Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Early Refutation of Deviant Sects by Sunni Scholars

The Imam Abdul Qaahir
on the
Sunni scholars of the science of belief

ˆAbdul Qaahir Al-Bagħdaadiyy At-Tamiimiyy [1],
also known as “Abuu Manşuur”, said in his book:
The first Sunni scholar of Kalaam among the companions was
 ˆAliyy ibn Abii Ţaalib, as he debated the Kħawaarijites on the issues of the promise and threat [2], and the Qadariyyah on predestination, will, and ability [3].

Then came ˆAbduļļaah ibn ˆUmar [4] with his sayings against the Qadariyyah, and his declaration of wanting noth-ing to do with them or their leader known as Maˆbad Al-Juhaniyy.
The Qadariyyah claimed that ˆAliyy was one of them, and that their leader Waaşil ibn ˆAtaa' Al-Għazzaal took his sayings from Muĥammad[5] and ˆAbduļļaah, the two sons of ˆAliyy – may Aļļaah reward him. This is one of their scandalous lies.

It is among the strangest of things how they claim that ˆAliyy's two sons taught them the rejection of ˆAliyy's and Ţalĥah's [6] testimonies and doubt in ˆAliyy's trustworthiness.
Do you see them teaching him that the testimonies of Ţalĥah and the Prophet's brother in law are invalid?!

The first Sunni of the generation following the companions to engage in Kalaam debates was ˆUmar ibn ˆAbdulˆAziiz [7], he wrote an eloquent letter against the ideas of the Qadariyyah sect. After him came Zayd ibn ˆAliyy ibn Al-Ĥusayn ibn ˆAliyy ibn Abii Ţaalib [8]. He wrote a book rejecting the Qadariyyah sect based on proofs from the Qur'aan.
Then came

Al-Ĥasan Al-Başriyy [9],
whom the Qadariyyah claimed as one of them. How can that be right, however, when in fact he wrote a letter to ˆUmar ibn ˆAbdulˆAziiz showing their faults, and chased their leader Waaşil away from his teaching sessions when he showed his deviations?

After him came

who was among the toughest opponents of the Qadariyyah, and then Al-Zuhriyy. The latter was the one that gave ˆAbdulMalik ibn Marwaan the fatwa that the blood of the Qadariyyah should be shed.

Following this generation came Jaˆfar ibn Muĥammad Al-Şaadiq, who authored a book refuting the ideas of the Qadariyyah and another refuting those of the Kħawaarijites. He also wrote an article against the extremists of the Shiites. 

He is the one that said,
“The Muˆtazilites wanted to declare the Oneness of Aļļaah, but committed apostasy. They also wanted to declare Aļļaah just, but ended up attributing to Him stinginess.”

The first Kalaam scholars among the jurists and the heads of the schools of jurisprudence were

Abuu Ĥaniifah [10], and Al-Sħaafiˆiyy.

Abuu Ĥaniifah wrote a book against the Qadariyyah called

“Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar,” 

and he has an article that he dictated to champion the saying of the Sunnis that (real) ability comes at the point of action. 

He said, however, that the (presumed) ability applies to two opposites [11], and this is the saying of a number of our companions.

The compa-nion of Abuu Ĥaniifah, Abuu Yuusuf [12], said:

“the Qadariyyah are apostates.”

Al-Sħaafiˆiyy has two books in Kalaam science. One of them to prove and authenticate the existence of prophet-hood, against the claims of the Brahmins (the Hindus).

The second was a refutation of deviant sects. He also mentioned some Kalaam issues in the book “Kitaab Al-Qiyaas”.

In it he pointed to having gone back on the saying of accepting the testimony of deviant sects.

As for Bisħr Al-Mariisiyy [13], who was among the Ĥanafiyys, he only agreed with the Muˆtazilite stance on the cre-ation of the Qur'aan,[14] but declared them blasphemers for saying that humans create their own actions.

After Al-Sħaafiˆiyy came his students that mastered the sciences of both jurisprudence and Kalaam.

Examples are Al-Ĥaaritħ ibn Asad Al-Muĥaasibiyy [15], Abuu ˆAliyy Al-Karaabiisiyy [16], Ĥarmalah [17], Yuusuf Al-Buwayţiyy [18], and Daawuud Al-Aşbahaaniyy.

The later scholars of Kalaam relied on Al-Karaabiisiyy for knowing the various sub-sects of the Kħawaarijites as well as all other sects. The jurisprudent and ĥadiitħ scholars relied on him for knowing the conditions for authen-tication (acceptance as authentic) of ĥadiitħ along with the types of flaws, and evaluating narrators.

The books of Al-Ĥaaritħ ibn Asad Al-Muĥaasibiyy became the primary source for the Kalaam scholars of our as-sociates [19], both the jurists and the Sufis.

As for Daawuud, the leader of the literalists, he wrote a lot on belief along with his many writings on jurispru-dence. His son, Abuu Bakr [20], was a scholar of jurisprudence, Kalaam , methodology, literature and poetry.

Abuu Al-ˆAbbaas Ibn Surayj [21] the best of this group in these sciences, and he has a critique on the book of Al-Jaaruuf [22] against those who claim equality of proofs [23] and it is more complete than the critique of Ibn Al-Raawandiyy [24] against them. As for his writings on jurisprudence – Aļļaah knows their number.

Another of the Kalaam scholars in the time of Al-Ma'muun is
ˆAbduļļaah ibn Saˆiid Al-Tamiimiyy (ibn Kullaab) [25],

who crushed the Muˆtazilah in the assembly of Al-Ma'muun, and scandalized them with his eloquent exposure and clarifica-tion of their faults. The remains of his clarifications are in his books. He is the brother of Yaĥyaa ibn Saˆiid Al-Qaţţaan[26], the inheritor of the knowledge of ĥadiitħ and the master of narrator criticism.

Among the students of ˆAbduļļaah ibn Saˆiid is ˆAbdulˆAziiz Al-Makkiyy Al-Kattaaniyy [27], who scandalized the Muˆtazilah in Al-Ma'muun's assembly. Yet another Kalaam scholar was his student, Al-Ĥusayn ibn Al-Fađl Al-Bajaliyy [28], the master of Kalaam, methodology, Quranic commentary and interpretation.

Later scholars relied upon his notes and pointers in interpreting the Qur'aan. He is the one that ˆAbdulˆAziiz ibn Ţaahir, the governor of Kħuraasaan brought with him to Kħuraasaan, and as a result people said, “He took with him all the knowledge of Iraq to Kħuraasaan.”

Among the students of ˆAbduļļaah ibn Saˆiid is also Al-Junayd[29], the Sħaykħ of the Sufis and the Imam of the mo-notheists. He has an article that is written according to the requirements of the Kalaam scholars, but with Sufi expressions.

After this generation came the Sħaykħ of Insight, the Imam of the Horizons in debating and verification:

Abuu Al-Ĥasan ˆAliyy ibn Ismaaˆiil Al-Asħˆariyy [30].

He is the one that became a cut in the throats of the Qadariyyah, the Najjaariyyah, the Jahmiyyah, the anthropomorphists, the Shiites and the Kħawaarij. He filled the world with his books. No Kalaam scholar has ever been bestowed with a following like the one he was endowed with. The rea- son is that all the People of Ĥadiitħ follow his way, as do all the People of Insight [31] that do not have Muˆtazilite inclinations.

Among his famous students are:

Abuu Al-Ĥasan Al-Baahiliyy [32] and Abuu ˆAbduļļaah ibn Mujaahid[33], and these two are the ones that developed the students that are the shining suns of their time and the masters of their generations, such as:
Abuu Bakr Muĥammad ibn Al-Ţayyib [34] (Abuu Bakr Al-Baaqillaaniy) the head of the judges of Iraq, the Arabian Peninsula, Faaris (Southwest Iran), Karmaan (Southeast Iran) and all the border areas belonging to these lands, Abuu Bakr Muĥammad ibn Al-Ĥusayn ibn Fuurak [35] (Ibn Fuurak), and Abuu Isĥaaq Ibraahiim ibn Muĥammad Al-Mihraaniyy [36] (Abuu Isĥaaq Al-Isfaraayiiniyy) .

Before these there was Abuu Al-Ĥasan ˆAliyy ibn Mahdiyy Al-Ţabariyy [37], the master of jurisprudence, Kalaam, methodology, literature, grammar and Ĥadiitħ. Among his heritage is a student like Abuu ˆAbduļļaah Al-Ĥusayn ibn Muĥammad Al-Bazzaaziyy [38], the master debater and author of books on all aspect of Kalaam.
Also before this generation was the Sħaykħ of the Sciences, Abuu ˆAliyy Al-Tħaqafiyy [39]. In his time the Imam of the Sunnis was Abuu Al-ˆAbbaas Al-Qalaanisiyy [40], who authored more than one hundred and fifty books in Ka-laam. The books and critiques authored by Al-Tħaqafiyy against deviant groups are more than one hundred.

In our time we have reached Abuu ˆAbduļļaah ibn Mujaahid and Muĥammad ibn Al-Ţayyib (Abuu Bakr Al-Baaqillaaniy) the head of the judges, Muĥammad ibn Al-Ĥusayn ibn Fuurak, Ibraahiim ibn Muĥammad Al-Mihraaniyy (Abuu Isĥaaq Al-Isfaraayiiniyy) and Al-Ĥusayn ibn Muĥammad Al-Bazzaaziyy. Our own teachers fol-low the same path of these that we have reached, which is to enliven the truth and put its enemies in chains."

(Uşuulu-d-Diin, 307-9)

[1] ˆAbdul Qaahir ibn Ţaahir Al-Bagħdaadiyy Al-Tamiimiyy, alias Abuu Manşuur, (?-429 AH/ ?-1037 AD) was the head of the scholars of his time. The historian Adħ-Dħahabiyy (673-748 AH/ 1274-1348 AD) described him in his book Siyar 'Aˆlaam Al-Nubalaa' as: “the great, outstanding, and encyclopedic scholar” .... “He used to teach 17 different subjects and his brilliance became the source for proverbs.”

Al-Dħahabiyy said that he would have like to write a separate, more complete article about him, and quoted Abuu ˆUtħmaan Aş-Şaabuuniyy saying: Abuu Manşuur is by scholarly consensus counted among the heads of the scholars of belief and the methodology of jurisprudence, as well as a front figure of Islaam. Abuu ˆUtħmaan Al-Şaabuuniyy, who said this, is one of the greatest scholars of Islaam and among Sunnis he is known as “Sħaykħ Al-Islaam” - the Sħaykħ of Islaam. Al-Subkiyy, in his “The Levels of the Sħaafiˆiyy Scholars,” quotes a number of scholars praising Al-Şaabuuniyy, among them Al-Bayhaqiyy, who knew him and said, “Verily he is reality the Imaam of the Muslims and in truth the Sħaykħ of Islaam. All the people of his time are humbled by his state of religion, leadership, sound beliefs, amount of knowledge, and his commitment to the way of the Salaf generation (the first three generations, or first three centuries of Muslims).”

[2] He is referring to the Kħawaarijites' claim that Aļļaah does not forgive big sins, such as drinking wine, even if the person believes it is a sin (Uşuulu-d-Diin, Al-Bazdawiyy, Al-Maktabah Al-Azhariyyah, P. 256.)

[3] The Qadariyyah claimed that humans create their own actions, while Sunnis say that Aļļaah is the only creator, and that Humans only commit actions. The Sunni stance is unquestionably correct, because claiming that someone did something that Aļļaah has not willed, is equivalent to saying that He either did not know it or was unable to prevent it. This is clearly impossible.

The issues of predestination, will, and ability are the issues related to the Qadariyyah's blasphemous claim that humans create their own actions, because they ended up saying that humans are not predestined, that their will is independent of Aļļaah's, and that the human ability to act is an ability to create. The Muslims said that the human will is by Aļļaah's will, because he knows everything and cannot be overpowered. They also said that human ability does not include creating. Rather, the ability to act is an ability created by Aļļaah and it occurs at the moment of the act itself. The simplest proof of the truth of this, is that a human never knows with complete certainty that he is going to be able to do even a simple intended act, such as standing up after sitting. It could be, for example, that one suddenly fell ill.

[4] The great scholar and companion of the Prophet, the son of ˆUmar ibn Al-Kħaţţaab.

[5] Muĥammad ibn Al-Ĥanafiyyah, the son of ˆAliyy, one of the greatest scholars of Islaam and famous for great physical strength.

[6] Ţalĥah is one of the greatest companions of the Prophet, and is one of the famous ten that were promised Paradise by the Prophet. See the Biography of the Prophet(PBUH) for more details.

[7] The Kħaliifah and great scholar. He is counted as the fifth righteous Kħaliifah after the first four. He was born in 61 h. and died in 101 h. – may Aļļaah reward him. He became Kħaliifah in 99 h., and during his short rule peace and justice quickly spread. He forbade cussing ˆAliyy ibn Abii Ţaalib, which had become a habit of speakers in the Masjids of the day. It is said that he died from being poisoned. (Source: Al-Aˆlaam.)

[8] Zayd ibn ˆAliyy ibn Al-Ĥusayn ibn ˆAliyy ibn Abii Ţaalib, the son of Zaynu-l-ˆAabidiin. One of the greatest scholars of all time and grandson of Al-Ĥusayn, the Prophet's grandson. He rebelled against the Umawiyy king Hisħaam ibn ˆAbdilMalik, was killed, cru-cified, beheaded and burned. He was the one that named those Shiites that reject Abuu Bakr and ˆUmar as “Al-Raafiđah” - The Re-jectors. They came to him offering their support in his rebellion if he would disavow Abuu Bakr and ˆUmar, but he said, “Rather I ally myself with them and disavow those who disavow them.” They responded, “Then we refuse you.” From this came the name of the sect. (Source: Al-Waafii bi-l-Wafayaat.)

[9] Al-Ĥasan Al-Başriyy is one of the greatest of the Taabiˆiin, the students of the Prophet's companions. He was the leader of the scholars in Başrah. He was eloquent, brave, ascetic and a master of fiqh. (Source: Al-Aˆlaam.)

[10] Abuu Ĥaniifah, Al-Nuˆmaan ibn Tħaabit (80 h. - 150 h.) is one of the four great Imams of Islam that founded the four schools of fiqh. He was the earliest of the four, and lived in Kuufah in Iraq. He was the head of the scholars there and also a rich textile trad-er. He died in prison for refusing his appointment as judge in Bagħdaad by the ruler at the time. He is known for his brilliance in proving his views to be the strongest, to the extent that Maalik, second of the four imams said about him, “If he claimed that this pillar is made of gold you would have no choice but to agree with him.” Al-Sħaafiˆiyy, the third of the imams said: “All people are dependent on the fiqh of Abuu Ĥaniifah.” (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam).

[11] What is meant here is not real ability, but presumed ability. Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy, who narrates the belief of Abu Ĥaniifah in his famous ˆaqiidah says: And the ability which deeds occur by, is simultaneous with the deeds. This ability is the one depending on Aļļaah's creation of the ability to do good, which is forbidden to ascribe to creation. As for the ability that is associated with health, capability, mastery and defect free instruments; this (presumed ability) is before the deed, and this is the ability that accountability relates to.

[12] Yaˆquub ibn Ibraahiim ibn Ĥabiib Al-'Anşaariyy (113 h. -182 h.) was the companion of Abuu Ĥaniifah and his student. He was also the first to spread the teachings of the school of Abuu Ĥaniifah. He was a great Faqiih, encyclopedic scholar, and a Ĥaafiţħ Ĥadiitħ scholar. He was the Judge of the ˆAbbaasiyy empire and the first to be called “the Judge of Judges in this world.” (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam). As an anecdote, it was narrated by Ibraahiim Al-Jarraaĥ that he visited Abuu Yuusuf while the latter was sick in bed with the sickness he died from. Ibraahiim told what happened as follows: "Abuu Yuusuf opened his eyes and said, "Is throwing the peb-bles (in Ĥajj pilgrimage) while riding better or while walking?" I said, 'Walking." He said, "You are wrong." Then I said, "Riding." He said, "You are wrong." Then he said, "It is better to walk for all throwing that has standing after it, while it is better to ride for throwing that does not have standing after it." After that I stood up and left, and I had not reached the gate of the build-ing before I heard the cry that he had died. I was astonished by his craving for knowledge even in such a situation. (Source: Al-Mabsuuţ, As-Sarkhasiyy).

[13] A well known Muˆtazilite deviant, known for following the school of Abuu Ĥaniifah in fiqh, but had some Muˆtazilite beliefs.

[14] The statement “Qur'aan” has two meanings. One is the book of the Qur'aan, the other is the eternal and everlasting speech of Aļļaah that is not letters, not sound, not sequential and does not change. If someone declares that the “Qur'aan is created,” then it is not blasphemy if he meant the book. However, if he meant Aļļaah's attribute, then it is blasphemy. Some of the Muˆtazilites meant the first meaning, but others meant the other.

[15] Ĥaaritħ ibn Asad Al-Muĥaasibiyy, the great Şuufiyy and encyclopedic scholar of Islaam. He is the Sħaykħ of the famous Şuufiyy, encyclopedic scholar and judge: Al-Junayd. It is said that people named him “Al-Muĥaasibiyy,” which in Arabic means “the one who calls to account,” because he was constantly calling himself to account for his own deeds in light of the teachings of Islaam. (Source: Ţabaqaat Al-Sħaafiˆiyyah Al-Kubraa).

[16] Al-Ĥusayn ibn ˆAliyy Yaziid Al-Karaabiisiyy, Abuu ˆAliyy, was one of the students of Al-Sħaafiˆiyy. He was a great scholar of Fiqh, Ĥadiitħ and Kalaam. He narrated the old sayings of Al-Sħaafiˆiyy from Bagħdaad, and it is said that Al-Karaabiisiyy was that greatest of Al-Sħaafiˆiyy's students there. Al-Bukħaariyy used to narrate the saying of Al-Sħaafiˆiyy through him, as mentioned in Ţabaqaat Al-Sħaafiˆiyah.

[17] Ĥarmalah ibn Yaĥyaa Al-Tujiibiyy, (166 h.-243 h.) was a great Ĥaafiţħ (master savant of Ĥadiitħ) and Faqiih (master savant of Fiqh) from Egypt. (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam).

[18] Yuusuf ibn Yaĥyaa Al-Buwayţiyy, Abuu Yaˆquub (?- 231 h.) from Buwayţ in the Şaˆiid area of Egypt. Al-Sħaafiˆiyy said about him: “None of my companions are as knowledgeable as he.” He is the one that narrated the famous book of Al-Sħaafiˆiyy called Al-Umm. (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam).

[19] By “our associates,” he means the scholars of the Sħaafiˆiyy, Maalikiyy and Ĥanbaliyy schools of Fiqh (Islamic laws and prac-tices) and the scholars that have similar methodology. They are referred to as “the People of Ĥadiitħ”. People of Ĥadiitħ” as opposed to the “People of Insight” are terms used by the scholars to refer respectively to the fiqh scholars that have a strong apparent focus on Ĥadiitħ, and those with a strong focus on deeper issues of meaning. It does not mean that the latter group ignores authentic ĥadiitħs, both groups agree that authentic Ĥadiitħ without any flaws must be applied. It also does not mean that the former lack deep insight. It is rather a matter of how the two groups apparently differ in their ways. One finds the former speaking much like Ĥadiitħ specialists, while the latter focuses on long and intense debates on finer points of the meaning of ĥadiitħs and the Qur'aan. The latter will often refuse to go by the apparent meaning of Ĥadiitħ due to a weakness related to its meaning, while the former will largely (but certainly not always) override such flaws based on the strength of the chain of narration. To fully understand the differ-ences needs a lengthy study of Uşuulu-l-Fiqh – the scholarly methodology for drawing judgments regarding Islamic laws and practic-es directly from the four sources: The Qur'aan, Ĥadiitħ, ijmaaˆ and analogy. An important note also is that the “People of Ĥadiitħ” in scholarly terminology of old has a different meaning than those that call themselves by this name today.

[20] Muĥammad ibn Daawuud ibn ˆAliyy ibn Kħalaf Al- Ţħaahiriyy (255 h. - 297 h.) was an Imam and son of the Imam Daawuud Al-Ţħaahiriyy. He took over his father’s position as a Mufti and teacher after his father. (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam).

[21] In the manuscript it is written “Ibn Sħurayĥ”, but it is likely a typographical error, and should be Ibn Surayj, because he was the head of the Sunnis at that time and wrote very many books, as indicated by Abuu Manşuur:
Aĥmad ibn ˆUmar ibn Surayj Al-Bagħdaadiyy, Abuu Al-ˆAbbaas (249 h. - 306 h.) the head of the Sħaafiˆiyys of his time who wrote some 400 books and was a Judge in Sħiiraaz (in today's Iran). He fought deviant sects and had debates with Daawuud Al-Ţħaahiriyy. (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam).

[22] Al-Jaaruuf was a philosopher of the school of equality of proofs.

[23] The claim of equality of proofs is when someone looks at the evidences presented by two opponents and then declares himself unable to decide who is right. The book of Al-Jaaruuf, which defended the idea of equality of proofs, was written by a philo-sopher against Al-Jubbaa'iyy, who was a Muˆtazilite. This belief of equality of proofs is basically agnosticism, in the sense that they neither affirm nor deny, but its followers fall into three groups: First, those who question the existence of the Creator. Second, those who believe in the Creator, but doubt prophethood. Third, those who believe in the Creator and the prophethood of Muĥammad, but have doubts about other beliefs. (See Al-Fişal fi-l-Milal by Ibn Ĥazm).

[24] He seems to mean Abuu Al-Ĥusayn Ibn Al-Raawandiyy (? h.- 298 h.), who was a philosopher accused of numerous heresies. (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam).

[25] ˆAbduļļaah ibn Saˆiid ibn Kullaab, Abuu Muĥammad Al-Qaţţaan (? – d.245H), was one of the greatest Kalaam scholars of his time. (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam). He is also mentioned with the last name Al-Tamiimiyy by Al-Subkiyy in Ţabaqaat Al-Sħaafiˆiyyah Al-Kubraa. In Ţabaqaat Al-Sħaafiˆiyyah it is stated in the biography of ˆAbduļļaah ibn Saˆiid ibn Kullaab that Abuu Ĥasan Al-Asħˆariyy was heavily influenced by him and by Ĥaaritħ ibn Asad Al-Muĥaasibiyy

[26] Yaĥyaa ibn Saˆiid Al-Qaţţaan Al-Tamiimiyy, Abuu Saˆiid (120 h. – d.198H) one of the Imams of Ĥadiitħ science. He gave the Fat-was of Abuu Ĥaniifah and is regarded as a highly trustworthy Ĥaafiţħ. (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam).

[27] ˆAbdulˆAziiz ibn Yaĥyaa ibn ˆAbdulˆAziiz Al-Kinaaniyy Al-Makkiyy (? h. - 240) was among the students of Al-Sħaafiˆiyy and debated Bisħr Al-Mariisiyy. (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam).

[28] Al-Ĥusayn ibn Al-Fađl ibn ˆUmayr Al-Bajaliyy (178 h. - 282 h.) was one of the leaders of the knowledge of the meanings in the Qur'aan. He was originally from Al-Kuufah, but the governor ˆAbdulˆAziiz ibn Ţaahir brought him to Naysaabuur where he bought a house for him. He stayed there teaching until he died.

[29] Al-Junayd ibn Muĥammad ibn Al-Junayd Al-Bagħdaadiyy, Abuu Al-Qaasim, Al-Kħazzaaz (? - 297) was one of the greatest scholars of all time. One of his contemporaries said, “I have not laid my eyes on anyone like Al-Junayd. The scribes come to his lessons to learn from his words, the poets for his eloquence, and the Kalaam scholars for the meaning of what he says. The great scholars and historian Ibn Al-'Atħiir said about Al-Junayd: “The top scholar in the world in his time.” He is considered as one of the great imams of Sufism for his compliance to the sciences of Ĥadiitħ and Qur'aan along with leadership in Şuufiyy knowledge. He said, “Our way is controlled by the Qur'aan and Ĥadiitħ.” (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam).

[30] ˆAliyy ibn Ismaaˆiil ibn Isĥaaq, Abuu Al-Ĥasan, was among the descendants of the famous companion Abuu Muusaa Al-Asħˆariyy. He is the founder of the Asħˆariyy school in beliefs and a Mujtahid scholar. He authored some 300 books. (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam). He outlined the Sunni belief system in detail with explanations and proofs more than anyone else before him. For this rea-son, the Sunni scholars call themselves followers of the Asħˆariyy school.

[31] The people of insight are the followers of the Ĥanafiyy school today. Their belief are identical to that of the Asħˆariyy school, although they are usually called Maaturiidiyys as opposed to Asħˆariyys. The differences between these two schools basically come down to semantics. For this reason, the label as an “Asħˆariyy” follower is applied to followers of both schools.

[32] Abuu Al-Ĥasan Al-Baahiliyy Al-Başriyy was a direct student of Al-Asħˆariyy. The Ĥaafiţħ Ibn ˆAsaakir narrated from Abuu Bakr Al-Baaqillaaniy that he, Abuu Isĥaaq Al-Isfaraayiiniyy and Ibn Fuurak would have a lesson with Al-Baahiliyy once every week. Abuu Bakr said that he was so preoccupied with worship of Aļļaah that we had to remind him of the length of the lessons. He would also sit behind a curtain so that neither the three of them, nor the commoners that would attend could see him. When asked about this he answered, “You can see the commoners with your eyes, and they are people that tend to be negligent of religious concerns, and this way you will also look at me with the same eyes. Abuu Isĥaaq Al-Isfaraayiiniyy used to say, “I was like a drop in the ocean beside Abuu Al-Ĥasan Al-Baahiliyy.” On the other hand, Al-Baahiliyy used to say, “Beside Abuu Al-Ĥasan Al-Asħˆariyy I was a like a drop beside the ocean.” This was all mentioned by Ibn ˆAsaakir in Tabyiin Kadħibi-l-Muftariyy under the biography of Al-Baahiliyy in the chapter listing the students of Al-Asħˆariyy.

[33] Muĥammad ibn Aĥmad ibn Muĥammad ibn Yaˆquub ibn Mujaahid (? - 370 h.) was a scholar of the Maalikiyy school a stu-dent of Al-Asħˆariyy, and the teacher of Abuu Bakr Al-Baaqillaaniy. (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam).

[34] Muĥammad ibn Al-Ţayyib ibn Muĥammad ibn Jaˆfar, Abuu Bakr Al-Baaqillaaniy, Al-Qaađii al-Baaqillaaniy (338 h. - 403 h.) was the head of the Asħˆariyys of his time. He wrote many books, some of which are in print. (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam). Al-Dħahabiyy in his “Taariikħu-l-Islaam” V. 28, P. 89 relates that Al-Baaqillaaniy was once sent by the Muslim ruler to debate the Christian scribes of the Roman Emperor. When he arrived to the emperors hall they had made the entrance to the emperor very low, to the extent that one had to bow down in order to enter. Al-Baaqillaaniy realized that it was a trick to make him bow to the emperor, so he turned and entered back end first. Once there, he turned to one of the monks and said, “How are the wife and kids?” Astonished, the em-peror replied, “Do you not know that the monk elevates himself having a wife or kids?” Al-Baaqillaaniy closed his trap by quickly replying: “You consider him above this, but you do not consider Aļļaah to be clear of and above having a female companion and child?” He was also mockingly asked, “What happened to ˆAa'isħah?” They were referring to the time that she, the Prophet's wife, was accused by the hypocrites of having been unfaithful. They wanted to make him lose his temper by their insinuations. Al-Baaqillaaniy answered: “As what happened to Maryam. (They were both accused of adultery), then they were both declared inno-cent by Aļļaah, and Maryam brought a baby, while ˆAa'isħah did not.” They could find no response to this, because he had shown them that permitting the slander of ˆAa'isħah would imply permitting ugly and heretical slander of Maryam even more.

[35] Muĥammad ibn Al-Ĥasan ibn Fuurak Al-Anşaariyy Al-Aşbahaaniyy (? - 406 h.) was among the greatest scholars of belief me-thodology, as well as Sħaafiˆiyy fiqh (jurisprudence).

[36] Ibraahiim ibn Muĥammad ibn Ibraahiim ibn Mihraan, Abuu Isĥaaq Al-Isfaraayiiniyy (? - 418 h.) was a great scholar of be-liefs, methodology and fiqh. He used to be nicknamed “the pillar of the religion.” He was also a reliable narrator of Ĥadiitħ. (Source: Al-'Aˆlaam). He was one of the teachers of Abuu Manşuur –the author himself.

[37] Abuu Al-Ĥasan ˆAliyy ibn Muĥammad ibn Mahdiyy Al-Ţabariyy was a student of Al-Asħˆariyy in Al-Başrah. The meaning of one of his poems is: He is not lost who has a companion able to mend his ways. For the world is merely by its inhabitants and a per-son is by his companions.

[38] I was unable to find anyone of this name that is of Abuu Manşuur's generation or earlier. The Al-Ĥusayn ibn Muĥammad Al-Bazzaaziyy mentioned in Al-Waafii bi-l-Wafayaat died in 495 h., which seems too late for being meant here.

[39] Muĥammad ibn ˆAbdulWahhaab ibn ˆAbdurRaĥmaan ibn ibn ˆAbdulWahhaab, Abuu ˆAliyy Al-Tħaqafiyy (244 h. - 328 h.) was among the greatest scholars of all time in fiqh, methodology and belief. He stayed in Naysaabuur. Ibn Kħuzaymah told him one time: “It is not allowed for any of us to give fatwaa as long as you are alive.” (Source: Siyar 'Aˆlaam Al-Nubalaa').

[40] Aĥmad ibn ˆAbdurRaĥmaan ibn Kħaalid Al-Qalaanisiyy Al-Raazii, was among the Sunni scholars that lived in the time of Al-Asħˆariyy and fought deviants. His appearance as a defender of the faith was earlier that that of Al-Asħˆariyy, and he was not among his students. (Source: Ibn ˆAsaakir in Tabyiin Kadħibi-l-Muftarii P. 293.)

Rational Quranic Religion vs Wahabism

Authored by:
Shaykh Abu Adam

Read the full article: PDF


Applied Belief Science:

The first of the ĥikam explained

The great scholars of taşawwuf are also great scholars of belief, because taşawwuf is about bringing all ones actions, most specifically those of the heart, in alignment with the Islamic belief in Aļļaah.
For this reason we will put some writings of taşawwuf on this blog.

The first of these is from the:
Hikam of Ibn Aţaa’ illaah As-Sakandariyy.
These ĥikam, or words of wisdom, need to be put in context of each other as well as the Islamic beliefs and laws established by the Qur’aan, ĥadiitħs and Scholarly Ijmaaˆ Consensus.
They are a set of tools for diagnosis and treatment of the heart. A competent medical doctor does not base his diagnosis on temperature alone, but combined with clinical signs, blood tests, x-rays and other tools. Having said that, the following is the first of the ĥikam and its explanation:
من علامات الاعتماد على العمل، نقصان الرجاء عند وجود الزلل
Among the sign of one’s reliance on his own effort, is the loss of hope when one makes a mistake.

The author is saying that if you experience such loss of hope, then this may be a sign that your heart is skewed towards relying on your deeds to succeed in the Hereafter. The perfect state however, is to rely on Aļļaah only, since He is the Creator of all deeds, all benefit, all harm, all reward, and all punishment. Nothing influences Aļļaah, including your deeds, because He created them, knew what you would do eternally, and He Himself is not created. He is eternal and does not change, so nothing with a beginning can influence Him in any way. He is the creator of everything, so He is not affected by it, because an effect must have a beginning, and anything with a beginning is His creation.

Aļļaah is not obliged to punish or reward anyone for anything they do.

Al-Bukħaariyy narrated through Abuu Hurayrah that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
لَنْ يُدْخِلَ أَحَدًا عَمَلُهُ الْجَنَّةَ قَالُوا وَلا أَنْتَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ لا وَلا أَنَا إِلاَّ أَنْ يَتَغَمَّدَنِي اللَّهُ بِفَضْلٍ وَرَحْمَةٍ فَسَدِّدُوا وَقَارِبُوا وَلا يَتَمَنَّيَنَّ أَحَدُكُمْ الْمَوْتَ إِمَّا مُحْسِنًا فَلَعَلَّهُ أَنْ يَزْدَادَ خَيْرًا وَإِمَّا مُسِيئًا فَلَعَلَّهُ أَنْ يَسْتَعْتِبَ
"Your deeds will not put you in Paradise." They asked: "Not even for you, O Messenger of Aļļaah?" He answered: "No, not even for me, except that Aļļaah will cover me with grace and mercy. So seek what is correct, and strive to be close to it, and let no one of you hope for death, because he will either be a doing well, so perhaps he will do better, or he will be doing poorly, so perhaps he will remove what is blameworthy."

The actions we make are creations of Allah, predestined and created by him.

Aļļaah (عز وجل) said:
وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
Meaning: "Aļļaah created you and what you do." (Aş-Şaaffaat. 96).
He (عز وجل) also said:
وما تشاءون إلا أن يشاء الله
Meaning: "You do not will anything unless Aļļaah has willed it." (Al-Insaan, 30).
Every instance of pleasure or pain is created by Him.
Aļļaah (عز وجل) said:
وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَقَدَّرَهُ تَقْدِيرًا
Meaning: "And He created everything and predestined it." (Al-Furqaan, 2)
He (سبحانه وتعالى) also said:
هَلْ مِنْ خَالِقٍ غَيْرُ اللَّهِ
Meaning: "Is there another creator than Aļļaah?" (Faaţir, 3)
Accordingly, if one makes a mistake and loses hope because of that, then it is an indication that one is relying on one’s own deeds, rather than on their Creator.
As long as there is life there is hope
One should not lose hope, because it is the state one is at in the final moment that matters, and this can change completely in a matter of seconds.

Al-Bukħaariyy narrated that the Prophet said:
إِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ يُجْمَعُ فِي بَطْنِ أُمِّهِ أَرْبَعِينَ يَوْمًا ثُمَّ عَلَقَةً مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ ثُمَّ يَكُونُ مُضْغَةً مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ ثُمَّ يَبْعَثُ اللَّهُ مَلَكًا فَيُؤْمَرُ بِأَرْبَعٍ بِرِزْقِهِ وَأَجَلِهِ وَشَقِيٌّ أَوْ سَعِيدٌ فَوَاللَّهِ إِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ أَوْ الرَّجُلَ يَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّارِ حَتَّى مَا يَكُونُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهَا غَيْرُ بَاعٍ أَوْ ذِرَاعٍ فَيَسْبِقُ عَلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ فَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ فَيَدْخُلُهَا وَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ حَتَّى مَا يَكُونُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهَا غَيْرُ ذِرَاعٍ أَوْ ذِرَاعَيْنِ فَيَسْبِقُ عَلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ فَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّارِ فَيَدْخُلُهَا
"Verily one of you is gathered in his mothers stomach for forty days, then he is a blood-clot for forty days, then a piece of meat for forty days, then Aļļaah sends an angel ordered with four words: his provision, his end, happy or miserable. By Aļļaah, verily one of you may be committing the deeds of the people of Hell, until he is only an arm’s length away, when (it is as if) his destined end overwhelms him and he starts to perform the works of the people of Paradise, and enters it. And verily one of you may be committing the deeds of the people of Paradise, until he is only an arm’s length away, when (it is as if) his destined end overwhelms him and he starts to perform the works of the people of Hell, and enters it."
The meaning of all of the above
One’s hope for Allah’s grace and mercy should be based purely on hoping from Allah alone, because all your efforts, intentions and thoughts are all simply part of what Allah has created in you. Aļļaah is attributed with pure and perfect benevolence, His benevolence and gifts are hoped for because of His perfection in His Self, attributes and actions, not because of other than Him, including one’s deeds. This does not contradict the desire for His reward, due to His benevolence, when obedience occurs; nor does it contradict fear from punishment, when one is afflicted with committing a sin.
The point is that the focus of the one who truly knows Aļļaah, is towards His Lord and not his own deeds, because Aļļaah:
- gave us the power to do good deeds.
- created them in us.
- and out of generosity accepted them.
Not only that, but after he gave us the power, and created them, and accepted them, then without any obligation, he rewards us on our deeds. So how can we thank our God that rewards us on deeds that He created and accepted?
Scholars and worshipful Muslims used to perform a lot of prayers and fasting and other good deeds, because they knew that no matter what they do, they cannot thank Aļļaah as He deserves. The Prophet Muhammad had no sins to worry about for his Hereafter, yet his heals would get swollen from standing long hours in prayers. When asked about this he said,
"should I not be a thankful slave?"
Good deeds are signs that a person is a good person, but if Allah does not accept them they are nothing. If a person made sujuud for Aļļaah on fire from the days of Adam to the end of this world will he have thanked Aļļaah as He deserves?
How can he, when he is Aļļaah’s creation and Aļļaah is the one who created this sujuud in him and he is an absolute slave of Aļļaah, created and sustained by Him in every sense?
On the other hand, when a person does a bad thing, then the sin by itself is nothing in light of Aļļaah’s forgiveness and mercifulness, or His Self Existence, without need for anything or anyone. If a person does a sin and sees only his deed without recognizing Aļļaah’s mercifulness and forgiveness, then this is a sign that this person is arrogant; he gives his deeds a great deal of importance. Sins are signs that this person is not a thankful person, but sins by themselves are nothing if Aļļaah does not will to punish us for them.
All taşawwuf revolve around the belief that everything is by Aļļaah’s will, and is created by Aļļaah and that we are slaves that do not have the power or will to do anything if Aļļaah does not will it. Our own existence is by the will of Aļļaah and His creation. Our deeds are created by Aļļaah; our intensions are created by Aļļaah. We would be nothing if Aļļaah had not willed us to exist.
This does not mean that a person should not do good deeds or he should not feel sad or bad when he does a sin. It means that a person should know who he is. He should always remember that he is a slave that has no power or will if His Creator does not will.
All great sufis, scholars, and Islamic figures were great worshipers, because they knew the greatness of Aļļaah, and knew their state as slaves, and knew that no matter what they do they cannot thank their creator for all the gifts that He gave them. This state of always recognizing that they are slaves and trying to thank their Creator for all His gifts overwhelmed them and this led them to do all this worship.
Good deeds are good because they are signs of worshipping Aļļaah, and sins are bad because they are signs of disobeying Aļļaah. From this one can see why Allah might forgive sins, but will not forgive kufr, because the person who does a sin still recognizes that He is a slave and has a God, a Creator that owns him. The one who does kufr, however, is so egocentric that He thinks himself not a slave. Even when he worships idols he only does that because his ancestors did so, and this is arrogance in thinking high of his ancestors. If, on the other hand, he selects what he thinks is his god, other than Aļļaah, or attributes to Aļļaah what does not befit Him, then this is also arrogance, because he only does that thinking he has the right, or power, or knowledge to so.
I end this by saying that they say that
Abuu Yaziid al Bustaamiyy

saw Aļļaah in his dream and asked him: O Aļļaah! How can a person reach a state of "wusuul," which is a high state in taşawwuf (slavery to Aļļaah).

They say that Allah answered him in the dream:

"leave your ‘self’ and you will reach that state."

Ahmad ibn Muhammad Ibn 'Ata Allah al-Iskandari

(d.709 A.H - d. 1309 C.E.)

The Book of Wisdoms of Ibn `Ata'illah as-Sakandari and its Commentaries
[al-Hikam al-‘Ata'iyya]

Click:Al-Hikam al-‘Ata'iyya - Book of Wisdoms by Nuh Ha Mim Keller
also read:
Hikam No. 3, translation Dr. G. F. Haddad
Commentary on al-Hikam by Ibn Ajiba and its explanation by Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani

Ibn `Ata' Allah al-Iskandari (RA) (d. 709 A.H)

The Debate with Ibn Taymiyya

Read: Here
Ibn 'Ata' Allah alayhir rahman

was one of those who confronted IBN TAYMIYYA for his excesses in attacking those of the Sufis with whom he disagreed.

What he said to Ibn Taymiyya regarding SHAYKH IBN AL ‘ARABI;
"Ibn 'Arabi was one of the greatest of the jurists who followed the school of Dawud al-Zahiri after Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi, who is close to your methodology in Islamic law, O Hanbalis! But although Ibn 'Arabi was a Zahiri (i.e. a literalist in matters of Islamic law), the method he applied to understand ultimate reality (al-haqiqa) was to search out the hidden, spiritual meaning (tariq al-batin), that is, to purify the inward self (tathir al-batin).
What he said to Ibn Taymiyya regarding tawassul;
Is there any true believer who believes that there is someone who can reward him for his good deeds and punish him for his bad ones other than Allah? Besides this, we must consider that there are expressions which should not be taken just in their literal sense. This is not because of fear of associating a partner with Allah and in order to block the means to idolatry. For whoever seeks help from the Prophet only seeks his power of intercession with Allah as when you yourself say: "This food satisfies my appetite." Does the food itself satisfy your appetite? Or is it the case that it is Allah who satisfies your appetite through the food?

As for your statement that Allah has forbidden Muslims to call upon anyone other than Himself in seeking help, have you actually seen any Muslim calling on someone other than Allah? The verse you cite from the Qur'an was revealed concerning the idolaters and those who used to call on their false gods and ignore Allah. Whereas, the only way Muslims seek the help of the Prophet is in the sense of tawassul or seeking a means, by virtue of the privilege he has received from Allah (bi haqqihi 'inda Allah), andtashaffu' or seeking intercession, by virtue of the power of intercession which Allah has bestowed on him.
As for your pronouncement that istighatha or seeking help is forbidden in the Shari'abecause it can lead to idolatry, if this is the case, then we ought also to prohibit grapes because they are means to making wine, and to castrate unmarried men because not to do so leaves in the world a means to commit fornication and adultery."

What he said regarding IMAM AL-GHAZALI;
"al-Ghazali was equally an Imam both in Shari'a and tasawwuf. He treated legal rulings, the Sunnah, and the Shari'a with the spirit of the Sufi. And by applying this method he was able to revive the religious sciences. We know that tasawwufrecognizes that what is sullied has no part in religion and that cleanliness has the character of faith. The true and sincere sufi must cultivate in his heart the faith recognized by the Ahl al-Sunnah.
Ibn 'Ata' Allah taught at both the al-Azhar Mosque and the Mansuriyyah Madrasah in Cairo as well as privately to his disciples. However, it is not known where his Zawiyah was located.
Shaykh Ibn 'Ata' Allah died at around sixty years of age in the middle of Jumada II 709 H/November 1309 CE. As befitting an eminent and learned teacher, he died in the Mansuriyyah Madrasah. His funeral procession was witnessed by hundreds of people and he was buried in the Qarafah Cemetery in Cairo in what is today called the 'City of the Dead', at the foot of Jabal al-Muqattam. His tomb became famous as the site of homage, visitation, prayer, and miraculous occurrences. To this day this is still the case.
This pious and extraordinary contemplative figure left behind a spiritual legacy no less impressive than those of his own beloved Shaykh, and the eminent founder Shaykh Abu'l-Hasan ash-Shadhili. All the biographers refer to Ibn 'Ata Allah with illustrious titles and reverence and mention how marvellously he spoke and how uplifting his words were. In spite of the fact that he followed the Maliki madhbab, the Shafi'is laid claim to him, most probably because some of his earlier teachers had been Shafi'i scholars, not to mention some of his students.

Bayazid Bastami (RA)
Abu Yazid Bistami or Tayfur Abu Yazid al-Bustami,
(b.189 A.H- d.261 A.H) (b.804-d. 874 CE)
was a Persian Sufi born in Bastam, Iran.

When Bayazid died, he was over seventy years old. Before he died, someone asked him his age. He said: "I am four years old. For seventy years I was veiled. I got rid of my veils only four years ago." The 39th Sheikh of the Golden Chain, Sultan al-Awliya Sheikh `Abdullah Daghestani, referred to this saying in his encounter with Khidr , who told him, as he was pointing to the graves of some great scholars in a Muslim cemetary: "This one is three years old; that one, seven; that one, twelve."
Bayazid died in 261 H. It is said he is buried in two places, one is Damascus and the other is Bistam in Persia. The secret of the Golden Chain was passed from Bayazid al-Bistami to
Many Muslim scholars in his time, and many after his time, said that Bayazid al-Bistami was the first one to spread the Reality of Annihilation(fana'). Even the most heretical and puritan of scholars, Ibn Taymiyya, who came in the 7th Century A.H., admired Bayazid for this and considered him to be one of his masters.Ibn Taymiyya said about him,
"There are two categories of fana': one is for the perfect Prophets and saints, and one is for seekers from among the saints and pious people(saliheen). Bayazid al-Bistami Radi Allahu anhu is from the first category of those who experience fana', which means the complete renunciation of anything other than God. He accepts none except God. He worships none except Him, and he asks from none except Him."

He continues, quoting Bayazid saying,

"I want not to want except what He wants."


(edited by ADHM)