sharh kitab at tawhid

“There is none amongst you except that his Rabb will speak to him…” – Sharh Kitab At-Tawhid min Sahih Al-Bukhari [Shaykh Ibn Al-‘Uthaymin]

Abu Sinan
Checked & Revised
Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari

Hadith No. 7443

Al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Yusuf bin Musa narrated to me: Abu Usamah narrated to me from Al-A’mash, from Khaythamah, from ‘Adiy bin Hatim who said: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,

“There is none amongst you except that his Rabb will speak to him, there will be no interpreter between them nor a veil to veil Him.” 

Explanation of Shaykh Ibn Al-‘Uthaymin (may Allah have mercy on him)

And in this Hadith is a refutation of those that speak with ‘Al-Kalam An-Nafsi’¹, and its meaning is that Allah will introduce speech (yuhdithu al-qawl) in that Hour, He speaks to the one who is alone with him in that Hour, and those that speak with ‘Al-Kalam An-Nafsi’ (i.e., the Asha’irah) say: “Al-Kalam An-Nafsi is eternal, however, Allah creates sounds when He wishes for someone to hear, and it is an expression from Al-Kalam An-Nafsi.”

And on account of this, some of the intelligent said: The Madhab of the Asha’irah regarding the Speech [of Allah] is the Madhab of the Jahmiyyah, rather it is even worse! For verily they say that which is heard [in recitation] and that which is written in the Masahif is created, and it is [nothing more than] an expression from the [true] Speech of Allah, and as for the Speech of Allah then it is that which is in His Self, it is not heard and He does not speak when He wishes.

As for the Jahmiyyah, then they said, “That which is heard is the Speech of Allah in reality, however it is created.” So who is closer to that which is correct? The Jahmiyyah, and this is the reason they said, ‘The speech of the Asha’irah regarding the Speech [of Allah] is worse than the speech of the Jahmiyyah.”

As for the reality of the matter, then there is no difference between them and the Jahmiyyah, for verily they are in agreement that what was heard by Muhammad ﷺ, and what was heard by Musa (Peace be upon him), and what will be heard in the future is all created. But the Asha’irah say that is an ‘Ibarah (Expression)² from Al-Kalam An-Nafsi, and these people say: “No! Rather it (the Speech of Allah) is a creation that He created, He created sounds which are heard, and He attributed them to His Self as a way of honouring and venerating.” – So this Hadith clearly refutes those that claim that the Speech of Allah is [just] the Meaning established eternally within His Self, and they have narrated that the Speech [of Allah] is like [His] Knowledge or [His] Will.

(Shaykh Ibn Al-‘Uthaymin, Sharh Kitab At-Tawhid min Sahih Al-Bukhari p. 437, 438,
Dar Al-Kalim At-Tayyib, 1st Edn.)

Translators Notes:

¹ ‘Al-Kalam An-Nafsi:’ The Asha’irah reject that Allah has volitional actions (actions tied to His will), and this led to their belief in ‘Al-Kalam An-Nafsi’, the corrupt belief that Allah does not speak, rather the ‘Speech (Kalam)’ is merely a single indivisible meaning which is established in His Essence – as for the Qur’an that we have with us which is written in the Mushaf and memorised by all Muslims, then it is created and merely an ‘Expression (‘Ibarah)’ of the Meaning which subsists within the Essence of Allah. Some went as far as claiming the Qur’an we have with us is the speech of Jibreel (Peace be upon him), rather than the Speech of Allah! Shaykh Ibn Al-‘Uthaymin said, “The Ash’ariyyah say: What is in the Mushaf is not the Speech of Allah, rather it is an ‘Ibarah (Expression) from Him […] and these letters which are in the Qur’an, and the sounds which the Messenger heard, or Jibreel heard, verily it is created.” (Sharh Fath Al-Bariyyah bi-Talkhis Al-Hamawiyyah p. 314)

The Madhab of Ahlus-Sunnah regarding the Speech of Allah: 

  1. Imam Abu ‘Uthman As-Sabuni said, “And the Ahlul-Hadith testify and believe that the Qur’an is the Speech of Allah and His Book, and His Revelation, and that which He revealed is uncreated, and whoever speaks with its creation (i.e., that the Qur’an is created) and believes in it is a Kafir according to them.” (Aqidatu’s Salaf wa Ashabu’l Hadith p. 165, Dar Al-‘Asimah)
  2. Imam Muhammad bin Isma’il Al-Bukhari said, “I met more than 1000 men from the People of Knowledge: [From] the People of Hijaz, and Makkah, and Madinah, and Kufa, and Basrah, and Wasit, and Baghdad, and Sham (Levantine Region), and Misr (Egypt) […] and I did not see one of them differ on these matters: […] and that the Qur’an is the Speech of Allah, uncreated…” (Sharh Usul Al-I’tiqad of Imam Al-Lalaka’i 1/273-274, Dar Al-Lu’lua)
  3. Abu Zur’ah and Abu Hatim Ar-Raziyayn said, “We reached the scholars of all the cities, in Hijaz, ‘Iraq, Sham, Yemen, and from their Madhab was: Al-‘Iman is speech and action, it increases and it decreases, and the Qur’an is the Speech of Allah, uncreated from all aspects […] and whoever claims that the Qur’an is created then he is a disbeliever in Allah Al-‘Adhim, with a disbelief that removes him from the Religion, and whoever doubts his disbelief – from those that understand [this issue] – then he is [also] a disbeliever…” (Sharh Usul Al-I’tiqad of Imam Al-Lalaka’i 1/278-282, Dar Al-Lu’lua)
  4. Ibn Battah narrated from Imam Ahmad who said, “And whoever says that verily Allah will not be seen in the Hereafter, then he is a Jahmi who has surely disbelieved” and “They will look at their Rabb, and He will look at them, and they will speak to Him, and He will speak to them, However He wills, Whenever He wills.” (Al-Ibanah ‘an Shari’atu’l Firqatu’n Najiyah #47-48, Dar Al-Rayah)
  5. Imam Harb Al-Kirmani, companion of Imam Ahmad and Ishaq bin Rahuyah, transmitted consensus on this issue saying, “And the Qur’an is the Speech of Allah by which He speaks, uncreated, so whoever claims that the Qur’an is created then he is a Jahmi Kafir.” (Ijma As-Salaf fi’l-I’tiqad p. 64, Dar Al-Imam Ahmad)
  6. Shaykh Ibn Al-‘Uthaymin said, “Ahlus-Sunnah w’al-Jama’ah have agreed upon that Allah speaks, and His Speech is an Attribute in truth, established for Him in a manner which is befitting for Him. And He, Exalted is He, speaks with letters and sounds, however He wills, whenever He wills, and His Speech is an attribute of His Essence (Sifat Dhatiyyah) in terms of genus, and it is an attribute of action (Sifat Fi’liyyah) in terms of occurrences.” He commented on his own speech, explaining, “This is because it is connected to His Will, and every attribute connected to His Will is an attribute of action, and Speech in its essence is an attribute of the Essence, for verily Allah has not ceased and does not cease to be One that Speaks.” (Sharh Fath Al-Bariyyah bi-Talkhis Al-Hamawiyyah p. 303, 304) 

² Shaykh ‘Abdul-Qadir Al-Jilani said, “So whoever claims that it (the Qur’an) is created, or an ‘Ibarah, or that the recitation is other than what is recited, or he says: ‘My articulation of the Qur’an is created’, then he is a disbeliever in Allah Almighty, he is not to be mingled with, or fed, or married, or neighboured…” (Al-Ghunya li-Talibi 1/128, Dar Al-Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyyah)

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