What beginning to exist implies in terms of “cause”

August 2, 2013

If it was proposed that a particle came into existence, then the claims that may be made about this event are that it was:

  1. Necessary
  1. Possible
  1. Impossible

There is no 4th alternative. Moreover, the 3rd can obviously be dismissed. Thus two cases remain to be considered as follows:

If it was supposedly necessary, then this necessity could either be claimed to be:

  1. Intrinsic to the particle or
  1. Extrinsic to the particle

There is no 3rd alternative. The first is clearly self-contradictory, because the event did not exist, and what does not exist cannot be intrinsically necessary in existence. It follows that the supposed particles’ supposed necessity of existence must be from other than it.

If it was supposedly possible, then it follows that the possibility of its existence must have outweighed its prior non-existence. Otherwise it would have remained non existent. This outweighing could either be claimed to be:

  1. Intrinsic to the particle or
  2. Extrinsic to the particle

There is no 3rd alternative. The first is clearly self-contradictory, because the event/particle did not exist, and what does not exist cannot have any influence on anything. It follows again that the supposed particles’ existence would have to be from other than it.

With this understanding of “cause”, it is clear that to propose that something can begin to exist without a “cause” is absurd.

Hence, the atheist contention that we do not know if something can begin to exist without a cause is absurd.


Against those who speak ill of Kalaam – based on Muqaddimaat al-Maraashid, Part 2

July 25, 2013

As for what is narrated from Al-Shafiˆiyy in blame of Kalaam, it is most likely, based on who he is and on his status, that he never said any of it. However, even if it is true, what he was referring to was some deviants in his time, because the science of Kalaam includes all of the different groups and sects. Indeed, Kalaam science began, was recorded in books, was studied and became part of the Sunni curriculum for the purpose of refuting the Muˆtazilites and other deviants….

Indeed, how would Al-Shafiˆiyy be against Kalaam as a science when he himself wrote the book “Kitab Al-Qiyas” in Kalaam science and wrote a book refuting the Brahmans (Indian philosophers)!? Likewise Abu Haniifah wrote books in Kalaam, such as “al-ˆAalim wa Al-Mutaˆallim” and “Al-Wasiyyah”. Further, Malik studied Kalaam for some 15 years … but he did not author books.

Moreover, Al-Shafiˆiyy founded the science of Foundations of Fiqh, which is strongly related Kalaam Science. After all, it needs to begin with abstract definition such as the meaning of “knowledge”, “will”, “speech”, details on the meaning of “order”, “forbidding”, etc. He would not object to Kalaam as a field of science when his own books are full of Kalaam topics!

Source: Muqaddimaat al-Maraashid, Ali ibn Ahmad As-Sabtiyy (614/1217), Maktabah Al-Thaqaafah Al-Deeniyah, 2008, p. 26-27


Against those who speak ill of Kalaam – based on Muqaddimaat al-Maraashid, Part 1

July 24, 2013

There are three types of people that are against the honorable science of Kalaam:  complete heretics, some deviant innovators, and imitators of literalists that associate themselves with Islam:

As for the heretics, one would expect nothing less from them, since they have no one to expose their blemishes and blind imitation of habits other than the specialists in Kalaam. Indeed, it has been said:

كل العداوات قد ترجى مودتها … إلا عداوة من عاداك في الدين

All enmities are hoped to turn to affections

Except the enmity of religious inclinations

As for the innovators, especially the Muˆtazilah and those who deny predestination, they did not generally reject Kalaam as a scientific field, but engaged in it. They were only against Sunni Kalaam.

As for the literalists, they are of three kinds:

1-         Those who say Kalaam has no basis in the religion because neither the Prophet nor the companions engaged in it. They also argue based on misguided interpretations of certain statements in the Qur’aan or in hadith narrations. This group (of literalists) is the most harmful to the common people among all groups against Sunni Kalaam. This is because they appear to (but not actually) find justification in the religion itself for their objections and convince people of their misguided interpretations.

2-         Those that believe that the science of Kalaam is the foundation of the religious sciences, but do not admit it because unlike some others they did not try to learn it, or tried but were unable to master it. Hence, they become against it out of arrogance and envy.

3-         Foolish imitators who follow one of the groups mentioned.

With regard to the first type of literalists, it is in fact known that there are no authentic narrations from the great scholars that attack or speak against this knowledge or science. And how can someone who claims to be a Muslim object to a science which:

  • Establishes and proves that Allaah is One and has attributes of complete perfection and refutes that Allaah has any flaws and declares Him clear of the wrong ideas that the deviants and blasphemers ascribe to Him?
  • Proves and affirms Prophethood based on miracles and on the same bases shows the difference between a prophet and a liar?
  • Establishes what an accountable person is accountable for, and when and how?

What trace of belief is left in someone who objects to this science and encourages people to avoid it?

Source: Muqaddimaat al-Maraashid, Ali ibn Ahmad As-Sabtiyy (614/1217), Maktabah Al-Thaqaafah Al-Deeniyah, 2008, p. 25-26


Allaah’s attribute of non-resemblance to creation

August 12, 2012

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

ليس كمثله شيء

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

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

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

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

1.            Eyes: color and shape

2.            Hearing: sound

3.            Touch: temperature, softness, wetness, heaviness

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

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

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

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


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


The Wahabi Box Theory of Emergence (WBTE)

August 12, 2012

The below article is written to clarify what the wahabis are aiming at in some of their writings. This is needed, since they almost never really define their terms, or clarify what exactly the different viewpoints are in meaning (as opposed to wording). What I have written below aims to clarify what they are aiming at in one particular word game: their concept of “bringing into existence” vs. “creating”.

Before delving into this discussion two fundamental points should be clear regarding the belief of Muslims:

  1. Muslims believe that everything that has a beginning must have been created by Aļļaah, i.e. brought into existence by His Will and Power. This includes every and any beginning of any kind, such as a movement or thought, or a change in shape or color. To claim that any beginning of any kind was not created by Aļļaah is to commit shirk, and makes one a non-Muslim.
  2. Muslims believe that Aļļaah is not in a location, because He is not a body, not something that fills space. He exists without being in space, or in a location in any sense. He is neither in a specific location, nor everywhere. This belief is clarified here in terms of the reasons why this belief is of great importance. However, the following point should be extra clear:

The wahabis falsely believe that Aļļaah has a location. Sometimes they say they do not believe that Allah is a body, but this is just a play with words. Being in a location means being limited to that location, and that necessitates having borders and therefore either being a small dot, or something larger. This is issue is important, because every Muslim must believe that Aļļaah does not resemble His creation. Moreover, believing Aļļaah to be limited in any sense is an invitation to atheism, because the proof of Aļļaah’s existence is based on the existence of bodies. This is why wahabis are often against learning the detailed proofs of Aļļaah’s existence, as has been discussed here.

Having made the above points clear, let us get back to the main topic: the wahabi understanding of the concept of bringing into existence and the word creating.

In short, the wahabi theory is that there are two types of things that have a beginning, i.e. events:

  1. Whatever Aļļaah brings into existence in the world. These are called “created” or “brought into existence”.
  2. Whatever Aļļaah brings into existence, as they falsely believe, in Himself. I.e. in the entity that they worship that is limited to a specific location “up there” and claim is “Aļļaah”. This is the type of event they are referring to when they say that “not everything that has a beginning is created.”

To sum up the wahabi position:

  1. If something is brought into existence in the world, then this can be called both “brought into existence” and “created”.
  2. If something is brought into existence in the thing they falsely believe to be Aļļaah, then this is called “brought into existence”, but it is not “created”.

In other words, according to the wahabis, whether something brought into existence is called “created”, or not, is only a matter of the location of this new existence. I.e. it is a matter of which box it emerges in. This is what I have called, “The Wahabi Box Theory of Emergence”.

There is a very serious problem with this pathetic play with words. It means they believe that Aļļaah is a location for created events. Yes, I said “created” events. After all, the essential meaning of creating is that Aļļaah brings into existence by His Power and according to His Will. Where the thing or event comes into existence makes no difference to the essence of this meaning. I.e. bringing something into existence is to create, no matter where it comes into existence, and believing that Aļļaah is partially created is another blasphemous belief.

The Arabic language does not allow for the wahabi understanding of the word “create”, where it is restricted to only specific locations. Besides being quite obvious, this has been discussed more fully in this article.

The correct Islamic understanding is that:

  1. When one says that Aļļaah brings something into existence, it means that He brings it into existence by His Will and Power.
  2. When one says that Aļļaah creates something it also means that He brings it into existence by His Will and Power.
  3. Where the event brought into existence emerges makes no difference whatsoever to the use of the two phrases “Aļļaah creates” or “Aļļaah brings into existence”.

Why do the wahabis play these word games? It is because they know they cannot say that anything is created in Aļļaah. It will be too obvious to lay people that they are wrong. They thrive on being vague and imprecise.


The Quran does not imply that Allaah could have taken a child by the use of “if”

November 23, 2010

Ibn Kathiir states: “Aļļaah made it clear that He does not have a child, unlike what the ignorant idolaters claimed with regards to the angels, and the obstinate among the Jews and the Christians claimed with regards to Al-^Uzayr and Jesus, and said (what might be literally translated as): “If Aļļaah had willed to take a child for Himself, then He would have selected from what He creates whatever He wills.” That is, it would have been different from what they claim. And this condition (of “If Aļļaah had willed”) is not necessary to happen, or even be possible (in the mind’s eye). Actually, it is completely impossible that it could be. It is only meant to show their ignorance in their claim.”

Then Ibn Kathiir gave a couple of similar uses of “if” for impossibilities, and said, “it is allowed to make a statement conditional upon something impossible for some purpose of the speaker.”[1]

Accordingly, the meaning is: ” if it was possible, and it is not, then it still would not be the angels, Jesus, or Al-^Uzayr.” In other words, the purpose is to show that their claim about them is wrong from several viewpoints, not only in the sense that it is impossible that Aļļaah should have a child.


[1] تفسير ابن كثير (7 / 85) : ثم بين تعالى أنه لا ولد له كما يزعمه جهلة المشركين في الملائكة، والمعاندون (6) من اليهود والنصارى في العزير، وعيسى فقال: { لَوْ أَرَادَ اللَّهُ أَنْ يَتَّخِذَ وَلَدًا لاصْطَفَى مِمَّا يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ } أي: لكان الأمر على خلاف ما يزعمون (7) . وهذا شرط لا يلزم وقوعه ولا جوازه، بل هو محال، وإنما قصد تجهيلهم (8) فيما ادعوه وزعموه، كما قال: { لَوْ أَرَدْنَا أَنْ نَتَّخِذَ لَهْوًا لاتَّخَذْنَاهُ مِنْ لَدُنَّا إِنْ كُنَّا فَاعِلِينَ } [الأنبياء:17]{ قُلْ إِنْ كَانَ لِلرَّحْمَنِ وَلَدٌ فَأَنَا أَوَّلُ الْعَابِدِينَ } [الزخرف:81]، كل هذا من باب الشرط، ويجوز تعليق الشرط على المستحيل لقصد المتكلم. وقوله: { سُبْحَانَهُ هُوَ اللَّهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ } أي: تعالى وتنزه وتقدس عن أن يكون له ولد، فإنه الواحد الأحد، الفرد الصمد، الذي كل شيء عبد لديه، فقير إليه، وهو الغني عما سواه الذي قد قهر الأشياء فدانت له وذلت وخضعت.


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

October 30, 2010

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

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

1) Aļļaah’s Eternally Speech (which is not letters, sounds, or language) must be true, and cannot be untrue, because it is not created. In a speech that could tell a lie, a specific lie is only one possibility among infinite possibilities, thus such a speech would need to be specified and brought into existence, i.e. it would have to be created. This is unlike true speech, because the truth can only be one about any particular matter, and is known by Aļļaah eternally. This is the meaning of imam Ahmad’s saying, "His Speech is from His knowledge," i.e. "agrees with His knowledge," and His knowledge is One, Eternal, and True just as His Speech.

2) The uttered speech that is called "Aļļaah’s Speech" tells us what He said with His Eternal Speech. The Qur’aan in the sense of the book with Arabic expressions is utterable speech that tells us what Aļļaah said eternally. That is why it is called Aļļaah’s speech, even though Aļļaah’s actual attribute of speech is eternal, and is not letters, sounds, or language. This has been extensively explained in "The Qur’aan and Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech."

3) According to 2), an utterance that says something other than what Aļļaah said eternally is not His Speech.

4) Therefore, any uttered speech that is not true cannot rationally be said to be Aļļaah’s Speech, because it does not tell us what He said eternally.

5) Conclusion: it is impossible in the mind’s eye that Aļļaah’s so called kalaam lafţħiyy (speech of utterable expressions) could contain a lie.

As for what Al-Jurjaaniyy, Al-Iijiyy and At-Taftaazaaniyy are saying; what they mean is that the speech that we say refers to Aļļaah’s eternal Speech, how do we prove that it really is true, i.e really refers to Aļļaah’s eternal speech? The proof for that is one of normal necessity according to some scholars, that is, the miracles of the Prophet, the agreement of everything in the scripture with the truth, and so on prove that. They don’t mean that it is contingently possible for Aļļaah to lie, as is clear from the context.

That being said, it is important that one does not read books, other than the Qur’aan, assuming that every letter in the book was actually written by the author. There could be perversions, and there could be slips of the pen. It happens all the time. This is in addition to the fact that there is no proof in what a non-Prophet says, especially in belief issues. The sources of knowledge according to Sunnis is either observation, or pure reason (not depending on repeated experiences, but coming from a valid conclusion necessitated by irrefutable premises), or information from a prophet.


Stephen Hawking contradicts himself

October 17, 2010

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Qur’aan as a Miracle of the Prophet Muĥammad (صل الله عليه وسلم)

August 31, 2010

The miracles of the Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم) are many, but the most obvious is the Qur’aan itself. This book has been preserved to the last letter, without any perversions or alterations for some 1400 years. This is extraordinary, because no other book has been maintained in this way in human history. It is also a miracle, however, because the Prophet Muhammad’s (صل الله عليه وسلم) message stated that this was to be so:

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ

Meaning: “Aļļaah has revealed this remembrance that is the Qur’aan, and He protects it.” (Al-Ĥijr, 9). This statement shows extraordinary knowledge of the future, and it is joined with the challenge and claim of prophethood, thus meeting the criteria for a miracle. It is a challenge, because the enemies of the religion would attempt to prove this statement wrong. The fact that they have not been able to do so strengthens the miracle further, because it shows that the Creator really is protecting the book.

The Qur’aan is narrated collaboratively from masses to masses from the time of the Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم). It is an oral tradition from day one, and written copies are used as an aid only. When the Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم) passed away he had several thousand followers, and many of them had memorized the entire Quran, and as a group of individuals they had memorized the Qur’aan hundreds of times over. This mass narration is the one we have today, and it is what protects the Qur’aan from alteration by the will of Aļļaah. Anything that does not reach this level of solid narration is simply rejected. Why? Because the Qur’aan was well known and taught in public everywhere already in the time of the Prophet himself, who encouraged his thousands of enthusiastic followers to spread, publicize and memorize every letter of it. They firmly believed this to be the revealed book of the Creator Himself, and to be negligent in its careful preservation, memorization and distribution was unthinkable. Then this spread and enthusiasm only spread and continued from generation to generation, and even today there are millions of people who have memorized it cover to cover. Accordingly, the idea that an individual or a handful of individuals should know something of it that no one else did is rejected by default. In addition, the eloquence of the Qur’aan is greater than other things written or said in Arabic, which makes it recognizable and distinct. This adds to the preservation attained by the mass narration.

Another miracle is the challenge to those who disbelieve in Prophet Muhammad  (صل الله عليه وسلم), to compose a Suurah like any of its 114 Suurahs[1]:

وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ فِي رَيْبٍ مِمَّا نَزَّلْنَا عَلَى عَبْدِنَا فَأْتُوا بِسُورَةٍ مِنْ مِثْلِهِ

Meaning: “If you are in doubt about what Aļļaah has revealed to the Prophet  (صل الله عليه وسلم), then bring a Suurah like any of its Suurahs in eloquence, if you can, but you will not be able.” (Al-Baqarah, 23)

To understand the significance of this challenge, one must keep in mind that eloquence was a central part of Arab culture at the time. The Arabs prided themselves in their excellence as poets and public speakers, and rivalry in eloquence was an integral part of their culture. One-upmanship in poetic brilliance between rivaling tribes and individuals was a daily affair. As in any human endeavor, however, no record performance lasted forever; eventually someone would at least reach an equivalent level. The challenge of the Qur’aan then, was not unfamiliar to the Arabs. The only thing new was their realization that no one could meet it; to the extent that they were left speechless and unable to even make a serious try.

The Qur’aan first challenged these people to come up with anything like it in eloquence, but they failed, then anything like 10 of its suurahs, but again they failed, then like any 1 of its suurahs, some of which are just a few words, and once again they failed. The Prophet’s opponents saw these challenges as their opportunity to make him lose support, and they were the rich, the powerful and the eloquent. They were all of the Arabs facing a tiny minority of Muslims at that time. Despite their enormous number, however, their reputation for being the champions of eloquence, their extreme enmity to Islam, and their absolute refusal to swear allegiance to anything but their tribe out of extreme bigotry, they could not do it. This is very apparent historical fact, because they resorted to meeting the challenge of words with the blades of their swords, and putting their lives at stake. If they could have met the challenge with words, they certainly would have preferred that, and if they had met the challenge, then this would have been a known historical fact, because the motives to spread such news were and are still in abundance among non-Muslims. Accordingly, the lack of anyone ever meeting this challenge could not have been because they did not care about it, or that the news of it did not reach us. It has now been more than 1400 years, and the challenge still stands.

This miracle is further strengthened by the fact that Prophet Muĥammad  (صل الله عليه وسلم)  was unlettered and never took part in composing any poetry. Moreover, he told his opponents that no one would ever be able to match the eloquence of the Qur’aan, not now and not in the future. Being of great intelligence, he would never have made such a challenge had he not known this by revelation. Had he not had such a revelation it would have been foolish to make such a challenge.

The Qur’aan also contains many statements about things the Prophet  (صل الله عليه وسلم) could not have known through ordinary means. An example is the description of what would happen to the breathing of a person if lifted up into the atmosphere:

فَمَنْ يُرِدِ اللَّهُ أَنْ يَهدِيَهُ يَشْرَحْ صَدْرَهُ لِلإِسْلامِ وَمَنْ يُرِدْ أَنْ يُضِلَّهُ يَجْعَلْ صَدْرَهُ ضَيِّقًا حَرَجًا كَأَنَّمَا يَصَّعَّدُ فِي السَّمَاءِ

Meaning: “Whoever Allah has willed to guide, He will open his heart to accept Islaam, and whoever He has willed misguidance for, He will make his chest tight and narrow, as if he is ascending up in the sky.” (Al-Anˆaam, 125)

In addition to the above, consider also that the Prophet r did not read and had not travelled except two short trips, and never went to anything like a school or been present in circles of knowledge and science. He remained like that for the first forty years of his life; in the town of Makkah, a place without scholars or science, or even educational books. Then suddenly, at the age of forty, he brings the Qur’aan, a book that contains an abundance of wisdom and knowledge, and is of great eloquence by anyone’s standard. This is something completely extraordinary, because a book like that does not appear from the hands of a person that is without background in research, reading or studies of any kind. Accordingly, it must have been by revelation and guidance from Aļļaah that he brought it.

 


[1] The Qur’aan is divided into what is known as Suurahs, not chapters. They vary in length between a few words to several pages.


Miracles of the Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم) other than the Qur’aan

August 31, 2010

The Prophet had many miracles other than the Qur’aan. Most of these are narrated in narrational chains that do not reach the status of collaborative mass narrations from the witnesses to the following generations. However, the sheer amount of such narrated incidents together as a whole is vast. Moreover, the people who were witnesses are people who hated lying from the depth of their being, and would neither permit themselves to lie, nor others to engage in lies in front of them, and related what they saw to specific places and times known to all. This makes us sure that at least some of them are true. The reason for this is that it would normally be impossible for all of them to be incorrect or lies in light of their number and circumstances. A few of these are mentioned below.

Miracles other than the Qur’aan

The splitting of the Moon

This miracle is actually mentioned in the Qur’aan:

اقْتَرَبَتِ السَّاعَةُ وَانْشَقَّ الْقَمَرُ (1) وَإِنْ يَرَوْا آيَةً يُعْرِضُوا وَيَقُولُوا سِحْرٌ مُسْتَمِرٌّ

Interpretation: The Last Hour has come near, and the Moon has split. If Arab idolaters of Quraysħ see a miracle, they turn their backs on it and say, "This is just powerful magic!" (Al-Qamar, 1-2)

This miracle came when the tribe of Quraysħ demanded a proof from the Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم) for his truthfulness. It was narrated by Al-Bukħaariyy that Ibn Masˆuud[1] said:

انْشَقَّ الْقَمَرُ عَلَى عَهْدِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ شِقَّتَيْنِ فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ اشْهَدُوا

"During the time of the Messenger of Aļļaah (صل الله عليه وسلم) the Moon split into two halves, and the Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم) said, ‘Bear witness!’"[2]

The result of this great miracle, however, was just more obstinacy from the leaders of Quraysħ, as indicated in the Aayah above.

Food praising Aļļaah while being eaten

Al-Bukħaariyy narrated that Ibn Masˆuud said:

كُنَّا مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي سَفَرٍ فَقَلَّ الْمَاءُ فَقَالَ اطْلُبُوا فَضْلَةً مِنْ مَاءٍ فَجَاءُوا بِإِنَاءٍ فِيهِ مَاءٌ قَلِيلٌ فَأَدْخَلَ يَدَهُ فِي الْإِنَاءِ ثُمَّ قَالَ حَيَّ عَلَى الطَّهُورِ الْمُبَارَكِ وَالْبَرَكَةُ مِنْ اللَّهِ فَلَقَدْ رَأَيْتُ الْمَاءَ يَنْبُعُ مِنْ بَيْنِ أَصَابِعِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَلَقَدْ كُنَّا نَسْمَعُ تَسْبِيحَ الطَّعَامِ وَهُوَ يُؤْكَلُ

We were traveling with the Messenger of Aļļaah (صل الله عليه وسلم) when our water supply became little, so he said, "get some remaining water." When they brought him a vessel with a little water, he put his hands into it and said, "Come on to the purifying and blessed – and the blessing is created by Aļļaah!" Then I saw water gush forth from between the fingers of the Messenger of Aļļaah r , and we also used to hear food praising Aļļaah while being eaten.[3]

Pure water gushing from between the Prophet’s (صل الله عليه وسلم) fingers

Note that it happened in several different occasions that water gushed from between the fingers of the Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم) , sometimes enough for hundreds of people to drink and wash. Al-Bukħaariyy narrated from Jaabir ibn ˆAbdillaah[4]:

عَطِشَ النَّاسُ يَوْمَ الْحُدَيْبِيَةِ وَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ رَكْوَةٌ فَتَوَضَّأَ مِنْهَا ثُمَّ أَقْبَلَ النَّاسُ نَحْوَهُ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَا لَكُمْ قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ لَيْسَ عِنْدَنَا مَاءٌ نَتَوَضَّأُ بِهِ وَلَا نَشْرَبُ إِلَّا مَا فِي رَكْوَتِكَ قَالَ فَوَضَعَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَدَهُ فِي الرَّكْوَةِ فَجَعَلَ الْمَاءُ يَفُورُ مِنْ بَيْنِ أَصَابِعِهِ كَأَمْثَالِ الْعُيُونِ قَالَ فَشَرِبْنَا وَتَوَضَّأْنَا فَقُلْتُ لِجَابِرٍ كَمْ كُنْتُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ قَالَ لَوْ كُنَّا مِائَةَ أَلْفٍ لَكَفَانَا كُنَّا خَمْسَ عَشْرَةَ مِائَةً

The people became thirsty on the day of the Al-Ĥudaybiyyah incident[5]. The Prophet had a vessel in front of him that he took water for (Wuđuu’) ablusion from. The people approached him, so he said, "what is the matter?" They replied, "O Messenger of Aļļaah, we do not have any water to make ablution, or to drink, other than what you have in your vessel. Upon hearing that, the Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم) put his hand in the vessel, and water gushed out from between his fingers like a spring. So we drank (Jaabir said) and performed ablution. I (the narrator from Jaabir, a man by the name of Saalim ibn Abii Al-Jaˆd) said to Jaabir: "How many were you on that day?" He answered: "If we had been a hundred thousand it would have been enough. We were fifteen hundred (individuals)."[6]

Rocks greeting the Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم)

It was narrated and authenticated by Al-Ĥaakim[7] and others Aliyy ibn Abii Ţaalib[8] said,

كنا مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بمكة ، فخرج في بعض نواحيها فما استقبله شجر ، ولا جبل إلا قال : السلام عليك يا رسول الله

"I walked with the Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم) in Makkah, and we went to some of its areas. He was not faced by a rock or a tree that did not say to him: Peace upon you O Messenger of Aļļaah!"[9]

Tree bearing witness to the prophethood of Muĥammad (صل الله عليه وسلم)

It was narrated by NuurudDiin Al-Haytħamiyy in his book Majmaˆ Az-Zawaa’id[10] through the companion Ibn ˆUmar:

عن ابن عمر قال : كنا مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم في سفر فأقبل أعرابي فلما دنا قال له النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم : " أين تريد؟ " قال : "إلى أهلي." قال : " هل لك في خير؟ " قال : "وما هو؟" قال : " تشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأن محمدا عبده ورسوله." قال : "من شاهد على ما تقول؟" قال : " هذه الشجرة." فدعاها رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم وهي بشاطئ الوادي فأقبلت تخد الأرض خدا حتى جاءت بين يديه فاستشهدها ثلاثا فشهدت أنه كما قال ثم رجعت إلى منبتها ورجع الأعرابي إلى قومه وقال : "إن يتبعوني آتيك بهم وإلا رجعت إليك فكنت معك."

We were traveling with the Messenger of Aļļaah r when a desert Arab approached. When he came near them. The Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم) said, "where are your heading?" He answered, "to my people." Then the Prophet asked (صل الله عليه وسلم) him, "are you interested in something that is good for you?" The Arab asked, "what is it?" He answered, "testify that there is no god but Aļļaah alone, He has no partner, and that Muĥammad is His created slave and His messenger." The man asked, "Who testifies to what you say?" The Prophet said, "this tree," and called the tree that was at the edge of the valley. The tree came, leaving a groove in the ground as a track, until it stood in front of the Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم). He asked it to testify three times, and it bore witness to that he is what he said he is. Then the tree returned to its place. The Arab also headed back to his people. He said, "if they follow me I will bring them to you, and if not, then I will come back to you myself in order to be with you."[11]

In another incident that narrated by Al-Bukħaariyy from Jaabir ibn ˆAbdillaah[12]:

كَانَ الْمَسْجِدُ مَسْقُوفًا عَلَى جُذُوعٍ مِنْ نَخْلٍ فَكَانَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِذَا خَطَبَ يَقُومُ إِلَى جِذْعٍ مِنْهَا فَلَمَّا صُنِعَ لَهُ الْمِنْبَرُ وَكَانَ عَلَيْهِ فَسَمِعْنَا لِذَلِكَ الْجِذْعِ صَوْتًا كَصَوْتِ الْعِشَارِ حَتَّى جَاءَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَوَضَعَ يَدَهُ عَلَيْهَا فَسَكَنَتْ

The Masjid of the Prophet’s roof was supported by palm trunks, and when the Prophet spoke, he used to lean on one of these palm trunks. When a pulpit was made for him, and he stood on it, we heard a sound from that palm trunk, like the sound of a camel in her tenth month of pregnancy. It continued until the Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم) came and put his hand on it. Only then did it become calm. [13]

A camel prostrating to the Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم)

It was narrated through a chain of reliable narrators by NuurudDiin Al-Haythmiyy, through Anas ibn Maalik[14], that a family in Al-Madiinah had a camel that used to fetch water for them had become obstinate and dangerous to go near. The Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم) went to see the camel inside its fence, despite his companion’s fear that the animal might attack him. When the camel saw him it approached him, faced him, and prostrated. He grabbed it by its forehead, and put it back to work.

فقال له أصحابه : يا رسول الله هذا بهيمة لا يعقل يسجد لك ونحن نعقل فنحن أحق أن نسجد لك قال : " لا يصلح لبشر أن يسجد لبشر ولو صلح لبشر أن يسجد لبشر لأمرت المرأة أن تسجد لزوجها لعظم حقه عليها…."

His companions said: "O Messenger of Aļļaah, this animal that does not have a mind prostrates to you, and we do have minds, so we are even more befit to prostrate to you!" He responded (in part), "it is not sound for a human to prostrate to another human. If it was sound for a human to prostrate to another human, then I would have ordered the wife to prostrate to her husband, because of the enormous rights he has over her…."[15]

Defeating an army with a handful of soil

In the battle of Ĥunayn, after the conquest of Makkah, the Prophet had with him an army of 12,000 men facing the tribe Hawaazin, who were under the leadership of a man by the name of Maalik ibn ˆAwf. Maalik had made the men of his tribe bring their property and families, to make them fight for all they hold precious. They were thousands of men and fought very hard and with strong unity. In the beginning, most of the Muslim army retreated, but the Prophet along with a few men remained. Muslim narrated:

نَزَلَ عَنْ الْبَغْلَةِ ثُمَّ قَبَضَ قَبْضَةً مِنْ تُرَابٍ مِنْ الْأَرْضِ ثُمَّ اسْتَقْبَلَ بِهِ وُجُوهَهُمْ فَقَالَ شَاهَتْ الْوُجُوهُ فَمَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ مِنْهُمْ إِنْسَانًا إِلَّا مَلَأَ عَيْنَيْهِ تُرَابًا بِتِلْكَ الْقَبْضَةِ فَوَلَّوْا مُدْبِرِينَ فَهَزَمَهُمْ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ

The Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم) came down from his mule and grabbed a handful of soil from the ground. Then he threw it towards their faces (the army of Hawaazin) and said, "The faces became ugly." There was not a human created by Aļļaah among them that did not get soil in his eyes (and they were thousands ) from that handful, so they turned around and Aļļaah (عز وجل) defeated them.[16]

A poisoned sheep leg speaks

After victory in the battle of Kħaybar, an oases north of Al-Madiinah controlled by jews, a jewish woman gave the Prophet a broiled sheep. Al-Haytħamiyy narrates[17]:

فأكل وأكل أصحابه ثم قال لهم: " أمسكوا." ثم قال للمرأة: " هل سممت هذه الشاة؟" فقالت: من أخبرك؟ قال: "هذا العظم لساقها." وهو في يده قالت: نعم. قال: "لم ؟" قالت: "قلت : إن كنت كاذبا أن يستريح الناس منك وإن كنت نبيا لم يضرك."

He (the Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم)) ate from it and so did some of his companions, then he said, "hold back!" Then he said to the woman, "have you poisoned this sheep?" She answered, "who told you?" He answered, "this bone of its foreleg," and it was in his hand. She answered, "yes." He asked her, "why?" She said, "I said to myself, ‘if he is a liar, then people will be rid of him, and if he is truthful it will not harm him."[18]

This idea of hers, that a prophet would not get harmed by poison, is pure ignorance, because prophets are human beings, and get harmed like others.

A wolf speaks

Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal[19] narrated in a chain declared authentic[20] that a wolf captured a sheep and the shepherd pursued it until he took it back. The wolf sat down with its tale between its legs in the manner that dogs do. It spoke and said, "do you not fear Aļļaah? You take a provision from me that was led to me by Aļļaah?" The shepherd said, "How strange! A wolf sitting on its tale and speaking to me in human speech." The wolf said, "How about I tell you something stranger than that? Muĥammad (صل الله عليه وسلم) in Yatħrib (the city of Al-Madiinah) telling people about what happened in the past!"[21]

The shepherd then went to Al-Madiinah and told the Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم), who had him announce it in the Masjid. The Messenger of Aļļaah (صل الله عليه وسلم) then swore it was true and said:

لاَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى يُكَلِّمَ السِّبَاعُ الإِنْسَ، وَيُكَلِّمَ الرَّجُلَ عَذَبَةُ سَوْطِهِ ، وَشِرَاكُ نَعْلِهِ، وَيُخْبِرَهُ فَخِذُهُ بِمَا (3) أَحْدَثَ (4) أَهْلُهُ بَعْدَهُ

"The last hour will not occur until predators speak to humans, and the man is spoken to by the lash of his whip, and the leather strip (the one across the instep) of his sandals, and by his thigh, about what his family was doing while he was away."[22]

His knowledge of the unseen of the past and the future

Muslim narrated that Ĥudħayfah[23] said:

قام فينا رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم مقاما ما ترك شيئا يكون في مقامه ذلك إلى قيام الساعة إلا حدث به حفظه من حفظه ونسيه من نسيه قد علمه أصحابي هؤلاء وإنه ليكون منه الشيء قد نسيته فأراه فأذكره كما يذكر الرجل وجه الرجل إذا غاب عنه ثم إذا رآه عرفه

The Messenger of Aļļaah (صل الله عليه وسلم) stood and delivered a great speech to us in which he did not leave anything untold that would be from that time until the Last Hour. Some of us memorized it while others forgot. These companions of mine know (about) it. Verily some of what I have forgotten of it happens, and then I remember it when I see it. Just like when a man remembers the face of another man that was away from him, (and he forgot what he looks like[24]) and then when he sees him again, he remembers him.

In another narration, by Abuu Daawuud[25], Ĥudħayfah said:

وَاَللَّهِ مَا تَرَكَ رَسُول اللَّه صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مِنْ قَائِد فِتْنَةٍ إِلَى أَنْ تَنْقَضِيَ الدُّنْيَا يَبْلُغُ مَنْ مَعَهُ ثَلاثمِائَةٍ إِلاَّ قَدْ سَمَّاهُ لَنَا

By Aļļaah, the Messenger of Aļļaah r did not leave out naming (i.e. specifically by full name) any leader of deviation[26] to be before the end of this world, that has followers reaching 300 men (or more).[27]

In another narration, as quoted by Al-Haytħamiyy, Abuu Dħarr[28] said:

لَقَدْ تَرَكَنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَمَا يُحَرِّكُ طَائِرٌ جَنَاحَيْهِ فِي السَّمَاءِ إِلاَّ ذَكَّرَنَا مِنْهُ عِلْمًا

The Messenger of Aļļaah (صل الله عليه وسلم) left us, and no bird moves its wings in the Sky without him having mentioned something about it.

In other words, the Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم) knew about all events of significance to his nation, and told his companions about these. It must not be understood from this that the Prophet knows everything, because it is impossible for a creation to have infinite knowledge. Infinite knowledge is only for Aļļaah, because His knowledge is eternal and not created.

Moreover, it cannot be that the Prophet knows all that is written to be in this world. This is because such a claim would contradict with what Aļļaah told us in the Qur’aan.


[1] See footnote 23 on page 10.

[2] Muĥammad ibn ‘Ismaaˆiil Al-Bukħaariyy (194 – 256 AH), Şaĥiiĥu-l-Bukħaariyy, 4/206.

[3] Ibid., 4/194.

[4] Jaabir ibn ˆAbdillaah Al-Kħazrajiyy Al-Anşaariyy (78 AH/ 697 AD) (رضي الله عنه) was a companion of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), as was his father, and is an important narrator who narrated more than 1500 ĥadiitħs, and he also participated in 19 military campaigns. Towards the end of his life, he used to give lessons in the Prophet’s Masjid in Al-Madiinah. Az-Zirikliyy, Al-‘Aˆlaam (2002), 2/104.

[5] The Ĥudaybiyyah incident happened when the Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم) and his companions were stopped at an area at the outskirts of Makkah, called Al-Ĥudaybiyyah. The men of Quraysħ prevented from proceeding further to perform the short type of pilgrimage called ˆUmrah – it is different from the long type, called Ĥajj.

[6] Muĥammad ibn ‘Ismaaˆiil Al-Bukħaariyy (194 – 256 AH), Şaĥiiĥu-l-Bukħaariyy, 5/122.

[7] See footnote 24 on page 11. See footnote 34 on page 13.

[8] See footnote 34 on page 13.

[9] Al-Naysaabuuriyy, Al-Mustadrak, 2/677.

[10] NuurudDiin Al-Haytħamiyy 807 AH/1305 AD was a great ĥadiitħ master who authored many books, among these is the book Majmaˆu-z-Zawaa’id, which is a respected ĥadiitħ collection. Az-Zirikliyy, Al-‘Aˆlaam (2002), 4/266.

[11] Nuuru-d-Diiin Al-Haytħamiy, Majmaˆu-z-Zawaa’id (Beirut: Daar Al-Fikr, 1412), 8/517.

[12] See footnote 147 page 81.

[13] Muĥammad ibn ‘Ismaaˆiil Al-Bukħaariyy (194 – 256 AH), Şaĥiiĥu-l-Bukħaariyy, 4/195-196.

[14] Anas ibn Maalik Al-Kħazrajiyy Al-Anşaariyy (93 AH/ 712 AD) (رضي الله عنه) was a companion and used to be the servant of the Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم) in Al-Madiinah, his hometown. After the Prophet’s (صل الله عليه وسلم) death he emigrated to Damascus and finally to Başrah, where he died as the last companion to die in that city. Az-Zirikliyy, Al-‘Aˆlaam (2002), 2/24-25.

[15] Al-Haytħamiy, Majmaˆu-z-Zawaa’id, 8/556.

[16] Muslim ibn Al-Ĥajjaaj Al-Naysaabuuriy, Şaĥiiĥ Muslim (Beirut, Lebanon: Daar Ihyaa’ Al-Turaath Al-Arabi), 3/1402.

[17] In a chain with sound narrators, except that one of them has been declared weak by some ĥadiitħ experts, and declared acceptable by others. However, this ĥadiitħ is narrated in many different chains as well.

[18] Al-Haytħamiy, Majmaˆu-z-Zawaa’id, 8/523.

[19] See footnote 9 on page 6.

[20] Al-Haytħamiyy declared the men of the chain as sound. Al-Haytħamiy, Majmaˆu-z-Zawaa’id, 8/516.

[21] Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal (241 AH/ 856 AD), Musnad Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal (241 AH) (Beirut, Lebanon: Mu’assasah Ar-Risaalah, 1421), 18/316.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Ĥudħayfah ibn Al-Yamaan was a great companion of the Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم) whom the Prophet told the names of all the hypocrites, and no one else. If someone died, ˆUmar used to see if Ĥudħayfah went to the funeral or not; if he did not go, then ˆUmar would not perform the funeral prayer. ˆUmar also put him in charge of several military campaigns and made him a governor of several cities. When he sent new governors he used to send the message, "I have sent so and so to you, and ordered him so and so," but when he sent Ĥudħayfah, he would say, "listen to him, obey him, and give him whatever he asks." Az-Zirikliyy, Al-‘Aˆlaam (2002), 2/171.

[24] Explanation in brackets as stated by Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy. Ibn Ĥajar Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy, Fatĥu-l-Baarii, 11/496.

[25] Abuu Daawuud (202 AH/ 817 AD – 275 AH/ 889 AD), Sulaymaan ibn Al-‘Asħˆatħ ibn Isĥaaq ibn Basħiir Al-‘Azdiyy As-Sijistaaniyy was the leader of ĥadiitħ scholars in his time. He is originally from Sijistaan (a region in today’s Iran and Afghanistan) and died in Başrah, Iraq, where he was buried. He is the author of the famous ĥadiitħ collection Sunan Abii Dawuud. Az-Zirikliyy, Al-‘Aˆlaam (2002), 3/ 122.

[26] Leader of deviation, i.e. a leader of a deviation of some kind, or unjust warfare. Al-Qaariy, Mirqaatu-l-Mafaatiiĥ, 10/ 21.

[27] As quoted by Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy, and he did not mention anything negative about this narration, which means he considered it acceptable according to his methodology. Ibn Ĥajar Al-ˆAsqalaaniy, Fatĥu-l-Baariy (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar El-Marefah Publishing & Distributing), 11 / 496.

[28] Abuu Dħarr, Jundab ibn Junaadah, Al-Għifaariyy (32 AH/ 652 AD), was one of the earliest converts to Islam and greatest of the companions of the Prophet.


Important note on the evidences of the prophethood of Muĥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)

August 25, 2010

In addition to his miracles, we get supporting evidences from the human perfection of the person of the Prophet himself; from both the perspective of insight and that of action. The greatest kind of insight is that of knowing Aļļaah, while the greatest kind of action is that of obeying Aļļaah. The greater one’s knowledge of Aļļaah and one’s obedience to Him, the more perfect one will be as a human being. We can also consider the level of strength of these two perspectives of human perfection. The first level would be to apply them to oneself. The higher level would be the strength to help others achieve high levels of insight and action.

Now, consider that at the time of the Prophet’s appearance, the world was full of blasphemy and vice of great varieties. As for the Jews, they had drowned in anthropomorphic beliefs, perverting the books brought by prophets, and even showing enmity towards some of them, like Jesus. The Christians, on the other hand, were fumbling in the fog of self contradictory superstitions, such as their beliefs in the trinity, the father and the son, along with the belief that creator and created are united. Others, like the Magians, were allowing men to marry their mothers, while the Arabs were busy with robbery, kidnapping and worshipping idols.

After the Prophet’s appearance (صلى الله عليه وسلم) these blasphemies and vices were replaced by the belief in the Oneneness of Aļļaah and obedience to Him at an unprecedented scale. This reversal from blasphemy and vice is the greatest achieved by any prophet in history, much greater than that of previous prophets, such as Moses or Jesus.

Look for example at his own people, the Arabs. Before his call they were split into tribes, clans and families with ongoing conflicts and enmity. After their embracement of Islam they became united to defend the Prophet and his teachings, emigrated from their lands, left their families and sacrificed their blood in his cause, making themselves targets for the blows of swords and the strikes of arrows. All this to strengthen the Prophet’s call, and nothing else. For he offered them no ease in this world, no riches as compensation, and no immediate benefits as incentive, no kingdom, no rule, no worldly titles. On the contrary, many spent their riches to support him and embraced poverty and a life of obeying orders.

This tells us, in addition to miracles, that the Prophet Muĥammad is not only a prophet, but the greatest prophet of all. He was supremely successful as a political leader and in his influence on the personalities of his followers. This influence and its intensity is still very evident today for anyone comparing Muslims and non-Muslims in terms of whom they are influenced by and to what extent.


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

July 19, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


What is the role of logic/manţiq in the Islamic sciences?

January 24, 2010

Manţiq, or logic, as studied in the Islamic sciences, is really about two things:

1. How to make a proper definition of a concept.

2. How to construct a sound proof or argument, and detect flaws in a faulty argument.

There is nothing mysterious about it. As such, logic is undeniably needed in all sciences, and most particularly in Kalaam. In Kalaam only the strongest proofs are of significance, so a good understanding of logical principles is needed to assess the strength of a proof.

In general, a solid modern education really teaches what logic was used for in the old days. Back then education relied mostly on memorization, so logic was needed to teach students how to think.

Today, however, most well educated people will be aware of what makes a solid definition, and how to detect flaws in an argument, especially if one has been exposed to Boolean Algebra. If you know how to construct a good search in Google, you know how to use logic. Yet to understand advanced books in kalaam and Uşuulu-l-Fiqh (how to derive Islamic judgments from the Qur’aan and ĥadiitħ), one needs to be familiar with the terminology of Islamic Logic, so it is important to read at least one book in this science.

By “Islamic Logic” I mean books on logic that have been purified from Greek theology and what relates to it. Beware that the criticism of some scholars against the study of logic is meant for logic mixed with Greek philosophy. After all, no one in their right mind will forbid studying how to make a definition or construct a sound proof.

One more thing: some people think that Aristotales invented logic and therefore that using it makes on a follower of his. This is nonsense, because humans have been using logic in all ages, or at least as long as they have been arguing, because they needed to be able to detect flaws in arguments and define concepts properly. All Aristotales did was codify the principles of logic so that it could be studied systematically.


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.


For children: “How can we know that all other religions than Islam are incorrect when there are so many?”

October 31, 2009

(Note that unless the child asks a question, or is likely to be exposed to a question soon, you don’t have to attract his attention to something that hasn’t come to his mind. You only need to teach him the basic belief, like in the rhyme recently posted. Moreover, when addressing a child you don’t have to be complete all the time, but cover the issues that suit his mind and circumstances. In other words, you don’t have to cover all potential objections of deviants. I have put some extra things in footnotes that some children might need. That being said, the following is the answer:)

We have to look at what they believe and group them, then we can decide what is wrong with these groups.

First let us look at what they believe about God.

If we take all the people in the world, they will either believe that God exists or not.

Some believe that God does not exist. Those people are called atheists. They are the silliest people, because this world needs someone to give it the color and shape it has.

If you showed a drawing to him of a donkey, an atheist would say that someone drew that donkey. He would be sure that someone drew the shape of that donkey, and put color on it. He would laugh at you if you told him that no one drew it, or that the pen and paper got together by themselves and made the drawing. But if the color and shape of a simple drawing cannot happen without someone drawing it, how can they then believe that all the different things around us, with colors and shapes just like the donkey, gave themselves the color and shape they have? This is even more crazy than saying that a drawing was not drawn by anyone, because many of the things around us are much more amazing than a simple drawing. A baby in the mother’s stomach, for example, starts as a simple drop of liquid. Then that liquid becomes a peace of blood, then a piece of meat, and then it starts to get the shape of a human, with skin on the meat, arms, legs, stomach, intestine, blood vessels, a heart that beats to pump blood to all the parts of the body, blood that has in it all the ingredients in its mix that the different parts need, and more. Now if a simple donkey drawing must have a drawer to give it simple shape and color, how can they claim that this human does not need a creator to give it all of these things. This is really silly[1].

So the Creator definitely exists.

Now we are left with the group of people that believe that the Creator exists. We now need to group these to see who is right and who is wrong.

Those people who believe there is a creator, either say that there is only one creator, or that there are more.

There cannot be more than one, because if there were two that wanted to create a human, then they would need to agree on the shape. If they could not agree then this means that the one that did not get what he wanted is weak. This means that he is not god, because god cannot be weak. If they always agreed, then this means that both would be weak, because they would need to agree, and needing is weakness.

So the Creator is definitely One, and not more.

Now we are left with the group of people that say that the Creator exists, and is only One. We now need to group these to see who is right and who is wrong. Those are the Muslims, Christans, Jews, and some liars that claim to be Muslims called wahabis.

Those people who say there is only One Creator, either say that He is something with a shape or not.

Those who say He has a shape are very silly. I think you can understand why. Just remember what we said about the donkey drawing. We said that the donkey needs a drawer to draw its shape. So anything with a shape needs someone to give it shape. When they say that God has a shape, they are saying that He needs a creator. This means that He would be a creation, and not the Creator.

Christians and Jews believe that the creator has a shape, because it says in their book: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created man; male and female he created them.” As you know, image means shape. Another word they use for shape is limit, which is the word wahabis use – don’t let them fool you. What they are saying then, even if they do not admit it, is that God needs a creator. By saying no to this, they become just like the atheist with the donkey drawing. They will be saying that some simple shape must have someone give it its shape, but that the human shape does not. This is because they believe that god has a human shape, but was not given it.

So the Creator definitely does not have a shape.

Muslims do not believe that Aļļaah has a shape, so He does not need a creator. As you can see, Muslims have the only logical belief about Aļļaah.

You should also understand that the human that draws donkeys is not creating the drawing. This is because the human is weak. He was created by Aļļaah, and after being created, all the movements of his body is a different shape. Even when his little finger moves, this is a different shape from before moving it. He could not have moved it if Aļļaah did not create that new shape. This means that the drawing he did was created by Aļļaah, because Aļļaah created the drawer’s movements. This means it was Aļļaah that created the drawing, and that the drawer was only moving by movements created by Aļļaah. Yes, it is true that you can usually move your finger when you want, but that does not mean you created the movement. If you think about it, you do not know how you made your finger move. You do not know what muscle is working, or how you get your muscles to work. There are many things that happen in the body when you move your finger you do not control, such as millions of little parts of each muscle contracting, electricity coming from your brain to make them move, and many other things. This tells you clearly that it is Aļļaah that controls those things, and not you, so it is Aļļaah that creates your movement, and not you[2].


[1] For kids that have been exposed to atheist arguments, or you fear will be soon, you might add something like this: Sometimes they will say, “but we saw that the donkey has a drawer, and we did not see any creator of humans.” This is a lie, because they did not see the drawer of all donkey drawings. This means they believe that the shape and color of the drawing must have a drawer, even if they did not see him. This means that they should admit that more amazing things, like a human being, must have a creator also.

[2] This paragraph is for kids that need this clarification. It is an important one, if they are ready to understand. Word of note: don’t underestimate your children’s intelligence. I have personally taught children at 3-4 years of age that Aļļaah exists without being in a place. 

For kids with even more mature mind’s, you can further add to the last paragraph: You can understand this, because you know that all shapes need a creator. When a muscle contracts, it means it becomes shorter, so it is a different shape. Even electricity from the brain is like that, because it flows in a path from the brain to the muscle, and a path is a shape. All of these shapes are created by Aļļaah, so it is Aļļaah that creates your movements.


It is impossible for anthropomorphists to prove the existence of a Creator that is not brought into existence.

October 22, 2009

When we look around us, we see two things: borders (physical limit/ spacial limit/ shape) and color. There is nothing else that is seen by our eyes. We do not need to consider color, because color is secondary to borders in that they fall within borders.

What we are left with then, for proving the need of creation for a Creator, is borders. We must prove that all borders, not matter the shape, must have a Creator, in order to show that the Creator exists[1]. Why all? Because border only differ in their size and shape; there is no difference between them based on which one could claim that one of them needs a creator, while another does not. There is no such difference between them.

Accordingly, if someone says that Aļļaah has a border, then he is forced to either say that Aļļaah, like everything else with a border, needs a creator, or that He cannot prove that borders needs a creator. If he can’t prove that borders need a creator, then he can’t prove that what we see with our eyes around us needs a creator.

All anthropomorphists believe that Aļļaah is something that can be pointed at in a direction. This means they believe that He has a border in that direction. They also believe that Aļļaah is not created. Accordingly, they are forced to say that borders do not need a creator. This again means that they cannot prove the createdness of anything that is seen.

They want us to believe that this is the path of truth and reason, and the way of the Qur’aan, the Prophets and the pious Salaf. This is nothing less than an insult to the religion and the Creator, and a denial of Islam being in agreement with sound reason. It reduces it to the guesswork that all other religions are. It is an endorsement of the idea that science and reason cannot agree with religion. What an enormous price to pay just to hold onto the idea that Aļļaah’s aboveness is one of relative spacial positioning, instead of just saying that His aboveness is in power and status, not in location.


[1] All borders need a creator, because their shape is intrinsically possible. After all, a physical limit is conceptually just a connection of dots forming a line or surface. Each dot is connected to the next at one of its sides. The choice of placement of a connected dot to another is for any available space at any angle and from any angle. That’s it. The placement of connected dots form limits, and since the way the dots are placed next to each other needs specification in terms of ‘where’, it must be true that all limits need to be specified.

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

This means that any physical limit needs a creator and cannot be eternal, because its existence depends on prior specification, and all such limits are equal in this dependence. So if someone claims that one such limit does not require a creator, or to be specified, then He can no longer logically prove that another limit does need a creator. This means that he can no longer logically prove that shapes need someone to give them a form. To be able to do that, rather, he must hold on to the premise that all limits need a creator. He must hold that since Aļļaah is not specified or created, and is definitely eternal, it must be true that Aļļaah exists without physical limits.


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.


Hints to the meanings Of Tawhiid In Throwing The Pebbles In Hajj by Ibn ˆArabiyy

September 16, 2009

Introduction

Asħ-Sħaˆraaniyy (898-973 AH/ 1493-1565 AD), ˆAbdulWahhaab ibn ‘Aĥmad ibn ˆAliyy Al-Ĥanafiyy (as he is a descendant of Muĥammad ibn Al-Ĥanafiyyah) was a scholar among the Sufis. He was born in Qalqasħandah in Egypt, and died in Cairo. (Al-‘Aˆlaam (2002), 4/180) Among his many books authored are Lawaaqiĥu-l-‘Anwaari-l-Qudsiyyah Fii Bayaani-l-ˆUhuud Al-Muĥammadiyyah, hereby referred to as Al-ˆUhuud Al-Muĥammadiyyah.

Asħ-Sħaˆraaniyy’s considerable knowledge and piety made him many envious enemies, to the extent that his books were perverted in his own time. He had to defend himself by showing the original manuscripts of his books to show his innocence. In the introduction to his book quoted below, he speaks of such an incident and explains that he started mentioning ĥadiitħs as proofs for everything he said to make them more difficult to pervert. After all, he argued, if the claims stated blatantly contradict the ĥadiitħ mentioned it would be easier for the reader to discover that there is something fishy going on! (Al-ˆUhuud Al-Muĥammadiyyah, 6)

Asħ-Sħaˆraaniyy is among the scholars that defended Muĥyiddiin Ibn ˆArabiyy and explained some of his strange expressions in a manner that agrees with the sayings of Ahlu-s-Sunnah. Note, however, that some of the expressions found in the latter’s books are perversions. Asħ-Sħaˆraaniyy said:

Asħ-Sħaykħ Abuu Ţaahir Al-Muzaniyy Asħ-Sħaadħiliyy told me that all of what is in Asħ-Sħaykħ Muĥyiddiin’s books of things that contradicts blatant Islamic Law is forged, because he is a complete man by the consensus of authenticators." (Al-Yawaaqiitu wa-l-Jawaahir, 3)

In any case, this is all history, and what we are mainly concerned with here is belief in itself, not what particular non-prophets believe in particular. The following narration of Asħ-Sħaˆraaniyy, however, shows Asħ-Sħaykħ Muĥyiddiin’s strong knowledge of, and adherence to, Sunni kalaam. First, however, let us see briefly what Asħ-Sħaˆraaniyy’s attitude is, and where his loyalty lies.

Asħ-Sħaˆraaniyy is a mainstream Sunni i.e. an Asħˆariyy

He said with regard to his loyalty to Ahlu-s-Sunnah:

…. And know that what is meant by "Ahlu-s-Sunnah wa-l-Jamaaˆah" in the customary expressions of people today is Abu-l-Ĥasan Al-Asħˆariyy and whomsoever was prior to him, such as Al-Maaturiidiyy and others…. (because of Al-Asħˆariyy’s fame, however)…. people started saying "this man’s belief is correct and Asħˆariyy," but they do not mean that those who are not are necessarily wrong absolutely,… and there is no significant difference between Asħˆariyys and Maaturiidiyys in the sense that they accuse each other of bad innovation in the religion….

…. and know, dear brother, that whomsoever follows Ahlu-s-Sunnah wa-l-Jamaaˆah must have his heart full of content with following them, and against whomsoever disagrees with them. (Al-Yawaaqiitu wa-l-Jawaahir, 2)

With regard to ambiguous expressions found in books of sufis in general and Sħaykħ Muĥyiddiin, he said:

I advise all those who are not capable of reaching the understanding of what the people of illumination to stand firm by the apparent decrees of the scholars of kalaam, and not go beyond that….. (Al-Yawaaqiitu wa-l-Jawaahir, 2)

Asħ-Sħaykħ Muĥyiddiin on the pebbles thrown in Ĥajj pilgrimage

(إشارات الشيخ محيي الدين للتوحيد في رمي الحصى بالحج) قال الشعراني في لواقع الأنوار القدسية: ذكر الشيخ محيي الدين في باب الحج من “الفتوحات”ما نصه: إنما كان حصى الرمي سبعا لأن الشيطان يأتي الرامي هناك بسبع خواطر، لا بد من ذلك فيرمي كل خاطر بحصاة ومعنى التكبير عند رمي كل حصاة: الله أكبر من هذه النسبة التي أتانا بها الشيطان وأطال في ذلك ثم قال:

Asħ-Sħaˆaraaniyy said: “Asħ-Sħaykħ Muĥyiddiin mentioned in the chapter on Ĥajj in Al-Futuuĥaat the following: ‘The pebbles we are throwing are seven, because the Satan always comes to the thrower there with seven seeds-of-doubt (misgivings). So, the thrower throws a pebble at each of these satanic suggestions. And the meaning of saying, " Allaahu-Akbar," with every thrown pebble is that Aļļaah is greater than what the Satan brought.’ He (Asħ-Sħaykħ Muĥyiddiin) explained this at length, then he said:”

The first pebble

إذا أتاك بخاطر الشبهة من إنكار الذات، فارمه بحصاة الافتقار إلى المرجح وهو أنه واجب الوجود لنفسه.

"If he comes to you with the satanic suggestion that Allah Himself does not exist, then throw at him the pebble that represents the absolute need of anything intrinsically possible-in-existence to have its possibility of non-existence outweighed by the One that makes it so (otherwise it would be non-existent); which means that He (Aļļaah) is intrinsically necessary in existence (so He does not need a creator as His existence is a must, and not a possibility).”

Background for understanding the meaning of the first pebble.

The actual existence of something can only be either intrinsically necessary to it or intrinsically possible. There is no third alternative. The intrinsically necessary to itself must exist, and its non-existence would be impossible. The intrinsically possible to itself might exist and it might not. The benefit of realizing this is that:

If something has a beginning it is only possible in existence.

If we can establish that something can cease to exist, or has a beginning, we can establish that it is possible in existence. Why is this true? Because its non-existence would then be possible, and hence its existence is not a must, but only intrinsically possible.

If something has an end, or could have an end, then it is only possible in existence.

This is because it’s non-existence is possible, and this means that its existence is not intrinsic to it.

The beginninglessly eternal does not accept non-existence.

This is because it is then clear that its existence is dependent on something else, and not intrinsic to it.

Moreover, if it accepted non-existence, then its period of existence would need to be specified. This means that it would then be only intrinsically possible in existence, because it depends on the specification of something else. This again means it would have a beginning, and it was assumed that it was beginningless, so this is a contradiction.

The beginninglessly eternal cannot be intrinsically possible in existence, so it must be necessary.

If we establish something as beginninglessly eternal, we can know that its existence is necessary. How is that? Well, because if you said it is without a beginning, you would have said that it does not need something else to specify its existence.  This means that it must exist, and that its existence is intrinsic to itself.

The possible in existence must have a beginning.

That is, if something is possible in existence, it needs to be specified by something other than itself. After all, something that has many possible and alternative aspects to its existence, needs to have one alternative specified over another, such as the period of existence relative to other possible things. This other must be precedent to its existence to specify it, and it must be brought into existence according to this specification. This means that the possible cannot be beginningless, because it must have been brought into existence.

Moreover, if someone suggested that something possible in existence was beginningless, then he is saying that its existence is without prior non-existence. If it has no prior non-existence, however, then it would not be needing something else to exist. This means that its existence is intrinsic to it. Accordingly, it is self-contradictory to claim that something possible could be beginningless.

If something must exist due to something else, then it is intrinsically possible in existence.

If we say that something must exist, then this is either because of something else, or not. If it is because of something preceding it, then it is possible in existence. If it is not, then it is necessary in existence. This means that what must exist and is necessary in existence cannot end, because that would mean that its existence is not a must.

Clarifying what Asħ-Sħaykħ Muĥyiddiin is saying

He is saying that our minds tells us that the world is not intrinsically necessary in existence, but needs to be brought into existence. The reason for this is that it changes all the time by moving, being still, changing in shape and color, changing in composition, and so on. To clarify, these changes entail the cessation of one characteristic and the emergence of another, which tells us that the attribute was only possible in existence, and not necessary.

This means again that the world needs specification for how it is at any point in time. This specification either comes from something else that is possible in existence, namely a cause that occurs, or from something necessary in existence. The latter is what we believe. It cannot come from something possible in the final analysis, because all intrinsically possible things have a beginning.

If one said that there was an eternal series of possibly existent things in the past, leading up to the existence of what exists today, then this is contradictory. The contradiction is that one would have to say that an infinite series of beginnings came to pass before today. This is a contradiction, because infinity cannot pass, that is, infinity cannot finish.

We know then, that this world must have been brought into existence by a being that is necessary in existence. The idea that Aļļaah does not exist is thereby refuted by “the absolute need of anything intrinsically possible-in-existence to have its possibility of non-existence outweighed by the One that makes it so.”

The second pebble

وإن أتاك بأنه جوهر فارمه بالحصاة الثانية. وهو الدليل على الافتقار للتحيز والوجود بالغير.

"And if he comes to you suggesting that Allah is an essence, then throw at him with the second pebble; which is the proof that any essence is in absolute need of space existing in dependence on something else.”

The categories of the intrinsically possible existence.

Existence is either said to be only possible or necessary or impossible. The necessarily existent is Allah; whereas the possibly existent is anything that could exist and depends on its existence on being created, as we have explained previously. The possibly existent is either going to be something that exists in itself or in something else.

1. If it exists in itself (not in something else), then it is either going to be in a place or not.

i. If it is not, then this is what is called the stripped essence (الجوهر المجرد), which was affirmed as existent by the Greek philosophers, but the vast majority of scholars denied its existence; as there is no proof of it.

ii. If it is in a place, it is called the indivisible particle Al-Jawhar Al-Fard (not to be confused with the atom because the atom is divisible into electrons, protons, etc…).

Note that what the two essences have in common is that they depend on others in their existence, because their existence in only intrinsically possible.

2. If it exists in something else, then this is incidental characteristics (al-ˆarađ)

Clarifying what Asħ-Sħaykħ Muĥyiddiin is saying regarding the second pebble

He is saying that Aļļaah cannot be an essence, because essences are dependent in their existence, and therefore only possible. They need to be brought into existence by something else. For something in a space this is clear, because the position of the space and the amount of space can only be something possible. After all, if something is in a particular position, then it could just as well have been in another, which means that the position is possible. Likewise, the amount of space it occupies is possible, because it could be bigger and it could be smaller depending on its specification.

Even if it was hypothesized to be a stripped essence, that is, without space, it would still have to be created. This is because it is impossible that there should be two or more that are all intrinsically necessary in existence. The reason is that they would either be completely identical or different. They cannot be completely identical, because this would mean that they would not be different at all, which would mean that they are not more than one in the first place. If they were different, then they would need specification in terms of which one should have which eternal attribute to distinguish it, which would make them both in need of specification and therefore possible in existence.

The third pebble

Asħ-Sħaˆraaniyy continues his narration from Asħ-Sħaykħ Muĥyiddiin:

وإن أتاك بخاطر الجسمية، فارمه بحصاة الافتقار إلى الأداة والتركيب والأبعاض.

"So, if he comes to you with the suggestion of anthropomorphism (believing that Allah has bodily characteristics), then throw at him the pebble of (all bodies) need for instruments, composition and parts.”

Clarifying what Asħ-Sħaykħ Muĥyiddiin is saying regarding the third pebble

He is saying that a body is intrinsically dependent in its existence on having instruments, being composed and having parts coming together. This necessitates specification, which means it is only possible in existence, and Aļļaah’s existence must be necessary, or it would not be eternal. Note that it does not matter whether these parts of claimed to be inseparable or not, because having a tangible border necessitates specification of this border, which means that anything with a tangible border is only possible in existence.

Moreover, bodies or particles are either moving or still. First, a body that is moving, must have a beginning, because being in a place at a point of time has a before and an after. The beginninglessly eternal cannot be something that reaches a point which has a before and an after, because any such hypothetical point will have beginningless eternity ending before it, and this is contradictory. Moreover, if it was eternally moving, then its movement would be infinite in distance, and moving across an infinite distance cannot be concluded, which means that no existing body could have been eternally moving. Furthermore, if movement was an eternal attribute, then it would be necessary, and could never end, and we know without a doubt that movements can end.

If it is argued that a body could be still in eternity and not moving, then this would mean that it could never move; because it would mean that stillness is an eternal attribute without a beginning; that it is “beginninglessly still.”We know, however, that any object in a particular position could be in another one. This means that it must be possible, and not necessary, and therefore not eternal.

The fourth pebble

Asħ-Sħaˆraaniyy continues his narration:

وإن أتاك بالعرضية فارمه بحصاة الافتقار إلى المحل والحدوث بعد أن لم يكن.

"And if he comes to you with the suggestion of incidental/temporal characteristics then throw at him the pebble of need of something to exist in, and that of existence after non-existence.”

Clarifying what Asħ-Sħaykħ Muĥyiddiin is saying regarding the fourth pebble

Incidental characteristics are attributes of essences, like taking a place, movement, color, shape, odor, softness, sound, ideas, sequence, feelings, emotions, drives, needs, change, etc… These all need an essence to exist in, and essences can only be possible in existence, as they need to have their incidental characteristics specified.

The fifth pebble

Asħ-Sħaˆraaniyy continues his narration:

وإن أتاك بالعِلّية، فارمه بالحصاة الخامسة وهي كان الله ولا شيء معه.

"If he comes to you with the suggestion of ‘cause’, (which is the satanic suggestion that the effect is eternal with Him in existence,) then throw at him the fifth pebble, which is the affirmation that Allah existed and there was nothing else existing with Him.”

Clarifying what Asħ-Sħaykħ Muĥyiddiin is saying regarding the fifth pebble.

The Greek philosophers believed that Allah is the cause of the world’s existence not by choice (i.e. He did not create by choice, according to them). This meant that they believed one or more creations to be eternal. Similarly, Ibn Taymiyyah believed that the world (i.e. other than Aļļaah) is eternal, even though no particular creation is eternal. He says:

It is a necessity of Aļļaah’s self to act, but not an act in particular, and not having something done in particular, so there is no eternal object in the world, and He is not eternally a complete influencer for anything (to exist) in the world, but He has in beginningless eternity always been a complete influencer for something (to exist), one after another…[1] (Aş-Şafadiyyah, 2/97)

Note that his statement “It is a necessity of Aļļaah’s self to act, but not an act in particular,” means that Aļļaah has no choice but to create something. This is a plain ascription of flaw to the Creator, and the one that has such a belief is light years away from being anything that can be called a Muslim. All Muslims must believe that Aļļaah does not need to, and is not compelled to, or obligated to, create at all, and does not achieve more perfection by it.

These claims of the philosophers and Ibn Taymiyyah then, contradict the Islamic belief. This is as indicated by the Qur’aan:

"وهُوَ الأَوَّلُ",

Meaning: "He is Al-Awwal[2].” (Al-Ĥadiid, 03)." This means that He existed before everything else, and that He was not preceded by non-existence or the existence of something else . Al-Bukħaariyy[3] narrated that the Prophet Muĥammad r said:

"كان الله ولم يَكُنْ شَيْءٌ غَيْرُهُ"

"Aļļaah existed and there was nothing else" (Bukħaariyy No. 3019) Aļļaah’s existence then, does not resemble the existence of created things. It is a beginning-less, eternal and necessary existence, and is not affected by anything, or shared with anything. This is what Asħ-Sħaykħ Muĥyiddiin meant by “the affirmation that Allah existed and there was nothing else existing with Him.”

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

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

وَرَبُّكَ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيَخْتَارُ [القصص : 68]

Meaning: “Your Lord creates what He wills and chooses what He wills; nothing obligates Him and nothing prevents Him[4].” (Al-Qişaş, 68) (Tafsiir Al-Bayđaawiyy, 4/301)

The sixth pebble

Asħ-Sħaˆraaniyy continues his narration:

وإن أتاك بالطبيعة فارمه بالحصاة السادسة وهي دليل نسبة الكثرة إليه، وافتقار كل واحد من آحاد الطبيعة إلى الأمر الآخر في الاجتماع به إلى إيجاد الأجسام الطبيعية، فإن الطبيعة مجموع فاعلين ومفعولين حرارة وبرودة؛ ورطوبة ويبوسة، ولا يصح اجتماعها لذاتها ولا افتراقها لذاتها ولا وجود لها إلا في عين الحار والبارد والرطب واليابس.

"And if he comes to you with suggesting ‘nature’, then throw at him with the sixth pebble; which is the proof that (possible) multitude is dependent on Him in existence, and the need of each one of the natural elements for something else to join with in order to (hypothetically) bring natural bodies into existence.

For verily, nature is a collection of things that are actors and acted upon; respectively, heat and cold vs. moisture and dryness. And it is not correct that they get together (by intrinsic necessity) in themselves, nor that they separate by themselves (because these are possibilities in need of specification, and not necessities.) And they don’t exist except in the thing that is hot or cold, or moist or dry.”

Clarifying what Asħ-Sħaykħ Muĥyiddiin is saying regarding the sixth pebble

He is saying that since nature (the tempers: heat, cold, moisture, dryness, movement, etc.) are all possible in themselves. Moreover, they can’t exist without an essence to be in, which brings us back to the second proof which is that any essence needs a creator (because such an essence is only possible in existence). What he says here applies to modern atheists as well, who speaks of “natural laws,” such as gravity, as there is no gravity without bodies, and bodies cannot be eternal.

The seventh pebble

Asħ-Sħaˆraaniyy continues his narration:

وإن أتاك بالعدم وقال لك فإذا لم يكن الحق هذا ولا هذا من جميع ما تقدم فما ثمّ شيء، فارمه بالحصاة السابعة وهي دليل آثاره في الممكن، ومعلوم أن العدم لا تأثير له، وهو كلام نفيس.

"And if he comes to you suggesting ‘non-existence’ and says to you, ‘if Allah is not this and not that of all the things that have been mentioned previously, then there is nothing existing left!’ Then throw at him the seventh pebble, which is the proof of His influence on the possibly existing, and it is well known that what is non-existing cannot influence anything.”(Al-ˆUhuud Al-Muĥammadiyyah, 188)

Clarifying what Asħ-Sħaykħ Muĥyiddiin is saying regarding the seventh pebble

We know that Allah exists because this world can only be possible in existence, and therefore needs a Creator. This Creator then, definitely exists. He is not, however, anything like what we have perceived by our senses in this life. If He was, then He Himself would only be possible in existence and in need of a Creator. That is why Asħ-Sħaykħ Muĥyiddiin denied Aļļaah being an essence, anthropomorphism, being or having incidental/temporal characteristics, being a cause or nature. Human nature, however, is to imagine the reality of something it has not perceived, in terms of what has been seen. For this reason, denying that Aļļaah is like anything one knows, the feeble minded may jump to the conclusion that He is non-existent. This is fallacious, because it assumes that anything existing must be like what one has experienced, and this is completely unfounded.

Instead, as Asħ-Sħaykħ Muĥyiddiin indicates, one knows that Aļļaah exists by the existence of possible things, and rejects likeness to creation for the same reason, namely that anything like creation would itself need a creator. This is as narrated authentically by Ibn Ĥajar in Fatĥu-l-Baarii[5] from Ibn ˆAbbaas[6],

“تفكروا في كل شيء ولا تفكروا في ذات الله”

"Ponder about everything, but do not ponder about the Self of Aļļaah." (Fatĥu-l-Baarii, 13/383) .

He said this because such dwelling leads one to draw analogies between the Creator and the created, which is blasphemy. Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy said:

هذا ذكر بيان عقيدة أهل السنة والجماعة…. ومن وصف الله بمعنى من معاني البشر فقد كفر…. وتعالى الله عن الحدود والغايات والأركان والأعضاء والأدوات…. لا تحويه الجهات الست كسائر المبتدعات…. ولا نخوض في الله

This is a detailed remembrance of the belief of the People of the Sunnah and (following) the Jamaaˆah…. Whoever attributed to Aļļaah an attribute that has a meaning among the meanings that apply to humans has committed blasphemy…. Aļļaah is clear of and above having limits, extremes, corners, limbs or instruments…. The six directions (up, down, front, back, left and right) do not contain Him unlike all created things…. We do not engross ourselves in (thinking about the reality of) Aļļaah.

This completes the discussion on what Asħ-Sħaˆraaniyy narrated from Asħ-Sħaykħ Muĥyiddiin regarding the pebbles, wa laa quwwata illaa billaah.

References

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

Al-Yawaaqiitu wa-l-Jawaahir. ˆAbdulWahhaab Asħ-Sħaˆraaniyy (898-973 AH/ 1493-1565 AD). Egypt: Al-Maba’ah al-Maymanyah. 12 Sep 2009 <http://www.archive.org/details/alyawqtwaaljawhi00sharuoft&gt;.

Aş-Şafadiyyah. Aĥmad Ibn Taymiyyah (728 AH) Al-Ĥarraaniyy. Egypt: Maktabah Ibn Taymiyyah, 1406.

Fatĥu-l-Baarii Sħarĥu Şaĥiiĥi-l-Bukħaariyy. Ibn Ĥajar Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Marefah, 1379.

Lawaaqiĥu-l-‘Anwaari-l-Qudsiyyah Fii Bayaani-l-ˆUhuud Al-Muĥammadiyyah. ˆAbdulWahhab Asħ-Sħaˆraaniyy (898-973 AH/ 1493-1565 AD). Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Kotob Al-ilmiya, 2005.

Tafsiir Al-Bayđaawiyy. Al-Bayđaawiyy (685 AH/ 1286 AD), NaşirudDiin. Beirut, Lebanon: Daar Al-Fikr.


[1]قال ابن تيمية في الصفدية (2 / 97): وحينئذ فالذي هو من لوازم ذاته نوع الفعل لا فعل معين ولا مفعول معين فلا يكون في العالم شيء قديم وحينئذ لا يكون في الأزل مؤثرا تاما في شيء من العالم ولكن لم يزل مؤثرا تاما في شيء بعد شيء وكل أثر يوجد عند حصول كمال التأثير فيه.

[2]The word "awwal" in Arabic means "first", but its meaning when referring to Aļļaah is as stated.

[3]Muĥammad ibn Ismaaˆiil ibn Ibraahiim ibn al-Mugħiirah Al-Bukħaariyy (194 h. – 256 h.) is the author of the famous ĥadiitħ book “Şaĥiiĥ Al-Bukħaariyy”, which is recognized as the most authentic ĥadiitħ collection of all.

[4]تفسير البيضاوى (4 / 301): وربك يخلق ما يشاء ويختار ( لا موجب عليه ولا مانع له )

[5]Fatĥu-l-Baarii is the most important of all commentaries on Al-Bukħaariyy’s ĥadiitħ collection. It is written by Ibn Ĥajar Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy, who said that this narration from Ibn ˆAbbaas is good. Ibn Ĥajar is Aĥmad ibn ˆAliyy ibn Muĥammad Al-Kinaaniyy, Abuu Al-Fađl, SħihaabudDiin, Ibn Ĥajar (773-852 AH / 1372-1449 AD). He was the greatest scholar of ĥadiitħ in his time. He was also a great historian, linguist and poet. He was born in ˆAsqalaan in Palestine, but died and is buried in Cairo where he was a judge for many years. He wrote many valuable works in the ĥadiitħ sciences that are widely used, but the greatest of them is his commentary on Şaĥiiĥ Al-Bukħaariyy called Fatĥu-l-Baari’. He was also appointed as head judge of Egypt in his time.

[6]Ibn ˆAbbaas was the son of the Prophet’s r paternal uncle Al-ˆAbbaas. The Prophet r asked Aļļaah to make him a great scholar, and so he became at an early age. The companions of the Prophet r called him “Turjumaan Al-Qur’aan” – the Translator of the Qur’aan.


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

September 10, 2009

Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Ibn Taymiyyah affirms implied composition and need.

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

That something existing should not be increasing, or decreasing, or neither increasing nor decreasing, and yet exist and not have a size – this is impossible.1 (Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah, 3/146).

In affirming composition etc., he says:

We have already clarified what possibilities (in terms of what they mean) are associated with the words composition, settling in place, being other (having different sides or parts), and need, and that the meaning meant by this is something all existing things must be attributed with, whether necessary in existence (he means Aļļaah) or possible in existence (creation.) Verily, to say that this is impossible (for Aļļaah to be attributed with,) is pure sophistry.2. (Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah, 1/33)

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

1قال ابن تيمية: فأما كون الشيء غير موصوف بالزيادة والنقصان ولا بعدم ذلك وهو موجود وليس بذي قدر فهذا لا يعقل (بيان تلبيس الجهمية, ج3/ص146).

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

3قال ابن تيمية: وَالْإِحَاطَةُ قَدْ عُلِمَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ قَادِرٌ عَلَيْهَا وَعُلِمَ أَنَّهَا تَكُونُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِالْكِتَابِ وَالسُّنَّة وَلَيْسَ فِي إثْبَاتِهَا فِي الْجُمْلَةِ مَا يُخَالِفُ الْعَقْلَ وَلَا الشَّرْعَ ؛ لَكِنْ لَا نَتَكَلَّمُ إلَّا بِمَا نَعْلَمُ وَمَا لَا نَعْلَمُهُ أَمْسَكْنَا عَنْهُ وَمَا كَانَ مُقَدِّمَةُ دَلِيلِهِ مَشْكُوكًا فِيهَا عِنْدَ بَعْضِ النَّاسِ كَانَ حَقُّهُ أَنْ يَشُكَّ فِيهِ حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْحَقُّ وَإِلَّا فَلْيَسْكُتْ عَمَّا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ . (مجموع الفتاوى – 6 / 574)