In another session, al-Mamoon invited him to debate Sulayman al-Maroozi, Khurasan's scientist in kalam, and the debate between them dealt with some significant topics which were being debated then by scholars of the science of kalam, and the starting-point of the discussion was the issue of badaa. The Imam (A.S.) explained its sound meaning, indicating that the Sublime and Dear God had innermost knowledge which nobody but He knew, and that was the source of badaa and knowledge which He taught His angels and Prophets.
To explain it in a way which would remove all confusion and ambiguity, we can say about badaa is that God makes manifest that His Will is linked to an advantage which necessitates it, and the apparent reality is that His Will is hinging on what is opposite to it. Then He after that makes manifest His actual Will when the advantage is satisfied from all aspects and the reasons for which it was not previously manifested are removed, and it appears to the creation as if God willed to abandon His first Will, hence it is in the view of creation, not in the reality of Will, badaa. This is the theory of badaa in its simple logical context which Imamis (Shi'as) uphold and which some people misunderstood and misinterpreted, giving it a wrong meaning which necessitated attributing ignorance (!!!) to the Almighty God and an excuse to wage an unfair campaign of defamation against Imami Shi'as by their opponents from among the followers of other sects.
Adapted from: "Imam al-Ridha (a.s.), A Historical and Biographical Research" by: "Muhammad Jawad Fadlallah"
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