To begin with, the lmamiyyah distinguish themselves from other Muslim groups by their doctrine of the divine Imamate, from which they take their name. Thus Muslims are split into two sects on the basis of their different positions on the question of who should succeed the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family and grant them salvation. (The history of this division, when and why the schism occurred, is not our concern at this point.)
First there are those who maintain that the Prophet of Allah designated an imam after him in a way which was unequivocal and did not require interpretation, that this was done through a revelation from Allah and was not a result of his personal desire for which there was absolutely no divine command, and that he named them individually and said how many there would be, especially the first of them, he being ‘Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him; that the Imams possess knowledge of the shari‘ah, infallibility, perfection, and the power to work miracles such as the Prophet possessed, and that they must be obeyed and revered as he must be; the only difference lies in Prophethood and the revelation of the Divine Law, which are peculiar to him there is no prophet after him.
Secondly, there are those who do not believe in the Imamate in this sense, and who maintain instead that the matter of succession was either neglected, as the Prophet did not say anything definite about it, or that it was left to the Muslims themselves to choose whom they wished to rule over them, although they differed about how they should choose him, what his qualities should be, and the characteristics of the electors.
However, the differences between the Imamiyyah and other Muslim sects concerning the Imamate carries over to disagreements in many other matters, some of which pertain to basic dogma, and some to law and jurisprudence. The most important points of dogma in which the Imamiyyah differed from other Muslim sects are as follows:
a) Regarding Unicity, they believe in the complete and total rejection of any belief in the corporeality of Allah or in anthropo- morphism, either in a literal or an interpreted sense. On this basis, they catagorically deny that Allah is visible, either in this world or in the Hereafter, in wakefulness or in dreams. They also reject the attribution of spatio-temporal movement and translocation to Him, because they deny that time and place can be ascribed to Him.
b) They believe that the attributes of Allah divide themselves into attributes of essence and attributes of action, and that the former exist in the very existence of His essence, and are absolutely one with Him, eternally preexistent in, not with, the preexistence of His essence itself. On the other hand, attributes of action are, in reality, actions of Allah, which come into exist- ence. On this basis, they distinguish between the All-Knowing (al-‘Alim) and the Living (al-Hayy), and the Creator (al-Khaliq), the Provider (ar-Raziq), and the Speaker (al-Mutakallim); (these examples are merely cited by way of illustration, and are by no means exhaustive). They also maintain that the second group of attributes derive from the actions of Allah, and come into existence with the coming into existence of the act. For this reason, they do not believe that the Qur’an is eternally uncreated, although some of them avoided saying that it was created.
c) With respect to Justice (‘adl), whereby they counted themselves among the ‘Adliyyah, their belief contains both elaborations and consequence:
(i) the impossibility of demanding that a legally responsible individual do that which he is unable to do;
(ii) the impossibility of punishing an individual for that which he could not avoid doing, or was unable to do, except when his inability sprang from his own choice;
(iii) the evil of punishment without clear notification; and (iv) the necessity for Allah to establish a Proof (hujjah) for creatures by way of mercy (lutf) – part of this is the sending of the Messenger.
However, the picture of the Imamiyyah and their beliefs which emerges among historians of the sect and I am referring to those who were not themselves Imami differs from the afore said in several respects. Even if these writers did not distinguish between Imami ideas and opinions and the kind of demonstration used, it is nevertheless a picture, which gives us reason to pause.
There exists a prevailing opinion among them that these ideas and opinions were passed on to Imami scholars at a time somewhat after the formation of the sect, through their being influenced by the thinking of the Mu‘tazilah and following their teachers.
This is the approach that Professor ‘Irfan adopts in his introduction generally, and specifically in the third part, in which he comments upon the sections of the book in more detail; and this is one of the reasons we have not published it. This third part investigates the relationship between Shi‘i and Mu‘tazili theology at the time of the Buyids. He states:1
A critical examination reveals that the shift in Shi‘i theology from its form based on hadith to its rationalist, interpretative form was in the beginning inspired by the critical and rationalist positions of the Mu‘tazilah . . .al-Mufid exemplifies the novel rationalist direction in Shi‘i thought, which was responsible for the rejection of a literal interpretation of the divine shari‘ah, and which introduced rationalist and interpretative explanations of it into the teachings of the Imamiyyah . . .
A critical, comparative examination of the differences between Tashihu 'l-i‘tiqad and its precursors must centre itself upon the influence of the Mu‘tazilah upon the Imamiyyah.In addition to these statements, in which he fails to distinguish between differences in belief and differences in the methods of proof or ways of demonstration, Professor ‘Irfan also makes the following points:
i) That the Imamiyyah were, at the beginning of their history, transmitters of hadith and partisans of doctrines based solely upon the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah, without recourse to reason (‘aql) and the sort of demonstration resting upon its use, which they rejected.
ii) That the shift in Shi‘i theology from its early form to a subsequent variant one was a result of the contact of the Imamiyyah with Mu‘tazili ideas, by way of the instruction they received from Mu‘tazili shaykhs and the influence of their views.
iii) That al-Mufid was the first to complete this shift.
iv) That this judgement is based upon a comparison between the theological views of al-Mufid and those of his predecessor as- Saduq.
v) That the 'rationalist school of theology', with which al-Mufid is associated, is defined as 'the rational and metaphorical, or interpretative, explanation of the Muslim shari‘ah.'
We shall treat the first four of these points in what follows. It is enough to comment here on the definition of the rationalist school he gives by saying that the shari‘ah has two facets: the dogmatic aspect, or what is designated as the principles of the religion, which the faith requires of the Muslim, and the practical aspect, or derivatives of the religion, which are the divine laws associated with worship, transactions, rights, the judicial process, and all that which is investigated in the science of fiqh.
Allah forbid that our Shaykh al-Mufid and all the Imamiyyah, not to mention the Mu‘tazilah and those who followed them, such as the Zaydiyyah, should rely on rational or interpretative explanations for the derivatives of the religion, such as prayer, fasting, zakat, hajj, and the other laws of worship and transactions, including everything contained in the shari‘ah and explained comprehensively and succinctly in the books of fiqh.
It is true that there are some who speak of a hidden meaning (batin) in the shari‘ah, and who explain prayer, fasting, and hajj in a way that excludes their being acts of worship; instead, they maintain, the shari‘ah contains secrets such that he who discovers them and holds faith in them has no need to act according to the ostensive meaning of the divine law, and that the burden of the law is lifted from him. How few are those who believe such things and speak of themselves as Muslims; and how many are those who accuse people of this falsely and maliciously, and are actually trying to dispel suspicion or repel accusations leveled at them.
It is necessary for us to add that rationalist and interpretative explanation of the Book [of Allah] and the Sunnah regarding matters of belief is not, as some would have it, arbitrary or wishful, zealous or fanciful, or some sort of search for buried treasure, or a devilish incitement to revolt against Allah and His Prophet. Rather, it centers upon the adoption of the stronger of two arguments, and the explication of the weaker of the two in light of the stronger, or on the basis of a comparison and evaluation of the evidence used. For this activity there are principles and guidelines, which form the subject matter of the science of usulu 'l-fiqh.
The Shaykh as-Saduq stands out amongst the Imami scholars of Tradition and Narration. A few aspects of his distinctive character have been mentioned in the introduction to the English translation of his book I‘tiqadatu 'l-Imamiyyah. He came from a scholarly family, distinguished in the science of hadith and its transmission, and he faithfully adopted their methods. All of what he held conforms with what the Imami scholars of hadith agreed upon, especially the Qummi school, or at least with what the greatest of them taught, except in a few places, such as the inattention of the Prophet in prayer. In this latter opinion he followed his teacher Muhammad ibn al-Hams ibn al-Walid, whom the majority of scholars, Tradition-ist or otherwise, did not agree with.
A comparative study of I‘tiqadatu 'l-Imamiyyah and the commentary made upon it by the Shaykh al-Mufid in Tashihu'l-‘tiqad reveals the overwhelming concurrance of the Tradi- tionist and theological schools of the lmamiyyah with respect to the principles of dogma and its details; in comparison, the points where the two schools disagree in these matters are very few. Indeed, the difference between them is only in the method of demonstrating their opinions in dogmatics.
A comparative study also reveals that criticisms by lmami theologians of the hadith which the Traditionists relied upon did not arise essentially from their stances on dogma and their disagreements about the principles of theology, but rather was centered on standards for the criticism of the hadith each Traditionist employed, through criticizing the chain of transmission, bringing its narration into question and showing that one of its transmitters was not trustworthy, or through casting doubt upon what it proved, rejecting it because it contradicted a stronger proof from the verses of the Holy Qur’an or from hadith whose chain of transmission was superior to it or whose proof was clearer.
This must be set against the accusation usually made by non-Imami Traditionists, including the theologians of the Jahmiyyah, Mu‘tazilah, Murjiah, and others: that they completely rejected verses of the Holy Qur’an and well-established Prophetic sunnah if these disagreed with their own theological views.
It may be that the secret to understanding this methodological dispute between the Imami and non-Imami Traditionist schools goes back firstly to the difference between the nature of the Imami and non-Imami hadith which each of them chose to employ, as we shall indicate. Secondly, Imami and non-Imami mutakallims are distinguishable in that rarely does one come upon an Imami mutakallim who is not also well versed in hadith and its sciences, such that he combined these two qualities equally in his theology.
If a man specialized in hadith, he was not ignorant in kalam, adopting a hostile and controversial stance opposing it; and if he was addressing theological issues, then he did not find himself able to dispense with hadith and their soundness of transmission, as was said about others.
Another of the Shaykh al-Mufid's works, Awailu 'l-maqalat fi 'l-madhahib wa 'l-mukhtarat reveals differences between Imami scholars up to his time, whether they were scholars exclusively of hadith and fiqh, or exclusively of kalam (to the best of my knowledge, this applies only to some members of the Banu Nawbakht), or of both. But these differences are few when compared to their agreements. Such a study also reveals differences between these scholars and those from other prominent sects of Muslims up to al-Mufid's time.
On these matters, there is a need for a detailed study com- paring the books of as-Saduq and al-Mufid. As space is limited here, however, it will suffice to cite the conclusions of a Western scholar, Dr. Martin J. McDermott, as they appear in his book The Theology of al-Shaikh al-Mufid. Here I quote a short passage, in which he states:
Ibn Babuya [as-Saduq] was a traditionist. When he set out to explain a difficulty or answer a question, he preferred to quote a tradition rather than reason out an answer of his own. Even his creed, the Risalat al-i‘tiqadat, consists largely of traditions strung together. Nevertheless he did hold many of the same theses as the theologians, and when a tradition he was reporting seemed to contradict one of his theological views, on God's Unity or Justice, for example, Ibn Babuya would interject his own interpretation of the tradition.
Here in lies Ibn Babuya's major difference from his pupil, al-Mufid, who is a theologian as well as a traditionist. When a point can be proved both from revelation and an argument from reason, al-Mufid generally prefers to rely on the latter, quoting the tradition or quranic text as supplementary argument.
Most of the important theological doctrines held by Ibn Babuya and his pupil are the same. . . .
Here he goes on to review the points of difference between the two as evident in their books. Then he states:
Ibn Babuya, then, is a traditionist with many views that are akin to Mu‘tazilite theses. Al-Mufid is a theologian as well as a traditionist, and his views, though basically simi-lar to Ibn Babuya's, go further in a Mu‘tazilite direction.2 I shall not comment on McDermott's words at all here, as the reader will himself find the differences between us in opinion and in conclusions in the following discussion.
We must examine, if only very briefly, what has been referred to up to now as the 'non-lmami school of theologians', since there are common points which are mentioned as stemming from the beliefs of the 'poeple of hadith and Tradition', and on the basis of which their views and beliefs are weighed against those of others, which were in fact taken from the non-Imami school, and proofs and evidence which are mentioned in this field which exist in a complete form in the body of hadith which the non-Imami Traditionists relate, and which form the sole basis for the opinions which they adopted, or which were attributed to them.
In addition, the intellectual and doctrinal contradiction between the Traditionist and theological schools in those days they were the Mu‘tazilah, the Jahmiyyah, the Murjiah, and those who followed in their wake was borrowed from non- Imami hadith, from the opinions of non-Imami Tradition-ists, from their attitude towards the views of the theologians, from their dismissal of them, and from their criticism of those who held them; and indeed, from their criticism of them for the theological trend, in a general sense, in religious belief.
It is not correct to make these general characteristics, or these general contradictions, into a general trait of either the Imami or the non-Imami Traditionist trend, which is above all else based on the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah, in deducing and formulating religious doctrine.
What is called the 'Traditionist school' a more accurate term for them, which they themselves prefer, is 'the people of hadith and Tradition' (ahlu 'l-hadith wa 'l-athar) – was not a school of thought which was defined and clearly characterized in all or many respects, as was the case with the Mu‘tazilah or the Jahmiyyah, for example, so that it is possible to specify what opinions they agreed upon, and what distinguished them from other sects.
Moreover, this designation was assigned to them not by their own choosing, but was derived from their positions and views. All that they believed was: that those who were involved with hadith should not go beyond the hadith which had come down to them, and which they believed to be true, in explaining their opinions and representing their beliefs, but that they should rely on the narration of the ostensive wording of the hadith for expressing their views and should not change the wording for the convenience of the meaning.
Whatever we may say about them, the Traditionists certainly did not fit into one single mould, but rather into many, since the extent of the difference between any one Traditionist and any one of those they called theologians is only to be measured by the quantity of what the Traditionist narrated and the number of hadith he narrated whose veracity he was committed to. It is clear that the Traditionists differed in the number of hadith, which they narrated, and in the number, which they believed to be true.
Moreover, they varied between those who had few and those who had many, and between those who were generous in judging veracity, and those who were strict, not judging them to be true unless many conditions were fulfilled. On this basis the hadith differed in terms of those whose narrations they agreed upon and those, which were only narrated by some, as well as in terms of those whose veracity they were agreed upon and those whose veracity they were not agreed upon.
It should be noted that even though the Ash‘Ari School was based on the rejection of Mu‘tazili thinking, its teaching was primarily concerned with reconciliation and not rejection. For the teaching encompassed by it and contained in it went back to Abu 'l-Hasan al-Ash‘ari, ‘Ali ibn Isma‘il ibn Abi Bashir, al- Basri (260/874 or 270/883–324/936), the imam of the Ash‘aris, who quarrelled with his Mu‘tazili teachers over the fact that, according to him, they used to reject anything that went against their views even when the Holy Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah, in his own view, supported it. However, there is not enough space here to speak at length about this or to marshal the evidence concerning it.
It is not necessary here to speak at length about the hadith, which are from our non-Imami brothers, as it is possible for the reader to find them comprehensively collected in the following sources:
1. Muhammad ibn Isma‘il, Abu ‘Abdillah al-Bukhari (194/810 –256/870): Khalq af‘ali 'l-‘ibad;
2. Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Hanbal, Abu ‘Abdillah ash- Shaybani (164/780–241/855), the imam of the Hanbalis: ar- Radd ‘ala 'l-Jahmiyyah wa 'z-Zanadiqah;
3. Abu ‘Abdi 'r-Rahman, ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal, (213/828–288/901): as-Sunnah;
4. ‘Uthman ibn Sa‘id, Abu Sa‘id ad-Darimi (c 199/815–280/894): ar-Radd ‘ala 'l-Jahmiyyah and ar-Radd ‘ala Bishr al- Marrisi;
5. Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Ishaq ibn Khuzaymah as-Salami an-Naysaburi (223/838–311/924): at-Tawhid wa ithbat sifati 'r- rabb;
6. Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn al-Husayn ibn ‘Abdillah al-Ajuri, ash-Shafi‘i, al-Baghdadi (c 280/893–360/970): ash-Shari‘ah.
And with reference to the interpretation of the Ash‘aris, see:
1. Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ibn Furak al-Isbahani, al- Ash‘ari, ash-Shafi‘i (d. 406/1015): Mushkilu 'l-hadith;
2. Ahmad (Hamad) ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim, Abu Sulay- man al-Khattabi, al-Busti, al-Ash‘ari, ash-Shafi‘i (319/931–388/998): al-Bayhaqi has quoted, below, many of his works;
3. Ahmad ibn al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali, Abu Bakr al-Bayhaqi, al- Ash‘ari, ash-Shafi‘i (384/994–458/1066): al-Asma’ wa 's-sifat and al-I‘tiqad;
4. ‘Ali ibn al-Hasan ibn Hibatillah, Abu 'l-Qasim ibn ‘Asakir ad-Dimashqi, al-Ash‘ari, ash-Shafi‘i (499/1105–571/1176): Tabyin kidhbi 'l-muftari fi-ma nasaba ila Abi 'l-Hasan al-Ash‘ari.
All these sources are in print; al-Khattabi's opinions are contained in al-Bayhaqi. I shall only give examples of the opinions of the Traditionists and ignore those who were imams of a madhhab, such as the Hanbali Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, whose views and beliefs form the foundation for the doctrines of Ibn Taymiyyah, Taqiyyu 'd-Din, Ahmad ibn ‘Abdi 'l-Halim al-Harrani, al-Hanbali (661/1263–728/1328), and Muhammad ibn ‘Abdi 'l-Wahhab an-Najdi al-Hanbali (1115/1703–1206/1792), the heralds and leaders of the Salafiyyah, as they call themselves, or 'the Wahhabiyyah', as others refer to them.
I shall also steer clear of the imams of other madhhabs, lest someone should associate me with people with whom I do not wish to be associated. Those who wish to study the views of the Hanbali and other schools can find them in the afore-mentioned sources; in connection with the defence of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, see the two following sources:
l. ‘Abdu 'r-Rahman ibn ‘Ali ibn Muhammad, Abu 'l-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi al-Baghdadi, al-Hanbali (508/1114–597/1201): Daf shubahi't-tashbih bi-akuffi't-tanzih;
2. Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn ‘Abdi 'l-Mu’min, Taqiyyu 'd-Din al-Hisni, ad-Dimashqi, al-Ash‘ari, ash-Shafi‘i (752/1351–829/1426): Daf‘ shubah man shabbaha wa tamarrada wa nasaba dhalika ila 'l-Imam Ahmad.
* * * * *
Abu 'l-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi stated:
Know that all the Traditionists made the ostensive meaning of everything that had to do with the attributes of the Creator conform to the senses, and thus they were anthropomorphist, because they did not mix with the fuqaha’, so as to learn how to make the ambiguous conform with the unambiguous.3
He also said:
Know that people are at three levels concerning reports of [His] attributes:
First, at a level at which they are taken literally, with no explanation or interpretation, unless necessity demands it – as in the case of His words:
and thy Lord comes [al-Fajr, 89:22],
i.e., His decree came – viz. the Salafiyyah; secondly, at the level of interpretation, which is a perilous position; and thirdly, at a level which is called conformity with the senses, which is common among ignorant 'reporters' [by this he means the Traditionists], since they possess no part of the intellectual sciences, which let it be known what is possible and what is impossible for Allah, for intellectual science turns the ostensive meanings of what is reported away from anthropomorphism.Since they were deprived of this, they were at liberty in Traditions to make them conform to the senses.4
In refutation of those who held that most of the Hanbalis were corporealists and anthropomorphists, Ibn Taymiyyah said:
The corporealists and anthropomorphists were more prevalent in groups other than [that of] the followers of the Imam Ahmad; these include certain groups of Kurds, all of whom are Shafi‘i, and among them is found more corporealism and anthropomorphism than in any other group, and the people of Gilan, among whom are Shafi‘is and Hanbalis. As for the pure Hanbalis, there was not as much of it among them as among others; the Karamiyyah were all Hanafis.5
I do not agree with Ibn Taymiyyah in his defense of the members of his school, but I shall remain silent about it – an apology to our brothers the Kurds whom Ibn Taymiyyah spoke Ihya’ at-Turathi 'l-‘Arabi, Beirut, offprint 2, 1392/1972, vol.1, p.418. Of as he did, for they know him as well as I do. As for the people of Gilan, they stopped being Shafi‘i and Hanbali centuries ago, and today they are all Imami Shi‘i.
As examples of what Ibnu 'l-Jawzi pointed out in his discus- sion of the Traditionists, I shall choose three who are not clear- cut Hanbalis, and I shall provide a short biography of each of them, so that I will not be accused of having stumbled upon two obscure and undistinguished men who were of little significance among Traditionists:
1. Ishaq ibn Ibrahim ibn Makhlad ibn Ibrahim, Abu Ya‘qub al- Hanzali al-Marwazi, Ibn Rahwayh an-Naysaburi (161/778–238/853). al-Katib said: "He was one of the leaders of the Muslims,a landmark in religion; he combined knowledge of hadith and fiqh, his memeory was excellent and reliable, and he was pious and an ascetic. He travelled to Iraq, the Hijaz, Yemen, and Sham . . . He came to Baghdad and became familiar with the memorizers of hadith there, and exchanged narrations with them. He returned to Khurasan and settled in Naysabur."
al-Mazzi and as-Subki said of him: "He was the teacher of al-Bukhari, Muslim, at-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, and an-Nasa’i, . .. Ahmad ibn Hanbal, . . . and Yahya ibn Mu‘in . . ."Nu‘aym ibn Hammad said: "If you see an ‘Iraqi casting aspersions on Ahmad ibn Hanbal, have your doubts about his beliefs; and if you see a Khurasani casting aspersions on Ishaq ibn Rahwayh, have your doubts about his beliefs." And an- Nasa’i said: "He was a leader, trustworthy, reliable." Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: "If Abu Ya‘qub [Ibn Rahwayh], the commander of the traditionists, narrates something to you, hold on to it."
Abu Hatim said: "He was a leader of the Muslims." Ibn Hibban said: "Ishaq was a leader of his time in fiqh and reli-gious sciences, a memorizer [of hadith], someone who held opinions [in these sciences], someone who wrote books, made deductions from Prophetic Traditions and defended them, and suppressed those who opposed them. His grave is well known and is visited." Abu ‘Abdillah al-Hakim said: "He was the leader of his time in memorizing hadith and giving fatwas."
Abu Nu‘aym al-Isbahani said: "Ishaq [ibn Rahwayh] was an associate of Ahmad [ibn Hanbal]; he elevated [the status of] hadith and reduced deviators to nothing." adh-Dhahabi said: "The great leader, the shaykh of the East, the master of the memorizers [of hadith]. On account of his memory he was the leading commentator [on the Qur’an], one of the heads of fiqh, and a leader in ijtihad."6
Abu ‘Isa at-Tirmidhi, after narrating a Tradition in which it is said that Allah accepts alms (sadaqah) and takes it by His right hand, said:
More than one of the hadith scholars has said concerning this hadith and those like it which speak of His Attributes, and concerning the descent of Allah, blessed be He and Exalted, every night to the lowest heaven: 'The narrations about this are confirmed, and must be believed in, but one should neither conceive nor ask the question "How?" ‘Similar reports are narrated from Malik ibn Anas, Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah, and ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak, concerning these kinds of Traditions: 'Act on them without [asking] how.' And this is the opinion of the Sunni scholars. On the other hand, the Jahmiyyah denied the validity of these hadith, saying: 'This is anthropomorphism.'
In several places in the Holy Qur’an, Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted, says: 'hand', 'hearing', 'sight', and the Jahmiyyah gave a linguistic interpretation (ta’wil) of these verses, and gave a different exegesis from that of the hadith scholars, saying: 'Allah did not create by His hand; the meaning of
'hand' here being power (quwwah).'
Ishaq ibn Ibrahim:7 'There is only anthropomorphism when one says: "A hand like [another] hand, or similar to [another] hand; or hearing like [another] hearing, or similar to [another] hearing", and when one says: "hearing like [another] hearing, or similar to [another] hearing", this is anthropomorphism. But if one says, as Allah, the Exalted, said: "hand", "hearing", "sight", and does not ask how, and does not say: "similar to [another] hearing" or: "like [another] hearing", this is not anthropomorphism, and is like Allah, the Exalted, saying: There is nothing like unto Him; He is the All-hearing, the All-seeing.'8
From this it is clear that at-Tirmidhi was in agreement with this latter opinion.
2. Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Ishaq ibn Khuzaymah as-Sulami an-Naysaburi (223/838–311/924), of whom it was said: He was the imam of Naysabur in his time, a faqih, a mujtahid, a sea among the seas of knowledge, whose advancement in science was recognized by all people of his period; as-Safadi, al-Yafi‘i, adh-Dhahabi, as-Subki, Ibnu 'l-Jazari, as-Suyuti, and Ibn ‘Abdi 'l-Hayy nicknamed him 'imam of the imams'. ad-Dar Qutni said: "He was an imam without equal." Ibn Kathir stated: "He is one of the mujtahids in the religion of Islam, and they say that he has miraculous powers (karamat)."
As-Sam‘ani stated: "Many [of the Traditionists] can be traced back to him, each one of whom was spoken of as a Khuzaymi [as he was the imam of a Traditionist school]." This is a small sample of what was said about him.9Ibn Khuzaymah asserted that Allah has a face. He said: "The meaning of this is not that His face is like a human face; otherwise anyone could say that humans had a face, and pigs, monkeys, and dogs, and so on, have faces, and that the faces of humans are like the faces of pigs, monkeys, and dogs . . .10
Similarly, he mentions the eye, the hand, the palm, and the right side, saying: "The eyes of Allah are unlike any other eyes." He adds: We say that our Lord the Creator has two eyes, by which He can see that which lies beneath the ground and under the seventh and lowest earth, and that which is in the highest heavens, and all that lies in between . . . Let us add a commentary and explanation and say:
The eye of Allah is eternal and everlasting, and its strength continues for-ever, and is never destroyed or extinguished, while the eyes of human beings come into being; they did not exist and were not created, then Allah brought them into being and created them with His Word, which is one of His essential attributes . . .11
He states that Allah has two hands: 'His two eternal hands are everlasting, while created hands come into being . . . What a comparison!'12 Interpretation is excluded from all this, especially the interpretation of His hands as Favour and Power.13
He mentions that:
The speech of our Lord does not resemble the speech of created beings, because the speech of Allah is unbroken, uninterrupted by a pause or mannerism, unlike the words of humans, which are broken by mannerisms and silences due to pauses [for breath], or reflection, or fatigue . . .14
3. ‘Uthman ibn Sa‘id, Abu Sa‘id ad-Darimi, at-Tamimi, as- Sijistani (c 199/815–280/894), al-Imam al-Hafiz al-Hujjah, a thorn in the flesh of the heretics, an upholder of the sunnah, trustworthy, established, an authority. It is said of him: He was an imam who was emulated during his life and after his death. The Shafi‘is mentioned him in their biographies, and the Hanbalis count him among the followers of Ibn Hanbal.15
Ad-Darimi stated that Allah has a place (makan), which he demarcated as the throne (al-‘arsh),16 and that He is clearly visible to His creation, above His throne in the atmosphere of the Afterlife, where there is no other creature, and no sky above Him.17 He said:
We have specified a single place for Him, the highest, purest, and most noble place: His mighty throne . . . above the seventh, highest heaven, where there are no men or jinn, no smoke, no toilet, and no devil. You [Bishr al- Marrisi]18 , along with the rest of your misguided colleagues, claim that He is in every place, in smoke, in the toilet, and next to every man and jinn! Is it you who anthropomorphize Him, when you speak of incarnation in places, or us?19
If Allah did not have hands with which to create Adam and touch him as you claimed, then it would not be possible to say [of Allah]: by Your gracious hand.20 Thus he ignored all meaning or explanation relating to Favour or Power, save for the two hands [for which there is a meaning, since they are the organs dedicated to sensation].21
Truly Allah has two fingers . . . and two legs; there is no other interpretation.22Although we do say, as Allah states:
The face of thy Lord remains (ar-Rahman, 55:27).
By this He meant the face that is turned towards the believers, and not good works, or the qiblah . . .23 The refutation of anthropomorphism is rather that Allah posesses all these, but that they are not analogous to created things.24
I have cited the above as specific examples of what has been stated about the non-Imami Traditionist school, and I shall not add anything to them, except what I consider necessary to note
in a very brief manner – regarding the intention of corporealism and anthropomorphism which is refuted of Allah, and which certain proofs have refuted. The real meaning of the doctrine of corporealism or what underpins it, such as limbs or bodily extremities, locality, and time, requires the comparison of Allah with created beings; anthropomorphism lies at the root of corporealism and its consequences, not in its typology or particularities.
The doctrine that Allah has a head or a stomach, for example – may Allah be raised above such things – requires corporealism, and leads in the end to Allah being comparable with created beings. Either His head or stomach are comparable to created heads or stomachs, or they do not resemble any of these heads or stomachs and are rather distinguished as a head which does not resemble any other, and a stomach which does not resemble any other, and so on for other things besides the head and the stomach.
With respect to the hadith which they pass on and maintain as true (the sources will be mentioned), 'Allah created Adam in His own image', according to those who explain it as the image of Allah, and another hadith, that Adam was created in the image of the Merciful (ar-Rahman), these do not refer to the belief that Allah has an image or a face, and that is all, but [to the belief] that His image and His face resemble the face and image of Adam and resemble man's face and the image of him.
For a comparison between the above and that which is associated with the Imamiyyah, the reader can refer to what I have written about the Imami Traditionists in what I have said concerning as-Saduq and al-I‘tiqadatu 'l-Imamiyyah and his connection with al-Mufid and Tashihu 'l-i‘tiqad. What follows is a discussion of the Hishamayn, [i.e.] Hisham ibn al-Hakam and Hisham ibn Salim, who were accused of corporealism and anthropomorphism. As for others besides them, and those whose names are mentioned alongside them, I do not deny that there were among the Imamiyyah those who spoke of determinism (jabr) and anthropomorphism, or who were accused of it, but these were very few.
It is natural, with respect to all sects, and in all intellectual and religious communities, for a member or members to deviate, to stand apart with ideas and convictions, which are at odds with the group they originate from. To judge the group itself by way of judgments drawn from the stance of these few is incorrect, unless they form the majority, or are prominent or predominate to the extent that they become representative of their sect, and a model for them.
Another example which underscores what I have said comes from a study of the commentaries on al-Kafi in what concerns the hadith on Unicity in Kitabu’t-Tawhid. Of the many com- mentaries of al-Kafi there are four, all in print, by four contemporaneous scholars. They are:-
1. Sadru’d-Din, Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Yahya al-Qawami, ash-Shirazi, Sadru 'l-Muta’allihin (979/1571–1050/1640): Sharhu'l-Kafi, dealing with what is contained in the first part of the Kitabu 'l-Hujjah in the Usulu 'l-Kafi.
2. Muhammad Salih ibn Ahmad al-Mazandarani (d. 1086/1675), the famous scholar and Traditionist: Sharh Usulu 'l-Kafiwa 'r-Rawdah.
3. al-Fayd al-Kashani, Muhammad Muhsin (1010/1599–1091/1690), in his comments on the hadith of al-Kafi on Unicity in his book al-Wafi.
4. al-‘Allamah al-Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir ibn Muhammad Taqi (1037/1628–1110/1699): Mir’atu 'l-‘uqul, which comments extensively on al-Kafi.
These four differ with respect to their intellectual orientations, their knowledge of the sciences, and their specialization in its branches. Among them, one was considered an outstanding authority in Islamic philosophy, the master of one of its most famous schools, i.e., Sadru 'l-Muta’allihin. Another was among those who stood between philosophy, fiqh, and hadith, i.e., al-Fayd, and the two others were largely concerned with hadith and its sciences, i.e., al-Majlisi and his brother-in-law al- Mazandarani.
A study of their commentaries and their concurrance on hadith transmitted from the Imams of the Ahlu 'l- Bayt, peace be upon them, concerning Unicity and Justice should provide us with the strongest evidence for what I have stated about the Imamiyyah: that whatever the differences in their approaches their opinions about that which related to the fundamentals of the faith did not differ.
At the most basic level, the fundamental reason for this goes back to the nature of the Imami hadith itself, and the fact that they differ from non-Imami hadith. The hadith related by non- Imami sects – and I have listed the names of the books which refer to these hadith, and which treat of their explanations, and of the interpretations of those which require interpretation – do not contain a trace of anything that refutes corporealism, anthropomorphism, or determinism, while at the same time they abound in hadith which on the surface support corporealism, anthropomorphism, and determinism.
The interpreters could not find reliable hadith which explicitly refute anthropomorphism, thus enabling them to solve the problem by explicating hadith with hadith or by interpretating what appears to affirm it through that which textually negates it, so they were compelled to take refuge in other methods of interpretation.
This is clearly apparent in the works of Ibn Furak, al- Khattabi, and al-Bayhaqi – mentioned above – and also in what was written by Abu 'l-Ma‘ali al-Juwayni, ‘Abdu '1-Malik ibn‘Abdillah an-Naysaburi ash-Shafi‘i (419/1028–478/1085), the famous Ash‘ari theologian, in his books on theology, and Fakhru 'd-Din ar-Razi, Muhammad ibn ‘Umar ash-Shafi‘i (544/1150–606/1210), the imam of the theologians, the well-known Ash‘ari commentator, in his famous Commentary on the Holy Qur’an and in his books on theology.
It is also evident in the interpretations of Ibnu 'l-Jawzi and Taqiyyu’d-Din al-Hisni, in their two books on religion mentioned previously. A study of these interpretations should provide the strongest proof of what we have said.
The situation with Imami hadith was the opposite of this. The hadith on Unicity are cited in the Kitabu 't-Tawhid in al- Kulayni's al-Kafi, the Shaykh as-Saduq's Kitabu 't-Tawhid, and the Kitabu 't-Tawhid wa 'l-‘adl from the well-known encyclopedia of hadith, the ‘Allamah al-Majlisi's Biharu 'l-anwar. The latter contains all that was passed down in the Imami sources, whether it was firmly established or incompletely transmitted, whether its chain of authority was correct or incorrect, and is to be found in the modern edition in six sections (vols.3-8).
Whoever refers to them will find them without equal, for they are replete with sound hadith, one after the other, complete, and meaningful, which clearly prove the refutation of anthropomorphism, corporealism, and determinism, and which specifically prove the majority of what the Imamiyyah believe regarding Unicity and Justice, along with that which they share with other Muslims. For this reason, al-Kulayni and as-Saduq did not find any difficulty in demonstrating the falsity of these doctrines, except in the fact that they had to choose from an enormous number of hadith, which plainly and clearly demonstrated it.
On top of all this, there is what the Shaykh as-Saduq pointed out in the opening of the Kitabu’t-Tawhid, when he said:
What led me to write my book was that I found people among those who opposed us attributing the doctrines of anthropomorphism and determinism to our group, since they found information in their books of whose explanation they were ignorant or whose meaning they did not under- stand, and which they took out of context and failed to compare word by word with the Qur’an [to see if it concurred with the holy Qur’an in word and meaning, for if the holy Qur’an substantiated anthropomorphism and determinism, then it was proof, and if they did not speak of a proof for this in the Qur’an why did they speak of its proof in hadith].
In this way they denounced our school before the ignorant, obscured our path for them, diverted people from the religion of Allah, and prompted them to reject the proofs of Allah. I have sought favour with Allah in writing this book on Unicity and on the refutation of anthropomorphism and determinism . . .25
The essence of the discussion is that the Imamiyyah studied their beliefs in light of the hadith passed down from the Imams, peace be upon them, and that this study clearly revealed that what they believed derived from these hadith, and that the contents of the hadith were consistent whether they had been narrated on the authority of the first Imam, the Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him, or from the eleventh Imam, or the Awaited Proof, peace be upon them, for example.
The reason for this is that after having professed belief in the Imamate and sworn obediance to the Imams, peace be upon them, as I previously noted regarding the meaning of the Imamate among the Imamiyyah, they took their beliefs from them, just as they took their laws. A study of the two books I‘tiqadatu 'l-Imamiyyah by as-Saduq and Tashihu 'l-i‘tiqad by al-Mufid suffices to uphold this view, especially since as-Saduq's book is no more than a compilation of the contents of hadith and Qur’anic verses employing the same words and phrases as we have mentioned previously.
I shall not dwell on the idea that the Imamiyyah drew on the Mu‘tazilah and were influenced by them in the beliefs they concurred upon except to say that it is a baseless falsehood without a speck of truth in it, and without any support from the study of the beliefs of the Imamiyyah and the foundations upon which these beliefs are based. The question, which deserves attention, is whether anyone apart from the Imamiyyah took their beliefs from the Imams.
I shall not attempt to look into this aspect here; it is enough to point out that al-Ka‘bi al-Balkhi, the Qadi ‘Abdu 'l-Jabbar, Ibnu 'l-Murtada and Nashwan al-Himyari trace the origin of the Mu‘tazilah School, with respect to Justice and Unicity, to the Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him.26
adh-Dhahabi said: "Zurqan [the famous Mu‘tazili mutakal- lim] said: 'Abu 'l-Hudhayl al-‘Allaf narrated to us: "I have taken what I believe concerning Justice and Oneness from ‘Uthman at-Tawil, and he informed me that he took it from Wasil ibn‘Ata’, who took it from ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn al- Hanafiyyah, who took it from his father, who took it from his father ‘Ali, who took it from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him [and his family] and grant [them] peace, who narrated that Gabriel came down with it from Allah, the Sublime." ‘Several people have narrated this from Zurqan."27
It must be pointed out that if something is found in I‘tiqadatu'l-Imamiyyah which al-Mufid did not comment on or which he affirmed, which he objected to or did not accept, or with the proof of which, as given by as-Saduq, he was not satisfied, it is not consequently established that other Imami scholars agreed with either or both of them, deemed their proofs correct, agreed with the demonstrations of their opinions, or accepted al- Mufid's objections. Naturally, this aspect of the two books is restricted to the details of what is mentioned in them, not to the fundamental beliefs, which all the Imamiyyah are agreed upon.
One example, which I shall cite, of the hundreds of examples, which demonstrate the nature of Imami hadith and their insistence that no inclination towards corporealism and anthropomorphism or determinism should find a place in the soul of anyone who believes in them, is what was narrated on the authority of the Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him, in the words of one of his famous speeches.
This is the speech mentioned by ash-Sharif ar-Radi, Abu 'l- Hasan Muhammad ibn al-Husayn al-Musawi (359/970–406/1015) in Nahju 'l-Balaghah, and which was narrated by the Imami Traditionists who came before him. The Shaykh as- Saduq (c 306/919–381/991) transmitted, and partially com- mented upon, a large section from the beginning of this sermon in his Kitabu’t-Tawhid,28 though this differs somewhat in wording from the versions in Nahju 'l-Balaghah, and al-Bihar.29
Abu 'n-Nadr Muhammad ibn Mas‘ud as-Sulami al-‘Ayyashi (d. c 320/932) also narrated it, and extracted a portion of it in his Tafsir,30 and this is narrated in al-Bihar,31 and in the Tafsiru'l-burhan.32 All of them traced the chain of authority from themselves back to Mas‘adah ibn Sadaqah, who narrated it on the authority of the Imam as-Sadiq and on the authority of his father, peace be upon them both.
This person is Abu Muhammad, Mas‘adah ibn Sadaqah al-‘Abdi, a follower of as-Sadiq and al-Kazim, peace be upon them both, who wrote Kitab Khutab Amir al-Mu’minin ‘alayhi 's-salam.33 Zaydi Traditionists such as Yahya ibn al-Husayn al-Hasani, an-Natiq bi 'l-Haqq, the Zaydi imam (340/952–424/1033), narrated it with another chain of authority ending with Zayd ibn Aslam,34 who narrated it directly from the Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him. His wording is close to that of as-Saduq, although the chain of authority differs. The author of Taysiru 'l-matalib fi amali 'l-Imam Abi Talib35 cites a large portion of it, as does Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Rabbih al-Qurtubi al-Maliki (246/860–328/940) in his al-‘Iqdu 'l-farid.36
The Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him, delivered this sermon from the pulpit in Kufah. A man said to him, while he was speaking: "Describe our Lord as we will see Him with our eyes . . ." and he became angry with him and summoned the community to prayer; and the people collected about him until the mosque was packed with his followers, and he said, among other things (according to the narration of ash- Sharif ar-Radi):
I bear witness that whoever makes a likeness for You out of the disparate limbs of Your creation and the connection of the sockets of their joints which you have clothed in Your wisdom has not fixed the innermost part of his mind on knowledge of You, nor has certainty informed his heart that there is no equal to You.
It is as if he had not heard the followers absolving themselves from those they [falsely] follow, saying:
By Allah, we were in manifest error when we made you equal with the Lord of the worlds (ash- Shu‘ara’, 26:97-98).
The transgressors falsify You when they liken You to their idols, attribute to You with their imaginations the adornment of created things, divide You up in their minds according to the partition of bodies, and judge You by analogy with natural constitutions and their various powers through the talents of their intellects. I bear witness that whoever equates You with a thing of Your creation has put You on the same level with it, and that whoever does so is a disbeliever, according to that which has been revealed through the unambiguous among Your verses and that which the evidence of Your clear proof pronounces.
For truly You are Allah Who cannot be confined to the mind so as to be brought into conformity with the vicissitudes of its thinking, nor to the deliberation of its mental operations to be limited and subject to whims.37
I do not wish to comment on this section of the sermon, in which the Imam pointed out the reasons for the occurrence of anthropomorphism and corporealism among the Imamiyyah in its early days, 'when they liken You to their idols . . .' However, I will say that someone who believes that these words, and others from the hadith of the Ahlu 'l-Bayt, are from an infallible Imam who commands an obedience not unlike that of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, (and I have already demonstrated the belief of the Imamiyyah in the Imamate and the Imam) would hardly be naturally inclined (except in abnormal circumstances) to speak about anthropomorphism or corporealism except in an unknowing way. The Qadi ‘Abdu 'l-Jabbar al-Mu‘tazili ash-Shafi‘i said:
As for the Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him, his sermons declaring the refutation of anthropomorphism and upholding Justice are more than can be counted . . .38
He also stated:
If you look at the sermons of the Commander of the Faithful, you will find them replete with refutations of the visibility of Allah.39
Whatever the case may be, the accusation was raised against the Imamiyyah by their adversaries that the Imamiyyah, in their formative days and during the times that immediately followed, limited themselves and their beliefs within the literally pre- scribed boundaries of the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah, and did not cross over into intellectual fields by relying on reason as a basis for explaining the faith and its directives, or resorting to it in demonstrating the truth, rejecting the objections of its enemies, and showing the falsity of their proofs.
However, the adversaries of the Imamiyyah did not stop at that; rather, they went on to accuse the Imamiyyah of being, before their joining the Mu'tazilah:
1. Clear proponents of anthropomorphism and corporealism;
2. Not upholders of Justice as a religious principle having special attributes and requirements;
3. Unaware of the precise differences and theoretical discussions pertaining to Unicity and Justice which I pointed out in a general way during the discussion about the beliefs of the Imamiyyah – and unaware of the difference between Attributes of Essence and Attributes of Action, for example, since they had not yet resorted to intellectual investigations which lead to the clarification of these critical fundamentals and the establishment of these particulars;
4. And upholders, even fierce upholders, of predestination.
Abu 'l-Husayn al-Khayyat al-Mu‘tazili stated:
As for the totality of the teaching of the Rafidah, it is: that Allah has a physique, an image, and a limit; He is in motion and at rest, draws near and moves away, is lightened and weighed down . . . This is Rafidi Unicity in its entirety, save for a small group of them who associated with the Mu‘tazilah and believed in Unicity, . . . and these the Rafidah expelled and washed their hands of. As for their shaykhs, like Hisham ibn Salim, Shaytanu 't-Taq, ‘Ali ibn Maytham, Hisham ibn al-Hakam, ‘Ali ibn Mansur, and as- Sakkak, their belief is what I have related concerning them.40
McDermott says, on the authority of Ibn Taymiyyah, that the doctrine of Divine Justice was taken up by the later writers of the Imamiyyah, like al-Mufid (336/948–413/1022), al-Musawi (ash-Sharif al-Murtada [355/966–436/1044]), and al-Karajiki (c 369/980–449/1057), and had little influence on their predecessors in the Imamiyyah. On this basis, McDermott main- tains that al-Khayyat points to the presence of a minority con- nected with the Mu‘tazilah and influenced by their beliefs, just as al-Ash‘ari mentions in his writings. McDermott gives the Nawbakhtiyyin, who existed around the end of the third century (the beginning of the tenth century AD) as an example.41
al-Mufid was heir to a double legacy: that of the early Imamite theologians – notably the Nawbakhtis, who were in contact with Mu‘tazilite thought from the latter part of the third century of the Hijrah, and the traditionist school of Qum represented by Ibn Babuyah al-Qummi [as- Saduq].42
But a disciple of Ibn Taymiyyah, Shamsu 'd-Din adh- Dhahabi (673/1274–748/1348) anticipated what his colleague narrated, and said:
Since the end of the year 370  up to our own time the Rafidah and the Mu‘tazilah have befriended each other like brothers.43
However Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani does not accept this definition of history, and states:
It is not as he says, but rather they ceased being brothers from the time of al-Ma’mun (the ‘Abbasid caliph [170/786 – caliph 198/813 – d. 218/833]),44
I shall pass over all these remarks, and concern myself only with the examination of what they are founded upon. It all goes back to what these adversaries related on the authority of some of the Imami scholars, and the predecessors of their Tradition- ists and theologians, like those al-Khayyat names, concerning the doctrine of blatant corporealism and anthropomorphism, and how they wound up on the brink of idiocy and obscenity.
In doing so I am motivated by the endeavor to uncover the truth, and more importantly, by my belief in Islam and what it enjoins upon faithful Muslims who heed words when they are spoken, who listen to all sides of the story and then pick the best, who judge fairly and without personal bias, who speak the truth even when it goes against them, and adhere to the word of Allah:
O you who believe! Be steadfast witnesses to Allah in equity, and do not allow hatred for any people to seduce you, and cause you to act unjustly. Act justly, for that is closer to your duty. Be dutiful to Allah, for Allah is informed of what you do (al-Mdaidah, 5:8).
Faithful to all this, I shall examine some of these charges in a general way via a study restricted to the two Hishams, Hisham ibn al-Hakam and Hisham ibn Salim. I shall not venture beyond them, and on the results of this inquiry about them judge others who are like them.
* * * * *
Before beginning, however, I shall summarize the main points:
i) By its very nature, Imami hadith can only accept that those who believe in them must follow those propositions upon which the Imamiyyah are generally agreed, and the later Imamiyyah were here only following previous generations. These generally agreed positions have been previously pointed out in summary form.
ii) Unlike the situation with the Imamiyyah, there occured a split among the non-Imamis into those who submitted to the hadith which reached them, and who accepted them without any commentary or interpretation, and out of which those who were called the muhaddithun developed; and into those who did not accept them absolutely, such as the Mu‘tazilah, whether we accept the accusation by their opponents that they were unbelievers in the sunnah, or accept that, as they themselves said, they were unbelievers in those hadith that were fabricated because they did not accord with their beliefs – and that they interpreted other hadith to accord with their beliefs. Between these two camps there arose a bitter controversy, with accus- ations of heresy and going beyond the bounds of religion, even sometimes reaching physical confrontation. However, this kind of dispute never arose among the Imamiyyah at all, not even to the smallest degree. This has already been attributed to the fact that Imami hadith did not give rise to such splits, and clearly demonstrated Imami beliefs so that such a split could not occur.
iii) We have already pointed out that the kalam school among the non-Imamis is really represented by the Mu‘tazilites, not the Ash‘arites. Investigation reveals that the latter had as their aim to harmonize the intellectual procedures of the Mu‘tazili school with the beliefs of the muhaddithun. They did have recourse to investigation, though this was not a position sanc-tioned by their hadith, and they found nothing in the sunnah to authorize their interpretation and which could support their claim to be interpreting the sunnah by the sunnah. They were obliged not to reject the sunnah so that they would not be accused of depending solely on interpretation as the Mu‘tazilah were.
iv) The Imamiyyah did not blindly follow the Mu‘tazilah in those opinions on which they agreed, but were only following their Imams in these beliefs. The Imams preceded the Mu‘tazilah both historically and in status, and so one cannot say that they were taught by them.
v) The Mu‘tazilah themselves agreed that they took their basic positions – tawhid and ‘aql – from Amir al-Mu’minin, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, peace be upon him, through isnad which were trust- worthy for them; and ‘Ali, peace be upon him, was the first of the Shi‘i Imams. The Imamiyyah paid more attention to the evidence of his teachings than did the Mu‘tazilah, and we have already given an example of this. So, if it is incorrect to say that the Mu‘tazilah borrowed from the Imamiyyah, surely it is, in fact, all the more incorrect to say that the Imamiyyah bor-rowed from them.