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at-Tirmidhī on the Ontology of God

Updated: May 16, 2022

This citation on the theological views of at-Tirmidhī, as it relates to the ontology of Allāh, holds academic value, as his death precedes the theological synthetization that occurred after him and establishes the views of the ancient Muslims on this topic. He passes in the year 279 anno Hejirae, may Allāh bestow mercy upon his soul.

Abū Hurayrah states, "The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ has said, 'Certainly Allāh accepts charity and receives it with His Right, so He cultivates it for one of you just as one of you raises his mare, until a morsel is equivalent to Mount Uḥud.'"

This is confirmed in the Book of Allāh, the Mighty, the Majestic,

"He accepts penance from His servants and He retrieves charity."

at-Tawbah [9]:104


"Allāh destroys usury and multiplies charity."

al-Baqarah [2]:276

at-Tirmidhī states, "This Ḥadīth is Ḥasan Ṣaḥīḥ, and similar has been reported on ‘Ā'ishah on the Prophet ﷺ .

More than one amongst scholarship has stated concerning this Ḥadīth and what is similar to it from the narrations demonstrating attributes such as the descent of the Lord, the Blessed, the Exalted, every night to the lowest heaven, 'The narrations have been established on this matter. They are to be believed without disillusion and questioning His modality.

This is how it has been reported on Mālik b. Anas, Sufyān b. 'Uyaynah, and 'Abdullāh b. Mubārak. They have stated concerning these Ḥadīth, 'Accept them as they are without questioning His modality. This reflects the official statement of scholarship, Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamā‘ah.

As for the Jahmiyyah, they deny these Ḥadīth and say they are corporealism (id est Tashbīh). This, while Allāh, the Blessed, the Exalted, has mentioned in more than one instance within His Book, Hand, Hearing, and Sight. The Jahmiyyah interpret these verses in a fashion other than that of scholarship.

They say Allāh did not create Ādam with His Right Hand. They say the meaning of Hand is power.

Ishāq b. Ibrāhīm has stated, 'Corporealism (id est Tashbīh) only occurs when it is said a hand similar to this hand or a hand exactly like that hand, hearing similar to this hearing or hearing exactly like that hearing. When one says hearing similar to this hearing or hearing exactly like that hearing then it is corporealism (id est Tashbīh).

As for if one says as Allāh, the Exalted, has said; hand, hearing, sight without questioning modality and without saying exactly like this hearing or similar to that hearing, then this is not corporealism (id est Tashbīh). Rather, this is as Allāh, the Blessed, the Exalted has stated within His Book,

'There is nothing resembling His likeness, and He is the Hearer, the Seer.'

ash-Shura (42):11"

Note: The Jahmiyyah are named after Jahm b. Safwān, however, the ideology did not originate with Jahm b. Safwān. Rather, Jahm b. Safwān was propagating the beliefs of his teacher, Ja‘d b. Dirham, who in turn was educated by Abān b. Sam‘ān. Abān b. Sam‘ān received these ideas from Ṭālūt, the son of Labīd b. A‘ṣam’s sister, who in turn received this line of thought from Labīd b. A‘ṣam, the Jewish warlock who performed magic upon the Prophet ﷺ which was undone by the Chapters Falaq and Nās being revealed. At least, this is what has been circulated amongst scholarship.


Jāmi‘ at-Tirmidhī

The Book of Zakāt

Chapter: What has been Reported on the Virtue of Charity

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