In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
What is Ilmul Kalaam and Its History:
Mr Husain – Ex-member of the khaarijites of Hizb at-Tahreer and now advocator of the methodology of the heretical philosophers – said:
“By the seventh and eighth centuries, Christianity became doctrinal and dogmatic, closed to philosophy and free inquiry. Tertullian, an early church father, asked dismissively “What does Jerusalem have to do with Athens?” Hardline Christians destroyed the academies of Greek philosophy in Athens and burned the libraries of Alexandria, killing Hypatia the Philosopher for her rejection of Christians. What Christianity closed, Arabian Muslims soon sought to open”. [End of quote]
Response to the above statement:
Indeed, it is well known amongst the people who follow the authentic of Sunnah of the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] that philosophers are miusguided and upon other than the right path ordained by the Creator of the heavens and the earth. And besides the misguidance of the Christians – those amongst them who substituted the religion of the Messiah [alayhis salaam] and innovated new doctrines, they would be deserving of some commendation if the rejection they showed the philosophers was based on truth. However, if they did not possess sound principles by way of which to distinguish between truth and falsehood in the affair, but rather they overacted and punished people without proof, then indeed they are blameworthy. As for the scholars of Islaam – the Companions of Muhammad first and foremost, the Taabi’een and the Atbaa At-Taabi’een, then indeed they had sound principles from the infallible Qur’aan and authentic Sunnah by way of which to judge all affairs of the Deen and Dunya. And indeed this is the same path followed by the upright scholars today when dealing with all affairs that are connected to the Deen of Allaah.
Shaikh Saaleh Aala Ash-Shaikh [hafidhahullaah] said:
The Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] said: Verily, the creation of each of you is brought together in his mother’s womb for forty days as a drop [of water, semen], then he is a clot for a similar period, then a morsel for a similar period. [An-Nawawi’s Forty Hadeeth. Hadeeth 4]
It is well known that during that era, the Sahaabah did not know these stages [of development of the human being in the womb] through experimental knowledge, vision [i.e. by way of the naked eye] or other than that; rather it was simply [a statement of the Prophet] which they [believed and affirmed]. They were scholars by way of the revelation sent down to the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] and not by way of experimentation [examination]. [Ref 1]
This is the first affair – whatever reaches us from the Qur’aan, the authentic Sunnah and the consensus of the Salafus Saaleh, then indeed it is unquestionable.
Secondly, Imaam Muhammad Bin Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [rahimahullaah] said:
We do not say that we do not give consideration to anything stated by the people in the subject matter regarding medicine, astronomy and the celestial bodies; however, we do not accept everything they say. If what they say opposes the Book and the [authentic] Sunnah, then indeed we do not accept their statements; [rather] we take [i.e. believe and affirm without any doubt] that which is conveyed in the Book and the [authentic] Sunnah, and we say, “An era will come in which the people will bear witness to the falsity of those statements of theirs – at present – that are in opposition to the Book and [authentic] Sunnah and [bear witness] to the soundness of that which has been conveyed in the Book and the [authentic] Sunnah. [Ref 2]
Thirdly, Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [rahimahullaah] said:
Indeed, that which is stated by the astronomers about the celestial bodies, their sizes and the distance between them, and that which is said about the earth [i.e. by the geologists etc] is categorized into three affairs: [a] That which is backed by the sound knowledge-based proofs [i.e. the Sharee’ah], therefore it is accepted. [b] That which the knowledge-based proofs [i.e. the sharee’ah] declares to be false, therefore it is rejected. [c] That which there is no proof to either accept or reject it, therefore it is unproven until a person from the people of knowledge [i.e. upright scholars of Ahlus Sunnah] examines it [i.e. examines what it indicates based on the Book and Sunnah] to show whether it should be accepted or rejected. As for accepting it without [sound] investigation and observation, but merely accepting it by blindly following them [i.e. the astronomers, geologists etc], then this is impermissible because of the numerous mistakes that occur as a result of that, and speaking -without knowledge – about Allaah and that which He has created [i.e. the entire universe and all that is within it]. [Ref 3]
Therefore, if those Christians of the seventh and eighth century rejected the ideas of the philosophers based on sound principles by way of which sound belief in Allaah is preserved, then indeed they are free from blame in the sight of their Lord and they are commended for burning the books of the philosophers if they were given the authority do so by the rulers of the land, just as “Ibn Rushd was afflicted at the hands of Al-Mansoor Bin Abee Ya’qoob [The Sultaan of the people of Tawheed], his books on philosophy were burnt and he was charge with deviation”. [Ref 4] This is because “All Muslims are to derive sound creed from one source [The Qur’aan, authentic Sunnah and understanding of the Sahaabah] so that the sound creed is protected from false claims, deviation and misguidance”. [Ref 5]
Therefore, if the Christians of the seventh and eighth century were defending the sound beliefs transmitted from the Messiah [alayhis salaam] and utilised their authority to eradicate the misguidance of the philosophers, then indeed they are to be commended; but if they were merely defending false beliefs as well as utilising their authority to execute people based upon other than what the law of the Messiah necessitated, then indeed they are blameworthy, even though philosophers are also misguided devils. As for the upright scholars of Islaam, then indeed – besides the sound principles they follow to preserve the Aqeedah, their statements against ahlul kalaam [philosophers] are well known.
A man asked Qaasim Bin As-Sallaam [rahimahullaah] about Ilmul Kalaam, so he said to him, “Indeed, your Lord has guided to the path of uprightness and to the path of truth. Allaah [The Exalted] said:
فَإِن تَنَـٰزَعۡتُمۡ فِى شَىۡءٍ۬ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ وَٱلرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمۡ تُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡيَوۡمِ ٱلۡأَخِرِۚ ذَٲلِكَ خَيۡرٌ۬ وَأَحۡسَنُ تَأۡوِيلاً
(And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination. [Surah An-Nisaa. Aayah 59]
Do you not have what suffices in what your Lord guided you to regarding His speech and the Sunnah of His Prophet, so that you do not return to your opinion and thus become destroyed! Indeed, your Lord has forbidden you from speaking about His Essence and Attributes, except that which He has made know to you. (6)
Imaam Ash-Shaafi’ee [rahimahullaah] said,
“Ilmul Kalaam is ignorance”. Imaam Abu Yusuf [rahimahullaah] said, “Ilmul kalaam is ignorance and to be ignorant of Ilmul Kalaam is knowledge”. (7)
Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullaah) said,
“I am neither a person of Ilmul Kalaam nor do I recognize Ilmul Kalaam in anything. (I only recognize) that which is found in the Book of Allaah or in the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam)”. (8)
Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullaah) also said,
“Do not sit with the proponents of ilmul kalaam even if they defend the Sunnah”. (9)
Yoonus Ibn Abdil A’laa (rahimahullaah) said,
“I heard Ash-Shaafi’ee (rahimahullaah) saying, ‘It is better for a man to be put to trial with everything that Allaah has forbidden except Shirk than looking into (or engaging himself in) ilmul kalaam; for indeed I have come across affairs from the proponents of ilmul kalaam that which I never thought I would come across’”. (10)
Ibn Aqeel [rahimahullaah] said, “There is none more harmful on the sharee’ah than the innovators of the people of kalaam [i.e. the people of philosophical rhetoric] and the ignorant soofees”. (10.1)
maam Maalik [rahimahullaah] said, “May Allaah curse Amr Ibn Ubaid, for indeed he innovated this innovation from Al-Kalaam. If Kalaam was knowledge, the companions of the Messenger and the Taabi’een would have spoken about it just as they spoke rulings and laws of the religion, however it is falsehood and leads to falsehood. (10.2)
Statements of Upright Contemporary Scholars
Question to Shaikh Rabee [hafidhahullaah]:
May Allaah reward you with good; this is also a question from the brothers who are present, saying: Assalaamu Alaykum Warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuhu. Virtuous Shaikh, is it permissible for me to learn [or study] the knowledge of philosophical logic? Benefit me [i.e. with a response] and may Allaah [The Exalted] reward you with good.
Answer: The knowledge of philosophical logic is a corrupt knowledge and the Salaf- by way of consensus- declared that it is Haraam [forbidden] to study it due to the misguidance and disgustingly evil consequences within it. Shaikhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah [rahimahullaah] said, “Neither does a dull-witted person benefit from it nor is an intelligent person in need of it”. An intelligent person is not in need of it because he is sensible in his self, natural disposition and intellect; and a dull-witted person does not benefit from it. Even if he studied all the books of philosophical logic, he will not benefit from it.
Shaikh Albaani [rahimahullaah] used to debate against the scholars of philosophical logic and they used to be like children in his presence, yet he never studied philosophical logic; rather Allaah granted him [sound] speech and [Sharee’ah] knowledge, and there is no proof stronger than the proofs of the Kitaab [i.e. the Qur’aan] and the [authentic] Sunnah.
The people of philosophical logic are always defeated [or overwhelmed]. By Allaah, regardless how much they [utilise] philosophical speech and how strong they are in philosophical logic, they are defeated [or overwhelmed] in the presence of the methodology of the Salafus Saaleh [which is] founded on the Book [i.e. the Qur’aan] and the [authentic] Sunnah. (11)
Two Main Evil Outcomes of Theological Rhetoric And Soofiyyah- By Shaikh Rabee Bin Haadee
Shaikh Rabee [hafidhahullaah] said: The final affair of Ahlul Kalaam [the proponents of theological rhetoric] are a state of doubt and confusion, and the final affair of Ahlut Tasawwuf [the people of the Sofee paths] are a state of wild irrational behaviour and false claims. Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [rahimahullaah] said, “And because of this, the innovators of Ahlul Kalaam [proponents of theological rhetoric] have something of resemblance to the Yahood and the innovators in acts of worship have something of resemblance to the Nasaaraa. The final affair of ahlul kalam are a state of doubt and confusion and the final affair of the innovators in acts of worship are a state of wild irrational behaviour and false claims. That is because these ones [i.e. ahlul kalaam] deny the truth and thus it leads them to doubt and those ones [i.e. innovators in acts of worship] believe in falsehood and it leads them to a state of wild irrational behaviour. These ones [i.e. ahlul kalam] are like the darkness in a vast deep sea, overwhelmed with a great wave topped by a great wave, topped by dark clouds, darkness, one above another; and those ones [i.e. innovators in acts of worship] are like a mirage in a desert, the thirsty one thinks it to be water, until he comes up to it and finds it to be nothing”. (12)
The Consequences of Conjecture And Desires
[إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا ٱلظَّنَّ وَمَا تَهۡوَى ٱلۡأَنفُسُۖ – They follow but a guess and that which they themselves desire].
Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr [hafidhahullaah] said: The one deprived of sound Eemaan and the sound creed sent down as revelation by Allaah- The Lord of the Aalameen, then his affair is one of two: Corruption in Knowledge or Corruption in his Intent– corruption in knowledge occurs as a result of following conjecture and corruption in one’s intent occurs as a result of following desires, or the person may combine both of them.
Another benefit derived from this is that the rectification or well-being of a person cannot be attained except by way of two affairs: Upright Knowledge and Upright Intent. This is why Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said in Miftaah Daarus Sa’aadah that a person is in need of two things: “Sound Knowledge by way of which he is rightly guided and lofty aspiration by way of which he is urged towards that”. That is because it maybe that a person has beneficial knowledge but not sound intent and aspiration, therefore one cannot be upright except by way of upright knowledge and intent. Sound knowledge is corrupted through following conjecture and sound intent is corrupted through following the desires of one’s soul. (13)
Shaikh Uthaymeen [rahimahullaah] said:
Ad-Daaraqutnee [rahimahullaah] hated Ilmul Kalaam, even though he never entered into it due to its evil consequences, monotonous speech without benefit, the doubts it presents in affairs that are already established based on certainty, the confusion it causes and leading to abandonment of the [authentic] narrations. There is nothing- based on what I can see or what I hold – more harmful to the Muslims in their creed than Ilmul Kalaam and philosophical logic. Many of the senior scholars of philosophical rhetoric affirmed – at the end of their lives – that they wished to die upon the religion [i.e. the religion that is in conformity with what is found in the Qur’aan, authentic Sunnah and understanding of the pious predecessors] and return to their natural disposition [i.e. Islaam as revealed in the authentic texts].
Shaikhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah [rahimahullaah] said, “The ones it is feared for the most that they will fall into misguidance are those scholars of philosophical rhetoric at the intermediate level, because those who did not engage in it were safe from its evils; and those who engaged in it and reached a high level became acquainted with its corruption and falsity, and thus left it”. He [Shaikhul Islaam] spoke the truth, for this is what is feared in every affair of knowledge. It is what is feared for the ones at the intermediate level in knowledge- those who are exploring the path [or are in the path of study], because indeed they consider themselves as ones who have entered into affairs of knowledge and do not leave the affair to others [i.e. they enter into affairs that are above their ability to deal with], whilst – in reality- they have not reached the highest level in knowledge and are not grounded; so they become misguided and misguiding others. (14)
Shaikh Rabee Bin Haadi [may Allaah preserve him] said that Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said:
The people in their pursuit of knowledge and religion have two innovated paths and a path legislated in the Sharee’ah. The path of the Islamic legislation is to look at that which the Messenger brought, utilise it as evidence and act upon that which it necessitates; therefore, there has to be knowledge based on that which he [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] came with and to act upon it, and only one of them is not enough. This path is built upon the sound intellectual proofs and the sound proofs that are based on absolute certainty [in conformity with the revelation], for indeed the Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] clarified the sound intellectual proofs whose limits are determined by the [infallible] divine texts and the Messengers clarified the sound rational proofs which the people are in need of, just as Allaah put forth in the Qur’an every kind of similitude. This is the straight path which Allaah commanded His servants to ask Him to guide them to.
As for the two innovated paths, one of them is the path of the people of innovated theological speech and views, for indeed there is much falsehood in this. Many of its people become negligent in the deeds commanded by Allaah and His Messenger, so they remain upon corruption in knowledge and deeds. These people stray towards false Judaism.
The second is the path of people who employ ways of strengthening the soul, the people of the Soofi paths and innovated acts of worship. These ones stray towards false Christianity, because they say that if a person purifies his soul based on the manner in which they have stated, then the sciences of the religion will come to him in abundance without learning. The acts of worship of many amongst these people are innovated; rather they are in opposition to that which the Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] came with and thus they remain upon corruption in their deeds and corruption due to deficiency in knowledge, since they do not know what the Messenger came with. These people often malign one another and every group speaks ill against the other, whilst each of them claims to be following the Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam]; however, what the Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] came with is neither in agreement with what these ones say and what those ones say. Allaah said:
مَا كَانَ إِبۡرَٲهِيمُ يَہُودِيًّ۬ا وَلَا نَصۡرَانِيًّ۬ا وَلَـٰكِن كَانَ حَنِيفً۬ا مُّسۡلِمً۬ا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُشۡرِكِينَ
Ibrahim (Abraham) was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim Hanifa (Islamic Monotheism – to worship none but Allah Alone) and he was not one who associated partners to Allaah in worship. [Surah Aal Imraan. Aayah 67]
Neither the Messenger of Allaah [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] nor his companions were upon the path of the people of religions innovations amongst the proponents of Theological Rhetoric and Views, nor upon the path of the people of religious innovations amongst the proponents of innovated worship and Soofiyyah; rather he was upon that which Allaah sent him with based on the Qur’aan and Sunnah.(15)
Therefore, what will Ed Husain – the ex-member of the khaarijites of Hizb at-Tahreer and an advocator of philosophy at present– have to say after hearing the above statements of the Salaf and upright Khalaf regarding philosophy and its misguided heretical flag bearers?!
Finally, regarding Mr Husain’ statement, “What Christianity closed [i.e. Philosophy], Arabian Muslims soon sought to open”, we say: If those Christians did stop philosophy in order to defend correct beliefs transmitted from the Messiah [alayhis salaam], then indeed they are to be commended and Mr Husain’s is tantamount to treachery and desire for extreme corruption in the earth, rather his statement is tantamount to enjoin evil and forbidding good. Shaikh Rabee Bin Haadi [hafidhahullaah] said: It has been reported in an authentic hadeeth -[in Saheeh Al Bukhaari and Saheeh Muslim]- that a man will be brought on the Day of Resurrection and thrown into the Fire, then his intestines will spill forth in the Fire and he will go around it as a donkey goes around a millstone. The people of Hell will gather around him and will say: O So and so! What is the matter with you; did you not use to enjoin good and forbid evil? He will say: Yes, I used to enjoin good, but did not do it; and I used to forbid evil and did it [i.e. commit the evil I used to forbid. [Al-Bukhaari 3267 & Muslim 2989]
After quoting this Hadeeth, Shaikh Rabee Bin Haadi [hafidhahullaah] said: Indeed, there maybe someone who is worse than this man, for he [i.e. the one worse than the man mentioned in this Hadeeth] enjoins evil and forbids good, so what will be his state of affairs, and Allaah’s Refuge is sought?! (16)
May Allaah guide this misguided self-appointed speaker or protect us from the severe and destructive misguidance he is upon Aameen.
To be continued InShaaAllaah
[Ref 1: Sharh Al-Arba’een. Hadeeth 4]
[Ref 2: An excerpt from the ‘Explanation of Bulooghul Maraam’ Vol 1. page 130]
[Ref 3: An Excerpts from ‘Al-Adillah An-Naqliyyah Wal-Hissiyyah Alaa Imkaanis Su’ood Ilal Kawaakib Wa Alaa Jarayaan Ash-Shams Wal-Qamar Wa Sukoon Al-Ard’ page 74. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 4: Al-Aql Wan-Naql Inda Ibn Rushd. page 16. By Shaikh Muhammad Amaan al-Jaamee (rahimahullaah). Publisher. Daar Al-Minhaaj 1426AH 
[Ref 5: Al-Aql Wan-Naql Inda Ibn Rushd. page 16. By Shaikh Muhammad Amaan al-Jaamee (rahimahullaah). Publisher. Daar Al-Minhaaj 1426AH 
[Ref 6: Reported by Al-Ajlee in Dhammul Kalaam 1/85]
[Ref 7: Aqeedah Ash-Shaafi’ee. Page 87. http://al-badr.net/sub/228 ]
[Ref 8: Source: Quoted in ”An-Nahjul Aqwaa. Introduction by Shaikh Saaleh Al-Fawzaan and Shaikh Abdul Azeez Aala Shaikh. page: 126]
[Ref 9: An-Nahjul Aqwaa’ with the introduction of Shaikh Fawzaan and Shaikh Abdul Azeez Aala Shaikh. Page: 127
[Ref 10: Aqeedah Ash-Shaafi’ee. Page: 86]
[Ref 10.1: As-Sawaa-iq Al-Mursalah Alal Jahmiyyah Wal-Mu-attilah 4/1346]
[Ref 10.2: Dhammul Kalaam by Al-Harwee 5/73]
[Ref 11: An Excerpt from Marhaban Yaa Taalibal Ilm page 347. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 12: Al-Mukhtaaraat Al-Bahiyyah Min Kutub Shaikhil Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah. Page 281. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 13: An Excerpt from Sharh Kitaab At-Tawheed. Lesson 4]
[Ref 14: Sharh Hilyati Taalibil Ilm page 28. paraphrased]
[Ref 15: Al-Mukhtaaraat Al-Bahiyyah Min Kutub Shaikhil Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah. 290-291. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 16: Marhaban Yaa Taalibal Ilm. Pages 270-271. Slightly paraphrased]