Do’nt think deep into the personality of God: Shah Waliullah Muhaddis Dehlavi’s Ta’wil al-Ahadith


Below is the script taken from Shah Waliullah Muhaddis Dehlavi‘s Ta’wil al-Ahadith:

“It may be remembered that the Prophet has not allowed us to think over the person (Dhat) of God, but on the contrary, he has prohibited us from that, as he has said: “Do not think over the person of God” ; “There should be no thinking over God.”

His prohibition includes discussion on the attributes of God as well, namely, the explanation of the realities of His attributes and the way He is characterised by them, such as whether the seeing and the hearing are other than the knowledge or the knowledge itself and whether the speech is personal or something else, and so on. However, there were certain things which the Holy Prophet found both the Arabs and the non-Arabs understanding them and characterising their Lord by them. For example, when they used to mention the His greatness, sanctity, purity and power over the created beings, they were charactering Him by the administrative ability of the ruler, as he (the Holy Prophet) found that their perfection will not be complete but by their (Arabs) knowing them (the attributes of God) in this way, and saw that they had always been describing their Lord with these attributes from a very long time.

Accordingly, he laid the foundation of his mission on reminding them of the days of adversity and prosperity God used to bring them by turns. While mentioning them (God’ attributes) he used the language which they were using. He did not engage himself in giving an exposition of their realities and did not go deep in them. However, he could not prevent himself from the use of such similes as the hand, the foot and the laughing.

Many centuries known of their goodness passed away in this way. Them some people came who named themselves as Ahl Al-Sunnah (the observor of the traditional law, Sunnites), while, as a matter of fact, the Sunnah (practise of the Prophet) was far away from them. They, thus, made forced attempts at what concerned them not, and at what their prophet had not brought. Oh! what a calamity, which became universal and which blinded the people! ~Page # 84

[Then the author, Shah Waliullah Muhaddid Ad-Dehlavi Rehmatullah Alieh, wrote few pages about the “certain principles for the miracles which appeared at the hands of our Prophet,” which are omitted here. Then he continued the same discussion as below]

You should know that the straight path in this problem and in the allegories such as the hands and the feet (of God) and in the matters of the future life is that man should follow their external meaning and should not busy himself in knowing the nature of their existence. He should generally believe that what God and His Prophet have intended by them is true, and should not say that God intended this and did not intend that, etc.

It is therefore, that you will never find the Prophet, his Companions and the best of their followers having ever busied themselves in anything of that kind. This kind of business (namely, to know the allegorical) came from Mu’tazilites, who had stolen this science from philosophers. The Sunnites afterward stole it from the Mu’tazilites. We have already made it thoroughly clear in some of our works, that the Mu’tazilites had stolen it from the Philosophers, from whom (the Mutazilites) it was stolen by the Sunnites. ~Page # 92-93.

[End of the chapter “The Holy Prophet”].

English Tran. G.N. Jalbani, “Shah Waliullah’s Ta’wil Al-Ahadith.” Lahore, 1973. Publisher: Sh. Muhammad Ashraf. Pakistan.

The English Translator, G.N. Jalbani, was formerly Professor of Arabic at the University of Sindh, Pakistan.

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Filed under Islam, Umer Sultan

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