The Criterion Between The Allies Of the Merciful & The Allies Of the Devil

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  • The Criterion Between The Allies Of the Merciful & The Allies Of the Devil

  • Chapter 12

    The early generations of this nation, its scholars, and all allies of Allah all agree that the prophets are superior to the allies of Allah who are not prophets. Allah has put his righteous slaves upon whom He has bestowed his grace in four levels, saying:

    [Whoever obeys Allah and the Prophet, these are the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed His grace among the prophets, the ever-believing ever-truthful, the martyrs, and the doers of good, and these are the best of company.] Qur'an 4/69

    And, in the hadith:

    "The sun has neither risen nor set on anyone after the prophets and the messengers better than Abu Bakr."

    The best of the nations is the nation of Muhammad (sas), as Allah said:

    [You are the best nation brought forth for the people.] Qur'an 3/10

    [And then, we passed the book on to those whom we selected from among our slaves.] Qur'an 25/32

    The Prophet said, in a hadith found in the collection of Ahmad:

    "You are the completion of seventy nations, of which you are the best, and the most elevated in the sight of Allah."

    Furthermore, the best of the nation of Muhammad are the first generation. This is confirmed in the hadith found in both Muslim and Bukhari and other collections and which has been narrated by many different routes, in which the Prophet said:

    "The best generation of all is the one in which I was sent. This is followed by the one after that, and then the one after that."

    In another hadith, the Prophet said:

    "Do not defame my companions. I swear by the One in whose hand my soul is: If any one of you gave gold equal to the mountain of Uhud, it would not equal a single handful from one of them nor half of it."

    The forerunners, the early ones among the Migrators and the Helpers are superior to the rest of the companions. Allah said:

    [Those of you who gave before the victory and fought are not the same as those who gave after that and fought. The first ones are greater in rank, and to both Allah has promised a good reward.] Qur'an 50/10

    [And the forerunners, the early ones among the Migrators and the Helpers, and those who followed them in a goodly fashion, Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Allah.] Qur'an 9/100

    The forerunners, the early ones are those who gave and fought before the victory. Victory here means the treaty of Hudaibiya, which was the first victory in Makka, and about it Allah said:

    [Verily, we have made for you a clear victory (literally: opened for you a clear opening), so that Allah may forgive for you all that has preceded and all that is yet to come.] Qur'an 48/1

    The companions asked the Prophet about this saying: "Is this a victory?!" The Prophet answered them saying: "Yes."

    The best of the forerunners, the early ones are the four Caliphs, and the best of them is Abu Bakr followed by Umar. This is well known from the companions and those who followed them in a goodly fashion, the imams of the Muslim nation, and the masses of the Muslims. For this there are various sources of evidence, which I have detailed at length in my book entitled: "The Program of the People of the Prohpetic Sunnah - a Rebuttal of the Words of the Shi'a and the Qadariyah".

    Moreover, all Muslims have agreed - both Sunni and Shi'a that the best person in this nation is one among the first four Caliphs, and that no one after the companions will be better than them. The best allies of Allah are those greatest in knowledge of the message brought my Muhammad (sas), and most diligent in following it, like the companions who are the best of the nation in knowledge of the deen and following it. Abu Bakr was the greatest Muslim in terms of his knowledge of the message and his practical application of its dictates, thus he is the greatest of the allies of Allah, since the nation of Muhammad is the best of the nations, the best generation of this nation is the generation of the Prophet (i.e. the companions), and the best of the companions is Abu Bakr.

    One misguided group believes that the "Seal of the Allies" is the best of the allies of Allah by analogy with the Seal of the Prophets. No one of the early scholars ever spoke of this concept of a "Seal of the Allies" except for one man named Muhammad ibn Ali Al-Hakim Al-Tirmidhi (not the famous collector of hadith). He wrote a book in which he made many mistakes, then, groups of Muslims in later generations believed this, each one imagining that he is the "Seal of the Allies". Some of them even claim that the "Seal of the Allies" is superior to the Seal of the Prophets - may the peace and prayers of Allah be upon him - in terms of his knowledge of Allah, and that the Prophets benefit knowledge of Allah from him! Ibn Arabi, the author of "The Essences of Wisdom" and "The Makkan Inspirations" was one who imagined such things. In so doing, he went against the dictates of the law and of sound reasoning, as well as going against all of the prophets of Allah and His allies, just as it is said about one who says about the Qur'an: "And the roof fell in on them from below" (the verse reads: [And the roof fell in on them from above]), he has violated both the Qur'an and sound reasoning.

    The prophets of the past are superior to the allies of Allah in this nation. The prophets - upon them be the best peace and prayers of Allah - are superior to the allies, so what about all of the prophets together? The allies only benefit the knowledge of Allah from those who came after the prophets, and then some turn around and claim to be the "Seal of the Allies". The last of the Allies is not the best of them as the last of the prophets was the best of them. The superiority of the Seal of the Prophets (sas) has been established from textural evidence such as the two hadith which follow:

    "I am the head of the sons of Adam without undue pride."

    "I will come to the door of paradise and request entry. Then, the doorkeeper will say to me: "Who is it?" When I tell him that I am Muhammad, he will say: "It is you for whom I was ordered to open to no one before you."

    On the night of the ascension, Allah lifted the Prophet's rank above that of all of the other prophets, thus he was the one indicated in Allah's statement:

    [Those, then are the prophets, we have favored some of them over others. Some of them Allah addressed directly, and others He raised (several) ranks.] Qur'an 2/253

    There are also other sources of proof aside from these. All of the prophets received revelation from Allah, not the least of them Muhammad (sas), whose prophethood was in no need of any other. His law was not in the least need of any precedent nor any antecedent. This is unlike, for example, 'Isa, who referred his followers to the Taurah (the book brought by Musa) in most issues of law. 'Isa came and completed this previous message, for this reason, Christians are in need of the Old Testament, all of which was put together before the coming of 'Isa. This includes the Taurah, the Psalms, and the other twenty-four prophets. The previous nations used to be in need of muhaddatheen (those who are addressed), unlike the nation of Muhammad, Allah has made them free of this need. They are in no need, after Muhammad (sas), of any other Prophet nor any muhaddath, since Allah has collected into one prophethood all of the good qualities, knowledge and righteous action which He had spread out and divided among the previous prophets. Thus, that with which Allah favored Muhammad is only that which He sent down to him and sent to him directly, without anything which came to him by means of any other human being.

    This is in contrast to the allies of Allah. No one who has heard of the message of Muhammad can ever be an ally of Allah unless he follows Muhammad (sas), so whatever he achieves in terms of guidance and religious practice is by means of and through Muhammad (sas). Likewise anyone who received the message of one of the previous prophets: they can never be an ally of Allah unless they follow that Prophet who was sent to them (i.e. to their time and place, to their nation).

    Whoever claims that among the allies who have heard of the message of Muhammad are those who have a route to Allah in which they are not in need of Muhammad and his message is a disbeliever and an atheist. And if he says: "I am in need of Muhammad only for the superficial external knowledge, but not the internal esoteric knowledge, or for the knowledge of the law (shari'a) but not for the knowledge of the "real" (haqeeqa), he is more evil than the Jews and the Christians who said: Muhammad is a Prophet to the unlettered, but not to those who had previously received revealed scriptures. These have believed in some and rejected some, for which Allah called them the true disbelievers. Likewise the one who says: "Muhammad was sent with the superficial external knowledge, but not with the internal esoteric knowledge", he has believed in some of what the Prophet brought and rejected some, and is thus a disbeliever. Furthermore, he is more of a disbeliever than the Jews and the Christians, since the internal knowledge, which is the knowledge of the faith of the heart, its realities and conditions, is the knowledge of the inner realities of faith and is more sublime than the mere knowledge of the external actions of Islam.

    If anyone claims that Muhammad (sas) only knew the external matters, and not the internal realities of faith, and does not take these inner realities from the Qur'an and the Sunnah, he has thereby claimed that some of what he believes in is from that which the Prophet brought, and some of it is not. This is worse than one who says "I believe in some and reject some", but does not claim that the portion of the message in which he believe is the lesser of the two portions.

    But these atheistic deviants claim the alliance with Allah (wilaya) is superior to prophethood. They confuse the issue to some people and say: "His alliance is superior to his prophethood", and say, in poetry:

    The station of prophecy is in the zone

    A little above Messengership, and below the ally (waliy)!

    And they say: "We share with him (i.e. the Prophet) in alliance with Allah which is superior to his messengership. This is the grossest of error! No one is similar to the Prophet Muhammad (sas) in his closeness (wilaya) to Allah ta'ala, not even Ibrahim nor Musa, let alone the belief of these groups in which are contained such atheists as those quoted above!

    Every Messenger is a Prophet and an Ally. Thus, the Messenger (Muhammad) is a prophet and an ally. His messengership entails his prophethood, and his prophethood entails and necessitates his ally-ship. If they imagine the imparting of information to him (this is the linguistic meaning of the Arabic word for "prophet", i.e. nabiy), without his alliance with Allah, this is an unacceptable proposition. His being a receiver of information from Allah, i.e. prophet could not be without his being an ally of Allah, and cannot be separated from his alliance with Allah. Even if it was assumed to be separable from it, none can be equal to the Prophet in his alliance and closeness to Allah.

    Some of them may try to say, as Ibn Arabi said, that they take from the same source from which the angel who used to give the revelation to Muhammad took. This is because the have taken on the belief system of the philosophers, then presented it in the form of "mysticism" and inspiration. The philosophers say: "The universe is ancient, without beginning, and there is an origin which they imitate and resemble." As Aristotle and his followers said: "The first of it is the prime mover.", or as the later ones say as well, such as Ibn Seena (a kafir who believed fully in the atheistic philosophy of the ancient Greeks and posed as a Muslim succeeding in infiltrating his heretical ideas into the Muslim nation). They do not say that the universe belongs to a Lord who created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in six periods, nor that He created all things by His will and His power, nor that He knows all of the details in the universe. No, they either deny His knowledge altogether, as did Aristotle, or they say: Of the changing, moving things He knows only the generalities, as did Ibn Seena. In reality, there is no difference between the two statements. Ibn Seena has also denied the knowledge of Allah just as Aristotle did. Every real existing thing is specific containing many detailed characteristics. Each of these characteristics is a "detail". This is the case for all things, their characteristics and their actions. Whoever does not know the "details" and knows only "generalities" knows nothing about the universe. Generalities exist only in the mind, not in reality.

    This subject has been dealt with extensively elsewhere, in my book "A Rebuttal of the Idea of a Conflict Between Reason and Revelation" among other places. The kufr (disbelief) of these people is greater than the kufr of the Jews and the Christians and, in fact greater than the kufr of the idol-worshippers of pre-Islamic Arabia! All of these groups say that Allah created the heavens and the earth, and that He created the creation by His will and His power.

    Aristotle and others like him among the philosophers or among the Greeks used to worship the stars and idols. They knew about the angels and the prophets, but nothing of this appears in the writings of Aristotle, most of their studies and sciences were involved in the natural sciences.

    As for issues of theology, all of them were very rarely correct, often mistaken. The Jews and the Christians even after the changing and distortion of these messages were much more knowledgeable of theological realities than the philosophers. The later philosophers, however, such as Ibn Seena and others attempted to make up a contrived concoction consisting of the ideas of the philosophers mixed with some of the message of the Prophet (sas). They took some things from the principles of various deviant sects such as the Jahmiya and the Mu'tazilah, and put together a school of thought to which philosophers of many different traditions could trace their origins. In it are gross contradictions and corruption of the truth, some of which I have analyzed elsewhere.

    When these people looked at the matter of the prophets such as Musa and 'Isa and Muhammad, and the immense effect they had on the world, they acknowledged the revealed law with which Muhammad was sent - the greatest such law ever to come to the world. Then they found that the prophets taught about the angels and the jinn. They wanted to bring together this and the teachings of their predecessors and real teachers: the Greek philosophers, the farthest of Allah's creation from the knowledge of Allah, His angels, His books, His prophets, and the Last Day. They have said that there are ten beings or intellects, which they call isolations or separations.

    This terminology is derived from the separation of the soul from the body. They called them "separations" because of their separation from the physical world, and their isolation from it. They ascribed to each heavenly body a soul, most of them considered them manifestations or "form", while others considered them to be essences or "substance".

    Upon analysis, it is clear that these "isolations" are in reality things which exist only in the mind, and not in external reality, just as the imaginary numbers established by the students of Pythagoras, and the abstract Platonian analogies developed by the students of Plato. They established the idea of the "helium" abstracted from external appearances, as well as time and space as purely abstract concepts. Even the more astute among the philosophers have admitted that such things only have reality in the mind, and not in the world outside of the mind. When the later followers of these philosophers, such as Ibn Seena, decided that they wanted to prove the existence of prophethood based on their corrupt underlying concepts, they imagined that prophethood entails three special characteristics, whoever possesses them is a prophet:

    1) That the person posses "mind power", which they call the sacred power, and its meaning is that such people can obtain knowledge without normal processes of learning.

    2) That he possess "imaginative power", such that he imagines clearly the products of his own mind, and sees them as visions in his minds eye, and hears within himself voices, just as the dreamer hears and sees things which have no existence in external reality. They imagined that these visions of the imaginations are the angels, and those voices are the words of Allah ta'ala!

    3) That he possess "dynamic power" with which he is able to influence the substances of the physical world. They believed that the miracles of the prophets, and the karaamaat(miraculous occurrences) granted to Allah's allies, and the amazing feats of the sorcerers are all part of the strength of the self. Thus, they only accepted of these that which fit into their principles such as the stick turning into a snake, while they rejected all others such as the splitting of the moon mentioned in the Qur'an, and others like it.

    I have written extensively about these people and their beliefs elsewhere, explaining that their beliefs are the most corrupt of beliefs. These things which they call one of the signs of the prophets (i.e. the miracles which they accept as having happened) are accomplished by average people along with even greater things, as they are accomplished by the followers of the prophets. The angels who brought the messages to the prophets are living, speaking beings and one of the greatest creations of Allah. They are very many in number, as Allah said:

    [[No one knows the forces of your Lord except He] Qur'an 74/31

    and they are not ten in number. Furthermore, they are not manifestations or abstractions. These people also say that the first source of all things is the first intellect, from which came all other things, and that the tenth dynamic intellect is the Lord of all that is under the orbit of the moon.

    The total falsehood of all of these ideas is known of necessity from the religion and teachings of the prophets - no one of the angels is the originator of everything else other than Allah. They also imagine the status of the intellect to be as is described in the following (forged) "hadith":

    "The first thing Allah created was intelligence. Then He told it to come and it came, He told it to go and it went, then He said: "By my might, I have created nothing more noble to me than you. With you I will take and with you I will give, for you is the reward, and upon you is the punishment."

    Sometimes, they call the intellect a "pen" because of the (genuine) hadith narrated by At-Tirmidhi which starts out: "The first thing Allah created was the pen..."

    The hadith which they cite about the intellect is a lie and a forgery as is well known to the scholars of hadith. This has been mentioned by Abu Hatim Al-Basty, Ad-Daaraqutny, Ibn Al-Jawzi, and others. It is not found in any of the reliable collections of Hadith. (Note: All of the alleged hadith which are found in some books talking about the high status of the mind or the intellect are lies and fabrications as has been pointed out by various scholars of hadith.) Moreover, this hadith, even if valid, would be evidence against them and not for them. It starts out: "When Allah first created the intellect...", or in another version: "When Allah created the intellect, He said to it...", so the meaning of these words is that Allah addressed the intellect directly after creating it, and not that it was the first thing He created. (Note: The Arabic words in the forged hadith can carry either of these two meanings 1) "The first thing Allah created was..." or "When Allah first created the intellect...", at this point, Ibn Taimia is presenting is arguments for the second interpretation.) The word "first" is therefore an adverb of time, and not a ordinal number, making the meaning of the two different versions the same, i.e. "Upon creating the intellect...". This is also supported by the rest of the narration which says: "I have created nothing more noble to me than you..." which means of necessity, that Allah had created other things before the creation of the intellect. Then, He allegedly said: "With you I will take, and with you I will give. For you is the reward, and upon you is the punishment." Here, four types of contingencies are mentioned, yet their philosophy is that all essences in the upper and lower worlds came forth from that intellect. How can these two fit together?

    The reason for their error is that the word intellect in the language of the Muslims is not the same as the word intellect in the language of the Greek philosophers. To the Muslims, the word intellect ('aql) is the verbal noun for the verb 'aqala meaning to reason, to understand, to comprehend, etc. This verb is used in the Qur'an repeatedly, as in the following verses:

    [They said: If only we would have listened or reasoned correctly, we would not now be among the people of the fire.] Qur'an 67/10

    [Surely, in that there are signs for a people who use reason.] Qur'an 22/46

    [Did they not move about on the earth that they would have hearts with which they understand and ears with which they hear?] Qur'an 13/4

    Intellect or reason is thus, in the language of Islam, the inherent faculty or capability with which Allah has endowed human beings and with which they can understand and comprehend.

    In the language of the philosophers on the other hand, intellect reason or the mind is an independent and distinct entity or essence, resembling more closely the reasoner than the faculty of reason given by Allah. This is not in harmony with the language of the prophets and the Qur'an. The creation to the philosophers, as mentioned by Al-Ghazali, is divided into bodies, minds and souls, all of which is referred to as the world of the order. Sometimes they refer to these categories as mulk (dominion), jabroot (omnipotence), and malakoot(realm) respectively, such that those ignorant of the language of the prophets and ignorant of the meanings of the Qur'an and the Sunnah may believe that the mentioning of mulkjabroot, and malakoot in the Qur'an supports this theory, while this is not in fact the case.

    These people perpetrate great deceptions on the Muslim, such as their saying that the universe is "brought about" i.e. having an origin and a beginning (which, of course, it is), even though in reality they believe is to be ancient and without beginning. Something which is "brought about" (muhdath) in Arabic is of necessity something whose presence was preceded by its absence. It is not found in the language of the Arabs nor in any language that one can refer to something without beginning as being muhdath i.e. "brought about". Allah has informed us that He is the Creator of everything. Every created thing is by definition muhdath, and every muhdath has come into existence after not existing. The Jahmiya and the Mu'tazilah attempted to bring an Islamic response to the philosophers, but fell short and failed to understand the information brought to us by the Prophet (sas), nor did they understand the dictates of sound reasoning. They neither came to the aid of Islam, nor did they weaken its enemies. They joined them in some of their corrupt ideas and concepts while rejecting some of the sound bits of reasoning contained in their legacy. Their shortcomings in both the knowledge of the revelation and of the sound use of reasoning became an added reason for the thorough deviation of the philosophers, as I have explained at length in other works.

    These philosophers said that Jibreel was the imaginary vision which appeared in the mind of Muhammad (sas). Vision and imagination are products of and secondary to intellect. Thus the deviants came, those who shared with the philosophers this corrupt belief, and further believed themselves to be allies of Allah, and that the allies of Allah are superior to the prophets of Allah, since they receive from Allah with no intermediary, as was claimed by Ibn Araby the author of "The Essences of Wisdom" and "The Makkan Inspirations". He said that he takes from the same source from which the angel who gave revelation to Muhammad (sas) used to take. This "source" which he is referring to is to him none other than the intellect ('aql), and the angel to him is the imagination. Imagination is secondary to intellect, and since Ibn Araby and others like him imagine that they take directly from the source and not from one of its secondary components, while the Prophet took from the imagination which is secondary and a product of the mind, this is how he came to believe himself superior to the Prophet (sas). Even if prophethood consisted entirely of the three factors mentioned and they were sufficient to indicate prophethood, this man would not even be in the same group as the Prophet, let alone superior to him! What's more, these three "criteria" are things which can be granted to anyone among the believers.

    Prophethood is another matter entirely! If Ibn Araby claims a relationship to "Sufism" it is the sufism of deviants and philosophers, and not the sufism of the people of knowledge, let alone that of a leader of the people of the Qur'an and the Sunnah. These were people such as Al-Fadheel ibn 'Iyaadh, Ibrahim ibn Ad-ham, Abi Sulaiman Ad-Daaraani, Ma'roof Al-Karkhi, Al-Junaid ibn Muhammad, Sahl ibn Abdallah At-Tastry, and others like them, may Allah be pleased with them all. Allah has described angels in His book very different from the concepts of the philosophers and those influenced by them, as in His statement:

    [And they said that Allah took for Himself an offspring. Glorified is He! Rather honored slaves. They never precede Him with their speech, and they act with His order. He knows what is in front of them and what is behind them, and they do not intercede or plead for anyone except for the one for whom He has accepted this, and they are apprehensive with fear of Him. Whoever of them says I am a deity besides Him, we will reward him with Hell fire, and this is our reward for the oppressors. Qur'an 21/26-29

    [And so many angels in the heavens whose intercession will be of no benefit unless and until Allah gives His permission for this intercession for those whom He wishes and is pleased with.] Qur'an 53/26

    [Say: Call those who you imagine other than Allah. They do not own even the weight of an atom in the heavens nor in the earth, nor have they any share therein, and no one of them can aid Allah in any way. Intercession is of no benefit with Allah except that for which He has granted permission.] Qur'an 34/22-23

    [His are all in the heavens and the earth, and those in His presence are not too arrogant to worship Him, nor do they become weary of it. They praise Allah in the night and the day and never break.] Qur'an 21/19-20

    Allah has informed us that angels came to Ibrahim in the form of humans, and appeared also to Maryam in the form of real people. Jibreel also used to come to the Prophet in the form and face of a man named Dahiya Al-Kalbi, or in the form of an unknown bedouin, and was seen not only by the Prophet (sas), but by his companions as well.

    Allah has described Jibreel as a possessor of power:

    [...high in station with the Possessor of the Arsh, respected and obeyed there, trusted] Qur`an 81/20-21

    and told us that the Prophet Muhammad (sas):

    [...saw him on the clear horizon.] Qur'an 81/23

    and further described Jibreel as:

    [It was taught to him by the mighty in strength * Magnificent in his form, he settled down * While on the upper horizon * Then he came close, descending * Until he was at a distance of not more than two bows length * Then he revealed to Allah's servant that which was revealed * His heart has not lied about that which he saw. * Do you then dispute with him about that which he witnessed? * And he has seen him on another occasion * At the Lote tree of the farthest boundary * There is the garden of refuge. * When the lote tree was covered by that which covered it * His sight did not waver, nor did he go beyond bounds * Truly he has seen some of the greatest signs of his Lord.] Qur'an 53/5-18

    It has been authenticated in the collections of Muslim and Bukhari on the authority of Aisha that she said that the Prophet (sas) never saw Jibreel in the form in which Allah created him except for two times. She means the two mentioned in the above verse: once on the clear horizon, and the other at the Lote tree of the farthest boundary. Further, Allah described Jibreel in other verses as the trustworthy spirit and the sanctified spirit, as well as other descriptions which show clearly that he is one of the greatest living, reasoning creations of Allah ta'ala, and that he is a real being having an independent existence, not a figment of the Prophet's imagination, as the deviant philosophers imagined, as well as the claimers to the wilaya of Allah and that they are more knowledgeable than the prophets!

    The end result of the reality of these people is the total rejection of all of the foundations of faith: to believe in Allah, His angels, His revealed books, His prophets, and the last day. The reality of their position is the rejection of the Creator, for they have made the existence of the creation the selfsame thing as the existence of the Creator, saying: Existence is one. They failed to differentiate between oneness of reality and oneness of concept. Everything which exists shares the concept of existence, just as all humans share in the concept of humanness, and all animals share in the concept of being animals. The problem is that this kind of general sameness is never really sameness except in the mind, just as the animalness of a man is not in reality the same as the animalness of a horse. The mere presence of the concept is not the actual existence of the man, and, in the same way, the existence of the Creator is unlike the existence of any of His creation (even though both are called "existence").

    The reality of their position is that it is the position of Pharaoh who denied the Maker. He did not deny the visible, tangible creation, but claimed that it came into existence by itself with no maker or creator. The philosophers and claimers of wilaya agreed with him in that, but imagined that this visible creation is Allah. Thus, they are farther astray than Pharaoh, though the evil of his position may be more apparent. This is why they said that the idol worshippers did not worship other than Allah (since everything in their wrong belief is Allah, including the idols.) And they say that Pharaoh spoke the truth when he said: "I am your highest Lord", since he was in the position of ruler and the holder of the reins of power, i.e. though all of you are a "lord" in relation to something, I am higher than all of you through the apparent rulership over you which I have been given.

    They went on to say: when the sorcerers realized the truth of Pharaoh in what he said, they acknowledged it, saying:

    [So, do as you wish in that over which you have power, you can only affect the life of this world.] Qur'an 20/72

    They said: So, Pharaoh spoke the truth when he said I am your highest Lord!

    Thus, Pharaoh was a great source of truth for such people. They also rejected the reality of the last day, and believed that the people of the fire will indulge in great pleasures and ease just as the people of paradise. They thereby became disbelievers in Allah and in the last day, His angels, His books, and His prophets, despite their claims to be the cream of the best of the best in alliance with Allah and that they are superior to the prophets and that the prophets only know about Allah from their light source!

    This is not the place for a long discussion the deviation of such groups and philosophies within the Muslim Ummah, but since the topic at hand is the allies of Allah and the criterion for distinguishing between the allies of the Merciful and the allies of the Devil, and since these are some of the most notorious claimers of the wilaya of Allah while they are in fact among the greatest allies of shaitaan, it became proper to make mention of them at this point. Thus you will find that most of their writings and discourses are involved with satanic states and events. Moreover, they say, as the author of "The Makkan Inspirations" said that the land of reality is the land of the imagination.

    From this we know that the "reality" (haqeeqa) about which they speak is in fact in the realm of imagination which is the playground of the devil. Shaitaan gets people to imagine things to be other than what they really are. Allah said:

    [Whoever turns away from the reminder of the Merciful, we will assign a devil to him who will be a partner to him. Verily, they block people from the path, though they imagine themselves to be doers of good and people of guidance. (This deception will continue) up to the time when they come to us, when they will say: "If only there was between me and you the distance between the two Easts - what an evil partner!" This will do you no good on that day once you have oppressed yourselves and will be partners also in the punishment.] Qur'an 43/36-39

    [Verily Allah does not forgive the associating of partners with Him, and He forgives anything less than that to those whom He wishes. Whoever associates partners with Allah has gone very far astray indeed.] Qur'an 4/116

    [He promises them and arouses their desires, but his promises are nothing but deception.] Qur'an 4/120

    [And shaitaan said once the affair had been settled: Allah has promised you a truthful promise, and I promised you, but I broke by promise. I had no power over you except that I called you and you responded to me, so do not blame me, but blame your selves. I cannot save or benefit you, and you cannot save or benefit me. I reject totally your associating me before this. For the oppressors is a painful punishment.] Qur'an 14/22

    [And when shaitaan made their actions seem good and said to them: "None can defeat you today from among the people, and I am your helper." Then, when the two groups saw each other, he turned back on his heels saying: "I am innocent of you, I see what you do not see, I fear Allah, and Allah is harsh in punishment.] Qur'an 8/48

    The Prophet (sas) told the companions in a hadith found in the collection of Imam Malik that shaitaan saw Jibreel organizing the angels for battle on the day of Badr. When the devils see the angels which Allah has assigned to aid his slaves, they flee from them. Allah aids his believing slaves with His angels.

    Allah said:

    [When your Lord communicated to the angels: "I am with you, so help those who believe to be firm."] Qur'an 8/12

    [O, you who believe remember the beneficence of Allah upon you when the army faced you and He sent upon them wind, and forces which you did not see.] Qur'an 33/9

    [And when he (i.e. the Prophet) said to his companion: "Grieve not, surely Allah is with us." And Allah sent upon him calm, and aided him with forces which you did not see.] Qur'an 9/40

    [And when you said to the believers: "Is it not enough for you for Allah to aid you with three thousand angels sent down? In fact, if you are patient, and righteous in practice, and even if the enemy should rush upon you right here, your Lord will aid you with five thousand specially trained angels.] Qur'an 3/124-125

    As for the phony allies, "spirits" come to them and address them, or appear in human form to them. These are nothing but jinn and devils, but they think them to be angels. They are the same "spirits" who address the worshippers of the stars and the worshippers of statues.

    One of the first instances of this in Islam was Al-Mukhtar ibh Abi Ubaid of which the Prophet had informed us before his coming in the sahih hadith found in the collection of Muslim in which he said:

    "Out of Thaqeef will come an imposter and a destroyer of life."

    The imposter was Al-Mukhtar ibn Abi Ubaid, and the destroyer of life was Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf whose story is well known. It was said to Ibn Umar and Ibn Abbas that Al-Mukhtar imagines that things are sent down to him and they both said: "He speaks the truth. Allah said: [Should I tell you upon whom the shayateen descend? They descend upon every forging sinner.] (Qur'an 26/221).

    Someone else said: Al-Mukhtar claims that he received revelation (wahy). It was said to him: Allah said: [Verily the shayateen transmit (from the word wahy) to their allies so that they may dispute with you.] (Qur'an 6/121)

    These satanic spirits are the selfsame spirits who the author of "The Makkan Inspirations" believes came and gave that book to him. This is why he mentions various acts of isolation with a particular type of food, or with a particular thing. These are some of the ways in which one may open a contact with the jinn and the devils. He then imagines this to be of the karamaat of the allies of Allah whereas in actuality they are satanic phenomena. I know a number of such people. Some of them have been carried through the air for great distances and returned, others had property appear for them which the devils steal and bring to them, while others used to find peoples stolen property for them for a fee (ju'l), or for a portion of the property when it is recovered, and other such feats.

    Since the states of such people are satanic, they are always in opposition to the prophets, may the peace and prayers of Allah be upon them. That is why you will find throughout the writings of the Ibn Araby and those like him praise of the disbelievers such as the people of Nuh and Hud, Pharaoh and others as well as belittling of the station of the prophets such as Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa, and Harun. They defame the praiseworthy Shaikhs of the Muslims such as Al-Junaid ibn Muhammad, Sahl ibn Abdallah At-Tastry, and others and praise the blameworthy among the Muslims such as Al-Hallaj and others like him, as he has mentioned in his imaginary and satanic "visions". Al-Junaid ibn Muhammad - may Allah sanctify his soul - was among the imams of guidance. He was once asked about tauhid and he said: "Tauhid is distinguishing things brought about from what is without beginning." He has explained that the meaning of tauhid is to distinguish between what has no beginning and what has been brought about after not existing i.e. to distinguish between the Creator and the creation.

    Ibn Araby rejected this statement of Al-Junaid and said, addressing Al-Junaid in a conversation conjured up in his satanic imagination: "O, Junaid can anyone distinguish between things brought about and that which is without beginning except one who is neither of them?" He viewed Al-Junaid as being in error in saying "distinguishing what is without beginning from that which is brought about", because his statement is that the existence of the things brought about is the very same existence of that which is without beginning, as he said in his book:

    "One of the names of Allah is the High (Al-Aliy) - higher than whom? There is nothing there except Him. Higher than what? It is nothing but Him. His highness is in and of Himself, and He is the very same existing things. Those things which are called things brought about are what are high in and of themselves, and they are none other than Him... He is that which is hidden and He is that which is apparent. There is no one there to see Him other than Him, and no one to speak for Him other than Him. He is the one indicated by the name Abu Said Al-Kharraz, and other made-up names."

    It is said to this deviant: It is not a condition of distinguishing between two things in knowledge and statement that the distinguisher be other than the two things being distinguished. Every person is able to distinguish between himself and other people, though he is not a third party. The slave of Allah knows that he is a slave, and distinguishes between himself and his Creator and the Great and Glorious Creator distinguishes between Himself and His creations and knows that He is their Lord and they are His slaves. Allah has stated this in the Qur'an in many places, and the Qur'an is the final source of evidence among the believers who believe in it openly and in secret, internally and externally.

    These deviants, on the other hand, believe about the Qur'an as At-Talmasaani believed. He was one of them, and among the most well-versed of them in their perverse theory of the unity of the creation and the Creator. "Essences of Wisdom" of Ibn Araby was read to him and it was said to him: "This book of yours goes against the Qur'an." To which he replied: "The whole Qur'an is associationism (shirk), tauhid is only found in our writings." Then, it was said to him: "If all existence is only one, why is a wife halal to a man while his sister is haram? He said: "Both of them, to us, are halal, but he who is veiled says: haram!, and so we say: haram for you."

    This person, aside from his blatant disbelief (kufr), has also contradicted himself! If all existence is one, who is the veiled one and who is the one who veils? Thus, one of their shaikhs said to one of his followers: "Whoever tells you that there is anything other than Allah in the universe has lied." The student then asked him: "Who, then is the one who lied?" They said to another student: "These are nothing but appearances." He said to them: "Are these appearances other than what they appear to be, or exactly that? If they are other than that, you have introduced a relativity (no more unity of existence!), and if they are the same, then it is as I said."

    I have dealt at length with the exposing of the secrets of these people elsewhere, analyzing the implications of the position of each of them. The author of "The Essences of Wisdom" says: "That which is not there is a thing, and the existence of the Truth (Al-Haqq i.e. Allah) inundates it." Here, he distinguishes between "existence" and "being there".

    The Mu'tazilah who say that that which is not there is a thing which is there in reality, in spite of there error, are better than him. This second group says that the Lord has created for these things which are not there an existence which is other than His existence, whereas the first one says that the very existence of the Lord inundates them, thus, he sees no existence of any created thing which is other than and distinct from the existence of the Creator. A companion of Ibn Araby named As-Sadr Al-Qunawy distinguishes between the absolute and the specific, since he had a closer tie to philosophy. He did not accept the idea that something which is not there is a thing, but said that the Truth (i.e. Allah) is the absolute concept of existence. He wrote a book called the "Keys to the Unseen of Union and Existence".

    This thinking has led to the negation of the Creator and disbelief in His existence. Perfect absolutes, which are purely theoretical, do not exist except in the mind, not in reality. Absolutes which are not required to be perfect are naturally occurring absolutes. Thus, though it may be said: they exist in reality, they exist only as something specified which is by definition some part of something else, by the admission of those who postulate its existence in reality. Thus, to say that Allah is the absolute concept of existence necessitates that He either not exist in reality, or that He be some part of the existence of the created things, or that He be the very existence of the created things. Is it then possible for part of something to create the whole thing?? Or for something to create itself?? Can non-existence create existence??

    These people avoid using the words huluul and ittihaad (two innovated concepts common to many sufis, the first one means to inundate and refers to the false belief that Allah Himself inundates His allies, and they become one with Him, and the second one means unity and refers to the belief being discussed i.e. the unity of the Creator and the creation - Allah is exalted above that which they say!) since the first one indicates one who descends into or inundates and one who is inundated, and the second one indicates two things which joined together to become one. Their belief is that all of existence is one. They say: The Christians became disbelievers when the specialized the Messiah as being Allah and if they had left it generalized, they would not have become disbelievers. And they say that the only mistake of the idol worshippers is that they chose to worship only some of the manifestations of Allah and not others and that if they had worshipped them all they would not have been mistaken according to these people. Thus, the knowledgeable and informed among them could, as they believe, worship idols without harm to his belief!

    Aside from the blatant and gross kufr (disbelief) contained in this type of thinking, it also contains, as always in their discourses, obvious contradictions. The questions which immediately comes to mind is: Who is the mistaken one? (When you say that everything is Allah.) Is it right to say Allah is mistaken or that Allah committed shirk?! But they say: The Lord is described with all of the faults and shortcomings with which created beings are described. (The believers say that Allah is free of all faults, lacks and shortcomings.) And they say: Created beings are described by all of the characteristics of perfection with which the Creator is described. (The believers say that perfection is only Allah's, none of His creation can be described by His characteristics of perfection!) Or they ascribe to the statement of the author of "The Essences of Wisdom": "So, the High in and of Himself is the one having the perfection which means the possessor of all characteristics both positive and negative (i.e. negation of certain characteristics or lacks), whether these characteristics are praiseworthy by custom, reason or law (shari'a) or blameworthy by custom, reason, or law. This is for Allah alone and for no other."

    Aside from the kufr of this, the contradiction is still evident. It is known by senses and by reason the two are not the same: all characteristics of perfection and complete lack of deficiencies cannot exist along with characteristics of weakness, faults, and blameworthy action. When confronted with their contradictions, they are likely to say as At-Tilmasaani said: "Things have become established for us through our "illuminations" which contradict clear reason." And they say: "If you want correctness, leave reason and the law."

    I have said to some of them with whom I have spoken personally: It is well known that the "illuminations" of the prophets are greater and more perfect than those of anyone else, and their information is more truthful than that of anyone else. The prophets - may the peace and prayers of Allah be upon them - informed the people of things which their minds were unable to arrive at independently, but never did they bring information to the people which their minds told them was impossible. They brought that which had been beyond the ability of reason to arrive at without the coming of prophets, and not that which reason rejected as impossible. It is impossible for the message of the Prophet (sas) to contain that which violates clear reasoning. And, it is impossible for two infallible sources of evidence (e.g. two verses of the Qur'an, or hadith narrated by a very large number of people at every level of the chain, or a proven consensus of the scholars of the Muslim Ummah - all examples of infallible (qat'iy) sources of evidence) to contradict each other. How, then, can anyone claim validity for "illuminations" which contradict the clear implications of the law and reason?!

    Such people may not be lying intentionally, rather they imagine things within themselves, and believe them to be reality. Or, they may see things which are in fact there in reality and believe them to be of the karamaat of the allies of Allah when they are actually of the deceptions of the devils.

    Those who hold the idea of the unity of the creation and the Creator may also believe that the allies are superior to the prophets, or say that prophethood has not ended, as was said by Ibn Sab'een and others. They made up three levels of "progression". First, the slave witnesses obedience and disobedience, then obedience without disobedience, then no obedience and no disobedience. Only the first witnessing is the correct one i.e. the distinguishing between what is obedience to Allah and what is disobedience to Allah. The meaning behind the second one is the witnessing of the decree (qadr) of Allah only and ignoring his orders and forbiddances. Just as some of them say: I am a disbeliever in a lord who disobeys. The one who says this mistakenly believes that disobedience means going against the decree (qadar or mashee'a) of Allah. This is impossible - the whole of creation is constantly under the decree of Allah. About this mistaken belief, one of their poets said:

    You have become exited about that which you choose

    From me while my action - all of them - are obedience.

    This is clearly in contradiction with that with which Allah sent His prophets and sent in His revealed books. The disobedience for which its doer deserves blame and punishment is the violation of the orders of Allah and His Prophet (sas), as Allah said:

    [Those, then, are the boundaries of Allah. Whoever obeys Allah and His Prophet, Allah will put them in gardens under which rivers flow. They will stay therein forever, and this is the great success. And, whoever disobeys Allah and His Prophet and transgresses His boundaries, Allah will put him in fire to stay therein forever, and his is a debasing punishment.] Qur'an 4/13-14

    This question caused some confusion in the minds of some early sufis, and was explained to them by Al-Junaid, may Allah have mercy on him. Those who took heed and followed Al-Junaid in the truth of his analysis kept to what is correct, and those who opposed him went astray. They thought that tauhid consists of witnessing that all things are by the decree and the power of Allah and that is all. This they refer to as the first "union" (jam'). Al-Junaid made clear to them that it is necessary to witness the second difference which is that, along with witnessing that all things are by the decree of Allah, and that all things share in the fact that they are by the decree of Allah and His power and His creation, it is also obligatory to differentiate between that which Allah orders, loves and is pleased by and that which He forbids, dislikes and is displeased by, and to differentiate between His allies and His enemies, as Allah said:

    [Should we then treat those who submit (i.e. Muslims) in the same was as the criminals? What is wrong with you, how do you judge?] 68/35-36

    [Or should we treat those who believe and do good works the same as the spreaders of corruption in the earth, or should we make those of pious practice as the transgressors?] Qur'an 38/28

    [Did those who practice evil think that we would make them the same as those who believe and do good works, the same in life and in death? How poorly you judge!] Qur'an 45/21

    [Say: The blind are not the same as those who see, nor those who believe and do good works, and the wicked one. How little you remember!] Qur'an 40/58

    Thus, the position of the first generations of the Muslims and their imams is that Allah is the Creator of everything, its Lord and its owner. Whatever He wills is, and whatever He does not will is not. There is no lord other than Allah. At the same time, He orders acts of obedience and forbids acts of disobedience, He does not like corruption, and is not pleased with the kufr of any of His slaves. He does not order sins and corruption. Even though it takes place by His decree, still He does not love it and is not pleased with it. Rather, He hates it, censures its doers, and punishes them.

    As for their third level: i.e. to witness neither obedience nor disobedience, it is the belief of the unity of the creation with its Creator. They see this as the peak of ascertaining the truth and closeness of relationship to Allah. In fact, this is the peak of deviation with respect to the names of Allah and His signs, and the peak of enmity with Allah. People of this belief take the Jews and the Christians as allies whereas Allah said:

    [And whoever puts his loyalty with them is one of them] Qur'an 5/51

    and does not seek his innocence from associationism and idols thereby removing himself from the tradition of Ibrahim, the close friend of Allah, may the peace and prayers of Allah be upon him. Allah said:

    [There is for you in Ibrahim and those with him an excellent example when they said to their people: We are innocent of you and of that which you worship other than Allah, we disbelieved in you and enmity and hatred have appeared between us forever (or) until you believe in Allah alone.] Qur'an 60/4

    Ibrahim said to his people:

    [Do you see that which you used to worship, you and your fathers of old, they are all enemies to me except for the Lord of the worlds.] Qur'an 26/75-77

    [You will never find a people who believe in Allah and the last day putting out their love for those who oppose Allah and His Prophet, even though they be their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their clansmen. These are the ones in whose hearts Allah has written faith and He has aided them with a spirit from Him.] Qur'an 58/22

    Some of them have written books and poems based on this corrupt belief of theirs, such as the following poem by Ibn Al-Faaridh which he entitled "Nudhum As-suluuk. Part of it reads as follows:

    To it is my prayer and my standing which I establish

    And I witness in it that it has prayed to me.

    Both of us are praying on prostrating to

    His reality in union in every prostration.

    None other than myself prayed to me and my prayer

    Was to none other than myself in every Rakaati


    I am still with it and it still with me

    There is no distinction. No, my essence to my essence has prayed.

    To me as a messenger I was from myself sent

    And my essence with my signs sought the way to myself.

    So, if I call out (in prayer), I am the answerer and if I am

    The called, it answers the one who called me and responds.

    This same man, when about to die, changed his tune, saying:

    If my position of love with you is

    That which I have met, I have wasted my days

    With false hopes with which my self was strong for a time

    Today I see them as nothing but meaningless pieces of my dreams

    This man used to think that he was Allah, but when the Angel of Death came to him to take his soul, the falsehood of his thinking became clear to him! Allah said:

    [Everything which is in the heavens and the earth says the praises of Allah, and He is the Mighty, the Wise.] Qur'an 56/1

    Since everything in the heavens and the earth praises Allah, it is not and cannot be itself Allah. Allah said:

    [His is the dominion of the heavens and the earth. He gives life and causes to die; He is capable of all things. He is the First and the Last, the Apparent and the Subtle, and He is the Knower of all things.] Qur'an 56/2-3

    It is recorded in Sahih Muslim that the Prophet (sas) used to say in his du'a:

    "O, Allah Lord of the seven heavens and Lord of the mighty Throne. Our Lord and the Lord of all things, the One who splits the grains and the seeds. The one who sent down the Taurah and the Injeel and the Qur'an. I seek refuge in you from the evil of every creature which you will (one day) take by the forehead. You are the first, there is nothing before You. You are the last, there is nothing after You. You are the Apparent, there is nothing above You, and You are the subtle, there is nothing more subtle than You. Let my debts be settled, and keep me free from poverty."

    Also about this, Allah said:

    [He is the one who created the heavens and the earth in six days and then sat on the throne. He knows that which sinks into the earth and that which comes out from it, that which descends from the sky and that which ascends up into it. He is with you wherever you are and Allah sees all that you do.] Qur'an 56/4

    Here, Allah explains that the heavens and the earth (and, in another verse: and all that is between them) are created things which say the praises of Allah. He also informed us that He is the Knower of all things.

    As for the words {He is with you wherever you are...}, the word with (ma'a) in the Arabic language does not mean that one of the two things must be mixed with the other, as in Allah's statement:

    [Have taqwa of Allah, and be with the truthful ones.] Qur'an 9/119

    [Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are harsh with the disbelievers, merciful with one another.] Qur'an 48/19

    [...And those who believed after the victory and migrated and fought with you they are of you.] Qur'an 8/75

    The word for with (ma'a) comes in the Qur'an in relation to Allah in a general sense and in a specific sense. Its general sense is found in the following verse:

    [Did you not see that Allah knows all that is in the heavens and in the earth. There is no secret council of three but He is the Fourth, nor of five, but He is the Sixth, nor less than that nor more than that but He is with them wherever they are. Then, He will tell them all that they did on the day of Qiyama. Verily, Allah is the Knower of all things.] Qur'an 58/7

    Allah opened this speech with a mention of His knowledge and closed it also with a mention of His knowledge. For this reason, Ibn Abbas, Ash-Dhahaak, Sufyan AthThawri, and Ahmad ibn Hanbal all said about this verse: "He is with them in His knowledge."

    The specific meaning of the word with in relation to Allah is found in the following verses:

    [Verily, Allah is with those who have taqwa of Him and who are doers of good.] Qur'an 16/128

    Allah said to Musa: [Verily, I am with you, I hear and I see] Qur'an 20/46

    [And when he (i.e. the Prophet) said to his companion: "Grieve not, surely Allah is with us." And Allah sent upon him calm, and aided him with forces which you did not see.] Qur'an 9/40

    Allah is with Musa and Harun in this sense, but not Pharaoh. He is with Muhammad (sas) and Abu Bakr in the cave (in the last verse above), but not with Abu Jahl and the rest of the enemies of the Prophet. He is with those who have taqwa and those who do good, but not the oppressors and transgressors.

    The word with in the Qur'an clearly cannot mean that Allah himself is in every place because, if this were the case, the texts explaining the specific or special "withness" of Allah would be in conflict with the texts explaining the Allah is with everyone (i.e. in His knowledge). The meaning, then, is that He is with these people with His aid and not with their enemies. And, in Allah's statement:

    [He is the one who is deity in the heavens, deity in the earth.] Qur'an 43/84

    The meaning is that Allah is the deity of all those in the heavens and in the earth, not the He is in the heavens and the earth. Allah said:

    [His is the loftiest of similitudes in the heavens and the earth, and He is the mighty, the wise.] Qur'an 30/27

    Likewise, the meaning of the verse:

    [He is Allah in the heavens and in the earth.] Qur'an 6/3

    is as has been stated by the leading scholars, Imam Ahmad and others, that He is the one worshipped in the heavens and in the earth.

    The early generations of Muslims and their Imams were in complete and unanimous agreement the the Lord is separate and distinct from his creation. He is to be described only with that with which He described himself (i.e. in the Qur'an) or with which His Prophet (sas) described Him without distorting, negating, delving into the exact nature of, or believing them to be the same as something known such as human characteristics of the same names. Allah is described with all characteristics of perfection and no characteristics of weakness or imperfection. He knows that there is nothing comparable to Him, nor to His words in any of His characteristics of perfection. Allah said:

    [Say: He is Allah, One * Allah, the self-sufficient * He was not born, nor does He give birth * And there is none whatsoever comparable to Him.] Qur'an 112

    Ibn Abbas said: The "self-sufficient" (Arabic: As-Samad) the Knower who is perfect in knowledge, the Great who is perfect in His greatness, the Capable who is perfect in His capability, the Wise who is perfect in wisdom, and the Lord of complete and perfect lordship.

    Ibn Masood and others said: He is the one who has no cavity. The attribute of One (Al-Ahad) means the one to whom there is no one comparable. Thus, the name As-Samad entails all of Allah's attributes of perfection, and negation of any lacks or imperfections, and the name Al-Ahad denotes the complete lack of anybody or anything comparable to Allah in His names and characteristics.

    I have gone more deeply elsewhere into the interpretation of this sura of the Qur'an and that it is equivalent to one third of the Qur'an.

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