Destroying the Slander of Tajsim (Anthropomorphism) Against Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah: Part 8 - An Eleven Point Summary of What Has Preceded So Far
Posted by Abu.Iyaad on Saturday, December, 18 2010 and filed under Articles
Key topics: Tajsim Mujassimah Hishaamiyyah Karraamiyyah


The First Point: There Are Only Two Groups

There are only two groups, in reality:

The first: The followers of the Righteous Salaf, the people of Sunnah, Hadeeth and Aathaar. They follow and venerate the revealed texts and are guided by them. These revealed texts are all coherent, there is absolutely no conflict between them in their entirety. They are nothing but the plain manifest truth. Allaah is most-knowledgeable of His own self and the most eloquent in speech. The Messenger is the most knowledgeable of the creation regarding Allaah, the most eloquent in expressing what can be said of Allah and the most desirous and sincere in intending guidance, direction for the Ummah. What the people of hadith, sunnah and aathaar have is from the spring and fountain of revelation. This is pure wholesome milk It refreshes, satisfies and satiates.

The second: The Ahl al-Kalaam, the people of theological speculation. What is meant by Kalaam is very specific, and the Salaf condemned something very specific. It is the language of al-ajsaam wal-a'raad (bodies and their incidental lattributes) and the proof of huduth al-ajsaam. The Ahl al-Kalaam believe the Qur'an is mere akhbaar (information) and that reason (aql) and rational is what their minds produce. This group is all one big family. Do not ever, ever, ever be deceived by the fact that they have differences with each other, or that they are not united with each other upon certain matters (see further below) through which they collectively oppose Ahl al-Sunnah. These are the Jahmiyyah, the Mu'tazilah, the Raafidee Mutakallims, the Kullaabiyyah, the Hanafi Karraamiyyah, the Ash'ariyyah, the Maaturidiyyah. There are many splinter groups, but their mention is not necessary. All of these are united by Kalaam, and by the proof of huduth al-ajsaam. However, some of them were led to ta'teel (divestment) and others were led to tajsim (claiming Allaah is a "jism"). What they have (of their kalaam) is actually from the spring and fountain of the Hellenized Jews, Christians and Sabeans. It is either blood and puss, or dung which they throw on each other and also try to throw upon Ahl al-Sunnah out of envious jealousy when they see Ahl as-Sunnah with the pure wholesome refreshing milk, which they have been deprived of through their own actions.

The Second Point: All the Ahl al-Kalaam Are United Upon the Proof of Huduth al-Ajsaam

The blood, puss and dung which is with Ahl al-Kalaam emanates from their agreement on certain matters, upon which the entirety of their theological activity and their conspiring against the aqidah of Ahl al-Sunnah is founded. They are:

a) Using the language of al-ajsaam wal-a'raad, b) reliance upon false analogies which are crucial to them, since these analogies enable them to construct that bridge between what can be said of the creation (created bodies) and what can be said of Allaah [in both negation (for the Mu'attilah) and affirmation (for the Mujassimah)], to enable them to apply the lawaazim (binding necessities) applying to created bodies to Allaah Himself. It is from this that both the ta'teel of the Mu'attilah amongst them and the Tajseem of the Mujassimah amongst them actually springs. These false analogies are qiyas al-shumul, qiyas al-tamtheel, qiyas al-ghaa'ib alaa al-shaahid (analogy through inclusion, analogy through likening, analogy for the unseen with the seen). To grasp this, Ahl al-Sunnah say that Allah's essence is unknowable and unfathomable. Hence mankind is unable to arrive at detailed and specific knowledge regarding it through his mind, reason, observation or reflection. Hence, Allaah sent Books and Messengers to acquaint mankind with what He is named with and described with. This is the pure wholesome milk. Thus, no speech about Allaah from any other angle or route is possible. However, there were some who opted for blood, puss and dung in using an innovated, corrupt, flawed proof to demonstrate the universe is originated (huduth al-ajsaam) and which is founded upon a study of bodies, their properties and the likes from a philosophical perspective and which was taken from the Hellenized Sabeans. But in order to speak about Allaah through this same language something has to be assumed. Which is that whatever necessities (lawaazim) apply to created bodies must also apply to Allaah, such that if it is said, by way of example, that something in the creation is said to be "above" it must be a composite body, then the same laazim (binding necessity) must also apply to Allaah, such that if it is said about Allaah "He is above", He must also be a composite body. And these types of lawaazim are baatil and are not applicable to Allaah at all. But this must be assumed by the Ahl al-Kalaam in order for them to have any theological discourse in the first place (whether that be negation or affirmation).c) the proof of huduth al-ajsaam, which is demonstrating the universe is originated, and it relies upon the first two [a) and b)], which are a particular terminology, and false analogies for Allaah that allow this whole proof to function in the first place.

All the Ahl al-Kalaam are operating upon these matters. Inevitably, there will be differences between them in subsidiary issues, and in implementation of the proof and that is really where the fight is between them all. Hence, some tend to ta'teel and others tend to Tajseem. And in this ta'teel and Tajseem they also vary in degrees.

The Third Point: 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 the ta'teel of the Mu'attilah. It relies upon the denial that Allaah has eternally been one who creates from nothing if He wills, speaks if He wills with whatever He wills and so on. 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 Fourth Point: Ahl al-Kalaam Differ With Each Other on Subsidiary Issues Only

The true and real difference between all the Ahl al-Kalaam (Mu'attilah and Mujassimah) is on subsidiary issues following on from or tied to the proof of huduth al-ajsaam. The core principle is "Whatever is not devoid of hawaadith (events, occurrences) is itself Haadith (originated)." The Jahmiyyah said names (which indicate attributes), attributes and actions are all events (hawaadith). Hence, they are denied from Allaah. The Mu'tazilah agreed and they just pretended to affirm the names to avoid scorn from the people. The Kullaabiyyah, Ash'ariyyah removed some of the attributes from this principle but agreed that the actions come under it. Thus, the very early Kullaabis and Ash'aris affirmed the sifaat khabariyyah (like hands, face, eyes, love, pleasure, anger) in addition to the seven they proved through reason, but denied all of Allaah's chosen actions, those tied to His will and power, which He does as He pleases. The Karraamiyyah also adhered to this principle (of al-Jahm bin Safwaan), but they had a different reading of it. They said Allaah was not eternally one who had actions tied to His will and power (like creating, or speaking) but He acquired them after a period in eternity. So this means he was actually devoid of hawaadith for a period of eternity and because of this He is not like the created bodies whiich are never devoid of hawaadith. Hence they are still in conformity with that premise (according to them). And the Maturidiyyah, they were very close to the Mu'tazilah in their version of the proof from the outset, which is why they did not have that ithbaat (affirmation) in certain areas found with Ibn Kullab, al-Ash'ari and their early followers. They were always close to the Mu'tazilah from the outset. The point here is that the real difference between them mall is this: What can we affirm or deny for Allaah and yet still be in conformity with the proof? That is what they are fighting over. Its an inter-kalaam thing. They are in fact all one united block. They are united in abandoning the Qur'an and the Sunnah and turning to Kalaam (and 'aql) as the foundation of theology. They are all trying to validate this proof of huduth al-ajsaam but are finding different ways of doing it.

The Sixth Point: Ahl al-Kalaam Operate Upon Polluted Language

These Innovators invent and fabricate their own definitions for terms which they need to sustain the edifice of blood, puss and dung which they built (ta'teel and tajseem). Thus, what they often mean by certain words and terms is not what is meant in the language of the Qur'an or the language of the Arabs. This type of playing around with definitions and devising definitions is integral to their theatrical theology and their books are replete with it. Because coherence in creed is only found in the revealed texts [which most of these people consider presumptions of Tajseem and tashbeeh of benefit only to the dumb commoners so that they don't turn to atheism] then as flaws begin to appear in their theology, they have to play around with definitions in order to continuously patch up those flaws. A prime example is their innovated definition of Kalaam to mean Kalaam Nafsee. Other terms include jism, makan, tarkib, waahid, ahad. Thus, they departed from the language of the Qur'an and the language of the Arabs to another type of language. And the person who is not aware of this reality will not be safe from their snares.

The Seventh Point: There Are Many Factions You Have to Separate Out In Your Mind

From the above it should now be appreciated that there are many factions one must distinguish between. And they are:

Now from these, we have to isolate Ibn Kullab and al-Ash'ari, and likewise al-Baqillani because they had a number of unique things about them, which were explained in Part 1 and also in Part 2. Further, it was inevitable that there would be people attached to hadeeth who would be influenced by this Kalaam for whatever circumstantial reasons, even if they did not indulge in it fundamentally, or primarily. Hence we have other groups that must be pointed out. And they are:

The influence upon all these people is from the Mu'attil side of the Ahl al-Kalaam with the exception of Ibn Haamid who exaggerated in ithbaat (affirmation).

The Eighth Point: There Was Agreement Between Ahl al-Sunnah and Some of Ahl al-Kalaam on Certain Prominent Issues

The methodology of Ahl al-Sunnah, the recipients of pure fresh wholesome milk, is to affirm for Allaah everything which Allaah and His Messenger affirmed. It is one uniform subject. There is no differentiation betweens names, attributes or actions. Hence, they affirm the meanings and deny knowledge of their realities, and hence they deny tamthil, tashbih, tahreef, takyif, ta'teel. This is the plain manifest truth about which they had certainty. The Ahl al-Kalaam (in their various factions) however had another principle. Whatever their proof [of huduth al-ajsaam, upon particular rendering of each faction] allowed them to affirm, they affirmed, and whatever it did not, then they denied. The battle between the Salaf and the Ahl al-Kalaam was all over meanings. It was not merely about letters making up words, but actual meanings. It was on acount of meanings that the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah accused Ahl al-Sunnah of being Mushabbihah, and that is why they innovated ta'weel (which is really tahreef). Now there is something unique about Ibn Kullaab and al-Ash'ari (and their very early followers). They did not consider this proof to be obligatory and nor the only way to demonstrate the universe is originated. In fact in his book Risaalah ilaa Ahl al-Thagar, al-Ash'ari declares it an innovation and unlawful. For this reason, they did not see the affirmation of certain matters (such as al-'uluww and the sifaat khabariyyah) to clash with this proof or to necessitate Tajseem. Hence we see clear affirmation from them in these areas, with strong refutations against the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah and a rejection and falsification of their ta'weels. Likewise al-Baqillani is also unique in that whilst he declared this proof to be obligatory, he affirmed the sifaat khabariyyah and likewise al-'uluww. But those who came after considered this proof to be something which itself validates Islam, and some of them like al-Juwayni made takfir of those who reached maturity and did not learn this proof, whilst having the ability. Hence, they simply receded into the views of the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah with a graduated denial (of whatever the earlier Kullaabis and Ash'aris affirmed). So the point here is that we see closeness between Ibn Kullaab, al-Ash'ari [we are speaking of his days straight after leaving the Mu'tazilah] and to a lesser extent al-Baqillani and between the views of Ahl al-Sunnah in these areas. This closeness however disappeared very early, as early as Abu Mansur al-Baghdadi (d. 429H) who denied, al-'uluww, al-istiwaa, and the sifat khabariyyah.

The Ninth Point: Differentiating Between tashbeeh and Tajseem

This is a very crucial point. The Ahl al-Kalaam differed, some of them tended towards ta'teel and used language of negation (Allaah is not a jism...) and others tended towards Tajseem and thus they fell into a particular type of takyeef following on from that Tajseem (Allaah is a jism and He has this and that ...). So in other words, their rendering of the proof of huduth al-ajsaam led them to conclude Allaah is a jism (body) - although some of them clarified what they meant by this with definitions for the term "jism" (that He is "mawjud, exists" and "al-qaa'imu bi nafsihi, self-established"). And some of the Ash'arites expressed that this meaning is correct, although the wording is wrong. So after concluding Allaah is a jism (body) in this manner, they fell into a certain type of language of takyif. This was found with the Hanafi Mujassimah known as the Karraaamiyyah and likewise the Raafidee Mujassimah. So this issue of Tajseem is something unique to Ahl al-Kalaam. It has nothing to do with Ahl al-Sunnah, it is purely a Kalaam thing.

As for Ahl al-Sunnah the only thing they warned against was tashbeeh and tamtheel. So they rejected against anyone who said, "life like my life, knowledge like my knowledge, hearing like my hearing, seeing like my seeing, face like my face, hands like my hands, istiwaa like my istwaa, nuzul like my Nuzool, pleasure like my pleasure, anger like my anger, love like my love." They did not distinguish between names and attributes and actions, they affirmed them all and denied tamthil and tashbeeh and showed rejection against anyone who likened or resembled the realities of Allaah's attributes with those found in the creation. As for Tajseem, there is not in their speech anything of this nature, because they never delved into Kalaam fundamentally. Remember Tajseem has a very particular meaning based upon very particular definitions for the words "jawhar" and "jism" with Ahl al-Kalaam, and we covered that earlier in the series. Thus, this type of negation is not found in the speech of any of the Salaf although some of the Hanbalis (the al-Tamimi family) who were studying with the Ash'arites tried to impute it to Imaam Ahmad, something he is free and innocent of.

However, the later Ash'arites (and the Maturidis as a whole), they accused anyone - [in addition to their brethren in Kalaam, the Hanafi Karraamiyyah and the Raafidi Mujassimah] - who proceeded upon the way of the Sunnah and aathaar (in affirming the attributes and actionsn of Allah tied to His will and power) of being Mujassimah (upon their Kalaam definition of jism and tajseem). So this was from the greatest oppression and injustice and it will remain on their shoulders and they will carry its burden. Hence, anyone who affirmed Allaah's uluww and istiwaa and the sifat khabariyyah [upon the manhaj of Ahl al-Sunnah] they threw him alongside the Raafidee Mujassimah Mushabbihah and the Hanafi Karraamiyyah Mujassimah. This did not occur from Ibn Kullaab or al-Ash'ari [for the reasons explained in the last point] but from those who came later and abandoned their way.

It is crucial then to distinguish what the Salaf cautioned against (tashbeeh and tamtheel) within a framework of truth and what the Mu'attilah from Ahl al-Kalaam cautioned against within a framework of baatil - namely, affirming Allaah's uluww and sifaat khabariyyah and actions are Tajseem and kufr upon their Kalaam principles. So you must distinguish between these two things so that you can lift the veil and pull out the foundations beneath every carrier of blood and puss who wishes to throw upon you the dung of his Hanafi Karraami, and Raafidee 'ilm al-kalaam relatives.

It should also be noted that those Raafidees, from their forerunners from the very early Raafidee Shi'ites, were those who fell into repugnant tashbeeh (like the followers of Abdullah bin Saba'a and Bayaan bin Sam'aan who deified some from the creation and made their Lord in the form of a human of flesh and blood). So along with this tashbeeh which they inherited, they also entered into the Tajseem through the route of ilm al-Kalaam and combined both things.

The Tenth Point: The Tajseem of the Raafidah and Karraamiyyah

Hence we see the language of takyeef in both the Raafidah and Hanafi Karraamiyyah, following on from their affirmation that Allaah is a jism (body) which followed on from their ilm al-Kalaam. Thus they began to say things like Allaah has a length, width, depth, colour, taste, smell, that He touches the Throne, that He fills the Throne, and that he extends in all directions and that He is above the Throne with an infinite distance or a specific distance and so on. All of this language of takyeef followed on from their Tajseem which resulted from their language of al-ajsaam wal-a'raad and their rendering of the proof of huduth al-ajsaam. As we said, this is purely a Kalaam thing. So the correct perspective is that those who have the pure, wholesome, fresh, refreshing, satiating milk rebuke all of the Ahl al-Kalaam together as one group. They say to the Mu'attilah who carry blood and puss "You left the Book and the Sunnah, turned to the language of the Hellenized Jews, Christians and Sabeans to prove His existence and then started refuting Allaah and His Messenger with your own reason ('aql)." And likewise they turn to the Raafidah and say "Why you stinking carriers of dung, you inherited that gross tashbeeh from your forerunners and then you added the Tajseem of 'ilm al-kalaam to it, as if your first stench was not enough to offend." And likewise they rebuke the Karraamiyyah Mujassimah who are not to be equated with the Raafidah for some of their leading imaams rejected the tashbih of the Raafidah. And likewise they affirmed "jism" for Allaah but upon a correct meaning (exists, self-established), and as for affirming hawaadith, then they did so upon their rendering of the Jahmee principle "Whatever is not devoid of hawaadith is itself haadith" so this again is purely a Kalaam thing, so they are rebuked in that regard along with their brethren, the Mu'attilah. So they are not to be equated with the Raafidah. So this is the correct and true perspective, it is the correct way of looking at things, because this is historical fact, it is the undeniable historical fact.

The Eleventh Point: The Tajseem and tashbeeh of the Ash'ari and Maturidi Callers to Wahdat ul-Wujood

By the grace of Allaah, you will note that there has never been any of the Scholars of the Sunnah, Hadeeth and Aathaar being prone to pantheistic beliefs such as wahdat ul-wujood (unity of existence). And the reason should be very clear. As for the Ahl al-Kalaam from the Ash'aris and Maturidis, then it is a recurring theme and pattern appearing amongst them, especially after al-Ghazali (d. 505H) combined an illuminist baatinee gnostic sufism with the sharee'ah and became the hujjah for every zindeeq who wished harm upon Islam and the Muslims like Ibn al-Faarid and Ibn Sab'een and other mulhids. So this gave those extremist Sufis a mainstream position, after they had been despised, and that has continued to this day, when you see this grossest of tashbeeh and Tajseem manifested amongst those professing Ash'ari and Maturidi beliefs. Take note, it is not amongst all of them, but it is within these Kalaam belief systems where this grossest of Tajseem and tashbeeh always manifests itself and you have to ask yourself the question, why?

Where We Go From Here

If you remember, in an earlier article (Part 3) we disclosed our tools and our approach and here they are again, you can see that we are making use of each tool in the right order.

We are creating a framework, establishing history, establishing fact, and building context, because it is only once this is laid down that you can then go and start discussing specific doubts and the specific misconceptions of the makhaaneeth of the Jahmiyyah. That's when the fourth tool comes into play and that time is very soon. Remember, we have plenty of these makhaaneeth of the Jahmiyyah out there on the field, operating with centuries of calculated deception. And if you enter the field with no tools, unprepared, they're going to snatch your money and your goods. So we suggest you that read and re-read all seven parts that have preceded to strengthen that knowledge in your mind, and that you give this particular article plenty of reads and re-reads. When you feel comfortable, you are ready to enter the field ... its not for the faint-hearted ...