If a word is used in its literal sense, in other words, its original and primary intent, then this is referred to as its haqeeqee meaning. For example, to apply the word offspring to ones children is a haqeeqee meaning. On the other hand, if a word is used in a metaphorical sense, in other words, a meaning or connotation that is not the primary use of the word, then this is the majaazee meaning. Examples that are given of majaaz in the Quran are the verses, "And lower unto them (ones parents) the wing of submission and humility through mercy ... "(Q17[lsraai]:24)
(the use of the wing is majaazee, for there is no actual wing with a human being) "And ask the town where we were ... " (Q12[Yusuf]:82) (the town with its houses and walls is not asked, but rather thepeople of the town are asked, another example of rnajaazz): and "a wall that wished to collapse " (Q18[Kahf]:77) meaning that the wall was very close to collapsing.
It should be noted that there are a number of scholars throughout history, such as Ibn Taymiyyah, Muhammad ash-Shinqeetee who denied the existence of majaaz in the Quran (and in the Arabic language), and this has been and still is a topic of debate among the scholars.
The Attributes of Allaah as Majaaz? Perhaps the strongest reason that led some scholars to deny the existence of majaazee verses in the Quran is due to the fact that many of the scholars of innovation have claimed that some of the verses pertaining to the Attributes of Allaah are majaazee. This claim, in essence, enabled them to deny many of the Attributes mentioned in the Quran, such as wajh (Face), yad (Hand), arsh (Throne) and others. These scholars claim that yad is majaaz for Capability, arsh for Power, and so forth. However, even if it is claimed that there are majaazee verses in the Quran, the Attributes of Allaah can never be claimed to be examples of majaaz for the following reasons:
1. All verses and words are always taken in a haqeeqee manner unless there is reason or proof to believe otherwise. This fact is agreed upon by a" linguists. Thus, in other to say that the Throne of Allaah is majaazee for Power, one needs to bring clear proof from the Quran and the sunnah to prove this point. If there is lack of evidence, the word will be interpreted in a haqeeqee sense, viz, that Allaah has a Throne, but it cannot be imagined by humans. Concerning this particular example, the understanding of the Throne of Allaah as being haqeeqee is proven by many other verses, such as the verse, "... and His Throne was over the water ... " (Q11 [Hud]:7) and "And you will see the angels surrounding the Throne from all sides ... " (Q39[Zumar]:75) and "... eight angels will, on that Day, bear the Throne of your Lord above them. " (Q69[Haqqah]: 17)
All these verses clearly show that the Throne of Allaah is a haqeeqee throne, for how else was it above water, and how else will the angels surround it, and eight angels hold it, unless it is a haqeeqee Throne? Can it be imagined that the Power of Allaah was over the water, and that angels will surround the Power and eight angels will carry this Power? In addition, there are numerous authentic hadeeth that clearly signify that the Throne is a haqeeqee throne. Likewise, the other Attributes of Allaah can be proven in a similar manner.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited