Destroying the Slander of Tajsim (Anthropomorphism) Against Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah: Part 5 - The Mujassimah From Ahl al-Kalaam: The Hanafi Karraamiyyah|
Saturday, December 11 2010 - by Asharis.Com
Read more articles at Asharis.Com
The Sources of Information
We are going to rely upon these books for the documentation of the statements of Tajseem coming from the Karraamiyyah:
They are two books of Abu Mansur al-Baghdadi (d. 429H) an Ash'ari scholar, Usul al-Din and al-Farq bayn al-Firaq. You can refer to the relevant entries in these books under the Karraamiyyah. Rather than provide full translations of entire passages, we are going to provide summary statements which will be exact translations of sentences in any case. Before we draw from these books to show the statements and views of the Karraamiyyah, we need to give some explanations so you understand where they were coming from and what their angle was.
Understanding Definitions That Are Fabricated
As we alluded earlier in this series, the Ahl al-Kalaam, in order to construct their theology, fabricated their own definitions for terms, with meanings that have no basis in the Qur'an or the language of the Arabs. Examples we gave [and some of which have been discussed in length in other articles (such as highlighting Naruiji's academic frauds)] include al-ahad, al-waahid, al-tarkib, al-jism. In order to truly fathom what was going on with all of these theological debates you have to appreciate that the Ahl al-Kalaam are operating upon polluted language, and you have to be aware of this when you are speaking to people who have been poisoned and intoxicated with it.
With respect to the term al-jism, it has two basic meanings. It refers to a) al-jasad, al-badan, the entity itself, whatever is being referred to, or b) the meaning of thickness, density pertaining to an entity. That is its meaning in the language of the Qur'an and of the Arabs. To the Ahl al-Kalaam (Mu'attilah or Mujassimah), they have their own devised definition for it, and their terms vary, some of them say, "whatever consists of two indivisible particles", and some say three, and some of the Mu'tazilah said six or eight (which means that extension would be in all three directions), and some of them said, "whatever occupies space, a space occupying entity", "whatever has the three spatial extensions (length, breadth, depth)", "whatever can be pointed at", "whatever is composite, composed (murakkab, mu'allaf)", that is one of their key ones. Also, whatever is said about it that it is here or there". And there is also "whatever is etablished by itself (al-qaa'imu bi nafsihi)", "whatever exists (mawjood)" (these last two are from the Karraamiyyah).
We have around twenty or so definitions amongst them. What is important here, is that these people fabricated new meanings as a means to construct and validate their own theology [be they Mu'attilah or Mujassimah], which fundamentally is not based upon the principle of "Affirming for Allaah what He and His Messenger affirmed for Him," rather, it is:
Proving the universe is originated with a proof based upon the conceptual tools and language of astray nations from the past then making reason (aql) the judge of what Allaah ought to be described with to conform to that proof and then making distortion of the texts that do not agree with that version of theism (because they imply a'raad or hawaadith).
So they all formulated their own definitions, and they have many differences amongst themselves and they refute each other in these definitions.
The Karraamiyyah are named after Muhammad bin Karraam al-Sijistaanee (d. 255H) and he was from the Ahl al-Kalaam. They were Murji'ah in Eeeman and were Ahl al-Ra'i (people of opinion). They appeared around the same time, if not shortly after the Kullaabiyyah. They debated the Jahmiyyayh, Raafidah and fiercely debated the Mu'tazilah and agreed with them (the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah) on those usool which led them (the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah) to whatever it led them to (ta'teel). These usool were the language of al-a'raad and al-ajsaam and the proof of huduth al-ajsaam. However, he differed with them on the absoluteness of one of its premises. First let us revisit this proof that all of these people of Kalaam (Mu''attilah or Mujassimah) founded their theology upon:
The Proof of Huduth al-Ajsaam
The proof tries to establish the universe is originated and hence the existence of a creator. The argument is:
This is the core of it and all of these are its basic premises and all of these groups are united upon its basic premises. Note that premise e) is the greatest foundation of the Mu'attilah, it is the foundation of al-Jahm bin Safwan, its chief and master, and it is the basis for all of his ta'teel. And this premise is uniform for all the Mu'attilah, the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Kullaabiyyah, Ash'ariyyah, Maturidiyyah and also the Karraamiyyah Mujassimah. And as for g), it is a sound priciple mentioned in the Qur'an and known through fitrah and reason. The major portion of the time, effort and resources spent by the Ahl al-Kalaam was on a) to e) and you will see this manifest in the books of the Mu'tazilah, Ash'ariyyah. They spent a lot of time debating and refuting each other on the deeper technical issues related to a) to e) - whilst being united on the actual framework.
The following words are pertinent at this point:
This is the proof on account of which al-Jahm bin Safwaan entered his taaghoots into the Ummah. This is the proof on account of which the Mu'tazilah put the Ummah and its scholars to trial. This is the proof whose presumed truth was taken up by the Ash'ariyyah and Maturidiyyah. This is the proof which split and divided the Ummah after the Khawarij, Raafidah, Murij'ah and Qadariyyah. This is the proof on account of which the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazlah invented their "ta'weel" (tahrif). This is the proof on account of which they [Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Ash'ariyyah, Maturidiyyah] considered the aql to be definitive and have precedence over the naql (revealed texts), as explicitly laid down by al-Razi's "Universal Principle" for all Ash'arites after him. This is the proof upon which al-Maturidi was building his creed upon, over yonder, beyond the river. This is the proof and its underlying language that is behind the tajsim of the Rafidi Ahl al-Kalaam. This is the proof and its language on account of which the Hanafi Karraamis from Ahl al-Kalaam based their Tajseem and its language of takyif. Al-Maturidi the Hanafi Mu'attil and Ibn Karram, the Hanafi Mujassim, two stains upon Hanafiyyah, besides that of the Mu'tazilah (and all are Ahl al-Kalaam). This is the proof which became the basis of many a subsequent innovation and instilling of hatred in the hearts. This was the proof brought into the Ummah by al-Ja'd bin Dirham who took it from the Sabean star, planet and idol-worshipping pagan disbelievers, and whose underlying language had already been toyed with by the Hellenized Jews and Christians aforetime (read this series). This is the Kalaam which the Salaf condemned, and perhaps [O gathering of contemporary Jahmites] your intellects are still with you such that you take heed of saying of Abu Haneefah (d. 150H):
Inside the Karraamite Mind
Let's get into the minds of those Hanafi Mujassimah.
The Karraamiyyah reasoned that things are only bodies (ajsaam) and their incidental attributes (a'raad), and since Allaah cannot be an incidental attribute (which cannot exist of its own accord) He must be a jism (body). Some of them said "a body unlike bodies" and Ibn Karraam himself said "a body like bodies" based upon his agreement with the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah that attributes and actions can only be established in bodies.
However, they differed with the rest of their brethren from Ahl al-Kalaam [Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Kullaabiyyah Ash'ariyyah, Maturidiyyah] on one of the major premises which is: A jism is never devoid of hawaadith (events, those affairs which have a beginning, meaning here attributes and actions). The Karraamiyyah disagreed on the absoluteness of this principle and said that this is not the case for Allaah, the Most High. They did not reject this principle, rather they accepted it, but did not accept that it is absolute. They said it is possible for there to be an eternal jism, that was devoid of all hawaadith in eternity. They said Allaah (the eternal jism, single, pure, unified, one) was devoid of hawaadith for a period of eternity. Hence, he is not like all the other bodies which are never devoid of hawaadith (meaning the qualities and attributes found in them). This is why some of them said "jism laa kal-ajsaam." So here, the Karraamiyyah established a difference betweeen the eternal jism and the created ajsaam, and what is the essential differene between the eternal jism and the created ajsaam? This difference is from the angle of whatever is obligatory (waajib), permissible (jaawaaz) and prohibited (mumtani'). Thus Allaah is a body. Created things are bodies. What's the difference between them? The difference is known and defined through what can be said to be obligatory (waajib), permissible (jaawaaz) and prohibited (mumtani') upon that eternal jism and these created ajsaam. It is prohibited for created ajsaam to be free of hawaadith, but not for Allaah. So this is how Allaah "does not resemble" the created bodies, it is in terms of what is permitted, obligatory and prohibited, and this is what they mean by "a body, unlike other bodies."
Note that we have left out a lot of detail here as things would otherwise get very technical. We have left out a lot of detail in relation to matters and principles in which the Karraamiyyah agree with the Mu'tazilah (and Ash'aris and Maturidis) and some in which they have a different approach. But for the purpose of this article, what we have stated above is sufficient.
As for Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah they say:
Allaah has always been one who speaks as and when and He wills. He did not acquire any new attribute He did not already have. That Allaah never ceased with all His attributes is the saying of Ahl al-Sunnah, so Allaah is not subject to "hawaadith" upon the understanding of the Karraamiyyah (meaning acquisition of attributes). Rather Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah say that Allaah has never ceased with all His Names and attributes, both those that are laazim (necessary to His essence) and those that are muta'addi (transitive, in the sense that they relate to another object), so al-Khaaliq, al-Raaziq, al-Muhyee, al-Mumeet are all transitive Names, their meanings require other objects, Allaah creates something, Allaah provides with something, Allah gives life to something, Allaah takes life from something. Ahl al-Sunnah say Allaah has never ceased to be like this, meaning Allaah never ceases to create if He wills, never ceases to provide if He wills, never ceases to give life if He wills, never ceases to take life if He wills. And likewise He has never ceased to be one who speaks when and as He wills with whatever He wills. And in all of that nothing precedes Allah in His existence, rather everything besides Allaah was brought into existence after non-existence.
It is important to stop here to understand what is really going on in the overall scheme of things, in the "birds-eye" of things, and once you get this way of thinking into your mind, and you start seeing the overall picture, and start building some context, you will start to see the pieces fit together. So here it is:
First thing to note is that all of these Kalaam groups are working on the same building. They have the same tools, the same types of bricks, there is a specific blueprint, and a specific goal. The goal is to build a solid proof for the universe being originated and to prove a creator. However, they all have different ways of going about it and in their unique approaches, they are adhering (in their view) to what they consider are the basic rules, which is the basic outline, the procedure for demonstrating huduth al-ajsaam (as described previously). So they share in:
We can now move on to see the language of the Karraamiyyah in their theism.
How the Karraamiyyah Described Their Lord
So after the Karraamiyyah concluded that Allaah is a jism (body) upon the conceptual tools of al-ajsaam wal-a'raad (bodies and their incidental attributes) in the wider framework of trying to prove the universe is originated and proving a creator, it was inevitable that in their speech, in their theology, that they use corresponding language. So we are going to now draw from those books we mentioned at the beginning. So this is what the Karraamiyyah said (with our comments), now most of it overlaps, but what concerns us here is the following:
Ibn Karraam said Allaah is a jism (body). He would say Allaah has singularity of essence and singularity of substance.
The reality of the saying of the Karraamiyyah is that some of them meant by the word jism "that which exists (mawjud)" and "that which is established on its own (al-qaa'imu bi nafsihi)." Now from the Ash'arites are those who said that the difference between these people is one of wording only. We have a whole article dedicated to just this topic, and you can read that here:
But there were some amongst them who believed that every jism is made up of the indivisible particle (al-Jawhar al-Fard), and so it is possible that some of them spoke of Allaah being a jism with this meaning, that He is composite. However, what is famous and well known from their leading Imaams like Ibn al-Haysam is something other than that, that by jism they mean "existing (mawjud)" and "self-established (al-qaa'imu bi nafsihi)".
Also from the saying of Ibn Karraam:
He would say Allaah has a hadd (limit) and nihayah (end) in the direction of the Throne, and that He is touching (mumaass) His Throne and that the Throne is a place for Him. Some of his associates changed the word touch (mummaassah) with proximity, nearness (mulaaqaah, coming near to, meeting) the Throne. They said that He does not extend beyond the Throne, His width is as the width of the Throne, and that the Throne becomes filled of Him. And that between Him and the Throne is an infinite distance or a certain distance.
This is takyif following on from their saying that Allaah is a jism (body), and this is speech which has no basis in the Book and the Sunnah. For this reason, others from Ahl al-Kalaam (who affirmed Allaah is above the Throne, like the early Kullaabis and early Ash'aris) refuted them with speech such as "He is above the Throne and is not a jism" and "He is above the Throne without touch, contact, adjacency" and "He is above the Throne without nearness [that brings Him closer] or being distant [that makes Him further]" and so on. They were refuting this takyif of the Hanafi Mujassimah. These were the early Kullabis and Ash'aris.
Incidentally, the Salafi Imaam, Abu Nasr al-Sijzee (d. 444H) who wrote a book in refutation of the Kullaabiyyah and Ash'ariyyah also used this negation in relation to istiwaa (that Allah [Himself] is above the Throne without touch [mummaassah]), refuting those who claimed that. However this is specific negation which is not from the way of the Salaf. The point in mentioning this is to show that this takyif of the Mujassimah was rejected by those upon the way of the Salaf too, even if it was in a manner that involved a methodological departure from the way of the Salaf, which is specific affirmation, with general negation (Allaah [Himself] is above the Throne, bilaa kayf, without how).
The Later Ash'aris who took the path of the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah in denying 'uluww altogether, they showed rejection against everyone who affirmed Allaah to be above the Throne, and they adduced arguments to refute this belief upon the principles of Kalaam. They slanderously imposed the takyif of the Mujassimaah upon Ahl al-Sunnah. Then in their great dishonesty, they found doubts [through historical occurrences] by which to justify this slander, and we will address these doubts in later articles inshaa'Allaah. From them is the saying of Ibn al-Mubaarak, Ishaq bin Raahuyah and Imaam Ahmad - in refutation of the Jahmiyyah who claimed Allaah is in every place - that Allaah is above His Throne with a "hadd" (as in He is separate from His creation. which means He is separate from His Throne and that His essence does not merge or mix with anything in the creation). So these people are very dishonest and they rely upon the ignorance of the audience to continue their great swindle. They do not distinguish between the language of tajsim of their brethren from Ahl al-Kalam which originates due to them having concluded Allaah is a jism through the foundational language of al-ajsaam wal-a'raad which they all share in, and between the speech and language of the Imaams of Ahl al-Sunnah, the Righteous Salaf that does not arise from within that framework, rather is completely outside of it and has nothing to do with it.
It is important to point out that the leading figures of the Karraamiyyah such as Ibn al-Haysam deny that they make tasbhih like that of the Raafidah, even if they affirm they refer to Allaah as a jism (in the manner outlined above, meaning "existing", "self-established"). Al-Shahrastani states regarding Ibn al-Haysam (in al-Milal wal-Nihal, Dar al-Ma'rifah, Beirut, 1993, 1/129):
And Ibn al-Haysam asserted that those matters which the Mushabbihah apply to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, such as form, shape, [hollow] interior, roundness, abundance, touch, embrace, and what is like that is not similar to what the Karraamiyyah apply, such as Allaah creating Aadam with His hand and that He ascended over the Throne, and that He will come on the Day of Judgement to judge mankind. And this is because we [Ibn al-Haysam] do not believe in any corrupt meaning in regard to all of that, such as limbs, parts, in explanation of hands. And likewise, in applying makaan (place) and the independence of the Throne (in holding) Allaah as an explanation of "istiwaa", and nor occupying spaces as an explanation of coming (majee'). But we have only applied them simply because the Qur'an has applied them, without takyif and tashbih, and whatever has not come in the Qur'an and the report (khabar), we do not apply it [to Allaah], like all the Mushabbihah and Mujassimah do.
What he (Ibn al-Haysam) is saying here is that they do not apply those attributes which the Raafidee Mujassimah applied (see previous article), and as for what they affirm, it is only because the revealed texts speak of it, and in that they do not assert any corrupt meaning or takyif. However, what is apparent is that in the issue of al-istiwaa, takyif is related about them, and from Muhammad bin Karraam, and they entered into blameworthy language regarding it after their conclusion Allaah is a jism (body), even if they explained with meanings that their adversaries (the Ash'arites) could not fault, such as "mawjud" (existing) and "al-qaa'imu binafsihi" (self-established) - see this article.
What should be taken away from this article in this series is that we have built much more context now, and the bigger picture is now emerging. We have learned that:
ONE: The Mujassimah are simply brethren of the Ahl al-Kalaam, they are brothers of the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Ash'ariyyah and Maturidiyyah. What has led them to their tajsim is the same underlying foundations in language and in what they consider the most important foundation of the religion, to prove the universe is originated through huduth al-ajsaam. So all of them should be included within the same box.
All of the above should have put another piece in the puzzle and built some further context for us. In our next article we are going to discuss a type of Mujassimah, Mushabbihah that your pseudo-Ash'ari, neo-Jahmi swindler will have kept hidden from you as part of his centuries old deception. Yes, the Mujassimah and Mushabbihah from amongst the Extremist Sufis, perhaps the greatest and most repugnant type of tajsim and tashbih.