Is The Way Of The Khalaf More Knowledgeable And Wiser Than that Of the Salaf?


Some people (i.e, the Ash’arees) claim that the way of the salaf is safer, yet the way of the khalaf (late comers) is more knowledgeable and more wise. They say this in reference to the Names and Attributes of Allaah (1). As we know, what the Ash’arees say in reference to the Names and Attributes of Allaah have no basis or proof from the words of the Salaf. Therefore they claim this principle (the way of the salaf is safer, yet the way of the khalaf is more knowledgeable and more wise). And even to the layman in this ummah, such a claim would seem ludicrous. If the way of the Salaf was safer, then it has to be more knowledgeable and wise. Yet if the way of the khalaf was more knowledgeable and wiser, then surely it must be the safer approach.

There are many contradictions in this ignorant principle. Ibn taymiyyah discusses this in his famous Al-‘Aqeedah Al-Hamawiyyah, where he says:

Allaah revealed the Qur’aan so that the people would reflect upon its aayaat – acting according to them if they were rulings, and believing in them if they were information.

Moreover, there is no doubt that the closest people to understanding them, believing in them, and acting according to them are the Salaf.

Therefore, they are definitely the most knowledgeable of people in comprehending them and the most upright in acting by them.

It can be said that the truth in this matter (the way of dealing with the Names and Attributes of Allaah) is either in what the Salaf have said, or what the Khalaf have said.

The second option is certainly untrue because it would then mean that Allaah, His Messenger, the first and foremost from the Muhaajoroon and Ansaar all spoke untruthfully outwardly and publicly and didn’t once speak correctly regarding the required ‘Aqeedah.

This would thereby make the existence of the Qur’aan and sunnah nothing but a absolute harm to the foundation of the religion, and leaving the people without them would be better for them and more appropriate. This is clearly wrong!

[Pp. 31-32 of Al-‘Aqeedah Al-Hamawiyyah]

Footnotes:

(1) For example, the Ash’arees claim that Allaah’s “Hand” means His power, that Allaah’s “Face” means reward, among other examples. From among the errors in this is that they are spaking without knowledge and saying about Allaah what is not befitting for Him. Furthermore they have no proof for such claims. Furthermore, one of the consequences of this is to claim that the Qur’aan contains verses, the apparent meaning of which is kufr as well as affirming ‘real’ meanings to the texts that may contradict their apparent meanings. To know more of the consequences of such false explanations to the Names and Attributes of Allaah, see this postthis post and this post.

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