Summary of the Jahmite's Claims
In his explanation of al-Tahawiyyah (posted by some of his followers online) Foudah comments on the statement of al-Tahawi regarding the Qur'an within which is the following (وإن القرآن كلام الله، منه بدا بلا كيفية قولا) with a number of notes. We will summarise the essence of them here and then we will refute each of these shubuhaat one by one inshaa'Allaah, and show that they clash with what the Sahaabah, Taabi'een and Taabi' Taabi'een were upon and are a distortion of Imaam al-Tahawi's speech in reality and an attempt to commandeer and steer the words of al-Tahawi towards the Jahmite doctrine of two Qur'ans. So from what Saeed Foudah wrote was the following:
ONE: That the meaning of (بدا) is other than the meaning of (بدأ), the meaning of the first is when something (ظهر ظهورا بينا), that is, something appearing manifestly and as for the second, it is commencement, beginning. The intent behind this is to show that (بدا) implies that a matter that already exists appears and manifests whereas (بدأ) means something commences and begins to exist. TWO: With respect to the saying (بلا كيفية) that this is a negation of Allaah's speech being with Voice and letter (al-sawt wal-harf), since Voice and letter is the kaifiyyah for the created beings. Also that negation of a kaifiyyah (with respect to speech) establishes Allaah's eternity, His eternity in all His attributes, in refutation of the Karraamiyyah who affirm hawaadith (events) for Allaah in His essence in the sense that Allaah acquires attributes He never had before, but which subsequently become permanent and eternal. THREE: Saeed Foudah states that the saying of al-Tahawi (قولا) establish the Kalaam which "appeared, manifested" from Allaah, appeared as speech (qawl) and was not just meaning (ma'naa) alone, this being in opposition to the one who said Allaah inspired the meaning to Jibreel who expressed it through the words revealed to the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). His intent here is to say that the Qur'an, as it was revealed to the Prophet (sallallaau alayhi wasallam) manifested from Allaah and no intermediary had any role therein (in determining the words). This sounds a little strange, but the Jahmiyyah give explanations so as to make their innovation appear as closely as possible to what Ahl al-Sunnah affirm, though they intend something else by it, and which is entirely subservient to an over-arching innovated doctrine (Kalaam Nafsee). We will reveal what Foudah is attempting here at the relevant place in this series, but the intent becomes a little clearer from the point that follows. FOUR: In the next point, Saeed Foudah reveals that the Qur'an (as we have it) is from the Preserved Tablet (al-Lawh al-Mahfudh) and this is one of three explanations given by those who hold the Arabic Qur'an to be created (as does Foudah). Some of them say the wording originated with Jibreel, other says Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and others say that it was in the Preserved Tablet, and this is the view of Foudah. This allows them to say that both the meaning (ma'naa) and the wording (lafdh) is from Allaah, and also allows them to obscure the fact that they (in opposition to Imaam al-Tahawi) believe the Arabic Qur'an is created. FIVE: He says about the statement of al-Tahawi (وأيقنوا أنه كلام الله تعالى بالحقيقة، ليس بمخلوق ككلام البرية), "They are certain that it is the speech of Allaah, the Exalted, in reality. It is not created like the speech of the creation" that it emphasizes what was mentioned earlier: The wording (lafdh) of the Qur'an was not produced by anyone from the creation, and that it does not mean that Allaah spoke with letter and Voice since this is negated through (بلا كيف), "without how." SIX: Foudah then makes the allegation at the end of this passage in his commentary regarding the statement (ومن وصف الله بمعنى من معاني البشر فقد كفر), that it comprises takfeer of those who say Allaah spoke with Voice and letter, and of those who say that Allaah creates voices and letters in His self and the Salaf and their followers do not say this, this is a deliberate misattribution based upon the corrupt understanding that is with the Jahmites on the nature of (فعل) in the Arabic language and which they evaluate in light of Aristotelian conceptual baggage as we shall see.
So this is the essence of what the Jahmite has claimed and we shall address each of these issues one by one in the articles to follow in this series. As we stated, the first way in silencing this Jahmite is through objective history, through simply explaining the historical record. Often, a person or a group can contrive and fabricate an apparently coherent belief system that appears to be built upon sound foundations and to be internally consistent. However, when you look at history, you know this belief system is faulty, purely through the way it originated and came into being. This is one of the ways to pull the rug from underneath Saeed Foudah and expose his fraud and show that he is in fact a student of the Hellenized Jews, Christians and Sabean Philosophers and not of the Sahaabah, Taabi'een and Taabi' Taabi'een. Hence, in the first article in this series we want to explain how the doctrine he holds on to came to be. Foudah's doctrine is as follows: That Allaah has an eternal Kalaam which is a meaning (ma'naa) in the self. That Allaah Himself gave rise to the wording (lafdh) through what is in the Preserved Tablet, this being from Allaah not from anyone else, and hence both the meaning and the wording can be said to be "from Allaah." This is a deceptive way of concealing the belief that the Arabic Qur'an we have present with us, recited, heard and memorized is something Allaah created in the Preserved Tablet, a (created) manifestation of the meaning that is with His self and it is Allaah from whom it "manifested" in its created form (not from any created being). So lets us recount history a little to establish how, why and when this doctrine appeared. Note that the historical affairs have been documented extensively in other articles in this site so you can refer to them for greater detail.
The Origin of the Saying of Two Qu'rans Lies in the Rejection of Allaah Speaking and Acting Through Will and Choice (Ikhtiyaar) Which Itself is Taken from the Star and Idol Worshipping Greek Philosophers and Not From the Revealed Books and Sent Messengers
The Greek Philosophers, chief amongst them Aristotle, denied that the "first cause" acts through will (mashee'ah) and choice (ikhtiyaar). The Mu'tazilah declared the Qur'an to be created upon this consideration (the denial that Allaah speaks through His will) as this necessitates hawaadith (newly-originated things) in Allaah's essence, and also from the consideration that attributes necessitate composition (tarkeeb) in the essence of Allaah. The shubhah (misconception) regarding Allaah's will and choice was carried to the Ash'aris and Maturidis from the star-worshipping idolators (of fourth century BC Greece) through the Mu'tazilah, then through the Kullaabiyyah. It is firmly and undeniably established through historical record that the origin of the theology of the Kalam Dynasty (Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Rafidi Mujassimah, Kullaabiyyah Hanafi Karraamiyyah, Ash'ariyyah, Maturidiyyah) lies in the theology of the Hellenized Jews, Christians and Sabeans and ultimately in the conceptual baggage of Aristotle (see the series "Aristotle, Philo Judaeus, Augustine, the Sabeans, the Mu'tazilites and the Ash'arites" - read here) whose logic, philosophy and Metaphysics comprise the conceptual platform upon which their ilm al-Kalaam is built. When this "Kalaam" appeared in the second century hijrah from the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah, they were forced to deny the symbols of Islamic belief on account of it and it was this specific Kalaam and its people who were condemned by the Salaf. From the major symbols they denied were Allaah's uluww, His sifaat in general, His ru'yah, His speech and His sifaat khabariyyah. The reason for the denial of these symbols is because they acquired a proof from the Hellenized Sabean Philosophers (the kalam cosmological argument) which argues that the presence of a'raad (attributes) and hawaadith (actions) in observed bodies proves their originated nature and upon the false principle of the impossibility an endless chain of events in the past, they thought they had established the universe is originated and thereby established a cause for it. Then, by the very nature of the argument used, they were forced to deny attributes (sifaat) and actions (af'aal) from the cause they had established because they had no option but to consider them as a'raad (incidental attributes) and hawaadith (events) which can only be said of bodies in light of the Aristotelian conceptual baggage they had agreed upon as the platform of debate. From here they began to assault the revealed texts with tahreef in the name of ta'weel and this was pioneered by the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah in the second century hijrah and continued later by the Ash'aris and Maturidis, because the revealed texts indicate attributes and actions tied to will and power. The Salaf declared the first Jahmiyyah (as a genus) to be disbelievers, heretics and condemned anyone who spoke about Allaah's attributes on the basis of this Kalaam. The Mu'tazilah gained strength and influenced the rulers towards the end of the second century hijrah and they began to put the scholars in the various Muslim lands to trial with the saying that the Arabic Qur'an is created (a consequential belief arising from the Aristotelian conceptual baggage they founded their theology upon). In the third century hijrah, Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal (d. 241H) stood against these heretics and aided the creed of the Companions, the successors and their successors during the trials of 225H to 232H. He was granted and the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah were subdued and humiliated. They became despised and scorned in the eyes of the people and their worth diminished a great deal.
However, a group appeared led by Ibn Kullaab (d. 240H), and they also refuted the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah (especially in the fields of Allaah's uluww and the sifaat khabariyyah). But they were not deeply grounded in the Sunnah and fell prey to some of the doubts of the Mu'tazilah, specifically on the subject of Allaah's speech and His will (mashee'ah). As a result a new doctrine named Kalaam Nafsee was innovated (as a solution to the problem) by Ibn Kullaab in order to combine between the doctrine of the Mu'tazilah and the doctrine of Ahl al-Sunnah. This doctrine was required by the denial that Allaah is one who speaks and acts through choice (ikhtiyaar) and will (mashee'ah).
This meant that there were now three deviant positions whose basis ultimately lies in the importation of the Metaphysics and philosophy of star worshipping idolators (of fourth century BC Greece) into Islamic theological discourse and these three views are: a) Jahmiyyah: Allaah has no attributes and does not speak, therefore the Arabic Qur'an is created, b) Mu'tazilah: Allah does not have any attributes (as this would imply composition) so attributes are either synonymous with his essence or other than His essence. Upon the latter, his speech is treated in the same way that any other created entity (like a mosque, or messenger) is ascribed to Him, and thus His speech (the Arabic Qur'an) is created, being other than His essence c) Kullaabiyyah: Since Allaah does not act through will and choice, then His speech is eternal like all other attributes, but it is eternal as a meaning in the self only and as for the Arabic Qur'an, it is created and is a quotation (hikaayah) of that singular eternal meaning. This third view required a distortion of the meaning of "Kalaam" (speech) which in the language of the Arabs is lafdh (expression) and ma'naa (meaning) together. The view of the Salaf was that Allaah speaks with a Voice that can be heard (that is unlike all other voices) and this is also the view presented by al-Tahawi as is explicit in his statements (as we shall see in later articles). However, this newly innovated doctrine required a distortion of the definition of Kalaam and thus reliance was made on the poetry of a Trinitarian Christian called al-Akhtal (real name Ghiyāth bin Ghawth bin al-Salt al-Taghlabī, a Christian Poet in the Umayyad Dynasty), in which he says, "Indeed speech is in the heart (self, soul) [in reality]. And the tongue is merely an indicator for what is in the heart." This innovated doctrine was carried by al-Ash'ari, after he abandoned the Mu'tazilah, and it became the standard doctrine of those who ascribed to Ash'ari thereafter.
Abu Nasr al-Sijzī (d. 444H) explains how the Mu'tazilah overcame Ibn Kullaab, which led him to develop his third, innovated doctrine to stand a middle ground between the Mu'tazilah and Ahl al-Sunnah. This middle ground was the one adopted and supported by al-Ash'ari. He wrote in Al-Radd ʿalā man Ankara al-Harf wal-Sawt (tahqīq, Muhammad Bā Karīm Bā ʿAbd Allāh, Dār al-Rāyah, 1994, p. 80-81):
So when Ibn Kullāb and his likes emerged and tried to refute the Muʿtazilah through the path of pure reason without being well-versed in the foundations of the Sunnah and nor in what the Salaf were upon, and nor did they seek proof through the reports narrated in that (subject), due to their claim that they are akhbār āhād which do not amount to knowledge, the Muʿtazilah made binding upon them (to accept) that there is agreement that speech (kalām) is letter and Voice, and that it contains succession, sequence (taʿāqub) and composition (ta'līf), and that this is not found in what is observed except that it is with motion (harakah), rest (sukūn), and that it is necessary that is has parts (ajzā', abʿād), and that whatever is like this is not permitted to be from the attributes of the essence of Allāh, because the essence of Allāh, the Sublime, is not described with union (ijtimāʿ), separation (iftirāq), and whole (kull) and part (baʿd), and motion (harakah) and rest (sukūn). And the ruling upon an attribute of the essence, is a ruling upon the essence too. They (the Muʿtazilah) said: So it is known through these points that the kalām that is annexed to Allāh, the Sublime, is a creation of His which He brought about and then ascribed to Himself, just as you say, "the servant of Allāh", and "the creation of Allāh" and "the action of Allāh."
So Ibn Kullāb and his likes became hard-pressed in the soul with this coercion (in argument) due to their meagre knowledge of the Sunan, abandoning its acceptance, and submitting their reigns to pure reason (alone). So they submitted to what the Muʿtazilah made binding upon them, and then embarked upon [what amounts to] haughtiness in vision , and they plundered the established ijmāʿ amongst everyone, the Muslim and the disbeliever.
So they said to the Muʿtazilah: That which you have mentioned is not the reality of kalām (speech), but it is called kalām metaphorically due it being a quotation (hikāyah) or expression (ʿibārah) of it (the real kalām). And the reality of kalām is 'a meaning established in the essence of the speaker.' Some of them limited themselves to this much, and amongst them were those who took precaution from that which was known to enter into this particular definition (of theirs), thus they added to (this definition) what negates silence (sukūt), dumbness (kharas) and impairments to speech.
Abd al-Kareem al-Shahrastani (d. 584H) wrongly attributes the origin of this saying to al-Ash'ari in his book "Nihaayat ul-Iqdaam," whereas al-Ash'aris popularized this belief, its true originator was Ibn Kullaab:
فأبدع الأشعري قولاً ثالثاً وقضى بحدوث الحروف وهو خرق الإجماع وحكم بأن ما نقرأه كلام الله مجازاً لا حقيقة وهو عين الابتداع فهلا قال ورد السمع بأن ما نقرأه ونكتبه كلام الله تعالى دون أن يتعرض لكيفيته وحقيقته كما ورد السمع بإثبات كثير من الصفات من الوجه واليدين إلى غير ذلك من الصفات الخبرية
So al-Ash'ari innovated a third saying and judged with the emergence of the letters, and this is the destruction of the ijmaa' (concensus) and he judged that what we read is Allaah's speech only metaphorically (majaazan) not in reality (haqeeqatan) - and this is pure innovation. Why did he not (simply) say that the revelation mentions that what we read and write is the Speech of Allaah without (him) delving into its kaifiyyah (how it is) and its haqeeqah (its reality) - just like in the revelation many attributes have been mentioned such as Face, Two Hands and other than them from the sifaat Khabariyyah.
This third view of Allaah's speech being only an eternal meaning but the wording of the Arabic Qur'an being created was in addition to the view of the Mu'tazilah, Jahmiyyah (which has already been described) and the view of the Salaf. The Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah said it is created and no attribute of speech can be ascribed to Allaah. The Salaf said the Arabic Qur'an is uncreated. All of these views were present upon the correct understanding and definition of "Kalaam" in the language of the Arabs. Then Ibn Kullaab came and said the meaning is uncreated but the wording is created. This is the innovated third saying, the breaking of the consensus and a departure from the correct definition of Kalaam known to the Arabs.
Distorting the Revealed Texts and the Statements of the Scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah Upon This New Innovated Saying
Once the above is clear, and all of what has preceded is a matter of historical record, then academic fraudsters like Saeed Foudah will not teach their audiences history for obvious reasons, and nor is it in their interests to identify for their audiences the context, situation, background and timing of the emergence of their doctrine. This would uncover the inherent fraud in all their attempts to distort and twist the statements of the Imaams of Ahl al-Sunnah on top of their distortion of the revealed texts of the Book and the Sunnah. Once they have this futile innovated doctrine in the bag and which they consider to be the truth, they distort the statement of every Scholar from the Salaf or Imaam from Ahl al-Sunnah to make it appear that this was the default original doctrine amongst the Muslims and is what the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) came with. This is what Saeed Foudah has done in his commentary on al-Tahawi's creed. Inshaa'Allaah in the articles to come we will decipher his speech carefully, word by word, to show how the devil has beguiled Saeed Foudah in interpreting the speech of Imaam al-Tahawi through the aql (intellect), Falsafah (philosophy) and conceptual baggage of Aristotle and not through the understanding of the Sahabah, the Taabi'een and the authentic Arabic language. But for now we want to start off with the first point of rebuttal in light of the previous history lesson:
Jahmites, Bring Forth Your Salaf (Predecessor)!
In which revealed Book and in the speech of which sent Messenger and in the speech of which Sahabi and in the speech of which Taabi'ee and in the speech of which Taabi' Taabi'ee is there to be found your futile, corrupt saying that Allaah speaking and acting through will (mashee'ah) and choice (ikhtiyaar) amounts to hawaadith (events) in Allaah's essence rendering him a body (jism) and is thereby kufr and shirk? Answer this question if you are indeed truthful! And when we know for sure you cannot and will never be able mention a single revealed book or a name of any Prophet, Companion or Taabi'ee, then it is known you are not the students of the Companions, the Taabi'een and the Taabi' Taabi'een but rather you are the students of Aristotelian philosophy which forms the basis for your innovated ilm al-Kalaam that came to you from the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah and with which you infested Islamic theology. Further, your misconception with respect to hawaadith (which you took from the Mu'tazilah who took it from the philosophy of star worshipping idolators) is a matter in which al-Razi refutes you (see this article) and in which honest Maturidis invalidate your false claims (see here). For when a person speaks or acts, it is not said in the language of the Arabs that "he created speech (or action) in his essence". This is a distortion and corruption in the understanding of language, and your distortion of the Arabic language is for the sake of the aql of a star-worshipping idolator whose philosophical conceptual baggage you agreed as a platform of debate.
When the answer to this question is demanded from the Jahmites (and the answwer to it is already known in any case), their fraud is laid bare and the true origin of their positioning in the issue of Allaah's speech and the Qur'an becomes clear and all of their subsequent distortions of the statements of the Scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah (like al-Tahawi's) become apparent. So it is said to these Jahmites in essence you have no right to comment on the statements of these Scholars until and unless you can establish and demonstrate the origins of the theoretical basis for your position. And it is here that we are led, through the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah, to the Hellenized Jews, Christians and Sabeans and ultimately to the brain of a star worshipping idolator of 4th century BC Greece and his philosophy. In particular one of his nine a'raad (incidental attributes), "action" (فعل), which is indicative of "Jismiyyah". This is really the foundation of their saying which they conceal from all people out of cowardice and deception, as they do not wish for the people to realize that this doctrine's basis is the aql of Aristotle and not the wahy of Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).
What Saeed Foudah is Really Saying is Concealed Through Hypocrisy and Sophistry: Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisi Explains...
Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisee (d. 620H) said about the Ash'arites in his book, "Hikaayat ul-Munaadharah fil-Qur'aan Ma'a Ba'd Ahl il-Bid'ah" (Narrative of the Debate Regarding the Qur'an with Some of the People of Innovation) - which is his documenting of his debate with the Ash'aris on the subject of the Qur'aan. He says on pages 34-35:
And the focus of [these] people [the Ash'arites] is to [say] the Qur'an is created and to agree with the Mu'tazilah, but they love that this should not be known about them, so they embarked upon [sophistry] that [amounts] to arrogant rejection of observable reality, and rejection of the realities, and opposition to the consensus (ijmaa), and throwing the Book and the Sunnah behind their backs, and speaking with something that no one before them has said, neither Muslim nor Disbeliever. And it is strange that they are not daring enough to proclaim their [real] saying openly, and nor to explicitly state it, except in secluded gatherings, even if they were [ones] in authority (i.e. rulers) and were the leaders of the state. And if you were to quote [to others] from their saying that they believe, they would hate it and reject it and become arrogant over it.
And we do not know amongst the people of innovation, any faction who conceal their saying, and do not have the boldness to proclaim it (openly) except the Heretics (Zanaadiqah) and the Ash'ariyyah. And Allaah, the Exalted, order His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to openly proclaim the religion, to call to it, and to convey what Allaah revealed to Him, so the Most High said: O Messenger! Proclaim (the Message) which has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message. Allah will protect you from mankind. (5:67). So if their saying - as they claim - is the truth, then why do they not openly proclaim it and call the people to it? And how is it lawful for them to hide it and conceal it, and to proclaim openly what is different to it, deceiving the public [into thinking they] believe other than it? Rather, if their saying was the truth that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), His Companions, and the Imaams of the religion after them were upon, how come not one of them openly proclaimed it? And did they all concur upon concealing it? Or how was it lawful for the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to conceal it from his ummah whilst he had been ordered to convey what had been revealed to him, and had beed threatened against concealing anything from it with His saying: And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message. (5:67). And how was it possible for him to make the people presume (something) in opposition to the truth?
Saeed Foudah believes the Qur'an is created but he is too cowardly to admit it. He distorts the speech of Imaam al-Tahawi by playing around with the words (بدا) and (بدأ) so as to support the created Qur'an doctrine in a stealth manner. These games are just a continuation of what Ibn Qudaamah pointed out about these hypocritical, cowardly Jahmites 800 or so years go.
Once this crucial first point of refutation (as it relates to history) has been made [and it is an extremely powerful point, a Jahmite has no option but to flee on his heels like a coward when faced with it] we are then in a position to address the claims of Saeed Foudah in more detail and his attempted stealth distortion of the statement of al-Tahawi. In Part 2, we present the belief of the Sahaabah that the Qur'an commenced (بدأ) with Allaah speaking it in reality (a refutation of the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Kullaabiyyah, Ash'ariyyah, Maturidiyyah and Saalimiyyah), with actual speech, upon our understanding that Allaah speaking and acting through will (mashee'ah) does not necessitate created events in His essence as that is an illegitimate, corrupt conception unknown in the Qur'an and in the Arabic language, and originates in the philosophy of star-worshipping idolators. Rather it is a sign of His utmost perfection.