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The Mushabbiha sect and their position on the mutashbiht

Question: Could you give some information about the Mushabbiha sect?
It is a heretical sect that believes Allahu tal to be an object and attributes anthropomorphic organs to Him. Giving wrong meanings to mutashbih verses, this sect claims that Allah has such body parts as hands and face.

[mutashbih: (pl. mutashbiht) an yat or a hadth with inexplicit, hidden meaning.]

The people who first propounded the ideas tashbh [likening Allahu tal to His creation] and tajsm [considering Allahu tal to be materialized] were Abdullah ibn Saba, who was a Jew, and Hisham bin Salim al-Jawlik and Hisham bin al-Hakam, who lived toward the end of the first hijr century and around the turn of the second hijr century.

There were heretics who promoted these credos during the second hijr century. Hadrat Imm-i Mlik, who gave answers to those heretics, once said to the advocates of likening Allah to His creation, I forbid you from bidats and bidat holders. When he was asked who the bidat holders were, he answered, Bidat holders are such people that they talk about Allahu tals Names, Attributes, Speech, Knowledge, and Power. They do not keep silent on the subjects that the Sahba and the followers of them in goodness kept silent.

Ahl as-Sunnat savants, such as Imm-i Zuhr and Imm-i Sawr, too, gave the necessary answers to the holders of these false beliefs and protected Muslims against their deceit. However, these doctrines continued to exist throughout the third hijr century. Ahl as-Sunnat savants, e.g., Imm-i Ahmad bin Hanbal, Yahy bin Min, and Ishaq bin Rahawayh, refuted the teachings of Mujassima and Mushabbiha sects and struggled against them.

Today we see that those who call themselves Salafs follow in their footsteps. Hadrat Imm-i Ghazl declared:
The sects of ignorance and aberration ascribe to Allahu tal imperfections about His Person and Attributes, which He is clear of, free from. Calling this heresy of theirs Salafs path, they slander the Salaf-i Slihn [that is, the Ashb-i Kirm and the Tbin]. Now I will set forth the belief and creed of the Salaf: You must not consider the word yad in the phrase yadullah as the hands. For instance, if it is said, Such and such a city is in such and such a governors hands, it is understood that that city is not in the palms of his hands, but rather he is in control of it. In this respect, you should understand the meaning of yadullah as Allahs power. (Iljm-ul-awm)

Such kinds of statements, as it was stated by Hadrat Imm-i Ghazl, must be explained in this way. For example, it would be wrong to say Allahs shadow for the phrase Zillullah. Therefore, when explaining the meaning of the pertinent hadth-i sharf, we must say, Allahu tal takes seven classes of people under His protection on a day when there is no protector other than He. Otherwise, we must not say, He shades them under His shade, because there may be some people who will draw such a meaning out of it that Allahu tal is a material being. Just as we do not construe the phrase Baitullah (which means Allahs house) as the house where Allah indwells (never!), so we must not construe the words Yadullah or Zillullah that appear in hadth-i sharfs according to their outward (zhir) meanings. Instead, we must make tawl of them. In order to forestall the Salafiyya movement, which is a heretical and deviant sect, Islamic savants made tawl of the yats and hadths with inexplicit meanings. However, those who went to extremes in tawl and who provided interpretations that were not in accord with what Islamic savants provided went astray, too. All religious books that are not in accord with what Islamic savants communicated are not dependable or authentic.

[Tawl: From among different senses of a word, tawl is to choose the one that is in accord with Islam.]

In his book Aqidat-us-sahha, the Wahhb writer Abdulazz bin Bz declares Sunn Muslims to be polytheists, that is, to be disbelievers, and he wants all Muslims to become Najds, that is, Wahhbs.

Interpreting such words with inexplicit meanings as istiw, yad, and wajh as sitting, hand, and face respectively, he describes Allahu tal as an object (never!). He believes in Him the way the Mushabbiha sect does. He says, Our master Ibn Taymiyya affirmed so. Thus, he does not hide the fact that Ibn Taymiyya, too, was a follower of the Mushabbiha sect.

Again, Abdulaziz bin Bz writes in his book that the master of Hadrat Imm-i Mlik said, The how (kayf) of Allahs istiw on the Arsh is inconceivable. And this is the truth of the matter. However, he writes a few lines later: Allah sits on the Arsh, which is above the heavens. How can a person write so definitely concerning a matter the how of which is inconceivable? Ancient scholars called Salaf-i Slihn did not deem it necessary to make tawl of such words as istiw and yad because the meanings they carry used to be known by people. For example, when we said, Such and such a city is in such and such a governors hands, it did not need an explanation, for in the past everybody used to know that the word hands in this statement was not in its literal sense. Similarly, they used to understand the purport of Allah made istiw on the Arsh as Allah is dominant over the Arsh. But when this corrupt sect called the Mushabbiha gave them wrong meanings, such as Allah has hands like our hands. He sits on the Arsh, the subsequent savants were obliged to elucidate these words.

In the Qurn al-karm there are many yats that need tawl. If they are taken in their literal senses, they give rise to bizarre denotations. For instance, the Holy Quran declares: Ask the village, which means the people in the village. Also, the Holy Quran declares that the disbelievers are deaf, dumb, and blind. (Srat-ul-Baqara, 18)

However, disbelievers are not deaf, dumb, and blind in reality. As they do not hear the fact, they are characterized as being deaf; as they do not say the truth, they are characterized as being dumb; as they do not see the true path and the facts, they are characterized as being blind. Explication is not necessary for those who grasp the meaning out of it. In the same way, in the past the meanings of istiw, yad, wajh, and the like used to be known without a need to provide tawl. Afterwards, when the Mushabbiha sect and the Najds take them in their literal senses, they ascribed a place to Allah. They considered Him to be a material being. Similarly, Abdulaziz bin Bz, who is a Najd, commits blasphemy by saying, Allah sits on the Arsh in heaven (pp. 8-10).

Date of Update
23 Eyll 2023 Cumartesi
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