Q & A: A philosopher’s belief about the eternality of the cosmos

Question: I think that what a philosopher would say about the eternality of the world is this: The heavens and the earth indeed had a beginning, as the Quran states. However, they were created by Allah from some prior substance that existed before them. So he would affirm a beginning to the heavens and the earth, but he would deny that before they were created nothing else existed besides Allah. Now my question is this: Why exactly is this belief kufr? Is it because of the hadith that “Allah was and nothing was with Him”?

Answer: It is a combination of many evidences, but it is basically because he believes that this substance is not created by Allah, and is His partner in eternity. The bottom line is that it is shirk.

[Shaykh] Abu Adam

2 Responses to Q & A: A philosopher’s belief about the eternality of the cosmos

  1. Hussain20 says:

    As Salam Alikum

    Shaykh I have a question in regards to Ibn Rushd and Imam Ibn Taymiyyah.

    Imam al-Ghazalli (Rahimullah) in his works of kalam proved the temporal origination of the world, while philosophers such as Ibn Sina argue for the world’s eternal emanation from God. Ibn Rushd reasserts the world’s eternity against al-Ghazali, portraying creation, however, not as emanation but as a perpetual process rooted in God’s perfection.

    Imam Ibn Taymiyyah in his sharh on Bukhari’s hadith “God was, and there was nothing before Him, and His Throne was on the water … Then, He created the heavens and the earth”

    In his commentary, Ibn Taymiyya sets forth a speculative theological model of God’s perpetual creativity. Although neither the world nor any one part of it is eternal, God’s perfection entails that He create one thing or another from eternity. Ibn Taymiyya maintains that this philosophically derived vision of God accords with revelation.

    Isn’t his view very similar to Ibn Rushd’s? I thought this was the same reason he (Ibn Rushd) was declared a kafir for maintaining such a belief?

    Would the statement above not be an issue to kufr?

  2. waˆalaykumussalaam,

    Yes, it is definitely kufr. In fact, Ibn Taymiyyah’s kufr is even more explicit, as he believes Aļļaah achieves perfection by creating, i.e. that He benefits from creating. This is a very terrible belief. Muslims must believe that Aļļaah does not change, is absolutely perfect in His attributes, and does not benefit from creating anything.

    Abu Adam

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