[Translated from the Arabic text of Cairo, A.H. 1315, with the commentary of al-Bayjuri.]
In the name of God, the merciful Compassionator. Praise belongeth unto God who alone bringeth into existence, and blessing and peace be upon our Lord Muhammad, his family and companions, possessors of beauty and guidance.
To proceed: The creature who stands in need of the mercy of his exalted Lord, Muhammad ibn ash-Shafi‘i al-Fudali says: One of the brethren asked me that I should compose a tractate on the divine unity (tawhid), and I agreed to that, following the example of the most learned Shaykh, as-Sanusi, [d. 895,] in the establishing of proofs, except that I adduced each proof (dalil) in connection with the doctrine that was to be proved, and added to it an exposition on account of my knowledge of the limitations of that student. So, in the ascription of praise to God Most High, it became a tractate, useful and excellent for the establishing of that which is in it. And I called it, THE SUFFICIENCY OF THE PEOPLE IN THAT WHICH IS NECESSARY TO THEM OF THE SCIENCE OF SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY (kalam). And I pray God Most High that He will make it
useful, for He is my sufficiency, and excellent is the Guardian.
Know that it is incumbent upon every Muslim that he should know fifty articles of belief (aqidas), and for each article that he should know a proof, general (ijmali) or detailed (tafsili). Some say that it is required that he should know a detailed proof, but the common opinion is that a general proof suffices for each article of the fifty. An example of a detailed proof is when someone says, "What is the proof of the existence (wujud) of God?" that the answer should be, "These created things." That the asker should then say, "Do the created things prove the existence of God on the side of their possibility or on the side of their existence after non-existence (adam)?" and that his question should be answered. And if the further question is not answered, but the only answer is, "These created things," and the answerer does not know whether it is on the side of their possibility or of their existence after non-existence, then the proof is said to be general; but it is sufficient according to the common position. And with regard to taqlid (blind acceptance), which is that fifty articles are known but no proof of then is known, either general or detailed, the learned differ. Some say that it does not suffice, and that the mukallad (blind accepter) is an unbeliever (kafir). Ibn al-Arabi [d. 543] held this and as-Sanusi, and the latter gave in his commentary on his kubra a lengthy refutation of those who hold that taqlid is sufficient. Yet there is a report that he retired from this position, and acknowledged the sufficiency of taqlid; but I have never seen in his books anything but the opinion that it does not suffice.
Know that an understanding of the fifty following articles must be based upon three things--the necessary (wajib), the impossible (mustahil), and the possible (ja’iz). The necessary is that the non-existence of which cannot be apprehended by the intellect (aql), that is, the intellect cannot affirm its
non-existence, as boundary to a body (jirm), i.e., its taking up a certain measure of space (faragh). An example of a body is a tree or a stone. Then, whenever a person says to you, that a tree, for example, does not take up room (mahall) in the earth, your intellect cannot affirm that, for its taking up room is a necessary thing, the absence of which your intellect cannot affirm. The impossible is that the existence of which cannot be apprehended; that is, the intellect cannot affirm its existence. Then, whenever anyone says that such a body is bare of motion and rest at the same time, your intellect cannot affirm that, because being bare of motion and rest at the same time is an impossibility, the occurrence and existence of which the intellect cannot affirm, and whenever it is said that weakness (ajz) is impossible in God, the meaning is that the occurrence or existence of weakness in God is unthinkable. So, too, with the other impossibilities. And the possible is that the existence of which at one time, and the non-existence at another, the intellect can affirm, as the existence of a child of Zayd's. When, then, someone says that Zayd has a child, your intellect acknowledges the possibility of the truth of that; and whenever he says that Zayd has no child, your intellect acknowledges the possibility of the truth of that. So the existence and the non-existence of a child of Zayd is possible; the intellect can believe in its existence or in its non-existence. And whenever it is said that God's sustaining Zayd with a dinar is a possibility, the meaning is that the intellect assents to the existence of that sustaining (rizq) at one time and to its non-existence at another.
On these three distinctions, then, is based the science of the articles of belief; and these three are necessary for every mukallaf [one who has a task imposed upon him; in this case of religious duty], male and female, for that upon which the necessary is based is necessary. The Imam al-Haramayn (d. 478) even held that an understanding of these three constituted reason itself and that he who did not know the meaning of necessary, impossible and possible, was not a reasoning being. So, whenever it is said here that Power is necessary
[paragraph continues] (wajib) in God, the meaning is that the intellect cannot affirm its non-existence, because the necessary is that the non-existence of which the intellect cannot affirm, as has preceded. But necessary (wajib, incumbent) in the sense of that the not doing of which is punished, is an idea which does not enter into the science of the divine Unity. So, do not let the matter be confused for you. It is true that if one says that belief in the Power of God is incumbent (wajib) on the mukallaf, the meaning is that he is rewarded for that and punished for omitting that. Thus there is a distinction between saying that belief in such and such is incumbent and that the knowledge, for example, is necessary. For when it is said that knowledge is necessary in God, the meaning is that the intellect cannot affirm the non-existence of knowledge in God. But when it is said that belief in that knowledge is incumbent, the meaning is that belief in it is rewarded and lack of belief punished. So, apply thyself to the distinction between the two and be not of those who regard taqlid in the articles of Religion as right, that so your faith (iman) should differ from the truth and you should abide in the Fire, according to those who hold that taqlid does not suffice. As-Sanusi said, "A person is not a Believer when he says, 'I hold by the Articles and will not abandon them though I be cut in pieces;' nay, he is not a Believer until he knows each Article of the fifty, along with its proof." And this science of theology must be studied first of all sciences, as may be gathered from the commentary [by at-Taftazani, d. 791] on as-Sanusi's Articles; for he made this science a foundation on which other things are built. So a judgment as to anyone's ceremonial ablution (wudu) or prayer is not valid unless the person in question knows these articles or, on the other hand, holds them without proof.
Now, let us state to you the fifty articles shortly, before stating them in detail. Know, then, that twenty qualities are necessary in God Most High, that twenty are impossible in Him and that one is possible. This makes up forty-one.
[paragraph continues] And in the case of the Apostles, four qualities are necessary, four impossible and one possible. This makes up the fifty. And there shall come an accurate account of doctrines along with the statement of them, if it be the will of God Most High.
The first of the qualities necessary in God is existence (wujud); and there is a difference of opinion as to its meaning. All except the Imam al-Ash‘ari and his followers hold that existence is the state (hal) necessary to the essence so long as the essence abides; and this state has no cause (illa). And the meaning of it being a state is that it does not attain to the degree of an entity (mawjud) and does not fall to the degree of a non-entity (ma‘dum), so that it should be non-existence pure, but is half way between an entity and a non-entity. So the existence of Zayd, for example, is a state necessary to his essence; that is, it cannot be separated from his essence. And when it is said that it has no cause, the meaning is that it does not originate in anything, as opposed to Zayd's potentiality (qadir, powerful), for example, which originates in his power (qudra). So Zayd's potentiality and his existence are two states which subsist in his essence, un-perceived by any of the five senses; only, the first has a cause in which it originates, and it is power, and the second has no cause. This is the description of a personal state (hal nafsi) and every state subsisting in an essence, without a cause, is a personal quality (sifa nafsiya). It is that without which the essence is unthinkable; that is, the essence cannot be apprehended by the intellect and comprehended except through its personal quality, like limitation for a body. For, if you apprehend and comprehend a body, you have comprehended that it is limited. So, according to this doctrine--that existence is a state--the essence of God is not His existence and the essences of the created things are not their existences. But al-Ash‘ari and his followers hold that existence is the self (ayn) of an entity, and according to their view the existence of God is the self of His essence and not an addition to it externally, and the existence of a created thing is the self
of its essence. And, on this view, it is not clear how existence can be reckoned as a quality, because existence is the self of the essence, and a quality, on the other hand, as we have seen already, is something else than the essence. But if he makes existence a quality, then the thing is plain and the meaning that existence is necessary in God, according to the first view, is that the personal quality is a state established in God; and its meaning, on the second view, is that the essence of God is an entity with external reality, so that if the veil were removed from us we would see it. The essence of God, then, is a reality; only, its existence is something else than it, on the one view, and is it, on the other.
And the proof of the existence of God is the origin (huduth) of the world; that is, its existence after non-existence. The world consists of bodies (jirms) like essences; and accidents (arads) like motion, and rest and colors. And the origin of the world is a proof of the existence of God only because it is not sound reasoning that it should originate through itself without someone bringing it into existence. Before it existed, its existence equalled its non-existence; then, when it entered existence and its non-existence ceased, we know that its existence overbalanced its non-existence. But this existence had previously equalled the non-existence; and it is not sound reasoning that it could overbalance the non-existence through itself; so that it is clear that there must have been one who caused the overbalancing, other than itself, and it is He that brought it into existence; for it is impossible that one of two equal things could overbalance the other without an overbalancer. For example, before Zayd exists it is possible that he may come into existence in such and such a year and also that he may remain in non-existence. So, his existence is equal to his non-existence. So, then, when he exists and his non-existence ceases, in the time in which he exists, we know that his existence is by a bringer-into-existence and not through himself. The proof, in short, is that you say:--The world, consisting of bodies and accidents, is a thing originated (hadith), i.e., an entity after non-existence. And
every originated thing cannot help but have an originator (muhdith). Therefore, the world must have had an originator.
This is what can be gained by an intellectual proof. But as for the Originator being named by the Glorious and Lofty Expression [i.e., Allah, God] or the other Names (asma), knowledge of that is to be gained from the Prophets only. So note this point carefully and also the proof which has preceded, that the originating of the world is a proof of the existence of Him Most High.
But as for the proof that the world has had an origin, know that the world consists of bodies and accidents only, as has preceded. And the accidents, like motion and rest, are originated, because you observe their changing from existence to non-existence and from non-existence to existence. You see it is so in the motion of Zayd. His motion is lacking if he is at rest; and his rest is lacking if he is in motion. Then his rest, which comes after his motion, exists after that it has been lacking through motion; and his motion, which comes after his rest, exists after that it has been lacking through his rest. And existence after non-existence means having an origin. And bodies are inseparable from attributes, because they are never free from either motion or rest. And whatever is inseparable from a thing having origin must have origin; i.e., must be an entity after non-existence. So, the bodies are originated also, like the attributes. The proof, in short, is that you say: Bodies are inseparable from attributes and these have an origin; everything that is inseparable from that which has an origin, itself has an origin; therefore, bodies have an origin. And the origin of the two things--bodies and attributes--that is their existence after non-existence, is a proof of the existence of Him Most High, because everything having an origin must have an originator, and there is no originator of the world save God Most High alone, who has no partner (sharik) as shall be shown in the proof of His Unity. This, then, is the general proof, a knowledge of which is incumbent upon every mukallaf, male and female, according to the opinion of Ibn al-Arabi and as-Sanusi, who hold those who do not
know it to be unbelievers. So, beware lest there be a contradiction in your faith.
The second Quality necessary in God is Priority (qidam); its meaning is lack of beginning. And the meaning of God's being Prior (qadim) is that there was no beginning to His existence, as opposed to Zayd, for example. Zayd's existence had a beginning and it was the creation from the drop from which he was created. And there is a difference of opinion whether Prior and Azali (eternal with respect to past time) mean the same or not. Those who hold that they mean the same, define them as that which has no beginning, and explain "that which" by thing (shay). That is, prior and azali are the thing which has no beginning; so the essence of God and His qualities are included. And those who hold that their meaning is different define prior as the entity which had no beginning and azali as that which had no beginning, covering thus both entity and nonentity, So azali is broader than prior, but they both come together in the essence of God and His existential qualities. The essence of God is azali and His Power (qudra) is azali. But only azali is said of the states (hals) like God's being powerful, in accordance with the doctrine of the states. For God's being powerful is called azali, in accordance with that doctrine, and is not called prior, because in prior there must be existence, and "being powerful" does not rise to the level of existence [to being an entity], but is only a state (hal).
And the proof of God's Priority is that if He were not Prior He would be a thing originated (hadith), because there is no medium between the prior and the thing originated; to everything of which priority is denied, origin belongs. But if God were a thing originated, He would need an originator, and His originator would need an originator, and so on. Then, if the originators did not coincide, there would be the Endless Chain (tasalsul), that is a sequence of things, one after another to infinity; and the Endless Chain is impossible. And if the series of originators comes to an end by it being said that the originator of God was originated by Him, then we have the
[paragraph continues] Circle (dawr) and it is that one thing depends on another thing which again depends on the first. For if God had an originator, He would depend on this originator; but the hypothesis is that God originated this originator and so the originator depends on Him. But the Circle is impossible; that is, its existence is unthinkable. And that which leads to the Circle and to the Chain, both being impossible, involves the originating of God. So, the originating of God is impossible; for what involves an impossibility is impossible. The proof, in short, is that you say, "If God were other than Prior, through being a thing originated, He would have need of an originator. Then the Circle or the Chain would be unavoidable; but they are both impossible. So, the originating of God is impossible and His Priority is established; and that is what has been sought." This is the general proof of the Priority of God, and by it the mukallaf escapes from the noose of taqlid, the remainer in which will abide eternally in the Fire, according to the opinion of Ibn al-Arabi and as-Sanusi, as has preceded.
The third Quality necessary in God is Continuance (baqa). The meaning of it is lack of termination of the existence; and the meaning of God's being continuing is that there is no end to His existence. And the proof of God's continuance is that if it were possible that any lack could be joined to Him, then He would be a thing originated and would need an originator and then the Circle or the Chain would necessarily follow. A definition of each one of these two has preceded in the proof of Priority and in the explanation that to a thing with which non-existence is possible, priority must be denied. For the existence of everyone to whom non-existence is joined is possible, and everything whose existence is possible is a thing originated, and everything originated requires an originator. But Priority has been established for God by the preceding proof, and non-existence is impossible for everything for which Priority has been established. So the proof of Continuance in God is the same as the proof of Priority. That proof, in short, is that you say, "If Continuance is not necessary
in Him, then Priority must be negated of Him. But Priority cannot be negated on account of the preceding proof." This is the general proof of Continuance, a knowledge of which is incumbent on every individual. And similarly a knowledge of every article is necessary and of its general proof. Then, if some of the articles are known with their proofs, and the rest are not known with their proofs, that is not sufficient according to the opinion of those who do not regard taqlid as sufficient.
The fourth Quality necessary in God is difference (mukhalafa) from originated things. That is, from created things (makhluqat), for God is different from every created thing, men, Jinn, angels and the rest; and it is not good that He should be described with the descriptions which apply to created things, as walking, sitting, having members of the body, for He is far removed (munazzah) from members of the body, as mouth, eye, ear and the like. Then, from everything that is in your mind of length and breadth and shortness and fatness, God is different; He has removed Himself far from all descriptions which apply to the creation. And the proof of the necessity of this difference in God is that if any originated thing resembled Him, that is, if it were laid down that God could be described with any of the things with which an originated thing is described, then He would be an originated thing. And if God were an originated thing, then He would need an originator, and His originator, another originator, and so we would come necessarily to the circle or the chain, and both of these are impossible. This proof, in short, is that you say, "If God resembles a created thing in anything, He is an originated thing, because what is possible in one of two things resembling each other, is possible in the other. But that God should be originated is impossible, for priority is necessary in Him. And when being originated is denied in Him, His difference from created things stands fast and there is absolutely no resemblance between Him and the originated things. This is the general proof, the knowledge of which is necessary, as has preceded.
The fifth Quality necessary in God is self-subsistence (qiyam bin-nafs). That is in the essence; and its meaning is that there is independence of a locus (mahall, subject) and a specifier (mukhassis). The locus is the essence and the specifier is the bringer-into-existence (mujid); then the meaning of God's subsisting in Himself is that He is independent of an essence in which He may subsist, or of a bringer-into-existence; for He is the bringer-into-existence of all things. The proof that He subsists in Himself is that you say, "If God had need of a locus, that is an essence, in which He might subsist, as whiteness has need of an essence in which it may subsist, He would be a quality, as whiteness, for example, is a quality. But it is not sound to say of Him that He is a quality, for He is described by qualities, and a quality is not described by qualities, so He is not a quality. And if He had need of a bringer-into-existence, He would be an originated thing, and His originator would be an originated thing also, and the Circle or the Chain would necessarily follow. Then it stands fast that He is the absolutely independent, that is, He is independent of everything. But the created thing that is independent is independent in a limited sense only; that is, of one thing in place of another. And may God rule thy guidance.
The sixth Quality in God is Unity (wihdaniya). It is unity in essence and qualities and acts in the sense of absence of multiplicity. And the meaning of God's being one in His essence is that His essence is not compounded of parts, and this compounding is called internal quantity (kamm muttasil). And in the sense that there is not in existence or in possibility an essence which resembles the essence of God, this impossibility of resemblance is called external quantity (kamm munfasil). The unity, then, in the essence denies both quantities, external and internal. And the meaning of God's Oneness in qualities is that He has not two qualities agreeing in name and meaning, like two Powers, or two Knowledges or two Wills--for He has only one Power and one Will and one Knowledge, in opposition to Abu Sahl, who held that He had knowledges to the number of the things known. And this, I
mean multiplicity in qualities, is called internal quantity in qualities. Or the sense is, that no one has a quality resembling a quality of God. And this, I mean anyone possessing a quality, etc., is called external quantity in qualities. Oneness, then, in qualities, negates quantity in them, internal and external. And the meaning of God's Oneness in acts is that no created thing possesses an act, for God is the creator of the acts of created things, prophets, angels and the rest. And as for what happens when an individual dies or falls into pain on opposing himself to a saint (wali), that is by the creation of God, who creates it when the saint is angry with the man who opposes him. Do not then explain Oneness in acts by saying that no other than God has an act like God's act, for that involves that some other than God has an act, but that it is not like the act of God. That is false. God it is who is the creator of all acts. What comes from you by way of movement of the hand, when you strike Zayd, for example, is by the creation of God. He has said (Qur. 37, 99), "God created you, and what do ye do?" And another than God being possessor of an act is called external quantity in acts.
So the unity necessary in God denies the five impossible quantities. Internal quantity in the essence makes the essence a compound of parts; external quantity means that there is an essence which resembles it. Internal quantity in the qualities is that God has two Powers, for example; external quantity in them means that someone else has a quality which resembles one of His qualities. External quantity in acts means that some other than God possesses an act. These five quantities deny the unity necessary in God. The meaning of quantity is number (adad).
The proof that Unity is necessary in God is the existence of the world. If God had a partner (sharik) in divinity (uluhiya), the case could not be in doubt. Either they would agree on the existence of the world, in that one of them would say, "I will cause the world to exist," and the other would say, "I will cause it to exist along with thee, that we may help one another in it." Or they would disagree, and one of them
would say, "I will cause the world to exist by my power," and the other, "I will that the existence be lacking." Then, if they agreed upon the existence of the world in that both of them together caused it to exist, and it existed through their action, that would necessarily involve the coincidence of two impressors upon one impression, which is impossible. And if they disagreed, it is plain that the will of one either would be carried out or it would not be carried out. If the will of one, rather than the other, is carried out, then the other whose will is not carried out must be weaker. But our hypothesis was that he was equal in divinity to the one whose will was carried out. So whenever weakness is established in the case of the one, it is established in the case of the other, for he is like the other. And if the wills of both are not carried out, they are both weak. And upon every alternative, that they agree or differ, the existence of a single thing of the world is impossible; because if they agree on its existence, there necessarily follows the coincidence of two impressers upon one impression if their will is carried out, and that is impossible. So the carrying out of their will is not affected, and it is not possible that a single thing of the world should come into existence then. And if they disagree and the will of one of them is carried out, the other is weak. But he is his like. So it is not possible that there should come into existence a single thing of this world, for he is weak. So the God is not except one. And if they differ and their will is not carried out, they are weak and not able to cause the existence of a thing of the world. But the world exists, by common witness (mushahada). So it stands fast that the God is one; and that was what was sought. So the existence of the world is proof of the Unity of God and that He has no partner in any act, and no second cause in an action. He is the independent (al-Ghani), the absolutely independent.
And from this proof it may be known that there is no impression, by fire or a knife or eating, upon anything, consisting of burning or cutting or satiety, but God makes the being burnt in a thing which fire touches, when it touches it, and
being cut in a thing with which a knife is brought into contact, when it is brought into contact with it, and satiety at eating and satisfaction at drinking. And he who holds that fire burns by its nature (tab), and water satisfies by its nature, and so on, is an unbeliever (kafir) by agreement (ijma). And he who holds that it burns by a power (quwa) created in it by God, is ignorant and corrupt, because he knows not the true nature (haqiqa) of Unity.
This is the general proof a knowledge of which is incumbent upon every individual, male and female: and he who knows it not is an unbeliever, according to as-Sanusi and al-Arabi. And may God rule thy guidance.
And Priority and Continuance and Difference from originated things and Self-Subsistence and Unity are negative qualities (sifat salabiya), that is, their meaning is negation and exclusion, for each of them excludes from God what does not be-seem Him.
The seventh Quality necessary in God is Power (qudra). It is a quality which makes an impression on a thing that is capable of existence or non-existence. So it comes into connection (ta‘allaqa) with a non-entity and makes it an entity, as it came into connection with you before you existed. And it comes into connection with an entity and reduces it to a non-entity, as it comes into contact with a body which God desires should become a non-entity, that is, a not-thing (la shay). This connection is called accomplished (tanjizi) in the sense that it is actual (bil-fi‘l), and this accomplished connection is a thing that takes place (hadith). But this quality has also an eternal, potential connection (saluhi qadim), and it is its potentiality from eternity of bringing into existence. It is potential in eternity to make Zayd tall or short or broad, or give him knowledge; but its accomplished connection is conditioned by the state in which Zayd is. So it has two connections; one eternal, potential, which has been described, and one accomplished, happening. The last is its connection with a non-entity, when it makes it an entity; and with an entity, when it makes it a non-entity. And this, I mean its connection
with an entity or a non-entity, is a real (haqiqi) connection. But it has also a figurative (majazi) connection. That is, its connection with an entity after it has become so and before it has become a non-entity, as it is connected with us after we have come to exist and before we have ceased to exist. It is called the connection of grasping (ta‘alluqu-l-qabdati) in the sense that the entity is in the grasp (qabda) of the Power of God. If God will, He makes it remain an entity; and if He will, He reduces it to non-entity. And its connection with the non-entity before that God wills its existence is like its connection with Zayd at the time of the Flood (tufan), for example; it also is a connection of grasping in the sense that the non-entity is in the grasp of the Power of God. If God wills, He makes it remain in non-existence, and if He wills, He brings it out into existence. And similar is its connection with us after our death and before the resurrection (ba‘th). It, too, is called a connection of grasping in the sense of what has preceded. So the quality of Power has seven connections: (1) eternal, (2) connection of grasping (that is, its connection with us before God wills our existence), (3) actual connection (that is, God's bringing the thing into existence), (4) connection of grasping (that is, connection with a thing after existence and before God has willed non-existence), (5) actual connection (that is, God's making a thing a non-entity), (6) connection of grasping after non-existence and before the resurrection, (7) actual connection (that is, God's making us exist on the day of resurrection).
But the real connections of these are two; God's bringing into existence and bringing into non-existence. This is a detailed statement; and a general statement would be that God's Power has two connections--as is commonly accepted--a potential and an accomplished; but the accomplished is limited to actual bringing into existence and non-existence. And the connection of grasping is not to be described as accomplished, nor as eternal. And what has preceded about this quality connecting with existence and non-existence is the opinion of the multitude on the subject. But some hold
that it does not connect with non-existence; that whenever God desires the non-existence of an individual, He takes away from him the aids (imdadat) which are the cause of his continuance.
The eighth Quality necessary in God is Will (irada). It is the quality which specifies the possible with one of the things possible to it. For example, tallness and shortness are possible to Zayd; then Will specifies him with one,--tallness, say. Power brings tallness out of non-existence into existence. So Will specifies and Power brings out. And the possibilities (mumkinat) with which Power and Will connect are six: (1) existence, (2) non-existence, (3) qualities, like tallness and shortness, (4) times, (5) places, (6) directions.
And the possibilities are called "the mutual opposers" (mutaqabilat), existence opposes non-existence and tallness opposes shortness and direction upward opposes direction downward, and one place, like Egypt, opposes another place, like Syria. And this, in short, means that it is possible in the case of Zayd, for example, that he should remain in non-existence and also that he should enter existence at this time. Then, whenever he enters existence, Will has specified existence instead of non-existence, and Power has brought out existence. And it would have been possible that he might have entered existence at the time of the Flood (tufan) or at some other time; so that which specifies his existence at this time instead of any other is Will. And it is possible that he should be tall or short; then that which specifies his tallness instead of shortness is Will. And it is possible that he should be in the direction upward, then that which specifies him in the direction downward is Will. And Power and Will are two qualities subsisting in God's essence--two entities; if the veil were removed from us we could see them. They have connection with the possible only; but none with the impossible, such as a partner for God. He is far removed from that! Nor with the necessary, like the essence of God and His qualities. Ignorance is the saying of those who hold that God has power to take a son (walad); for Power has no
connection with the impossible and taking a son is impossible. But it should not be said that because He has no power to take a son, He is therefore weak. We say that weakness would follow only if the impossible were of that which is allotted to Power. But Power has not been connected with that, seeing that nothing is allotted to it except the possible. And Will has two connections, one eternally potential, and it is its potentiality to specify from all eternity. So, in the case of the tall or the short Zayd, it is possible that he might be otherwise than what he is, so far as relationship to the potentiality of Will is concerned. For Will is potential that Zayd should be a Sultan or a scavenger, so far as the potential connection is concerned. And Will has also an eternal accomplished connection, and it is the specifying by God of a thing with a quality which it possesses. So God specified Zayd from all eternity by His Will with the knowledge that he possesses. And his being specified with knowledge, for example, is eternal and is called an eternal accomplished connection. And the potentiality of Will to specify him with knowledge, etc., in relationship to the essence of Will, cutting off all consideration of actual specifying, is called an eternal potential connection. And some say that Will has also a temporal, accomplished connection. It is, for example, the specifying of Zayd with tallness, when he is actually brought into existence. According to this view, Will has three connections; but the truth is that this third is not a connection but is the making manifest of the eternal, accomplished connection.
And the connection of Power and Will is common to every possible thing to the extent that the affections of the mind (khatarat) which arise in the mind of an individual are specified by the Will of God and created by His Power as the Shaykh al-Malawi [Ahmad al-Malawi, d. 1181] has said in some of his books. But know that the attributing of specifying to Will and of bringing out into existence to Power is only metaphorical; for the true specifier is God by His Will and the true producer and bringer-into-existence is God by
[paragraph continues] His Power. Then, in the case of the saying of the common people that Power does such and such to so and so, if it is meant that the doing belongs to Power actually, or to it and to the essence of God, that is unbelief (kufr). Rather, the doing belongs to the essence of God by His Power.
The ninth Quality necessary in God is Knowledge (ilm). It is an eternal quality subsisting in the essence of God, an entity by which what is known is revealed with a revealing of the nature of complete comprehension (ihata), without any concealment having preceded. It is connected with the necessary, the possible and the impossible. He knows His own essence and qualities by His Knowledge. And He knows impossibilities in the sense that He knows that a partner is impossible to Him and that, if one existed, corruption would accrue from it. And Knowledge has an eternal, accomplished connection only. For God knows these things that have been mentioned from all eternity with a complete knowledge that is not by way of opinion (zann) or doubt (shakk); because opinion and doubt are impossibilities in God. And the meaning of the saying, "without any concealment having preceded," is that He knows things eternally; He is not first ignorant of them and then knowing them. But an originated being (hadith) is ignorant of a thing and then knows it. And God's Knowledge has no potential connection in the sense that there is a potentiality that such and such should be revealed by it, because that involves that the thing in question has not been actually revealed, and lack of actual revealing of it is ignorance.
The tenth Quality necessary in God is Life (hayah). It is a quality which in him in whom it subsists validates perception, as knowledge and hearing and seeing: that is, it is valid that he should be described therewith. But being characterized by actual perception does not necessarily follow from possessing the quality, Life. And it is not connected with anything, entity or non-entity.
The proof that Knowledge and Power and Will and Life are necessary is the existence of the created things. Because,
if any one of these four is denied, why does the created world exist? So, since the created things exist, we know that God is to be described by these qualities. And the reason of the existence of the created things depending on these four is this. He who makes a thing does not make it except when he knows the thing. Then he wills the thing which he would make and, after his willing, he busies himself with making it by his power. Further, it is known that the maker cannot but be living. And Knowledge and Will and Power are called qualities of impression (sifat at-ta’thir), for making an impression depends upon them. Because he who wills a thing must have knowledge of it before he aims at it; then, after he has aimed at it, he busies himself with doing it. For example, when there is something in your house and you wish to take it, your knowledge precedes your wish to take it, and after your wish to take it, you take it actually. The connection of these qualities, then, is in a certain order, in the case of an originated being; first comes the knowledge of the thing, then the aiming at it, then the doing. But in the case of God, on the other hand, there is no sequence in His qualities, except in our comprehension; in that, Knowledge comes first, then Will, then Power. But as for the making of an impression externally, there is no sequence in the qualities of God. It is not said that Knowledge comes into actual connection, then Will, then Power; because all that belongs to originated beings. Order is only according to our comprehensions.
The eleventh and twelfth Qualities of God are Hearing (sam) and Seeing (basar). These are two qualities subsisting in the essence of God and connected with every entity; that is, by them is revealed every entity, necessary or possible. And Hearing and Seeing are connected with the essence of God and His qualities.; that is, His essence and qualities are revealed to Him by His Seeing and Hearing, besides the revealing of His Knowledge. And God hears the essences of Zayd and Amr and a wall and He sees them. And He hears the sound of the possessor of a sound and He sees it, that is
the sound. Then, if you say, "Hearing a sound is plain, but hearing the essence of Zayd and the essence of a wall is not plain; so, too, the connection of seeing with sounds, for sounds are heard only," we reply, "Belief in this is incumbent upon us because these two qualities are connected with every entity; but the how (kayfiya) of the connection is unknown to us. God hears the essence of Zayd, but we do not know how hearing is connected with that essence. And it is not meant that He hears the walking of the essence of Zayd, for the hearing of his walking enters into the hearing of all the sounds (sawt), but what is meant is that He hears the essence of Zayd and his body (juththa), besides hearing his walking. But we do not know how the hearing of God is connected with the person (nafs) of the essence. This is what is binding upon every individual, male and female--Our trust is in God!
The proof of Hearing and Seeing is the saying of God that He is a Hearer and Seer. And know that the connection of Hearing and Seeing in relation to originated things is an eternal, potential connection before the existence of these, and after their existence it is a temporal, accomplished connection. That is, after their existence, they are revealed to God by His Hearing and Seeing besides the revealing of His Knowledge. So they have two connections. And in relation to God and His qualities, the connection is eternal, accomplished, in the sense that His essence and His qualities are revealed to Him from all eternity through His Hearing and Seeing. So, God hears His essence and all His existential qualities [all except the states and the negative qualities], Power, Hearing, and all the rest; but we do not know how the connection is, and He sees His essence and His qualities of existence, Power, Seeing and the rest, but again we do not know how the connection is. The preceding statement that Hearing and Seeing are connected with every entity is the opinion of as-Sanusi and those who follow him; it is the preponderating one. But it is said, also, that Hearing is only connected with sounds and Seeing with objects of vision.
[paragraph continues] And God's Hearing is not with ear or ear-hole, and His Seeing is not with eyeball or eyelid.
The thirteenth Quality of God is Speech (kalam). It is an eternal quality, subsisting in God's essence, not a word or sound, and far removed from order of preceding and following, from inflection and structure, opposed to the speech of originated beings. And by the Speech that is necessary to God is not meant the Glorious Expressions (lafz) revealed to the Prophet, because these are originated and the quality that subsists in the essence of God is eternal. And these embrace preceding and following, inflection and chapters and verses; but the eternal quality is bare of all these things. It has no verses or chapters or inflections, because such belong to the speech which embraces letters and sounds, and the eternal quality is far removed from letters and sounds, as has preceded. And those Glorious Expressions are not a guide to the eternal quality in the sense that the eternal quality can be understood from them. What is understood from these expressions equals what would be understood from the eternal quality if the veil were removed from us and we could hear it. In short, these expressions are a guide to its meaning, and this meaning equals what would be understood from the eternal Speech which subsists in the essence of God. So meditate this distinction, for many have erred in it. And both the Glorious Expressions and the eternal quality are called Qur’an and the Word (kalam) of God. But the Glorious Expressions are created and written on the Preserved Tablet (al-lawh-al-mahfuz); Jibril brought them down [i.e., revealed them] to the Prophet after that they had been brought down in the Night of Decree (laylatu-l-qadr; Qur. 97, 1) to the Mighty House (baytu-l-izza), a place in the Heaven nearest to the earth; it was written in books (sahifas) and placed in the Mighty House. It is said that it was brought down to the Mighty House all at once and then brought down to the Prophet in twenty years, and some say, in twenty-five. And it is also said that it was brought down to the Mighty House only to the amount that was to be revealed each year and not all at once.
And that which was brought down to the Prophet was expression and meaning. And it is said also that only the meaning was brought down to him. There is a conflict of opinion on this; some say that the Prophet clothed the meaning with expressions of his own, and others, that he who so clothed the meaning, was Jibril. But the truth is that it was sent down in expressions and meaning. In short, the quality subsisting in the essence of God is not a letter nor a sound. And the Mu‘tazilites called in doubt the existence of a kind of Speech without letters. But the People of the Sunna answered that because thoughts in the mind (hadith an-nafs), a kind of speech with which an individual speaks to himself, are without letter or sound, there exists a kind of speech without letters or words. By this the People of the Sunna do not wish to institute a comparison between the Speech of God and thoughts in the mind; for the Speech of God is eternal and thoughts in the mind are originated. They wished to disprove the contention of the Mu‘tazilites when they urged that speech cannot exist without letter or sound.
The proof of the necessity of Speech in God is His saving (Qur. 4, 162); "and God spoke to Moses." So He has established Speech for Himself. And Speech connects with that with which Knowledge connects, of necessary and possible and impossible. But the connection of Knowledge with these is a connection of revealing, in the sense that they are revealed to God by His Knowledge; and the connection of Speech with them is a connection of proof, in the sense that if the veil were taken away from us and we heard the eternal Speech we would understand these things from it.
The fourteenth Quality subsisting in God is Being Powerful (kawn qadir). It is a Quality subsisting in His essence, not an entity and not a non-entity. It is not Power, but between it and Power is a reciprocal inseparability. When Power exists in an essence, the quality called "Being Powerful" exists in that essence, equally whether that essence is eternal or originated. So, God creates in the essence of Zayd Power actual, and He creates also in it the quality called
[paragraph continues] Zayd's Being Powerful. This quality is called a state (hal) and Power is a cause (illa) in it in the case of created things. But in the case of God, Power is not said to be a cause in His Being Powerful; it is only said that between Power and God's Being Powerful there is a reciprocal inseparability. The Mu‘tazilites hold also the reciprocal inseparability between the Power of an originated being and its Being Powerful. But they do not say that the second quality is by the creation of God, only that when God creates Power in an originated being, there proceeds from the Power a quality called Being Powerful, without creation.
The Fifteenth Quality necessary in God is Being a Willer (kawn murid). It is a quality subsisting in His essence, not an entity and not a non-entity. It is called a state (hal) and it is not Will, equally whether the essence is eternal or created. So, God creates in the essence of Zayd Will actual, and He creates in it the quality called Zayd's Being a Willer. And what is said above, about the disagreement between the Mu‘tazilites and the People of the Sunna on Being Powerful, applies also to Being a Willer.
[The same thing applies exactly to Qualities Sixteen, Seventeen, Eighteen, Nineteen and Twenty,--Being a Knower (alim), a Living One (hayy), a Hearer (sami), a Seer (basir), a Speaker (mutakallim).]
NOTICE. The Qualities, Power, Will, Knowledge, Life, Hearing, Seeing, Speech, which have preceded, are called, "Qualities consisting of ideas" (sifat al-ma‘ani, thought-qualities as opposed to active qualities; see below); on account of the connection of the general with the particular (idafatu-l-amm lil-khass), or the explanatory connection (al-idafatu-l-bayaniya). And those which follow these, God's Being Powerful, etc., are called "Qualities derived from ideas" (sifat ma‘ nawiya), by way of derivation (nisba) from the "Qualities consisting of ideas," because they are inseparable from them in a thing eternal and proceed from them in a thing originated, according to what has preceded.
And the Mataridites added to the "Qualities consisting of
[paragraph continues] Ideas," an Eighth Quality and called it, Making to Be (takwin). It is a quality and an entity like the rest of the "Qualities consisting of Ideas"; if the veil were removed from us we would see it, just as we would see the other "Qualities consisting of Ideas" if the veil were removed from us. But the Ash‘arites opposed them and urged that there was no advantage in having a quality, Making to Be, besides Power, because the Mataridites said that God brought into existence and out of existence by the quality of Making to Be. Then these replied that Power prepared the possibility for existence, that is, made it ready to receive existence after it had not been ready; that thereafter Making to Be brought it into existence actually. The Ash‘arites replied that the possible was ready for existence without anything further. And on account of their having added this quality, they said that the active qualities (sifat al-af‘al), such as Creating (khalq), Bringing to Life (ihya), Sustaining (razq), Bringing to Death (imata), were eternal, because these expressions are names of the quality Making to Be, which is a quality and an entity, according to them. But it is eternal; therefore these active qualities are eternal. But according to the Ash‘arites, the active qualities are originated, because they are only names of the connections of Power. So Bringing to Life is a name for the connection of Power with Life, and Sustaining is a name for the connection of Power with the creature to be sustained, and Creating is a name for its connection with the thing to be created, and Bringing to Death, a name for its connection with death. And the connections of Power, according to them, are originated.
And among the Fifty Articles are twenty which express the opposites of the twenty above. They are Non-existence, the opposite to Existence.
The Second, Origin (huduth), is the opposite of Priority.
The Third, Transitoriness (fana), is the opposite of Continuance.
The Fourth, Resemblance (mumathala), is the opposite of Difference. It is impossible that God should resemble originated
things in any of those things with which they are described; time has no effect upon Him and He has not a place or movement or rest; and He is not described with colors or with a direction; it is not said with regard to Him that He is above such a body, or on the right of such a body. And He is no direction from Him. So it is not said, "I am under God." And the saying of the commonalty, "I am under our Lord," and "My Lord is over me," is to be disapproved. Unbelief is to be feared on the part of him who holds the use of it to be an article of his faith.
The Fifth is having need of a locus (ihtiyaz ila mahall), that is, an essence in which He may subsist, or a Specifier, that is a bringer-into-existence. This is the opposite of Self-subsistence.
The Sixth is Multiplicity (ta‘addud), in the sense of combination in the essence or the qualities, or the existence of a being similar in essence or qualities or acts. This is the opposite of Unity.
The Seventh is Weakness (ajz) and it is the opposite of Power. So, being unequal to any possibility is impossible in God.
The Eighth is Unwillingness (karaha, lit. dislike). It is the opposite of Will, and it is impossible in God that He should bring into existence anything of the world, along with Unwillingness toward it, that is, lack of Will. Entities are possibilities which God brought into existence by His Will and Choice (ikhtiyar). And it is derived from the necessity of Will in God, that the existence of created things is not through causation (ta‘lil), or by way of nature (tab). Amt the difference between the two is that the entity which exists through causation is whatever exists whenever its cause exists, without dependence on another thing. The movement of the finger is the cause of the movement of the ring; when the one exists, the second exists, without dependence on anything else. And the entity which exists, by way of nature, depends upon a condition and upon the nullifying of a hindrance. So, fire does not burn except on the condition of contact with wood
and the nullifying of moistness which is the hindrance of its burning. For fire burns by its nature according to those who hold the doctrine of nature--Whom may God curse!--But the truth is, that God creates the being burned in the wood when it is in contact with the fire, just as He creates the movement of the ring when movement of the finger exists. And there is no such thing as existence through causation or nature. So it is an impossibility in God that there should be a cause in the world which proceeds from Him without His choice, or that there should be a course of nature and that the world should exist thereby.
The Ninth is Ignorance (jahl). Ignorance of any possible thing is impossible in God, equally whether it is simple, that is, lack of knowledge of a thing; or compound, that is, perception of a thing as different from what it really is. And Inattention (ghafala) and Neglect (dhuhul) are impossible in God. This is the opposite of Knowledge.
The Tenth is Death (mawt). It is the opposite of Life.
The Eleventh is Deafness (samam). It is the opposite of Hearing.
The Twelfth is Blindness (ama). It is the opposite of Seeing.
The Thirteenth is Dumbness (kharas). In it is the idea of Silence (bakam) and it is the opposite of Speech.
The Fourteenth is God's Being Weak (kawn ajiz). It is the opposite of His Being Powerful.
The Fifteenth is His Being an Unwilling One (kawn karih). It is the opposite of His Being a Willer.
The Sixteenth is His Being an Ignorant One (kawn jahil). It is the opposite of His Being a Knower.
The Seventeenth is His Being a Dead One (kawn mayyit). It is the opposite of His Being a Living One.
The Eighteenth is His Being Deaf (asamm). It is the opposite of His Being a Hearer.
The Nineteenth is His Being Blind (a‘ma). It is the opposite of His Being a Seer.
The Twentieth is His Being Silent (abkam). In it is the
idea of Dumbness (kharas) and it is the opposite of His Being a Speaker.
All those twenty are impossible in God. And know that the proof of each one of the twenty qualities necessary in God establishes the existence of that quality in Him and denies to Him its opposite And the proofs of the seven thought-qualities are proofs of the seven derived from these. Thus, there are Forty Articles; twenty of them are necessary in God; twenty are denied in Him; and there are twenty general proofs, each proof establishing a quality and annulling its opposite.
NOTICE. Some say that things are four, entities, non-entities, states and relations (i‘tibarat). The entities are like the essence of Zayd which we see; the non-entities are like your child before it is created; the states are like Being Powerful; and so, too, the relations, like the establishing of standing in Zayd. This--I mean that things are four--is the view which as-Sanusi follows in his Sughra, for he asserts in it the existence of states and makes the necessary qualities to be twenty. But elsewhere, he follows the opinion which denies states, and that is the right view.
According to that view, the Qualities are thirteen in number, because the seven derived qualities--God's Being Powerful, etc., drop out. God has no quality called Being Powerful, because the right view is denial that states are things. According to this, then, things are three:--entities, non-entities and relations. Then when the seven derived qualities drop out from the twenty necessary qualities, seven drop also from the opposites, and there is no quality called, Being Weak, etc., and there is no need to number these among the impossibilities. So, the impossibilities are thirteen also; at least, if existence is reckoned as a quality. That it should be is the opinion of all except al-Ash‘ari. But the opinion of al-Ash‘ari was that Existence is the self (ayn) of an entity. So, the existence of God is the self of His essence and not a quality. The necessary qualities, on that view, are twelve. Priority and Continuance and Difference and Self-subsistence
[paragraph continues] --expressed also as Absolute Independence--and Unity and Power and Will and Knowledge and Life and Hearing and Seeing and Speech; and the derived qualities drop out, because their existence is based upon the view that there are things called states; but the right view is the opposite.
And if you wish to instruct the commonalty in the qualities of God, then state them as names (asma) derived from the qualities just mentioned. So it is said that God is an Entity, Prior, Different from originated things, Independent of everything, One, Powerful, a Willer, a Knower, Living, a Hearer, a Seer, a Speaker. And they should knew their opposites.
And know that some of the Shaykhs distinguish between states and relationships and say of both that they are not entities and also not non-entities. But each has a reality in itself, except that a state has a connection with and a subsistence in an essence, and a relation has no connection with an essence. And it is said that a relation has a reality outside of the mind. But to this it is opposed. that a relation is a quality, and if it has no connection with an essence and has a reality outside of the mind, where is the thing qualified by it? A quality does not subsist in itself, but must needs have a thing which it qualifies. So the truth is that relations have no reality except in the mind. And they are of two kinds; the invented relation (i‘tibara ikhtira‘i), it is that which has no ground in existence, as your making a generous man niggardly; and second, the apprehended relation (intiza‘i, claiming), it is that which has ground outside of your mind, as asserting the subsistence of Zayd, for that may be claimed from your saying, "Zayd subsists"; so the describing of Zayd as subsisting is existent outside of your mind.
The forty-first Article is Possibility in the case of God. It is incumbent upon every mukallaf that he should believe that it is possible for God to create good and evil, to create Islam in Zayd and unbelief in Amr, knowledge in one of them and ignorance in the other. And another of the things, belief in which is incumbent upon every mukallaf, is that the good and the bad of things is by Destiny (qada) and Decree (qadar).
[paragraph continues] And there is a difference of opinion as to the meaning of destiny and decree. It is said that destiny is the will of God and the eternal (azali) connection of that will; and decree is God's bringing into existence the thing in agreement with the will. So the Will of God which is connected eternally with your becoming a learned man or a Sultan is destiny; and the bringing knowledge into existence in you, after your existence, or the Sultanship, in agreement with the Will, is decree. And it is said that destiny is God's eternal knowledge and its connection with the thing known; and decree is God's bringing things into existence in agreement with His knowledge. So, God's knowing that which is connected eternally with a person's becoming a learned man after he enters existence is destiny, and the bringing knowledge into existence in that man after he enters existence is decree. And according to each of those two views, destiny is prior (qadim), because it is one of the qualities of God, whether Will or Knowledge; and decree is originated, because it is bringing into existence, and bringing into existence is one of the connections of Power, and the connections of Power are originated.
And the proof that possibly things are possible in the case of God is that there is general agreement on their possibility. If the doing of any possible thing were incumbent upon God, the possible would be turned into a necessary thing. And if the doing of a possible thing were hindered from Him, the possible would be turned into an impossible. But the turning of the possible into a necessary or an impossible is false. By this, you may know that there is nothing incumbent upon God, against the doctrine of the Mu‘tazilites, who say that it is incumbent upon God to do that which is best (salah) for the creature. So, it would be incumbent upon Him that He should sustain the creature, but this is falsehood against Him and a lie from which He is far removed. He creates faith in Zayd, for example, and gives him knowledge out of His free grace, without there being any necessity upon Him. And one of the arguments which may be brought against the Mu‘tazilites is that afflictions come upon little children, such as ailments
and diseases. And in this there is not that which is best for them. So, if doing that which is best is incumbent upon Him, why do afflictions descend upon little children? For they say that God could not abandon that which is incumbent upon Him, for abandoning it would be defect, and God is far removed from defect, by Agreement. And God's rewarding the obedient is a grace from Him, and His punishing the rebellious is justice from Him. For obedience does not advantage Him, nor rebellion injure Him; He is the Advantager and the Injurer. And these acts of obedience or rebellion are only signs of God's rewarding or punishing those described by them. Then him whom He wills to draw near to Himself, He helps to obedience: and in him whose abandoning and rejection He wills, He creates rebellion. And all acts of good and bad are by the creation of God, for He creates the creature and that which the creature does, as He has said (Qur. 37, 94), "and God hath created you and that which ye do."
And the belief is also incumbent that God may be seen in the Other World by believers, for He has joined the seeing (ru’ya) of Him with the standing fast of the mountain in His saying (Qur. 7, 139), "And if it standeth fast in its place, thou wilt see Me." And the standing fast of the mountain was possible: then, that which is connected with it of seeing must also have been possible; because what is connected with the possible is possible. But our seeing God must be without inquiring how (bila kayfa); it is not like our seeing one another. God is not seen in a direction, nor in a color, nor in a body; He is far removed from that. And the Mu‘tazilites--may God make them vile!--deny the seeing of God. That is one of their perverse and false articles of belief. And another of their corrupt articles is their saying that the creature creates his own actions. For this, they are called Qadarites, because they say that the actions of the creature are by his own qudra (power), just as the sect which holds that the creature is forced to the action he does, is called Jabrite, derived from their holding a being forced (jabr) on the part of the creature, and a being compelled. It, too, is a perverse article. And
the truth is that the creature does not create his own actions and is not forced, lull. that God creates the actions which issue from the creature, along with the creature's having a free choice (ikhtiyar) in them. As-Sa‘d [Sa‘d ad-Din at-Taftazani, see above] said, in his commentary on the Articles, "It is not possible to render this free choice by any expression, but the creature finds a difference between the movement of his baud when he moves it himself and when the wind moves it against his will."
And to that which is possible in God belongs also the sending of a number of Apostles (rasuls). And God's sending them is by His grace, and by way of necessity, as has preceded.
And it is necessary to confess that the most excellent of created beings, absolutely, is our Prophet [Muhammad], and there follow him in excellency the rest of the Endowed with Earnestness and Patience (ulu-l-azm; see Qur. 46, 34); they are our Lord Ibrahim, our Lord Musa, our Lord Isa, and our Lord Nuh; and this is their order in excellency. And that they are five along with our Prophet, and four after him is the correct view. And it is said. too, that the Endowed with Earnestness and Patience are more numerous. And there follow them in excellency the rest of the Apostles. Then, the rest of the Prophets (nabis), then the Angels.
And it is necessary to confess that God has aided them with miracles (mu‘jizat) and that He has distinguished our Prophet in that he is the seal of the Apostles, and that leis law (shar) will not be abrogated till time is fulfilled. And Isa, after his descent, will judge according to the law of our Prophet. It is said that he will take it from the Qur’an and the Sunna. It is said also that he will go to the Glorious Tomb [of Muhammad] and learn from him. And know that he will abrogate one part of the law of our Prophet with a later part, just as the waiting period of a woman after the death of her husband was changed from a year to four months and ten days. And in this there is no defect.
And it is necessary also that every mukallaf, male and female, should know in detail the Apostles who are mentioned
in the Qur’an, and should believe in them in detail. As for the other Prophets, belief is necessary in them as a whole. As-Sa'd handed down an authority in his commentary on the Maqasid that belief in all the Prophets as a whole suffices, but he was not followed.
And someone put them into verse as follows:
And it is necessary to confess that the Companions (sahibs) of the Prophet are the most excellent of the generations. Then their followers (tabi‘s); then the followers of their followers. And the most excellent of the Companions is Abu Bakr, then Umar, then Uthman, then Ali--in this order. But al-Alqami said that our Lady Fatima and her brother, our Lord Ibrahim, were absolutely more excellent than the Companions, including the Four [Khalifas]. And our Lord Malik [ibn Anas] was wont to say, "There is none more excellent than the children of the Prophet." This is that the confession of which is incumbent; and we will meet God confessing it, if it is His Will.
And of that the confession of which is also necessary, is that the Prophet was born in Mecca and died in al-Madina. It is incumbent on fathers that they teach that to their children. Al-Ajhuri said, "It is incumbent on the individual that he know the genealogy of the Prophet on his father's side and on his mother's." A statement of it will come in our Conclusion, if God will. The learned have said, "Every individual ought to know the number of the children of the Prophet and the order in which they were born, for an individual
ought to know his Lords, and they are the Lords of the People." But they do not explain, in what I have seen, whether that is required (mawjub) or desired (mandub); the analogy (qiyas) of things similar to it would say it was required. His children were seven, three male and four female, according to the right view. Their order of birth was: al-Qasim, he was the first of his children, then Zaynab, then Ruqayya, then Fatima, then Umm Kulthum, then Abd Allah, he had the to-names (laqab) at-Tayyib and at-Tahir, which are to-names of Abd Allah, not names of two other different persons. These were all children of our Lady Khadija. And the seventh was our Lord Ibrahim, born of Mariya, the Copt. So it stands. Let us now return to the conclusion of the Articles.
The Forty-second is the Veracity (sidq) of the Apostles in all their sayings.
The Forty-third is their trustworthiness (amana), that is, their being preserved (isma) from falling into things forbidden (muharram) or disliked (makruh).
The Forty-fourth is their Conveying (tabligh) to the creatures that which they were commanded to convey. The Forty-fifth is intelligence (fatana). These four things are necessary in the Apostles in the sense that the lack of them is unthinkable. And Faith depends on the knowledge of these, according to the controversy between as-Sanusi and his opponents.
The opposites of these four are impossible in the Apostles, that is, Lying (kidhb), Unfaithfulness (khiyana) in a thing forbidden or disliked, Concealment (kitman) of a thing they have been commanded to convey, and Stupidity (balada). These four are impossible in them, in the sense that the existence of them is unthinkable. And Faith depends upon the knowledge of these, as has preceded.
These are Nine and Forty Articles and the Fiftieth is the possibility of the occurrence of such fleshly accidents in them as do not lead to defect in their lofty rank.
And the proof of the existence of Veracity in them is that if
they were to lie, then information from God would he a lie, for He has guaranteed the claim of the Apostles by the manifestation of miracles at their hands. For the miracle is revealed in place of an utterance from God, "My servant is truthful in all that he brings from Me." That is, whenever an Apostle comes to his people and says, "I am an Apostle to you from God," and they say to him, "What is the proof of your apostolate?" then he shall say, "The splitting of this mountain," for example. And when they say to him, "Bring what you say," God will split that mountain at their saying, as a guarantee of the claim of the Apostle to the apostolate. So, God's splitting the mountain is sent down in place of an utterance from God, "My servant is truthful in all which he brings to you from Me." And if the Apostle were lying, this information would be lying. But lying is impossible in the case of God, so lying on the part of the Apostles is impossible. And whenever lying is denied in them, Veracity is established.
And as for the proof of the Trustworthiness, that is, their being preserved internally and externally from forbidden and disliked things; if they were unfaithful in committing such things, we would be commanded to do the like. But it is impossible that we could be commanded to do a forbidden or disliked thing, "for God does not command a vile thing" (Qur. 7, 27). And it is evident that they did nothing except obedience, whether required or desired, and "permitted" (mubah) things entered among their actions only to show, whenever they did a "permitted" thing, that it was allowable (ja’iz.)
And as for the proof of Intelligence, if it were failing in them, how would they be able to establish an argument against an adversary? But the Qur’an indicates in more than one place, that they must establish arguments against adversaries. And such establishing of arguments is only possible with intelligence.
And the proof that fleshly accidents do befall them is that they do not cease to ascend in their lofty rank; for the occurrence of such accidents is in them for increase in their lofty rank, for example, and that others may be consoled,
and that the thoughtful may know that the world is not a place of recompense for the lovers of God; since if it were, why should aught of the defilements of the world befall the Apostles? The Blessing of God be upon them and upon their Mighty Head, our Lord Muhammad, and upon his family and companions and descendants, all!
The Fifty Articles are completed with their Glorious Proofs.
Let us mention to you now somewhat of that which must be held of the things whose proofs are authority (sam‘i): Know that it must be believed that our Prophet has a Tank (hawd); and ignorance as to whether it is on one side or the other of the Bridge (as-sirat) does not hurt. On the Day of Resurrection (yawm al-qiyama) the creatures will go down to drink of it. It is different from al-Kawther, which is a River in the Garden.
And it must also be believed that he will make intercession (shafa‘a) on the Day of Resurrection in the midst of the Judgment, when we shall stand and long to depart, even though it be into the Fire. Then he shall intercede that they may depart from the Station (mawqif); and this intercession belongs to him only.
And it mast also be believed that falling into great sins (kabiras), other than Unbelief (kufr), does not involve Unbelief, but repentance (tawba) from the sin is necessary at once; and if the sin be a small one (saghira) repentance is necessary to him who is liable to fall into it. And repentance is not injured by returning to sin; but for the new sin a new repentance is necessary.
And it is incumbent upon the individual that he set aside arrogance (kibr) and jealousy (hasad) and slander (ghiba) on account of what the Prophet has said, "The gates of the Heavens have curtains which reject the works of the people of arrogance, jealousy and slander." That is, they prevent them from rising, and so they are not received. Jealousy is a desiring that the well-being of another should pass away, equally whether it is desired that it should come to the jealous
one or not. And arrogance is considering the truth to be falsehood and rejecting it, and despising God's creation. And it is incumbent also upon him that he should not spread malicious slanders among the people, for a tradition has come down, "A slanderer (qattat) shall not enter the Garden." And jealousy is forbidden, as is said above, when the well-being does not lead its possessor to transgression, and if it does, then desire that the well-being should pass away is allowable.
It is necessary also to hold that some of those who commit great sins will be punished, though it is only one of them.
CONCLUSION. Faith (iman), in the usage of the language, is acknowledgment that something is true (tasdiq), in general. In that way it is used by God, when he reports the words of the sons of Ya’qub (Qur. 12, 17). "But thou dost not believe us [art not a believer (mu’min) in us]." Legally, it is belief in all that the Prophet has brought. But there is a difference of opinion as to the meaning of belief, when used in this way. Some say that it means knowledge (ma‘rifa) and that everyone who knows what the Prophet has brought is a believer (mu’min). But this interpretation is opposed by the fact that the unbeliever (kafir) knows, but is not a believer. Nor does this interpretation agree with the common saying, that the muqallad is a believer, although he does not know. And the right view as to the interpretation of belief is that it is a mental utterance (hadith an-nafs) following conviction, equally whether it is conviction on account of proof, which is called knowledge, or on account of acceptance on authority (taqlid). This excludes the unbeliever because he does not possess the mental utterance, the idea of which is that you say, "I am well pleased with what the Prophet has brought." The mind of the unbeliever does not say this. And it includes the muqallad; for he possesses the mental utterance following conviction, though the conviction is not based on a proof.
And of that which must be believed is the genealogy of the Prophet, both on his father's side and on his mother's. On his father's side he is our Lord, Muhammad, son of Abd
[paragraph continues] Allah, son of Abd al-Muttalib, son of Hashim, son of Abd Manaf, son of Qusay, son of Kilab, son of Murra, son of Ka‘b, son of Lu’ay, or Luway, son of Ghalib, son of Fihr, son of Malik, son of Nadr, son of Kinana, son of Khuzayma, son of Mudrika, son of Alyas, son of Mudar, son of Nizar, son of Ma‘add, son of Adnan. And the Agreement (ijma) unites upon this genealogy up to Adnan. But after him to Adam there is no sure path in that which has been handed down. And as to his genealogy on his mother's side, she is Amina, daughter of Wahb, son of Abd Manaf, son of Zuhra--this Abd Manaf is not the same as his ancestor on the other line--son of Kilab, who is already one of his ancestors. So the two lines of descent join in Kilab.
And it is necessary also to know that he was of mixed white and red complexion, according to what some of them have said.
This is the last of that which God has made easy by His grace. His Blessing be upon our Lord Muhammad and upon his family and his Companions and his descendants, so long as the mindful are mindful of him and the heedless are heedless of the thought of him. And Praise belongeth unto God, the Lord of the Worlds.