Salafis tamper Abu Uthman al-Sabuni’s Book
Abu-Uthman Ass-Saboni was a great Asha’ari and Sufi scholar. I’ve browsed through the above mentioned book in the past and can say it is mostly written in accordance with the Sunni creed but in conformity with the school of absolute acceptance ‘Tafweed’ rather than the figurative expressions ‘Ta’aweel’ school, both of course are accepted ways in dealing with texts which attribute impossibilities to Allah if understood literally.
Abu-Uthman Ass-Saboni was one of the Sunni scholars, along with Imam Al- Juieni and Imam Al-Qushieri, who were persecuted in the infamous ordeal which took place in Neishabour, in modern day Iran, and led many of them to depart their homeland. He was one of the scholars who signed on Al-Qusheieri’s declaration in defense of Asha’aris.
However, the book in the question has been published and printed by the Hashwi Whabis, and thus one can’t be sure of the authenticity of the text.
Actually Shiekh ‘Al-Azhari’ of Rayaheen forum, http://cb.rayaheen.net/index.php, discovered some forgery in the different published copies of the book; take for example this early edition published in Kuwait:
In which you will find :
Now, if you can read Arabic you will see clearly in the footnote that the Wahabi publisher mentions that he replaced the word ‘tomb’ in the original text by Imam Saboni: “I traveled to Hijaz with intention to vist the tomb of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH)…” with the word ‘mosque’. The justification provided was of course that having such intention to visit the tomb is an act of polytheism ‘Sherk’!
So Imam Saboni is a ‘Mushrek’ and an idol worshiper and yet they baldly relate themselves to him!
Then came along another Whabi but an honest one this time, and he published the book without the previous manipulation:
As you can see he kept the word ‘tomb’ as it is and just settled for adding a foot note criticizing Imam Saboni for using it with a referral to Ibn Tyimia books.
The odd thing is that each publisher wrote the name of the Imam on the cover differently. The first printed it ‘Abu Uthman Ismaiel ibn Abdulrahman’ which is correct, while the other printed ‘Abu Ismiel Abdulrahman ibn Ismaiel’ which is wrong.
Then a third Whabi publisher published the book, and this time he forged the text, just as the first one, but threw away the foot notes all together so that no one would notice it:
This latest edition is the one most widely distributed amongst Wahabis. It is published on Wahabi sites all over the net and is most frequently quoted by them.
Finally, one must mention that many researchers stated that there are many differences between the published text and the manuscripts. In addition to that, the chain of narration, ‘the sanad’, of the book itself is under scrutiny and needs to be revised and reconsidered. It passes through some who were accused of being frank anthropomorphists or pro-anthropomorphism. All this of course casts doubts about the published text.
In spite of the above mentioned, I can say that what is published today as Imam Saboni’s Aqeeda is generally accepted and goes along with the merits of ‘Tafweed’.