Imaam Ahmad’s Position On Theological Rhetoric


[Please note: I have cut out all the chains of narration to simplify the reading of this post]

Theological rhetoric Leads To Failure

Imaam Ahmad said, “Whoever indulges in theological rhetoric will become a failure. Moreover, indulging in theological rhetoric will lead one to become like the jahmiyyah.

[As-Sunnah p. 235]

There is Corruption In His Heart

Imaam Ahmad said, “Verily a person of theological rhetoric will never succeed, ever. You will never see anyone studying theological rhetoric, except that there is a corruption in his heart.

[As-Sunnah, p. 235]

Leave Alone Theological rhetoric

Imaam Ahmad wrote to ‘Ubayd Ibn Yahyaa Ibn Khaaqaan:

“I am not a person of theological rhetoric, nor do I believe in speaking about any of these affairs, except about what is found in the Book of Allaah and the narrations of the Messenger of Allaah (saw). As for as anything else is concerned, then speaking about it is not praisworthy.”

[Thammul Kalaam (b/216/q)]

Do Not Sit With The People Of Theological rhetoric

Imaam Ahmad said, “Do not sit with the people of theological rhetoric, even if they defend the sunnah.

[Manaaqibul Imaam Ahmad, p. 205]

Hold Firmly To The Narrations And Avoid Theological rhetoric

Imaam Ahmad said, “Hold firmly to the sunnah and the narrations, Allaah will benefit you with it. And beware of dispute, quarreling and argumentation, since a person who loves theological rhetoric will not succeed. And whoever invents new kinds of theological rhetoric, his affair will only end up an innovation, because theological rhetoric does not lead to any goodness.

And I do not like theological rhetoric, nor disputation, nor arguments. So hold firmly to the established practices, the narrations, and the fiqh that you benefit from. And leave alone the quarrelling and the theological rhetoric of the people of deviation and argumentation.

We met a people (the Salaf) who did not know this, and they stayed away from the people of theological rhetoric. The end rsult of theological rhetoric is never good.

I ask Allaah to grant us and you refuge from these calamities, and that He keeps us safe from every form of destruction.

[Al-Ibaanah, by Ibn Battah, 2/539)]

Beware Of Him Who Loves Theological rhetoric

Imaam Ahmad said, “If you see a man loving theological rhetoric then beware of him.

[Al-Ibaanah, by Ibn Battah, 2/540)]

[All of the above was taken from “The Creed Of The Four Imaams” Pp. 90-92]

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