Shelves: classical-texts , theology Cover to cover, this is an indispensable translation of an indispensable classical text that Sh. Hamza Yusuf spent years tweaking. Hamza did a tremendous service to the English-speaking world with this publication. And my copy is autographed ; Because of the similarities, I would highly recommend Cover to cover, this is an indispensable translation of an indispensable classical text that Sh.
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This period was the zenith of hadith and fiqh studies, and Imam At-Tahawi studied with all the living authorities of the day. As regards the sects mentioned in this work, a study of Islamic history up to the time of Imam At-Tahawi would be quite helpful.
Such study helps one to better understand the Islamic doctrines and avoid the deviations of the past or the present. May Allah grant us a true undersanding of faith and include us with those to whom Allah refers as "those who believe, fear Allah and do good deeds", and "he who fears Allah, endures affliction, then Allah will not waste the reward of well-doers".
Praise be to Allah, Lord of all the Worlds. There is nothing like Him. There is nothing that can overwhelm Him. There is no god other than Him. He is the Eternal without a beginning and enduring without end. He will never perish or come to an end. Nothing happens except what He wills. No imagination can conceive of Him and no understanding can comprehend Him.
He is different from any created being. He is living and never dies and is eternally active and never sleeps. He creates without His being in need to do so and provides for His creation without any effort.
He causes death with no fear and restores to life without difficulty. He has always existed together with His attributes since before creation. Bringing creation into existence did not add anything to His attributes that was not already there. As He was, together with His attributes, in pre-eternity, so He will remain throughout endless time. He was always the Lord even when there was nothing to be Lord of, and always the Creator even when there was no creation.
This is because He has the power to do everything, everything is dependent on Him, everything is easy for Him, and He does not need anything; "There is nothing like Him and He is the Hearer, the Seer. He appointed destinies for those He created. He allotted to them fixed life spans. Nothing about them was hidden from Him before He created them, and He knew everything that they would do before He created them.
He ordered them to obey Him and forbade them to disobey Him. Everything happens according to His degree and will, and His will is accomplished. The only will that people have is what He wills for them. What He wills for them occurs and what He does not will, does not occur. He gives guidance to whoever He wills, and protects them, and keeps them safe from harm, out of His generosity; and He leads astray whoever He wills, and abases them, and afflicts them, out of His justice.
All of them are subject to His will between either His generosity or His justice. He is exalted beyond having opposites or equals. No one can ward off His decree or put back His command or overpower His affairs. We believe in all of this and are certain that everything comes from Him. And we are certain that Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, is His chosen servant and selected Prophet and His Messenger with whom He is well pleased.
And that he is the seal of the prophets and the Imam of the godfearing and the most honoured of all the messengers and the beloved of the Lord of all the Worlds. Every claim to prophethood after Him is falsehood and deceit. He is the one who has been sent to all the jinn and all mankind with truth and guidance and with light and illumination. It came from Him as speech without it being possible to say how. He sent it down on His Messenger as revelation.
The believers accept it, as absolute truth. They are certain that it is, in truth, the word of Allah. It is not created, as is the speech of human beings, and anyone who hears it and claims that it is human speech has become an unbeliever.
Allah warns him and censures him and threatens him with Fire when He says, Exalted is He, "I will burn him in the Fire. Anyone who describes Allah as being in any way the same as a human being has become an unbeliever.
All those who grasp this will take heed and refrain from saying things such as the unbelievers say, and they will know that He, in His attributes, is not like human beings. The seeing of Allah by the people of the Garden is true, without their vision being all-encompassing and without the manner of their vision being known. Everything that has come down to us about this from the Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in authentic traditions, is as he said and means what he intended.
We do not delve into that, trying to interpret it according to our own opinions or letting our imaginations have free rein.
No one is safe in his religion unless he surrenders himself completely to Allah, the Exalted and Glorified, and to His Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and leaves the knowledge of things that are ambiguous to the one who knows them. He will he subject to whisperings and find himself confused and full of doubt, being neither an accepting believer nor a denying rejector. This is the din of Muslims. He is beyond having limits placed on Him, or being restricted, or having parts or limbs.
Nor is He contained by the six directions as all created things are. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was taken by night and ascended in his bodily form, while awake, through the heavens, to whatever heights Allah willed for him.
Allah blessed him and granted him peace in this world and the next. The covenant which Allah made with Adam and his offspring is true.
Allah knew, before the existence of time, the exact number of those who would enter the Garden and the exact number of those who would enter the Fire. This number will neither be increased nor decreased. The same applies to all actions done by people, which are done exactly as Allah knew they would be done.
Those who are fortunate are fortunate by the decree of Allah, and those who are wretched are wretched by the decree of Allah. Delving into it and reflecting too much about it only leads to destruction and loss, and results in rebelliousness.
So be extremely careful about thinking and reflecting on this matter or letting doubts about it assail you, because Allah has kept knowledge of the decree away from human beings, and forbidden them to enquire about it, saying in His Book, "He is not asked about what He does but they are asked.
For there are two kinds of knowledge: knowledge which is accessible to created beings, and knowledge which is not accessible to created beings. Denying the knowledge which is accessible is disbelief, and claiming the knowledge which is inaccessible is disbelief. Belief can only be firm when accessible knowledge is accepted and inaccessible knowledge is not sought after. Even if all created beings were to gather together to make something fail to exist, whose existence Allah had written on the Tablet, they would not be able to do so.
And if all created beings were to gather together to make something exist which Allah had not written on it, they would not be able to do so. The Pen has dried having written down all that will be in existence until the Day of Judgement. Whatever a person has missed he would have never got it, and whatever one gets, he would have never missed it. It is necessary for the servant to know that Allah already knows everything that is going to happen in His creation and has decreed it in a detailed and decisive way.
There is nothing that He has created in either the heavens or the earth that can contradict it, or add to it, or erase it, or change it, or decrease it, or increase it in any way. As Allah says in His Book, "He created everything and decreed it he a detailed way. In his delusory attempt to investigate the Unseen, he is seeking a secret that can never be uncovered, and he ends up an evil-doer, telling nothing but lies.
He is independent of the Throne and what is beneath it. He encompasses everything and is above it, and what He has created is incapable of encompassing Him. We say with belief, acceptance and submission that Allah took Ibrahim as an intimate friend and that He spoke directly to Musa. We believe in the angels, and the Prophets, and the books which were revealed to the messengers, and we bear witness that they were all following the manifest Truth.
We call the people of our qiblah Muslims and believers as long as they acknowledge what the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, brought, and accept as true everything that he said and told us about. We do not enter into vain talk about Allah nor do we allow any dispute about the religion Of Allah.
It is the Speech of Allah and no speech of any created being is comparable to it. We do not consider any of the people of our qiblah to he unbelievers because of any wrong action they have done, as long as they do not consider that action to have been lawful. Nor do we say that the wrong action of a man who has belief does not have a harmful effect on him.
We hope that Allah will pardon the people of right action among the believers and grant them entrance into the Garden through His Mercy, but we cannot be certain of this, and we cannot bear witness that it will definitely happen and that they will be in the Garden. We ask forgiveness for the people of wrong action among the believers and, although we are afraid for them, we are not in despair about them. Certainty and despair both remove one from the religion, but the path of truth for the people of the qiblah lies between the two e.
A person does not step out or belief except by disavowing what brought him into it. Belief consists of affirmation lay the tongue and acceptance by the heart. Belief is, at base, the same for everyone, but the superiority of some over others in it is due to their fear and awareness of Allah, their opposition to their desires, and their choosing what is more pleasing to Allah.
Belief consists of belief in Allah. His angels, His books, His messengers, the Last Day, and belief that the Decree - both the good of it and the evil of it, the sweet of it and the bitter or it - is all from Allah. We believe in all these things. We do not make any distinction between any of the Messengers, we accept as true what all of them brought.
Those of the Urnmah of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, who have committed grave sins will be in the Fire, but not forever, provided they die and meet Allah as believers affirming His unity even if they have not repented. They are subject to His Will and Judgement.
This is because Allah is the Protector of those who recognize Him and will not treat them in the Hereafter in the same way as He treats those who deny Him and who are bereft of His guidance and have failed to obtain His protection. We agree with doing the prayer behind any of the people of the qiblah whether right-acting or wrong-acting, and doing the funeral prayer over any of them when they die. We do not say that any of them will categorically go to either the Garden or the Fire, and we do not accuse any of them of kufr disbelief , shirk associating partners with Allah , or nifaq hypocrisy , as long as they have not openly demonstrated any of those things.
We leave their secrets to Allah. We do not recognise rebellion against our Imam or those in charge of our affairs even if they are unjust, nor do we wish evil on them, nor do we withdraw from following them.
The Creed of Imam al-Tahawi
He was viewed as a distinguished and highly proficient writer and became known as the most knowledgeable of fiqh amongst the Hanafis in Egypt. This was even though he had a share in the fiqh of all of the madhabs of fiqh and hadith , and he knew of the various sciences of Islam. Ibn Yoonus said of him, "At-Tahaawee was reliable, trustworthy, a Faqeeh, intelligent, the likes of whom did not come afterward. He was educated under many shuyookh, whom he took knowledge and benefited from. He had more than three hundred teachers.
At Tahawi Creed ( Hamzah Yusuf Translation)