To bring absolute clarity to the deviant claim of Aļļaah’s Eternal Speech, the Qur’aan, being created. There are 3 main sayings:
Sunnis, the Ashˆariyys and Maaturiidiyys, say that the Qur’aan is the eternal Speech of Aļļaah. This Speech is an eternal attribute of Aļļaah and is not created, i.e. not brought into existence. It is not letters or sounds, and is not something sequential or divisible into parts. “The book of the Qur’aan, which is letters and words, expresses some of what Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech refers to. That is why it is called “Aļļaah’s Speech.” Note again that Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech is not divisible. It is what it refers to that is divisible, just as Allaah’s attribute of Will is not divisible; it is what it refers to that is divisible.
The Muˆtazilah say that Aļļaah’s Speech is letters and sounds that He brought into existence not in Himself, because it is impossible that something should come into existence in Him. They also claim that speech can only be sounds and letters. For this reason, they say that Aļļaah does not have an eternal Speech, and that the Qur’aan is created.
The Hashawiyyah, like the wahabis, say that Aļļaah’s Speech is letters and sounds that He brought into existence in Himself. They disagree with the Muˆtazilah only on where it emerged, not on the claim that it was brought into existence.
|Issue||Sunnis say:||Muˆtazilites say:||Wahabis say:|
|The meaning of the word “Qur’aan”||The Qur’aan is Aļļaah’s eternal attribute of Speech that is not letters, sounds or words, because what is not created cannot consist of parts or be composed in any sense. However, it is also used to refer to the words that express some of what Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech refers to. Like when it is said, “please get me the Qur’aan on the bookshelf.”||They say the Qur’aan is the Arabic expression that is printed in books.||They say the Qur’aan is the Arabic expression that is printed in books and was brought into existence in Aļļaah himself.|
|Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech||Speech is an eternal attribute of Aļļaah that is not brought into existence. It is not letters and sounds, but an eternal attribute by which Aļļaah tells, orders and forbids.||They say that Speech is not an eternal attribute of Aļļaah, because Speech cannot be other than letters and sounds.||They say that Speech is an eternal attribute of Aļļaah, in that it is a series of statements without a beginning brought into existence bit by bit.|
|Letters and sounds||Letters and sounds cannot be beginninglessly eternal. Not a single one of them, and not a series of them.||Letters and sounds cannot be beginninglessly eternal. Not a single one of them, and not a series of them.||They say letters and sounds can be in a beginningless series of continuous speech.|
Note that the wahabi belief that Aļļaah’s speech is a speech of letters and sounds that is brought into existence bit by bit without a beginning is identical to their saying about the world being beginninglessly eternal. The only difference between what they call created and uncreated speech, is the claimed place of its emergence into existence.