The Nirgun-Sargun conundrum Part 1 - 4

By Abu Adeeba & Abu 'Abdur-Rahman


To illustrate the clarity found in Islaam, we will very briefly look into why contradictions and impossibilities cannot co-exist with true belief. In doing so, the reader will begin to recognise the gulf of difference between the religion of Truth, and those religions that only have a claim to this, but in reality are upon falsehood.

Is it firstly possible to equate opposites?

Allaah demonstrates this in no uncertain terms drawing upon opposites to emphasise to the seeker of Truth the importance of recognising the exclusivity of two opposite things and the impossibility of a sound intellect accepting both equally.

"The blind and the seeing are not alike;
Nor the darkness and the light
Nor the shade and the heat
Neither are the living and the dead alike. Surely Allaah makes whom He pleases hear, and you cannot make those who are in the graves to hear
." (Qur'an 35:19-22) 

A rhetorical question asks: 

"What! Shall We then treat those who are Muslims (who submit their will to the Will and commandments of Allaah) as criminals? "What is the matter with you? How do you judge?" (Qur'an 68:35-36) 

"Not equal are the dwellers of the fire and the dwellers of Paradise. It is the dweller of Paradise that will be successful." (Qur'an 59:20)

"And not alike are the good and the evil." (Qur'an 41:34)

"Is one who is obedient to Allaah, prostrating himself or standing (in prayer) during the hours of the night, fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the Mercy of his Lord (like one who disbelieves)? Say: "Are those who know equal to those who know not?" It is only men of understanding who will remember." (Qur'an 39:9)

"Say: ĎAre equal those who know and those who do not know? It is those who are endued with understanding that receive admonition. Are those who know equal with those who know not? But only men of understanding will pay heed." (Qur'an 39:9)

 "Or do those who earn evil deeds think that We shall hold them equal with those who believe (in Islaam) and do righteous good deeds, in their present life and after their death? Worst is the judgement that they make." (Qur'an 45:21)

"And not equal are the blind and those who see, nor are (equal) those who believe (in Islaam), and do righteous good deeds, and those who do evil. Little do you remember!" (Qur'an 40:58)

"They wish that you reject Faith, as they have rejected (Faith), and thus that you all become equal (like one another)." (Qur'an 4:89)

We ascertain from these instructions that the equating of opposites, especially when the nature of truth is involved, is a clear and apparent falsehood. Allaah says:

"And what is there after truth except falsehood?" (Qur'an 10:32)

This shows that contradictory things, especially in regards to Allaah, can never be on level terms. Hence, anyone seeking to equate opposites and accept contradictions will face the consequences and be punished.

We say: If a Messenger brought an inherently impossible concept (such as an object existing and not existing at the same time), then one of two things would occur:

a)     One would end up believing in part of it and disbelieving the rest since both affirmation and negation of the same thing cannot coexist and be believed in equally.

b)     Disbelief in the concept as a whole, i.e. disbelief in the concept that one can affirm two contradictory things at the same time.

Hence, belief and acceptance in the impossible leads to contradictions, and what greater contradiction can there be other than affirming one thing and its opposite, or the negation of opposites, at the same time? 

"Do they not consider the Qur'an? Had it been from any other than Allaah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy." (Qur'an 4:82)


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