For children: “How can we know that all other religions than Islam are incorrect when there are so many?”

October 31, 2009

(Note that unless the child asks a question, or is likely to be exposed to a question soon, you don’t have to attract his attention to something that hasn’t come to his mind. You only need to teach him the basic belief, like in the rhyme recently posted. Moreover, when addressing a child you don’t have to be complete all the time, but cover the issues that suit his mind and circumstances. In other words, you don’t have to cover all potential objections of deviants. I have put some extra things in footnotes that some children might need. That being said, the following is the answer:)

We have to look at what they believe and group them, then we can decide what is wrong with these groups.

First let us look at what they believe about God.

If we take all the people in the world, they will either believe that God exists or not.

Some believe that God does not exist. Those people are called atheists. They are the silliest people, because this world needs someone to give it the color and shape it has.

If you showed a drawing to him of a donkey, an atheist would say that someone drew that donkey. He would be sure that someone drew the shape of that donkey, and put color on it. He would laugh at you if you told him that no one drew it, or that the pen and paper got together by themselves and made the drawing. But if the color and shape of a simple drawing cannot happen without someone drawing it, how can they then believe that all the different things around us, with colors and shapes just like the donkey, gave themselves the color and shape they have? This is even more crazy than saying that a drawing was not drawn by anyone, because many of the things around us are much more amazing than a simple drawing. A baby in the mother’s stomach, for example, starts as a simple drop of liquid. Then that liquid becomes a peace of blood, then a piece of meat, and then it starts to get the shape of a human, with skin on the meat, arms, legs, stomach, intestine, blood vessels, a heart that beats to pump blood to all the parts of the body, blood that has in it all the ingredients in its mix that the different parts need, and more. Now if a simple donkey drawing must have a drawer to give it simple shape and color, how can they claim that this human does not need a creator to give it all of these things. This is really silly[1].

So the Creator definitely exists.

Now we are left with the group of people that believe that the Creator exists. We now need to group these to see who is right and who is wrong.

Those people who believe there is a creator, either say that there is only one creator, or that there are more.

There cannot be more than one, because if there were two that wanted to create a human, then they would need to agree on the shape. If they could not agree then this means that the one that did not get what he wanted is weak. This means that he is not god, because god cannot be weak. If they always agreed, then this means that both would be weak, because they would need to agree, and needing is weakness.

So the Creator is definitely One, and not more.

Now we are left with the group of people that say that the Creator exists, and is only One. We now need to group these to see who is right and who is wrong. Those are the Muslims, Christans, Jews, and some liars that claim to be Muslims called wahabis.

Those people who say there is only One Creator, either say that He is something with a shape or not.

Those who say He has a shape are very silly. I think you can understand why. Just remember what we said about the donkey drawing. We said that the donkey needs a drawer to draw its shape. So anything with a shape needs someone to give it shape. When they say that God has a shape, they are saying that He needs a creator. This means that He would be a creation, and not the Creator.

Christians and Jews believe that the creator has a shape, because it says in their book: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created man; male and female he created them.” As you know, image means shape. Another word they use for shape is limit, which is the word wahabis use – don’t let them fool you. What they are saying then, even if they do not admit it, is that God needs a creator. By saying no to this, they become just like the atheist with the donkey drawing. They will be saying that some simple shape must have someone give it its shape, but that the human shape does not. This is because they believe that god has a human shape, but was not given it.

So the Creator definitely does not have a shape.

Muslims do not believe that Aļļaah has a shape, so He does not need a creator. As you can see, Muslims have the only logical belief about Aļļaah.

You should also understand that the human that draws donkeys is not creating the drawing. This is because the human is weak. He was created by Aļļaah, and after being created, all the movements of his body is a different shape. Even when his little finger moves, this is a different shape from before moving it. He could not have moved it if Aļļaah did not create that new shape. This means that the drawing he did was created by Aļļaah, because Aļļaah created the drawer’s movements. This means it was Aļļaah that created the drawing, and that the drawer was only moving by movements created by Aļļaah. Yes, it is true that you can usually move your finger when you want, but that does not mean you created the movement. If you think about it, you do not know how you made your finger move. You do not know what muscle is working, or how you get your muscles to work. There are many things that happen in the body when you move your finger you do not control, such as millions of little parts of each muscle contracting, electricity coming from your brain to make them move, and many other things. This tells you clearly that it is Aļļaah that controls those things, and not you, so it is Aļļaah that creates your movement, and not you[2].


[1] For kids that have been exposed to atheist arguments, or you fear will be soon, you might add something like this: Sometimes they will say, “but we saw that the donkey has a drawer, and we did not see any creator of humans.” This is a lie, because they did not see the drawer of all donkey drawings. This means they believe that the shape and color of the drawing must have a drawer, even if they did not see him. This means that they should admit that more amazing things, like a human being, must have a creator also.

[2] This paragraph is for kids that need this clarification. It is an important one, if they are ready to understand. Word of note: don’t underestimate your children’s intelligence. I have personally taught children at 3-4 years of age that Aļļaah exists without being in a place. 

For kids with even more mature mind’s, you can further add to the last paragraph: You can understand this, because you know that all shapes need a creator. When a muscle contracts, it means it becomes shorter, so it is a different shape. Even electricity from the brain is like that, because it flows in a path from the brain to the muscle, and a path is a shape. All of these shapes are created by Aļļaah, so it is Aļļaah that creates your movements.


It is impossible for anthropomorphists to prove the existence of a Creator that is not brought into existence.

October 22, 2009

When we look around us, we see two things: borders (physical limit/ spacial limit/ shape) and color. There is nothing else that is seen by our eyes. We do not need to consider color, because color is secondary to borders in that they fall within borders.

What we are left with then, for proving the need of creation for a Creator, is borders. We must prove that all borders, not matter the shape, must have a Creator, in order to show that the Creator exists[1]. Why all? Because border only differ in their size and shape; there is no difference between them based on which one could claim that one of them needs a creator, while another does not. There is no such difference between them.

Accordingly, if someone says that Aļļaah has a border, then he is forced to either say that Aļļaah, like everything else with a border, needs a creator, or that He cannot prove that borders needs a creator. If he can’t prove that borders need a creator, then he can’t prove that what we see with our eyes around us needs a creator.

All anthropomorphists believe that Aļļaah is something that can be pointed at in a direction. This means they believe that He has a border in that direction. They also believe that Aļļaah is not created. Accordingly, they are forced to say that borders do not need a creator. This again means that they cannot prove the createdness of anything that is seen.

They want us to believe that this is the path of truth and reason, and the way of the Qur’aan, the Prophets and the pious Salaf. This is nothing less than an insult to the religion and the Creator, and a denial of Islam being in agreement with sound reason. It reduces it to the guesswork that all other religions are. It is an endorsement of the idea that science and reason cannot agree with religion. What an enormous price to pay just to hold onto the idea that Aļļaah’s aboveness is one of relative spacial positioning, instead of just saying that His aboveness is in power and status, not in location.


[1] All borders need a creator, because their shape is intrinsically possible. After all, a physical limit is conceptually just a connection of dots forming a line or surface. Each dot is connected to the next at one of its sides. The choice of placement of a connected dot to another is for any available space at any angle and from any angle. That’s it. The placement of connected dots form limits, and since the way the dots are placed next to each other needs specification in terms of ‘where’, it must be true that all limits need to be specified.

More simply put: anything that has a physical limit (or size), has a shape, because the limit has to have some shape. Anything that has a certain shape could have had any other shape, because any shape isn’t intrinsically of higher priority than any other shape, so having a certain shape means that there must be someone who specified it and chose it among all other possibilities.

This means that any physical limit needs a creator and cannot be eternal, because its existence depends on prior specification, and all such limits are equal in this dependence. So if someone claims that one such limit does not require a creator, or to be specified, then He can no longer logically prove that another limit does need a creator. This means that he can no longer logically prove that shapes need someone to give them a form. To be able to do that, rather, he must hold on to the premise that all limits need a creator. He must hold that since Aļļaah is not specified or created, and is definitely eternal, it must be true that Aļļaah exists without physical limits.


Children’s belief rhyme part 4

October 14, 2009

Allah was before the “here” or “there,”

The “in” or “on,” the “when” or “where,”

Allah has no origin and has no compare.

Allah’s not like the bodies or their properties.

Allah has no shape, or form, or extremities.

Allah is not in motion nor is Allah still,

For all movement and rest exist by His Will

Allah is Adh-Dhahir and Al-Batin:

He has no above or under Him*–

Or to the front, rear, or sides.

Allah needs no place in which to reside

Allah’s not measured by a volume or quantity,

And Allah is not a material or ethereal entity.

Allah is not a light, soul, or spirit

Allah exists without a place—although mushriks hate to hear it.

Allah is greater than all human conception

Unlike us, Allah is without time, place,

or direction.

 

* I took the liberty to change this line to make it further from misunderstanding. It was, “Nothing exists above or under Him” and of course this necessitates that Allaah is not in place, but children have difficulty with necessary implications and might not understand correctly. They might instead understand place without an above or under. This is my opinion. May Allaah bless the one that made this nice rhyme.

If you have kids, give them no more than one verse at the time and maybe not more than one per week. Let it sink in, and discourage them from asking questions. Human nature is to apply imagination to the unknown, and they must learn not to do that when speaking of Allaah.

The original name of this creed is “Tawheed is what you need – The Sunni Creed Versified,” by something called Pure South Production. Well, I hope these guys will put it on Youtube soon so the kids can sing along.


Children’s Tawhiid Rhyme Part 3

October 14, 2009

Now, the atheists, they have Allah’s worst curse,

Because reason witnesses there is a Creator for this universe.

All the creation stands as proof manifest.

That there is One God for all in existence.

Allah’s existence is confirmed by the sound mind,

But the sound mind knows that in it God’s not confined,

For God was before the colors, light, or darkness,

And God’s not a reflection or image grasped by the senses.

Allah is Unique—that is, completely Incomparable.

Totally different from all else–Allah’s Reality is unfathomable.

Allah is not a picture or form to imagine or conceive.

And this is an essential concept every Muslim has to believe.


Children’s Tawhiid Rhyme Part 2

October 14, 2009

Allah is One—but not like a number.

Allah is God alone, and there is no other.

Allah is without peers, partners, or parts.

Allah is free of time and has no start.

Allah was before any of the creations were.

Allah is not subject to time—like all the things that occur.

For time: it comes and it has to pass.

The present is now—but it can’t last.

The past has come and gone; the future’s yet to be.

Being defined by time is a fact of our reality.

Now time and change are both related.

Time measures change and is initiated.

God doesn’t change—for a change must begin.

It has to commence and it comes to an end.

Start and change apply to all the created

And that’s what Imam Al-Junayd clearly stated.


Children’s Tawhiid Rhyme

October 14, 2009

Someone anonymous send me this, maybe some of you would like to use it, or part of it to teach kids:

Allah is Al-Ghaniyy and Al-Qayyum.

Allah has no need for anything–including space or room.

Allah has no consort, daughter, or son,

And Allah’s not a body out of which things come.

Allah wasn’t born—nor did Allah bear or sire.

Allah doesn’t sit or descend, and Allah doesn’t tire.

No size, image, or limits—God’s not in a dimension.

Allah exists without a place—it’s a sign of His Perfection.

Allah knows what was, is, and all futurity.

Nothing is hidden from Allah or held in obscurity.

Allah has the Absolute Power and Immutable Will

Allah gives life and death and makes one well or ill.

Good and bad both happen by God’s Decree

So, whatever God wills, it will certainly be.

All occurs by Allah’s Knowledge, Will, and Might

Allah’s the Creator of all and has the Perfect Hearing and Sight.

Allah has Life without organs, flesh, or soul

Allah is Eternal and doesn’t age, rest, or get old.

Allah is An-Nur—to the light of Faith God Guides,

But Allah’s not an illumination that fills up the earth and skies.

God is One—totally beyond compare or need.

This is the Message of all the Prophets—and the essence of Tawheed.


Darwinism in the eye of the mind

October 6, 2009

I have received many requests for writing something about Darwinism since starting Sunnianswers. I never felt I should need to do that, because it should not be that difficult. I always felt no threat from a theory that is so weak that, in my view, it can be ignored from the outset. I did feel, however, that a lot of what is written, from occasional browsing on the internet, misses the point. This is not strange, perhaps, because most of what is there is written by anthropomorphists, that is, the so called creationists, and they cannot go to a level where they will be shooting themselves in the foot. It is just one kaafir arguing with another kaafir about what kind of kufr they should be doing.

The following is a brief synopsis of why Darwinism does not deserve a Muslim’s second look. It is not the usual yada yada about bones in strange places in Africa and who it belonged to, or when, or if when. It is about the approach to evidences and how to get to the truth. It is not new either, it is just the answer that the scholars of Islam would have answered, the Sunnis, if they were still around in significant numbers.

Subĥaana Aļļaah, the closest I have seen to what I am about to do was the last Mufti of the Ottoman empire, Sħaykħ Al-Islam, Muşţafaa Şabriyy. A brilliant scholar, as he had to be to get to where he was, he saw through Muhammad Abduh, and the wahabi movements, and their attacks on kalaam science. They were nothing but, knowingly or unknowingly, servants of imperialist interests. They were there to crush the fortresses of Islam: the Asħˆariyy/ Maaturiidiyy school, and the four schools of Islamic Law that kept Sunnism on top, and the Muslims gathered. A very well studied plan based on decades of orientalist studies for the age old strategy of split and rule. Reason was replaced by idiotic anthropomorphism, literalism and nationalism. This is why we have today all sects raising their banners, and an enormous mess on our hands, not to mention ignorance about basics of Islam itself in Muslim communities, but this is what Aļļaah has willed. This is all, as they say, history, and every man is responsible for himself alone in the end. No use crying over spilled milk.

To begin with I want to make it abundantly clear that the idea of one species developing into another is not problematic in Islam. This has nothing to do with religion. There is only one point that is problematic: the idea that human kind descends from other species, in the Darwinist case, from apes. This is the only issue I am addressing. I don’t care what they said about other species. I will also not raise the issue of atheism in this article, in order to keep things focused.

Empiricism

Empiricism, the idea that one learns general principles, or universals, from scrupulous study of particulars, is a brilliant idea. It is so brilliant and so simple, that one wonders, why did I not think of that, or rather, why did it take so long for anyone to realize its power. There had been scholarship and philosophy and medicine for centuries, and it is not like they had no idea about it. In medicine they did use case studies and they were systematic, but they just did not develop and stick to the methodology in a highly systematic manner.

Then comes Francis Bacon (1561–1626), who was one of the leading figures to develop the philosophy of modern scientific methodology. Bacon gives preference to Democritus’ natural philosophy in contrast to the scholastic. He attacks Aristotle’s treatment of the syllogism[1] and says that there is “no finding without proof and no proof without finding.” This is modern science, and it is exactly what the Sunni scholars meant by their term “ordinary judgment.” That is, “ordinary judgment” is achieved by studying the relations between things in nature, and judging according to repetition, the relation assumed.

Bacon speaks of four idols that are productions of the human imagination that are nothing more than “untested generalities” (Malherbe, 1996, 80). The tribal are imaginary concepts about different perceived phenomena, such as the stars. Those of the cave are doctrines cherished without proof. Those of the market place are errors in communication due to lack of attention to the true meaning of those words, such as a word like “proof.” Those of the theater are those of dogmatic ideas and methodology defended by leaders and scholars and accepted without question.

Regarding his position on cosmology, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy says:

In De Principiis atque Originibus,…. (Bacon says:) “the force implanted by God in these first particles (i.e. the smallest), form the multiplication thereof of all the variety of things proceeds and is made up” (Bacon, V [1889], 463). Similarly, in De Sapientia Veterum he attributes to this force (implanted by God in the atom as) an “appetite or instinct of primal matter; or to speak more plainly, the natural motion of the atom; which is indeed the original and unique force that constitutes and fashions all things out of matter” (Bacon, VI [1890], 729).[2]

Here Bacon loses his grip and accepts as an axiom what is just another of his idols. He makes this mistake, because he does not know the difference between necessary existence, possible existence and the impossible. It is strange that after 400 years the Darwinists are still making this very same mistake. This mistake was rejected by the Muslims, because they understood the difference between these three rational judgments. It is worthy of note that it was their religion that made the Muslims more open minded than these worldly philosophers of science.

Bacon fell in his own trap so to speak and worshiped the Idols of his own “Cave” by cherishing this doctrine, without possessing any evidence of its truth. Yet this mistake has no practical worldly consequence, and perhaps this is why he did not pay attention to it. For him it was perhaps like an overall working hypothesis. Wa laa quwwata illaa billaah.

Evidence in empiricism

Evidence is of different kinds. It can be of the kind that provides certain knowledge, such as the evidence that the world must have beginning and therefore a Creator. At the next level we have those that provide likelihood to the extent that you have no doubt, such as a famous ĥadiitħ that is widely known and accepted throughout history by the scholars, that has no anomalies in meaning or chain of narration. In science one deals, at the very best of times, at this level. That is why Hawkins states in his book “A brief History of Time”:

Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis: you can never prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory. On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory. As philosopher of science Karl Popper has emphasized, a good theory is characterized by the fact that it makes a number of predictions that could in principle be disproved or falsified by observation. Each time new experiments are observed to agree with the predictions the theory survives, and our confidence in it is increased; but if ever a new observation is found to disagree, we have to abandon or modify the theory. At least that is what is supposed to happen, but you can always question the competence of the person who carried out the observation. In practice, what often happens is that a new theory is devised that is really an extension of the previous theory. For example, very accurate observations of the planet Mercury revealed a small difference between its motion and the predictions of Newton’s theory of gravity. Einstein’s general theory of relativity predicted a slightly different motion from Newton’s theory. The fact that Einstein’s predictions matched what was seen, while Newton’s did not, was one of the crucial confirmations of the new theory. However, we still use Newton’s theory for all practical purposes because the difference between its predictions and those of general relativity is very small in the situations that we normally deal with. (Stephen Hawking, 1988, P. 8)

In general, the harder the science, the stronger the proofs can be, and the hardest of all is physics, followed by chemistry. At the other end of the bargain, we have areas of study that are merely trying to be sciences, in my opinion, such as economics.

These proofs study causal relations and the propositions they prove are causal, such as, “the heavier the object, the harder it falls.” The reason why the proofs are best in physics, is the fact that it is easier to repeat experiments in an identical and controlled manner to test a theory in physics. So by dropping objects of different weights over and over, we can verify that indeed, “the heavier it is, the harder it falls,” to the point at which we no longer doubt what to expect about the hardness of the fall of a particular object.

The weakness that is always present, however, is that this methodology, the methodology of the experimental sciences, is essentially fallacious. Why? Because it assumes that the future will be like the past, or the other item of a group of similar things will necessarily behave in the same manner. There are a lot of maybes left in that, such as, maybe we are missing something, maybe what we are observing is affected by something we are not observing, how can we assume that objects will behave according to the same rules tomorrow? …. and so on.

This problem is less in physics, because the objects studied are highly specified and isolated. In economics, on the other hand, it is hard to be specific or isolate anything at all, and one underlying factor is the notorious unpredictability of human behavior. Another not-so-scientific science is psychology, where one tries to study human behavior, but the results are meager, as any reasonable psychologist will admit – despite the efforts of B.F. Skinner. A human is far too complex to be observed in a satisfactory manner. For example, the human mind itself is completely unobservable, and yet it is a major factor of our behavior, perhaps the most important. Any experiment will lack in observability, isolatability and repeatability for testing a theory. Not the least because humans differ so much from person to person, to the extent that they react very differently even to chemicals they consume as medicine, let alone their social and natural environment. If it is something we can know, it is probably pointless, such as: fire on hand → ouch.

Proof and evidence in Islaam

Certitude: The proofs of pure rational judgment

Let us take a more complete look at what evidence is. We mentioned earlier that proofs provide different levels of certainty. The Islamic scholars already observed this long ago. As-Sanuusiyy said: “Know that the judgments of the intellect are limited to 3 categories:

1. what absolutely must be true,

2. what absolutely cannot be true, and

3. what may be true.}”

That is, if we propose something to be true, then our minds will judge that this is either absolutely necessary, absolutely impossible, or possibly true. For example, if someone said, “ˆUmar exists,” a listener would immediately consider this proposition as possible, without knowing more about this ˆUmar.

The judgment of the mind may be immediately obvious, or it may require some thinking. Note that these categories refer to purely intellectual judgments, regardless of any physical evidences or other information. These intellectual judgments are not the only sources of certitude of knowledge. There are two other related ways.

Certitude: The proofs of sensory observation and true information

First, we may gain certainty of knowledge through sound sensory organs by seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, or touching. For example, we become certain of our own existence and that of our families through our senses. In the case of the proposition “ˆUmar exists,” if we see this ˆUmar, he will be sure that indeed, ˆUmar exists.

Second, we may gain certitude about a fact by hearing about something from other people in a way that precludes the possibility of a mistake. For example, we are certain about the historical occurrence of World War II and the existence of Hitler, because we have received consistent information from masses of people about these facts. The way we received this information eliminates the possibility that they could all be mistaken, or have conspired to lie.

In short, the causes of certain knowledge for creations are three: sound senses, true information and the mind.

Likelihood: Normal possibility, impossibility and necessity

Now, science does not deal with certainties. It deals with what could possibly be true. Scientists do not care about whether ˆUmar exists. They are not interested in merely observing something obvious with their senses, which’s denial would be madness. They are interested in knowing what is not obvious. Perception is one thing, the conception of it is another, then the understanding of how it relates to other perceived and conventionalized phenomena is again quite another. For this reason, they study how different things correlate with one another, such as heaviness and hardness of fall.

If the correlation is 100% in many experiments, then we have the best scientific proof we could ever hope for, and yet, as Hawkins said, “No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory.” This is the meaning of likelihood.

The scholars of Islam, such as Al-Bayđaawiyy[3] (died 685 AH/ 1286 AD), recognized the weakness of correlation as a proof, and said:

“والدوران ضعيف” “correlation is weak (as a proof)[4].”

The reason is, as mentioned above, it is essentially fallacious as an argument, and therefore useless in belief related issues. Correlation then, is only used for practical matters from an Islamic viewpoint. For example, if the Prophet was observed doing or saying something in several similar situations, we would consider this as evidence for what we should do, but it is not a matter of belief.

Correlation can tell us something about likelihood, such as the likelihood of something heavier will fall harder than something lighter. The likelihood is a function of the correlation found in the causal relation studied, of the observability of the phenomena studied, and the isolatability and controllability of the phenomena under study from potentially influencing variables not being observed or measured. On top of that we need to be able to repeat identical experiments to verify further, and have a conviction that it is reasonable to look at the correlation being driven by a causal relation, and not something else. This involves subjective judgment of the scientist, and we will not get into the notion of “cause” in this article in any significant detail. In fact, observability, isolatability, controllability and repeatability all involve subjective judgment.

The strongest scientific proofs would be those that show normal impossibility, or normal necessity. Between those we have proofs for theories that make them range between likely true, maybe true, and not likely true. Pigs flying would be normally impossible, because it contradicts with the norms of gravity and aerodynamics. Likewise, fire normally necessitates heat. However, they are not impossible or necessary in the mind’s eye, because there is no logical contradiction in the idea of pigs flying or fire not giving heat. We just don’t expect anything else, because this is always, time and time again the norm. That is why Hawkins said what he said. As-Sanuusiyy (died 895 AH/1490 AD) stated with regard to what is normally necessary or normally impossible:

حقيقة الحكم العادي: هو إثبات الربط بين أمر وأمر، وجوداً وعدماً، بواسطة التكرر، مع صحة التخلف، وعدم تأثير أحدهما في الأمر ألبته[5].

“The meaning of ordinary judgment (as opposed the judgment of the mind’s eye alone): is to affirm true a link between something and something else in terms of existence and non-existence (such as if this then that, or if this then not that, and vice versa, e.g. if the weight is heavier then if falls harder) by means of repetition, with the remaining cognitive possibility of anomaly (i.e. deviance from that normal link), and without one of them affecting the other in actual reality.”[6]

His last statement, “without one of them affecting the other in actual reality” is a reference to the Muslim belief that nothing occurs other than by having been specified and created by Aļļaah. Arguably this statement does not need to be part of the definition, since it already said, “with the possibility of anomaly,” but As-Sanuusiyy mentioned it to protect people from misunderstanding him. This judgment differs from that of the mind in that it involves judgments on objects we observe, and from religious judgment, which involves those concerning prohibitions, obligations and the like, based on religious texts narrated to us.

Darwinist ape to human proposition in light of the judgment of the mind’s eye

Now, the science part of the theory of Darwinists that Islam has a problem with is their idea that Adam was a descendent from apes. Let us first take a look at how this idea fits into the judgment of the mind. Clearly, one cannot say it is impossible in the mind’s eye alone, the way 2+2=5 is impossible. One cannot say either that it must be true, and that there is no other alternative in the mind’s eye, like 2+2=4. Rather, without looking at religious evidences, one cannot but admit other than that it is rationally possible that humans descended from apes, that descended again from other species, and so on.

Darwinist ape to human proposition in light of the judgment of what is normal

We are dealing then, with a proposition that is possible, and is neither a necessity, nor an impossibility in the mind’s eye. This is verified by the fact that Aļļaah created monkeys out of some humans, which tells us that He certainly has the power to create humans from monkeys as well:

وَجَعَلَ مِنْهُمُ الْقِرَدَةَ وَالْخَنَازِيرَ [المائدة : 60]

Meaning: “and He made from them (a cursed group of people) apes and pigs.”

Again, this possibility is only without considering religious evidences. Indeed, the religious sources tell us that mankind was not created from apes, as we shall show later in this article.

Now, we have stated earlier that there are two other ways than pure reason to provide certainty of something being true or not. The first is sensory observation. The second is mass narration. Darwinists do not have sensory observation for how humans descended in history, nor do they have a mass narration from observers.

This means that they do not have, nor will they ever have proof for the theory that provides certainty of knowledge for their theory being true.

What they are left with is scientific proof. We have already observed that such proof is strongest in the hardest sciences, which achieve a high level of correlation, observability, isolatability, controllability and repeatability. The best of these proofs tell us that something is normally necessary, such as Gravity on Earth, or normally impossible, such as flying pigs. Yet, as we have repeatedly stated, the best of such proofs do no more than provide a high level of likelihood, and this is when there is extremely high correlation, and there was extremely high observability (i.e measurability), isolatability, controllability and repeatability, to bring reliable and valid results.

There is no hope for proving the ape proposition from a scientific viewpoint

Even at this level, in the ability to provide this sort of high quality scientific evidence, the Darwinist monkey hypothesis fails miserably. They always will. Why? Because if we were to use our imagination, then the best evidence they could ever hope to provide it to have a monkey give birth to a human in a lab.

I do not think anyone believes this will ever happen, but IF they did, they would have themselves a field day and probably consider it case closed. The problem, however, that this high-imagination lab result does not in fact prove their theory. Namely, that humans actually and historically descended from apes. Why? Because all it would show is that a human could possibly, according to the norms of the universe, or as they say: “scientific law,” descend from a monkey, not that human kind, as is, actually descended from apes. This is a matter of what actually happened in history, not what could have happened in history, and we already knew about this possibility in the mind’s eye already, so what would we have gained?

In short, the Darwinist theory is impossible to actually prove scientifically in the sense that medicine and engineering related sciences prove their theories.

Now, Darwinists are far away from even showing a possibility in light of the norms of the universe – how things normally correlate. The evidences they provide are circumstantial findings of dated ape and human bones, and we have all watched enough court case movies to know what the status of circumstantial evidence is as a proof: it does not even remove reasonable doubt. That is why there are still scientists around that do not buy into it. It is more a matter of group psychological dynamics and fashion that makes people buy into it than anything else. Scientific theories are in fashion, and religious explanations are out, driven by the remarkable success of science in engineering and medicine. Due to its success, everybody wants to be called a scientist, even economists and psychologists. Few are willing to sit back and take a hard look at what is a proof, what does it tell us and what makes science successful and why, and what are the requirements?

The problem is of course, that the success of science in technology is the success of experimental science, not of everything called science. So by merely being labeled a science, or scientific, does not mean it should be looked at with the level of respect that we have for physics and chemistry, or biochemistry. Darwinists are an example of even historians making a claim to the title of “scientist”, in an attempt to be associated with the modern understanding of the word – namely that of experimental science. That just does not work at all. I am being kind when I say that.

A look at the evidences that Darwinists show will lack severely in terms of high observability (i.e measurability), isolatability, controllability and repeatability. E.g. you will find sample size=1, repeatability=0, controllability =0, repeatability = 0.

An Islamic look at the ape proposition

So why do we as Muslims reject the possibility of Darwinists being right about humans descending from apes? The proof is complex, and comes back to proving correct the Muslim belief in Aļļaah, the belief in prophethood, the prophethood of Muĥammad (صل الله عليه وسلم) in particular, and the belief in the Qur’aan as an unperverted and revealed book[7], and that it is impossible that Aļļaah should lie, i.e. what He tells us must be true[8]. Why? Because our rejection of this part of Darwinism is based on the Quranic rejection, and the Qur’aan must be shown as a source of true information. As mentioned earlier, one of the sources of certain knowledge is true information, so we need to verify the Qur’aan as a source of true information, and that depends on all these premises. This, however, is beyond the scope of this article, but there are references in footnote 7 and 8 for those interested..

With regard to the Quranic rejection of the monkey theory, Aļļaah said:

فَإِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ مِنْ تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ مِنْ نُطْفَةٍ ثُمَّ مِنْ عَلَقَةٍ ثُمَّ مِنْ مُضْغَةٍ [الحج : 5]

Meaning: “For verily I created you (O Humans) from soil, then from a drop (of semen), then a blodcloth, then a lump of flesh.” This tells us that human kind is created from soil. Further to this, Aļļaah also said:

إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَى عِنْدَ اللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ آدَمَ خَلَقَهُ مِنْ تُرَابٍ [آل عمران : 59]

Meaning: “Verily the case of Jesus, to Aļļaah, is like that of Adam. He created him from soil.” This further verifies that humans are from soil, not apes, because Adam is the first human and the father of mankind, and it is stated that he was created from soil, not an ape. Aļļaah also said, removing all chances for any figurative interpretation:

إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاهُمْ مِنْ طِينٍ لَازِبٍ [الصافات : 11]

Meaning: “Verily I created you from firm[9] clay.”[10] Clearly, no one can reasonably claim that what is meant by firm clay is a monkey.

Further to this, as mentioned earlier, Aļļaah did make some humans into monkeys after their transgression against His orders:

وَجَعَلَ مِنْهُمُ الْقِرَدَةَ وَالْخَنَازِيرَ [المائدة : 60]

Meaning: “and He made from them (a cursed group of people) apes and pigs.”

Being related to pigs and monkeys then, is a curse and a humiliation. This also tells us that Adam is not a descendant of an ape, because Aļļaah said:

وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِي آدَمَ وَحَمَلْنَاهُمْ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَرَزَقْنَاهُمْ مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَفَضَّلْنَاهُمْ عَلَى كَثِيرٍ مِمَّنْ خَلَقْنَا تَفْضِيلًا [الإسراء : 70]

Meaning: “I have honored the sons of Adam (i.e human kind); provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favors above a great part of creation.”

Then we have the ĥadiitħ of the Prophet, narrated by Abuu Dawuud and At-Tirmidħiyy:

الناس كلُّهم بنو آدَمَ، وآدمُ خُلِقَ من تراب[11]

“All people are the children of Adam, and Adam was created from soil.”[12]

The Islamic textual sources are verily clear on the origin of humans then, and that it is not apes, and this proof is much, much stronger than the circumstantial evidences claimed by Darwinists to show otherwise.


[1]An argument the conclusion of which is supported by two premises, of which one (major premise) contains the term (major term) that is the predicate of the conclusion, and the other (minor premise) contains the term (minor term) that is the subject of the conclusion; common to both premises is a term (middle term) that is excluded from the conclusion. A typical form is “All A is C; all B is A; therefore all B is C.” (Random House, Inc. 2009.)

[2]“Francis Bacon (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy),” http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/francis-bacon/.

[3]Az-Zirikliyy, Al-‘Aˆlaam (2002) (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar El-Ilm Lil-Malayeen, 1423), 4/110.

[4]ˆAliyy ibn ˆAbdulKaafii As-Subkiyy (1404 AH/ 1355 AD), Al-Ibhaaj Fii Sħarĥi-l-Minhaaj (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Kotob Al-ilmiyah, 1404), 1/146.

[5]قال السنوسيّ :حقيقة الحكم العادي: هو إثبات الربط بين أمر وأمر، وجوداً وعدماً، بواسطة التكرر، مع صحة التخلف، وعدم تأثير أحدهما في الأمر ألبته.( شرح المقدمات للسنوسيّ, مكتبة المعارف, 2009, ص. 68)

[6]Muĥammad ibn Yuusuf As-Sanuusiyy (896 AH), Sħarĥu-l-Muqaddimaat, 1st ed. (Maktabatu-l-Maˆaarif, 1420), 68.

[7]See “Foundations of the Religion” for this discussion at http://sunnianswers.wordpress.com/2008/05/19/the-foundations-of-the-religion/ or http://sunnianswers.wordpress.com/2009/08/02/foundations-of-the-religion-pdf/ and http://sunnianswers.wordpress.com/2008/05/24/is-there-a-flaw-in-the-proof-for-the-existence-of-Allah/

[8]See http://sunnianswers.wordpress.com/2008/07/15/refuting-the-accusation-that-asharis-consider-it-rationally-possible-for-allah-to-lie/ and http://sunnianswers.wordpress.com/2008/07/19/it-is-intrinsically-impossible-that-allaah-has-obligations-and-it-is-intrinsically-impossible-that-he-could-lie/ and http://sunnianswers.wordpress.com/2008/07/19/it-is-intrinsically-impossible-that-allaah-has-obligations-and-it-is-intrinsically-impossible-that-he-could-lie/

[9]مفردات ألفاظ القرآن ـ نسخة محققة – (2 / 337): اللازب: الثابت الشديد الثبوت. قال تعالى: {من طين لازب} [الصافات/ 11]

[10]Ar-Raagħib Al-‘Aşfahaaniyy, Mufradaatu-l-Qur’aan (Damascus, Syria: Daar Al-Qalam), 2/337.

[11]جامع الأصول – دار الفكر الخ – (10 / 617): 8215 – ( ت د ) أبو هريرة – رضي الله عنه – : أنَّ رسولَ الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- قال : «لَيَنْتَهِيَنَّ أقّوَام يفتخرون بآبائهم الذين ماتوا ، إنما هم فَحْمُ جهنم ، أو لَيَكُونُنَّ أَهّوَنَ على الله من الجِعْلان الذي يُدَهِدِهُ الخراءَ بأنفه ، إن الله تعالى قد أذَهب عنكم عُبيَّةَ الجاهلية ، وفخرها بالآباء ، إنما هُوَ مؤمِن تقي ، أو فاجِر شقي ، الناس كلُّهم بنو آدَمَ، وآدمُ خُلِقَ من تراب». أخرجه الترمذي ، وهو آخر حديث في كتابه ، وأخرجه أيضا مختصرا : أنَّ رسولَ الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- قال : «قد أذهب الله عنكم عُبيَّةَ الجاهلية ، وفخرها بالآباء ، مؤمن تقي وفاجر شقي الناس بنو آدمَ ، وآدمُ خُلِقَ من تراب».-[618]- وفي رواية أبي داود : «إنَّ الله قد أذهب عنكم عُبيَّةَ الجاهلية»… وذكر الرواية الأولى إلى قوله : «من تراب» ثم قال : «ليَدَعنَّ رجال فَخّرهم بأقوام»… وذكره ، وقال في آخره : «من الجعلان التي تدفع بأنفها النَّتَنَ».

[12]Ibn ‘Atħiir (606 AH), Jaamiˆi-l-‘Uşuul, ed. ˆAbdulQaadir Al-Arna’uuţ (Vol. 1-11) and Basħiir ˆUyuun (Vol. 12), 1st ed. (Beirut, Lebanon: Daar Al-Fikr, Maktabah Al-Hulawaaniyy, Maţbaˆah Al-Mallaaĥ, Maktabah Daar Al-Bayaan, 1969), 10/617.


The Qur’aan and Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech

October 5, 2009

Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech

Aļļaah’s Speech is a necessary and eternal attribute of perfection, which pertains to what He knows, by which He tells, orders, promises and threatens. It would be imperfection for the Creator not to have an attribute by which He tells, orders, promises and threatens. That is why we do not believe it has a beginning, or that it is an action, such as our speech, because that would mean that Aļļaah needed to create for Himself a Speech to achieve perfection.

Moreover, it is imperfection to be attributed with the attribute of expressing what one knows serially (i.e. consecutively, one piece of information after another, or by letters or words). This is because speech that consists of serial expressions must have a beginning and because there will be a delay in informing all that one knows.

Words and letters are created speech

Speech consisting of words and letters is the speech of creation. For this reason one cannot say that Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of Speech is letters and sounds, because Aļļaah said:

“لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ”

Meaning: “Absolutely nothing resembles Him.” (Al-Sħuuraa, 11)

Accordingly, when Ahlu-s-Sunnah, the Asħˆariyys and the Ĥanafiyys, say that the “Qur’aan is not created” they are referring to Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of speech that is not sound or letters. In other words, the Speech that the book of the Qur’aan refers to.

This is the correct belief, because the Arabic language, just like all languages, was created by Aļļaah. Accordingly, if Arabic is a creation, how can Arabic speech be anything but a creation? After all, what is composed of created things, in this case the sounds of Arabic and their representing letters, is clearly created.

Moreover, speech that is letters and sounds must have a beginning and therefore be a creation. Why? Because words and letters have a beginning. So in “bismillaah”, for example “i” comes after “b”, so when you say bismillaah, the sound “i” only becomes existent after “b” ’s non-existence. This means “i” has become existent after non existence, which means that it needs a creator to exist. Nothing can come into existence without a creator, all Muslims must believe that.

The two meanings of the word “Qur’aan”

The saying of Ahlu-s-Sunnah is that the words and letters in the printed copies of the Qur’aan refer to Aļļaah’s eternal Kalaam, and tell us in Arabic what He said eternally without letters, sounds or words. It is therefore correct to say that “the Qur’aan is not created,” because the word “Qur’aan” actually refers to what Aļļaah tells us, and His speech is not created. It is not correct, however, to say that the words, letters, and sounds associated with the book are not created, because words and letters need a creator, and because the Arabic language, the language of the book, is a creation.

An example to clarify is that the word “Aļļaah” refers to Aļļaah. We do not worship these letters, or the sounds of uttering this word. Rather, we worship the one they refer to. In the same sense, the words, letters and Arabic in the book are not themselves Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech, but refer to that attribute; they tell us what Aļļaah said with His eternal Speech.

The two aspects of speech: meanings and expression

This can be clarified more with another example as follows: Let us say that Obama made a speech today at a White House press conference. Then the reporters wrote down what was said and published it in the Washington Post under the title “Obama’s Speech.” Now, if someone came and said, “This is not Obama’s Speech! This is just paper and ink!” Would you consider this person sensible? Of course you would not. Why? Let us first look at the concept of speech and the meanings of the word “speech” in this example.

If we were to imagine the events surrounding the press conference, we can imagine that before even saying anything, Obama had something in his heart that he wanted to say. These unexpressed meanings that he wanted to say is the speech inside that he wants to make. This is called a speech, as we just did when we said, “the speech that he wants to make,” but it is not letters or sounds. Rather it is a collection of meanings that words can be used to express. Words, after all, are just collections of sounds that refer to meanings that we want to express. Yet, we refer to collections of words put together in sentences by someone as “his speech,” even if it translated to another language that this someone does not even know.

The word “speech” then, has at least two meanings. The first is the meanings that we want to express. The second is the expression of these meanings in words and letters, body language, or some other mode of expression. The reason why the expression is simply called “his speech” or “her speech” is because the expressed form of it is an expression of what the person wanted to say.

From this it is easy to understand that the word “Qur’aan” has two meanings. The first is the eternal Speech of Aļļaah that the words and letters of the book of the Qur’aan refer to, and that is not itself words, letters, language or sequence. Note that we do not call this “inner speech”, because Aļļaah’s speech is not like our inner speech, and because Aļļaah is not said to have an inside, as He is not a body.

The second meaning of the “Qur’aan” is the book, the organized and sequential Arabic words and letters that express in Arabic what Aļļaah said eternally, without letters or sounds. This book is called Aļļaah’s Speech, because it refers to what Aļļaah said eternally, and one cannot say that it is not Aļļaah’s speech, because that entails denying Aļļaah’s eternal speech.

To clarify further using the example of Obama’s speech: if it was translated to Arabic we would still call it “Obama’s Speech.” This is because they refer to the meanings he originally expressed in English based on the meanings he wanted to convey, which is his inner speech. Accordingly, if someone said about the Arabic translation, “This is not Obama’s speech!” people would understand from this that he did not express those meanings, not that he did not say it in Arabic. In fact, if the one that claimed it is not Obama’s speech clarified what he meant and said, “He spoke English, not Arabic!” people would consider him a fool. The reason is that they understand Obama’s speech to be the meanings that he expressed, irrespective of how it is expressed.

Likewise, when Muslims hold the muşĥaf up and say, “this is Aļļaah’s Speech,” they mean the meanings that Aļļaah said eternally, not the paper or ink, or the letters and their sounds. That is why if someone translated an aayah of the Qur’aan to English and stated before it “Aļļaah said….” people will not object and say, “Aļļaah did not say that,” unless he disagreed with the translation. Alternatively, they mean the Arabic expression of Aļļaah’s eternal speech in particular, which can be considered the second meaning of the word “Qur’aan,” which the scholars refer to as an-naţħm, or “the structure.”

Deviant sayings regarding Aļļaah’s speech

Since speech that consists of words and letters is created, there is no difference between saying “Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of Speech is words and letters,” and saying “Aļļaah’s Speech is created.” The first is the saying of the Ĥuruufiyyah[1], and the second is that of the Muˆtazilah. It does not help the Ĥuruufiyyah try to escape by saying that it is “uncreated.”

The Muˆtazilah said it is created because it is letters and sounds, and letters and sounds have a beginning, so they must be created. The Ĥuruufiyyah take this one step further in deviation by denying the obvious, which is that anything with a beginning, such as letters, is a creation.

The only difference between the Muˆtazilah and the Ĥuruufiyyah is that the latter called this “emergent speech brought into existence by Aļļaah according to His specification” an “uncreated attribute,” whereas the Muˆtazilah called this very same “emergent speech brought into existence by Aļļaah according to His specification” a “created non-attribute.” They only differ about what to call it, and that is not a real difference, and thus not what the Salaf were concerned about when they refuted the Muˆtazilah.

What the Salaf understood from “create”

The Salaf spoke Arabic. In other words, by looking up the definition of create, we can tell what the Salaf meant when they said, “the Qur’aan is not created.” Did they mean that it is an event and was brought into existence, but not created, as the Ĥuruufiyyah claim? Or did they mean that the Qur’aan is not brought into existence, because it is not an event, thus has no need for a creator?

The authoritative imam of Arabic linguistics Ibn Faaris[2] said in Maqaayiisu-l-Lugħah: “(The root) kħ-l-q has two basic meanings (that all its derived words, such as kħalaqa – to create – come from) one of them is to specify, the other is smoothness[3].”[4]

The linguists Ibn Manţħuur[5] in Lisaanu-l-ˆArab [6], and Az-Zabiidiyy[7] in Taaju-l-ˆAruus [8] narrate from the imaam of Arabic, Al-‘Azhariyy: “Among the attributes of Aļļaah is “the Creator” (Al-Kħaaliq and Al-Kħallaaq), and He is the one that brought everything into existence after it being non-existent, and the root meaning of the word kħalq is specifying, so He is in the sense of what gets existence from Him the one that specified it, and in the sense of bringing into existence according to the specification, the one that created it[9].”

In the Arabic language then, to create is to bring into existence according to specification. Clearly then, there is no difference between saying “created” or “event,” because whatever did not exist must be brought into existence to become and event. Otherwise it would remain non-existent. The Ĥuruufiyyah want to convince us that Aļļaah brings sounds into existence in Himself and then lets them out. They want to convince us that bringing something into existence with the specification of “in the world” is called “created”, while specifying in “the the Creator for this,” is called “event.” But there is no difference here except the specification, and creating is to bring into existence according to specification in Arabic, so this is a baseless claim.

Being an event and being created is the same

The Ĥuruufiyyah insist that Aļļaah’s attribute of Kalaam/Speech is sounds and letters, and has a beginning, but is not created. They have the curious idea that not all events are created. This has no basis in the Arabic language or the terminology of the Salaf; they saw no difference between saying “event” and “created.” In this regard, Al-Bayhaqiyy narrated in Al-Asmaa’ Wa-ş-Şifaat that Wakiiˆ said: “The Qur’aan (i.e. what the Arabic words and letters refer to) is the Speech/ Kalaam of Aļļaah (i.e. His eternal attribute), and it is not created. So the one that says it is created has disbelieved in Aļļaah.” In another narration he said, “The one that says the Qur’aan is created has said it has a beginning, and the one that says it has a beginning has blasphemed [10].” The same was narrated by Adħ-Dħahabiyy [11][12].

For those who do not know who Wakiiˆ is, it was stated by Adħ-Dħahabiyy in Siyar ‘Aˆlaam An-Nubalaa’: “The Imaam, the Ĥaafiţħ, the Muĥadditħ of ˆIraaq, …. He was born in 129 after the Hijrah (9/140-141).” He said that Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal used to glorify Wakiiˆ and say about him, “I have never met anyone more aware in his knowledge than Wakiiˆ, or anyone that has memorized more[13] (9/144).” In short, Wakiiˆ is one of the greatest ĥadiitħ masters in history and here we find him making takfiir for those who say that the the Qur’aan (i.e. the eternal attribute of Aļļaah that the book refers to) is an event, but not created.

The same statement was also made by Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal. Adħ-Dħahabiyy and others narrated that he said: “The one who says that the Qur’aan is something with a beginning is a kaafir[14]. [15]

Another famous scholar of the Salaf generation, Abuu Jaˆfar Aţ-Ţabariyy said: “The one that objects to what we have stated, it is said to him: Tell us about the speech that you described as created, and that the Beginninglessly Eternal speaks with, did He create it, as it is created according to you, in Himself, or in something else, or is it something existing in itself? If he says, ”in Himself” then this necessitates that He would be something that created things exist in and this is blasphemy according to everybody[16]. [17]

Asħ-Sħawkaaniyy affirms that the Salaf made takfiir for the one who says “the Qur’aan is an event.” He says in his book Fatĥu-l-Qadiir, under the explanation for Al-‘Anbiyaa’, 2: “The imaams of the Sunnis were right in their forbiddance in answering the call to the saying ‘the Qur’aan is created’ or ‘emergent’.” Notice how he does not see a difference between created and emergent, then he said, “Aļļaah protected the nation of His prophet’s followers from a bad innovation through them. They went beyond that, however, and said that the Qur’aan is eternal and did not stop at that, but said that the one who says it is emergent is a kaafir[18]…. [19]” This means that the Ĥuruufiyyah are kuffaar in the eyes of the Salaf.

There is no difference then, between saying “event” and “created.” Both words mean “brought into existence,” and the Salaf were against saying “the Qur’aan is an event” just as much as they were against saying that it is created. Accordingly, any Arabic speech is created, because it did not exist and then existed, which makes it an event and in need of a creator to bring it into existence.

As for the claim that Al-Bukħaariyy called the Qur’aan an event, this is not the case. Al-Bukħaariyy was speaking of the revelation of the Qur’aan when he commented on the saying of Aļļaah:

مَا يَأْتِيهِمْ مِنْ ذِكْرٍ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ مُحْدَثٍ إِلاَّ اسْتَمَعُوهُ وَهُمْ يَلْعَبُونَ [الأنبياء : 2]

Meaning: “Whenever new remembrance from their Lord comes to them, they listen to it mockingly.”

Isĥaaq ibn Raawayh was asked about this Aayah, he said: “Eternally of Aļļaah, new to Earth.” Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy commented: “this is the precedent of what Al-Bukħaariyy said[20].” This must clearly be the case, lest Al-Bukħaariyy be a non-Muslim deviant in the view of the likes of Wakiiˆ and Aĥmad, as discussed above.

Abuu Ĥaniifah on the meaning of “the Qur’aan is not created.”

Abuu Ĥaniifah, who is definitely among the Salaf, explains that the meaning of “the Qur’aan is not created” is that Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of speech is not created. In his book Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar, he said:

“The Qur’aan is the Speech of Aļļaah (Taˆaalaa), written on pages (muşĥafs), preserved in hearts, recited on tongues, and revealed to the Prophet r. Our utterance of the Qur’aan is created, and our recitation of the Qur’aan is created, but the Qur’aan is not created[21].” [22].

He means by “the Qur’aan is the Speech of Aļļaah” that the word “Qur’aan” refers to Aļļaah’s eternal speech that is not letters (thus not language or sounds – as letters are symbols that represent sounds.) I.e. there is no difference between saying “Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech” and “the Qur’aan;” they are synonyms. He makes this clear when he says a few paragraphs later:

“Aļļaah speaks, but not like our speech; we speak by means of instruments (vocal cords, limbs, etc.) and letters, but Aļļaah speaks without instruments or letters. Letters are a creation, and Aļļaah’s Speech is not created[23].” [24].
In conclusion, Abuu Ĥaniifah says, “the Qur’aan is the Speech of Aļļaah,” and “Aļļaah speaks without instruments or letters,” then he emphasizes this further by saying, “Letters are a creation, and Aļļaah’s Speech is not created.”

The judgment on saying that the Qur’aan is created.

The word Qur’aan is a name for Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of Speech, as has been clarified earlier. It can also, however, refer to the Arabic book of the Qur’aan – the revealed letters – like when someone says, “please give me that Qur’aan on the shelf”. When the Salaf said, “the Qur’aan is not created,” they obviously meant the first meaning, not the second.

But what about if someone said, “the Qur’aan is created,” intending the book? The Salaf said that saying that the Qur’aan is created with this sense in mind – the revealed letters of the book – is bidˆah, an ugly innovation. They considered it ugly because it may mislead someone to think that Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech is created. Ibn ˆAabidiin in his Ĥaasħiyah says, “The bottom line is that what is not created is the Qur’aan in the sense of Aļļaah’s Speech, that is, the (eternal) attribute that is affirmed to His Self, not the sense of revealed letters. It is not said that the Qur’aan is created, however, so that no one will think that the first meaning is meant[25]. [26]

Note however, that some later scholars allowed this expression for teaching purposes, because they found it necessary to use this expression to explain that Aļļaah’s eternal speech is not language or letters. In fact, today it is probably the case that most people understand from the word Qur’aan the revealed letters only, and not the attribute of Aļļaah. For this they allowed the expression “the Qur’aan is created” for teaching purposes, so that no one would think that the letters in the book are uncreated.

The late Asħˆariyys’ permission of saying “the Qur’aan is created”

As for when some of the later Asħˆariyys spoke of the permissibility of saying “the Qur’aan is created,” they were referring to the Arabic expression, not Aļļaah’s Speech. They said that this statement may be used in a classroom setting. The reason is because over time the word Qur’aan is mainly understood as referring to the expression of Aļļaah’s eternal Speech in Arabic words and letters. They were afraid that some people would understand from the expression, “the Qur’aan is not created,” that the Arabic expression is not created, which is far more dangerous than saying “the Qur’aan is created,” if one means the Arabic expression (not Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of Speech). After all, the latter meaning is sound, because Arabic expressions have a beginning and cannot be eternal, and if they are not eternal, then they must have been specified and brought into existence by Aļļaah. In other words, they must have been created. The only bad side of this would be that this expression is a bidˆah in religion, so they restricted it to a classroom purposes, because this is where the setting of religious necessity applies. That is, the necessity of preventing the kufr belief that Aļļaah speaks in letters and sounds, which is far more important than avoiding a dubious innovation.

The principle of those who claim that letters may not be created, and their status in FakħrudDiin Ar-Raaziyy’s view

An Arabic utterance is a creation exactly because it is an event. It has to be, since Arabic itself is created, so one can only wonder why some would want to say that, “not every event is created.” The answer is that they believe that Aļļaah is a physical entity located above the ˆArsħ. According to this philosophy, when something is created outside of that body, it is called creation, and when it is created inside that body, it is not a creation. That is why they consider the saying “the Qur’aan is created,” as a deviant statement, because to them this means that the Arabic letters and sounds written in the muşĥaf were not first created inside the physical entity, or idol, that they worship, and invalidly call “Aļļaah.” In other words, “He does not resemble anything,” means to them, in the context of the attribute of Speech, “His speech has a different location.” Based on this concept of physical location, you can understand a lot about what they mean when they are talking about Aļļaah’s attributes.

FakħrudDiin Ar-Raaziyy said, “Proofs tell us that the who says that God is a body is a disbeliever in God (who is greatly above and clear of flaws). The reason is that the God of the World exists, and He is not a body, or stationed in a body. So if the one who believes that God is a body denies this non-bodily existence, then he has disbelieved in God Himself. This means that the disagreement between the one that believes that God is a body, and the monotheist (i.e. in the Islamic sense, namely that God does not have a partner, part or a like in His self of attributes), is not based on a disagreement regarding attributes, but regarding the self (i.e. the identity of the one attributed with godhood.) It is sound to say then, that the one who believes that God is a body does not believe in Allah….

….As for the Ĥuluuliyyah (those who believe that Allah settles in created things, such as the sky or a human body) and Ĥuruufiyyah (those who believe that Allah’s attribute of Kalaam/Speech consists of letters and sounds) sects, we say that they are unequivocally disbelievers. This is because Allah declared the Christians blasphemers for believing that Allah’s speech entered into Jesus, whereas the Ĥuruufiyyah believe that it settles in the tongue of all those who recite Qur’aan, and in all physical things that the Qur’aan was written on. Accordingly, if the belief in its settlement in one single body (Jesus) is blasphemy, then it is even more blasphemous to believe that it settles in all shapes and bodies[27].” [28].

What is the response if someone asked, “who said alif laam miim?”?

The answer is therefore that Aļļaah said alif-laam-miim, without His speech being words, letters or language. The letters in the muşĥaf tell us what He said eternally. The expression “alif-laam-miim” is not different than other words or letters in the muşĥaf in this regard. They are letters that refer to the meaning of what Aļļaah said eternally without letters of sounds. Abuu Faraj Ibn Al-Jawziyy[29] said in his commentary on the Qur’aan Zaadu-l-Masiir:

“The commentators on the Qur’aan have specified 5 different sayings regarding alif-laam-miim: One of them is that it is one of the aayahs that are ambiguous in meaning, and only Aļļaah knows its meaning, as has been explained earlier. The second is that it means, “I, Aļļaah, know”. This was narrated by Abuu Ađ-Đuĥaa from Ibn ˆAbbaas, and this is also the saying of Ibn Masˆuud and Saˆiid ibn Jubayr. The third is that it is an oath, this was narrated by Abuu Şaaliĥ from Ibn ˆAbbaas and Kħaalid Al-Ĥadħdħaa’ from ˆIkrimah. The fourth is that they are letters of names, and there are two sayings about that, the first is that Alif refers to Aļļaah, the laam to Jibriil and miim refers to Muĥammad. This was stated by Ibn ˆAbbaas…. The second (saying regarding names) is that the Alif refers to Aļļaah, the laam to Laţiif and miim refers to “Majiid” (these are all names of Aļļaah,) and this was stated by Abuu ˆaaliyah. The fifth is that it is a name of the Qur’aan, as stated by Mujaahid, Asħ-Sħaˆbiyy, Qataadah and Ibn Jurayj[32]. ”[31]

Some will insist further, and say, “who’s utterance is alif laam miim?” The answer is that the one that utter an utterance is its utterer, because it is a matter of sound. People differ in their utterance of the Qur’aan, so one person’s utterance is different from another’s, for example. The best is the utterance of Jibriil. As for the words, the words are Aļļaah’s. Not in the sense that He uttered them, but in the sense that no one authored them, and that it is an expression of His eternal Speech, which is not letters, sounds or sequence.

It is obvious that the letter Alif is created, because it is an alphabetic symbol referring to the sound “LLL…” All alphabetic letters are written symbols that refer to sounds that we make with our voices. It is impossible that the eternal speech of Aļļaah should be letters, because His speech is not sound. His speech is not sound because it is eternal, and therefore does not have a beginning. Wakiiˆ said : “The one that says the Qur’aan is created has said it is and event, and the one that says it is an event has blasphemed.”

What is the difference between the Qur’aan and Ĥadiitħ Qudsiyy, Prophetic Ĥadiitħ?

The ĥadiitħ qudsiyy is the Prophet’s words, but he says “Aļļaah says…” Moreover, the ĥadiitħ qudsiyy has no challenge of inimitable eloquence. The prophet spoke in his own words in ĥadiitħs. All of these texts are holy, because they are all revealed from Aļļaah. All of them are rewardable in reciting and studying with the correct intention. This is because Aļļaah has willed it to be so. We get credit and blessings for what Aļļaah has willed for us to get it for. No act or thing causes one to gain credit, except by the will of Aļļaah.

Since the Qur’aan consists of revealed words, they cannot be changed, or altered. This is to preserve the revelation, and the inimitability of the book, which is a miracle and a lasting proof of the prophethood of Aļļaah’s messenger. The eloquence of the Qur’aan is inimitable because Aļļaah has willed it. No one can do against His will, not in this, and not in anything else.

It is impossible that Aļļaah should lie

Al-Aamidiyy[33] states in ‘Abkaar Al-‘Afkaar: “I do not know of any disagreement among those who say that Aļļaah is attributed with Kalaam/ Speech, that lies are impossible in His Speech, whether it be the eternal attribute of His Self (as the Sunnis say), or the one (as the Muˆtazilah and Anthropomorphists believe) that is sounds and lettersSayfudDiin Al-Aamidiy, Abkaar Al-Afkaar, 2nd ed. (Kairo, Egypt: Maţbaˆah Daar Al-Kutub Wa-l-Watħaa’iq Al-Qawmiyyah, 1423), 2/83..

As-Sanuusiyy in his book ˆUmdatu ‘Ahli-t-Tawfiiq says, “Are miracles as proof of the truthfulness of the Messengers of Aļļaah proofs in the mind’s eye, or by convention, or by normal necessity according to the relevant indications? There are different sayings. According to the first two (the mind’s eye and convention), it is impossible for a liar to have a miracle, because for the first it would lead to contradicting the sound mind, and for the second it would lead to saying that there is a flaw in what Aļļaah has informed, jalla wa ˆalaa, because to affirm the truthfulness of a lie is to lie, and it is impossible that Aļļaah should lie, since His Speech agrees with His Knowledge….” “Moreover, if He was attributed with lying, and His attributes are all eternal, then it would be impossible for Him to be attributed with being truthful (in His Speech,) while it is correct that He is attributed with it, since He must be attributed with Knowledge. This would mean that what is correct would become impossible.[34]” Then he points out that the first two sayings are about the same[35]. In explaining the details of all this he mentions the proofs for why it is impossible that Aļļaah could lie he says, “Third, it has been established that Aļļaah is attributed with complete perfection, and truthfulness is an attribute of complete perfection which’s opposite is a flaw, and it is impossible that Aļļaah should be attributed with a flaw, so He must be truthful.[36]

The third perspective mentioned by As-Sanuusiyy states that miracles are proof of truthfulness according to what is normally necessarily true, i.e. that it would be normally impossible for someone with a miracle to tell a lie. This is because the rule throughout history is that someone with a miracle, with all of its requisite conditions intact, never happened to a liar. Regarding this As-Sanuusiyy states, “and our saying that lying is possible in the mind’s eye alone, for someone telling the truth, does not put a doubt in his truthfulness once we are sure he is telling the truth. This is because the possibility in the mind’s eye only means that if it happened instead of being truthful, then that would not lead to an impossibility in the mind’s eye. It does not mean that it is possible that Aļļaah could lie.[37]” In other words, it is not impossible in the mind’s eye, because it does not lead to saying that Aļļaah could lie, as As-Sanuusiyy showed with proofs and refuted any objections prior. Then he goes on to explain the third perspective on the proof of truthfulness in miracles, “It happens a lot that we know something to be absolutely and necessarily true, even though we say that its opposite is possible in the mind’s eye, such as our knowledge of our own existence. No sound minded person doubts it, even though we say that if we had continued to not exist at all, then this would not have been impossible in the mind’s eye. It (the possibility of our non-existence in the mind’s eye) does not mean that we could be non-existent while being existent.[38]” More specifically, “The sign of the truthfulness of the Prophet (şalla-ļļaahu ˆalayhi wa sallam) is the occurrence of certain knowledge in us due to miracles, so once this certitude occurs, there is no possibility of lying any longer.[39]

What all this means is that Aļļaah could have created a world full of miracles happening to liars and truthful people alike, so the proof of truthfulness in a miracle is in the fact that they occur only in the case of truthfulness, not that miracles could not have been for anybody else in the mind’s eye. It may be said that all these three perspectives on miracles are really complementary, because the reason why a miracle is a sign of truthfulness by convention or by reason is that it only occurs to those truthful in the claim of prophethood, and this way we know that this is the convention for knowing that someone is a prophet, and that if a miracle happens to someone claiming prophethood, then Aļļaah’s creating this miracle is a reference to Aļļaah’s eternal Speech by which we know that He is telling us that his slave is truthful in his claim of prophethood. That is, the miracle, which is an extraordinary event coupled with the claim of prophethood, and not possible for opponents to imitate, is a conventional sign from Aļļaah which tells us that He affirms that claim, just as that Arabic letters and words of the book of the Qur’aan tell us what Aļļaah says.

Asħ-Sħahrastaaniyy says, “So the preponderator for truthfulness (in the claim of prophethood) is the group of circumstances which occurs by the gathering of many elements, such as the extraordinary event coupled with the claim of prophethood, and the non-existence of any effective challenge to it from an opponent. All these factors as a group tell us that the claimer is truthful, and take the place of a saying as an affirmation of his truthfulness .[40]

So As-Sanuusiyy says that lying is impossible for Aļļaah in the mind’s eye, unlike some people claim. In fact, he considers it a premise of all the three perspective on miracles as a proof of truthfulness. For the record, it is the second perspective that As-Sanuusiyy mentions in his book “Aş-Sugħraa,” and “Al-Wusţaa.” In the explanation of Aş-Şugħraa, he says, “It is impossible that Aļļaah could lie, because His Speech/Kalaam must agree with His Knowledge, and speech in agreement with knowledge cannot by but truthful.[41]

References:

Abu Bakr Al-Bayhqiyy (458 AH). Al-Asmaa’ Wa-ş-Şifaat li-l-Bayhaqiyy. 2 vols. 1st ed. Jedda, Saudi Arabia: Maktabah Al-Sawaadiyy.

Abu Jaˆfar Aţ-Ţabariyy. At-Tabşiir fii Maˆaalim Ad-Diin. 1st ed. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Daar Al-ˆAaşimah, 1416.

Abu-l-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawziyy (508-597 AH/ 1114-1201 AD). Zaadu-l-Masiir. 9 vols. 3rd ed. Beirut, Lebanon: Al-Maktab Al-Islamiyy, 1404.

Abuu Ĥaniifah (80-150 AH/ 699-767). Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar. Vol. 1. Ĥaydar Aabaad, India: Majlis Daa’iratu-l-Maˆaarifi-n-Niţħaamiyyah, 1342.

Al-Aamidiy, SayfudDiin. Abkaar Al-Afkaar. 5 vols. 2nd ed. Kairo, Egypt: Maţbaˆah Daar Al-Kutub Wa-l-Watħaa’iq Al-Qawmiyyah, 1423.

As-Sanuusiyy, Muĥammad ibn Yuusuf. Ĥaasħiyatu-d-Dusuuqiyy ˆalaa Ummi-l-Baraahiin wa Sħarĥuhaa. 1 vols. Beirut, Lebanon: Al-Maktabah Al-ˆAşriyyah, 1426.

Az-Zirikliyy. Al-‘Aˆlaam (2002). 15 vols. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar El-Ilm Lil-Malayeen, 1423.

FakħrudDiin Al-Raaziy. Mafaatiiĥ Al-Għayb. 32 vols. 1st ed. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Kotob Al-ilmiyah, 1421.

Ibn Maţħuur Al-‘Ifriiqiyy. Lisaanu-l-ˆArab. 15 vols. Beirut, Lebanon: Daar Şaadir.

Ibn Zakariyyaa ibn Faaris, and ˆAbdusSalaam Haaruun. Maqaayiisu-l-Lugħah. 6 vols. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Fikr.

Muĥammad ibn ˆAliyy Asħ-Sħawkaaniyy. Fatĥu-l-Qadiir. 5 vols. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Fikr.

Muĥammad ibn Yuusuf As-Sanuusiyy (896 AH). Sħarĥu-l-Muqaddimaat. 1 vols. 1st ed. Maktabatu-l-Maˆaarif, 1420.

Muĥammad-Amiin Ibn ˆAabidiin. Ĥaasħiyatu Raddi-l-Muĥtaar. 6 vols. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Fikr, 1415.

Murtađaa Az-Zabiidiyy. Taaju-l-ˆAruus min Jawaahiri-l-Qaamuus. 40 vols. Daar Al-Hidaayah.

SħamsudDiin Adħ-Dħahabiyy. Siyar ‘Aˆlaam An-Nubalaa’. Beirut, Lebanon: Mu’assasatu-r-Risaalah, 1413.


[1]Ĥuruufiyyah, or “those pertaining to letters” is a name for any person that believes Aļļaah’s eternal Speech is letters and sounds.

[2]Ibn Faaris (329-395 AH/ 941-1004 AD) Aĥmad ibn Faaris ibn Zakariyyaa, Al-Qazwiiniyy, Ar-Raaziyy, Abu-l-Ĥusayn is among the imams of language and literature. Several authors of great eloquence studied from him. He is originally from Qazwiin, but moved to Ar-Rayy and died there. Among his works are the dictionaries Maqaayiisu-l-Lugħah and Al-Mujmal. (Al-‘Aˆlaam, 1/193).

[3]معجم مقاييس اللغة لابن فارس – (2 / 213): (خلق) الخاء واللام والقاف أصلان: أحدهما تقدير الشيء، والآخر مَلاسَة الشيء.

[4]Ibn Zakariyyaa ibn Faaris and ˆAbdusSalaam Haaruun, Maqaayiisu-l-Lugħah (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Fikr), 2/213.

[5]Ibn Manţħuur (630-711 AH/ 1232-1311 AD) Muĥammad ibn Makram ibn ˆaliyy, Abu-l-Fađl, JamaaludDiin, Al-Anşaariyy, Ar-Ruwayfiˆiyy, Al-‘Ifriiqiyy, the author of the famous, encyclopedic dictionary Lisaanu-l-ˆArab, was an imam of linguistics. He was born in Tripoli in today’s Libya, and was appointed judge there for some time. He authored around 500 books, many of them summaries of books in literature. (Al-‘Aˆlaam, 7/108).

[6]Ibn Maţħuur Al-‘Ifriiqiyy, Lisaanu-l-ˆArab (Beirut, Lebanon: Daar Şaadir), 10/85.

[7]Murtađaa Az-Zabiidiyy (1145-1205 AH/ 1732-1790 AD) Muĥammad ibn Muĥammad ibn Muĥammad ibn ˆAbdirRazzaaq, Al-Ĥusayniyy, Az-Zabiidiyy, Abu-l-Fayđ, known as Murtađaa, was a great scholar of language, ĥadiitħ, narrator biography, and genealogy. He was also a great author. His family origin is from Iraq, but he was born in India, grew up in Yemen, and settled and died in Egypt. He became very famous during his lifetime, to the extent that kings wrote him and sent him gifts. Among his most famous works are Taaju-l-ˆAruus, his commentary on the renowned dictionary Al-Qaamuus, and Itĥaafu-s-Saadati-l-Muttaqiin, his commentary in Al-Għazaaliyy’s ‘Iĥyaa’ ˆuluumi-d-Diin. (Al-‘Aˆlaam, 7/70).

[8]Murtađaa Az-Zabiidiyy, Taaju-l-ˆAruus min Jawaahiri-l-Qaamuus (Daar Al-Hidaayah), 25/251.

[9]لسان العرب – (10 / 85): وعن الأَزهري ومن صفات الله تعالى الخالق والخلاَّق ولا تجوز هذه الصفة بالأَلف واللام لغير الله عز وجل وهو الذي أَوجد الأَشياء جميعها بعد أَن لم تكن موجودة وأَصل الخلق التقدير فهو باعْتبار تقدير ما منه وجُودُها وبالاعتبار للإِيجادِ على وَفْقِ التقدير. تاج العروس من جواهر القاموس – (25 / 251): وقالَ الأزْهَرِي : هو الّذِي أوْجَدَ الأشْياءَ جَمِيعَها بعدَ أَنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ مَوْجُودَةً ، وأصْلُ الخَلْقِ : التَّقْدِير ، فهُوَ باعْتِبار ما مِنْهُ وجودُها مُقَدِّرٌ ، وبالاعْتِبارِ للإِيجادِ على وَفْقِ التقْدِيرِ خالِقٌ .

[10]Abu Bakr Al-Bayhqiyy (458 AH), Al-Asmaa’ Wa-ş-Şifaat li-l-Bayhaqiyy, 1st ed. (Jedda, Saudi Arabia: Maktabah Al-Sawaadiyy), 1/608-609.

[11]SħamsudDiin Adħ-Dħahabiyy, Siyar ‘Aˆlaam An-Nubalaa’ (Beirut, Lebanon: Mu’assasatu-r-Risaalah, 1413), 9/166.

[12]الأسماء والصفات للبيهقي – (ج 1 / ص 608-609) 547- وأخبرنا أبو عبد الله الحافظ ، وأبو سعيد بن أبي عمرو ، قال : حَدَّثَنَا أبو العباس محمد بن يعقوب ، حَدَّثَنَا محمد بن إسحاق الصاغاني ، حَدَّثَنَا حسين بن علي بن الأسود ، قال : سمعت وكيعا ، يقول : القرآن كلام الله تعالى ليس بمخلوق ، فمن زعم أنه مخلوق فقد كفر بالله العظيم وفي رواية محمد بن نصر المروزي عن أبي هشام الرفاعي ، عن وكيع ، قال : من زعم أن القرآن مخلوق ، فقد زعم أن القرآن محدث ، ومن زعم أن القرآن محدث فقد كفر

سير أعلام النبلاء – (ج 9 / ص 166) : قال أبو هشام الرفاعي: سمعت وكيعا يقول: من زعم أن القرآن مخلوق، فقد زعم أنه محدث، ومن زعم أن القرآن محدث، فقد كفر.

[13]سير أعلام النبلاء – (ج 9 / ص 140-141) : وكيع * (ع) ابن الجراح، بن مليح، بن عدي، بن فرس، بن جمجمة، بن سفيان، بن الحارث، بن عمرو، بن عبيد، بن رؤاس، الامام الحافظ، محدث العراق، أبو سفيان الرؤاسي، الكوفي، أحد الاعلام. ولد سنة تسع وعشرين ومئة، قاله أحمد بن حنبل. وقال خليفة وهارون بن حاتم: ولد سنة ثمان وعشرين. واشتغل في الصغر. 4سير أعلام النبلاء – (ج 9 / ص 144) : وقال أحمد بن حنبل: ما رأيت أحدا أوعى للعلم ولا أحفظ من وكيع.قلت: كان أحمد يعظم وكيعا ويفخمه. قال محمد بن عامر المصيصي: سألت أحمد: وكيع أحب إليك أو يحيى بن سعيد ؟ فقال: وكيع، قلت: كيف فضلته على يحيى، ويحيى ومكانه من العلم والحفظ والاتقان ما قد علمت ؟ قال: وكيع كان صديقا لحفص بن غياث، فلما ولي القضاء، هجره، وإن يحيى كان صديقا لمعاذ بن معاذ، فلما ولي القضاء، لم يهجره يحيى

[14]سير أعلام النبلاء – (11 / 288) : وقال أبو إسماعيل الترمذي: سمعت أحمد بن حنبل، يقول: من قال: القرآن محدث، فهو كافر.

[15]Ibid., 11/288.

[16]التبصير في معالم الدين – (ص ٢٠٢) : من أبى ما قلنا في ذلك قيل له: أخبرنا عن الكلام الذي وصفت أن القديم به متكلم مخلوق، أخلقه – إذ كان عندك مخلوقا في ذاته، أم في غيره، أم قائم بنفسه؟ فإن زعم خلقه في ذاته، فقد أوجب أن تكون ذاته محلا للخلق، وذلك عند الجميع كفر .

[17]Abu Jaˆfar Aţ-Ţabariyy, At-Tabşiir fii Maˆaalim Ad-Diin, 1st ed. (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Daar Al-ˆAaşimah, 1416), 202.

[18]تفسير فتح القدير ـ موافق للمطبوع – (3 / 397): “ما يأتيهم من ذكر من ربهم محدث” من لابتداء الغاية وقد استدل بوصف الذكر لكونه محدثا على أن القرآن محدث لأن الذكر هنا هو القرآن وأجيب بأنه لا نزاع فى حدوث المركب من الأصوات والحروف لأنه متجدد فى النزول فالمعنى محدث تنزيله وإنما النزاع فى الكلام النفسي وهذه المسئلة أعني قدم القرآن وحدوثه قد ابتلى بها كثير من أهل العلم والفضل فى الدولة المأمونية والمعتصمية والواثقية وجرى للإمام أحمد بن حنبل ما جرى من الضرب الشديد والحبس الطويل وضرب بسببها عنق محمد بن نصر الخزاعي وصارت فتنة عظيمة فى ذلك الوقت وما بعده والقصة أشهر من أن تذكر ومن أحب الوقوف على حقيقتها طالع ترجمة الإمام أحمد بن حنبل فى كتاب النبلاء لمؤرخ الإسلام الذهبي ولقد أصاب أئمة السنة بامتناعهم من الإجابة إلى القول بخلق القرآن وحدوثه وحفظ الله بهم أمة نبيه عن الابتداع ولكنهم رحمهم الله جاوزوا ذلك إلى الجزم بقدمه ولم يقتصروا على ذلك حتى كفروا من قال بالحدوث بل جاوزوا ذلك إلى تكفير من قال لفظي بالقرآن مخلوق بل جاوزوا ذلك إلى تكفير من وقف وليتهم لم يجاوزوا حد الوقف وإرجاع العلم إلى علام الغيوب فإنه لم يسمع من السلف الصالح من الصحابة والتابعين ومن بعدهم إلى وقت قيام المحنة وظهور القول فى هذه المسئلة شئ من الكلام ولا نقل عنه كلمة فى ذلك فكان الامتناع من الإجابة إلى ما دعوا إليه والتمسك بأذيال الوقف وإرجاع علم ذلك إلى عالمه هو الطريقة المثلى وفيه السلامة والخلوص من تكفير طوائف من عباد الله والأمر لله سبحانه

[19]Muĥammad ibn ˆAliyy Asħ-Sħawkaaniyy, Fatĥu-l-Qadiir (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Fikr), 3/397.

[20]فتح الباري – ابن حجر – (13 / 497) : وقد نقل الهروي في الفاروق بسنده إلى حرب الكرماني سألت إسحاق بن إبراهيم الحنظلي يعني بن راهويه عن قوله تعالى ما يأتيهم من ذكر من ربهم محدث قال قديم من رب العزة محدث إلى الأرض فهذا هو سلف البخاري في ذلك

[21]الفقه الأكبر (ص. 5): والقرآن كلام الله تعالى في المصاحف مكتوب, وفي القلوب محفوظ وعلى الألسن مقروء, وعلى النبي عليه الصلاة والسلام منزّل, ولفظنا بالقرآن مخلوق وكتابتنا له مخلوقة وقرائتنا له مخلوقة والقرآن غير مخلوق.

[22]Abuu Ĥaniifah (80-150 AH/ 699-767), Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar, vol. 1 (Ĥaydar Aabaad, India: Majlis Daa’iratu-l-Maˆaarifi-n-Niţħaamiyyah, 1342), 5.

[23]الفقه الأكبر (ص. 6): ويتكلم لا ككلامنا ونحن نتكلم بالآلات والحروف والله تعالى يتكلم بلا آلة ولاحروف. والحروف مخلوقة وكلام الله تعالى غير مخلوق.

[24]Ibid., 1:6.

[25]حاشية رد المحتار – (4 / 14): وحاصله أن غير المخلوق هو القرآن بمعنى كلام الله الصفة النفسية القائمة به تعالى لا بمعنى الحروف المنزلة، غير أنه لا يقال القرآن مخلوق لئلا يتوهم أرادة المعنى الاول.

[26]Muĥammad-Amiin Ibn ˆAabidiin, Ĥaasħiyatu Raddi-l-Muĥtaar (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Fikr, 1415), 4/14.

[27]مفاتيح الغيب (16 / 24) : والجواب أن الدليل دل على أن من قال إن الإله جسم فهو منكر للإله تعالى وذلك لأن إله العالم موجود ليس بجسم ولا حال في الجسم فإذا أنكر المجسم هذا الموجود فقد أنكر ذات الإله تعالى فالخلاف بين المجسم والموحد ليس في الصفة بل في الذات فصح في المجسم أنه لا يؤمن بالله أما المسائل التي حكيتموها فهي اختلافات في الصفة فظهر الفرق وأما إلزام مذهب الحلولية والحروفية فنحن نكفرهم قطعاً فإنه تعالى كفر النصارى بسبب أنهم اعتقدوا حلول كلمة اللَّهِ في عيسى وهؤلاء اعتقدوا حلول كلمة اللَّهِ في ألسنة جميع من قرأ القرآن وفي جميع الأجسام التي كتب فيها القرآن فإذا كان القول بالحلول في حق الذات الواحدة يوجب التكفير فلأن يكون القول بالحلول في حق جميع الأشخاص والأجسام موجباً للقول بالتكفير كان أولى

[28]FakħrudDiin Al-Raaziy, Mafaatiiĥ Al-Għayb, 1st ed. (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Kotob Al-ilmiyah, 1421), V. 16/ P. 24.

[29]Abu-l-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawziyy (508-597 AH/ 1114-1201 AD), ˆAbdurRaĥmaan ibn ˆAliyy ibn Muĥammad Al-Jawziyy Al-Qurasħiyy, Al-Bagħdaadiyy was probably the greatest scholar of history and ĥadiitħ of his time. He was born and died in Bagħdaad. He wrote some 300 books (Al-‘Aˆlaam, 3/316).

[30]زاد المسير – (1 / 22): وقد خص المفسرون قوله آلم بخمسة أقوال أحدها أنه من المتشابه الذي لا يعلم معناه الا الله عز و جل وقد سبق بيانه والثاني ان معناه أنا الله أعلم رواه أبو الضحى عن ابن عباس وبه قال ابن مسعود وسعيد بن جبير والثالث أنه قسم رواه أبو صالح عن ابن عباس وخالد الحذاء عن عكرمة والرابع أنها حروف من أسماء ثم فيها قولان أحدهما أن الألف من الله واللام من جبريل والميم من محمد قاله ابن عباس فان قيل إذا كان قد تنوول من كل اسم حرفه الأول اكتفاء به فلم أخذت اللام من جبريل وهي أخر الإسم فالجواب أن مبتدأ القرآن من الله تعالى فدل على ذلك بابتداء أول حرف من اسمه وجبريل انختم به التنزيل والإقرأء فتنوول من اسمه نهاية حروفه و محمد مبتدأ في الإقرأء فتنوول أول حرف فيه والقول الثاني أن الألف من الله تعالى واللام من لطيف والميم من مجيد قاله أبو العالية والخامس أنه اسم من أسماء القرآن قاله مجاهد والشعبي وقتادة وابن جريج.

[31]Abu-l-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawziyy (508-597 AH/ 1114-1201 AD), Zaadu-l-Masiir, 3rd ed. (Beirut, Lebanon: Al-Maktab Al-Islamiyy, 1404), 1/22.

[32]زاد المسير – (1 / 22): وقد خص المفسرون قوله آلم بخمسة أقوال أحدها أنه من المتشابه الذي لا يعلم معناه الا الله عز و جل وقد سبق بيانه والثاني ان معناه أنا الله أعلم رواه أبو الضحى عن ابن عباس وبه قال ابن مسعود وسعيد بن جبير والثالث أنه قسم رواه أبو صالح عن ابن عباس وخالد الحذاء عن عكرمة والرابع أنها حروف من أسماء ثم فيها قولان أحدهما أن الألف من الله واللام من جبريل والميم من محمد قاله ابن عباس فان قيل إذا كان قد تنوول من كل اسم حرفه الأول اكتفاء به فلم أخذت اللام من جبريل وهي أخر الإسم فالجواب أن مبتدأ القرآن من الله تعالى فدل على ذلك بابتداء أول حرف من اسمه وجبريل انختم به التنزيل والإقرأء فتنوول من اسمه نهاية حروفه و محمد مبتدأ في الإقرأء فتنوول أول حرف فيه والقول الثاني أن الألف من الله تعالى واللام من لطيف والميم من مجيد قاله أبو العالية والخامس أنه اسم من أسماء القرآن قاله مجاهد والشعبي وقتادة وابن جريج.

[33]الأعلام للزركلي – (4 / 332) سيف الدين الآمدي (551 – 631 هـ = 1156 – 1233 م) علي بن محمد بن سالم التغلبي، أبو الحسن، سيف الدين الآمدي: أصولي، باحث. أصله من آمد (ديار بكر) ولد بها، وتعلم في بغداد والشام. وانتقل إلى القاهرة، فدرس فيها واشتهر. وحسده بعض الفقهاء فتعصبوا فيها واشتهر. وحسده يبعض الفقهاء فتعصبوا عليه ونسبوه إلى فساد القعيدة والتعطيل ومذهب الفلاسفة، فخرج مستخفيا إلى ” حماة ” ومنها إلى ” دمشق ” فتوفي بها. له نحو عشرين مصنفا، منها ” الاحكام في أصول الاحكام – ط ” أربعة أجزاء، ومختصره ” منتهى السول – ط ” و ” أبكار الافكار – خ ” في طوبقبو، الاول والثاني منه، في علم الكلام، و ” لباب الالباب ” و ” دقائق الحقائق ” و ” المبين في شرح الأعلام للزركلي – (4 / 332) معاني الحكماء والمتكلمين – خ ” كراستان، في المكتبة العربية بدمشق (1).

SayfudDiin Al-Aamidiyy (551-631 AH/ 11561233 AD) ˆaliyy ibn Muĥammad ibn Saalim At-Tagħlabiyy was a scholar of belief and fiqh methodology and an authenticator from Aamid in today’s northern Kurdistan. He was born there, but studied in Bagħdaad and Syria. Then he moved to Cairo, where he became famous and became subject to much envy, to the extent he had to leave and go to Syria where he eventually died and is buried. Az-Zirikliyy, Al-‘Aˆlaam (2002) (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar El-Ilm Lil-Malayeen, 1423), 4/332.

[34]Muĥammad ibn Yuusuf As-Sanuusiyy (896 AH), Sħarĥu-l-Muqaddimaat, 1st ed. (Maktabatu-l-Maˆaarif, 1420), 245.

[35]Ibid., 247.

[36]Ibid., 248.

[37]Ibid., 250.

[38]Ibid.

[39]Ibid.

[40]نهاية الإقدام في علم الكلام – (ج 1 / ص 236) : فإذاً المرجح للصدق هي القرائن الحاصلة من اجتماع أمور كثيرة منها الخارق للعادة ومنها كونه مقروناً بالدعوى ومنها سلامته عن المعارضة فانتهضت هذه القرائن بمجموعها دالة على صدق المدعي نازلة منزلة التصديق بالقول وذلك مثل العلم الحاصل من سائر القرائن أعني قرائن الحال وقرائن المقال.

[41]Muĥammad ibn Yuusuf As-Sanuusiyy, Ĥaasħiyatu-d-Dusuuqiyy ˆalaa Ummi-l-Baraahiin wa Sħarĥuhaa (Beirut, Lebanon: Al-Maktabah Al-ˆAşriyyah, 1426), 280.


Kalaam and tasawwuf

October 4, 2009

I was sent a message the other day about sufis attacking kalaam. This is the world we live in. A lot of things will be clear if one just asks: what is sufism? What is kalaam? Do we all understand the same thing from these words? Can we reasonably assume that when a scholar of the past criticized “kalaam” that he understood what people understand today? (Assuming people today have even stopped to think about what it means – and that is a big assumption.) Can we reasonably assume that he meant that learning the proofs of Islam that pertain to certain knowledge is bidˆah or a source of confusion, or the like? I don’t think so.

To me tasawwuf is to live and think according to the belief that there is only One Creator that is not like creation, and all that bears in it of obeying Him, and relying on Him and loving Him more than anything. It is about directing all your thought and actions towards this. It is being absorbed by the belief in Allaah. Is this what is meant when some scholars criticize sufism? I don’t think so either. Anyway, my brief answer was as follows:

Kalaam without sufism is heartless.
Sufism without kalaam is mindless.

And no, I don’t mean that Sufis need to read Sanuusiyyah Kubraa, or Ar-Raaziyy’s Arbaˆiin, or Al-Iijiyy’s Mawaaqif. They need to know what is enough for the situation they are in, the things they are exposed to inside and outside of themselves. Kalaam is only there to protect the faith. Your own faith, and for those that are qualified, that of other Muslims. Once that is achieved, Kalaam serves no purpose. In fact, it can indeed be harmful. Why bring up questions you’ll never think of otherwise? This is the essential criticism As-Sanuusiyy and others had for Ar-Raaziyy, may Allaah please him. As Maalik said, “we are all criticizing, and criticized, except the man in this grave,” i.e. the Prophet’s in his grave is not criticized, (صلى الله عليه وسلم). One should get to work instead, once one knows enough about beliefs and their proofs to be satisfied and protected from the ultimate of disasters: deviance in belief.


An-Nawawiyy did not believe that Aļļaah is something that is in a location/direction

October 1, 2009

An-Nawawiyy said in his commentary on Muslim’s ĥadiitħ collection:

المنهاج شرح صحيح مسلم بن الحجاج , النووي , دار إحياء التراث العربي , 1392 – (3 / 19): اِعْلَمْ أَنَّ لِأَهْلِ الْعِلْم فِي أَحَادِيث الصِّفَات وَآيَات الصِّفَات قَوْلَيْنِ : أَحَدهمَا : وَهُوَ مَذْهَب مُعْظَم السَّلَف أَوْ كُلّهمْ أَنَّهُ لا يُتَكَلَّم فِي مَعْنَاهَا ، بَلْ يَقُولُونَ : يَجِب عَلَيْنَا أَنْ نُؤْمِن بِهَا وَنَعْتَقِد لَهَا مَعْنًى يَلِيق بِجَلَالِ اللَّه تَعَالَى وَعَظَمَته مَعَ اِعْتِقَادنَا الْجَازِم أَنَّ اللَّه تَعَالَى لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْء وَأَنَّهُ مُنَزَّه عَنْ التَّجَسُّم وَالِانْتِقَال وَالتَّحَيُّز فِي جِهَة وَعَنْ سَائِر صِفَات الْمَخْلُوق ، وَهَذَا الْقَوْل هُوَ مَذْهَب جَمَاعَة مِنْ الْمُتَكَلِّمِينَ ، وَاخْتَارَهُ جَمَاعَة مِنْ مُحَقِّقِيهِمْ وَهُوَ أَسْلَم . وَالْقَوْل الثَّانِي : وَهُوَ مَذْهَب مُعْظَم الْمُتَكَلِّمِينَ أَنَّهَا تُتَأَوَّل عَلَى مَا يَلِيق بِهَا عَلَى حَسَب مَوَاقِعهَا ، وَإِنَّمَا يَسُوغ تَأْوِيلهَا لِمَنْ كَانَ مِنْ أَهْله بِأَنْ يَكُونَ عَارِفًا بِلِسَانِ الْعَرَب وَقَوَاعِد الْأُصُول وَالْفُرُوع ، ذَا رِيَاضَة فِي الْعِلْم

Know that the scholars, with regard to the ĥadiiths and aayahs that mention attributes, have two sayings:

One of them, and it is the saying of most of the Salaf, or all of them, is that one does not speak about their meaning. Instead they say, “we must believe in them and be sure that they have a meaning that befits the greatness and glory of Aļļaah, with the firm belief that Aļļaah does not resemble anything, and that He is clear of having a size, movement, a location in a direction, and all other attributes of creation. This saying is the saying of a number of the Kalaam scholars, and it is the chosen saying of a number of scholarly authenticators and verifiers, and it is the safest path.

The second saying, and it is the choice of most kalaam scholars, is that they are interpreted according what befits the context. This interpretation, however, is only acceptable from someone that is qualified by being an expert in the Arabic language (i.e. as used and understood by the companions) as well as the rules and principles of the religion, both in fundamentals and details, and this (work of interpretation) is a kind of exercise of (one’s) knowledge (i.e. for those qualified). [1]

المنهاج شرح صحيح مسلم بن الحجاج , النووي , دار إحياء التراث العربي , 1392 – (6 / 36-37): قَوْله صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ( يَنْزِل رَبّنَا كُلّ لَيْلَة إِلَى السَّمَاء الدُّنْيَا فَيَقُول : مَنْ يَدْعُونِي فَأَسْتَجِيب لَهُ ) هَذَا الْحَدِيث مِنْ أَحَادِيث الصِّفَات ، وَفِيهِ مَذْهَبَانِ مَشْهُورَانِ لِلْعُلَمَاءِ سَبَقَ إِيضَاحهمَا فِي كِتَاب الْإِيمَان وَمُخْتَصَرهمَا أَنَّ أَحَدهمَا وَهُوَ مَذْهَب جُمْهُور السَّلَف وَبَعْض الْمُتَكَلِّمِينَ : أَنَّهُ يُؤْمِن بِأَنَّهَا حَقّ عَلَى مَا يَلِيق بِاَللَّهِ تَعَالَى ، وَأَنَّ ظَاهِرهَا الْمُتَعَارَف فِي حَقّنَا غَيْر مُرَاد ، وَلَا يَتَكَلَّم فِي تَأْوِيلهَا مَعَ اِعْتِقَاد تَنْزِيه اللَّه تَعَالَى عَنْ صِفَات الْمَخْلُوق ، وَعَنْ الِانْتِقَال وَالْحَرَكَات وَسَائِر سِمَات الْخَلْق . وَالثَّانِي : مَذْهَب أَكْثَر الْمُتَكَلِّمِينَ وَجَمَاعَات مِنْ السَّلَف وَهُوَ مَحْكِيّ هُنَا عَنْ مَالِك وَالْأَوْزَاعِيِّ : أَنَّهَا تُتَأَوَّل عَلَى مَا يَلِيق بِهَا بِحَسْب مَوَاطِنهَا . فَعَلَى هَذَا تَأَوَّلُوا هَذَا الْحَدِيث تَأْوِيلَيْنِ أَحَدهمَا : تَأْوِيل مَالِك بْن أَنَس وَغَيْره مَعْنَاهُ : تَنْزِل رَحْمَته وَأَمْره وَمَلَائِكَته كَمَا يُقَال : فَعَلَ السُّلْطَان كَذَا إِذَا فَعَلَهُ أَتْبَاعه بِأَمْرِهِ . وَالثَّانِي : أَنَّهُ عَلَى الِاسْتِعَارَة ، وَمَعْنَاهُ : الْإِقْبَال عَلَى الدَّاعِينَ بِالْإِجَابَةِ وَاللُّطْف . وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَم .

The saying of the Prophet (صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) (literal unmeant translation):”Our Lord descends every night to the sky of the world, then says ‘who calls me, so that I will answer him?” This ĥadiitħ are one of the ĥadiitħs mentioning attributes. There are two famous ways of the scholars regarding them, that have been explained previously in the chapter on belief. Their brief description is that one is the approach of most of the Salaf, and some Kalaam scholars, which is to believe it is true in a sense that befits Aļļaah, and that its apparent, usual meaning for us, is not meant, and one does not speak about its meaning. This is accompanied with the belief that Aļļaah is clear of having attributes of created things, and of movement, movements, and all descriptions that are for created things. The other approach is that of most Kalaam scholars, and groups among the Salaf, and they are narrated here from Maalik and Al-‘Awzaaˆiyy, is to interpret these according to what befits the context. Accordingly, they interpreted this ĥadiitħ in two ways. One of them is that of Maalik and others, which is to say that it means: Aļļaah’s mercy, orders and angels descend, just as it is said, “the king did so and so”, when it was actually his followers that did it. The other interpretation is metaphorical, and its meaning is: “accepting those who call by answering them and showing them mercy.”[2]




[1]Al-Nawawiy, Sharĥ Saĥiiĥ Muslim Li-l-Nawawiy (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihyaa’ Al-Turath Al-Arabi, 1392), 3/19.


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