Q: What is the Shariah-stance according to the ahanaaf regarding the salafi belief of Almighty Allah and the Arsh (Throne)?
A. Salafi is the name of a group who emerged during the last century. This group does not follow one particular math-hab but will take from each math-hab whatever appeals to them. The name Salafi comes from the word Salaf which means pious predecessors and refers to the great Imams of former times during the period after the Sahaaba, such as Imam Maalik, Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Ahmed bin Hambal, etc.
They believe that it is not necessary to follow one particular math-hab, and that one should follow the math-hab that has the strongest daleel or proof. Another aspect of the Salafi sect is their interpretation of certain Special Attributes of Allah Ta’aala. For example, they will interpret the Hand or Face of Allah in a literal way but without attributing to Him the physical qualities of the creation. Likewise, they believe that Allah Ta’aala is on His Arsh (Throne) in a literal sense but without the physical location and place that are attributes of creation. Salafis do not accept that these Attributes of Allah can be interpreted in a metaphorical or figurative way. This is the major difference between us and them. We believe these Attributes of Allah cannot be applied in a literal sense and that only Allah knows its meaning, as former Scholars have stated, or that it is permissible to describe these Attributes in a figurative way that ordinary Muslims can easily understand but without taking away the essence and main application of such Attributes. This is a view taken by latter Scholars and is a valid position. Some Salafis strictly condemn taqleed or following of math-habs.
These views of the Salafi are incorrect and baseless, and in various publications we have refuted and answered their beliefs. It is essential to read our writings in order to fully understand the falsity of Salafi views. If you would like to read these publications, write to us providing a postal address. We will post them to you free of charge.
Mufti Siraj Desai