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A Reply to A Pseudo Mutakalim, Abdullah bin Haamid Ali on Allah’s Speech

 

In his work “The Speech and Word of Allah (Kalām): In Light of Traditional Discussions.”

Abdullah Haamid Ali basically tries to assert in this article that Scholars such as Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah borrowed his beliefs from the Neo-Platonic philosophers and thus claims the following

Ustaadh Abdullah Haamid Ali says

Quote:

Salafis likely don’t realize what their view necessitates in that it results from it that Allah has two attributes of speech as opposed to one. One of them is an attribute of His divine essence, which is without beginning as His essence is. And the other is an attribute of action or just an act of creation done by the Creator, which must be created, since it is something that occurs outside of His being. Unfortunately, the Salafis insist that sounds, letters, and words can be without beginning in spite of the fact that one letter precedes another, which clearly indicates that they are time-specific.Shaykh Muhammad ibn Sālih Al-‘Uthaymīn says after mentioning that Allah has two types of attributes, which are those of the divine essence (dhāt) and those that are actions (f’il):“Additionally, the attribute may happen to be of the essence and an action [dhātiyya fi’liyya] at the same time from two different regards, like speech (kalām). It is while considering its origin an attribute of the essence, since Allah has everlastingly and continues to be one who speaks (mutakallim). And while considering the individual incidents of speech (āhād al-kalām) it is an attribute of action, since speech pertains to His will. He speaks when and with what He pleases”

 

Firstly, the above in bold is false. Allah’s Attribute of action comes from Allah’s Essence = not created
while creation is something separate from Allah’s Essence.

As for Allah’s speech coming out/emerging from Allah’s Essence, this was stated by a number of the pious Salaf:

Imam al-Bukhari rahimahullah said in “Khalq Af’al al-Ibad” :
وإن قال قائل فقد روي عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم إنكم لن ترجعوا إلى الله بشيء أفضل مما خرج منه
قيل له أليس القرآن خرج منه فخروجه منه ليس كخروجه منك إن كنت تفهم
مع أن هذا الخبر لا يصح لإرساله وانقطاعه

Partial translation

“Didn’t the Quran come out/emerge from Him ((kharaja minhu), so it (Quran) coming out/emerging from Him (khurujuhu minhu) is not how it comes out/emerges from you if you
comprehend.”[1]

Imam Uthman bin Sa’eed Ad-Darimi rahimahullah said in “Naqd Ad-Darimi”

والقرآن كلامه الذي منه خرج وبه تكلم

“And the Quran is His Speech that emerged from Him (minhu kharaja), and with it,He Spoke”[2]

Yet, according to the stated Aristotelian philosophy which Abdullah Haamid concedes to as the proper Islamic madhaab in doctrine, he claims that if something happens beyond Allah’s actual Self, even if it is an action from Him, then it must be created, which is the same reasoning that the Jahmiyyah employed to insinuate that the Qur’an is created. So here, we see a clear a clear opposition between the orthodox creed of Imaam al-Bukharee and Haafidh Uthmaan bin Sa’eed, and to that extension, the ummah, versus the heterodox creed as espoused by Abdullah Haamid who imitates the stated advocacy and legacy of the philosophers within the gown of “traditionalism”

Secondly, this is the reason for his error because he misconstrued what is normally articulated. If we examine Ibn Uthaymeen’s statement in light of simple reason and objectivity based on his own quote, this is what he actually says

“Additionally, the attribute may happen to be of the essence and an action [dhātiyya fi’liyya] at the same time from two different regards, like speech (kalām). It is while considering its origin an attribute of the essence, since Allah has everlastingly and continues to be one who speaks (mutakallim). And while considering the individual incidents of speech (āhād al-kalām) it is an attribute of action, since speech pertains to His will. He speaks when and with what He pleases”[3]

The underlined portion represents “Ustaadh” Abdullah Ali’s misconception for he viewed or interpreted that phrasal clause as if Ibn Uthaymeen was speaking about two attributes.

The first repelling of this misnomer is the fact that he started off by saying what he said in bold i.e. “THE attribute” meaning singular. He is speaking of the attribute of speech and not that Allah has two attributes of speech or two separate Attributes.

The second repelling of his not so clever interpretation is the fact that the two sectors of Allah’s speech that Ibn Uthaymeen was commenting upon is merely
1. Ability (that stems from His Will by which He is able to speak whenever He wishes)
2. The Action (whereby Allah becomes al-Faa’il (the Actor) thereof when He speaks. This is because in the language of the Arabs, whenever there is a f’ilun (action), then there must be a Faa’il (an actor))

What Abdullah Ali is trying to do is to try to make the salafi belief as preposterous as his own belief by insinuating that our belief stems from neo-platonic kalaam. That is a perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black.

In order to understand this belief, let us implement the principle the ulema are known for using, that being “a thing is made known by its opposite

So in this case, let us contrast this belief with his own jahmi creed.

The Jahmi creed by which Abdullah Haamid Ali subscribes to, claiming it as the creed of ahlu-sunnah, entails the belief of the first part and negates the belief of the second part.

In other words, they subscribe to the words of Ibn Uthaymeen by saying that It is an attribute stemming from His “Iraada” (Will), but they deny that Allah has the Qudrah (power of ability) to ACTUALLY speak when He wishes because doing such an act automatically regulates Allah’s action as created, according to their own flawed and conjectural delusions that their school of thought was known to apply upon Allah.

Therefore from this disastrous belief of kufr, when being pressed to answer for how Allah spoke to Musa, the Qur’an, and whatever else, they had to come up with a scapegoat argument; that argument being kalam nafsi. So now we all know that the doctrine of Kalam Nafsi is nothing but a scapegoat argument. However, that doctrine only cornered them more into the world of kufr. That is because Allah now has to go to His ATM Kalam Account, make a withdrawal from the kalaam that subsist within Himself (hence “Nafsihi” as they say) and then form it in a way that the creation can be affected by it positively.

The modern day Jahmis are willing to go through all of these loopholes for the sake of the preservation of their Aristotelian dialectic principles that is deceptively labeled as tanzih (purifying). Because affirming that Allah actual is a mutakalim as every Muslim concedes to, then that means in their warped and corrupted logic that
1. It entails sound (and thus created)
2. Entails letters (and thus created)
3. Entails a temporal happening within a point of time; i.e. hadath (and thus created).

So each one of these in their pathetic madhaab entails kufr, and to merely affirm that Allah actually speaks entails a “megakufr” as it would engulf all three forms of what they view as kufr.

Now, to continue with the brilliance of Abdullah Ali, he says

Quote:

Upon close reflection, it is revealed that the opinion of the Salafis is not much different from what the Mu’tazila say in that ‘Allah’s speech is one of His acts, not a quality of His essence.’ The only difference is that the Mu’tazila are shown to be more reasonable by denying that Allah has an eternal attribute found with His being referred to as ‘speech,’ since they deny the possibility of something being without beginning and created at the same time.

The first claim he made here was to insinuate that our creed is almost a match to that of the M’utazilah. In what regard? He uses as proof from this claim that both (m’utazilah and salafis) say that Allah’s speech is one of His acts and not a quality of His Essence

However, that is extremely funny, so much so that I could only conclude that this pseudo Jahmi is either to dumb or a liar as he made this claim because if we review his own quote of Ibn Uthaymeen, Ibn Uthaymeen affirms the attribute to be that of the Essence TWICE in the same quote

1. …the attribute may happen to be of the essence…
2. It is while considering its origin an attribute of the essence,…

I find it strange for Abdullah Ali to make this claim that salafis DO NOT consider the Attribute of Allah’s Speech (kalaam) to be from that of His essence when the belief of the salafis is exactly the opposite.

To continue with the stifling words of Abdullah Haamid Ali, he says

Quote:

All of this must be considered with regard to the similarities between the two sects, since if – ‘Uthaymīn said – “…speech pertains to His will. He speaks when and with what He pleases,” then the true attribute of Allah is not speech. It is His will, while speech is merely an action that originates from Allah’s will.

In this quote of his, he tries to befuddle the truth with a kalaam inconsistency. The reason he makes Ibn Uthaymeen’s words obsolete is because in his madhaab, the attribute of kalaam is not connected with His Will. If that is not what they have articulated, then it sure was pointed out here. His madhaab fails to realize that to actually be a mutakalim, the person being described as “mutakalim” has to actually speak OR AT LEAST HAVE THE ABILITY to speak. The moniker of “Mutakalim” cannot be applied except with the ACTION and ABILITY to speak. However in the jahmi madhaab, the moniker of “Mutakalim” is applied to Allah in the format that Allah within His OWN SELF is constantly speaking within His own self. In other words, He is never shutting up in His Own Self but he cannot ACTUALLY speak, but He merely makes a withdrawal from His Kalaam account called “Nafsi” and so whenever He decides to Speak, all Allah does is to make a withdrawal of His Speech that subsist within Himself (i.e. Kalam Nafsi) to whomever He is trying to address rather than ACTUALLY speaking to them like Allah did with Musa.

So this Abdullah Ali attempts to render our creed as a non affirmation of kalaam but an affirmation of His Will while rendering His entire Attribute of Kalaam as merely being an action which can only make sense to a mind that lives in the above world that I have just described.

So Abdullah Haamid continues

Quote:

Another Salafi shaykh known as Muhammad Khalīl Harrās states after declaring that Allah’s attributes are of two different categories (attributes of the essence and attributes of action); he states about the latter:“The second (category) is ‘Attributes of Action’ to which His will and power pertain at all times. And the individual incidents of those attributes of actions occur by His will and power, even though He has always been characterized as doing them without beginning; meaning that their general category (naw’) is without beginning (qadīm), while their individual occurrences (afrād) are created and emergent (hāditha). So He – Glory to Him – has everlastingly been a doer of whatever He wants. And He has everlastingly and continues to say, speak, create, and manage all affairs. And His actions occur one by one in accord with His wisdom and His will.”[Sharh ‘Aqīda al-Wāsitiyya li Shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taimiyya: Dār al-Fikr]So here, Harrās, acknowledges the created and uncreated act of Allah by stating that “…their general category (naw’) is without beginning (qadīm), while their individual occurrences (afrād) are created and emergent (hāditha).”

Firstly, the bold part is from the translator. Shaykh al-Harras rahimahullah did not say “created”, he said “haditha” which Abdullah bin Hamid translated as “created”, which is not the
intended meaning of the shaikh with the word “Haditha”. We do not say created but there is nothing in the aqeedah of ahlu-sunnah that entails “hadath” as something that is created.
This is because from the creed of the philosophers, of which Abdullah Haamid is the advocate and proponent of its madhaab, is that everything that is a hadath MUST be created. WE, the people of Islam and the Sunnah say that may be true or untrue, but its truth can only subsist within the properties of this world and creation. In other words, you do not accuse Allah or His attributes of being created whenever HE does a “new occurrence” LIKE
“speaking to Musa”
or like
“getting angry on the Day of Judgment unlike every before”
or
“ar-Rahman alal arsh istiwaa”

Nor do you try to do back flips in maintaining a cohesive argument by juggling Aristotelian dialectic with the Islamic ‘itiqaad by negating His attributes or rendering far fetched interpretations so as to keep in towing line with the madhaab of the philosophers.

So Abdullah continues with is treacherous behavior

Quote:

This conclusion was adopted from Shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taimiyya who borrowed the idea from the Neo-Platonic and Aristotelian philosophers who believed that the universe has no origin. They said, “Its general category is without beginning. But its individual occurrences and particulars are emergent (hādith) and created.”

Here, he performs a satanic lie and an absurd baseless conclusion. The lie is that he subscribes to is that that Shaykhul-Islam rendered and believed the universe to be eternal. That may be his misconstruing between that and the issue with infinite regress, for someone like Abdullah Haamid who posses as a mutakalim, he ought to know the difference between the two as there is a fundamental difference between holding the position of affirming infinite regress of occurrence VS the eternality of the universe

then he likened his lie with an issue that has no connection, that being the saying of the philosophers about “its general category….” because the philosophers were speaking about the universe, and the subject that is being discussed here is Allah’s kalaam, NOT the universe. Here, he is insinuating that Ibn Taymiyyah borrowed that principle from the philosophers and then applied it to Allah, which in reality is the hallmark of later day ash’arism.

Then, finally, Abdullah Haamid ends with a ‘brilliant’ conclusion

Quote:

This is like saying, the general category of ‘man’ is uncreated even though each individual person born in history came to being in a later time. So man is without beginning from one regard and with beginning from another.And it is surprising that both Ibn Taimiyya and Harrās would use this type of argument to justify their belief in the uncreated-created (qadīm-hādith) speech of Allah in spite of the fact that the scholars of Islam have declared the philosophers with this type of thinking to be unbelievers.

Firstly, you could render this qiyaas[4] in a world where Allah and man were the same, however, the subject at hand i.e. Allah, and man, are different and thus the qiyaas you have made is inapplicable. Allah’s Speech is uncreated and When He speaks with it, He actually speaks whether you dislike the fact that it is “hadath”. UNLIKE Allah, man, on anything else, their category does have an origin, and therefore a beginning. To render a qiyaas like this one is inapplicable even in the world of deductive reasoning because one of the principles of deductive analytical reasoning is that the two things being compared is that they must match or have the similar properties. This is why the ulema refuted the qiyaas of Iblees because when he defied the command of Allah, his qiyaas was in comparing the creation of man and the creation of himself. And this is the exact same Ibleesic style qiyaas that Abdullah Haamid Ali has made. However, since he is a follower of one of Iblees’s madhaab, then of course it would be easy for Abdullah Haamid to succumb and resort to such an argument.

Secondly, after reviewing your words “created-uncreated” I am being forced to apply a greater level of skepticism now for you have interpreted “hadath” as “CREATED”. Hadath does NOT mean created, it means “new occurrence” and your school of thought has philosophically induced from the word that it means “created” but in reality this is not what it means. According to this new quote, we now understand that the Shaykh Muhammad Khalil al-Harris did NOT use the term “created’ rather it was your faulty logic that deceptively translated the term “hadath” AS “created” which is simply untrue academically, grammatically, and theologically.

Lastly, the scholars of Islam declared the philosophers disbelievers NOT because of “this type of thinking” as you claim, but because of your type of thinking, by rendering these attributes, if affirmed, as being or entailing anthropomorphism. That was why they were made takfeer of. For you to insinuate a different reason for their takfeer is plain and simple dishonesty.


[1]“Khalq Af’al al-Ibad”

[2] Naqd Ad-Darimi

[3] [Al-Qawā’id al-Muthla: Idārāt al-Buhūth al-‘Ilmiyya wa al-Iftā wa Al-Da’wa wa al-Irshād p. 25].

[4] Analytical deduction