Refuting Hamza Yusuf – Quantum Physics: Law of Included Middle

June 11, 2018

In a youtube video Hamza Yusuf claims that the Ash’aris make a logical contradiction when they say that Allah is neither said to be connected nor disconnected to the world. Hamza Yusuf seems to have a very superficial knowledge of the Ash’ari school.

Ash’aris would never violate the law of the excluded middle. The Ash’aris are extremely zealous about adherence to the principle of non-contradiction. In fact, they defined having a mind as adherence to this very principle! When they say that Allah is neither neither connected nor disconnected from the world they mean that He is neither said to be connected nor said to be disconnected, because both expressions imply physical existence and Allah is not physical – not in space, place, or a direction. For the same reason they say that Allah is neither a whole nor a part.

Ibn Taymiyyah attacked the Ash’aris because he was a materialist, so according to his premise, namely that anything that exists must be physical, the saying of the Ash’aris “neither connected nor disconnected” does violate the law of the excluded middle. It is a strawman. It is one of his debating tricks in defense of materialism/figure worship, nothing more.


Intuition or instinct in the sense of “gut feeling” or the like

July 23, 2014

Intuition or instinct (which is the word I prefer in this case) in the sense of “gut feeling” has a role in the Islamic lifestyle. However, because it is not objectively verifiable, the priority is given to knowledge, and the sources of knowledge are recognized by Muslims as: the mind (i.e. reason and logic), the external and inner senses (emotions), and true information (like Napoleon existed, China exists, and the like). Instinct is rejected if it contradicts any of these, especially if it contradicts any known rules of the religion, but beyond that it is a personal matter. If a person is a very pious Muslim, his instinct may become a source of knowledge for him, so that he senses things that are unseen to others. Again, such instinct cannot conflict with known rules of the religion.

I should mention here that the Muslim concept of “belief” does not have any relativistic connotations. Belief in Islam entails both knowing the truth with certainty, admitting it willingly, and humbly submitting to it in the heart without scorn. Anything less than that is not Islam, and not belief in Islam. That is why epistemology (the concept of what knowledge is and does) is very important is Muslim scholarship.


Wahabi claims Al-Ghazaaliyy was against Kalaam science

July 28, 2013

Wahabi claims:

“A glance at Iljaam al-‘Awwaam ‘an ‘Ilm al-Kalaam will prove to us that he had indeed changed in many ways: In this book he advocated the belief of the salaf… denounced ta’weel… and denounced the scholars of ‘ilm al-kalaam…“

Sunni response:

First, of course Al-Ghazaaliyy advocated the belief of the Salaf, no one would say otherwise. Deviants and Sunnis alike claim to be following the Salaf, who else would they claim to follow? The question is: what did he mean by the “way of the Salaf”?

Al-Ghazaaliyy explains the way of the Salaf as making 7 consecutive tasks incumbent on Muslim commoners when it comes to aayahs and hadiith narrations that may make someone think of Aļļaah in bodily or anthropomorphic terms. These are the tasks in sequence:

  1. The first is to deny thinking of Allaah in bodily terms, like limbs, sitting, moving, being in a direction or location, etc.
  2. The second is to believe that whatever is actually meant is true, even if one is capable of knowing the exact meaning.
  3. The third is to admit to oneself that one is incapable of knowing the exact meaning.
  4. The fourth is silence, i.e. not trying to explain the exact meaning (beyond what is NOT meant, as is done in the first task or principle.)
  5. The fifth is to refrain from translating such statements to another language or from adding or removing anything from them; they should be narrated exactly as is by the letter.
  6. The sixth is self-restraint by not thinking of the meaning and trying to figure it out.
  7. The seventh is to leave the detailed understanding of such aayahs and hadiiths to the expert scholars

Of course, the 7th task implies quite explicitly that there are scholars of Kalaam, and that the 7 tasks are for commoners, not for all Muslims. This is because Kalaam is needed to heal situations where deviants have managed to confuse people. Hence the way of the Salaf is to impose these 7 tasks upon commoners, not upon scholars that specialize in refuting deviants.

Hence, the wahabis have nothing to support them here, because Al-Ghazaaliyy’s proposed first task for commoners is to deny that Aļļaah resembles His creation (e.g. by being a body). This denying of bodily attributes is what wahabis are referring to when they accuse people of “denying Aļļaah’s attributes”. In contrast, Al-Ghazaaliyy says above that denying bodily characteristics for Aļļaah is a primary duty of all Muslims, scholars and commoners alike. He also says the following in the very same book:

I mean by “body” something with length, width and depth that prevents something else to exist where it exists…. So if it came to someone’s mind that Aļļaah is a body composed of limbs, then this person is an idol worshiper. The reason is that all bodies are created, and to worship something created is kufr. After all, idol worship is kufr because the idol is created, and the idol is created because it is a body. Hence, the one who worships a body is a kaafir by the consensus of the Muslim Nation, both the salaf and those later.

Here is something more explicit to what I said above. Al-Ghazaaliyy says in the very last subsection of “Iljaam” that if someone has deviance that needs advanced and detailed proofs of Kalaam in order to be treated, then this is done for him alone, and the issues raised are not raised in public. This is because he considers such proofs as medicine, and one does not give medicine to healthy people. He says that this is the way of the Salaf. I.e. not to get into advanced Kalaam issues with commoners, but only use it as needed.

In sum, Kalaam science is not forbidden in absolute terms according to Al-Ghazaaliyy. What he is against is getting into details of Kalaam that people don’t need to remain steadfast in their faith, because it may harm them by confusing them. However, he also insists that every Muslim must know that Aļļaah is not something with bodily attributes like sitting, being in a direction or location, having limbs or size, etc. It is the denial of such attributes that the wahabis call Kalaam and are against. This is because they are non-Muslim idol worshipers, as Al-Ghazaaliyy stated above.

Their spiritual leader, Ibn Taymiyyah, was actually a devious demagogue taking advantage of people’s lack of thinking skills. He himself wrote huge volumes in Kalaam, so how can he claim to be against it and keep a straight face? He was a philosopher with many statements of opinion on philosophical matters, such as those outlined here. He was not against Kalaam, he was against anyone that did not accept his idea that Allaah is a body that moves around and is shrinkable in size, is compelled to act to remain perfect, (i.e. that Aļļaah could not have chosen not to create anything, i.e. according to him, Aļļaah has a need to create) and other terrible blasphemies he endorsed in devious ways.


Abuu Manşuur Al-Bagħdaadiy: those who say that Allaah has a body are the worst of all deviant sects

July 20, 2013

Abuu Manşuur Al-Bagħdaadiy 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 (‘Uşuulu-d-Diin, 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.)


As-Subkiyy: Those who believe Allaah is a body are idolaters

July 18, 2013

As-Subkiyy in his Tabaqaatu-sħ-Sħaafiˆiyyatu-l-Kubraa says regarding scripture texts that appear to be referring to bodily attributes: “the saying of the mujassimah (anthropomorphists), worshipers of the idol, makes them always focus on ambiguous aayahs.[1] (Ţabaqaat Asħ-Sħaafiˆiyyah Al-Kubraa, 5/192)“ This is a very strong takfiir, saying that they are in fact idolworshipers.


[1] طبقات الشافعية الكبرى : إنما المصيبة الكبرى والداهية الدهياء الإمرار على الظاهر والاعتقاد أنه المراد وأنه لا يستحيل على الباري فذلك قول المجسمة عباد الوثن الذين في قلوبهم زيغ يحملهم الزيغ على اتباع المتشابه ابتغاء الفتنة عليهم لعائن الله تترى واحدة بعد أخرى ما أجرأهم على الكذب وأقل فهمهم للحقائق طبقات الشافعية الكبرى  ج 5   ص 192


Knowledge is not from books alone

July 17, 2013

It was reported in ĥadiitħs[1] by Aĥmad[2], At-Tirmidħiyyy[3], Ad-Daarimiyy[4] and Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy[5] that the Prophet r was asked, after telling them that knowledge of the religion will disappear in the future, “O Prophet of Aļļaah, how can knowledge disappear when we have copies of the Qur’aan and we have learned what they contain, and we have taught our children and our wives and our servants?” He raised his head in anger and said, “These Jews and Christians have with them their scriptures, yet they did not learn from them what their prophets brought them.”[6] That is, books alone are not enough; there must also be scholars that transfer the knowledge from one generation to the next, and can explain what is found in books.


[1]     A ĥadiitħ is a statements about what the Prophet said, did or did not do in different circumstances.

[2]     Aĥmad ibn Muĥammad ibn Ĥanbal Asħ-Sħaybaaniyy Al-Waa’iliyy (164 h. – 241 h.) is the Imam of the fourth school of fiqh: the Ĥanbaliyy school of Islamic Jurisprudence. His father was a governor in Sarkħas, but Imaam Aĥmad grew up in Bagħdaad. He devoted his life to teaching and learning, and is said to have memorized some 1 million ĥadiitħs. He was imprisoned and beaten from some time by a ruler who was influenced by a deviant sect. Az-Zirikliyy, Al-‘Aˆlaam (2002), 1/203.

[3]     Muĥammad ibn ˆIisaa ibn Sawrah ibn Muusaa ibn Ađ-Đaĥĥaak As-Sulamiyy Al-Buugħiyy At-Tirmidħiyy, Abuu ˆIisaa (209-279 AH/ 824-892 AD).  He was a great scholar of ĥadiitħ and is the author of one of the six most reliable ĥadiitħ collections. He became blind towards the end of his life. Ibid., 6/322.

[4]     ˆAbduļļaah ibn ˆAbdurRaĥmaan ibn Al-Fađl ibn Bahraam At-Tamiimiyy Ad-Daarimiyy As-Samarqandiyy (181-255 AH/797-869 AD.) He was a great scholar of Islamic Jurisprudence (fiqh) and ĥadiitħ. He was one of the teachers of Muslim, the author of the ĥadiitħ collection “Şaĥiiĥ Muslim.” Ibid., 4/95-96.

[5]     Aĥmad ibn Muĥammad ibn Salaamah Al-‘Azdiyy Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy, Abuu Jaˆfar (239-321 AH/ 853-933 AD). The great jurisprudent and ĥadiitħ scholar. He was born in Şaˆiid in Egypt, and was the nephew of Al-Muzaniyy, a famous student of Asħ-Sħaafiˆiyy. Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy first studied jurisprudence in the Sħaafiˆiyy school, but later became the head of the Ĥanafiyy school in Egypt at his time. Among his famous books is his manifesto of the creed of Sunni Islaam, known as the creed of Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy. Ibid., 1/206.

[6] ˆAliy Al-Qaariy, Mirqaatu-l-Mafaatiiĥ (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Kotob Al-ilmiyah, 2001), 1/484.


Al-Qurţubiyy: anthropomorphists are idolaters

July 15, 2013

Al-Qurţubiyy (the famous mufassir) said in his book al-Asnaa, p. 193:

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It is a duty for every accountable person to know that Allaah is attributed with absolute greatness [of status], and there is nothing greater than Him [in status]. Further, He is clear of any attribute that is bodily or related to having size, as He cleared Himself of that by His saying:

الكبير المتعال

[which may be interpreted to mean : Allaah is the One attributed with absolute greatness and being above non-befitting attributes such as having a shape or size. –Ed.]

By this He informed us that He is Al-Kabiir, and the definitive particle “Al” indicates absoluteness. Then Allaah said “Al-Mutaˆaal” and by that He declared Himself clear of what makes bodies and bulky things great. [For] who believes that [Allaah has bodily greatness, i.e. in terms of shape or size] is likening Allaah to a body, and is an idolater.


A SUMMARY OF FACTS COMPARING THE BELIEFS OF MUSLIMS VS. THOSE OF IBN TAYMIYYAH AND THE PHILOSOPHERS’

August 29, 2011

A QUICK LOOK AT THE RESULTS OBTAINED

 

MUSLIM sayings versus those of the philosophers

Ibn Taymiyyah’s sayings versus those of the  philosophers

Number of disagreements

13

6

Number of agreements

1

5

Number of similarities

0

3

Total number of beliefs compared

14

14

% of agreements

7%

36%

% of similar sayings

0%

21%

% of similar sayings or agreements

7%

57%

FALSE PROPAGANDA & ACCUSATIONS

A common accusation of the wahabis and other anthropomorphists throughout history, is that the mainstream scholars of Islam, the Sunnis, the Asħˆariyys and Maaturiidiyys, took their beliefs from the Aristotelian philosophers. For someone with insight into the science of belief, this is obviously ridiculous, as they are bitter enemies, but those who do not have this insight might be affected by such fear mongering.

FACT 1

In reality, however, the reason why Sunni scholars engaged deeply into arguments based on pure reasoning, was to refute the beliefs of the philosophers. Accordingly, they studied their concepts and terminology, and then showed how the Aristotelian arguments were wrong using the terminology of philosophy.

FACT 2

On the other hand, Ibn Taymiyyah also studied Aristotelian arguments, particularly as presented by the Spanish philosopher Ibn Rusħd (the grandson). His purpose, however, was quite different. What he wanted was to find arguments against the Sunnis that could be used to defend and support his anthropomorphist belief that Aļļaah is something with a size, in a location, that moves and goes through changes. During this process he even adopted some beliefs that are identical or equivalent to those of the Aristotelians.

He was however a rhetorician of proportions, knowing how to sound convincing to the naïve, without actually saying much at all. He rarely defines his terms or clarifies exactly what the point of disagreement is. He sidetracks a lot and makes long and useless discussions arguing about terminology, “if you by this word this, then I say that,” even when he knows very well that this is not what his opponent means. He also hides his own views by arguing through quoting others, or by saying, “it could be said to that…” or the like. That is why you find him extremely long winded and incredibly vague. It is because he beats around the bush so much, that many scholars never discovered him and caught him red handed with his anthropomorphist agenda.

ANALYSIS OF COMPARISON OF MUSLIM & IBN TAYMIYYAH BELIEFS VS PHILOSOPHERS

The below table outlines some of the fundamental principles of belief that are disputed between the philosophers, the Sunnis and Ibn Taymiyyah, to see who resembles one another more. Be forewarned that the Wahabis will try to skew the results below by making two of the principle issues into many issues.

The first principle issue is that Aļļaah is not a body, i.e. not something in a direction that can be pointed at. It is based on this principle that they denied that any of the words ascribing meanings to Aļļaah in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, such as nazala, jaa’, istawa, wajh, yad, ˆaynayn, janb, qadam, ‘işbiˆ, and yamiin, can be understood in terms of movement, shape, parts, limbs or the like. So it becomes according to them, nazala (descend by movement), jaa’ (came by movement), istawa (become settled), wajh (face), yad (forelimb), ˆayn (organ of sight), janb (side), qadam (foot), ‘işaabiˆ (fingers), and yamiin (right hand side), etc. In contrast, the ‘Asħˆariyys will either simply narrate such words, when apparently ascribed to Aļļaah, without assigning any meaning, but denying a bodily meaning, or they will look at what the Arabic language allows of meanings, and choose one meaning that befits the Creator. For example, jaa’ becomes “His orders came,” and “istawa” becomes “controls”, and wajh becomes “what is done for His sake”, and so on. This is not denial of attributes, as the followers of Ibn Taymiyyah claim, it is a denial of limbs, and this comes back to one principle belief, namely that Aļļaah is not a body, i.e. not something with size or shape or borders. Since Ibn Taymiyyah believes that Aļļaah is a body, he interprets any word that can be understood in a bodily manner as having a bodily meaning, whereas Muslims interpret such words in ways that do not involve bodily attributes. There are therefore many differences on interpretation that in reality come back to one single principle.

The second principle issue is the Muslim principle belief that Aļļaah is not something that events happen in, not something that changes, in contrast with the opposite belief of Ibn Taymiyyah. This is another principle belief with many sub questions in the same manner as the first principle issue. For example, ghađab will be interpreted by Ibn Taymiyyah as emotional change, whereas Muslims will understand it as Aļļaah willing punishment, without Him changing or being in time.

That being said, here are the details of the analysis:

The belief of the philosophers

The belief of the Sunnis

(Asħˆariyys, Maaturiidiyys and noble Ĥanbaliyys)

The belief of Ibn Taymiyyah

1. Most of the philosophers believed that the world is eternal. They believed that matter is eternal and that there are one or more eternal bodies (something with size) (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 13). (Adħ-Dħakħiirah is a book written by a Turkish scholar to judge between Al-Ghazaaliyy and the philosophers, as ordered by Muĥammad Al-Faatiĥ)

Nothing is eternal other than Aļļaah, and He is not a body. Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy said: {He is now as He always was, eternally with His attributes, before His creation came into being.} The existence of a body without a beginning is impossible, because it needs a creator to specify its shape. Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy said {in brackets}: {The six directions} up, down, front, back, left and right {do not contain Him} because that would make Him {like all created things}

He believed that Aļļaah is an eternal body (i.e. limited in all 6 directions – a 3 dimensional shape) and that there have always been other bodies with Him, coming into existence, one after another eternally without a beginning.[1]

Accordingly, there is one eternal body, while other bodies are eternal in kind in his view.

Similarity to philosophers

Disagree

Identical (in meaning, but not in naming; he calls the eternal body Aļļaah, while the philosophers do not.)

2. The philosophers said that the world (anything other than Aļļaah) cannot cease to exist (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 65). In other words, it is a must to them that other than Aļļaah exists.

It is rationally possible for the world to cease to exist completely. We only know that it will continue by the scriptures that tell us about resurrection and eternal life in Paradise or torture in Hell.

Ibn Taymiyyah said it is not rationally possible that there be no creation (something other than Aļļaah), because Aļļaah must always create.[2] This is because his actions are not beginningless and endless according to Ibn Taymiyyah, but happen one after another.[3] In other words, it is a must to him that other than Aļļaah exists.

Similarity to philosophers

Disagree

Identical in meaning, but not in naming.

3. The philosophers do not accept to say that Aļļaah has choice in whether to create or not (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 71).

The Sunnis say that Aļļaah has a Will, and that it is impossible that Aļļaah should need/ be compelled to create.

Ibn Taymiyyah said that Aļļaah must always create, as mentioned. He said Aļļaah has a choice in what to create, but not whether to create or not.[4]

Similarity to philosophers

Disagree

Identical

4. The philosophers cannot prove that the world needs a creator based on their premises. This is because they claimed that matter, and what they call “the first mind”, and some other parts of the world, are eternal. (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 87)

The Sunnis said that all other than Aļļaah need to be created by Him, and that He is not of created kind, such as bodies, so He does not need a creator.

Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy said {in brackets}: {The six directions} up, down, front, back, left and right {do not contain Him} because that would make Him {like all created things}

Ibn Taymiyyah cannot prove that the world needs a creator based on his premises. This is because he said that Aļļaah himself is in a place and has 6 limits (i.e. 3 dimensional) and yet is not created (see footnote 1). He is therefore unable to establish that things with 6 limits need a creator, i.e. all the world as we know it. After all, if such a complex body can exist without a creator, then what about simpler ones?

Similarity to philosophers

Disagree

Identical

5. The philosophers said that it is only possible for Aļļaah to create one single thing, and He cannot create a body. (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 99).

Aļļaah has the power to create infinitely many creations appearing over time.

Aļļaah has the power to create infinitely many creations appearing over time.

Similarity to philosophers

Disagree

Disagree

6. The philosophers refused to ascribe to Aļļaah attributes that affirm meanings to Aļļaah Himself, and are not mere negations. That is, knowledge, power, life, will, hearing, seeing, and speech. Even when they use these words, they intend by them the negation of some meaning. (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 106).

Sunnis said that Aļļaah is attributed with knowledge, power, life, will, hearing, seeing and speech that are not merely negations of their opposites. They said that these are eternal and unchanging attributes that are not in time and affirm meanings that are eternally true of Aļļaah, and are not mere negations of flaws.

He said that Aļļaah is attributed with knowledge, power, life, will, hearing, seeing and speech that are not merely negations of their opposites. He said, however, that these change over time.

Similarity to philosophers

Disagree

Disagree

7. The philosophers agreed to say that the creator is not a body, nor like a body, and He is not in time, place, direction, or existing in something else. That is, to ascribe attributes to Aļļaah that negate what does not befit Him. They also agreed to ascribe to Him meanings related to creating, such as providing, creating, controlling etc. (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 106)

Although there are differences regarding the details of this issue, Sunnis said that Aļļaah is not in time or in place, or direction. The bases for this is the Quranic, “He does not resemble anything”, which is understood literally, and any other scripture is understood in light of it. The reason for this is that the reality of the Creator’s existence must be complete in perfection, and created existence is need in each and every sense, because it needs a creator. Since Aļļaah is not created, He cannot resemble created things. This is shown by the Quranic rhetorical, “Is the One that Creates like what does not create?”

Ibn Taymiyyah believed that the creator is a body  located above creation,[5]  with created events in it, such as movement.[6] His basis for this is taking all scriptures ascribing a meaning to Aļļaah according to the customary meanings; the meanings that apply to creation. He then interprets the Quranic, “He does not resemble anything” accordingly. He understands this non-resemblance to mean different from creation the way created things differ from one another, so He is bigger in size than anything else, stronger, etc. Accordingly, he interpreted words ascribed to Aļļaah in the scriptures as meaning physical attributes and change, such as limbs, place, movement, emotions, and so on.

Similarity to philosophers

Identical

Disagree

8. The philosophers denied that Aļļaah knows particulars. (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 172).

Aļļaah knows everything with an eternal knowledge that does not change.

He said that Aļļaah knows everything, but that it changes over time in terms of particulars as the future becomes past.[7]

Similarity to philosophers

Disagree

Similar (because this means he believed that Aļļaah’s knowledge is bounded by time. )

9. The philosophers discussed whether the universe itself, as a total body, has a self that speaks and moves by will.  (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 179).

The Sunnis said there is no way of knowing such a thing without revelation from Aļļaah.

I haven’t seen Ibn Taymiyyah mention this, so we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Similarity to philosophers

Disagree

Disagree

10. The philosophers said that normal cause actually influences in reality its effect, i.e. the causes between created things, such as glass hits floor – glass breaks is a matter of real influence.  (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 219).

The Sunnis said that the hit to the floor and the breaking of the glass are two different creations of Aļļaah, thus the hit has no real influence, only apparently and according to the normal correlation that Aļļaah has created between things, such as:

heat (one creation) – burn (another creation),

hit (one creation) – break (another creation),

jump off cliff (one creation) – fall down (another creation), etc.

Ibn Taymiyyah is very vague on this issue. However, it appears that he is close to the muˆtazilite view, namely that things do have actual intrinsic influence on each other, but that this is created in them, and they use it by Aļļaah’s permission.[8] This is half way to the belief of the philosophers, who believed that such influence is not created. For example, it could be then, according to him heat (one creation) – burn (a creation brought into existence by heat.)

Similarity to philosophers

Disagree

Similar

11. The Aristotelians believed that bodies do not contain indivisible elements that are not divisible in the mind’s eye.

The Asħˆariyys agreed that if bodies are divided, one would eventually reach an element that is not divisible. Not by force, and not even in the mind’s eye could it be divided. This is because if one said e.g. that a stone is infinitely divisible into infinite quantities, then this would necessitate that the stone has infinite quantity, which would mean that its size is infinite, and this is clearly not the case.[9]

Ibn Taymiyyah agreed with the Aristotelians and criticized the Asħˆariyys for their claim that all bodies must consist of indivisible particles.[10] This is because he believed Aļļaah to be a body, and did not want to say openly that this body is divisible. He did however say that it is shrinkable, as seen in the quote in last quoted paragraph of this article.

Similarity to philosophers

Disagree

Identical

12. The Platonic philosophers believed that the human soul is beginningless. Aristoteleans disagreed. (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 248).

It is impossible that other than Aļļaah could exist without a beginning.

Since Ibn Taymiyyah allows for created kinds to be eternal, he would say that the human soul as a kind could be beginningless, even if he did not say this about the soul in particular.

Similarity to philosophers:

Disagree

Similar

13. The philosophers denied bodily resurrection, as well as Hell and Paradise, and said that what the prophets said regarding this are all figures of speech. (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 261).

Since the apparent meaning of the scriptures is that there will be bodily resurrection and Hell or Paradise for them, we must accept this. There is no reliable evidence contrary to this. The philosophers reasoned that the non-existent cannot re-exist, because it will be something else. The answer is that it was possible in existence in the first place, so one cannot say it becomes impossible in existence after that.

Ibn Taymiyyah has no dispute with Sunnis on this matter – as far as I know.

Similarity to philosophers

Disagree

Disagree

14. The philosophers developed their opinions on theology without support from revelation. (Adħ-Dħakħiirah, 270).

The primary bases for religious knowledge are the Qur’aan and  ĥadiitħ.[11] As for the mind, its role is to conceptualize and judge in terms of true and false. It is the tool by which the scriptures can be understood through sound deductive reasoning, and avoiding contradictory ideas. It is not in itself a tool for knowing facts of religion. However, the knowledge that Aļļaah exists, has Will, Power and Knowledge can be achieved without scripture, because creation definitely needs a creator. Likewise, the mind alone can reach the conclusion that Muĥammad ibn ˆAbduļļaah was indeed the Messenger of Aļļaah. In short, the premises for knowing that the Qur’aan and the Prophet’s teachings are sources of true information are reached by the mind by observation of the nature of creation.

Ibn Taymiyyah claims to stick to the scriptures more than anyone, but due to his blindness he ended up understanding them in a contradictory manner,[12] and in a way that ruins the premises for proving that Aļļaah exists by observing creation.

For details see the PDF article:

Rational Quranic Islam vs Wahabism

See also:

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

Similarity to philosophers

Disagree

Disagree

 

MUSLIM sayings versus those of the philosophers

Ibn Taymiyyah’s sayings versus those of the  philosophers

Number of disagreements

13

6

Number of agreements

1

5

Number of similarities

0

3

Total number of beliefs compared

14

14

% of agreements

7%

36%

% of similar sayings

0%

21%

% of similar sayings or agreements

7%

57%

 


[1] Ibn Taymiyyah said:

بيان تلبيس الجهمية في تأسيس بدعهم الكلامية – (1 / 438) فهذا القول الوسط من أقوال القاضي الثلاثة هو المطابق لكلام أحمد وغيره من الأئمة وقد قال إنه تعالى في جهة مخصوصة وليس هو ذاهبا في الجهات بل هو خارج العالم متميز عن خلقه منفصل عنهم غير داخل في كل الجهات وهذا معنى قول أحمد “حد لا يعلمه إلا هو” ولو كان مراد أحمد رحمه الله الحد من جهة العرش فقط لكان ذلك معلوما لعباده فانهم قد عرفوا أن حده من هذه الجهة هو العرش فعلم أن الحد الذي لا يعلمونه مطلق لا يختص بجهة العرش

“This middle saying among the three sayings of Al-Qaađii Abuu Yaˆlaa is the one that agrees with what Aĥmad says and others among the imaams. He [i.e. Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal – and this is a lie, Aĥmad believed what Muslims believe, but that is another matter (Trans.)] has stated,

Aļļaah is in a particular direction, and He is not spread out in all directions. Rather, He is outside the world, distinct from His creation, separate from it, and He is not in every direction.

This is what Aĥmad, may Aļļaah have mercy upon him, meant when he said,

He has a limit that only He knows.

If Aĥmad had meant the direction towards the ˆArsħ (Throne) only, then this would be known to Aļļaah’s slaves, because they know that Aļļaah’s limit from this direction is the ˆArsħ, so we know then that the limit they do not know is unqualified, and is not specified for the direction of the ˆarsħ.” (Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah, 1/438)

Accordingly, Ibn Taymiyyah’s saying was that Aļļaah has one limit which is known, and that is the ˆArsħ, and that the other directions are also limited,  but these are unknown to us. This is understood from his support to the expression “He is not spread out in all directions”. This is made even clearer in his statement:

بيان تلبيس الجهمية في تأسيس بدعهم الكلامية – (1 / 601) فأما كون الشيء غير موصوف بالزيادة والنقصان ولا بعدم ذلك وهو موجود وليس بذي قدر فهذا لا يعقل

“That something existing should not be increasing, or decreasing, or neither increasing nor decreasing, and yet exist and not have a size – this is impossible.” (Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah, 1/601)

In other words, he is of the opinion that everything that exists, including the Creator, must have a size. According to Ibn Taymiyyah then, Aļļaah has a size limited by 6 limits.

He is also of the opinion that creation as a kind has always existed without a beginning, because he believes that Aļļaah’s creating happens in time. Therefore, he argues, Aļļaah has always been doing one act after another (i.e. creating) without a beginning. He says:

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

“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 a complete cause for anything in the world, but He has in beginningless eternity always been a complete cause for something, one after another…” (Aş-Şafadiyyah, 2/97) Since nothing exists in his belief, except what has a size, we can understand that he believes bodies to be eternal in kind, even if each individual body has a beginning, except the Creator’s.

[2] He says:

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

“It is a necessity of Aļļaah’s self to act, but not an act in particular, and not having something done in particular,…” (Aş-Şafadiyyah, 2/97)

[3] Ibn Taymiyyah said:

الصفدية – (2 / 141) وتبين أنه لا يمكن حدوث شيء من الحوادث إلا عن فاعل يفعل شيئا بعد شيء

“It has become clear that nothing can come into existence except from an actor that does something one after another.” (Aş-Şafadiyyah, 2/141) He also said:

الصفدية – (2 / 141): الفعل لا يعقل ولا يمكن إلا شيئا فشيئا

“An act is impossible except bit by bit.” (Aş-Şafadiyyah, 2/141)

[4] See footnote 2.

[5] See footnote #1

[6] Ibn Taymiyyah said :

ونقول رابعا الحركة الاختيارية للشيء كمال له كالحياة ونحوها فإذا قدرنا ذاتين إحداهما تتحرك باختيارها والأخرى تتحرك أصلا كانت الأولى أكمل ويقول الخصم رابعا قوله لم لا يجوز أن يكون متحركا قولك الحركة حادثة قلت حادثة النوع أو الشخص الأول ممنوع والثاني مسلم (درء التعارض, ج 4 / ص 160)

In the above statement, Ibn Taymiyyah addresses his opponent, who has stated that movement must have a beginning, so it cannot be an attribute of perfection. Ibn Taymiyyah responds to this: “Beginning for its kind or each distinct movement? The first is impossible, but the second is accepted as true.” (Dar’ Taˆaaruđ A-ˆAql wa-n-Naql, 4/160)

In other words, it is not impossible that there are infinitely many movements in the past in Ibn Taymiyyah’s view, and it can be an attribute of Aļļaah, since it is an attribute of perfection in his view. This is based on his belief that Aļļaah is a body, because a body that cannot move is “stuck” and it is better to be able to move than to be stuck. Sunnis believe that Aļļaah is not a body, so the attributes of being able to move or being stuck do not apply to Him. Note that movement is not an attribute of perfection, because movement happens due to the need to move, although being stuck is even worse, as it signifies inability to do what one needs to to do. Both movement and being stuck are thus attributes of imperfection.

Ibn Taymiyyah also said:

(الفتاوى الكبرى, 5 / 127): فهذا لا يصح إلا بما ابتدعته الجهمية من قولهم: لا يتحرك ولا تحل به الحوادث وبذلك نفوا أن يكون استوى على العرش بعد أن لم يكن مستويا وأن يجيء يوم القيامة وغير ذلك مما وصف به نفسه في الكتاب

“So this is not correct except according to what they innovated by their saying “Aļļaah does not move and things do not come into existence in Him,”  by which they denied that He settled on the throne after being unsettled and that He comes on the Day of Judgment and other things that Aļļaah described Himself with in the Qur’aan and ĥadiitħ.” (Al-Fataawaa Al-Kubraa, 5/128)

He also said:

وتبين امتناع أن يؤثر في واجب الوجود غيره. (منهاج السنة النبوية , ص. 182)

It has become clear that other than the necessary in existence can influence the necessary in existence (the necessary in existence, i.e. Allaah(.

This shows that Ibn Taymiyyah considered Aļļaah to have bodily attributes based on his understanding of the scripture texts. He understood them according to the customary meanings that are true of creation.

[7] Ibn Taymiyyah said regarding Aļļaah’s attribute of knowledge:

وهذه الصفة هي صفة قديمة إذ كان لا يجوز عليه أن يتصف بها وقتا ما,  لكن ليس ينبغي أن نتعمق في هذا فنقول ما يقوله المتكلمون : إنه يعلم المحدث في وقت حدوثه بعلم قديم فإنه يلزم على هذا أن يكون العلم بالمحدث في وقت وجوده وعدمه علما واحدا

 وهذا أمر غير معقول إذ كان العلم واجبا أن يكون تابعا للموجود (درء تعارض العقل والنقل – (5 / 169)

“This attribute is beginningless, since it is impossible that He be attributed with it as some particular time (and not others). However, one should not delve deeply on this and end up saying what the kalaam scholars say: “Verily He knows the event when it happens with a beginningless knowledge,” for this implies that the knowledge of something previously non-existing during both its existence and non-existence one single knowledge. This is irrational, because knowledge follows what exists.”

He says this, because He believes Aļļaah to must be in time, since He believes He is a body (see footnote1,) and that Aļļaah’s beginninglessness is a beginningless series of moments. See one of Ibn Taymiyyah’s follower’s argument for this with a rebuttal here: Aļļaah is not in time.

[8] Ibn Taymiyyah plays word games on this issue, so it is hard to catch what he is actually saying. However, the following phrase of his is telling. Because he rejects the idea that created things have real influence, as the Sunnis say, and then states:

بيان تلبيس الجهمية في تأسيس بدعهم الكلامية (1/ 567): كما أنه سبحانه إذا خلق الأسباب وخلق بها أمورا أخرى ودبر أمر السماوات والأرض كان ذلك أكمل وأبلغ في الاقتدار من أن يخلق الشيء وحده بغير خلق قوة أخرى من غيره يخلقه بها

He says: If Aļļaah created causes, and created through them other things, and controlled the matters of the skies and the earth, then this would be more complete in ability than creating something by itself, without creating another power, other than it, by which He creates it.

In other words, He is saying that the power of creating can be put in causes, and other created things. This means that he believes that Aļļaah could have partners in creating, which is another shirk to add to the list of the other ones he commits. This belief is identical to that of the Muˆtazilah. This is not perfection, as he claims, but in contradiction to it, because it is among the perfect attributes of Aļļaah that His Power is not merely a possibility, but an uncreated eternal necessary attribute. Aļļaah’s attribute of Power is necessary in existence, and therefore not amendable. Had it been amendable, or shareable, then this would mean that it was not necessary in the first place, and it would have needed a creator, like anything that is subject to specification and change. Actually, Ibn Taymiyyah’s argument is identical to Christian arguments like this one. A related topic regarding omnipotence is also presented here.

[9] See also this article.

[10] Ibn Taymiyyah said:

منهاج السنة النبوية – (ص. 138): وبعض المصنفين في الكلام يجعل إثبات الجوهر الفرد هو قول المسلمين وأن نفيه هو قول الملحدين وهذا لأن هؤلاء لم يعرفوا من الأقوال المنسوبة إلى المسلمين إلا ما وجدوه في كتب شيوخهم أهل الكلام المحدث في الدين الذي ذمه السلف والأئمة.

“Some of the authors in Kalaam science make the affirmative belief in the indivisible particle of bodies the saying of the Muslims, and claim that denying it is the saying of the non-Muslims. This is because they don’t know anything about the sayings of the Muslims except what they found in the books of their shaykħs, the people of kalaam science, the innovation in religion that the Salaf and the Imams spoke against.” (Minhaaj As-Sunnah An-Nabawiyyah, 138)

[11] Scholarly ijmaaˆ consensus and Islamic legal analogy (qiyaas) are also proofs, of course, but these are established as proofs by Qur’aan and ĥadiitħ.

[12] This article addresses this problem: The ‘Simple’ Wahabi Belief II: Contradiction versus narration 


Deviant contention: “There is no room in Islam for logic and rational reasoning.”

August 25, 2011

Deviant contention: “There is no room in Islam for logic and rational reasoning. If Islam was based on the logic of humans, we would not wipe our hands above the khuffayn, as the greats of the Ummah have taught us, but rather underneath them.”

Question regarding this contention: It is known that the Naql (Quraan and the Sunnah) is given preference over the ‘Aql. What are the relative positions in the Aqeedah of Ahl-Sunnah wal Jamaah (Ash’aree?Maturidi) given to these ie. ‘Aql and Naql ? A person of a Literalist inclination argued that the Ash’aree school give the ‘aql priority over the naql.

Answer:

There is no clearer sign of deviance and backwardness than refuting logic and rational reasoning. After all, the alternative is illogical and irrational.

This topic has been touched upon already in other article like this one.

The methodology of these people is to take interpret scripture text referring to Aļļaah’s attributes, understand the text as having the same meaning as when referring to a human, and then cling to it by all available means, even if the interpretation is irrational. The attacks made on logic is an attempt to hide this irrationality from the public. After all, if you want people to believe whatever you say, what better position to be in than not having to be logical or rational?

What is the study of logic as it is done by Muslims? It is the study of how to make proper definitions for the concepts you are dealing with, and how to construct a sound argument based on sound premises. Whenever you hear someone attacking the study or use of logic there are only a few possibilities:

  1. He does not know what it is, or has a different definition for it. Many scholars in the past spoke against the formal study of logic, because they considered greek theology to be part of it, which is full of ideas against Islam, or the trivial pursuits that philosophers often deal with that have no practical value for the Islamic belief or its practice. The study of elementary Islamic logic today does not suffer from any of these problems.
  2. He has an agenda, like the wahabi scholars.
  3. He is a dumb animal.

Narrational knowledge, knowledge based on information narrated in hadith is founded on rational reasoning, the core arguments being:

Reliability of narrator in terms of piety:

  1. God-fearing men do not lie.
  2. The narrator is apparently god-fearing
  3. Therefore, the narrator apparently does not lie.

Reliability of narrator in terms of accuracy:

  1. A person with an incredibly good memory is likely to tell narrations accurately, as they were told.
  2. The narrator has an incredibly good memory
  3. Therefore, the narrator is most likely accurate in his narration

Reliability of chain of narration in terms of continuity:

  1. If all the narrators in a chain of narration are mentioned in the chain, it is more likely that the information they narrate is accurate.
  2. The narrators in the narration chain are all mentioned – without interruption in any generation.
  3. Therefore, if the narrators are pious and accurate, the information narrated is most likely correct.

 Supporting narrations:

  1. If the same narration comes through several chains, then this increases confidence that the narration is accurate.
  2. The narration has several continuous chains with pious and accurate narrators.
  3. Therefore the narration is more likely to be correct than one that has only one chain.

As you can see, denying logic and rational reasoning as means to knowledge of the truth undermines all religious knowledge, even narrational.

The orders pertaining to how to worship cannot be known by reason alone, this is what is meant by the saying regarding wiping the khuff. For example, how would one know that one needs to wash one’s face (in wuđuu), after passing gas – before praying. If one was going to wash anything after it normally, it would be the place where the dirt came out, because the normal purpose of washing is to clean. In the same manner, the normal purpose of wiping is to clean, and the part of the khuff most in need of cleaning is the underneath part.

The problem with this reasoning is NOT that it is rational! On the contrary, it is based on false premises. In this case the premise being that the wiping is about cleaning dirts. It is not, because wuđuu is not about cleaning dirts in the first place. The reasoning then, had no scriptural basis for reaching a conclusion for a religious judgment. It is this type of opinion, or reasoning that Islam forbids; spurious reasoning based on unfounded premises. After all, if Aļļaah did not send a messenger, we would not know whether we would be held accountable for anything at all.

The scriptures have many examples of logical arguments to prove the correctness of the Islamic belief. For example, when the Prophet said when presented with the theory of contagious spread of disease between animals in a flock, “and the first one?” I.e. there must be a first one to have the disease, without having caught it from another animal. This arguments is based on the premise that there could not have been infinitely many camels transferring the disease in the past.

Similarly, the encouragement to think of proofs of Aļļaah’s existence and attributes are very many in the Quran, and they are not restricted to what is verbatim mentioned in the scriptures. An example of such encouragement is in this ayah:

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لَآيَاتٍ لِأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ

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

How to follow the order of the Aayah? The only way is to look at the characteristics of creation and derive logical proofs based on them for proofs for the Creator’s existence, such as was done in this article.


Deviant objections to the fact that Allaah has no obligations

August 23, 2011

Some deviants say: Yes, it is rationally possible for Allah to do wrong, or Ţħulm, because the Prophet said of Allah in Hadeeth Qudsi, ‘I have forbidden oppression on myself’. He could only forbid oppression if it was possible for Him to commit.

Answer: The ĥadiitħ qudsiyy saying they are referring to was narrated by Muslim, and is as follows:

إِنِّي حَرَّمْت الظُّلْم عَلَى نَفْسِي

If translated literally, it would be: ‘I have forbidden injustice upon myself’

The literal translation implies that injustice would in principle be possible, because otherwise there would be nothing to forbid. However, this literal meaning is impossible, because of the meaning of injustice. It either means:

  1. to cross the rules that have been imposed upon one, or
  2. to deal in someone else’s property without a right.

These meanings cannot be true of Aļļaah to begin with, they have no relevance to Him Himself, so how could they become forbidden?! In other words, those who claim that it is rationally possible are going to have to say that He has someone that can impose rules upon Him, or that there is a property that is not His! We ask Aļļaah for protection against such heresy.

That is why An-Nawawiyy commented on this ĥadiitħ saying:

The meaning is ‘Aļļaah is clear of and above the imperfection of injustice,’ because injustice is impossible with regards to Him. How could he cross any rule imposed upon him, and there is no one above Him that He would have to obey?! How could He deal in the property of someone else, when all of the world is His property and under His might?! The origin of the world ĥarrama (translated above as forbid) is “to be prevented,” so the meaning of “being clear of the imperfection” was expressed with the word “forbidden,” because one aspect of its meaning is similar to “being clear of”, namely the meaning of non-existence. (I.e. what is prevented does not exist, just as what one is clear of does not exist.)[1]

A similar issue is raised when the deviants say that Aļļaah could have obligations. To show this, they mention aayahs like the following:

كَتَبَ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ الرَّحْمَةَ

Meaning if literally translated: “He has written upon Himself mercy.” (Al-‘Anˆaam, 12)

كَتَبَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ الرَّحْمَةَ

Meaning if literally translated: “Your Lord has written upon Himself mercy.” (Al-‘Anˆaam, 54)

An-Nasafiyy said in his tafsiir regarding these Aayahs:

The original meaning of write (kataba) is obligate, but it is not allowed to take it literally, because nothing is obligatory upon Aļļaah to do for created beings. The meaning then, is that He promised an ascertained promise that He will definitely hold. The mention of “Himself” is for the purpose of linguistic specification of Him and that it was not through means.[2]

Aţ-Ţabariyy said:

He decreed (i.e. for it to be, not obligated) that He will give mercy to His created beings. He does not punish them hastily, and accepts from them their repentance. This mention from Aļļaah is for the purpose of inclining those who have turned away from Him towards Him through repentance.[3]

The same was mentioned by Al-Bagħawiyy in his tafsiir.[4]

The important linguist and commentator on the Qur’aan Abuu Ĥayyaan said:

When Aļļaah mentioned that the creator of the word does what He wills with what is in it, and this indicates that His Power is effective, He followed this with a mention of His mercy and favors to creation. The apparent meaning of kataba (has written) is that of the sense of rows and strokes. This is what a number of people said is the meaning in this context, and that what is meant is actual writing, and that the meaning is that He ordered it to be written in Al-Lawĥ Al-Maĥfuuţħ (the Preserved Tablet). (Note: This is the same meaning as when Aţ-Ţabariyy said it mean that “He decreed.”)

It has been said that the meaning of “kataba” is that He promised as a grace and benevolence from Him. It has also been said that it means “He informed.” It has also been said that He made it necessary, in the sense as a grace and benevolence,  not in the sense of obligation. It has also been said that it means, “decreed and executed.”[5]


[1] Al-Nawawiyy, Sharĥ Saĥiiĥ Muslim Li-l-Nawawiyy (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihyaa’ Al-Turath Al-Arabi, 1392), Vo. 16, P. 132.

[2] Abuu Barakaat Al-Nasafiy, Madaariku-t-Tanziil wa Ĥaqaa’iqu-t-Ta’wiil, ed. Maĥmuud Muĥammad Asħ-Sħaˆˆaar, 1st ed. (Beirut, Lebanon: Daar An-Nafaa’is, 2005), Vol. 2, P. 7.

[3] Abuu Jaˆfar Aţ-Ţabariy, Jaamiˆu-l-Bayaan Fiy Ta’wiili-l-Qur’aan (Beirut, Lebanon: Mu’assasah Al-Risaalah, 1420), Vol 11, P. 273.

[4] NaşirudDiin Al-Bayđaawiyy (685 AH/ 1286 AD), Tafsiir Al-Bayđaawiyy (Beirut, Lebanon: Daar Al-Fikr, n.d.), Vol. 3, P. 130.

[5] Abuu Ĥayyaan Al-Andalusiyy, Al-Baĥru-l-Muĥiiţ (Beirut, Lebanon: Daar Al-Fikr, n.d.), Vol. 4, P. 81.


Anthropomorphism, the first step towards atheism

August 22, 2011

Many people today have the belief that Aļļaah is a being in a particular location, i.e. something with size. This belief is in itself incompatible with the teachings of Islam, and makes one a non-Muslim.

However, this is not the only problem. Another problem is that this is sometimes presented to the world as the real view of Islam, and as such makes Muslims look like clownish buffoons. Harsh words, yes, but unfortunately it is an understatement. This creed is incompatible with a logical and scientific view, like any of the other arbitrary religions out there.

This is because these proofs, and the proofs mentioned in the Qur’aan for that matter, are all based on looking at the world, i.e. looking at shapes of different color and movement, and construct logical argument for why they cannot be beginningless, and therefore must have a creator. When one turns around and says that Aļļaah Himself has a shape, by saying that He is in a location/direction, which necessitates a boundary confining Him, according to them, to this location, then one has effectively destroyed all arguments for the Creator’s existence. They make the atheist question, “if the world needs a creator, then why not the creator?” impossible to answer in a logically consistent manner, because if the shapes of the world need a creator, then why not all shapes? By representing their goofy view as Islam, they have opened the gates for the antichrist so to speak, by presenting it as just another incoherent religion.

 


Sanuussiyy Creed Downloadable Again

August 14, 2011

The link to the Sanuusiyyah commentary is working again on the Classical Texts page.

Abu Adam


Microblog for Sunnianswers

November 25, 2010

In shaa’ Allaah I will make frequent and brief posts here: http://sunnianswers.tumblr.com/

 

 


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

September 29, 2010

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


Applied Belief Science: The first of the ĥikam explained

September 5, 2010

Introduction

The great scholars of taşawwuf are also great scholars of belief, because taşawwuf is about bringing all ones actions, most specifically those of the heart, in alignment with the Islamic belief in Aļļaah. For this reason we will put some writings of taşawwuf on this blog. The first of these is from the ĥikam of Ibn ˆAţaa’ illaah As-Sakandariyy. These ĥikam, or words of wisdom, need to be put in context of each other as well as the Islamic beliefs and laws established by the Qur’aan, ĥadiitħs and Scholarly Ijmaaˆ Consensus. They are a set of tools for diagnosis and treatment of the heart. A competent medical doctor does not base his diagnosis on temperature alone, but combined with clinical signs, blood tests, x-rays and other tools. Having said that, the following is the first of the ĥikam and its explanation:


من علامات الاعتماد على العمل، نقصان الرجاء عند وجود الزلل

Among the sign of one’s reliance on his own effort, is the loss of hope when one makes a mistake.

The author is saying that if you experience such loss of hope, then this may be a sign that your heart is skewed towards relying on your deeds to succeed in the Hereafter. The perfect state however, is to rely on Aļļaah only, since He is the Creator of all deeds, all benefit, all harm, all reward, and all punishment. Nothing influences Aļļaah, including your deeds, because He created them, knew what you would do eternally, and He Himself is not created. He is eternal and does not change, so nothing with a beginning can influence Him in any way. He is the creator of everything, so He is not affected by it, because an effect must have a beginning, and anything with a beginning is His creation.


Aļļaah is not obliged to punish or reward anyone for anything they do.

Al-Bukħaariyy narrated through Abuu Hurayrah that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

لَنْ يُدْخِلَ أَحَدًا عَمَلُهُ الْجَنَّةَ قَالُوا وَلا أَنْتَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ لا وَلا أَنَا إِلاَّ أَنْ يَتَغَمَّدَنِي اللَّهُ بِفَضْلٍ وَرَحْمَةٍ فَسَدِّدُوا وَقَارِبُوا وَلا يَتَمَنَّيَنَّ أَحَدُكُمْ الْمَوْتَ إِمَّا مُحْسِنًا فَلَعَلَّهُ أَنْ يَزْدَادَ خَيْرًا وَإِمَّا مُسِيئًا فَلَعَلَّهُ أَنْ يَسْتَعْتِبَ

"Your deeds will not put you in Paradise." They asked: "Not even for you, O Messenger of Aļļaah?" He answered: "No, not even for me, except that Aļļaah will cover me with grace and mercy. So seek what is correct, and strive to be close to it, and let no one of you hope for death, because he will either be a doing well, so perhaps he will do better, or he will be doing poorly, so perhaps he will remove what is blameworthy."


The actions we make are creations of Allah, predestined and created by him.

Aļļaah (عز وجل) said:


وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ

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

He (عز وجل) also said:


وما تشاءون إلا أن يشاء الله

Meaning: "You do not will anything unless Aļļaah has willed it." (Al-Insaan, 30).


Every instance of pleasure or pain is created by Him.

Aļļaah (عز وجل) said:


وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَقَدَّرَهُ تَقْدِيرًا

Meaning: "And He created everything and predestined it." (Al-Furqaan, 2) He (سبحانه وتعالى) also said:


هَلْ مِنْ خَالِقٍ غَيْرُ اللَّهِ

Meaning: "Is there another creator than Aļļaah?" (Faaţir, 3)

Accordingly, if one makes a mistake and loses hope because of that, then it is an indication that one is relying on one’s own deeds, rather than on their Creator.


As long as there is life there is hope

One should not lose hope, because it is the state one is at in the final moment that matters, and this can change completely in a matter of seconds. Al-Bukħaariyy narrated that the Prophet said:


إِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ يُجْمَعُ فِي بَطْنِ أُمِّهِ أَرْبَعِينَ يَوْمًا ثُمَّ عَلَقَةً مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ ثُمَّ يَكُونُ مُضْغَةً مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ ثُمَّ يَبْعَثُ اللَّهُ مَلَكًا فَيُؤْمَرُ بِأَرْبَعٍ بِرِزْقِهِ وَأَجَلِهِ وَشَقِيٌّ أَوْ سَعِيدٌ فَوَاللَّهِ إِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ أَوْ الرَّجُلَ يَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّارِ حَتَّى مَا يَكُونُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهَا غَيْرُ بَاعٍ أَوْ ذِرَاعٍ فَيَسْبِقُ عَلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ فَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ فَيَدْخُلُهَا وَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ حَتَّى مَا يَكُونُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهَا غَيْرُ ذِرَاعٍ أَوْ ذِرَاعَيْنِ فَيَسْبِقُ عَلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ فَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّارِ فَيَدْخُلُهَا

"Verily one of you is gathered in his mothers stomach for forty days, then he is a blood-clot for forty days, then a piece of meat for forty days, then Aļļaah sends an angel ordered with four words: his provision, his end, happy or miserable. By Aļļaah, verily one of you may be committing the deeds of the people of Hell, until he is only an arm’s length away, when (it is as if) his destined end overwhelms him and he starts to perform the works of the people of Paradise, and enters it. And verily one of you may be committing the deeds of the people of Paradise, until he is only an arm’s length away, when (it is as if) his destined end overwhelms him and he starts to perform the works of the people of Hell, and enters it."


The meaning of all of the above

One’s hope for Allah’s grace and mercy should be based purely on hoping from Allah alone, because all your efforts, intentions and thoughts are all simply part of what Allah has created in you. Aļļaah is attributed with pure and perfect benevolence, His benevolence and gifts are hoped for because of His perfection in His Self, attributes and actions, not because of other than Him, including one’s deeds. This does not contradict the desire for His reward, due to His benevolence, when obedience occurs; nor does it contradict fear from punishment, when one is afflicted with committing a sin.


The point is that the focus of the one who truly knows Aļļaah, is towards His Lord and not his own deeds, because Aļļaah:

– gave us the power to do good deeds.

– created them in us.

– and out of generosity accepted them.

Not only that, but after he gave us the power, and created them, and accepted them, then without any obligation, he rewards us on our deeds. So how can we thank our God that rewards us on deeds that He created and accepted?


Scholars and worshipful Muslims used to perform a lot of prayers and fasting and other good deeds, because they knew that no matter what they do, they cannot thank Aļļaah as He deserves. The Prophet Muhammad had no sins to worry about for his Hereafter, yet his heals would get swollen from standing long hours in prayers. When asked about this he said, "should I not be a thankful slave?"

Good deeds are signs that a person is a good person, but if Allah does not accept them they are nothing. If a person made sujuud for Aļļaah on fire from the days of Adam to the end of this world will he have thanked Aļļaah as He deserves? How can he, when he is Aļļaah’s creation and Aļļaah is the one who created this sujuud in him and he is an absolute slave of Aļļaah, created and sustained by Him in every sense?


On the other hand, when a person does a bad thing, then the sin by itself is nothing in light of Aļļaah’s forgiveness and mercifulness, or His Self Existence, without need for anything or anyone. If a person does a sin and sees only his deed without recognizing Aļļaah’s mercifulness and forgiveness, then this is a sign that this person is arrogant; he gives his deeds a great deal of importance. Sins are signs that this person is not a thankful person, but sins by themselves are nothing if Aļļaah does not will to punish us for them.


All taşawwuf revolve around the belief that everything is by Aļļaah’s will, and is created by Aļļaah and that we are slaves that do not have the power or will to do anything if Aļļaah does not will it . Our own existence is by the will of Aļļaah and His creation. Our deeds are created by Aļļaah; our intensions are created by Aļļaah. We would be nothing if Aļļaah had not willed us to exist.


This does not mean that a person should not do good deeds or he should not feel sad or bad when he does a sin. It means that a person should know who he is. He should always remember that he is a slave that has no power or will if His Creator does not will.


All great sufis, scholars, and Islamic figures were great worshipers, because they knew the greatness of Aļļaah, and knew their state as slaves, and knew that no matter what they do they cannot thank their creator for all the gifts that He gave them. This state of always recognizing that they are slaves and trying to thank their Creator for all His gifts overwhelmed them and this led them to do all this worship.


Good deeds are good because they are signs of worshipping Aļļaah, and sins are bad because they are signs of disobeying Aļļaah. From this one can see why Allah might forgive sins, but will not forgive kufr, because the person who does a sin still recognizes that He is a slave and has a God, a Creator that owns him. The one who does kufr, however, is so egocentric that He thinks himself not a slave. Even when he worships idols he only does that because his ancestors did so, and this is arrogance in thinking high of his ancestors. If, on the other hand, he selects what he thinks is his god, other than Aļļaah, or attributes to Aļļaah what does not befit Him, then this is also arrogance, because he only does that thinking he has the right, or power, or knowledge to so.


I end this by saying that they say that Abuu Yaziid al Bustaamiyy saw Aļļaah in his dream and asked him: O Aļļaah! How can a person reach a state of "wusuul," which is a high state in taşawwuf (slavery to Aļļaah). They say that Allah answered him in the dream: "leave your ‘self’ and you will reach that state."


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

September 2, 2010

Further to the point that those who believe Aļļaah to be a body i.e. occupy a location are not Muslims, as mentioned in "The difference between the Wahabi creed and Islam", here are some quotes by well known scholars testifying to that :

Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy said they are not Muslims:

قال حذاق المتكلمين ما عرف الله من شبهه بخلقه أو أضاف إليه اليد أو أضاف إليه الولد فمعبودهم الذي عبدوه ليس هو الله وإن سموه به (فتح الباري, ابن حجر العسقلاني, دار المعرفة – بيروت ، 1379, 3 / 359)

The brilliant kalaam scholars said: "The one that likened Aļļaah to His creation, or ascribed a hand to Him (i.e. in the sense of a part or limb) or a child; what he worships is not Aļļaah, even if he called it Aļļaah.

An-Nawawiyy and Al-Qaađii ˆIiaađ said they are not Muslims:

قوله صلى الله عليه و سلم ( فليكن أول ما تدعوهم إليه عبادة الله فإذا عرفوا الله فأخبرهم إلى آخره ) قال القاضي عياض رحمه الله هذا يدل على أنهم ليسوا بعارفين الله تعالى وهو مذهب حذاق المتكلمين في اليهود والنصارى أنهم غير عارفين الله تعالى وان كانوا يعبدونه ويظهرون معرفته لدلالة السمع عندهم على هذا وان كان العقل لا يمنع أن يعرف الله تعالى من كذب رسولا قال القاضي عياض رحمه الله ما عرف الله تعالى من شبهه وجسمه من اليهود أو اجاز عليه البداء أو أضاف إليه الولد منهم أو أضاف إليه الصاحبة والولد وأجاز الحلول عليه والانتقال والامتزاج من النصارى أو وصفه مما لا يليق به أو أضاف إليه الشريك والمعاند في خلقه من المجوس والثنوية فمعبودهم الذى عبدوه ليس هو الله وان سموه به اذ ليس موصوفا بصفات الاله الواجبة له فاذن ما عرفوا الله سبحانه فتحقق هذه النكتة واعتمد عليها وقد رأيت معناها لمتقدمى أشياخنا وبها قطع الكلام ابوعمران الفارسى بين عامة اهل القيروان عند تنازعهم في هذه المسألة هذا آخر كلام القاضي رحمه الله تعالى. (المنهاج شرح صحيح مسلم بن الحجاج , النووي , دار إحياء التراث العربي , 1392, 1 / 199-200)

The saying of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) "let the first you call them to be the worship of Aļļaah, then when they know Aļļaah tell them…" etc. Al-Qaađii ˆIiaađ (رحمه الله) said: "This (i.e. the foregoing statement of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) indicates that they (the Christians) do not know Aļļaah, and this is the saying of the brilliant kalaam scholars regarding the jews and the Christians; that they do not know Aļļaah (تعالى) even if they worship Him (i.e. call what they worship by His name) and making it appear as if they know Him, based on what they narrate amongst themselves, even though it is not impossible in the mind’s eye that someone who disbelieves in a messenger does know Aļļaah." Al-Qaađii ˆIiaađ (رحمه الله) said: The one that likened Aļļaah to His creation, or believed Him to be bodily among the jews and Christians, or believed that He gains knowledge over time, or claimed He has a child, or a female companion and a child, or said he could exist in created things, or move from one place to another, or be mixed with creation, among the Christians or attributed to Him what is not befitting, or associated with Him a partner or opponent in creating among the Magians an dualists; what they worship is not Aļļaah, even if they called it that. This is because it is not attributed with the attributes that are necessarily His. Accordingly, they do not know Aļļaah (سبحانه), so realize this point well, and depend on it, and I have seen this point made by our predecessor shaykhs."

Ar-Raaziyy said they are not Muslims:

الدليل دل على أن من قال إن الإله جسم فهو منكر للإله تعالى وذلك لأن إله العالم موجود ليس بجسم ولا حال في الجسم فإذا أنكر المجسم هذا الموجود فقد أنكر ذات الإله تعالى فالخلاف بين المجسم والموحد ليس في الصفة بل في الذات فصح في المجسم أنه لا يؤمن بالله أما المسائل التي حكيتموها فهي اختلافات في الصفة فظهر الفرق وأما إلزام مذهب الحلولية والحروفية فنحن نكفرهم قطعاً فإنه تعالى كفر النصارى بسبب أنهم اعتقدوا حلول كلمة اللَّهِ في عيسى وهؤلاء اعتقدوا حلول كلمة اللَّهِ في ألسنة جميع من قرأ القرآن وفي جميع الأجسام التي كتب فيها القرآن فإذا كان القول بالحلول في حق الذات الواحدة يوجب التكفير فلأن يكون القول بالحلول في حق جميع الأشخاص والأجسام موجباً للقول بالتكفير كان أولى (مفاتيح الغيب – دار الكتب العلمية, 16 /24)

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

As for the ĥuluuliyyah (those who believe that Aļļaah settles in created things, such as the sky or a human body) and ĥuruufiyyah (those who believe that Aļļaah’s attribute of kalam/speech consists of letters and sounds) sects, we say that they are unequivocally disbelievers. This is because Aļļaah declared the christians blasphemers for believing that Aļļaah’s speech entered into Jesus, whereas the ĥuruufiyyah believe that it settles in the tongue of all those who recite Qur’aan, and in all physical things that the Qur’aan was written on. Accordingly, if the belief in its settlement in one single body (Jesus) is blasphemy, then it is even more blasphemous to believe that it settles in all shapes and bodies."

As-Subkiyy calls them idol worshipers:

As-Subkiyy in his Tabaqaatu-sħ-Sħaafiˆiyyatu-l-Kubraa says regarding scripture texts that appear to be referring to bodily attributes:

طبقات الشافعية الكبرى : إنما المصيبة الكبرى والداهية الدهياء الإمرار على الظاهر والاعتقاد أنه المراد وأنه لا يستحيل على الباري فذلك قول المجسمة عباد الوثن الذين في قلوبهم زيغ يحملهم الزيغ على اتباع المتشابه ابتغاء الفتنة عليهم لعائن الله تترى واحدة بعد أخرى ما أجرأهم على الكذب وأقل فهمهم للحقائق طبقات الشافعية الكبرى ج 5 ص 192

"the saying of the mujassimah (anthropomorphists), worshipers of the idol, makes them always focus on ambiguous aayahs."

Al-Qurţubiyy and Ibn Al-ˆarabiyy

الصحيح القول بتكفيرهم ، إذ لا فرق بينهم وبين عباد الأصنام والصور.

Similarly, Al-Qurtubīy in his commentary in the Qur’ān narrates from his Shaykh Ibn Al-‘Arabīy regarding the those who say Allāh has a body: "The sound verdict is that they are blasphemers, because there is no difference between them and those that worship idols and pictures." (Tafsiir Al-Qurţubiyy, 4/14).


The difference between the Wahabi creed and Islam

August 16, 2010

I am often asked to make a list of things that are different between the wahabi creed (i.e. that of their leaders) and Islam.

The core difference is that when wahabis say that Aļļaah does not resemble His creation, they mean that He is different in the same way as created things differ from one another, like in the case of fingerprints. Everybody has different fingerprints. So when they say Aļļaah has a hand, but “not like ours,” they mean that it has different physical characteristics, such as color, number of fingers, or print, or something like that. This is true, because they believe Aļļaah is something that can be pointed at in a direction and has a limit, i.e. a shape and size. For simplicity, let us call it a body, because a body is anything with a size and shape, even if many wahabis do not like this word.

All creations as observed by our eyes, have a shape, and differ only in the form of the shape, and in size. Since the wahabis believe that their god is a body, their belief is that he is only different in bodily characteristics, such as the exact form and size. This means that he would be part identical to creation, and part different; the way created things differ.

On the other hand, Sunnis say that the reality of Aļļaah’s existence absolutely does not resemble that of His creation. They do not believe that Aļļaah is different from His creation merely in the way created things differ from one another. For this reason, Sunnis say that the reality of Aļļaah’s existence is not bodily. That is, He must be without size or shape.

Another way to express the Sunni belief in Aļļaah’s non-resemblance to creation is to say that Aļļaah is clear of resemblance to whatever needs specification. The reality of Aļļaah’s existence cannot require specification. This is because requiring specification means being dependent on something else to be specified by. In other words, it means being dependent upon a creator to provide specification and existence according to the specification.

Bodily existence, which entails size and shape, is in need of specification of its size and its shape, because no shape or size has a higher priority for existence intrinsically. No size is more likely to exists than any other without influence from other than it. Likewise, no shape is more likely to exist than any other without influence from other than it. It needs therefore to have specification from other than it. Anything that has bodily existence must therefore be a creation, and cannot be the Creator. That is why the Salaf, though they did not explain in detail, always stated that Aļļaah’s attributes are without a how, that is, without specification, that is, without shape or change. Due to the closeness to the time of prophethood, they had great minds, and a profound understanding of the religion, They understood that Aļļaah is not limited or having boundaries, or less than perfect in any sense, and that He is therefore not in a direction or changing. They expressed all this with the simple phrase: “without a how,” They took this phrase from the quranic: “He absolutely does not resemble anything.” That is, the reality of His existence does not resemble that of creation.

In conclusion, the wahabi belief is that Aļļaah differs from creation the way creation differ from one another. They believe that His existence is bodily, like that of creatures. This is the most fundamental difference between Sunnis and wahabis.

The other core difference, their unique concept of shirk, is really a consequence of this. Let me explain…

When human beings worship a 3 dimensional shape, they feel a need to somehow make it different than other objects. The reason is that the essential reality of the existence of what they worship, is the same as all other things around them. After all, a 3 dimensional shape is just a 3 dimensional shape with respect to its kind of existence, i.e. bodily existence. Thus, this difference that they seek can only be in terms of:

-what is seen, i.e in appearance, i.e. in shape, size or color, or location

-some unseen characteristic claimed, or

-how one behaves towards this object.

That is why you will find a buddhist or anemist (those who worship trees and other objects found) makes sure to decorate his idol, gives it a weird shape, such as several heads, and if he is rich he’ll buy one made from gold. You will also find him putting it in a special location in his house. This takes care of appearance. He will claim that the idol has godly power, or knowledge, or the like, to attempt to rationalize its worship. Then he will behave with special ceremonial rites in its physical presence. A lot of attention is paid then to the idol’s location, ceremonial behavior related to this location, and ornamentation to distinguish it from other object. This is to contribute to the illusion that it is essentially different from other objects, and make it seem plausible that it is a god.

The wahabis are the same, because just like ordinary idol worshipers, they worship what is essentially a 3 dimensional thing. However, their object of worship is not present, so they will simply say regarding its appearance, “not like other objects, and we do not know how.” This way they leave it open, and can tell a buddhist, “our object is so much better than yours,” and when asked “how?” They will say, “we do not know, but it the best that can be.”

In the appearance aspect of location, their special location is “above the world in direction.” Here they have exceeded all other idol worshipers by choosing a really, really special location that cannot be reached by the senses.

But they are at a conceptual loss for what on earth Aļļaah’s oneness would mean, as it is not an absolute to them. After all, any single physical object is “one” in count, but not in kind, and since they believe He is an object, the meaning of “one” that would be worth being zealous about becomes quite foggy, and they have quite a dilemma. All they can do is say that only the body they call Aļļaah (but is actually not Him) deserves worship, while the other objects/bodies do not. But what would be their bases for this claim?

They cannot claim this based on the reality of the existence of their object of worship, because it is a body, and there are very many bodies around with the same mode of existence.

They cannot claim distinction based on unseen characteristics, because if omnipotence, omniscience and eternal existence could be attributes of a 3 dimensional being, then there is no way to rationally prove that one such thing could have them, while another not. That is, basing it on the claim that this object has all sorts of unseen characteristics, such as power, would not satisfy them in their search for the meaning of oneness that would make them different from other idol worshipers. After all, all idol worshipers claim their idols have all sorts of powers, so this wouldn’t make them special, or different in an essential way. This is especially when compared to religions with an identical belief regarding the reality of the creator’s existence, namely bodily existence, such as the christians, and especially the jews.

In practice, however, wahabi’s have achieved an advantage over other object worshipers, because they could break physically present idols, and claim that their (o so conveniently absent) object is unbreakable, and no competing idol worshipers would be able to prove them wrong, even if they themselves cannot prove that they are right.

In these ways, the wahabis can make themselves feel superior in the distinguishing game of idol worship (like when Hindus claim their idols are better than those of Bhuddists and vice versa). However, this is all very weak by itself, because it is based on the physical absence of their idol, and the existence of such a fantastic idol is impossible to prove. This is because physical objects cannot be proven to exist except by observation. The proofs for the existence of a creator that Muslims use do not help them, because they are all based on the idea that what has a size and shape and changes needs a creator, which means that their idol would need one also.

This is where their concept of shirk comes to play; they needed something to make them really different in their claim to be uniquely monotheist. They felt a need to make their worshiped object different than other objects in a more tangible way. After all, they are a people that do not think much of non-tangibles. They, or rather Ibn Taymiyyah, invented the concept of Aļļaah’s oneness being a matter of our behavior, a matter of who can be called for help and who cannot. This is their equivalent to the Buddhists ceremonious behavior around where the idol is placed, to their own physically absent idol, in order to distinguish it from other bodies. They made it the only body that can be called for help, regardless of whether one believes the called upon to have actual and real independent power or not.

All the other differences they argue for, such as their saying that all scripture texts must be understood literally, are inconsistent ideas that they use only when it suits their purpose. After all, if it suits their purpose they will go against all Arabic dictionaries in their understanding of a word, as is the case with (خلق) kħalaqa – to create, and (أحدث) aĥdatħa – to bring into existence. This is when they say that Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech is muĥdatħ but not makħluuq. An interpretation does not get more far-fetched than that, and yet they will cry “deviance!” if someone chooses a meaning from the dictionary, if it does not agree with their belief that Aļļaah is a body.


Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy does not believe Aļļaah is in a direction

September 26, 2009

Regarding direction, he says:

فتح الباري لابن حجر – (6 / 136): وَقِيلَ مُنَاسَبَة التَّسْبِيح فِي الْأَمَاكِن الْمُنْخَفِضَة مِنْ جِهَة أَنَّ التَّسْبِيح هُوَ التَّنْزِيه فَنَاسَبَ تَنْزِيه اللَّه عَنْ صِفَات الِانْخِفَاض كَمَا نَاسَبَ تَكْبِيره عِنْد الْأَمَاكِن الْمُرْتَفِعَة ، وَلَا يَلْزَم مِنْ كَوْن جِهَتَيْ الْعُلُوّ وَالسُّفَّل مُحَال عَلَى اللَّه أَنْ لَا يُوصَف بِالْعُلُوِّ لِأَنَّ وَصْفه بِالْعُلُوِّ مِنْ جِهَة الْمَعْنَى وَالْمُسْتَحِيل كَوْن ذَلِكَ مِنْ جِهَة الْحِسّ ، وَلِذَلِكَ وَرَدَ فِي صِفَته الْعَالِي وَالْعَلِيّ وَالْمُتَعَالِي وَلَمْ يَرِد ضِدّ ذَلِكَ وَإِنْ كَانَ قَدْ أَحَاطَ بِكُلِّ شَيْء عِلْمًا جَلَّ وَعَزَّ .

It is said, the suitability of tasbiiĥ in high places is in the sense that tasbiiĥ it so declare Aļļaah clear of non-befitting meanings, so one denies lowness from Aļļaah, just like it is suitable to say Aļļaahu akbar in high places. And it is not necessary from the directions of up and down being impossible to be true of Aļļaah that He not be ascribed highness, for it is in sense of meaning, and the impossible is for it to be in the sense of tangibility. For this reason it was stated as His attributes Al-ˆAliyy, Al-Mutaˆaalii, and the opposite was not stated, even if He encompasses everything in knowledge. 1

Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy says:

فتح الباري – ابن حجر – (3 / 30) قَوْله : ( يَنْزِل رَبّنَا إِلَى السَّمَاء الدُّنْيَا )اِسْتَدَلَّ بِهِ مَنْ أَثْبَتَ الْجِهَة وَقَالَ : هِيَ جِهَة الْعُلُوّ ، وَأَنْكَرَ ذَلِكَ الْجُمْهُور لِأَنَّ الْقَوْل بِذَلِكَ يُفْضِي إِلَى التَّحَيُّز تَعَالَى اللَّه عَنْ ذَلِكَ . وَقَدْ اُخْتُلِفَ فِي مَعْنَى النُّزُول عَلَى أَقْوَال : فَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ حَمَلَهُ عَلَى ظَاهِره وَحَقِيقَته وَهُمْ الْمُشَبِّهَة تَعَالَى اللَّه عَنْ قَوْلهمْ . وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ أَنْكَرَ صِحَّة الْأَحَادِيث الْوَارِدَة فِي ذَلِكَ جُمْلَة وَهُمْ الْخَوَارِج وَالْمُعْتَزِلَة وَهُوَ مُكَابَرَة ، وَالْعَجَب أَنَّهُمْ أَوَّلُوا مَا فِي الْقُرْآن مِنْ نَحْو ذَلِكَ وَأَنْكَرُوا مَا فِي الْحَدِيث إِمَّا جَهْلًا وَإِمَّا عِنَادًا ، وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ أَجْرَاهُ عَلَى مَا وَرَدَ مُؤْمِنًا بِهِ عَلَى طَرِيق الْإِجْمَال مُنَزِّهًا اللَّه تَعَالَى عَنْ الْكَيْفِيَّة وَالتَّشْبِيه وَهُمْ جُمْهُور السَّلَف ، وَنَقَلَهُ الْبَيْهَقِيُّ وَغَيْره عَنْ الْأَئِمَّة الْأَرْبَعَة وَالسُّفْيَانَيْنِ وَالْحَمَّادَيْنِ وَالْأَوْزَاعِيُّ وَاللَّيْث وَغَيْرهمْ ، وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ أَوَّله عَلَى وَجْه يَلِيق مُسْتَعْمَل فِي كَلَام الْعَرَب ، وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ أَفْرَطَ فِي التَّأْوِيل حَتَّى كَادَ أَنْ يَخْرُج إِلَى نَوْع مِنْ التَّحْرِيف ، وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ فَصَلَ بَيْن مَا يَكُون تَأْوِيله قَرِيبًا مُسْتَعْمَلًا فِي كَلَام الْعَرَب وَبَيْن مَا يَكُون بَعِيدًا مَهْجُورًا فَأَوَّل فِي بَعْض وَفَوَّضَ فِي بَعْض ، وَهُوَ مَنْقُول عَنْ مَالِك وَجَزَمَ بِهِ مِنْ الْمُتَأَخِّرِينَ اِبْن دَقِيق الْعِيد

His saying (literal unmeant translation):”Our Lord descends to the Sky of the World” has been used by those who believe Aļļaah is ascribed with a direction, and said, “He is in the direction above.“ This was denied by the masses, because this saying implies Him being in a space, and Aļļaah is greatly above and clear of that. There are also those that denied the soundness of these ĥadiitħs in general, and they are the Kħawaarij and the Muˆtazilites, and this is arrogance. It is strange how they figuratively interpreted the likes of it in the Qur’aan, and denied what is in ĥadiitħs, either out of ignorance or stubbornness. Then there are those that passed on its narration as is, believing in it in general, while denying that Aļļaah has a modality or like, and those are most of the Salaf, and Al-Bayhaqiyy and others narrated this position from the four imams (Abuu Ĥaniifah, Maalik, Asħ-Sħaafiˆiyy and Aĥmad,) and the two Sufyaans (Sufyaan Atħ-Tħawriyy and Sufyaan Ibn ˆUyaynah) and the two Ĥammaads (Ĥammaad ibn Salamah and Ĥammaad ibn Zayd) , as well as Al-‘Awzaaˆiyy and Al-Laytħ and others. Then there are those that figuratively interpreted this according to what befits and is used in the Arabic language. Then there are those that went to extremes in interpretation to the extent that they went almost to the extent of a kind of perversion. Then there are those that differed between what can be interpreted in a likely manner, and what cannot be interpreted except by getting far fetched and unacceptable. So they interpreted in some cases, and other times they would go by tafwiiđ. This is what has been narrated from Maalik, and was insisted upon as correct by later scholars, such as Ibn Daqiiq Al-ˆIid.2

1Ibn Ĥajar Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy, Fatĥu-l-Baarii Sħarĥu Şaĥiiĥi-l-Bukħaariyy (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Marefah, 1379), 6/136.

2Ibid., 3/30.


Ibn Taymiyyah says Aļļaah needs, is divisible, settles in a place, has 6 limits, has a size, and must be creating (though He can choose what to create – but not whether to create or not.)

August 20, 2009

Before reading the below, note that Fakħruddiin Ar-Raaziyy said :

The evidence shows that the one who says that Aļļaah is a body has denied Aļļaah’s existence. The reason is that the God of the World exists, and is not a body or positioned in a body. Therefore, if the one who says that Aļļaah is a body denies this existence (without a body) then he has denied Aļļaah’s existence. It is correct to say then, that the one who says that Aļļaah is a body does not believe in Allah1. (Mafaatiiĥ Al-Għayb, 16/24)

Similarly, Al-Qurţubiyy in his commentary in the Qur’aan narrates from his Sħaykħ Ibn Al-ˆArabiyy regarding the those who say Aļļaah has a body:

The sound verdict is that they are blasphemers, because there is no difference between them and those that worship idols and pictures2. (Tafsiir Al-Qurţubiyy, 4/14)

In light of this, to know the reality of the one the Wahabi sect calls "Sħaykħ of Islaam," read the following.

Ibn Taymiyyah says Aļļaah is divisible

In Ibn Taymiyyah’s book Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah3:

[Fakħruddiin Ar-Raaziyy says,] if He (Aļļaah) was divisible, then He would be composed (i.e. and therefore attributed with multitude of parts) which contradicts oneness and we have already showed that this is an invalid claim….

[Ibn Taymiyyah responds:] Rather, it is clear that if this (i.e. that Aļļaah should be divisible) was impossible, then this would mean nothing could exist….(Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah, 1/33)

Take note of what he is saying. He is saying that if something is not divisible in some sense, then it cannot exist, even Aļļaah. He is affirming his belief that Aļļaah is indeed divisible.

Ibn Taymiyyah says Aļļaah has composition, settles in a place, has different sides/parts, and needs

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

He is saying here that nothing can exist, not even Aļļaah, unless it has a place, parts (such as different physical sides), and needs.

Based on this incredibly ugly statement, it is no wonder then, that a number of scholars, as mentioned by TaqiyyudDiin Al-Ĥuşniyy, said that Ibn Taymiyyah was "an absolute kaafir." It is no wonder also that ˆAlaa’udDiin Al-Bukħaariyy in fury uttered, "whomsoever calls him Sħaykħ of Islam is himself a kaafir." That is, those who know about his blasphemous beliefs, as being uttered by him, or believe that he died on such beliefs without repenting.

Ibn Taymiyyah says Aļļaah has 6 limits, one of which is adjacent to the ˆArsħ

Ibn Taymiyyah said:

This moderate saying among the three sayings of Al-Qaađii Abuu Yaˆlaa is the one that agrees with what Aĥmad says and others among the imaams. He [i.e. Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal – and this is a lie, Aĥmad believed what Muslims believe, but that is another matter (Trans.)] has stated, “Aļļaah is in a particular direction, and He is not spread out in all directions. Rather, He is outside the world, distinct from His creation, separate from it, and He is not in every direction.” This is what Aĥmad, may Aļļaah have mercy upon him, meant when he said, “He has a limit that only He knows.” If Aĥmad had meant the direction towards the ˆArsħ (Throne) only, then this would be known to Aļļaah’s slaves, because they know that Aļļaah’s limit from this direction is the ˆArsħ, so we know then that the limit they do not know is unqualified, and is not specified for the direction of the ˆArsħ (Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah, 1/438).4

Note from this that He is saying: First he claims that “Aļļaah is in a particular direction,” and that “Aļļaah’s limit from this direction is the ˆArsħ.” This is according to him the known limit. Then by his saying, “He is not in spread in all directions,” he affirms that Aļļaah has limits in all other directions, that is up, left, right, back and front, but that these are unknown in term of where.

Ibn Taymiyyah said Aļļaah has a size

Ibn Taymiyyah said:

That something existing should not be increasing, or decreasing, or neither increasing nor decreasing, and yet exist and not have a size – this is impossible (Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah, 3/146).5

In other words, he is of the opinion that everything that exists, including the Creator, must have a size. According to Ibn Taymiyyah then, Aļļaah has a size limited by 6 limits.

Ibn Taymiyyah said that Aļļaah’s acts of creating come into existence in Him

Sunnis believe that Aļļaah creates by His Power without changing or going through time. This is because anything that has a beginning must be created. Accordingly, claiming that Aļļaah’s actions have a beginning implies that His actions need to be created by another act, and that act by another act, and so on. This means that an infinite loop of acts need to be completed before anything can be created, and this is impossible, because an infinite loop cannot be completed.

An-Nasafiyy said:

"The Karraamiyyah (pre-Ibn Taymiyyah anthropomorphists) all claimed that Aļļaah’s creating is an event in Aļļaah with a beginning, and that events occur in Aļļaah. Aļļaah is greatly above what the unjust ascribe to Him (Tabşiratu-l-Adillah, 141)."

He also said about them:

I really do not know how these unbelievers in God talk the talk of atheists and Greek philosophers and affirm the beginning of the world, and then accept to believe that the beginninglessly eternal (i.e. Aļļaah) is something in which events (anything with a beginning) take place. How can they, when this necessitates either believing that the Creator has a beginning, or that the world (anything other than Aļļaah) has no beginning….(Tabşiratu-l-Adillah, 501-502)

Ibn Taymiyyah, in contrast to this, said:

It has become clear that nothing can come into existence except from an actor (he means the Creator) that does something one after another.” He also said:“An act is impossible except bit by bit. (Aş-Şafadiyyah, 2/141)6

In other words, according to Ibn Taymiyyah, acts of creating come into existence in Aļļaah Himself, after non-existence. This is a blasphemous belief, as mentioned above.

Ibn Taymiyyah said that creation is eternal, and that Aļļaah has no choice, but to create something

Based on his idea that Aļļaah’s actions have a beginning, Ibn Taymiyyah argues that Aļļaah has always been doing one act after another (i.e. creating) without a beginning. 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… (Aş-Şafadiyyah, 2/97)7

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, and is not compelled to, or obligated to create at all.

Note also that the influence for something (to exist) that he speaks of, will be for a body to exist, or something to exist in a body, because he believes nothing can exist except bodies. According to him then, Aļļaah is the only eternal body among an eternal series of other bodies that He was compelled to create, although the type of bodies and events in them was His choice. In other words, he says that the world (which is anything other than Aļļaah) is eternal, because Aļļaah is eternally compelled to create something or another.

What Muslims believe, on the other hand, is that Aļļaah is the Creator of all things, and that He did not have to create anything, because He does not need anything, and is not obligated to do anything. In other words, it is not a necessity for Aļļaah to act, i.e create, anything at all. This is because Aļļaah is perfect, and therefore does not need to do anything. Ibn Taymiyyah, however, does not accept this, and comments on a statement of Ibn Ĥazm:

And even stranger than that is his (Ibn Ĥazm’s) claim that the scholars are in consensus about declaring a kaafir the one that does not believe that “He was eternally the only one in existence, and there was nothing existing with Him, then He created everything as He willed. (Naqd Maraatibi-l-‘Ijmaaˆ, 303)8

This is an attempt to hide his ugly kufr from his followers, for look at what Ibn Ĥajar Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy said:

Our shaykħ in his explanation of At-Tirmidħiyy said, “….. and it has been related by Al-Qaađii ˆIiaađ and others that the one who says that the world (anything other than Aļļaah) is eternal is a kaafir (non-Muslim) by scholarly consensus.” And Ibn Daqiiq Al-ˆIiid said: “It happened from some of those who claim to master intellectual matters, and inclines towards Philosophy, to think that the one that disagrees with the world having a beginning is not declared a kaafir…. and this is from blindness, or pretended blindness, because the world having a beginning is one of those things that are established by scholarly consensus and unequivocal (mutawaatir) narrational evidences.(Fatĥu-l-Baarii, 12/202)9

References:

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

Bayaan Talbiis Al-Jahmiyyah. —. Makkah: Maţbaˆah Al-Ĥukuumah, 1392.

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

Jaamiˆu Aĥkaami-l-Qur’aan. Al-Qurţubiyy (671 AH), Sħasuddiin. Ed. Hisħaam Samiir Al-Bukħaariyy. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Daar ˆaalam Al-Kutub, 1423.

Mafaatiiĥ Al-Għayb. FakħrudDiin Al-Raaziy. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Kotob Al-ilmiyah, 1421.

Naqd Maraatibi-l-‘Ijmaaˆ. Aĥmad Ibn Taymiyyah (728 AH) Al-Ĥarraaniyy. Beirut, Lebanon: Daar Ibn Ĥazm, 1419.

Tabşiratu-l-Adillah. Abu-l-Muˆiin An-Nasafiyy. Ed. Dr. Hüseyin Atay. Turkey: Riʼāsat al-Shuʻūn al-Dīnīyah lil-Jumhūrīyah al-Turkīyah, 1993.

الصفدية. أحمد عبد الحليم بن تيمية الحراني (728). مصر: مكتية ابن تيمية, 1406.

بيان تلبيس الجهمية في تأسيس بدعهم الكلامية. —. Ed. محمد بن عبد الرحمن بن قاسم. مكة المكرمة: مطبعة الحكومة, 1392.

فتح الباري شرح صحيح البخاري. أحمد بن علي بن حجر أبو الفضل العسقلاني الشافعي 852 هـ. بيروت, لبنان: دار المعرفة, 1379.

نقد مراتب الإجماع. أحمد عبد الحليم بن تيمية الحراني (728). بيروت, لبنان: دار ابن حزم, 1998.

1 يقول الرازي: الدليل دل على أن من قال إن الإله جسم فهو منكر للإله تعالى وذلك لأن إله العالم موجود ليس بجسم ولا حال في الجسم فإذا أنكر المجسم هذا الموجود فقد أنكر ذات الإله تعالى فالخلاف بين المجسم والموحد ليس في الصفة بل في الذات فصح في المجسم أنه لا يؤمن بالله (مفاتيح الغيب ـ ترقيم الشاملة موافق للمطبوع – 16 / 24)

2يقول القرطبي: الصحيح القول بتكفيرهم ، إذ لا فرق بينهم وبين عباد الأصنام والصور (تفسير القرطبي – 4 / 14)

3قال ابن تيمية: قولك إن كان منقسما كان مركبا وتقدم إبطاله تقدم الجواب عن هذا الذي سميته مركبا وتبين أنه لا حجة أصلا على امتناع ذلك بل بين أن إحالة ذلك تقتضي إبطال كل موجود ولولا أنه أحال على ما تقدم لما أحلنا عليه وتقدم بيان ما في لفظ التركيب والتحيز والغير والافتقار من الاحتمال وإن المعنى الذي يقصد منه بذلك يجب أن يتصف به كل موجود سواء كان واجبا أو ممكنا وإن القول بامتناع ذلك يستلزم السفسطة المحضة (بيان تلبيس الجهمية ج 1 ص 33).

4قال ابن تيمية: فهذا القول الوسط من أقوال القاضي الثلاثة هو المطابق لكلام أحمد وغيره من الأئمة وقد قال إنه تعالى في جهة مخصوصة وليس هو ذاهبا في الجهات بل هو خارج العالم متميز عن خلقه منفصل عنهم غير داخل في كل الجهات وهذا معنى قول أحمد “حد لا يعلمه إلا هو” ولو كان مراد أحمد رحمه الله الحد من جهة العرش فقط لكان ذلك معلوما لعباده فانهم قد عرفوا أن حده من هذه الجهة هو العرش فعلم أن الحد الذي لا يعلمونه مطلق لا يختص بجهة العرش (بيان تلبيس الجهمية, ج1/ص438).

5قال ابن تيمية: فأما كون الشيء غير موصوف بالزيادة والنقصان ولا بعدم ذلك وهو موجود وليس بذي قدر فهذا لا يعقل (بيان تلبيس الجهمية, ج3/ص146).

6قال ابن تيمية في الصفدية : وتبين أنه لا يمكن حدوث شيء من الحوادث إلا عن فاعل يفعل شيئا بعد شيء….” وقال: “الفعل لا يعقل ولا يمكن إلا شيئا فشيئاً….(الصفدية, 2/141)”

7قال 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.

8قال ابن تيمية في: وأعجب من ذلك حكايته الإجماع على كفر من نازع أنه سبحانه "لم يزل وحده، ولا شيء غيره معه، ثم خلق الأشياء كما شاء.(نقد مراتب الإجماع, 303)”

9قَالَ شَيْخنَا فِي شَرْح التِّرْمِذِيّ : الصَّحِيح فِي تَكْفِير مُنْكِر الْإِجْمَاع تَقْيِيدُهُ بِإِنْكَارِ مَا يُعْلَم وُجُوبُهُ مِنْ الدِّين بِالضَّرُورَةِ كَالصَّلَوَاتِ الْخَمْس ، وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ عَبَّرَ بِإِنْكَارِ مَا عُلِمَ وُجُوبه بِالتَّوَاتُرِ وَمِنْهُ الْقَوْل بِحُدُوثِ الْعَالَمِ ، وَقَدْ حَكَى عِيَاض وَغَيْره الْإِجْمَاع عَلَى تَكْفِير مَنْ يَقُول بِقِدَمِ الْعَالَم ، وَقَالَ اِبْن دَقِيق الْعِيد : وَقَعَ هُنَا مَنْ يَدَّعِي الْحِذْق فِي الْمَعْقُولَات وَيَمِيل إِلَى الْفَلْسَفَة فَظَنَّ أَنَّ الْمُخَالِف فِي حُدُوث الْعَالَم لَا يُكَفَّر لِأَنَّهُ مِنْ قَبِيل مُخَالَفَة الْإِجْمَاع ، وَتَمَسَّكَ بِقَوْلِنَا إِنَّ مُنْكِر الْإِجْمَاع لَا يُكَفَّر عَلَى الْإِطْلَاق حَتَّى يَثْبُتَ النَّقْلُ بِذَلِكَ مُتَوَاتِرًا عَنْ صَاحِب الشَّرْع ، قَالَ وَهُوَ تَمَسُّكٌ سَاقِط إِمَّا عَنْ عَمًى فِي الْبَصِيرَة أَوْ تَعَامٍ لِأَنَّ حُدُوث الْعَالَم مِنْ قَبِيل مَا اِجْتَمَعَ فِيهِ الْإِجْمَاع وَالتَّوَاتُر بِالنَّقْلِ (فتح الباري العسقلاني, 12/202).


Foundations of the religion in PDF

August 2, 2009

One of the most important readings on this website is the introductory article on how the religion of Islam agrees with sound reason.

Here is the article as a PDF download: The Foundations of the Religion