Imam Abu Hanifah (from the SALAF) does say that ‘Istiwa’ should not be understood as being established or being seated

Tite page of al-Wasiyya by Abu HanifahSharh Wasiyya by Abu Hanifa, explains Istawa page 81

Imam Abu Hanifah said, in his book al-Wasiyya, (page 81 of the edition used here):

We recite that Allah is ‘istawa ‘ala’  the throne, without Him having a need, or being establihsed on the Throne. He is the Protector of the Throne and of other than that, without Him having any need, for if  He was in need of anything, He would not have been able to bring this world into existence, nor what happens to it, like the creations. If He had the need to sit (julus) or to establish Himself (istiqrar), then before creating the Throne, where would He have been [that is, according to you?].  Allah is free from what the unjust people attribute to Him.

Points to remember:

  • Imam Abu Hanifah is from the SALAF, i.e. the first three generations of this community, which are the best generations. He was born in 80 after the Hijrah and he died in 150, i.e. 1200 years ago. He met some companions, which means that he shared the company of people who had the immense privilege of seeing the Prophet  sallaLLAAHU ‘alayhi wa sallam.
  • This book al-Wasiyya is among the FIVE books he authored on the issues of BELIEF.
  • Look at how he explains al-Istiwa  to Arabs! He says to them: it does NOT mean istiqrar, and it does not mean julus, which means that this great scholar of the Salaf is saying : ‘do not understand istiwa as being established (which is the meaning of istiqrar) or seated (which is the meaning of julus). How is it then possible to see people nowadays saying carelessly that Allah is ESTABLISHED or SITTING when one of the greatest scholars of the Salaf warned us against understanding this about Allah?
  • The reason why we did not translate the phrase ‘istawa ‘ala’ here is because Abu Hanifah, did not provide us with a meaning, which is typical of the majority of the scholars of the Salaf. Therefore, even though other scholars (including scholars of the Salaf) have given precise meanings for istawa ‘ala, we did not translate the phrase here to remain true to the way of Abu Hanifah.

One Response to “Imam Abu Hanifah (from the SALAF) does say that ‘Istiwa’ should not be understood as being established or being seated”

  1. Assalaamu ‘alaikum, and Jazakum Allahu Kullu Khair. I really appreciate the clean-ness of how your site is put together, as well as all the work you’ve done in scanning and posting.

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