Imam ibn Hanbal (r.a.) Rejected Anthropomorphism

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.) commented, regarding the statement of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), “Allah Descends to the lowest of the skies,” and that, “Allah is seen on the Day of Resurrection” and to the like; he said, “We believe in these texts and we verify their truth without asking how, or without seeking a meaning and we desire nothing of this.  We believe what the Messenger of Allah brought is truth and we do not respond to him nor do we describe Allah with more than what He has Described of Himself:

… there is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He is the One that Hears and Sees (all things). (Surah ash-Shura’:11)

We simply state what He has Stated Concerning Himself, and we describe Him with that which He has Described Himself.  We do not increase in this as He is Exalted beyond anyone’s description.  We believe in the entire Qur’an, its self-evident parts and its obscure parts.  We do not exclude any aspects of it due to some issue that has arisen.  We never go further than the Qur’an and ahadits, and we cannot fathom them except by believing in the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) and the Qur’an.

Imam ash-Shafi’i has stated that, ‘I believe in Allah and what has been Sent from Allah in the manner by which Allah has Willed, and I believe in the Messenger of Allah and in that which has been sent from him in the manner by which he has willed.’  This is the path that both the pious ancestors and later scholars have followed.  All of them are in agreement to confirming these traits and passing over them without referring to interpretation.”


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