Monday, 22 July 2024   

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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The Jahmite Ash'aris: The Qur'an Present With Us is 'Muhdath' Meaning (To Them) Created - Ibn Battah's (d. 387H) Refutation of the Jahmites of Old With A Clarification of the Doubts of Contemporary Jahmite Ash'aris Regarding What is 'Muhdath'
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Topics: Muhdath Ibn Battah Muhdath Ibn Battah

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This article is a continuation of a series of articles related to some doubts propagated by the Jahmites of today posing as followers of Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari. Their intent is to cause confusion regarding the subject of Allaah's actions tied to His will and power, which they themselves deny on the basis that they would constitute events, occurrences (hawaadith) in Alaah's Essence, and thus according to Aristotle's "al-Maqoolaat al-Ashar" (the Ten Categories) Allaah would be rendered a body (jism). And so they have brought some doubts regarding ambiguous terms such as "Muhdath" (of recent occurrence), such doubts that actually originated with the Jahmites on the subject of the Qur'an. They wrongly attempt to apply such doubts to the creed of Ahl us-Sunnah that Allaah has actions tied to His will and that He speaks as and when He wills and that none of His speech is created. Their confusion lies in their not grasping the usage and implementation of these terms (haadith, hadeeth, muhdath), and in particular the true meaning of the various statements from the Salaf that have used in the course of this doubt - and we will quote these very statements in the course of this article.

Background Points

Before proceeding to the text and translation of Ibn Battah's words, it is necessary that a few important points be made as background to this issue:

  • Ibn Battah has been preceded in the explanation from him that follows by Imaam Ahmad (d. 241H), who also explained this in his book "ar-Radd alal-Jahmiyyah" in the course of refuting the attachment of the Jahmiyyah to the verse:

    مَا يَأْتِيهِم مِّن ذِكْرٍ مَّن رَّبِّهِم مُّحْدَثٍ

    "Comes not unto them an admonition (dhikr) from their Lord as a recent revelation (Muhdath)..." (Al-Anbiya 21:2), and inshaa'Allaah we can document that in a separate article.

  • Prior to the Kullaabiyyah, followers of Ibn Kullaab (d. 240H) and Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari (d. 324H), there were only two views. The saying of the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah that this Qur'an present with us, in letter and word, is created. And the saying of the Salaf that it is not created but Allaah's speech uncreated, which He spoke in reality, and no matter how it is found, conveyed through recitation, heard, memorized, written, it is all Allaah's speech, meaning the words, not the voice, or ink, or paper, but the words conveyed. The dispute between them was concerning this Qur'an that is present with us, in letter and word, in all these ways. And every faction was agreed the definition of Kalaam (speech) is that it is comprised of both word (lafdh) and meaning (ma'naa) together, and is letter and voice - there was no difference in this matter between any of the various factions - none whatsoever. Then Ibn Kullaab came along and he innovated the the false "Kalaam Nafsee" doctrine, and broke the Ijmaa' that existed previously concerning "Kalaam". We have documented this in previous articles, from ash-Shahrastani (himself an Ash'ari) - see the middle of this article where the quote from "Nihaayat ul-Aqdaam" of ash-Shahrastani appears. And it was from Ibn Kullaab's innovation of the doctrine of "Kalaam Nafsee" that the saying of the Ash'arites was derived that we have two Qur'ans, not one! One of them is uncreated, and the other is created! And due to the absurdity of their saying, they dislike that the reality of their belief and saying should be propagated about them, and this trait of theirs is well over 800 years old. Go here to this article and see Ibn Qudaamah breaking it down very well about them.

  • The saying of the Ash'arites is that this Qur'an that we have present with us, in its letter and word is created. And we are not speaking here of the ink, paper and the voice of the reciter as that is clearly understood to be created, since all the actions of the servants are created. However, we are speaking about the words (that are written, memorized, recited, heard). Regarding this, the Ash'arites believe as did the Jahmites and Mu'tazilah, that they are created. However, the Ash'arites are the most adept in deceiving the people and in concealing the reality of their saying. And we have shown from their own books and their own scholars what proves that their saying is no different to the saying of the Mu'tazilah in reality. But as the truth is manifest to one who looks at the reality of the position of the Salaf, the Ash'arites of today realize this, and the shrewd ones amongst them are very adept in using chicanery to hide the reality of their own saying. We will dedicate a separate article to this to show how this is done by the likes of G.F. Haddad.

  • The reason for the Ash'arites (and the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Kullaabiyyah and Maturidiyyah) holding that this Qur'an we have with us, recited, heard, memorized, written, in letter and word, is created is because they reject that Allaah has Sifaat Fi'liyyah, meaning actions that are tied to His will and power (also called af'aal ikhtiyaariyyah). In this, they simply followed the creed of the Kullaabiyyah, and it is upon this basis that they are lead to the view that Allaah cannot have instances of speech that are other than each other, or which are tied to His will and power, as this would necessitate events, occurrences (hawaadith), meaning actions, and according to Aristotle's Maqoolaat (which is what their entire understanding of Tawheed revolves around and is evaluated upon), actions are from the incidental attributes (a'raad) of bodies (ajsaam). To understand more about this read this article. In rejecting that Allaah has actions tied to His will and power, all of the Mutakallimoon (Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Kullaabiyyah, Ash'ariyyah, Maturidiyyah) have opposed the Book of Allaah, the Sunnah of His Messenger, the Ijmaa of the Sahaabah, and of the entirety of the Salaf, and have instead agreed with the necessities arising from the metaphysical language, terminology and classifications of the atheist Philosophers, which they have made to be the foundation for establishing the very veracity of the religion itself, namely, in their intellectual proof of "hudooth ul-ajsaam". All of these Mutakallimoon hold that the Qur'an we have present with us is created, upon this foundation and basis, they are all agreed upon that.

  • And you need to pay very good attention to this last matter that has just preceded . The reason for all of the Mutakallimoon deviating on the issue of Allaah's attributes, to varying degrees, is that they made the foundation of their religion to be this intellectual proof for demonstrating the universe is created, using the language and terminology of the atheist Philosophers themselves and this is the ilm ul-kalaam that the Imaams such as Maalik and Ahmad and ash-Shaafi'ee condemned. And when these people used this language and terminology to devise what is in fact a corrupt and false proof in the first place, all their language regarding Allaah and His Attributes could not be divorced from it, and thus Tawheed became nothing but purifying Allaah of a'raad (incidental attributes) and hawaadith (events, occurrences). And the Ilm ul-Kalaam of these people is not what is also referred often by them as "Kalaam" which is used to refer sound reasoning and argument and speech on issues of creed. They confuse between the two in order to defend that devious ilm ul-kalaam which is the base and foundation of their creed in reality. Thus, they will say, "Hey, Imaam Ahmad indulged in Kalaam when he refuted the Jahmiyyah" deceptively portraying to people through this that their particular Ilm ul-Kalaam, which is the Tawheed of al-Jawhar wal-'Arad, the Tawheed of Aristotle's Maqoolaat, is legitimate, when it was in fact the "Kalaam" condemned by all the Imaams of the Salaf!

Ibn Battah and the Doubts of the Jahmiyyah

Ibn Battah al-Ukbaree (d. 387H) wrote in his book al-Ibaanah al-Kubraa (ar-Radd 'alal-Jahmiyyah 2/184-186), regarding a doubt of the Jahmiyyah used to argue that this Qur'an present with us, recited, heard, memorized, written, in letter and word, is created and not the uncreated speech of Allaahh.

Translation and Notes

Ibn Battah said:

Then the Jahmite, when his proof regarding what he claimed is invalidated, he claimed another matter, so he said: "I find a verse in the Book which indicates that the Qur'an is created." So it was said to him: "Which verse is this?" He said: |"The saying of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic:

مَا يَأْتِيهِم مِّن ذِكْرٍ مَّن رَّبِّهِم مُّحْدَثٍ

Comes not unto them an admonition (a chapter of the Qur'an) from their Lord as a recent revelation... (Al-Anbiya 21:2)

Do you not see that every Muhdath is makhlooq (created)?"

The Salaf made takfir of the Jahmiyyah for their saying that the Qur'an is created, because this means that the knowledge (ilm) of Allaah is makhlooq, or of recent occurrence (Muhdath), since the Qur'an is from Allaah's knowledge.

And in addition - although the Jahmiyyah did not intend this - their use of the verse above also implied that Allaah became "mutakallim" (one who speaks) after he was not "mutakallim", meaning His attribute of speech is "Muhdath" (of recent occurrence, acquiring it after not having it), but the Jahmiyyah did not affirm the attribute of speech for Allaah to begin with, and they did not intend this particular argument. However, the use of the ambiguous word "Muhdath" gave the presumption of this meaning.

In this regard there are numerous statements from the Salaf clarifying this affair.

Al-Bayhaqi in his "al-Asmaa was-Sifaat" brings the statement of al-Wakee bin al-Jarraah (1/609):

من زعم أن القرآن مخلوق فقد زعم أن القرآن محدث ومن زعم أن القرآن محدث فقد كفر

Whoever claimed the Qur'an is makhlooq (created) has claimed that the Qur'an is Muhdath (of recent occurrence in the knowledge of Allaah) and whoever claimed the Qur'an is Muhdath has disbelieved.

And Imaam adh-Dhahabi, in his "Mukhtasar al-Uluww" (p. 152) brings the narration of Muhammad al-Marwazi who said:

I heard al-Haarith bin Umayr, and he was with Fudayl bin Iyaad, saying:

من زعم أن القرآن محدث فقد كفر ومن زعم أنه ليس من علم الله فهو زنديق

Whoever claimed that the Qur'an is Muhdath (of recent occurrence in the knowledge of Allaah) has disbelieved, and whoever claimed that it is not from the knowledge of Allaah is a zindeeq (heretic).

And Fudayl said: You have spoken the truth.

And Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani brings a number of narrations in this regard, in Fath ul-Bari in the sharh of "Kitaab ut-Tawheed" from al-Bukhari's Saheeh:

ومن طريق نعيم بن حماد قال محدث عند الخلق لا عند الله قال وانما المراد انه محدث عند النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يعلمه بعد ان كان لا يعلمه واما الله سبحانه فلم يزل عالما وقال في موضع آخر كلام الله ليس بمحدث لأنه لم يزل متكلما لا انه كان لا يتكلم حتى أحدث كلاما لنفسه فمن زعم ذلك فقد شبه الله بخلقه لأن الخلق كانوا لا يتكلمون حتى أحدث لهم كلاما فتكلموا به

And from the route of Nu'aym bin Hammaad who said: "Of recent occurrence with the creation, not with Allaah." He (Nu'aym) said: "The intent is that it is of recent occurrence to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) who came to know it after he did not know it. As for Allaah, the Sublime, then He never ceased to be knowing (aalim)."

And he said in another place: "Allaah's speech is not of recent occurrence (meaning that He did not acquire speech after not having it), because He has never ceased to be one who speaks (mutakallim). It is not [the case] that he did not used to speak until He brought about speech in Himself (i.e. after not having the attribute of speech). So whoever claimed this has resembled Allaah to His creation, because the creation do not speak until He brings forth (the capability of) speech for them so that they then speak by way of it.

And Imaam Ahmad said in his "ar-Radd alal-Jahmiyyah" responding to the same doubt brought by the Jahmites, at the end of the rebuttal of the Jahmites on this point:

So we found the evidence from the saying of Allaah: "Comes not unto them an admonition (a chapter of the Qur'an) from their Lord as a recent revelation... (Al-Anbiya 21:2)" [meaning] to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), because the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not used to know, so Allaah taught him, and when Allaah taught him, then that became "Muhdath" (of recent occurrence in knowledge) to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

And there occurs in Imaam al-Bukhaaree's "Khalq Af'aal il-Ibaad" (p. 23), the answer to the use of the Jahmites of the same verse:

Which translates:

As for their distortion {of the verse]: "Comes not unto them an admonition (a chapter of the Qur'an) from their Lord as a recent revelation..." (Al-Anbiya 21:2), then it is of recent [revelation] to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), and his companions when Allaah taught that which was not known [previously].

From the above narrations - and as will come clear through what is yet to come of the response of Ibn Battah to the Jahmites - it is clear that the saying of the Jahmites that the Qur'an is "Muhdath" and "makhlooq" and their use of this particular verse to argue for their falsehood - implies the two following beliefs:

  • The first: That Allaah's knowledge is of recent origin - since the Qur'an is Allaah's knowledge and whoever claimed what is in the Qur'an is created has claimed that Allaah's knowledge is created (makhlooq), and thus of recent origin (haadith, muhdath) - and this was the argument of Imaam Ahmad against the Jahmites, so he made binding upon the Jahmites that they speak with kufr through this claim of theirs.

  • The second: Even though the Jahmites do not hold this view, since they do not affirm "Kalaam" as an attribute for Allaah at all, nevertheless, the argument they adduce from the verse in question and the saying that the Qur'an is "Muhdath" implies that Allaah's attribute of Kalaam is of recent origin, meaning that He became mutakallim (one who speaks) after not being one who speaks (mutakallim). And Imaam Ahmad spoke against the likes of Dawud al-Ashbahani (adh-Dhaahiree) who said "the Qur'an is muhdath" since it implies this particular saying that Allaah spoke (takallama) after not being one who speaks (mutakallim), this being the saying of the Karraamiyah, meaning that the quality of speech is of recent occurrence, that he acquired speech after not having speech.

And Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah also provides clarification on this matter in Sharh Hadeeth in-Nuzool (p. 405-407):

وكذلك يقولون : إنه يتكلم بمشيئته وقدرته وكلامه هو حديث وهو أحسن الحديث . وليس بمخلوق باتفاقهم ويسمى حديثا وحادثا . وهل يسمى محدثا ؟ على قولين لهم . ومن كان من عادته أنه لا يطلق لفظ المحدث إلا على المخلوق المنفصل - كما كان هذا الاصطلاح هو المشهور عند المتناظرين الذين تناظروا في القرآن في محنة الإمام أحمد رحمه الله وكانوا لا يعرفون للمحدث معنى إلا المخلوق المنفصل - فعلى هذا الاصطلاح لا يجوز عند أهل السنة أن يقال القرآن محدث بل من قال إنه محدث فقد قال إنه مخلوق . ولهذا أنكر الإمام أحمد هذا الإطلاق على " داود " لما كتب إليه أنه تكلم بذلك ; فظن الذين يتكلمون بهذا الاصطلاح أنه أراد هذا فأنكره أئمة السنة . وداود نفسه لم يكن هذا قصده بل هو وأئمة أصحابه متفقون على أن كلام الله غير مخلوق وإنما كان مقصوده أنه قائم بنفسه ; هو قول غير واحد من أئمة السلف وهو قول البخاري وغيره . والنزاع في ذلك بين أهل السنة " لفظي " ; فإنهم متفقون على أنه ليس بمخلوق منفصل ومتفقون على أن كلام الله قائم بذاته وكان أئمة السنة : كأحمد وأمثاله والبخاري وأمثاله وداود وأمثاله وابن المبارك وأمثاله وابن خزيمة وعثمان بن سعيد الدارمي وابن أبي شيبة وغيرهم ; متفقين على أن الله يتكلم بمشيئته وقدرته ; ولم يقل أحد منهم أن القرآن قديم ; وأول من شهر عنه أنه قال ذلك هو ابن كلاب . وكان " الإمام أحمد " يحذر من الكلابية وأمر بهجر الحارث المحاسبي لكونه كان منهم . وقد قيل عن الحارث أنه رجع في القرآن عن قول ابن كلاب وأنه كان يقول : إن الله يتكلم بصوت . وممن ذكر ذلك عنه الكلاباذي في كتاب " التعرف لمذهب التصوف " .

This translates as:

And likewise they say: Indeed He (Allaah) speaks with His Will (mashee'ah) and Power (qudrah), and His speech (Kalaam) is "hadeeth" and it is the best of "hadeeth", and it is not created by the unanimous agreement, yet it is called "hadeeth" and "haadith". But can it be called "Muhdath"? There are two sayings for them. He whose habit was not to apply the word "Muhdath" except to a created entity, separate (from Allaah's Essence) - just as this particular usage was well-known amongst those debaters who debated regarding the Qu'ran in the trial of Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullaah) and they did not used to know of any meaning for "al-muhdath" except "the created entity, separate (from Allaah's Essence)" - then based upon this usage, it is not permissible with Ahl us-Sunnah for it to be said, "The Qur'an is muhdath". Rather, the one who said it is "Muhdath" then he has said it is "makhlooq". For this reason, Imaam Ahmad rejected this application (of the word "Muhdath") from Dawud (adh-Dhaahiree), when it was written to him (Ahmad) that he (Dawud) spoke with that.

And those who spoke with this usage thought that he (Dawud) meant this (meaning) so the Imaams of the Sunnah showed rejection against it. But this was not the intent of Dawud himself. Rather, he and the leading scholars of his associates were agreed that the speech of Allaah is uncreated. His intent was that it (the Speech) is established by with His Self.

And this is the saying of more than one from the Imaams of the Salaf, and it is the saying of al-Bukhari and others. And the dispute concerning that between Ahl us-Sunnah is one of wording only. For they are all agreed that it (the speech) is not a created (entity) separate (from Allaah's essence), and they are agreed that Allaah's Speech is established with His Essence. The Imaams of the Sunnah like Ahmad and his likes, al-Bukhari and his likes, Dawud and his likes, Ibn al-Mubaarak and his likes, Ibn Khuzaimah and his likes, Uthman bin Sa'eed ad-Darimee, and Ibn Abee Shaybah and others besides them were all unanimously agreed that Allaah speaks with His will and power, and not a single one of them said that the Qur'an is "qadeem" (eternal). The first one from whom it became well-known that he said this was Ibn Kullaab. And Imaam Ahmad used to warn from the Kullaabiyyah and ordered the boycott of al-Haarith al-Muhaasibee due to him being from amongst them. And it has been said that al-Haarith turned back from the saying of Ibn Kullaab on the Qur'an and that he used to say that Allaah speaks with a voice. From those who mentioned that is al-Kalaabaadhee in the book, "At-Ta'arruf Li Madhhab at-Tasawwuf".

And Ibn Taymiyyah also said, clarifying this matter further, as occurs in Majmoo' al-Fataawaa (6/160-162), in discussing Abu Ya'laa's interpretation of one of Imaam Ahmad's statements, whilst noting that there were some Hanbalis, who ascribed themselves to Imaam Ahmad who had some Kullaabi influences:

وأما قول القاضي: إن هذا قول بحدوثه، فيجيبون عنه بجوابين

أحدهما: ألا يسمى محدثًا أن يسمى حديثًا، إذ المحدث هو المخلوق المنفصل، وأما الحديث فقد سماه الله حديثًا، وهذا قول الكرامية، وأكثر أهل الحديث، والحنبلية.

والثاني: أنه يسمى محدثًا، كما في قوله: مِّن ذِكْرٍ مَّن رَّبِّهِم مُّحْدَثٍ وليس بمخلوق. وهذا قول كثير من الفقهاء، وأهل الحديث والكلام، كداود بن علي الأصبهاني صاحب المذهب لكن المنقول عن أحمد إنكار ذلك، وقد يحتج به لأحد قولي أصحابنا.

قال المروذي: قال أبو عبد الله: مَنْ داود بن علي الأصبهاني؟ لا فرج الله عنه جاءني كتاب محمد بن يحيى النيسابوري، أن داود الأصبهاني، قال كذبًا: إن القرآن محدث، وذكر أبو بكر الخلال هذه الرواية في كتاب السنة، وقال عبد الله بن أحمد: استأذن داود على أبي فقال: من هذا؟ داود؟ لا جبر ود الله قلبه، ودَوَّد الله قبره، فمات مُدوَّدًا.

والإطلاقات قد توهم خلاف المقصود، فيقال: إن أردت بقولك: محدث أنه مخلوق منفصل عن الله كما يقوله الجهمية، والمعتزلة، والنجارية فهذا باطل لا نقوله، وإن أردت بقولك: إنه كلام تكلم الله به بمشيئته، بعد أن لم يتكلم به بعينه وإن كان قد تكلم بغيره قبل ذلك، مع أنه لم يزل متكلمًا إذا شاء فإنا نقول بذلك. وهو الذي دل عليه الكتاب والسنة، وهو قول السلف، وأهل الحديث، وإنما ابتدع القول الآخر الكُلابيَّة والأشعرية، ولكن أهل هذا القول لهم قولان:

أحدهما: أنه تكلم بعد أن لم يكن متكلمًا، وإن كان قادرًا على الكلام، كما أنه خلق السموات والأرض، بعد أن لم يكن خلقهما، وإن كان قادرًا على الخلق. وهذا قول الكَرَّامية وغيرهم ممن يقول: إنه تَحُلُّه الحوادث، بعد أن لم تك تحله، وقول من قال: إنه محدث يحتمل هذا القول، وإنكار أحمد يتوجه إليه.

والثاني: أنه لم يزل متكلمًا يتكلم إذا شاء، وهذا هو الذي يقوله من يقوله من أهل الحديث.

وأصحاب هذا القول قد يقولون: إن كلامه قديم، وأنه ليس بحادث ولا مُحدَث، فيريدون نوع الكلام؛ إذ لم يزل يتكلم إذا شاء، وإن كان الكلام العيني يتكلم به إذا شاء، ومن قال: ليست تحل ذاته الحوادث، فقد يريد به هذا المعنى، بناء على أنه لم يحدث نوع الكلام في كيفية ذاته.

وقال أبو عبد الله بن حامد في أصوله: ومما يجب الإيمان به والتصديق أن الله يتكلم، وأن كلامه قديم وأنه لم يزل متكلمًا في كل أوقاته بذلك موصوفًا، وكلامه قديم غير محدث، كالعلم والقدرة، وقد يجىء على المذهب أن يكون الكلام صفة متكلم لم يزل موصوفًا بذلك، ومتكلمًا كلما شاء وإذا شاء، ولا نقول: إنه ساكت في حال ومتكلم في حال، من حين حدوث الكلام.

والدليل على إثباته متكلمًا على ما وصفناه: كتاب الله، وسنة نبيه، وإجماع أهل الحق، إلا طائفة الضلال المعتزلة وغيرهم من المتكلمين، فإنهم أبوا أن يكون الله متكلمًا، وذكر بعض أدلة الكتاب والسنة.

Which translates:

As for the saying of al-Qaadee (Abu Ya'laa): "This is speaking with its 'hudooth' (occurrence)" - [referring to Allaah's Speech] - then they reply to it with two answers:

The first of them: That it is not called "Muhdath" but it is called "hadeeth", since the Muhdath is the created entity, separate (from Allaah's Essence). As for the the "hadeeth", then Allaah has called it (the Qur'an) "hadeeth". And this is the saying of the Karraamiyyah, the majority of Ahl ul-Hadeeth and the Hanbalis.

The second: That it is called "Muhdath", as occurs in His saying, "... [Comes not unto them] an admonition (a chapter of the Qur'an) from their Lord as a recent revelation... (Al-Anbiya 21:2), but it is not created (makhlooq). And this is the saying of many of the Jurists, the people of hadeeth and of Kalaam, such as Dawud bin Alee al-Asbahaanee (adh-Dhaahiree) who is from the madhhab, however what is narrated from Ahmad is to reject this, and it can be used as proof [in favour] of one of the two sayings of our associates.

Al-Marwadhi said: Abu Abdullaah (Ahmad bin Hanbal) said: "Who is [this] Dawud bin Alee al-Asbahaanee? May Allaah not grant him relief. A book came to from Muhammad bin Yahyaa an-Neesaabooree that Dawud al-Asbahaanee said a lie, "The Qur'an is Muhdath"."

And Abu Bakr al-Khallaal mentioned this narration in "Kitaab us-Sunnah". And Abdullaah bin Ahmad said, "Dawud sought permission to enter upon my father and he said: "Who is this? Dawud? May the love for Allaah not console his heart and may Allaah make his grave worm-eaten." And so he died [with his grave] worm-eaten.

And the application of words can sometimes give the presumption of what is opposed to what is actually intended. So it is said: If you mean by your saying, "Muhdath" that it is a created (entity) separate from Allaah, just as the Jahmiyyah say, and the Mu'tazilah and the Najjaariyyah (regarding Allaah's speech), then this is false and we do not say it. And if you mean by your saying (that it is muhdath) that it is (instances) of speech (Kalaam) that Allaah speaks with according to His will, after He did not speak with that specific instance of speech, even though He may have spoken with other than it prior to that, and alongside [the fact] of Him never ceasing to be one who speaks (mutakallim) whenever He wills, then we speak with that. And this is what the Book and the Sunnah indicate, and it is the saying of the Salaf and the Ahl ul-Hadeeth.

Indeed it was the Kullaabiyyah and Ash'ariyyah who innovated another saying, but as for the people (holding) this saying (just mentioned previously), they have two sayings (in this regard):

The first: That he spoke after he was not one who spoke (mutakallim), even though he may have had the ability to speak, just like he created the heavens and the earth, after he had not created them, even though he had the ability to create (all along). And this is the saying of the Karraamiyyah and others who say that events, occurrences (hawaadith) can take place in His essence after they had not taken place. Thus, the saying of the one who said, "It (Allaah's speech) is muhdath" can carry this meaning, and the rejection of Ahmad is directed towards this (meaning).

The second: That He never ceased to be one who speaks (mutakallim), speaking whenever He wills, and this is what is said by whoever says it from the Ahl ul-Hadeeth.

And those who say this may also say: Indeed his speech (Kalaam) is qadeem (eternal) and that it is not haadith or Muhdath (of recent occurrence) and what they intend here is the genus of speech, since He has never ceased to speak whenever He wills, even if He speaks with any specific instance of speech whenever He wills. And those who said that occurrences, events (hawaadith) do not take place in His Essence, then they may intend this meaning by it, based upon the genus of speech not having been of recent occurrence in the quiddity (kaifiyyah) of His Essence.

And Abu Abdullaah bin Haamid said in his "Usool":

And that which is obligatory to have faith in and to believe in is that Allaah speaks (yatakallam),and that His speech is eternal (qadeem), and that He has never ceased to be one woh speak (mutakallim), in all times described with that. And His speech is qadeem (eternal) and not Muhdath (of recent occurrence), [it being] like [HIs] knowledge (ilm) and power (qudrah).And it may come in the madhhab that Kalaam (speech) is an attribute of the one who speaks who never ceases to be described with that, and one who speaks every time He wills whenever He wills, and we do not say that He is silent in one situation and speaking in another, from the angle of [the attribute] of speech [in its genus] being of recent occurrence [to Him]. And the evidence for Allaah being one who speaks (mutakallim) in the manner that we have described is the Book of Allaah, the Sunnah of His Prophet, the unanimous concensus of the people of truth - excepting [from that] the faction of misguidance from the Mu'tazilah and others from the speculative Theologians, for they refused that Allaah should be one who speaks...

And then he mentioned some of the proofs evidences from the Book and the Sunnah.

As for the Ash'arites then they oppose the Book, the, Sunnah and Ijmaa' that Allaah has actions tied to His will and power and that Allaah indeed speaks as and when He wills. Further, they do not affirm for Allaah the attribute of "Kalaam" in reality, rather they affirm an innovated attribute never spoken of by the Salaf which they have called "Kalaam Nafsee" plagiarizing this from Ibn Kullaab (d. 240H) and his followers, the Kullaabiyyah. And they hold, just like the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah, that this Qur'an that is present with us, in letter and word, recited, heard, memorized and written, is created (makhlooq). And the various sayings we have quoted above are in relation to the Jahmites from the specific angles mentioned, but these statements also apply to the saying of the Ash'arites who like the Jahmiyyah believe this Qur'an in our presence is muhdath, makhlooq - and the sayings of the Salaf quoted above - all of whom came before Ibn Kullaab (d. 240H) and before the doctrine of "Kalaam Nafsee" was even innovated - were making takfir of the Jahmiyyah who claimed this very Qur'an that we have with us, in letter and word, is Muhdath, makhlooq!

Ibn Battah continues:

So he misinterpreted (the matter) to the weak ones, the young (naive) ones, and the people of stupidity and he fooled them.

So is said to him: Indeed the one who never ceased to be knowledgeable of it (i.e. the Qur'an), then (His knowledge) is not Muhdath (of recent occurrence), for His knowledge is eternal, just as He (Himself) is eternal, and His action (meaning knowledge of His own action) is comprised within His knowledge. Only that is Muhdath (of recent occurrence) what He did not used to know until He came to know it [and this is inapplicable to Allaah].

This answer of Ibn Battah is the same answer to the Jahmites who debated Imaam Ahmad during his trial, for when they said to Imaam Ahmad "What do you say about the Qur'an?", he said, "What do you say about Allaah's knowledge?" and he meant that the Qur'an is from Allaah's knowledge, it comprises Allaah's knowledge, since Allaah has knowledge from eternity of His speech and of His actions and what is in the Qur'an is Allaah's knowledge, so if you say the Qur'an is created, then you are saying Allaah's knowledge is created and within the Qur'an is Allaah's knowledge, His Names, His attributes.

Ibn Battah continues:

So [a person ought to] say: Indeed Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic has never ceased to have knowledge of all of what is in the Qur'an, before He revealed the Qur'an and before Jibreel came with it and descended with it [to] Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

And He said: "Except for Iblees. He refused, was arrogant and became amongst the disbelievers." (al-Baqarah 2:34)

So [a person] says [in response to the Jahmite]: In Allaah's knowledge, Iblees was a disbliever before He created him. Then he revealed [from His knowledge] what had been in His knowledge of all things.

And He, the Mighty and Majestic, has informed us about the Qur'an, so He said, "It is but inspiration (wahy) that has been inspired..." (An-Najm 53:4). So He negated that it is other than wahy (revelation).

And the meaning of "Comes not unto them an admonition (dhikr) from their Lord as a recent revelation (Muhdath)..." (Al-Anbiya 21:2), He intends: [That] it is of recent occurrence in its knowledge, and its information (khabar), and threat and admonition to Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). And verily He intends (in this verse): That your knowledge O Muhammad, and your acquaintance is of recent occurrence with what has been revealed to you of the Qur'an. And verily He intends (in this verse): That the revelation of the Qur'an upon you brings about in you, and whoever hears it, knowledge and remembrance that you did not used to know (previously).

Have you not heard His saying, "And He taught you that you which you knew not..." (Nisaa 4:113). And the Most High said, "And thus We have sent to you a Spirit (inspiration, and a mercy) of our command. You knew not what is the Book, nor what is Faith..." (as-Shooraa 42:52). And He said, "And thus We have sent it down as a Qur'an in Arabic, and have explained therein in detail the warnings, in order that they may fear Allaah, or that it may cause them to have a lesson from it." (Ta-Ha 20:113)

So He informed that the reminder of recent occurrence (adh-dhikr al-muhdath) is what is of recent occurrence to its listeners and whoever came to know it, and upon whom it was revealed, not that the Qur'an is "Muhdath" (of recent occurrence) with Allaah, and nor that Allaah existed and there was no Qur'an, because the Qur'an is from the knowledge of Allaah. So whoever claimed that the Qur'an came after, has claimed: That Allaah existed whilst He had no ilm and no ma'rifah (knowledge) of anything that it is in the Qur'an, and that He had no name, and had no izzah (power, might), and no attribute until He brought about the Qur'an.

What Ibn Battah has explained here is not to be confused with the saying of the Innovators, the Kullaabiyyah and Ash'ariyyah who innovated the saying, "The Qur'an is qadeem", and what they mean by this is not what Ibn Battah is explaining. For Ahl us-Sunnah say that the Qur'an is from Allaah's knowledge, and Allaah has complete knowledge of what He would reveal of His own speech. So His knowledge of it is eternal, and alongside that, He spoke it, with letter, word and voice, and Jibreel heard it and then conveyed it as ordered - whilst knowing all of that from eternity. So nothing of this knowledge is "Muhdath" (of recent origin) to Allaah.

As for the Kullaabiyah, Ash'ariyyah, what they mean is that the Qur'an is synonymous with the "Kalaam" that they define as the singular indivisible meaning present with Allaah's self (kalaam nafsee) which is different to and distinguished from Allaah's knowledge (ilm), and that this meaning (Kalaam Nafsee) is eternal (qadeem), which means the Qur'an is eternal with Allaah's self, and they mean by this doctrine that Allaah never spoke the Qur'an in letter, word and voice such that Jibreel heard it in reality and conveyed it as ordered, and they also mean by this saying of theirs that Allaah does not speak as and when He wills - a saying that is falsified and demolished by many revealed texts.

And much of the Ash'arite creed is of this nature, hidden under veils and veils of sophistry in plays with words and definitions.

And this is why we are certain that 99.5% of your Ash'arites will be clueless themselves about these realities, because much of this chicanery remains hidden to them because they do not realize that the Ash'arite creed is mostly made up of plays with words and definitions, the aim of which is to remain upon the saying of the Jahmites and Mu'tazilites, whilst concealing that through such plays with words and definitions.

Ibn Battah continues:

And we do not say it (the Qur'an) is the work (fi'l) of Allaah [the saying of the Mu'tazilah, that Allah "produced it"], and nor is it said that Allaah existed before it, but rather we say, "Allaah has never ceased be knowing". Not "when did He know" or "how did He know".

But the Jahmiyyah confused the people and deceived them, through saying: "Is not Allaah, the first before everything, and He existed whilst there was nothing".

However, the [true] meaning of "He existed before everything": Before the heavens, and before the earths, and before everything created.

But as for us saying: Before His knowledge, and before His power, and before His wisdom, and before His might, and before His pride, and before His majesty, and before His light, then this is the speech of the zanaadiqah (heretics).

And His saying: Comes not unto them an admonition (a chapter of the Qur'an) from their Lord as a recent revelation... (Al-Anbiya 21:2), then that is what Allaah brings about to the Prophet, and to the Companions, and the Beleivers from His servants, and what He brings about in them of knowledge, and what they had not (previously) heard, and what had not come to them in a Book prior to it, or with a Messenger (prior to it).

Do you not hear His saying, the Mighty and Majestic: "And He found you astray (unaware of the Qur'an) and guided (you)." (Ad-Duha 93:7), and also to His saying regarding what He brings about (anew) in the hearts of the Believers of the Qur'an when they hear it, "And when they listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognised." (Al-Ma'idah 5:83).

So He has informed us that the Qur'an, its revelation brings about for us knowledge, reminder and fear.

So the knowledge of its revelation is of recent occurrence (Muhdath) to us [in terms of knowledge, reminder, admonition] but not of recent occurrence (Muhdath) to our Lord, the Mighty and Majestic [in terms of His knowledge of it and speaking it].

Closing Note

In closing, the Jahmiyyah of today, being of lesser intelligence than their predecessors of old, and more feeble in intellect, whilst holding in reality (on account of their doctrines and innovated principles) that this Qur'an present with us, in letter and word, is created (makhlooq, muhdath), try to use the statements from some of the Salaf who make takfir of the Jahmiyyah for claiming "the Qur'an is muhdath" (implying "of recent origin in Allaah's knowledge"), and apply them to Ahl us-Sunnah who hold that "Allaah speaks as and when He wills", which is the firmly established belief of the Salaf.

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