Question: Can we say that we mainly use logic when it comes to belief (Aqeedah)?

I do not think that is precise. You need logic in all matters of belief and jurisprudence (fiqh). The question is where the most explicit and immediate premises come from; are they scriptural, or based on the nature of the world around us? In fiqh they are always scriptural, i.e. based on the judgments (orders/prohibitions, etc.) that they contain. In belief issues, however, they are sometimes based on the world around us. Why? Because the premises for relying on scriptures must be from something other than the scripture, to avoid circular reasoning[1].

This means that the proofs of Aļļaah’s existence, some of His attributes, and the miracles of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), and thus his prophethood (صلى الله عليه وسلم), have premises based on:

a) the essential nature of the world, such as the fact that it changes, and consists of parts that are intrinsically possible in existence, and therefore need a creator (see Foundations of The Religion."

b) on what is normally correlated, such as "touch fire -> get burned". It is through the normal we can recognize the extraordinary, i.e. miracles that prove prophethood. We know the splitting of the moon as a miracle of the Prophet Muĥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) because it never happened before or after him.

Note that the underlying premises (unlike the immediate and explicit) on any fiqh issue are not based on the scriptures, but also on these premises. This is because the establishment of the scriptures as being revealed from Aļļaah, and obligatory to follow, are based on these premises.

Logic is always needed, even if you are only dealing with proofs from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. This is because logic is about making precise definitions and constructing proofs, whether they be constructed from premises that are taken from the revealed scriptures or not.


[1] An example of this would be if someone said, "I pray because Aļļaah orders me to, because it says so in His book, and I know this book tells me what Aļļaah orders, because the book tells me it is." To get out of this line of reasoning, you need to prove by other means than the book’s instructions that the book is really from Aļļaah. To do this you need to prove that Aļļaah exists, and that miracles prove prophethood, and that is the role of Kalaam/Belief Science.

9 Responses to Question: Can we say that we mainly use logic when it comes to belief (Aqeedah)?

  1. Abu Abdullah says:

    Brother Abu Adam,

    there are few points which I would like to mention.

    Logic is not needed because if you read the verse number 3 of surah baqarah, Allah says

    and you can read what the classical scholars have said on the above verse.

    Also, if you read what Ibn Hajar Asqalani said regarding logic when it comes aqida it seems his opinion is totally different than yours. Why is that ??

    وأما تقليده صلى الله عليه وسلم فيما أخبر به عن ربه فلا يتناقض أصلا واعتذر بعضهم عن اكتفاء النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم والصحابة بإسلام من أسلم من الأعراب من غير نظر بأن ذلك كان لضرورة المبادئ‏.‏

    وأما بعد تقرر الإسلام وشهرته فيجب العمل بالأدلة ولا يخفى ضعف هذا الاعتذار والعجب أن من اشترط ذلك من أهل الكلام ينكرون التقليد وهم أول داع إليه حتى استقر في الأذهان أن من أنكر قاعدة من القواعد التي أصلوها فهو مبتدع ولو لم يفهمها ولم يعرف مأخذها وهذا هو محض التقليد فآل أمرهم إلى تكفير من قلد الرسول عليه الصلاة والسلام في معرفة الله تعالى والقول بإيمان من قلدهم وكفى بهذا ضلالا وما مثلهم إلا كما قال بعض السلف‏:‏ إنهم كمثل قوم كانوا سفرا فوقعوا في فلاة ليس فيها ما يقوم به البدن من المأكول والمشروب ورأوا فيها طرقا شتى فانقسموا قسمين فقسم وجدوا من قال لهم أنا عارف بهذه الطرق وطريق النجاة منها واحدة
    http://www.al-eman.com/hadeeth/viewchp.asp?BID=12&CID=657#s1

    • I think you are not understanding the issue at all. Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy is himself presenting a logical argument. He makes a claim, and supports it by evidences. See what we mean by “logic” here. Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy is speaking of whether having thought of a proof for a correct belief is a condition for Allaah’s acceptance of that belief or not. In this case the scholars all agree that in this life such a person is treated as a Muslim, while some say that in the Hereafter he is not. However, the proof needed is ANY proof that this person considers. I think it is very theoretical. It would be hard to find a person who has no logic – i.e. no reasoning – behind his belief at all. What there can be no doubt about is that such a person is on the edge of disbelief, because any objections he is exposed to could easily make him doubt. Imagine a person who has no proof of the Prophet’s prophethood, or Allaah’s existence, or the miracle of the Qur’aan. No reasoning to defend it at all. This is the person that some scholars said is not a believer with respect to the Hereafter. My question is, “has such a person, except small children, ever existed?”

      Actually, for the record, Al-Asqalaaniyy is not even speaking of such a case, he is speaking of someone who was convinced by the miracles of the prophet that he is truthful, and then followed him in everything after that. Such a person is not without reasoning, not without logic. He is in fact quoting al-Bayhaqiyy, who is a major kalaam scholar.

  2. Salam Alaykum,

    How do we respond to the Non-Muslims who say that by looking at logic in this way, we are in effect “limiting God to the dictates of human logic”.

    This is a very common answer from Christians and others once it is shown that their belifs are absurd and self-contradictory.

  3. tru_quran says:

    As salamu ‘alaykum,

    I’m sorry Shaykh, I meant to post that in the Foundation of Religion section.

  4. Abu Yunus says:

    As-salamu alaikum, Shaykh.

    At the end of this article by Ustadh Abdullah bin Hamid Ali (http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/ust_abd/speech_word.htm) it states the following:

    “The Maturidis also held the view that Allah’s actions are uncreated. But the Ash’arī view is that they are created due to the argument stated above”.

    Can you clarify any differences between the Maturidis and Ash’aris on this issue?

    May Allah reward you.

  5. Abu Yunus says:

    So, it is accurate to say that Maturidis hold the view that ‘Allah’s Actions are uncreated’ (with the clarification you have given)?

    • I think it depend on the audience and what they will understand from all this. What is used a scholarly terminology may be terribly misunderstood by those who do not have firm footing in Kalaam. Especially Ashˆariyy terminology in this regard is misleading. I would avoid speaking about these intricate matters altogether. Someone asked me about this issue already 2 years ago, but I did not publish anything until recently, because these are really not matters that the average Muslim should concern himself with, as they are often difficult to understand, and one can easily get confused. I only published the linked article because I saw there was some confusion already, and I was hoping to clarify it.

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