Q1: "Tell me, may Allah make me your ransom, about the words of Allah to Mūsā (Moses)."
Ans. 1: "Allah knows better with which language He spoke to him, in Assyrian or in Hebrew."
Abū Qurra took out his tongue and said: "I am asking you about this tongue. The meaning of that: Did He speak to him with a tongue like that of man?"
The Imām disproved Abū Qurrā's vague error, saying: "Glory belongs to Allah! He is free from the things you are ascribing to Him! I seek refuge in Allah! He is not like His creatures nor does He speak in the same manner in which they speak. However, there is nothing like Him, the Blessed and Exalted; nor there are speakers and doers like him."
"How is that?" asked Abū Qurra.
He, peace be on him, said: "The speech of the Creator to the creature is not like the speech of a creature to a creature. He (Allah) does not speak through the opening of a mouth and a tongue. However, He says (to the thing): "Be." The command and prohibition through which He addressed Mūsā was with His will without any hesitation in (His) heart."
The speech of Allah, the Exalted, is not through the organ (i.e. the tongue) just as the speech of man, for it is impossible for Him to speak with tongue. There is nothing like him.
Q2: "What is your view of the Books?"
Ans. 2: "The Torah, the Bible, the Zabūr (David's Psalms), the Qur'ān, and all the revealed Books are the words of Allah. He sent them down to men as light and guidance. All of them are originated and are other than Allah, Who says: Or that He may produce a reminder for them. And He says: There comes not to them a new reminder from their Lord but they hear it while they sport. Allah originated all the Books which He sent down."
Q3: "Will the Books perish?"
Ans. 3: "The Muslims have unanimously agreed that all things except Allah will perish. (Everything) other than Allah is the action of Allah. As for the Torah, the Bible, the Zabūr (David's Psalms), the Qur'ān, are the action of Allah. Do you not hear that the people say: 'The Lord of the Qur'ān,' that the Qur'ān will say on the Day of Resurrection: 'My Lord, I made so-and-so thirst by day and sleepless by night, so accept my intercession for him.' As for the Torah, the Bible, and the Zabūr, they are also created and have Lord. They were originated by Him whom nothing resembles. They are guidance for those who have minds. As a result, he who claims that they are as eternal as He is, then he manifests: Allah is not the first, not eternal, not one, speech as eternal as He is and has no beginning, and He is not Allah."
Q4: "We have been told that all the Books will come on the Day of Resurrection while men are on one level standing for the Lord of the worlds and looking until they (the Books) return into Him, for they are part of Him and He is part of Him; therefore, the come to Him?"
Ans. 4: "In this manner the Christians said that al-Masih (i.e. Jesus Christ) was the Spirit of Allah, part of Him, and would return into him. In this manner the Magians said that the fire and the sun were part of Him and would return into him. Exalted is our Lord above that He is parted and different. It is the parted which is different and harmonious. That is because every parted thing is imagined. As for plenty and smallness, they are created and demonstrate the creation of their Creator."
Q5: "We have been told that Allah divided ocular vision and (His) speech between two prophets. He gave His speech to Mūsā, and His vision to Mohammed, may Allah bless him and his family?"
Ans. 5: "Who brought the message from Allah to the thaqalayn (i.e. the jinn and men): the eyes attain Him not; they comprehend Him not in knowledge; there is nothing like Him? Wasn't Mohammed, may Allah bless him and his family, (who brought these beliefs?"
"Yes," was the answer.
The Imām, peace be on him, made clear the matter to him and explained to him what was vague, saying: "How does a man come to all creatures and tells them that he has come from Allah, that he summons them to Allah through Allah's command and says: 'The eyes attain Him not; they comprehend Him not in knowledge; and there is nothing like Him.' And in spite of all that, he should still claim, 'I have seen Allah with my own eye; I have comprehended Him in my knowledge; and Allah has the form of a man?' Do you not feel any shame? Even the unbelievers could not charge the Prophet with first bringing one thing from Allah and then, in a different way, announcing some other thing quite contrary to the first."
Q6: "He (Allah) says: And indeed he (the Prophet) saw Him in another descent?"
Ans. 6: "After this verse there is another verse which demonstrates what the Prophet had seen, and in which Allah says: His heart does not lie of what he saw. Allah says that the heart of Mohammed, may Allah bless him and his family, did not belie of what his eyes did see. He says: Indeed he (the Prophet) saw one of the greatest signs of his Lord. Therefore the signs of Allah are other than Allah. He says: They do not comprehend Him in knowledge. Now, if eyes could see Allah, then people could comprehend Him in knowledge."
Q7: "Do you deny the traditions?"
Ans. 7: "When the traditions are contrary to the Qur'ān, I deny them. (Besides) all Muslims unanimously believe that Allah cannot be comprehend by knowledge, that the eyes do not attain Him, and that there is nothing like Him."
The Imām, peace be on him, appointed a measure for the correctness and incorrectness of the traditions. The measure is that if the tradition agrees with the Qur'ān (in meaning), then it is correct; otherwise it is incorrect.
Q8: "What is the meaning of these words of Him, the Exalted? Glory belongs to Him Who made His servant go on a night from the Sacred Mosque to the remote mosque of which We have blessed the precincts."
Ans. 8: "Allah, the Exalted, told that He made him go, and then He (i.e. Allah) told (us) why He made him go ¾namely Allah told (us) about the reason for this travel by night, saying: So that We may show to him some of Our signs. Therefore, the signs of Allah are other than Allah. Allah has shown the reason and explained why He did that toward him and what he (the Prophet) did see. And He said: Then in what announcement would they believe after Allah and His communications?"
Q8: "Where is Allah?"
Ans. 8: "The 'where' is a place. This is the question of one who is present about one who is absent. As for Allah, the Most High, is not absent; nor was there an eternal thing before Him. He is everywhere. He is Director, Creator, Keeper, the Holder of the heavens and the earth."
Q9: "Is Allah not on the heaven, not on other than it?"
Ans. 9: "Allah is in the heavens and in earth. And it is He Who in heaven is Allah and in earth is Allah.It is He Who shapes you in the wombs as He likes. He is with you wherever you are. It is He Who directed Himself to the heaven, and it was a vapor. It is He Who directed Himself to the heaven, so He made them seven complete heavens. It is He Who sat Himself upon the throne (of authority). He was while there was no creation. He was just as He was when there was no creation. He does not move with those who move."
Q10: "Why do you raise your hands toward the heaven when you pray?"
Ans. 10: "Surely, Allah has enslaved His creatures with kinds of acts of worship. There are places of flight to Allah, so they flee to Him and are enslaved. He has enslaved His servants through words, knowledge, action, guidance, and the like. He has enslaved them through directing the prayer toward the Ka'ba. He has also directed toward it the hajj and the Omra. He has enslaved His creatures during the supplication and request. As for imploring through stretching out the hands and raising them toward the heaven, it (shows) the state of submission (to Allah) and the mark of exclusive devotion and servility to Him."
Q11: "Who are nearer to Allah ¾the angels or the inhabitants of the earth?"
Ans. 11: "If you mean the span of the hand and the arm, then all things are the same (for Him) and are His action. He does not busy Himself with some of them (and leaves the rest). He directs the highest of the creatures and the lowest of them. He directs the first of them and the last of them without any trouble, toilsomeness, burden, consultation, and fatigue. If you mean that which of them is nearer to Him due to means, then the most obedient to Him. You know that the servant is close to Allah when he prostates himself in prayer. You know that four angels met. One of them was from the highest creatures, one of them was from the lowest creatures, one of them was from the east of the creatures, and one of them was from the west of the creatures. They asked each other. All of them said: '(We have come) from Allah. He has sent me with so-and-so. This is evidence for that (nearness to Allah) is in position without comparison and resemblance."
Q12: "Do you admit that Allah is (in the state of) being carried?"
Ans. 12: "Everything carried is (passive) i.e., acted upon by someone else, and is indeed (of others). The word 'carried' in itself connotes deficiency and need. On the other hand the carrier is (active) i.e., the one who acts. The word 'carrier' signifies analogy within itself, just as the word above, below, the very high and very low are generally used by speakers. Allah has also said: 'And to Allah (alone) belongs (all) the most beautiful names, so call him by them.' And He has never said in His Book that He has been carried. Rather He has said that He carries on land and at sea. And it is He Who holds the heavens and earth lest they remove. And everything which is carried is always apart from Allah. It has never been heard that anyone who believes in Allah and His Majesty called Him (Allah): 'O the carried!'"
Q13: "Do you deny the tradition narrated (to us) which says: 'Verily when Allah becomes angry His wrath is known through (the increased) weight (which the angels feel) on their shoulders while carrying the Throne. (At that moment) the angels prostrate themselves (in prayer). When (Allah's) wrath subsides, the weight of the Throne lightens, and the angels return to their former positions?"
Ans. 13: "Tell me, whether Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, has or has not become wrathful ever since He cursed Iblis (Satan), and (tell me) when he became pleased with Iblis, his friends and followers."
Abū Qurra confirmed the Imām's statement, saying: "Yes, He is wrathful with him."
The Imām opposed him, saying: "Woe unto you! How do you dare to associate with Allah the attribute of changing from state to state.? And how do you dare to apply to Him (the Creator) what is applicable to the created while Allah is glorified and far above this? Allah does not perish along with the things which perish; nor does he alter along with things which alter."
Abū Qurrah was astonished, was unable to answer, and escaped from the session while he was defeated. He was angry with the Imām and harbored malice against him.