Posted by: faqir | October 10, 2010

Al-Hafiz Al-Bayhaqi on Al-Yad

Imam al-Bayhaqi said:

قال البيهقي ذهب بعض أهل النظر إلى أن اليد صفة ليست جارحة وكل موضع جاء ذكرها في الكتاب أو السنة الصحيحة فالمراد تعلقها بالكائن المذكور معها كالطي والأخذ والقبض والبسط والقبول والشح والانفاق وغير ذلك تعلق الصفة بمقتضاها من غير مماسة وليس في ذلك تشبيه بحال وذهب آخرون إلى تأويل ذلك بما يليق به انتهى

Some of the theologians were of the view that ‘yad’ is an attribute that is not a limb, and that in every place in the Book and the authentic Sunna where it is mentioned, what is meant is its linkage [ta’alluq] with the thing mentioned along with it, such as ‘folding up’, ‘taking’, ‘grasping’, ‘outstretching’, ‘accepting’, ‘avarice’, and spending, and other examples. All of these are [examples of] the linkage of the attribute to that which it entails, without any spatial contact; and in no way does this contain any resemblance [tashbih]. And yet others were of the view that this should be given a figurative interpretation in a manner that befits Him.

[Source: Fath al-Bari (13/396), Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani]



  1. Correct me if I’m wrong, is not the first statement similar to the answer of Abdullah ibn Mubarak (rahimahullah), when he was questioned by Ibn Shaqiq, ‘How do we know our Lord?’
    And he (Abdullah ibn Mubarak) replied, ‘By (knowing) that He is above the 7th Heaven over the throne, and that He is separate from His creation.’

    The reason I assume similarity is because mentioning that Allah (‘azza wa jal) is Above and separate from His creation clearly demonstrates an attribute of Aboveness which is completely non-comprehendible by man. Similarly, is not mentioning Allah (‘azza wa jal) being attributed with a Hand which is not a Limb, and which is attributed with actions such as spreading, grasping, seizing, etc. all indicative of an attribute of a Hand which, again, is completely non-comprehendible by man.

    Thus, Imam al-Bayhaqi’s statement would in fact serve as evidence against the Ash’aris and not one for them

  2. Al-Hafiz al-Bayhaqi is well known to be an ‘Ash’ari’ so quite how you can come to the above erroneous conclusion is beyond me! I would also like to remind you that a certain sect who label themselves incorrectly as ‘salafis’ would not even agree with the very first line quoted above relating to his negating a limb for Allah! And finally, the statement of Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak has also been discussed by Imam al-Bayhaqi and can be read elsewhere eg.

  3. […] Him. [Source: Fath al-Bari (13/396), Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani] _________________________ Source: Al-Hafiz Al-Bayhaqi on Al-Yad | The Ash'aris (The first option is that which many Mutaqaddimun of the Asha'irah took.) Ibn Taymiyyah himself […]

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