His Speech is Not Via Letter or Sound

His Speech is Not Via Letter or Sound

Imām al-Bayhaqī  رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ‎  (Excerpted from Al-Asma’ wa al-Sifāt, Volume 2)

Translated by Zameelur Rahman (Notes provided by Sh. Abul Hasan)

…and His speech is not via letter or sound (sawt); when we understand it and then recite it, our recitation is with letters and sound (sawt).

Abū ‘Abd Allāh al-1āfi2 informed us: Abu’l Abbās al-Mahbūbī informed us: Sa’īd ibn Mas’ūd narrated to us: Yazīd ibn Harūn narrated to us: Hammām ibn Yahya narrated to us from al-Qāsim ibn ‘Abd al-Wāidh from ‘Abd Allāh ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Aqīl from Jābir ibn ‘Abd Allāh from ‘Abd Allāh ibn Unays (may Allāh be pleased with them) from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  in a Ahadīth on Mazalim (requital from oppression), he صلى الله عليه وسلم  said:

“Allāh will gather His slaves, naked, uncircumcised, and with nothing with them (buhman); He will then call them with a voice (sawt) heard by one afar as heard by one nigh: ‘I am the King, I am the Requiter’”

(For Imām al-Qurtubī’s commentary on this hadīth see: http://www.marifah.net/articles/kalam-qurtubi.pdf)

This hadīth, al-Qāsim ibn ‘Abd al-Wāhid is isolated (in narrating it) from Ibn ‘Aqīl.

The problematic narrator [Ibn ‘Aqīl] being discussed here has transmitted a similar variant to the hadīth under discussion by al-Bayhaqi which is recorded by al-Jabarānī in al-Mu’jam al-Kabīr indicating that, in fact, it is a herald/caller (as opposed to Allah) who will call with a voice:

‘Alī ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azīz narrated to us, he said: Abu’l Walīd al-Jayalisī narrated to us; And Abu Muslim al-Kashshī narrated to us, he said: ‘Abd Allah ibn Raja’ al-Ghudānī and 1ajjāj ibn Minhāl narrated to us; And ‘Abd Allah ibn A8mad ibn 1anbal narrated to us, he said: Shayban ibn Farrukh narrated to us; They said: Hammam narrated to us, he said: al-Qāsim ibn ‘Abd al-Wahid narrated to us, he said: ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Aqil narrated to us that Jābir ibn ‘Abd Allah narrated to him, he said:

A narration a man from the Companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم heard from Allah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم  which I did not hear from him had reached me, and I feared he or I would die before I heard it, so I purchased a camel and tied my luggage to it; I then traveled upon it for a month until I reached Shām. I then came to ‘Abd Allah ibn Unays al-An,ārī [at his house], I stood and sought his permission (to enter) and said “(I am) Jābir ibn ‘Abd Allah”; he then came out to me and embraced me and I embraced him. I said: “It has reached me there is a narration that you heard from Allah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم  concerning Mazalim (requital from oppression); I feared that you or I would die before I heard it”. He said:

I heard Allah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم  say: “Allah will gather His slaves” and he pointed with his hand in the direction of Sham “naked, barefooted, uncircumcised and without possession (buhman)”. I said: “What is buhman?” He said: “They have nothing with them”; (the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  continued:) “and a caller will call with a voice heard by one afar as heard by one nigh: ‘I am the King, the Requiter’. It is not possible for any of the inhabitants of Paradise to enter Paradise while one of the inhabitants of Hell seeks his rights from him and it is not possible for any of the inhabitants of Hell to enter Hell while one of the inhabitants of Paradise seeks his rights from him, even (if it be) a slap”. I said: “How (will we pay), when we will come naked, uncircumcised and without possession?” He said: “Good and bad deeds”.

Ibn ‘Aqīl and al-Qāsim ibn ‘Abd al-Wā8id were not used as a proof by the two Shaykhs, Abu ‘Abd Allāh al-Bukharī and Abu’l 1usayn Muslim ibn al-1ajjāj al-Naysaburī, and they did not transmit this hadīth in their Sahīh with its chain, and Bukharī only indicated to it in the heading (tarjamah) of a chapter.

The Huffaz have differed over using ibn ‘Aqīl as proof due to the defect in his memory; and the attribute of voice in Allāh’s speech (Exalted and Glorified is He) has not been established in an authentic (sahīh) hadīth besides his hadīth, and we are not obliged to accept it, and it is possible that the voice therein, if established, refers to (something) else as: It was narrated to us from ‘Abd Allāh ibn Mas’ūd, in Mawqūf and Marfu’ form, when Allāh speaks to send revelation the inhabitants of Heaven hear a rattle like the dragging of a chain over a rock. And in the hadīth of Abu Hurayrah from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم : “When Allāh has ordained some affair in the Heaven, the angels beat their wings in obedience to His speech, which sounds like a chain dragged over a rock.”

Hence in these two authentic 8adīths is an indication that they hear a sound upon revelation (wahy) but, in Heaven [and] because of the wings of the Angels; exalted is Allāh from resembling creation, a lofty transcendence.

As for the hadīth al-Bukharī mentioned from ‘Umar ibn 1af, from his father from alA’mash from Abū Māli8 from Abu Sa’īd, he said: Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم  said:

“Allāh says ‘O Ādam’ and he [Ādam] says ‘I am present and at your service’. Then a voice will call out ‘Truly Allāh (blessed and exalted is He) orders you to bring forward from your progeny a deployment to Hell’”

This wording, Hafs, ibn Ghiyāth is isolated (in narrating) it as such, and Wāki’ and Jarīr and others from the students of al-A’mash contradicted him and did not mention therein the word “voice” (sawt). Ahmad ibn 1anbal was asked about Hafs, and he said “he would confuse his hadīth”. Furthermore, even if he did preserve it (correctly), therein is an indication that this speech to Adam occurred on the tongue of an Angel, calling to him with sound: “Truly Allāh (blessed and exalted is He) orders you”; hence his statement “A voice will call out” means (and Allāh knows best): “An Angel’s voice will call out” and this is apparent in the narration. And with Allāh is success.