Who made Takfir on the Ash’ariyyah?


In the name of Allah, all praise is due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, and thereafter.

One of the honorable scholars requested from me to document the statements of those who declared the Ash’aris as unbelievers, and I responded to his request accordingly.

Then it occurred to me to publish this research and make it available to everyone, as a response to the faction that tests the people of Sunnah with their view towards the Ash’aris. We have witnessed this from Al-Madaakhilah, Al-Da’esh, and recently from Al-Mudajjanah. They make the Ash’aris the leaders of the religion and consider anyone who opposes them as an innovator. So, what about those who declare them as unbelievers? They describe them as outsiders, and some of them even call them hypocrites, while others consider them among the ranks of secular disbelievers. Those who took up arms from amongst this faction deemed their blood permissible and killed them, as evidenced in recorded footage. All of this motivated me to present these statements, so that people may know that these groups have deviated and declared knowledgeable scholars as unbelievers.

In a time where we need to clarify what the reasonable minds consider abhorrent, I must emphasize that I am not presenting my opinion, as evident from the title. This is not a paper aimed at resolving the issue of their excommunication or presenting the prevailing view on it. Therefore, I will not quote from those who do not excommunicate them, nor will I mention the prevailing view according to me. Not everything I quote from represents endorsement, opinion, or action. Rather, it is a compilation of the statements of those who declared them as unbelievers, as indicated by the title.

In this research, I will not mention those who lived before their appearance and passed judgment on their beliefs (such as denying ‘Uluww and believing in the creation of the Quran), but I will mention those who spoke after their emergence. However, I have omitted many statements in this regard because they are not explicit, like those who described them as Jahmiyyah.

I will present the statements of two types of individuals: those who explicitly declared them as unbelievers by name, and those who mentioned their statements while acknowledging the disbelief of anyone who believes and agrees with them.

May Allah grant success.

Those Who Explicitly Declared Them as Unbelievers

Hanbalis During the Time of the Ash’aris:
Abu Al-Fadl Al-Mu’ayyid stated: “[Abu Hassan] Al-Ash’ari manifested his doctrine and affirmed it, so his stance became the most renowned. Most Hanbalis consider them as unbelievers, permitting their bloodshed, and the blood of anyone who agrees with their views.” (“Al-Mukhtasar fi Akhbar al-Bashr” (2/90))

The Hafiz Abu Abdullah Ibn Mandah (d. 395 AH) stated, describing them as heretics (Zanadiqah): “These are the characteristics of the Ash’ari heretics, who appeared in this era. They turned away from the Quran and the Sunnah, relied on analogy, and claimed with their absurd intellects what contradicts the Sunnah.” (Epistle entitled “Council in Refuting the Heretics” (p. 6))

He further stated (p. 6): “Contrary to what the Ash’ari Zanadiqah, claim, against the scholars who follow the Quran and the Sunnah.”

And he said (p. 9): “We say: whoever claims that a letter from al-Maqtoo’at in the Quran, such as ‘Alif, Lam, Meem,’ and similar phrases, is not the speech of Allah, and that the speech of Allah does not contain letters, and that this speech [The Quran] is the speech of Jibreel: he has affirmed that the Quran is created, and his path is the path of idol worshippers.” Then he said (p. 11): “These are the characteristics of the Ash’aris. They say: Our Lafdh of the Quran is created, and what is recited and understood is a Hikayah of the speech of Allah. What is between the covers, written down, its letters are created. They claim the Quran is created without explicit declaration.”

Abu Al-Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Mazdin Al-Nahawandi (d. 387 AH):
Al-Harawi reported: “I heard Ahmad ibn Hamza and Abu Ali Al-Haddad saying: ‘We found Abu Al-Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad Al-Nahawandi denying the people of Kalam and declaring the Ash’aris as unbelievers.’” (“Dhamm Al-Kalam” (Vol. 4, p. 404) Note: Some editions have omitted this statement)

Ibn Al-Mibrid in “Jama’ Al-Juyush” mentioned: “Abu Al-Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad Al-Nahawandi, was a prominent Imam. Abu Ali Al-Haddad mentioned his greatness and that he rejected the people of Kalam and excommunicated the Ash’aris.”

One Thousand Scholars in the Fourth Century:
Al-Harawi (Vol. 4, p. 404) mentioned: “I heard Ahmad ibn Hamza saying: When the aversion intensified between Al-Nahawandi and Abu Al-Fawaris, they asked Abu Abdullah Al-Dinawari, who said: ‘I met a thousand scholars who agree with Al-Nahawandi.’”

Al-Junaid (The Leader of Sufism) (d. 410 AH):
Al-Harawi (Vol. 4, p. 418) mentioned: “Ismail ibn Ahmad Al-Bishuzqani, the jurisprudent, said: ‘I heard Al-Junaid ibn Muhammad Abu Saad Al-Khatib testifying to the heresy of the Ash’aris.’”

Yahya ibn Ammar ibn Ibn Al-Anbas (d. 422 AH):
“The Imam, the Hadith scholar, the preacher, the Shaykh of Sistan.”

Al-Harawi (Vol. 4, p. 411) mentioned: “I saw Yahya ibn Ammar countless times on his pulpit excommunicating and cursing them, and testifying against Abu Al-Hasan Al-Ash’ari with heresy.”

Abu Al-Fadl, Omar ibn Ibrahim Al-Harawi (d. 425 AH):
“He was a hadith scholar from Herat and its Shaykh.”

Al-Harawi (Vol. 4, p. 411) mentioned: “I saw Yahya ibn Ammar countless times on his pulpit excommunicating and cursing them, and testifying against Abu Al-Hasan Al-Ash’ari with heresy, and I saw Omar ibn Ibrahim and our other Shaykhs [doing the same].”

And Al-Harawi (Vol. 4, p. 413) mentioned: “I heard Bilal ibn Abi Mansur the Mu’adhdhin saying: I heard Omar ibn Ibrahim saying: ‘The sacrifices of the Ash’aris are not permissible, for they are neither Muslims nor People of the Book, and they do not establish the book of Allah on earth.’”

Abu Nasr Al-Sajzi (d. 444 AH):
He said: “Abu Muhammad ibn Kilab and those who agreed with him, along with Al-Ash’ari and others, said: ‘The Quran is not created, and whoever claims its creation is an unbeliever, even if Allah does not speak in Arabic or any other language, and His speech does not enter into poetic composition, composition, or sequence, nor is it a letter or a sound. What they said clearly shows that the Quran they deny as created is not Arabic, has no beginning or end, and whoever denies the Arabic Quran, considering it the speech of Allah, is an unbeliever by consensus of the scholars, and one who affirms a Quran without a beginning or end is an unbeliever by their consensus.’” (His epistle to the People of Zabid (p. 154))

Habab ibn Ahmad, known as “Saif Al-Sunnah” (Sword of the Sunnah):
Al-Harawi (Vol. 4, p. 408) mentioned: “I heard my father saying: I heard Abu Al-Muzaffar Al-Tirmidhi – he is Habab ibn Ahmad, the leader of the people of Termez – testifying against them with heresy.”

And Ibn Al-Mibrad in “Jama’ Al-Juyush” stated: “Abu Al-Muzaffar Al-Tirmidhi, Habab ibn Ahmad, the leader of the people of Termez, kept away from them and testified against them with heresy.”

Abu Tahir Mutayyir ibn Ahmad Al-Rustumi Al-Asbahani (d. 469 AH):
The Hafiz Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahid Al-Daqqaq stated about him: “I have never seen a man better than him in refuting the people of innovation.”

Ibn Hazm (d. 456 AH)
He composed a chapter on sects and divisions (Volume 4, Page 155) and began discussing them, saying, “As for the Ash’aris, they were in Baghdad and Basra.”

Then he quoted from them and repeated their excommunication (takfir) repeatedly, and here are his statements:

“This is true disbelief and contrary to Allah, the Exalted, and to all the people of Islam.” (4/156)

“By Allah, this is greater than the saying of the Christians and constitutes disbelief and polytheism.” (4/157)

“Al-Samnani reported from his Ash’ari scholars… This is the exact wording of his speech, letter by letter, and this is explicit disbelief and polytheism… Then the cursed one increased disbelief upon disbelief… And this is polytheism without any concealment.” (4/158)

“And the statement of Al-Baqillani… This is pure disbelief.” (4/159)

“Even though their statement is nothing for Allah, the Exalted, except one statement of a fool… And it is said to them, ‘Does the Quran not leave them except as the speech of Allah, the Exalted?’ If they say, ‘It is not the speech of Allah, the Exalted,’ they disbelieve.” (4/159)

“So how can these fools say that there is nothing for Allah, the Exalted, except one statement? Surely this is from the blatant disbelief and insolence.” (4/159)

“And they all said that the Quran was never revealed to the heart of Muhammad, peace be upon him, by Gabriel, but something else was revealed to him, which is an expression of the speech of Allah. And the Quran is not for us at all except in this metaphor, and what we see in the copies and hear from the reciters and recite in prayer and memorize in the chests is not the Quran at all and nothing of it is the speech of Allah at all, but something else. And the speech of Allah, the Exalted, does not separate from His essence. Abu Muhammad said: And this is one of the greatest forms of disbelief.” (4/159)

“So the statement of this sect in this matter is the ultimate disbelief in Allah, the Exalted, and contrary to the Quran and the Prophet, peace be upon him, and contrary to all the people of Islam before the advent of this cursed group.” (4/160)

“Al-Samnani said… This is the exact wording of this impious atheist, letter by letter, and this is pure disbelief and foolishness… And it is also explicit disbelief in this cursed speech…” (4/161)

“And on this matter, Prince Mahmud ibn Sabuktegin, the slave of the Commander of the Faithful and the ruler of Ghazna, killed Ibn Furak, the sheikh of the Ash’aris, and may Allah have mercy on Mahmud for that and curse Ibn Furak and his followers and supporters. Abu Muhammad said: They were driven to blatant disbelief by their last statement, at the end of misguidance and slipping away from Islam.” (4/162)

Abu Isma’il al-Harawi (d. 481 AH)
“A scholar of Khurasan in his time. Among the great Hanbalis. He was proficient in language, a preserver of hadith, an embodiment of the Sunnah calling to it. He was examined and persecuted.”

He conveyed statements – we have encountered earlier – in their excommunication as evidence.

Al-Sharif Abu Ja’far Abdul Khaliq ibn Isa al-Hashimi al-Hanbali (d. 411-470 AH) and the Hanbalis of his time
In one of his gatherings, he mentioned al-Qushayri and those with him, saying: “What reconciliation can there be between us? Reconciliation is only between disputants over authority, or worldly matters, or disputes over ownership. As for these people: they claim that we are disbelievers, and we claim that whoever does not believe what we believe is a disbeliever. So what reconciliation can there be between us?”

The Hanbalis in the time of al-Ghazali (d. 505 AH)
Al-Ghazali said: “The Hanbali excommunicates the Ash’ari, alleging that he falsified the Messenger in affirming the transcendence of Allah, and in His ascending above the Throne, while the Ash’ari excommunicates him alleging that he anthropomorphizes.”

Abd al-Wahhab ibn Abd al-Wahid (known as Ibn al-Hanbali) (d. 536 AH)
He said in “Al-Risalah Al-Wadhihah Fi al-Radd ‘ala al-Ash’ariyyah” (Volume 2, Page 452): “So the last innovation to emerge was the appearance of the Ash’ari doctrine, supported by the unjust and the rulers of the world, and the perpetrators of injustices, who advocate what opposes the Shariah such as astrology, philosophy, addiction to injustices, and immorality. Thus, you know that this innovation is the worst of innovations in its emergence at the end of time, and its spread in corrupt lands, riding on the backs of its callers with deception and trickery, adorned with eloquent speech, while within it lies disbelief and misguidance. The era of this innovation is the most wicked of times, and its followers are the most misguided of the nation, and its callers are the least in religion of this Ummah.”

Muhammad ibn Abd al-Malik al-Karaji (532 AH)
He said in “Al-Fusul fi al-Usul”: “Whoever says, ‘I am a follower of the Shafi’i school in jurisprudence, Ash’ari in creed,’ we say to him: ‘This is contradictory, rather it is apostasy, as Shafi’i was not Ash’ari in creed. And whoever says, ‘I am a Hanbali in jurisprudence, Mu’tazili in principles,’ we say: ‘Then you have strayed from the straight path in what you claim, as Ahmad was not Mu’tazili in religion and jurisprudence.’”

Al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Khatib (d. 538 AH)
Ibn al-Mubarrad said in “Jam’ al-Juyush”: “Al-Hasan ibn Muhammad al-Khatib, he was an imam, and he testified against al-Ash’ari of heresy.”

Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi (d. 620 AH)
He said about them: “This is hypocrisy during the time of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, it is disbelief today. It is to outwardly show agreement with the Muslims in their beliefs while harboring opposition inwardly. This is the condition of these people without a doubt, they are undoubtedly hypocrites. They outwardly show reverence for the Qur’an, pretending that it contains the Quran, while inwardly believing that it only contains paper and ink.”

He also said about Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari: “It is astonishing that their leader who founded this innovation was a man not known for religion, piety, or any aspect of clear Sharia knowledge. He is only attributed with the condemned science of theology. They acknowledge that he lived as a recluse for forty years then showed a return from it, but after repentance, nothing was seen from him except this innovation. So how can it be conceived in their minds that Allah guides to the truth only His enemy and does not grant guidance except to those who have no share in Islamic knowledge or religion?”

He said: “And it is not all of the people of innovation who openly oppose what others believe, but rather, they are closer to the hypocrites and disbelievers.”

He said: “Tell us, did you find this misguidance and ugly speech with any of the predecessors except your leader to Hell, who misled you from the straight path, who had no virtue in religious knowledge or an acceptable religion, except for the condemned and doomed science of theology which contains no good? He grew up in seclusion for forty years.”

Rather, the disbelievers are closer to excuse than them: “And the disbelievers who do not believe in the Qur’an are closer to excuse in their denial of the Qur’an than those who claim to believe in it but then abandon it without justification.”

Mahmud ibn Abi al-Qasim al-Dashti (d. 661 AH)
In his book “Ithbat al-Hadd,” he quoted the poem of al-Daqqāq, and concluded his book with it: “The Ash’aris are astray, the heretics, brothers… who worshipped al-‘Uzza along with al-Lat. They openly disbelieved in their Lord, and their words… when examined, are the worst of speech.”

Muhammad ibn Shams al-Din said: He quoted it to conclude his book, and there is no doubt that he agrees with what it contains of declaring the Ash’aris as disbelievers. He said in his book: “From the doctrine of the followers of hadith, who are the people of Sunnah and the leaders of the Muslims and scholars of elucidation, they believe and testify: Whoever says, ‘Allah does not have a limit,’ meaning by that, ‘Allah is everywhere,’ or ‘He did not rise above the Throne as is established in the hearts of the common people,’ or ‘He is not sublime’ or ‘He is not a thing,’ or ‘Allah does not have a direction,’ and has no place; then he has apostatized from the religion of Islam, and has joined the polytheists, and disbelieved in Allah and His signs and what His Messenger ﷺ brought. Allah is exalted above what our adversaries say with great arrogance.”

Abd al-Sattar ibn Abd al-Hamid al-Maqdisi (679 AH)
“The Sheikh, the Jurist, the Righteous, the Pious, the son of the Jurist Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, excelled in piety like his father and distinguished in the school. He studied under: the Sheikh al-Muflih.”

Ibn Rajab said about him: “He debated with opponents and declared them disbelievers. He was a bold man, and he was severe against the Ash’aris.”

Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 AH)
He narrated himself in “Al-Tasi’iniyah (1/118)”: “These two messengers came to us with a letter written for them by the arbitrator of judges, Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn Mukhluf al-Maliki,” who was an Ash’ari from the disciples of al-Az bin Abd al-Salam. Ibn Taymiyyah replied to them, but they returned without presenting any conclusive argument, only seeking a meeting. So, he became stern in his response to them, and he said to them in a loud voice: “O changers, O apostates from the Sharia, O heretics,” and many other words, then he stood up, opened the door, and returned to his place.

In “Al-Jami’ li Sirat Shaykh al-Islam (p. 50),” a group of scholars from Tadammur came around the year 708 AH to Ibn Taymiyyah and said: “O our master, they have burdened us with a message to convey to you, and they have sworn that no one else will see it: that you descend to them regarding the issue of the Throne and the issue of the Quran, and we will take your response with us. We will present it to the Sultan and say to him: ‘This is what Ibn Taymiyyah has been detained for, but he has retracted from it,’ and we will tear up the document.” So, the Sheikh said to them: “You invite me to write with my own hand that there is no god above the Throne to be worshipped, nor is there a Quran in the scriptures, nor does Allah speak on the earth?!” And he struck the ground with his turban, stood up, raised his head towards the sky, and said: “O Allah, I bear witness before You that they are calling me to disbelieve in You, Your scriptures, and Your messengers, and this is something I will not do,” then he invoked curse upon them.

He said: “For this reason, al-Razi acknowledges that the dispute between them and the Mu’tazilites regarding vision is close in wording, so he knew that these people’s inner reality is the same as the Mu’tazilite’s deviant inner reality, even though their outward appearance resembles the affirmers, just as the Mu’tazilites, upon investigation, are truly like the atheists, denying names and attributes completely, although they outwardly argue against them. And the atheists’ reality is the reality of those who deny the Creator completely. This, by my life, is clear upon investigation.”

I say: He distinguishes between the early scholars and the later ones, and he elaborates on the various circumstances, which does not contradict him being among those who declare disbelief, as has become clear.

He said: “Making mistakes in matters like this necessitates what we always say, that the Mujtahid in such matters from the believers, if he exerts his utmost effort in seeking the truth, then Allah will forgive his mistake. And if he falls short in some aspect, it is a sin that does not necessarily lead to disbelief. Even though it is said that this statement is disbelief, as the early generations declared disbelief on those who held some beliefs of the Jahmiyyah, such as saying the Quran is created, or denying vision, or similar beliefs lower than denying Allah’s highness above creation. If the denier of these beliefs is considered among the most prominent matters according to them, then absolute disbelief, like absolute threat, does not necessitate the disbelief of the specific individual until the proof that would make its denier disbeliever is established upon him” (Al-Istiqaamah, 1/163).

However, he stipulates with striving that it must be from the perspective of the Messenger, not from the perspective of philosophy, so he said:

“There is no doubt that whoever exerts effort in seeking the truth and religion from the perspective of the Messenger ﷺ, and makes a mistake in some of that, Allah will forgive his mistake” (Darru Ta’arudh al-Aql wa al-Naql, 2/103).

Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab (d. 1206 AH)
He said in “Ad-Durar as-Saniyah (1/112)”: “The disbelievers claim that He is the Greatest God, but with Him are other gods that intercede for Him. And those who speak from among those who claim Islam, but Allah led them astray from the knowledge of the deity. It is mentioned about al-Ash’ari and those who followed him: that He is All-Powerful, and that divinity is power.”

Abd al-Rahman ibn Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab (d. 1285 AH)
He said: “This group that associates themselves with Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari described the Lord of the Worlds with attributes of non-existence and inanimate objects, they have magnified the creation over Allah, opposed the people of truth from the predecessors, Imams, and their followers, and opposed those who associate themselves with them. Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari stated in his books Al-Ibana and Al-Maqalat, confirming the attributes of the deviant sect, deviating from the truth, their devils have taken off their veils to mislead people from the paths, they denied the monotheism of Allah in divinity and allowed polytheism that is unforgivable. They allowed worshiping other than Him, denied the monotheism of His attributes by negating, so the Imams of Ahl al-Sunnah and their followers have known publications known for refuting this disbelieving obstinate group, in which they clarified every doubt for them and showed the truth guided by the

Book of Allah, the Sunnah of His Messenger, and what the predecessors of the Ummah and their Imams were upon” (Al-Matlub al-Hameed fi Bayan Maqasid al-Tawheed, p. 163).

Adil Al-Hamdani
He has a book on the subject titled: “An Issue in Declaring the Ash’aris as Disbelievers.”

Whoever mentions their statement and declares the speaker thereof as a disbeliever.

Ibn Khuzaymah (d. 311 AH) said: “Whoever claims that Allah, the Exalted, only spoke once and will not speak again, and that He only speaks with what He has spoken previously, and then nullifies His speech, has committed disbelief in Allah. Rather, Allah has always been speaking and will continue to speak, and His speech has no likeness.” [Reported by al-Bayhaqi in “Al-Asma’ wa As-Sifat”]

Ibn Battah al-Akbari (d. 387 AH) said: “Know, may Allah have mercy upon you, that a group of the Jahmiyyah believed in the deceit of their hearts, the corruption of their opinions, and the ugliness of their desires, by claiming that the Quran is created. They invented a bid’ah (innovation) to conceal their disbelief, and they deceived the common people with rhetoric, so that their disbelief would remain hidden, and their heresy would not be apparent to those with limited knowledge and weak discernment.” [Al-Ibanah al-Kubra]

Al-Lalika’i (d. 418 AH) said: “The Quran is the speech of Allah in reality, revealed to Muhammad (peace be upon him), and he was commanded to recite it and invite people to it. It is recited in mosques, written in copies of the Quran, and memorized by people. It is not mere storytelling; rather, it is the true Quran, one that is not created or invented. It is a characteristic of Allah’s essence, and He has always been speaking. Whoever says otherwise is a disbeliever, deviant, innovator, and contradicts the beliefs of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah.” [Sharh Asul I’tiqad Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah]

Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi (d. 600 AH) said: “We believe that the written letters and the heard sounds are the actual speech of Allah, not mere narration or expression.” He further stated, “Anyone who does not say that these letters are the actual speech of Allah has left the fold of Islam and is no longer considered a Muslim.” [Al-Iqtisad fi al-I’tiqad]

Abdul-Qadir al-Jilani (d. 561 AH) said: “Whoever claims that the Quran is created or that its recitation is merely a narration has disbelieved in the Almighty Allah. Such a person should be avoided, not befriended, married, or associated with. Prayers should not be offered behind them, their testimony should not be accepted, and their body should not be prayed upon when they die. If such a person persists in their beliefs and does not repent, they should be treated like an apostate.” [Al-Ghunyah li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq]

The majority, including Ibn Muflih, agreed with Ibn al-Muharrar, who stated: “It is correct that every innovation in which the caller to it is considered a disbeliever, then the imitator in it is also considered as such. This includes whoever claims the creation of the Quran or that our words are created, or that Allah’s knowledge is created, or that His names are created, or that He is not seen in the Hereafter, or who slanders the Companions. Such people are disbelievers who innovate and oppose the beliefs of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah.” [Al-Furu’]

Ibn Abi al-Az al-Hanafi (d. 792 AH) stated: “One of their doctrines is that the Quran is one entity established with Allah, meaning it is His command, prohibition, news, and declaration. If expressed in Arabic, it becomes the Quran; if expressed in Hebrew, it becomes the Torah. This is the opinion of Ibn Kullab and those who agree with him, such as al-Ash’ari and others. If someone claims that the Quran’s words are created and not aware of this fact, he is clearly denying it. They are more disbelieving than the Mu’tazilites in this matter.” [Sharh al-Tahawiyyah]

Ibn al-Najjar al-Futuhi al-Hanbali (972 AH) said: “The testimony of a transgressor is not accepted for actions, such as a fornicator or a pimp. Nor is it accepted for beliefs, such as an imitator in the creation of the Quran, or denial of seeing Allah in the Hereafter, or rejection, or anthropomorphism, and similar beliefs held by the Kharijites, Qadarites, and their likes.” [Ma’unah Awliya al-Nahy]

Sulaiman bin Suhman al-Najdi (d. 1349 AH) said: “Al-Khallal mentioned in ‘Al-Sunnah’ that ‘Ali bin ‘Isa informed me that Ahmad bin Hanbal narrated to them, saying, ‘I heard Abu ‘Abdullah [Imam Ahmad] say, “Whoever claims that Allah did not speak to Moses has disbelieved in Allah, denied the Quran, and opposed the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. He should be called to repent from this belief. If he repents, it is accepted; otherwise, he should be executed.”‘ This is the statement of Imam Ahmad concerning those who deny the attribute of speech. So, what about someone who adds to this denial of Allah’s exaltedness over His creation, His being above the Throne, and claims that He is neither inside the world nor outside it, neither connected to it nor separated from it, and has no presence nor absence in it? Do you think there is any doubt about the disbelief of such a person?” [Kashf al-Awham]

Fourthly: Positions of Some Contemporaries

The above has been singled out because their statements on the issue in some instances require clarification.

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta, signed by Abdullah bin Qa’ud, Abdullah bin Ghudayyan, Abdul Razzaq Afifi, Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz:
They said: “Whoever says, ‘We do not say that Allah is above, nor below, nor to the right, nor to the left,’ then he is contradicting what is indicated by the Quran, the Sunnah, and the consensus of the Muslims from the time of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, from the people of knowledge and faith. Thus, the truth must be clarified to him. If he persists, then he is a disbeliever who has apostatized from Islam, and the prayer is not valid behind him.” [Fatwas of the Permanent Committee – First Collection (1/515)]

Abdul Aziz ibn Baz (d. 1420 AH):
Ibn Baz was asked: “I had a debate with one of the brothers as follows: I asked him about the existence of Allah, and he said: ‘Allah is not characterized by time or place.’ So I cited to him the saying of Allah: ‘The Most Merciful [who is] above the Throne established.’ He said: ‘You are a disbeliever, for Allah is not in the sky.’

So he answered: ‘This man who said this to you, that Allah is not above the Throne, he is the disbeliever, he is the misguided one; because he has lied about Allah and His Messenger ﷺ… So whoever says that Allah is not in the sky or not above the Throne is a deviant disbeliever.’”

He said: “Whoever says, ‘Allah is neither above nor below,’ he is a disbeliever. He is above. Allah, the Most High, said: ‘The Most Merciful [who is] above the Throne established.’ And He said: ‘Indeed, your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and the earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne.’”

Ibn Uthaymeen said: “The distinction here includes disbelief, transgression, and excuse, and they differ in it. It is not possible to pass the same ruling on everyone. The disbeliever is the one who knows the truth, persists in opposing it, and denies it. The transgressor is less severe but still has doubts. The excused is the one who exerted effort but could not reach beyond this. There are matters where exertion is possible, clear and evident matters where we cannot say exertion is necessary. In such cases, the one who opposes them is obstinate. For example, when Allah says, ‘Then He established Himself above the Throne,’ if someone says, ‘I only know it to mean ‘took control,’ what do we say to this person? Do we say he is obstinate or do we say he is excused? Obstinate, undoubtedly.”

And he said, “Imam Abu Hanifa, may Allah have mercy on him, clearly stated that whoever does not acknowledge the exaltedness of Allah Almighty and His comprehensive knowledge is undoubtedly a disbeliever. This indicates that he considers such a person a disbeliever with certainty. Ibn al-Qayyim praised him by saying, ‘May Allah bless you, the Imam of the era.’ This indicates Ibn al-Qayyim’s acceptance of this statement, and it is true. For whoever denies the exaltedness of Allah is denying the Quran, the Sunnah, and the consensus of the predecessors, and is contradicting what is rational and undeniable by people.”

Saleh al-Fawzan said, “Waki’ reported: ‘We encountered Al-A’mash and Sufyan narrating these narrations [meaning: narrations about the attributes] and they did not deny them.’ This is the end. It is only the innovators among the Jahmiyyah, Mu’tazilah, and Ash’aris who deny them, those who followed the path of Quraysh’s polytheists, who disbelieve in the Most Merciful and tamper with the names of Allah.” [Book of Guidance to the Correct Belief and Refutation of the People of Polytheism and Atheism, page 144]

Fawzan was asked: “What is the ruling on someone who says: ‘Allah exists without a place’?”

He answered: “This is a denial of Allah’s loftiness, a denial of His loftiness. Allah is above the heavens, above the Throne, as He informed about Himself. Allah informed that He is in the highest position. It is necessary to believe in this. Whoever denies this is not a believer in Allah.”

Abdullah Al-Ghunaiman stated: “As for speech expressed by letters and words, the people of innovation unanimously agree that Allah is not described with it. The Ash’aris, the Mu’tazilites, the Jahmiyyah, and other deviant sects all concur on this.” He continued: “By this, they align with their brethren, indeed with their mentors from the Mu’tazilites, in claiming that the Quran is created, and this constitutes disbelief in Allah, the Exalted.” [Explanation of Al-Wasitiyyah (10/2)]

Ahmed Al-Qa’imi Al-Hanbali stated in one of his lessons: “Ibn Al-Najjar said: ‘The Jahmiyyah are those who believe that Allah is not above His Throne.’ This, as Sheikh Ba Batayn said, has become widespread. Alhamdulillah, we hardly find anyone saying, ‘Allah is not above His Throne,’ in many cities. However, outside Saudi Arabia, there are those who hold this belief. According to our school of thought, prayer behind them is not valid. Sheikh Ba Batayn said: ‘The affliction has spread widely, especially in two matters.’ – By the two matters, he means the words of Ibn Al-Najjar – He said: ‘The Jahmiyyah, who are now extended as the Ash’aris, agree with the Jahmiyyah in some beliefs.’ Ibn Al-Najjar said: ‘They are those who say that Allah is not above His Throne, and that the written Quran in our hands is not the speech of Allah but a representation of it.’” [[Source]]

Badr Bin Tamim Al-Otaibi
Questioner: “Our Sheikh, do the Ash’aris commit disbelief?” Sheikh: “They are divided into two groups: the Jahmiyyah are disbelievers, and the innovators are misguided.” Questioner: “Is the division based on their predecessors and successors or what?” Sheikh: “There are five interpretations. Whoever follows the path of the Jahmiyyah is among them, and whoever follows the path of Ibn Kullab is an innovator.” [[Source]]

Sultan Al-Omairi
He was asked: “Do we consider the Ash’aris as disbelievers after establishing the evidence?” He answered: “Yes, if the evidence is established and doubts are removed, they are considered disbelievers because some of their statements constitute disbelief in the Shariah.” [[Source]]

Fifthly: Contemporary Views on the Disagreement Regarding Their Disbelief

Walid Al-Saeedan
In a fatwa, he stated: “It is established in the principles that the verdict of disbelief based on personal interpretation is not binding on others. By personal interpretation, we mean the verdict of disbelief in which others from Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jama’ah differ with you, such as the verdict of disbelief of the Ash’aris. For example, if someone from Ahl al-Sunnah differs with you in considering a certain group as disbelievers, then you have no right to impose on them the consequences of your personal interpretation of disbelief. It is necessary to investigate this group: Have Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jama’ah agreed on deeming them as disbelievers, or is their disbelief still subject to disagreement among Ahl al-Sunnah? If Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jama’ah have unanimously agreed on their disbelief, then it is not permissible to oppose the consensus… However, if Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jama’ah differ in their verdict on their disbelief, then you exert your personal interpretation on them, and you worship Allah Almighty by fulfilling what your personal interpretation has led you to. But you are not allowed to impose the consequences of your personal interpretation on your brother. The same applies to personal interpretation of branding as innovators.” [[Source]]

Sulaiman Al-Alwan
He said: “Ahl al-Sunnah are divided on the disbelief of the Ash’aris, contrary to what some modern scholars have mentioned that Ahl al-Sunnah do not consider the Ash’aris as disbelievers. This narration is incorrect. It is true that most of Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jama’ah do not consider the Ash’aris as disbelievers, but there are sects within them that do consider the Ash’aris as disbelievers.” [[Source]]

Translated from: https://mshmsdin.com/archives/2054

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