Muʿjam al-Aḥādīth al-Muʿtabara > Negation of any Possibility of Seeing or Imagining God
Hadith #1

[320/1] الكافي: عدة من أصحابنا، عن أحمد بن محمد بن خالد، عن أحمد بن محمد بن أبي نصر قال: جاء رجل إلى أبي الحسن الرضا عليه السلام من وراء نهر بلخ فقال: إني أسألك عن مسألة فإن أجبتني فيها بما عندي قلت بإمامتك، فقال أبوالحسن عليه السلام: سل عما شئت فقال: أخبرني عن ربك متى كان؟ وكيف كان؟ وعلى أي شئ كان اعتماده؟ فقال أبوالحسن عليه السلام: إن الله تبارك وتعالى أين الاين بلا أين وكيف الكيف بلا كيف وكان اعتماده على قدرته، فقام إليه الرجل فقبل رأسه وقال: أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله وأن عليا وصي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله والقيم بعده بما قام به رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وأنكم الائمة الصادقون وأنك الخلف من بعدهم

1. [1/320] al-Kafi: Ahmad b. Idris from Muhammad b. Abd al-Jabbar from Safwan b. Yahya who said: Abu Qurra the Hadith scholar asked me to seek permission for him to enter upon Abi al-Hasan al-Ridha عليه السلام. I sought permission and he (the Imam) granted it to me. He (Abu Qurra) entered and asked him about the Halal, Haram and the rulings until he reached the topic of Tawhid. Abu Qurra said: We have narrated that Allah divided vision and speech between two prophets. He gave speech to Musa and vision to Muhammad. Abu al-Hasanعليه السلام said: Then who was it who conveyed on the authority of Allah to the Two Weighty ones from the Jinn and humans (the following): “sights do not reach him” (6:103), “they do not encompass Him in (their) knowledge” (20:110) and “there is nothing like Him” (42:11) - is it not Muhammad? He (Abu Qurra) said: Yes (it was). (The Imam said:) How can a man come to all creation and inform them that he has come from Allah and that he is calling them to Allah by the command of Allah and say: “sights do not reach him”, “they do not encompass Him in (their) knowledge”, “there is nothing like Him” and then say: I have seen Him by my eye and have encompassed Him in knowledge - he is in the form of a man?!Do you not feel ashamed?! Even the heretics did not dare accuse him of this - that he (the prophet) would come with something from Allah and then later come with something contradicting that! Abu Qurra said: He (Allah) says: “and he (Muhammad) surely saw Him in another descent” (53:13). Abu al-Hasan عليه السلام said: there is after this verse an indication of what he saw when He said: “the heart did not lie about what it saw” (53:11). He is saying: Muhammad’s heart did not lie about what his eyes saw - then He specifies what he saw when He said: “he saw of the great signs of his Lord” (53:18) - the signs of Allah are not Allah. Allah said: “they do not encompass Him in (their) knowledge” - if eyes could see Him then knowledge has encompassed Him and realization (of Allah) has been attained.Abu Qurra said: So you reject the narrations? Abu al-Hasan عليه السلام said: If the narrations are opposed to the Qur’an then I reject them. Furthermore, what the Muslims are united upon is that He is not encompassed in knowledge, sights do not reach Him, and there is nothing like Him.



Hadith #2

[231/2] الكافي: وعنه، عن أحمد بن إسحاق قال: كتبت إلى أبي الحسن الثالث عليه السلام أسأله عن الرؤية وما اختلف فيه الناس فكتب: لا تجوز الرؤية ما لم يكن بين الرائي والمرئي هواء ينفذه البصر فإذا انقطع الهواء عن الرائي والمرئي لم تصح الرؤية، وكان في ذلك الاشتباه، لان الرائي متى ساوى المرئي في السبب الموجب بينهما في الرؤية وجب الاشتباه وكان ذلك التشبيه لان الاسباب لابد من اتصالها بالمسببات

2. [2/231] al-Kafi: From him (Ahmad b. Idris) from Ahmad b. Ishaq who said: I wrote to Abi al-Hasan the Third عليه السلام asking him about the vision (of God) and the differences of people about that - he wrote: Vision is impossible when there is no air between the viewer and the viewed. Air which the eye can penetrate through. If there is no air between the viewer and the viewed - vision cannot take place. And this (needing air in between) would entail likening (Allah to His creatures). Because whenever the viewer becomes equivalent with the viewed in terms of sharing the condition necessary for vision between them (to occur) then they would necessarily be alike (in some manner) and that would be anthropomorphism. For causes are necessarily linked to effects.



Hadith #3

[322/3] الكافي: أحمد بن إدريس، عن محمد بن عبدالجبار، عن صفوان بن يحيى، عن عاصم ابن حميد، عن ابي عبدالله عليه السلام قال: ذاكرت أبا عبدالله عليه السلام فيما يروون من الرؤية فقال: الشمس جزء من سبعين جزءا من نور الكرسي والكرسي جزء من سبعين جزءا من نور العرش والعرش جزء من سبعين جزءا من نور الحجاب والحجاب جزء من سبعين جزءا من نور الستر فإن كانوا صادقين فليملاوا أعينهم من الشمس ليس دونها سحاب

3. [3/322] al-Kafi: Ahmad b. Idris from Muhammad b. Abd al-Jabbar from Safwan b. Yahya from A’sim b. Humayd from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام. He said: I talked to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام about what they (proto-Sunnis) narrate concerning the vision (of God). He said: The sun is one-seventieth parts of the light of the Chair. The Chair is one-seventieth parts of the light of the Throne. The Throne is one-seventieth parts of the light of the Veil. The Veil is one-seventieth part of the light of the Covering. If they are truthful then let them stare with their eyes at the sun on a cloudless day.



Hadith #4

[323/4] الكافي: محمد بن يحيى وغيره، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى، عن ابن أبي نصر، عن أبي الحسن الرضا عليه السلام قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله: لما اسري بي إلى السماء بلغ بي جبرئيل مكانا لم يطأه قط جبرئيل فكشف له فأراه الله من نور عظمته ما أحب

4. [4/323] al-Kafi: Muhammad b. Yahya and other than him from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa from Ibn Abi Nasr from Abi al-Hasan al-Ridha عليه السلام who said: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله said: When I was made to ascend to Heaven - Jibril led me to a place where Jibril had never tread on. (The Imam says:) It was then unveiled for him (the prophet) and Allah showed him of His Light of Grandeur what He wished.



Hadith #5

[324/5] الكافي: محمد بن يحيى، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى، عن ابن أبي نجران، عن عبدالله بن سنان، عن أبي عبدالله عليه السلام في قوله: لَّا تُدْرِكُهُ الْأَبْصَارُ قال: إحاطة الوهم ألا ترى إلى قوله: قَدْ جَاءَكُم بَصَائِرُ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ ليس يعني بصر العيون فَمَنْ أَبْصَرَ فَلِنَفْسِهِ ليس يعني من البصر بعينه وَمَنْ عَمِيَ فَعَلَيْهَا ليس يعني عمى العيون إنما عنى إحاطة الوهم كما يقال: فلان بصير بالشعر، وفلان بصير بالفقه، وفلان بصير بالدراهم، وفلان بصير بالثياب، الله أعظم من أن يرى بالعين

5. [5/324] al-Kafi: Muhammad b. Yahya from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa from Ibn Abi Najran from Abdallah b. Sinan from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام about His words: “sights (Absar) do not reach Him” (6:103) - he (the Imam) said: (It means) comprehension by the imagination (is impossible for Him). Do you not see His words: “There have come to you insights (Basair) from your Lord” (6:104) - He does not mean sighting of the eyes. “Whosoever will see (Absara) then it will be for his own self” (6:104) - He does not mean by (the word) ‘see’ through his eye. “and whoever is blind is against it” (6:104) - He does not mean the blindness of the eyes. He means comprehension by the imagination - as is said: So-and-so is insightful (Basir) in poetry, So-and-so is insightful in jurisprudence, So-and-so is insightful in coins (telling forgeries from the real thing), So-and-so is insightful in clothes. Allah is greater than to be seen by the eye.



Hadith #6

[325/6] الكافي: محمد بن يحيى، عن أحمد بن محمد، عن أبي هاشم الجعفري، عن أبي الحسن الرضا عليه السلام قال: سألته عن الله هل يوصف؟ فقال: أما تقرء القرآن؟ قلت: بلى قال: أما تقرء قوله تعالى: لَّا تُدْرِكُهُ الْأَبْصَارُ وَهُوَ يُدْرِكُ الْأَبْصَارَ؟ قلت: بلى، قال: فتعرفون الابصار؟ قلت: بلى، قال: ماهي؟ قلت: أبصار العيون، فقال: إن أوهام القلوب أكبر من أبصار العيون فهو لا تدركه الاوهام وهو يدرك الاوهام

6. [6/325] al-Kafi: Muhammad b. Yahya from Ahmad b. Muhammad from Abi Hashim al-Ja’fari from Abi al-Hasan al-Ridha عليه السلام. He (Abi Hashim) said: I asked him about Allah - can He be described? He said: Don’t you read the Qur’an? I said: Yes (I do). He said: Don’t you read His words the Elevated: “sights do not reach Him but He reaches the sights” (6:103)? I said: Yes (I do). He said: Do you know the sights (meant)? I said: Yes. He said: What are they? I said: The sighting of the eyes. He said: The imaginings of the heart are greater than the sighting of the eyes - thus He is such that imaginations do not reach Him while He reaches the imaginations.



Hadith #7

[326/7] التوحيد: الهمداني، عن علي، عن أبيه، عن الهروي قال: قلت لعلي بن موسى الرضا عليه السلام: يا ابن رسول الله ما تقول في الحديث الذي يرويه أهل الحديث: إن المؤمنين يزورون ربهم من منازلهم في الجنة؟ فقال عليه السلام: يا أبا الصلت إن الله تبارك وتعالى فضل نبيه محمدا صلى الله عليه واله على جميع خلقه من النبيين والملائكة، وجعل طاعته طاعته، و مبايعته مبايعته، وزيارته في الدنيا والآخرة زيارته، فقال عز وجل: مَّن يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ وقال: إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ اللَّهَ يَدُ اللَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وقال النبي صلى الله عليه واله: من زارني في حياتي أو بعد موتي فقد زار الله. ودرجة النبي صلى الله عليه واله في الجنة أرفع الدرجات، فمن زاره إلي درجته في الجنة من منزلته فقد زار الله تبارك وتعالى قال: فقلت له: يا ابن رسول الله فما معنى الخبر الذي رووه أن ثواب لا إله إلا الله النظر إلى وجه الله؟ فقال عليه السلام: يا أبا الصلت من وصف الله بوجه كالوجوه فقد كفر، ولكن وجه الله أنبياؤه ورسله وحججه صلوات الله عليهم، هم الذين بهم يتوجه إلي الله عزوجل، وإلى دينه ومعرفته، وقال الله عزوجل: كُلُّ مَنْ عَلَيْهَا فَانٍ وَيَبْقَىٰ وَجْهُ رَبِّكَ وقال عز وجل كُلُّ شَيْءٍ هَالِكٌ إِلَّا وَجْهَهُ فالنظر إلى أنبياء الله ورسله وحججه عليهم السلام في درجاتهم ثواب عظيم للمؤمنين يوم القيامة، وقد قال النبي صلى الله عليه واله: من أبغض أهل بيتي وعترتي لم يرني ولم أره يوم القيامة، وقال صلى الله عليه واله: إن فيكم من لا يراني بعد أن يفارقني، يا أبا الصلت إن الله تبارك وتعالى لا يوصف بمكان ولا يدرك بالابصار والاوهام. قال: فقلت له: يا ابن رسول الله فأخبرني عن الجنة والنار أهما اليوم مخلوقتان؟ فقال: نعم، وإن رسول الله صلى الله عليه واله قد دخل الجنة ورأى النار لما عرج به إلى السماء. قال: فقلت له: إن قوما يقولون إنهما اليوم مقدرتان غير مخلوقتين. فقال عليه السلام: ما اولئك منا ولا نحن منهم، من أنكر خلق الجنة والنار فقد كذب النبي صلى الله عليه واله وكذبنا، وليس من ولايتنا على شئ ويخلد في نار جهنم، قال الله عزوجل: هَذِهِ جَهَنَّمُ الَّتِي يُكَذِّبُ بِهَا الْمُجْرِمُونَ يَطُوفُونَ بَيْنَهَا وَبَيْنَ حَمِيمٍ آَنٍ وقال النبي صلى الله عليه واله: لما عرج بي إلي السماء أخذ بيدي جبرئيل فأدخلني الجنة فناولني من رطبها فأكلته فتحول ذلك نطفة في صلبي، فلما هبطت إلى الارض واقعت خديجة فحملت بفاطمة، ففاطمة حوراء إنسية فكلما اشتقت إلى رائحة الجنة شممت رائحة ابنتي فاطمة

7. [7/326] al-Tawhid: al-Hamdani from Ali from his father from al-Harawi who said: I said to Ali b. Musa al-Ridha عليه السلام: O the son of the Messenger of Allah - what do you say about the report narrated by the Ahl al-Hadith that “the believers will visit their Lord from their homes in Paradise”? He عليه السلام said: O Aba Salt - Allah Blessed and Elevated favoured his prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه واله over all his creations including the (other) prophets and the angels. He made obedience to him (the prophet) equal to His obedience, pledging allegiance to him (the prophet) equal to pledging allegiance to Him and visiting him (the prophet) in the world and the hereafter equal to visiting Him. This is when He Mighty and Majestic said: “Whoever obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah” (4:80) and also: “Those who pledge allegiance to you are in fact pledging allegiance to Allah, the hand of Allah is over their hands” (48:10). The prophet said: “Whoever visits me in my lifetime or after my death has visited Allah”. The station of the prophetصلى الله عليه واله in paradise is the highest station, so whoever visits him in this station of his in paradise (setting out) from his home then he will have visited Allah Blessed and Elevated.He (Abu Salt) said: I said: O the son of the Messenger of Allah - what is the meaning of the report which they narrate that “the reward of ‘there is no god but Allah’ is looking at the face of Allah”? He said: O Aba Salt - Whoever describes Allah as having a face like the typical faces has disbelieved. Rather, the face of Allah is His prophets, messengers and proofs صلوات الله عليهم. They are the ones through whom (one) turns (lit. his face) towards Allah Mighty and Majestic, His religion and recognition of Him. Allah Mighty and Majestic said: “Whoever is on it will perish and will remain the face of your Lord” (55:26-27) and He Mighty and Majestic also said: “Everything is to be destroyed except His face” (28:88), thus, looking at the prophets of Allah, His messengers and proofs عليهم السلام in their stations is a great reward for the believers on the day of judgment. The prophet صلى الله عليه واله said: “Whoever hates the people of my Household and my descendants will never see me nor will I see him on the day of judgment” and he صلى الله عليه واله also said: “There is among you one who will never see me (again) after separating from me (in this world)”. O Aba Salt - Allah Blessed and Elevated is not described as being in space and neither sights nor imaginations can reach Him. He (Abu Salt) said: I said to him: O the son of the Messenger of Allah - inform me about Paradise and the Fire - are they already created at this moment? He said: Yes. The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه واله entered Paradise and saw the Fire when he was made to ascend to Heaven. He (Abu Salt) said: I said to him: There is a group which says that ‘they (Paradise and Hell) are only destined to be at this moment but not yet created’. He said: Such (people) are not from us nor are we from them. Whoever denies the creation of Paradise and the Fire has belied the prophet and has belied us. Such a one has nothing to do with our Wilaya and will abide forever in the Fire of Hell. Allah Mighty and Majestic says: “this is Hell which the criminals deny. They will go around between it and scalding water” (55:43-44) and the prophet صلى الله عليه واله said: “When I was made to ascend to Heaven, Jibril took me by the hand and made me to enter Paradise. He handed me one of its fruits. I ate it and it formed seed in my loin. When I returned to the earth I met with Khadija and she became pregnant with Fatima - a human Houri. Whenever I desire to smell the scent of paradise I smell the scent of my daughter Fatima”.



Hadith #8

[327/8] التوحيد: ابن الوليد، عن الصفار، عن اليقطيني، عن ابن أبي نجران قال: سألت أبا جعفر الثاني عليه السلام عن التوحيد فقلت: أتوهم شيئا؟ فقال: نعم غير معقول ولا محدود، فما وقع وهمك عليه من شئ فهو خلافه، لا يشبهه شئ ولا تدركه الاوهام، كيف تدركه الاوهام وهو خلاف ما يعقل وخلاف ما يتصور في الاوهام؟ إنما يتوهم شئ غير معقول ولا محدود

8. [8/327] al-Tawhid: Ibn al-Walid from al-Saffar from al-Yaqtini from Ibn Abi Najran who said: I asked Aba Ja’far the Second عليه السلام about Tawhid saying: Should I imagine a thing (when conceiving of God)? He said: Yes, (something) neither cognisable nor delimited. Whatever your imagination falls upon is different than He. Nothing is like Him and imaginations do not reach Him. How can imaginations reach Him when He is other than what can be cognised and other than what is represented (image formed) in the imaginations? It is imagined something neither cognisable nor delimited.



Hadith #9

[328/9] التوحيد: ابن الوليد، عن إبراهيم بن هاشم، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن مرازم، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: سمعته يقول: رأى رسول الله صلى الله عليه واله ربه عزوجل - يعني بقلبه

9. [9/328] al-Tawhid: Ibn al-Walid from Ibrahim b. Hashim from Ibn Abi Umayr from Murazim from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام. He (Murazim) said: I heard him (the Imam) saying: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه واله saw his Lord Mighty and Majestic - that is - by his heart.