Using truthful speech for false purposes: Imam al-Shinqitee

In his book addressing and resolving apparent contradictions and conflicts in the Qur’an, Imam Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee brought the following discussion in his chapter on surah al-An’aam:

قَوْلُهُ تَعَالَى: سَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُوا لَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مَا أَشْرَكْنَا وَلَا آبَاؤُنَا وَلَا حَرَّمْنَا مِنْ شَيْءٍ الْآيَةَ. ـ

Allah’s statement:

سَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَ‌كُوا لَوْ شَاءَ اللَّـهُ مَا أَشْرَ‌كْنَا وَلَا آبَاؤُنَا وَلَا حَرَّ‌مْنَا مِن شَيْءٍ

Those who associated with Allah will say, “If Allah had willed, we would not have associated [anything] and neither would our fathers, nor would we have prohibited anything.” [6:148]

until the end of the ayah.

هَذَا الْكَلَامُ الَّذِي قَالُوهُ بِالنَّظَرِ إِلَى ذَاتِهِ كَلَامُ صِدْقٍ لَا شَكَّ فِيهِ لِأَنَّ اللَّهَ لَوْ شَاءَ لَمْ يُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا، وَلَمْ يُحَرِّمُوا شَيْئًا مِمَّا لَمْ يُحَرِّمْهُ كَالْبَحَائِرِ وَالسَّوَائِبِ. ـ

This speech which they said – when one looks at its essence – is true speech about which there is no doubt, for were Allah to will then they would not associate anything with Him and they would not prohibit anything which He did not make prohibited, such as a bahirah or a sa’ibah [see 5:103].

وَقَدْ قَالَ تَعَالَى: وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مَا أَشْرَكُوا [6 \ 107] وَقَالَ: وَلَوْ شِئْنَا لَآتَيْنَا كُلَّ نَفْسٍ هُدَاهَا [32 \ 13] ، وَقَالَ: وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَجَمَعَهُمْ عَلَى الْهُدَى [6 \ 35] . ـ

And Allah has said:

وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مَا أَشْرَكُوا

But if Allah had willed, they would not have committed shirk [6:107]

And He said:

وَلَوْ شِئْنَا لَآتَيْنَا كُلَّ نَفْسٍ هُدَاهَا

And if We had willed, We could have given every soul its guidance [32:13]

And He said:

وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَجَمَعَهُمْ عَلَى الْهُدَى

But if Allah had willed, He would have united them upon guidance [6:35]

وَإِذَا كَانَ هَذَا الْكَلَامُ الَّذِي قَالَهُ الْكُفَّارُ حَقًّا فَمَا وَجْهُ تَكْذِيبِهِ تَعَالَى لَهُمْ بِقَوْلِهِ: كَذَلِكَ كَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ حَتَّى ذَاقُوا بَأْسَنَا قُلْ هَلْ عِنْدَكُمْ مِنْ عِلْمٍ فَتُخْرِجُوهُ لَنَا إِنْ تَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ أَنْتُمْ إِلَّا تَخْرُصُونَ [6 \ 148] . ـ

So then if this speech which the disbelievers said is true, then from what angle does Allah declare them to be false with His statement:

كَذَلِكَ كَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ حَتَّى ذَاقُوا بَأْسَنَا قُلْ هَلْ عِنْدَكُمْ مِنْ عِلْمٍ فَتُخْرِجُوهُ لَنَا إِنْ تَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ أَنْتُمْ إِلَّا تَخْرُصُونَ

Likewise did those before deny until they tasted Our punishment. Say, “Do you have any knowledge that you can produce for us? You follow not except assumption, and you are not but falsifying.” [6:148]

وَنَظِيرُ هَذَا الْإِشْكَالِ بِعَيْنِهِ فِي سُورَةِ «الزُّخْرُفِ» فِي قَوْلِهِ تَعَالَى: وَقَالُوا لَوْ شَاءَ الرَّحْمَنُ مَا عَبَدْنَاهُمْ مَا لَهُمْ بِذَلِكَ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَخْرُصُونَ [43 \ 20] . ـ

And there is an exact parallel to this issue in surah al-Zukhruf in His statement:

وَقَالُوا لَوْ شَاءَ الرَّ‌حْمَـٰنُ مَا عَبَدْنَاهُم ۗ مَّا لَهُم بِذَٰلِكَ مِنْ عِلْمٍ ۖ إِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَخْرُ‌صُونَ

And they said, “If the Most Merciful had willed, we would not have worshipped them.” They have of that no knowledge. They are not but falsifying. [43:20]

وَالْجَوَابُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْكَلَامَ الَّذِي قَالَهُ الْكُفَّارُ كَلَامُ حَقٍّ أُرِيدَ بِهِ بَاطِلٌ فَتَكْذِيبُ اللَّهِ لَهُمْ وَاقِعٌ عَلَى بَاطِلِهِمُ الَّذِي قَصَدُوهُ بِهَذَا الْكَلَامِ الْحَقِّ . ـ

And the answer to this is that this speech which the disbelievers said is true but they intended falsehood by it, so Allah’s declaring them to be false occurred due to their falsehood which they had as the objective of these true words.

وَإِيضَاحُهُ: أَنَّ مُرَادَهُمْ أَنَّهُمْ لَمَّا كَانَ كُفْرُهُمْ وَعِصْيَانُهُمْ بِمَشِيئَةِ اللَّهِ وَأَنَّهُ لَوْ شَاءَ لَمَنَعَهُمْ مِنْ ذَلِكَ فَعَدَمُ مَنْعِهِ لَهُمْ دَلِيلٌ عَلَى رِضَاهُ بِفِعْلِهِمْ فَكَذَّبَهُمُ اللَّهُ فِي ذَلِكَ مُبَيِّنًا أَنَّهُ لَا يَرْضَى بِكُفْرِهِمْ كَمَا نَصَّ عَلَيْهِ بِقَوْلِهِ: وَلَا يَرْضَى لِعِبَادِهِ الْكُفْرَ [39 \ 7] ، فَالْكُفَّارُ زَعَمُوا أَنَّ الْإِرَادَةَ الْكَوْنِيَّةَ يَلْزَمُهَا الرِّضَا، وَهُوَ زَعْمٌ بَاطِلٌ بَلِ اللَّهُ يُرِيدُ بِإِرَادَتِهِ الْكَوْنِيَّةِ مَا لَا يَرْضَاهُ بِدَلِيلِ قَوْلِهِ: خَتَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ [2 \ 7] ، مَعَ قَوْلِهِ: وَلَا يَرْضَى لِعِبَادِهِ الْكُفْرَ وَالَّذِي يُلَازِمُ الرِّضَى حَقًّا إِنَّمَا هُوَ الْإِرَادَةُ الشَّرْعِيَّةُ، وَالْعِلْمُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى. ـ

And the clarification of this is that their intended meaning was that their disbelief and their disobedience occurred by the will of Allah and that if He had wished to then He would have prevented them from that and therefore the absence of His preventing them was a proof that He was pleased with their actions. So Allah declared them to be false in that, clarifying that He is not pleased with their disbelief as is laid out in His statement:

وَلَا يَرْضَى لِعِبَادِهِ الْكُفْرَ

He is not pleased with disbelief for His slaves [39:7]

So the disbelievers asserted that Allah’s will of divine decree necessitates that He is pleased with what exists, and this is a false assertion. Rather, Allah wills with His will of divine decree that which He is not pleased with, according to His statement:

خَتَمَ اللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ

Allah has set a seal on their hearts [2:7]

along with His statement:

وَلَا يَرْضَى لِعِبَادِهِ الْكُفْرَ

He likes not disbelief for His slaves [39:7]

And that which necessitates His pleasure in reality is His will of divine legislation. And the knowledge is with Allah the Exalted.

[Daf’u Eehaam al-Idhtiraab ‘an al-Ayaat al-Kitaab pg. 97-98]

For more on this same ayah, see: A Refutation of Blaming Sins on Qadr: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: The purpose of Allah’s creation: Imam al-Shinqitee

See also: A Principle to Dispel Specious Arguments and Doubts: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: A reply to those who say, “If God can do anything, why can He not have a son?”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: “Do not insult those they invoke other than Allah”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

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6 thoughts on “Using truthful speech for false purposes: Imam al-Shinqitee

  1. Pingback: A Principle to Dispel Specious Arguments and Doubts: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

    • wa ‘alaikum as salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh,

      In these two specific ayaat which Imam al-Shinqitee mentioned here (6:148 and 43:20), the mushrikoon are making the argument that since Allah allows them disbelieve while He has the power to prevent them from doing so, then He must therefore approve of their disbelief. Imam al-Shinqitee stated this more succinctly in his tafsir of 6:148 by writing:

      [ومرادهم : أن الله لما كان قادرا على منعهم من الإشراك ، ولم يمنعهم منه ، أن ذلك دليل على رضاه بشركهم]

      “The meaning they intended is: that since Allah is fully capable of preventing them from committing shirk but He does not prevent them from doing so, then that is (according to them) a proof of His being pleased with their shirk.”

      [Adhwaa’ al-Bayaan 1/545]

      They used this line of thinking to assert that there is no need for them to abandon their shirk, or some mufassiroon have said that they used it to assert that they will not be punished for their shirk. These arguments are conflating Allah’s creational will with His legislative will, as Imam al-Shinqitee mentions at the end of this translation. InshaAllaah I may translate some further tafsir on this ayah because there are really a lot of benefits that have been written while discussing it.

      I hope that this makes the point more clear, baarakAllaahu feek.

  2. Pingback: A Refutation of Blaming Sins on Qadr: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: “Do not insult those they invoke other than Allah”: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: The False Qiyaas of Iblis: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

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