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Refutation of the Ash`arees
  Affirmation of the Attribute of Face for Allaah
Author: Abu Iyaad
Article ID : AQD060004  [32991]  
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The Face of Allaah is one of Allaah’s Attributes which is true and real, just like all the other attributes that have been reported in the Book and the Sunnah, and it, like the others, has been repeatedly affirmed by the Salaf. The exact nature of His Face, like all the other attributes is unknown, and in this regard the statement of Imaam Maalik constitutes the scales by which all of attributes are understood, "Istiwaa is known, but its modality (kaif) is unknown, having faith in it is obligatory and asking about it (i.e. about its true nature is an innovation". So this is the methodology of the Salaf with respect to this Attribute.

However, the Jahmiyyah in the present times (such as al-Kawtharee, al-Bootee, as-Saqqaaf, al-Kabbaani, al-Habashi) and those who have the affectations of Jahm Ibn Safwaan deny the Attribute of Face and resort to heretical interpretations.

With respect to this particular attribute, the practice of the innovators is only too well known. To strike the texts of the Book and the Sunnah against each other and to selectively quote that which agrees to their desires.

ONE: The explanation of al-Khattaabee, al-Bayhaqee, Ibn al-Qayyim, Ibn Uthaimeen and others:

Allaah has ascribed certain characteristics to His Face, so He said, "Everyone upon the Earth will perish, [but] shall remain the Face of your Lord, Full of Majesty and Honour" [55:26-27]. So the description "Dhul-Jalaali wal-Ikraam (Full of Majesty and Honour)" is related to "the Face…" since it is in the nominative case (raf’). This is different to His saying, "Blessed be the Name of Your Lord, the Owner of Majesty and Honour", so in this verse the description "Dhil-Jalaali wal-Ikraam (Owner of Majesty and Honour)" is related to "Your Lord…" since it is in the genitive as is "Your Lord…"

So it is clear from this that Allaah has the attribute of Face, and this Face too has Attributes, such as in this verse. And this is undeniable.

Then from the Sunnah, is the saying of the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam), "His Veil is made of light and if He was to uncover it, the splendors/radiances (subuhaat) of His Face, would destroy everything of His creation that His Sight would reach." [Muslim, from Abu Moosa al-Ash’aree]

So it is clear from this that the Face, which is an Attribute of Allaah, also has attributes. In addition this hadeeth also affirms the Attribute of Sight for Allaah.

From this fact, the falsehood of the one who claims that Face refers to ‘reward’ or other such false interpolations can be witnessed. For how is it possible for ‘reward’ to be described by ‘Majesty and Honour’ and how is it possible for it to have ‘splendors/radiances’ that destroy everything in sight? And which of the Salaf have spoken of this? So the challenge to the Jahmiyyah is, apply your interpolations of Face to every mention of Face in the Book and the Sunnah and see where that leads you?

TWO: Then to establish this further, is the variety of supplications in which the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallaam) seeks refuge in the Face of Allaah and how he (sallallaahu alaihi wasallaam) separates between the essence of Allaah and the Face of Allaah in the same supplication.

So amongst such supplications are:

"I seek refuge in Your Noble Face, that You lead me astray, there is none worthy of worship save you…" [Abu Dawood and others].

In relation to the verse, "Say (O Muhammad) He has power to send punishment over you from above" [6:65], the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallaam) said, "I seek refuge in Your face" [Bukhaaree, in Kitaabut-Tawheed].

"I seek refuge in Allaah the Mighty (al-‘Adheem) and in His Noble Face and His Eternal Power for Shaytaan the Accursed" [Abu Dawood].

So is it then plausible for a Muslim to seek refuge in a Face which in reality is ‘reward’ or ‘dominion’? For these are but created things and no Muslim seeks refuge in something created. Ibn al-Qayyim mentions concerning the third supplication above, "… so consider how he made a distinction between seeking refuge in the Essence (Dhaat) of Allaah and between His Noble Face. This is a clear refutation of the one who claims that Face is the Essence itself and of the one who claims that it is something created (i.e. other than Allaah)".

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