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Dancing and Sufi Dancing According to the Shafi Madhab
Dancing is Permissible in the Shafi School
Imam Nawawi said about dancing, ““Dancing is not unlawful, unless it is languid, like the movements of the effeminate. And it is permissible to speak and to sing poetry, unless it satirizes someone, is obscene, or alludes to a particular woman” (Minhaj al-talibin wa ‘umdat al-muttaqin. Cairo 1338/1920. Reprint. Cairo: Mustafa al-Babi al-Halabi, n.d., 152).’
Imam Muhammad Shirbini in his commentary of Al Minhaj Talibeen comments, “It is not unlawful because it is only motions made while standing or bowing. Furani and others have expressly stated that neither is offensive, but rather is permissible, as is attested to by the hadith related in Sahihs Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet (Sallahu alayhi wa salam) stood before Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) to screen her from view so that she could observe the Abysinians sporting and dancing) (Mughni al muhtaj ila marifa ma ani alfaz al Minhaj 4/430)
Authentic Hadith for Permissiblity of Dancing
Imam Ahmad relates from Anas (Allah be well pleased with him), with a chain of transmission all of whose narrators are those of Bukhari except Hammad ibn Salama, who is one of the narrators of Muslim, that
The Ethiopians danced in front of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace); dancing and saying [in their language], “Muhammad is a righteous servant.” The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “What are they saying?” And they said, “‘Muhammad is a righteous servant’” (Musnad al-Imam Ahmad. 6 vols. Cairo 1313/1895. Reprint. Beirut: Dar Sadir, n.d., 3.152).
Shaykh Nuh Keller comments, “Other versions of the hadith clarify that this took place in the mosque in Medina, though in any case, the fact that dancing was done before the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) establishes that it is mubah or “permissible” in the shari‘a, for if it had been otherwise, he would have been obliged to condemn it.”
Shaykh Abdul Qadir Isa comments, “This hadith contains evidence that it is permissible to gather between permissible movements and exaltation of the Messenger of Allah (sallahu alayhi wa salam) it also proves that movement during remembrance is not describe as forbidden dance, rather, it is permissible because it energizes the body for remembrance and assists one in having presence of heart with Allah – if one’s intention is sound – for actions are according to their ends and actions are based on their intentions and every person shall have what he intends. (Haqaiq Tasawwuf)
The Sufi Hadra
It is appropriate to address the issue of the Sufi Hadra , which is dancing, with remembrance (dhikr), and the singing of poetry, since this hadith as Shaykh Abdur Qadir explains, indicates it permissible. We have established that dancing is permissible. Now in regards to the hadra, which Imam Shafi has not spoken about, other Imams such as Imam Ibn Hajar Al Haytami and Imam Suyuti have said it was permissible. Imam Ibn Hajar Al Haytami said, “It is permissible to stand and dance during gatherings of remembrance [of Allah] and audition (sama’) according to a great group of scholars, among them Shaykh al Islam Ibn Abd Salam. [” (Fatawa Hadithiyya pg 298)
Quranic basis for the Sufi Hadra
Imam Jalal al-Din Suyuti has provided more proof for dancing as well as the proof for mixing dhikr with any permissible act, Imam Suyuti was asked for a fatwa or formal legal opinion concerning “a group of Sufis who had gathered for a session of dhikr,” and he replied:
“How can one condemn making dhikr while standing, or standing while making dhikr, when Allah Most High says, “. . . those who invoke Allah standing, sitting, and upon their sides” (Koran 3:191). And ‘A'isha (Allah be well pleased with her) said, “The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to invoke Allah at all of his times” [Sahih Muslim, 1.282: 373]. And if dancing is added to this standing, it may not be condemned, as it is of the joy of spiritual vision and ecstasy, and the hadith exists [in many sources, such as Musnad al-Imam Ahmad, 1.108, with a sound (hasan) chain of transmission] that Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib danced in front of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) when the Prophet told him, “You resemble me in looks and in character,” dancing from the happiness he felt from being thus addressed, and the Prophet did not condemn him for doing so, this being a basis for the legal acceptability of the Sufis dancing from the joys of the ecstasies they experience.” (1)
(al-Hawi li al-fatawi. 2 vols. Cairo 1352/1933–34. Reprint. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, 1403/1983, 2.234)
The Conclusion with regards to Dancing
We have Quran, authentic hadith and sound Islamic scholarship, which support dancing and sufi dancing. So we have four Shafi Imams, who have stated that dancing is permissible, Imam Nawawi, Imam Suyuti, Imam Shirbini, and Imam Ibn Hajar Al Haytami, and two authentic hadiths have been used to validate the position and a Quran basis for the Sufi Hadra provided by Imam Suyuti.
And Allah knows best.
(1) Ali Ibn Abi Talib narrated, “I once visited the Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa salam) with Jafar (Ibn Abi Talib) and Zayd (ibn Haritha). The Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa salam) said to Zayd, “You are my freedman, where upon Zayd began to hop one one leg around the Prophet. The Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa salam) then said to Jafar, “You resemble me in my form and manners”, where upon Jafar began to hop behind Zayd. The Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa salam) then said to me, “You are part of me and I am part of you” where upon I began to hop around Jafar. (Narrated fron Ali by Ahmad in his Musnad with a sound chain as stated by Shakir (1:537 #857) and by Al Bazzar in his Musnad with a sound chain according Al Haytami in Majma al Zawaid (5:176). Ahmad chain is graded as “Strong” by Al Arna’ut in Sahih Ibn Hibban(15:520 #7046)
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Sufism is divided into three parts, ilm (knowledge –practical knowledge), amal (adoring knowledge with action) and hal (spiritual states – the results of spiritual practices, also called the fruits of the path). You asked about the later, hal spiritual states, in particular, kashf or ilham (Unveiling or inspiration), but this also includes other spiritual states, such as increased love for Allah, experiencing Allah’s Divine Love, (this the ultimate aim of the spiritual path –tariqa), and then the secondary states, kashf (spiritual unveiling), Ilham (spiritual inspiration), and miracles.
To kashf, (spiritual unveiling) and ilham (spiritual inspiration).
In short this is direct knowledge from Allah. However there is a distinction between a prophet and a saint (wali), in that a prophet, receives (wahy) revelation from Allah, accompanied by a ruh (spirit) from Allah. Ilham (inspiration) from Allah is accompanied by sakina (tranquility) from Allah. The difference being, Wahy (revelation) is always clear and correct, while ilham (inspiration) may be fractured (unclear) and incomplete (especially in the beginning), which is why Shaykh Abu Hasan Ash Shadhili said, “If your spiritual unveilings contradicts the Book and the Sunna, act upon the book and the sunna and leave off your unveiling and say to yourself, ‘Allah guaranteed infallibility in the Book and the Sunna and has not guaranteed that in spiritual unveiling and inspiration.’”
The basis for Kashf and Ilham in the Quran and Sunnah
Allah says, So have fear of Allah; and Allah will teach you. (2:282)
Allah says, “He gives wisdom to whomever He will and whoever receives wisdom receives immense good.” (2:269)
Allah says, “Therein lies portents for those who read the signs.” (15:75)
Allah says, “Then found they one of Our Slaves, unto whom We had given mercy from Us, and hand taught him knowledge from Our presence. (18:65)
(NOTE: Al Khidr is regarded as a non-prophet by many scholars including Ibn Taymiyyah, who said, The majority hold that he (al khidr) was not a prophet (al Majmu al Fatawa 4:338)(Al Baghawi stated in his tafsir: (He (Allah) taught him inward (batin) knowledge by inspiration-ilham).
Allah says, “..For surely the eyes do not go blind, but it is the hearts which are in the breasts that go blind.” (22:46)
(NOTE: Basar: refers to physical eyes and basira refers to spiritual eyes, one of the companions Khalid ibn Madan said, Every slave has two eyes in his face by which he sees this world and two eyes in his heart by which he sees the next world. So if Allah desires good for His slave, He opens the two eyes of his heart and he sees what is promised him in the unseen, and they (those eyes) are from the unseen. (Tabari- graded hasan’)
Allah says, “…I call to Allah with spiritual insight (basira), I and those who follow me…” (12:108)
The Prophet, sallahu alayhi wa salam said, “He for whom Allah desires immense good, He grants him (yafaqqihhu/yufqihhu fil din) superlative understanding in the Religion. I only distribute (ie Quran and Sunnah) and it is Allah who gives (ie understanding and wisdom from Him).” (Bukhari and Muslim)
The Prophet, sallahu alayhi wa salam said, “Beware of inner vision (firasa) of the believer for he sees with the light of Allah.” (Tirmidhi-Sahih authenticated by al Haytami)
The Prophet, sallahu alayhi wa salam said, “Whoever sees me in a dream has truly seen me, for Shaytaan cannot take on my form, and the believer’s dream vision (ru’ya) is one part of 46 of Prophecy. (Bukhar and Muslim)
The Prophet, sallahu alayhi wa salam said, ‘When the Hour draws near, almost no dream vision of the believer will be false. The believer’s dream vision is one part of 46 of Prophecy and Prophecy never lies.” (Bukhari)
From the Salafus saleh
Malik said, “Wisdom and knowledge are a light by which Allah guides whomever He pleases, it does not consist in knowing many things.”
Malik said, “Knowledge does not consist in narrating much, knowledge is but a light which Allah places in the heart.” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir 3:555)
The great Tabi’i Thabit al Bunani used to pray, “Oh Allah! If You would give anyone the honor of making salat in his gave then give me that honor.” Later on the day of his death, Jubair (another Tabi’i) said, “I swear by Allah Who created me, I put Thabit al Bunani in his grave that day when we buried him and with me was a person named Humaid at Taweel, and when we had finished putting the stones on the grave one of them fell down and I saw Thabit making salat in his grave.” (Recorded by Ibn Abi Shayba (8:317), Bayhaqi (Shu’ab 3;155 #3189) Imam Ahmad in Kitab Zudh – Dhahabi Siyar (5:222)(It is graded sahih)
(Note: This is an interesting narration. for a number of reason. 1) The Tabieen is able to see the dead. 2) The dead is making salat.)
And I want to end it with, something from Ibn Rajab al Hanbali
Wasibah Ibn Mabab said, I came to the Messenger of Allah and he said, You come to ask about birr?’ I said, “Yes.” He sallahu alayhi wa salam said, “Ask your heart for a judgment.” (Hasan hadith Musand Ahmad)
In a commentary of this hadith comments on Ilham, “As for referring back to ambiguous matters back to (see whether they cause) impression on the heart, prophetic texts (hadith) and fatwas of the Companions show that, so how would Imam Ahmad reject it after that?” (The Compendium of Knowledge and Wisdom – Ibn Rajab al Hanbali)
Taking the apparent meaning of Hand May 12, 2013Posted by aMuslimForLife in Uncategorized.
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Someone said, “My point was that you don’t have to insert the word ‘literal’ when you mean literal if the meaning is apparent. There is no difference between a hand and a literal hand because it depends on the apparent meaning or context. Likewise, you don’t have to explain a metaphorical hand if the metaphor is apparent (like you used).”So Allah doesn’t say ‘literal hand’ or ‘metaphorical hand’ but that doesn’t matter. The question is what is the apparent meaning when Allah said it?
If we knew what was apparent, it wouldn’t be among the ambiguous verses. It is because we don’t know, that we have to remain silent concerning its meaning.
Let’s take for example:
“O Prophet! say to those who are captives in your hands:” (8:70)
Are hands to be taken literal or metaphorically? What is apparent is that it refers to the metaphorical meaning, ie power, control, possession etc, but it does NOT refer to the literal meaning, ie the limb, the body part, part etc. because we know certain things about the Prophet, sallahu alayhi wa salam. One he is a man, a human being. So we know the true nature and reality of what is a man. It is impossible that the captives would be in the literal hands of the Prophet, sallahu alayhi wa salam.
You take that same verse and change the words to this,
“O Jibriel! say to those who are captives in your hands:”
Are hands to be taken literal or metaphorically? If one is honest, we don’t know, why because, we don’t know the true nature and reality of an angel. It could be literal or metaphorically. So what is apparent isn’t clear, this would be ambiguous. If we liken angels to men, what is apparent is that we would say it is metaphorical.
So with Allah, we cannot really determine what is apparent when dealing with those verses and hadith, because we don’t know the true nature and reality of Allah.
This why tafwid is the safest position with regard to Allah, because Allah says, Say: The things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are….and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge. (7:33)
And Allah knows best.
Tags: Aqida, belief, Creed, Ibn Rajab, Imam Ahmad, salaf
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Ibn Rajab al Hanbali on the creed of Imam Ahmad and the Salaf
Ibn Rajab al Hanbali said, “The correct position in all of this is the position of the Righteous Salaf in their leaving the verses and hadiths concerning the Attributes as they came without explanation, asking how or likening them to creation. There is nothing at all contravening this position that is authentically reported from them, especially Imam Ahmad. Neither is anything reported from them proving that they probed into their meanings or propounded analogies and similitudes for them. This, even though there some who lived close to the time of Ahmad who did do some of this, following the way of Maqqatil, but they are not to be followed in this. Those who should be followed are the Imam of Islam such as ibn al Mubarak, Malik, Thawri, Awza’I, Shafi, Ahmad, Ishaq, Abu ‘Ubaid and their likes.” (Fadhl ‘Ilm al-Salaf ‘ala ‘Ilm al-Khalaf )
It is interesting to note in this statement of Ibn Rajab explaining the creed of the Salaf and in particular the creed of Imam Ahmad, he does not mention that their position concerning the unclear verses (ayat) and hadiths (narrations of the Prophet –sallahualayhiwasalam) related to Allah’s Attributes, that they are to be taken upon the literal meaning, but rather they would simply narrate them as they received them, as in the words of the Salaf themselves, “Leave them as they are without asking ‘How?”
The Creed of Imam Ahmad
Imam Ahmad (d. 241 AH) said, “Allah is not to be described other than in the terms with which He has described Himself, or in which the Messenger of Allah – sallahu alayhi wa salam- has described Him. We do not exceed the Quran and hadtih.” (IbnTaymiyyah Hamawiyya – pg 271-272)(IbnTaymiyya-majmu fatawa – 5:26)
Imam Ahmad also said, “We believe and confirm the hadiths of the Attributes without how and without meaning (wa la kayf wa la ma’na.) (Narrated from Hanbal ibn Ishaq through al Khallal by Ibn Qudamah in Dhamm al Tawil.)
The Creed of Those Who came before Imam Ahmad
Imam Shafi (d. 204 AH) was asked about the Divine Attributes. He said, “It is forbidden for the minds to represent Allah. It is forbidden for the imagination to conceive limits for Him. It is forbidden for speculation to presume anything about Him. It is forbidden for souls to think about His Essence. It is forbidden for consciences to deepen reflection about Him. It is forbidden for thoughts to grasp other than what He described Himself with, as conveyed by His Prophet –sallahualayhiwasalam. (Narrated from al Rabi ibnSulayman by IbnQudamah in Dhamm a Tawil g 20-21)
Nothing about the literal meaning…
Imam Shafi also said, “I believe in what comes from Allah in the meaning meant by the Messenger of Allah, sallahu alayhi wa salam.” (Ibn Qudamah in Lam’at al Itiqad)
Nothing about the literal meaning…
Al-Walid ibn Muslim (d. 194H) said, “I asked Malik, al-Awza’i, Laytb ibn Sa’d and Sufyan al-Thawri, may Allah have mercy upon them, concerning the reports related about the Attributes, so they all said, ‘Leave them as they are without asking ‘How?” (Reported by al-Aajurri in Ash-Sha’ri’ah, p. 314, al-Bayhaqi in Al-Asma was-Sifat, p. 453 and also al-I’tiqad, p. 118 and the chain of narration is hasan.)
Again nothing about taking them upon their literal meaning. .
Al-Awza’i (d.157H) said, “I asked az-Zuhri and Makhul about the ayat pertaining to the Sifat (Attributes of Allah), so they said, ‘Leave them as they are.” (Reported by al-Laalikaa’ee in SharhUsulul-I’tiqad 3/430 and IbnQudamah al-Maqdisi in Dhammut-Ta‘wil, p. 18 and the chain of narration is hasan.)
Again nothing about taking them upon their literal meaning.
There seems to be a pattern….
Imam Malik on Istiwa November 5, 2011Posted by aMuslimForLife in Uncategorized.
Imam Malik on Istiwa
A man asked Imam Malik (d. 179): “How did Allah make istiwa’ on the throne?” Imam Malik inclined his head and was silent until the sweat of fever covered his brow, then he looked up and said: “Istiwa’ is not unknown (ghayru majhul), the modality of it is inconceivable in the mind (al-kayfu minhu ghayru ma`qul); but belief in it is obligatory, and inquiring about it is a heretical innovation. You are an innovator.” And he gave orders for him to be taken out.
My methodologically challenged brothers have used this quote from Imam Malik to justify taking the unclear verses related to Allah upon it’s literal meaning (dhahir). As an Ashari, we are concerned about following the Salafus Saleh, and we regard Imam Malik’s statement and followable, however we don’t understand it in the same way that the Salafis understand Imam Malik’s statement.
Imam Malik did not say istiwa is to be taken upon the literal meaning. Nowhere in any of the quotes that I read from Imam Malik, did he say to take istiwa upon its literal meaning.
He merely said, “Istiwa is not unknown.” The way the Asharis understand this is that, Istiwa is not unknown, for it is in the Quran. For example, If you would have said to Imam Malik, “Allahu Qadim”, Imam Malik would have said,” Qadim is unknown,” meaning this wording is not known in the Quran or hadiths. Thus Imam Malik was making tafwid.
That is how we understand that statement from Imam Malik.
“Istiwaa is not unknown” and “Istiwaa is known” are not the same, while the Salafis read it as the same.
Islamic Lectures August 13, 2011Posted by aMuslimForLife in Uncategorized.
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I wanted to post site with authentic Islamic Lectures
Al Dhahabi on The Hand of Allah July 5, 2011Posted by aMuslimForLife in Uncategorized.
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Al Dhahabi on The Hand of Allah
al-Imam al-Dhahabi says:
“Why do you say: ‘A hand in reality is this bodily limb’? Rather, a ‘hand’ is homonym, and it is in accordance with, and of the same category of what it is attributed to. Therefore, if the thing described therewith is an animal then the hand would be a bodily limb. If it were was statue made of brass and stone, the hand would also be of brass and stone. If it were an image drawn on the wall, the hand would be a drawing. If it were that of which neither there is a like, nor it is a body, the hand would also be that of which neither there is a like, nor it is a body”
He also says:
“If it is said: ‘In its conventional usage, a hand only refers to the limb that we all know of’ We would say in reply: Similarly, in conventional usage, knowledge, hearing and seeing are only accidents that subsist in bodies. Where, then, is the difference?”
Ithbat al-Yad lilLahi subhanah p. 42-44 by al-Imam al-Dhahabi.
Imam Dhahabi statement isn’t very logical. In regards to the animal’s hand he mentions limb, while with the other hands (ie statue, drawing) he mentions the makeup of the hands (ie limbs) like the hand of a statue is made of brass or stone, the hand of a drawing, is made of paper and ink. The reality of these hands is they are all limbs distinct from each other in their makeup. So Imam Dhahabi went from the meaning or essence of hand (ie a limb that, which all hands have in common) with the hand of an animal but when he went to the hands of the other entities (ie statue or drawing), he used the characteristics of a hand (ie the thing that makes hands different from each other) which gave a false impression that the meaning or the essence of a hand can have different meanings. So the comparison is not similar.
I wouldn’t say Imam Dhahabi’s statement is anthropomorphic but his statement is very illogical and makes no sense, thus it is not a good argument for the case of taking yad in relation to Allah upon it’s literal meaning, because the literal meaning of yad, whether it is applied to a man, a statue, a drawing, an angel, a jinn, a clock. They all point to one of two meanings, either a limb or a part of something ( ie. body part). And Allah is NOT composed of parts. Qul Huwa Allahu Ahad, Allahu Samad.
And Allah knows best.
The Beliefs of the Sunni Way (w/How We Differ From Salafis) March 15, 2011Posted by aMuslimForLife in Uncategorized.
The Beliefs of the Sunni Way
Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed
What is the belief (‘aqida) of Ahl al-Sunna? Is it correct to believe that Allah is everywhere? What is the difference between the belief of the Salafis and the belief (‘aqida) of Ahl al-Sunna?
The answer to this question requires detail and explanation, and it is obligatory for the questioner to learn [h: what he or she has asked] from a trustworthy teacher according to the way of the Sunnis (Ahl al-Sunna wa’l-Jama‘ah), which is [h: represented by] the Ash‘aris and Maturidis ([h: which are schools ascribed to] the two Imams, Abu’l-Hasan al-Ash‘ari and Abu Mansur al-Maturidi).
By doing so, [h: the questioner] will learn the belief (‘aqida) of the Sunnis (Ahl al-Sunna wa’l-Jama‘ah) and also how others have gone against them in certain beliefs. If it is not possible for him or her to learn this directly [h: from a teacher], then he or she should at least read a book on the subject, such as the book “The Jerusalem Creed” (al-‘Aqida al-Qudsiyya), by Imam al-Ghazali, which is printed in the beginning of the book Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din,  or one may read some other book, such as Kubra al-Yaqiniyyat al-Kawniyya, by the great scholar, Dr. Muhammad Sa‘id Ramadan al-Bouti.  However, what cannot be completely attained should not be completely left, so I say:
What is obligatory for all Muslims to believe is that Allah is perfect in his entity, names, and attributes, and that He is transcendently beyond every attribute that does not befit Him, Most High. Space and time, therefore, do not encompass Him; rather, He created them both. Neither His entity nor His attributes resemble anything of His creation. “There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.” (42:11).
Neither the heavens nor the earth encompass Him, and He is not described by saying that His entity is literally above the heaven. Rather, He is above everything in His tremendous power and His magnificent wisdom. [h: That He is not literally above the heaven is proved by what] he (Allah bless him and give him peace) said in a rigorously authenticated hadith narrated by Imam Muslim: “… You are the Outwardly Manifest (dhahir) so there is nothing above You, and You are the Inwardly Hidden (batin) so there is nothing below You.” 
One may not say that Allah has a wajh (lit. “face”) or a yad (lit. “hand”) in the literal sense of these words because the literal meaning of each of these words in the Arabic language denotes a limb that is connected to the body and that could be separated from it, and our Lord is far above this.
Whatever mention of wajh (lit. “face”), ‘ayn (lit. “eye”), yad (lit. “hand”), and qadam (lit. “foot”) that has been made in certain noble verses and authenticated hadiths is interpreted according to meanings that befit Allah Most High’s entity. For example, His Most High’s saying, “Everything on it shall perish and the tremendous and mighty wajh of your Lord shall remain.” (55:26-27)  What is meant by wajh (lit. “countenance”) in the verse is His Most High’s entity (in other words, “Everything except Allah shall perish”); nothing else can be meant by it.
In the Arabic language, wajh can be used to refer to the entity. Otherwise [h: if one interpreted wajh to mean “face”, for example], it would necessitate that His Most High’s entity is divisible and that part of it shall perish. This is both rationally and legally impossible and it is not permissible for anyone to believe in it.
Another example is His Most High’s saying about the ark of our master Nuh (upon him be blessings and peace), “It sailed in our ‘ayn.” (54:14). [h: The preposition ba’ in the verse] does not connote that the ‘ayn physically contained [h: the ark]; nor does the verse mean that Allah has an ‘ayn (lit. “eye”) in the literal sense of the word and that the ark sails inside it. No one believes this except for an ignoramus who has no veneration for Allah. Rather, what is meant by the verse is that the ark sailed under Allah’s care and protection so that it did not drown like everything else did at that particular time. In the Arabic language, ‘ayn can be used to refer to protection and care.
Is it permissible to believe that Allah is everywhere?
The belief that Allah Most High is personally in every location is a completely false belief that is not permissible for anyone to hold. Rather, what is obligatory to believe (as mentioned above) is that Allah is transcendently beyond occupying space and it is obligatory to forbid anyone who says anything else, for [h: anything else] constitutes anthropomorphism , which is completely incorrect. An example [h: of such anthropomorphism] is what some ignorant laypeople over here say (intending to venerate Allah by their saying it), “Glory be to Him in His place.” It is obligatory to explain the mistakenness of this expression and to guide them to what is correct.
If, however, a Muslim believes that Allah is everywhere in His knowledge, thereby meaning that He (Glory be to Him) knows everything at every time and place, it is a correct belief and it what is meant by His Most High’s saying, “He is with you wherever you are,” (57:4) i.e., “He is with you in His knowledge so that nothing of His creation is concealed from him.”
Difference between Sunni belief and Salafi belief
Regarding the difference between the belief of the Sunnis (Ahl al-Sunna wa’l-Jama‘ah) and the belief of the Salafis ([h: the Salafis] are a group of Muslims who claim ascription to the righteous early Muslims (al-salaf al-salih) in terms of their belief, although in reality, they go against the righteous early Muslims in some of what they claim to agree with them on, as I shall partly explain in what follows), the Salafis go against the Sunnis in some of what I have explained above, such as belief that Allah has a wajh (lit. “face”), ‘ayn (lit. “eye”), yad (lit. “hand”), and qadam (lit. “foot”) in the literal sense of these words. [h: They also go against the Sunnis by believing] that He Most High’s entity is literally above the heaven , adducing as proof certain verses and hadiths, although they are mistaken in their understanding.
Rather, the position of the righteous early Muslims from among the Companions, Followers, and followed Imams is that Allah is transcendently beyond the literal meaning of the above-mentioned things because of the baseless anthropomorphism that they comprise, and because—as explained above—the verses and hadiths that have mentioned these matters are interpreted according to meanings that befit His Most High’s entity.
Some of the scholars of the early Muslims (Allah be pleased with them) explicitly stated these meanings whereas others remained silent and sufficed themselves with believing that Allah is transcendently beyond such false meanings, and both approaches are acceptable.
As for a person’s believing that Allah is literally characterized by the above-mentioned matters, this is a completely false position and it goes against the position of the vast majority of the Imams of the Muslims in every time and place. Among the useful books about this subject are Daf‘u Shubah al-Tashbih bi-Akuff al-Tanzih, by the Hanbali Imam and hadith master, Ibn al-Jawzi , and Idah al-Dalil fi Qat‘i Hujaj Ahl al-Ta‘til, by the great Shafi‘i Imam, Badr al-Din b. Jama‘ah. Both books have been published. 
(Translated by Hamza Karamali)
Hosted by Sunni Path (http://www.sunnipath.com)
 This has been translated in Book V of the Reliance of the Traveller and also at the back of the booklet, Becoming Muslim, both by Nuh Ha Mim Keller. There is also a brief synopsis of Sunni creed in The Key to the Garden, by Habib Mashhur al-Haddad (translated by Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi).
 This has not been translated into English, unfortunately.
 For a detailed explanation of why it is not permissible for Muslims to believe that Allah is literally in the sky, see Is it permissible for a Muslim to believe that Allah is in the sky in a literal sense?, by Nuh Ha Mim Keller. The article is available at www.masud.co.uk.
 Anthropomorphism (tashbeeh) means likening Allah to His creation.
 To believe Allah is above the heaven’s literally is against the understanding of the Salafus Saleh (the righteous early Muslims) as indicated in Imam Tahawi (239-321 AH) in his celebrated text Aqidah Tahawi, where he states, “He (Allah) is transcendent beyond limits, ends, supports, components, or instruments. The six directions (up, down, left, right, front, back) do not contain Him as they do created things.” (Added by aMuslimForLife)
 For an excellent and thoroughly documented account of the position of the early Muslims on the attributes of Allah, see Literalism and the Attributes of Allah, by Nuh Ha Mim Keller. The article is available atwww.masud.co.uk
 This book has been translated as Attributes of God translation by Abdullah Bin Hamid, he also has a lecture explaining this book available on his website lamppostproduction. (Added by aMuslimForLife)
 This book has not been translated, unfortunately.(Edited by aMuslimForLife)
Ibn Tamiyyah’s Praise for Ibn Arabi’s Futuhat March 4, 2011Posted by aMuslimForLife in Uncategorized.
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I was shocked when I read it. But anyway, Ibn Taymiyyah said, “In the very beginning, I was very much impressed by Ibn Arabi and held him in great esteem as I had found many of his discussions in the Futuhat, Al Kunh, Al Muhkam al Marbut, Ad Durrat al Fakhirah, Matali an Nujum and others such works very illuminating and useful. I was not aware at the time of his esoteric ideas as I hard not read the Fusus and other like works.” (Majmu at At Rasa’il Wal al Masail 1:171-183)
My Thoughts: I know Ibn Taymiyyah considered Ibn Arabi a Kafir, but he did not consider him a kafir because of what was written in the Futuhat, it is interesting that he considered this book to be “very illuminating and useful.” It seems what turned Ibn Taymiyyah against Ibn Arabi is what has been written in Fusus. So what this says is that Ibn Taymiyyah considered some of Ibn Arabi’s works acceptable and within the parameters of Islam, while he consider Ibn Arabi’s other books to be outside the parameters of Islam. So he was not against Sufism, because the Futuhat is a book of Sufism par excellence. Shaykh Abdur Rahman Ash Shaghouri use to read this book, The Futuhat, to his mureeds. And Shaykh Abdur Rahman also did not consider the Fusus al Hikam to be an Authentic book of Ibn Arabi. It is interesting similiarities between the two.
Ponder on that.
The Curriculum at Dar Mustafa August 31, 2010Posted by aMuslimForLife in Uncategorized.
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The Curriculum at Dar Mustafa
Matn Abi Shuja`
`Umdat as-Salik (Reliance of the Traveler)
Al-Aqidah (by Imam al-Haddad)
Mukhtar al-Hadith (by Habib Umar bin Hafeez)
Al-Arba`in an-Nawawiyyah (The Forty Hadith, by Imam an-Nawawi)
Sciences of the Heart
Risaalat al-Mu`awanah (Book of Assistance)
and other books in the series of Imam al-Haddad
Bidayat al-Hidayah (by Imam al-Ghazali)
Ihya `Ulum ad-Din (by Imam al-Ghazali)