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 Asharites are proud of being Ahl al-Kalaam, Asharites are from Ahl al-Kalam
Abu Turab
Posted: Jun 14 2005, 07:23 PM

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as salaamu 'alaikum.

Ahl al-Kalaam (people of rhetoric speech) have been condemned unanimously by majority of Kibaar ulama from Salaf us Salih including all 4 Imams of fiqh ( Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafi and Ahmed ) and others.

But Asharites don't follow the advice of the great Imams of Salaf us Salih. Rather they come up with new lame excuses that 'Ilm al-Kalaam is essential to refute Jahmis & Mutazila'

I am preparing a very detailed paper on Ilm al-Kalaam and it will appear inshallah on sunnipress.

In meantime read this and ask those Ashari troublemakers to reply to it (as if they can?!!)

user posted image
Abu Turab
Posted: Jun 27 2005, 08:31 AM

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Joined: 2-June 05

as salaamu 'alaikum.

: ....................
reported by Hafidh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali in Fath al-Bari bi Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari 101+/5 Dar Ibn Jawzi first edition.

Translation: al-Imam al-Hafidh Zayn al-Din ibn Rajab al-Hanbali - rahimahullah ta`ala - said: It is reported that the blameworthiness of Kalam and It's
adherents from Malik, Abu Hanifa, Abu Yusuf, Muhammad,
Ibn Mahdi, Abu Ubaiyd, al-Shafi, al-Muzani, Ibn Khuzaiymah. Ibn Khuzayma mentioned the prohibition of (involving oneself in kalaam) from Malik, al-Thawri, al-Awzaee, al-Shafi, Abu Hanifa and his two companions, Ahmad, Ishaq, Ibn al-
Mubarak, Yahya ibn Yahya, Muhammad ibn Yahya al-Dhuhli. And
al-Sullami reported the blameworthiness of and prohibition of entering into kalaam from al-Junayd and Ibrahim al-Khawass, thereby clarifying that the prohibition of entering into kalam is a matter of consensus of the Imams of the religion, among them the predecessors from amongst the jurists, the people of Hadith and the Sufis, and [the prohibition of entering into kalaam] is the position of Abu
Hanifa, Malik, al-Shafi, Ahmad, Ishaq, Abu Ubaiyd and others from among
the Imams of the Muslims.

: : : : :
Reported by Abul Fadl al-Maqri (d. 454 AH) from summarised version of Radd Abu AburRahman Sullami (d. 412 AH) ala Ahl al-Kalaam in his book Ahadeeth fi Dhamm al-Kalaam wa Ahlih page 98. Also reported by Abu Ismaiyl Abdullah al-Ansari al-Harawi who reported from Abdur Rahman Sullami in his book Dhamm al-Kalaam wa Ahlih.

Translation: Said [Abul Fadl Maqri]: al-Hasan bin Rasheeq al-Masri told us : Muhammad bin Ibrahim al-Anmati and Ubaiydullah bin Ibrahim al-Umri said: Al-Hasan bin Muhammad bin Sabbah said: I heard al-Shafi say: My ruling concerning the practicioners of kalaam is that they be flogged, then seated upon a camel and paraded among the clans and the tribes while a herald proclaims: This is the reward of those who abandon the Book and the Sunnah [in order] to take up kalaam.

: : :
Reported by Abul Fadl al-Maqri (d. 454 AH) from summarised version of Radd Abu AburRahman Sullami (d. 412 AH) ala Ahl al-Kalaam in his book Ahadeeth fi Dhamm al-Kalaam wa Ahlih page 99. Also reported by Abu Ismaiyl Abdullah al-Ansari al-Harawi who reported from Abdur Rahman Sullami in his book Dhamm al-Kalaam wa Ahlih.

Translation: Said Abu Abdur Rahman Sullami rahimahullah tala: I saw in the handwriting of Abu Amru bin Madr : Muhammad bin Ishaaq bin Khuzaiymah was asked on Kalaam in Names and Attributes [of Allah], [to which] he replied: Innovation they invented which the Muslim scholars from Sahaba and their followers, scholars of religion founders of madhaahib like: Malik bin Anas, Sufyan al-Thawri, al-Awzaee, al-Shafi, Abu Hanifa, Abu Yusuf, Muhammad bin al-Hasan, Ahmed bin Hanbal, Ishaaq al-Hanzali, Yahya bin Yahya, Abdullah bin Mubarak and Muhammad bin Yahya never spoke in that [meaning they never practiced kalaam] and they prohibited argumentation in it and they guided their companions to the Book and Sunnah"

Inshallah I translating this book of Hafidh Abul Fadl Maqri which will refute the people of Kalaam.

A person by the name of Anas Mahafzah - who uses similar argumentation like Abul Hasan al-Muftari and Co. said after the report from Hafidh Zayn al-Din Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali was presented to refute the people of Kalaam [ theological rhetoric]:
"Allow me to say that no Ash`ari or Maturidi scholar disagrees with this."

To this we reply:
1. See the above scanned pages which clearly shows Asharites engaged in Ilm al-Kalaam. The author gives references from Subki 's Tabaqat al-Shafi.

2. Hamza Yusuf Hanson says

We have lost our bearings because we have lost our theology. We have almost no theologians in the entire Muslim world. The study of kalaam, once the hallmark of our intellectual tradition, has been reduced to memorizing 144 lines of al-Jawhara and a good commentary to study it, at best.

3. The claim of GF Haddad
QUOTE (GF Haddad)

The Aim of those who Deny the Existence of Sunni Kalm

As for those who, today, insist on claiming that the Salaf rejected all of kalm in unqualified terms, their aim in such a misrepresentation is threefold:[12]

* * First, to empower themselves to cast the label of bid'a against those who do not agree with their anthropomorphist leanings, in calculated ignorance of the strong proofs adduced by the Ash'ar and Mturd Scholars of kalm against the heresies of the Hashwiyya and Mujassima.

* * Second, to instill obscurantism into the hearts of uneducated Muslims and degree-bearing Muslims uneducated in the Religious sciences, as well as fear of learning the foundations of belief from the mouth of the great Scholars who elucidated the texts of the Qur'n and Sunna, on the specious grounds that "all that people need is the Qur'n and Sunna."

* * Third, to promote the idea that all the Sunni Imms of the Khalaf - whose majority are Ash'ars - are in fact Jahm-like innovators except two or three controversial figures that happened to revive anthropomorphist doctrines.

The First Mutakallim is 'Al ibn Ab T.lib t

The truth is that all four of the Four Imms practiced or supported kalm, in one form or another, precisely in order to refute kalm-based innovations. In so doing they actually imitated the major Companions who had debated the Khawrij and defeated them both in disputation and on the field. Imm al-Ghazzl said: "The first to initiate (sanna) the invitation of innovators back to the fold of truth through disputation is 'Al ibn Ab Tlib t who sent Ibn 'Abbs *# to the Khawrij to speak to them."[13]
The Involvement of the Mujtahid Imms in Kalm

The following are authentic examples illustrating the involvement of the
Imms into kalm after Abu Hanfa:

* * It is established that Imm al-Shfi' entered kalm disputations with Hafs. al-Fard[14] over the issue of the creation of the Qur'n until he declared Hafs. a disbeliever, and he used to nickname him "Hafs. the Isolated" (H.afs. al-Munfarid). Hafs. had tried unsuccessfully to make 'Abd Allh ibn 'Abd al-Hkim and Yusuf ibn 'Amr ibn Yazd debate him before al-Shfi' accepted - and defeated him.[15] Al-Bayhaq said: "And how could he [al-Shfi'] possibly consider the kalm of Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jam'a reprehensible when he himself practiced it, debated whoever he debated in it, and exposed the fallacies of those who had cast doubt into the minds of some of his students" [16] Al-Shfi' also debated the Mu'tazil Ibrhm ibn Ism'l ibn 'Ulayya - the student of Abu Bakr al-Asamm - and the Jahm Bishr al-Mars at whose house he once resided when he first came to Baghdd.[17]

* * Imm Mlik compiled a refutation of the Qadariyya for the benefit of his student Ibn Wahb.[18]

* * Imm al-Awz' debated and defeated the Qadar Ghayln ibn Muslim al-Dimashq upon the request of the Caliph Hishm ibn 'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwn, after which Hishm had him executed.[19]

* * Imm Ahmad's disputations with Abu 's Muhammad ibn 's Barghth and his condemnations of the Jahmiyya and Mu'tazila over the issue of the creation of the Qur'n and the Divine Attributes are recorded in a number in the books of his School, as well as his numerous statements of doctrine - narrated by Ibn Ab Ya'l in his Tabaqt al-H.anbila - which are, with Abu Hanfa's works, among the early manifestos of Sunn kalm. However, the spurious work entitled al-Radd 'al al-Zandiqa and attributed to Imm Ahmad by anti-Ash'ars today, is a work of the worst sort of kalm whose authenticity is categorically rejected by al-Dhahab and others.

* * Imm al-Bukhr compiled a refutation of the Qadariyya and other sects titled Khalq Af'l al-'Ibd, and was expelled from Naysbr by the Hanbals because of what they perceived as an unacceptable stand in kalm.

And Allh knows best.

[12]Cf. Hasan al-Saqqf, Sahh Sharh. al-'Aqda al-Tahwiyya (p.

[13]Al-Ghazzl, Ih.y' 'Ulm al-Dn (1:96).

[14]Ab 'Amr al-Bas.r Hafs. al-Fard, also known as Abu Yahy, he came to Basra as a Mu'tazil then turned against them and joined the Jabriyya as stated by Ibn al-Nadm in al-Fihrist (p. 255).

[15]Ibn 'Askir, Tabyn Kadhib al-Muftar (1404 ed. p. 338-340) and
al-Bayhaq, Manqib al-Shfi' (1:455). See also al-Llik', Us.l Ahl
al-Sunna (2:252-253).

[16]Al-Bayhaq, Manqib al-Shfi' (1:454-455).

[17]Cf. al-Bayhaq, Manqib al-Shfi' (1:229, 1:407, 1:464), Ibn
Taymiyya, Muqaddima fl-Tafsr (Risla ed. p. 69), and al-Lacknaw,
al-Faw'id al-Bahiyya (p. 94).

[18]Narrated by al-Qd 'Iyd. in Tartb al-Madrik (1:204). Al-Dhahab declared its chain of transmission sound (sahh.) in Siyar A'lm
al-Nubal' (Arna't. ed. 8:88).

[19]Cited by Shth ibn Ibrhm (d. 598) in H.azz al-Ghalsim (p. 112)
cf. al-Rz, I'tiqdt Firaq al-Muslimn (1:40), al-Yfi', Marham al-'Ilal
(1992 ed. p. 133) and Ibn Taymiyya, Bayn Talbs al-Jahmiyya (1:275=
al-Ta'ss f Radd Ass al-Taqds).

So see how GF Haddad twists and claims when the great Imams refuted people of Kalaam using Kitaab and Sunnah, Mr. GF Haddad says they used Kalaam to debate Mutakalimeen.

See these two articles by a pro-Kalaami site:

And I don't remember was it GF Haddad or someone else who made the claim that Sufi Hadith Master: Abu Abdur Rahman al-Sulami was Asharite !! How can that be possible when Abu Ismaiyl Abdullah al-Ansari al-Harawi al-Hanbali declared to be anthropomorphist by Dr. GF Haddad reports many narrations against people of Kalaam. And everyone knows that Sufi Hadith Master Abdullah al-Ansari was not too friendly with Asharites.
For Hafidh Abdullah al-Ansari al-Harawi said as reported by Hafidh Ibn Rajab in his Dhaiyl Tabaqat al-Hanabila:

: :

Our Lord is visible, upon the Throne has He ascended
His words are eternal, and His Messenger is an Arab
Anyone who says anything other than this is an Ash'ari
Our madhhab is the madhhab of the Hanbalis'

Abu Turab Ali Rida Qadri-Mujaddadi [silsilah Aliyyah Imamiyya]
Abu Turab
Posted: Jul 7 2005, 07:01 PM

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(:240) : ((: ))
Posted: Jul 16 2005, 09:58 AM

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Islamic theology
'Ilm al-kalam (literally 'the science of debate') denotes a discipline of Islamic thought generally referred to as 'theology' or (even less accurately) as 'scholastic theology'. The discipline, which evolved from the political and religious controversies that engulfed the Muslim community in its formative years, deals with interpretations of religious doctrine and the defence of these interpretations by means of discursive arguments.

The rise of kalam came to be closely associated with the Mu'tazila, a rationalist school that emerged at the beginning of the second century ah (seventh century ad) and rose to prominence in the following century. The failure of the Mu'tazila to follow up their initial intellectual and political ascendancy by imposing their views as official state doctrine seriously discredited rationalism, leading to a resurgence of traditionalism and later to the emergence of the Ash'ariyya school, which attempted to present itself as a compromise between the two opposing extremes. The Ash'arite school gained acceptability within mainstream (Sunni) Islam. However, kalam continued to be condemned, even in this 'orthodox' garb, by the dominant traditionally-inclined schools.

In its later stages, kalam attempted to assimilate philosophical themes and questions, but the subtle shift in this direction was not completely successful. The decline of kalam appeared to be irreversible, shunned as it was by traditionalists and rationalists alike. Although kalam texts continued to be discussed and even taught in some form, kalam ceased to be a living science as early as the ninth century ah (fifteenth century ad). Attempts by reformers to revive it, beginning in the nineteenth century, have yet to bear fruit.

The pre-Mu'tazilite groups
Mu'tazila and rise of kalam
Main themes
Methodological tendencies
Later evolution and decline
1. The pre-Mu'tazilite groups
The term kalam has usually been translated as 'word' or 'speech', but a more appropriate rendering in this context would be 'discussion', 'argument' or 'debate'. Those who engaged in these discussions or debates were referred to as mutakallimun (those who practise kalam or debate). The term has special significance in that traditionalists disapproved of these discussions, arguing that the early Muslims were not known to have indulged in them. Those who dabbled in such debates were said to have 'spoken about' or 'discussed' (takallma fi) 'forbidden' topics. The proponents of kalam also liked to refer to it as 'ilm al-usul (the science of basic principles) or 'ilm al-tawhid (the science of [affirming God's] unity), and it is under this latter name that some of its topics continue to be taught and discussed in Muslim educational institutions today.

The rise of 'ilm al-kalam was a result of the many controversies that had divided the Muslim community in its early years. Although the emergence of Islam was characterized by polemics with polytheists and followers of earlier revelations, controversies over fundamental religious questions were deemed irreverent by early Muslims, especially during the lifetime of the Prophet. However, disputes (mainly political) broke out immediately following the death of the Prophet, and again following the tragic events that led to the murder of the third Caliph Othman in ah 35/ad 656, this time heralding the breakdown of the political system established after the Prophet's death.

In a community that defined itself in terms of its religious identity, political disputes inevitably turned into theological ones. The political struggles over who should lead the Muslim community gave rise to three major competing groups: the Khawarij, who opposed the fourth Caliph 'Ali and rejected the compromises he made with his opponents; the Shi'a, who supported 'Ali; and the Murjiya, who tried to remain neutral. These groups attempted to influence a wider Muslim community dominated by a loose grouping of mainstream schools, mainly conservative or traditionalist, known collectively as ahl al-sunna wa'l-jama'a (the proponents of the [Prophet's] traditions and consensus).

The term khawarij (literally 'rebels') first referred to a group of dissidents who rebelled against the leadership of 'Ali following the inconclusive battle of Siffin (ah 37/ad 658) between 'Ali and his challenger, Mu'awiya, and later evolved into a distinct antiestablishment tendency. The Khawarij had neither a unified leadership nor a settled doctrine, and was primarily a militant political tendency with an uncompromising attitude. The core of their views revolved around the nature of legitimate leadership and the conditions for salvation. Although the Khawarij's uncompromising views condemned them to a marginal existence, their impact on the general body of the Muslim community was significant. Most of the major schools of thought that emerged did so in response to one or other of their assertions, especially on the issues of leadership and the 'status of sinners'.

At the opposite pole stood the Shi'a (party) of 'Ali. Unlike the Khawarij, who defied all authority, the Shi'a believed in the undisputed authority of the divinely ordained imam (leader). The position of 'Ali as imam and successor to the Prophet was vouchsafed by revelation and was not a matter of opinion. Each imam would then designate his successor by virtue of the divine authority vested in him. In theory, Shi'ism should not have encouraged much theological speculation, since it sought to perpetuate and reproduce the authority of the Prophet and vest it in the person of the living imam, who had direct access to the divine truth. In practice, however, Shi'ism did indulge in theological speculation, especially with the emergence of the doctrine of the Absent Imam, which referred the burden of seeking the truth back to the community.

In between these two extremes, a large number of intermediary positions were espoused, notably that of the Murjiya. This group refused to condemn the perpetrators of grave sins (a euphemism for usurpers of power) as unbelievers, but neither did it want to absolve them, arguing that the matter should be left to God to judge in the hereafter. Murjiism was also associated with political neutrality, and an implied tacit support for the status quo.

While the above three groups were political in origin, adopting theological arguments to support their politics, there were also groups of which the primary focus was on theology. The earliest of these was the Qadariyya (the name, meaning proponents of qadar, or predestination, was a misnomer for this school which supported freedom of the will). This school argued for the absolute freedom of the will. God, its members said, would not put us human beings under obligation to act righteously if we did not possess the power to choose our course of action.

Diametrically opposed to this school were the Jabriyya (determinists). Their most prominent spokesman was Jahm ibn Safwan (d. ah 128/ad 746), who taught that no attributes could be predicated of God except for creation, power and action, since any attribute that could be predicated of creatures was not fit to be predicated of the Creator. As God is the sole Creator and actor, our actions are also authored by him alone; therefore, we as persons have no control over our actions and no free will. Jahm also said that since God could not be described as a speaker, the Qur'an could not be said to be his word, except in the sense of having been created by him.

2. Mu'tazila and rise of kalam
These earlier schools were amorphous groupings, very fluid both in membership and doctrine. With the exception of the Shi'a, who later developed into a number of coherent sects, these tendencies either faded away or merged into other tendencies. The rise of a systematic theological discourse had to await the emergence of the Mu'tazila. The association of kalam with the Mu'tazila, who were characterized by their elitism and their militant rationalism, determined its course and its eventual fate. The Mu'tazila attempted to systematize religious doctrine into a rational schema centred on the affirmation of God's absolute unity and absolute justice (see Ash'ariyya and Mu'tazila).

However, the Mu'tazila's elitism and their irreverent quest for 'a reason for everything,' to paraphrase al-Shahrastani, alienated the more conservative mainstream tendencies. The latter questioned the very possibility of a theological discourse of the type advocated by the Mu'tazila, regardless of content, viewing such discourse as at best superfluous and at worst a heretical deviation. This attitude was expressed succinctly by Malik ibn Anas (d. ah 179/ad 795), the leading jurist of Medina, when asked to explain how God could be said to have 'established himself on the Throne' as mentioned in the Qur'an: 'The establishment is known, the modality is unknown, the belief in it is obligatory and asking questions about it is an unwarranted innovation.' On the question of divine justice, the traditionalists rejected the Mu'tazila's attempts to impose human and rational concepts of justice on God. It would be meaningless to speak of justice in this context, since God was the absolute sovereign and absolute master of all His creation, which meant that anything which He did was by definition just (see Omnipotence 5).

The struggle between the two trends came to a head in the 'creation of the Qur'an' controversy which erupted in the first half of the third century ah (ninth century ad). The 'Inquisition' which the Mu'tazila instigated with the help of the ruler of the day, the Caliph al-Ma'mun (ah 198-218/ad 813-33), to enforce this and related doctrines proved disastrous, not only for the Mu'tazila but also for the discipline of kalam itself. In spite of being reclaimed for orthodoxy by Abu'l-Hassan al-Ash'ari and others, the science and art of arguing matters of faith with appeal to unaided human reason fell into disrepute and went into a decline from the start of the sixth century.

3. Main themes
Classical definitions tended to emphasize the apologetic function of kalam, probably in order to appease traditionalist critics. Al-Iji speaks of 'a science which makes it possible to prove the truth of religious doctrines by marshalling arguments and repelling doubts' (al-Mawaqif: 7). Kalam, however, has also been the arena on which battles over what constituted true religious doctrine were fought between rival schools.

The subject of kalam, to quote al-Iji again, was 'knowledge on which the proofs of religious doctrines depend, directly or indirectly' (al-Mawaqif: 7). It was also said to deal with 'usul (basics), as opposed to furu' (subsidiary issues). These included the fundamentals of religious belief, such as God, his attributes and acts, the proofs of religious doctrines, the nature of the universe and our place in it.

The first issue that divided Muslims into opposing schools was the question of political authority and its legitimacy. Most traditionalist and mainstream schools accepted the actual procedures adopted to elect the first four caliphs as normative, thus affirming that a ruler gains legitimacy by being freely elected by the influential members of the community. The Khawarij accepted the procedures up to the election of the third caliph, but then added that even an elected caliph should be removed if he deviated from his mandate. The Khawarij also held that any qualified individual was fit to be caliph, provided the community at large approved of him. The traditionalists narrowed the field of selection to the Prophet's tribe, Quraysh, while the Shi'a narrowed it still further to the Prophet's family, in particular his son-in-law 'Ali and the latter's descendants. Shi'ism argued that political leadership, being the most important religious institution, could not be left for human reason to determine.

The second major issue to be discussed within kalam was the status of the grave sinner. The Khawarij started this debate by arguing, contrary to mainstream opinion, that any person who committed a grave sin automatically became a non-believer, thus forfeiting all rights and protections afforded by Islamic law. The Murjiya argued for the withholding of judgment while tending to widen the interpretation of who could qualify as a believer; the Mu'tazila held that such a person was in an intermediate position, being neither a Muslim nor an unbeliever.

The third major issue discussed in kalam was freedom of the will. The Mu'tazila and Qadariyya both came out unequivocally in support of freedom of the will. They held that we are the creators of our own acts, for otherwise God would be committing a grave injustice if he were to punish those who had no choice in what they did (see Evil, problem of 3; Free will). At the other extreme, the Jabriyya held that man could not have any control over his actions, since God was the sole creator and actor. Most other groups tried to strike a balance between these two poles. The Shi'a tended to affirm the freedom of the will and some of them, such as the Zaydiyya, agreed completely with the Mu'tazila on this. Some Shi'a factions, however, qualified their stance by affirming that we are in part compelled because of the chain of causation that triggered our acts. The Khawarij accepted the idea of predestination, holding that God was the Creator of the acts of people, and that nothing occurs which he did not will.

This was also the view of mainstream orthodox and traditionalist groups, who affirmed that the will of God was supreme and that he was the creator of all human acts, whether evil or good; nothing could happen on earth that contradicted his will. This position was later given some nuances by al-Ash'ari, who argued that God created human acts, but we acquired (kasaba) these acts by willing them prior to their creation.

The fourth major issue discussed in kalam was the question of divine attributes. The Jabriyya used the affirmation of the uniqueness of God's attributes to deny the existence of free will. The Mu'tazila developed the idea further, arguing that God could not have attributes in addition to his essence, for this would mean a multiplicity of eternal entities. Later Mu'tazilites, such as Abu'l-Hudhayl al-'Allaf (d. ah 227/ad 842), added that the divine attributes are identical with the divine essence. God's knowledge is not an attribute added to his essence, but is identical with that essence.

Early Shi'ite theologians opposed the Mu'tazila, affirming God's immanence in space and denying his immutability and transcendence of time and space. They held that God's will was also mutable, and ascribed motion to him. God could also be the locus of accidents (hawadith) and was corporeal in some sense. God's knowledge and will could not be eternal, for this would negate human freedom and make accountability redundant. It could also imply the eternal existence of things. Later Shi'ite theologians, however, especially the Zaydiyya, repudiated most of the anthropomorphisms of their predecessors and veered towards Mu'tazilite positions.

Traditionalists (who include the Ash'ariyya) affirmed the reality of God's eternal attributes, which they said were neither identical with his Essence nor distinct from it. They also affirmed the literal sense of apparently anthropomorphic Qur'anic references, such as those to God's 'face', 'hands' and 'eyes', adding that the exact nature of these limbs could not be known.

Related to the issue of divine attributes was the issue of the Qur'an's creation. The Mu'tazila denied that God's words were eternal and affirmed that the Qur'an had to be created; this idea was accepted also by the Khawarij. However, the bulk of the traditionalists (and Ash'ariyya) rejected this view, arguing that one could not describe God's speech as created because this would mean that God was subject to changing states. Speech (kalam) was one of God's eternal attributes, and the Qur'an, being God's word, could not be said to be created or uncreated. Some early Shi'i theologians, in particular Hisham ibn al-Hakam (d. c. ah 200/ad 816), developed a more sophisticated version of the latter argument, saying that the Qur'an (or God's word) could not be described as creator, created or uncreated, because an attribute, being an adjective, could not have another adjective predicated of it. Similarly, one could not say about God's attributes that they were eternal or contingent.

Besides these main themes, kalam touched on related issues such as whether God could be seen in the hereafter (with the Mu'tazila rejecting this, while their opponents affirmed beatific vision), the nature and limits of faith, whether hellfire and paradise were everlasting, and the nature and limits of God's knowledge, will and power. Starting with 'Allaf, some philosophical themes were introduced into kalam, in particular the discussion of such questions as the nature and classification of knowledge and the nature of movement, bodies and things. It even went on to discuss questions belonging to other sciences, such as biology, psychology and chemistry, as well as various logical investigations. However, this expansion of the scope of kalam coincided with its decline and did not lead to significant advances in any of these areas.

4. Methodological tendencies
Kalam generally dealt either with attempting to justify religious beliefs to reason, or with employing reason to draw new conclusions and consequences from these beliefs. Its doctrines comprise three major components: the articulation of what a school regarded as fundamental beliefs; the construction of the speculative framework within which these beliefs must be understood; and the attempt to give coherence to these views within the accepted speculative framework.

The various schools of kalam agreed with the traditionalists in accepting the authority of texts as the basis of the first component. They disagreed, however, about the extent to which these texts should be subjected to 'rational' analysis. Traditionalists had always suspected that the 'reason' being referred to was in fact the suspect intellect of infidel heretics; why else would a believer want to drag the articles of faith in front of the court of human reason, fallible and limited as it was? The traditionalist suspicion of non-Islamic influences behind every early kalam-ist 'heresy' has been reproduced by modern researchers, who seek an alien origin for every idea expressed in kalam (see Orientialism and Islamic philosophy). However, the impact of non-Islamic influences on the evolution of the schools of kalam, though undeniable, could easily be exaggerated. Many of kalam's early themes, such as the status of the sinner or the question of political legitimacy, appear to have arisen within a purely Islamic context.

Regarding the second component, the speculative framework, the early groups did not erect elaborate systems. It is with the Mu'tazila that we find the first attempt to construct such a system, based on their five principles (divine unity, divine justice, divine warnings, the intermediary status and the enjoining of virtue and discouragement of vice). The Mu'tazila also brought with them an attitude of absolute confidence in human reason and a consequent lack of reverence for the authority of texts, which they regularly challenged.

The third component, the cohesion of views within the speculative framework, also came into prominence with the Mu'tazila, who tried to systematize the body of religious beliefs and harmonize its components, provoking intense controversy as they attempted to reinterpret key elements of orthodoxy in order to achieve this. The attempts at systematization inevitably led to the raising of philosophical questions. Later Mu'tazilite thinkers, such as al-'Allaf and Ibrahim al-Nazzam (d. ah 231/ad 846), reflected in their theses the influence of translated Greek philosophical texts and propagated a worldview influenced by Hellenistic speculation (see Greek philosophy: impact on Islamic philosophy). The Ash'arite school, especially al-Juwayni and al-Ghazali, formally introduced the tools of Aristotelian logic into the methodology of kalam (see Logic in Islamic philosophy).

This introduction of philosophical themes and methods and the employment of formal logic in the Aristotelian tradition represented a significant development in kalam. Prior to that, kalam arguments had used textual and linguistic analysis as their central tools. However, in spite of these forays into philosophical speculation and the employment of Aristotelian logic, kalam remained firmly anchored in a specifically Islamic framework. Authoritative texts were routinely cited to clinch an argument, while an accusation of heresy was thought to be a conclusive refutation of any argument.

Even without the help of philosophy, however, Ash'arism brought to kalam a trenchant scepticism that had a healthy impact on the field of rational argument. This scepticism was carried to great lengths by al-Ghazali, who used it to demolish the confused Neoplatonism of the Hellenizing philosophers. This approach had the potential to contribute much more to the advancement of knowledge than the dogmatic reiteration of philosophical theses, but that potential was not to be realized because the kalam practitioners were more interested in demolishing their opponents' arguments than in constructing viable alternatives.

5. Later evolution and decline
The decline of kalam proceeded apace from the fifth century ah (eleventh century ad), settling by the ninth century ah (fifteenth century ad) into ossified dogmatic texts that, to paraphrase al-Ghazali, taught the dogma as well as its formal 'proof', which was not the same thing as proving it to be true. This decline of kalam became too apparent to ignore even by its practitioners. Al-Iji comments that the aversion to the discipline in his time meant that engaging in it had become 'among the majority a reprehensible thing' (al-Mawaqif: 4). Ibn Khaldun, another Ash'arite writing during the same period (c. ah 779/ad 1377), deplored the fact that kalam had deteriorated and become confused with philosophy, on top of being redundant because the heresies it was meant to combat had become extinct.

However, kalam's problem was not so much its fusion with philosophy as its failure to evolve into a fully-fledged philosophical system with its own complete frame of reference. The possible evolution in this direction had been interrupted by a number of factors. First, there was the rift that developed between kalam as a discipline and philosophy proper; this was caused in part by the decline of the Mu'tazila, the natural allies of philosophy. In addition, the failure of the Mu'tazila to develop a common language with their opponents, thus turning kalam into a kind of sectarian pursuit rather than a discipline, was duplicated by the philosophers. The quasi-religious reverence shown by early Muslim philosophers to Greek texts put them at odds with mainstream thought, causing them to behave like just another sect. This limited the interaction between kalam and philosophy, as each treated its basic principles and texts as 'sacred' rather than as theses which could themselves be questioned. The rise of philosophy thus came both at the expense of kalam and in opposition to it, and this antagonism damaged both.

Kalam was also undermined by the rise of pro-traditionalist tendencies within the discipline itself. It was difficult to reconcile vigorous rationalist discourse with the traditionalist position, which discouraged questioning in many key areas and even counselled the acquiescence in apparent contradictions. At another level, the resurgence of traditionalism under Ahmad ibn Hanbal and subsequent revivals under Ibn Taymiyya and his disciples was anti-kalam, rejecting not only its theses but its methods as anathema. Rearguard actions fought by Ash'arite and Maturidi scholars of the fifth to eighth centuries ah (eleventh to fourteenth centuries ad), failed to stem this tide and revive kalam. Finally, complementing the effect of traditionalism was the rise and popularity of Sufi mysticism (see Mystical philosophy in Islam). Although opposed by traditionalism, Sufism was also anti-rationalist and had also grown at the expense of kalam and philosophy.

With all these powerful forces deployed against it, the decline of kalam was inevitable. The early schools of kalam all became extinct, but traces of their teachings remain embedded within the doctrines of the six main schools of Islamic jurisprudence. The two main Shi'a schools (the Ithna 'Ashriyya and Zaydiyya) have inherited some aspects of Mu'tazilite rationalism and doctrines. Shi'ism has also been more successful in assimilating Sufi tendencies and more reconciled to philosophical discourse. The Hannafiyya became closely associated with the Maturidi school of kalam. The Shafi'iyya espoused Ash'arism as a general rule, as did the Malikiyya, although with less enthusiasm. The Hanbalites favoured an anti-rationalist and anthropomorphic position, distrusting kalam altogether.

6. Conclusion
The manifest failure by the various schools of 'ilm al-kalam either to create for itself a secure niche among the religious sciences, or to attain the status of a philosophical system independent of religious dogma, was not merely the result of the arrogant elitism of the Mu'tazila and their political opportunism. A deeper malaise afflicted the rationalist schools, reflected in their methodological confusion and, simultaneously, their militant dogmatism. Ironically, it was left to the traditionalist theologians, notably al-Ash'ari, al-Ghazali and Ibn Taymiyya, to introduce some healthy scepticism into the discourse by revealing some of the more glaring self-contradictions of the rationalist dogmas. However, the traditionalists not only inherited some of the confusion of their opponents, they also added some of their own.

An interesting example of this confusion was the uncritical acceptance by all schools of kalam of the Neoplatonic premise that the perfection of God as an eternal being meant that he could not be the locus of accidents (hawadith), while rejecting its logical consequence: God's remoteness from his creation and the impossibility of his day-to-day involvement with it. The confusion which this self-contradiction generated was then cited by many as a proof of how inadequate reason was in dealing with matters of faith. The choice offered the community was thus between rationalists who discredited themselves by their manifest errors, and traditionalists who exploited these errors and confusion to discredit rational thought as such.

The attacks of self-doubt brought by turmoil of modern times have created an atmosphere for a revival of Islamic theology and philosophy (see Islamic philosophy, modern). The pioneers of the modern Islamic revival, such as Jamal al-Din al-Afghani and Muhammad 'Abduh, tried to revive Islamic philosophy and kalam; al-Afghani indeed insisted that the revival of philosophy was an indispensable precondition for any Islamic revival. A century later, the tides of revival have drowned all attempts at philosophizing. On the face of it, the vibrancy and capacity for self-regeneration of the Islamic faith seem to be proportionately resistant to the emergence of systematic theologies and philosophies.

However, in spite of the self-satisfaction on the part of orthodoxy, on the grounds that history has condemned the systems rejected by Islam as fatally flawed and confused, there can be no substitute for setting up a viable worldview and a defensible theology, which would remain fallible and incomplete but still an essential guide for life. It would seem that if Islam is to continue as a living system, 'ilm al-kalam (or something like it) may need to be revived, so that progress towards Muslim self-understanding, interrupted some six centuries or so ago, can be resumed.

See also: Ash'ariyya and Mu'tazila; Greek philosophy: impact on Islamic philosophy; Islamic fundamentalism; Mystical philosophy in Islam; Political philosophy in classical Islam; Religion, history of philosophy of; Religion, philosophy of; Revelation; Soul in Islamic philosophy

Copyright 1998, Routledge.


References and further readings
Abdel Haleem, M. (1996) 'Early Kalam', in S.H. Nasr and O. Leaman (eds) History of Islamic Philosophy, London: Routledge, ch. 5, 71-88. (Description of some of the variety among early theologians in Islam.)

'Abduh, M. (1954) Risalat al-tawhid (Treatise on Divine Unity), Cairo: Dar al-Manar; French trans. by B. Michel and M. Abdel Razik, Paris: Librairie Orientaliste Paul Gauthner, 1925. (An early modern attempt at reformulating kalam textbooks.)

Anawati, G. and Gardet, L. (1950) Introduction la thologie musulmane (Introduction to Muslim Theology), Paris: Vrin. (One of the most thorough discussions of kalam in a Western language.)

Corbin, H. (1993) History of Islamic Philosophy, trans. L. Sherrard, London: Kegan Paul International. (While most introductions tend to neglect Shi'i contributions to kalam, this one redresses the imbalance, with an extensive bibliography.)

al-Farabi (c.870-950) Ihsa' al-'ulum (Enumeration of Sciences), ed. A. Gonzlez Palencia, with Spanish translation ( Catlogo de las ciencias), Madrid: Maestre, 1932. (A survey of the state of learning in the fourth century ah (tenth century ad), offering an assessment of kalam in its heyday from a philosophical perspective.)

Farrukh, O. (1979) Tarikh al-fikr al-'arabi ila ayyam Ibn Khaldun (The History of Arab Thought up to the Time of Ibn Khaldun), Beirut: Dar al-'Ilm li'l-Malayin. (A general introduction to kalam and Islamic philosophy with a comprehensive bibliography of Arabic sources.)

al-Ghazali (c.1107) al-Munqidh min al-dalal (The Deliverer from Error), ed. and trans. F. Jabre, Erreur et dliverance, Beirut: al-Lajnah al-Lubnaniyyah li-Tarjamat al-Rawai', 1965; trans. W. Montgomery Watt, The Faith and Practice of al-Ghazali, London: George Allen & Unwin, 1953. (A celebrated intellectual autobiography by the most famous Ash'arite author, telling of how he had sought salvation in kalam, in vain.)

al-Ghazali (c.1111) Iljam al-'awam 'an 'ilm al-kalam (Restraining Commoners from Kalam), ed. M. al-Baghdadi, Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-'Arabi, 1985. (Al-Ghazali's final attacks on kalam, arguing that it would be harmful for most people to indulge in it.)

Goldziher, I. (1910) Vorlesungen ber den Islam (Introduction to Islam), Heidelberg; trans. A. Hamori and R. Hamori, Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1981. (An early introduction that still stands out in spite of minor flaws that are a feature of its times.)

Hallaq, W. (1993) Ibn Taymiyya Against the Logicians, Oxford: Clarendon Press. (A translation of a summary of Ibn Taymiyya's al-Radd 'ala al-mantiqiyyin with a good introduction to the latter's crusade against logic and philosophy.)

* al-Iji (before 1355) Al-mawaqif fi 'ilm al-kalam(Book of Stations on Kalam), Cairo: Dar al-'Ulum. (Textbook which reflects the culmination of the rapprochement between philosophy and kalam in later Maturidi thought.)

Macdonald, D. (1903) Muslim Theology, Jurisprudence and Constitutional Theory, New York: Scribner's. (A scholarly introduction that deserves its status as a classic in the field.)

Madelung, W. (1985) Religious Schools and Sects in Medieval Islam, London: Variorum Reprints. (A reprint of essays published by the author over many years covering various aspects of kalam and the evolution of religious thought in Islam.)

Montgomery Watt, W. (1948) Free Will and Predestination in Early Islam, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. (A discussion of the beginning of theological thinking in Islam.)

Montgomery Watt, W. (1962) Islamic Philosophy and Theology, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. (A broader introduction to kalam and Islamic philosophy.)

Morewedge, P. (ed.) (1979) Islamic Philosophical Theology, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. (A collection of essays by leading writers in the field.)

Muhajarani, A. (1996) 'Twelve-Imam Shi'ite Theological and Philosophical Thought', in S.H. Nasr and O. Leaman (eds) History of Islamic Philosophy, London: Routledge, ch. 8, 119-43. (Discussion of the main principles of Shi'ite theologians.)

al-Nashshar, A. (1984) Manahij al-bahth 'ind mufakkiri al-Islam (The Research Methodologies of Muslim Thinkers), Beirut: Dar al-Nahda al-'Arabiyyah. (An attempt to shed light on the evolution of methodological approaches in philosophy, theology and science in medieval Islam.)

Pavlin, J. (1996) 'Sunni Kalam and Theological Controversies', in S.H. Nasr and O. Leaman (eds) History of Islamic Philosophy, London: Routledge, ch. 7, 105-18. (Account of some of the most important Sunni theologians.)

al-Tusi (c.1270) Talkhis al-muhassal (Summary of [al-Razi's] Muhassal), ed. T.A. Sa'd, Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-'Arabi. (A summary and commentary on al-Razi by a leading Shi'ite scholar who favoured Neoplatonist philosophy more than did al-Razi and other practitioners of kalam.)

Wensinck, A. (1932) The Muslim Creed, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (An early introduction which influenced a large number of writers on the subject.)
Abu Turab
Posted: Jul 22 2005, 03:27 PM

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as salaamu 'alaikum.

From Imam al-Ghazali's book refuting Ahl al-Kalaam:


(A case). If you say that the study of argumentation and scholastic theology (kalam) is blameworthy, like astrology, or that it is permissible (mubah) or commendable (mandub), then, you should know that in this particular respect men go to excess and exaggeration on both sides: some say that it is an innovation and therefore unlawful and that, excluding the sin of polytheism (shirk), it is. better for the servant to face his Allah guilty of every offence except that of scholasticism; others say that it is an obligation and an ordinance either of the kifayah or the ayn type, that it is the best form of work and the highest kind of oblation, and that it is the verification of theology and the safeguard of the religion of Allah. Among those who hold it unlawful are Shafi`i, Malik, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Sufyan [al-Thawri] and all the traditionists among the Fathers.

Ibn-`Abd-al-A`la[8] once said, On the day al-Shafii was debating with Hafs al-Fard,[9] who was one of the Mutazilite theologians, I heard him say, Excluding the sin of polytheism it is better for the slave to face his Allah guilty of every offence than to stand before Him with [even a] little scholasticism. I have also heard Hafs say things which I cannot repeat. Ibn-`Abd-al-A`la reported also that al-Shafii said, I have discovered among the scholastic theologians things which I never expected to find. Excepting the sin of polytheism, it is better for the servant to disobey all the commandments of Allah than to address himself to scholastic theology.

Al-Karabisi related that al-Shafii was once asked about something scholastic and was consequently infuriated and said, Ask Hafs al-Fard and his cohorts about this-may Allah dishonour them. When al-Shafii was taken sick, Hafs came in to him and said, Who am I ? Al-Shafii replied, You are Hafs al-Fard-may Allah neither keep nor prosper you until you repent of your sins. Said al-Shafii again, If men but knew what predilections lurk in scholastic theology they would have run away from it as they would run away from a lion. And again, Whenever I hear a man say that the name is the thing named, I testify that he is a scholastic theologian and has no religion.

Al-Za'farani[10] related that al-Shafi'i once said, My judgment concerning the scholastic theologians is that they should be beaten with palm branches and carried in that condition round among the tribes and clans. This, it is said, is the penalty of those who discard the Quran and the traditions and address themselves to scholastic theology.

Ahmad ibn-Hanbal said, A scholastic theologian never succeeds. You can hardly find anyone who, having dabbled in scholastic theology, is without unsoundness in his heart. He was so strong in its condemnation that he ostracised al-Harith al-Muhasibi,[11] in spite of the latters asceticism and godliness, because he composed a work on the refutation of heresy,[12] telling him, Woe unto you. Do you not first state their heretical beliefs and then answer them, thereby compelling men to study these heresies and to ponder over these dubiosities, all of which will draw them into speculation and controversy. Ahmad ibn-Hanbal also said, The scholastic theologians are heretics (sing. zindiq).

(Speaking of the scholastic theologian) Malik said Have you seen how, when one of stronger argument confronts him he will discard his religion for a new one every day? In other words, the position of the debaters is (constantly) changing. Malik also said, The testimony of sectarians and heretics is not permissible. In interpreting this, some of his friends said that he meant by sectarians (ahl al-ahwa') the scholastic theologians, no matter to what school of thought they might belong.

Abu-Yusuf said, He who seeks knowledge through speculation will become a heretic (zindiq). Al-Hasan [al-Basri] said, Argue not with sectarians and associate with them not, nor hearken unto them.

Thus the traditionists among the Fathers have been unanimous (in their condemnation of scholastic theology). The many strictures which came down to us from them are innumerable, They have said that the companions refrained from scholastic theology only because of their knowledge of the evils it would breed, although they were better informed and more eloquent phrase-makers than anyone else. For this reason the Prophet said, The hairsplitters -are doomed ; they are doomed to destruction. By this he meant those who are extravagant in investigation and research. [The traditionists among the Fathers] also protested that if [scholastic theology] were an integral part of religion the Apostle of Allah would have commanded [his Companions to address themselves to] it, and would have taught [them] its ways. He also would have praised it and commended its protagonists [85]. He thus taught them abstersion (istinja')[13] and urged them to study the law of inheritance ('ilm al fara'id)[14] and commended [its teachers]. On the other hand he forbade them to speculate on divine decrees saying, Refrain from speculation on the decrees of Allah, and the Companions continued to refrain from such speculations. To add to what the teacher set forth is disloyal and unfair; the Companions are our teachers and our example, and we are their followers and disciples.

The whole book is online:





Translation With Notes

The Kitab Qawaid al-Aqaid
Al-Ghazzalis Ihya Ulum al-Din

Revival of Religious Sciences

American University of Beirut
Beirut, Lebanon


Publishers, Booksellers & Exporters Lahore - Pakistan.

ISBN: 969-432-138-7

REPRINTED.............................................. 1999

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Abu Turab
Posted: May 23 2008, 03:27 PM

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The Statement of the Imams on Theological Rhetoric and Philosophy
on: May 18, 2008, 05:31:22 pm

Imam al-Barbahaaree (rahimahullah):

Rhetoric (kalaam) causes disbelief, doubts, innovations, misguidance and confusion. May Allah have mercy upon you! Know that heresy, disbelief, doubts, innovations, misguidance and confusion about the religion have never occurred except through theological rhetoric (Kalam) and because of the people of theological rhetoric, argumentation, debating and disputation. How can a man plunge into argumentation, disputation and debating seeing that Allah, the Most High, said: None dispute regarding the Aayaat (revelations, signs, proofs) of Allah except those who disbelieve. (Soorah Ghaafir 40/4) You should submit to and be pleased with the narrations and the people of narrations, withhold and remain silent. (The Explanation of The Creed of Imaam Al Barbahaaree)

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullah):

There is no analogical reasoning in the Sunnah and examples or likenesses are not to be made for it. Nor is it grasped and comprehended by the intellects or the desires. Rather it [consists of] following [and depending upon] it and abandoning the hawaa [desire]. (Foundations of the Sunnah)

The person of theological rhetoric will never prosper. And never do you see anyone looking into theological rhetoric except that in his heart is a desire for creating mischief. (Reported by Ibn Qudaamah in his Burhaan fee Bayaanil-Quran)

For indeed, (indulging in) theological rhetoric (kalaam) in the matter of Qadar, the Ruyah (seeing Allaah in the Hereafter), the Quraan and other such issues are among the ways that are detested and which are forbidden. The one Who does so, even if he reaches the truth with his words, is not from Ahlus-Sunnah, until he abandons (using) this mode of argumentation, [and until he] submits and believes in the Aathaar (the Prophetic Narrations & those of the Companions). (Foundations of the Sunnah)

Imam Sufyaan ath-Thawree (rahimahullah):

repeated thrice: This religion is based upon narrations not opinions, This religion is based upon narrations
not opinions, This religion is based upon narrations not opinions. (Sharaf Ashaabul Hadeeth)

Imam al-Awzaaee ( rahimahullah):

"Hold fast to the narrations of the Salaf, even if people were to abandon you. (And) Beware of the opinions of the people, no matter how much they beautify it with their speech." (Majmoo al-Fataawaa vol. 12, p. 497)

Abu Haneefah (rahimahullah):

I have found those who study philosophy and engage in its discussions [to be] a group of people who do not follow the path of the pious predecessors, the companions of the Prophet, (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). I found their hearts to he hard, for they do not care if they go against the Book of Allah, the Sunnah of His Messenger (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) , and the pious predecessors- with whom Allah is pleased. They [the philosophers] are impious. (The History of the Islamic Madhabs, Vol. 2 p. 132)

Al-Bazzaaz reported that Abu Haneefah forbade his sons and students from discussing philosophy. In fact, Abu Haneefah said: May Allaah curse Amr bin Ubaid. He opened the gate of philosophy to people. (Sawn al-Mantiq of As-Suyooti, p.60)

Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak (rahimahullah):

Imam Abdullaah bin Ahmad quotes Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak as saying : ....I bear witness that You (Allah) are above Your Throne above the seven heavens. And this is not as the enemies of Allah say, the heretics. (as-Sunnah of Imam Abdullaah ibn Ahmad)

Aboo Yoosuf (rahimahumullah):

Whoever sought knowledge (of Islaam) by kalam (theological rhetoric); will become a zindeeq (heretical apostate). (Reported by Ibn Qudaamah in his Burhaan fee Bayaanil-Quran)

Imam ash-Shaafiee (rahimahullah):

My ruling regarding the people of theological rhetoric is that they should be beaten with palm leaves and shoes and be paraded amongst the kinsfolk and the tribes with it being announced, This is the reward of the one who abandons the Book and the Sunnah and turns to theological rhetoric (kalam). (Sharh Aqeedatit-Tahaawiyyah of lbn Abil-Izz, p. 75)

That a person is put to trial with everything that Allah has forbidden, besides Shirk, is better than that he looks at Kalam (theological rhetoric)....He (rahimahullah) also said, If people knew what (misleading and destructive) desires are contained within theological rhetoric they would flee from it as they would from a lion,...He (rahimahullah) also said, Whoever showed boldness in approaching theological rhetoric will never prosper. (Reported by Ibn Qudaamah in his Burhaan fee Bayaanil-Quran)

Ibn Khuzaima (rahimahullah):

Ibn Abdul Barr (rahimahullah) reported with his chain of narration from the scholars of the Maalikees in the east from Ibn Khuzaima that he said in the book of witnesses (Kitaab ush-Shuhudaat) in explanation of the saying of Imam Maalik that it is not permissible to accept the witness of the people of innovation and innovated sects, and he said: `The people of the innovated sects in the view of Maalik and the rest of our Companions are the people of theological rhetoric (kalam). So every person of the theological rhetoric is from the people of the innovated sects and innovation: whether he is an Ash`aree, or other than an Ash`aree, and his witness is not accepted in Islaam ever. Indeed he is to be ostracized and punished for his innovation and if he persists in it repentance is to be sought from him. (Jaami Bayaan il-Ilmi wa Fadhlihee 2/117)

al-Muzanee (rahimahullah):

Muhammad ibn Aqeel bin al-Azhar said : A man came to al-Muzanee asking him about kalam (theological rhetoric) and al-Muzanee stated : I hate it, and indeed ash-Shaafiee forbade me form getting involved in it. (Reported by al-Harraawee in Dhamm ul-Kalam, vol.4 pp.283, 359)

Imam Ibn Abdul-Barr (rahimahullah):

The people of Fiqh and Aathaar in all the various towns and cities are agreed unanimously that the Ahlul-Kalam (People of Theological Rhetoric) are (but) Ahlul-Bid'ah waz-Zaigh (the People of Innovations and Deviation). And they are not considered, by all of the above, to be amongst the ranks of the Scholars (in truth). (Reported by Ibn Qudaamah in his Burhaan fee Bayaanil-Quran)

Imam Ibn Hajar al Asqalaani (rahimahullah):

Their sayings with regards to censuring the people of Kalaam (philosophical speech and theology) are well known. The reason for such censure was that the people of Kalam spoke about those matters which both the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and his Companions (radhiyallaahu anhum) remained quiet about. It is established from Imam Maalik that there did not exist at the time of the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) nor that of Abu Bakr (radhiyallaahu anhu) or 'Umar (radhiyallaahu anhu), anything from these desires - meaning: the innovation of the Khawaarij, the Raafidah and the Qadariyah. Indeed, those who came after the first three excellent generations expanded upon matters which the Imaams of the Taabi'oon and those who followed them, rejected. The people of Kalam did not content themselves, until they filled the Deen with issues and the sayings of the philosophers. They made this philosophy the basis and the fundamental principle to which everything was referred back to, and all that which opposed it from the narrations of the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), his Companions (radhiyallaahu anhum) and the Salaf who followed them ; then taweel (false interpretation) was made of them, even if they were averse to the result. Nor did they content themselves with just this. They claimed that what they had compiled was the noblest branch of knowledge and the most deserving to be acquired; and that those who did not use what they had laid down, then they were from the laymen and the ignorant ones. So delight is for the one who clings to what the Salaf were upon, and distances himself from the innovations that the khalaf (the latecomers who opposed the aqeedah and manhaj of the Salaf) introduced. However, if one cannot keep away from it, then let him take only that which he needs and let the way of the Salaf be his intended goal. (Fath al Baaree 13/253)

Ibn Qudaamah (rahimahullah):

While talking about the Names and Attributes of Allaah, he said: "There is no question about the fact that the doctrine of the Salaf (pious predecessors), in this regard, consisted in acknowledgment, unreserved approval, and avoidance of the temerity of using taweel, tamtheel, tajseem and tashbeeh." "Let him who claims that they (i.e. the Salaf) did interpret them allegorically produce evidence in support of his statement. There is no way of knowing this save by the transmission and relation of traditions. Let him then transmit to us traditions of this effect on the authority of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) or that of his Companions (radhiyallaahu anhum) or on the authority of one of the Taabi'een or one of the approved Imaams. Furthermore, he who claims this : is one of the partisans of Kalaam; and they are the most ignorant of men with regard to the traditions of the Companions, the least possessed of knowledge with regard to those of the Taabi'een, and the most neglectful of their transmission. Whence then , would they have knowledge of traditions such as these? Even so, should anyone among them transmit something, his transmission would not be accepted, nor would he be heeded. The sole possessions of these people consist in forgery, falsehood, and false witness." (Lumatul Itiqaad pg. 7)

Shuraih al-Qaadee (rahimahullah):

Verily, the Sunnah has preceded your qiyaas (analogical reasoning), so follow and do not innovate. (Reported in Sunan ad-Daarimee, 1/66 and Sharhus-Sunnah of al-Baghawee, 1/216)

Imam ad-Daaraqutnee (rahimahullah):

"It is authentically related from ad-Daaraqutnee that he said: There is nothing more despised by me than 'ilmul-kalaam (philosophy and rhetoric). (Siyar aalameen an-nubalaa 16/457)

Imam adh-Dhahabee (rahimahullah) & Imam al-Qurtubee (rahimahullah):

And al-Qurtubee also said in al-Asnaa: "Many of the past and contemporary philosophers said, When it is necessary to purify the Creator (al-Baaree) - whose Magnificence is great - from having direction (jihah) and demarcation (tamayyuz), then from the requirements and necessary consequences of this, in the view of most of the past scholars and their leading contemporaries, is to purify the Creator (al-Baaree) from having direction (jihah). In their view, direction does not have the aspect of above to it. This is because to them, when Allaah is designated with direction, this would necessitate that He is restricted to a place (makaan) and confinement (hayyiz). (Subsequently), a place and confinement necessitate (for Him) (such) movement and stillness that is related to distinction (tamayyuz), transformation (taghayyur) and new occurrences(hudooth). This is the saying of the philosophers. I (adh-Dhahabee) say, "Yes, this is what the deniers of the uluww (highness) of the Lord, Mighty and Majestic, have depended upon. And they turned away from the requirement of the Book, the Sunnah, the sayings of the Salaf and the innate dispositions of the whole of creation. What they claim to be necessitated (from affirming Allaahs highness) is only applicable to created bodies. Yet there is nothing like Allaah and that necessities arising from the clear and evident texts (of the Book and the Sunnah) are also true. However, we do not make use of any explanation except one that comes through a narration. In addition to this we say, We do not accept that the Creators being upon His Throne and above the heavens, necessitates that He is confined and in spatial direction since whatever is below the Throne is said to be confined and in spatial direction. However, what is above the Throne is not like that. And Allaah is above the Throne as the very first generation are unanimously agreed upon this fact and as the Imaams after them have quoted from them. They said this in refutation of the Jahmiyyah, those who said that He is in every place seeking as a proof His saying, And He is with you. So these two sayings were the very two sayings which were present during the time of the Taabieen and their successors who came after them. And they are the two sayings that can be understood in this statement (i.e. of the philosophers). As for the third saying which came around after this which is that Allaah, the Most High, is not in any place, nor is His Holy Essence (Dhaat) confined, nor is He separate and distinct from His creation, nor is he in any spatial direction, nor is He outside of any spatial directions, and nor this and nor that then this is something that cannot be comprehended nor understood , along with the fact that within it ; is opposition to the verses (of the Book) and the narrations (from the Salaf). Therefore flee with your religion and beware of the opinions of the philosophers. Believe in Allaah and what has come from Him upon the desired intent of Allaah, then submit your affair to Him and there is no power nor movement except by Allah." (al-Uluww lil-Aliyyil-Ghaffaar pp.286-287)

No person should ever enter into 'ilmul-kalaam, nor argumentation. Rather, he should be Salafee (a follower of the Salaf)." (Siyar aalameen an-nubalaa 16/457)

Ibn Al-Jawzee (rahimahullah):

Whatever opposes the Quraan and the Sunnah and the way of the Salaf ; is to be rejected. And whatever is in agreement is accepted because it is not innovated. The acceptance is not an approval of the terminology or the essence of Soofism in any of its stages. It remains to be remembered that it is not true that every pious Zaahid (ascetic) Muslim is necessarily a Soofee:. The zuhaad (pl.zaahid) of the later time were more influenced by scholastic theology (ilm ul kalaam) which began to creep into the Ummah following the translations of many of the philosophical concepts of the Hindus, Greeks, Romans and Persians. Consequently they deviated away from the way of the Sahaabah and their followers among the Taabieen. (Majmoo Fataawaa 10:358, 366-367)

The heretics claim; i) there is none in the Heavens, ii) neither is there Quraan in the Mushaf, and iii) nor is there a Prophet in the grave; [these are] your three shameful facets. (Reported by Ibn Rajab in al-Dhayl)

They believed in what their speculations dictated to them without referring to the Prophets. From them are those who believed in the doctrine of al-Dahriyya - that the world has no Creator Most of them affirmed an eternal cause (illa qaadima) for the world, and then stated that the world is eternal, which has always been in existence along with Allaah They also concealed their doctrine by saying: Allaah is the Creator of this world, meaning: figuratively and not literally Their doctrine also includes that the world is ever lasting; just as its existence has no beginning, it has no end. They also believed that Allaahs Knowledge and Ability is in fact His Essence, in order to avoid affirming multiple eternal entities The philosophers also denied the Resurrection, the return of souls to the bodies, and the bodily existence of Paradise and Hell, claiming that the two were merely paradigms for people to understand the concept of spiritual reward and punishment. We noticed the philosophers from the adherents to our religion, that their philosophical path earned them confusion, hence, they adhered to neither philosophy, nor Islaam. In fact, amongst them is one who fasts the Ramadhaan and prays, and then begins to object at the Creator and Prophethood, and denies the Resurrection. (Ibn al-Jawzee, Talbees Iblees, p 59-65)

Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah):

Thus, what the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said appeared. He (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: Then lies will become widespread, to such an extent that a person will testify and will not have been asked to do so, and will take an oath without being asked to do so. 55 Then three matters occurred: raee (opinion), Kalaam (philosophical speech and theology) and tasawwuf (Soofism). The innovation of the Jahmiyyah also occurred, which is negating and denying the Attributes of Allaah. (A history of the innovated sects: Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah)

The Murjiah have deviated concerning this foundation (i.e. Eemaan) from what is clearly stated in the Quraan , the Sunnah and the statements of the Companions and those follow them in righteousness. Instead they have relied on their personal views and on the perverted interpretations they have reached from their understanding of the (Arabic) language. This is the way of the people of innovation. And this is why Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullah) would say : The majority of the time that people fall into error is due to misinterpretation and incorrect analogy. This is why we find the Mutazilah, the Murjiah, the Raafidah and other groups of innovators interpreting the Quraan with their own opinions and intellects and what they understand from it linguistically. As a result of this, you will find that they do not rely on the narrations of the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), the Companions, the Successor or the Muslim Imams. So they neither rely on the Sunnah nor do they rely on the unanimous consensus or reports of the Salaf. Rather they just rely on the intellect and the language. We do not find them relying on the recorded books of Tafseer and Hadeeth and the narrations of the Salaf. Instead they only rely on the books of literature and rhetoric that their leaders fabricated. This is also the way of the heretics. They only accept what is in the books of philosophy, literature and language. As for the books on Quran, Hadeeth and Narrations, they do not give any importance to them. These individuals turn away from the texts of the Prophets since according to them, they do not produce any knowledge! And they are the ones who interpret the Quraan according to their own personal views and understanding, without resorting to any of the narrations of the Prophet and the Companions. We already mentioned previously the statements of Imaam Ahmad and others which show the prohibition of this and an indication that this is the way of the people of innovation. (al-Eemaan page.114)

A lot of innovators like the Khawaarij, the Rawaafid, the Qadariyyah, the Jahmiyyah, the Mushabbihah hold fast to deviant beliefs ; and they believe it to be the truth. And (they also) believe that whosoever differs with them has committed Kufr ! And in them (and these evil beliefs of theirs) is a big resemblance to one of the qualities of Jews and Christians; which is to deny the truth and commit injustice to the people. Most of those who declare others as disbelievers consider a certain statement to be Kufr of which they do not understand the reality and do not know its proofs. Contrary to them are those who approve of everyone whatever their deviation, [making this to be] like what the scholars have approved in the issue of Ijtihaad where there is room for differences, and this way has overcome many among the Murjiah and some of the Soofees and the Philosophers. just like the first way (of believing that whosoever differs with them has committed Kufr !) overcame many from the people of desires (ahlul-Ahwaa) and people of kalaam (Ahlul- Kalaam.) And both these ways are deviant and outside of the Book and the Sunnah. (Majmoo al-Fataawaa vol. 12, p. 497)

The people of logic and kalaam call Ahlus-Sunnah "Hashaweeyah" [people with no worth] and "Nawaabit" [weeds] and "Ghuthaa" [scum] , as they think that anyone who is not upon their logic and theology speaks unintelligent rabble. However the truth is that , their way (the way of the people of logic and kalam): is not needed by an intelligent man, nor is it useful to a stupid man. (The Evil Names that the Innovators Have Fabricated Against Ahlus-Sunnah: from Aqeedat ul-Hamawiyyah)

Al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee (rahimahullah):

And if only the people of blameworthy opinion busied themselves with beneficial knowledge, and the seeking of the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah, and followed the way of the fuqahaa (jurists) and the muhaddithoon (scholars of Hadeeth) then they would find that this would be sufficient for them. And the narration (Hadeeth) would take place of the opinion, which they hold. This is because the Hadeeth explains the fundamentals of Tawheed, the Threats and the Promises from Allah and the Attributes of Allah. It also contains information about Paradise and Hell-Fire and what Allah has prepared therein for the pious and the wicked The Hadeeth explains stories of the past Prophets It contains histories of the kings of the past and the description of the battles of the Messenger, his expeditions, rulings, judgments, sermons, warnings, predictions and miracles. It also contains information about the Prophets wives, Children, Relatives, and companions, and a mention of their excellence and merit. And the Hadeeth contains the Tafseer of the Quran; information and the wise remembrance contained in it. It also contains the sayings of the Companions about the Qurans meanings. And Allah made Ahlul-Hadeeth (the People of Hadeeth) the pillar of the Shareeah and the destroyer of every despised innovations. So they are Allahs wardens among His creation, and they link between the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and his Ummah, and they strive to preserve Allahs Deen. So their light shines brightly, their excellence remains, their signs are clear, their positions evident and their proofs are over-powering. And while all the sects coil themselves around vain desires and prefer the blind-following of opinion : for the Ahlul-Hadeeth , the Book of Allaah is their provision, the Sunnah their proof, the Messenger their leader and his command (Hadeeth) is their ascription. They do not deviate upon vain desire, nor turn to mere conjecture. They accept what is reported by the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and are the trustworthy and reliable ones, who memorize the Deen and they are its treasures, its storehouses of knowledge and its bearers. If anyone differs about a Hadeeth then it is referred back to them. Their judgment is thus accepted and listened to. From them is every scholar and Imaam. They are the Saved Sect, and their way is the straight one (Sharaful Ashaabul Hadeeth)

Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 06:52:45 pm by Muhammed Selefy
May Allah (awj) guide you and I !
Salafi Sunni
Posted: Jun 3 2008, 11:55 AM


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QUOTE (Abu Turab @ Jun 14 2005, 07:23 PM)

I am preparing a very detailed paper on Ilm al-Kalaam and it will appear inshallah on sunnipress.

Have you finished the article you mentioned some 3 years back?
Abu Turab
Posted: Oct 5 2008, 05:35 PM

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Joined: 2-June 05


it is finished. waiting for the new Sunni Press Website to be launched.

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