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Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem

Check your intention, for Allah accepts only what is truly for His Sake

A Guide for those Confused to the Fabrication of the Hadith of Jabir – Sh. Abdullah Al-Ghumari

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مرشد الحائر لبيان وضع حديث جابر

Murshid al-Ha’ir li-Bayan Wad` Hadith Jabir

(The Guide of the Confused Questioner to the Fabrication of the Hadith of Jabir)

Authored by: Abu Al-Fadl Abdullah ibn Al-Siddiq Al-Ghumari (d. 1413H)

Translated by: Ibn Abbas Al-Misri

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Download English: Version 1 – Version 2

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بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

All the praises and thanks be to Allâh, I thank Him, seek His assistance and depend on Him […], and May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be on our leader and master Muhammad, the slave of Allah, and His Messenger. He (Allah) gave him wisdom, with which he opened blind eyes, and [opened] sealed hearts and deaf ears. And [May Allah’s peace and blessings be] on [prophet Muhammad’s] [noble] household and companions, and May Allah be pleased with those who follow him [Peace and Blessings upon him] in goodness (ihsan).

After which [I say],

This is a chapter I called: “The Guide for those confused to the fabrication of the hadith of Jabir”. I wished by writing it to clear the Holy Messenger [Peace and Blessings upon him] from what has been attributed to him, from that which was found to be untrue and is considered from the detested excessiveness.

Yet, [this detested excessiveness] is considered among the laymen as well as among several scholars as one of his Prophetic virtues which rejecting is considered [by them] as being slanderous towards him [Peace and Blessings upon him].

They don’t realize that in their view and words lies a great sin reiterated in Prophet’s [Peace and Blessings upon him] saying:

Whoever tells lies about me, let him take his place in Hell [1].

Hence whoever describes him with that which has not been found authentic, then he is considering lying about him and has entered into the warning, unless he repents. The fact that he said this intending to praise him [Peace and Blessings upon him] is not a sufficient excuse to intercede for him for what he had done.

And even though leniency is acceptable when it comes to mentioning virtues, however the virtues of Prophet Muhammad [Peace and Blessings upon him] should be restricted to what has been proven to be authentic lest one commits the act of lying [about him] punishable by Hell and which the Prophet has warned against – and Allah’s refuge is sought.

Void and False traditions (Ahadeeth Baatilah) have been reported about this [topic] and some errant views (Shaazah) which could not stand before examination have been brought up, which I will clarify and point out in this chapter by the Will of Allah.

`Abd al-Razzaq narrates –as they claim- that Jabir [May Allah be pleased with him] said:

I said: O Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be sacrificed for you, –tell me of the first thing Allah created before all things”. He said: "O Jabir, the first thing Allah created was the light of your Prophet from His light, and that light remained lit in the midst of His Power for as long as He wished, and there was not, at that time, a Tablet or a Pen or a Paradise or a Fire or an angel or a heaven or an earth or a sun or a moon or a jinn or a man.

And when Allah wished to create creation, he divided that Light into four parts and from the first made the Pen, from the second the Tablet, from the third the Throne, and then he divided the fourth [part] into four [other] parts and from the first he created the bearer of the Throne, from the second the Chair (Kursi), from the third the rest of the angels. Then He divided the fourth into four other parts and created from the first the heavens, and from the second the earth, and from the third the Paradise and the Fire, and then he divided the fourth into four parts and created from the first the Light in the believers visions, and from the second the light of their hearts which is knowledge of Allah, and from the third the light of their inner harmony (‘Uns) which is the Tawheed ‘There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, etc. …

The tradition has a long continuation, and was mentioned in its entirety by Ibn al-‘Arabi al-Hatimi in his book ‘Talqeeh Al-Azhaan wa Muftaah Ma’rifat Al-Insaan’, and Al-Diyar Bakri in his book ‘Al-Khamīs fī Tarīkh Anfasi Nafīs’.

And its attribution to the narration of ‘Abd al-Razzaq is an error since it does not exist either in his Muṣannaf, or his Jami’, or his Tafsir [2]. Al-Ḥafiẓ al-Suyuṭi said in ‘al-Ḥawi’ [3]: “It does not have a chain that one can rely on”.

It is certainly a fabricated tradition, and it contains Sufi terminologies, and some contemporary Shanqitis (people of Chinguetti) have fabricated a chain to it, and mentioned that ‘Abd al-Razzāq has narrated it from the way of Ibn al-Munkadr from Jabir and this is a sinful lie.

In general, this Ḥadith is rejected (Munkar), fabricated (Mawdoo’) and has no basis (La Asl Lah) in the books of the Sunnah [4].

Similar to it in falsehood (Nakarah) is the tradition that was narrated from the way of Ali ibn Al-Hussain from his father from his grandfather that the Messenger [Peace and Blessings upon him] said:

I was light between the hands of my Lord before Adam was created by 14,000 years

… and this is also a lie.

From among the foolish lies is what is narrated that one of the Mothers of the Believers wanted to place a cloth (i.e. Eizar) on the body of the Holy Messenger [Peace and Blessings upon him], but it fell because he is [created of] light; and that too has no basis. The Prophet [Peace and Blessings upon him] used to wear clothes and they didn’t slip from his body.

The fact that the Prophet [Peace and Blessings upon him] has been described as light [in some locations] is something metaphorical (Ma’nawi), similar to the Quran being described as a light, as in being a light [and a source of enlightenment] for the minds and the hearts.

And from the Exposed Lies is their saying:

Were it not for you, the universe [literally: the heavenly bodies] would not have been created (Lawlak Lawlak Ma Khalaqt Al-Aflaak) [5]

Similarly, what is narrated from Ali (Peace be upon him) that Messenger (Peace and Blessings upon him) said:

Gabriel descended upon me and said: ‘Allah is sending you His Salam, and says: “I have forbidden Fire on a progeny (Sulb) from which you descend, and a womb that carried you, and a lap (hijr) that sponsored you

… and it is a fabricated tradition.

Some of the books written about the (innovated) Prophetic Mawlid narrate from the way of Abu Huraira that he said: Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings upon him) asked Gabriel (Peace be upon him):

O Gabriel, how old are you?

He replied: O Prophet of Allah, I do not know except that in the fourth veil (Hijab) there is a star that appears once every 70,000 years. I have seen that star 72,000 times.

Prophet Muhammad said: By the Glory of my Lord, I am that heavenly body.

And this is a Disgraceful Lie, May Allah disgrace he who fabricated it.

Some of the extreme Sufis [6] mention that Gabriel (Peace be upon him) used to receive revelation from behind a veil. Once he was able to see what is behind this veil, and found out that it is Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings upon him) who was giving him this revelation, at that point Gabriel said: “[It comes] from you, [and goes] to you”.

I said: May Allah curse he who has fabricated this foolishness that is contrary to the Quran. Allah –Exalted is He- says to his Prophet: {And thus We have sent to you (O Muhammad) a Ruh (i.e. a Revelation and a Mercy) of Our Command. You knew not what is the Book, nor what is Faith} [Surah Al-Shura 42:52], and He says: {The trustworthy Ruh [Gabriel] has brought it down * Upon your heart (O Muhammad) that you may be (one) of the warners} [Surah Al-Shu’ara 26:193-194].

Imam Ahmad, Al-Hakim, and Al-Bayhaqi in “Al-Dalael” [7] narrate that Al-‘Irbad ibn Sariya [May Allah be pleased with him] said: I heard the Prophet of Allah [Peace and Blessings upon him] saying:

Verily, I was written [in Umm Al-Kitab] in Allah’s presence as the Seal of the Prophets, while Adam was still kneaded in his clay, and I will tell you the meaning of this: [I am] The supplication of my father Ibrahim, and the good tidings of ‘Isa to his people, and the dream of my mother who saw light coming out of her illuminating the castles of al-Shaam (Damascus/Syria), and this is what the mothers of the Prophets see.

Al-Haythami said in ‘Majma’ Al-Zawaid’ [8]: “Narrated by Ahmad with [several chains], and Al-Bazaar [9], and Al-Tabarani with its similarity. The narrators mentioned in one of the chains of Imam Aḥmad are among the narrators of the Saheeh, with the exception of Sa’eed ibn Suwaid, but ibn Hiban rated him as reliable [10]”.

I said: It was narrated by Al-Hakim from the way of Abi Bakr ibn Abi Maryam, from Suwaid ibn Sa’eed, from Al-‘Irbaad ibn Sariyah, and he [i.e. Al-Hakim] said: “Its chain is authentic”, but Al-Dhahabi commented on this by saying that Abi Bakr is weak [11]. Dr. Qal’agi, the examiner of the book ‘Dalael Al-Nubuwah’ did a mistake when he said that Al-Dhahabi agreed with Al-Hakim in his authentication.

Imam Ahmad [12] narrated from the way of Budail, from Abdullah ibn Shaqiq, from Maysarat Al-Fajr that he said:

I said: O Prophet of Allah, when were you a Prophet? He said: While Adam was still between the spirit and the body.

That is how Al-Baghawi and Ibn Al-Sakan narrated it in ‘Al-Sahabah’.

Al-Hafiz said [13]: and that is a strong chain.

I said: And Al-Bukhari mentions it in ‘Al-Tareekh’ without mentioning the beginning of the chain (Mu’alaqan) [14].

Al-Hakim narrates [15] from Abu Huraira [May Allah be pleased with him] that he said:

It was said to the Messenger (Peace and Blessings upon him): When was Prophethood assigned to you? He replied: between the creation of Adam, and the time his soul was breathed into him”.

And Imam Ahmad narrates [16] from the way of Abdulla ibn Shaqiq, from a man that said:

I said: O Prophet of Allah, when were you made a Prophet? He said: When Adam was between the soul and the body”.

Al-Haythami said [17]: Its narrators are among the narrators of the authentic.

I said: And it is one of the routes of the hadith of Maysarah Al-Fajr.

Ibn Sa’ad narrated in al-Tabaqat [18]: We were told by ‘Afaan ibn Muslim and ‘Amr ibn ‘Aasim al-Kalbi, they said: we were told by Hamad ibn Salamah, from Khalid al-Haza, from Abdullah ibn Shaqiq, from Abdullah ibn Abi al-Ja’daa, he said:

I said: O Prophet of Allah, when were you a Prophet? He said: Since Adam was between the soul and the body”.

Its narrators are the narrators of the authentic.

Al-Bazaar narrates [19], and Al-Tabari [20] with a weak chain from Ibn ‘Abbas [May Allah be pleased with them] that he said:

It was said: O Prophet of Allah, when were you a Prophet? He said: When Adam was between the soul and the body”.

Al-Bayhaqi said [21]:

And what is meant by Prophet Muhammad [Peace and Blessings upon him] saying: “I was written in Umm Al-Kitab in Allah’s presence as the Seal of the Prophets, while Adam was still kneaded in his clay” is that he was such in the decree of Allah, even before the father of Men and the first of the Prophets (Peace be upon them) [came to be].

Abu al-Husien ibn Bishran said, we were told by Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn ‘Amr that, we were told by Ahmad ibn Ishaaq ibn Saleh that, we were told by Muhammad ibn Saleh that, we were told by Muhammad ibn Sinan al-‘Uofi that, we were told by Ibrahim ibn Tahmaan, from [the route of] Budayl ibn Maysara, from Abdullah ibn Shaqiq, from Maysarah that he said:

I said: O Prophet of Allah, when were you a Prophet? He replied: “When Allah created the earth ‘Then He directed Himself to the heaven (Istawâ), [His being above all creation], and made them seven heavens’ (2:29), and created the Throne, He wrote on the leg of the Throne: "Muhammad the Messenger of Allah is the Seal of Prophets". Then Allah created the Paradise (Jannah) in which He made Adam and Eve dwell, and He wrote my name on the gates, on its tree-leaves, its domes and tents, at a time when Adam was still between the spirit and the body. When Allah Most High instilled life into him he looked at the Throne and saw my name, whereupon Allah informed him that ‘He (i.e. Muhammad –Peace and Blessings upon him-) is the best of all your descendants.’ When Satan deceived them both, they repented and sought intercession to Allah with my name”.

A good strong chain (Jayid Qawi).

[This Hadith] implies that him being a Prophet [at that time] is declaring this in the celestial world before the soul was breathed into Adam (Peace be upon him). The hadith also showed the secret behind the declaration of [Prophet Muhammad’s] Prophethood at that time, and that it has two reasons behind it that are unique about him [Peace and Blessings upon him]:

The first is: That he is the best (i.e. the Sayid) from among all the descendants of Adam.

The second is: That he is the seal of the Prophets, and this is supported by what he mentioned of the glad tidings of Ibrahim and Jesus (‘Isa) about him (Peace and Blessings upon them).

[It is worth noting] that all the Prophets had their Prophethood predestined by Allah, however it was never mentioned that Allah announced the Prophethood of any of them specifically before the creation of Adam. Thus this virtue [and status] was not for anyone except for Prophet Muhammad [Peace and Blessings upon him], and it the meaning of his saying: “I was a Prophet, when Adam was still between the soul and the body” which means that the bearers of the Throne and the Angels knew his name and [knew of his] Prophethood before the creation of Adam (Peace be upon him), and yet they did not know Adam until he was created.

Important note:

The hadith of: “I was a Prophet when Adam was between the water and the clay” has no basis (La Asl lah) [22], and the hadith of: “I was a Prophet when there was no Adam, or water, or clay” [23] also has no basis (La Asl Lahu Aydan).

Hence, what exists in the books of the (innovated) Prophetic Mawlid from traditions that hold no weight or value are from the excessiveness that Allah and his messenger prohibited; it is, therefore, forbidden to read such books. Giving excuses and making apologies that they are from the [narrations of] virtues which one can be lenient when narrating is unacceptable. As for narrations that are based on lies and fabrications then it is unacceptable and forbidden [to narrate them], by consensus, even as narrations of virtue, [except when pointing out that they are fabricated].

The Prophet [Peace and Blessings upon him] said: “Whoever narrates from me a tradition that he sees is a lie then he is one of the Liars” [24] and what is meant by “sees” here is “thinks”.

He also says: “Whoever tells lies about me, let him take his place in Hell” [25].

The virtue of the Messenger [Peace and Blessings upon him]  is well known and is shown in the Holy Quran and in authentic traditions, and he does not need excessiveness and lies to be told about him to demonstrate his virtue, and he [Peace and Blessings upon him] said: “Do not praise me, like the Christians [excessively] praised ‘Isa. I am a slave [of Allah] so say the slave of Allah and His messenger” [26].

This is something I wrote quickly on Sunday 25th of Dhu Al-Qi’dah 1408 H, and all praise is due to Allah firstly and lastly and may His peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad and his household.

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Footnotes:

[1] Refer to: Tashneef Al-Asmaa’ be-Shuyukh Al-Ijaza wa Al-Sama’ by Abi Suleiman Mahmoud ibn Saeed ibn Muhammad Mamdooh p/346-354, and Sabeel Al-Tawfeeq fee Tarjamat Abdullah ibn Al-Sideeq by the same author
[!] Narrated from several ways including what was narrated by Al-Bukhari in his Sahih in Kitab Al-‘Ilm (the book of knowledge): Chapter of ‘The great sin of those who lie about the Prophet [Peace and Blessings upon him], and in Kitab Al-Adab (the book of etiquettes): Chapter of ‘Who used the names of Prophets’ and the wording is his, and Muslim in his introduction: Chapter of: ‘Taghleez Al-Kazib ‘Ala Rasoul Allah [Salah Allah ‘Alaihi wa Salam]’, and Abu Dawood in his Sunan: Kitab Al-‘Ilm (the book of knowledge): Chapter of ‘Al-Tashdeed fee Al-Kazib ‘Ala Rasoul Allah [Salah Allah ‘Alaihi wa Salam]’, and Al-Tirmizi in his Sunan: Kitab Al-‘Ilm (the book of knowledge): Chapter of ‘What came in Ta’zeem Al-Kazib ‘Ala Rasoul Allah [Salah Allah ‘Alaihi wa Salam]’ and the Chapter of ‘What came in speaking about Bani Israeel’, and the Book of Fitan: Chapter (07), and Ibn Majah in his Sunan: Introduction: Chapter of ‘Al-Taghleez in deliberately lying about the Prophet of Allah [Salah Allah ‘Alaihi wa Salam] all of them adding “deliberately” [in the hadith], and [was narrated by] Ahmad in his Musnad in several locations from different narrators.
I said: And the narration of Al-Bukhari does not have the word [deliberately].
[2] Rather what is mentioned in his Tafseer is to the contrary, where he mentioned that the first thing to be created was The Water.
[3] Refer to Al-Hawi fee Al-Fatawi 1/325 in the Tafsir of Surat Al-Mudathir (Chapter 74), and Al-Suyuti mentioned in “Qoot Al-Mughtazi Sharh Al-Tirmizi” after mentioned the hadith: When Allah the Exalted created the Pen first …, he said: As for the tradition that first thing is the brain/mind it has no basis (Laysa Lahu Asl), and as for the tradition that first thing is the light of Prophet Muhammad it can’t hold (La Yathbut).
[4] Al-Hafiz Al-Muhadith Ahmad Al-Ghumari May Allah have mercy in him said in the introduction of his book “Al-Mug’eer ‘Ala Al-Jami’ Al-Sag’eer”: “O Jabir, the first thing Allah created was the light of your Prophet from His light, …fabricated”, and then he said: “and its continuation is in around two pages from the big size, containing weak wordings and rejected meanings”.
I say: This tradition is contradictory to what Allah the Exalted said: {Say: I am only a man like you} (18:110), and it is contrary to the tradition that was narrated by Al-Bukhari, Al-Bayhaqi, and ibn Al-Jaroud from ‘Umran Ibn Haseen that the people of Yemen came to Prophet Muhammad –salah Allah ‘alaihi wa Salam- and said: O Prophet of Allah we came to you to learn about our religion and to ask you about the Beginning of this thing, how was it? So he replied: It was Allah, and nothing else, and His Throne was on the water, and He wrote in the Book all things, and then he created the heavens and the earth”, and the tradition that was narrated by Ibn Majah and Ibn Hiban that Abu Huraira said: O Prophet of Allah, whenever I see you my inner self becomes calm, and my eye is pleased so tell me about all things. So he said: “Allah the Exalted created all things from water”, and for the tradition that As-Sud-di Al-Kabeer narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas MawqoofanAllah the Exalted did not create anything before the water”.
[5] The Mawdoo’at of Al-Saghani p. 25, and Al-‘Aghluni agreed with him in Kashf Al-Khafa’ 2/232 in ruling that it is fabricated.
[6] And some have also claimed that this hadith i.e. the made-up hadith of Jabir has been proven through a Kashf (vision). This is something that has no meaning since a Kashf that comes against the [authentic] hadith of the Prophet of Allah [Salah Allah ‘Alaihi wa Salam] has no value or consideration.
[7] Narrated by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad 4/127 twice, and 128 and has: “’Abd-u-Allah”, and Al-Hakim in Al-Mustadrak similar to it 2/600, and Al-Bayhaqi in Al-Dalael 1/80 and 83 with a minor change in wording.
[8] Magma’ Al-Zawaed 8/223
[9] Refer to “Kashf Al-Astaar” 3/112-113, and Al-Bazaar said: “we do not know that it has a chain better than this, and Sa’eed ibn Suwaid is a Shami Laysa bihi Ba’as, and Abu Bakr ibn Abi Maryam we had already mentioned him previously”.
[10] Al-Thiqat by Ibn Hiban 8/262
[11] He is Abu Bakr Abdullah ibn Abi Maryam Al-Ghasani Al-Shami, refer to: Tahzeeb Al-Tahzeeb 12/228, and Al-Du’afa and Al-Matroukeen by Ibn Al-Jawzi 1/152.
[12] He attributed it in Maghma’ Al-Zawaid 8/223 to Al-Tabari in Al-Mu’gham Al-Kabeer 20/353, and said: “Its men are those of the authentic”, and Imam Ahmad narrated it in his Musnad 5/59 with the word: “I wrote”.
[13] Al-Hafiz Al-‘Asqalani attributed it to them in Al-Isaaba 3/470.
[14] Al-Tareekh Al-Kabeer 7/374.
[15] Al-Mustadrak 2/609.
[16] Narrated by Imam Ahmad in the Musnad 4/66.
[17] Magma’ Al-Zawaid 8/223
[18] Tabaqat ibn Saa’d 7/59.
[19] Refer to Kashf Al-Astar 3/112, and ‘Uqbah said: “We do not know it narrated from Ibn Abbas except from this way, and Nasr was not strong, and he wasn’t a liar, but he had Shi’a inclinations (Kaan Yatashaya’) and we did not find this tradition except with him”. And in Al-Bazaar with the word: “I wrote”.
[20] Narrated by Al-Tabari in Al-Mu’gham Al-Kabeer 12/92 with the same chain of Al-Bazzar, and 119 through a different chain from Ibn ‘Abbas.
[21] Dalael Al-Nubuwah 1/81.
[22] Refer to “Al-Tazkirah fee Al-Ahadeeth Al-Mushtaharah” p. 172, “Al-Maqasid Al-Hasanah” p. 522, “Tameez Al-Tayib min Al-Khabeeth” p. 126, “Kashf Al-Khafa” 2/173, “Tanzeeh Al-Sharee’ah” 1/341, “Al-Asrar Al-Marfoo’ah” p. 178, “Tazkirat Al-Mawdoo’at” p. 86, “Asnaa Al-Matalib” p. 243.
[23] Refer to previous sources cited.
[24] Narrated by Imam Muslim in his Sahih: Introduction: Chapter of: The obligation of narrating from those reliable and leaving the liars, and warning from lying on Prophet Muhammad –salah Allah ‘alaihi wa salam-, and al-Tirmizi in his Sunan with its similarity: Book of knowledge (‘Ilm): Chapter of: What was narrated about those who narrate traditions and see that it is a lie – from Al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah, and he said: And in the chapter from the narration of ‘Ali ibn abi Talib, and Samarah, Abu ‘Isa said: This tradition is Hasan Sahih, and Ibn Majah in his Sunan: Introduction: Chapter of: Whoever narrates a tradition from Prophet Muhammad –salah Allah ‘alaihi wa salam- while seeing that it is a lie.
[25] The reference was already mentioned.
[26] Narrated by Ahmad in his Musnad with its similarity 1/23, 24, 47, 55, 56, and Ibn Hiban in his Sahih with its similarity also refer to Al-Ihsan Betarteeb Sahih Ibn Hiban 8/46, and from Ibn ‘Abbas 1/318, and Al-Humaidi in his Musnad with its similarity 1/16 all of which are narrated from ‘Umar.

Original Arabic:
http://alsoufia.com/main/articles.aspx?article_no=1314

Translation completed by the Grace of Allah on Saturday September 29, 2007

Murshid al Haer مرشد الحائر لبيان وضع حديث جابر

Infinite Regression: Between the Necessary, Impossible and Possible

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Ibn Al-Qayim (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Shifaa Al-‘Aleel p. 331-332, and as was transmitted by Ibn Abi Al-Izz al-Hanafi (may Allah have mercy on him) in his commentary on the Tahawiya 1/198 [1-2]:

What is affirmed here is the perfection that can possibly exist. Hence, if the class of acts is everlasting, it is possible and certainly more perfect that He precedes every individual thing such that no part of the world can co-exist with Him in any respect.

As for permanence of action, it is also perfection. Since action is an attribute of perfection, its permanence will mean permanence of perfection.

وَالْمُثْبَتُ إِنَّمَا هُوَ الْكَلام (في باقي النسخ «الكمال») الْمُمْكِنُ الْوُجُودُ، وَحِينَئِذٍ فَإِذَا كَانَ النَّوْعُ دَائِمًا فَالْمُمْكِنُ (في باقي النسخ زيادة «وَالْأَكْمَلُ»). هُوَ القديم (في باقي النسخ «التَّقَدُّمُ»). عَلَى كُلِّ فَرْدٍ مِنَ الْأَفْرَادِ بِحَيْثُ لَا يَكُونُ فِي أَجْزَاءِ الْعَالَمِ شَيْءٌ يُقَارِنُهُ بِوَجْهٍ مِنَ الْوُجُوهِ

وَأَمَّا دَوَامُ الْفِعْلِ فَهُوَ أَيْضًا مِنَ الْكَمَالِ، فَإِنَّ الْفِعْلَ إِذَا كَانَ صِفَةَ كَمَالٍ فَدَوَامُهُ دَوَامُ الكَمَالٍ

People say that regress (as in “infinite regression”) is an ambiguous term, it is neither affirmed nor denied in the Book of Allah or in the Sunnah, hence, we are not bound to adhere to the term. However, regress is of three types: necessary, impossible and possible.

قَالُوا: وَالتَّسَلْسُلُ لَفْظٌ مُجْمَلٌ، لَمْ يَرِدْ بِنَفْيِهِ وَلَا إِثْبَاتِهِ كِتَابٌ وَلَا سُنَّةٌ، لِيَجِبَ مُرَاعَاةُ لَفْظِهِ، وَهُوَ يَنْقَسِمُ إِلَى وَاجِبٍ وَمُمْتَنِعٍ وَمُمْكِنٍ

In the case of infinite regression of causes, this is impossible [regress], for we cannot imagine that one cause derives its causative power from another cause, and that from a third cause and so on ad infinitum.

فَالتَّسَلْسُلُ فِي الْمُؤَثِّرِينَ مُحَالٌ مُمْتَنِعٌ لِذَاتِهِ، وَهُوَ أَنْ يَكُونَ مُؤَثِّرُونَ كُلُّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمُ اسْتَفَادَ تَأْثِيرَهُ مِمَّا قَبْلَهُ لَا إِلَى غَايَةٍ

The example of necessary regress is divine action in the future. Both reason and revelation affirm that whenever something in the use of the people of Paradise ends, Allah will create another and then a third, and so on, ad infinitum. The same is true about Allah’s action in the past, for every act of His is preceded by another act. For example, He has been speaking since eternity whenever He pleased; obviously, His attribute of speech is not something that has happened to Him after a time. The same is true of the other acts that are essential to His life, for every living being acts and the difference between the living and dead is action. That is why a number of the Salaf stated, “The Living one is the one acting”.

‘Uthman Ibn Sa’eed said, “Every living thing acts. And our Lord has never been for a moment imperfect, without speaking, willing or acting.”

وَالتَّسَلْسُلُ الْوَاجِبُ: مَا دَلَّ عَلَيْهِ الْعَقْلُ وَالشَّرْعُ، مِنْ دَوَامِ أَفْعَالِ الرَّبِّ – تَعَالَى – فِي الْأَبَدِ، وَأَنَّهُ كُلَّمَا انْقَضَى لِأَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ نَعِيمٌ أَحْدَثَ لَهُمْ نَعِيمًا آخَرَ لَا نَفَادَ لَهُ، وَكَذَلِكَ التَّسَلْسُلُ فِي أَفْعَالِهِ سُبْحَانَهُ مِنْ طَرَفِ الْأَزَلِ، وَأَنَّ كُلَّ فِعْلٍ مَسْبُوقٌ بِفِعْلٍ آخَرَ، فَهَذَا وَاجِبٌ فِي كَلَامِهِ، فَإِنَّهُ لَمْ يَزَلْ مُتَكَلِّمًا إِذَا شَاءَ، وَلَمْ تَحْدُثْ لَهُ صِفَةُ الْكَلَامِ فِي وَقْتٍ، وَهَكَذَا أَفْعَالُهُ الَّتِي هِيَ مِنْ لَوَازِمِ حَيَاتِهِ، فَإِنَّ كُلَّ حَيٍّ فَعَّالٌ، وَالْفَرْقُ بَيْنَ الْحَيِّ وَالْمَيِّتِ: الْفِعْلُ، وَلِهَذَا قَالَ غَيْرُ وَاحِدٍ مِنَ السَّلَفِ: الْحَيُّ الْفَعَّالُ، وَقَالَ عُثْمَانُ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ: كُلُّ حَيٍّ فَعَّالٌ، وَلَمْ يَكُنْ رَبُّنَا – تَعَالَى – قَطُّ فِي وَقْتٍ مِنَ الْأَوْقَاتِ مُعَطَّلًا عَنْ كَمَالِهِ، مِنَ الْكَلَامِ وَالْإِرَادَةِ وَالْفِعْلِ

An example of possible regress is the things that Allah does, and this regress may be both in the past and in the future. Since Allah is Living, Powerful, Willing and Speaking from eternity — all this being part of His essence — He would be doing one thing or another according to these attributes. Action is more complete than inaction. However, this does not necessitate that objects co-exist with Him. Allah precedes every single object He creates and is not preceded by any of them. Every created object has something first that went before it, except the Creator, Who has no first before Him. He alone is the Creator and everything else is created and comes into existence after a time when it was non-existent.

وَأَمَّا التَّسَلْسُلُ الْمُمْكِنُ: فَالتَّسَلْسُلُ فِي مَفْعُولَاتِهِ مِنْ هَذَا الطَّرَفِ، كَمَا تَتَسَلْسَلُ فِي طَرَفِ الْأَبَدِ، فَإِنَّهُ إِذَا لَمْ يَزَلْ حَيًّا قَادِرًا مُرِيدًا مُتَكَلِّمًا، وَذَلِكَ مِنْ لَوَازِمِ ذَاتِهِ فَالْفِعْلُ مُمْكِنٌ لَهُ بِمُوجِبِ هَذِهِ الصِّفَاتِ لَهُ، وَأَنْ يَفْعَلَ أَكْمَلُ مِنْ أَنْ لَا يَفْعَلَ، وَلَا يَلْزَمُ مِنْ هَذَا أَنَّهُ لَمْ يَزَلِ الْخَلْقُ مَعَهُ، فَإِنَّهُ سُبْحَانَهُ مُتَقَدِّمٌ عَلَى كُلِّ فَرْدٍ مِنْ مَخْلُوقَاتِهِ تَقَدُّمًا لَا أَوَّلَ لَهُ، فَلِكُلِّ مَخْلُوقٍ أَوَّلُ، وَالْخَالِقُ – سُبْحَانَهُ – لَا أَوَّلَ لَهُ، فَهُوَ وَحْدَهُ الْخَالِقُ، وَكُلُّ مَا سِوَاهُ مَخْلُوقٌ كَائِنٌ بَعْدَ أَنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ

Reason rejects every other view. All those who believe that Allah has power to act from eternity must either believe that it was possible for Him to act from eternity or that He has been acting from eternity. Any other view would be inconsistent with their faith.

For example, there is the view that although Allah has power to act from eternity, action itself is inconceivable, and were He to will it, it would not happen. Another view is that He could not at all will it, even though He had power over it. These views are self contradictory.

قَالُوا: وَكُلُّ قَوْلٍ سِوَى هَذَا فَصَرِيحُ الْعَقْلِ يَرُدُّهُ وَيَقْضِي بِبُطْلَانِهِ، وَكُلُّ مَنِ اعْتَرَفَ بِأَنَّ الرَّبَّ تَعَالَى لَمْ يَزَلْ قَادِرًا عَلَى الْفِعْلِ لَزِمَهُ أَحَدُ أَمْرَيْنِ، لَا بُدَّ لَهُ مِنْهُمَا: إِمَّا أَنْ يَقُولَ بِأَنَّ الْفِعْلَ لَمْ يَزَلْ مُمْكِنًا، وَإِمَّا أَنْ يَقُولَ لَمْ يَزَلْ وَاقِعًا، وَإِلَّا تَنَاقَضَ تَنَاقُضًا بَيِّنًا، حَيْثُ زَعَمَ أَنَّ الرَّبَّ تَعَالَى لَمْ يَزَلْ قَادِرًا عَلَى الْفِعْلِ، وَالْفِعْلُ مُحَالٌ مُمْتَنِعٌ لِذَاتِهِ، لَوْ أَرَادَهُ لَمْ يُمْكِنْ وُجُودُهُ، بَلْ فَرْضُ إِرَادَتِهِ عِنْدَهُ مُحَالٌ وَهُوَ مَقْدُورٌ لَهُ. وَهَذَا قَوْلٌ يَنْقُضُ بَعْضُهُ بَعْضًا.

In short, revelation and reason both uphold the view that everything other than Allah is contingent, that it comes into existence after it was not existing. As for the view that Allah was inactive at first and then acted, it is supported neither by revelation nor by reason. On the contrary, both uphold the opposite.

وَالْمَقْصُودُ: أَنَّ الَّذِي دَلَّ عَلَيْهِ الشَّرْعُ وَالْعَقْلُ، أَنَّ كُلَّ مَا سِوَى اللَّهِ تَعَالَى مُحْدَثٌ كَائِنٌ بَعْدَ أَنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ، أَمَّا كَوْنُ الرَّبِّ – تَعَالَى – لَمْ يَزَلْ مُعَطَّلًا عَنِ الْفِعْلِ ثُمَّ فَعَلَ، فَلَيْسَ فِي الشَّرْعِ وَلَا فِي الْعَقْلِ مَا يُثْبِتُهُ، بَلْ كِلَاهُمَا يَدُلُّ عَلَى نَقِيضِهِ

Reference:

[1] Translation from: “Commentary on the Creed of At-Tahawi” by Ibn Abi Al-‘Izz (Sharh Al-‘Aqidah At-Tahawiyyah) Translated By Muhammad ‘Abdul-Haqq Ansari p. 55-57 (Link)

[2] Benefited from: Muhammad Baraa محمد براء (post 11):

The terms Qadeem and Azali in the writings of Ibn Taymiyah

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Bismillah …

These terms Qadeem, Qidam, Azali, Lam Yazal, etc. [1] appear many times in Ibn Taymiyah’s writings, and his intention behind these terms are quite often misrepresented by his opponents. For this reason, a proper understanding of these terms and the intention of Ibn Taymiyah when using them will allow for a better understanding of his writing.

Sh. Kamila bint Muhammad Al-Kuwari (الشيخة كاملة بنت محمد الكواري), may Allah reward her greatly, discussed this in great detail in her book [2] titled:

Qidam al-ʻālam wa-tasalsul al-ḥawādith bayna shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taymiyah wa-al-falāsifah maʻa bayān man akhṭaʼ fī al-masʼalah min al-sābiqīn wa-al-muʻāṣirīn

 قدم العالم وتسلسل الحوادث بين شيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية والفلاسفة مع بيان من أخطأ في المسألة من السابقين والمعاصرين

In page 43 after highlighting that a proper understanding of the words of Ibn Taymiyah will greatly aid in responding to the doubts raised by his opponents, she said:

Qidam is commonly defined as: ‘that which was not preceded by non-Existence’ . Al-Manawi mentions in Al-Tawqeef (p. 576) that: ‘Al-Raghib said: a real (or absolute) Qidam is: That which has not been preceded by non-Existence and that is what is intended when referring to the Qidam of the Essence of the Creator Glorified is he.

And Al-Qadeem is: That which its existence was not preceded with void or non-Existence, and it is what is meant by their saying: That which its existence has no beginning …

المشهور في تعريف القدم هو ما لم يسبقه عدم ، قال المناوي في التوقيف ص576: وقال الراغب : القدم الحقيقي : ما لم يسبقه عدم ، وهو المعبر عنه بالقدم الذاتي المختص بالباري تقدس . والقديم : ما لا يسبقُ وجوده عدم ، وهو معنى قولهم : ما لا ابتداء لوجوده . وكذا قال الجرجاني في التعريفات ص221 ، وأبو البقاء الكفوي في الكليات ص727 ، والطوفي في شرح مختصره (1/64) .

However, Qidam according to Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah shower him with mercy) can come to refer to one of two meanings as he himself explained in his writings in multiple occasions. Shaykha Kamila summarizes these two meanings in her book saying (p. 43-44):

The First [use of the term]: Qidam [refers to that] which was not preceded with non-Existence, like the [Qidam of the] Essence of Allah (i.e. His Dhaat) and His Attributes such as Life (i.e. His Hayah), as [Sh. Al-Islam] has explained in Al-Safadiya 2/146.

The Second [use of the term]: Qidam [refers to] things occurring successively one after the other, such that [while] each of the individual or specific actions (fi’l فعل) or outcomes [from that action] (maf’oul مفعول) have been preceded by non-existence, [collectively] they are successive and continuing [such that] this successive alternating [nature of these] actions and outcomes are referred to [collectively] as Qadim in reference to their unceasing nature.

أحدهما : القدم الذي لم يسبقه عدم كذات الله وصفاته اللازمة له عيناً كالحياة مثلاً كما ذكره في الصفدية (2/146) .

الثاني : القدم بمعنى الشيء المتعاقب شيئاً بعد شيء أي أنه مسبوق بالعدم من حيث عين الفعل والمفعول لكنه متعاقب ومستمر فيطلق على الفعل المتعاقب والمفعول المتعاقب انه قديم أيضاً لكن من حيث النوع المتوالي

Sh. Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said in Al-Safadiya 2/47 [3]:

And the terms Qadim and Azali has a generality [in them].

For what is intended by Qadim may be the specific/individual thing that has always existed such that its existence has no beginning. [Alternatively,] Qadim may come to refer to the that which occurs one after the other, thus its successive nature is Qadim, while nothing of it [individually] is Qadim (eternal), neither is the collection of [all these individual things] Qadim (i.e. having no beginning), however it is in its nature and type Qadim.

This perpetual influence [and action] which comes one after the other is from the necessary concomitants of Allah’s Essence, and it is Qadim (eternal) in its nature, but none of its parts [or individual components] are in themselves eternal.

ولفظ القديم والأزلي فيه إجمال: فقد يراد بالقديم الشيء المعين الذي ما زال موجودًا ليس لوجوده أول. ويراد بالقديم الشيء الذي يكون شيئًا بعد شيء فنوعه المتوالي قديم وليس شيء منه بعينه قديمًا ولا مجموعه قديم ولكن هو في نفسه قديم بهذا الإعتبار فالتأثير الدائم الذي يكون شيئًا بعد شيء وهو من لوازم ذاته هو قديم النوع وليس شيء من أعيانه قديم."

And he said 2/87:

It may be said about a thing that it is Qadim, meaning that it has always been one after the other, or it may be said: Qadim meaning that it specifically existed from eternity.

وقد يقال في الشيء : إنه قديم ، بمعنى أنه لم يزل شيئاً بعد شيء ، وقد يقال : قديم بمعنى انه موجود بعينه في الأزل

An example of that which is described as Qadim by the second definition of the term, but not the first, as explained by Sh. al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him): are the Actions of Allah. He explains that each specific action came into  being after it wasn’t, one after the other, but none of the individual or specific actions can be described as being eternal by itself (footnote 4 gives a simple illustration).

For at no point was Allah devoid of his actions and then came to become acting after he was not. Therefore, the actions of Allah in that sense can be described as Qadim when looking at their type and nature even though each individual or specific action is not eternal by itself as it is Hadeth and came into being after it was not. This will be discussed in more details later on.

وأما الفعل فلا يعقل إلا حادثاً شيئاً بعد شيء ، وإلا فمن لم يحدث شيئاً لا يُعقل أنه فعل ولا أبدع ، سواء فعل بالإرادة أو قدر إنه فعل بلا إرادة . ولو كان الفعل لا يحدث لم يعقل الفرق بينه وبين الصفة اللازمة ، إذ كلاهما معنى قائم بالذات لازم لها بعينه ، وما كان كذلك لم يكن فعلاً لذلك الموصوف ، ولا يعقل كون الموصوف فعله .

وقال أيضاً 2/144:ـ

ولكن النوع أزلي ، بمعنى وجوده شيئاً فشيئاً ، فيكون الفعل المشروط به موجوداً شيئاً فشيئاً ، لامتناع وجود المشروط بدون الشرط ، وإذا كان ذلك الفعل يوجد شيئاً فشيئاً كان المفعول كذلك بطريق الأولى ، لامتناع تقدم المفعول على فعله ،فلا يكون فعل دائم معين ، فلا يكون مفعول معين دائم .

(to be continued, if Allah Wills)

References:

[1] Qadim linguistically can be translated as: Ancient; Old; Eternal; Infinitely Pre-existent; the Sempiternal. Azali refers more often to Eternal; Infinitely Pre-existent; the Sempiternal. Dr. Jon Hoover of The Near East School of Theology in order to distinguish the various Arabic words often rendered ‘eternity’ in English, has used the following trans. conventions: qidam (eternity), qadim (eternal), abad (post-eternity), abadan (post-eternally), azal (pre-eternity), azali (pre-eternal), azalan (pre-eternally), and, usually, lam yazal (has been/had been/was . . . from eternity). Literally, lam yazal means ‘had not ceased . . . ’. However, this trans. often yields a sentence with a double negative, which is unwieldy in English (refer to Journal of Islamic Studies 15:3 (2004) pp. 287–329).

[2] Book can be downloaded from author’s website at following link: http://www.alkuwarih.com/node/24

[3] Al-Safadiya by Ibn Taymiyah 2/48; Qidam al-ʻālam wa-tasalsul al-ḥawādith by Sh. Kamila Al-Kuwari p. ; also Benefitted from Ibn Al-Rumiya (ابن الرومية post 242): http://majles.alukah.net/t6956-13/.

[4] An example to help illustrate this meaning is a bulb being continuously switched on and off at consecutive steps. Now the state of the bulb cannot be described as being eternally on (or off) as each individual ‘on’ state is preceded by an ‘off’ (or non-existence). Similarly, each specific toggling action has come into being after it wasn’t, however the toggling [action] can be described as Qadim as per the second definition highlighted by Ibn Taymiyah, as it that it has always been one after the other.

Now this is just a simple example to help illustrate the concept, but more detailed and relevant examples will be given later, if Allah Wills.

Ibn Taymiyah and Infinite Regression

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Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah shower him with Mercy) said [1]:

The fifteenth aspect is that attesting that Allah has been doing what He wills and speaking what He wills from eternity is ascribing [to Him] the perfection that befits Him, whereas anything else is deficiency that must be denied of Him.

For [the claim that] He [has] not been capable and then becoming capable of speaking or acting, even though they are attributes of His, necessitates that He was deficient in the attribute of power/ability, which is one of the necessary concomitants of His Essence and which is one of the most apparent attributes of perfection. It is therefore impossible through [proper] reason by proofs of certainty.

For indeed, if He had not been capable and then became capable, something (amr) must inevitably have made Him powerful after He was not. Now, since there was nothing there except pure [void and] nonexistence, it is impossible that He would become powerful after He was not. Likewise, it was impossible that He would become knowing after He was not [knowing] before that. [This is] contrary a human: for he was not knowing and not powerful and then someone else made him knowing and powerful. A similar thing can be said, if they say that He was not speaking and then became speaking.

This is one of the things that Imam Ahmad [b. Hanbal] brought against the Jahmis: when they made Him (i.e. Allah) not having been speaking, and then becoming speaking. They said: Just like the human.

[Imam Ahmad] said, “You have combined assimilation (tashbih) [of God to creatures] with disbelief”. And I have narrated his words in another place.

الوجه الخامس عشر : أن الإقرار بأن الله لم يزل يفعل ما يشاء ويتكلم بما يشاء هو وصف الكمال الذي يليق به ؛ وما سوى ذلك نقص يجب نفيه عنه فإن كونه لم يكن قادرا ثم صار قادرا على الكلام أو الفعل مع أنه وصف له ؛ فإنه يقتضي أنه كان ناقصا عن صفة القدرة التي هي من لوازم ذاته والتي هي من أظهر صفات الكمال فهو ممتنع في العقل بالبرهان اليقيني

فإنه إذا لم يكن قادرا ثم صار قادرا فلا بد من أمر جعله قادرا بعد أن لم يكن فإذا لم يكن هناك إلا العدم المحض امتنع أن يصير قادرا بعد أن لم يكن وكذلك يمتنع أن يصير عالما بعد أن لم يكن قبل هذا بخلاف الإنسان فإنه كان غير عالم ولا قادر ثم جعله غيره عالما قادرا وكذلك إذا قالوا : كان غير متكلم ثم صار متكلما . وهذا مما أورده الإمام أحمد على الجهمية ؛ إذ جعلوه كان غير متكلم ثم صار متكلما . قالوا : كالإنسان قال : فقد جمعتم بين تشبيه وكفر . وقد حكيت ألفاظه في غير هذا الموضع

If someone was to say: He was in pre-eternity powerful to create what would be (fima la yazal), this would be contradictory because, according to them (i.e. the Kalam theologians), it was not possible for Him to act [in pre-eternity]. Now, it is impossible that one for whom acting was not possible in pre-eternity is also all-powerful [and all-capable] in pre-eternity. For the synthesis of His being all-capable with the object of His power and ability being impossible is a synthesis of two contraries. For in the condition of it being impossible for [Him] to act, He would not be [all-capable and] all powerful.

Also, the act would turn from being impossible to being possible without a necessitating cause determining that, [in addition to the presence of only void] and non-existence, is impossible .

وإذا قال القائل : كان في الأزل قادرا على أن يخلق فيما لا يزال كان هذا كلاما متناقضا لأنه في الأزل عندهم لم يكن يمكنه أن يفعل ومن لم يمكنه الفعل في الأزل امتنع أن يكون قادرا في الأزل ؛ فإن الجمع بين كونه قادرا وبين كون المقدور ممتنعا جمع بين الضدين فإنه في حال امتناع الفعل لم يكن قادرا . وأيضا يكون الفعل ينتقل من كونه ممتنعا إلى كونه ممكنا بغير سبب موجب يحدد ذلك وعدم ممتنع

Besides, there is no situation (or moment) that the mind and intellect can posit without acting being possible in it [for Him], with Him being all-powerful.

And if matter is decreed before that which Allah wills, then the matter is such, for He has [always] been [capable and] powerful from eternity and actions possible. His power and His ability to act have therefore no beginning, for He has been powerful from eternity, capable of acting, and so acting was never impossible for Him.

وأيضا فما من حال يقدرها العقل إلا والفعل فيها ممكن وهو قادر وإذا قدر قبل ذلك شيئا شاءه الله فالأمر كذلك فلم يزل قادرا والفعل ممكنا ؛ وليس لقدرته وتمكنه من الفعل أول فلم يزل قادرا يمكنه أن يفعل فلم يكن الفعل ممتنعا عليه قط .

Also, they claim that it is impossible in pre-eternity.

[Now] pre-eternity is not something limited (or defined) that the mind can grasp. Rather, there is no extremity, to which positing [or projecting] an action reaches, except that pre-eternity would be before it, without any definite [or restricted limit or] extremity.

Even if we were to posit the existence of cities many times [the number] of the cities of the Earth, and in each city from mustard [seeds] that which would fill it, and [then supposed that] whenever a million years would pass one grain of mustard [seed] would perish – all the mustard [seeds] would perish and eternity would not have ended. And if one supposed many, many more times that, [eternity] would [still] not have ended. For there is no time that can be projected except that pre-eternity is before that.

وأيضا فإنهم يزعمون أنه يمتنع في الأزل والأزل ليس شيئا محدودا يقف عنده العقل بل ما من غاية ينتهي إليها تقدير الفعل إلا والأزل قبل ذلك بلا غاية محدودة حتى لو فرض وجود مدائن أضعاف مدائن الأرض في كل مدينة من الخردل ما يملؤها ؛ وقدر إنه كلما مضت ألف ألف سنة فنيت خردلة فنى الخردل كله والأزل لم ينته ولو قدر أضعاف ذلك أضعافا لا ينتهي .  فما من وقت يقدر إلا والأزل قبل ذلك .

And there is no time in which an action has occurred, except that it was before that possible. Now, if it was possible, then what is there to make it necessary to define the situation of acting by the creation, and not by what was before that, in what has no end?

Moreover, the meaning of pre-eternity (Azal) is the lack of having a beginning (Awwaliyya). Pre-eternity is not something delimited.

So, our saying, ‘He has been capable and all-powerful from eternity’, is equivalent to saying, ‘He is capable and all-powerful perpetually (da’iman)’, and Him being powerful is a perpetual ascription having no start.

Likewise, when it is said. ‘He has been [capable of speaking] from eternity whenever He wills’ and ‘He has been doing what He wills from eternity’, [this] requires the perpetuity of Him being speaking and acting by His will and His ability.

Now, if someone thinks that this necessitates the [existence from] pre-eternity of something with Him, then that is due to his corrupt conception, for indeed as He is the Creator of all things, then everything other than Him is created and is preceded by nonexistence. So with Him there is nothing eternal as His eternity. If it is said that: He has always been creating, then that would mean that He has been creating one creation after another just as He will be creating one creation after another in post-eternity.

We deny what we deny of originating events and movements, one after another. There is nothing in this except an ascription to Him of perpetuity of acting, not [an ascription] of one among the things [He has] done being with Him [eternally] in its entity.

وما من وقت صدر فيه الفعل إلا وقد كان قبل ذلك ممكنا .

وإذا كان ممكنا فما الموجب لتخصيص حال الفعل بالخلق دون ما قبل ذلك فيما لا يتناهى ؟  وأيضا فالأزل معناه : عدم الأولية ليس الأزل شيئا محدودا فقولنا : لم يزل قادرا بمنزلة قولنا : هو قادر دائما وكونه قادرا وصف دائم لا ابتداء له

فكذلك إذا قيل: لم يزل متكلما إذا شاء ولم يزل يفعل ما شاء يقتضي دوام كونه متكلما وفاعلا بمشيئته وقدرته وإذا ظن الظان أن هذا يقتضي قدم شيء معه كان من فساد تصوره فإنه إذا كان خالق كل شيء فكل ما سواه مخلوق مسبوق بالعدم فليس معه شيء قديم بقدمه. وإذا قيل : لم يزل يخلق كان معناه لم يزل يخلق مخلوقا بعد مخلوق كما لا يزال في الأبد يخلق مخلوقا بعد مخلوق

ننفي ما ننفيه من الحوادث والحركات شيئا بعد شيء . وليس في ذلك إلا وصفه بدوام الفعل لا بأن معه مفعولا من المفعولات بعينه

(to be continued … maybe)

References:

[1] Majmou’ Al-Fatawaa 18/237-239

[2] Translation edited from the work of Jon Hoover, University of Nottingham (2004). The translation has been reviewed and edited several times, yet with every pass it does not get easier to transmit the meaning accurately to the English language. So will leave it at that, and may revisit it in the future, if Allah wills.

From the Introduction: Ishkaliyat al-I’zaar bil-Jahl

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Ishkaliyat al-I’zaar bil-Jahl fi al-Bahth al-‘Aqadee

إشكالية الإعذار بالجهل في البحث العقدي

الشيخ سلطان العميري

(The Issue of Excusing with Ignorance in Dogmatic/Creedal Examinations)

by

Sh. Sultan Al-‘Umayri

From the Introduction:

P. 10) The reader of Islamic literature [on this topic of Takfir] would be astonished by how plenty are the differences that occurred in it, and would have to pause at what occurred in it, both in terms of violations in methodology and violations in the principles of the religion, to the point where the one who follows through would be incapable of understanding the affirmations and declarations given by the Fuqaha in it, and would find it difficult to gather all the scattered aspects of this topic, and to comprehended its guidelines, in addition to not being able to leave this topic with a clear picture that would make him comprehend this [complicated] chapter.

These dangers in the chapter and topic of Takfir and the many confusions in it, and the trouble faced in comprehending its boundaries, have been highlighted by a number of scholars.

Ibn Abi Al-Izz (may Allah have mercy on him) discusses the many differences in this topic saying:

Know – may Allah have mercy on you and us- that the chapter of declaration of Takfir or not, is a chapter in which the tribulation and fitnah was great, the differences in it was plenty, the desires and views on it were dispersed, and the evidence [of each] conflicted with one another [1].

قال إبن أبي العز: واعلم – رحمك الله وإيانا – أن باب التكفير وعدم التكفير، باب عظمت الفتنة والمحنة فيه، وكثر فيه الافتراق، وتشتتت فيه الأهواء والآراء، وتعارضت فيه دلائلهم.

Scholars complained of these many conflicts that can be found in this chapter and how deeply rooted these disputes are, and thus continuously warned from the dangers surrounding this topic.

Al-Ghazali (may Allah have mercy on him) says:

Know that among the differing groups in this (i.e. the Chapter of Takfir) are [many] exaggerations and biases, which may have lead some groups to declare as disbelievers every other group, with the exception of their own [2].

قال الغزالي: اعلم أن للفرق في هذا مبالغات وتعصبات، فربما انتهى بعض الطوائف إلى تكفير كل فرقة سوى الفرقة التي يعزى إليها

Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) affirms this great dispute that occurred in the issue of Takfir saying:

The Ummah was conflicted a great deal in regards to the Takfir of the people of innovations and desires, as they differed in the past and present on negating Eman from the people of Transgression and major sins [3].

قال ابن تيمية: وأما تكفير قائل هذا القول فهو مبني على أصل لا بد من التنبيه عليه ؛ فإنه بسبب عدم ضبطه اضطربت الأمة اضطرابا كثيرا في تكفير أهل البدع والأهواء كما اضطربوا قديما وحديثا في سلب الإيمان عن أهل الفجور والكبائر

P. 11) Due to the complications in this chapter, despair seemed to reach even some of the scholars when it comes to getting a clear picture about it, and fully comprehending its boundaries and guides.

Al-Juwaini (may Allah have mercy on him) said when discussing the difficulties faced in the issue of Takfir:

If it was said: Explain to us in detail what would entail Takfir and what would necessitate Tabdii’ and Tadleel (declaring others as innovators or misguided)?

We say to them: This is longing for what can’t be attained, and [a matter] quite far from reaching, with its pathway bumpy and rugged. It [rulings] are derived from the waves of the oceans of the Science of Tawheed, and he who has not encompassed the ends of that reality would not be able to arrive in this [chapter of] Takfir to any certainty.

And if I had delved into all what is related to it of speech in this book it would have reached many volumes, and even then it would not have allowed you to achieve the intended goals [in this topic] [4].

قال الجويني: فإن قيل فصلوا ما يقتضي التكفير وما يوجب التبديع والتضليل قلنا هذا طمع في غير مطمع فإن هذا بعيد المدرك متوعر المسلك يستمد من تيار بحار علوم التوحيد ومن لم يحط بنهايات الحقائق لم يتحصل في التكفير على وثائق ولو أوغلت في جميع ما يتعلق به أطراف الكلام في هذا الكتاب لبلغ مجلدات ثم لا يبلغ منتهى الغايات

 

As a result of all these difficulties and confusions, the followers of the Imams even differed among themselves when transmitting the views of the Imams [in this topic]:

Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

There is no one from among the Imams except that you will find transmitted from him in this regard two views, such as Malik, al-Shafie, Ahmad, and others, to the point were some of their followers starting narrating this dispute regarding all the people of innovation and whether they are destined to remain [in hell] for eternity; where some adopted the view that every specific innovator is destined to hell for eternity, and in this view of  flaws and mistakes is more than what can be counted, and on the other hand, some saw that no one from the people of desires can be declared an apostate even if they were upon [views] of atheism, or views of the people of Ta’teel and Itihaad [5].

قال ابن تيمية: والعلماء قد تنازعوا في تكفير أهل البدع والأهواء وتخليدهم في النار وما من الأئمة إلا من حكي عنه في ذلك " قولان " كمالك والشافعي وأحمد وغيرهم وصار بعض أتباعهم يحكي هذا النزاع في جميع أهل البدع ؛ وفي تخليدهم حتى التزم تخليدهم كل من يعتقد أنه مبتدع بعينه وفي هذا من الخطأ ما لا يحصى ؛ وقابله بعضهم فصار يظن أنه لا يطلق كفر أحد من أهل الأهواء ؛ وإن كانوا قد أتوا من الإلحاد وأقوال أهل التعطيل والاتحاد .

Reference:

  1. Sharh al-Tahawiya p. 432
  2. Al-Iqtisad fi al-I’tiqad 264, also refer to: Al-Usool wa Al-Furoo’ by Ibn Hazm 235
  3. Al-Fatawa 12/466; Al-Fatawa 23/345
  4. Ghayaath al-Umam by al-Juwaini 186
  5. Al-Fataawa 7/618

Those who hate you (O Muhammad), are indeed the ones cut off

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Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah [Rahimahu Allah] said in his commentary on Surat Al-Kawthar:

For He – Glorified and Exalted is He – has cut off and deprived he who hates His Messenger from all goodness.

He will cut off his remembrance and reputation, family, and wealth and he will lose them all in the Hereafter. His life will be cut off [from all goodness] such that he will not benefit from [his life], and he would not accumulate any good deeds [that will benefit him] in the last day.

His heart will be cut off and will not be able to comprehend any goodness, and he will never be elevated to know [Allah], love Him, or believe in His Messengers.

[Allah the Exalted] will cut off his deeds [and actions], such that he would not use him in His obedience. His supporters will be cut off from him such that he wouldn’t find anyone that can help him or assist him.

He will be cut him off all deeds that are pleasing to Allah (Glory be to Him) or that would draw him closer to Him, such that he would not find in it any taste or find in it any sweetness – even if he engages in them externally – his heart will always be straying away from it.

That is the penalty of anyone that hates anything that Prophet Muhammad [Peace and Blessings of Allah upon him] came with, and rejected it because of his desires, or because of the one he follows, or because of his Shaykh, his Prince, or his elder.

Similar in case are the ones who hated the verses [that spoke] of the attributes of Allah, or the narrations that spoke of the attributes [of Allah], and interpreted it in a way contrary to the way Allah and His Messenger intended, or carried it in a way that suits his Mazhab, and the Mazhab of his group, or hoped that these verses of attributes were never revealed, or that Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings upon him) never spoke these traditions that speak about the Attributes of Allah [1].

________________________

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[1] Majmou’ Al-Fatawa 16/526-527 – Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him): From his commentary on Surat Al-Kawthar

وقال شيخ الإسلام أبو العباس أحمد بن عبد الحليم بن عبد السلام بن تيمية – رحمه الله – :ـ
" سورة الكوثر " ما أجلها من سورة وأغزر فوائدها على اختصارها وحقيقة معناها تعلم من آخرها

فإنه سبحانه وتعالى بتر شانئ رسوله من كل خير فيبتر ذكره وأهله وماله فيخسر ذلك في الآخرة ويبتر حياته فلا ينتفع بها ولا يتزود فيها صالحا لمعاده ويبتر قلبه فلا يعي الخير ولا يؤهله لمعرفته ومحبته والإيمان برسله ويبتر أعماله فلا يستعمله في طاعة ويبتره من الأنصار فلا يجد له ناصرا ولا عونا . ويبتره من جميع القرب والأعمال الصالحة فلا يذوق لها طعما ولا يجد لها حلاوة وإن باشرها بظاهره فقلبه شارد عنها . وهذا جزاء من شنأ بعض ما جاء به الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم ورده لأجل هواه أو متبوعه أو شيخه أو أميره أو كبيره . كمن شنأ آيات الصفات وأحاديث الصفات وتأولها على غير مراد الله ورسوله منها أو حملها على ما يوافق مذهبه ومذهب طائفته أو تمنى أن لا تكون آيات الصفات أنزلت ولا أحاديث الصفات قالها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم

Al-Kawthar

From the Heart to the Heart – Sh. Uthman al-Khamees (English pdf)

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From the Heart to the HeartBismillah …

A complete English translation of Sh. Uthman Al-Khamees’s book “From the Heart to the Heart”.

The book is directed to all the sincere seekers of truth from among the Twelver Shiahs, presented in a brief, easy to follow manner, supported with evidence for what is mentioned.

It covers various important topics including Aqeedah, Tawheed, the Quran, the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, as well as many other topics.

I ask Allah that the translation is as beneficial as the original Arabic, and that I am advised of any inaccuracies in the translation or suggestions for improvements.

Needy of his Lord’s Mercy,

Ibn Abbas Al-Misri

(Download Link)

To read online: https://ibnabbas.wordpress.com/translation-projects/from-the-heart-to-the-heart/

Uthman al Khamees

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