Commentary on the Hikam (#3)

Dr. Saeed Ramadan al-Buti

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 NOTES by GF Haddad

1 Narrated from Abu Hurayra by Bukhari and Muslim.

2 I.e. in the sense of a personified force independent of the Creator, as in “Mother Nature.”

3 “Things do not act of their own nature. Neither does water quench thirst, nor does bread sate hunger, nor does fire burn, but Allah creates satedness simultaneously with eating, and hunger at other times. Likewise, drinking is the drinker’s doing while quenchedness is from Allah, and killing is the killer’s doing while death is from Allah.” Ibn Khafif (d. 371), al-`Aqida al-Sahiha (§41), in Ibrahim al-Dusuqi Shatta, Sira Ibn Khafif (Cairo: al-Hay’a al-`Amma li Shu’un al-Matabi` al-Amiriyya, 1977) p. . A man asked al-Tustari (d. 283): “What is sustenance?” He said: “Perpetual dhikr.” The man said: “I was not asking about that, but about what sustains one.” He replied: “O man, things are sustained by nothing but Allah.” The man said: “I did not mean that, I asked you about what is indispensible!” He replied: “Young man, Allah is indispensible.” Abu Nu`aym, Hilya al-Awliya’ (10:218 #15022). “Satiation, quenching, and combustion are phenomena which Allah alone creates, since bread does not create satiation, nor does water create quenching, nor does fire create combustion, although they are causes for such results. But the Creator is Himself the Causator (al-Musabbib), not the causes. This is just as Allah said: “You threw not when you did throw, but Allah threw.” (8:17) He denied that His Prophet was the creator of the throw, although he was its cause. Allah also said: “And that it is He Who makes laugh, and makes weep, and that it is He Who gives death and gives life.” (54:43-44) Thus He dissociated making-laugh, making-weep, the giving of death and of life from their respective causes, attributing all to Himself. Similarly, al-Ash`ari (d. 330?) dissociated satiation, quenching, and combustion from their causes, attributing them all to the Creator Who said: “Such is Allah, your Lord. There is no God save Him, the Creator of all things.” (6:102) “Is there any creator other than Allah?” (35:3) “Nay, but they denied what they could not comprehend and whereof the interpretation had not yet come unto them.” (10:39) “Did you deny My signs when you could not compass them in knowledge, or what was it you did?” (27:84).” Ibn `Abd al-Salam (d. 660), al-Mulha fi I`tiqad Ahl al-Haqq in Rasa’il al-Tawhid (p. 11-27) and al-Subki, Tabaqat al-Shafi`iyya al-Kubra (8:219-229).

4 Narrated from Abu Hurayra by Muslim, Ahmad, Ibn Majah, Malik in his Muwatta’, and al-Tabarani, all as part of a longer hadith which begins: “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer” (al-mu’min al-qawiyy khayrun wa ahabbu ilallâh min al-mu’min al-da`îf).

5 Narrated from Abu Hurayra by Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, al-Nasa’i, and Ibn Majah; from `Umar by Muslim, al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Ahmad, and al-Nasa’i; and from Abu Dharr by al-Nasa’i, all as part of a longer hadith.

6 “Everything is by qadar, including helplessness and intelligence.” Narrated from Anas and Ibn `Umar by Muslim; from Ibn `Umar by Ahmad and Malik; and from Ibn `Abbas by Bukhari in his Tarikh. The latter narrates it both with qada’ and qadar.


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