CHAPTER III
THE THEOLOGY OF AS-SANÛSÎ


  1. Introduction
  2. The science of kalm:
    1. Blind-acceptance versus correct reasoning: definitions (N. 1)
    2. The obligation of knowledge
    3. The status of a blind-acceptor (muqallid)
    4. The reality of faith
    5. The position of this science
    6. Method and preliminary notions (N. 2)
  3. The existence of God:
    1. Explanation of terms (Nos. 3-4)
    2. The argument from the worlds having come into being (Nos. 4-5)
    3. The argument from possibility
  4. The essence of God and attributes in general:
    1. Knowability of Gods essence
    2. Kinds of attributes
    3. existence as an attribute
  5. Negative attributes:
    1. Being from eternity (qidam) (N. 6)
    2. Being everlasting (baq)
    3. Otherness from things that come into being (mukhlafatuhu li-l-awdith) (Nos. 7-9)
    4. Self-subsistency (qiymuhu bi-nafsihi) (Nos. 11-12)
  6. The positive attributes:
    1. Al-Ash`ar and no adjectival attributes (N. 13)
    2. The Mu`tazilites and no substantive attributes
    3. The Philosophers and no positive attributes
    4. Power (qudra) (N. 14)
    5. Will (irda) Nos. 15-19)
    6. Knowledge (`ilm) Nos. 20-21)
    7. Hearing, sight, speech and perception (Nos. 22-23)
    8. Outwrd anthropomorphisms (N. 24)
    9. Life, and the eternity and unity of every attribute (Nos. 25-31)
  7. Oneness (wadaniyya):
    1. Procedure and meaning (N. 32)
    2. Oneness in essence and attributes (N. 33)
    3. Oneness in acting (Nos. 35-39)
  8. What is admissible concerning God: providing what is good, being seen:
    1. Principles (N. 40)
    2. The good and the best (a-al wa-l-ala) (N. 41)
    3. Seeing God (Nos. 42-43)
  9. Prophecy in general:
      Definition and distinctions (Nos. 44-45)
    1. Proof of truthfulness from miracles (Nos. 45-56)
    2. Immunity from defect (`ima) (N. 47)
    3. Abrogation (Naskh)
  10. The messengership of Muammad:
    1. Proof from the miraculosity of the Qur'n (N. 48)
    2. Proof from announcing absent events
    3. Proof from various extraordinary events
    4. Proof from the books of previous prophets
    5. Who is preferred after Muammad
    6. Regarding saints, wonders and magic
  11. Various revealed tenets:
    1. The resurrection (N. 49)
    2. The questioning and torment or delight in the grave]
    3. The path
    4. The scale
    5. The basin
    6. Intercession
    7. Eternity of final reward or punishment
    8. Repentance
    9. Law enforcement


Introduction

This chapter takes the commentary on the Wus as its point of departure, and its number divisions parallel those of the Creed in Chapter II. Abbreviations to as-Sans's works, using the editions or manuscripts indicated in Chapter I, E, are as follows:

K = al-`Aqda al-kubr and its commentary (works 2 and 3)
W = al-`Aqda al-wus and its commentary (works 4 and 5), using the E1 manuscript
= al-`Aqda a-ughr and its commentary (works 6 and 7)
J = Shar al-Jaz'iriyya (work 16)
= ighrat a-ighra and its commentary (works 8 and 9)
M = al-Muqaddima and its commentary (works 10 and 11)

Before the actual text of the Creed, W contains an introduction which explains the aim of the work [ff. 3b-5a; see Ch. II, A, a] and, while complaining that the state of religion has deteriorated over the centuries [f. 3b], derives courage to go on teaching from the adth that a remnant ('ifa) of believers will continue to the end of time. (1)


A. The science of kalm

a. Blind-acceptance versus correct reasoning, definitions:

(N. 1) Blind-acceptance (taqld), according to the dictionary definition (f l-lugha), says W [f. 8b], is "acting upon the opinion of another without reason" (al-`amal bi-qawl al-ghayr bi-l ujja). This definition excludes from taqld accepting the opinion of a muft when one does not understand a problem, since there is reason for accepting his authority, namely, the Qur'n verse "Ask the professional recallers if you do not know" (16:43 = 21:7).

Ibn-`Arafa, in his Shmil, gave as a technical definition "a firm belief in the opinion of someone who is not infallible" (i`tiqd jzim li-qawl ghary ma`m). This definition includes under taqld accepting the opinion of a muft. Ibn-al-jib, in his Mukhtaar, first accepted the dictionary definition, then reconsidered when he saw this latter definition generally accepted.

An objection to the definition of Ibn-`Arafa is that it does not include under taqld the case of one who accepts the opinion of an infallible person that God exists, since this kind of tenet cannot be accepted simply on the authority of another. The answer to this objection is implied in the definition, since one must know the existence and attributes of God before one can appreciate the value of a miracle in proving the infallibility of a person to speak on other questions.

J [1b, f. 23b] returns to an equivalent of the dictionary definition, "accepting the opinion of another without reason" (akhdh qawl al-ghayr bi-ghayr dall), and explains that this excludes from taqld accepting what was communicated to the Messenger, after knowing a proof for his truthfulness.

To define taqld and knowledge, K [pp. 37-38] and [p. 9] proceed by way of division. A judgement or determination is:

Correct reasoning (an-naar a-a), says W [f. 10a], is "the reflection by which a person considers the aspect which is intermediate between himself and that which is to be proved" (at-ta'ammul alldh yaali` ibuhu `al l-wajh alldh baynahu wa-rayn al-madll). Erroneous reasoning (an-naar al-fsid) is that which does not look at the proper aspect.

K [p. 17] first gave al-Bayw's definition of correct reasoning, "the arrangement of facts (umr ma`lmt) according to the aspect which will dead to knowledge of what is not known," but offers as a better definition "the placing of a fact, or arrangement of two or more facts according to an aspect which will result in what is sought (al-malb) or in a specification (at-tanw`)." The latter definition includes definitions and descriptions, whether complete or not, and syllogistic argumentation.

Aside from the Summanites, who denied the value of any reasoning, and the Mechanists (muhandisn), who denied its value in attaining God, various explanations of the connection (rab) between reasoning and knowledge are reported by W [f. 10a], K [pp. 18-19] and J [1d, f. 33a]. The Philosophers (ukam') say that reasoning is an independent cause (`illa mustaqilla) of knowledge; the Mu`tazilites say that man has the power of directly producing (iqtir`) his reasoning, and that from his reasoning knowledge is induced (al-`ilm mutawallad `an an-naar). These positions are refuted later.

Of the Sunnites, al-Ash`ar said that the connection is customary (`d); according to this opinion, in an extraordinary case there could be correct reasoning without there resulting any knowledge. Imm-al-aramayn said that the connection is of intelligibility (`aql); according to him, if there are no general liabilities (al-ft al-`mma), such as death, there cannot be correct reasoning without there also being knowledge of what is to be shown (`ilm al-madll); correct reasoning does away with special liabilities (al-ft al-kh⪪a), such as ignorance, and there is no need to demand their absence as a condition for knowledge. (4) In K as-Sans says that the position of Imm-al-aramayn is the correct one, but in W and J he makes no judgement. (5)

b. The obligation of knowledge

According to [p. 55], the mass (jumhr) of theologians agree that knowledge and correct reasoning leading to it are necessary for the validity of faith. These theologians include al-Ash`ar, al-Bqilln, Imm-al-aramayn, and Ibn-al-Qar who quotes a adth from Mlik for this opinion. W [f. 10b] repeats this adth and adds the authority of al-Isfar'in.

A minority opinion [, p. 57] is that knowledge and correct reasoning are neither a condition of faith nor obligatory, but only desirable and a condition of the perfection of faith. It is attributed to Ibn-a. Jamra, al-Qushayr, Ibn-Rushd, and al-Ghazl, although K [p. 42] says that the apparent meaning in the Nawzil of Ibn-Rushd is that only detailed knowledge is non-obligatory.

Similar is the opinion of the Indians who hold that knowledge comes from inspiration (ilhm) resulting from emptying the mind of distraction; thus reasoning is unnecessary [K, pp. 84-85].

Other opinions are that teaching the masses tawd disturbs the tranquillity of their faith - which is refuted by the contrary, namely that it increases their peace with certitude, as various adths illustrate [W, f. 13b] - or the opinion of the ashwiyya who held that any reasoning about the articles of faith was forbidden - which is contrary to all authoritative tradition [W, f. 11a].

Concerning the first obligation of one who has reached maturity, K [pp. 27-29], W [f. 10b] and J [2a, f. 36b] mention six opinions: 1) knowing-awareness of God (ma`rifat Allh), the opinion of al-Ash`ar; 2) reasoning leading to this (an-naar al-muwail ilayh), attributed in J to al-Bqilln, but in K and W to al-Ash`ar as a second opinion of his; 3) the first part of reasoning (awwal juz' min an-naar), an anonymous opinion in J, but attributed to al-Bqilln in K and W; 4) the intention of correct reasoning (al-qad il n-naar a-a), explained in K and W as turning one's heart toward it and cutting off contrary attachments, such as pride and resistance to teachers; this opinion is attributed in J to al-Bqilln, Ibn-Frak and Imm-al-aramayn, but in K and W to al-Isfar'in and Imm-al-aramayn; 5) blind acceptance (taqld), explained in K and W as "an acknowledgement of (al-iqrr bi-) God and his messengers by a belief agreeing with the truth (`an `aqd mubiq) even without knowledge; and 6) doubt (shakk), the opinion of the Mu`tazilite a. l-Qsim al-Ka`b and, according to W, of Ibn-Frak.

Of these opinions, K admits that knowing-awareness of God is the first obligation in intention, but chooses correct reasoning (the second opinion) as the first obligation in execution, because of the insistence on it in the Qur'n and Sunna. W makes no change, but J rejects the second opinion as weak, because correct reasoning is not an aim (muqad), and even as a means (sabl) is preceded by intention (qad). Therefore the fourth opinion, together with the first, is preferred.

The obligation, as-Sans insists in K [pp. 15-16], stems from revealed-law (shar`), and not intelligibility (`aql) as the Mu`tazilites maintained. something can be obligatory even if the person ahs not learned the obligation. [pp. 63-66] quotes Ibn-`Arab for advocating calling men not directly to faith (imn) but to reasoning. If they defer believing because of lingering doubts they should be given time to understand, but if they are merely stubborn, their stubbornness should be removed by the sword.

A person is encharge (mukallaf), or subject to legal obligations, when he has reached maturity (bulgh). J [1e, f. 14a] gives opinions as to when maturity occurs; the answers generally center around puberty.

c. The status of a blind-acceptor (muqallid)

K [pp. 39-42] and W [ff. 8b and 10b] give a list, which K attributes to Ibn-`Arafa, of three opinions concerning the status of a muqallid. J [1b, f. 23b] gives the same three opinions in different order and adds a fourth. [pp. 55-57] gives the three and also some variants of them.

According to , among the theologians who agree that knowledge and the correct reasoning leading to it are obligatory there is disagreement concerning whether a muqallid is:

a believer, but disobedient simply (mu`in ill annahu `)

a believer, but disobedient only if he has the capabiltiy (ahliyya) of correct reasoning; this is the second opinion in K and W and the third in J, and is attributed in K to al-mid, reporting from various theologians, and in W to a. Yy. ash-Sharf at-Tilimsn, who argues that correct reasoning is very difficult, and revealed-law does not enjoin the impossible (m l yuq).

not a believer at all (lays bi-mu'min alan); this is the third opinion in K and W, and the first in J, and is attributed to Ab-Hshim b. al-Jubb', Ibn-at-Tilisn, and the Shmil of Imm-al-aramayn.

The latter, according to , distinguishes four cases: 1) a person who has time after maturity for correct reasoning and does so; he is a believer; 2) one who has time and does not do so; his faith is invalid; 3) one who does not have time, but in the little he has tries to reason correctly; his faith is valid; 4) one who does not have time, and does not try in the little he does have; opinion is divided, but the more valid opinion (al-aai), that of al-Bqilln, is that his faith is not valid. (6)

According to W, the opinion that a muqallid is a kfir is held by the mass of theologians. (7) W continues with a passage from Ibn-Dahhq's commentary onf the Irshd in support of this opinion. (8) W [f. 10b] also argues against a. Yy. ash-Sharf at-Tilimsn and says "We do not concede that encharging with the impossible never happens" (fa-l nusallim ann at-taklf bi-m l yuq ghayr wqi`). Moreover, al-Qarf, "who was very severe" (wa-qad shaddad tashddan `aman), said that even if a person tried all he could and failed to understand the fundamentals of religion, he is an unbeliever and destined for hell. Even in regions where intelligence is low, as in the distant parts of Turkey and Black Africa (as-Sdn), people remain encharged.

Besides the previous opinions which agree that knowledge is obligatory, the minority opinion of those who say that it is not obligatory also say that there is no disobedience in neglecting to study. This is the first opinion in K and W, and the second in J.

A similar opinion is the fourth in J, which says that blind acceptance of something free from errors (ma`mn al-khay), such as the Qur'n, is legitimate, but not blind acceptance of any teacher. Ibn-Dahhq attributes this opinion to the ashwiyya. As-Sans rejects it because correct reasoning is necessary both to know the truth of the Qur'n and to avoid anthropomorphic interpretations (tajsm). For the same reason, in W [f. 10b] he rejects the idea that simple reading of the Qur'n and adths is enough for understanding the tenets of faith.

In preparing an answer, as-Sans emphasises several distinctions. The first, in W [f. 11b], is that there is agreement that knowledge of the branch sciences (al-fur`) is not necessary for the validity of faith, and error in them is pardonable; only knowledge of what is fundamental (aI) is indispensable.

The second distinction, in W [f. 45b - in N. 32] and [p. 67] is between knowledge in general (juml or ijml) and knowledge in detail (tafl). There is agreement that the latter, the science of kalm with its analyses and arranging of proofs, is not obligatory on every individual (far al-a`yn), but is only a communal obligation (far al-kifya) to be satisfied by certain learned men in every region (qar). (9)

The third distinction concerns knowledge only of what is referred to (madll) by the shahda or knowledge also of the proof (dall). W [f. 44b - in N. 32] refers to a fatw given by the learned men of Bijya (Bougie) "at the beginning of this century or shortly before," who judged that someone who did not know the meaning of the two statements of the shahda, for instance by thinking that Muammad was a deity, had no part in Islam (l yurab la-hu f l-Islm bi-nab). All agree with this fatw. "The differences among learned men concern the person who knows what the two statements of faith refer to (madll ash-shahdatayn) and without doubting firmly holds the tentets professing God's unity which they contain (wa-jazam bi-m taammanat-hu min `aq'id at-tawd min ghasyr taraddud); only the motive of his resoluteness is blind acceptance (taqld) and the simple fact of having been raised among a people of believers, without knowing any demonstration of these tenets whatsoever." K [p. 88] praises Ibn-a. Zayd al-Qayrawn and Ibn-al-jib for their short works on the tenets of faith, which, though they do not contain proofs (adilla), at least bring the common people one step towards knowledge; but they are not sufficient.

As-Sans's position on the status of the latter type of muqallid, who understands the meaning of the fundamental propositions of faith in a general way but does not knwo a proof for these propositions, differs in his various works.

His earlier position, in K and W, was that such a person is not a believer. The reason is that, as al-Ash`ar said, knowing awareness (ma`rifa) is faith itself (nafs al-mn) [W, f. 14b; cf. f. 8b] or, as al-Bqilln said, a consequence of it and can be attained only by correct reasoning (aw lzima la-hu l taul ill bi-n-naar a-a) [W, f. 14b]. K [pp. 43-44] also quotes some Qur'n verses (11:14, 47:19, 65:12, 74:31, 12:108) and adths in favor of this position, and [pp. 44-45] quotes al-Bqilln for an argument by division into absurdities to prove that the commanding of taqld is impossible.

A number of objections to this position are considered. One [W, f. 45b - in N. 32] is that it causes doubts and worries concerning the validity of one's own faith. The answer is that every man knows himself best; if he can distinguish between the reality fo taqld and of knowledge, he can look into his own consciousness and know whether he is affected by taqld or not.

A second objection [W, f. 45b] is that this position leads to doubting the faith of others. The answer is that we cannot suspect the faith of others because they cannot express the reasons for it or argue against error (shibh). If many learned men are unable to express the certain knowledge (al-`ulm al-muaqqaqa) which is in their minds, what about ordinary people? Therefore it is necessary to be kind in teaching them and curing their sickness.

A third objection [K, pp. 45-56], similar to the preceding, is that Muammad accepted simply the pronouncement of the two statements of the shahda by his opponents as reason enough to stop fighting them, without trying to find out if they really believed. The answer is that this action only concerns outward status (a-awhir) in this world, and does not spare the hypocrites (munfiqn) from an eternity of hell-fire.

A fourth objection [K, pp.l 47-50] is that many blind-acceptors (muqallidn) have deeper faith than many men of knowledge. The answer is that some such simple people have divinely given knowledge, in which case they are not muqallidn. If by faith is meant what is productive of good works (m yansha' `anhu a`ml al-birr), the observation is that knowledge of itself leads to good works, even though this may not be true of every individual. Good works without knowledge are useless, as in the case of Christian monks.

A fifth objection [K, pp. 47, 51-64], based on tales of the Fathers and words of ar-Rz and of `U. b. `Abdal`azz, is their commendation of the faith of simple people such as children and old ladies. The answer is that the meaning of such exhortations is to keep to what the Fathers agreed upon, and to avoid the innovations of the Qadarites, the Murji'ites, the Jabarites, the Rfiites and the Mu`tazilites. In early times even simple people knew the reasons for their beliefs, while the learned were the walls of Islam, protecting the faith of the simple in difficult moments; their jihd is greater than that of the sword. (10)

W [f. 45b] refers to Ibn-`Arab's description of the perfect knowledge many ordinary people had in his time, and comments that if ordinary people of that time attained this even though they lived late and very far from the time of prophecy and the flooding of its lights, how much more did ordinary people in the time of the holy Fathers (as-salaf a-li); as-Sans goes on to complain of his own time.

A sixth objection [K, pp. 47, 64-77; W, f. 11a], proposed by the ashwiyya, is that the companions of Muammad did not know tawd; for instance, they did not know what a substance and an accidental were. The answer is that they knew these and other matters of the science of kalm without knowing the technical terms; their closeness to Muammad supplied for formal study. In fact they were the wisest of men in tawd. (11) In early times a formal science was unnecessary; but later heresies and strife (fitan) made it necessary.

As-Sans's position changed somewhat in and J. J simply quotes the four opinions mentioned above without giving a judgement. wavers: Commenting on Imm-al-aramayn's distinguishing of four cases and his declaring invalid the faith of a muqallid, whether he had time for correct reasoning or not, as-Sans says [p. 56] "Perhaps this division refers only to those who have no firmness at all in the tenets of faith, even by taqld" (wa-la`all hdh t-taqsm innam huwa f-man l jazm `indahu bi-`aq'id al-mn alan wa-law bi-t-taqld). Later [p. 57] he says there is uncertainty (taraddud) whether correct reasoning is a condition of the validity of faith, but it is more probable (rji) that it is. Finally [p. 62], in a quotation from Ibn-`Arab, the question is said to be still open and undecided whether someone's faith is valid if he has the ability to reason and does not do so.

[pp. 10-11] admits that there are differences of opinion concerning the status of a muqallid (fa-fI dhlik uruq wa-aqwl), but says the best (aau-h) is that a person is obliged to search for a demonstration until he reaches knowing-awarness, no matter what his capacity for understanding it is (yajib `alayhi l-bath `an al-burhn att taul la-hu l-ma`rifa `anhu mahm knat fhi qbiliyya li-fahm dhlik). Al-Ash`ar is then quoted for saying that knowing-awareness is faith, or, according to al-Bqilln, is a consequence of it. Thus seems to revert back to the unqualified position of K and W. (12)

M [f. 208a] changes position radically. Distinguishing between bad (rad`) or erroneous taqld and good (asan) taqld, that is, agreeing with the truth, it says "There is a difference of opinion concerning whether the taqld of the mass of believers towards learned Sunnites in the fundamentals of religion is sufficient or not. Most sound theologians say that it is sufficient if they have resolutelness concerning the truth, especially those who have difficulty in underwstnaind the proofs" (wa-khtulif f taqld `mmat al-mu'minn li-`ulam' ahl as-sunna f ul ad-dn hal yakf dhlik am l wa-l-akthar min al-muaqqiqn ql ann dhlik yakf dh waqa` min-hum at-tamm `al l-aqq l siyyam f aqq an ya`sur `alayhi fahm al-adilla).

No reasons are given for this position, but it harmonizes with a suppler position, based on al-Ghazl, in the same work towards Christians and Jews and those who hold opinions which imply a denial of the fundamentals, but the implication is not obvious to them [ff. 205b-206b].

d. The reality of faith

J [31b, ff. 337b-338b] says that faith (mn) is an acknowledgement of truthfulness (tadq aqqatihi). There are various opinions as to what this acknowledgement of truthfulness consists in:

1) Al-Ash`ar, as has been seen, identified it with knowing-awareness (ma`rifa). Ibn-at-Tilimsn denied this, and at-Taftzn, in his Shar `Aqdat an-Nasaf, attributes this opinion to the Qadarites, and rejects it because the Jews and Christians (ahl al-kitb) had knowledge of the prophecy of Muammad, but did not have faith.

2) Another opinion of al-Ash`ar was that it is an interior statement that something is certain (qawl an-nafs `al taqq), accompanied by knowledge. Similar to this is the definition, in W [f. 14b] and K [p. 42], given by Ibn-al-jib (or al-Bqilln) that faith is an acknowledgement of truthfulness, which is a condition of the soul following upon knowing-awareness (inn al-mn huwa t-tadq wa-huwa adth an-nafs at-tbi` li-l-ma`rifa). (13) This definition is acceptable as a general statement, but, says at-Taftzn, there is disagreement as to whether an acknowledgement of truthfulness is a matter of choice or not:

Some shaykhs said that it is a matter of choice, and defined it as "an attachment of the heart to the message it knows from an announcer" (rab al-qalb `al m`alim min khbr al-mukhbir), and said that it is something to which one gains title (wa-huwa amr kasb). But the difficulty with this opinion is that acknowledging truthfulness is a type of knowledge (min aqsm al-`ilm), which is a characteristic of the soul which is not chosen (wa-huwa min al-kayfiyyt an-nafsiyya dn al-ikhtiyriyya).

Therefore the opinion adopted is that acknowledging truthfulness is a characteristic which comes indirectly from choice, but the choice concerns directly the activating-links (asbb) of knowledge, such as applying one's thought, and repelling obstacles. Unbelief (kufr) is resistance to the causes of knowledge.

As-Sans adds that according to a well known opinion (al-mashhr) it is necessary for faith to have also verbal profession by saying the two statements of the shahda, but this is so only for one who is able (qdir).

At-Taftzn asks if faith can increase, and says that since it is an accidental it has no duration, but each instant is succeeded by its like; (14) therefore the question is really whether the faith of one instant is greater than that of a preceding instant. In fact, Qur'n verses, such as 8:2 and 9:124, which speak of an increase of faith, should be understood as referring to the works which follow upon faith.

e. The position of this science

J [1e, f. 14a] distinguishes religious sciences on the basis of revealed determinations (al-akm ash-shar`iyya). Those which concern action (`amal) are the subject of the branch sciences (far`iyya); those which concern belief (i`tiqd) are the fundamental sciences (aliyya). According to at-Taftazn's Shar `Aqdat an-Nasaf, the former include the sciences of laws (shar'i`) and judgements (akm), and the latter the science of declaring God one (tawd) and of his attributes (ift).

The latter science, called `ilm al-kalm, is defined in K [pp. 96-98] and W [f. 16b - in N. 2] according to Ibn-`Arafa as "knowledge of the determinations pertaining to the Divinity and the sending of messengers, their truthfulness in all that they announce, and anything that is specially relevant ot the foregoing, with the establishment of proofs thereto by a power which is a locus for refuting errors and dissolving doubts" (al-`ilm bi-akm al-ulhiyya wa-risl ar-rusul wa-idqih f kull ikhbrih wa-m yatawaqqaf shay' min dhlik `alayhi kh⪪an bi-hi wa-taqrr adillatih bi-quwwa hiya muinna li-radd ash-shubaht wa-all ash-shukk). The definition of Ibn-at-Tilimsn is also proposed: "knowledge of the sure (existence) of the Divinity, and of messengership, and what is related to awareness of that, such as the admissibility of the world and its having come into being, and the refutation of what contradicts this" (al-`ilm bi-thubt al-ulhiyya wa-r-risla wa-m tatawaqqaf ma`rifatuh `alayhi min jawz al-`lam wa-udthihi wa-ibl m yunqi dhlik). But Ibn-`Arafa criticizes this definition because it does not include the life to come (al-ma`d), and is therefore not convertible.

The subject of this science is "the essence of possible things under the aspect of their pointing to the necessary existence of him who caused them to exist, and his attributes and acts" (mhiyyt al-mumkint min ayth dallatih `al wujb wujd mjidih wa-iftihi wa-af`lihi).

This science, according to J [1e, f. 14a], is the most noble science because: 1) it is the foundation of revealed determinations and the leader of sciences (li-kawnihi ass al-akm ash-shar`iyya wa-ra's al-`ulm); 2) its objects are the tenets of Islam (li-kawn ma`lmtihi l-`aq'id al-islmiyya); W [f. 15b], quoting `Izzadn `Abdassalm, (15) explains that those who are aware of God (al-`rifn bi-llh) are superior to those who know only his (legal) determinations; knowledge of the attributes of perfection which are necessary to God and the defects which are impossible to him is superior to knowledge of the branch sciences and (legal) fundamentals (al-fur` wa-l-ul), because knowledge takes its dignity from the things which are known (al-ma`lmt); 3) the third reason given by J is that the aim of this science is winning religious happiness (wa-ghyatuhu l-fawz bi-s-sa`da ad-dniyya).

W. [f. 15b] continues to explain that knowledge of the different attributes of God results in corresponding dispositions of the soul (awl). (16) The difference between theologians (al-mutakallimn) and those who are aware (al-`rifn) is that a theologian's knowledge of the (divine) essence and attributes is absent from him most of the time, and therefore those dispositions are not lasting in him. Were they lasting he would be among those who are aware, since he shares with them the cognition which demands uprightness (f l-`irfn al-mjib li-l-istiqma). (17)

f. Method and preliminary notions

(N. 2) J [1e, f. 14a] says that the demonstrations of this science are arguments of intelligibility, confirmed for the most part by proofs of authority (wa-barhnuhu l-ujaj al-`aqliyya al-mu`ayyad aktharuh bi-l-adilla as-sam`iyya).

By a demonstration (burhn), says W [f. 17a - in N. 3], is meant any (argument) which is composed of certain premises (kul m tarakkab min muqaddimt yaqna). Demonstration is to be distinguished from dialectics (jadal), rhetoric (khaba), poetry (shi`r), and sophistry (mughlaa or sufusa). (18)

As for the determinations of intelligibility mentioned in the Creed, M [ff. 194b-199b] places them in a wider context, giving the definition and kinds of determination: A determination (ukm) is the affirmation or denial of a thing (ithbt amr aw nafyuhu), and is:

W [f. 16b] (20) distinguishes across each of these three last categories of determination those which are self-evident (arr) and those which are evident only after thinking (naar), that is, requiring reflection (ta`ammul). In the Creed only examples which are self-evident are mentioned, for the sake of clarity. Examples of determinations which are evident only after thinking are that God is necessarily from eternity, and that it is admissible for him to reward the evil and punish the good - which the Mu`tazilites deny - or to raise the dead to life - which the Philosophers deny.

K [pp. 508-509] lists four kinds of authorities:

In addition to following these four authorities, K also warns people to follow the Companions of Muammad and their followers, the good Fathers (as-salaf a-li). J [32a, ff. 339b-343b] identifies these as the learned men of the first three centuries after Muammad. After this learned men and right guided imms become fewer and fewer as time brings deterioration; so that one adth says "There is no year without the previous one having been better than it."

Among authorities who continue the line of orthodoxy, W [f. 13a] mentions the Shaykh of Sunnism a. l-. al-Ash`ar and his companions, such as al-Ustdh a. Isq al-Isfar'in, the sword of Sunnism al-Q a. B. al-Bqilln, Imm-al-aramayn, and their followers.

As for learning this science, at least in a general way, K [p. 28] asserts that it is possible without a teacher (mu`allim), contrary to the opinion of the Ism`lites; (22) but it is extremely difficult without a teacher. In any case, W [f. 21a - in N. 4] (23) insists with the fs (ahl al-ishra) on the necessity of God's guidance. Ibn-Dahhq's commentary on the Irshd, commenting on the divine name al-hd, said that God's first gift to a person is to open his heart to Islam by removing prejudices against it. The second step is positive guidance (hud), which is variously interpreted. Some say it is faith (mn); others say that it is knowledge (`ilm), or proof (dall), or the Book (al-kitb), or explanation (bayn). Even those who maintain that guidance is faith admit that faith requires another light which is guidance itself, and this is knowledge. The fs say that one who is aware (`rif) would be led by reason to praise God even if revealed-law had not instructed him. In the Qur'n verse "light upon light" (nr `al nr - 24:35), the second light is interpreted as intelligence or sight, and the first as revealed-law or brightness (aw'). Someone who does not know any principles of intelligibility cannot believe in revealed-law, just as a blind person cannot see brightness. Piety (tuq) depends upon knowledge of intelligible and revealed truths, which in turn depends upon thinking (fikr), which supposes an intelligence.


B. The existence of God

a. Explanation of terms

(N. 3) By the "world", W [f. 17a] says, is meant everything besides God; this is a generic term (ism jins) which is applied to various collections of things, such as the world of plants or to the world of animals.

(N. 4) W [f. 20b], in a first remark (tanbh), explains certain terms used in the Creed: Gayri-him, "whatever else", in the phrase "accidentals of motion, rest and whatever else", refers to colors and the like. Al-azal, "the eternal past", means the same as al-qidam, "being from eternity". (24) Its correlative is m l yazl, "unending time". The word mukhai, "particularizing agent", has the same meaning as f`il, "agent"; the former word was chosen in order to show that even rest requires an agent.

Among other terms defined by K [pp. 98-101] is akwn (plural of kawn), "states" or "modes", which are particular accidentals, namely, motion, rest, conjunction (ijtim`) and separation (iftirq). Jawhar, a "substance", is "that whose mass takes up space and is impenetrable" (m kn jirmu-hu yashghal firghan bi-ayth yamtani` an yaull ghayru-hu ayth all); an equivalent is mutaayyiz, "something taking up space". If it is indivisible (y yaqbul al-inqism), it is called jawhar fard, a "simple substance"; if it is divisible, it is called jism, a "body". (25)

Relative to the existence of a simple subtance, J [2o, f. 85a] discusses the meaning of spirit (r): Al-Bayw's Tafsr simply said it was a breath (nafkh). Some Sunnites wondered whether it was legitimate to raise the question (al-khaw f aqqati-hi), because when some Jews asked Muammad about the men of the cave (ab al-kahf) (26) the man with two horns (dh-l-qarnayn), (27) and the spirit, he answered about the first two, but not about the spirit. Others allow investigation, and the opinion of sound Sunnite theologians is that it is a body (jism) within a body (in the case of man); others say that it si an accidental, and others, such as the Phiosophers and al-Ghazl, say that it is neither a body nor an accidental.

In W [f. 21a] the beings posited by the Philosophers and al-Ghazl are called separated substances (al-jawhi al-mufraqa). (28) As-Sans says that the reasons of the theologians for denying the existence of these substances are weak, and the reasons of the Philosophers for affirming them are wrong (bil). Recent theologians prefer to abstain from judgement (waqf) on the question. (29)

J [2o, f. 85a], however, has recourse to revealed-law to reject the concept of a simple substance to explain the spirit world. The descriptions of the spirit going out of the body, going up to heaven and down, bowing and bending under the throne etc. can only apply to a body. The Qur'n verse "They ask you about the spirit; say 'The spirit is from by Lord's command'" [17:85] is variously interpreted. In any case, a spirit is distinguishable from the rest of creation by what is consequential (lawzim) to it, namely, thought (fikr) and speculative sciences (al-`ulm an-naariyya).

b. The argument from the world's having come into being

K develops two arguments to prove that the world came into being. (30) The first [pp. 102-126] shows that man came into being as the result of a voluntary agent which is neither the essence of man nor a part of him; the conclusion is then extended to the whole world because of the inter-likeness of everything in it. The second argument [pp. 126-145] starts right from the world as a whole and its possessing of attributes which have come into being. This argument is a somewhat more elaborate version of that found in W. (31)

W [ff. 18a-19a] and J [3c, ff. 107a-112a] boil the argument down to four principles (arkn): 1) that bodies are qualified by adjuncts (accidentals) (Ithbt z'id tattaif bi-hi l-ajrm); 2) that these adjuncts came into being (ithbt udth dhlik az-z'id); 3) that bodies cannot shake off these adjuncts (ithbt al-ajrm l tanfakk `an dhlik az-z'id); (32) and 4) that it is impossible for there to be coming-into-being with no beginning (ithbt istila udth l alwwal la-h). The point of this argument is to show that because of one of two interdependent things (an accidental) has a beginning, so has the other (the body-subject).

The second principle above is expanded into four other principles upon which it depends; these are substituted for it in a final list of seven principles: 1) that bodies are qualified by adjuncts; 2) that these adjuncts cannot stand by themselves (ibl qiam dhlik az-z'id bi-nafsi-hi); 3) that they cannot jump subjects (ibtl intiqli-hi)-otherwise they would be subjects standing by themselves; 4) that they cannot hide and reappear in a subject (ibl kumni-hi wa-uhri-hi)-otherwise contraries would exist together; 5) that non-existence is impossible for something from eternity (ithbt istila `adam al-qadm)-otherwise it would be admissible, not necessary; 6) that bodies cannot shake off these adjuncts; and 7) that it is impossible for there to be coming into being with no beginning.

To prove the last point as-Sans refers the reader to the arguments given in K, especially the second one given there. K [p. 134] explains that this point is against the position of the Philosophers, who held that the upper world of the stars is eternal and subject only to eternal local motion, while in the sublunar world matter (hiyl = ) is eternal, and is the subject of an eternal flux of substantial forms and accidentals.

Four arguments are given against an infinite series. The first [K, pp. 135-138] is that it supposes a contradiction, the termination or depleting (fargh) of what has no end. To the objection that th4e joys of heaven will have no end, as-Sans answers that an infinite series with no final point is possible, but no one with no beginning.

The second argument [pp. 138-139] is that if each individual of the seris had a beginning, then the whole series must have been preceded by non-existence. Then the existence of the supposed eternal series would be simultaneous with its non-existence.

The third argument [K, pp. 139-141 = W (N. 18), f. 32a, translated here] is that called "cutting and measuring" (burhn al-qa wa-ta-tabq).

Suppose we take the things which came into being until the time of the flood as one group, and the things which came into being until our time as another group. Then we place the ends of the two groups together. There will either be a difference or not. It is impossible for there not to be, because the group which lacks something cannot be equal to the group which has something in addition. The group which is lacking should then be divided by the difference. Then it is finite, because a starting point and an end are reached. But if the first group is finite, then the second group must also be finite, because the second group exceeded the first group by only a finite distance, which is the time from the flood to our time, and what exceeds something finite by a finite distance is itself finite.

The fourth argument [K, pp. 141-145] is that something from the eternal past (azal) would precede something else from the eternal past, that is, the events from the eternal past to a certain past date would precede those from eternity to the present date. (33)

W [f. 22b] remarks that the demonstration of the world's having come into being is basically the same as the Qur'nic story of Abraham in his query whether a star, the moon, or the sun is a deity [6:75-78].

An objection to the demonstration in K [pp. 125-126] and W [f. 21a] is the possible existence of simple substances, which supposedly are neither accidentals nor the subject of accidentals; the demonstration does not apply to them. In K as-Sans prefers recourse to the authority of a adth to show that they are not from eternity: "There was God, and nothing was with him" (kn Allh wa-l shay' ma'a-hu). W says that in any case a simple substance cannot be a deity, since there is only one god, as will be shown later. W adds "And only God is from eternity," whereas K said that it cannot be proven from intelligibility that simple substances are not from eternity.

(N. 5) Once it is understood that the world has come into being, the question remains, says W [f. 23a], whether the knowledge of the existence of God is self-evident (arr) or evident only after reasoning (naar). Some (= ar-Rz in his Ma`lim, according to K[pp. 95 and 103-105]) say that it is self-evident, and point to the fact that if you strike a child or even an animal, they know that someone caused their pain. On the contrary, Imm-al-aramayn and others hold that God's existence is known only after thinking about the essence (dht) of a thing that came into being, to see that it is not determined to exist at any certain time or in any certain manner, and therefore needs a particularizing agent (mukhai). As-Sans opts for the latter position, with the qwualification that very little reasoning is needed to conclude to God's existence. Even children are capable of doing so, but animals are not, because they do not understand the principle of causation, but react only because their imaginations are trained by experience (alf).

W goes on to explain the argument in the Creed: Non-existence is more in keeping with the essence of the world for two reasons: The first is the priority (ala) of non-existence; were existence to follow upon non-existence without an agent (f`il) it would have to be stronger than (rji), and not equal (musw) to non-existence as was supposed.

The second reason is that non-existence has no need of an activating link (sabab). This is so because something needs an agent if it is not only possible (mumkin) but also comes into being (dith). but non-existence does not come into being and is not adventitious (ri'), that is, it is not renewed after not having been. Therefore it has no need of an agent, and is stronger than existence.

c. The argument from possibility

According to K [p. 101], any proof for the existence of God must proceed from what is activated to the activating link (bi-l-musabbab `al s-sabab) or from the effect to the producer of the effect (bi-wujd al-athar `al wujd al-mu'aththir). Within this procedure, he quotes from Ibn-at-Tilimsn (34) several ways of proving God's existence, each of which he says is valid. The first is based on the possibility (imkn) of the world, and is preferred by al-Bayw and others; the second is the world's having come into being (udth), and is the way of most theologians; others base their proof on possibility and coming into being taken together, or on possibility with the condition that it comes into being; Imm-al-aramayn combined possibility and coming into being.

The difference between the way based on mere possibility and the other ways is that in the former knowledge that the world came into being follows upon knowledge of the Creator, but in the latter it precedes. The argument from possibility proceeds from determining that the world is possible, that is, as far as its essence is concerned existence and non-existence are equal, and neither is stronger. Therefore existence is not from its essence, but from without. Dependence upon another for existence leads necessarily to one who produces existence, and possesses existence necessarily by his essence. (35)


C. The essence of God and attributes in general

a. Knowability of God's essence

K [pp. 241-250], followed by J [6i, ff. 145a-148b], inquires about the most particular characteristic (akha waf) of God's essence. The Mu`tazilites said that it is being-from-eternity (qidam); but being from eternity is a negative attribute and cannot be the most particular characteristic. (36) Others said that it was a disposition (l) making God living, powerful and willing; but they do not explain very well what this disposition is. An opinion attributed to al-Ash`ar is that the most particular characteristic is the power of creating (qudrat al-ikhtir`). Ar-Rz chose this opinion in some of his writings, citing as proof Moses' reply to Pharaoh that the meaning of "Lord of the worlds" (rabb al-`lamn) is "the Lord of heaven and earth and what is between them" (rabb as-samwt wa-l-ar wa-m bayna-hum). (37) Ibn-at-Tilimsn rejected this reason, saying that Moses' reply only needed to distinguish God from other possible things (s`ir al-mumkint). The opinion of al-Ash`ar may only have been to show the Mu`tazilites that God's power of creating belongs to him alone and is not shared by any creature, not that power is the most particular characteristic of his essence. After all, power is an attribute added to the already constituted essence.

The best opinion is that of al-Bqilln, Imm-al-aramayn, al-Ghazl, and ar-Rz in most of his writings-but not in his Kitb al-ishrt, one of his earliest writings-that the most particular characteristic of God's essence is unknown.

As for whether it is unknown absolutely or only in the present life, it is admissible for us to know it later. Al-mid attributes to al-Ghazl the opinion that it is absolutely unknowable, and to al-Bqilln and irr b. `Amr an abstaining from judging. some say we know the most particular characteristic of God since we make judgements concerning his essence. but they are refuted by the fact that a judgement concerning something is only a sort of knowing an aspect of a thing (far` ash-shu`r bi-hi bi-wajhin m), even an external, general aspect; it is not a knowledge of its essence.

Ar-Rz's argument from intelligibility that the most particular characteristic of God's essence is unknwon [K, p. 243] is that we know only four things about God:

But none of these things are God's essence. Therefore it is unknown.

Another argument of ar-Rz is that each attribute of God that we know can be understood as belonging to one or many subjects, and a further proof is necessary to show that they belong only to God. Therefore, by knowing the attribute, we do not know the most particular characteristic of the essence of God, which can be understood only as belonging to him.

An answer to the latter argument is that the attributes we know of God do distinguish him from other beings; the question is only whether they distinguish him according to his reality (aqqa) or something consequent (lzim) to his reality.

To ar-Rz's first argument Ibn-at-Tilimsn answered that his terminology was weak. The examples given of ways of existence are merely negative attributes. What he calls attributions, in the terminology of a. l- al-Bar, are really either realities endowed with attributions (aq'iq dhawt ift) (i.e. substantive attributes) or determinations of stable substantive attributes which are endowed with attributions (akm li-ma`n thbita dhawt ift) (i.e. adjectival attributes). Ar-Rz's reasoning is also weak: It is not right to conclude that no one knows the most particular characteristic of God because many people do not. An argument to the contrary of his assertion is the experience of the fs.

The fs claim that their exercises (riya) (38) are an activating-link for God's willing (for them) an increase in understanding, as two Qur'n verses show: "Those who struggle for us we guide on our paths" [29:69] and "He wrote faith in their hearts and confirmed them with a spirit from himself" [58:22]. These refer to God's creating in them knowledge which is not demonstrable or expressable, but is given by way of pure and extraordinary favor (in`m) and inspiration (ilhm) which is known only by those who possess it, not by anyone else, just as someone born blind (akmah) cannot see colors. It cannot be communicated to others by speech (qawl), but only by the beckoning (ishra) of one who is aware (`rif) to another who is aware. This knowledge is not an indwelling (ull), nor an anticipated vision of God (ru'ya `jila), nor as great as prophecy, nor is it a comprehensive knowledge (`ilm ia) of God. But as God creates in his servants a visual perception (idrk) of himself in the next life, so he creates now in their hearts a perception of himself, related to the essence of God in one way or another (bi-wajhin) or to a superior kind of knowledge (taraqq f l-`ilm) of his attributes and names. Therefore ar-Rz is wrong in restricting man's knowledge of God as he did.

Note that W [in N. 10, f. 26a] denies the intellect's ability not only to encompass God's inner being (ia bi-kunhi-hi) and to define (tadd) or determine the manner of (takyf) of God's existence, but also to perceive him (idrku-hu). K also [p. 167] denies the ability of man to perceive God, quoting verses of Ab-l-Fat in support of this denial, and elsewhere [pp. 212-213] says that only God knows his own essence. [p. 114] says that God's essence and attributes are screened (majb) from the intellect, and that no one can delve into his inner being (lays li-aad an yakh f l-kunh) after knowing what is necessary for his essence and attributes. Other similar statements are explained as a denial only that ordinary, demonstrable knowledge can attain God positively. (39)

b. Kinds of attributes

Of the early theologians, K [p. 210] says that Imm-al-aramayn and al-Bqilln held for three kinds of attributes, those related to:

Al-Ash`ar, however, in denying dispositions, (40) held that the substantive attributes are the only attributes.

[p. 97] explains these three kinds more clearly from as-Sans's own point of view:

Substantive attributes (ift al-ma`n) are those which are existent in themselves, whether they come into being, as the whiteness or blackness of a body, or are from eternity, as God's knowledge and power. Thus every attribute existing in itself is technically called a substantive attribute.

If the attribute is not existent in itself, and is necessary to the essence as long as the essence lasts, and doesn't result from any cause (wjib li-dh-dht m dmat adh-tht ghayr mu`allala bi-`illa), it is called an attribute or disposition of essential property (ifa nafsiyya aw l nafsiyya). An example of it is occupying space (taayyuz) for a body, and its being capable of accidentals. (41)

If the attribute is not existent in itself, but is the result of a cause and is necessary for the essence only as long as the cause continues to inhere in the essence, it is called an adjectival attribute or disposition (ifa ma`nawiyya aw l ma`nawiyya). An example of it is an essence's being knowing or powerful.

K [p. 211] adds that later theologians distinguished six kinds of attributes. M [f. 213b], followed here, corrects and adds certain points to this list. The attributes are:

1) of essential-property (nafsiyya). K offers several definitions amounting to the same thing, yet reduces examples such as God's being necessarily existent, from the eternal past, and forever (kawnu-hu wjib al-wujd azaliyyan abadiyyan) to negative attributes, since sound theologians say that nothing is known of essential attributes, for that would amount to knowing God's essence; but only God knows his essence. M, however, as , does not eliminate this kind of attribute, and defines it as "one by which God's very essence is expressed" (m yu`abbar bi-hi `an nafs adh-dht al-`aliyya). The only example of it in God is existence.

2) negative (salbiyya) = the negation of an imperfection which it is impossible for God to be qualified with. There are five of these: being from eternity (qidam), being everlasting (baq'), otherness from things that come into being (mukhlafatu-hu li-l-awdith), self-subsistency (qiymu-hu bi-nafsi-hi), and unity (wadniyya).

3) substantive (al-ma`n) = positive attributes inhering in the essence and causing a determination (ukm) or disposition (l). These are seven: power (qudra), will (irda), knowledge (`ilm), life (ayt), hearing (sam`), sight (baar), and speech (kalm); some add an eighth, perception (idrk) of other sensibles.

4) adjectival (ma`nawiyya) = attributes of the essence which are dispositions or determinations caused by substantive attributes inhering in the essence. These are seven, being powerful (qdir), etc., corresponding to the substantive attributes.

5) of acts (ift al-af`l) = the implementive relationship between power and will with regard to possible things (at-ta`alluq at-tanjz bayn al-qudra wa-l-irda). (42) These are of two kinds:

6) mixed (a-ifa al-jmi`a li-jam` al-aqsm), such as God's majesty, greatness and divinity (ulhiyya).

c. Existence as an attribute

[pp. 74-75] lists existence (wujd) among the twenty attributes of God, but explains that this is only by way of tolerance (tasmu) in the opinion of al-Ash`ar, since according to himi existence is the essence (dht) itself and not an adjunct to it (z'id `alay-h); this applies to things which come into being as well as to God. (43) Nevertheless verbally (f l-laf) God's essence is said to be existent; so it is legitimate to place existence among the attributes in a general way (`al l-jumla).

But for those who make existence an adjunct of essence, as ar-Rz, counting existence among the attributes is proper (a), not a toleration. The Philosophers identified essence and existence only in what is from eternity, but said essence was an adjunct of things that come into being.

Those who make existence an adjunct of essence, later adds [pp. 93-95], say that it is an attribute of essential-property (ifa nafsiyya). But to those who identify existence with essence the same excuse for listing it among the attributes has to be made for calling it an attribute of essential-property. (44)


D. Negative attributes

a. Being from eternity (qidam) (45)

(N. 6) Al-qidam, says W [f. 24a], can have two meanings: One is a long passage of time over something, even if it has come into being, such as an old (qadm) foundation or building, or the movement of the stars from of old. this is not the meaning when we say God is from eternity (qadm), because he is aloof from place, direction and change, and it is impossible for anything of the world to be part of him.

The second meaning refers to something whose existence has no beginning, that is, is from the eternal past (azal) and not preceded by non-existence. this meaning applies to God and to him alone.

Being from eternity is a negative attribute (salbiyya) because, [p. 95] explains, it is the denial of preceding non-existence, or in other words, the denial of a beginning to existence. K [p. 150] explains that it is not an attribute of essential-property (nafsiyya), since the latter cannot be separated from the essence, whereas qidam-with the meaning of "old"-is absent from a substance (jawhar) in the first moment of its existence. Nor is qidam a substantive attribute (ifa ma`n), since this attribute would require another qidam to make it to be from eternity, and so on in a continuous regress.

K [p. 152] parenthetically defines a continuous regress (tasalsul) as "an arrangement of things which do not end" (tarattub umr ghayr mutanhiya), and a circle (dawr) as "the dependence of something upon that which depends upon itself by one or many steps" (tawaqquf ash-shay' `al m yatawaqqaf `alay-hi imm bi-martaba aw bi-martib).

The question is raised in [p. 78] whether it is legitimate to use the adjectival form qadm of God, or only the substantive form qidam. The problem arises because qadm is a name, and is not mentioned in the Qur'n, but all God's names must be authoritatively established (tawqfiyya). (46) Al-`Irq's Shar Ul as-Subk is quoted for a mention of the name in the Sunan of Ibn-Mja, who counted it among the ninety-nine names.

b. Being everlasting (baq') (47)

Al-baq', says W [f. 24b], also has two meanings. The first is "the correlation of existence to two times and so on upwards" (muqranat al-wujd li-zamnayn fa-'idan). This is not the meaning when the word is applied to God, since he is not measured by time.

The second meaning, "the negation of an end to existence" (salb al-khiriyya li-l-wujd), that is, non-existence cannot reach it, applies to God and to him alone.

[pp. 79-81] says that some imms explain baq' as the continuation of existence in the future without end (istimrr al-wujd f l-ustaqbal il ghayr nihya), and qidam likewise as the continuation of existence in the past without end (ghya), as if these attributes were of essential-property (nafsiyyatn), being existence itself prolonged in the past and future, without which essence is not real. This opinion is weak, because it entails that the essence should have no intelligibility apart from these two attributes. But the existence of essence has its own intelligibility (adh-dht yu`qal wujdu-hu), and only afterwards is a demonstration sought for its being from eternity and everlasting.

Others said that these are positive attributes like power and knowledge. But if this were so, they would require other attributes of qidam and baq' for them to be from eternity and everlasting, and so on in a continuous regress.

A weaker opinion yet is that which says that qidam is negative, but baq' is positive. But the truth is that both are negative, and have no existing meaning outside the mind (lays la-hu ma`n mawjd f l-khrij `an adh-dhihn).

K [pp. 153-155] adds another reason offered by theologians for God's being everlasting: Something from eternity could cease to be only by a compelling factor (uqta), not by itself. Eliminated by division, such a factor cannot be:

Regarding the lastingness (baq') of things which come into being, K continues to say that the same proof as the preceding is used to show that accidentals cannot have any lastingness, since if they had they could not cease to exist. Substances, on the other hand, continue to exist, but only so long as God continues to create accidentals in them.

Al-Bqilln thought accidentals might continue to exist, since if they necessarily ceased every moment, their ceasing to exist would be outside the area of the possible, and therefore outside the scope of God's will. Ar-Rz, in his Ma`lim, maintained that accidentals can continue in existence. The old Ash`arites held that they could not, but for the wrong reason that they thought that baq' was a substantive attribute which would inhere in accidentals, and this is impossible.

c. Otherness from things that come into being (mukhlafatu-hu li-l-awdith

(N. 7) The first point in this section of the Creed, God's otherness from things that come into being, W [f. 25a] explains, is in answer to the ashwiyya, who attributed to God corporeity, direction and place. The second and third points, God's not uniting with anything else and his self-subsistency, are against the Christians and the Binites, who said it was possible for God to unite with something else and be one thing with it. Some Christians said that the Divinity unites with a humanity, that is, the Deity with the body of Jesus. Others of them said that the Deity is not a self-subsistent substance (dht yaqm bi-nafsi-hi), but is an attribute inhering in something else; thus some Christians maintained that the Deity inheres in Jesus as an attribute in the subject it qualifies. Some of the Binites held a similar position regarding themselves. (48)

Relative to the meaning of "otherness" (ukhlafa), K [p. 167] says that every two existing things are either equal in essential attributes (ift an-nafs), in which case they are alike (mithln), or they are not equal in essential attributes; then it is either impossible for the to concur, in which case they are contraries (iddn), or it is permissible for them to concur, in which case they are other, or different (khilfn).

[pp. 82-83] explains God's otherness, saying that nothing is like him in any way (mulaqan), neither in his essence nor in his attributes nor in his acts, quoting in support of this the Qur'n verse "There is nothing like him; he is the hearing and the seeing one" [42:11].

(N. 8) W [f. 25a] explains that an attribute of a bodily-mass (jirm) is an accidental (`ara); God is other than them both.

K [pp. 158-159] gives three reasons why God is not a bodily-mass. The first is that if he were one he would be subject to motion and rest, and therefore-as argued in N. 4 of the Creed-would have to have come into being. The second reason is that if God were a bodily-mass, he could be bigger and smaller, and therefore would need a particularizing-agent, and would have come into being. The third argument states that bodies are divisible into parts, and asks which parts shall possess the attributes of divinity. (49)

(N. 9) Uniting (ittid), says W [f. 25a; cf. K, pp. 161-162], is "asking two things one thing" (ja`l ash-shay'ayn shay'an widan). It is altogether impossible, whether for something from eternity or something which has come into being. As-Sans explains further that there is no unity by the decisive factor that the existence of the one thing is not the very other thing. It is certain that every essence (mhiyya) must contain the negation of everything besides itself.

(N. 10) God is not in a direction (jiha) and only bodies are, W [ff. 25b-26a] explains, because being in a direction supposes motion or rest, and therefore coming into being. Also a particularizing-agent would be necessary to account for his being in one direction rather than another. This point is against the literalism of the ashwiyya and the Karrmites when they said that God was above (fawq). The ashwiyya, K [pp. 166-167] distinguishes, maintained the outward meaning and abstained from interpretation. But some Karrmites said that God who is above fits into (mumsh li-) his throne; others said that he is incommensurate with it (ubyin la-hu), by either a finite stretch (bi-masfa mutanhiya) or an infinite one.

W goes on to blame some Sunnites for being tainted with the opinion of the ashwiyya. They possibly thought that the opinion was that of A. b. anbal, which is preposterous, but even granted that he held such an opinion, erroneous blind-acceptance in this matter is inexcusable. A similarly erroneous allegation is that Ibn-a. Zayd al-Qayrawn and a. `Imrn b. `Al. and some of the Fathers (as-salaf) were tainted with this opinion. It was imagined that their abstention from interpreting verses such as "He mounted the throne" was equivalent to their acceptance of the outward impossibilities which were not intended by the verse.

The second point, that there are no directions within God, is clear in the Creed.

Error concerning either point comes from limiting existence to imaginable bodies and their accidentals, and measuring the invisible by the visible. The logical conclusion of this is that God has come into being by another agency or that the world came into being by itself and needs no agency to bring it into being.

The anthropomorphist (mushabbih) is dim-sighted (a`sh) and affirms corporeity of God; the negator (bil) however is blind (a`m) and is content simply to deny. The unitarian (uwaid) affirms God's existence, but recognizes his inability to perceive him (indrku-hu).

d. Self-subsistency (qiyu-hu bi-nafsi-hi)

(N. 11) W [f. 27a] explains that the difference between the two definitions of self-subsistency, that is, "independence from a subject" and "independence from a subject an a particularizing agent", is simply a matter of technical terminology (iil), since even those who define it merely as independence from a subject agree that God is not a substance (jawhar).

In line with the second definition, al-Isfar'in said that something self-subsistent is "what needs nothing else to exist" (m l yaftaqir wujdu-hu il amr khar). A substance stands in the greatest need of an agent to particularize it with existence rather than its previous non-existence, and with the dispositions and attributes it has rather than others. Then it needs God to continue to exist, since if he did not cause beings to remain (law l ibq'u-hu ta`l li-l-k'int) until the term he wishes, they would all immediately cease to exist.

Arguing for the same point, [p. 87] explains the Qur'n verses "You stand in need of God, but God is the non-needy (ghan) and praiseworthy one" [35:15] and "God is the one who holds out (a-amad); he neither gives birth nor is born, nor has any match" [112:2-4] by saying that all else is in need of him and holds onto him (yamud ilay-hi).

[pp. 17-18] reduces errors concerning God's self-subsistency to two principles: 1) that anything which is not a body is an attribute; thus the Christians and the Binite fs ad God an attribute inhering in man-against this it is said that God is independent of a subject; 2) that any essence qualified with attributes is a body; thus the ashwiyya and the Jews made God a body, while others were led to the negation (ta`l) of God altogether, saying that the world arose by chance (ittifq), because every active principle (f`il) is a body-against this it is said that God is independent of an active principle; thus he is distinct from other essences, which come into being.

(N. 12) The reasons for God's independence from a particularizing agent and a subject are clear enough in the Creed.

W [ff. 27b-28b] (50) then goes on to argue against "Christian errors": "By this you know how impossible is the assertion of the Christians-may God destroy them-concerning three hypostases (aqnm), that is, three principles of the existence of the world from which it comes into being; these are the source of the Deity's existence of which he is composed, according to the-God be elevated far from what the wrong-doers (limn) say. The three are the hypostasis of knowledge (uqnn al-`ilm), the hypostasis of existence, and the hypostasis of life. The Christians say that these are three deities, although attributes. In spite of that, they say that the three hypostases together are one deity, thus asserting the combination of two contraries, unity and plurality. They have the divine essence composed either of pure dispositions which have no existence or of aspects and expression which exist only in the imagination, which is without intelligibility."

K [pp. 159-160] blames the Christians for making "their deity" (ilha-hu) and "their object of worship" (ma`bda-hum) a substance (jawhar), that is, the root of hypostases (al al-aqn). Asked why they limit the hypostases to three, they answered that the three are necessary for creation (al-khalq wa-l-ibd'). Asked what about will and power, they then admitted five hypostases.

W continues: "They also assert that the hypostasis of knowledge, which is called the word (kalima), united with the humanity of Jesus, that is, his body, and thereupon he was a deity (wa-min thamma kn ilhan), according to them. They are divided concerning the meaning of the uniting of the word with him:

1) Some of the interpret it as the inhering of the word in him as an accidental inheres in a substance." K [pp. 162-164] has a fuller answer:

a) This interpretation would mean that the Trinity loses a member and becomes only a part of a deity, which according to them is a collection (majm`) of three hypostases; likewise only a part of the deity inheres in Jesus; therefore he does not become a deity in full. The Christians answer that the word united with the humanity of Jesus without separating from the essence of the substance; but it is self-evident that one attribute (ma`n) cannot inhere in two essences.

b) If attributes which are accidentals (a-ift al-`araiyya) cannot jump subjects, this is all the more true of those of essential-property (nafsiyya), as in the case of divinity.

c) A particularizing agent is needed to determine why the word rather than the holy spirit, which is the hypostasis of life, or rather than the substance itself should unite with the humanity.

d) If the uniting is necessary, the humanity would have to be from eternity; if it is admissible, then a particularizing agent is needed; also in this case the divinity of Jesus would be admissible to him, but that is impossible for divinity, which necessarily exists.

e) If this uniting is a perfection of God it is necessary and eternal; if it is an imperfection it is impossible of God.

f) Why assert divinity of Jesus alone? As-Sans quotes a story from ar-Rz [Here continues the version of W, f. 28a] of how once he met a priest (ba` abri-him) and with much difficulty convinced hi that an effect proves the existence of a cause, but not vice versa. He then asked him on what basis he held that the hypostasis of knowledge united with the humanity of Jesus, so that Jesus is a deity. The priest answered, "on the basis of his miracles, such as raising the dead, which can only come from the Deity." Ar-Rz answered that on the same basis the priest should hold the divinity of Moses, since he too performed miracles, and, as was agreed, an effect-the miracle-proves the existence of the cause-divinity. Ar-Rz then asked him whether it is admissible that beetles and other bugs could be deities, and to the priest's denial replied that the absence of an effect does not prove the absence of a cause. "Such is the logical conclusion of the unbeliever's tenets."

2) "Some of them interpret this uniting as a mixture and a blending (al-ikhtil wa-l-mazj), like the mixture of wine and water and such liquids. But how can one conceive of a mixture, which is an attribute of bodies, in the word, which is one of the substantive attributes (ma`n min al-ma`n), or, according to them, a disposition and characteristic (la wa-kh⪪iyya) of the eternal essence.

3) "Some of them interpret it as an impression (inib`), as the impression of the shape of a carving on wax. But it is known that a carving does not take on existence (lam yaul) in what it impresses, but only its likeness does."

4) Another interpretation quoted from al-Muqtara by K [pp. 164-165] is that as the light of the sun shines upon us without separating from the sun, so the divinity unites with the humanity of Jesus. The answer is that the light of the sun is a multitude of luminous bodies which reach everything it shines upon without any questing of uniting.

W [f. 28a] concludes: "Let us limit ourselves to this in exposing their shamefulness, since it does not fit the purpose of this abridgement to swell upon it at length. The defectiveness of this people has been made plain, and its principles indicate its consequences. Their position (madhhab) is without intelligibility, and they are the filthiest sect (akhass al-firq) of all and more despicable than any similar difficult sect with regard to understanding and perceiving the truth."

W [f. 28b] then takes up the crucifixion: "Look at their enormous stupidity in the wisdom (ikma) they imagine to exist in Jesus'-upon him be peace- uniting with the divinity so that according to them he became a deity, and after that, as they maintain, was crucified. They-may God place them far away and free the earth from them-say that the wisdom of it is that when Adam, the father of mankind-peace be upon him-ate from the tree, disobeying the order of his Lord, he merited punishment fro his Lord, but for our Lord who is so great and majestic to punish someone who is not his equal in majesty would be a defect in him. They say that when the word united with Jesus-upon him be peace-and because of it he became a deity (raja` ilhan), he offered himself (hakarram bi-nafsi-hi), and changed the punishment due into forgiveness (li-l-`afw), taking the place of his father Adam-upon him be peace. by the infliction of punishment upon him there was no defect in the Deity, because of his likeness to him, since he is also a deity. They say this is the wisdom of his being killed and crucified.

"In answer to them it can be asked, was this killing and crucifixion, which you maintain to have happened to him, isolated to the humanity without the divinity, or did it happen to them both together? If you say that it was isolated to the humanity of Jesus only, this is contrary to what you said before, that for the Deity to inflict punishment upon someone who is not his equal is a defect in him. There is no doubt that the humanity, which is the body of Jesus, is decidedly not a deity. Also, how could that killing and crucifixion be isolated to the humanity, when it is said that it is blended with the divinity?

"But if you say that the killing and crucifixion affected the composite of divinity and humanity, then the Deity must be affected by death and suffering and the like which affect created things; and that clearly demands that he have come into being, which is decidedly impossible. Also this would lead to the Deity's ceasing to exist, since according to them the Deity is composed of three hypostases, and a composition ceases to exist when one of its parts ceases to exist. But the part of the divinity which dwelt in Jesus did cease to exist by being killed with him. Therefore the Deity ceased to exist, and there remains no Deity and longer.

"Away with the minds of these asses. They are no less filthy than small dirty minds carried by big bodies. If you see them you like their bodies, but if they speak, their speech sounds as if they were pieces of wood fixed on the back of a beast (khushub mustadda bi-qaws bahma) and borne by human shapes. They are only like livestock; moreover they have gone astray..."

"Also the supposition that the punishment of being killed and crucified reached the divinity and humanity leads to the conclusion that the Deity avenged himself upon himself, and punished himself for a crime committed by his servant. See the madness, the folly, the delirium with which these people are affected..."

K [p. 165] argues against the divinity of Jesus from the words of Jesus in "their gospel": "I am going to my Father and your Father, my God and your God' [John 10:17]. These words express subjection to God as other than himself, and equality with other men.

K [pp. 165-166] then takes up the allegation, reported by some authors, that some fs claimed to be united with God. (51) This is because of the theopathic utterances (shaat) reported from them, such as "There is only God in my forehead" (m f l-jibha ill llh), (52) and "I am the Truth" (an l-aqq).

Some fic scholars (`ulam' a-arq) explain this away by saying that a state (la) comes over such persons in which they pass out (fan') as if drunk or overcome, and see nothing but God, being oblivious of themselves and everything else. Words then form on their lips which they would not say when they come to their senses. This is excusable according to these scholars.

Others hold it against them and condemn them to death, as in the case of al-Junayd's decision concerning al-allj.


E. The positive attributes

a. Al-Ash`ar and no adjectival attributes

(N. 13) W [f. 29a] raises the question of the reality of the determinations (akm) or dispositions (awl), such as "knowing" (`lim), resulting from substantive attributes such as "knowledge" (`ilm). Imm al-aramayn and al-Bqilln asserted that the dispositions are additional to the substantive attributes; a disposition, according to the, is "a positive attribute which inheres in something existent, but is itself neither existent nor non-existent" (ifat ithbt taqm bi-mawjd wa-laysat hiya mawjda wa-l ma`dma).

But al-Ash`ar, denying dispositions, said there is no third meaning (ma`n thlith) inhering in the essence, which is neither existent nor non-existent. According to him, the only meaning in an essence knowing (`lim) something is that knowledge (`ilm), related to and perceiving what is known, inheres in the essence.

K [pp. 214-216] was not sure which position to take. An argument is proposed that dispositions must be an intermediate reality (wsia aqqa) between existence and non-existence because existence is undifferentiatedly common and additional (mushtarak z'id) to essence; therefore the existence (of a dispositions) would require another existence, and that another in a continuous regress. Non-existence, on the other hand, is an imperfection and cannot qualify anything. To this argument as-Sans reports an answer that existence is the very essence of the existing thing, while its differentiation (tamyz) from anything else is a negation (salb); therefore there is no continuous regress in the existence of a dispositions.

A second argument for dispositions neither existing nor not existing is that an attribute such as black (sawd) is qualified by colorness (lawniyya) and blackness (sawdiyya). If these two were existent, there would be the impossibility of an accidental inhering in an accidental; if they were non-existent, there would be the impossibility of something non-existent entering into composition with something existent. An answer to this argument is that maybe it is possible for an accidental to inhere in another; this is a matter of speculation (f-hi naar).

Other shaykhs defend the fact (thubt) of dispositions, saying that to deny the bars the way to affirming causality, definitions or general propositions in demonstrations. (53)

A choice is made in W [f. 29a-b]: "I (wa-n-nafs) am inclined to the first opinion-the affirmation of dispositions neither existing nor not-existing-because if the subject did not acquire from knowledge, for example, its likeness-to be knowing-there would be no difference between the subject and anything else in which knowledge does not inhere, since by this supposition knowledge itself, and not the subject, is the perceiver. But the evidence of seeing and feeling is that definitely the subject in which knowledge inheres acquires by the inhering of knowledge in it a disposition additional to the mere inhering of knowledge in it. The additional factor is that the subject knows the object of the knowledge inhering in it.

"In summary, this question is famous for its diversity of opinions, and the reasons for either side are expatiated upon in long treatises. Surmising (wahm) about it is strongly counter to intelligibility, and ignorance of it does not hurt the tenets of faith."

b. The Mu`tazilites and no substantive attributes

The Mu`tazilites, says K [p. 216], affirmed the adjectival attributes, but denied the substantive ones, saying that the adjectival attributes are due to God because of his essence, not because of any substantive attributes. One exception they made was that God speaks by speech, but this speech is not an eternal attribute, but something created, and made up of letters and sounds. The Mu`tazilites of Bara also admitted a will which came into being and is not in a subject (maall).

Yet consequences of positing a will and speech which came into being are: 1) the renewal of dispositions coming into being in what is from the eternal past (tajaddud al-awl al-ditha `al l-azal), which demands God's having come into being; 2) a substantive attribute's self-subsistency, which is impossible; 3) attributing to God the adjectival determination of a substantive attribute without a particularizing reason; 4) the inconsistency of saying that God knows because of himself, but wills because of a will; they said so to avoid having God will disobedience; 5) that a will which came into being would require a continuous regress of other wills to particularize it; 6) having inhere in God's essence the adjectival determinations of a will which began to be.

Therefore [K, p. 219] al-Ka`b and an-Najjr and their followers denied the attribute of will altogether, interpreting authoritative references to it as God's creating or not being opposed.

In answer to the Mu`tazilites [K, pp. 221-222], the Sunnites give four bases of transferring to God (al-gh'ib) the assertion true of the experiential world (ash-shhid) that where there are adjectival attributes there are also corresponding substantive ones: 1) joint reality (jam` al-aqqa) of the two, and 2) the connection that one is evidence (dall) or 3) a condition (shar) or 4) a cause (`illa) of the other. The first basis is that invoked by those who deny dispositions; the fourth is used by those who affirm them.

Another argument against the Mu`tazilite position [K, pp. 223-226] is that if God had no substantive attributes, his very essence would have to be power, knowledge etc. But from this would follow: 1) that an essence would have an opposite, for instance ignorance, since the essence is knowledge; but an essence has no opposites; 2) that an essence, because identified with a substantive attribute, would require a subject of inherence, which is impossible; 3) that the essence would unite with the substantive attribute; but the uniting of two things is impossible; (54) 4) that the substantive attributes identified with the essence would be identified with each other; then, as al-Muqtara explained regarding the question of sawd ilwa), not only would a single attribute be opposed to its opposite, e.g. knowledge to ignorance, but every other attribute, e.g. power, would be opposed to ignorance as well.

The Mu`tazilites objected [K, pp. 226-232; cf. J, 8b, f. 163a] that the assertion of substantive attributes implies that they are causes of the adjectival ones, in which case the adjectival attributes would not be necessary but admissible. The Sunnite answer is that the connection is not one of causality (ta`ll), (55) but of inter-consequence (talzum), such as between a substance and an accidental. The latter are crated by God simultaneously, each following upon the other without causal influence, as al-Muqtara explains.

c. The Philosophers and no positive attributes

The Philosophers, K[pp. 219-220 and 232-234] continues, denied all the attributes of God but the negative ones, interpreting the others as negations (salb) or the ascription of created effects to him (ifa) or a combination of these two.

There reason is that the attributes' need (iftiqr) of an essence and of other attributes as a condition-e.g. power requires life-is a denial of their being necessary. The Sunnite answer is that the inter-consequence of an attribute with the essence or with another attribute is not one of need, unless by "need" is meant inseparability (`adam infikk). There is no ground for saying that one necessary thing cannot follow necessarily upon another.

Ibn-at-Tilimsn remarked [K, pp. 234-235] that ar-Rz was influenced by the Philosophers and said in his Ma`li ad-dniyya) [J, 8b, f. 163a, names the book] that the composition (tarkb) of the attribute with God's essence makes the attributes possible (mumkin) with regard to their own essences, but necessary by the necessity of God's essence. He went as far as to reduce the attributes of God to a ere relative or nominal reality (mujarrad nasab wa-ift), or, on the other hand, to say they were separate and distinct (mughyara) from God's essence. But the Sunnite imms reject both the distinctness of the attributes from God's essence-because this implies separability-and identity (ka-m yamna`n an yuql hiya huwa).

On this point J [8c, f. 168a] notes that al-Ash`ar and one opinion of al-Bqilln do not allow the term ikhtilf, "difference", for the relation of the attributes to the essence and to one another; another opinion of al-Bqilln allows it. It is neither permitted to say that the attributes are other than the essence (ghayr adh-dht) nor that they are the essence itself (`ayn adh-dht) or united with the essence (ittidu-h ma`a dh-dht).

K [pp. 235-236] refers again to Ibn-at-Tilimsn, who says that ar-Rz's attempt to avoid composition in God is not successful, since the various attributes are distinct (mutamayyiza) fro one another in intelligibility. Some have no object; others have an object without an effect on it; others have an effect (yu'aththir) on their objects. If they are distinct and different from one another (idh tamyazat wa-khtalafat), this supposes different aspects (wujhan mukhtalifa). This forced the Philosophers to explain away the reality of the attributes; for example they said that knowledge is nothing but incorporeity.

Related to the problem of composition within God is the Mu`tazilites' further argument [K, pp. 236-237] that the existence of substantive attributes would mean that what is from eternity is multiple. The answer is that the attributes, whatever their number, do not imply any composition or multiplicity in their subject (mawf) any more than in the case of a simple substance (jawhar fard) with its many attributes. The consensus that what is from eternity is one does not exclude more than one reality (aqqa), that is the subject and the attributes, from being from eternity.

Another argument of the Mu`tazilites [K, pp. 236-237] that, since being from eternity is the most particular characteristic of God, anything which is from eternity must also share in the other ore general attributes of God. Therefore any of God's attributes which are from eternity, such as knowledge, must also be powerful, living etc., which results in a multiplication of deities, even ore than the three hypostases of essence, life and knowledge posited by the Christians. The answer is that being from eternity is a negative, not a positive attribute, and therefore cannot be the most particular characteristic. As-Sans quotes here at-Taftzn's shiya `al l-Kashshf, (56) which says that the Christians do not err in asserting attributes, but in making three deities of them.

The Mu`tazilites also argued [K, pp. 240-241] that if God had knowledge, it would have to be like our knowledge, since both are related to the same objects. Therefore both would have to be either from eternity or have come into being, and this is impossible. A dialectical answer (jawb jadal) is that God`s knowingness (`limiyya), which the Mu`tazilites assert, would have to be like our knowingness; therefore the same difficulty applies to their position. The proper answer is that knowledge is completely particularized as to its essence before it is determined as being from eternity or having come into being.

d. Power (qudra)

(N. 14) Someone powerful (qdir), says W [ff. 29a-30a; cf. K, pp. 168-172], is he who can either do or omit an act according to his will (huwa lldh yaul min-hu l-fi`l wa-t-tark bi-asab irdati-hi). This excludes both a cause (`illa) and nature (ab`a), which do not have a will, and cannot omit to produce an effect, were they to do so.

The difference between a cause and nature, according to the apostates who hold that these produce an effect, is that the influence of a cause does not depend upon anything, and it is impossible for a cause to exist without its effect, for example the movement of a finger in relation to the movement of a ring placed on it. But for nature to produce its effect it depends upon the presence of a condition and the absence of an impediment, as in the case of fire in burning, according to them, since it depends upon the condition of the fire touching the thing which is to be burned, and the absence of the impediment of it being wet.

Thus there are three kinds of active principles (f`il) according to their supposed ability to act: 1) one who is able or powerful (qdir), who can act or not act, and is said to be freely-choosing (mukhtr), 2) a cause, and 3) a nature. All these exist, say the Philosopher apostates-may God destroy them. But the Sunnites are unanimous in denying the effectivity (ta'thr) of the last two types, so that only the first remains. Then, the Sunnites admit the existence of the latter only in God, because of the impossibility of anything besides him all together or separately of having any effectivity whatsoever.

God is powerful because he could have omitted creating the world. If he were obliged to create it, he would be a cause or a nature, and the world would have to be eternal, as will be seen later. The fact of the world's dependence upon God proves that he has the power to act.

An objection is raised that God's power does not extend to omitting an act, because omitting (tark) is a pure negation, whereas power must be related to a positive effect; were non-acting a positive effect, the world would have to be eternal. Also, continued non-acting does not require a power. The answer is, first of all, that omitting is not a pure negation; rather it is a positive refusal to act, yet does not take place from eternity, but in never-ending-time (f m l yazl). Besides, one possessing power need not produce omission; his power of omitting means that he does not bring an act into existence, not that he brings a non-act into existence.

The second point in the Creed, that God must have a power (qudra) which is in addition to (z'ida `al) his essence, is against the Mu`tazilites, who denied the distinction between God's essence and attributes. Their position goes against intelligibility, since anyone who is powerful must have power, either as a condition of being powerful, or as a cause of it, or as something proved by it, or as a part of its reality, since someone powerful is he who has power. This is to speak in terms of supposing dispositions, since powerfulness (qdiriyya) is a disposition inhering in an essence. But for al-Ash`ar, powerfulness simply means that power inheres in the subject.

The third point in the Creed, W [f. 30b] continues, that this power is not united with God's essence, is against the position of the Philosophers. A reply has already been given to the in the demonstration of the impossibility of God's uniting with something other than himself. (57) The reply to them in the Creed is an abridged statement of the argument that in uniting a whole must become its very part, or something numerous must become precisely few, which is without intelligibility. This is what is meant by "It would follow that two are one", that is, because the power and the essence are two realities (aqqatn ithnatn), were they to unite, that is, become one, then there would clearly result the absurdity mentioned.

In the fifth point of the Creed, that God's power is related to all things possible, the word "things possible" (mumkint) is the equivalent of things admissible (j'izt). Necessary and impossible things are excluded as objects of the divine power because to be an object of power implies that the thing can be or not be.

The phrase "all things possible" is pointed against the Mu`tazilites, who excepted human voluntary acts from the objects of divine power, and said that men create these acts (ikhtara`-h) by their will. Were some possibilities outside the range of God's power, the reason would have to be either in God's power, which was limited by a particularizing agent-which has been disproven-or in the possibilities themselves-which also cannot be so, since they are all equally possible.

As an example of an impossible supposition outside God's power, [pp; 104-105] rejects the reported opinion of Ibn-azam in his al-Milal wa-n-nial that if God could not take a son he would be impotent (`jiz). Likewise al-Isfar'in explained the assertion of Idrs that God could make the world pass through the eye of a needle, saying that God could make the world small enough to do so, but could not make it pass through with the size it has.

A definition of God's power given by [p. 99], [p. 21], and M [f. 213a] is "an attribute which is effective in bringing any possible thing into existence or non-existence" (ifa tu'aththir f jd al-mumkin wa-i`dmi-hi/ ifa yata'att bi-h kull mumkin wa-i`dmu-hu). Particularizing further the objects of God's power, M [ff. 214b-215a] agrees with al-Bqilln and disagrees with Imm-al-aramayn that adventitious non-existence (al-`adam a-ri'), that is, coming upon something already existent, is included among the objects of God's power. This is so if we accept as the formal basis (uai) of God's power either possibility together with the coming into being (al-imkn ma`a l-udth), or possibility on condition of coming into being, or coming into being alone.

Some imms go further and say that even the non-existence which precedes existence is among the objects of God's power. According to them the formal basis of God's power is possibility alone, apart from coming into being. Their reason is that linguistic usage (al-lugha wa-l-'urf) permit expressions to the effect that God has power to keep something non-existent. Therefore to exclude previous non-existence from God's power would see like an impropriety (s' al-adab) and the construing of a defect (hm an-naq).

The objects of God's power, according to W and M, can be summarized as concerning:

e. Will (irda)

(N. 15) The will, says W [f. 31b] is "an attribute by which there comes about the prevailing of the actuality of one of two possible alternatives" (ifa yata'att bi-h tarj wuq` aad arafay al-mumkin), or it is "intending the actuality of one of two possible alternatives" (al-qad li-wuq` aad arafay al-mumkin). M's definition [f. 215a] is also illustrative: "an attribute by which there comes about the particularization of something possible with some of what is admissible to it" (ifa yata'att bi-h takh al-mumkin bi-ba` m yajz `alay-hi).

(N. 16) The will is necessary to particularize the effect of God's power. J [11a, f. 177b] and M [f. 212b] distinguish six kinds of possible alternatives (al-mumkint al-mutaqbilt) which require a particularizing agent: 1) existence and non-existence, 2) sizes (maqdr), 3) attributes (ift), 4) times (azmina), 5) places (amkina) and 6) directions (jiht).

The particularizing factor, K [p. 172] observes, cannot be the fact that one of the two possibilities serves a greater good, since that is a Mu`tazilite position disproven elsewhere.

W [f. 31b] eliminates power as the particularizing agent because power has one relation (nisba) to all possible things in every time and every disposition. Also, the function of power is to produce existence. But an agent of existence (mjid) as such is not the same as an agent of prevalence (murajji) as such, because the production of existence (jd) depends upon the particularization of prevalence (tarj).

Likewise knowledge cannot be the particularizing agent, because to particularize a thing with something its possibility admits is to produce an effect on it. But knowledge is not an attribute which produces an effect; otherwise it would not have among its objects what is necessary and what is impossible. Besides, knowledge of actuality (wuq`) follows upon actuality; were actuality to follow upon knowledge, there would be a circle.

It is also evident that life, speech, hearing and seeing cannot be particularizing agents, because life has no object, and its is like power in its indifference of relation (f tasw n-nisba). Hearing and seeing are like knowledge in the order of what they follow upon, while speech has no relation to producing an effect.

Therefore there must be another attribute whose special function is to give prevalence and particularization, and it is called the will.

K [pp. 172-173] mentions an objection to the necessity of a will from the fact that many of man's acts occur apart from his will. The answer is that this is true only of man, who is not the agent of his acts. But God's particularization of possibilities must proceed from his will.

(N. 17) K [pp. 174-177] amplifies the arguments given in W why God acts by choice of will, and not as a cause or a nature. If there were no divine will the world would either be from eternity or it would not exist at all. The former alternative would result if the nature or cause came into being, since their coming into being depends upon an impossible continuous regress or a circle.

Another reason why God is not a cause or a nature is that if these principles were from eternity, an infinite number of things would have to exist, since these principles have only one relation to all things possible, and possible things are infinite.

Another argument is that all possible things would have to exist all at once, even if the cause or nature were not from eternity.

A further argument [K, pp. 182-183] is drawn from the intricate determination of star locations and movements.

(N. 18) The objections raised in this number are clear enough in the Creed, and are also taken up elsewhere. (58)

(N. 19) On the question of God's willing evil, [pp. 101-102] explains that the Mu`tazilites said that God wills only what he commands, such as belief and obedience, whether these are actualized or not. But for Sunnites Ab-Jahl was commanded to believe, but God did not will him to believe; in fact, all that happens does so by God's will.

W [f. 33a] proceeds: Although all Sunnites agree that everything happens only by the will of God, whether belief or unbelief, obedience or disobedience, or any other possible thing, they differ on whether to use the term "the will of God" when speaking explicitly of unbelief and disobedience. Some forbid it on the grounds of propriety (`al arq al-adab) only, lest anyone imaging that unbelief and disobedience are predicated (ifa) of God. But that is not the case. Rather, the name unbelief or disobedience is predicated of the act created by God who wills its existence in the essence of a man. The act is predicated of man, since he is the one qualified by unbelief or disobedience, even though he is not the producer (mukhtari`) of these acts. God is not qualified by them, even though he produces them.

Likewise for other acts, God is only qualified as creating and willing them without being qualified by the acts themselves at all, because of the impossibility of the essence of God to be qualified by anything which comes into being. An illustration of this is for you to place something with a bad smell and color into a pan. The pan would be the acquirer (muktasib) of the bad thing and would be qualified by it, and not you who put the thing into it.

In summary, all God's acts are good (asana), but only differ in their existence in men according to what they acquire by revealed-law and custom (shar`an wa-`urfan), even though they have no effect at all on any of these acts.

Another aspect of the opinion that it is improper to say explicitly that God wills unbelief or disobedience is that to refer (isnd) these acts to the will of God without mentioning good acts is a quasi begging pardon (shibh al-i`tidhr)for God's creating them by throwing the consequent blame upon the one who disbelieves or disobeys, whereas the referral of these acts to God's will in revealed-law is not an excuse, nor is God to be asked about what he does or decides. According to this opinion, the proper way of expression is that all beings in general should be expressed when referring to God's will. A general expression (ta`mm) will include unbelief and disobedience, while guarding propriety of expression. One may, however, say explicitly that God wills acts of obedience, but only if there is no one listening who would understand thereby that acts of disobedience are not willed by God. If there are such people listening, then one may only state the generalization, nothing more. Verses from the Qur'n [1:6-7 and 72:10] are adduced by supporters of this opinion.

A second opinion allows explicit reference to God's willing of evil acts without fear of impropriety, because the difference between creating something and being qualified by it should be clear.

A third opinion places no restriction on explicit speech in teaching and explaining, but elsewhere requires respect for propriety. This opinion, as-Sans says, is best.

To show that God does not act for the sake of objectives (aghr), W [f. 33b] offers the general reason that the objective must either be from eternity-in which case his act would have to be from eternity or else he would be frustrated from his objective-or it must have come into being-in which case the objective must have come into being through another objective, and so on in a continuous regress. K[pp. 242-245] adds variations to these arguments.

An objection is considered in K [pp. 426-429] that if God does not act for an objective his acts are stupidity (safah). The ordinary meaning of this term is ignorance of one's own welfare and light-mindedness, so that a stupid person does things which hurt him without knowing it, or if he does know it, he prefers a passing pleasure to avoiding its severe consequences. Futility (`abath) ordinarily refers to doing something unawares or without intention (qad). Neither of these terms can be equated with not acting for an objective. Likewise God's wisdom (ikma) requires acting with knowledge and will, but not for an objective.

The Mu`tazilites, W [f. 34a] continues, held that God's determinations (akm) are motivated by objectives; for example, they said that drinking wine is prohibited because it damages the intellect.

One point against this position is that drinking is an act of God on which man has no effect; damaging the intellect is merely a sign (amra) set up by God to indicate that man deserves punishment.

A second point is that there is no connection between drinking and damaging the intellect, since God produces every effect directly without any intermediate influence of a creature. The same holds for killing an enemy; God causes death; the blow, whether it is deliberate or not, does not; the distinctions between deliberate and non-deliberate are set up by God's free willing.

Thus you know how wrong is the position of the Mu`tazilites, who said that the intellect alone can arrive at knowledge of God's determinations without the intermediacy of prophets. This question is entitled "judging good and evil" (at-tasn wa-t-taqb), or simply "good and evil". The professors of truth say that before revealed-law there is no good unless revealed-law says "Do it", and no evil unless revealed-law says "Do not do it"; there is no cause in the particularization of either.

K [pp. 429-434] explains and argues against the Mu`tazilite position further. They held that there is good and evil in human acts which can be determined apart fro revealed-law. According to them, the goodness or evil of some acts is immediately evident, such as the goodness of truthfulness and faith, and the evil of lying and unbelief; for other acts revealed-law is necessary, such as the goodness of fasting on the last day of Raman and the evil of fasting on the first day of Shawwl; in these cases the legislator explains what is good, but does not constitute it.

The older Mu`tazilites said that acts were good or evil because of their essence, while others said they were so because of an attribute attached to them, such as the evil of adultery because of the resulting confusion of relationships and claims. Still others said that goodness is essential to the act and comes from God, whereas evil is an attribute of it. Al-Jubb` said that the same act can be good or bad according to different aspects, such as striking an orphan to train him or for another reason.

One answer to the Mu`tazilites is to divide into absurdities their assertion that it can be known from intelligibility that thanking God for his benefits is good. There would have to be some advantage in thanking God. But there is none:

To the objection that thanking God preserves man from God's punishment, and this can be known without revealed-law on the supposition that God acts for objectives, there is the answer that on this basis God could equally punish him for two reasons: 1) that the man tires himself in thanking God without God's permission, and 2) that if God gave him only a little of what in his riches he could give him, thanking him is equivalent to mocking him.

The causes of determinations mentioned by Sunnite professors of revealed-law, W [f. 34b] continues, are not to be understood literally as causes impelling the legislator to make a certain determination, as the Mu`tazilites maintain, but by these causes are meant signs (amrt) set up by revealed-law as a result of pure choice. Or else, these causes mean advantages which revealed-law looks out for (r`-h) through these determinations by way of favor, not decisive necessity. An example of this is the Qur'n verse "I have created jinn and men only that they may worship me" (51:56), which must be interpreted as for the advantage of jinn and men, not of God. The Mu`tazilites erred doubly in interpreting this verse. First, they interpreted the lm in "li-ya`bud-n" as a lm at-ta`ll rather than as a lm a-ayrra, making worship the objective sought by God. Secondly, they restricted God's will to what agrees with his commands, excluding evil acts.

Another legitimate interpretation of the lm in this verse is that it is metaphorically a lm at-ta`ll, in which the quasi-command to worship implied in the verse is expressed as a final cause (al-`illa al-gh'iyya), which in technical terminology means "what impels in action according as it is perceived, even if it is posterior in existence to the act" (m yab`uth bi-asab taawwuri-hi `al fi`l shay' wa-in kn yata'akhkhar wujdu-hu `al dhlik ash-shay'), such as gain with respect to trading. A final cause is the usefulness of a thing (f'idat ash-shay'), and is always first in mind (dhihn) but last in outside existence (f l-khrjij). As the Philosophers say, what is first in intention is last in operation (awwal al-fikra khir al-`amal). In the case at hand it expresses a quasi-command to worship, indicating a pure relating (mulaq at-tartb) of the existence of jinn and men towards worship, without God being impelled either to create them for the sake of worship or to reward them for it.

f. Knowledge (`ilm)

(N. 20) [pp. 106-108] and M [f. 215a-b] define knowledge in nearly the same terms as "an attribute by which its object is disclosed exactly as it is" (ifa yankashif bi-h m tata`allaq bi-hi nkishfan l yatamil an-naq bi-wajh min al-wujh/ ifa yankashif bi-h l-ma`lm `al m huwa bi-hi). M explains once more the difference between knowledge and doubt etc., as was seen above. (59)

(N. 21) K [pp. 185-193] distinguishes two arguments for God's having knowledge. The first is that of the work of wisdom (ikm) found in creation. Regarding this, W [f. 35a] says that one would have to fight the truth and resist plain evidence to say that the marvels of the world came from someone ignorant. As-Sans goes into long detail explaining the intricacies of the eye as an example of God's wisdom, though noting that God causes or prevents seeing on the occasion of (`ind) the presence or absence of the proper conditions for sight, not through (bi) them.

K [pp. 186-187] mentions the objection that a bee can make a hive which is an engineering marvel without an intellect. The answer is that while the effect comes from God, he inspires the bees with knowledge of how to make a hive, even though they are not properly-endowed (ahl) with any knowledge.

Imm-al-aramayn [pp. 187-188] objected to the argument from wisdom, saying that all it means is that substances have been lined up in a determined way, and this is no proof of knowledge. Ibn-at-Tilimsn answered him in his Shar al-Ma`lim, saying that the argument from wisdom does not mean simply the particularization of substances with states of motion or rest or situation (akwn), but also with a particular modality (kayfiyya) and measure (miqdr) of attributes and accidentals. As-Sans then [pp. 190-193] expatiates on the wise measurements of the parts of the human body and how they serve its functions, referring also to the wisdom of the rest of the universe.

The second argument for knowledge [K, p. 189] is that proposed by Imm-al-aramayn, which Ibn-at-Tilimsn says requires reasoning, whereas the first is self-evident. The argument is that God acts by choice, as has been proven; but acting by choice supposes intending (qad) what is to be done; but intending something supposes knowing it. Men can intend on the basis of belief (i`tiqd), opinion or suspicion, but this is impossible of God, since it is an imperfection. Therefore he intends by knowledge. Also, since God particularizes every aspect of creation, he must intend and know every aspect and detail. Thus the Philosophers are wrong in limiting him to general knowledge.

W [f. 36b] takes up the point that God's knowledge is above constraint and reasoning. Knowledge constrained by its object (arr) is that which is accompanied by pain or need (arar aw ja), such as our knowledge of our own pain or hunger. There is no doubt that knowledge of this kind is impossible for God, since all agree that it is impossible for him to suffer pain or need.

Yet the word arr is sometimes applied to knowledge which is had without reasoning (naar). This meaning can legitimately be applied to God's knowledge, but to avoid misunderstanding revealed-law forbids the use of the word arr to describe God's knowledge.

It is impossible for God's knowledge to come from reasoning (naar), because reasoning is opposed to knowledge, since knowledge coming from reasoning is had only when reasoning is finished (bi-nirm an-naar), and does not coexist (l yajtami`) with it. Such knowledge comes into being, and as such is impossible for God.

Here K [pp. 258-261] accepts the opinion of Imm-al-aramayn that knowledge is not essentially dependent upon previous reasoning, (60) since the capability of a substance for knowledge is of essential-property (nafs) and needs no condition.

In Qur'n verses such as 29:3, where God is said to cause trials in order to know who are true and who are liars, "to know" must be interpreted as "to announce reward or punishment". (61)

As-Sans then quotes al-Muqtara on the kinds of arr knowledge, and in summary says that there are three kinds of knowledge which come into being: 1) self-evident, or constrained (arr), 2) spontaneous (badh), (62) and 3) acquired (kasb); (63) all of these are impossible of God.

g. Hearing, sight, speech and perception

(N. 22 contains nothing of note.)

(N. 23) Hearing (sam`) and sight (baar), W [f. 36b] says, are types of perception (idrk) additional to knowledge. In God they are not limited to sounds or colors, but he sees and hears from eternity and forever his own essence and positive attributes as well as our essences and positive attributes, without limit as to object or time. Nevertheless it is sensibly apparent that the disclosure (inkishf) of each of these powers is not the same, and they differ in reality (aqqa). Also, in God these powers cannot be linked to ears or eyes or directions.

K [pp. 195-196] quotes some Qur'n verses affirming God's hearing and seeing (20:46, 17:1 etc., 96:14, 26:218, 19:42), and says they are to be taken literally on the principle that interpretation (ta'wl) is permitted only on the condition that the context justifies it.

Al-Jubb` and his son (Mu`tazilites), says K [pp. 200-201], said that someone hearing and seeing is merely one who is living without defect. This position is wrong because, first, hearing and seeing are related to objects, while life is not; secondly, man perceives that he is hearing and seeing without perceiving this absence of defect; thirdly, by the same reason power and knowledge should be reduced to life.

The Philosophers [K, pp. 201-204] explained hearing and seeing as something physical, saying that what is seen is the immaterial impressed image (al-mithl al-muabi` al-khl `an al-mdda) of an external object, or, according to another opinion, the external object itself through the mediacy of the image impressed in the common sense (al-ass al-mushtarak) located in the front of the brain. There are two similar opinions concerning hearing. The Sunnite position, however, is that these perceptions require only a subject, without conditions, since the capability of the subject is of essential-property; any other factors are simply customary concomitants of God's acting. Ar-Rz objected to even the possibility of an impress image, but as-Sans answers his arguments, quoting from Ibn-at-Tilimsn.

[p. 23] explains that God's hearing and seeing, unlike ours, have as their objects all existing things, whether they are from eternity or came into being, since their formal object (muai ta`alluqi-him) is existence. If their objects were restricted in any way, a particularizing agent would be required; then these attributes and God would have come into being. Thus K [pp. 284-285; cf. M, f. 216a] approves the opinion of al-Ash`ar, rejecting the opinion of older theologians (qudam') such as `Al. b. Sa`d al-Kullb and al-Qalnas who restricted hearing to sounds and said that God does not hear his eternal speech, but only knows it.

Regarding seeing, the difficulty is raised [K, pp. 286-289; M, ff. 2161-b] that we cannot see our own sight; therefore it does not extend to all existing things. Al-Bqilln answered that this is because of an impediment which is invisible to the person concerned, but is visible to others. Thus everything is essentially visible.

The Mu`tazilites [K, p. 206], who say that God hears and sees himself, reduce this perception to knowledge. Other Mu`tazilites say that God neither sees nor is seen, on the basis that sight is a matter of emitting rays, as will be seen later. (64) Ab-l-Q. al-Ka`b and a. l- al-Bar (Mu`tazilites) [K, pp. 204-205] said that hearing and seeing are only knowledge related particularly to visible and audible objects. Ar-Rz objected to their opinion on the basis of the evident experiential difference between these perceptions and knowledge. Ibn-at-Tilimsn, however, said that ar-Rz's position does not conclude to a specific difference, but the difference could be simply a matter of a greater or smaller number of objects; for instance, seeing includes more than knowing in the case of an absent object. Or the difference could be one of subject, such as the eye for seeing and the heart for knowing.

Al-Ash`ar [K, pp. 205-206] had two opinions. The first is that hearing and seeing are generically different from knowledge, although they are all attributes disclosing objects as they actually are. The second is that they are of the genus of knowledge, but are related only to existing objects, whereas knowledge is related also to non-existing ones and to things both simply and determinedly (wa-l-mulaq wa-l-muqayyad). Al-Ash`ar opposed reducing hearing and seeing to knowledge, in the same way as ar-Rz did. But Ibn-at-Tilimsn commented that the same difficulties remain.

M [f. 216b] faces directly the difficulty that if the objects of hearing and seeing are the same as those of knowledge they are superfluous (tal al-il wa-jtim` al-mithlayn). As-Sans's answer is that the objects are the same-all existing things-but the reality (aqqa) of these perceptions is not one, just as the reality of their relations to their objects (ta`alluqtu-h) is not one, but each has a particular disclosure (la-hu aqqa min al-inkishf takhuu-hu) different from that of the others. This is true whether we say hearing and seeing are species (anw`) of knowledge or not.

As for seeing's (mushhada) being a stronger and more detailed perception of an object than knowledge, this is not true of God, whose knowledge is all embracing of every object in general and in detail.

God's speech (kalm), says [p. 113] is related to (muta`alliq ay dll `al) all that he knows, which is infinite. M [ff. 218a-221a] discusses in detail the various kinds of speech (khabar, insh' etc.) as they apply to God. The statement that God's speech is without letters, sounds and sequence, M [f. 217a] explains, is against the position of the ashwiyya, who affirmed material speech as an attribute inhering in God, and the Mu`tazilites, who asserted material speech, but as a creation, not an attribute of God.

K [pp. 264-265] says that the ashwiyya are of two kinds: One holds that God occupies space, but has no shape, and that his speech is from eternity, of any language, and consisting of letters and sounds, but not in an outward way (l `al makhrij al-uruf).

The other kind holds that God occupies space with the shape of a man, and speaks in any language according to the outward sounds of the letters; his speech is from eternity, but is sometimes quiet (amat) and covered up. According to them, whenever anyone reads the Qur'n, he hears the eternal speech of God which exists in him as in a subject (wujid f maall hdh l-qri') without leaving God. Likewise the letters of a copy of the Qur'n are the very speech of God without leaving his essence.

Ab-mid (65) and Ibn-Dahhq [K, pp. 265-268 and 273-274] are quoted in refutation of them: The ashwiyya have the anthropomorphism of the Jews, the Christian idea of God's speech (word) dwelling in men, but not just in Jesus but in everyone who reads the Qur'n, and the Mu`tazilite belief that God's speech consists of sounds and letters.

To show that speech is not just outward sounds, the Sunnites [K, pp.l 268-273] point to the fact that commanding and forbidding are interior acts manifested in many various ways. After refuting Mu`tazilite objects to this, the question is raised whether speech is properly interior or exterior or both. Al-Ash`ar says that it is common to both, while the Mu`tazilites say that it is properly exterior and only metaphorically interior. But the Sunnites interpret the Father's dictum "The speech of God is memorized in the heart, recited with the tongue and written in copies " (kalm Allh maf bi-udr wa-maqr' bi-l-alsina wa-maktb f l-maif) (66) as the application of the name of something referred to (madll) to something referring to it (dll), since a thing has four existences: 1) in actual individuals (a`yn), 2) in the mind (adhhh), 3) on the tongue (lisn), and 4) on fingertips (bann), that is in writing. The last three only refer to, but are not the actual eternal speech of God; what is recited or written is from eternity, but not the recitation or writing. Thus M [f. 218a] says that God's speech is in the Qur'n as understood and known, not as indwelling (fahman wa-`ilman l ullan) [cf. . p. 114].

K then [pp. 275-279] discusses Qur'n verses referring to God's speaking to Moses [4:164 and 7:144], saying that he did not hear created words, but the interior eternal speech of God; otherwise he could not be singled out as the interlocutor (kalm) of God. W [f. 37b], [p. 114] and M [f. 217b] point out that the inner being (kunh) of speech as well as God's essence and other attributes is veiled (majb) from the intellect, but W [f. 37b] adds that any knowing-awareness of it must be attained by way of (mystic) taste (wa-`al taqdr at-tawaul il ma`rifa shay' min dhlik fa-huwa dhawq), which can be expressed only by the beckoning (ishra) of one person who has it (min ahli-hi) to another who has it.

[pp. 114-115] notes also that because God's speech is beyond intellectual comprehension the comparison by theologians of God's speech to our is true only to the extent that ours, as God's, is not necessarily dependent on letters and sounds; but our interior speech (kalmu-n n-nafs) comes into being and is marked by parts, priority and posteriority, and has no positive resemblance to God's speech.

M [f. 217a] gives an argument from intelligibility (dall al-`aql) that God has speech because if someone knows something he can speak about it, and God knows everything.

W [f. 38a] and K [pp. 193-194] offer a general argument for hearing, seeing and speech that a subject which is capable of an attribute must be qualified with either the attribute or its like or its opposite. God is living, and is therefore capable of hearing, sight and speech. Therefore he must possess them, since he cannot be qualified with their opposites: deafness (amam), blindness (`am) and dumbness (bakam).

But the weight of authority as-sam` ay an-naql), namely the Qur'n (al-kitb), the Muammadan norm (as-sunna) and consensus (ijm`) is greater than that of intelligibility in this question, because if these attributes are perfections in this world (shhid), it does not necessarily follow that they are perfections in what is beyond (gh'ib). For example, pleasure and pain are perfections of a living thing in this world, but they are impossible of God. Therefore by intelligibility alone one cannot be sure that if God does not possess these attributes he necessarily possess their opposites. K [pp. 198-200] argues similarly, quoting Ibn-at-Tilimsn against the arguments proposed by al-Isfar'in. remarks [p. 23] that the existence of these three attributes is settled by authority, but the relation of hearing and seeing to their objects and the fact that God's speech has no letters, sounds or temporality are known by a reason of intelligibility.

An objection is raised in K [pp. 196-198] and [p. 23] that if the authority of a prophet is needed to assert that God speaks, the authority of a prophet in turn depends upon a miracle, which presupposes that God speaks in affirming the truthfulness of the prophet; thus the argument runs in a circle. Ibn-at-Tilimsn answered that the act of a miracle indicates the truthfulness of the prophet without a separate verbal declaration of his truthfulness; the question of whether God can speak or not is left open.

We know God's attributes, W continues [f. 38a], either by his acts which prove the existence of these attributes, or, if we do not find a proof from his acts, by having recourse to authority. If authority says nothing, then we refrain from judging (waqf). In the case of the above attributes authority is decisive.

Perception (idrk), says W [f. 38a], includes perception of odors (mashmmt), tastes (madhqt) and things palpable (malmst). As-Sans does not discuss the extent of the objects of each of these, except to mention in K [p. 286] and M [f. 216a] that the Companions differed as to whether things which can be seen, such as motion-and-situation (akwn), can also be felt. Al-Muqtara is cited for the affirmative. In the present world (shhid), continues W [f. 38a], the three perceptions just mentioned are perfections additional to knowledge, the same as hearing and seeing. There are three opinions concerning their affirmation of God:

1) Those who hold for the proof from intelligibility for hearing, seeing and speech, such as Imm-al-aramayn and, according to J [14a, f. 211b], al-Bqilln, maintain the same proof for the remaining perceptions, but exclude from these attributes any sense organ (jria), contact (ittil) or coming into being. Their argument is that if God did not possess these attributes he would lack perfection.

K [pp. 206-209] adds, in line with this opinion, that consensus forbids the use of expressions such as "God smelt", because of the physical contact and change this ordinarily suggests. But the perceptions of odors, tastes and palpable objects are distinct from smelling, tasting and touching; and God can create the one without the other. Yet because some theologians say that the two are essentially linked, these perceptions cannot be absolutely asserted.

2) Others, W continues, deny the distinction of these perceptions from God's knowledge.

3) The best position is that of al-Muqtara and Ibn-at-Tilimsn, who said that we should refrain from judgement, meaning that we do not know whether these perceptions are in addition to God's knowledge or part of it.

h. Outward anthropomorphism

(N. 24) The eight attributes referred to in the Creed, says W [f. 38b], are the positive substantive attributes: knowledge, power, will, life, hearing, sight, speech and perception. The first four are known by intelligibility; the next three depend upon an authoritative text (na); on the last, judgement was suspended.

There are various opinions concerning things mentioned in revealed-law which are opposed to (mudda li-) God. These things are his mounting (upon the throne), his hand, his eye and his face. By intelligibility and consensus God is decidedly above the outward impossible meanings of these things. Accepting the outward meanings, says K [p. 264], is the position of the ashwiyya who, for example, associate with "mounting on the throne" (istiw') the story that every Friday night God descends to heaven for a third of the night and before dawn goes back up to his throne.

Al-Ash`ar, continues W, said that the added descriptions are names of attributes other than the eight mentioned. His reason for affirming them is authority (sam`), not intelligibility; therefore in his teaching they are called authoritative attributes (ift sam`iyya). God knows best. J [15a, ff. 212b-214b] adds, quoting al-mid, that this is also the opinion of al-Isfar'in, al-Bqilln and some Fathers; according to them these attributes are of essential property (nafs). Al-Amid added that al-Ash`ar had a second opinion similar to that of Imm-al-aramayn.

Imm-al-aramayn, continues W, held for interpreting them (ta'wlu-h) as referring to recognized attributes, as mentioned in the Creed.

The Fathers (salaf) opted for suspending judgement (waqf) regarding the interpretation to be adopted (f ta`yn ta'wli-h). They said we hold for sure (naqta`) that their outward impossibilities are not what is meant, but after that we entrust their exact meaning (`ayn al-murd min-h) to God because the terms can have several legitimate applications, whereas revealed-law has not determined which of them is meant. Therefore, according to al-Qarf, to determine the meaning without authority (naql) is to surmount the wall of the beyond without a guiding reason (at-tasawwur `al l-ghayb min ghayr dall). This is the best and safest (asan wa-aslam) opinion of all.

Al-Ash`ar explained the Qur'n verse "He mounted upon the throne" (7:54 etc.) by discounting both the impossible meaning of his taking position and sitting down, and the interpretation that God took possession of the throne by his power, since there is no reason for singling out the throne among all other possible things which are equally dependent upon God's power. Therefore this verse must refer to a special attribute befitting God.

Al-Ash`ar's reason for asserting the attribute called the "hand" is the verse in which God says to the devil "What prevented you from adoring what my hand created" (38:75). Likewise if the "hand" were interpreted as power, there would be no use in singling out the creation of man as the work of God's hand.

The verse referring to God's eye is "and that you be made under my eye" (20:39), while that referring to God's face is "The face of your Lord remains full of glory and honor" (55:27).

Imm-al-aramayn [W, f. 39a] interpreted the "mounting upon the throne" as taking possession of it by force (al-istl' `alay-h bi-l-qahr) and determining (tadbr) that it neither move nor stand still nor occupy any determined place nor be qualified with any other attribute except by the will of God who creates these attributes. The reason for singling out the throne with a special expressing is not that it differs from other creatures in dependence upon the creator, but that it is the greatest of creatures, and compared to it all other creatures are like a ring tossed in the desert, so that someone might imagine that it has a power and dignity to take care of itself (f tadbr nafsi-hi) independently of God. If it is pointed out that the throne cannot help or hurt itself or anything else, then the same is all the more true for the rest of creation. This is one of several well known interpretations of this verse.

Imm al-aramayn interpreted God's "hand" as his power, on the basis of the verse "We built the heavens with hands" (51:47) and the usage of Arabic speech. The term "hand" was used in the verse concerning Adam's creation in order to honor him over all other creatures. As-Sans illustrates this interpretation by various adths, and explains the purpose (ikma) of the usage "two hands" of God by having one hand refer to God's power and the other to his favor (ni`ma). Another interpretation of the dual is that it is simple metaphor (majz), similar to the use of the plural to intensify (ta`m) something.

Imm-al-aramayn [W, f. 40b] interpreted the term "eye" as God's knowledge or watchfulness and protection (al-kil`a wa-l-af). In the verse "It (the boat of Noah) runs before our eyes" (54:14), "our eyes" (a`yn) can be interpreted in four different ways: 1) as knowledge, 2) as watchfulness and care (al-kil`a wa-r-ri`ya), while the plural can be for intensification (ta`m), or for the number of passengers on the boat or for the number of angels God ordered to accompany the boat; 3) as the several fountains (a`yn) of water which burst upon the earth, or 4) as the individual men (a`yn) who were on the boat.

God's "face" is interpreted as his essence or his existence, since this is the root of his being everlasting and the subject of glory and honor.

i. Life, and the eternity and unity of every attribute

(N. 25) Life (ayt), says [p. 108-109], differs from the other positive attributes in that it is not related to any object besides inhering in the subject; for instance, knowledge requires something to be known. both inhering in an essence (al-qiym bi-dh-dht) and, in the case of other attributes, being related to an object (at-ta`alluq) are essential-properties (nafs) of the attributes.

W [f. 41a] says that it places life last among the attributes because it is the condition (shar) of the others and is known (madll) through the others. W is followed by [p. 23], but K [p. 193], [p. 108] and M [f. 215b] place life before hearing, sight and speech.

(N. 26) The keystone of the argument for the attribute of life is that it is a condition of the other attributes from which they cannot be separated. If the other attributes are from eternity and everlasting, then life also must be from eternity and everlasting.

(N. 27) After showing that life and the preceding attributes are from eternity and everlasting, says W [f. 41b], this is the place to show in general that all God's attributes, those we know and those we do not know, likewise are from eternity and everlasting, so that it is impossible for God's essence to be qualified with anything which comes into existence. Towards this conclusion there are three demonstrations [Nos. 27, 28 and 29 respectively]:

Regarding the first demonstration, to suppose that anything possesses an attribute requires that it have a capability for it. But if something has a capability for an attribute, it is legitimate for it to be qualified with the attribute as long as it exists (muibatan li-wujdi-hi), since its capability for the attribute is essential (nafs, dht) and does not come upon the subject after the subject's existence. For God to have the capability for an attribute demands that he have the attribute, but this is not true of creatures, because in them an attribute is admissible, not necessary, and therefore not always existent.

(N. 28) The second demonstration is clear enough in the Creed.

(N. 29) Regarding the third demonstration, W [F. 43a] notes that whether the supposed attribute is a perfection or an imperfection in itself, it is an imperfection and an impossibility for God by the fact of its having come into being.

(N. 30) This number is an objection to the third demonstration, and is clear in the Creed.

(N. 31) In the argument for the unity (wada) of each attribute, says W [f. 43b], the impossibility of the conjunction of two like things applies to attributes not related to objects. The impossibility of achieving what has been achieved is a special argument for the unity of the attributes related to the objects.

Attributes differ only according to a difference in subjects, or objects to which they are related, or times. Otherwise they must be one. For example, knowledge is related to an infinite number of things knowable, but knowledge can only be one, since an infinite number of knowledges is a superfluous multiplication of what is alike, whereas a finite number of knowledges is incommensurate with the infinite number of objects.

K [pp. 289-300] discusses the same question and gives similar explanations and arguments. The objection is considered [p. 296] that speech has only a generic unity, containing the seven species of commanding, forbidding, announcing, requesting information, promising, threatening and appealing. This is said to be the opinion of `Al b. Sa`d b. Kullb, but another opinion of his is that these seven are acts of the one attribute of speech, which alone is from eternity. The latter opinion was criticized because there cannot be speech from eternity without one of the seven; also requesting information, promising and threatening are reducible to announcing. Others defend this opinion, saying that speech is called a commanding or a forbidding only when something commanded or forbidden exists, not that speech has these for an object only when they exist.

Al-Isfar'in reduced all seven kinds of speech to forms of announcement of reward or punishment. This is in opposition to al-Bqilln who insisted that there is no necessary connection between commanding or forbidding and rewarding or punishing.


F. Oneness (wadniyya)

a. Procedure and meaning

(N. 32) Explaining the procedure, W [f. 44b] says: "The treatment of God's oneness has been put in this last place because its proof depends upon much of what has preceded. Thus the formula of unity (kalimat at-tawd) 'There is no deity but God' (l ilha ill llh) is composed of a denial and an affirmation; what is denied of everything other than God and affirmed exclusively of him is divinity and its properties (al-ilhiyya wa-khaw⪪u-h), so that the formula 'There is no deity but God' includes the meaning that there is nothing from eternity in its essence and attributes but God, and there is nothing whose essence and attributes are necessarily everlasting but God, and there is nothing other from all things that come into being but God-that is, he is not a body nor inhering in a body, nor in a direction or having directions within himself, nor modified (wa-l yukayyaf) or imaginable (wa-l yatawahham)-and there is nothing self-subsistent-that is, in no need of a subject or a particularizing agent-but God, and there is nothing possessing power over everything possible with a power from eternity but God, and there is nothing knowing an infinite number of things knowable with a single knowledge which is from eternity but God. The same applies to everything which necessarily belongs to God. (67)

"Therefore the best order to follow (al-l'iq/ al-alyaq/ f t-tartb) is to explain first how the existence of the Deity of the world is known, then what he is fittingly qualified with, and afterwards that he who is known necessarily to possess these qualifications can only be one. Therefore we placed first the affirmation of its characteristics (khawi-h). Then, in this chapter, we began to explain God's uniqueness (infird) in that." (68)

W parenthetically defines divinity (ulhiyya) as an expression of God's existence as necessary and in no need of an agent, while everything else is in need of him. Or, if you like, divinity is God's freedom from need of anything else, while everything else is in need of him (istighn' mawl-n `an ghayri-hi wa-tiyj kull m siw-hu ilay-hi). (69)

K [pp. 321-331] asks whether God's oneness can be proved from authority as well as from intelligibility. Imm-al-aramayn and ar-Rz said it could, but Ibn-at-Tilimsn, commenting on ar-Rz's Ma`mil, said that it couldn't, since if God's unity is not known it is not certain that a miracle proving a prophet's truthfulness comes from God or from elsewhere.

A contemporary (= Ibn-Zakr), in his commentary on the `Aqda of Ibn-al-jib, objected to Ibn-at-Tilimsn on the grounds that 1) a miracle is an essential proof of truthfulness inseparable from what it proves, and 2) even granted that a miracle's proving the truthfulness of a prophet depends upon knowing God's unity, the miracle can prove them both at once.

The first reason is based on the opinion of al-Isfar'in and is weak, as even ar-Rz pointed out in his Ma`lim, because one of the bases of a miracle's being a proof is knowledge of God's unity, as is also explained by al-Muqtara in his commentary on the Irshd.

The second reason is wrong on four counts: 1) A miracle does not prove the unity of God directly, but only after reasoning that there could be no effect in the world if there were more than one deity. 2) This argument depends purely upon intelligibility and not on authority as he wishes to show. 3) A miracle obviously does not prove the oneness of God and the truthfulness of a prophet from the same aspect; but if it proves them from two different aspects the one depends upon the other in a circle. 4) The latter circle comes back to the circle of authority and intelligibility which was supposed to be avoided.

For a definition of unity (wada), K [p. 300] rejects al-Bayw's definition "the state of a thing so as not to be divisible into things with the same essence as the other" (kawn ash-shay' bi-ayth l yanqasim il umr mutashrika f l-mhiyya), since it is too wide, and accepts the definition of Imm-al-aramayn in his Irshd: "a thing which is indivisible" (ash-sahy' alldh l yanqasim), that is, at all. This is a theological definition as opposed to that of the Philosophers. "Thing" is distinguished from non-being. "Indivisible" merely explains the meaning of "thing", since something divisible, according to Sunnites, is two things, not one. Al-Bqilln and Imm-al-aramayn are to have said that unity is an attribute of essential-property (nafsiyya), but the opinion that it is a negative one is correct.

As for the kinds of unity [K, pp. 302-304], something one is:

b. Oneness in essence and attributes

(N. 33) Oneness in essence (wadniyyat adh-dht), says W [f. 46a], means the denial of multiplicity whether continuous or discrete (nafy at-ta`addud muttailan kn aw munfailan), that is, his essence is not composed in itself nor can there exist another separate essence which is its like. In this number of the Creed only the negation of continuous multiplicity was mentioned.

Oneness in attributes means that God alone possesses them, while it is impossible for any other essence to be qualified with attributes like them.

Oneness in acts means that God alone causes the existence of all things that are, without any intermediacy, while nothing else has any effect whatsoever.

[pp. 90-92] has a clearer distinction of the points involved, combining oneness in attributes with the negation of discrete quantity: The first point is the denial of multiplicity within God's essence, and concerns continuous quantity (al-kam al-muttail). (70) The second is the denial of any peer (nar) to God in his essence or attributes, and concerns discrete quantity (al-kam al-munfail). (71) The third is God's uniqueness (infird) in acting, that is, he alone causes existence and produces all effects without any intermediacy. (72)

(N. 34) This section of the Creed gives two reasons to show that there exists no one like God. According to the first demonstration, says W [f. 47a], two things cannot be separate unless they have something to differentiate them. If the difference is necessary, the two are not essentially alike; if the difference is admissible, it has come into being, and then they both are in need of a particularizing agent and cannot be divine.

An objection to the second demonstration is to suppose a third possibility: that the collectivity (majm`) of the two deities acts, and not each separately-which would be repeating what has been achieved (tal al-il)-nor only one of the two-which would require one of the two equals to be stronger than the other.

The answer to this objection is that each of the two in the collectivity must have a certain effect. If the effect of each is the same, we once again have a repetition of what has been achieved; if it is different, we have a distinction of activity, which is impossible. Or if we suppose that neither member of the collectivity has any effect, then the collectivity itself cannot have any effect.

Besides, such a collectivity would have to be composed of two numerically distinct essences; but even a composition of two conjoined essences is impossible in God.

Besides, the collectivity would have to possess several partial powers and wills; but that is splitting a substantive attribute, which is obviously impossible.

The example of several people putting their energy together to lift something heavy proves nothing, because their power has no effect; only God works, and according to the circumstances he chooses.

A second objection is that the two deities could each have their separate worlds in which both agree not to interfere with each other. The answer is that the supposition that God can voluntarily limit his power is impossible, because divine power necessarily extends to all things.

K [pp. 331-333] gives another demonstration for there being one God: It has been proven that each of God's attributes is one. But if there were several deities the attributes would consequently be infinite, according to the number of possible things-and this is impossible-or finite-and would then need an agent to determine their number.

An objection is that existing things are in fact finite; therefore an infinite number of deities does not follow. The answer is that this makes non-existent possibilities impossible by making the corresponding extension of the number of divine makers impossible. The infinite number of possibilities in question is not the never ending future (bi-asab `adam al-inqi`), such as the joys of heaven, but an actual infinite (bi-asab al-ijtim`), because the deity is from eternity.

K [pp. 308-317] gives other arguments similar to those in W, and by way of corollary quotes Ibn-at-Tilimsn in rejecting the position of the dualists (ath-thanawiyya), who maintained a principle of good and a principle of evil, a position also common to the Mu`tazilites, who limited God to doing good.

c. Oneness in acting:

(N. 35) This section, says W [f36. 48b], shows the oneness of God in his acts, using the same reason for the oneness of his essence an attributes. Since one effect cannot come from two agents (il-stila wuq` athar wid bi-mu'aththirayn), for a creature to produce an effect its power would have to be stronger (murajji) than the power of God with regard to that effect, which is impossible.

As-Sans then expatiates on the conclusion that no creature produces any effect, repeating basically what was said in the Creed and elsewhere.

Induction (tawallud) is an act which exists outside the subject of voluntary motion, for instance the motion of a key or a sword upon the motion of the hand. According to the Qadarites and induced act is produced indirectly, by the mediacy (bi-wsia) of voluntary motion which is produced directly in the hand by the created power of the person. According to them the reality of induction is the existence of something which comes into being from something subject to a power which has begun to exist (wujd dith `an maqdr bi-l-qudra al-ditha). The thing subject (maqdr) to the power which has come into being is, in this case, the hand.

The answer to the hypothesis of induction is, briefly, that if a created power has no effect whatsoever on the acts of its own subject, by much greater reason it has no effect on motion which occurs outside its subject, such as in a sword. As-Sans refers the reader to K for more on the subject.

Speaking of induction, K [pp. 361-373] specifies the Qadarites as the Mu`tazilites. They said that the act created (mukhtara`) by man in himself is the activating-ling (sabab) of acts outside himself. The only case of an act induced within himself is knowledge, which is induced via reasoning. As-Sans blames them for taking the idea of induction from the Philosophers, and merely to have given it a new name.

Imm-al-aramayn, in his Shmil, said that the Mu`tazilites were in agreement that an induced act is the act of the agent of the activating-link (al-mutawallad fi`l f`il as sabab), but al-Muqtara gives examples of exceptions, such as an-Nam, who said these acts are predicable (muf) of God, although without being his. Another exception is af al-Fard, who said that non-intended results were not the act of the agent of the activating-link.

A related problem K [pp. 364-365] discusses is the time in which a power is related to an induced act. Some say that the person has control over it only until the activating-link is produced, but when this is produced the induced act becomes necessary and is out of the person's control. Others say that the person has control beyond the production of the activating-link until the induced act takes place.

Another problem was whether colors and tastes could be induced. Thumma b. Ashrash said these had no agent. Mu`ammar said that all accidentals arise from the nature of bodies except the will; his position was that there are four ways of induction: 1) pressure (i`timd), 2) proximity, under certain conditions, 3) reasoning, with regard to knowledge, and 4) weakness, resulting in pain. Al-Jubb` gave motion as an inducing principle (muwallid), while Ab-Hshib gave pressure.

The Mu`tazilites also differed as to whether there could be induction in the acts of God. Some said this was impossible, since God's powerfulness (qdiriyya) extends to everything outside himself by one relationship. Others, more in accord with the Mu`tazilite position, allowed it on the grounds that there was no obstacle to it.

In refuting these positions, K [pp. 366-368] refers to the previously established principle that every effect comes immediately from God, and then shows some consequences of the Mu`tazilite position, such as having one effect come from two agents, and attributing an effect to an agent who may not know or will the effect, and may even have died before the effect takes place; also they attribute power to effect life or death to a creature instead of to God.

There follows [K, pp. 368-370] the refutation of special objections, such as the appearance of induced motion in nature. This is merely God's customary way of acting, while some of the examples given, such as striking fire by flint, are not attributable to man's power at all.

The Mu`tazilites differed as to how much pressure (i.e. force) is required to move something. The older Mu`tazilites said an equal pressure is required to push something right or left as to lift it. Ab-Hshim rightly rejected this, but the basic assumption of both positions is wrong in that a body can be at rest while it receives some partial movement (araka - equated with force), even though inadequate according to them.

Regarding several people lifting something, al-Ka`b and `Abbd a-aymar said that each person carries a part which the others do not, but most Mu`tazilites said that all share in carrying the same weight. The former are wrong because it is impossible to determine which part would be carried by each single person; the latter are wrong because they suppose one effect coming from two agents.

(N. 36) This section [W, f. 49b] is a particular application of the preceding, and shows that God has no associate (l shark) in his acts of rewarding and punishing. Not only do men have no effect in producing their acts of obedience or disobedience, but also there is no connection of intelligibility between these acts of God's rewarding or punishing. The relation between them comes simply from revealed-law and God's choice, while his determination to reward or punish someone precedes the existence of the person and the existence of the sign (amra). There is no defect in God's will or power because he punishes someone. As-Sans ends this section with a description of hell and a prayer.

K [pp. 354-360] takes up the objection of the Qadarites and Mu`tazilites that people are rewarded or punished for acts they have no control over. After an answer similar to what is said in this section of W, the prayer of one condemned and complaining that he had no control over his acts [p. 357] is countered by the prayer of one condemned and complaining that God had done wrong to give him the power to disobey [p. 358]. The compulsion the Mu`tazilites sought to avoid traps them again when they leave the determination of choice to activating-links such as cupidity (shahwa) or firm resolution (tamm al-`azm), which are all created by God. God's driving (imdd) of a person in accord with the person's will and the appearance of liberty is called destining-to-happiness (tawfq) or abandonment (khidhln).

(N. 37) The tenet that God alone produces all acts applies also to acquisition (kasb), where revealed-law states that a person gains title to (yaktasib li-) his good and bad acts. Moreover revealed-law encharges him and rewards or punishes him only for what he has control over (bi-ma yaqdir `alay-hi), and does not impute to him the acts which he does not will or has no control over.

Acquisition is limited by the scope or object of a person's power (maqdr), even though this power is without effect, and is the subject (maall) of the five categories of enchargement, namely, obligatory, forbidden, disapproved, recommended, and permitted acts. What falls outside these categories, such as the color of one's skin, is not something one can gain a title to.

An objection is that revealed-law commands some things, such as striking non-believers, where the blow occurs in the non-believer, outside the subject of the person's power. The answer is that the blow happens because of what a person has acquired (huwa wqi` bi-l-muktasab li-l-`abd), such as his movements, on the occasion of which God creates the effect.

K [pp. 342-344] quotes al-Muqtara to explain that a person's power, like all accidentals, has no permanence in time, but each moment is succeeded by its like. The difficulty of an act being related to a power which ceased to exist is resolved by its being related directly to the power which exists simultaneously with it, and by extension to the likes of this power which preceded it.

There are two proofs for the existence of a power concomitant to a person's voluntary action. The first, as has been indicated, is from revealed-law, which encharges a person only with acquirable acts (innam kallaf bi-l-muktasab min al-af`l).

The second proof is from intelligibility, which is our perception of the self-evident difference between compulsory and voluntary motion (bayn arakat al-iirr... wa bayn arakat al-ikhtiyr). K [p. 347] attributes these two terms to the Irshd of Imm-al-aramayn, which was followed by al-Muqtara. But as-Sans says that the expression "motion to which one gains title" (arakat al-iktisb) would be better than "voluntary motion".

The "complete examination", continues W, to account for the difference between the two kinds of motion rules out first of all the reality of motion itself, which in the two cases is the same (li-far tamthuli-h). Secondly, the difference cannot be the very essence of the one who is in motion (nafs dht al-mutaarrik), since this remains the same in the case of either kind of motion. Therefore the difference must be an additional attribute (ifa z'ida).

Among attributes we must rule out a disposition (l), since a disposition does not come upon a substance by itself along (l tara' bi-mujarradi-h `al l-jawhar). If the difference is therefore an accidental (`ara), it must have life as its condition, since only something living can have voluntary motion. But it cannot be knowledge or life or speech, since these exist even in the event of compulsory motion or in the absence of motion altogether. Nor can it be the will, since voluntary motion is found even where there is no will, as in absent-mindedness (dhuhl) and sleep, which certainly are not compulsory acts, and therefore must be voluntary; besides, in these states a person still has mastery over (yatamakkan min) doing or omitting an act. Also the difference cannot be the bodily health of the one in motion (ia bunyat al-mutaarrik), since this is not lost in the case of compulsory motion, as when someone else moves your hand.

Therefore there must be another attribute (ma`n) from the preceding attributes which is technically called power (qudra). This attribute is absent in compulsory acts.

(N. 38) The Jabarites [W, f. 51b] are wrong not only in denying the distinction between voluntary and compulsory acts, but also, by this fact, in denying any subject of enchargement, which is a created power, as the Qur'n verse says: "God encharges a soul only with what it is capable of" (2:286).

The Qadarites likewise go against intelligibility and authority in denying the exclusiveness of God's power. K [p. 352] argues against them saying that to make an act result from the power of man changes this act from something possible to God to something impossible to him. Also what is weaker, the power of man would prevail over God, who is stronger (tarj al-marj).

The Sunnite position [W continues] steers a middle course in saying that a man with power is someone forced but is in the mould of one who chooses (al-`abd al-qdir... majbr f qlib mukhtr). Choice is especially noticeable in the case of revulsion (karhiyya) from an act, or strong resolution (`azm wa-tamm) for an act.

Because [W, f. 52a] the Sunnites hold that in appearance (bi-asab a-hir) man has choice, but inwardly and according to intelligible reality (f l-ma`n wa-l-aqqa al-`aqliyya) he is forced, the Mu`tazilites called the Sunnites too Jabarites. But whereas the Sunnites say that the intellect alone can perceive that man is actually forced in his apparent choice, the true Qadarites say that both feeling (ass) and the intellect know this. Yet, say the Sunnites, because God creates the principles of acting (mabdi' li-l-fi`l), that is, a power which is related to acts without effect on them, it is legitimate to demand or forbid acts, as is clear from Qur'n verses such as 3:70-71, 2:28, 10:34 etc. (fa-ann tu'fakn), and 10:32 etc. (fa-ann turafn).

The term "Magi of this people" (majs hdhihi l-umma) [W, f. 53a] is from the adth reported by `Al. b. `Umar. The Magi asserted an agent of good and another agent of evil; likewise the Qadarites denied that evil comes from God (mana` nisbat ash-sharr il llh), and said that it comes from the devil by motivation and instigation (tasabbuban wa-sa`yan), but from men directly and in fact (mubsharatan wa-fi`lan). Thus the meaning of Qadarites in the adth applies to the Mu`tazilites as well as those ordinarily called Qadarites.

In a remark (tanbh) W adds that some authorities are quoted for maintaining a position contrary to what has been established above. Al-Bqilln is to have said that a power which has come into being produces the most particular characteristic of an act (tu'aththir f akha waf al-fi`l), such as its being prayer (alt) or robbery (ghab) or adultery (zin), but not the existence of the act basically (L f wujd al al-fi`l). K [pp. 337-339] lists ash-Shahrastn as accepting this opinion because it avoids the difficulty of the Mu`tazilite position which had man create the existence of an act, which is undifferentiated and has nothing to do with gaining title to the act, whereas al-Bqilln's position allows man to effect the moral specification of an act.

At-Taftzn [W continues], in his Shar al-Maqid ad-dniyya, relates the same position from al-Isfar'in, except that in denying dispositions (awl), al-Isfar'in refers to the most particular characteristic of an act as its face and expression (al-wajh wa-l-i`tibr), and said that this is effected by a power which comes into being.

Imm-al-aramayn, moreover, is to have said at the end of his life that a power which has come into being produces the existence of an act according to the will of God (`al mash'at Allh).

What is wrong with these opinions is that they are all varieties of (mutasha``iba `an) the Qadarite position. Ibn-at-Tilimsn (73) refuted what was attributed to al-Bqilln and al-Isfar'in by saying that whatever is attributed to man's effectivity must either be possible - and as such must be referred to God's power like everything else possible - or not possible - and as such is outside the reach of any power. Besides, their theory that the most particular disposition of an act is effected by man does not save them from the fact that the act is forced, since if God does not create the essence (dht) of the act, nothing can come from man; but if he does create the essence of the act, man cannot omit the act.

Al-Isfar'in is to have defended his theory by saying that the face and expression of an act are in the intellect (yakn f l-`aql). But how can something be intended which has no external existence?

As for the alleged opinion of Imm-al-aramayn [W, f. 53b], the power which came into being either produces the act by itself - in which case it would have to overcome the power of God - or its produces it by reason of an inhering attribute (ma`n yaqm bi-h) - in which case the same question must be asked, or the effect is referred to another quality in a continuous regress. Nor is it possible for a creature's producing an effect to be in accord with the will of God, because to will something means to intend something particularly (fa-l-irda takh..., al-qad alldh huwa ma`n l-irda...). But if the ultimate particularization of an act comes from man, as was maintained, the willing of a thing belongs to man, and not to God.

The opinions [W, f. 54a] which have been attributed to the above mentioned imms are not authentically theirs. If they spoke of such theories it was only in disputation and research, not to affirm them, as a. Yy. ash-Sharf at-Tilimsn observed in his Shar al-Asrr al-`aqliyya. At-Taftzn also, in his Shar al-Maqid ad-dniyya, denies that Imm al-aramayn ever held the opinion attributed to him; this is also clear from what Imm-al-aramayn teaches in his Irshd.

Another reason for the defence of al-Bqilln and al-Isfar'in is that in refuting the Jabarites they used metaphor and exaggeration (majz wa-mublagha) to affirm the existence of a created power in man. They said that if this power has no effectivity in making the act exist, nevertheless it has an important legal value in determining voluntary acts to which a person gains title. In legal science, talk of causes or grounds (`ilal) of laws in the chapter of analogy has been the occasion of similar misconceptions.

Satan [W, f. 54b] slipped erroneous opinions (aqwl fsida) into the books of some learned imms, such as the Iy' of al-Ghazl, seeking scandal or envious to draw men to their imitation (li-qad al-fitna aw asadan li-tazhd li-n-ns f l-iqtid` bi-him) and to devotion to the precious jewels (al-jawhir an-nafsa) contained in their writings, the sighting (tasdd) of which is considered a wonder (karma). Such writers also distorted the adths. Rather than seeking fancy theories, men should be content with the received doctrine.

(N. 39) This section [W, f. 55a] contains details in which the Philosophers and natural scientists erred. Many people followed them who were ignorant of this science [kalm], but claimed to know other sciences which made them superior to the common mass of Muslims. The text is clear and needs no commentary. The demonstration for all of it is the same as the demonstration for God's being alone in producing any effect. K [pp. 179-180], nevertheless, quotes detailed arguments from Ibn-at-Tilimsn's Shar al-Ma`mil in refutation of Ibn-Sn's ar-Risla a-ibbiyya on some of the examples mentioned in this section of the Creed. W then says that the last point, on whether error in this question makes one an unbeliever, is well known and documented (man) in the books of the learned.

W then quotes, as did K [pp. 183-185], a passage from Ibn-Dahhq's commentary on the Irshd which sums up the teaching thus far established by listing and refuting three ways in which people err concerning God. These are:

In J [3d, f. 112b] and M [f. 202a] as-Sans gives a different list of six kinds of association (shirk), and the moral determination of each:

  1. independence (istiqll), which is the affirmation of two independent deities, as the association of the Magi - unbelief

  2. partition (tab`), which is saying that the Deity is composed of deities, as the association of the Christians - unbelief

  3. approximation (taqrb), which is worshiping something other than God in order to come close to him, (74) as the association of the earlier representatives of the Jhiliyya - unbelief

  4. blind-acceptance (taqld), which is worshiping something other than God by following another, as the association of the later representatives of the Jhiliyya - unbelief

  5. activating-links (asbb), which is attributing effectivity to customary activating-links, as the association of the Philosophers and natural scientists and their followers - the moral determination is distinguished, as in the Creed

  6. objectives (aghr), which is doing something for someone other than God - disobedience only.

J [33b, ff. 347b-350b] has a still more detailed discussion of various errors and differing opinions on their moral determinations, based on al-mid, Ibn-`Arafa and al-Qarf's Qaw'id. As-Sans's own remark (qultu) is that the differences of opinion arise from a person's maintaining an opinion which he believes to be flawless (ql qawlan ya`taqid f-hi bi-za`mi-hi anna-hu kaml), but in fact has a logical conclusion (lzim) which is unbelief. Should the person be regarded as maintaining the conclusion or not? Or should one distinguish between an obvious and an hidden conclusion (bayn al-lzim al-jal wa-l-khaf). The more probable opinion (al-ahar) is to refrain from judgement, since that is safer - unless there is a decisive text or a consensus concerning a case of unbelief.

The question of God's provision (rizq) and the term (ajal) of living things, which is related to God's oneness in acting, is discussed in J [18, ff. 225b-228a].

Provision (rizq) [J, 18a, ff. 2255b-226a] is defined in the Irshd of Imm-al-aramayn as "anything from which someone derives benefit, even if he does so by transgression" (kull m ntafa` bi-hi untafi` wa-law kn bi-ta`add). This definition is basically against the Mu`tazilites, who said that there is no provision for animals, since they do not possess anything. But this is clearly against the Qur'n verse "There is no animal on earth but that God provides for it" (11:6).

The Mu`tazilites also insisted that provision be of what is licit (all). At-Taftzn's Shar `Aqdat an-Nasaf is quoted against this and its being based on the false principle that God must choose what is good.

The term ajal [J, 18b, ff. 226b-228a], in ordinary usage (`urfan), is the end of the time of life (muntah zaman al-ayt). The main point is that the term of one's life is decreed (muqaddar) and known by God and cannot be changed. This is, says at-Taftzn, in opposition to Mu`tazilites as al-Ka`b, who said that man has two terms, death and being killed; likewise the Philosophers said that animals have a natural term (ab`iyyan) and a term when they are the object of prey (iftirsiyyan). The Irshd of Imm-al-aramayn says that according to many Mu`tazilites one's term is cut short by a killer; others say that if the person were not killed he would have died then anyway.

The Mu`tazilites posed several objections:

  1. There is a adth which promises a longer life because of certain acts of obedience. The answer is that God knew a person's acts of obedience in decreeing his term; these acts are signs (amrt) of God's decree.
  2. If a person's term is decreed, then a killer is doing God's will, and should not be punished. The answer is that the killer's act is not a cause of God's punishing.
  3. There is the Qur'n verse that after God created man "then he decreed a term, and there is a designated term with him" (6:2). The answer is that there are not two terms for one person, but the first term is that of the individual, and the second is that of the world.
  4. There is also the Qur'n verse "No one's life is lengthened or shortened but that it is in a book". The answer is that lengthening and shortening refer to what is customarily long or short, not that there is any change in God's decree. Or lengthening and shortening concern the written sheets (uuf) held by the angels.

G. What is admissible concerning God: providing what is good, being seen:

a. Principles

(N. 40) W [f. 56b] claims that its rendering (tarjama) "what is admissible concerning God" (m yajz f aqqi-hi ta`l) is better than that of Imm-al-aramayn in the Irshd, where he has the hcapter "what is admissible of God" (al-qawl f-m yajz `al llh), because the latter causes one to imagine (hm) that God is qualified with an admissible attribute. But admissibility touches God's acts only in so far as they have a relation to some of his attribues (wa-ljaws innam yataarraq il af`li-hi min ayth inna-h muta`alliqa li-ba` ifti-hi), but does not touch his essence or even an attribute inhering in it in any wya whatsoever. [p. 24] explains that admissibility touches only the implementive relationship (at-ta`alluq at-tanjz) of God's power and will; this relationship is not from eternity, and refers (wa-marji`u-hu) only to the emanation (udr) of beings from his pwoer and will.

b. The good and the best (a-al wa-l-ala)

(N. 41) The good (al), says W [f. 57a], is the opposite of the bad (fasd), while the best (ala) is the opposite of the good the way what is particular is opposed to what is general. The reason for considering this question separately is to answer the Mu`tazilites; the Bahgdadians among them said that God necessarily provides what is best for men both in the next world (dn) and this (duny), while those from Bara said he necessarily provides what is best only for the next world. K [pp. 417-418] explains this postion as obliging God to kindness (luf), that is, to create for an encharged person what will make the side of obedience preponderate, yet not to the point of coercing him.

Their remote principle (al-`umda al-quw), continues W, is to judge what is absent by what is present (qiys al-gh'ib `al sh-shhid) without a basis of comparison (bi-ghayr jmi`). Thus they maintain that if a wise man (akm) wants obedience and decides to give him the means to obey, then doesn't do so, he will be condemned as stupid; likewise if an enemy wishes to return to obedience, one must treat him with neither harshness (ghil) nor softness (ln) but in a way to win him. Or if a man invites someone to dinner and knows that if he meets him cheerfully and with a smile he will accept, it is necessary for him to do this and not the opposite.

In answer we say that their position rests on the false principle that to command something entails willing what is commanded; but that is false, since God commands unbelievers to believe, bu he does not will that they should believe. Even if we grant that God wills everythging that he commands, it is not necessary for God to do always what is best for men, since he is in no need of friends or enemies and gains nothing from the perfection of creation.

A stronger indication of the fact that God does not necessarily do what is best for men is the fact of evil in this world and the next. If the Mu`tazilites object that enchargement, difficult trials and scandals (at-taklf aw al-ibtil' bi-sh-shad'id wa-l-mian) are the best for men since by them they gain a higher rank and place in the next world, we answer that God could give them all this without any trials, cand could create them in heaven from the start.

Besides, it would be better for someone never to receive enchargement than to receive it and be left to comit crimes and then spend eternity in hell only because he is a weak man overcome by desires and appeals which he cannot resist.

Besides, if they say that enchargement is best for men, then why does God let children die and never reach the age of enchargement? If they answer that he lets them die because he knows that they will be unbelievers if they grow up, we say in return, whay does God let other children reach the age of enchargement and in fact become unbelievers? K [pp. 429-420] gives this argument in full, which is none other than the famous dialogue between al-Ash`ar and al-Jubb`.

Besides, continues W, according to the Mu`tazilite position God's causing holy men and prophets to die, and Satan's tempting (tabhiya) of the erring until the day of the resurrection would have to be the best for men.

Thus it is clear that God's determination cannot be measured by the standard (mzn) of the Mu`tazilites.

c. Seeing God

(N. 42) Qur'n verses affirming the vision (ru'ya) of God, says W [f. 58a-b], are:

"On that day their faces shall be bright, looking to the Lord" (75:23); on this verse, K [p. 374] rejects al-Jubb`'s interpretation of il as the singular of l'.

Moses said "Lord show me, and I will look at you" (7:143), which supposes that the vision of God is possible, since it is forbidden to ask for what is impossible, and the saints are infallible.

"Those who do good shall have what is good and more" (10:26), where "what is good" is interpreted as heaven (janna), and "more" is interpreted as vision of God.

"You will recognize in their faces the brightness of bliss" (83:24), where "brightness" is interpreted as vision.

"Certainly not! On that day they will be screened from their Lord" (83:15), which implies that the others, the believers will see God.

W also quotes several adths with the same purport. K [pp. 376-388] quotes from Ibn-at-Tilimsn on the meaning of the Qur'n verse "Eyes do not perceive him" (6:103). The Mu`tazilites used this verse to deny the fact and the possibility of seeing God. Ar-Rz gave two answers: 1) that the word "perceive" here means comprehensive knowledge (ia), which is impossible; 2) that the negative is a negation of generality (salb al-`umm min bb al-kull), not a general negation (`umm as-salb min bb al-kulliyya); thus it denies that God is seen in this world or that unbelievers will see him, but does not deny that believers will see him in the next world.

Ibn-at-Tilimsn says that the second answer is very weak, and argues against it from a logical and grammatical basis [p. 381]. As-Sans's contemporary in Tilimsn (= Ibn-Zakr), in his commentary on the `Aqda of Ibn-al-jib, argued against Ibn-at-Tilimsn. As-Sans replies to Ibn-Zakr [pp. 383-388], attacking his reasoning and referring to the grammatical authorities al-Qazwn, following as-Sakkk, and at-Taftzn's long commentary on the Talkh of al-Qazwn.

W [ff. 58b-59a] gives a well known (mashhr) proof from intelligibility for the admissibility of seeing God; K [p. 388] attributes it to Ibn-at-Tilimsn. Since vision has for its object both substances and accidentals, and its object must be existent, there must be a cause (`illa) for vision being related to both substances and accidentals, since there cannot be two reasons for one thing. The unity of vision cannot be sought in the fact that the object has come into being (al-udth), since this presupposes non-existence, which is outside the scope of vision. Therefore the cause for the possibility (ia) of vision being related to these diverse objects is their existence. But God exists. Therefore he is visible.

Many late theologians, such as ar-Rz, dismiss this reasoning as weak. He offered many arguments against it, most of which at-Taftzn rejects (yandafi` akthara-h) with Imm-al-aramayn's observation that the meaning of cause (`illa) here is only what permits (yuli) vision to be related to its objects, not that it produces any effect, as most others understood.

K [p. 390], quoting Ibn-at-Tilimsn, sates two objections from ar-Rz`s Ma'lim: 1) that substances and accidentals have in common their having been created; but God does not share in this. 2) By touch we can perceive dimensions and temperatures; but by the logic of the above proof we should extend palpability to include God.

The answer of al-Isfar'in to the second objection, that touch entails being affected by contact but sight does not, is dismissed because this is only a customary, not an essential difference. Imm-al-aramayn accepts the conclusion that all five senses can attain God, and claimed the authority of al-Ash`ar for his position. `Al. b. Sa`d al-Kullb and l-Qalnas, however, admitted only vision of God.

Ibn-at-Tilimsn [pp. 396-403] summarizes twelve other objections of ar-Rz from his Arba`n and elsewhere, remarking that his answers to them are provisional, and that his master al-Muqtara said that it is not possible to give a satisfactory answer to all of them.

(N. 43) The Mu`tazilite position, says W [f. 59a], was that the eye sends out rays (ashi``a), or luminous bodies (ajsm mu'a) which contact the object and cause it to be seen. Distance and screening limit the effectiveness of these rays, and thereby limit vision. Since God is not a body, these rays cannot reach him, and he therefore cannot be seen. Likewise these rays must be sent out in a certain direction; but God is not in a direction, and therefore cannot be seen.

But for Sunnites vision is not the emission of rays but a perception (idrk) created by God in the one who perceives. There are various sorts of perception according to the various sense organs, while the perception called knowledge is in the heart. But the paricularization (ikhti) of each of these perceptions in a determined subject (maall) is by God's pure choice. Also the need for contact (mumssa wa-ltiq) and being in a certain direction without an obstacle is merely customary (`d) and not from intelligibility (`aql); God creates perceptions directly, and can dispense with these ordinary concomitants, just as he does in the case of knowledge. Seeing God occurs in the present world (f sh-shhid) in the case of prophets and saints, and it will occur in the case of all the believers in our final home (f d-dr al-khira).

W [f. 59b] refers to K [pp. 404-414] for a longer refutation of the Mu`tazilite theory of sight by the emission of rays, and merely recalls two false consequences of their theory: One is that man's scope of vision should only be as wide as his eye, since the rays are only that wide. The second is that when he opens his eyes he should see distant things after he sees nearer things, which isn't the case.

The meaning of "it doesn't require a determined structure (bunya)" refers to the pupil (adaqa) and its seven layers (abaqt) which are recognized by doctors; neither the existence nor the power of the eye's structure have any effect on vision. Rather, vision is an accidental which requires by intelligibility only a simple substance (jawyhar fard) in which to inhere. All substances and any part of the body are equally capable of being the subject of vision; only God has chosen to create vision by way of custom in the substance of the eye. To be the subject of an attribute (ma`n), a substance does not require as a condition to be surrounded by other substances (iat al-jawhir), since an intelligibility condition (ash-shar al-`aql) must exist in the subject of that for which ti is a condition (f maall al-mashr). But a substance cannot inhere in a substance, nor can the determinations of the attributes of the other substances be made necessary for something they do not inhere in.

As knowing is multiple [W, f. 60a] according to the number of things known, so vision is multiple according to the number of things seen. If the perception of something visible does not inhere in the subject of vision, then its opposite must inhere in it. In the technical language of the Unitarians (f il al-muwaidn) this opposite is called an obstacle (mni`), and is multiple according to the number of visible things not seen. Both vision and its corresponding obstacles are finitely multiple, since the number of actual existing things is finite.

According to K [pp. 414-416], the Mu`tazilites denied that an obstacle to seeing something is the attribute opposite to seeing the thing, and said that it was a fault in the structure of the eye. Ab-Hudhayl al-`Allf is an exception to the Mu`tazilites on this question, although he admitted the possiblity of the subject being devoid of both sight and its opposite obstacle.

K [p. 416] also said that there is uncertainty (taraddud) as to whether there is one embracive obstacle for everything which is not seen, or if there are as many obstacles as things not seen. The former is the opinion of al-Bqilln and al-Isfar'in; the latter is the truth (taqq).

W [f. 60a] has a remark (tanbh) that there is a difference of opinion as to whether the attributes of God can be seen, but the general opinion (fa-ql al-jumhr) is that they can, since they are existent, although there is no reason to say they actually are seen (l dall `al l-wuq`).

The perceptions of the other senses are also related to existence, but there is no question of God's being smellable (mashmm) or tastable (madhq) or palpable (malms), since this is proper to bodies and accidentals. There is an argument (niz`) on whether God can be perceived by smell (shamm), taste (dhawq) and touch (lams) without the contact of the senses (min ghayr ittil bi-l-awss). Yet as these senses do not require perception in order for me legitimately to say "I smelt, tasted and touched the apple-but I did not perceive its smell (r'iata-hu), its taste (a`ma-hu) and its quality (kayfiyyata-hu)," likewise the kinds of perceptions which occur on the occasion of (al-ila `ind) smelling, taste and touch do not require these senses, but can occur without them and be related to what is other than bodies or accidentals. But since there is no indication of the fact of such perceptions, it is preferable to be content with affirming vision, and to refrain from judging whether these perceptions are admissible or actually happen. [p. 24], however, adds without hesitation that hearing God's eternal speech is among admissible things. But since there is no indication of the fact of such perceptions, it is preferable to be content with affirming vision, and to refrain from judging whether these perceptions are admissible or actually happen. [p. 24], however, adds without hesitation that hearing God's eternal speech is among admissible things.


H. Prophecy in general

a. Definition and distinctions

(N. 44) W [f. 60a] refers the reader to the beginning of the book, in the commentary on the opening invocations (f shar al-khuba), for the meaning of prophecy (nab'a) and messengership (risla) and the difference between them.

In that section [f. 7b] al-Q `Iy is quoted for the possible verbal meanings of prophet and messenger. The root of the word prophet is:

A messenger (rasl) means one who is sent (mursal), but the active aspect of repeatedly announcing something by the command of God is more prominent.

K [p. 436] and W [f. 7b] list various opinions as to the difference between a prophet and a messenger. These opinions are:

  1. that they are equivalent (mutatbi`n);
  2. that prophecy and messengership can be combined in man, but there are angels who are messengers and not prophets, and there are men who are prophets and not messengers-an opinion given only by K;
  3. that both share in the two verbal meanings of prophet given above, but a messenger has the added note of giving warning (indhr)-an opinion given only by W;
  4. that messengers are distinguished by books or inaugurating a revealed-law (shar`) while prophets only make use of books or a revealed-law descended upon others, even though they themselves receive revelation (yu ilay-him);
  5. that prophecy is being characterized by hearing revelation from God, whether through the mediacy of an angel or not (ikhti bi-sam` way min Allh bi-wsia malak aw dna-hu), and if there is a command to communicate (tablgh) this there is messengership (risla)-this is the opinion K accepts.

W [ff. 7b-8a] implicitly rejects the last opinion when it rejects al-Qarf's definition of prophecy simply in terms of revelation (bi-mujarrad al-way), since this applies to some who are not prophets, such as Mary, to whom God sent his spirit. (75) Similarly the story told by Muslim that an angel told someone going to visit his brother that God loves him because he loves his brother in God is not an example of prophecy. (76)

Sound theologians say that prophecy is God's bringing into existence in a man an action-directed determination (ukm insh') (77) pertaining to himself (yakhta bi-hi), such as the Qur'n verse "Recite in the name of your Lord" (9:61). This was an enchargement (taklf) pertaining to himself (Muammad) at that time, and was therefore prophecy. But when the verse descended "Rise and warn (andhir) (74:2), there was messengership (risla), since this enchargement is related to others (li-ta`alluq hdh t-takhlf bi-ghayri-hi). Thus a prophet is encharged with what pertains to himself (kullif bi-m yakhuu-hu), whereas a messenger is encharged with that and with communicating to others (bi-tablgh ghayri-hi).

If the latter position resembles the third and fifth opinions given above, this section of W [f. 60a] reports, and apparently adopts, a different position, resembling the fourth opinion: One imm says that prophecy is a man's being sent from the Truth to creatures (kawn al-insn mab`th min al-aqq il l-khalq), and a prophet (nab) is a man sent by God to communicate what God has revealed to him (li-tablgh m iya ilay-hi). A messenger (rasl) is this, and is also characterized by being given a law and a book (shar`a wa-kitb), and is therefore more particular (akha) than a prophet.

To the objection that a adth numbers more messengers than there are revealed books, it can be answered that if that is so (na'idhin) a messenger is one who has a book or an abolition of some determination of a previous law (naskh li-ba` akm ash-shar`a as-sbiqa), while a prophet does not have that, as in the case of Joshua (Ysha`).

does not discuss the question, but [p. 175] adopts the same as the latter position of W: "A prophet is a man whom God has sent to men to communicate to them what was revealed to him; a messenger is, moreover, restricted to one who has a book or a law or an abolition of some determination of a previous law."

J [21a, f. 241a] returns to the first position of W, defining a messenger in terms of a command to communicate (al-amr bi-tablgh), making no mention of a book or a law.

[p. 26], finally, (78) defines a messenger as a man whom God has sent to his servants and handmaids (li-`abdi-hi wa-im'i-hi) (79) to communicate from him to them his encharging and institutive determinations (akma-hu t-taklfiyya wa-l-wa`iyya) and the threats or promises and the like which are consequent upon these determinations. There are various opinions as to whether a condition of a messenger is to have a new law (shar`) or a particular book (kitb makh) or the abolition of a previous law, or whether none of these things are required.

(N. 45) The sending of messengers (ba`th ar-rusul), says W [f. 60b], is admissible, that is, it is not necessary, as the Mu`tazilites maintained according to their principle that God must provide what is best (ala) for men, nor is it impossible, as the Barhima maintained. K [pp. 435-436] adds that it is not an essential attribute (ifa dhtiyya) of the prophet, as the Karrmites said, nor one acquired through purity of soul, as the Philosophers said.

W then explains the phrase of the Creed "to explain what God commands, forbids and permits". This refers to the greatest, noblest and primarily intended advantage of sending messengers, which is to explain God's encharging and institutive determinations. (80) Encharging determinations are the five: obliging, forbidding, disapproving, recommending and permitting. Institutive determinations are determinations that something is an activating-link, condition or obstacle to one of the above determinations, such as the determination that afternoon (zawl) is an activating-link (sabab) of the obligation of the prayer of uhr or that the beginning of Raman is a cause of the obligation of fasting or that causing intoxication (al-iskr) is the activating-link for prohibiting intoxicants (al-muskir) or that the transpiring of a year (murr al-awl) is a condition for giving zakt or that menstruation (ay) is an obstacle to the obligation of alt and to the validity of fasting (iat a-awm).

Related to these determinations are the promises and threats (al-wa`d wa-l-wa`d) which revealed-law attaches to obedience or disobedience. Related too are the conditions of the next life (awl al-khira) and the terrifying conditions of former peoples (m khuwwif bi-hi min awl al-umam al-miya).

K [p. 437] adds another advantage of sending messengers, that they clarify and guide to proofs from intelligibility for tenets which the intellect by itself could come to know only with great difficulty.

b. Proof of truthfulness from miracles

W [f. 60b] explains the phrase of the Creed "what proves their truthfulness in what they communicate" as referring to what is technically called a miracle (mu`jiza). This word comes from `ajz, "inability", which is the opposite of power (qudra). The reality of miraculosity (i`jz) is the affirmation of the inability (ithbt al-`ajz), that is, in the borrowed sense of manifesting it (ustas`r li-ihri-hi); then the word was transferred by metaphorical usage to what is ordinarily an activating-link of inability, and was made a noun.

Imm-al-aramayn observes that there is another use of metaphor (tajawwuz akthar) in the word mu`jiza, and that is the use of `ajz, "inablility", which has a positive meaning contrary to qudra, "power", in place of `adam al-qudra, "privation of power". The inability of a sick person to sit up (`ajz az-zmin `an al-qu`d), for example, is forced (wujid min-hu iirran), and is accompanied by resistance (mu`raa). But in the privation of ability caused by a miracle there is no resistance. K [p. 439] attributes to Imm-al-aramayn another use of metaphor, which is to attribute to the miracle rather than to God the causing of inability.

W [f. 61a], followed by [p. 176], gives a theological definition of a miracle as "something extraordinary, accompanied by a challenge and the lack of resistance" (amr khriq li-l-`da maqrn bi-t-taadd ma`a `adam al-mu`raa).

The word "something" (amr) is used to include both an act and the absence of an act; an example of the latter is fire not burning something. Those who define a miracle as an act (fi`l) interpret the latter example as the fire turning into coolness or safeness (kawn an-nr bardan aw salman) or the body's remaining as it was without being burned.

K [p. 438], in defining a miracle, said it was an act of God. This phrase is to distinguish a miracle from something that is from eternity. According to one opinion, it includes what is within the scope of a created power, such as the Prophet's reciting the Qur'n, and what is beyond it, such as raising the dead. But according to others, all miracles, even reciting (tilwa) the Qur'n by the Prophet-not mere repeating it (ikya) by others-must surpass created power. Of these two opinions mentioned by Ibn-Dahhq in his commentary on the Irshd, the second is better (ahar). Imm-al-aramayn said that a miraculous act, such as walking on water, is related to the power of man and is acquired (muktasab) by him, but the miraculous aspect of it is God's act, and is not acquired by man.

To the difficulty that some miracles are the absence of an act, continues K [pp. 441-443], al-Ash`ar replied that a miracle is an act or what takes the place of an act (fi`l aw m yaqm maqm al-fi`al). Ibn-Dahhq said that the miracle is the announcing (ikhbr) that an act will not take place, but against his position is the fact that a person challenged that an act would not take place, not that he had foreknowledge of its not taking place. Imm-al-aramayn said that the absence of the act is the miracle, but the same objection holds against this position as against Ibn-Dahhq, with the added objection that non-existence is not within the scope of power according to him; neither is the "attributed non-existence" (al-`adam al-if) of al-Bqilln. We must either accept al-Ash`ar's position or modify Ibn-Dahhq's answer and say that the challenge must concern the miracle directly or something related to it, such as knowledge and announcement of it.

The position of W and , as explained above, is that of al-Ash`ar. [p. 26] avoids the word miracle, and merely says that God produces an extraordinary act in answer to the messenger's challenge, thus proving his truthfulness.

The phrase "accompanied by a challenge", W explains, is to distinguish a miracle from the wonders of the saints (karmt al-awliy') and the presages (al-`almt al-irhiyya) which precede the sending of the prophets; it also distinguishes a miracle from a liar's appropriating the miracle of a past prophet as an argument (ujja) for himself. K [pp. 438 and 449] and [p. 26] add the qualification that the challenge must be made before the act happens. K [p. 449] says that it is not a condition of a miracle explicitly to invite opposition, but it suffices to say "This is a sign of my truthfulness". [p. 178] defines this challenge (at-taadd) as "a call for something extraordinary as proof of the claim (to messengership) either by the tongue of circumstance or the tongue of speech" (da`w l-khriq dallan `al d-da`w imm bi-lisn al-l wa-imm bi-lisn al-maql).

The phrase "and the lack of resistance", says W, distinguishes a miracle from magic and trickery (as-sir wa-sh-shu`dah). (81)

The theological definition given above is that of ar-Rz, and has been objected to from many aspects. Three objections are raised and answered by at-Taftzn in his Shar al-Maqid ad-dniyya: (82)

1) Two qualifications should be added:

To this objection at-Taftzn said that the mention of a challenge implies the two qualifications (mush`ir bi-l-qaydayn), since the meaning of the challenge is inviting opposition to what he produced as witness to his claim and disabling anyone from bringing forward something similar to what he displayed (alab al-mu`ria f m ja`ala-hu mushhidan li-da`w-hu wa-ta`jz al-ghayr `an al-ityn bi-mithl m abd-hu). The challenge is the connection (rab) between the claim and the miracle, so that if a person claims to be a messenger, and a wonder (ya) appears from him, but he has made no challenge, this wonder is not a miracle.

K [pp. 463-466] considers the possibility of a miracle giving counter-testimony. If the challenge was to raise someone from the dead, and the person raised said that the claimant is not a prophet, al-Bqilln said that this voids the miraculosity of the event, unless the person dies again right away. Imm-al-aramayn said that it does not void the miraculosity, because the challenge was not that the raised person would verify the man's messengership, but simply that the person would rise; but if the challenge was that minerals would speak, then the speech must verify the claimant's messengership. Among later theologians, however, Ibn-Dahhq, in his commentary on the Irshd, said that even in this case it makes no difference whether the minerals verify or deny the man's messengership, since the challenge was simply that the minerals would speak. Al-Muqtara, on the other hand, said that if the minerals denied the man's messengership the event would not give self-evident knowledge of his messengership, and would be insufficient.

2) The second objection is that people consider miracles things that have no relation to a claim (da`w), such as the appearance of clouds to shade Muammad and his being greeted by the rocks and the soil (ihr al-ghamm wa-taslm al-ajar wa-l-madar). Therefore al-Imm (Imm al-aramayn?) stipulates (shara) that there must be an association (iqtirn) of the miracle with the claim.

At-Taftzn answers that presages (irht) preceding the sending of messengers are miracles only by way of exaggeration (taghlb - sic) and simile (tashbh). Whether such extraordinary events appear from him before he begins his life as a messenger or they appear from another, if they were foretold as an announcement (ikhbr) of the messenger they are a presage (irh), that is, the founding of the basis of his being sent (ta'ss li-q'idat al-ba`tha). If they are not foretold, they are simply a wonder (karma) if prophecy is claimed. But if divinity is claimed, they are a trial (ibtil'), since that is against decisive proofs.

3) The third objection is that a miracle can come well after the challenge (qad tata'akhkhar `an at-taadd), as when a claimant says "My miracle is what will appear from me on a certain day" (mu`jizat- m yahur minn yawm kadh), and it appears. The difficulty is the same as the previous objection, that the miracle may not be related to the claim.

At-Taftzn answers that a miracle coming after a small delay is counted as accompanying (muqrin) the challenge. If the interval is long, then the miracle - for those who stipulate accompaniment-is the accompanying statement, since it is the announcement of what is absent (ikhbr al-ghayb). But knowledge of this statement's miraculosity is delayed (`ilm al-jz yatarkh) until the foretold event happens. But those who make the foretold event the miracle stipulate that it accompany the challenge.

Whether the interval is long or short, after a miracle and the knowledge of it have disappeared it is not legitimate for a prophet to encharge men by enjoining a revealed-law (taklf an-ns bi-ilzm ash-shar`), but simply to explain its determinations and relate their obligation to the happening of that event (law bayyan akma-h wa-`allaq iltizma-h bi-wuq` dhlik al-amr) is legitimate according to Imm-al-aramayn, but not legitimate according to al-Bqilln.

K [pp. 450-453] considers the problem of whether a miracle can be postponed until after the death of the messenger. The Mu`tazilites said that it could not, because in that case God would not be doing what is best for men. The answer to them is that he is not obliged to do what is best for them; also it may be better for them to postpone the miracle.

Al-Bqilln also said that the miracle could not be postponed, but because it is linked to proving a messengership, that is, the pronouncement (khib) of a messenger, which ceases with his death. The answer to him is that as a certain delay is legitimate within his lifetime, so also after his death; the miracle then proves the previous claim. Al-Bqilln may have feared that a postponed miracle might be taken for the wonder of a saint, and doubt would be cast on the truth of a wonder. In answer, the fact is that a wonder is not a decisive proof of sainthood.

Another objection of al-Bqilln is that if the miracle were postponed until after the death of the messenger there would be no reason to remember what he taught. The answer is that his teaching could be written and learned later.

W [f. 61b] remarks that some add another qualification to the definition of a miracle, that it must be in the time of enchargement, since the extraordinary things of the next life are not miracles; also what happens when the conditions for the end of time appear (`ind uhr ishtir as-`a) does not witness to the truthfulness of a claim, since the ordinary course of events no longer holds and patterns change (li-kawni-hi zamn naq al-`dt wa-taghayyru ar-rusm).

The phrase of the Creed "so that it is equivalent to the Most High's saying 'My servant is true in all that the latter communicates from him'" includes (yataamman) all the conditions of a miracle and points to the probative aspect of a miracle (ashr bi-hi il bayn wajh dallat al-mu`jiza), which is illustrated by the parable of the following section.

(N. 46) The parable given in the Creed, says W [f. 63a], is clearer and more understandable for showing the truthfulness of the messengers than a mere mentioning of the conditions of miracle. K [pp. 197, 445-446 and 459-460], [p. 178], J [21b, f. 246a] and [p. 26] give résumés of this parable and K attributes it to Ibn-at-Tilimsn [p. 197] and his teacher al-Muqtara [pp. 459-460].

The probative aspect of a miracle (wajh dallat al-mu`jiza), continues W, is to show the truthfulness of the person on whose part (`al yadi-hi) the extraordinary event occurs. Consequent upon a miracle (`aqbata-h) God creates self-evident knowledge of the truthfulness of the prophet.

An objection to the use of this parable in arguing is that it is pictorial and judges what is absent on the basis of what is present (bi-ann hdh tamthl wa-qiys li-l-gh'ib `al sh-shhid). If there were a common denominator (`al taqdr al-jmi`) such a process would serve opinion (ann), but you have used it without a common denominator to serve certainty (yaqn) in establishing matters of revealed law (shar'i`), while there is nothing in common (qar'in al-awl) between the absent and the present worlds.

The answer is that this parable was not used as an analogy or argumentation (li-l-qiys wa-l-istidll), but only to clarify and make the matter more understandable (li-t-taw wa-t-taqrb). If someone knows the unity of God and what is necessary, impossible and admissible concerning him and understands the bases (arkn) of a miracle and its probative aspect and then sees a miracle or hears widespread tradition of one that happened, he will have self-evident knowledge of the truthfulness of the prophet. Through the parable beginners who are not used to reasoning can understand what a miracle is and recognize one. Thus the knowledge which he attains is not through equating the conditions (bi-`tibr qar'in al-awl) of the absent and the present worlds.

Apostates (mulida) [W, f. 64a] objected in many ways to the probative value of a miracle:

1) The first is that the miracle does not come from God, but from the person who claims messengership, either by a person al quality (kh⪪iyya) or bodily complex or by making use of elements, angels, jinn or stars.

The answer to this is, as has been said before, that creatures can produce no effect whatsoever. Also the messengers never delved in tricks (iyal).

2) The second objection is that it is possible (yatamil) that the event is not our of the ordinary (khriq li-l-`da), but God's beginning of a new ordinary process (ibtid' `da) or the restoration of an ordinary process of bygone ages.

The answer is that the events we refer to, such as raising the dead, do not answer such descriptions.

3) The third objection is that the absence of resistance (mu'raa) can also occur because news of the event did not reach someone who could resist or because of the people's docility (muwda`a) or agreement to advance his cause (muwfaqa f i`l' kalimati-hi) or their fear of him or because they considered it a simple matter and did not care much about it (li-stis'hl wa-qilla mublt) or because they were occupied with more important things; or they did resist and something prevented this from being told (wa-lam yunqal li-mni`).

The answer is that the messengers were known everywhere in the east and west (jam` al-mashriq wa-l-maghrib) and their enemies tried their best to disprove them. This has all been reported and has reached even us at the end of time, at the end of the ninth century (f khir az-zamn f khir al-qarn at-tsi`). Each prophet had a special kind of miracle to over come the specialty to the adversaries of his time: Moses overcame the magicians, David the musicians, Jesus the physicians and Muammad the masters of eloquence.

4) The fourth objection is that the purpose of a miracle can be other than to prove the truthfulness of a messenger. It can be, as some maintain, to accomplish God's own objective (ghara) or an objective for men; or it can be a miracle for another prophet or a trial (ibtil') for men.

The answer is that God cannot act moved by any objective. Regarding the appearance of a miracle on the part of (`al yad) a liar, K [pp. 455-461] gives a fuller answer. There are three opinions concerning the connection between a miracle and its proving the truthfulness of a messenger:

According to the first opinion a miracle cannot appear from a liar because this is against the essence of a miracle; according to the second opinion it is against God's announcing (khabar). W adds that according to the opinion that the connection is only customary a miracle appearing from a liar would not prove his truthfulness, since that would be to prove the impossible.

K [pp. 464-466] says that the Mu`tazilites objected that if, as the Sunnites say, God is not obliged to provide what is best, he should be able to produce extraordinary events in answer to a liar's claim to prophecy. The first two opinions mentioned above are a clear answer to this objection. The third opinion, which said that the probativity (dalla) of the extraordinary event is only customary, conceded the admissibility of God's doing so, but denied that this every happened. Regarding the future, we have the assurance that Muammad is the seal of the prophets; anyone who claims prophecy after him has the choice only of Islam or the sword, and his words should not be paid attention to, even if extraordinary events appear from him.

5) The fifth objection is that even if it is granted that a miracle proves the truthfulness of the one who claims prophecy, how can we be sure that God does not lie in his announcing (f ikhbri-hi)? Authority (sam`) is no guide, since that has not yet been established. Intelligibility too, according to the objector's principles, does not show that lying is despicable (qab).

The answer [W, f. 65a] is that God's testifying to the messenger's truthfulness is not through any announcement (ikhbran), but by working the miracle which constitutes (insh'an) a person a prophet.

There are also reasons from intelligibility to exclude the possibility of God's lying:

In a final remark (tanbh), W [f. 65b] cites at-Taftzn's Maqid for saying that prophecy can be ascertained by the creation of self-evident knowledge, such as was had by a-iddq (Ab-Bakr), or by the infallible passages of the Tawra and the Injl in announcing the prophecy of Muammad, or by Moses in announcing the prophecy of Aaron and Joshua (Hrn wa-Ysha`). Imm-al-aramayn's requirement of a miracle and its implied conditions holds for proving prophecy absolutely speaking and in a way to refute adversaries (`al l-ilq wa-ujja `al l-munkirn) without regard to any previous prophet or book. But Muammad's character and dispositions (akhlq wa-awl) are equivalent to (`'id il) a miracle in proving his prophecy.

c. Immunity from defect (`i>ma)

(N. 47) K and W have a similar presentation of a messenger's being immune from defect. But in [p. 173], J [21c, f. 447a] and [pp. 25-28] the distinguishing of three necessary marks-truthfulness (idq), faithfulness (amna) and communicating (tablgh) what was commanded to be communicated-becomes the standard pattern of presenting this question. M [ff. 219b-224a] too, apart from an explicit treatment of prophecy, considers the definitions of the three marks together.

K [pp. 466-469] takes up the question in general and asks first if prophets are immune from defect before their becoming prophets. Some Mu`tazilites admitted that before becoming a prophet a man could commit even big acts of disobedience. Sunnites, such as al-Q `Iy, said that he could not. Some Sunnites said that this could not be known from intelligibility, but only from authority. But the Rfiites and most Mu`tazilites said that it could be known from intelligibility by its intrinsic evil (at-taqb al-`aql), which is false.

As for after receiving prophecy, there is consensus that a prophet cannot deliberately lie in his determinations. As for lying by mistake or forgetfulness (ghalatan aw nisynan), al-Isfar'in and many other Sunnites said that he could not, but al-Bqilln said that this is admissible, since a miracle only proves what comes from the prophet by deliberate intention, although revealed-law says that in fact it does not happen. Thus al-Q `Iy said that there is a consensus in the fact that a prophet does not lie by mistake or forgetfulness.

As for acts of disobedience apart from untruthfulness in his message-which are contrary to faithfulness-there is consensus, except for some Khrijites, that a prophet is immune from any deliberate big act of disobedience and small acts which are reproachable. As for committing them by mistake or forgetfulness, al-mid said that, except for some Rfiites, there is consensus that this is admissible. But he is wrong, since there is consensus to the contrary. Al-Bqilln and other sound theologians said that this is proved from authority, but al-Isfar'in and many Mu`tazilites said that it could be proved from intelligibility also.

As for committing small sins which are not reproachable (l khissa f-h), most, such as Ab-Ja`far a-abar, a Sunnite, admit the possibility, whether they are deliberate or not. Other lawyers and theologians deny the possibility of both deliberate and non-deliberate sins of this type, since, according to most Mlikites, Shfi`ites and anafites, men are commanded to imitate the prophets. Thus, as W [f. 65b] also says, the immunity of the prophets includes freedom from doing anything forbidden or disapproved, and even from doing anything permitted because of passion (shahwa) or without the sole intention of approaching and obeying God and seeking his help thereby to obey him (bal ill bi-niyyat al-qurba wa-l-imtithl wa-l-isti`na bi-h `al `at al-Mawl).

[p. 180] quotes Qur'n verses (3:31, 6:55 and 7:157) in support of the proposition that men are commanded to imitate the prophets, and elaborates [pp. 180-183] on the Muslim practice of imitating Muammad in every detail. For example, A. b. anbal refused to eat watermelon because he was not sure in what way Muammad ate it.

[pp. 33-43], moreover, devotes a major section to interpreting Qur'n verses which seem to say that Muammad and other prophets committed sin. These are 43:2, 47:19, 94:3, 9:43, 8:68, 80:1, 10:121, 7:190, 7:23, 21:87, 38:24-25, 33:37, 2:24, 28:15 and 48:2.

The third mark of a messenger, communicating what he is commanded to communicate, says [p. 184] is necessary for the same reason as his faithfulness, namely, that men are commanded to imitate them. Moreover the Qur'n (2:159) curses those who hide God's message, and it commands (5:67) Muammad to deliver the divine message.

[pp. 28-29] gives a summary of the relation between the three marks:

Besides considering the opposites of these three marks which are impossible for the messengers, [pp. 185-190], J [21c, f. 447a] and [pp. 30-33] consider what is admissible concerning the messengers. These are human accidentals (al-a`r al-bashariyya) which do not detract from their high station, such as sickness, hunger, poverty, eating, drinking marriage, forgetting after communicating their message or in what they were not commanded to communicate, and sleep, although their hearts stay awake. The proof of these accidentals happening to them is our witnessing them (mushhada), and their purpose is to increase their rewards or to set revealed rules of action (li-t-tashr`), or to distract from this world and call attention to its vileness before God and his lack of pleasure in it in the house of recompense to his saints.

The word "accidentals" [, p. 31] is to guard against the opinion of the Christians, who described Jesus with an eternal attribute. The word "human" is to guard against the representatives of the Jhiliyya, who said that these accidentals are contrary to messengership. The phrase "which do not detract from their high station" is to guard against the Jews and many ignorant historians and exegetes who describe the prophets with the defect of committing disobedience and disapproved acts.

d. Abrogation (naskh)

At this point K [pp. 469-472] takes up the objection to Muammad's messengership by some Jews represented by Ibn-ar-Rwand that the revealed-law of Moses cannot be abrogated. J [20, f. 236a-240b] takes up the question in general terms and distinguishes between two kinds of determinations of revealed-law. There is the self-evident kind (arb arr), which God preserves in every sect (milla) from Adam through Muammad until the end of time; determinations of this sort never change. And there is another kind which varies among different revealed-laws. Types of determinations which are never abrogated are those which have to do with preserving:

the accidentals which maintain religious and worldly life (al-a`r allt f-h iynat ad-dn wa-d-duny), such as forbidding defamation (qadhf) and slander (ghba).

Abrogation in other matters does not mean that God corrects something which he forgot in the previous legislation, but that he changes his ordinances to suit the era, just as one prescribes differently for a sick person and a healthy person.

There is abrogation even within the revealed-law of Moses, for example:

Another argument against Ibn-ar-Rwand's assertion that Moses claimed that his law would not be abrogated is the fact that the Jews did not bring up this tradition (naql) at the time of Muammad, for all its value to them.

J concludes that the law of Muammad has three approaches to the determinations of previous revealed-laws:

1) Some determinations differ from what preceded-there is no doubt that these abrogate the previous determinations.

2) Some agree with previous determinations-there is no doubt that these contain no abrogation.

3) There is silence on some matters determined in a previous revealed-law. A determination of this sort remains in force under three conditions:


I. The messengership of Muammad

a. Proof from the miraculosity of the Qur'n

(N. 48) J [21i, f. 276a] distinguishes first between proofs for the messengership of Muammad from intelligibility and those from authority (naql). The latter are texts from the books of the previous prophets. Among the proofs from intelligibility the first is the miraculosity of the Qur'n.

W [f. 65b] says that while all agree that the Qur'n is miraculous, there are different opinions regarding the aspect of its miraculosity (f wajh i`jz al-Qur'n):

1) The versifiers (num), many Mu`tazilites and al-Murta of the Sh`ites said that the miraculosity of the Qur'n is a deterrence (arfa), that is, the opponents could have resisted and imitated the Qur'n, but God deterred their concern (himma) to do so by removing either their power or their motives (daw`) or the necessary knowledge. The last possibility, the removal (salb) of knowledge of the Qur'n's word-pattern (nam) and how to reproduce its like is that favored by al-Murta.

An argument for this theory is that the Arabs were certainly able to imitate words and short phrases of the Qur'n; therefore they could imitate a whole sra.

The answer to this is that the determination (ukm) of a sentence differs from that of its parts. Were the preceding argument true, then anyone could imitate a poet like Imru'-al-Qays, for example.

Another argument for the deterrence theory is that when the Qur'n was being compiled (`ind jam` al-Qur'n) the Companions referred judgement on certain sras and verses to the testimony of reliable persons, and Ibn-Mas`d hesitated about the Ftia (sra 1) and the Mu`awwidhatn (sras 113 and 114). This would not be so if the eloquence (faa) of the Qur'n's word-pattern were the miracle and not God's deterrence of imitation.

In answer to this, a first remark is that these historical facts are true (iat ar-riwya), and the Qur'n was compiled after the death of Muammad. But each sra is an independent miracle. The care of the companions was to prevent the least change in the verses; their hesitation is understandable, since the miraculosity of every sra is not evident to everyone from the star.

At-Taftzn [W, f. 67a] gave other replies to the deterrence theory: First, the Arabs admired and took notice of the excellent word-pattern and eloquence of the Qur'n and tried to oppose it. Secondly, were the miraculosity of the Qur'n deterrence from imitation, there would be no need for eloquence, and the deterrence would be more miraculous if the Qur'n were easier to imitate. Thirdly, the verse "Say 'If men and jinn should combine together to bring the like of this Qur'n, they could not bring the like of it, though they conspired together'" (17:88) implies that a single person could not imitate the Qur'n, and would not have to be deterred.

2) Other Mu`tazilites [K, p. 475] said the miraculosity is its method and unusual word-pattern (nam), which is different from ordinary Arabic speeches, letters and poems.

An answer to this opinion [W, f. 66b] is that the foolish lines (amqt) of Musaylima and his like also have unusual word-patterns.

3) Others [K, p. 475] said that it is its eloquence (faa, jazla) only.

An answer to this and the previous opinion is that if a challenge is made to imitate something which contains two elements, then both must be present in the imitation. For instance, an eloquent and well versed poem cannot be answered by an eloquent speech or by a well versed poem which is not eloquent.

4) Imm-al-aramayn and al-Bqilln held that the miraculosity is the combination of eloquence and unusual word-pattern.

5) Some said that it is the Qur'n's freedom from inconsistency and defect (as-salma `an al-ikhtilf wa-t-tanqu).

An answer to this opinion is that many polished writers (bulagh') also are free from inconsistency and defect.

6) Some said that it is its containing details of science and true statements of wisdom and goodness (li-shtimli-hi `al daq'iq al-`ulm wa-aq'iq al-ikma wa-l-mali) or [K, p. 375] its agreement with intelligible judgements (muwfaqatu-hu li-qay l-`uql).

An answer to this is that the speech of wise men often contains science and truth too.

7) Some said that it is its telling of things absent (li-ikhbri-hi `an al-mughayyabt).

An answer to this opinion is that only a very few verses tell of things absent; therefore the others would not be miraculous. Besides, to opinions 5, 6 and 7, K [p. 176] answers that the challenge was not made to imitate these aspects.

8) some said [K, pp. 175-176] that it is the fact that the Qur'n is from eternity.

9) Others [K, p. 176] said that it was the fact of the Qur'n's expressing God's eternal speech.

The answer to this is that nothing prevents God's speech from being expressed by words (laf) which are not miraculous.

W [f. 66b] quotes at-Taftzn in defending the opinion of Imm-al-aramayn and al-Bqilln (opinion 4). The combination of eloquence with the word-pattern is the miraculous aspect of the Qur'n, because the masters of eloquence could imitate either one separately. Al-Bqilln added that telling absent events of the past and future (opinion 7) is also a miraculous aspect of the Qur'n.

By nam, "word-pattern", is meant the arrangement of words (tartb al-kalimt), or, according to `Abdalqhir, the grammatical structuring of words to serve the purposes of speech. K [p. 479], in opposition to Ibn-at-Tilimsn, restricts the meaning of balgha, "eloquence" to excellence of speech (kalm), or meaning, and of the speaker (mutakallim), whereas faa, also "eloquence", is a wider term including also excellence in words (kalimt) or word-pattern. The highest degree of balgha is miraculosity (i`jz), which is determined by taste (wa-l-ukm f-hi dh-dhawq), and the lowest degree is that which distinguishes speech from animal sounds.

Objections to the miraculosity of the Qur'n are:

1) [K, p. 478] If there is so much difference of opinion concerning what constitutes the miraculosity of the Qur'n, then how can it be miraculous, since a miracle must be plain and without doubt to everyone?

The answer is that there is no doubt that a sra cannot be produced like one in the Qur'n; the differences of opinion concerning the aspect of its miraculosity do not make this fact less plain.

2) [W, f. 67a] Some verses are more eloquent than others, while they should all be of the highest degree of eloquence.

The answer is that this is in accord with the purpose of the Qur'n, just as a good artist produces something which is neither too big nor too small. As it is, the arabs could not produce its like, and they recognized that it is not like speeches or poetry.

More recent opponents proposed other stupid objections:

3) There are non-Arabic words in the Qur'n, such al-istabrq (18:31 etc.), as-sijill (21:104), al-qiss (17:35) and al-maqld (26:63 and 42:12). How then can it claim to be "plain Arabic" (Qur'n 16:103 and 26:195)?

The answer is that these words are Arabic, even though another language shares them. Or the meaning of "plain Arabic" is that the word-pattern and arrangement of the words is Arabic; therefore the whole is called Arabic.

4) There are mistakes of word-form in it (khaa' min jihat al-i`rb), as in 20:63, 5:69 and 4:162.

The answer is that the so-called mistakes are correct, and the objectors do not know Arabic well.

5) The smallest sra is of three verses. But Moses, even while saying that his brother is more eloquent than himself, was able to produce eleven verses, told in 20:25-35.

The answer is that what is told (mak-Moses' original words) does not have to be in the very same word-pattern. Also, the accepted opinion (al-mukhtr) is that the challenge means to produce one long sra or ten intermediate ones. K [pp. 477-478] says that most Sunnites (al-jumhr min abi-n) say that to answer the challenge it suffices to imitate the shortest sra, such as al-`Ar (113) or al-Kawthar (108), but al-Bqilln said in his Kitb an-naq, approved by al-Isfar'in, that some length is required to prove the imitator's capability.

6) There are ambiguous passages (mutashbiht), such as God's mounting upon the throne.

The answer is that the purpose (ikma) of difficult passages is to stimulate reasoning and effort to attain the meaning and other benefits, and thus have a greater reward. Also, God does what he likes, and creates occasions of corruption and error (asbb al-fasd wa--alla).

7) There are repetitions of stories and phrases.

The answer is that these repetitions suit the style (awl al-kalm), and literary experts (`ulam' al-bad` wa-fursn al-ma`n) have made this completely certain (qarrara-h akmal taqrr).

8) There are vocalization variants which amount to over 12,000 (f-hi min al-ikhtilf al-masm` bayn ab al-qir'a m yazd `al thnay `ashar alfan).

The answer is that a rejected variant (al-ikhtilf al-manf) is of a different level of eloquence (at-tafwut f martib al-balgha), in that some readings are less miraculous (bi-ayth yakn ba`u-hu qiran `an martabat al-i`jz).

9) There are contradictions. For example, 55:39 says men will not be questioned on the last day, but 15:92-93 says they will be. Also 88:6 says the only food of the damned will be thorns (ar`), but 69:36 says that their only food will be garbage (ghisln).

The answer is that in the first reference sinners will not be questioned about their sins in the sense of God's seeking knowledge. In the second example the thorns and the garbage ar either explanations one of the other, or one group of damned will eat one and another the other, or the two words mean the same thing. The exegetes have explanations for other difficulties.

10) There are plain lies (al-kadhb al-ma), such as in 7:11, where the command to the angels to adore Adam is placed after our creation; but we did not yet exist.

The answer is that the descendants of Adam were a part of him by way of metaphor, and in adoring him the angels adored us too. Or the creation (al-khalq wa-t-tawr) refers to the creation of Adam's descendants (dhurriyya) when they came out of Adam as particles (dharr); this interpretation would be in accord with the outward meaning of the verse.

11) Every poetic meter is found in it, even though in 36:69 it claims not to be poetry. An example of awl is 18:29, of madd 11:37, of bas 8:42, of wfir 9:14, of kmil 2:213, of hazaj 12:91, of rajaz 76:14, of ramal 34:13, of sar` 20:95, of munsari 76:2, of khaff 107:1, of muri` 40:32-33, of muqtaab 2:10 and following, of mujtathth 9:79 and of mutaqrib 7:183.

The answer is that the fact of an expression (laf) falling into a meter does not make it poetry, but the meter must be intended by the speaker. Others require also rhyme (taqfiya) for there to be poetry. Besides, many of the above verses deviate from the meter.

b. Proof from announcing absent events

Another miracle of Muammad [W, f. 68b] is his announcing absent events of the past and the future (ikhbru-hu `an al-ghuyb al-miya wa-l-mustaqbala).

Some of the past events he told are the long and detailed stories (qia) of Moses, Pharaoh, Joseph, Abraham, Noah, Lot and others, without every having heard them from anyone or learnt them from a book, as is stated in the verse "These are announcements of what is absent which we reveal to you. You did not know them, neither you nor your people, before this" (11:49). He also announced many similar events which are not in the Qur'n.

Examples of announcements of the future in the Qur'n are 48:20 concerning a victory of the Muslims, 30:2-6 concerning the victory of Byzantium (Rm), 3:151, 54:45, 48:16, 24:55, 48:27 and 9:33 concerning victories of Islam, 17:88 and 2:24 that none shall imitate the Qur'n, and 28:85 on returning to the next life (al-ma`d).

W then lists a number of adths foretelling events in the development of the Islamic community, as also does K [p. 483].

c. Proof from various extraordinary events

Another type of miracle [W, f. 69a] are the thousands of extraordinary acts which appeared in him, from him (`al yadi-hi) or for his sake. some of these were presages (irhiyya), appearing before his claim to prophecy and others were testimonials of this truthfulness (tadqiyya) appearing after his claim. They are of three kinds:

1) those concerning his essence (umr thbita f dhti-hi), such as:

2) those related to his attributes (umr muta`allaqa bi-ifti-hi), such as:

3) those outside himself (al-umr al-khrija `an an-nafs), such as:

One miracle in particular treated by J [21h, ff. 272a-275b] is the isr', Muammad's night right to Jerusalem, and the mi`rj, his ascent to heaven on that occasion. Opinions differ as to whether this occurred in his sleep or while he was awake. As-Sans refers the reader to the two as (of al-Bukhr and Muslima) for the manner (kayf) in which these events took place, and quotes at-Taftzn's Shar `Aqdat an-Nasaf, M. b. Marzq's commentary on the Burda of al-Bur and al-Q `Iy's Shif' for certain details.

K [pp. 483-485] gives a list of six kinds of miracles, with subdivisions, which overlaps and varies somewhat from what W has. J [21i, ff. 276a and following] repeats the same list, attributing it to al-Q `Iy. W [f. 70b] resumes some of these under the heading "other aspects which confirm the miraculous character of Muammad's life". These are:

d. Proof from the books of previous prophets

For proof from authority of Muammad's messengership W [f. 71b] takes up the texts (nu) concerning Muammdad in the books of previous prophets which have been passed on to villages and are well known in the circles of their peoples (al-manqla il l-qur l-mashhra f-m bayn umami-him). K [pp. 485-492] gives a series of Scriptural texts which partly overlap and partly differ from those given in W. J [21i, ff. 281a-289a] gives still a different series combining the texts given in K and W, without adding any others. [pp. 43-47] repeats W exactly, except for the omission of two texts which will be noted. The texts as-Sans gives are: (89)

1) From the Tawrt in the fifth book [W, f. 71b; K, pp. 486-487] is "God came from Mount Sinai and looked down from Sa`ir and shone from Faran" (Deuteronomy 33:2).

This is a reference to the descent of the Tawrt upon Moses in Sinai, of the Injl upon Jesus in Sa`ir, which is in Syria, and of the Furqn upon Muammad in Frn, which is Mecca or a road near it. The resplendence (isti`ln) refers to Muammad's many miracles and the triumph of his religion over all others.

2) Likewise in the fifth book [W, f. 71b; K, p. 487] God says to Moses "I am raising up a prophet for the sons of Israel from the sons of their brothers, one like you, and I will make my words flow in his mouth, and he will tell them what I command them" (Deuteronomy 18:18-19) (90)

The "sons of their brothers" are the sons of Ishmael, since Israel is a son of Isaac the brother of Ishmael. Other prophets are from the sons of Israel, while the only prophet raised up from the sons of Ishmael is Muammad (91) In explaining this text, K [p. 486; cf. p. 470] quotes from "a teacher of Cordova" in rejecting the `sawiyya idea that Muammad was sent only to the Arabs.

3) The Tawrt also says [K, p. 487] "God settled Hagar and her son Ishmael in Faran" (Genesis 21:21).

This text is to show that Faran means Mecca.

4) In the first book of the Tawrt [W, f. 71b; K, p. 487] God says to Abraham "Hagar will give birth, and from her children will be one whose hand will be over all and the hand of all will be extended to him in subjection" (Genesis 16:11-12). (92)

But Muammad is the only son of Hagar sent in triumph over the whole world after most other prophets' having been from the sons of Israel who is Jacob son of Isaac.

5) In the fourteenth chapter (maaf) of the Injl [W, f. 72a] Jesus says "I will ask my Father for you to accord to you and give you a Paraclete to be with you forever. The Paraclete is the spirit of truth and certitude" (John 14:16-17).

In the fifteenth (sic) chapter he says "But the Paraclete, the spirit of holiness, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you and give you all things and will remind you of what I told you" (John 14:26).

Then he says "I have announced this (one) to you before he comes to be (qabl an yakn), so that when he comes you may believe in him" (John 14:29). (93)

The meaning of "my Father" is my Lord and my Deity (rabb wa-ilh). The meaning of "paraclete" is a prophet disclosing hidden things. These are truth, certitude and justice, which are like a dead person-motionless, buried, hidden and unspoken-until the Paraclete-blessing and peace be upon him-is sent; he is like a spirit to them and they return to life and vigor because of him. Thus when truth died out on the earth after Jesus, Muammad came and brought it to life again.

6) In the sixteenth chapter [W, f. 72a] Jesus says "I now tell you a certain truth. It is better for you that I go away from you, because if I do not go away from you to my Father, the Paraclete will not come to you. but if I go away I will send him to you, and when he comes he will be of advantage to the people of the world and will judge them, rebuke them and instruct them concerning sin and justice" (John 16:7-8).

He also says "When the spirit of truth and certitude comes, he will guide you and teach you and conduct you in every virtue (yudabbiru-kum bi-jam` al-khulq), since he does not speak novelty from himself" (John 16:13). (94)

K [p. 488] has a slightly different version of these texts from "the Injl related by John": "The Paraclete will not come to you until I go. When he comes he will rebuke the world because of sin.l He will not say anything from himself, but will speak to you what he hears; he will reconcile you to the truth and announce to you things happening and things absent, and he will glorify me."

The meaning of his going away to the Father is his going to a place where he is honored, revered and given a rest from men by directing his heart to walking in the glory and might of God, as the Qur'n verse says, "O Jesus, I will take you and will lift you up to myself" (3:55). The sending of a prophet is attributed to Jesus because of his desire expressed to God, or because his being lifted up is a sign (amra) of the sending of Muammad.

7) Also in John [K, pp. 488-489] Jesus says of the Paraclete "He will bear witness to me as I bore witness to him" (cf. John 15:26). (95)

He then said "Who hates me hates the Lord" (John 15:23), (96) and further on "I must fulfil the word of revealed-law that they hated me without cause. Would that Manamann came whom God will send to you from the Lord, the spirit of holiness, for he is a witness to me, as you also are. But you have been with me a long time. This is what I say to you so that when he comes you may not complain" (John 15:25-16:1).

The word Manamann, as as-Sans says, is a Syriac word meaning Paraclete in Greek, and Muammad in Arabic. (97)

8) And in the Injl [K, p. 489] Jesus says "The world is like a man who planted a vineyard." As-Sans says that Jesus continues this story and then refers the story to prophets, to himself and finally to Muammad, the last custodian of the vineyard, where Jesus says "He will remove the kingdom of God the most high from you and give it to the common nation (al-umma al-`mma) who obey" (Luke 20:9-16).

Jesus then said "Who falls upon this stone will be broken; the one whom it falls upon will be smashed" (Luke 10:18). As-Sans says that Muammad is the stone.

9) The Psalms (az-zabr) too [K, p. 487] are to have described Muammad: "He will rule from sea to sea, and from far-off rivers to far-off rivers. Peoples of the islands will bow before him on their knees and his enemies will sit in the dust. Their kings will bring him gifts and prostrate before him. Nations will be subject to him in obedience and submission, because he will save the desperate and miserable man from those who are stronger. He will rescue the weak man who has no helper and will be kind to the weak and the destitute" (Psalm 72:8-13,15,17).

10) There is also the Psalm verse [K, p. 487] "God has manifested from Zion a praiseworthy (mamd) crown" (Psalm 50:2). The crown refers to leadership, and the name Mamd to Muammad.

11) The Psalms again say [K, pp. 487-488] "Let Israel rejoice in its Creator with the sons of Zion, because God has chosen a people for them and given them victory. He has strengthened with honor the good among them; they praise God on their beds and glorify him with raised voices. In their hands are two-edged swords in order to take revenge on the nations which do not serve God. They bind the nations with bonds, and their nobles with shackles" (Psalm 149:2,4-8). This passage is to describe the Muslim community.

12) From the Psalms too [W, f. 72a; K, p. 488] is "Put on your sword, O mighty one, for your law and your statutes are joined with the fearsomeness of your right hand. Your arrows are sharpened, and peoples are prostrate under you" (Psalm 45:4-6). (98)

The meaning is that peoples will be reduced before Muammad so that they enter Islam whether they like it or not, (99) or pay the jizya in a state of subjection. (100)

13) Also from the Psalms (sic) [W, f. 72a; K, p. 488] is God's word to David "A son will be born to you by whom I will be called 'father', and he will be called a son by me" (2 Samuel 7:14 = 1 Chronicles 17:13).

David answered "O God, send someone to maintain tradition, so that people will know that he is human" (possibly an interpreted reading of 2 Samuel 7:19 = 1 Chronicles 17:17).

In these passages, David's son is Jesus, while Muammad maintained tradition, teaching that Jesus is a servant of God and not a son.

The Injl has a similar passage where Jesus says "O God, send the Paraclete to teach men that the son of man is human" [This verse does not resemble anything in the New Testament; it is omitted in ].

14) From Isaiah the prophet [W, f. 72b; K, p. 489] is the word of God "As for my servant in whom my soul is well pleased, I will send down my revelation upon him. He will make my justice appear among the nations and will give them commands. He will not laugh or make his voice heard in the markets. He will open the eyes of the one-eyed, give hearing to deaf ears and give life to uncircumcized hearts. What I give him I give to no one more praiseworthy and praising God intensely (amad yamad Allh amdan)" (Isaiah 42:1-2,7). (101)

Also from Isaiah, indicating that Muammad's town is Mecca, is "The desert shall rejoice, and its inhabitants praise God on every high place and glorify him on every hill. He will not be weak nor be conquered nor turn to heretical winds. He will not make his voice heard in the markets, nor will he humiliate the just, who are like a weak reed; but he will strengthen the weak. He is the support of the weak, and the light of god which will not be put out. he will not be defeated until my authority is established on earth, excuses are refuted and truth is brought to his Tawrt" [The first two sentences are not in Isaiah; the rest is a loose paraphrase of Isaiah 42:2-4].

The phrase "He will give commands to the nations" indicates the Muammad is sent to all, whereas the Injl says of the Messiah "I was not sent to the gentiles, but only to the resting sheep of the sons of Israel" (Matthew 15:24 and 10:5). (102)

The word amad, "more praiseworthy", refers to the name of Muammad, while "the desert" refers to Mecca.

15) Also from Isaiah [W, f. 73a; K, p. 490] is "Let the people of the dry steppes and the deserts and the open lands rejoice, because they will produce the most praiseworthy (amad) valuables of Lebanon, and things like good villages and gardens" [a paraphrase of Isaiah 35:1-2].

In this passage Mecca is again described, and Muammad mentioned under the name Amad. the meaning of "dry" is the absence of prophets in that land since Ishmael.

16) Again from Isaiah [W, f. 73a; K, p. 490] is "The days of visitation have come; the days of enduring perfection have come" [no definite passage], and "Know, O ignorant sons of Israel, that he whom you call erring is endowed with prophecy. You are indifferent to that because of your many sins and great dissoluteness" [an echo of Isaiah 59:2].

17) From Isaiah also [K, p. 490] is "It was said to me 'Rise and look, and tell me what you see.' I said 'I see two riders coming, one of them on an ass, the other on a camel. One said to the other "Babel has fallen with its decadent idols"'" (Isaiah 21:9). (103)

As-Sans identifies the riders respectively with Jesus and Muammad.

18) Ezekiel [W, f. 73a; K, p. 491], after speaking of the past history of the sons of Israel and having likened them to a vine, said "Before long that vine will be torn up by his rage and thrown upon the ground, and the hot winds will burn its fruits. Then a seedling will be planted in the desert in waste and dry land, and from its abundant branches will come a fire which will eat that vine until no strong sap or twig is left in it" [a loose paraphrases of Ezekiel 17:9-10 and 22-24, with the element of fire borrowed from 15:6].

In this passage, the desert represents Mecca, the seedling Muammad, and the vine the Jews whom he laid hold of by devastating battle, captivity and the humiliation of the jizya in all the land of Islam.

19) From Daniel [W, f. 73a; K, p. 491] is the passage describing liars "Their prayer will not be extended nor their sacrifices finished. The Lord has sworn by his arm that neither lies nor the cause of a false claimant will appear for more than thirty years" [There is nothing like this in Daniel; it is omitted in ]. (104)

Muammad's claim lasted more than thirty years, and is now near 900 years.

20) From Daniel also [W, f. 73a; K, p. 491] is his interpretation of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar: "Daniel said 'O King, you have seen a statue of excelling beauty, whose upper part is gold, its middle part of silver, its lower part of brass, its thighs of iron and its feet of clay. While you were looking at it with pleasure, a stone came down from heaven and broke it, striking its head and grinding it to dust, so that the gold, silver, copper, iron and clay were all mixed together. Then the stone grew big and mighty until it filled the whole earth.' Thereupon Nebuchadnezzar said 'You have spoken truly; now interpret it for me.' Then Daniel said 'The statute is various nations at the beginning, middle and end of time. You are the head of gold, O King, and the silver is your son after you. The brass is Byzantium, and the iron Persia, while the clay are two weak nations ruled by women in Yemen and Syria. The stone which came from heaven is the religion of an everlasting prophet and king who will come at the end of time, conquering all nations. Then he will grow mighty until he fills the whole earth, as this stone filled it'" [an interpreted reading of Daniel 2:31-45; in Daniel there is no identification of the kingdoms].

Such a description fits Muammad, who was sent to all nations made up of different races, languages and religious, and made them one race (jins), with one language, which is Arabic and one religion, which is Islam.

21) And from Habakkuk [K, p. 490] is "God came from at-Tn and shone from the mountains of Frn, and the whole earth was filled with praising Amad and declaring his holiness. He filled the earth with his fear." There follows "At your order, Muammad, the pestilential hot wind (sahm) is watered" [an elaboration of Habakkuk 3:3].

Regarding the fulfilment of these texts, K [p. 492] says that very few, seven to be exact, had the name Muammad before the prophet, and none of them claimed prophecy.

W [f. 73b] concludes that the previous books testify to the prophecy of Muammad. He occupies the highest rank among the prophets, and is the last of them, and his revealed-law will never change or be abrogated.

e. Who is preferred after Muammad

W [f. 74a], in a first remark (tanbh) and [p. 48] quote at-Taftzn's Shar al-Maqid ad-dniyya which says that all agree that Muammad is the most preferred (afal) prophet, but there are different opinions as to who comes after him. some say Adam, because he is the father of humanity, others Noah, because of his long worship and hard work, others Abraham, because of his great dependence upon God and trust, others Moses, because he spoke to God and was his confidant (li-kawni-hi kalm Allh wa-najiyya-hu), and others Jesus, because he was the spirit of God and his intimate (li-kawni-hi r Allh wa-afiyya-hu).

K [pp. 511-514] and J [32b, ff. 344a-345a], discussing the same question, say that the Rwandites preferred al-`Abbs, while the Sh`ites preferred `Al. Al-Qurub's commentary on Muslim says that for Sunnites Ab-Bakr and `Umar occupy the first and second places after Muammad. Al-Q `Iy, depending on a. Manr al-Baghdd, says that the first four caliphs are preferred in their order of succession. Al-Ash`ar, Mlik b. Anas as quoted in the Mudawwana, and Imm-al-aramayn, says Ibn-Rushd, are to have held the same opinion or to have suspended judgement. Ibn-`Arab quotes his master al-Fihr (a. B. a-ursh l-Andalus) in favor of `Umar, but disagrees with him. Others quote al-Ash`ar and Mlik, again from the Mudawwana, for saying that Ab-Bakr is decidedly preferred, while al-Bqilln says it is doubtful. Still others distinguish between outward (hir) and inward (bin) preference.

In any case, preference (tafl) is defined [K, p. 513] as abundance of reward and elevated rank (kathrat ath-thawb wa-raf` ad-daraja), and cannot be decided by measuring outward deeds, but only by authority. [pp. 48-50] quotes a long passage from a. `Al. M. b. `Abbd to the same effect. God's preferring someone is a matter of his free choice, and is not caused by some quality or a greater or lesser degree of perfection in the person. That is why the comparisons which some authors make between Muammad and other prophets, showing how his miracles or characteristics are better than theirs, even though they may be true, give a wrong impression, because these points of excellence do not make him preferred by God. That is why Muammad discarded boasting (fakhr) about anything and contented himself with the title of servant (`abd).

f. Regarding saints, wonders and magic

J [22, ff. 289b-297a] distinguishes four questions: 1) the reality of a saint and a wonder, 2) determining whether wonders are admissible and happen, 3) the relation of a saint to a prophet, 4) the reality of magic. These questions are the subject of the second and third remarks (tanbh) in W [ff. 74a-76a].

1) W [f. 74a] says that the reality of a saint (wal) is "a person who is aware of God and his attributes, is dedicated to obedience, turns away from disobedience and avoids being absorbed by pleasures and cravings" (al-`rif bi-llh ta`l wa-ifti-hi l-muwib `al -`t al-mujtanib `an al-ma` l-mu`ri `an al-inhimk f l-ladhdht wa-sh-shahawt). His wonder (karma) is the manifestation of something extraordinary from him, unaccompanied by the claim of prophecy. Not claiming prophecy makes a wonder different from a miracle.

K [pp. 446-447] cites "one of our imms" for making the difference between a miracle and a wonder consist in the fact that a messenger chooses and intends his miracle, whereas a saint does not choose or intend his wonder, but only desires and hopes for it. Other imms say that the difference is in the kind of act: that raising the dead, curing the leprous and the like are miracles, but finding something in the desert and the like are only wonders; messengers can have both miracles and wonders. But the opinion of sound theologians is that any kind of event can appear from a saint, and the difference is the absence of a claim of messengership.

W continues to say that the fact that the extraordinary act comes from a person of correct belief, good works and resolution to follow the Prophet distinguish a wonder from the enticements (istidrj) and sure indications of a liar, as in the case of Musaylima, who tried to cure a person's blind eye and made the other eye blind also; such an act is called an affront (ihna).

God sometimes causes extraordinary things to appear from ordinary Muslims (min qibal al-`awwm al-muslimn) in order to free them from the scandals and adversities of the world (min mian ad-duny wa-makrihi-h), even if they are not qualified with saintliness (wilya). These extraordinary things which appear from them are called an assistance (ma`na).

K [p. 448] says that the fact that a person will not be a prophet in the future distinguishes a wonder from a presage (irh). This distinction, says J, is that of at-Taftzn in his Shar al-Maqid, as opposed to Ibn-`Arafa in his Shmil, who included a presage and an assistance (ma`na) under wonders (karma).

At-Taftzn concludes [W, f. 74a] that extraordinary events are of four kinds:

But as-Sans adds three other kinds:

Ibn-Dahhq [W, f. 75a; J, 22, on this point] said in his commentary on the Irshd that there are four conditions for a saint:

J says that al-Qushayr, in his Risla, stipulated also that a saint be active or activated (fa`l), that is, that God should produce wonders from him.

2) [W, f. 74a] The mass (jumhr) of Muslims agree that it is admissible for wonders to appear on the part of saints. The Mu`tazilites disagree, and al-Isfar'in, according to Imm-al-aramayn, is close to their position.

At-Taftzn [W, f. 74b] said that proof for the fact (wuq`) of wonders is found first of all in the Qur'n, for example:

These extraordinary acts are not presages, because their aim was not the verification of a claim to prophecy.

A second proof is in the wonders which happened to the companions of Muammad and their followers. Al-Imm an-Nasaf admitted the possibility of reported bilocations of saints who were seen in their own town and at the same time in Mecca.

Objections to the possibility of wonders are:

Many saints have been distinguished by announcing things absent (ikhbr al-mughayyabt). This is not contrary to the Qur'n verse (72:26) which says that only a messenger shares God's knowledge of the absent (al-ghayb), since in the context the meaning of this word is the day of resurrection; or only a messenger can be admitted to knowing the generality of absent things, but some absent things can be revealed to ordinary individuals.

3) [W, f. 75b] Muslims agree that a saint is less than a prophet, since a saint is immune from disobedience (ma`m min al-ma`), but a prophet also has revelation (way) for the benefit and renewal of the world. This is contrary to the error of some Karrmites, who say that they are equal, and the error of some Binites, who say that a saint is preferred (afal) to a prophet. Doubts on this question arose, at-Taftzn says, because a prophet is characterized by intermediacy between God and men, while a saint is characterized by nearness to God.

Muslims also agree that a saint is obliged by revealed-law, contrary to the opinion of the libertines (ahl al-iba), the Binites and other heretics. They say that once a saint reaches the perfection of love and purity of heart and perfect sincerity, he is no longer bound by commands or prohibitions, and then sin does not hurt him nor will he be punished in fire for his sins. After refuting them, at-Taftzn says that the prophets are the most perfect in love and sincerity (al-maabba wa-l-ikhl). They are also always subject to revealed-law, since this is a consequence of possessing an intellect and they follow revealed-law most perfectly.

4) [W, f. 76a] The reality of magic (sir) is something extraordinary appearing from an evil and filthy soul, directly by certain works which involve learning and teaching (ihr amr khriq li-l-`da min nafs sharra khabtha bi-mubshara a`ml makha tajr fi-h t-ta`allum wa-t-ta`lm).

K [p. 446] quotes Ibn-`Arafa for saying that magic is something extraordinary bound to a particular activating-link; so that al-Qarf said that it was not even extraordinary, but its strangeness is due to causes unknown to most men.

Magic, W continues, differs from a miracle or a wonder because of the character of the person from whom it appears, because it is not spontaneous (bi-mujarrad iqtir al-muqtarin), because it is restricted to particular times, places and conditions, and because it runs into opposition and efforts to produce its like.

Intelligibility admits the possibility of magic, while authority (sam`) and the fact of the evil eye (al-iba bi-l-`ayn) show that it happens. The Mu`tazilites said that magic is mere will and imagination and is on the same level as juggling (sha`badha), whose activating-link is simple sleight of hand. The Sunnites say that it is admissible because of its intrinsic possibility and the generality of God's power, which produces the effect on the occasion of, and not by means of magical practices which themselves have no effectivity at all.

It may be objected that the Qur'n verse in the story of Moses "It was made to seem to him by their magic that they (their cords) were running" (20:66) means that there is no reality to magic, but it is merely imaginary. The answer is that it could be true that the effect was created by God only in the imagination on the occasion of the magicians' hand motions. But this imaginative effect (takhyl) is itself a reality.

The evil eye is a characteristic of certain souls so that if they regard something as good evil will reach it (huwa an yakn li-ba` an-nufs kh⪪iyya anna-h idh stasanat shay'an laiqat-hu l-fa). This too happens only by God's creation, while the eye produces no effect, but is merely a sign (amra) of what customarily happens. The fact of it is almost something that happens before our eyes, and needs no demonstration (fa-thubtu-h yakd yajr majr l-mushhadt allt l taftaqir il ujja).


J. Various revealed tenets

a. The resurrection

(N. 49) [W, f. 76b] Among the tenets which depend upon the fact of Muammad's messengership and his immunity from error is the resurrection. J [26a, f. 312b] distinguishes two steps: the resurrection (ba`th), which is vivifying the dead and taking them out of their tombs, and the assembling (ashr) of all men to the formidable stopping place (al-mawqif al-h'il). There is agreement, says W, in the Qur'n, Sunna and consensus that Muammad taught that men shall return after their destruction, and there is no need to discuss the proofs from intelligibility and authority.

There is, however, a difference of opinion whether the resurrection is a bringing into existence (jd) after non-existence or is a collection (jam`) of the parts which were scattered. Ar-Rz [K, p. 496] said that no proof from intelligibility or authority could be produced for either opinion. The best procedure, W continues, is that of Imm-al-aramayn, which is to refrain from judgement, since intelligibility admits both possibilities. What is sure is that both good and bad will be raised up with the same body they had in the world, and their spirit will not reside (tarkub) in a different body which is only a likeness of the one they had.

K [pp. 496-497] says there is also agreement that the body returns with the same accidentals, as Ibn-`Arab said in his Sirj al-murdn. Some would even say that among accidentals time also returns the same, but the Qur'n verse (4:56) which speaks of God changing the skins of those in hell each time their skins are burnt implies succession of non-repeated times.

The objection is raised [K, p. 495] that if one man eats another they cannot have the same body in the resurrection. The answer is that the body has original (aliyya) parts and supplementary (faliyya) parts; the return to life (ma`d) concerns the former.

J [26c, ff. 316a-317a] says that the teaching of the resurrection is against the Philosophers, who denied the resurrection of the body while admitting the future life of the spirit, and against the Dahrites, who denied the resurrection and future life altogether. Ar-Rz, in his Arba`n, said that one who denies the resurrection is an unbeliever, because he is denying the Qur'n. Al-Qarf said likewise.

b. The questioning and torment or delight in the grave

There is consensus (ajma` al-islmiyyn), says W [f. 76b] and J [25a, ff. 309a-311a], quoting at-Taftzn, concerning the fact of the questioning in the grave (su'l al-qabar) , the torment (`adhb) of unbelievers and some disobedient believers there and the delight (na`m) of others there. The only difference of opinion comes from the Mu`tazilites. some late theologians say that the Mu`tazilites are innocent of denying this, and that the denial originated with irr b. `Amr and was attributed to the Mu`tazilites because he mixed with them. Other stupid people followed him.

In asserting the torment or delight of the grave, the Sunnites refer to Qur'n verses as 50:45-46, where the family of Pharaoh is punished by fire morning and night, and this before the resurrection, and 71:25, where the people in the time of Noah are said to have drowned and entered the fire. In verse 40:11 one of the two lives referred to can only be in the grave. In 3:169-170 those killed in a holy war are said not to be dead but living with God and enjoying what he gives them. Various adths confirm the same. In particular there is the adth of the two angels (Munkar and Nakr) who question the dead person about his religion and punish him if he does not have the right answer.

K [pp. 499-501] explains the positions of the opponents. irr and Bishr al-Mars denied torment in the grave, saying that whoever is dead is dead in the grave until the day of the resurrection, and the soul does not return to the body in the meantime. Ab-l-Hudhayl said that someone who dies without faith is punished "between the two breaths" (bayn an-nafkhatayn) [cf. Qur'n 39:68] of the trumpet blasts. Al-Balakh (al-Ka`b) and al-Jubb` and his son admitted torment in the grave for unbelievers and denied the naming of the two angels Munkar and Nakr, which revealed-law affirms.

li Qubba said that torment in the grave is admissible without the soul returning to the body. He is wrong, because sensation without the soul is contrary to what is self-evident. Some of the Karrmites and Mu`tazilites said that God punishes the dead in their graves without their feeling anything, but they only feel it when they come to life again, as a drunken person. But the Sunnite position is that they do feel something, yet they do not cry and moan during it.

There is nothing in intelligibility impeding the return of life to some parts of the body and the person's answering questions, even though we do not perceive this. It is not altogether certain whether children are brought to life in the grave. The apparent meaning of revelation (khabar) is that all, including children and those immune from sin, are brought to life, but there must be a perfecting of children's understanding for them to know their condition. To the objection that no life is apparent in the dead, it can be pointed out that sleeping people experience many things in their dreams without an observer's being aware of it.

J [25b, ff. 311b-312a] explains that God creates the accidentals of life or death in a body without the spirit having any effectivity (ta'thr) on this. The body returns to dust (turb), except that God preserves the bodies of prophets, learned men (`ulam', martyrs (shuhad') and deserving mu'adhdhins.

c. The path

The path (ir), says W [f. 77a] followed by J [29, ff. 321a-325b], is a bridge stretched over hell (jisr mamdd `al matn jahannam) and is the only road to heaven. It is finer than a hair and sharper than a sword, according to authentic adths with which Sunnites agree.

Ibn-Dahhq, in his commentary on the Irshd, says that there is a difference of opinion concerning its description. Some say that it is wide and all together men stand on it to receive their judgement; this was the opinion of al-Ash`ar and Imm-al-aramayn. But most learned men hold that it is finer than a hair and sharper than a sword and that it is a bridge with one end in the land of the resurrection (ar al-qiyma) and the other end in the land of heaven (ar al-janna). Both the bridge and the land of the resurrection where men will be gathered stand over the fire. The fire leaps up from below and grabs those destined for it according to their different categories (anf).

Many Mu`tazilites denied the existence of the path in its outward sense, saying that it is impossible or very difficult to cross such a bridge, and that the meaning is the path leading to heaven [cf. Qur'n 3:142] or hell [cf. Qur'n 37:23] by doing or omitting the practices of religion. Or the path, according to its length, refers to the number of sins which must be answered for before entering heaven.

The answer to them is that a literal crossing of such a path is possible by the power of God, who even now enables some birds to dart through the air with a speed beyond the natural power of their wings, while the condition of the next life will consist for the most part of extraordinary things.

d. The scale

The existence of the scale (mzn), says W [f. 77b], is affirmed in the Qur'n verses 21:47 and 101:6. Many commentators describe the scale as consisting of the two ends of a bar (katafn = shoulders), a dial (lisn = tongue) and two pendulums (sqn = legs).

Some Mu`tazilites oppose this description, saying that human acts are accidentals which cannot be weighed when they exist, and much less so when they have passed away. Rather, the meaning of the scale is justice established in everything (al-`adl ath-thbit f kull shay'). The reason for the use of the plural mayzn, "scales", is to indicate the perceptions of each knowing power.

The answer to them is that acts themselves are not weighed, but papers which record them or, as some say, specially created bright bodies to represent good acts and dark bodies to represent bad acts. The use of the plural is for the sake of emphasising greatness (isti`m), or because of the many things weighed on it, or because there is one big scale and a single little one for each person.

K [pp. 497-498] adds that the Mu`tazilite Ibn-al-Mu`tamar admitted the possibility of the literal meaning of the scale, although he found no authoritative reason for asserting it. Al-Jubb` admitted the creation of substances which are weighted in representation of a person's acts, which is close to the idea of weighing papers. There is uncertainty (taraddud) whether there are separate scales for unbelievers and believers or there is one for everyone.

Ibn-Dahhq, W continues, says there will be no settling of accounts (muqa) between man and his Lord, as al-Jubb`, the Mu`tazilite, asserted in saying that good acts are weighed against bad acts, and according to which are heavier the man goes to heaven or hell. This is not true, because Muammad said that if heaven and earth were placed on one side and the words "There is no deity but God" on the other, the latter would outweigh the former. The Sunnite position is that if a man has a mountain of acts of obedience and one act of deliberate disobedience, God can punish him for this and reward him for the rest, or he can forgive this sin. Ab-l-Qsim al-Junayd was asked what would happen to someone who left the world with only a speck (qadr nawt) of goodness. He answered that it would be considered as a basis of reward or punishment, much or little, as God wishes.

As for taking the book by the right hand, K [p. 507] says there is a difference of opinion whether this gesture indicates that the person will escape punishment, and the best course is to suspend judgement. W, however, says that this act is a sign that the person will not remain in the fire eternally, or, says J [27, f. 318a], that he will have an easy reckoning.

At the reckoning (isb), says W, a person will know which of his good acts are accepted (maqbl) or rejected (mardd), and which of his bad acts are forgiven (maghfr) or held against him (mu'khkhadh bi-hi). At the scale he will know how much reward or punishment he will receive for his good or bad acts.

e. The basin

The Sunnites are unanimous, says W [f. 78a], as to the existence of the basin (aw). It is described as containing extremely white water, sweeter than honey, and is fed by two pipes (mzb) from the river Kawthar with vessels (awnin) as numerous as stars. The sky is its rim (fatu-hu); its smell is that of musk and its pebbles are pearls (lu'lu'). whoever drinks from it will never thirst, and anyone who has substituted or changed tradition (man baddal aw ghayyar) will be kept away from it. another adth reported by Suhayl says that if you put your fingers in your ears and hear a sound, that is the pipes bringing water to the basin; this is literally possible, because for Sunnites sound, like sight, is not impeded by long distances.

Ibn-Dahhq says there is a difference of opinion concerning its location. some say that it is beyond (khalf) the path, an opinion attributed to the companions of ash-Shfi`. According to them, those who drink from it will not enter the fire, whereas some believers will enter the fire and be released by the intercession of Muammad; therefore it cannot be in the stopping place (mawqif).

Yet other Shfi`ites say that the basin is in the land of the resurrection (ar al-qiyma) [Like the stopping place, on this side of the path], while the believers who will enter the fire have their cups reserved for them until they come out.

Most Sunnites (jamhir ahl as-sunna) say that the basin is in the land of the resurrection, and there people either drink from it or are turned away. Were it beyond the path, there would be no chance of anyone being turned away, since those who have crossed the path can never turn back and enter the fire. It is possible for those who have drunk from the basin before crossing the path to enter the fire, in which case their having drunk from its waters is an assurity (amn) against their faces being burnt or their suffering hunger or thirst. It is also related that the fire will not burn their stomachs or the places where they washed for prayer (mawi` al-wu') or the parts of their bodies where they prostrated (mawi` as-sujd). Moreover only the upper part of the flames will touch them while they are still on the path, and only the unbelievers will fall from the path into the fire and remain there eternally, according to the Qur'n verses 26:94 and 39:72. Being seared while on the path sufficiently concords with the authentic traditions (akhbr) that the faithful who have sinned will enter the fire and be removed from it by Muammad's intercession, although another adth says that God kills them in the fire so that they do not feel its pain; then they come out like ashes.

As-Sans adds another opinion (qultu ql) that there are two basins, one at this end and one at the other end of the path. Those who have substituted or changed tradition are turned away from the first, while no one is turned away from the second, since only those saved from the fire reach it. God knows best.

The Mu`tazilites said that the basin is a relaxation from following the Muammadan norm (kifya `an ittib' as-sunna). The answer to them is that in the next life people will not be turned away from following the Muammadan norm, since there is no enchargement then; rather they will be turned away from a sensible (mass) basin. This is confirmed by a adth describing its dimensions.

Ibn-Dahhq relates another tradition whereby each prophet has his own basin from which his nation drinks. But some learned men say that there is no water or basin in the stopping place but that of Muammad. Those who are turned away from it will not enjoy any intercession. These are guilty of unbelief; equivalent to them are those who tamper with tradition (man khlab as-sunna).

f. Intercession

K [p. 506] describes the Sunnite position:

For the latter lot, W [f. 79a] says that written authority (na) and consensus affirm that intercession (shaf`a) will save some of the disobedient from the fire either before or after their entering it.

The Mu`tazilites are opposed to this, and limit intercession to those who obey or repent, in order to raise their rank and increase their reward. But Sunnites say that it is admissible also for those guilty of big acts of disobedience. At-Taftzn argues that if intercession were limited to increasing benefits (ziydat al-manfi`) we could be said to intercede for Muammad when we ask God to increase his honor; but such a consequence is false. An objection to his argument is that an intercessor (shaf`) is of a higher status (l) than the one he intercedes for (al-mashf` la-hu), or that the increase of benefits is completely unknown to his request or prayer (majhla li-su'lihi wa-alabi-hi l-batta). The answer to this objection is that an intercessor sometimes intercedes for himself, and that a benefit requested is sometimes impossible (ghayr mu`) and is not granted.

The Mu`tazilites [W, f. 79b] posed many objections to Muammad's intercession:

1) The first are Qur'n verses such as "Be on your guard against the day when one soul will not avail another in the least, neither shall intercession on its behalf be accepted" (2:48) and "The unjust shall have no helpers" (2:270).

The answer is that these verses refer specifically to unbelievers, which is the meaning of lim. Besides, the denial of help (nara) does not imply the denial of intercession, since intercession is a request for submission (khu`), whereas help can possibly imply defence and victory (mudfa`a wa-mughlaba) for the disobedient.

2) As for the Qur'n verse "They intercede only for him whom he approves" (21:28), someone guilty of a big sin is not approved. Besides, the prayer of the angels who carry the throne is "Pardon for those who have repented and follow your way" (40:7); and there is no difference between the intercession of angels and that of prophets.

The answer is that one guilty of a big sin is approved (murta) from the point of view of his having faith (mn), even though he has no good words; only the unbeliever is not approved, because he lacks the root of all goodness and perfection (al al-asant wa-ass al-kamlt), which is faith. The meaning of intercession for those who repent is intercession for those who repent of association in the objects of their belief (shirk), since if they repented from simple acts of disobedience and did good works they would have no need of intercession, according to the Mu`tazilites.

3) If intercession is for those guilty of big sins, then we include ourselves among them by saying the prayer "Lord make us worthy of the intercession of Muammad".

The answer is that although the prayer supposes acts of disobedience, its meaning is "Make us believers and approved", since intercession is only for such. Consequently it is a prayer for a happy death (usn al-khtima). At-Taftzn explains the logic of such a prayer in the same way.

g. Eternity of final reward or punishment

The eternity of delight for believers and of fire for unbelievers, says W [ff. 79b-80a] is a matter of consensus. Included among unbelievers (kfirn) are the hypocrites (munfiqn), who are in the lowest level of hell. Among believers are included the immoral (fussq), since even if they do not repent before death, they will be eternally in heaven, and that either immediately and without punishment at all by God's forgiveness and the intercession of those who intercede, or after some punishment in the fire according to the measure (qadr) of their sins. Nevertheless we hold for (naqa`) the carrying out of the threat (nufdh al-wa`d) for an indefinite number of them (f jam`a min-hum min ghary ta`yn) because of the texts concerning this.

Regarding punishment in the next life, there are the errors of:

The Sunnites hold a middle position between the last two extremes.

At-Taftzn observes that there is really a difference of opinion among the Mu`tazilites. Al-Jubb`, Ab-Hshim and later Mu`tazilites held that:

In another place at-Taftzn says that Ab-`Al al-Jubb` said that whichever is greater simply cancels out the other, but Ab-Hshim said that the lesser is subtracted from the greater, and the person has the reward or punishment which remains.

K [pp. 498-499] asserts that heaven and the fire already exist. The Mu`tazilites denied this, since they serve no purpose until someone is admitted to them for reward or punishment. The answer to them is that God does not act for objectives that he must justify his creation by its usefulness. Besides, the present existence of heaven and the fire has the usefulness of inciting hope or fear.

As-Sans does not describe heaven, except for the section on the vision of God [above, G, c]. In K [p. 496] he mentions that the pleasures of the next world are like some of the pleasures of this world in appearance (ra), but differ from them in reality (aqqa); so that all they have in common is their names.

h. Repentance

Immorality (fisq), says W [f. 80a], is a departure from obedience to God, either by committing one bit sin or by committing many small sins over a long time or all at once. The determination for immorality in this world is, by consensus, the obligation of repentance (tawba) immediately. If a person delays repentance an hour, this delay (ta'khr) is another big sin, and so on by doubling; for two hours he has four sins, for three hours eight, for four hours sixteen.

The reality of repentance (tawba) [W, f. 80b] in revealed-law is a regret for disobedience because it is disobedience (an-nadam `al l-ma`iyya li-ajl anna-h ma`iyya), or if you like, a regret for disobedience because of its foulness before revealed-law (li-ajl qubi-h shar`an). Regret for disobedience because it harms one's body or reputation (`ir) or esteem (asab) or wealth is not repentance.

At-Taftzn says that there is uncertainty whether regret because of fear of the fire or because of desire for heaven is repentance, since it is not certain whether this is because of the legal foulness and disobedience of the act.

There is also doubt whether there is repentance in the case of regret because of foulness before revealed-law and also because of another objective (ghara).

The truth regarding both these cases is that if there were still regret if the aspect of foulness of the act were isolated, then the regret is repentance; otherwise not.

The same principle holds in the case of repentance on the occasion of a serious illness (mar mukhawwif). It is likely (hir), according to the words of Muammad, that such a person's repentance is accepted as long as the forebodings (`almt) of death have not yet appeared.

The reality of regret (nadam) is sadness and pain over what one has done, and the wish that one had not done it (taazzun wa-tawajju` `al m fa`al wa-tamann kawni-hi lam yaf`al). For repentance another qualification (qayd) is added: the resolution not to repeat the act in the future (al-`azm `al tark al-mu`wada f l-mustaqbal).

An objection is that in the future a person may not have possession of his mind or faculties so that he can omit repeating the act. The answer is that the meaning of resolution implies the supposition of being in control of oneself; such is the answer of Imm-al-aramayn.

To be exact, a resolution is not a separate qualification (taqyd) of repentance, but only an explanation of what is implied in regret for disobedience because of its foulness before revealed-law. Many common people (al-`awmm) define repentance simply as a resolution not to commit the sin again, but this is not repentance at all, since it has no reference to sorrow for the past. Al-Ghazl observes in his Iy', in the chapter on repentance where he tells the story of David's repentance, that true repentance is rare, and few men attain it.

It is not necessary to renew repentance every time one remembers his disobedience, but only if he remembers it with desire and pleasure (mushtahiyan la-h farian bi-h). This is in disagreement with al-Bqilln and Ab-`Al al-Jubb`, the Mu`tazilite, who say that one must renew one's repentance every time without exception.

Also, repentance is valid (tai) if it is for some acts of disobedience without others; this is in opposition to Ab-Hshim of the Mu`tazilites. On the same principle that one can fulfil some obligations where the attraction (d`iya) is strong, and omit others, so one can repent of some foul acts because of their foulness and weakness of attraction while persisting in another foul act.

To repent of all acts of disobedience a global repentance (ijml) suffices; this is in opposition to some Mu`tazilites who demand a repentance for each sin in particular (taflan).

At-Taftzn [W, f. 81a], in his Shar al-Maqid [says J, 23a, f. 297b], says that if the act of disobedience:

It may be remarked that the obligation of restoration is additional to that of repentance.

Imm-al-aramayn said that if a killer's repentance is valid even if he does not give himself up for reprisal (min ghayr taslm nafsi-hi l-l-qi), but his not giving himself up is another disobedience which requires a separate repentance.

Imm-al-aramayn also said that repentance is of doubtful validity (rubbam l tai) if one still possesses what belongs to another, as in the case of robbery (ghab), since regret is not valid if one's hand is still on the goods (ma`a idmat al-yad `al l-maghb); thus there is a difference between killing and robbing. In J [23a, f. 297b] Ibn-`Arafa is quoted for reporting one opinion saying that such repentance is valid.

J [23c, f. 303a] asks if repentance for unbelief, that is, after having believed, is acceptable. The Fathers are cited for saying that it is, but according to opinion (`al -ann) and hope (raj`). But the Qur'n verse "He is the one who accepts repentance from his servants" (42:25) is quoted for the opinion that this repentance is decidedly accepted.

i. Law enforcement

Related to repentance, says W [f. 81a], is the question of commanding the acceptable and forbidding the objectionable (al-amr bi-l-ma`rf wa-n-nahy `an al-munkar). The meaning of the acceptable is what is obligatory (wjib), and the meaning of the objectionable is what is forbidden (arm). There is no doubt that these are two obligations independent of the appearance of the imm, contrary to what the Rfiites maintain.

Evidence for these obligations are Qur'n verses such as 3:104 and 31:17, many adths, and consensus, which is plain from the activity of the earliest Muslims.

At-Taftzn answers objections rising from Qur'n verses, such as "O you who believe, take care of yourselves; he who errs cannot harm you when you are guided" (3:105). The answer regarding this verse is that the meaning of `alay-kum anfusu-kum, "Take care of yourselves", is "Improve (ali) yourselves by performing your obligations", which include commanding the acceptable and forbidding the objectionable.

As for the verse "There is no compulsion in religion" (2:256), this is abrogated (manskh) by the verse of battle (yat al-qitl) [9:5], although the meaning may be that the acts of commanding the acceptable and forbidding the objectionable are not forced acts.

One condition [W, f. 82b] for the obligation of commanding the acceptable and forbidding the objectionable is the possibility of this having some effect (tajwz at-ta'thr). Another condition is there not resulting damage or evil greater than or equal to the objectionable thing. Outside these conditions it is reportedly permissible (ql bi-jawz) to resist evil even if one thinks he will be killed without inflicting any harm (nikya), but he is also allowed (yurakhkha la-hu) to be silent. There is a different of opinion which is preferred (afal); the first alternative is the choice of the Mlikites, Ibn-anbal, Sa`d b. al-Musayyib and Sa`d b. Jubayr.

Commanding the acceptable and forbidding the objectionable is not limited to governor (wult), since in the beginning of Islam everyone concerned himself with it by word and deed without permission. But if the matter develops into a war, then the responsibility passes to the sultan, in order to avoid civil strife (fitna), as Imm-al-aramayn said. He also said that in legal matters understood by everyone, everyone participates in commanding the acceptable and forbidding the objectionable. But in matters understood only by specialists (mujtahid), this belongs to the specialists only, although each specialist has the right to his opinion in the case of differences in branch sciences. Some, however, say that only one opinion is right (mub), although it is not determined (mu`ayyan); therefore the Mu al-anafiyya says that t anafite, for example, must correct (yatasib) the mistakes of a Shfi`ite, and vice versa.

Nor is the obligation of commanding the acceptable and forbidding the objectionable limited to those who do not commit such objectionable acts, since the obligation not to commit them and the obligation to forbid them are distinct, and someone who omits one obligation is not excused from omitting the other.

Moreover this is a communitarian obligation (far kifya), that is, it is an obligation of all, but the obligation ceases if some in the area (uq`) fulfil it. Sometimes one person, commonly called a censor (mutasib), is designated for matters pertaining:

Thus commanding the acceptable and forbidding the objectionable goes beyond obligatory and forbidden matters.

A censor should vary his reaction in steps from doing nothing (waqf wa-sukn) to more severe measures (al-aghla), according to the condition (l) of the objectionable thing. The Mu al-anafiyya, for example, says that one should object to a man whose knees are uncovered by doing nothing, even if he persists (in lajj); but if his thighs are uncovered, this calls for anger, and blows if he persists; if his secret parts are uncovered, this calls for blows, and if he persists killing him.

J [24, ff. 303a-308b] takes up the question of the immate. There are two kinds: the smaller (ughr), which is in leading the alt prayers, and the larger (kubr), which is that considered here. The definition in the Nihya is "the universal leadership of one person in religious and worldly matters" (ri'sa f d-dn wa-d-duny `mma li-shakh wid). The word "universal" excludes judges and the like; the phrase "one person" excludes the whole people (kull al-umma) if the imm is removed. Al-mid criticized this definition because it has no reference to prophecy, and gave as his definition "the caliphate-or succession-of a person to the Messenger in setting up revealed-law and guarding the community, with the obligation of all men to follow him" (khilfa shakh li-r-rasl f iqmat ash-shar` wa-if al-milla `al wajh yjib ittib`u-hu kffat an-ns).

Regarding the necessity of the immate, (106) there those who: