This excerpt is designed to challenge your understanding. It is the introduction to a work on theology written by Imām Faḍl al-Rasūl al-Badāyūnī with marginal notes written by Imām Aḥmad Riḍā Khān. The aim is to introduce new terminology, new concepts, and new ways to think. In shā Allāh, we plan to expand upon these concepts in depth to make them accessible to new learners.
Judgements are of 3 types:
The rational judgement: It is the intellect’s affirmation or negation of a matter without depending on observing repeated phenomena or coinage by a lawmaker.
The empirical judgement: It is to establish a connection between two matters by observing a repetition of presence and absence, without there being a rational necessity or one thing having efficacy over the other, for instance:
- The presence of satiation following the presence of food, [or]
- The presence of burning following the presence of fire.
Indeed, the True Agent of both is He who creates one in the presence of the other.
The legal judgement: It is the address [khiṭāb] of Allāh, as has been said, pertaining to the actions of the legally responsible, whether it be by:
- Demand (ṭalab), regarding performing or omitting an act, be it emphasised or not.
- Permissibility (ibāḥah), which means granting a choice regarding the performance or omission of an act.
- Prescription (waḍ’) for the above two. That is, the Lawgiver, makes something:
- A cause (sabab) for another ruling. The absence of the cause necessitates the absence of the consequent ruling and its presence intrinsically necessitates the presence of the consequent ruling.
[For example, the sun setting is a cause for the beginning of the maghrib prayer. The cause is the sun setting and the consequent ruling is the necessity of the maghrib prayer.]
- A condition (sharṭ) for another ruling. The absence of the condition necessitates the absence of the consequent ruling but its presence does not intrinsically necessitate the presence or absence of the consequent ruling.
[For example, a passing of the year is a condition for the necessity of Zakāt. If a year has not passed then Zakāt will not be necessary; however, a year passing does not necessitate the Zakāt as other conditions for the necessity of Zakāt may not have been met.]
- A preventive (māni’) for another ruling. This is in regards to the five aforementioned rulings – it is that whose presence necessitates the invalidity of the consequent ruling but whose absence neither intrinsically necessitates the presence or absence of the consequent ruling.
[For example, a women’s menses are a preventive for ṣalāh. If she is on her menses then this will prevent ṣalāh being necessary; however, not being on her menses does not necessitate that ṣalāh is necessary due to other potential factors.]
The empirical judgement has no bearing on the principles of religion.
As for the legal ruling, then it will either:
- Strengthen the rational judgement or;
- Be used independently in that which [the proof of] prophecy does not depend upon, like Divine Hearing (samaʿ), Divine Sight (baṣr) and Divine Speech (kalām).
Not like Existence (wujūd) and those attributes which are necessary for an action to occur like Divine Power (qudrah), Divine Knowledge (ʿilm) and Divine Life (ḥayāt) unanimously; and Oneness (waḥdanīyyah) according to one view.
And the rational judgement, which is the foundation of the religious principles, is of three types:
- Necessary (wājib)
- Contingent (jā’iz)
- Impossible (mumtaniʿ)
- Necessary – That whose absence cannot be conceptualised by the mind, whether it is known:
- Self-evidently (ḍarūrī) like a body occupying space.
- Inferentially (naẓarī), like the necessity of pre-eternality for Allāh.
- Contingent – That whose presence and absence can be conceptualised by the mind, whether it is known:
- Self-evidently, like the movement and the stillness of a [physical] body.
- Inferentially, like forgiveness of sins and the doubling of good deeds.
- Impossible – That whose presence cannot be conceptualised by the mind, whether it is known:
- Self-evidently, like a body being free of both movement and stillness.
- Inferentially, like the existence of a partner for Allāh.
It is unanimously agreed that it is an individual obligation upon every legally responsible person to have knowledge of the three rational categories, that is, to know what is necessary, possible and impossible for Allāh as well as for the prophets; and to also know what is necessary upon them with regards to the rules of Prophethood and to know regarding the Final Day and anything which pertains to the matter.
The sciences which discuss the aforementioned matters are known as ‘the science of discursive theology [ʿilm al-kalām], creed [ʿaqīdah], and divine monotheism [tawḥīd]’. And the scholars defined it as the science of religious creed derived from definitive proofs.
The subject matter is: That information combined with its underlying assumptions which it is based on; these two then combine to become a creedal point or the basis for a creedal point.
For example, when we say ‘the creator is pre-eternal or one’ or ‘a body is contingent’ or ‘its resurrection after annihilation is true’ then all these statements are based upon information which combines with it [i.e. the statements] to become a creedal point.
For example, when it is said that ‘the body is made of indivisible particles’ then it is based upon information that combines with it to becomes a basis for a creedal point.
The issues that it deals with are: Creedal, legal, and inferential propositions; and when it is said regarding some of them that they are from necessary precepts of religion (ḍaruriyāt al-dīn), then this means that both the scholars and the laymen know these points without any hesitation or doubt. So this becomes like necessary knowledge, not because it is fundamental rationally speaking like Imām Laqqānī said.
And the legal rulings (al-aḥkām al-sharʿīyyah) are all inferential with respect to the foundation since they cannot be proven except after establishing prophethood, and this is only proven after knowledge of miracles, and this is inferential like Imām Nāblusī said.
And the aim of this science is to strengthen one’s faith and affirmation of the legal rulings.
al-Badāyūnī, Faḍl al-Rasūl. Al-Muʿtaqad al-Muntaqad [with Imām Aḥmad Riḍā Khān‘s commentary Al-Mustanad al-Muʿtamad Bināi Najāt al-Abad]. Mubārakpūr: al-Majmaʿ al-Islāmī, Second Edition. 2001.
 That is, the one who makes it such. [Imam Aḥmad Riḍā]
 That is, Allāh is the one who creates one thing, like satiation, in the presence of the other, like food. When this occurs recurrently and a pattern is observed repeatedly then the mind rules that one is habitually linked with the other in this world of means [ʿālam al-asbāb] whilst one is not really causing the other– for the only true agent in the entire universe is the volition of Allāh, nothing else. Yes, this pattern allows us to say ‘he ate food so he became satisfied’ according to us [the Maturīdis] as opposed to some Ashari’s for they exaggerated in denying secondary causation so much that they even denied an order, whilst the truth lies with our Imams. [Imam Aḥmad Riḍā]
 May Allāh have mercy on the author! He truly excelled by interpreting it as refrainment (kaff) for this is something a human being is capable of by the bestowal of Allāh. It is considered to be an actual action of a person as opposed to merely omitting (tark) an action. This is actually an omission and something a person is not capable of doing; so how then can a person be legally responsible for doing something which is outside of his capability, as the research scholars have stated.
From this, the ignorance of the Wahhābis is laid out for all to see since they are proponents of following all things which were not done. O, I wonder how a person can follow something which is not within his control or power. Yes, it is possible to follow in refraining from something. If something is proven to have been refrained from by the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ despite there being a specific need for it and no preventive for it [as well as not being from his specialities], then we will legally abstain from this. At the very least, it will be disliked.
As for anything that the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ did not do, then this does not prove anything just as the research scholars have stated and I have explained it in my marginalia on idhāqat al-Āthām. [Imām Aḥmad Riḍā]
 That it, Prophethood being true is not contingent on these attributes because if it were the case then it would imply a circular argument. [Imām Ahmad Riḍā]
 This points towards the weakness of this argument, for the proof of Prophethood does not depend on the attribute of Oneness. We will affirm the belief in Divine Monotheism by legal proofs just as we affirm it with rational proofs just as Imām Rāzi and other researchers have stipulated. [Imām Aḥmad Riḍā]
 The validity of the revealed proofs is only proven via the intellect. [Imām Aḥmad Riḍā]
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