The Fourth Principle:
We learn more about the Names of Allah through the necessary, logical consequences of their meanings. An example of this principle is the name, “The Creator”. Based on the principles we have discussed thus far, we know that “The Creator” refers to Allah, as well as to the quality of creating things. But, by way of understanding the necessary, logical consequences of the meaning of being, “The Creator”, we affirm Allah’s Attribute of knowledge and ability. After all, only one who has the knowledge of how to create, and the ability to put that knowledge into action, can actually create things. For this reason, when Allah mentioned the creation of the heavens and the earth, He سبحانه وتعالى said:
لِتَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ وَأَنَّ اللَّـهَ قَدْ أَحَاطَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عِلْمًا
“That you may know that Allah has power over all things, and that Allah surrounds (comprehends) all things in (His) Knowledge.” [Qur’an, 65:12]
The ability to deduce rulings based on the necessary, logical consequences of the phrasing of revealed texts is indispensable for a student of knowledge. For with that ability, a student of knowledge may derive legal rulings in various issues from a single revealed text.
Here is another important lesion that we should learn:
If there is a necessary, obvious, logical consequence of something that Allah or His Messenger صلى الله على وسلم said, then that consequence must be true.
Whatever Allah and His Messenger صلى الله على وسلم said is categorically true, and the necessary, logical consequence of the truth is also the truth.
Allah has the full knowledge of the necessary, logical consequence of each of His and His Messenger’s sayings. Therefore, that consequence is always intended by Allah سبحانه وتعالى.
As for logical extension of the speech of anyone other than Allah سبحانه وتعالى and His Messenger صلى الله على وسلم, then that can fall into one of three situations.
Firstly, the logical extension is pointed out to the person who made the statement, and he both accepts and affirms the meaning of that logical extension.
An example of this occurs when a person who negates those of Allah’s Attributes which involve actions says to a person who affirms them, “The logical extensions of you affirming those of Allah’s Attributes which involve actions are new.” The person who affirms those attributes then replies, “Yes, I accept that logical extension.” Indeed, Allah always has and always will do as He pleases. There is no limit or end to His Sayings and Actions.” For as Allah سبحانه وتعالى says:
قُل لَّوْ كَانَ الْبَحْرُ مِدَادًا لِّكَلِمَاتِ رَبِّي لَنَفِدَ الْبَحْرُ قَبْلَ أَن تَنفَدَ كَلِمَاتُ رَبِّي وَلَوْ جِئْنَا بِمِثْلِهِ مَدَدًا
“Say (O Muhammad صلى الله على وسلمto Mankind), If the sea were ink for (writing) the Words of my Lord, surely, the sea would be exhausted before the Words of my Lord would be finished, even if we brought (another sea) like it for its aid.” [Qur’an, 18: 109]
Allah also said:
وَلَوْ أَنَّمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ مِن شَجَرَةٍ أَقْلَامٌ وَالْبَحْرُ يَمُدُّهُ مِن بَعْدِهِ سَبْعَةُ أَبْحُرٍ مَّا نَفِدَتْ كَلِمَاتُ اللَّـهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
“And if all the trees on the earth were pens and the sea (were ink wherewith to write), seven seas behind it to add to its (supply), yet the Words of Allah would not be exhausted. Verily, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.” [Qur’an, 31:27]
Secondly, the logical extension is pointed out to him, and he denies that it is the logical extension of what he had said.
For instance, a person who denies the attributes (of Allah) might say to a person who affirms them, “The logical extension of you affirming (Allah’s Attributes) is that Allah is similar to His creation in His attributes.” The person who affirms Allah’s Attributes then replies, “That is certainly not the logical extension of what I said. This is because the attributes of the Creator are ascribed to Him (alone), and is not mentioned in general (for everyone); therefore, what you claim to be a logical extension is false. And so those attributes are specific to Him, and are appropriate to Him. Similarly, you, O one who denies Allah’s Attributes, affirm that Allah is a being, and you deny that, as a being, He is similar to His creation. So, in this regard, what is the difference between ‘His Being’ and ‘His attributes’”?
The ruling regarding the logical extension in these two cases is clear.
Thirdly, the logical extension is not mentioned: one neither affirms something to be a logical extension nor does he deny it.
In this situation, what is claimed to be a logical extension should not be ascribed to a person who made a statement. For it is possible that if it is mentioned to him, he will accept it, and it is also possible that he will deny that it is a logical extension of what he said. Perhaps, when it is mentioned to him and he realizes that it is in fact a logical extension or it is in fact not a logical extension, he will retract his original statement. This is because the falsehood of a true logical extension of a statement means that the statement itself is false.
Because of these two possibilities, it is not possible to say that the logical extension of a person’s statement is also that person’s statement. It might be argued that, if a claimed logical extension of a statement is indeed the logical extension of that statement, it must be a statement of his as well. For indeed, that only makes sense, especially considering the close link between the statement and its logical extension. But we answer, saying that that is not correct. A man is merely a human being, and because of his innate weaknesses, he might forget or become confused. Or he might say something in the heat of an argument without thinking about the logical extension of his statement.