Advice Regarding Hamza Tzortzis and Company (iERA): Part 5 - The Origins of Space, Time and Matter in the View of the Jahmites
Wednesday, October 23 2013 - by Abu.Iyaad
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In previous installments in this series we established that in the polemics of Hamza Tzortzis (having been influenced and affected by Christian apologetics who revived the kalaam arguments of the Jahmiyyah of old) - there can be found the ideological foundations of the deen of the Jahmites. This became very clear in Part 4 where Hamza Tzortzis describes the "cause" identified through his kalam argument in a manner identical in conception to the one put forward by Jahm bin Safwan in the first century hijrah, an "immaterial, changeless, timeless, unembodied mind." A futile and corrupt doctrine that departs from the language of the Qur'an and which led to great tribulations in the Ummah, which have not ceased until today. The originating "cause" identified and described through this route is the deity of the Hellenized Jews, Christians, Sabeans and the various factions of kalaam (Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Ash'ariyyah, Maturidiyyah) - it is not the deity described in the Qur'an. In relying upon this mode of argument for proving Allaah's existence, they denied, to varying degrees, the names, attributes and actions of Allaah, the Sublime and Exalted. Hamza Tzortzis has trodden this path and has been actively inviting people to this way over the years. In this article we want to point out another agreement between the nature and type of argument used by Hamza Tzortzis (and those like him) and the Jahmiyyah of old as it relates to the issue of space, time and matter.
Another Foundational Principle of the Jahmiyyah: Space, Time and Matter
Just as the Jahmites rely upon the false principle of "the impossibility of an endless chain of events" to validate their proof, they also rely upon the claim that space and time (and matter) were created upon the creation of the universe, and in turn, since Allaah is the creator of space and time, "He is not confined by time and space and is immaterial" - an ambiguous term that leads to the denial of Allaah's actual existence, His uluww and His chosen actions (af'aal ikhtiyaariyyah). We saw in the previous article, Hazma Tzortzis parroting the theology of William Lane Craig (and of the Jahmites) that Allaah is an "immaterial, changeless, timeless, unembodied mind" which essentially amounts to non-existence. However, alongside this, Hamza Tzortzis supports another foundation of the Jahmites of the claim of creation of time, space and matter with the creation of the universe, a claim that clashes with the Book and the Sunnah.
In his paper, "The Qur'anic Argument For God's Existence" Hamza Tzortzis cites the views of contemporary scientists that "space-time" came to be at the occurrence of the "Big-Bang," and he cites these views as supportive evidence. He says:
In other words the universe began at a cataclysmic event which created space-time and all matter in the universe.
And he cites the following:
The physicist P. C. W. Davies explains, "If we extrapolate this prediction to its extreme, we reach a point when all distances in the universe have shrunk to zero. An initial cosmological singularity therefore forms a past temporal extremity to the universe. We cannot continue physical reasoning, or even the concept of spacetime, through such an extremity. For this reason most cosmologists think of the initial singularity as the beginning of the universe. On this view the big bang represents the creation event; the creation not only of all the matter and energy in the universe, but also of spacetime itself.
And then Hazma Tzortzis says:
Although our understanding of what happened 10-43 seconds after the 'Big Bang' is highly speculative, astrophysicists now concede little doubt that this universe in which we live is the aftermath of the emergence and expansion of space-time...
And in his article on Lawrence Krauss (July 10 2013), addressing Krauss's attempts at defining "nothing" to include something, he says:
But all that Krauss has really presented to us is that the universe (time and space) came from something...
In his book "The Man in the Red Underpants" Abdur-Raheem Green (a founder of iERA and close associate of Hamza Tzortzis) says (p. 10):
And if the creation is confined by space and time, the Creator should be free of space and time.
And on the same page, in the next paragraph:
And it follows reasonably that there could only be one unique, eternal, self-sufficient being unconfined by space and time
The intent behind all of this is to show that Hamza Tzortzis appears to affirm and support the claim that space, time and matter came to be at the creation of this universe. And he has numerous videos where many more citations can be brought, however, the above ought to be sufficient to make the point. In what follows we will bring a few quotes from Ibn Taymiyyah and make the relevant comments.
Clarification From Ibn Taymiyyah
In Bayaan Talbis al-Jahmiyyah, Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah states, (2/459-461), in explaining what is indicated in the texts of the Qur'an and the Sunnah that the Heavens and Earth were created from prior matter and within a pre-existing measurement of time:
I say: Not one of the Salaf (predecessors) of this nation and nor any of its leading scholars said that these heavens and the earth were created and brought about without any created entity preceding them. And this, even though it is presumed by a faction of the people of kalaam or they deduce evidence for it, then it is a futile saying... and likewise not one of the Salaf of this nation or its leading scholars said that the heavens and the earth were not created from (prior) matter. Rather, that which is mutawaatir (reported through widescale transmission) is that they were created from prior matter and in a time period... and what is mentioned by many of the Ahl al-Kalaam (Hellenized Theologians), the Jahmites and their likes, regarding the beginning (of creation) is equivalent to what they say regarding the end, in that the bodies (matter) of the universe will perish (completely)... And this (view) that the Mutakallimoon innovated is futile by unanimous agreement of the predecessors of the Ummah and its leading Imaams.
And later (2/473), he says:
And as for the saying of the atheists that the heavens do not cease to be upon (the state) that they are upon now, and will never cease as such, this is clear rejection and plain disbelief in what is in the Qur'an, in what the people of faith have united upon, and in what they know by necessity that the Messengers informed of (this matter of the creation of the heavens). Likewise the saying of the Jahmites or whoever says amongst them, "The heavens and the Earth were created without matter and without time and that they will perish or be annihilated, or that Paradise will also expire." All of that is in opposition to the texts of the Qur'an, and it is for this reason that the Salaf made takfeer (excommunication) of those (Jahmites), even if the disbelief of the first ones (the Atheists) is more plain and clear... And the intent here is the notification of the corruption of the proofs of the atheists, deniers of the Creator, the Exalted, their contradiction, and the Jahmites sharing with them in some of their corrupt foundations...
Upon this there are numerous points to be made:
ONE: Many of those who are involved with these debates with atheists without properly understanding the reality of what has come in the Qur'an and the Sunnah find themselves agreeing implictly or explicitly at times with claims made by the atheists and scientists they are debating or with matters that are at least acknowledged by them. From them is the claim that time, space and matter were all created (from nothing) at "the big bang."
TWO: In turn the atheists try to argue in different ways to explain the origins of this universe and from these ways is to speak of an oscillating universe (a subtle way of claiming the universe is eternal and is in an endless cycle of expansion and collapse, a new universe being born each time through the process). Another way is to speak of multiple universes (trillions of them) of which ours is one and just happened, by chance, to be suitable for life to develop. This provides them no escape as the sum of those universes can be said to be one universe, and thus they are back at square one. These are pure conjectures and they know this well.
THREE: Another way taken by people like Stephen Hawking and Lawrence Krauss is to claim that the universe can be created from nothing (as in from nothing, no matter), that the universe will create itself from nothing. However, in this they are deceptive in that they require a something to be included in that nothing such as the law of gravity or certain forces. Again this is deception and make-believe on their behalf.
FOUR: The point here then is that upon the assertion that time, space and matter were created with the creation of this universe (according to the big bang theory) and that the universe therefore was created from nothing (no prior matter), atheists have tried to find explanations and bring theories to explain how the universe came to be and in rebutting these explanations, "Muslim apologists" often operate upon the assumption of the correctness of the claims of the scientists (time space and matter came to be at the Big Bang) which may in fact clash with the Book and the Sunnah. This in turn causes confusion in the nature, scope and direction of the arguments used and can lead to opposition to the Book and the Sunnah.
FIVE: So that which is indicated in the Book and the Sunnah is that time, space and matter already existed prior to this universe. The claim that space time and matter were created by a cataclysmic event is false. The heavens, as they are present now, were formed and shaped from matter that already existed even if that matter had a beginnning prior to that and was certainly not eternal. Further, there is a measurement of time that precedes this universe, within the confines of which this universe was created, and this other measurement of time has days and years which are not like our measurements of days and years rather, of a different and far greater scope. The claim that the universe was created from no prior matter and in the absence of time (and hence the claim of time, matter and space being created through its creation) is a position forwarded by the Jahmites to enable their theology. This is because they rely upon the principle "an endless chain of events in the past is impossible" in order to argue for the universe having a beginning (and thus all matter was created at the creation of the universe), and they claim time began with the creation of the universe to avoid hawaadith (events) for Allaah, since it would mean otherwise that Allaah is subject to time (in that His actions are confined by time), and likewise they claim space (makaan) was created with the creation of this universe. You can see from all of this that the specific conception in the mind of the Jahmite regarding the universe (and the type of theology that naturally follows on from it) clashes with what is in the Book and the Sunnah. Ignorant people like Hamza Tzortsis, Zakir Naik and others accept as truth the conjectures of the non-Muslims and then twist and manipulate the verses of the Qur'an in order to impress upon the non-Muslims and they then teach this approach to the masses, deceiving them and leading them into confusion.