Sharh as-Sunnah : Lesson 41 : Point 65
Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]
Imaam Barbahaaree rahimahullaah said:
And know that no-one will enter Paradise except by the mercy of Allaah. And that Allaah will not punish anyone except according to the degree of his sins. And if He were to punish all the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth; the righteous and the wicked amongst them, then He will be punishing them without being unjust to them. And it is not permissible to say about Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, that He is unjust since the unjust is the one who takes something that is not his to take, whereas creation and decree is for Allaah. The creation is His creation and the world is His world. He is not to be questioned about what He does but they will be questioned. And it is not to be said, ‘Why?’ and ‘How?’ And no-one can enter between Allaah and His creation.
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His saying, “And you should know that no-one will enter Paradise except by the mercy of Allaah,” Al-Jannah (Paradise) is expensive and exalted and it cannot be reached through deeds, no matter how much a person works and even if he does all the acts of obedience then his deeds will not meet up to the favours that have been bestowed upon him. So, if he were to be brought to account for those favours then no deed would remain for him. This is from one aspect.
The second aspect is that Paradise is expensive and it does not have a price that can be assessed in terms of deeds or wealth or other than that, no-one knows how tremendous it is except for Allaah, the Perfect and Most High. However, Allaah enters the believers into Paradise by His rahmah (mercy) by means of their deeds. So, deeds are just a sabab (means) towards entry into Paradise but they do not necessitate entry into Paradise nor are they the price for Paradise. And therefore, he sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
“No-one from amongst you will enter into Paradise through his deeds.”
This is in order that a person should not become amazed and complacent at his own deeds. It is not stated so that he should abandon performing deeds.
And His saying, He the Most High:
ادْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
Enter into Paradise on account of that which you used to do.
(Sooratun-Nahl (16), aayah 32)
The Baa here does not show compensation or the price. Rather, the Baa here, “Bimaa Kuntum Ta’maloon” is to show a cause or a means, meaning by means of that which he used to do as is shown by the hadeeth that the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
“None of you will enter into Paradise through his deeds.” So, they said, “Not even you Oh Messenger of Allaah?” So, he said, “Nor even me unless Allaah covers me with His mercy.”
So, a person should not become amazed at his own deeds. However, a person will not enter into Paradise except by means of deeds. So, if a person did not perform any deeds, he will not enter Paradise because he has not carried out the means.
His saying, “And Allaah does not punish anyone except in accordance with the degree of his sins,” Paradise is fadl (a favour) from Allaah, the Majestic and Most High and is through the mercy of Allaah and deeds are a means for entry into it and the People of the Fire will not be punished except in accordance with their sins. They will not be punished because of the sins of other people and they will not be punished whilst not having any sins. So, this is from `adl (justice). So, Paradise is from al-fadl (favour) and the Fire is from al-`adl (justice).
His saying, “And if He were to punish the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth, the righteous ones of them and the wicked ones of them then He will be punishing them without being unjust to them.” This is just as has preceded that a person no matter how many deeds he performs then his deeds will not match up to even a part of the favours of Allaah upon him. If Allaah were to punish him that would be justice because of his falling short in giving thanks for the favours of Allaah upon him. And this speech which he mentioned is the text of a hadeeth from Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam:
“If Allaah were to punish the inhabitants of His heavens and the people of His earth then He would punish them and He would not be unjust to them. And if He were to be merciful to them then His mercy would be better than their deeds deserved.”
Because He would punish the evildoer on account of his evil acts and He would be punishing the righteous person because of the fact that his deeds did not qualify him for entry into Paradise because he did not match the favours of Allaah upon him.
His saying, “It is not permissible to say about Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, that He is unjust,” Allaah, the Majestic and Most High has declared Himself free of dhulm (oppression, injustice).
وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ
And your Lord is not unjust to the servants.
(Soorah Fussillat (41), aayah 46)
لَا ظُلْمَ الْيَوْمَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ
There will be no injustice on this day. Allaah is quick in reckoning.
(Soorah Ghaafir (40), aayah 17)
وَلَا يَظْلِمُ رَبُّكَ أَحَدًا
And your Lord does not wrong anyone.
(Sooratul-Kahf (18), aayah 49)
وَمَا ظَلَمْنَاهُمْ وَلَٰكِن كَانُوا هُمُ الظَّالِمِينَ
We did not oppress them. However, they were the wrongdoers.
(Sooratul-Zukhruf (43), aayah 76)
وَمَا ظَلَمْنَاهُمْ وَلَٰكِن كَانُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ
And We did not oppress them but rather they oppressed their own souls. (Soorah Nahl (16), aayah 118)
The Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam reported the words of his Lord, He the Most High that He said: (Hadeeth Qudsi)
“O My servants I have made oppression forbidden for Myself and I have made it forbidden for you to oppress one another so do not commit oppression.”
So, Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, is a just judge and oppression (dhulm) does not befit Him.
His saying, “And oppression is only one taking that which is not His to take whereas creation and decree is for Allaah.” Adh–dhulm (oppression) is to wrongfully take the right of the people. And do the people have any right over Allaah? They have no right upon Allaah and no-one can make anything binding upon Allaah. Rather, the right of the servants with Allaah is that He should not punish one who does not associate anything with Him. This is a right which He, the Perfect, has given as a favour. And oppression (dhulm) is to put something in other than its due place. So, Allaah does not put punishment upon those who deserve bliss and He does not give bliss to those who deserve punishment. Rather, He gives bliss to those who deserve it and He gives punishment to those who deserve it and this is al-`adl (justice) but as for the opposite then that would be oppression. If He were to punish the people of eemaan (true faith) and bestow honour to the people of disbelief, this would be oppression and Allaah is free of that. It is not possible that He will punish the people of eemaan (true faith) and bestow honour upon the people of disbelief and that He will enter the disbelievers into Paradise and enter the believers into the Fire. This does not befit Allaah, the Perfect and Most High.
His saying, “And Allaah; creation and decree are for Him and the creation is His creation and the world is His world.” Allaah, the Most High said:
أَلَا لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالْأَمْرُ ۗ تَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ
Is not creating and commanding His? Exalted is Allaah, the Lord and nurturer of the whole of creation. (Sooratul-A`raaf (7), aayah 54)
“Alaa lahul- khalq,” Is creating not His?
And it is to bring things into existence from non-existence. So, all the created being were created by Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, no-one can create along with Allaah.
Allaah, the Most High, said:
اللَّهُ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ
Allaah is the Creator of everything.
(Sooratuz-Zumar (39), aayah 62)
And He, the Most High, said:
أَمْ جَعَلُوا لِلَّهِ شُرَكَاءَ خَلَقُوا كَخَلْقِهِ فَتَشَابَهَ الْخَلْقُ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ قُلِ اللَّهُ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ
Or do they set up partners for Allaah who they claim create with the like of His creation such that the creation is confused for them? Say, Allaah is the Creator of everything and He is the One, the Overpowering Subduer. (Sooratur-Ra`d (13), aayah 16)
“Or do they set up partners for Allaah who create with the like of His creation such that the creation would be confused for them?” Such that that created by the servant resembles that created by Allaah, this is impossible.
“Say, “Allaah is the Creator of everything and He is the One, the Overpowering Subduer.”’
قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُم مَّا تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَرُونِي مَاذَا خَلَقُوا مِنَ الْأَرْضِ
Say, “Do you see that which you call upon besides Allaah? Show me what they have created upon the earth.” (Sooratul-Ahqaaf (46), aayah 4)
His saying, “al-khalq,” creating is for Allaah alone, w`al-amar,” and the decree and the command is for Him,” al-amar (command/decree) is legislating and sending down legislation. So, the Creator, He is the one who commands and forbids and legislates for His servants whatever is beneficial for them and He it is Who forbids whatever is harmful for them and it is not for anyone to command or forbid or to obligate an act of worship or to prohibit anything without a proof.
أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَاءُ شَرَعُوا لَهُم مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا لَمْ يَأْذَن بِهِ اللَّهُ
Or do they have partners who legislate things from the religion for them that Allaah has not given permission for. (Soorah ash-Shooraa (42), aayah 21)
So, the amar (decree/command) is for Allaah, the Perfect and Most High, the command relating to what occurs in creation and relating to what is pre-decreed, w’al amrush-shar`ee (and the command relating to what is legislated), He commands and He prohibits, He, the Perfect and Most High.
أَلَا لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالْأَمْرُ
Is not the creating and the command for Him?
(Sooratul-A`raaf (7), aayah 54)
And He made a distinction between khalq (creating) and al-amar (commanding). So, this shows the command is not something created and this contains a refutation of the Jahmiyyah; those who said that the Qur·aan is created and that the speech of Allaah is created. So, Allaah had made a distinction between the creating and between the command. The command is from His speech and His legislation and Allaah has made a distinction between the creation and between the command. So, this proves that the speech of Allaah is not created.
His saying, “And the world is His world, He, the Majestic and Most High.”
And the abodes are three;
Firstly, daarud-duniya (the abode of this world),
The second, wa daarul-barzakh (intermediate period in the grave),
And the third one, wa daarul-qaraar wahiyaa al-aakhirah (the abode of permanent residence and it is the Hereafter).
All of them belong to Allaah, the Perfect and Most High.
His saying, “And He will not be asked about what He does but they will be asked,” He cannot be asked about what He does, He, the Perfect and Most High because His actions contain no deficiency and there is no shortcoming in them. So, they are perfect and precise and they never suffer from any deficiency or any shortcoming and questions are only to be asked about one who has deficiencies or shortcomings in his actions. So, Allaah cannot be asked about what He does because His actions are perfect and complete.
Second reason; it is not just on account of His overpowering and His Lordship as is said by those who say it that He cannot be asked because of His tremendousness, He, the Perfect and Most High and because of His Majesty. However, it is not this alone, rather, He is not to be asked also because His actions are perfect and precise. They do not suffer from any deficiency at all or any flaws, contrary to the created being for he will be asked about his actions because he commits errors and his deeds are deficient and observations are to be made concerning him. So, he will be questioned because he is deficient from every aspect except for those who are rendered complete and aided and supported by Allaah. And therefore, he said, “But rather they will be questioned.” This is the difference between the Creator and the created being that Allah is not to be questioned whereas, the created being will be questioned.
His saying, “And it is not to be said, ‘Why?’ and ‘How?’ And no-one can enter between Allaah and His creation.” No objection is to be raised about Allaah such that it is said, “Why did Allaah create such and such and How did Allaah create these things?” This is not permissible with respect to Allaah, the Perfect and Most High. Rather, it is upon us to submit and to comply and to believe that the actions of Allaah are perfect and complete and do not suffer any deficiency or shortcoming. So, even if some of the points of wisdom or the underlying reasons remain hidden to us then still we do not ask about them, rather, we submit. So, if we understand the wisdom and the underlying reason then this is fine but if we do not understand it then we submit and we do not raise objections to Allaah or withhold from action until we know the wisdom or the underlying reason.
 Reported by al-Bukhaariyy (6463) and Muslim (2,816) from a hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah radiyAllaahu `anhu.
 Reported by Imaam Ahmad in his Musnad and by Aboo Daawood and Ibn Maajah and Ibn Hibbaan and others from a hadeeth of Zayd Ibn Thaabit radiyAllaahu `anhu and it was declared authentic by Ibn Hibbaan and by Shaykh ul-Islaam Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhaab in Kitaab at-Tawheed.
Translator’s side point: Likewise Shaykh al-Albaaniyy declared it saheeh (authentic).
 Reported my Muslim (2,577) from a hadeeth of Aboo Tharr radiyAllaahu `anhu. Hadeeth included in the 40 hadeeth of Imaam an-Nawawiyy (24).
 Translator’s side point: This is the same point that Imaam Ahmad used in his argument against those who tried to force him to say the Qur’aan was created.
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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