Al-Jaza’iri about the Ash’arites: “Their God is not ours.”

Ni’matullah Ibn Muhammad Al-Jaza’iri writes:
اعلم أن بعد موت النبي صلى الله عليه وآله قد عمت البلية كافة المسلمين وذلك أنه تعددت آراؤهم بحسب تعدد أهوائهم وصارت إلى ثلاث وسبعين فرقة أصولها وإلا فهي أكثر من مائتي فرقة والذي يدل على أن مذهب الإمامية هو الحق وجوه
“Know that the disaster blinded all Muslims, and this because their opinions increased according to the number of their desires and seventy-three divisions originated from their roots, if not more than two hundred divisions, and various points prove that the imamitic path is the right one.”
منها أنه أخلصها من شوائب الباطل وأعظمها تنزيها لله تعالى وأنبيائه وحججه وأحسنها في مسائل الأصول والفروع ولم يلتفتوا إلى القول بالرأي والقياس أما باقي المسلمين فقد ذهبوا إلى كل مذهب
“To them belongs the freest of them from the invalid defects, and most substantially declares God and His prophets and proofs to be impeccable, and the best of them in terms of the questions of principles and branches, and not to be tempted to speak out in favour of their own opinion and analogy. However, as far as the other Muslims are concerned, they have already taken every possible direction.”
أما الأشاعرة فقالوا أن مع الله تعالى معاني قديمة موجودة في الخارج كالقدرة وغير ذلك فجعلوه تعالى مفتقرا في كونه عالم إلى ثبوت معنى هو العلم وفي كونه قادرا إلى ثبوت معنى هو القدرة وغير ذلك من الثمانية
“As for the Ash’arites, they say that with God there are primal senses external to Him, such as power and other things apart from that. Thus they explained Him, in His existence as knowing, in need of having confirmation of a sense which is knowledge, and in His existence as powerful, in need of confirmation of a sense which is power and other of the eight like that.”
ولم يجعلوه قادرا لذاته ولا عالما لذاته ولا حيا لذاته ولا مدركا لذاته بل لمعان قديمة يفتقر في هذه الصفات إليها فجعلوه محتاجا ناقصا في ذاته كاملا بغيره تعالى الله عن ذلك ولا يقولون هذه الصفات ذاتية واعترض شيخهم فخر الدين الرازي عليهم بأنه قال أن النصارى كفروا لأنهم قالوا أن القدماء ثلاثة (الآب والابن والروح القدس) والأشاعرة أثبتوا قدماء تسعة
“They do not say that He Himself is powerful, knowing, living and encompassing, but that these are primal, eternal senses, and according to these descriptions He is in need of them. Thus, they declared Him in His essence as something imperfect that is perfect through something other than Him – God is exalted above – and they do not say that these qualities belong to the essence and their spiritual leader, Fakhr-ud-Din Ar-Razi, confronted them by saying that the Nazarenes fell into disbelief because they said that the Eternals are three (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), while the Ash’arites confess nine Eternals.”
أقول فالأشاعرة لم يعرفوا ربهم بوجه صحيح بل عرفوه بوجه غير صحيح فلا فرق بين معرفتهم هذه وبين معرفة باقي الكفار لأنه ما من قوم ولا ملة إلا وهم يدينون بالله سبحانه ويثبتونه وأنه الخالق سوى شرذمة شاذة وهم الدهرية القائلون وما يهلكنا إلا الدهر
“I say: “The Ash’arites therefore had no correct knowledge of their Lord, but they had false knowledge of Him; therefore there is no difference between their knowledge and the knowledge of the rest of the disbelievers, for there are neither people nor any belief, except that they believe in Allah and profess Him, and that He is the Creator, except a deviating group, which are the materialists who say: “Nothing makes us perish except time.” (45:24)

وأسوأ الناس حالا المشكرون أهل عبادة الأوثان ومع هذا فهم إنما يعبدون الأصنام لتقربهم إلى الله سبحانه زلفى كما حكاه عنهم في محكم الكتاب بطريق الحصر فتكون الأصنام وسائل لهم إلى ربهم فقد عرفوا الله سبحانه بهذا الباطل وهو كون الأصنام مقربة إليه
“Those people who are in the worst situation are the associates, the idolaters, and in spite of this they serve the idols only so that they may bring them closer to God, as He described them in a limiting way in the evident Scriptures. So the idols serve them as mediators to their Lord, and their knowledge of God is in this false way, which consists in the fact that the idols bring one closer to God.”
وكذلك اليهود حيث قالوا عزير ابن الله والنصارى حيث قالوا المسيح ابن الله فهما قد عرفاه سبحانه بأنه رب ذو ولد فقد عرفاه بهذا العنوان
“The same thing happened to the Jews when they said: “Ezra is the son of God.” And with the Nazarenes, when they said: “Christ is the Son of God.” (9:30) So they saw God as one who is a Lord with children and they acknowledged Him under this title.”
وكذلك من قال بالجسم والصورة والتخطيط وذلك لما عرفت في أول الكتاب من أن الكل قد طلبوا معرفته وخاضوا بحار وحدانيته وكانت مضائق وعرة وسبلا مظلمة فمن كان له دليل عارف عرف الله سبحانه ومن كان دليله أعمى مثله خاض مع بحار الظلمات وما زاده كثيرة السير إلا بعدا
“It is the same with the one who believes in the embodiment, shape and limitation, since it was already known at the beginning of the book that they all sought His knowledge and dived into the oceans of His oneness and they were narrow, mange and dark paths. Whoever now had a recognising signpost recognised God, and whose signpost was as blind as he was, dived with him into the oceans of darkness, and nothing made him move much, except further away.”
فالأشاعرة ومتابعوهم أسوأ حالا في باب معرفة الصانع من المشركين والنصارى وذلك أن من قال بالولد أو الشريك لم يقل أنه تعالى محتاج إلهما في إيجاد أفعاله وبدائع محكماته فمعرفتهم له سبحانه من هذا الوجه الباطل من جملة الأسباب التي أورثت خلودهم في النار مع إخوانهم من الكفار وأفادهم الكلمة الإسلامية حقن الدماء والأموال في الدنيا فقد تباينا وانفصلنا عنهم في باب الربوبية فربنا من تفرد بالقدم والأزل وربهم من كان شركاؤه في القدم ثمانية ووجه آخر لهذا لا أعلم إلا أني رايته في بعض الأخبار
“The result of this is that we do not agree with them on a god, nor on a prophet, nor on a leader (imam), and this because they say that their Lord is the one whose prophet Muhammad and his successor after him is Abu Bakr, and we do not believe in this Lord or in this prophet. Much more, we say that the Lord who has Abu Bakr as the successor of His Prophet is not our Lord and that the Prophet is not our Prophet, and there is another point, but this is a response to the permission to curse the ones left behind (Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman). Much more, it proves that cursing is a obligation, and this is because the leadership (Imamah), like prophethood and divinity, consists of affirmation and negation.”
أما اللإله فمن قال الله إله ولم ينف عنه الشركاء والأضداد فهو ليس بموحد بإجماع المسلمين ولا مسلم أيضا أما النبوة فمن قال إن محمدا نبي ولم ينف نبوة من ادعاها كمسليمة ونحوه فهو ليس بمسلم أيضا فالسلب واجب فيها كالإيجاب وأما الإمامة فهي كذلك فمن قال إن عليا إمام ولم ينف إمامة من ادعاها ونازعه عليها وغصبها فليس بمؤمن عند أهل البيت صلوات الله وسلامه عليهم
“As far as God is concerned, the one who says that God is a God, but does not deny Him either partner or an equivalent, is not a monotheist, nor is he a Muslim. As for prophethood, the one who says that Muhammad is a prophet but does not deny prophethood to the one who claims it, like Musailimah and others like him, is not a Muslim either. So the negation in it is a obligation like confirmation, and as for the leadership, it is the same with it, because the one who says that Ali is a leader (Imam) but does not deny leadership from the one who claims it and disputes it and seizes it, according to the people of the house (a.) is not a believer.”
فظهر من هذا أن البراءة من أولئك الأقوام من أعظم أركان الإيمان ومخالفونا قد خالفونا في هذا أيضا ومن هذا التحقيق ظهر أن المراد بالقدرية في قوله صلى الله عليه وآله القدرية مجوس هذا الأمة هم الأشاعرة وذلك أن نسبتهم إليهم قوية جدا كما لا يخفى
“So it becomes clear from this that the disassociation (Bara’ah) from these people is one of the most powerful pillars of faith and our opponents have also disagreed with us in this and from this statement it becomes clear that with the Qadarites in his statement: “The Qadarites are the Zoroastrians of this nation.” The Ash’arites are meant, and this because their numbers are very high, as it is obvious.” [Al-Anwar-un-Nu’maniyyah, Volume 2, pages 242 – 244]


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