Aristotle of Stageira, Philo of Alexandria, Augustine of Hippo, the Sabeans of Harraan, the Mu'tazilites of Basrah and Baghdad and the Jahmite Ash'ari Heretics of Today Claiming Orthodoxy - Part 2|
Posted by Abu.Iyaad on Sunday, November, 28 2010 and filed under Articles
Key topics: Aristotle Philo Augustine Sabeans
Paper Background: Predication, Immutability, the Ten Categories
Before we move on to the paper, a few things need to be clarified. The author will be discussing the issue of predication and immutability. Predication is simply to assign a quality, attribute or property to a thing. And immutability means the inability to change, to not undergo any type of change. Now Aristotle spoke a lot about the issue of predication, and this was a linguistic discussion, however, this was integrally tied to his syllogistic logic, by which the truthfulness of propositions is evaluated. A proposition is simply to say "A is B", such as "the tea is hot." You have probably heard of this before, its like this:
So since the truth and falsehood of propositions was integral to attaining knowledge to Aristotle, the issue of predication in the language, as in assigning qualities and properties to things, was discussed in detail by Aristotle. Likewise, he also laid down what are known as his Categories, which is known as al-Jawhar wal-Arad (substance and incidental attribute) or al-Maqulat al-Ashar (the ten categories). The intent of Aristotle here was to comprehensively categorize everything that can take the place of a subject and a predicate in a proposition. In the proposition "the tea is hot", the "tea" is the subject and "is hot" is the predicate. So he came up with ten categories and everything in the universe is either a substance (jawhar, jism) or nine incidental attributes, and incidental attributes are found only in substances. All of this created the framework upon which his logic and philosophy could be built. These ten categories are presented below:
Once this is clear, what we need to understand is that these aspects of Aristotle's philosophy already affected those amongst the Sabeans, Jews and Christians before it affected the Muslims. And so what we are going to do here is look at the theology of a Jew and a Christian before Islam came (we will look at the Sabeans in a separate article altogether). One is Philo (20BC-50CE) was a Jew from Alexandria who was present around the time Eesaa (alayhis salaam), and the second is Augustine of Hippo (d. 430CE), a Christian. Now, you will see a stark resemblance between the language of their theology and the usool of the Mu'tazilah and the Ash'ariyyah, in fact its identical. the ilm al-kalaam, of the Ahl al-Kalaam is not so original. Rather, it's simply the second-hand, used and abused toy of the past nations (Sabeans, Jews, Christians). Unfortunately, when it came into the hands of the Mutakallimin (Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Ash'ariyyah, Maturidiyyah), they took it and lapped it up like a kid does a ice-cream, not realizing that there has been many a nation, or scholastic whose already "been there, done that." So pay attention, we will be discussing predication, immutability and negating Aristotle's ten categories from Allaah - which is essentially what the deen of the Mutakallimin is founded upon - as opposed to the way of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah, which is:
So let us now proceed to the paper itself:
Philo, Predication and Immutability
Discussed first is Philo (the Jew of Alexandria) predication and immutability.
The author begings by pointing out how theists of religions used conceptual tools forged by pagan Greek Philosophers to contstruct their theologies. He mentions how some amongst them found this deplorable. This is parallel to how the people of the Sunnah and Jamaa'ah likewise found this deplorable from the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah [and Ash'ariyyah] who were guilty of using the exact same conceptual tools. This, as the author points out, necessitated that there was some part of religious belief for which these conceptual tools were either necessary or helpful. He treats these conceptual tools like a Trojan horse. After this opening, the author takes two or three pages to go into some detail on the theory of predication and we don't really need to go into that, we are just interested in the effect of these theories, terms etc. upon Philo and Augustine. So he first discusses Philo:
We see here the statement that the "property" of God is that He is the unchanged, and this is an ambiguous statement. For Allaah has never ceased possessing all of His attributes, so in that regard He is not subject to change. Yet Allaah also has actions tied to His will and power, and Allaah never ceased to be the doer of whatever He wills, and these actions are established with His essence, and this [meaning, the issue of both attributes and actions] is what the Theologians, be they Jews, Christians or Muslims (from the Mutakallimin) were debating about and trying to philosophically arrive at the truth regarding what God can or cannot be described with in order to maintain what they believe is unicity in His essence.
Again what they mean by God being unchangeable, is the same as what the Mutakallimin refer to when they negate attributes and actions (which they refer to as a'raad, incidental attributes and hawaadith, events).
However, what Philo stated above that "it is impossible for the essence of God to have been understood at all by any creature" is true, since no one knows the reality of Allah's dhaat (essence).
We now come to look a particular problem raised by "predicating" (assigning) to Allaah more than one property, and here we see the shubhah that was found amongst the Mu'tazilah and also those Philosophers ascribing to Islam regarding tarkib (composition) which they used to deny the attributes, and which the later Jahmite Ash'arites used to deny the sifat khabariyyah.
What is being said here is actually very similar to the doubt of the Mu'tazilah in that if you assign any property to Allaah, then this means there are two components to Allaah, and thus multiplicity of properties, qualities, attributes necessitates multiple eternal entities along with Allaah. However, if it can be said that the attributes are nothing but Allaah''s essence itself, then you resolve that problem, and thus, Allaah's hearing is but His essence, and likewise seeing, life, knowledge, will, power and so on. This was one of the ways the Mu'tazilah tried to deal with this issue and the other way was to say that the attributes of Allaah are other than Allaah, meaning that which is created, from His creation, just like we say, "Messenger of Allaah", "House of Allaah", "She-camel of Allaah", and thus, when we say, "Speech of Allaah", it means what He creates in others of speech, but it is metaphorically said to be His speech.
Now this is where it gets juicy, lets discuss Augustine, and you have to seclude yourself, and pay good attention here:
Augustine on Divine Immutability, Incidental Attributes [Accidents] and Aristotle's Ten Categories
The author then discusses Augustine's theology:
Just read that again and pay attention to what you see:
As Augustine puts it slightly later,
You have to really appreciate the significance of what you have just read (and what you will read further below). What you have just read above is the foundation of al-Ja'd bin Dirham and the Jahmiyyah claiming Allaah never took Ibrahim as a friend (with khullah), and that Allaah never spoke to Moses with speech that Moses heard, and that the Qur'an we have is makhluq, Muhdath (created, originated), and that Allaah does not perform al-istiwaa, and that there is no Lord "above" the creation or or "above" His Throne. Seriously, it can't be stressed enough. This is like a bombshell. We don't know how to put it. Let's try:
Now a whole book could be written here, and there is not enough space in article for us to say and explain everything we would like to. But for now, we see here the deen of the Ash'arites preceded by OVER 500 YEARS at least - that's half a millenium. So here we have a Christian, affected by the concepts of Aristotle, arguing for the immutability and unicity of Allaah through the negation of accidents (incidental attributes, a'raad) from Allaah, using Aristotle's Ten Categories.
So Jahmite Ash'ari folks! Please, how long are you going to continue in your fraud? Don't deceive yourself, you can't falsify history. At least admit that the roots of your theology is based upon the language of a pagan Greek disbeliever, star and idol-worshipper, which came to you through the books of the Mu'tazilah because you took the proof of huduth al-ajsaam from them, and they took it from the Jahmiyyah, and they took it from al-Ja'd bin Dirham, and its in all your books:
Go and check your books:
Refer to al-Ashʿarī (d. 324H) in al-Lumaʿ Fi al-Radd ʿalā Ahl al-Zaygh (this was when he had recently left the Mu'tazilah, in his later books like Risālah ilā Ahl al-Thaghar, he considered this proof an innovation), then al-Bāqillānī (d. 403H), in al-Tamhīd al-Awā'il, then ʿAbd al-Qahir al-Baghdādī (d. 429H) in Kitāb Uṣūl al-Dīn, then al-Isfarāyīnī (d. 471H) in al-Tabṣīr Fil-Dīn, then al-Juwaynī (d. 478H) in Kitāb al-Irshād and also al-Shāmil Fī Uṣūl al-Din, then al-Ghazālī (d. 505H) in al-Iqtisād Fī al-Iʿtiqād, and also Tahāfut al-Falāsifah, then al-Shahrastānī (d. 548H) in Nihāyah al-Aqdām, then al-Rāzī (d. 606H) in Muḥaṣṣal Afkār al-Mutaqaddimīn wal-Muta'akhkhirīn and also Kitāb al-Arbaʿīn Fī Uṣūl al-Dīn, then al-Ījī (d. 756H) in al-Mawāqif Fī ʿIlm al-Kalām. The proof of huduth al-ajsaam is in all their books. IT IS THE ULTIMATE FOUNDATION OF THEIR THEOLOGY. However, when its falsehood became apparent to some of the later ones amongst them, they started incorporating other proofs, the proof of tarkib (composition) and the proof of takhsis (specification) into their works - and both are taken from the Philosophers themselves - in order to cover their backs and to hide that vulnerability. Others were not smart enough to realise the flaw in huduth al-ajsaam, so they remained upon it, defending it. And this is why you will see that intellectual cripple and mental spastic called Abu Adam Naruiji using the proof of takhsis (specification), little does this pretentious fool know that this is the proof of Ibn Sina and that this cunning kafir formulated this proof in order to corrupt the proof of huduth al-ajsaam for the Mutakallimin, and that's an altogether separate article, one in which the sandal of Abdullah bin Abi Ja'far (see here) will be polished and made ready for this Jahmite pretender.
Thus, what you find above from Shaykh Augustine [the pre-Islamic era "Ash'ari" Mutakallim], is the foundation of the deen of the Ash'ariyyah [and Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah] who deny what they call hawaadith (events, occurrences) and by which they mean Allaah's chosen actions (Sifaat Fi'liyyah, Af'aal Ikhtiyaariyyah).
This, O Muslim, is the ilm al-kalaam that the Salaf condemned, and this is the ilm al-kalaam of the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Kullaabiyyyah, Ash'ariyyah and Maturidiyyah. The Salaf did not condemn the genus of kalam (as in defence of the truth through the Book and the Sunnah and sound reasoning), rather they condemned this speech of al-ajsaam and al-a'raad and speaking about Allaah's Names, attributes and actions through this Kalaam, through the proof of huduth al-ajsaam and what follows on from it. So reflect upon the saying of Abu Haneefah in the era of the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah, as reported in Dhamm ul-Kalām wa Ahlihī of Abu Ismāʿīl al-Harawī (4/213-214), with his isnad:
Nuh al-Jāmiʿ said: I said to Abū Hanīfah: What do you say about what the people have innovated of speech regarding al-aʿrād and al-ajsām? He said, "(Nothing but) the sayings of the Philosophers. Upon you is (to follow) the narrations and the path of the Salaf, and beware of every newly-invented matter, for it is an innovation."
Free and innocent is Abu Hanifah (rahimahullaah) from that fraudulent, spurious ascription of Abu Mansur al-Maturidi and the Maturidiyyah to him in terms of the their creed, for their creed is a product of the Greeko-Sabean, Jahmite, Mu'tazilite, derived proof of huduth al-ajsaam and its binding necessities, all of which is based upon the language of al-ajsaam and al-a'raad. Watch Maturidis.Com for an exoneration of the honour of Abu Hanifah from its defilement by these heretics who have deceived the Ummah for many a century gone by.
And likewise you will now truly fathom the saying of Ibn Surayj as-Shafi'ee (d. 306H) who said, as narrated from him by Abu Ismaa'eel al-Harawi in "Dhamm ul-Kalaam" and as mentioned by Ibn Taymiyyah in "Bayaan Talbees al-Jahmiyyah":
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.
The Prophets and Messengers were sent to abolish all false speech, and the speech of the wandering Philosophers, Poets, worshippers of stars, and all other species of misguided strayers, and to affirm His Names and Attributes and His Uloohiyyah (the two areas in which mankind strayed, deviated and innovated). So the Prophet was sent with a rejection of that, and you will then also understand the saying of Allaah, the Most High:
سُبْحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ الْعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ وَسَلَامٌ عَلَى الْمُرْسَلِينَ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
Glorified be your Lord, the Lord of Honour and Power! (He is free) from what they attribute unto Him! And safety, peace be upon the Messengers. And all praise is due to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds. (37:180-182)
This is an amazing short passage. A whole paper can be written on these three verses alone.
In short, Allaah has freed and exonerated Himself from everything He is described with which is false [in relation to both His Uloohiyyah and al-Asmaa wal-Sifaat], and whatever did not come from Him, and this is the saying of all the wandering, straying deviants from those of the abrogated religions and the Philosophers and star-worshippers and their likes. It is also a repudiation and rejection of what the Mutakallimin (Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Ash'ariyyah, Maturidiyyah) describe Him through the use of "negative theology" which they inherited from the Sabean star and idol-worshipping disbelievers through the proof of huduth al-ajsaam. Then Allaah stated that security, peace is upon His Messengers, and this means that in everything His Messengers brought of His names, attributes and actions, then there is safety, and they brought nothing but the truth, and there is nothing objectionable in any of that, and His Messengers were the most knowledgeable of the creation with respect to Him, and they conveyed knowledge of Him in the most-eloquent way, and they were most sincere in wishing guidance for their people. So these three qualities, that they are a'lam (most knowledgeable), afsah (most eloquent), and ansah (most sincere), means that their way was the a'lam (most erudite), ahkam (most precise), and aslam (most safe) - and with that the claim of the Jahmite Ash'ari Maturidi, lying deceiving, surmising, self-aggrandizing self-righteous bigots is rendered the greatest falsehood and greatest of affronts to Allaah and His Messenger, for their saying necessitates that the heritage of the pagan Greek and Sabean Philosophers is ahkam and a'lam over what the Messenger of Allaah brought! And this is the reality of their saying, except that they are the greatest of cowards, and they wish to protect themselves from the scorn of the people, just like the Mu'tazilah used to try and protect themselves from the scorn of the people through concealment, trickery and deception.
Next the author spends some time covering a chapter that Shaykh Augustine, the Mutakallim, had written regarding the negation of a'raad (incidental attributes, accidents) from God. Its a lengthy piece, so we don't want to waste space quoting it all, we will simply provide a summary of it all here, so basically Shaykh Augustine, the pre-Islamic era Christian Mutakallim, the forerunner of the Ash'arites, he explains that incidental attributes or accidents (a'raad) are of three types:
The first are "inseparable accidents" which do not separate from the essence, and he gives the example of the black colour of the feather of a raven. The black color is inseparable and it only expires when the raven dies and turns to dust. The second are "separable accidents", and he gives the example of the blackness of a man's hair which can turn white, not by virtue of it being separable, but by virtue that its blackness is merely an incidental property. The third are "accidents with degrees" and this means the variation in a particular quality, or attribute, such that it has gradations, degrees. Now this third type is really an overlap of the previous two, and it refers to those qualities which can be diminished or increased. So Shaykh Augustine denies all of these a'raad (incidental attributes, accidents) from God.
The thing to note here is that there are some meanings which are certainly correct. Take for example, Allaah's knowledge and power, does it have degrees? Of course not, it is absolute, all-inclusive. So this is certainly rejected, but when the Mutakallimin (the Jewish, Christian and Muslim ones) resorted to using these types of conceptual tools, language and classifications in trying to describe Allaah or to negate for Allaah, they rejected much of the truth along with it.
Now if you are wondering again about the likes of al-Bayhaqi, Abu Ya'laa, al-Qurtubi, al-Nawawi and Ibn Hajar. As we already explained, there were Scholars who were attached to the Qur'an and Hadith, and engrossed in those sciences. They did not delve into Kalaam, but they considered the conclusions of the Ahl al-Kalaam to be correct, and so they adopted those conclusions. However, they never liked Kalaam, and you will see them censuring it (see that from al-Qurtubi, al-Nawawi, and Ibn Hajar in this article), and they did not enter into all that huduth al-ajsam, and al-Jawhar al-Fard, and so on like those Mutakallimin. However, when they saw the Mutakallimin refuting the true and real Mujassimah and Mushabbihah, who were also Ahl al-Kalaam, like Hisham bin al-Hakam al-Rafidi, he was a Mutakallim, upon that ilm al-kalaam of huduth al-ajsaam and al-ajsaam and al-a'raad, and likewise the Hanafi Karraamiyyah Mujassimah, they too were upon this very ilm al-kalaam. So they considered the conclusions of those Mutakallimin to be true and then they tried to reconcile between those conclusions and the ahaadeeth of the Messenger. And because they saw those Mutakallimin taking the path of ta'wil or tafwid or both, they considered that to be acceptable and they wrongly presumed it was the way of the Salaf. So they erred in this matter. And as for Abu Ya'laa, he got affected by the Mutakallimin, on the subject of Allaah's chosen actions (Af'aal Ikhtiyaariyyah), which they called hawaadith (events) and tried to deny them, and likewise he exaggerated in ithbaat (affirmation) and he was not like those repugnant Mujassimah from the Ahl al-Kalaam, be they Raafidites of Hanafi Karraamites, but he erred from the angle of affirming fabricated narrations and bringing disrepute upon himself, and allowing himself to be censured and maligned.
From the above two paragraphs, you will come to understand the grand deception of today's Ash'arites and how they rely upon people's ignorance of the fact that there are different types of "Ash'aris" so to speak, and that they use certain names only as a front, and what they are really calling to is nothing but a creed founded upon the language of al-ajsaam and al-a'raad and that was the very ilm al-kalaam that the Salaf severely condemned and declared its practitioners as diseased heretics. So we exonerate the likes of al-Qurtubi, al-Nawawi, and Ibn Hajar from that, for they never indulged in that Kalaam like those Mutakallimin did, but they lived in an era, growing up whilst this was considered in their lands to be the truth, and so they thought the conclusions of these Mutakallim were the truth, and so they are not to be put alongside those heretical Ash'arites who hybridized Tajahhum, I'tizaal and Falsafah with the Kullaabi original that even al-Ash'ari himself transitioned away from.