The excerpt below is from Al-Mataalib al-Aaliyyah of al-Raazee (ed. al-Saqaa, Dar al-Kitaab al-Arabi, 2/106), and it is said to be one of the later books of al-Razi.
The Fifteenth Chapter in Clarifying That His Being a Repository (Mahall) For Other Than Him is Impossible
There are numerous (areas) of investigation (regarding this matter which have taken place by various factions):
The first study: Whether it can be understood that He is a repository for hawaadith (events). They said: This is a saying that has not been spoken of by anyone except the Karraamiyyah. And I (al-Raazee) say: This is a saying that has been said by the majority of the leaders of the various schools of doctrine.
As for the Ash'ariyyah: They claim to flee from this saying but it is binding upon them from various angles:
The first: That He the Exalted is able to bring into existence a particular body (jism) from past eternity to future eternity. When He creates that particular body, it becomes impossible for it to be said: He still remains able to bring it into existence, because now to bring it into existence is impossible [it is already in existence], and that which is impossible cannot have any [exercise of power] over it. Hence, the connection of His ability (qaadiriyyah) to bring that body into existence has ceased and expired.
And the second: That it is impossible for it to be said in past eternity that He used to request from Zaid the establishment of the prayer and giving of Zakah in the present [because Zayd never existed]. Then when Zayd came into existence He began requesting him to establish the prayer in the present and to give the zakah. This request (talb) is an enjoinment and an occurring enjoinment is that which was taking place [requesting Zayd] and then completed and fully taken place [having requested from Zayd], and this necessitates the occurrence of a [new] attribute in the essence of Allaah, the Exalted. And if someone was to say: He being one who [in eternity] requested Zayd in the present to establish the prayer is a [case of a] specific connection (ta'alluq) and a specific relationship (nisbah) [between that which is eternal and that is current, present], and is not [treated as an issue of] attributes (sifaat). We say: These connections and relationships [you are claiming], do they have an actual [true and real] existence or is not the case [that they do]? The second [situation] (that there is not true and real existence to these claimed "connections" and "relationships") requires negation of Him, the Exalted, being one who requests the establishment of the prayer and giving of zakah in the present. And as for the first (that these alleged "connections" and "relationships" are true and real and actually exist), then it requires the occurrence of a [new] attribute in Allaah's essence.
And the third: Which is that it is impossible that He, the Exalted, hears the Voice of Zayd before his existence and that He sees the form of Zayd before its existence. Thus, Him being one who listens to that Voice, this only occurred at the occurrence of that Voice, and His seeing that form [of Zaydd] only occurred at the occurrence of that form, and this requires the occurrence of these [new attributes] in the essence of Allaah, the Exalted.
And as for the Mu'tazilah: Then Abu Alee and Abu Haashim adopted the view that the attribute of desiring (mureediyyah) and ennobling (kiraamiyyah) take place in His essence and that something new arises in His essence in that He is hearing and seeing these newly-occuring voices and newly-occuring colors. And as for Abu al-Husayn al-Basri, he has explicitly announced that the knowledge of Allaah changes with the change in the [detail] of that which is known [from His creation], and that those [types of] knowledge [that relate to the change in circumstances of what is in His creation] are newly-arising in the essence of Allaah.
And as for the Philosophers: Then alongside them being the furthest of people from this madhhab (doctrine), they have in fact spoken of it without them realizing it, and its explanation is: That to them these additional descriptions (idaafaat) are [considered to be] attributes existing within actual entities, and there is no doubt that the Creator, the Exalted, is present alongside every newly-occuring thing that enters into existence. And there is no doubt that He was present before the occurrence of that newly-arising thing, and He shall remain present after the perishing of that newly-arising thing. And this "before", "with", and "after" (i.e. idaafaat) are newly-arising annexations (descriptions) in the essence of Allaah, the Exalted. And when these annexations are [treated as] existing things in actual entities, then this is tantamount to speaking with the occurrence of [new] attributes and meanings, in the essence of Allaah, the Exalted.
So by this study, that which we mentioned is established (namely): That the saying of the occurence of attributes in the essence of Allaah is a saying which all factions speak with (in reality).
Commentary and Explanation
POINT 1: Terminology. First, an issue to do with terminology. Al-Razi speaks of "huduth al-sifaat" (emergence of attributes), and this is a misleading statement, since in the context of the discussion, it merges together both attributes (sifaat) and actions (af'aal) into one term. The saying that Allaah acquires attributes He never had before is a false saying, such as that Allaah became one who speaks and acts whilst previously not being like that, or acquired qudrah (power) and so on. But that Allaah chooses to speak and act as and when He wills, with such speech and action that He never spoke or acted before, alongside Him eternally being one who speaks and acts, it is not correct to refer to this as "huduth al-sifaat" (since Allaah always had speech and action, yet it is tied to His will and power, He chooses to speak and act as and when He wills), these are simply Allaah's Af'aal Ikhtiyaariyyah (chosen actions) which are sign of His utmost perfection.
NOTE: This (Allaah's chosen actions) is the point of contention and the battlefield of war between the followers of the revealed Books, the sent Messengers, the followers of the Righteous Salaf of the first three centuries, the Salafis, Atharis, Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah, receiving the pure "unadulterated milk" of revelation and between the Ahl al-Kalaam from the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Raafidi Hishaamiyyah, Kullaabiyyah, Ash'ariyyah, Saalimiyyah and Maaturidiyyah, those who opted for the dung, puss and blood of the refuse of the previous nations from the Jews, Christians and Sabeans, who already preceded them in speaking about Allaah, His Names and attributes upon the language and terminology of al-ajsaam wal-a'raad (bodies and incidental attributes). And the victorious are those who are with the Book and the Sunnah and the Aathaar, and there is nothing more detestable to the diseased and poisoned Kalaam innovator than what is necessitated by the revealed texts of the annihilation of his falsehood, such as the saying of Allaah, the Exalted:
قَدْ سَمِعَ اللَّهُ قَوْلَ الَّتِي تُجَادِلُكَ فِي زَوْجِهَا وَتَشْتَكِي إِلَى اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ يَسْمَعُ تَحَاوُرَكُمَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ بَصِيرٌ
Indeed Allaah has heard the statement of she (Khawlah bint Tha'labah) that disputes with you (O Muhammad) concerning her husband (Aus bin As-Saamit), and complains to Allaah. And Allaah hears the argument between you both. Verily, Allaah is All-Hearer, All-Seer. (Al-Mujadilah 58:1)
For this reason, in the written and spoken polemics of these people you will hardly find them mentioning a verse or a narration. It is all just rhetoric and kalam and speech about Allaah upon speculation and the Aristotelian conceptual tools upon which they were forced to base their speech about Allaah when they accepted them as a platform of debate against the Atheists and Philosophers.
POINT 2: The Karraamiyyah. al-Razi first mentions what all the schools of Kalaam say about the Karraamiyyah sect, that the Karraamiyyah affirm "hawaadith" in Allaah's essence, but what is being referred to here is acquisition of attributes in Allaah's essence.
In short, the Karraamiyyah, in trying to validate their Kalaam theology, held that Allaah acquired new attributes and this is a baatil (futile) saying which implies deficiency for Allaah.
POINT 3: Evidences Against the Ash'arites Then al-Razi says that the Ash'aris claim to flee from this saying, except that it is binding upon them to speak with this too. He brings three evidences for this.
So al-Razi here is bringing some evidences that you cannot maintain this position of apparently negating "hawaadith" (events), because you are in fact forced to affirm them, and there is no escape from this. So these are his evidences, simplified:
The first: Let's say that before creating the Pen, we are able say that Allaah has the power to create the Pen , that He is able to bring such a thing into existence from past eternity. Now when He actually created the Pen, it is impossible for it to be said any longer that Allaah is still able to bring it into existence, because it is already in existence, so this is an impossibililty, and power cannot be exercised over that which is an impossibility, and hence the connection of that power and ability of Allaah we spoke of prior to the creation of the pen, to the actual creation of the pen has now expired. So this means that the Ash'arites have to affirm that the "circumstances" have changed so to speak, this is what al-Razi is getting across.
The second: It is not possible for Allaah to have requested in eternity a non-existent Zayd to fulfil the obligation of prayer and zakat in the present (as in now) - since Zayd did not exist then. Requesting something is to make something binding and to make something binding is something that occurs and completes, and this necessitates in al-Razi's terminology, huduth al-sifah, a new attribute in Allaah's essence. To hold that Allaah is eternally requesting Zayd to fulfil the obligation of prayer and zakat, before the creation of Zayd and after Zayd perishes is absurd and opposes naql (revealed text) and aql (sound reason).
The Third: It is impossible for Allaah to have heard the Voice of Zayd or the form of Zayd before he was created. Allaah hearing that Voice or seeing Zayd was only when Zayd spoke or when he came into existence with a form. This necessitates huduth (something new, recent) in the essence of Allaah according to al-Razi. To put it another way, whatever you are doing right now, did Allaah see you in your bodily form doing it in eternity? If so, that would mean you are eternal along with Allaah's attributes. The answer is no, Allaah is seeing you and your actual form (body with soul) and hearing you (Voice) right now, as you exist, but this was not the case before Allah brought you into existence with an actual form.
The Ash'arites of course have no answer to these questions and all they did (and continue to do) was to play word games, and that really is the essence of the Ash'arite (Jahmite) school. It is all about playing with words and definitions to wriggle out of difficulties. So what the Ash'ari (Jahmites) did was to say that hearing (sam') and seeing (basr) are really knowledge (ilm), when Allaah hears, it means He knows and when He sees, it means He knows. And in this way, the Ash'arites are actually forced to deny Allaah has actual hearing (by which He hears His creation) and actual seeing (by which He sees His creation) - otherwise the argument above is binding upon them, and they are forced to acknowledge that the foundation of their madhhab and creed is laid to waste, in ruins, in utter annihilation, and the game is over and done with. This is what we find the Later Ash'aris tending to, explaining away hearing and seeing to mean knowledge, because the implication finally sank into their confused brains (which were roasted and toasted by that ilm-kalaam), after many centuries.
Summary and Closing Note
Ash'arism (and Maturidism) and kalam theology in general is just a propped up incoherent academic fraud. The "Ash'arites" have to deny all the attributes pretty much, except life (hayaat) (which is laazim). As for hearing and seeing (these are muta'addi), they must deny them because they imply huduth (Allaah hearing and seeing things that are recent), and likewise iraadah and qudrah (Allaah willing and exercising power over things which are of recent occurrence) and Allah's knowledge (prior to Zayd dying it is in Allaah's knowledge that Zayd is living and will die at an appointed time, and when Zayd has died, it is in Allaah's knowledge that Zayd was living, has died and died at the appointed time). These Jahmites wish to escape from the deity of the Qur'an and seek refuge instead in the deity of Aristotle, an abstract, static, frozen deity, unable to actually hear, actually see, actually speak, or act.
Imaam al-Shaafi'ee (rahimahullaah) was very correct, what better way to seal this article:
حكمي في أهل الكلام أن يضربوا بالجريد ويحملوا على الإبل و يطاف بهم في العشائر ينادى عليهم هذا جزاء من ترك الكتاب والسنة واقبل على الكلام
My ruling regarding Ahl ul-Kalam is that they are to be beaten with palm-branches and shoes, carried upon camels and paraded amongst the kinsfolk, it being announced about them, "This is the recompense of the one who abandoned the Book and the Sunnah and turned to kalaam."
Siyar A'laam in Nubulaa of adh-Dhahabi, (10/29) and Sawn ul-Mantiq of as-Suyuti, (no. 65), also in Manaaqib us-Shaafi'ee (1/462), and in Dhamm ul-Kalaam wa Ahlihi of Abu Isma'il al-Harawi (4/294-295). Whether such a disciplining would turn these Makhaaneeth of the Jahmiyyah into full men is a debatable matter, Kalaam is very intoxicating and it becomes very hard to kick the habit, who knows?