A wahabi said: Asharis believe that Allah has willed all events that have ever and will ever occur from pre-eternity. They don’t believe that He wills whenever He pleases. Rather they believe that He willed everything from pre-eternity and then the events will occur delayed at some time later. However, us Salafis believe that once Allah wills something to occur it occurs immediately/simultaneously. The Salafi view unlike the Ashari view is in full conformity with sound logic.
My (the wahabi anthropomorphist) argument is as follows:
- Point 1: Asharis believe that time is created.
- Point 2: Asharis believe that Allah does not operate in time.
- Point 3: Asharis believe that time is the created effect out of Allah’s pre-eternal will being implemented. Hence, Allah’s pre-eternal will is the cause of time’s existence.
- Point 4: According to sound logic the cause of an effect either precedes its effect or occurs simultaneously along with it in a temporal sense.
- Point 5: Asharis do not believe that Allah’s will is simultaneous with the creation of time, since they believe that Allah’s will is pre-eternal, while time is a creation that only occurred around 15 billion years ago (according to the best of science, we are not sure. The point is that physical time is not eternal.)
- Point 6: Hence, Asharis are forced to believe that Allah’s will of the creation of time occurred before time.
- Point 7: Point 6 is a logical contradiction. How can there be something before the creation of time? The word before is a temporal word and it makes no sense to make such a statement.
- Conclusion: Allah’s willing everything to occur from pre-eternity is a logical contradiction and logical impossibility. The Salafi belief that the effect occurs immediately/simultaneously with Allah’s will, which is the cause of that effect is in full conformity and harmony with sound logic.The only way for the Asharis to maintain that God willed everything from pre-eternity and creation began to exist later is to deny that time is a creation, but the two cannot both be true at the same time. So they must compromise on one of these beliefs.
Comment: First of all, if you had some understanding, you would have noticed that you started by boasting of your mean anthropomorphist creed. This is a creed that no one accepts, unless his mind is malfunctioning. Are you proud to say that Aļļaah wills whenever He wishes?” This is ascribing to Aļļaah, who is eternally without a beginning, attributes that did not exist and then became existing. It has been established with unequivocal proofs that something eternal without a beginning cannot have attributes that have a beginning. This is because this will that you describe as emerging from non-existence, and ascribe to Aļļaah, would be an attribute of perfection, which means that Aļļaah would be lacking this perfection before it occurred. No one believes this except a kaafir that does not realize the greatness of Aļļaah. Nothing is left after that except you saying that this will you claim emerged in the Creator Almighty is an attribute of imperfection, and this is madness and stupidity that does not need an answer.
Second, do you think that a rational being is duped by your term, “delayed” to pave the way for your figure-worship agenda? You said, “the Ashˆariyys believe that He willed everything from pre-eternity and then the events will occur delayed at some time later,” and then immediately you followed this with: “Salafis believe that once Aļļaah wills something to occur it occurs immediately/simultaneously.” Here you tried to give the reader the impression that you glorify Aļļaah and attribute to Him having a will that is executed, while the Ashˆariyys ascribe to Him flaws and attribute to Him willing what is not executed except after a delay.
The reality of the matter, however, is that the People of the Truth, the People of the Sunnah, Ashˆariyys and Maaturiidiyys, believe that what Aļļaah has willed to happen by His beginninglessly eternal Will, happens at its specified time, and without any delay.
As for you, the anthropomorphists, you believe that what Aļļaah has willed does not happen unless a will emerges in Aļļaah that He was not attributed with before. In other words, you believe that everything that happens in creation from the smallest matters to the largest is simultaneous with the emergence of a will in Aļļaah that did not previously exist. So you made, according to your claim, Aļļaah ever- and continuously changing. This is in disagreement with all sound minded people in history, who all said, “Aļļaah is the one that is clear of imperfection – He changes things, and does not change.”
Third, you tried to imitate the People of the Truth in using rational proofs, and all you came up with was a quack. How did you expect to succeed anyway, when rational thought is something you have not tasted and Aļļaah has deprived you of? Anyway, take this as a slap to your clueless venture and crooked thoughts:
As for your first point, which is that time is a creation. This is exactly the truth. We do not say, however, that it exists outside the mind. This is because it is not something that exists in itself, nor something that exists in something that exists in itself. Rather, it is a consideration in our minds, or a mental estimation of an aspect of creation, which is that it intrinsically accepts non-existence and change.
As for your second point, which is your statement, “Asharis believe that Allah does not operate in time,” this one needs to be rephrased. What we believe is that Aļļaah is not bound by time in the sense that He, all glory belongs to Him, is not tied to time, unlike everything else. In other words, He is clear of being restricted to, or unreleasable from, the frame of time. This is because it is impossible that He should become non-existent or change.
In your third point, you said, “Asharis believe that time is the created effect out of Allah’s pre-eternal will being implemented,” and then you claimed this means that Allah’s pre-eternal will is the cause of time’s existence. This is not the case. Rather, we believe that time is a matter of consideration, tied to our minds, for all created things, as any creation may become nonexistent after its existence. We also believe that the existence of time, like other created things, is according to the beginningless Will, Power and Knowledge of Aļļaah.
We do not say that Aļļaah’s Will is the cause of time’s existence, as you claim, because we do not call Aļļaah a cause. Rather He is the creator of causes and effects. A cause, literally speaking, is something that begins and then ends when its effect takes place, and Aļļaah’s Will is eternal and therefore unchanging. Strictly speaking then, Aļļaah’s Will is not a cause, and the world is not its effect, because Allaah’s Will does not begin or end.
To clarify, we know that Aļļaah has a will, because He specified how creation is to be. Someone who believes this might claim that this will’s existence is intrinsically necessary in itself, or intrinsically possible in itself, there is no third alternative. What we believe is that its existence is necessary, and not merely possible, which means that Aļļaah’s Will is eternal and does not change. Here is why:
- We know that the world is not eternal, because it is intrinsically, that is, with regards to itself, only possible in existence. This is, again, because the existence of something can only be either intrinsically necessary or intrinsically possible. If it is necessary, then it must be eternal, because if it was not, then it would be possible, since its non-existence would be possible. That is why by establishing that something can cease to exist, or has a beginning, we can establish that it is possible in existence. Moreover, since something’s existence is either possible or necessary, we can know something to be necessary by showing it is not merely possible.
- If something is intrinsically possible in existence it needs to be brought into existence by something other than itself. This is because it needs to be specified in terms of time, place and other characteristics.
- The sound mind tells us that the world is not intrinsically necessary in existence, but needs to be brought into existence. The reason for this is that it changes all the time by moving, being still, changing in shape and color, changing in composition, and so on. To clarify, these changes entail the cessation of one characteristic and the emergence of another, which tells us that the attribute was only possible in existence, and not necessary.
- This means again that the world needs specification for how it is at any point in time. This specification either comes from something else that is possible in existence, namely a cause that occurs, or from something necessary in existence, which is what we believe. Remember that what is necessary in existence cannot have a beginning or end, because its non-existence is impossible.
- We cannot say that Aļļaah’s willing an event to occur is something that occurs, because that would mean it too was non-existent and in need of being brought into existence, which would mean that it too would need to be brought into existence by something existing. This leads to an infinite loop in the past that would have to complete, and an infinite loop cannot be completed, so an emergent will cannot therefore be the explanation of creation’s existence. This is unless we affirm that there is a will that is necessary, i.e. neither begins nor ends.
- Not only that, if one does not believe that Aļļaah’s attribute of Will is necessary, it would mean that Aļļaah’s Will is created, because to create is to bring into existence according to a specification. This would mean, in reality, that creation was created by creation, and that is atheism. There is no escape from this, and calling it “emergent, but not created” does not solve the problem, because we are concerned about meanings of words, not words and letters in themselves, and the essential meaning of creating is as we have stated: to bring into existence according to a specification. The world exists because Aļļaah brought it into existence as specified by His Will, i.e. created it. An emergent will has to be brought into existence according to specification, so it must be created.
- To avoid saying that Aļļaah’s Will needs a creator, and believing in infinite loops that complete, we have to say that His Will is not the cause of creation, but a necessary attribute of Aļļaah, without a modality, by which creation is specified in terms of time, place, shape, color, and other characteristics. Aļļaah’s Will is one will, not a collection of wills, unlike ours, otherwise it would be composed and arranged, like you people believe, and therefore in need of being composed and arranged by specification. What this means is that His Will is not a collection of existing wills for all the different things He has willed, as you people believe. Rather, it is without a modality and cannot be imagined, because it is not created, and therefore does not have a structure or specification in terms of time or space. The reality of our will, on the other hand, is that it is a possibility, because it is a collection of different wills at different points in time, ever changing and developing during our lives. This is why our will needs a creator, and why Aļļaah’s Will cannot be like that. We say that Aļļaah’s Will is one eternal and unchanging Will that pertains to all that is possible in existence, i.e. specifiable. Then instead of employing our imagination, we say that sound reason tells us that it does not change or cease in any sense, because that would make it need a creator, like anything else that is only possible in existence.
This is the difference between belief by imagination and belief by sound reason. This is why the Salaf said, “whatever you imagine, Aļļaah is different from it, Aļļaah’s attributes are without a how,” which succinctly and simply summarizes the above argument.
Your fourth point was: “According to sound logic the cause of an effect either precedes its effect or occurs simultaneously along with it in a temporal sense.” If you mean by this that the tie between causes and effects is a must, then this is not correct. Rather, there is no mentally necessary relation between causes and effects. This is because Aļļaah could create a cause, without the existence of the effect, or an effect, without the existence of its cause. An example of the first is a fire that does not burn, like in the case of Prophet Ibraahiim, and of the second, ashes created by Aļļaah without a prior fire. All this, however, has nothing to do with the point at hand, because Aļļaah’s Will is not a cause of creation.
Your fifth point was your claim that we do not believe that Aļļaah’s Will is simultaneous with the creation of time, as time is created in our view, and Aļļaah’s Will is beginninglessly eternal, and not created. This misleadingly suggests that we believe that Aļļaah’s Will is something that occurred eternally and then became non-existent. This is not the case, because eternity does not cease. In other words, we believe that Aļļaah’s Will is eternally without a beginning, and it is now as it was eternally, before the existence of any creation, and does not change.
Your sixth point was, “Asharis are forced to believe that Allah’s will of the creation of time occurred before time.” This is not correct, because Aļļaah’s Will is not something that has a beginning, so we do not say that it “occurs.” Rather, His Will is an eternal, unchanging, unceasing, perfect and necessary attribute of Aļļaah that He absolutely must be attributed with.
The reason for your mistake is that you have not understood the concept of eternity, and believe there are an infinite amount of occurrences and events in the past, without a beginning. This is shirk, if you could only understand, but who am I talking to? So you considered that we believed Aļļaah’s Will to be like that, namely occurring without a beginning, which is perfectly self-contradictory, for how does the beginningless occur???
The seventh point was that Point 6 is a logical contradiction. You said, “How can there be something before the creation of time? The word before is a temporal word and it makes no sense to make such a statement.” This is true, but this contradiction is not what we believe. This is only what you imagined to be, and ascribed it to us, as mentioned in my comment on your sixth point.
As for the conclusion that you imagined, stating that we have self-contradictory beliefs, this is incorrect, because you based it on the false premises exposed above. Our belief that Aļļaah willed everything that was and everything that will be is not contradictory, but in agreement with sound reason. What actually contradicts sound reason is your belief that occurrences happen in Aļļaah Himself. He is clear of and above what you claim (and by “above” I do not mean direction, you twit).
It remains to be said that our belief that Aļļaah eternally willed all created things is not in contradiction with sound reason, even though we say that time is created. It is your hateful, kaafir heart and flawed reasoning that mislead you to a conclusion contrary to this fact.
As for terms we use, the likes of “before,” and other words that have meanings originally meant for time, in expressions like, “Aļļaah existed before time and place” – these are figurative uses aiming beyond the meanings that these words are originally for. This is needed, because a language, no matter how rich, will be narrower in its original vocabulary of literal meanings than all of the different meanings a person might want to express. For this reason, figurative and more liberal use of vocabulary is needed. This is how it is, if you could only understand, but again, who am I addressing to understand?
 If someone suggested that it was eternal, then he is saying that its beginningless existence is possible, and not necessary. If it was possible, however, then that means that the possibility of non-existence succumbed to the dominance of the possibility of existence without a reason or explanation. After all, we have already said that its existence is intrinsically possible, which means that neither the option of existence, nor the one of non-existence is dominant over the other. This would again mean that its existence was not intrinsically merely possible in the first place, and this is self-contradictory.