Clarifying a Misconception (Regarding the Creed of the Sunnis and Mu`tazilah)

[This was a response to a person who did a video warning against a person named Hamza Yusuf, but also repeated a common misconception that the Ash`ari (and Maaturidi) schools of Sunni theology are actually Mu`tazilah schools of thought.  This is not the case as we will demonstrate below.]

_____________  [I will not include the person’s name] it would be more accurate to say that Hamza Yusuf is from the “apologist”-“semi-perennialist” school of thought.  There is one statement of his in a UK interview, which (apparently–assuming someone didn’t doctor the video) he did make an explicit statement of kufr that comes from the Mu`tazilah school, in which he said: “Murder is such a heinous crime because it interrupts the  appointed time of death.”  That clearly contradicts the Sunni `Aqidah, such as, what At-Tahawi mentioned in his Creed in which At-Tahawi said: “Wa daraba lahum aajaalaa,” that is, “He [Allah] has predestined their times of death.”  Obviously, to claim that the human being changed or interrupted what Allah has predestined is itself kufr.

With that said, it is inaccurate to claim that the Sunnis, the Ash`aris (and Maturidis) are a faction of the Mu`tazilah or anything like the Mu`tazilah.  Both schools of theology deemed the Mu`tazilah kuffaar for rejecting the Attributes of Allah.  The Sunnis were between the extremes of the Mushabbihah (i.e., those who resemble God to the creations, such as, those who deemed Allah to be an object with literal organs, a size, location, direction etc. ) and those who, for instance, denied Allah’s Attribute of Knowledge, Predestining, or Eternal Kalaam (Communication), such as, the Mu`tazilah.  The Mushabbihah, for instance, were/are literalists, who misconstrued Verses and Hadiths, and as a result, they thought Allah is a giant unidentified bipedal shadow-casting extraterrestrial object with a literal smiling face, fingers, and one shin.

As for the Mu`tazilah, they started from premises derived from Hellenic philosophy, and then tried to make the Deen comply with their false assumptions.  Hence, they claimed, for instance, that Allah has to do what is best for the human beings.  This is an assumption of theirs that has no basis in the Religion. (Allah does not owe us anything, and Allah is not obligated with anything.)   This premise of theirs was something they derived from philosophy. What the Sunnis (Maaturidis/Ash`aris) did is demonstrate that the true `Aqidah is rationally consistent—and this was particularly needed in combating the Mu`tazilah, who placed reason before Revelation.  The Sunnis (Ash`aris/Maaturdis) also exposed the absurdities of the Mushabbihah, such as, their claiming Allah doesn’t need anything, but then also claiming that Allah is inside a location or direction; or their claim that Allah doesn’t resemble anything, but that Allah is an object.  It’s a canard going back centuries from the quasi-Hanbali Mushabbihah, who claimed that the Ash`aris/Maaturidis are “deniers of Allah’s Attributes” or that they are “Jahmiyyah.”  The fact of the matter is that the Mushabbihah know the Ash`aris/Maaturidis are equipped with the proofs from both Scripture and reason to dismantle the claims of those who believe the Creator of time, space, and direction is subject to time, space, and direction.  This is why the Mushabbihah lie and slander the genuine defenders of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah.

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3 Responses to Clarifying a Misconception (Regarding the Creed of the Sunnis and Mu`tazilah)

  1. facetofloor says:

    By any definition of “religion,” certainly Islam qualifies as one. Other Prophets also were “self-proclaimed” and they demonstrated their genuineness by the performance of miracles. Prophet Muhammad performed hundreds of them. Allah means “The God.” The CHRISTIAN and JEWISH Arabs were using the term “Allah” before the English started using the term “God.” Muslims clearly don’t worship the devil. The devil has a body and exists in time and place. God exists without time or place. Prophet Muhammad was not a liar, and the term “pedophile” is a loaded neologism. The Prophet fought different groups of people, as did the Israelite Prophets. As for tolerance, it is apparent that you know nothing about the religion of Judaism. The whole argument boils down to this: God is One; God is beyond comparison and need. People should worship the Creator instead of the creations. Most people choose not to worship the Creator, but instead worship various creations. Those who refuse to worship the One who created them will face the consequences in the Hereafter. Simple as that.

  2. facetofloor says:

    Rj, we are not free to invent our own definitions to words. No reasonable person is going to say that Islam is not a religion; not only is it a religion, it is the second largest religion on earth. When you say a “self-proclaimed” Prophet, well Prophets are given the revelation from God, and then they proclaim their Prophethood. The Prophets perform miracles to prove they are prophets. Prophet Muhammad performed hundreds of miracles. That was the case with Noah, Abraham, and Jesus… all of whom, incidentally, had fewer followers than Prophet Muhammad. Muslims don’t ascribe belittling attributes to God. Prophets don’t lie. As for the charge of pedophilia, it seems you are unfamiliar with its definition. The Prophet had ONE young bride—who was the daughter of his closest Companion. You seem to assume that the standards of contemporary secular society are the proper standards by which to judge… but of course, you have no proof for that. The fact of the matter is that the pagan opponents of Prophet Muhammad never raised an objection, BECAUSE IT WAS NORMAL IN THE SOCIETY AT THE TIME. Just as Lady Mary was about 12-13 according to Christian sources when she became pregnant with Jesus, yet, the Christians don’t claim God is a child molester. As far as fighting, Prophet Muhammad fought against the people of evil and treachery. Again, the stories in the Bible ascribe to Prophets the wholesale killing of entire cities—per the alleged order of God.

  3. Master Coach says:

    Very well written and powerful point of view- how can anyone choose Christianity after reading that?!?

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