Archive for July, 2011

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.

My Thoughts:

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.


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