THE MUTAZILAH – part 2

THE MUTAZILAH – part 2

ON THE DOCTRINES OF THE MU’TAZILA AND THE QADARIYYA

Let us now turn to consider the doctrines peculiar to each of the separate sects of the Mu’tazila:

1. As for the Hudhaliyya, their shaikh, Abu Hudhail, was idiosyncratic in teaching the following doctrines:

That Allah does have a kind of knowledge, a kind of power, a kind of hearing and a kind of sight.That the Speech of Allah (Exalted is He) is for the most part a product of creation [makhluq], but that one part of it is uncreated [ghair makhluq], namely His saying: “Be!” [kun].That Allah (Exalted is He) is not set apart in opposition to His creatures.That the scope of Allah’s effective power is not unlimited, so the people of the Garden of Paradise may be stranded forever in a state of immobility, while Allah (Exalted is He) is unable to set them in motion, and since they are incapable of making themselves move. It is possible, however, for actions to be performed by the dead, the disabled and the decrepit.Abu Hudhail rejected the idea that Allah (Exalted is He) has always been All-Hearing [Sami‘].

2. As for the Nazzamiyya, their shaikh an-Nazzam used to teach that inanimate bodies [jamadat] are activated by the forces of nature. He used to deny the existence of accidents [a’rad], with the exception of dependent motion [haraka i’timadiyya].

He maintained that the real human being is the spirit [al-insan huwa’r-ruh], and that no one has seen the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), since all that anyone ever saw was his envelope [zarf], meaning his physical body.

He made a radical break with the general consensus [ijma‘], when he declared that if a person deliberately refrains from performing the ritual prayer [salat], even though he is reminded of it, he is not required to make it up later. He actually refused to recognize the infallibility of the general consensus of the Muslim community [umma], and allowed for the possibility that its members might agree to accept an untruth [batil].

He also maintained that faith [iman] is the same thing as unbelief [kufr], and that worshipful obedience [ta’a] is the same thing as sinful disobedience [ma’siya]. He held that the conduct of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was no different from the conduct of Iblis the accursed, and that the behavior of ‘Umar and ‘Ali (may Allah be well pleased with them both) was no different from the behavior of al-Hajjaj. His emphasis on this theme, and his insistence on pursuing it, is less inexplicable than it may seem at first sight, because he often used to say: “All animate creatures are one single species [al-hayawan kulluhu jins wahid].”

He asserted that the Qur’an does not represent a miracle [mu’jiz] in its mode of composition. He claimed that Allah (Exalted is He) would not be capable of exposing an infant to the fire, even if he stood on the very brink of Hell, nor of casting him into it.

He was the first to propound the doctrine of unbelief [kufr] among apparently devout Muslims [ahl al-Qibla].

He used to say: “The physical body can be divided up into an infinite number of parts.” He also used to say: “There are snakes, scorpions and dung beetles in the Garden of Paradise. As a matter of fact, there are even dogs and pigs in the Garden of Paradise.”

3. The Mu’ammariyya take their name from their Shaikh al-Mu’ammar, who used to profess the doctrines of the physicists or natural scientists [ahl at-taba’i‘]. He carried those teachings to excessive lengths, however, for he went so far as to maintain that Allah (Exalted is He) has created neither any color, nor any flavor, nor any scent, and neither any death nor any life. He held that all of this is the work of the physical body [fi ‘l al-jism], functioning in accordance with its nature [bi-tab’ihi].

Al-Mu’ammar also used to profess the doctrine that the Qur’an is the work of the physical bodies, and not the work of Allah. What is more, he refused to accept the idea that Allah (Exalted is He) could be Pre-Existent from All Eternity [Qadim].

May he be doomed to perdition, and may Allah (Exalted is He) keep him far removed from this Community [Umma].

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