Thursday, April 17, 2008

Imposition: the Ruler is ruled and the ruled is the Ruler – What they say is really abominable and false

One of the Sufis doctrines that conflicts with theological beliefs is the doctrine that imposes certain things on God even though they avoid the term imposition and ascribe a will to Him. But in fact they are the deniers of the Divine will.

On this issue they differ from the people of all denominations. They say, for instance, that God has power in the sense that if He wills He does, and if He does not will He does not do. But they believe that the conditional clause in the first preposition is necessary and in the second impossible. This amounts to imposing things on God, and negating His power. It means to deprive God of power in the sense religious people generally understand the term. Power means the ability to do and not to do. But the doctrine of these people implies the necessity of doing and the impossibility of not doing. How different are the two views!

The view of these people is the same as that of the philosophers’. They predicate a will to God in order to distinguish themselves from the philosophers; but this will not do them any good, because in the first proposition they make it necessary, and in the second impossible. Will means to choose between two equally possible alternatives. If the alternatives are not equally possible there can be no choice. And there are no equal alternatives in this case, since one is necessary and the other is impossible.

Similarly the way they expound the concept of predestination implies imposing things on God. They say, for instance, that ‘the Ruler is ruled and the ruled is the Ruler.’ Apart from the constraint on God’s will which is implied in these words, the very notion that God is subject to something and that something rules over Him is horrible. ‘What they say is really abominable and false.’

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