Someone asked: The idea that it is not absolutely impossible for Aļļaah to lie is mentioned in some books attributed to famous scholars. Can we seriously consider calling such illustrious `ulema who were masters of `aqida to be kufar and those who deny their kufr themselves kufar?

There is a difference between saying something is kufr and making takfiir for specific individuals. One of my sħaykħs’ way in these matters is to give the rules, without commenting on specifics. So if you told him, “but what if one said so and so, or did so and so,” or “someone said this,” he will simply repeat the rule. Otherwise it becomes a waste of time, and a source for generating satanic whispers with 100s of people coming with 100s of questions. I try to follow his way and I won’t be commenting on individual sayings or statements.

Moreover, I can tell you for a fact that when he reads Al-Ĥaasħiyah in public lessons, and comes to the statement which states that it is permitted to write Qur’aan with blood for healing purposes, he reads a fatwa which states that it is kufr to believe this. Yet far be he from saying that the author of the Ĥaasħiyah, Ibn ˆAabidiin, is a kaafir! Why? Because finding this in a book attributed to him does not necessarily mean that he said it, and because we think well of him, and do not believe he would say something like that.

I have no certain knowledge that any scholars said that for Aļļaah to say something untrue belongs to the possible category of things, and neither do you. I do not even have two witnesses, which is a requirement for takfiir if one did not witness it directly. Forgeries and slips of the pen are very real possibilities (remember Ibn ˆArabiyy?), and we still have the possibility that a scholar might slip. The Ummah as a whole is protected, and the Prophet of course, but not individuals. The comment of Al-Fakhr Ar-Raaziyy comes to mind about the ĥadiith which states about Ibrahim having told 3 lies, “I’d rather call all of the narrators liars, than saying that Prophet Ibrahim lied.” Remember that taqliid (imitating others) is of no benefit in Aqiidah matters. What you are saying is, “since these scholars might have said this, (because you don’t know that,) I am not going to say it is kufr,” even though you know without a doubt it is an ugly thing to say about Aļļah. You can do better than that.

Al-Imam An-Nawawiyy says that one is not allowed to rely on reading books of fatwa, even if one finds the same answer in several books. Ibn ˆAabidiin mentions this in Rasm Al-Muftiyy, so quotes in books are of limited value even in fiqh, so what about ˆaqiidah? Reading books without a solid Sħaykħ, or his prior training, is very dangerous. How to decide who is solid? Well, you can begin by finding out what he says about attributing the possibility of lying to Aļļaah! And if that is not a criteria, then enlighten me in terms of what would be.

One more thing, even IF it was not kufr, which I do not accept, saying this still shows a silly mind that stumbles in basics of ˆAqiidah science. Someone that correctly says that Aļļaah is not in time, and does not change, and that everything is predestined, and that His knowledge is perfect, and that His Kalam is not created, but a must, and pertains to what His knowledge pertains to, but then turns around and says (incorrectly) that it also pertains to lying, and adds that lying is possible (and not a must – which would mean that the kalaam would have to be created in the first place)! A person that self-contradictory cannot be considered to know belief science, let alone be an imam by any reasonable standard, so what would you achieve by saying it is not kufr? It might also be said that you have a choice between saying he is an idiot or a kaafir, and if idiot is the only other option, then why not just go with the obvious, which is to say “kaafir,” because he has insulted Aļļaah while thinking himself clever, and making takfiir for an idiot who does this is unproblematic.

You won’t save our view of scholars who have calamities in books attributed to their name by saying it is not kufr, because idiocy or deviance are the only other options. The only way out is to say that it is a forgery, or a slip of the pen (they had something in mind, but wrote something else by mistake), or in some cases, where it is not far fetched, you can make ta’wiil. This is the sensible way to deal with this, not blindly accepting words found in books.

16 Responses to Someone asked: The idea that it is not absolutely impossible for Aļļaah to lie is mentioned in some books attributed to famous scholars. Can we seriously consider calling such illustrious `ulema who were masters of `aqida to be kufar and those who deny their kufr themselves kufar?

  1. Ahmed says:

    What about if the kufr statements are still being echoed today by there followers?

  2. The rule is that one thinks well of a Muslim until one knows otherwise. To attribute a kufr statement to a Muslim, and thereby judge that he is a kaafir, can only be done by witnessing him/her saying or writing it oneself, or having two trustworthy male witnesses of this.

  3. abdulHAQ says:

    Ahmed said: What about if the kufr statements are still being echoed today by there followers?
    *********
    I understand this comment well as in the Indian sub continent we have scholars picking on the statements of other scholars and giving fatwas against each other. Both the parties then keep maligning and defending their shaikhs. It is a vicious circle where in no body is ready to treat others in good faith knowing well that scholars are not masoom; they are bound to err. The example of Hashi’ya and Shaikh Ibn Abideen is an ideal solution for these problems

  4. abdulHAQ Says: “The example of Hashi’ya and Shaikh Ibn Abideen is an ideal solution for these problems.”

    Exactly, in fact, I have heard that Ibn Abideen has an article which ridicules the idea that the Qur’aan can be written in blood for medicinal purposes. We must remember that these books can have forgeries and typos in them. It is a mistake to attribute a statement in a book to a scholar if thinking well of him calls for otherwise. This is the first reason why I am not mentioning names here. The second is that getting into names only hardens the positions. The third is that in basic belief issues everybody is directly accountable for his/her own view. Having a wrong belief because a scholar had it is no excuse.

  5. Irfan says:

    what about those who defend the above beliefs and are alive today? what should be the position of ahlus sunnah regarding such schools?

  6. The same. To claim that it is possible that Aļļaah could lie is kufr no matter what time you live in.

  7. kishky says:

    alhamdu li llah i m really impressed, i never knew there was a sight like this ,especially on aqeedah. i will like to receive your mails or newsletters .if you publish any. I am delighted

  8. FAHEEM says:

    but allah has the power to lie just as allah has the power to put a kafir in heaven

    • The kafir and the heaven are creations, Allaah’s Speech is not. This argument is based on believing that Allaah’s Speech is created, so that it comes into existence by His power and will, and is therefore not an eternal attribute of Allaah other than His power and will. You people have taken the belief of the muˆtazilah and the followers of Ibn Taymiyyah that Allaah’s Speech is created, and then subtracted their Muˆtazilite belief that Allaah acts according to what they call “good.” Al-Aamidiyy states in ‘Abkaar Al-‘Afkaar: “I do not know of any disagreement regarding the fact that lies are impossible in His Speech among those who say that Aļļaah is attributed with Kalaam/ Speech, whether it be the eternal attribute of His Self (as the Sunnis say), or the one (as the Muˆtazilah and Anthropomorphists believe) that is sounds and letters.” (Al-Aamidiy 2/83) So what does that make you?

  9. FAHEEM says:

    YOU ARE PERFECTLY RIGHT IN SAYING THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ALLAH TO LIE BUT HE HAS THE POWER TO LIE .NOT LIENG DOES NOT MEAN THAT ALLAH DOES NOT HAVE THE POWER TO DO IT.FATAWA RASHIDIA(HAJI IMDADULLAH IS OF THE SAME BELIES)RATHER THE WHOLE DEOBAND COMMUNITY BELIEVES IT

    • You already asked about this, and I answered you here. Aļļaah’s Speech is not under any power, because it is eternal, and not created. This is the issue. You are saying that all the Deoband community believes that Allaah’s Speech is created, that is, specified by His Will for how it is to be, and brought into existence by His Power, and that based on that, they believe also it could contain imperfection, and ugliness in accordance to all rational beings, namely: incorrect information. Both are kufr by themselves, as stated by the scholars of Islam. The second belief, being particularly ugly, is as stated by the Al-Aamidiyy in ‘Abkaar Al-‘Afkaar: “I do not know of any disagreement among those who say that Aļļaah is attributed with Kalaam/ Speech, that lies are impossible in His Speech, whether it be the eternal attribute of His Self (as the Sunnis say), or the one (as the Muˆtazilah and Anthropomorphists believe) that is sounds and letters (Al-Aamidiy 2/83). The first belief is the famous belief of the Muˆtazilah sect, based on which the leaders of the Salaf said that they are kuffaar. For example: Al-Bayhaqiyy narrated in Al-Asmaa’ Wa-ş-Şifaat that Abuu Yuusuf said, “I spoke to Abuu Ĥaniifah, raĥimahu-ļļaah, in a year of drought, about the Qur’aan being created or not, and we agreed that the one that says that the Qur’aan is created is a kaafir (1/610).” So I am in good company. As for your “the whole Deoband community believes it,” I don’t believe that. In any case, this would not affect the conclusion, because the fallacy of the masses is not a proof in Islam.

      • MR says:

        Assalamwalaikum dear Shaykh,

        I feel there is a misunderstanding (the) concept of the jawaz ‘aqli or “hypothetical possibility” of God’s lying was mistakenly translated into Arabic by Ahmad Reza Khan as imkan al-kadhib, which in Arabic means the “factual possibility of [God’s] lying” <snip<
        I await your reply,

        Jazakallahu Khair.

      • There is no difference between saying jaa’iz ˆaqliyy, i.e. possible in the mind’s eye, and saying it is “mumkin”. It has the same meaning. To say that it is possible in the mind’s eye is to attribute flaw to the Creator. Take a look at the table of contents, there are lots of materials on this issue.

  10. Rashid says:

    By whole Deobandi community, you mean the scholars as well as commoners? No, I don’t think so. Many of the commoners today are unaware of the heretical beliefs contained in the books attributed to ‘Ulamah of Deoband. Hence, we cannot say that everyone who claims to be a Deobandi is a Kaafir. Yes, whosoever believes that it is possible for ALLAH Almighty to lie, among scholars or commoners, has committed Kufr, and hence, is a Kaafir.

    May ALLAH Almighty make us die on Imaan with the Waseelah of His Beloved Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). Ameen!

  11. Rashid says:

    Assalam u Alaikum,

    In the above post, the first sentence is directed for FAHEEM, not Shaykh Abu Adam.

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