‘I knew that had you grown up you would have disobeyed me..”

Discussion of Imaam Abul Hasan Ash`ari with Juba’ee

Imaam Abul Hasan Ash`ari   asked his teacher Abu Ali Juba’ee,

“How will Allah Ta`ala deal with three brothers one of whom was pious, the second was a sinner and the third passed away during infancy?”

Juba’ee answered, “Allah will admit the pious brother into Jannah, the sinful brother into Jahannum and the infant brother will be sent to A`raaf (a stage between Jannah and Jahannum).”
On hearing this Imaam Ash`ari said, “Sir, the answer was simple and clear but I failed to understand it.”

He then asked, “What answer will Allah give if the infant brother says, ‘O Allah! Why did you cause me to die during infancy? You should have allowed me to live so that I could have carried out good
actions and thereby enter Jannah?’”

Abu Ali replied, “Allah will say, ‘I knew that had you grown up you would have disobeyed me. So the most beneficial thing for you was that I save you from Jahannum by taking away your life during
infancy.”
Imaam Ash`ari then said, “What answer will Allah then give if the sinner has to ask Allah, ‘Why did you not give me also death during infancy so I would also have abstained from sin and be saved from Jahannum?’”
On hearing this, Abu Ali was dumbfounded and unable to answer.

Shaikh Abul Hasan Ash`ari had thereafter abandoned Abu Ali Juba’ee and formulated the usool (principles) of the Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah. The Asha`irah are attributed to him. (Sharh-ul-Aqaa’id,
pg 6)

Malfoozaat of Faqeeh-ul-Ummat