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Analysis Of Differing Wahhabi Methodologies Of Determining Exclusivity.


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Introduction:

Commonly it is believed that Wahhabism is a monoliathic sect with uniform rules and principles. This is a misconception amongst Ahle Sunnat as well as the adherents of Wahhabism. The reality is that Wahhabism differs from person to person. This maybe not apparent when talking about the creed but it is clear from the asool, principle, which the adherents of this sect employ. Only on principles of determining exclusivity there are five major methodologies employed.

Wahhabi Principle Of Determining Shirk & Exclusivity:

Generally the heretics of Pakistan the ghair-muqallideen used the principle: All attributes of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) are exclusive attributes. Any attribute of Allah (subhanhu wa ta’ala) attributed to a creation is Shirk.” and this faction does not have principle of exclusivity rather they determine Shirk based on usage of word for Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) and His creation. The slightly more advance and intelligent Arab heretics employ:  'A exclusive attribute of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) attributed to a creation is Shirk ...” with exceptive clause: “... except what is affirmed for a creation in Qur’an or Hadith.'  with their principle of exclusivity: 'Every attribute not substantiated for a creation in Qur’an or Ahadith but substantiated for Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) is exclusive attribute of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala).' Its worth knowing that some heretics will state all the attributes of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) are unique to Him and this becomes apparent when one discusses with them about Tawheed. In this group there are two factions; a) determines uniqueness based on the rule: Every attribute not substantiated for a creation in Qur’an or Ahadith but substantiated for Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) is exclusive attribute of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala).[1]', B) determines uniqueness based on attribute's relationship to creation and Creator. The second group also splits into two factions; i) determines exclusiveness based on  meanings of words[2], ii) determines exclusiveness of a attribute based on the meaning and meanings relationship between the Creator and His creation[3]. And then there is unspeakable terror, the monster whos name should not be mentioned openly, the one who devours the Ahlul Ilm, the hippie[4].

The Six Methodologies:

Methodology- One: All attributes of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) are exclusive attributes. Any attribute of Allah (subhanhu wa ta’ala) attributed to a creation is Shirk.”

Methodology - Two:  “A exclusive attribute of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) attributed to a creation is Shirk except what is affirmed for a creation in Qur’an or Hadith.” Exclusivity of a attribute is determined with principle: Every attribute not substantiated for a creation in Qur’an or Ahadith but substantiated for Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) is exclusive attribute of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala).

Methodology - Three: “All attributes of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) are exclusive attributes. Any attribute of Allah (subhanhu wa ta’ala) attributed to a creation is Shirk except what is affirmed for a creation in Qur’an or Hadith.” And their methodology of exclusivity: “Every attribute not substantiated for a creation in Qur’an or Ahadith but substantiated for Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) is exclusive attribute of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala).

Methodology - Four: “All attributes of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) are exclusive attributes. Any attribute of Allah (subhanhu wa ta’ala) attributed to a creation is Shirk except what is affirmed for a creation in Qur’an or Hadith.” Principle of judging exclusivity: “Exclusiveness of attributes of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) is based on meanings of words.[5]

Ibn Taymiyyan Methodology: “All attributes of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) are exclusive attributes. Any attribute of Allah (subhanhu wa ta’ala) attributed to a creation is Shirk except what is affirmed for a creation in Qur’an or Hadith.” The rule of determining exclusivity: “Exclusiveness of a attribute is based on the meaning and meanings relationship between the Creator and His creation.

Hippie Methodology: “All attributes of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) are exclusive attributes. Any attribute of Allah (subhanhu wa ta’ala) attributed to a creation is Shirk except what is affirmed for a creation in Qur’an or Hadith. Every attribute not substantiated for a creation in Qur’an or Ahadith but substantiated for Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) is exclusive attribute of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) and exclusiveness of attributes of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) is also based on wordily meanings as well as based on the meanings relationship between the Creator and His creation.”

Refuting Heretical Principles:

Methodology - One, states: All attributes of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) are exclusive attributes. Any attribute of Allah (subhanhu wa ta’ala) attributed to a creation is Shirk.” Using this principle to determine Shirk in belief would prove to be disasterous. Note, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is Rauf, Raheem: “Indeed it was great (heavy) except for those whom Allah guided. And Allah would never make your faith  to be lost. Truly, Allah is the most Kind, the most Merciful towards mankind.” [Ref: 2:143] based on the principle: All attributes of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) are exclusive attributes. Any attribute of Allah (subhanhu wa ta’ala) attributed to a creation is Shirk.” it would be Shirk to believe a creation of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is rauf, raheem (i.e. kind, merciful). Yet the Quran states Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was’sallam) is kind, merciful: “Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He is anxious over you; for the believers he is kind and merciful. [Ref: 9:128] Holding to the Ahle Hadith principle and not believing Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was’sallam) is kind, merciful is major act of disbelief.

Methodology - Two, states:
A exclusive attribute of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) attributed to a creation is Shirk except what is affirmed for a creation in Qur’an or Hadith.” Problematic aspect in traditional Wahhabi methodology is the manner how exclusivity is determined:  Every attribute not substantiated for a creation in Qur’an or Ahadith but substantiated for Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) is exclusive attribute of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala).” The exclusivity of a attribute is not determined based on presence of evidence for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) or based on absence of proof for His creation. Rather a attribute which Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) shares with creation can be exclusive attribute of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). All attributes of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) are Zaati meaning; personel, His own, not granted to Him by another. If Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was’sallam) believed to be rauf, raheem (i.e. kind, merciful): “Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He is anxious over you; for the believers he is kind and merciful. [Ref: 9:128] in understanding of Zaati. Meaning believed to be; kind, merciful, personaly, by his own self, without Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) granting him the qualities of kind, merciful it would be major Shirk. Yet this principle of determining exclusivity for a attribute: Every attribute not substantiated for a creation in Qur’an or Ahadith but substantiated for Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) is exclusive attribute of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala).” would validate a polytheistic belief because the words kind, merciful are established in Qur’an for Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was’sallam). This simple exercise establishes two fundamental points; i) the Wahhabi methodology of determining exclusivity is invalid, ii) and in its invalid form it legitimizes major Shirk.

Methodology - Three, states:
All attributes of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) are exclusive attributes. Any attribute of Allah (subhanhu wa ta’ala) attributed to a creation is Shirk …” and this far it is exactly same as Ahlal Hadeeth methodology the difference is of exceptive clause: ”…  except what is affirmed for a creation in Qur’an or Hadith.” Note that the first part of the statement says all attributes of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) are exclusive to Him and this is correct. Indeed shared or unshared attributes of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) are exclusive to Him. In meaning of Zaati, Qulli, Qadeemi, Ghair-izni, Ghair-Makhlooq, Haqiqi but not exclusive in meaning of; unsubstantiated for creation but substantiated for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).

Methodology - Four, states: “Exclusiveness of attributes of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) is based on meanings of words.” In this methodology if a attribute was established with evidence for Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) and His creation then it would be Shirk to assign to this attribute a common meaning. To illustrate the point better; the mawla has been used for Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) in Quran in meaning of; Lord, Master, Protector, Supporter, Patron, Helper, so to avoid the; possbility of Shirk or the heretic would put it 'root to shirk' they would interpret the word mawla for creation in meaning of; servant, freed slave and most likely translate the word mawla according to the context of the statement. The problematic aspect of this methodology is that if the word mawla is understood in meaning of protector, supporter, patron, helper, for a creation the result would be major Shirk, or edict of Mushrik will be screamed. The error of this methodology is established from the fact; asal, foundation, bunyad, the usage of word mawla for creation is established hence every meaning of mawla is plausible for whom the word is used not just a specific meaning. And usage of word mawla in a specific context may denotes a specific meaning but that specific meaning cannot restrict, limit the asal to a specific meaning because Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) said: “I have been sent with ‘Jawami-al-Kalim ‘ (i.e. the shortest expression with the widest meaning) and ...” [Ref: Bukhari, B92, H378] Therefore all the meanings of mawla can be applied to a creation for whom the word mawla was used by Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam).[6]

Ibn Taymiyyan Methodology, states: Exclusiveness of a attribute is based on the meaning and meanings relationship between the Creator and His creation.” I only know a little about Ibn Taymiyyan method of determining exclusivity. Analysis of his excerpt revealed Ibn Taymiyyah the anthropomorphist, used Qur’an [atleast in that excerpt] to establish exclusivity in meaning of Qadeem (i.e. eternal) for Allah’s (subhanahu wa ta’ala) attribute of Al Hayy (i.e. the Living) and established for His creation ephemeral life.[7]  In simple language Ibn Taymiyyah established Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) as the Living from eternity, without beginning and established for His creation he established living with beginning and end. This was the methodology of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat that proceded him and those who came after him. It is unknown to me whether he approved and employed the comprehensive exclusivity determining methodology of Ahle Sunnat or whether he practice selectivism on basis of evidence of Quran, hadith.[8] The real major difference between Ahle Sunnat and Ibn Taymiyah on issue of Shirk is; his classification of Shirk into Uluhiyyah and Rububiyyah. This classification is basis on which Wahhabiyyah base their heretical methodologies of determining exclusivity and these simplified concepts are used to level the charge of major Shirk against the Muslims.[9]

Hippie Methodology,states: … It is mish-mash of everything and all the criticism which is levelled against its derivitives can be employed against one who adheres to this methodology. With this one can also cross examine the principles of determining exclusivity and point out the contradictions. According to a principle of exclusivity affirming a attribute for creation would be legitimate and would not effect aqeedah of Tawheed but according to another it would be Shirk. It would be best if these incompatibilities for hippie methodology are deciphered by the readers.

Ahle Sunnat’s Principle Of Exclusivity:

Ahle Sunnat hold to the position; all attributes of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) shared with creation or unshared with creation are exclusive attributes of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and assigning any attribute of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) in absolute sense to a creation of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is major Shirk. Ahle Sunnat determine perfection and exclusivity for attributes of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) according to meaning of; zaati (i.e. personnel), qadeemi (i.e. eternal), ghair izni (i.e. requiring no permission), qulli (i.e. absolute), la mahdood (i.e. unlimited), ghair-makhlooq (i.e. uncreated), haqiqi (i.e. intrinsic). If a attribute is assigned to a creation in any of these meanings then major Shirk would occur.

Conclusions:

Four exclusivity determining methodologies of Wahhabiyyah are invalid and incomplete because the methods of determining exclusivity in all of them produce result which contradict the teaching of Qur’an and Ahadith. The hippie methodology is product of a mind which has no sense or ability to reason therefore a sensible its by default discounted. Ibn Taymiyyan methodology is in-part representation of Ahle Sunnat’s methodology of validating concepts of Tawheed understood with kalam of mutakallimeen but this methodology requires great deal of knowledge of Quran and ahadith. Which the modern Muslim and a lay person would find too difficult to learn hence the kalam methodology of exclusivity is the quickest method of protecting oneself from Shirk of attributes.[10]

Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi


Footnotes:

- [1] Even though this type individual may say he believes in all attributes of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) are exclusively His but his methodology of figuring out the exclusivity indicates otherwise.

-
[2] The word Mawla has been used for Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) in meaning of; Lord, Master, Protector, Supporter, Patron and Helper. This faction would determine exclusivity of attribute of Mawla in meanings of; Lord, Master, Protector, Supporter, Patron, Helper therefore this faction would not assign the same meanings to those verses, hadith, in which the word mawla has been used for a creation. And if Mawla is assigned to a creation in any of the mentioned meanings; Lord, Master, Protector, Supporter, Patron, Helper then they would deem it Shirk.

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[3] This faction first determines the meaning in which the word Mawla has been used for Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala); Lord, Master, Protector, Supporter, Patron, Helper and also considers meanings in which it can be used for Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala). They would say Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) is the Mawla of believers: “Nay, Allah is your Mawla and He is the Best of helpers.” [Ref: 3:150] as well as the disbelievers: “There every person will know what he had earned before and they will be brought back to Allah; their rightful Mawla and their invented false deities will vanish from them.” [Ref: 10:30] in meaning of Wali; Protector, Supporter, Guardian and Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) is only Wali without a wali: “And say: "All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has not begotten a offspring and Who has no partner in (His) Dominion, nor He is low to have a Wali. And magnify Him with all magnificence." [Ref: 17:111] In conclusion this faction would consider exclusivity of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) being Wali, Mawla in meaning of Him not having a Wali/Mawla and everyone else in creation having Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) has their Wali/Mawla.

-
[4] Just as the hippies do not have a fix location of residence, this faction within Wahhabiyyah is one which does not adhere any fixed set of principle of exclusivity instead this faction moves from principle to principle and feeds and feuls on the arguments of his opponents. This type of individual is well versed but not in a particular methodology of exclusivity. He has read everything, anything on the subject of determining exclusivity because it was labelled Salafi material, or a Salafi approved. As a result such individual is the most confused, irrational, illogical, stupid, foolish in the matters of religion and definitely the most difficult if not impossible to corner. Therefore do not engage such a person in discussion twice if you made the mistake first time. Its better to provide written material to such individual and if one has to engage such idiot, foolish person in discussion then have him/her write the principle, the position on the issue. And confirm with him/her if there is any other principle that is part of what is written if he/she state there is then have that in written form as well. Only procede with dicussion when the basic principles, rules, have been written and confirmed. If he agrees to anything write the point which he agrees with and have his signiture next to it. Trust me he/she will refute it even after agreeing to it few minutes later or atleast say something which will contradict what he has agreed with. This breed is common and usually will be the first one you will encounter. Vast majority of these individuals belongs to Pakistani Wahhabi sub-sect called Ahle Hadith.

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[6] Part One: I am very well aware of the fact that Rawafiz will be jubilant with this concession because the word mawla has been used for Hadhrat Ali (radiallah ta'ala anh) in the famous hadith: "man kuntu mawlah fahaza aliyun mawla" meaning; “Whomsoever I am mawla, Ali is also his mawla.” and they interpret the word in meaning of Master, Leader, to support their belief that Hadhrat Ali (radiallah ta'ala anhu) was the first Khalifah of Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam). Note in another hadith Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) said to Zaid that he is Hadhrat Ali's (radiallah ta'ala anhu) and Prophet's (sallalahua layhi was'sallam) mawla: “The Prophet judged that she should be given to her aunt, and said that the aunt was like the mother. He then said to 'All, "You are from me and I am from you", and said to Ja'far, "You resemble me both in character and appearance", and said to Zaid, "You are our brother and Mawlana (i.e. our mawla)." [Ref: Bukhari,  B49, H863] So on the basis of mawla meaning master if anyone had the right to Khilafat after Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) then it was Hadhrat Zaid (radiallah ta'ala anhu) who was mawla of Hadhrat Ali (radiallah ta'ala anh) and all those who were present. Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) was not a Khalifah therefore Hadhrat Ali (radiallah ta'ala anhu) being mawla (i.e. master) cannot imply Hadhrat Ali (radiallah ta'ala anh) being Khalifah of companions because the sentence implies Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) is also same as Hadhrat Ali (radiallah ta'ala anh). Part Two: Hazrat Umar (radiallah ta'ala anhu) visited Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) questioned: “... 'Didn't you tell us that we would go to the Ka'ba and perform Tawaf around it?'“ To which Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) replied:  “... 'Yes, but did I tell you that we would visit the Ka'ba this year?'“ I said, 'No.' Then Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) said: 'So you will visit it and perform Tawaf around it.'” [Ref: Bukhari, B50, H891] Then Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta'ala anhu) visited Hadhrat Abu Bakr Sadeeq (radiallah ta'ala anhu), asked the same questions and got exactly the same replies. Prophet's (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) reply of yes to question:  “... 'Didn't you tell us that we would go to the Ka'ba and perform Tawaf around it?'“ and then his question:“... 'but did I tell you that we would visit the Ka'ba this year?'“
makes it clear what Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) has said in mutlaq (i.e. general) cannot be termed muqayyid (i.e. specific). Therefore Hadhrat Zaid (radiallah ta'ala anhu) being mawla cannot be given a particular meaning to prevent him from being master of Hadhrat Ali (radiallah ta'ala anhu). Now if someone was to argue mawla does not mean master for this x y z reasons the response would be; did Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) tell you he isn't the master of Hadhrat Ali (radiallah ta'ala anh)? Which he hasn't therefore your deductions have no gaurantee until mutlaq has been made muqayyid by Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) or by Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala). In other words Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) or Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) terms Hazrat Zaid's (radiallah ta'ala anhu) being mawla in particular meaning explicitly.

- [7] It is unknown whether he accepted the concepts of Tawheed presented in language of kalam by mutakalimeen. It should be noted that even though the technical jargon employed by mutakalimeen is foreign to Qur’an and Ahadith but it does not contradict the teaching of Tawheed. Instead it highlights the finer details and aids the understanding of Tawheed. Therefore I see no reason why Ibn Taymiyyah would oppose the concepts of Tawheed which the kalam jargon of mutakallimeen teaches. Knowing Ibn Taymiyyah’s anti-Kalam stance I can state with confidence; he may have opposed the use of kalam jargon but could not have in sober, sane, mind opposed the teaching the kalam jargon imparts.

- [8] Ibn Taymiyyah’s contribution toward asool of deen and asool of his methodology is zilch, nothing hence it makes it impossible to determine what position he held. The only treaties which indicate his asool are ‘Aqeedah Hamawiyyah’ and ‘Aqeedah Wasitiyyah’ and these two treaties are basis of humanisation of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) wrapped in verbal gymnastics. Reality of which feeble and simple minds cannot penetrate, as a result they dawn the garb of kufr thinking its prestine Islam.

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[9] If Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) permits a comprehensive article will be written to explain the difference between the categorisation of Shirk by Ahle Sunnat and Ibn Taymiyyah’s innovative classification of Shirk. And how Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab had taken Ibn Taymiyyah’s classification of Shirk to next logical step to support the revival of his 17th century Kharijism.

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[10] Every Muslim should learn the evidences for each concept of Tawheed and Shirk. The simplicity of Ahle Sunnat’s methodology is for ease of learning and protecting oneself from Shirk. Not for sake of distancing people from book of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and Sunnah of RasoolAllah (sallalahu alayhi was’sallam). The responsibility of gaining knowledge of book of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is upon each and every individual. This responsibility is no where greater then learning the aqeedah of Tawheed and Shirk, with the evidences from Quran ,Sunnah.

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