The Uncreatedness of the Divine Speech- The Glorious Qur’an

Al-Hamdulillah for the favor of Islam and the honor of right Belief. May Allah bless and salute our Master Muhammad and his Family and Companions.

This article sums up the doctrine of the massive majority of the Muslims, namely the People of the Sunna and the Congregation, concerning the pre-existent, pre-eternal, beginningless, and uncreated nature of the Divine Speech Allah Most High has named al-Qur’an, as held by the Salaf al-Salihun and as formulated by the two Masters, Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ash`ari and Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi and their respective schools.

The position of Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama`a differs fundamentally on this matter with that of the rest of the Muslim sects, especially with that of the now defunct Mu`tazila. The position of the Shi`a is indentical with that of the Mu`tazila, who denied not only the Pre-existent status of the Divine Speech, but of all the Divine Attributes for they considered that they are the same as the Essence.

Ahl al-Sunna agree one and all that the Qur’an is the pre-existent, pre-eternal, uncreated Speech of Allah Most High on the evidence of the Qur’an, the Sunna, and faith-guided reason.

In a rare instance of classic kalâm reasoning, Imam Malik gave the most succinct statement of this doctrine:

“The Qur’an is the Speech of Allah, the Speech of Allah comes from Him, and nothing created comes from Allah Most High.”[1]

Hafiz Abu al-Qasim Ibn `Asakir said in Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari:

“The Mu`tazila said: ‘the Speech of Allah Most High is created, invented, and brought into being.’ The Hashwiyya, who attribute a body to Allah the Exalted, said: ‘The alphabetical characters (al-hurûf al-muqatta`a), the materials on which they are written, the colors in which they are written, and all that is between the two covers [of the volumes of Qur’an] is beginning-less and pre-existent (qadîma azaliyya). Al-Ash`ari took a middle road between them and said: The Qur’an is the beginning-less speech of Allah Most High unchanged, uncreated, not of recent origin in time, nor brought into being. As for the alphabetical characters, the materials, the colors, the voices, the elements that are subject to limitations (al-mahdûdât), and all that is subject to modality (al-mukayyafât) in the world: all this is created, originated, and produced.”[2]

Hafiz Abu Bakr al-Bayhaqi said in al-Asma’ wa al-Sifat with a sound chain:

“Something Ibn Shaddad had written was handed to Abu Bakr al-Marwazi which containing the phrase: “My pronunciation of the Qur’an is uncreated” and the latter was asked to show it to Ahmad ibn Hanbal for corroboration. The latter crossed out the phrase and wrote instead: “The Qur’an, however used (haythu yusraf), is uncreated.”[3]

“In another sound narration, Abu Bakr al-Marwazi, Abu Muhammad Fawran [or Fawzan], and Salih ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal witnessed Ahmad rebuking one of his students named Abu Talib with the words: “Are you telling people that I said: `My pronunciation of the Qur’an is uncreated’?” Abu Talib replied: “I only said this from my own.” Ahmad said: “Do not say this – neither from me, nor from you! I never heard any person of knowledge say it. The Qur’an is the Speech of Allah uncreated, whichever way it is used.” Salih said to Abu Talib: “If you told people what you said, now go and tell the same people that Abu `Abd Allah [Imam Ahmad] forbade to say it.””[4]

The Proof of Islam and Renewer of the Fifth Hijri Century, Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali said in his “Foundations of Islamic Belief” (Qawa`id al-`Aqa’id) published in his Rasa’il and his Ihya’ `Ulum al-Dinand partially translated in Shaykh Nuh Keller’s Reliance of the Traveller and by Mrs. Ahmad Darwish on the Mosque of the Internet:

“The Qur’an is read by tongues, written in books, and remembered in the heart, yet it is, nevertheless, uncreated and without beginning, subsisting in the Essence of Allah, not subject to division and or separation through its transmission to the heart and paper. Musa – upon him peace – heard the Speech of Allah without sound and without letter, just as the righteous see the Essence of Allah Most High in the Hereafter, without substance or its quality.”

And Imam al-Tahawi said of the Qur’an in his “Creed of Abu Hanifa and his Companions”: “It is not created like the speech of creatures.”

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