Proof of Belief (Third pillar of belief)

>> Friday, October 17, 2008

Well we are more than half way done with this series of post. Hoped you all finding learning about Imam Ghazzali's Aqeedah by himself and not from others fun and interesting.

In The Words of Imam Ghazzali

(3) Third pillar. It is to have knowledge and faith in His works which are established over ten bases. They are that men's actions are created, willed and fixed by God, that He is kind to creatures free from imposing works beyond power of men, that He punishes men, does what He wills, that there is nothing obligatory on Him, that He sent apostles and that our Prophet was helped by miracles and that his prophethood will last till the Day of Resurrection.
God is ever-living based in 10 principles.
First basic principle. It is the knowledge that every event in the world is His action, creation and invention. There is no creator or it except He. He well regulated the creation and gave it its due power and motion. All the actions of His servant are His creations and keep connection with His power, confirming thereby His words -God is the creator of everything (9 : 102). God created you and what you make(37 : 96). Whatever is your conversation, hidden or open, He truly knows the innermost recess of your hearts. "What! does He not know when He has created, when He is the subtle, the cognizant?" He ordered men to take precaution in their actions, words, secret matters and thoughts as He knows the orientation of their actions and gave proof of His knowledge by creating creations. How will He not be the Creator of the actions of men when He has got full power without any decrease? His power is connected with the movements of men. All motions are h Millar and are connected with power of God. What then would prevent its connection in the case of some actions and would not prevent it in the case of other actions when all are similar? How could animals be independent of the Creator when the wonderful workmanship of spiders, bees and other animals amaze the wisest and intelligent minds? Who has got power of speciality in these creations except God? Then animals themselves do not know the benefits they produce. So they cannot be called the causes of workmanship. Now think that all creations bow down to One who is the Creator of the heavens and the earth.
(2) Second basic principle. It is that God being the Creator of I the power of men, does not prevent them from doing voluntary actions by way of acquisition, for God created power and the container of power, choice as well as the container of choice. ' Power is an attribute of a man though it is the creation of God and not acquired by man. Motion is also the creation of God and an attribute of man acquired on the strength of power, because the power with which he was created is his attribute, but motion is connected with the attribute of power and for this reason of connection, it has been named power of motion. The power of motion is not the result of compulsion on any man as he can move according to his will and knows the difference between compulsion and volition. How can this motion be his creation when he does not know the different parts of acquired actions and their numbers'' When these two matters are disproved, namely the matter that actions are the result of compulsion and the matter that they are the result of volition, there remains the middle position which is this that actions are voluntary in a fixed manner through power of God by invention and through the power of a man by acquisition. God has no necessity of keeping connection with the container of power in the matter of creation because the power of God is eternal and its connection with the world is eternal.
(3) Third basic principle. It is the knowledge that though the actions of man are his acquisitions, they are nevertheless nil outside the will of God. Neither a twinkling of an eye, nor a sudden rise of thought in mind in the visible and invisible world occurs except through His order, power and will. Good or evil, benefit or loss, belief or infidelity, knowledge or ignorance, success or failure, guidance or misguidance, sin or virtue, Shirk or Iman come from Him. There is none to reject His command, none to disobey his decree. He guides whom He wishes and misguides whom He wishes. There is none to question Him of what He does, but the people will be questioned (21 : 33). All say: What He wills occurs and what he does not will does not occur. God says: If God willed, He would have guided all men rightly (3 : 30). Had I wished, I would have given every soul its guidance (31 13). He who thinks that God does not will sins and evils as they are evils and that it is the devil who wills them is cursed. Tell me how a Muslim can deny the supreme rule of God. If the power of a village chief is curtailed, he will think it dishonourable. He will think it derogatory to his position if actions are conducted according to the wishes of his enemy in the village. The result will be that many will be out of his control. Now it is seen that evil deeds are predominant in men. If every sin is done against the will of God, God's helplessness is seen. When it is established that all actions of men are creations of God, it follows thatt the evil actions are also the result of His will.
Question may be asked how God commands to do what He does not wish and how He prohibits what He wishes. In reply we shall say that command is one thing and will is another thing. Thus if a master beats his slave, the ruler rebukes the
master for beating his slave. The master shows reason that his slave does not obey him. As a proof he orders his slave to arrange the bridle of his horse before the ruler though he knows that the slave will not obey it. If he does not order him, his objection before the ruler does not stand and if he wishes that his order should be obeyed it amounts to his murder. It is impossible.
(4) Fourth basic principle. It is that God is generous in inflicting trouble on men by His command. Neither creation, nor imposition of obligations is necessary for Him although the Mutazalites hold that they were necessary for the welfare of men. But this is impossible since He is the only being to enjoin and prohibit. How will it be limited by compulsion? The object of compulsion is of two things, such a work which if given up will cause harm in future as it is said that it is compulsory on men to obey God who will punish him in the hereafter by the fire of Hell; or it is to avoid such present harm which is injurious as it is said that to drink water for a thirsty man is compulsory so that he may not die. Secondly it is such a work the negation of which seems impossible. Thus it is said that the existence of a thing which is known is necessary because if it does not exist, it becomes an impossibility. If it occurs, knowledge becomes ignorance.
(5) Fifth basic principle. It is that God can inflict on man what is beyond his capacity. If it were not possible, it would have been impossible for , men to pray for removing it. The people prayed: 0 our Lord, lay not on us that for which we have no strength- 2: 246 This is against the belief of the Mutazalites.
(6) Sixth basic principle. It is that God is free to punish a man in spite of his virtues and to reward a man in spite of his sins. The Mutazalites hold the contrary view. God has got freedom of action among His servants and it is impossible that His servants will oppose His freedom. Tyranny means to dispossess a man from his possession but it is impossible in the case of God as He does not dispossess others in view of the fact that the kingdom of heaven and earth is His. It is proved by this. Slaughter of animals is infliction of pain on animals and men Various tortures inflicted on animals have not been preceded by any offence or crimes committed by the animals. If it is said that these animals would be raised up again and rewarded for this which is incumbent upon God, then we would say that every ant killed under feet and every bug crushed would be brought back to life. It would violate the dictates of reason and law as nothing is incumbent upon God.
(7) Seventh basic principle. It is that God does with regard to men what He wills and it is not incumbent on Him to do whatever is good for them. It has already been stated that nothing is compulsory on God but His dealings are not intelligible to men, because there is nobody to question Him what He does but men are subject to questions. The Mutazalites say that it is incumbent upon God to do whatever is salutary for men.
(8) Eighth basic principle. It is that to have knowledge of God and to obey His commands are compulsory on men, not on account of the reason as the Mutazalites say, but on account of Shariat. Shariat declared poisonous serpents beyond death, while reason in realising what Shariat foretells thinks it possible and urges that precautions should be taken against any possible punishment. But reason itself does not lead to that knowledge of harm. If a man warns by saying: A lion stands behind you, he should at once take to his heels without searching reason.
(9) Ninth basic principle. It is that sending Prophets to men is not impossible. Some say that there had been no use in sending them, because reason renders' it unnecessary. This is false, because reason does not support the actions which will lead to salvation in the hereafter just as it does not guide them to discuss the medicines which are useful for health. The necessity of Prophets for men is like that of the physicians for men. The integrity of the physicians is known by experience and the truthfulness of the Prophets is known by miracles.
(10) Tenth basic principle. It is that God sent Muhammed as the last Prophet and as an abrogator of all previous laws of the Jews, Christians and the Sabians and God helped him with open miracles and wonderful signs, such as splitting up the moon into two parts, the praise of the pebbles, causing the mute animals to speak, water flowing from his fingers etc. The open miracle with which he guided the Arabs is the ()Iran as the beauty of the language throughout the Quran is paralleled and the Arabs could not surpass it in spite of then eloquence and rhetoric. Though the Prophet was illiterate arcs did not learn how to read and write, yet God informed him in the Quran about the histories of the previous nations, the informations which he gave about the previous nations in the Quran being an illiterate person, the prophecies he made about the future events and the clue he gave to the unknown things are his miracles. For instance God says: You will enter the sacred mosque if God wills having your heads shaved and your hair short (48 : 27). The verse: The Romans have been vanquished in a land nearby but after their defeat they defeat them in a few years (30 : 1). The object of these verses is to prove the truth of the messenger of God by miracles.