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

July 25, 2013

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

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

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

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

Advertisements

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

July 24, 2013

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

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

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

All enmities are hoped to turn to affections

Except the enmity of religious inclinations

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

As for the literalists, they are of three kinds:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

October 30, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Stephen Hawking contradicts himself

October 17, 2010

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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

August 31, 2010

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

Miracles other than the Qur’aan

The splitting of the Moon

This miracle is actually mentioned in the Qur’aan:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Food praising Aļļaah while being eaten

Al-Bukħaariyy narrated that Ibn Masˆuud said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rocks greeting the Prophet (صل الله عليه وسلم)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Defeating an army with a handful of soil

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

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

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

A poisoned sheep leg speaks

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

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

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

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

A wolf speaks

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

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

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

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

His knowledge of the unseen of the past and the future

Muslim narrated that Ĥudħayfah[23] said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


[1] See footnote 23 on page 10.

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

[3] Ibid., 4/194.

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

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

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

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

[8] See footnote 34 on page 13.

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

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

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

[12] See footnote 147 page 81.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[19] See footnote 9 on page 6.

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

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

[22] Ibid.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

July 19, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

January 24, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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