Why Ibn Sina, You Exceedingly Shrewd Kafir! Thank You For Supporting Our Aristotelian Metaphysical Creed and Backing Us (Ash'aris) In Our Saying That 'Allaah Is Not Within the Creation Nor Outside Of It'|
Posted by Abu.Iyaad on Tuesday, October, 13 2009 and filed under Articles
Key topics: Ibn Sina Ibn Seena Al-Uluww Al-Ghazali Metaphysics Aristotle Aristotelian Metaphysics Ibn Sina Ibn Seena Al-Uluww Al-Ghazali Metaphysics Aristotle Aristotelian Metaphysics
From the well-known sayings of the Later Ash'aris is that:
Allaah is not within the creation, nor outside of it, and not attached, connected to the creation nor separate from it. And He is not above the creation nor below it. He is not to the right of the creation nor to its left. And not in front of the creation and nor behind it.
This saying is from the deen of the Jahmites and Philosophers and it is not the saying of the followers of the revealed texts. Unlike those who speak with this repugnant philosophical Jahmeespeak, Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari affirmed that Allaah Himself, is above the heaven, above the Throne (see here) as did the Early Ash'aris (see here) - and also see this article. The abovementioned saying is synonymous with the words used by the Salaf to characterize the saying of the Jahmites, that "there is no Lord above the heaven and no deity above the Throne" (Go to AboveTheThrone.com to see examples from the sayings of the Salaf in this regard).
The saying of these Later Ash'aris has its origins in the deen of the Jahmites that Allaah is in every place. The Jahmiyyah began to say this after Jahm bin Safwan's debates with the Sumaniyyah (Indian Materialist Philosophers), and his concoction of a creed regarding His Lord in which he tried to redress their arguments against him, which had confused him. So he said, in essence that Allaah is in every place, but without being perceived by any of the senses. When the hujjah (proof) was established against the Jahmiyyah on this issue from the revealed texts by Ahl us-Sunnah, they could not argue against it, and then began to say:
Allaah is neither touching (mumaass) anything nor separate (mubaayin) from anything.
And it is from here that the saying, "Allaah is neither within the creation nor outside of it" is derived and extended from. And what they mean is that Allaah cannot be said to be "in things" or "outside of things" because these properties do not apply to Him as He is unlike created bodies (ajsaam). We have a separate article on this inshaa'Allaah where their great fraud regarding this subject and their speech regarding "false dichotomies" will be addressed inshaa'Allaah. But the Jahmiyyah were those who originated the saying of negating two opposites from Allaah when their fraud was made apparent in their saying, "Allaah is in every place". And this saying, "Allaah is neither within the universe, nor outside of it" is the very saying of today's Jahmites who fraudulently ascribe themselves to Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari, they inherited this from the Jahmites and Philosophers.
And amongst the Philosophers who spoke with this saying was Ibn Sina (d. 429H) and he precedes the Later Ash'aris (from al-Juwaynee onwards, d. 478H) who departed from what the Early Ash'aris were upon of affirming Allaah's uluww (see here). Ibn Sina (d. 429H) was declared a kafir by al-Ghazali (d. 505H) for rejection of the bodily resurrection. However, Ibn Sina was from the Baatini Qaraamitah who were kafirs already but they outwardly associated with Islam through Shi'ism, proclaiming love for Ahl ul-Bayt as a means to win credibility amongst Muslims - and then they entered their philosophy and heresy and fused it with the beliefs of Islam, but really intending to promote and give domination to their heretical beliefs, and the views of the Philosophers such as Aristotle.
In this article we want to highlight that despite what appear to be such serious differences, the Philosophers (such as Ibn Sina) and the Mutakallimoon (amongst whom are the Ash'aris) have a lot in common - on account of what they made to be the foundation of their speech regarding the affairs of divinity - the concepts, language and terminology inherited from the Greek Philosophers.
Before proceeding with this article it's good to get a background to those who are referred to as the Philosophers and those who are referred to as the Mutakallimoon. To understand this is actually essential to understanding many of the affairs of aqeedah, and to get a real and true grasp of these issues of aqeedah you have to have this framework in your mind - we mean here the various "players" in the field so to speak, so be sure to read the following first.
The Philosophers: Aristotle (d. 332BC) is known as "the First Teacher". Abu Nasr al-Farabi (d. 339H) is known as "the Second Teacher". Ibn Sina (d. 429H) is known as "the Third Teacher" - these are the actual titles given to them. The latter two are the inheritors of that Greek Philosophy of Aristotle (and Plato), and they championed it and their own beliefs through it. One of their main beliefs was that the "matter" that makes up the universe is eternal and has always been present and another being their rejection of bodily resurrection and the affairs connected to resurrection, and a third being that the Prophets were just Philosophers who told lies to the people which they believed to be in the best interests of the people (to make them lead moral lives) and that the Philosophers too can reach this station of prophethood.
The Mutakallimoon: Are those who used the notions and underlying terminology of metaphysical philosophy (of those atheists and disbelievers such as Aristotle) to argue the case for:
And they are the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Kullaabiyyah, Ash'ariyyah, Maturidiyyah. And they made this proof of theirs to be the "ultimate truth" and the premise they were working on was that the truth of Islam can only be demonstrated through this proof - and in this, they were trying to impress upon those atheist Philosophers.
So the battle was between the Philosophers and the Mutakallimoon, but the Mutakallimoon were foolish for entering this battle by agreeing to use the language, terminology, and classifications of the atheist Philosophers (al-jawhar wal-'arad, al-maqoolaat al-ashar) and incorporating new ideas along the way (al-jawhar wal-fard), and by doing so, they could not let go of this "ilm ul-kalaam" and it in turn became their criterion over and above the revealed texts, and this reflected in their positions in creed that they formulated to keep in line with this "ilm ul-kalaam".
This particular passage is quoted by Ibn al-Qayyim in his "as-Sawaa'iq al-Mursalah" and it is taken from a book by Ibn Seenaa called "ar-Risaalah al-Adhawiyyah Fee Amr il-Ma'aad", which is a book related to the issue of resurrection. And this book has been published numerous times with two verifications, that of Dr. Sulaymaan Danyaat, published by Dar al-Fikr al-Arabi, in Cairo, and that of Hasan Aamee, published in Beirut. We have not been able to acquire the original, otherwise we would have placed an image of the scan in this article.
Ibn al-Qayyim is quoting this passage here to show how the likes of Ibn Sina and other mulhids used what the Mutakallimoon (Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Kullaabiyyah, Ash'ariyyah, Maturidiyyah) were doing to the texts of the attributes as a green light and justification for doing the same to the texts of creation and resurrection. And in this passage, Ibn Sina is actually outlining his argument and justification of this. Now the passage is longer than this, but we are only interested in the first part of it, as it relates to our objective in this article. We could perhaps discuss the entirety of it in a separate article.
Here we are focusing just on the part to do with the language of Aristotelian Metaphysics and the belief of the later (Jahmite) Ash'aris that "Allaah is neither within the creation, nor outside of it".
Here is the text as quoted by Ibn al-Qayyim:
Ibn al-Qayyim first says:
So those [Atheist] Heretics argue against the deniers of the Attributes through what they have agreed with them upon of turning away from the texts of revelation and negation of the Attributes, as has been mentioned by Ibn Sina in his treatise "al-Adhawiyyah". For he said therein, when he mentioned the proof of those who affirm the resurrection of the body, and that the reason [that invites] them to that [belief] is what has been mentioned in the legislation of the resurrection of the dead.
Then he quotes Ibn Sina:
As for the affair of the legislation (ash-shar'), then it is desirable that one principle be known regarding it, which is:
After this, Ibn Sina goes on to explain how there is a great deal of tashbeeh in the Torah, and likewise there is found tashbeeh in the texts of the Book and the Sunnah, and on account of what he has already mentioned ]that the truth is really in how he has described Allaah, upon the Aristotelian Metaphysics based language] then based upon this all these texts are just metaphors and not really intended. He then says, arguing that if this is the case (regarding belief in Allaah), "Then how can the apparent [texts] of the legislation be considered proof..." in the subject of the resurrection. So he has used the behaviour of the Mutakallimoon towards the texts of the Attributes (they are metaphors and mutashaabihaat) and said that's how we behave with the texts mentioning resurrection of bodies.
Notes and Comments
First you need to go and read this article regarding what has been said by al-Ghazali on a similar subject:
Al-Ghazali is trying to answer the objection that how come the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not use this type of language of the Aristotelian Metaphysicists (the Mutakallimoon) and say things like (quoting directly from al-Ghazali's words):
And from al-Ghazali's response is that the Prophet (alayhis salaam) was forced to use metaphors, firstly because the Arabic language was incapable of carrying the subtlety of meanings required to convey accurately the true belief in Allaah (meaning their Aristotelian metaphysical credo) and secondly, that if the Prophet (alayhis salaam) did do so, not one in a thousand people would accept it and the vast majority of them would tend to atheism!
And what is the reason why the Philosophers and these Mutakallimoon concur on this issue? Yes, they made the knowledge of Tawheed to be dependent upon and bound by the classification, terminology and language of the atheist mulhid Philosophers such as Aristotle, and since they all drink from the same fountain in reality, then their statements resemble each other.
Point 2: Thanks Aristotle "the First Teacher" For Giving Us (Asharis) the Philosophy From Which We Derived the Underlying Foundations Without Which We Could Not Have Understood the True Tawheed And Thanks Ibn Sina "the Third Teacher" and Exceedingly Shrewd Kafir For Supporting Us
And in the same risaalah, Ibn Sina makes mention of purifying Allaah of "tahayyuz" (space occupation) and "jihaat" directions - again this being the necessities of the Aristotelian categories mentioned above - and which are the foundation for the Ilm ul-Kalaam of the Mutakallimoon and their basic notions from which their "hudooth ul-ajsaam" was derived.
And we see that the Philosophers and the Mutakallimoon, who are supposed to be enemies of each, are actually united from the angle that they are all agreed that this knowledge, meaning this knowledge and philosophy, this metaphysical formulation, is the ultimate reference point for determing the truth regarding belief in Allaah and His Tawheed - and thus the revealed texts became of little use for them and were rendered nothing more than metaphors "to help those dumb, ignorant commoners acquire faith without hindrance" - and this is what they say, both the Mutakallimoon and the Philosophers, they say it in their books - and as for the real knowledge, then it is whatever comes from their intellects. And this is why they turned to the revealed texts and started playing around with them, distorting them, and explaining them away. To them, the revealed texts contain apparent tashbeeh and Tajseem, and the revealed texts do not amount to certain definitive knowledge because they contain tashaabuh (ambiguity) and so on - these are their sayings, both the Philosophers and the Mutakallimoon. They both say that the proof of the intellect is decisive over the revealed texts.
The difference occurring between them is like this:
Then the factions of the Mutakallimoon:
So we see that all of them lay claim to that underlying foundation - the metaphysical classifications, terminology and language which they use - in their own ways - to argue for their credo. Their only differences are concerning what can and cannot be negated to avoid invalidating that base and foundation, which is the intellectual proof based upon the metaphysical classifications and terms.
So the Philosophers argue for what they call the "Waajib ul-Wujood" (the Necessarily Existent) and the Mutakallimoon argue for what they call the Maker, Creator, Originator - and then all of them are bound and forced to describe Allaah in a manner that must be in accordance with the same metaphysical classification and terminology - and hence you see that they are all in agreement with each other in saying about Allaah (or the Necessarily Existent) that (quoting al-Ghazali verbatim):
And is there any proof of their falsehood greater than this. They are all united in reality - since what they have made to the be the foundational knowledge for what can and cannot be said about Allaah - is language and terminology of the atheist Philosophers themselves, which essentially is Aristotle's substance (jawhar) and accident ('arad) with Atomism (al-Jawhar al-Fard) incorporated into it by the Mu'tazilah and then all of that "borrowed" by the Ash'arites.
توحيد اهل العلم وجماعة المسلمين أشهد أن لا اله الا الله وان محمدا رسول الله وتوحيد اهل الباطل الخوض في الأعراض والأجسام وانما بعث النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بانكار ذلك
The Tawheed of the people of knowledge and the jamaa'ah of the Muslims is "I testify none is worthy of worship except Allaah (alone) and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah". And the Tawheed of the people of falsehood is disputing about al-a'raad (incidental attributes) and al-ajsaam (bodies) and the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was sent with the rejection of that.