Wahabi said: As for your question regarding the speech of Allah being composed of letters and words, one after the other, how can it be then eternal; if you understand our argument about infinite regress of events in the past, you will understand how Allah’s words are eternal. In fact, to claim otherwise as the Mu’tazilas do is clear cut Kufr. The Quran that we have is the uncreated speech of Allah, which is composed of Suras, verses, words and letters. This has been the creed of Imam Ahmad, and the rest of Ahl al-Sunnah, and this is one of the strongest proof for the Sunni doctrine in support of infinite regress of events in past and future.
Infinite past events is impossible
This is contrary to your claim, because saying that past events are infinite is to say that the events prior to this moment in time have not finished. This is self-contradictory.
Words and letters is the kind of speech that creatures have
Speech consisting of words and letters is the speech of creation. For this reason one cannot say that Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of Speech is letters and sounds, because Aļļaah said:
“لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ”
Meaning: “Absolutely nothing resembles Him.” (Al-Sħuuraa, 11)
Words and letters must be creations
Why? Because words and letters have a beginning. So in “bismillaah”, for example “i” comes after “b”, so when you say bismillaah, the sound “i” only becomes existent after “b” ‘s non-existence. This means “i” has become existent after non existence, which means that it needs a creator to exist. Nothing can come into existence without a creator, all Muslims must believe that.
In other words, speech that consists of words and letters is created, and since you say that Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of Speech is words and letters, then you are saying that it is created, even if you say it is “uncreated.” In other words, you made takfiir for yourself when you said: “Allah’s words are eternal. In fact, to claim otherwise, as the Mu’tazilas do, is clear cut Kufr.”
The Muˆtazilah said, like you, that Aļļaah’s speech is letters and sounds. They said it is created because it is letters and sounds, and letters and sounds have a beginning, so they must be created. You take this one step further in deviation by denying the obvious, which is that anything with a beginning, such as letters, is a creation. It is a creation because it came into existence, which means it was brought into existence. To be brought into existence is the very definition of being created.
Besides, do you not know that the Arabic language was created by Aļļaah? So if Arabic is a creation, how can Arabic speech be anything but a creation?
The meaning of the phrase “Qu’aan is not created”
When Ahlu-s-Sunnah, the AsħˆAriyys and the Ĥanafiyys, say that the “Qu’aan is not created” they are referring to Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of speech that is not sound or letters. In other words, the Speech that the book of the Qur’aan refers to.
The saying of Ahlu-s-Sunnah is that the words and letters in the printed copies of the Qu’raan refer to Aļļaah’s eternal kalaam, and tell us in Arabic what He said eternally without letters, sounds or words. It is therefore correct to say that “the Qur’aan is not created,” because the word “qur’aan” actually refers to what Aļļaah tells us, and His speech is not created. It is not correct, however, to say that the words, letters, and sounds associated with the book are not created, because words and letters need a creator, and because the Arabic language, the language of the book, is a creation.
An example to clarify is that the word “Aļļaah” refers to Aļļaah. I do not worship these letters, or the sounds of uttering this word. Rather, I worship the one they refer to. In the same sense, the words, letters and Arabic in the book are not themselves Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech, but refer to that attribute. They tell us what Aļļaah said.
Even in our daily lives, we speak of speech in this way. So for example, if I have a transcript in Arabic of something the U.N. Secretary General said, I will refer to it as “the U.N. Secretary General‘s speech”, although his actual, real speech is something in the president Himself, meanings inside of him that he wanted to express (like when you say, “I have something to say in mind) – his internal speech. Alternatively, his real speech is his speech of letters and sounds, that he expressed in another language at a particular point in time, the speech that was originally just meanings that he had in mind. The paper with the transcript, however, just tells me what he said. So if I handed the Arabic transcript to someone saying, “This is the U.N. Secretary General‘s speech,” no one would understand from this that his real speech was in Arabic. No one would tell me, “liar, it was not in Arabic.” No one would tell me, “Liar, the speech of the president occurred days ago from his mouth. It was sounds, not written words.”
The reason is that such transcripts and other forms of narration, that refer to the speaker’s real speech are customarily called “so and so’s speech.” This is why the letter’s and sounds we find in the books of the Qur’aan are called Aļļaah’s Kalaam/Speech, even though His eternal speech is not created, and therefore not words, letters or sounds.
From this we know that the word “Qur’aan” has two meanings. The first is the book, the organized and sequential Arabic words and letters of the muşĥaf. The second it the eternal Speech of Aļļaah that the words and letters of the muşĥaf refer to, and that is not itself words, letters, language or sequence.
Lately some of the wahabis think themselves clever and ask: “Who said alif laam miim?” Let me respond to that with a question: “Who created the Arabic language which alif and laam and miim are part of?”