Posted by: faqir | December 31, 2009

Imam Abu Mansur ‘Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi on the `Ulema of Kalam

“The first Sunni scholar of Kalam among the companions was Ali ibn Abi Talib, as he debated the Khawarij on the issues of the promise and threat, and the Qadariyyah on predestination, will, and ability. Then came Abdullah ibn Umar with his sayings against the Qadariyyah, and his declaration of wanting nothing to do with them or their leader known as Ma`bad Al-Juhani.

The Qadariyyah claimed that Ali was one of them, and that their leader Wasil ibn Ata’ Al Ghazzal took his sayings from Muhammad and Abdullah, the two sons of Ali – may Allah reward him. This is one of their scandalous lies. It is among the strangest of things how they claim that Ali’s two sons taught them the rejection of Ali’s and Talhah’s testimonies and doubt in Ali’s trustworthiness. Do you see them teaching him that the testimonies of Talhah and the Prophet’s brother in law are invalid?

The first Sunni of the generation following the companions to engage in Kalam debates was Umar ibn Abdul Aziz, he wrote an eloquent letter against the ideas of the Qadariyyah sect. After him came Zayd ibn `Ali ibn Al Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib. He wrote a book rejecting the Qadariyyah sect based on proofs from the Quran. Then came Al Hasan Al Basri, whom the Qadariyyah claimed as one of them. How can that be right, however, when in fact he wrote a letter to Umar ibn Abdul Aziz showing their faults, and chased their leader Wasil away from his teaching sessions when he showed his deviations?

After him came Ash-Sha`bi, who was among the toughest opponents of the Qadariyyah, and then Al Zuhri. The latter was the one that gave Abdul Malik ibn Marwan the fatwa that the blood of the Qadariyyah should be shed.

Following this generation came Ja`far ibn Muhammad Al Sadiq, who authored a book refuting the ideas of the Qadariyyah and another refuting those of the Khawarij. He also wrote an article against the extremists of the Shi’ites. He is the one that said, “The Mu`tazilites wanted to declare the Oneness of Allah, but committed apostasy. They also wanted to declare Allah just, but ended up attributing to Him stinginess.”

The first Kalam scholars among the jurists and the heads of the schools of jurisprudence were Abu Hanifah, and Al-Shafi`i. Abu Hanifah wrote a book against the Qadariyyah called “Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar,” and he has an article that he dictated to champion the saying of the Sunnis that ability comes at the point of action. He said, however, that the ability applies to two opposites, and this is the saying of a number of our companions. The companion of Abu Hanifah, Abu Yusuf, said: “the Qadariyyah are apostates.”

Al Shafi`i has two books in Kalam science. One of them to prove and authenticate the existence of prophethood, against the claims of the Brahmins (the Hindus). The second was a refutation of deviant sects. He also mentioned some Kalam issues in the book “Kitaab Al-Qiyas”. In it he pointed to having gone back on the saying of accepting the testimony of deviant sects.

As for Bishr Al-Marisi, who was among the Hanafis, he only agreed with the Mu`tazilite stance on the creation of the Quran, but declared them blasphemers for saying that humans create their own actions.

After Al-Shafi`i came his students that mastered the sciences of both jurisprudence and Kalam. Examples are Al-Harith ibn Asad Al-Muhasibi, Abu `Ali Al-Karabisi, Harmalah, Yusuf Al-Buwaiti, and Dawud Al-Asbahani.

The books of Al Harith ibn Asad Al-Muhasibi became the primary source for the Kalam scholars of our associates, both the jurists and the Sufis. As for Dawud, the leader of the literalists, he wrote a lot on belief along with his many writings on jurisprudence. His son, Abu Bakr,was a scholar of jurisprudence, Kalam <belief>, methodology, literature and poetry.

Abu Al`Abbas Ibn Surayj the best of this group in these sciences, and he has a critique on the book of Al-Jaruf against those who claim equality of proofs and it is more complete than the critique of Ibn Al-Rawandi against them. As for his writings on jurisprudence – Allah knows their number.

Another of the Kalam scholars in the time of Al Ma`mun is Abdullah ibn Sa`id Al Tamimi, who crushed the Mu`tazilah in the assembly of Al Ma`mun, and scandalized them with his eloquent exposure and clarification of their faults. The remains of his clarifications are in his books. He is the brother of Yahya ibn Sa`id Al-Qattan, the inheritor of the knowledge of hadith and the master of narrator criticism.

Among the students of Abdullah ibn Sa`eed is Abdul Aziz Al Makki Al Kattaani, who scandalized the Mu`tazilah in Al Ma`mun’s assembly. Yet another Kalam scholar was, his student, Al Husayn ibn Al Fadl Al Bajali, the master of Kalam, methodology, Quranic commentary and interpretation. Later scholars relied upon his notes and pointers in interpreting the Quran. He is the one that Abdul Aziz ibn Tahir, the governor of Khurasan <in North East Iran> brought with him to Khurasan, and as a result people said, “He took with him all the knowledge of Iraq to Khurasan.”

Among the students of Abdullah ibn Sa`id is also Al-Junayd, the Shaykh of the Sufis and the Imam of the monotheists. He has an article that is written according to the requirements of the Kalam scholars, but with Sufi expressions.

After this generation came the Shaykh of Insight, the Imam of the Horizons in debating and verification: Abu Al Hasan Ali ibn Ismail Al-Ash`ari.

He is the one that became a cut in the throats of the Qadariyyah, the Najjaariyyah, the Jahmiyyah, the anthropomorphists, the Shi’ites and the Khawarij. He filled the world with his books. No Kalam scholar has ever been bestowed with a following like the one he was endowed with. The reason is that all the People of Hadith follow his way, as do all the People of Insight that do not have Mu`tazilite inclinations.

Among his famous students are: Abu Al Hasan Al Bahili and Abu Abdullah ibn Mujahid, and these two are the ones that are the shining suns of their time and the masters of their generations, such as:

Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Al Tayyib (Abu Bakr Al-Baqillani) the head of the judges of Iraq, the Arabian Peninsula, Faris (Southwest Iran), Karman (Southeast Iran) and all the border areas belong to these lands, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Al-Husayn ibn Furak (Ibn Furak), and Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Muhammad Al-Mihrani (Abu Ishaq Al Isfaraini).

Before these there was Abu Al Hasan Ali ibn Mahdi Al Ţabari, the master of jurisprudence, Kalam, methodology, literature, grammar and Hadith. Among his heritage is a student like Abu Abdullah Al Husayn ibn Muhammad Al Bazzazi, the master debater and author of books on all aspects of Kalam.

Also before this generation was the Shaykh of the Sciences, Abu Ali Al Thaqafi.

In his time the Imam of the Sunnis was Abu Al Abbas Al Qalanisi, who authored more than one hundred and fifty books in Kalam. The books and critiques authored by Al Thaqafi against deviant groups are more than one hundred.

In our time we have reached Abu Abdullah ibn Mujahid and Muhammad ibn Al Tayyib (Abu Bakr Al Baqillani) the head of the judges, Muhammad ibn Al Husayn ibn Fuurak, Ibrahim ibn Muhammad Al-Mihrani (Abu Ishaq Al-Isfaraini) and Al Husayn ibn Muhammad Al Bazzazi. Our own teachers follow the same path of these that we have reached, which is to enliven the truth and put its enemies in chains.”

– Reference: ‘Usul al-Din‘ of al-Imam Abdul Qahir ibn Tahir Al Baghdadi Al Tamimi, also known as Abu Mansur, (d. 429 AH). The historian Al Dhahabi(d. 748 AH) described him in his book Siyar A`lam al Nubala’ as: “the great, outstanding, and encyclopedic scholar” …. “He used to teach 17 different subjects and his brilliance became the source for proverbs.” Al Dhahabi said that he would have like to write a separate, more complete article about him, and quoted Abu Uthman Al Sabuni saying: Abu Mansur is by scholarly consensus counted among the heads of the scholars of belief and the methodology of jurisprudence, as well as a front figure of Islam.

[Above excerpt courtesy of sunnianswers.wordpress.com]

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Responses

  1. Great blog!!! May Allah reward u!

    The Wahabi movement by Dr. Umar Abdullah al-Maliki

    Part 1:

    Part 2:

  2. The best blog on Aqida. good job!!!

  3. May Allah reward u!!!!

  4. AssalamAleikum,
    MashaAllah you are doing a great job. I have one suggestion. When we click a link, the link should open as a new web page. At present clicking a link may take you to an entirely new web page like BBC and then one has to click the “Back” button to be able to get back to the marifah website. Hope I am clear enough.
    Wassalam
    Uzair

  5. Reblogged this on Talmeez's Blog und kommentierte:
    Imam Abu Mansur ‘Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi on the `Ulema of Kalam


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