Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) said: “The people differed in many issues related to actions and rulings (ahkaam), but at no time did they ever differ about a single verse concerning the [Divine] Attributes. Rather, the Companions and their Followers were agreed in affirming them and leaving them as they are; along with affirming their meanings and their reality?(1)
This indicates that it is the greater of the two types [of verses] that have been clarified and that concern for explaining it is of the utmost importance, since it is from the completeness of understanding the two testimonies of faith, and affirming it is from the most essential part of tawheed. This is why Allaah, the Most Perfect, the Most High, as well as His Messenger have clearly and unequivocally explained it such that there can be no doubt or ambiguity about it. As for the verses related to rulings and actions, then it is mainly the elite from the people who understand their meanings. As for the verses related to the Attributes, they both the general people and the elite share in understanding them, in that they both understand the basic meaning, not that they understand their true nature or how they actually are.”(2)
Ibnul-Qayyim also said: “It is known by the natural state (fitrah), by the sound intellects and by the heavenly Books, that whoever lacks the attributes of perfection cannot be the true Ilaah, nor the Controller of affairs, nor the Lord and Sustainer. Rather, such a being is imperfect, possessing faults and deficiencies; who will not be deserving of complete and total praise, neither in this world or the Hereafter. This is because complete and total praise in this world and the Hereafter is only for whoever possesses the attributes of perfection and magnificence, which would then make him deserving of complete and total praise. Due to this, the Pious Predecessors who wrote books concerning the correct beliefs and concerning affirming the Attributes of Allaah and that He is above His creation; and concerning His Speech and Him Speaking - they called such books: Tawheed. This is because negating the Attributes, rejecting them and disbelieving in them, is actually a rejection of the Creator and a denial of Him.
Indeed tawheed requires affirming Allaah’s Attributes of perfection, along with negating any resemblance, defects and imperfections for Him" (3)
1) The creed and consensus of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah regarding the Divine Attributes, has been superbly summarized by Imaam at-Tirmidhee, rahimahullah, who said I his Sunan (3/266-268):
“It has been stated by more than one person from the people of knowledge regarding this hadeeth and about the likes of it from the narrations concerning the Attributes, such as [the hadeeth] about the Lord, the Most Blessed, the Most High, descending to the lowest heaven of this world every: night, they said: Affirm the narrations concerning them; have faith (eemaan) in them, do not imagine them (laa yatawahhamu), nor ask how they are. The likes of this has been reported from Maalik ibn Anas, Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyaynah and ‘Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak. They said concerning these ahaadeeth: “Leave them as they are, without asking how (amirroohaa bilaa kayf).” This is the saying of the people of knowledge from Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah. As for the Jahmiyyah, they reject these narrations and say that this is resemblance (tashbeeh). However, Allaah, the Most High, has mentioned in various places in His Book [His Attribute of] Hand; Hearing and Seeing, but the Jahmiyyah make a figurative interpretation (ta‘wee!) of these verses and explain them in a manner other than how it is explained by the people of knowledge. They say: Allaah did not create Aadam with His Hand, rather they say: The Hand [of Allaah] actually means His Power! Ishaaq ibn Ibraaheem [ar-Raahawayyah] said: Resemblance (tashbeeh) is when someone says: “The Hand [of Allaah] is like my hand, or His Hearing is like my hearing. So if someone says this, then this is resemblance. But if someone says what Allaah says: Hand, Hearing, Seeing, and he does not ask how these [Attributes] are, nor does he say that Allaah’s Hearing is like my hearing, then this is not resemblance. Rather, it just like what Allaah, the Most Blessed, the Most High, said in His Book: “There is none like Him; He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.” [Soorah ash-Shooraa 42:11].”
2) Mukhtasar Sawaa’iqul-Mursalah (1/15).
3) Madaarijus-Saalikeen (1/26).