Category Archives: Aqeedah

Belief in Qadr/Taqdeer (Pre-Destination) – Between the Extremes

[By Allama Muhammad Idris Saheb Kandhlavi (Rahmatullahi Alayh)]

ACTIONS AND DEEDS
Just  as  Allaah  Ta’ala  is  the creator  of  human  beings,  so  too  is  He  is  the  Creator  of  their  characters,  habits,  qualities  and  actions.  These actions,  be  they  good  or  bad,  are  all  in  the  Taqdeer,  control and  knowledge  of  Allaah  Ta’ala.  Nevertheless,  He  is  pleased with  good  and  displeased  with  evil.  One  must  remember  this  and  remember  well,  that  to  attribute  only  evil  to  Allaah  Ta  ‘ala  is  contrary  to  respect  and etiquette.  It  is  inappropriate  to  (only)  say  that  Allaah  Ta ‘ala  is  the  Creator  of  evil,  it  will  be  more  befitting  to  say  that  He  is  the  Creator  of  good  and  evil.  One  should  say  that  Allaah Ta’ala  is  the  Creator  of  everything.  One  should  never  (only)  say  that  Allaah  Ta’ala  is  the  Creator  of  filth  and  pigs,  etc.  It  is  wholly  disrespectful  and  sacrilegious  to  attribute  such  things  (alone)  to  Allaah Ta’ala,  Who  is  a  Pure  Being.  In  short,  just  as  the  servants  are  the  creation  of  Allaah  Ta’ala,  so  too  are  their  actions  the creation  of  Allaah  Ta’ala.  However,  some  actions  of  man are  voluntary,  which  come  into  being  with  the  order  of  Allaah  Ta’ala,  and  others  are involuntary,  which  occur  without  man’s  intention  or  will,  and  without  his  intervention, like  the  hand  of  a  person  who  shakes  from  shaking  palsy.  In  this  shaking  there  is  no intention,  nor  desire  of  the person  for  it,  hence  this  is  known  as  an  involuntary  action.  When  the  doer  desires  for  an  action  and  he  initiates  it,  then  it  is  known  as  a  voluntary  action,  for  example,  when  one  stretches  the  hand  to  make  musafaha  (handshake),  or  one  lifts  his  hand  to  strike  someone  out  of  anger.  These are  voluntary  actions. 

Just  like  how  a  person  sees  with  the  eyes  given  to  him  by  Allaah  Ta’ala,  and  he  hears  with  the  ears  given  to  him  by  Allaah  Ta’ala,  so  too  does  he  carry  out  actions  by  the  power  and  ability  given  to  him  by  Allaah  Ta’ala.  All  these  actions  of  man,  although  they  are  created  by  Allaah  Ta’ala,  and  they  come  into  existence  by  His  Will  and  Decree,  however,  since  they  are  voluntary  by  man,  and  through  these  actions  he  carries  out  good  actions,  therefore  he  is  compensated  for  it.  If  he  does any  evil  action,  then  he  will  be punished  for  it. 

The  Mu’tazilahs  and  Qadariyyahs  (deviant  sects),  hold  this  belief,  that  man  has  the  full  control  of  his  actions  and  man  is  the  creator  of  the same. 

The  Jabariyyah  (another  deviant  sect)  hold  this  belief,  that  man  has  absolutely  no control  of  his  actions,  whatever  man  does  is  not  out  of  his  own  choice,  just  like  how  the  movements  of  a  tree  or  stone  occur,  so  too  do  the  actions  of  man.  Hence,  their  belief  is  that  man  will  not  be  taken  to  task  or  punished  for  any  evil  actions,  but  he  will  be  compensated  for  good  actions.  According  to  them  the  sinners and  the  Kuffaar  are  all  excusable  and  they  will  not  be questioned. 

The  Ahlus  Sunnah  Wal  Jamaat  say  that  both  these  beliefs  are  wrong  and  incorrect.  The  belief  of  the  Qadariyyahs  and  Mu’tazilahs  is  incorrect  because  man  does  not  have  the  ability  to  create  his  own  actions.  It  is  impossible  for  man  to,  bring  a  non-existent  thing  into  existence.  Also,  the  Pure  Being  of  Allaah  Ta’ala,  Who  has  no  partner  is  also  free  from  this  that  there  can  be  partners  to  His  exclusive  Quality  of  creating.  He  Alone  has  the  quality  of  creation.  As  Allaah  Ta’ala  says: 

“Do  they  ascribe  partners  to  Allaah,  that  they  (can)  create  like  how  He  creates.  They  are equating  the  creation  to  Him,  Say!  Allaah  is  the  Creator  of  everything.  He  is  One,  Most Powerful.”  

The  helplessness  of  man  is  such  that  he  cannot  even  utter  the  letter `meem’  from  the  throat  or  the  letter  ”ayn’  from  the  lips.  With  such  a profound  debility,  how  can  the quality  of  creation  be  attributed  to  man? 

The  belief  of  the  Jabariyyah  is  incorrect  because  it  is  contrary  to  common  sense  and  logic.  Therefore,  all  intellectuals  are unanimous  on  this  point  that  actions  are  of  two  categories;  voluntary  and  involuntary.  They  also  agree  on  this  point  that  whoever  carries  out  a  voluntary  good  action,  he  will  receive  a reward,  and  whoever  carries  out  a  voluntary  evil  action,  should  be  punished.  The  Jabariyyah  sect   oppose  this  differentiation  and  categorisation  of  actions. According  to  them  all  actions  are  involuntary  and  no  action  is  voluntary. 

The  trustworthy,   protectors  and  protagonists  of  any  land  are  rewarded  and  the  rebels  are  imprisoned  and  punished.  The  thieves  and  evil  people  are  imprisoned  for  a  while  and  have  to  undergo  a  trail  of  suffering.  If  there  was  no  system  of  reward  or  punishment  in  this  world  for  good  and  evil  actions  then  this  world  would  have  been absolutely  destroyed  and  devastated  long  ago.  When  this  system  of  rewarding  the  good  and  punishing  the  evil  is  acceptable  and  commended  as  being  justice  by  the  temporary  governments  of  this  world,  then  how  come  there  is  a doubt  and  objection  to  this  system  with  regard  to  Allaah  Ta’ala,  Who  is  the  Best  Judge amongst  judges. 

If  a  thief  is  caught  stealing  and  he  offers  the  following  excuse  that  he  was  forced  to  commit  the  crime and  it  was  an  involuntary  actions  on  his  part,  then  he  will  be  told  that  he  is  lying  and  if  he  was  forced,  then  how  come  he  left  his  home?  Can  we  say  that  it  is  an  involuntary  action  to  come  out  at  night  and  break  someone’s  lock  or  break  down  his  door?  If  man  can  be  subservient  to  the  temporary  justice  of  man,  how  can  he  not  be  subservient  to  the  eternal  and  perfect  Justice  of  Allaah  Ta’ala?  The  Ahlus  Sunnat  Wal  Jamaat  say  that  these  two  views,  that  man  is  completely  in  control  and  that  he  is  completely  helpless,  are  unacceptable  and  incorrect,  and  they  are  contrary  to  common  sense  and  logic. 

The  Straight  Path  is  the  one  that  goes  between  the  excesses.  That  is  that  man  is  neither  completely  in  control  (of  his  actions)  nor  is  he  completely  helpless,  in  fact  we  are  in  between  being  forced  and  having  full  choice.  Logically  as  well,  this  is  the Truth,  because  the  view  of  the Jabariyyah  that  man  is  completely  helpless  and  incapable  of  intention  and  choice,  is  contrary  to  common  sense  and  real  life.  Who  does  not  know  that  man  has  the  quality  of  choice  and  intention?  Every  person  knows  that  his/her  actions  are  not  like  that  of  a  stone.  The  movements  of  a  stone  are  done  without  its  choice  and  intervention,  whereas  man  has  a  choice  and  intention  in  his/ her  actions. 

Now  that  it  is  established  that  man  has  choice  and  intention,  then  there  are  now  two possibilities.  Either  this  choice  is  fixed  and  unshakeable  or  it  is  fixed  to  only  this  level  that  Allaah  Ta’ala’s  Will  has  no  play  in  a  person’s  kufr  and  Imaan.   This  is  the  Madh-hab  of  the  Qadariyyahs. 

The  second  possibility  is  this  that  man  has  choice  and  intention.  But  this  intention  and  choice  is  not  fixed  and  firm,  rather  it  is  subservient  to  the  Desire  and  Will  of  Allaah Ta’ala.  This  is  the  Madh-hab  of  the  Ahlus  Sunnat  Wal  Jamaat. 

Logically  and  rationally,  this  is  the  truth.  Because  for  a  person  to  have  such  full  and  fixed  control  over  his  choice,  that  is  not  subservient  to  Allaah  Ta’ala,  is  impossible.  When  the  mere  existence,  qualities  and  character  of  man  is  not  fixed  but  completely  subservient  to  the  Will  and  Desire  of  Allaah  Ta’ala,  then  how  can  the  quality   of  power  and  choice  be  fixed  in  man?  Allaah  Ta’ala  says: 

“And  you  do  not  desire,  except  that  which  Allaah  Ta ‘ala, Rabbul Aalameen,  Desires.”  

From  this  we  deduce  that  man  has  desire  and  choice,  but  this  is  limited  to  and  under  the  control  of  Allaah  Ta’ala.  Therefore,  the  Ahlus  Sunnat  Wal  Jamaat  say  that  man  is  in  between  being  totally  in  control  or  under  control.  In  a  way,  he  has  a  choice,  therefore  he  is  able  to  carry  out  actions  by  choice  and  intention.  He  is  not  totally  helpless,  but  he  also  has  no  choice  in  this  choice.  Just  like  a  how  a  person  has  the  choice  to  see  and  listen,  however,  he  has  no  choice  in  the  ability  of  hearing  and  seeing.  In  the  same  way,  man  has  choice  in  his  actions,  but  he  has  no  choice  in  this  choice,  in  fact  he  is  helpless  in  his  having  a  choice.  When  a  person  carries  out  an  action  through  this  Allaah  given  choice,  then  in  the  Shariah  we  say  it  is  ‘Khasab’  (earned).  Allaah  Ta’ala  is  the  Creator  of  actions  and  He  brings  it  into  existence.  Man  is  the  earner,  actor  and  doer  of   the  actions.  This  earning  and  acting  is  sufficient  to  warrant  reward  or  punishment.  For  the  weak,  a  weak  choice  is  appropriate,  and  a  full  and  complete  choice  is  appropriate  for  The  Creator  and  not  the  created.

The  difference  between  the  Qadariyyah  and  the  Ahlus  Sunnat  Wal  Jamaat  is  this  that  the  Qadariyyahs  claim  that  man  has  fixed  and  total  choice  over  his  actions,  and  we  say  that  this  choice  is  not  full  or  fixed.  We  take  the  middle  path  and  say  that  man’s  choice  is  between  full  choice  and  no  choice,  and  this  is  what  we  call  in  the  Shariah  earning  and  acting. 

In  the  Qur’aan  Majeed,  Allaah  Ta  ‘ala  has  in  all  places  attributed  the  quality  of  creation  exclusively  to  Himself,  and  earning  and  acting  (carrying  out  actions)  to  His  servants.

“And  Allaah  created  you  and  you  carry  out  the  actions.”

In  this  Aayat,  Allaah  Ta’ala attributes  the  quality  of  creation  to  Himself  and  the  carrier  out  of  the  actions  is  man.  There  is  absolutely  no doubt  that  every  action  of  man comes  into  being  by  the  Knowledge  and  Will  of  Allaah  Ta’ala.  However,  Allaah  Ta’ala  has  also  granted  a  certain  amount  of  power  and  ability  to  man,  whereby  man  carries  out  actions  and  he  becomes  worthy  of  reward  for  it  or  punishment  in  this  world.  Similarly,  he  will  be  rewarded  or  punished  for  his  actions  in  the  Aakhiraat  (Hereafter).

FATE & DIVINE DECREE
Fate  and  Divine  Decree  is  Haqq (Truth),  and  it  is  Fardh  (obligatory)  to  believe  in  it.  To  bring  Imaan  in  Divine  Decree   means  that  one  should  believe  that  Allaah  Ta’ala  had  pre-destined  for  mankind  even before  their  creation,  the  good and  the  bad,  Imaan  and  kufr,  guidance  and  deviation,  and obedience  and  disobedience,  and  all  this  has  been  recorded.  Now  whatever  occurs  in  this  universe,  is  doing  so  at  the behest  and  wish  of  Allaah  Taa’ala.  Also  whatever  happens,  Allaah  Ta’ala  knew  about  it  in  its  entirety  even  before  its  occurrence. 

The  dictionary meaning  of  Taqdeer  is  to  measure  or  estimate.  That  occurrence  that  happens  by  desire  and  intention,  is  done  with  full  understanding  and  measure.  For  example,  a  person  wants  to  build  a  house.  First  a  plan  will  be  drawn  so  that  the walls,  etc.  of  the  house  can  conform  to  some  set  standard.

In  the  same  way,  when  Allaah  Ta’ala  intended  to  bring  this  universe  into  existence,  He  first  set  out  a  plan  in  His  infinite  Wisdom  and  Knowledge,  and  He  measured  each  and  everything  from  the  time  of  inception  until  the  end.  Hence  this  ‘design’  and  ‘plan’  of  Allaah  Ta’ala  is  known  as  Taqdeer.  Allaah  Ta’ala,  in  His  infinite  Wisdom  and  Knowledge had  already  meted  out  that  at  a  certain  time  a  certain  occurrence  will  happen  at  a certain  place,  or  that  a  person after  his  birth  will  bring  Imaan at  a  certain  time,  or  that  a person  after  his  birth  at  a certain  time  will  make  kufr,  etc., etc.  As  Allaah  Ta’ala  says:

“Indeed  Allaah  had  made  everything  in  measure.”  

Taqdeer  is  that  Allaah  Ta’ala  measured  out  everything  of  this  universe  even  before  its  creation.  Qadha (Fate)  is  that  Allaah  Ta’ala  created  and  brought  into  existence  everything  according  to  His  plan  and  measure.  The dictionary  meaning  of  Qadha  is  to  create.  As  Allaah  Ta’ala  says: 
“And  He  created  in  them  seven  skies.”  

Hence  the  unanimous  belief  of  the  Ahlus  Sunnat  Wal  Jamaat  is  that  Fate  and  Decree  are  Haqq.  There  is  not  an  atom  (or  even  the  smallest  particle)  which  is  beyond  the  Taqdeer  of  Allaah  Ta’ala.  No  one  has  the  ability  or  potential  to  ward  of  or  evade  His  Decree.  Or  even  to  delay  it  or  expedite  it.  Whoever  He  wishes,  He  grants  guidance  to  and  whoever  He  wishes  He  leads  him  astray. There  will  never  be  any  questioning  Him  or  asking  for  explanation.  However,  He  will  question  His  bondmen  regarding  their  actions.  They  will  then  be  rewarded  or   punished  for  their  good  deeds  or  their  evil  actions. 

Nevertheless,  Allaah  Ta’ala’s  Decree  and  fate  is  Haqq.  There can  never  be  any  chance  of  mistakes  or  miscalculations  in  His  Actions.  A  human  will  first  draw  a  plan  prior  to  building  a  house,  and  Allaah  Ta’ala  had planned  this  universe  prior  to  His  creating  it,  but  between  the  planning  and  knowledge  of  man  and  that  of  Allaah  Ta’ala  is  a  vast  difference.  The difference  is  that  man,  due  to  some  obstruction  or  the  other,  may  have  to  change  or  alter  his  originally  intended  plans,  hence  the  planning  and  knowledge  of  man  can  be incorrect  and  deficient.  But when  Allaah  Ta’ala  intends  to  do  something,  there  is  nothing  that  will  or  can  ever  prevent  Him,  because  the  planning  and   Taqdeer  of  Allaah  Ta’ala  can  never  be  incorrect  or  deficient.  His  intentions  always  come  into  being  and  none  can  prevent  it.  Also,  the  knowledge  of  man  is  extremely  deficient.  There  are  many  things  that  man  only  comes  to  know  about  after  he  had  drawn  up  his  plans,  therefore,  there  will  be  a  difference  between  the  plan  of  man  and  the  outcome.  And  the  Knowledge  of  Allaah  Ta’ala,  because  it  is  All-Encompassing,  therefore  there  will  never  be  a  difference  between  the  plan  and  the  outcome  of  Allaah  Ta’ala. 

TAQDEER AS AN EXCUSE??
The  Taqdeer  of  Allaah  Ta’ala  is  Haqq.  It  is  Fardh  to  bring  Imaan  in  it.  It  is  incorrect  to  present  Taqdeer  as  an  excuse  to  our  actions  and  deeds. 

For  example,  a  man  steals  or  commits  Zina  (adultery),  and  then  he  makes  the  excuse  that  this  was  written  in  his  Taqdeer.  This  excuse  of  his  is  unacceptable  and  insufficient  to  avert  punishment  from  him.  Indeed,  Allaah  Ta’ala  has  decreed  everything,  but  you  did  not  have  any  knowledge  thereof.  When  you  had  stolen  or  committed  Zina,  then  you  did  so  purely  out  of  nafsaani  (inner)  desires  and  to  satisfy  yourself.  At  that  moment  you were  unaware  as  to  what  was  decreed  for  you.  This  is  all  an excuse,  you  have  no  knowledge of  Taqdeer.  You  committed  this  act  voluntarily  and  by  purpose.  You  were  not  forced  into  doing  it,  in  fact  you  expanded  your  effort,  strength,  desire  and  gratification,  hence  for  anyone  to  say  that  he/she  was  compelled  by  Taqdeer  to  carry  out  a  certain  act  is  a  lie  and  deception.  The  bondsman  is  not  bound  or  compelled  by  Allaah  Ta’ala  or  Taqdeer.  Whatever  the  servant  of  Allaah does,  he  does  so  of  his  own intention  and  accord,  even  though  this  intention  and thought  is  made  possible  by  Allaah  Ta’ala,  nevertheless,  the servant  has  the  choice  of  carrying  out  the  action,  he  is  not  forced. 

TAQDEER BEING FORCED??
Now  remains  the contention  that  since  it  is  impossible  for  the  servant  to  act  contrary  to  Taqdeer,  is  not  this  a  form  of  being  forced?? 

No  this  is  not  the  case.  Allaah Ta’ala’s  Knowledge  and  planning  is  complete  and  flawless.  There  can  never  be  a  mistake  in  the  Taqdeer  of  Allaah Ta’ala.  Hence,  to  act  contrary  to  this  Taqdeer  is  impossible.  Taqdeer  is  the  information  and  ‘data’  of  Allaah  Ta’ala.  Knowledge  follows  that  which  is  known.  Information  and  data  is  something  that  follows  what  is  related  and  transmitted,  and  it  conforms  to  the  reality.  What  is  known  does  not  follow  the  knowledge  of  it  and  what  occurs  and  the  reality  of  a  situation  does  not  follow  the  information  and  data  of  that  incident.  Just  like  how  Allaah  Ta’ala  has  the  knowledge  of  our  actions  and  deeds,  so  too  has  He  the  Knowledge  of  His  actions.  Nevertheless,  Allaah  Ta’ala  does  not  force  anyone  on  account  of  His  knowledge.  In  this  way,  understand  that  the  servant  is  not  forced  due  to  Allaah  Ta’ala’s  knowledge  or  Taqdeer.  Allaah  Ta’ala’s  Knowledge  is  on  its  place  and  the  servant  is  on  his  place.  In  this  world  a  person  is  not  regarded  as  being  forced.  If  people  were  being  forced,  then  the  governments  would  not  need  to  make  prisons  for  the  transgressors.  Allaah  Ta’ala  had  granted  His  bondsmen  choice  and  ability,  whereby  he  conducts  his  Deeni  and  worldly  affairs.  But,  this  choice  of  the  servant  is  not  with  him  by  choice.  Just  like  how  a  person  has  eyes  and  ears,  not  by  choice  but  the  actions  he  does  with  the  eyes  (looking)  and  ears  (listening)  are  done  by  his  choice.  In  a  similar  way,  a  person  makes  a  choice  to  do  something  and  he  has  the  ability  granted  to  him  to  carry  it  out,  by  his  own choice.  It  is  for  this  reason  that  it  is  said  that  a  person  has  no  choice  in  his  qualities,  but  he  has  choice  in  his  actions. 

To  believe  that  Allaah  Ta’ala  is  the  Creator  of  man’s  actions,  movements  and  animations  does  not  necessarily  mean  that  these  movements  are  out  of  man’s  choice  and  power,  because  Allaah  Ta’ala  has  created  both  the  power  and  the  one  who  has  the  power.  He  has  created  both  the  choice  and  the  one  who  has  the  choice.  Power  is  one  of  the  qualities  of  man,  which  Allaah  Ta’ala  had  created  and  Allaah  Ta’ala  has  created  both  man  and  his  qualities.  All  this  is  in  His  Control.  If  man  carries  out  an  action  through  this  Allaah  given  quality  of  power  of  his,  then  according  to  all  learned  men,  this  is  by  his  (man’s)  choice,  and  not  an involuntary  action.  In  short,  we  say  that  the  existence  of  man,  his  actions  and  qualities,  although  we  relate  all  this  to  Allaah  Ta’ala,  does  not  mean that  man  is  helpless. 

Allaah  Ta’ala’s  Power  and  Will  is  connected  to  the  existence  of  man,  but  owing  to  this  connection  man  does  not  become  obliterated.  In  a  similar  way,  by  Allaah  Ta’ala’s  Power  and  Will  being  connected  to   man’s  power  and  choice  does  not  make  man  helpless.  Man  is  however  the  servant  and  the  creation  of  Allaah  Ta’ala.  It  is  not  possible  for  the  creation’s  existence  and  qualities  to  supercede  the  Encompassing  Power  and  Will  of  the  Creator.  Those  who  aver  that  man  is  the  creator  of  his  own  actions  and  that  (Nauthubillah!)  man’s  actions  have  no  relation  to  the  Power  and  Will  of  Allaah Ta’ala,  are  trying  to  say  that  the  creation  can  supercede  the  Creator’s  Power  and  Will.  The  entire  Ummat  unanimously  agree  that  “Whatever  Allaah  Ta’ala  Wills  comes  to  pass  and  whatever  He  does  not  Will  does  not  occur.” 

The  Mu’tazilahs  believe  that  the  actions  of  the  servant  are  excluded  from  the  Will  of  Allaah  Ta’ala.  LAA  HAWLA  WA  LAA  QUWWATA  ILLAA  BILLAAHIL  ALIYIL  AZEEM. 

Allaah  Ta’ala  has  created  this  universe  with  different  things  in  it,  the  size  and  shape  of  everything  is  different  for  one  another.  The  ability  of  each  thing  also  differs  from  the  next. 

Take  the  example  of  a  tree  which  has  thousand  different  types  of  wood,  some  are  used  for  burning,  others  for  making  wooden  boards,  others  for  roofing,  etc.,  etc.  Everyone  agrees  that  if  everything  in  this  universe  had  the  same  qualities  and  conditions,  then  this  universe  would  not  be  able  to  function  properly  and  smoothly. 

Now  remains  the  contention  that  why  are  the  abilities  of  everything  different.  This  answer  has  still  not  been fathomed  until  today. 

Muslims  say  that  all  this  is  in  the  Wisdom  of  the  All-Knowing  and  All-Wise.  The  atheists  say  that  all  these  different  abilities  are  due  to  the  movements  of  the  blind  and  deaf  matter. 

Just  as  Allaah  Ta’ala,  in  His  Infinite  Wisdom  has  created  the  abilities  and  shapes  of  trees  and  stones  different  from  one  another,  He  has  also  created  the  abilities  of  man  different  from  one  another.  Some  He  made  intelligent  and  sagacious,  whilst  others  He  made  stupid  and  ignorant.  Some  He  made  susceptible  to  the  Haqq  and  others  to  kufr.  He  made  the  heart  of  some  clean  and  clear,  whilst  that  of  others  are  black   and  dark.  “None  can  ask  about  what  He  does,  whilst  they  are  at  answerable.” 

AN OBJECTION AND ITS  ANSWER
The  objection  is  that  the actions  and  speech  of  man  is  dependant  upon  their  respective  abilities.  And  all  this  is  pre-destined,  and  not  in  the power  of  man,  hence  why  is  there  an  indictment  against  the Kuffaar,  when  they  are  in  actual  fact  helpless  and  without  choice.

ANSWER
Allaah  Ta’ala  has  created  two types  of  creations.  Some  are those  which  Allaah  Ta’ala  did not  give  any  knowledge  or  (intelligent)  qualities,  like  trees  and  stones.  This  type  of  creation  will  have  no questioning  or  retribution.  They  will  not  be  rewarded  or  punished.  The  other  type  of  creation  is  that  one  on  whom  Allaah  Ta’ala  placed  intelligence and  choice,  like  man  and  jinn.  For  this  creation  Allaah  Ta’ala  granted  them  intelligence,  choice  and  power.  They  have  also  been  given  limbs  and organs,  whereby  they  willingly  carry  out  actions,  and  these actions  are  attributed  to  them.  For  example,  they  say  that  we  have  done  this  action  with  our  hands,  or  that  ‘I  have  said  this’,  or  ‘I  did  that’,  etc.,  etc.  They  accept  and  agree  that  whatever  (worldly)  reward  or  recompense  is  due  upon  them  for  any  action  carried  out,  is  for  them  and  that  they  deserve  it.  But  when  it  comes  to  reward  or  punishment  in  the Hereafter  they  say  that  we  are helpless.  They  do  not  realize  that  Allaah  Ta’ala  has  granted them  intelligence  and  choice  in  this  world  so  that  they  may follow  and  carry  out  the Commands  of  Allaah  Ta’ala,  and then  be  liable  for  either  reward  or  punishment.  Just  like  how  in  this  world  one  is  merely  rewarded  because  of  his  ability  and  potential,  so  too  is  a person  not  punished  in  the Hereafter  simply  due  to  his  ability.  Reward  and  punishment will  be  meted  out  only  after  one  carries  out  good  or  bad  actions. 

A  person  is  not  rewarded  merely  because  he  is  brave  and  strong.  He  has  to  go  out  into  the  ring  and  prove  himself.  In  a  similar  way,  a  person  will  not  be  rewarded  (by  Allaah  Ta’ala)  merely  on  account  of  his  ability.  He  must  carry  out  actions  that  will  warrant  a suitable  retribution.

Further Reading: FATE  AND  DESTINY  (AL-QADAA  WA  AL-QADAR)

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Refutation of the Belief of Reincarnation

[Allama’  Muhammad Idris Saheb Kandhlavi  (Rahmatullahi  Alayh)]

Just  like  the  Philosophers  and  the  atheists,  the  Brahmans  and  Hindu  also  refute  the  concept  of  resurrection.  However,  the Brahmans  and  Hindus  have  another  strange  belief.  They  say  that  there  is  no  such  thing  as Qiyaamah,  but  they  aver  that  after  death  the souls  change into  different forms.  They  say  that  the  souls  of  good people are  transformed  into  good bodies  and the souls  of evil  characters  are  transformed  into  bad  bodies,  like  dogs,  cats,  scorpions,  etc.,  etc.  This changing  of  bodies  by  the  souls  is  known  as  reincarnation.
Ahle-Islaam  say  that  this  belief  of  reincarnation  is  spurious  and  illogical.  The  reason  being  that  it  is  necessary  for  reward  or  punishment  that  the soul  be  made  aware  of  the  transgression  that  it  had  committed.  When  a  soul  knows  the  transgression  it  had  made  then  it  can in  future  abstain  therefrom  or  at  least  others  will  be  forewarned  thereof.  By  reincarnation,  the  soul  is  none  the  wiser  regarding  its  sin.  It  is  common  knowledge  that  if  a  person  lived  in  a  certain  village  for  many  years,  then  after  moving  to  another  village,  he  will  have  memories  of  his  previous  village,  in  that  he will  relate  to  others  regarding it.  So  now  the  Pundit  (Hindu  priest),  who  according to  his  own philosophy  has  lived  a  previous  (good!)  life  is  now  in  the  form  of  his  present  body,  but  he  cannot  relate  any  part  of  his  past  life  He  says  nothing,  nor  does  his  queen.  It  is  very  possible  that  in  the  previous  life  his  present  wife  was  his  mother,  sister  or  even  daughter! 

Or  maybe  Mahatma  or  Pundit  saheb  was  in  the  previous  life  the  father  of  this  girl  (present  wife)  and  now  he  comes  as  the  husband!  A  person  does  not  even  forget  a  dream  as  much  as  the  Pundit  saheb  forgot  of  his  70  odd  years  of  (previous)  life.  It  is  obvious  that  he  was  not  here in  a  previous  life.  This  sojourn of  his  life  is  the  first  on  earth  and  after  death  he  will  be  cremated  only  to  be  brought  in  to  the  second  stage  of   existence  (Barzakh),  and then  before  Allaah  Ta’ala. 

Even the  philosophers  regard  the   concept  of  reincarnation  as  being  stupid  and  illogical.

‘Kun Faya koon’ [Be! and it Comes to be] in the Light of Philosophy

[Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ Usmani (rahimahullah)]

As  for  creation  taking  place  through  the  Divine  Command,  “Be”,  we  would  like  to  add  a note,  following  the  example  of  Maulana  Ashraf  ‘Ali  Thanavi  in  his  “Bayan  al-Qur’an”,  for  the benefit  of  those  who happen to be  interested  in Western  philosophy,  or  in  Christian  theology,  or,  worst  of  all,  in  the  writings  of  the Orientalists  and  their  translations  of  Sufi texts. 

Let  us  begin  by  saying  that  it  is  a  mystery  —  and  we  are  using  the  word  “mystery”, not  in  the  debased  and  the  modern  sense,  but  in  the  original  meaning  of  the  term  which  implies  that  certain  realities  are  altogether  beyond  the  reach  of  human  understanding,  and  that  certain  other  realities  cannot  and  must  not,  even  when  partially  or wholly  understood,  be  given  out  to  those  who  have  no  aptitude  for  receiving  them,  and  that  with  regard  to  them  it  is  advisable  “to  keep one’s  lips  closed.”  In  these  matters,  when  and  what  one  chooses  to reveal  is  ultimately  not  the  question  of  liberalism  or  democratism  or  egalitarianism,  but  that  of  “spiritual etiquette.”  Having  repeated  the warning  given  by  Maulana  Thanavi himself,  we  shall  do  no  more  than  explaining  what  “Bayan al-Qur’an”  says  on  the  subject.

Regarding  this  particular  mystery,  there  is  a  difference  of  approach  between  the  two  groups  of  the  Mutakallimin  (the  masters  of  al-‘Ilm al-Kalam  or  dialectical  theology).  According  to  the  Asha’ri  group,  “Be,  and  it  comes  to  be”  (Kun  fa  Yakoon)  is  a  metaphorical  or allegorical  expression.  That  is  to  say,  the  phrase  does  not  signify  that  Allah  actually  addressed  an  existent  and  commanded  it  “to be”,  but  it  is an  allegorical  illustration  of  His  omnipotence,  suggesting  that  there  is  no  interval  between  an  act  of  will  on  His  part  and  its  realization.  The  commentator  al-Baydawi  has  adopted  this  view.  But,  according  to  the Maturidi  group,  the  phrase  literally  means  what  it  says.  This  approach  to  the  subject,  however,  produces  a  difficult  problem.  A  command  is  given  only  to  an existent.  If  a  thing  does  not  exist  at  all,  how  can  Allah  address  it?  On  the  other  hand,  if  a  thing  does  already  exist,  it  is  superfluous  to  command  it  “to  be.”  The  problem  can  easily  be  resolved  if  we  keep  two  considerations  in  mind.  Firstly,  this  command  does  not  belong  to  the  order  of  Tashri’ (legislation)  which  requires  the  addressee  to  exist  in  actual)  fact  and  to  possess  understanding;  it  belongs  to  the  order  of  Takween: (creation)  which  is  concerned  with  giving  existence  to  non-existents.

This  explanation,  in  its  turn,  brings  us  into  the  thick  of  a  controversy  that  has  muddled  a  great  deal  of  Western  philosophy  and  theology.  We refer  to  the  question  of  “creation  arising  out  of  nothingness”  (Ex Nihilo), and  the  second  of  our  two  considerations  will  clarify  it.  It  is  usual enough  to  place  “existence”  (Wujud)  in  opposition  to  “nothingness  or non-existence”  (Adam).  But  it  has  also been  said  that  non-existence  does  not  exist.  For,  Allah  is  omniscient,  and  Divine  Knowledge  comprehends  everything  that  has  been,  or  is,  or  will  be,  so  that  what  does  not  yet  exist  according  to  our  reckoning,  does  already  exist  in Divine  Knowledge.  To  use  a  different  expression,  everything  past,  present  or  future  has  its  “pure”  and  “subtle”  counterpart  in  Divine  Knowledge.  If  Western  terminology  should  be  more  easily  comprehensible  to  some  of  our  readers,  we  can  call  these  Prototypes,  Numbers,  or  Essences,  or  Ideas  or  Archetypes,  but  each  time  we  will  have  to  give  a  more  refined  and  a  higher  signification  to  these  terms than  Pythagoras  or  Plato  ever  did.  The  Sufis,  however,  call  them “Al-A’yan al-Thabitah.”  With  the  help  of  this  explanation  we  can  see  that  when  Allah  wishes  to  create  a  thing,  He  commands  its  Essence, which  already  exists  in  His  Knowledge,  “to  be”,  and  it  “comes  to  be”  — that  is  to  say,  comes  to  be  actualised  in  the  world.  Thus,  “creation”  does  not  arise  out  of  “nothingness.”  Before  a  thing  comes  to  exist  as  an  “actuality”  in  the  world,  it  already  exists  as  a  “potentiality”  in  Divine Knowledge.  It  is  this  “potentiality”  to  which  the  Divine  Command  “Be” is  addressed.  Hence,  it  is  equally  true  to  say  that  Essences  do  not  exist,  and  to  say  that  Essences  do  exist.  The  first  statement  pertains  to  the knowledge  of  the  creatures,  and  the  second  to  the  Divine  Knowledge.

At  the  end,  we  shall  again  insist  that  no  good  can  come  out  of  unnecessarily  meddling  with  such  delicate  questions,  specially  if  the  purpose  is  no  more  than  to  seek  a  new  sensation.

[Taken from Ma’ariful Qur’an]

Imam Abu Hanifa, Salafis, Al-Fiqh al-Akbar And the Truth

By Abdullah bin Hamid Ali

Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh) says about the qualities of God:

“He has a hand, a face and a self. So what is He, High is He, mentions in the Qur’an of the mention of the face, hand and self, they are all Attributes of His with no modality (or description).

It is not said that His hand is His power or His blessing, since such would be a nullification of the attribute. And such is the statement of the People of Qadar and I’tizaal. [A]

Rather, His Hand is His attribute with no modality (or description). And His anger and His satisfaction are two of His attributes with no modality (or description).

One must first understand that by the virtue of the fact that the book – Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar – is considered to be the first book written in the time of the Tabi’een on the topic of Tawhid in an organized and methodical fashion during an age of great controversy when Sunnis were attempting to codify the orthodox creed of Muslims that there will be statements found in it that may be problematic.

Of course, Salafis would find  great joy in seeing such statements like the one above, since it apparently gives credence to their arguments about what they refer to as ‘The Attributes of Allah,’ like hands, face, eyes, foot, side, shin, self, etc.

They could easily make the claim that their ‘aqeedah is correct and in agreement with the creed of the Salaf, since Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullay alayh) who is one of the Salaf says in Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar that Allah has a hand. And His hand is an Attribute, similar to what they say.

So on the surface it would seem that the argument is over, and that Salafis have proven themselves to be victorious in their claims.

However, a number of other things have to be considered before accepting their arguments.

Firstly, if we are to accept that Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar is an authentic work legitimately ascribable to Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh) and that it represents the ‘aqeedah of the Salaf, Salafis have to accept all that it contains, so they’d have to also accept the following statement made by Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh) about Allah’s speech:

“And He speaks, not as our speech. We speak with tools and letters while Allah, High is He, speaks without a tool or without letters. The letters are created. And the speech of Allah, High is He, is uncreated.”

In this passage, Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh) states that when Allah, High is He, speaks, He speaks without letters. But Salafis believe that when Allah speaks, He speaks with letters and sounds.

So, really this is another case of Salafis selectively abusing and misusing the words of Salaf and those attrobuted to the Salaf in an attempt to make it seem that their creed agrees with with that to the Salaf, when in fact it doesn’t.

Add to that, Salafis are those who argue that the current version of Kitab al-Ibanah an Usul ad-Diyaanah, attributed to Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari (rahmatullah alayh), is a proper ascription to him.

And in that book, it states that Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh) believed that the Qur’an was created [1]. But if Salafis accept that Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar is appropriately ascribed to Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh), they have to also accept his words that contradict this claim when he says:

“The Qur’an is Allah’s word, High is He, in pages transcribed, in hearts protected, on tongues recited, and on the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and his family revealed. Our utterance of the Qur’an is created. Our writing of it is created. Our recitation of it is created. And the Qur’an is uncreated.”

How more explicit can the Imam be?? He expressly states in Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar that the “Qur’an is uncreated.” But the Salafis claim that the narrations in Al-Ibaanah that claim that Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh) believed that it was created is a proper ascription to Abu al-Hasan. And at the same time they consider Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar to be properly ascribed to Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh).

In addition to that, Imam Abu al-Hasan (rahmatullah alayh) doesn’t make any mention of Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh) as being one of those who believed that the Qur’an was created in his more prominent and well-established worked entitled, Maqaalaat-e-Islaamiyyeen. And according to Salafis, Kitaab al-Ibaanah was his last work.

So how do they explain the fact that Imam al-Ash’ari (rahmatullah alayh) waited until his final work to mention Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh), who died more than a century prior to him, as one of those who believed that the Qur’an was created in his supposed last work, when he didn’t mention him in what they believe to be one of his earliest works?

Did not Al-Ash’ari (rahimahullah) know that Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh) was the author of Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar?

They just can’t have it both ways.

Either Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar is Imam Abu Hanifa’s work, which would make Kitaab al-Ibaanah – in its present form – not Abu al-Hasan’s work. Or the current Kitaab al-Ibaanah is Abu al-Hasan’s work, which would mean that Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar is not Imam Abu Hanifa’s work.

And if Al-Fiqh al-Akbar is Imam Abu Hanifa’s work and Salafis want to use it as proof that their ‘aqeedah is no different than his, they have to accept everything in it without exception.

Now as for the issue of the statement in Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar about the hand, face, and self and them being attributes, we must consider two things in particular:

1. Imam at-Tahaawi (rahimahullah) makes no mention of hands, a face, or a self in his ‘aqeedah. And his book has been accepted as the one represents the ‘aqeedah of Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh) and his two companions, Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad al-Shaybani (rahimahumullah).

2 – Secondly, we must understand any comment made in Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar – as in other works – according to the context.

According to Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar, Allah has two general classifications of attributes known as ‘Attributes of the Essence’ and ‘Attributes of Action.’

Attributes of the Essence are the essential qualities of His being.

As for attributes of action, they are things that happen outside of His being. And since He is the one responsible for those occurrences, they are attributed to Him and called ‘Attributes of Action.’

Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh) explains this in his book when he says:

“He doesn’t resemble anything of His creation, and nothing of His creation resembles Him. He has always and will always exist with His names and his attributes of the (divine) essence and those atteibutes of action.

As for those of the essence, they are, life, power, knowledge, speech, hearing, seeing and will.

And as for those of action they are: creating, providing, producing, originating, manufacturing and other attributes of action.”

So the attributes of Allah’s divine essence are seven:

1. Life
2. Power
3. Knowledge
4. Speech
5. Hearing
6. Seeing
7. Will

As for the attributes of action, he states things like:

– Creating
– Providing
– Producing
– Originating
– Manufacturing
– And other attributes of action.

Then, Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh) says:

“He has always and will always exist with His names and attributes. He has not acquired any new name or attribute.”

So according to Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh), Allah has confirmed 7 attributes of essence [2] while he places no limit to His attributes of action, since the possibilities of what can exist are limitless.

As for restricting the attributes of essence to merely seven, this is not to say that these are the only attributes that Allah has. It is merely to say that this is the number that both revelation and reason have been able to conclude. As for the standard view of Maturidis, the attributes of the essence are 8.

As for Ash’aris, they divide attributes a bit further to the point that some of them have stated 13 [3] and some have stated 20 [4].

In the end, most of that is just a difference in semantics. And the true difference is with relationship to what Ash’aris call ‘Abstract Attributes’, which are the 7 that Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh) mentions in Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar, while Maturidis add an eighth called ‘Takween.’

At any rate, notice how Imam Abu Hanifa (rahimahullah) doesn’t make mention of the hand, face and self until he enumerates the attributes of the essence. And, so that the readers can see, here is the complete text prior to the mention of the hand, face and self:

“He doesn’t resemble anything of His creation, and nothing of His creation resembles Him. He has always and will always exist with His name and His attributes of the divine essence and those (attributes) of action.

As for those of the essence, they are: life, power, knowledge, speech, hearing, seeing and will.

And as for those of action, they are creating, providing, producing, originating, manufacturing and other attributes of action.

He has always and will always exist with His names and attributes. He has not acquired any new name or attribute.”

So if he hasn’t acquired any new name or attribute, there are truly no other definitive attributes of essence other than those mentioned above [5], and the hand, face and self aren’t included among them.

Then he continues,

He has always been Knowing by His knowledge. And knowledge has been an attribute since pre-eternity.

(He has always been) Powerful by His power. And power has been an attribute since pre-eternity.

(He has always been) A Speaker by His speech. And speech has been an attribute since pre-eternity.

(He has always been) Creator by His creative-will [6]. And the creative-will has been an attribute since pre-eternity.

(He has always been) A Doer by His will to act [7]. And the will to act will has been an attribute since pre-eternity. The Doer is Allah, High is He. The will to act has been an attribute since pre-eternity. And the resulting entity of His will to act is created, while Allah’s will to act, High is He, is uncreated. And his attributes have been since pre-eternity un-invented and un-created. So whoever says that they are created or invented, remains silent about them, or entertains doubts about them is one who rejects faith in Allah, High is He.”

He also says,

“And Allah, High is He, was indeed a speaker at a time when He had not yet spoken to Musa, upon him be peace. And Allah was indeed a Creator in pre-eternity even though He had not yet created. (There is nothing like unto Him. And He is the All-Hearing, All-Seeing). So when He spoke to Musa, He spoke to his with His speech, which has been an attribute of His since pre-eternity. And all of His attributes are withoit beginning for pre-eternity; contrary to the state of the attributes of created beings.

He has knowledge, not as our knowledge. He has power, not as our power. He sees, not as our seeing. He hears, npt as oir hearing. And He speaks, not as our speech. We speak with tools and letters while Allah, High is He, speaks without a tool and without letters. The letters are created. And the speech of Allah, High is He, is uncreated.

He is a thing, not like other things. And the point of saying ‘thing’ is to confirm His existence while not being a divisible body, an indivisible body, and not an accident of a body.

He has no boundary. He has no opposite. He has no rival. And He has no equal.

Then he finally says,

“He has a hand, a face and a self. So what is He, High is He, mentions in the Qur’an of the mention of the face, hand and self, they are all Attributes of His with no modality (or description).

It is not said that His hand is His power or His blessing, since such would be a nullification of the attribute. And such is the statement of the People of Qadar and I’tizaal. [A]

Rather, His Hand is His attribute with no modality (or description). And His anger and His satisfaction are two of His attributes with no modality (or description).

So what are we to understand from all of this? How do we reconcile between Imam Abu Hanifa’s (rahimahullah) saying after mentioning the seven attributes of the essence:

“He has always and will always exist with His names and attributes. He has not acquired any new name or attribute.”

And between his saying,

“He has a hand, a face and a self. So what is He, High is He, mentions in the Qur’an of the mention of the face, hand and self, they are all Attributes of His with no modality (or description).”

I believe that the best way to reconcile between the two is to say that ‘hand, face and self’ are reference to either one of Allah’s true attributes of the essence as stated in the first clause by Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh). Or they are references to one  of His attributes of action [9].

One cannot deny that by such words being annexed to Allah’s name or pronoun in the Qur’an, they are being ‘attributed’ to Him directly even if calling them  ‘attributes’ doesn’t coincide with the original linguistic definition of what an attribute is.

So calling them attributes will be a metaphorical application as opposed to a literal application. And if it is a metaphorical application, it would have to be accepted that such named ‘attributes’ are metaphorical ‘attributes.’  So the hand, face and self would have to a metaphorical ‘hand, face and self,’ which are references to one of Allah’s true attributes, since there is nothing like unto Him. And ‘hand’ in its original linguistic understanding applies to only created beings.

Abdur-Rahman Ibn Al-Jawzi (rahimahullah) says while mentioning the mistakes of some Hanbali scholars in the area of scriptural interpretation of the problematic verses of the Qur’an:

“And those writers who I have mentioned have erred in seven areas. The first of them is that they called the ‘reports’ as ‘attributes.’ When they are annexations/possessive forms. And not every possessive form is an attribute. For Allah, High is He, has said: (And I have blown into him from my spirit) [Al-Hijr: 29]. And Allah doesn’t have an attribute inown as a ‘spirit.’ So those who have called ‘the possessive form’ (idaafa) ‘an attribute’ are guilty of innovation.”

The linguist, Thalab says in Taj al-‘Aroos,

“A na’t is a descriPtion given to a specific part of the body like the word lame (a’raj). A ‘sifa’ attribute is for non-specificity ‘umoom’, like the word magnificient (‘azeem) and generous (kareem). So Allah is described with a ‘sifa’. But He is not described with a ‘na’t’

What this would mean is that the word ‘sifa’ (attribute) is being used metaphorically to mean ‘na’t’, which is another word for ‘attribute’ or ‘trait.’ The difference is that a na’t’ describes a specific part of the body, like ‘lame’ or ‘blind.’

For this reason, Imam Bukhari (rahmatullah alayh) uses the word ‘nu’oot’ (plural of na’t’) instead of ‘sifaat’ (plural of ‘sifa’) to refer to those reports that make mention of Allah’s anger, laughter, foot, hand and face even though He isn’t a body and doesn’t have a body.

This would have to be the accepted interpretation. Otherwise, we must accept that Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh) contradicts himself by first limiting the attributes of the essence to the 7 mentioned above, and then later adding Allah’s face, hand and self.

Another important question is, ‘Why doesn’t Imam Abu Hanifa (rahimahullah) add to what he considered attributes ‘the shin, the side, the eyes, the foot and the spirit?’

This is important because Allah annexes His name or personal pronoun to each of these things in the Qur’an or the Messenger does so in the hadith. So if I am to accept that Allah has a face, hand and a self, simply because He annexes such things to His name or pronoun. I should also accept that He has eyes, a spirit, a foot, a side, a shin, a she-camel, a house and any other thing that He has attached His name or pronoun to.

And if the Salafis agree with Imam Abu Hanifa’s (rahimahullah) creed, they should only accept as attributes those things that Imam Abu Hanifa  declared to be attributes. This would mean that Salafis have to stop saying that Allah has a foot, a shin, a side and eyes.

But we know that they won’t do that, because Salafis are very selective about what they want to accept from the Salaf and what they don’t want to accept, all the while claiming that their ‘aqeeda is the ‘aqeeda of the Salaf.

If they use Imam Abu Hanifa (rahimahullah)’s words about the face, hand and self as being proof that they follow the manhaj and understand of the Salaf, they should only say what the Salaf said and stop adding to their words.

So to accept that these are the words of Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh), we’d either have to accept the first interpretation or we’d have to accept the second, which would mean that he is in contradiction with his self.

And if that is so, we’d have to accept that Imam Abu Hanifa may not have been an authority on this subject.

As for referring to these problematic verses and hadiths as “Attributes Verses” (Aayaat al-Sifaat) or ‘Reports of Attributes’ (Akhbaar as-Sifaat), this was the specific terminology that scholars used to refer to them even though they didn’t actually mean that such ascriptions mentioned in the scripture were attributes of Allah. Imam Ibn al-Jawzi’s words above clarify the error of this sort of designation. So hopefully that should resolve any confusion about the issue.

Footnotes:

[A] In other words, to say such a thing would be equal to saying what the people who deny the divine decree (Qadar) say and like Mu’tazilities who say that everytime Allah ascribes a hand to His self, it means ‘power’.

[1] In Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah’s 1998/1418 publication of Kitaab al-Ibaanah, it reads on page 40:

“Haarun Ibn Ishaq al-Hamdani mentionee about Abu Nu’aym feom Sulayman Ibn ‘Eesa al-Qari that Sufyan ath-Thawri said: “I said to Hammaad Ibn Abi Sulayman: “Proclaim to Abu Hanifa, The Idolator, that I am innocent of him.” Sulayman said: “That’s because he used to say, “The Qur’an is created”.

Sufyan Ibn Waki’ said: “I heard ‘Umar ibn Hammad, the grandson of Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh), say: “My father said to me: “The comment that Ibn Abi Layla demanded that Abu Hanifa repent from his statement: “The Qur’an is created” He (Hammad) said: “So he repented from it and announced his repentance publicly. My (Hammad) said: “How did you tuen to this?” He (Imam Abu Hanifa) said: “I feared – by Allah – that I would be disciplined. So I used a misleading expression to trick him (heela).

Harun Ibn Ishaq said, I heard Isma’eel Ibn Abi al-Hakam mention about ‘Umar Ibn ‘Ubayd At-Tanaafusi that Hammad – i.e Ibn Abi Sulayman – sent someone to Imam Abu Hanifa to say: “Verily I am innocent of what you say until you repent”.

Ibn ‘Abi Inabah was with him (i.e. Hammad) and said: “Your neighbour told me that Imam Abu Hanifa invited him to what he was asked to repent from after he had alrwady been asked to repent from it”.

And it was mentioned that Imam Abu Yusuf said, “I debated with Imam Abu Hanifa for two months until he retracted his statement about the createdness of the Qur’an”. [Al-Ash’ari, Abu al-Hasan (ascribed to him), Kitaab al-Ibaanah ‘an Usul ad-Diyanah: 1998/1418 Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah. Marginal notes by ‘Abdullah Mahmood Muhammad ‘Umar]

On the same page, the commentator, ‘Abdullah Mahmood Muhammad ‘Umar, makes the following comments:

“Tahaawi, states in his book, Al-Aqeedah al-Tahawiyyah, what contradicts these narrations that claim that Imam Abu Hanifa used to state that the Qur’an is created. And Tahaawi is more reliable in transmission and more knowing of the creed of his comrades (Imam Abu Hanifa and his two Companions) than Al-Ash’ari is. Imam Tahaawi, the Hanafi, says: “The Qur’an is the word of Allah. It came from Him as speech without it being possible to say how. He sent it down upon His Messenger as revelation. The believers accept it as absolute truth. They are certain that it is, in truth, the word of Allah. It was not created like the speech of human beings…’

So the commentator, in spite of the fact that he seems to accept that the book is properly ascribed to Imam al-Ash’ari, he establishes that such a claim made by him cannot be substantiated, since it conflicts with the reports given by those who have better knowledge of the creed of Imam Abu Hanifa who conveyed it to the Ummah.

Add to this, Al-Ash’ari doesn’t list Imam Abu Hanifa among those who believed the Qur’an to be created in his book, Maqalaat al-Islamiyyeen, even though the narrations above from Al-Ibaanah give the impression that Imam Abu Hanifa (rahimahullah) never actually relinquished the presumed belief that the Qur’an is created.

[2] These seven attributes are referred to by the Ash’ari’s as ‘The Abstract Attributes’ (Sifaat al-Ma’ani).

[3] In addition to the seven aforementioned attributes, Ash’ari’s include the following six:

– Existence

– Permanance without beginning

– Endurance without end

– Absoluteness Independence

– Dissimilarity to Created Beings

– Oneness

Existence is known as the ‘Essential Attribute’ (As-sifah an-Nafsiyyah), since without it  Allah would not be able of being described by any of the others.

The other 5 are known as the ‘Negating Attributes’ (As-sifat As-Salbiyyah). This is because by establishing them, one negates their opposites from Allah’s being.

[4] Ash’ari’s also include seven other attributes called ‘Signifying attributes’ (As-Sifaat al-Ma’nawiyyah). They are:

– That Allah be Powerful
– That Allah be Willful
– That Allah be Knowing
– That Allah be Living
– That Allah be Seeing
– That Allah be Hearing
– That Allah be Speaking

They are called the ‘Signifying attributes’ (As-Sifaat al-Ma’nawiyyah), because they signify that Allah has the attribute that each adjective implies, i.e. power, Will, knowledge, sight, hearing and speech.

Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh) mentions only the 7 abstract attributes. But this doesn’t mean that he denies the existence of the other thirteen mentioned by the Ash’ari’s. This is because the ‘essential attribute’ of ‘existence’ and the other five negating attributes are characteristics of the 7 ‘essential qualities. So they go without saying.

[5] The reason that Imam Abu Hanifa (rahmatullah alayh) doesn’t mention the 5 ‘negating attributes’ (i.e. permanence without beginning, endurance without end, absolute independence, dissimilarity to creation, and oneness), the ‘Essential Attribute’ (Existence) and the 7 signifying attributes stated above, is that these attributes are actually qualities of Allah’s main qualities, which are the 7 Attributes of the Essence or as Ash’aris call them, ‘Abstract Attributes’.

[6] The ‘Creative-Will’ is a translation of what Maturidis refer to as ‘takhleeq.’

[7] The ‘will to act’ is a translation for the word, ‘fi’l’, usually translated as ‘action.’ I translated as ‘will to act’ since it is more in line with the actual creed of Maturidis who based much of their creed off of the doctrine of Imam Abu Hanifa (rahimahullah). To translate fi’l as ‘action’ or ‘act’ would imply that the creation – one of Allah’s actions – is eternal without a beginning, since the author states that the ‘fi’l’ is uncreated.

[8] In other words, to say such a thing would be equal to saying what the people who deny the divine decree (qadar) say and like the Mu’tazalities who say that everytime Allah ascribes a hand to His self, it means ‘power.’

[9] Imam Shawkani states in his Irshad al-Fuhool while discussing the different relationships that tie between literal and figurative language that one of them is, “Assigning a thing the name of one of its forms and manifestations, like using the word ‘hand’ to refer to ‘power’….[Irshad al-fuhool 1/119] In other words, the hand is a form or manifestation of power. This would mean thar when one says that the ‘hand’ is one of Allah’s attributes, he really means that it is His power even though a different word is used to apply to it. And Allah knows best.

Science Can Not Disprove GOD’s existence.

There is actually no scientific basis that can tell you that God does not exist. It is not science’s domain to test whether there is God or not. Science is simply a tool to test what is empirically true. Science operates on induction. The inductive method entails searching out things in the world and drawing generalized conclusions about those things based on observations. Scientists can only draw conclusions on what they find, not on what they can’t find. So how can Science disprove something which they can’t see and will never be able to. As GOD cannot be seen for sure. Because from Qur’an we know that GOD is unlike His creation [See Qur’an 42:11]. And, No vision can grasp Him  [see Qur’an 6:103]. Moreover, How can a Creator be a part of His Creation?

It is totally unreasonable for one to think in a scientific framework to put God as an extra element. Within scientific framework, it is true that an extra element is not needed, since we already made the assumption that everything is contained and confined within the universe and nothing can be lost. But this does not mean that science denies the existence of God. There is no reason to think that way. People has a distorted view of Science. Because some take the position that if science doesn’t give us reason to believe in something, then no good reason exists. As Freeman Dyson says and I quote, “The public has a distorted view of Science because Children are taught in schools that science is a collection of firmly established  truths. In fact, science is not a collection of truths. It is continuing exploration of mysteries.”

There is no reason to consider God’s actions in a scientific framework and in the same time, there is no reason to consider that God does not exist based on scientific deduction. Scientific theories only propose that which is falsifiable. That means the scientific method can’t answer any questions but only shows what is a false answer out of innumerable possibilities. We should not try to apply science outside of the fields for which it is meant. Some take the position that if science doesn’t give us reason to believe in something, then no good reason exists. That’s simply the false assumption scientism. However, it would be a mistake to expect it to be able to test everything. In this case, ”GOD’s existence”. There are many more intellectual tools available to us than just science, and as the old saying goes, when all you’ve got is a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail!  Science is not deficient in any way; but it’s just not the right way to find few particular kinds of truths. To try to do so would be like trying to ascertain whether a banana is tasty by sticking it in your ear and listening to it; it’s simply the wrong method!

I really do not understand why a scientist and let alone a non-scientist would have to throw away their religious identity over a scientific theory, which cannot be proven in a universal way. Of course if someone wants to become atheist it is their choice, but don’t ever think religious people are inferior. Religious people could be smarter than an atheist person, and religious people could cleverly manage their life so they can achieve many things without losing their religious identity.

And one more thing I wanna say that if any non-scientist reading this article of mine I would like to advice them that, before you ever accept or even think about a scientific result, try to think like a scientist for a while, in the correct way, not in the way that the atheistic propaganda wants you to think. Then make your decision based on your own thought, not theirs. They are also human, so they can be wrong and so can I.

Ibn al-Humam in al-Tahrir on the Issue of Imkan al-Kizb

This post was shared by a brother in the now defunct Sunniforum.com.

http://www.sunniforum.com/forum/showthread.php?74141-Ibn-al-Humam-in-al-Tahrir-on-the-Issue-of-Lying-in-Allah-s-Power&p=628921#post628921
by Muzzammil Husayn

In the following translated passage from Ibn al-Humam’s al-Tahrir fi ‘Ilm al-Usul and Ibn Amir al-Hajj’s commentary, they ascribe to the Ash’aris the view that apparently reprehensible acts (qaba’ih) like lying are included in Allah’s power but impossible due to His eternal choice. Regardless of whether this ascription is accurate or not, Ibn al-Humam continues to say that this view is acceptable and does not differ in outcome from the other view, and it is not permissible to repudiate it. The section from al-Tahrir with the commentary can be found here: http://feqh.al-islam.com/Page.aspx?p…kID=87&PID=219

In favour of the Hanafis [i.e. Maturidis] and the Mu‘tazilah in the third [issue of contention] i.e. the impossibility for Allah of punishing the obedient and burdening [a soul] more than can be borne, is that it is established with certainty that an action has the quality of goodness (husn) and badness (qubh) in reality [even if this cannot be determined rationally] so it is impossible for it i.e. the action of Allah (Most High) to have this quality i.e. badness, Exalted is Allah from that.

Furthermore, there is agreement [between the Maturidis, Mu‘tazilah and Ash‘aris] on the independence of the intellect to grasp them i.e. goodness and badness, in the sense of an attribute of perfection (kamal) and imperfection (naqs) like knowledge [is an attribute of perfection hence good] and ignorance [is an attribute of imperfection hence bad] according to what has preceded*, so by immediate necessity that in which an imperfection is perceived is impossible for Him i.e. Allah (Most High). And since that in which an imperfection is perceived is impossible for Him, the certainty of the impossibility of giving Him i.e. Allah (Most High) the quality of lying and its like, Exalted is He from that, is manifest.

Furthermore, if it was not impossible for His action to have the quality of badness (qubh), trust in the integrity of His promise and the integrity of His report besides it i.e. promises from Him (Most High) will be lifted, as well as the integrity of prophecy; i.e. there can be no certainty of His integrity at all, neither rationally, because it is supposed there is no judgement in favour of it [i.e. His integrity], nor legally, because it is from that which cannot be affirmed by transmission because transmission being a proof, rather its establishment, is a corollary of His (Most High) integrity; since if lying were possible for Him, His confirmation of the Prophet by producing a miracle by his hands would not be [effective] because He is in effect saying “he is truthful in his claim” indicating his integrity, but when transmission is dependent on His integrity, this will not be established thereby. This also entails that the integrity of the claimant of prophethood cannot in essence be held with certainty due to the possibility of a miracle appearing on the hands of a liar so the door of prophethood will close and trust in his speech will be lifted, and this consequence is unacceptable so the cause is likewise [unacceptable]…

According to the Ash‘aris, there is certainty of not attributing Him (Most High) with anything bad but not rational impossibility, like all knowledge in which it is certain that the reality is one of two opposites despite the possibility of the other if it were supposed that it is the reality; just like the certainty of Makkah and Baghdad, i.e. their existence since their non-existence is not rationally impossible. Therefore, i.e. since the matter is such, trust [in His integrity] being lifted is not necessary because the possibility of something rationally does not entail not having certainty of its absence.

The disagreement occurring in the rational impossibility and possibility of this occurs in every deficiency: Is His (Most High) power absent or is it i.e. the deficiency contained within it i.e. His power, while it is certain that He will not do [it] i.e. while the situation is that it is certain that He will not act on that deficiency? The Hanafis and Mu‘tazilah are [agreed] on the first i.e. that His power over it is absent due to the impossibility of His power being associated with impossibilities; and based on this they derive the impossibility of burdening [a soul] what cannot be borne and the impossibility of punishing the obedient.

His [i.e. Ibn al-Humam’s] words in al-Musayarah are: “Know that the Hanafis, since they made it impossible for Him to burden [a soul] that which cannot be borne, they prohibit more strongly that He will punish the good-doer who spent his life in obedience opposing the passions of his soul to please his Master, in the sense that He is exalted beyond that, for it is from the issue of transcendence, since making the good-doer and the sinner equal is unfitting in the dispositions of all intellects, and indeed Allah stated clearly its reprehensibility where He said: ‘What! Do those who seek after evil ways think that We shall hold them equal with those who believe and do righteous deeds,- that equal will be their life and their death? Ill is the judgment that they make.’ (Qur’an 45:21) Hence He considered it evil. This is regarding the possibility and impossibility for Him. As for occurrence (wuqu‘), it is certain of its absence, although according to the Ash‘aris it is because of the promise contrary to it, and according to the Hanafis and others, because of that and because of the reprehensibility of its opposite.”

We mentioned in al-Musayarah that the second [opinion], i.e. that He is able but He will definitely not do [it], is most inclusive [of the two opinions] in transcendence. That which is in al-Musayarah is: “The author of al-‘Umdah from our [Maturidi] scholars said: ‘He (Most High) is not described with power over oppression, foolishness and lying because the impossible is not included in the power and according to the Mu‘tazilah, He has the power but will not do [them].’ There is no doubt that excluding power from what was mentioned, it is the position of the Mu‘tazilah, and as for its establishment and then the impossibility from associating with them, it is more suitable to the position of the Ash‘aris. There is no doubt abstention from them is from the issue of transcendence, so the mind understands which of the two opinions is further in transcendence from ugliness: Is it power over them and then abstention from them by choice or abstention due to the absence of power, and the view of the most inclusive of the two opinions in transcendence is incumbent.”

This [being said], had Allah willed, a speaker would have said: It i.e. the dispute between the three groups is semantic; for the opinion of the Ash‘aris is that the intellect does not find it impossible for one who has the quality of divinity and sovereignty over everything to be described with oppression (jawr) and all that is not fitting since its outcome would be that he is an oppressive king and the intellect does not find it impossible for a king to be so i.e. oppressive; and it is not permissible for the Hanafis and Mu‘tazilah to repudiate this [view].

This passage is sufficient to dismiss the claim that the view that lying is included in the divine power but contingently impossible is heretical or even disbelief. According to Ibn al-Humam it only differs semantically from the other view as its outcome is the same, and he states clearly that it is not permissible to repudiate it.

*Ibn al-Humam is referring to his following statement:

There is no disagreement [between the Ash’aris, Maturidis and Mu’tazila] on its i.e. the intellect’s perception of the quality of an action in the sense of [it being] a quality of perfection (kamal) as is sometimes meant by “goodness” (husn) and a quality of imperfection (naqs) as is sometimes meant by “badness” (qabih) like knowledge and ignorance, as is said: “Knowledge is good [and perfect]” and: “Ignorance is bad [and imperfect].”

And there is no [disagreement] on them [i.e. on describing an action with goodness and badness] in the sense of praise and dispraise i.e. there is also no disagreement on the intellect grasping goodness in that which is unconditionally termed good of that which is associated with praise in the practices of norms and customs and [the intellect grasping] badness in that which is unconditionally termed bad of that which is associated with dispraise in the practices of norms and customs.

Rather, the disagreement is on the intellect grasping goodness and badness regarding them i.e. good and bad, i.e. on that which they are unconditionally used in the sense of deserving His (Most High) praise and His reward for the doer of that action as is sometimes meant by “good” and their opposite i.e. in the sense of deserving His (Most High) dispraise and His punishment for the doer of that action as is sometimes meant by “bad.”

وَلِلْحَنَفِيَّةِ وَالْمُعْتَزِلَةِ فِي الثَّالِثِ ) أَيْ امْتِنَاعِ تَعْذِيبِ الطَّائِعِ وَتَكْلِيفِ مَا لَا يُطَاقُ أَنَّهُ ( ثَبَتَ بِالْقَاطِعِ اتِّصَافُ الْفِعْلِ بِالْحُسْنِ وَالْقُبْحِ فِي نَفْسِ الْأَمْرِ فَيَمْتَنِعُ اتِّصَافُهُ ) أَيْ فِعْلِ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى ( بِهِ ) أَيْ بِالْقُبْحِ ( تَعَالَى ) اللَّهُ عَنْ ذَلِكَ ( وَأَيْضًا فَالِاتِّفَاقُ عَلَى اسْتِقْلَالِ الْعَقْلِ بِدَرْكِهِمَا ) أَيْ الْحُسْنِ وَالْقُبْحِ ( بِمَعْنَى صِفَةِ الْكَمَالِ وَالنَّقْصِ كَالْعِلْمِ وَالْجَهْلِ عَلَى مَا مَرَّ فَبِالضَّرُورَةِ يَسْتَحِيلُ عَلَيْهِ ) أَيْ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى ( مَا أَدْرَكَ فِيهِ نَقْصٌ وَحِينَئِذٍ ) أَيْ وَحِينَ كَانَ مُسْتَحِيلًا عَلَيْهِ مَا أَدْرَكَ فِيهِ نَقْصٌ ( ظَهَرَ الْقَطْعُ بِاسْتِحَالَةِ اتِّصَافِهِ ) أَيْ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى ( بِالْكَذِبِ وَنَحْوِهِ تَعَالَى عَنْ ذَلِكَ وَأَيْضًا ) لَوْ لَمْ يَمْتَنِعْ اتِّصَافُ فِعْلِهِ بِالْقُبْحِ ( يَرْتَفِعُ الْأَمَانُ عَنْ صِدْقِ وَعْدِهِ وَ ) صِدْقِ ( خَبَرِ غَيْرِهِ ) أَيْ الْوَعْدِ مِنْهُ تَعَالَى ( وَ ) صِدْقِ ( النُّبُوَّةِ ) أَيْ لَمْ يَجْزِمْ بِصِدْقِهِ أَصْلًا لَا عَقْلًا لِأَنَّ الْفَرْضَ أَنْ لَا حُكْمَ لَهُ وَلَا شَرْعًا لِأَنَّهُ مِمَّا لَا يُمْكِنُ إثْبَاتُهُ بِالسَّمْعِ لِأَنَّ حُجِّيَّةَ السَّمْعِ بَلْ ثُبُوتُهُ فَرْعُ صِدْقِهِ تَعَالَى إذْ لَوْ جَازَ كَذِبُهُ لَمْ يَكُنْ تَصْدِيقُهُ لِلنَّبِيِّ بِإِظْهَارِ الْمُعْجِزَةِ عَلَى يَدَيْهِ فَإِنَّهُ فِي قُوَّةِ قَوْلِهِ هَذَا صَادِقٌ فِي دَعْوَاهُ دَالًّا عَلَى صِدْقِهِ وَإِذَا كَانَ السَّمْعُ مُتَوَقِّفًا عَلَى صِدْقِهِ لَمْ يَكُنْ إثْبَاتُهُ بِهِ وَيَلْزَمُ مِنْهُ أَنْ لَا يَجْزِمَ أَيْضًا بِصِدْقِ مُدَّعِي الرِّسَالَةِ أَصْلًا لِجَوَازِ إظْهَارِ الْمُعْجِزَةِ عَلَى يَدِ الْكَاذِبِ فَيَنْسَدُّ بَابُ النُّبُوَّةِ وَأَنْ يَرْفَعَ الثِّقَةَ عَنْ كَلَامِهِ وَاللَّازِمُ بَاطِلٌ فَالْمَلْزُومُ مِثْلُهُ وَلَعَلَّ الْمُصَنِّفَ إنَّمَا لَمْ يُفْرِدْ الْوَعِيدَ بِالذِّكْرِ كَمَا أَفْرَدَ الْوَعْدَ إمَّا اكْتِفَاءً بِدُخُولِهِ فِي خَبَرِ غَيْرِهِ وَإِمَّا مُوَافَقَةً لِلْأَشَاعِرَةِ فِي جَوَازِ الْخُلْفِ فِي الْوَعِيدِ كَمَا هُوَ ظَاهِرُ الْمَوَاقِفِ وَالْمَقَاصِدِ لِأَنَّهُ لَا يُعَدُّ نَقْصًا بَلْ هُوَ مِنْ بَابِ الْكَرَمِ وَقَدْ أَشْبَعْنَا الْكَلَامَ فِيهِ فِي حَلْبَةِ الْمُجِلِّي وَعَلَى هَذَا فَيَكُونُ قَوْلُهُ وَخَبَرُ غَيْرِهِ مَخْصُوصًا بِمَا سِوَاهُ ( وَعِنْدَ الْأَشَاعِرَةِ كَسَائِرِ الْخَلْقِ الْقَطْعُ بِعَدَمِ اتِّصَافِهِ ) تَعَالَى بِشَيْءٍ مِنْ الْقَبَائِحِ ( دُونَ الِاسْتِحَالَةِ الْعَقْلِيَّةِ كَسَائِرِ الْعُلُومِ الَّتِي يُقْطَعُ فِيهَا بِأَنَّ الْوَاقِعَ أَحَدُ النَّقِيضَيْنِ مَعَ عَدَمِ اسْتِحَالَةِ الْآخَرِ لَوْ قُدِّرَ ) أَنَّهُ الْوَاقِعُ ( كَالْقَطْعِ بِمَكَّةَ وَبَغْدَادَ ) أَيْ بِوُجُودِهِمَا فَإِنَّهُ لَا يُحِيلُ عَدَمُهُمَا عَقْلًا ( وَحِينَئِذٍ ) أَيْ وَحِينَ كَانَ الْأَمْرُ عَلَى هَذَا ( لَا يَلْزَمُ ارْتِفَاعُ الْأَمَانِ ) لِأَنَّهُ لَا يَلْزَمُ مِنْ جَوَازِ الشَّيْءِ عَقْلًا عَدَمُ الْجَزْمِ بِعَدَمِهِ ( وَالْخِلَافُ ) الْجَارِي فِي الِاسْتِحَالَةِ وَالْإِمْكَانِ الْعَقْلِيِّ لِهَذَا ( جَارٍ فِي كُلِّ نَقِيصَةٍ أَقُدْرَتُهُ ) تَعَالَى ( عَلَيْهَا مَسْلُوبَةٌ أَمْ هِيَ ) أَيْ النَّقِيصَةُ ( بِهَا ) أَيْ بِقُدْرَتِهِ ( مَشْمُولَةٌ وَالْقَطْعُ بِأَنَّهُ لَا يَفْعَلُ ) أَيْ وَالْحَالُ الْقَطْعُ بِعَدَمِ فِعْلِ تِلْكَ النَّقِيصَةِ ( وَالْحَنَفِيَّةُ وَالْمُعْتَزِلَةُ عَلَى الْأَوَّلِ ) أَيْ أَنَّ قُدْرَتَهُ عَلَيْهَا مَسْلُوبَةٌ لِاسْتِحَالَةِ تَعَلُّقِ قُدْرَتِهِ بِالْمُحَالَّاتِ ( وَعَلَيْهِ فَرَّعُوا امْتِنَاعَ تَكْلِيفِ مَا لَا يُطَاقُ وَ ) وَامْتِنَاعَ ( تَعْذِيبِ الطَّائِعِ ) وَلَفْظُهُ فِي الْمُسَايَرَةِ وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ الْحَنَفِيَّةَ لَمَّا اسْتَحَالُوا عَلَيْهِ تَكْلِيفَ مَا لَا يُطَاقُ فَهُمْ لِتَعْذِيبِ الْمُحْسِنِ الَّذِي اسْتَغْرَقَ عُمْرَهُ فِي الطَّاعَةِ مُخَالِفًا لِهَوَى نَفْسِهِ فِي رِضَا مَوْلَاهُ أَمْنَعُ بِمَعْنَى أَنَّهُ يَتَعَالَى عَنْ ذَلِكَ فَهُوَ مِنْ بَابِ التَّنْزِيهَاتِ إذْ التَّسْوِيَةُ بَيْنَ ” – ص 97 -” الْمُسِيءِ وَالْمُحْسِنِ غَيْرُ لَائِقٍ بِالْحِكْمَةِ فِي فِطَرِ سَائِرِ الْعُقُولِ وَقَدْ نَصَّ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى عَلَى قُبْحِهِ حَيْثُ قَالَ ( أَمْ حَسِبَ الَّذِينَ اجْتَرَحُوا السَّيِّئَاتِ أَنْ نَجْعَلَهُمْ كَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ سَوَاءً مَحْيَاهُمْ وَمَمَاتُهُمْ سَاءَ مَا يَحْكُمُونَ ) فَجَعَلَهُ سَيِّئًا هَذَا فِي التَّجْوِيزِ عَلَيْهِ وَعَدَمِهِ أَمَّا الْوُقُوعُ فَمَقْطُوعٌ بِعَدَمِهِ غَيْرَ أَنَّهُ عِنْدَ الْأَشَاعِرَةِ لِلْوَعْدِ بِخِلَافِهِ وَعِنْدَ الْحَنَفِيَّةِ وَغَيْرِهِمْ لِذَلِكَ وَلِقُبْحِ خِلَافِهِ ( وَذَكَرْنَا فِي الْمُسَايَرَةِ ) بِطَرِيقِ الْإِشَارَةِ فِي الْجُمْلَةِ ( أَنَّ الثَّانِي ) أَيْ أَنَّهُ يُقَدَّرُ وَلَا يُفْعَلُ قَطْعًا ( أَدْخَلَ فِي التَّنْزِيهِ ) فَإِنَّ الَّذِي فِي الْمُسَايَرَةِ ثُمَّ قَالَ يَعْنِي صَاحِبَ الْعُمْدَةِ مِنْ مَشَايِخِنَا وَلَا يُوصَفُ تَعَالَى بِالْقُدْرَةِ عَلَى الظُّلْمِ وَالسَّفَهِ وَالْكَذِبِ لِأَنَّ الْمُحَالَ لَا يَدْخُلُ تَحْتَ الْقُدْرَةِ وَعِنْدَ الْمُعْتَزِلَةِ يَقْدِرُ وَلَا يَفْعَلُ ا هـ وَلَا شَكَّ أَنَّ سَلْبَ الْقُدْرَةِ عَمَّا ذَكَرَ هُوَ مَذْهَبُ الْمُعْتَزِلَةِ وَأَمَّا ثُبُوتُهَا ثُمَّ الِامْتِنَاعُ عَنْ مُتَعَلِّقِهَا فَبِمَذْهَبِ الْأَشَاعِرَةِ أَلْيَقُ وَلَا شَكَّ أَنَّ الِامْتِنَاعَ عَنْهَا مِنْ بَابِ التَّنْزِيهَاتِ فَيَسْبُرُ الْعَقْلُ فِي أَنَّ أَيْ الْفَصْلَيْنِ أَبْلَغُ فِي التَّنْزِيهِ عَنْ الْفَحْشَاءِ أَهْوَ الْقُدْرَةُ عَلَيْهِ مَعَ الِامْتِنَاعِ عَنْهُ مُخْتَارًا أَوْ الِامْتِنَاعُ لِعَدَمِ الْقُدْرَةِ فَيَجِبُ الْقَوْلُ بِأَدْخَلِ الْقَوْلَيْنِ فِي التَّنْزِيهِ ا هـ ( هَذَا وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ قَالَ قَائِلٌ هُوَ ) أَيْ النِّزَاعُ بَيْنَ الْفِرَقِ الثَّلَاثَةِ ( لَفْظِيٌّ فَقَوْلُ الْأَشَاعِرَةِ هُوَ إنَّهُ لَا يَسْتَحِيلُ الْعَقْلُ كَوْنَ مَنْ اتَّصَفَ بِالْأُلُوهِيَّةِ وَالْمِلْكِ لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ مُتَّصِفًا بِالْجَوْرِ وَمَا لَا يَنْبَغِي إذْ حَاصِلُهُ أَنَّهُ مَالِكٌ جَائِرٌ وَلَا يُحِيلُ الْعَقْلَ وُجُودُ مَالِكٍ كَذَلِكَ ) أَيْ جَائِرٌ ( وَلَا يَسَعُ الْحَنَفِيَّةُ وَالْمُعْتَزِلَةُ إنْكَارَهُ

we ask barelwis: can Allah do Makr as in this verse

{وَيَمْكُرُونَ وَيَمْكُرُ اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ

isn’t Makr a defect (qubh) just like you say lying is ??

Seeing Allah in Dreams

Is it possible to see Allah in a dream? It is reported from Imam Abu Hanifa and others that they saw Allah in a dream, is that true?

ANSWER

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

The position of the mainstream Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah (Asha’ira and Maturidiyya) is that the vision of Allah Most High with the eyes of the head is rationally (aqlan) possible and that the believers will be blessed with this vision in the hereafter. This vision, however, will be without encompassment (ihata) or delimitation (tahdid) within any given limit (hadd), whether from the front, the back, above, below, right, or left. Allah Most High will be seen (unlike any material being) not in place or in a direction so far as being confronted, nor by the conjunction of the rays of light, nor by a certain definite distance between the one who sees and Allah.

In other words, the believers will see Allah Most High in Paradise without our specifying how and in a manner Allah knows best. It is impossible and wrong to draw analogy for the unseen from the seen. This vision of Allah is certainly unlike the vision of material things in this world, for vision in this world requires the seen to be in a place, direction, at a specific distance, etc, whilst the vision of Allah Most High in the hereafter will be free from such restrictions. Allah Most High will enable the believers to see His esteemed self. (Culled from Mulla Ali al-Qari’s Sharh Fiqh al-Akbar P: 245-246, Taftazani’s Sharh al-Aqa’id al-Nasafiyya P: 131, Nuh Ali Suleyman’s commentary on Jawhara al-Tawhid P: 113 and Bajuri’s commentary on the Jawhara P: 114)

The above is the position that the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah scholars have always maintained. The Mu’tazila and some other groups such as the Shi’a held that Allah Most High could not be seen at all, even on the Day of Resurrection or in Paradise. They interpreted certain verses of the Qur’an erroneously, rejected some sound hadiths claiming that such vision necessitated a physical body for Allah and a direction, which He Most High is free from. However, the position of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah is supported by many evidences of the Qur’an and Sunnah, of which some are presented below:

1) Allah Most High says:

“Some faces, that day, will beam (in brightness and beauty), looking towards their Lord.”(Surah al-Qiyama, V: 22-23)

2) Allah Most High says regarding the Prophet Sayyiduna Musa (Peace be upon him):

“When Moses came to the place appointed by Us, and his Lord addressed him, He said: “O my Lord! Show (Yourself) to me, that I may look upon You.” Allah said: “By no means can you see Me (direct); But look upon the mount; if it abides in its place, then you shall see Me…” (Surah al-A’raf, V: 143)

In the above verse, Sayyiduna Musa (peace be upon him) requested to see Allah Most High. Had the vision of Allah been impossible, the request of Sayyiduna Musa (peace be upon him) would have been out of ignorance or foolishness or he would be making a request for the impossible, whereas all the Prophets of Allah are far removed from such things. Secondly, Allah Most High connected the vision with the abiding of the mountain firm in its place, which is something that is possible in itself. Hence, that which is connected to the possible is also possible. (Taftazani and Nasafi, Sharh al-Aqa’id al-Nasafiyya, P: 127-128)

3) Allah Most High says:

“There will be for them therein (in Paradise) all that they wish, and more besides in Our presence.”(Surah Qaf, V: 35)

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) interpreted “more” saying that it referred to the vision of Allah Most High. (Narrated by Muslim and others)

4) Allah Most High says regarding the disbelievers:

“Verily, from their Lord, that Day, will they be veiled.”(Surah al-Mutaffifin, V: 15)

This verse explains that the disbelievers will be deprived from the vision of Allah; hence by contrast, it implies that the believers will be blessed with this vision. Thus, Sayyiduna Imam Shafi’i (Allah have mercy on him) said:

“Allah Most High’s veiling Himself from a people (disbelievers) due to His displeasure indicates that a group (believers) will see Him due to His pleasure. By Allah, had Muhammad ibn Idrees (Shafi’i himself) not been convinced that he will see his Lord in the hereafter, he would not have worshipped him in this world!” (Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid)

5) Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the people (companions) said: “O Messenger of Allah! Shall we see our Lord on the Day of Resurrection?” He replied: “Do you have any doubt in seeing the full moon on a clear (not cloudy) night?” They replied: “No, O Messenger of Allah” He said: “Do you have any doubt in seeing the sun when there are no clouds?” They replied in the negative. He said: “You will see Allah (your Lord) in the same way….” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 773)

6) Sayyiduna Jarir ibn Abd Allah (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that we were sitting in the company of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) on a fourteenth night (of the lunar month), and he looked at the (full) moon and said: “You will see your Lord as you see this moon. You have no trouble in looking at it. So, whoever can should not miss the offering of prayers before sunrise (Fajr prayer) and before sunset (Asr prayer).” Then the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) recited: “And celebrate the praises of your Lord, before the rising of the sun and before (its) setting.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 4570 and others)

7) Moreover, the occurrence of the vision of Allah has been narrated from Sayyiduna Abu Bakr, Sayyiduna Huzayfa ibn al-Yaman, Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud, Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Abbas, Sayyiduna Abu Musa al-Ash’ari and many others (Allah be pleased with them all). No Companion (sahabi) of the Messenger of Allah is reported to have rejected the vision of Allah; hence there is complete consensus of the Companions on this. (Sharh al-Aqa’id al-Nasafiyya, P: 131 & Tuhfat al-Murid Sharh al-Jawhara, P: 115)

As far as the verse “Visions comprehend Him not, but He comprehends (all) vision” (6: 139) is concerned, it refers to encompassing Allah Most High with our vision. Vision and encompassment are two different things, the latter is rejected in this verse, in that the visions of humans will not be able to encompass Allah most High (even in the hereafter), whilst the former (vision) has been proven in many verses of the Qur’an and many Hadiths. (ibid)

The vision of Allah Most High in this world

The above few evidences were relating to the possibility of seeing Allah and the believers seeing Him Most High in the hereafter. As far as seeing Allah Most High in this world is concerned, there are two situations here. Seeing Him whist awake and secondly seeing Him in sleep.

a) Seeing Allah whilst awake

There is, more or less, a consensus amongst the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah scholars that, though logically possible, nobody is able to see Allah Most High in this world in the state of being awake. However, there is a difference of opinion as to whether the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) saw Allah Most High in the night of ascension (me’raj) or not.

The renowned Hadith scholar and Hanafi jurist, Mulla Ali al-Qari (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“There is an agreement among the Muslims (scholars) that no believer will see Allah Most High with his eyes in this world. The scholars only differed with regards to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) seeing Allah during his ascension to the heavens.” (Sharh Fiqh al-Akbar, P: 354)

Mulla Ali al-Qari then said, there is a consensus on the fact that the vision of Allah cannot take place in this world for other than the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace). He quoted Ibn al-Salah and Abu Shama saying that the one who claims to have seen Allah whilst being awake will not be believed, for this (vision of Allah whilst being awake) is something that even Sayyiduna Musa (peace be upon him) was prevented from when Allah Most High said to him: “By no means can you see Me”. However, there is a difference of opinion whether this vision occurred for the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace). (ibid)

Some scholars went to the extent of considering such a person, who claims to have seen Allah whilst awake, a Kafir, although most scholars were precautions and did not consider such a person to be an outright Kafir. However, there is no doubt that this person will be considered to have severely deviated. (ibid) Hence, no individual (besides the Messenger of Allah) is able to see Allah Most High whilst being awake in this mortal world.

As far as the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) is concerned, the Companions differed as to whether he (Allah bless him & give him peace) saw Allah in the night of Isra’ and Me’raj or not. Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Abbas and others (Allah be pleased with them all) related that he did, whilst Sayyida A’isha, Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud and others (Allah be pleased with them all) were of the opinion that he did not see Allah with the eyes of his head during his ascension to the heavens. As a result, the scholars of the Ahl al-Sunnah also have conflicting views on this issue.

Imam al-Bukhari relates that Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) said regarding the statement of Allah: “And We granted the vision (Ascension to the heavens) which We showed you, but as a trial for men…” (17.60): He said: “The sights which the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) was shown on the night he was taken to Bayt al-Maqdis (i.e. Jerusalem) were actual sights, (not dreams). And the cursed tree (mentioned) in the Qur’an is the tree of Zaqqum.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 3675)

Imam Tirmidhi has also related some narrations from Abd Allah ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) wherein he states that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) did see his Lord in the night of Isra’ and Me’raj. (See: Sunan Tirmidhi, chapter on the commentary of the Qur’an, Surah al-Najm)

On the other hand, Sayyida A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) has rigorously denied that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) saw Allah Most High with the eyes of his head. The following is the narration expressing her viewpoint:

Imam al-Bukhari (Allah have mercy on him) narrates from Masruq that the latter said: “I said to A’isha: “O my mother! Did Muhammad (Allah bless him & give him peace) see his Lord?” She replied: “My hair stands on end because of what you said. Have you no idea of three things? Whoever tells them to you is lying. Whosoever tells you that Muhammad (Allah bless him & give him peace) saw his Lord, is lying.” She then recited: “Visions comprehend Him not, but He comprehends (all) vision. He is the Subtle, the Aware” and “And it is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil”. (Secondly), whosoever tells you that he knows what shall happen tomorrow is lying.” She then recited: “No soul knows what it will earn tomorrow” And (thirdly) whosoever tells you that he (Allah bless him & give him peace) concealed something, is lying.” She then recited: “O Messenger. Proclaim the (message) which has been sent to you from your Lord”. “However, he (Allah bless him & give him peace) did see (the angel) Jibra’il (peace be upon him) in his actual form twice.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 4574).

Some scholars explained that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) had a vision with the eyes of the heart, and not with the eyes of his head. This is elucidated by Ibn Abbas’ other narrations in Sahih Muslim and elsewhere where he said: “He saw him with his heart.” Hence, in this way, the two opinions may be reconciled. (Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari, 8/430)

Imam al-Bajuri (Allah have mercy on him) said that the preferred position according to the Ulama is that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) did see his Lord in the night of al-Isra’ and al-Me’raj with the eyes of his head. The Hadith of Sayyiduna Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) will be given preference over the position of Sayyida A’isha (Allah be pleased with her), as the principle states “Affirmation (ithbat) takes precedence over the negation (nafi)”. Hence, the position of Ibn Abbas and others (Allah be pleased with them all) will be given preference and it will be said that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) was blessed with the vision of his Lord in the night of al-Isra’ and al-Me’raj. (Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid, P: 117-118)

The best statement on the issue is of Shaykh Muhyi al-Din ibn Arabi (Allah have mercy on him). He said: This world is that which is below the heavens and anything above the heavens is considered to be part of the next world (akhira). Hence, the vision of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) will not be considered a vision of this world; rather it is a vision of the next world, and there is no disagreement concerning the vision of the hereafter. Hence, this vision of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) was also a type of the vision of the hereafter. (See: Ma’arif al-Qur’an, 3/412)

b) Seeing Allah in a dream

As far as the vision of Allah Most High in a dream is concerned, Imam al-Taftazani (Allah have mercy on him) states in his commentary of Imam Nasafi’s al-Aqa’id:

“As far as the vision of Allah in sleep is concerned, it is something that has been related from many predecessors (salaf). And there is no doubt that this is a type of observation by the heart rather than the eye.” (Sharh al-Aqa’id al-Nasafiyya, P: 135)

Mulla Ali al-Qari (Allah have mercy on him) states in his renowned Sharh Fiqh al-Akbar:

“The majority of the scholars are of the view that the vision of Allah Most High in sleep is possible, without any given description of modality (kayfiyya), direction (jiha) or quiddity (hay’a). It is recorded that Imam Abu Hanifa (Allah have mercy on him) said: “I saw Allah Most High 99 times whilst asleep.” Then he saw Him the hundredth time also, the story of which is long and not feasible to be mentioned here. It is recorded that Imam Ahmad (Allah have mercy on him) said: “I saw Allah Most High in a dream, I said: “O Lord! How is it possible to achieve closeness to You?” He replied: “By the recitation of my speech (Qur’an).” I said: “O Lord! Recitation with understanding or (even) without understanding?” He replied: “With or without understanding.” It is also narrated from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) that he said: “I saw my Lord in my sleep.” Hence, the vision of Allah in sleep is recorded from many predecessors (salaf) and it is a type of observation by the heart observed by noble people…” (Sharh Fiqh al-Akbar, P: 356-357)

Imam al-Bajuri (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“As far as seeing Allah Most High in sleep, it is narrated from Qadhi Iyadh that there is no difference of opinion regarding its occurrence and truth, for the Satan cannot take the form of Allah Most High like he cannot take the form of the Prophets (peace be upon them)….. (Tuhfat al-Murid, P: 118)

The above-mentioned few texts of the scholars indicate clearly that Allah Most High can be (and has been) seen in a dream. It is something that His noble and pious servants are blessed with, and one cannot deny its occurrence. Indeed some Ulama did deny the possibility of seeing Allah in sleep, but that is a minority position not accepted by the majority of the scholars.

Imam al-Bajuri (Allah have mercy on him) has mentioned some additional notes regarding the vision of Allah in sleep in his commentary ofJawhara al-Tahid.

He states that, if one sees Allah in a manner that is not impossible for Allah, then one has surely seen Him. However, if one sees Him in a form that is impossible for Him such as seeing Him in a form of a specific individual, then that is not Allah rather it is the creation of Allah, and the dream will need to be interpreted by those qualified to do so. Some scholars said that even in such a case, one did actually see Allah, but the form seen is not the reality of Allah; rather, it is reflecting the mind of the one having the vision. (Tuhfat al-Murid Sharh Jawhara al-Tawhid, P: 118)

Imam Ibn Sirin (Allah have mercy on him), a major classical scholar considered to be a master in the science of interpreting dreams, states in his renowned book, The Interpretation of Dreams: (This book incidentally covers over 900 dreams with their meanings explained. It explains what facts are to be taken into account when interpreting a dream, when is a dream regarded as true or false, etc.)

“Sayyiduna Daniyal (peace be upon him) relates that if a believer was to see Allah Most High in his dream unequalled and incomparable, as is related in the verses of the Qur’an and in the Hadiths, he will be blessed with the magnificent sight of Allah Most High (in the hereafter) and his needs will also be fulfilled. If an individual was to see a dream in a manner that he was standing before Allah Most High and that He Most High was watching him, then the dream is a sign of his piety and spiritual well-being. He will be chosen for forgiveness, and if he is sinful he will repent.” (Ta’bir al-Ru’ya, P: 67)

Imam Ibn Sirin then goes on to mention many types of dreams in which one sees Allah Most High and gives their interpretations. For example, if one sees that Allah Most High is talking secretly with one, then this means one is close to Allah Most High. If one sees that Allah Most High is advising one and giving one Nasiha, then this alludes to the fact that Allah Most High is not completely happy with one’s actions. A glad tiding from Allah is a sign of His pleasure and admonition from Allah is a sign of His wrath and anger (ibid). For more details, one may refer to Imam Ibn Sirin’s above-mentioned book, but one should consult a reliable scholar of knowledge, piety and wisdom before coming to any sort of conclusion.

To sum up, the vision of Allah Most High is rationally possible and the believers will be blessed with this vision in the hereafter. However, no one is able to see Allah in this world whilst in a state of being awake besides the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), and regarding the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) too, there is a difference of opinion amongst the Companions (Allah be pleased with them all). As far as seeing Allah in sleep is concerned, this is possible and is related from many pious servants of Allah, saints and scholars.

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam 
Darul Iftaa 
Leicester , UK

Source