A Case Inbetween Two Concerns

Chapter Three : the Principle of the Progeny of Muhammad(a.s.)

We do not need so much thinking and mediation to conclude that the Quranic principle about this sensitive and dangerous matter in man’s life is neither the first principle nor the second; Quranic verses we have already surveyed are enough evidence to prove this fact.

Hence, the principle AL Quran chooses is a third one midway between both.

This third principle is the one chosen by the Progeny(A.S.) who attributed it to the Holy Book later on to be known as (A case inbetween two concerns) i.e. midway between both doctrines.

True, it is a third principle inbetween two fanatic conflicting dogmas that have reigned over for a certain era during Islamic history of reason. The progeny of Muhammad (A.S.) are the pioneer advocates to this Quranic principle, being the first to demonstrate it to people. “Interpretation of the Principle (a case inbetween two concern)”

Strange enough, this midway interpretation of AlQuran principle pertaining to man’s needs and behavior, though clear, has remained concealed during the first ages of Islam, hidden from the reasonable debate taking place then among Islamic scholars respectively about AL Quran attitude towards this matter.

And even though the Progeny (A.S.) have been propagating this principle so that it became one of their well know teachings, yet, it remained unknown in the reasonable debate taking place then (during the Abbasi reign and afterwards), which actually stimulates questions. How did the scholars (who do not follow the school of the Progeny(A.S.)), become two parties, each committed to one of these two doctrines, although alQuran frankly and clearly has rejected both?

The reason which diverged the scholars attention from (A case in between two concerns)

The reason for that – as it were – was that (Al Mutazilah) by means of emphasizing man’s independence of choice and will meant to get ride of putting the responsibility of the injustice committed by mankind on behalf of Allah the Sublime, deeming Him far above any injustice made by man.

This was the reason that made (Al Mutazilah) differ with (Al Asha'irah), thus attributing the deed to man himself never attributing it to Allah the Sublime, for the same reason they emphasized man’s independence of choice denying that Allah the Sublime possesses any will or choice or authority over man’s choice and deed, but He the Sublime created man bestowing on him the talents which enable him to make a choice, leaving him thereafter to his own option and will.

Man’s independence of choice does not contradict creation and innovation for (according to this theory), the dispensable only needs the Indispensable at the stage of occurrence exclusively; if ever it takes place it will become independent from the Indispensable, thus it will be independent in its deed and free choice from Allah the Sublime,

(AlMutazilah) think that if ever we deprive man of his freedom of choice, making his choice and will as an extension to Allah’s, giving – at the same time – Allah the Sublime a reign over man’s deed and free choice, we shall face the same problem which previously faced (Al Ashairah), namely attributing injustice and villainies to Allah the Sublime.

On the other hand, when man becomes completely independent in his will and deed from Allah the Sublime, none of his deeds will be attributed to Him the Sublime.

Thus (Al Mutazilah) try to maintain the (Devine Justice), but – Knowing it or not – they confiscate thus Allah the Sublime’s permanent reign and his continuous will over mankind, which is a sensitive point that touches Monotheism itself.

If Alasha'irah’s principle touches Allah’s Justice the Mutazilah’s principle clearly and frankly touches Monotheism of Allah; and through the previous Quranic texts we have surveyed we found that its emphasis over Allah’s permanent reign on mankind and its denied of man’s independence in affairs is by no means less than its emphasis on man’s free choice.

This complex – as it were – was the reason that made Muslim scholars from schools other than the progeny’s (A.S.) refuge to adopt one of both perils; without such an explanation we shall not find enough reason for people’s ignorance of all the Quranic verses we have listed previously with all their forthright significance that rejects determinism and authorization and man’s independence of will and deed.

“Free Choice is Not Equal to Independence”

Before moving to tackle the style by means of which the scholars of the Progeny’s doctrine could avoid attributing injustice to Allah the Sublime never – at the same time – disregarding His domination and continuous influence on man’s deed and free choice, we must attract the reader’s attention to the fact that (free choice is not equal to independence).

The reason that made the scholars of schools other than the progeny’s dismiss the principle of (a case inbetween two concerns) was not their belief that free choice means independence, and that the principle of (a case inbetween two concerns) confiscates man’s independence and free choice leading once again to the dogma of inevitability which we tried to got rid of its consequences;

we say that such a doubt does not deserve prolonged discussion, for free choice does not necessitate that potency should be inclined to another choice or deed, possibly enough, one deed may fall under the free choice of two parties who maintain separately their own free choices and deeds, thus none of which can keep a choice and a deed but for the choice and the deed of the other; or the choice and deed of the second may become conditioned to the choice and deed of the first (and never vice-versa).

Therefore, we do not need to embark longer at this point so as to prove that free choice does not mean independence. Back to the origin of the matter.

The interpretation given by the progeny’s school scholars to the principle of (A case inbetween two concerns

Let us try now to understand how did the scholars of the progeny’s school get rid of this problem taking into their consideration what (Al Quran) frankly states of Allah’s domination and sovereignty over the choice and deed of mankind and of deeming Allah the Sublime far above every evil and injustice; and we have seen before that (Al Ashairah) adopted the first principle neglecting the second; (Al Mutazilah) on the other hand adopted the second neglecting the first.

Philosophical theorization of man’s relation to Allah The Sublime in respect to (man’s origination and continuation)

Previously, we spoke of the Quranic principle of man’s relation with Allah, the continuation of this connection and man’s permanent need and wanting (at the stage of origination and in his continuation) to Allah; and we have seen that (Al Quran) removes every suspicion, proving absolutely that man remains wanting Allah the Sublime in all his affairs, needs and at all stages; Allah’s sovereignty, domination, will and reign over man’s choice and deed never cease (not even for a single moment). Now, we shall elaborate on the philosophical theorization of this matter.

The continuous need of every effect to its cause in both stages (origination and continuation):

(Al Mufawidah) – who believe that man is authorized and owns a free choice – establish their opinion about man’s independence from Allah the Sublime in his free choice and deed on the philosophical notion that (the effect) dispenses with (the cause) at the stage of continuation, it only needs (the cause) when it is originated.

Some theologists adhere to this opinion which relies on some non-scientific observations like the continuation of movement in a moving body after separating the dynamic energy from it; the heat – as another example – is preserved in a certain body that has absorbed it from a resource even after the removal of it.

The building continues to stand after the departure of the mason; and so on and so forth.

Al Shaikh (Ibn Siena) in his (Isharat) refers to this opinion (They may say; if something is originated, the need for its maker will be over, and even if the maker is dismissed the effect may remain, the way we see a building standing without the presence of its mason; to the degree that some of them would not hesitate to say: If it may be possible that the Sublime Creator to create and originate it, then it became a maker itself; and if it was made and brought into existence from nothingness, how should it move from existence into nothingness (so it might require a maker again?)([^1])

According to this philosophical theorization (Al Mufawdhah) claim that man gains his independence from Allah the Sublime after being created by Him, therefore he is totally independent in his deed and free choice.

This is a worthless idea that cannot stand to the accurate reasonable proofs which state that (effect) requires the (cause) not only during the making; rather it needs it during the making and continuation all along, and if ever the (cause) vanishes the (effect) will vanish completely, for the (effect) only exists by means of the (cause), being removed, the (effect) will disappear, the (effect) has no independent existence other that that is bestowed on it by the (cause) (Which is the essence of the relation between cause and effect), whenever this relation comes to an end, the cause would no more bestow existence on effect, which – in turn – will vanish naturally.

The conclusions we derive from the first simple look signify that the (effect) maintains its existence even though the (cause) is removed and dismissed. But these are only naive primitive observations that are not connected to (cause) and (effect) and (casualty law).

We shall not embark longer on this matter; anybody who seeks elaboration is advised to study philosophical researches that deal with this matter from a reasonable point of view.

Scholastic Approach to the Progeny’s (A.S.) Interpretation or a (Case Inbetween Two Concerns)

In the light of what have been said, there is no doubt anymore that the theory of authorization which Al-Mutazilah adopted has been Quranicly and reasonably nullified.

Now what is the way to demonstrate the theory of (a case inbetween two concerns) which denies inevitability in mans behaviour; meanwhile it denies his independence of decision and full authority over his affairs?

Denying man’s independence and mastery over his decisions will lead us – after some accurate scrutiny – to adhere to the idea of attributing injustice and other wicked deeds to Allah the Sublime; matter which AL Mutazilah tried seriously to avoid.

It is not difficult for those scholars to admit that the principle of (a case inbetween two concerns) is correct, (especially that Al Quran affirmed it); rather, what is difficult for them is to search through this Quranic theory advocated by the Progeny (A.S.) for a way that saves them from the problematic attribution of injustice to Allah the Sublime, the way they are saved from falling under the accusation of polytheism.

This is what those scholars tried to conclude from the texts related by the Progeny of Muhammad (A.S.) which interpreted, stated, and established this theory.

We have a number of approaches at hand, we shall choose the clearest and most famous from them; hereafter is an elaboration on this approach:

Demonstration and Interpretation of the theory (a case inbetween two concerns)

The well-known interpretation, which the progeny’s doctrine scholars adopt, relies on the origin we have already explained. It advocates that existence as a whole is continuously and successively connected with Allah the Sublime; man too in this universe is connected with Allah the Sublime by his need and wanting to Him; furthermore, man is connected with Allah by this (flow of existence) which He the Sublime has bestowed on him; a flow that became the cause for his existence in this world. This flow is continuous and successive, and if ever it ceases – even for one moment – man and his property will come to an end (part of this property of course is his will and deed).

But for this incessant flow, man will never be, neither does, nor will anything; but man himself is the one who wills and chooses; if not, Allah would not have imposed a law on him. Yes, it is true that if Allah blocks this flow of existence, potency, determination, reason, consciousness, insight, will, choice; man will not be able to choose or do anything; but after all he is the one who chooses and does things, so it is improper to attribute his deeds to somebody else; he himself is responsible for them.

[And had Allah willed, He would have taken away (by thunder and lightening) their faculties of hearing and seeing] AL Baquarah v. 20.

[And if Allah had willed they would not have done so.] Al Ana'm v. 137.

Suppose that the engineer in charge of the center that produces electric energy turned on electric current for a house keeping it running so the household will make use of it; now if the house owner misused it, or committed suicide, or killed or harmed somebody by means of it; such an act will be attributed to him exclusively (even though he would not have been able to do none of these deeds if ever the engineer in charge of the electric energy center would have turned off the current),

yet the house owner remains the only one to whom the act is attributed, and he himself will be responsible for it. If ever the house owner commits suicide, nobody will say that “the engineer in charge has killed the house owner”, thus the engineer in charge of the center will not be held responsible for the other’s suicide.

Perhaps the best and most scientifically accurate example in this respect is the one given by the late Ayatollah Aludma Authority Syaied Al Khoua'y.