A Principle to Dispel Specious Arguments and Doubts: Imam al-Sa’di

In surah Aali ‘Imran, Allah devotes some eighty-odd ayaat to addressing the Christians, disproving their ways, and calling them to the truth. In part of this section He says:

إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَىٰ عِندَ اللَّـهِ كَمَثَلِ آدَمَ ۖ خَلَقَهُ مِن تُرَ‌ابٍ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ * الْحَقُّ مِن رَّ‌بِّكَ فَلَا تَكُن مِّنَ الْمُمْتَرِ‌ينَ

Indeed, the example of  ‘Eesaa (Jesus) to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, “Be,” and he was. * The truth is from your Lord, so do not be among the doubters. [3:59-60]

Commenting on this in his famous book tafsir, Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di wrote:

يخبر تعالى محتجا على النصارى الزاعمين بعيسى عليه السلام ما ليس له بحق، بغير برهان ولا شبهة، بل بزعمهم أنه ليس له والد استحق بذلك أن يكون ابن الله أو شريكا لله في الربوبية، وهذا ليس بشبهة فضلا أن يكون حجة، لأن خلقه كذلك من آيات الله الدالة على تفرد الله بالخلق والتدبير وأن جميع الأسباب طوع مشيئته وتبع لإرادته، فهو على نقيض قولهم أدل، وعلى أن أحدا لا يستحق المشاركة لله بوجه من الوجوه أولى، ـ

Allah informs us by way of objecting to the Christians who make claims – with neither conclusive proofs nor (even) substantial doubts – about ‘Eesaa (‘alaihi al-salaam) which contain no truth. Rather, according to their assertion, because of the fact that he does not have a father, then this requires that he is the son of Allah or a partner with Allah in terms of lordship. But this is not a substantial doubt – much less a conclusive proof – because his being created in that way is one of the demonstrative signs of Allah’s exclusive role in creation and administration and that all of the causative factors are subject to His will and submissive to His wishes. So this is fully exposing the deficiency of their claim and proving that no one is deserving of partnership with Allah in any way at all.

ومع هذا فآدم عليه السلام خلقه الله من تراب لا من أب ولا أم، فإذا كان ذلك لا يوجب لآدم ما زعمه النصارى في المسيح، فالمسيح المخلوق من أم بلا أب من باب أولى وأحرى، فإن صح إدعاء البنوة والإلهية في المسيح، فادعاؤها في آدم من باب أولى وأحرى، فلهذا قال تعالى { إن مثل عيسى عند الله كمثل آدم خلقه من تراب ثم قال له كن فيكون * الحق من ربك } أي: هذا الذي أخبرناك به من شأن المسيح عليه السلام هو الحق الذي في أعلى رتب الصدق، لكونه من ربك الذي من جملة تربيته الخاصة لك ولأمتك أن قص عليكم ما قص من أخبار الأنبياء عليهم السلام. ـ

And along with all this, then consider Adam (‘alaihi al-salaam): Allah created him from dirt, from neither a father nor a mother. So then, if that does not necessitate for Adam that which the Christians assert regarding the Messiah, then the Messiah who is created from a mother without the presence of a father is even less suited and less entitled. For if the claim of divine sonship is true in the case of the Messiah, then that same claim in the respect to Adam is more appropriate and more well-suited. So it was for this reason that Allah said:

إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَىٰ عِندَ اللَّـهِ كَمَثَلِ آدَمَ ۖ خَلَقَهُ مِن تُرَ‌ابٍ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ * الْحَقُّ مِن رَّ‌بِّكَ

Indeed, the example of  ‘Eesaa (Jesus) to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, “Be,” and he was. * The truth is from your Lord

– meaning: that which We informed you concerning the condition of the Messiah is truth of the highest grade of truthfulness, because it is from your Lord who – out of His overall nurturing care-taking of you (Muhammad) and your ummah – narrated to you what He narrated of the news of the prophets (‘alaihim al-salaam).

ـ { فلا تكن من الممترين } أي: الشاكين في شيء مما أخبرك به ربك، وفي هذه الآية وما بعدها دليل على قاعدة شريفة وهو أن ما قامت الأدلة على أنه حق وجزم به العبد من مسائل العقائد وغيرها، فإنه يجب أن يجزم بأن كل ما عارضه فهو باطل، وكل شبهة تورد عليه فهي فاسدة، سواء قدر العبد على حلها أم لا، فلا يوجب له عجزه عن حلها القدح فيما علمه، لأن ما خالف الحق فهو باطل، قال تعالى { فماذا بعد الحق إلا الضلال } ـ

فَلَا تَكُن مِّنَ الْمُمْتَرِ‌ينَ

So do not be among the doubters

– meaning: those who doubt something of that which you (Muhammad) have been informed by your Lord, and in this ayah and in the one following it there is a proof for a noble principle: which is that whatever the evidence firmly establishes to be the truth in terms of the issues of belief and other than that and the slave is absolutely certain of it, then this necessitates being absolutely certain that everything which opposes that is therefore falsehood, and every doubt which is raised against it is invalid – regardless of whether the slave is able to dispel it or not. For one’s inability to dispel a doubt does not necessitate criticism of that which one knows, for whatever is in disagreement with the truth is therefore falsehood. Allah said:

فَمَاذَا بَعْدَ الْحَقِّ إِلَّا الضَّلَالُ

So after the truth, what else can there be except misguidance [10:32]

وبهذه القاعدة الشرعية تنحل عن الإنسان إشكالات كثيرة يوردها المتكلمون ويرتبها المنطقيون، إن حلها الإنسان فهو تبرع منه، وإلا فوظيفته أن يبين الحق بأدلته ويدعو إليه. ـ

So by means of this religious principle, many doubts which are raised by those who engage in speculative theology and the doubts which are are invented by logicians can be lifted from the people. If a person dispels these, then that is a significant contribution on his part [i.e. to the benefit of others]; otherwise his task is to clarify the truth according to its evidences and to call towards it.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 139]

See also: A Comprehensive Statement Regarding Bid’ah: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: Major Shirk and Minor Shirk: Imam al-Sa’di

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

See also: Using truthful speech for false purposes: Imam al-Shinqitee

See also: Supposed Contradictions in the Qur’an: ibn ‘Uthaymeen

See also: A Refutation of Blaming Sins on Qadr: Tafsir al-Sa’di

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11 thoughts on “A Principle to Dispel Specious Arguments and Doubts: Imam al-Sa’di

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