Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Ajarridi Kharijiyyah & the Conundrum of Free Will

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The problem as to whether human beings were free to determine their own destiny or whether their being was determined by the Creator was also one of the central disputes in a rift within the Khwarij movement.  For the first time, the Ajarridi Kharijiyyah split into two sub-groups, the Maimuniyyah and the Shu’aybiyyah.  The reason for this division originated in an argument between Maimun and Shu’ayb, the leaders of the groups.  Shu’ayb had some money belonging to Maimun, and when Maimun demanded repayment, Shu’ayb said to him, “I shall give it to you, if Allah Wills.”

Maimun replied, “Allah has Willed that you should give it to me now.”

And Shu’ayb said, “If Allah has Willed it, I could not have done otherwise than give it to you.”

Maimun continued by saying, “Verily, Allah has Willed what He Commanded; what He did not Command, He did not Will; and what He did not Will, He did not Command.”

They wrote about their dispute to their leader ‘Abd al-Karim ibn Ajarrad, who was in prison.  ‘Abd al-Karim responded with, “What Allah Willed came about, and what He did not will did not come about; and we do not fix evil upon Him.”

Maimun and Shu’ayb both believed that their leader had approved their view and they, therefore, separated, forming two different groups.  The followers of Maimun, the Maimuniyyah, were known for their belief in free will and claimed that although Allah (s.w.t.) is Omnipotent, no evil should be attributed to Him.  Therefore, the Shu’aybiyyah, followers of Shu’ayb, became the forerunners of the adherents to fatalism in Islamic theology.  The theological doctrine of the Mu’tazilah, however, is crystallised in five major theses, such as the Unity of Allah (s.w.t.), or the relationship between the Divine Attributes and the essence of God; al-qadar or human free will; the createdness of the Qur’an; the intermediate position of the grave sinner; and commanding the right and forbidding the wrong.


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