In the science of the branches of ﬁqh, I wrote Kitab al-Mudhhib fi al-Madhhab (“The Gilder Regarding the Madhhab”), Masbuk al-Dhahab (“Moulded Gold”) and al-Bulgha (“The Means of Subsistence”). In the fundamentals of the religion, I wrote Minhaj al-Wusul ila ‘ilm al-Usul (“The Way of Reaching Knowledge of the Religious Fundamentals”). In total, so far I have written some 250 works.I have observed that some of our companions have written about matters of creed in a way that is not proper.There are three in particular:Abu ‘Abd Allahibn Hamid, his disciple, Qadi AbuYa‘la, 4 and Ibn al-Zaghuni who composed books by which they have disgraced the madhhab.They held the attributes ofGod to be subject to human understanding and perception.
They heard that God, Gloriﬁed and Exalted be He, created Adam on his image, upon him be blessing and peace.On that basis, they acknowledged for Him an image and a physical form, a face attributable to His essence, two eyes, a mouth, uvulas,molar teeth, and lights for His face which represent His majestic splendor, two hands, ﬁngers, a palm, a little [pinky] ﬁnger, a thumb, a chest, a thigh, two shins, and two feet.
[They even went so far as saying]:
“We have not heard any mention of the head.” They [then] said:“It is possible for Him to touch and to be touched, and to bring the slave close to His being.” One of them said: “[…] He breathes.”Then they calm the common people by saying:“[These attributes] are not taken as commonly understood.”
They adopted the literal meanings of the names and ascriptions and called them attributes—an invented designation, of which they have no evidence, neither from transmitted knowledge of the text, nor reason.They did not carefully consider those texts that divert one’s attention from adopting the literal meanings [of such expressions] to adopting those meanings that must necessarily apply to God, just as [they did not carefully consider] to negate the meanings implied by those literal expressions that are characteristics of ﬁnite beings.
They were not satisﬁed with saying,“[It is] an attribute of action” until they said,“[It is] an attribute of the [Divine] essence [ofGod].” Once they determined those [words] to be attributes, they said,“We do not understand them according to the usages they imply according to language” like hand for ‘blessing’ and ‘power’ and coming/arriving to mean ‘goodness’ and ‘kindness,’ nor shin to mean ‘severity.’” “Rather,” they said, “We hold and understand them according to their well-acknowledged literal meanings,”while the apparent and literal meaning is what is familiar of human characteristics.
But any text [of the Qur’an and Sunna] is only held according to its literal meaning when it is possible and feasible. If something would redirect or negate this being done, it is understood and held according to its ﬁgurative understanding. They then become offended when they are accused of likening God to His creation and show harshness towards anyone who says this to them, while in the same breath, insisting,“We are Ahl al-Sunna,” (Upholders of the Prophetic Tradition) although in their statements they are clearly likening God to His creation.
There are some common people that have begun to follow them and I have advised them by saying,“Companions! Brothers! You are the People who adhere to the texts and follow them.This was the example of your Imam, the Greatest Imam,Ahmad ibnHanbal, may God, Exalted be He, have mercy on him, who under pain of torture, proclaimed, ‘How can I say what has not been said before?’” So, take care not to introduce into
his madhhab what does not belong in it.Then, you [three] said about the hadiths [of attributes] “We hold them and understand them according to their apparent meanings,” while the apparent meaning of [this word] ‘the foot’ would be the human limb. This is the same thing as what is said and believed by the Christians,may God, Exalted be He, distance them from His mercy [for saying such], about Jesus, upon him be blessing and peace.
They understand that he is “God’s spirit” and that God, Sanctiﬁed and Exalted in Highness, has an attribute known as a spirit that entered into Mary. Whoever says, “He became established with His Divine essence” has made Him, Sanctiﬁed and Exalted is He, subject to reality, as we under-stand it.
It should not be neglected by anyone that the principle by which the faith is established is reason, and it is by way of this [reason] that we came to know and hold God to be Eternal without beginning. If only you had said,“We read the hadiths, and [then] keep silent,” then no one would have objected to [what] you [do]! [But you refuse to abstain from holding the texts and understanding them according to the apparent meaning] and this behavior is absolutely disgusting and repugnant.
So, do not introduce in the madh-hab of this rightoeus Salafi man what does not belong to it. You have made the madh-hab such a shameful disgrace that when it is said “Hanbali”, it is understood that he is someone who likens Allah to His creation. You have then made your way to be that of bigotry and intolerance, showing fanitical support for Yazid ibn Mu’awiyyah, when you know very well the founder of this madh-hab permitted cursing him. And Abu Muhammad Tamimi used to say about one of your Imaams that “[He] disgraced the madh-hab in a terrible way and it will not be cleansed until the Day of Resurrection”.