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The Ash'ari Creed and 20th Century Thinkers and Political Activists: Part 2g - The Aqidah of Taqi ud-Din an-Nabahani: an-Nabahani and the Bid'ah of the Qadariyyah - Second Installment
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Topics: Taqi Ad-Din An-Nabahani Hizb Ut-Tahrir Taqiuddin Al-Nabhani Yusuf An-Nabahani

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Taqi ad-Din an-Nabahani Is a Qadariyy Mutbadi' (Innovator), the Likes of Whom The Prophet ((alayhis salaam) Warned Against Severely - Second Installment

In the first installment of this article we established two things from an-Nabahani, that he does not consider the pillar of belief in "al-qadar" to be a firmly established sixth pillar of eemaan, but something that was added later on and made the sixth matter from the matters of eemaan. And secondly, he considers the disputes that took place regarding man's actions in relation to al-qadar to have nothing to do with the "qadaa" and "qadar" that is mentioned in the texts of the Book and the Sunnah.

In this article, we will now survey an-Nabahani's full discussion over this matter, which takes place between pages 66 and 111 of the first volume of "ash-Shakhsiyyah al-Islaamiyyah". Because it is a lengthy section, we can't provide screenshots for all the passages, so you can download the entire section in PDF form which you can use to follow along with this article:

Synopsis of an-Nabahani's Coverage of the Issue of al-Qadaa wal-Qadar

From pages 66-78 an-Nabahani, under the chapter heading, "How Did the Issue of al-Qadaa wal-Qadar Arise", discusses this subject mentions the following:

That the issue of whether man is free (has free will) is an issue taken from the Greek Philosophers, and it was brought amongst the Muslims by the Mu'tazilah. This subject was known as "Determinism" and "Free Will", and it was given the label of "al-Qadaa wal-Qadar" when its discussion was entered amongst the Muslims.

He says (p. 67) that the Mu'tazilah were the instigators of this issue, and the rest of the factions (from the Jabariyyah and Ahl us-Sunnah, by which he means the Ash'ariyyah) refuted them and took an opposing view.

He explains (p. 67) that the Mu'tazilah looked at the issue from the point of view of al-'adl (justice) for Allaah, and that this justice cannot be affirmed for Allaah unless man has complete free will, and that man is the creator of his own actions, and as such, his punishment and reward, is done upon justice.

He says (p. 67) that the underlying issue of the matter is the reward and punishment from Allaah upon the action of the servant, and that this was the subject that was given the label of "al-qadaa wal-qadar" or "determinism or choice" or "free will".

He says (p.67) that they (the Mutakallimeen) studied into the issue of the will (iraadah) and the creation of the actions (khalq ul-af'aal) - and then he proceeds to outline the arguments of the Mu'tazilah on these two issues over the next two pages (pp. 68-69), their position being that a man has independent free will (iraadah) and that he also has independent power (qudrah) and thus initiates and creates his own actions.

He then covers (p. 70) a subsidiary issue connected to this view of the Mu'tazilah which is called "at-tawallud" (the actions resulting from man's actions). This is referring to things like the cutting of something when a man passes a knife through it, or the pain produced when a man strikes another, and so on. And he outlines the generality of the view of the Mu'tazilah that these too, are from the actions of man (resulting from them), with the argument that man produced them, when he did his action, and thus these are also actions created by man (independently).

After this he moves on to cover those who opposed the Mu'tazilah and began to refute them, and from them are the Jabariyyah:

He mentions (p. 70) that a group called the Jabariyyah, the most famous of whom was Jahm bin Safwaan began to refute the Qadariyyah (Mu'tazilah), and then he outlines their view that man is compelled and that he has no independent will (iraadah) or power (qudrah), and that he is just like a feather or reed blown by the wind, and that it is Allaah that creates his actions.

He then explains (p. 71) their argument and justification for this view, that they felt that man having any qudrah (power) would make a partner with Allaah, and thus it is only by Allaah's iraadah (will) and qudrah (power) alone that man performs an action (without any independent will or power).

He then mentions (p. 71) the verses they use as proof, and also explains that regarding at-tawallud (the results arising from man's actions) that all of these are what are known as "special properties of things" that Allaah has placed within them, and that they are from Allaah (not from the actions of men as the Mu'tazilah said) - such as cutting something, or burning something and so on.

Then he outlines the view of those whom he calls "Ahl us-Sunnah" and he means here the Ash'ariyyah:

He outlines (pp. 71-73) the refutation of the Ash'ariyyah againt the Qadariyyah (Mu'tazilah) documenting their view, that is built upon their particular usool as it relates to their particular understanding of the sifaat (which are opposed to the usool of Salaf).

Their doctrine (the Ash'ariyyah) is labelled as "al-kasb", which means that a man acquires the performance of deeds, and he explains this view of the Ash'ariyyah (p. 72) and essentially they make Allaah the originator and creator of the action, whereas man is simply a "repository" in which Allaah creates this action, and man is said to be one who "acquires" such actions.

He says (p. 73) that they used as proof similar verses to what the Jabariyah used, and that they considered themselves to have refuted both the Mu'tazilah and Jabariyyah whereas in reality their view is nothing but the view of the Jabariyyah, and they are but Jabariyyah (and that's a statement of truth said by an-Nabahani), and he say that they failed miserably in trying to present their doctrine of "al-kasb" in trying to tread a middle path between the Qadariyyah and the Jabariyyah.

Thus far, an-Nabahani has documented the views of three factions, the Mu'tazilah (Qadariyyah), the Jabariyyah and the Ash'ariyyah whom he refers to as "Ahl us-Sunnah" as he is upon their way in general.

He then says (p.73) that all of them made the subject of investigation to be the actions of man and whatever results from his actions, meaning the specific properties or characteristics, which a man brings about through his actions upon things.

He then spends a few pages (p. 73-76) summarizing the different views amongst the Mu'tazilah Qadariyyah on the subject of the "specific properties of things" (khaassiyyaat al-ashyaa') that man brings about in them through his actions. This refers things such as the cutting of something through the use of a knife, or the pain arising when striking a person and also the qualities in man such as bravery, and niggardliness, and desire, and hunger, and thirst, and cowardliness and so on. He explains that the Mu'tazilah differed amongst themselves regarding these matters as to which of them were considered from man's created actions or not, and he summarizes a few positions of their heads, such as Bishr al-Mu'tamar, Abu al-Hudhayl al-Allaaf and an-Nadhaam. At the end he says this subject in reality is only a subsidiary of the main subject which is "the actions of man", and is thus secondary to it.

He then says (p. 76) that the students and followers of both the Mu'tazilah and the Ash'ariyyah (referring to them as "Ahl us-Sunnah") continued to discuss and debate this issue, employing new meanings and phrases and debating what the meanings of "al-qadaa" and "al-qadar" were and their applications. As a result of this, an-Nabahani says, this debate continued about "al-qadaa wal-qadar" and all of it referred to one issue which is the action of a man from the angle of whether Allaah brought it into existence or whether the servant brought it into existence.

He says (p. 76) that as a result of all of this, the issue of "al-qadaa wal-qadar" was put under the subject of aqidah and made into a sixth affair from the affairs of aqidah.

He then concludes this chapter with the following:

And from that it becomes clear that "al-qadaa wal-qadar" - upon considering them both to be single noun referring to a single meaning, or, upon their definition, considering them to be two mutually binding affairs - they were not found in the studies of the Muslims except after the presence of the Mutakallimeen (speculative theologians).

And that there is not in the issue relating to them both (i.e. that of al-qadaa and al-qadar) except two views. The first of them being that of (complete) free will, and that is the view of the Mu'tazilah, and the second, determinism (al-ijbaar), and it is the view of the Jabariyyah and Ahl us-Sunnah [according to him, the Ash'aris], alongside the difference between these two in [the use of] expressions and attempts with words.

And the Muslims remained upon these two views and they turned away from the opinion of the Qur'an and the opinion of the hadeeth, and what the Companions used to understand from them [and went instead] to debating about a new label which is "al-qadaa wal-qadar", or "al-jabar (determinism) and al-ikhtiyaar (choice) or "free will", and [debating] regarding a new concept (meaning) which is: Are actions by the creating of the servant and his will (iraadah) or by the creating of Allaah and His will? Or is whatever man brings about of the specific properties in things from his own action and will or are they from Allaah, the Most High? And after the presence of this investigative study (of this concept), the issue of "al-qadaa wal-qadar" was placed under the study of aqidah and was made a sixth matter from the matters of aqidah.

Before we continue, there are a number of observations upon the above statement of an-Nabahani:

ONE: Al-Awzaa'ee (d. 157H) said: "The first one who spoke about al-Qadar was a man from the people of Iraq called "Sawsan" - he was a Christian who became a Muslim and returned to Christianity. Then Ma'bad al-Juhanee took it from him and Gheelaan took it from Ma'bad." (al-Laalikaa'ee no. 1398). Ma'bad al-Juhanee died in the year 80H, and the bid'ah of al-Qadar arose in after the second half of the first century. And thus, the issue of al-Qadar arose before the Mutakallimeen were present, in opposition to what an-Nabahani claims.

TWO: His claim that there were only two views (that of the Qadariyyah and that of the Jabariyyah) on the issue of al-Qadar is baatil (false), rather there were three views: That of the followers of the Companions, of the Taabi'een, the Righteous Salaf who guided them manifestly by the Book and the Sunnah, then that of the Mu'tazilah Qadariyyah (independent free will), then that of the Jahmiyyah and Ash'ariyyah Jabariyyah (complete determinism). We have seen elsewhere, an-Nabahani considers the differences between the Jahmiyyah (Jabariyyah), Mu'tazilah (Qadariyyah) and the Ash'aris with whom he affiliates to be all from the "Islamic aqidah" without them having deviated from it despite their divergent and mutually contradictory views (see here) - and here, on the issue of al-qadar, he says that they turned away from the Qur'an and the Hadeeth and what the Companions understood - but what he means is his particular deviant understanding (of what he thinks the Book and the Sunnah and the sayings of the Companions indicate), not the actual understanding of the Book, the Sunnah and the Companions - as will become clear - for an-Nabahani corroborates the bid'ah of the Qadariyyah.

THREE: He again says that this discussion of a man's will and ability (iraadah and qudrah) was simply added as a sixth matter of the matters of faith (aqidah) after the Mutakallimeen began to dispute about it and gave it the label of "al-qadaa wal-qadar" and was then considered a sixth matter of aqidah - and this is false and an error, rather it was a sixth pillar of eemaan by textual affirmation from the Messenger (alayhis salaam) as occurs in the hadeeth of Jibreel, but an-Nabahani, like the Mu'tazilah and Ash'ariyyah he is following, denies the khabar ul-waahid in aqidah, and thus the hadeeth of Jibreel is not a proof for him. Further, the Prophet (alayhis salaam) said in a hadeeth which is Hasan, that the Qadariyyah are the Magians of this Ummah. This indicates that the Qadariyyah consider man to be a creator of his own evil actions, and thus, we have a textual evidence to refute the allegation of an-Nabahani who claims that making the topic of "al-qadaa wal-qadar" based around man's will (iraadah) and his ability (qudrah) was a newly-invented matter that arose after the first century of Islaam by the Mutakallimeen.

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