Analysis of the Statement of Asrar Rashid (Birmingham) Concerning the Creed of the Salaf - Part 2: The Sifaat of Allaah|
Posted by Abu.Iyaad on Thursday, April, 14 2011 and
filed under Articles
We were requested recently to comment on statement of creed issued by a person named Asrar Rasheed of Birmingham, who is an Ash'ari / Maturidi in creed (the word "Ash'ari" is an umbrella term that includes the Maturidis, that's how most Maturidis themselves see it). A scan of a statement of creed written by this individual was sent to us on 5th April 2011. We have no idea when it was written, but we commenced responding to it on 14th April 2011. In the commentary upon this statement, we will come to realize how today's Ash'aris do not really differentiate between the early Kullabi Ash'aris (who were much closer to Ahl al-Sunnah) and the Later Ash'aris who reverted to many of the positions of the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah in the sifaat, and left the way of al-Ash'ari. At the same time, these contemporaries deceive themselves into thinking that what they are upon is the way of the Salaf, when the reality is that they are not even upon the creed of Ibn Kullaab and al-Ash'ari and his early students (the Kullaabi Ash'aris), let alone the way of the Salaf. Further, when they present their creed, it is presented in a deceptive manner using generalizations and vagueness, and the avoidance of any specificity and detail so as to allow a false ascription to the Salaf to be made in front of the audience.
Before we start commenting on his statement, we should clarify that all of those we have addressed previously on this site have been proven to be dishonest, conniving, calculated people, whose lies are plain and manifest to see to anyone with even an ounce of sincerity and the desire for seeking truth.
So Allaah knows best about Asrar Rasheed how he will behave after the hujjah is established upon him that his orientation in creed (coming from the Ash'ari Maturidi schools) is founded originally upon a matter that the Salaf condemned and vilified, namely the blameworthy ilm al-Kalaam which is the language of al-ajsaam and al-a'raad which he is trying so desperately to hide. What we find in practice is that as it becomes increasingly clear that the later As'haris had little to do with Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari himself and lost connection with him and that the Maturidis, from the very outset, were closer to the Mu'tazilah in creed than they were to the early Kullaabi Ash'aris, these people became more shrewd and more adept in the way they formulate and present their creed to the masses so as to conceal many things (by ommission) and to give the false picture that they are following the Salaf by maintaining policy of speaking in generalizations devoid of tafseelaat (details).
Asrar Rashid's Statement of Creed
This is a scan of a hand written copy sent to us, and inshaa'Allaah we will translate the relevant excerpts and comment upon them:
Translation and Commentary: Part 2
Asrar Rashid wrote:
Indeed it is affirmation of the absolute perfections reported in the Book and the Sunnah in the manner befitting Him, the Sublime and Exalted, alongside tanzeeh (freeing) [Him] of any resemblance (tashbeeh), likening (tamtheel) making equals (tandheer) and [from] faults ('uyoob) and deficiency (naqs).
We are now getting right into the deception now walhamdulillaah, and this is explained with the following points, observations and comments:
First: The very first thing that should be noted straight away is that we do not see the word (الصفات), "attributes", occur even once in this statement of creed. Instead we see (الكمالات المطلقة ) "absolute perfections," and (ما ورد على ما ورد), "that which has been related upon the manner it has been related." The Ash'aris affirm seven attributes and the Maturidis add al-takween as an eighth (and both groups have other descriptions besides these). However, it is known that the Salaf affirmed every attribute mentioned in the Book and the Sunnah, without any distinction and applied a uniform principle to them all, which is ithbaat (affirmation) without tamtheel (likeness), which itself follows on from a more fundamental principle which is that there is no tashbeeh in anything which Allaah has described Himself with at all, this is because Allaah's essence is unlike all other essences and because of this we have no way of knowing how attributes subsist with His essence and given that, there is no reason or argument for denying anything from His attributes with the argument that it necessitates tasbheeh, and this is invalid for the reason just mentioned. Hence, we see the Salaf in all their books affirming everything in the Book and the Sunnah pertaining to the attributes without distinction, and in Part 1 we alluded to the books of the Salaf that were authored against the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah and the Kullaabiyyah between 150H to 320H which refute them for rejecting, to varying degreess, the Names, Attributes and Actions of Allaah, with the attributes being attributes of the essence (dhaat) and the actions being actions performed by Allaah's essence, tied to His will and power. The battle between the Salaf and the schools of the condemned Kalaam was around affirmation of the attributes (sifaat) and the actions (af'aal), which the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah (and following them the Ash'ariyyah, Maturidiyyah) treat as a'raad (incidental attributes) and hawaadith (events), following the Hellenized Jews, Christians and Sabeans in that. When one studies all of these books of the Salaf, one will see a uniform, congruent, coherent position coming through against the Kalaam schools and their language in theology. Hence, it is mighty strange that Asrar Rashid is writing about Allaah's Tawhid in the context of al-Asmaa was-Sifaat, and we do not see him use the word "sifaat" on a single occasion.
Second: The difference between saying (إثبات الصفات الواردة في الكتاب والسنة), "affirmation of the attributes related in the Book and the Sunnah", and (إثبات الكمالات المطلقة الواردة في الكتاب والسنة), "affirmation of the absolute perfections reported in the Book and the Sunnah", is that with the use of the word sifaat (attributes), you are committed to what the Salaf treated as actual attributes of the essence which include the attributes of face, hands, eyes, pleasure, anger, love, mercy and so on, in addition to life, knowledge, will, power, hearing, seeing and speech. However, the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, the Maturidiyyah and the Later Ash'aris consider the affirmation of face, hands and eye as being attributes of the essence alongside rejection of any ta'weel of them (which is the position of the Salaf, Ibn Kullab, al-Ash'ari and the very early Kullaabiyyah Ash'ariyyah) as being Tajseem and tamtheel and tashbeeh. So when we see the use of the phrase (الكمالات المطلقة), "absolute perfections," then this leaves open the door to rejecting for Allaah those attributes (الصفات) which the blameworthy Ahl al-Kalaam consider to be an 'ayb and naqs (fault and decifiency) for Him and as Tajseem and tashbeeh, such as the attributes of face and hands and anger and pleasure and so on, and it leaves open the door to ta'weel and tahreef of these attributes to other matters which are then considered as the "absolute perfections" they claim to affirm for Allaah. And in this manner the attributes are divested from Allaah, the Sublime and Exalted. Thus, Allaah's Pleasure, is not pleasure, but it is His "intent to reward" which is now from the many "absolute perfections" of Allaah, and not that pleasure is an actual attribute of Allaah. Likewise Allaah's hands are not attributes of His essence in a manner that befit Him, but a symbolism to represent His power and favour, which are from his "absolute perfections". So you see where we are going here with this type of word play, and this is the type of talbees (deception) that is the hallmark of the Jahmiyyah and all of their offshoots. You should remember in history, these were the people who used to say, "I believe the Qur'an is the speech of Allaah", and then remain silent without clarification, and you can analogize with this for other matters. They always employ ambiguity, generalization, vagueness and flee from specificity, clarity, detail, and this method allows them to deceive the people into thinking that they are following the way of the Salaf, when in reality, they are trying to conceal the reality of their saying, all of which emanates and branches off from the saying of al-Jahm bin Safwaan and al-Ja'd bin Dirham who entered the ilm al-Kalaam of the Hellenized Jews, Christians and Sabeans into the Ummah and it became the foundation of the deen of the Mutakallimeen, both the Mujassimah amongst them (the Karraamiyyah, the Raafidi Hishaamiyyah) and the Mu'attilah amongst them (Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Kullaabiyyah, Ash'ariyyah, Maaturidiyyah).
Third: We do not even need to resort to those 70-80 books from the Salaf to convict Asrar Rashid for his attempted fraud in trying to pass off his Kalaam creed as the creed of the Salaf, when we can simply go a bit closer to home to Asrar Rasheed in the form of the writings of Ibn Kullaab (see al-Asha'ri's Maqaalaat) and al-Haarith al-Muhaasibee (see his book, Fahm al-Qur'aan), and al-Ash'ari (see al-Maqaalaat, al-Ibaanah, and Risaalah Ilaa Ahl al-Thaghar) and al-Baaqillaanee (see at-Tamheed) and even al-Bayhaqee (see al-Asmaa was-Sifaat) wherein they affirm the attributes of face, hands, eye(s) as attributes of Allaah's essence and reject and vilify the ta'weels of the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah, which were unfortunately taken up by the Later Ash'aris who came afterwards, and which were taken directly from the Mu'tazilah by the Maturidiyyah from the very outset. We have documented all of these matters in detail on this site elsewhere and the reader can refer to this page for some of those articles, our intent here is to be brief, concise and to make pointers, instead of going into depth and lengthy quotations which are not really necessary as Asrar Rashid's reality and his games are very plain to see walhamdulillaah.
Fourth: We see therefore a stark difference between how Asrar Rasheed is deceptively trying to present a vague, generalized creed with a view to trying to hoodwink the audience into thinking he is agreeing with the Salaf, a follower of them, when in reality he is a disputant to them (as he will reveal himself as we go towards the end of his written statement). We see uniformly in all the books of the Salaf, and likewise in the books of Ibn Kullaab (excerpts of which have been preserved in other works), al-Haarith al-Muhaasibee, and al-Ash'ari, that they affirm specific attributes in a specific manner [whilst rejecting ta'weel of them which in their time was the hallmark of the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah], and that they affirm Allah's uluww and have strong and powerful refutations of the Jahmiyyah in that regard. So if Asrar Rasheed was a follower of the early Kullaabi Ash'aris, let alone a follower of the Salaf, then he would not have failed to make mention of the specific attributes he affirms for Allaah which all of the Salaf and Ibn Kullab and al-Ash'ari and their very early followers were united and agreed upon, and they are more than just the seven, or eight of the Ash'aris and Maturidis. Asrar Rasheed, therefore, just like most prominent Ash'aris and Maturidis today, are characterized with cowardice, they are scared to display manhood in front of their audience and speak a word of truth by expressing the clear unequivocal specific statements of the affirmations of the Salaf and the early Kullaabi Ash'aris with respect to the sifaat dhaatiyyah khabariyyah. Instead, they write a single measly page which when reduced to its core, with all the beautification and adornment stripped away, contains nothing except treating affirmation of the sifat khabariyyah as being Tajseem and affirming Allaah's uluww, above His Throne, above His creation as being shirk! And then they have the audacity to claim they are following the way of the Salaf!