Allaah’s attribute of non-resemblance to creation

August 12, 2012

Aļļaah is not attributed with attributes like those of creation. He must be attributed with non-resemblance to creation. This is the meaning of the statement in the Quran:

ليس كمثله شيء

Meaning: “He absolutely does not resemble anything at all in any way” (Asħ-Sħuuraa, 11)

Created things may differ from one another. However, their uniqueness towards one another is not like Aļļaah’s attribute of non-resemblance to creation.

It must be understood that Aļļaah is not different from creation in the same way that created things differ from one another[1]. Otherwise He would resemble His creation in the attribute of non-resemblance to creation.

It becomes important then to have a look at how created things may achieve uniqueness from one another. For example, if two entities differ, this difference will be detectable through one of our five senses as follows:

1.            Eyes: color and shape

2.            Hearing: sound

3.            Touch: temperature, softness, wetness, heaviness

4.            Taste: sourness, bitterness, sweetness, and other qualities of taste.

5.            Smell: sharpness, mildness, and other qualities of smell.

Created uniqueness then, is through shape, color, sound and other physically tangible qualities as mentioned here[2]. There are also two other ways created things may differ from one another, even if they are identical in all of the senses mentioned above. Namely, they may differ in space and in time. There may even be other ways of created uniqueness, but that is not important here. What is important is the following:

Aļļaah’s attribute of non-resemblance to creation involves denying that He is something that has color, shape or any other physically tangible quality. It also involves denying that He is in space or time.


[2] Another way of saying this is that such qualities involve possibilities. That is, they are not necessarily the way they are in the mind’s eye; one could have imagined them to be different. This is true for all things that may change. Such things need specification of their aspects, such as: Which shape? What color? What sound? What place? At what time? Etc. This means that they need a Creator to bring them into existence according to specification. See also the article: Bodies have limits but not Allaah.


(Updated) Takwiin, effective pertainment and AI-‘Iijiyy on Allaah not being in time

July 23, 2010

By actions the Asħˆariyys mean the created things themselves that exist by the influence of Aļļaah’s attribute of power, or what they call effective pertainment. Effective pertainment is the pertaining of Aļļaah’s power to what exists of created things, as opposed to valid pertainment, which is the pertaining Aļļaah’s power to everything possible. The Maaturiidiyys say that the attribute of power is Aļļaah’s power to bring into existence, while the bringing into existence is another attribute called takwiin. So what Asħˆariyys explain as (1) "effective pertainment" and (2) "valid pertainment" is explained as two attributes, respectively: (1) "takwiin" or "creating" and (2) "power to create" according to Maaturiidiyys.

Aļļaah’s providing, giving, bringing into existence, etc. is called effective pertainment in the Asħˆariyy school, while in the Maaturiidiyy school these are different names for takwiin according to what the attribute of takwiin pertains to.

When we remember that Aļļaah is not in time according to all, then it becomes easy to understand that this is mainly a semantical difference; using different words to explain the same thing. Although the Asħˆariyys say that the effective pertainment has a beginning, this is with respect to us, because we are in time. So we say that Jill was created yesterday, but the time element of yesterday is a created attribute of Jill, where as the attribute of Aļļaah is creating Jill with the "yesterday" as one of her attributes, the meanings associated with her being, sort of like color. In other words, Aļļaah does not pass through a state of time called before creating Jill and after creating Jill, because He is not in time.

This means that Aļļaah Himself did not change during those six days in which He created the Heavens and the Earth. What changed is creation; those six days are for creation. Accordingly, 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 (i.e. without a beginning or end). 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?”[1]

An-Nasafiyy, the second most important scholar in the Maaturiidiyy school after Al-Maaturiidiyy himself, said: "His eternal attribute of creating does not lead to saying that the world is eternal, because the possible in existence cannot be eternal, and because creating is not for the immediate existence of the created, but for the time of its existence."[2] He also said: "The Karraamiyyah all claimed that Aļļaah’s creating (takwiin) is an event in Aļļaah with a beginning, and that events occur in Aļļaah. Aļļaah is greatly above what the unjust ascribe to Him."[3]

It must be understood that Aļļaah’s creating is not a sequential action, it is an action without a how. It has no beginning or end. If it was sequential, one previously non-existent action coming into existence after another, then each action would itself need to be brought into existence. This is because it did not exist previously. Then if that action of bringing the action into existence also had a beginning, we would need a bringing into existence of that one also, etc. to infinity, which would mean that one single act of creating would need an infinite amount of bringings into existence prior to it. This means that the act of creating can’t ever exist, because the prerequisite infinite amount of bringings into existence cannot ever be concluded. The solution to this is to say that Aļļaah’s act of bringing into existence does not have a beginning, and therefore does not need to be brought into existence.

In other words, Aļļaah created the world in six days, without His act of creating it having a beginning or an end, because Aļļaah is not in time; His attributes do not change and do not renew.

Further to this concept, here is what the two famous asħˆariyys, ˆAđududDiin Al-‘Iijiyy, and Asħ-Sħariif Al-Jurjaaniyy have to say about Aļļaah not being in time. Al-‘Iijiyy’s words are bolded in brackets, while the rest is Al-Jurjaaniyy’s explanation[4]:

الشرح (المقصد الرابع إنه تعالى ليس في زمان) أي ليس وجوده وجودا زمانيا ومعنى كون الوجود زمانيا أنه لا يمكن حصوله إلا في زمان كما أن معنى كونه مكانيا أنه لا يمكن حصوله إلا في مكان

(The fourth topic: on Aļļaah not being in time.) That is, His existence is not in time. The meaning of existence in time is that it cannot be except in time, just as the meaning of existence in a location is that it cannot be except in a location.

(هذا مما اتفق عليه أرباب الملل ولا نعرف فيه للعقلاء خلافا) وإن كان مذهب المجسمة يجر إليه كما يجر إلى الجهة والمكان

(This is one of the things that the people of all sects and religions agreed upon, and we do not know of any disagreement upon this between rational beings.) This is so, even if the anthropomorphists imply that, just as they imply direction and location.

(أما عند الحكماء فلأن الزمان) عندهم (مقدار حركة المحدد) للجهات (فلا يتصور فيما لا تعلق له بالحركة والجهة)

(As for according to the philosophers, this is because time) according to them (is the amount of limited movement) in any direction (so being in time cannot be true of what does not have to do with movement or direction.)

وتوضيحه أن التغير التدريجي زماني بمعنى أنه يتقدر بالزمان وينطبق عليه ولا يتصور وجوده إلا فيه والتغير الدفعي متعلق بالآن الذي هو طرف الزمان فما لا تغير فيه أصلا لا تعلق له بالزمان قطعا نعم وجوده تعالى مقارن للزمان وحاصل مع حصوله وأما أنه زماني أو آني أي واقع في أحدهما فكلا

That is, gradual change is in time, in the sense that it is measured in time, and coincides with time, and its existence cannot be other than in time, and a momentary change defines the “now” which is a the last point in time [i.e. so far]. Accordingly, what does not change at all, is not related to time at all. Yes, Aļļaah’s existence is affirmed as true and real no matter what time one is in, but it is not in time, or momentary. That is, it is not occurring in a time or a moment.

(وأما عندنا فلأنه) أي الزمان (متجدد يقدر به متجدد فلا يتصور في القديم فأي تفسير فسر) الزمان (به امتنع ثبوته لله تعالى)

(As for according to us, this is because it) i.e. time (is something renewing by which something else renewing is measured, so it cannot be true of the beginninglessly eternal. Accordingly, no matter how we define it,) i.e. time (it cannot be affirmed as being true of Aļļaah.)

(تنبيه) على ما يتضمنه هذا الأصل الذي مهدناه آنفا (يعلم مما ذكرنا أنا سواء قلنا العالم حادث بالحدوث الزماني) كما هو رأينا (أو الذاتي) كما هو رأي الحكيم (فتقدم الباري سبحانه عليه) لكونه موجدا إياه (ليس تقدما زمانيا) وإلا لزم كونه تعالى واقعا في الزمان بل هو تقدم ذاتي عندهم وقسم سادس عندنا كتقدم بعض أجزاء الزمان على بعضها

(Important note) regarding this principle that we have just explained: (It is known from what we mentioned previously that regardless of whether we say that the world has a beginning that is in time) as is our view, (or that it is in being) as is the view of the philosopher (it is still true that the precedence of Aļļaah over creation) by His being its Creator (is not a precedence of time.) Otherwise He would be in time. Rather, it is a precedence of being, according to the philosophers, and a sixth meaning [of precedence] in our view [that is not in time], like the precedence of moments of time over other moments of time [The sixth meaning of precedence is that of Creator over created, not in time, and this is beyond what our minds can grasp, because the reality of Aļļaah’s existence cannot be grasped. The precedence of moments of time over other moments is mentioned to show that precedence in existence is not necessarily in time].

(و) يعلم أيضا (أن بقاءه ليس عبارة عن وجوده في زمانين) وإلا كان تعالى زمانيا بل هو عبارة امتناع عدمه ومقارنته مع الأزمنة (ولا القدم عبارة عن أن يكون قبل كل زمان زمان) وإلا لم يتصف به الباري تعالى

(Moreover,) it is also known (that His everlastingness is not an expression meant to indicate His existence in two consecutive times,) otherwise He would be in time. Rather, it is an expression meaning that it is impossible for His to cease to exist, or accompany time [i.e. to be thought of as passing through time]. (Furthermore, His beginningless existence is not meant to express that there is a time before all times,) otherwise it would not be ascribed to Him.

(وأنه) أي ما ذكرناه من أنه تعالى ليس زمانيا (يبسط العذر في ورود ما ورد من الكلام الأزلي بصيغة الماضي ولو في الأمور المستقبلة) الواقعة فيما لا يزال كقوله تعالى إنا أرسلنا نوحا وذلك لأنه إذا لم يكن زمانيا لا بحسب ذاته ولا بحسب صفاته كان نسبة كلامه الأزلي إلى جميع الأزمنة على السوية إلا أن حكمته تعالى اقتضت التعبير عن بعض الأمور بصيغة الماضي وعن بعضها بصيغة المستقبل فسقط ما تمسك به المعتزلة في حدوث القرآن من أنه لو كان قديما لزم الكذب في أمثال ما ذكر فإن الإرسال لم يكن واقعا قبل الأزل

(In addition it) [i.e. the fact we have mentioned regarding Him (تعالى) not being in time] (justifies what has been revealed of Aļļaah’s speech expressed in the past tense, even for what pertains to the future) and happens with a beginning, such as His saying (تعالى):

إنا أرسلنا نوحا

Meaning: Verily we have sent Nuuĥ.

This is because if He is not in time, neither in His Self, nor His attributes, then His beginningless and endless Speech has the same relation to all times. It is just that His wisdom dictates revealing expressions regarding some issues in past tense, and some in future tense. Accordingly, the claim of the Muˆtazilites regarding the Qur’aan [i.e. the attribute of speech that the expressions in the revealed book refer to] having a beginning is invalid. [They claimed invalidly that it must have a beginning, and cannot be an eternal attribute, saying:] because otherwise the expressions like the one mentioned would be untrue, since the sending [of Nuuĥ in this case] did not happen before beginningless eternity.

(وههنا أسرار أخر لا أبوح بها ثقة بفطنتك) منها إذا قلنا كان الله موجودا في الأزل وسيكون موجودا في الأبد وهو موجود الآن لم نرد به أن وجوده واقع في تلك الأزمنة بل أردنا أنه مقارن معها من غير أن يتعلق بها كتعلق الزمانيات

(There are other hidden realities known through this that I will not mention explicitly, based on trust in your intelligence.) Among these is the fact that if we say “Aļļaah existed before creation, and shall exist forever, and He exists now,” then we do not mean by this that His existence falls in these times. Rather, we mean that His existence is true at all times, without Him being in them the way things in time are.

ومنها أنه لو ثبت وجود مجردات عقلية لم تكن أيضا زمانية

Another [fact known from this] is that if it was established that there are beings with a beginning that are not in place, then they would not be in time. [This is true according to the philosophers’ definition of time, because it is dependent on space. In Sunni terminology, however, it is not acceptable to say that such beings would not be in time. This is because such beings would pass through renewed existence, as they are not necessary in existence, and can change in knowledge or will, or other attributes.]

ومنها أنه إذا لم يكن زمانيا لم يكن بالقياس إليه ماض وحال ومستقبل فلا يلزم من علمه بالتغيرات تغير في علمه إنما يلزم ذلك إذا دخل فيه الزمان

[Yet] another [fact known from this] is that if He is not in time, then the measures of time in terms of past, present and future would not hold true of Him. Accordingly, it is not necessitated from His knowledge of changing things that His knowledge should change. It would only be necessary if He was in time [and He is not.]

[1] Abuu Manşuur Al-Maaturiidiyy (333 AH), Ta’wiilaat Ahlu-s-Sunnah, 9/473.

[2] Abu-l-Muˆiin An-Nasafiyy, Maymuun ibn Muĥammad (508 AH/ 1115 AD), Tabşiratu-l-Adillah, 1:1/99.

[3] Ibid., 1:1/401.

[4] Asħ-Sħariif Al-Jurjaaniyy (740-816 AH/ 1340-1413 AD) and ˆAđudu-d-Diin Al-‘Iijiyy (756 AH/ 1355 AD), Sħarĥu-l-Mawaaqif, 3/41.


Bilbliography

Abu-l-Muˆiin An-Nasafiyy, Maymuun ibn Muĥammad (508 AH/ 1115 AD). Tabşiratu-l-Adillah. Edited by Dr. Huuseyin Atay. Vol. 1. 2 vols. Turkey: Ri’aasat al-Shu’uun al-Diiniiyyah lil-Jumhuuriyyah al-Turkiyyah, 1993.

Abuu Manşuur Al-Maaturiidiyy (333 AH). Ta’wiilaat Ahlu-s-Sunnah. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Kotob Al-ilmiyah, 1426.

Asħ-Sħariif Al-Jurjaaniyy (740-816 AH/ 1340-1413 AD), and ˆAđudu-d-Diin Al-‘Iijiyy (756 AH/ 1355 AD). Sħarĥu-l-Mawaaqif. 3 vols. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Jiil – Shaamilah, 1997.



As-Sanuusiyy does not agree with Ibn Taymiyyah regarding composition and need.

September 10, 2009

Introduction

The wahabis in their desperation are trying to make people think that As-Sanuusiyy agrees with Ibn Taymiyyah regarding Ar-Raaziyy’s argument of the need for composition for something with size. The need for composition Ar-Raaziyy speaks of, and denies could be true of Aļļaah, is an argument As-Sanuusiyy accepts, and validates. That is, his quoted refutation of the argument for implied composition is not absolute, but for its use in a different context than this, and without admitting that there is any implied need for composition at all.

As-Sanuusiyy denies that affirming that Aļļaah has attributes such as knowledge implies composition.

The context in which As-Sanuusiyy criticizes Ar-Raaziyy, is for the latter’s weakness in facing up to the argument of the philosophers for denying that Aļļaah has attributes. They argued that since the attributes are many, they would need to be composed. As-Sanuusiyy refutes this absolutely and says that the argument for need is false, because there is no composition implied. Why is that? Because the attributes are necessary, perfect, eternal and unchanging. This is the essence of what As-Sanuusiyy says.

As-Sanuusiyy affirms that things with size do need composition, and validates this argument.

Ar-Raaziyy is not talking about Aļļaah having attributes in the argument against anthropomorphists which Ibn Taymiyyah responds to. In essence Ar-Raaziyy says that declaring Aļļaah to be something that can be pointed at means that He would then have a border, and therefore be in need of composition, like all things with size. This is true, because all shapes are possible and in need of specification.

This is not an argument that As-Sanuusiyy is against. His books are full of this type of argument, such as in “A Commentary on the Creed of Al Sanusi“. The need for bodies to be specified in shape and composition is a theme throughout, on which he bases the proof for the createdness of all things with a size. Accordingly, As-Sanuusiyy’s refutation of the argument of the need for composition of parts does not apply for the issue of physical aboveness, and is not intended by him. This is because shapes are possible, and not intrinsically necessary in themselves, so they do indeed need to be specified and composed.

Why Ibn Taymiyyah affirms implied composition and need.

Since Aļļaah has a size in Ibn Taymiyyah’s view, and its shape is possible, there is an implied need for composition. He says in affirmation of size:

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.1 (Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah, 3/146).

In affirming composition etc., he says:

We have already clarified what possibilities (in terms of what they mean) are associated with the words composition, settling in place, being other (having different sides or parts), and need, and that the meaning meant by this 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.2. (Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah, 1/33)

The proof that Ibn Taymiyyah affirms that his deity’s shape is possible,and not necessary, is in his Bucket Theology, where He says: “and it is known that Aļļaah is able to surround3….” i.e. able to take on a shape to do so, which means that it is not a necessary shape, but a possible one, and therefore in need of specification. (Majmuuˆu-l-Fataawaa, 6/574)

1قال 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).

2قال ابن تيمية: قولك إن كان منقسما كان مركبا وتقدم إبطاله تقدم الجواب عن هذا الذي سميته مركبا وتبين أنه لا حجة أصلا على امتناع ذلك بل بين أن إحالة ذلك تقتضي إبطال كل موجود ولولا أنه أحال على ما تقدم لما أحلنا عليه وتقدم بيان ما في لفظ التركيب والتحيز والغير والافتقار من الاحتمال وإن المعنى الذي يقصد منه بذلك يجب أن يتصف به كل موجود سواء كان واجبا أو ممكنا وإن القول بامتناع ذلك يستلزم السفسطة المحضة (بيان تلبيس الجهمية ج 1 ص 33).

3قال ابن تيمية: 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)


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 contention: Asharis are forced to believe that Allah’s Will for the creation of time occured before time II

April 29, 2009

A wahabi put a response to my post “Wahabi contention: Asharis are forced to believe that Allah’s Will for the creation of time occured before time ” in a forum. The below is my answer to that response.

That wahabi said:

Hahaha, it seems like Abu Adam the so called rational Sheikh got irritated from this post of mine and decided to write a response to me. You can tell how irritated and emotional he is to the extent that he even declared me to be a kaafir:

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

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.

He wrote emotionally and wasn’t thinking straight. Asharis are already so angry that we have the plain and apparent meaning of the Qur’an and authentic hadeeth on our side backed up by the understanding of the Salaf. The only thing that Asharis have to grasp on to is their logic. So when they see a Salafi refute them with logic as well, they go nuts just like how Abu Adam did.

Comment: I am not very emotional, I am just doing what I should be doing, which is to be tough against kuffaar; Aļļaah said about the companions of the Prophet (Al-Fatĥ, 29):

“وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ”,

Meaning: “Those who are with him (the Prophet şallaahu ˆalayhi wasallam) are tough on the blasphemers and are merciful toward one another (as Muslims).”

Accordingly, the rational thing to do here is to treat you toughly.

As for your saying being kufr, this is not my idea, but the traditional judgment of Sunni authorities. Abuu Manşuur ˆAbdulQaahir Al-Bagħdaadiy (429 H), in his book Uşuulu-d-Diin, states about those who say that Aļļaah has a body, or that events happen in Him or His attributes (such as hearing or seeing one thing after another as they happen to creation) : “All those who disagreed with them say that they are blasphemers, so in this respect they are the worst of all the deviant sects.”(P. 338) He also commented: “By claiming that Aļļaah has events happen to Him, they ruined for themselves the proof of the monotheists which holds that bodies are creations since they have events in them. Based on this principle of theirs, they cannot prove that the world has a beginning, and thus they have no way of knowing the Creator of the world. Consequently, they are like all others who do not know Him.” (Uşuulu-d-Diin 337-338) . Ed. That is, they are idolaters.

In case anyone is wondering who Abū Mansūr is, Al-Dhahabīy described him in his book Sīyar A’lām Al-Nubalā’ as: “the great, outstanding, and encyclopedic scholar…. He used to teach 17 different subjects and his brilliance became the source for proverbs.” Al-Dhahabīy said further that he would have liked to write a separate, more complete article about him, and quoted Abū ‘Uthmān Al-Sābūnīy saying: “Abū Mansūr is by scholarly consensus counted among the heads of the scholars of belief and the methodology of jurisprudence, as well as a front figure of Islām.”

Wahabi said:

Let me expose his logically fallacious arguments.
He said:

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

This is ascribing to Aļļaah, who is eternally without a beginning, attributes that did not exist and then became existing.

and

Quote:

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.

He is attacking strawman. I never said that Allah’s attribute of “will” began to exist. I believe that Allah has had the ability to will from eternity. However, what I do believe is what the Qur’an states and that is that Allah wills whenever He pleases (e.g. when He wanted to create the universe He said Be and it immediately came). So just because Allah can temporally will something to occur, it doesn’t logically follow that this entire attribute of will is not eternal. More on this below.

So here we see the first logically ridiculous Ashari response.

Comment: The problem is that you do not understand the implications of what you are saying. You said that Allaah was not willing to create the world, and then He became willing, upon which the world immediately existed. This means that Allaah was not willing and then became willing, according to you. This willing is an attribute according to you, because it occurred in the Creator Himself, i.e. exists in Him. This shows that you think His will is like our will, which is in reality a collection of many different wills at many different times. So for example, when I willed to write you the first time, this was one will, and then it passed, and now I am willing something else. This is not in reality one will, but many different wills associated with me. I might call it “my will” in the singular, but in actual reality it is a collection of events, many different existing, and then annihilated wills, spread over time. You think Allaah’s will is like that, and this is because you think the Creator is like what He creates.

Your claim of being able to detect logical fallacies, and then your attempt to expose them seriously makes me think you have mental issues. I don’t mean that just as an attempt to mock or make you angry, it honestly does. Your level of delusion indicates that you have difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is not. Do you think an argument becomes logically fallacious by merely labeling it as such? Just like you think that a body is not a body if you say it is not a body? And just like you say an emergent thing is not created, if you say it is not created? Please see a doctor, maybe he can help you, and then maybe you will even become Muslim, and we can have a big party celebrating your conversion.

Wahabi said:

Moving on…

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

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.

When I say “delayed” I didn’t mean to say that Asharis believe that Allah is incapable of having the effect come out immediately if He wanted to. My only point was to show that you don’t believe that the cause and effect are simultaneous.

Comment: Actually, we do not call Allaah or His Will a cause at all. I already explained this in my post.

Wahabi said:

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

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.”

Yes Allah does not change, but only sounded minded people unlike you understand what this actually means.

You understand “change” as “immobility”, which is absurd. No rational person understands it like this. Rather, what we mean by Allah not changing is that Allah remains fully God in all situations and His attributes of love, justice, mercy, power, goodness and other attributes are not diminished or corrupted under any circumstances.

Comment: This means you believe that He changes, but that His status of being god remains unchanged. This is hardly a categorical denial of change, but a denial of change in status only.

As for your saying that we understand change as immobility. I suppose you mean “no change as immobility.” This is a lie, and based on your lack of understanding of the concept of eternity, and on your principle that nothing exists except bodies and their attributes, and that Allaah is a body. What we say is that Allaah wills without a beginning, and without an end, and without renewal or change, because renewal and change need to be brought into existence according to a specification, which means that they are in need of a creator. This is because creation’s need for a creator is based on the fact that it needs specification for how it is to be, and needs to be brought into existence.

Wahabi said:

So how on earth does Allah wanting to will for something temporally indicate any intrinsic changes in Him?

Comment: because if you say that Allaah’s will for something “occurs,” i.e. begins to exist, then this is a temporary change in His will according to you, and His Will is an attribute that is intrinsic to Him. Does this really need to be explained?

Wahabi said:

The problem with your absurd understanding of “changeless” disallows Allah of ever performing any new acts. Rather, that is false and I gave you the correct understanding of changeless in context to Allah and on that correct understanding it doesn’t logically follow that Allah willing temporally implies any changes or compromises in His attributes. (just because He exercises His attribute of will at a non-eternal point that doesn’t mean that His actual attribute of will has changed)

Comment: Leave it to a Wahabi to say that change doesn’t mean change, just like they say created is not the same as being brought into existence etc…. First he says Allaah does not change, then he says, “just because He exercises His attribute of will at a non-eternal point that doesn’t mean that His actual attribute of will has changed.” Actually it does, because you are saying that His will has an occurrence in it, which is (according to you) an act of specifying that did not previously exist, and then existed. This means that the will is changing, because it is willing something at this point, and then something else at another.

Your statement: “changeless disallows Allah of ever performing any new acts,” is a strange one. Do you not know that Allaah has predestined everything? What is this newness you speak of? Don’t you know that Allaah knows everything that will be in the future? Your problem is, again, that you think of Allaah in human terms.

Wahabi said:

Moving on…

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

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.

What???????????????? And this is the man who accuses of me intellectual stagnation????

Did you not just admit that you believe that time is a creation when you said:

Quote:

time is created in our view

If you believe that time is a creation, it logically follows that you believe that it is an effect. Things are either uncaused or caused. Created objects are not uncaused, so that means that they are caused and are effects.

So since time is an effect you must believe that there is a cause to it. What is that cause, besides the Will of Allah wanting it to come into existence?

He defends this position by saying:

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

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.

We are playing word games here. If we were to use Abu Adam’s logic that means we can’t say that Allah is the cause for the creation of the universe because…

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

literally speaking, is something that begins and then ends when its effect takes place

There is absolutely no foundation for this definition of cause. This Abu Adam is a fake and knows absolutely nothing about kalaam, which he claims to adore.

Aristotle distinguished between four kinds of causes and one of them is the “efficient cause”. For example, if Khalid throws the basketball into the hoop, Khalid is the “efficient cause” for the effect (i.e. basketball going into the hoop). No philosopher would say “Khalid is not the cause because the cause must cease to exist after the effect is gone, but since Khalid would still exist after the ball falls into the hoop, he can’t be the cause”, which is what Abu Adam’s definition of the word “cause” would necessitate.

So Abu Adam is playing word games and redefining words unjustifiably.

Cause is the reason for bringing out the effect. Asharis believe that Allah’s Will brings out the creation of time because Allah willed time to be created. It logically follows then that Allah’s Will is the cause. Full stop. I am not an intellectually bankrupt Ashari to fall for these semantical distortions and games.

Comment: I explained what I meant, and why, so I was not playing word games. Rather, I was making a point, which was that Allaah’s Will is not like what we usually refer to as cause, in that it is not something that occurs. Since the attribute of Will is the topic, and it does not have a beginning or an end, I did not want to use the word cause, even though I might be less stringent in other contexts and use it as a translation of tarjiiĥ. The second is that one cannot call Allaah or His Will a cause, because we have no revealed permission to do that, and this word is both misleading and lacks a sense of glorification. So all this noise on your part is meaningless clamor. If neither Allaah, nor His attributes can be called cause, then only creation is left, and creation begins and ends, so causes and effects begin and end. Moreover, causes are no more than signs of their effect, and have no actual and real influence, because all emergent events are specified and brought into existence by Allaah. This is in any case not the topic of discussion.

Wahabi said:

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

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.

Yes, the attribute of Allah’s will is intrinsically necessary and not just possible, however it is possible for Allah to exercise this attribute of His whenever He wants to. You can’t say that Allah does not have the ability to exercise a new will right now. You are confusing implementation of attribute with Allah’s eternal existence/potentiality of such an attribute.

Let me spoon feed you further:

Example of Necessity for Allah

His eternal ability to exercise His will

Example of Possibility for Allah

Allah willing to create the universe.

If I said that Allah willed to destroy the earth right now and not eternally, this won’t in any way change the fact that He has the eternal ability to exercise His will.

Comment: You do not understand the meaning of necessarily existing. This is your problem. I have already explained it in my post. When you say that Allaah’s will for the world to exist is emergent, then you are saying that this Will of Allaah was non-existent and became existent. This means that it must have been brought into existence. This would mean that someone by power and Will brought that Will into existence. If this act was also emergent, then it too would have to be brought into existence. It continues like this in an infinite past loop. To avoid saying this, it must be that Allaah’s willing for the world to exist must be without a beginning or end. I explained all this already, but you ignored it.

Your statement: “it is possible for Allah to exercise this attribute of His whenever He wants to” is description of a created will, because you say it is “exercised” “whenever he wants to” i.e. whenever He wills, i.e. according to another will. I.e. you believe that Allaah has one will that wills another will of His. This is exactly what I said in the first post that your belief about His will “occurring” necessitates, and now you have said it plainly. Have you no mind?

The reason for this incredible fumbling is that you think Allaah’s will is like ours; that it is a collection wills for different things occurring at different times. The problem is of course, that a will that begins to exist needs to be specified and brought into existence. In fact, this is one of the ways we know that Allaah exist: by knowing that our will for something begins to exist, and therefore that it must have been specified and brought into existence, and it is not ourselves who do that, so it must be other than ourselves.

Wahabi said:

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

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.

As I have explained here (snip….- you should have brought it here if you had an argument-Abu Adam) emergence of Allah’s acts do not necessitate that these acts are created.

Comment: changing the meanings of words does not help, the real question is if you believe whether the emergent (i.e. what did not previously exist) must be specified and brought into existence in order to exist. If you do, then you have said that it is created, because that is exactly why the world needs a creator; it is in need of specification and being brought into existence. This need of emergent things is the pillar of proofs for Allaah’s existence.

Wahabi said:

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

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.

Your statement:

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

there is no mentally necessary relation between causes and effects.

is absolutely absurd (wow you have no grasp of logic at all). Of course there is a necessary relationship between them.

The example you gave about the fire show how you are confusing between material causes and efficient causes.

Aristotle differentiated between “efficient cause” and “material cause”.

Efficient cause is that agent ultimately responsible for seeing that the effect occurs.

Material cause is the material stuff utilized in seeing that the effect occurs.

For example… a constructed building.

The efficient cause are the engineers, construction workers, etc.

The material cause is the cement, blocks, steel, etc.

In the example that you gave about the fire and Ibrahim, the fire is only the material cause while Allah is the efficient cause for allowing it to occur. Allah being the efficient cause that He is can easily transform the material cause that He utilizes into any form that He pleases. So Allah is the efficient cause in ensuring that the fire did not harm Ibrahim. So the cause is Allah, with the effect being Ibrahim saved from the fire. So even according to your own example, we still see a necessary relation between cause and effect.

Furthermore, you are appealing to exceptions of the general rule. Generally if the fire burnt someone, the fire would be the cause of the person’s burning.

Comment: Nobody has said that fire does not usually burn, what I said is that it is not necessary in the minds eye. I think you know that very well, but you are trying to put words in my mouth in order to appear clever. Anyway, this discussion is not about the meaning of cause. I explained what I meant clearly. We do not call Allaah cause, as this is not one of His names. This means that only the created can islamically be called a cause, and there is no necessary relation between created causes and effects, because both the cause and the effect, whenever they occur, are created by Allaah. Your resorting to the mushrik Aristotle as your authority speaks volumes. Kufr is one nation indeed.

Wahabi said:

He said:

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

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.


and then he went on to say:

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

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.

My argument does not at all suggest that “Aļļaah’s Will is something that occurred eternally and then became non-existent” because as I previously demonstrated your definition of cause is flawed.

Comment: What I said is based on the fact that the scholars all agreed that Allaah cannot be called “cause.” You, on the other hand, call this flawed and resort to the mushrik Aristotle for an authentic definition in your view. We already know what you believe from your “Allaah wills whenever He wants,” or “a will to will another will” theory.

Wahabi said:

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

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.

Perhaps I should have reworded my self better and said “Asharis are forced to beleive that the implementation and enactment of Allah’s will of the creation of time occurred before time.”

At the end of the day you haven’t escaped the argument.

Comment: What argument? I have already made it perfectly clear that we do not believe that Allaah’s will occurs, because it does not begin or end, and does not change or renew.

Wahabi said:

I know Abu Adam that it burns you up that we have on our side the plain and apparent meaning of the Qur’an and authentic hadeeth on our side backed up by the understanding of the Salaf.

Comment: I suppose it is pleasant to live in an illusion? I have exposed your “understanding” in very many posts, among them:

The ‘simple’ wahabi belief
The ‘simple’ wahabi belief ii contradiction versus narration
Ibn Taymiyyah says that Allaah has six limits and could have settled on a mosquito
Bodies have limits but not Allaah

Wahabi said:

And on top of that we have refuted you with sound logic and exposed your ignorance of kalaam that you claim to adore. But please be humble and accept the truth and stop being an arrogant takfeeri bigot.

Comment: Their ’emergence’ that is not created, their ’emergence’ that is ‘not change,’ their thing with limits in place that is ‘not a body’…., and now: ‘successful refutation’ that is not logical.

I think that my first post was adequate for most people. Now it has been clarified further, and it is enough for the fair minded. At least his initial argument looked like a seriously meant attempt, on his part, to defend his blasphemy. Now, on the other hand, he completely ignored by main argument and fails to even bother himself to understand the concept of intrinsically necessary existence. He decided instead to pick on the meaning of the word cause, based on referring to Aristotle as his authority that cannot be opposed. You can also see a fair amount of claims of the “I am victorious” kind, in order to boost his image in front of an audience who understand even less than he, so they won’t realize that his arguments are flawed or irrelevant. By spewing out words he achieves his aim of providing the illusion that the wahabis have an answer to the arguments of Sunnis.

What a tragedy and an embarrassment it is to be associated with these baboons. They call themselves Muslims, and have a belief system that will be mocked at by anyone who uses his mind. This makes it look as if Muslims have just another silly creed. Imagine, in their view there is a shape that created all other shapes, but does not need a creator. This of course necessitates that the others do not need one either, because a shape is a shape, and consequently, that there is no way of proving the creator’s existence. Now above, they have also shown that they believe that our will is specified and brought into existence by another will that is specified and brought into existence in Allaah Himself by yet another will in Allaah, etc. in an infinite past loop for each and every creation. This of course means again, based on their principles, that Allaah can only create something not in Him after specifying and bringing into existence infinitely many wills in Himself -i.e. never, because infinity cannot be completed, so how is that “willing whenever He wants?” Laˆanahum Allaah.

May Allaah mend our predicament, aamiin.


Wahabi contention: Asharis are forced to believe that Allah’s Will for the creation of time occured before time

April 26, 2009

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.

——————————–end quote——————————-

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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[1].
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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?


[1] 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.


Someone claimed: Allaah has to reward good deeds

April 1, 2009

Question: Someone was saying that if we do good deeds then we must be rewarded. I replied based on what I learnt from you that Allah is not obliged to do anything. We will go to Jannah by his mercy and not because Allah ‘has’ to do it. His response was Allah ‘has’ to do it based on the fact that He said so. He said there are abundant quotes regarding those who believe and do good deeds are rewarded with paradise. There is no quote in the Quran according to him that says whether you do good deeds or not all depends on God’s grace. So if Allah does not reward those with good deeds then there is a contra-diction and that cannot be so we have to be rewarded when we do good deeds.

Answer: The absolute rule of the religion is that Allaah is not obligated to do or leave out anything, because He has no needs. Scripture texts must be understood in light of one another. Yes, Aļļaah has promised those who do good deeds Paradise, but this is a truth with quite a few details attached. Below some of these details are mentioned, and at the end it is explained that all rewards from Allaah are a grace.

There are several conditions for reward of good deeds

First, one must be a Muslim to have one’s deeds accepted, as blasphemy invalidates all worship performed:

“وَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِالإِيمَانِ فَقَدْ حَبِطَ عَمَلُهُ”

Meaning: “And whoever blasphemes against the correct belief – his deeds have been ruined.” (Al-Maa’idah, 5)

Blasphemy is to disbelieve in the Prophet Muĥammad’s teachings. Aļļaah says in the Qur’aan:

“وَمَنْ لَمْ يُؤْمِنْ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ فَإِنَّا أَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَافِرِينَ سَعِيرًا”

Meaning: “Whoever does not believe in Aļļaah and His messenger; verily Aļļaah has prepared for the blasphemers a fierce fire.” (Al-Fatĥ, 13)

We know from this statement that the blasphemer is anyone that does not believe in Aļļaah or His Messenger, and that this belief is an immediate obligation upon whomsoever does not have it. It is also stated in Al-Qur’aan:

“إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أُولَئِكَ هُمْ شَرُّ الْبَرِيَّةِ”

Meaning: “Those who blaspheme, among the People of the Book (the jews and the christians) and the idol worshipers, will be in the Hell-Fire and dwell there endlessly. They are the worst of creation.” (Al-Bayyinah, 98)

Second, besides being a Muslim, to have one’s deeds accepted one must also have the intention of doing them for the sake of Aļļaah, as the Prophet (şalla Aļļaahu ˆalayhi-s-sallam) said, “deeds are according to their intentions,” i.e. the reward of deeds are according to their intentions.

Third, one must meet any other criteria for having one’s deeds accepted besides being Muslim and having a valid intention, such as having wuduu for prayer, etc.

Fourth, one must avoid things that abolishes previous good deeds, such as making people feel small because of what you have done for them.

Who goes to Paradise?

Aļļaah has promised Muslims who do good deeds and avoid big sins Paradise, as He said in the Qur’aan:

“إِنْ تَجْتَنِبُوا كَبَائِرَ مَا تُنْهَوْنَ عَنْهُ نُكَفِّرْ عَنْكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ”

Meaning: “if you, as a Muslim, avoid big sins you have been forbidden from, then Aļļaah will forgive the small sins.” (Al-Nisaa’ 4,31)

Some of those who commit big sins will be in Hell for some time, before entering Paradise, as Muslim narrated that the Prophet said:

“فَيَمُرُّ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ كَطَرْفِ الْعَيْنِ وَكَالْبَرْقِ وَكَالرِّيحِ وَكَالطَّيْرِ وَكَأَجَاوِيدِ الْخَيْلِ وَالرِّكَابِ فَنَاجٍ مُسَلَّمٌ وَمَخْدُوشٌ مُرْسَلٌ وَمَكْدُوسٌ في نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ حتى إذا خَلَصَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ من النَّارِ”

“The complete believer <i.e. complete in practice> passes like the blink of an eye, and like lightning, and like wind, and like birds, and like strong horses and camels. So there are those that are saved, and those that are injured and then let go and then there are those that are thrown into Hell until all believers are out of the fire.”

Eventually all Muslims will be in Paradise, however, because Aļļaah said in the Qur’aan:

“إِنَّ اللَّهَ لا يَغْفِرُ أَنْ يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ”

Which means: “Verily Aļļaah does not forgive shirk (that one has not repented from by entering Islam), but forgives what is lesser than that for whoever He wills.” (Al-Nisaa’ 4,48)

Shirk means literally: “associating partners with Him,” but it has been mentioned earlier that all non-Muslims will be in Hell forever. We know then that what is meant here by “shirk” is any blasphemy.

All of the rewards are a grace from Him and the punishments a justice.

That being said, one must not say, “Aļļaah has to do it,” because this phrase implies obligation, and Aļļaah does not have obligations, as He has no creator, and no judge. Instead one says, “Aļļaah is not obligated to do anything. The things mentioned above regarding who will be rewarded or punished must come true however, because Aļļaah said that they will be so, and it is impossible that He should lie. In other words, reward for some good deeds is both a grace and a must. It is a must because the future is already predestined, not because it is an obligation upon Aļļaah. It is impossible that what is predestined should change, because then it would not be predestined.”

Further to the fact that rewards are a grace from Aļļaah, Al-Bukħaariyy narrated through Abuu Hurayrah that the Prophet said: “Your deeds will not put you in Paradise.” They asked: “Not even for you, O Messenger of Aļļaah?” He answered: “No, not even for me, except that Aļļaah will cover me with grace and mercy.” (Şaĥiiĥ Al-Bukħaariyy No 5349, 5/2147; ˆUmdatu-l-Qaarii 21/227)

What this means is that Aļļaah is not obliged to do anything, and that your deeds do not influence Aļļaah or anything else. It does not mean that you do not need to do anything. It means that if you do not, then this indicates that Aļļaah has not willed good for you, and this is a sign that you are heading for loss in the Hereafter. Aţ-Ţaĥaawiy states: “the deeds of creation are created by Aļļaah and acquired (committed) by creation.” Aļļaah says in the Qur’aan:

“وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ قَدَرًا مَقْدُورًا”

Meaning: “All created beings are predestined by Aļļaah.” (Al-‘Aĥzaab, 38)

This means that all things, has been specified and created exactly how they are to be by Aļļaah:

“وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ”

Meaning: “Aļļaah created you and what you do.” (Aş-Şaaffaat. 96)


Wahabi contention: Ashˆaris say “This Quran is not Allaah’s Speech”

March 25, 2009

Wahabi says:
<<The Ash’aris to this day remain too coward to express their beliefs, lest they are frowned upon by the audience. How many times I asked you to answer a simple question: Who said Alif-Laam-Meem? Why is it so difficult for you to utter in public – your belief – that Alif-Laam-Meem is in fact created and that Allah never said these letters? Because you do not – yet – want to shock the Muslim Ummah, who unanimously believe that Allah spoke those letters. This is why you explicitly state in works that this discussion should be confined within a classroom setting, lest you are exposed. Try to gain some courage and be like your Ash’arite predecessor, Abu al-Futuh. You know who Abul-Futuh is? He is the Ash’arite who would leave his mosque, wearing thick armoury, mounting his horse, and then proclaiming in public: “This Quran is not Allah’s Speech! This is just paper and ink!” while the Muslim population of Baghdad would stone him and throw filth at him. This was your past, and this still remains your present. But you simply do not have the courage of Abul-Futuh.>>

Comment:
Let us say that Obama made a speech today at a White House press conference. Then the reporters wrote down what was said and published it in the Washington Post under the title “Obama’s Speech.” Now, if someone came and said, “This is not Obama’s Speech! This is just paper and ink!” Would you consider this person sensible? Of course you would not. Why? Let us first look at the concept of speech and the meanings of the word “speech” in this example.

If we were to imagine the events surrounding the press conference, we can imagine that before even saying anything, Obama had something on his heart that he wanted to say. These unexpressed meanings that he wanted to say is the speech that he wants to make. This is called a speech, as we just did when we said “the speech that he wants to make,” but it is not letters or sounds. Rather it is a collection of meanings that words can be used to express. Words, after all, are just collections of sounds that refer to meanings that we want to express. Yet, we refer to collections of words put together in sentences by someone as “his speech,” even if it translated to another language that this someone does not even know. So if Obama’s speech was translate to Arabic we would still call it “Obama’s Speech.” This is because they refer to the meanings he originally expressed based on the meanings he wanted to convey, which is his inner speech.

The word “speech” then, has at least two meanings. The first is the speech inside of us, which is the meanings inside of us that we want to express. The second is the expression of this inner speech in words and letters, or even body language. The reason why the expression is simply called “his speech” or “her speech” is because the expressed form of it is an expression of what the person wanted to say, which is his inner speech.

I do not know who this Abu-l-Futuh is, but he is not Ashˆariyy. The Ashˆariyys do not say that the Qur’aan is not Allaah’s Speech. They say it is Allaah’s Speech, meaning that the word Qur’aan refers to the eternal speech of Allaah, which is not letters and not sounds. The word “Qur’aan” then, has two meanings. The first is the eternal speech of Allaah which is an eternal attribute of His that is not letters, sounds or language, and is not sequential. The second is the book in the mushaf, which is the expression in Arabic of what Allaah said eternally. This book is called Allaah’s Speech, because it refers to what Allaah said eternally, and one cannot say that it is not Allaah’s speech, because that entails denying Allaah’s eternal speech.

Not to draw a resemblance, but for the purpose of explanation: Consider a case where you said “it is not Obama’s speech,” about the Obama speech published in the Washington Post in the example mentioned above. What you are understood as saying is that Obama did not express the meanings published, and that they are falsely attribute to him. Moreover, if you added, “This is just paper and ink!” you will be labeled as a complete ass, because no one means the paper or ink if they refered to the published speech as “Obama’s speech.” Rather, they are referring to the meanings expressed in the words and letters.

Likewise, when Muslims hold the mushaf up and say, “this is Allaah’s Speech,” they mean the meanings that Allaah said eternally, not the paper or ink. That is why if someone translated an aayah of the Qur’aan to English and stated before it “Allaah said….” people will not object and say, “Allaah did not say that,” unless he disagreed with the translation. Alternatively, they mean the Arabic expression of Allaah’s eternal speech in particular, which can be considered the second meaning of the word “Qur’aan,” which the scholars refer to as an-naţħm, or “the structure.”

As for when some of the later asħˆariyys spoke of the permissibility of saying “the Qur’aan is created,” they were referring to the Arabic expression, not Aļļaah’s Speech. They said that this statement may be used in a classroom setting. The reason is because over time the word Qur’aan is mainly understood as referring to the expression of Aļļaah’s eternal Speech in Arabic words and letters. They were afraid that some people would understand from the expression, “the Qur’aan is not created,” that the Arabic expression is not created, which is far more dangerous than saying “the Qur’aan is created,” if one means the Arabic expression (not Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of Speech). After all, the latter meaning is sound, because Arabic expressions have a beginning and cannot be eternal, and if they are not eternal, then they must have been specified and brought into existence by Aļļaah. In other words, they must have been created. The only bad side of this would be that this expression is a bidˆah in religion, so they restricted it to a classroom purposes, because this is where the setting of religious necessity applies. That is, the necessity of preventing the kufr belief that Aļļaah speaks in letters and sounds, which is far more important than avoiding a dubious innovation.

It is obvious that the letter Alif is created. The reason is that this letter is an alphabetic symbol referring to the sound “LLL…” All alphabetic letters are written symbols that refer to sounds that we make with our voices. It is impossible that the eternal speech of Allaah should be letters, because His speech is not sound. His speech is not sound because it is eternal, and therefore does not have a beginning. Wakiiˆ said : “The one that says the Qur’aan is created has said it is emergent, and the one that says it is emergent has blasphemed (Al-Bayhaqiyy, Al-Asmaa’ Wa-ş-Şifaat, 1/608-609).”

Clearly then, since the Qur’aan is not emergent, unlike what the wahabi’s claim, it must be eternal. This necessarily implies that it is not sounds or letters. The reason is that sounds of letters that form words must begin and end. So if we said with our voices, “bismillaah”, then we start by uttering b, then end b, then begin i, then end i, etc., which means that speech consisting of letters and sound has a beginning, i.e. is emergent. This again means that it must be created, because anything with a beginning must be specified in terms of what it is and when it is to be, and brought into existence, which is the Arabic meaning of “create.” That is why the wahabis in their ignorance, by saying that Allaah’s speech is letters and sounds, have also said that it is created, even if they do not know it. Moreover, by claiming that Allaah’s Speech is words and letters, they have likened His speech to creation’s speech, and the Qur’aan states that Aļļaah does not resemble anything. Furthermore, speech in words and letters, i.e. by voice and sound, are actually vibrations of the vocal cords, and the body of air around us. This wahabi belief then, is just a branch of their belief that Aļļaah is a body. Finally, by claiming that Aļļaah’s speech is letters and words, they have said that Allaah’s Speech has delays. The reason is that information in words and letters come from sequences of meanings, which means that one piece of information will have been delayed by those preceding it, and will be delaying those that follow. This is an imperfection, and Aļļaah’s attributes are attributes of perfection.

Accordingly, we say that Allaah said Alif laam miim eternally, without His Speech being letters or sounds.

For a more complete coverage of this topic, see also (in chronological order):

Q & A: What about Alif Laam Meem?

Fakhruddin Al Raazi makes takfir for the Mujassimah, the Hululiyyah and the Hurufiyyah

Wahabi’s say that Aļļaah’s speech is created, but do not know it.

Wahabi’s still say that Aļļaah’s speech is created, but still do not know it.

Wakiiˆ on those who say “the Qur’aan is created.”

Wahabi asks: ‘who said alif laam meem?’

More Wahabi nonsense about Aļļaah’s attributes being emergent


Bodies have limits but not Allaah

January 18, 2009

Wahabi contention: “But whatever has no limit is not separate and distinct from the creation and cannot be above the world because all of this is necessitated by the meaning of al-hadd [i.e. limit]”

Comment: Note that they mean by this “whatever has no [physical] limit is not [physically] separate and distinct from the creation and cannot be [physically] above the world.” This statement is based on drawing analogy between creation and the Creator. It assumes that Aļļaah is a body (something with a size), and must therefore, as they say, have a physical boundary. This assumption is made, because they think of Aļļaah in terms of what is true for creation.

The Sunni belief on the one who says Allaah has a limit is that He is a kaafir

Just to remind ourselves of the Sunni belief in this matter, 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.

A brief synopsis of the fallacy contained in the argument for a limit

The concepts of physical separation and connection relate to bodies, not to Aļļaah. If they said a body cannot be separate and extinct from another body unless it has a limit, then this is true. It is not true, however, that Aļļaah is a body, so it is not true that He must have a limit. Therefore, it is also not true that Aļļaah is either physically outside or inside the world. This is a fallacy called “false dichotomy,” which is when someone argues and gives you a choice between two things, none of which are true, like if someone said, “the stone is either blind or seeing, which is it?” The problem with this is that a stone is neither said to be blind nor seeing. That is, you neither say, “the stone is blind” nor “the stone is seeing.” So when they say, “Aļļaah is either inside or outside, which is it?” they are using a false dichotomy to trick you into thinking that there is no other alternative. This is not correct, because the two choices a person has about something existent is first, “Is it in a place or not?” If the answer to that choice is “in a place,” then one may ask, “it is inside or outside area so and so?” If the answer is, “not in a place,” however, then the question, “is it inside or outside area so and so?” is pure nonsense. To illustrate in terms of the example of the stone, there was another question before “is the stone seeing or blind?” which was, “does the stone have sight?” Since the answer is “no,” it makes not sense to ask, “is it seeing or blind?”

The stated wahabi contention that “what is not limited cannot be above,” assumes that Aļļaah’s aboveness is physical, but no Muslim says that He is. Muslims believe that Aļļaah is above us in status and power, not in physical location. Being physically above something else can only be for something physical, and there is no greatness in being physically above something anyway. If there was, then Tibet would be better than Makkah. By saying that Aļļaah’s aboveness is one of status and power, we have chosen the most beautiful meaning of “aboveness” and we have avoided attributing a limit to the Creator.

A detailed explanation of why the wahabi argument is invalid

To recap, the wahabi argument in formal terms is that they say:

1) Everything that exists is in a place.

2) Everything that occupies space has a limit.

3) Allaah exists.

4) Therefore (they say) Allaah has a limit, and claiming otherwise is sophistry

While we accept premises 2) and 3), we do not accept premise 1). The reason why we do not accept premise 1), namely that everything that exists is in a place, is:

First, there is no evidence that could be claimed for premise 1) except observation of what we have perceived with our senses in our daily lives. Essentially what they are saying is that “everything I have perceived in my life is physical, therefore everything that exists is physical.” This is clearly not a logical argument, but it is the core of their argument. The underlying trick in this claim is that our imagination is limited to what our five senses have experienced in this life. Our minds record these experiences, and in our minds we are able to manipulate these recordings in different ways as concepts. Our ability to conceptualize is limited to these recordings, and any fact that does not agree with these recordings is difficult to deal with in our minds, and will even often be rejected based on it. It is this limit of our minds that the devil uses to trick people into anthropomorphist belief. He makes them think that what one cannot imagine cannot exist, and makes them ignore the fact that our imagination is based on a limited set of sensory experiences, and it does not cover all that exists in creation, let alone what could have existed, and what must exist.

Second, since there is no actual proof of premise 1) being valid by logic alone, we take guidance from the Quranic fact that Aļļaah does not resemble His creation,

لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ

Meaning: “Absolutely nothing resembles Him, and He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.” (Al-Sħuuraa, 11) Accordingly, what is necessarily true regarding creation’s existence is not true of His. (For a more complete discussion of the meaning of this aayah, you should read this very important article: Wahhabi Contention: How are “Ar Rahmanu `alal `arsh istawa” and “Laysaka mithlihi shay`” different?)

In light of this we observe that all creation around us are things that occupy space (dead matter and live beings) and attributes of those things that occupy space (like color or love). This is the kind of existence that all creation as we know it has. Based on this, we conclude that Aļļaah is not in a place nor is He an attribute of something in a place, otherwise His existence would be of created kind, and that is contrary to the aayah.

We also take guidance from the Quranic fact that Aļļaah is attributed with absolute pre-existence to everything else:

هُوَ الأَوَّلُ

Meaning: “He is the one that is attributed with absolute precedence.” (Al-Ĥadiid, 03).” We understand from this that He existed before everything else, and that He was not preceded by non-existence or the existence of something else. He existed, and there was nothing with Him and nothing prior to Him. Al-Bukħaariy narrated that the Prophet Muĥammad said:

كان الله ولم يَكُنْ شَيْءٌ غَيْرُهُ

“Aļļaah existed and there was nothing else” (Bukħaariy No. 3019) Aļļaah’s existence then, does not resemble the existence of created things. It is a beginning-less and necessary existence, and is not affected by anything.

This aayah and hadiith are another base then, and we say that while it is true that physical things are either inside or outside something, it is not true of Aļļaah, because He is the creator of all places, all insides and all outsides, as He existed before them.

Consequently, the correct belief is that Aļļaah created all places, and He existed before everything else, including place and time. Since He existed before them, it must be true that He existed without them. In other words, as the scholars say, “Aļļaah existed, and there was no place, and He is now as He was eternally – without a place.”

We also take guidance from other aayahs in the Quran to show that the anthropomorphist’s premise, “everything that exists is in a place,” is false, and that sound reason does not dictate what they claim. One way we can do this is by showing that not everything that exists must be limited, as follows:

First, note that whatever has a physical limit is a creation, because a limit must be specified in terms of size and shape etc. That is, it requires a Creator to exist. If one denies this, then one is no longer able to prove that physical limits require a Creator, such as the human body, or the celestial bodies. That is, the shape of the camel, or the skies would no longer be proofs for Aļļaah’s existence and Power, and this is in contradiction with the Quranic statements, such as:

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لَآَيَاتٍ لِأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ

Meaning: “Verily in the creation of the Skies and the Earth, and the differences of night and day there are signs for those who have perceptive minds.” (Aal ˆImraan, 190)

أَفَلاَ يَنظُرُونَ إِلَى الإِبْلِ كَيْفَ خُلِقَتْ

Meaning: “What, do they not consider how the camel was created?” (Al-Għasħiyah, 17)

Can anyone ponder these aayahs without pondering the physical boundaries of the skies, earth and camel? Of course not, without boundaries, there is no camel and there is no sky and no earth, because this is the reality of their existence. It is the limits of bodies that make us sure that they are created and enable us to ponder upon them as signs of Aļļaah. In fact, the aayahs are requesting us to ponder the boundaries of the skies, the earth and the camel. If someone claims that Aļļaah has a physical limit, then they are saying that physical limits do not necessarily need a creator, and have thereby invalidated these Quranic proofs.

This is true because a physical limit is a physical limit, and once you claim that one limit does not need a creator, then you cannot prove that another limit necessarily needs a creator. Why? Because a physical limit is conceptually just a connection of dots forming a line or surface. Each dot is connected to the next at one of its sides. The choice of placement of a connected dot to another is for any available space at any angle and from any angle. That’s it. The placement of connected dots form limits, and since the way the dots are placed next to each other needs specification in terms of ‘where,’ all limits need to be specified. This means they need a creator and cannot be eternal, because their existence depends on prior specification. So if someone claims that one such limit does not require a creator, then He can no longer logically prove that another limit does need a creator. This means that he can no longer logically prove that shapes need someone to give them a form. To be able to do that, rather, he must hold on to the premise that all limits need a creator. Since Aļļaah is neither specified, nor created, and is definitely eternal, it must be true that Aļļaah exists without limits and therefore without being in a place.

More simply put: anything that has a limit i.e. boundary has a shape because the limit has to have some shape. Anything that has a certain shape could have had any other shape, because any shape isn’t of higher priority than any other shape, so having a certain shape means that there must be someone who specified it and chose it among all other possibilities.

Similarly, the very state of being in a place needs a specifier. The proof that the state of being in a place needs to be specified, is that once something is in a place, it is conceivable that it could have been in another place, just like what was shown true above regarding connecting dots in a limit. Consequently, once we see something is in a place, we ask how it got there. We ask this, because we know that once something is in a place, then something prior to it has put it there. That is, something prior to it specified its place. So the concepts of being physically inside or outside cannot apply to Aļļaah, because if they did, it would necessitate Him being specified, or influenced or changed. Rather, we must believe that Aļļaah is only attributed with attributes that are eternal, and therefore do not necessitate specification. See also what Al-Qurţubiyy said in this regard at this link.

In conclusion, the first premise of the wahabis is not only unverifiable, but definitely wrong.


Al-Qurţubiyy explains why Aļļaah is not in a place or direction, and does not change.

January 8, 2009

Al-Qurţubiyy (the famous mufassir) said: “It is said to them [the anthopomorphists 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 Read the rest of this entry »


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

January 6, 2009

To know the pitiful state of the one the Wahabi sect calls “Sħaykħ of Islaam,” read the following from his book Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah1., in which he criticizes Fakħruddiin Ar-Raaziyy’s arguments against anthropomorphism: Read the rest of this entry »


More Wahabi nonsense about Aļļaah’s attributes being emergent

December 19, 2008

Wahabi said: “If one were to call the arabic language created as it is the action and implementation of the ilm of Allah, Read the rest of this entry »


Aļļaah does not change

October 22, 2008
“لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ”

Meaning: “Absolutely nothing resembles Him.” (Al-Sħuuraa, 11)

Wahabi said: We know from the Sunnah that Allah will become so angry on the Day of Judgement, in a way He has never been this angry before, nor will have ever become this angry later? What is it all if not ‘change’?

Comment: Aļļaah does not change. To understand scriptures in your way is to say that Aļļaah is influenced by creation, and that creation causes events of anger, etc. in Him. Aļļaah is not affected by what we do, or anything else in the creation. This is true, because He does not need creation in any way, shape or form. Aļļaah was perfect before the world existed and did not benefit from its existence more perfection, or lose any perfection because of it. Aļļaah said:

فَإِنَّ ٱلله غَنِيٌّ عَنِ ٱلْعَٰلَمِينَ
Meaning: Verily Aļļaah has absolutely no need for the worlds. (Aal Imraan, 97)

In this regard, it was narrated by Al-Haitħamiyy in Majmaˆ Az-Zawaa’id, in a narration he declared acceptable, that a bedouin said in his duˆaa, among other things:

‏”ولا تغيره الحوادث”
“(O the One that) is not changed by events.”
After finishing, the Prophet called the Bedouin and gave him some gold, and asked Him, “Do you know why I gave the gold to you?” He answered, “because of family ties between us O Messenger of Aļļaah?” The Prophet said: “Family ties have rights attached to them, yes, but I gave you the gold for the beauty of your praise of Aļļaah.”

The meaning of “anger” or “wrath” when referring to Aļļaah

In the dictionary Mufradaat Al-Qur’aan Ar-Raagħib Al-‘Aşfahaaniyy said about għađab (wrath/anger): “the excitement of the hearts blood for wanting revenge,” Then he said, “If ascribed to Aļļaah, then it means revenge, without other meanings. (P. 361)1

In the dictionary Lisaanu-l-ˆArab Ibn Manţħuur narrated from the linguist Ibn ˆArafah: “għađab (wrath) in creation is something that enters their hearts, some of it good some of it bad. The bad kind is without a right, and the good kind is for religious purpose and with a right. As for Aļļaah’s għađab, this is His disapproval of those who disobey Him so that He punishes them.2

Explaining Ţaa Haa, 81, where it is stated “għađabii”, which’s literal meaning is “my wrath”, Ibn Al-Jawziyy says it means: “My punishment.3

Even in English the word wrath does not necessarily mean a change in the one ascribed with anger. In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, one definition of wrath is: “retributory punishment for an offense or a crime : divine chastisement.4

As for the ĥadiitħ:

“إِنَّ رَبِّي قَدْ غَضِبَ الْيَوْم غَضَبًا لَمْ يَغْضَب قَبْله مِثْله وَلَنْ يَغْضَب بَعْده مِثْله”

{If someone translated it literally he would say: “Verily My Lord is wrathful today like never before, and He will not be wrathful like that again.”}

An-Nawawiyy said in his explanation of Saĥiiĥ Muslim: What is meant by Aļļaah’s wrath is what appears of his punishment of those who disobeyed him, and what they (people on the Day of Judgment) see of His painful torture (assigned to sinners), and what the people at the gathering (on that day) witness of horrors that have never been before and never will be again. There is no doubt that this will never have happened before that day, and will never and its like will never reoccur. This is the meaning of “Aļļaah’s wrath,” just like His riđaa (literal translation: “being pleased”) is the appearance of His mercy and gentle treatment of those He has willed good and dignity for. This is because it is impossible that Aļļaah should change in being wrathful or being pleased. And Aļļaah knows best. (3/685)

Imam Abu Ĥaniifah said in Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar: “…change and alteration occur only in created beings.”

Why does Abu Ĥaniifah say that change and alteration only occur in created things? Because a change is the coming into existence of something new, and all such things need a creator, because it did not previously exist. Since Aļļaah is not created, He does not change. In addition, Aļļaah is attributed with complete perfection, which means that saying that He is changing implies that He is getting more perfect, and was not perfect before, or getting less perfect. This is not the belief of a Muslim. Imam Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal said:

والله تعالى لم يلحقه تغير ولا تبدل ولا يلحقه الحدود قبل خلق العرش ولا بعد خلق العرش
“Aļļaah taˆaalaa did not change or experience any substitution (in His attributes), and has not been attributed with any limits before creating the ˆArsħ and not after creating it (Iˆtiqaad Al-Imaam Al-Mubajjal Ibn Ĥanbal, P. 297).” In other words, Aļļaah is not in a place above the ˆArsħ.

Why did the scholars meticulously avoid the belief that Allah changes?

The answer is that change is in reality a beginning, and anything with a beginning needs to be brought into existence. Having been brought into existence is to have been created, so everything with a beginning is created. In other words, all change is created. To say that Aļļaah changes then, is to say that He has created attributes, and that He is part created. This is like the christians who say that Aļļaah has a son, i.e. that He is part creator and part creation. For this reason, no scripture must be understood to mean that Aļļaah changes, and any scripture that seems on the surface to imply this must not be understood to imply this.

As always, any meanings ascribed to the Creator in the scriptures must be understood in light of Aļļaah’s non-resemblance to His creation. At the most basic level, this means that Aļļaah does not have a beginning, and that His attributes do not have a beginning. The reason is that anything with a beginning is a creation, because it must have been brought into existence. So the one that is saying that Aļļaah changes is not only saying that Aļļaah resembles His creation, but that He is in fact part created. This is a plain and inescapable denial of the aayah:

“لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ”
Meaning: “Absolutely nothing resembles Him.” (Al-Sħuuraa, 11) It may be said based on this, that if Aļļaah does not resemble anything, i.e. His creation, then He is definitely not partially created! For more on this aayah see also this article.Not only that, but to say that Aļļaah is attributed with beginnings is to ruin the proof of Aļļaah’s existence. The reason is that Aļļaah is not something we know exists based on observation. Rather, we know He exists because of the existence of things that have a beginning, namely the world around us. We know that Aļļaah exists, because anything with a beginning needs a creator; it needs to be brought into existence. If someone says that Aļļaah is attributed with beginnings, then he is either saying that something can come into existence without a creator, or that Aļļaah is not the Creator, or that Aļļaah partially created Himself. In the first two cases, the proof is clearly ruined. In the last case it is also ruined, because if something can be part creator and part creation, then how would one remove doubts about the world not creating itself? For this reason you find the Wahabi’s always afraid of the proofs of Aļļaah’s existence, because these proofs also prove them wrong. These proofs all revolve around the fact that one cannot have change or beginnings without a Creator.

Abu Adam

 


 

  1. لمفردات في غريب القرآن ، اسم المؤلف:  أبو القاسم الحسين بن محمد  الوفاة: 502هـ ، دار النشر : دار المعرفة – لبنان ، تحقيق : محمد سيد كيلاني . قال المؤلف: وإذا وصف الله تعالى به فالمراد به الانتقام دون غيره المفردات في غريب القرآن  ج 1   ص 361- back
  2. لسان العرب – (ج 1 / ص 648): قال ابن عرفة الغَضَبُ من المخلوقين شيءٌ يُداخِل قُلُوبَهم ومنه محمود ومذموم فالمذموم ما كان في غير الحق والمحمود ما كان في جانب الدين والحق وأَما غَضَبُ اللّه فهو إِنكاره على من عصاه فيعاقبه
  3. زاد المسير – (361): قوله تعالى : { فيحلَّ عليكم غضبي } أي : فتجب لكم عقوبتي
  4. Merriam-Webster Online. 22 August 2008,<http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wrath&gt;
  5. شرح النووي على مسلم – (ج 3 / ص 68) : الْمُرَاد بِغَضَبِ اللَّه تَعَالَى مَا يَظْهَر مِنْ اِنْتِقَامه مِمَّنْ عَصَاهُ وَمَا يَرَوْنَهُ مِنْ أَلِيم عَذَابه ، وَمَا يُشَاهِدهُ أَهْل الْمَجْمَع مِنْ الْأَهْوَال الَّتِي لَمْ تَكُنْ وَلَا يَكُون مِثْلهَا ، وَلَا شَكّ فِي أَنَّ هَذَا كُلّه لَمْ يَتَقَدَّم قَبْل ذَلِكَ الْيَوْم مِثْله وَلَا يَكُون بَعْده مِثْله ، فَهَذَا مَعْنَى غَضَب اللَّه تَعَالَى كَمَا أَنَّ رِضَاهُ ظُهُور رَحْمَته وَلُطْفه بِمَنْ أَرَادَ بِهِ الْخَيْر وَالْكَرَامَة ؛ لِأَنَّ اللَّه تَعَالَى يَسْتَحِيل فِي حَقّه التَّغَيُّر فِي الْغَضَب وَالرِّضَاء . وَاَللَّه أَعْلَم .

Wahabi claims that there are infinitely many creations in the past (infinite regress)

September 23, 2008

The Wahabi author said: The Ash’aris believe that before God created the creation it was impossible for any event to occur, since they consider infinite regress in the past an impossibility.

Comment: By creation we mean something brought into existence. Events are anything that did not exist and then became existent. All events need to be created otherwise they will remain non-existent. Accordingly, before Aļļaah created creation, there was no creation, so there were no events. If you say there were events before creation, then you are saying there were creations before creation, and that is a contradiction.

The Wahabi author said: This means that God was not doing absolutely anything before He created the world. Not only that, but also it was impossible for God to do anything before the creation of the world, because for anything to occur then was itself impossible.

The statement “This means that God was not doing absolutely anything before He created the world.” is based on your own premise that Aļļaah exists in time and that His act of creating is itself an event, none of which Sunnis claim. You are also implying that Aļļaah must create to avoid imperfection, since you say that if He did not create He would be “doing absolutely nothing.” This statement of yours shows that you believe Aļļaah needs to create in order to to avoid “doing absolutely nothing.” As you said, “Strange how a believer can argue that God was absolutely actionless, ‘out of work’ or ‘jobless’ prior to the creation of the world, when Allah says He is fa”alun lima yurid.” This means, according to you, and based on your premise that Aļļaah’s actions are existing events, that Aļļaah is compelled to create, and has no choice but to create, otherwise He would be imperfect. The idea of Aļļaah being compelled to create is a belief you share with the Greek Philosophers. You taking the aayah:
إِنَّ رَبَّكَ فَعَّالٌ لِمَا يُرِيدُ
meaning: “Verily Your Lord does whatever He wills (Huud, 107),” as proof that Aļļaah must create to avoid being what you call “joblessness” makes me question your sanity. “Does whatever He wills” means what it says, it doesn’t mean “must do what He does.”

Your statement also means that there is no first creation. In other words, you are saying that creation is eternal without a beginning. This is blasphemy according to all Sunni scholars, and is the belief of the Greek Philosophers, adopted later by Ibn Taymiyyah, in order to defend his idea that Aļļaah is something physical with events (something non existent becoming existent) occurring in it, just like creation. Ibn Ĥajar Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy said: “Qaađiy ˆIiaađ and others narrated that there is scholarly ijmaaˆ consensus on the takfiir of the person that says the world (ˆaalam, i.e. anything other than Aļļaah) is eternal.”
قد حكى عياض وغيره الإجماع على تكفير من يقول بقدم العالم

The statement “Not only that, but also it was impossible for God to do anything before the creation of the world, because for anything to occur then was itself impossible,” is a trick to change the topic at hand. We are not talking about whether there could have been a single world before this one or even a trillion worlds, or more. What we are talking about is whether they could have been infinitely many. The answer to that is no, because infinity by definition cannot be completed. If you say there were infinitely many worlds before this one, then you are saying that the creation of infinitely many worlds was completed before this world, and that contradicts the meaning of infinity, which is that it cannot be completed.

Not only that, but to say that Aļļaah is the creator of everything, and then say that there is no first creation, is contradictory, because what does not have a first, does not have a beginning, and what does not have a beginning does not have a creator. Or to phrase it differently, if you say that there are infinitely many creations in the past, then all creation as a whole does not have a beginning, and what does not have a beginning does not have a creator. You cannot logically claim that something that does not have a beginning is created, because being created means having a beginning.

To claim that creation as a whole is created then, you must say that it has a beginning, and that there is a creation that is first.

So we are not talking about ability, but about logical contradictions.

Put it this way, if someone asks, “was it possible for Aļļaah to create a world to exist before this one?” then the answer is yes, and you can ask this question again and again and the answer is always the same. Why? Because we are talking about a limited number, one being added at the time of each question. What you cannot do is complete asking this question infinitely many times in order to claim that the possibility of one more world means that infinitely many more are possible. You can never finish asking this question infinitely many times, and that is why infinitely many worlds completed in the past is impossible. That is why the Wahabi claim that “if you believe that Allah was able to create before our creation, you have already believed in the possibility of infinite regress in the past,” is completely false. Put it in yet another way: one could not finish asking this question infinitely many times before the creation of this world.


Ibn Ĥajar accuses Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Al-Qayyim of Tajsiim (anthropomorphism)

September 17, 2008

ˆAliyy Al-Qaariy said:

in the book Sħarĥu-sħ-Sħamaa’il of Ibn Ĥajar, he states: “Ibn Al-Qayyim said that his sħaykħ Ibn Taymiyyah mentioned something superb, which is that when he saw his Lord putting his hand between his shoulders, then that place was honored with a “ˆadħbah”. Al-ˆIraaqiyy (the sħaykħ of Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy) said, “I did not find a basis for this statement,” i.e. any ĥadiitħ.” Then Ibn Ĥajar said, “Rather, this statement is from their opinion and their deviance, because it is based on what they concluded and went to great lengths to prove, and attacked Ahlu-s-Sunnah for denying, namely the belief that Aļļaah has a direction and body. They have ugly statements and bad beliefs in this regard that make ears go deaf and are judged as lies and calumnies. May Aļļaah make them both ugly, and anyone that accepts their saying.” (Mirqaatu-l-Mafaatiiĥ 8/216)

Reference:

–ˆAliy Al-Qaariy. Mirqaatu-l-Mafaatiiĥ. 11 vols. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Kotob Al-ilmiyah, 2001.

مرقاة المفاتيح ج8/ص216

وفي شرح الشمائل لابن حجر قال ابن القيم عن شيخه ابن تيمية أنه ذكر شيئاً بديعاً وهو أنه لما رأى ربه واضعاً يده بين كتفيه أكرم ذلك الموضع بالعذبة قال العراقي لم نجد لذلك أصلاً يعني من السنة وقال ابن حجر بل هذا من قبل رأيهما وضلالهما إذ هو مبني على ما ذهبا إليه وأطالا في الاستدلال له والحط على أهل السنة في نفيهم له وهو إثبات الجهة والجسمية لله تعالى ولهما في هذا المقام من القبائح وسوء الاعتقاد ما تصم عنه الآذان ويقضي عليه بالزور والبهتان قبحهما الله وقبح من قال بقولهما


Fakhruddin Al Raazi makes takfir for the Mujassimah, the Hululiyyah and the Hurufiyyah

August 1, 2008

Proofs tell us that the who says that God is a body is a disbeliever in God (who is greatly above and clear of flaws). The reason is that the God of the World exists, and He is not a body, or stationed in a body. So if the one who believes that God is a body denies this non-bodily existence, then he has disbelieved in God Himself. This means that the disagreement between the one that believes that God is a body, and the monotheist (i.e. in the Islamic sense, namely that God does not have a partner, part or a like in His self of attributes), is not based on a disagreement regarding attributes, but regarding the self (i.e. the identity of the one attributed with godhood.) It is sound to say then, that the one who believes that God is a body does not believe in Allah….

As for the Hululiyyah (those who believe that Allah settles in created things, such as the sky or a human body) and Hurufiyyah (those who believe that Allah’s attribute of Kalam/Speech consists of letters and sounds) sects, we say that they are unequivocally disbelievers. This is because Allah declared the Christians blasphemers for believing that Allah’s speech entered into Jesus, whereas the Hurufiyyah believe that it settles in the tongue of all those who recite Quran, and in all physical things that the Quran was written on. Accordingly, if the belief in its settlement in one single body (Jesus) is blasphemy, then it is even more blasphemous to believe that it settles in all shapes and bodies (Fakhruddin Al Raazi. Mafaatiiĥ Al-Għayb[1])


[1] الدليل دل على أن من قال إن الإله جسم فهو منكر للإله تعالى، وذلك لأن إله العالم موجود ليس بجسم ولا حال في الجسم، فإذا أنكر المجسم هذا الموجود فقد أنكر ذات الإله تعالى، فالخلاف بين المجسم والموحد ليس في الصفة، بل في الذات، فصح في المجسم أنه لا يؤمن بالله أما المسائل التي حكيتموها فهي اختلافات في الصفة، فظهر الفرق. وأما إلزام مذهب الحلولية والحروفية، فنحن نكفرهم قطعاً، فإنه تعالى كفر النصارى بسبب أنهم اعتقدوا حلول كلمة { ٱللَّهِ } في عيسى وهؤلاء اعتقدوا حلول كلمة { ٱللَّهِ } في ألسنة جميع من قرأ القرآن، وفي جميع الأجسام التي كتب فيها القرآن، فإذا كان القول بالحلول في حق الذات الواحدة يوجب التكفير، فلأن يكون القول بالحلول في حق جميع الأشخاص والأجسام موجباً للقول بالتكفير كان أولى.


It is intrinsically impossible that Aļļaah has obligations, AND it is intrinsically impossible that He could lie.

July 19, 2008

I hope this title clarifies what some people have been asking. When Aļļaah promises or threatens, it means that He is telling us about what will happen in the future. This is not like human promises, which are mere words expressing commitment to do something in the future unseen. In other words, what He promises will happen, because His Speech is flawless and pertains to what He knows, not because He is obligated to fulfill promises.  For this reason, saying that it is intrinsically impossible that His promise will not be fulfilled, is based on the fact that He has told us what will be in the future. It is not based on asserting any obligation.

I hope that clarifies it.

This current issue first came up with the Muˆtazilah or philosophers, who wanted to prove that there are acts that are impossible because of their intrinsic ugliness, i.e. they are intrinsically impossible because of intrinsic ugliness. They said that if you do not accept this, then you will end up saying that it is intrinsically possible that Aļļaah should lie, i.e. say one thing and do another.

The Asħˆariyys, knowing that this would be to insult Aļļaah, needed to show that lying is impossible, but without submitting to the claim that some acts are intrinsically ugly. This is because saying that possible acts can be intrinsically ugly, and therefore impossible, is to say that the intrinsically possible becomes impossible, and that is nonsense. Since it is nonsense, the real meaning of the Muˆtazilite saying, i.e. what it actually leads to saying, is that Aļļaah is obligated not to do certain acts, and to do others. This implies that Aļļaah needs to fulfill obligations, and that would be a kufr assertion.

The Asħˆariyys then, showed instead that you can say that lying is impossible without submitting to the claim that there are intrinsically ugly acts, because Aļļaah’s Speech is not created, and therefore is not something that falls in the possible category of things. Rather, it is an eternal and unchanging attribute that pertains to what His knowledge pertains to, by which He informs what He knows. If one said that it pertains to lies also, then one has attributed a flaw to Aļļaah’s speech, saying something untrue, and that is impossible, because it is imperfection.

Accordingly, the Asħˆariyys said that it is impossible that Aļļaah should have obligations, because that would imply a need to fulfill them, yet it is also impossible that He would not do what He promised, because His eternal Speech is flawless. So one says that Aļļaah definitely fulfills His promises and threats, because His Speech must be true. It is kufr to say that Aļļaah could do otherwise, because this is to say that His Speech could be false. This has nothing to do with ability, because that Aļļaah should say something untrue is intrinsically impossible.

Yet another way to explain this is to remember that Aļļaah is not in time. He is not something that changes and goes through stages of being. It is therefore impossible that He should have obligations, because being obligated by a promise means that the saying comes before the actions. Since neither Aļļaah’s actions, nor His Speech are in time, this sort of sequence does not befit Aļļaah, because He is not in time.


Refuting the Accusation that Asharis Consider it Rationally Possible for Allah to Lie

July 15, 2008

Deviant accusation: the Asharis say that it is rationally possible (jaa’iz `aqlan) for Allah to lie, but contingently impossible (mustaheel `araadi), because He has told us that He tells the truth.

To say that it rationally possible that Allah can lie, but does not, is to say that He can have a flaw. This is obvious to even the most simple minded Muslim. A believer will feel ill for even hearing such words. Tell me, if this is not kufr, then what is? How would you like to account for your deeds on the Day of Judgment having believed, or said, that it is not absolutely impossible that Allah could lie? Did they not hear Allah’s saying:

“وَتَقُولُونَ بِأَفْوَاهِكُمْ مَا لَيْسَ لَكُمْ بِهِ عِلْمٌ وَتَحْسَبُونَهُ هَيِّنًا وَهُوَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ عَظِيمٌ “

Meaning: “And you say by your mouths what you have no certain knowledge of, and you think it is a simple matter, while it is in Allah’s judgment gruesome.” (An-Nuur ,15)

Similarly, it was narrated by Ahmad, Al-Tirmidhi and others that the Prophet said:

“إن الرَّجُلَ لَيَتَكَلَّمُ بِالْكَلِمَةِ لاَ يَرَى بها بَأْساً يهوي بها سَبْعِينَ خَرِيفاً في النَّارِ”

“Verily a man may speak a word he thinks is not bad, but due to it he falls a fall that lasts seventy autumns <i.e. years> into the Hellfire.”

This hadith was judged as good (hasan) by Al-`Asqalani. Al-Munaawi said about the expression “seventy autumns into the Hellfire” in his book Al-Taysir bi Sharh-al-Jaami-al-Saghir: “It means that he will be forever rising and falling.” That is, the person became a non-Muslim for saying this, because only non-Muslims go there forever.

In another aayah Allah said:

وَلِلَّهِ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَى فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا وَذَرُوا الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي أَسْمَائِهِ سَيُجْزَوْنَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Meaning: “Allah is the one that has the most beautiful namings, so call Him by them, and leave those who deviate with respect to His namings. They will pay for what they have done.” (Al-‘A`raaf, 180)

There is no taqlid in such an issue, and finding a quote in some book will not help one on the Day of Judgment in something like this. Imagine yourself saying, “but I found this on page 256, volume 4 of book so and so, that it is rationally possible that it is not impossible in the minds eye that you could lie!” Even if you found supporting quotes in one hundred books, by famous authors, this is not an excuse.

Every sound minded person can understand that saying that it is not absolutely impossible that Allah could lie is an ugly thing to say about Allah. Actually, even the Christians and the Jews would consider this ugly. The one who denies that this saying is kufr, let alone blames those who say it is kufr, is himself a kaafir. The reason is that this person is saying that one can attribute an obvious flaw to the creator, and still be a Muslim. When one says something about Allah that is not of the most beautiful names, then one has either sinned or fallen in kufr. This is according to the aayahs and hadith mentioned above. Now, as the hadith says, if one might say something that one thinks nothing of, and fall out of Islam, then what about saying something that just about any human being, even a kaafir, would consider an ugly thing to say about Allah? I mean, the christians do not have a problem saying that Allah has a son, but they would have a problem with this. This is because the word son does not strike them as ugly, but the latter does. I think it is clear enough then, that saying “believing that lying is rationally possible for Allah, as long as one does not believe that He does, does not make one a non-Muslim,” is kufr in itself.

Having said that, Allah’s kalaam (speech that is not letters, sounds, language, words, or sequences of expressions) pertains to His knowledge. It is a eternal attribute of Allah that He must be attributed with, and it is neither an act, nor specified by a will. As-Sanusi said about the attribute of kalaam:

والكلام الذى ليس بحرف ولا صوت ويتعلق بما يتعلق به العلم من المتعلقات

{Speech (Al-Kalaam/الكلام), without letter or sound, which pertains to whatever His Knowledge pertains to.} That is, an attribute by which He informs without delay the unlimited information that He knows, be it orders, prohibitions, promises, threats, or other information.

To say that Allah could lie is to say that His knowledge is flawed, this is because to lie is to say something that is not true. Since Allah’s attribute of Speech/Kalaam is an eternal attribute pertaining to what His knowledge pertains to, then saying that He says something untrue is to say that there is a mistake in His knowledge. This is kufr of the highest degree.

Note that Allah’s kalaam is an attribute that Allah must be attributed with, not a possibility or an impossibility. So if you say that it is possible that Allah lies, then you are also saying that His kalaam is a possibility, and that is also impossible, because it cannot be both a must and a possibility. This is because a lie needs specification, and what needs specification is a possibility. In other words, telling a lie cannot be without a beginning or end, because it needs specification. A speech telling a lie then is a creation, and Allah’s speech is not created. So the person who says it is possible that Allah lies is saying that Allah’s kalaam is created, which is another kufr. See also this. Alternatively, such a person is saying that Allah tells infinitely many lies, need I say more?

It is also incredible stupidity to say that it is only contingently impossible (mustaheel `aradi) for Allah to lie, for if it was not absolutely impossible that Allah should lie, then how would one know it is mustaheel `aradi??? Mustaheel `arađiyy is when something is possible, like the existence of any created thing, but Allah tells us that it will not be, such as a mukallaf kaafir entering Paradise. That is, it is rationally possible that a kaafir could go to Paradise, but contingently impossible, because Allah has told us that this will never happen, as this is His decree. So if it was not absolutely impossible that Allah should lie, then how would they know that this information about Him not lying was correct? This is nothing less than zandaqah, extremem kufr, it is to put doubt in the religion as a whole, let alone contradicting that Allah’s kalaam is not created.

As-Sanusi also says:

وأما الرسل عليهم الصلاة والسلام فيجب فى حقهم الصدق والأمانة وتبليغ ما أمروا بتبليغه للخلق ويستحيل فى حقهم عليهم الصلاة والسلام أضداد هذه الصفات

{All messengers must possess truthfulness, trustworthiness, and must have delivered their messages entirely. It is impossible that they should be attributed with the opposites of the above attributes.}

So if it is not absolutely impossible that Allah lies, then there is no way to say that the Prophet only tells the truth either, and this is yet another kufr.

So the claim that it is true that Allah could lie, but He does not do so, is a kufr that is kufr in itself since it is to insult Allah, and a kufr that leads to accepting several other kufr beliefs, such as that Allah’s Speech is created, or that He tells infinitely many lies, or that He has a flaw in His Speech, or that He has a flaw in His knowledge, and that the prophets could be telling something that is not true about the religion. Allahu akbar.

Without even getting into any of the above, we can simply say that lying, which is to say something that isn’t true, is an obvious flaw, and Allah is only attributed with complete perfection. It is also an attribute of creation, and Allah does not resemble His creation. The one who allows it rationally has made it rationally possible for Allah to have a flaw and resemble His creation, so he is himself a kaafir.

One more thing. The purpose of `Ilm Al-Kalaam is to defend the religion and support it with proofs. When engaging in kalaam leads to conclusions that are destructive of the religion, then one can be sure that one has gone wrong. The difference between Sunni kalaam and that of the philosophers is that the Sunnis knew their conclusions from the Prophet’s teachings before they looked for proofs, whereas the others simply followed their opinion, wherever it took them.

In light of this, let me say that the conclusion that we must reach is that it is impossible that Aļļaah should lie, otherwise the entire religion becomes a 50-50 proposition, and one would have said something outrageous about Allah’s attributes that no sound minded individual would accept. If one could not find an argument to get to this conclusion, then one should keep looking, being sure that any argument indicating otherwise must be wrong. This is the general rule one should hold on to. If one does not, then I can tell you that reading books of kalaam will get you into a great deal of trouble, especially the larger works. This is why Al-Ghazali wrote about the importance of restricting kalaam science to only a few very capable individuals of great piety.

Do you not see that piety would have prevented anyone from daring to say that it is not rationally impossible for Allah to lie? Instead they decided to rely on their minds, and ended up falling out of the religion, along with those who said that they are not blasphemers. Beware that I am not making takfir for any particular individual, because we cannot make takfiir for people based on articles attributed to them on the internet. What I am saying is that if someone says that Allah lying is not mustaheel `aqli, but mustaheel `aradi, and he understands these terms, then he is a kaafir, along with the one who says he is not. I remind you of the aayah above:

وَلِلَّهِ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَى فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا وَذَرُوا الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي أَسْمَائِهِ سَيُجْزَوْنَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Meaning: “Allah is the one that has the most beautiful namings, so call Him by them, and leave those who deviate with respect to His namings. They will be pay for what they have done.” (Al-‘A`raaf, 180)

Note that this whole issue came up with the Mu`tazilah, because a common debating technique in kalaam is to show the opponent that what he claims to be true leads to saying something ridiculuous that all agree is kufr. The Mu`tazailah wanted to show that you can only say that it is impossible that Allah lies if you accept their ideas about qabaa’ih, namely that it is impossible that Allah does what they consider qabaa’ih, or “ugly acts.” The answer of Sunnis was that lying is impossible, because Allah’s kalaam is not created, it is not an act, but an attribute that Allah must be attributed with and pertains only to what Allah’s knowledge pertains to; it is not a created attribute. The same was their technique on the concept of doing injust acts, as I mentioned earlier when I narrated the debate between Al-Isfaraini and Qadi Abdul Jabbaar. The Sunni answer was as you see there, that it is absolutely impossible that Allah’s actions be injust, because He does not have a judge.

The same technique is used by the Christians also when they say “could Allah have a son?” They want to imply that saying no would lead to saying He is unable. In this case our answer is again that it is rationally impossible for Him to have a son, because if you said it was possible, then you are saying that Allah could lose godhood, which is kufr. We also do not say unable, because that would be insulting Allah, which is also kufr. We say instead that it is impossible; it cannot ever be and therefore has nothing to do with power.

Likewise one does not say that it is not allowed for Allah to lie, because this is to imply that He has obligations. Rather one says that it is impossible that He could lie, as explained above.

More comments and questions on this issue

Question: Someone wrote that if we say that lying is not possible for Allah, it would then imply that humans could do something that Allah cannot do. Is this logic valid?

Answer: No. This is because Allah’s power pertains to the possible category of things. It does not pertain to what cannot ever be, the rationally impossible. It also does not pertain to what must be, such as Allah existing and being one without a parter. Lying is a flaw of speech, so saying that Allah can lie is to say that He can have a flaw. This is kufr, like saying He can have a son or a partner.

Note that it is also kufr to say that Allah is unable to lie, because this is to insult Allah’s attribute of Power. Furthermore, it is kufr to say that Allah is obligated not to lie, because a need to fulfill obligations is a flaw, and attributing a flaw to Allah is blasphemy.

The answer then is that lying is a flaw, and it is impossible for Allah to have a flaw. Allah’s Power is only related to what could possibly exist.

For example, if Allah said that Fir`awn is going to Hell, then it is impossible that Fir`awn never goes there. This is because Allah’s Speech pertains to His Knowledge, that is, He told us of what He knows, namely that Fir`awn will enter Hell. If you say that it pertains to Allah’s Power for Fir`awn not to enter Hell, after knowing that Allah has said otherwise, then you are saying that Allah’s Knowledge is flawed, or that His Will changes, which would again mean flawed knowledge and change. This is all kufr.

Someone asked: Can Allah act against His previous word or command?

Answer: It is not obligatory for Allah to fulfill His promises, because He does not have obligations. That does not make it possible in the mind’s eye, however, quite the contrary. We say that it is not obligatory, but it is impossible that Allah should not fulfill His promises, or threats, because it is impossible that Allah should lie, because lying is a flaw, and Allah is clear of flaws. Accordingly, if someone says, “It is contingently possible for Allah to act against His previous word,” then he has committed kufr, because he is saying that Allah could have a flaw.

Deviant said: “What you need to understand is that to say that it is “impossible” for Allah to lie would necessitate that He has given man the ability to do something that He himself does not have the power to do. This is absurd to suggest.

Comment: This is ignorance. Lying is an attribute of Speech, and Allah’s Speech is a must, an attribute of perfection, it is not something that pertains to Allah’s Power. If you say that it pertains to Allah’s Power, then you are saying that it is created, which is kufr, as stated by the four a’immah.

Deviant said: Furthermore, it is practically an ijma’ that Allah’s speech is known as a result of revelation, not reason, so it makes no sense to say that we only know that Allah has the capacity to communicate to us because of scripture, but it is rationally impossible for Him to lie, when we didn’t even know that He could speak until the revelation came. Hence, the impossibility of lying on Allah is a judgment of scripture, not reason, although reason further emphasizes that lying would be a sign of imperfection….

Answer: This is nonsense. By the agreement of the Ash`aris Allah’s attribute of Speech is a must, not a created attribute. Regardless of whether it can be known by the mind alone or not. Once it is established that Allah’s Speech is not created, but a must, and that not having a speech is a flaw, then you cannot say that Allah’s Speech is also a possibility!

Moreover, you either say that Allah has a Speech or not.

If you say He does not, then lying is impossible, because lying without speech is impossible.

If you say He does, then you either say it is created or not.

If you say that it is created, then you are saying that the “Kalaam Allah” is like saying “Bayt Allah.” This means that Allah does not in reality have a Speech that is an attribute of His Self, so that means in the end that Allah in actual reality does not speak, according to this idea, which means lying would be impossible.

If you say that Allah’s Speech is not created, but a necessary, i.e. eternal, attribute of He Himself, then you are either saying that it changes, e.g. by involving sequential meaning being told one after another, or does not.

If you say it does, like the Wahabis, then you are saying that it is created, because change needs a creator, which would mean again that it is not a necessary attribute, and something cannot be both necessary and not at the same time. So in such a case lying is also impossible, because the attribute proposed is impossible.

Finally, if you say that it is necessary and does not change, then we have arrived at what we want, namely that Allah has an attribute by which He informs. You either say that it pertains to what He knows or not. Since Allah’s knowledge is infinite, it pertains to all that must be, as well as what cannot be and what could be. What could be includes what has been, what is now, and what will be in the future, as well as what could have been in the past, now and in the future.

If you say that Allah’s speech pertains to lying then you are saying that if A is going to be at point in time B, then Allah says both that A is going to be at point B and that it is not going to be at point B. This is a contradiction and therefore impossible. Note that this is not impossible in the case of our speech, because it is a sequential action, i.e. something created, whereas Allah’s Speech is not an action and does not change.

There is no question then, that it is rationally impossible that Allah should lie.

Deviant said: Perhaps if you looked at the fact that a “square-circle” is not actually something that can exist while “lying” is, it would help you in your confusion. We know that lying does exist, while we know that it is not compulsorily existent (wajib). It is possibly existent (ja’iz). If it is ja’iz al-wujud, it falls within the realm of Allah’s qudrah, which are the ja’izat (possible things) and is exactly what His power pertains to. His power does not pertain to a “square-circle” because of square-circle just cannot possibly exist. As for “kadhib” (lying), it not only possibly exists. It “actually” exists.

Answer: This is ignorance. Lying does exist, yes, but as an attribute of creation! Does possible attributes of creation necessitate that Allah also has them? This is one of the ugliest examples of tashbih I have seen in my life.

Deviant said: Allah’s qudra pertains to lying just as it pertains to truth (sidq). Hence, lying is something that He can possibly do “actually” and “rationally” speaking. The only thing is that He has chosen not to lie and He does not have to lie, because He has nothing to fear from telling the truth, since He has power over all things and cannot be subdued or controlled by anyone.

Answer: This is pure i`tizaal. He is saying that Allah’s speech is created and is something that pertains to His Power. If not, then what is lying except something pertaining to speech?

Deviant said: He also does not lie because He has made it His way not to do so as He indicated to us in scripture…

Answer: This is stupidity. If Allah telling lies was a possibility, as he claims, then there is no way to tell whether the indication in the scripture is true!

Someone said: Allah has the power to lie or speak truth. His power encompasses both possibilities. Nothing limits his choice and will. If you can show how what I say is flawed, I’m more than open to see how. However, the flaw is really in exactly what I have explained. Your view necessitates that Allah’s qudra is limited and that He has the power to give the power to lie to man but He doesn’t have the power to do it His self.

Answer: His statement “Allah has the power to lie or speak truth” is pure i`tizaal, it is a plain statement saying that Allah’s Speech is created.

Someone said: Faqid al-shay la yu’ti (one who lacks something cannot give it to another). This would then place man’s power more expansive than the Creator’s own. This is why your logic is flawed and why I say that you have misunderstood the text…

Answer: This man does not have mind. He is a kafir and an ignorant fool. According to this, if someone rides on a mosquito, as Ibn Taymiyyah’s followers say, then it is possible that Allah should ride a mosquito…. Need I say more?

Authored by Sheikh Abu Adam


Q & A: Someone asked, “If God is perfect, then why are certain things, for example the eye, imperfect?”

June 20, 2008

Someone asked: On the point about the creator having no imperfections, how does that square with imperfections in the creation?  Our eyes are wired back to front, for example, and there are other numerous biological anomalies brought about via natural selection – you may be tempted to argue that these are imperfections by design to challenge our faith or somesuch, but that’s stretching pretty far. I mean where’s the challenge?  What divine test does the wiring of our eyes represent?

Answer: Eyes cannot be perfect. If they were wired as you would like, you could say why the wires? If not the wires, you could say why can’t I see smaller things? Why can’t I see further? The possibilities are not limited, but no matter what the specification is, it will still be imperfect, because an eye is something limited, no matter how powerful it is. Your request for perfection therefore, implies that the impossible is possible. It is like a request for a part that is larger than its whole. The question rather becomes: “Why that limit and not another?” and the answer is always, “It is as Allah had willed it. He willed that limit and not another.” This has no bearing on the assertion that Allah Himself is perfect, or on His existence. It might be a test, and it might not, but it certainly seems that you are challenged by it in terms of faith. When Muslims say that Allah is perfect they mean that He has no needs. This means He has no obligations to create someone’s eye with a particular specification, or to test someone or not test him. If you say that He must create different wiring then you are saying that He has needs, which contradicts perfection.

Author: Shaykh Abu Adam al Naruiji