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To our right we have a Habashite who has made it his goal to argue for the deen of the Jahmites that there is no Lord above the heaven, and no deity above the Throne. The teachers and shaykhs of Imaam al-Bukhaaree weren't having any of it.
If this Jahmite was alive before 300H, and attempted to say what he is saying overall regarding Allaah's Uluww, then it would have been the prison or the sandal. That's why you are not going to catch Jahmites like him quoting anything from before that period. It was a dangerous time for them and its way too risky to venture that far back. You are really asking for it. You see the Salaf were very nice, righteous, god-fearing people, with the best of manners and noble characteristics. But they could also get extremely angry and furious (for the sake of Allaah and His religion that is) and you wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of them. Ask al-Jahm and al-Ja'd the first who denied their is a Lord above the heaven and a deity above the Throne (thank you Ameers of Kufah and Khurasan) - and ask the Mu'tazilah too. They will tell you straight that the era of the early Salaf was very hostile for Jahmites and Mu'tazilites (before the Mu'tazilah gained political strength). And thus, you won't be seeing their 21st century descendants venturing too far back prior to 300H, or 200H. They're just too scared.
But got to give it to this Jahmee though, it is a slick piece. In fact the whole operation is a slick piece, and these guys are really tubing it. With the combined effect of the turban, holding up the tafseer of al-Qurtubi in one hand in front of the audience for added authority, his trimmed features, and clear expression, the very appealing burgundy background to give maximum contrast with the white, to make the Jahmee appear brighter and more illuminated. He's really going for you. It's as sweet as honey. This is not your average gutter press Jahmee, this guy means business.
So let's see he is quoting from al-Qurtubi regarding the verse (al-An'aam 6:3):
وَهُوَ اللَّهُ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَفِي الْأَرْضِ
And He is Allaah in the Heavens and in the Earth.
And then he quoted just one sentence from the whole of what al-Qurtubi said regarding this verse, which is:
والقاعدة تنزيهه جل وعز عن الحركة والانتقال وشغل الأمكنة
Which translates as:
And the principle is to purify Him, the Mighty and Majestic (i.e. declare Him free) of al-harakah (movement), al-intiqaal (translocation) and occupation of places.
And what this slick Jahmee intends by this quote (and all the others that are part of this slick operation) is to lead the viewer eventually to the belief that Allaah is not above the heaven, and not above His Throne, which is always disguised by these Jahmites into the following:
And so on, the intent behind all of these sayings is "There is no Lord above the heaven and no deity above the Throne", but they need to disguise it all.
This is because they cannot come out and clearly say, "Allaah is not above the heaven" and "Allaah is not above the Throne" because these are explicit texts in the Qur'aan (that Allaah is above the Heaven, above His Throne) - and all people with sound fitrah would show rejection against them - and when you are peddling that dodgy sweet honey which is really poison, you can't be giving the game away from the very beginning.
So their method is to rely mainly upon the later scholars from the fifth century onwards (after 400H), and particularly those who were affected by the Mutakallimoon and the Ash'aris in particular, to one degree or another - and then to claim that this is what the Muslim Scholars were agreed upon, when this agreement is in fact only of the Mutakallimeen and those upright Scholars who were affected by them in certain areas of the creed.
So we need to understand what's going on here and touch this Jahmee up a little:
Commentary and Notes
Point 1: The Verse in Question
This verse is of the type that is used by the Hulooli Jahmites who believe that Allaah is in every place, and that He occupies all places, because in the verse Allaah said, "And He is Allaah in the heavens and in the earth". So this needs to be born in mind.
Point 2: Al-Qurtubi and the Language of the Mutakallimeen
Al-Qurtubi, like others from the later scholars who came in the 7th and 8th centuries were affected by something of the ta'weel and kalaam of the Mutakallimoon. However, with al-Qurtubi you see that he has statements in which he readily admits what the view of the Salaf was, and he has honestly characterized their position. See the quotes further below. This is despite many of the statements that can be found from him in which he uses the language of the Mutakallimeen - and so in relying upon the words of al-Qurtubi, the Jahmites only invite problems for themselves.
Point 3: The Full Quote from al-Qurtubi
So lets see, here is what al-Qurtubi said, from the place that our Jahmee Habashite has quoted from him:
يقال ما عامل الإعراب في الظرف من " في السموات وفي الأرض " ؟ ففيه أجوبة : أحدها : أي وهو الله المعظم أو المعبود في السموات وفي الأرض ; كما تقول : زيد الخليفة في الشرق والغرب أي حكمه ويجوز أن يكون المعنى وهو الله المنفرد بالتدبير في السموات وفي الأرض ; كما تقول : هو في حاجات الناس وفي الصلاة ويجوز أن يكون خبرا بعد خبر ويكون المعنى : وهو الله في السموات وهو الله في الأرض . وقيل : المعنى وهو الله يعلم سركم وجهركم في السموات وفي الأرض فلا يخفى عليه شيء ; قال النحاس : وهذا من أحسن ما قيل فيه وقال محمد بن جرير : وهو الله في السموات ويعلم سركم وجهركم في الأرض فيعلم مقدم في الوجهين والأول أسلم وأبعد من الإشكال وقيله غير هذا والقاعدة تنزيهه جل وعز عن الحركة والانتقال وشغل الأمكنة
It is said: What is the factor of inflection in the adverb from "in the heavens and in the earth"?
There are a number of answers regarding it:
The first of them: Meaning that He is Allaah, the venerated, aggrandized, or the worshipped in the heavens and in the earth, just as you say, "Zayd is the khaleefah in the East and the West", meaning [with his] rule. And it is permissible that the meaning [also] be that He is Allaah, singled out with tadbeer (control, regulation) of what is in the heavens and the earth, just as you say, "He (i.e. a person) is in [i.e. fulfilling] the needs of the people and in the prayer."
And it is permissible it to be one predicate after another, so the meaning would be "He is Allaah in the heavens and He is Allaah in the earth".
And it has been said: The meaning is, "And He is Allaah, He knows what you keep secret and what you reveal in the heavens and in the earth, so nothing is hidden from Him" An-Nuhaas said, "And this is the best of what has been said regarding it".
And Muhammad bin Jareer said, "And He is Allaah in the heavens and He knows what you keep secret and what you reveal in the earth".
So [the verb] "ya'lam" (He knows) is given precedence in both angles, though the first is sounder and further away from ambiguity. And what is other than this has also been said (regarding it).
And the principle is to purify Him, the Mighty and Majestic (i.e. declare Him free) of al-harakah (movement), al-intiqaal (translocation) and occupation of places.
What can be said about this quote - and the last sentence in particular - is that al-Qurtubi is repelling a misunderstanding that might arise from this verse that Allaah Himself is in the heavens and the earth - as is believed by the Hulooli Jahmites and this verse is a typical piece of evidence they (the Huloolis) use. Hence, al-Qurtubi clarified at the end that Allaah does not occupy places. Now within the context, this is fine, for Allaah does not occupy any places as the Jahmites presume. And there is found in the speech of the Salaf, much refutation of the Hulooli Jahmites in their claim that Allaah is in all places, so there is no harm - in the context of refuting falsehood and repelling the presumption of doubt, and to refute the deen of the Hulooli Jahmites - to declare Allaah free of occupying created places. And likewise his mentioning of "harakah" and "intiqaal" (movement, translocation), the same can be said here that someone might presume from the verse that Allaah is within the heaven and within the earth, giving rise to the presumption or idea of movement or translocation whilst being contained by them.
As for the context of affirming one's belief, corroborating it, (iqraar) then using this type of negation opposes the way and methodology of the Salaf, they only speak with what the Book and the Sunnah speaks, so they affirm what Allaah and His Messenger affirm and negate what Allaah and His Messenger negate, they affirm specifically and negate generally, and thus they do not speak in that context with what al-Qurtubi has said in that last sentence of his.
And this statement of al-Qurtubi is not really appropriate to the Jahmee Habashite's design, its not the best of quotes - because as we have said, al-Qurtubi's speech here is really about repelling a presumption that might arise from the verse itself - a presumption that would lead to the belief of the Hulooli Jahmites. And yes, for sure, there are other statements of al-Qurtubi which are very explicit in speaking with the language of the Mutakallimeen in denying jihah (direction) and makaan (space) and so on. But here, the use of this statement is just deception and adornment and to make the whole show appear better than it really is - in other words he's just showing off on the stage and pretending to give you value for money with this particular quote.
Point 4: Al-Qurtubi Describing the View of the Salaf and Contrasting it With That of the Mutakallimeen
In his tafseer of the verse in Surah al-A'raaf (7:54), "Then He ascended over the Throne", al-Qurtubi says:
هذه مسألة الاستواء ; وللعلماء فيها كلام وإجراء . وقد بينا أقوال العلماء فيها في ( الكتاب الأسنى في شرح أسماء الله الحسنى وصفاته العلى ) وذكرنا فيها هناك أربعة عشر قولا . والأكثر من المتقدمين والمتأخرين أنه إذا وجب تنزيه الباري سبحانه عن الجهة والتحيز فمن ضرورة ذلك ولواحقه اللازمة عليه عند عامة العلماء المتقدمين وقادتهم من المتأخرين تنزيهه تبارك وتعالى عن الجهة , فليس بجهة فوق عندهم ; لأنه يلزم من ذلك عندهم متى اختص بجهة أن يكون في مكان أو حيز , ويلزم على المكان والحيز الحركة والسكون للمتحيز , والتغير والحدوث . هذا قول المتكلمين . وقد كان السلف الأول رضي الله عنهم لا يقولون بنفي الجهة ولا ينطقون بذلك , بل نطقوا هم والكافة بإثباتها لله تعالى كما نطق كتابه وأخبرت رسله . ولم ينكر أحد من السلف الصالح أنه استوى على عرشه حقيقة . وخص العرش بذلك لأنه أعظم مخلوقاته , وإنما جهلوا كيفية الاستواء فإنه لا تعلم حقيقته . قال مالك رحمه الله : الاستواء معلوم - يعني في اللغة - والكيف مجهول , والسؤال عن هذا بدعة . وكذا قالت أم سلمة رضي الله عنها . وهذا القدر كاف , ومن أراد زيادة عليه فليقف عليه في موضعه من كتب العلماء
Most of the past (the early) and later [theologians] said, 'When it is necessary to purify the Creator (al-Baaree), the Sublime, from having direction (jihah) and demarcation (tamayyuz), then from the requirements and necessary consequences of this, in the view of the generality of the past scholars and their later leaders, is to purify the Creator (al-Baaree) from having direction (jihah). In their view, He is not in the direction of above. This is because to them, when Allaah is designated with direction, this would necessitate that He is restricted to a place (makaan) and a confine (hayyiz). (Subsequently), a place and a confine necessitate (for Him) (such) movement and stillness that is related to distinction (tamayyuz), transformation (taghayyur) and new occurrences (hudooth) . This is the saying of the theologians (mutakallimoon, the people of kalaam).
And the very first Salaf (may Allaah be pleased with them) never used speak with the negation of direction (al-jihah) and nor did they express that (negation). Rather, they, and all of them, spoke with affirmation of it (al-jihah) for Allaah, the Exalted, just as His Book spoke with it and His Messengers informed of it. And not a single one of the Righteous Predecessors (as-Salaf us-Salih) denied that He ascended over His Throne, in reality (haqeeqatan). And the Throne has been specified (with al-Istiwaa) because it is the greatest of His creations. And they (the Salaf) [stated their] ignorance of the how (kayfiyyah) of al-Istiwaa, for there is no one who knows its reality. Imaam Malik said, may Allaah have mercy upon him, "Al-Istiwaa is known..." - meaning, in the language - "...and how (it is) is unknown, and asking about it is an innovation". And Umm Salamah, may Allaah be pleased with her, said the same. And this much is sufficient (on this issue) and whoever wishes more then he can refer to the relevant places in the books of the Scholars.
As we said earlier, its not wise to use al-Qurtubi too much and the reason is clear as you can see from this quote above. Al-Qurtubi has a strange stance in that he readily acknowledges what the Salaf were upon, but says that he does not adopt that view. At least he was open and honest to admit what the Salaf were upon. He contrasts their view to that of the theologians (Mutakallimoon) so one is clear about the difference.
Point 5: Al-Qurtubi Again On The View of the Salaf
And just as clear is what al-Qurtubi mentions in his book "al-Asnaa Fee Sharh Asmaa Allaah il-Husnaa" where he also discusses al-Istiwaa, as we have covered in a separate article:
وأظهر هذه الأقوال وإن كنت لا أقول به ولا أختاره ما تظاهرت عليه الآي والأخبار، أن الله على عرشه كما أخبر في كتابه وعلى لسان نبيه بلا كيف بائن من جميع خلقه ، هذا جملة مذهب السلف الصالح فيما نقل عنهم الثقات
And the translation of which is:
And the most clear of these sayings - even if I do not speak with it or choose it - is what the [Qur'anic] verses and Narrations manifestly (indicate) that Allaah, the Sublime, is above His Throne, just as He informed in His Book and upon the tongue of His Messenger, without asking how, separate and distinct from all of his creation (baa'inun min jamee'i khalqihi). This is the sum of the madhhab of the righteous predecessors (as-salaf as-saalih) in that which the trustworthy narrators (ath-thiqaat) have transmitted from them.
Again, this poses a problem for the Jahmee Habashite.
Point 6: Al-Qurtubi On the Early Ash'aris
In the book "al-Asnaa Fee Sharh Asmaa Allaah il-Husnaa", al-Qurtubi says, when discussing the numerous opinions held on the issue of Allaah's Istiwaa (ascending) over the Throne (Volume 2, page 123):
And here is the translation of this statement:
And the sixth: The saying of at-Tabaree, Ibn Abee Zayd, al-Qaadee Abdul-Wahhaab and a group (jamaa'ah) of shuyook (scholars) of hadeeth and fiqh (jurisprudence) and it is apparent (from) some of the books of the qaadee, Abu Bakr [al-Baqillani] - may Allaah be pleased with Him, and [also] Abul-Hasan [al-Ash'ari]. And al-Qaadee Abd ul-Wahhaab quoted this from him, I mean from al-Qaadee Abu Bakr, textually - which is that He, the Sublime, ascends over His Throne with His Essence (bi dhaatihi) - and in some places they applied (the words) "above His Throne (fawqa arshihi)".
The Imaam, Abu Bakr (Muhammad bin al-Hasan al-Hadramee al-Qayrawaanee) said: "And that which I say is [what is] correct [i.e. Allaah being above the Throne, making istiwaa with His Essence], without confinement, nor fixing in a place, nor being inside of it, and without touching".
I [al-Qurtubi] say: This is the saying of al-Qaadee Abu Bakr in the book of his "Tamheed ul-Awaa'il". And we have mentioned it. And this has also been said by the teacher, Abu Bakr bin Fawrak in "Sharh Awaa'il il-Adillah", and it is the saying of Ibn Abdul-Barr, and at-Talamankee and others from amongst the Andulusians, and [also] al-Khattaabi in the book "Shi'aar ud-Deen", and that has already preceded.
Al-Qurtubi makes it clear that Abu Bakr al-Baqillani, and al-Ash'ari held Allaah to make istiwaa bi dhaatihi (with His Essence) and that He is above His Throne (fawqa arshihi) and that this is the same view as Ibn Abee Zaid (al-Qayrawaanee al-Maalikee) al-Haafidh Abu Umar Ibn Abdul-Barr and Abu Umar at-Talamankee, and he also ascribes it to Ibn Fawrak (as one of the two views reported from him)
We have to give the Jahmee good marks because he has done very well. The presentation gets 9/10, the sophistication of the shubhah (doubt) only gets 6/10 (we've seen better) - he's let himself down a little because al-Qurtubi has some other statements regarding the madhhab of the Salaf, and of the early Ash'aris that work against the Jahmee, so its not wise to be using al-Qurtubi too much. Overall (looking at other factors) you are looking at an 8/10 if we are generous. The Habashites are top-scorers generally, they tend to be meticulous and more sophisticated, and they always leave the Gutter Press Jahmees standing way behind.
But whatever the case, this Jahmee and his likes and their metaphysics-based creed will not dominate the truth of the Book, the Sunnah, and what the Salaf were upon with unanimous agreement.
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