The Qadariyyah Groups

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The name of the Libertarian sect, al-Qadariyyah, refers to the human power, qudrah, to act and choose.  Some hold that it refers to the determination, al-qadr, which they deny Allah (s.w.t.) and affirm for humans.  Some writers hold them to be aptly described by their opponents as corresponding to the hadits, “those who deny Allah’s Measuring Out are the fire worshippers of this community.”  The strongest opinion as to their name is that the word, “al-Qadariyyah” generally encompasses the Mu’tazilah and the Jahmiyyah and more specifically refers to the latter.

The most important Jahmiyyah leader, Ma’bad al-Juhani, preached his school in Iraq and was killed by al-Hajjaj in the uprising of ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn al-Ash’ats and Ghilan ad-Dimashqi, who had been debated by Hadhrat ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz (r.a.) and was spectacularly killed by Hisham ibn ‘Abd al-Malik.  This group radically ascribed action and volition to humans, holding that every human action occurs through a will independent from the Will of Allah (s.w.t.).  They rejected Allah’s (s.w.t.) Prior Knowledge and Determining, taqdir, the occurrence of human action.  Dr. Muhammad Yusuf observed, “The Libertarians took the position that humans are the ones who determine their own actions through their knowledge, facing them through their will, and enacting them through their power — and that Allah has no power over these works, cannot engage them in His Volition or Power, and cannot have knowledge of them before they occur.”  In this way, the Libertarians came to ascribe the Divine Attribute of Lordship, Rububiyyah, to others beside Allah (s.w.t.), delimiting His Properly Unrestricted Knowledge and Power.

The Jahmiyyah gained their name through their eponymous ascription to Jahm ibn Swafwan.  They argued that, given that Allah (s.w.t.) is the Creator of creatures’ acts, and given that He Possesses Unrestricted Power, human power over actions is transformed into a mere instrument without volition.  Jahm bin Swafwan said, “Indeed humans determine nothing, nor are they characterised by such ability; rather they are compelled in their actions, having no independent volition and no choice.  It is Allah (s.w.t.) Who Creates actions for them in the same way that He does for other bodies.  Actions are ascribed to them only in a figurative sense, as they are other bodies.”  In the following period, this opinion suffused various groups associated with the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah.


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