The Four Doors in Explanation of Why the Jahmites Must Deny That The Qur'an is Allaah's Uncreated Speech, That Allaah Will be Seen In the Hereafter and That Allaah is Above His Throne, With His Essence
Posted by Abu.Iyaad on Wednesday, September, 23 2009 and filed under Articles
Key topics: Al-Uluww Jahmiyyah Jahmites Al-Uluww Jahmiyyah Jahmites

All praise is due to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds, and may the prayers and salutations be upon His Messenger, to proceed:

Important Background Information That Has to Always Be Kept In Mind When Dealing With The Offshoots of the Jahmiyyah And Their Doubts

When dealing with the Jahmiyyah and the Mutakallimoon in general, then you need to have a good framework in your mind to be able to understand what they are saying, why they are saying it and to immediately recognize the true nature and intent of what they are saying.

Always Ask the Question: "Where Are They Coming From and Where Are They Leading To?"

You have to know where a Jahmee is coming from, and where he is going towards. Or to put it another way, you need to known which door he has entered from, and which door is he desiring to exit from.

And in the sayings of the Salaf you always see the ability to succinctly and precisely describe a complex reality in just a few words, and before we bring a sample of such words that relate to the issue we are discussing and and which explain from where a Jahmee comes and to where he goes, we want to give a pictorial representation here for better understanding:

The Four Doors

You should imagine you are in a room which has two doors. One which is the entrance and the other which is the exit. But this room itself has two partitions, and in each partition there is a door. So we have four doors. One to enter the room, two in between, and one to exit the room. Now, here are the four doors:

Now, the reality is more detailed and more complicated than this, there are a lot more doors but what we will do here is to represent the major issues of the entire situation.

So we have four doors:

  • The First Door: The proof for demonstrating the createdness of the universe - this is the base and foundation

And we have covered this intellectual proof extensively, and its called "hudooth ul-ajsaam" and you need to read upon this and be familiar with it. And the first to use such a proof was Jahm bin Safwan against the Indian Materialist Philosophers (the Sumaniyyah), he argued on the basis that things we see around us have qualities (sifaat), incidental attributes (a'raad) and are subject to occurrences (hawaadith), they are by necessity, created. Then when those Sumaniyyah accepted this for argument's sake, they counter-argued and said "Can you see your Lord, or touch Him, or hear Him, or speak to Him or smell Him" and this is because they believed in only what can be perceived by the five senses, and they also believed in the transmigration of souls (which is similar but not the same as reincarnation). So, they confused Jahm and they also said to him, "Describe your Lord to us", and so Jahm got bewildered, how can he describe to these Atheist Philosophers that Allaah hears, sees, speaks, loves, hates, becomes pleased, is above the heaven, and has the attributes of Face, Hands, Eyes and whatever else has come in the texts. So he went for forty days without praying because all of this put him into doubt.

So after reflecting upon how the Christians hold that their Lord indwells in some of His creation and addresses His creation through them but without Him being seen, he concocted a reply by which he could repel the doubt that those Indian Philosophers put him in and so quoting here the words of Imaam Ahmad in his book "ar-Radd alal-Jahmiyyah" (see the full article here), (p. 93 onwards):

Then he redressed [this defeat by devising] a proof similar to the heretics of the Christians. The heretics of the Christians claim that the spirit that is within Eesaa (Jesus) is the spirit (rooh) of Allaah, from Allaah's Essence. So when He (Allaah) wants to bring about something, He enters into some of His creation and speaks upon the tongue of that (created person), and thus He commands with whatever He wills and forbids with whatever He wills. But is a spirit that is absent from (the people's) vision.

So Jahm devised a proof just like this one and so he said to the Sumaniyy: "Do you not claim that there is spirit (i.e. soul) within you? He said, "Yes." He (Jahm) said: "Have you seen your spirit?" He said, "No." He said: "Have you heard its speech?" He said, "No." He said: "Have you perceived it with the senses or been able to touch it?" He said, "No." So he (Jahm) said: Thus is Allaah, He has no face that can be seen, and no voice that can be heard, and no fragrance that can be smelt, and He is absent from (the people's) vision, and He is not in any one specific place exclusive to another..."

Thus, he instituted the religion of the Jahmites. And when people asked them about the verse, "There is nothing like unto Him..." (42:11), what is its explanation (tafseer)? They would say:

"There is nothing like unto Him..." from amongst the things. And He is beneath the seven earths as He is above the Throne, no place is devoid of Him, and He is not in any one specific place exlusive to another. He has not spoken and does not speak. He has not looked towards anyone in the world, and nor (will He) in the Hereafter. He is not described (with anything). He is not known by any attribute or any action. He has no limit (ghaayah) or end (muntahaa) (i.e. demarcation from what is besides Him). He is not grasped by the intellect. He is the face of all of it (i.e. existence). He is the knowledge of all of it. He is the hearing of all of it. He is the seeing of all of it. He is the light of all of it. He is the power of all of it. He is not two things. He is not described by two different descriptions. He does not have a "highest" and a "lowest" and nor directions or sides, neither a right nor left, and neither is He light nor heavy, and He does not have color, or a body (jism) and nor is He known (ma'loom) or understood (ma'qool). And everything that you (imagine) in your heart which is considered a "thing", then He is different to it.

So Jahm entered the first door and it was locked behind him, because by virtue of this argument he employed against the Sumaniyyah, he was bound to abide by all of its necessities and to treat it as the ultimate truth around which all other truth revolves - otherwise what he established against the Atheists of the existence of a creator through the createdness of the universe would be rendered false and invalid.

So Jahm is the originator, the chief, the master, the flag-bearer, the imaam, the arch-Mu'attil, and he is the forerunner of the Mu'attilah after him. And as for his saying which amounts to:

  • Allah is in every place and in everything
  • But at the same time not perceived by the senses
  • And not described with anything that the creation is described with

This is the foundation of all the misguidance in this subject and from it do the fountains of the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Kullaabiyyah, Ash'ariyyah and Maturidiyyah spring. We will elaborate upon this after we have discussed the fourth door as it is a crucial part of the whole picture.

  • The Second Door: Rejecting that the Qur'an is the uncreated Speech of Allaah

So once the first door is open, you have to be brave, and show that you believe in your intellectual proof with firm resolution, that you are prepared to stand by it and not simply run out after the first door by trying to jump out of the window.

So Jahm made that firm resolve, and so he bravely and boldly walked through the second door, which is to say that Allaah never spoke to Moses direct and that the Qur'an is created. Why? Because all of it is supposed to be Allaah's speech, and if Allaah spoke words after having not spoken them, then that is an occurrence (haadithah) something that happened after it did not exist - and this is only found in created bodies, according to the intellectual proof - so the Qur'an, as we have it, must be created, it can't be Allaah's speech. So the Qur'an either originated with Jibreel, or Muhammad (alayhis salaam) and it must be created. And in the Qur'an we read, "Allaah has heard the speech of she who disputes..." (Mujaadilah 58:1), and Allaah could only have said this, 50,000 years after the decrees were written, and after the one who disputed was created, born, went through her childhood, youth and eventually to the point at which she "disputed", and if Allaah spoke after this, it means a "change" has occurred, because this is an occurrence, so this means, the Qur'an cannot really be Allaah's uncreated speech, it's got to be Jibreel's or Muhammad's and so this Qur'an that we hear, memorize and recite, the wording of it, must be created and is not the actual word of Allaah.

And likewise, Allaah says, "And Allaah spoke to Moses direct...", and Allaah could only have spoken to Moses after having written the decrees, at least 50,000 years after that, after the creation of the creation and then the creation of Moses, and his becoming a Prophet, and if Allaah spoke to Him, it means Allaah is subject to change, and events and thus, He must be a body (jism) that is created, and this falsifies the intellectual proof, and so Jahm rejected that Allaah spoke to Moses, and what he mean is that the Qur'aan is created, it is not the uncreated Speech of Allaah.

So we must say "The Qur'an that we have and recite and memorize, it is created" - otherwise it means that our proof against those Indian Materialist Philosophers - and all other Atheists - will be falsified, and those atheists will be constantly making trips to "Accident and Emergency" to have their sides stitched back up on account of the severity of their laughter at us for employing an argument to demonstrate Allaah's existence which only proves, the opposite, that Allaah too is created and thus the non-existence of a supreme Creator.

And the Mu'tazilah supported and took up this issue of the creation of the Qur'aan - because they took up the intellectual proof and they championed it - and they put the Ummah to trial with this saying of the Qur'aan being created, because to them it was kufr, it necessitated that if the Qur'aan was Allaah's Speech it would mean Allaah is a body (jism). And then Ibn Kullaab (d. 240H) came along and he tried to reconcile between the view of the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah and the people of the Sunnah and so he claimed that Allaah's speech is "Kalaam Nafsee", i.e. that all of Allaah's speech inclusive of the Qur'an has eternally been with Allaah in His Self, and it is uncreated, and so the Qur'an is uncreated too - and what he really means here is not the Qur'an we have with us, but the Qur'an that is part of that kalam nafsee that has eternally been with Allaah's Self. But this did not allow them to escape from saying that the Qur'an that we have in our hands in the the mus.haf and which is recited and memorized is created, which is the reality of their saying. And this was taken up by the Ash'ariyyah, meaning the saying of Ibn Kullab and his followers.

  • The Third Door: Denying that Allaah will be seen in the Hereafter

Once you've gone through the second door, well why, you've just gone half-way, and if you've gone half way, it's not much harder to go through the other half and then those Indian Materialists - an all other Atheists - will realize for sure you are not some weakling who can be easily intimidated by their philosophy, so you've got to defend your intellectual proof against their doubts and counterclaims and you've got to now make the show of boldness and bravery and not be intimidated - so you pull your chin up, walk through the third door and boldly deny that Allaah will be seen in the Hereafter. Why? Because seeing something means it must be in a direction (jihah) and anything in direction must have a place (makaan) and anything in place must be necessity be a body (jism) - thanks Aristotle, and thanks again - and thus if Allaah is to be seen by the people's vision of the eyes, then it means he is a body, and that falsifies our intellectual proof, and so we must reject Allaah being seen.

So the Jahmites rejected it, and those after them, the Mu'tazilah rejected it too, since their deen was also based around the same intellectual proof, and the Ash'arites have words that approximate towards an affirmation of it, save that they introduced the sophistry of saying, "but not in direction", meaning that we want to combine between truth and falsehood, so we will say, "Allaah can be seen" (so we flee from the saying of the Jahmites and make it appear that we affirm Allaah will be seen) but "not in direction (jihah)" so at the same time we don't falsify our intellectual proof for demonstrating the universe is created.

So it doesn't matter if you have to invent positions which are impossible (seeing something with the vision of the eyes which is not in a direction!) because the most important thing is what? Yes, to defend that intellectual proof for the createdness of the universe (hudooth ul-ajsaam), At all costs! But when some of them realized that the Mu'tazilah would mock them and throw rotten tomatoes at them for the poor and shoddy workmanship in crafting a worthy rational and intelligible position, realizing that what they were upon was nothing but sophistry, some of them began to say it is "a seeing of the heart", meaning in knowledge, and not an actual seeing with the eyes, whereas others maintained "but not in direction (jihah)" because they had committed themselves to this point and could not turn back.

And all these antics were to maintain that intellectual proof of demonstrating the createdness of the universe and thus a Creator. Now at the beginning the Jahmites would not and could not say "There is nothing above the heaven", because this was plain manifest misguidance and disbelief, and so they raised the issues of the Qur'aan and the Ru'yah (Seeing Allaah) as they were not as manifest as the issue of Allaah being above His Throne, above the Heaven. So these two doors are precursors to the fourth door.

  • The Fourth Door: Rejecting Allaah is above the heaven, above the Throne, separate and distinct from it

Now this issue is the greatest of issues that invalidates and falsifies the (corrupt, false) intellectual proof of the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, the Later Ash'aris and the Maturidiyyah for the existence of a creator - and note that we have excluded the Kullaabiyyah and the Early Ash'aris because they affirmed Allaah is above the Throne, with His Essence, but they added some of their kalaamist influence and added phrases such as "without touching (i.e. the Throne)" and "without confinement" and so on, and they weren't so bold and adventurous in rejecting this outright, so they found a way to reconcile between affirming Allah to be above the Throne, with His Essence, whilst negating from Him the necessities of created bodies - so as to not to falsify and invalidate their intellectual proof of "hudooth ul-ajsaam". And hence, their sayings such as "without touch", "without confinement", "without place" and so on and these phrases were an admission by them that Allaah is indeed above the Throne, with His Essence, without that necessitating that He is a body (jism).

And there was no way for them to escape this creed because the issue of Allaah being above the Throne is contained in all revealed religions and all revealed books and was affirmed by all the Prophets and Messengers and it was the clear manifest deen of the Muslims, and it was the uncontested truth, and none rejected it save the Jahmites, and it was known that anyone who rejected there is a Lord above the heaven is a kaafir - end of story - and all of this know and manifest in the books, and in what has been transmitted from the Salaf.

But the Jahmites knew that this is the creed of the Muslims, and they could not come out openly in rejecting this, and so they were careful about this and only alluded to it or hinted towards it through other issues, such as the issue of the Qur'aan and the issue of Allaah being seen in the Hereafter.

And at this point, we can now come to those sayings of the Salaf we mentioned earlier on, since the context has been set, those sayings of the Salaf that explain a complex set of events succinctly, briefly and concisely ...

So when these people, the Jahmiyyah and the Mu'tazilah, emerged with this orientation from just before the middle of the second century (around 150H), the Imaams of the Salaf knew what they were trying to do and this is why you see statements from the Salaf as reported by Imaam ad-Dhahabee, in Mukhtasar al-uluww (p.146):

Sulayman bin Harb said: I heard Hammad bin Zayd (d. 179H) saying: "They are circulating around [the issue of] of wanting to say that there is no deity above the heaven". He means the Jahmiyyah.

So note here what Hammaad bin Zayd said that the Jahmiyyah, in their speech, they were circulating around the issue of wanting to express that Allaah is not above the Throne, without going as far as saying that explicitly.

And Abdullah bin Imaam Ahmad, in "as-Sunnah" (1/120-121) and al-Bukhari in "Khalq Af'aal il-Ibaad" (p. 129) and adh-Dhahabi in "Mukhtasar al-Uluww" (p. 169), and Ibn al-Qayyim in "Ijtimaa Juyoosh al-Islaamiyyah" bring the following (with adh-Dhahabi and Ibn al-Qayyim declaring it Saheeh):

From Abdur-Rahman bin Mahdee who said: The companions of Jahm are desiring to say: "Allaah did not speak to Moses" and they are desiring to say, "There is nothing above the heaven", and that "Allaah is not above His Throne". I consider that their repentance be sought, so either they repent or they are to be killed (their necks are to be struck).

And what has also been said by Abdur-Rahmaan bin Mahdee (d. 198H) as narrated by al-Khallaal in "as-Sunnah", and Abdullah bin Ahmad in "as-Sunnah" (no. 147), and Ibn Taymiyyah also referenced it to "ar-Radd 'alal-Jahmiyyah" of Ibn Abee Haatim:

There is not amongst the people of desires [those] more evil than the companions of Jahm [bin Safwan]. They are revolving around [the issue] of wanting to say that there is nothing above the heaven. I consider, by Allaah, that they are not to be married into, and nor should inheritance (be given to them or taken from them).

And the saying of Yazeed bin Haroon (d. 208H) as quoted by al-Qadi Abu Ya'laa in his "Ibtaal ut-Ta'weelaat" and also ad-Dhahabi in "Mukhtasar al-Uluww" (p. 167):

Whoever claimed that "ar-Rahmaan ascended above the Throne" is [understood up a meaning] different to what is established in the hearts of the general folk is a Jahmee.

Meaning that it is established with the common folk that Allaah ascending above the Throne means He is above the Throne and not within or merged with the creation.

And Abul-Qasim Sulayman bin Ahmad at-Tabarani brings in "Kitaab us-Sunnah", as does adh-Dhahabi in "Mukhtasar al-Uluww" (p.132-133) from al-Abbaas bin Fudayl al-Asfaatee from Sulayman bin Harb who said:

I heard Hammaad bin Zayd (b. 98H, d. 179H) (saying): I heard Ayyub as-Sakhtiyaani (d. 131H), the Mu'tazilah were mentioned, so he said: "The central axis of the Mu'tazilah is that they want to say there is nothing above the heaven".

And adh-Dhahabi, in his "Mukhtasar al-Uluww" commented on this saying:

This isnaad is like the sun in its clarity and like a pillar in its affirmation from the head and scholar of the people of Basrah (i.e. Hammaad bin Zayd).

And the Mu'tazilah were upon the deen of the Jahmiyyah in negating there is a Lord above the heaven, and we have documented elsewhere that the Mu'tazilah were also heavily involved in debating with the Indian Materialist Philosophers during the time of Haroon ar-Rasheed - see here. But this saying of the Ayyub as-Sakhtiyani was said before or around 131H which is when Ayyub as-Sakhtiyani died, and this is because the Mu'tazilah adopted the deen of the Jahmiyyah of ta'teel of Allaah's uluww and Allaah's sifaat.

And then what has been said by 'Abbaad bin al-Awwaam al-Waasitiyy (d. 185H), as has been reported by al-Khallaal in "as-Sunnah", adh-Dhahabee in al-uluww (p.154), Ibn al-Qayyim in "Ijtimaa' Juyoosh al-Islaamiyyah) (2/216) and Abdullah bin Ahmad in "as-Sunnah" (no. 65):

I spoke to Bishr al-Mareesee and his associates, and I saw that the final (part) of their speech ends up with them saying there is nothing above the heaven, and I hold that they are not to be married into, and nor should inheritance (be given to them or taken from them).

And the saying of Wahb bin Jareer (d. 206), from the leading Scholars of Basrah, as reported by adh-Dhahabi in "Mukhtasar al-Uluww" (p. 170):

Muhammad bin Hammaad said: I heard Wahb bin Jareer saying: "Beware of the opinion of Jahm, for they are trying (to say) that there is nothing above the Heaven, and this is nothing but the inspiration of Iblees, it is nothing but kufr".

And these quotations are all from the Salaf who were alive during and after the mid second century (i.e. around 150H), after the emergence of Jahm and his followers, and so they realized what the Jahmiyyah were intending, through deduction, by their various other viewpoints. And this was a few centuries before what became known as the "Ash'ari" creed was ever known as such.

So with these four doors you should now be clear that when you are addressing or being addressed by a Jahmee you know where he is coming from and where he is going towards - and don't be surprised if you are much better informed about his own reality than he is - because most of these Jahmite Ash'aris are completely and utterly clueless - and we genuinely and sincerely feel sorry for them - they don't know whether they are coming or going and for what true underlying purpose they are arguing in the points of creed they are arguing - may Allaah guide them. This is a reality and the vast majority of them are blind to it. It's not their fault, they've been kept in this blindness because none of their teachers, mentors and shaykhs would dare reveal for what purpose they are making "ta'weel" and "tafweed" and "tanzeeh" and why their whole deen revolves around "jawhar", "jism", "'arad", "jihah", "makan", "tahayyuz" and so on. It's all about the intellectual proof - and ensuring that nothing in the Book and the Sunnah invalidates that proof - hence all speech about Allaah must be restricted, in its foundations, to these same terms and negation of them for Allaah.

The Motive of the Mutakallimoon (Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Later Ash'aris, Maturidiyyah) in Imposing False Necessities Upon The Revealed Texts And In Particular In Relation to Allaah Being Above the Throne, With His Essence

This should be clear now, the motive of the early Jahmites was to deny Allaah is above His Throne, they did not do that directly, and only hinted at it through the issues of the Qur'an being created and Allaah not being seen in the Hereafter, because by holding these beliefs, they managed to protect their intellectual proof for demonstrating the createdness of the universe. if the Qur'an was Allaah's speech it would be mean Allaah is subject to hawaadith (events, occurrences) and if Allaah can be seen in the Hereafter, only bodies can be seen and perceived with the senses, so Allaah must be a body, and this contradicts and invalidates their proof, so it must be negated, so Allaah can't be seen.

Now the two issues of the Qur'aan and Allaah being seen were not as apparent and manifest as the issue of Allaah being above the heaven, above the Throne. Those two issues were a bit more intricate unlike the plain obviousness of the Allaah's uluww. So the first of the issues the Jahmites and Mu'tazilah used in order to ensure their intellectual proof was not invalidated were the issues of the Qur'aan (being created) and Allaah not being seen in the Hereafter.

So these Jahmites, at the beginning, they were hinting at things regarding the issue of Allaah being above the Throne, so from the things they raised and began to say were:

  • If Allaah descends to the lowest heaven, does He leave the Throne or not?
  • And if Allah leaves the Throne, does he enter the creation or not?
  • We disbelieve in a Lord that moves from His place
  • We disbelieve in a Lord that is one place exclusive to another
  • ... and so on ...

And all of these are textually narrated about them from the Salaf. So these doubts and questions were being raised to deny that Allaah is above the heaven, and they were creating doubts and misconceptions in this regard.


Because this is the greatest obstacle and the greatest affair that demolishes and invalidates and stands in the way of their (corrupt and flawed) intellectual proof against the Atheists in their attempt to prove the existence of a Creator.

And because this matter of Allaah being above the Throne, with His Essence, is settled in the hearts of the people and is from their fitrah, then the issue of Allaah being above the heaven is the arena for the greatest and most vicious battle between the Jahmites who want to argue that there is nothing above the heaven, and between the people of truth and faith who speak with what the revealed texts speak with, and with what all the Prophets and Messengers spoke with, and with what the Qur'an spoke with and with what the Sunnah spoke with and with what the Companions spoke with and with what the entirety of the Salaf spoke with and with what the Kullaabiyyah, Early Ash'ariyyah and many other factions spoke with, (alongside their unwarranted additional phrases).

So the Jahmiyyah prepare whatever they are able of doubts and misconceptions in order to corrupt the fitrah that is found in the hearts of the common folk, with a view to leading them towards their Greco-Jahmic formulations. And from such doubts is this one:

That if Allaah was above the creation, it means He must surround it like a sphere contains another sphere, and thus it means the creation is inside of Allaah.

And this is a new doubt, it is not narrated from any of the Jahmites prior to the 20th century from what we know - Allaah knows best.