Let us now examine the theological teachings of the Salimiyya, the sect which traces its name to a man called [Abu 'Abdi'llah Muhammad] Ibn Salim.
According to one of their doctrines, Allah (Glory be to Him) will become visible on the Day of Resurrection in the shape of a human being endowed with the praiseworthy attributes of Muhammad [adami Muhammadi]. They also teach that Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) will manifest Himself to all of His creatures on the Day of Resurrection, namely, to the jinn as well as to humankind, to the angels and to the animals-to each and every one of them in the ideal form corresponding to their mode of perception.
The proof of their falsehood is to be found in the Book of Allah (Exalted is He), in
His words (Almighty and Glorious is He):
There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing. (42:11)
According to another of their doctrines, Allah (Exalted is He) has a special secret [sirr], by which, if He were to make it manifest, the whole order of the universe would be rendered null and void [batala't-tadbir]. The Prophets [anbiya'] have a special secret, by which, if they were to make it manifest, Prophethood [nubuwwa] would be rendered null and void The learned scholars ['ulama'] also have a special secret, by which, if they were to make it manifest, all knowledge ['ilm] would be rendered null and void.
This doctrine of theirs is without sound foundation, because Allah (Exalted is He) is All-Wise [Hakim] and His universal management [tadbir] is so perfectly planned [muhkam] as to allow no scope for nullification and corruption. To accept the ideas they propound would lead to the invalidation of His Wisdom [Hikma] (Exalted is He), and that would be nothing short of unbelief [kufr].
According to yet another of their doctrines, the unbelievers [kuffar] will get to see Allah (Exalted is He) in the hereafter, and He will call them to account.
Another thesis of theirs is that Iblis did bow down in prostration before Adam the
second time around. On this point the evidence to refute their falsehood is to be found in
the Qur'an itself, in the words of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He):
[And when We said the angels: "Bow down in prostration before Adam," they fell prostrate], all except Iblis. He refused and gave a display of arrogant pride, and so became one of the unbelievers. (2:34)
We may also cite His words (Exalted is He):
[We created you, then We shaped you, then We said to the angels: "Bow down in prostration before Adam," so they prostrated themselves], all except Iblis-he was not one of those who bowed in prostration. (7:11)
They also teach that Iblis did not enter the Garden of Paradise, but here again the
evidence to refute their falsehood is to be found in the Qur'an itself, this time in the
words of Allah (Exalted is He):
He said [to Iblis]: "Then go forth from it [the Garden of Paradise], for you are accursed [rajim]." (15:34)
According to another thesis of theirs, Gabriel used to come to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) without moving away from his place. They also maintain that, when Allah (Exalted is He) spoke to Moses (peace be upon him), the latter became conceited about himself, so Allah conveyed to him by way of inspiration: "O Moses, are you becoming conceited about yourself? Take a good look and see what your eyes can see!" Thereupon Moses extended his gaze, and-lo and behold!-he saw in front of him a hundred mountains [tur], with a Moses on top of every single mountain.
This story must be dismissed as objectionable, however, according to the experts on the transmission of such reports [ahl an-naql] and to the authoritative scholars of tradition [ashab al-hadith], who regard it as a spurious tradition [hadith batil]. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) actually issued a threat to those who might tell lies about him, for he said:
If anyone tells a lie about me, with deliberate intent, then let him occupy his seat in the Fire of Hell!
Among the teachings of the Salimiyya, we may also mention their doctrine that Allah
(Exalted is He) wills acts of obedience from His human servants, and does not will acts of
sinful disobedience from them. They maintain that He (Almighty and Glorious is He) has
willed the latter through them, not from them [bihim la minhum]. This must be
untrue, because Allah (Exalted is He) has said:
If Allah dooms someone to sin [man yuridi'llahu fitnatahu], you will never be able to avail him against Allah in any way at all. (5:41)
[The expression "dooms someone to sin"] means: "makes him guilty of unbelief [kaffarahu]."
Allah (Exalted is He) has also said:
And if your Lord had so willed it, they would never have done so. (6:112)
And He has said (Exalted is He):
And if Allah had so willed it, they would not have fought one with another. (2:253)
To cite another of their teachings, they maintain that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to memorize the Qur'an even before [he was called to] the Prophethood [nubuwwa], and before Gabriel (peace be upon him) started coming to him.
Once again, the evidence to refute their falsehood is to be found in the Qur'an itself, in this case in the words of Allah (Exalted is He):
Not before this [O Muhammad] did you recite any Book, nor did you inscribe it with your right hand. (29:48)
According to another thesis of theirs, Allah (Exalted is He) is reciting upon the tongue of every reciter of the Qur'an [yaqra'u 'ala lisani kulli qari'], and that when people are listening to the Qur'an as it is being read by a reciter, they are actually hearing it from Allah. To make such an assertion is to come perilously close to professing [the heretical doctrine of] hulul [hylomorphism or incarnation]. We take refuge with Allah from that kind of error. If followed through to its logical consequence, it would amount to asserting that Allah (Exalted is He) could be guilty of making grammatical mistakes and of mispronouncing the Arabic words of the text [as many unskilled reciters obviously do while they are reading the Qur'an]. This would be nothing short of unbelief [kufr].