Al-Mufid about hands of God


What understanding did the scholar Al-Mufid have of the hands of God?


Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Al-Mufid writes:

قال الشيخ أبو عبد الله المفيد رحمه الله: والذي قاله أبو جعفر رحمه الله في تفسير قوله تعالى ما منعك أن تسجد لما خلقت بيدي أن المراد بقدرتي وقوتي ليس هذا هو الوجه في التفسير لأنه يفيد تكرار المعنى، فكأنه قال: بقدرتي وقدرتي أو بقوتي وقوتي، إذ القدرة هي القوة والقوة هي القدرة وليس لذلك معنى في وجه الكلام، والوجه ما قدمناه من ذكر النعمة وأن المراد بقوله: ما منعك أن تسجد لما خلقت بيدي إنما أراد به نعمتي اللتين هما في الدنيا والآخرة. والباء في قوله تعالى: بيدي تقوم مقام اللام، فكأنه قال: خلقت ليدي، يريد به لنعمتي، كما قال: وما خلقت الجن والإنس إلا ليعبدون والعبادة من الله تعالى نعمته عليهم، لأنها تعقبهم ثوابه تعالى في النعيم الذي لا يزول، وفي تأويل الآية وجه آخر، وهو: أن المراد باليدين فيها هما القوة والنعمة، فكأنه قال خلقت بقوتي ونعمتي، وفيه وجه آخر وهو، أن إضافة اليدين إليه إنما أريد به تحقق الفعل له وتأكيد إضافته إليه وتخصيصه به دون ما سوى ذلك من قدرة أو نعمة أو غيرهما، وشاهد ذلك قوله تعالى: ذلك بما قدمت يداك وإنما أراد: ذلك بما قدمت من فعلك، وقوله تعالى: وما أصابكم من مصيبة فبما كسبت أيديكم والمراد به: فبما كسبتم والعرب تقول في أمثالها: يداك أوكتا وفوك نفخ يريدون به أنك فعلت ذلك وتوليته وصنعته واخترعته وإن لم يكن الإنسان استعمل به جارحتيه اللتين هما يداه في ذلك الفعل

“That which Muhammad As-Saduq, God have mercy on him, said about the verse: “What prevented you from prostrating yourself before what I created with My two hands? (38:75) That it meant: “With My power and strength.” Is not the appropriate interpretation, for that would entail repeating the meaning as if He were saying, “With My might and might. Or “With my power and power.” For might is power and power is might and that makes no sense in this way of speaking. The corresponding interpretation is what we have already presented in terms of the mention of grace and the meaning of the verse: “What kept you from prostrating yourself before what I created with my two hands.” It means: “With My two graces granted in this world and the next.” The word “with” is in the statement for the word “because” as if He were saying: “What I created because of My two hands.” Which means: “Because of both of My graces.” Just like He says: “I created the hidden (Jinn) and men only to serve Me.” Service to God is one of His grace to them, for He makes them follow His reward in prosperity that does not cease. For the interpretation of the verse, there is also another interpretation, which is that with the two hands the power and grace are meant, as if He would say: “What I created with My power and grace. There is another interpretation about this, which consists in attributing it to Him Himself through the two hands, by which one means the accomplishment of the deed and the assurance, that it comes back to Him and His distinction with it to the exclusion of anything else in power or grace or that besides this, and a testimony to this is His statement: “This is for what your hands have put before.” (22:10)Which means: “This is for what you have done yourself.” As well as His saying: “Whatever misfortune befalls you, it is for what your hands have acquired.” (42:30) By which is meant: “This is for that which you yourselves have acquired.” The Arabs say in their sayings: “Your hands hold back and your mouth is breathing.” By which they mean: “You did this and turned to him and accomplished it.” If man did not use both of his limbs, which are his hands, in that act.” [Tashih-ul-I’tiqadat, pages 33-34]


The explanation of As-Saduq is not based on his personal opinion but on the traditions of the people of the house (a.), whom Al-Mufid either did not know or whose authenticity he doubted, but God knows better.

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