Ibn Taymiyya Explains How To Find God…In A Bucket‏

heavy-duty-stainless-steel-bucket1
A shameful heresy. Also, even in English translation, it is amazing how Ibn Taymiyya is so incredibly vague and long winded.
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In the following excerpt from one of Ibn Taymiyyah’s books, his beliefs are clarified further in his understanding of a ĥadiitħ narrated by At-Tirmidħiyy. This ĥadiitħ if literally translated states: “If one of you lowered a bucket by a rope, then it would fall on Aļļaah.”

Muslim scholars did not take this ĥadiitħ literally, because Aļļaah is not a body for something to bump into. They said it means that it would fall by Aļļaah’s knowledge. This is after hypothesizing its authenticity. Ibn Taymiyyah’s understanding, based on hypothesized authenticity, is clarified. It is a literal and anthropomorphic understanding.

Ibn Taymiyyah’s understanding of the ĥadiith of lowering a bucket

Ibn Taymiyyah says in Majmuuˆu-l-Fataawaa1:

فَإِنَّ قَوْلَهُ : { لَوْ أُدْلِيَ أَحَدُكُمْ بِحَبْلِ لَهَبَطَ عَلَى اللَّهِ } إنَّمَا هُوَ تَقْدِيرٌ مَفْرُوضٌ ؛ أَيْ لَوْ وَقَعَ الْإِدْلَاءُ لَوَقَعَ عَلَيْهِ لَكِنَّهُ لَا يُمْكِنُ أَنْ يُدْلِيَ أَحَدٌ عَلَى اللَّهِ شَيْئًا ؛ لِأَنَّهُ عَالٍ بِالذَّاتِ وَإِذَا أُهْبِطَ شَيْءٌ إلَى جِهَةِ الْأَرْضِ وَقَفَ فِي الْمَرْكَزِ وَلَمْ يَصْعَدْ إلَى الْجِهَةِ الْأُخْرَى لَكِنْ بِتَقْدِيرِ فَرْضِ الْإِدْلَاءِ يَكُونُ مَا ذَكَرَ مِنْ الْجَزَاءِ .(مجموع الفتاوى – (6 / 571)

Verily his (the Prophet’s) statement: “If one of you lowered a bucket by a rope, then it would fall on Aļļaah.” This is a hypothetical consideration, that is, if the lowering happened, then it would fall on Him. It is not possible for anyone to lower anything on Aļļaah, however, because His self is high, and if anything was lowered in the direction of the Earth, then it would stop at the center, and would not go up in the opposite direction (from there). However, if there was a hypothesized lowering, then what he said would happen. (6/571)

He explains more about his problem with the concept of “lowering”, which is that it would in reality be rising, saying:

فَكَذَلِكَ مَا يَهْبِطُ مِنْ أَعْلَى الْأَرْضِ إلَى أَسْفَلِهَا – وَهُوَ الْمَرْكَزُ – لَا يَصْعَدُ مِنْ هُنَاكَ إلَى ذَلِكَ الْوَجْهِ إلَّا بِرَافِعِ يَرْفَعُهُ يُدَافِعُ بِهِ مَا فِي قُوَّتِهِ مِنْ الْهُبُوطِ إلَى الْمَرْكَزِ فَإِنْ قُدِّرَ أَنَّ الدَّافِعَ أَقْوَى كَانَ صَاعِدًا بِهِ إلَى الْفَلَكِ مِنْ تِلْكَ النَّاحِيَةِ وَصَعِدَ بِهِ إلَى اللَّهِ وَإِنَّمَا يُسَمَّى هُبُوطًا بِاعْتِبَارِ مَا فِي أَذْهَانِ الْمُخَاطَبِينَ أَنَّ مَا يُحَاذِي أَرْجُلَهُمْ يَكُونُ هَابِطًا وَيُسَمَّى هُبُوطًا…. وَهُوَ إنَّمَا يَكُونُ إدْلَاءً حَقِيقِيًّا إلَى الْمَرْكَزِ وَمِنْ هُنَاكَ إنَّمَا يَكُونُ مَدًّا لِلْحَبْلِ وَالدَّلْوِ لَا إدْلَاءَ لَهُ…. وَلَكِنَّ فَائِدَتَهُ بَيَانُ الْإِحَاطَةِ وَالْعُلُوِّ …. وَالْمَقْصُودُ بِهِ بَيَانُ إحَاطَةِ الْخَالِقِ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى كَمَا بَيَّنَ أَنَّهُ يَقْبِضُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَيَطْوِي الْأَرْضَ وَنَحْوَ ذَلِكَ مِمَّا فِيهِ بَيَانُ إحَاطَتِهِ بِالْمَخْلُوقَاتِ. (مجموع الفتاوى – 6 / 572-573)

Likewise, what descends from a high point on Earth to its lowest point, which is it’s center, does not rise from there in that direction, except by someone lifting it, resisting its downwards pull down towards the center (i.e. the pull of gravity) If it was hypothesized that the lifter was stronger (than the pull of gravity), then it would be rising towards the celestial sphere from there, and would rise to Aļļaah. It was only called lowering from the viewpoint of what is in the minds of the listeners in that what faces their feet is called falling…. even if it was actually lowering only to the point of the (Earth’s) center, and from there one would only be giving rope to the bucket, and there would be no actual lowering….. However, the beneficial point is to clarify the surrounding and highness from all directions (of the Earth)…. The purpose (of the ĥadiith) is to clarify the meaning of the Creator’s surrounding (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) just as He said that He grabs the Skies and folds the Earth and the like, which all explains His surrounding of created things. (6/572-573)

In other words, according to Ibn Taymiyyah, this surrounding is the physical surrounding of something with physical boundaries, size and shape.

Ibn Taymiyyah’s view on the ĥadiith from a viewpoint of belief

In the final analysis of this ĥadiith Ibn Taymiyyah says:

وَكَذَلِكَ تَأْوِيلُهُ بِالْعِلْمِ تَأْوِيلٌ ظَاهِرُ الْفَسَادِ مَنْ جِنْسِ تَأْوِيلَاتِ الْجَهْمِيَّة ؛ بَلْ بِتَقْدِيرِ ثُبُوتِهِ يَكُونُ دَالًّا عَلَى الْإِحَاطَةِ . وَالْإِحَاطَةُ قَدْ عُلِمَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ قَادِرٌ عَلَيْهَا وَعُلِمَ أَنَّهَا تَكُونُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِالْكِتَابِ وَالسُّنَّة وَلَيْسَ فِي إثْبَاتِهَا فِي الْجُمْلَةِ مَا يُخَالِفُ الْعَقْلَ وَلَا الشَّرْعَ .

Likewise, interpreting this ĥadiitħ in term of knowledge (I.e falling by Aļļaah’s knowledge) is clearly false, and of the Jahmiyy kind of interpretation. Rather, based on the assumption that the ĥadiitħ is authentic, then it explains (Aļļaah’s) surrounding, and it is known that Aļļaah is able to surround and that it is going to be on the Day of Judgment as stated in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. There is nothing, in general, in affirming this ĥadiith, that is in conflict with reason or Islamic Law. (6/574)

Conclusion

The above, along with the other articles referred to, shows that Ibn Taymiyyah did not just have anthropomorphist tendencies. He was as extreme as they come. He believed that Aļļaah is a body with a shape that surrounds things. He saw no problem in claiming that the world could be inside the Creator and one could hypothetically bump into His claimed border.

Let us again remind ourselves of what the Sunni creed is regarding these beliefs of Ibn Taymiyyah. Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy stated {in brackets}: {This is a detailed remembrance of the belief of the People of the Sunnah and following {the Jamaaˆah}. Later he stated, as part of this remembrance:{Aļļaah is above} the status of {having limits, extremes, corners, limbs or instruments.} {The six directions} up, down, front, back, left and right {do not contain Him} because that would make Him {like all created things}. He also agreed that believing that anything else is an insult to Islam, for he said in the same remembrance: {Whoever attributed to Aļļaah an attribute that has a meaning among the meanings that apply to humans has committed blasphemy}. Note that he said this after having already pointed out that the six directions apply to all created things, which includes humans. In other words, the Sunni belief is that attributing a limit to Aļļaah makes one a non-Muslim.

1قال ابن تيمية: فَإِنَّ قَوْلَهُ : { لَوْ أُدْلِيَ أَحَدُكُمْ بِحَبْلِ لَهَبَطَ عَلَى اللَّهِ } إنَّمَا هُوَ تَقْدِيرٌ مَفْرُوضٌ ؛ أَيْ لَوْ وَقَعَ الْإِدْلَاءُ لَوَقَعَ عَلَيْهِ لَكِنَّهُ لَا يُمْكِنُ أَنْ يُدْلِيَ أَحَدٌ عَلَى اللَّهِ شَيْئًا ؛ لِأَنَّهُ عَالٍ بِالذَّاتِ وَإِذَا أُهْبِطَ شَيْءٌ إلَى جِهَةِ الْأَرْضِ وَقَفَ فِي الْمَرْكَزِ وَلَمْ يَصْعَدْ إلَى الْجِهَةِ الْأُخْرَى لَكِنْ بِتَقْدِيرِ فَرْضِ الْإِدْلَاءِ يَكُونُ مَا ذَكَرَ مِنْ الْجَزَاءِ . فَهَكَذَا مَا ذَكَرَهُ السَّائِلُ : إذَا قُدِّرَ أَنَّ الْعَبْدَ يَقْصِدُهُ مِنْ تِلْكَ الْجِهَةِ كَانَ هُوَ سُبْحَانَهُ يَسْمَعُ كَلَامَهُ وَكَانَ مُتَوَجِّهًا إلَيْهِ بِقَلْبِهِ لَكِنَّ هَذَا مِمَّا تَمْنَعُ مِنْهُ الْفِطْرَةُ ؛ لِأَنَّ قَصْدَ الشَّيْءِ الْقَصْدَ التَّامَّ يُنَافِي قَصْدَ ضِدِّهِ ؛ فَكَمَا أَنَّ الْجِهَةَ الْعُلْيَا بِالذَّاتِ تُنَافِي (مجموع الفتاوى – 6 / 571) الْجِهَةَ السُّفْلَى فَكَذَلِكَ قَصْدُ الْأَعْلَى بِالذَّاتِ يُنَافِي قَصْدَهُ مِنْ أَسْفَلَ وَكَمَا أَنَّ مَا يَهْبِطُ إلَى جَوْفِ الْأَرْضِ يَمْتَنِعُ صُعُودُهُ إلَى تِلْكَ النَّاحِيَةِ – لِأَنَّهَا عَالِيَةٌ – فَتَرُدُّ الْهَابِطَ بِعُلُوِّهَا كَمَا أَنَّ الْجِهَةَ الْعُلْيَا مِنْ عِنْدِنَا تَرُدُّ مَا يَصْعَدُ إلَيْهَا مِنْ الثَّقِيلِ فَلَا يَصْعَدُ الثَّقِيلُ إلَّا بِرَافِعِ يَرْفَعُهُ يُدَافِعُ بِهِ مَا فِي قُوَّتِهِ مِنْ الْهُبُوطِ فَكَذَلِكَ مَا يَهْبِطُ مِنْ أَعْلَى الْأَرْضِ إلَى أَسْفَلِهَا – وَهُوَ الْمَرْكَزُ – لَا يَصْعَدُ مِنْ هُنَاكَ إلَى ذَلِكَ الْوَجْهِ إلَّا بِرَافِعِ يَرْفَعُهُ يُدَافِعُ بِهِ مَا فِي قُوَّتِهِ مِنْ الْهُبُوطِ إلَى الْمَرْكَزِ فَإِنْ قُدِّرَ أَنَّ الدَّافِعَ أَقْوَى كَانَ صَاعِدًا بِهِ إلَى الْفَلَكِ مِنْ تِلْكَ النَّاحِيَةِ وَصَعِدَ بِهِ إلَى اللَّهِ وَإِنَّمَا يُسَمَّى هُبُوطًا بِاعْتِبَارِ مَا فِي أَذْهَانِ الْمُخَاطَبِينَ أَنَّ مَا يُحَاذِي أَرْجُلَهُمْ يَكُونُ هَابِطًا وَيُسَمَّى هُبُوطًا مَعَ تَسْمِيَةِ إهْبَاطِهِ إدْلَاءً وَهُوَ إنَّمَا يَكُونُ إدْلَاءً حَقِيقِيًّا إلَى الْمَرْكَزِ وَمِنْ هُنَاكَ إنَّمَا يَكُونُ مَدًّا لِلْحَبْلِ وَالدَّلْوِ لَا إدْلَاءَ لَهُ لَكِنَّ الْجَزَاءَ وَالشَّرْطَ مُقَدَّرَانِ لَا مُحَقَّقَانِ . فَإِنَّهُ قَالَ : لَوْ أَدْلَى لَهَبَطَ ؛ أَيْ لَوْ فُرِضَ أَنَّ هُنَاكَ إدْلَاءً لَفُرِضَ أَنَّ هُنَاكَ هُبُوطًا وَهُوَ يَكُونُ إدْلَاءً وَهُبُوطًا إذَا قُدِّرَ أَنَّ السَّمَوَاتِ تَحْتَ الْأَرْضِ وَهَذَا التَّقْدِيرُ مُنْتَفٍ ؛ وَلَكِنَّ فَائِدَتَهُ بَيَانُ الْإِحَاطَةِ وَالْعُلُوِّ مِنْ كُلِّ جَانِبٍ وَهَذَا الْمَفْرُوضُ مُمْتَنِعٌ فِي حَقِّنَا لَا نَقْدِرُ عَلَيْهِ فَلَا يُتَصَوَّرُ أَنْ يُدْلِيَ وَلَا يُتَصَوَّرُ أَنْ يَهْبِطَ عَلَى اللَّهِ شَيْءٌ لَكِنَّ اللَّهَ قَادِرٌ عَلَى أَنْ يَخْرُقَ مِنْ هُنَا إلَى هُنَاكَ بِحَبْلِ وَلَكِنْ لَا يَكُونُ فِي حَقِّهِ إدْلَاءً فَلَا يَكُونُ فِي حَقِّهِ هُبُوطًا عَلَيْهِ . كَمَا لَوْ خَرَقَ بِحَبْلِ مِنْ الْقُطْبِ إلَى الْقُطْبِ أَوْ مِنْ مَشْرِقِ الشَّمْسِ إلَى مَغْرِبِهَا (مجموع الفتاوى – 6 / 572) وَقَدَّرْنَا أَنَّ الْحَبْلَ مَرَّ فِي وَسَطِ الْأَرْضِ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ قَادِرٌ عَلَى ذَلِكَ كُلِّهِ وَلَا فَرْقَ بِالنِّسْبَةِ إلَيْهِ عَلَى هَذَا التَّقْدِيرِ مِنْ أَنْ يَخْرُقَ مِنْ جَانِبِ الْيَمِينِ مِنَّا إلَى جَانِبِ الْيَسَارِ أَوْ مِنْ جِهَةِ أَمَامِنَا إلَى جِهَةِ خَلْفِنَا أَوْ مِنْ جِهَةِ رُءُوسِنَا إلَى جِهَةِ أَرْجُلِنَا إذَا مَرَّ الْحَبْلُ بِالْأَرْضِ فَعَلَى كُلِّ تَقْدِيرٍ قَدْ خَرَقَ بِالْحَبْلِ مِنْ جَانِبِ الْمُحِيطِ إلَى جَانِبِهِ الْآخَرِ مَعَ خَرْقِ الْمَرْكَزِ وَبِتَقْدِيرِ إحَاطَةِ قَبْضَتِهِ بِالسَّمَوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ فَالْحَبْلُ الَّذِي قُدِّرَ أَنَّهُ خَرَقَ بِهِ الْعَالَمَ وَصَلَ إلَيْهِ وَلَا يُسَمَّى شَيْءٌ مِنْ ذَلِكَ بِالنِّسْبَةِ إلَيْهِ إدْلَاءً وَلَا هُبُوطًا . وَأَمَّا بِالنِّسْبَةِ إلَيْنَا فَإِنَّ مَا تَحْتَ أَرْجُلِنَا تَحْتٌ لَنَا وَمَا فَوْقَ رُءُوسِنَا فَوْقٌ لَنَا وَمَا نُدْلِيهِ مِنْ نَاحِيَةِ رُءُوسِنَا إلَى نَاحِيَةِ أَرْجُلِنَا نَتَخَيَّلُ أَنَّهُ هَابِطٌ فَإِذَا قُدِّرَ أَنَّ أَحَدَنَا أَدْلَى بِحَبْلِ كَانَ هَابِطًا عَلَى مَا هُنَاكَ لَكِنَّ هَذَا تَقْدِيرٌ مُمْتَنِعٌ فِي حَقِّنَا وَالْمَقْصُودُ بِهِ بَيَانُ إحَاطَةِ الْخَالِقِ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى كَمَا بَيَّنَ أَنَّهُ يَقْبِضُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَيَطْوِي الْأَرْضَ وَنَحْوَ ذَلِكَ مِمَّا فِيهِ بَيَانُ إحَاطَتِهِ بِالْمَخْلُوقَاتِ . وَلِهَذَا قَرَأَ فِي تَمَامِ هَذَا الْحَدِيثِ { هُوَ الْأَوَّلُ وَالْآخِرُ وَالظَّاهِرُ وَالْبَاطِنُ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ } . وَهَذَا كُلُّهُ عَلَى تَقْدِيرِ صِحَّتِهِ فَإِنَّ التِّرْمِذِيَّ لَمَّا رَوَاهُ قَالَ : وَفَسَّرَهُ بَعْضُ أَهْلِ الْحَدِيثِ بِأَنَّهُ هَبَطَ عَلَى عِلْمِ اللَّهِ وَبَعْضُ الْحُلُولِيَّةِ والاتحادية يَظُنُّ أَنَّ فِي هَذَا الْحَدِيثِ مَا يَدُلُّ عَلَى قَوْلِهِمْ الْبَاطِلِ ؛ وَهُوَ أَنَّهُ حَالٌّ بِذَاتِهِ فِي كُلِّ مَكَانٍ وَأَنَّ وُجُودَهُ وُجُودُ الْأَمْكِنَةِ وَنَحْوُ ذَلِكَ . وَالتَّحْقِيقُ : أَنَّ الْحَدِيثَ لَا يَدُلُّ عَلَى شَيْءٍ مِنْ ذَلِكَ إنْ كَانَ ثَابِتًا فَإِنَّ قَوْلَهُ : (مجموع الفتاوى – 6 / 573) { لَوْ أَدْلَى بِحَبْلِ لَهَبَطَ } يَدُلُّ عَلَى أَنَّهُ لَيْسَ فِي الْمُدْلِي وَلَا فِي الْحَبْلِ وَلَا فِي الدَّلْوِ وَلَا فِي غَيْرِ ذَلِكَ وَأَنَّهَا تَقْتَضِي أَنَّهُ مِنْ تِلْكَ النَّاحِيَةِ ؛ وَكَذَلِكَ تَأْوِيلُهُ بِالْعِلْمِ تَأْوِيلٌ ظَاهِرُ الْفَسَادِ مَنْ جِنْسِ تَأْوِيلَاتِ الْجَهْمِيَّة ؛ بَلْ بِتَقْدِيرِ ثُبُوتِهِ يَكُونُ دَالًّا عَلَى الْإِحَاطَةِ . وَالْإِحَاطَةُ قَدْ عُلِمَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ قَادِرٌ عَلَيْهَا وَعُلِمَ أَنَّهَا تَكُونُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِالْكِتَابِ وَالسُّنَّة وَلَيْسَ فِي إثْبَاتِهَا فِي الْجُمْلَةِ مَا يُخَالِفُ الْعَقْلَ وَلَا الشَّرْعَ ؛ لَكِنْ لَا نَتَكَلَّمُ إلَّا بِمَا نَعْلَمُ وَمَا لَا نَعْلَمُهُ أَمْسَكْنَا عَنْهُ وَمَا كَانَ مُقَدِّمَةُ دَلِيلِهِ مَشْكُوكًا فِيهَا عِنْدَ بَعْضِ النَّاسِ كَانَ حَقُّهُ أَنْ يَشُكَّ فِيهِ حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْحَقُّ وَإِلَّا فَلْيَسْكُتْ عَمَّا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ . (مجموع الفتاوى – 6 / 574)

Original article here:

http://sunnianswers.wordpress.com/2009/09/09/ibn-taymiyyahs-bucket-theology/

About the Author:

Shaykh Abū Ādamal Narūjī converted from Christianity to Islām while living in China.He has since studied and received Ijāzahs in various works of Hanafī fiqh and Ash‘ari‘ aqīdah from the masheykh of Damascus and Kuwait, including: al-Shaykh Muhammad Tāhiral-Afghānī (Abūlasan), al-Shaykh Mustafā Chebaro (a student of Mawlānā al-Shaykh ‘Abdul Razzāq al-alabī), al-Shaykh ImādNahlāwī, al-ShaykhAmad al-Shāmī (ShihābuddīnAbū ‘Amr), al-Shaykh Amad Hajīal-Kurdī and Shaykh Muhammad Jumu‘ah (one of the prominent students of Mawlānāal-Shaykh‘AbdulRazzāqal-Halabī).

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One thought on “Ibn Taymiyya Explains How To Find God…In A Bucket‏

  1. Pingback: How To Prevent Salafist ‘Mind Rape’: Muslims Display Academic ‘Standards’ AGAIN | Asharis: Assemble

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