Sharh as-Sunnah : Lessons 34 : Point 44
Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]
Imaam Barbahaaree rahimahullaah said:
And reflecting about Allaah is an innovation because of the saying of Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam, “Reflect upon the creation and do not reflect upon Allaah because reflecting about the Lord casts doubt into the heart.”
It is obligatory upon the Muslim to avoid reflecting upon the Self of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic and reflecting upon how (kayfiyyah), how of His names and attributes and actions? Because Allaah, the Majestic and Most High says:
يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِهِ عِلْمًا
He, Allaah knows whatever is in front of them and whatever is behind them and they do not encompass Him with knowledge. (Soorah Taa Haa (20), aayah 110)
So it is upon you to have eemaan in Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic and to venerate the Lord, the Perfect and Most High without reflecting upon His Self and how His names and attributes are.
His saying, “Reflect upon the creation but do not reflect upon Allaah,” reflect upon the things created by Allaah and upon the signs Allaah has put in the creation (aayaat ul-kowniyyah).This will indicate to you the power of Allaah.
Then he mentions some lines of poetry:
“So how can the One truly worshipped be disobeyed
or how can the denier deny Him when in everything
there is a sign for him proving that He is one.”
So you should reflect upon the signs within the creation, in the heavens and the earth and the mountains and the rocks and the trees and the oceans and the created beings to derive proof from them for the tremendousness of the Creator, the Perfect and Most High and reflect upon the aayahs of Allaah in the Qur’aan. But as for your reflecting upon Allaah’s Self and how His names and attributes are, then you will not be able to reach that.
وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِهِ عِلْمًا
And they do not encompass Him with knowledge.
(Soorah Taa Haa (20), aayah 110)
 Reported by at–Tabaraaniyy in his book Al-Awsat and also by al-Laalikaa`ee in his book Sharh Usool al-I’tiqaad from a hadeeth of `Abdullaah ibn `Umar and the reality is some of the verifiers point out of those books that the chain of narration of that hadeeth is weak there and the hadeeth is also reported though by Aboo Shaykh in his book Al-Adama and by Abul Qaasim al-Asbahaaniyy in his book At–Targheeb as a hadeeth of Ibn Abbaas radiyAllaahu `anhuma and this hadeeth was declared to be hasan (good) by Shaykh al-Albaaniyy due to its having a number of narrations of support also from a narration of Aboo Hurayrah radiyAllaahu `anhu and so on. At the end Shaykh al-Albaaniyy mentioned the different narrations. In summary, he said in As-Saheehah no. 1,788, “The hadeeth when its chain of narrations gathered is hasan (good) in my view and Allaah knows best.”
 Translator’s side point:
Shaykh Ahmad an-Najmee rahimahullaah said: “Reflect upon the creation but do not reflect upon Allaah,” The verifier of the book mentioned that the hadeeth has some weakness in it and he mentioned that Shaykh al-Albaaniyy authenticates the hadeeth as being a hadeeth that is hasan (good) due to supports and he gave the reference for that. I (Shaykh Ahmad) say,
“This hadeeth, its authentication needs examination and it may be the case that it is the speech of some of the Salaf and I say that reflecting upon Allaah meaning with regard to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic’s Self, this is not befitting because a servant if he thinks, he reflects then he will only think and reflect based upon what his intellect pictures and based upon what crosses his mind with regard to things that he’s actually seen or heard or known whereas Allaah, the Perfect and Most High is above all of that. So, it is not befitting that anyone reflects upon His Self, He, the Most High because whenever a person imagines something then Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic will be contrary to it.
What will suffice us is to reflect upon Allaah’s creation and with regard to His tremendous and amazing ability and if a person were to reflect upon his own origin that will suffice him. So, let him reflect upon how Allaah caused that sperm drop to change, which He created him from into this tremendous being. How Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic changed that sperm drop from which He created an animal; one animal from another animal and how Allaah prepared everything from the created beings for that which He intended from it. So, Allaah prepared the cows for cultivation and He prepared the camels for carrying and so on and so forth as we can see and as we know. So, the One who is able to change that sperm drop into a person and a different one into an animal, is He not the Lord who has full ability over everything? Yes indeed and we bear witness over that.
So, what is important is that reflection should be upon the creation of Allaah not about His Self and let us read the saying of Allaah, the Most High:
لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ
There is nothing like Him and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.
(Sooratush-Shooraa (42), aayah 11)
And it is obligatory upon us to submit to this aayah so that our minds do not stumble into things that are not befitting and if it is the case that Paradise contains things that no eye has ever seen and no ear has ever heard of nor have ever crossed the heart, never crossed the mind of any human and it is a created thing created by Allaah then how about the Self of Allaah? And success is granted by Allaah.”
Ithaaful-Qaaree bit-Ta`leeqaat `alaa Sharhis-Sunnah
(A Gift To The Reader In Annotation Of Sharh As-Sunnah)
by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah
Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood Burbank, rahimahullaah
Transcribed by Saima Zaher.
Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah
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