Imaam ul-Haramayn al-Juwaynee (d. 478H): We Agree With the Mu'tazilah That the Qur'an is Created - We Just Differ on a Matter of Wording Which Is On Account Of What Can We Call Allaah 'Mutakallim' (One Who Speaks)
Posted by Abu.Iyaad on Wednesday, October, 14 2009 and filed under Articles
Key topics: Al-Juwaynee Qur'an Mu'tazilah Al-Juwaynee Qur'an Mu'tazilah

All praise is due to Allaah and may the prayers and salutations be upon His Messenger, to proceed.

Bayaan Talbees al-Ash'ariyyah [al-Kullaabiyyah al-Jahmiyyah]

In previous articles we explained how the Jahmite Ash'aris believe in secret that the Qur'an we recite and memorize is created (but they forbid that this should be said openly). Then there was the saying of Fakhr ud-Din ar-Razi (d. 606H) that the As'haris and Mu'tazilah are actually agreed that the Qur'an we have is created, but they just differ on issues of wording and terminology (see here). Then there is the saying of the contemporary Ash'ari, Muhammad Sa'eed Ramadan al-Buti - and we brought his saying establishing the same (see this article). We also brought a quote from the Mufassir, Ibn Jareer at-Tabari (d. 310) in which he cleaned out the rat-holes and secret hideouts of the Jahmites in a single sweep, cursing them, reviling them and making takfeer of them on account of their claiming the Qur'an (that we read, recite, memorize and hear) is created - and may Allaah have mercy upon him.

So today, we are going to add to all of the above with a corroboration of it from another prominent Ash'ari from the past and he is Imaam ul-Haramayn, Abu al-Mu'aali Abdul-Malik al-Juwaynee (d. 478H).

Its a good idea to go back to the article on the statement of Fakhr ud-Din ar-Razi and read the "Background" section so that this whole subject can be put into context (read it here).

The Statement of Abdul-Malik al-Juwaynee

In his book, "Kitaab ul-Irshaad", (1950 edition, Maktabat ul-Khaanjee, Egypt) there occurs, after a discussion of the issues connected to the Speech of Allaah, the words of al-Juwaynee (pp 116-117):

This translates as:

Know after it [the preceding discussion regarding what is "Kalaam" and "mutakallim"] that [our] speech with the Mu'tazilah and all the opposers in this issue is connected to negation and affirmation. For what they have affirmed and determined to be "kalaam (speech)", then in and of itself, it is established, affirmed. And [then] their saying [thereafter], "It is the speech of Allaah, the Most High", when it is subjected to a scientific study, the speech (Kalaam) [simply] returns back to [one of] languages and appellations.

For the meaning of their saying, "These are the expressions of the speech of Allaah" is that they are His creation, and we do not reject that they are the creation of Allaah, but we prohibit from calling the Creator of [this] speech as "mutakallim" on account of them.

So we have come to an agreement [with the Mu'tazilah] upon the meaning but we have disputed, after this agreement, about its appellation (i.e. what to call this meaning).

This is the same as what has been said by al-Buti (here), and ar-Razi (here). And we can repeat here what we said (by way of explanation) in the previous articles:

Al-Juwaynee confirms that both the Ash'aris and the Mu'tazilah agree that this Qur'an we have, which is recited and memorized and heard - which the Salaf said is "uncreated" - is to them (the Asharis and Mu'tazilah) created. What they actually disagree on is whether Allaah can be called "Mutakallim" on account of this Qur'aan, which is "created" (to both the Ash'aris and the Mu'tazilah).

So the Mu'tazilah say yes, He can. And the Ash'aris say no He can't. The Ash'aris say He can't because you can't be said to be "mutakallim (one who speaks)" on account of the speech in another essence, and the Mu'tazilah claim you can, and they say it is like "the House of Allaah", and "the Messenger of Allaah" and "the She-Camel of Allaah" and so on. The Ash'aris don't agree with this.

The Ash'aris say (which is the view of Ibn Kullaab and his from his innovation), that Allaah can be said to be "mutakallim (one who speaks)" on account of the "kalam nafsee" that resides with His Self and which is uncreated. It is on account of this that say Allaah is "mutakallim" with "Kalaam".

So the essence of the matter is that they are all agreed that the Qur'an about which the Salaf said is uncreated, is created (makhlooq). Thereafter they differ on a linguistic matter - can one be said to be "mutakallim" on account of speech established in another entity or not? The Mu'tazilah said yes, and the Ash'aris simply borrowed the saying of Ibn Kullab that Allaah has "Kalaam Nafsee" and so they say it is on account of this that He is "mutakallim".

So let no Ash'ari or non-Ash'ari - after this and preceding articles - be under any doubt that the Ash'aris hold the Qur'an to be created, just like the Mu'tazilah and the Jahmiyyah. And it was precisely because of this specific belief that the Salaf assaulted and condemned the Jahmites and the Mu'tazilah.

It's worthy as a reminder that we bring the speech of the Salaf once more:

Cleaning up ...

We can now turn to the words of the Salaf and clean up efficiently, and we've got a great line-up which is going to make these Jahmites flee in no time. You should be clear that when the Salaf made takfeer of those who said the Qur'an is created, it was on the basis of their saying that this Qur'an that we have, which we recite, which we hear, whose words we hear, which are memorized and so on that this is created.

The saying of the Salaf is that all of that is a single Qur'an, however it is, it is the speech of Allaah, uncreated - and they did not mean the paper and the ink and the voices and so on, they meant the words, the words, no matter in what form, it is all the uncreated speech of Allaah, Allaah spoke it, it is His words, it originated with Him. So when the Qur'an is recited the Kalaam (speech, words) are those of Allaah, but the voice is that of the reciter. And in all instances that speech (Kalaam) is the speech of Allaah which He spoke to Jibreel and which Jibreel spoke to Muhammad and which Muhammad spoke to the Ummah. And this is the creed of the Salaf, manifest, plain and clear. So when you see the Salaf make takfeer of the Jahmites, it was due to their claim that the Qur'aan, as we have mentioned it, is created. And this saying was inherited by the Mu'tazilah, Kullaabiyyah and Ash'ariyyah - the disputes between them are in wording only not in the realities.

Al-Laalikaa'ee reports in his "Sharh Usool I'tiqaad Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah", (2/275-277):

From Ahmad bin Abdillaah bin al-Khidr al-Muqree - [chain of narration] - that Abu Muhammad Yahyaa bin Khalf al-Muqree said:

I was with Maalik bin Anas in the year 168 H. and a man came to him and said: "O Abu Abdullaah what do you say about the one who says: The Qur'an is created?" He said: "A kaafir, heretic (zindeeq), kill him". The man then said: "I am just quoting these words which I heard". Then he (Maalik) said: "I have not heard them from anyone else, I have heard them from you".

Abu Muhammad said: Then that was a bit tough on me so I went to Misr and I met al-Layth bin Sa'd and said: "O Abu al-Haarith, what do you say about the one who says: The Qur'an is created?" And then I narrated to him the words said to Maalik, and then he said: "[Such a one is] a kaafir". Then I met Ibn Luhay'ah and I said to him the equivalent of what I said to al-Layth bin Sa'd and I narrated to him the words. He said: "A kaafir."

And in another narration from 'Abbaas al-Azhar there continues:

And then I came to Makkah and met Sufyaan bin 'Uyainah and narrated to him the words of the man (who came to Maalik bin Anas) and he said: "A kaafir". Then I went to Koofah and I met Abu Bakr bin Ayyaash and I said to him: "What do you say about the one who says the Qur'an is created?" And I narrated to him the words of the man. He said: "He is a kaafir and whoever does not say he is a disbeliver is himself a kaafir". Then I met Alee bin Aasim and Hushaym and I said the same to them both and narrated to them the words of the man and they both said: "A kaafir". Then I met Abdullaah bin Idrees, Abu Usaamah, Ubdah bin Sulaimaan al-Kallaabee, Yahyaa bin Zakariyyaa and Wakee' and I narrated to them and they said: "A kaafir". Then I met Ibn al-Mubaarak, Abu Ishaaq al-Fazaaree and al-Waleed bin Muslim, so I narrated to them the words and they said, all of them: "A kaafir."

And out of respect, we have to bring the speech of Ibn Jareer at-Tabari (d. 310H) again, for it is powerful (see here):

The Creed of Abu Ja'far Muhammad bin Jareer at-Tabari

Ubaydullaah bin Muhammad bin Ahmad informed us - reading to him - he said: Al-Qaadee Abu Bakr Ahmad bin Kaamil informed us, saying: Abu Ja'far Muhammad bin Jareer said:

The first of that which we begin with regarding that is the Speech of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic and His Revelation, since they are from the meanings of His Tawheed.

So what is correct of the speech regarding that in our view is that it is Speech of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, it is not created in whichever manner it may be written or when it is recited, in whatever place it may be recited, whether it is found in the heaven or upon the earth, however it maybe preserved - whether written in the Lawh il-Mahfoodh (the Preserved Tablet) or in the copies of the children of the Qur'anic schools, or inscribed on a stone and written on paper or leaf, whether memorized in the heart, or spoken by the tongue.

Whoever says other than this, or claims there is a Qur'an in the earth or in the heaven other than the Qur'an that which we recite with our tongues, and which we write in the masaahif (copies of the Qur'an), or who believes this in his heart or who conceals such a belief in his heart, or who professes it with his tongue, then he is a kaafir whose blood and wealth is lawful and who is free from Allaah and Allaah is free from him - due to the saying of Allaah, lofty be His praise:

Nay! This is a Glorious Qur'an (Inscribed) in Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz (The Preserved Tablet)! (Al-Buruj 85:21-22)

And He said, and His saying is the truth:

And if anyone of the Mushrikun (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) seeks your protection then grant him protection, so that he may hear the Word of Allah (the Qur'an).. (At-Tawbah 9:6)

So He informed us, lofty be His praise that it is in the Preserved Tablet, written, and that it is heard from the tongue of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and it is a single Qur'aan, heard from Muhammad and written in the Preserved Tablet, and likewise, memorized in the hearts, and recited upon the tongues of the shuyookh (old) and the children (young).

So whoever reports or quotes from us, or fabricates a saying against us, or claims against us that we say anything other than that, then upon him is the curse of Allaah and His Anger, and the curse of those who curse, [and the curse of] the Angels, and mankind, altogether. Allaah will not accept any effort or goodness from him, will expose and disgrace him in front of all of the witnesses on the day that the excuses of the oppressors will not benefit them, they will have the curse and they will have the evil abode.

So the truth, the creed of the Salaf and of their great Imaams, is manifest walhamdulillaah and the saying of the Jahmites and Mu'tazilah is laid bare in plain sight.

We ask Allaah to remove the blind-partisanship and bigotry that prevents many of the Ash'aris from freeing themselves of the shackles of the Aristotelian Metaphysics that led their predecessors to waste most of their lives in useless theological speculation, only to lament over it when their time came to an end, after they realized that no matter how much polemic they devised against the Mu'tazilah, their positions never really managed to escape or separate from the views of the Mu'tazilah except through the playing around with words, definitions and terminologies.