The Ash’ari Creed of Kalaam Nafsi: An Introspection in Light of Sunni Thought

On Allah’s Incapability Series Vol I: The Aqidah of Kalam Nafsi of the Ash’aris

الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم وبارك على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين.
السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركات

General Outline:

the topic of kalam nafsi holds a special postion within the ash’ari nomenclanturial polemic.

The issues that pertain to this subject which adds confusion to their polemic are issues that they themselves raise like

1. harf (letters, and how they come about)
2. Sawt (and the fact that voice is heard, and voice entails sounds)
3. Muhdath (the topic of things being emergent which entails it to be other than Allah i.e. created)
4. Kalaam (and the nature of Kalaam and how ash’aris morphed Allah into a Being that cannot speak at His Own Will)
5. Time


The issue of letters is one of he doubts that the ash’aris initiated in later times that is an almost exact replica regarding what the Jahmis did in the early times with the Qur’an itself.

To understand the nature of Ash’ari thought, one must go back into the canyon of Jahmi thought from among their forefathers.

The jahmiyyah, when their kufr was countered by the entirety of the Muslim populace in that the Qur’an is itself created, what they tried to do is espouse the same aqidah under a different guise and word structure. So instead of saying “The Qu’ran is created” they thought that they would be more clever by stating that
“My recitation is created”

This was a clever trick of Iblees because
1. it was not absolutely clear what was meant, since Iblees only operates and is more effective in doubtful matters rather than on clear unambigious matters
2. It clouded the perception of the ordinary people by such ambigious speech.

However, Allah blessed the religion of Islam and the ummah with someone whose cleverness annialated theirs, and that was Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal.

Ahmad bin Hanbal, after hearing about the issue of the Jahmiyyah initiating this new concept of “my recitation is created”, his immediate fatwa was simply
“whoever says my recitation is created is a jahmi”

Now, this fatwa was a premptive form to counter tha kalaam of the Jahmiyyah. However, our sunni athari creed is that
1. the Qur’an is NOT created
2. the actions of the servants are created
3. our recitation is an action

In other words, according to the Muslims, our act of reciting is what is created, but not what is actually recited i.e. the Qur’an.

So when I, or any ahtari says that “my recitation is created” it is understood that what he means is that his very own act of reciting is created, but not what is recited. However, when a jahmi says the same statement, he means by this that what he is actually reciting (the Qur’an) is itself created, which is kufr.

Now, we get into the Ash’ari polemic. The Ash’aris have evolutionized Jahmi polemics into a more broader level. Instead of saying that the Qur’an or the recitation is created, they began to innovate other forms of speech in order to arrive and prove the validity of the Jahmi argument that the Qur’an itself is created. This baffling aqidah of theirs allowed them to make some reprehensible statements and some absurdities about the Kalaam of Allah and the Qur’an. Some of them even mentioned that there are two Qur’ans, and the one we have here on earth is different than the actual Qur’an, and these absurd ideas was going around even in Haafidh at-Tabari’s time which is one of the reasons for his authoring of Sareeh as-Sunnah, and once one understands the argument of the neo-Jahmis of our time, then one can fully understand the language of the orthodox Sunni scholars who made takfir of such people.

At any rate, instead of Ash’aris saying what their fathers said, they found ways to evolutionize their argument. So instead of saying those previous attacks against the Qur’an, they innovated statments like
“the letters and words are created”, in order to justify that the actual Qur’an is created, which is the same argument their forefathers were fighting for

They also began to say things like “when words are processed and stated, it has a beginning and it has an end, and because things have a beginning and an end, then that means that this Qu’ran that we have is not the actual Attribute of Allah’s kalaam, and is therefore created”


The isue of the nature of the Qur’an has even entered into the topic of voice. the Ash’aris also added other arguments regarding the alleged “createdness” of the Qur’an by saying that Qur’an is not the qur’an until it is recitaed, and when it is recited, it is perofmred with voice, and voice is created and this is unacceptable for Allah, therefore the Qur’an is that is recited is created, whcih is the very same intentions and aspersions that the Jahmiyyah were attacking us with before their children (ash’aris) were born (innovated into the religion later on).

The sunnah has certain hadeth blatently affirming that Allah has a sound and that He is heard. Indeed Imaam al-Bukharee in his Khalq Af’aal al-‘Ibaad is a living testament to this fact. I will try to find these narrations in the Khalq, I believe i translated a couple of them, but anyone interested into studying ash’ari polemics will indefinately find much valuable information in Imaam al-Bukharee’s book ,simply because the same psyche that formed Jahmi thought, is the exact replica of Ash’ari thought, only the ash’ari aqidah is slightly more vast due to the fact that Allah allowed for their heresy to remain longer within the ummah and their fathers.


The issue of muhdath (emergent) is another intricacy that ash’ris threw in like a trojan horse into our Islamic aqida in order to baffle the ignorant and average people into their viewpoint.

They made a principle which goes somewhat like this
“everything that has a beginning (and end) is created”

this asl stems form their logic which was adopted from Aristotle that everything is either an accident (meaning initiated in philosophy i.e. muhdath) or it is a substance (the original source, things that form accidents or affect the causes of accidents)

As anyone can see, in this subject, things get extremely kalaami in nature, and all of it is fro mthe shaytan in order to cloud the thought and beliefs of orthodoxy so as to cause shubuhaat and dhulumaat for the average person making it easier for Shaytans doubts to be accepted by the people.


NOW, we enter into Kalaam Nafis of the Ash’aris

The simple Sunni belief vs the Ash’ari belief is exemplifie below

Sunni Muslim belief=Allah speaks whenever and however He likes to whoever He likes, and wherever He wishes

Ash’ari belief= Allah cannot speak whenever He likes, heck He simply cannot speak AT ALL, nor does He speak wherever, whenever, or however.

The bottom line is that according to Ash’aris, Allah CANNOT speak AT ALL. He does not speak. thats the essence of Kalam Nafsi

So what is Kalaam Nafsi

Kalam Nafsi is the concept that Allah’s kalaam subsists within Himself. It is a concept where a bunch of mumbo jumbo kalaam is within Himself, and when it is needed to address the creation, He pulls out of this pile of kalaam and forms it so that He can efficiently address the creation. This idea was formulated so as to keep in line with the fake manhaj of tanzih by avoiding saying that Allahs speech is emergent and therefore created. This incapability they formulated for Allah was so that they can escape from having to affirm that Allah’s speaks with words and letters that have a beginning and an end.

In essence, kalaam nafsi is the garbage aqida invented by a people who believe that Allah cannot actually speak, so when He will address the creation, He will extract what He wishes to say from His pile of kalam within Himself and construct it into a way that the creation can understand.


Another issue they bring up is that Allah exists outside of the bounds of time, so when speech is stated, it is stated in a specific point in time, and therefore Allah does not speak.

This is one of the doubts that got the Mutazilah to deny that Allah spoke to Musa in the Qur’an, and this issue right here, even though it was pertaining to the Mutazilah, is exactly the same with these ash’aris. So I will inshallah address this matter as well regarding Allah’s speech to Musa along with Bukharee’s Khalq Afal al-Ibaad.

They raised this doubt in order to complicate the jahmi aqidah with a sunni blanket, and this is why they have more effect than their fathers among the jahmiyyah and mutazilah had.