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Some Statements of the Salaf 
on Ilmul-Kalaam
(Theological Rhetoric and Philosophy‏)



Imaam Ash-Shaafi’ee (d.204) said,


“My ruling regarding the people of Kalaam (theological rhetoric) is that they should be beaten with palm leaves and shoes and be paraded amongst the kinsfolk and the tribes with it being announced, ‘This is the reward of the one who abandons the Book and the sunnah and turns to theological rhetoric (kalaam).“


[Sharh 'Aqeedatut-Tahaawiyyah og Ibn 'Abdil-'Izz, p. 75]


Ibn ‘Abdil-Barr said, “The people of Fiqh and Aathaar in all the various towns and cities are agreed unanimously that the Ahlul-Kalaam (People of theological rhetoric) are but Ahlul-Bida’ waz-Zaigh (the People of Innovations and Deviation). And they are not considered, by all of the above, to be amongst the ranks of the Scholars (in truth).“


[Reported by Ibn Qudaamah in his Burhaan Fee Bayaanil-Qur'aan]




Imaam Ash-Shaafi’ee said, “That a person is pout to trail with everything that Allaah has forbidden, besides Shirk, is better than that he looks at Kalaam (theological rhetoric).“


Imaam Ash-Shaafi’ee also said, “If people knew what (misleading and destructive) desires are contained within theological rhetoric they would certainly flee from it as they would from a lion.“


Imaam Ash-Shaafi’ee also said, “Whoever showed boldness in approaching theological rhetoric will never prosper.“


[Reported by Ibn Qudaamah in his Burhaan Fee Bayaanil-Qur'aan]


One of the Scholars of Ash-Shaash said:


“Every knowledge except that of the Qur’aan is a pre-occupationExcept for the Hadeeth and Fiqh (understanding) of the deenKnowledge is only that about which it is said,‘Haddathanaa…” (So and so narrated to us (a hadeeth))And what is besides thatAre but whisperings of the Shaytaan (Devils)”


Aboo Yoosuf, the companion of Aboo Haneefah, said,“Whoever sought knowledge by Kalaam (theological rhetoric) will turn a heretical apostate.“


Imaam Ahmad (d. 241) said, “The person of theological rhetoric will never prosper. And never do you see anyone looking into theological rhetoric except that in his heart is a desire for creating mischief.“


[Both the above narrations are reported Ibn Qudaamah in his Burhaan Fee Bayaanil-Qur'aan]


[Taken from "Foundations Of The Sunnah" Pp. 16-17]




Imam al-Barbahaaree (rahimahullah):


“Rhetoric (kalaam) causes disbelief, doubts, innovations, misguidance and confusion. May Allah have mercy upon you! Know that heresy, disbelief, doubts, innovations, misguidance and confusion about the religion have never occurred except through theological rhetoric (Kalam) and because of the people of theological rhetoric, argumentation, debating and disputation. How can a man plunge into argumentation, disputation and debatingseeing that Allah, the Most High, said: ‘None dispute regarding the Aayaat (revelations, signs, proofs) of Allah except those who disbelieve.’ (Soorah Ghaafir 40:4) You should submit to and be pleased with the narrations and the people of narrations, withhold and remain silent.” (The Explanation of The Creed of Imaam Al Barbahaaree)


Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullah):


“There is no analogical reasoning in the Sunnah and examples or likenesses are not to be made for it. Nor is it grasped and comprehended by the intellects or the desires. Rather it [consists of] following [and depending upon] it and abandoning the hawaa [desire].” (Foundations of the Sunnah)


“The person of theological rhetoric will never prosper. And never do you see anyone looking into theological rhetoric except that in his heart is a desire for creating mischief.’ (Reported by Ibn Qudaamah in his Burhaan fee Bayaanil-Qur’an)


“ For indeed, (indulging in) theological rhetoric (kalaam) in the matter of Qadar, the Ru’yah (seeing Allaah in the Hereafter), the Qur’aan and other such issues are among the ways that are detested and which are forbidden. The one Who does so, even if he reaches the truth with his words, is not from Ahlus-Sunnah, until he abandons (using) this mode of argumentation, [and until he] submits and believes in the Aathaar (the Prophetic Narrations & those of the Companions).” (Foundations of the Sunnah)


Imam Sufyaan ath-Thawree (rahimahullah):


repeated thrice: “This religion is based upon narrations not opinions, This religion is based upon narrations not opinions, This religion is based upon narrations not opinions.” (Sharaf Ashaabul Hadeeth)


Imam al-Awzaa’ee ( rahimahullah):


“Hold fast to the narrations of the Salaf, even if people were to abandon you. (And) Beware of the opinions of the people, no matter how much they beautify it with their speech.” (Majmoo’ al-Fataawaa vol. 12, p. 497)




Imam Ibn Hajar al ‘Asqalaani (rahimahullah):


“Their sayings with regards to censuring the people of Kalaam (philosophical speech and theology) are well known. The reason for such censure was that the people of ‘Kalam’ spoke about those matters which both the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘ alayhi wasallam) and his Companions (radhiyallaahu ‘ anhum) remained quiet about. It is established from Imam Maalik that there did not exist at the time of the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) nor that of Abu Bakr (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) or 'Umar (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu), anything from these desires - meaning: the innovation of the Khawaarij, the Raafidah and the Qadariyah. Indeed, those who came after the first three excellent generations expanded upon matters which the Imaams of the Taabi'oon and those who followed them, rejected. The people of Kalam did not content themselves, until they filled the Deen with issues and the sayings of the philosophers. They made this philosophy the basis and the fundamental principle to which everything was referred back to, and all that which opposed it from the narrations of the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘ alayhi wasallam), his Companions (radhiyallaahu ‘ anhum) and the Salaf who followed them ; then ta’weel (false interpretation) was made of them, even if they were averse to the result. Nor did they content themselves with just this. They claimed that what they had compiled was the noblest branch of knowledge and the most deserving to be acquired; and that those who did not use what they had laid down, then they were from the laymen and the ignorant ones. So delight is for the one who clings to what the Salaf were upon, and distances himself from the innovations that the khalaf (the latecomers who opposed the ‘aqeedah and manhaj of the Salaf) introduced. However, if one cannot keep away from it, then let him take only that which he needs and let the way of the Salaf be his intended goal.” (Fath al Baaree 13/253)




Taken from: http://aa.trinimuslims.com/showthread.php?t=5259  &
http://thesunnahway.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/some-statements-of-the-salaf-on-ilmul-kalaam/

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