Jawhar vs. Sifat


assalamu `alaykum Sayyidi
I hope you are well, insha’Allah.
Sidi, could you recommend any reading on the difference between a jawhar/`arad and dhat/sifat. What is the difference between them conceptually?

`Alaykum as-Salam,
Jawhar is the essential “intrinsic substance” of an object, the thing-ness that defines it as opposed to another jawhar, always describable by a`rad, which are non-essential descriptive attributes such as color, size, dimensions, odor, etc., that are not an intrinsic part of it. Scholars differed whether a jawhar is always a body (jism), but in any case these two ways of defining/describing an object are reserved for created things or contingencies, so Allah Most High is never described by them. Dhat and sifat have roughly the same relationship but Allah Most High may be described as possessing them, though obviously not in the same terms as the examples cited. You can look up Samih Dgheim’s Mawsu`at Mustalahat `Ilm al-Kalam al-Islami in two volumes. For download info see http://www.aslein.net/showthread.php?t=11248&page=1
Hajj Gibril Haddad

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