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Islamic Ideology (16 Feb 2019 NewAgeIslam.Com)

The Importance of Understanding Correctly, the Attributes of Allah – Kalam, Al-Alim, Al-Qadeer, Al-Muqtadi – Part Two

By Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

16 February 2019

We have covered the Divine attributes of Will, Justice and Mercy in the first part. This is the second part of the article

The Word or Kalam of Allah

The Qur’an is the Kalam of Allah and is produced by Allah. Allah Himself says in the Qu'ran:

 (10:37) This Qur´an is not such as can be produced by other than Allah; on the contrary it is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of the Book - wherein there is no doubt - from the Lord of the worlds.

 The Quran has all the properties of a Book produced by Allah and is therefore created. Only Allah is uncreated, and the rest are His creation. This debate of created/uncreated began when the Mutazilla or the Rationalists began to argue that the Quran is created according to and is defined by its historical context and must therefore change with the times. The response to this was that it is uncreated and therefore unchangeable. The correct answer is – yes, it is created and also unchangeable as I have brought out in my article:

Why the Reformist Scholars Cannot Make a Difference

To say that the Quran or the Deen of Allah is changeable with the times was kufr because there is no need for the “completed and perfected religion" to change and saying otherwise contradicts verse 5:3 of the Quran. If what you say contradicts the Quran, then it is a clear instance of kufr.

To say that the Quran is created is right and to say that it is uncreated contradicts verse 10:37 and several other verses and therefore it is a clear instance of kufr. The imams, because of their limitations, have said things that contradict the Quran without perhaps meaning to. The greatest fitna is accepting an opinion that clearly contradicts the Quran no matter which imam has expressed it. It is better to reject what an imam has said rather than reject what the Quran says. The Quran is both unchangeable and created.

Since Allah is the only One that is uncreated and all else is created by Allah, everything created by Allah, is exactly what Allah wants it to be. Allah is the one with infinite choices and out of the infinite choices that He has, he has created a finite Universe with unchanging laws. The act of creation is through the word of Allah and either we agree that Allah has infinite choices or agree that He has no choice when we say that the word of Allah is uncreated. To say, that Allah’s word is uncreated is to say that everything is as it should be, and nothing could have been different. In other words, a universe different from what exists, is unimaginable. If everything is as it should be, then what is the role of Allah? There isn’t even a logical necessity for His existence and the atheists are proved right.

The correct answer is that Allah is the epitome of morality and having infinite choices, He has chosen the Universe to be exactly as per His Will. The act of creation is not a single act either but a continuous one. The word of Allah is therefore both Qadeem and Jadeed. If it is only Qadeem, then Allah was required only in the past and His work is over. Do not therefore try to make Allah dumb by saying His Kalam is uncreated and only Qadeem.

Allah is All-Knowing (Al-Alim), The Determiner, Controller (Al-Qadeer, Al-Muqtadir)

Allah knows all that He chooses to know. His attribute of Al-Qadeer also only means that He decides what he will control. In what He has decided to give mankind autonomy, He has willed that He will not control, but allow mankind to exercise choice. He cannot therefore know with certainty how we will choose given the freedom to choose. So, does Allah know at our birth whether we will go to Heaven or Hell? He does not know that because He has chosen not to pre-determine this ultimate fate of ours but chosen to give us the freedom to choose our path. He can know with certainty only what He determines and there is no autonomy in what he determines. Autonomy implies freedom of choice.  What Allah has decided not to determine but give us autonomy, in that Allah chooses not to know.

 We can predict another person’s behaviour knowing that person well and since Allah knows us even better, He is certainly able to predict far more accurately, but never with 100% certainty. If He had 100% certainty, then we are without a real choice and that makes it impossible and immoral for God to judge us on what is not in our control. At a certain stage in our life, if we have reached a point of no return in our path, He then knows our fate of Heaven or Hell, but still not how we will act from transaction to transaction, in which we are given freedom by Allah.

 Just as we can manipulate people if we know them well and make them do what is our will, God can do that even better. Although man is given autonomy in a limited field in which he has complete freedom of choice, yet Allah, through His intimate knowledge of us, can achieve His purpose by manipulating both the good people and the evil people to accomplish His will.

(3:54) And the plotters plotted and schemed, and Allah too planned, and the best of planners is Allah.

 What is certain is that Allah always achieves His divine purpose irrespective of whether the people are acting for or against His purpose. Allah’s purpose and Will can never be defeated. What the good and the evil achieve for their efforts is therefore rewards or punishment without making an iota of difference to whatever Allah Wills to accomplish. So, better be good rather than evil, because, in any case, we make little difference to the outcomes in His Divine scheme.

Not everything is part of the Divine Scheme and our efforts make a difference in such other matters which do not disturb the Divine Scheme.  Man achieves whatever he strives for as per the laws decreed by Allah, and Allah does not intervene unless we pray to Him for His help. Both good and bad things can happen by random events such as accidents when we enjoy autonomy. We pray for Allah’s intervention to save us from harm from even random events and for help from random events and the prayers work.

 We wrongly blame Allah for the misery and injustice in this world. That is our doing and not Allah’s. The great progress that we have made in Science and Technology is also our doing. The question is of autonomy. Greater autonomy means a greater capacity for both good and evil and lesser autonomy mean lesser capacity for both good and evil. Allah has given man a certain degree of autonomy based on what man himself asked for, and if we utilize it more for evil than good, then it is we who are to blame and not Allah.

 Muslims who believe in pre-determination but not in autonomy are under achievers for obvious reasons. They do not take responsibility for what is happening to them and attribute everything to Allah as if they have no freedom of action. The misunderstanding of this attributes of Allah make the Muslims fatalistic, believing that everything that happens to them was pre-determined by Allah at birth. This is untrue. Man was created to struggle and strive, and our efforts bear fruit. The Deen is to know how not to go against Allah’s purpose but be aligned with it. The efforts that are blessed are therefore those that are not in opposition to Allah’s purpose but in accordance with it, or at least neutral to it.

Naseer Ahmed is an Engineering graduate from IIT Kanpur and is an independent IT consultant after having served in both the Public and Private sector in responsible positions for over three decades. He is a frequent contributor to NewAgeIslam.com

Part One of the Article:

The Importance of Understanding Correctly, the Attributes of Allah – Divine Will, Justice and Mercy – Part One


URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-ideology/naseer-ahmed,-new-age-islam/the-importance-of-understanding-correctly,-the-attributes-of-allah-–-kalam,-al-alim,-al-qadeer,-al-muqtadi-–-part-two/d/117766

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  • Naseer sb. lies again when he accuses me of supporting " immodesty and sexual licentiousness." I did not support either. I only opposed punishment with lashings and I opposed wife-beating. Naseer sb. supports both and is trying to divert attention from his regressive views by mischaracterizing what I had said. I have explained to him several times what I had meant but he has to ignore what I said in order to assert his right to lie!

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 3/17/2019 1:54:31 PM

  • It is you who is showing greater allegiance to 7th century Pagan Arab Society's  ethos of immodesty and sexual licentiousness.

    You are the one who is regressing to your Pagan roots.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 3/17/2019 3:30:17 AM

  • By defending things like a punishment of 100 lashes and wife beating, Naseer sb. shows greater allegiance to 7th century Arab ethos than to the Islam of the most gracious and the most merciful Allah! His is the most regressive voice on this website.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 3/16/2019 1:36:45 PM

  • Your snake in the grass “I go by my image of Allah as one who is most gracious and most merciful. I cannot imagine Him ordering 100 lashes being inflicted on any sinner” does not fool anyone. Why would Allah, the most gracious and most merciful, allow brazen acts of adultery that corrupt the entire society by leaving behind four or more witnesses, go unpunished? Why are cancerous cells destroyed by radiation or excised by surgery? Because these can kill the person if not destroyed. Likewise, open and brazen acts of adultery corrupt the entire society. You have clear evidence of this from the past as well as the present. Your advocacy is in fact for corrupting the entire Muslim society where adultery can become common place and the women dress to seduce men "go in public places dressed seductively, e.g. with her breasts or other body parts being insufficiently hidden"
    To achieve this, you argue that verses that prevent such a thing happening, and the verses that in fact transformed  Pagan Arab licentious society into one practicing modesty and sexual rectitude are “interpolations” and not from Allah. You are a denier and rejecter of the Ayats of Allah and an apostate trying to wreck Islam from within.
    By Naseer Ahmed - 3/16/2019 12:48:41 AM

  • I go by my image of Allah as one who is most gracious and most merciful. I cannot imagine Him ordering 100 lashes being inflicted on any sinner.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 3/14/2019 12:55:44 PM

  • What is your evidence that it is an "interpolation"?
    By Naseer Ahmed - 3/14/2019 2:31:38 AM

  • The point is not irrelevant because you still continue to support not the divine principle in the Quran ("Do not commit adultery") but the 7th century Arab interpolation ("100 lashes")!

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 3/13/2019 12:08:30 PM

  • GM sb's argument is disingenuous. Why did he bring up the topic of punishment for adultery in Islam when adultery is not a crime in US or in India? Why does he continue to argue if the point is irrelevant?

    The apostate attacks the Book and Islam 

    By Naseer Ahmed - 3/13/2019 2:24:51 AM

  • Naseer sb. is more intent on calling me a kafir than in discussing issues. That is a sign of his depravity. As I have said a dozen times, I do not think our God, who is most gracious and most merciful, would ever want any sinner to receive 100 lashes. If Naseer sb. is a strong supporter of adultery being a crime in Islam rather than a sin, is he, as an Indian citizen, personally going to administer 100 lashes to an adulterer, because no one else is going to do it? If not, why is he wasting my time with his absurd notions?

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 3/10/2019 12:58:37 PM

  • So, you reject the Quran's ayats which criminalize adultery?
    29:47 and none but the Kafirun reject our Ayats. 
    Rejection is kufr. Your advocacy for decriminalizing adultery in Islam is so strong that you are prepared to commit kufr!
    Your arguments were not at the concept level of whether religion should have anything to do with crime. They were very specific to adultery and the punishment of 100 lashes for it. And your question was " If Naseer sb. truly believes that Allah, the most gracious and the most merciful, would ask us to give 100 lashes to another human being who has sinned...."
    If Allah has asked us to punish a proven case of adultery with 100 lashes, it is because of Allah the most gracious and merciful does not want such brazen acts of adultery that leave behind four or more witnesses to corrupt the rest of the society. Where is the scope to doubt it? 
    What you are therefore clearly advocating by your opposition to 24:2 is that people should be allowed to openly and brazenly indulge in acts of adultery that leave behind four or more witnesses.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 3/9/2019 10:53:28 PM

  • Naseer sb. keeps saying that I want to decriminalize adultery in Islam even though I have told him a dozen times that I do not consider crimes to be a religious matter. Crimes are the province of governments. Religions deal with sins, not crimes. How many times do I have to repeat this?

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 3/9/2019 1:05:32 PM

  • GM sb,
    It is you who are dishonest. Apostasy is an unforgivable sin but not a punishable crime. Likewise, polytheism is not a punishable crime but a grave sin. So, saying let adultery be considered a sin but not remain a punishable crime is an argument for decriminalizing adultery. Do I have to tell you this?
    Have you said you are for zero tolerance for women to ""go in public places dressed seductively, e.g. with her breasts or other body parts being insufficiently hidden" ? No. you have argued for tolerating it.

    By naseer ahmed - 3/9/2019 3:17:21 AM

  • Naseer sb.,
    I have told you my views on where criminality belongs. If I had said that adultery must cease to be considered a sin in Islam then you would have a point to argue with me. Otherwise you are just hanging on to an invalid point because you have nothing sensible to offer.

    Your repeating my quote, "go in public places dressed seductively, e.g. with her breasts or other body parts being insufficiently hidden" ad nauseum again shows your dishonest mode of discussion. You know perfectly well that I was giving you my understanding of the scope of 4:34 and not saying anything about whether such behavior is right or not. My only point was that wife beating is not okay under any circumstances and that men are not supervisors over women. You have to use such deceptive tricks because you have long lost this argument but you do not want to concede.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 3/6/2019 2:11:55 PM

  • Plainly, when Islam considers adultery to be a crime punishable by 100 lashes, and you argue that it is not for religion to define what a crime is, you are arguing for decriminalizing adultery in Islam. Being a hypocrite however, you camouflage your advocacy for decriminalizing adultery by asking “Do you believe that Allah, the most gracious and the most merciful, would ask us to give 100 lashes to another human being?” It is not the 100 lashes that you are against but the treating of adultery as a punishable crime in Islam. Why have you then carried on this charade of denying that you are for decriminalizing adultery in Islam? We know the effect of decriminalizing adultery. It is then practiced openly and the entire society is corrupted by it. I plainly see merit in punishing acts of adultery that are brazen enough to leave behind four or more witnesses. Why cannot people be more discreet? It is indiscretion and brazenness that is being punished and not human frailty and for such brazen acts, 100 lashes is appropriate. There cannot be any doubt that this punishment is prescribed by the most gracious and the most merciful Allah. There is nothing graceful about allowing brazen acts of adultery that corrupt others also.
    Similarly, you have advocated for husbands permitting their wives to " go in public places dressed seductively, e.g. with her breasts or other body parts being insufficiently hidden". You do not say that you are for zero tolerance of such immodesty and that a husband should divorce such a wife but not beat her.
    I am not for beating either if the woman says no to it. I am a firm believer that a man must not do anything to a woman against her will. However, if she would rather be beaten than divorced, and if all the empirical evidence tells us that minor domestic violence known as Common Couple Violence is effective in conflict resolution among young couples in the early years of their marriage, who am I or anyone to deny it? The empirical evidence only validates verse 4:34 as an excellent advice.
    Allah, the most gracious and the most merciful, is the best judge of what is right. He knows exactly when to punish, how, and by whom. If you believe in your political philosophy and not in the deen of Allah, that is  your choice. When you say that so and so verse is not from Allah, you are a denier of the Ayats of Allah and according to the Quran a Kafir.
    By Naseer Ahmed - 3/6/2019 1:24:32 AM

  • Naseer sb. asks, "Have you said 'let adultery be a punishable crime in Islam?"

    I have said adultery continues to be a sin in Islam. I have told you innumerable times that I consider criminality to be a matter for governments and not for religions. Will that simple statement ever get through that thick skull of yours?

    I do not need to say that women (and men) should dress modestly. Women themselves know it. The question is whether if her dress is too bold in the judgement of her husband, does he have a right to beat her. You have tried your best to obfuscate this question because you do not have the guts to say a husband should never beat his wife.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 3/5/2019 12:33:01 PM

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