The cognitive value of analogizing the absent to the present one and applying it to the divine knowledge


There are several ways and arguments to know God and know His attributes and actions. One of these ways, which many theologians rely on, is "analogizing the absent on the present one", that is called “jurisprudential analogy” or the analogy of representation in logic. There is no doubt that this analogy, according to intellectual standards of proper thinking, does not bring certainty; because it is an applying of a partial judgment, that is the present one, to another partial judgment, that is the absent one, because there is similarity and common things between them. Logicians prove the judgment as comprehensive one time through correlational inference of the opposite (tard al-‘aks), and another time by “probing and division (sabr and taqsim)” and both of which do not lead to certainty. However, some Ash’arite and Mu’tazilite theologians, some traditionists (scholars of Hadith) and others have depended on the "analogy of the absent to the present" to prove the existence of the Creator and His attributes.In this study, we try to analyze the aspects of this analogy and compare it to the analogy of representation, and then, we discuss the significance of the analogy of the absent to the present one for the Ash’arites, the Mu’tazilites, and the Salafists. After that, we refer to the school of the Ahl al-Bayt (peace be on them) and their followers. At the end, we discuss and criticize the cognitive value of the analogy of the absent to the present and its role in the knowing of Almighty Allah and His attributes and actions, in order to know the extent of authority and validity.