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Question text

Which doubt has been mentioned by ibn Taymiyah about the word Rijs in Tathir verse?


Visits 271 categorization: Interpreting Qur’anic Verses
Answer

Ibn Taymiyah says that: “Allah’s will does not include the fulfilment of the aim in Tathir verse, sometimes He wills something which is not fulfiled, the Almighty Allah says that:﴿وَاللهُ يُرِيدُ أَن يَتُوبَ عَلَيْكُمْ﴾
[1]“And Allah desires that He should turn to you (mercifully)”, whereas some people repent and some other do not repent, Allah has willed the people to be purified from the polytheism, but some people prefer being a polytheism. [2]
Then he says: “in this verse, the meaning of Rijs is polytheism , as Allah says that:﴿فَاجْتَنِبُوا الرِّجْسَ مِنَ الْأَوْثَانِ﴾
[3]“therefore avoid the uncleanness of the idols”, and we know that Allah has kept polytheism and evil away from the Prophet’s household (a.s.), but this matter does not prove their infallibility. [4]
In answer to this matter we should say that: firstly: the will in the verse﴿وَاللهُ يُرِيدُ أَن يَتُوبَ عَلَيْكُمْ﴾is a legislative will, not a genetic one, and it is surprising that a person like ibn Taymiyah does not distinquish the difference between genetic and legislative will; Allah says about His genetic will that:﴿إِذَا أَرَادَ شَيْئًا أَنْ يَقُولَ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ﴾
[5]“when He intends anything, is only to say to it: Be, so it is”. And the will in the Tathir verse is so, and it can never be broken, because ﴿إِنَّ الله عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ﴾
[6]“surely Allah has power over all things”. But Allah has stated His legislative will [that is, legal laws and religious obligations] with the term will that men can perform that duty or leave it for absence of compulsion and having the choice, and the will in the verse ﴿يُرِيدُ أَن يَتُوبَ عَلَيْكُمْ﴾ is such as this.
Therefore, it refers to all the people, it is contrary to the will in Tathir verse which is genetic according to some evidences especially those narratives which put emphasis on the revelation of this verse about the Hosehold of the Prophet (s.a.w) ,and it is not a legislative one, otherwise, it doesnot include particular people; because legislatively Allah will all people be pure and be kept away from sin, not just a particular part of people!
Secondly: the meaning of Rijs has been specified in the verse﴿فَاجْتَنِبُوا الرِّجْسَ مِنَ الْأَوْثَانِ﴾ because after that the word "Min Bayaniyah" (that is, this word explains the previous word) has expressed the meaning of Rijs which is that very polytheism, especially that all polytheists are addressed in “فاجتنبوا” “to avoid”. It is contrary to Tathir verse that the Prophet (s.a.w.) and Prophet’s household are addressed. “الف” and “لام” “al-“ in “الرجس” refer to kind and include all types of uncleanness such as: sin, confusion, error and inattention. [7]


resources and references

[1] Quran, Al- Nisa, verse. 27.
[2] Minhaj al- Sunnah, vol. 4, p. 20.
[3] Quran, Al-Haj, verse. 30
[4] Minhaj al- Sunnah, vol. 4, p. 21.
[5] Quran, Ya-Sin, Verse 82.
[6] Quran, Al-Baqarah, 20
[7] Ali Asghar Rizwani, Imamology and answering to the doubts, vol. 1, p. 388.
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