Rational Proof -for the Prohibition of Takyeef
for the Prohibition of Takyeef
(describing Allah or asking for description)
It is not possible for anyone to know the description of something except -after seeing it -or seeing its like -or hearing a true information about it
For example, if I were to see something with my own eyes then I would know its description because I have seen it with my own eyes.
(an example of seeing its like is when) someone comes to me and says, “I have purchased a certain model of car.” and he describes the car and its color to me. Although I have not seen the actual car, I know this car because I know and have seen the like of it.
An example of true information is when a man comes to me and says, “I have a camel.” and he describes its attributes to me and informs me that it has such-and-such marking. Then I will know what the camel is like from hearing information about it.
If we apply this rational principle to the Attributes of Allah, then it is not possible for us to know the Attributes of Allah through any of these sources, because we have neither witnessed it, seen its like nor are we informed about it.
Therefore, some of the scholars said, "If a jahmi asks you, 'how does Allah descend to the lower heaven?' Then reply saying, “Allah has informed us that He descends but He did not inform us how He descends. So we have to believe in what has reached us, and keep silent about that which we have not been informed about.
An example of this is the saying of Malik (rahimahullah) when he was asked (about the verse), "The Most Beneficent Istawa (rose over) the Throne." [Soorah Ta-Ha (20): 5] How does Allah Istawa (rise over the throne)?
Imam Malik dropped his head due to the enormity of the question and in order to produce an appropriate reply until he was sweating. Then he raised his head and replied with his famous statement which is considered the scale of all the Attributes of Allah,
"Istiwa is not unknown,
its description is beyond our understanding,
belief in it is obligatory,
and questioning about it is an innovation."
So we say to every person who asks about the description of an Attribute of Allah, 'You are an innovator. Your job is to believe in that which has reached you and keep silent about that which you are not informed about .'