Imam Ahmad versus the “Resemblers”

AbuFadl At-Tamimiyy wrote in his book: The Doctrine of the Imam Al-Mubajjal (The Revered) Ahmad Ibn Hanbalthat Imam Ahmad rejected the claim that Allah is a “jism. He [Imam Ahmad] said:

The names of things are derived from the Shari`ah (Sacred Law) and from the [Arabic] language.  The scholars of the Arabic language applied this term [i.e., jism] to all that possesses: length, width, depth, assemblage, form, and composition.  Allah is clear of all such characteristics; hence, it is invalid according to the language to ascribe to Allah the term jism, for Allah is clear of all jismiyyah [i.e., spatial and dimensional characteristics].  Furthermore, the Sacred Law did not ascribe the term jism to Allah [i.e., the term jism is not used in reference to Allah in neither the Qur’an nor the Hadith].  Hence, it [ascribing to Allah a jism: being spatial or dimensional entity] is invalid.”

Brief Commentary: This is a explicit refutation of the pseudo-Hanbalis, who ascribe to Allah the characteristics of spatial entities, such as, being in a location, having a size, a direction, organs, and limbs.  Allah is the Creator of space and direction. Before space existed, Allah existed.  And after Allah created space, Allah did not transform and materialize in a space.  Allah exists without being in a place. Likewise, Allah exists without a direction.  “Direction” is the comparison of the location of one object in relation to the location of another object.  Allah is not a jism (spatial entity, body, or object), and Allah does not exist inside a location (place); hence, Allah exists without being in a literal direction.  The `Uluww [“Exaltedness”] of Allah is a matter of Majestic Status and not of an object in a lofty location.


Allah is supremely clear of having boundaries, extremities, sides, organs, appendages, and instruments.  None of the six directions contain Allah as is the case with all created things.

                        —Abu Ja`far At-Tahawiyy in his famous “`Aqidah At-Tahawiyyah”

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