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.


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.


Deviant contention: Are you saying that Allah has an infinite number of attributes now?

July 15, 2009

This is a rhetorical question, implying that “how can you say that events in the past, before now, cannot be infinite, yet claim that Aļļaah’s attributes are infinite now?”

The answer is that infinity is not impossible in absolute terms. Actually, quite the contrary. What is impossible is to have an infinite amount of beginnings passing/ending/completing/finishing, because it is self contradictory.

Aļļaah’s existence is infinite, because it does not have a beginning or end, so there is no contradiction here. All that is being said is that His existence is infinite and that His attributes are also infinite. This is not contradictory, unlike in the case of what has a beginning, because what has beginning cannot be beginningless, and it cannot ever finish endlessness. This means that it must always be limited and cannot ever realize infinity in its existence.

One word about “now.” This word refers to a particular moment in time. It reflects the relative situation of all things in time to one another at a particular instant. Passing through time, from one “now” to another, is something that is caused by its intrinsically possible existence.

To understand this, one must realize that something existing is either intrinsically (i.e. with respect to itself alone) possible in its existence, or intrinsically necessary. There is no third judgment for what exists. The possible in existence accepts non-existence, while the necessary does not, because otherwise it would not be intrinsically necessary. Aļļaah is necessarily existent, but everything else is possible, because what is possible in existence needs something other than itself to exist. If it did not, then it would be intrinsically necessary.

Time exists because when something is only possible in existence, it is possibly non-existent after existence. This means that once it exist, it is possibly non-existent in the next instant, with or without change. If it still exists in the next instant, then it has lasted 2 moments of time and so on.

Aļļaah’s existence is not in time, however, because Aļļaah’s existence is not a possibility, but an existence that is intrinsically necessary (Waajibu-l-Wujuud). In light of this, if Aļļaah’s existence was divisible into time periods, then His necessary existence would be in a state of renewal, moment by moment, and what is renewed is not necessary in existence. Rather it is only possible in the next moment, i.e. possible after having existed. In other words, renewal of existence does not apply to what is necessary in existence, because it does not need renewal. After all, if it needed renewal, it would not be necessary in existence. Consequently, it does not have moments of existence.

Moreover, time is possible in existence, as it is parts (moments) following each other in sequence, and these parts are definitely not eternal. The whole of time then, is dependent on possible parts, which is the moments of renewal, and what depends on the possible is surely only possible in existence. This also makes it clear that Allaah cannot be something passing through moments of time.

Furthermore, if Aļļaah’s existence had been divisible into moments of time, then this would either be with Him having a beginning, which is refuted by His necessary existence, or with Him having no beginning. If his existence was divisible into moments of time, without a beginning, then this would mean that an infinite number of moments passed before the world came into existence. An infinite number of moments cannot pass, however, because infinity cannot be completed. Therefore, since an infinite amount of moments cannot pass, it must be true that Aļļaah’s existence is not divisible into moments of time, and that He does not pass through it.

In addition, we can say that Aļļaah’s existence is not something that ends up at points in time, because it is both beginningless and endless. After all, beginninglessness cannot end, and this means that Aļļaah’s endlessness cannot ever begin in any sense. This means again that it is impossible that His existence should realize an “after”, and therefore a “before” as well. Needless to say, what does not realize a before or an after, cannot be said to pass through time.

Since Aļļaah’s existence is necessary, not renewing, and without a before or after, it is not in time. It is, therefore, not problematic to say that He “exists now” without having to “reach now,” by passing though time.

Based, on this, it should be understood that even though we affirm Aļļaah’s existence now, this is a reference to His existence that is necessary and thus not in time. When someone said Aļļaah exists now e.g. 1000 years ago, he was referring to the very same existence, without change or renewal, without a before or after, and thus without having passed through time. This means that the relation of all different times, past, future or present, is one relation to Aļļaah. In other words, one time is not further from Him than another, just as one place is not further from Him than another, as He is not in place.

Furthermore, Aļļaah’s infinite attributes are not Him. They are, however, also not other than Him, as they must be necessarily true of Him, since they cannot have a beginning. Since this is true of His attributes of beginninglessness and endlessness, we know that He is already attributed with infinity. It is not problematic to say then, that His attributes are infinite. Not the least when it does not even really imply the realization of a multitude of different things to infinity, as His attributes are not other than Him, not separate realities. Rather, they are infinite meanings that are true of Aļļaah, who’s existence is infinite. This is unlike what has a beginning, because otherness is established by its prior non-existence. All events are therefore other than each other and distinct, and therefore have a real countable/numerical existence.


Allaah is not in time

May 23, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A look at “Tensed Facts”

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is impossible that Aļļaah should be in time

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

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

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

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

Beginningless Eternity is not a time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Further explanation

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

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

هُوَ الْأَوَّلُ وَالْآخِرُ [الحديد : 3]

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

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

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

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


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


Wahabi Contention: “It is intellectual dishonesty/illogical for the Asharis/Maturidis to claim infinite events is possible in the future but not in the past”

May 18, 2009

Comment: This person has completely missed the point and his attempt to hide behind big words like “intellectual” and “illogical” does not hide his ignorance. The point is that to finish infinity is impossible. If you say infinity has passed, then you are saying it has finished, and this is absurd, because infinity means that it will not finish. When you say that infinite events in the future is possible, you are not saying it will finish, so this is COMPLETELY different. This is not just the saying of Asharis/Maturidis, but of anyone who uses his mind.

I think part of the problem is that people call it “infinite regression” which is totally misleading. It is not regression, it is past infinite progression coming to completion we are saying is impossible, or a completed infinite loop if you will. The reason is that it is self contradictory to say that it has passed/completed/finished.

Books on wisdom written by scholars state, “do not befriend a fool, for he may unknowingly harm you.” These wahabis have reached the ultimate in this regard, as they are unknowingly harming even themselves.

Al-ĥamdu lillaahi ˆalaa niˆmati-l-ˆaql.


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

April 29, 2009

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

That wahabi said:

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

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

It remains to be said that our belief that Aļļaah eternally willed all created things is not in contradiction with sound reason, even though we say that time is created. It is your hateful, kaafir heart and flawed reasoning that mislead you to a conclusion contrary to this fact.

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

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

“وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ”,

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

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

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

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

Wahabi said:

Let me expose his logically fallacious arguments.
He said:

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

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

and

Quote:

It has been established with unequivocal proofs that something eternal without a beginning cannot have attributes that have a beginning. This is because this will that you describe as emerging from non-existence, and ascribe to Aļļaah, would be an attribute of perfection, which means that Aļļaah would be lacking this perfection before it occurred.

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

So here we see the first logically ridiculous Ashari response.

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

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

Wahabi said:

Moving on…

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

The reality of the matter, however, is that the People of the Truth, the People of the Sunnah, Ashˆariyys and Maaturiidiyys, believe that what Aļļaah has willed to happen by His beginninglessly eternal Will, happens at its specified time, and without any delay.

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

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

Wahabi said:

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

So you made, according to your claim, Aļļaah ever- and continuously changing. This is in disagreement with all sound minded people in history, who all said, “Aļļaah is the one that is clear of imperfection – He changes things, and does not change.”

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

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

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

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

Wahabi said:

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

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

Wahabi said:

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

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

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

Wahabi said:

Moving on…

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

In your third point, you said, “Asharis believe that time is the created effect out of Allah’s pre-eternal will being implemented,” and then you claimed this means that Allah’s pre-eternal will is the cause of time’s existence. This is not the case. Rather, we believe that time is a matter of consideration, tied to our minds, for all created things, as any creation may become nonexistent after its existence. We also believe that the existence of time, like other created things, is according to the beginningless Will, Power and Knowledge of Aļļaah.

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

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

Quote:

time is created in our view

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

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

He defends this position by saying:

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

We do not say that Aļļaah’s Will is the cause of time’s existence, as you claim, because we do not call Aļļaah a cause. Rather He is the creator of causes and effects. A cause, literally speaking, is something that begins and then ends when its effect takes place, and Aļļaah’s Will is eternal and therefore unchanging. Strictly speaking then, Aļļaah’s Will is not a cause, and the world is not its effect, because Allaah’s Will does not begin or end.

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

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wahabi said:

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

To clarify, we know that Aļļaah has a will, because He specified how creation is to be. Someone who believes this might claim that this will’s existence is intrinsically necessary in itself, or intrinsically possible in itself, there is no third alternative. What we believe is that its existence is necessary, and not merely possible, which means that Aļļaah’s Will is eternal and does not change.

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

Let me spoon feed you further:

Example of Necessity for Allah

His eternal ability to exercise His will

Example of Possibility for Allah

Allah willing to create the universe.

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

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

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

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

Wahabi said:

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

There is no escape from this, and calling it “emergent, but not created” does not solve the problem, because we are concerned about meanings of words, not words and letters in themselves, and the essential meaning of creating is as we have stated: to bring into existence according to a specification. The world exists because Aļļaah brought it into existence as specified by His Will, i.e. created it. An emergent will has to be brought into existence according to specification, so it must be created.

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

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

Wahabi said:

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

Your fourth point was: “According to sound logic the cause of an effect either precedes its effect or occurs simultaneously along with it in a temporal sense.” If you mean by this that the tie between causes and effects is a must, then this is not correct. Rather, there is no mentally necessary relation between causes and effects. This is because Aļļaah could create a cause, without the existence of the effect, or an effect, without the existence of its cause. An example of the first is a fire that does not burn, like in the case of Prophet Ibraahiim, and of the second, ashes created by Aļļaah without a prior fire.

Your statement:

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

there is no mentally necessary relation between causes and effects.

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

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

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

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

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

For example… a constructed building.

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

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

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

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

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

Wahabi said:

He said:

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

Your fifth point was your claim that we do not believe that Aļļaah’s Will is simultaneous with the creation of time, as time is created in our view, and Aļļaah’s Will is beginninglessly eternal, and not created.


and then he went on to say:

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

This misleadingly suggests that we believe that Aļļaah’s Will is something that occurred eternally and then became non-existent. This is not the case, because eternity does not cease. In other words, we believe that Aļļaah’s Will is eternally without a beginning, and it is now as it was eternally, before the existence of any creation, and does not change.

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

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

Wahabi said:

Quote [of Abu Adam’s post]:

Your sixth point was, “Asharis are forced to believe that Allah’s will of the creation of time occurred before time.” This is not correct, because Aļļaah’s Will is not something that has a beginning, so we do not say that it “occurs.” Rather, His Will is an eternal, unchanging, unceasing, perfect and necessary attribute of Aļļaah that He absolutely must be attributed with.

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

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

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

Wahabi said:

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

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

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

Wahabi said:

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

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

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

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

May Allaah mend our predicament, aamiin.


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

April 26, 2009

A wahabi said: Asharis believe that Allah has willed all events that have ever and will ever occur from pre-eternity. They don’t believe that He wills whenever He pleases. Rather they believe that He willed everything from pre-eternity and then the events will occur delayed at some time later. However, us Salafis believe that once Allah wills something to occur it occurs immediately/simultaneously. The Salafi view unlike the Ashari view is in full conformity with sound logic.

My (the wahabi anthropomorphist) argument is as follows:

  • Point 1: Asharis believe that time is created.
  • Point 2: Asharis believe that Allah does not operate in time.
  • Point 3: Asharis believe that time is the created effect out of Allah’s pre-eternal will being implemented. Hence, Allah’s pre-eternal will is the cause of time’s existence.
  • Point 4: According to sound logic the cause of an effect either precedes its effect or occurs simultaneously along with it in a temporal sense.
  • Point 5: Asharis do not believe that Allah’s will is simultaneous with the creation of time, since they believe that Allah’s will is pre-eternal, while time is a creation that only occurred around 15 billion years ago (according to the best of science, we are not sure. The point is that physical time is not eternal.)
  • Point 6: Hence, Asharis are forced to believe that Allah’s will of the creation of time occurred before time.
  • Point 7: Point 6 is a logical contradiction. How can there be something before the creation of time? The word before is a temporal word and it makes no sense to make such a statement.
  • Conclusion: Allah’s willing everything to occur from pre-eternity is a logical contradiction and logical impossibility. The Salafi belief that the effect occurs immediately/simultaneously with Allah’s will, which is the cause of that effect is in full conformity and harmony with sound logic.The only way for the Asharis to maintain that God willed everything from pre-eternity and creation began to exist later is to deny that time is a creation, but the two cannot both be true at the same time. So they must compromise on one of these beliefs.

——————————–end quote——————————-

Comment: First of all, if you had some understanding, you would have noticed that you started by boasting of your mean anthropomorphist creed. This is a creed that no one accepts, unless his mind is malfunctioning. Are you proud to say that Aļļaah wills whenever He wishes?” This is ascribing to Aļļaah, who is eternally without a beginning, attributes that did not exist and then became existing. It has been established with unequivocal proofs that something eternal without a beginning cannot have attributes that have a beginning. This is because this will that you describe as emerging from non-existence, and ascribe to Aļļaah, would be an attribute of perfection, which means that Aļļaah would be lacking this perfection before it occurred. No one believes this except a kaafir that does not realize the greatness of Aļļaah. Nothing is left after that, except you saying that this will you claim emerged in the Creator Almighty is an attribute of imperfection, and this is madness and stupidity that does not need an answer.

Second, do you think that a rational being is duped by your term, “delayed” to pave the way for your figure-worship agenda? You said, “the Ashˆariyys believe that He willed everything from pre-eternity and then the events will occur delayed at some time later,” and then immediately you followed this with: “Salafis believe that once Aļļaah wills something to occur it occurs immediately/simultaneously.” Here you tried to give the reader the impression that you glorify Aļļaah and attribute to Him having a will that is executed, while the Ashˆariyys ascribe to Him flaws and attribute to Him willing what is not executed except after a delay.

The reality of the matter, however, is that the People of the Truth, the People of the Sunnah, Ashˆariyys and Maaturiidiyys, believe that what Aļļaah has willed to happen by His beginninglessly eternal Will, happens at its specified time, and without any delay.

As for you, the anthropomorphists, you believe that what Aļļaah has willed does not happen unless a will emerges in Aļļaah that He was not attributed with before. In other words, you believe that everything that happens in creation from the smallest matters to the largest is simultaneous with the emergence of a will in Aļļaah that did not previously exist. So you made, according to your claim, Aļļaah ever- and continuously changing. This is in disagreement with all sound minded people in history, who all said, “Aļļaah is the one that is clear of imperfection – He changes things, and does not change.”

Third, you tried to imitate the People of the Truth in using rational proofs, and all you came up with was a quack. How did you expect to succeed anyway, when rational thought is something you have not tasted and Aļļaah has deprived you of? Anyway, take this as a slap to your clueless venture and crooked thoughts:

As for your first point, which is that time is a creation. This is exactly the truth. We do not say, however, that it exists outside the mind. This is because it is not something that exists in itself, nor something that exists in something that exists in itself. Rather, it is a consideration in our minds, or a mental estimation of an aspect of creation, which is that it intrinsically accepts non-existence and change.

As for your second point, which is your statement, “Asharis believe that Allah does not operate in time,” this one needs to be rephrased. What we believe is that Aļļaah is not bound by time in the sense that He, all glory belongs to Him, is not tied to time, unlike everything else. In other words, He is clear of being restricted to, or unreleasable from, the frame of time. This is because it is impossible that He should become non-existent or change.

In your third point, you said, “Asharis believe that time is the created effect out of Allah’s pre-eternal will being implemented,” and then you claimed this means that Allah’s pre-eternal will is the cause of time’s existence. This is not the case. Rather, we believe that time is a matter of consideration, tied to our minds, for all created things, as any creation may become nonexistent after its existence. We also believe that the existence of time, like other created things, is according to the beginningless Will, Power and Knowledge of Aļļaah.

We do not say that Aļļaah’s Will is the cause of time’s existence, as you claim, because we do not call Aļļaah a cause. Rather He is the creator of causes and effects. A cause, literally speaking, is something that begins and then ends when its effect takes place, and Aļļaah’s Will is eternal and therefore unchanging. Strictly speaking then, Aļļaah’s Will is not a cause, and the world is not its effect, because Allaah’s Will does not begin or end.

To clarify, we know that Aļļaah has a will, because He specified how creation is to be. Someone who believes this might claim that this will’s existence is intrinsically necessary in itself, or intrinsically possible in itself, there is no third alternative. What we believe is that its existence is necessary, and not merely possible, which means that Aļļaah’s Will is eternal and does not change. Here is why:

  1. We know that the world is not eternal, because it is intrinsically, that is, with regards to itself, only possible in existence. This is, again, because the existence of something can only be either intrinsically necessary or intrinsically possible. If it is necessary, then it must be eternal, because if it was not, then it would be possible, since its non-existence would be possible. That is why by establishing that something can cease to exist, or has a beginning, we can establish that it is possible in existence. Moreover, since something’s existence is either possible or necessary, we can know something to be necessary by showing it is not merely possible.
  2. If something is intrinsically possible in existence it needs to be brought into existence by something other than itself. This is because it needs to be specified in terms of time, place and other characteristics[1].
  3. The sound mind tells us that the world is not intrinsically necessary in existence, but needs to be brought into existence. The reason for this is that it changes all the time by moving, being still, changing in shape and color, changing in composition, and so on. To clarify, these changes entail the cessation of one characteristic and the emergence of another, which tells us that the attribute was only possible in existence, and not necessary.
  4. This means again that the world needs specification for how it is at any point in time. This specification either comes from something else that is possible in existence, namely a cause that occurs, or from something necessary in existence, which is what we believe. Remember that what is necessary in existence cannot have a beginning or end, because its non-existence is impossible.
  5. We cannot say that Aļļaah’s willing an event to occur is something that occurs, because that would mean it too was non-existent and in need of being brought into existence, which would mean that it too would need to be brought into existence by something existing. This leads to an infinite loop in the past that would have to complete, and an infinite loop cannot be completed, so an emergent will cannot therefore be the explanation of creation’s existence. This is unless we affirm that there is a will that is necessary, i.e. neither begins nor ends.
  6. Not only that, if one does not believe that Aļļaah’s attribute of Will is necessary, it would mean that Aļļaah’s Will is created, because to create is to bring into existence according to a specification. This would mean, in reality, that creation was created by creation, and that is atheism. There is no escape from this, and calling it “emergent, but not created” does not solve the problem, because we are concerned about meanings of words, not words and letters in themselves, and the essential meaning of creating is as we have stated: to bring into existence according to a specification. The world exists because Aļļaah brought it into existence as specified by His Will, i.e. created it. An emergent will has to be brought into existence according to specification, so it must be created.
  7. To avoid saying that Aļļaah’s Will needs a creator, and believing in infinite loops that complete, we have to say that His Will is not the cause of creation, but a necessary attribute of Aļļaah, without a modality, by which creation is specified in terms of time, place, shape, color, and other characteristics. Aļļaah’s Will is one will, not a collection of wills, unlike ours, otherwise it would be composed and arranged, like you people believe, and therefore in need of being composed and arranged by specification. What this means is that His Will is not a collection of existing wills for all the different things He has willed, as you people believe. Rather, it is without a modality and cannot be imagined, because it is not created, and therefore does not have a structure or specification in terms of time or space. The reality of our will, on the other hand, is that it is a possibility, because it is a collection of different wills at different points in time, ever changing and developing during our lives. This is why our will needs a creator, and why Aļļaah’s Will cannot be like that. We say that Aļļaah’s Will is one eternal and unchanging Will that pertains to all that is possible in existence, i.e. specifiable. Then instead of employing our imagination, we say that sound reason tells us that it does not change or cease in any sense, because that would make it need a creator, like anything else that is only possible in existence.

This is the difference between belief by imagination and belief by sound reason. This is why the Salaf said, “whatever you imagine, Aļļaah is different from it, Aļļaah’s attributes are without a how,” which succinctly and simply summarizes the above argument.

Your fourth point was: “According to sound logic the cause of an effect either precedes its effect or occurs simultaneously along with it in a temporal sense.” If you mean by this that the tie between causes and effects is a must, then this is not correct. Rather, there is no mentally necessary relation between causes and effects. This is because Aļļaah could create a cause, without the existence of the effect, or an effect, without the existence of its cause. An example of the first is a fire that does not burn, like in the case of Prophet Ibraahiim, and of the second, ashes created by Aļļaah without a prior fire. All this, however, has nothing to do with the point at hand, because Aļļaah’s Will is not a cause of creation.

Your fifth point was your claim that we do not believe that Aļļaah’s Will is simultaneous with the creation of time, as time is created in our view, and Aļļaah’s Will is beginninglessly eternal, and not created. This misleadingly suggests that we believe that Aļļaah’s Will is something that occurred eternally and then became non-existent. This is not the case, because eternity does not cease. In other words, we believe that Aļļaah’s Will is eternally without a beginning, and it is now as it was eternally, before the existence of any creation, and does not change.

Your sixth point was, “Asharis are forced to believe that Allah’s will of the creation of time occurred before time.” This is not correct, because Aļļaah’s Will is not something that has a beginning, so we do not say that it “occurs.” Rather, His Will is an eternal, unchanging, unceasing, perfect and necessary attribute of Aļļaah that He absolutely must be attributed with.

The reason for your mistake is that you have not understood the concept of eternity, and believe there are an infinite amount of occurrences and events in the past, without a beginning. This is shirk, if you could only understand, but who am I talking to? So you considered that we believed Aļļaah’s Will to be like that, namely occurring without a beginning, which is perfectly self-contradictory, for how does the beginningless occur???

The seventh point was that Point 6 is a logical contradiction. You said, “How can there be something before the creation of time? The word before is a temporal word and it makes no sense to make such a statement.” This is true, but this contradiction is not what we believe. This is only what you imagined to be, and ascribed it to us, as mentioned in my comment on your sixth point.

As for the conclusion that you imagined, stating that we have self-contradictory beliefs, this is incorrect, because you based it on the false premises exposed above. Our belief that Aļļaah willed everything that was and everything that will be is not contradictory, but in agreement with sound reason. What actually contradicts sound reason is your belief that occurrences happen in Aļļaah Himself. He is clear of and above what you claim (and by “above” I do not mean direction, you twit).

It remains to be said that our belief that Aļļaah eternally willed all created things is not in contradiction with sound reason, even though we say that time is created. It is your hateful, kaafir heart and flawed reasoning that mislead you to a conclusion contrary to this fact.

As for terms we use, the likes of “before,” and other words that have meanings originally meant for time, in expressions like, “Aļļaah existed before time and place” – these are figurative uses aiming beyond the meanings that these words are originally for. This is needed, because a language, no matter how rich, will be narrower in its original vocabulary of literal meanings than all of the different meanings a person might want to express. For this reason, figurative and more liberal use of vocabulary is needed. This is how it is, if you could only understand, but again, who am I addressing to understand?


[1] If someone suggested that it was eternal, then he is saying that its beginningless existence is possible, and not necessary. If it was possible, however, then that means that the possibility of non-existence succumbed to the dominance of the possibility of existence without a reason or explanation. After all, we have already said that its existence is intrinsically possible, which means that neither the option of existence, nor the one of non-existence is dominant over the other. This would again mean that its existence was not intrinsically merely possible in the first place, and this is self-contradictory.


Omnipotence and the so called unliftable stone

March 22, 2009

Someone said: I came across this post for some reason, and decided to answer this “unliftable stone” question from logical (not religious) point of view.

In the question, we have imaginary omnipotent entity referred to as “god”, which does not have to be actual muslim God. We might call it “Bob”, if you want; what matters for the question is that our imaginary Bob is omnipotent. Then we ask, can Bob create a stone that he will not be able to lift? As long as Bob is omnipotent, he obviously can create it. As soon as he does, however, he loses his omnipotence. There is no logical problem with the question this way.

We can, however extend this question, by asking Bob to create such a stone AND remain omnipotent. In the language of logic, this is asking for A and B to be true at the same time, while we know that A makes B necessary false. This is clearly not possible, as far as logic is concerned.

Comment: There is no separation of logic and religion in this question or any other in Islam.

When you say that Bob was omnipotent and then became not omnipotent, then you are saying that his omnipotence is a possible attribute, not a necessary attribute, as it accepts non-existence. This means that Bob’s claimed omnipotence would have a beginning, because the possible in existence needs a cause to become existent, which means that it would need to be given to him by something else.

This something else would have to be omnipotent without a beginning, or we would end up with another Bob in need of a cause (i.e. someone else to give him the omnipotence), and going down that path we would end up claiming an infinite past series of Bobs, which is impossible, because infinity cannot pass. Since this omnipotent being is necessarily omnipotent, as it is eternal and therefore not in need of preponderance to exist, it cannot end, because whatever ends is only intrinsically possible in existence (one moment it’s here, the next it’s not; so, it is not necessarily existing). This means again that Bob cannot become omnipotent, as you cannot have two omnipotent beings at the same time. After all, that would mean that they would have to agree to bring something into existence, as they are both of equal power, and this is a restricted power, not an absolute power, and would have meant that the necessary omnipotence prior to Bob’s, became restricted and would therefore be intrinsically possible, and not necessary in existence.

Omnipotence cannot be a created attribute, because if we assumed that it had a beginning, then the one that gave it must have been either omnipotent before it, or not. If the one that supposedly gave it was omnipotent, then we have already shown that this means that it must be eternal and necessary in existence, and cannot be given away.

On the other hand, if the one claimed to have given omnipotence was proposed to have power restricted to creating omnipotence, then this is refuted, because if it could create omnipotence, then anything less than that would definitely fall within its power. If not, then this would require someone to specify the restricted power of the proposed creator of omnipotence, which would mean he is not the true creator of omnipotence, and this way we are either ending up saying there is an infinite series of specified creators, or end up at a creator that is omnipotent, thus not in need of specification, and since his power would be necessary, he could not lose this power later, or part of it, or it would have to be intrinsically possible, and not necessary in existence.

If someone argued, on the other hand, that omnipotence was restricted by a hindrance or prerequisite before Bob, then this contradicts the concept of omnipotence. Moreover, this proposed restriction to create anything but omnipotence would either be eternal or having a beginning.

A) If it was proposed eternal, then it would be universal, because it would not be specified, which would make it impossible for anyone to create anything but omnipotence, which is absurd, because omnipotence is not omnipotence if nothing other than omnipotence can be created, such as entities. After all, omnipotence is about creating other than omnipotence. Thus the proposed restriction cannot be eternal.

B) If it was proposed not eternal, then it would need a creator to specify it. This creator would either be proposed omnipotent or not. If he was omnipotent, then we have shown that this omnipotence cannot be given away to Bob. If he was not, then we are dealing with someone with created power, which needs a creator, and he would be either omnipotent or not.  This brings us into the problem of needing an infinite past series of specified creators, and this idea is rejected, because one cannot conclude an infinite series of past creating, or claiming there is a creator who’s necessary omnipotence ceased, which we have shown to be impossible.


More Wahabi nonsense about Aļļaah’s attributes being emergent

December 19, 2008

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


Aļļaah does not change

October 22, 2008
“لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As for the ĥadiitħ:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abu Adam

 


 

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

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

September 23, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

August 16, 2008

Wahabi said: As for your question regarding the speech of Allah being composed of letters and words, one after the other, how can it be then eternal; if you understand our argument about infinite regress of events in the past, you will understand how Allah’s words are eternal. In fact, to claim otherwise as the Mu’tazilas do is clear cut Kufr. The Quran that we have is the uncreated speech of Allah, which is composed of Suras, verses, words and letters. This has been the creed of Imam Ahmad, and the rest of Ahl al-Sunnah, and this is one of the strongest proof for the Sunni doctrine in support of infinite regress of events in past and future.

Comment:

Infinite past events is impossible

This is contrary to your claim, because saying that past events are infinite is to say that the events prior to this moment in time have not finished. This is self-contradictory.

Words and letters is the kind of speech that creatures have

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)


Words and letters must be creations

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.

In other words, speech that consists of words and letters is created, and since you say that Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of Speech is words and letters, then you are saying that it is created, even if you say it is “uncreated.” In other words, you made takfiir for yourself when you said: “Allah’s words are eternal. In fact, to claim otherwise, as the Mu’tazilas do, is clear cut Kufr.”

The Muˆtazilah said, like you, that Aļļaah’s speech is letters and sounds. They said it is created because it is letters and sounds, and letters and sounds have a beginning, so they must be created. You take this one step further in deviation by denying the obvious, which is that anything with a beginning, such as letters, is a creation. It is a creation because it came into existence, which means it was brought into existence. To be brought into existence is the very definition of being created.

Besides, do you not know that the Arabic language was created by Aļļaah? So if Arabic is a creation, how can Arabic speech be anything but a creation?

The meaning of the phrase “Qu’aan is not created”
When Ahlu-s-Sunnah, the AsħˆAriyys and the Ĥanafiyys, say that the “Qu’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.

The saying of Ahlu-s-Sunnah is that the words and letters in the printed copies of the Qu’raan 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. I do not worship these letters, or the sounds of uttering this word. Rather, I 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.

Even in our daily lives, we speak of speech in this way. So for example, if I have a transcript in Arabic of something the U.N. Secretary General said, I will refer to it as “the U.N. Secretary General‘s speech”, although his actual, real speech is something in the president Himself, meanings inside of him that he wanted to express (like when you say, “I have something to say in mind) – his internal speech. Alternatively, his real speech is his speech of letters and sounds, that he expressed in another language at a particular point in time, the speech that was originally just meanings that he had in mind. The paper with the transcript, however, just tells me what he said. So if I handed the Arabic transcript to someone saying, “This is the U.N. Secretary General‘s speech,” no one would understand from this that his real speech was in Arabic. No one would tell me, “liar, it was not in Arabic.” No one would tell me, “Liar, the speech of the president occurred days ago from his mouth. It was sounds, not written words.”

The reason is that such transcripts and other forms of narration, that refer to the speaker’s real speech are customarily called “so and so’s speech.” This is why the letter’s and sounds we find in the books of the Qur’aan are called Aļļaah’s Kalaam/Speech, even though His eternal speech is not created, and therefore not words, letters or sounds.

From this we know that the word “Qur’aan” has two meanings. The first is the book, the organized and sequential Arabic words and letters of the muşĥaf. The second it the eternal Speech of Aļļaah that the words and letters of the muşĥaf refer to, and that is not itself words, letters, language or sequence.

Lately some of the wahabis think themselves clever and ask: “Who said alif laam miim?” Let me respond to that with a question: “Who created the Arabic language which alif and laam and miim are part of?”


Wahhabi Contention: On the Infinite Regress and the Qudra of Allah

July 29, 2008

Wahabi Contention: We say to the Ash’aris that you rejected infinite regress in the past and as a result, claimed that eternally Allah wasn’t able to create (mumtani’), but then it became ‘possible’ (mumkin) for Him to create, without any apparent cause (Tarjih bila murajjih).

Sunni Response: The Asharis, i.e. the Sunnis, do reject the idea that there could be infinitely many events preceding the present moment, but they do not say that eternally He was not able to create. They say it is kufr to say that. They say that the eternal existence of Allah is not in time, and that He does not change. His attributes are eternal and do not change. Before creation there was no time, because there was no change. Before the world existed there was no before or after. The Prophet said:

اللهم أنت الْأَوَّلُ فَلَيْسَ قَبْلَكَ شَيْءٌ وَأَنْتَ الْآخِرُ فَلَيْسَ بَعْدَكَ شَيْءٌ وَأَنْتَ الظَّاهِرُ فَلَيْسَ فَوْقَكَ شَيْءٌ وَأَنْتَ الْبَاطِنُ فَلَيْسَ دُونَكَ شَيْءٌ

“O Allah, You are the First, so there is nothing before You, and You are the Last so there is nothing after You. You are Al-Ţħaahir so there is nothing above You. And You are Al-Baaţin, so there is nothing below you.” (Muslim)

Note that Allah said:

قُلْ لِمَنْ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ قُلْ لِلَّهِ
Meaning: “Say,’to whom belongs all that is in the skies and the Earth?‘ Say ‘to Allah!” I.e. Everything in place belongs to Allah. (Al-An`aam, 12)

Then in the following Aayah, Allah said:

وَلَهُ مَا سَكَنَ فِي اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ
Meaning: “Allah is the absolute owner of all that is in the night and day.” I.e. everything that exists in time belongs to Allah. (Al-Anˆaam, 12)

The Sunnis say that when the world came into existence Allah did not change. Rather, He is eternally attributed with complete perfection, including Power, Knowledge and Will.

What you are saying is that if Allah is not creating, then He does not have Power. This means you are saying that to be perfect, Allah needs to create. This is kufr. Allah said in the Qur’an:

“يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَنْتُمُ الْفُقَرَاءُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ”,
Meaning: “O People, you are the desolate in absolute need of Allah, and Allah is the One that does not need anything or anyone, and He is the One that deserves all praise.” (Faatir ,15)

You are also saying that Allah has no choice but to create, because having power, according to you, necessitates creating continuously. This is another kufr, because Allah said:

“إِنَّ رَبَّكَ فَعَّالٌ لِمَا يُرِيدُ”,
Meaning: “Verily Your Lord does whatever He wills.” (Huud, 107)

So if He wills for nothing to be then nothing will be, and that would not mean He has no Power. Allah said in the Qur’an:

“إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ”,
Meaning: “Verily Allah has power to create anything.” (Al-Baqarah, 20)

You are also saying that creation as a whole has no beginning, because you claim there have always been created things coming into existence without a beginning. This is no different from what the philosophers said. In fact you are saying that Allah created each individual creation, but not all of them as a group, because what does not have a beginning is not created. This is not only irrational, but also kufr, because Allah said:

“وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ”
Meaning: “Allah created everything.” (Al-‘An`aam, 101)


Agnostic Contentions: Randomness and Infinity

May 27, 2008

An agnostic said: How do you see the randomness in Quantum Physics then, why does a atom decaying for no reason not equate to the universe being random as well?

Answer: The randomness spoken of in Quantum Physics does not contravene the fact that there is order, such as animals, plants, and the solar system, and developments over time. It also does not contravene the fact that the so called physical laws, even if they are incomplete, give the world around us a high degree of predictability. Events that happen for no apparent “reason,” could be because we do not know them. Even if we assumed they did not, however, this is not problematic in the Islamic Creed, as I will show you shortly.

In any case, let it be clear from the outset that the issue of cause is a metaphysical question, more than a physical question, because the assertion of cause is based on observed correlation, not that the cause itself can be observed. In short, if there is correlation, and there is an explanation for it, then it is called “cause.” So for example, if one finds that objects attract each other always, then one says that if a glass falls from the table, it is “caused” by gravity. Gravity itself, however, has no verifiable existence in itself, it is assumed to be there, because that bloody glass always falls when it is moved off the edge of the table. This is just an example, I am not saying that scientists all believe that gravity always holds true.

On the other hand, if the pattern of something is totally unpredictable, then people start saying it is “random.” This is what is meant when they say that the quark’s pattern (the element spoken of in Quantum Physics, which is supposedly the subpart of the electron, which is a subpart of the atom) is random. They mean that it’s pattern has no physical explanation; that there is no observed event or condition that somehow makes the quark’s pattern predictable.

Maybe physics, with its tools and methodologies, can prove the non-existence of cause, maybe it cannot, it is not important. The reason is that it can be proved not to exist by proving the existence of a creator, by whom nothing happens except by His Will. This proof is based merely on the existence of events, which is anything that has a beginning. It does not matter if they have apparent order or not, or whether they are contingent or not. I will get back to that when I address your next question.

An agnostic said: My point being that if the universe had no beginning, what purpose then for a creator? Since in an infinite model the universe sustains itself.

Answer: The universe absolutely must have a beginning, so this is not an issue. I will show you why:

Premise a – We exist here today.

Premise b – Before we existed there were a series of events, one after another, leading up to our existence today. (The passing of such a series of events is what we call time, and measure in minutes, days, weeks and years.)

If one accepts premise a, then one must also accept that the series of events in premise b must have a beginning. This must be, because if someone claims that an infinite succession of events had to be concluded before his existence, then he is saying that that infinite succession of events came to an end, which is a contradiction in terms. It is like if someone said “this car will only get to its destination after its wheels have spun infinitely many times,” and then claimed that the car arrived at its destination. It is clear, however, that the car could never have gotten to its destination if an infinite number of spins was the condition for its arrival.

Those who claim that the world has no beginning are in fact saying that it is a prerequisite for tomorrow to arrive that an infinite number of events first take place. This is impossible, because infinity cannot end. Clearly then, the number of events that precedes our existence must have a limit.

In addition, since it is necessarily true that this series of events has a beginning, then it must also be that before this beginning there were no series of events (defined as anything with a beginning). If someone claimed otherwise, then they would end up with the same contradiction (saying that infinity came to an end). Accordingly, the claim that the world was created by random events is irrational.

Rather, there must be a Creator that gave the series of events existence – since it was nonexistent before it began. Moreover, since it is impossible for there to be any events before the existence of this series, then it must also be that the Creator is not attributed with events, i.e. with any attribute or action that has a beginning. This again means that the Creator does not resemble His creation, since all created attributes must have a beginning. Actually, having a beginning and being a creation is the same thing. This is because to create is to bring into existence, and everything with a beginning must have been brought into existence.

We know from the above, by mathematical precision and logical necessity, that the Creator exists and does not resemble His creation. From the fact that the world has a beginning, we have proven that it must have a creator. The name of this creator is Allah in Arabic. If someone asks, “Who created Allah?” we say Allah does not have a creator, and does not need one as He has no beginning. If someone then asks, “how can you accept that Allah has no beginning, while you do not accept that the world has no beginning?” The answer is that we have shown that the world has a beginning based on the fact that it changes (changes are events). We do not believe, however, that Allah changes. Rather, we believe He is One, and doesn’t change and has no beginning.

From all this we can also safely conclude that Allah has a will to specify events, and unlimited power to create them. We can also conclude that He must have knowledge, because specification without knowledge is impossible. It is now easy to see also, that no event can take place without Him willing it. This again means that there is no such thing as real cause, in the sense of one event truly influencing or shaping a subsequent event. There is only correlation, because if an event happens, it’s form can only be completely subjugated to Allah’s Will and Power. All of this is according to the teachings of Islam, as is shown by the following statements in the Quran:

“هُوَ الأَوَّلُ”

“He is Al-Awwal.” (Al-Hadiid, 03).”

If translated literally, it would be “He is the First,” i.e. He existed before everything else, and He was not preceded by non-existence or the existence of something else. It is a beginning-less and necessary existence, and is not affected by anything, since it is not preceded by anything.

“إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ”,

Meaning: “Verily Allah is able to create anything.” (Al-Baqarah, 20)

“وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ”

Meaning: “Allah created everything, and He knows everything.” (Al-‘Anˆaam, 101)

“وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَقَدَّرَهُ تَقْدِيرًا”

Meaning: “And He created everything and predestined it.” (Al-Furqaan, 2)

Based on the above, we can say that if the pattern of quarks truly have no observable correlating event that makes it predictable, and is thus labeled “random,” it is either because Allah has not willed for it to have a correlating event, or because He has not willed for it to be discovered.

Authored by Shaykh Abu Adam al Naruiji


Deviant Contention: There is a flaw in the proof you presented for the existence of Allah.

May 24, 2008

as salam `alaykum

A few days ago, a person posted an objection under the “The Foundations of Religion” article. Hereunder is the response to it. I took the liberty of changing the wording of the question a little bit so that the question becomes clear.

wa `alaykum salam

Ibn Mazhar

The author said: Basically this says that, if an eternal amount of time has been concluded then eternity has come to an end, which, I think, is wrong.

Here’s why:

Visualize the eternity (infinite spectrum of time) as the infinite real number line. Now suppose we are at number 8, which represents some point in time, say the present. There is an infinite amount of time, or numbers in this case, prior to the number 8 (namely from minus infinity to 8). Does it mean that the number line has come to a stop? No. There still is an infinite amount of time or numbers in this case, in front of 8 (namely 8 to positive infinity).

Answer: Here is the first problem:

The author said:Visualize the eternity as the infinite real number line.”

Your proposal falls apart already here. Infinity cannot be visualized, because visualizing it would take an infinite amount of time. Truly visualizing it would never be achieved, which is exactly the point we have made. You cannot reach true infinity. It is because infinity cannot be reached that we say that the real countable events that took place before we existed today must be a limited number.

For example, imagine yourself riding on this line, starting at 8 and going backwards to the beginning of that line and back. You cannot ever finish this ride even backwards if it was infinite.

The author said: “Now suppose we are at number 8.”

Here there are at least two problems: you are assuming you have reached a number after an infinite number of events. This cannot be because they could never have finished. You cannot finish an infinite amount of events before reaching a particular event, be it 8 or any other number. That is why the real events that took place before our existence must be limited.

Another problem with the idea is that the number line in mathematics cannot represent time. It was not designed for that. The number line simply means that any time a mathematician mentions a larger or smaller number than another number; another mathematician can mention a larger or smaller number than those. This is as long as there is life left in them, for even this counting activity ends with the end of the mathematicians counting. The number line does not represent time; it does not prove anything in itself.

Here is another substantial problem with your proposition:

The author said:There is an infinite amount of time prior to the number 8 (namely from minus infinity to 8).”

Remember that we are talking about real countable events. Real events cannot be counted as minus, because a negative number cannot represent something existing, i.e. you cannot say that a “minus event” happened. In a subtle way you have shown our point, because on the number line countable events start at “1”, and cannot be negative. In other words, when you choose the number “8”, then you are saying that only “8” events have taken place before we are here today. “8” events cannot be infinite, because “8” is not equal to infinity. What you are saying is that “8” real events are equal to an infinite number of real events, which is clearly false.

Then the author proposed that after reaching “8” events: Does it mean number line has come to a stop? No. There still is an infinite amount of time or numbers in this case, in front of 8 (namely 8 to positive infinity).”

When we say that there were a limited number of events, namely “8,” in this case, that have taken place, then we can accept that it can continue after that and never end as long as the Creator has willed it. We cannot accept, however, and no rational being can, that “8” past events are equal to infinite past events!

The author said: If there were a mathematically rigorous proof for the existence of God, none would be happier than me. But this particular proof is not one of them.”

My response is that then you should use your mental facilities to defend the proof, not attack it with imaginary evidences. The proof is rock solid and has withstood the test of time.

Authored by Shaykh Abu Adam al Naruiji