Imkan al-Kadhib Explained by Ml. Thanwi


Imkan al-Kadhib
Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanwi

Question
Regarding imkān al-kadhib, one scholar gave a speech that gave rise to some doubt [in the questioner]- namely that the attribute of “speech” (kalām) for Allah is eternal and all His attributes are characterized by perfection whereas lying (kadhib) is a defect (naqs) and flaw (`ayb). Being transcendent from it is necessary (daruri). Thus, the attribute of the attribute (sifat ka sifat), meaning truthfulness (sidq) [in this case], will be eternal also and so it’s opposite is not possible. [Allah’s] power has no relation over these attributes because power relates to the possible (mumkināt) and the attributes [of Allah] are eternal. His speech being truthful eternally and everlastingly is necessary for the reason that all the attributes are ones of perfection. A flaw is not poss ible within it and thus lying is not-possible.

Answer
Regarding the matter of possibility and impossibility, then there is no doubt in the exquisiteness and reality of the statement [above], but it relates wholly to the self-speech (kalām nafsī) [of Allah]. Thus, at this level the intrinsic necessity of truthfulness (sidq) and the intrinsic impossibility of lying (kadhib) is something no one differs on.

Rather, the argument is concerning uttered-speech (kalām lafdhī) when it is an act (af`āl) and created (makhlūq), which is the position of the Maturidis. Therefore, the above statement does not apply here. Yet the act being a creation necessitates power (qudrat) over it and power is always associated with opposites due to which the linkage of such qudrat over truthfulness.

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3 Responses to Imkan al-Kadhib Explained by Ml. Thanwi

  1. Why person who psoted this didn’t tell readers .. as who asked this question.

  2. Ahmad Tariq says:

    I don’t understand. Does Ashraf Ali Thanwi simply mean that it is possible that Allah creates “lies”? Such as a person lying about something? Then that’s the position of the asha3irah as well. Whoever doubts whether it is possible or not for Allah to create “lying” commits kufr. Surely Allah can create lies.

    BUT it is impossible that there should be “lies/untruthfulness” in Allah’s eternal speech AND in what Allah reveals in the Qur’an or to the Prophet, 3alayhis salatu was salam.

    Can you clarify what Ashraf Ali Thanwi meant?

    • Allah’s self-speech is eternal and perfect. Lie is not possible from it. But Kalam Lafzi (The Uttered Speech) of the Almighty is not eternal but created according to Maturudis and Ash’aris both (Only the Mutazila argued). As kalam Lafzi is created, Allah’s Qudra over it is necessary. For Example, You, me and each and every thign that is Created, Qudra over it is necessary. As you said Allah can create lies obviously. Allah can create it. It is possible for the created Speech. Qur’an is the eternal speech of the Almighty. And the eternal speech of the Almighty is pure from this. Therefore, Qur’an cannot be wrong. Shah Islmail Dehlwawi said that Lying is possible from the created speech of the Almighty i.e kalam Lafzi.

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