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

July 24, 2013

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

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

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

All enmities are hoped to turn to affections

Except the enmity of religious inclinations

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

As for the literalists, they are of three kinds:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:


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.

Clarity on the different sayings about the Qur’aan

August 17, 2012

To bring absolute clarity to the deviant claim of Aļļaah’s Eternal Speech, the Qur’aan, being created. There are 3 main sayings:

Sunnis, the Ashˆariyys and Maaturiidiyys, say that the Qur’aan is the eternal Speech of Aļļaah. This Speech is an eternal attribute of Aļļaah and is not created, i.e. not brought into existence. It is not letters or sounds, and is not something sequential or divisible into parts. “The book of the Qur’aan, which is letters and words, expresses some of what Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech refers to. That is why it is called “Aļļaah’s Speech.” Note again that Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech is not divisible. It is what it refers to that is divisible, just as Allaah’s attribute of Will is not divisible; it is what it refers to that is divisible.

The Muˆtazilah say that Aļļaah’s Speech is letters and sounds that He brought into existence not in Himself, because it is impossible that something should come into existence in Him. They also claim that speech can only be sounds and letters. For this reason, they say that Aļļaah does not have an eternal Speech, and that the Qur’aan is created.

The Hashawiyyah, like the wahabis, say that Aļļaah’s Speech is letters and sounds that He brought into existence in Himself. They disagree with the Muˆtazilah only on where it emerged, not on the claim that it was brought into existence.

Issue Sunnis say: Muˆtazilites say: Wahabis say:
The meaning of the word “Qur’aan” The Qur’aan is Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of Speech that is not letters, sounds or words, because what is not created cannot consist of parts or be composed in any sense. However, it is also used to refer to the words that express some of what Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech refers to. Like when it is said, “please get me the Qur’aan on the bookshelf.” They say the Qur’aan is the Arabic expression that is printed in books. They say the Qur’aan is the Arabic expression that is printed in books and was brought into existence in Aļļaah himself.
Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech Speech is an eternal attribute of Aļļaah that is not brought into existence. It is not letters and sounds, but an eternal attribute by which Aļļaah tells, orders and forbids. They say that Speech is not an eternal attribute of Aļļaah, because Speech cannot be other than letters and sounds. They say that Speech is an eternal attribute of Aļļaah, in that it is a series of statements without a beginning brought into existence bit by bit.
Letters and sounds Letters and sounds cannot be beginninglessly eternal. Not a single one of them, and not a series of them. Letters and sounds cannot be beginninglessly eternal. Not a single one of them, and not a series of them. They say letters and sounds can be in a beginningless series of continuous speech.

Note that the wahabi belief that Aļļaah’s speech is a speech of letters and sounds that is brought into existence bit by bit without a beginning is identical to their saying about the world being beginninglessly eternal. The only difference between what they call created and uncreated speech, is the claimed place of its emergence into existence.




Allaah’s Attribute of Oneness

August 14, 2012

Aļļaah said in the Qur’aan,

قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ

Meaning: “Say! <O Muĥammad> He is Aļļaah, He is One.” (Al-Ikħlaaş, 1)

The word “One” here is absolute in meaning, as the statement is absolute. In other words, it is impossible that He should have an equal in His self, actions or attributes, or a partner or a part. It is also impossible that Aļļaah should have two attributes of the same kind, e.g. two powers, or two attributes of knowledge.

The Imaam Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal explained: “Aļļaah U is One, not in the sense of a number; it is impossible that He should be divisible or have parts; He is One in every sense of the meaning, whereas everything else is one in one sense, but not in others.”[1]

For example, I am one person, but I am one in the shared sense of being one among many of a kind. In addition, I have many attributes in common with others, such as taking up space, so I have partners in my attributes as well. I am also a collection of body parts, and all of my body parts are divisible. Accordingly, I am not one in an absolute sense, but in a composed, or shared, sense. That is, my uniqueness is only a created kind of uniqueness.

Abuu Ĥaniifah similarly said, “God is One, not in a numerical sense, but in the sense that He has no partner. He neither begets, nor was He begotten, and there is none like Him. He neither resembles any of His creation, nor does anything among His creation resemble Him.”[2]

[1] Muĥammad ibn Abii Yaˆlaa, Iˆtiqaad Al-Imaam Al-Mubajjal Ibn Ĥanbal (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Marefah), 1/293.

[2] Abuu Ĥaniifah (80-150 AH/ 699-767), Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar, vol. 1 (Maktabah Al-Azhariyyah Li Al-Turaath, 1421), 62.