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  1. #1

    Al-I'jaaz al-Ilmee in the Prophetic Sunnah

    Shaykh Muhammad Bazmul (hafidhahullaah) has an excellent work entitled, "al-I'jaaz al-Ilmee Fil-Sunnah al-Nabawiyyah" which addresses an aspect of the Sunnah that comprises certain types of knowledge which indicate the truthfulness of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and the divine origin of the Sunnah. It is very beneficial and relevant in the face of those who wish to attack the Sunnah from the Mu'tazilah and the Modernists. One of its central issues is related to the issue of medicine in the Sunnah and whether those texts in which the Messenger (alayhis salaam) speaks of medicinal cures are wahy (revelation) or just the opinions and recommendations of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). The book also presents a moderate and balanced position relating to foreknowledge in the revealed texts. In this thread, What follows below is a broad summarization of the essential points in the book inshaa'Allaah with some elaborations in certain areas..
    -== abu.iyaad =-

  2. #2

    Part 1: Definitions

    The Shaykh first defines the terms "I'jaaz" (Mu'jizah) and "Sunnah"

    • The word "mu'jizah (معجزة)" is used by the Ahl al-Kalaam and they define it as a matter that is extraordinary (outside of what is ordinarily and normally observed) and to which a claim of prophethood is attached, and the intent behind this (mu'jizah) is to manifest the truthfulness of the one who claimed he is a messenger of Allaah. Incidentally, this is one of the places where the Ash'arites make an utter contradiction with another of their core beliefs which is to deny the hikam (the objectives and goals behind things in which there is wisdom) for Allaah, the Exalted, which they label as "ghaayaat" - just as they label the sifaat khabariyyah as "a'daa" (limbs). So they deny that Allaah does something "for" something, as in for a purpose and objective. However, when it came to establishing an argument for prophethood, here they said that the mu'jizah (miracle) is that by which Allaah establishes the truthfulness of His Messenger, thereby establishing a hikmah and "ghaayah." This is one of many many contradictions in their creed that is established upon the ilm al-kalaam of the Hellenized Jews, Christians and Sabean star worshippers.

    • As for Ahl al-Hadeeth, the Shaykh says that they use the words "dalaa'il" (evidences), "alaamaat" (signs, pointers) and "aayaat" (signs). (Ibn Taymiyyah in al-Nubuwwaat says that the Qur'anic terminology is to use "aayah", sign and "burhaan", evidence). This is established in the language of the Scholars of hadeeth such as al-Bukhari and al-Tirmidhee.

    • The term "sunnah" refers to that which is ascribed to the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) of speech, action, approval (taqreer), or a characteristic (in terms of features or manners).

    • From the above, the term "I'jaaz al-Sunnah al-Nabawiyyah" means: That which the hadeeth of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) comprise of dalaa'il, aayaat and alaamaat for his prophethood and his truthfulness in that which he conveyed from his Lord and all of which prevents that from being from one to whom revelation has not come. Rather it indicates that this man is one to whom revelation (wahy) is given from his Lord and hence he is a prophet.

    • The verse in Surah al-Najm, "He does not speak of his own desire (hawaa), it is no less than revelation (wahy) inspired to him" (53:3-4), and the saying of Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah), "The aayaat of the Prophets as is known necessitate the affirmation of prophethood and the truthfulness of the one informing of them (the aayaat) and witnessing to them, hence, from their existence (the ayaat), the presence of prophethood is made binding and the truthfulness of the one informing of them..." (al-Nubuwwaat, p. 385).

    • The claim of Ahl al-Kalaam that it is from the condition of a mu'jizah (to us, an "aayaah" or "burhaan") which occurs at the hand of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), that it be made a challenge (al-tahaddee) [and that if a false prophet made such a claim, Allaah would falsify him, and thus the essential difference between what the magicians and their likes do and what the Prophets have of miracles is really only the "tahaddee" (the challenge)] - is an error. This is because extraordinary things (khawaariq) also occur amongst his followers and his companions (as a means of giving them firmness, and out of mercy from Allaah) and they are not unique to the Prophets. Further, to specify this condition for a "mu'jizah" would necessitate that many of the Quranic verses and Prophetic ahaadeeth which do not contain a "tahaddee" (challenge of bringing its like) would be expelled from being considered "mu'jizah" (to us, "aayaat" or "baraaheen") yet they contain clear signs (aayaat) and evidences (baraaheen) of the truthfulness of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and of his prophethood. This is from the mistakes of the Ash'aris and their likes from the blameworthy and censured Ahl al-Kalaam who erred in the issue of establishing Prophethood, just as they erred in the issue of trying to prove the universe is originated and has a creator.

    ُEnd of Part 1.

    -== abu.iyaad =-

  3. #3

    Part 2: The Types of al-I'jaaz in the Prophetic Sunnah

    The Shaykh explains the types of al-I'jaaz al-Ilmee in the Prophetic Sunnah, which - leaving aside that which relates to his seerah (biography) and shamaa'il (merits, characteristics, traits, behaviours) - can be put into four broad categories:

    • The First: What his (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam's) Sunnah comprises of far reaching eloquence (fasaahah, balaaghah).

    • The Second: What his (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam's) Sunnah comprises of information (reports, akhbaar) regarding the unseen affairs (ghaybiyyaat) which occurred just as he informed of them.

    • The Third: What his (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam's) Sunnah comprises of the signs (aayaat) which the Companions saw directly with their senses (hiss).

    • The Fourth: What his (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam's) Sunnah comprises of such legislation that is outside the capacity of mankind to produce and whose suitability, truthfulness and appropriateness is testified to as each day goes by, attesting to the truthfulness of the sayings of Allaah in (3:19), (3:85), (5:3) and so on.

    Then the Shaykh gives examples for each one, and he expands upon the second category above and says that it is also of types:

    • The First Type: Ahaadeeth which inform of events and signs to occur in the future, and which occurred exactly as he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) informed of them

    • The SecondType: What has come in his speech (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) informing of certain affairs which secular studies have revealed that he was truthful in informing of their details, and this is what is specifically referred to as al-I'jaaz al-Ilmee, and this also comprises al-I'jaaz al-Tibbee (that which relates to medicine).

    • The Third Type: That which he informed of unseen matters regarding nations of the past.

    • The FourthType: That which came in his speech (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) regarding affairs which occurred in his lifetime exactly as he informed of them.

    I have left out a lot of the details and examples given by the Shaykh due to shortage of time, but the intent here is to help us categorize what would come under the i'jaaz of the Sunnah. Of particular relevance is what relates to al-Tibb (medicine) as we will focus on that in more detail a little later inshaa'Allaah.

    -== abu.iyaad =-

  4. #4

    Part 3: Shar'iyy Knowledge and Theoretical, Experimental Knowledge

    The Shaykh (hafidhahullaah) explains the following:

    • The experimental knowledge (al-ilm al-tajreebi) is not the knowledge mentioned in the Sharee'ah texts, since that knowledge is what relates to knowing the rullings of the acts of worship (ibaadaat) and interactions (mu'aamalaat), a Muslim needs to learn them in order to fufil his worship in the most perfect manner, and the source of which is the Qur'an and Sunnah. Hence, the experimental knowledge is not one that depends on returningto the texts (nusoos) and to foundations (usool). The Sharee'ah knowledge is fard ayn (a individual obligation). The experimental knowledge is fard kifaayah (a collective obligation), and it enters into the meaning of the verse (8:60).

    • The experimental knowledge is imperfect, it is not able to give a comprehensive, complete, exhaustive, definitive explanation. It is connected only to the outward and apparentness (of things), not with their inner realities. It gives the answer to "how" and not the answer to "what" and "why". This is the knowledge Allaah described in the verse, "They know the apparent (things) of the life of the world and they are heedless of the Hereafter" (30:7). This type of knowledge, by its very nature and the investigative methodologies associated with it is always subject to presumptions and interpretations, and there is not any particular precise methodology of investigating it. As a person proceeds in this experimental knowledge he is not certain as to what direction to go in precisely (in other words there is a lot of speculation, and assumption). As for medicine (tibb), then it is from this type of experimental knowledge, and it relates to the preservation of good health and the removal of an occurring illness.

    • The intent then behind al-i'jaaz al-ilmee wal-tibbee (wondrous nature of the mention of knowledge and medicine) in the Prophetic Sunnah is: That which has come in the Prophetic Ahaadeeth which comprise aayaat (signs) and dalaa'il (indications, evidences) that are an evidence (collectively) for the Prophet's (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) truthfulness in his (claim) to Prophethood from the angle of what they contain of reports of unseen matters which relate to the experimental and medicinal knowledge and which indicate the precedence of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in making indication of them and in which a person at that particular time would have been unable to have knowledge of them - rather some of which have not been uncovered until now, and some of which have not been uncovered at all.

    • A general point that when we look at this subject matter we see that when such types of reports are mentioned (concerning such knowledge), they are generally mentioned incidentally, and not intended directly. To illustrate, the hadeeth in which the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ordered the washing of utensils which have been licked by a dog, that they be washed seven times, the first with sand or dust and the rest with water, the Messenger did not say, "Verily, there is in the saliva of a dog that which cannot be removed except with sand, dust." Rather, the Messenger explained a Sharee'ah ruling and how to remove impurity of the licking of the dog of a utensil.

    • Examples of such ahaadeeth that relate to this topic include: The hadeeth, "The last hour will not be established until ...the land of the Arabs (the peninsula) once more returns with (green) pastures and rivers", the hadeeth of washing the utensils licked by a dog seven times, the first with sand, dust, the ahaadeeth relating to the siwaak, its virtues and encouragement to use it, the hadeeth of the number of joints in offspring of Aadam (360 mafsils), the hadeeth "The hour will not be established until a fire emerges from the Hijaaz which (is so great that it will) illuminate the necks of camels in Basrah", the ahaadeeth reported about honey (in preventative and curative medicine), and the ahaadeeth pertaining to hijaamah.

    • The aspects from which these types of matters are from al-i'jaaz al-ilmee include: a) that they are (in many cases) reports about unknown, unseen matters which the knowledge of man cannot reach, b) that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is unlettered (ummiyy), he is not able to know any of these affairs except through transmission from others, and that is if others knew these matters prior to him, see (29:48) and (16:103), and c) that arriving at conclusions through experimental knowledge requires a great amount of time and effort, and resources (such as laboratories), yet this Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was in their midst, was never out of their sight, so from where did he get all these instances of knowledge.

    -== abu.iyaad =-


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