Refuting Hamza Yusuf – Quantum Physics: Law of Included Middle

June 11, 2018

In a youtube video Hamza Yusuf claims that the Ash’aris make a logical contradiction when they say that Allah is neither said to be connected nor disconnected to the world. Hamza Yusuf seems to have a very superficial knowledge of the Ash’ari school.

Ash’aris would never violate the law of the excluded middle. The Ash’aris are extremely zealous about adherence to the principle of non-contradiction. In fact, they defined having a mind as adherence to this very principle! When they say that Allah is neither neither connected nor disconnected from the world they mean that He is neither said to be connected nor said to be disconnected, because both expressions imply physical existence and Allah is not physical – not in space, place, or a direction. For the same reason they say that Allah is neither a whole nor a part.

Ibn Taymiyyah attacked the Ash’aris because he was a materialist, so according to his premise, namely that anything that exists must be physical, the saying of the Ash’aris “neither connected nor disconnected” does violate the law of the excluded middle. It is a strawman. It is one of his debating tricks in defense of materialism/figure worship, nothing more.

Intuition or instinct in the sense of “gut feeling” or the like

July 23, 2014

Intuition or instinct (which is the word I prefer in this case) in the sense of “gut feeling” has a role in the Islamic lifestyle. However, because it is not objectively verifiable, the priority is given to knowledge, and the sources of knowledge are recognized by Muslims as: the mind (i.e. reason and logic), the external and inner senses (emotions), and true information (like Napoleon existed, China exists, and the like). Instinct is rejected if it contradicts any of these, especially if it contradicts any known rules of the religion, but beyond that it is a personal matter. If a person is a very pious Muslim, his instinct may become a source of knowledge for him, so that he senses things that are unseen to others. Again, such instinct cannot conflict with known rules of the religion.

I should mention here that the Muslim concept of “belief” does not have any relativistic connotations. Belief in Islam entails both knowing the truth with certainty, admitting it willingly, and humbly submitting to it in the heart without scorn. Anything less than that is not Islam, and not belief in Islam. That is why epistemology (the concept of what knowledge is and does) is very important is Muslim scholarship.

What the Sunni Muslims said regarding the one among the believers (in Islam) who commits a great sin

July 22, 2014

From “Al-Tamĥiid li-Qawaaˆid Al-Tawĥiid” by Abu Ath-Thanaa’ Maĥmuud ibn Zayd Al-Laamishiyy Al-Ĥanafiyy Al-Maaturiidiyy:

The Sunni Muslims said regarding the one among the believers (in Islam) who commits a great sin:

  1. This will be kufr (even in cases of small sins) in the following circumstances:
  2. If he judged it as permitted (and it is commonly known among scholars and lay people that it is forbidden and he is not like a new Muslim who has never heard of it being forbidden).
  3. If he did it in scorn to the one who forbade it (e. Aļļaah).
  4. If he did it for the purpose of rebelling against Aļļaah.

In these above cases he has committed kufr (i.e. become a non-Muslim – and must come back to Islam by uttering the creedal statement with the intention to clear himself of that kufr and come back to Islam).

  1. However, if he did a great sin due to (such things as) lust, laziness, anger, pride, or disdain (e.g. anger, pride or disdain towards other Muslims – NOT towards something holy, like the rules of Islam, or Angels, or Prophets, because that would be kufr), while also:
  2. fearing that Aļļaah might punish him for the sin, and yet
  3. hoping for Aļļaah’s mercy and forgiveness,

then he is called a sinful believer.

The judgment for this person is that if he repents (meeting all of the conditions of complete repentance), then he will be forgiven. However, if he dies before repenting, then it depends on what Aļļaah has willed for him: Aļļaah may forgive him by His grace and mercy, or accept the intercession of a prophet or waliyy among His pious worshippers, or He may torture him for his crime before entering him into Paradise.

(Note that the above position is in opposition to the khawaarijites and muˆtazilites. Both of these sects claimed that the one that commits a great sin, such as adultery, goes to Hell forever if he does not repent. The khawaarijites claimed this because they believe all sins, or great sins at least, to be kufr. The muˆtazilities claimed that committing a great sin puts one in a state between belief and kufr, but that this state means that one goes to Hell forever.)

at-tamhiid 1at-tamhiid 2

The Sunni Belief – Al-Taftaazaaniyy

August 6, 2013

I thought some of you might appreciate the below. I have inserted some comments of my own for clarification purposes in [brackets like these]:

The way of the Sunnis is to believe that:

  • The world has a beginning.

وطريقة أهل السنة أن العالم حادث

  • The Creator is beginningless and is attributed with attributes that are beginningless.
  • The attributes of the Creator are not Him Himself [i.e. Aļļaah is not merely an attribute, e.g. we do not believe that Aļļaah is power, but that He is attributed with power], nor other than Him [i.e. His attributes are not divisible or parts].

والصانع قديم متصف بصفات قديمة ليست عينه ولا غيره

  • The Creator is One, He does not have a like [so He is not something with size nor something that has bodily characteristics], or an opposite, or a partner [i.e. there is only one Creator]

وواحد لا شبه له ولا ضد ولا ند

  • He does not have an end [to His existence or to that of His attributes] or a shape, or a limit. [Thus, He is not a body, or a plane or a particle or dot.]

ولا نهاية له ولا صورة ولا حد

  • He does not exist in something else [because He does not need anything]

ولا يحل في شيء

  • Events do not occur in Him, and [hence,] He is not attributed with movement or changing position [or stillness, since He is not a body] or ignorance, or lying, or imperfection.

ولا يقوم به حادث ولا يصح عليه الحركة والانتقال ولا الجهل ولا الكذب ولا النقص

  • He is seen [by Muslims] in the Hereafter without being in a location or direction. [I.e. seeing Him is not like seeing a creation.]

وأنه يرى في الآخرة وليس في حيز ولا جهة

  • Whatever He has willed will be, and whatever He has not willed will not be.

ما شاء كان ومالم يشأ لم يكن

  • He does not need anything.

لا يحتاج إلى شيء

  • Nothing is incumbent upon Him.

ولا يجب عليه شيء

  • Everything created [i.e. everything that has a beginning, including bodies and what occurs in them of movement, color, shape, ideas, intentions, etc.] is according to His predestination, specification, and will.

كل المخلوقات بقضائه وقدره وإرادته ومشيئته

  • [All acts of creation are created by Aļļaah,] however, acts of creation that are said to be ugly due to their sinfulness [by Aļļaah’s legal prescription] are not said to be liked, ordered or accepted by Him.

[Note: Aļļaah is not attributed with emotions, since emotions imply needs as well as change in state of being, and Aļļaah does not change. Hence, words like mahabbah (literal translation: love) are ascribed to Aļļaah in Arabic with reference to certain acts of creation to mean that these acts are rewardable in the Hereafter].

لكن القبايخ منها ليست برضاه وأمره ومحبته

  • bodily resurrection [not just in soul];
  • the torture of the grave; the accounting of the deeds [in the Hereafter];
  • the Bridge [that crosses from the plain over Hell to Paradise];
  • the scale [with pans and a fulcrum on which deeds are weighed]
  • that non-Muslims will stay in Hell without an end, but not sinful Muslims. [i.e. Muslims sent to Hell will eventually come out of Hell and go to Paradise];
  • that Aļļaah forgives [without punishment in Hell] some sinful Muslims [whose bad deeds are more weighty than their good deeds] ;
  • there is intercession.

وأن المعاد الجسماني وسائر ما ورد به السمع من عذاب القبر والحساب والصراط والميزان وغير ذلك حق وأن الكفار مخلدون في النار دون الفساق وأن العفو والشفاعة حق

  • The signs of the day of judgment are true, such as the coming of Dajjaal, as well as Ya’juuj and Ma’juuj; the descent of Jesus, the sun rising in the west, the coming of the beast [that will tell everyone whether he is a Muslim or a Blasphemer].

وأن أشراط الساعة من خروج الدجال ويأجوج ومأجوج ونزول عيسى وطلوع الشمس من مغربها وخروج دابة الأرض حق

  • The first of the prophets is Adam and the very last is Muhammad.

وأول الأنبياء آدم وآخرهم محمد

  • The first Khaliifah was Abu Bakr followed by Umar, Uthman and Ali, may Aļļaah please them.

وأول الخلفاء أبو بكر ثم عمر ثم عثمان ثم علي رضي الله عنهم

  • The status of these four is in the same order, except for some [strange and unusual] hesitation regarding the order between Uthman and Ali.

والأفضلية بهذا الترتيب مع تردد فيها بين عثمان وعلي رضي الله تعالى عنهما

  • The famous scholars of Sunni beliefs in the areas of Khurasan, Iraq, Levant, and most areas in general, are the Ashˆaris, the companions of Abu Al-Hasan Ali son of Ismaaˆiil son of Ishaaq son of Saalim son of Ismaaˆiil son of Abdullaah son of Bilaal son of Abu Burdah son of Abu Muusaa Al-AshˆAriyy, the companion of the Prophet. He was the first [student of Al-Jubbaa’iyy] to disagree with Abu Ali Al-Jubbaa’iyy [the Muˆtazilite] and reject his school of thought in order to embrace the way of the Sunnah, i.e. the way of the Prophet (may Aļļaah raise his rank further) and the jamaaˆah, i.e. the way of the companions.

والمشهور من أهل السنة في ديار خرسان والعراق والشام وأكثر الأقطار هم الأشاعرة أصحاب أبي الحسن علي بن إسماعيل بن إسحق بن سالم بن إسماعيل بن عبدالله بن بلال بن أبي بردة بن أبي موسى الأشعري صاحب رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وسلم) أول من خالف أبا علي الجبائي ورجع عن مذهبه إلى السنة أي طريقة النبي e والجماعة أي طريقة الصحابة

  • [The famous scholars of Sunni beliefs] in the lands behind the river [i.e. Amu Darya] are the companions of Al-Maaturiidiyy, who was the student of Abu Nasr Al-ˆiiaađ, the student of Abu Bakr Al-Jurjaaniyy, the companion of Abu Sulaymaan Al-Jurjaaniyy, the student of Muĥammad ibn Al-Hasan Al-Shaybaaniyy, may Aļļaah have mercy upon him. Maaturiid is a village in Samarkand [in today’s Uzbekistan].

وفي ديار ما وراء النهر الماتريدية أصحاب أبي منصور الماتريدي تلميذ أبي نصر العياض تلميذ أبي بكر الجرجاني صاحب أبي سليمان الجرجاني تلميذ محمد بن الحسن الشيباني رحمه الله وماتريد من قرى سمرقند

  • Some disagreement has appeared among these two groups with regard to belief and methodology issues like that of takwiin, exemption in belief [i.e. does the one who says “I am a believer – in shaa’ Aļļaah” imply doubt or not? All agree that doubt is kufr], the belief status of the imitator [but all agree that the imitator that thinks he might leave Islam if the one he imitates leaves is a kaafir, because ones commitment to the belief must be unconditional), and some other issues.

وقد دخل الآن فيها بين الطائفتين اختلاف في بعض الأصول كمسئلة التكوين ومسئلة الاستثناء في الإيمان ومسألة إيمان المقلد وغير ذلك

  • The great authenticators from the two groups of scholars do not accuse one another of bad innovation or heresy. This is unlike bigots that may even base heresy accusation on disagreements regarding detailed legal issues like animals slaughtered without mentioning the name of Aļļaah when it was not due to forgetting, or the wuđuu’ not breaking due to najis coming out of other than the private organs, or the validity of marriage without a waliyy, or prayer without reciting Fatihah.

والمحققون من الفريقين لا ينسبون أحدهما إلى البدعة والضلالة خلافا للمبطلين المتعصبين حتى ربما جعلوا الاختلاف في الفروع أيضا بدعة وضلالة كالقول بحل متروك التسمية عمدا وعدم نقض الوضوء بالخارج النجس من غير السبيلين وكجواز النكاح بدون الولي والصلاة بدون الفاتحة

  • The bigots do not recognize that bad innovations are the new matters in religion that either:
  1. were not existent [i.e. accepted] in the time of the companions or those who met the companions [and died as Muslims], or
  2. do not have a legal Islamic proof as a basis.

ولا يعرفون أن البدعة المذمومة هو المحدث في الدين من غير أن يكون في عهد الصحابة والتابعين ولا دل عليه الدليل الشرعي

  • Some ignorant people claim that all things that were not present at the time of the companions are bad innovations, even if there is no legal Islamic proof for it being bad. They base this on the saying of the Prophet (may Aļļaah raise his rank even further) [literal translation:] “Beware of new matters…” They do not know that what is meant by this is making a matter part of the religion when it is not a part of it.

ومن الجهلة من يجعل كل أمر لم يكن في زمن الصحابة بدعة مذمومة وإن لم يقم دليل على قبحه تمسكا بقوله عليه الصلاة والسلام إياكم ومحدثات الأمور ولا يعلمون أن المراد بذلك هو أن يجعل في الدين ما ليس منه

May Aļļaah protect us from following deviant whims and make us firm in following the guidance of the Prophet and His followers.

عصمنا الله من اتباع الهوى وثبتنا على اقتفاء الهدى بالنبي وآله


Source: Sharĥ Al-Maqaaşid, SaˆdudDiin Al-Taftaazaaniyy (712-793 H.), ˆAalam Al-Kutub, 1998, p. 231-232

What beginning to exist implies in terms of “cause”

August 2, 2013

If it was proposed that a particle came into existence, then the claims that may be made about this event are that it was:

  1. Necessary
  1. Possible
  1. Impossible

There is no 4th alternative. Moreover, the 3rd can obviously be dismissed. Thus two cases remain to be considered as follows:

If it was supposedly necessary, then this necessity could either be claimed to be:

  1. Intrinsic to the particle or
  1. Extrinsic to the particle

There is no 3rd alternative. The first is clearly self-contradictory, because the event did not exist, and what does not exist cannot be intrinsically necessary in existence. It follows that the supposed particles’ supposed necessity of existence must be from other than it.

If it was supposedly possible, then it follows that the possibility of its existence must have outweighed its prior non-existence. Otherwise it would have remained non existent. This outweighing could either be claimed to be:

  1. Intrinsic to the particle or
  2. Extrinsic to the particle

There is no 3rd alternative. The first is clearly self-contradictory, because the event/particle did not exist, and what does not exist cannot have any influence on anything. It follows again that the supposed particles’ existence would have to be from other than it.

With this understanding of “cause”, it is clear that to propose that something can begin to exist without a “cause” is absurd.

Hence, the atheist contention that we do not know if something can begin to exist without a cause is absurd.

As-Ghazaaliyy in his book “Iljam Al-Awam”: Those who believe Allaah is a body are idolaters

July 29, 2013

Al-Ghazaaliyy says in “Iljaam Al-ˆawaam” that denying bodily characteristics for Aļļaah is a primary duty of all Muslims, scholars and commoners alike. He makes it clear that believing that Allaah is a body (i.e. something that has size) is kufr and idolatry:

I mean by “body” something with length, width and depth that prevents something else to exist where it exists…. So if it came to someone’s mind that Aļļaah is a body composed of limbs, then this person is an idol worshiper. The reason is that all bodies are created, and to worship something created is kufr. After all, idol worship is kufr because the idol is created, and the idol is created because it is a body. Hence, the one who worships a body is a kaafir by the consensus of the Muslim Nation, both the salaf and those later.

Wahabi claims Al-Ghazaaliyy was against Kalaam science

July 28, 2013

Wahabi claims:

“A glance at Iljaam al-‘Awwaam ‘an ‘Ilm al-Kalaam will prove to us that he had indeed changed in many ways: In this book he advocated the belief of the salaf… denounced ta’weel… and denounced the scholars of ‘ilm al-kalaam…“

Sunni response:

First, of course Al-Ghazaaliyy advocated the belief of the Salaf, no one would say otherwise. Deviants and Sunnis alike claim to be following the Salaf, who else would they claim to follow? The question is: what did he mean by the “way of the Salaf”?

Al-Ghazaaliyy explains the way of the Salaf as making 7 consecutive tasks incumbent on Muslim commoners when it comes to aayahs and hadiith narrations that may make someone think of Aļļaah in bodily or anthropomorphic terms. These are the tasks in sequence:

  1. The first is to deny thinking of Allaah in bodily terms, like limbs, sitting, moving, being in a direction or location, etc.
  2. The second is to believe that whatever is actually meant is true, even if one is capable of knowing the exact meaning.
  3. The third is to admit to oneself that one is incapable of knowing the exact meaning.
  4. The fourth is silence, i.e. not trying to explain the exact meaning (beyond what is NOT meant, as is done in the first task or principle.)
  5. The fifth is to refrain from translating such statements to another language or from adding or removing anything from them; they should be narrated exactly as is by the letter.
  6. The sixth is self-restraint by not thinking of the meaning and trying to figure it out.
  7. The seventh is to leave the detailed understanding of such aayahs and hadiiths to the expert scholars

Of course, the 7th task implies quite explicitly that there are scholars of Kalaam, and that the 7 tasks are for commoners, not for all Muslims. This is because Kalaam is needed to heal situations where deviants have managed to confuse people. Hence the way of the Salaf is to impose these 7 tasks upon commoners, not upon scholars that specialize in refuting deviants.

Hence, the wahabis have nothing to support them here, because Al-Ghazaaliyy’s proposed first task for commoners is to deny that Aļļaah resembles His creation (e.g. by being a body). This denying of bodily attributes is what wahabis are referring to when they accuse people of “denying Aļļaah’s attributes”. In contrast, Al-Ghazaaliyy says above that denying bodily characteristics for Aļļaah is a primary duty of all Muslims, scholars and commoners alike. He also says the following in the very same book:

I mean by “body” something with length, width and depth that prevents something else to exist where it exists…. So if it came to someone’s mind that Aļļaah is a body composed of limbs, then this person is an idol worshiper. The reason is that all bodies are created, and to worship something created is kufr. After all, idol worship is kufr because the idol is created, and the idol is created because it is a body. Hence, the one who worships a body is a kaafir by the consensus of the Muslim Nation, both the salaf and those later.

Here is something more explicit to what I said above. Al-Ghazaaliyy says in the very last subsection of “Iljaam” that if someone has deviance that needs advanced and detailed proofs of Kalaam in order to be treated, then this is done for him alone, and the issues raised are not raised in public. This is because he considers such proofs as medicine, and one does not give medicine to healthy people. He says that this is the way of the Salaf. I.e. not to get into advanced Kalaam issues with commoners, but only use it as needed.

In sum, Kalaam science is not forbidden in absolute terms according to Al-Ghazaaliyy. What he is against is getting into details of Kalaam that people don’t need to remain steadfast in their faith, because it may harm them by confusing them. However, he also insists that every Muslim must know that Aļļaah is not something with bodily attributes like sitting, being in a direction or location, having limbs or size, etc. It is the denial of such attributes that the wahabis call Kalaam and are against. This is because they are non-Muslim idol worshipers, as Al-Ghazaaliyy stated above.

Their spiritual leader, Ibn Taymiyyah, was actually a devious demagogue taking advantage of people’s lack of thinking skills. He himself wrote huge volumes in Kalaam, so how can he claim to be against it and keep a straight face? He was a philosopher with many statements of opinion on philosophical matters, such as those outlined here. He was not against Kalaam, he was against anyone that did not accept his idea that Allaah is a body that moves around and is shrinkable in size, is compelled to act to remain perfect, (i.e. that Aļļaah could not have chosen not to create anything, i.e. according to him, Aļļaah has a need to create) and other terrible blasphemies he endorsed in devious ways.

Against those who speak ill of Kalaam – based on Muqaddimaat al-Maraashid, Part 2

July 25, 2013

As for what is narrated from Al-Shafiˆiyy in blame of Kalaam, it is most likely, based on who he is and on his status, that he never said any of it. However, even if it is true, what he was referring to was some deviants in his time, because the science of Kalaam includes all of the different groups and sects. Indeed, Kalaam science began, was recorded in books, was studied and became part of the Sunni curriculum for the purpose of refuting the Muˆtazilites and other deviants….

Indeed, how would Al-Shafiˆiyy be against Kalaam as a science when he himself wrote the book “Kitab Al-Qiyas” in Kalaam science and wrote a book refuting the Brahmans (Indian philosophers)!? Likewise Abu Haniifah wrote books in Kalaam, such as “al-ˆAalim wa Al-Mutaˆallim” and “Al-Wasiyyah”. Further, Malik studied Kalaam for some 15 years … but he did not author books.

Moreover, Al-Shafiˆiyy founded the science of Foundations of Fiqh, which is strongly related Kalaam Science. After all, it needs to begin with abstract definition such as the meaning of “knowledge”, “will”, “speech”, details on the meaning of “order”, “forbidding”, etc. He would not object to Kalaam as a field of science when his own books are full of Kalaam topics!

Source: Muqaddimaat al-Maraashid, Ali ibn Ahmad As-Sabtiyy (614/1217), Maktabah Al-Thaqaafah Al-Deeniyah, 2008, p. 26-27

Against those who speak ill of Kalaam – based on Muqaddimaat al-Maraashid, Part 1

July 24, 2013

There are three types of people that are against the honorable science of Kalaam:  complete heretics, some deviant innovators, and imitators of literalists that associate themselves with Islam:

As for the heretics, one would expect nothing less from them, since they have no one to expose their blemishes and blind imitation of habits other than the specialists in Kalaam. Indeed, it has been said:

كل العداوات قد ترجى مودتها … إلا عداوة من عاداك في الدين

All enmities are hoped to turn to affections

Except the enmity of religious inclinations

As for the innovators, especially the Muˆtazilah and those who deny predestination, they did not generally reject Kalaam as a scientific field, but engaged in it. They were only against Sunni Kalaam.

As for the literalists, they are of three kinds:

1-         Those who say Kalaam has no basis in the religion because neither the Prophet nor the companions engaged in it. They also argue based on misguided interpretations of certain statements in the Qur’aan or in hadith narrations. This group (of literalists) is the most harmful to the common people among all groups against Sunni Kalaam. This is because they appear to (but not actually) find justification in the religion itself for their objections and convince people of their misguided interpretations.

2-         Those that believe that the science of Kalaam is the foundation of the religious sciences, but do not admit it because unlike some others they did not try to learn it, or tried but were unable to master it. Hence, they become against it out of arrogance and envy.

3-         Foolish imitators who follow one of the groups mentioned.

With regard to the first type of literalists, it is in fact known that there are no authentic narrations from the great scholars that attack or speak against this knowledge or science. And how can someone who claims to be a Muslim object to a science which:

  • Establishes and proves that Allaah is One and has attributes of complete perfection and refutes that Allaah has any flaws and declares Him clear of the wrong ideas that the deviants and blasphemers ascribe to Him?
  • Proves and affirms Prophethood based on miracles and on the same bases shows the difference between a prophet and a liar?
  • Establishes what an accountable person is accountable for, and when and how?

What trace of belief is left in someone who objects to this science and encourages people to avoid it?

Source: Muqaddimaat al-Maraashid, Ali ibn Ahmad As-Sabtiyy (614/1217), Maktabah Al-Thaqaafah Al-Deeniyah, 2008, p. 25-26

Abuu Manşuur Al-Bagħdaadiy: those who say that Allaah has a body are the worst of all deviant sects

July 20, 2013

Abuu Manşuur Al-Bagħdaadiy states about those who say that Aļļaah has a body, or that events happen in Him or His attributes (such as hearing or seeing one thing after another as they happen to creation) : “All those who disagreed with them say that they are blasphemers, so in this respect they are the worst of all the deviant sects (‘Uşuulu-d-Diin, 338).” He also commented: “By claiming that Aļļaah has events happen to Him, they ruined for themselves the proof of the monotheists which holds that bodies are creations since they have events in them. Based on this principle of theirs, they cannot prove that the world has a beginning, and thus they have no way of knowing the Creator of the world. Consequently, they are like all others who do not know Him (‘Uşuulu-d-Diin, 337-338).” (Ed. That is, they are idolaters.)

As-Subkiyy: Those who believe Allaah is a body are idolaters

July 18, 2013

As-Subkiyy in his Tabaqaatu-sħ-Sħaafiˆiyyatu-l-Kubraa says regarding scripture texts that appear to be referring to bodily attributes: “the saying of the mujassimah (anthropomorphists), worshipers of the idol, makes them always focus on ambiguous aayahs.[1] (Ţabaqaat Asħ-Sħaafiˆiyyah Al-Kubraa, 5/192)“ This is a very strong takfiir, saying that they are in fact idolworshipers.

[1] طبقات الشافعية الكبرى : إنما المصيبة الكبرى والداهية الدهياء الإمرار على الظاهر والاعتقاد أنه المراد وأنه لا يستحيل على الباري فذلك قول المجسمة عباد الوثن الذين في قلوبهم زيغ يحملهم الزيغ على اتباع المتشابه ابتغاء الفتنة عليهم لعائن الله تترى واحدة بعد أخرى ما أجرأهم على الكذب وأقل فهمهم للحقائق طبقات الشافعية الكبرى  ج 5   ص 192

Knowledge is not from books alone

July 17, 2013

It was reported in ĥadiitħs[1] by Aĥmad[2], At-Tirmidħiyyy[3], Ad-Daarimiyy[4] and Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy[5] that the Prophet r was asked, after telling them that knowledge of the religion will disappear in the future, “O Prophet of Aļļaah, how can knowledge disappear when we have copies of the Qur’aan and we have learned what they contain, and we have taught our children and our wives and our servants?” He raised his head in anger and said, “These Jews and Christians have with them their scriptures, yet they did not learn from them what their prophets brought them.”[6] That is, books alone are not enough; there must also be scholars that transfer the knowledge from one generation to the next, and can explain what is found in books.

[1]     A ĥadiitħ is a statements about what the Prophet said, did or did not do in different circumstances.

[2]     Aĥmad ibn Muĥammad ibn Ĥanbal Asħ-Sħaybaaniyy Al-Waa’iliyy (164 h. – 241 h.) is the Imam of the fourth school of fiqh: the Ĥanbaliyy school of Islamic Jurisprudence. His father was a governor in Sarkħas, but Imaam Aĥmad grew up in Bagħdaad. He devoted his life to teaching and learning, and is said to have memorized some 1 million ĥadiitħs. He was imprisoned and beaten from some time by a ruler who was influenced by a deviant sect. Az-Zirikliyy, Al-‘Aˆlaam (2002), 1/203.

[3]     Muĥammad ibn ˆIisaa ibn Sawrah ibn Muusaa ibn Ađ-Đaĥĥaak As-Sulamiyy Al-Buugħiyy At-Tirmidħiyy, Abuu ˆIisaa (209-279 AH/ 824-892 AD).  He was a great scholar of ĥadiitħ and is the author of one of the six most reliable ĥadiitħ collections. He became blind towards the end of his life. Ibid., 6/322.

[4]     ˆAbduļļaah ibn ˆAbdurRaĥmaan ibn Al-Fađl ibn Bahraam At-Tamiimiyy Ad-Daarimiyy As-Samarqandiyy (181-255 AH/797-869 AD.) He was a great scholar of Islamic Jurisprudence (fiqh) and ĥadiitħ. He was one of the teachers of Muslim, the author of the ĥadiitħ collection “Şaĥiiĥ Muslim.” Ibid., 4/95-96.

[5]     Aĥmad ibn Muĥammad ibn Salaamah Al-‘Azdiyy Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy, Abuu Jaˆfar (239-321 AH/ 853-933 AD). The great jurisprudent and ĥadiitħ scholar. He was born in Şaˆiid in Egypt, and was the nephew of Al-Muzaniyy, a famous student of Asħ-Sħaafiˆiyy. Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy first studied jurisprudence in the Sħaafiˆiyy school, but later became the head of the Ĥanafiyy school in Egypt at his time. Among his famous books is his manifesto of the creed of Sunni Islaam, known as the creed of Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy. Ibid., 1/206.

[6] ˆAliy Al-Qaariy, Mirqaatu-l-Mafaatiiĥ (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Kotob Al-ilmiyah, 2001), 1/484.

Al-Qurţubiyy: anthropomorphists are idolaters

July 15, 2013

Al-Qurţubiyy (the famous mufassir) said in his book al-Asnaa, p. 193:


It is a duty for every accountable person to know that Allaah is attributed with absolute greatness [of status], and there is nothing greater than Him [in status]. Further, He is clear of any attribute that is bodily or related to having size, as He cleared Himself of that by His saying:

الكبير المتعال

[which may be interpreted to mean : Allaah is the One attributed with absolute greatness and being above non-befitting attributes such as having a shape or size. –Ed.]

By this He informed us that He is Al-Kabiir, and the definitive particle “Al” indicates absoluteness. Then Allaah said “Al-Mutaˆaal” and by that He declared Himself clear of what makes bodies and bulky things great. [For] who believes that [Allaah has bodily greatness, i.e. in terms of shape or size] is likening Allaah to a body, and is an idolater.

Clarity on the different sayings about the Qur’aan

August 17, 2012

To bring absolute clarity to the deviant claim of Aļļaah’s Eternal Speech, the Qur’aan, being created. There are 3 main sayings:

Sunnis, the Ashˆariyys and Maaturiidiyys, say that the Qur’aan is the eternal Speech of Aļļaah. This Speech is an eternal attribute of Aļļaah and is not created, i.e. not brought into existence. It is not letters or sounds, and is not something sequential or divisible into parts. “The book of the Qur’aan, which is letters and words, expresses some of what Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech refers to. That is why it is called “Aļļaah’s Speech.” Note again that Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech is not divisible. It is what it refers to that is divisible, just as Allaah’s attribute of Will is not divisible; it is what it refers to that is divisible.

The Muˆtazilah say that Aļļaah’s Speech is letters and sounds that He brought into existence not in Himself, because it is impossible that something should come into existence in Him. They also claim that speech can only be sounds and letters. For this reason, they say that Aļļaah does not have an eternal Speech, and that the Qur’aan is created.

The Hashawiyyah, like the wahabis, say that Aļļaah’s Speech is letters and sounds that He brought into existence in Himself. They disagree with the Muˆtazilah only on where it emerged, not on the claim that it was brought into existence.

Issue Sunnis say: Muˆtazilites say: Wahabis say:
The meaning of the word “Qur’aan” The Qur’aan is Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of Speech that is not letters, sounds or words, because what is not created cannot consist of parts or be composed in any sense. However, it is also used to refer to the words that express some of what Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech refers to. Like when it is said, “please get me the Qur’aan on the bookshelf.” They say the Qur’aan is the Arabic expression that is printed in books. They say the Qur’aan is the Arabic expression that is printed in books and was brought into existence in Aļļaah himself.
Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech Speech is an eternal attribute of Aļļaah that is not brought into existence. It is not letters and sounds, but an eternal attribute by which Aļļaah tells, orders and forbids. They say that Speech is not an eternal attribute of Aļļaah, because Speech cannot be other than letters and sounds. They say that Speech is an eternal attribute of Aļļaah, in that it is a series of statements without a beginning brought into existence bit by bit.
Letters and sounds Letters and sounds cannot be beginninglessly eternal. Not a single one of them, and not a series of them. Letters and sounds cannot be beginninglessly eternal. Not a single one of them, and not a series of them. They say letters and sounds can be in a beginningless series of continuous speech.

Note that the wahabi belief that Aļļaah’s speech is a speech of letters and sounds that is brought into existence bit by bit without a beginning is identical to their saying about the world being beginninglessly eternal. The only difference between what they call created and uncreated speech, is the claimed place of its emergence into existence.




Allaah’s Attribute of Oneness

August 14, 2012

Aļļaah said in the Qur’aan,

قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ

Meaning: “Say! <O Muĥammad> He is Aļļaah, He is One.” (Al-Ikħlaaş, 1)

The word “One” here is absolute in meaning, as the statement is absolute. In other words, it is impossible that He should have an equal in His self, actions or attributes, or a partner or a part. It is also impossible that Aļļaah should have two attributes of the same kind, e.g. two powers, or two attributes of knowledge.

The Imaam Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal explained: “Aļļaah U is One, not in the sense of a number; it is impossible that He should be divisible or have parts; He is One in every sense of the meaning, whereas everything else is one in one sense, but not in others.”[1]

For example, I am one person, but I am one in the shared sense of being one among many of a kind. In addition, I have many attributes in common with others, such as taking up space, so I have partners in my attributes as well. I am also a collection of body parts, and all of my body parts are divisible. Accordingly, I am not one in an absolute sense, but in a composed, or shared, sense. That is, my uniqueness is only a created kind of uniqueness.

Abuu Ĥaniifah similarly said, “God is One, not in a numerical sense, but in the sense that He has no partner. He neither begets, nor was He begotten, and there is none like Him. He neither resembles any of His creation, nor does anything among His creation resemble Him.”[2]

[1] Muĥammad ibn Abii Yaˆlaa, Iˆtiqaad Al-Imaam Al-Mubajjal Ibn Ĥanbal (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Marefah), 1/293.

[2] Abuu Ĥaniifah (80-150 AH/ 699-767), Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar, vol. 1 (Maktabah Al-Azhariyyah Li Al-Turaath, 1421), 62.

Worshiping something with size or shape is blatant idol worship

August 13, 2012

There is no difference between someone who believes that Aļļaah is a body, and says “but I don’t know how,” and a hindu that only worships one idol that he has not seen yet, and says about it “I don’t know how.” Both are worshiping something physical that they don’t know the shape of, but that has a shape; they are two things of the same kind. Al-Qurtubīy in his commentary in the Qur’ān narrates from his Shaykh Ibn Al-’Arabīy, the famous ĥadiitħ scholar of Andalus, regarding those who say Allāh has a body: “The sound verdict is that they are blasphemers, because there is no difference between them and those that worship idols and pictures. ” (4/14).

Note that the meaning of “body” or “jism” in Arabic  is something with size.

For more on this, see “The difference between the Wahabi creed and Islam” and do not miss the comments here and here if you want to an exposure of the word games this sect employs.

Allaah’s attribute of non-resemblance to creation

August 12, 2012

Aļļaah is not attributed with attributes like those of creation. He must be attributed with non-resemblance to creation. This is the meaning of the statement in the Quran:

ليس كمثله شيء

Meaning: “He absolutely does not resemble anything at all in any way” (Asħ-Sħuuraa, 11)

Created things may differ from one another. However, their uniqueness towards one another is not like Aļļaah’s attribute of non-resemblance to creation.

It must be understood that Aļļaah is not different from creation in the same way that created things differ from one another[1]. Otherwise He would resemble His creation in the attribute of non-resemblance to creation.

It becomes important then to have a look at how created things may achieve uniqueness from one another. For example, if two entities differ, this difference will be detectable through one of our five senses as follows:

1.            Eyes: color and shape

2.            Hearing: sound

3.            Touch: temperature, softness, wetness, heaviness

4.            Taste: sourness, bitterness, sweetness, and other qualities of taste.

5.            Smell: sharpness, mildness, and other qualities of smell.

Created uniqueness then, is through shape, color, sound and other physically tangible qualities as mentioned here[2]. There are also two other ways created things may differ from one another, even if they are identical in all of the senses mentioned above. Namely, they may differ in space and in time. There may even be other ways of created uniqueness, but that is not important here. What is important is the following:

Aļļaah’s attribute of non-resemblance to creation involves denying that He is something that has color, shape or any other physically tangible quality. It also involves denying that He is in space or time.

[2] Another way of saying this is that such qualities involve possibilities. That is, they are not necessarily the way they are in the mind’s eye; one could have imagined them to be different. This is true for all things that may change. Such things need specification of their aspects, such as: Which shape? What color? What sound? What place? At what time? Etc. This means that they need a Creator to bring them into existence according to specification. See also the article: Bodies have limits but not Allaah.

The Wahabi Box Theory of Emergence (WBTE)

August 12, 2012

The below article is written to clarify what the wahabis are aiming at in some of their writings. This is needed, since they almost never really define their terms, or clarify what exactly the different viewpoints are in meaning (as opposed to wording). What I have written below aims to clarify what they are aiming at in one particular word game: their concept of “bringing into existence” vs. “creating”.

Before delving into this discussion two fundamental points should be clear regarding the belief of Muslims:

  1. Muslims believe that everything that has a beginning must have been created by Aļļaah, i.e. brought into existence by His Will and Power. This includes every and any beginning of any kind, such as a movement or thought, or a change in shape or color. To claim that any beginning of any kind was not created by Aļļaah is to commit shirk, and makes one a non-Muslim.
  2. Muslims believe that Aļļaah is not in a location, because He is not a body, not something that fills space. He exists without being in space, or in a location in any sense. He is neither in a specific location, nor everywhere. This belief is clarified here in terms of the reasons why this belief is of great importance. However, the following point should be extra clear:

The wahabis falsely believe that Aļļaah has a location. Sometimes they say they do not believe that Allah is a body, but this is just a play with words. Being in a location means being limited to that location, and that necessitates having borders and therefore either being a small dot, or something larger. This is issue is important, because every Muslim must believe that Aļļaah does not resemble His creation. Moreover, believing Aļļaah to be limited in any sense is an invitation to atheism, because the proof of Aļļaah’s existence is based on the existence of bodies. This is why wahabis are often against learning the detailed proofs of Aļļaah’s existence, as has been discussed here.

Having made the above points clear, let us get back to the main topic: the wahabi understanding of the concept of bringing into existence and the word creating.

In short, the wahabi theory is that there are two types of things that have a beginning, i.e. events:

  1. Whatever Aļļaah brings into existence in the world. These are called “created” or “brought into existence”.
  2. Whatever Aļļaah brings into existence, as they falsely believe, in Himself. I.e. in the entity that they worship that is limited to a specific location “up there” and claim is “Aļļaah”. This is the type of event they are referring to when they say that “not everything that has a beginning is created.”

To sum up the wahabi position:

  1. If something is brought into existence in the world, then this can be called both “brought into existence” and “created”.
  2. If something is brought into existence in the thing they falsely believe to be Aļļaah, then this is called “brought into existence”, but it is not “created”.

In other words, according to the wahabis, whether something brought into existence is called “created”, or not, is only a matter of the location of this new existence. I.e. it is a matter of which box it emerges in. This is what I have called, “The Wahabi Box Theory of Emergence”.

There is a very serious problem with this pathetic play with words. It means they believe that Aļļaah is a location for created events. Yes, I said “created” events. After all, the essential meaning of creating is that Aļļaah brings into existence by His Power and according to His Will. Where the thing or event comes into existence makes no difference to the essence of this meaning. I.e. bringing something into existence is to create, no matter where it comes into existence, and believing that Aļļaah is partially created is another blasphemous belief.

The Arabic language does not allow for the wahabi understanding of the word “create”, where it is restricted to only specific locations. Besides being quite obvious, this has been discussed more fully in this article.

The correct Islamic understanding is that:

  1. When one says that Aļļaah brings something into existence, it means that He brings it into existence by His Will and Power.
  2. When one says that Aļļaah creates something it also means that He brings it into existence by His Will and Power.
  3. Where the event brought into existence emerges makes no difference whatsoever to the use of the two phrases “Aļļaah creates” or “Aļļaah brings into existence”.

Why do the wahabis play these word games? It is because they know they cannot say that anything is created in Aļļaah. It will be too obvious to lay people that they are wrong. They thrive on being vague and imprecise.


August 29, 2011



MUSLIM sayings versus those of the philosophers

Ibn Taymiyyah’s sayings versus those of the  philosophers

Number of disagreements



Number of agreements



Number of similarities



Total number of beliefs compared



% of agreements



% of similar sayings



% of similar sayings or agreements




A common accusation of the wahabis and other anthropomorphists throughout history, is that the mainstream scholars of Islam, the Sunnis, the Asħˆariyys and Maaturiidiyys, took their beliefs from the Aristotelian philosophers. For someone with insight into the science of belief, this is obviously ridiculous, as they are bitter enemies, but those who do not have this insight might be affected by such fear mongering.


In reality, however, the reason why Sunni scholars engaged deeply into arguments based on pure reasoning, was to refute the beliefs of the philosophers. Accordingly, they studied their concepts and terminology, and then showed how the Aristotelian arguments were wrong using the terminology of philosophy.


On the other hand, Ibn Taymiyyah also studied Aristotelian arguments, particularly as presented by the Spanish philosopher Ibn Rusħd (the grandson). His purpose, however, was quite different. What he wanted was to find arguments against the Sunnis that could be used to defend and support his anthropomorphist belief that Aļļaah is something with a size, in a location, that moves and goes through changes. During this process he even adopted some beliefs that are identical or equivalent to those of the Aristotelians.

He was however a rhetorician of proportions, knowing how to sound convincing to the naïve, without actually saying much at all. He rarely defines his terms or clarifies exactly what the point of disagreement is. He sidetracks a lot and makes long and useless discussions arguing about terminology, “if you by this word this, then I say that,” even when he knows very well that this is not what his opponent means. He also hides his own views by arguing through quoting others, or by saying, “it could be said to that…” or the like. That is why you find him extremely long winded and incredibly vague. It is because he beats around the bush so much, that many scholars never discovered him and caught him red handed with his anthropomorphist agenda.


The below table outlines some of the fundamental principles of belief that are disputed between the philosophers, the Sunnis and Ibn Taymiyyah, to see who resembles one another more. Be forewarned that the Wahabis will try to skew the results below by making two of the principle issues into many issues.

The first principle issue is that Aļļaah is not a body, i.e. not something in a direction that can be pointed at. It is based on this principle that they denied that any of the words ascribing meanings to Aļļaah in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, such as nazala, jaa’, istawa, wajh, yad, ˆaynayn, janb, qadam, ‘işbiˆ, and yamiin, can be understood in terms of movement, shape, parts, limbs or the like. So it becomes according to them, nazala (descend by movement), jaa’ (came by movement), istawa (become settled), wajh (face), yad (forelimb), ˆayn (organ of sight), janb (side), qadam (foot), ‘işaabiˆ (fingers), and yamiin (right hand side), etc. In contrast, the ‘Asħˆariyys will either simply narrate such words, when apparently ascribed to Aļļaah, without assigning any meaning, but denying a bodily meaning, or they will look at what the Arabic language allows of meanings, and choose one meaning that befits the Creator. For example, jaa’ becomes “His orders came,” and “istawa” becomes “controls”, and wajh becomes “what is done for His sake”, and so on. This is not denial of attributes, as the followers of Ibn Taymiyyah claim, it is a denial of limbs, and this comes back to one principle belief, namely that Aļļaah is not a body, i.e. not something with size or shape or borders. Since Ibn Taymiyyah believes that Aļļaah is a body, he interprets any word that can be understood in a bodily manner as having a bodily meaning, whereas Muslims interpret such words in ways that do not involve bodily attributes. There are therefore many differences on interpretation that in reality come back to one single principle.

The second principle issue is the Muslim principle belief that Aļļaah is not something that events happen in, not something that changes, in contrast with the opposite belief of Ibn Taymiyyah. This is another principle belief with many sub questions in the same manner as the first principle issue. For example, ghađab will be interpreted by Ibn Taymiyyah as emotional change, whereas Muslims will understand it as Aļļaah willing punishment, without Him changing or being in time.

That being said, here are the details of the analysis:

The belief of the philosophers

The belief of the Sunnis

(Asħˆariyys, Maaturiidiyys and noble Ĥanbaliyys)

The belief of Ibn Taymiyyah

1. Most of the philosophers believed that the world is eternal. They believed that matter is eternal and that there are one or more eternal bodies (something with size) (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 13). (Adħ-Dħakħiirah is a book written by a Turkish scholar to judge between Al-Ghazaaliyy and the philosophers, as ordered by Muĥammad Al-Faatiĥ)

Nothing is eternal other than Aļļaah, and He is not a body. Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy said: {He is now as He always was, eternally with His attributes, before His creation came into being.} The existence of a body without a beginning is impossible, because it needs a creator to specify its shape. Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy said {in brackets}: {The six directions} up, down, front, back, left and right {do not contain Him} because that would make Him {like all created things}

He believed that Aļļaah is an eternal body (i.e. limited in all 6 directions – a 3 dimensional shape) and that there have always been other bodies with Him, coming into existence, one after another eternally without a beginning.[1]

Accordingly, there is one eternal body, while other bodies are eternal in kind in his view.

Similarity to philosophers


Identical (in meaning, but not in naming; he calls the eternal body Aļļaah, while the philosophers do not.)

2. The philosophers said that the world (anything other than Aļļaah) cannot cease to exist (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 65). In other words, it is a must to them that other than Aļļaah exists.

It is rationally possible for the world to cease to exist completely. We only know that it will continue by the scriptures that tell us about resurrection and eternal life in Paradise or torture in Hell.

Ibn Taymiyyah said it is not rationally possible that there be no creation (something other than Aļļaah), because Aļļaah must always create.[2] This is because his actions are not beginningless and endless according to Ibn Taymiyyah, but happen one after another.[3] In other words, it is a must to him that other than Aļļaah exists.

Similarity to philosophers


Identical in meaning, but not in naming.

3. The philosophers do not accept to say that Aļļaah has choice in whether to create or not (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 71).

The Sunnis say that Aļļaah has a Will, and that it is impossible that Aļļaah should need/ be compelled to create.

Ibn Taymiyyah said that Aļļaah must always create, as mentioned. He said Aļļaah has a choice in what to create, but not whether to create or not.[4]

Similarity to philosophers



4. The philosophers cannot prove that the world needs a creator based on their premises. This is because they claimed that matter, and what they call “the first mind”, and some other parts of the world, are eternal. (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 87)

The Sunnis said that all other than Aļļaah need to be created by Him, and that He is not of created kind, such as bodies, so He does not need a creator.

Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy said {in brackets}: {The six directions} up, down, front, back, left and right {do not contain Him} because that would make Him {like all created things}

Ibn Taymiyyah cannot prove that the world needs a creator based on his premises. This is because he said that Aļļaah himself is in a place and has 6 limits (i.e. 3 dimensional) and yet is not created (see footnote 1). He is therefore unable to establish that things with 6 limits need a creator, i.e. all the world as we know it. After all, if such a complex body can exist without a creator, then what about simpler ones?

Similarity to philosophers



5. The philosophers said that it is only possible for Aļļaah to create one single thing, and He cannot create a body. (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 99).

Aļļaah has the power to create infinitely many creations appearing over time.

Aļļaah has the power to create infinitely many creations appearing over time.

Similarity to philosophers



6. The philosophers refused to ascribe to Aļļaah attributes that affirm meanings to Aļļaah Himself, and are not mere negations. That is, knowledge, power, life, will, hearing, seeing, and speech. Even when they use these words, they intend by them the negation of some meaning. (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 106).

Sunnis said that Aļļaah is attributed with knowledge, power, life, will, hearing, seeing and speech that are not merely negations of their opposites. They said that these are eternal and unchanging attributes that are not in time and affirm meanings that are eternally true of Aļļaah, and are not mere negations of flaws.

He said that Aļļaah is attributed with knowledge, power, life, will, hearing, seeing and speech that are not merely negations of their opposites. He said, however, that these change over time.

Similarity to philosophers



7. The philosophers agreed to say that the creator is not a body, nor like a body, and He is not in time, place, direction, or existing in something else. That is, to ascribe attributes to Aļļaah that negate what does not befit Him. They also agreed to ascribe to Him meanings related to creating, such as providing, creating, controlling etc. (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 106)

Although there are differences regarding the details of this issue, Sunnis said that Aļļaah is not in time or in place, or direction. The bases for this is the Quranic, “He does not resemble anything”, which is understood literally, and any other scripture is understood in light of it. The reason for this is that the reality of the Creator’s existence must be complete in perfection, and created existence is need in each and every sense, because it needs a creator. Since Aļļaah is not created, He cannot resemble created things. This is shown by the Quranic rhetorical, “Is the One that Creates like what does not create?”

Ibn Taymiyyah believed that the creator is a body  located above creation,[5]  with created events in it, such as movement.[6] His basis for this is taking all scriptures ascribing a meaning to Aļļaah according to the customary meanings; the meanings that apply to creation. He then interprets the Quranic, “He does not resemble anything” accordingly. He understands this non-resemblance to mean different from creation the way created things differ from one another, so He is bigger in size than anything else, stronger, etc. Accordingly, he interpreted words ascribed to Aļļaah in the scriptures as meaning physical attributes and change, such as limbs, place, movement, emotions, and so on.

Similarity to philosophers



8. The philosophers denied that Aļļaah knows particulars. (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 172).

Aļļaah knows everything with an eternal knowledge that does not change.

He said that Aļļaah knows everything, but that it changes over time in terms of particulars as the future becomes past.[7]

Similarity to philosophers


Similar (because this means he believed that Aļļaah’s knowledge is bounded by time. )

9. The philosophers discussed whether the universe itself, as a total body, has a self that speaks and moves by will.  (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 179).

The Sunnis said there is no way of knowing such a thing without revelation from Aļļaah.

I haven’t seen Ibn Taymiyyah mention this, so we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Similarity to philosophers



10. The philosophers said that normal cause actually influences in reality its effect, i.e. the causes between created things, such as glass hits floor – glass breaks is a matter of real influence.  (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 219).

The Sunnis said that the hit to the floor and the breaking of the glass are two different creations of Aļļaah, thus the hit has no real influence, only apparently and according to the normal correlation that Aļļaah has created between things, such as:

heat (one creation) – burn (another creation),

hit (one creation) – break (another creation),

jump off cliff (one creation) – fall down (another creation), etc.

Ibn Taymiyyah is very vague on this issue. However, it appears that he is close to the muˆtazilite view, namely that things do have actual intrinsic influence on each other, but that this is created in them, and they use it by Aļļaah’s permission.[8] This is half way to the belief of the philosophers, who believed that such influence is not created. For example, it could be then, according to him heat (one creation) – burn (a creation brought into existence by heat.)

Similarity to philosophers



11. The Aristotelians believed that bodies do not contain indivisible elements that are not divisible in the mind’s eye.

The Asħˆariyys agreed that if bodies are divided, one would eventually reach an element that is not divisible. Not by force, and not even in the mind’s eye could it be divided. This is because if one said e.g. that a stone is infinitely divisible into infinite quantities, then this would necessitate that the stone has infinite quantity, which would mean that its size is infinite, and this is clearly not the case.[9]

Ibn Taymiyyah agreed with the Aristotelians and criticized the Asħˆariyys for their claim that all bodies must consist of indivisible particles.[10] This is because he believed Aļļaah to be a body, and did not want to say openly that this body is divisible. He did however say that it is shrinkable, as seen in the quote in last quoted paragraph of this article.

Similarity to philosophers



12. The Platonic philosophers believed that the human soul is beginningless. Aristoteleans disagreed. (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 248).

It is impossible that other than Aļļaah could exist without a beginning.

Since Ibn Taymiyyah allows for created kinds to be eternal, he would say that the human soul as a kind could be beginningless, even if he did not say this about the soul in particular.

Similarity to philosophers:



13. The philosophers denied bodily resurrection, as well as Hell and Paradise, and said that what the prophets said regarding this are all figures of speech. (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 261).

Since the apparent meaning of the scriptures is that there will be bodily resurrection and Hell or Paradise for them, we must accept this. There is no reliable evidence contrary to this. The philosophers reasoned that the non-existent cannot re-exist, because it will be something else. The answer is that it was possible in existence in the first place, so one cannot say it becomes impossible in existence after that.

Ibn Taymiyyah has no dispute with Sunnis on this matter – as far as I know.

Similarity to philosophers



14. The philosophers developed their opinions on theology without support from revelation. (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 270).

The primary bases for religious knowledge are the Qur’aan and  ĥadiitħ.[11] As for the mind, its role is to conceptualize and judge in terms of true and false. It is the tool by which the scriptures can be understood through sound deductive reasoning, and avoiding contradictory ideas. It is not in itself a tool for knowing facts of religion. However, the knowledge that Aļļaah exists, has Will, Power and Knowledge can be achieved without scripture, because creation definitely needs a creator. Likewise, the mind alone can reach the conclusion that Muĥammad ibn ˆAbduļļaah was indeed the Messenger of Aļļaah. In short, the premises for knowing that the Qur’aan and the Prophet’s teachings are sources of true information are reached by the mind by observation of the nature of creation.

Ibn Taymiyyah claims to stick to the scriptures more than anyone, but due to his blindness he ended up understanding them in a contradictory manner,[12] and in a way that ruins the premises for proving that Aļļaah exists by observing creation.

For details see the PDF article:

Rational Quranic Islam vs Wahabism

See also:

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

Similarity to philosophers




MUSLIM sayings versus those of the philosophers

Ibn Taymiyyah’s sayings versus those of the  philosophers

Number of disagreements



Number of agreements



Number of similarities



Total number of beliefs compared



% of agreements



% of similar sayings



% of similar sayings or agreements




[1] Ibn Taymiyyah said:

بيان تلبيس الجهمية في تأسيس بدعهم الكلامية – (1 / 438) فهذا القول الوسط من أقوال القاضي الثلاثة هو المطابق لكلام أحمد وغيره من الأئمة وقد قال إنه تعالى في جهة مخصوصة وليس هو ذاهبا في الجهات بل هو خارج العالم متميز عن خلقه منفصل عنهم غير داخل في كل الجهات وهذا معنى قول أحمد “حد لا يعلمه إلا هو” ولو كان مراد أحمد رحمه الله الحد من جهة العرش فقط لكان ذلك معلوما لعباده فانهم قد عرفوا أن حده من هذه الجهة هو العرش فعلم أن الحد الذي لا يعلمونه مطلق لا يختص بجهة العرش

“This middle saying among the three sayings of Al-Qaađii Abuu Yaˆlaa is the one that agrees with what Aĥmad says and others among the imaams. He [i.e. Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal – and this is a lie, Aĥmad believed what Muslims believe, but that is another matter (Trans.)] has stated,

Aļļaah is in a particular direction, and He is not spread out in all directions. Rather, He is outside the world, distinct from His creation, separate from it, and He is not in every direction.

This is what Aĥmad, may Aļļaah have mercy upon him, meant when he said,

He has a limit that only He knows.

If Aĥmad had meant the direction towards the ˆArsħ (Throne) only, then this would be known to Aļļaah’s slaves, because they know that Aļļaah’s limit from this direction is the ˆArsħ, so we know then that the limit they do not know is unqualified, and is not specified for the direction of the ˆarsħ.” (Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah, 1/438)

Accordingly, Ibn Taymiyyah’s saying was that Aļļaah has one limit which is known, and that is the ˆArsħ, and that the other directions are also limited,  but these are unknown to us. This is understood from his support to the expression “He is not spread out in all directions”. This is made even clearer in his statement:

بيان تلبيس الجهمية في تأسيس بدعهم الكلامية – (1 / 601) فأما كون الشيء غير موصوف بالزيادة والنقصان ولا بعدم ذلك وهو موجود وليس بذي قدر فهذا لا يعقل

“That something existing should not be increasing, or decreasing, or neither increasing nor decreasing, and yet exist and not have a size – this is impossible.” (Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah, 1/601)

In other words, he is of the opinion that everything that exists, including the Creator, must have a size. According to Ibn Taymiyyah then, Aļļaah has a size limited by 6 limits.

He is also of the opinion that creation as a kind has always existed without a beginning, because he believes that Aļļaah’s creating happens in time. Therefore, he argues, Aļļaah has always been doing one act after another (i.e. creating) without a beginning. He says:

الصفدية – (2 / 97): وحينئذ فالذي هو من لوازم ذاته نوع الفعل لا فعل معين ولا مفعول معين فلا يكون في العالم شيء قديم وحينئذ لا يكون في الأزل مؤثرا تاما في شيء من العالم ولكن لم يزل مؤثرا تاما في شيء بعد شيء

“It is a necessity of Aļļaah’s self to act, but not an act in particular, and not having something done in particular, so there is no eternal object in the world, and He is not a complete cause for anything in the world, but He has in beginningless eternity always been a complete cause for something, one after another…” (Aş-Şafadiyyah, 2/97) Since nothing exists in his belief, except what has a size, we can understand that he believes bodies to be eternal in kind, even if each individual body has a beginning, except the Creator’s.

[2] He says:

الصفدية – (2 / 97): وحينئذ فالذي هو من لوازم ذاته نوع الفعل لا فعل معين ولا مفعول معين فلا يكون في العالم شيء قديم وحينئذ لا يكون في الأزل مؤثرا تاما في شيء من العالم ولكن لم يزل مؤثرا تاما في شيء بعد شيء

“It is a necessity of Aļļaah’s self to act, but not an act in particular, and not having something done in particular,…” (Aş-Şafadiyyah, 2/97)

[3] Ibn Taymiyyah said:

الصفدية – (2 / 141) وتبين أنه لا يمكن حدوث شيء من الحوادث إلا عن فاعل يفعل شيئا بعد شيء

“It has become clear that nothing can come into existence except from an actor that does something one after another.” (Aş-Şafadiyyah, 2/141) He also said:

الصفدية – (2 / 141): الفعل لا يعقل ولا يمكن إلا شيئا فشيئا

“An act is impossible except bit by bit.” (Aş-Şafadiyyah, 2/141)

[4] See footnote 2.

[5] See footnote #1

[6] Ibn Taymiyyah said :

ونقول رابعا الحركة الاختيارية للشيء كمال له كالحياة ونحوها فإذا قدرنا ذاتين إحداهما تتحرك باختيارها والأخرى تتحرك أصلا كانت الأولى أكمل ويقول الخصم رابعا قوله لم لا يجوز أن يكون متحركا قولك الحركة حادثة قلت حادثة النوع أو الشخص الأول ممنوع والثاني مسلم (درء التعارض, ج 4 / ص 160)

In the above statement, Ibn Taymiyyah addresses his opponent, who has stated that movement must have a beginning, so it cannot be an attribute of perfection. Ibn Taymiyyah responds to this: “Beginning for its kind or each distinct movement? The first is impossible, but the second is accepted as true.” (Dar’ Taˆaaruđ A-ˆAql wa-n-Naql, 4/160)

In other words, it is not impossible that there are infinitely many movements in the past in Ibn Taymiyyah’s view, and it can be an attribute of Aļļaah, since it is an attribute of perfection in his view. This is based on his belief that Aļļaah is a body, because a body that cannot move is “stuck” and it is better to be able to move than to be stuck. Sunnis believe that Aļļaah is not a body, so the attributes of being able to move or being stuck do not apply to Him. Note that movement is not an attribute of perfection, because movement happens due to the need to move, although being stuck is even worse, as it signifies inability to do what one needs to to do. Both movement and being stuck are thus attributes of imperfection.

Ibn Taymiyyah also said:

(الفتاوى الكبرى, 5 / 127): فهذا لا يصح إلا بما ابتدعته الجهمية من قولهم: لا يتحرك ولا تحل به الحوادث وبذلك نفوا أن يكون استوى على العرش بعد أن لم يكن مستويا وأن يجيء يوم القيامة وغير ذلك مما وصف به نفسه في الكتاب

“So this is not correct except according to what they innovated by their saying “Aļļaah does not move and things do not come into existence in Him,”  by which they denied that He settled on the throne after being unsettled and that He comes on the Day of Judgment and other things that Aļļaah described Himself with in the Qur’aan and ĥadiitħ.” (Al-Fataawaa Al-Kubraa, 5/128)

He also said:

وتبين امتناع أن يؤثر في واجب الوجود غيره. (منهاج السنة النبوية , ص. 182)

It has become clear that other than the necessary in existence can influence the necessary in existence (the necessary in existence, i.e. Allaah(.

This shows that Ibn Taymiyyah considered Aļļaah to have bodily attributes based on his understanding of the scripture texts. He understood them according to the customary meanings that are true of creation.

[7] Ibn Taymiyyah said regarding Aļļaah’s attribute of knowledge:

وهذه الصفة هي صفة قديمة إذ كان لا يجوز عليه أن يتصف بها وقتا ما,  لكن ليس ينبغي أن نتعمق في هذا فنقول ما يقوله المتكلمون : إنه يعلم المحدث في وقت حدوثه بعلم قديم فإنه يلزم على هذا أن يكون العلم بالمحدث في وقت وجوده وعدمه علما واحدا

 وهذا أمر غير معقول إذ كان العلم واجبا أن يكون تابعا للموجود (درء تعارض العقل والنقل – (5 / 169)

“This attribute is beginningless, since it is impossible that He be attributed with it as some particular time (and not others). However, one should not delve deeply on this and end up saying what the kalaam scholars say: “Verily He knows the event when it happens with a beginningless knowledge,” for this implies that the knowledge of something previously non-existing during both its existence and non-existence one single knowledge. This is irrational, because knowledge follows what exists.”

He says this, because He believes Aļļaah to must be in time, since He believes He is a body (see footnote1,) and that Aļļaah’s beginninglessness is a beginningless series of moments. See one of Ibn Taymiyyah’s follower’s argument for this with a rebuttal here: Aļļaah is not in time.

[8] Ibn Taymiyyah plays word games on this issue, so it is hard to catch what he is actually saying. However, the following phrase of his is telling. Because he rejects the idea that created things have real influence, as the Sunnis say, and then states:

بيان تلبيس الجهمية في تأسيس بدعهم الكلامية (1/ 567): كما أنه سبحانه إذا خلق الأسباب وخلق بها أمورا أخرى ودبر أمر السماوات والأرض كان ذلك أكمل وأبلغ في الاقتدار من أن يخلق الشيء وحده بغير خلق قوة أخرى من غيره يخلقه بها

He says: If Aļļaah created causes, and created through them other things, and controlled the matters of the skies and the earth, then this would be more complete in ability than creating something by itself, without creating another power, other than it, by which He creates it.

In other words, He is saying that the power of creating can be put in causes, and other created things. This means that he believes that Aļļaah could have partners in creating, which is another shirk to add to the list of the other ones he commits. This belief is identical to that of the Muˆtazilah. This is not perfection, as he claims, but in contradiction to it, because it is among the perfect attributes of Aļļaah that His Power is not merely a possibility, but an uncreated eternal necessary attribute. Aļļaah’s attribute of Power is necessary in existence, and therefore not amendable. Had it been amendable, or shareable, then this would mean that it was not necessary in the first place, and it would have needed a creator, like anything that is subject to specification and change. Actually, Ibn Taymiyyah’s argument is identical to Christian arguments like this one. A related topic regarding omnipotence is also presented here.

[9] See also this article.

[10] Ibn Taymiyyah said:

منهاج السنة النبوية – (ص. 138): وبعض المصنفين في الكلام يجعل إثبات الجوهر الفرد هو قول المسلمين وأن نفيه هو قول الملحدين وهذا لأن هؤلاء لم يعرفوا من الأقوال المنسوبة إلى المسلمين إلا ما وجدوه في كتب شيوخهم أهل الكلام المحدث في الدين الذي ذمه السلف والأئمة.

“Some of the authors in Kalaam science make the affirmative belief in the indivisible particle of bodies the saying of the Muslims, and claim that denying it is the saying of the non-Muslims. This is because they don’t know anything about the sayings of the Muslims except what they found in the books of their shaykħs, the people of kalaam science, the innovation in religion that the Salaf and the Imams spoke against.” (Minhaaj As-Sunnah An-Nabawiyyah, 138)

[11] Scholarly ijmaaˆ consensus and Islamic legal analogy (qiyaas) are also proofs, of course, but these are established as proofs by Qur’aan and ĥadiitħ.

[12] This article addresses this problem: The ‘Simple’ Wahabi Belief II: Contradiction versus narration 

Deviant contention: “There is no room in Islam for logic and rational reasoning.”

August 25, 2011

Deviant contention: “There is no room in Islam for logic and rational reasoning. If Islam was based on the logic of humans, we would not wipe our hands above the khuffayn, as the greats of the Ummah have taught us, but rather underneath them.”

Question regarding this contention: It is known that the Naql (Quraan and the Sunnah) is given preference over the ‘Aql. What are the relative positions in the Aqeedah of Ahl-Sunnah wal Jamaah (Ash’aree?Maturidi) given to these ie. ‘Aql and Naql ? A person of a Literalist inclination argued that the Ash’aree school give the ‘aql priority over the naql.


There is no clearer sign of deviance and backwardness than refuting logic and rational reasoning. After all, the alternative is illogical and irrational.

This topic has been touched upon already in other article like this one.

The methodology of these people is to take interpret scripture text referring to Aļļaah’s attributes, understand the text as having the same meaning as when referring to a human, and then cling to it by all available means, even if the interpretation is irrational. The attacks made on logic is an attempt to hide this irrationality from the public. After all, if you want people to believe whatever you say, what better position to be in than not having to be logical or rational?

What is the study of logic as it is done by Muslims? It is the study of how to make proper definitions for the concepts you are dealing with, and how to construct a sound argument based on sound premises. Whenever you hear someone attacking the study or use of logic there are only a few possibilities:

  1. He does not know what it is, or has a different definition for it. Many scholars in the past spoke against the formal study of logic, because they considered greek theology to be part of it, which is full of ideas against Islam, or the trivial pursuits that philosophers often deal with that have no practical value for the Islamic belief or its practice. The study of elementary Islamic logic today does not suffer from any of these problems.
  2. He has an agenda, like the wahabi scholars.
  3. He is a dumb animal.

Narrational knowledge, knowledge based on information narrated in hadith is founded on rational reasoning, the core arguments being:

Reliability of narrator in terms of piety:

  1. God-fearing men do not lie.
  2. The narrator is apparently god-fearing
  3. Therefore, the narrator apparently does not lie.

Reliability of narrator in terms of accuracy:

  1. A person with an incredibly good memory is likely to tell narrations accurately, as they were told.
  2. The narrator has an incredibly good memory
  3. Therefore, the narrator is most likely accurate in his narration

Reliability of chain of narration in terms of continuity:

  1. If all the narrators in a chain of narration are mentioned in the chain, it is more likely that the information they narrate is accurate.
  2. The narrators in the narration chain are all mentioned – without interruption in any generation.
  3. Therefore, if the narrators are pious and accurate, the information narrated is most likely correct.

 Supporting narrations:

  1. If the same narration comes through several chains, then this increases confidence that the narration is accurate.
  2. The narration has several continuous chains with pious and accurate narrators.
  3. Therefore the narration is more likely to be correct than one that has only one chain.

As you can see, denying logic and rational reasoning as means to knowledge of the truth undermines all religious knowledge, even narrational.

The orders pertaining to how to worship cannot be known by reason alone, this is what is meant by the saying regarding wiping the khuff. For example, how would one know that one needs to wash one’s face (in wuđuu), after passing gas – before praying. If one was going to wash anything after it normally, it would be the place where the dirt came out, because the normal purpose of washing is to clean. In the same manner, the normal purpose of wiping is to clean, and the part of the khuff most in need of cleaning is the underneath part.

The problem with this reasoning is NOT that it is rational! On the contrary, it is based on false premises. In this case the premise being that the wiping is about cleaning dirts. It is not, because wuđuu is not about cleaning dirts in the first place. The reasoning then, had no scriptural basis for reaching a conclusion for a religious judgment. It is this type of opinion, or reasoning that Islam forbids; spurious reasoning based on unfounded premises. After all, if Aļļaah did not send a messenger, we would not know whether we would be held accountable for anything at all.

The scriptures have many examples of logical arguments to prove the correctness of the Islamic belief. For example, when the Prophet said when presented with the theory of contagious spread of disease between animals in a flock, “and the first one?” I.e. there must be a first one to have the disease, without having caught it from another animal. This arguments is based on the premise that there could not have been infinitely many camels transferring the disease in the past.

Similarly, the encouragement to think of proofs of Aļļaah’s existence and attributes are very many in the Quran, and they are not restricted to what is verbatim mentioned in the scriptures. An example of such encouragement is in this ayah:

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لَآيَاتٍ لِأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ

Meaning: “Verily in the creation of the Skies and the Earth, and the differences of night and day there are signs for those who have perceptive minds.” (Aal-ˆImraan, 190)

How to follow the order of the Aayah? The only way is to look at the characteristics of creation and derive logical proofs based on them for proofs for the Creator’s existence, such as was done in this article.