The impossibility of Aļļaah lying is absolute, and not “contingent,” even in the sense of so called "kalaam lafthiyy"

October 30, 2010

The right belief and expression is that it is "intrinsically/absolutely impossible", and not contingent upon anything.

It should be clear that the meaning of "contingently impossible" is "intrinsically possible". It is just that the latter expression is not as easy to sell to ignorant imitators in belief.

1) Aļļaah’s Eternally Speech (which is not letters, sounds, or language) 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 possibilities, 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. The Qur’aan in the sense of the book with Arabic expressions is utterable speech that tells us what Aļļaah said eternally. That is why it is called Aļļaah’s speech, even though Aļļaah’s actual attribute of speech is eternal, and is not letters, sounds, or language. This has been extensively explained in "The Qur’aan and Aļļaah’s attribute of 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 Aļļaah’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 prove that. 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. The sources of knowledge according to Sunnis is either observation, or pure reason (not depending on repeated experiences, but coming from a valid conclusion necessitated by irrefutable premises), or information from a prophet.

At-Taftaazaaniyy’s basic belief regarding Allaah, the Creator

October 29, 2010

At-Taftaazaaniyy states: “The belief of Ahlu-s-Sunnah is that the world has a beginning, and that the Creator is beginninglessly eternal, attributed with beginninglessly eternal attributes that are not Him himself, nor other than Him1. Moreover, He is One, He has no like or opposite, or equal. He has no end, or shape, or limit. He is not in something, and nothing begins to exist in Him (i.e. He does not change) and it is invalid (i.e. intrinsically impossible) that He could move, or be transported, or be ignorant, or lie, or have a defect. In addition, He is seen in the Hereafter, but He is not in a space, or in a direction. Whatever He has willed will be, and what He has not willed will not be. He does not need anything, and He has no obligations.”2

1 I.e. it is impossible in the mind’s eye that they could be separated from Him – because they are eternally attributes of His, and what is eternal cannot change.

2 SaˆdudDiin Al-Taftaazaaniy (712-793AH/ 1312-1390 AD), Sħarĥu-l-Maqaaşid Fiy ˆIlmi-l-Kalaam, 2/514.

شرح المقاصد فى علم الكلام ، 2 / 514

وطريقة أهل السنة أن العالم حادث والصانع قديم متصف بصفات قديمة ليست عينه ولا غيره وواحد لا شبه له ولا ضد ولا ند ولا نهاية له ولا صورة ولا حد ولا يحل في شيء ولا يقوم به حادث ولا يصح عليه الحركة والانتقال ولا الجهل ولا الكذب ولا النقص وأنه يرى في الآخرة وليس في حيز ولا جهة ما شاء كان ومالم يشأ لم يكن لا يحتاج إلى شيء ولا يجب عليه شيء

شرح المقاصد في علم الكلام ، اسم المؤلف: سعد الدين مسعود بن عمر بن عبد الله التفتازاني الوفاة: 791هـ ، دار النشر : دار المعارف النعمانية – باكستان – 1401هـ – 1981م ، الطبعة : الأولى

Stephen Hawking contradicts himself

October 17, 2010

It can be embarrassing and disastrous when someone competent in a field of knowledge starts to utter claims in a field that is not his. Embarrassing because he might say something stupid. Disastrous, because people have a tendency to assume that someone that is really famous and good at something in particular, automatically achieves expertise in something else, so they heed his words, and won’t even question what he says. That is why we see people listening to actors and singers about how they live their lives, even though they are often complete imbeciles.

Recently there has been much fuss over Hawking’s new book, where he allegedly says, “the universe can and will create itself from nothing.” This is a very stupid thing to say, because if there is nothing, then the universe does not exist, so how could it create itself??? He thinks the creation of the universe can be explained by physics, but physics does not explain anything, it only describes – if we do that, or this or that happens, then this happens. Why this happens – if the relationship is truly and really causal – is not something provable by observation. That is, the assumption that there are actual causal powers in matter is only a guess – such as the force of gravity. No one has ever seen “gravity” or known it to actually exist, it was assumed to exist because of the predictability of the behavior of large objects in light of their mass. It is pathetic that he does not seem to know – or hides – this fact.

Stephen, please stay in your lab, you have ventured into a field you don’t understand, apparently you know what you are doing when you are there. Your field is physics, not metaphysics.

One has to wonder though, if he really does not realize the silliness of what he is saying. Maybe he does, it is just that he wants to make people talk about his book, so he can make money. Subhaan Allaah, his life does not seem like a lot of fun, as crippled as he is, yet he hungers for it so much that he is willing to deny his Creator for a penny. If he refuses to admit to himself that this world needs a Creator, why isn’t he at least afraid of being wrong and of its consequences for him after his inevitable death? This by itself shows that he is not being rational about this. It is frightening how this life deceives even intelligent people with its small and absolutely temporary pleasures. We ask Allaah to give us wisdom and protect us from such madness.