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The Impossible Waheguru

INTRODUCTION

There is a breed of Sikhs who have committed intellectual harakiri in their desperate attempt to vindicate their acceptance of a religion they acknowledge to be contradictory.

Their position is two-fold:

  1. God is all-Powerful (Omnipotent); thus, He is not subject to nor bound by human logic, i.e. the fundamental laws of bi-valued logic. [1]
  2. Since God transcends human logic, He can do all things.

Based upon these premises, said Sikhs have no problem in unashamedly acknowledging their understanding of God to be contradictory.

They further dispute the accusation made by Muslims that the theology-proper of Sikhism is contradictory and false, as wholly unjustified, contending that Sikhism rejects the argument as errant.

This contention, however, rests on an inexplicably irrational demand for a “paradigm-shift”, which this paper intends to examine.

A PARADIGM-SHIFT AWAY FROM RATIONALITY

They [Sikhs] are wholly different from other Indians, and they are bound together by an objective unknown elsewhere. [2]

These Sikhs postulate that God is Truth, but God transcends rationality. But, since man is bound by rationality, man is incapable of consciously knowing the Truth (God); and up until man transcends the conscious mind to become one with God, the Truth will remain elusive.

However, we argue that such a postulate is convoluted and self-defeating on the basis that our argument of Sikh theology being contradictory is not based on that which is claimed to be transcendent, but that which is subject to observation, i.e. that which is proposed or stated: Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the scripture of Sikhs which is nothing more than a book of propositions. Hence, when a Muslim states that the Nirgun-Sargun concept of God is contradictory, it is not that the Creator is contradictory, but rather the man-invented theology-proper of Sikhism that is contradictory and false. Hence, what we are saying is:

To assert that a paradigm-shift be made when one attempts to determine the truth or falsity of a necessary proposition concerning God, on the basis that the said proposition transcends rationality, is self-defeating.

Why?

To begin with, any meaningful interpretation of a given proposition can only be made by the use of one’s rationale. And since the proposition is tangible, it is subject to rational scrutinisation, which allows one to determine its truth or falsity. Thus, one does not need to become one with God to determine the truth-value of any proposition – divinely revealed or otherwise.

For example, Sikhism’s concept of God is that He is both Nirgun (attributeless, formless, transcendent) and Sargun (attributed, personal, immanent, diffused in creation, manifest) [3] at the same time, which, of course, is contradictory in nature.

Is it possible for one to make a paradigm-shift away from the use of human reasoning to other than human reasoning to disprove this contradiction?

  • If the answer is in the affirmative, then the one asserting this will have to make recourse to human reasoning and rationale in order to prove that a non-rational approach is needed to disprove this contradiction. Hence, the argument is self-defeating and false.
  • If the answer is in the negative, then a paradigm-shift is impossible.
  • If the answer is that an answer cannot be given because it transcends rationality, then a claim to truth cannot be proven since it is impossible to conceive.

Hence, to postulate a paradigm-shift away from rationality is self-defeating and impossible.

GOD CAN DO THE IMPOSSIBLE

Since truth is only determinable through the use of rationality, one is bound by this in one’s understanding of God. Thus, how plausible is the claim that God can do everything?

The stupidity of the claim that God transcends rationality, and can, therefore, do everything, is again a self-refuting argument.

When God is said to be able to do everything, the correct interpretation ought to be that He can do everything possible. From this, one can conclude that God is spoken of as omnipotent in as much as He is able to do everything which is possible absolutely.

In his commentary of the great book of Islamic Creed by Imaam At-Tahaawi (d.321 AH), ‘Ali ibn Abil ‘Izz (d.792 AH) explained:

Allaah’s saying: “Allaah has power over all things.” (Qur’an 59:6) …

As for the followers of the prophetic way, they believe He has power over everything. Thus, everything that is possible is included in the above [Qur’anic] statement. As for what is IMPOSSIBLE by itself, such as, a thing both existent and non-existent [contradiction] at the same time, has no meaning. Their existence cannot be imagined. It cannot be considered as ‘a thing’ by anyone endowed with wisdom. [4]

Anything that is not contradictory in nature will, therefore, qualify as those possibilities in virtue of which God is described as omnipotent since that which is contradictory in nature cannot be true, right or correct because no intellect will be able to conceive of it

It is impossible to conceive of that which transcends the rationale. Thus, it is impossible to argue that God can do anything that transcends the rationale precisely because it is incomprehensible. Hence, a meaningful interpretation is impossible to forward. Therefore, as we said above, in the case of God describing Himself, such descriptions are subject to rational scrutinisation.

To say that God transcends rationality, and conclude from that that He can do anything, is impossible and self-refuting.

Hence, it is impossible to conceive of that which is impossible.

CONCLUSION

Allaah has power over all things.” (Qur’an 59:6) … As for the followers of the prophetic way, they believe He has power over everything. Thus, everything that is possible is included in the above statement. As for what is IMPOSSIBLE by itself, such as, a thing both existent and non-existent [contradiction] at the same time, has no meaning. Their existence cannot be imagined. It cannot be considered as ‘a thing’ by anyone endowed with wisdom.

This so-called ‘self-realised’ approach by these Sikhs is not only incriminatory, but also indicative of the highest degree of compounded ignorance [5] and blind-following. [6]

We have proven that it is impossible to determine the truth or falsity of that which is impossible to conceive.

We have also shown that a paradigm-shift away from rationality to determine the truth or falsity of a necessary proposition concerning God, on the basis that said proposition transcends rationality, is self-defeating.

These two fundamental factors refute the claim that God can do anything because He transcends rationality.

But, as for the one who begs the question and doggedly maintains that God transcends logic and rationale and can thus do impossible things, thereby rejecting the law of non-contradiction, then one must conclude that the truth or falsity of God’s Truth is impossible to determine.

If one were to affirm that God is true, how would one prove this affirmation when God can do impossible things? Such an affirmation would also be a negation at the same time since God can do the impossible. Such a position would essentially render truth as meaningless.

What would shake this self-evident law of logic? The answer is: an impossible universe!

Let’s entertain for the moment the inconceivable notion of the essential nature of the universe changing entirely every second. Only in such an impossible universe could it be said that the laws of logic would not be applicable. Fortunately, we do not live in such a universe; we could not, for there would be no ‘we’. This type of universe is not possible and cannot be given meaning precisely because it contradicts the only reality we can make any real sense of things.

Will they then not use their intellects? (Qur’an 28:60)

[1] Logic and the Law of non-Contradiction
[2] Joseph D. Cunningham (1848), A History of the Sikhs.
[3] For a complete understanding read the Nirgun-Sargun Conundrum.
[4] Sharh al-‘Aqeedah at-Tahawiyyah
[5] Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen defined compounded ignorance (al-Jahlul Murakkab) as: comprehension of something in a way contrary to its true reality.
[6] To further understand the dire consequences of blind-following, please read the Nirgun-Sargun Conundrum.

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