Takhliq and Takwin, between Salafis, Maturidis and Ash’aris

Posted on August 27, 2006. Filed under: 202 - Advanced Asma wa Sifaat |

The author says,

On page 252, Imām as-Safārīnī shows that the Athariyyah are in agreement with the Māturīdiyyah in affirming the attribute of Takhlīq (creation).

There is no way to describe the above except deception, pretentiousness and deep ignorance.

Al-Saffarini makes this statement in refutation of the Ash’aris saying:

‘From the differed matters, which the Salaf and the Maturidis affirmed, in exclusion to the others from the Mu’tazila, the Kullabites and the Ash’arites, is the Attribute of the Act of Creation (khalq)’.

Therefore, al-Saffarini does not agree with the Maturidis, rather it is the Maturidis who agreed with the Salaf, who had always maintained that Allah has eternally been Creating, as opposed to the Mu’tazilite, the Kullabite and the Ash’arite blasphemous belief that Allah has NOT been Creating eternally, which is why if we notice, they do not include the Attribute of Creating amongst the only Seven Attributes, these miserly heretics affirm for their Lord!

However, the author obviously has not studied Kalam, neither Ash’ari nor Maturidi, and is therefore obviously in oblivion with respect to this major creedal difference between the Ash’aris and the Maturidis; hence, even al-Saffarini’s statement went completely over his head!

Looking at the author’s statement: ‘al-Saffarini agrees with the Maturidis that Allah Creates’, makes an average reader think: ‘So, do the Salafis and the Ash’aris believe that Allah does NOT create?’ Completely nonsensical, which is why it was necessary for the author to delve a little into this discussion and not leave a reader clueless by throwing at them such Kalami jargon. However, as they say in Arabic: faqid al-shay’ la yu’tihi, you cannot give that which you do not have, and that which you are completely ignorant of. Perhaps this is why, in order to hide behind an excuse, in case he is caught, he made a disclaimer right in the beginning of the document saying:

‘I didn’t bother to explain many of the Kalāmi terms used by Imām as-Safārīnī because, in all honesty, those who stand to benefit from his words already know what they mean, and those who don’t, probably shouldn’t be reading this in the first place until they learn those terms’

A word to the wise, take your own advice. If he forbids people from reading this document if they do not understand Kalami terms, then why on earth has he allowed for himself to write the nonsense he is completely clueless about?

In any case, and for the benefit of the readers, I will briefly explain the creedal issue that al-Saffarini referring to.

As we know, the Ash’aris only affirm the seven Attributes of Essence, and not the Attributes of Actions (such as Speech with Sound, Descent, Anger and Pleasure, etc). This is because their belief is that Allah, along with His Attributes must be eternal, which necessitates, that He must not perform an Action, which He was not performing before, for that is contrary to Allah being eternal. Allah being eternal, for the Ash’aris is as they say: akhas wasf al-dhat, the most special quality of Allah, and likewise, whatever is not eternal is a creation by necessity.

This attracted obvious objections, such as: If Allah does not perform actions, then how does Allah Create the creation?

The Ash’aris replied with the most ridiculous concept, saying: The Act of Creating is in fact the Creation, and the verb itself is the object; thereby opposing the consensus of humanity.

The Maturidis, on the other hand, realised the falsity of this claim, and saved themselves the embarrassment by saying: The verb is not the object, and likewise, Allah’s Act of Creating, is not the Creation itself!

Therefore, they opposed the Ash’aris and accepted Allah’s Attributes of Action, however, they differed with the Salaf saying that the Attributes of Actions are all eternal. Therefore, for the Maturidis, Allah has Created everything eternally, while the creation was delayed by trillions of centuries or more, in coming into existence!

The Ash’aris picked up on this and said, thinking they are clever: How can you say that Allah Created you eternally, while you have just come into being?!

But the Maturidis as always, had the last card and said in reply: Just as you believe that Allah’s Will is eternal, while that which He Wills is happening much later on; likewise, we say that Allah created in eternity, while that which He Created, came into being much later on. And thus the Ash’arites were destroyed.

However, it is the Salaf who had the last laugh, for they did not view the God-Creation relationship as an Eternal-temporal one. Rather, they viewed as Deity-Worshippers relationship that the Quran calls to; and therefore, they had no problems with affirming that Allah Speaks when He likes and how He likes (as Imam Ahmad said), or that Allah spoke to Moses directly, after not having spoken to him before (for how could he speak to him when he was not even born!), just as Allah will become Angry on the Day of Judgement, the way He has never been angry before.

In this vein, in this very chapter, he extensively quotes Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyya refuting the objections of the Ash’aris, saying that it was the Mu’tazila who used the same argument of negating accidents (a’radh) from Allah to negate All the Attributes of Essence and of Actions from Allah. While most of the Muslims opposed them, there were still those like the Ash’aris who opposed the Mu’tazilites only by affirming the Attributes of Essence, but agreed with them by negating the Attributes of Actions.

He then quotes Maturidis for over two pages in rebuttal of the Ash’aris, which there is no need to go into. He then quotes Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyya’s rebuttal of the Ash’aris saying: ‘The Act of Creating is not the Creation itself’, and continues to quote him until the end of the chapter.

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