Monday, 18 August 2014

Did the prophet see Allah on Meraj? By Sh. Ghulam Musatafa Zaheer

Table of contents : 

1 Analysing the claim that the prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) saw Allah s.w.t in the night of Me`raj (and how)

2- Analysing The claim that the prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) saw Allah in a dream 

3- Analysing the claim if anyone can see Allah s.w.t in this world 

Translated from the research article of Shaykh Ghulam Mustafa Zaheer . Please note this is a very quick attempted translation and not a perfect word to word one, nevertheless both the statements and the context are intact as the author meant it. The shaykh begins with : 

There are three stances on this 

1)     Did the prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) see Allah s.w.t in the night of Me`raj?
2) Did the prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) see Allah in/via a dream?
3) Can we see Allah s.w.t in this earth (that is during our life time or such)?

1) Analysing the claim that the prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) saw Allah s.w.t in the night of Me`raj (and how)

(1.1) On the night of Me`raj, the prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) did not see Allah s.w.t via his bare eyes as Abu dharr ghaffari radhiallahu `anhu narrates : 

I asked the Messenger of allah sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam : “ Have you seen your Lord?” The prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) replied : “He is light, how can I see him? “ 

[Ref: Saheeh Muslim 1/99,178] 

Imaam ibn Hibban (352 AH) explained the words used by the messenger of allah (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) “ raaytu noor” (I saw light) as follows : 

This means that the messenger of allah (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) did not see his Rabb, rather from among the noor of the creations (angels ) he saw a bright light 

[Ref: Saheeh ibn Hibban , under the hadeeth 58] 

(1.2) Sayyedana `Aisha radhiallahu `anha narrates : 

“ Whoever says that Muhammad saw his lord is a liar” 

[Ref: Saheeh Bukhaari 2/720, Hadeeth 4855 ;  Saheeh Muslim 1/98, 177]

(1.3) Ibn `Abbas radhiallahu anhu said : 

“ Verily Nabi sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam has seen his Lord” 

[Ref: Sunan at-tirmdhi (3280); Hasan.  Narrated in as-sunnah of Ibn abi `Aasim (1/191); Tafseer at-tabari (27/52); Kitaab at-tawheed li Ibn Khuzayma (1/490) with a good chain of narration]

About this statement of Ibn `Abbas radhiallahu `anhu, Ibn taymiyyah says : 

This does not contradict the truth (that the prophet did not see his Lord with his eyes) because he (Ibn abbas) did not say that Muhammad (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam)saw Allah with the eyes on his face/face 

[Ref: Ijtima' al-juyush li Ibn Qayyim ( page 48)]

Ibn al-Qayyim said also: "'Uthmaan ibn Sa'eed al-Daarimi said in his book al-Ru'yah that there was consensus among the Sahaabah that he [the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)] did not see his Lord on the night of the Mi'raaj. Some of them excluded Ibn 'Abbaas and said that he was not one of those who said that. Our Shaykh says that this does not go against the facts, for Ibn 'Abbaas did not say that he saw Him with the eyes in his head, and Ahmad relied upon this in one of the two reports narrated from him, where he says that he saw Him but he did not say that that was with the eyes in his head. The wording used by Ahmad is the same as that used by Ibn 'Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both). What indicates that what our Shaykh said about the meaning of the hadeeth of Abu Dharr is correct is the fact that in another hadeeth he said that His veil is Light.  And Allaah knows best what the Light is that is mentioned in the hadeeth of Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him) where it says, 'I saw Light.'" 

Ijtimaa' al-Juyoosh al-Islamiyyah, vol. 1, p. 12 

Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullah also says : 

It is not established (in any way) that the prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) say allah with his two eyes  and neither is this notion proven from any of the sahaba and neither do we have anything of this sort from the Qur`an was sunnah, rather we have authentic nusoos on the contrary to this notion

[Ref: Majmoo` al-fatawa (6/509 – 510) ]

Reported on the authority of Ibn Abbas as well and he said: The meaning that the vision of the hearts cannot grasp Him, is that a person's mind cannot grasp Him in order to comprehend Him. "There is none like unto him" (Surah 42:11) and he said: The meaning is that the visions created here on earth, however he can create for those who want his generosity a vision and comprehension in order to see Him just like he did for Muhammad peace be upon him. (Abu 'Abdullah al-Qurtubi, Tasfir al Jami' li-ahkam al-Qur'an, Commentary on Surah 6:103,)

Hafidh ibn Katheer rahimahullah says : 

Whatever is attributed to the messenger of allah sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam about seeing allah (with his eyes) is neither proven from him nor from any of his companions 

[Ref: al-Fusool fi seeratir rasool (page 268)] 

Ibn Katheer rahimahullah also says : 

And there is a narration from Ibn `Abbas wherein he mentioned about seeing (Allah) but this will be understood to mean that he (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) saw with his heart (and not eyes) and whoever narrates that he saw with is eyes has mentioned something that is rejected for this is not proven from (any of) the sahaaba of the prophet sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam 

[Ref: Tafseer ibn Katheer (6/23-24)] 

Imaam ibn Abi al-Izz (d 731 AH) comments on this topic saying : 

And what is saheeh is that he (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) saw with his heart and not with the eyes on his head for Allah (s.w.t) says : " The heart did not lie [about] what it saw. [Surah Najm 53: 11] and " And he certainly saw him in another descent " [Surah Najm 13] and it is authentically proven from the prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) that what these verses speak of is Jibrael `alayhis salaam and he has seen Jibrael in his original form twice in the form he was created originally 

[Ref: Sharh `Aqeedah at-tahaawi li Ibn Abil Izz al-Hanfi (1/275)] 

He also says : 

...But we don't have any proof from the messenger of allah sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam that he saw his rabb using the eyes of his head , rather on the contrary we have authentic narrations refuting this notion ..." 

[Ref: Sharh `Aqeedah at-tahaawi li Ibn Abil Izz al-Hanfi (1/222)] 

Hafidh ibn Hajar rahimahullah says : 

there are some general and some restricted narrations via Ibn `Abbas radhiallahu anhu.  And it is thus necessary that we apply the general riwayat in accordance to the specific riwayat .....such that the affirmation of Ibn Abbas can be reconciled with the negation of `Aisha (r.a) by understanding that the narration of Ayesha r.a is applied on the negation of seeing with the eyes whereas the narration of Ibn Abbas is applied such that it means that the seeing is via heart (and not eyes) and seeing via the heart does not merely mean that he merely knew about allah for the prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) always knew allah 

.. So the meaning of those who said that the prophet sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam saw Allah with his heart is that the way how vision or seeing is observed in the eyes of normal human beings, likewise Allah s.w.t facilitated a vision in the heart of the prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam).......

[Ref: Fath ul-Bari 8/474] 

Ibn Katheer rahimahullah mentioned  Under the explanation of the following verses of Surah Najm i.e verses 09 and 10 

09: And was at a distance of two bow lengths or nearer. 
10: And he revealed to His Servant what he revealed. 

These verses show that Jibrael `alayhis salaam desceneded towards the prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) such that the distance between both of them was less than a length of two bows or equal 

Imaam Ibn Katheer rahimahullah also further says that it is proven from Aisha , Ibn Mas`ood, Abu Dhar and Abu Hurayra radhiallahu `anhuma that the verse (09-10) refers to Jibrael `alayhis salaam (and nothing else) 

[Ref: Tafseer ibn Katheer (6/22) with the Tahkeeq of `Abd ar-razzaq al-Mahdi. For the statement of Ibn Mas`ood see Saheeh Bukhaari 2/820 - 4856 and Saheeh Muslim 1/97 - 174] 

Conclusion : The negation of aisha r.a and her calling of a person to be a liar is in respect to him who claims that the prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) saw allah s.w.t with his eyes and the affirmation of Ibn `Abbas radhiallahu anhu is in regards to the prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) seeing Allah with his heart (in a way allah alone knows how ) and this is how both the narrations are combined , reconciled  and understood without any contradiction 

Translator's Note: 

Along with the above, there is a du`a from an incident which states that the prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) passed by a bedouin once making a beautiful du`a and he (`alayhi salatu was-salaam) liked it so much that he gifted him gold as a present for those wordings. the very beginning of that wording states : 

Ya man laa Tarahu-`Uyoon 

Oh you whom NO EYES have seen.... 

Full narration : 

(حديث مرفوع) حَدَّثَنَا يَعْقُوبُ بْنُ إِسْحَاقَ بْنِ الزُّبَيْرِ ، ثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ أَبُو عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ الأَذْرَمِيُّ ، نَا هُشَيْمٌ ، عَنْ حُمَيْدٍ ، عَنْ أَنَسٍ ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَرَّ بِأَعْرَابِيٍّ وَهُوَ يَدْعُو فِي صَلاتِهِ ، وَهُوَ يَقُولُ : يَا مَنْ لا تَرَاهُ الْعُيُونُ ، وَلا تُخَالِطْهُ الظُّنُونُ ، وَلا يَصِفُهُ الْوَاصِفُونَ ، وَلا تُغَيِّرُهُ الْحَوَادِثُ ، وَلا يَخْشَى الدَّوَائِرَ ، يَعْلَمُ مَثَاقِيلَ الْجِبَالِ ، وَمَكَايِيلَ الْبِحَارِ ، وَعَدَدَ قَطْرِ الأَمْطَارِ ، وَعَدَدَ وَرَقِ الأَشْجَارِ ، وَعَدَدَ مَا أَظْلَمَ عَلَيْهِ اللَّيْلُ ، وَأَشْرَقَ عَلَيْهِ النَّهَارُ ، لا تُوَارِي مِنْهُ سَمَاءٌ سَمَاءً ، وَلا أَرْضٌ أَرْضًا ، وَلا بَحْرٌ مَا فِي قَعْرِهِ ، وَلا جَبَلٌ مَا فِي وَعْرِهِ ، اجْعَلْ خَيْرَ عُمُرِي آخِرَهُ ، وَخَيْرَ عَمَلِي خَوَاتِمَهُ ، وَخَيْرَ أَيَّامِي يَوْمَ أَلْقَاكَ فِيهِ ، فَوَكَّلَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِالأَعْرَابِيِّ رَجُلا ، فَقَالَ : " إِذَا صَلَّى فَائْتِنِي بِهِ " ، فَلَمَّا صَلَّى أَتَاهُ ، وَقَدْ كَانَ أُهْدِيَ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ذَهَبٌ مِنْ بَعْضِ الْمَعَادِنِ ، فَلَمَّا أَتَاهُ الأَعْرَابِيُّ وَهَبَ لَهُ الذَّهَبَ ، وَقَالَ : " مِمَّنْ أَنْتَ يَا أَعْرَابِيُّ ؟ " قَالَ : مِنْ بَنِي عَامِرِ بْنِ صَعْصَعَةَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ، قَالَ : " هَلْ تَدْرِي لِمَ وَهَبْتُ لَكَ الذَّهَبَ ؟ " قَالَ : لِلرَّحِمِ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ، فَقَالَ : " إِنَّ لِلرَّحِمِ حَقًّا ، وَلَكِنْ وَهَبْتُ لَكَ الذَّهَبَ لِحُسْنِ ثَنَائِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ " ، لَمْ يَرْوِ هَذَا الْحَدِيثَ عَنْ حُمَيْدٍ إِلا هُشَيْمٌ ، تَفَرَّدَ بِهِ الأَذْرَمِيُّ .

[Ref: Mu`jam al-Awsat 9448]

2- Analysing The claim that the prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) saw Allah in a dream 

 Some of the scholars of Ahlus sunnah support that notion that the prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) saw allah in his dream based on the narration of Ibn Mas`ood radhiallahu anhu wherein he narrated that the Messenger of allah (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) one day after the morning prayer was describing his dream wherein he said : 

".... And all of a sudden i saw my rabb in a very beautifuly adorned way" 

[Ref: Musnad Imaam Ahmad 5/243; Sanad Saheeh] 

Imam ibn taymiyyah rahimahullah says about this narration as follows : 

This seeing is not the seeing on the night of Me`raj, rather this is when the prophet was in Madeenah wherein one day he was late for his morning prayer thereafter he explained to his companions about seeing his Lord in the dream and based on this Imam ahmad therefore said with certainity : " Verily he saw his lord  for the seeing of the prophets (in dreams) is the truth (revelation) 

[Ref: Zaad al-Ma`d li Ibn al-Qayyim 3/37] 

Ibn taymiyyah also says :

Therefore in accordance to this hadeeth it is known that he saw his lord (in a dream) when he was in Madeenah and not on the night of Me`raj 

[Ref: Majmoo ` al-Fatawa 3/387-388]

3- Analysing the claim if anyone can see Allah s.w.t in this world 

Shaykh ghulam mustafa zaheer hafidhahullah says : It is the consensus of Ahlus sunnah wal Jama`h that Allah cannot be seen by anyone on this earth as 

Imam ad-darimi (d. 280 AH) says : 

All the Aimmah are agreed upon that no body has seen Allah (s.w.t) in this world and neither will anyone see in this world 

[Ref: Radd `ala Jahmiyya lid-daarimi 124] 

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullah says : 

The Muslimeen are agreed upon that the Messenger of Allah sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam never saw Allah with his eyes on this earth

[Ref: Majmoo` al-Fataawa 3/ 388]

Imaam Ibn Abi al-`Izz al-Hanfi rahimahullah said : 

The Muslim ummah is agreed upon that no one can see allah on this earth with his eyes

[Ref: Sharh `Aqeedah at-tahawi 1/222] 

The messenger of allah salallahu `alayhi wa sallam himself said : 

Know that no one among you will be able to see his lord before his death 

[Ref: Saheeh Muslim 2/399 - 169] 

And in another narration the prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) while giving khutbah to the sahaba about the dajjal, within that khutbah he said : 

The dajjal will claim that i am your lord but know that no one will be able to see his Lord `azza wa jall before death 

[Sunan ibn abi `Aasim (400) with a hasan sanad and `Imran bin `abdullah in this narration is thiqah ul-hadeeth and al-`Ajli and Ibn Hibban both authenticated him as hasan ul-hadeeth] 

Conclusion : The prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) did not see Allah during Me`raj , rather he saw him via a dream with his heart in Madeenah 

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