An Examination and Critique of the Doctrinal Salafist Account of Narrated Attributes of God in the Quran According to Sunni Scholars

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 Assistant professor, Department of Islamic Teachings, Safadasht Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran,

2 PhD student, Islamic Denominations, University of Religions and Denominations, Qom, Iran

10.22034/jid.2023.168105.1747

Abstract

An important issue regarding Quranic verses and hadiths revolves around the concepts of muḥkamāt (clear) and mutashābihāt (ambiguous). Exegetical controversies often arise when dealing with ambiguous Quranic verses, particularly those related to God's narrated (khabarī) attributes. Interestingly, the same Quranic verse can be considered clear by some groups and ambiguous by others. Doctrinal Salafists, such as Ibn al-Taymiyya and his followers, employ two different approaches when interpreting Quranic verses concerning attributes and those addressing other matters. Regarding divine names and attributes, these scholars strictly reject any form of interpretation. They argue that interpretive meanings are merely probabilistic and, in the context of religious doctrines, such probabilistic beliefs cannot be relied upon, as it would risk ascribing anthropomorphic qualities to God. In this article, we utilize the library method and reference the perspectives of Sunni scholars to analyze the Salafi perspective on narrated attributes. Through our examination, we present counterarguments to their view, highlighting inconsistencies between their theory and practice, distortions of words and meanings, and a failure to adhere to the teachings of early scholars (salaf). We conclude that by disregarding sound rational practices supported by religious textual evidence, Salafists have encountered numerous contradictions

Keywords


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