al-Hafidh Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani explains how to understand Hadith an-Nuzul

Cover page Fath al-Bari by Ibn Hajar al-AsqalaniFath al-Bari interior title page volume 3Fath al-Bari by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani page 22Fath al-Bari by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani page 23Fath al-Bari by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani page 24

Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, while explaining one of the versions of the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, sometimes referred to as hadith an-Nuzul (and which would give the impression that God descends on Earth every night, in his book Fath al-Bari, volume 3, page 23 (you would find pages 22 and 24 scanned above, only so that you can read the full context if needed, but the passage translated below is contained in page 23):

As for his saying ‘Yanzilu Rabbuna ‘ila s-Samaa’i d-Dunya“, those who confirm a direction to Allah, have relied on this text and said that it is the direction of ‘above’ (al-uluww), and this has been refuted by the scholars (al-jumhur), because talking like that equals limiting Allaah, who is exempted from that.  Thereafter people have diverged about the meaning of an-nuzul: some took it according to its literal meaning and verily, these are the anthropomorphists (al-mushabbihah) , and Allaah is absolutely free (exempted) from what they say. Others have resorted to deny the truthfulness of all the hadiths which have been narrated in that regard: those are the Khawaarij and the Mu’tazilah, and these are really astonishing because on the one hand they interpret what has reached [us] in the Qur’an which is similar to this, and on the other hand they deny what has come from hadith, either due to ignorance, or to stubbornness. Others have read those texts as they were revealed, believing in them in general, while freeing Allaah from the manner [kayfiyyah] of the anthropomorphists, and these are the majority of the Salaf.   [On top of that], al-Bayhaqi and others have narrated from the four imams, from the two Sufyan, the two Hammad, al-Awza’i, from al-Layth and others, that they DID interpret this text according to what befits Allaah, and what is in use in the language of the Arabs. Some other ones went so far in their interpretation that it ended up being a  type of distortion. Others [still] made a difference between what is a ‘close’ interpretation’, i.e. in use in the language of the Arabs, and what would be a ‘far-fetched’ one, and as a result they have interpreted in some cases and  made tafweed [i.e. leaving the meaning to Allaah]  in some cases, and this has been narrated from imam Malik. It has been confirmed by Ibn Daqiq al-Id that al-Bayhaqi said that the safest [of all these methods] is to believe in those texts without a how (bila kayf) and to not speak about what is intended.”

Points to remember from this quote:

  • Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani died in 852 in the Hijri calendar, i.e. more than 500 years ago.
    His commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari, entitled “Fath al-Bari” is a book that no student in Islamic Studies or a proper scholar can do without.
  • In this extract,  he clearly says that those who take this hadith according to its literal meaning are anthropomorphists, i.e. those who make Allaah resemble His creations.  He also mentions that some interpretations have been narrated from scholars of the Salaf such as the founders of the four schools for example.

2 Responses to “al-Hafidh Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani explains how to understand Hadith an-Nuzul”

  1. Assalamu alykum very well said! Alhamdulillah now when ibn hajar asqalani has declared bin baz a Mujassimah!! Why does that jaahil(yes jaahil dead man) touch his work? When bin baz is NOT EVEN A MUHADITH, HE is not even a shafi’i scholar!!

    The reason is they DO NOT HAVE ILM IN hadith! And commentaries or great hadith masters who are upon there baatil shytaan creed. It makes me angry how dare honestly they use knowledge of a scholar who hates them and labelled them. Its called stealing like when you praying salah and when your vision goes away from front ground shaytan picks(steals) this.. They are exactly like that. They should be fought books banned and punished severely for stealing and reinterpretation misqouting of books of pious ulema.

  2. They say we agree on this and disagree on that, in Aqeedah, its like thr jews and christians when they changed the word of Allah and claimed to be from Allah. The Aqeedah of ibn hajar asqalani is backed up heavily by the salaf, an inheritor of the salaf whom Allah protected the deen with!!

    That is why they cannot ever!!! Match his works!! And so they re interpret it, just like the ahlul bid’ah, when a scholar has declared them innovators deviants, they lacking ilm still use his work but reject him and his followers and indirectly say Ash’ari are deviants, doesn’t this show how hypocrites they are and lazy? And lack of ilm? I hate em, why?? Bcoz they destroy Islam from within these khwarij! Mujassima! On top of that on one side they attack his creed on the other they take from him?? They have a mental problem honestly

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