The difference between wahabi creed and Islaam III: what the scholars said about their belief

September 29, 2010

An important reply has been posted at this link regarding takfiir of anthropomorphists.

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FakhrudDiin Ar-Raaziyy on getting blessings from dead souls by their graves

May 5, 2010

The Wahabis have lately claimed that Ar-Raaziyy had their ideas about visiting graves and merely calling a dead person. From the quotes found in this article, however, we can understand that Ar-Raaziyy meant nothing against benefitting from visiting graves of blessed muslims when he said in his tafsiir:

The fourth (kind of idolaters) put idols with the shape of their prophets and most important people, and claimed that when they worked on worshiping these images, then those great people (that the images represent) will be intercessors for them to Aļļaah. The equivalent to that in this day and age is the preoccupation of a lot of people with glorification of the graves of great people, with the belief that if they glorified their graves, then they will be intercessors for them to Aļļaah.[1]

What he is speaking of is glorifying graves, and glorifying graves is indeed equivalent to idolatry. There is no disagreement between Ar-Raaziyy and today’s Sunnis on this matter. There is a huge difference, however, between glorifying a grave and benefitting from the blessings of being physically near the pious person in the grave. As we shall see, Ar-Raaziyy affirms created perception and created causation (created acts to cause a created result based on how things normally correlate) to the souls of the dead.

In Al-Maţaalib Al-ˆAaliyah in the context of proving that the soul remains after the death of the body Al-Fakħr Al-Raaziyy said:

Verily the human being might see his father and mother in his dreams, and ask them about things, and they give correct answers, and might even guide him to something hidden in a place nobody knows. I say, when I was a child in the first stages of learning and I was reading about the idea of events without a beginning, I saw my father in a dream and he said to me, “The proof (against this notion of events having no beginning) is to say that motion is a transfer from one state to another, so it requires, according to its nature, something to precede it (i.e. a state to transfer from). Being without a beginning, however, contradicts with having something preceding it. Therefore, it is impossible to join between the two concepts.” I say, this is apparently the best angle on what can be presented regarding this issue.[2]

After stating a number of other proofs he stated:

Accordingly (because of such dreams), we must definitely conclude that after leaving the body, the soul perceives particulars of events, and this is a noble and beneficial principle with regards to the knowledge of resurrection. Moreover, it becomes apparent from this, the truthfulness of the Prophet’s saying[3]:

إِذَا وُضِعَتْ الْجِنَازَةُ فَاحْتَمَلَهَا الرِّجَالُ عَلَى أَعْنَاقِهِمْ فَإِنْ كَانَتْ صَالِحَةً قَالَتْ قَدِّمُونِي وَإِنْ كَانَتْ غَيْرَ صَالِحَةٍ قَالَتْ لِأَهْلِهَا يَا وَيْلَهَا أَيْنَ يَذْهَبُونَ بِهَا يَسْمَعُ صَوْتَهَا كُلُّ شَيْءٍ إِلَّا الْإِنْسَانَ وَلَوْ سَمِعَ الْإِنْسَانُ لَصَعِقَ

“If the dead body is placed (on the bench for carrying it), and then carried by the men on their necks, then if it was not (that of) a pious person, it will say to its family, ‘woe to it, where are you taking it?!’ (meaning him/herself) Its sound is heard by everything except humans, and if a human heard, he would faint (or die.)"[4]

In the hadiith above by Ar-Raaziyy it is clear that the perception of sight, as well as the ability to speak is still with the soul after death. Another ĥadiitħ tells us that the soul also has the perception of hearing. The Prophet told us that when the dead has been put in his grave, and his companions turn around and leave it:

وَإِنَّهُ لَيَسْمَعُ قَرْعَ نِعَالِهِمْ

"Verily he hears the flapping of their slippers"[5]

Later Al-Raaziyy explained the way a person benefits from visiting the dead and their graves. After affirming the life of the soul after the body’s death, he said that two premises are needed to understand this benefit[6]:

First, those souls that left their bodies are stronger in some ways than those that are still attached to bodies, and vice versa. As for the souls having left being stronger in some aspects; this is because when they left their bodies, the veil was removed. The world of the unseen and the dwelling places of the afterlife thus became apparent to them. The knowledge that had previously been based on proofs, became observable reality after leaving the body….Consequently they reached a certain kind of perfection.” He continued stating that the souls attached to their bodies are stronger in that they still have the tools for seeking and acquiring, and are gaining new knowledge every day.

Second, the souls that have left their bodies on the other hand miss their attachment to their bodies. This is is indicated by the fact that all of a person’s worldly activities were concerned with bringing comfort and good to it. This strong attachment, Al-Raaziy stated, does not go away with departure from the body, as the soul itself has perception and speech after death.

Based on these two premises, Al-Raaziy says:

“If a person went to the grave of someone with a strong soul, complete in essence, strong in influence, and stood there for a while, and was influenced by the soil there – the soil that the soul of the dead is attached to – then a mutual attachment occurs between these two souls due their gathering on that soil. They become like two polished mirrors reflecting each other’s rays; all that has been acquired in the visitor’s soul of proof-based knowledge, knowledge gained from effort, and high morals like submission to Aļļaah, and being content with what Aļļaah has predestined, reflects a light that travels to the soul of the dead host. Likewise, all the knowledge that has been acquired in the dead person’s soul of radiating and complete knowledge reflects light that goes to the soul of the living visitor. In this way this visit is a cause for the occurrence of great benefit and happiness for the soul of the visitor as well as that of the host. This is the basic reason for the religious prescription of visiting graves. It is also not unlikely that there are other secret events that are more subtle and deep than what has been mentioned here. Complete knowledge of the real nature of things is something Aļļaah only has.”

In his commentary on the Qur’aan, Al-Naaziˆaat 3,

"وَالسَّابِحَاتِ سَبْحًا”

Literal interpretation: “By those that sail a sailing….”

he states[7]:

“The human souls that are free of any bodily connections that yearn to connect to the higher world, after their exit from the darkness of their bodies, go to the world of the Angels and the holy dwellings in the fastest of ways in a state of peaceful rest and surrounded by bountiful provision. This meaning of traveling is what the concept of sailing is referring to. Having said that, there is no doubt that the levels of the souls in terms of their aversion towards this world and yearning to connect with the higher world are many. Thus, the higher the level of aversion (to this world) and yearning (for the next), the faster will be the souls rising to the higher world. On the other hand, the lesser the aversion and yearning, the heavier will be its rise.

There is no question that the faster souls are more noble, so it is not strange that Aļļaah swore by them (in the Aayah above). In addition, these noble and high souls, are not unlikely to have in it what has an apparent effect on this world, due to its strength and nobility. Accordingly, they are:

"فَالْمُدَبِّرَاتِ أَمْرًا”

Literal interpretation: “…and by the conductors (as created causes) of (worldly) matters.”

Isn’t it true that the human being might see his master teacher in his dreams, asks him about a problem, and then gets guidance from him to its solution? Isn’t it true that a son may see his father in a dream guiding him to a hidden treasure? Isn’t it true that Galen[8] said, “I was sick and unable to treat myself. Then I saw in my dreams someone that gave me guidance towards the way of treatment.” Isn’t it true that Al-Għazaaliyy[9] said, “Noble souls, when they leave their bodies, and happen to meet someone <alive> similar to them in body and soul, are not unlikely to become attached to this <person met’s> body. This to the extent that it becomes an aid to the soul of that <live> person in doing good deeds, and then that aid is called “intuition”. Its equivalent for mean souls (i.e. Devil Jinn, not dead people, because they are tortured in their graves) is evil whispers in the mind.”

These meanings, even if not transmitted from the <ancient> Quranic commentators, are very close to the words in meaning.”[10]

As support for what Ar-Raaziyy said, consider what the great Imaam of belief and fiqh, the encyclopedic authenticator and verifier, SaˆdudDiin Al-Taftaazaaniy[11] said regarding this same issue in his book Al-Maqaaşid[12]:

“What is apparent from the principles of Islaam, is that there are renewing perceptions of parts for the soul after leaving the body as well as looking at some parts of the lives of the living, especially of those that had a relationship with the dead person in this world. This is why there is benefit in visiting graves, and seeking support from the souls of the pious that have died in terms of seeking experiences and fending off weariness. This is because the soul after leaving the body is attached to the body and the soil it was buried in. So if the living visited this soil and faced the soul of the dead person, then there will be an attachment between them and streams <of light>.”

Moreover, the encyclopedic scholar Asħ-Sħariif Al-Jurjaaniy[13] on his commentary on the book Al-Maţaaliˆ, discussed the benefit of Tawassul in terms of streams of light flowing to the visitor. He said,

“Someone might say that this Tawassul is only conceivable if the dead were attached to their bodies, but not if they were detached from their bodies, since there is no aspect in this case that would lead to a connection[14]. The answer to this objection is that the fact that they were attached to them, heading for perfection of the flawed soul with great determination, is enough by itself. This is because the influence of that remains in them. For this reason, the visit of their resting places are prepared for much flow of light from them to the visitors[15]. This is observable for those with eyes that see.”[16]

Clearly then, the Wahabis have misrepresented Ar-Raaziyy’s viewpoint on visiting graves and merely calling a dead person. Let us take another look at what he said in his tafsiir:

The fourth (kind of idolaters) put idols with the shape of their prophets and most important people, and claimed that when they worked on worshiping these images, then those great people (that the images represent) will be intercessors for them to Aļļaah. The equivalent to that in this day and age is the preoccupation of a lot of people with glorification of the graves of great people, with the belief that if they glorified their graves, then they will be intercessors for them to Aļļaah.[17]

There are a few points to note here. First, he is not speaking of people who claim to be Muslims, but about the human race in general, and the kinds of idolaters there are out there. Second, he is speaking of glorifying the graves themselves, not about getting blessings or help from great Muslims in their graves.

This has been mentioned before, but is worth mentioning again in context of the above: Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (691-751AH/ 1292-1350 AD), the second in command after the Grand Sħaykħ of Anthropomorphism[18], Aĥmad Ibn Taymiyyah (661-728 AH/ 1263-1328 AD), makes an strong defense for someone that calls a dead person, in his book Ar-Ruuĥ (The Soul). This is astonishing, because it is him and his sħaykh that invented the saying that calling a person is shirk (worship of other than Aļļaah) unless he is alive and present.

In what follows below you will find some quotes from this book. For example, after mentioning that one should fee shy from the dead when visiting the graveyard, because the dead perceive their visitor, he says:

“Even further than that; the dead knows about the works of the living among his relatives and brothers."[19]

Then he states:

“On this issue there are many narrations from the companions, and some of the relatives of ˆAbduļļaah ibn Rawaaĥah used to say, ‘O Aļļaah, verily I seek your protection from doing anything that I will be brought in shame for in the eyes of ˆAbduļļaah ibn Rawaaĥah.’ He (they) used to say this after the martyrdom of ˆAbduļļaah.

It is enough evidence regarding all this that the Muslim that visits the dead is called ‘visitor’, for if they did not perceive him, then if would be invalid to call him ‘visitor’. This is because the visited, if they do not know of the visit of the person visiting, then you cannot say, ‘he visited him.’ This is what is understood from ‘visiting’ by all nations. The same is the case for ‘greeting’, for greeting a person that has no perception, and does not know the greeter is impossible, and the Prophet taught his nation that if they visit graves, they should say ‘salaam ˆalaykum (Aļļaah’s peace be upon you) O People of the abodes that are Muslims, and verily we are by the will of Aļļaah catching up with you. May Aļļaah give mercy to those among us and you who go in advance and those that go later. We ask Aļļaah for safety for you and us.‘ In this there is greeting, addressing and calling of something existing that hears, addresses and understands and responds, even if the Muslim does not hear the response. Moreover, if the person prays nearby, then they witness this, know about his prayer, and wish they could do the same….”[20] (Because the life of accountability has ended for them.)

Another place in the book, after mentioning a ĥadiitħ he states:

This ĥadiitħ expresses the speed of the dead’s soul’s movement from the Throne to the Earth, and then from the Earth (back) to its place, and for this Maalik and other imams said ‘the soul is set free, and goes wherever it wishes.‘ Furthermore, what people see of dead peoples’ souls and their coming to them from far away places is something known by people in general, and they do not doubt it…. and Aļļaah knows best.

As for the salam greeting to the people in their graves, and speaking to them; this does not mean that the souls are not in Paradise, and that they are in the graves (only), for the master of Humankind, whose soul is in the highest of places, in the care of Aļļaah; He is (also) in his grave and answers the salam greeting of a muslim. Moreover, Umar (the second kħaliifah, or ruler of all muslims), may Aļļaah give him mercy, agreed that the souls of the martyrs are in Paradise, and yet they are greeted at their graves, just like other people who have passed away. Similarly, the Prophet taught us to greet them, and the companions used to greet the martyrs of the battle of Uĥud. Moreover, it has been firmly established that their souls are in Paradise, going wherever they please, as mentioned earlier.

Your mind should not be so narrow as to not accept that the soul is in Paradise going wherever it pleases, and yet hears the greeting of a Muslim to him at his grave, and then goes down to answer it. The soul is another matter than the body.”[21]

Then he says:

“Among the things that one should know is that what we have mentioned regarding the soul is relative to the individual souls’ power, weakness, bigness, and smallness. So the great and large soul has among what we have mentioned what the lesser soul does not have, and you can see how the rules of the souls differ greatly in this world according to the souls’ differences in modality, power, slowness, speed and getting help…….. This is how it was while captivated in its body, so how would it be if it became independent and departed from the body, and its powers were gathered, and it was at the outset a lofty, pure and big soul with high sense of purpose??? This soul has after the departure a whole other importance and other actions. In this regard dreams have been collaboratively mass narrated among human kind about the actions of souls after their death, actions they were not able to do while in their bodies, such as one, two or a few souls defeating entire armies and the like. Very many people have seen the Prophet with Abu Bakr and ˆUmar in their sleep having defeated the armies of kufr and injustice, and then their armies are overwhelmed and crushed despite large numbers, and the weakness and small numbers of the Muslims (Ar-Ruuĥ, P. 102-103).”[22]

So if this is what Ibn Al-Qayyim believes, then where is the shirk in calling a dead person for help? After all, as the author states, the great soul is even more able to help after death, than before death, and has perception of hearing all the way from Paradise to his grave.

Even more so, who in his right mind will claim, after believing all this, that traveling to visit the Prophet’s grave is forbidden?


[1] FakħrudDiin Al-Raaziy, Mafaatiiĥ Al-Għayb, 17/49.

مفاتيح الغيبدار الكتب العلمية – (17 / 49): ورابعها أنهم وضعوا هذه الأصنام والأوثان على صور أنبيائهم وأكابرهم وزعموا أنهم متى اشتغلوا بعبادة هذه التماثيل فإن أولئك الأكابر تكون شفعاء لهم عند الله تعالى ونظيره في هذا الزمان اشتغال كثير من الخلق بتعظيم قبور الأكابر على اعتقاد أنهم إذا عظموا قبورهم فإنهم يكونون شفعاء لهم عند الله

[2] FakħrudDiin Al-Raaziy (544-606 AH), Al-Maţaalib Al-ˆAaliyah, 7/228.

قال الرازي في " المطالب العالية ": إن الإنسان قد يرى أباه وأمه في المنام ويسألهما عن أشياء وهما يذكران أجوبة صحيحة ، وربما أرشداه إلى دفين في موضع لا يعلمه أحد ، وأقول أني حين كنت صبياً في أول التعلم ، وكنت أقرأ مسألة حوادث لا أول لها فرأيت في المنام أبي فقال لي : أجود الدلائل أن يقال الحركة إنتقال من حالة إلى حالة فهي تقتضي بحسب ماهيتها كونها مسبوقة بالغير ، والأزل ينافي كونها مسبوقاً بالغير ، فوجب أن يكون الجمع بينهما محالاً وأقول والظاهر أن هذا الوجه أحسن من كل ما قيل في هذه المسألة.

[3] Ibid., V. 7/ P. 261-262. Note that Ar-Raaziyy mentions the ĥadiitħ by meaning, so this has been substituted here with the wording of Al-Bukħaariyy.

[4] Muĥammad ibn ‘Ismaaˆiil Al-Bukħaariyy (194 – 256 AH), Şaĥiiĥu-l-Bukħaariyy, 2/86.

[5] Ibid., 2/99.

[6]Muĥiqqu-t-Taqawwul Fiy Mas’alati-t-Tawassul, Muĥammad Zaahid Al-Kawtħariy, Al-Maktabah Al-Azhariyah li-t-Turaath.

محق التقوّل في مسألة التوسل – (ج 1 / ص 6): وقال أيضاً في الفصل الثامن عشر من تلك المقالة – والفصل الثامن عشر في بيان كيفية الإنتفاع بزيارة الموتى والقبور – : " ثم قال سألني بعض أكابر الملوك عن المسألة ، وهو الملك محمد بن سالم بن الحسين الغوري – وكان رجلاً حسن السيرة مرضي الطريقة ، شديد الميل إلى العلماء ، قوي الرغبة في مجالسة أهل الدين والعقل – فكتبت فيها رسالة وأنا أذكر هنا ملخص ذلك فأقول للكلام فيه مقدمات . المقدمة الأولى : أنّا قد دللنا على أن النفوس البشرية باقية بعد موت الأبدان ، وتلك النفوس التي فارقت أبدانها أقوى من هذه النفوس المتعلقة بالأبدان من بعض الوجوه . أما أن النفوس المفارقة أقوى من هذه النفوس من بعض الوجوه ، فهو أن تلك النفوس لما فارقت أبدانها فقد زال الغطاء ، وانكشف لها عالم الغيب ، وأسرار منازل الأخرة ، وصارت العلوم التي كانت برهانية عند التعلق بالأبدان ضرورية بعد مفارقة الأبدان ، لأن النفوس في الأبدان كانت في عناء وغطاء ، ولمّا زال البدن أشرفت تلك النفوس وتجلت وتلألأت ، فحصل للنفوس المفارقة عن الأبدان بهذا الطريق نوع من الكمال . وأما أن النفوس المتعلقة بالأبدان أقوى من تلك النفوس المفارقة من وجه أخر فلأن آلات الكسب والطلب باقية لهذه النفوس بواسطة الأفكار المتلاحقة ، والأنظار المتتالية تستفيد كل يوم علماً جديداً ، وهذه الحالة غير حاصلة للنفوس المفارقة .

والمقدمة الثانية أن تعلق النفوس بأبدانها تعلق يشبه العشق الشديد ، والحب التام ، ، ولهذا السبب كان كل شيء تطلب تحصيله في الدنيا فإنما تطلبه

محق التقوّل في مسألة التوسل – (ج 1 / ص 7)

لتتوصل به إلى إيصال الخير والراحة إلى هذا البدن . فإذا مات الإنسان وفارقت النفس هذا البدن ، فذلك الميل يبقى ، وذلك العشق لا يزول وتبقى تلك النفوس عظيمة الميل إلى ذلك البدن,عظيمة الإنجذاب ، على هذا المذهب الذي نصرناه من أن النفوس الناطقة مدركة للجزئيات ، وأنها تبقى موصوفة بهذا الإدراك بعد موتها ، إذا عرفت هذه المقدمات فنقول : إن الإنسان إذا ذهب إلى قبر إنسان قوي النفس ، كامل الجوهر شديد التأثير ، ووقف هناك ساعة ، وتأثرت نفسه من تلك التربة – وقد عرفت أن لنفس ذلك الميت تعلقاً بتلك التربة أيضاً- فحينئذ يحصل لهذا الزائر الحي ، ولنفس ذلك الميت ملاقاة بسبب إجتماعهما على تلك التربة ، فصارت هاتان النفسان شبيهتين بمرآتين صقيلتين وضعتا بحيث ينعكس الشعاع من كل واحدة منهما إلى أخرى .

فكل ما حصل في نفس هذا الزائر الحي من المعارف البرهانية ،والعلوم الكسبية ، والأخلاق الفاضلة من الخضوع له ، والرضا بقضاء الله ينعكس منه نور إلى روح ذلك الميت ، وكل ما حصل ذلك الإنسان الميت من العلوم المشرقة الكاملة فإنه ينعكس منه نور إلى روح هذا الزائر الحي. وبهذا الطريق تكون تلك الزيارة سبباً لحصول المنفعة الكبرى ، والبهجة العظمى لروح الزائر ، ولروح المزور ، وهذا هو السبب الأصلى في شرع الزيارة ، ولا يبعد أن تحصل فيها أسرار أخرى أدق وأغمض مما ذكرنا . وتمام العلم بحقائق الأشياء ليس إلا عند الله اهـ .

[7]See Ar-Raaziy’s tafsiir for Al-Naaziˆaat, 7.

[8]Galen <جالينوس> (d. ca. 216 AD) was the most important physician of the Roman Empire and arguably the most influential physician in medical history. U.S. National Library of Medicine, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/arabic/bioG.html#galen

[9]The famous scholar.

[10] FakħrudDiin Al-Raaziy, Mafaatiiĥ Al-Għayb, 31/29.

تفسير الرازي – (ج 31 / ص 29) قال المؤلف: ثم الأرواح البشرية الخالية عن العلائق الجسمانية المشتاقة إلى الاتصال العلوي بعد خروجها من ظلمة الأجساد تذهب إلى عالم الملائكة ، ومنازل القدس على أسرع الوجوه في روح وريحان ، فعبر عن ذهابها على هذه الحالة بالسباحة ، ثم لا شك أن مراتب الأرواح في النفرة عن الدنيا ومحبة الاتصال بالعالم العلوي مختلفة فكلما كانت أتم في هذه الأحوال كان سيرها إلى هناك أسبق ، وكلما كانت أضعف كان سيرها إلى هناك أثقل ، ولا شك أن الأرواح السابقة إلى هذه الأحوال أشرف فلا جرم وقع القسم بها ، ثم إن هذه الأرواح الشريفة العالية لا يبعد أن يكون فيها ما يكون لقوتها وشرفها يظهر منها آثار في أحوال هذا العالم فهي { فالمدبرات أَمْراً } أليس أن الإنسان قد يرى أستاذه في المنام ويسأله عن مشكلة فيرشده إليها؟ أليس أن الابن قد يرى أباه في المنام فيهديه إلى كنز مدفون؟ أليس أن جالينوس قال : كنت مريضاً فعجزت عن علاج نفسي فرأيت في المنام واحداً أرشدني إلى كيفية العلاج؟ أليس أن الغزالي قال : إن الأرواح الشريفة إذا فارقت أبدانها ، ثم اتفق إنسان مشابه للإنسان الأول في الروح والبدن ، فإنه لا يبعد أن يحصل للنفس المفارقة تعلق بهذا البدن حتى تصير كالمعاونة للنفس المتعلقة بذلك البدن على أعمال الخير فتسمى تلك المعاونة إلهاماً؟ ونظيره في جانب النفوس الشريرة وسوسة ، وهذه المعاني وإن لم تكن منقولة عن المفسرين إلا أن اللفظ محتمل لها جداً .

[11] SaˆdudDiin Al-Taftaazaaniy (712-793AH/ 1312-1390 AD), Masˆuud ibn ˆUmar ibn ˆAbdullaah. Az-Zirikliyy, Al-‘Aˆlaam (2002), 7/219. He is was an imam in Arabic and rhetoric, and one of the authenticators of the sciences of belief, fiqh methodology and logic.

[12] SaˆdudDiin Al-Taftaazaaniy (712-793AH/ 1312-1390 AD), Sħarĥu-l-Maqaaşid Fiy ˆIlmi-l-Kalaam, 2/43.

قال التفتازاني: الظاهر من قواعد الإسلام أنه يكون للنفس بعد المفارقة إدراكات متجددة جزئية واطلاع على بعض جزئيات أحوال الأحياء سيما الذين كان بينهم وبين الميت تفارق في الدنيا ولهذا ينتفع بزيارة القبور والاستعانة بنفوس الأخيار من الأموات في استنزال الخبرات واستدفاع الملمات فإن للنفس بعد المفارقة تعلقا ما بالبدن وبالتربة التي دفنت فيها فإذا زار الحي تلك التربة وتوجهت تلقاء نفس الميت حصل بين النفسين ملاقاة وإفاضات (شرح المقاصد في علم الكلام ج 2 ص 43)

[13] Asħ-Sħariif Al-Jurjaaniyy (740-816 AH/ 1340-1413) ˆAliyy ibn Muĥammad ibn ˆAliyy (Az-Zirikliyy, Al-‘Aˆlaam (2002), 5/7.) He was an imam of Arabic, belief, fiqh methodology and logic.

[14] They mean that there is no means by which there would be a connection between the dead’s soul and his visitor, because he is no longer in that place, and there is no other means for a connection, such as a living friendship and the like.

[15] He means to say, and Aļļaah knows best, that the soul of a great pious person has so much power and light that this is enough for the connection to take place. In other words, the aspect for connection is the power of and overflow of light of the great Muslims soul.

[16]"فإن قيل هذا التوسل إنما يتصور إذا كانوا متعلقين بالأبدان ، وأما إذا تجردوا عنها فلا ، إذ لا وجهة مقتضية للمناسبة . قلنا يكفيه أنهم كانوا متعلقين بها متوجهين إلى تكميل النفوس الناقصة بهمة عالية ، فإن أثر ذلك باق فيهم، وكذلك كانت زيارة مراقدهم معدة لفيضان أنوار كثيرة منهم على الزائرين كما يشاهده ، أصحاب البصائر" ا هـ .

[17] FakħrudDiin Al-Raaziy, Mafaatiiĥ Al-Għayb, 17/49.

مفاتيح الغيبدار الكتب العلمية – (17 / 49): ورابعها أنهم وضعوا هذه الأصنام والأوثان على صور أنبيائهم وأكابرهم وزعموا أنهم متى اشتغلوا بعبادة هذه التماثيل فإن أولئك الأكابر تكون شفعاء لهم عند الله تعالى ونظيره في هذا الزمان اشتغال كثير من الخلق بتعظيم قبور الأكابر على اعتقاد أنهم إذا عظموا قبورهم فإنهم يكونون شفعاء لهم عند الله

[18] He falsely believed that Aļļaah is in a place or direction, with limits, borders and size, like created things.

[19] Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (691-751AH/ 1292-1350 AD), Ar-Ruuĥ, 7.

الروح, ابن القيم, دار الكتب العلمية, 1395 – (1 / 7) قال المؤلف: وأبلغ من ذلك أن الميت يعلم بعمل الحى من أقاربه وإخوانه

[20] Ibid., 8.

الروح, ابن القيم, دار الكتب العلمية, 1395 – (1 / 8) قال المؤلف: وهذا باب في آثار كثيرة عن الصحابة وكان بعض الأنصار من أقارب عبد الله بن رواحة يقول اللهم إنى أعوذ بك من عمل أخزى به عند عبد الله بن رواحة كان يقول ذلك بعد أن استشهد عبد الله ويكفي في هذا تسمية المسلم عليهم زائرا ولولا أنهم يشعرون به لما صح تسميته زائرا فإن المزور إن لم يعلم بزيارة من زاره لم يصح أن يقال زاره هذا هو المعقول من الزيارة عند جميع الأمم وكذلك السلام عليهم أيضا فإن السلام على من لا يشعر ولا يعلم بالمسلم محال وقد علم النبي أمته إذا زاروا القبور أن يقولوا سلام عليكم أهل الديار من المؤمنين والمسلمين وإنا إن شاء الله بكم لاحقون يرحم الله المستقدمين منا ومنكم والمستأخرين نسأل الله لنا ولكم العافية وهذا السلام والخطاب والنداء لموجود يسمع ويخاطب ويعقل ويردو إن لم يسمع المسلم الرد وإذا صلى الرجل قريبا منهم شاهدوه وعلموا صلاته وغبطوه على ذلك

[21] Ibid., 101-102.

الروح, ابن القيم, دار الكتب العلمية, 1395 – (1 / 101-102) قال المؤلف : ففي هذا الحديث بيان سرعة انتقال أرواحهم من العرش إلى الثرى ثم انتقالها من الثرى إلى مكانها ولهذا قال مالك وغيره من الأئمة أن الروح مرسلة تذهب حيث شاءت وما يراه الناس من أرواح الموتى ومجيئهم إليهم من المكان البعيد أمر يعلمه عامة الناس ولا يشكون فيه والله أعلم وأما السلام على أهل القبور وخطابهم فلا يدل على أن أرواحهم ليست في الجنة وأنها على أفنية القبور فهذا سيد ولد آدم الذي روحه في أعلى عليين مع الرفيق الأعلى عند قبره ويرد سلام المسلم عليه وقد وافق أبو عمر رحمه الله على أن أرواح الشهداء في الجنة ويسلم عليهم عند قبورهم كما يسلم على غيرهم كما علمنا النبي أن نسلم عليهم وكما كان الصحابة يسلمون على شهداء أحد وقد ثبت أن أرواحهم في الجنة تسرح حيث شاءت كما تقدم ولا يضيق عقلك عن كون الروح في الملأ الأعلى تسرح في الجنة حيث شاءت وتسمع سلام المسلم عليها عند قبرها وتدنو حتى ترد عليه السلام وللروح شأن آخر غير شأن البدن

[22] Ibid., 102-103.

الروح, ابن القيم, دار الكتب العلمية, 1395 – (1 / 102-103) قال المؤلف: فصل ومما ينبغي أن يعلم أن ما ذكرنا من شأن الروح يختلف بحسب حال الأرواح من القوة والضعف والكبر والصغر فللروح العظيمة الكبيرة من ذلك ما ليس لمن هو دونها وأنت ترى أحكام الأرواح في الدنيا كيف تتفاوت أعظم تفاوت بحسب تفارق الأرواح في كيفياتها وقواها وإبطائها وإسراعها والمعاونة لها فللروح المطلقة من أسر البدن وعلائقه وعوائقه من التصرف والقوة والنفاذ والهمة وسرعة الصعود إلى الله والتعلق بالله ما ليس للروح المهينة المحبوسة في علائق البدن وعوائقه فذا كان هذا وهي محبوسة في بدنها فكيف إذا تجردت وفارقته واجتمعت فيها قواها وكانت في أصل شأنها روحا علية زكيه كبيرة ذات همة عالية فهذه لها بعد مفارقة البدن شأن آخر وفعل آخر وقد تواترت الرؤيا في أصناف بنى آدم على فعل الأرواح بعد موتها ما لا تقدر على مثله حال اتصالها بالبدن من هزيمة الجيوش الكثيرة بالواحد والاثنين والعدد القليل ونحو ذلك وكم قد رئى النبي ومعه أبو بكر وعمر في النوم قد هزمت أرواحهم عساكر الكفر والظلم فإذا بجيوشهم مغلوبة مكسورة مع كثرة عددهم وعددهم وضعف المؤمنين وقلتهم


The Wahabi-type belief was that of a fringe group in hiding throughout most of this nation’s history

January 6, 2010

Ibn Jibriin, major wahabi, admits this in his book here stating:

When the third century of the Hijrah ended, the last of the best (three) centuries, these books (the books he likes[1]) were unfortunately left for dead, and were stored away without anyone recognizing, reading, or studying them except rarely, and only in hiding. The Asħˆariyy school and Muˆtazilite schools[2] were firmly established and people pored over their study everywhere.[3]

He admits here that his belief system was only taught in hiding! In other words, it was a baaţiniyy[4] type of sect, and not the majority Sunni sect at all. Then he says:

And by careful study of these centuries: the fourth, the fifth, the sixth, and most of the seventh, you do not find anyone that is upon the school of the Sunnah![5]

What is this “School of the Sunnah” that disappeared for 4 centuries?(!!!) We get an idea when he speaks about the books written in those centuries that are so terrible in his view. He takes the Creed of Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy as an example of the least worst of them (although Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy was actually among the Salaf, born in the 3rd century) He says about it:

Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy mentioned in it some terrible statements that were widespread in his time through the kalaam scholars, such as his statement: “Verily Aļļaah is clear of the having limits, extremes, corners, limbs or instruments. The six directions (up, down, front, back, left and right) do not contain Him (un)like all created things.[6]

What we can understand then, is that anthropomorphist creed of believing that Aļļaah is a bodily being, something to be pointed at in a direction, and with parts, and dimensions is what was only taught in hiding during those centuries.

So what, you may ask, happened in the 7th century? Well, who other than Ibn Tayimiyyah? Ibn Jibriin says about him:

He did not care about the people of his time, or about who opposed him. Rather, he spoke openly about what he believed, and renewed that belief of the Salaf, and wrote books that no one can oppose, and clarified in them what is more obvious than the sun…. No doubt, he spoke openly, because Aļļaah gave him knowledge, and ability to explain, so no one in his time could resist him. So he is the one that renewed the Sunni school.[7]

In short, he is telling us above that what he calls the “Sunni belief” was almost extinct for 4 centuries, and was only taught in hiding, due to fear of persecution. So the question then becomes, how can this be sect be called Sunnis in any reasonable persons vocabulary? Moreover, how does that fit with the majority of scholars being Sunnis?

Most importantly: How could this belief of Ibn Taymiyyah possibly be collaboratively, mass-narrated from the salaf, without possibility of perversions by mistakes or otherwise, when it was hidden for four centuries???

That is, how can they claim to know for sure that a belief system that went into hiding has been absolutely reliably narrated from the Salaf? It has only been narrated by a handful of Hanbali pretenders, and in hiding, so it is like the gospel of the christians during their persecution by the jews and the Romans. We all know what happened to their books.

Of course, after Ibn Taymiyyah’s demise in jail for heresy, the school once again became a hidden sect. So much for the, “books that no one could oppose,” and “no one could resist him.” In fact, even christians, who have one of the most irrational belief system on earth, cannot be fended off based on Ibn Taymiyyah’s belief principles. Why? Because his deity is a something with size, shaped by a border that can change, so why couldn’t this deity be Jesus or anything else proposed? This is what some christians are asking. They are of course right. There is no fundamental difference between them and Ibn Taymiyyah.

Ibn Al-Qayyim realized this, and that is why he put on an Asħˆariyy coat when arguing with the christians in his book Hidaayatu-l-Ĥayaaraa Fii ‘Ajwibatu-l-Yahuudi wa-Naşaaraa, “the guidance of the confused regarding answering the christians and jews”:

Fourth, verily Aļļaah does not change[8].[9]

As well known, Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Al-Qayyim taught that Aļļaah brings things into existence in Himself, such as changing location and movement. This is one of their main contentions against the ‘Asħˆariyys, who are honest when they say they believe that Aļļaah does not change.

In fact, Ibn Taymiyyah hid his beliefs to a great extent, and that is why some scholars praise him – they did not know about his outrageous beliefs. For example, you find him in one place saying it is kufr to say Aļļaah is a body, then in another that it is not allowed to forbid saying it, and in yet another that Aļļaah has six boundaries and a shrinkable size!

The belief of Ibn Taymiyyah went into hiding again after his death. His books were burned and forbidden to teach, and anyone who spread his teaching faced punishment. Ibn Al-Qayyim, as an example, was jailed and almost executed at one point. That is why even for that period it is hard find books by scholars that support the beliefs of Ibn Taymiyyah.

So we also have the 8, 9th, 10th, 11th centuries free of what Ibn Jibriin calls Sunnism, until the rebellion of Muĥammad ibn ˆAbdilWahhaab in the 12th century after the Hijrah. Since then they have only grown stronger through support from the imperialist powers. It was the British that first supplied them with weapons, and thereby helped to renew the call to the so called “Salafi” version of religion. After that the books of Ibn Taymiyyah were gradually brought out from their hiding places and published.

All Ibn Jibriin says fits perfectly with what TaajudDiin As-Subkiyy[12] said some 600 years ago:

We have already mentioned what Ibn ˆAbdisSalaam and others before and after him mentioned, which is that the Sħaafiˆiyys, Maalikiyys, Ĥanafiyys and the honorable among the Ĥanbaliyys are all ‘Asħˆariyys. This is what was stated by Ibn ˆAbdisSalaam, the leader of Sħaafiˆiyys of his time, and Ibn Al-Ĥaajib, the leader of the Maalikiyys of his time, and Al-Ĥaşiiriyy, the leader of the Ĥanafiyys at the time. Among what was stated by Ibn ˆAsaakir, the great ĥadiitħ master of this Muĥammadan nation, the solid and trustworthy man: “are there any among the jurists, among the Ĥanafiyys, Maalikiyys and Sħaafiˆiyys that do not agree with him and do not related themselves to him, and pleased with his efforts for the religion of Aļļaah, praising him for great knowledge? That is, except for a tiny group that hide anthropomorphism, and make an enemy of those who believe in tawĥiid and clear Aļļaah of likeness to creation. Another exception are those that imitate the saying of the Muˆtazilites in speaking ill of him.[10][11]

As-Subkiyy states regarding the anthropomorphists:

The state of the Kħaţţaabiyyah (as Shiite sect), and they are (i.e. their role is taken over by) the anthropomorphists in this time of ours, (in the sense that they) went to the extent of permitting lying against their religious opponents. Especially those that hurt them in person or property. I was told that their leader was asked about a Sħaafiˆiyy:

“Should I testify against him with a lie in court?”

Their leader said, “Do you not believe that it is allowed to spill his blood?”

The interrogator answered, “Yes I do.”

The leader said, “Then whatever is less than that is less than spilling his blood, so testify and defend the Muslims from his evil.“

So this is their belief, and they think themselves Muslims, and that they are Sunnis (i.e. the anthropomorphists, those that call themselves “salafis” today.”) Yet if their scholars were counted in number, although they are not in reality scholars (because they are deviant), they would not reach a number of any significance. They consider most of the scholars of the Muhammadan nation as non-Muslims, and then they relate themselves to the Imaam ‘Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal, may Aļļaah please him, but he has nothing to do with them. However, his situation is as some of the enlightened said, as I saw written in hand by Sħaykħ Taqiyyu-d-Diin ibn Aş-Şalaaĥ (the famous author of Muqaddimah ibn Aş-Şalaaĥ[13]: “Two imaams were afflicted in their companions that they were surrounded by, and are clear of them: ‘Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal was afflicted with anthropomorphists, and Jaˆfar Aş-Şaadiq was afflicted with shiites.[14][15]

Note that the wahabi’s, like their predecessors among anthropomorphists, like to twist things to fit their purpose, and even tend to blatant lies and forgery. As-Subkiyy says:

The state of some anthropomorphists have reached the stage in our time where they wrote a copy of An-Nawawiyy’s commentary on Şaĥiiĥ Muslim, and took out the parts where An-Nawawiyy spoke about ĥadiitħs mentioning attributes. For verily An-Nawawiyy is an Asħˆariyy in belief, so this writer did not find it in himself to copy the book as it was composed by its author. This is an enormous sin, for it is perverting the religion, and opening the door for the loss of confidence in what is written in what people have of books, so may Aļļaah make the one who does that ugly and humiliated[16].[17]

The anthropomorphists continue on this evil path to destroy the correct belief in the Creator. They lie when they claim to be Sunnis, as Ibn Jibriin has just unintentionally implied.

In short, if you are a follower of Ibn Jibriin, Ibn Baaz, Ibn ˆUtħaymiin, and other so-called “Salafis,” know that you are a follower of a sect that has been in hiding for most of history since the Hijrah. They claim to know and follow what the Salaf believed, although they are in opposition to 95% of all scholars of all the major Islamic sciences. Part of this belief includes:

1. Denying the use of rational proof to prove that the Creator exists,

2. Questioning the mind as a tool for knowing right from wrong,

3. Believing that despite the mind being unreliable, a belief that has been narrated in hiding over several centuries is known with absolute certainty to be correctly narrated.

If you think that is just fine, and doesn’t sound like a setup for making you accept blindly, then I can’t help you.

References:

Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah. Hidaayatu-l-Ĥayaaraa Fii ‘Ajwibatu-l-Yahuudi wa-Naşaaraa. 1 vols. Kairo, Egypt: Daar Ar-Rayyaan li-t-Tutaatħ.

Taajuddiin As-Subkiyy (771 AH). Ţabaqaat Asħ-Sħaafiˆiyyah Al-Kubraa. 10 vols. 2nd ed. Hajr li-l-tibaaˆ wa-nashr wa-t-tawziiˆ, 1413.


[1]Some of these books are by anthropmorphists, some are forgeries attribute to Imam Aĥmad, while others are just following the Asħˆariyy methodology of tafwiiđ, which is to narrate scriptures that could be misunderstood as ascribing created and bodily attributes to Aļļaah, and keep silent about their meaning, while believing that such unfitting meanings are not meant.

[2] Actually, the Muˆtazilite school was never very big, but Ibn Jibriin likes to put them side by side in order to make the impression that they are similar.) In reality there are only a handful of Muˆtazilites that have contributed to any of the Islamic sciences. Most notably Az-Zamakħsħariyy, the famous Quran commentator and linguist. They only had significant influence during a period of the ˆAbbaasiyy dynasty; the subsequent rulers Ma’muun, Al-Muˆtaşim, Al-Waaţħiq and then ended during the rule of Al-Mutawakkil. These were the heydays of this sect, and they achieved influence mainly through getting close to certain rulers. “From the appearance of Al-‘Asħˆariyy on, it was a downhill slope for them, and they eventually became virtually extinct as a sect.

[3]لما انقضى القرن الثالث آخر القرون المفضلة أميتت هذه الكتب مع الأسف، وأصبحت مخزونة لا يعترف بها ولا تُقرأ، ولا تُدرَّس إلا نادرًا وبصفة خفية، وتمكن مذهب الأشاعرة ومذهب المعتزلة أيما تمكن، وانتشر الإكباب عليه، وكثرت الدروس والكتب التي تؤلف فيما يتعلق بهذه العقائد؛ عقيدة الأشعرية وعقيدة المعتزلة، وكادت السُّنة وكُتبها أن لا يكون لها ذكر، بل كاد مذهب الإمام أحمد أن يضمحل، ولم يبق أحد عليه إلا قلة.

[4]Baaţiniyy sects are those that keep their true beliefs hidden from public through lies, deception and hypocrisy.

[5]وبالتتبع لهذه القرون: الرابع والخامس والسادس وأغلب السابع لا تجد فيها من هو على مذهب السنة

[6]وذكر فيها بعض العبارات المنكرة التي اشتهرت في زمانه عن المتكلمين، مثل قوله: إن الله مُنَزَّه عن الحدود والغايات، والأبعاض، والأعراض، لا تحويه الجهات الست كسائر المبتدعات .

[7]لم يبال بأهل زمانه ولا بمن خالفه بل أفصح بما يعتقده، وجدد عقيدة السلف، وكتب فيها المؤلفات التي لا يستطيع أحد أن يعارضه فيها، وبين فيها ما هو أجلى من الشمس….لا شك أنه ما أفصح بذلك إلا لأن الله – تعالى – وهبه علمًا وقدرة على البيان، فلم يستطع أهل زمانه أن يقاوموه، فهو الذي جدد مذهب أهل السنة

[8]المثلثة خالفت أصول الأنبياء في تقديس الله ووصفه بصفات الكمال أحدها إن الله سبحانه وتعالى قديم واحد لا شريك له في ملكه ولا ند ولا ضد ولا وزير ولا مشير ولا ظهير ولا شافع إلا من بعد إذنه. الثالث أنه غنى بذاته فلا يأكل ولا يشرب ولا يحتاج إلى شيء مما يحتاج إليه خلقه بوجه من الوجوه. الرابع إنه لا يتغير ولا تعرض له الآفات من الهرم والمرض والسنة والنوم والنسيان والندم والخوف والهم والحزن ونحو ذلك. الخامس إنه لا يماثل شيئا من مخلوقاته بل ليس كمثله شيء لا في ذاته ولا في صفاته ولا في أفعاله. (هداية الحيارى في أجوبة اليهود والنصارى – (1 / 310)

[9]Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah, Hidaayatu-l-Ĥayaaraa Fii ‘Ajwibatu-l-Yahuudi wa-Naşaaraa, 310.

[10]وحكينا لك مقالة الشيخ ابن عبد السلام ومن سبقه إلى مثلها وتلاه على قولها حيث ذكروا أن الشافعية والمالكية والحنفية وفضلاء الحنابلة أشعريون هذه عبارة ابن عبد السلام شيخ الشافعية وابن الحاجب شيخ المالكية والحصيرى شيخ الحنفية ومن كلام ابن عساكر حافظ هذه الأمة الثقة الثبت “هل من الفقهاء الحنفية والمالكية والشافعية إلا موافق الأشعرى ومنتسب إليه وراض بحميد سعيه فى دين الله ومثن بكثرة العلم عليه غير شرذمة قليلة تضمر التشبيه وتعادى كل موحد يعتقد التنزيه أو تضاهى قول المعتزلة فى ذمه…”

[11]Taajuddiin As-Subkiyy (771 AH), Ţabaqaat Asħ-Sħaafiˆiyyah Al-Kubraa, 3/373-374.

[12]ِTaajudDiin As-Subkiyy (771 AH/ 1370 AD) the great judge, jurist and historian. Author or such famous books as Jamˆu-l-Jawaamiˆ in fiqh methodology and Ţabaqaat Asħ-Sħaafiˆiyyah on the biographies of the scholars of the Shafiˆiyy school of fiqh. He is the son of ˆAliyy ibn ˆAbdilKaafii As-Subkiyy, who was the head of the scholars of his time.

[13]Ibnu-ş-Şalaaĥ (643 AH/ 1245 AD) is one of the most important scholars of tafsiir, ĥadiitħ and fiqh. He is famous for his Muqaddimatu Ibn Aş-Şalaaĥ, which became the standard for all later books in Ĥadiitħ science.

[14]طبقات الشافعية الكبرى ـ هجر للطباعة والنشر والتوزيع – 1413هـ – (2 /16-17): وقد تزايد الحال بالخطابية وهم المجسمة فى زماننا هذا فصاروا يرون الكذب على مخالفيهم فى العقيدة لا سيما القائم عليهم بكل ما يسوءه فى نفسه وماله. وبلغنى أن كبيرهم استفتى فى شافعى أيشهد عليه بالكذب فقال ألست تعتقد أن دمه حلال قال نعم قال فما دون ذلك دون دمه فاشهد وادفع فساده عن المسلمين. فهذه عقيدتهم ويرون أنهم المسلمون وأنهم أهل السنة ولو عدوا عددا لما بلغ علماؤهم ولا عالم فيهم على الحقيقة مبلغا يعتبر ويكفرون غالب علماء الأمة ثم يعتزون إلى الإمام أحمد بن حنبل رضى الله عنه وهو منهم برئ ولكنه كما قال بعض العارفين ورأيته بخط الشيخ تقى الدين ابن الصلاح إمامان ابتلاهما الله بأصحابهما وهما بريان منهم أحمد ابن حنبل ابتلى بالمجسمة وجعفر الصادق ابتلى بالرافضة

[15]Ibid., 2/16-17.

[16]طبقات الشافعية الكبرى ـ هجر للطباعة والنشر والتوزيع – 1413هـ – (2 / 19): وقد وصل حال بعض المجسمة فى زماننا إلى أن كتب شرح صحيح مسلم للشيخ محيى الدين النووى وحذف من كلام النووى ما تكلم به على أحاديث الصفات فإن النووى أشعرى العقيدة فلم تحمل قوى هذا الكاتب أن يكتب الكتاب على الوضع الذى صنفه مصنفه. وهذا عندى من كبائر الذنوب فإنه تحريف للشريعة وفتح باب لا يؤمن معه بكتب الناس وما فى أيديهم من المصنفات فقبح الله فاعله وأخزاه

[17]Ibid., 2/19.


Ibn Taymiyyah approves of the claim that Aļļaah sits

December 16, 2009

Ibn Taymiyyah condones of the claim that Aļļaah sits saying:

It has been narrated through the acceptable scholars and Muslim saints (‘awliyaa’) that Muĥammad, the Messenger of Aļļaah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) will be seated by His Lord on His throne with Him. 1

قال ابن تيمية في مجموع الفتاوى – (4 / 374) فَقَدْ حَدَثَ الْعُلَمَاءُ الْمَرْضِيُّونَ وَأَوْلِيَاؤُهُ الْمَقْبُولُونَ : أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يُجْلِسُهُ رَبُّهُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ مَعَهُ .

This is further to the quotes we have shown earlier regarding Ibn Taymiyyah’s extremely blasphemous anthropomorphism, which includes affirming 6 physical boundaries, divisibility in the mind’s eye due to size, ability to shrink, possibility of being hit by a bucket, having the world physically inside of Him, and more. See the table of contents for details.

All of this, of course, he claims is affirmed by the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and the Salaf and Muslim saints! Such statements of his are buried in ridiculously long books saying very much about very little, and that is why some scholars did not discover him, and praised him based on other things. Those who did discover him, however, such as Taqiyyu-d-Diin Al-Ĥuşniyy, the famous Shaafiˆiyy jurist and author of the widely studied fiqh manual “Kifaayatu-l-‘Akħyaar” called him “an absolute kaafir (zindiiq – which originally means fire worshiper, but later used to mean a particularly mean kaafir),” and alluded to how he considered having his remains extracted from his grave and burned in public as an admonition to the public.

1Aĥmad Ibn Taymiyyah (728 AH) Al-Ĥarraaniyy, Majmuuˆu-l-Fataawaa, 4 / 374.


Darwinism in the eye of the mind

October 6, 2009

I have received many requests for writing something about Darwinism since starting Sunnianswers. I never felt I should need to do that, because it should not be that difficult. I always felt no threat from a theory that is so weak that, in my view, it can be ignored from the outset. I did feel, however, that a lot of what is written, from occasional browsing on the internet, misses the point. This is not strange, perhaps, because most of what is there is written by anthropomorphists, that is, the so called creationists, and they cannot go to a level where they will be shooting themselves in the foot. It is just one kaafir arguing with another kaafir about what kind of kufr they should be doing.

The following is a brief synopsis of why Darwinism does not deserve a Muslim’s second look. It is not the usual yada yada about bones in strange places in Africa and who it belonged to, or when, or if when. It is about the approach to evidences and how to get to the truth. It is not new either, it is just the answer that the scholars of Islam would have answered, the Sunnis, if they were still around in significant numbers.

Subĥaana Aļļaah, the closest I have seen to what I am about to do was the last Mufti of the Ottoman empire, Sħaykħ Al-Islam, Muşţafaa Şabriyy. A brilliant scholar, as he had to be to get to where he was, he saw through Muhammad Abduh, and the wahabi movements, and their attacks on kalaam science. They were nothing but, knowingly or unknowingly, servants of imperialist interests. They were there to crush the fortresses of Islam: the Asħˆariyy/ Maaturiidiyy school, and the four schools of Islamic Law that kept Sunnism on top, and the Muslims gathered. A very well studied plan based on decades of orientalist studies for the age old strategy of split and rule. Reason was replaced by idiotic anthropomorphism, literalism and nationalism. This is why we have today all sects raising their banners, and an enormous mess on our hands, not to mention ignorance about basics of Islam itself in Muslim communities, but this is what Aļļaah has willed. This is all, as they say, history, and every man is responsible for himself alone in the end. No use crying over spilled milk.

To begin with I want to make it abundantly clear that the idea of one species developing into another is not problematic in Islam. This has nothing to do with religion. There is only one point that is problematic: the idea that human kind descends from other species, in the Darwinist case, from apes. This is the only issue I am addressing. I don’t care what they said about other species. I will also not raise the issue of atheism in this article, in order to keep things focused.

Empiricism

Empiricism, the idea that one learns general principles, or universals, from scrupulous study of particulars, is a brilliant idea. It is so brilliant and so simple, that one wonders, why did I not think of that, or rather, why did it take so long for anyone to realize its power. There had been scholarship and philosophy and medicine for centuries, and it is not like they had no idea about it. In medicine they did use case studies and they were systematic, but they just did not develop and stick to the methodology in a highly systematic manner.

Then comes Francis Bacon (1561–1626), who was one of the leading figures to develop the philosophy of modern scientific methodology. Bacon gives preference to Democritus’ natural philosophy in contrast to the scholastic. He attacks Aristotle’s treatment of the syllogism[1] and says that there is “no finding without proof and no proof without finding.” This is modern science, and it is exactly what the Sunni scholars meant by their term “ordinary judgment.” That is, “ordinary judgment” is achieved by studying the relations between things in nature, and judging according to repetition, the relation assumed.

Bacon speaks of four idols that are productions of the human imagination that are nothing more than “untested generalities” (Malherbe, 1996, 80). The tribal are imaginary concepts about different perceived phenomena, such as the stars. Those of the cave are doctrines cherished without proof. Those of the market place are errors in communication due to lack of attention to the true meaning of those words, such as a word like “proof.” Those of the theater are those of dogmatic ideas and methodology defended by leaders and scholars and accepted without question.

Regarding his position on cosmology, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy says:

In De Principiis atque Originibus,…. (Bacon says:) “the force implanted by God in these first particles (i.e. the smallest), form the multiplication thereof of all the variety of things proceeds and is made up” (Bacon, V [1889], 463). Similarly, in De Sapientia Veterum he attributes to this force (implanted by God in the atom as) an “appetite or instinct of primal matter; or to speak more plainly, the natural motion of the atom; which is indeed the original and unique force that constitutes and fashions all things out of matter” (Bacon, VI [1890], 729).[2]

Here Bacon loses his grip and accepts as an axiom what is just another of his idols. He makes this mistake, because he does not know the difference between necessary existence, possible existence and the impossible. It is strange that after 400 years the Darwinists are still making this very same mistake. This mistake was rejected by the Muslims, because they understood the difference between these three rational judgments. It is worthy of note that it was their religion that made the Muslims more open minded than these worldly philosophers of science.

Bacon fell in his own trap so to speak and worshiped the Idols of his own “Cave” by cherishing this doctrine, without possessing any evidence of its truth. Yet this mistake has no practical worldly consequence, and perhaps this is why he did not pay attention to it. For him it was perhaps like an overall working hypothesis. Wa laa quwwata illaa billaah.

Evidence in empiricism

Evidence is of different kinds. It can be of the kind that provides certain knowledge, such as the evidence that the world must have beginning and therefore a Creator. At the next level we have those that provide likelihood to the extent that you have no doubt, such as a famous ĥadiitħ that is widely known and accepted throughout history by the scholars, that has no anomalies in meaning or chain of narration. In science one deals, at the very best of times, at this level. That is why Hawkins states in his book “A brief History of Time”:

Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis: you can never prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory. On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory. As philosopher of science Karl Popper has emphasized, a good theory is characterized by the fact that it makes a number of predictions that could in principle be disproved or falsified by observation. Each time new experiments are observed to agree with the predictions the theory survives, and our confidence in it is increased; but if ever a new observation is found to disagree, we have to abandon or modify the theory. At least that is what is supposed to happen, but you can always question the competence of the person who carried out the observation. In practice, what often happens is that a new theory is devised that is really an extension of the previous theory. For example, very accurate observations of the planet Mercury revealed a small difference between its motion and the predictions of Newton’s theory of gravity. Einstein’s general theory of relativity predicted a slightly different motion from Newton’s theory. The fact that Einstein’s predictions matched what was seen, while Newton’s did not, was one of the crucial confirmations of the new theory. However, we still use Newton’s theory for all practical purposes because the difference between its predictions and those of general relativity is very small in the situations that we normally deal with. (Stephen Hawking, 1988, P. 8)

In general, the harder the science, the stronger the proofs can be, and the hardest of all is physics, followed by chemistry. At the other end of the bargain, we have areas of study that are merely trying to be sciences, in my opinion, such as economics.

These proofs study causal relations and the propositions they prove are causal, such as, “the heavier the object, the harder it falls.” The reason why the proofs are best in physics, is the fact that it is easier to repeat experiments in an identical and controlled manner to test a theory in physics. So by dropping objects of different weights over and over, we can verify that indeed, “the heavier it is, the harder it falls,” to the point at which we no longer doubt what to expect about the hardness of the fall of a particular object.

The weakness that is always present, however, is that this methodology, the methodology of the experimental sciences, is essentially fallacious. Why? Because it assumes that the future will be like the past, or the other item of a group of similar things will necessarily behave in the same manner. There are a lot of maybes left in that, such as, maybe we are missing something, maybe what we are observing is affected by something we are not observing, how can we assume that objects will behave according to the same rules tomorrow? …. and so on.

This problem is less in physics, because the objects studied are highly specified and isolated. In economics, on the other hand, it is hard to be specific or isolate anything at all, and one underlying factor is the notorious unpredictability of human behavior. Another not-so-scientific science is psychology, where one tries to study human behavior, but the results are meager, as any reasonable psychologist will admit – despite the efforts of B.F. Skinner. A human is far too complex to be observed in a satisfactory manner. For example, the human mind itself is completely unobservable, and yet it is a major factor of our behavior, perhaps the most important. Any experiment will lack in observability, isolatability and repeatability for testing a theory. Not the least because humans differ so much from person to person, to the extent that they react very differently even to chemicals they consume as medicine, let alone their social and natural environment. If it is something we can know, it is probably pointless, such as: fire on hand → ouch.

Proof and evidence in Islaam

Certitude: The proofs of pure rational judgment

Let us take a more complete look at what evidence is. We mentioned earlier that proofs provide different levels of certainty. The Islamic scholars already observed this long ago. As-Sanuusiyy said: “Know that the judgments of the intellect are limited to 3 categories:

1. what absolutely must be true,

2. what absolutely cannot be true, and

3. what may be true.}”

That is, if we propose something to be true, then our minds will judge that this is either absolutely necessary, absolutely impossible, or possibly true. For example, if someone said, “ˆUmar exists,” a listener would immediately consider this proposition as possible, without knowing more about this ˆUmar.

The judgment of the mind may be immediately obvious, or it may require some thinking. Note that these categories refer to purely intellectual judgments, regardless of any physical evidences or other information. These intellectual judgments are not the only sources of certitude of knowledge. There are two other related ways.

Certitude: The proofs of sensory observation and true information

First, we may gain certainty of knowledge through sound sensory organs by seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, or touching. For example, we become certain of our own existence and that of our families through our senses. In the case of the proposition “ˆUmar exists,” if we see this ˆUmar, he will be sure that indeed, ˆUmar exists.

Second, we may gain certitude about a fact by hearing about something from other people in a way that precludes the possibility of a mistake. For example, we are certain about the historical occurrence of World War II and the existence of Hitler, because we have received consistent information from masses of people about these facts. The way we received this information eliminates the possibility that they could all be mistaken, or have conspired to lie.

In short, the causes of certain knowledge for creations are three: sound senses, true information and the mind.

Likelihood: Normal possibility, impossibility and necessity

Now, science does not deal with certainties. It deals with what could possibly be true. Scientists do not care about whether ˆUmar exists. They are not interested in merely observing something obvious with their senses, which’s denial would be madness. They are interested in knowing what is not obvious. Perception is one thing, the conception of it is another, then the understanding of how it relates to other perceived and conventionalized phenomena is again quite another. For this reason, they study how different things correlate with one another, such as heaviness and hardness of fall.

If the correlation is 100% in many experiments, then we have the best scientific proof we could ever hope for, and yet, as Hawkins said, “No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory.” This is the meaning of likelihood.

The scholars of Islam, such as Al-Bayđaawiyy[3] (died 685 AH/ 1286 AD), recognized the weakness of correlation as a proof, and said:

“والدوران ضعيف” “correlation is weak (as a proof)[4].”

The reason is, as mentioned above, it is essentially fallacious as an argument, and therefore useless in belief related issues. Correlation then, is only used for practical matters from an Islamic viewpoint. For example, if the Prophet was observed doing or saying something in several similar situations, we would consider this as evidence for what we should do, but it is not a matter of belief.

Correlation can tell us something about likelihood, such as the likelihood of something heavier will fall harder than something lighter. The likelihood is a function of the correlation found in the causal relation studied, of the observability of the phenomena studied, and the isolatability and controllability of the phenomena under study from potentially influencing variables not being observed or measured. On top of that we need to be able to repeat identical experiments to verify further, and have a conviction that it is reasonable to look at the correlation being driven by a causal relation, and not something else. This involves subjective judgment of the scientist, and we will not get into the notion of “cause” in this article in any significant detail. In fact, observability, isolatability, controllability and repeatability all involve subjective judgment.

The strongest scientific proofs would be those that show normal impossibility, or normal necessity. Between those we have proofs for theories that make them range between likely true, maybe true, and not likely true. Pigs flying would be normally impossible, because it contradicts with the norms of gravity and aerodynamics. Likewise, fire normally necessitates heat. However, they are not impossible or necessary in the mind’s eye, because there is no logical contradiction in the idea of pigs flying or fire not giving heat. We just don’t expect anything else, because this is always, time and time again the norm. That is why Hawkins said what he said. As-Sanuusiyy (died 895 AH/1490 AD) stated with regard to what is normally necessary or normally impossible:

حقيقة الحكم العادي: هو إثبات الربط بين أمر وأمر، وجوداً وعدماً، بواسطة التكرر، مع صحة التخلف، وعدم تأثير أحدهما في الأمر ألبته[5].

“The meaning of ordinary judgment (as opposed the judgment of the mind’s eye alone): is to affirm true a link between something and something else in terms of existence and non-existence (such as if this then that, or if this then not that, and vice versa, e.g. if the weight is heavier then if falls harder) by means of repetition, with the remaining cognitive possibility of anomaly (i.e. deviance from that normal link), and without one of them affecting the other in actual reality.”[6]

His last statement, “without one of them affecting the other in actual reality” is a reference to the Muslim belief that nothing occurs other than by having been specified and created by Aļļaah. Arguably this statement does not need to be part of the definition, since it already said, “with the possibility of anomaly,” but As-Sanuusiyy mentioned it to protect people from misunderstanding him. This judgment differs from that of the mind in that it involves judgments on objects we observe, and from religious judgment, which involves those concerning prohibitions, obligations and the like, based on religious texts narrated to us.

Darwinist ape to human proposition in light of the judgment of the mind’s eye

Now, the science part of the theory of Darwinists that Islam has a problem with is their idea that Adam was a descendent from apes. Let us first take a look at how this idea fits into the judgment of the mind. Clearly, one cannot say it is impossible in the mind’s eye alone, the way 2+2=5 is impossible. One cannot say either that it must be true, and that there is no other alternative in the mind’s eye, like 2+2=4. Rather, without looking at religious evidences, one cannot but admit other than that it is rationally possible that humans descended from apes, that descended again from other species, and so on.

Darwinist ape to human proposition in light of the judgment of what is normal

We are dealing then, with a proposition that is possible, and is neither a necessity, nor an impossibility in the mind’s eye. This is verified by the fact that Aļļaah created monkeys out of some humans, which tells us that He certainly has the power to create humans from monkeys as well:

وَجَعَلَ مِنْهُمُ الْقِرَدَةَ وَالْخَنَازِيرَ [المائدة : 60]

Meaning: “and He made from them (a cursed group of people) apes and pigs.”

Again, this possibility is only without considering religious evidences. Indeed, the religious sources tell us that mankind was not created from apes, as we shall show later in this article.

Now, we have stated earlier that there are two other ways than pure reason to provide certainty of something being true or not. The first is sensory observation. The second is mass narration. Darwinists do not have sensory observation for how humans descended in history, nor do they have a mass narration from observers.

This means that they do not have, nor will they ever have proof for the theory that provides certainty of knowledge for their theory being true.

What they are left with is scientific proof. We have already observed that such proof is strongest in the hardest sciences, which achieve a high level of correlation, observability, isolatability, controllability and repeatability. The best of these proofs tell us that something is normally necessary, such as Gravity on Earth, or normally impossible, such as flying pigs. Yet, as we have repeatedly stated, the best of such proofs do no more than provide a high level of likelihood, and this is when there is extremely high correlation, and there was extremely high observability (i.e measurability), isolatability, controllability and repeatability, to bring reliable and valid results.

There is no hope for proving the ape proposition from a scientific viewpoint

Even at this level, in the ability to provide this sort of high quality scientific evidence, the Darwinist monkey hypothesis fails miserably. They always will. Why? Because if we were to use our imagination, then the best evidence they could ever hope to provide it to have a monkey give birth to a human in a lab.

I do not think anyone believes this will ever happen, but IF they did, they would have themselves a field day and probably consider it case closed. The problem, however, that this high-imagination lab result does not in fact prove their theory. Namely, that humans actually and historically descended from apes. Why? Because all it would show is that a human could possibly, according to the norms of the universe, or as they say: “scientific law,” descend from a monkey, not that human kind, as is, actually descended from apes. This is a matter of what actually happened in history, not what could have happened in history, and we already knew about this possibility in the mind’s eye already, so what would we have gained?

In short, the Darwinist theory is impossible to actually prove scientifically in the sense that medicine and engineering related sciences prove their theories.

Now, Darwinists are far away from even showing a possibility in light of the norms of the universe – how things normally correlate. The evidences they provide are circumstantial findings of dated ape and human bones, and we have all watched enough court case movies to know what the status of circumstantial evidence is as a proof: it does not even remove reasonable doubt. That is why there are still scientists around that do not buy into it. It is more a matter of group psychological dynamics and fashion that makes people buy into it than anything else. Scientific theories are in fashion, and religious explanations are out, driven by the remarkable success of science in engineering and medicine. Due to its success, everybody wants to be called a scientist, even economists and psychologists. Few are willing to sit back and take a hard look at what is a proof, what does it tell us and what makes science successful and why, and what are the requirements?

The problem is of course, that the success of science in technology is the success of experimental science, not of everything called science. So by merely being labeled a science, or scientific, does not mean it should be looked at with the level of respect that we have for physics and chemistry, or biochemistry. Darwinists are an example of even historians making a claim to the title of “scientist”, in an attempt to be associated with the modern understanding of the word – namely that of experimental science. That just does not work at all. I am being kind when I say that.

A look at the evidences that Darwinists show will lack severely in terms of high observability (i.e measurability), isolatability, controllability and repeatability. E.g. you will find sample size=1, repeatability=0, controllability =0, repeatability = 0.

An Islamic look at the ape proposition

So why do we as Muslims reject the possibility of Darwinists being right about humans descending from apes? The proof is complex, and comes back to proving correct the Muslim belief in Aļļaah, the belief in prophethood, the prophethood of Muĥammad (صل الله عليه وسلم) in particular, and the belief in the Qur’aan as an unperverted and revealed book[7], and that it is impossible that Aļļaah should lie, i.e. what He tells us must be true[8]. Why? Because our rejection of this part of Darwinism is based on the Quranic rejection, and the Qur’aan must be shown as a source of true information. As mentioned earlier, one of the sources of certain knowledge is true information, so we need to verify the Qur’aan as a source of true information, and that depends on all these premises. This, however, is beyond the scope of this article, but there are references in footnote 7 and 8 for those interested..

With regard to the Quranic rejection of the monkey theory, Aļļaah said:

فَإِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ مِنْ تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ مِنْ نُطْفَةٍ ثُمَّ مِنْ عَلَقَةٍ ثُمَّ مِنْ مُضْغَةٍ [الحج : 5]

Meaning: “For verily I created you (O Humans) from soil, then from a drop (of semen), then a blodcloth, then a lump of flesh.” This tells us that human kind is created from soil. Further to this, Aļļaah also said:

إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَى عِنْدَ اللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ آدَمَ خَلَقَهُ مِنْ تُرَابٍ [آل عمران : 59]

Meaning: “Verily the case of Jesus, to Aļļaah, is like that of Adam. He created him from soil.” This further verifies that humans are from soil, not apes, because Adam is the first human and the father of mankind, and it is stated that he was created from soil, not an ape. Aļļaah also said, removing all chances for any figurative interpretation:

إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاهُمْ مِنْ طِينٍ لَازِبٍ [الصافات : 11]

Meaning: “Verily I created you from firm[9] clay.”[10] Clearly, no one can reasonably claim that what is meant by firm clay is a monkey.

Further to this, as mentioned earlier, Aļļaah did make some humans into monkeys after their transgression against His orders:

وَجَعَلَ مِنْهُمُ الْقِرَدَةَ وَالْخَنَازِيرَ [المائدة : 60]

Meaning: “and He made from them (a cursed group of people) apes and pigs.”

Being related to pigs and monkeys then, is a curse and a humiliation. This also tells us that Adam is not a descendant of an ape, because Aļļaah said:

وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِي آدَمَ وَحَمَلْنَاهُمْ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَرَزَقْنَاهُمْ مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَفَضَّلْنَاهُمْ عَلَى كَثِيرٍ مِمَّنْ خَلَقْنَا تَفْضِيلًا [الإسراء : 70]

Meaning: “I have honored the sons of Adam (i.e human kind); provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favors above a great part of creation.”

Then we have the ĥadiitħ of the Prophet, narrated by Abuu Dawuud and At-Tirmidħiyy:

الناس كلُّهم بنو آدَمَ، وآدمُ خُلِقَ من تراب[11]

“All people are the children of Adam, and Adam was created from soil.”[12]

The Islamic textual sources are verily clear on the origin of humans then, and that it is not apes, and this proof is much, much stronger than the circumstantial evidences claimed by Darwinists to show otherwise.


[1]An argument the conclusion of which is supported by two premises, of which one (major premise) contains the term (major term) that is the predicate of the conclusion, and the other (minor premise) contains the term (minor term) that is the subject of the conclusion; common to both premises is a term (middle term) that is excluded from the conclusion. A typical form is “All A is C; all B is A; therefore all B is C.” (Random House, Inc. 2009.)

[2]“Francis Bacon (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy),” http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/francis-bacon/.

[3]Az-Zirikliyy, Al-‘Aˆlaam (2002) (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar El-Ilm Lil-Malayeen, 1423), 4/110.

[4]ˆAliyy ibn ˆAbdulKaafii As-Subkiyy (1404 AH/ 1355 AD), Al-Ibhaaj Fii Sħarĥi-l-Minhaaj (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Kotob Al-ilmiyah, 1404), 1/146.

[5]قال السنوسيّ :حقيقة الحكم العادي: هو إثبات الربط بين أمر وأمر، وجوداً وعدماً، بواسطة التكرر، مع صحة التخلف، وعدم تأثير أحدهما في الأمر ألبته.( شرح المقدمات للسنوسيّ, مكتبة المعارف, 2009, ص. 68)

[6]Muĥammad ibn Yuusuf As-Sanuusiyy (896 AH), Sħarĥu-l-Muqaddimaat, 1st ed. (Maktabatu-l-Maˆaarif, 1420), 68.

[7]See “Foundations of the Religion” for this discussion at https://sunnianswers.wordpress.com/2008/05/19/the-foundations-of-the-religion/ or https://sunnianswers.wordpress.com/2009/08/02/foundations-of-the-religion-pdf/ and https://sunnianswers.wordpress.com/2008/05/24/is-there-a-flaw-in-the-proof-for-the-existence-of-Allah/

[8]See https://sunnianswers.wordpress.com/2008/07/15/refuting-the-accusation-that-asharis-consider-it-rationally-possible-for-allah-to-lie/ and https://sunnianswers.wordpress.com/2008/07/19/it-is-intrinsically-impossible-that-allaah-has-obligations-and-it-is-intrinsically-impossible-that-he-could-lie/ and https://sunnianswers.wordpress.com/2008/07/19/it-is-intrinsically-impossible-that-allaah-has-obligations-and-it-is-intrinsically-impossible-that-he-could-lie/

[9]مفردات ألفاظ القرآن ـ نسخة محققة – (2 / 337): اللازب: الثابت الشديد الثبوت. قال تعالى: {من طين لازب} [الصافات/ 11]

[10]Ar-Raagħib Al-‘Aşfahaaniyy, Mufradaatu-l-Qur’aan (Damascus, Syria: Daar Al-Qalam), 2/337.

[11]جامع الأصول – دار الفكر الخ – (10 / 617): 8215 – ( ت د ) أبو هريرة – رضي الله عنه – : أنَّ رسولَ الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- قال : «لَيَنْتَهِيَنَّ أقّوَام يفتخرون بآبائهم الذين ماتوا ، إنما هم فَحْمُ جهنم ، أو لَيَكُونُنَّ أَهّوَنَ على الله من الجِعْلان الذي يُدَهِدِهُ الخراءَ بأنفه ، إن الله تعالى قد أذَهب عنكم عُبيَّةَ الجاهلية ، وفخرها بالآباء ، إنما هُوَ مؤمِن تقي ، أو فاجِر شقي ، الناس كلُّهم بنو آدَمَ، وآدمُ خُلِقَ من تراب». أخرجه الترمذي ، وهو آخر حديث في كتابه ، وأخرجه أيضا مختصرا : أنَّ رسولَ الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- قال : «قد أذهب الله عنكم عُبيَّةَ الجاهلية ، وفخرها بالآباء ، مؤمن تقي وفاجر شقي الناس بنو آدمَ ، وآدمُ خُلِقَ من تراب».-[618]- وفي رواية أبي داود : «إنَّ الله قد أذهب عنكم عُبيَّةَ الجاهلية»… وذكر الرواية الأولى إلى قوله : «من تراب» ثم قال : «ليَدَعنَّ رجال فَخّرهم بأقوام»… وذكره ، وقال في آخره : «من الجعلان التي تدفع بأنفها النَّتَنَ».

[12]Ibn ‘Atħiir (606 AH), Jaamiˆi-l-‘Uşuul, ed. ˆAbdulQaadir Al-Arna’uuţ (Vol. 1-11) and Basħiir ˆUyuun (Vol. 12), 1st ed. (Beirut, Lebanon: Daar Al-Fikr, Maktabah Al-Hulawaaniyy, Maţbaˆah Al-Mallaaĥ, Maktabah Daar Al-Bayaan, 1969), 10/617.


The Qur’aan and Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech

October 5, 2009

Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech

Aļļaah’s Speech is a necessary and eternal attribute of perfection, which pertains to what He knows, by which He tells, orders, promises and threatens. It would be imperfection for the Creator not to have an attribute by which He tells, orders, promises and threatens. That is why we do not believe it has a beginning, or that it is an action, such as our speech, because that would mean that Aļļaah needed to create for Himself a Speech to achieve perfection.

Moreover, it is imperfection to be attributed with the attribute of expressing what one knows serially (i.e. consecutively, one piece of information after another, or by letters or words). This is because speech that consists of serial expressions must have a beginning and because there will be a delay in informing all that one knows.

Words and letters are created speech

Speech consisting of words and letters is the speech of creation. For this reason one cannot say that Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of Speech is letters and sounds, because Aļļaah said:

“لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ”

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

Accordingly, when Ahlu-s-Sunnah, the Asħˆariyys and the Ĥanafiyys, say that the “Qur’aan is not created” they are referring to Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of speech that is not sound or letters. In other words, the Speech that the book of the Qur’aan refers to.

This is the correct belief, because the Arabic language, just like all languages, was created by Aļļaah. Accordingly, if Arabic is a creation, how can Arabic speech be anything but a creation? After all, what is composed of created things, in this case the sounds of Arabic and their representing letters, is clearly created.

Moreover, speech that is letters and sounds must have a beginning and therefore be a creation. Why? Because words and letters have a beginning. So in “bismillaah”, for example “i” comes after “b”, so when you say bismillaah, the sound “i” only becomes existent after “b” ’s non-existence. This means “i” has become existent after non existence, which means that it needs a creator to exist. Nothing can come into existence without a creator, all Muslims must believe that.

The two meanings of the word “Qur’aan”

The saying of Ahlu-s-Sunnah is that the words and letters in the printed copies of the Qur’aan refer to Aļļaah’s eternal Kalaam, and tell us in Arabic what He said eternally without letters, sounds or words. It is therefore correct to say that “the Qur’aan is not created,” because the word “Qur’aan” actually refers to what Aļļaah tells us, and His speech is not created. It is not correct, however, to say that the words, letters, and sounds associated with the book are not created, because words and letters need a creator, and because the Arabic language, the language of the book, is a creation.

An example to clarify is that the word “Aļļaah” refers to Aļļaah. We do not worship these letters, or the sounds of uttering this word. Rather, we worship the one they refer to. In the same sense, the words, letters and Arabic in the book are not themselves Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech, but refer to that attribute; they tell us what Aļļaah said with His eternal Speech.

The two aspects of speech: meanings and expression

This can be clarified more with another example as follows: 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 in his heart that he wanted to say. These unexpressed meanings that he wanted to say is the speech inside 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.

The word “speech” then, has at least two meanings. The first is the meanings that we want to express. The second is the expression of these meanings in words and letters, body language, or some other mode of expression. 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.

From this it is easy to understand that the word “Qur’aan” has two meanings. The first is the eternal Speech of Aļļaah that the words and letters of the book of the Qur’aan refer to, and that is not itself words, letters, language or sequence. Note that we do not call this “inner speech”, because Aļļaah’s speech is not like our inner speech, and because Aļļaah is not said to have an inside, as He is not a body.

The second meaning of the “Qur’aan” is the book, the organized and sequential Arabic words and letters that express in Arabic what Aļļaah said eternally, without letters or sounds. This book is called Aļļaah’s Speech, because it refers to what Aļļaah said eternally, and one cannot say that it is not Aļļaah’s speech, because that entails denying Aļļaah’s eternal speech.

To clarify further using the example of Obama’s speech: if it was translated to Arabic we would still call it “Obama’s Speech.” This is because they refer to the meanings he originally expressed in English based on the meanings he wanted to convey, which is his inner speech. Accordingly, if someone said about the Arabic translation, “This is not Obama’s speech!” people would understand from this that he did not express those meanings, not that he did not say it in Arabic. In fact, if the one that claimed it is not Obama’s speech clarified what he meant and said, “He spoke English, not Arabic!” people would consider him a fool. The reason is that they understand Obama’s speech to be the meanings that he expressed, irrespective of how it is expressed.

Likewise, when Muslims hold the muşĥaf up and say, “this is Aļļaah’s Speech,” they mean the meanings that Aļļaah said eternally, not the paper or ink, or the letters and their sounds. That is why if someone translated an aayah of the Qur’aan to English and stated before it “Aļļaah said….” people will not object and say, “Aļļaah did not say that,” unless he disagreed with the translation. Alternatively, they mean the Arabic expression of Aļļaah’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.”

Deviant sayings regarding Aļļaah’s speech

Since speech that consists of words and letters is created, there is no difference between saying “Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of Speech is words and letters,” and saying “Aļļaah’s Speech is created.” The first is the saying of the Ĥuruufiyyah[1], and the second is that of the Muˆtazilah. It does not help the Ĥuruufiyyah try to escape by saying that it is “uncreated.”

The Muˆtazilah said it is created because it is letters and sounds, and letters and sounds have a beginning, so they must be created. The Ĥuruufiyyah take this one step further in deviation by denying the obvious, which is that anything with a beginning, such as letters, is a creation.

The only difference between the Muˆtazilah and the Ĥuruufiyyah is that the latter called this “emergent speech brought into existence by Aļļaah according to His specification” an “uncreated attribute,” whereas the Muˆtazilah called this very same “emergent speech brought into existence by Aļļaah according to His specification” a “created non-attribute.” They only differ about what to call it, and that is not a real difference, and thus not what the Salaf were concerned about when they refuted the Muˆtazilah.

What the Salaf understood from “create”

The Salaf spoke Arabic. In other words, by looking up the definition of create, we can tell what the Salaf meant when they said, “the Qur’aan is not created.” Did they mean that it is an event and was brought into existence, but not created, as the Ĥuruufiyyah claim? Or did they mean that the Qur’aan is not brought into existence, because it is not an event, thus has no need for a creator?

The authoritative imam of Arabic linguistics Ibn Faaris[2] said in Maqaayiisu-l-Lugħah: “(The root) kħ-l-q has two basic meanings (that all its derived words, such as kħalaqa – to create – come from) one of them is to specify, the other is smoothness[3].”[4]

The linguists Ibn Manţħuur[5] in Lisaanu-l-ˆArab [6], and Az-Zabiidiyy[7] in Taaju-l-ˆAruus [8] narrate from the imaam of Arabic, Al-‘Azhariyy: “Among the attributes of Aļļaah is “the Creator” (Al-Kħaaliq and Al-Kħallaaq), and He is the one that brought everything into existence after it being non-existent, and the root meaning of the word kħalq is specifying, so He is in the sense of what gets existence from Him the one that specified it, and in the sense of bringing into existence according to the specification, the one that created it[9].”

In the Arabic language then, to create is to bring into existence according to specification. Clearly then, there is no difference between saying “created” or “event,” because whatever did not exist must be brought into existence to become and event. Otherwise it would remain non-existent. The Ĥuruufiyyah want to convince us that Aļļaah brings sounds into existence in Himself and then lets them out. They want to convince us that bringing something into existence with the specification of “in the world” is called “created”, while specifying in “the the Creator for this,” is called “event.” But there is no difference here except the specification, and creating is to bring into existence according to specification in Arabic, so this is a baseless claim.

Being an event and being created is the same

The Ĥuruufiyyah insist that Aļļaah’s attribute of Kalaam/Speech is sounds and letters, and has a beginning, but is not created. They have the curious idea that not all events are created. This has no basis in the Arabic language or the terminology of the Salaf; they saw no difference between saying “event” and “created.” In this regard, Al-Bayhaqiyy narrated in Al-Asmaa’ Wa-ş-Şifaat that Wakiiˆ said: “The Qur’aan (i.e. what the Arabic words and letters refer to) is the Speech/ Kalaam of Aļļaah (i.e. His eternal attribute), and it is not created. So the one that says it is created has disbelieved in Aļļaah.” In another narration he said, “The one that says the Qur’aan is created has said it has a beginning, and the one that says it has a beginning has blasphemed [10].” The same was narrated by Adħ-Dħahabiyy [11][12].

For those who do not know who Wakiiˆ is, it was stated by Adħ-Dħahabiyy in Siyar ‘Aˆlaam An-Nubalaa’: “The Imaam, the Ĥaafiţħ, the Muĥadditħ of ˆIraaq, …. He was born in 129 after the Hijrah (9/140-141).” He said that Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal used to glorify Wakiiˆ and say about him, “I have never met anyone more aware in his knowledge than Wakiiˆ, or anyone that has memorized more[13] (9/144).” In short, Wakiiˆ is one of the greatest ĥadiitħ masters in history and here we find him making takfiir for those who say that the the Qur’aan (i.e. the eternal attribute of Aļļaah that the book refers to) is an event, but not created.

The same statement was also made by Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal. Adħ-Dħahabiyy and others narrated that he said: “The one who says that the Qur’aan is something with a beginning is a kaafir[14]. [15]

Another famous scholar of the Salaf generation, Abuu Jaˆfar Aţ-Ţabariyy said: “The one that objects to what we have stated, it is said to him: Tell us about the speech that you described as created, and that the Beginninglessly Eternal speaks with, did He create it, as it is created according to you, in Himself, or in something else, or is it something existing in itself? If he says, ”in Himself” then this necessitates that He would be something that created things exist in and this is blasphemy according to everybody[16]. [17]

Asħ-Sħawkaaniyy affirms that the Salaf made takfiir for the one who says “the Qur’aan is an event.” He says in his book Fatĥu-l-Qadiir, under the explanation for Al-‘Anbiyaa’, 2: “The imaams of the Sunnis were right in their forbiddance in answering the call to the saying ‘the Qur’aan is created’ or ‘emergent’.” Notice how he does not see a difference between created and emergent, then he said, “Aļļaah protected the nation of His prophet’s followers from a bad innovation through them. They went beyond that, however, and said that the Qur’aan is eternal and did not stop at that, but said that the one who says it is emergent is a kaafir[18]…. [19]” This means that the Ĥuruufiyyah are kuffaar in the eyes of the Salaf.

There is no difference then, between saying “event” and “created.” Both words mean “brought into existence,” and the Salaf were against saying “the Qur’aan is an event” just as much as they were against saying that it is created. Accordingly, any Arabic speech is created, because it did not exist and then existed, which makes it an event and in need of a creator to bring it into existence.

As for the claim that Al-Bukħaariyy called the Qur’aan an event, this is not the case. Al-Bukħaariyy was speaking of the revelation of the Qur’aan when he commented on the saying of Aļļaah:

مَا يَأْتِيهِمْ مِنْ ذِكْرٍ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ مُحْدَثٍ إِلاَّ اسْتَمَعُوهُ وَهُمْ يَلْعَبُونَ [الأنبياء : 2]

Meaning: “Whenever new remembrance from their Lord comes to them, they listen to it mockingly.”

Isĥaaq ibn Raawayh was asked about this Aayah, he said: “Eternally of Aļļaah, new to Earth.” Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy commented: “this is the precedent of what Al-Bukħaariyy said[20].” This must clearly be the case, lest Al-Bukħaariyy be a non-Muslim deviant in the view of the likes of Wakiiˆ and Aĥmad, as discussed above.

Abuu Ĥaniifah on the meaning of “the Qur’aan is not created.”

Abuu Ĥaniifah, who is definitely among the Salaf, explains that the meaning of “the Qur’aan is not created” is that Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of speech is not created. In his book Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar, he said:

“The Qur’aan is the Speech of Aļļaah (Taˆaalaa), written on pages (muşĥafs), preserved in hearts, recited on tongues, and revealed to the Prophet r. Our utterance of the Qur’aan is created, and our recitation of the Qur’aan is created, but the Qur’aan is not created[21].” [22].

He means by “the Qur’aan is the Speech of Aļļaah” that the word “Qur’aan” refers to Aļļaah’s eternal speech that is not letters (thus not language or sounds – as letters are symbols that represent sounds.) I.e. there is no difference between saying “Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech” and “the Qur’aan;” they are synonyms. He makes this clear when he says a few paragraphs later:

“Aļļaah speaks, but not like our speech; we speak by means of instruments (vocal cords, limbs, etc.) and letters, but Aļļaah speaks without instruments or letters. Letters are a creation, and Aļļaah’s Speech is not created[23].” [24].
In conclusion, Abuu Ĥaniifah says, “the Qur’aan is the Speech of Aļļaah,” and “Aļļaah speaks without instruments or letters,” then he emphasizes this further by saying, “Letters are a creation, and Aļļaah’s Speech is not created.”

The judgment on saying that the Qur’aan is created.

The word Qur’aan is a name for Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of Speech, as has been clarified earlier. It can also, however, refer to the Arabic book of the Qur’aan – the revealed letters – like when someone says, “please give me that Qur’aan on the shelf”. When the Salaf said, “the Qur’aan is not created,” they obviously meant the first meaning, not the second.

But what about if someone said, “the Qur’aan is created,” intending the book? The Salaf said that saying that the Qur’aan is created with this sense in mind – the revealed letters of the book – is bidˆah, an ugly innovation. They considered it ugly because it may mislead someone to think that Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech is created. Ibn ˆAabidiin in his Ĥaasħiyah says, “The bottom line is that what is not created is the Qur’aan in the sense of Aļļaah’s Speech, that is, the (eternal) attribute that is affirmed to His Self, not the sense of revealed letters. It is not said that the Qur’aan is created, however, so that no one will think that the first meaning is meant[25]. [26]

Note however, that some later scholars allowed this expression for teaching purposes, because they found it necessary to use this expression to explain that Aļļaah’s eternal speech is not language or letters. In fact, today it is probably the case that most people understand from the word Qur’aan the revealed letters only, and not the attribute of Aļļaah. For this they allowed the expression “the Qur’aan is created” for teaching purposes, so that no one would think that the letters in the book are uncreated.

The late Asħˆariyys’ permission of saying “the Qur’aan is created”

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.

The principle of those who claim that letters may not be created, and their status in FakħrudDiin Ar-Raaziyy’s view

An Arabic utterance is a creation exactly because it is an event. It has to be, since Arabic itself is created, so one can only wonder why some would want to say that, “not every event is created.” The answer is that they believe that Aļļaah is a physical entity located above the ˆArsħ. According to this philosophy, when something is created outside of that body, it is called creation, and when it is created inside that body, it is not a creation. That is why they consider the saying “the Qur’aan is created,” as a deviant statement, because to them this means that the Arabic letters and sounds written in the muşĥaf were not first created inside the physical entity, or idol, that they worship, and invalidly call “Aļļaah.” In other words, “He does not resemble anything,” means to them, in the context of the attribute of Speech, “His speech has a different location.” Based on this concept of physical location, you can understand a lot about what they mean when they are talking about Aļļaah’s attributes.

FakħrudDiin Ar-Raaziyy said, “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 Ĥuluuliyyah (those who believe that Allah settles in created things, such as the sky or a human body) and Ĥuruufiyyah (those who believe that Allah’s attribute of Kalaam/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 Ĥuruufiyyah believe that it settles in the tongue of all those who recite Qur’aan, and in all physical things that the Qur’aan 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[27].” [28].

What is the response if someone asked, “who said alif laam miim?”?

The answer is therefore that Aļļaah said alif-laam-miim, without His speech being words, letters or language. The letters in the muşĥaf tell us what He said eternally. The expression “alif-laam-miim” is not different than other words or letters in the muşĥaf in this regard. They are letters that refer to the meaning of what Aļļaah said eternally without letters of sounds. Abuu Faraj Ibn Al-Jawziyy[29] said in his commentary on the Qur’aan Zaadu-l-Masiir:

“The commentators on the Qur’aan have specified 5 different sayings regarding alif-laam-miim: One of them is that it is one of the aayahs that are ambiguous in meaning, and only Aļļaah knows its meaning, as has been explained earlier. The second is that it means, “I, Aļļaah, know”. This was narrated by Abuu Ađ-Đuĥaa from Ibn ˆAbbaas, and this is also the saying of Ibn Masˆuud and Saˆiid ibn Jubayr. The third is that it is an oath, this was narrated by Abuu Şaaliĥ from Ibn ˆAbbaas and Kħaalid Al-Ĥadħdħaa’ from ˆIkrimah. The fourth is that they are letters of names, and there are two sayings about that, the first is that Alif refers to Aļļaah, the laam to Jibriil and miim refers to Muĥammad. This was stated by Ibn ˆAbbaas…. The second (saying regarding names) is that the Alif refers to Aļļaah, the laam to Laţiif and miim refers to “Majiid” (these are all names of Aļļaah,) and this was stated by Abuu ˆaaliyah. The fifth is that it is a name of the Qur’aan, as stated by Mujaahid, Asħ-Sħaˆbiyy, Qataadah and Ibn Jurayj[32]. ”[31]

Some will insist further, and say, “who’s utterance is alif laam miim?” The answer is that the one that utter an utterance is its utterer, because it is a matter of sound. People differ in their utterance of the Qur’aan, so one person’s utterance is different from another’s, for example. The best is the utterance of Jibriil. As for the words, the words are Aļļaah’s. Not in the sense that He uttered them, but in the sense that no one authored them, and that it is an expression of His eternal Speech, which is not letters, sounds or sequence.

It is obvious that the letter Alif is created, because it 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 Aļļaah 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 and event, and the one that says it is an event has blasphemed.”

What is the difference between the Qur’aan and Ĥadiitħ Qudsiyy, Prophetic Ĥadiitħ?

The ĥadiitħ qudsiyy is the Prophet’s words, but he says “Aļļaah says…” Moreover, the ĥadiitħ qudsiyy has no challenge of inimitable eloquence. The prophet spoke in his own words in ĥadiitħs. All of these texts are holy, because they are all revealed from Aļļaah. All of them are rewardable in reciting and studying with the correct intention. This is because Aļļaah has willed it to be so. We get credit and blessings for what Aļļaah has willed for us to get it for. No act or thing causes one to gain credit, except by the will of Aļļaah.

Since the Qur’aan consists of revealed words, they cannot be changed, or altered. This is to preserve the revelation, and the inimitability of the book, which is a miracle and a lasting proof of the prophethood of Aļļaah’s messenger. The eloquence of the Qur’aan is inimitable because Aļļaah has willed it. No one can do against His will, not in this, and not in anything else.

It is impossible that Aļļaah should lie

Al-Aamidiyy[33] states in ‘Abkaar Al-‘Afkaar: “I do not know of any disagreement among those who say that Aļļaah is attributed with Kalaam/ Speech, that lies are impossible in His Speech, whether it be the eternal attribute of His Self (as the Sunnis say), or the one (as the Muˆtazilah and Anthropomorphists believe) that is sounds and lettersSayfudDiin Al-Aamidiy, Abkaar Al-Afkaar, 2nd ed. (Kairo, Egypt: Maţbaˆah Daar Al-Kutub Wa-l-Watħaa’iq Al-Qawmiyyah, 1423), 2/83..

As-Sanuusiyy in his book ˆUmdatu ‘Ahli-t-Tawfiiq says, “Are miracles as proof of the truthfulness of the Messengers of Aļļaah proofs in the mind’s eye, or by convention, or by normal necessity according to the relevant indications? There are different sayings. According to the first two (the mind’s eye and convention), it is impossible for a liar to have a miracle, because for the first it would lead to contradicting the sound mind, and for the second it would lead to saying that there is a flaw in what Aļļaah has informed, jalla wa ˆalaa, because to affirm the truthfulness of a lie is to lie, and it is impossible that Aļļaah should lie, since His Speech agrees with His Knowledge….” “Moreover, if He was attributed with lying, and His attributes are all eternal, then it would be impossible for Him to be attributed with being truthful (in His Speech,) while it is correct that He is attributed with it, since He must be attributed with Knowledge. This would mean that what is correct would become impossible.[34]” Then he points out that the first two sayings are about the same[35]. In explaining the details of all this he mentions the proofs for why it is impossible that Aļļaah could lie he says, “Third, it has been established that Aļļaah is attributed with complete perfection, and truthfulness is an attribute of complete perfection which’s opposite is a flaw, and it is impossible that Aļļaah should be attributed with a flaw, so He must be truthful.[36]

The third perspective mentioned by As-Sanuusiyy states that miracles are proof of truthfulness according to what is normally necessarily true, i.e. that it would be normally impossible for someone with a miracle to tell a lie. This is because the rule throughout history is that someone with a miracle, with all of its requisite conditions intact, never happened to a liar. Regarding this As-Sanuusiyy states, “and our saying that lying is possible in the mind’s eye alone, for someone telling the truth, does not put a doubt in his truthfulness once we are sure he is telling the truth. This is because the possibility in the mind’s eye only means that if it happened instead of being truthful, then that would not lead to an impossibility in the mind’s eye. It does not mean that it is possible that Aļļaah could lie.[37]” In other words, it is not impossible in the mind’s eye, because it does not lead to saying that Aļļaah could lie, as As-Sanuusiyy showed with proofs and refuted any objections prior. Then he goes on to explain the third perspective on the proof of truthfulness in miracles, “It happens a lot that we know something to be absolutely and necessarily true, even though we say that its opposite is possible in the mind’s eye, such as our knowledge of our own existence. No sound minded person doubts it, even though we say that if we had continued to not exist at all, then this would not have been impossible in the mind’s eye. It (the possibility of our non-existence in the mind’s eye) does not mean that we could be non-existent while being existent.[38]” More specifically, “The sign of the truthfulness of the Prophet (şalla-ļļaahu ˆalayhi wa sallam) is the occurrence of certain knowledge in us due to miracles, so once this certitude occurs, there is no possibility of lying any longer.[39]

What all this means is that Aļļaah could have created a world full of miracles happening to liars and truthful people alike, so the proof of truthfulness in a miracle is in the fact that they occur only in the case of truthfulness, not that miracles could not have been for anybody else in the mind’s eye. It may be said that all these three perspectives on miracles are really complementary, because the reason why a miracle is a sign of truthfulness by convention or by reason is that it only occurs to those truthful in the claim of prophethood, and this way we know that this is the convention for knowing that someone is a prophet, and that if a miracle happens to someone claiming prophethood, then Aļļaah’s creating this miracle is a reference to Aļļaah’s eternal Speech by which we know that He is telling us that his slave is truthful in his claim of prophethood. That is, the miracle, which is an extraordinary event coupled with the claim of prophethood, and not possible for opponents to imitate, is a conventional sign from Aļļaah which tells us that He affirms that claim, just as that Arabic letters and words of the book of the Qur’aan tell us what Aļļaah says.

Asħ-Sħahrastaaniyy says, “So the preponderator for truthfulness (in the claim of prophethood) is the group of circumstances which occurs by the gathering of many elements, such as the extraordinary event coupled with the claim of prophethood, and the non-existence of any effective challenge to it from an opponent. All these factors as a group tell us that the claimer is truthful, and take the place of a saying as an affirmation of his truthfulness .[40]

So As-Sanuusiyy says that lying is impossible for Aļļaah in the mind’s eye, unlike some people claim. In fact, he considers it a premise of all the three perspective on miracles as a proof of truthfulness. For the record, it is the second perspective that As-Sanuusiyy mentions in his book “Aş-Sugħraa,” and “Al-Wusţaa.” In the explanation of Aş-Şugħraa, he says, “It is impossible that Aļļaah could lie, because His Speech/Kalaam must agree with His Knowledge, and speech in agreement with knowledge cannot by but truthful.[41]

References:

Abu Bakr Al-Bayhqiyy (458 AH). Al-Asmaa’ Wa-ş-Şifaat li-l-Bayhaqiyy. 2 vols. 1st ed. Jedda, Saudi Arabia: Maktabah Al-Sawaadiyy.

Abu Jaˆfar Aţ-Ţabariyy. At-Tabşiir fii Maˆaalim Ad-Diin. 1st ed. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Daar Al-ˆAaşimah, 1416.

Abu-l-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawziyy (508-597 AH/ 1114-1201 AD). Zaadu-l-Masiir. 9 vols. 3rd ed. Beirut, Lebanon: Al-Maktab Al-Islamiyy, 1404.

Abuu Ĥaniifah (80-150 AH/ 699-767). Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar. Vol. 1. Ĥaydar Aabaad, India: Majlis Daa’iratu-l-Maˆaarifi-n-Niţħaamiyyah, 1342.

Al-Aamidiy, SayfudDiin. Abkaar Al-Afkaar. 5 vols. 2nd ed. Kairo, Egypt: Maţbaˆah Daar Al-Kutub Wa-l-Watħaa’iq Al-Qawmiyyah, 1423.

As-Sanuusiyy, Muĥammad ibn Yuusuf. Ĥaasħiyatu-d-Dusuuqiyy ˆalaa Ummi-l-Baraahiin wa Sħarĥuhaa. 1 vols. Beirut, Lebanon: Al-Maktabah Al-ˆAşriyyah, 1426.

Az-Zirikliyy. Al-‘Aˆlaam (2002). 15 vols. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar El-Ilm Lil-Malayeen, 1423.

FakħrudDiin Al-Raaziy. Mafaatiiĥ Al-Għayb. 32 vols. 1st ed. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Kotob Al-ilmiyah, 1421.

Ibn Maţħuur Al-‘Ifriiqiyy. Lisaanu-l-ˆArab. 15 vols. Beirut, Lebanon: Daar Şaadir.

Ibn Zakariyyaa ibn Faaris, and ˆAbdusSalaam Haaruun. Maqaayiisu-l-Lugħah. 6 vols. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Fikr.

Muĥammad ibn ˆAliyy Asħ-Sħawkaaniyy. Fatĥu-l-Qadiir. 5 vols. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Fikr.

Muĥammad ibn Yuusuf As-Sanuusiyy (896 AH). Sħarĥu-l-Muqaddimaat. 1 vols. 1st ed. Maktabatu-l-Maˆaarif, 1420.

Muĥammad-Amiin Ibn ˆAabidiin. Ĥaasħiyatu Raddi-l-Muĥtaar. 6 vols. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Fikr, 1415.

Murtađaa Az-Zabiidiyy. Taaju-l-ˆAruus min Jawaahiri-l-Qaamuus. 40 vols. Daar Al-Hidaayah.

SħamsudDiin Adħ-Dħahabiyy. Siyar ‘Aˆlaam An-Nubalaa’. Beirut, Lebanon: Mu’assasatu-r-Risaalah, 1413.


[1]Ĥuruufiyyah, or “those pertaining to letters” is a name for any person that believes Aļļaah’s eternal Speech is letters and sounds.

[2]Ibn Faaris (329-395 AH/ 941-1004 AD) Aĥmad ibn Faaris ibn Zakariyyaa, Al-Qazwiiniyy, Ar-Raaziyy, Abu-l-Ĥusayn is among the imams of language and literature. Several authors of great eloquence studied from him. He is originally from Qazwiin, but moved to Ar-Rayy and died there. Among his works are the dictionaries Maqaayiisu-l-Lugħah and Al-Mujmal. (Al-‘Aˆlaam, 1/193).

[3]معجم مقاييس اللغة لابن فارس – (2 / 213): (خلق) الخاء واللام والقاف أصلان: أحدهما تقدير الشيء، والآخر مَلاسَة الشيء.

[4]Ibn Zakariyyaa ibn Faaris and ˆAbdusSalaam Haaruun, Maqaayiisu-l-Lugħah (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Fikr), 2/213.

[5]Ibn Manţħuur (630-711 AH/ 1232-1311 AD) Muĥammad ibn Makram ibn ˆaliyy, Abu-l-Fađl, JamaaludDiin, Al-Anşaariyy, Ar-Ruwayfiˆiyy, Al-‘Ifriiqiyy, the author of the famous, encyclopedic dictionary Lisaanu-l-ˆArab, was an imam of linguistics. He was born in Tripoli in today’s Libya, and was appointed judge there for some time. He authored around 500 books, many of them summaries of books in literature. (Al-‘Aˆlaam, 7/108).

[6]Ibn Maţħuur Al-‘Ifriiqiyy, Lisaanu-l-ˆArab (Beirut, Lebanon: Daar Şaadir), 10/85.

[7]Murtađaa Az-Zabiidiyy (1145-1205 AH/ 1732-1790 AD) Muĥammad ibn Muĥammad ibn Muĥammad ibn ˆAbdirRazzaaq, Al-Ĥusayniyy, Az-Zabiidiyy, Abu-l-Fayđ, known as Murtađaa, was a great scholar of language, ĥadiitħ, narrator biography, and genealogy. He was also a great author. His family origin is from Iraq, but he was born in India, grew up in Yemen, and settled and died in Egypt. He became very famous during his lifetime, to the extent that kings wrote him and sent him gifts. Among his most famous works are Taaju-l-ˆAruus, his commentary on the renowned dictionary Al-Qaamuus, and Itĥaafu-s-Saadati-l-Muttaqiin, his commentary in Al-Għazaaliyy’s ‘Iĥyaa’ ˆuluumi-d-Diin. (Al-‘Aˆlaam, 7/70).

[8]Murtađaa Az-Zabiidiyy, Taaju-l-ˆAruus min Jawaahiri-l-Qaamuus (Daar Al-Hidaayah), 25/251.

[9]لسان العرب – (10 / 85): وعن الأَزهري ومن صفات الله تعالى الخالق والخلاَّق ولا تجوز هذه الصفة بالأَلف واللام لغير الله عز وجل وهو الذي أَوجد الأَشياء جميعها بعد أَن لم تكن موجودة وأَصل الخلق التقدير فهو باعْتبار تقدير ما منه وجُودُها وبالاعتبار للإِيجادِ على وَفْقِ التقدير. تاج العروس من جواهر القاموس – (25 / 251): وقالَ الأزْهَرِي : هو الّذِي أوْجَدَ الأشْياءَ جَمِيعَها بعدَ أَنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ مَوْجُودَةً ، وأصْلُ الخَلْقِ : التَّقْدِير ، فهُوَ باعْتِبار ما مِنْهُ وجودُها مُقَدِّرٌ ، وبالاعْتِبارِ للإِيجادِ على وَفْقِ التقْدِيرِ خالِقٌ .

[10]Abu Bakr Al-Bayhqiyy (458 AH), Al-Asmaa’ Wa-ş-Şifaat li-l-Bayhaqiyy, 1st ed. (Jedda, Saudi Arabia: Maktabah Al-Sawaadiyy), 1/608-609.

[11]SħamsudDiin Adħ-Dħahabiyy, Siyar ‘Aˆlaam An-Nubalaa’ (Beirut, Lebanon: Mu’assasatu-r-Risaalah, 1413), 9/166.

[12]الأسماء والصفات للبيهقي – (ج 1 / ص 608-609) 547- وأخبرنا أبو عبد الله الحافظ ، وأبو سعيد بن أبي عمرو ، قال : حَدَّثَنَا أبو العباس محمد بن يعقوب ، حَدَّثَنَا محمد بن إسحاق الصاغاني ، حَدَّثَنَا حسين بن علي بن الأسود ، قال : سمعت وكيعا ، يقول : القرآن كلام الله تعالى ليس بمخلوق ، فمن زعم أنه مخلوق فقد كفر بالله العظيم وفي رواية محمد بن نصر المروزي عن أبي هشام الرفاعي ، عن وكيع ، قال : من زعم أن القرآن مخلوق ، فقد زعم أن القرآن محدث ، ومن زعم أن القرآن محدث فقد كفر

سير أعلام النبلاء – (ج 9 / ص 166) : قال أبو هشام الرفاعي: سمعت وكيعا يقول: من زعم أن القرآن مخلوق، فقد زعم أنه محدث، ومن زعم أن القرآن محدث، فقد كفر.

[13]سير أعلام النبلاء – (ج 9 / ص 140-141) : وكيع * (ع) ابن الجراح، بن مليح، بن عدي، بن فرس، بن جمجمة، بن سفيان، بن الحارث، بن عمرو، بن عبيد، بن رؤاس، الامام الحافظ، محدث العراق، أبو سفيان الرؤاسي، الكوفي، أحد الاعلام. ولد سنة تسع وعشرين ومئة، قاله أحمد بن حنبل. وقال خليفة وهارون بن حاتم: ولد سنة ثمان وعشرين. واشتغل في الصغر. 4سير أعلام النبلاء – (ج 9 / ص 144) : وقال أحمد بن حنبل: ما رأيت أحدا أوعى للعلم ولا أحفظ من وكيع.قلت: كان أحمد يعظم وكيعا ويفخمه. قال محمد بن عامر المصيصي: سألت أحمد: وكيع أحب إليك أو يحيى بن سعيد ؟ فقال: وكيع، قلت: كيف فضلته على يحيى، ويحيى ومكانه من العلم والحفظ والاتقان ما قد علمت ؟ قال: وكيع كان صديقا لحفص بن غياث، فلما ولي القضاء، هجره، وإن يحيى كان صديقا لمعاذ بن معاذ، فلما ولي القضاء، لم يهجره يحيى

[14]سير أعلام النبلاء – (11 / 288) : وقال أبو إسماعيل الترمذي: سمعت أحمد بن حنبل، يقول: من قال: القرآن محدث، فهو كافر.

[15]Ibid., 11/288.

[16]التبصير في معالم الدين – (ص ٢٠٢) : من أبى ما قلنا في ذلك قيل له: أخبرنا عن الكلام الذي وصفت أن القديم به متكلم مخلوق، أخلقه – إذ كان عندك مخلوقا في ذاته، أم في غيره، أم قائم بنفسه؟ فإن زعم خلقه في ذاته، فقد أوجب أن تكون ذاته محلا للخلق، وذلك عند الجميع كفر .

[17]Abu Jaˆfar Aţ-Ţabariyy, At-Tabşiir fii Maˆaalim Ad-Diin, 1st ed. (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Daar Al-ˆAaşimah, 1416), 202.

[18]تفسير فتح القدير ـ موافق للمطبوع – (3 / 397): “ما يأتيهم من ذكر من ربهم محدث” من لابتداء الغاية وقد استدل بوصف الذكر لكونه محدثا على أن القرآن محدث لأن الذكر هنا هو القرآن وأجيب بأنه لا نزاع فى حدوث المركب من الأصوات والحروف لأنه متجدد فى النزول فالمعنى محدث تنزيله وإنما النزاع فى الكلام النفسي وهذه المسئلة أعني قدم القرآن وحدوثه قد ابتلى بها كثير من أهل العلم والفضل فى الدولة المأمونية والمعتصمية والواثقية وجرى للإمام أحمد بن حنبل ما جرى من الضرب الشديد والحبس الطويل وضرب بسببها عنق محمد بن نصر الخزاعي وصارت فتنة عظيمة فى ذلك الوقت وما بعده والقصة أشهر من أن تذكر ومن أحب الوقوف على حقيقتها طالع ترجمة الإمام أحمد بن حنبل فى كتاب النبلاء لمؤرخ الإسلام الذهبي ولقد أصاب أئمة السنة بامتناعهم من الإجابة إلى القول بخلق القرآن وحدوثه وحفظ الله بهم أمة نبيه عن الابتداع ولكنهم رحمهم الله جاوزوا ذلك إلى الجزم بقدمه ولم يقتصروا على ذلك حتى كفروا من قال بالحدوث بل جاوزوا ذلك إلى تكفير من قال لفظي بالقرآن مخلوق بل جاوزوا ذلك إلى تكفير من وقف وليتهم لم يجاوزوا حد الوقف وإرجاع العلم إلى علام الغيوب فإنه لم يسمع من السلف الصالح من الصحابة والتابعين ومن بعدهم إلى وقت قيام المحنة وظهور القول فى هذه المسئلة شئ من الكلام ولا نقل عنه كلمة فى ذلك فكان الامتناع من الإجابة إلى ما دعوا إليه والتمسك بأذيال الوقف وإرجاع علم ذلك إلى عالمه هو الطريقة المثلى وفيه السلامة والخلوص من تكفير طوائف من عباد الله والأمر لله سبحانه

[19]Muĥammad ibn ˆAliyy Asħ-Sħawkaaniyy, Fatĥu-l-Qadiir (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Fikr), 3/397.

[20]فتح الباري – ابن حجر – (13 / 497) : وقد نقل الهروي في الفاروق بسنده إلى حرب الكرماني سألت إسحاق بن إبراهيم الحنظلي يعني بن راهويه عن قوله تعالى ما يأتيهم من ذكر من ربهم محدث قال قديم من رب العزة محدث إلى الأرض فهذا هو سلف البخاري في ذلك

[21]الفقه الأكبر (ص. 5): والقرآن كلام الله تعالى في المصاحف مكتوب, وفي القلوب محفوظ وعلى الألسن مقروء, وعلى النبي عليه الصلاة والسلام منزّل, ولفظنا بالقرآن مخلوق وكتابتنا له مخلوقة وقرائتنا له مخلوقة والقرآن غير مخلوق.

[22]Abuu Ĥaniifah (80-150 AH/ 699-767), Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar, vol. 1 (Ĥaydar Aabaad, India: Majlis Daa’iratu-l-Maˆaarifi-n-Niţħaamiyyah, 1342), 5.

[23]الفقه الأكبر (ص. 6): ويتكلم لا ككلامنا ونحن نتكلم بالآلات والحروف والله تعالى يتكلم بلا آلة ولاحروف. والحروف مخلوقة وكلام الله تعالى غير مخلوق.

[24]Ibid., 1:6.

[25]حاشية رد المحتار – (4 / 14): وحاصله أن غير المخلوق هو القرآن بمعنى كلام الله الصفة النفسية القائمة به تعالى لا بمعنى الحروف المنزلة، غير أنه لا يقال القرآن مخلوق لئلا يتوهم أرادة المعنى الاول.

[26]Muĥammad-Amiin Ibn ˆAabidiin, Ĥaasħiyatu Raddi-l-Muĥtaar (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Fikr, 1415), 4/14.

[27]مفاتيح الغيب (16 / 24) : والجواب أن 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 اللَّهِ في عيسى وهؤلاء اعتقدوا حلول كلمة اللَّهِ 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

[28]FakħrudDiin Al-Raaziy, Mafaatiiĥ Al-Għayb, 1st ed. (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Kotob Al-ilmiyah, 1421), V. 16/ P. 24.

[29]Abu-l-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawziyy (508-597 AH/ 1114-1201 AD), ˆAbdurRaĥmaan ibn ˆAliyy ibn Muĥammad Al-Jawziyy Al-Qurasħiyy, Al-Bagħdaadiyy was probably the greatest scholar of history and ĥadiitħ of his time. He was born and died in Bagħdaad. He wrote some 300 books (Al-‘Aˆlaam, 3/316).

[30]زاد المسير – (1 / 22): وقد خص المفسرون قوله آلم بخمسة أقوال أحدها أنه من المتشابه الذي لا يعلم معناه الا الله عز و جل وقد سبق بيانه والثاني ان معناه أنا الله أعلم رواه أبو الضحى عن ابن عباس وبه قال ابن مسعود وسعيد بن جبير والثالث أنه قسم رواه أبو صالح عن ابن عباس وخالد الحذاء عن عكرمة والرابع أنها حروف من أسماء ثم فيها قولان أحدهما أن الألف من الله واللام من جبريل والميم من محمد قاله ابن عباس فان قيل إذا كان قد تنوول من كل اسم حرفه الأول اكتفاء به فلم أخذت اللام من جبريل وهي أخر الإسم فالجواب أن مبتدأ القرآن من الله تعالى فدل على ذلك بابتداء أول حرف من اسمه وجبريل انختم به التنزيل والإقرأء فتنوول من اسمه نهاية حروفه و محمد مبتدأ في الإقرأء فتنوول أول حرف فيه والقول الثاني أن الألف من الله تعالى واللام من لطيف والميم من مجيد قاله أبو العالية والخامس أنه اسم من أسماء القرآن قاله مجاهد والشعبي وقتادة وابن جريج.

[31]Abu-l-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawziyy (508-597 AH/ 1114-1201 AD), Zaadu-l-Masiir, 3rd ed. (Beirut, Lebanon: Al-Maktab Al-Islamiyy, 1404), 1/22.

[32]زاد المسير – (1 / 22): وقد خص المفسرون قوله آلم بخمسة أقوال أحدها أنه من المتشابه الذي لا يعلم معناه الا الله عز و جل وقد سبق بيانه والثاني ان معناه أنا الله أعلم رواه أبو الضحى عن ابن عباس وبه قال ابن مسعود وسعيد بن جبير والثالث أنه قسم رواه أبو صالح عن ابن عباس وخالد الحذاء عن عكرمة والرابع أنها حروف من أسماء ثم فيها قولان أحدهما أن الألف من الله واللام من جبريل والميم من محمد قاله ابن عباس فان قيل إذا كان قد تنوول من كل اسم حرفه الأول اكتفاء به فلم أخذت اللام من جبريل وهي أخر الإسم فالجواب أن مبتدأ القرآن من الله تعالى فدل على ذلك بابتداء أول حرف من اسمه وجبريل انختم به التنزيل والإقرأء فتنوول من اسمه نهاية حروفه و محمد مبتدأ في الإقرأء فتنوول أول حرف فيه والقول الثاني أن الألف من الله تعالى واللام من لطيف والميم من مجيد قاله أبو العالية والخامس أنه اسم من أسماء القرآن قاله مجاهد والشعبي وقتادة وابن جريج.

[33]الأعلام للزركلي – (4 / 332) سيف الدين الآمدي (551 – 631 هـ = 1156 – 1233 م) علي بن محمد بن سالم التغلبي، أبو الحسن، سيف الدين الآمدي: أصولي، باحث. أصله من آمد (ديار بكر) ولد بها، وتعلم في بغداد والشام. وانتقل إلى القاهرة، فدرس فيها واشتهر. وحسده بعض الفقهاء فتعصبوا فيها واشتهر. وحسده يبعض الفقهاء فتعصبوا عليه ونسبوه إلى فساد القعيدة والتعطيل ومذهب الفلاسفة، فخرج مستخفيا إلى ” حماة ” ومنها إلى ” دمشق ” فتوفي بها. له نحو عشرين مصنفا، منها ” الاحكام في أصول الاحكام – ط ” أربعة أجزاء، ومختصره ” منتهى السول – ط ” و ” أبكار الافكار – خ ” في طوبقبو، الاول والثاني منه، في علم الكلام، و ” لباب الالباب ” و ” دقائق الحقائق ” و ” المبين في شرح الأعلام للزركلي – (4 / 332) معاني الحكماء والمتكلمين – خ ” كراستان، في المكتبة العربية بدمشق (1).

SayfudDiin Al-Aamidiyy (551-631 AH/ 11561233 AD) ˆaliyy ibn Muĥammad ibn Saalim At-Tagħlabiyy was a scholar of belief and fiqh methodology and an authenticator from Aamid in today’s northern Kurdistan. He was born there, but studied in Bagħdaad and Syria. Then he moved to Cairo, where he became famous and became subject to much envy, to the extent he had to leave and go to Syria where he eventually died and is buried. Az-Zirikliyy, Al-‘Aˆlaam (2002) (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar El-Ilm Lil-Malayeen, 1423), 4/332.

[34]Muĥammad ibn Yuusuf As-Sanuusiyy (896 AH), Sħarĥu-l-Muqaddimaat, 1st ed. (Maktabatu-l-Maˆaarif, 1420), 245.

[35]Ibid., 247.

[36]Ibid., 248.

[37]Ibid., 250.

[38]Ibid.

[39]Ibid.

[40]نهاية الإقدام في علم الكلام – (ج 1 / ص 236) : فإذاً المرجح للصدق هي القرائن الحاصلة من اجتماع أمور كثيرة منها الخارق للعادة ومنها كونه مقروناً بالدعوى ومنها سلامته عن المعارضة فانتهضت هذه القرائن بمجموعها دالة على صدق المدعي نازلة منزلة التصديق بالقول وذلك مثل العلم الحاصل من سائر القرائن أعني قرائن الحال وقرائن المقال.

[41]Muĥammad ibn Yuusuf As-Sanuusiyy, Ĥaasħiyatu-d-Dusuuqiyy ˆalaa Ummi-l-Baraahiin wa Sħarĥuhaa (Beirut, Lebanon: Al-Maktabah Al-ˆAşriyyah, 1426), 280.


Ibn Taymiyyah denies Tajsiim?

September 12, 2009

Ibn Taymiyyah says:

الأحد والصمد لم يذكرهما الله إلا في هذه السورة وهما ينفيان عن الله ما هو متنزه عنه من التشبيه والتمثيل ومن التركيب والانقسام والتجسيم فإن اسمه الأحد ينفي المثل والنظير (بيان تلبيس الجهمية في تأسيس بدعهم الكلامية – 4 / 61)

Al-Aĥad and Aş-Şamad (are two names that) Aļļaah did not mention except in this Suurah, and they negate from Aļļaah what does not befit Him in terms of likeness and resemblance and composition and separation and being a body (tajsiim), for verily His name Al-Aĥad negates a like or something similar. (Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah, 4 / 61)

Wait a minute, did not Ibn Taymiyyah say that Aļļaah has borders in all six direction and that He has a size, and a bucket might bump into Him? So how come he is saying now that He is not a body!? Well, he is beating around the bush as usual. He says in another place:

وَالْمَقْصُودُ هُنَا : أَنَّ مَا جَاءَ بِهِ الرَّسُولُ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَا يُدْفَعُ بِالْأَلْفَاظِ الْمُجْمَلَةِ كَلَفْظِ التَّجْسِيمِ وَغَيْرِهِ مِمَّا قَدْ يَتَضَمَّنُ مَعْنًى بَاطِلًا وَالنَّافِي لَهُ يَنْفِي الْحَقَّ وَالْبَاطِلَ . (مجموع الفتاوى , 5 / 433)

And the purpose is to say that whatever the Messenger (صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) brought is not denied by vague utterances such as jism (body) and others that may have meanings that are invalid, while the one how denies them, denies both what is true and what is false. (Majmuuˆu-l-Fataawaa, 5/433)

The meaning of jism that Ibn Tayimiyyah denies then, is that of actual composition and actual separation of parts. What he does not deny is size, shape and taking on different shapes. We already showed the latter in our article on his bucket theology, which also shows his belief that Aļļaah is something very, very big in size. Here is another explanation of his about this idea, in which he says:

قَالَ ابْنُ أَبِي حَاتِمٍ فِي " تَفْسِيرِهِ " : حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو زُرْعَةَ ثَنَا مِنْجَابُ بْنُ الْحَارِثِ ثَنَا بِشْرُ بْنُ عِمَارَةَ عَنْ أَبِي رَوْقٍ عَنْ عَطِيَّةَ العوفي عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الخدري رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ { عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي قَوْلِهِ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى : { لَا تُدْرِكُهُ الْأَبْصَارُ وَهُوَ يُدْرِكُ الْأَبْصَارَ } قَالَ : لَوْ أَنَّ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنْسَ وَالشَّيَاطِينَ وَالْمَلَائِكَةَ ؛ مُنْذُ خُلِقُوا إلَى أَنْ فَنُوا صُفُّوا صَفًّا وَاحِدًا مَا أَحَاطُوا بِاَللَّهِ أَبَدًا } – فَمَنْ هَذِهِ عَظَمَتُهُ كَيْفَ يَحْصُرُهُ مَخْلُوقٌ مِنْ الْمَخْلُوقَاتِ سَمَاءٌ أَوْ غَيْرُ سَمَاءٍ ؟ حَتَّى يُقَالَ : إنَّهُ إذَا نَزَلَ إلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا صَارَ الْعَرْشُ فَوْقَهُ أَوْ يَصِيرُ شَيْءٌ مِنْ الْمَخْلُوقَاتِ يَحْصُرُهُ وَيُحِيطُ بِهِ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى . فَإِذَا قَالَ الْقَائِلُ : هُوَ قَادِرٌ عَلَى مَا يَشَاءُ ؛ قِيلَ : فَقُلْ : هُوَ قَادِرٌ عَلَى أَنْ يَنْزِلَ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى وَهُوَ فَوْقَ عَرْشِهِ وَإِذَا اسْتَدْلَلْت بِمُطْلَقِ الْقُدْرَةِ وَالْعَظَمَةِ مِنْ غَيْرِ تَمْيِيزٍ فَمَا كَانَ أَبْلَغُ فِي الْقُدْرَةِ وَالْعَظَمَةِ ؛ فَهُوَ أَوْلَى بِأَنْ يُوصَفَ بِهِ مِمَّا لَيْسَ كَذَلِكَ ؛ فَإِنَّ مَنْ تَوَهَّمَ الْعَظِيمَ الَّذِي لَا أَعْظَمَ مِنْهُ يَقْدِرُ عَلَى أَنْ يَصْغُرَ حَتَّى يُحِيطَ بِهِ مَخْلُوقُهُ الصَّغِيرُ وَجَعَلَ هَذَا مِنْ بَابِ الْقُدْرَةِ وَالْعَظَمَةِ ؛ فَقَوْلُهُ : إنَّهُ يَنْزِلُ مَعَ بَقَاءِ عَظَمَتِهِ وَعُلُوِّهِ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ ؛ أَبْلَغُ فِي الْقُدْرَةِ وَالْعَظَمَةِ وَهُوَ الَّذِي فِيهِ مُوَافَقَةُ الشَّرْعِ وَالْعَقْلِ . وَهَذَا كَمَا قَدْ يَقُولُهُ طَائِفَةٌ " مِنْهُمْ أَبُو طَالِبٍ الْمَكِّيُّ " قَالَ : إنْ شَاءَ وَسِعَهُ أَدْنَى شَيْءٍ وَإِنْ شَاءَ لَمْ يَسَعْهُ شَيْءٌ وَإِنْ أَرَادَ عَرَفَهُ كُلُّ شَيْءٍ وَإِنْ لَمْ يُرِدْ لَمْ يَعْرِفْهُ شَيْءٌ ؛ إنْ أَحَبَّ وُجِدَ عِنْدَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَإِنْ لَمْ يُحِبَّ لَمْ يُوجَدْ عِنْدَ شَيْءٍ وَقَدْ جَاوَزَ الْحَدَّ وَالْمِعْيَارَ وَسَبَقَ الْقِيلَ وَالْأَقْدَارَ ذُو صِفَاتٍ لَا تُحْصَى ؛ وَقَدْرٍ لَا يَتَنَاهَى ؛ لَيْسَ مَحْبُوسًا فِي صُورَةٍ وَلَا مَوْقُوفًا بِصِفَةِ وَلَا مَحْكُومًا عَلَيْهِ بِكَلِمِ وَلَا يَتَجَلَّى بِوَصْفِ مَرَّتَيْنِ وَلَا يَظْهَرُ فِي صُورَةٍ لِاثْنَيْنِ ؛ وَلَا يَرِدُ مِنْهُ بِمَعْنَى وَاحِدٍ كَلِمَتَانِ ؛ بَلْ لِكُلِّ تَجَلٍّ مِنْهُ صُورَةٌ وَلِكُلِّ عَبْدٍ عِنْدَ ظُهُورِهِ صِفَةٌ وَعَنْ كُلِّ نَظْرَةٍ كَلَامٌ ؛ وَبِكُلِّ كَلِمَةٍ إفْهَامٌ وَلَا نِهَايَةَ لِتَجَلِّيهِ ؛ وَلَا غَايَةَ لِأَوْصَافِهِ . قُلْت : أَبُو طَالِبٍ رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ هُوَ وَأَصْحَابُهُ " السالمية " أَتْبَاعُ الشَّيْخِ أَبِي الْحَسَنِ بْنِ سَالِمٍ صَاحِبِ سَهْلِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ التستري – لَهُمْ مِنْ الْمَعْرِفَةِ وَالْعِبَادَةِ وَالزُّهْدِ وَاتِّبَاعِ السُّنَّةِ وَالْجَمَاعَةِ فِي عَامَّةِ الْمَسَائِلِ الْمَشْهُورَةِ لِأَهْلِ السُّنَّةِ مَا هُمْ مَعْرُوفُونَ بِهِ وَهُمْ مُنْتَسِبُونَ إلَى إمَامَيْنِ عَظِيمَيْنِ فِي السُّنَّةِ : الْإِمَامِ أَحْمَد بْنِ حَنْبَلٍ وَسَهْلِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ التستري وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ تَفَقَّهَ عَلَى مَذْهَبِ مَالِكِ بْنِ أَنَس كَبَيْتِ الشَّيْخِ أَبِي مُحَمَّدٍ وَغَيْرِهِمْ وَفِيهِمْ مَنْ هُوَ عَلَى مَذْهَبِ الشَّافِعِيِّ . (مجموع الفتاوى , 5 / 483-482)

Ibn Abii Ĥaatim said in his tafsiir: “….. (the Prophet) said: ‘if the Jinn-, human-, devil- and angel- kind since they were created until they ended made a single row, they would not surround Aļļaah at all.’1

So the one who is that great, how could He be surrounded by something created, whether the Sky or something else so that it might be said that if He descended to the Sky of the World, the ˆArsħ became above Him and some of His creation surrounded Him?

Now, if someone said, “He does whatever he wills….” then it might be said, “say: ‘He is able to descend (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) while He is above His ˆArsħ.’” Moreover, if you seek evidence in His Power absolutely and His Greatness without distinguishing, then what is more indicative of power is what He is more deserving of being attributed with than otherwise. For verily, the one that imagines the very Great One who nothing is greater than Him (and) is able to make make Himself so small that He is surrounded by His small creation, and said ‘this is indicative of power and greatness….,’ His (the one imaging this Great One’s) saying ‘verily he descend while his greatness and aboveness over the ˆArsħ remain,’ is more indicative of power and greatness, and this is what agrees with Islamic Law and reason. This is what a group of people might say, such as Abuu Ţaalib Al-Makkiyy, he said, “If He wills He will be contained in the smallest of things, and if He wills, nothing can contain Him….”… I say: “Abuu Ţaalib, may Aļļaah have mercy upon him, he and his companions are the Saalimiyyah,… They have knowledge, worship asceticism and following of the Sunnah and the Jamaaˆah in the general matters that are famous among Sunnis…..

So all of this is not believing that Aļļaah is a body?

Ibn Taymiyyah likes to say that his opponents were influenced by Greek Philosophy. From the above, however, it is pretty clear that Ibn Taymiyyah himself was heavily influenced by Greek Mythology. Watching movies like “The Clash of the Titans” gives you a pretty good idea about what Ibn Taymiyyah believed.

1This is weak ĥadiitħ, but in any case, the fact that nothing can surround Aļļaah does not mean that He is big in size. The ĥadiitħ does not state in what sense they are not able to surround. Ibn Taymiyyah, however, quickly concluded that it is terms of size, because this is according to the principles of anthropomorphism.