Ibn Taymiyyah’s Bucket theology

September 9, 2009

Ibn Taymiyyah’s Bucket theology

Background

We have shown earlier irrefutable proofs that Ibn Taymiyyah was an extreme anthropomorphist. This was done in the following articles:

Ibn Taymiyyah says Aļļaah needs, is divisible, settles in a place, has 6 limits, has a size, and must be creating (though He can choose what to create – but not whether to create or not.)

Ibn Taymiyyah says Allaah needs, is divisible, and settles in a place

Ibn Taymiyyah says Allaah is divisible into quantities and areas

In the following excerpt from one of Ibn Taymiyyah’s books, this anthropomorphistطs belief is clarified further in his understanding of a ĥadiitħ narrated by At-Tirmidħiyy. This ĥadiitħ if literally translated states: “If one of you lowered a bucket by a rope, then it would fall on Aļļaah.” Muslim scholars did not take this ĥadiitħ literally, because Aļļaah is not a body for something to bump into. They said it means that it would fall by Aļļaah’s knowledge. This is after hypothesizing its authenticity. In the below Ibn Taymiyyah’s understanding, based on hypothesized authenticity, is clarified. It is a literal and anthropomorphic understanding.

Ibn Taymiyyah’s understanding of the ĥadiith of lowering a bucket

Ibn Taymiyyah says in Majmuuˆu-l-Fataawaa1:

فَإِنَّ قَوْلَهُ : { لَوْ أُدْلِيَ أَحَدُكُمْ بِحَبْلِ لَهَبَطَ عَلَى اللَّهِ } إنَّمَا هُوَ تَقْدِيرٌ مَفْرُوضٌ ؛ أَيْ لَوْ وَقَعَ الْإِدْلَاءُ لَوَقَعَ عَلَيْهِ لَكِنَّهُ لَا يُمْكِنُ أَنْ يُدْلِيَ أَحَدٌ عَلَى اللَّهِ شَيْئًا ؛ لِأَنَّهُ عَالٍ بِالذَّاتِ وَإِذَا أُهْبِطَ شَيْءٌ إلَى جِهَةِ الْأَرْضِ وَقَفَ فِي الْمَرْكَزِ وَلَمْ يَصْعَدْ إلَى الْجِهَةِ الْأُخْرَى لَكِنْ بِتَقْدِيرِ فَرْضِ الْإِدْلَاءِ يَكُونُ مَا ذَكَرَ مِنْ الْجَزَاءِ .(مجموع الفتاوى – (6 / 571)

Verily his (the Prophet’s) statement: “If one of you lowered a bucket by a rope, then it would fall on Aļļaah.” This is a hypothetical consideration, that is, if the lowering happened, then it would fall on Him. It is not possible for anyone to lower anything on Aļļaah, however, because His self is high, and if anything was lowered in the direction of the Earth, then it would stop at the center, and would not go up in the opposite direction (from there). However, if there was a hypothesized lowering, then what he said would happen. (6/571)

He explains more about his problem with the concept of “lowering”, which is that it would in reality be rising, saying:

فَكَذَلِكَ مَا يَهْبِطُ مِنْ أَعْلَى الْأَرْضِ إلَى أَسْفَلِهَا – وَهُوَ الْمَرْكَزُ – لَا يَصْعَدُ مِنْ هُنَاكَ إلَى ذَلِكَ الْوَجْهِ إلَّا بِرَافِعِ يَرْفَعُهُ يُدَافِعُ بِهِ مَا فِي قُوَّتِهِ مِنْ الْهُبُوطِ إلَى الْمَرْكَزِ فَإِنْ قُدِّرَ أَنَّ الدَّافِعَ أَقْوَى كَانَ صَاعِدًا بِهِ إلَى الْفَلَكِ مِنْ تِلْكَ النَّاحِيَةِ وَصَعِدَ بِهِ إلَى اللَّهِ وَإِنَّمَا يُسَمَّى هُبُوطًا بِاعْتِبَارِ مَا فِي أَذْهَانِ الْمُخَاطَبِينَ أَنَّ مَا يُحَاذِي أَرْجُلَهُمْ يَكُونُ هَابِطًا وَيُسَمَّى هُبُوطًا…. وَهُوَ إنَّمَا يَكُونُ إدْلَاءً حَقِيقِيًّا إلَى الْمَرْكَزِ وَمِنْ هُنَاكَ إنَّمَا يَكُونُ مَدًّا لِلْحَبْلِ وَالدَّلْوِ لَا إدْلَاءَ لَهُ…. وَلَكِنَّ فَائِدَتَهُ بَيَانُ الْإِحَاطَةِ وَالْعُلُوِّ …. وَالْمَقْصُودُ بِهِ بَيَانُ إحَاطَةِ الْخَالِقِ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى كَمَا بَيَّنَ أَنَّهُ يَقْبِضُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَيَطْوِي الْأَرْضَ وَنَحْوَ ذَلِكَ مِمَّا فِيهِ بَيَانُ إحَاطَتِهِ بِالْمَخْلُوقَاتِ. (مجموع الفتاوى – 6 / 572-573)

Likewise, what descends from a high point on Earth to its lowest point, which is it’s center, does not rise from there in that direction, except by someone lifting it, resisting its downwards pull down towards the center (i.e. the gravity pull.) If it was hypothesized that the lifter was stronger (than the gravity pull), then it would be rising towards the celestial sphere from there, and would rise to Aļļaah. It was only called lowering from the viewpoint of what is in the minds of the listeners in that what faces their feet is called falling…. even if it was actually lowering only to the point of the (Earth’s) center, and from there one would only be giving rope to the bucket, and there would be no actual lowering….. However, the beneficial point is to clarify the surrounding and highness from all directions (of the Earth)…. The purpose (of the ĥadiith) is to clarify the meaning of the Creator’s surrounding (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) just as He said that He grabs the Skies and folds the Earth and the like, which all explains His surrounding of created things. (6/572-573)

In other words, according to Ibn Taymiyyah, this surrounding is the physical surrounding of something with physical boundaries, size and shape.

Ibn Taymiyyah’s view on the ĥadiith from a viewpoint of belief

In the final analysis of this ĥadiith Ibn Taymiyyah says:

وَكَذَلِكَ تَأْوِيلُهُ بِالْعِلْمِ تَأْوِيلٌ ظَاهِرُ الْفَسَادِ مَنْ جِنْسِ تَأْوِيلَاتِ الْجَهْمِيَّة ؛ بَلْ بِتَقْدِيرِ ثُبُوتِهِ يَكُونُ دَالًّا عَلَى الْإِحَاطَةِ . وَالْإِحَاطَةُ قَدْ عُلِمَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ قَادِرٌ عَلَيْهَا وَعُلِمَ أَنَّهَا تَكُونُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِالْكِتَابِ وَالسُّنَّة وَلَيْسَ فِي إثْبَاتِهَا فِي الْجُمْلَةِ مَا يُخَالِفُ الْعَقْلَ وَلَا الشَّرْعَ .

Likewise, interpreting this ĥadiitħ in term of knowledge (I.e falling by Aļļaah’s knowledge it clearly false, and of the Jahmiyy kind of interpretation. Rather, based on the assumption that the ĥadiitħ is authentic, then it explains (Aļļaah’s) surrounding, and it is known that Aļļaah is able to surround and that it is going to be on the Day of Judgment as stated in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. There is nothing, in general, in affirming this ĥadiith, that is in conflict with reason or Islamic Law. (6/574)

Conclusion

The above, along with the other articles referred to, shows that Ibn Taymiyyah did not just have anthropomorphist tendencies. He was as extreme as they come. He believed that Aļļaah is a body with a shape that surrounds things. He saw no problem in claiming that the world could be inside the Creator and one could hypothetically bump into His claimed border.

Let us again remind ourselves of what the Sunni creed is regarding these beliefs of Ibn Taymiyyah. Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy stated {in brackets}: {This is a detailed remembrance of the belief of the People of the Sunnah and following {the Jamaaˆah}. Later he stated, as part of this remembrance:{Aļļaah is above} the status of {having limits, extremes, corners, limbs or instruments.} {The six directions} up, down, front, back, left and right {do not contain Him} because that would make Him {like all created things}. He also agreed that believing that anything else is an insult to Islam, for he said in the same remembrance: {Whoever attributed to Aļļaah an attribute that has a meaning among the meanings that apply to humans has committed blasphemy.} Note that he said this after having already pointed out that the six directions apply to all created things, which includes humans. In other words, the Sunni belief is that attributing a limit to Aļļaah makes one a non-Muslim.

1قال ابن تيمية: فَإِنَّ قَوْلَهُ : { لَوْ أُدْلِيَ أَحَدُكُمْ بِحَبْلِ لَهَبَطَ عَلَى اللَّهِ } إنَّمَا هُوَ تَقْدِيرٌ مَفْرُوضٌ ؛ أَيْ لَوْ وَقَعَ الْإِدْلَاءُ لَوَقَعَ عَلَيْهِ لَكِنَّهُ لَا يُمْكِنُ أَنْ يُدْلِيَ أَحَدٌ عَلَى اللَّهِ شَيْئًا ؛ لِأَنَّهُ عَالٍ بِالذَّاتِ وَإِذَا أُهْبِطَ شَيْءٌ إلَى جِهَةِ الْأَرْضِ وَقَفَ فِي الْمَرْكَزِ وَلَمْ يَصْعَدْ إلَى الْجِهَةِ الْأُخْرَى لَكِنْ بِتَقْدِيرِ فَرْضِ الْإِدْلَاءِ يَكُونُ مَا ذَكَرَ مِنْ الْجَزَاءِ . فَهَكَذَا مَا ذَكَرَهُ السَّائِلُ : إذَا قُدِّرَ أَنَّ الْعَبْدَ يَقْصِدُهُ مِنْ تِلْكَ الْجِهَةِ كَانَ هُوَ سُبْحَانَهُ يَسْمَعُ كَلَامَهُ وَكَانَ مُتَوَجِّهًا إلَيْهِ بِقَلْبِهِ لَكِنَّ هَذَا مِمَّا تَمْنَعُ مِنْهُ الْفِطْرَةُ ؛ لِأَنَّ قَصْدَ الشَّيْءِ الْقَصْدَ التَّامَّ يُنَافِي قَصْدَ ضِدِّهِ ؛ فَكَمَا أَنَّ الْجِهَةَ الْعُلْيَا بِالذَّاتِ تُنَافِي (مجموع الفتاوى – 6 / 571) الْجِهَةَ السُّفْلَى فَكَذَلِكَ قَصْدُ الْأَعْلَى بِالذَّاتِ يُنَافِي قَصْدَهُ مِنْ أَسْفَلَ وَكَمَا أَنَّ مَا يَهْبِطُ إلَى جَوْفِ الْأَرْضِ يَمْتَنِعُ صُعُودُهُ إلَى تِلْكَ النَّاحِيَةِ – لِأَنَّهَا عَالِيَةٌ – فَتَرُدُّ الْهَابِطَ بِعُلُوِّهَا كَمَا أَنَّ الْجِهَةَ الْعُلْيَا مِنْ عِنْدِنَا تَرُدُّ مَا يَصْعَدُ إلَيْهَا مِنْ الثَّقِيلِ فَلَا يَصْعَدُ الثَّقِيلُ إلَّا بِرَافِعِ يَرْفَعُهُ يُدَافِعُ بِهِ مَا فِي قُوَّتِهِ مِنْ الْهُبُوطِ فَكَذَلِكَ مَا يَهْبِطُ مِنْ أَعْلَى الْأَرْضِ إلَى أَسْفَلِهَا – وَهُوَ الْمَرْكَزُ – لَا يَصْعَدُ مِنْ هُنَاكَ إلَى ذَلِكَ الْوَجْهِ إلَّا بِرَافِعِ يَرْفَعُهُ يُدَافِعُ بِهِ مَا فِي قُوَّتِهِ مِنْ الْهُبُوطِ إلَى الْمَرْكَزِ فَإِنْ قُدِّرَ أَنَّ الدَّافِعَ أَقْوَى كَانَ صَاعِدًا بِهِ إلَى الْفَلَكِ مِنْ تِلْكَ النَّاحِيَةِ وَصَعِدَ بِهِ إلَى اللَّهِ وَإِنَّمَا يُسَمَّى هُبُوطًا بِاعْتِبَارِ مَا فِي أَذْهَانِ الْمُخَاطَبِينَ أَنَّ مَا يُحَاذِي أَرْجُلَهُمْ يَكُونُ هَابِطًا وَيُسَمَّى هُبُوطًا مَعَ تَسْمِيَةِ إهْبَاطِهِ إدْلَاءً وَهُوَ إنَّمَا يَكُونُ إدْلَاءً حَقِيقِيًّا إلَى الْمَرْكَزِ وَمِنْ هُنَاكَ إنَّمَا يَكُونُ مَدًّا لِلْحَبْلِ وَالدَّلْوِ لَا إدْلَاءَ لَهُ لَكِنَّ الْجَزَاءَ وَالشَّرْطَ مُقَدَّرَانِ لَا مُحَقَّقَانِ . فَإِنَّهُ قَالَ : لَوْ أَدْلَى لَهَبَطَ ؛ أَيْ لَوْ فُرِضَ أَنَّ هُنَاكَ إدْلَاءً لَفُرِضَ أَنَّ هُنَاكَ هُبُوطًا وَهُوَ يَكُونُ إدْلَاءً وَهُبُوطًا إذَا قُدِّرَ أَنَّ السَّمَوَاتِ تَحْتَ الْأَرْضِ وَهَذَا التَّقْدِيرُ مُنْتَفٍ ؛ وَلَكِنَّ فَائِدَتَهُ بَيَانُ الْإِحَاطَةِ وَالْعُلُوِّ مِنْ كُلِّ جَانِبٍ وَهَذَا الْمَفْرُوضُ مُمْتَنِعٌ فِي حَقِّنَا لَا نَقْدِرُ عَلَيْهِ فَلَا يُتَصَوَّرُ أَنْ يُدْلِيَ وَلَا يُتَصَوَّرُ أَنْ يَهْبِطَ عَلَى اللَّهِ شَيْءٌ لَكِنَّ اللَّهَ قَادِرٌ عَلَى أَنْ يَخْرُقَ مِنْ هُنَا إلَى هُنَاكَ بِحَبْلِ وَلَكِنْ لَا يَكُونُ فِي حَقِّهِ إدْلَاءً فَلَا يَكُونُ فِي حَقِّهِ هُبُوطًا عَلَيْهِ . كَمَا لَوْ خَرَقَ بِحَبْلِ مِنْ الْقُطْبِ إلَى الْقُطْبِ أَوْ مِنْ مَشْرِقِ الشَّمْسِ إلَى مَغْرِبِهَا (مجموع الفتاوى – 6 / 572) وَقَدَّرْنَا أَنَّ الْحَبْلَ مَرَّ فِي وَسَطِ الْأَرْضِ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ قَادِرٌ عَلَى ذَلِكَ كُلِّهِ وَلَا فَرْقَ بِالنِّسْبَةِ إلَيْهِ عَلَى هَذَا التَّقْدِيرِ مِنْ أَنْ يَخْرُقَ مِنْ جَانِبِ الْيَمِينِ مِنَّا إلَى جَانِبِ الْيَسَارِ أَوْ مِنْ جِهَةِ أَمَامِنَا إلَى جِهَةِ خَلْفِنَا أَوْ مِنْ جِهَةِ رُءُوسِنَا إلَى جِهَةِ أَرْجُلِنَا إذَا مَرَّ الْحَبْلُ بِالْأَرْضِ فَعَلَى كُلِّ تَقْدِيرٍ قَدْ خَرَقَ بِالْحَبْلِ مِنْ جَانِبِ الْمُحِيطِ إلَى جَانِبِهِ الْآخَرِ مَعَ خَرْقِ الْمَرْكَزِ وَبِتَقْدِيرِ إحَاطَةِ قَبْضَتِهِ بِالسَّمَوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ فَالْحَبْلُ الَّذِي قُدِّرَ أَنَّهُ خَرَقَ بِهِ الْعَالَمَ وَصَلَ إلَيْهِ وَلَا يُسَمَّى شَيْءٌ مِنْ ذَلِكَ بِالنِّسْبَةِ إلَيْهِ إدْلَاءً وَلَا هُبُوطًا . وَأَمَّا بِالنِّسْبَةِ إلَيْنَا فَإِنَّ مَا تَحْتَ أَرْجُلِنَا تَحْتٌ لَنَا وَمَا فَوْقَ رُءُوسِنَا فَوْقٌ لَنَا وَمَا نُدْلِيهِ مِنْ نَاحِيَةِ رُءُوسِنَا إلَى نَاحِيَةِ أَرْجُلِنَا نَتَخَيَّلُ أَنَّهُ هَابِطٌ فَإِذَا قُدِّرَ أَنَّ أَحَدَنَا أَدْلَى بِحَبْلِ كَانَ هَابِطًا عَلَى مَا هُنَاكَ لَكِنَّ هَذَا تَقْدِيرٌ مُمْتَنِعٌ فِي حَقِّنَا وَالْمَقْصُودُ بِهِ بَيَانُ إحَاطَةِ الْخَالِقِ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى كَمَا بَيَّنَ أَنَّهُ يَقْبِضُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَيَطْوِي الْأَرْضَ وَنَحْوَ ذَلِكَ مِمَّا فِيهِ بَيَانُ إحَاطَتِهِ بِالْمَخْلُوقَاتِ . وَلِهَذَا قَرَأَ فِي تَمَامِ هَذَا الْحَدِيثِ { هُوَ الْأَوَّلُ وَالْآخِرُ وَالظَّاهِرُ وَالْبَاطِنُ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ } . وَهَذَا كُلُّهُ عَلَى تَقْدِيرِ صِحَّتِهِ فَإِنَّ التِّرْمِذِيَّ لَمَّا رَوَاهُ قَالَ : وَفَسَّرَهُ بَعْضُ أَهْلِ الْحَدِيثِ بِأَنَّهُ هَبَطَ عَلَى عِلْمِ اللَّهِ وَبَعْضُ الْحُلُولِيَّةِ والاتحادية يَظُنُّ أَنَّ فِي هَذَا الْحَدِيثِ مَا يَدُلُّ عَلَى قَوْلِهِمْ الْبَاطِلِ ؛ وَهُوَ أَنَّهُ حَالٌّ بِذَاتِهِ فِي كُلِّ مَكَانٍ وَأَنَّ وُجُودَهُ وُجُودُ الْأَمْكِنَةِ وَنَحْوُ ذَلِكَ . وَالتَّحْقِيقُ : أَنَّ الْحَدِيثَ لَا يَدُلُّ عَلَى شَيْءٍ مِنْ ذَلِكَ إنْ كَانَ ثَابِتًا فَإِنَّ قَوْلَهُ : (مجموع الفتاوى – 6 / 573) { لَوْ أَدْلَى بِحَبْلِ لَهَبَطَ } يَدُلُّ عَلَى أَنَّهُ لَيْسَ فِي الْمُدْلِي وَلَا فِي الْحَبْلِ وَلَا فِي الدَّلْوِ وَلَا فِي غَيْرِ ذَلِكَ وَأَنَّهَا تَقْتَضِي أَنَّهُ مِنْ تِلْكَ النَّاحِيَةِ ؛ وَكَذَلِكَ تَأْوِيلُهُ بِالْعِلْمِ تَأْوِيلٌ ظَاهِرُ الْفَسَادِ مَنْ جِنْسِ تَأْوِيلَاتِ الْجَهْمِيَّة ؛ بَلْ بِتَقْدِيرِ ثُبُوتِهِ يَكُونُ دَالًّا عَلَى الْإِحَاطَةِ . وَالْإِحَاطَةُ قَدْ عُلِمَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ قَادِرٌ عَلَيْهَا وَعُلِمَ أَنَّهَا تَكُونُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِالْكِتَابِ وَالسُّنَّة وَلَيْسَ فِي إثْبَاتِهَا فِي الْجُمْلَةِ مَا يُخَالِفُ الْعَقْلَ وَلَا الشَّرْعَ ؛ لَكِنْ لَا نَتَكَلَّمُ إلَّا بِمَا نَعْلَمُ وَمَا لَا نَعْلَمُهُ أَمْسَكْنَا عَنْهُ وَمَا كَانَ مُقَدِّمَةُ دَلِيلِهِ مَشْكُوكًا فِيهَا عِنْدَ بَعْضِ النَّاسِ كَانَ حَقُّهُ أَنْ يَشُكَّ فِيهِ حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْحَقُّ وَإِلَّا فَلْيَسْكُتْ عَمَّا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ . (مجموع الفتاوى – 6 / 574)


The wahabi doctrine of flawed aboveness

August 28, 2009

Al-Qurţubiyy states:

I say accordingly that Aļļaah’s aboveness and His highness refers to His highness of glory and attributes and greatness. That is, nothing is above Him when it comes to the meanings of greatness that are necessarily ascribed to Him, and there is nothing that shares His aboveness with Him. Rather He is the most High in the absolute sense, subĥaanah.1 (Tafsiir Al-Qurţubiyy, 7 / 220)

Note that because aboveness in location is relative, unlike the absolute aboveneness that Al-Qurţubiyy affirms, those who believe in it are bound to attribute flaw to Aļļaah. In Al-Asnaa Al-Qurţubiyy says this explicitly:

It is said to them [the anthropomorphists who believe Aļļaah is in a place or direction, etc.]: “If Allaah was specified by a specification, formed by a form, limited by a limit and end, existing in a specific direction, [or] changing by emergent [previously non existing] attributes in Himself, then He would have been emergent and specified by whatever He was specified with in terms of quantity and form, and [thus] requiring a specifier [for the quantity and form], and if He required a specifier, then He would have been in need and emergent. And if this is invalid, then it is true that He is without a limit or an end, and that He is Self-existent in the sense that He does not need a place to confine Him or a body to be in, or something to hold Him, or another that He gets help from. His attributes of His self do not change by His actions or leaving them. (Al-Asnaa, 2/21)

In short, Al-Qurţubiyy says that believing Allaah’s aboveness is one of direction/ location necessitates believing He has a flaw. This is because it necessitates likening Him to things that need a creator to specify it.

It also necessitates another flaw. This additional flaw is that they will either have to say that Aļļaah can create a body above Himself, and thereby become below, or that He cannot, and have thereby attributed to Him lack of power to create bodies anywhere He chooses.

They have also made Him, according to their belief, dependent on creating something below Himself, in order to achieve aboveness. No wonder then, that Ibn Taymiyyah said Aļļaah must create something or another. According to him, the Creator would lose His aboveness if He did not! Such is the dilemma of the relative aboveness doctrine of wahabism.

1تفسير القرطبي – (7 / 220): قلت: فعلوا الله تعالى وارتفاعه عبارة عن علو مجده وصفاته وملكوته. أي ليس فوقه فيما يجب له من معاني الجلال أحد، ولا معه من يكون العلو مشتركا بينه وبينه، لكنه العلي بالإطلاق سبحانه.

References:

Al-Asnaa Fii Sħarĥi Asmaa’-illaahi-l-Ĥusnaa. Al-Qurţubiyy. 1995: Daar Aş-Şaĥaabah Li-t-Turaatħ.

Jaamiˆu Aĥkaami-l-Qur’aan. Al-Qurţubiyy (671 AH), Sħasuddiin. Ed. Aĥmad Al-Farduuniyy & Ibraahiim Aţfiisħ. Kairo, Egypt: Daar ˆaalam Al-Kutub Al-Mişriyyah, 1384.


Ibn Taymiyyah says Allaah is divisible into quantities and areas

August 25, 2009

Some Wahabis are scrambling around the web like headless chicken, trying to deny that their high priest of unknown-shape figure worship, Ibn Taymiyyah, said that Aļļaah is divisible. What if people came to know? They are afraid of their real beliefs being exposed. Now, let us look at what they quote from Ibn Taymiyyah. They quote him saying (their translation):

And these two meanings (of at-tajazzee and al-inqisaam, divisibility) are from those [meanings] that the Muslims are agreed upon that Allaah should be purified and sanctified from, for indeed Allaah, the Sublime, is "Ahad" and "Samad". He does not separate into parts (yatajazzee, yataba”ad) and is not divisible (munqasim) with the meaning that part of Him separates from another (part) just like a divided, split-up body is separated – like what is divided of the connected bodies, such as bread, meat and clothing and so on. A part of Him does not separate (from Him) like what separates from the hawayaan (animate, mammals) of its superfluities. And He (Allaah) is purified of such meanings with the meaning that they are non-existent (regarding Him) and are impossible for Him. Thus, His Essence does not accept tafreeq or tab’eed (meanings of division, separation).1 (Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah, 3/12)

Now this is confusing isn’t it, because we have already shown ample quotes of him saying that Aļļaah needs, is divisible, settles in a place, has 6 limits, has a size, and must be creating (though He can choose what to create – but not whether to create or not.)

Is he just contradicting himself, as is so often the case with a deviant trying to escape FakħrudDiin Ar-Raaziyy compelling arguments? Or is there something else?

In this case it is a matter of defining divisibility. Note that Ibn Taymiyyah said above:

He does not separate into parts and is not divisible with the meaning that part of Him separates from another (part) just like a divided, split-up body is separated….He (Allaah) is purified of such meanings with the meaning that they are non-existent (regarding Him) and are impossible for Him.

Pay attention to his statement, “with the meaning that part of him separates from another part just like a divided split-up body is separated;” these are the two meanings that Ibn Taymkiyyah claims are the meanings that Muslims understand from “divisibility, namely:

  1. actual separation, which he is referring to by his statement “He does not separate into parts and is not divisible with the meaning that part of Him separates from another”

  2. the practical possibility of actual separation, which is what he means by “such meanings (of actual separation)…. are impossible for Him.”

    That is why he says first, about these two meanings:

These two meanings of divisibility are from those [meanings] that the Muslims have agreed upon that Aļļaah should be purified and sanctified from.

Note also that there are meanings of divisibility that he does not deny as being true of Aļļaah, he says:

….the imams behind this saying (he means Ar-Raaziyy and others) of negating divisibility and separation is not the [meaning] of the presence of divisibility (al-inqisaam) where part of Him separates from another part, or the possibility of that (actual separation). (Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah, 3/12)

What is this divisibility that they spoke of then? He explains:

What these imams mean by this saying, among the Jahmites, philosophers, Muˆtazilites and those who follow them among those who affirm attributes to Aļļaah…. [is that] …. Aļļaah does not have a quantity or boundary, or sides, or end, and is not a thing existing in itself that can be pointed at, or that a part of can be pointed at, and it is not possible, in the final conclusion, to see some of Him, but not [at the same time] something else of Him [because He is not a body, so He has neither a whole, nor a part. Accordingly, seeing Aļļaah is not about seeing a whole or a part]. This is, in their saying [then,] denying [that Aļļaah is something with] quantity and area.

This definition of divisibility, i.e. divisibility into measurable quantities and areas, is what he affirms to Aļļaah when he said, as quoted in Aļļaah needs, is divisible, settles in a place, has 6 limits, has a size, and must be creating (though He can choose what to create – but not whether to create or not):

…this [i.e. quantitative divisibility, as stated by Ar-Raaziyy and the others] is something all existing things must be attributed with, whether necessary in existence (he means Aļļaah) or possible in existence (creation.) Verily, to say that this is impossible (for Aļļaah to be attributed with,) is pure sophistry.(Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah, 1/33)

So Ibn Taymiyyah is saying here that nothing can exist, not even Aļļaah, unless it is quantitative and has an area. This is clarified even further by his statement:

That something existing should not be increasing, or decreasing, or neither increasing nor decreasing, and yet exist and not have a size – this is impossible (Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah, 3/146).2

Here he is affirming his opinion that the Creator must have a size.

So what he is saying is that, although Aļļaah has a size with six boundaries, He is not divisible. In other words, His body, according to him, although quantitative and divisible by measurability into half a size, a quarter size and so on, no power can actually make it split at ¼ or ½. This divisibility into quantities and areas is the definition of divisibility of which Ibn Taymiyyah he claims Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal said (wahabi translation):

They speak with the ambiguous of speech, and they deceive the ignorant people on account of the doubts they place over them.

So defining divisibility as having an area that can be divided into smaller areas by measurement is “ambiguous speech” to “deceive ignorant people”? Laugh or cry, it is up to you, I think it needs no comment.

Why all these word games you may ask? Well, he performs these verbose acrobatics a lot, and there are several plausible reasons, of which two can easily be detected.

First, by having a special and restricted definition of divisibility, he can hide his belief when he wants. So if a judge asked him if he believes Aļļaah to be divisible, he would answer, “Of course not!” meaning his special definition of divisibility, and thereby saving his neck. For this same purpose he has his own definitions of what words like “body” or “create” mean, and of what it means to be an Ashˆariyy, and so on.

The second reason is to confuse the gullible who are impressed by a lot of words and phrases they cannot make sense of, and are easily affected by cheap rhetoric making them angry, such as by calling anything other than anthropomorphism “jahmism” and calling anthropomorphism “the way of the Salaf and imam Aĥmad.” A good example is the book we have quoted from, which is “Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah.” It is his attempt to refute Ar-Raaziyy’s Asaas At-Taqdiis, a small book of around 150 pages. This attempted refutation is a multi-volume work with several hundred pages of beating around the bush in the manner you have seen above. No wonder it was said about him, as mentioned by Ibn Baţuuţah “there was something wrong with his mind.” It is more than a fair assessment.

Let us finally remind ourselves of what the Sunni creed is regarding these beliefs of Ibn Taymiyyah. Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy stated {in brackets}: {This is a detailed remembrance of the belief of the People of the Sunnah and following {the Jamaaˆah}. Later he stated, as part of this remembrance,{Aļļaah is above} the status of {having limits, extremes, corners, limbs or instruments.} {The six directions} up, down, front, back, left and right {do not contain Him} because that would make Him {like all created things}. He also agreed that believing that anything else is an insult to Islam, for he said in the same remembrance: {Whoever attributed to Aļļaah an attribute that has a meaning among the meanings that apply to humans has committed blasphemy.} Note that he said this after having already pointed out that the six directions apply to all created things, which includes humans. In other words, the Sunni belief is that attributing a limit to Aļļaah makes one a non-Muslim.

1قال ابن تيمية في بيان تلبيس الجهمية في تأسيس بدعهم الكلامية – (3 / 12) : وهذان المعنيان مما اتفق المسلمون فيما أعلمه على تنزه الله وتقدسه عنهما فإن الله سبحانه (أحد) (صمد) لا يتجزى ويتبعض وينقسم بمعنى أنه ينفصل بعضه عن بعض كما ينفصل الجسم المقسوم المعضى مثل ما تقسم الأجسام المتصلة كالخبز واللحم والثياب ونحو ذلك ولا ينفصل عن الحيوان ما ينفصل من عضلاته وهذه المعاني هو منزه عنها بمعنى أنها معدومة وأنها ممتنعة في حقه فلا تقبل ذاته التفريق والتبعيض

2قال ابن تيمية: فأما كون الشيء غير موصوف بالزيادة والنقصان ولا بعدم ذلك وهو موجود وليس بذي قدر فهذا لا يعقل (بيان تلبيس الجهمية, ج3/ص146).


Refuting Yaser Qadi’s opposition to proving Allaah’s existence

August 2, 2009

Islam is a great religion, it does not need to attack reason or logic to hold. It has nothing to hide. It is not based on blind imitation, or blind acceptance. The argument for its correctness agrees with reason from beginning to end, as has been shown in the article “Foundations of the Religion“. There is no argument based on valid premises and sound structure that can put a dent in it. This is what we Sunnis believe, and any religion that does not meet this criteria is not the religion of Aļļaah.

Yaser Qadi is out to show otherwise in his The Theological Implications of the Story of Ibrahim & the Stars (Ibn Taymiyyah vs. the Mutakallimun). He now opposes the proof of the Creator’s existence, not by showing that the premises do not hold or that the argument is false, but by saying in essence: “it is not mentioned in the Qur’aan, is complicated, was not used by the companions and there is no need, because everybody knows by the fiţrah.” Thus he implies that it is prohibited. Of course, it is all based on the talk of arch-anthropomorphist, Ibn Taymiyyah.

To continue reading you may download the article Rational Quranic Islam vs Wahabism in PDF formats. The table of contents is:

Introduction…. p. 3
Circular reasoning is Quranic?!…. p. 3
Different times and different people need different types of proofs…. p. 4
The Imam ˆAbdulQaahir on the Sunni scholars of the science of belief…. p. 5
Kalam scholars used terminology like those of the Aristotelians to show them wrong…. p. 10
The principles of the proofs for the creators existence…. p. 10
About the so called proof of the existence of God through the proof of the createdness of “accidents”…. p. 11
The proof of the creators existence is in compliance with the Qur’aan…. p. 12
Implications of the proof of Allaah’s existence for denying Allaah’s resemblance to creation…. p. 12
A more detailed way of showing that bodies must be created for one to prove that the world is created…. p. 14
Ibn Taymiyyah’ arguments against the proof stating that bodies must have a creator…. p. 15
The anthropomorphist dilemma; the motivation of Ibn Taymiyyah for attacking the proof of Allaah’s existence based on the fact that the world consists of bodies and attributes…. p. 19
Conclusion….   p. 19


Wahabi claims Pharaoh’s saying: “O Haman! Build me a tall building so I that I might reach the paths of the skies, and look upon Moses’ God,” (Ghaaafir, 36-37) proves that Moses believed Allah is placed in the Sky.

July 21, 2009

They also supply some hand picked quotes from scholarly works in support of this idea.  The answer is as follows:

First, it is just not possible to establish an irrefutable Islamic belief based on what the kaafir Pharao says. The fact the Pharao believed that the god Moses spoke of is placed in the Sky does not necessitate that Moses has said this to him, because whatever Pharao says about the “God of Moses” could be something Pharao falsely assumed or misinterpreted.

Second, quotes from books about what other than a Prophet said also does not prove a belief to be true. You need a highly authentic ĥadiith or a Quranic statement (other than quotes of what a kaafir says,) and you need to establish their meaning in a way that does not contradict other narrated texts, or any irrefutably established fact. See this article.

Third, the Sky is below the ˆArsħ and inside the collection of creation. To believe that Allaah is in the Sky is contrary to the “placed above the throne” belief, and pure ĥuluul (believing that Allaah is inside creation.) If they say “in the Sky” means “above the Sky,” then they have interpreted it with other than the linguistically apparent meaning, and chosen an interpretation that contradicts with “He does not resemble anything,” and the Prophet’s saying: “O Aļļaah, You are the First, so there is nothing before You, and You are the Last so there is nothing after You. You are Al-Thaahir so there is nothing above You. And You are Al-Baatin, so there is nothing below you. (Muslim)” See this aricle.

Finally, and most importantly, place is an aspect of particles, or bodies of them. If Allaah was in a place He would be something with size, a particle or a body, and all particles and bodies need a creator, as they need specification. Denying this contradicts the main premise for the proof of the Creator’s existence. See this article with links.


Allaah is not in time

May 23, 2009

Wahabi argues: If tensed facts exist, then it necessarily follows that truth or falsehood is changing over time. For example, the tensed statement “It is now 1:27 pm” is only true at 1:27 pm and false at all other times. So if Allah knows this tensed fact, His knowledge must be changing constantly as He knows when certain statements become true and false. However, if Allah is absolutely changeless, that would mean that Allah cannot know tensed facts, hence compromising His attribute of omniscience.

Comment: This pseudo-argument that this wahabi enemy of himself, and of Aļļaah, feels so happy about, originates from likening the Creator to the created. Again and again they come back to their basic belief in the Creator, which is that He is something limited to a place (i.e. a body) with changes in it over time. They thought they could know the reality of Aļļaah’s knowledge by imagination and drawing inferences from their own existence. That is why, for example, they believe that His Will is a series of different wills over time, just like ours. Now even the belief in His perfect Knowledge is subject to their blasphemous attacks. They argue as above, because they cannot imagine perfect knowledge not in time, and think that reality is limited to what they can imagine. It is because they base their arguments upon imagination that they make so many mistakes.

Not being able to imagine something does not mean it cannot be true

It is not enough to say, “I can’t imagine it, so it cannot be true,” or even “I can’t understand it, so it can’t be true.” Even in sciences studying creation, especially physics, the facts and concepts they speak of are so counter intuitive and unfamiliar to our minds and knowledge that they cannot be imagined. That is why they rely on complex mathematics to express their theories instead. So if concepts in physics cannot be conceptualized in the mind, what would be the case for the Creator and His attributes?

For example, they say that if lightning hit the back of a moving train and at the same time its front, then to an outsider they happen simultaneously, but to someone inside the front is hit before the back, because he is moving towards the event. Accordingly, there could be points in time that are separate according to one frame of reference and simultaneous to another. None of these frames are special, and it is as equally true to say that it occurred simultaneously as it is to say that one occurred first.

The belief that Aļļaah does not resemble His creation and how it is applied here for average Muslims

Every aspect of a created thing or being has a beginning, since no aspect of it is eternal. Likewise, everything that has a beginning must be a creation, as it must have been brought into existence. This means that Aļļaah is not something you can imagine, not Him and not His attributes, because your imagination is based on what you are familiar with, namely things that have a beginning, things that last moments of time despite their possible non-existence.

Based on this, the scholars taught people the rule that “whatever you can imagine in your mind, Aļļaah does not resemble it.” Similarly, the cousin of the Prophet Muĥammad, and famous companion, Ibn ˆAbbaas said, “Ponder about everything, but do not ponder about the Self of Aļļaah.” (Fatĥu-l-Baariy 13/383 ) He said this because such dwelling leads one to draw analogies between the Creator and the created, which is blasphemy. It contradicts the belief in Aļļaah’s Oneness, as it involves the heretical belief that Aļļaah has an equal in some aspect. It also contradicts the Quranic “Absolutely nothing resembles Him.”

Accordingly, Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy stated in his creed: “Whoever attributed to Aļļaah an attribute that has a meaning among the meanings that apply to humans has committed blasphemy.” Note the categorical sense of “a meaning,” which tells us that this is true for any meaning that applies to humans, not just some. For example, having a direction, a body, changing or the like. Note also that he states “meaning”, and not “word,” because the important thing is the meaning of the word, not the word itself. Consequently, if someone said “Aļļaah is not a body,” yet believed that Aļļaah is something in a place, then he is not a Muslim. This is because he believes Aļļaah to be attributed with the bodily meaning of occupying place.

Had the Wahhabis held onto this advice from the scholars, they would have rejected the argument they presented above at face value, and remained firmly within the fold of Islam. This is what average Muslims have done, because they know that they cannot imagine Aļļaah or His attributes. There would be no need for complex answers. Instead, the Wahhabis, out of their inclination towards deviance and hatred for the People of the Truth, the Sunnis, they decided to present an argument based on the idea that “what is true of creation must be true of the Creator.”

As for us, the People of the Truth, the Sunnis, we do not liken Aļļaah to His creation, and we do not draw analogies between the Creator and His creation. We firmly believe that Aļļaah is not in the frameworks of time and place, unlike Wahhabis. Consequently, Aļļaah’s Knowledge is not our kind of knowledge, created knowledge, so it is not restricted by time. No creation can fully know the reality of Aļļaah, or His attributes. It is One Knowledge by which He knows everything, unlike our knowledge. As for time, it is something we are stuck passing through, a function of our reality of being under constant change and renewal relative to all other things in space. Aļļaah is neither in a state of change nor renewal, nor is He in a place, so it is nonsensical to draw analogies between ourselves or our knowledge and Aļļaah and His Knowledge.

A look at “Tensed Facts”

What confused the wahabi is that at 1:27 pm he is in one situation of time and place, and at 1:28 pm at another, as estimated by the position of the Sun with respect to the Earth, as is the custom of humans (see footnote[1].) He thought that since he is changing situations with respect to the rest of creation, that Aļļaah also was in a situation at 1:27 pm and then another at 1:28 pm. This is not the case, because Aļļaah is not in a “situation,” as He is not in a place, and is not in time, so the question, “when was He?” does not apply to Him. Missing this point, he thought that knowledge of “tensed facts” has to be in time. This cannot be true, because it is impossible that Aļļaah should be in time, as we shall prove below under the next heading.

The past tense, for example, is an expression referring to the relative situation of created things to each other. So when someone says “12:00 noon already passed,” he means that he already passed through that state relative to space and the change and renewal of other creations. Aļļaah, on the other hand, does not pass through relative situations, since He is not in a place and does not change and does not renew.

As for the present tense, it is true for me, at 1:27, that it is 1:27, but this is only a name for my relative position to other things that change with me at different places. Aļļaah is not in a place and does not change, or renew, so His knowledge is not relative to time. Aļļaah knows everything about all times, without Himself being in time. His knowledge of time is without a beginning, end, change or renewal.

Aļļaah knows all these relations, because He created them. He knows them with one indivisible knowledge, that is neither a whole nor a part, because it is not composed lest it need a composer, and that is beginningless and without end, because it is not brought into existence, lest it need a creator.

In fact, Aļļaah created our knowledge and perception of “tensed facts,” so He knows the “now is 1:27”, for a created being which is a matter of time, space and relative change or renewal for that being. He knows it without His knowledge having a future, past or present, because He created it. He knows it perfectly, because He created every aspect of it, unlike the creations that exist in the uncountable when situations/times that each and every creation pass through during the time they last. In fact, created beings only have the knowledge of the “now” they are in according to the limited perceptions He created in them.

We believe then, that Aļļaah knows “tensed facts” without needing to be in the creation of time. We believe His knowledge is eternal and some information created, just as we believe that Aļļaah’s action of creating is eternal while the created has a beginning.

It is impossible that Aļļaah should be in time

The arguer thinks Aļļaah’s knowledge is something that can be divided over moments of time, so that the concepts of past, present and future applies to it. That cannot be true, however, because Aļļaah’s existence is not a possibility, but an existence that is intrinsically necessary (Waajibu-l-Wujuud). To clarify: something that exists is either intrinsically (i.e. with respect to itself alone) possible in its existence, or intrinsically necessary. There is no third judgment for what exists. The possible in existence accepts non-existence, while the necessary does not. Aļļaah is necessarily existent, but everything else is possible, because what is possible in existence needs something other than itself to exist. If it did not, then it would be intrinsically necessary.

If Aļļaah’s existence was divisible into time periods, then His necessary existence would be in a state of renewal, moment by moment, and what is renewed is not necessary in existence, rather it is only possible in the next moment, i.e. possible after having existed. In other words, renewal of existence does not apply to what is necessary in existence, because it does not need renewal. After all, if it needed renewal, it would not be necessary in existence. Consequently, it does not have moments of existence.

Another way to say this is that if Aļļaah’s existence had been divisible into moments of time, then this would either be with Him having a beginning, which none of us believe, or with Him having no beginning. However, if his existence was divisible into moments of time, without a beginning, then this would mean that an infinite number of moments passed before the world came into existence. An infinite number of moments cannot pass, however, because infinity cannot be completed. Therefore, since an infinite amount of moments cannot pass, it must be true that Aļļaah’s existence is not divisible into moments of time. Accordingly, His knowledge is not either, because it is an eternal, necessary, and thus non-renewing, attribute of Aļļaah. We know He has this attribute, because He specified and brought everything into existence, and since He specified it, He must definitely know it also.

Our knowledge, on the other hand, is a knowledge that is renewed over time, so our knowledge existing at 1:27 differs from our knowledge at 1:28. This is because it is changing, and because it is not necessary in existence, and is therefore divisible into moments of existence.

Beginningless Eternity is not a time

One important point needs to be stressed: Beginningless Eternity is not a past time. Rather, it is an expression by which we mean the existence of Aļļaah with the non-existence of time, place and all creation. The mind wants to know what this precedence of the Creator with respect to His creation is. It is not in time, however, because time is possible in existence, as it is parts (moments) following each other in sequence, and these parts are definitely not eternal. The whole of time then, is dependent on possible parts, and what depends on the possible is surely only possible in existence. Accordingly, the precedence of its Creator cannot be in time, not the least because that would make Him both in time and not in time, which is self-contradictory.

The reality of this, however, is not something the mind can grasp, because anything that enters the mind is in a situation of time. That is why Aļļaah being precedent is known by us in general, but not in detail or comprehensively.

For example, Aļļaah’s precedence of beginninglessness indicates a distinction between His beginninglessness and His endlessness. Beginningless eternity, however, is not something other than Aļļaah (but not Him Himself either.) Moreover, distinction between the two meanings would require a beginning for endlessness, but this is impossible, because any hypothesized beginning would have endlessness before it, as there is no beginning before that. That is, distinction between beginninglessness and endlessness would require the completion of beginninglessness, and that is impossible, because what does not begin cannot finish. This means that our minds are incapable of distinguishing between the concepts of beginninglessness, endlessness and eternity. The reason is that the mind only knows what the mind encompasses. So what is apparent is that Aļļaah is first in that everything that has a beginning depends on Him for their existence. If one tries to understand the reality of that firstness, however, one is completely unable, because the mind cannot encompass what has no limit.

Now we are back to the point that the reality of Aļļaah’s existence is not comprehensible to humans, but at an even deeper level than previously. A further indication of this fact, is that a human being does not conceptualize something except if he perceives in his mind inner feelings, such as pain and pleasure, or input from his senses, such as light, color, shape, sound, voice, taste, smell, temperature and softness. Anything beyond that is difficult for a human to conceptualize. Since Aļļaah’s reality is not like what we perceive through our senses, we are not able to conceptualize Him.

Yet another indication of this incomprehensibility, is that what we know about Him, is either in the sense of negation, like in the sense that He is neither a body, nor a particle, or in terms of meanings that pertain to Him, such as, “He is the one that has all rights to judge.” In fact the most apparent fact we know about Him is: “He is the Creator of the world,” and that therefore He precedes it. Yet we cannot know the reality of this precedence, because it is not one of time.

We are compelled, nevertheless, to speak about this meaning in a figurative way, because language has been established to speak about things that are in time and place, and we do not have special vocabulary to express exactly what we want to say. For this reason, the feeble minded will think that we are saying something other than what we intend, such as when we say “before Aļļaah created the worlds.” We not mean by this to say that Aļļaah was in time.

In this regard, the Imam of Guidance, Abuu Manşuur Al-Maaturiidiyy says: “A fundamental belief principle is that whenever Aļļaah is ascribed an attribute, then this attribute is eternal. One says that He is attributed with knowledge, power and providing eternally without a beginning and without an end. If He is mentioned with regard to His management of creation and orders to it, then time is stated, but this time is for creation, not for Him. For example, it is said, “Aļļaah knows eternally that you are sitting here,” or “(sitting here) at this time.” I.e. Aļļaah knows eternally without a beginning or an end that the person is sitting now…. This is all to prevent people from thinking “How were the created things in eternity? (Ta’wiilaat Ahlu-s-Sunnah 9/473)”

Having said that, what the arguer is describing, is a change of information over time for something in time. Time is something relative to one’s frame of reference, as one relates to all other things in space. Even in modern, generally accepted physics, they teach that the order of things is a matter of one’s reference point in space, and now the trend is that the phenomena of time is related to mass. Strange, but since Aļļaah is not in a place, unlike what Wahhabis believe, this helps us to accept also that time is not something He passes through as He does not have a reference point in space nor does He have mass, because He is not a body. Rather, all places at all times pertain to Him with no difference between them, because He is not in a place and does not change. It is what His Power to create pertains to that is in time and place with respect to each other, not that He Himself is in time.

Accordingly, Aļļaah knows eternally without a beginning or end, or change or renewal, the fact that “the time is 1:28 when the time is 1:28” and He knows the relation of that particular time to all other times. For example, He knows the time at which this time is present in itself, and when it is passed, and when it is future, just as He knows that time’s relation to the beginning of time, and so on. In other words, He knows everything that has to do with that time, both what we know, and what we do not know. So if that time comes, in relation to us, as we pass through time, and He is not, then Aļļaah did not increase His knowledge, because He knows eternally everything that has to do with it.

Further explanation

The ambiguity of what the wahabi said is made clearer if we hypothesized that a prophet asked his Lord, “what time is it now?” and Aļļaah revealed to him that the time is so and so. Is this revelation that was revealed to Him something that happened to Aļļaah’s knowledge, or something that He knows without beginning or end? The answer is without doubt that it is something that Aļļaah knows eternally, because the word “now” is a word of relativity (relative to what passes through time) that Aļļaah (who is not in time) knows by His beginningless and endless knowledge. In other words, it is true that the time, at that particular point in time, is called “now” relative to things that are renewed or that change (i.e. things that could intrinsically, with respect to themselves, in the mind’s eye, be non-existent after existence.) So it is true that it is “now” with respect to that prophet when he asks. Based on this we can rephrase the hypothesized request as follows: “What is the time now, relative to myself?” or, “What is the time now, relative to what passes through time?”

As for the Eternal, the relation of all different places is one to Him, in the sense that no place is closer or further from Him than another, because He is not in place, neither in one place, nor in all places. Likewise, all different times have one relation to Him, in the sense that one time is not nearer to Him than another. This is indicated in the aayah:

هُوَ الْأَوَّلُ وَالْآخِرُ [الحديد : 3]

Literally translated: “He is the First and the Last.” Since Aļļaah does not have a beginning, it is true, based on the aayah, that He is First and Last without a beginning, i.e. without a past time, i.e. without being last after having been first. So the meaning of being last is not after being first and being first is not before being last. We consequently know that He is not bound by time, and that all different times have one relation to Him, because created things (i.e. what passes through time) cannot be last unless they have a past time. There is no question, however, that comprehending this is utterly beyond the capability of our minds.

The origin of this doubt-spreading point brought forward by the wahabi is his thinking that Aļļaah passes through time, just as creation does. So he thought that the relation of “now” to Aļļaah is the same as the relation of “now” to us, His creation. This thinking stems from his failure to define time properly, and failure to differentiate between the Creator and the created. If he was really trying to get to the truth, he would have solved this problem by defining time properly. Alternatively, he could have believed Aļļaah’s saying about Himself:

وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ [الأنعام : 101]

Meaning: “He created everything, and He knows everything.” After all, time is definitely other than Aļļaah, so He is its Creator, and He is not passing through it.


[1]This is because measuring time is estimating renewal or change by renewal or change in something else. For example, days are measured in terms of changes in the sun or moon’s positions. If a sunrise is followed by a sunset, we say that a day has passed, and if this happens seven times, then we say that a week has passed and so on. Elements and bodies are in a constant state of renewal, because their existence in every new moment is only a possibility; you do not know with absolute certainty whether they will exist in the next moment or not. They are therefore in a continuous state of renewal of existence. That is why the concept of time always applies to them; they cannot break free of it. They are in a state of continuous state of existence after existence instead of non-existence, as long as they exist. This is what it means to pass through time. This is not so with Aļļaah, because Aļļaah’s existence is a must, and it is therefore impossible that He should cease to exist. In other words, His existence is not in time, because His existence is not in a state of renewal. It is also clear then that He is not measurable in terms of time, because time is a measure of relative change or renewal between two things, and Aļļaah is not attributed with change or renewal. He is, after all, the Creator of time, because time is other than Aļļaah, and He said in His Book that He created everything.


Wahabi says: it is absurd to say that you can’t prove there is a beginning to the world if one says Allah can perform new acts.

May 10, 2009

Comment: "New acts" are in your view events that happen in Aļļaah Himself, and since they have a beginning they need to be brought into existence according to a specification, which means they need another act to exist, and if that act has a beginning, then that one also needs another act and so on, in an infinite past loop, which cannot be completed, so the "new act" can never exist. Since you have implied that there can be an infinite number of events in the past, and thereby rejected its obvious impossibility, you have no way to prove logically that the world has a beginning. This is because you have stubbornly or ignorantly rejected the impossibility of the completion of infinite past events, so there is no logical way to prove why the world cannot have infinite past evens, i.e. no beginning. The reason for this is that you rejected the impossibility of infinite past events, which is the main premise for the proof for why the world (defined as everything other than Aļļaah) must have a beginning.

Wahabi says: This statement is out of date because today we can prove the beginning of the universe by appealing to the best scientific evidence (e.g. big bang cosmology and the second law of thermodynamics?)

Comment: These are scientific theories only, and theories can be proven wrong. Moreover, they do not prove, as scientists see it, that this world is brought into existence by other than it, nor do they by themselves prove unequivocally that there were no events prior to the proposed Big Bang. To prove that, you must accept that completing an infinity of past events is impossible, as it clearly is. This again means that you must reject the idea that Aļļaah’s Will or Creating happens with a beginning.