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Fakhr ud-Din ar-Razi (Imaam of the Later Asharis): If the Common Folk Were Invited to Belief in Allaah Through the Language and Terminology of the Ash'arites They Would Fall Into Atheism
Posted by Abu.Iyaad on Saturday, August, 29 2009 and filed under Articles
Key topics: Fakhr Ud-Din Ar-Razi Atheism Fakhr Ud-Din Ar-Razi Atheism

In a previous article we explained how Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 505H) stated textually that if the people were called to belief in Allaah through the language and terminology of the Ash'arites, that not one even one in a thousand would accept this belief, that they would consider it impossible and that the majority would tend towards Atheism (making ta'teel, negation of a creator described as such).

Here we have Fakhr ud-Din ar-Razi (d. 606H), another Imaam of the later (Jahmite) Ash'aris saying the same.

This is the first page of the second volume of the Indian, 1917 print of Mafaateeh ul-Ghayb, otherwise known as Tafsir ur-Razi.

Ar-Razi states (2/599):

The relevant section is the bit that has the red line on the right side of it. This translates as:

The fifth angle: And this is the strongest reason in this topic - that the Qur'an is a book that comprises the call to the people of distinction (al-khawaass) and the common people (al-awaam) [in their] totality. The natural dispositions of the common people are averse, for the most part, to comprehending the realities. Thus, when one from the common folk hears at the beginning the affirmation of an existent (mawjood) that:
  • "is not a jism (body)", and
  • "is not occupying space" and
  • "cannot be pointed to",
he will think this is non-existence and negation and he will fall into ta'teel (i.e. negation of such a one described). Thus, it is more suitable that they are addressed with words that indicate some of what is appropriate to what they presume and imagine, and that such (language) should be mixed with what indicates the clear truth.

And this requires little comment, save that we should point out that the implied trickery and deception that is being advocated by ar-Razi (and similarly al-Ghazali), in that the common people who are too dumb (according to them) to grasp the clear Arabic tongue in which the Qur'an was revealed - [meaning that Allaah was not able to use clear language through which all people could believe in Him appropriately] - that such people should only be called with such phrases and terms that would tend to agree with what they might already presume and imagine in their minds, such as Allaah being above the creation and having the qualities of loving, hating, being pleased, being angered and so on.

So the texts that state that Allaah is above the heaven, above the Throne, that the Angels ascend up to Him, and that He sends down the revelation and so on, these types of texts are the ones that the people should be addressed with first, because they are in line with what they already presume, and at the same time this should be mixed with words that indicate what is to them the clear truth - meaning, their methodology in describing Allaah that "He is in not in direction", and "He is not in location" and "He is not a body", and "He is not substance" and "He cannot be pointed to" and so on.

Its extremely hard not to conclude that this essentially amounts to deception. The judgment that this is the greatest of falsehood, and the greatest of revilement upon the religion is an instinctive one for all people with sound fitrah. And these are the types of things that the Jahmite Ash'aris keep hidden from the common folk.

It is advisable that you go and read the statement of al-Ghazali that is similar to this (see here). And these are from the greatest of the Imaams of the Later Ash'aris.

As for Fakhr ud-Din ar-Razi (d. 606H), then what will tell you about this savory and colorful character?! Inshaa'Allaah, we will dedicate a separate article just on this subject.

What Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisi Said About the Ash'arites and Their Deception

And from the above it should not surprise you what the great Imaam, Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisee (d. 620H) said about these Ash'arites in his book, "Hikaayat ul-Munaadharah fil-Qur'aan Ma'a Ba'd Ahl il-Bid'ah" (Narrative of the Debate Regarding the Qur'an with Some of the People of Innovation) - which is his documenting of his debate with the Ash'aris on the subject of the Qur'aan.

He says on page 35:

Which translates as:

And we do not know amongst the people of innovation, any faction who conceal their saying, and do not have the boldness to proclaim it (openly) except the Heretics (Zanaadiqah) and the Ash'ariyyah.

And Allaah, the Exalted, order His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to openly proclaim the religion, to call to it, and to convey what Allaah revealed to Him, so the Most High said:

O Messenger! Proclaim (the Message) which has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message. All‚h will protect you from mankind. (Al-Ma'idah 5:67)

So if their saying - as they claim - is the truth, then why do they not openly proclaim it and call the people to it?

And how is it lawful for them to hide it and conceal it, and to proclaim openly what is different to it, deceiving the public [into thinking they] believe other than it? Rather, if their saying was the truth that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), His Companions, and the Imaams of the religion after them were upon, how come not one of them openly proclaimed it? And did they all concur upon concealing it?

Or how was it lawful for the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to conceal it from his ummah whilst he had been ordered to convey what had been revealed to him, and had beed threatened against concealing anything from it with His saying:

And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message. (Al-Ma'idah 5:67)

And how was it possible for him to make the people presume (something) in opposition to the truth?

So this exposes what is with these people ... and what they conceal from the common folk, and recall that these are the Imaams of the Later Ash'aris, al-Ghazali (d. 505H) and ar-Razi (d. 606H) and not your average Ash'arite theologian.