Disputing about Allah without knowledge: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Imam Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee mentions in his tafsir:

قوله تعالى : ومن الناس من يجادل في الله بغير علم ويتبع كل شيطان مريد كتب عليه أنه من تولاه فأنه يضله ويهديه إلى عذاب السعير . ذكر جل وعلا في هذه الآية الكريمة : أن من الناس بعضا يجادل في الله بغير علم ؛ أي : يخاصم في الله بأن ينسب إليه ما لا يليق بجلاله وكماله ، كالذي يدعي له الأولاد والشركاء ، ويقول : إن القرآن أساطير الأولين ، ويقول : لا يمكن أن يحيي الله العظام الرميم ، كالنضر بن الحارث ، والعاص بن وائل ، وأبي جهل بن هشام ، وأمثالهم من كفار مكة الذين جادلوا في الله ذلك الجدال الباطل بغير مستند ، من علم عقلي ، ولا نقلي ، ـ

The statement of the Exalted:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يُجَادِلُ فِي اللَّـهِ بِغَيْرِ‌ عِلْمٍ وَيَتَّبِعُ كُلَّ شَيْطَانٍ مَّرِ‌يدٍ * كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ مَن تَوَلَّاهُ فَأَنَّهُ يُضِلُّهُ وَيَهْدِيهِ إِلَىٰ عَذَابِ السَّعِيرِ‌

And of the people is he who disputes about Allah without knowledge and follows every rebellious shaytaan* It has been decreed for every shaytaan that whoever turns to him – he will misguide him and will lead him to the punishment of the Blaze. [22:3-4]

In this noble ayah Allah mentioned that there are some among mankind who argue regarding Allah without knowledge, meaning: they dispute concerning Allah in that they attribute to Him that which is not befitting of His Majesty and Perfection, such as those who claim that He has offspring or partners, and they say, “verily the Qur’an is [just] the tales of old”, and they say, “it is not possible for Allah to give life to disintegrated bones,” as did al-Nadhr ibn al-Haarith and al-‘Aas ibn Waa’il and Abu Jahl ibn Hishaam and their likes from the disbelievers or Mecca who argued regarding Allah with false argumentation without any basis – neither of intellectual nor textual knowledge.

ومع جدالهم في الله ذلك الجدال الباطل يتبعون كل شيطان مريد ؛ أي : عات طاغ من شياطين الإنس والجن كتب عليه [ 22 \ 3 ] ؛ أي : كتب الله عليه كتابة قدر وقضاء أنه من تولاه [ 22 \ 3 ] ؛ أي : كل من صار وليا له ؛ أي : للشيطان المريد المذكور ، فإنه يضله عن طريق الجنة إلى النار ، وعن طريق الإيمان إلى الكفر ، ويهديه إلى عذاب السعير ؛ أي : النار الشديدة الوقود . ـ

And in addition to their disputing with that false argumentation in regards to Allah, they followed every rebellious shaytaan, meaning:  the arrogant and impulsive ones from among the shayaateen of mankind and Jinn. “It has been decreed for them“, meaning: Allah wrote for them a writing of decree and pre-ordainment “that whoever turns to him“, meaning: all those who would all become allies to him, meaning: to the rebellious shaytaan mentioned here, for verily he misguids them from the path of Jannah unto the Hell-Fire, and from the path of al-eemaan unto al-kufr, and he guides them to the punishment of the blaze, meaning: the Hell-Fire of extreme heat.

وما ذكره جل وعلا في هذه الآية الكريمة من أن بعض الجهال كالكفار يجادل في [ ص: 262 ] الله بغير علم ؛ أي : يخاصم فيه بغير مستند من علم بينه في غير هذا الموضع ; كقوله في هذه السورة الكريمة : ومن الناس من يجادل في الله بغير علم ولا هدى ولا كتاب منير ثاني عطفه ليضل عن سبيل الله [ 22 \ 8 – 9 ] الآية ، وقوله تعالى في لقمان : ومن الناس من يجادل في الله بغير علم ولا هدى ولا كتاب منير وإذا قيل لهم اتبعوا ما أنزل الله قالوا بل نتبع ما وجدنا عليه آباءنا أولو كان الشيطان يدعوهم إلى عذاب السعير [ 31 \ 20 – 21 ]  ـ

And what He mentioned in this noble ayah that some argumentation is like al-kufr – arguing in regards to Allah without knowledge, meaning: disputing concerning Him without any basis of knowledge. He explained this elsewhere, such as His statement in this noble surah:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يُجَادِلُ فِي اللَّـهِ بِغَيْرِ‌ عِلْمٍ وَلَا هُدًى وَلَا كِتَابٍ مُّنِيرٍ‌ * ثَانِيَ عِطْفِهِ لِيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ ۖ لَهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا خِزْيٌ ۖ وَنُذِيقُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عَذَابَ الْحَرِ‌يقِ

And of the people is he who disputes about Allah without knowledge or guidance or an enlightening book [from Him], * Twisting his neck [in arrogance] to mislead [people] from the way of Allah. For him in the world is disgrace, and We will make him taste on the Day of Resurrection the punishment of the Burning Fire [22:8-9]

And His statement in surah Luqman:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يُجَادِلُ فِي اللَّـهِ بِغَيْرِ‌ عِلْمٍ وَلَا هُدًى وَلَا كِتَابٍ مُّنِيرٍ‌ * وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّبِعُوا مَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ قَالُوا بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءَنَا ۚ أَوَلَوْ كَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ يَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَىٰ عَذَابِ السَّعِيرِ

But of the people is he who disputes about Allah without knowledge or guidance or an enlightening Book [from Him]. * And when it is said to them, “Follow what Allah has revealed,” they say, “Rather, we will follow that upon which we found our fathers.” Even if the shaytaan was inviting them to the punishment of the Blaze? [31:20-21] ‌

فقوله في آية لقمان هذه : أولو كان الشيطان يدعوهم إلى عذاب السعير كقوله في الحج : كتب عليه أنه من تولاه فأنه يضله ويهديه إلى عذاب السعير [ 22 \ 4 ] ـ

For this statement of His in surah Luqman:

أَوَلَوْ كَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ يَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَىٰ عَذَابِ السَّعِيرِ‌

Even if shaytaan was inviting them to the punishment of the Blaze? [31:21]

– this statement is like His statement in surah al-Hajj:

كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ مَن تَوَلَّاهُ فَأَنَّهُ يُضِلُّهُ وَيَهْدِيهِ إِلَىٰ عَذَابِ السَّعِيرِ

It has been decreed for every shaytaan that whoever turns to him – he will misguide him and will lead him to the punishment of the Blaze. [22:4]

وهذه الآية الكريمة التي هي قوله : ومن الناس من يجادل في الله بغير علم [ 22 \ 3 ] الآية ، يدخل فيما تضمنته من الوعيد والذم : أهل البدع والضلال ، المعرضين عن الحق ، المتبعين للباطل ، يتركون ما أنزل الله على رسوله من الحق المبين ، ويتبعون أقوال رؤساء الضلالة الدعاة إلى البدع والأهواء والآراء ، بقدر ما فعلوا من ذلك ؛ لأن العبرة بعموم الألفاظ لا بخصوص الأسباب . ـ

And the noble ayah which is His statement:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يُجَادِلُ فِي اللَّـهِ بِغَيْرِ‌ عِلْمٍ وَيَتَّبِعُ كُلَّ شَيْطَانٍ مَّرِ‌يدٍ

And of the people is he who disputes about Allah without knowledge and follows every rebellious shaytaan. [22:3]

Included in terms of what this encompasses of threat and humiliation are: the people of innovation and misguidance, those who reject the truth, the followers of falsehood – they abandon what Allah has revealed to His messenger of the clear truth, and follow the statements of their misguiding leaders calling to innovation, desires and [their] opinions – [they are included therein] to the extent that they enact this behavior; because the application [of an ayah] is according to the generality of the wording, not the specifics of the causes of revelation.

ومن الآيات الدالة على مجادلة الكفار في الله بغير علم ، قوله تعالى : أولم ير الإنسان أنا خلقناه من نطفة فإذا هو خصيم مبين وضرب لنا مثلا ونسي خلقه قال من يحيي العظام وهي رميم [ 36 \ 77 – 78 ] ، وقوله في أول النحل : خلق الإنسان من نطفة فإذا هو خصيم مبين [ 16 \ 4 ] ، وقوله تعالى : ويجادل الذين كفروا بالباطل ليدحضوا به الحق [ 18 \ 56 ] . ـ

And of the ayaat which demonstrate the argumentation of the disbelievers concerning Allah without any knowledge, there is His statement:

أَوَلَمْ يَرَ‌ الْإِنسَانُ أَنَّا خَلَقْنَاهُ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ فَإِذَا هُوَ خَصِيمٌ مُّبِينٌ * وَضَرَ‌بَ لَنَا مَثَلًا وَنَسِيَ خَلْقَهُ ۖ قَالَ مَن يُحْيِي الْعِظَامَ وَهِيَ رَ‌مِيمٌ

Does man not consider that We created him from a [mere] sperm-drop – then at once he is a clear adversary? * And he presents for Us an example and forgets his [own] creation. He says, “Who will give life to bones while they are disintegrated?” [36:77-78]

And His statement at the beginning of surah al-Nahl:

خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ فَإِذَا هُوَ خَصِيمٌ مُّبِينٌ

He created man from a sperm-drop; then at once, he is a clear disputant. [16:4]

And His statement:

وَيُجَادِلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُ‌وا بِالْبَاطِلِ لِيُدْحِضُوا بِهِ الْحَقَّ

And those who disbelieve dispute by [using] falsehood to [attempt to] invalidate thereby the truth [18:56]

وقوله تعالى : والذين يحاجون في الله من بعد ما استجيب له حجتهم داحضة عند ربهم وعليهم غضب ولهم عذاب شديد [ 42 \ 16 ] ، وقوله تعالى : أآلهتنا خير أم هو ما ضربوه لك إلا جدلا بل هم قوم خصمون [ 43 \ 58 ] ، وقوله تعالى : وإن يروا كل آية لا يؤمنوا بها حتى إذا جاءوك يجادلونك يقول الذين كفروا إن هذا إلا أساطير الأولين [ 6 \ 25 ] ـ

And His statement:

وَالَّذِينَ يُحَاجُّونَ فِي اللَّـهِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا اسْتُجِيبَ لَهُ حُجَّتُهُمْ دَاحِضَةٌ عِندَ رَ‌بِّهِمْ وَعَلَيْهِمْ غَضَبٌ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ

And those who argue concerning Allah after He has been responded to – their argument is invalid with their Lord, and upon them is [His] wrath, and for them is a severe punishment. [42:16]

And His statement:

وَقَالُوا أَآلِهَتُنَا خَيْرٌ‌ أَمْ هُوَ ۚ مَا ضَرَ‌بُوهُ لَكَ إِلَّا جَدَلًا ۚ بَلْ هُمْ قَوْمٌ خَصِمُونَ

And they said, “Are your gods better, or is he?” They did not present the comparison except for [mere] argument. But, [in fact], they are a people prone to dispute. [43:58]

And His statement:

وَإِن يَرَ‌وْا كُلَّ آيَةٍ لَّا يُؤْمِنُوا بِهَا ۚ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا جَاءُوكَ يُجَادِلُونَكَ يَقُولُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُ‌وا إِنْ هَـٰذَا إِلَّا أَسَاطِيرُ‌ الْأَوَّلِينَ

And if they should see every sign, they will not believe in it. Even when they come to you arguing with you, those who disbelieve say, “This is not but legends of the former peoples.” [6:25]

والآيات بمثل ذلك كثيرة ، وما ذكره الله جل وعلا في هذه الآية الكريمة ، من أنه قدر وقضى أن من تولى الشيطان فإن الشيطان يضله ويهديه إلى عذاب السعير ، بينه في غير هذا الموضع ; كقوله تعالى : إن الشيطان لكم عدو فاتخذوه عدوا إنما يدعو حزبه ليكونوا من أصحاب السعير [ 35 \ 6 ] ، وقوله تعالى : أولو كان الشيطان يدعوهم إلى عذاب السعير [ 31 \ 21 ] ، وقوله تعالى عن نبيه وخليله إبراهيم : ياأبت إني أخاف أن يمسك عذاب من الرحمن فتكون للشيطان وليا [ 19 \ 45 ] ، وقوله [ ص: 263 ] تعالى : ومن يتبع خطوات الشيطان فإنه يأمر بالفحشاء والمنكر [ 24 \ 21 ] إلى غير ذلك من الآيات . ـ

And there are many ayaat like this. And from what Allah mentioned in this noble ayah is that He decreed and pre-ordained that whoever turns to the shaytaan, then verily the shaytaan will mislead him and guide him to the punishment of the blaze. He explained this elsewhere, such as His statement:

إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ فَاتَّخِذُوهُ عَدُوًّا ۚ إِنَّمَا يَدْعُو حِزْبَهُ لِيَكُونُوا مِنْ أَصْحَابِ السَّعِيرِ‌

Indeed, Satan is an enemy to you; so take him as an enemy. He only invites his party to be among the companions of the Blaze. [35:6]

And His statement:

أَوَلَوْ كَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ يَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَىٰ عَذَابِ السَّعِيرِ‌

Even if Satan was inviting them to the punishment of the Blaze? [31:21]

And His statement regarding His prophet and His Khaleel Ibrahim:

يَا أَبَتِ إِنِّي أَخَافُ أَن يَمَسَّكَ عَذَابٌ مِّنَ الرَّ‌حْمَـٰنِ فَتَكُونَ لِلشَّيْطَانِ وَلِيًّا

O my father, indeed I fear that there will touch you a punishment from the Most Merciful so you would be to Satan a companion [in Hellfire]. [19:45]

And His statement:

وَمَن يَتَّبِعْ خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَإِنَّهُ يَأْمُرُ‌ بِالْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ‌

And whoever follows the footsteps of Satan – indeed, he enjoins immorality and wrongdoing. [24:21]

And elsewhere from His ayaat.

واعلم أنه يفهم من دليل خطاب هذه الآية الكريمة ، أعني مفهوم مخالفتها : أنه من يجادل بعلم على ضوء هدى كتاب منير ، كهذا القرآن العظيم ; ليحق الحق ويبطل الباطل بتلك المجادلة الحسنة – أن ذلك سائغ محمود ; لأن مفهوم قوله : بغير علم [ 22 \ 3 ] أنه إن كان بعلم فالأمر بخلاف ذلك ، وليس في ذلك اتباع للشيطان ، ويدل لهذا المفهوم المذكور قوله تعالى : ادع إلى سبيل ربك بالحكمة والموعظة الحسنة وجادلهم بالتي هي أحسن [ 16 \ 125 ] ، وقوله تعالى : ولا تجادلوا أهل الكتاب إلا بالتي هي أحسن . ـ

And know that it is understood from the evidence of the language of this noble ayah – i.e., its opposite is to be understood – that whoever argues with knowledge upon the light of guidance of an illuminating Book, such as the magnificent Qur’an, in order to verify the truth and to falsify falsehood with this good argumentation – [it is to be understood that] this is good and praiseworthy. This is because it is understood from His statement, “without knowledge” that if it were to be done with knowledge, then the case is contrary to that [i.e. contrary to that blameworthy state]. And that is not in any way following the shaytaan, and this is proven by the understanding mentioned in His statement:

ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَ‌بِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ

Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. [16:125]

And His statement:

وَلَا تُجَادِلُوا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ إِلَّا بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ

And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best [29:46]

وقال الفخر الرازي في تفسيره : هذه الآية بمفهومها تدل على جواز المجادلة الحقة ; لأن تخصيص المجادلة مع عدم العلم بالدلائل يدل على أن المجادلة مع العلم جائزة ، فالمجادلة الباطلة : هي المراد من قوله : ما ضربوه لك إلا جدلا [ 43 \ 58 ] والمجادلة الحقة هي المراد من قوله : وجادلهم بالتي هي أحسن [ 16 \ 125 ] ا هـ منه .  ـ

And al-Fakhr al-Raazi said in his tafsir: According to its connotation, this ayah demonstrates the permissibility to argue using the truth, because the specification of arguing with an absence of knowledge of the evidences proves that arguing with knowledge is permissible. So false arguing is the intended meaning of His statement:

مَا ضَرَ‌بُوهُ لَكَ إِلَّا جَدَلًا

They did not present the comparison except for [mere] argument [43:58]

And truthful arguing is the intended meaning of His statement:

وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ

And argue with them in a way that is best [16:125]

[Adhwaa’ al-Bayaan 4/262-264]

See also: Why Speaking about Allah without Knowledge is more serious than Shrik: Ibn ‘Uthaymeen

See also: “Do you argue with us about Allah while He is our Lord and your Lord?”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Dealing with the human shayaateen and the jinn shayaateen: Imam al-Shinqitee

See also: The Fundamentals of the Prohibited Deeds – Khutbah of Imam al-Sa’di

See also: Speaking About Allah Without Knowledge is the Foundation of All Shrik, Kufr, & Innovation: Ibn al-Qayyim

See also: The disbelievers are not sent as keepers over the believers: Tafsir ibn Kathir

3 thoughts on “Disputing about Allah without knowledge: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

  1. Pingback: The Fundamentals of the Prohibited Deeds – Khutbah of Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: “Do you argue with us about Allah while He is our Lord and your Lord?”: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: Why Speaking about Allah without Knowledge is more serious than Shrik: Ibn ‘Uthaymeen | Tulayhah

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.