Deviance of those who negate the Ru’yah (’Seeing Allaah’ by the people of Paradise) – Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|En]

Please listen to the Part 01 of this Lecture @ ‘Seeing Allaah’ by the people of Paradise is true, without their encompassing Him and without us knowing how it will be 

Aqeedah Tahawiyyah : Lesson 17

[58] والرؤْيةُ حقٌّ لأَهلِ الجَنَّةِ، بِغَيْرِ إِحَاطَةٍ ولا كَيْفِيَّةٍ‏‏‏.

[58]     And ‘seeing Allaah’ by the people of Paradise is true, without their encompassing Him and without us knowing how it will be.

The Explanation – Point [58] (continued from Lesson 16)

No one denies ar-ru.yah (seeing Allaah) except the people of innovation such as the Jahmiyyah and the Mu`tazilah – those who negate the ru.yah (that Allaah will be seen by the believers). They say: This (affirming seeing Allaah) would necessitate that Allaah is in a direction (جهة – jihah). And it is their view that Allaah is not in a direction; and in their view He is not within the creation, nor is He outside it, nor is He above, nor is He below, nor is He to the right, nor is He to the justify; He is not in any direction. And the meaning of this is that He does not exist, High and Exalted is Allaah above what they say.  So, they deny seeing Allaah because of this futile opinion.

As for the Ashaa`irah, when they were not able to deny the proofs from the Book and the Sunnah then they affirmed seeing Allaah, but they said: He will be seen, but not in any direction. And this is an amazing contradiction! Because, there is nothing that is seen which is not in a direction; and therefore the Mu`tazilah refuted them for this because it is something impossible. Whereas the Ahlus-Sunnah (the people of the Sunnah), they say: He the Perfect and Most High will be seen and He is in the direction of al-`uloo (العلو – being elevated) and above them. Because the term ‘al-jihah’ (الجهة – direction), if what is meant by it is a direction within the creation, then in that sense Allaah is not in any such direction because Allaah is not incarnate within His creation, He the Perfect and Most High.

And if what is meant by it, is that He is Exalted and above all of the creation then this is something confirmed for Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. So, Allaah is indeed Exalted and High above the heavens. So the term ‘al-jihah’ (direction) is neither affirmed nor denied directly in text. However, it can be spoken of with the previous details.[1]

And the meaning of “…without their encompassing Him and without saying how”: They cannot encompass Allaah the Mighty and Majestic; they will see Him, He the Perfect, but not encompass Him. And Allaah is Azeem (عظيم – Tremendous); it is not possible that He can be encompassed. He the Perfect said,

And they do not encompass Him in Knowledge (Soorah TaaHaa (20), aayah 110)

He, the Majestic and Most High said,

Sight cannot grasp Him (Sooratul-An`aam (6), aayah 103)

Meaning: sight cannot encompass Him; it doesn’t mean that He cannot be seen, because Allaah the Perfect and Most High did not say, “Sight will not see Him (لا تراه الأبصار).” Rather, He said, “Sight will not grasp Him.” So, reaching and grasping is something and ar-ru.yah (seeing) is something else. So sight will see Him, He the Perfect, but not encompass Him. So this contains a refutation of those who seek to use this aayah as a proof to deny ar-ru.yah (that Allaah will be seen) – those who say that seeing Allaah is not possible, saying: because Allaah said, “Sight will not encompass Him.” So we say to them: You do not know the meaning of:

Sight does not encompass Him; rather, He encompasses all Sight  (Sooratul-An`aam (6), aayah 103)

So the aayah,Sight does not encompass Him; rather, He encompasses all Sight,” its meaning is: He will not be encompassed by that. It doesn’t mean that He won’t be seen; and He the Perfect did not say: “Sight will not see Him.”

And they also use as evidence, saying: Moosaa `alayhis-salaam said,

“O my Lord, show me Yourself, let me look upon You.” So He said, “You will not see Me.”
(Sooratul-A`raaf (7), aayah 143)

(They say) this is a proof negating ar-ru’yah (seeing Allaah).

So we say to them: This refers to this world because Moosaa asked for that in this world and no one will see Allaah in this world – neither any Prophet nor anyone else. But as for in the Hereafter, then the believers will certainly see their Lord. And the conditions in the world are not the same as the conditions in the Hereafter. So the people in this world are weak in their bodies and weak in their senses; they are not able to see Allaah the Mighty and Majestic. But as for in the Hereafter, then Allaah will give them the ability by which they will be able to see their Lord, the Majestic and Most High, (He would give this) as an honour for them.

Therefore, when Moosaa asked his Lord in this aayah,

He said, “You will not see Me; however, look at the mountain and if it remains in its place then you shall see Me.” So when his Lord manifested Himself to the mountain, He caused it to shatter to dust. (Sooratul-A`raaf (7), aayah 143)

The mountain shattered and turned to dust; and the mountain is inanimate and solid, so how about the created being who is composed of flesh and blood and bones? He is not able to see Allaah in the world.

And this question that Moosaa asked, to see Allaah, is a proof that it is permissible to see Him and possible (to see Him); because Moosaa would not ask his Lord for anything which is not permissible. Rather, he asked Him for something which is permissible; but, it would not occur in this world. So therefore, Allaah the Perfect said, “You will not see Me,” and He did not say “I cannot be seen.”

So Allaah will indeed be seen in the Hereafter,[2] and those who have the most right to this seeing (ar-ru.yah) are the Prophets.

And his saying, “And we do not say how this will be” meaning: it is not to be said, “How will they see Allaah?” because this is just like the rest of the Attributes of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic – we do not know how they are. So, we have eemaan in them (we believe in them) and we know their meaning and we affirm them. However, the kayfiyyah (كيفية– how they are) is unknown; we do not know it. So Allaah knows better about that, He the Perfect.

 End of explanation of point [58] 

[59]     Just as is stated by the Book of our Lord: “On that Day some faces will be radiant, shining, looking at their Lord.” (Sooratul-Qiyaamah (75) aayaat 22-3).

The Explanation – Point [59]

This clearly states that it is looking upon Allaah with sight since the term for ‘looking’ is used with ilaa (إلى – the particle ‘towards’). So its meaning is ‘looking with sight’. Whereas the Mu`tazilah, they say: ﭽ ﭝ  ﭞﭼ ‘ilaa’ (إلى) here is a plural and it means ‘blessings’; so (they say) it means: ‘they will be looking at the Blessings of their Lord’ and this is foolish delusion which people of intellect would laugh at since a particle doesn’t become plural.

End of explanation of point [59]

[60] وتَفْسيرُهُ عَلى ما أرادَهُ اللهُ تَعالَى وَعَلِمَه‏‏‏.

[60]     And its explanation is as Allaah the Most High, wanted and knew.

The Explanation – Point [60]

Meaning, the explanation of:

Looking upon their Lord (Sooratul-Qiyaamah (75), aayah 23)

Meaning: (its explanation) is just as Allaah the Mighty and Majestic wanted, and that is that it means ‘seeing with sight’. Its explanation is not as the innovators want.

End of explanation of point [60]

[61] وكلُّ ما جاءَ في ذَلِكَ مِنَ الحديثِ الصَّحيحِ عَنِ الرسولِ صلَّى الله عليه وآله وسلَّم فهو كما قال‏‏‏‏.

[61]     And every authentic hadeeth reported from the Messenger, sallAllaahu `alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam (may Allaah extol him and his true followers and grant him perfect peace and security), then it is just as he said.

The Explanation – Point [61]

Meaning: everything reported from the Messenger `alayhissalaatu was-salaam affirming that Allaah will be seen, then it is true upon its reality – just the same as what occurs in the Qur.aan. It is obligatory that we have eemaan in it because it is the speech of the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam which is wahy (revelation) from Allaah.

And he (the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) does not speak from his own desires; it is just revelation inspired. (Sooratun-Najm (53), aayaat 3-4)

And it (the Sunnah of the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) is called ‘the second Revelation’. And the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam informed in many ahaadeeth which are mutawaatir (reported by huge numbers of people) that the believers would see their Lord on the Day of Resurrection. So therefore, it is obligatory to have eemaan in that, without tahreef (تحريف – altering the meaning) and without ta`teel (تعطيل – negating) and without tamtheel (تمثيلlikening Him to His creation) and without takyeef (تكييفsaying ‘how’).

End of explanation of point [61]

[62] وَمَعناهُ على ما أرادَ‏‏‏‏.

[62]     And its meaning is as He intended.

The Explanation – Point [62]

Meaning: as the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam intended (when he said it), not as those innovators and deviants intended.

 End of explanation of point [62][3]


[1] Translator’s Side Point: In Shaykh Al-`Uthaymeen’s abridgement of Al-Hamawiyyah, Talqees Al-Hamawiyyah (تلخيص الحموية) of Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, he mentioned a point right near the beginning, which was: that the people of the Sunnah in affirming Allaah’s Attributes, (first principle:)

we affirm for Allaah whatever He affirmed for Himself or whatever His Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam affirmed for Him, (second principle:) and we deny/negate for Allaah whatever He negated for Himself or the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam negated for Him. Thirdly, where there is something that is not denied in text, nor is it affirmed in text, from those things which the people disagree about, such as the term ‘a body’ (جسم – jism) or ‘al-heez’ (being in a place) and ‘al-jihah’ (being in a direction) and the like of that, then their way (the people of the Sunnah) is at-tawaqquf – to stop and withhold with regard to its wording. So they don’t affirm its wording and they don’t deny it since it is not reported. And as for its meaning, then we ask for the detail of what is meant by it, and if we find that what is meant by it is something futile and false – something which Allaah is declared free of, then we reject it; and if what is meant by it is something true – something which is not prohibited for Allaah, then we accept it. This is their way and this is the obligatory way.

Later on in the book (page 45) he actually goes into detail about al-jihah. He mentioned that the later people brought this term up (al-jihah – direction) and he deals with it in this way i.e. if what they mean is a direction within the creation then we deny that for Allaah and if what they mean by that is that Allaah is above the heavens, then we affirm that.

[2] On the authority of Aboo Moosaa Al-Ash`aree radiyAllaahu `anh who said: Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said,

جَنَّتَانِ مِنْ فِضَّةٍ آنِيَتُهُمَا وَمَا فِيهِمَا وَجَنَّتَانِ مِنْ ذَهَبٍ آنِيَتُهُمَا وَمَا فِيهِمَا وَمَا بَيْنَ الْقَوْمِ وَبَيْنَ أَنْ يَنْظُرُوا إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ إِلَّا رِدَاءُ الْكِبْرِ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ فِي جَنَّةِ عَدْنٍ‏

“There will be two gardens containing silver – their utensils and whatever they contain, and two gardens of gold – their utensils and whatever they contain, and nothing will be between the people in the eternal garden and their looking upon their Lord, except the cloak of rightful pride upon His Face.”

Reported by Al-Bukhaaree in the Book of Tafseer, hadeeth 4878 and 4880 and reported by Muslim in the Book of Eemaan.

[3] Translator’s Side Point: Shaykh Al-Albaanee rahimahullaah made a fairly small point on this point here. He said:

You should know that the ahaadeeth reported affirming the believers seeing their Lord on the Day of Resurrection are very many – to the extent that they reach the level of being mutawaatir as has been clearly stated by a group of the imaams. From them, the explainer (Ibn Abil-`Izz), and he mentioned some of them and then he said,

“The ahaadeeth about the ru.yah (seeing Allaah) are reported by around thirty companions and whoever acquired comprehensive knowledge of them will state with certainty that the Messenger (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) definitely said it and if I had not put it upon myself to write this book in abridged form, then I would quote more of the ahaadeeth here.”

Then he said, “The declaration that seeing Allaah the Most High will be like seeing the Sun and the Moon is not tashbeeh (تشبيه) of Allaah (causing Allaah to resemble His creation). Rather, it is a statement that the ‘act’ of seeing is like ‘that’ act of seeing – not that the One seen is like the thing which is seen. However, it does contain an evidence that Allaah is above His creation; since, can any seeing be comprehended without facing? And as for those people who say, ‘He will be seen, but not in a direction,’ then this person should look back and check his own intellect because either he is opposing obstinately his correct intellect or his intellect has got something wrong with it. Or otherwise a person saying, ‘He will be seen but He will not be in front, He will not be behind, He will not be to the right, He will not be to the justify, He will not be above and He will not be below;’ (then this is not correct) anyone who hears this, whose nature is sound, then he will reject it.”

Then Shaykh Al-Albaanee said:

“I say: And as for His, He the Most High, being seen in this world, then the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said in the authentic hadeeth that none of us will see Him until he dies. Hadeeth reported by Muslim. And as for him `alayhissalaatu was-salaam, then there is nothing reported to affirm that he even saw his Lord. Indeed, there is something authentic from him which indicates a denial of this because when he was asked about this he said,

نور، أنى أراه

Meaning:   “Light, how could I see Him”

And along with this, the noble lady `Aa.ishah (radiyAllaahu `anhaa) clearly denied this (that the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam saw his Lord) as occurs in the two Saheeh’s; and that is the basic principle which we cling to.”

At-Ta`leeqaat Al-Mukhtasarah `alaa Matn Al-`Aqeedah AtTahaawiyyah
By Shaykh Saalih ibn Fawzaan al-Fawzaan hafizahullaah
Pages 76-80 (Point 58-62)

Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood Burbank, rahimahullaah, on 17th January, 2005

Transcribed by Sideeqa Ali

Points discussed in this excerpt include:

  • ru’yah is not denied except by the people of innovation
  • Explanation of the term ‘al-jihah’ (direction) with regard to Allaah, the Most High
  • Correct meaning of the aayahSight cannot grasp Him
  • Arguments used by those who deny ruyah
  • ruyah is like the rest of the Attributes – we affirm it but do not ask ‘how’ it is
  • Seeing Allaah will be with one’s sight (in the Hereafter)
  • The hadeeth regarding the ruyah are true upon its reality

Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah

Listen to the Full Audio Series of Aqeedah Tahaawiyyah:
Explanation of Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah – Dawud Burbank [Audio|En]

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