In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Ever-Merciful…
In a recent Friday sermon, the controversial American preacher, Yusuf Estes, explains his understanding of Allah’s Ascension, that He “positioned” himself over the Throne, explaining the word “istawaa”, similar to how Muslims line up and position themselves for congregational prayer. This latest personal deduction about one of Allah’s Actions comes as an explanation (tafseer) of the Quranic Verse:
هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى العَرْشِ
“He is the One who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and then He ascended above the Throne” [57:4]
The following are the exact words of Yusuf Estes explaining this Quranic Verse:
He is the One who created the heavens and the earth in six periods of time, six eras of time. We translate that as six days, because the word “ayowm” (mispronounced) is the plural of “yowm”, but it’s six periods of time.
“Thumma” – it means: then.
“Istawaa” – positioned, like when we say: “stow” (mispronounced, meaning: straighten your line) for the salaat (prayer), you position yourself.
“Alaa ‘Arsh” (mispronounced) – over His Throne.
Source: A Friday sermon given at Masjid Attawheed in Carnegie, Pennsylvania (USA), on January 18, 2013, as found at precisely 1:55 of this Youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSAJ7–FJw0&t=1m55s
This is yet another example from Yusuf Estes of how a Muslim must never speak about Allah. Muslims must describe Allah only with what He has described Himself, without ever comparing His most lofty and perfect Attributes and Actions with that of His deficient creation.
The scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah are united with complete consensus that Allah truly ascended above His Throne in a manner befitting His Majesty, not resembling His creation in any way. Furthermore, they censured and refuted anyone who would dare explain this Ascension or any other Action of Allah’s in a way similar to the actions of created beings, or expain it with details not provided by Allah or His Messenger (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace). They considered such people as “Mushab-bihah“, and considered them disbelievers who have rejected Islam, since Allah says:
فَلَا تَضْرِبُواْ للهِ الأَمْثَالَ إِنَّ اللهَ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
( So do not put forth similitudes for Allah! Verily, Allah knows, and you know not! ) (1)
And He says about Himself:
لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ
( There is nothing like Him, while He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing ) (2)
Suprisingly, in this very Friday sermon quoted above, Yusuf Estes uttered these despicable words of tash-beeh after quoting the above Verse!!
Nu’aym ibn Hammaad, one of al-Bukhari’s teachers (may Allah have Mercy on both of them), said:
مَنْ شَبَّهَ اللهَ بِشَيْءٍ مِنْ خَلْقِهِ فَقَدْ كَفَرَ
“Whoever likens Allah to anything in His Creation has disbelieved.” (3)
And the great early scholar, Ishaq ibn Rahawayh, (may Allah have Mercy on him) said:
مَنْ وَصَفَ اللهَ فَشَبَّهَ صِفَاتِهِ بِصِفَاتِ أَحَدٍ مِنْ خَلْقِ اللهِ فَهُوَ كَافِرٌ بِاللهِ العَظِيمِ
“Whoever describes Allah by likening His Attributes to the attributes of any of the Creation of Allah is a disbeliever in Allah, the Great.” (4)
Ibn Abil-‘Izz al-Hanafi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
اتَّفَقَ أَهْلُ السُّنَّةِ عَلَى أَنَّ اللهَ لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ، لَا فِي ذَاتِهِ، وَلَا فِي صِفَاتِهِ، وَلَا فِي أَفْعَالِهِ… فَمَنْ جَعَلَ صِفَاتِ الخَالِقِ مِثْلَ صِفَاتِ المَخْلُوقِ فَهُوَ الْمُشَبِّهُ الْمُبْطِلُ الْمَذْمُومُ!
“Ahlus-Sunnah are united upon the fact that there is nothing like Allah, not regarding His Actual Presence, nor regarding His Attributes or Actions… Whoever likens the Attributes of the Creator to the attributes of the creation is a Mushab-bih (someone who makes tash-beeh), a blameworthy person of falsehood.” (5)
Please raise awareness about these ongoing horrific violations of basic Muslim creed, continually spread by Yusuf Estes and the organizations that carelessly promote him and his deviant teachings, by reading and recommending the following informative publication:
Yusuf Estes and the Quran (PDF)
(2) Soorah ash-Shooraa (42:11) and a translation of its meaning
(3) Collected by al-Laalakaa’ee in Sharh Usool Ali’tiqaad (no. 936, 3/587).
(4) Collected by al-Laalakaa’ee in Sharh Usool Ali’tiqaad (no. 937, 3/588).
(5) Sharh al-‘Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah (pp.52-53 of the Ahmad Shaakir printing)