Posts Tagged ‘Creed’

The Sunnis Versus the Quasi-Salafis

August 18, 2010

I want to, in-sha’ Allah, shed a little more clarity on the controversy between the Sunni `aqidah and that of the quasi-salafis (Wahhabis).  Sadly, many of those who profess to follow traditional Sunni scholarship and `aqidah have only exacerbated the confusion, for they (these pseudo-tradtionalists) have now tried to “close the door” on discussing matters of kufr (disbelief) and riddah (apostasy).  None of this, of course, should be very surprising given that one of their main propagators/institutions has now refused to call even Christians and Jews of this era “disbelievers and kuffar” without a great deal of equivocation—that’s if they are willing to do so at all (and I am not talking about the genuine followers of Jesus or Moses of the past—I am talking about those people who today ascribe to Allah non-befitting attributes and deem that our Messenger Muhammad lied about his Prophethood—such people aren’t Muslim; hence they are kuffar (disbelievers)).

Every (genuine) Muslim believes that Allah is One and that there is only correct belief in Allah.  If the person does not have the correct belief in Allah, then he is not a Muslim.  Plain and simple.  Consequently, you cannot have two people who self-identify as Muslims, yet they have two opposing and contradictory beliefs in Allah—for they would be praying to two different beings.   They may both be, but one must necessarily be, wrong.  This requires us to establish what the correct belief in Allah is, and as a result, we will know what the wrong belief(s) in Allah are.

Allah is One; Allah is Incomparable; Allah is Free-of-Need; Allah is Omnipotent; Allah is Omniscient; Allah is the One and Only Creator.  Nothing is to be except what Allah wills.  The quasi-salafis would not disagree with those statements mentioned above (although they do, in reality disagree with their implications).  It should be obvious that the Creed that is rationally consistent and consonant with the Qur’an and Hadith is superior to the creed that contradicts the Qur’an and Sunnah and is riddled with logical absurdities.  The Sunnis say that there is nothing in our belief in Allah that contradicts the judgment of reason.  We can start from two premises (that the quasi-salafi is forced to agree with, at least on the surface) to demonstrate the inconsistencies of the Wahhabi doctrine.  The Sunnis say:

1.  Allah ABSOLUTELY does not resemble the creations (112:4, 16:74; 42:11).

2.  Allah ABSOLUTELY does not need the creations (112:2; 29:6; 3:97)

These are two premises derived not from “falasafee,” but, as we can see, from the Qur’an itself.  The Sunni scholars derived from the above Verses the principles that (1) Allah is not an object (or spatial entity) and (2) that Allah exists without being in a location (not in one particular place, nor in all places).  If Allah had been an object or a spatial entity, then Allah would share in common qualities that are shared in common with the creations Simply look at the things around you: they are objects that exist in space.  Allah ABSOLUTELY does not resemble the creations; hence, Allah is not an object and Allah is not in space.

Furthermore, Allah absolutely does not need the creations.  Allah is not a location (or direction).  Location (place/direction) is something other than Allah.  And since everything that exists other than Allah is a creation, and Allah does not need the creations, then it should be evident to all that Allah exists without being in a location or direction.  Furthermore, the thing that is in a location requires a specified amount of space to exist.  Allah does not require any of the creations for His Existence (including, space or place), for Allah is Incomparable and Free-of-Need.

LOST IN SEMANTICS

Why do the Wahhabis believe Allah is a giant spatial entity located above their heads?  The Wahhabis (quasi-salafis) believe such because they insisted on a (selectively) literalist doctrine.  They innovated a rule that says that all the Verses (and Hadith) referring to Allah have to be taken at “face value”—that is, they (claim to) reject the idiomatic nature of the Arabic language.  However, even with this premise, they are inconsistent.  They do not take Verses that (if taken literally would) mean: Allah is closer to us than out jugular veins (50:18); or that Allah forgets (45:34); or that Allah is everywhere (57:4); or that Allah is below us (96:19); or that Allah is a giant illumination that fills up the Heavens and Earth (24:35); etc.  in their literal sense.  The same can be said about numerous Hadiths for which the quasi-salafis reject literal interpretations.

What the Wahhabis did is read the Verses that refer to Allah as being “above” or “high” in their literal sense (while ignoring those Verses that if taken literally would say otherwise).  The Wahhabis took this position because of their erroneous assumptions about Allah (that is, they assumed Allah to be an object of some sort, and that Allah requires space for His Existence) and their general weakness in the Arabic language (or English language, for that matter).  When the Sunnis say Allah is Al-`Aliyy (“The Most High”) they are referring to the Glory, Perfection, Holiness, and STATUS of Allah—they do not mean a literal location or direction.   Just as in the olden days when the English subjects of the crown referred to the king as “their royal HIGHNESS,” they did not mean that the king occupied the highest location in the kingdom, but that he had the highest social STATUS (at least according to them).

Another semantic problem of the Wahhabis is the absurd of claiming to take the Verses “literally” and then in the same breath reject the literal meaning.  The Arabic language is vast.  A single word may contain a dozen or more meanings.  The Wahhabis claim that Allah has a literal “Face,” “Eyes,” “Fingers,” “two right Hands,” one “Shin” and a “pair of  Feet” (on the comparatively small Kursiyy).   Now all of us who know English know that, for instance, a “face” (in its literal—non-figurative sense) is the “front part of the head” and that hands are the “organs of grasping beginning at our wrists.”  Imam Al-Qushayri (a genuine Sufi and Sunni scholar of `Aqidah) said that it is absurd to claim that Allah has a literal shin (saaq) and then turn around and say that this alleged literal shin is not a bone in the lower leg.   Similarly one can’t say Allah has a literal front part of the head, but it’s not a front part of the head.  Either one means that Allah has literal limbs, organs, and appendages that is, one believes Allah is an object (which is tashbeeh and disbelief)—OR—one does not mean that Allah literally has a face, fingers, eyes, shin, etc.  And if they do not mean that Allah has a literal face, fingers, eyes, shin, then the quasi-salafis shouldn’t (mis)translate Verses and Hadiths and say that Allah does.

Furthermore, we see the Wahhabis get lost in translation.  If one opens even an Arabic-English dictionary, such as, Hans Wehr or Al-Mawrid (which are by NO MEANS comprehensive Arabic dictionaries), we see that the term “Wajh” (what the Wahhabis claim is a “face when attributed to Allah) has about TWENTY-FIVE meanings listed in Al-Mawrid.  The term “saaq,” (from Al-Qalam, 42), which the Wahhabis attempt to use to “prove” that “Allah will show off the front part of His (alleged) lower leg” (that is, a shin), actually means “the matter became difficult,” (page 443, Hans Wehr—the idiom of “showing the shin,” kashaf `an saaq is sort of like the English phrase “roll up your sleeves”).

Contrary to the claims of the quasi-salafis, the Sunnis do not “deny the Attributes of Allah.”   We confirm what Allah ascribed to Himself IN THE ARABIC LANGUAGE.   Allah is attributed with “Yad,” “Wajh,” “`Ayn,” etc.—FULL STOP—while being absolutely certain that none these Attributes refer to something with bodily or spatial characteristics.  Or, we can follow the method of many of the Sunni scholars, including the Salaf, such as, `Abdullah ibn `Abbas, At-Tabari, and Mujahid: we can apply an ACCEPTABLE specific meaning (or translation) for these Attributes that conforms with the Arabic language AND conforms with two of the basic premises of the `Aqidah: (1) Allah ABSOLUTELY does not resemble the creations (2) Allah ABSOLUTELY does not need the creations; hence, any meaning that would lead to ascribing to Allah the attributes of objects and bodies or implying that Allah is in space or a location is categorically rejected.

In conclusion, Allah is One—that is, Allah is Unique, Allah has no partners, Allah is not a body or object composed of parts.  The True Creed is one and the same among the Muslims: Our Lord is too Great and Glorious to be ascribed with the deficiencies of being in a place or direction, for Allah is the Creator of all places and directions and Allah does not need the things He created.  Again, this matter is not complicated to understand.  Sadly, however, there are pseudo-traditionalists out on the circuit who seem bent on making the most elementary matters of Imaan and kufr as obscure as possible.  And on the other hand, we have those who have fallen for the corporealist and anthropomorphic Najdi doctrine from the Saudi Arabia kingdom.  May Allah make us among people of the moderate way—those who make a just distinction between Imaan and kufr, who enjoin good and forbid evil, and do so with sincerity and wisdom and without transgression.

With Allah is the success.

What is Kufr?

August 5, 2009

What is Kufr?

By swarthmoor

 

There has been a recent trend among quasi-traditionalist writers and speakers that promotes an ideology that undermines the very foundation of Islam—namely, an ideology that attempts to erase the distinction between Iman (Faith or Belief) and kufr (disbelief)—that is, to confuse the distinction between the Muslims and the disbelievers.  The Believers (i.e., the Muslims) are clearly defined in the Qur’an.  Al-Hujarat, 15 means:

 

The Believers are only those who believe in Allah and His Messenger [Prophet Muhammad] and have no doubt.   

 

Abu Hanifah said: “Iman [Faith or Belief] and Islam are inseparable.  Every Muslim is a Believer, and every Believer is a Muslim.”  Faith (Iman) is to believe correctly in Allah, and to believe correctly in the Messenger of Allah (Prophet Muhammad).  Believing correctly in Allah entails believing in One Perfect Beginningless Creator, Who is the Creator of everything, and absolutely does not need anything.  Allah is Incomparable.  Allah is unimaginable.  Allah is not a material or spiritual being.  Allah is Eternal and not subject to development or change.  Allah existed before time, direction, or space.  Allah is the Creator of time, direction, and space; hence, Allah is not in time, direction, or space.

 

Believing in Prophet Muhammad entails believing he was truthful in everything he conveyed from Allah, whether it be the matters of the unseen (such as, the Angelic realm), the previous Prophets and Messengers, the (authentic) Divine Books, the events of the Afterlife, such as, the Judgment Day and the ultimate dwelling in Paradise or Hell.  Also, one must accept the superiority of the Sacred Law that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad. 

 

Furthermore, one must also believe that all the Prophets were men of outstanding character and righteousness.  All the Prophets were Muslims; they were truthful, honorable, virtuous, handsome, courageous, intelligent, and wise men who called people to the correct belief in the Creator.  Allah supported the Prophets with miracles to demonstrate their truthfulness in what they conveyed.  Never did any of the Prophets commit disbelief, enormities, or sins that would indicate baseness of character.  Allah has informed us of their truthfulness; hence, we must believe in all of them. 

 

Kufr (disbelief) is the opposite of Iman (Faith).  Linguistically, kufr is derived from the verbal root k-f-r, which literally means “to conceal or cover.”  However, in the terminology of Islamic Doctrine, anyone who does not have Iman (Faith) commits kufr (disbelief).  The person who commits disbelief is called a kafir (pl. kafirun, kafirin, kuffar).  Hence, every non-Muslim, whether atheist, agnostic, Jew, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Zoroastrian, or the like is a kafir.  This is mentioned in the Qur’an:

 

Whoever does not believe in Allah and His Messenger [Muhammad], then certainly Allah has prepared for the disbelievers (kafirin) a raging fire.  (Al-Fath, 13)

 

There are three general categories of disbelief:

 

A) Ta`til: the denial of Allah’s Attributes, such as, for one to claim that Allah does not know everything, or to claim that Allah is not the Creator of everything.

 

B) Tashbih: the resembling of Allah to the creations in one way or another, such as, claiming (or believing) that Allah is an idol, the sun, the moon, a human, a light, or that Allah has a form, or that Allah exists in a direction, location, or time.

 

C) Takdhib: the belying or rejecting what is well-established and commonly known in the Religion, such as, the obligation of the five daily prayers, fasting during Ramadan, the hijab for the woman, and the prohibition of alcohol, stealing, murder, fornication, and homosexuality.  (It is important to note that simply doing a prohibition or neglecting an obligation does not constitute disbelief (kufr) unless one deems the sin permissible, for deeming the sins permissible is, in essence, rejecting what Allah revealed, and the one who rejects what Allah has revealed can’t be considered a Muslim.)

 

Other examples of disbelief (kufr) would be for a person to mock the Sunnah of the Prophet, to intentionally throw the Qur’an or other religious material in the trash, or to assist another to commit disbelief.

 

The disbelievers are of two general categories: those who are legally accountable (mukallaf) and those who are not.  Any non-Muslim who is sane, pubescent, and has heard the Shahadah (Declaration of Faith) in a language he understands is considered an accountable kafir, and is obligated to immediately embrace Islam.  On the other hand, if the non-Muslim was prepubescent, insane, or never heard the Declaration of Faith, then he is not accountable.  

     

As for the accountable disbeliever (kafir), if he dies in such a state, he will have no reward in the Hereafter.  Al `Imran, 85 means:

 

Whoever elects for himself a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from him, and he will be among the losers in the Hereafter.

 

Furthermore, the Qur’an promises the (accountable) disbelievers everlasting torture in Hell.  Al-Baqarah, 161-162 means:

 

Surely, those who disbelieve and die while they are disbelievers (kuffar), upon them is the curse of Allah and the angels and men; condemned therein forever, their punishment shall not be lessened.  

 

Because some extremists have made takfir (deemed others kafir) without justification, does not mean that Muslims should become apologists and abandon making a distinction between Believers (i.e., Muslims) and disbelievers (i.e., kuffar).  Nonetheless, in making this distinction, it does not justify acts of terror and murder in the name of “Islam.”  To the contrary, Muslims must be moderate and learn their Religion according to the genuine traditional methodology of Sunni Islamic scholarship.  Muslims in the West should work diligently to invite non-Muslims to Islam with good manners and by demonstrating the truthfulness of the Islamic doctrine. Furthermore, Muslims should be magnanimous and forbearing in their dealings with other members of the society–but without distorting or compromising their Faith.

Summary of Islamic Knowledge Lesson 5

December 13, 2008

summary-lesson-5   (AUDIO)

This is another full length lesson regarding the matters of the Islamic Creed.

At-Tahawi vs. The Apologists 3 (AUDIO)

December 2, 2008

at-tahawiyy-30-more-on-apologists

Part Three of the refutation of the quasi-Muslim Apologists.

Bilal Philips EXPOSED (Audio Lesson)

December 2, 2008

at-tahawiyy-26-refutation-of-bilal-philips

 

This is a lesson dedicated to the refutation of Bilal Philips, who claims that Allah is a giant body that lives above our heads.  Allah is the Creator of space and direction.  Allah existed before space and direction and does not occupy space or direction.

At-Tahawi and Predestination

December 2, 2008

at-tahawiyy-24-more-on-destiny1

 

Another lesson from the famous Sunni Salaf scholar, Abu Ja`far At-Tahawiyy on the Islamic Creed.

At-Tahawi 25 A Lesson on the `Arsh and Kursiyy

December 2, 2008

at-tahawiyy-25-arsh-and-kursiyy

 

A lesson from At-Tahawi regarding the `Arsh and Kursiyy and a clarification regarding those who believe Allah exists above or upon these objects.

Lesson 4 from Summary of Islamic Knowledge (Audio)

November 23, 2008

summary-4 

This is a lesson from the Fard-ul-`Ayn Knowledge (knowledge required for every legally accountable person) related to the matters of the Creed.

At-Tahawi #22 Destiny (AUDIO)

January 29, 2008

At-Tahawi #22

A lesson on the belief in the Qadar (Destiny) of Allah.

At-Tahawi #21 The Covenant

January 19, 2008

At-Tahawi 21

A lesson on the Covenant God made with the human souls. The state of Fitrah is discussed.

At-Tahawi #20 The Night Journey and Ascension of the Prophet (Audio)

January 12, 2008

At-Tahawi #20

A short lesson on the Israa’ and Mi`raaj of Prophet Muhammad.

At-Tahawi #19 Allah Exists Without Direction (Audio)

January 10, 2008

at-tahawiyy-19-allah-is-clear-of-directions

An explanation of the famous saying of Abu Ja`far At-Tahawiyy:

“Allah is clear of all boundaries, extremities, sides, organs, other body parts/devices.  None of the six directions contain Allah as is the case with all the created entities.”

At-Tahawi #18 Explanation of Aal `Imraan, 7 AUDIO (continued)

January 8, 2008

This is a continuation of Lesson #17 and a refutation of those who distort the Verses of the Quran and Hadith.

At-Tahawi #17 Aal `Imran, 7 and the Mutashaabih Verses

January 7, 2008

At-Tahawi #17

This is a lesson on the methodology of how the Sunni Muslims interpret the Mutashaabih (“figurative”) Verses of the Qur’an and the Hadith of the Prophet.  This is a critical lesson to help one understand the difference between the Islamic belief and that of the quasi-Salafis (Wahhabis).

At-Tahawi #16 The Tanzih of Allah (AUDIO)

January 5, 2008

 At-Tahawi #16

“Tanzih” is the belief that Allah is ABSOLUTELY Free-of-Need and ABSOLUTELY Incomparable.  This is the core of the Islamic Doctrine and distinguishes genuine Islam from various deviant factions, such as the Mushabbihah–those who resemble Allah to the creation (either implicitly or explicitly).

At-Tahawi #14 Beatific Vision

January 2, 2008

At-Tahawi #14 Beatific Vision (Audio)

This lesson discusses the Islamic doctrine that God will be seen by the Muslims when the Muslims are in Paradise–without Allah being in a direction or location or a distance, an without Allah having dimensions or shape.

At-Tahawi 13 A Refutation of Anthropomorphism

December 31, 2007

Refutation of Anthropomorphism

This is a short lesson/refutation of some contemporary quasi-Islamic groups who hold anthropomorphic convictions about the Creator.

At-Tahawi #12 Ahlus-Sunnah and the Kalaam Controversy

December 31, 2007

Kalaam Controversy #3

This is the last lesson in this section of At-Tahawi on the Kalaam Controversy.

At-Tahawi #9 The Kalaam of Allah (pt. 1 of 2)

December 17, 2007

At-Tahawi #9 The Kalaam of Allah (pt. 1 of 2)This is the first of two parts on the matter of the Kalaam of Allah. If anyone has questions about this topic, please feel free to ask.

At-Tahawi 8 The Miracles

December 15, 2007

At-Tahawi 8 The Miracles

A short lesson on the miracles of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) and the concept of tawatur.

At-Tahawi #7 Prophet Muhammad

December 14, 2007

At-Tahawi #7 The Prophet

The first lesson in At-Tahawi about Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam).

At-Tahawiyy #6 The Jabriyyah and Mu`tazilah

December 14, 2007

At-Tahawi #6 The Jabriyyah and Mu`tazilah

A lesson regarding the position of Ahlus-Sunnah and the position of two deviant factions: the Jabriyyah and the Mu`tazilah.

At-Tahawiyy #5 Audio Lesson on the Islamic Creed

December 14, 2007

A lesson on the Absolute Incomparability of Allah.

At-Tahawiyy #5 Audio Lesson on the Islamic Creed