Uncovering the Innovated Terminology of the Jahmiyyah and Their Relatives from Ahl al-Kalaam (Ash'aris, Maturidis): Part 3 - The Term 'al-'Arad'
Posted by Abu.Iyaad on Tuesday, December, 21 2010 and filed under Articles
Key topics: Ilm Al-kalaam Ahl Al-Kalaam Al-'arad

The Term 'al-'Arad'

This goes hand in hand with 'al-jism' (see previous article). The word 'arad (pl. a'raad) is mentioned in the Qur'an in reference to the fleeting, temporal life of this world (see 8:67, عرض الدنيا) and its meaning is that which is temporal. It is given considerable attention by the Kalaam Innovators. Al-Jahm bin Safwaan negated all attributes, descriptions and actions from Allaah in order to flee what he called "hulul al-a'raad fee dhaatillaah" (the occurrence of incidental attributes in the essence of Allaah). The term 'arad (the singular) It has the following usages (in their language):

  1. An attribute established with Allah's essence. The Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah referred to Allah's attributes (and actions) as a'raad (incidental attributes) and claimed this makes Allaah an originated bod (jism).

  2. Things like illnesses (which come and go) and impairments and the likes. These denote weakness, deterioration and the likes.

  3. Whatever does not last two instants of time (maa laa yabqaa zamaanayn). This was the principle innovated by the Kullaabis and Ash'aris in order to defend and justify their affirmation of the attributes against the Mu'tazilah.

As for Ahl al-Sunnah, they clarify:

Additional Notes

The term a'raad is used to describe the genus of all incidental attributes and they include things like width, breadth, depth, taste, color, smell, motion, rest, combination, separation and so on. So what these innovators did was to include Allaah's attributes (and his actions) under the label of a'raad, and then said to the people, "We have to free Allaah of a'raad" since a'raad can only exist in a body and that would make him a body like the created bodies. Hence, He cannot have attributes (or actions).

The Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah included all things within a'raad (i.e. attributes and actions), and they did not distinguish between Allaah's attributes and His chosen actions. Thus, they said we deny "hulul al-a'raad fee dhaatillaah" and rejected the attributes and actions. Distinctions were made by the Kullabiyyah and Ash'ariyyah. They said Allaah has sifaat (which remain and last) and that the creation have a'raad (i.e.their attributes are constantly being recreated at every smallest instant of time), and then they distinguished the sifaat from hawaadith (events, occurrences). So they denied all of Allaah's chosen actions (like istiwaa, mahabbah, ghadab, ridaa), because they considered them to be "hawaadith" (events) and this term will be discussed separately. Then they had certain approaches to deal with the texts that mention these actions of Allaah, such as treating them as being synonymous with the attribute of iraadah, or making ta'weel of them.