member of the Asharite school of theology in Shnaz

member of the Asharite school of theology in Shnaz

‘Adud al-Din al-Iji (c. 1281-1355) was a member of the Ash’arite school of theology in Shnaz, where he seems to have spent the closing years of his Me. The short creed here translated is com- monly known as the ‘Adulyya, and commentaries on it have been written in many parts of the Islamic world. The translation is based on a manuscript in my possession and on an emtion, published in Cairo in 1323/1905, of al-Dawani’s commentary together with two supercommentaries. A1-Iji is also known for a lengthy theological work called Al-Mawdqif, which together with the commentary on it by al-Jujani fills four large volumes; more than half of t h s deals with the phlosophical prelimin- aries, but nothing of these appears in the creed.

The Prophet said, ‘My community will be dlvided into seventy- three sects, all of them in Hell except one1. He was asked who these (the saved) were. Those, he said, who believe as I myself and my Companions believe. The following are the articles of belief of the salvation-giving sect, who are the Ash’arites; (they are what was agreed on by) the early (authoritative) hadith-scholars and the Imams of the Muslims and the People of the Sunna and the Community.’

1. The world is originated, and is capable of becoming non-existent. 2. Reflective thought with a view to (acquiring) knowledge of God is

Save your time - order a paper!

Get your paper written from scratch within the tight deadline. Our service is a reliable solution to all your troubles. Place an order on any task and we will take care of it. You won’t have to worry about the quality and deadlines

Order Paper Now

obligatory by ~evelation.~ By reflective thought, knowledge is attained; and there is no need for a teacher.

3 The world has a Maker who has been from eternity. He has never ceased (to exist) and wdl never cease. His existence is necessary by His essence, and His non-existence is (known to be) impossible by reflective thought on His essence. There is no Creator other than He.

4. God is characterised by all the attributes of perfection and is free from all the marks of deficiency; thus He is knowing of all objects of knowledge, is powerful (with power) over all things possible, is willing of all things possible, is speaking, living, hearing and seeing, and He is free from all the attributes of deficiency.

5. God has no similar, no rival, no like, no partner, no helper. 6. God does not Inhere in anything else; no originated (thmg) sub-

sists in His essence; He is not united with anythmg else.

A L – I J I

7. God is not a substance nor an accident nor a body. 8. (God) is not in any place or in any direction; and He may not be

pointed to as being here or there. 9. Movement and change of position may not be premcated of (God).

10. God is seen by the believers of the day of resurrection but without being opposite (to them) or confronting (them) or (being in any) chrection (from them).

11. What God willed came to be, and what He &d not will did not come to be. Unbelief and sins (in human beings) are by (God’s) creating and by His willing but not with His approval.

12. God is rich (and inde~endent);~ He has no need of anydung. 13. There is no judge over (God); and nothing is obligatory for Him,

neither (showing) grace, nor (doing what is) the best, nor indemni- fylng for sufferings, nor rewarding (for obedience), nor p u n i s h for sin. On the contrary, if He rewards, it is by His free g h , and i f He punishes, it is by His justice. From Him is nothing bad; and in respect of what He does or what He judges, neither evil nor injustice is premcated of Him. He does what He wills, and judges as He pleases. His activity has no aim4 (moving Him to act). (It is He who) administers judgement with regard to what He has created and commanded, (but He does so] out of free grace and mercy. There is no judge except Him. Reason has no (power of) judging what things are good and what bad, and whether an action is an occasion for reward or for punishment. The good is what revelation declares good; the bad is what revelation declares bad. The (human) act has no quality, real or relative, in relation to which it is good or bad. Otherwise the matter would be otherwise.

14. God is not divided into parts or portions. He has no limit and no end; His attributes are one by essence, but infinite in respect of what is connected with them (such as objects of knowledge and will). What actually exists of the objects of (God’s) power are few out of many; it is for Him to make increases or decreases in respect of what He has created.

15. God has angels possessing wings, twos, threes, fours. Of them are Jibril, Mrk~’i1, Isrdil, ‘Izrg’il. each one of them has a place well- known. They do not disobey God in what He commands them but do what they are co~nmanded.~

16. The Qur’m is the Speech of God, untreated. It is written in the copies, recited by the tongues, and remembered in the breasts; what is written is other than the writing, what is recited is other than the reciting and what is remembered is other than the remembering.

17. The names of God are by prescription.

 

 

ISLAMIC CREEDS

18. The Return (to Life) is a reality; the bodies will be gathered to- gether, and the spirits wdl be restored to them; and in this (state) there will be the requital and the settling of accounts. The Bridge (or Path) is a reality; the Balance is a reality; and the creation [already) of Paradise and Hell.

19. Everlastingly abiding in Paradise are the people of Paradise, and in Hell the unbeliever. The Muslim who has committed a great sin does not abide everlastingly in Hell, but finally goes to Paradise. The forgiving of small and great sins without repent- ance is possible (for God). Intercession is a reality in the case of those to whom the Merciful has granted it. The intercession of the Messenger of God is for those of his community who have (committed) great sins; he intercedes on their behalf and his request is not refused.

20. The punishment of the tomb is a reahty; the interrogation by Munkar and Naktr is a reality.

21. The sendmg of messengers (by God), from Adam to our prophet, with evidentiary-miracles (to confirm their claims] is a reality. Muhammad is the seal of the prophets; there is no prophet after him. The prophets are preserved from sin; they are superior to the higher angels, and the generality of men are superior to the gener- ality of angels.

22. The men of the Pledge of Good Pleasure6 and the men of Badr are of the people of Parahse.

23. The wonder-miracles of the saints are a reality; thereby God honours whom He wills and marks out by His mercy whom He pleases.

24. The Imam after the Prophet was Abn-Bakr al-Siddiq; hls imamate was by consensus, as the Messenger of God h d not nominate anyone (as imam). Then came ‘Umar al-Fmq, then ‘Uthmm Dha Niirayn, then ‘Ah al-Murtah; (their) excellence is in this order; the meaning of excellence is that one has a greater reward from God, not that one has more knowledge or is of nobler birth (or the like).

25. Unbelief is the absence of faith. We do not declare any of the people of the Qibla an unbeliever except where he denies the Maker who is (all-)powerful, (effectively) willing and (all-)know- ing, or (where he) associates (others with God), or rejects the prophethood (of Muhammad), or rejects (the evidence) by which the coming of Muhammad is necessarily known, or rejects a matter on whch there has been definite agreement, such as the five pillars of Islam, or considers forbidden (things) permitted. In respect of (doctrines) other than these, he who holds them is a

heretic but not an unbeliever; one (such heretical doctrine) is the (attribution of) corporeahty (to God).

26. Repentance is obligatory, but (for God) the acceptance of it is (a matter] of grace and not of obligation.

27. The enjoining of what is right is in accordance with (the character of) what is commanded; thus if what is commanded is obligatory, (the enjoining of it) is obligatory, whde i f it is laudable, (the enjoining) is laudable. The condition (of it being obligatory or laudable to enjoin what is right] is that i t should not lead to s t d e and that compliance (with the injunction) should be thought probable. Prying curiosity is not permitted.’

May God establish you in these sound doctrines, and grant that you do what He loves and approves.

NOTES 1 The ‘People of the Sunna and the Community’ (jamd’a) is here roughly

equivalent to the Sunnites. 2 ‘Revelation’ here translates shur’. 3 There is a close connection in Arabic between the ideas of ‘rich’ and

‘independent’. The wealthy person is free from want and thus independ- ent and self-sufficient.

4 It seems strange that God should be said to have no aims. The point seems to be that for a human being an aim is something hoped for but not yet realised, and this is inappropriate for God. A similar view is found in Sanilsi, $29, but this teaching is contradicted in Hilli, ‘God’s . – . Justice’, $4.

5 In Muslim belief, Gabriel (Jibril) is the angel who brought the Qur’m to Muhammad, and Michael (Mikii’il) is associated with him. Isrdil is the angel of resurrection, but is also said to have brought some form of inspiration to Muhammad before Gabriel brought the Qur’m. ‘Izra’d is the angel of death.

6 The Pledge of Good Pleasure refers to an incident during the expedition of al-Hudaybiya in 6 AH when the situation looked critical for the Muslims. It is variously described as a pledge to flght to the death, or not to flee, or to do whatever Muhammad ordered. It was thought that entry to Paradise was guaranteed by having taken th~s pledge, or merely by having fought at the battle of Badr.

7 It was held to be incumbent on a l l Muslims to enjoin or command what is right and to forbid what is wrong (al-amr bi-‘1-ma’riif wa-‘1-nahy ‘an al-munkar), that is, to try to ensure that other people did right and avoided wrong, but there were discussions about how this was to be canied out in actual practice. See also Hdi, ‘The Imsmate’, 92 and note.