Discussion in 'Islamic Theology and Ideology' started by tawheedullah, Nov 26, 2007.
His proof for the defence of the Ash'ari creed is that the Prophet (saw) said in a Hadith about Constantinople being conquered and what an excellent is its commander. Zaid Shakir says this was a reference to Muhammad al-Fatih, who was a Ash'ari, a follower of the Qadiri Sufi order and a Hanafi.
There has been a refutation written that the person mentioned in the Hadith is not referring to al-Fatih, and there is also question of the authenticity of the Hadith too. Nasir al-Fahd wrote about al-Fatih after conquering Constantinople, he discovered the site of the grave of Abu Ayub al-Ansaari and built a tomb over it. He was also the first to lay down the foundations of "civil law" and "penal law". So he replaced the shar'i bodily punishments with monetary fines. He also issued a law, which was that every Sultan who came to power could kill all of his brothers, so that the throne would be safe for him alone. It is said that he began this rule by killing his own infant brother Ahmad.
al-Hamdulillah who exposes every now and then closet bigoted Ash'aris masquerading as peace loving hippies...
Let me copy and paste his vitriol lest he takes it down. I would respond to it in detail later, iA:
Answer to a “Salafi” Brother
By Imam Zaid on 24 November 2007
Recently, while attending a gathering of Muslims that was otherwise characterized by brotherly love and goodwill, I was hounded by a “Salafi” who angrily demanded that I answer his questions, to “qualify my position.” To me this was a sad and pathetic episode. I am not one to get caught up in what is usually a counterproductive endeavor, because it likely leads to a series of bitter responses and refutations, and wastes valuable time a Muslim should be spending to do righteous deeds for the benefit of his or her soul.
However, having promised to answer the brother, I will briefly respond. I pray that Allah makes these lines beneficial. I am traveling and answering from my head so a few minor mistakes might appear, please forgive me for those.
Q: What do you say about Ibn Taymiyya?
A: Ibn Taymiyya , may Allah have mercy on him, was a pious man, a great scholar, and a prolific writer. Most of his career was spent in Damascus. He was a staunch defender of the Hanbali approach in creed (‘Aqida), an approach based on a reliance on the transmitted evidence of the Qur’an and Sunnah to establish and defend theological positions. Although he was himself a Hanbali, he differed from the mainstream of the school in many issues related to creed and jurisprudence. For example, despite the Hanbalis’ staunch condemnation of speculative theology (‘Ilm al-Kalam) Ibn Taymiyya was a fervent Mutakallim, or speculative theologian, as is evidence in his Fatawa and many of his treatises such as Minhaj as-Sunnah.
His defenders claim that he only studied and employed the language of the speculative theologians, the logicians and others to refute his opponents. However, this is the exact argument of those he condemns for employing the language and analytical framework of the philosophers, such as the Mu’tazila and the Ash’aris. They argued that they were only employing the language of their opponents to effectively refute them. His deep involvement in speculative theology drew strong condemnation from many of his fellow Hanbalis.
Ibn Taymiyya’s theology contained many deviations from the agreed upon theological positions of the Sunni Muslims. For example in his critique of Ibn Hazm’s work, Naqd Maratib al-‘Ijma (Critique of the Levels of Consensus), he mentions that the Throne, and implies that other created things, have a preexisting eternal nature, something all Muslims have held to be an attribute of Allah alone.
He also insisted on “constituting” the Divine as a physical body, by emphasizing the reality (Haqiqiyya) of his various attributes, along with an insistence on physical boundaries to contain and define his essence, to such an exaggerated extent that one would be led to envision Him (Allah) as resembling His creation, in violation of the fundamental rule governing our understanding of those attributes, Laysa Kamithlihi Shay’un (There is nothing like unto Him) (Qur’an 42:11). For these and other innovations in ‘Aqida, Ibn Taymiyya was strongly condemned by many of the scholars his time and imprisoned several times to force his repentance.
He also differed from the consensus of the Sunni scholars on legal issues. An example would be his ruling that three simultaneously-issued divorce pronouncements constituted a single revocable divorce. On these and similar matters he contravened the established consensus of the Sunni Muslims. Such legal verdicts only add to the controversial nature of Ibn Taymiyya.
The problem with taking Ibn Taymiyya as the standard for judging the correctness of the creed of the Muslims is that he is an extremely controversial figure, who himself was condemned and tried by the scholars of his age for what they viewed as defective ‘Aqida. As ‘Aqida is based on clearly understood, communally transmitted (Mutawatir) texts and positions, the controversial nature of many of his positions and decrees indicates his deviation from that which has been communally transmitted. As a result, by accepting many of his positions, we are implicitly forced to condemn multitudes Muslims to Hell. This would include those who lived in the generations who preceded him, including many of the Salaf. This is a dangerous and untenable position.
We are enjoined to have a good opinion of all Muslims; owing to the power of La ilaha Illa Allah Muhammad Rasulullah therefore I pray that Ibn Taymiyya repented from anything that would jeopardize his salvation. May Allah reward Ibn Taymiyya for his good, forgive and overlook his wrong, and accept his repentance.
Q: What does Tariqa mean?
A: A Tariqa is generally understood by the people of Tasawwuf to mean an organized brotherhood (whose members usually include women) dedicated to pursuing a systematic path of spiritual growth and excellence, based on an emphasis on certain religious practices, under the direction of a qualified scholar—Sheikh. For example, some Tariqas may emphasize Qur’an, others Dhikr, others taking the strictest opinions in matters of worship (‘Azima), others may emphasize voluntary prayer, fasting, silence, etc.
Tariqas arose because their advocates felt that people were drifting away from the essence of Islam, which in their view was the systematic refinement of the human soul (an-Nafs), to rid it of its vices and imperfections, thereby removing the barriers preventing it from the attainment of Paradise. This refinement was a movement away from the Qur’anic state described as the Nafs Ammara bis-Su’ (soul urging vileness—Qur’an 12:53), towards the Nafs Mutma’inna (contended soul—Qur’an 89:27).
Tariqas are an institutional development that occurs late in Islamic history. Like all institutions introduced for the intended benefit of the Muslims i.e. orphanages, Qur’an schools, universities, etc., Tariqas can be in conformity with the dictates of the divine law and therefore, religiously praiseworthy; or they can contravene the divine law, and therefore, be religiously condemnable. This is the nature of all significant human institutions.
Certain factors led to the rise and popularity of Tariqas during the centuries they were widespread. Similarly, many factors such as the advent of the secular state in most Muslim lands, and the spread of fundamentalist thought has led to a great reduction in the number and influence of Tariqas contemporarily.
A question closely associated with the one under discussion would be, “Is it religiously mandatory for a Muslim to belong to a Tariqa, or more specifically to take a Sheikh as a spiritual guide?” This is a question that has occupied many scholars during the latter period of Islam. The great scholar, Imam Ash-Shatibi, the author of al-‘Itisam, one of the greatest treatises outlining what constitutes acceptable and blameworthy innovations, issued a formal written inquiry to the scholars of the Islamic realm during his lifetime asking this very question. Dar al-Fikr al-Mu’asir has published the responses to his question by Ibn Khaldun, and Ibn ‘Abbad ar-Rundi, two of the greatest scholars of that day, in a book entitled Shifa’ as-Sa’il.
Many scholars say is that a person does not have to have a Sheikh, or implicitly belong to a Tariqa, to mature spiritually. They maintain that a regimen of Qur’an recitation, dhikr, night prayer, and voluntary fasting is sufficient to ensure a believer’s spiritual progress. They hold the idea of taking a Sheikh as a spiritual guide to be a blameworthy innovation. Others opine that if that person is unable to make spiritual progress on his own he must find a guide who can assist him. Otherwise, a lack of sincerity (Ikhlas) in his worship, the possession of blameworthy character traits such as lying, backbiting, a bad opinion of others, etc., and dying with an diseased heart will make one’s attainment of Paradise problematic. They see the assistance of a Sheikh as being absolutely essential for the attainment of one of the great objectives of the divine law. Both sides usher their proofs and advance their arguments. One of the most powerful arguments for having a Sheikh is advanced by Ibn ‘Abbad Ar-Rhundi in his response to Imam ash-Shatibi’s inquiry, and one of the most eloquent arguments against the incumbency of having a Sheikh is made by Sheikh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah in his introduction to Imam al-Muhasibi’s, Risala al-Mustarshideen.
I say that if a person is able to mature spiritually and be upright in his religion without a formal affiliation to a Tariqa or a Sheikh, in his case that is closer to intent and spirit of the divine law. However, if one is unable to do so and can find a Tariqa and a Sheikh who are committed to the Qur’an, Sunnah, and adhere strictly to the divine law, in his case involvement with the Tariqa and following the guidance of the Sheikh are closer to the intent and spirit of the divine law. Surely, Allah knows best.
Q: What is your position of the Hadith of the Seventy-three sects?
A: This Hadith is a warning against sectarianism. The mentioning of seventy-three, although generally meaning a large number, is understood literally by some scholars who in their books of heresies try to meticulously delineate seventy-three sects among the Muslims. As far as using this Hadith to exclaim the virtue of one group of the Muslims over others, by the exclaiming group declaring themselves to be the only ones upon that which the Prophet, peace upon him, and his companions were on, this is a vain exercise in that proves absolutely nothing.
In ‘Aqida, all groups can point out with strong arguments the “innovations” of their opponents. Anyone believing otherwise is unfamiliar with the intellectual history of the Muslim community. In worship, even if someone were absolute certain that they are doing everything exactly as the Prophet, peace upon him, and his companions, he does not know if his internal state matches theirs and therefore he does not know if any of his acts are accepted by Allah. For example, when the verse, Rather, Allah only accepts from the righteous (5:27) was revealed, many of the companions were deeply shaken for they would never assume that they were among the righteous. This humble spirit was an essential part of their religion, which is severely lacking in many of those who use the hadith of the seventy-three sects to proclaim themselves the saved sect (al-Firqa an-Najiya) while condemning others to Hell.
Speaking of humility, one of the things that the Prophet, peace upon him, and his companions were on in their religion was humility. This is an integral aspect of the religion, as affirmed by the Hadith of Hudhayfa, may Allah be pleased with him, “The first knowledge to be lost from the religion is humility (Khushu’).” The assumption of many of those who use the hadith in questions to proclaim their salvation while condemning other Muslims to Hell is an indication that they may be lacking in Khushu’, and therefore are not on, in their religion, what the Prophet, peace upon him, and his companions were on.
One of the greatest tribulations Allah can afflict a servant with is to preoccupy him with the faults of others, and blind him to his own faults. While he points out what he perceives to be the flaws of other’s religion and beliefs, he neglects his own and therefore meets Allah with his own faults unchecked. In my opinion, this Hadith is one of the means that is contemporarily used to do just that. Surely, Allah knows best.
Q: What do you say about the Ash’aris?
A: Any comment on the “Ash’aris” has to be prefaced by mentioning the fact that the term Ash’ari is extremely broad, and encompasses a lot of historically relevant nuances that are missed by the average Muslim, and by most of those who issue blanket condemnations of the “Ash’aris.” For example the Ash’arism of the Abu’l Hasan al-Ash’ari of al-Lum’a differs from the Ash’arism of the Abu’l Hasan al-Ash’ari of al-Ibana. The Ash’arism of Ibn Fawrak differs from the Ash’arism of Imam al-Bayhaqi. The Ash’arism of Imam al-Qushayri—who affirmed the 20 essential Attributes of God that constitute the basis of the Ash’ari refutation of the Mu’tazila, and also affirmed all of the names and attributes of Allah conveyed by valid texts, a caveat that has become the basis for one of the Salafi critiques of the Ash’aris—differs from the Ash’arism” of al-Baqqalani, whose “Ash’arism” in turn differs from that of latter day scholars such as Imam al-Bayjuri. These wide differences have to be known and understood before one can profitably begin speaking of the Ash’aris. Ash’arism also has its own internal critics. For example, no one has more effectively critiqued the Ash’aris, on certain points, than Imam Al-Ghazali.
Another issue that has to be understood is that Ash’arism has always seen itself as an intellectual defense of the beliefs of Ahli’s Sunnah. To understand its more philosophical arguments, one has to be thoroughly conversant with both neo-Platonic philosophy and Aristotelian logic. To attempt to understand the historical evolution of Ash’arism without those intellectual prerequisites is an exercise in futility that will inevitable lead to inaccurate conclusions.
As far as the basic principles that unite Ash’aris, two have primacy. The first is that revelation can be affirmed by intellect, but when there is an irreconcilable conflict between the two, revelation has to be given primacy. This is a conclusion substantiated by the Qur’an and Hadith and has provided the basis for the Ash’aris both beating back the intellectual challenge of various sects such as the Mu’tazila, the Isma’ilis and others, while affirming the integrity of divine revelation.
The second is that Allah is transcendent above any likeness. This principle is also rooted in the text of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. That transcendence has been articulated with the aid of two processes. One is by deputing unto Allah the knowledge of any text whose superficial understanding might imply drawing a likeness between Allah and His creation. This is known as Tafwid. The second is interpreting such a text in a way that is supported by its linguistic meaning, while warding off the ability to draw any likeness unto Allah. This is known as Ta’wil.
Contemporarily, there is a concerted effort to demonstrate that Tafwid was not a valid interpretive approach known among the early generations of Muslims. Rather, their school was more accurately defined as Taslim, or submission to the literal meaning of the text. Delving into the specifics of that discussion is beyond what has been asked here. However, distinguishing between Tafwid and Taslim is an issue I am mindful of and perhaps could discuss in another context.
Some of the particular instances relating to how these two principles (Tafwid and Ta’wil) actually were articulated throughout history are debatable. But the principles themselves were the unifying universals that provided the basis for the evolution of Ash’arism into an identifiable intellectual school. However, it is of little use for Muslims to become bogged down in the condemnation or rejection of those particulars, something very common in our day. Those particulars, while conveying deep insights, such as al-Baqqalani’s atomic theory, would be viewed as intellectual curiosities if introduced in contemporary philosophical debate.
Similarly, it is of little use for students of sacred knowledge to limit their studies of theological and philosophical issues to the books of classical Ash’aris, such as Imam al-Jurjani’s commentary on al-Iji’s al-Mawaqif. Although that text and similar ones are of tremendous historical value, they do little to prepare the student to engage in a high level philosophical defense of Islam based on contemporary philosophical schools of thought. He or she would be far more effective if they mastered the basics of ‘Aqida, studied the foundations of classical Greek philosophy, understood the arguments of the Muslim philosophers, the Mu’tazila, Ash’aris, and others, and then mastered contemporary philosophical schools and their critiques with the objective of issuing a strong Islamic critique of those schools.
This latter approach, in my view is Fard Kifayah, or a communal obligation that must be undertaken by some members of the community on behalf of the rest. Doing so will allow Muslims to meaningfully engage in the deeper philosophical debates that are shaping the intellectual landscape of our times. It will also allow for the development of a body of literature that will defend the faith from high level very sophisticated attacks that are undermining the faith of some Muslims, many of whom eventually leave Islam because they have no effective Muslim responses to the philosophical and intellectual attacks being directed at Islam.
Are the Ash’aris to be considered “deviants?” I think the best answer to that question is provided by the Prophet, peace upon him, himself. He said, “Constantinople will be conquered—what an excellent army is that conquering army! And what an excellent commander is its commander!” This hadith is related by Imam Hakim in al-Mustadrak and is affirmed by Imam adh-Dhahabi, which is a clear indication of its soundness (I am aware of al-Albani’s rejection of this hadith. However, his rejection does not negate Imam ad-Dhahabi’s affirmation). This hadith is understood by the scholars to be a reference to Muhammad al-Fatih, the great Turkish general. Hence, the Prophet is praising an individual who is Ash’ari in creed, a Qadiri Sufi, and an adherent to the Hanafi School of jurisprudence, along with his army, most of whom had the same affiliations. There can be no higher mark of approval for the acceptability of Ash’arism, Tasawwuf (that is consistent with the divine law), and adhering to a Madhhab. Surely, Allah knows best.
In summary, I believe that collectively the Ash’aris have defended Islamic beliefs against attacks from myriad directions, and have provided the basis for the development of a stable and unifying intellectual tradition. Hence, I have the utmost respect for their work and their contribution to the Islamic venture, and consider any innovations that their methodology involved as praiseworthy innovations. However, some of their particular arguments are debatable and others are no longer of any efficacy in terms of contributing to meaningful Muslim participation in contemporary intellectual and philosophical discourse. The challenge for Muslims today is to take the universals that guided the Ash’ari project and use them as the basis for the articulation of particular arguments that are relevant to our times.
This is what I have to say in response to these questions that were advanced by the “Salafi” brother. I hope that they were posed in sincerity as I have endeavored to answer with sincerity. If he is looking for my answers to his questions I have presented those answers. If he is looking for anything other than that I depute the affair to Allah. In the end, surely He knows best.
Let's see if any of the 'salafi' signatories of the pledge would reply to this.
lol, and this is the man who initiated the pledge??
And whats with Imaam??
But i must say that the man is very smart. He got some wide eyed salafi's to sign and actually defend a pledge that him and his asha'ari friends concocted, while he still does his refutations.
looks like Qadhi and co got duped big time.....
can someone address this inshallah?
Sister, in think the person is mistaken about consensus
This is something that the sahaba themselves differed on.
Maybe This person zayd shakir meant to say the majority of scholars believed that 3 simultaneously issued divorces make a irrevocable divorce, but instead said consensus.
Its a thick issue that both sides have their salaf to back them up, but Ibn taymia's opinion is backed up with a explicit authentic hadith where the prophet sallahu 'alayhi wa salam ruled Abu Rukaana's divorce (which was a 3 in one goe) as only being one revocable divorce.
Ibn Taymia is not the first to have this opinion as this is also the verdict of Abdur-Rahman ibn 'Awf , 'Ali ibn Abi Talib , Az-Zubayr and in one of two narrations from ibn abbas he too gives this verdict.
So ibn Taymia is not being 'controversial' he's supporting the minority opinion that some of the sahaba themselves held as well as an authentic hadith.
Part of the nonsense I find irritating, since many times this has been refuted.
Zaid Shaik's intellectual answer
''Another issue that has to be understood is that Ash’arism has always seen itself as an intellectual defense of the beliefs of Ahli’s Sunnah. To understand its more philosophical arguments, one has to be thoroughly conversant with both neo-Platonic philosophy and Aristotelian logic. To attempt to understand the historical evolution of Ash’arism without those intellectual prerequisites is an exercise in futility that will inevitable lead to inaccurate conclusions.''
Hence, Asharism is not for the common people like me. I am pleased with the plain and easy to understand theology of Ahlus Sunnah and more than happy to reject the so-called intellectuals of Asharism. Their intellectualism has lead many people astray with a mind worse than animals.
Are any of the du'at going to respond to this screed? Yasir Qadhi? Any of the "Salafi" signatures of the "unity" pledge?
Another dagger to the heart of his assertion: Mehmet al-Fatih was a Maturidi, not an Ash'ari.
Why do the ahlul-bidah like to rely upon the beliefs of the drunken, fratricidal homosexuals of the Ottoman "Caliphate" for the stamp of orthodoxy? I mean, Mehmet was all three!
Are you referring to the infamous Sultan Mohammed Fateh being all three?
Is there any evidence for this?
There are reports of him being a wine-bibber, although I have none at hand right now. This is true of almost all the Ottoman Sultans.
Also, he was fratricidal (brother-killing) as has already been mentioned. He killed his own infant brother! This also is true of most Ottoman Sultans.
Also, as a young man, he had a homosexual dalliance with a Janissary named Radu cel Frumos (Radu the Handsome), brother of Vlad the Impaler (aka Dracula). Homosexuality was rampant in the Ottoman court.
Can you quote Muslim sources. ..Orientalist obviously lie !
I wouldn't be so sure about these accusations, despite their possibility, knowing that he is cherished as a hero amongst the Ummah. Rulers killing their own relatives was way too common. Mamluks were all heros but because they didn't have a hereditary rule, they would often come to power by killing each other. This is what Sayf al-Din Qutuz did to his owner, and this is what was done to him.
This is what Muslim sources say, Orientalists just repeated it.
Did anyone watch the interview with him in the videos section?
Returning to the subject at hand, it would appear that one can attack and charatcer-assassinate ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah), but not the late `Alawi al-Maliki, for which one would be smeared by self-righteous neo-Jahmi bloggers.
transcendentalist meditation lol
Separate names with a comma.