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Sayyid Qutb and the Aqidah of the Ash'ariyyah Jahmiyyah: Part 1 - The Qur'an, al-Istiwaa and Sifaat Fi'liyyah
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Wednesday, December 23 2009 - by Admin
Key topics: Sayyid Qutb Al-Uluww Al-Istiwaa Fi Zilal Il-Qur'an Az-Zilal

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From the greatest of distinctions between the true followers of the Messengers and Prophets (in beliefs and methodologies) and those besides them is their affirmation of whatever Allaah affirmed for Himself and which His Messenger (alayhis salaam) affirmed for him in the revealed texts, of Names, Attributes and Actions.

From the greatest of these is Allaah's Uluww (above the heaven, above the Throne, with His Essence). This is a matter that all revealed books and all sent messengers were agreed upon, until the appearance of the Jahmiyyah and the Mu'tazilah. On the basis of an intellectual proof they devised - based upon the language, terminology and classification of the atheist philosophers - to prove the universe is created, they denied much of what has come in the Book and the Sunnah pertaining to Allaah's Names, Attributes and Actions, in order to avoid invalidating their rational proof.

These people were opposed by the entirety of the Salaf, and in the third century, a faction of the Ahl al-Kalaam called the Kullaabiyyah, named after Abdullaah bin Sa'eed bin Kullaab (d. 240H), opposed the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah by being the first of the Mutakallimeen to affirm something of Allaah's Attributes. They refuted the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah on the issue of Allaah's Uluww and in the rejection of the Sifaat Dhaatiyyah. However, uable to counter the arguments of the Mu'tazilah, they denied the Sifaat Fi'liyyah (actions tied to Allaah's will) and through this rejection, concurred with the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah that the Qur'an present with us is created, whilst affirming something additional that the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah did not affirm, which is that there is another uncreated Qur'an, the meaning present with Allaah's Self form eternity which they called "kalaam nafsee". These doctrines of the Kullaabiyyah were taken on by Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari (d. 324H) after his split with the Mu'tazilah and they became popularized through the label of "Ash'ariyyah". The essence of the Kullaabi (then Ash'arite) creed was to negate "events (hawaadith)" from Allaah, since to them, everything in the universe is but an event. The early Ash'aris remained upon the creed of the Kullabiyyah in the bulk, affirming Allaah's Uluww and the sifaat dhaatiyyah (such as Face, Hands, Eyes) however, the later Ash'aris reverted back to the doctrines of the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah on these specific issues, and adopted the very ta'weels of the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah that the early Kullaabi Ash'aris refuted. Thus, unlike the early Kullaabi Ash'aris, they denied Allaah is above the Throne, with His Essence and instead adopted the saying of the Jahmiyyah, Mut'azilah and Kafirs like Ibn Sinah (d. 429H) - see here.

These very Ash'ari, Maturidi, Mu'tazili figureheads were the same people responsible for the birth and growth of the destructive political movements of the 20th century, and whereas in previous centuries, those assuming the label of "Ash'aris" had departed from his creed and corrupted the beliefs of the Muslims with their hybrid Jahmee, Mu'tazilee, Kullaabi, Ash'ari creed, in the twentieth century, this same line of Ash'aris Jahmiyyah also corrupted the deen of the Muslims in the field of rectification and reform, infusing non-Muslim ideologies, and innovating two strains of deviation: Firstly, Leninist-Marxism, a Revolutionary Ideology to snatch power from the authorities, which gave birth to the madhhab of the Khawaarij, and secondly, mass-populist political activation as a means to work through the existing secular political framework (by hook or crook) to arrive at power, inclusive of what these two strains may have required of secrecy, deception, pledges of allegiance, assassinations, intrigues, entry into democracy and so on. And whoever reads the biographies of these two particular Ash'aris will not see anything but that.

The aqidah of the Jahmiyyah in the Ash'ari Tafsir of Sayyid Qutb

Sayyid Qutb, in numerous places in his book expounds the doctrines of the Jahmiyyah of negating Allaah's uluww, negating the attribute of al-Istiwaa, and expressing negations of the Sifaat Fi'liyyah upon Jahmi-Mu'tazili-Kullaabi principles.

Sayyid Qutb wrote in his commentary at the beginning of Surah Taha (20:5):

The one who sent down this Qur'an is the one who created the heavens and the Earth, the lofty heavens. The Qur'an is a created manifestation just like the Earth and heavens. It descended from the highest assembly, and he tied the sequence [of mention] between the Angels that judge (regulate) the universe with [those] that descend with the Qur'an, just like He placed [the mention of] the shade of the lofty heavens alongside the earth, and the [mention of the] shade of the Qur'an which descends from the highest assembly to the earth.

And the one who sent down the Qur'an from the highest assembly and created the lofty heavens, is "ar-Rahmaan". He did not send it upon His servant to cause him distress, and the attribute of "ar-Rahmaan" (i.e. rahmah) is the one that is prominent here to give familiarity to this meaning. And he is al-Muhaymin (the Guardian, Preserver) over all of the creation. "Istawaa 'ala al-arsh", and "al-Istiwaa upon the arsh" is an allusion (indirect expression) of the extremity of authority and superiority (in rank, al-isti'laa). The affair of the people, therefore, returns to Him, and all the Messenger (is obliged with) is to give reminder to the one who fears.

And alongside this supremacy, superiority, dominion and encompassment, "to Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and the Earth, what is between them and what is beneath the soil"...

And Sayyid Qutb wrote at the beginning of Surah as-Sajdah (32:4):

And al-Istiwaa over the Arsh is a symbolic allusion for his superiority [in status] over all of the creation. As for the arsh itself, then there is no way to saying anything about it, and it is necessary to halt at [the mention] of its word. But al-Istiwaa is not like that. And what is apparent is that it is an allusion for superiority [in status]. And the word "thummah" (then) it is absolutely not possible that it denotes order (tarteeb) in time, because Allaah, the Sublime, the circumstances do not change for Him, and He does not be in any "circumstance" or "position (wad')" and then be in a subsequent "circumstance" or "position (wad')". This is only a conceptual order. And al-isti'laa (superiority in status) is a rank above that of creation, which is expressed through this expression (i.e istawaa 'ala al-arsh). And in the shades of this absolute superiority their hearts are touched by the reality that touches them, "You do not have besides Him, any protecter or intercessor".

From these quotes the following points can be made:

Point 1: The Belief Of The Creation of the Qur'an

Sayyid Qutb has expressed the creed of the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Kullaabiyyah, Ash'ariyya, Maturidiyyah, that the Qur'an we have with us, the revealed Qur'an that consists of letters and words, is created, just like the heavens and earth, when he said (in commenting upon Surah Taha):

The Qur'an is a created manifestation (dhaahirah kawniyyah) just like the Earth and heavens

And this is a belief of kufr, and the Salaf's rejection of it was severe. All of the Scholars of Ahl us-Sunnah considered Sayyid Qutb to be a non-Scholar, who was severely ignorant of the religion. For this reason, they say that we do not make Takfir of him, his belief is between him and Allaah, and he was ignorant. However, his writings contain that which is manifest kufr and the scholars explain he is not compared to the likes of Ibn Hajr and an-Nawawi who had real knowledge, knowledge of the the hadeeth and aathaar, of the Sunnah, and they provided great benefit to the Muslims through their compilations and explanations of the ahaadeeth, such as the works Bulugh al-Mar'aan, Fath al-Bari, Riyaadh as-Saaliheen to name but the most famous and well known. That is real knowledge. As for Sayyid Qutb, then he was a literary writer, a former communist, who doubted about Allaah for many years, after he which he took an interest in Islaam. It was in his house the July [Leninist] Revolution was plotted and through which he and Jamal Abdul-Nasser and the Free Officers took power in Egypt in the early 1950s. He was ignorant of the religion and when he started writing about Islaam, whether before the revolution or after it, he wrote many calamities. Mocking the Prophet Moses (alayhis salaam), reviling and belittling Uthmaan (radiallaahu anhu) making Takfir of Banee Umayyah, speaking with the main standard innovations of the Ash'ariyyah Jahmiyyah, and then putting in writing the doctrines of Leninist-Marxism (which he had only just implemented through the revolution that put Jamal Abdul-Nasser in power) and what is much, much more. Anyone who tries to associate Sayyid Qutb with the likes of Ibn Hajr and an-Nawawi after this knowledge and after these facts is belittling those great scholars of the past by such a comparison, in addition to deceiving the Ummah and concealing the truth out of knowledge and intent.

So, here Qutb has clearly expressed the standard Jahmite Ash'ari doctrine of the Qur'an being created, but in an expression that is very explicit, and again this is from his jahl (ignorance) of Islaam and the Islamic aqidah.

Point 2: The Ta'weel of al-Istiwaa with the Ta'weel of the Jahmiyyah Ash'ariyyah

The saying of Qutb (in commenting upon Surah Taha):

"Istawaa 'ala al-arsh", and "al-Istiwaa upon the arsh" is an allusion (indirect expression) of the extremity of authority and superiority (in rank, al-isti'laa).

The saying of Qutb (in commenting upon Surah as-Sajdah):

And al-Istiwaa over the Arsh is a symbolic allusion for his superiority [in status] over all of the creation.

And also:

As for the arsh itself, then there is no way to saying anything about it, and it is necessary to halt at [the mention] of its word. But al-Istiwaa is not like that. And what is apparent is that it is an allusion for superiority [in status].

And also:

And al-isti'laa (superiority in status) is a rank above that of creation, which is expressed through this expression (i.e istawaa 'ala al-arsh)

This is the way and path of the Jahmiyyah and whoever followed them in rejecting the Uluww of Allaah, the Most High, and as they could not reject the verses in the Qur'an they made Ta'weel of them to reject those meanings that the Salaf clearly and upon consensus (ijmaa), affirmed. So the Jahmiyyah and those who took their usool on this subject, explain the texts that mention Allaah's Uluww to be restricted to the meanings of loftiness in rank, status, i.e. conceptual meanings and not that Allaah Himself is above the Throne, above His creation.

Point 3: Rejection of the Sifaat Fi'liyyah

Qutb said (in commenting upon Surah as-Sajdah):

And the word "thummah" (then) it is absolutely not possible that it denotes order (tarteeb) in time, because Allaah, the Sublime, the circumstances do not change for Him, and He does not be in any "circumstance" or "position (wad')" and then be in a subsequent "circumstance" or "position(wad')". This is only an conceptual order.

This is the shubhah of the Jahmiyyah and whoever followed their usool of "hulool al-hawaadith" which is negating the actions of Allaah tied to His will and power with the argument that this would necessitate change in Allaah's essence, and therefore render Him a jism, and this is based upon the "Maqoolaat" (Ten Categories) of Aristotle whose language, terminology and classification is the underlying basis for the Tawheed of the Mutakallimeen.

So Qutb is denying Allaah's istiwaa by figuratively interpreting it to mean an aboveness in status and rank (see what has preceded), and then also denying it from another angle in rejecting that Allaah has actions tied to His will and power.

Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said (in Majmoo' al-Fataawaa 2/273):

وإنما الحديث المأثور عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ما أخرجه البخاري عن عمران بن حصين عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال : { كان الله ولم يكن شيء قبله وكان عرشه على الماء وكتب في الذكر كل شيء ثم خلق السموات والأرض } . وهذه الزيادة الإلحادية وهو قولهم : وهو الآن على ما عليه كان قصد بها المتكلمة المتجهمة نفي الصفات التي وصف بها نفسه ; من استوائه على العرش ونزوله إلى السماء الدنيا وغير ذلك فقالوا : كان في الأزل ليس مستويا على العرش وهو الآن على ما عليه كان فلا يكون على العرش لما يقتضي ذلك من التحول والتغير . ويجيبهم أهل السنة والإثبات بجوابين معروفين :

But the hadeeth that is reported from the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is what has been related by al-Bukhaaree from Imraan bin Husain from the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) that he said:

Allah was, and there was nothing before Him and His Throne was above the water, and he wrote in the Remembrance (adh-Dhikr) every thing. Then He created the heavens and the Earth.

And this deviant, heretical addition, which is their saying, "And He is now, as He was", the Mutakallimah Mutajahhimah neo-Jahmite theological speculators) intended the rejection of the Attributes which He described Himself with, of His istiwaa over the Throne, and His descent to the lowest heaven and other than that. So they said: In pre-eternity He was not ascended over the Throne, and He is now, as He was, so He is not over the Throne since that necessitates movement and change. And Ahl us-Sunnah respond to them with two well-known answer.

These are only two texts from Qutb in which the deen of the Jahmiyyah on the subject of al-Istiwaa and the issue of "hawaadith" have been covered by Qutb, and these are standard Ash'arite doctrines, upon which their creed is based. More of these texts will be covered in the next part of this series.

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