Bismillah, Alhamdulillah, was Salaatus Salaam Ala Rasool Allah
I was attending a halaqa this past weekend, and I must say had loads of fun and felt like I learned a lot. It’s been over maybe 2 months since I have been in a serious dedicated mode of learning. The halaqa was about Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala)’s Asmaa Was Sifaat, not the theoretical or theological aspect of it but the more of the tazkiya, practical, and incorporating these matters in your ibaada (worship) part of it. There was one thing mentioned in class that really struck me and completely blew me away with the intellectuality and thought of a scholar and Imaam of this ummah. Masha-Allah, this shaykh‘s works, words, and thought keep on intriguing me more and more as I learn more and more about him.
So I want to jump right into the dilemma. We all know that Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) is able to do all thing or Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) has power over all things. No one questions Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala)’s ability to do all things except for the perverted philosophers. Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) says,
أَنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
“…indeed Allah is able to do all things…” (Surah At Talaaq (65) V. 12)
The above wording of the verse is mention in the Quran multiple times. And Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) here is described by himself as Qadeer, which is used by Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) 40-50 times in the Quran and majority of the time in the above manner. Insha-Allah I will post my notes up regarding the Names of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) – Al Qadir, Al Qadeer, and Al Muqtadir. And it is true Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) is able to do all things. Or is it??
The dillemma(or so called dilemma): If Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) is able to do all things, then can Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala)
– make a square that has 3 sides or a triangle that has 4 sides?
– create a rock that is so heavy that He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) cannot lift it??
– create a being more powerful than it???
the questions can go on and on and on and on. If soemone came to you, how would you respond to these??? Think about it?? Can you respond to these questions??
Interestingly many people use these (nonsensical) questions to question Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala)’s ability. Why do I say it is nonsensical, well you will find out soon.
A common answer is YES! Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) can do everything as He is able to do all things. This in and of itself is true, because this is what the Quran says, “Indeed Allah is able to do all things” And it is a position held by scholars of the past, it was populary held by Dawood Ad Dhahiree (d. 270 AH) and the school that followed him in this matter.
Then another answer also very common is “Allah is abe to do all things and does things that befit His Majesty!” Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) does only those things that befit His Majesty! This is the second opinion represented popularly by Ibn Atiyya (d. 542 AH) and the school that followed him in this matter.
Is there a third opinion, of course there is a third opinion and its is the opinion I thought was the most amazing, and a bit out of the box. And the person that held this opinion was none other than the the ‘Aalim, the Imaam, Shaykh ul Islam Ahmad ibn Taymiyya al Harraanee al Hanbalee (d. 728 AH). Ibn Taymiyya said that Allah is definitley able to do all things, but questions like these and others that are mentioned above are not even things to begin with. a trianle with four sides or a square with three sides is not a thing nor are the others that are mentioned above. I would say utterly nonsensical on the questioner’s part and brialliant and genius with regards to the answerer and answer. May Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) have mercy on Ibn Taymiyya!!
Masha-Allah everytime I hear such awesome statements from the scholars, it does nothing but affirm my reliance upon them. And as the Prophet (Sal Allahu layhi Wa Sallam) said,
“The scholars are inheritors of the Porphets”
and I affirm with full conviction and certainty that the schoalrs are indeed the inheritors of the Prophets not the rulers or ministers or worshippers or warriors and definitely not the scientists.
May Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) have Mercy on Ibn Taymiyya and all the scholars of this religion.
Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) is All Powerful and is able to do all things and He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) is the one that created the Heavens and the Earth, He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) is not only able but also has control over all things. Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) is the one that created the Sun and the Moon and He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) is the one that controls its rising and setting and its visibility and invisibility. He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) is the one who commanded us to sight it and only through His Will will we be able to sight it and see it.
May Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) give us guidance, the weak amongst us and the strong amongst us, the rich amongst us and the poor amongst us, the educated ones amongst us and the ignorant amongst us. Indeed everyone is in need of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala)’s Guidance and Mercy, as He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) is the All Powerful and All Able.
Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) Knows best!