Fitna/Killings between Hanbalis and others on the tafseer of Maqam al Mahmud, whether it means “The great intercession” or “Sitting of the Prophet peace be upon him over the throne”.
Ibn Kathir said under what happened in the year 317 h
وفيها وقعت فتنة ببغداد بين أصحاب أبي بكر المروزي الحنبلي وبين طائفة من العامة ، اختلفوا في تفسير قوله تعالى : عسى أن يبعثك ربك مقاما محمودا [ الإسراء : 79 ] فقالت الحنابلة : يجلسه معه على العرش . وقال الآخرون : المراد بذلك الشفاعة العظمى ، فاقتتلوا بسبب ذلك ، وقتل بينهم قتلى ، فإنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون . وقد ثبت في ” صحيح البخاري ” أن المراد بذلك مقام الشفاعة العظمى ، يشفع عند الله عز وجل في أن يأتي لفصل القضاء بين عباده ، وهو المقام الذي يرغب إليه فيه الخلق كلهم ، حتى إبراهيم الخليل عليه الصلاة والسلام ، ويغبطه به الأولون والآخرون
In this year fitna occurred in Baghdad between the companions of Abi Bakr al Marwazi al Hanbali (d 275 h student of Imam Ahmad) and a group of generality. They differed over the tafsir of the verse “So your Lord may raise you to a station of praise.” [al Israa verse 79]. Hanabila said (it means) sitting with Him over the throne and others said: It means the great Intercession. So they fought due to this issue and among them (both parties) killings occurred. For we belong to Allah and to Him we shall return.
It is proven in Saheeh al Bukhari that it means “The great Intercession” interceding with Allah Almighty.. and it is the station to which all creation desires, even Abraham the Khalil, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.[al Bidaya wal Nihaya under what happened in 317 h]
1. The tafsir of sitting over the throne is the opinion of Auliyah (like Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jeylani (see al Ghuniya 1/150) and Great scholars (like Mujahid and majority of Hanabila followed him which includes the likes of Imam Abu Dawud, Khallal, Abu Bakr Marwazi and various others see Al-Uluw by Dhahabi (1/194)).
2. Other school of thoughts followed the hadith of Sahih al Bukhari and claimed there is nothing proven from the Prophet or his companions to support that Allaah will make the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) sit on His throne on the Day of Judgment, and the Tafseer of Imaam Mujaahid is not Hujjah in this regard because it is only the saying of a Taabi’ee as majority scholars rejected this meaning (as Ibn Abdil Barr said in Al-Tamheed (7/157)).
3. at Tabari claimed both opinions does not contradict. [See Majmoo’ al-Fataawa Ibn Taymiyyah (4/374) and Tafsir Tabari (17/531)].
4. Ibn Hajr quoted Ibn Jawzi who did taweel of the scholars who said, it means sitting over the throne. He said, sitting means permission of Shaf`ah. [See Fath al Bari, Kitab al Adhaan, chapter Invocation at the time of Adhan, under the hadith 614]