Well, the Wahabi (falsely called Salafi) cat is out of the bag….
To recap my previous post , Ahlu-s-Sunnah says that the Qur’aan is not created, meaning that the speech of Aļļaah that the Arabic words and letters of the muşĥaf refer to, is not created. These words and letters of the muşĥaf tell us what Aļļaah said with His eternal speech that is not a language, sounds, words or letters. Words, letters, and language, however, are creations, because they have a beginning so they must be brought into existence. This is an inescapable fact that no Muslim can deny.
The Wahabis, on the other hand, claim that when the Salaf (the first generations of Muslims) said “the Qur’aan is not created,” they meant that Aļļaah’s eternal speech is letters and sounds, and yet they are not created.
Upon being asked whether the Arabic language is a creation or not, and how they can claim that Arabic speech is other than created, their answer was an amazing, “not everything that has a beginning is created.” So their view is that the the Qur’aan is emergent (i.e. having a beginning), but not created. When a opponent reaches this level of stupidity, one wonders if there is any point in responding, but I finally have decided to do so. It is not because I hope to convince those who believe that something with emergent existence does not need a creator, but because I want to clarify this matter briefly for anyone that might be confused by their claim.
It is hard to tell what the Wahabis mean by saying, “not everything that has a beginning is created”, but there are two possibilities. The first is that they believe that something emergent, something with a beginning can come into existence without being brought into existence by something other than itself. If so, then they have destroyed for themselves any possibility for proving the existence of the Creator of this world. After all, if the sophisticated Arabic recorded in the copies of the Qur’aan can come into existence without being brought into existence, then what prevents everything else from coming into existence without being brought into existence? Even a child knows that this is nonsense, so one can only hope that this is not what they mean.
More likely they are trying to change the definition of the Arabic word for create, or “kħalaqa.” They are saying that bringing into existence is not the same as to create. So they are saying that the Arabic of the Qur’aan was brought into existence by Aļļaah, but not created. Grasping at straws does not quite catch the sense of desperation involved in this claim, and it is a sign of confusion of these times that the madness of it needs to be exposed.
The meaning of create, or kħalaqa, in Arabic
The Salaf spoke Arabic, and what matters is how they understood the word kħalaqa, or “create” in Arabic. In other words, by looking up the definition, we can tell what the Salaf meant when they said, “the Qur’aan is not created.” Did they mean that it is emergent, was brought into existence, but not created, as the Wahabi’s claim? Or did they mean that the Qur’aan is not brought into existence, because it is not emergent, thus has no need for a creator?
The authoritative imaam of Arabic linguistics Ibn Faaris said in Maqaayiisu-l-Lugħah:
(The root) kħ-l-q has two basic meanings (that all its derived words, such as kħalaqa – to create – come from) one of them is “to specify”, the other is “smoothness.”
The linguists Ibn Manţħuur in Lisaanu-l-ˆArab, and Az-Zabiidiyy in Taaju-l-ˆAruus narrate from the imaam of Arabic, Al-Azhariyy:
Among the attributes of Aļļaah is “the Creator” (Al-Kħaaliq and Al-Kħallaaq), and He is the one that brought everything into existence after it being non-existent, and the root meaning of the word kħalq is “specifying,” so He is in the sense of what gets existence from Him “the one that specified it,” and in the sense of bringing into existence according to the specification, “the one that created it.”
In the Arabic language then, to create is to bring into existence. Clearly then, there is no difference between saying “created” or “emergent,” because whatever did not exist must be brought into existence to become “emergent.” Otherwise it would remain non-existent.
Accordingly, any Arabic speech is created, because it did not exist and then existed. What did the Salaf mean then, when they said “the Qur’aan is not created?”
Abu Ĥaniifah explains that the meaning of “the Qur’aan is not created” is that Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of speech is not created.
Abu Ĥaniifah, who is definitely among the Salaf, clarified what is meant by “the Qur’aan is not created” when he said in his book Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar:
The Qur’aan is the Speech of Aļļaah Taˆaalaa, written on pages (muşĥafs), preserved in hearts, recited on tongues, and revealed to the Prophet (sall-Aļļaahu ˆalayhi wa sallam). Our utterance of the Qur’aan is created, and our recitation of the Qur’aan is created, but the Qur’aan is not created.
He means by “the Qur’aan is the Speech of Aļļaah” that the word “Qur’aan” refers to Aļļaah’s eternal speech that is not letters (thus not language or sounds – as letters are symbols that represent sounds.) I.e. there is no difference between saying “Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech” and “the Qur’aan;” they are synonyms. He makes this clear when he says a few paragraphs later:
Aļļaah speaks, but not like our speech; we speak by means of instruments (vocal cords, limbs, etc.) and letters, but Aļļaah speaks without instruments or letters.
Letters are a creation, and Aļļaah’s Speech is not created.
So Abuu Ĥaniifah says that “the Qur’aan is the Speech of Aļļaah,” and then that “Aļļaah speaks without instruments or letters.” Then he emphasizes this further by saying “Letters are a creation, and Aļļaah’s Speech is not created.
Note that the word Qur’aan then, has two meanings in Arabic. The first is Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of Speech, while the second refers to the Arabic book of the Qur’aan – the revealed letters – like when someone says, “please give me that Qur’aan on the shelf”. When the Salaf said, “the Qur’aan is not created,” they obviously meant the first meaning, not the second. But what about if someone said, “the Qur’aan is created,” intending the book? The Salaf said that saying that the Qur’aan is created with this sense in mind – the revealed letters of the book – is bidˆah, an ugly innovation. They considered it ugly because it may mislead someone to think that Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech is created. Ibn ˆAabidiin in his Ĥaasħiyah says, “The bottom line is that what is not created is the Qur’aan in the sense of Aļļaah’s Speech, that is, the (eternal) attribute that is affirmed to His Self, not the sense of revealed letters. It is not said that the Qur’aan is created, however, so that no one will think that the first meaning is meant (see Aļļaah’s attribute of Kalam/Speech ).” (Dar Al-Fikr, 3/712)
Note however, that some later scholars allowed this expression for teaching purposes, because they found it necessary to use this expression to explain that Aļļaah’s eternal speech is not language or letters. In fact, today it is probably the case that most people understand from the word Qu’raan the revealed letters only, and not the attribute of Aļļaah. For this they allowed the expression “the Qur’aan is created” for teaching purposes, so that no one would think that the letters in the book are uncreated.
Asħ-Sħawkaaniyy affirms that the Salaf made takfiir for the one who says that the who says “the Qur’aan is emergent”
Asħ-Sħawkaaniyy, despite his agreements on some issues with the Wahabi sect, says in his book Fatĥ Al-Qadiir, under the explanation for Al-Anbiyaa’, 2: “The imaams of the Sunnis were right in their forbiddance in answering the call to the saying ‘the Qur’aan is created’ or ’emergent’.” Notice how he does not see a difference between created and emergent, then he said, “Aļļaah protected the nation of His prophet’s followers from a bad innovation through them. They went beyond that, however, and said that the Qur’aan is eternal and did not stop at that, but said that the one who says it is emergent is a kaafir….” This means that the Wahabis are kuffar in the eyes of the Salaf, as stated by Asħ-Sħawkaaniyy.
There is no difference then, between saying “emergent” and “created.” Both words mean “brought into existence,” and the salaf were against saying “the Qur’aan is emergent” just as much as they were against saying that it is created.
An Arabic utterance is a creation exactly because it is emergent. It has to be emergent, since Arabic itself is emergent, i.e. created, so one can only wonder why the Wahabis would want to say that, “not everything emergent is created.”
The answer is that these Wahabis believe, unlike Muslims, that Aļļaah is a physical entity located above the ˆArsħ. Accordingly, when something is created outside of that body, it is called creation, and when it is created inside that body, it is not a creation. That is why they consider the saying “the Qur’aan is created,” as a deviant statement, because to them this means that the Arabic letters and sounds written in the muşĥaf were not first created inside the physical entity, or idol, that they worship, and invalidly call “Aļļaah.”
In other words, “He does not resemble anything,” means to them, in the context of the attribute of Speech, “His speech has a different location.” Based on this concept of physical location, you can understand a lot about what they mean when they are talking about Aļļaah’s attributes. As Asħ-Sħaafiˆiyy said, “Madness is of diverse kinds.”