Aqida Tahawiyya – Line 2

وَلَا شَيْءَ مِثْلُهُ

There is nothing like him

Ahl as-Sunnah are in unanimous agreement that nothing is like Allah. Not in his dhaat (essence) sifaat (attributes) or af’aal (acts). The daleel for this is:

لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ ۖ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ‌

There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing. [Ash-Shura [42:11]

The Ulema say that this ayat is a refutation of two groups from the Ahlu Bid’a:

  1. Al-Mumathilah or Al-Mushabihah – Those who liken the attributes of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) with those of the created beings. ‘Laysa kamithlihii shayun’ is refuting them.
  2. Al-Mu’adilah – Those who strip Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) of his attributes and negate them. ‘ Wa huwa samee’ ul-baseer’ is refuting them.

Ahl as-Sunnah are balanced and follow the Quran and Sunnah. They affirm for Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) what he has affirmed for himself and what his prophet [sws] has affirmed for him without likening it to the creation.

It is better to use the term Tamthiil rather than Tashbiih

When negating similarities from Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) it is better to use the ibaarah ‘bi laa tamthiil’ which the shaykh has used instead of ‘bi laa tashbiih’ which some scolars use. This is for two reasons:

  1. Tamthiil has come in the Quran and Tashbiih has not – such as laysa kamithlihii
  2. Tashbiih is mujmal (vague) and can be interpreted in a correct way or a false way, for example, the Mu’tazilah see the affirmation of Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) attributes as tashbiih.

Tamthiil or Tashbiih is of two types

  1. Tashbiihul Khaaliqi bil Makhluuq – This is to liken the creator to the created. For example by saying ‘Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) descends similar to the way the created beings do’ or ‘Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) sees or hears similar to the way the created hear or see’ etc.
  2. Tashbiihul Makhluuq bil Khaaliqi – This is to elevate the created and make them equal to the Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) by for example, saying ‘Wali so and so sees and hears like Allah does’

Both types are Kufr and are not allowed.

Qaaidah: Itifaaqul Asmaa laa yastalzimu itifaaqul musamayaat

Just because the names are the same does not mean the named ones are the same.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has called himself by certain names and He also called some of His servants by the same names. He has also qualified Himself with certain attributes and, at the same time qualified different beings that He created with the same attributes. But neither one named is the same as the other named, nor is one attribute the same as the other attribute. He has called Himself Living (Hayyan), Knowing (Aliman), Powerful (Qadiran), Compassionate (Ra’ufan), Merciful (Rahiman), Mighty (Azizan), Wise (Hakiman), Hearing (Sami’an), Seeing (Basiran), King (malik), Guardian (Al-Mu’min), Irresistible (Al-Jabbar), Justly Proud (Al-Mustakbir), and He has called many of His servants by these same names. For Example, He has said:

‌ يُخْرِ‌جُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَمُخْرِ‌جُ الْمَيِّتِ مِنَ الْحَيِّ

He brings the living out of the dead and brings the dead out of the living. [Al-An’am [6:95], [Ar-Rum [30:19]

‌ وَبَشَّرُ‌وهُ بِغُلَامٍ عَلِيمٍ

and gave him good tidings of a learned boy [Adh-Dhariyat [51:28]

‌ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَ‌ءُوفٌ رَّ‌حِيمٌ

[The Prophet] to the believers is kind and merciful. [At-Tawbah [9:128]

‌ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ سَمِيعًا بَصِيرً‌ا

and We made him hearing and seeing [Al-Insan [76:2]

‌ قَالَتِ امْرَ‌أَتُ الْعَزِيزِ

The wife of al-‘Azeez said [Yusuf [12:51]

‌ وَكَانَ وَرَ‌اءَهُم مَّلِكٌ

as there was after them a king [Al-Kahf [18:79]

‌أَفَمَن كَانَ مُؤْمِنًا

Then is one who was a believer [As-Sajda [32:18]

‌كَذَٰلِكَ يَطْبَعُ اللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ قَلْبِ مُتَكَبِّرٍ‌ جَبَّارٍ‌

Thus does Allah seal over every heart [belonging to] an arrogant tyrant. [Ghafir [40:35]

But we know that the One Living Being is not like the other living being, and the Mighty One is not like the other mighty, and so on with respect to the other names.

The Ash’aris deny all the attributes of Allah except 7

The seven attributes they affirm is mentioned in this line: “Ever-Living, All-Knowing, Able (to do all things), He speaks, He wills, He hears and He sees.”

Their claim is that if they affirm the rest of the Sifaat for Allah it would mean Tamtheel. This is a wrong and false statement because since they already affirmed 7 sifaat for Allah with the understanding that they are not like the sifaat of the created why don’t they do the same for the rest of the sifaat. Why are they choosing to affirm some and not others when there is absolutely no evidence for it.

The Qaidah is: Al Qawlu fil Ba’di Sifaati kal Qawli fil Ba’di – what is said about some of the attributes is said about the rest of the attributes.

This means we say the same about the attributes of Allah and we do not interpret some in one way and others in another way.