If I told you that I have a book that has no pages, no binder, no ink, no cover, no colour, along with that it isnt in this creation or outside of it, it isnt up or down or left or right. But it exists without a place and is eternal with no beginning or end.
What do you think of this book? Would you say...
A.) It actually exists in reality.
B.) It doesnt exist in reality, only in the mind.
(dont worry if this speech confuses you, it confuses alot of people, quite suprisingly. Sometimes people just accept it and try to make it make sense just for the sake of reconciliation).
Before the answer is given, I'd like to mention a short intro which will answer some of the questions of why I did this exercise/survey in the first place and what relevance it has.
Simply: to test your logic.
The correct answer is B, with a majority of 55 votes.
Answer A got 9 votes. But many who chose A reverted to B after they thought about it again and pondered over it. Suprisingly, no one from B reverted to A.
The responses to this open survey were given by normal people. Not philosophers, intellectuals or professors. Just normal people.
Those who answered A did so for a number of reasons;
•It made sense to them.
•They were overthinking, adding in their own ideas to the scenario.
•They thought I was refering to the Quran or book of deeds so they didnt want to say anything wrong.
•Literally taking my word for it without question.
(and thats why I believe they got it wrong, due to these factors).
Lets dissect the answer.
So, theres a "book". We all know what a book is, dont we? But this book, as the scenario states, has "no pages, no cover, no binder, no colour, no ink." Pause. You ever seen a book like that? All books have these things, so without pages, a cover, a binder, colour and ink how can it be a book? If one of these things are missing then we say the book is deficient and not complete.
The example continues: "...it (this book) isnt within creation nor outside of it, it isnt up or down nor left or right. But it exists without a place and is eternal without a beginning or end." Can you even comprehend that?! Lets give it a whack.
So this book isnt with us here on earth, or in space. Its not even outside creation itself (sounds fishy). And it isnt up or down, or left or right?...But at the same time its eternal and and has no beginning or end? How can that be? Something that isnt inside the creation or out of it, nor up or down or left or right...this hurts my brain!
You know what. I've got it! This "book" doesnt even exist! The mind cant comprehend something that has no features or isnt within or out of creation. Its non-existent. It only exists in your head. Abit like the tooth-fairy people speak about. Or father christmas.
And just because it was called "eternal and having no beginning or end", doesnt mean it has to be that way. It also doesnt prove its existence. You can say that about anything!
Whatever parameters I mentioned in the scenario dont have to be true. Who said it was factual and true? I just said it. Would anyone be that gullible to believe whatever they hear without verification?
This exercise can teach us alot:
-Not everything that someone tells you is truth. Rather look it up and question. Find the evidence.
-Dont overthink things! Take your time, read, understand, if not read and repeat. Theres no need to over complicate things.
-Not everyones "logic" is the same. It clearly varies. Many things are just universally correct or wrong.
Now to the important part and objective of the survey.
What if you changed the word "book" to Allah? Woahhh. Wait wait. That would then mean that Allah...na'udhubillah. We seek refuge in Allah from such falsehood. Truly Allah Most High exists. How? You may ask. We know this by way of divine textual evidence and our logic (and these two do not contradict each other).
But there are those from amongst the muslims who actual say such stuff! They say Allah exists, but He is neither in or out of creation, he exists without a place, along with denying many of His attributes. Its as if Allah is but a thought in their minds rather than a real being. These are the people who deny the attributes of Allah, from the deviant sects; Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah.
However, there is another group who affirm 7-20 attributes of Allah only and deny the rest by way of Ta'weel (interprering them) or Tafweedh (denying their meanings). They are known as the Ashaa'irah.
As we know, Allah informed us about Himself by way of His attributes:
-He created adam with His two hands (Surah 38:75).
-He rose over the throne (Surah 7:54).
-He decends to the lowest heaven every night (Bukhari).
-His Face will remain forever (Surah 55:27).
Among His many perfect attributes found within the Quran and Sunnah. We believe in these attributes:
-Without deny them.
-Without questioning 'how?'
-Without resembling them to the creation.
-Without interpreting them.
-Without denying their meanings.
-Without comparing them to the creation.
Otherwise, if we didnt, it would lead to heresy.
"There is nothing like Him, and He is the all-hearer the all-seer."-Surah 42:11.
But a person may ask: But Allah isnt like the book, nor can He be. He is the creator, the Ever lasting, the Living. Yes, all of this is based on our imaan/faith in what He told usabout Himself. He doesnt resemble the creation at all. But at the same time He has these attributes that He Himself told usabout. Upon us is to believe them and not reject them.
Just as we believe Allah hears and sees, and it isnt like our hearing and seeing, likewise He has other attributes that are not like ours. Is that too hard to understand?!
Do you see the danger in negating the attributes of Allah? It can lead to describing Him with nothingness, just like the book in the survey was described. The only thing stoping us from denying Allah is our imaanin His existence and what He told us about Himself via revelation. And that very same imaan should also stop us from denying His attributes or likening them to the creation. He has attributes, not like ours, simple. Mankind has this arrogance about himself that he knows better, and that his logic is superior. Clearly not!
The attributes of Allah Most High indeed without doubt perfect, divine, uncomprehendable and befitting His Majesty, belief in them is obligatory.
If someone says to you "Allahs Hearing means His knowledge" would you accept that? Never. Then why would one interpret His Hand as His power? "Because hands are limbs, hearing isnt!" Wait, we're talking about Allah, not creation. Do you think Allah's attributes are like that of creation? Do you think Allah was refering to limbswhen He said that He created adam with His two Hands? No. So you was the one who thought that. No one else did. Youhave told yourself that the Hand of Allah has to mean a limb or a body part. I never said that.
I said it is an attribute of Allah that is perfect, divine, uncomprehendable and befitting His Majesty, just like His Seeing, and Hearing, and Speech, and Will is etc.
Take note of this principle: the belief in one attribute of Allah is the same in all of the attributes of Allah. (Just like the way you believe in His Hearing and Seeing etc believe the same way about His Hands and Face etc, dont let that philosophical whisper of shaytaan lead you to deny His attributes).
So denying all the attributes is disbelief, and denying some attributes can lead to disbelief, or at the very least ascribes imperfection to Allah. Now you understand the danger of denying the attributes of Allah, and this is the mistake that many deviant sects fell into, from them:
These groups tried to define Allah using their faulty logic adopted from the disbelieving greeks. It is a rejected innovted mechanism called: ilm al-kalam (theological rhetoric). Something which the early Muslim generations rebuked and deemed a heresy. It resulted into them either:
-Denying the attributes of Allah all together.
-Denying some attributes while affirming others.
-Interpreting the attributes metaphorically.
-Claiming that the meaning of the attributes are unknown in their meaning.
All of this is falsehood and in opposition to the Quran, Sunnah and methodology of the Salaf/Ahlus Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah.
Just as Imams Abu Hatim and Abu Zur'ah ar-Raaziayn (in the 3rd century) said in their treatise of aqeedah: "The person of kalaam (theological rhetoric) will never succeed."
To say Allah exists without a place, not up or down or left or right, while denying many of His attributes is to essentially dictatethat He doesnt exist. It reduces Allah to being but a thought in the mind, as opposed to a real entity and being. Basically, describing Allah with nothingness.
This is why the Salaf famously said:
المشبه يعبد صنما، والمعطل يعبد عدما
"A Mushabbih (a person who says Allah's attributes are like creations) worships an idol! And a Mua'til (denier of Allah's attributes) worships nothing!"
Allah the Most High is seperate and distinctfrom His creation, He is as He said: "The Most Merciful rose over the throne." -Surah 20:5. There is no creation/nothing above the throne except Allah. Seperate and Distinct from His Creation. Evidence for this is ample.
There is alot we can say. Too much to mention now. This is but a taster. But I hope it clears up a few misconceptions. I know there will be people who disagree with all of this, but thats okay (well, not really) but the facts are the facts and they cant change.
"Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe. And peace upon the messengers. And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds." -Surah 37:180-182.
And Allah knows best.
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