'make me one of those who will see your blessed face'
a reply to a brother who emailed questioning the following lines in 'Allahu' from the album 'Songs of Innocence:'
Oh Lord of the Worlds, full of mercy and grace
Make me one of those who will see your blessed face'
Just want to ask the Nur Al Habib team.... if they know much about this artist: Talil Al Habib?.......because i have listned to one of his track and in it this Talil Al Habib says something something 'face of Allah' is that not a wahabie thing to say? by putting human like attributes to Allah? the lyirc is in Track 4 it goes: 'Make me one of those who will see your blessed face....'
Please someomne correct me if i am wrong...... i hope to hear your opinions....Jazakallah
as salamu alaykum brother
Nur al-Habib Productions have passd this email on to me (talib) for answering. Jazakallah for your question, and for having the adab to ask it of me rather than others.
Firstly, it should be noted that the lyrics of each song - especially Allahu (which concerns aqida) - were submitted in advance of recording them (2 years ago now) to senior ulama including Shaykh Gibril Haddad (Syria - a specialist in Ahl as-Sunna aqida) and Allama Rasul Baksh Sa`idi (Birmingham, UK - my teacher) for proofing. They were also approved by Hazrat Ghulam Muhyi ad-Din Kazi al-Chishti (South Africa - my shaykh) .
To get on to your question: there are two issues here.
1. Seeing Allah
2. Allah's 'face'
In terms of the first, it is stated in the Quran that the believers will see Allah on the Day of Qiyama (explicitly) and in Paradise (implicitly). 'On that Day faces will be radiant, gazing at their Lord (ila rabbiha nazira)' (75:22-23) is the explicit reference; and 'for those of ihsan will be beauty and even more,' (10:26) where the commentators have mentioned that 'beauty' refers to Paradise and 'extra' is the vision of Allah (I heard this directly from Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqubi). Regarding the connection between the two verses, Imam Qurtubi narrates in his Tafsir al-Jami li-Ahkam al-Quran the hadith of Suhayb from Sahih al-Muslim:
" ibn Umar used to say [in commentary of the verse of Sura Yunus] that, 'the most honoured with Allah of the people of paradise are those who will look upon His 'face' (wajh) morning and evening. Then he recited the ayat, 'verily faces on that day will be radiant, gazing at their Lord.' [This was confirmed by al-Hasan and Ikrimah]. It is also said that 'gazing' means 'expectant of reward from their Lord' as related by ibn Umar and Mujahid. " This meaning is also confirmed by the hadith of ibn Umar narrated by Tirmidhi, which also specifically mentions that the people of Paradise will see the Face of Allah (yanzur ila wajhihi).
It goes without saying that the 'seeing' referred to is bila kayf (without concept of the modality or the 'how-ness' of the seeing).
In regards to the 'face' (wajh) of Allah, then this too is a phrase that recurs frequently in the Quran. Please refer to, for example: 'Wheresoever you turn, there is the Face of Allah' (2:115), 'whatever of good you give benefits your own souls, and you shall only do so seeking the Face of Allah' (2:272), and 'all upon it shall perish, save for the Face of your Lord, full of grace and majesty' (55:27).
Each of these usages, of course, indicates a sligthtly different meaning. The word 'wajh' is unquestionably among the mutashabihat (those words whose meaning can never be properly understood by the intellect). However, one does find that the phrase 'ibtigha wajh Allah' - or 'seeking the face of Allah,' is used as a metaphor to mean 'to purely seek the pleasure of Allah.' This is the sense in which it is used in the second ayat quoted, as well as throughout Islamic history.
The words in question, therefore, are both a dua to be among the people of ihsan on the Day of Qiyama, as well as to be among those who sincerely seek to earn Allah's good pleasure. By the 'wahhabi' aspect, I assume you mean the danger of tajsim (anthropomorphism). May Allah preserve us from this. It is not incorrect to attribute a 'wajh' to Allah, as He has attributed this to Himself. What is incorrect, from a doctrinal point of view is to, is to delineate human-based parameters and pre-conceived understandings to the word 'wajh,' such as explaining this as 'a round fleshy countenance with two eyes, a nose and a mouth...'
As mentioned, it is not supposed to be taken in this context, for Allah is glorified beyond all mortal understanding, but rather as explained above. I trust that this explanation meets with your approval, and I sincerely seek forgiveness from Allah if what I have said is incorrect.
wa ma taufiqi illa billah
jazakallah khayra jaza'