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At the end of all of this you have completely lost, misguided, intellectually bewildered, confused, don't-know-my-knee-from-my elbow type, pseudo-intellectual Ash'aris present today, in their drunken stupor, regurgitate statements in their lectures, blogs and forums, whose meanings they don't even have a clue about. This is due to their ignorance of what their own creed is founded upon, and likewise an ignorance of the reality of what the Salaf were upon and likewise an ignorance of history and likewise ignorance of the reality of the sayings of the various factions.
Imaam Ibn Khuzaimah - an Imaam of the Sunnah
In this article we will be commenting upon a statement of creed from Muhammad bin Ishaaq Ibn Khuzaymah (d. 311H) who was born in Nisapur in 223H, and in his youth, he heard knowledge from the great Imaam and Muhaddith, Ishaaq bin Raahuyah (d. 238H) and also took knowledge from many of the great Scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah of the third century hijrah, including al-Bukhari and Muslim, and both al-Bukhari and Muslim took hadith from Ibn Khuzaymah also. The Mu'tazilah, out of envy, tried to create rifts between him and some of his students who entered into something of the speech of the Kullaabiyyah.
Ibn Khuzaymah on the Qur'an and Allaah's Speech
القرآن كلام الله تعالى وصفة من صفات ذاته ليس شيء من كلامه مخلوق ولا مفعول ولا محدث فمن زعم أن شيئا منه مخلوق أو محدث أو زعم أن الكلام من صفة الفعل فهو جهمي ضال مبتدع وأقول لم يزل الله متكلما والكلام له صفة ذات ومن زعم أن الله لم يتكلم إلا مرة ولم يتكلم إلا ما تكلم به ثم انقضى كلامه كفر بالله وأنه ينزل تعالى إلى سماء الدنيا فيقول هل من داع فأجيبه فمن زعم أن علمه تنزل أوامره ضل ويكلم عباده بلا كيف <<الرحمن على العرش استوى>> لا كما قالت الجهمية إنه على الملك احتوى ولا استولى وإن الله يخاطب عباده عودا وبدءا ويعيد عليهم قصصه وأمره ونهيه ومن زعم غير ذلك فهو ضال مبتدع
We will first translate this piece and then comment on it in order to remove the confusion by which the Jahmite Ash'aris have been put to trial.
The Qur'an is the speech (Kalaam) of Allaah the Exalted, and an attribute amongst the attributes of His essence. Nothing from His speech is created, and nor is it ma'ful (manufactured) and nor Muhdath (recent, originated). Whoever claimed that anything from it is makhluq, or Muhdath or claimed that Kalaam is an attribute of action (sifat al-fi'l), then he is misguided Jahmite innovator. And I say: Allah has never ceased to be mutakallim (one who speaks), and speech (Kalaam) is an attribute of the essence for Him. And whoever claims that Allaah did not speak except once, and did not speak except what He already spoke with (in that one instance) and then His speech expired, his statement is disbelief in Allaah.
Commentary and Explanation
The statement of Ibn Khuzaymah:
This Qur'an in our presence, recited, heard, memorized, consisting of surahs and aayaahs, letters and words is the speech (Kalaam) of Allaah. It was upon this Qur'an that the battle raged between Ahl al-Sunnah, the followers of the revealed Books and sent Messengers, and the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, the followers of the Sabean star and idol-worshipping pagan disbelievers in their proof of huduth al-ajsaam, as a result of which they said Allaah does not speak, and that Allaah's speech is what He creates in other than Him and that the Qur'an is created.
However, the Qur'an is an attribute from Allaah's attributes and what the Salaf meant by this is that the Qur'an is the knowledge ('ilm) of Allaah, since all of the Qur'an is from Allah's knowledge, and thus it is an attribute from the attributes of His essence. In addition to this it is also His speech (qawl, kalaam) which is also from His attributes, so from this perspective it is also an attribute from His attributes. However, in relation to speech, Allaah has always been one who speaks, as and when He wills, with whatever He wills, so Kalaam is from the sifat dhaatiyyah and also from the Sifaat Fi'liyyah.
First: The Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Kullaabiyyah, Ash'ariyyah, Maturidiyyah - they all hold the Arabic Qu'ran to be created (makhluq) and maf'ul (manufactured, made), and Muhdath (originated), but then they differ in the details: a) The Jahmiyyah say Allah does not have speech (Kalaam) and the Qur'an is simply speech that He created, and b) The Mu'tazilah said Allaah has Kalaam (speech) but it is what He creates in others and so it is "His speech" just as it is said, "the House of Allaah", "The Messenger of Allaah", "the Spirit of Allaah", "the She-Camel of Allaah" and so on, and c) The Kullaabiyyah, Ash'ariyyah agreed perfectly with the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah that the Kalaam which is the Qur'an is created (because they fell prey to their doubts pertaining to Allah's chosen actions, which they referred to as hawaadith), but then they devised an innovated attribute they called Kalaam Nafsee (a meaning in the self). So they all agree with each other and the dispute between the Mu'tazilah and Ash'ariyyah is the doctrine of kalam nafsee. The Kullaabiyyah Ash'ariyyah made a pretence of affirming "kalam" (speech) for Allaah, whilst trying not to clash with the proof of huduth al-ajsaam which all the Kalaam groups were united upon. So the Mu'tazilah, seeing this sophistry, destroyed and pulverized the Ash'arites by saying to them (see here from al-Buti):
Then the saying of Ibn Khuzaymah:
The first two, makhluq (created), Muhdath (originated) are both clear and they are in refutation of the views of the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah. And likewise those of the Kullaabiyyah, Ash'ariyah and Maturidiyyah all of whom treat the Arabic Qur'an, which is from Allah's speech to be created, originated (see here, here, here and here), and they distinguish between it and between what they innovated of the kalam nafsee doctrine, and in this they opposed Ahl al-Sunnah, since Ahl al-Sunnah only know of one Qur'an - see Imam al-Tahawi take care of those Jahmites here in this article, and likewise Ibn Qudaamah in this article here.
But it is the next part that needs elaboration, because is this what the Ash'arite pretenders to knowledge don't really grasp, his saying (أو زعم أن الكلام من صفة الفعل) "...or claimed that Kalaam is an attribute of action (sifat al-fi'l)..." What he is referring to is based upon the saying of the Mu'tazilah (and they were followed in this by the Kullaabiyyah and Ash'ariyyah) that Allah's action is whatever is separate and distinct from His essence, and it is whatever takes place in His creation, and it is said to be an action of His only metaphorically, not that it actually is an action established with His essence. They said "the action of creation is the creation itself", there is no action in between. They said, "al-fi'l huwa al-maf'ul", the act is the very thing resulting from the act. Al-Bukhaaree refuted these people in his Sahih when he brought proofs to show that there is faa'il (the doer), the fi'l) (the action) and the maf'ul (that which results from the action). So in this saying here where Ibn Khuzaymah is describing a Jahmite saying, he means that they are trying to say the Qur'an is a sifatu fi'l upon this particular understanding, that is, a created entity separate from Allaah's which can be said to belong to Allaah, just like we say "Allaah's Messenger" and "Allaah's House" and "Allaah's she-camel" and so on. This was how they tried to tackle the problem of Allaah having actions because it clashed with their proof of huduth al-ajsaam. This is essentially what the Mutakallilmeen tried to do with Allaah's actions, to avoid ascribing "change" in His essence, since if actions are established with His essence, it signifies change. Thus when it is said Allah's "act of creation", it is nothing but the creation itself, there is no act established with Allaah that is said to be "creation", so they said "al-khalq [the act of creating] is but the creation itself." However, actions are established with Allaah, and how Allaah performs His actions are not the same as how the creation perform their actions. The issue here is that actions are established with Allaah, the Exalted.
Built upon this foundation, they said the Qu'ran is "sifat al-fi'l" an attribute of action for Allaah, but they mean here that which is created, separate from Allaah's essence, in the manner just described above, without any action being established with His essence, rather His action is whatever is external to His essence, and is what is in His creation. And through this they actually meant the Qur'an is created, it is an act of Allaah, meaning that which is separate from Allaah as a created entity, something which is maf'ul, maj'ul (manufactured, made). So Ibn Khuzaymah said about such a one, "then he is misguided Jahmite innovator." This is the same approach that the Ash'arites took towards Allaah's istiwaa and nuzul and they said "Yes, this is an action of Allaah", but what they really mean by this is that "istiwaa" is an act taking place in the Throne, not that it is an actual act established with Allaah's essence. So you get the point, and this is what they said of the Arabic Qur'an, that it is an act of Allaah, meaning something created, separate from Him. And it is for this reason that you see Ibn Khuzaymah mention both these actions of Allaah, istiwaa and nuzul a little later, in order to establish that these are Af'aal Ikhtiyaariyyah (chosen actions) and Sifaat Fi'liyyah, that these are actual actions Allaah performs, without kayf, without being like those of the creation, and his intent is to establish that indeed Allaah has actions tied to His will and power and they are His actions in reality.
Then Ibn Khuzaymah said:
This is a refutation of the Karraamiyyah who claim Allaah is subject to hawaadith (events,occurrences) in His essence, and they mean by this the acquisition of attributes (sifaat). As for Ahl al-Sunnah they say that Allaah has always been one who speaks, one who see, one who hears, one who wishes, one who knows and so on, He never acquired any new attribute, rather He has always possessed His attributes, and Kalaam (speech) is one of those attributes, it is an attributes of His essence, and in addition to this (as Ibn Khuzaymah) explains a little later, Allaah also speaks as and when He wills. This position of Ahl al-Sunnah is different to the saying of the Karraamiyyah who said Allaah became one who speaks as and when He wills after not being one who speaks as and when He wills, after not having the attribute of Kalaam. As for the Jahmite Ash'ari heretics of today, they do not distinguish between the saying of the Imaams of the Salaf, the Imaams of Ahl al-Sunnah and the saying of the Karraamiyyah, and as a result of which they continue to slander and earn great sins for themselves.
Then Ibn Khuzaymah said:
This is a refutation of the Ash'arite heretics who claim that Allaah only spoke once in eternity, and that this is the singular, indivisible meaning and that Allaah does not speak according to His will and power and that Allaah will never speak other than that which exists with Him of the eternal singular indvisible kalam which is just a single meaning. This means that He never spoke to Moses with actual speak established with His essence, and that He will not speak to the Believers on the Day of Judgement with actual speech and so on, and all the other instances of speech established with Allaah's essence, they reject them all and claim Allaah is not able to speak and cannot speak with His will and power, and in this they likened him to the mute and dumb from the inanimate things, and in trying to flee from tajsim and tashbih, they fell into a worse form of it.
Ahl al-Sunnah believe Allah is the doer of whatever He will, He speaks as and when He wills with whatever He wills, He spoke to the Angels before creating Adam, He ordered them to prostrate after creating Adam, He spoke the Torah, the Injil, the Qur'an, He will speak on the Day of Judgement. However, the Mutakallimin refer to this as hulul al-hawaadith (occurrence of events) in Allaah's essence, which to them means Allaah is a body, upon the language and proof they took from the Sabean star and idol-worshipping pagan disbelievers who based this proof upon the language, terminology and classification of the Greek Philosophers of al-ajsaam and al-a'raad.
Then Ibn Khuzaymah said:
At this point Ibn Khuzaymah brings two issues, that of al-nuzul and al-istiwaa to clarify what has preceded and He intends by this to show that Allaah has actions tied to His will and power, and He rebuts the false ta'wils of the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah (and the Ash'arites who followed them) - and the intent here is that none of this is what the Jahmites refer to as either haawaadith (events) or Muhdath (originated), since Ahl al-Sunnah believe Allah has actions tied to His will and power, and does what He wills and this does not necessitate that He is originated, since He who is uncreated, without beginning and end, then all of what emanates from Him of His actions is also uncreated, unlike created bodies, who are preceded with non-existence, and thus everything from them is also created, their attributes, their actions. So when the Jahmites denied these facts, and denied these actions of Allaah, the Salaf responded to them by saying "We believe in a Lord that does what He wills."
Finally, he said:
So again, the example of Allaah speaking with whatever He wills, whenever He wills, and the intent of Ibn Khuzaymah is again to establish the doctrine of Ahl al-Sunnah that Allaah has always been one who speaks, and that He also speaks as and when He wills with whatever He wills and that this is from His utmost perfection that He speaks whenever He wills. As for the Ash'arite heretics, they made tashbih between Allaah and inanimate objects that are not able to speak at all, and do not speak according to will. And in the Qur'an Allaah rebuked the idolators when He said "Do they not see that it does not return any speech to them" (20:89), so Allah made this a sign of Ilaahiyyah, the ability to speak with will, and Allaah indeed speaks and returns speech with His will. So those who tried to flee tashbih, they fell into worse tashbih by likening Allaah to the dumb and mute inanimate things - so may Allah fight this reprehensible tashbih and its proponents!
Conclusion and Summary
The contemporary Ash'arite Heretics parrot and quote statements they do not even understand, thinking that these statements are refuting that Allaah has chosen actions, when the reality is something else. Mostly, their brains have been toasted and roasted by that jawhar and 'arad they made to be the foundational language of their theology, and in all that confusion, they are unable to distinguish between the sayings of the Jahmites, the Mu'tazilites, the Karraamiyyah, their own viewpoint, and the viewpoint of Ahl al-Sunnah. Upoin this compound ignorance, they continue to slander Ahl al-Sunnah, the adherents to the way of the Salaf with that which they are innocent and free of.
These articles cover this topic in more detail and depth, so you can refer to them:
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