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Why were Philosophy (Falsafa) and Speculative Theology (Kalam) prohibited?

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  • Why were Philosophy (Falsafa) and Speculative Theology (Kalam) prohibited?

    When reading the works and commentaries on works of Imam al-Ghazali (al-Ash'ari), Mulla Ali Qari (al-Maturidi) and others, one will come across a fervant prohibition of something known as Falsafa - philosophy. This is repeated in the works of many Muslim scholars. Some scholars became so extreme on prohibiting this that they eventually went on to prohibit otherwise permitted things to cut the door off to philosophical speculation - with scholars such as Ibn Salah prohibiting logic (mantiq) and Ibn Qudamah (al-Hanbali) prohibiting Kalam (rational discourse) altogether.

    Unfortunately, in our ignorance in the modern era, the vast majority of us have lost touch with a problem that developed at the height of the Islamic golden age. The problem developed when people initially used the the knowledge of logical and rationality to prove Islamic doctrine to be correct. Initially the problem consisted of people simply misusing logic and rationality and falling into illogical and kufr. E.g. saying that the world can have existed forever in perpetuity (a claim of philosophers such as Ibn Sina) or saying that the attributes of Allah are subject to creation or ending (a claim of certain scholars) etc. But technically speaking, such philosophers are not engaging in the type of Kalam prohibited by later scholars - they are simply using illogic to come to certain beliefs - most humans do this at some point of their lives.

    Many a time, when scholars from a Ash'ari/Maturidi background prohibit something known as "Kalam" they in reality are not prohibiting what the Hanabila such as Ibn Qudamah wanted to prohibit - Mulla Ali Qari explicitly prohibits Kalam in a commentary to Fiqh al-Akbar, mentioning certain offenders, especially Fakruddin al-Razi. But to a Hanbali this prohibition is completely non-sensical as why wouldn't Mulla Ali Qari mention actual Mutakallimun such Imam al-Ash'ari, al-Maturidi and of course Imam al-Ghazali who famously wrote rational proofs for core islamic beliefs? In fact Mulla Ali Qari shows an affinity for al-Ghazali, as he writes commentaries on his works...

    The fact of the matter is that there are two types of Kalam.

    Non-Speculative Kalam

    The first time is non-speculative - you simply use rational discourse to prove things already known by Wahy (e.g. the existance of Allah being necessary, that the Prophet Alayhis Salam is a Prophet and that Prophet's would be sent). In the Qur'an, this type of Kalam was used famously by Ibrahim Alayhis Salam twice - first in coming to accept firmly Allah as his creator (someone who doesn't understand Kalam will struggle to understand why he immediately negated divinity to the things he talks about when he noticed them changing), and the second time was in argument to his people regarding the biggest idol doing such a thing as breaking the other idols. This gives someone combating other religions and beliefs an edge - they can show their beliefs are irrational and illogical.

    This type of Kalam was explicitly permitted by Imam al-Ash'ari, Imam al-Maturidi and others. There are some suggestions that Imam Ahmad engaged in this to a limited extent, and some Hanbalis are ok with limited use of this (e.g. Ibn Hamdan, al-Balbani). Famously Ibn Taymiyyah engages in this form of Kalam when he gives cosmological arguments for the existance of Allah. Other Hanbali's dislike even this type of Kalam (e.g. Ibn Qudamah etc.). Other figures (e.g. Imam Shafi'i) from early islamic history seemed to permit this Kalam but warned about the corruption that could occur (speculative kalam) if this type of Kalam is used by the common person.

    Allah himself calls to this form of Kalam in the Quran, when he asks why people do not reason (e.g. Surah Yasin, verse 62 the word Taqillun comes from the same root as the word 'Aql (reason)).

    Speculative Kalam (Falsafa)

    Before I talk about the second form of Kalam, I will need to clear up a misconception. In order to actually clear this up definitively, I'm afraid I must engage in and demonstrate speculative kalam. The misconception that I need to clear is this: Kalam can somehow lead to contradicting Islamic beliefs.

    This is absolutely false. This is not the reason why Kalam is prohibited - when I demonstrate it below, you should realise why this type of Kalam is prohibited. It has nothing to do with the Kalam itself, if done correctly, leading to kufr - it doesn't. Let me make it clear: No level of rational discourse at any level can ever disprove Islam according to the Quran, Mutawatir Sunnah and Ijma - rational discourse can only ever prove Islam as Islam is simply the truth. if you seriously believe that Kalam could somehow lead to kufr in and of itself, then you fundementally believe that this religion is illogical and thus not correct - such a person is a kafir and, like all kuffar, they are simply wrong.

    Kalam can be used to discuss three types of things - it can be used to discuss rational necessities (Allah and his Attributes), rational possibilites (the nature of the creation etc.) and rational impossibilites (e.g. contradictions such as square-circles, Allah needing a creator, red being blue, 3 being 4, the creator being the creation, the creator not existing etc.). Kalam can further be used in relation to the divine attribute of Hikmah to prove Prophethood, and it can be combined with empirical facts to simply prove Islam is the correct religion etc.

    Speculative Kalam lies in the realm of the second rational judgement: Rational Possibility. Allah can create anything rationally possible and, as long as we do not contradict the Quran and Sunnah, we can thus discuss any such rational possibility. The discussing of rational possibilites that are neither confirmed nor denied by the Quran and Sunnah is Speculative Kalam. In the Islamic discourse, this is Falsafa that is not illogical.

    In relation to such theology, the mutaqaddimeen say that the ideas stated by such philosophers, cannot be accepted nor denied. They do not contradict the Quran but nor are they found in it. A similar position is stated by the Prophet Alayhis Salam in relation to the third category of Jewish reports - one can neither accept them nor deny them, but one should simply accept what the Quran and Sunnah say and affirm what is explicit in that. This is known as Tawaqquf. E.g. if someone says "The Angel's wings are white" We do Tawaqquf on such an idea - neither accepting nor rejecting it - we do not know what colour their wings are as we do not find this in an explicit verse or hadith.

    So some might wander, if speculative Kalam does not lead to kufr then why do scholars such as al-Ghazali, Mulla Ali Qari etc. censure it?

    One of the Mutakallimun who engaged in this form of Kalam is known as Fakhruddin al-Razi. To give you a small taste of what this form of Kalam entails, I will state one such theory developed by al-Razi using speculative Kalam - the idea that the universe or the heavens are infinite and that there are infinitely many worlds and alternate realities. Al-Razi stated this as a way of mocking the philosophers who held onto the pagan greek idea that our world is special and is thus the center of the universe. Al-Razi reasoned his beliefs from Wahy and Aql - the Quran (e.g. Allah saying he is Rab al-Alamin - lord of the worlds) and rational discourse (e.g. showing that such an idea is not self-contradictory, and is thus possible).

    Now are we as Muslims required to believe the Universe is infinite? The answer is no. Theologically we do Tawaqquf on this.

    So why did the early scholars like Imam Shafi'i, Imam Ghazali etc. forbid this form of Kalam? As a type of Falsafa, it does not lead to Kufr, so why prohibit it?

    The reason why is it can lead to obscure or ridiculous theories that will only cause confusion amongst the laypeople and, if people start certainly believing in some of these ideas, then they fall into the prohibition of having certain belief religiously on something they are not required to. They can then maka Takfir of their common layperson if they do not follow them in such theories. They can then think themselves better than the religious scholars thinking they possess some knowledge that others do not, and entertaining the false belief that others are required to hold such beliefs as they think they are certain truths.

    Some of the theories invented by Speculative Kalam are quite unsettling, as they fundamentally question the things most of us assume. In my opinion, even if some of these theories could be true, it is best that we do not listen to them - and they can cause people to spend way too much time philosophising etc. Many of the people who engaged in this form of Kalam left it at the end of their lives as they realised it is just useless speculation.

    Whilst one cannot negate some of these theories, I would ask people contemplate Occam's Razor - the idea that reality is far more simple than we thing.

    To summarise, Speculative Kalam is:
    • A form of rational/logical philosophical discourse (Falsafa).
    • A form of discourse that discusses things that are possibly true, but that we cannot say for certain.
    • A form of speculation on things that are ultimately known by Allah.
    • Not a form of discourse that can ever contradict fundamental or required Islamic beliefs (this is impossible for reason to do, as Islam is the correct religion - the religion that conforms to reason).
    • Prohibited by leading Mutakallimun, even and especially of the Ash'ari and Maturidi schools. The Hanbali school also has a particular dislike for it. Early scholars such as Ibn Salah loathed it so much that he went as far as prohibiting logic.
    • Permitted by very few Mutakallimun e.g. Fakhruddin al-Razi, who partakes in it.
    • Mistakenly confused for all forms of Kalam.
    • Not based on empiricism (it is not supported by scientic experimentation etc. and is ultimately unfalsifiable).
    • Seemingly disliked/hated by Muslim scientists such as al-Biruni etc.
    • Something that delving too deep into can be time consuming and ultimately useless.
    • Something that wiser scholars went without or left.
    • Something that is supported by logic and reason (as to their being possible).
    In order to fully remove the doubt that some people have with this type of Kalam, I will insha'Allah engage in it and bring a theory I thought up through using speculation. To show that it doesn't matter how much evidence from the Quran and Sunnah is brought to support such ideas, I will insha'Allah also bring verses from the Quran that could support this theory. But I will remind you in advance - this is mere speculation and philosophising - to say that the verses of the Quran that I will bring actually definitively support such an idea is simply wrong.

    I hope in my exposition of this form of Kalam, we can all learn to identify what the Ulama of the past mean when they talk of and condemn speculative theology.



  • #2
    Example of Speculative Kalam: The idea of Limited Regression with regards to Creation that has the 'Amanah (Trust)

    Summary of the Theory

    After Allah created the Arsh, he created the heavens and the Earth. (It is important to state this - it is a rational necessity that all creation has a beginning and negating this also contradicts clear Hadith and agreed upon interpretations of the Quran).

    Normally, we assume the Jinn and Insaan are the only creations with which Allah has given the trust to and is testing them with the reward of Jannah and Jahannam. They are after all the only ones we are explicitly informed of in the Quran. This theory however states they are not the first and that they may not be the last.

    This theory states that before Jinn and Men, there were other beings that Allah created and that he gave the test of the Dunya to. When the end of these beings came, some of them entered Jannah and others entered Jahannam. Now there are two sub theories to this theory:

    A) Some of these beings, when in Jannah, where you can wish for whatever you can ask, asked for the following:

    "Oh lord, please create other beings like ourselves and give them the trust and test them in the dunya, and promise the believers amongst them Jannah and the reward of seeing you,"

    The believers of the previous creation may have wished for this as they wanted company(?) Or simply this is just something they wished for.

    Allah fulfilled their dua and created the Jinn and Insaan. He created them, as he created those before them, in order to test them. All things are created in pairs so he created two - the Jinn and Insaan. He picked Earth for the dunya abode of the Insaan.

    The angel's were either not aware of the wish or they were aware and they object when Allah informs them that he will make a successive authority (Khalifa) on Earth, in memory of the disbelievers of previous creations.

    B) Allah was not asked to do this, but instead he did it anyway as he Subhana Wa Tala does as he pleases and so he created another such species/beings to worship him, in the manner of the first, and those beings are Jinn and Men.

    Thus the theory states that there are other beings Allah tested between the creation of the heavens and the Earth and the creation of Adam. They may already be in Jannah/Jahannam. Eventually Jahannam will close after Allah will stop creating such beings and after all the sinful believers have exited from Jahannam - thus there is an end to this regression just as there is a beginning.

    An equivalent alternative theory is that there are being concurrent to us in time that are being tested just as we are.

    Methods of Disproving the Theory

    There is nothing rationally preventing this, nor anything from the clear ayat of the Quran and Sunnah that opposes the above. As with all such speculative kalam, it can simply be disproven by showing the opposite is true - we could discover empirically that this is not true (i.e. from scientific means), or when the believers enter Jannah they can simply go and see whether these other beings exist or ask Allah regarding them.

    Apparent Evidence from the Quran

    I will bring verses in the Quran that could be used as proof for this theory. Then, I will give an alternative interpretation of each to show that these verses can easily be interpretted as not being evidence for this theory.

    1) Man has been exalted and preferred over most (Kathirin) of the creation (so not all)

    And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference.

    (Sahih International's Interpretation of al-Quran, Surah al-Ahzab, verse 72)
    2) Allah spread out life between the heavens and the earth

    And of his signs is the creation of the heavens and earth and what He has dispersed throughout them of creatures. And He, for gathering them when He wills, is competent.

    (Sahih International's Interpretation of al-Quran, Surah al-Shuraa, verse 29)
    3) The angels complaint regarding Adam Alayhis Salam (suggests there were previous beings)

    And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, "Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority." They said, "Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?" Allah said, "Indeed, I know that which you do not know."


    (Sahih International's Interpretation of al-Quran, Surah al-Baqarah, verse 30)
    4) It is not difficult for him to do away with this creation and bring in a new creation

    If He wills, He can do away with you and bring forth a new creation. And that is for Allah not difficult.


    (Sahih International's Interpretation of al-Quran, Surah al-Fatir, verses 16-17)
    Proof that these verses can be reinterpretted

    The first verse could be talking about the Angels, as one could argue that the angels are preferred over mankind.

    The second verse does not definitely state that other creatures were created in the other heavens, rather one could argue that they were simply spread into or dispersed into the other heavens. We know from Hadith that the Prophet Alayhis Salam ascended the seven heavens and met some of the Prophets Alayhim Salam in each. Thus the verse could be referring to them.

    The third verse could refer to the Jinn.

    The fourth verse could just mean it is easy for Allah to do if he wishes - it does not explicitly state that he has done that in the past to creatures like man.

    Attempts at disproving such an idea from the Quran

    Perhaps one of the best verses that some might try and use to suppress such kalam is this:

    Indeed, we offered the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they declined to bear it and feared it; but man [undertook to] bear it. Indeed, he was unjust and ignorant.

    (Sahih International's Interpretation of al-Quran, Surah al-Ahzab, verse 72)
    But this verse does not supress it as the Jinn also possess this trust as far as we are aware from the Quran and Ahadith - they are also subject to entering Jannah and Jahannam and have the ability to disbelieve like the Insaan. They are not mentioned in the verse and yet we affirm this for them. Also there is the principle that non-observation of evidence does not constitute evidence in and of itself - If I were to tell you I walked home last night, that does not negate that I fell in a hole or saw a car etc. during the Journey.

    The Two Dangers - worst amongst the ignorant

    Why is this type of speculative Kalam, as given above, prohibited? I think it suffices to say that although the above is a rational possibility, this is all mere speculation and so two dangers will arise from such Kalam, especially if laypeople partake in it:
    • They will definitively believe in and attribute to Allah with certainty that which he did not attribute to himself nor that which his Prophet attributed to him (the creation of such beings), and thus will require it as a belief over other Muslims, causing split and confusion when those who simply disagree with it deny it.
    • They will definitively disbelieve in it and attribute to Allah that he certainly did not do something when how can they know what he certainly did not do? They will chase after people who believe such theories calling them heretics, causing split and confusion, when there are those who for whatever reason agree with it.
    I am reminded of the verse:

    And they have made the angels, who are servants of the Most Merciful, females. Did they witness their creation? Their testimony will be recorded, and they will be questioned.


    (Sahih International's Interpretation of al-Quran, Surah al-Zukhruf, verse 19)
    If Kalam is restricted amongst to the qualified scholars, these things will be unlikely to be stated or the position on Tawaqquf will be made explicit or it will be written in language accessible to only the scholars, meaning only those who understand the concept of rational possibility and Tawaqquf will be able to understand it and have the correct understanding of it.

    Nevertheless, many scholars realised the danger of such Kalam such as the above, realising it could cause corruption and sectarianism amongst the Ummah. Thus they prohibited it.

    The Purpose of Demonstrating such Kalam

    My purpose of bringing the above is not to comment on my own belief on it (I find it hard to accept), it is to show those ignorant of the forms of Kalam, what the Ash'aris and Maturidis mean when they talk about "speculative theology" - this is speculative theology. It is based on speculation and by its nature it is a rational possibility that it is possible Allah could do and it is possible that Allah did.

    It seems this type of Kalam was most prevalent amongst the Mu'tazila and Falsafa of the past, but there were also respected Ash'aris (like Fakhruddin Razi) and Maturidis who partook in it. To a certain extent, even the non-Mutakallimun e.g. al-Tabari engage in this when they entertain certain Isra'illiyat which are neither confirmed nor denied by the Quran and Sunnah - such things take the ruling of rational possibility and unless they become disproven by the empirical on which there is certainty, they can be discussed. The Isra'illiyat are then the speculation of the Naql whereas Falsafa is speculation of the 'Aql.

    Nevertheless the Mutakallimun such as al-Ghazali condemned such interpretation as it is speculation and we should not entertain speculation. Nevertheless, in my own opinion, there is no problem with discussing such things (Isra'illiyat/Falsafa) iff the people discussing these things are sure they are mere rational possibilities and if they do not give any certainty to it, imposing their ideas on others and iff they do not contradict the Quran, the Sunnah and reason.

    Lessons to learn and other key points
    • Not all forms of Kalam are forbidden.
    • The forbidden type of Kalam is not forbidden because it leads to Kufr - it is forbidden due to the corruption it can cause in people.
    • Not all Kalam is "speculative theology", Kalam such as proofs for the existance of God etc. are generally encouraged and/or done, even by those generally criticise Kalam (like Ibn Taymiyyah)
    • Kalam can only be used to prove Islam or to talk on that which is not mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah but that does not contradict it.
    • Kalam must conform to the rules of logic and reason - technically this is the only thing that constrains Kalam.
    • Kalam that is illogical is not Kalam for it contradicts the 'Aql.
    • It is not Kalam if a Pagan brings an irrational argument e.g. says he worships an idol and if asked why he states that his father told him to believe in it and that his father is always right.
    • It is not Kalam if an Atheist uses an emotional argument for his disbelief (e.g. the existance of evil) or a circular argument (e.g. Russell's teapot).
    • It is not Kalam when a Christian says, "Belief in trinity is logical as it is analogous to length, width and height" or when asked for evidence says, "the Church said so,"
    • It is not Kalam if Avicenna says, "The world existed in pre-eternity"
    • It is not Kalam if one brings an argument that 2 is 4.
    • It is not Kalam if one argues that my pen that I lift off the table is somewhere on the table.
    • It is not Kalam if one argues the uncreated creator has a creator.
    • It is not Kalam to say the contingent is incontingent and vice versa.
    • The Aql used by the Mutakallimun is the same, though some Mutakallimun delved into speculation and others did not, and others condemned it.
    • All forms of things that are Kalam rely on reason, when one leaves reason or states something unreasonable and illogical then one exits Kalam and enters illogic.
    • Reason is based off of the principles of non-contradiction, identity and no additional judgement but those defined (Necessary, Possible, Impossible).
    • Kalam must be argued from certainty.
    • Kalam can impart certainty (non-speculative) or uncertainty (speculative).
    • True Kalam thus only establishes certain Truth, or that which does not contradict it.
    • Islam is in conformity with reason and logic and therefore cannot be disproved with Kalam.
    • Others may try to show illogic and irrationality in Islam but they will fail as they resort to the irrational/illogic/emotion in their arguments.
    • Speculative Kalam and Falsafa was disliked and prohibited by major Mutakallimun.
    • But not everyone is in agreement that speculative Kalam is forbidden.
    • It is best not to delve into speculative Kalam as it is a waste of time and leads to dissension.
    • The Prophet Alayhis Salam taught us to avoid doubtful matters.
    • Kalam like fiqh, is something that the mind is mostly involved in. One should not neglect their heart - the best of the Mutakallimun were Sufis and perhaps the best of the Sufis disliked Kalam, being Hanbali.
    • Kalam can make a person arrogant and can harden one's heart, so like fiqh one should learn Ihsan for balance.
    • Kalam (non-speculative) can be seen as necessary in refuting certain forms of heresy not explicitly mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah (e.g. the uncreatedness of the Qur'an).
    • Someone who rejects Kalam does not fall outside Ahlus Sunnah.
    • The vast majority of the Ulama, or at least the Ash'aris and Maturidis, supported Mantiq and some Ulama wrote treatises insisting on it e.g. Imam an-Nawawi, al-Ghazali etc.
    • The person who thinks Islam is wrong is a Kafir and it can be shown that they are themselves wrong.
    • The person who disbelieves in a fundental belief given explicitly (in a linguistic sense) in the Qur'an is thus a kafir.
    • e.g. Allah says (interpretation), "Your God is One God; there is no god but He, the All-merciful, the All-compassionate."
    • If someone says, "there are two" or says "there are none" or says that they "doubt in Allah" then they disbelieve. This known in religion by necessity.
    • Disbelief in regards to fundamental beliefs is thinking they are false or doubting them.
    • Scholars who engaged in speculative Kalam should not be condemned in terms of kufr (disbelief) as speculative kalam can never lead to kufr.
    • Reason and Logic cannot be used to arrived at falsehood. True implies True but False can imply anything.
    Some final notes

    Usul al-Kalam, Adab al-Munazarah and Adab al-Jadal dictate then one someone brings a claim they must base it off of evidence, of the mind (reason), eye (observation) or ear (revelation).

    Simple contradiction is contrary to reasoned argument.

    The one who does not accept revelation yet, is required to give and accept evidence based off of the mind and eye. If he additionally denies the eye when mukallaf then he denies that which is obviously observed and thus believes in contradiction and is thus irrational - such people are called nihilists and the Ulama have said that they have a disease in their hearts. If he denies the mind too, then absolutely nothing can be proven to him, not even simple mathematical facts. Thus reason and evidence only work on those who accept them in their heart - one can be given clear and reasonable evidence and still deny it (e.g. the people of Ibrahim Alayhis Salam with the idol, Firaun with the staff, the pagans of Makkah with the splitting of the moon etc).

    Thus the heart facilitates belief, as the heart can ignore the mind and believe what it wants when evidence is brought. Such people cover the truth that they know and a kafir is (linguistically) the farmer who covers the seed. This is how the disbelievers cover the truth when it is brought to them. Allah is the one that covers and if he wills he can uncover. But they are the ones that choose to believe or disbelieve for themselves, as belief and disbelief are not creations nor subject to cause and effect, and the "free will" of the creation is nothing but that.

    Will they not then use reason?

    I'll end here by reminding that Allah repeats throughout the Qur'an the rhetorical question "Then will you not use reason?" (interpretation/translation of "Afala Taqillun").

    Allah also says:

    Or do you think that most of them hear or reason? They are not except like livestock. Rather, they are [even] more astray in [their] way.

    (Sahih International's interpretation of Quran, Surah al-Furqan, verse 44)

    Comment


    • #3
      Assalamu alaykum

      The fact of the matter is that there are two types of Kalam.
      Could you provide any scholarly references to back up the explanation you offered? From what I understand the traditional view is that Kalam is of two types: praiseworthy or blameworthy. Ilm al-Kalam by its very nature is speculative and it only becomes praiseworthy when it conforms with the explicit theology expressed in the Book & the Sunnah.

      This article is reasonably balanced and gives an overview of how the various schools approach the ruling on Kalam:

      https://thehumblei.com/tag/ibn-taymiyyah-on-kalam/

      Before I talk about the second form of Kalam, I will need to clear up a misconception. In order to actually clear this up definitively, I'm afraid I must engage in and demonstrate speculative kalam. The misconception that I need to clear is this: Kalam can somehow lead to contradicting Islamic beliefs.

      This is absolutely false. This is not the reason why Kalam is prohibited - when I demonstrate it below, you should realise why this type of Kalam is prohibited. It has nothing to do with the Kalam itself, if done correctly, leading to kufr - it doesn't. Let me make it clear: No level of rational discourse at any level can ever disprove Islam according to the Quran, Mutawatir Sunnah and Ijma - rational discourse can only ever prove Islam as Islam is simply the truth. if you seriously believe that Kalam could somehow lead to kufr in and of itself, then you fundementally believe that this religion is illogical and thus not correct - such a person is a kafir and, like all kuffar, they are simply wrong.
      There are a number of issues with what you are claiming here. First off, Kalam is a broad term which could give the wrong impression if we pass a blank judgement over it. Secondly, we would agree that the sound intellect could never disprove or contradict Islam in reality. However, where we clash is that we don't necessarily have an issue confirming an apparent conflict between Islamic theology and certain metaphysical (Kalam) arguments. The rational argument for God's exisstence commonly referred to as Burhan Huduth al-Ajsam is not 100% consistent with the theology of the Quran/Sunnah and general concensus of the Salaf. Our response to the Ash'aris/Maturidis who will claim otherwise is that they have compromised the clear and consistent theology of the religion and fell victim to the blameworthy Kalam which the Salaf prohibited.

      Ultimately the problem in this scenario is giving too much epistemic value to something that is apriori and speculative. The Kalam Cosmological argument is not explicit revelation or the criterion through which we can determine if something is true or irrational. Had this been the case then I would have no doubt in my mind that the Prophet(saws) would have informed his Ummah about their value and the apparent meanings the Quran's theology would naturally conform with their principles.

      In this lecture Yasir Qadhi summarizes Fakhr al-Din al-Razi's Asaas al-Taqdis wherein he acknowledges a conflict between Aql & Naql and then goes on to suggest Tafwid & Ta'weel as a solution::

      Comment


      • #4
        sajid Edit still not working!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by AmantuBillahi View Post
          Assalamu alaykum



          Could you provide any scholarly references to back up the explanation you offered? From what I understand the traditional view is that Kalam is of two types: praiseworthy or blameworthy. Ilm al-Kalam by its very nature is speculative and it only becomes praiseworthy when it conforms with the explicit theology expressed in the Book & the Sunnah.

          This article is reasonably balanced and gives an overview of how the various schools approach the ruling on Kalam:

          https://thehumblei.com/tag/ibn-taymiyyah-on-kalam/



          There are a number of issues with what you are claiming here. First off, Kalam is a broad term which could give the wrong impression if we pass a blank judgement over it. Secondly, we would agree that the sound intellect could never disprove or contradict Islam in reality. However, where we clash is that we don't necessarily have an issue confirming an apparent conflict between Islamic theology and certain metaphysical (Kalam) arguments. The rational argument for God's exisstence commonly referred to as Burhan Huduth al-Ajsam is not 100% consistent with the theology of the Quran/Sunnah and general concensus of the Salaf. Our response to the Ash'aris/Maturidis who will claim otherwise is that they have compromised the clear and consistent theology of the religion and fell victim to the blameworthy Kalam which the Salaf prohibited.

          Ultimately the problem in this scenario is giving too much epistemic value to something that is apriori and speculative. The Kalam Cosmological argument is not explicit revelation or the criterion through which we can determine if something is true or irrational. Had this been the case then I would have no doubt in my mind that the Prophet(saws) would have informed his Ummah about their value and the apparent meanings the Quran's theology would naturally conform with their principles.

          In this lecture Yasir Qadhi summarizes Fakhr al-Din al-Razi's Asaas al-Taqdis wherein he acknowledges a conflict between Aql & Naql and then goes on to suggest Tafwid & Ta'weel as a solution::

          Wa Alaykum as-Salam,

          My Sources
          • Tahafut al-Falasifah By Imam al-Ghazali - A brilliant work that highlights how the Falasifa were not upon reason, and explanation that Reason can never contradict Islam. Al-Ghazali goes on to explain much of what I have said in a far superior way.
          • Fiqh al-Akbar Attributed to Abu Hanifa, with commentary by Al-Magnisawi and Mulla Ali Qari, Supercommentary by AbdurRahman ibn Yusuf. It was from here I got the categorisation of speculative kalam.
          • Various other books that e.g. bringing criticism of Ibn Taymiyyah from the late Ottoman scholar Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthari etc.
          • Various lectures and interviews e.g. The Fatima Elizabeth Institute's interview of David Jalajel etc. This is a good explanation on the concept of Tawaqquf. David Jalajel categorises theological inquiry into three categories as opposed to two - but his third category is the domain of speculative kalam, and he explains that such speculation should not be done here and this is the realm of clear texts only. Asrar Rashid's lecture series of the Sanusi Creed in particular introduces one to rational thinking, the three rational judgements etc. As someone who has also studied logic in an academic setting, I found his lectures to be clear and to the point.
          Some Comments

          This article is reasonably balanced and gives an overview of how the various schools approach the ruling on Kalam:
          Article speaks exclusively from a Hanbali viewpoint so is not balanced. We can see this from the Article not actually mentioning the Ash'aris and Maturidi scholar's opinion on Kalam except to denigrate such an opinion. Also the article does not identify certain Ash'aris as Ash'aris e.g. al-Bayhaqi etc. I am in full agreement with what is quoted of al-Bayhaqi's view. Ibn Hajar's view was quoted and has nothing to do with Kalam.

          First off, Kalam is a broad term which could give the wrong impression if we pass a blank judgement over it.
          Which is why I used the categorisation of speculative and non-speculative, and talked about them both in different lights.

          Secondly, we would agree that the sound intellect could never disprove or contradict Islam in reality.
          You have stated this but I am not fully convinced you accept this. Insha'Allah we will put this to the test.

          However, where we clash is that we don't necessarily have an issue confirming an apparent conflict between Islamic theology and certain metaphysical (Kalam) arguments.
          Brother, could you please clarify what you mean by this? I assume what follows this is what you intend.

          The rational argument for God's exisstence commonly referred to as Burhan Huduth al-Ajsam is not 100% consistent with the theology of the Quran/Sunnah and general concensus of the Salaf.
          Your sentence has an interesting contradiction. First you state that the argument is rational, then you say it is inconsistent with the theology of the Quran and Sunnah. Surely this means either one of two things: Either you actually believe the argument is irrational or you believe the Quran is inconsistant with reason.

          This is because for the Quran to be in conformity with reason, it is not allowable for something that is rational to be inconsistent with the Qur'an.

          As far as I am aware there is no such inconsistency - an inconsistency could only arise from an incorrect understanding of, "the theology of the Quran/Sunnah and general consensus of the Salaf."

          Our response to the Ash'aris/Maturidis who will claim otherwise is that they have compromised the clear and consistent theology of the religion and fell victim to the blameworthy Kalam which the Salaf prohibited.
          I assume this is not actually your complete response as you do not show how they have done this. It is also not clear what you are refering to when you talk about "blameworthy Kalam" which the Salaf prohibited. If you say that, "Blameworthy Kalam" is "Kalam" that is irrational, illogical and thus leads to false beliefs then we are in agreement that if any such Kalam is like that then it necessarily blameworthy. Technically speaking, such "Kalam" is not actually Kalam...

          If you say that, "Blameworthy Kalam" means all Kalam and you mean to say that the Salaf prohibited all Kalam saying that it is blameworthy then that is simply false. In the article that you yourself quoted, al-Bayhaqi brings the point that Imam Shafi'i engaged in Kalam, and I agree with this as this is well known.

          To be clear, my definition of Kalam is dialectical reasoning i.e. rational discourse. By my definition, I would not admit anything irrational. I would simply state that such a person claiming such discourse to be Kalam is simply not Kalam. This point is made by Imam al-Ghazali at the beginning of Tahafut al-Falasifa where he makes the point that the philosophers could not use such reasoning to actually evidence their points as their points are flawed and have illogical and irrational assumptions thrown in.

          Ultimately the problem in this scenario is giving too much epistemic value to something that is apriori and speculative.
          Even though I have attacked speculative Kalam above, I will defend it here just to bring a simple point. My point is that no rational discourse, whether based on apriori reasoning or not, can lead to any belief contradicting Islam. If you think that apriori arguments will somehow lead to kufr, then please demonstrate this.

          The Kalam Cosmological argument is not explicit revelation or the criterion through which we can determine if something is true or irrational.
          Kalam =/= "Kalam Cosmological Argument"

          I assume you mean, "The use of rational discourse (Kalam) and logic (Mantiq) is not explicit revelation or the criterion through which we can determine if something is true or irrational"

          I disagree.

          But taking the concordist approach, let us assume you are correct.

          Then what is the criterion through which we determine if something is true or irrational?

          Surely you can bring your system of reason, whatever it is, and use it to criticise and dismantle dialectical reasoning and logic? Or you can show the flaws in them? If you cannot do this then you cannot say that they cannot be used to determine if something is true or irrational for then they would be unflawed systems of reason.

          I am sure you agree that one must utilise reason to accept the Quran and Sunnah in the first place.

          Had this been the case then I would have no doubt in my mind that the Prophet(saws) would have informed his Ummah about their value
          This assumes that Allah and the Prophet Alayhis Salam would need to inform the Ummah of such things that are obvious or intuitive.

          Anyway, this is a fallacy.

          The fallacy is, "If the Prophet Alayhis Salatu was-Salam did not mention X then X has no value"

          So did the Prophet Alayhis Salam inform the Sahabah how to perform mathematical equations? Did he teach them the natural sciences?

          By such reasoning, learning mathematics is prohibited. Applying it to the essential islamic sciences such as fiqh should be haram, according to such reasoning. What was al-Quduri thinking when mentioning a half, a third and a sixth in division in profits in the chapter relating to Sharikah? Why did the Muslims bother inventing compasses or making the necessary geometrical calculations to find the Qibla? Surely we should ignore the science of Chemistry which Rasulallah Alayhis Salam never taught? Right?

          I think we will both agree that this reasoning would lead us to prohibit things which are obviously not prohibited.

          and the apparent meanings the Quran's theology would naturally conform with their principles.
          I am intrigued by your use of the words, "apparent meaning," I think I will ask you a few questions in regard to this.

          Nevertheless I disagree with you and understand that the Quran does not contradict such reasoning. As you have brought the claim, the onus is upon you to show how the Quran contradicts such reasoning.

          In this lecture Yasir Qadhi summarizes Fakhr al-Din al-Razi's Asaas al-Taqdis wherein he acknowledges a conflict between Aql & Naql and then goes on to suggest Tafwid & Ta'weel as a solution::
          I am familiar with the lecture. Again, I will insha'Allah ask you some questions in regards to this.

          Some Questions for you
          1. What is the clear and explicit proof from the Qur'an and Sunnah that the Quran is uncreated? (By the way, I firmly believe it is kufr to say that the Qur'an is created)
          2. What are the "certain metaphysical arguments" you take issue with?
          3. To what extent do you believe that everything in Islam is in perfect conformity to reason?
          4. To be in perfect conformity to reason, would you agree that, "whatever contradicts Islam must contradict reason"?
          5. Since you agree Islam does not ever contradict reason, please could you show me how "certain metaphysical arguments", which contradict Islam according to you, contradict reason?
          6. Can you provide for me the sources for your aqeedah in relation to the Sifat al-Mutashabihat (e.g. YadAllah, WajhAllah etc.) according to the Quran, Sunnah and interpretation of righteous agreed-upon scholars within the first 3 generations in Islamic history (without commentary)?
          7. What exactly is the "blameworthy Kalam" that you say the Salaf prohibited, and can you bring sources from the first 300 years of Islamic history documenting in explicit terms such prohibition?
          8. How do you refute the one that says "Allah can shrink himself down and bring himself on the Earth as a man for us to worship in person? (But he will be a man unlike any other men)"
          9. How do you refute the one who denies human free will as he thinks it contradicts the divine Qadar?
          10. What is "Kalam Cosmological Argument" and to what extent do you think that I think that is what Kalam is (exclusively)?
          11. When Allah says in Surah Isra, verse 24, that the believers should lower their wings of humility - my question is why do you not take the apparent meaning?
          12. When Allah says in Surah Qaf, verse 16, that he is closer to us than the jugular vein, why do you not take the apparent meaning?
          13. When Allah is quoted in the Hadith found even in Bukhari (e.g. hadith 6181, Darussalam numbering), saying that he is ad-Dahr (Time), why do you not take the apparent meaning?
          14. When in the dua found in Sahih Muslim and Jami'at Tirmidhi, the Prophet Alayhis Salam says there is nothing lower than Allah, why do you not take the apparent meaning?
          May Allah give you Sabr.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by AmantuBillahi View Post
            The rational argument for God's exisstence commonly referred to as Burhan Huduth al-Ajsam is not 100% consistent with the theology of the Quran/Sunnah and general concensus of the Salaf. Our response to the Ash'aris/Maturidis who will claim otherwise is that they have compromised the clear and consistent theology of the religion and fell victim to the blameworthy Kalam which the Salaf prohibited.
            This is a claim that so called "Salafis" love to repeat, yet we see that many early scholars of Islam would explicitly praise the rational defense of the Sunna by the likes of Imam al-Ash'ari (d. 324 AH), his students and other than them.

            As for Burhan Huduth al-Ajsam: It means "proof for the createdness of [all] bodies" and what it basically shows is that all 3-dimensional beings and things are specified and therefore in need of someone who has specified them. It also shows that whatever is subject to changes has a beginning and is originated due to the impossibility of infinite regression and needs therefore an originator. These two points both necessitate the existence of the Creator.
            This is basically accepted by every Muslim intuitively.

            So the question is: Is your problem with the way of argumentation only or do you have a problem with the result itself, which is that all 3-dimensional things and beings are necessarily created?

            As for the "Salafi" Mashayikh: They have a problem with the result in itself, which is disbelief by agreement! We ask Allah ta'ala for well-being.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Abu Sulayman View Post
              As for Burhan Huduth al-Ajsam: It means "proof for the createdness of [all] bodies" and what it basically shows is that all 3-dimensional beings and things are specified and therefore in need of someone who has specified them. It also shows that whatever is subject to changes has a beginning and is originated due to the impossibility of infinite regression and needs therefore an originator. These two points both necessitate the existence of the Creator.
              This is basically accepted by every Muslim intuitively.
              Kalam arguments of Imam Al-Tabari (d. 310 AH) Proving the Existence of God

              Imam al-Tabari (d. 310 AH) said in his Tarikh al-Rusul wal Muluk 1/28 (translation taken from this article: "Kalam arguments of Imam Al-Tabari Proving the Existence of God"):

              ุงู„ู‚ูˆู„ ููŠ ุงู„ุฏู„ุงู„ุฉ ุนู„ู‰ ุฃู† ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุนุฒ ูˆุฌู„ ุงู„ู‚ุฏูŠู… ุงู„ุฃูˆู„ ู‚ุจู„ ุดูŠุก ูˆุฃู†ู‡ ู‡ูˆ ุงู„ู…ุญุฏุซ ูƒู„ ุดูŠุก ุจู‚ุฏุฑุชู‡ ุชุนุงู„ู‰ ุฐูƒุฑู‡
              ูู…ู† ุงู„ุฏู„ุงู„ุฉ ุนู„ู‰ ุฐู„ูƒ ุฃู†ู‡ ู„ุง ุดูŠุก ููŠ ุงู„ุนุงู„ู… ู…ุดุงู‡ุฏ ุฅู„ุง ุฌุณู… ุฃูˆ ู‚ุงุฆู… ุจุฌุณู…ุŒ ูˆุฃู†ู‡ ู„ุง ุฌุณู… ุฅู„ุง ู…ูุชุฑู‚ ุฃูˆ ู…ุฌุชู…ุนุŒ ูˆุฃู†ู‡ ู„ุง ู…ูุชุฑู‚ ู…ู†ู‡ ุฅู„ุง ูˆู‡ูˆ ู…ูˆู‡ูˆู… ููŠู‡ ุงู„ุงุฆุชู„ุงู ุฅู„ู‰ ุบูŠุฑู‡ ู…ู† ุฃุดูƒุงู„ู‡ุŒ ูˆู„ุง ู…ุฌุชู…ุน ู…ู†ู‡ ุฅู„ุง ูˆู‡ูˆ ู…ูˆู‡ูˆู… ููŠู‡ ุงู„ุงูุชุฑุงู‚ุŒ ูˆุฃู†ู‡ ู…ุชู‰ ุนุฏู… ุฃุญุฏู‡ู…ุง ุนุฏู… ุงู„ุขุฎุฑ ู…ุนู‡ุŒ ูˆุฃู†ู‡ ุฅุฐุง ุงุฌุชู…ุน ุงู„ุฌุฒุกุงู† ู…ู†ู‡ ุจุนุฏ ุงู„ุงูุชุฑุงู‚ุŒ ูู…ุนู„ูˆู… ุฃู† ุงุฌุชู…ุงุนู‡ู…ุง ุญุงุฏุซ ููŠู‡ู…ุง ุจุนุฏ ุฃู† ู„ู… ูŠูƒู†ุŒ ูˆุฃู† ุงู„ุงูุชุฑุงู‚ ุฅุฐุง ุญุฏุซ ููŠู‡ู…ุง ุจุนุฏ ุงู„ุงุฌุชู…ุงุนุŒ ูู…ุนู„ูˆู… ุฃู† ุงู„ุงูุชุฑุงู‚ ููŠู‡ู…ุง ุญุงุฏุซ ุจุนุฏ ุฃู† ู„ู… ูŠูƒู†.ูˆุฅุฐุง ูƒุงู† ุงู„ุฃู…ุฑ ููŠู…ุง ููŠ ุงู„ุนุงู„ู… ู…ู† ุดูŠุก ูƒุฐู„ูƒุŒ ูˆูƒุงู† ุญูƒู… ู…ุง ู„ู… ูŠุดุงู‡ุฏ ูˆู…ุง ู‡ูˆ ู…ู† ุฌู†ุณ ู…ุง ุดุงู‡ุฏู†ุง ููŠ ู…ุนู†ู‰ ุฌุณู… ุฃูˆ ู‚ุงุฆู… ุจุฌุณู…ุŒ ูˆูƒุงู† ู…ุง ู„ู… ูŠุฎู„ ู…ู† ุงู„ุญุฏุซ ู„ุง ุดูƒ ุฃู†ู‡ ู…ุญุฏุซ ุจุชุฃู„ูŠู ู…ุคู„ู ู„ู‡ ุฅู† ูƒุงู† ู…ุฌุชู…ุนุงุŒ ูˆุชูุฑูŠู‚ ู…ูุฑู‚ ู„ู‡ ุฅู† ูƒุงู† ู…ูุชุฑู‚ุง ูˆูƒุงู† ู…ุนู„ูˆู…ุง ุจุฐู„ูƒ ุฃู† ุฌุงู…ุน ุฐู„ูƒ ุฅู† ูƒุงู† ู…ุฌุชู…ุนุงุŒ ูˆู…ูุฑู‚ู‡ ุฅู† ูƒุงู† ู…ูุชุฑู‚ุง ู…ู† ู„ุง ูŠุดุจู‡ู‡ุŒ ูˆู…ู† ู„ุง ูŠุฌูˆุฒ ุนู„ูŠู‡ ุงู„ุงุฌุชู…ุงุน ูˆุงู„ุงูุชุฑุงู‚ุŒ ูˆู‡ูˆ ุงู„ูˆุงุญุฏ ุงู„ู‚ุงุฏุฑ ุงู„ุฌุงู…ุน ุจูŠู† ุงู„ู…ุฎุชู„ูุงุชุŒ ุงู„ุฐูŠ ู„ุง ูŠุดุจู‡ู‡ ุดูŠุกุŒ ูˆู‡ูˆ ุนู„ู‰ ูƒู„ ุดูŠุก ู‚ุฏูŠุฑ- ูุจูŠู† ุจู…ุง ูˆุตูู†ุง ุฃู† ุจุงุฑุฆ ุงู„ุฃุดูŠุงุก ูˆู…ุญุฏุซู‡ุง ูƒุงู† ู‚ุจู„ ูƒู„ ุดูŠุกุŒ ูˆุฃู† ุงู„ู„ูŠู„ ูˆุงู„ู†ู‡ุงุฑ ูˆุงู„ุฒู…ุงู† ูˆุงู„ุณุงุนุงุช ู…ุญุฏุซุงุชุŒ ูˆุฃู† ู…ุญุฏุซู‡ุง ุงู„ุฐูŠ ูŠุฏุจุฑู‡ุง ูˆูŠุตุฑูู‡ุง ู‚ุจู„ู‡ุงุŒ ุฅุฐ ูƒุงู† ู…ู† ุงู„ู…ุญุงู„ ุฃู† ูŠูƒูˆู† ุดูŠุก ูŠุญุฏุซ ุดูŠุฆุง ุฅู„ุง ูˆู…ุญุฏุซู‡ ู‚ุจู„ู‡ุŒ ูˆุฃู† ููŠ ู‚ูˆู„ู‡ ุชุนุงู„ู‰ ุฐูƒุฑู‡:ยซุฃูŽููŽู„ุง ูŠูŽู†ู’ุธูุฑููˆู†ูŽ ุฅูู„ูŽู‰ ุงู„ู’ุฅูุจูู„ู ูƒูŽูŠู’ููŽ ุฎูู„ูู‚ูŽุชู’ ูˆูŽุฅูู„ูŽู‰ ุงู„ุณู‘ูŽู…ุงุกู ูƒูŽูŠู’ููŽ ุฑูููุนูŽุชู’ ูˆูŽุฅูู„ูŽู‰ ุงู„ู’ุฌูุจุงู„ู ูƒูŽูŠู’ููŽ ู†ูุตูุจูŽุชู’ ูˆูŽุฅูู„ูŽู‰ ุงู„ู’ุฃูŽุฑู’ุถู ูƒูŽูŠู’ููŽ ุณูุทูุญูŽุชู’


              Chapter: The way to prove that Allah is Qadeem and first before everything, and that He is the originator of everything with His power.

              What proves this is is that there is nothing in the world that can be seen without it being either a body or subsisting in a body, and that bodies are either split or joint, and that split bodies have the potential to adjoin to become new bodies, and that joint bodies have the potential to be split, and that when one body no longer exists the one adjoined to it also no longer exists, and that when two separate parts of bodily nature meet then it is a new attribute they are associated with after having not been associated as such, and that when a body separates then it is a new attribute it is associated with after having not been associated as such.

              So if this is the system of whatever is in the world, and the law of the unseen and the seen is that it is either a body or subsisting in a body, and whatever has temporariness in it must have been orginated by an originator via an adjoiner adjoing it if it is a joined body or via a separater separating it if it is a separate body, and it is known through this that the adjoiner of joined bodies and separater of separate bodies is one who does not resemble such bodies, and adjoinment and separateness does not apply to Him, and He is the one, the powerful, the adjoiner between different things, the unresembling, powerful over all โ€“ then it is clear by what we have said that the creator of things was before every thing, and that the night, day, time and moments are originated, and that the originator of these is the one who regulates them and deals in them as He sees fit before they are created, because it is only possible that an originated thing comes after the presence of its originator, and that there is the highest standard of proof and the most evident evidence for the open-minded understanding person proving the beginningless-ness of its creator and the beginning-ness of anything that is of created nature and that they have a creator in the Quranic verse: โ€œDo they not look at the camels how they are made, and at the sky how it is raised high, and at the mountains how they are fixed firm, and at the earth how it is spread out?โ€

              - end of quote -


              He then clarifies why it's impossible that more than one God exists until he says in 1/30:.

              ูุชุจูŠู† ุฅุฐุง ุฃู† ุงู„ู‚ุฏูŠู… ุจุงุฑุฆ ุงู„ุฃุดูŠุงุก ูˆุตุงู†ุนู‡ุง ู‡ูˆ ุงู„ูˆุงุญุฏ ุงู„ุฐูŠ ูƒุงู† ู‚ุจู„ ูƒู„ ุดูŠุกุŒ ูˆู‡ูˆ ุงู„ูƒุงุฆู† ุจุนุฏ ูƒู„ ุดูŠุกุŒ ูˆุงู„ุฃูˆู„ ู‚ุจู„ ูƒู„ ุดูŠุกุŒ ูˆุงู„ุขุฎุฑ ุจุนุฏ ูƒู„ ุดูŠุกุŒ ูˆุฃู†ู‡ ูƒุงู† ูˆู„ุง ูˆู‚ุช ูˆู„ุง ุฒู…ุงู†ุŒ ูˆู„ุง ู„ูŠู„ ูˆู„ุง ู†ู‡ุงุฑุŒ ูˆู„ุง ุธู„ู…ุฉ ูˆู„ุง ู†ูˆุฑ ุฅู„ุง ู†ูˆุฑ ูˆุฌู‡ู‡ ุงู„ูƒุฑูŠู… ูˆู„ุง ุณู…ุงุก ูˆู„ุง ุฃุฑุถุŒ ูˆู„ุง ุดู…ุณ ูˆู„ุง ู‚ู…ุฑ ูˆู„ุง ู†ุฌูˆู…ุŒ ูˆุฃู† ูƒู„ ุดูŠุก ุณูˆุงู‡ ู…ุญุฏุซ ู…ุฏุจุฑ ู…ุตู†ูˆุนุŒ ุงู†ูุฑุฏ ุจุฎู„ู‚ ุฌู…ูŠุนู‡ ุจุบูŠุฑ ุดุฑูŠูƒ ูˆู„ุง ู…ุนูŠู† ูˆู„ุง ุธู‡ูŠุฑุŒ ุณุจุญุงู†ู‡ ู…ู† ู‚ุงุฏุฑ ู‚ุงู‡ุฑ

              So it is clear that the Qadeem, the creator of things and their maker, is He who was before everything, He shall remain after everything, He is the First before everything, and the Last after everything, and He was when there was no time, era, day, night, darkness, light (except for the light of His Magnificent Face), sky, earth, sun, moon or stars, and that everything apart from him is created, regulated and made. He was alone in all their creation without partner, helper or supporter. He, the Powerful and Dominant, is free from blemish!
              - end of quote -

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Muhammad Hasan View Post
                Your sentence has an interesting contradiction. First you state that the argument is rational, then you say it is inconsistent with the theology of the Quran and Sunnah. Surely this means either one of two things: Either you actually believe the argument is irrational or you believe the Quran is inconsistant with reason.

                This is because for the Quran to be in conformity with reason, it is not allowable for something that is rational to be inconsistent with the Qur'an.

                As far as I am aware there is no such inconsistency - an inconsistency could only arise from an incorrect understanding of, "the theology of the Quran/Sunnah and general consensus of the Salaf."
                I have already mentioned that the problem here is giving too much epistemic value to something that is apriori and speculative. What you are doing here is conflating between the "sound intellect" and "rationalism". Rationalism is a branch of philosophy that is apriori and speculative in nature. The Kalam arguments for the proof and existence of God fall under this branch of metaphysics and philosophy. Contradicting these arguments - as the Dhahir theology of the Quran/Sunnah and the general concensus of the Salaf do - doesn't entail that the religion is irrational or untrue. This is because what it is conflicting with is in essence apriori and speculative. It is not empirical or certain. Many of the great philosophers like Immanuel Kant and before him, Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, have highlighted this point in their attempt to put Aql in its proper place.

                I don't mean to be rude but I don't "have the Sabr" to reply back to everything you said. I work 40 hours a week and you would have to pay me to take a day off work to answer every one of your quesstions. This classification of speculative vs non-speculative Kalam is also false.

                Here's a quote of a great Aalim from the Salaf Uthmaan al-Darimi (d. 255) on the relationship between the Aql & the Naql:


                Some of them have said, โ€œNo, we base our view on the rational (ma`qลซl).โ€

                We say: it is here that you have strayed from the right path and fallen into misguidance from which you have no escape, for reason (ma`qลซl) is not a monolithic entity with uniformly defined limits for all people such that it would be sufficient. If such were the case, it would be a relief for the people and we would also base our view upon it and go no further. In that case, Allฤh would not have said:

                โ€œEach sect rejoices in what it has.โ€ [Al-Muโ€™minลซn:53]

                Thus, we find that according to each group, the โ€œrationalโ€ (ma`qลซl) is that which they are upon while that which opposes them they regard to be โ€œirrationalโ€ (majhลซl). Consequently, O assembly of Jahmฤซs, we find your factions to be in dispute as to what is โ€œrationalโ€. Each faction amongst you claims that reason is with it and that is calling to it, while that which opposes it is irrational. Thus, having seen that โ€œreasonโ€ is disputed amongst us and you and all the People of Desires, we have not been able to find a precise definition for it in all things. Consequently, we hold that the most guided way is to refer all manners of reasoning to the order of Allฤhโ€™s Messenger (ุตู„ู‰ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุนู„ูŠู‡ ูˆุณู„ู…) and to that which was considered rational by his Companions and was well-known amongst them, because it was in their midst that the revelation would descend. Hence, they are more knowledgeable of its meanings than you or us. Furthermore, they were in agreement about the fundamentals of the religion (Usลซl al-Dฤซn). They did not divide into factions concerning them, innovations did not appear amongst them nor desires which lead one astray from the path.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by AmantuBillahi View Post
                  The Kalam arguments for the proof and existence of God fall under this branch of metaphysics and philosophy. Contradicting these arguments - as the Dhahir theology of the Quran/Sunnah and the general concensus of the Salaf do - doesn't entail that the religion is irrational or untrue.
                  I just wanted to reiterate that the Dhahir of the Quran/Sunnah/Salaf only conflicts with some Kalam arguments and not all of them. The contingency argument is generally accepted by most Atharis who sympathize with the Aqeedah of Shaykh al-Islam. The Kalam Cosmological Argument via Burhan Huduth al-Ajsam - which every deviant Kalam group accepted and incorporated in their understanding of Allah's Names & Attributes - is inconsistent with the God that described in the Quran & Sunnah. Instead of forcing the Quran to agree with you through Tafwid and Ta'weel, the more sincere approach would be to reject this proof or leave Islam and become a Deist. They both can't be true in reality at the exact same time.

                  Here's a lecture from Shaykh Yasir Qadhi which explains the issue at hand:

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AmantuBillahi View Post

                    I have already mentioned that the problem here is giving too much epistemic value to something that is apriori and speculative. What you are doing here is conflating between the "sound intellect" and "rationalism". Rationalism is a branch of philosophy that is apriori and speculative in nature. The Kalam arguments for the proof and existence of God fall under this branch of metaphysics and philosophy. Contradicting these arguments - as the Dhahir theology of the Quran/Sunnah and the general concensus of the Salaf do - doesn't entail that the religion is irrational or untrue. This is because what it is conflicting with is in essence apriori and speculative. It is not empirical or certain. Many of the great philosophers like Immanuel Kant and before him, Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, have highlighted this point in their attempt to put Aql in its proper place.
                    "Dhahir theology"?! Does this so called "dhahir theology" tell you that God maybe a 3-dimensional being and maybe subject to changes in His Self?! If yes, then this is paganism and not Islam.

                    As for Immanuel Kant: The West became atheists thanks to this man!
                    He claimed that the existance of God can NOT be proven rationally nor disproven, but itโ€™s more logical to assume that He exists.

                    This is why the issue of believing in God became step by step one of "blind belief" and not something established with absolute certainty by reason in the minds of the people of the West!

                    How a Muslim could even defend such Kufriyyat - or something that step by step leads to atheism! - is beyond me.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The classical scholars did not categorically prohibit philosophy as we understand the term in the contemporary sense. Take a look at this link https://www.islamiqate.com/3373/did-...-of-philosophy

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