This is elaborated upon more fully with the following, where we discuss each of these factions of Ahl al-Kalaam and their chosen approaches:
What Gave Rise to the Universe? - The Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah
The Jahmiyyah and the Mu'tazilah hold the principle of "the impossibility of an endless chain of events" and therefore to them there was a point in time at which this universe came to be without the possibility (imkaan) or permissibility (jawaaz) of anything before it. Prior to this, there was a period in eternity having no beginning in which this creation did not exist, and in all that while speech and action was impossible for Allaah. Then speech and action became possible for Allaah and the universe came to be. However, the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah do not permit speech and action to be established with Allaah's self in principle (they deny all attributes for Allaah). So prior to the creation coming about and after the creation coming about, there was no newly-arising reason, cause (سبب) in between to explain why the creation should have come about, and Allaah was as He always was, without speech and action. They held that it was impossible for Allah to act prior the creation of the heavens and earth and when they were created, they were created through acts which are not established with the self of Allaah, upon their innovated principle (الفعل هو المفعول) and (الخلق هو المخلوق), meaning that an act is simply its result [there is no separate thing established as an act outside of what it produces and which can be ascribed to the acting agent]. So, yes the creation was created but without an act of creation established with Allaah, rather the creation itself as an entity represents the act, there is no act that can actually be ascribed to Allaah (otherwise the proof would fail as Allaah would have been subject to an event, which can only take place in bodies, as per Aristotelian Metaphysics)! In essence, there is no creator established in reality in their theology and the heavens and earth cannot in reality be said to be created, because they just came about without any reason necessitating why the heavens and earth should change from non-existence to existence, and without any reason as to why one of two equal possiblities (to not exist and to exist) should be given preference over the other without any newly-arising reason (سبب) or determinant, and without any act of creating ascribed to Allaah. Remember that all of the Mutafalsifah and Mutakallimun are agreed that: No actions are established with Allaah's self which are tied to His will and power and which Allaah chooses to perform, as He wills and pleases. All of them are united upon that in opposition to Ahl al-Sunnah. Here they opposed revelation and also sound reason. And whilst they considered this view of Ahl al-Sunnah to be erroneous, the views they tended to (as we shall see below) are most absurd and even more worthy of being declared erroneous.
Summary: No attributes and actions affirmed for Allaah, no act of creation took place with Allaah that is attributable to Allaah. Therefore no creation has actually taken place in reality.
What Gave Rise to the Universe? - The Kullaabiyyah, Ash'ariyyah
The difference between the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah and the Kullaabiyyah and Ash'ariyyah is that this second faction affirmed attributes for Allaah and said Allaah is eternal with certain attributes they affirmed. But because they adhered to the mother of all Kalaam premises, "the impossibility of an endless chain of events in the past", then it meant that Allaah, despite having attributes, was devoid of speech and action for a period in eternity having no beginning, meaning there were no manifestation of Allaah's attributes and there were no aathaar (effects), and Allaah was void of speech and action, until He created the heavens and earth. Meaning that though He had iraadah (wish) and qudrah (power), the muraad (the thing wished) and maqdoor (the thing for which power was exercised) was impossible to occur. And as for when the heavens and earth were created, they followed the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah in their principles (الفعل هو المفعول) and (الخلق هو المخلوق), meaning that an act is simply its result (there is no separate thing established as an act outside of what it produces and which can be ascribed to the responsible agent). And just like the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah, the view of the Kullaabiyyah and Ash'ariyyah necessitates that the creation came to be without any newly-arising reason (سبب) that would give preference to the universe coming into existence over the universe not coming into existence (both of which are two equally possible scenarios in eternity), and likewise, without any action being established with Allaah's self [in agreement with the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah]. Now Ahl al-Sunnah have the answer from the revealed texts. Allaah spoke and acted by exercising His will and power and thus brought the creation about, and this is His act. But the inability of these people to establish why the universe should come into existence without a newly-arising reason or cause for it to come into existence is where the Philosophers jumped in and said that for the universe to come into existence like this is impossible. And the Mutakallimun had no answer because if they affirmed a newly-arising reason, it would invalidate their proof, and when they deny a newly-arising reason, it is more sound to assert the universe is eternal (rather than to play word games). More on this later. So what was it that gave rise to the creation if no act is attributable to Allaah's essence? This is where the Ash'arites began to lose their intellects and started playing with language. Remember, they affirm Allaah has eternal attributes, from them iraadah (wish) and qudrah (power).
To explain why the creation came about, they said that Allaah's eternal iraadah "specified" that the universe should come into existence at a particular point, and then they spoke of an iraadah for Allaah that is not known to any civilization or nation that walked the earth and nor found in any revealed book and nor in any language, and they tried to make a pretence of affirming what is in reality nothing more than an imaginary connection between that eternal static iraadah and the creation of the heavens and earth. They said that Allaah's iraadah is a singular, eternal, immutable, constant iraadah which is able to precede its muraad (that which is wished) by an infinite period which has no beginning! In other words it was that iraadah in eternity that specified the creation of this universe and then there was a delay for a period in eternity before that which was specified came to be, [without Allaah performing any action through choice to bring it to existence when it came into existence]. Why? Because they have to deny Allaah's has actions attributed to His essence which take place through His will and power, as per the corrupt proof they were employing. Essentially, irrespective of their affirming iraadah (wish) and qudrah (power) for Allaah as eternal attributes, they did not escape the same problem of the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah. All they did was to play with words and definitions to try and weasel out, and they invented imaginary, non-existent ta'alluqaat (connections, relationships) between Allaah's eternal iraadah and qudrah and the things coming about through them which are recent (muraadaat and maqdooraat). So whilst the iraadah and qudrah are both eternal, that which is brought about through them is recent, and there is said to be a "ta'alluq" (connection, relationship) between them. They invented this explanation to avoid the saying of the eternity of the universe, because if Allaah's iraadah and qudrah are eternal, then the muraad (that wished) and the maqdoor (that brought about through exercising of power) must also be eternal. And this is what their saying necessitates when they remove the element of choice (ikhtiyaar) from Allaah's actions and when they deny the reality of iraadah for Allaah, and so they had to flee from this saying. To illustrate this sophistry, when you ask them, this ta'alluq (connection) you allege to help explain how Allaah's eternal qudrah (power) brings about what is recent and originated, is it a true and real existing relationship (ta'alluq wujoodi), or is there no reality to it, meaning it is non-existent (ta'alluq adami). If they reply it is a true and real existing thing, as in there actually is a real, tangible, true affirmed connection between Allaah's eternal qudrah and the hawaadith (events, occurrences) brought about through it, then they have demolished their foundations, because they have affirmed a qudrah fi'liyyah mustaqbalah (a future exercise of power that is treated as an existing thing like all other existing things) and this means they have affirmed hawaadith (events) for Allaah which they are supposed to be fleeing from. And if they say no, it is a non-existing thing (which is in reality what it is) and we are just using the label "ta'alluq" to indicate a symbolic non-existent, non-actual relationship and connection, then the fraud of word-games is uncovered and it becomes clear they are no different to the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah, save that the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah were more honest. And here it is binding upon them to say the universe is eternal because they affirm an eternal iraadah and qudrah from which the element of recurrence is denied. And since they only believe in an imaginary, non-actual relationship (ta'alluq) between that eternal iraadah and qudrah and what is recent (of created things), then this really amounts to affirming an eternal universe without having the guts to admit it. Further, a complete iraadah (wish) and effective qudrah (power) is immediately followed by the muraad and maqdur without delay, and no revealed book or sent messenger or civilization or nation or language knows of an iraadah and qudrah other than this.
And so the end result is that they have affirmed no creation for Allaah, and if no actual creation has taken place, there is no creator, because without an actual act of creation, there is no creator, and thus, they have not provided proof of the universe being originated either, since universes do not come into being except through acts of originating, creating, and as they have not established an act of creation, there is no origination for the universe, and they might as well say the universe is eternal.
Summary: Despite the affirmation of attributes for Allaah, no act of creation took place with Allaah that is attributable to Allaah. Therefore no creation has actually taken place in reality, and no creator has therefore been affirmed. This is identical to the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah who claimed (الفعل هو المفعول) and (الخلق هو المخلوق), a principle adopted by the Kullabiyyah, Ash'ariyyah to help them avoid ascribing acts to Allaah (referred to them as hawaadith, events).
What Gave Rise to the Universe? - The Maturidiyyah
Again, always keep in mind that all these factions of Mutakallimun are operating upon the premise of an endless chain of events in the past being impossible. As a result of they have to deny the element of choice for Allaah (ikhtiyaar) which occurs by His wish (iraadah), leading to successive speech and action. Otherwise, because Allaah is eternal, and He has choice (through which He speaks an acts), an endless chain of actions is established, and this makes their proof inadmissible and does not allow the proof to be completed and come full-circle. So they all had different ways of trying to deal with this problem. So the Ash'arites followed the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah and simply said (الفعل هو المفعول) and (الخلق هو المخلوق) as has preceded and denied action could be established with Allaah's self, and this was one way of dealing with the problem. The Maturidis had another approach to it, a shrewd approach - but false and misguided nevertheless - and they recognized the absurdity of denying action being attributable to Allaah's essence and the falsehood of what the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah and Ash'ariyyah were claiming. So they came up with an attribute they called (التكوين) which means "formation, creation" and under this label they entered all of Allaah's actions which are transitive (متعدية), meaning actions which require an object (such as eejaad [bringing into existence], takhleeq [creating], tarzeeq [providing], ihyaa [giving life] imaatah [taking life]). All of these were entered into this one attribute which they made to be an eternal singular attribute of the essence (like hearing, seeing, life, knowledge), and they said it is tied to Allaah's iraadah (wish). So now it appears as if Allaah "acts" through His "iraadah", but what they really mean in actuality is no different to what the Ash'aris say. Because the iraadah (wish) they are affirming (like the Ash'aris) is not the iraadah known in the Book, the Sunnah and in all civilizations and nations and in all languages. So Allaah's takween is eternal along with an eternal iraadah in the self of Allah. And in all this they are fleeing from coming anywhere near to affirming an endless chain of actions (for Allaah) or events (arising from Allaah's actions), which would be necessitated if they affirmed the real and true iraadah (wish) for Allaah, which is indicated in His saying, "Verily, His Command, whenever He wishes a thing, is only that He says to it, "Be!" and it is!" (36:82). Despite this manoeuvre, they were still stuck with the same dilemma of the Ash'arites of relating the eternal iraadah, qudrah and takween to that which is of recent occurrence.
Once again, they never escaped the problem posed by the Philosophers to them and they never gave a satisfactory answer to the flaw which is: It is impossible for a newly-arising thing to occur without a newly-arising reason, cause accompanying it. And Ahl al-Sunnah answer with the Book and the Sunnah and say, "Verily, His Command, whenever He wishes a thing, is only that He says to it, "Be!" and it is!" (36:82) and say that Allaah speaks, acts, creates as and when He wills and so the newly-arising thing (the heavens and earth) occured with Allaah's speech and action which are recurring through His will and power, because He is an able, willing, powerful Lord who does whatever He wills as and when He wills. But because the proof they were employing (huduth al-ajsaam) forced them to deny such a type of iraadah (and successive speech and action) which arises from it, they could not answer with the Book and the Sunnah and were left to their own aql (reason) to invent and fabricate and distort the language of nations and of revealed books as they saw fit to maintain their version of theology founded upon Aristotelian metaphysical baggage.
Summary: The Maturidiyyah affirmed action for Allaah's essence (unlike the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Kullaabiyyah and Ash'ariyyah), however they treated it as an eternal, static attribute, which is tied to His iraadah (wish) in eternity. This was an attempt to flee from the absurdity of the Ash'arites (of denying action for Allaah's essence) but at the same time trying not to affirm hawaadith for Allaah, upon the principle that "an endless chain of events is impossible" so they simply claimed that all of Allaah's transitive attributes are a single eternal attribute with Allaah's essence. The result is that they affirmed no action for Allaah in reality, since their view contradicts the very nature and definition of an action (فعل), and it flatly contradicts the Qur'an in which there are hundreds of proofs to nullify this claim. As an example, Allaah says:
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)
From this verse Allaah has affirmed, in the past tense, and with the particles "qad" (denoting completion of an act) that He heard (sami'a) the saying of she who disputes and also affirmed in the present tense that He hears (yasma'u) the discussion (of she who disputes) when it was taking place. And hearing (to hear) is an action just like seeing (to see) and speaking (to speak) and creating (to create) and rewarding (to reward) and punishing (to punish) and loving (to love) and hating (to hate) and so on. And this is what the revealed texts came with and as for the claim that these actions are events necessitating a body, that is what the aql of a star-worshipping idolator came with, and so he ended up with a static diety unable to speak and act as and when He wills with whatever He wills, and this permeated into the theology of the Mutakallimin when they agreed to employ his conceptual baggage in debate. So the Maturidis have not affirmed an act of creating in reality to explain the origin of the universe, even if they claim to do so in words, because the presence of complete iraadah (wish) with perfect qudrah (power) necessitates the presence of the muraad (what is wished) and maqdur (that for which power is effected for its existence) immediately after (not simultaneously as the Philosophers say and not after a delay of a period in eternity as the Mutakallimun say). Fleeing from the absurdity of the Ash'ariyyah by introducing takween (as an additional eternal attribute) availed them nothing.
What Gave Rise to the Universe? - The Karraamiyyah
Before we outline the position of the Karraamiyyah, you should know for sure all of the Kalaam groups are offshoots of the Jahmiyyah, operating upon the usool of the Jahmiyyah. They are all united upon this principle: (إمتناع الحوادث لا أول لها) the impossibility of an endless chain of events. This is the foundation of all of the ta'teel in the Ummah. However, some of these offshoots tended towards ta'teel and some others tended towards Tajseem, due to the very nature of the conceptual tools and terminology that they were employing. But they have different levels of tajahhum. Having said that, the Karraamiyyah are the least of those about whom we can say they are Jahmiyyah, because although they were operating upon the usool of the Jahmiyyah in their Kalaam, it was the hallmark of the Jahmites to make ta'teel, and the Karraamiyyah, do not in effect, make ta'teel of what Allaah affirms for Himself, except in a manner that becomes irrelevant, as we shall discuss below. So we can say they were operating upon the usool of the Jahmiyyah and are Jahmiyyah in that respect, but in reality, they were not upon the gross ta'teel of the Jahmites.
So what was the view of the Karraamiyyah? The Ahl al-Kalaam groups had a principle which is that bodies (ajsaam) can never be devoid of events (hawaadith), and this was an absolute, general principle, and it was fundamental to proving that bodies are originated as per the proof of huduth al-ajsaam. However, the Karraamiyyah, whilst agreeing with this principle, denied that it is absolute. They said that whilst all created bodies can never be devoid of hawaadith, there is an eternal body (jism) (meaning by jism, that it exists, and is established by itself) that is unlike all bodies and was devoid of hawaadith for a period in eternity (meaning could not speak and act), and that it was then permissible for hawaadith to occur within it (meaning could speak and act). And what they mean here is that Allaah was devoid of certain attributes, devoid of being one who speaks and acts through His will and power for a period in eternity. But then He became one who speaks an acts through His will and power, as in, acquisition of attributes. So he acquired these attributes after not having them, just like, for example a child, devoid of speech, power and action (though having the capacity) acquires them at a later time.
So at this stage, they have found a way to remain in conformity with the greatest principle, "the impossibility of an endless chain of events". Since Allaah was not always "one who speaks and acts if He wills", then and endless chain of events is avoided. Further, they denied that they affirmed events (hawaadith) in Allaah's essence through this position because the very nature of events (hawaadith) are that they occur and expire. But once Allaah acquired these attributes which He never had before, they never expire, but remain as permanent attribute and thus they are not really events (hawaadith) in the strict sense of the word. Having remained true to the proof, they then said Allaah created the universe through speech and action (established with His essence) through His will and power.
Important: Notice the difference between what the Karraamiyyah say and what Ahl al-Sunnah say. The hawaadith (events, occurrences) that the Karraamiyyah are speaking of are the acquisition of attributes which Allaah never had before. This is baatil (false), and opposes the belief of Ahl al-Sunnah that Allaah is eternal with all His attributes. But as for Ahl al-Sunnah, they say Allaah is eternally one who speaks and acts, and His speech and action is recurring and can be said to be recent (because it is tied to His will and power, and is what Allaah chooses), even though the genus of His speech and action is eternal. As for the Karraamiyyah, they said that the genus of His speech and action is recent, which means that He was not one who could speak and act (no speech and action at all) then He became one who could speak and act.
Summary: The Karraamiyyah established an actual act of creation for Allaah, established with His essence, however, it was at the expense of claiming that Allaah acquired attributes He never had before (a revilement upon Allaah's eternal perfection) - and this was in order to remain true to the foundation of the Jahmite family, "an endless chain of events is impossible." So they have affirmed an act of creation of the universe, with an action (fi'l) tied to will and power, and hence a creator, but at the expense of asserting a creator that was deficient for a period in eternity, devoid of attributes which He acquired later. However, the Karraamiyyah have a further explanation about how Allah's acts take place, but that discussion is irrelevant here, because what concerns us at the higher level is whether an actual act is affirmed for Allaah by any of these factions that is tied to His will and power (and is not static, eternal on the one hand, or merely explained away as being nothing more than the actual result or outcome of the act and not something established with or attributed to Allaah's essence).
What Gave Rise to the Universe? - The Philosophers (Mutafalsifah)
We finally come to the Falaasifah and Mutafalsifah. The Falaasifah refers to the Greek Philosophers (Aristotle) and the Mutafalsifah refers to those who followed them from those who ascribed to Islaam (al-Farabi, Ibn Sina). As you read through this section, pay special attention and notice how there are core concepts found in Aristotelian Metaphysics which the Mutakallimin employed to help them provide solutions and answers to try to demonstrate their proof of huduth al-ajsaam, but which in turn forced them to accept falsehood and deny for Allaah that which He affirmed for Himself.
Aristotle claimed that due to what he saw as the perpetual motion of the celestial bodies (planets), that they are eternal, and he said that they must be eternal in their existence. However, they are all moved by an "unmoved mover" or "unmoved first cause" because an infinite regress (endless chain) of causes (of motion) is impossible, all this motion (in the universe) must be traced back to one who is unmoved and is unlike all bodies in the universe. [Note: This is where some of the Mutakallimin get the idea of using motion (harakah) and rest (sukoon) to prove that bodies are originated]. This God of Aristotle is described by negation of the properties of bodies (ajsaam) based upon the terminology of his Metaphysics (al-jawhar wal-'arad) - and this is what the Mutakallimun founded their own theology upon, this conceptual baggage, as we have already established in earlier articles. But Aristotle had no proof for the universe or matter being eternal, just presumptions and whims, and he himself opposed the ancient high-standing Philosophers from the Greeks who affirmed the origination of celestial bodies. When the likes of Ibn Sina came along, [Baatinee heretics making a show of Islam through ascription to Shi'ism], they were upon these ideas of those Greeks, and they saw the Mutakallimun arguing for the origination of the universe with this proof. When they saw the flaws in it, they took it as an opportunity to pretend to have evidence for their claim, the universe is eternal, by attacking the view of the Mutakallimun, because fundamentally, they had no proof for the universe being eternal except desire and conjecture.
So the Mutafalsifah, seeing these grave and serious flaws for which there was no sound and acceptable explanation, used them to their advantage, and started making a pretense and show of having evidence for their position (which they didn't) which was constituted by attacking the views of the Mutakallimun. They claimed that it is more sound to believe the universe is eternal than to believe what the Mutakallimin were proposing. They said that Allaah's very essence (dhaat) makes the universe necessary, which means that the mere presence of Allaah's essence (which they of course describe in Aristotelian terms, just like the Mutakallimun) necessitates the universe must exist alongside Him, like a simultaneous cause (illah) and effect (ma'lul). This is what is meant by the phrase (الموجب بالذات) "al-mujib bil-dhat" (He who necessitates by [His] mere essence) and the universe is (الموجب بالذات) "al-mujab bil-dhat" (that which is necessitated by the essence). And since Allaah is the perfect, complete cause, the effect is inevitable and can never be delayed from its cause, rather it is contemporaneous (not delayed from it by even the smallest measure of time). And when they saw the Mutakallimun bending over backwards in trying to adhere to their principle "an endless chain of events in the past is impossible" and treating Allaah's transitive actions to be eternal (the Maturidiyyah's takween) or Allaah's eternal iraadah and qudrah (in the sense of being static, singular, immutable, non-recurring, meaning Allaah does not choose and does not exercise His power as and when He wishes, but the wish and power is a singular, static eternal reality), then this only supported their view that the universe is eternal. And as for the attempts of the Mutakallimun to claim that a newly-arising thing (heavens and earth) can come about without a newly-arising reason or cause, then these were just fairy-tales and confused medleys of the mind, which oppose sound reason and what is known to all people.
Further, they said that Allaah acts and that his acts are eternal in both their genus (kind) (النوع) and in their particular instances (العين), but when they say Allaah acts, you must remember that they deny Allaah acts through choice (ikhtiyaar) and they are in agreement with the Mutakallimun that Allaah does not have actions that are tied to His wish and power (iraadah, qudrah). Thus, the acts of Allaah are eternally present acts from which the universe is necessitated (as they claim). However, these are not "acts" in the proper sense of the word, but that Allaah's dhaat necessitates the universe like cause and effect and this is its permanent eternal action, and thus Allaah can be said to be eternally acting, and thus this eternal action necessitates the simultaneous presence of the universe alongside Allaah, and Allaah is only said to be "the First" metaphorically, in terms of rank and status only, (not in His essence) just like the Mutakallimun claimed that Allaah is above His creation in rank and status only, not in His essence (see this article for an elaboration). Note that this resembles what the Maturidis say is "takween" (all Allaah's transitive actions together into a single atttribute) and is similar to what the Ash'aris say (eternal iraadah and qudrah bring about all created things), with the essential difference being as follows: The falsehood of the Ash'aris and Maturidis was that they claimed when a thing is wished with iraadah and power (qudrah) exercised for its occurrence, the effect is delayed for a period in eternity. This is baatil, as is clear to anyone. And the falsehood of the Philosophers was that Allaah's permanent action (Allaah acts with His essence, not through actual acts taking place through iraadah and qudrah) is such that the effect is simultaneous, there is no delay, it is simultaneous, parallel cause and effect where the cause does not precede the effect and vice versa. As for Ahl al-Sunnah who are upon the truth, they say "Verily, His Command, whenever He wishes a thing, is only that He says to it, "Be!" and it is!" (36:82), so when there is iraadah (wish), qudrah (power) leading to fi'l (action) the muraad and maf'ul follows immediately after - neither being parallel, simultaneous, nor being delayed.
So the point here is that the Philosophers used the flaws in that corrupt proof of huduth al-ajsaam to bolster their position and also to add some of their own falsehood into the mix in order to make a pretence of having evidence for the universe being eternal. This how they explained the origin of the universe, it is eternal along with Allaah, necessitated by His essence, like simultaneous parallel cause and effect.
This of course is the greatest of falsehood and the greatest of stupidity and is the greatest of lies and it's falsehood is known just through pure observation. Because what this view necessitates is that all of Allaah's actions are eternal (whilst remembering that the Mutafalsifah and Mutakallimun hold that Allaah does not act through choice in a successive manner), which means that each and every single act of Allaah [as in the essence acting in the manner that the Philosophers claim] is eternal. And because they believe in simultaneous cause and effect without any delay, meaning that Allaah's essence necessitates simultaneous presence of what is other than it from the universe, it means that all things that we see taking place around us, such as the alternation of night and day, the winds, the clouds, the rain, plants and trees growing and so on to include every event in the universe, that they all took place in eternity and this universe is therefore a static universe with everything that happened, happens and is to happen all happening at once, and that this is the only thing present in eternity. If you took a freeze-frame splice from the above diagram, at any one point this is what we would get. And this is the end result of what the Philosophers are claiming. But this is pure falsehood, this is impossible! Because we see all around us events taking place and changes taking place and new things arising and happening all the time. So it is pure falsehood to assert this, and they, the Mutafalsifah brought something more ridiculous than the Mutakallimun.
To help make the difference even more clear:
Philosophers: Say that Allaah's essence acts (without choice), hence it is a permanent feature of the essence (like what the Maturidis say about takween) - and hence all acts in their genus (النوع) and their specific instances (العين) are all eternal. Thus, there is a static frozen deity present eternally, whose essence necessitates the presence of the universe through simultaneous, parallel cause and effect, and in which all of Allaah's action (devoid of choice) is being performed in eternity all at one simultaneous point. This means that only a freeze-frame universe can exist at any one point with the sum whole of all events (past, present, future) occuring at each frame of progression. Now of course, this is something that does not exist and pure observation renders it the greatest of falsehoods.
Ibn Taymiyyah, Ahl al-Sunnah: Allaah acts through choice, through will and power, successively, and He has eternally been like this, and will eternally remain like this, there is no beginning to His essence and attributes and no end, and hence an endless chain of events in the past is affirmed (as a matter of permissibility or possibility) (unlike the claim of the Mutakallimin that it is outright impossible) just as it is affirmed for the future (as a matter of obligation by revealed text), and built upon this, the genus of Allaah's actions are eternal, without beginning, because Allaah never ceases to choose to speak and act (through His will and power) and alongside this no specific instance of speech and action is eternal (unlike what the Philosophers claim). Hence, with this, it can be said that an endless chain of events (as in created entities besides Allaah) arising through Allaah's speech and action is permissible or possible, without any one of those entities being eternally present with Allaah and not having a beginning. Hence, (قدم النوع), the eternity of the genus of Allaah's actions, is affirmed and (قدم العين) the eternity of any specific action is rejected, whilst noting that the action being affirmed here is not like the action being spoken of by the Philosophers, because here they take place through Allaah's choice, successively, whereas to the Philosophers the essence is acting permanently but without an actual act established as a sifah (attribute), rather the essence to them acts without choice, without iradah and without qudrah, and is just like the doctrine of Kalam Nafsee [of the Kullaabiyyah, Ash'ariyyah, Maturidiyyah] where Allaah has eternal speech (a meaning in the essence) which takes place without choice, will and power and without actual speech (that which is spoken) being established with Allaah's essence, and on the basis of which Allaah is said to be "eternally speaking", likewise with the Philosophers in their saying of Allaah's essence "permanently acting" - all of the Philosophers and Mutakallimun deny that ikhtiyaar (choice) for Allaah whose reality is that speech and action that arises from it is successive [as opposed to being static in eternity].
We are now in a position to present the view of Ahl al-Sunnah to enable comparison with what has preceded:
You should know that this is what the revealed Books and sent Messengers came with, that Allaah is a living, knowing, wishing, speaking Lord, who speaks and acts as and when He wills, and He has eternally been like this and will remain everlasting like this, and as for what the Mutakallimin claim, they only claim it because they turned to the conceptual baggage of a star-worshipping idolator, and then through it began to strip Allaah of His perfection claiming that it necessitates events and incidental attributes in His essence that would render him like the created bodies (ajsaam) and thus He is not a jism, nor an 'arad, nor in a jihah (direction) and nor in a place (makan) and nor in spatial occupation (tahayyuz) and nor in the universe, and nor outside the universe, and nor does He love, or hate and so on. And none of this is found in any revealed Book nor upon the tongue of any Messenger and nor upon the tongues of the disciples of any Messenger.
Notes and Comments
ONE: We have elaborated upon the arguments between the Mutafalsifah and the Mutakallimin for the purpose of providing a sound framework within which we can see the fraud of the depraved and wanton shyster known as "Shaykh" Abu Adam al-Naruiji, a deceiving ignoramus parading himself as an erudite "Kalam Atomist" but who is nothing short of an academic crook. By now, the reality of Ibn Taymiyyah's position is known which is quite accurately presented by the Ash'ari Shaykh, Muhammad Bakheet al-Mutee'ee (see his quote in Part 4), and with respect to which there is absolutely no caution at all, rather it is what is indicated by the revealed texts, and through it are the Philosophers and their arguments held at bay without contradicting and opposing the revealed texts.
TWO: Beware of those upon the usool of the Jahmiyyah today who speak with the foundation of al-Jahm bin Safwan and all the Kalaam groups of "the impossibility of an endless chain of events in the past" (expressed as "the impossibility of an infinite" and similar expressions) as an integral part of demonstrating the universe to be originated. They are found on the tube and are out there with their websites and blogs. They have simply gone to the works of William Lane-Craig, a non-Muslim, Christian philosopher who himself has gone to the books of the Ash'arites and the Mu'tazilah which comprise the deen of the Jahmites and he studied and borrowed the proof of huduth al-ajsaam (kalam cosmological argument) and reformulated and repackaged it for Christian apologetics and polemics. So this is where these ignorant Muslims are taking this from and then they also read the books of atheist scientists and atheist Philosophers, drawing upon their statements, as evidence, to derive support for a matter which they have conceived of in error and in ignorance from the outset, leading to a situation where they are creating an intellectual position that can be demolished by the atheists (and is being demolished). At the same time they employ the ambiguous slogan of the Jahmites, "Allaah is outside of space and time" a dubious statement comprising truth and falsehood and which is the precursor to a justification of the denial of Allaah's uluww and His Sifaat Fi'liyyah, and by implication His sifaat and His very essence. And we have seen one of them being annihilated by an atheist philosopher in a live debate, but without him even realizing it, simply continuing upon his ignorant (intellectual) folly. So beware of these people as they are employing the usool of the Jahmiyyah in the foundations of theology. And as for Muslim audiences, they only support these modern Kalaam Theologians out of pure sentiment and emotion, and are equally unable to see legitimate and valid criticisms posed by shrewd and cunning atheists. But this is the nature of misguidance, it never comes as misguidance, it comes as guidance! And it comes as something small and insignificant, not even worth speaking against. Then it develops from that to something that eventually can reach the level of kufr. If you read all the statements of the Imaams of the Salaf about Kalaam and zandaqah, you will see this meaning clearly found in their words. For this reason, we advise people not to be deceived by glitter and theatre and not to be deceived by a person just because he appears to be debating atheists and defending Islam. That is exactly what al-Jahm and his nation and all of its tribes (Mu'tazilah, Hishamiyyah, Ash'ariyyah, Karraamiyyah, Maturidiyyah) claimed and over the passing of decades and centuries, see where it led them.
THREE: Whilst we have presented the view of Ahl al-Sunnah regarding the origin of the universe, this does not mean that Ahl al-Sunnah prove the existence of a creator through any one particular method, rather there are diverse methods and it is outside the scope of this article or series to deal with them, but Ahl al-Sunnah make use of fitrah, sound aql (reason) and authentic naql (text) which together provide diverse ways, and fitrah is appealed to primarily, as this is the way of the Messengers.
FOUR: Due to purely historical circumstances, and due to the great efforts the Mutakallimin went through in developing their Kalaam theology, a wrong perception was created and became widespread that on this matter (of the origination of the universe) there were only two views. That of the Philosophers or that of the Mutakallimin. This became established to such a degree that even many of the later Scholars who came (after the era of the Salaf) and who were associated with the four Imaams thought this as well, and were influenced by this, and thought that this is the only viewpoint (that of the Mutakallimin) which is an alternative and a rebuttal to that of the Philosophers. But this is not what the Salaf were upon, for there is clear indication from the refutation of the Salaf against the Jahmiyyah, that they held Allaah's actions to be eternal in the past and in the future, and this is clearly observable in their refutations of the Jahmiyyah on the issue of Allaah's speech, when they said, (لم يزل متكلما إذا شاء) "He never ceased to be one who speaks when He wills", as is famous from Imaam Ahmad, and there are statements from Ibn Abbaas (radiallaahu anhu) in relation to the verses which are like this (وكان الله غفورا رحيما), "And ever was Allaah, forgiving, merciful" (4:96) and which he explained to mean, that Allaah is eternally like this (that He is eternally one who shows forgiveness and mercy if He wills) and the evidences for this matter are many and can be elaborated upon elsewhere. And it is this view that Ibn Taymiyyah clarified and explained and he brought back the understanding of the Salaf in this matter. However, because to the Ahl al-Kalaam who wrongly believed that there can only be two views, that of the Philosophers and their own, and they themselves founded their theology on foreign, alien, Aristotelian metaphysical baggage, and turned away from the Book and the Sunnah and what the Imaams of the Salaf were upon, they scorned Ibn Taymiyyah and wrongly accused (and slandered) him by claiming that he says the universe is eternal. Further, many of the Ahl al-Kalaam after wasting their lives in debate, acknowledged that what Ahl al-Sunnah say, of affirming actions for Allah tied to His will and power is something which all factions have to accept and are in fact absolutely bound to accept whatever label they choose to apply to them "hawaadith", "af'aal" etc. This is acknowledged by Fakhr al-Razi in his book al-Mataalib al-Aaliyah (subject of another article).
Coming next in Part 6, a true and real comparison between the Philosophers, the Mutakallimun and Ibn Taymiyyah and Sunni Muslims - in light of what has preceded.