Thursday, 23 February 2017

Mu'tazila Deny the Karamaat (Miracles) of the Saints

بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ


The rationalist Mu’tazila sect, who called themselves Ahl-al-Tawhid wal-‘Adl meaning ‘people of monotheism and justice’ distinctively deny the Karamât (miracles) of the Awliya (saints). A medieval Mu’tazilite theologian, al-Qadi Abdal Jabbar (935 – 1025) claimed that non-prophets are unable to produce miracles otherwise it would not be possible to make a distinction between a Prophet and a saintly non-prophet.


Reference: Mukhtasar Fi Usul al-Din; p. 271


This weak objection was answered in the classical Sunni work Sharh al-Aqidah al-Tahawiyya (1/395):


نفي كرامات الأولياء، فقالوا: لا يجوز خرق العادة إلا لنبي؛ لأنه لو خرقت العادة لغير نبي لالتبس على الناس أمر النبي بالولي، فلا يحصل التمييز.

وأجيب عن هذه الشبهة: بأن الولي الذي تحصل على يديه الكرامة، وهي: الأمر الخارق للعادات لا يدعي النبوة إذ لو ادعى النبوة لم يكن وليا، ولم يكن ما جرى على يده كرامة


Meaning that a Wali (saint) by definition is someone who does not lie and fabricate such a slander upon God by claiming to be a Prophet when in fact he isn’t one. In other words, the Mu’tazilite argument that if saintly non-prophets can produce miracles it would be impossible for the public to distinguish between a prophet and a non-prophet is nullified by the fact that a saintly non-prophet would never claim to be a prophet in the first place. If someone did claim to be a prophet but was lying he would be unable to produce a miracle.


Contrary to the Mu’tazilite belief, miracles of saints are a reality and proven from the Qur’an and Sunnah. It is mentioned in the same book Sharh al-Aqidah al-Tahawiyya (ibid):


ومن كرامات الأولياء التي في القرآن ما في قصة مريم وولادتها لعيسى عليه السلام


The incident of the Virgin Mary giving birth to Jesus (peace be upon him) is an example of a saintly miracle mentioned in the Holy Qur’an:


قَالَتْ أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لِي غُلَامٌ وَلَمْ يَمْسَسْنِي بَشَرٌ وَلَمْ أَكُ بَغِيًّا ﴿٢٠ قَالَ كَذَٰلِكِ قَالَ رَبُّكِ هُوَ عَلَيَّ هَيِّنٌ


She (Mary) said, “How can I have a boy while no man has touched me and I have not been unchaste?” He said, “Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, It is easy for Me” (Sura 19: 20 – 21)

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