Saturday, 8 December 2018

The Two Hands and the Fingers of Allah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
وصلى الله على نبينا محمد
وعلى اهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين
As mentioned previously, I adopt the orthodox Athari creed with regard to the Names and Attributes of Allah Most High, affirming belief in His holy Face, two Eyes, two Hands and His two Feet, but without any resemblance with created things and without explaining or delving into the reality of these attributes. I simply believe, as the early Muslims did, that Allah has a Face, meaning His presence and appearance, that He has two Eyes with which He sees all things. In this entry I shall speak of some other essential attributes of Allah, namely, His two Hands and His Fingers:
The Two Hands of Allah
لِمَا خَلَقْتُ بِيَدَيَّ
To that which I created with My two Hands
[Sura 38:75]

It is apparent from this Ayah that Allah has two Hands with which He directly creates certain things, such as our father Adam. Allah says:

وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ يَدُ اللَّـهِ مَغْلُولَةٌ ۚ غُلَّتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَلُعِنُوا بِمَا قَالُوا ۘ بَلْ يَدَاهُ مَبْسُوطَتَانِ يُنفِقُ كَيْفَ يَشَاءُ
The Jews says: “The Hand of Allah is chained.” Chained are their hands and they are cursed for what they say. Rather both His Hands are extended. He spends however He wills.
[Sura 5:64]
From this Ayah we come to learn that Allah spends through both of His Hands, though His act of spending never diminishes His wealth. And both Allah’s Hands are open and extended. Hence, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم said:
لَمَّا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ آدَمَ وَنَفَخَ فِيهِ الرُّوحَ عَطَسَ فَقَالَ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ فَحَمِدَ اللَّهَ بِإِذْنِهِ فَقَالَ لَهُ رَبُّهُ يَرْحَمُكَ اللَّهُ يَا آدَمُ اذْهَبْ إِلَى أُولَئِكَ الْمَلاَئِكَةِ إِلَى مَلإٍ مِنْهُمْ جُلُوسٍ فَقُلِ السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ ‏.‏ قَالُوا وَعَلَيْكَ السَّلاَمُ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ رَجَعَ إِلَى رَبِّهِ فَقَالَ إِنَّ هَذِهِ تَحِيَّتُكَ وَتَحِيَّةُ بَنِيكَ بَيْنَهُمْ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ اللَّهُ لَهُ وَيَدَاهُ مَقْبُوضَتَانِ اخْتَرْ أَيَّهُمَا شِئْتَ قَالَ اخْتَرْتُ يَمِينَ رَبِّي وَكِلْتَا يَدَىْ رَبِّي يَمِينٌ مُبَارَكَةٌ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ بَسَطَهَا فَإِذَا فِيهَا آدَمُ وَذُرِّيَّتُهُ فَقَالَ أَىْ رَبِّ مَا هَؤُلاَءِ فَقَالَ هَؤُلاَءِ ذُرِّيَّتُكَ فَإِذَا كُلُّ إِنْسَانٍ مَكْتُوبٌ عُمْرُهُ بَيْنَ عَيْنَيْهِ
When Allah created Adam, He blew the spirit into him, then he sneezed and said: ‘All praise is due to Allah.’ So he praised Allah by His permission. Then His Lord said to him: ‘May Allah have mercy upon you O Adam. Go to those Angels – to that gathering of them sitting – so say: ‘Peace be upon you’ They said: ‘And upon you be peace and the Mercy of Allah’ Then he returned to his Lord, He said: ‘This is your greeting and the greeting of your children among each other.’ Then Allah said to him – while His Two Hands were clenched – ‘Choose which of them you wish.’ He said: ‘I chose the right My Lord and both of the Hands of my Lord are right, blessed.’ Then He extended it, and there was Adam and his offspring in it.’ So he said: ‘What are these O my Lord?’ He said: ‘These are your offspring?’ Each one of them had his age written between his eyes.
[Jami al-Tirmidhi #3367]

The Hadith is significant for a number of reasons. Firstly, it points to the primordial Adam who was created in Heaven and was in the presence of Allah and the Angels. In this dimension, Adam saw Adam, meaning a parallel Adam with his offspring in one of the two Hands of Allah. This was in the world of similitudes, for Adam had not yet come upon the Earth nor were any of his offspring born yet. So Adam was beholding an image of himself and also an image of his offspring in the Hand of Allah. The Hadith states that Allah gripped or closed both His Hands and asked Adam to select one Hand. It also states that both of Allah’s Hands are right Hands, for it is not befitting of His majesty that Allah should have a left hand. This illustrates the fact that Allah cannot be compared with the creation or His two Hands compared with or conceived as being like human hands. Some Muslim theologians make ta’wil of the Hand of Allah, saying that it means His power or His favor. But the Qur’an and Hadith speak of Allah having two Hands, therefore, it cannot be an allegory for His power or favor, because the attributes of power or favor cannot be dualized, i.e. “two powers” doesn’t make sense if hand simply means power. In a Hadith narrated by Ibn Umar رضى الله عنهما the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
يَأْخُذُ الْجَبَّارُ سَمَوَاتِهِ وَأَرَضِيهِ بِيَدِهِ - وَقَبَضَ يَدَهُ فَجَعَلَ يَقْبِضُهَا وَيَبْسُطُهَا - ثُمَّ يَقُولُ أَنَا الْجَبَّارُ أَنَا الْمَلِكُ أَيْنَ الْجَبَّارُونَ أَيْنَ الْمُتَكَبِّرُونَ ‏ قَالَ وَيَتَمَايَلُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ عَنْ يَمِينِهِ وَعَنْ شِمَالِهِ حَتَّى نَظَرْتُ إِلَى الْمِنْبَرِ يَتَحَرَّكُ مِنْ أَسْفَلِ شَىْءٍ مِنْهُ حَتَّى إِنِّي لأَقُولُ أَسَاقِطٌ هُوَ بِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم
The Compeller [Allah] will seize His heavens and His earths in His Hand – and he clenched his hand and started to open and close it – Then He will say: “I am the Compeller, I am the King. Where are the tyrants? Where are the arrogant?” And the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him was leaning to his right and his left, until I could see the pulpit shaking at the bottom, and I thought that it would fall along with the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him.
[Sunan Ibn Maja #4275]

Incidentally, the Hadith proves it is from the Sunna to gesture with one’s own hand when speaking of the Hand of Allah. Some Muslims think this is blasphemy, but such an idea is unfounded and absurd. By gesturing with one’s own hand when refering to the Hand of Allah, one is not intended to resemble the Hand of Allah to a created hand, but to draw attention to the fact that Allah has a real Hand, an essential attribute of His, and His Hand is not a metaphor for something else, such as His power or favor. Allah has two real, literal Hands with which He seizes things, spends from, and creates directly. This is how the Prophet pointed to his eyes and ears when mentioning the attributes of Allah of seeing and hearing, and placed his finger upon his eye and ear when speaking of Allah’s attributes of seeing and hearing. The purpose was to explain and affirm that these are real and actual attributes of Allah and not metaphors that should be interpreted to mean something else, as is the tendency of certain misguided theological sects.
The Fingers of Allah
In a Hadith narrated by Abd Allah b. Amr b. al-As, Umm Salama, and Anas b. Malik رضى الله عنهم the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

إِنَّ قُلُوبَ بَنِي آدَمَ كُلَّهَا بَيْنَ إِصْبَعَيْنِ مِنْ أَصَابِعِ الرَّحْمَنِ كَقَلْبٍ وَاحِدٍ يُصَرِّفُهُ حَيْثُ يَشَاءُ
“Verily, the hearts of the children of Adam are all between the two Fingers from the Fingers of ar-Rahman like a single heart. He turns them wherever He wants.”
[Sahih Muslim: Kitab al-Qadar]

The Hadith proves that Allah has fingers, and that the hearts of mankind are between two of those fingers as a single heart. In the Hadith of Ibn Mas’ud رضى الله عنه a rabbi came to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and informed him:
يَا مُحَمَّدُ، إِنَّا نَجِدُ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلُ السَّمَوَاتِ عَلَى إِصْبَعٍ وَالأَرَضِينَ عَلَى إِصْبَعٍ، وَالشَّجَرَ عَلَى إِصْبَعٍ، وَالْمَاءَ وَالثَّرَى عَلَى إِصْبَعٍ، وَسَائِرَ الْخَلاَئِقِ عَلَى إِصْبَعٍ، فَيَقُولُ أَنَا الْمَلِكُ‏.‏ فَضَحِكَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم حَتَّى بَدَتْ نَوَاجِذُهُ تَصْدِيقًا لِقَوْلِ الْحَبْرِ ثُمَّ قَرَأَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏{‏وَمَا قَدَرُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ قَدْرِهِ وَالأَرْضُ جَمِيعًا قَبْضَتُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَالسَّمَوَاتُ مَطْوِيَّاتٌ بِيَمِينِهِ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ‏}‏
“O Muhammad! We learn that Allah will put all the heavens on one finger, and the earths on one finger, and the trees on one finger, and the water and the dust on one finger, and all the other created beings on one finger. Then He will say, ‘I am the King.’ Thereupon the Prophet peace be upon him smiled so that his pre-molar teeth became visible, and that was the confirmation of the rabbi. Then Allah’s Messenger peace be upon him recited: ‘They made not a just estimate of Allah such as is due to Him. And on the Day of Resurrection the whole of the earth will be grasped by His Hand and the heavens will be rolled up in His Right Hand. Glorified is He, and High is He above all that they associate as partners with Him.’
[Sahih al-Bukhari]

By quoting the Ayah [39:67], the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم confirmed that the Fingers of Allah are the Fingers of His Hands. He also confirmed the statement of the Jewish rabbi that Allah has five Fingers on His Hand.

No comments:

Post a comment

Firasah of Third Caliph Uthman b. Affan رضى الله عنه

  بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم وصلى الله تعالى على خاتم النبيين وَكَذَلِكَ عُثْمَانُ بْنُ عَفَّانَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ صَادِقُ الْفِرَاسَةِ وَ...