Saturday, 28 September 2019

Did Imam Bukhari Not Approve Ta'wil ?


Abu Hasan: if the salafis have made up their mind about what their Anthropomorphist bosses have said - they will do ta'wil of everything else.

The problem with salafis is - sorry for being blunt - they are stupid. And blame ibn taymiyyah for it if you wish. He was against studying [formal] logic and modern salafis [probably..] took that literally and refuse to think logically. To prove this point i googled this term to get it from a proper salafi source (the English link appears to be a translation anyway) and here is the first result i got.

 (Have added a screenshot in case the answer is changed or deleted):

a quick approximate translation goes thus:

the question asks whether imam bukhari did ta'wil of the words 'DiHk' and 'wajh'. [DiHk or DaHik]

the answer:
concerning the attribute of 'DiHk': there is no known textual evidence that proves that bukhari made ta'wil and considered it metaphor for 'Divine Mercy'. however, this ta'wil has been attributed to bukhari thus:

1. al-khattabi in his "a'alam al-hadith fi sharh al-bukhari' 3/1921 and he said: "abu abdullah [i.e. bukhari] has said that the meaning of 'DiHk' is '[Divine] Mercy'.
2. also, bayhaqi has attributed in his "al-asma'a wa's-sifat" 2/72 and he said: "farabri has narrated from muhammad ibn isma'yil al-bukhari raHimahullah that he said that the meaning of DiHk is Mercy.
perhaps bayhaqi has taken from khaTTabi, as he usually transmits from him.

the attribution [of this opinion/ta'wil] is doubtful - because ibn Hajar raHimahullah, whose extensive knowledge of manuscripts of sahih al-bukhari is legendary and he negates the existence of this text in any manuscript that he has come across.

hafiz ibn Hajar raHimahullah said: "khattabi stated that abu abdullah [i.e. bukhari] has said that the meaning of DiHk here, is [Divine] Mercy. i say [i.e. ibn Hajar]: i have not seen in the manuscripts that we have of bukhari." fat'H al-bari [8/632].

conclusion: it is not possible to say with conviction that imam bukhari made this ta'wil - because the manuscripts that have reached us and the reliable ones among them are devoid of this explanation. Allah ta'ala knows best. 


abu Hasan: see? if the person who wrote it stopped to think, he would realise the patent contradiction and perhaps would be embarrassed at the display of his (or her Here) ignorance.

who is Khattabi? see here. [d.388 AH]
who is Bayhaqi? see here. [d. 458 AH]
anyway, khattabi narrates [the book] sahih al-Bukhari

khalaf ibn muhammad ibn isma'yil al-khayyam al-bukhari [d.361 AH] who narrates
from qadi ibrahim ibn ma'aqil ibn al-Hajjaj abu is'Haq al-nasafi [d.295 AH]
from abu abdullah muhammad ibn isma'yil al-bukhari, the author [d.256 AH].


from muhammad ibn khalid ibn al-Hasan
abu abdullah muhammad ibn yusuf ibn matar al-farabri [231-320 AH]

from abu abdullah muhammad ibn isma'yil al-bukhari, the author [d.256 AH].

Farabri says that he heard the whole of Bukhari from the author himself TWO times. the first time in 248 AH and the second time in 252 AH. he is one of the routes of the Sahih Bukhari we have in our time.

imam abu abdullah al-Hakim is a contemporary of khattabi [abu sulayman Hamd] and as Dhahabi says: 'contemporary [similar] in age and sanad'. yet al-Hakim has narrated from Khattabi.

Imam Bayhaqi has reported from al-Hakim; so it is highly probable that he might have quoted Khattabi. after all Khattabi is a thiqah and i think he was the first to write a commentary on Bukhari [don't quote me, i will check first].

compare this to Imam ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, who lived in the 8-9th century: 773-852 AH. born 385 years after al-Khattabi.

the answer QUOTES khattabi from his a'alam but it is not 'evidence' enough. there is no textual evidence. only hearsay and rumour:

abu Hasan said: 
conclusion: it is not possible to say with conviction that imam bukhari made this ta'wil - because the manuscripts that have reached us and the reliable ones among them are devoid of this explanation.
but...khattabi said it. who is khattabi? come let me tell you about ibn Hajar who is a full 385 years after khattabi and whose extensive knowledge of all extant manuscripts of bukhari outstrips khattabi's who claims only one link to farabri! besides we won't tell you that ibn hajar did not deny it outright - he only pointed out that HE HAS NOT SEEN. 
But why should we let such a small detail come in between our decision to reject Bukhari's ta'wil?

as for Imam Bayhaqi - this insinuation that he might have quoted Khattabi is not proven - it is only to reduce the two narrators to one source (i.e. if Bayhaqi narrates from Khattabi, it is ONLY Khattabi). even if it were true, what is the harm?

isn't khattabi one of the towering hadith masters and considered a thiqah imam? 

then why is his statement not 'evidence' for you? 
just because YOU did not see it?

is the chance of khattabi having seen it more than ibn Hajar or does ibn Hajar have better access than khattabi

where is your logic? 

of course Imam ibn Hajar is Shaykh al-Islam - but are Imam al-khattabi and  Imam al-Bayhaqi any lesser to him?


al-Albani even said :"Ya akhi, no muslim mu'min would say such a thing" (negating that al-Imam al-Bukhari did taweel of "illa wajhah" by "illa mulkah"Audio at 38:22 - Here

abu Hasan: don't talk about albani. let it go.

The concept of aali and nazil in sanad [more or less links in the chain of narration] can go fish in the dead sea.

If you go to the next part of the fatwa, you will see that they won't believe it EVEN if Bukhari said it himself and found in available manuscripts/copies of sahih al-Bukhari!

So the drama about not finding something in extant manuscripts is only a convenient excuse.
in the second narration, imam Bukhari apparently cites ma'amar [abu `ubaydah ibn al-muthanna 110-209 AH] in the heading of a chapter. Take a look: see fat'h al-bari 10/472, #4889.


According to salafi fatwa on islamqa:

this could mean either way: that is, imam bukhari quoted it as an opinion he approves of, or as other opinions said in this issue without his own approval.


But notice: ibn Hajar - whose knowledge of Bukhari and manuscripts etc, is acknowledged and praised in the same fatwa; and upon whose comment they confidently brush it away as "ma'amar's opinion NOT bukhari's"...did he criticise it?

Surprise, surprise!! - other than pointing out that ma'mar said it, ibn Hajar added ANOTHER opinion to strengthen it. i.e. Imam Tabari has mentioned it in his tafsir. [tafsir-tabariy, v18p 353]:


Those are the only two opinions he has mentioned. Far from clarifying that it is not Bukhari's opinion, ibn Hajar is supporting that view by adding another route. Let us quickly check a few other hadith commentaries:

ayni in umdat al-qari has no reservations. He explicitly affirms that imam Bukhari has made that tafsir:

"and he explained wajh as 'mulk' or dominion."


kirmani in kawakib al-darari stated without objection

ibn Mulaqqin in al-tawDiH also stated this without any objection.

[also Imam  Suyuti has stated in his al-tawshih].

Imam QasTallani in his irshad al-sari:


Note: None of the commentators (to the best of my knowledge) took exception and said imam Bukhari did not approve of it.


abu Hasan: While reading my posts again, i noticed that i had made an error in transcribing imam Farabri's name - which i have corrected  now after double-checking with Sam'ani's al-Ansaab.

Posting it here - just in case someone may have any use for it. pro-tip for students: for names prior to 560 AH, sam'ani's al-ansab is a very good resource to ascertain pronunciation of unfamiliar names.



Note: also another correction:

Khattabi narrates most of al-jamiy of al-Bukhari from al-khayyam from Nasafi; some portion he narrates from Muhammad ibn khalid from Farabri. 

Both Nasafi and Farabri narrate from Bukhari [see a'alam of khattabi, 1/106]. 
Both Nasafi and Farabri are among the famous narrators of Bukhari. 
In my haste i had linked them both.

source: Here


(Edited by ADHM)


Imam Ali Qari said, “The Salaf and Khalaf agree over tawil. The difference between them is only in terminology (al Khilafu baynahuma) as they have Consensus (ijma) over the fact that the outward terms must not be taken literally (sarf al lafzi min zahirih).

However, the tawi of the Salaf is general (ijmali) as they practiced resignation (tafwid- consigning or remaining silent) to Allah Most High of the intended meaning of the wording, which is not taken literally as Allah is beyond that.

As for the Khalaf, their tawil is specific (tafsili) because they were forced to recur to it due to the abundance of innovators. They did not intend, in so doing to diverge from the pious Salaf – Allah is our refuge from such a thought. It is only that necessity demanded it, in their time, due to the many anthropomorphists (mujassima_, Jahmiyya, and others of the people of misguidance, lest they prevail over the minds of the general public. They intended thereby the deterrence and routing of their arguments.

This is why many of them apologized and said, “if only our times had the same purity of faith as that of the Salaf!” So what is obligatory upon us is what we mentioned regarding belief, together with negation of resemblance.
And if it is feared for laypersons that they do not understand istiwa – short of saying it means istila (dominion) – except in the sense of contact ittisal) and the like among the requirements of corporeal requirements, then there is no harm in reorienting their understanding to meaning of istila in strict avoidance of what is forbidden, and in saying “istiwa means istila.” (Al Qari- Miraq al Mafatih Sharh Mishkat al Masabih)

Examples of Tawil among the Salafus Saleh:

Ibn Abbas and the Companions of the Prophet, sallahu alayhi wa salam:
Concerning the verse, “The day that a Shin will be laid bare,” (Quran 68:42)
Ibn Abbas interpreted the “shin” to mean “severity.”
Commenting on this verse, Imam al Tabari said, “A group of the Prophet’s companions and their disciples, and the people of figurative interpretation have said, ‘He will uncover a severe matter.’ And among those who interpreted the shin to mean ‘severity’ from the Imams of Quranic exegesis are Mujahid, Said Bin Jubayr, Qataba and others.
Allah be He exalted said, ‘And the sky we built with hands. And it is We who give expanse.’ (Quran 51:47).
Ibn Abbas said concerning it: “With strength.” (Tafsir al Tabari) That is, “We built it with strength.”

Imam Ahmad
Concerning the verse, “Do they but wait until Allah comes to them in the canopies of the clouds?” (Quran 2:210)
Qadi Abu Yala mentioned that Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal commented on this passage saying that, “The meaning of it is , ‘His power and command.’ (Ibn Jawzi, Daf Shubah al Tashbih)

Imam Bukhari
Imam al Bayhaqi reports that Imam Al Bukhari said concerning the hadith, “Allah laughs at two men, one of them kills the other and both of them enter Paradise,” that laughing means, “mercy.” (Bahaqi Al Asma wa al Sifat) That is, “Allah shows mercy to both of them.”

Sufyan al Thawri
Sufyan al Thawri said concerning Allah’s saying, “And He is with you where ever you are” (Quran 57:4)
“It means with His knowledge.” (Tashih al Mahafim al Aqadiyya)

The Basis for Tawil in the Quran

Quran 3:7 can be read two different ways.

(1) Proof for Tafwid: “He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: “We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:” and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding. “(Qur’an, surah 3 verse 7)
Ibn Masud read it this way. ((Suyuti- Itqan v.2, p. 4)

(2). Proof for Tawil: “He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge. Say: “We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:” and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.”(Qur’an,surah 3 verse 7)
Ibn Abbas said, “I am of those well grounded in knowledge, who know the meaning (of the allegorical verses).” (Suyuti- Itqan v.2, p. 4)

Ibn Taymiyyah says, “This reading has been reported from Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Muhammad Ibn Ijma Ibn Az Zubayr, Muhammad Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Qutybah and others. To me this and the other reading are both correct… Both readings have been reported from ibn Abbas and both are correct.” (Ibn Taymiyyah al Majmoo Al Fatawa)

Proof from Hadith

The Prophet, sallahu alayhi wa salam said, “May Allah make radiant someone who hears something from us, and then conveys it as he heard it (Quran and Hadith), for it might be that someone who it is conveyed to understands better than the one who heard (it first). (Sahih-Tirmidhi)

This hadith illustrates, that the later generations may have a better understanding of something the early generation did not.
And Allah knows best.

Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, while explaining one of the versions of the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, sometimes referred to as hadith an-Nuzul (and which would give the impression that Allah descends on Earth every night, in his book Fath al-Bari, volume 3, page 23, illustrates all these points, mentioned by Imam Nawawi..

Imam Ibn Hajar al Asqanlani said, “As for his saying ‘Yanzilu Rabbuna ‘ila s-Samaa’i d-Dunya, those who confirm a direction to Allah, have relied on this text and said that it is the direction of ‘above’ (al-uluww), and this has been refuted by the scholars (al-jumhur), because talking like that equals limiting Allaah, who is exempted from that. 

Thereafter people have diverged about the meaning of an-nuzul: some took it according to its literal meaning and verily, these are the anthropomorphists (al-mushabbihah) , and Allaah is absolutely free (exempted) from what they say.

Others have resorted to deny the truthfulness of all the hadiths which have been narrated in that regard: those are the Khawaarij and the Mu’tazilah, and these are really astonishing because on the one hand they interpret what has reached [us] in the Qur’an which is similar to this, and on the other hand they deny what has come from hadith, either due to ignorance, or to stubbornness.

Others have read those texts as they were revealed, believing in them in general, while freeing Allaah from the manner [kayfiyyah] of the anthropomorphists, and these are the majority of the Salaf. [On top of that], al-Bayhaqi and others have narrated from the four imams, from the two Sufyan, the two Hammad, al-Awza’i, from al-Layth and others, that they DID interpret this text according to what befits Allaah, and what is in use in the language of the Arabs

Some other ones went so far in their interpretation that it ended up being a type of distortion.
Others [still] made a difference between what is a ‘close’ interpretation’, i.e. in use in the language of the Arabs, and what would be a ‘far-fetched’ one, and as a result they have interpreted in some cases and made tafweed [i.e. leaving the meaning to Allaah] in some cases, and this has been narrated from imam Malik.

It has been confirmed by Ibn Daqiq al-Id that al-Bayhaqi said that the safest [of all these methods] is to believe in those texts without a how (bila kayf) and to not speak about what is intended.”

Ta’wil of Saaq Al-Kursi
Ibn Taymiyya slanders 
Imam al-Tirmidhi
of ‘clear corruption/Evil
Ibn `Abd al-Salam
Imâm `Izz al-Dîn Ibn `Abd al-Salâm (d.660AH)


Aqidah of the Pious Predecessors : Here