Akhbarism In The Imamiyyah Tradition
And you (i.e. the reader), after having gone through our book, will find in it truths untouched by any of the early or latter philosophers, legists, scholastics, and jurisprudents, and yet they are only a sample of what my Lord, the Almighty and the Supreme, has granted to me.In this book he challenges even the philosophers and themutakallimun, as occasionally he has to discuss some issues related to philosophy and kalam. In the book's tenth chapter, he discusses the meaning of nafs al-'amr. The eleventh chapter is named by him "Fi bayan aghlat al-'Asha'irah wa al-Mu'tazilah fi awwal al-wajibat" ("On the mistakes of the Ashai'rah and the Mu'tazilah about the first obligations"). In the twelfth, he cites the mistakes of Muslim philosophers and theologians.
On part of the errors of philosophers and Muslim theosophers (hukama') in their sciences and that their cause-as we have proved earlier-is that no one who deals with the issues whose preliminaries are extra-sensible is secure from error except the Infallible Ones (the Prophet [S], Fatimah [A], and the twelve Imams [A]).There, he discusses some well-known problems of philosophy, such as the necessity of an intervening rest between two reciprocating straight line motions, that something which is necessarily associated with some impossibility is also impossible, the problem of precedence, and the problem of the preponderance of will.
To be certain, a majority of our companions (i.e. the Shi'ah) followed a group of our opponents, among them philosophers. naturalists, or Ahl al-Ra'y and others, who, relying upon reason and its arguments. cast away the teachings of the prophets when they did not agree with their intellects.In these words, which hint at excommunication, Sayyid Ni'mat Allah al-Jaza'iri considers the majority of Shi'ah scholars - and along with them the philosophers, the naturalists, and those who follow ra'y and qiyas to be heedless of the teachings of prophets, merely on the ground that they recognize the authority of reason. By the 'majority' he means all the scholars who came after al-Shaykh al-Saduq, as if until that time all Shi'ah had been Akhbaris.
My determination was weakened further by the absence of any desire on the part of this sect (i.e. the Imamiyyah) towards it and their indifference in this regard; because they have compiled the traditions which they relate with their familiar vocabulary, to the extent that if in a problem different words to which they are not used to are employed to convey the same sense, they consider it as an odd thing.Al-Tusi makes it clear that the biggest impediment in his writing of such a book was that it was not yet customary among the Shi'ah to practise ijtihad and to deduce particulars from universals.
When there came to be divergence in the traditions narrated from their Imams, as time passed every group of them took its own way, and some of the Imamiyyah became either Mu'tazilah, or Waidiyyah, or Tafdiliyyah, or Akhbariyyah, or Mushabbihah, or Salafiyyah.However, it is quite certain and definite that in the early era there was no school opposed to that of ijtihad and legal deduction amongst the Shi'ah to have challenged the authority of the zawahir of the Quran or the authority of reason in order to defend hadith.
When the caliphate fell to al-Mutawakkil, he ordered the people to abstain from discussion and debate and whatever they were used to in the days of al-Mu'tasim and al-Wathiq. He directed them to adopt compliance and imitation.Al-Mutawakkil's support for the Ahl al-Hadith wa al-Sunnah- who like the Shi'ah Akhbaris had a deceptively self-righteous stance, spoke untiringly of submission and devotion and persistently chanted the phrase qala Rasul Allah ('so said the Apostle of Allah') - had an extraordinary effect on the people, to whom it appeared to be a defence of the Prophet. For this reason, al-Mutawakkil, despite his tyranny and debauchery, came to assume saintly image in the popular mind.