Uncovering the Innovated Terminology of the Jahmiyyah and Their Relatives from Ahl al-Kalaam (Ash'aris, Maturidis): Part 4 - The Term 'Hulul al-Hawaadith'
Posted by Abu.Iyaad on Wednesday, December, 22 2010 and filed under Articles
Key topics: Ilm Al-kalaam Ahl Al-Kalaam Al-hawaadith Hulul Al-hawadith

The Term 'Hulul al-Hawaadith'

This is from the greatest of the dubious terms and in which there is the greatest battle and contention between the followers of the revealed Books and the sent Messengers and between the followers of the Hellenized Jews, Christians and Sabeans, those who contradict the revealed texts with their reason (aql), and think reason is definitive over the revealed texts.

This is a dubious term which has never come in the Book or the Sunnah, and a straight translation would mean "the setting in of events" and they mean in Allaah's essence. The term "haadith" means a recent event, of recent occurrence. The usages of the Innovators of this phrase "hulul al-hawaadith" can be summarized with the following affairs:

  1. That created things merge and occur within His essence, as is in what He creates is created within His essence

  2. That He acquires an attribute He never had before (such as becoming one who speaks, after not being one who speaks and one with power after not having power and so on). This was permitted by some from Ahl al-Kalaam, the Hanafi Karraamiyyah, although they never considered these to be events strictly speaking because an event is what occurs and expires, whereas they say that after Allaah acquires attributes, they never expire.

  3. That He has actions tied to His will and power in that He does whatever He wills, if He wills, and He speaks with whatever He wills, whenever He wills, if He wills. Likewise that "He becomes angry and pleased, but not like anyone from the creation" to borrow the words of al-Tahawi ,and anger, pleasure, love and similar attributes are tied to His will and power such that if He wills, He will love, if He wills, He will become pleased, if He wills, He will become angry.

So the view of Ahl al-Sunnah is:

Further Elaboration and Notes

We need to have a little history lesson here first:

Al-Jahm bin Safwaan, in debating with the Philosophers and having taken the foundation of his logic and argument from al-Ja'd bin Dirham (who had taken this from the students of the Hellenized Jews, Christians and Sabeans), stated that whatever we see around are either bodies and their attributes. And their attributes (like colors, dimensions, tastes, smells and so on, whatever is perceived by the senses) cannot exist on their own, they have to exist in bodies. Because they need bodies to exist, then all these attributes must be originated. But, since bodies are never free of theses originated attributes (which can never exist on their own), then the bodies too must be originated. This now is a proof against those atheist Philosophers that the universe is originated and whatever is originated must have an originator, creator. Now, his disputants accepted this from him and said, "Describe your Lord to us." So when he tried to describe His Lord, and saw what is in the Book and the Sunnah of names implying attributes, and attributes and actions, he realized it would falsify his proof. And because he believed this was the only way to prove Allaah's existence, and that this is pure sound reason, then it cannot be opposed. Thus, he denied all names, attributes and actions, because it would mean Allaah is a jism and therefore created. So he called this affirmation to be "hulul al-a'raad fee dhaatillaah" (the setting in of incidental attributes in Allaah's essence), or to put it another way "maa laa yakhlu anil-hawaadith fahuwa haadith" (whatever is not devoid of events, occurrences, is itself originated). This was the foundation of all of his ta'teel and tahreef of the texts. And thus did he institute the deen of the Jahmites upon this false premise.

The Mu'tazilah carried this foundation, after they took it from the Jahmiyyah, and some of them affirmed three matters, that Allaah is knowing (aalim), living (hayy), and able (qaadir), but not as attributes established with the essence (i.e. not with ilm, hayaat and qudrah). And as for other attributes, they had certain approaches towards them, such as iraadah (wish) is nothing but ilm (knowledge) which is nothing but Allaah's essence. And with other attributes they said, these are nothing but labels representing the manifestation of these meanings in the creation, not that they are actual attributes of Allaah's essence.

Then came Ibn Kullaab and he tried to refute these people with Kalaam but with a view to defending the Sunnah. But he fell prey to their doubts on Allaah's chosen actions, and particularly on the issue of the Qur'an and Allaah's speech. Now this is a subject for another article, but the point here is that the result of this was that he affirmed all the attributes, but those which were tied to Allaah's will (mashee'ah) and power (qudrah) he took certain approaches towards them, these approaches were themselves taken from the Mu'tazilah (which they applied to the attributes), so he applied these very same approaches to the actions.

So Ibn Kullab said, Allaah's speech (Kalaam), anger, and pleasure and love and so on, they are all eternal attributes, like life, knowledge and power, they are not tied to His will and power, otherwise this would mean "hulul al-hawaadith", the setting in of events, which can only be said of bodies. And likewise, istiwaa is not an act that Allaah chose to do, from His will and power, it is rather an act that takes place in the Throne. And they said that Allah's actions are not established with His essence, but are synonymous with the thing done. Meaning, that what are said to be Allah's actions, are not actions taking place with His essence, but rather something external to Himself. This was a principle of the Mu'tazilah that al-khalq huwal makhluq (the act of creation is but the creation itself, not that an act called creating took place) and al-fi'l huwa al-maf'ul (the act is the very outcome of the act, not that an actual act exists or took place), and they (the Mu'tazilah) used this to explain that whatever attributes Allaah is described with are nothing but meanings present in the creation, but which are ascribed to Him. So just like we say "Allaah's Messenger", "Allaah's earth", "Allaah's she-camel" (these are created entities, separate from Him), then we can also say, "Allaah's kalaam", "Allaah's will", "Allaah's hearing", "Allaah's seeing", "Allaah's mercy", and these are simply whatever manifests in the creation and which is called Kalaam, will, hearing, sight and so on, and which can be ascribed to Allaah (even though it is something separate from His essence).

Now this was the approach of the Mu'tazilah, so this same approach was taken by the Kullaabiyyah and Ash'ariyyah towards the chosen actions of Allaah. And in all of this they were simply operating upon that same principle of al-Jahm bin Safwan, just like the Mu'tazilah were, that whatever is not devoid of hawaadith is itself haadith. And they mean by this to deny the recurrence of things with Allaah, meaning that Allaah cannot have many instances of speech which are other than each other, and which arise from His will and power, and that He cannot have many instances of creating which are other than each other, and that He cannot be pleased with a person and then be angry, if He wills and so on. Because this implies events taking place in His essence, which implies change and implies He is a body like all other bodies. So this was their angle. They also said Allah's iraadah (wish) and mashee'ah (will) is one single eternal wish and will, not that Allaah can actually choose to speak and act through His wish and will whenever He wishes or wills. So the issue here is that the Kullaabiyyah and Ash'ariyyah were trying to remain consistent with the underlying foundations all of which come from al-Jahm bin Safwaan.

As for the Maturidiyyah, they were trying to do the same thing, but they had a different approach, it's a little smarter and more ingenious, but wholly and fully baatil nevertheless. So they said all of Allaah's actions (which are transitive, muta'addi, such as eejaad [bringing into existence], takhleeq [creating], tarzeeq [providing], ihyaa [giving life], imaatah [taking life]) are simply one eternal attribute called "takween" (creating) and everything that is created through Allah's actions, that comes back to this one attribute. They knew that the principle of the Mu'tazilah was false (al-khalq huwa al-makhluq, al-fi'l huwa al-maf''ul), so they were a bit smarter than the Ash'arites, but their objective was the same, so they are just as misguided, but a bit more shrewd and sharp in being that same level of misguided, if you know what we mean. Then they said, this single eternal attribute of takwin is tied to His will which is also eternal and his qudrah, which is also eternal. However, take caution!

This historical background should now make clear to you what the innovators mean by this term which they flash around making a fake display of piety in trying to "free Allaah of imperfections" as they claim.

Closing Remarks

From this you will be able to grasp the nature of the battle, the battle of pure fresh wholesome milk coming from the spring of the Book and the Sunnah and of blood, puss and dung coming from the spring and fountain of the language (lughah), reason (aql) and introspection (nadhar) of the Hellenized Jews, Christians and Sabeans - all of whom deviated from prior prophethood, and therefore used their own tools and resources to speak in matters of the unseen. Allah sent the Messenger to invalidate this falsehood and to revive the light of revelation, and how appropriate is the saying of that Shafi'ite Imaam, Ibn Surayj (d. 306H), as narrated from him by Abu Ismaa'eel al-Harawi (d. 481H) in "Dhamm ul-Kalaam" with his isnaad 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.

Allaahu Akbar! Is there truer speech than this regarding the reality of the Innovators?!

As for the issue of proving Allaah's actions tied to His will and power, then the entire Qur'an is full of it and a person has to be either blind in vision and insight not to actually see it. There are a multitude of verses but it is not our purpose in this article to exhaust them, we simply wanted to present what is actually meant by these people when they say "hulul al-hawaadith." However, it would not be complete if we did not give an example from the thousands that can be given which are found in the Book and the Sunnah. So here is one verse as an example:

يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ قَدْ أَنجَيْنَاكُم مِّنْ عَدُوِّكُمْ وَوَاعَدْنَاكُمْ جَانِبَ الطُّورِ الْأَيْمَنَ وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَنَّ وَالسَّلْوَى. كُلُوا مِن طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ وَلَا تَطْغَوْا فِيهِ فَيَحِلَّ عَلَيْكُمْ غَضَبِي وَمَن يَحْلِلْ عَلَيْهِ غَضَبِي فَقَدْ هَوَى

O Children of Israel! We delivered you from your enemy, and We made a covenant with you on the right side of the Mount, and We sent down to you al-manna and quails, (saying) eat of the good lawful things wherewith We have provided you, and commit no oppression therein, lest My Anger should justly descend on you. And he on whom My Anger descends, he is indeed perished. (Ta-Ha 20:80-81)

So in this verse we see Allaah have saved Banee Israa'eel from their enemy, the Fir'awn, and then He made a covenant with them, and then He sent down al-manna and quails upon them. All these are actions established with Allaah, and which Allaah chose to do.

This proves that Allaah is a living, speaking, acting Lord, who speaks and acts according to His will and wish, as and when He wills, and He has never ceased to be like this, in eternity, and this is considered utmost perfection. However, to the Ahl al-Kalaam this is kufr and Tajseem and necessitates the non-existence of Allaah Himself, because it implies hawaadith. In reality, what they are doing is resembling Allaah to inanimate things who cannot speak or act, let alone speak and act according to will and wish, as and when He wills. And when speaking and acting as and when one wishes is a sign of perfection for man, then Allaah is most worthy of that perfection, to the greatest degree, even though His will, speech and action is unlike ours.

This matter has been elaborated in other articles with relevant proofs, you can see by way of example, the following articles, the second one has many proofs from the Qu'ran regarding this subject:

  • Did Allaah Speak With Anything That Negates His Truthfulness? Test Your Understanding of 'Kalaam Nafsee' (see here)
  • A Reply to the Doubt of the Jahmite Ash'aris: Regarding What is 'Muhdath' and What is 'Makhlooq' And Their Attempt To Negate Allaah's Actions (see here)