are the truths of belief and incontestable matters of the Qur’an, the limits of which have been defined by the principles of the purified exacting scholars. And in the face of the latter stratagems, the believer’s stronghold is to seek refuge with God and to attach no importance to them. For the more importance is given them, the more it attracts attention to them, and they grow and swell. The believer’s antidote and remedy for such spiritual wounds is adhering to the practices of the Prophet (UWBP).
Q u e s t i o n : The Mu‘tazilite authorities considered the creation of evil to be evil, and therefore did not attribute the creation of unbelief and misguidance to God, as if by so doing they were exonerating Him. They misguidedly said: “Man creates his own actions.”1 They also said: “A believer who commits a grievous sin loses his belief,2 for believing in God and affirming Hell is incompatible with such acts. Out of fear at a minor prison sentence in this world, a man restrains himself from acting contrarily to the law, so if he commits serious sins, which infers disregard of divine wrath, it certainly points to his lack of belief.”
T h e A n s w e r to the first part of the question: as is elucidated in the treatise on divine determining,3 the creation of evil is not evil; it is the inclination to do evil that is evil. For creation and bringing into being look to all the results. Since the existence of one evil is preliminary to numerous good results, by virtue of those results, the creation of the evil becomes good, and is as though good. For example, fire has a hundred good results, but if because they misuse their wills people make the fire evil for themselves, they cannot say that the creation of evil is evil. In the same way, the creation of devils has numerous wise results such as human progress; so if a person is defeated by Satan due to his misuse of his will and misguided inclinations, he cannot say that the creation of Satan is evil. For he did evil to himself because he was himself disposed to it.
Yes, since the tendency is a particular relation, it has a particular evil result and becomes evil. But since creation looks to all the results, the creation of evil is not evil; it is good. The Mu‘tazilites did not understand this mystery, so they said: “The creation of evil is evil, and the creation of bad,
See, al-Maturidi, al-Tawhid, i, 92, 169, 314, 315; Ibn Hazm, al-Fasl fi’-Milal, ii, 121; iii, 57, 59.
See, al-Iji, Kitab al-Mawaqif, iii, 548; Ibn Abi’l-’Izz, Sharh ‘Aqida al-Tahawiyya, i, 356-62.
The Twenty-Sixth Word. See, The Words (Istanbul: Sözler Publications, 2008), 477-90. (Tr.)