ask you! when did the prophet use the word e.g. two eyes? in arabic you know what he (peace and blessings be upon him) used! ayn bila kayfiyyah, ayun bila kayfiyyah, i am still waiting for a qatee daleel where the prophet used it in its dual sense!. As for your innovated stance as is apparent i have no time to reply to it because a thread about this topic has already gone!

    wassalaam alaikum

    any errors are from me may allah guide us all ameen!


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