shaykh asrar, arnold mol and nazzam

Discussion in 'Aqidah/Kalam' started by Aqdas, Nov 30, 2017.

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  1. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    if you are posting this yourself, you probably should go back to studying.

    if this is the response by arnold on facebook, then:

    of course, imam abu'l Hasan al-ash'ari was a student of jubbayi. and he - imam abu'l Hasan - abandoned mutazilah to become a sunni and then aided the madh'hab of ahl al-sunnah so much that eventually, it became synonymous with his madh'hab.

    regardless of specific issues, the elephant in the room, is that the mutazilah denied many beliefs which could not be explained rationally or which appeared to contradict the literal meaning of qur'anic verses. like the issue of ru'yah - seeing Allah ta'ala.

    wa yansawna'n na'yima idha ra'awhu
    fa ya khusrana ahli'l iytizali.

    the madh'hab of the ash'ayirah is the madh'hab of ahl al-sunnah. and when we speak of imam abu'l hasan al-ash'ari, we speak POST his mutazili period. many texts that mention his conversion, also mention that it was on account of an argument with jubbayi, 'and then he abandoned that madh'hab'. in the link you have posted AND someone has already underlined:


    if you read the thabat, it reaches imam ahl al-sunnah, abu'l Hasan; and about HIM, it says - first he studied with jubbayi and then he abandoned his madh'hab to aid the ahl al-sunnah.

    many companions abandoned disbelief - many converts to islam in our time abandoned their own previous beliefs. would you say that their islamic viewpoint evolved from their previous belief?

    my diagram and contention is just as you have quoted: those who came to be known as ash'ari and maturidi WERE/ARE the ahl al-sunnah - regardless of imam abu'l hasan joining in late, but he came back to ahl al-sunnah and aided this madh'hab.

    Allah ta'ala knows best.
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  2. qadribarakati

    qadribarakati Banned

    Shaykh Abu Hasan, this is from the Thabat of Shaykh Al-Islam Hafiz Ibn Hajar Haytami Makki






    Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Hajar Haytami Makki is listing his chain or link as he puts through Imam Fakhr Al-Din Razi to Imam Abul Hasan Al-Ashari who took from Abu Ali Al-Jubbai. This is mentioned in the above link. ​
  3. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    let us be a little academic here guys. A-C-A-D-E-M-I-C okay?

    now arnold posted three pages from tabSiratu'l adillah, claiming imam nasafi states that maturidi supported dirar and najjar.

    i will come to the actual passage, but i have to argue about the concept first. now, please tell me - with all your academic license - how 'supported the view' translates to 'followed their view'?

    the quote arnold refers to is on p72. arnold's pic is quite readable, but i have posted a clearer picture of the full page below. but for our argument let us take the passage in question.

    tabsirah 1-72p.jpg

    in this passage imam abu'l muyin says:

    and shaykh al-imam abu manSur raHimahullah, even though he was a slightly inclined towards this view, as claimed by those who professed this view [arbabu hadha'l qawl] that, the affirmation/existence of a thing which is self-subsisting externally is not a compound of these accidents [a'araD] which we have explained and external to feeling; thus, there is no comprehending a thing by senses except these accidents we have explained. and about this viewpoint, he stated his ruling which appears to be an inclination [towards that viewpoint], YET - in spite of this, he did not prefer it for himself as his own viewpoint.

    let us not bother about the issue per se. clearly imam nasafi NEGATES it as madh'hab of imam abu manSur. but academics want us to believe otherwise.

    even if he had not categorically rejected that it was the madh'hab of imam maturidi according to his own statement, STILL mere "rakana" would not prove your point that imam maturidi followed mutazilis - najjar or naZZam or whoever. it only says, he 'appears' to 'incline' towards this view.

    moreover even the place where he says 'inclined' he emphasises that he was: "only slightly inclined" to admit this view.

    and hey, your claim was that imam maturidi followed naZZam's atomism. where did najjar and co. fall from?

    before we discuss p.71, let us go back to p.70 (which you did not upload). because that falsifies your first claim that imam abu manSur followed naZZam. please take a look:

    tabsirah, 1-70a.jpg

    imam abu mu'yin did NOT even hint here that imam abu manSur was 'inclined' towards the atomism of naZZam.

    Allah ta'ala knows best.

    full page scan. tabSirah al-adillah, vol.1/p.72

    tabsirah 1-72fp.jpg
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
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  4. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    am a bit busy to do an analysis - which in sha'Allah, i will, but am a bit busy in other things, and this will be done over time. wa billahi't tawfiq. until then, i made a small diagram (because if your paper is illustrated with diagrams, it is carries more weight).

    this is an assumption, implicit accusation and another inaccurate premise. in other words, he asks - "if not from mutazilah, then from where else?" thus providing the answer as well: "since they have to evolve from something, it was mutazilah". [i was tempted to pun, saying obviously there had to be a muHdith, else how can there be a haadith...]

    frankly, ahl al-sunnah existed; from then, until now. when the mutazilah departed from the ahl al-sunnah, sunnis responded to them and other sects. ahl al-sunnah, who eventually came to be known as ash'ari maturidi, did not ARISE or EVOLVE from mutazili thought or any other sect. it wasn't like someone in the middle of the third century (~250 AH) said, "hey, let us start a school" and they looked around and said: 'that one. that nazzam's makes lotsa sense, let us take their syllabus and improve it..'

    it never happened that way.

    mutazilis were refuted from the time they split. as they added more and more heresies, likewise, sunni ulama responded accordingly, but their basic set of beliefs remained the ahl al-sunnah. modern academics may disagree (as if they actually KNOW what happened), but we have no reason to believe otherwise.

    see? it hurt. i can see it. why? is it because i cannot form a theory about you and your 'learning' merely reading a few facebook posts?

    but you can construct the motivations and their following and their belief system - out of a few statements found in books attributed to them?

    come'on, play fair.

    this is the style of blind shooting i HATE. people just waltz into another area - my contention is that ahl al-sunnah did not follow the mutazilis. neither the ashayirah, nor the maturidiyyah. if certain points of aqidah/kalam against ahl al-sunnah, they didn't disagree just because it was said by the mutazilah. why, there are dozens of issues in which we agree with wahabis - but that doesn't make us wahabi followers.

    you can write your article, but my contention was never that everything mutazilah said was rejected. i objected to specific points like imam maturidi followed nazzam (and i was still not done with the original posts - like the aSlaH/Hikmah which according arnold, imam maturidi took the aSlah concept and converted it to Hikmah). the other is an life-long annoyance with modern academics who reduce a lifetime of a person to a few anecdotes and build an edifice of phd thesis about the raison d'etre of the protagonist. and to illustrate that point, i will pick out an interview of arnold and write a biography about him. see how it looks to you. [this is not a promise, but if push comes to show(sic) i will; wa billahi't tawfiq].

    even the mutazilis themselves made takfir of nazzam.

    whether it is chaotic is an opinion. you are entitled to yours. 'dance' i actually don't. i consider it haram. simple facts; i have provided myself - and who is dancing now? will examine other dropped herrings too.

    meanwhile here is the evolutionary aspect in diagram.

    [updated to v2; update2: corrected a spelling mistake]

    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
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  5. Harris786

    Harris786 Veteran

    Arnold Yasin Mol
    So I responded to Shaykh Asrar (who I respect) when he said that the Maturidi did not take anything from the Mu'tazilah, and that the Maturidi did not differ with the Ash'ari except only semantically. I stated just some small facts which people seemingly do not want to hear:

    A.) al-Maturidi's concept of atomic nature (taba') was taken from the Mu'tazilah al-Nazzam and Dirar and Najjar. This is a fact stated by Abu Nu'im al-Nasafi in his al-Tabsirat (see photos) where al-Maturidi supported (rakan) this minority opinion (al-Qawl qalil). There are many more examples to give.

    B.) Abu Hassan al-Ash'ari followed the Basran Mu'tazilah, especially his teacher al-Juba'i, when it comes to occasionalism. The idea of Majaz (metaphorical interpretation) is Mu'tazilite in origins and further developed by the Ash'ari.

    C.) The Maturidi and Ash'ari do not differ just semantically, there are several major differences. The Maturidi are Ahl al-Mubah, who believe that everything in its essence (asl) is beneficial (munafa'a) and permitted (mubah), an opinion also followed by the Mu'tazilah, as they share the same Hanafi background of Natural Law ethics (as I have discussed here: The Ash'ari are generally vehement opponents of the Ahl al-Mubah position, especially al-Razi and al-Qurtubi reject it in their tafsir on verse 2:29. This difference is not just semantically, it postulates two different cosmologies: one wherein creation has an inherent ethically good ontology (mubah fi al-Asl) and is therefore bound to coherence and laws, or wherein creation is not bound by ethics or coherence.

    Classical scholars accepted these differences, and tried to undertand them, but in the later centuries up to us, we have become more apologetic on this and try to run away from it. Ahl al-Sunna Kalam (Maturidi-Ash'ari) did not develop out of a vacuum, it responded, used and accepted the theologies that had developed around them. I was asked to respond to a forum where they discussed this (and assumed I only read some 'articles in English'), but I do not have time for such discussions. What I will do is insha'Allah write a larger article on it in the future as it is important we understand that differing with heterodox groups as the Mu'tazilah doesn't mean everything they said was rejected.
  6. Harris786

    Harris786 Veteran

    Harris Khaliq
    Salam Arnold

    Have you read ?

    1 hour ago

    Arnold Yasin Mol

    Yes, it is one chaotic mess of citations that tries hard to dance around simple facts. The Maturidi and Ash'ari did not evolve from a vacuum. And they saw nothing wrong with that. But somehow we today do.

    He misses the part that al-Maturidi used Nazzam's concept of Taba', substance nature, and that only Abu Mu'in al-Nasafi discussed it of the later Maturidiyya.

    But I do not have time to get involved in forum discussions.

    1 hour ago · Sent from Mobile

    Harris Khaliq
    What's your evidence for your claim? As Abu Hasan had provided a substantial amount

    You should respond if you have time for Facebook discussions make time for this discussion

    54 minutes ago

    Arnold Yasin Mol
    Just as Nazzam, does Maturidi not distinguish between the four elements and accidents, they are all natures which have forms, a position taken from the Mutazilah al-Dirar. This is stated in al-Maturidi's Kitab al-Tawhid and Abu Nu'im al-Nasafi's al-Tabsirat.

    The Ash'ari and later Maturidi do distuinguish between them and follow a similar concept of Atomism which became the dominant concept.

    48 minutes ago · Sent from Mobile

    Arnold Yasin Mol
    If I respond, I do so with academic articles.

    47 minutes ago · Sent from Mobile

    Arnold Yasin Mol
    But here is proof, Abu Mu'in al-Nasafi directly states here that al-Maturidi supported (rakan) the Taba'a concept of the Mutazilites al-Dirar and al-Najjar.

    Attached Files:

  7. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    because arnold said:

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  8. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    sadru'l islam abu'l yusr al-pazdawi, in his usul al-din mentions naZZam

    people of ahlu's sunnah wa'l jama'ah along with other people of qiblah said: 'that it is impossible for two particles/atoms [jawhar] to occupy the same space. naZZam said that it was not impossible.

    he didn't mention either that imam maturidi followed naZZam's theory of atomism.
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  9. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    all heresiographer accuse him of holding this belief. but curiously, none accuses imam abu manSur al-maturidi of following his 'atomism'

    actually, most maturidi texts mention that "it is rational to believe that an indivisible particle exists; such that it cannot be divided further.'

    we read in bad' al amali:

    wa fi'l adh'haani Haqqun kawnu juz'yin
    bila waSfi't tajazzi ya'bna khali

    and it is rational to accept that such a particle exists
    with the attribute that it cannot be divided further, [my son]*

    in Daw al-ma'ali ali al-qari says:

    in summary: the scholastics [mutakallimin] among ahl al-sunnah went with the theory that such a particle exists which cannot be further divided. even though it is not observed from outside as it is attached to other [such particles] and they described it as 'nuqTah' or a dot. and they said: it is such a thing which can be placed [occupies space] and cannot be subdivided further and if it contains itself, it is a 'juz' [particle];or it place is indivisible. otherwise, it necessitates that the occupier of the space will be subdivided upon its division, that would necessitate an indivisible particle. [ancient] philosophers and some mutazilah held the belief that such it is impossible for such an indivisible particle to exist.

    this is just something nice to know** and it is not a necessary part of islamic creed.

    *in nukhbatu'l la'ali: ya'bna means my son; the following khaali is related to bila wasf al-tajazzi, meaning "devoid of further division".

    ** actually qari says, this is just a useful piece of information [min fawayid]. i have used a modern idiom.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
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  10. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    we have seen below that naZZam [ibrahim ibn sayyar ibn haniy al-naZZam] was the nephew of al-`allaf [abu hudhayl] was a brilliant and erudite scholar. among his many heresies is his view of atomism.

    we will not discuss all the theories of atomism in greek and kalam literature, but a quickly, the atom was considered the smallest indivisible particle and which could not be divided further. [lit. uncuttable].

    according to naZZam - and he is distinguished by this belief - that there is no such thing as an indivisible particle - every particle can be divided ad infinitum.

    in this age, we learn that there are elementary particles which cannot be subdivided. even if they discover that some of these particles can be subdivided, it can never be ad infinitum. [helpful links: here, here, here, here ] so naZZam's theory is anyway not valid.

    this is the concept known as: 'juz' alladhi la yatajazza'

    and naZZam followed philosophers in denying that such an 'eventually indivisible particle' exists.

    [sidenote: most of these mutazili heretics were erudite, intelligent, talented, masters of languages and other disciplines. many of them were know for their piety, abstemiousness, charity, worship etc. and in many cases it was their going too deep in philosophies and trying to solve mysteries, that led them astray. erudition should not be equated with wisdom or righteousness. not even piety and worship guarantees that.]
  11. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    now who was naZZam and what is his story?
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  12. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    it may appear as an exercise in futility. but spare a look at these groups and tell me, how would you feel if someone accused any of our imams to be their followers? rising among muslims, there are some things - maybe many things - that do not clash with standard belief of ahl al-sunnah. just because they coincide, none can accuse sunni scholars of being mutazilis or adopting mutazilah positions.

    because each of these mutazili factions had some serious errors - it was not the number of errors but the seriousness of the errors that led to many of them being ruled kafir. in fact, shaykh abd al-qahir says it is wajib to rule all their factions as kafir.

    also for comparison, the listing of shahrastani in his milal wa'n niHal of the factions are:

    1. waSiliyyah

    2. hudhayliyyah

    3. naZZamiyyah

    4,5. khaabiTiyyah + Hadthiyyah. not mentioned below; of aHmad ibn khabiT [d. 232 AH] and al-faDl al-Had'thy [d. 257 AH] both were disciples of naZZam and compounded his bid'ah with further grotesque ideas.

    6. bishriyyah

    7. mu'ammariyyah

    8. mardariyyah

    9. thumamiyyah

    10. hishamiyyah

    11. jaHiZiyyah

    12,13. khayyatiyyah + ka'abiyyah

    14,15. jubbayiyyah + bahshamiyyah
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  13. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    we have already said that it was the mu'tazilah - and the head and founder of this deviant sect was - waSil ibn aTa did the mischief die with his death in 131 AH? so what were mutazilah beliefs? who were their leaders and what were the prominent sub-sects?

    this may sound long winded - but i get irritated by people with shallow knowledge saying maturidis or hanafis were followers of mutazilah. i received a mail from a brother asking for clarification, which i did - and in sha'Allah, will share after this thread. i think it is necessary to know about mutazilah in order to dispel this myth.

    mutazilah are a heretical sect of muslims. even those who became kafirs. because, the foundations are the same and they rose from the same community. yes, they deviated in some portions, and regardless of how serious those deviations were, they are classed as an islamic sect.

    imam razi, in his book: iytiqadat firaq al-muslimin wa'l mushrikin says:


    section three
    on the sub-sects of the mu'tazilah.

    know, that the mutazilah parted into 17 factions.

    1. ghaylaniyyah: followers of ghaylan al-dimashqi [1] this faction gathers [heresies] of iytizal and irjaa [2]. it is this ghaylan who was executed by hisham ibn abd al-malik, the seventh khalifah of banu marwan.

    2. waSiliyyah: followers of waSil ibn `aTa al-ghazzal [3] he was the first to say that the sinner [fasiq] is neither a kafir, nor a believer, nor a hypocrite, nor a polytheist. according to this faction, [the Companions] `ali and TalHah raDiyallahu anhuma, if they both bore witness in the same matter, their [combined] witness is invalid. however if each of the two bore witness, such that each of the two had another person with them, then their witness can be accepted.

    3. `amariyyah: the followers of `amr ibn `ubayd. according to them the witness of TalHah and zubayr is absolutely invalid, regardless of the combination.

    4. huzayliyyah [4] followers of abu huzayl [5].according to this faction the Power of Creation of Allah ta'ala has ended and reached such a stage that He cannot create anything new.

    5. naZZamiyyah: followers of ibrahim ibn sayyar al-naZZam.[6] according to this faction, a slave [creation] has power to do things which Allah ta'ala does not have upon His creation. according to them, ijma', lone-narrator reports and analogical reasoning have no legal standing in shar'iah. [laysa bi Hujjah]. however, they do not criticise or speak ill of the Companions nor ali raDiyallahu anhu.

    6. thumamiyyah: the followers of thumamah ibn ashras.[d. 213 AH] he lived in the time of ma'mun. according to them an action can occur even if there is no actor (by whose act the action materialises).

    7. bishriyyah: the followers of bishr ibn mu'ammar ibn `ubbad al-sullami [d. 226 AH]; this faction affirms on the rational soul [nafs al-naTiqah] similar to the belief of philosophers [see plato's tri-partite soul: rational soul, spirited soul and appetitive soul]. and they also attest that bodies can have attributes of being infinite.

    [in two different editions: both my hard copy and a PDF the eighth faction is missing; i suppose this is because of a mixup of bishr ibn mu'tamar and mu'ammar ibn ubbad thus omitting the eighth faction. actually, in milal wa'n niHal of shahrastani, they are two people: bishr ibn mu'tamar with taa, the leader of bishriyyah; and mu'ammar ibn ubbad al-sullami, the leader of mu'ammariyyah; this i believe is the eighth missing in our copies.]

    9. muzdariyyah: [7] followers of abu musa ibn yisa ibn masih al-muzdar [8]. he was the disciple of bishr and the teacher of ja'afar ibn al-Harith [9] and ja'afar ibn al-mubash'shir.[10]

    10. hishamiyyah: the followers of hisham ibn `umar al-quti.[11] he would prohibit from saying: "Allah ta'ala is sufficient for us, and He is the Best Dispenser of Affairs" [Hasbuna Allah wa niymal wakil] because according to him, it is not permissible to use the word 'wakil' for Allah ta'ala.

    11. jaHiziyyah: followers of `amr ibn baHr al-jaHiZ.[12] according to this faction, knowledge is essential by nature and it is not gained by action of [one who acquires knowledge].

    12. jubba'yiyyah: followers of muHammad ibn abd al-Wahhab al-jubbayi.[13] according to this faction that the same accident [`araD in something] can be existent and non-existent at the same time. and thus they described the Divine Speech of ALlah ta'ala.

    13. [not mentioned in either copies]

    14. bahshamiyyah: followers of abu hashim or abu bahsham. abd al-Salam ibn abi ali al-jubbayi.[d. 321 AH] this faction believed in the State of Being [Haal; that is Divine Attributes are states; for example, Samiy is a state; BaSir is a state..] they also consider it possible that Allah ta'ala may punish a slave without his committing a sin.

    15. aHshadiyyah: followers of aHshad ibn abi bakr,[14] the student of muHammad ibn umar al-Saymari. they do takfir of abu hashim [above] and his followers.

    16. khayyaTiyyah: followers of abu'l Hasan abd al-Rahim al-khayyaT [d. 300AH] and he is the teacher of abu'l qasim al-ka'abi [15]. this faction says, that a body which was non-existent [`adam] is a body; so much that they say "a rider on a horse [both] non-existent." is a thing [16].

    17. Husayniyyah: followers of abu'l Husayn ali ibn Muhammad al-baSri. he is the disciple of qaDi abd al-Jabbar ibn aHmad. thereafter, he opposed him and rejected the doctrine of "states" and "non-existent" and "meaning" and accepted that miracles of the friends of Allah [karamat al-awliya] and refuted the muridiyyah; though he was non-commital about the Divine Attributes of 'Hearing' and 'Seeing'. most of these factions of the mutazilah [died away and] didn't remain until our time except these two factions of abu hashim [see #14 above] and abu'l Husayn al-baSri [#17 above].

    end of razi's text.


    in murshid al-amin, a gloss on razi's iytiqadat by the authors, taha abd al-ra'uf sa'ad and mustafa hawari, at the end of this section, the authors note: "the author [razi] has not mentioned two factions, which he should have [as he mentions 17 in the title and lists only 15]: mu'ammariyyah: followers of mu'ammar ibn ubbad al-sullami and ka'abiyyah: followers of abu'l qaSim al-ka'abi, the disciple of abu'l Hasan al-khayyaT.


    1. ghaylan ibn muslim; it is also said ghaylan ibn marwan and marwan was his father, and a slave of uthman ibn affan raDiyallahu anhu. according to ibn al-murtada, he was a peerless in his time in knowledge, abstension [zuhd] and in beseeching Allah ta'ala. ghaylan was a master of eloquence. it is said that he was the disciple of Harith the kazzab [false prophet] and that ghaylan believed that he was a prophet. when Harith was executed, he took his place and he debated al-awzayi. thereafter awzayi gave fatwa to execute him. he was executed in the time of hisham ibn abd al-malik.

    2. irjaa: from raja'a or hope. this is an extreme belief where the murjiy' [one who believe in irja'a] says that no sin and no amount of sin can harm a believer.

    3. ghazzal: yarn-spinner. usually this was the profession of ladies, and he would seek out poor ladies who spun yarn so he could give his charity to them. thus he was nicknamed al-ghazzal [mubarrid in al-kamil]. he is the famous disciple of Hasan al-baSri from whom he dissented and this sect got its name as ahl al-iytizal. waSil ibn aTa [80-131 AH] was a contemporary of imam abu Hanifah.

    4. huzayliyyah: in razi's work it is with zaa (that comes after raa); but in both shahrastani's milal and abd al-qahir's firaq, it is with dhaal. as in hudhayliyyah.

    5. he is Hamdan ibn al-hudhayl al-`allaf. [135-226 AH] he is the leader of mutazilah, great debator, prominent in the group, he took the madh'hab of iytizal from uthman ibn khalid al-Tawil and waSil ibn aTa. he is the maternal uncle of naZZam.

    6. ibrahim ibn sayyar al-naZZam [d. 231 AH] read plenty of books on philosophy and mixed up the ideas of mu'tazilah with that of greek philsophers.

    7. in razi's work it is muzdariyyah with zaa; but shahrastani and abdul qahir name him with raa as in mardariyyah.

    8. shahrastani: mardariyyah: followers of yisa ibn SabiH, abu musa al-mardar [d.226 AH]

    9. ja'afar ibn Harb al-thaqafi [d.234]

    10.ja'afar ibn mubash'shir al-hamdani [d.236]

    11. quuTi with qaaf, or fuuTi with faa [shahrastani] or ghuuTi with ghayn [abd al-qahir]. he passed away in 226 AH.

    12. famous litterateur and erudite scholar among the mutazilah. he died in 250 or 255 AH.

    13. he was the teacher of imam abu'l Hasan al-ash'ari; and then imam al-ash'ari converted from iytizal to ahl al-sunnah and became the imam of ahl al-sunnah. jubbayi died in 295 AH.

    14. shahrastani does not mention this faction.

    15. abu'l qasim abdullah ibn aHmad ibn maHmud al-balkhi, al-ka'abi [d.319 AH].

    16. this is the reason maturidi texts mention that "ma'dum [non-existent] is nothing; not a thing".

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  14. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    the imams ash'ari and maturidi rose as defenders of faith. if there were no mu'tazilah or mushabbihah, they wouldn't have written what they wrote.

    they were the response - not the stimulus.

    may Allah ta'ala reward them well for their defence of ahl al-sunnah. and all ulama who followed in their footsteps.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
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  15. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    zabidi then discusses imam ghazali's position and ibn Salah's objection to ghazali's favourable opinion of logic, reasoning etc. here he quotes imam taqiyuddin subki defending ghazali from ibn Salah's objections [it'haf 1/277]:

    shaykh taqiyuddin subki after discussing this at length, says: we do not deny the superiority of shaykh taqiyuddin ibn Salah as a master jurist [faqih] and a grandmaster of hadith; or that he [said it with] a good intention. however every field has its own experts [li kulli amalin rijal].

    as for what ibn Salah mentioned about abu bakr and umar raDiyallahu anhuma at this point, may Allah ta'ala grant us and him the tawfiq to understand their stature to the best of our abilities. but to gain an understanding according to the level of those two eminent personalities, then it is impossible. rather even other Companions did not reach their level.

    because many of these branches of knowledge, which we busy ourselves with and strive to attain by working day and night - they [abu bakr and umar] were masters of these sciences intrinsically and these were second nature to them. sciences such as - grammar, morphology, principles of fiqh etc. and they had superior intellects, and on top of this Allah ta'ala had granted them to bask in the brilliant light of prophethood, [as companions of] the infallible prophet, he who was Divinely Protected from error in thought - obviated the need to resort to logic or rational sciences.

    when Allah ta'ala put affection for each other in their hearts, by His Divine Grace, they became brothers and they did not resort to debates and arguments [munaZarah, mujadalah] and they were in no need of any other science. except that which they heard from the Prophet sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam, and they had the best understanding of his words; and they interpreted those words in the best possible manner; and were mindful of the context in which things were said. therefore there were none among them who argued, or fought - nor [did they face] heresies and misguidance.

    then came the Followers [tabiyin] and they were closest in their approach to the Companions. and then their Successors [atba'a]. these are the three generations [qurun al-thalathah] to whom RasulAllah sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam gave glad tidings that they would be the best of all times after him.

    and then after them - probably in the middle of the 2nd and 3rd generation heretics and deviants - and it became necessary for the scholars of ahl al-sunnah to resist [these heresies and oppose] and to debate and refute [heretics and heresies] so that weak and vulnerable muslims may not be deceived or misled in matters of religion, nor admit [such things] in the religion which were [originally] not a part of it.

    in the speech of the heretics, many principles and premises of logicians, and arguments of atheists were included; and based on this they compiled many objections and created doubts [concerning islamic creed in the minds of people].

    if we left them and what they were doing [unattended] they would get the better of vulnerable* muslims, commonfolk and incapable scholars - lead them astray and transform their true and correct belief [to heretical ideas].

    when these heresies and innovations spread, and not everybody was capable of resisting it [and defending faith by refuting them] and could not even understand what these [innovators, heretics] were saying because they did not engage in these sciences; of course, only those who understand these issues can refute them [from the sunni muslim's point of view]. and when those [heretical ideas] would not be refuted, then the ignorant rulers and kings would accept and believe in the ideas of heretics, as it has happened down the ages. and since the enthusiasm [himam] of common people fell far short than that of early muslims [concerning islamic faith], it became necessary [wajib] for those who were capable to defend and protect islamic creed as professed by righteous muslims, and to dispel false notions and heretical ideas of atheists and heretics.

    the reward for such an action is greater than that due for a warrior in holy-war [mujahid] - because it is because of these people that others are protected and are free to engage in their dispositions - whether in worship, or jurisprudence or hadith, or tafsir or recitation or even the withdrawal of recluses from this world [is made possible because of the ulama of kalam defend their faith and refute heresies].

    *du'afa: lit. weak. here they are vulnerable to be led astray - and they are not strong in mind or faith to resist deviant ideas. they would fall prey to their 'rational arguments'. unfortunately we have seen some such weak muslims on our forum itself who are intellectual slaves to western philosophies. nas'alu Allaha al-aafiyah.
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  16. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    there are various urban legends - and the internet is teeming with them.

    - asharis deny Attributes

    - maturidis followed mutazilis

    - the foundation of the deen of ash'aris is on atomism (in other words, asharis don't start with la ilaaha illa Allah; they say, "democritus said.." al-iyadhubillah. which ashayirah are you talking of?)

    most likely, many of them have never seen or read a proper ashari/maturidi text in their lives. they just pickup from here and there - now facebook heroes such as atabek the donkey has his own spin on the whole thing: move away everyone atabek-alHimaar knows best.

    the need to engage in kalam was one of necessity; not of choice. ulama of kalam did not want to preach islam by way of kalam as many wahabis in our time have us believe. they were forced to answer in these words and terms.

    for example, we have various issues. take the case of alcohols in perfumes and medicines. even wahabis answer using modern terminologies. why can't they just stick to the literal hadith: "every intoxicant is Haraam"? do you call these muftis as 'borrowing' from western science? would you accuse them of abandoning hadith and following 'western science' for Halal and Haram?

    even ibn taymiyyah indulged in refuting various groups - and his followers parrot his statements up to this day. why, is it all from qur'an and sunnah? isn't it 'indulging in kalam?' doesn't he use these terminologies in the course of his own refutations?

    then why this allegation only upon ash'aris and maturidis that they use greek terminology to defend aqayid?

    imam abu'l Hasan al-ash'ari in his istiHsan al-khawD fi ilm al-kalam said it rather well when asked, why do you indulge in kalam when the Prophet sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam did not command you to do it:

    there are three answers to this objection.

    the first one: turn around this question to them and ask: "the Prophet sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam, ALSO, did not say that any person who engages in it or talks about it, then consider him a heretic, misguided and misguiding. in which case, you are yourself committing bidah and are the misguiding ones, because you are saying those things which RasulAllah sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam did not say; and you are ruling those people as misguided whom the Prophet sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam did not call* as misguided.

    he further says:

    as for discussion [kalam] on the basis of tawHid [monotheistic faith] this is also proven from the Book; Allah ta'ala says: "if there were [many] gods other than One Allah, there would have been utter chaos in [the heavens and earth]'. This statement is a succinct proof that He is One, and there is no partner unto Him.

    [surah al-anbiya, s21,v22]


    * some people may be quick to point out that there is an overarching statement in hadith: 'that which is not according to our command is rejected.' but they forget that it is IMPLIED and UNDERSTOOD - not expressly named. similarly defending the religion is proven from sunnah - and if you have to resort to these terminologies you will have to. don't tell me ibn taymiyyah never used the words huduth, or a'araD or qidam!

    indeed, the biggest of kalam scholars advised people to stay away from it. the reason why we still have kalam is necessity. if we do not have these arguments and proofs, heretics will confuse common people. that is why some of them said, knowledge of kalam is farD kifayah; that which is farD ayn is proper aqidah.

    ali al-qari in his minaH al-rawD al-az'har sh. fiqh al-akbar:

    abu'l ma'ali al-juwayni said: "my friends! do not indulge in kalam. if i knew where kalam would take me, i would not have indulged in it."

    these scholars insisted that we simply believe as was handed to us without bothering to investigate its proofs. while it is a good and noble suggestion, the times we live in do not permit us that luxury of faith-without-questions. 100 years ago, not many people had access to books or exposed to heretical ideas, or criticism of islam. today, these things are not only ubiquitous, muslims are being bombarded with it night and day from every side.

    we have entered a similar phase in our time where it is necessary to have some knowledge of kalam and proofs for our beliefs. this is not because we fancy the mutakallimin, but it is a necessary evil.

    nas'alu Allaha al-aafiyah. wa la quwwata illa billah.

    imam ghazali says in his iHya [with inputs from zabidi's it'Haf 1/272]:

    know that there are portions in the kalam sciences which are proofs [of our belief] and one can benefit from them; and the citations from qur'an and hadith are included in this proofs. and that which is beyond the two [qur'an and sunnah] is either a reprehnsible argument, which is a heresy [bid'ah] as we will be explained shortly; or it is a remonstration, a refutation of [heretical] sects - and in this [latter] it spills over to copying down the heretical ideas [in course of refutation]; most of such [citations] are nonsense, irrational, delirious which are disgusting, revolting and such statements one does not wish to hear. and sometimes, it is indulging in such [arguments] which have no relation to religion, nor was it in the discourse of the early muslims [al-aSr al-awwal].

    engaging in it fully is a misguidance, bid'ah.

    however, now* the ruling about [engaging in kalam] has changed, when heresies became widespread and threatened to supersede that which is taught by the qur'an and sunnah, a group of scholars compiled these doubts and objections in books. this direly warned against, but upon necessity it is permissible [for muslim scholars] to look into it [zabidi:and to learn this and teach its refutation]. rather this much becomes a communal obligation [farD kifayah] - [to learn/teach from kalam] that much which is necessary to face heretics [and refute them], when he tries preach his heresies; and this [learning/teaching of kalam] must be governed and restricted to that much which is necessary.

    *zabidi: because of changed times. [aH: this is ghazali in 5-6th century and zabidi in 13th century. we are in the 15th when neither ghazali nor zabidi faced what we face in our times! high-school kids positing atheist arguments, and discussing epistemology and ontology. it would be rather naive to say, don't discuss any of this - because you cannot stop them. it becomes necessary for some of us to defend our faith and beliefs. nas'alu Allaha al-aafiyah. wa la quwwata illa billah].

    siddiq hasan bhopali in his abjad al-ulum [2/440] says:

    this is the branch of science, by which one is empowered [or makes one capable] to establish proofs for religious beliefs by presenting documentary evidence in favour of which and to repel aspersions cast upon that or [objections rasied against]...

    nobody can say that bhopali was an ash'ari or a maturidi. besides he is the favourite indian scholar from the subcontinent of post-modern salafis.

    wa billahi't tawfiq.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
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  17. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    first and foremost: as a muslim, as a muslim who is interested in both history and kalam, and as a muslim who describes himself as a maturidi, i would like to say something related to kalam, its development, islamic theology etc. i am no academic, so please don't expect a thesis.

    in brief, islam and the creed of islam did not start out with - 'hey let us build a philosophy department for islam; there is a market for it. the graduates will go out chalk out their own schools which can further spawn a middle/near eastern studies department...'

    our elders, the salaf simply believed in tenets of islam and passed on to their followers without complication. some bright minds high on intelligence but low on tawfiq,* began learning western philosophies and assimilating these ideas in THEIR view of islam. [modern academics who wish to 'reform' islam may take note.] the ideas of western philosophers appealed to some and [they thought:] if they couldn't harmonize with islamic beliefs, there was something wrong with these [islamic] beliefs. some distorted them, some rejected them, some tried to replace them - and the era of western academia had begun in muslim education.

    many of such [imported] ideas collided with islamic belief. common people became confused. people who were supposedly learned were saying all sorts of things. from a muslim's perspective, how could one differentiate between the truth and falsehood? from an islamic perspective these novel and foreign ideas that contradicted islamic belief were heresies - some were outright kufr/disbelief.

    it was this environment which gave rise to branch of knowledge we call 'kalam'. islamic scholars acquired knowledge of these philosophies and their terminology to refute heretics and heretical ideas alien to islam, and things that contradicted the original islamic creed described by tradition.

    how were the early muslims? those whom we call the 'salaf' (elders), the early muslims did not argue about things, they kept things simple. what they couldn't describe in words, they kept silent. what they couldn't understand from the mutashabihat, they didn't pursue or seek explanations. they believed in revelation and the tradition of the Prophet sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam. they were the people with pure hearts and those who said: "we believe. we hear and we obey".


    some of the fundamental aspects of islam are: [this could be said of other religions too, but it doesn't concern me; i am a muslim and i care only about what islam teaches]:

    1. death is inevitable. we all have to die.

    2. there is life after death. and this we call the hereafter.

    3. in the hereafter there are two abodes - the heaven and the hell.

    4. those who are successful in the hereafter go to heaven.

    5. those who fail go to hell.

    6. the heaven is a beautiful place - everlasting peace, happiness, youth, luxury and comfort. there are lush gardens, beautiful landscapes, luxurious palaces, exquisite beauties for companions, a golden sunrise that never ends; a place where there is no filth, no hatred, no jealousy, no wars, no disease, no sadness and no death. one does not die a second time - and life is forever.

    7. the hell is a hellish place. torment for those who disbelieved in the message. those who departed from islam - whether fully or in some of its core beliefs. those who committed sins and did not repent. it is fire and brimstone. those in hell will be roasted forever. and when they ask for water - they will be given boiling water and pus. there is no escape - and for disbelievers, they stay in it forever.

    many people scoffed at this. the disbelievers of makkah also laughed and they made fun of hell and heaven. regardless, they died. their not believing in heaven or hell did not stop them from dying. and now, they are consigned to hell forever and ever after.

    early muslims were full of wisdom. they thought that trading a short lifespan of a few years for an everlasting comfort was a smart thing to do. and they did - they spent their lives in being obedient and good muslims. they all died too. and in sha'Allah they are comfortable in their graves and soon they shall enter gardens and be rewarded with uninhibited luxury. we ask Allah ta'ala to make us among them.

    8. so early muslims understood that the key for salvation and felicity; the road to success lies in being good muslims. they resisted foreign ideas and avoided unnecessary explanations. their objective was only to live as good muslims and die as muslims. they didn't hanker after worldly wealth, fame, power and glory. because they knew that everything was temporal in this world. therefore they did not complicate things. their belief system was simple, straightforward and pure.

    9. when heretics arose among muslims, sowing doubts, causing confusion - those sincere scholars who cared for the faith of common muslims rose to defend the faith. and since many of these terms were alien - they adopted these terms for description and in their refutation of heretics.

    10. the objective of these scholars was to answer heretics in their own language - not that they took fancy to their language and wanted to describe islamic creed in this alient tongues. that the later happened was a consequence, but NEVER the objective of sunni ulama to imitate alien philosophies.

    taftazani in his celebrated 'sharh al-aqayid' says:

    the majority of differences [1] among various sects in islam [firaq al-islamiyyah], especially with the mutazilis was in the subject of islamic creed [aqayid]. the mu'tazilis were the first sect in islam that formulated opinions that conflicted with tradition [sunnah] which was professed by the Companions. waSil ibn aTa, who was their founder dissented with Hasan al-baSri and departed from his company [iytazala] mainly upon the topic that a man who commits a major sin is neither a muslim nor a kafir. and he concocted for such a person "a place between two places". upon this Hasan [al-baSri] said: 'he has deserted us [iytazala anna]' and thus they were named, the 'mutazilah' - the deserters. however, they call themselves as the "People of Justice and Unity" [aS'Hab al-`adl wa't tawHid] - because they claim that it is obligatory upon Allah ta'ala to give reward to the righteous and punish sinners, and that they deny that Divine Attributes are pre-eternal.[2]

    further he says:

    and then the [mutazilah] delved deep into these issues and took hold of the tails of the philosophers and incorporated their ideas in their principles and their madh'hab spread among people...

    he then talks of how the science was all mixed up all kinds of sciences:

    and then, when [greek] philosophy was translated into arabic, and various sects of islam [3] began reading it and tried to refute the philosophers in issues where they differed with the islamic shariah; and then they mixed up 'kalam' with 'philosophy' in the course of clarification/research of their [philosophers] objectives to be able to refute them...lo and behold! they mixed theology with physics and metaphysics along mathematics until there would have hardly remained any difference with philosophy if it were not for the portion on revealed creed [sam'yiyyat].

    it has to be understood that muslims believe in what they believe on account of revelation. things like heaven and hell, life after death, angels etc. cannot be discerned or perceived by the intellect. our belief is based on revelation. however, rational theology is branched out science that seeks to provide rational proofs for certain things.

    so an ash'ari or a maturidi actually believes in what has been revealed and received from the Book and Sunnah - things described in aqidah tracts such as taHawiyyah. and all of them are ahl al-sunnah. certain secondary issues are differed upon, and this difference has no bearing on their being ONE jama'ah - the ahl al-sunnah. this is what shaykh asrar was saying when he said 'there is no difference between ash'aris and maturidis'. and since imam ash'ari was more widely known, there is no harm in terming ahl al-sunnah as ashayirah; this is what shaykh asrar means when he says: 'i am an ash'ari'. [i am not sure whether he follows ashayirah in minor differences as well; which is immaterial anyway].

    i don't know what level arnold is, but that is the view held by all sunni scholars including giants among latter kalam scholars scholars. imam tajuddin subki in his nuniyyah - says:

    i have heard the shaykh and imam [my father taqiyuddin subki] say: "the contents of 'aqidah al-TaHawiyyah', all of it is the creed of [abu'l Hasan] al-ash'ari - he [TaHawi] doesn't differ with him except in three issues."

    i say: i know that all the malikis are ash'aris without exception. most shafiyis are ash'aris except few of them who became mutazilis or anthropomorphists, and Allah ta'ala does not care for them. most of the Hanafis are ash'aris - i mean they believe in the same creed as that of ash'ari, every one of them except those who joined the mu'tazilah. the knowledgeable and the early Hanbalis are also ash'aris. none goes out of the creed of ash'ari except those who became anthropomorphists; and anthropomorphists among Hanbalis are more than in any other group.

    in his qaSidah he says:

    wa'l khulfu baynahuma qalilun amruhu
    sahlun bila bid'yin wa la kufraani

    the differences between them are very minor
    and insignificant - without entailing [either positions] to be heresy or disbelief

    according to subki, the differences between ash'aris and maturidis are in only 13 issues. and of these issues, 7 are mere semantic differences and only 6 are differences in interpretation [ma'anawi].

    it should be noted that imam abu manSur al-maturidi was a Hanafi and what is known as 'maturidi' is actually the Hanafi school. thus the labels Hanafi and maturidi are used interchangeably in various texts.

    this is a preamble. shortly, in sha'Allah, we will come to arnold's ramble.

    some notes:


    1. mulla ramaDan says that the difference here is related to a previous clause; i.e., the kalam of the ancients. actually, taftazani mentions the origin of the term kalam and its description as understood among the ancient scholars [qudama]. this statement then means: 'thus the difference of various sects with the kalam of ancients is in matters of creed'.

    2. mutazilah deny Attributes are pre-eternal because if it were so, then something else existed alongside Allah ta'ala; and this would negate His being One; therefore, to uphold Unity or tawHid, they negated that Attributes were pre-eternal.

    3. mutazilah and others.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
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  18. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    i have closed the thread until i make a few posts. thereafter, it will be opened for discussions.

    bear with me.
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  19. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    who is this arnold guy? looks like some modern academic.

    frankly, i am fed up of people who read a few journals and become authorities on the subject. as if arnold knows more about kalam than maturidi and ash'ari and all the kalam scholars down the ages. reminds me of the orientalist tripe. they come. they see and they destroy.

    western 'academics' simply don't understand the islamic ethos. they have a shallow understanding of islamic history and most of the the time they end up in bahamas, though they pompously declare that they are going to india. but you must hand it to these western academics - even if they end on the bahamas they will go ahead and call the natives "indians".

    one presumptuous orientalist took up the task of translating taftazani's classic treatise (sharh al-aqayid) and stabbed it in many places, murdering it without any compunction. he was actually beside himself with glee on committing the act which he thought was very noble. whatever he did not understand, he simply approximated according to his own understanding.

    even if you disagree with edward said, i still encourage you to read his book orientalism for the numerous examples he gives, of revisionism and examining islam through the prism of orientalism. that prism can sometimes be opaque and sometimes be gilded with fantasies.

    anyway, western academics remind me of this:


    how would you like it if laloo prasad yadav would write a commentary on shakespeare? would you celebrate it? and nod your head upon the eloquence of such a tract?

    coming back to arnold:

    please "don't go on and on". this much is enough to demonstrate your learning.

    ok. i had to say that so i could concentrate on facts. now, let us analyse mr. arnold's post. bear with me brothers, maybe some of you will learn some history...

    wa billahi't tawfiq.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  20. Bazdawi

    Bazdawi Well-Known Member

    as salamu alaykum. was hoping someone could shed some light on this strangers comment.


    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2016

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