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Muhammad Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri
He is a Hanafi-Maturidi-Deobandi scholar (d. 1352H) and he has explanations of the books of hadeeth such as the Saheeh of al-Bukhari and the Sunan of al-Tirmidhi and dictations and marginal notes on Muslim, Abu Dawud, and Ibn Majah.
To the above are the covers for the books al-Arf al-Shadhiyy Sharh Sunan al-Tirmidhi (tahqiq, Muhammad Shakir, Dar Ihyaa al-Turath al-Arabi, 2004), and Faid al-Bari alaa Sahih al-Bukhari (Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2005). We are going to quote his commentary on the hadeeth pertaining to the Nuzul (descent) of Allaah, the Exalted, as it contains a valuable explanation about the issue of Haadith, hadath, Muhdath, makhluq, and the confusion in these terms as it relates to the Sifaat Fi'liyyah (Allaah's chosen actions). And likewise his commentary on certain chapters in al-Bukhari's Kitab al-Tawhid relating to the Qur'an and Allaah's speech.
As for his belief, then he is a Maturidi, and naturally, we consider him in opposition to the Salaf in his doctrinal views, and thus whatever refutations are found with the Salaf and their followers, past and present, against the schools of Kalaam, and ta'weel and the likes would be applicable. However, what we find here (in the quote that we are going to present and comment on) is a display of honesty and justice that you will not find these days (for the reasons mentioned above in the introduction).
Context of the Quote
The quote we are going to present below occurs as commentary on the hadeeth of al-Nuzul (descent), and this is cited on page 414, the hadith of Abu Hurairah (radiallaahu anhu) which is also in the two Sahihs. There is a bit of discussion before we come to the actual passage we are interested in, and so we can summarize that discussion in the following points:
One: [p. 415] Mention that al-Nuzul (descent) is a matter of aqidah and not fiqh, and that a generalized belief in it is sufficient, as is mentioned in al-Fiqh al-Akbar which is a work authored by Abu Mutee' al-Balkhee, a student of Abu Hanifah, and who al-Kashmiri deems to be saduq (truthful).
Two: [p. 415] A discussion of the view of the Philosophers (Aristotle, al-Farabi, Ibn Sina) on the attributes and the attribute of existence (wujood), and their rejection of qudrah (power) and iraadah (wish), and within this the mention of whether the attributes are synonymous with the essence or something additional to the essence. Also a mention that the difference in the views of the Sufis and the Mutakallimeen regarding whether the attributes are the very essence or other than the essence is a difference in wording only, and a brief explanation of this matter.
Three: [p. 415-516] A brief mention that the actions of Allaah have wisdom behind them (mu'allalah bil-hikam), and that a complete cause ('illah taammah) precedes the thing being caused (ma'lul) with a precedence in time.
Four: [p. 416] He refers to this hadeeth of al-Nuzul to be from the mutashaabihaat and includes al-istiwaa within these matters. This is not the way of the Salaf, and they never referred to these matters as the mutashaabihaat as far as their meanings are concerned. Al-Kashmiri says: "The view of the Salaf regarding them is having faith (al-eemaan) upon the apparentness (dhaahir) of what is granted to be upon its apparentness without ta'weel and without takyif and relegating (yufawwadu) the matter of their kaifiyyah to Allaah, the Exalted." We have to remember that al-Kashmiri is a Maturidi, and the Ahl al-Kalaam often make expressions that appear to be approximate to what Ahl al-Sunnah say, except that how they explain these expressions is upon a way other than what the Salaf were upon.
Then he mentions [p.416] the way of the Mutakallimeen (Ahl al-Kalaam) and says about them that they claim the way of the Salaf to be tafweed (i.e. of the meaning) which is safer (aslam), and that their madhhab (the Mutakallimeen) is making ta'weel through reason (aql) in conformity with the legislation (shar') and that this is more precise (ahkam). Al-Kashmiri says (that upon this view of the Mutakallimin) it means that the foundational basis of Ahl al-Sunnah (to them, the Mutakallimin) is making tafweed, and as for ta'weel then it is only resorted to out of necessity, when countering those who oppose the Sunnah. Al-Kashmiri says that the Mutakallimin resorted to these ta'weels when they were debating the opposers to Islaam. Then he mentions two other categories of people, those who made ta'weels in agreement with their reason (aql) which oppose the Sharee'ah, and the Mushabbihah who said Allaah is a jism (body) like all the bodies.
Four: [p. 416] After mentioning the way of the Salaf and the way of the Mutakallimeen, he then addresses the issue of the tafweed ascribed to the Salaf. He says, that the tafweed ascribed to the Salaf can bear two meanings. The first is pure relegation [of the meaning] to Allaah without showing any rejection against those who made ta'weel in whatever way they made ta'weel due to the reason that they affirmed they do not to have knowledge (i.e. are wholly ignorant of the meaning of the text). The second making tafweed only of the details (tafseel) and the how (takyeef), and leaving that knowledge to Allaah as well as showing rejection against those who made ta'weel through his opinion and reason. Al-Kashmiri says that the tafweed of the Salaf is this second meaning, not the first one. Again, bear in mind that al-Kashmiri could intend by the word "tafseel" (detail), the actual "ma'naa" (meaning), and thus the way of the Salaf to him is tafweed of the ma'naa and kaifiyyah together, except he chose to express ma'naa through the word tafseel, which obscures matters a little.
Five: We have to remember that al-Kashmiri is a Maturidi and he considers there to be groups who make ta'weel that are also upon the truth. He says that those who make ta'weel are of three groups, and he mentions those who are a) the specialists of the language who use metaphors and allegories and the likes, b) the Sufis who make ta'weels like Allaah's nuzul being "manifestation" and c) the ta'weel of the Mutakallimeen. He says that the third group, the Mutakallimin, are divided into the Ash'arites and the Maturidis. He says that when the label "Ash'arites" is used it includes the Maturidis.
Six: [p. 416] He then describes the two groups, Ash'aris and Maturidis. He says the Ash'arites affirm sifaat dhaatiyyah qadeemah azaliyyah (eternal attributes of the essence) which are the seven, knowledge, hearing, seeing, power, wish, speech and life, and that they also affirm Sifaat Fi'liyyah (actions) but that these are hawaadith (events) and creations of Allaah, and are not established with Allaah Himself (meaning these actions are not established with Allaahs essence). As for the Maturidis, he says that they say the attributes of Allaah are seven, and they are eternal. And as for the Sifaat Fi'liyyah (such as giving life, taking life, anger, pleasure) they are also eternal. He says that the Maturidis put all of the various types of Sifaat Fi'liyyah under one genus, and called it al-takween, and they make this an eighth attribute for Allaah.
Seven: [p. 417] He then mentions the position of the Ash'arites that whilst Allaah's attributes are eternal (like wish, power etc.) their associations (ta'alluqaat) with things are hawaadith (recent events). What he is referring to here is the attempt of the Ash'arites to connect Allaah's attributes of wish and power and the likes (which are eternal) to the recency of created things and so they came up with the concept of "ta'alluq" (association), which is really an imaginary connection between Allaah's eternal wish and power with the things wished for (muraadaat) and under Allaah's power (maqdooraat). This attempt by the Ash'arites does not establish any true and real connection in external reality (it is just word play), because if their was, it would falsify their entire doctrinal school as they would be obliged to accept what they refer to as hawaadith in Allaah's essence, since the element of recency would have to come into those attributes (power, wish, hearing, seeing).
Eight: [p. 417] He then says, that from the Maturidi perpective (as the Maturidis see it), there is another matter that is connected to Allaah, and which is also called fi'l (action), he says that this labelling of it as fi'l is from himself and it is the likes of Allaah's nuzul to the lowest heaven and other such matters which are connected to Allaah Himself but which cannot be from the type which are eternal in Allaah. He says, these actions are "hawaadith", and he says that the Maturidiyyah say that they are not established with Allaah, rather they are from His creation.
It is at this point now that we come the passage that is relevant to our purpose in this article. Before we proceed to it, an important observation needs to be kept in mind.
An Important Observation Regarding Language and Terminology
It is vital to understand that the Kalaam schools of theology (Ash'aris and Maturidis) have a particular language (not known to the Salaf) and they make use of terms and phrases to describe and characterize certain views. In this particular case, they use the word "hawaadith" (events, occurrences) to refer to the actions of Allaah tied to His will and power. Thus, when you come to read the speech of al-Kashmiri, you should be aware of the type of language he is using to characterize the view of Ibn Taymiyyah (which is the view of the Salaf), and you have to see beyond and above the terminology he is using and simply grasp the actual meanings and concepts that he is explaining and putting across. We do not agree with this terminology, and it is not from the way of the Salaf to speak of Allaah's actions (af'aal) in this manner.
Muhammad Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri on Ibn Taymiyyah, Hawaadith, and the terms Haadith, Muhdath and Makhluq
Here is a screenshot of the page for reference (p. 417):
We can translate this piecemeal and add relevant comments. So al-Kashmiri said - after what has preceded above - from the sixth line down:
As for the orientation of al-Haafidh Ibn Taymiyyah regarding al-sifaat al-hawaadith [the attributes with element of recency] which are established with the Maker [Allaah] and are hawaadith, and are not created, and it is claimed that he agrees with the Righteous Salaf...
What he is referring to as hawaadith are the Sifaat Fi'liyyah ikhtiyaariyyah, those actions that are tied to Allaah's choice, will, power and which He is not permanently described with, or those which are indeed permanent in their genus but are tied to will and power (like speech) as it relates to their instances. These includes the likes of ridaa (pleasure), ghadab (anger), mahabbah (love), dahak (laughter), ajab (amazement), nuzul (descent), istiwaa (ascent), majee' (coming), Ityaan (arriving) and so on. The Salaf never referred to these as hawaadith, and nor did Ibn Taymiyyah, rather we see the Salaf affirming all these matters, without distinguishing them from the permanent attributes, like ilm (knowledge), qudrah (power), sam' (hearing), basr (seeing) and what is similar to them. Their approach was consistent and uniform, which is to make ithbaat (affirmation) of everything without distinction and to negate tamtheel (likening) and takyeef (specifying the reality). And they waged war against the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah and their offshoots who rejected these Sifaat Fi'liyyah in a variety of different ways, from them, by claiming they are eternal (such as with love, pleasure and anger), or by claiming that they are not established with Allaah's essence, but are simply what take place in the creation. So these approaches were taken by the Mu'tazilah towards the sifaat (attributes) and these approaches were borrowed by the Ash'ariyyah and Maturidiyyah from the Mu'tazilah and applied to the af'aal (actions). So we do not refer to these as hawaadith, this is purely the terminology of Ahl al-Kalaam, because their entire orientation has its roots in the Kalaam which they took from the Hellenized Jews, Christians and Sabeans (through the route of al-Ja'd bin Dirham, to al-Jahm bin Safwan to the Mu'tazilah through to the Raafidah, and to the Kullaabiyyah and Karraamiyyah, and to the Ash'ariyyah and Maturidiyyah). Hence, they have a particular theological language that is unique to them, through which they characterize not just their own doctrinal views, but also those of others (who are not from the Kalaam groups) from those who do not agree to this language in the first place. For this reason, these people have made mistakes in characterizing the views of Ahl al-Sunnah in certain areas, because they were looking at them with clouded vision. This is very prominent in the issue of the Qur'an.
...and it is claimed that he agrees with the Righteous Salaf, and he says: "Indeed, hawaadith, are established with Allaah through choice (ikhtiyaar), and He is not one who is devoid of hawaadith, rather He can be one described with hawaadith and also not described with hawaadith...
As we said, al-Kashmiri, coming from the kalam theology schools, is characterizing the matter through the language of Kalaam. The actions of Allaah (af'aal), if they are said to be established with His essence and tied to His choice and will, such that Allaah is not permanently and eternally described with, by way of example, pleasure, anger, istiwaa, nuzul, and specific instances of speech (not the genus of speech), and so on, all of this is labelled as "hawaadith" to the Kalaam theologists. So in this passage from al-Kashmiri, you have to remember that we are discussing concepts through the labels and terms of the kalam theologists, so we are going to have to work with him on this, because the objective here is to see how al-Kashmiri is honest and decent enough to characterize truthfully the viewpoint of Ibn Taymiyyah, even if it be upon innovated language, and this is in stark contrast to the riff-raff from the hooligans, clueless zombies, dishonest swindlers and others who are from the school of al-Kawthari, GF Haddaad, Keller and others. As we shall see, that what al-Kashmiri is attributing to Ibn Taymiyyah (and the Salaf) is correct in meaning, but the terminology he is using is not correct, and we neither agree with it or accept it.
...And he [Ibn Taymiyyah] said: Between [what is] Haadith (recent) and [what is] makhluq (created) there is generality (umoom) and specificity (khusoos), for the attributes [of action] which are haadithah (have recency) and all of the things of the universe are hawaadith (of recent occurrence). But the sifaat (attributes of action) are not created, unlike all of the things of the universe [whose existence is] possible.
This is a characterization of the view of Ibn Taymiyyah (and of the Salaf) through the language of Kalaam theology. In simple terms all it means is that Allaah is described with certain actions, which are established with His essence, which are tied to His will and power, and therefore they are said to be of recent occurrence (Haadith) when they take place through His will and power. So an example would be Allaah's speech, not in its genus (which is eternal) but in its specific instances. He spoke to the Angels before creating Aadam (alayhis salaam), and He created Aadam and spoke to Aadam, just as He spoke to Iblis, and He also spoke to Messengers, like Musa and Muhammad (alayhimaa as-salaam) and He will speak on the Day of Judgement, to the Believers and likewise to the inhabitants of the Fire and so on. All of these are instances of speech that are not the same as each other, rather they are different instances of speech and they occur at different "times".
And as for the Ash'arites, they say that the Maker, lofty be His name, is not subject to hawaadith (events), and they said that there is no difference between the Haadith (that which is of recent occurrence) and the makhluq (that which is created).
Here we are getting into the crux of the matter, and it is the dispute between Ahl al-Sunnah, the Righteous Salaf, and between the Kalaam theologists. The language of the Qur'an, the language of the Arabs and the view of the Salaf is that what is Haadith is not necessarily what is makhluq (created). And the Kalaam groups claim that that which is Haadith is not anything but makhluq (created). It is upon this basis they denied the element of choice (ikhtiyaar, through will and power) from Allaah's speech and action, because according to them, it would mean that created things (i.e. hawaadith) take place in His essence. This is why they took those approaches towards the Af'aal Ikhtiyaariyyah that we mentioned before, be they the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, As'hariyyah or Maturidiyyah. Al-Kashmiri has now defined the Ash'ari view, after outlining the view of Ibn Taymiyyah (which is the view of the Salaf). He now goes on to discuss this matter.
And I say: The (Arabic) language is in support of al-Haafidh Ibn Taymiyyah...
Refreshing to see a Maturidi scholar who knows his Arabic and correctly characterizes the view of others in this particular matter, unlike the deceivers that came on the scene in the 20th century from the madrasah of al-Kawthari al-Dajjaal al-Affaak, that perishing bigoted and blazing Hanafi-partisan.
And I say: The (Arabic) language is in support of al-Haafidh Ibn Taymiyyah, for when Zayd (for example) is standing, it is said, the qiyaam (act of standing) is connected to Zayd, and that Zayd is described (muttasif) with qiyaam. It is not said that he (Zayd) is the creator of qiyaam (in himself). Likewise, when Allah is described with al-nuzul, then there must be nuzul established [with Allaah], and that the Maker, lofty be His manifest evidence, is described with al-nuzul, not that He is a "creator" of it.
This is what is known in the Arabic language and in the language of the Qur'an and to the Salaf. When Allaah performs an act, it is something that He is described with (muttasif), it is not said that He created the act in Himself. This is not known in the Arabic language. Thus, extending this to all of Allaah's Af'aal Ikhtiyaariyyah, Ahl al-Sunnah say that Allaah is described with them all, and they are not created events that take place in His essence, which is what the Ash'arites and their likes claim, that they are hawaadith (meaning to them, created), and this type of characterization of this reality is not something found in the Arabic language.
And with the very same thing that Ibn Taymiyyah said, al-Bukhari [also] said, that Allaah is described with attributes [of action] that are recent (sifaat haadithah), except that the explainers made interpretation (ta'weel) of his speech.
Inshaa'Allaah we will address what al-Kashmiri has alluded to here in the next article, as it relates to Imaam al-Bukhari. But note here how he indicates that the explainers of al-Bukhari's Sahih [such as Ibn Hajar] tried to give their own interpretation to what al-Bukhari said.
And its like has also been related from Abu Hanifah and Abu Yusuf and Muhammad bin Hasan with an authentic isnaad in the book al-Asmaa wal-Sifaat [of al-Bayhaqi], when they said: "Whoever said that the Qur'an is created (makhluq) is a disbeliever", meaning, whoever said that the Qur'an is not an attribute of the Creator and that it is isolated and separated from the essence of the Creator. But they [Abu Hanifah and students] are not saying that the Qur'an is qadeem, meaning the Kalaam lafdhee, so the end-result is that they are speaking with the huduth (recency) of the Kalaam lafdhee, and not with its khalq (creation). And Ibn Taymiyyah authored a complete volume on the Creator being one with whom chosen actions (Af'aal Ikhtiyaariyyah) are established, and what we have reported indicates, in spite of the one who said that Abu Hanifah was a Jahmee, refuge is with Allaah, for Abu Hanifah speaks with what the righteous Salaf spoke with.
Here al-Kashmiri has explained the difference between huduth (recency) and khalq (creation) in the course of explaining the view of Abu Hanifah (rahimahullaah) and his students. He says that they (like the Salaf) speak with the recency of the Kalaam lafdhee, meaning that Allaah speaks with His will and power, meaning He chooses to speak when He wills. In this regarad, al-Kashmiri makes reference to the treatise written by Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) on this subject in particular. In light of all of this, al-Kashmiri exonerates Abu Hanifah from being a Jahmite. You have to understand what he means here, he is saying that upon what is correct in the language (that Haadith is not synomymous with makhluq), and upon what supports Ibn Taymiyyah (against the Ash'arites) from the language, that Haadith (recent) is not synonymous with makhluq (created), and upon the view of Abu Hanifah and students that the Qur'an is an attribute of Allaah with the wording of the Qur'an (al-lafdh) being of recent occurrence [as in tied to Allah's will and power, meaning choice], then Abu Hanifah is not a Jahmite, since this saying does not mean the Qur'an is created!
So the essence [of the matter] is that the descent (nuzul) of the Creator to the lowest heaven is a true and real nuzul (haqeeqah), that is to be carried upon its dhaahir (apparentness), and [the knowledge of] its tafseel and takyeef is to be relegated to the Creator, lofty be His manifest evidence, and this is the madhhab of the four Imaams and the Righteous Salaf as has been quoted by al-Haafidh [Ibn Hajar] in Fath al-Baaree.
This statement of al-Kashmiri should be read and understood in light of what he said earlier in verifying what the actual madhhab of the Salaf is with respect to tafweed. And he clarified earlier that their way was to affirm a text upon its dhaahir (apparentness), reject ta'weel, and to consign the tafseel (detail) and takyeef (how) to Allaah. And this agrees with what is known that the Salaf made tafweed of the takyif, and not of the meaning (ma'naa) that is dhaahir (apparent) from the text, except that you have to understand that the Ash'aris and Maturidis often use expressions to make their views appear as close as possible to the Salaf (in wording at least), whereas in the actual interpretation of those expressions (in private study), they mean something else. So when he says that the Salaf made tafweed of the tafseel and the takyeef, it is possible that by tafseel he intends the ma'naa (meaning). So one should be aware of this.
And the Ash'arite Mutakallimin have tended [to the view] they have tended to, and thereafter we say: Verily the statement of the Ash'arites that the Sifaat Fi'liyyah are hawaadith [as in of recent occurrence and therefore created], they have no evidence for this, for they are not haadithah. And if it is said that the Sifaat Fi'liyyah which come under the Beautiful Names of the Creator have an association (ta'alluq) with the hawaadith (created things) and are therefore hawaadith (themselves), then I say: That power [he means qudrah] and wish [iraadah] and other than them also have an association (ta'alluq) with the hawaadith (created things), and you [Ash'arites] do not speak with their huduth (i.e. being created). Further, that which is well-known amongst the Mutakallimin is that iraadah (wish) for example, is eternal and that the associations (ta'alluqaat, of that iraadah) with the muta'allaqaat (created things arising from that iraadah) are themselves hawaadith (of recent occurrence). And the smart ones amongst them said: The iraadah (wish), by way of example, and the association (ta'alluq) are both eternal and the muta'allaq is of recent occurrence (i.e. created) as has been said by al-Dawwaanee in Risaalah ithbaat al-Waajib.
Now this needs some elaboration. What we have here is essentially an Ash'ari versus Maturidi treatment of the Sifaat Fi'liyyah. Now after al-Kashmiri did justice in explaining the view of Ibn Taymiyyah, and Abu Hanifah, the Imaams and the Salaf as a whole - even if it was through the language of the people of Kalaam - he is now addressing a purely Ash'ari versus Maturidi issue.
It is here that we understand the polemics between the Ash'aris and the Maturidis on how to deal with the Sifaat Fi'liyyah. So the Ash'aris said that because these actions are hawaadith (events) they must be created and therefore can only be referring to entities and actions that occur in the creation, and not actions established with Allaah's essence. Hence the particular approach they took. From a Maturidi viewpoint, this is not correct, because they consider all of Allaah's Sifaat Fi'liyyah to be an eternal attribute (called al-takwin) and therefore are not hawaadith (as the Ash'arites claim).
So here al-Kashmiri is rebutting (from a Maturidi perspective) the Ash'ari argument. In order for us to understand this rebuttal of al-Kashmiri we have to first explain the Ash'arite viewpoint and their treatment of attributes such as iraadah (wish) and power (qudrah).
This is done with the following:
When the Ash'arites took the viewpoint that they did and the particular method they used to deal with this problem of hawaadith as it relates to Allaah's Sifaat Fi'liyyah, they put themselves into a problem (and this problem also actually lies with the Maturidis too). Which is how do you explain the relationship between Allaah's attributes like wish (iraadah), power (qudrah), hearing (sam') and seeing (basr) which are eternal and the created things that they must relate to (the things that are created and have been wished, have come about through power, are seen and heard) which are recent. This must mean that there must be an aspect of recency (huduth) in those attributes that relate to these created things. We don't mean recency as in Allaah acquiring the actual attribute, but in the sense of their relation to created things, having accepted they are eternal. In other words, if Allaah is seeing you right now, this means that Allaah's sight has an element of recency to it, in that He is seeing now what He did not see before the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything therein. And the same goes for explaining how does Allaah's iraadah relate to what has come about through His wish (that which is muraad), and likewise qudrah (power) in relation to what is maqdur. So the Ash'arites invented a few terms to patch up this hole, and so they spoke of what they call ta'alluqaat (associations) and muta'allaqaat (the things associated). So let us explain through the example of seeing (basr). There is Allaah's attribute of basr (seeing), which is eternal. There is the thing seen (let's say it is you, right now). How does the attribute of seeing of Allaah (that is eternal) relate to you? Now things are a little deeper here than meets the eye and you have to get into the mind of the kalam theologist and understand what he means by "eternity" since he is conceiving of this in a way different to what is in the Qur'an and Sunnah - but that is for another article. The point here is that the particular conception they have is what is forcing them into these types of wranglings. So they say there is an association (ta'alluq) between the attribute of seeing (basr) and between you who is the muta'allaq (the thing associated). So we have three things, the eternal attribute, the ta'alluq (association) and the muta'allaq (you, the associated thing). And in this manner they are trying to distance themselves from the necessity of having the element of huduth (recency) into the attributes they affirm as eternal attributes. They are doing this by putting a "buffer zone" in between the attribute and recent, created things, and this buffer zone is through these words, to allow the illusion of a connection or relation. Now in reality, all of this just pure waffle and is pure word games. All they have done is created an imaginary thing called ta'alluq (an association) and pretended they have solved the problem when they haven't. So either they say that this ta'alluq is wujoodi (i.e. existent, real) in which case they have affirmed a contemporaneous connection between Allaah's sight and what He is seeing right now, or what He is wishing right now, or subjecting to His power right now, which would then mean huduth (recency) and that would then undermined their entire theology and make it collapse on itself. Or they say that this ta'alluq is 'adami (non-existent, intangible) which is what they are really saying, trying to make it look as if there is something of substance, but there is no actual connection between the eternal attribute and the thing it is supposed to relate to right now, it is just an illusion of connection through mere words. Now this same problem exists for the attributes of iraadah, and likewise qudrah, and qudrah (power) in particular poses a big problem for them, and this we can address in a separate article as we do not wish to go into a tangent here. The aim is just to get across the Ash'arite position and their way of dealing with the sifaat fi'lyyah (tied to Allaah's choice) and those particular attributes from the seven (like wish, hearing, seeing, power) that must have things they relate to from the creation.
Now that this is clear we are in a position to understand al-Kashmiri's Maturidi counterpunch, and it is a nice little uppercut to be honest, but he is not the first to refute them on this, and he was preceded in this by Ibn Taymiyyah centuries earlier. Remember, the Maturidis hold that all of Allaah's Sifaat Fi'liyyah [both those which are transitive like ihyaa' (giving life), imaatah (taking life), tazreeq (sustaining) and likewise love, pleasure, anger] all come under a single eternal attribute called al-takwin and therefore they are not considered "hawaadith" to the Maturidis. But the Maturidis do agree with the Ash'aris in certain actions that are exceptions (like al-istiwaa and al-nuzul), as has preceded. So al-Kashmiri's counter to the Ash'aris is that you claim that wish (iraadah) and power (qudrah) that are eternal have a ta'alluq (association) with created, originated things (hawaadith), yet you do not argue thereby that Allaah's wish and power are therefore originated. His intent here is to rebuke the Ash'arites for not claiming that wish and power are hawaadith, external to Allaah's essence, just like they claim that the sifaat fi'lyyah are hawaadith and external to Allaah's essence, meaning created. He says that it is known amongst the Mutakallimeen that the ta'alluqaat (pay attention here), the associations (that sit in between the attribute and the created thing [muta'allaq] it relates to) are actually hawaadith. Meaning the associations [ta'alluqaat] themselves have to be hawaadith. This would mean, upon the principle they all adhere to as part of the proof of huduth al-ajsaam, that whatever is not devoid of hawaadith is itself haadith, that these attributes of Allaah (like power, wish, hearing, seeing) must be Haadith (originated, as in created, to them). Then he says that the smart and shrewd ones amongst them began to say that the sifah (attribute) and the ta'alluq (association) are eternal (pay attention here) and only the muta'allaq (the thing associated, meaning the created thing) is of recent occurrence, meaning originated, created. And again, this is just another level of sophistry in fleeing from what is plain and obvious in the Qur'an and Sunnah that Allaah has actions tied to His will and power (something they can't reconcile with their proof).
The point here is that the Ash'arites have a very weak position and all they have is waffle, pure imaginary things that have no reality to them, and mere word play as a means to deal with a problem they are faced with based upon the way they tried to reconcile some of the attributes and all of the actions with the proof of huduth al-ajsaam. However, at the same time, the Maturidi position (all actions come under al-takween which is eternal) is also falsehood, its just another way of trying to achieve the same goal and objective of the Ash'arites, the Mu'tazilah and the Jahmiyyah and the Karraamiyyah Mujassimah all of whom were trying to abide by the principle "Whatever is not devoid of hawaadith (events) is itself Haadith (originated)" in order to validate and complete the proof of huduth al-ajsaam and reconcile the revealed texts with it. As we stated in our series on the Slander of tajsim Against Ahl al-Sunnah (see here), all of the Kalaam groups are united upon a certain basic framework. Their differences with each other are only subsidiary differences related to how to patch up that framework and keep it together. In the process some of them were led to ta'teel (Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Kullaabiyyah, Ash'ariyyah, Maturidiyyah) to varying degrees, and others were led to Tajseem (Raafidah, Hanafi Karraamiyyah)
This brings us to the end of this quote from al-Kashmiri and our comments. As there is a lot in this article it is important we summarize the important lessons we can take away from it.
Closing Notes and Lessons
So these are the most important things you should take away from this article:
The first: Distinguishing between those showing honesty, justice and genuine scholarship (even if we consider them to be upon error in their orientation broadly speaking) from that breed of conniving dishonest Jahmite that unfortunately reared its ugly head in the 20th century and which unfortunately dominates todays polemic against the followers of the righteous Salaf and whose offspring are found in abundance on the blogs, forums and websites. We are talking here about the collection of swindlers, shysters, fraudsters, be those with calculated intent, or the deluded clueless ignorant who follow them. Here is what we mean (only by way of example):
And likewise the various so called "Sunni" forums, the Marifahs and the Asleins and others where these clueless people hang out, the blind leading the blind, where mass confusion, and ignorance of their own creed, let alone that of their opponents, is the rule of thumb.
The second: Al-Kashmiri's corroboration of what is correct in the language that what is Haadith (of recent occurrence) is not necessarily what is makhluq (created), and that an action (fi'l) is what one is described with (muttasif) not something one is said to have created in his own essence. Thus, Allaah's Sifaat Fi'liyyah or his Af'aal Ikhtiyaariyyah are things Allaah is described with when they are established with His essence, and it is not said Allaah "creates" them in His essence.
The third: Al-Kashmiri attributes this viewpoint to Imaam al-Bukhari (of distinguishing between what is Haadith and makhluq), and we have a separate article on that, and in particular his observation that the explainers of the Sahih tried to make ta'weel of al-Bukhari's view.
The fourth: Al-Kashmiri also explains this as the view of Abu Hanifah, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad bin Hasan, through the issue of the Qur'an.
The fifth: Al-Kashmiri makes a clarification (distinction) about what is said to be the tafweed of the Salaf in that he says their way is to take the text upon its dhaahir, without ta'weel, and to make tafweed of its tafseel (detail) and how it is (takyeef). This appears to be in agreement with what Ahl al-Sunnah say that the way of the Salaf is tafweed of the kaifiyyah and haqiqah, and not takyeef of the ma'naa (meaning). However, being a Maturidi, it is likely that by "tafseel" he actually means "ma'naa." The battle between the Salaf and the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah was a battle of meanings, and not over the mere existence of words in the revealed texts. The Jahmites and their offshoots accused the Salaf of being Mushabbihah because they affirmed the meanings, and the Salaf clarified that affirmation of the meanings are not tashbeeh, rather resemblance of the realities (of Allaah's attributes and actions) to those of the creation is what comprises tashbeeh.
The sixth: His response (from a Maturidi) perspective to the Ash'arite treatment of the Sifaat Fi'liyyah who say they are created things (hawaadith) not established with Allaah's essence, whereas the Maturidis include them within al-takwin as eternal attributes.
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- Muhammad Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri al-Deobandi al-Maturidi On Abu Hanifah, al-Bukhari, Ibn Taymiyyah and the Sifat Fi'liyyah and The Issue of Haadith, Muhdath, Makhluq - Part 2
- Muhammad Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri al-Deobandi al-Maturidi On Abu Hanifah, al-Bukhari, Ibn Taymiyyah and the Sifat Fi'liyyah, and The Issue of Haadith, Muhdath, Makhluq - Part 1
- Aqidah Gems From Imam al-Tabari's Works! Part 1 - Al-Tabari's Proof for Allaah Being the First, Before Everything And His Affirmation of the Sifaat Khabariyyah and Sifaat Fi'liyyah
- 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'
- A Reply to the Doubt of the Jahmite Ash'aris Regarding What is 'Muhdath' and What is 'Makhlooq' - Which Is The Very Doubt of Jahm Bin Safwaan - And Their Attempt To Negate Allaah's Actions By Way Of It
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