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In the Name of God بسم الله

Criticism Of Sunni Kalam (Short Intro)

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Are the attributes a part of the essence of Allah?




The Ashariyya state that the attributes of Allah are not a part of the essence lest it would cause Allah SWT to be without attributes.




The Mutazaliyya claim that Allah has no positive attributes, following closely to Aristotle who said that you cannot say that Allah is all-knowing, rather you can say that Allah is not ignorant of anything. The Mutazaliyya said that all the attributes of Allah are a part of his essence and not unique lest it would create parts.




The Shia' position is that there are attributes of essence and attributes of action, the attributes of essence are indeed a part of the essence and not separate, however in contrast to the mutazaliyya, these attributes of the essence such as hearing, sight, knowledge, are all a part of the essence and are unique from each other and positive.


Criticism of the Sunni and Mutazalii position.


The Ashariyya claim that Allah's attributes are not a part of him are nonsensical as anything that is not a part of Allah cannot said to be "Allah". This is common sense and the Ashariyya have made the error into delving into the essence of Allah and creating reasons why the attributes cannot exist within his essence. The Ashariyya on this issue have done a retreat into paradox, if asked how could they hold such a view they would tell you that Allah's essence is a mystery. Of course this is known but if it was a mystery to them they wouldn't be making such claims and then retreating into paradox. The Mutazaliyya too have made an error into delving into the essence of Allah SWT, they claim that if the attributes are all a part of Allah which they obviously are, they cannot be said to be positive or unique. The Mutazaliyya are assuming that the essence of Allah cannot be without parts if it had unique attributes in Allah's essence and this is unproven without evidence.



Edited by Ibn-Ahmed Aliyy Herz
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Can Allah lie?


Before getting into the positions of the various schools of Islam it is important to first identify them so that we can read and understand who and what we are talking about. The majority of the Muslims for much of Islamic history were the Shia and Mutazaliyya, with the Imamiyya becoming the most predominant Shia madhab during the time of Abul hasan al Ashari (the founder of the ashari school) which was around 300 hijri. The proto sunni schools were made of dozens of schools in both theology and fiqh, however it was mostly the murjja and the mujassima/hashawiyya(as called by their opponents) or ashab l hadith as they called themselves, both of these schools often made claims that they were misguided or kuffar. The largest proto sunni school during the beginning of Islam were the murjia, with the hashawiyya less than them in number. Both of these proto schools were outnumbered by the Mutazaliyya with them being the largest madhab. Abu hanifa was often cursed and called a deviant by the other proto sunni schools, and likewise between the shafi'i school and hanbali school who at one point were actually at physical war in Iraq. When the seljuks took power and the Arabs became puppet states, the seljuks chose an Islam that was the best politically for their empire, a madhab that did not favor sciences of knowledge such as natural philosophy and logic , a madhab that did not believe in authority only going to the ahlul bayt (as) as they would never be followed, their choice were the proto-sunni schools, however not all of them. Their main choice was the hanafi strand, hence why the ottoman empire was largely hanafi and shaykh maturidi was actually from home area of seljuks. After this choice was made, the shafi'i and hanbali schools were united by the seljuks with the ahnaf under the name chosen by abul hassan al ashari "ahlus sunnah wa jama3" or Sunni for short. If one looks in the books of shafi'i, hanbal, abu hanifa, or malik, they will not find the word Sunni nor the phrase ahlus sunnah wa jama3. Ibn abbas (ra) however once mentioned the phrase "rijal as sunnah", but this phrase was not said in a sectarian sense but in the sense that he was referring to Muslims who follow the sunnah, like today we would say "ahlul qur'an" without meaning the Qur'an only group but rather Muslims who follow the Qur'an.






The position of the hanbali school is that if Allah chose to do so he could lie, but he would never choose to do so and thus impossible.




The Ashariyya (mostly Shafi'i/Maliki) like the Salafiyya claim that it is not necessarily impossible for Allah to lie only contingently. 




The Maturidiyya (mostly Hanafi) say that it is both contingently impossible and necessarily impossible.




The Mutazaliyya claim the same as the Maturidiyya.




The Shia say that it is impossible for Allah SWT to lie absolutely in Allah cases. The concept of omnipotence does not play a role in things which have no logical basis, for example not being able to "hear a painting" has nothing to do with ability but rather with the question or challenge itself. The essence of Allah cannot contain ugliness nor can the will or actions of Allah contain ugliness. Thus like the Maturdiyya and Mutazaliyya, the question of Allah lying is nonsensical and has no meaning,  for a sentence with Allah's name and the word lie is not a logical nor compatible sentence. Thus it is contingently, textually, necessarily, and rationally impossible for Allah to do an action that is evil or ugly nor is it possible for his essence to contain an imperfection, subhanahu wa ta2la.



Criticism of the Sunni position


The majority of the Sunniya in the area of theology are the hanbali strands and the Ashariyya, both claiming that it is possible for Allah to lie if he chose to do so. This of course means that it is possible for Allah to have a defect, if it is possible for Allah to have a defect then he is not perfect, thus their claims are false.



Edited by Ibn-Ahmed Aliyy Herz
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