Chapter 21: Affirmation of Two Hands for Allah —by Imām Abu Ismā’īl Al-Harawi (died 481H)

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All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation; may the peace and blessing be upon our noble Prophet Muhammad, his family, his Companions and all those who follow him exactly until the establishment of the Hour.

These are chapters from Shaikhul-Islām Abu Ismā’īl Al-Harawī’s: “The Book Of Forty Narrations In The Evidences Of Tawhīd” (Born 396H and died 481H may Allah’s mercy be upon him). This compilation is an amazing series of narrations in the establishment of the Tawhīd of Allāh, the Mighty and Majestic, especially in the arena of the Names and Attributes that has left the Jahmiyyah and their offspring such as the Ashā’irah and Māturīdīs dumbstruck just as Allāh has said:

وَقُلْ جَاءَ الْحَقُّ وَزَهَقَ الْبَاطِلُ ۚ إِنَّ الْبَاطِلَ كَانَ زَهُوقًا

“And say: ‘The Truth has come and falsehood has been vanquished. Surely! Falsehood is ever bound to be vanquished.’” (Al-Isrā 17:81)

Chapter 21: Affirmation of Two Hands for Allah, the Mighty and Majestic

Abu Ismā’īl Al-Harawī (481H) with his chain of narration to Ibn ‘Abbās (may Allah be pleased with him) that Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Adam (alaihis-salām) would make tasbeeh (glorify Allah’s perfection) with the tasbeeh of the Angels, and he would pray with their prayer when he was sent down to the earth due to his height and his closeness to the sky ―so Allah placed His Hand over him and reduced him to the earth, seventy cubits (in height).”

This hadeeth is not authentic. Shaikh Ali Nāsir Al-Faqeehi stated: I have not come across a biography for the shaikh of the author, Abdur-Rahmān As-Sam’āni, and nor for the shaikh of his shaikh. And the wording of the hadeeth is unusual. And in the chain, there are men who are known for being plentiful in making errors, so the hadeeth is not authentic. Rather it is most likely fabricated.

However, there are other texts that prove the affirmation of the Hands of Allah from the Qur’an and authentic hadeeths in the Sunnah ―therefore, there is no need to rely upon this unauthentic narration. So we affirm this Attribute of the Hand of Allah in a manner that befits His Majesty due to the saying of Allah:

وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ يَدُ اللَّهِ مَغْلُولَةٌ ۚ غُلَّتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَلُعِنُوا بِمَا قَالُوا ۘ بَلْ يَدَاهُ مَبْسُوطَتَانِ يُنفِقُ كَيْفَ يَشَاءُ 5:64

“And the Jews say, ‘The hand of Allah is tied up.’ Chained are their hands, and cursed are they for what they say. Rather, both His Hands are extended, He spends however He wills…” (Al-Mā’idah: 64)

Al-Bukhāri and Muslim reported from Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) the story of the debate between Ādam and Mūsā (Allah’s peace be upon them both) wherein Ādam said:

وَخَطَّ لَكَ التَّوْرَاةَ بِيَدِهِ

“He wrote the Tawrāt for you with His Own Hand.” (Bukhāri, no. 6614, Muslim, no. 80)

Abdullāh Ibn Mas’ūd said, “A Jewish Rabbi came to Allah’s Messenger and said, ‘O Muhammad, we learn that Allah will place all the Heavens on a Finger, the Earths on a finger, the trees on a Finger, the water on a Finger, the soil on a Finger and the rest of the creation on a Finger. Then He will say, ‘I am the King.’ So the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) laughed till his pre-molar teeth became visible in affirmation of the truthfulness of the speech of the Rabbi. Then the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) recited, ‘They made not a just estimate of Allah as is due to Him. And on the Day of Resurrection, the whole of the earth will be grasped by His Hand and the heavens will be rolled up in His Right Hand. Exalted is He, free of all imperfections, High above all that they associate as partners with Him.’ (Surah Az-Zumar: 67)” (Reported by Al-Bukhārī no. 4711, Muslim no. 2786).

The People of Sunnah affirm for Allah His Names and Attributes as He has affirmed for Himself and as the Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) affirmed for Him, without negating them or explaining them away with metaphorical meanings. Additionally, the People of Sunnah never liken Allah’s Attributes to His creation.

From the earliest sects who rejected and refused to affirm the Attributes of Allah were the Jahmiyyah, founded by Jahm Ibn Safwān (died 128AH). The People of the Qur’an and Sunnah have refuted them throughout the centuries. From the Jahmiyyah arose other sects (such as the Ash’aris and Māturīdis) who explained the Attributes of Allah to mean other than what is apparent from the wording of the Qur’ān and Sunnah claiming they were fleeing from resembling Allah with the creation.

This led them to speak about Allah without knowledge, so the People of Sunnah refuted them on two grounds:

1. For rejecting the actual Attribute of Allah which is apparent from the Quranic wording (such as the Hand of Allah)

2. For inventing a metaphor that they know is based upon innovated opinion (such as claiming the Hand of Allah means His power).

Allāh’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) informed us that the height of Ādam was sixty cubits which is equivalent to 27.5 metres. After the passing away of Ādam, his offspring continued to decrease in height until they settled as they are today. On the Day of Judgement, however, the believers will be entered into Paradise upon their original form just as Allāh created Ādam (‘alaihis-salām). Allāh’s Messenger  (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ  ” خَلَقَ اللَّهُ آدَمَ عَلَى صُورَتِهِ، طُولُهُ سِتُّونَ ذِرَاعًا، فَلَمَّا خَلَقَهُ قَالَ اذْهَبْ فَسَلِّمْ عَلَى أُولَئِكَ النَّفَرِ مِنَ الْمَلاَئِكَةِ جُلُوسٌ، فَاسْتَمِعْ مَا يُحَيُّونَكَ، فَإِنَّهَا تَحِيَّتُكَ وَتَحِيَّةُ ذُرِّيَّتِكَ. فَقَالَ السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ. فَقَالُوا السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ. فَزَادُوهُ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ، فَكُلُّ مَنْ يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ عَلَى صُورَةِ آدَمَ، فَلَمْ يَزَلِ الْخَلْقُ يَنْقُصُ بَعْدُ حَتَّى الآنَ

“Allāh created Ādam in His image, He made sixty cubits (about 27.5 meters) in height. When He created him, He said to him, “Go and greet that group of angels sitting there, and listen what they will say in reply to you, for that will be your greeting and the greeting of your offspring.” Ādam said to them, “As-salāmu ‘alaikum (Peace be upon you).” They replied, “As-Salaamu ‘alaika wa rahmatullaah (Peace and Allāh’s Mercy be on you).” So they increased with: “Wa rahmatullāh.”

The Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) added: “So whoever will enter Paradise, will be upon the form of Ādam, and the height of the children of Ādam has not ceased to decrease until now.” (Bukhārī no. 6277, Muslim no. 2841)

The Arabic Text:

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