You are on page 1of 12



ABU HANIFA, SALAFIS, AL-FIQH AL-AKBAR,


AND THE TRUTH

ByAbdullahbinHamidAli

AbuHanifasaysinAl-FiqhAl-AkbaraboutthequalitiesofGod:

“Hehasahand,aface,and aself.So whatHe,HighisHe,mentionsintheQur’anof the
mention of the face, hand, and self, they are all attributes of His with no modality (or
description).

ItisnotsaidthatHishandisHispowerorHisblessing,sincesuchwouldbeanullificationof
theattribute.AndsuchisthestatementofthePeopleofQadarand‘Itizaal.[8]

Rather,HishandisHisattributewithnomodality(ordescription).AndHisangerandHis
satisfactionaretwoofHisattributeswithnomodality(ordescription)…”

Onemustfirstunderstandthatbyvirtueofthefactthatthebook–Al-FiqhAl-Akbar-isconsideredtobe
thefirstbookwritteninthetimeoftheTaabi’eenonthetopicofTawheedinanorganizedandmethodical
fashionduringanageofgreatcontroversywhenSunniswereattemptingtocodifytheorthodoxcreedof
Muslimsthattherewillbestatementsfoundinitthatmaybeproblematic.

OfcourseSalafiswouldfindgreatjoyinseeingsuchstatementsliketheoneabove,sinceitapparentlygives
credencetotheirargumentsaboutwhattheyrefertoas‘TheAttributesofAllah,’likethehand,face,eyes,
foot,side,shin,self,etc.


LAMPPOSTPRODUCTIONS–www.lamppostproductions.com–AbdullahbinHamidAli 1
They could easily make the claim that their ‘aqeedah is correct and in agreement with the creed of the
Salaf,sinceImamAbuHanifawhoisoneoftheSalafsaysinAl-FiqhAl-AkbarthatAllahhasahand.And
Hishandisanattribute,similartowhattheysay.

Soonthesurfaceitwouldseemthattheargumentisover,andthatSalafishaveproventhemselvestobe
victoriousintheirclaims.

However,anumberofotherthingshavetobeconsideredbeforeacceptingtheirarguments.

Firstly, if we are to accept that Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar is an authentic work legitimately ascribable to Abu
Hanifaandthatitrepresentsthe‘aqeedahoftheSalaf,Salafishavetoacceptallthatitcontains.Sothey’d
havetoalsoacceptthefollowingstatementmadebyAbuHanifaaboutAllah’sspeech:

“AndHespeaks,notasourspeech.WespeakwithtoolsandletterswhileAllah,HighisHe,
speakswithoutatoolandwithoutletters.Thelettersarecreated.AndthespeechofAllah,
HighisHe,isuncreated.”`

In this passage, Abu Hanifa states that when Allah, High is He, speaks, He speaks without letters. But
SalafisbelievethatwhenAllahspeaks,Hespeakswithlettersandsounds.

So,reallythisisanothercaseofSalafisselectivelyabusingandmisusingthewordsoftheSalafandthose
attributedtotheSalafinanattempttomakeitseemthattheircreedagreeswiththatoftheSalaf,whenin
factitdoesn’t.

Add to that, Salafis are those who argue that the current version of Kitab al-Ibaanah ‘an Usool ad-
Diyaanah,attributedtoImamAbual-HasanAl-Ash’ari,isaproperascriptiontohim.

And in that book, it states that Imam Abu Hanifa believed that the Qur’an was created1,. But if Salafis
acceptthatAl-FiqhAl-AkbarisappropriatelyascribedtoAbuHanifa,theyhavetoalsoaccepthiswords
thatcontradictthisclaimwhenhesays:

“The Qur’an is Allah’s word, High is He, in pages transcribed, in hearts protected, on
tonguesrecited,andontheProphet(PBUH)andHisfamilyrevealed.Ourutteranceofthe
Qur’aniscreated.Ourwritingofitiscreated.Ourrecitationofitiscreated.AndtheQur’an
isuncreated.”


LAMPPOSTPRODUCTIONS–www.lamppostproductions.com–AbdullahbinHamidAli 2
How more explicit can the Imam be? He expressly states in Al-Fiqh al-Akbar that the “Qur’an is
uncreated.” But the Salafis claim that the narrations in Al-Ibaanah that claim that Abu Hanifa believed
thatitwascreatedisaproperascriptiontoAbual-Hasan.AndatthesametimetheyconsiderAl-Fiqhal-
AkbartobeproperlyascribedtoAbuHanifa.

Inadditiontothat,ImamAbual-Hasandoesn’tmakeanymentionofAbuHanifaasbeingoneofthose
who believed that the Qur’an was created in his more prominent and well-established work entitled
‘Maqaalaatal-Islaamiyyeen.’AndaccordingtoSalafis,Kitaabal-Ibaanahwashislastwork.

SohowdotheyexplainthefactthatImamAl-Ash’ariwaiteduntilhisfinalworktomentionAbuHanifa,
whodiedmorethanacenturypriortohim,asoneofthosewhobelievedthattheQur’anwascreatedinhis
supposedlastwork,whenhedidn’tmentionhiminwhattheybelievetobeoneofhisearlierworks?

DidnotAl-Ash’ariknowthatImamAbuHanifawastheauthorofAl-FiqhAl-Akbar?

Theyjustcan’thaveitbothways.

EitherAl-FiqhAl-AkbarisAbuHanifa’swork,whichwouldmakeKitaabal-Ibaanah–initspresentform-
notAbual-Hasan’swork.OrthecurrentKitaabal-IbaanahisAbual-Hasan’swork,whichwouldmeanthat
Al-Fiqhal-AkbarisnotAbuHanifa’swork.

AndifAl-Fiqhal-AkbarisAbuHanifa’sworkandSalafiswanttouseitasproofthattheir‘aqeedahisno
differentthanhis,theyhavetoaccepteverythinginitwithoutexception.

NowasfortheissueofthestatementinAl-FiqhAl-Akbaraboutthehand,face,andselfandthembeing
attributes,wemustconsidertwothingsinparticular:

1–ImamAt-Tahaawimakesnomentionofhands,aface,oraselfinhis‘aqeedah.Andhisbookhasbeen
acceptedastheonethatrepresentsthe‘aqeedahofImamAbuHanifaandhistwocompanions,AbuYusuf
andMuhammadAsh-Shaibaani.

2–Secondly,wemustunderstandanycommentmadeinAl-Fiqhal-Akbar–asinotherworks-according
tocontext.

AccordingtoAl-Fiqhal-Akbar,Allahhastwogeneralclassificationsofattributesknownas‘Attributesof
theEssence’and‘AttributesofAction.’


LAMPPOSTPRODUCTIONS–www.lamppostproductions.com–AbdullahbinHamidAli 3
AttributesoftheEssencearetheessentialqualitiesofHisbeing.

As for attributes of action, they are things that happen outside of His being. And since He is the one
responsibleforthoseoccurrences,theyareattributedtoHimandcalled‘AttributesofAction.’

ImamAbuHanifaexplainsthisinhisbookwhenhesays:

“Hedoesn’tresembleanythingofHiscreation,andnothingofHiscreationresemblesHim.
HehasalwaysandwillalwaysexistwithHisnamesandHisattributesofthe(divine)essence
andthose(attributes)ofaction.

As for those of the essence, they are: life, power, knowledge, speech, hearing, seeing, and
will.

And as for those of action, they are: creating, providing, producing, originating,
manufacturing,andotherattributesofaction.”

SotheattributesofAllah’sdivineessenceareseven:
1- Life
2- Power
3- Knowledge
4- Speech
5- Hearing
6- Seeing
7- Will

Asfortheattributesofaction,hestatesthingslike
- Creating,
- Providing,
- Producing,
- Originating,
- Manufacturing,
- Andotherattributesofaction

Then,AbuHanifasays,


LAMPPOSTPRODUCTIONS–www.lamppostproductions.com–AbdullahbinHamidAli 4
“HehasalwaysandwillalwaysexistwithHisnamesandattributes.Hehasnotacquiredany
newnameorattribute.”

SoaccordingtoAbuHanifa,Allahhas7confirmedattributesoftheessence[2.],whileheplacesnolimitto
Hisattributesofaction,sincethepossibilitiesofwhatcanexistarelimitless.

As for restricting the attributes of the essence to merely seven, this is not to say that these are the only
attributesthatAllahhas.Itismerelytosaythatthisisthenumberthatboth revelation andreasonhave
beenabletoconclude.AsforthestandardviewofMaaturidis,theattributesoftheessenceare8.

AsforAsh’aris,theydivideattributesabitfurthertothepointthatsomeofthemhavestated13[3.]and
somehavestated20[4.].

In the end, most of that is just a difference in semantics. And the true difference is with relationship to
whatAsh’ariscall‘Abstract Attributes’,whicharethe7thatAbuHanifamentionsin Al-FiqhAl-Akbar,
whileMaaturidisaddaneighthcalled‘Takween.’

Atanyrate,noticehowAbuHanifadoesn’tmakementionofthehand,face,andselfuntilheenumerates
the attributes of the essence. And, so that the readers can see, here is the complete text prior to the
mentionofthehand,face,andself:

“Hedoesn’tresembleanythingofHiscreation,andnothingofHiscreationresemblesHim.
HehasalwaysandwillalwaysexistwithHisnamesandHisattributesofthe(divine)essence
andthose(attributes)ofaction.

As for those of the essence, they are: life, power, knowledge, speech, hearing, seeing, and
will.

And as for those of action, they are: creating, providing, producing, originating,
manufacturing,andotherattributesofaction.

HehasalwaysandwillalwaysexistwithHisnamesandattributes.Hehasnotacquiredany
newnameorattribute.”

SoifHehasn’tacquiredanynewnameorattribute,therearetrulynootherdefinitiveattributesofessence
otherthanthosementionedabove[5],andthehand,face,andselfaren’tincludedamongthem.


LAMPPOSTPRODUCTIONS–www.lamppostproductions.com–AbdullahbinHamidAli 5
Thenhecontinues:

“HehasalwaysbeenKnowingbyHisknowledge.Andknowledgehasbeenanattributesince
pre-eternity.

(He has always been) Powerful by His power. And power has been an attribute since pre-
eternity.

(Hehasalwaysbeen)ASpeakerbyHisspeech.Andspeechhasbeenanattributesincepre-
eternity.

(He has always been) Creator by His creative-will[6]. And the creative-will has been an
attributesincepre-eternity.

(Hehasalwaysbeen)ADoerbyHiswilltoact[7].Andthewilltoacthasbeenanattribute
sincepre-eternity.TheDoerisAllah,HighisHe.Thewilltoacthasbeenanattributesince
pre-eternity. And the resulting entity of His will to act is created, while Allah’s will to act,
High is He, is uncreated. And His attributes have been since pre-eternity un-invented and
uncreated.Sowhoeversaysthattheyarecreatedorinvented,remainssilentaboutthem,or
entertainsdoubtsaboutthemisonewhorejectsfaithinAllah,HighisHe.”

Healsosays,

“And Allah, High is He, was indeed a Speaker at a time when He had not yet spoken to
Musa,uponhimbepeace.AndAllahwasindeedaCreatorinpre-eternityeventhoughHe
had not yet created. ((There is nothing like unto Him. And He is the All-Hearing All-
Seeing)).SowhenHespoketoMusa,HespoketohimwithHisspeech,whichhasbeenan
attributeofHissincepre-eternity.AndAllofHisattributesarewithoutbeginningfrompre-
eternity;contrarytothestateoftheattributesofcreatedbeings.

Hehasknowledge,notasourknowledge.Hehaspower,notasourpower.Hesees,notas
ourseeing.Hehears,notasourhearing.AndHespeaks,notasourspeech.

WespeakwithtoolsandletterswhileAllah,HighisHe,speakswithoutatoolandwithout
letters.Thelettersarecreated.AndthespeechofAllah,HighisHe,isuncreated.


LAMPPOSTPRODUCTIONS–www.lamppostproductions.com–AbdullahbinHamidAli 6
Heisathing,notlikeotherthings.Andthepointofsaying‘thing’istoconfirmHisexistence
whilenotbeingadivisiblebody,anindivisiblebody,andnotanaccidentofabody.

Hehasnoboundary.Hehasnoopposite.Hehasnorival.AndHehasnoequal.

Thenfinallyhesays,

He has a hand, a face, and a self. So what He, High is He, mentions in the Qur’an of the
mention of the face, hand, and self, are all attributes of His with no modality (or
description).

ItisnotsaidthatHishandisHispowerorHisblessing,sincesuchwouldbeanullificationof
theattribute.AndsuchisthestatementofthePeopleofQadarand‘Itizaal.[8]

Rather,HishandisHisattributewithnomodality(ordescription).AndHisangerandHis
satisfactionaretwoofHisattributeswithnomodality(ordescription)…”

So what are we to understand from all of this? How do we reconcile between Abu Hanifa’s saying after
mentioningthesevenattributesoftheessence:

“HehasalwaysandwillalwaysexistwithHisnamesandattributes.Hehasnotacquiredany
newnameorattribute.”

Andbetweenhissaying,

“Hehasahand,aface,and aself.So whatHe,HighisHe,mentionsintheQur’anof the
mention of the face, hand, and self, are all attributes of His with no modality (or
description).”?

Ibelievethatthebestwaytoreconcilebetweenthetwoistosaythat‘hand,face,andself’arereferencesto
eitheroneofAllah’strueattributesoftheessenceasstatedinthefirstclausebyAbuHanifa.Ortheyare
referencestooneofHisattributesofaction.[9]

One cannot deny that by such words being annexed to Allah’s name or pronoun in the Qur’an, they are
being ‘attributed’ to Him directly even if calling them ‘attributes’ doesn’t coincide with the original
linguisticdefinitionofwhatanattributeis.


LAMPPOSTPRODUCTIONS–www.lamppostproductions.com–AbdullahbinHamidAli 7
Socallingthemattributeswouldbeametaphoricalapplicationasopposedtoaliteralapplication.Andifit
isametaphoricalapplication,itwouldhavetobeacceptedthatsuchnamed‘attributes’aremetaphorical
‘attributes.’Sothehand,face,and selfwouldhavetobe ametaphorical‘hand,face,andself,’whichare
referencestooneofAllah’strueattributes,sincethereisnothinglikeuntoHim.And‘hand’initsoriginal
linguisticunderstandingappliesonlytocreatedbeings.

Abdur-RahmanibnAl-JawzisayswhilementioningthemistakesofsomeHanbalischolarsintheareaof
scripturalinterpretationoftheproblematicversesoftheQur’an,

“AndthosewriterswhoIhavementionedhaveerredinsevenareas.Thefirstofthemisthat
they called the ‘reports’ ‘attributes.’ When they are merely annexations/possessive forms.
Andnoteverypossessiveformisanattribute.ForAllah,HighisHe,hassaid:((AndIhave
blownintohimfromMyspirit))[Al-Hijr:29].AndAllahdoesn’thaveanattributeknownas
a‘spirit.’Sothosewhohavecalled‘thepossessiveform’(idaafa)‘anattribute’areguiltyof
innovation.”

Thelinguist,Tha’labsaysinTaajal-‘Aroos,

“A‘na’t’isadescriptiongiventoaspecificpartofthebodyliketheword‘lame’(‘araj).A
‘sifa’ (attribute) is for non-specificity (‘umoom), like the word ‘magnificent’ (‘azeem) and
‘generous’(kareem).SoAllahisdescribedwitha‘sifa’.ButHeisnotdescribedwitha‘na’t.’”

Whatthiswouldmeanisthattheword‘sifa’(attribute)isbeingusedmetaphoricallytomean‘na’t’,
whichisanotherwordfor‘attribute’or‘trait.’Thedifferenceisthata‘na’t’describesaspecificpart
ofabody,like‘lame’or‘blind’.

Forthisreason,ImamBukhaariusestheword‘nu’oot’(pluralof na’t),insteadof‘sifaat’(pluralof
sifa) to refer to those reports that make mention of Allah’s anger, laughter, foot, hand, and face
eventhoughHeisn’tabodyanddoesn’thaveabody.

This would have to be the accepted interpretation. Otherwise, we must accept that Abu Hanifa
contradictshisselfbyfirstlimitingtheattributesoftheessencetothe7mentionedabove,andthen
lateraddingAllah’sface,hand,andself.

Anotherimportantquestionis‘Whydoesn’tAbuHanifaaddtowhatheconsideredattributes‘the
shin,theside,theeyes,thefoot,andthespirit?’


LAMPPOSTPRODUCTIONS–www.lamppostproductions.com–AbdullahbinHamidAli 8
ThisisimportantbecauseAllahannexesHisnameorpersonalpronountoeachofthesethingsin
theQur’anortheMessengerdoessointhehadith.SoifIamtoacceptthatAllahhasaface,self,
andhand,simplybecauseHeannexessuchthingstoHisnameorpronoun,Ishouldalsoacceptthat
Hehaseyes,aspirit,afoot, aside,a shin, ashe-camel,a house,andany otherthingthatHehas
attachedHisnameorpronounto.

AndiftheSalafisagreewithAbuHanifa’screed,theyshouldonlyacceptasattributesthosethings
that Abu Hanifa declared to be attributes. This would mean that Salafis have to stop saying that
Allahhasafoot,ashin,aside,andeyes.

But we know that they won’t do that, because Salafis are very selective about what they want to
acceptfromtheSalafandwhattheydon’twanttoaccept,allthewhileclaimingthattheir‘aqeedais
the‘aqeedaoftheSalaf.

If they use Abu Hanifa’s words about the face, hand, and self as being proof that they follow the
minhaajandunderstandingoftheSalaf,theyshouldonlysaywhattheSalafsaidandstopaddingto
theirwords.

So to accept that these are the words of Abu Hanifa, we’d either have to accept the first
interpretationorwe’dhavetoacceptthesecond,whichwouldmeanthatheisincontradictionwith
hisself.

And if that is so, we’d have to accept that Abu Hanifa may not have been an authority on this
subject.

Asforreferringtotheseproblematicversesandhadithsas‘AttributeVerses’(Aayaatas-Sifaat)or
‘ReportsofAttributes’(Akhbaaras-Sifaat),thiswasthespecificterminologythatscholarsusedto
refer to them even though they didn’t actually mean that such ascriptions mentioned in scripture
were attributes of Allah. Imam Ibn Al-Jawzi’s words above clarify the error of this sort of
designation.Sohopefullythatshouldresolveanyconfusionabouttheissue.








LAMPPOSTPRODUCTIONS–www.lamppostproductions.com–AbdullahbinHamidAli 9
8
Inotherwords,tosaysuchathingwouldbeequaltosayingwhatthepeoplewhodenythedivinedecree(qadar)say
andliketheMu’taziliteswhosaythateverytimeAllahascribesahandtoHisself,itmeans‘power.’
1,
InDaaral-Kutubal-‘Ilmiyyah’s1998/1418publicationofKitaabal-Ibaanah,itreadsonpage40:
“Haarun ibn Ishaaq al-Hamdaani mentioned about Abu Na’eem from Sulaimaan ibn ‘Eesaa Al-Qaari that Sufyaan
Ath-Thaurisaid:“IsaidtoHammaadibnAbiSulaimaan:“ProclaimtoAbuHanifa,TheIdolater,thatIaminnocentof
him.””Sulaimaansaid:“ThenSufyaansaid:“That’sbecauseheusedtosay,‘TheQur’aniscreated.’”
SufyaanibnWakee’said:“Iheard‘UmaribnHammaad,thegrandsonofAbuHanifa,say:“Myfathersaidtome:“The
commentthatIbnAbiLailaademandedthatAbuHanifarepentfromwashisstatement:‘TheQur’aniscreated.’”He
(Hammaad)said:“Soherepentedfromitandannouncedhisrepentancepublicly.My(Hammaad)fathersaid:“How
didyouturntothis?”He(AbuHanifa)said:“Ifeared–ByAllah–thatIwouldbedisciplined.SoIusedamisleading
expressiontotrickhim(heela).”
Haarun ibn Ishaaq said, “I heard Ismaa’eel ibn Abi Al-Hakam mention about ‘Umar ibn ‘Ubaid At-Tanaafusi that
Hammaad–i.e.IbnAbiSulaimaan–sentsomeonetoAbuHanifatosay:“VerilyIaminnocentofwhatyousayuntil
yourepent.”
IbnAbi‘Inabahwaswithhim(i.e.Hammaad)andsaid:“YourneighbortoldmethatAbuHanifainvitedhimtowhat
hewasaskedtorepentfromafterhehadalreadybeenaskedtorepentfromit.”
And it was mentioned that Abu Yusuf said, “I debated with Abu Hanifa for two months until he retracted his
statementaboutthecreatednessoftheQur’an.”

[Al-Ash’ari,Abual-Hasan(ascribedtohim), Kitaabal-Ibaanah‘anUsoolad-Diyaanah: 1998/1418Daaral-Kutubal-
‘Ilmiyyah,MarginalNotesby‘AbdullahMahmoodMuhammad‘Umar.]



Onthesamepage,thecommentator,AbdullahMahmoodMuhammad‘Umar,makesthefollowingcomments:

“Tahaawi states in his book, Al-‘Aqeedah At-Tahaawiyyah, what contradicts these narrations that claim that Abu
HanifausedtostatethattheQur’aniscreated.AndTahaawiismorereliableintransmissionandmoreknowingofthe
creedofhiscomrades(AbuHanifaandhistwocompanions)thanAl-Ash’ariis.ImamTahaawi,theHanafi,says:“The
Qu’ranisthewordofAllah.ItcamefromHimasspeechwithoutitbeingpossibletosayhow.HesentitdownuponHis
messengerasrevelation.Thebelieversacceptitasabsolutetruth.Theyarecertainthatitis,intruth,thewordofAllah.
Itwasnotcreatedlikethespeechofhumanbeings…”

Sothecommentator,inspiteofthefactthatheseemstoacceptthatthebookisproperlyascribedtoImamAl-Ash’ari,
heestablishesthatsuchaclaimmadebyhimcannotbesubstantiated,sinceitconflictswiththereportsgivenbythose
whohavebetterknowledgeofthecreedofAbuHanifawhoconveyedittotheUmmah.

Addtothis,Al-Ash’aridoesn’tlistImamAbuHanifaamongthosewhobelievedtheQur’antobecreatedinhisbook,
Maqaalaatal-Islaamiyyeen,eventhoughthenarrationsabovefromAl-Ibaanahgive theimpressionthatAbuHanifa
neveractuallyrelinquishedthepresumedbeliefthattheQur’aniscreated.
2.
ThesesevenattributesarereferredtobyAsh’arisas‘TheAbstractAttributes’(Sifaatal-Ma’aani).

LAMPPOSTPRODUCTIONS–www.lamppostproductions.com–AbdullahbinHamidAli 10
3.
Inadditiontothesevenaforementionedattributes,Ash’arisincludethefollowingsix:
- Existence
- Permanencewithoutbeginning
- Endurancewithoutend
- Absolutenessindependence
- DissimilaritytoCreatedThings
- Oneness

Existence is known as the ‘Essential Attribute’ (As-sifah An-nafsiyyah), since without it Allah would not be able of
beingdescribedbyanyoftheothers.

Theother5areknownasthe‘NegatingAttributes’(As-SifaatAs-Salbiyyah).Thisisbecausebyestablishingthem,one
negatestheiroppositesfromAllah’sbeing.

4.
Ash’arisalsoincludesevenotherattributescalled‘SignifyingAttributes’(As-Sifaatal-Ma’nawiyyah).Theyare:
- ThatAllahbePowerful
- ThatAllahbeWillful
- ThatAllahbeKnowing
- ThatAllahbeLiving
- ThatAllahbeSeeing
- ThatAllahbeHearing
- ThatAllahbeSpeaking

Theyarecalledthe‘SignifyingAttributes’(As-Sifaatal-Ma’nawiyya),becausetheysignifythatAllahhastheattribute
thateachadjectiveimplies,i.e.power,will,knowledge,life,sight,hearing,andspeech.

AbuHanifamentionsonlythe7abstractattributes.Butthisdoesn’tmeanthathedeniestheexistenceoftheother13
mentionedbyAsh’aris.Thisisbecausethe‘essentialattribute’of‘existence’andtheotherfivenegatingattributesare
characteristicsofthe7essentialqualities.Sotheygowithoutsaying.
5
 The reason that Abu Hanifa doesn’t mention the 5 ‘Negating Attributes’ (i.e. permanence without beginning,
endurance without end, absolute independence, dissimilarity to creation, and oneness), the ‘Essential Attribute’
(Existence),andthe7signifyingattributesstatedabove,isthattheseattributesareactuallyqualitiesofAllah’smain
qualities,whicharethe7AttributesoftheEssenceorasAsh’ariscallthem,‘AbstractAttributes.’
6
The‘creative-will’isatranslationofwhatMaaturidisrefertoas‘takhleeq.’
7
The‘willtoact’isatranslationfortheword,‘fi’l,’usuallytranslatedas‘action.’Itranslatedas‘willtoact’sinceitis
more in line with the actually creed of Maaturidis who based much of their creed off of the doctrine of Imam Abu
Hanifa.Totranslate‘fi’l’as‘action’or‘act’wouldimplythatthecreation–oneofAllah’sactions-iseternalwithouta
beginning,sincetheauthorstatesthatthe‘fi’l’isuncreated.
8
Inotherwords,tosaysuchathingwouldbeequaltosayingwhatthepeoplewhodenythedivinedecree(qadar)say
andliketheMu’taziliteswhosaythateverytimeAllahascribesahandtoHisself,itmeans‘power.’

LAMPPOSTPRODUCTIONS–www.lamppostproductions.com–AbdullahbinHamidAli 11
9
ImamShaukaanistatesinhisIrshaadal-Fuhoolwhilediscussingthedifferentrelationshipsthattiebetweenliteral
andfigurativelanguagethatoneofthemis,“Assigningathingthenameofoneofitsformsandmanifestations,like
usingtheword‘hand’toreferto‘power…”[Irshaadal-Fuhool:1/119]Inotherwords,thehandisaformor
manifestationofpower.Thiswouldmeanthatwhenonesaysthatthe‘hand’isoneofAllah’sattributes,hereally
meansthatitisHispowereventhoughadifferentwordisusedtoapplytoit.AndAllahknowsbest.

LAMPPOSTPRODUCTIONS–www.lamppostproductions.com–AbdullahbinHamidAli 12