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Analysis of the Statement of Asrar Rashid (Birmingham) Concerning the Creed of the Salaf - Part 6: The Jurisdiction of the Language of Kalaam
Posted by Abu.Iyaad, in Articles
Topics: Asrar Rashid Asrar Rasheed

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We were requested recently to comment on statement of creed issued by a person named Asrar Rasheed of Birmingham, who is an Ash'ari / Maturidi in creed (the word "Ash'ari" is an umbrella term that includes the Maturidis, that's how most Maturidis themselves see it). A scan of a statement of creed written by this individual was sent to us on 5th April 2011. We have no idea when it was written, but we commenced responding to it on 14th April 2011. In the commentary upon this statement, we will come to realize how today's Ash'aris do not really differentiate between the early Kullabi Ash'aris (who were much closer to Ahl al-Sunnah) and the Later Ash'aris who reverted to many of the positions of the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah in the sifaat, and left the way of al-Ash'ari. At the same time, these contemporaries deceive themselves into thinking that what they are upon is the way of the Salaf, when the reality is that they are not even upon the creed of Ibn Kullaab and al-Ash'ari and his early students (the Kullaabi Ash'aris), let alone the way of the Salaf. Further, when they present their creed, it is presented in a deceptive manner using generalizations and vagueness, and the avoidance of any specificity and detail so as to allow a false ascription to the Salaf to be made in front of the audience.

Before we start commenting on his statement, we should clarify that all of those we have addressed previously on this site have been proven to be dishonest, conniving, calculated people, whose lies are plain and manifest to see to anyone with even an ounce of sincerity and the desire for seeking truth.

So Allaah knows best about Asrar Rasheed how he will behave after the hujjah is established upon him that his orientation in creed (coming from the Ash'ari Maturidi schools) is founded originally upon a matter that the Salaf condemned and vilified, namely the blameworthy ilm al-Kalaam which is the language of al-ajsaam and al-a'raad which he is trying so desperately to hide. What we find in practice is that as it becomes increasingly clear that the later As'haris had little to do with Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari himself and lost connection with him and that the Maturidis, from the very outset, were closer to the Mu'tazilah in creed than they were to the early Kullaabi Ash'aris, these people became more shrewd and more adept in the way they formulate and present their creed to the masses so as to conceal many things (by ommission) and to give the false picture that they are following the Salaf by maintaining policy of speaking in generalizations devoid of tafseelaat (details).

Asrar Rashid's Statement of Creed

This is a scan of a hand written copy sent to us, and inshaa'Allaah we will translate the relevant excerpts and comment upon them:

A Piece of Advice to Contemporary Neo-Jahmites Posing as Followers of Ibn Kullaab and Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari

Clearly, we have a problem here. It is a problem of languages. Asrar is trying to speak his foreign, alien language to us and we have to disappoint him here and tell him that we, like the Salaf, did not learn the language of Kalaam, that of al-ajsaam wal-a'raad. The reason why these unsophisticated and unseasoned neo-Jahmites make unjust oppressive, slanderous accusations against what the Salaf and their followers are upon is because they are trying to project their language onto ours, and the two do not mix, they are trying to project the necessities (lawaazim) they see arising from their particular language (al-ajsaam wal-a'raaad) onto our language of the Book and the Sunnah. So we need to investigate this issue here briefly and concisely so as to establish the hujjah upon them further, and at the same time offer them some advice, perhaps that they may repent, and let go of that dung and blood they took from the Hellenized Jews, Christians and Sabeans (do yourself a huge favour and read this series of articles first).

So here we go:

You should know dear reader, that just because there is agreement in wording between a) what is affirmed by the Salaf, their followers (and likewise, Ibn Kullaab and al-Ash'ari and their very early followers) with respect to Allaah's sifaat (attributes) and b) what has been said by the people of falsehood from the people of tashbeeh and Tajseem, who are the Ahl al-Kalaam, from the Raafidee Hishaamiyyah Mushabbihah and the Hanafi Karraamiyyah Mujassimah, it does not necessitate that one can impute to the Salaf and their followers the falsehood and misguidance of the Raafidee Mushabbihah and the Hanafi Mujaassimah from Ahl al-Kalaam, because agreement in wording does not mean agreement in intent.

The Salaf, Ibn Kullaab and al-Ash'ari say that Allaah has a face, hands, eyes as attributes of the essence, and then they differ. The Salaf simply say "without asking how" and this the methodology of the Salaf, the safest, most correct and most sound way, because the Sharee'ah came with specific affirmation (of the sifaat) and general negation (of any likeness). But al-Ash'ari and the early followers, even though they affirmed these attributes, they errred by making specific negation alongside their specific affirmation, so they said, "Allaah has hands which are not limbs" and "eyes which are not pupils" and what is similar to this. While in meaning this is certainly the truth, it is a methodological departure from the way of the Salaf when it comes to making assertions and coroborrations of one's creed. This is because making takyeef in negation opposes the methodology of the Salaf, just as making takyeef in affirmation. Thus, there is a difference between saying, "Allaah has hands, without how" and between "Allaah has hands which are not limbs or instruments". In any case, despite this, we see that the Salaf, and Ibn Kullaab and al-Ash'ari and their very early followers (and al-Bayhaqi) are all united against the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah on this matter of the sifaat khabariyyah, and they refuted the false ta'weels and tahreefs of the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah in this regard.

Now, just because the Raafidee Mushabbihah also affirm Allaah has a face, hands and so on, and they treat these attributes to be like the limbs and instruments in the creation, then that falsehood is unique to them, and the agreement in affirmation does not mean the agreement in the realities that either faction posits for these attributes. The Salaf affirm that there are haqaa'iq (realities) for these attributes, but that these realities are unlike those of the creation, and we do not have any knowledge of the realities of these attributes. As for the Raafidee Mushabbihah, they make the same affirmation, but posit these attributes as limbs and enter into repugnant takyeef and tashbeeh.

Likewise, the Salaf said, "Allaah is upon / above His Throne," and the Hanafi Karraamiyyah Mujassimah also say, "Allaah is upon / above His Throne," yet we see the Salaf saying, "without how" and the Hanafi Karraamiyyah saying, "He is a jism (body), and the Throne becomes filled with Him, and He equals the Throne in width, or does not extend beyond it..." and so on using a type of language in takyeef which actually follows on from the conclusion they reached through their ilm al-kalaam, that of al-ajsaam wal-a'raad which they used to demonstrate their proof of huduth al-ajsaam, and through which they initially concluded that Allaah must be a jism (upon the particular way they defined it). This falsehood is unique to them, and the Salaf and their followers are free of it, and it is an oppressive, criminal judgement that one equates between the two sayings in terms of what is intended by them. This is because the Hanafi Karraamiyyaah Mujassimah are operating within the jurisdiction of Kalaam (al-ajsaam wal-a'raad) and the Salaf are outside of that jurisdiction, they never entered it and saw it as utter misguidance.

The point here is that when people like Asrar Rasheed and the plethora of other deluded, misguided wanderers who live in cloud-cuckoo land thinking they are following the creed of Ibn Kullaab and al-Ash'ari make statements like the following:

Whoever claimed that Allaah, the Exalted is in something, or from something, or upon something, then he has committed shirk, since if He was upon something, He would be carried (mahmool), and if He was in something, He would be surrounded (mahsoor) and if he was from something, He would be originated (Muhdath).

Then they should realize that the people they are really addressing are their own cousins, brethren in that blameworthy ilm al-kalaam which the Salaf condemned, meaning here, the Hanafi Karraamiyah Mujassimah. This is because these parties have agreed between themselves that it is permissible to use the language of the Hellenized Jews, Christians and Sabeans in speech about Allaah and the associated necessities (lawaazim), and thus, it is only they who are bound by the jurisdiction of Kalaam and whatever necessities are required by it. It was the language of al-ajsaam wal-a'araad (bodies and their incidental attributes) and the proof of huduth al-ajsaam (origination of bodies), on the basis of which:

  • The Jahmiyyah denied names, attributes and actions for Allaah (because they amounted to a'raad, incidental attributes and would render Allaah a body, and thus clash with the proof),

  • The Mu'tazilah denied the attributes and actions (because they amounted to a'raad, incidental attributes and would render Allaah a body, and thus clash with the proof),

  • And in the other direction, the Hanafi Karraamiyyah Mujassimah concluded Allaah must be a body otherwise attributes cannot be affirmed for Him, so they went in a different direction in trying to adhere to the core premises of the proof of huduth al-ajsaam. However, they argued that Allaah is a body yet unlike other bodies (jism laa kal-ajsaam), and whilst they were mostly free of the gross tashbeeh of the Raafidee Mutakallimeen, they entered into a type of takyeef when they spoke of Allaah's uluww, and this takyeef followed on from the conclusion they had already reached through that condemned ilm al-Kalaam, that Allaah is a jism.

So all of this speech of "...if He was upon something, He would be such and such and if He was in something, He would be such and such and if He was from something, He would be such and such...." this is really an inter-kalaam polemical discourse and it has nothing to do with Ahl al-Sunnah because Ahl al-Sunnah do not subscribe to that ilm al-Kalaam of al-ajsaam wal-a'raad in their creed such that these types of necessities should be made binding upon them. This is not the language of Ahl al-Sunnah, it is the language of those who opted for the disease and sickness of previous nations, like the Jews, Christians and Sabeans who thought that the greatest philosophy of the day (the conceptual tools of the Greeks, and Aristotle's al-jawhar wal-'arad in particular) could assist them in theological matters. It is here we strongly recommend that if you have not already done so, you need to read these five articles that deal with this subject matter in detail.

In short, the message is that we, as the followers of the Salaf, are not deceived by that pretence of piety displayed by the likes of Asrar Rashid and ignoramuses like him who claim that their particular theological language in describing Allaah and speaking about Him is more superior than what Allaah Himself said, and what His Messenger said and what the Salaf said - because when Asrar implies that to say Allaah is (على عرشه) is tantamount to shirk, because "it means this and it means that" and so on, he has just proven to the audience that his aql left him a long time ago, and fell by the wayside somwhere in Syria, and he needs to get a grip on reality and the abc's of history, and he needs to realize that this language and these necessities he speaks of are the very ones for which the Salaf condemned, scorned and vilified the Kalaam factions who were present in their time, be they Mu'attilah or Mujassimah, even though the Mu'attilah were the most dangerous to the Ummah.

Hence, we are not in need of your language, just like the Salaf were not in need of your language of al-ajsaam wal-a'raad in theological matters, and you were the very people that the Salaf attacked for entering into this misguidance and using it to speak about Allaah and His attributes, and all of the statements of the Salaf in condemnation of Kalaam are referring to this particular Kalaam of al-ajsaam wal-a'raad, and not the genus of Kalaam, so don't try to deceive us with that worn out tactic of using the term "Kalaam" in a broader sense to refer to the genus of speech in theological matters. We are speaking of the specific Kalaam of Ahl al-Kalaam which is what the Salaf condemned, the language of al-ajsaam wa-a'raad which the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Raafidah, Karraamiyyah, Ash'ariyyah and Maturidiyyah founded their creed upon. So alhamdulillaah, the spurious claim of Asrar Rashid in ascribing to the Salaf, when the Salaf are in one land, and Asrar is on an altogether different planet, is so plain to see.

So the advice here to Asrar and his likes is to go and get a grip on reality and go and learn some objective history about your ancestors from the Ahl al-Kalaam and how they were treated by the Salaf between 100-300H, and we will be so kind and generous so as to point you in the right direction to help you lift the blindness:

And with Allaah lies guidance and success.

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