Ash’ari Theology at a Glance

Research material provided by Haitham Hamdan of @ Multaqa Ahlal-Hadeeth

The Mutakallimeen refer to this proof as “The Mother of All Proofs” (أم البراهين). Here are another two proofs that are less common:دليل تخصيصالأعراض)
– Bodies have characteristics which distinguish them from other bodies. There must have been a “specifier” who specified the certain characteristics to the certain body. This will eventually lead to the presence of a final Specifier who is not subject to being specified.
– Bodies are assembled from atoms, and therefore, bodies are in need of the parts from which they were assembled. This means that bodies are not self sufficient and that they do no exist by default. Their existence in only possible. There has to exist a being who makes this possibility a reality.

1) Proof of Specification of Accidents (

The advantage of using this proof over the previous one is that there is no need to go through demonstrating that bodies were created from nothingness.

2) Proof of Assembly (

– Mutakallimeen considered it an obligation to believe in the Atomism theory, because it is the way to prove the existence of Allah SWT.
– The essence of the Mutakallimeen’s proofs on the existence of Allah SWT is the fact the He must be different than his creation.
– Mutakallimeen considered these proofs to be logical. Therefore, our understanding of the Quran and Sunnah must be in compliance with these proofs.
– A distinction needs to be made between:
* Something having a beginning.
* Something the existence of which is only possible.

* Manahijul Adillah by Ibn Rushd.
* Dar’ Ta’aarub Al-‘Aql Al Naql by ibn Taymiyyah.
* Ummul Baraheen by Hamid al-Ali.


Atomism and the Belief of the Intrinsic Quality of Things (فعلالطباع):

Ash’aris do not believe in the intrinsic quality of things. Fire does not have the intrinsic quality to burn. It only burns because Allah SWT creates the burning in that which comes in contact with it. Similarly, food does not intrinsically quiet one’s hunger. It is only created by Allah SWT whenever food is consumed.تجانسالأجسام). To them, if a set of atoms had an intrinsic quality, then all other atoms must have the same quality. If a set of atoms has the intrinsic quality of burning, then all atoms must burn. And the same with thirst quenching … etc. Since this is not the case, they deny that anything has an intrinsic quality.نظريةالعادة), which was mentioned in the essay. Allah SWT made it a habit to make us feel full when we eat, not that food has the intrinsic quality of quieting hunger.

The theory of Atomism was the basis for this belief. Senior Ash’ari scholars believed in the homogeneity of atoms (

Implications of this Belief:
1) This is how they explain why sometimes you eat and still feel hungry, and sometimes not feel hungry even if you have not eaten for sometime.

2) They also use this to understand prophetic miracles. They say: the fact that the fire did not burn Ibraheem ASWS means that it does not have a natural quality of burning.

3) It lead them not to believe in cause and effect, and hence develop the theory of Allah’s Habitual Actions (

4) The theory of Kasb which was outlined in the essay is based on the human not having the intrinsic quality of action. Their actions are only created by Allah SWT.

5) It helped them refute Zoroastrians who believed in the existence of an intrinsically good force and another which is intrinsically evil.

6) It helped them refute the Greek notion that the universe was created as an image of God, not by His Will and Ability.

7) They thought that denying the intrinsic quality in things is an essential part of Tawheed. There is only one actor, Allah SWT. They say that if you believe that the fire burns then you believe it to be a partner to Allah SWT.

Ahlussunnah, as well as all people with some common sense, believe in the intrinsic quality of things. Ibnul Qayyim RA said that in the Quaran and Sunnah there are more than 10,000 proofs on cause and effect.

Reference: Al-Tamheed by Al-Baqillahi.

Other Implications of the ‘Aqeedah of Jawhar and ‘Arad:
As in the original article, Ash’aris believe that: ‘No accident can last two successive instances of time.’


This resulted in them believing that:


1) The Prophet ASWS is not a prophet at this time, because an attribute cannot last forever.


2) The soul of a human seizes to exist after death. To some Ash’aris, the soul is life itself, and life is an ‘Arad that cannot last forever. So no soul is taken by the angles of death, or elevated to the heaven or tortured in the grave. They believe that Allah SWT gives a new life in the grave so that the body could feel joy/punishment.


3) Resurrection to some Ash’aris is for new particles to be created to form the new resurrected body. They do not believe that the same particles which disintegrated after death come back to form the resurrected body.