Wahhabi Contention: ‘Proof from Accidents’ is not Quranic

Wahhabi Contention: The Quran itself does not advocate any ‘Proof from Accidents’) And the greatest proof for this is that the earliest generations of Islam (and even the Prophet (saw) himself) did not derive such complex theological premises from the Quran. Now, the claim that a certain proof or theory does not contradict the Quran is not the same as saying it is Quranic.

Sunni Response: If the proof is valid, complies with the Qur’aan, and proves something stated in it, then why is it not Quranic? Different times and different people are affected by different types of proofs. The encouragement to think of proofs of Allah’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:

أَفَلاَ يَنظُرُونَ إِلَى ٱلإِبْلِ كَيْفَ خُلِقَتْ

Meaning: “What, do they not consider how the camel was created?”

In light of the ayah, if you want me to restrict how I consider the camel, then you need to show me an explicit text prohibiting me from considering the “how” of the camel. It does not matter if the consideration is simple or not, lucid or not. This is because the encouragement to consider is absolute in the ayah, and cannot be restricted without a scriptural text as proof.

What you call “accidents,” which would be better translated as incidents, refers simply to the different events and attributes bodies have, that is, anything with a size. The Quran states that Allah created everything. Does this not include what happens to bodies? This claim of yours is truly puzzling. An example of an ayah from the Quran that encourages thinking about bodies (things with size) and accidents (attributes and actions of things with size) is:

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لَآَيَاتٍ 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 Imraan, 190)

The Skies and the Earth are both bodies, because they both have size, and the changes of night and day are “accidents”. Clearly then, seeking proofs of Allah’s existence and attributes in bodies and events is something Quranic of the highest order.

Anyway, using the proofs mentioned in the Quran will lead to the same conclusions as proofs based on the indivisible element, namely that Allah is not like creation. This is because all creation as we know it is either something with size (a body), or an attribute of it (”accident”). If you prove that Allah exists based on them, then you are implicitly saying that Allah is not like that, because you are already arguing that these bodies and their attributes need a creator.

For example, based on the aayah, if you say that night and day are timed orderly, and that this shows that someone orders them, then you must also hold that Allah is not something “timed”. Otherwise you would end up saying that Allah needs a creator according to your original argument.

Moreover, if you say that the skies and the earth are highly ordered structures, and that someone must have ordered them, then you must also hold that Allah is not a structure. Otherwise you would end up saying that Allah needs a creator according to your original argument.

Author: Shaykh Abu Adam al Naruiji

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