al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah mention clearly that the one who says Allah fis-samaa aiming at a place has committed blasphemy

Cover page of al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya volume 2Page 359 volume 2 of al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya

In this collection of fatwas considered authoritative in the Hanafi madh-hab in India and elsewhere, it is mentioned, volume 2 , page 359:

And if he says: ‘Allah fis-samaa” [there are two cases]: if he was aiming at merely repeating what has reached [us] apprently in the texts, he does not commit blasphemy, but if he was aiming  at the place, he commits blasphemy.’

Points to remember:

  • al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya is a collection of fatwas from Hanafi scholars from the Asian continent (especially India) which gathers alomost all the sayings of the school and which is a reference until present daysin terms of Hanafi judgements. It has been written more than 300 years ago.
  • It has been said that 500 scholars of the Indian sub-continent worked on this collection of fatwas, each group of scholars from a given Indian state being in charge of a specific chapter), and a fatwa would only get written if no one else would challenge it.
  • Here, these scholars are saying that even if the person says ‘Allah  fis-samaa’, depending on what he is aiming at it can be blasphemy. Therefore one should not think that this is only an issue of translation. It is a question of understanding. The one who utters phrases in Arabic, while understanding that Allah is limited, it is blasphemy.
  • The original title of this collection is Fatawa-e-Alamgiri, in Persian, from the name of  the sultan Aurangzeb (d.1707 CE) who helped the Hanafi scholars to produce this work. They have very quickly been nicknamed ‘al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya’ in Arabic.

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