The Qur’aan and Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech

Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech

Aļļaah’s Speech is a necessary and eternal attribute of perfection, which pertains to what He knows, by which He tells, orders, promises and threatens. It would be imperfection for the Creator not to have an attribute by which He tells, orders, promises and threatens. That is why we do not believe it has a beginning, or that it is an action, such as our speech, because that would mean that Aļļaah needed to create for Himself a Speech to achieve perfection.

Moreover, it is imperfection to be attributed with the attribute of expressing what one knows serially (i.e. consecutively, one piece of information after another, or by letters or words). This is because speech that consists of serial expressions must have a beginning and because there will be a delay in informing all that one knows.

Words and letters are created speech

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)

Accordingly, when Ahlu-s-Sunnah, the Asħˆariyys and the Ĥanafiyys, say that the “Qur’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.

This is the correct belief, because the Arabic language, just like all languages, was created by Aļļaah. Accordingly, if Arabic is a creation, how can Arabic speech be anything but a creation? After all, what is composed of created things, in this case the sounds of Arabic and their representing letters, is clearly created.

Moreover, speech that is letters and sounds must have a beginning and therefore be a creation. 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.

The two meanings of the word “Qur’aan”

The saying of Ahlu-s-Sunnah is that the words and letters in the printed copies of the Qur’aan 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. We do not worship these letters, or the sounds of uttering this word. Rather, we 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 with His eternal Speech.

The two aspects of speech: meanings and expression

This can be clarified more with another example as follows: Let us say that Obama made a speech today at a White House press conference. Then the reporters wrote down what was said and published it in the Washington Post under the title “Obama’s Speech.” Now, if someone came and said, “This is not Obama’s Speech! This is just paper and ink!” Would you consider this person sensible? Of course you would not. Why? Let us first look at the concept of speech and the meanings of the word “speech” in this example.

If we were to imagine the events surrounding the press conference, we can imagine that before even saying anything, Obama had something in his heart that he wanted to say. These unexpressed meanings that he wanted to say is the speech inside that he wants to make. This is called a speech, as we just did when we said, “the speech that he wants to make,” but it is not letters or sounds. Rather it is a collection of meanings that words can be used to express. Words, after all, are just collections of sounds that refer to meanings that we want to express. Yet, we refer to collections of words put together in sentences by someone as “his speech,” even if it translated to another language that this someone does not even know.

The word “speech” then, has at least two meanings. The first is the meanings that we want to express. The second is the expression of these meanings in words and letters, body language, or some other mode of expression. The reason why the expression is simply called “his speech” or “her speech” is because the expressed form of it is an expression of what the person wanted to say.

From this it is easy to understand that the word “Qur’aan” has two meanings. The first is the eternal Speech of Aļļaah that the words and letters of the book of the Qur’aan refer to, and that is not itself words, letters, language or sequence. Note that we do not call this “inner speech”, because Aļļaah’s speech is not like our inner speech, and because Aļļaah is not said to have an inside, as He is not a body.

The second meaning of the “Qur’aan” is the book, the organized and sequential Arabic words and letters that express in Arabic what Aļļaah said eternally, without letters or sounds. This book is called Aļļaah’s Speech, because it refers to what Aļļaah said eternally, and one cannot say that it is not Aļļaah’s speech, because that entails denying Aļļaah’s eternal speech.

To clarify further using the example of Obama’s speech: if it was translated to Arabic we would still call it “Obama’s Speech.” This is because they refer to the meanings he originally expressed in English based on the meanings he wanted to convey, which is his inner speech. Accordingly, if someone said about the Arabic translation, “This is not Obama’s speech!” people would understand from this that he did not express those meanings, not that he did not say it in Arabic. In fact, if the one that claimed it is not Obama’s speech clarified what he meant and said, “He spoke English, not Arabic!” people would consider him a fool. The reason is that they understand Obama’s speech to be the meanings that he expressed, irrespective of how it is expressed.

Likewise, when Muslims hold the muşĥaf up and say, “this is Aļļaah’s Speech,” they mean the meanings that Aļļaah said eternally, not the paper or ink, or the letters and their sounds. That is why if someone translated an aayah of the Qur’aan to English and stated before it “Aļļaah said….” people will not object and say, “Aļļaah did not say that,” unless he disagreed with the translation. Alternatively, they mean the Arabic expression of Aļļaah’s eternal speech in particular, which can be considered the second meaning of the word “Qur’aan,” which the scholars refer to as an-naţħm, or “the structure.”

Deviant sayings regarding Aļļaah’s speech

Since speech that consists of words and letters is created, there is no difference between saying “Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of Speech is words and letters,” and saying “Aļļaah’s Speech is created.” The first is the saying of the Ĥuruufiyyah[1], and the second is that of the Muˆtazilah. It does not help the Ĥuruufiyyah try to escape by saying that it is “uncreated.”

The Muˆtazilah said it is created because it is letters and sounds, and letters and sounds have a beginning, so they must be created. The Ĥuruufiyyah take this one step further in deviation by denying the obvious, which is that anything with a beginning, such as letters, is a creation.

The only difference between the Muˆtazilah and the Ĥuruufiyyah is that the latter called this “emergent speech brought into existence by Aļļaah according to His specification” an “uncreated attribute,” whereas the Muˆtazilah called this very same “emergent speech brought into existence by Aļļaah according to His specification” a “created non-attribute.” They only differ about what to call it, and that is not a real difference, and thus not what the Salaf were concerned about when they refuted the Muˆtazilah.

What the Salaf understood from “create”

The Salaf spoke Arabic. In other words, by looking up the definition of create, we can tell what the Salaf meant when they said, “the Qur’aan is not created.” Did they mean that it is an event and was brought into existence, but not created, as the Ĥuruufiyyah claim? Or did they mean that the Qur’aan is not brought into existence, because it is not an event, thus has no need for a creator?

The authoritative imam of Arabic linguistics Ibn Faaris[2] 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[3].”[4]

The linguists Ibn Manţħuur[5] in Lisaanu-l-ˆArab [6], and Az-Zabiidiyy[7] in Taaju-l-ˆAruus [8] 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[9].”

In the Arabic language then, to create is to bring into existence according to specification. Clearly then, there is no difference between saying “created” or “event,” because whatever did not exist must be brought into existence to become and event. Otherwise it would remain non-existent. The Ĥuruufiyyah want to convince us that Aļļaah brings sounds into existence in Himself and then lets them out. They want to convince us that bringing something into existence with the specification of “in the world” is called “created”, while specifying in “the the Creator for this,” is called “event.” But there is no difference here except the specification, and creating is to bring into existence according to specification in Arabic, so this is a baseless claim.

Being an event and being created is the same

The Ĥuruufiyyah insist that Aļļaah’s attribute of Kalaam/Speech is sounds and letters, and has a beginning, but is not created. They have the curious idea that not all events are created. This has no basis in the Arabic language or the terminology of the Salaf; they saw no difference between saying “event” and “created.” In this regard, Al-Bayhaqiyy narrated in Al-Asmaa’ Wa-ş-Şifaat that Wakiiˆ said: “The Qur’aan (i.e. what the Arabic words and letters refer to) is the Speech/ Kalaam of Aļļaah (i.e. His eternal attribute), and it is not created. So the one that says it is created has disbelieved in Aļļaah.” In another narration he said, “The one that says the Qur’aan is created has said it has a beginning, and the one that says it has a beginning has blasphemed [10].” The same was narrated by Adħ-Dħahabiyy [11][12].

For those who do not know who Wakiiˆ is, it was stated by Adħ-Dħahabiyy in Siyar ‘Aˆlaam An-Nubalaa’: “The Imaam, the Ĥaafiţħ, the Muĥadditħ of ˆIraaq, …. He was born in 129 after the Hijrah (9/140-141).” He said that Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal used to glorify Wakiiˆ and say about him, “I have never met anyone more aware in his knowledge than Wakiiˆ, or anyone that has memorized more[13] (9/144).” In short, Wakiiˆ is one of the greatest ĥadiitħ masters in history and here we find him making takfiir for those who say that the the Qur’aan (i.e. the eternal attribute of Aļļaah that the book refers to) is an event, but not created.

The same statement was also made by Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal. Adħ-Dħahabiyy and others narrated that he said: “The one who says that the Qur’aan is something with a beginning is a kaafir[14]. [15]

Another famous scholar of the Salaf generation, Abuu Jaˆfar Aţ-Ţabariyy said: “The one that objects to what we have stated, it is said to him: Tell us about the speech that you described as created, and that the Beginninglessly Eternal speaks with, did He create it, as it is created according to you, in Himself, or in something else, or is it something existing in itself? If he says, ”in Himself” then this necessitates that He would be something that created things exist in and this is blasphemy according to everybody[16]. [17]

Asħ-Sħawkaaniyy affirms that the Salaf made takfiir for the one who says “the Qur’aan is an event.” He says in his book Fatĥu-l-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[18]…. [19]” This means that the Ĥuruufiyyah are kuffaar in the eyes of the Salaf.

There is no difference then, between saying “event” and “created.” Both words mean “brought into existence,” and the Salaf were against saying “the Qur’aan is an event” just as much as they were against saying that it is created. Accordingly, any Arabic speech is created, because it did not exist and then existed, which makes it an event and in need of a creator to bring it into existence.

As for the claim that Al-Bukħaariyy called the Qur’aan an event, this is not the case. Al-Bukħaariyy was speaking of the revelation of the Qur’aan when he commented on the saying of Aļļaah:

مَا يَأْتِيهِمْ مِنْ ذِكْرٍ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ مُحْدَثٍ إِلاَّ اسْتَمَعُوهُ وَهُمْ يَلْعَبُونَ [الأنبياء : 2]

Meaning: “Whenever new remembrance from their Lord comes to them, they listen to it mockingly.”

Isĥaaq ibn Raawayh was asked about this Aayah, he said: “Eternally of Aļļaah, new to Earth.” Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy commented: “this is the precedent of what Al-Bukħaariyy said[20].” This must clearly be the case, lest Al-Bukħaariyy be a non-Muslim deviant in the view of the likes of Wakiiˆ and Aĥmad, as discussed above.

Abuu Ĥaniifah on the meaning of “the Qur’aan is not created.”

Abuu Ĥaniifah, who is definitely among the Salaf, explains that the meaning of “the Qur’aan is not created” is that Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of speech is not created. In his book Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar, he said:

“The Qur’aan is the Speech of Aļļaah (Taˆaalaa), written on pages (muşĥafs), preserved in hearts, recited on tongues, and revealed to the Prophet r. Our utterance of the Qur’aan is created, and our recitation of the Qur’aan is created, but the Qur’aan is not created[21].” [22].

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[23].” [24].
In conclusion, Abuu Ĥaniifah says, “the Qur’aan is the Speech of Aļļaah,” and “Aļļaah speaks without instruments or letters,” then he emphasizes this further by saying, “Letters are a creation, and Aļļaah’s Speech is not created.”

The judgment on saying that the Qur’aan is created.

The word Qur’aan is a name for Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of Speech, as has been clarified earlier. It can also, however, refer 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[25]. [26]

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 Qur’aan 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.

The late Asħˆariyys’ permission of saying “the Qur’aan is created”

As for when some of the later Asħˆariyys spoke of the permissibility of saying “the Qur’aan is created,” they were referring to the Arabic expression, not Aļļaah’s Speech. They said that this statement may be used in a classroom setting. The reason is because over time the word Qur’aan is mainly understood as referring to the expression of Aļļaah’s eternal Speech in Arabic words and letters. They were afraid that some people would understand from the expression, “the Qur’aan is not created,” that the Arabic expression is not created, which is far more dangerous than saying “the Qur’aan is created,” if one means the Arabic expression (not Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of Speech). After all, the latter meaning is sound, because Arabic expressions have a beginning and cannot be eternal, and if they are not eternal, then they must have been specified and brought into existence by Aļļaah. In other words, they must have been created. The only bad side of this would be that this expression is a bidˆah in religion, so they restricted it to a classroom purposes, because this is where the setting of religious necessity applies. That is, the necessity of preventing the kufr belief that Aļļaah speaks in letters and sounds, which is far more important than avoiding a dubious innovation.

The principle of those who claim that letters may not be created, and their status in FakħrudDiin Ar-Raaziyy’s view

An Arabic utterance is a creation exactly because it is an event. It has to be, since Arabic itself is created, so one can only wonder why some would want to say that, “not every event is created.” The answer is that they believe that Aļļaah is a physical entity located above the ˆArsħ. According to this philosophy, 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.

FakħrudDiin Ar-Raaziyy said, “Proofs tell us that the who says that God is a body is a disbeliever in God (who is greatly above and clear of flaws). The reason is that the God of the World exists, and He is not a body, or stationed in a body. So if the one who believes that God is a body denies this non-bodily existence, then he has disbelieved in God Himself. This means that the disagreement between the one that believes that God is a body, and the monotheist (i.e. in the Islamic sense, namely that God does not have a partner, part or a like in His self of attributes), is not based on a disagreement regarding attributes, but regarding the self (i.e. the identity of the one attributed with godhood.) It is sound to say then, that the one who believes that God is a body does not believe in Allah….

….As for the Ĥuluuliyyah (those who believe that Allah settles in created things, such as the sky or a human body) and Ĥuruufiyyah (those who believe that Allah’s attribute of Kalaam/Speech consists of letters and sounds) sects, we say that they are unequivocally disbelievers. This is because Allah declared the Christians blasphemers for believing that Allah’s speech entered into Jesus, whereas the Ĥuruufiyyah believe that it settles in the tongue of all those who recite Qur’aan, and in all physical things that the Qur’aan was written on. Accordingly, if the belief in its settlement in one single body (Jesus) is blasphemy, then it is even more blasphemous to believe that it settles in all shapes and bodies[27].” [28].

What is the response if someone asked, “who said alif laam miim?”?

The answer is therefore that Aļļaah said alif-laam-miim, without His speech being words, letters or language. The letters in the muşĥaf tell us what He said eternally. The expression “alif-laam-miim” is not different than other words or letters in the muşĥaf in this regard. They are letters that refer to the meaning of what Aļļaah said eternally without letters of sounds. Abuu Faraj Ibn Al-Jawziyy[29] said in his commentary on the Qur’aan Zaadu-l-Masiir:

“The commentators on the Qur’aan have specified 5 different sayings regarding alif-laam-miim: One of them is that it is one of the aayahs that are ambiguous in meaning, and only Aļļaah knows its meaning, as has been explained earlier. The second is that it means, “I, Aļļaah, know”. This was narrated by Abuu Ađ-Đuĥaa from Ibn ˆAbbaas, and this is also the saying of Ibn Masˆuud and Saˆiid ibn Jubayr. The third is that it is an oath, this was narrated by Abuu Şaaliĥ from Ibn ˆAbbaas and Kħaalid Al-Ĥadħdħaa’ from ˆIkrimah. The fourth is that they are letters of names, and there are two sayings about that, the first is that Alif refers to Aļļaah, the laam to Jibriil and miim refers to Muĥammad. This was stated by Ibn ˆAbbaas…. The second (saying regarding names) is that the Alif refers to Aļļaah, the laam to Laţiif and miim refers to “Majiid” (these are all names of Aļļaah,) and this was stated by Abuu ˆaaliyah. The fifth is that it is a name of the Qur’aan, as stated by Mujaahid, Asħ-Sħaˆbiyy, Qataadah and Ibn Jurayj[32]. ”[31]

Some will insist further, and say, “who’s utterance is alif laam miim?” The answer is that the one that utter an utterance is its utterer, because it is a matter of sound. People differ in their utterance of the Qur’aan, so one person’s utterance is different from another’s, for example. The best is the utterance of Jibriil. As for the words, the words are Aļļaah’s. Not in the sense that He uttered them, but in the sense that no one authored them, and that it is an expression of His eternal Speech, which is not letters, sounds or sequence.

It is obvious that the letter Alif is created, because it is an alphabetic symbol referring to the sound “LLL…” All alphabetic letters are written symbols that refer to sounds that we make with our voices. It is impossible that the eternal speech of Aļļaah should be letters, because His speech is not sound. His speech is not sound because it is eternal, and therefore does not have a beginning. Wakiiˆ said : “The one that says the Qur’aan is created has said it is and event, and the one that says it is an event has blasphemed.”

What is the difference between the Qur’aan and Ĥadiitħ Qudsiyy, Prophetic Ĥadiitħ?

The ĥadiitħ qudsiyy is the Prophet’s words, but he says “Aļļaah says…” Moreover, the ĥadiitħ qudsiyy has no challenge of inimitable eloquence. The prophet spoke in his own words in ĥadiitħs. All of these texts are holy, because they are all revealed from Aļļaah. All of them are rewardable in reciting and studying with the correct intention. This is because Aļļaah has willed it to be so. We get credit and blessings for what Aļļaah has willed for us to get it for. No act or thing causes one to gain credit, except by the will of Aļļaah.

Since the Qur’aan consists of revealed words, they cannot be changed, or altered. This is to preserve the revelation, and the inimitability of the book, which is a miracle and a lasting proof of the prophethood of Aļļaah’s messenger. The eloquence of the Qur’aan is inimitable because Aļļaah has willed it. No one can do against His will, not in this, and not in anything else.

It is impossible that Aļļaah should lie

Al-Aamidiyy[33] states in ‘Abkaar Al-‘Afkaar: “I do not know of any disagreement among those who say that Aļļaah is attributed with Kalaam/ Speech, that lies are impossible in His Speech, whether it be the eternal attribute of His Self (as the Sunnis say), or the one (as the Muˆtazilah and Anthropomorphists believe) that is sounds and lettersSayfudDiin Al-Aamidiy, Abkaar Al-Afkaar, 2nd ed. (Kairo, Egypt: Maţbaˆah Daar Al-Kutub Wa-l-Watħaa’iq Al-Qawmiyyah, 1423), 2/83..

As-Sanuusiyy in his book ˆUmdatu ‘Ahli-t-Tawfiiq says, “Are miracles as proof of the truthfulness of the Messengers of Aļļaah proofs in the mind’s eye, or by convention, or by normal necessity according to the relevant indications? There are different sayings. According to the first two (the mind’s eye and convention), it is impossible for a liar to have a miracle, because for the first it would lead to contradicting the sound mind, and for the second it would lead to saying that there is a flaw in what Aļļaah has informed, jalla wa ˆalaa, because to affirm the truthfulness of a lie is to lie, and it is impossible that Aļļaah should lie, since His Speech agrees with His Knowledge….” “Moreover, if He was attributed with lying, and His attributes are all eternal, then it would be impossible for Him to be attributed with being truthful (in His Speech,) while it is correct that He is attributed with it, since He must be attributed with Knowledge. This would mean that what is correct would become impossible.[34]” Then he points out that the first two sayings are about the same[35]. In explaining the details of all this he mentions the proofs for why it is impossible that Aļļaah could lie he says, “Third, it has been established that Aļļaah is attributed with complete perfection, and truthfulness is an attribute of complete perfection which’s opposite is a flaw, and it is impossible that Aļļaah should be attributed with a flaw, so He must be truthful.[36]

The third perspective mentioned by As-Sanuusiyy states that miracles are proof of truthfulness according to what is normally necessarily true, i.e. that it would be normally impossible for someone with a miracle to tell a lie. This is because the rule throughout history is that someone with a miracle, with all of its requisite conditions intact, never happened to a liar. Regarding this As-Sanuusiyy states, “and our saying that lying is possible in the mind’s eye alone, for someone telling the truth, does not put a doubt in his truthfulness once we are sure he is telling the truth. This is because the possibility in the mind’s eye only means that if it happened instead of being truthful, then that would not lead to an impossibility in the mind’s eye. It does not mean that it is possible that Aļļaah could lie.[37]” In other words, it is not impossible in the mind’s eye, because it does not lead to saying that Aļļaah could lie, as As-Sanuusiyy showed with proofs and refuted any objections prior. Then he goes on to explain the third perspective on the proof of truthfulness in miracles, “It happens a lot that we know something to be absolutely and necessarily true, even though we say that its opposite is possible in the mind’s eye, such as our knowledge of our own existence. No sound minded person doubts it, even though we say that if we had continued to not exist at all, then this would not have been impossible in the mind’s eye. It (the possibility of our non-existence in the mind’s eye) does not mean that we could be non-existent while being existent.[38]” More specifically, “The sign of the truthfulness of the Prophet (şalla-ļļaahu ˆalayhi wa sallam) is the occurrence of certain knowledge in us due to miracles, so once this certitude occurs, there is no possibility of lying any longer.[39]

What all this means is that Aļļaah could have created a world full of miracles happening to liars and truthful people alike, so the proof of truthfulness in a miracle is in the fact that they occur only in the case of truthfulness, not that miracles could not have been for anybody else in the mind’s eye. It may be said that all these three perspectives on miracles are really complementary, because the reason why a miracle is a sign of truthfulness by convention or by reason is that it only occurs to those truthful in the claim of prophethood, and this way we know that this is the convention for knowing that someone is a prophet, and that if a miracle happens to someone claiming prophethood, then Aļļaah’s creating this miracle is a reference to Aļļaah’s eternal Speech by which we know that He is telling us that his slave is truthful in his claim of prophethood. That is, the miracle, which is an extraordinary event coupled with the claim of prophethood, and not possible for opponents to imitate, is a conventional sign from Aļļaah which tells us that He affirms that claim, just as that Arabic letters and words of the book of the Qur’aan tell us what Aļļaah says.

Asħ-Sħahrastaaniyy says, “So the preponderator for truthfulness (in the claim of prophethood) is the group of circumstances which occurs by the gathering of many elements, such as the extraordinary event coupled with the claim of prophethood, and the non-existence of any effective challenge to it from an opponent. All these factors as a group tell us that the claimer is truthful, and take the place of a saying as an affirmation of his truthfulness .[40]

So As-Sanuusiyy says that lying is impossible for Aļļaah in the mind’s eye, unlike some people claim. In fact, he considers it a premise of all the three perspective on miracles as a proof of truthfulness. For the record, it is the second perspective that As-Sanuusiyy mentions in his book “Aş-Sugħraa,” and “Al-Wusţaa.” In the explanation of Aş-Şugħraa, he says, “It is impossible that Aļļaah could lie, because His Speech/Kalaam must agree with His Knowledge, and speech in agreement with knowledge cannot by but truthful.[41]

References:

Abu Bakr Al-Bayhqiyy (458 AH). Al-Asmaa’ Wa-ş-Şifaat li-l-Bayhaqiyy. 2 vols. 1st ed. Jedda, Saudi Arabia: Maktabah Al-Sawaadiyy.

Abu Jaˆfar Aţ-Ţabariyy. At-Tabşiir fii Maˆaalim Ad-Diin. 1st ed. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Daar Al-ˆAaşimah, 1416.

Abu-l-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawziyy (508-597 AH/ 1114-1201 AD). Zaadu-l-Masiir. 9 vols. 3rd ed. Beirut, Lebanon: Al-Maktab Al-Islamiyy, 1404.

Abuu Ĥaniifah (80-150 AH/ 699-767). Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar. Vol. 1. Ĥaydar Aabaad, India: Majlis Daa’iratu-l-Maˆaarifi-n-Niţħaamiyyah, 1342.

Al-Aamidiy, SayfudDiin. Abkaar Al-Afkaar. 5 vols. 2nd ed. Kairo, Egypt: Maţbaˆah Daar Al-Kutub Wa-l-Watħaa’iq Al-Qawmiyyah, 1423.

As-Sanuusiyy, Muĥammad ibn Yuusuf. Ĥaasħiyatu-d-Dusuuqiyy ˆalaa Ummi-l-Baraahiin wa Sħarĥuhaa. 1 vols. Beirut, Lebanon: Al-Maktabah Al-ˆAşriyyah, 1426.

Az-Zirikliyy. Al-‘Aˆlaam (2002). 15 vols. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar El-Ilm Lil-Malayeen, 1423.

FakħrudDiin Al-Raaziy. Mafaatiiĥ Al-Għayb. 32 vols. 1st ed. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Kotob Al-ilmiyah, 1421.

Ibn Maţħuur Al-‘Ifriiqiyy. Lisaanu-l-ˆArab. 15 vols. Beirut, Lebanon: Daar Şaadir.

Ibn Zakariyyaa ibn Faaris, and ˆAbdusSalaam Haaruun. Maqaayiisu-l-Lugħah. 6 vols. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Fikr.

Muĥammad ibn ˆAliyy Asħ-Sħawkaaniyy. Fatĥu-l-Qadiir. 5 vols. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Fikr.

Muĥammad ibn Yuusuf As-Sanuusiyy (896 AH). Sħarĥu-l-Muqaddimaat. 1 vols. 1st ed. Maktabatu-l-Maˆaarif, 1420.

Muĥammad-Amiin Ibn ˆAabidiin. Ĥaasħiyatu Raddi-l-Muĥtaar. 6 vols. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Fikr, 1415.

Murtađaa Az-Zabiidiyy. Taaju-l-ˆAruus min Jawaahiri-l-Qaamuus. 40 vols. Daar Al-Hidaayah.

SħamsudDiin Adħ-Dħahabiyy. Siyar ‘Aˆlaam An-Nubalaa’. Beirut, Lebanon: Mu’assasatu-r-Risaalah, 1413.


[1]Ĥuruufiyyah, or “those pertaining to letters” is a name for any person that believes Aļļaah’s eternal Speech is letters and sounds.

[2]Ibn Faaris (329-395 AH/ 941-1004 AD) Aĥmad ibn Faaris ibn Zakariyyaa, Al-Qazwiiniyy, Ar-Raaziyy, Abu-l-Ĥusayn is among the imams of language and literature. Several authors of great eloquence studied from him. He is originally from Qazwiin, but moved to Ar-Rayy and died there. Among his works are the dictionaries Maqaayiisu-l-Lugħah and Al-Mujmal. (Al-‘Aˆlaam, 1/193).

[3]معجم مقاييس اللغة لابن فارس – (2 / 213): (خلق) الخاء واللام والقاف أصلان: أحدهما تقدير الشيء، والآخر مَلاسَة الشيء.

[4]Ibn Zakariyyaa ibn Faaris and ˆAbdusSalaam Haaruun, Maqaayiisu-l-Lugħah (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Fikr), 2/213.

[5]Ibn Manţħuur (630-711 AH/ 1232-1311 AD) Muĥammad ibn Makram ibn ˆaliyy, Abu-l-Fađl, JamaaludDiin, Al-Anşaariyy, Ar-Ruwayfiˆiyy, Al-‘Ifriiqiyy, the author of the famous, encyclopedic dictionary Lisaanu-l-ˆArab, was an imam of linguistics. He was born in Tripoli in today’s Libya, and was appointed judge there for some time. He authored around 500 books, many of them summaries of books in literature. (Al-‘Aˆlaam, 7/108).

[6]Ibn Maţħuur Al-‘Ifriiqiyy, Lisaanu-l-ˆArab (Beirut, Lebanon: Daar Şaadir), 10/85.

[7]Murtađaa Az-Zabiidiyy (1145-1205 AH/ 1732-1790 AD) Muĥammad ibn Muĥammad ibn Muĥammad ibn ˆAbdirRazzaaq, Al-Ĥusayniyy, Az-Zabiidiyy, Abu-l-Fayđ, known as Murtađaa, was a great scholar of language, ĥadiitħ, narrator biography, and genealogy. He was also a great author. His family origin is from Iraq, but he was born in India, grew up in Yemen, and settled and died in Egypt. He became very famous during his lifetime, to the extent that kings wrote him and sent him gifts. Among his most famous works are Taaju-l-ˆAruus, his commentary on the renowned dictionary Al-Qaamuus, and Itĥaafu-s-Saadati-l-Muttaqiin, his commentary in Al-Għazaaliyy’s ‘Iĥyaa’ ˆuluumi-d-Diin. (Al-‘Aˆlaam, 7/70).

[8]Murtađaa Az-Zabiidiyy, Taaju-l-ˆAruus min Jawaahiri-l-Qaamuus (Daar Al-Hidaayah), 25/251.

[9]لسان العرب – (10 / 85): وعن الأَزهري ومن صفات الله تعالى الخالق والخلاَّق ولا تجوز هذه الصفة بالأَلف واللام لغير الله عز وجل وهو الذي أَوجد الأَشياء جميعها بعد أَن لم تكن موجودة وأَصل الخلق التقدير فهو باعْتبار تقدير ما منه وجُودُها وبالاعتبار للإِيجادِ على وَفْقِ التقدير. تاج العروس من جواهر القاموس – (25 / 251): وقالَ الأزْهَرِي : هو الّذِي أوْجَدَ الأشْياءَ جَمِيعَها بعدَ أَنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ مَوْجُودَةً ، وأصْلُ الخَلْقِ : التَّقْدِير ، فهُوَ باعْتِبار ما مِنْهُ وجودُها مُقَدِّرٌ ، وبالاعْتِبارِ للإِيجادِ على وَفْقِ التقْدِيرِ خالِقٌ .

[10]Abu Bakr Al-Bayhqiyy (458 AH), Al-Asmaa’ Wa-ş-Şifaat li-l-Bayhaqiyy, 1st ed. (Jedda, Saudi Arabia: Maktabah Al-Sawaadiyy), 1/608-609.

[11]SħamsudDiin Adħ-Dħahabiyy, Siyar ‘Aˆlaam An-Nubalaa’ (Beirut, Lebanon: Mu’assasatu-r-Risaalah, 1413), 9/166.

[12]الأسماء والصفات للبيهقي – (ج 1 / ص 608-609) 547- وأخبرنا أبو عبد الله الحافظ ، وأبو سعيد بن أبي عمرو ، قال : حَدَّثَنَا أبو العباس محمد بن يعقوب ، حَدَّثَنَا محمد بن إسحاق الصاغاني ، حَدَّثَنَا حسين بن علي بن الأسود ، قال : سمعت وكيعا ، يقول : القرآن كلام الله تعالى ليس بمخلوق ، فمن زعم أنه مخلوق فقد كفر بالله العظيم وفي رواية محمد بن نصر المروزي عن أبي هشام الرفاعي ، عن وكيع ، قال : من زعم أن القرآن مخلوق ، فقد زعم أن القرآن محدث ، ومن زعم أن القرآن محدث فقد كفر

سير أعلام النبلاء – (ج 9 / ص 166) : قال أبو هشام الرفاعي: سمعت وكيعا يقول: من زعم أن القرآن مخلوق، فقد زعم أنه محدث، ومن زعم أن القرآن محدث، فقد كفر.

[13]سير أعلام النبلاء – (ج 9 / ص 140-141) : وكيع * (ع) ابن الجراح، بن مليح، بن عدي، بن فرس، بن جمجمة، بن سفيان، بن الحارث، بن عمرو، بن عبيد، بن رؤاس، الامام الحافظ، محدث العراق، أبو سفيان الرؤاسي، الكوفي، أحد الاعلام. ولد سنة تسع وعشرين ومئة، قاله أحمد بن حنبل. وقال خليفة وهارون بن حاتم: ولد سنة ثمان وعشرين. واشتغل في الصغر. 4سير أعلام النبلاء – (ج 9 / ص 144) : وقال أحمد بن حنبل: ما رأيت أحدا أوعى للعلم ولا أحفظ من وكيع.قلت: كان أحمد يعظم وكيعا ويفخمه. قال محمد بن عامر المصيصي: سألت أحمد: وكيع أحب إليك أو يحيى بن سعيد ؟ فقال: وكيع، قلت: كيف فضلته على يحيى، ويحيى ومكانه من العلم والحفظ والاتقان ما قد علمت ؟ قال: وكيع كان صديقا لحفص بن غياث، فلما ولي القضاء، هجره، وإن يحيى كان صديقا لمعاذ بن معاذ، فلما ولي القضاء، لم يهجره يحيى

[14]سير أعلام النبلاء – (11 / 288) : وقال أبو إسماعيل الترمذي: سمعت أحمد بن حنبل، يقول: من قال: القرآن محدث، فهو كافر.

[15]Ibid., 11/288.

[16]التبصير في معالم الدين – (ص ٢٠٢) : من أبى ما قلنا في ذلك قيل له: أخبرنا عن الكلام الذي وصفت أن القديم به متكلم مخلوق، أخلقه – إذ كان عندك مخلوقا في ذاته، أم في غيره، أم قائم بنفسه؟ فإن زعم خلقه في ذاته، فقد أوجب أن تكون ذاته محلا للخلق، وذلك عند الجميع كفر .

[17]Abu Jaˆfar Aţ-Ţabariyy, At-Tabşiir fii Maˆaalim Ad-Diin, 1st ed. (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Daar Al-ˆAaşimah, 1416), 202.

[18]تفسير فتح القدير ـ موافق للمطبوع – (3 / 397): “ما يأتيهم من ذكر من ربهم محدث” من لابتداء الغاية وقد استدل بوصف الذكر لكونه محدثا على أن القرآن محدث لأن الذكر هنا هو القرآن وأجيب بأنه لا نزاع فى حدوث المركب من الأصوات والحروف لأنه متجدد فى النزول فالمعنى محدث تنزيله وإنما النزاع فى الكلام النفسي وهذه المسئلة أعني قدم القرآن وحدوثه قد ابتلى بها كثير من أهل العلم والفضل فى الدولة المأمونية والمعتصمية والواثقية وجرى للإمام أحمد بن حنبل ما جرى من الضرب الشديد والحبس الطويل وضرب بسببها عنق محمد بن نصر الخزاعي وصارت فتنة عظيمة فى ذلك الوقت وما بعده والقصة أشهر من أن تذكر ومن أحب الوقوف على حقيقتها طالع ترجمة الإمام أحمد بن حنبل فى كتاب النبلاء لمؤرخ الإسلام الذهبي ولقد أصاب أئمة السنة بامتناعهم من الإجابة إلى القول بخلق القرآن وحدوثه وحفظ الله بهم أمة نبيه عن الابتداع ولكنهم رحمهم الله جاوزوا ذلك إلى الجزم بقدمه ولم يقتصروا على ذلك حتى كفروا من قال بالحدوث بل جاوزوا ذلك إلى تكفير من قال لفظي بالقرآن مخلوق بل جاوزوا ذلك إلى تكفير من وقف وليتهم لم يجاوزوا حد الوقف وإرجاع العلم إلى علام الغيوب فإنه لم يسمع من السلف الصالح من الصحابة والتابعين ومن بعدهم إلى وقت قيام المحنة وظهور القول فى هذه المسئلة شئ من الكلام ولا نقل عنه كلمة فى ذلك فكان الامتناع من الإجابة إلى ما دعوا إليه والتمسك بأذيال الوقف وإرجاع علم ذلك إلى عالمه هو الطريقة المثلى وفيه السلامة والخلوص من تكفير طوائف من عباد الله والأمر لله سبحانه

[19]Muĥammad ibn ˆAliyy Asħ-Sħawkaaniyy, Fatĥu-l-Qadiir (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Fikr), 3/397.

[20]فتح الباري – ابن حجر – (13 / 497) : وقد نقل الهروي في الفاروق بسنده إلى حرب الكرماني سألت إسحاق بن إبراهيم الحنظلي يعني بن راهويه عن قوله تعالى ما يأتيهم من ذكر من ربهم محدث قال قديم من رب العزة محدث إلى الأرض فهذا هو سلف البخاري في ذلك

[21]الفقه الأكبر (ص. 5): والقرآن كلام الله تعالى في المصاحف مكتوب, وفي القلوب محفوظ وعلى الألسن مقروء, وعلى النبي عليه الصلاة والسلام منزّل, ولفظنا بالقرآن مخلوق وكتابتنا له مخلوقة وقرائتنا له مخلوقة والقرآن غير مخلوق.

[22]Abuu Ĥaniifah (80-150 AH/ 699-767), Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar, vol. 1 (Ĥaydar Aabaad, India: Majlis Daa’iratu-l-Maˆaarifi-n-Niţħaamiyyah, 1342), 5.

[23]الفقه الأكبر (ص. 6): ويتكلم لا ككلامنا ونحن نتكلم بالآلات والحروف والله تعالى يتكلم بلا آلة ولاحروف. والحروف مخلوقة وكلام الله تعالى غير مخلوق.

[24]Ibid., 1:6.

[25]حاشية رد المحتار – (4 / 14): وحاصله أن غير المخلوق هو القرآن بمعنى كلام الله الصفة النفسية القائمة به تعالى لا بمعنى الحروف المنزلة، غير أنه لا يقال القرآن مخلوق لئلا يتوهم أرادة المعنى الاول.

[26]Muĥammad-Amiin Ibn ˆAabidiin, Ĥaasħiyatu Raddi-l-Muĥtaar (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Fikr, 1415), 4/14.

[27]مفاتيح الغيب (16 / 24) : والجواب أن الدليل دل على أن من قال إن الإله جسم فهو منكر للإله تعالى وذلك لأن إله العالم موجود ليس بجسم ولا حال في الجسم فإذا أنكر المجسم هذا الموجود فقد أنكر ذات الإله تعالى فالخلاف بين المجسم والموحد ليس في الصفة بل في الذات فصح في المجسم أنه لا يؤمن بالله أما المسائل التي حكيتموها فهي اختلافات في الصفة فظهر الفرق وأما إلزام مذهب الحلولية والحروفية فنحن نكفرهم قطعاً فإنه تعالى كفر النصارى بسبب أنهم اعتقدوا حلول كلمة اللَّهِ في عيسى وهؤلاء اعتقدوا حلول كلمة اللَّهِ في ألسنة جميع من قرأ القرآن وفي جميع الأجسام التي كتب فيها القرآن فإذا كان القول بالحلول في حق الذات الواحدة يوجب التكفير فلأن يكون القول بالحلول في حق جميع الأشخاص والأجسام موجباً للقول بالتكفير كان أولى

[28]FakħrudDiin Al-Raaziy, Mafaatiiĥ Al-Għayb, 1st ed. (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Al-Kotob Al-ilmiyah, 1421), V. 16/ P. 24.

[29]Abu-l-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawziyy (508-597 AH/ 1114-1201 AD), ˆAbdurRaĥmaan ibn ˆAliyy ibn Muĥammad Al-Jawziyy Al-Qurasħiyy, Al-Bagħdaadiyy was probably the greatest scholar of history and ĥadiitħ of his time. He was born and died in Bagħdaad. He wrote some 300 books (Al-‘Aˆlaam, 3/316).

[30]زاد المسير – (1 / 22): وقد خص المفسرون قوله آلم بخمسة أقوال أحدها أنه من المتشابه الذي لا يعلم معناه الا الله عز و جل وقد سبق بيانه والثاني ان معناه أنا الله أعلم رواه أبو الضحى عن ابن عباس وبه قال ابن مسعود وسعيد بن جبير والثالث أنه قسم رواه أبو صالح عن ابن عباس وخالد الحذاء عن عكرمة والرابع أنها حروف من أسماء ثم فيها قولان أحدهما أن الألف من الله واللام من جبريل والميم من محمد قاله ابن عباس فان قيل إذا كان قد تنوول من كل اسم حرفه الأول اكتفاء به فلم أخذت اللام من جبريل وهي أخر الإسم فالجواب أن مبتدأ القرآن من الله تعالى فدل على ذلك بابتداء أول حرف من اسمه وجبريل انختم به التنزيل والإقرأء فتنوول من اسمه نهاية حروفه و محمد مبتدأ في الإقرأء فتنوول أول حرف فيه والقول الثاني أن الألف من الله تعالى واللام من لطيف والميم من مجيد قاله أبو العالية والخامس أنه اسم من أسماء القرآن قاله مجاهد والشعبي وقتادة وابن جريج.

[31]Abu-l-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawziyy (508-597 AH/ 1114-1201 AD), Zaadu-l-Masiir, 3rd ed. (Beirut, Lebanon: Al-Maktab Al-Islamiyy, 1404), 1/22.

[32]زاد المسير – (1 / 22): وقد خص المفسرون قوله آلم بخمسة أقوال أحدها أنه من المتشابه الذي لا يعلم معناه الا الله عز و جل وقد سبق بيانه والثاني ان معناه أنا الله أعلم رواه أبو الضحى عن ابن عباس وبه قال ابن مسعود وسعيد بن جبير والثالث أنه قسم رواه أبو صالح عن ابن عباس وخالد الحذاء عن عكرمة والرابع أنها حروف من أسماء ثم فيها قولان أحدهما أن الألف من الله واللام من جبريل والميم من محمد قاله ابن عباس فان قيل إذا كان قد تنوول من كل اسم حرفه الأول اكتفاء به فلم أخذت اللام من جبريل وهي أخر الإسم فالجواب أن مبتدأ القرآن من الله تعالى فدل على ذلك بابتداء أول حرف من اسمه وجبريل انختم به التنزيل والإقرأء فتنوول من اسمه نهاية حروفه و محمد مبتدأ في الإقرأء فتنوول أول حرف فيه والقول الثاني أن الألف من الله تعالى واللام من لطيف والميم من مجيد قاله أبو العالية والخامس أنه اسم من أسماء القرآن قاله مجاهد والشعبي وقتادة وابن جريج.

[33]الأعلام للزركلي – (4 / 332) سيف الدين الآمدي (551 – 631 هـ = 1156 – 1233 م) علي بن محمد بن سالم التغلبي، أبو الحسن، سيف الدين الآمدي: أصولي، باحث. أصله من آمد (ديار بكر) ولد بها، وتعلم في بغداد والشام. وانتقل إلى القاهرة، فدرس فيها واشتهر. وحسده بعض الفقهاء فتعصبوا فيها واشتهر. وحسده يبعض الفقهاء فتعصبوا عليه ونسبوه إلى فساد القعيدة والتعطيل ومذهب الفلاسفة، فخرج مستخفيا إلى ” حماة ” ومنها إلى ” دمشق ” فتوفي بها. له نحو عشرين مصنفا، منها ” الاحكام في أصول الاحكام – ط ” أربعة أجزاء، ومختصره ” منتهى السول – ط ” و ” أبكار الافكار – خ ” في طوبقبو، الاول والثاني منه، في علم الكلام، و ” لباب الالباب ” و ” دقائق الحقائق ” و ” المبين في شرح الأعلام للزركلي – (4 / 332) معاني الحكماء والمتكلمين – خ ” كراستان، في المكتبة العربية بدمشق (1).

SayfudDiin Al-Aamidiyy (551-631 AH/ 11561233 AD) ˆaliyy ibn Muĥammad ibn Saalim At-Tagħlabiyy was a scholar of belief and fiqh methodology and an authenticator from Aamid in today’s northern Kurdistan. He was born there, but studied in Bagħdaad and Syria. Then he moved to Cairo, where he became famous and became subject to much envy, to the extent he had to leave and go to Syria where he eventually died and is buried. Az-Zirikliyy, Al-‘Aˆlaam (2002) (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar El-Ilm Lil-Malayeen, 1423), 4/332.

[34]Muĥammad ibn Yuusuf As-Sanuusiyy (896 AH), Sħarĥu-l-Muqaddimaat, 1st ed. (Maktabatu-l-Maˆaarif, 1420), 245.

[35]Ibid., 247.

[36]Ibid., 248.

[37]Ibid., 250.

[38]Ibid.

[39]Ibid.

[40]نهاية الإقدام في علم الكلام – (ج 1 / ص 236) : فإذاً المرجح للصدق هي القرائن الحاصلة من اجتماع أمور كثيرة منها الخارق للعادة ومنها كونه مقروناً بالدعوى ومنها سلامته عن المعارضة فانتهضت هذه القرائن بمجموعها دالة على صدق المدعي نازلة منزلة التصديق بالقول وذلك مثل العلم الحاصل من سائر القرائن أعني قرائن الحال وقرائن المقال.

[41]Muĥammad ibn Yuusuf As-Sanuusiyy, Ĥaasħiyatu-d-Dusuuqiyy ˆalaa Ummi-l-Baraahiin wa Sħarĥuhaa (Beirut, Lebanon: Al-Maktabah Al-ˆAşriyyah, 1426), 280.

19 Responses to The Qur’aan and Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech

  1. maroof says:

    salaam alaikum

    A wahabi explained their belief as follows:

    “”And as for the voice of the reciter and what is written in the mushaf of ink, and the inscription in the Preserved Tablet, then that is no doubt created, but what is meant as uncreated is the letters and words, they are all the uncreated speech of Allaah, they originated with Him. For when a person says “ar-Rahmaan”, then we have two elements, the actual sound, voice, which is the created voice of the one who said this, but what is he saying, what is his utterance, it consists of letters that make up a word – that word originated with Allaah, it was spoken by Allaah, and it is uncreated.””

    My question is:

    – If the inscription in the preserved tablet is created, then wouldn’t the inscription in the Quran be created ? hence meaning the letters & words of Quran is created ?

    – Can letters exist without inscribing them ? i.e, Can letters originate in Allah without inscribing them ?

    Is it necessary that sound & voice, which they say Allah’s speech consists of, requires letters ?

  2. Rashid says:

    ““The Qur’aan is the Speech of Aļļaah (Taˆaalaa), written on pages (muşĥafs), preserved in hearts, recited on tongues, and revealed to the Prophet r. Our utterance of the Qur’aan is created, and our recitation of the Qur’aan is created, but the Qur’aan is not created[21].” [22].”

    Sayyidi Abu Hanifah (Rahmat Ulllahi Alaih) says that our recitation is created but the Qur’an (what we recite, because we recite the Qur’an) is not created. Now, what we recite are letters and words. He also says that what is preserved in hearts is The Speech of ALLAH (which is not created).

    I know that the ink by which we write is created. But what is written is the Speech of ALLAH!

    I am really confused. I asked my local Ulama, who belong to the Maturidi School of thought (Barelvi in sub-continent, who strongly defend the Aqidah that it is impossible for Allah Almighty to lie, here in sub-continent). They said that our recitation is created, but what we recite is not created, our remembrance of Qur’an is created but what we remember is not created.

    Now, what you say is that the letters and words (not the ink of letters and words) are a creation and hence they are not directly Allah’s Speech, rather they refer to what Allah Almighty said eternally, and hence are called the Speech of ALLAH.

    Whereas, my local Ulama say that the recitation of The Qur’an is created, because it has a beginning and an end, whereas, what we are reciting is not created. That is the Speech of Allah without voice.

    Kindly explain and clarify.

    Wa-Salam,
    Rashid

    • Waˆalaykumussalaam,

      “The Qur’aan is the Speech of Aļļaah (Taˆaalaa), written on pages (muşĥafs), preserved in hearts, recited on tongues, and revealed to the Prophet r. Our utterance of the Qur’aan is created, and our recitation of the Qur’aan is created, but the Qur’aan is not created.”

      “The Qur’aan is the (eternal) Speech of Aļļaah (that is not letters or sound, but is what Allaah said eternally), (which’s meaning is) written on pages, preserved in hearts (as words that are combinations of sounds made by the throat and mouth that refer to the meanings that Allaah told us), recited on tongues (by sound), and revealed to the Prophet (by word’s telling us what Allaah said eternally). Our utterance of the Qur’aan is created (because it is sound), and our recitation of the Qur’aan is created (because it is making sounds), but the Qur’aan is not created (because it is actually the eternal attribute of Speech, except that the written pages and recitations are also called Qur’aan, because they tell us what Allaah said eternally by His eternal attribute of Speech).” Now you should go back to the article and read it more, especially the beginning part, which tells you about the attribute of Speech.

  3. Rashid says:

    Jazak ALLAH for your explanation. I discussed it again with one of my local Ulama. And he told me the same concept as you. That is the Ash’ari/Maturidi Aqeedah.

    I wanted to know one more thing. We know that in whatever language we may translate The Holy Qur’an, we cannot do it perfectly. The very exact sense will only be conveyed through Arabic and not by the translation. This shows that Arabic has significance and the words and letters of The Qur’an in Arabic have significance and superiority over other words. Why is this the case when Arabic, like other languages, is also a creation?

    The Holy Qur’an is a perfect book for all times. The poetic and linguistic beauty of The Holy Qur’an is unmatchable. Similarly, there is also a challenge in The Holy Qur’an to bring about a single Ayah like that of The Qur’an. Is the poetic and linguistic beauty of The Holy Qur’an a creation? Because they are words and letters of Arabic. If so, then Muslims have been proud of the unmatchable linguistic, literary and poetic beauty of the created words and letters and not directly the Speech of Allah?

    Please do not think I am debating. These are questions which come to my mind and I ask them directly so that I can get my concepts clear. I hope you understand. And yes, with all these questions that my come to the mind, my belief is still that words and letters are creation and that Speech of Allah Almighty is not created, it is eternal. And hence The Holy Qur’an is not a creation but an eternal attribute of Allah Almighty.

    Jazak ALLAH! May Allah Almighty bless you!

    Wa-Salam,
    Rashid

    • Rashid wrote:
      I wanted to know one more thing. We know that in whatever language we may translate The Holy Qur’an, we cannot do it perfectly. The very exact sense will only be conveyed through Arabic and not by the translation. This shows that Arabic has significance and the words and letters of The Qur’an in Arabic have significance and superiority over other words. Why is this the case when Arabic, like other languages, is also a creation?

      Comment: First of all, the Qur’aan is not translatable, because it is miraculous in the sense that Allaah has not willed for anyone to reach its eloquence. This tells us that the Prophet Muĥammad had support from Allaah in his claim to prophethood. Second, for other texts than the Qur’aan it is possible to translate the meaning, even if it will not be as eloquent as in Arabic. This is because of the structure and vocabulary of Arabic allows one to say a lot in very few words. Why is this? Because Allaah created Arabic with these characteristics. Either in the sense that he created Arabic in Adam or someone else and they knew how to speak it without learning it, or in the sense that it developed over time. That is, Allaah willed for it to come into existence gradually through a development process.

      Rashid wrote:
      The Holy Qur’an is a perfect book for all times. The poetic and linguistic beauty of The Holy Qur’an is unmatchable. Similarly, there is also a challenge in The Holy Qur’an to bring about a single Ayah like that of The Qur’an. Is the poetic and linguistic beauty of The Holy Qur’an a creation? Because they are words and letters of Arabic. If so, then Muslims have been proud of the unmatchable linguistic, literary and poetic beauty of the created words and letters and not directly the Speech of Allah?

      Comment: You cannot say that the Qur’aan is poetic. The Qur’aan is not poetry, as stated in the book itself. All letters are created, because they are sounds that come and go into existence to form words that we judge in our created minds as beautiful.

      Rashid wrote:
      Please do not think I am debating. These are questions which come to my mind and I ask them directly so that I can get my concepts clear. I hope you understand. And yes, with all these questions that my come to the mind, my belief is still that words and letters are creation and that Speech of Allah Almighty is not created, it is eternal. And hence The Holy Qur’an is not a creation but an eternal attribute of Allah Almighty.

      Comment: The words of the Qur’aan are expressions that tell us what Allaah told us eternally as recorded in books.

  4. Abu Yunus says:

    As-salamu alaikum wa rahmatullah, Shaykh.

    Those who call themselves “Salafis” affirm uncreated “Voice” (صوت) for God.

    We know that God’s Knowledge relates to His Speech.

    Is it permissible to ask whether the adherents of the Ashari School consider that God’s Hearing relates to His Speech also?

    Please clarify – may Allah reward you.

  5. Souphienne says:

    بِسمِ ٱلله الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيـمِ
    wassalam’aleykum Shaykh,

    As-Sanuusiyy says, “Are miracles as proof of the truthfulness of the Messengers of Aļļaah proofs in the mind’s eye, or by convention, or by normal necessity according to the relevant indications?

    1-Is the proof in the mind’s eye (or by convention ,I don’t see the difference…) enough to proove the truth of the prophethood of the prophets?(as I don’t understand the proof by normal necessity and,to me,the proof in the mind’s eye(by convention) is extremely clear Al Hamdoullillah)

    2-what is the difference between the mind’s eye and the convention proof?

    3-Could you explain how the proof by normal necessity works in a more “detailed” way?
    (I have already seen it in sharh An Nasafiya and I didn’t understand it as well)

    4-You say in your footnotes:

    [34]Muĥammad ibn Yuusuf As-Sanuusiyy (896 AH), Sħarĥu-l-Muqaddimaat, 1st ed. (Maktabatu-l-Maˆaarif, 1420), 245.

    [35]Ibid., 247.

    [36]Ibid., 248.

    [37]Ibid., 250.

    [38]Ibid.

    [39]Ibid.

    Are you sure that 34 to 39 are from Sharhul Muqadimat?I can’t find them.The issues discussed in it deal more with the defintion of truth and falsehood and don’t really focuss directly on the issue of miracles…

    wassalam,
    Souphienne.

    • As for 4. the reference is Al-Kubraa, as stated in the article itself. The mistake is in the footnote reference.

      Your other questions are not the main point here. The point is that it is impossible that Allaah should lie. The difference between ˆaqliyy, conventional and normal is that the first has no possible exceptions in the mind’s eye. Convention is like language, it is known by convention. Miracles are from this viewpoint a conventional message that tells you someone is a prophet. The third (normal) is that miracles are something that is correlated with knowledge of someone’s prophethood. I.e. when someone sees it, he does not doubt that the person is a prophet. All these three are very close on this issue, and it is not very important. The important thing is that it cannot be that Allaah lies.

  6. faqir says:

    as-salamu `alaikum sayyidi,

    Could you kindly share your thoughts on the attribution of the book ‘At-Tabşiir fii Maˆaalim Ad-Diin’ to Imam al-Tabari? And, would you recommend it and consider it to be in agreement with the ash’aris in general?

    • Waˆalaykumussalaam, I have not read it all, but the scholars of that age wrote for people who can connect ideas and make agreement between them. A lot of things are left unsaid and unexplained. This makes some of their expressions and intents too vague for today’s audience. Here is a quote that shows he makes takfiir for those who believe Allaah is something that could change: “The one that objects to what we have stated, it is said to him: Tell us about the speech that you described as created, and that the Beginninglessly Eternal speaks with, did He create it, as it is created according to you, in Himself, or in something else, or is it something existing in itself? If he says, ”in Himself” then this necessitates that He would be something that created things exist in and this is blasphemy according to everybody.” (Abu Jaˆfar Aţ-Ţabariyy, At-Tabşiir fii Maˆaalim Ad-Diin, 1st ed. (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Daar Al-ˆAaşimah, 1416), 202.)

  7. faqir says:

    واتفق أهل الإثبات على أن معنى مخلوق معنى محدث ومعنى محدث معنى مخلوق وهذا هو الحق عندي وإليه أذهب وبه أقول

    مقالات الإسلاميين واختلاف المصلين

    “The people of affirmation [of the Attributes] all agree that the meaning of ‘created’ (makhluq) is the meaning of ‘with beginning’ (muhdath); and the meaning of muhdath is the meaning of makhluq. This is the truth in my view and it is my position and what I myself say.”

    http://www.almeshkat.net/books/open.php?cat=10&book=937

  8. Abu Ismail Jaafar says:

    As salaamu alaykumwa rahmatu Allah, Shaykh Abu Adam,

    Does the doctrine of Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala’s Speech not being letters and sound have any direct relevance to the consensus of the Ummah that the scriptures revealed to the previous Ummahs, such as the Tawrat and the Injil, underwent tahreef?

    Would it be correct to think that tahreef of the previous scriptures is consistent with them being Allah’s Speech, since the letters and the sounds making up the words of these scriptures as they were revealed may have been changed by the hands and twisted by the tongues of men, but Allah’s Speech in itself remains unchanged by tahreef, since It is neither sound nor letters?

    May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala shower you with His blessings for the excellent work, Shaykh.

    • wa3alaykumussalaam,

      The expressions of Arabic written in the mushafs and recited by us are sounds and letters that refer to Allaah’s speech – they tell us what He said eternally. These expressions in the book are protected from perversion by Allaah. He made this protection evident by how the book has been transmitted to us, but also by the fact that the eloquence of the Qur’aan is extraordinary.

      • Abu Ismail Jaafar says:

        Thank you for the quick response, Shaykh,
        Since the same manner of mutawatir transmission cannot be said of the previous scriptures, then the Christians and the Jews who insist that logically Muslims need to accept the books they have with them as they are today do not have a leg to stand upon.
        Was supernatural eloquence an attribute of the previous scriptures in their original form as well?

      • They did not have a challenge to opponents in terms of eloquence.

  9. Abu Ihsan says:

    Asalamu alaikum shaykh:

    i was reading the fatwa of alaHazrat fadil albarelwi rahimahuallah and he mentions that imam abu hanifa, imam abi yusuf and imam muhammad agree tht those who believe the Quran is created are kafir.

    • wa3alaykumussalaam,

      In other words, the one that believes Allaah’s attribute of Speech to have a beginning is a kaafir. The Qur’aan here refers to the eternal attribute of speech that is not words, sounds, letters or something emerging sequentially. It is not referring to the written words in the mushaf, which are obviously created.

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