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Gathering thoughts ...







Can we attribute an ear to Allah?

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Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Then he [i.e., al-Bayhaqi] mentioned another report to support the hadith of Abu Hurayrah, namely the hadith of ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir: I heard the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) saying on the minbar: “Verily our Lord is All-Hearing, All-Seeing,” and he pointed to his eyes. Its isnaad is hasan. End quote from Fath al-Baari (13/373). It was also narrated by ad-Daarimi in an-Naqd ‘ala Bishr al-Muraysi (1/318); the wording is: He put his forefingers on his eyes and his thumbs on his ears. My question is: Does this indicate that Allah has two ears as we affirm that He has two eyes?

Praise be to Allah.

Firstly:

The basic principle of Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah in affirming the divine attributes is that they affirm for Allah, may He be exalted, what He affirmed for Himself, or His Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) affirmed for Him, without resorting to an interpretation that differs from the apparent meaning, without denying the divine attributes, without asking how they are, and without likening these attributes to any of Allah’s creation.

To sum up: the attributes of Allah, may He be exalted, are tawqeefi (something which is based on revelation [and not open to ijtihaad]), and there is no room for reason in this regard. So we do not affirm for Allah, may He be exalted, any attributes except those that are affirmed in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Allah cannot be described except in the terms in which He described Himself or His Messenger described Him, and that cannot go beyond what is mentioned in the Qur’an and hadith. End quote from al-Fatwa al-Hamawiyyah (p. 271).

For more information, please see the answers to questions no. 155206 and 158831.

Secondly:

This attribute, the “ear”, cannot be affirmed unless there is a religious text [Qur’an or sound hadith] to support that, and we have no report that affirms it, so we must refrain, and it is not permissible to affirm this attribute for Allah, may He be exalted.

Shaykh al-Barraak says: With regard to that for which there is nothing at all to deny it or affirm it, whether that be on the basis of a religious text [Qur’an or sound hadith] or an implied meaning or what is necessarily understood, we should refrain from discussing the matter.

One example of that is the ear, with regard to Allah, may He be exalted. This is one of the matters concerning which we must refrain from discussion and neither deny or affirm it, because we have nothing to confirm it, either on the basis of a religious text [Qur’an or sound hadith] or an implied meaning or what is necessarily understood.

End quote from at-Ta‘leeq ‘ala al-Qawaa‘id al-Muthla (96).

For more information, please see the answer to question no. 151794.

And Allah knows best.

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