Refuting the Accusation that Asharis Consider it Rationally Possible for Allah to Lie

Deviant accusation: the Asharis say that it is rationally possible (jaa’iz `aqlan) for Allah to lie, but contingently impossible (mustaheel `araadi), because He has told us that He tells the truth.

To say that it rationally possible that Allah can lie, but does not, is to say that He can have a flaw. This is obvious to even the most simple minded Muslim. A believer will feel ill for even hearing such words. Tell me, if this is not kufr, then what is? How would you like to account for your deeds on the Day of Judgment having believed, or said, that it is not absolutely impossible that Allah could lie? Did they not hear Allah’s saying:

“وَتَقُولُونَ بِأَفْوَاهِكُمْ مَا لَيْسَ لَكُمْ بِهِ عِلْمٌ وَتَحْسَبُونَهُ هَيِّنًا وَهُوَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ عَظِيمٌ “

Meaning: “And you say by your mouths what you have no certain knowledge of, and you think it is a simple matter, while it is in Allah’s judgment gruesome.” (An-Nuur ,15)

Similarly, it was narrated by Ahmad, Al-Tirmidhi and others that the Prophet said:

“إن الرَّجُلَ لَيَتَكَلَّمُ بِالْكَلِمَةِ لاَ يَرَى بها بَأْساً يهوي بها سَبْعِينَ خَرِيفاً في النَّارِ”

“Verily a man may speak a word he thinks is not bad, but due to it he falls a fall that lasts seventy autumns <i.e. years> into the Hellfire.”

This hadith was judged as good (hasan) by Al-`Asqalani. Al-Munaawi said about the expression “seventy autumns into the Hellfire” in his book Al-Taysir bi Sharh-al-Jaami-al-Saghir: “It means that he will be forever rising and falling.” That is, the person became a non-Muslim for saying this, because only non-Muslims go there forever.

In another aayah Allah said:

وَلِلَّهِ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَى فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا وَذَرُوا الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي أَسْمَائِهِ سَيُجْزَوْنَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Meaning: “Allah is the one that has the most beautiful namings, so call Him by them, and leave those who deviate with respect to His namings. They will pay for what they have done.” (Al-‘A`raaf, 180)

There is no taqlid in such an issue, and finding a quote in some book will not help one on the Day of Judgment in something like this. Imagine yourself saying, “but I found this on page 256, volume 4 of book so and so, that it is rationally possible that it is not impossible in the minds eye that you could lie!” Even if you found supporting quotes in one hundred books, by famous authors, this is not an excuse.

Every sound minded person can understand that saying that it is not absolutely impossible that Allah could lie is an ugly thing to say about Allah. Actually, even the Christians and the Jews would consider this ugly. The one who denies that this saying is kufr, let alone blames those who say it is kufr, is himself a kaafir. The reason is that this person is saying that one can attribute an obvious flaw to the creator, and still be a Muslim. When one says something about Allah that is not of the most beautiful names, then one has either sinned or fallen in kufr. This is according to the aayahs and hadith mentioned above. Now, as the hadith says, if one might say something that one thinks nothing of, and fall out of Islam, then what about saying something that just about any human being, even a kaafir, would consider an ugly thing to say about Allah? I mean, the christians do not have a problem saying that Allah has a son, but they would have a problem with this. This is because the word son does not strike them as ugly, but the latter does. I think it is clear enough then, that saying “believing that lying is rationally possible for Allah, as long as one does not believe that He does, does not make one a non-Muslim,” is kufr in itself.

Having said that, Allah’s kalaam (speech that is not letters, sounds, language, words, or sequences of expressions) pertains to His knowledge. It is a eternal attribute of Allah that He must be attributed with, and it is neither an act, nor specified by a will. As-Sanusi said about the attribute of kalaam:

والكلام الذى ليس بحرف ولا صوت ويتعلق بما يتعلق به العلم من المتعلقات

{Speech (Al-Kalaam/الكلام), without letter or sound, which pertains to whatever His Knowledge pertains to.} That is, an attribute by which He informs without delay the unlimited information that He knows, be it orders, prohibitions, promises, threats, or other information.

To say that Allah could lie is to say that His knowledge is flawed, this is because to lie is to say something that is not true. Since Allah’s attribute of Speech/Kalaam is an eternal attribute pertaining to what His knowledge pertains to, then saying that He says something untrue is to say that there is a mistake in His knowledge. This is kufr of the highest degree.

Note that Allah’s kalaam is an attribute that Allah must be attributed with, not a possibility or an impossibility. So if you say that it is possible that Allah lies, then you are also saying that His kalaam is a possibility, and that is also impossible, because it cannot be both a must and a possibility. This is because a lie needs specification, and what needs specification is a possibility. In other words, telling a lie cannot be without a beginning or end, because it needs specification. A speech telling a lie then is a creation, and Allah’s speech is not created. So the person who says it is possible that Allah lies is saying that Allah’s kalaam is created, which is another kufr. See also this. Alternatively, such a person is saying that Allah tells infinitely many lies, need I say more?

It is also incredible stupidity to say that it is only contingently impossible (mustaheel `aradi) for Allah to lie, for if it was not absolutely impossible that Allah should lie, then how would one know it is mustaheel `aradi??? Mustaheel `arađiyy is when something is possible, like the existence of any created thing, but Allah tells us that it will not be, such as a mukallaf kaafir entering Paradise. That is, it is rationally possible that a kaafir could go to Paradise, but contingently impossible, because Allah has told us that this will never happen, as this is His decree. So if it was not absolutely impossible that Allah should lie, then how would they know that this information about Him not lying was correct? This is nothing less than zandaqah, extremem kufr, it is to put doubt in the religion as a whole, let alone contradicting that Allah’s kalaam is not created.

As-Sanusi also says:

وأما الرسل عليهم الصلاة والسلام فيجب فى حقهم الصدق والأمانة وتبليغ ما أمروا بتبليغه للخلق ويستحيل فى حقهم عليهم الصلاة والسلام أضداد هذه الصفات

{All messengers must possess truthfulness, trustworthiness, and must have delivered their messages entirely. It is impossible that they should be attributed with the opposites of the above attributes.}

So if it is not absolutely impossible that Allah lies, then there is no way to say that the Prophet only tells the truth either, and this is yet another kufr.

So the claim that it is true that Allah could lie, but He does not do so, is a kufr that is kufr in itself since it is to insult Allah, and a kufr that leads to accepting several other kufr beliefs, such as that Allah’s Speech is created, or that He tells infinitely many lies, or that He has a flaw in His Speech, or that He has a flaw in His knowledge, and that the prophets could be telling something that is not true about the religion. Allahu akbar.

Without even getting into any of the above, we can simply say that lying, which is to say something that isn’t true, is an obvious flaw, and Allah is only attributed with complete perfection. It is also an attribute of creation, and Allah does not resemble His creation. The one who allows it rationally has made it rationally possible for Allah to have a flaw and resemble His creation, so he is himself a kaafir.

One more thing. The purpose of `Ilm Al-Kalaam is to defend the religion and support it with proofs. When engaging in kalaam leads to conclusions that are destructive of the religion, then one can be sure that one has gone wrong. The difference between Sunni kalaam and that of the philosophers is that the Sunnis knew their conclusions from the Prophet’s teachings before they looked for proofs, whereas the others simply followed their opinion, wherever it took them.

In light of this, let me say that the conclusion that we must reach is that it is impossible that Aļļaah should lie, otherwise the entire religion becomes a 50-50 proposition, and one would have said something outrageous about Allah’s attributes that no sound minded individual would accept. If one could not find an argument to get to this conclusion, then one should keep looking, being sure that any argument indicating otherwise must be wrong. This is the general rule one should hold on to. If one does not, then I can tell you that reading books of kalaam will get you into a great deal of trouble, especially the larger works. This is why Al-Ghazali wrote about the importance of restricting kalaam science to only a few very capable individuals of great piety.

Do you not see that piety would have prevented anyone from daring to say that it is not rationally impossible for Allah to lie? Instead they decided to rely on their minds, and ended up falling out of the religion, along with those who said that they are not blasphemers. Beware that I am not making takfir for any particular individual, because we cannot make takfiir for people based on articles attributed to them on the internet. What I am saying is that if someone says that Allah lying is not mustaheel `aqli, but mustaheel `aradi, and he understands these terms, then he is a kaafir, along with the one who says he is not. I remind you of the aayah above:

وَلِلَّهِ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَى فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا وَذَرُوا الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي أَسْمَائِهِ سَيُجْزَوْنَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Meaning: “Allah is the one that has the most beautiful namings, so call Him by them, and leave those who deviate with respect to His namings. They will be pay for what they have done.” (Al-‘A`raaf, 180)

Note that this whole issue came up with the Mu`tazilah, because a common debating technique in kalaam is to show the opponent that what he claims to be true leads to saying something ridiculuous that all agree is kufr. The Mu`tazailah wanted to show that you can only say that it is impossible that Allah lies if you accept their ideas about qabaa’ih, namely that it is impossible that Allah does what they consider qabaa’ih, or “ugly acts.” The answer of Sunnis was that lying is impossible, because Allah’s kalaam is not created, it is not an act, but an attribute that Allah must be attributed with and pertains only to what Allah’s knowledge pertains to; it is not a created attribute. The same was their technique on the concept of doing injust acts, as I mentioned earlier when I narrated the debate between Al-Isfaraini and Qadi Abdul Jabbaar. The Sunni answer was as you see there, that it is absolutely impossible that Allah’s actions be injust, because He does not have a judge.

The same technique is used by the Christians also when they say “could Allah have a son?” They want to imply that saying no would lead to saying He is unable. In this case our answer is again that it is rationally impossible for Him to have a son, because if you said it was possible, then you are saying that Allah could lose godhood, which is kufr. We also do not say unable, because that would be insulting Allah, which is also kufr. We say instead that it is impossible; it cannot ever be and therefore has nothing to do with power.

Likewise one does not say that it is not allowed for Allah to lie, because this is to imply that He has obligations. Rather one says that it is impossible that He could lie, as explained above.

More comments and questions on this issue

Question: Someone wrote that if we say that lying is not possible for Allah, it would then imply that humans could do something that Allah cannot do. Is this logic valid?

Answer: No. This is because Allah’s power pertains to the possible category of things. It does not pertain to what cannot ever be, the rationally impossible. It also does not pertain to what must be, such as Allah existing and being one without a parter. Lying is a flaw of speech, so saying that Allah can lie is to say that He can have a flaw. This is kufr, like saying He can have a son or a partner.

Note that it is also kufr to say that Allah is unable to lie, because this is to insult Allah’s attribute of Power. Furthermore, it is kufr to say that Allah is obligated not to lie, because a need to fulfill obligations is a flaw, and attributing a flaw to Allah is blasphemy.

The answer then is that lying is a flaw, and it is impossible for Allah to have a flaw. Allah’s Power is only related to what could possibly exist.

For example, if Allah said that Fir`awn is going to Hell, then it is impossible that Fir`awn never goes there. This is because Allah’s Speech pertains to His Knowledge, that is, He told us of what He knows, namely that Fir`awn will enter Hell. If you say that it pertains to Allah’s Power for Fir`awn not to enter Hell, after knowing that Allah has said otherwise, then you are saying that Allah’s Knowledge is flawed, or that His Will changes, which would again mean flawed knowledge and change. This is all kufr.

Someone asked: Can Allah act against His previous word or command?

Answer: It is not obligatory for Allah to fulfill His promises, because He does not have obligations. That does not make it possible in the mind’s eye, however, quite the contrary. We say that it is not obligatory, but it is impossible that Allah should not fulfill His promises, or threats, because it is impossible that Allah should lie, because lying is a flaw, and Allah is clear of flaws. Accordingly, if someone says, “It is contingently possible for Allah to act against His previous word,” then he has committed kufr, because he is saying that Allah could have a flaw.

Deviant said: “What you need to understand is that to say that it is “impossible” for Allah to lie would necessitate that He has given man the ability to do something that He himself does not have the power to do. This is absurd to suggest.

Comment: This is ignorance. Lying is an attribute of Speech, and Allah’s Speech is a must, an attribute of perfection, it is not something that pertains to Allah’s Power. If you say that it pertains to Allah’s Power, then you are saying that it is created, which is kufr, as stated by the four a’immah.

Deviant said: Furthermore, it is practically an ijma’ that Allah’s speech is known as a result of revelation, not reason, so it makes no sense to say that we only know that Allah has the capacity to communicate to us because of scripture, but it is rationally impossible for Him to lie, when we didn’t even know that He could speak until the revelation came. Hence, the impossibility of lying on Allah is a judgment of scripture, not reason, although reason further emphasizes that lying would be a sign of imperfection….

Answer: This is nonsense. By the agreement of the Ash`aris Allah’s attribute of Speech is a must, not a created attribute. Regardless of whether it can be known by the mind alone or not. Once it is established that Allah’s Speech is not created, but a must, and that not having a speech is a flaw, then you cannot say that Allah’s Speech is also a possibility!

Moreover, you either say that Allah has a Speech or not.

If you say He does not, then lying is impossible, because lying without speech is impossible.

If you say He does, then you either say it is created or not.

If you say that it is created, then you are saying that the “Kalaam Allah” is like saying “Bayt Allah.” This means that Allah does not in reality have a Speech that is an attribute of His Self, so that means in the end that Allah in actual reality does not speak, according to this idea, which means lying would be impossible.

If you say that Allah’s Speech is not created, but a necessary, i.e. eternal, attribute of He Himself, then you are either saying that it changes, e.g. by involving sequential meaning being told one after another, or does not.

If you say it does, like the Wahabis, then you are saying that it is created, because change needs a creator, which would mean again that it is not a necessary attribute, and something cannot be both necessary and not at the same time. So in such a case lying is also impossible, because the attribute proposed is impossible.

Finally, if you say that it is necessary and does not change, then we have arrived at what we want, namely that Allah has an attribute by which He informs. You either say that it pertains to what He knows or not. Since Allah’s knowledge is infinite, it pertains to all that must be, as well as what cannot be and what could be. What could be includes what has been, what is now, and what will be in the future, as well as what could have been in the past, now and in the future.

If you say that Allah’s speech pertains to lying then you are saying that if A is going to be at point in time B, then Allah says both that A is going to be at point B and that it is not going to be at point B. This is a contradiction and therefore impossible. Note that this is not impossible in the case of our speech, because it is a sequential action, i.e. something created, whereas Allah’s Speech is not an action and does not change.

There is no question then, that it is rationally impossible that Allah should lie.

Deviant said: Perhaps if you looked at the fact that a “square-circle” is not actually something that can exist while “lying” is, it would help you in your confusion. We know that lying does exist, while we know that it is not compulsorily existent (wajib). It is possibly existent (ja’iz). If it is ja’iz al-wujud, it falls within the realm of Allah’s qudrah, which are the ja’izat (possible things) and is exactly what His power pertains to. His power does not pertain to a “square-circle” because of square-circle just cannot possibly exist. As for “kadhib” (lying), it not only possibly exists. It “actually” exists.

Answer: This is ignorance. Lying does exist, yes, but as an attribute of creation! Does possible attributes of creation necessitate that Allah also has them? This is one of the ugliest examples of tashbih I have seen in my life.

Deviant said: Allah’s qudra pertains to lying just as it pertains to truth (sidq). Hence, lying is something that He can possibly do “actually” and “rationally” speaking. The only thing is that He has chosen not to lie and He does not have to lie, because He has nothing to fear from telling the truth, since He has power over all things and cannot be subdued or controlled by anyone.

Answer: This is pure i`tizaal. He is saying that Allah’s speech is created and is something that pertains to His Power. If not, then what is lying except something pertaining to speech?

Deviant said: He also does not lie because He has made it His way not to do so as He indicated to us in scripture…

Answer: This is stupidity. If Allah telling lies was a possibility, as he claims, then there is no way to tell whether the indication in the scripture is true!

Someone said: Allah has the power to lie or speak truth. His power encompasses both possibilities. Nothing limits his choice and will. If you can show how what I say is flawed, I’m more than open to see how. However, the flaw is really in exactly what I have explained. Your view necessitates that Allah’s qudra is limited and that He has the power to give the power to lie to man but He doesn’t have the power to do it His self.

Answer: His statement “Allah has the power to lie or speak truth” is pure i`tizaal, it is a plain statement saying that Allah’s Speech is created.

Someone said: Faqid al-shay la yu’ti (one who lacks something cannot give it to another). This would then place man’s power more expansive than the Creator’s own. This is why your logic is flawed and why I say that you have misunderstood the text…

Answer: This man does not have mind. He is a kafir and an ignorant fool. According to this, if someone rides on a mosquito, as Ibn Taymiyyah’s followers say, then it is possible that Allah should ride a mosquito…. Need I say more?

Authored by Sheikh Abu Adam

34 Responses to Refuting the Accusation that Asharis Consider it Rationally Possible for Allah to Lie

  1. abdulHAQ says:

    I will tell a lie to cover up my mistakes, and save somebody or a situation going out of control etc etc. This action is as a result of my fear of punishment, insult or to gain some illegal or legal benefit. Thus my lies are a result of my weakness. If these can be the conditions for telling a lie, Can I attribute such weakness to Allah (swt)? Why should Allah (swt) tell a lie? Perhaps this creed is a result of restricting Allah (swt)’s attributes and then judging his powers according to human shortcomings. May Allah (swt) have mercy on us. (Ameen)

  2. The main reason is lack of piety. Piety would have prevented anyone from accepting such an idea, no matter what argument was presented. The second reason is ignorance of the fact that Aļļaah’s attribute is a necessary and eternal attribute of Aļļaah, i.e. it is a must, and not a possibility. The third reason is not knowing that Aļļaah’s attribute of Power has to do with what is possible, and not what absolutely must be or cannot be in the mind’s eye. Once the mind judges that something must be or cannot be then one cannot say it is also possible, as this is a contradiction in terms.

  3. I have received a couple of comments for clarification. The answer is: It is not an obligation for Aļļaah to fulfill His promises or threats, for it is impossible that He should have obligations, yet it is also impossible that He would not do so, because His eternal Speech is flawless. I think this should be clear from a careful reading of the above, but here it is again. It is similar to when the christians say “is Aļļaah able to have a son?” You can neither answer yes, nor no, because both would be kufr. Saying yes is to say that Aļļaah could have a flaw, saying no is to insult Aļļaah. Instead one says that it is impossible that Aļļaah should have a son, because having a son is a flaw. This is the correct answer.

    This current issue first came up with the Muˆtazilah or philosophers, who wanted to prove that there are acts that are impossible because of their intrinsic ugliness, i.e. they are intrinsically impossible because of ugliness. They said that if you do not accept this, then you will end up saying that it is intrinsically possible that Aļļaah should lie. The Asħˆariyys, knowing that this would be to insult Aļļaah, showed instead that you can say that lying is impossible without submitting to the saying of intrinsically ugly acts, because Aļļaah’s Speech is not created, and therefore is not something that falls in the possible category of things. Rather, it is an eternal and unchanging attribute that pertains to what His knowledge pertains to, by which He informs what He knows. If one said that it pertains to lies also, then one has attributed a flaw to Aļļaah’s speech, saying something untrue, and that is impossible, because it is imperfection. Accordingly, the Asħˆariyys said that it is not an obligation for Aļļaah to fulfill His promises or threats, for it is impossible that He should have obligations, yet it is also impossible that He would not do so, because His eternal Speech is flawless. So you say that Aļļaah definitely fulfills His promises and threats, because His Speech must be true. It is kufr to say that Aļļaah could do otherwise, because this is to say that His Speech could be false. This has nothing to do with ability, because that Aļļaah should say something untrue is intrinsically impossible.

  4. anonymous says:

    As-salamu’alaykum warahmatulah wabarakatuh,

    Dear “Shayukhs”,

    Know that – lieing or not-lieing does not pertain to Allah.

    These questions only ‘Arise’ for the servant(s) who are yet to realise their true servitude, i.e the ones who have not (yet) fully become indifferent to ALLl else besides Allah.

    “And they have not estimated Allah in His True Estimate”

    Possibility, necessities, impossibility, counter-possibilities, even infinity…. These are all your own poor and sad estimates.

    Haven’t you heard his words (aleyi salam), “we do not write nor do we calculate”.

    So understand this, perchance you will succeed!

    salam

  5. You said: “Possibility, necessities, impossibility, counter-possibilities, even infinity…. These are all your own poor and sad estimates.”

    You also said: “Know that – lieing or not-lieing does not pertain to Allah..”

    When you say lying does not pertain to Aļļaah I agree with you, because it is impossible that Aļļaah should lie. But when you say “not lying does not pertain to Aļļaah,” then you are implying that the truth does not pertain to Him. This is a terrible thing to say.

    The bottom line is that you either say it is possible, or you say it is impossible, or you say that it must be that Aļļaah should lie, or you say you do not know. If you say it is impossible then you are right. If you say “possible,” “must be” or “I don’t know” then you do not know Aļļaah. If you do not know Him, then you are not relying on Him, but an illusion.

  6. Firas says:

    Salamu alaykum, what do you mean by this? Can we have more elaboration:

    “This is because a lie needs specification.”

    JazakAllahu Khair

  7. For example, when a human being wants to say something untrue, he needs to specify exactly what falsehood he wants to tell. If someone was late for an important meeting, for example, and wanted to fabricated an excuse, then he would need to think of a story, among many potential stories, and specify which one he wants to tell.

  8. Firas says:

    But doesn’t this apply to truth too?
    I mean when someone wants to tell a true story about something happened, doesn’t he have too many potential ways to tell it? If so, his told story needs also specification.

  9. Remembering that what Aļļaah knows is unlimited, we can’t but admit that His attribute of kalam, by which He informs without delay the unlimited information that He knows, can’t be like our limited created kalam that is made up of sounds, letters and words.

    Also remember that although Allah’s kalam is one, He can enable any of his creation to hear his kalam, although it’s not some kind of sound, and He can make each of them understand from it what He wants him/her/it to understand, so each of them might end up understanding something different at the same time. This is another reason why we can’t say that His kalam is like the kalam we know in the creation.

    In light of this, this is what I said lately:
    “Note that Allah’s kalaam is an attribute that Allah must be attributed with, not a possibility or an impossibility. So if you say that it is possible that Allah lies, then you are also saying that His kalaam is a possibility, and that is also impossible, because it cannot be both a must and a possibility. This is because a lie needs specification, and what needs specification is a possibility. In other words, telling a lie cannot be without a beginning or end, because it needs specification. A speech telling a lie then is a creation, and Allah’s speech is not created. So the person who says it is possible that Allah lies is saying that Allah’s kalaam is created, which is another kufr. See also this. Alternatively, such a person is saying that Allah tells infinitely many lies, need I say more?”

    In another place I stated:
    “Finally, if you say that it is (a) necessary (attribute) and does not change, then we have arrived at what we want, namely that Allah has an attribute by which He informs. You either say that it pertains to what He knows or not. Since Allah’s knowledge is infinite, it pertains to all that must be, as well as what cannot be and what could be. What could be includes what has been, what is now, and what will be in the future, as well as what could have been in the past, now and in the future.

    If you say that Allah’s speech pertains to lying then you are saying that if A is going to be at point in time B, then Allah says both that A is going to be at point B and that it is not going to be at point B. This is a contradiction and therefore impossible. Note that this is not impossible in the case of our speech, because it is a sequential action, i.e. something created, whereas Allah’s Speech is not an action and does not change.”

  10. Javaid Ali says:

    Aslaam Alykum
    I have come across a few articles on the internet that seem to think it is possible for Allah to lie but only hypothically they call this hypothetically possible (ja’iz ‘aqli), without naming any scholars. Is this hypothically possible at all ? or is it playing with words.
    Jazakhallah

  11. No it is not. Please read the article above to understand why.

  12. Abu Abdillah says:

    Assalaamu ‘Alaikoem Shaykh,

    JazakumAllah khayr for this great refutation. I too had the same confusing in my head with what you meant with ‘specifying a lie’ like Firas but if I understand correct from your counter-reply to Firas is that specifying a lie has many ways to tell it. For example coming late to work you can fabricate hundreds of different falsehoods but telling a truth there is only one of it but some may tell it on various wordings but still with the same message whereas lie has different messages with different wordings. Could you maybe elaborate only on the difference between specifying truth and specifying a lie, please.
    JazakumAllah for all the help.

  13. waˆalaykumussalaam

    The truth about a matter is one, so it does not need specification.

  14. AH says:

    Subhanallah, brilliant work Shaykh, May Allah reward you for your efforts to highlight the danger of such beliefs.

  15. Begging to Allaah says:

    Mashallah, Brilliant deduction. Allaah cannot lie because for one thing Allaah’s attribute of speech is intrisically necessary and also that lying is an imperfection. Allaah’s attribute of knowledge is unlimited as in He knows all possiblities, necessities, and impossibilities so it is impossible He should fabricate.

  16. FAHEEM says:

    It is clearly mentioned in sharh maqasid and sharh mawaqif that telling a lie comes under the power of Allah.Moreover,a famous scholar Maulana Khaleel Ahmad saharanpuri wrote the answer of this question and sent it to the ulama of medina,makkah,egypt,iraq,etc And all considered it right.

    • The basic creed of Ahlussunnah is that Allaah’s Speech is not created. Whatever comes under the power of Allaah must be created. The imams of all 4 schools of fiqh made takfiir for the one who says that Allaah’s Speech is created, let alone that He could say something untrue. After that I don’t really care who says what, and in any case, it is a slip of the pen in a heated debate with the Muˆtazilah. These books are meant for scholars, not for blind and ignorant imitators. They both state explicitly in their creedal statements that it is impossible that Allaah could lie. Here is At-Taftaazaaniyy.

      As for the proof for why it is wrong to say that “it is contingently possible for Aļļaah to lie.” Here it is:

      1) Aļļaah’s Eternally Speech must be true, and cannot be untrue, because it is not created. In a speech that could tell a lie, a specific lie is only one possibility among infinite possiblities, thus such a speech would need to be specified and brought into existence, i.e. it would have to be created. This is unlike true speech, because the truth can only be one about any particular matter, and is known by Aļļaah eternally. This is the meaning of imam Ahmad’s saying, “His Speech is from His knowledge,” i.e. “agrees with His knowledge,” and His knowledge is One, Eternal, and True just as His Speech.

      2) The uttered speech that is called “Aļļaah’s Speech” tells us what He said with His Eternal Speech

      3) According to 2), an utterance that says something other than what Aļļaah said eternally is not His Speech

      4) Therefore, any uttered speech that is not true cannot rationally be said to be Aļļaah’s Speech, because it does not tell us what He said eternally

      5) Conclusion: it is impossible in the mind’s eye that Aļļaah’s so called kalaam lafţħiyy (speech of utterable expressions) could contain a lie.

      As for what Al-Jurjaaniyy, Al-Iijiyy and At-Taftaazaaniyy are saying; what they mean is that the speech that we say refers to Allaah’s eternal Speech, how do we prove that it really is true, i.e really refers to Aļļaah’s eternal speech? The proof for that is one of normal necessity according to some scholars, that is, the miracles of the
      Prophet, the agreement of everything in the scripture with the truth, and so on. They don’t mean that it is contingently possible for Aļļaah to lie, as is clear from the context.

      That being said, it is important that one does not read books, other than the Qur’aan, assuming that every letter in the book was actually written by the author. There could be perversions, and there could be slips of the pen. It happens all the time. This is in addition to the fact that there is no proof in what a non-Prophet says, especially in belief issues.

  17. Ahmad-Qadri says:

    Jazak Allah khayr Shaykh.

    The tragedy with people like “faheem” (an irony of a name) and others like him is that they will jump at any chance to say that it is “not intrinsically impossible” for Allah to lie, and to say that lieing is in His qudrah, but for the life of them, they cannot accept that lieing is in the capability of the zanaadiq and mala3een who teach them such ugly beliefs.

    These mal3ooneen believe that it is *not* mustaheel for Allah to lie, but it is muhaal for the shayateen who teach them the deen to make a mistake and/or lie.

    May Allah reward you for your patience with such ugly people whose only life goal is to speak ill about Allah and His Prophet. They look for the slightest chance and excuse to speak nonsense about Allah and the Prophet, and then they speak nonsense like “ulema of Makkah, Medina, Egypt, Iraq, etc.” validated their ugly kufr beliefs that even most kafirs would shy from in regards to what ever they worship (minus the hindus who believe krishna lied)!

    These people are sick, sad, ugly and cursed!

  18. sa'eed says:

    Some of the questions on the topic of imkaan e kidhb really make you laugh, just to add my view about the following,

    “Your view necessitates that Allah’s qudra is limited and that He has the power to give the power to lie

    I was recently watching a Shaykh Ahmed Deedat (Rahimaullah) debate with a christian, and the christian said,
    “you know what your problem is?
    your God in your view is too small, God is God, he can do what he likes, even if that is, have his own son be born in the world?!?!?”

    I hope the guy doesnt hold a debate with a christian with these views, the christian might end up converting him.

    • You are right, it is the same line of thinking, thinking of Allaah in terms of what is true of creation, not what must be true of their creator. Lying is a flaw and having children implies a body and having a like. Allaah is greatly clear of and above all of that.

  19. YASIR says:

    http://www. [snip]/
    plz give comments

  20. abdul quadir says:

    in sura taha allah told to moosa a.s about pharoah (speak to him gently perhaps he may mindful or may fear ) wat does this word perhaps mean

    • The word “la3alla”, which you have translated as “perhaps” is a word used to express hope in Arabic. The purpose of it in this context is as a modifier for the order to go to Pharaoh. It could be interpreted as “go to Pharaoh hoping and desiring that he will be guided.” But la3alla when said by Allaah can also have a meaning similar to “indeed”. Accordingly it refers to Pharaoh’s eventual repentance, it is just that his repentance came too late for him to benefit from it. (Zaadu-l-Masiir, Ibn Al-Jawziyy)

  21. sunniquestions says:

    I get the impression from someone’s writings that he at least feels that ja’iz ‘aqli and mustahil ‘aradi arent necessarily mutually exclusive in their totality.

    Hoping you can provide some clarification.

    Jazakallahu khairan

    • Ja’iz aqli means possible in the mind’s eye. Mustahil ˆaradi, or normally impossible, is possible in the mind’s eye, but not normally. E.g. rivers flowing up mountains is normally impossible. It is ABSOLUTELY impossible that Allaah could lie, not just normally impossible, but impossible in the mind’s eye. To say that it is only normally impossible is kufr.

  22. Sofi Tasavvuf says:

    A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. I think that you should write more about this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but typically folks don’t talk about these subjects. To the next! All the best!!

  23. Asker says:

    I am really disturbed with your style of writings. Do you really think every time you call the action in the statement “kufr” is really “kufr”. Or are you just rushing to the conclusion? If you do think that is absolutely kufr and as you stated above, the one is commits is absolutely kafir whether he denies he is kafir; then why did not our kalam scholar make takfir of Havarij, Mutazila, Karramiyye, and even philosophers. These people claimed and did believe a lot more dangerous things.

    I do want to learn kalam and i do think that is pretty important. But unfortunately, when we consider the history and today also, it seems like this science is serving to just few people, although it has a claim to serve the muslim ummah and prevent aqeedah and at the same time it is being said to be stay away from this science and also putting lots of issues of kalam into normal aqeedah books.

    And you are telling that saying “Allah is not unable to do something impossible to be exist” is a kufr. But are the words(lafz) even matter? The one means the same thing with respect to impossbilities can’t exist by their very nature. Isn’t because that the words are not matter, Imam Al-Ghazali said Allah can be called jawhar(substance) if it is meant to be self-subsisting, but the word should not be used?

    Also, you directly thought of the one’s claim to be relevant with the attribute of the speech. But, say, Allah brought scriptures to the world by His Power, namely, they are created, so, regardless of attribute of speech, since He is able to do anything, could not He reveal(brought/create) something not true?

    And again, i don’t know how many times the word “kufr” occured. And when someone common people, like me, reads it, it seems like there is no possible way to avoid from kufr. I hope you answer me back about these issues. Thanks

    • Kalam scholars did make takfiir for those groups you mentioned. Kalam science is the science of ˆaqiidah, they are synonyms. What I have said is to say that Allaah is unable to do something is kufr, because this is attributing to Him inability.

      As for the attribute of Speech, is must not be confused with the attribute of Power. His attribute of Speech is an eternal uncreated attribute. This speech MUST be true, because its is not created. Hence, any speech that is not true is by default not His Speech, and not referring to it. As for created speech, it may be true and it may be false. The christians, for example, believe that their bible is the word of God. However, not all of it truly tells us what Allaah said. How do we know? Because it contains statements that are not true!

      • Omer Toraman says:

        As Salam Alakium, Thanks for your reply, i am impressed with your kalam skills, may Allah teach you more and increase the number of kalam scholars. But let me ask you question, you said kalam scholars did make takfir for these groups i mentioned. But, isn’t the majority of Sunni Kalam scholars do not make takfir of, especially Mutazil? And even Imam Al-Ghazali made takfir of philosophers, didn’t others came after him said perhaps they didn’t be kafir? And also i am pretty sure of them not making takfir of Hawarij although they are said to be from deviant sects, so why do you say so? I have actually lots of questions to ask, and as i told unfortunately i can’t find someone qualified to answer them, however, you did not answer me on few issues i asked you. I know Allah’s Speech is not created and pretends His Knowledge. But what is not answered is that Allah’s knowledge have surrounded anything(Necessities/Probabilities/Absurdities), so He also has infinite knowledge about the things are wrong and about lies. So how can you respond to a question that since His Speech pretends His Knowledge, His speech also pretends falses too, besides true; so how come it is impossible of Him lying in the mind’s eye? Also, as you and other kalam scholars state, the Qur’an which is written to the pages is something created and not eternal and since everything is created by Allah; He created whatever we have written to the pages. So for example, couldn’t He reveal, say, to Musa Aleyhisselam, tablets which He actually only creates, namely not refering to His Speech, but His Will and Power? Because we vis-a-vis with only the created things, we have no knowledge that the revealed things are referring to His Speech but not only His Power(I am trying to give example).

        And also you said ” Kalam science is the science of ˆaqiidah “, although kalam includes aqiidah also, it is not just purely aqiidah, it is more likely to prove the pillars of faith with intellect and sound reason. Say, for instance, Tahawi is not kalam scholar, but he is Aqiidah scholar. Don’t you agree with me in this issue?

        Also, i have mailed to you about some issues. I DO need help about very very significant problems about the oneness of Allah. Hope you help me.

      • The scholars agree that the mu3tazilah are going to Hell forever, so they are kuffaar. However, merely being associated with the mu3tazilah in this world does not mean that one is treated completely as if belonging to a different religion. I.e. one is not automatically considered a kaafir in this life simply by being associated with them. This is what it means when it is mentioned that they are not kuffaar. The scholars are referring to worldly dealings with them. However, if an individual expresses openly one of the kufr beliefs that they have, then he is judged as a kaafir in worldly dealings as well. For example, if he says “not everything happens by the will of Allaah” or other plain and obvious shirk. The same is the case for extreme khawaarijites and others. The groups that are considered kuffaar merely by being affiliated with them are sects like the baatiniyyah, because they are actually majuuz.

        As for the attribute of speech. Again: The attribute of Speech must not be confused with the attribute of Power. His attribute of Speech is an eternal, uncreated attribute which pertains to what He knows, by which He tells, orders, promises and threatens. This speech MUST be true, because its is not created. Hence, any speech that is not true is by default not His Speech, and not referring to it. As for created speech, it may be true and it may be false. The christians, for example, believe that their bible is the word of God. However, not all of it truly tells us what Allaah said. How do we know? Because it contains statements that are not true! There is an extensive article about this here.

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