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Isnaad of an Athar


Assalamou ‘Alaikum.

Some people say that the following saying does not have a chain of narration :

The TabeiMujahid said: Istawa (meaning) : Rose (alaa) above the Throne. Ref Sahih al Bukhari…

Is it true that the saying of Mujaahid does not have a chain of narration ?

And also, if it has a chain of narration, could you please provide it ? Jazaak Allaahu Khayr !


Wa Alaykumussalam

Thank you for your query.

Exactly the same question was asked either by you or someone else and it was answered from the Sunni point of view on the following link:

I haven’t found the chain of narration but with the correct understanding and explanation, one doesn’t require its chain of narration.

The argument regarding “الرَّحْمَنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى“, and alike has become the source of difference between Muslims and the Ahl al-Hadith. Generally, Ahl al-Hadith believe that it means that God has sat in a place. That means Allah(swt) made the throne or that the throne was with God from the first day and God moved from somewhere and sat on the throne. They narrated many narrations in this regard and most of them were narrated by Mujahid, a famous Tabi’i commentator and student of Ibn Abbas. At the same time, he narrated about eighty narrations that يجلس علي عرشه , God sits on His throne.

I will mention the views of Ibn Taymiyyah and others. They even brought it to the point where they say: On the day when the Prophet (peace be upon him) ascended(Meraj), God made him(Prophet) sit beside Him, and this is one of the virtues of the noble Prophet of Islam (pbuh) and whoever denies this virtue that God placed the Prophet (pbuh) by His side, or according to another narration, “He will make him sit by His side on the Day of Resurrection”, is a disbeliever, and they have even ordered the denier to be killed.

But from the point of view of the Ahl al-Bayt(as) and from the point of view of a large number of Sunni scholars who prioritized reason(Aql) and logic(Mantiq) over ego, the false and fake narrations of Ka’b al-Ahbar etc. they believe that Arsh does not mean its outward(Zahiri) meaning.

For every issue, it has an apparent meaning and a metaphorical and figurative(Majazi) meaning.

Sometimes a word is used as a kinayah and the verse “الرَّحْمَنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى” is one of them. For example, we say that Muhammad bin Salman sat on the throne. What does this mean? It means he came to power and took over the government. Or when we say the Capital of a country, it means the place of power and government of the head of that country. This is an ironic(kinaya) meaning in different languages that are used according to that language.

Therefore, we don’t need the chain of narrators when something is logically clear and doesn’t give the apparent meaning of the verse like various verses in Quran referring to the hand of God, the face of God etc. If we start believing that God has a body that means we are limiting Him and limitations in God who is the only Wajib al-Wujood can’t be ascribed to the Almighty.

You can refer to the old and unchanged Sahi Bukhari and may find the narration if the old one really contains as I am not sure if there exists the chain of narrators for the asked hadith.

May Allah(swt) grant you success


Syed Haider