|Thursday, 08 June 2023|
Never see Ash'ariyyah in the same light, ever again! Aristotle of Stageira, Philo of Alexandria, Augustine of Hippo, the Sabeans of Harraan, the Mu'tazilites of Basrah and Baghdad and the Jahmite Ash'ari Heretics of Today Claiming Orthodoxy. Read the first article, the second article, the third article, the fourth article, the fifth article.
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All praise is due to Allaah and may the prayers and salutations be upon His Messenger, to proceed.
Bayaan Talbees al-Ash'ariyyah [al-Kullaabiyyah al-Jahmiyyah]
In previous articles we explained how the Jahmite Ash'aris believe in secret that the Qur'an we recite and memorize is created (but they forbid that this should be said openly). Then there was the saying of Fakhr ud-Din ar-Razi (d. 606H) that the As'haris and Mu'tazilah are actually agreed that the Qur'an we have is created, but they just differ on issues of wording and terminology (see here). We also brought a quote from the Mufassir, Ibn Jareer at-Tabari (d. 310) in which he cleaned out the rat-holes and secret hideouts of the Jahmites in a single sweep, cursing them, reviling them and making takfeer of them on account of their claiming the Qur'an is created - and may Allaah have mercy upon him.
So today, we are going to add to all of the above with a corroboration of it from a contemporary prominent Ash'ari and he is Muhammad Sa'eed Ramadan al-Buti.
Its a good idea to go back to the article on the statement of Fakhr ud-Din ar-Razi and read the "Background" section so that this whole subject can be put into context (read it here).
The Statement of Muhammad Sa'eed Ramada al-Buti
In the book, "Kubraa al-Yaqeeniyyaat al-Kawniyyah", al-Buti says (pp. 126-127), under a heading called "The Essence of the difference between the Mu'tazilah and Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah" (he means the Ash'aris and not the actual Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah who are the Companions, Taabi'een and the early Salaf and their Imaams and whoever followed them in creed the methodology) so under this heading after outlining the Mu'tazili and Ash'ari viewpoints, he says:
The translation of which is (and with our comments):
And here the Mu'tazilah separated from the majority [meaning of the Ash'ari Scholars] since they do not ascribe an eternal attribute to Allaah with this meaning [that of the Ash'aris] whose name is "al-kalaam" or "al-kalaam an-nafsee".
Actually the Mu'tazilah were not the ones who separated from the majority on this issue of not affirming "al-kalaam an-nafsee". Rather it was the Kullaabis and the Ash'aris who blindly followed the saying of Ibn Kullaab (d. 240H) who innovated "al-kalaam an-nafsee" and there was no one from the Salaf who ever ascribed an eternal attribute called "al-kalaam an-nafsee" to Allaah.
It was Ibn Kullaab's attempts to reconcile between the saying of the Mu'tazilah (the Qur'aan we have is created) and the saying of Ahl us-Sunnah, the Qur'aan is the speech of Allaah, uncreated. So Ibn Kullaab innovated the saying of "Kalaam Nafsee" (a meaning present with Allaah's Essence from eternity), and that the Qur'aan, being from that singular meaning, is qadeem (eternal), and this allowed the Kullaabiyyah to say, "The Qur'an is Allaah's speech uncreated" which appears to be truth, but in reality it is falsehood in light of what they intend by it and it is and nothing more than the saying of the Mu'tazilah and Jahmiyyah. Then al-Ash'ari in his days in Baghdad, sitting in the circles of the Kullaabiyyah, took this saying, and he changed it a little, for the Kullaabiyyah said the Qur'an we have is a "quotation" (hikaayah) and al-Ash'ari said it is in "ibaarah" (expression).
So al-Buti's claim here is incorrect, and it is important that when you speak about history, you get your facts straight, and that you know your factions and their statements in detali, and that you attribute them appropriately.
Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said in Majmoo' al-Fataawaa 6/528):
وكما أنه المعروف عند أهل السنة والحديث، فهو قول جماهير فرق الأمة، فإن جماهير الطوائف يقولون: إن الله يتكلم بصوت مع نزاعهم في أن كلامه هل هو مخلوق، أو قائم بنفسه؟ قديم أو حادث؟ أو ما زال يتكلم إذا شاء؟ فإن هذا قول المعتزلة، والكرامية، والشيعة وأكثر المرجئة، والسالمية، وغير هؤلاء من الحنفية والمالكية، والشافعية، والحنبلية، والصوفية.
وليس من طوائف المسلمين من أنكر أن الله يتكلم بصوت إلا ابن كلاب ومن اتبعه كما أنه ليس في طوائف المسلمين من قال: إن الكلام معنى واحد قائم بالمتكلم إلا هو ومن اتبعه، وليس في طوائف المسلمين من قال: إن أصوات العباد بالقرآن قديمة أزلية، ولا أنه يسمع من العباد صوتًا قديمًا، ولا أن القرآن نسمعه نحن من الله، إلا طائفة قليلة من المنتسبين إلى أهل الحديث من أصحاب الشافعي وأحمد وداود وغيرهم، وليس في المسلمين من يقول: إن الحرف الذي هو مداد المصاحف قديم أزلي، فإثبات الحرف والصوت بمعنى أن المداد وأصوات العباد قديمة بدعة باطلة لم يذهب إليها أحد من الأئمة، وإنكار تكلم الله بالصوت، وجعل كلامه معنى واحدًا قائمًا بالنفس بدعة باطلة لم يذهب إليها أحد من السلف والأئمة
Which translates as:
And as this is known with Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Hadeeth, then it is also the saying of all of the sects of the Ummah, for the majority of all of the various factions say: "Allaah speaks with a voice" alongside their dispute regarding whether His speech (Kalaam) is created (or not)? And is it established with His Self (or not)? And whether it is eternal (qadeem) or recent (haadith)? And whether He has never ceased being "one who speaks when He wills" (or not)?
This is the truth of the affair, and it is not permissible for the likes of al-Buti to make sweeping generalizations when characterizing and ascribing views to others, and as for what he says about Imaam Ahmad (see below), then this saying of Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) addresses that.
They (the Mu'tazilah) had said:
The creed of the Salaf, without exception, and of Imaam Ahmad and the Imaams of the Salaf is that Allaah spoke the Qur'an, with letters, words and voice, with a voice that befits His Majesty - and the attribute of "sawt" is firmly established in the revealed texts and it takes the same way as all the other attributes, ithbaat without takyeef, tamtheel, tashbeeh.
This is what Ibn Hajr said on this issue (see full article on this here) in his explanation of Kibaat ut-Tawheed of Fath ul-Baaree:
The Mu'tazilah said: Speech is not by (anything) but letter and voice, and the speech attributed to Allaah existed in the tree. And the Ashaa'irah said: The Speech of Allaah is not letter and voice, and they affirmed al-kalaam an-nafsee, whose reality is a meaning that is established with the Self, even if it may vary, such as [being in] Arabic or a foreign (language). And this difference (in language) does not indicate a difference in that which is being expressed (i.e. the meaning established with His self), as the Kalaam Nafsee is that which is being expressed (through these languages).
And it is clear from this that "as-sawt" is like all the other attributes, it has come in the revealed texts explicitly, and it is affirmed without tamtheel, and takyeef, and Ibn Hajr has rebutted the presumption of tashbeeh. And Ibn Hajr rebuts the saying of al-Bayhaqi who tries to bring evidence for negating that Allaah's speech is with letter and voice (al-harf was-sawt) in his explanation of Kitaab ut-Tawheed in Fath ul-Bari using the same rebuttal as above, and inshaa'Allaah we can put that into a separate article.
Thus, Allaah spoke the Qur'an to Jibreel with a voice and Jibreel heard it. From Allaah did it originate, in the sense that the "Kalaam" (in letter, word and meaning) belongs to Him, and then Jibreel conveyed that "Kalaam" which consists of letter, word and meaning, with his own voice to Muhammad (alayhis salaam), who conveyed this Kalaam, which is letter, word and meaning, to the Ummah with his own voice - and whatever is conveyed is Allaah's uncreated speech, in letter and word.
So the Salaf believe that the name "ar-Rahmaan" with the letters "alif, laam, raa, haa, meem, alif, noon" is an uncreated Name of Allaah, it is from what Allaah spoke, and the same with everything in the Qur'an - and as for the Jahmites and Mu'tazilah they believe the Names of Allah are created, and the Ash'ariyyah, after penetrating their sophistry, also believe, in reality, that Allaah's Names are created - which is a saying following on from their saying that the letters and words in the Qur'an, which we recite, hear and memorize, are all created.
And as for the voice of the reciter and what is written in the mushaf of ink, and the inscription in the Preserved Tablet, then that is no doubt created, but what is meant as uncreated is the letters and words, they are all the uncreated speech of Allaah, they originated with Him. For when a person says "ar-Rahmaan", then we have two elements, the actual sound, voice, which is the created voice of the one who said this, but what is he saying, what is his utterance, it consists of letters that make up a word - that word originated with Allaah, it was spoken by Allaah, and it is uncreated.
And the Salaf declared as innovators and they made takfeer of the Jahmites for claiming that this Qur'an that we have, in its letter and wording - not speaking about the voice of the reciter, or the ink in the written Qur'an - but the letter and wording is created. And this is the saying of the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Kullaabiyyah and Ash'ariyyah - there being no difference between them as you can see, save the sophistry of "Kalaam Nafsee" innovated by Ibn Kullaab and followed blindly by the Ash'arites.
And we do not enter - after you have come to know the point of agreement and difference [between the Ash'aris and the Mu'tazilah] - into anything of debate and argument that have arose regarding this study [of this subject], due to our belief that [short] discourses are easier than [all of that].
Note here how al-Buti dismisses this issue as just something that originated with the difference between Imaam Ahmad and the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah and that it is not an issue that should be entered into after it has become clear (according to him) that there is no real difference between the Ash'aris and the Mu'tazilah except one of wording only.
So here it is as clear as daylight, the Ash'ari viewpoint is no different from the Mu'tazili viewpoint that this Qur'an we have which we read, recite, memorize and hear, its letters and words are created. The only difference they have is one of words and labels.
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