Sayyid Qutb and the Aqidah of the Ash'ariyyah Jahmiyyah: Part 2 - Ta'weel of al-Istiwaa and Negation of the Sifaat Fi'liyyah|
Wednesday, December 23 2009 - by Admin
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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
Sayyid Qutb wrote in his commentary on Surah al-Furqaan (25:59):
As for al-Istiwaa over the Arsh, then it is the meaning of superiority (in rank) and control, authority and the word "thumma" (then) does not indicate tarteeb (order) in time, but it indicates the dimension of rank (status), the rank of al-Istiwaa and al-Isti'laa.
And he also wrote in his commentary on of Surah al-Hadeed (57:4)
And likewise the Arsh, we believe in it as He has mentioned it, but we do not know its reality. As for al-Istiwaa over the Arsh, we are able to say: It is an allusion (indirect expression) of the control, dominion, authority (haymanah) over this creation. [This is] founded on what we know from the Qur'an, out of certainty that Allaah, the Sublime, circumstances do not change for Allaah. Hence, He is not in the state of the absence of istiwaa over the Throne, which is then followed by the state of istiwa. And the saying that "We believe in al-Istiwaa and we do not know its kaifiyyah" does not explain His, the Most High's saying, "then he made istawaa". And it is more appropriate that we say: It is an indirect expression for control, dominion, authority (haymanah) as has we have mentioned. And the Ta'weel (figurative explanation) here does not depart from the methodology that we have indicated just now, because it does not spring from the corroborations and conceptions from our own selves. It is founded upon the corroborations of the Qur'an itself, and upon the conception that it inspires from the Essence of Allaah and His Attributes.
From these quotes the following points can be made:
Point 1: The Rejection of al-Istiwaa
Sayyid Qutb wrote in his commentary upon Surah al-Furqaan:
As for al-Istiwaa over the Arsh, then it is the meaning of superiority (in rank) and control, authority.
And likewise in his commentary on Surah al-Hadeed:
As for al-Istiwaa over the Arsh, we are able to say: It is an allusion (indirect expression) of the control, dominion, authority (haymanah) over this creation.
This is a clear rejection of al-Istiwaa which the Salaf unanimously affirmed and which the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Ash'ariyyah and all the factions of kalaam rejected, and for which the Salaf refuted them, rebuked them and warned against them. And Qutb is an Ash'ari and in his commentary upon Surah al-Hadeed, there is what indicates clearly that Qutb knew the way of the Salaf on this issue and deliberately opposed it, showing that on this particular issue, the proof is established against him, and this is made clear by:
Point 2: Deliberate Opposition to the Salaf
And the saying that "We believe in al-Istiwaa and we do not know its kaifiyyah" does not explain His, the Most High's saying, "then he made istawaa". And it is more appropriate that we say: It is an indirect expression for control, dominion, authority (haymanah) as has we have mentioned.
This quote, taken from his commentary on Surah al-Hadeed (57:4) indicates clearly that Qutb knew the way of the Salaf, which is to affirm al-Istiwaa and to negate the kaifiyyah and this is the way of all of the Salaf, with the broad principle in this regard found in the famous saying of Imaam Maalik, "al-Istiwaa is known by the kayf is unknown". Qutb says that this does not really explain the saying of Allaah, so he is not pleased with what the Salaf were pleased with and were united upon, with consensus. In this issue, the hujjah (proof) is established, and we do not say in all issues, because Qutb was a non-Scholar, he was ignorant of the Islamic aqidah, his affair is between him and Allaah, but on some issues, the hujjah is established, through his own words in this case.
Point 3: Rejection of al-Istiwaa from the Jahmite Angle of "Hulool ul-Hawaadith"
Qutb said in what has been quoted from him above:
...and the word "thumma" (then) does not indicate tarteeb (order) in time, but it indicates the dimension of rank (status), the rank of al-Istiwaa and al-Isti'laa (both meaning superiority in rank).
[This is] founded on what we know from the Qur'an, out of certainty that Allaah, the Sublime, circumstances do not change for Allaah. Hence, He is not in the state of the absence of istiwaa over the Throne, which is then followed by the state of istiwa.
In both of these statements Sayyid Qutb is bringing the doctrine of the Jahmiyyah (and those who followed them) in negating what they deem to be "hawaadith" (events, occurrences), and this follows on from Aristotle's Ten Categories (al-Maqoolaat al-Ashar) upon which the deen of the Mutakallimeen is based, meaning that Tawheed to them is negating these Ten Catgories that characterize the universe from Allaah, and all the Mutakallimeen and Kafirs like Ibn Sina (d. 429H) are united in this approach. They just differ with each other on issues that branch of from this foundation. So one of the issues that Allaah can't have actions or be subject to actions, and thus, to them Allaah's istiwaa (an action) has to be denied by figurative interpretation, and likewise that Allaah loves, is pleased, and becomes angry, all actions, have to be interpreted as well, otherwise this would mean "affection (infi'aal)" one of Aristotle's categories, and it would therefore mean that Allaah is a jism (body), because all of these denote change (taghayyur), in the view of the Mutakallimeen.
And Sayyid Qutb has expounded this doctrine, not once but at least a few time in his commentary on different verses in the Qur'an. And as the Scholars have mentioned, those who propagate, aggrandize and introduce others to his tafseer, then they contribute to the spread of the deen of the Jahmiyyah and by reading this commentary, people who lack knowledge are led to the doctrines of the Jahmiyyah of negating Allaah's uluww, and speaking with the creation of the Qur'an and the rejection of aahaad hadeeth in aqidah and many other affairs.
And the difference between the books of Sayyid Qutb and those of true Scholars such as Ibn Hajar and an-Nawawi, is that if you take away the mistakes found in their works, what is left is an ocean of knowledge. But if you take away the mistakes of Sayyid Qutb, you are not left actual knowledge but just literary style which is effective in affecting the emotions, there is no actual knowledge, and we are speaking here just of his commentary. As for his other book Milestones, then that is a Leninist Manifesto that has simply been Islamicized by Qutb, by which he intended the instigation of revolutions in Egypt specifically, but the whole world. And all of that is not from the deen of Islaam, this is known by aql as well as naql.
Point 4: Arguing for the Madhhab of Ta'weel
Sayyid Qutb wrote:
And the Ta'weel (figurative explanation) here does not depart from the methodology that we have indicated just now, because it does not spring from the corroborations and conceptions [arising] from our own selves. It is founded upon the corroborations of the Qur'an itself, and upon the conception that it inspires from the Essence of Allaah and His Attributes.
What he has stated here is the standard Ash'arite apologeticism for taw'eel as a broad methodology for dealing with those texts they believe give the presumption of "hawaadith" (events, occurrences) and tajseem (anthropomorphism) which is that when they make Ta'weel, they are not inventing interpretations from their own imaginations and thoughts, but rather from other meanings that are afforded by the revelation itself. As for the methodology of the Salaf, then it is to take the texts upon their dhaahir whilst negating likeness to the creation, and this has been dealt with in detail elsewhere. The point being here is that Qutb is an Ash'ari and is outlining and defending the standard Ash'arite dogma in his words above.