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The Term 'al-Jism'
In light of the above we say:
The negation of "jism" was first done by the Jahmiyyah to deny all attributes for Allah and to deny His 'uluww and to deny He will be seen in the Hereafter, or that He speaks with speech that can be heard. Then the Mu'tazilah, Ash'ariyyah and Maturidiyyah have their share in some of this too, since they inherited the greatest principle of al-Jahm bin Safwaan as indicated in the introduction.
We have indicated in other articles that the Ash'arites acknowledge that the definition of the Karraamiyyah (their brethren in ilm al-Kalaam and in the Jahmee principle "Whatever is not devoid of hawaadith is itself haadith") is acceptable and that the difference is only one of wording. You can refer to those quotations from the Ash'arites books in this article:
These are some of the quotes in that article:
From al-Eejee in his al-Mawaqif:
...So the Karraamiyyah, that is, some of them, said, "He is a jism (body), meaning, existent (mawjood)". And (another) people amongst them said, "He is a jism (body), meaning established by Himself (qaa'imun bi-nafsihi)". So there is no dispute with them upon [either] of these two explanations except in the naming, meaning in the application of the word "al-jism" to Him.
And from Sullam ul-Wusool of al-Mutee'i:
...As for the one who said, "He is a jism (body) but not like the [created] bodies", then he has negated [from Him] the necessities (lawaazim) of the [created] bodies, such that nothing remains from them [in relation to Allaah] except the mere naming [with al-jism]. So this, as our Shaykh has said, there is no angle for any differing in this, because nothing remains except merely naming Him with [the word] al-jism (body).
And from Sharh ul-Aqaa'id al-Adhudiyyah of al-Dawwaaniyy:
...And in this manner does such a one negate from Him all of the special [qualities] of a [created] body (jism) until nothing remains except the mere label (ism) of a al-jism. And these [people] are not declared disbelievers, as opposed to those who are explicit in affirming Jismiyyah (i.e. a body like the created bodies).
Also, the following quote was brought to our attention (Acknowledgement: Abu Turab Ali Rida, may Allah reward him), and it is from the Hanafi Ash'ari scholar, Abu Ja'far al-Simnani (d. 444H), and is cited by al-Dhahabi in al-Siyar (17:540), who in turn is citing from Ibn Hazm (d. 456H):
هو أبو جعفر السمناني المكفوف، هو أكبر أصحاب أبي بكر الباقلاني، ومقدم الأشعرية في وقتنا، ومن مقالته قال: من سمى الله جسماً من أجل أنه حامل لصفاته في ذاته، فقد أصاب المعنى، وأخطأ في التسمية فقط. ثم أخذ ابن حزم يشنع على السمناني، وذكر عنه تجويز الردة على الرسول بعد أداء الرسالة. نعوذ بالله من الضلال.
[Ibn Hazm]: He is Abu Ja'far al-Simnani al-Makfuf, he is the greatest of the companions of Abu Bakr al-Baqillani, and the forerunner of the Ash'arites in his time. And from his statements are:
So all of these quotes show that were factions labelled as "Mujassimah" who were factions amongst the Karraamiyyah with whom the dispute was one of wording only. As for the quote of al-Dhahabi from Ibn Hazm, the original occurs in al-Fisal Fi al-Milal (Dar al-Jayl, Beirut, 1996, 5/77-78), wherein he is recounting the disgraces of the Ash'arites of his time.
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