Monday, October 31, 2011

Removing the Doubts: The Impermissibility of calling Allaah by the names of other “gods”

بـسـم الله والحـمـد لله والـصلاة والـسـلام عــلى رسـول الله، وبـعـد

Referring to Allaah by the names of pagan and other “gods” like the Hindu “gods”: “Brahma” (Creator), “Vishnu” (Sustainer) or the Christian “god”: “Abb” (the loving Father) or as the pagan “god”:  “Thor” (the “god” of thunder) is not correct; and accordingly naming people as `Abdul-Brahma, `Abdul-Vishnu or `Abdul-Abb is not correct.

The names Brahma, Vishnu etc. are proper nouns, which have already been assigned to the pagan "gods".

Allowing the people to refer Allaah as “Brahma” only because “Brahma” means al-Khaaliq (the Creator) or “Vishnu” because it means al-Rabb (the Sustainer) is not a justified reasoning. Rather this type of reasoning is a gateway to other evils as it does not stop here. According to this “reasoning”, it becomes justifiable to refer Allaah as “Lakshmi” (the Hindu “goddess” of wealth and prosperity) because from the Names and Attributes of Allaah is “Al-Ghaniyy” (the All-Sufficient) and “Al-Mughni” (the One who enriches). And Allaah’s help is sought from this evil. And free is Allaah of what they attribute to Him.

It is a grave injustice when a person speaks about Allaah without knowledge, and attributes to Him سبحانه وتعال without any textual authority.

Allaah تعالى says:

﴿قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَالإِثْمَ وَالْبَغْىَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَأَن تُشْرِكُواْ بِاللَّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَـناً وَأَن تَقُولُواْ عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴾
{Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): “(But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al-Fawaahish (great evil sins and every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allaah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allaah of which you have no knowledge.”} [Surah al-A`raaf (7): 33]

Allaah تعالى also says:

﴿وَلاَ تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولـئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْؤُولاً ﴾
{And follow not (O man, i.e., say not or do not or witness not) that of which you have no knowledge. Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart of each of those ones will be questioned (by Allaah)} [Surah al-Israa’ (17): 36]

Rather it is following the footsteps of the Shaitaan as Allaah تعالى says:

﴿يـأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ كُلُواْ مِمَّا فِى الاٌّرْضِ حَلَـلاً طَيِّباً وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ خُطُوَتِ الشَّيْطَـنِ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ - إِنَّمَا يَأْمُرُكُم بِالسُّوء وَالْفَحْشَآء وَأَن تَقُولُواْ عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ﴾
{O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth, and follow not the footsteps of Shaitaan. Verily, he is to you an open enemy. He [Shaitaan] commands you only what is evil and Fahshaa (sinful), and that you should say against Allaah what you know not.} [Surah al-Baqarah (2): 168-169]

Even if they were to mean the names of Allaah in that particular language, the origin of it (of these names) indicate to the names of  other than Allaah in that particular language. Since the origin is that those names are used upon pagan “gods” then it is NOT permissible to use those names in referring to Allaah. Especially when these “gods” have been given human features and attributes.

The `Arabs in Jaahiliyyah, before the coming of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم they used to call their “gods” with names that were taken from the Names of Allaah like Al-Laat from al-Ilaah , Al-`Uzza from al-`Azeez and al-Manzat from al-Mannazn.  All of this is from Ilhad (deviation, injustice). Even though these names have been derived from the Names of Allaah, it is impermissible to call Allaah by them since they are used upon the “gods” and idols of the Mushrikeen.

Allaah تعالى says:

﴿أَفَرَءَيْتُمُ اللَّـتَ وَالْعُزَّى - وَمَنَوةَ الثَّالِثَةَ الاٍّخْرَى - أَلَكُمُ الذَّكَرُ وَلَهُ الاٍّنثَى - تِلْكَ إِذاً قِسْمَةٌ ضِيزَى - إِنْ هِىَ إِلاَّ أَسْمَآءٌ سَمَّيْتُمُوهَآ أَنتُمْ وَءَابَآؤُكُم مَّآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِن سُلْطَـنٍ إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلاَّ الظَّنَّ وَمَا تَهْوَى الاٌّنفُسُ وَلَقَدْ جَآءَهُم مِّن رَّبِّهِمُ الْهُدَى - أَمْ لِلإِنسَـنِ مَا تَمَنَّى ﴾
{Have you then considered Al-Laat, and Al-`Uzza. And Manaat, the other third. Is it for you the males and for Him the females. That indeed is a division most unfair! They are but names which you have named - you and your fathers - for which Allaah has sent down no authority. They follow but a guess and that which they themselves desire, whereas there has surely come to them the guidance from their Lord! Or shall man have what he wishes.} [Surah al-Najm (53): 19-24]


Imaam Ibn Katheer رحمه الله said in his Tafseer:

Allaah the Exalted rebukes the idolators for worshipping idols and taking rivals to Him. They built houses for their idols to resemble the Ka`bah built by Prophet Ibraaheem, Allaah's Khaleel.

﴿أَفَرَءَيْتُمُ اللَّـتَ﴾
{Have you then considered Al-Laat}

 Al-Laat was a white stone with inscriptions on. There was a house built around Al-Laat in At-Taa’if with curtains, servants and a sacred courtyard around it. The people of At-Taa’if, the tribe of Thaqeef and their allies, worshipped Al-Laat. They would boast to `Arabs, except the Quraysh, that they had Al-Laat.

Ibn Jareer said, “They derived Al-Laat’s name from Allaah's Name, and made it feminine. Allaah is far removed from what they ascribe to Him. It was reported that Al-Laat is pronounced Al-Laat because, according to `Abdullaah bin `Abbaas, Mujaahid, and Ar-Rabee` bin Anas, Al-Laat was a man who used to mix Sawiq (a kind of barley mash) with water for the pilgrims during the time of Jaahiliyyah. When he died, they remained next to his grave and worshipped him.”

Al-Bukhaaree (4860) recorded that Ibn `Abbaas said about Allaah’s statement,

﴿اللَّـتَ وَالْعُزَّى﴾
{Al-Laat, and Al-`Uzza}

“Al-Laat was a man who used to mix Saweeq for the pilgrims.”

Ibn Jareer said, “They also derived the name for their idol Al-`Uzza from Allaah's Name Al-`Azeez. Al-`Uzza was a tree on which the idolaters placed a monument and curtains, in the area of Nakhlah, between Makkah and At-Taa’if. The Quraysh revered Al-`Uzza.'' During the battle of Uhud, Abu Sufyaan said, “We have Al-`Uzza, but you do not have Al-`Uzza.”

Allaah's Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم replied:

«قُولُوا: اللهُ مَوْلَانَا وَلَا مَوْلَى لَكُم»
“Say: Allaah is Our Supporter, but you have no support.” [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (3039)]

Manaat was another idol in the area of Mushallal near Qudayd, between Makkah and Al-Madeenah. The tribes of Khuza`ah, Aws and Khazraj used to revere Manat during the time of Jaahiliyyah. They used to announce Hajj to the Ka`bah from next to Manaat.

Al-Bukhaaree collected a statement from `A'ishah with this meaning. “There were other idols in the Arabian Peninsula that the Arabs revered just as they revered the Ka`bah, besides the three idols that Allaah mentioned in His Glorious Book. Allaah mentioned these three here because they were more famous than the others.”

An-Nasa'i recorded that Abu At-Tufayl said, "When the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم conquered Makkah, he sent Khaalid bin Al-Waleed to the area of Nakhlah where the idol of Al-`Uzza was erected on three trees of a forest. Khalid cut the three trees and approached the house built around it and destroyed it. When he went back to the Prophet and informed him of the story, the Prophet said to him:

«ارْجِعْ فَإِنَّكَ لَمْ تَصْنَعْ شَيْئًا»
“Go back and finish your mission, for you have not finished it.”

Khalid went back and when the custodians who were also its servants of Al-`Uzza saw him, they started invoking by calling Al-`Uzza! When Khalid approached it, he found a naked woman whose hair was untidy and who was throwing sand on her head. Khalid killed her with the sword and went back to the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم, who said to him:

«تِلْكَ الْعُزَّى»
“That was Al-`Uzza!”

Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated, “Al-Laat belonged to the tribe of Thaqif in the area of At-Taa’if. Banu Mu`attib were the custodians of Al-Laat and its servants.” I say that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم sent Al-Mughirah bin Shu`bah and Abu Sufyan Sakhr bin Harb to destroy Al-Laat. They carried out the Prophet's صلى الله عليه وسلم command and built a Masjid in its place in the city of At-Taa’if. Muhammad bin Ishaq said that Manaat used to be the idol of the Aws and Khazraj tribes and those who followed their religion in Yathrib (Al-Madeenah). Manaat was near the coast, close to the area of Mushallal in Qudayd. The Prophet sent Abu Sufyan Sakhr bin Harb or `Ali bin Abi Talib to demolish it.
--end of quote if Ibn Katheer


Shaikh Saaleh al-Fawzaan حفظه الله said:

From the methodology of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah regarding the Names and Attributes of Allaah is:

“They do not go beyond that which been reported in the Book and the Sunnah regarding the affirmation of the Names and Attributes of Allaah. They affirm that which Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم have affirmed and they negate which Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم have negated. They remain silent about that which Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم have not spoken about.”
--end of quote


Shaikh Muhammad ibn Saaleh al-`Uthaymeen رحمه الله in “Sharh Lum`atul-`Itiqaad” said:

“The Names of Allaah are not affirmed by the intellect - they can only be affirmed by Revelation. The Names of Allaah are based upon Revelation and as such, their affirmation is dependent upon what is reported in the revealed texts concerning them. Therefore, nothing can be added to them nor subtracted. This is because the intellect is not able to itself ascertain which names Allaah is most deserving of. So it is obligatory to depend upon the revealed texts for determining that. Also, naming Allaah with that which He did not name Himself or rejecting what He did name Himself with, is a crime against Him and a perpetration of His right. Thus, abiding by the proper etiquettes with regard to that is obligatory.”
--end of quote


Shaikh Muhammad ibn Saaleh al-`Uthaymeen رحمه الله further said in “Al Qawaa'idul-Muthlaa”:

Allaah's Names are tawqeefiyyah (meaning a kind of knowledge that is restricted to textual evidence); there is no place for intellectual free-thinking regarding them. Based upon this, we must suffice ourselves with what is found in the Book and the Sunnah, without adding or taking anything away. This is because the intellect will not be able to grasp the understanding of Allaah's Names that He rightfully deserves, so then we must suffice ourselves with textual evidences only.

This is due to Allaah's statement:

﴿وَلاَ تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولـئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْؤُولاً ﴾
{And follow not (O man, i.e., say not or do not or witness not) that of which you have no knowledge. Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart of each of those ones will be questioned (by Allaah)} [Surah al-Israa’ (17): 36]

And He تعالى also has said:

﴿قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَالإِثْمَ وَالْبَغْىَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَأَن تُشْرِكُواْ بِاللَّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَـناً وَأَن تَقُولُواْ عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴾
{Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): “(But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al-Fawaahish (great evil sins and every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allaah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allaah of which you have no knowledge.”} [Surah al-A`raaf (7): 33]

Furthermore, to ascribe a name to Allaah the Exalted that He did not ascribe to His own Self, or to deny something He has named Himself, would be a serious crime against Him. So one must behave in the appropriate manner in this affair and stick to what is found in established textual evidences only.
--end of quote


Shaikh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله in “Majmoo` al-Fataawa” (5/26) said:

“The Sifaat (Attributes) of Allaah - the Mighty and Majestic - are tawqeefiyyah (i.e. only to be spoken of in accordance with a text). Thus, nothing is affirmed for Allaah, except that which Allaah affirmed for Himself, or was affirmed for Him by His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم. Likewise, nothing is denied for Allaah - the Mighty and Majestic - except that which He denied for Himself, or was denied for Him by His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم.  This is because no one knows better about Allaah, than Allaah – the Most High Himself, and there is no one of the creation who knows better about the Creator than Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم.”
--end of quote


Forbiddance of naming someone as `Abd so-and-so (in relating to other than Allaah):

It is forbidden to use any name which implies enslavement to anything besides Allaah تعالى such as `Abd al-`Uzza (slave of al-`Uzza – a pagan goddess), `Abd al-Ka`bah (slave of the Ka`bah), `Abd al-Daar (slave of the House), `Abd `Ali (slave of `Ali), `Abd al-Husain (slave of Husain), etc.

It was stated in Haashiyat Ibn `Aabideen that one should not be called `Abd foolaan (slave of so-and-so).

It says in Kashshaaf al-Qinaa`: “They (the scholars) agreed that every name which implies enslavement to anything other than Allaah is forbidden, such as `Abd al-`Uzza, `Abd `Amr, `Abd `Ali, `Abd al-Ka`bah, and any other similar names, such as `Abd al-Nabi (slave of the Prophet), `Abd al-Husain, `Abd al-Maseeh (slave of the Messiah).” (Haashiyat Ibn ‘Aabideen, 5/268; Mughni al-Muhtaaj, 4/295; Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj, 10/373; Kashshaaf al-Qinaa`, 3/27; Tuhfat al-Mawdood, p. 90).

The evidence that it is forbidden to use any name which implies enslavement to anything other than Allaah may be seen in the report On the authority of Shurayh bin Haanee that Haanee ibn Yazeed related that when he came to the Prophetصلى الله عليه وسلم with his people, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم heard them using the kunya Abul-Hakam. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم called him and said, Allaah is the Judge (al-Hakam) and He has the judgment. Why have you been given the kunya Abul-Hakam?” He said, "When my people disagree about something, they bring it to me and I judge between them so that both parties are content." “How excellent this!” the Prophet exclaimed. Then he asked, "Do you have any children?" Hani' replied, "I have Shurayh, 'Abdullaah and Muslim, the Banu Hani'.' He asked, "Which of them is the oldest?" "Shurayh," he replied. He said, "You are Abu Shurayh", and he made supplication for him and his children. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم then heard them call a man among them `Abdul-Hajar (slave of the stone). The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم asked, "What is your name?" "`Abdu'l-Hajar," he replied. "No", he said, “your name is 'Abdullaah.” Shurayh said, "When Haanee was ready to return to his land, he came to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, "Tell me something that will make the Garden certain for me." He صلى الله عليه وسلم said, "You must speak good and give food." [Adab al-Mufrad (811), and authenticated by Shaikh al-Albaanee. Shaikh Muqbil graded it “Hasan” in “Saheeh al-Musnad” (1197)]

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