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m and the Question of the Divine Attributes
Q!r"#w$’s insistence on sound, scriptural knowledge is asserted most strongly in his discussions of theology. In line with A%mad Sirhind$’s view that orthodoxy is of more fundamental importance than orthopraxy, Q!r"#w$ considers belief—the domain of theology—as requiring more certainty than action—the domain of law. The subordination of action to belief is based on the fact that it is the process of ijtih!d which renders an action acceptable, a process that allows for the use of less epistemologically sound sources (such as !"!d reports), while seeking to minimize, rather than eliminate, uncertainty. As such, ijtih!d is considered to impart only probability—a preponderance of belief—rather than certain knowledge.1 Thus, it is suitable only for action, which Q!r"#w$ makes explicit, writing that “three of [the four u#$l] necessitate knowledge (‘ilm) and action, and one of them—it is qiy!s—necessitates action, but not knowledge.”2 Belief, by contrast, demands absolute certainty, and must be based on sources that are not only sound, but epistemically certain.3 Therefore, sources such as the khabar w!"id, which is of course scriptural, cannot be used in formulating belief, due to its inherent uncertainty.4 Qiy!s and ijtih!d, which are processes of logic and reasoning, are rejected in matters of belief as well, in that they are subject to error.5 Indeed, Q!r"#w$ equates qiy!s and !"!d reports in
Q!r"#w$, Na#!’i", fol. 21a; idem, Mab!"ith, fol. 170a. Q!r"#w$, Na#!’i", fol. 19a. The view that consensus necessitates knowledge runs counter to the Aristotelian perspective (important in the more philosophically oriented kal!m of the post-classical period) that the intuitively necessary truths that provide the basis for syllogistic reasoning are more valid than consensus or generally accepted premises (endoxa), which are the raw materials of dialectical argumentation. Yet, for Q!r"#w$, logic is prone to individual error, while consensus has the weight of the community behind it. 3 Zysow, Economy, pg. 112, 116. 4 Q!r"#w$, Na#!’i", fol. 19a. According to Zysow, this was the position of the ancient Samarqandi school of Hanaﬁs; Zysow, Economy, pg. 41. 5 Cf. Q!r"#w$, Ithb!t, fol. 150a; idem, Irsh!d, pg. 27. 152
terms of certainty.6 Thus, only that which can be directly found in the soundest, more certain scriptural sources, as well as in established consensus, can be admitted for belief. Everything else must be rejected.7 This conviction is at the heart of Q!r"#w$’s view of kal!m, the speculative nature of which renders it unacceptable for determining matters of belief. Q!r"#w$ considers kal!m to be based on reason, rather than sound scriptural sources, and thus not productive of certainty. According to Q!r"#w$, this deﬁciency leads to clear error and absurdity, and the mutakallim$n, who formulate opinions about God and His nature and essence based on rational speculation, profess opinions unfounded in scripture and tradition. For Q!r"#w$, nowhere have the mutakallim$n gone so wrong as on the issue of the divine attributes. Q!r"#w$’s stance on the attributes is a criticism of the particular view prevalent in Central Asia at the time, and a corrective of what he considers its signiﬁcant shortcomings and fallacies. His criticisms, however, do not constitute a broad rejection of the Sunni kal!m position on the attributes, to which Q!r"#w$’s stance conforms entirely. Rather, Q!r"#w$ focuses on those aspects of the predominant orthodoxy in Central Asia—expressed primarily in Sa‘d al-D$n Taft#z#n$’s commentary on the ‘Aq!’id Nasaﬁyya, ubiquitous in Central Asian and Bulghar theological circles—that he believed to be erroneous, unfounded in scripture and in violation of the central theological tenets of the religion. It was Q!r"#w$’s attacks on this position that led to his condemnation at the hands of the Bukharan ‘ulam!’, who accused him of holding heretical beliefs on the attributes. (See below.) Q!r"#w$’s basic stance, however, is very much in line with Sunni kal!m. The accepted Sunni position on the attributes was that the attributes are real,
Q!r"#w$, Shar" Man!r, fol. 61a-61b. Q!r"#w$, Mab!"ith, fol. 169a. 153
eternal and distinct from the divine essence, of which they are predicated.8 Q!r"#w$ adhered to this general position, but within it there is considerable room for interpretation. Q!r"#w$ focused on the question of the attributes’ distinctiveness. For him, the predominant view, espoused by theologians such as Taft#z#n$, as well as the Bukharan ‘ulam!’, presented the attributes as being so distinct from the divine essence that they risked being seen as multiple eternal entities separate from God, thus violating taw"%d.9 Though the standard view was unproblematic for many scholars—as the rebuttals against Q!r"#w$’s criticisms clearly show—Q!r"#w$ categorically rejected parts of it, putting forward instead his own understanding of the attributes’ distinctiveness. This understanding emphasized God’s oneness (taw"%d) in both of its aspects—uniqueness and simplicity—and His transcendence (tanz%h).10 Q!r"#w$ considers taw"%d and tanz%h to be fundamental principles of the religion, a view he bases on the Qur’anic statement (42:11) that “There is nothing like unto Him” (laysa ka-mithlihi shay’un), which appears frequently in his works as scriptural justiﬁcation.11 (This precept is also central to Sirhind$’s thought, expressed in the formula that God is b%-ch$n wa ch%g$nah [which ter Haar renders as ‘beyond compare’], a Persian translation of laysa ka-mithlihi shay’un.12)
Robert Wisnovsky. “Avicenna and the Avicennian Tradition.” The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy. Eds. Peter Adamson and Richard C. Taylor. New York: Cambridge UP, 2005. 92-136. Pg. 121. 9 That it was Taft#z#n$’s understanding of the attributes that was at issue for both sides of this debate is evident. In Q!r"#w$’s commentary on the Nasaﬁyya, he makes his attacks on Taft#z#n$ explicit; Q!r"#w$, Shar" jad%d, fol. 92b; see Appendix 13. Likewise, D#ghist#n$’s refutation of Q!r"#w$ doubles as an implicit defense of Taft#z#n$ (see below). 10 Uniqueness represents God’s singularity, while simplicity entails that God has no compositeness or complexity; see Wisnovsky, “Avicenna,” pg. 121. 11 Q!r"#w$, Haftiyak, fol. 1b; idem, Shar" qad%m, fol. 17a; idem, Shar" jad%d, fol. 96b; idem, Na#!’i", fol. 20a. 12 Sirhind$, 1:38, pg. 100; J.G.J. ter Haar. Follower and Heir of the Prophet: Shaykh Ahmad Sirhind% (1564-1624) as Mystic. Leiden: Het Oosters Instituut, 1992. Pg. 62. Sirhind$’s formula is mentioned in a marginal note at the beginning of Q!r"#w$’s Mab!"ith al-ism wa-l-#ifa, the work in which Sirhind$’s importance to Q!r"#w$ is most evident; Q!r"#w$, Mab!"ith, fol. 153b. 154
Nasaf$ afﬁrms the attributes’ reality and eternality. 15 See Daniel Gimaret. 20a. 168a. Shar" jad%d. and Q!r"#w$ held its author. Mab!"ith. 36-37. fol. pg. 135. iii.” Nasaf$ goes on to describe their distinctiveness in relation to the divine essence. in particularly high regard.Though Q!r"#w$ breaks with Sirhind$ over other theological matters (see below).15 13 See. ‘Umar b. “Mu‘tazila. idem. 98. does not constitute a radical reformulation of the status of the divine attributes. cf. 92b. &th!r. pg. This work was central to kal!m in Central Asia and the Ottoman Empire. Shar" jad%d. 111a-112a. Ithb!t. among other things. Q!r"#w$ saw the prevailing orthodoxy as infringing upon both taw"%d and tanz%h by making the attributes too distinct from the divine essence. 252 n. as well as that they are entirely other (ghayriyya). the former’s emphasis on transcendence shows a clear Mujaddidi inﬂuence stemming from Sirhind$.” EI2 and Wilferd Madelung. where he refers to Nasaf$ as.” EI2. it is grounded within the existing Maturidi theological tradition. Mu%ammad al-Nasaf$. fol. for instance. Jar$r al-Rakk$. see also Kemper. where he calls Sirhind$ “al-Shaykh al-Rabb!n%”.13 In his ‘Aq!’id. 14 That is. fol. also Q!r"#w$. stating that “they are neither it nor other than it (l! huwa wal! ghayruh). pg. fol. Taft#z#n$. ‘al-Im!m alRabb!n%’ a title conventionally reserved—at least among the Mujaddidiyya—for Sirhind$. Q!r"#w$’s Criticism Q!r"#w$’s critique. Q!r"#w$. Q!r"#w$. Rather. however. Q!r"#w$ in fact elsewhere refers to Sirhind$ in this way. This position is the focus of Q!r"#w$’s criticisms and the point of departure for his own stance on the attributes. 155 . 149b. Na#!’i". or the letter recorded in &th!r. as shown by his explicit reference to the ‘Aq!’id nasaﬁyya while being questioned by Amir &aydar (mentioned above). denies both that the attributes are one and the same with the essence (‘ayniyya). “Sulaym#n b. Suﬁs.”14 This formula. Fakhr al-D$n. fol. the honoriﬁcs that Q!r"#w$ uses for Nasaf$ in the beginning of the Shar" jad%d. writing that “He [God] has eternal attributes subsisting in His essence… (wa-lahu #if!t azaliyya q!’ima bi-dh!tih). the attributes are neither identical to the essence nor other than it. Q!r"#w$. developed in the 2nd/8th century.
150b. Q!r"#w$. Taft#z#n$. they disagree on the meaning of eternality and how the attributes’ eternal existence relates to God’s eternal existence. Taft#z#n$. 169. 156 . vol. Ithb!t. and that therefore an eternal thing is necessary of existence. Weisbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag. he writes that “God is one with [or in] His attributes” (All!hu ta‘!l! w!"id bi-#if!tih). 2nd ed. 67. 112a. The shift in the understanding of eternality to this from the earlier understanding of it as signifying being uncaused is the basis of the Avicennian turn. “what we really mean is that an eternal thing cannot possibly not exist. they begin to differ. For both scholars. The critical common element in all of these statements is that God is eternal ‘bi-#if!tih’. emphasis in original. Ed. who states that “God is eternal with [or in] His attributes” (All!hu qad%mun bi-#if!tih). Pg. fol. the attributes are necessary of existence by. fol. or in. the divine essence (w!jibat al-wuj$d bi-l-dh!t). that “He has not ceased and will not cease to exist with [or in] all of His names and attributes” (wa-huwa lam yazal wa-l! yaz!lu mawj$dan bi-jam%‘ asm!’ih wa#if!tih) mirrors that of Taft#z#n$. 65-100. idem. 2004. who wrote that “He is an eternal [entity] that never ceases to be with [or in] His names and His attributes” [wa-innahu qad%mun lam yazal bi-asm!’ih wa-#if!tih]. See Appendix 7. because. cf. This formula is expressly linked with eternality. pg. 110a. The discrepancy revolves around the attributes’ causal dependence. such a view allowed Muslim 16 17 Q!r"#w$. pg. Shar" jad%d. pg. Hellmut Ritter. 71-75. Though Q!r"#w$ and Taft#z#n$ both hold that the divine attributes are eternal.. 19 Ibid.Both Taft#z#n$ and Q!r"#w$ accept this description of the attributes’ status in their respective commentaries on Nasaf$’s work. 18 Ab! al-&asan al-Ash‘ar$. also 107a.”19 Posited by Avicenna. when something is described as eternal.18) Over the precise signiﬁcance of the attributes’ eternality.16 Also regarding the attributes’ real and eternal existence. the two are in virtual agreement. 38.” Arabic Sciences and Philosophy. Shar" jad%d. 98. “One Aspect of the Avicennian Turn in Sunni Theology. Similarly. as Robert Wisnovsky writes. Maq!l!t al-isl!miyy%n wa-ikhtil!f al-mu#all%n. 37. 14. fol. 1963. however.17 (Each of these positions resembles the formulation for God’s eternality originated by the early Sunni theologian ‘Abd All#h ibn Kull#b [?-240/855]. Q!r"#w$’s description. Pg. see Robert Wisnovsky.
when Taft#z#n$ writes that the attributes are necessary of existence through God and possible in themselves. (This comes out clearly in the debate between Q!r"#w$ and the Bukharan ‘ulama’. he is stating that the attributes are not causally self-sufﬁcient. but rather focuses on the dichotomous relationship between necessity in the sense of causal self-sufﬁciency and possibility in the sense of causal dependence. 106a. Thus. idem. but that its existence is contingent upon another. Thus. 149a. though eternal. 212217. 2003. possibility (imk!n)—that which may or may not exist. 23 Q!r"#w$. has a different understanding. NY: Cornell UP.21 Q!r"#w$. and their existence is contingent upon God. 21 Taft#z#n$. Shar" jad%d. Taft#z#n$ writes that. Ithb!t. 17b. 79a. the key element for the possible of existence (mumkin al-wuj$d) is not that it may or may not exist. while relying upon God for their necessity and eternality. For him. both God and the divine attributes are together necessary of existence in. and impossibility (imtin!‘)—that which cannot exist. eternality and necessity are synonymous. “Avicenna.22 Everything eternal entity is necessary.23 Thus. Ithaca. Q!r"#w$ relies on the notion that the 20 Whereas the existence of multiple independent. the controversy over the attributes does not really involve this tripartite distinction. 38. Because it is the attributes’ causal dependence that is at issue here. which is usually rendered as “possible”. however. without infringing upon God’s uniqueness. fol. pg.20 As God is the only being that is necessary of existence in Himself. so to state that the attributes are eternal without being necessary is absurd. as “contingent”. fol. 18a. As we will see. His uniqueness is upheld. Esp. Avicenna’s Metaphysics in Context. fol. or through. quoted below. although the attributes are eternal. The distinction is based on the terms of the debate. idem. Shar" jad%d. the divine essence. 112a.) In the case of the latter. Q!r"#w$ understands them to be ontologically equivalent. pg. fol. 157 . fol. and viceversa. Law!’i". idem. Shar" qad%m. See Robert Wisnovsky. the divine essence. this does not violate taw"%d because the attributes are causally dependent upon God. while Taft#z#n$ understands the attributes as ontologically subordinate to God. are in themselves only contingent of existence (mumkinat al-wuj$d).theologians to consider the divine attributes as eternal. 22 Q!r"#w$. by holding that they are necessary of existence by. To avoid the problem of presenting the attributes as necessary. while the attributes. I have chosen to translate mumkin. idem. 104b-105a. eternal beings would surely violate God’s uniqueness.” pg. idem. Law!’i". 115-118. fol. 79b-80a. or through. eternal entities (and thus violating taw"%d). The three modalities of existence are necessity (wuj$b)—that which must exist.
Q!r"#w$ puts forward two possible deﬁnitions of the eternal: inﬁnite precedence in time and “transcendence from time. change and cessation […such that] changing from attribute to attribute and distinction from 158 . among each other) (mugh!yara) and superaddition (ziy!da ‘al!). Likewise. differentiation (i. The Attributes’ Contingency As with all aspects of his theological thought. their disagreement over how to understand this relationship is signiﬁcant and unequivocal.attributes are l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh. it underlies the scholars’ disagreement over how exactly the attributes are distinct from the divine essence. The rejection of these four positions constitutes Q!r"#w$’s break with Taft#z#n$ and represents Q!r"#w$’s criticism of the established view of the attributes. Q!r"#w$’s primary concern is upholding God’s taw"%d and transcendence. and His eternality and necessity are essential aspects of both. as resulting in a conception of the attributes in which they are too distinct from the divine essence (ghayriyya). In particular.. This discrepancy in their respective understandings of eternality is at the crux of their differing views of the attributes and plays a role in virtually all of Q!r"#w$’s criticisms of Taft#z#n$. then they do not constitute separate entities whose existence infringes upon God’s uniqueness. in addition to the attributes’ contingency (imk!n). if the attributes are not other than God. Although both accept that the relationship between the attributes and the essence is l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh. they cannot be causally dependent upon the divine essence because they are not something other than the essence. Q!r"#w$ understands these three positions.e. Q!r"#w$’s critique of Taft#z#n$ focuses on three particular points regarding distinctiveness that he considers unacceptable implications of Taft#z#n$’s position and which Q!r"#w$ rejects categorically: the attributes’ multiplicity (ta‘addud).
and the necessary is that for which non-existence is impossible […and] everything that is eternal is necessary…”25 God’s eternality is of this type. fol. Neither of these claims is particularly remarkable. Taft#z#n$. “Avicenna. “One Aspect”. and in themself [sic] they are contingent. 38. Q!r"#w$ is asserting two things: that God is causally independent—that is. fol. is how the attributes to relate to His necessity. Shar" qad%m. 26 See Wisnovsky. Though both Q!r"#w$ and Taft#z#n$ agree with the formula that God is eternal with. while still eternal. His attributes (bi-#if!tih) and that the attributes are necessary of existence by. 25 Q!r"#w$. Shar" jad%d. And there is no impossibility (isti"!la) in the eternality of the contingent. ad ‘al-qad%m’. as noted above. 82b. Shar" qad%m. held that the attributes. idem. or in. fol. 159 . or on account of. fol. they are at the heart of the position that God is necessary of existence in Himself (w!jib al-wuj$d bi-ldh!t). 106a.27 Drawing a distinction between eternality and necessity. writing that “the eternal is that which has no beginning to its existence. which is an expression of His transcendence. Shar" jad%d. So not every eternal [entity] is 24 Q!r"#w$. also idem.one limit to [another] limit are inconceivable. fol.” 27 Taft#z#n$. see also idem. Taft#z#n$ writes ad ‘l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh’ that [the attributes] are necessary by the essence of the Necessary [God]. See Appendix 7. idem. pg. however.”24 He explicitly links this second type of eternality with necessity. the essence (w!jib al-wuj$d bi-/li-l-dh!t).26 The issue at hand. 106a. By holding God to be eternal and necessary in this way. 17b. are only contingent in themselves. He has no creator or originator outside of Himself—and that He cannot but exist and does not change. So there is no distinction between pre-eternality and post-eternality [in the eternal]. Law!’i". but rather [the eternal] is ﬁrst without an end and last without a beginning. 18a. [And] if it subsists in the essence of the Eternal (q!’im bi-dh!t al-qad%m) then it is necessary by it (w!jiban lahu) [while] not separable from it.
Also. fol. idem. idem. fol. for his part. 149a. thus preserving God’s uniqueness. by holding that the attributes are necessary by the essence of the Necessary (w!jiba li-dh!t al-w!jib) and contingent in themselves. 104b-105a. createdness ("ud$th) and contingency (imk!n)— their respective opposites—are equivalents as well.30 He considers them to be equivalents (mutas!wiy!n). Shar" qad%m. then it is not 28 29 Ibid. Shar" jad%d. Ithb!t. they must then depend upon God for their existence. 31 Q!r"#w$. Law!’i". 98. &th!r. 112a.31 He gives a logical explanation for considering these synonymous. it depends upon a creator to bring it into existence.29 However. as a result. as is true. and. Q!r"#w$. So the lack of a cause is decisively a cause for the lack of a caused [thing]. Ithb!t. idem. if a thing does not exist necessarily. 17b. Q!r"#w$. 160 . Ithb!t. if contingency is a cause for dependence. fol. Fakhr al-D$n. 149a-149b. it (if it can exist at all) can only exist contingent upon another. We say that the cause of dependence is contingency. Shar" jad%d. Likewise. fol. Dependence (i"tiy!j) is linked to createdness in the sense that if a thing is created. 105a. 18a. Q!r"#w$ rejects this view.28 Taft#z#n$. fol.a god. it must come into being—be created—at some time. fol. 30 Q!r"#w$. iii. Connecting these two with contingency (which he holds is synonymous with createdness). Q!r"#w$ writes that. puts forward causal dependence upon God for the attributes. He writes that if a thing does not exist eternally. idem. which avoids the problem of a plethora of eternal pseudo-divinities. fol. accepts Taft#z#n$’s premise: if the attributes are contingent. and he does so based on his understanding of eternality and necessity. 79b-80a. because the cause of the lack (‘adam) of dependence is deﬁnitively necessity and impossibility. pg. 149a-149b. nor is the existence of [multiple] eternals or [multiple] divinities entailed [by it].
33 Q!r"#w$.35 This is both impossible and absurd. that the “the necessary of existence in itself [i. not eternal. for that would violate God’s simplicity. 79a-79b. ﬁrst of all. Mab!"ith. pg. 2:3. 17b. But by Q!r"#w$’s reckoning this is impossible.34 This alone would violate God’s simplicity. it leads to other problems with taw"%d.impossible that dependence is entailed by contingency. as the divine essence is necessary in all aspects. Shar" qad%m. and must instead be created (which Taft#z#n$ rejects). fol. 37. the conﬁrmation of dependence with the negation of contingency is an absurdity. not only must they be dependent (which Taft#z#n$ accepts). See Appendix 10. Law!’i". fol. Sirhind$. as there can be no contingency or createdness within the divine essence. this in itself would preclude the attributes’ contingency. as far as he is concerned—they would depend upon a cause (ta"t!j il! al-mu’aththir). He writes that if the attributes were contingent of existence —i. 166a. 35 Q!r"#w$. are nevertheless eternal. 17. cf. fol. not eternal. However.. […] So by any measure. pg. then createdness is entailed by contingency. Ithb!t.e.. while not necessary in themselves. explicitly contra Sirhind$. idem. fol.33 As such. according to Q!r"#w$. either in His 32 Q!r"#w$.. Taft#z#n$.e. and they must therefore be created ("!ditha)—i.e. 149b. Q!r"#w$ gives many reasons for this. Shar" jad%d. 111b. He states. it is impossible for any created entities ("!dith!t) to subsist (qiy!ma) in it. Since Nasaf$. 161 .32 Taft#z#n$ asserts that the attributes. but they cannot be eternal. But it also infringes upon God’s transcendence. 34 Ibid. fol. if the attributes are contingent. Taft#z#n$ and Q!r"#w$ all agree that the attributes subsist in the essence. The existence of a created entity (mu"dath) which is l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh with the divine essence is a logical absurdity and wholly unacceptable. and if the cause of dependence is createdness. Q!r"#w$. the divine essence] is necessary in all aspects” (w!jib al-wuj$d bi-l-dh!t w!jib min jam%‘ al-jih!t). Q!r"#w$ writes that “[God] is not associated (tush!rik) or likened (tush!bih) to creation.
” EI2. 116a-116b. and so that which has no form or quality (kayﬁyya) is deﬁnitively not apprehended or comprehended. 83b. Law!’i". does not preclude seeing God in the afterlife.”39 Likewise.. fol. Q!r"#w$ writes.42 Consequently. see Binyamin Abrahamov. 36 37 Q!r"#w$. God. pg. “Fahr al-Din al-Razi on the Knowability of God’s Essence and Attributes.”40 As such. His attributes or His actions. “Tashb$h wa-tanz$h. Law!’i". fol. Mab!"ith. This idea that knowledge of a thing’s form is linked with knowledge of that thing is also found in Sirhind$. but rather occurs in the heart. Shar" jad%d. Q!r"#w$. 83b. e. fol. This. 81a. in His transcendence.37 Similarly. Q!r"#w$. 78b. gnosis (ma‘rifa) of the nature (kunh) and reality of the essence of the True Maker (al-j!‘il al-"aqq) and His attributes is impossible. if the attributes are contingent. idem. see Appendix 10. 49. “Every contingent [thing] is created” (kull mumkin mu"dath).essence. 170a. Law!’i". 166a. idem.41 ‘Contingent realities’ (al-"aq!’iq al-imk!niyya). fol. entails tashb%h—the likening of creation with God. 39 Q!r"#w$. then something that subsists within the divine essence can be comprehended. Mab!"ith.”36 The existence within the divine essence of dependence.” Arabica. Q!r"#w$ writes. This would infringe upon God’s transcendence. also idem. which describes created things.g. can be comprehended. fol. 2. on the other hand. 81a. there cannot be knowledge of the divine essence. 2002. is beyond comprehension. as the essence is. 40 Q!r"#w$. 82b. however. only ignorance (jahl). fol. beyond comprehension. 112. 204-230. according Q!r"#w$. also idem. fol. On tashb%h. a thing is beyond deﬁnite understanding if its reality ("aq%qa) or a conﬁrmed correspondence (mun!saba mu#a""a"a) to its reality cannot occur or be perceived. 42 Ibid. Shar" jad%d. 3:48. Sirhind$. Shar" jad%d. “according to this principle. fol. no. 105a. the conceptual opposite of transcendence—since everything other than the essence is dependent and created. 41 Q!r"#w$. fol.38 “Knowledge (‘ilm) and apprehension (idr!k) are the occurrence of the form ("u#$l al-#$ra) or the occurring form (al-#$ra al-"!#ila). fol. 162 . vol. fol. The attributes’ contingency infringes upon God’s eternality as well. Law!’i". 38 On the question of the knowability of the divine essence. 85a. see Josef van Ess. 104a. Law!’i". though this sight is not physical.
“the contingent (al-mumkin) is required in its existence to change (yataghayyar). 110a. includes the shift from non-existence into existence: “And is possibility (jaw!z) not the possibility of the occurrence of the non-existence (‘adam) of that which is inseparable from the nature of contingency (imk!n)?” Indeed. if contingent. also violating eternality.44 Were it the case that created entities subsist in the essence (itself violating the eternality of the essence). 84a. the presence of something created (mu"dath or "!dith) within the eternal divine essence leads to absurdities. fol. Law!’i".”47 Change is necessary for contingent entities. “whatever depends on creation (m! yata‘allaq bi-l-takw%n) is an existent (k!’in) after [its] nonexistence. since His essence does not change and His attributes do not renew. Q!r"#w$.” This. 104b. Law!’i". 46 Q!r"#w$.. 78a-81b. 78a. the essence would therefore have the potential for change.”48 Consequently. Q!r"#w$ writes. fol. 104b. and contingent entities are created out of non-existence. fol. so it shifts from one condition (sha’n) to another. fol.’ since a thing’s being in time is inconceivable without change of state (tabaddul al-a"w!l). as Q!r"#w$ writes. 47 Q!r"#w$. also idem. Shar" jad%d. must have been non-existent 43 44 Q!r"#w$. “‘Time does not occur with Him.”46 Thus. that which is contingent of existence is possible of non-existence. “It is forbidden to describe the [divine] essence (al-dh!t al-"aqq) and attributes with entities renewing or elapsing [in time] (al-mutajaddid!t wa-l-mun#arim!t). fol. and Q!r"#w$ states that.45 Change is directly connected with existence in time—temporality— which infringes upon God’s eternality as well. fol. Shar" jad%d. ad “wa-l! yajr% ‘alayh zam!n”.and. 77b-78a. Law!’i".. he goes on to say. since createdness and eternality are contradictories. including change in the essence. such that.. fol. 163 . Shar" jad%d. 48 Ibid.43 Created entities have the potential to change (tabaddul or taghayyur) due to their contingency. the attributes. 45 Q!r"#w$.
79a. their eternality—which Taft#z#n$ does.e. See Appendix 7. Upholding the attributes’ real. On ta‘'%l. and indeed.. 164 . Shar" jad%d. fol. engaged in debate as he was with Mu‘tazilites. inﬁnite precedence in time.prior to their coming into existence.” EI2. “One Aspect.” EI2. “Allah.”49 This of course is not Taft#z#n$’s aim.” EI2. when asserting the attributes’ contingency in themselves. “the types of eternality (nu‘$t al-qidam) required for the essence are required for the attributes. 38.51 Taft#z#n$. Q!r"#w$ writes that. Wilferd Madelung. 51 Q!r"#w$.53 Q!r"#w$. see Louis Gardet. that is. “Taw%$d (a). fol. pg. a label by which some Sunnis referred to themselves in contrast to the Mu‘tazila. was important because it more closely links the attributes’ existence with that of the essence. As a result. Sa‘d al-D$n Mas‘!d b. 106a. ‘Umar. if at the expense of the attributes’ distinctiveness. focuses on asserting taw"%d and transcendence.50 But this eternality seems to be closer to the ﬁrst type described by Q!r"#w$.” and it is clear that his aim is upholding the 49 50 Ibid. though still conforming to the general Sunni position on the attributes..” 69.52 This was accomplished by asserting their non-createdness—i. believed that upholding the attributes’ reality and distinctiveness was paramount. Wisnovsky. Upholding their necessity (in contrast to their causal dependence upon God). there is no separating avowing [the attributes’] createdness ("ud$th) and denying their existence (ta‘'%l). 53 See Daniel Gimaret. Taft#z#n$. asserting the attributes’ contingency contravenes their very existence: “Even if we remove ourselves from the view that contingency in itself is pure diminution [of existence] (naq# #ar%"). and by extension their eternality. “Mu‘tazila.” EI2. “Taft#z#n$. who were seen as deniers of the attributes’ existence. eternal existence—the opposite of denying their existence (ta‘'%l)—is one of his primary goals. 52 As the ‘upholders of the attributes’ (a#"!b al-#if!t). for whom taw"%d and God’s transcendence were of central importance. Daniel Gimaret. he explicitly afﬁrms their eternal existence in the divine essence.
such a view entails the attributes’ otherness (ghayriyya)—thus contradicting 54 55 Q!r"#w$. he asserts the attributes’ multiplicity and differentiation. rather than causally dependent upon. this complete rejection of the attributes’ otherness from the essence (ghayriyya) underlies his entire stance on the attributes. differentiation and superaddition—makes the attributes too distinct from the essence. 113b-114a. His arguments against multiplicity. 37.transcendence of God and His attributes. 56 Ibid. 38. Shar" jad%d. in order to avoid infringing upon God’s uniqueness. differentiation and superaddition follow the same lines.. 165 .54 By asserting that the attributes’ existence is equivalent to. Taft#z#n$ accepts all of these implications as permissible. pg. Taft#z#n$. these. while still upholding their reality and distinctiveness. writing that “Disagreement among the people of the Sunna on the plurality (kathra) of the attributes and their multiplicity (ta‘addud) is inconceivable [as is] whether or not they are differentiated [from each other] (mutagh!yira). however. fol. In his commentary on Nasaf$. The Attributes’ Distinctiveness The remaining points on which Q!r"#w$ criticizes Taft#z#n$—the attributes’ multiplicity. Q!r"#w$ relies on the attributes’ being not other than the essence. Indeed. According to him. along with the attributes’ contingency. that of the essence. are all rejected because they entail too much of a distinction between the essence and the attributes.”55 He also asserts the superaddition of the attributes to the divine essence. differentiation and superaddition—all touch upon this issue of distinctiveness and represent important aspects of the controversy surrounding Q!r"#w$.56 For Q!r"#w$. pg. upholding these three aspects—multiplicity.
a plurality of eternal attributes does not violate taw"%d because they would be causally dependent upon God. 58 Ibid. pg. Taft#z#n$ writes. Mab!"ith. 98-99. God]” (w!jiba li-dh!t al-w!jib). He writes that they are “necessary through the essence of the Necessary [i. fol. “Attributes of God. will (ir!da). See Appendix 4. such a view was untenable. while according to the Ash‘aris there are only seven. He attempts to avoid infringing upon God’s uniqueness when he asserts that the attributes are necessary through God’s existence. and since God is the only intrinsically necessary being. however. pg. Fakhr al-D$n..57 Since he draws a distinction between eternality and necessity. This in turn entails a multiplicity of eternal entities other than God. the attributes can be—and are —multiple. creating (takw%n) and speech (kal!m). but are in themselves only contingent. pg. power (qudra). hearing (sam‘). does not give a 57 Taft#z#n$. for example.” pg. 60 Q!r"#w$. as they do not accept takw%n as an essential attribute. He dispenses with the notion of the attributes numbering seven or eight. 151b. see Claude Gilliot.59 For Q!r"#w$. idem. fol. 169b.” EI3. Wisnovsky.. His uniqueness is preserved. The attributes cannot really be considered ‘selves’.e. Shar" jad%d. that God has eight attributes: knowledge (‘ilm).60 (This point on the lack of consensus is well taken. Thus. 38. afﬁrming their multiplicity. Ithb!t. Nasaf$. he warns against such an interpretation. “One Aspect. iii. fol. pg.. 115b. life ("iy!t).the second clause of the formula l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh. Multiplicity Though Taft#z#n$ is aware in his commentary of the possible implications. 98. 59 Ibid. intrinsically necessary entities would violate taw"%d. sight (ba#ar). 40. idem. &th!r. That God has eight attributes became the standard Maturidi position. 30. Indeed. stating that there is no report (riw!ya) or Qur’anic verse afﬁrming that number.58 It seems that only a plurality of uncaused. 166 . nor any consensus on it. which is of course a serious infringement upon taw"%d.
Q!r"#w$. Shar" jad%d.number for the attributes. creation (takhl%q) and sustaining (tarz%q). he adds might (quwwa). a clear contradiction of monotheism and as such an unacceptable position. fol. 38.65 Q!r"#w$ accepts the Mu‘tazili premise that conﬁrming the multiplicity of the attributes entails multiple eternal. 159a. pseudo-divine entities. belief in which he calls “delusion” (tawahhum). Mab!"ith. Shar" jad%d. the forefather of the Sunni position on the attributes. idem. volition (mash%’a). 149a-149b.63 And. Suﬁs. the divine attributes cannot be many. 96-99.61) But more important than the speciﬁc number for Q!r"#w$ is the negation of the attributes’ multiplicity (ta‘addud).68 The presence of multiplicity within the divine essence would also violate 61 In addition to the eight given above. himself lists 30 attributes. Ash‘ar$. 66 Q!r"#w$. 112a. pg. Ibn Kull#b. Ithb!t. 100a-100b. fol. “One Aspect. pg. 169. 148b. idem. idem. 165a. 71-77. 106b. fol. fol. states that this violation of taw"%d is not entailed by the attributes’ multiplicity. this would entail the existence of multiple eternal. fol.66 Taft#z#n$. 112a.67 But Q!r"#w$ rejects this stance and explicitly blames the later Ash‘aris for inventing it. 121. 65 Wisnovsky.” especially pg. fol. 63 Q!r"#w$. 62 Q!r"#w$. Taft#z#n$. 164a. fol. 167 . 67 Taft#z#n$. 148b. fol. pseudo-divine entities. see Wisnovsky. 165a.62 The problem with multiplicity is that it violates God’s uniqueness. which he upholds. 64 Q!r"#w$. for his part. fol. were they other than God. 83-86. according to Q!r"#w$. 68 Q!r"#w$. Shar" jad%d. See Appendix 12. since the divine essence is singular. fol. activity (ﬁ‘l). Ithb!t. Mab!"ith. idem.64 It was this reason that led the Mu‘tazila to deny the attributes’ real existence as distinct entities. 259.” pg. “Avicenna. 149a. 112b. Ithb!t. 165a. negates their multiplicity absolutely. On this issue. because to uphold their multiplicity is to contravene l! ghayruh. as they are l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh. pg. while at the same time denying that the conﬁrmation of the attributes’ existence as l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh does so as well. See also Kemper. 170a-170b. This formula. Mab!"ith. pg. and in fact lists 13 of them. Shar" jad%d. 106b.
and quantity is an accident (‘ar(). 23. Na#!’i". fol.e. 79b. cannot be present in] the essence or the attributes. “[ad ‘wa-l! ma‘d$d’ (‘and [He] is not numbered’)]: He is not described by number. paucity (qilla) or even oneness (wa"da) with God. fol. 71 Q!r"#w$. 108b. 108b. Also idem. 168 . fol. and an accident cannot subsist in His essence. 85a. since it is a quality (kayﬁyya) entailing paucity and ﬁniteness (nih!ya) […] And He is one not by way of number. Mab!"ith” fol. Beirut: D#r alkutub al-‘ilmiyya. 72 Q!r"#w$. idem. 20b. 73 Q!r"#w$. quantity (kamm or kammiyya). while to state that ‘God is one’ in the sense of His uniqueness is to uphold taw"%d. is unique]. in his commentary on Nasaf$. Law!’i". Ithb!t. Law!’i". to state that ‘God is one’ in a numerical sense is to describe Him with the accident of quantity.e. Law!’i". 149a (see also ms. 82b-83a. but rather in that He 69 70 Q!r"#w$. 1984/1404.69 Q!r"#w$ writes.” and he warns against giving any consideration to mutakallim$n who do not consider quantity an accident. He repeatedly states that there can be nothing resembling number (‘adad). Shar" kit!b al-Fiqh al-akbar. idem. writing. fol. 80a.70 And others among the ‘ulam!’ and fuqah!’ have proved this in numerous works because number is quantity (kamm). but rather in the sense that He has no partner [i. fol.. fol.. fol. Mull# ‘Al$ al-Q#r$ [al-&araw$]. plurality (kathra). Shar" jad%d. Shar" jad%d. “Quantity is an accident. Shar" jad%d. this would lead to divisibility (inﬁ#!l) within the essence. 164a. He writes.73 Thus. “[Ab! &an$fa] in [the Fiqh al-akbar] said God is one. for instance. and quantity is a description (wa#f) that does not concern His essence. not in a numerical sense (l! min 'ar%q al-‘adad).72 Elsewhere Q!r"#w$ makes this point about quantity more explicit. 106b. and an accident does not revolve around (l! yu"awwim f% "awl) [i. see idem. nor only by oneness. About the view that there can be no accident in the divine essence. Q!r"#w$ is adamant in his refusal of any such infringement upon God’s simplicity. SPb IVR C1975. Pg.”71 Were number or quantity to be present. 113b).God’s transcendence. fol. fol. this is also quoted in Q!r"#w$.
. and the negation of [the attributes’] existence is not entailed by the rejection of their being one and being many…77 Thus. 77 Ibid.76 The divine attributes also cannot be described by any type of number or quantity. See Appendix 12. 167b. 79b-80a. a term denoting the existence (or coming into existence) of things outside of the divine essence in Sirhind$’s ontology. since those are descriptions of numbers and quantity. fol. as is the essence itself. Ithb!t. as that would entail ﬁniteness and paucity. fol. Q!r"#w$ writes that it cannot be afﬁrmed without paucity (qilla).79 Q!r"#w$ explicitly links wa"da ‘adadiyya with individuation (ta‘ayyun). For Q!r"#w$.80 74 75 Q!r"#w$. 76 Ibid.) ta‘ayyun!t at the level of shadow 169 . Also idem. are above both paucity and plurality. etc. pg.75 God’s attributes. by virtue of the fact that they are l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh with the divine essence. He and His attributes must be beyond wa"da ‘adadiyya.78 As God transcends (yatanazzah ‘an) number. 148b. They are therefore beyond number. q!dir. 116a. fol. 1:209. however. Shar" jad%d. Sirhind$. Shar" jad%d. fol.”74 Paucity. for instance. fol. Law!’i". 108b. numerical oneness). nor [are they] two things. Ithb!t. 80 See. and oneness does not contradict plurality. Q!r"#w$ writes: [ad ‘wa-hiya l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh’] This means that the attributes in reality are not described as being few or many. 112a. 103. idem. 149a. as that would entail ﬁniteness and plurality. where he calls the names of God derived from the attributes (‘!lim. this precludes Fat% All#h 'riw$’s concept of wa"da ‘adadiyya (lit. being neither identical with the essence nor other than it means that the attributes are neither one with the essence nor something separate and multiple. 78 Q!r"#w$. according to Q!r"#w$.has no partner. fol. So the attributes and the essence are not one thing in reality. 79 Q!r"#w$.. Q!r"#w$. 112a. just as duality (ithnayniyya) cannot be afﬁrmed without plurality (kathra). fol. fol. merely hides plurality. Mab!"ith.
170 . pg. there can be no distinction or division between the attributes themselves. pg. Ithb!t. and one cannot exist without ten.85 He links this with denying multiplicity: “[The attribute of] power (qudra) is neither [the attribute of] existence (see below). &th!r. iii. Fakhr alD$n. According to him. 98.81 Differentiation The tension between God’s simplicity and the attributes’ multiplicity is closely connected with the issue of the attributes’ differentiation (mugh!yara)—that is. 39. 126. Pg. 85 Q!r"#w$. then they cannot be numbered or counted. Shar" qad%m. Burhan Ahmad Faruqi. 81 Q!r"#w$. idem. fol. 105a. fol. the attributes cannot be numbered or counted. Lahore: Institute of Islamic Culture. and as such they cannot be differentiated. and the ten cannot exist without one. Follower and Heir. The Mujaddid’s Conception of Tawhid: Study of Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindis [sic] Doctrine of Unity. Shar" jad%d. 18a. See also ter Haar. which is not possible within the divine essence. fol. the attributes can be numbered and differentiated from each other without being actually separable. fol. 98. pg. as we have seen. 38. &th!r. if the attributes are not distinct.Q!r"#w$ writes that wa"da ‘adadiyya is individuation. The reverse is also true. as it would necessitate paucity. pg. See Appendix 4.84 Instead. their relationship to each other is also l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh. Fakhr al-D$n. 84 Q!r"#w$..82 His reasoning on this point is telling. 38. For Q!r"#w$. 1989. The reasoning linking differentiation and multiplicity is clear: if the attributes can be numbered. violating both God’s transcendence and His simplicity. whether or not the attributes are distinct from each other. who also links differentiation with multiplicity. He writes that it is not possible for one of a set of ten to be separated from the ten. This represents another of Q!r"#w$’s points of departure from the standard view. Mab!"ith. Taft#z#n$. 106b. holds that the attributes’ differentiation is permissible. 83 Ibid.83 Hence. iii. then each one must be distinct from the others. 167b. 150b. 82 Taft#z#n$.
an aspect of the attributes’ existence or nature would differ from God’s. See Appendix 7. and that His knowledge is neither identical to Him nor other than Him.”89 Elsewhere (somewhat inconsistently) he uses ‘distinction’ (tagh!yur) as a 86 Q!r"#w$. 89 Q!r"#w$. In response to the charge that his position leads to “a multiplicity of necessary entities and a plurality of eternals in the essence”. 98. like their multiplicity. “We say that the attributes are neither something differentiated from the essence (mutagh!yiratan li-l-dh!t). here. 150b. Indeed. so [with] each attribute [in relation to] another attribute. then so too must their differentiation. Ithb!t. but that God’s power is other than His knowledge is to introduce division into the divine essence. fol. Ithb!t. This would make the attributes too distinct from God—too “other than” God—and thus infringe upon taw"%d. pg. writing. 15-16. fol. pg. Shar" jad%d. entails a plurality of pseudo-divinities. Fakhr al-D$n.”87 The attributes’ differentiation. fol. because His attributes are not countable things (min al-ma‘d$d!t). nor distinguished in themselves (l! mutagh!yiratan f% anfusih!). 106b.life and nor other than life. Here Q!r"#w$ is citing Kal#b#dh$’s Kit!b alTa‘arruf. pg. Tanb%h. Q!r"#w$ states that “That would follow for us only if we had asserted the attributes’ differentiation and superaddition…”88 Though Q!r"#w$ does not explicitly describe his reasoning on this point. we say it is not it and it is not other than it. his objection seems to be that multiplicity would necessarily follow from the attributes’ being clearly distinguished from one another.”86 Likewise. As multiplicity violates God’s uniqueness. iii. 377-378. This Q!r"#w$ argues while being questioned by the Bukharan ‘ulam!’ as reported in Marj#n$’s Tanb%h (see below). 150b. 88 Marj#n$. 87 Q!r"#w$. To hold that God’s power is neither identical to God nor other than God. see Kal#b#dh$. 171 . “they do not fall under [the category of] number (l! tadkhul ta"ta al-‘adad). Q!r"#w$ does make this connection between differentiation and otherness (ghayriyya). &th!r.
not in His essence. 92 Q!r"#w$. fol. e.95 Q!r"#w$ blames “some Ash‘aris” (ba‘( al-ash!‘ira) for asserting the attributes’ differentiation. life. or His actions. Le Problème des Attributs Divins dans la Doctrine d’al-As‘ari et de ses Premiers Grands Disciples.92 This would infringe upon God’s simplicity. though it was adopted by some later Ash‘aris. fol. 94 Q!r"#w$. Law!’i". Pg.” pg. so there is no participation or likening of God with creation. 93 Q!r"#w$. fol. idem. 2000. by virtue of God’s being necessary (w!jib) in all aspects. Pg.96 However. Law!’i". 95 Q!r"#w$. Ash‘ar$.g. Shar" jad%d. 80b. 71. 168b. 169-171. 82b-83a. 16-17. Mab!"ith. attributes related to God’s acts. satisfaction (ri(!’) and anger (gha(ab). Law!’i". whereas it is possible to describe Him with opposite attributes of action. Beirut: Imprimerie Catholique. pg. Ithb!t. Mu%ammad B#sil ‘Uy!n al-S!d. Mab!"ith. fol. fol. Q!r"#w$. 79a. 169a. 96 Q!r"#w$. Here Q!r"#w$ is citing Kal#b#dh$ and Ab! &an$fa’s al-Fiqh al-akbar.91 He does so on the grounds that such a division would entail temporality within the divine essence. etc. 106b. or His attributes. al-Ta‘r%f!t. such as forgiveness or punishment. rejected by Maturidis. 82a. 80. fol. as well as His transcendence. 136. he writes.”94 In addition.90 Q!r"#w$ also rejects the division of the attributes into the categories of essential attributes (#if!t dh!tiyya)—the primary attributes. 168b.—and attributes of action (#if!t ﬁ‘liyya)—that is. “One Aspect. such as knowledge. fol. Wisnovsky.synonym for ghayriyya. Q#r$. See Michel Allard. Law!’i". “Mab#%ith. idem. This distinction between the two types of attributes goes back to the early Mu‘tazila.93 However. pg. Ed. 38-39. as any element of temporality would entail change on God’s part. 172 . It was. the division of the attributes into dh!tiyya and ﬁ‘liyya has neither any scriptural basis nor decisive proof (burh!n qa'‘%). 115-119. al-Sayyid al-Shar$f Jurj#n$. cf. idem. Kal#b#dh$. and there was indeed disagreement among early Sunnis on its acceptability. 110a. pg. 70b. fol. all of His actions are necessary and eternal as well: “The descriptions and actions that are afﬁrmed of [God] are necessarily permanent and cannot possibly cease [to exist]. 105a. The anonymous marginalia on Q!r"#w$’s Ris!lat ithb!t al-#if!t cites Jurj#n$’s Ta‘r%f!t. with scholars such as ibn Kull#b rejecting it. 1965. that God cannot be described by the opposite of an essential attribute. however. 90 91 Q!r"#w$. Shar" jad%d. power. Beirut: D#r al-kutub al-‘ilmiyya.” fol. fol.
Taft#z#n$—who accepts it—puts forward a contrasting understanding of ghayr (‘other’) when discussing differentiation. He writes that those who have understood ghayriyya to mean the possibility of separation (jaw!z al-inﬁk!k) between two things, in the sense that one can exist entirely independent of the other, are incorrect in doing so. Likewise, understanding identiﬁcation (‘ayniyya) to mean complete uniﬁcation (itti"!d) of two things, such that there is no distinction between them, is also wrong. Rather, Taft#z#n$ goes on to say, ad ‘wal! huwa wa-l! ghayruh’, an intermediate [position] between the two can be imagined, that there is a thing, the concept (mafh$m) of which is not the [same] concept of the other, nor does it exist without [the other], like the part (juz’) with the whole, the attribute with the self (dh!t), or some attributes with others (ba‘( al-#if!t ma‘ al-ba‘(). So God’s essence and His attributes are eternal (azaliyya), and the non-existence of the eternal is impossible.97 What Taft#z#n$ seems to be saying here is that the relationship between the attributes themselves is the same as that between divine essence and the attributes. This would imply that the attributes among themselves are l! huwa wal! ghayruh. Taft#z#n$ explicitly rejects the possibility of the attributes’ separation (inﬁk!k) from the essence and from each other, as well as their identiﬁcation with it, and so it would follow that the intermediate position he posits between those two extremes is l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh, particularly as the intermediate position requires that the existence of each entity is connected with the existence of the other, and Taft#z#n$ holds that the divine attributes are causally dependent upon God.98 While this stance is virtually identical to Q!r"#w$’s, Taft#z#n$ also asserts
Taft#z#n$, pg. 39. Ibid., pg. 37-38. 173
the attributes’ differentiation (mutagh!yara, semantically and etymologically related to ghayr). This narrowing of the meaning of ghayr allows Taft#z#n$ to do so, as they would not be seen as entirely separate and independent of each other. Such a position, however, would require two separate meanings of ghayr, since the sense that one divine attribute is other than the rest of the attributes (in the sense of their mutual differentiation) is not the same as the sense that the attributes are not other than God. Indeed, Q!r"#w$ rejects Taft#z#n$’s understanding of ghayriyya and ‘ayniyya and focuses his criticism on the narrowed meaning of ghayr. He writes that “two [things] are two different [things] (al-ithn!n hum! al-ghayr!n), and vice-versa,” and this is how most people (al-jumh$r) understand these terms, considering them equivalents or synonyms.99 He continues, citing Sirhind$, that some theologians have attempted to change the meaning of ghayriyya, such that it no longer denotes duality (ithnayniyya).100 (Duality here meaning the possibility of separation [jaw!z alinﬁk!k], which, as we have seen, Taft#z#n$ does reject.101) Q!r"#w$ writes that this change in meaning has particular implications for l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh. It seems that his objection is based on the two senses of ghayr given above. In essence, the formula l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh requires the conventional meaning of ghayr as signifying duality. He writes that the companions and scholars have agreed that His attributes were l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh, and that upon which the ‘ulam!’ agree has the status of text, and texts rely upon their outward meanings ()aw!hir), [that being] what is understood in convention and expression. And it is conﬁrmed that the understanding in convention and expression of ghayriyya is duality. So it [l! huwa wa-l!
Q!r"#w$, Mab!"ith, fol. 164a; citing Jurj#n$’s Shar" al-Maw!qif. Also Q!r"#w$, Ithb!t, fol. 148b. 100 Q!r"#w$, Mab!"ith, fol. 164b; Sirhind$, 1:272, pg. 8. 101 Sirhind$, 1:272, pg. 8. 174
ghayruh] must refer to the negation of duality. The innovators from the people of kal!m admit that the restriction of ghayriyya in this sense is a specialized term from Ash‘ar$. So before the advent of this new meaning it [ghayriyya] referred to the speech of the companions and those who followed them [i.e., in subsequent generations].102 According to Q!r"#w$, the sole purpose of la ghayruh is to negate duality between the attributes and the essence. If ‘ghayr’ means something other than duality, however, then l! ghayruh does not negate such duality. Since duality means the possibility of separation, it would allow, if not negated, separation between the divine essence and the attributes. Were this the case, Q!r"#w$ writes, the attributes’ multiplicity would consequently not be negated, and in fact would logically follow: “And had the negation of multiplicity not been entailed by the negation of ghayriyya in Ash‘ar$’s assertion [that the attributes are l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh], then the meaning of his [statement] would entail multiplicity.”103 Q!r"#w$ instead puts forward an understanding of ‘ghayr’ that differs from Taft#z#n$’s. He writes that “There are two meanings for ‘ghayr’: one is the negation of association (salb al-shirka) and the other is the possibility of separation (jaw!z al-inﬁk!k), and ghayriyya, in the sense of the possibility of separation, requires duality…”104 Though he only explicitly labels the latter as duality, neither of the two deﬁnitions matches with Taft#z#n$’s understanding. With Q!r"#w$’s conception of ghayr in place, it is clear that differentiation of the attributes is entirely unacceptable for him. Were the attributes in some way unassociated with, or separated from, each other, God’s simplicity—to say nothing of His uniqueness—would unquestionably be violated. As Q!r"#w$
Q!r"#w$, Mab!"ith, fol. 164b-165a. See Appendix 8. Also idem, Ithb!t, fol. 149a. 103 Q!r"#w$, Mab!"ith, fol. 165a. 104 Ibid., fol. 168a-168b. 175
Ramz$. Mab!"ith. by contrast. Hasse. 108 Q!r"#w$. fol. yet there can be no accident within the divine essence. see Robert Wisnovsky. 111b.considers Taft#z#n$’s understanding of ghayr unacceptable. “are forced (u('urr$) to permit multiplicity. pg. ii.106 However. He states that the later Ash‘aris. another point of departure between Q!r"#w$ and the standard orthodoxy. due to God’s simplicity. Q!r"#w$. 340. Shar" jad%d. Fakhr al-D$n. seemingly on the grounds that philosophical accidents are superadded to a being. pg. conceptually linked as they are. Tanb%h. See Appendix 7. pg. 378.” The Arabic. 176 . held. Eds. Superaddition The respective problems of the attributes’ differentiation and multiplicity. so too must he also ﬁnd his acceptance of differentiation unacceptable.and Twelfth-Century Islamic East (Ma*riq): A Sketch. it seems that Q!r"#w$ considers superaddition to violate l! ghayruh much in the same way multiplicity and differentiation do. 165b. A. which would indicate that His existence is not superadded to His essence. Marj#n$. as some theologians. 2011. fol. for instance.”107 Elsewhere he links superaddition with tashb%h (the opposite of tanz%h). “Essence and Existence in the Eleventh. pg. he writes. Q!r"#w$ writes that God’s existence and essence are identical. by virtue of upholding superaddition. touch upon the issue of the attributes’ distinctiveness from the divine essence.109 (Marj#n$. Tanb%h. goes into much greater detail on it. pg.105 Upheld by Taft#z#n$. 377-378. including (shniy#z b. &th!r. Related to these two is the matter of the attributes’ superaddition to the essence (ziy!da ‘al! al-dh!t). 106b. On the issue of the superaddition of God’s existence to His essence.” and he explicitly 105 106 On superaddition. 37. Shar" jad%d. 109 Marj#n$. Q!r"#w$ does not make his reasoning explicit. Q!r"#w$ rejects it. as his responses to the questioning by the Bukharan ‘ulam!’ show. fol.108 And. ii. Berlin: de Gruyter. 59. Sh$rniy#z Khorezm$. “We afﬁrm the basis of the attributes which the Book afﬁrms and we negate the superaddition which imagination afﬁrms. 107 Q!r"#w$. Hebrew and Latin Reception of Avicenna’s Metaphysics. Bertolacci and D. 27-50. Taft#z#n$.
110) This connection between multiplicity and superaddition is evident in D#ghist#n$’s refutation of Q!r"#w$. on the grounds that the attributes’ superaddition and multiplicity are linked with their otherness. he considers it an utterly unacceptable position. idem. the concept of them is separate from the concept of the essence. 1316 . which violates l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh and which must therefore be rejected absolutely. Whether they violate God’s uniqueness. 31. Kemal Silay. entirely 110 Shih#b al-D$n Marj#n$. However. For each of these points—the attributes’ contingency. the essence. “Shihab al-Din Marjani on the Divine Attributes: a Study in Kalam in the 19th-Century Russian Empire. multiplicity. would agree with the logic of this line of reasoning. as such. +!shiya ‘al! shar" Jal!l al-D%n Daww!n% ‘al! al-‘Aq!’id al-‘a(udiyya. 47. Pg. 112 D#ghist#n$ here uses ‘number’ (‘adad) in a way synonymous with Q!r"#w$’s use of ‘multiplicity’ (ta‘addud). fol.” Proceedings of the International Conference on the Turks and Islam. Kazan: Ma)ba‘a Wiy#chesl#f. Kit!b al-"ikma al-b!ligha al-j!niyya f% shar" al-‘aq!’id al"anaﬁyya.112 Q!r"#w$. just as they subsist within the essence. Dersaadat [Istanbul]: Ma)ba‘a ‘Uthm#niyya. Pg. His simplicity or His transcendence. for Q!r"#w$. they are. 111 D#ghist#n$. yet subsist within. differentiation and superaddition—all are rejected because they entail too much of a distinction between the essence and the attributes. for his part.”111 Since the attributes are superadded to. because [the attributes] are notions (ma‘!nin) superadded (z!’ida) [to the essence]. where he writes that “There is no impossibility in conﬁrming that [the attributes’] number necessarily ((ar$ratan) entails that the concept (mafh$m) of the attributes is other than the concept of the essence. and their multiplicity—as opposed to the essence’s oneness—is possible. 177 . 6a. multiplicity and differentiation—as entailing a plurality of pseudo-divinities and violating taw"%d.links all three issues—superaddition. see also my forthcoming article. Ed. 1888. allows for their multiplicity. namely that the attributes’ superaddition entails their being other than the essence and.
and on their importance in addressing the issue of the attributes. stating—as the basis of his metaphysics—that only God exists.116 Sirhind$ developed his position on existence in response to ibn ‘Arab$’s metaphysics. 125-126. cf. 105b-106a. like Sirhind$’s. Shar" jad%d.g. 115 Sirhind$. 112. Law!’i". fol. Follower and Heir. 178 . as a member of the Naqshbandi-Mujaddidiyya. 2:98. 85a-85b. Mab!"ith. Shar" qad%m. 113 E. Indeed. Sirhind$ is asserting God’s absolute transcendence and otherness from creation. pg. see ter Haar. it appears frequently as a concept in the Shar" jad%d. tanz%h as a concept does not appear in the work. However. Shar" jad%d. and. e. pg. 114 Q!r"#w$’s emphasis on transcendence may be a later development in his thought. which Sirhind$ saw as ﬂawed. 166b. which is m! siw! All!h (lit. 116 Ter Haar. Although he writes that God “transcends (yatanazzah ‘an) time. ibid. pg. Q!r"#w$’s understanding of transcendence. in ter Haar’s words. 101b. change and cessation” in the Shar" qad%m. Q!r"#w$. Muhammad Abdul Haq Ansari. and it constitutes unbelief (kufr). idem.unacceptable and should be refuted.g. Pg. Q!r"#w$ does not insert tanz%h into the section of the Shar" jad%d which overlaps with the Shar" qad%m. Q!r"#w$. that Q!r"#w$ was inﬂuenced in terms of transcendence by Sirhind$. Faruqi. 55-57. But Sirhind$ goes much further than Q!r"#w$ in upholding God’s transcendence. 127-135.114 Transcendence is central to A%mad Sirhind$’s thought. idem. it is possible. Leicester. in that ibn ‘Arab$ does not. 17b. pg. as he was regarding orthodoxy and adherence to scripture. is based on the Qur’anic formula that “There is nothing like unto Him” (laysa ka-mithlihi shay’un/b%-ch$n wa ch%g$nah).113 Suﬁsm and Transcendence Q!r"#w$ grounds his criticisms of the prevailing orthodoxy in his emphasis on taw"%d and tanz%h. 110-114. fol. Follower and Heir. UK: the Islamic Foundation. while creation is merely a shadow representation of that existence (wuj$d-i ta#awwur% )ill%). idem. 1986.115 By holding that only God exists. he states repeatedly that belief in these is innovation or heresy (bid‘a) and error ((al!la). Suﬁsm and Shari‘ah: A Study of Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi’s Effort to Reform Suﬁsm. ‘what is other than God’). fol. fol. even likely. That said. fol. fol. 96b. 167a..
137 n. pg. due to God’s absolute transcendence.” EI2. the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya in the Haramayn in the 11th/17th Century.“allow himself to be exclusively guided by tanz%h. 8. 2003. Faruqi.” Studia Islamica. who. Ibn ‘Arabi and the Later Islamic Tradition: the Making of a Polemical Image in Medieval Islam.120 Q!r"#w$’s thought is also ﬁrmly within the Sunni kal!m tradition. This is in contrast to Taft#z#n$. pg. no. See Sirhind$. pg. 3-11. no. 120 Ibid. Pg. as a response to ibn ‘Arab$. 321-348. 49. Sirhind$. Sirhind$ holds that. “The Naqshbandiyya and Its Offshoot. while they have their own existence separate from the essence at the level of shadow existence (thus inverting l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh. 1:272. “The Perfect Man as the Prototype of the Self in the Suﬁsm of Jami. 146. Follower and Heir. William Chittick.118 As such. ter Haar. Sirhind$’s work functions as a corrective to ibn ‘Arab$’s thought. the attributes are one with the divine essence at the level of real existence.”117 However. Sirhind$’s thought falls squarely within the tradition of wuj$d% metaphysics. Yohanan Friedmann.122 At the level of reality. which was initially developed by ibn ‘Arab$. The literature on the relationship between Sirhind$ and ibn ‘Arab$ is substantial. 2:1. William C. 121 Sirhind$ in fact saw himself as taking an intermediate position between the mainstream Sunni ‘ulam!’ and ibn ‘Arab$. and has at best a tenuous connection with Sirhind$’s metaphysics. several of Sirhind$’s positions are theologically unacceptable for Q!r"#w$. See. 1979. 1971. rejects wuj$d% ontology altogether. vol. 1. God is 117 Ibid. 118 The label “wuj$d% metaphysics” is used in the secondary literature to denote ontological reasoning connected to ibn ‘Arab$’s metaphysical schema. Atallah S. Albany: State U of New York P. from which wuj$d% metaphysics is distinct. from within the Sunni kal!m tradition. For instance.” Die Welt des Islams. in the process of refuting ibn ‘Arab$. 119 See Knysh. 64.121 Indeed.119 Taft#z#n$ attacks the proponents of wuj$d% ontology from a position of Sunnism—that is. Friedmann. Ibn ‘Arabi. 1999. 179 .. 122 Sirhind$. pg. Sirhind$ himself refers to “taw"%d-i wuj$d%” in reference to ibn ‘Arab$. pg. Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi: An Outline of His Thought and a Study of His Image in the Eyes of Posterity. 141-158. Ansari. Chittick. Pg. see Alexander Knysh. such that the attributes are both identical to the essence and other than it). 158. 154. rather than a rejection. “Wa%dat alshuh!d. 2:5. 43. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s UP. pg. for instance. 21-22. 3. 135-157. Copty.
g. 64-65. pg. pg. All!hu ‘!limun bi-nafsih l! bi-‘ilm (though employing the synonym nafs rather than dh!t). 126 E. 2:3. Sirhind$. it is usually on a relatively minor point or in order to buttress a claim he has already made. not by an attribute of knowledge (wa bi-dh!t-i kh$d d!n! ast nah bi-#ifat-i ‘ilm).knowing by His essence. shows Q!r"#w$ refuting Sirhind$ while at the same time using Sirhind$’s ideas to elucidate his own position on the attributes’ necessity. and He is likewise for all of His attributes. Suﬁs. one passage discussing whether the attributes are necessary or contingent gives an interesting representation of Q!r"#w$’s relationship to Sirhind$ and the Mujaddidiyya as a whole regarding theological and metaphysical matters. 1:272. 3:26. Necessity and contingency are ways of qualifying the relationship between existence and quiddity. For example. pg. 180 . not by a knowledge. the divine essence is beyond existence. often in tacit disagreement.125 As a result of these fairly signiﬁcant differences between the two. however.126 Nevertheless. Sirhind$’s inﬂuence on Q!r"#w$’s thought seems to be more in the way of perspective and viewpoint than of direct inspiration. See below. 8. such that it cannot be described by the three existential modalities— necessity. Though Q!r"#w$ cites Sirhind$ in support of his arguments. Mab!"ith. also Kemper. Q!r"#w$. 16-17. that some later mutakallim$n had tried to restrict the meaning of duality. fol. 164. are contingent. Q!r"#w$ writes. noted above. pg. Sirhind$. the essence is necessary. 164a-164b. contained in the Mab!"ith. Sirhind$’s stature as the founder of the Mujaddidiyya compelled Q!r"#w$ to engage with his speciﬁc positions. God is an existent by [or through] His 123 124 Of which Sirhind$ lists eight. because of their dependence on the essence.123 (This statement is virtually identical to the classical Mu‘tazili formula stating that God is a knower in Himself. possibility and impossibility. in reference to the attributes’ being necessary or contingent: [It is said that] the attributes are neither necessary nor contingent. This passage. At the level of reality. Ash‘ar$. 125 Sirhind$. 269270. pg. while the attributes.124) At the level of shadow.
So according to that measure.e. according to what Mu%ammad Ma‘"!m has explained in detail in al-‘Urwa al-wuthq!. And the second [meaning of necessity] is the absence of dependence in [a thing’s] existence. and [in] the ﬁrst [case—i. it is not dependent] it is necessary. and limiting existents to these two [i. And this would only be correct in the sense that [the existent without existence] is an existent [existing] not by an existence that [can be] understood by reason and comprehended by knowledge.. it is a contradiction. such that any prohibition of limiting the mutual exclusivity [of these two] will collapse. So if the essence is superadded to the attributes. and His attributes are also existents in His essence not by existence (l! bi-l-wuj$d). an existent is either dependent in its existence or not. even if the attributes are something other than the essence. As for the denial of existence in general.. it certainly [amounts to] the denial of the Maker.e.essence (bi-dh!tih) not by existence. that whose existence is not distinct from its essence can be neither necessary nor contingent. also called the Makt$b!t.. And this mutual exclusivity is between negation and afﬁrmation. there is neither necessity nor contingency. then it conﬁrms 127 This seems to be the collection of Mu%ammad Ma‘"!m’s letters. And [in] the second [case—i. ‘This is a black thing without blackness’. that it is dependent] it is contingent.e. 181 . such that the essence would be existence superadded to the attributes. And [Ma‘"!m] says His attributes also are existents in His essence not by existence. necessary and contingent] is necessary and absolute. and that is only conceivable for that which has an essence distinct from its existence. As for an existent without existence (bi-l! wuj$d). And where there is no existence. as if someone were to say. According to this measure. The ﬁrst is an essence’s requiring existence. as [Ma‘"!m ] has said.127 I [Q!r"#w$] say that necessity has two meanings.
Ash‘ar$. though he does not do so explicitly. Sirhind$’s understanding of this position is that God.128 In this passage Q!r"#w$ is taking a position from Sirhind$ (whether directly or through an intermediary) and using it as evidence to support a claim he has made elsewhere through other arguments. 2:3. an attribute which describes other attributes). then either one necessitates the other or not. 165b-166a. “Essence. Existence is likewise a meta-attribute. 72-75. Mab!"ith.130 Q!r"#w$. pg. The distinction between it and God’s knowledge or power is that eternality is a metaattribute (i. The ﬁrst is an entity whose essence is not distinct from its existence. fol. Sirhind$. 130 Sirhind$. and so stating that God is existent in Himself without an attribute of existence ﬁts into this position. pg. 182 . Q!r"#w$ then goes on to refute this position. See also idem. [Were it the case that one necessitates the other. 16-17. Wisnovsky. 16-17. rather than through an attribute of eternality (All!hu qad%m bi-nafsih l! bi-l-qidam). 64. and such an entity is beyond necessity and contingency. pg. 170.the relationship between the essence and [the attributes]. Here addressing the issue of whether the attributes are contingent or necessary. Q!r"#w$ cites Sirhind$’s position that God and the attributes are both existents in the essence not by a further attribute of existence.. in His absolute transcendence. The second is an entity that is 128 129 Q!r"#w$. Ibn Kull#b asserted that God was eternal in Himself. such that the relationship between them and the essence is conﬁrmed.129 However. while strongly resembling a Mu‘tazili stance. pg. notes this. This statement. a claim with which Q!r"#w$ seems to agree. He begins by writing that there are two deﬁnitions of necessary entities.” pg. pg. See Appendix 11. is equivalent to a position taken by ibn Kull#b.” esp. “One Aspect. transcends even existence itself and. citing Mu%ammad Ma‘"!m. 3:26. and which would indeed ﬁt into his view of the attributes.] the former is the necessary [entity] and the latter the contingent. 33-35.e. What is interesting is that Q!r"#w$ uses Sirhind$’s position while refuting at least parts of his metaphysics. is not subject to the three modalities of existence. as such. 164. 2:3.
at which the attributes are separate from. fol. Q!r"#w$ adds. This ﬁrst deﬁnition comes from Mu%ammad Ma‘"!m. the attributes can only be existent in the essence and not through a further existence if the attributes are not 131 Further on in the same work Q!r"#w$ explicitly rejects the claim that at the level of reality the attributes are neither necessary nor contingent. 12-19. Q!r"#w$. 166a. going so far as to point out the letter from Sirhind$’s Makt$b!t where it is found: Qad q!la alshaykh nafsuh f% al-makt$b al-th!lith min al-jild al-th!n% fa-l-#if!t min "aythu wuj$duh! al-kh!rij% l! w!jiba wa-l! mumkina. in which case their existence can or must be negated. but exist by way of His existence and can only be said to exist at the level of shadow. and it is based in Sirhind$’s ontology. superadded to them. as the only real existent. cf. namely that there is something—the divine essence—which is beyond the modalities of existence. According to Ma‘"!m. then the essence. the essence. In Sirhind$’s metaphysics. This is in reference to Sirhind$’s level of shadow existence. such that entities other than Him have no existence of their own. Thus. Mab!"ith. the attributes would be dependent upon the essence. either necessary. and other than. Q!r"#w$ writes. But. Q!r"#w$ goes on to cite Muhammad Ma‘"!m’s claim that the attributes are existents not by existence. or contingent or impossible. Q!r"#w$ is subtly rejecting the very premise that such an entity is beyond existence. is the source of all existence. in which case they are afﬁrmed in existence. As a result.independent in existence. pg. would in turn be the attributes’ existence. Were this the case. a wholly unproblematic claim for both Q!r"#w$ and Sirhind$. God. which Sirhind$ claims is itself existence. by giving that as a deﬁnition of necessity.131 Indeed. 183 . Sirhind$. the attributes exist at the level of shadow. and therefore contingent of existence (as everything that depends upon something else for its existence is contingent). even when they are something other than the essence (shay’an th!niyan li-l-dh!t). yet they have no existence. 2:3. he then says that it is a priori ((ar$r%) that objects are either afﬁrmed or negated—that is.
fol. Fakhr al-D$n. Similarly. (This is obviously unacceptable. Indeed. 'riw$ cites Sirhind$ to buttress his own position. 166a. multiplicity and superaddition. and it shows another way in which Q!r"#w$ refutes Sirhind$’s [and Mu%ammad Ma‘"!m’s] claim that God is beyond existence.133) Indeed. See Appendix 10. iii. 'riw$ attempts to turn 132 Q!r"#w$. 98. The basic premises of Sirhind$’s wuj$d% ontology are plainly at odds with the tradition of Sunni kal!m in which Q!r"#w$ is arguing. Q!r"#w$ writes that God can only be existent in the essence not by existence if ‘existence’ here denotes a type of existence that cannot be comprehended.132 Despite the evident discrepancies between Q!r"#w$’s thought and Sirhind$’s. according to Kemper. Q!r"#w$ certainly held Sirhind$ in very high regard. As noted. and.) The disconnect between Sirhind$’s metaphysical framework and Q!r"#w$’s is evident in this passage. given the prevalence of the Mujaddidiyya among the Bulghar ‘ulam!’—particularly those who studied in Central Asia—his opponents would have as well. Mab!"ith. in upholding the attributes’ contingency. (It is noteworthy that Q!r"#w$ generally refers directly to Sirhind$ only in those works which are addressed to other scholars. 134 'riw$. 133 E. on the grounds that anything that is dependent in its existence must have a cause (mu’aththir). since to say that God is without existence is to negate Him. pg. fol. which is in response to Sirhind$.g.134 In this way. See Appendix 4.other than the essence—if they are l! ghayruh (thereby refuting Sirhind$’s position that God and the attributes are separate at the level of shadow). Q!r"#w$ explicitly rejects Sirhind$’s claim that the attributes are contingent and dependent upon the essence while still eternal and uncaused. Q!r"#w$ felt the need to cite Sirhind$ in this way. immediately following this passage. Q!r"#w$ equates ta‘ayyun with 'riw$’s 184 . As a Mujaddidi himself. contra Q!r"#w$. Anything that requires a cause must be caused. &th!r. 39b-41b. and so Sirhind$’s claim that the attributes are dependent yet eternal is impossible. Ris!la.
Alternatively. &th!r. not on his metaphysics as a whole. pg. pg. in order to cite Sirhind$. 136 Fakhr al-D$n. Consequently. where he writes: …and what [Sirhind$] said. But Q!r"#w$ has to do so in light of Sirhind$’s position on the attributes. as in the section quoted above. as well as human understanding of the attributes. Mab!"ith. 167b-168a. Suﬁs.Sirhind$ into a Sunni mutakallim. 98. Q!r"#w$ was forced to refer to particular positions while refuting whole aspects of Sirhind$’s thought. 135 Kemper. And when [they] are described by something entailed by created and originated beings in terms of [the attributes’] being eight or seven. what is meant is their real existential reality. See Appendix 4. So when the attributes are described by the lack of multiplicity. Though his claim is technically true—there is no multiplicity of the attributes in reality— wa"da ‘adadiyya and refutes them both as a violation of taw"%d. 185 . “and they say that the real attributes are eight attributes” is predicated upon their eight concepts. such as in his undated letter to ‘Abd al-Ra%m#n Kirm#n$. which is in many ways contradictory to his own.135 Q!r"#w$. what is meant is their concepts as they occur in the mind. actively engaged in these debates. iii. namely the negation of the attributes’ multiplicity. even at the level of shadow existence. fol. which was only made possible by focusing on Sirhind$’s view of the attributes at the level of shadow existence. Q!r"#w$ is clearly trying to prove the correctness of his positions to another Mujaddidi scholar. he explains Sirhind$’s statement that there are eight attributes by (correctly) limiting that only to the level of shadow existence. Q!r"#w$ was forced into somewhat disingenuous statements.136 In this letter. 270. Therefore. while stating that the lack of multiplicity occurs at the level of real existence. was compelled by Sirhind$’s stature as an authority to cite him as well. But Sirhind$’s view of the attributes did not line up with Q!r"#w$’s. Q!r"#w$.
He writes explicitly in the Na#!’i" that Sirhind$’s stance on the multiplicity of the attributes and their being mere aspects of the divine essence at the level of real existence is not found in the shar%‘a. 186 . ecstatic utterances which are incomprehensible and not to be taken literally. a position Q!r"#w$ rejects. but are afﬁrmed in themselves while subsisting within God. and by sha'" we mean words that are incomprehensible to the speaker (kalim!t ghayr mafh$ma ‘ind q!’ilih!). the Mab!"ith al-ism wa-l#ifa. and they are not differentiated. purporting to present the view of the Suﬁs. pg. directly engages with Sirhind$. Q!r"#w$ presents some of Sirhind$’s pronouncements as sha'a"!t—that is. the position on the attributes that most resembles Q!r"#w$’s is the one presented by Ab! Bakr Kal#b#dh$ in his Kit!b al-Ta‘arruf. pg. 13. Suﬁs. 21a. they are identical with the divine essence. In fact. but are l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh among each other.that is because for Sirhind$ the attributes do not exist in reality. 271. 138 Kal#b#dh$. the disconnect between their respective positions is most likely why only one of Q!r"#w$’s theological works. See Carl Ernst. 139 Ibid.”137 Indeed. Na#!’i".139 137 Q!r"#w$. rather than his own personal position. pg.” EI2. but “it is only among his sha'"iyy!t. Consequently. and there is no beneﬁt (f!’ida) in this type of speech. 16. fol. Instead.138 He never ceases to exist eternally in or with His names and attributes (lam yazal qad%man bi-asm!’ih wa-#if!tih). Q!r"#w$ found himself in the awkward position of appealing to Sirhind$’s authority while simultaneously refuting his views. Kal#b#dh$. describes the attributes in a way which corresponds very closely with Q!r"#w$’s.. He writes that the attributes are not God and not other than God. 15. Kemper. or which are comprehensible to him but he is incapable of understanding them or their meaning (%r!d) in an expression indicating [the state of] his inner being (bi-‘ib!ra tadall ‘al! (am%rih). “Sha)%. In an attempt to sidestep this discrepancy.
Kal#b#dh$ continually emphasizes God’s transcendence and complete otherness. Q!r"#w$ also cites Kal#b#dh$ as an example of correct interpretation of scripture and on what God conceals from humanity. pg. 14. fol. Kal#b#dh$. theologically speaking. On Naqshband. Q!r"#w$. Q!r"#w$: ‘Wa-ajma‘$ ‘al! annah! l! tata‘addad wa-l! tatagh!yar fa-laysa ‘ilmuh qudratah wa-l! ghayr qudratih wa-ka-dh!lik jam%‘ #if!tih min al-sam‘ wal-ba#ar wa-l-wajh wa-l-yad’. in his work refuting Q!r"#w$. especially in his emphasis on transcendence. 16. if not likely. His face and His hand. a coherent picture of his view of the attributes can be constructed from his writings.”141 Afand$ D#ghist#n$.” 187 . iii. seeing. fol.Additionally. 140 141 Ibid. the similarities between the two are strong.140 Though this position is not identical with Q!r"#w$’s. see Hamid Algar. though Arberry notes some discrepancy in the various manuscripts at this point. Kal#b#dh$: ‘Waajma‘$ annah! l! tatagh!yar wa-l! tatam!thal wa-laysa ‘ilmuh qudratah wa-l! ghayr qudratih wa-ka-dh!lik bi-jam%‘ #if!tih min al-sam‘ wa-l-ba#ar wa-l-wajh wa-l-yad’. and Q!r"#w$ identiﬁes Kal#b#dh$ as a Suﬁ worthy of emulation alongside ﬁgures such as Bah#’ al-D$n al-Naqshband (718/1318-791/1389).. pg. 98. 3. 142 D#ghist#n$.142 The Attributes and Transcendence This particular Suﬁ orientation shapes Q!r"#w$’s stance on the attributes. Fakhr al-D$n. fol. 100b. n. Nevertheless. Indeed. “Brief History. Q!r"#w$’s letter to Kirm#n$ describing his view on the attributes includes a phrase that resembles virtually verbatim a statement by Kal#b#dh$: “And they have agreed that [the attributes] are not counted and not differentiated. See Appendix 4. 94b. afﬁrming that there is nothing like unto Him (laysa kamithlihi shay’un). that some copies included this phrase. &th!r. writes that Q!r"#w$’s views come from Suﬁ books such as al-Ta‘arruf. pg. and likewise with all of His attributes among hearing. ibid. so it is certainly possible. Kal#b#dh$. so His knowledge is neither His power nor other than His power.. The phrase “l! tata‘addad” is not found in Arberry’s edition of Kal#b#dh$. Though Q!r"#w$ makes it clear which points of doctrine are beyond the pale. 16. Shar" jad%d. he is less explicit about his own position. pg. 1b.
148 They can therefore be described only in the negative. fol. 150b. Fakhr al-D$n. 148 Q!r"#w$.145 The attributes. are l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh among themselves. pg. and any difference between them. fol. 77a-78a.His position is rather simple: the attributes are both eternal and necessary of existence. and people should not delve into the secrets of the divine. by virtue of their being l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh with the essence. fol. fol. Ithb!t. as well as their complete otherness from creation. such as God’s knowledge vis-à-vis His power or His life vis-à-vis His will. 109a. “the established descriptions (aw#!f) and actions (af‘!l) of the Everlasting Real are necessary of afﬁrmation [or existence] (thub$t) [and] impossible of cessation. fol. fol. 104a. 107a 147 Q!r"#w$. 151 Q!r"#w$. fol. 146 Q!r"#w$. iii.149 Reason (‘aql) can do no more than conﬁrm the attributes’ existence. even though it is fruitless. that God and His attributes cannot be described by what describes created beings [makhl$q!t].146 The divine essence and attributes transcend everything. Mab!"ith.147 They cannot be understood. etc. Law!’i". 98.. 110b. 83a. fol. 107a.. he puts forward the incomprehensibility and unknowability of God and His attributes.” Q!r"#w$. asserting God’s taw"%d and transcendence are the overarching priorities of Q!r"#w$’s position. 109b. 170a..144 Their real existence is conﬁrmed by scripture and tradition. (Q!r"#w$ writes. Shar" jad%d. fol.143 The attributes have no dependence on the essence. Q!r"#w$. is a purely linguistic or conceptual distinction appearing in the text or in human understanding. Law!’i". &th!r. fol. Shar" jad%d. 82b. 111b. fol. 145 Q!r"#w$. 188 . 165b-166a. innumerable and undifferentiated.)151 In order to maintain God’s simplicity and avoid the multiplicity of the 143 E.150 As with his criticisms of others’ beliefs. Shar" jad%d. 149 Ibid. Law!’i". and only revelation can lead to even partial knowledge of them. As such. idem. fol. 83a. 144 Q!r"#w$. which are attributes. 150 Ibid. as are God’s hand and face. and subsisting in it. Mab!"ith. for instance.g. Law!’i". idem.
but the attributes’ existence is not dependent upon the essence.attributes. Q!r"#w$ is asserting ontological equality between them. While maintaining the attributes’ existence is important. Q!r"#w$ posits that the attributes are undifferentiated within themselves. and thus he asserts a l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh relationship between the essence and the attributes as well as among the attributes in order to preserve both aspects of taw"%d: God’s simplicity is maintained by the fact that each attribute is not other than the other attributes. and so they must be l! huwa with the essence. ruling out division within the attributes. There cannot be absolutely no separation or distinction. By rejecting dependence. which is made possible only by the fact that the attributes are not other than the essence. In addition. and so he put forward his own view 189 . not only are they both eternal and necessary of existence. and His uniqueness is maintained by the fact that the attributes are not other than the essence. that would entail identiﬁcation (‘ayniyya). Q!r"#w$ asserts this in an attempt to have as little separation or distinction between the essence and attributes. of course. as possible. then their existence would be subordinate or secondary to God’s. The attributes therefore exist in a state where each attribute is not God and not other than God and concurrently not every other attribute and not other than every other attribute. with each attribute l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh with every other attribute. the standard position violated taw"%d and transcendence. Q!r"#w$ puts forward a view verging on existential equivalence between the essence and the attributes. undermining the attributes’ real existence. Q!r"#w$’s primary goal is upholding taw"%d and transcendence. and among the attributes themselves. Were they dependent upon the essence. Any infringement upon them is unacceptable. Transcendence For Q!r"#w$.
the discrepancies between Q!r"#w$ and Taft#z#n$ can be directly attributed to differing priorities regarding transcendence. See Appendix 2. Q!r"#w$’s position reemphasizes transcendence. by its dual negation. See Wisnovsky.152 This led the Sunnis. iii. had crossed the line into otherness (ghayriyya). the divine essence. however. this meant eight differentiated attributes that were superadded to. For the early mutakallim$n who developed the Sunni stance. eternality and distinctiveness. such that Sunni mutakallim$n like Taft#z#n$. 180-181. ii. to avoid both the Mu‘tazila’s identiﬁcation of the attributes with the essence [‘ayniyya] and holding the attributes to be entirely other than the essence [ghayriyya]). 239. explicitly denounces him for following the Mu‘tazila (taql%d-i ahl-i i‘tiz!l). 190 . Fakhr al-Din. the Mu‘tazila had emphasized transcendence too strongly. leading them to deny the attributes’ real existence. 154 Kemper. the Mu‘tazila’s conception of tanz%h had crossed the line into ta‘'%l (the negation of the attributes’ very existence). Indeed. This emphasis on transcendence. Consequently. pg. For Q!r"#w$.153 For Taft#z#n$. addresses the controversy surrounding Q!r"#w$’s concept of 152 153 Allard. 155 Marj#n$. pg. and causally dependent upon. 174.” pg. Suﬁs. 68-69. this view went too far in the other direction. 101. in open theological conﬂict with the Mu‘tazila. pg. &th!r. opened Q!r"#w$ up to accusations of Mu‘tazili leanings with respect to negating the attributes’ existence. based on the premise that the attributes are l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh (a formula intended.155 Marj#n$’s Ris!lat tanb%h abn!’ al-‘a#r ‘al! tanz%h anb!’ Ab% al-Na#r (The Epistle informing contemporaries about transcendence in the reports of Ab! al-Na"r). pg. In a sense. “One Aspect. as its title shows.154 Turs!n B#q$. in their efforts to contradict ta‘'%l. Mustaf!d. however. to put forward a competing view focused around the attributes’ reality.emphasizing them. in his 1810 letter to the Bulghar ‘ulam!’. which in this case is tantamount to shirk.
‘A)#’.transcendence with the attributes. 158 Abrahamov. pg. 239. 211. His position that God’s transcendence.158 Similarly. grounds it in the limitations of human perception. al-&asan b. Shar" jad%d. Ibr#h$m b. Q!r"#w$.162 Q!r"#w$’s 156 157 Cf. 109a.” EI2. in an effort to emphasize transcendence. ‘A)#’ (?-131/748). 109a. rather than divine transcendence. he does make statements and take positions resembling those of the Mu‘tazila. 5a. who put forward. 161 Q!r"#w$.” pg. Fakhr al-D$n R#z$. fol. Q!r"#w$. ‘Al$ b. Ibr#h$m (169/785-246/860). “Mu‘tazila. Shar" jad%d. who also believed that God is beyond understanding (contrary to the Ash‘aris. “Razi. 159 Q!r"#w$. This was in contrast to the Sunnis. 160 Abrahamov. in favor of a stance that appears closer to Mu‘tazilism. 212-213.” pg. D#ghist#n$.160 In fact. in his work denouncing Q!r"#w$. “W#"il b. fol. ‘He is He’. Q!r"#w$ rejects the level of distinctiveness put forward as the standard Sunni position in response to the Mu‘tazila.161 Speaking speciﬁcally of the attributes. ibid. Gimaret. such that anything which infringed upon it in any way was rejected. writes that their understanding of divine unity represented absolute unity. 206. al-&asan b. writes that “The Divine Being (al-huwiyya al-!lihiyya) in Its majesty and sublimity (bi-jal!latih! wa-‘a)!matih!) cannot be described except that He is He (l! yumkin an yu‘abbar ‘anh! ill! bi-annahu huwa huwa).” EI2. thus allowing—as Taft#z#n$ does—the existence of 191 .” EI2. al-*#sim b. cites with some approval W#"il b. 162 Wolfson. who upheld the possibility of knowing God). in the sense that it entails ‘ayniyya. implicitly links Q!r"#w$’s view with that of the Mu‘tazila. “Razi.”159 This statement mirrors the position of the Zaydi Mu‘tazilite al-Q#sim b. who considered God’s unity to be relative. “al-Rass$. Kemper.156 D#ghist#n$. pg. precludes human understanding of the divine essence has parallels with that of the Mu‘tazila. Suﬁs. Ab$ +#lib.. Josef van Ess. while making this point (ad ‘and He is not described by quiddity’ [wa-l! y$#uf bi-l-m!hiyya]). one of the founders of the Mu‘tazila. see also Wilferd Madelung. for instance. as an answer to the question ‘what is God?’. 204-206. fol. while putting forward one argument for the unknowability of God. in describing the Mu‘tazili position.157 Though Q!r"#w$ explicitly afﬁrms the attributes’ real existence.
1976. Therefore. 163 This. cf. 84b-85a. Q!r"#w$. Q!r"#w$’s criticism of this position is that it makes them too distinct from the essence. Cambridge. the attributes’ existence cannot be the same as God’s. is the most glaring shortcoming in Q!r"#w$’s position. the attributes). there seem to have been no accusations of Q!r"#w$’s having followed the Mu‘tazila in areas other than the attributes. Indeed. idem. though not in great detail. without the attributes’ unequivocal dependence upon God. Shar" jad%d. 192 . there can be no conﬂating the attributes with the essence. whereas God is the divine essence. holding the attributes to be contingent in themselves effectively afﬁrms their existential dependence upon the essence. Their existence could only be identical with God’s if they themselves were identical with God—violating l! huwa. fol. fol. yet one which only D#ghist#n$ seems to have attacked. but only through the essence (bi-l-dh!t). MA: Harvard UP. Likewise. the attributes’ existence is clearly subordinate to. Q!r"#w$’s stance falls squarely on the side of absolute unity. 164 Despite the frequent polemical charges of Mu‘tazilism. but through itself. and distinct from. Such a position is logically impossible: the attributes are l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh with the divine essence. fol. 139. Harry A. Faced with such a division. cf. As such. 130b. 5a. Law!’i". 128b-129b. which is tantamount to Mu‘tazilism. that of the essence. The attributes are necessary of existence.164 Indeed. 117b-120a. Q!r"#w$ could be seen as positing that God and the attributes have the same existence by the essence. his positions on other issues conform to very standard Maturidi beliefs.) But by asserting that both God and attributes are necessary existents in the divine essence. On Taft#z#n$’s account. The Philosophy of the Kalam. D#ghist#n$.163 However. His assertion of the attributes’ real existence as eternal. For Taft#z#n$. I think. his reliance upon l! huwa eternal entities that are other than God (namely. distinct entities places him ﬁrmly within the Sunni camp. Pg. similarities between Q!r"#w$’s stance on the attributes and that of the Mu‘tazila do not necessarily indicate that he held actual Mu‘tazili theological beliefs.position on the attributes’ relation with the essence verges on ‘ayniyya. Wolfson. whereas the essence is also necessary. (Indeed. his stance is premised upon Sunni notions of the attributes.
167 Q!r"#w$ qualiﬁes as a traditionalist according to Abrahamov’s deﬁnition. xiii-xv. (In this respect. the forefather of Sunni attributists (a#"!b al-#if!t). See Binyamin Abrahamov. fol. Arberry. Pg. forms the central pillar of his view on the attributes. Instead of a position based primarily on reason. Islamic Theology: Traditionalism and Rationalism. Q!r"#w$ is very explicit in his subordination of reason to tradition. 1998. Pg. Kal#b#dh$ represents an inspiration. Kemper. Also important for Q!r"#w$’s position on the attributes is his insistence on basing all religious belief strictly upon epistemically sound scriptural sources. which comes from ibn Kull#b. is of utmost importance for Q!r"#w$. 166 A. 268. 99a.167 To him. idem. 94a. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP. in 193 . which goes squarely against the Mu‘tazila’s belief in. he seeks to ground his stance on the attributes entirely within scripture.J. 85b. Suﬁs. fol. Shar" jad%d. Q!r"#w$. Q!r"#w$’s stance in fact represents a hybrid form of Suﬁ-oriented traditionalism within the kal!m tradition. 1977. and Arberry writes that Kal#b#dh$’s Ta‘arruf was a combination of Suﬁsm and Central Asian Hanaﬁ kal!m with the shar%‘a. which Q!r"#w$ considers to be the cause of their erroneous position on the attributes. 165 E. The Doctrine of the Suﬁs. comprising scripture and tradition (naql) along with scholarly consensus (ijm!‘). This type of theological traditionalism.166) In Q!r"#w$’s thought.) Perhaps most importantly. “the overwhelming power of reason over revelation. Introduction.wa-l! ghayruh. Law!’i". pg. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. 33. the inﬂuence of Suﬁ scholars such as Kal#b#dh$ and Sirhind$ is apparent in his emphasis on upholding God’s transcendence and the increased importance of the shar%‘a in his thought. Instead. as we have seen. (Even if his stance more strongly emphasizes l! ghayruh than l! huwa.”165 Q!r"#w$ and Kal!m The elevation of reason over revelation is categorically rejected by Q!r"#w$. ix-xviii. while criticizing the mutakallim$n for their use of reason at the expense of revelation.g. as Abrahamov writes.
however. Irsh!d. 109b. 85a-85b. pg. 173 Q!r"#w$. knowledge of it prevents deviation in belief. is that. fol. as it does not refer directly to ﬁre. “hot” does not answer the question “what is ﬁre?”.. divine inspiration. If scripture is the only source of knowledge about the essence (and Q!r"#w$ is adamant about this).scripture—and only scripture—represents true religious knowledge. or as the prophets describe Him. idem. Mab!"ith. then there is absolutely no way. 170 Ibid. there is no such risk. “So when we say ‘knowing’ or ‘powerful’. 194 .” he writes. according to Q!r"#w$. fol. 171 Ibid. such that He is living not like living things (huwa "ayy l! ka-l-a"y!’). unlike tradition. God can only be described as He describes Himself. He writes that since anything that is not taken from the shar%‘a (ghayr ma’kh$dh min shar%‘at al-shar‘) is innovation. Reason thus must be entirely subordinate to tradition. and holds tradition to be the only source of religious knowledge. 35-36. fol. ix-x. fol. but since actual tashb%h is impossible—since there is nothing like God—the descriptions can only be negative.172 Q!r"#w$ gives the example of calling ﬁre “hot”. According to Q!r"#w$. yet the descriptions contained in scripture do not actually describe the essence.171 These descriptions. it can lead people into mistaken beliefs. everything must be subject to veriﬁcation (ta"q%q) that it conforms to tradition. “it has the meaning of an obscure thing (shay’ mubham) which has a description (wa#f) of knowledge or power. 84a. 169 Q!r"#w$.169 With tradition. on the other hand. fol. Abrahamov. 85b. 153b. other than it exists and there is nothing like unto it. 168 Q!r"#w$. Shar" jad%d. the problem with reason. 172 This reinforces Q!r"#w$’s position about the unknowability of the essence. idem. Law!’i". but rather to heat. short of direct. Law!’i". pg. 83a.168 As noted. since anything not found in scripture or consensus is error and innovation. Tradition in this way acts as a safeguard against deviation and error..” These descriptions seem to equate God with creation (tashb%h).173 Similarly.170 This is particularly true with descriptions of the divine essence. those verses which that he prefers tradition to reason absolutely. for one to know anything about the essence. are not straightforward and do not refer directly to the essence. Islamic Theology.
.. because He conceals the truth. 178 Q!r"#w$. pg. 110b. 103b-104a. that ‘aql cannot lead to the inner realities ("aq%q!t) of the divine essence. “The ‘Bi-la Kayfa’ Doctrine and Its Foundations in Islamic Theology. 2009. for instance.174 However. 177 Literally ‘without how’. pg. 365-379. fol. 99b. 170b.181 He writes. 182 Q!r"#w$.180) Q!r"#w$’s reliance upon bi-l! kayfa does not stem from a rejection of reason. 42. 101a. beyond afﬁrming their existence. Wensinck. 1995.. but its relationship to God is beyond human understanding. 58-61. Law!’i". 3.182 Therefore. fol. see Binyamin Abrahamov. 15. God’s face—for example —is afﬁrmed as an attribute because it is found in scripture. Oliver Leaman. fol.. for instance. Q#r$. cf. cf. pg. Q!r"#w$’s thought evinces a reliance upon the so-called ‘bi-l! kayfa doctrine’. fol. reason for Q!r"#w$ is supplementary to naql. 1965. Shar" jad%d. Reason can lead one to afﬁrm the existence of the essence and attributes. but comprehending anything beyond that exceeds reason’s capability.mention anthropomorphic elements of God—His face or hand or mouth or closeness—cannot be understood literally. 180 Kal#b#dh$. also pg.176 In this respect. which should be relied upon 174 175 Ibid. but Wensinck points out that bi-l! kayfa developed into a principle of transcendence. fol. London: Frank Cass & Co. 181 Q!r"#w$. 176 Ibid. 48-51. Kal#b#dh$ and ‘Al$ Q#r$ consider God’s face an attribute as well. without knowing how. fol.179 (In a similar fashion. 58. 86. 179 A.J. but rather from what he sees as its limitations. Cambridge: Polity Press. The Muslim Creed: Its Genesis and Historical Development. in that he dismisses speculation about the essence and attributes. Leaman.” Arabica. Pg. Ibid. Shar" jad%d. Q#r$. that God has a face. vol. 195 .175 The Companions and Followers refrained from discussing such issues. 207.178 This is also a Hanbali view. fol. Mab!"ith. 109a. in the sense that humans can know and afﬁrm. and we can see this principle at work in Q!r"#w$’s position on the attributes. 107a-107b. idem. there can be no interpretation (ta’w%l) into how God describes Himself. no. 81b. Islamic Philosophy: an Introduction. 107a. since He transcends such things.177 As such. pg.
Mab!"ith. to the point that he calls it ‘ilm al-kal!m wa-l-na)ar (the science of theology and speculation). This complexity is largely attributable to his use of the term “kal!m” itself.. 187 Q!r"#w$. 96a. particularly at the expense of tradition. Q!r"#w$. Shar" jad%d. For him. the Mu‘tazila and some Ash‘aris for holding tradition to be subordinate to reason. reason can be used to defend proper belief. 196 .184 Q!r"#w$’s view of reason deeply colors his view of kal!m as an intellectual endeavor. 155a. Q!r"#w$ criticizes. kal!m. and particularly its practitioners. fol. and this statement is true because he [the mutakallim] is an innovator (mubtadi‘). rather than his view towards it as an intellectual endeavor. because it is based on reason. Q!r"#w$’s relationship to kal!m is more nuanced than at ﬁrst glance. 93a-93b. fol.183 And. citing the formative Hanaﬁ scholar Ab! Y!suf.. as we can see from the elaboration of his criticisms of Taft#z#n$. For him. fol. 155a-156b. of one who does kal!m leading prayer: “Prayer behind a mutakallim is not permissible. He condemns it as a ﬁeld of knowledge. 154b.. also idem. 99a.exclusively for those questions which reason cannot answer. is subject to the same problems and limitations as reason and is inextricably linked with it. fol. 186 Ibid. however.”186 Despite such explicit condemnation.187 He also deﬁnes kal!m as “the science of those who plunge into philosophy and their 183 184 Ibid. fol. and he connects such a position with philosophy (speciﬁcally Avicenna). fol. going so far as to reject the possibility. and prayer behind an innovator is not permissible. kal!m is not simply theology—in the sense of thinking systematically about God—or even rational theology. which he uses exclusively in a pejorative sense. rather it is the excessive use of reason in theology. Shar" jad%d. for example. than he does of reason itself.185 But Q!r"#w$ speaks much more harshly of kal!m. 185 Ibid.
which he calls ‘ilm al-taw"%d wal-#if!t.d. 247-248.. kal!m and ‘ilm al-taw"%d wa-l-#if!t”. forbade the “sciences of the philosophers” (‘ul$m al-fal!sifa)— logic. ii.e. in describing Q!r"#w$’s Shar" jad%d. Q!r"#w$’s companion Ni‘mat All#h b. however. Shar" qad%m. 105b. It is also mentioned by Fakhr al-D$n in reference to scholars connected to Q!r"#w$. He condemns kal!m elsewhere. u#$l al-ﬁqh.190 This distinction seems to be grounded in the use of tradition. The origins of this distinction are obscure. pg. pg. see idem. though its connotations are unclear. 81. Fakhr al-D$n describes Q!r"#w$’s teacher . Suﬁs. pg.189 He writes that the companions and followers of the Prophet engaged in ‘ilm altaw"%d wa-l-#if!t (explicitly not kal!m). ‘Al$ b. n. for his part. 160. also idem. who rely too heavily on reason and logic. despite the fact these two labels were traditionally synonymous. law—suggesting that it merely signiﬁes theology. 5-7. pg. Shar" qad%m. kal!m. writing in the 16th century. fol. 17a. pg. 93b (reading ‘yakh$($n’ for ‘ya"$($n’). Conversely. Shar" jad%d. pg. 17a. ibid. N!)$rat al-"aqq f% far(iyyat 197 . pg. ix. Nu‘m#n Thaman$. 190 Q!r"#w$. &th!r.. considers this part of kal!m.” EI2. The Bukharan scholar Ab! al-&asan ‘Al$ b. ‘Al$ Q#r$. 368-369. fol. Q#r$. However. fol. also Ramz$. Mu%ammad al-Bazdaw$. Q!r"#w$’s student. 93a. see also Kemper. +!shiya. For Q!r"#w$.whims” (having already identiﬁed whim as a central danger of relying upon reason). [Karachi]: M$r Mu%ammad kutubkh#nah-i markaz-i ‘ilm waadab. Daniel Gimaret. Fakhr al-D$n. astronomy (hay’a) and science/philosophy ("ikma)—is said to have studied ‘ilm al-taw"%d wa-l-#if!t from Q!r"#w$’s Shar" jad%d. On Q!r"#w$’s use of this distinction. On "ikma in this context. U#$l al-Bazdaw%: Kanz al-wu#$l il! ma‘rifat al-u#$l. 79. Pg. B$ktimur. But he contrasts it with “‘ilm al-shar!’i‘ wa-l-a"k!m”—i.188 What Q!r"#w$ does is draw a distinction between kal!m—as he sees it— and acceptable systematic thinking about God. logic (man'iq). Mu%ammad al-Bazdaw$ (400/1010-482/1089) writes that ‘ilm al-taw"%d wa-l-#if!t is “adherence to the Book and Sunna and avoidance of whim and bid‘a. 6.” and it is what the salaf practiced. who. according to Fakhr al-D$n. and that it is the basis of religious duties (a#l al-w!jib!t wa-as!s al-mashr$‘at) and the most beneﬁcial type of knowledge (anf!‘ al-‘ul$m). “Taw%$d (a). Marj#n$. the reliance on reason amongst mutakallim$n sets their intellectual endeavor apart 188 189 Ibid. iii. cf.shit$ as teaching “ﬁqh. 150. fol. &th!r. Q!r"#w$. calls it a commentary “on the writing of ‘Umar al-Nasaf$ on the science of taw"%d and the attributes” (li-ris!lat ‘Umar al-Nasaf% f% ‘ilm al-taw"%d wa-l-#if!t). 142. see Kazem Beg. makes a distinction in the Shar" al-Fiqh al-akbar (much in the same way as Q!r"#w$) between his work (‘ilm al-taw"%d) and the kal!m of the ahl al-bid‘a.. 3-4. Marj#n$. x. Fakhr al-D$n. writing that “the foundations of kal!m are the sources of its questions which produce the afﬁrmation of His existence and of the rest of His attributes” (u#$l al-kal!m ummah!t mas!’ilih allat% tuf%d al-ta#d%q bi-wuj$dih wa-s!’ir #if!tih).
Shar" jad%d. [Untitled work. Kal#b#dh$. are ﬁrmly grounded within the Hanaﬁ-Maturidi kal!m tradition. Mu%ammad al-Shayb#n$ and Sh#ﬁ‘$. Pg. despite this distinction between his ‘ilm al-taw"%d wa-l-#if!t and his opponents’ kal!m. no. the fact that Q!r"#w$ actively participated in debates about what are very subtle and minute theological distinctions—in many ways kal!m’s raison d’être—shows that he did not reject it as an intellectual endeavor. 117a-122a. A914. 94a. al-‘ish!’ wa-in lam yaghib al-shafaq. Kazan: n. and his theological views in general. based upon the premises of Sunni kal!m. We can see this in his subtle rejection of Sirhind$’s wuj$d% metaphysics in favor of the conventional Sunni conception of the attributes. (And 'tiz-(m#n$.191 Q!r"#w$’s descriptions of kal!m would suggest that he agrees that it is based on qiy!s. no. SPb IVR. who did reject kal!m entirely. the idea that qiy!s forms part of belief is simply unacceptable.192 His traditionalism notwithstanding. respectively (or M#tur$d$ himself. there does seem to have been a real disagreement between Q!r"#w$ and his opponents on the role of reason in determining belief. but that kal!m constitutes part of belief. Yet. 1870. Kemper writes that Q!r"#w$’s view of the attributes shares many elements with M#tur$d$’s. 118a. ‘In#yat All#h Bukh#r$ writes that scripture is the basis (as!s) for belief (i‘tiq!d). which is based on tradition. Ms.from his. Nasaf$ and ‘Al$ Q#r$. 113a117a. Ris!la ‘an qism "!shiyat al-Khay!l% ‘al! Shar" al-‘Aq!yid al-nasaﬁyya li-l-Taft!z!n%. Fols. multiplicity. Ab! Y!suf.p. 114a. SPb IVR. 191 ‘In#yat All#h Bukh#r$. Indeed. whom Q!r"#w$ lists as one of the shaykhs of the ahl al-"aqq).. fol. 198 . Q!r"#w$’s speciﬁc criticisms against his opponents—on the attributes’ contingency. to say nothing of the similarities between Q!r"#w$’s views and those of ibn Kull#b. A914. 192 Alongside Ab! &an$fa. differentiation and superaddition—are all supported by extensive rational argument. Fol. and logical reasoning (qiy!s) is the basis for kal!m. Fol. However. pg. also idem. Indeed. 7-10. For him. Fols. Q!r"#w$. M#lik b.] Ms. Kemper. Suﬁs. the view that it forms part of belief runs directly counter to his position that anything not supported in scripture should be rejected. Q!r"#w$’s position on the attributes. Anas. 259. a religious wrong.
philosophy and whim. encompasses scholarly questions and indisputable principles. 199 . fol. Shar" jad%d. 238. Ramz$ states that 'tiz-(m#n$ adhered to the teachings contained in Kal#b#dh$’s Kit!b al-ta‘arruf..and post-Avicennian). the distinction between their views and contexts plays no part in Q!r"#w$’s rejection of Taft#z#n$ and embrace of Nasaf$.194 Here Q!r"#w$ is differentiating between Taft#z#n$’s work and that of Nasaf$. Q!r"#w$’s ostensible rejection of kal!m appears to be little more than a polemical ploy directed at his opponents. ii pg. 194 Q!r"#w$. “Spasenie.195 With this distinction. 222-224.condemned Q!r"#w$ as a philosopher engaged in irrelevant disputes. 360. pre. Q!r"#w$ can issue a blanket condemnation of his opponents. Ramz$. most of them are based only on philosophical principles and intellectual fancies and the kind of mistakes and errors of delusion that are not to be believed (in contrast to following the Book and Sunna). asserting that they are engaged in “kal!m” (with negative connotations and intimations of philosophy). This aim is apparent from the very opening of his Shar" jad%d: Amm! ba‘d: [Q!r"#w$] says: Now the summary called the ‘Aq!yid nasafiyya. who is no less of a mutakallim than Taft#z#n$. pg.e. 92b-93a. […] So God forgive him for clinging frequently to the madhhab of shaykh Ab! &asan al-Ash‘ar$. By drawing the distinction between his own theological work—‘ilm al-taw"%d wa-l-#if!t—and his opponents’ theological work—“kal!m”—he is able to deride their positions as the result of overuse of reason. even if it contains revisions and precisions and is not devoid of veriﬁcations. but with whom Q!r"#w$ agrees.193) In fact. The commentary of the mu"aqqiq Taft#z#n$. See Appendix 13. while he is purely studying taw"%d. Q!r"#w$’s stance is based on many of the premises of Avicennian metaphysics and should not be seen as a rejection of the Avicennian turn. and bring no guidance except towards [Taft#z#n$’s] desires (in contrast to following consensus). As noted. 193 Utyz-Imiani. by the divine imam ‘Umar al-Nasaf$. at odds with scripture and tradition. Suﬁs.” See also Kemper. 195 Although Nasaf$ and Taft#z#n$ represent different periods in the history of kal!m (i.
ii. These debates were brought to Russia by (shniy#z b. fol. 148b. As a result.. Suﬁs. Marj#n$. as well as many Sunni theologians (besides Taft#z#n$. Mustaf!d. See also Kemper. pg. Shar" jad%d. Ibid. Mang#r$. 59.199 Debates on the attributes among Bulghar scholars seem to have been a continuation of similar debates already taking place in Central Asia. Sa‘$d Shird#n$. fol. fol. Sh$rniy#z Khorezm$.197 This group includes the Mu‘tazila and fal!sifa. 198 Q!r"#w$. who upheld the attributes’ contingency and the superaddition of existence to the essence in his apparently lost work. fol. D#ghist#n$ and Fakhr al-D$n b. pg. Kh!j#sh. Q!r"#w$ cannot simply condemn all Ash‘aris while extolling the rightness of the Maturidis. 226-241. Mab!"ith. pg. Shar" jad%d. Q!r"#w$’s erstwhile father-in-law.198 The Debates It was Q!r"#w$’s contemporaries. 94a. 96b-97a.But the fact that many of his opponents were Hanaﬁ-Maturidis.196 It is these people who.200 196 197 Q!r"#w$. advocates of more rationalist theology and more established positions in Sunni kal!m. as is 'riw$. makes this distinction doubly important. Ramz$.” 200 Fakhr al-D$n. implicitly). Suﬁs. fol. 155b-156b. so he must in some way separate himself from antagonists such as 'riw$. who fought with Q!r"#w$ over these theological issues. Mab!"ith. the primary target for Q!r"#w$’s theological ire is what he calls the ahl al-kal!m. idem. 340. have immersed themselves only in the study of kal!m and confused themselves with excess rationality. Ibr#h$m b. idem. 108b. 166b. ii. 220. 167b. fol. whom he sometimes labels the people of innovation (ahl al-mubtadi‘). idem. the mutakallims R#z$ and (j$ are singled out for their theological errors. rather than forming a madhhab. and in the process deviated from correct doctrine. was a student and follower of (shniy#z before later rejecting his theological views. idem. 200 . scholars such as 'riw$. to say nothing of Mujaddidis. 199 See Kemper. &th!r. 93. ii. A%mad b. 165a. Ithb!t. pg. the ‘Aq!’id bulgh!riyya. whose scholarly lineage was very similar to his own. pg. “Entre Boukhara.
fol. Ris!la. primarily in Bukhara. wrote a number of works either explicitly refuting Q!r"#w$ and his positions or putting forward views contrary to his. in his 1810 letter to Mufti Mu%ammadj#n. and he states deﬁnitively that there are seven or eight attributes. fol. pg. which he justiﬁes by stating that the attributes. writing that the attributes “are not necessary by themselves (laysat bi-w!jiba li-dhaw!tih!). Suﬁs. 40a-40b. Q!r"#w$ is going against more 201 202 Kemper. 221 n. Taft#z#n$. and he in fact defends this view by citing Taft#z#n$. Suﬁs. pg. pg. &th!r. 205 'riw$. ‘A)#’ All#h himself was a prominent mutakallim who had written his own work on the issue of the attributes’ eternality and contingency. See chapter 2. pg. 257. 207 'riw$. 'riw$ upholds it as well. Cf. 38.206 As for their multiplicity. 101. 221 n. but are necessary by the essence of the Necessary (w!jiba li-dh!t al-w!jib)” and are in themselves contingent (amm! f% nafsih! fa-hiya mumkina). 'riw$ asserts that by espousing these views. ii. 204 Some of his works are described in Fakhr al-D$n. Fakhr al-D$n. 'riw$ gives Q!r"#w$’s negation of multiplicity and his upholding the attributes’ necessity as reasons for his religious error. &th!r. &th!r. Ibid.203 'riw$. though contingent. 40b.201 As noted.These debates were carried on by Bulghar scholars who had studied in Central Asia. pg.204 'riw$ upholds the attributes’ superaddition as well as their contingency (as did Mang#r$). pg. Mustaf!d. Mang#r$ and Fakhr al-D$n b. 220-221. xi. 203 Marj#n$. Ibr#h$m were all students of ‘A)#’ All#h Bukh#r$.207 Indeed. 206 'riw$ here also quotes ‘In#yat All#h Bukh#r$.. 194. pg. who was one of the Bukharan ‘ulam!’ who condemned Q!r"#w$.202 ‘A)a’ All#h criticizes Q!r"#w$ in a letter to the Bulghar ‘ulam!’ for asserting the attributes’ necessity and the negation of their multiplicity. Mang#r$ took an identical stance. Ris!la. as well as placing (taqaddum) naql over ‘aql. Kemper. are not created ("!ditha). 8-10. Suﬁs. 31. 173-174. 'riw$.205 Here he draws the same distinction between eternality and necessity as Taft#z#n$. pg. 195. Ris!la. pg. 39a-39b. Fakhr al-D$n. ix. iii. 'riw$. fol. perhaps Q!r"#w$’s most prominent theological opponent. 33. 201 . See also Kemper.
as we have seen. pg. states that the attributes have a l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh connection with each other. pg. &th!r.210 The disagreement regarding the attributes between Q!r"#w$ and 'riw$ seems to be grounded in differing views of taw"%d. 368. ii. 'riw$ emphasizes. taw"%d entails God’s absolute uniqueness and simplicity. ‘Abd al-Sayyid al-S#lim$ (ﬂ. yet he also states that it is possible to describe the One with many attributes. 41a. Instead. [Untitled]. as well as His transcendence from all creation. &th!r. however. 419. Here 'riw$ cites the Tamh%d of Ab! Shuk!r Mu%ammad b. 31.). 5th/11th cent. are worse than every other sin. 210 Ibid.208 'riw$. however. 221 n. See GAL.”212 This would make the attributes more distinct than Q!r"#w$ would ﬁnd acceptable. iii. 40b.211 Indeed. 40b. and [the attribute of] knowledge along with the essence are two existents (mawj$d!n). 108-109. pg. Ris!la. 'riw$ holds the attributes’ differentiation to be tantamount to shirk. fol. pg. 213 Fakhr al-D$n. like Q!r"#w$. which he describes in a work entitled the Ris!la f% itti#!f al-w!jib bi-l-wa"da al-‘adadiyya. seems to conceive of taw"%d strictly in terms of God’s uniqueness. 258. He goes on to say that the essence is not subject to number. 'riw$ put forward a view of the relationship between the essence and the attributes that he termed wa"da ‘adadiyya. seemingly now lost. an important work of Hanaﬁ-Maturidi kal!m. Suﬁs. 8-9. 211 'riw$. 1b. 'riw$. he.than 400 years of traditional kal!m and is thus guilty of bid‘a and unbelief (kufr). objecting to Q!r"#w$’s claim that God is beyond quantity on the grounds that His oneness is only in terms of His having no partner (sh!rik) or equivalent (na)%r). that “the attributes are existents (mawj$d!t).213 208 209 Fakhr al-D$n. 'riw$. which. See Appendix 3. Ramz$.209 Somewhat inconsistently. pg. fol. For Q!r"#w$. fol. ix. 212 Ibid. Kemper. citing the Ash‘ari Juwayn$ (‘Im!m al-+aramayn’) (419/1028-478/1085). he writes. 202 . i. does not uphold the attributes’ differentiation..
who writes explicitly that the divine essence and attributes transcend being described by wa"da ‘adadiyya. 118a. It is only after Q!r"#w$ returned around 1219/1804 that 'riw$ could have become directly acquainted with his ideas. all four of these scholars understood the status of the attributes in similar ways. and His essence is not described by wa"da ‘adadiyya…”215 This being one of Q!r"#w$’s ﬁrst works. it did not persuade Q!r"#w$. This clashed head-on with Q!r"#w$’s open and pointed critiques regarding 214 Q!r"#w$. pg. because &aydar’s rule was legitimized on religious grounds. ix. But. this suggests that 'riw$ formulated wa"da ‘adadiyya independent of Q!r"#w$. at least in Bukhara. The writings of 'riw$. 18a. he was also concerned with asserting and maintaining a form of orthodoxy. fol. in the sense that each emphasized their distinctiveness. Ithb!t. However. Sh$rniy#z. (shniy#z b. ix. Shar" qad%m. ‘In#yat All#h Bukh#r$ and ‘A)#’ All#h Bukh#r$ show that the kal!m tradition was still dynamic in Central Asia and the Volga-Ural region at this time. so his time there did not overlap with Q!r"#w$’s. supported by Amir &aydar. fol. idem. 108b. fol. Fakhr al-D$n. 8-9. Shar" qad%m.216 Condemnation It was within this polemical environment that Q!r"#w$ formulated his theological stance. &th!r. 203 . idem. 148b.Whatever 'riw$’s reasoning. &th!r. yet Q!r"#w$ himself writes in the Shar" qad%m that “the attributes are not something differentiated from the essence nor differentiated in themself [sic]. According to Fakhr al-D$n. fol. and that the question of the divine attributes had retained its signiﬁcance as a point of theological discussion. 216 'riw$ returned from studying in Bukhara in 1209/1795. it was intended to refute Q!r"#w$’s position. 7. Shar" jad%d. pg. This theological activity was. Q!r"#w$. 215 Fakhr al-D$n.214 It is not clear when 'riw$ developed the notion of wa"da ‘adadiyya.
and it was in many ways central to the theological self-deﬁnition of Sunnism.” And Shams al-D$n b. No. and then his companions. are they necessary (w!jiba) or contingent (mumkina)?” And [Q!r"#w$] said: “This is what you ask of me? Did [the Prophet] ask this. their followers. I do not allow myself to separate from them even an inch. M$rsh#h al-Balkh$ turned to him and said: “What do you say about God’s attributes. and 204 . even if it is insigniﬁcant. As recorded by Marj#n$ in the Tanb%h. Q!r"#w$’s interrogation at the hands of the ‘ulam!’ shows the attempts by the latter to place Q!r"#w$’s stance beyond the bounds of Sunnism: “It has reached me [i.the status of the attributes. The question of the attributes was perhaps the most important theological issue in the history of the kal!m tradition. this friction between Q!r"#w$’s criticisms of the mutakallim$n and the Bukharan ‘ulam!’’s interest in maintaining the strict dictates of orthodoxy is at the heart of Q!r"#w$’s condemnation.” Then he recited by heart the contents of the ‘Aq!’id nasaﬁyya of the Hanaﬁ school. and your Lord knows best who strays from his path.e. Amir &aydar] that you have invented a creed contradicting the creeds of the people of Sunna and consensus. any perceived deviation from the prevailing view on the attributes could be seen— particularly by a ruler concerned with protecting orthodoxy—as a break with Sunnism. Thus. and the most hateful person (abgha( al-n!s) to me is he who contradicts them in something. and after them the ‘ulam!’ of the ancestors and the leading imams?” Balkh$ said: “There is no way that they are impossible (mumtani‘a). I only believe that upon which the imams wellversed in knowledge and learning and the divine ‘ulam!’ (al-‘ulam!’ alrabb!n%) from the people of Sunna and consensus [agree]. Indeed. and He knows best who is rightly guided. and he said: “This is my belief in religion.” [Q!r"#w$] said: “No..
pg. […] But if you press me. 376-378. which is afﬁrmed by delusion and imagination. which are afﬁrmed by sound tradition (#a"%" al-naql) and pure reason (#ar%" al-‘aql) without interpretation (ta’w%l) or stripping away [the attributes] (ta‘'%l). and concepts (mafh$m!t) are limited to these three [modalities]. 205 .” […] And Balkh$ said: “So to you there must be a multiplicity of necessary entities (ta‘addud al-w!jib!t) and a plurality of eternals (wa-takaththur al-qudam!’) in the essence (bi-l-dh!t)?” And [Q!r"#w$] said: “That would follow for us only if we had asserted the attributes’ differentiation (mugh!yara) and their superaddition (ziy!da ‘al!) to the essence. I did not say that they are not limited to these [three]. Balkh$ seeks. then there is no doubt that God and His sublime attributes are necessary by the essence (w!jiba bi-ldh!t) in this sense.” Balkh$ said: “Then for you it follows that the attributes are denied. and we have made it permissible. to elicit (or provoke) from Q!r"#w$ a statement that would imply or logically entail either a negation of the attributes (ta‘'%l) or making the attributes a plurality of causally independent pseudo-divinities (shirk).there is no middle ground between their being necessary or being contingent.” And [Q!r"#w$] said: “This is not the issue. […] then what I say is if by ‘necessity’ you mean absolute self-sufﬁciency (al-ghin! al-mu'laq) and by ‘contingency’ dependence on another (al-i"tiy!j il! al-ghayr). For instance. as both would push Q!r"#w$ beyond the pale of Sunnism.”217 We can see in this exchange the friction between the two sides. Tanb%h. And we reject superaddition. I only say that the ancestors (al-salaf) refrained from speaking on this.” And [Q!r"#w$] said: “We afﬁrm the basis (a#l) of the attributes. through his questioning. when 217 Marj#n$.
esp. as we have seen. which Taft#z#n$ upholds.) Because Q!r"#w$ minimizes their distinctiveness. It was not simple contrarianism that motivated this approach. 378. while others that he had espoused a multiplicity of necessary entities (q!’il bi-ta‘addud-i w!jib).218 (Marj#n$ in the Tanb%h attributes the Bukharans’ confusion to their ignorance. pg. is based on different premises than the Bukharans’. The different premises underlying Q!r"#w$’s stance represent the most signiﬁcant discrepancy between his position and the prevailing orthodoxy. and Q!r"#w$ applied so much effort towards refuting these views precisely because he 218 219 Marj#n$. the attributes must be necessary by virtue of their being not other than the essence. 374. Q!r"#w$ considered it a religious duty to confront error in belief. Taft#z#n$ negates it on the grounds that. In the case of the attributes’ necessity. Mustaf!d. there is no danger of their causal independence. was just as actively engaged in these debates as his opponents were. and they may account for the Bukharan ‘ulam!’’s seeming inability to grasp his precise view. 169.219) Q$r#!w% and Kal#m Disputes Q!r"#w$. (This in turn negates their contingency. because his stance. Marj#n$ reports that some people in Bukhara thought he had negated the attributes’ existence (munkir-i #if!t d%b). ii. for his part. As noted. it would entail a plurality of pseudo-divinities— precisely how Balkh$ understands it. Yet for Q!r"#w$. Marj#n$. 206 . which could entail a plurality of pseudo-divinities. were they necessary in themselves. This is not what Q!r"#w$ intends by the statement. and he was quite vocal in his attacks on the prevailing orthodoxy. Tanb%h. pg.Q!r"#w$ states that he believes God and the attributes to be necessary by the divine essence (w!jiba bi-l-dh!t). Balkh$ takes this statement to be equating the attributes’ existence and God’s existence.
Some of them afﬁrm [the attributes] but they compare them by tashb%h. Q!r"#w$. he is reprehensible. 27. but he is not considered to be deviant (yu(allal) or unbelieving (yukfar) like the people of whim (ahl al-haw!’). Shar" jad%d.e. since it is against obvious evidence. Q!r"#w$ makes it clear that any deviation regarding the attributes should be rejected absolutely: And as for one who errs (mukh'i’) in u#$l or in creed (‘aq!yid). even if it is short of unbelieving ignorance (jahl al-k!ﬁr). such as verses (!y!t) afﬁrming the attributes and their transcendence. and do not consider them to transcend quantity (wa-l! yunazzah$nuh! ‘an al-kammiyya) in the sense of paucity and plurality (min al-qilla wa-l-kathra) and in the sense of limitation.221 220 221 Q!r"#w$. Irsh!d. 96b. does not warrant absolution in the hereafter. And some of them afﬁrm some of [the attributes]. some of whom deny God’s attributes and say that He is knowing without knowledge and powerful without power. idem. ‘ilm al-taw"%d wa-l-#if!t —that is not simply academic. comparing them with tashb%h. so they say that there are seven of them. Q!r"#w$ writes that the u#$l.saw them as religiously and doctrinally unacceptable. and deny others. i. and there can be no dissension (tafarruq) regarding them. pg. Beyond his polemical claims that those who held these views were guilty of bid‘a and error ((al!la) is an understanding of theology—in Q!r"#w$’s sense.220 Accordingly. and others [say] that there are eight.. 27. the roots or foundations of the religion. And this type of ignorance. Irsh!d. so they say that they are contingent [and] possible of existence (mumkinat j!’izat al-wuj$d). 207 . or God created them. are indisputable. so these [people] deny what is beyond the seven or eight [attributes]. especially concerning the attributes. pg. fol.
fol. Mab!"ith. beyond the pale. Kemper has a different reading of Q!r"#w$’s point here. Law!’i". Shar" jad%d. despite his openness towards ijtih!d. Q#r$. 208 . He writes. and are undoubtedly wrong. to show the 222 223 Q!r"#w$. be it God’s uniqueness of simplicity. 108b. Q!r"#w$’s emphasis on attacking his opponents’ positions rather than asserting his own makes more sense. for Q!r"#w$. He writes that whoever deviates (al"ada) regarding the attributes fabricates (taqawwul) falsehood about them and the divine essence. Irsh!d. the tenets of the religion are not open to interpretation or dispute. 258 n. 225 Q!r"#w$. superaddition and differentiation. while presenting his opponents as not conforming to tradition. 27. Shar" jad%d. as he considers Q!r"#w$ to be saying that Ab! &an$fa rejects ‘wa"da ‘adadiyya’ expressly. Suﬁs. 166b. Q!r"#w$. all of these views regarding the attributes are. fol. fol.222 He makes it clear that. 105b.225 Q!r"#w$’s aim is to draw attention to the novelty and innovation of his opponents’ views and. For him. multiplicity.”223 Bearing this in mind. for instance. even though the term is not present in his works. pg. also idem. by contrast. 85a. that Ab! &an$fa’s statement that “God is one not by way of number. fol. as such. cf. but rather [we only call for] adherence to the Book and the Sunna. Q!r"#w$ explicitly afﬁrms that taw"%d and tanz%h are essential elements of the faith.224 He constantly maintains the traditionality of his views. 164.The reason such views are unacceptable to Q!r"#w$ is that he considers them contradictory to the most central tenets of the religion. 224 Q!r"#w$. and others—is based on the notion that they all violate God’s transcendence and both aspects of taw"%d. belief requires certainty that can only come through scripture: “And we do not trust ijtih!d by opinion (bi-l-ra’y) on the fundamentals of religion (u#$l al-d%n). pg. pg. their views represent deviation and ignorance. 96b. Rather. or that the companions agreed upon them. Kemper. stating how they are grounded in the Qur’an and Sunna. 22. but rather in that He has no partner” precludes wa"da ‘adadiyya. Each of his objections to incorrect beliefs about the attributes—their contingency.
157b. rather than the views of a single scholar. in fact. for their part. 156b. Humphreys writes that the ‘ulam!’’s scholarly activities were viewed as a collective. fol.. fol. taken as a whole. is one attribute distinguishable from another.228 As such. the ﬁrqa n!jiya) agree. 195. both ibn Kull#b and Kal#b#dh$ formulated their respective stances prior to the development of the predominant position that there are eight essential attributes. in what way are the attributes multiple?—which is closely linked with their differentiation—if they are multiple. This is not unusual. historically speaking. for that matter) presents it. where the questions of the attributes’ eternality became questions of their necessity. upon which all of those who are saved (i.227 Although Q!r"#w$’s stance that the attributes are all l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh with each other mirrors the respective stances of both ibn Kull#b and Kal#b#dh$.229 (And not just his opponents.e.226 Of course. pg. rather than individual. rather than just ‘attribute’. 227 See D#ghist#n$’s description of differing opinions on the attributes’ multiplicity and differentiation. 93a. Shar" jad%d. D#ghist#n$. The question of the attributes’ multiplicity—if there are attributes. Am$rkh#n writes that Q!r"#w$ was “distinguished in rational and traditional subjects [‘ul$m-i 226 Q!r"#w$. each of which is distinct from the others. Humphreys. Q!r"#w$ was operating in a different intellectual environment. where that view was a greater point of contention than—for instance—Mu‘tazilism.conventionality and orthodoxy of his own. Q!r"#w$’s position. 5a. Q!r"#w$’s position on the attributes is in fact the view of a single scholar. 229 D#ghist#n$. and how?—was by no means resolved. fol. Furthermore. The issue of the attributes’ existence and their relation to the essence was. enterprise. Mab!"ith. treat him as merely another mutakallim with incorrect views. 2b. not nearly as settled as Q!r"#w$ (or Taft#z#n$. Q!r"#w$’s opponents. fol. Q!r"#w$’s emphasis on God’s utter uniqueness and simplicity and absolute transcendence resulted in a distinct view of the attributes. 209 . idem. is not stated outright because it is presented as the correct position on the attributes. 228 To say nothing of the fact that they also predated the Avicennian turn.
6a. D#ghist#n$. one could go so far as to state that they each concede the other’s point—that Q!r"#w$’s position makes the attributes less distinct from the essence. and he contends that Ab! &an$fa’s statement that ‘God is one not in terms of number’ refers only to the essence. namely ‘Al$ Q#r$ in the Shar" al-Fiqh al-akbar and Kal#b#dh$. on the other hand. 232 Ibid. D#ghist#n$. 3b.‘aqliyya wa-naqliyyadah]. 230 231 Am$rkh#n. and he immersed himself [ta‘ammuq %l!g!n] in kal!m in particular.”230) D#ghist#n$ attempts to refute the sources of Q!r"#w$’s position. and they essentially accuse each other of violating l! huwa wa-l! ghayruh (which they both accept). not the attributes. fol. 4b. Indeed. and D#ghist#n$’s (and Taft#z#n$’s) makes them more so. he set about attempting to prove its falsity. they do not agree.. pg. Q!r"#w$ was obviously very familiar with the established position on the attributes.231 Though opponents. 53. Their disagreement is grounded in their approach to the attributes. negating Mu‘tazilism. Q!r"#w$ the ﬁrst clause and D#ghist#n$ the second. D#ghist#n$ writes. and they do not misrepresent them. Studying and engaging in theological debates while in Bukhara. which he sees in Q!r"#w$’s stance. either by rejecting their statements or showing how Q!r"#w$’s interpretations are wrong. that Q!r"#w$’s position that God and the attributes are one contradicts the claim that the essence does not submit itself to number. Convinced as he was that this position held the attributes to be too distinct from the divine essence. That said. D#ghist#n$ and Q!r"#w$ understand the other’s position and arguments well. is primarily concerned with upholding taw"%d and transcendence. who is self-consciously taking the established position. fol.232 Q!r"#w$. which he sees as being infringed upon by the mass of mutakallim$n. for instance. 210 . is concerned primarily with upholding the attributes’ existence—that is.
are the result of his ijtih!d (or. Q!r"#w$ renders it part of that tradition. Contingency. by engaging with these elements—even though he rejects them—he locates his stance within the parameters and topoi of that tradition. 'riw$ makes a similar claim. 6a. 'riw$.) By framing his stance as a reaction to these elements. grounded as they are in both rational argument and tradition.233 His criticisms. a comparison with Kal#b#dh$ or Sirhind$ clearly shows the traditional nature of Q!r"#w$’s position. opposing views. Faced with what he saw as religious deviation. 211 . They were Suﬁs. D#ghist#n$. Q!r"#w$ went about rectifying it. From this oppositional. to which Sirhind$ makes only a tangential connection. as well as the rational methods used to reach them. He also attacked his opponents’ reliance on taql%d. both by attacking the particular views he found objectionable. not Sunni mutakallim$n. reformist stance. holds that one must assert that the attributes number either eight or seven because those are the respective positions of the Maturidis and Ash‘aris. undertaken with the goal of refuting the signiﬁcant creedal error he found in the contemporary application and understanding of kal!m. ibn Kull#b rejects differentiation. Given the signiﬁcant similarities between Kal#b#dh$ and Q!r"#w$’s respective positions—to say 233 D#ghist#n$. for instance. 40b. with little reference to other. fol. perhaps more precisely. multiplicity. ta"q%q). Ris!la. Indeed. Kal#b#dh$ simply states positively his understanding of the attributes.It is here that we have the basis of Q!r"#w$’s reformism in the sphere of theology. differentiation and superaddition were all elements of the traditional kal!m discourse on the attributes. (As noted. fol. This shows the degree to which Q!r"#w$’s position is grounded in the classical kal!m tradition. and as such their respective positions on the attributes bear little to no relation with the Sunni kal!m discourse. Q!r"#w$ emphasizes his (negative) criticisms of the established orthodoxy over his own (positive) view.
showing speciﬁcally which aspects of that orthodoxy he holds to be incorrect and why. As Haj notes. 2005. even if he were to go into detail about its philosophical basis. eternal and distinct. 406. 212 .” The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy. a range of philosophical propositions and problems”. 235 Kemper believes it to be the latter.234 He appears more concerned with disproving—for instance—the attributes’ contingency than he is with proving their necessity in and of itself. emphasis in original. 405-425. His position does not constitute a radical departure from Sunni theology. Suﬁs. 260-261. saw scholars attempt to “reﬁne. presents his position as a corrective of the prevailing orthodoxy. As such. That Q!r"#w$ has a different interpretation of the attributes’ distinctiveness in no way lessens this fact. Q!r"#w$’s emphasis on taw"%d and tanz%h and his reformulation of some of the premises of the Sunni position on the attributes represent creative and active theological reasoning. and cites many of the same arguments. Peter Adamson and Richard C. Pg. Eds. Taylor. “Recent trends in Arabic and Persian philosophy. all the scholars involved are operating within the tradition of Sunni kal!m.235 The attributes. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. are real. according to Hossein Ziai. And he does so within the same discursive tradition of the commentary. Q!r"#w$’s criticisms ﬁt in with the trend in post-classical Persianate thought. as for all Sunni mutakallim$n. views that are part of a discursive tradition have meaning within that tradition. which. Hossein Ziai. pg. Kemper. 4-7. and his stance without doubt goes against the prevailing orthodoxy on this very central issue in 234 In this way. his theological thought forms part of that tradition. Yet it is still something of a departure. for Q!r"#w$. He appeals to many of the same authorities as his opponents. Haj. He engages with the same topoi and shares the same concerns. pg. rather than refute.nothing of Q!r"#w$’s obvious familiarity with Kal#b#dh$—it would be relatively straightforward for Q!r"#w$ to assert his position in much the same way. Q!r"#w$. however. and whether we consider Q!r"#w$ to be actively and fully participating in the tradition of Sunni kal!m or merely using its discourse to show the mutakallim$n the error of their ways.
213 . both conceptually and—for instance—through the genre of the commentary.Sunni theology. That Q!r"#w$ developed this stance within the kal!m tradition. should in no way obscure its novelty.
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