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The Tafwid of Malik & Dhahabi

Imam Malik's View on Narrating Some Ahadith on The Sifat


Assalamu alaikum

Those of you who are familiar with the fitna of the claimants to the Salaf these days, will no
doubt have realised that they alone claim to be the Saved Sect in Islam with the most
profound understanding of all affairs connected to the Aqeeda of the Salafus-Salihin;
especially when it is related to Tawheed and the Attributes of Allah (Sifat).
One interesting quote I read attributed to Imam Malik (ra) shows how the Imam of Dar alHijra dealt with narrating these types of Ahadith; and this should be a warning to the
untrained, self-styled People of Hadith today, who make it their mission in life to furnish
their own "understandings" of these types of narrations from the Kitab and Sunna. This is a
delicate issue which the likes of Imam Malik were fully aware of, like on the issue of Istiwa
and the innovator who came to ask him about it.
Anyway, read on and take heed of the circumspection of some of the Imams of the Salaf:
Imam Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani al-Maliki (b. 310 d. 386 AH) mentioned in his Kitab alJami, translated into English by Abdas Samad Clarke under the title: A Madinan View on
the Sunnah, courtesy, wisdom, battles and history (Taha publishers, London, 1999, p. 30):
Narration of certain Ahadith

Someone said, What about one who narrates the hadith, Allah created Adam on
his form, and that Allah will unveil His shank on the Day of Resurrection, and
that He will put His hand into Jahannam and bring out whomever He wills out of
it, and He (Malik) rejected them strenuously, and forbade anyone to narrate them.
Someone said, Ibn Ijlan has narrated it. He said, He was not one of the people of
fiqh. Malik did not reject the hadith of descent nor the hadith of laughter.
Someone said, What about the hadith that the Throne shook because of the death
of Sad? He said, It should not be narrated, and what call has a man to narrate
that when he sees what danger it contains?
This quote is very similar to what Imam al-Dhahabi mentioned in his Siyar a'lan an-Nubala,
and note the words highlighted regarding Tafweed of the Ma'na in al-Dhahabi's own words:



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Now, if the meanings to all the Ahadith speaking on the Sifat of Allah were known to the
pious Salaf - why then did Imam Malik take such a stern position? This adds to the strength
that Tafweed is not just of the Kayf but also of the Ma'na, and this is why some of the Salaf
are on record as saying such narrations are accepted as they were narrated and without
delving into the Tafsir of them without some form of explicit dalil. The answer is in the
Kalam of al-Dhahabi above as well.
Wassalam
Abul Hasan