Evaluation of the Salafist Conception of Mālik b. Anas’s Interpretation of the Verse of Istiwaʾ (Settlement)

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 PhD student, Teaching Islamic Doctrines, Farabi Campus, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran

2 Professor, Department of Quranic Science and Hadith, Farabi Campus, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran.

10.22034/jid.2023.295193.2243

Abstract

Salafists and scholars of kalām (theologians) disagree over several issues regarding divine attributes, including  the interpretation of Quranic verses about divine attributes in terms of qualitative meanings. Muslim theologians believe that such an interpretation contradicts the exalted or immaculate nature of God, while Salafists refer to certain exegeses provided by earlier scholars to support the notion of qualitative meanings in the interpretation of Quranic verses about divine attributes. One notable example is Mālik b. Anas's interpretation of the Verse of Istiwāʾ (Settlement). Salafists cite interpretations attributed to Mālik, suggesting that he attributed qualities to God, implying that God's "settlement" on the Throne (al-ʿArsh) can be understood as a literal ascension and physical presence on the Throne. However, a careful examination of ten chains of transmission for the interpretation of the Verse of Settlement attributed to Mālik reveals issues concerning both the reliability of the transmission chains and the implications of the interpretation. Only two of these chains are considered reliable, and even in those cases, Mālik, while deferring the interpretation of the verse to God Himself, seeks to exalt God by avoiding any attribution of qualitative meanings to Him.

Keywords

Main Subjects


ʿAbbād al-Badr, ʿAbd al-Muḥsin, al-. 1424 AH. Al-Intiṣār li-ahl al-sunna wa-l-ḥadīth fī radd abāṭīl Ḥasan al-Mālikī. Riyadh: Dar al-Fadila.

ʿAlwān, Salīm. 1430 AH. Tafsīr awlā l-nuhā li-qawlih taʿālā “al-raḥmān ʿala l-ʿarsh istawā.Beirut: Shirka Dar al-Mashariʿ.

ʿAṣrī, Sayf, al-. n.d. Al-Qawl al-tamām bi-ithbāt al-tafwīḍ madhhaban li-l-salaf al-kirām. Oman: Dar al-Fath.

ʿAṭṭār, Yaḥyā, al-. n.d. Mujarrad asmāʾ al-ruwāt ʿan Mālik. Edited by Salim b. Ahmad al-Salafi. N.p.: Maktabat al-Ghurabaʾ al-Athariyya.

Badr, ʿAbd al-Razzāq, al-. 1421 AH. Al-Athar al-mashhūr ʿan al-Imām Mālik raḥimah Allāh fī ṣifat al-istiwāʾ. Medina: al-Jamiʿat al-Islamiyya.

Bānī, Muḥammad Nāṣir al-Dīn, al-. 1412 AH. Mukhtaṣar al-ʿuluww li-l-ʿalī al-ʿaẓīm li-l-Dhahabī. N.p.: al-Maktab al-Islami.

Bānī, Muḥammad Nāṣir al-Dīn, al-. 1423 AH. Ṣaḥīḥ sunan Abī Dāwūd. Kuwait: Muʾassasa Gharas.

Bayhaqī, Aḥmad, al-. 1413 AH. Al-Asmāʾ wa-l-ṣifāt. Edited by ʿAbd Allah al-Hashidi. Jeddah: Maktabat al-Sawadi.

Bayhaqī, Aḥmad, al-. n.d. Al-Asmāʾ wa-l-ṣifāt. Edited by Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthari. Cairo: Maktabat al-Azhariyya li-l-Turath.

Bin Baz, ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz. n.d. Fatāwā nūr ʿalā al-darb. N.p.: Muʾassasat al-Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAziz Bin Baz al-Khayriyya.

Damījī, ʿAbd Allāh. n.d. Fahm al-salaf al-ṣāliḥ li-l-nuṣūṣ al-sharʿiyya ḥaqīqatuh wa-ahammiyyatuh wa-ḥujjiyyatuh. Saudi Arabia: Markaz al-Bayan li-l-Buhuth wa-l-Dirasat.

Darimi, ʿUthmān, al-. 1416 AH. Al-Radd ʿalā l-Jahmiyya. Edited by Badr b. ʿAbd Allah al-Badr. Kuwait: Dar Ibn al-Athir.

Dhahabī, Muḥammad, al-. 1382 AH. Mīzān al-iʿtidāl fī naqd al-rijāl. Edited by ʿAli Muhammad al-Bajawi. Beirut: Dar al-Maʿrifa.

Dhahabī, Muḥammad, al-. 1405 AH. Siyar aʿlām al-nubalāʾ. Edited by a group of scholars. Beirut: Muʾassasat al-Risala.

Dhahabī, Muḥammad, al-. 1416 AH. Al-ʿUluww li-l-ʿalī al-ghaffār fī īḍāḥ ṣaḥīḥ al-akhbār wa-saqīmihā. Edited by Abu Muhammad Ashraf b. ʿAbd al-Maqsud. Riyadh: Maktaba Adwaʾ al-Salaf.

Dhahabī, Muḥammad, al-. 1428 AH. Al-ʿUluww li-l-ʿalī al-ghaffār. Edited by Hasan b. ʿAli al-Saqqaf. Beirut: Dar al-Imam al-Rawwas.

Ghazālī, Muḥammad, al-. 1439 AH. Iljām al-ʿawām ʿan ʿilm al-kalām. Beirut: Dar al-Minhaj.

Ibn ʿAbd al-Birr, Yūsuf. 1387 AH. Al-Tamhīd li-mā fī l-muwaṭṭaʾ min al-maʿānī wa-l-asānīd. Edited by Mustafa al-ʿAlawi and Muhammad al-Bakri. Morocco: Ministry of Religious Endowments and Islamic Affairs.

Ibn ʿAbd al-Hādī, Muḥammad. n.d. Al-Kalām ʿalā masʾalat al-istiwāʾ ʿalā l-ʿarsh. Edited by Nasir b. Suʿud al-Salama. Egypt: Dar al-Falah.

Ibn al-ʿArabī, Muḥammad. n.d. Al-Naṣṣ al-kāmil li-kitāb al-ʿawāṣim min al-qawāṣim. Edited by ʿAmmar Talibi. Egypt: Maktaba Dar al-Turath.

Ibn al-Ḥabbān, Muḥammad. 1393 AH. Al-Thiqāt. Deccan, India: Matbaʿa Daʾirat al-Maʿarif al-Nizamiyya.

Ibn al-Ḥajar, Aḥmad. 1326 AH. Tahdhīb al-tahdhīb. Deccan, India: Matbaʿa Daʾirat al-Maʿarif al-Nizamiyya.

 Ibn al-Ḥajar, Aḥmad. 1379 AH. Fatḥ al-bārī bi-sharḥ ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī. Beirut: Dar al-Maʿrifa.

Ibn al-Ḥajar, Aḥmad. 1406 AH. Taqrīb al-tahdhīb. Edited by Muhammad ʿAwama. Syria: Dar al-Rashid.

Ibn al-Ḥajar, Aḥmad. n.d. Tabṣīr al-muntabih bi-taḥrīr al-mushtabih. Edited by Muhammad ʿAli al-Najjar. Beirut: al-Maktabat al-ʿIlmiyya.

Ibn al-Jawzī, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān. 1428 AH. Dafʿ shubah al-tashbīh bi-akaff al-tanzīh. Edited by al-Ḥasan b. ʿAlī al-Saqqāf. Beirut: Dar al-Imam al-Nawawī.

Ibn al-Labbān, Muḥammad. 1422 AH. Izālat al-shubuhāt ʿan al-āyāt wa-l-aḥādīth al-mutashābihāt. Edited by Ayman al-Buhayri and ʿAmr al-Wardani. Cairo: Dar al-Bayan al-ʿArabi.

Ibn al-Manẓūr, Muḥammad. 1414 AH. Lisān al-ʿArab. Beirut: Dar Sadir.

Ibn al-Taymiyya, Aḥmad. 1416 AH. Majmūʿ al-fatāwā. Edited by ʿAbd al-Rahman b. al-Qasim. Medina: Majmaʿ al-Malik Fahd li-Tibaʿat al-Mushaf al-Sharif.

Ibn al-Taymiyya, Aḥmad. 1435 AH. Al-Intiṣār li-ahl al-athar. Edited by ʿAbd al-Rahman Qaʾid. Mecca: Dar ʿAlam al-Fawaʾid.

Ibn al-Taymiyya, Aḥmad. n.d. Al-Iklīl fī l-mutashābih wa-l-taʾwīl. Edited by Muhammad al-Shaymi Shahata. Alexandria: Dar al-Iman.

Ibn al-ʿUdayy, Aḥmad. 1418 AH. Al-Kāmil fī ḍuʿafāʾ al-rijāl. Edited by ʿAdil Ahmad ʿAbd al-Mawjud and ʿAli Muhammad Muʿawwad. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya.

Ibn Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Dimashqī, Muḥammad. 1993. Tawḍīḥ al-mushtabih fī ḍabṭ asmāʾ al-ruwāt wa-ansābihim wa-alqābihim wa-kunāhim. Edited by Muhammad Naʿim al-ʿArqasusi. Beirut: Muʾassasat al-Risala.

Ibn Rushd al-Qurṭubī, Abū l-Walīd. 1408 AH. Al-Bayān wa-l-taḥṣīl wa-l-sharḥ wa-l-tawjīh wa-l-taʿlīl li-l-masāʾil al-mustakhraja. Beirut: Dar al-Gharb al-Islami.

Ibn Ṭāhir al-Dānī, Aḥmad. 1424 AH. Kitāb al-īmāʾ ilā aṭrāf aḥādīth kitab al-muwaṭṭaʾ. Edited by Abū ʿAbd al-Bārī al-Jazāʾirī. Riyadh: Maktabat al-Maʿarif.

Iṣbahānī, ʿAbd Allāh, al-. 1412 AH. Ṭabaqāt al-muḥaddithīn bi-Iṣbahān wa-l-wāridīn ʿalayhā. Edited by ʿAbd al-Ghafur ʿAbd al-Haqq Husayn al-Balushi. Beirut: Muʾassasat al-Risala.

Iṣbahānī, Aḥmad, al-. 1394 AH. Ḥulyat al-awliyāʾ wa-ṭabaqat al-aṣfiyāʾ. Egypt: Nashr al-Saʿada.

Jawharī, Ismāʿīl, al-. 1407 AH. Al-Ṣiḥāḥ tāj al-lugha wa-ṣiḥāḥ al-ʿArabiyya. Edited by Ahmad ʿAbd al-Ghafur ʿAttar. Beirut: Dar al-ʿIlm li-l-Malayin.

Khafaji, Muhammad, al-. n.d. Dīwān al-Imam ʿAlī. N.p.: Dar Ibn Zaydun.

Lālakāʾī, Hibat Allāh, al-. 1423 AH. Sharḥ uṣūl iʿtiqād ahl al-sunna wa-l-jamāʿa. Edited by Ahmad b. Saʿd al-Ghamidi. Saudi Arabia: Dar Tayba.

Lukahnuwī, Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Ḥayy, al-. 1425 AH. Al-Rafʿ wa-l-takmīl fī l-jarḥ wa-l-taʿdīl. Edited by ʿAbd al-Fattah Abu Ghadda. Beirut: Maktab al-Matbuʿat al-Islamiyya.

Manāwī, Zayn al-Dīn, al-. 1410 AH. Al-Tawqīf ʿalā muhimmāt al-taʿārīf. Cairo: ʿAlam al-Kutub.

Nawawī, Yaḥyā, al-. 1392 AH. Al-Minhāj sharḥ ṣaḥīḥ Muslim b. al-Ḥajjāj. Beirut: Dar Ihyaʾ al-Turath al-ʿArabi.

Qadīsh, ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ, al-. 1431 AH. Al-Tajsīm wa-l-mujassima wa-ḥaqīqa ʿaqīdat al-salaf fī l-ṣifāt wa-l-ilāhiyya. Damascus: Muʾassasat al-Risala.

Qawṣā, Muḥammad. 1425 AH. Mawqif al-salaf min al-mutashābihāt bayn al-muthbitīn wa-l-muʾawwilīn: dirāsa naqdiyya li-manhaj Ibn al-Taymiyya. Cairo: Dar al-Basaʾir.

Qurāfī, Aḥmad, al-. 1994. Al-Dhakhīra fī furūʿ al-Mālikiyya. Edited by Muhammad Huja. Beirut: Dar al-Gharb al-Islami.

Qurṭubī, Muḥammad, al-. 1384 AH. Al-Jāmiʿ li-aḥkām al-Qurʾān. Edited by Ahmad al-Barduni and Ibrahim Utayfish. Cairo: Dar al-Kutub al-Misriyya.

Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī, al-Ḥusayn, al-. 1412 AH. Al-Mufradāt fī gharīb al-Qurʾān. Edited by Safwan ʿAdnan al-Dawudi. Beirut: Dar al-Qalam.

Ṣābūnī, Ismāʿīl, al-. 1423 AH. ʿAqīdat al-salaf wa-aṣḥāb al-ḥadīth aw al-risāla fī iʿtiqād ahl al-sunna wa-aṣḥāb al-ḥadīth wa-l-aʾimma. Edited by Abu l-Yamin al-Mansuri. Cairo: Dar al-Minhaj.

Saʿīdān, Walīd. n.d. Tadhkīr al-khalaf bi-wujūb iʿtimād fahm al-salaf. In Sayd al-Fawaʾid Website. http://www.saaid.net/book/en.php?cat=1&book=4978.

Samʿānī, Abū l-Muẓaffar, al-. 1418 AH. Tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Edited by Yasir b. Ibrahim and Ghanim b. al-ʿAbbas. Riyadh: Dar al-Watan.

Saqqāf, al-Ḥasan b. ʿAlī, al-. 1416 AH. Ṣaḥīḥ sharḥ al-ʿaqīdat al-Ṭaḥāwiyya. Oman: Dar al-Imam al-Nawawi.

Ṣarṣūr, al-Ḥisām, al-. 1424 AH. Āyāt al-ṣifāt wa-manhaj Ibn al-Jarīr al-Ṭabarī fī tafsīr maʿānīhā muqārinan bi-ārāʾ ghayrih min al-ʿulamāʾ. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya.

Tirmidhī, Muḥammad, al-. 1998. Sunan al-Tirmidhī. Edited by Bashar ʿAwad Maʿruf. Beirut: Dar al-Gharb al-Islami.

ʿUthaymīn, Muḥammad Ṣāliḥ, al-. 1407 AH. Majmūʿ fatāwā wa-rasāʾil faḍīlat al-Shaykh Muḥammad b. Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn. Riyadh: Dar al-Watan.

ʿUthaymīn, Muḥammad Ṣāliḥ, al-. 1421 AH. Sharḥ al-ʿaqīdat al-wāsiṭiyya. Edited by Saʿd b. Fawwaz al-Samil. Riyadh: Dar Ibn al-Jawzi.

Yaḥṣibī, ʿAyāḍ, al-. 1970. Tartīb al-madārik wa-taqrīb al-masālik. Edited by ʿAbd al-Qadir al-Sahrawi. Mohammedia, Morocco: Matbaʿa Faddala.

Zarkashī, Muḥammad, al-. 1414 AH. Al-Baḥr al-muḥīṭ fī uṣūl al-fiqh. N.p.: Dar al-Kutubi.