Imaam al-Haramayn - al-Juwaynee and His abandonment of Ta'weel

The famous Imaam al-Haramyan, Abu Ma’aanee al-Juwaynee, like his father before him, also left the way of ta’weel and declared it to be forbidden, this despite the fact that he rigorously defended it in his earlier life. But unlike his father, he left ta’weel and fell into another innovation - tafweed. May Allaah forgive us and him. He says,

"The ways of the scholars have differed over the dhawaahir that occur in the Book and Sunnah. And the People of Truth forbade delving into their meanings (fahwaahaa)….and the Imaams of the Salaf took to refraining from ta’weel, and leaving the dhawaahir upon their meanings, and relegating their meanings to the Lord, Most Perfect. (tafweed).

And that which we are pleased with as our view and as our belief in Allaah is by following the salaf of this nation as following and complying, and leaving innovation is more deserving, and the textual evidence is unequivocal that the consensus of the nation is a sunnah that is to be followed….so if ta’weel of these dhawaahir was permissible or prescribed then without doubt their (the salaf’s) concern of them would be greater then their concern with the subsidiary issues of the religion. So when their time, and the time of the taabi’een has passed by with their leaving of ta’weel, it becomes certain that this is the way to be followed, so it is necessary upon those possessing religion that they believe that the Lord is absolved from created Attributes, and not to delve into ta’weel of the difficult texts and to relegate their meanings to Allaah." [‘al-Aqueedah an-Nadhaamiyyah’ (pp. 33+ - Egypt print) of al-Juwaynee.]

In the words of al-Juwaynee mentioned above is a great deal of truth, but also some self-contradiction for he states that the salaf ‘left the dhawaahir upon their meanings’ yet goes on to say, ‘and relegated their meanings to their Lord.’ This is a clear indication that although al-Juwaynee, may Allaah have mercy upon him, had moved much closer to the way of the salaf, he was still not fully conversant with it. [‘as-Sifaat al-Ilaahiyyah bayna as-Salaf wa al-Khalaf’ (pg. 51) of Shaykh Abd ar-Rahmaan al-Wakeel (RH).]

Again we say that it is clear in what has preceded that the madhhab of the salaf was not tafweed.