Shaykh ibn Uthaymin

“And your Lord comes with the angels in rows.” The phrase, “your Lord comes”, means that it is Allah who will come on that Day. This is because the verb is attributed to Allah, and anytime a verb is attributed to Allah, then it means that the one performing that action is Allah and not someone or something else. This is a simple grammatical rule of the language. It also leads to an important principle concerning the understanding of Allah’s names and attributes and that is that whenever Allah mentions a thing and associates it to Himself, then it is He alone who is the doer of that action or it is He alone who is to be described with the attribute, and is not to be attributed to anyone or anything else.

Thus, based on this principle, it is Allah who will Himself come on that Day. This verse should not be understood to mean that it the command of Allah that will come on that Day, as some of the people who twist and distort verses claim, which is a baseless example of changing the apparent meaning of a text to something else without evidence for it. It is from our creed and belief to always accept and understand the words of Allah and those of His Messenger upon their apparent meaning, and not to twist or distort them to some other hidden meaning. Thus, we believe that Allah will Himself come on the Day of Judgement, but how will Allah come on that Day? This is something concerning which we have no knowledge, and so we do not know how He will come. Asking about how Allah does something is an innovation, as stated by Imām Mālik, when he was asked concerning the verse, “The Most Merciful established Himself on the Throne.” (Q, 20:5) He bowed his head and began to sweat, due to the gravity of the question posed to him. This was clearly an example of excessive questioning, and arrogant question, a religious innovation with a mischievous intent. Imām Mālik raised his head and said, “Establishing is something that is known. How it is done is something that is not known. Believing in it is obligatory, and asking about it is an innovation.” The pertinent part here is his statement, “asking about it is an innovation,” and this applies to all of Allah’s attributes and actions. For example, the verse pertaining to the creation of Adam in which Allah says, “To that which I created with My Hand,” (Q, 38:75) if someone was to ask: How did Allah create with His Hand? We would respond that such a question is an innovation.

If the questioner claims that he is only seeking further knowledge of that so that none of the attributes of his Lord are hidden from him, then we would ask him if he is eager to gain more knowledge than the Messenger’s Companions? He will either answer yes or no, the latter being the expected answer. He would then be asked: Is the one you are asking more knowledge about Allah’s attributes and action than the Messenger? The answer would be that the Messenger is more knowledgeable. Thus, the Companions were more eager in obtaining knowledge and the Messenger was more knowledgeable than the one being asked, yet they still did not ask such a question of the Messenger. This is because they behaved with the utmost respect and best manners when it came to Allah. The Companions believed with their hearts, and perhaps uttered with their tongues that Allah is greater and more honorable than what our minds and intellects can comprehend about His actions and attributes. Allah says, “They do not comprehend it with knowledge.” (Q, 20:110) He also says, “No vision can perceive Him, but He can perceive all vision.” (Q, 6:103)

Therefore, a person must have respect and good manners toward Allah. It should not be asked how Allah created Adam with His Hand, since the question itself is something that introduces something baseless and unnecessary into our religion. This pertains to all of Allah’s attributes. If someone asks: How is Allah’s Eye? We say that this is an innovation. If someone asks: How does He have a hand? We say that this is an innovation. This person needs to have good thoughts about Allah and not ask how his characteristics are. Thus, if someone asks concerning the verse, “and your Lord comes”, how will he come? We explain to them that such questioning is erroneous and unacceptable in our religion, and this is a fundamental rule in our belief and anyone who insists on asking such questions is an innovator who has gone into excessive questioning, and is asking about matters that he will never be able to comprehend.

Our belief concerning the verse, “and your Lord comes”, and other similar verses [that speak about Allah’s attributes] is that we simply believe in them and do not ask how it will be done. It is Allah alone who has knowledge of this. The evidence for our belief is the following verse, “There is nothing like Him. He is the All Hearing, the All Seeing.” (Q, 42:11) Thus, we are aware of what Allah is not like and are not aware of what He is like. Meaning, we are aware with certainty that Allah will not come [on that Day] like a person comes to a place, but we do not know nor do we try to understand how He will come. This is the correct belief and the position that is incumbent upon all of us.

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