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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Afzali

Does Bukhari’s Project End up in Positivism?

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As to the semantics of divine attributes especially the revealed ones, there are different theories. Some advocate the theory of similarity (anthropomorphism) according to which divine attributes are similar to human attributes. Some have followed the theory of interpretation (Dissimilarity), interpreting that attributes that do not seem consistent with divine essence. Some have yet subscribed to the theory of Abstinence, saying that they will not pass any judgment in regard with divine attributes. The theory of ‘without quality’ is not an independent theory. It can be reduced to the theories of similarity or dissimilarity. 

     Based on his traditions, interpretations, titles and the words of his commentators, Muhammad bin Ismael Bukhari is an anthropomorphist believing that God is similar to a man in terms of attributes. (See for example, Sahih Bukhari, vol. 4, pp. 1725, 1812 and vol. 5, pp. 2252 and 2368).

    Anthropomorphism in turn ends up in positivism. How? Kant, the German philosopher, divides meaningful judgments into analytic (all bachelors are unmarried) and synthetic (water boils at 100 centigrade degree at sea level). Following Kant positivists said a meaningful judgment is either analytic or synthetic. A judgment that does not fall under anyone of these categories is meaningless. As for anthropomorphists, they are, like positivists, looking for meaning in the objective world. That is why they are attributing physical features to God for they cannot understand anything that does have physical features and qualities. 

         Although Bukhari is apparently an ultra-theist, zealously defending Islamic doctrines, his theism unfortunately ends up in positivism – a modern form of atheism. It is all because of his emphasis on physical qualities implying thus that anything that does not have physical qualities does exist at all!! 

 

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21 minutes ago, Afzali said:

Ismael Bukhari is an anthropomorphist believing that God is similar to a man in terms of attributes.

Allah, the Glorified, says in the Holy Quran:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَنتُمُ الْفُقَرَاء إِلَى اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ

O men! you are they who stand in need of Allah, and Allah is He Who is the Self-sufficient, the Praised One. [Quran, 35: 15]

God has many attributes with which he is described. God is, for example, omnipotent, omniscient, He is merciful, compassionate, beneficent, just, He is independent and self-sufficient and so on. The list goes on.

وَلِلَّهِ الأسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَى فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا وَذَرُوا الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي أَسْمَائِهِ

“To Allah belong the Best Names, so supplicate Him by them, and abandon those who commit sacrilege in His names." [Quran, 7: 180]

As for Bukhari's belief about God's attributes, it is very much unacceptable to say that God and His creatures are similar to each other because God's existence is real. He is the First and the Last. He is uncreated. He is Maker while man is an inventor. God cannot be compared with an inventor, because an inventor is not a creator. His only genius is that he understands the properties of things and is successful in bringing together certain elements to make something, which, in some cases, he is himself in need of. But God, Who is the creator of all creation, is not in need of what He has created. Allah is He Who is the Self-sufficient, as the Quran says in Surah Fatir verse 15.

Edited by Jawid Akbari

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Isn't it difficult to reconcile the very notion of God with positivism, regardless of whether or not you bring in anthropomorphism into it.

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