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[al-Taḥawiyyah Pt 35] ‘Ilmul Kalām

He sways between faith and disbelief, confirmation and denial, and acceptance and rejection. He will be subject to vain suggestions, perplexed and lost, neither a sincere Believer nor an open denier.

فَيَتَذبْذبُ بَيْنَ الكُفْرِ وَالإِيْمَانِ، وَالتَّكْذِيبِ، وَالإِقْرَارِ وَالإِنْكَارِ، مُوَسْوَسَاً تَائِهَاً، زَائِغَاً شَاكَّــاً، لاَ مُؤْمِنَاً مُصَدِّقاً، وَلاَ جَاحِداً مُكَذِّباً.

When a person turns away from Revelation he turns his back on a guiding light emanating from the heavens. After this there are only darknesses of misguidance, discontentment, and doubt. Allāh, Exalted is He, referred to His Revelation as light when He told the Prophet (Ṣallāhu ‘alayhi wa salam) that: ‘This is a Book We have sent down to you so that you can bring mankind from the darkness to the light, by the permission of their Lord, to the Path of the Almighty, the Praiseworthy’.[1]

When speculative theology (ʿIlm al-Kalām) became popular from the forth Hijri century onwards, doubts and specious arguments began to surface in matters of theology. Those that adhered to it were left perplexed and full of doubt about their faith in the Religion.

What the author described here is based on confessions from famous scholars of speculative theology who in the end returned to the orthodox teachings of Islām and spoke of their problematic experience with it. Ibn Rushd Al-Hafiz (595 AH), who was one of the most knowledgeable of the science, wrote in Tahafut al-Tahafut: ‘Who has written anything in metaphysics that is to be treasured?’ Al-Amidi (631 AH), the top thinker of his time, noted that he could not overcome his doubts on major issues. Al-Ghazali likewise expressed his dissatisfaction with the science, gave it up and took up the study of Ḥadīth. At the time of his death, the Saḥīḥ of al-Bukhārī was in his hands.

All of this misguidance, perpetual doubt, and the resulting discontentment stems from turning away from the Sacred Texts: the Qur’ān and the Sunnah. The hearts of such people became hardened and no longer receptive to the light of revelation. The void that was left inside was instead filled with conflicting thoughts and ideas, fallacies, and never ending philosophical ramblings. Allāh described the internal state of the hypocrites when He said: ‘Their hearts are full of doubt and in their doubt they waver to and fro’[2]; this is also relates to those who turn their back on revelation and instead prefer other sources for enlightenment.

The Prophet (Ṣallāhu ‘alayhi wa salam) once said: ‘Indeed Allāh has overlooked the passing thoughts that come to my nation (ummah), unless they speak of them or act upon them’[3]. His blessed statement indicates that evil and misguided thoughts will certainly pass through people’s minds, however, they will not be held accountable for such thoughts so long as they do not dwell on them, entertain and explore them or worse still, begin to propagate them. The Prophet (Ṣallāhu ‘alayhi wa salam) was teaching his followers that such thoughts should be dispelled whenever they arise and should never be entertained or explored. The ideological warfare that people face today is unprecedented and unrelenting. It is therefore only natural to be afflicted by doubts and apprehension about one’s religion, however the Prophet’s advice is to be followed. He himself would supplicate when he woke from sleep with the words: ‘O Allāh, Lord of Jibrīl, Mīkā’īl and Isrāfīl, Originator of the heavens and earth, Knower of the Unseen and the apparent, You decide between Your servants in their disputes, I beseech You, with Your permission, to show me the truth concerning the matters which people have disputed. It is truly You Who guides whom You will to the straight path’.[4]

Ibn Abil ‘Izz (792AH) noted that the Prophet (Ṣallāhu ‘alayhi wa salam) appealed in the name of the Lord of Jibrīl, Mīkā’īl and Isrāfil to be guided with Allāh’s permission to the truth in the matters wherein people differ because the true life of the heart has been entrusted into the care of these three angels. Jibrīl is entrusted with revelation, which brings life to the heart; Mīkā’īl is entrusted with the rain, which facilitates growth of food which in turns nourishes the heart of living beings; and Isrāfīl is entrusted with blowing the Horn, which will bring the dead back to life for accountability in the Hereafter. [5]


[1]  Q. Ibrāhīm, 14: 1.

[2]Q. Al-Tawbah, 9: 45.

[3] H. Al-Bukhāri

[4] Muslim

[5] See Sharh al-Ṭaḥāwiyyah by Ibn Abil ‘Izz

Sheikh Haitham al-Haddad’s explanation of al-‘Aqīdah al-Ṭaḥāwiyyah, edited by Asim Khan, will soon be published as a hardback book. Islam21c have exclusive rights to share extracts from the book for its readers, and will be posting certain sections of the book on a weekly basis. The book: al-‘Aqīdah al-Ṭaḥāwiyyah, is a short text outlining the ‘aqīdah of Ahl al-Sunnah in short statements. Each extract posted is a complete explanation of any one of those statements.


About Shaikh (Dr) Haitham Al-Haddad

Dr. Haitham al-Haddad is a jurist and serves as a judge for the Islamic Council of Europe. He has studied the Islamic sciences for over 20 years under the tutelage of renowned scholars such as the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia as well as the retired Head of the Kingdom's Higher Judiciary Council. He specialises in many of the Islamic sciences and submitted his doctoral thesis on Islamic jurisprudence concerning Muslim minorities. Shaikh Haitham is highly respected having specialised knowledge in the field of fiqh, usul al-fiqh, maqasid al-shari'ah, ulum al-Qur’an, tafsir, aqidah, and fiqh al-hadith. He provides complex theories which address the role of Islamic jurisprudence within a western environment whilst also critically re-analysing the approach of Islamic jurists in forming legal rulings (ifta’) within a western socio-political context. He has many well known students most of whom are active in dawah and teaching in the West. The shaikh is an Islamic jurist (faqih) and as such is qualified to deliver verdicts as a judge under Islamic law, a role he undertakes at the Islamic Council of Europe as Islamic judge and treasurer. Dr Haitham al-Haddad also sits on various the boards of advisors for Islamic organisations, mainly in the United Kingdom but also around the world.

One comment

  1. Mohd Amin Ibrahim

    Al-salaamu alaykum wa rahmat-Allaahi wa barakaatuhu

    Thank you for posting the above article. In the sentence below, do you mean that our Prophet (saw) appeal to direct to Allah ( Lord of all mankind including Jibrīl, Mīkā’īl and Isrāfil l) OR our Propjet (saw) is appealing to Allah through Jibrīl, Mīkā’īl and Isrāfil ?

    The sentence can be intepreted either way.
    Please clarify
    Jazakum Allahu khairan
    Was-salamu `alaykum
    Mohd Amin Ibrahim

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