The Second Excerpt
Continued Ibn al-Qayyim:
“...And what exists (in the handiwork, mafoolaat ) of the various facilitating comforts, underlying reasons (behind occurrences), and praiseworthy objectives and goals (within the creation) gives evidence to the wisdom ( hikmah ) of (the Creator) the Exalted.
And what exists of the various benefits, aspects of benevolence and kindness, and goodness - then all of that gives evidence to His mercy ( rahmah ).
And what exists of the sheer power, brute-force (in the natural phenomena), vengeful (acts and occurrences) and punishment (of whole tribes and nations) gives evidence to His anger ( ghadab ).
And what exists of ennoblement, conciliation (between the people), and providence gives evidence to His love ( mahabbah ).
And what exists of belittlement, humiliation (of people and nations), distancing them (from Himself) and abandonment (of them) gives evidence to His hatred ( bughd) and dislike imaqt).
And what exists of the initiation of something from its state of complete deficiency, weakness and then its subsequent transformation into completion and perfection gives evidence for the occurrence of the Resurrection (for Judgement).
And what exists of the various states (and stages [of development]) of plants and animals and the flowing of the waters [that revive and bring to life] is evidence to indicate the plausibility of the Resurrection.
And what exists of the emergence of the effects of mercy and the bestowal of favours upon his creation, gives evidence to the correctness of the Prophethood.
And what exists of the various aspects of perfection (in the handiwork of Allaah), which if absent would have rendered it deficient, gives evidence that the one who bestowed these elements of perfection is more deserving of them Himself...” End of second Excerpt from Ibn al-Qayyim.
Lessons From The Second Excerpt
Then in what Ibn al-Qayyim has mentioned, of the various qualities and attributes that are affirmed for the Originator and Creator by way of reflection and contemplation upon the creation and what is to be found therein, are a few points to be noted:
The First: A confirmation of what has already preceded in that "... there are amongst the Attributes of Allaah those which can be sometimes known and recognised by the intellect, such as knowing that is “knowing”, that he is “able” and that he is “living”, just as He directed to this in His saying, “Should he not know who created?” (Mulk 67 : 14 ).... And likewise, “love”, “pleasure”, “anger” can be affirmed by the intellect, likewise His ascendancy and highness above the creation, and His being distinct from it are amongst those matters that can be known by the intellect...” as stated by Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (at-Tadmuriyyah, P.. 149 ). Hence, the intellect - when used properly and soundly - can guide to some knowledge of the Creator. However, to arrive at this knowledge in this manner and to employ this is as a methodology in itself is incorrect, since the basis with respect to Allaah’s Names and Attributes is that they are restricted to text from the Book and the Sunnah. And this is where the error of some of the People of Innovation lies in that they have made the basis of their knowledge of Allaah to be what can be proven by the intellect, and then they have made this into a methodology. What is being illustrated here is that it is possible for sound intellect to recognise some basic Attributes of Allaah, and that Allaah has made this a part of the Fitrah, but this in and of itself is not the basis of the knowledge of Allaah. And it is here that the likes of the Mu’tazilah and Ash’ariyyah and others strayed and caused to stray.
The Second: A refutation of what is often used by the Atheist’s as an argument to deny the existence of the Creator. And that is their claim that there is no justice and mercy upon the earth and for its inhabitants, and that the huge amount of suffering and death, by way of natural disasters and diseases and so on can never be the way of one who is supposed to have created His servants - only to then destroy them.
And the answer to this is that the Atheistic argument always utilises only a few external perceptions to the exception of many others, which if included would give an altogether different picture.
In what Ibn al-Qayyim has illustrated above, there is enough signs in the Creation to indicate the huge favours and benefits that humankind enjoys, the great comforts they are afforded and the abundant pleasures they delight in. If one was to reflect upon them, one would become exhausted, and still not have been able to enumerate even a minute fraction of them. As Allaah says, “And if you would count the graces of Allah, never could you be able to count them. Truly! Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (An- Nahl 16:18).
Hence, it is unjust to take what one sees of suffering and punishment and use that as an excuse, and we say an excuse, not an argument, we say an excuse, in order to deny the Creator. This is because this particular argument is an emotional one, not a rational one, and it illustrates the inability of the Atheist to understand the various attributes and qualities that the Creator is characterised by - all of which are an indication of His perfection and grandeur and might and the traces of which can be readily observed. So the
Creator punishes and also forgives, He has awesome power, and also has abundant mercy. And all of that is exhibited in accordance with His wisdom. And everything that occurs, then it is all from His perfect knowledge, wisdom and justice. Yet the Atheist, in his ignorance, does not appreciate and nor recognise that, and this is because - due to the simplicity (or over-complexity) of his intellect - he does not acknowledge the overwhelming evidence for an Originator and Creator, and then based upon his limited experience upon the earth for the duration of his short life, he makes analogies and ascribes to the Creator the deficiencies of what is in the creation.
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