Refuting an allegation about the resemblance of Allaah to creatures
Fatwa No: 300751

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. I hope it is possible to answer this question as soon as possible, because I am confused and sad. This question is so hard for me, but I need someone's help. I had a bad situation with one person who hates the creed of Ahlus-Sunnah (the people of the Sunnah) and our affirming of Allaah's attributes, such as His Hands, Face ... He said me, "You affirm what He affirms for Himself, without comparision, reject what He rejects for Himself, and stay quiet about what He does not mention about Himself." I said, "Yes." Then he asked me, "If you stay quiet (neither affirm nor deny) about what He does not mention about Himself, will you then negate that Allaah maybe has (and I seek refuge in Allaah from this speech) genitalia or an anus." I was shocked and said that we firmly negate these attributes to Allaah because these are attributes of deficiency and are not fitting to Allaah and His Majesty, because His attributes are attributes of perfection. He said to me that according to the creed of Ahlus-Sunnah, I cannot negate these attributes because I am not informed about this and I must stay quiet. I never thought about these matters, so he confused me, and after that I have suffered a lot of (devilish) whisperings. So I want to ask you: Was I right when I said that we firmly negate these attributes to Allaah, which were mentioned by this heretic, or do we need to stay quiet, as he said? Please if you can to answer me as soon as possible, because I am confused, sad and afraid for my faith. May Allah bless you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Before answering your question, we would like to draw your attention to two important points:

Firstly, one should not engage in debates with the heretics unless he has adequate knowledge enabling him to refute their misconceptions and establish the evidence against them. It seems that you have not yet acquired the knowledge and ability to qualify you to do so. Hence, it is advisable that you strive in seeking knowledge until you acquire adequate knowledge and ability to engage in debate.

Secondly, experiencing such whisperings and evil thoughts may be a trial for the person. When the person repels and wards off such whisperings and evil thoughts, it is an indication of his strong faith. Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote:

"The believer would be frequently put to trial by some signs of hypocrisy, and then Allaah would bless him with repentance; some may be plagued with spiritual diseases and acts entailing labeling them as hypocrites, but Allaah would repel such evil from them. The believer may be put to trial by satanic whisperings and insinuating thoughts of disbelief, which may make him feel distressed. The companions used to say, 'Oh Messenger of Allaah! Some of us would think thoughts that it is better for us to fall from the sky than speak of them.' He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, 'That is true faith.' [Ahmad and Muslim] Another version of the hadeeth reads, '…thoughts which are too terrible to speak of.' He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, 'Praise be to Allaah, Who has reduced all his [Satan’s] plots to mere whispers,' meaning that the fact that these whispers come, but they are so greatly disliked, and they are pushed away from the heart, is a clear sign of faith..." [Al-Fataawa]

We would like to warn you of indulging in thinking over such satanic whisperings; you should know that the best remedy for them is to totally ignore them. For more benefit, please refer to 199253.

As for the refutation of the misconception, your answer was correct. This point was underlined by Shaykh Ibn ʻUthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him as he wrote:

"The criterion in negation is to negate the following with respect to Allaah:

Firstly, all defects such as blindness, muteness, deafness, sleep, death... and the like.

Secondly, all imperfections such as imperfection pertaining to His Life, Knowledge, Ability, Greatness, Wisdom ... and the like.

Thirdly, any resemblance with His creation, suggesting that His Knowledge or Face is like those of His creation or that His istiwaa’ (mounting the Throne) is similar to that of the created ... and the like.

Among the evidence supporting the negation of the first category is the verse that reads (what means): {... and for Allaah is the highest attribute... } [Quran 16:60] The affirmation of ascribing the "highest attribute" to Him entails negation of all defects.

Among the evidence supporting the second category is the verse that reads (what means): {And We did certainly create the heavens and earth and what is between them in six days, and there touched Us no weariness.} [Quran 50:.38]

Among the evidence supporting the third category, Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {...There is nothing like unto Him...} [Quran 42:11]." [Taqreeb At-Tadmuriyyah]

Allaah knows best.

Related Fatwa