Traditional Sunni Muslims, especially those who subscribe to the Athari position, affirm that the Quran is the uncreated speech of Allah which he spoke in a manner suiting his majesty. As such, the Quran is one of his essential attributes that is inseparable from him.
In fact, around the ninth century Muslims were actually killing each other over the issue of whether the Quran was created or not. Eventually, the position which stated that the Quran isn’t created since it is one of the essential characteristics of Allah, and therefore separate from creation, won out and became the dominant view.
Note what the renowned medieval Muslim scholar Ibn Taymiyyah wrote in respect to this matter:
The Affirmation that the Qur’an is the Speech of Allah
Then, the author, may Allah have mercy upon him, mentioned the Ayat that proving that the Qur’an is the speech of Allah.
Many disagreements occurred surrounding this issue, between the Mu’tazilah and the People of the Sunnah, which resulted in a tremendous amount of evil being inflicted upon the People of the Sunnah. Among those that suffered harm for Allah’s sake regarding that was Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, may Allah have mercy upon him, the Imam of the People of the Sunnah. The one about whom some scholars said: “Allah, Glorified and Exalted is He, preserved Islam (or they said: aided it) by Abu Bakr during the day of Apostasy, and by Imam Ahmad during the day of the Mihnah (inquisition).”
The Mihnah was when Al-Ma’mun, May Allah pardon us and him, FORCED people to say THAT THE QUR’AN IS CREATED; such that he began to hold inquisitions with the scholars, AND HE KILLED THEM IF THEY REFUSED TO SAY SO.
Most of the scholars saw that there was some leeway in the matter, and they began to make Ta’wil:
— Either that the situation was one of duress, and if one under duress says a statement of disbelief, but is convinced in his heart of faith, then such a person is pardoned.
— Or, that the statement be intended as other than is obvious; making Ta’wil, saying for example — and using his fingers to count — “The Qur’an, the Tawrah, the Injll and the Zabur; all these are creatures” referring to his fingers.
As for Imam Ahmad, and Muhammad bin Nuh, may Allah have mercy upon both of them, they refused that and said: “The Qur’an is the speech of Allah, revealed, NOT CREATED.” They saw that coercion in this case did not justify them saying what is contrary to the truth; since that situation was one of a Jihad, and that coercion is pardonable in the case of a personal matter. That is, if it has to do with a person himself. But when the issue is about the preservation of Allah’s Shari’ah, then it is obligatory for the person to put his neck forward in order to preserve the Shari’ah of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime.
If, during that time, Imam Ahmad had said that the Qur’an is created, even if it was due to Ta’wil or because of coercion; then all of the people would have said that the Qur’an is created, in which case, the Islamic society could have changed, all because of coercion. But he was wholeheartedly determined, so the end became his. And to Allah is the praise.
What is important is that speaking about the Qur’an is part of speaking about the Speech of Allah in general. But when the Mihnah fell into that, and the severe disagreement occurred between the Mu’tazilah and the People of the Sunnah regarding it, the scholars usually single out a discussion concerning the Qur’an.
The author, may Allah have mercy upon him, now begins to cite the Ayat that establish that the Qur’an is the Speech of Allah:
<And if anyone of the polytheists seeks your protection then grant him protection, so that he may hear the Word of Allah> (At-Tawbah 9:6)
The First Ayah:
<And if anyone of the polytheists seeks your protection then grant him protection, so that he may hear the Word of Allah> (At-Taubah 9:6)
❖ Concerning His statement:<Seeks your protection> meaning seeking your protection -safeguard and defense.
❖ <So that he may hear>: <So that> expresses the purpose; meaning — if anyone seeks your protection, grant him the protection so that he can hear the Word of Allah; that is the Qur’an, and this is agreed upon.
He, only said: <Then grant him protection, so that he may hear the Word of Allah> because listening to the Word of Allah, Mighty and Sublime, is definitely effective as He, Exalted is He, says:
<Verily, therein is a reminder for him who has a heart or gives ear while he is heedful> (Qaf 50:37)
And how many a person heard the Word of Allah and believed; but that is with the condition that such a person understands it completely.
❖ Concerning His statement:
<The Word of Allah>, HE ATTRIBUTED THE WORD TO HIMSELF. He said: <The Word of Allah> This indicates that the Qur’an is the Word of Allah; and it is such.
❖ And the creed of the People of the Sunnah and the Jama’ah regarding the Qur’an is that they say: The Qur’an is the Word of Allah, revealed, NOT CREATED, it initiated from Him, AND TO HIM IT RETURNS.
— Their saying: “Word of Allah:” its evidence is His saying, Exalted is He:
<Then grant him protection, so that he may hear the Word of Allah> (At-Tawbah 9:6)
And other Ayat which follow.
— Their saying: “revealed:” its evidence is His statement, Exalted is He:
<The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an> (Al-Baqarah 2:185)
And, His statement:
<Verily! We have sent it down in the night of Al-Qadr> (Al-Qadr 97:1)
And, His statement:
<And a Qur’an which We have divided (into parts), in order that you might recite it to men at intervals. And We have revealed it by stages> (Al-lsra’ 17:106)
— Concerning their saying: “not created” its evidence is His statement, Exalted is He:
<Surely, His is the Creation and the Command> (Al-A’raf 7:54)
So, He made the creation one thing and command another, because the use of a conjunction dictates variance, and the Qur’an is from the command, based upon His statement, Exalted is He:
<And thus We have revealed to you Ruhan (an Inspiration) from Our Command. You knew not what is the Book, nor what is faith. But We have made it a light wherewith We guide whosoever of Our slaves We will> (Ash-Shura 42:52)
So, if the Qur’an is a command, and it is different than the creation, IT IS THEREFORE NOT A CREATURE. This is because if it is a creature, then, division into two categories will not be correct. This is a textually revealed evidence.
As for the intellectual evidence, we say the Qur’an is the Speech of Allah. And the Speech is not an individual that maintains itself such that it can be separate from Allah. If it was an individual maintaining itself, separate from Allah, then we would have said that it is created. But, speech is an attribute of the one who utters it; if it is an attribute of the one who utters it and is from Allah, THEN IT IS NOT A CREATURE; because ALL THE ATTRIBUTES of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, ARE NOT CREATURES. (Commentary On Shaikh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah’s Al-‘Aqidah Al-Wasitiyyah, by The Virtuous Shaikh, Al-‘Allamah Muhammad bin Salih Al-‘Uthaymin [Darussalam Publications, 2008], Volume 1, pp. 569-574; capital emphasis mine)
The Mu’tazilah held the view that the Qur’an was created, and that it is not the Word of Allah. They tried to prove that with the statement of Allah, Exalted is He…
<Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Wakil (Trustee, Disposer of affairs, Guardian, etc.) over all things> (Az-Zumar 39:62)
They said the Qur’an is a thing, and thus falls under the generality of His statement: <All things>
And because there is nothing except it is either a creator or a creature; and Allah is the Creator while all things, other than Him, are creatures. The response to this is from two angles:
First: That the Qur’an is the Word of Allah, Exalted is He, and an Attribute of Allah, AND THE ATTRIBUTES OF THE CREATOR ARE NOT CREATURES.
Secondly: That this kind of expression <All things> is general which could refer to what is specific, such as His statement, Exalted is He, concerning the Queen of Saba’:
<And she has been given all things.> (An-Naml 27:23)
While there many things did not fall under her authority, such as the dominion of Sulaiman.
❖ If someone asks: Is there any major difference between our saying that it is revelation and saying that it is created? The answer is yes, there is a great difference between them.
The great inquisition (Al-Mihnat Al-Kubra) abided because of this during the time of Imam Ahmad.
So when we say it is revelation, it is what is found in the Qur’an. Allah, Exalted is He, says:
<Blessed be He Who revealed the criterion to His slaves> (Al-Furqan 25:1)
If we say it is created, it implies:
Firstly: Belying the Qur’an, because Allah says:
<And thus We have revealed to you Ruhan (Inspiration) from Our Command> (Ash-Shura 42:52)
Allah, Exalted is He, referred to it as revelation to the Messenger. If it was a creature, then it would not be correct to refer to it as a revelation. Since it is revelation, it cannot be a creature, because Allah is the One Who Spoke it…
So these are three views falsifying the saying that it (the Qur’an) is created.
The fourth view: That we say, if you allow that speech – which is a meaning that cannot stand on its own except with a speaker – is a creature, IT NECESSITATES THAT YOU ALLOW THAT ALL THE ATTRIBUTES OF ALLAH ARE CREATURES, since there is no difference. Therefore, say: His hearing is a creature; His seeing is a creature, etc.
If you refuse, and say that the hearing is a meaning that is particular to the hearer; it can neither be heard from him nor seen; unlike the word which is possible that Allah creates voices in the air and by that be heard.
We would say to you that if He had created voices in the air and they are heard, then what is heard will be considered an attribute of the air. You, yourselves, do not say this. How can you consider an attribute to belong to other than the one it is described with?
Together, these four views prove that saying the Qur’an is created is a false saying. If there was nothing wrong with it except that it would invalidate the commands, prohibitions, information and enquiry (contained in the Qur’an), then that would be enough. (Ibid., pp. 577-578, 580; capital emphasis mine)
The Sunni tradition also teaches that in order to be among the people of Allah one must be among the people of the Quran, thereby linking Allah with his book showing that they are essentially one and the same:
The Book of Sunnah
It was narrated that Anas bin Malik said:
“The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Allah has His own people among mankind.’ They said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, who are they?’ He said: ‘The people of the Qur’an, the people of Allah and those who are closest to Him.’”
Grade: Hasan (Darussalam)
Sunnah.com reference: Book 1, Hadith 215
English reference: Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 215
Arabic reference: Book 1, Hadith 220 (sunnah.com https://sunnah.com/ibnmajah/introduction/215)
Now this places Muslims in quite a predicament since the hadiths attributed to Muhammad depict the Quran as a living, conscious sentient being that actually intercedes for them. In fact, the ahadith describe the Quran’s surahs and verses as interceding for all those that recited them, thereby ascribing intelligence and cognition to all of the Muslim scripture’s individual parts!
Note what the following Muslim authorities teach in this respect:
Ibn Maajah (215) and Ahmad (11870) narrated that Anas ibn Maalik said: The Messenger of Allah said: “Verily Allah has His own people among mankind.” They said: O Messenger of Allah, who are they? He said: “They are the people of the Qur’an, Allah’s own people and those who are closest to Him.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah.
Al-Haafiz Muhammad ibn al-Husayn al-Aajurri wrote some good words concerning that which are worth noting. We shall quote some of his words here. He said…
Whoever is like this, or is close to it, then he is truly reciting the Qur’an as it should be recited, paying proper care and attention to it. The Qur’an will be A WITNESS, AN INTERCESSOR, A COMFORTER and A PROTECTION for him. Whoever is like that will benefit himself and his family, and will be a source of goodness for his parents and his children in this world and the hereafter.
End quote from Akhlaaq Hamalat al-Qur’an (p. 27).
The one who wants to be included in the words of the Prophet about the people of the Qur’an being Allah’s own people and those who are closest to Him should not complete the Qur’an in more than a month. (Islamqa.info, Who are the people of the Qur’an who are the people of Allah and the closest to Him?; bold and capital emphasis mine)
Abu Umama said he heard Allah’s Messenger say: Recite the Qur’an, for on the Day of Resurrection it will come as an intercessor for those who recite It. Recite the two bright ones, al-Baqara and Surah Al ‘Imran, for on the Day of Resurrection they will come as two clouds or two shades, or two flocks of birds in ranks, pleading for those who recite them. Recite Surah al-Baqara, for to take recourse to it is a blessing and to give it up is a cause of grief, and the magicians cannot confront it. (Mu’awiya said: It has been conveyed to me that here Batala means magicians.) (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 1757 https://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=004&translator=2&start=0&number=1645)
- Abu Umamah reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah saying, “Read the Qur’an, for it will come as an intercessor for its reciters on the Day of Resurrection.”
[Muslim]. (Riyad-us-Saliheen, Book Eight – The Book of Virtues, Chapter 180: The Excellence of Reciting the Qur’an, Number 1 https://sunnah.com/riyadussalihin/8/1; bold emphasis mine)
- An-Nawwas bin Sam`an reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah saying, “The Qur’an and its people who applied it, will be brought on the Day of Resurrection preceded with Surat Al-Baqarah and Surat Al-`Imran arguing on behalf of those who applied them.”
Commentary: This Hadith means that on the Day of Requital, the Qur’an, with Surat Al-Baqarah and Al-`Imran in the forefront, will intercede before Allah for those who used to recite and act upon them in the life of the world. (Ibid., https://sunnah.com/riyadussalihin/8/2; bold emphasis mine)
Narrated by Abdullah ibn Amr:
Allah’s Messenger said, “Fasting and the Qur’an intercede for a man. Fasting says, ‘O my Lord, I have kept him away from his food and his passions by day, so accept my intercession for him.’ The Qur’an SAYS, ‘I HAVE KEPT HIM AWAY from sleep by night, so accept my intercession for him.’ Then their intercession is accepted.”
Bayhaqi transmitted it in Shu’ab al-Iman. (Jami‘ At-Tirmidhi, Hadith Number 612 http://www.alim.org/library/hadith/TIR/612; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Narrated AbuHurayrah: The Prophet said: A surah of the Qur’an containing thirty verses will intercede its reader till he will be forgiven. That is: “Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the sovereignty” (Surah 67). (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 6, Number 1395 https://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=6&translator=3&start=0&number=1395)
This next one is rather interesting, in fact bewildering:
8 The Excellent Qualities of the Qur’an
Khālid b. Ma’dān said:
Recite the rescuer, which is A.L.M. The sending down (Qur’ān, 32) for I have heard that a man who had committed many sins used to recite it and nothing else. It spread its wing over him and said, “MY LORD, forgive him, for he often used to recite me,” so the Lord most high made it an intercessor for him and said, “Record for him a good deed and raise him a degree in place of every sin.” Khālid said also: It will dispute on behalf of the one who recites it when he is in his grave saying, “O GOD, if I am a part of Thy Book, make me an intercessor for him; but if I am not a part of Thy Book, blot me out of it.” It will be like a bird putting its wing on him, it will INTERCEDE for him and will PROTECT him from the punishment in the grave. He said the same about “Blessed is He.” (Qur’ān, 67) Khālid did not go to sleep at night till he had recited them. Tā’ūs said they were given sixty virtues more than any other sūra in the Qur’ān. Dārimī transmitted it.
Reference: Mishkat al-Masabih 2176
In-book reference: Book 8, Hadith 66 (sunnah.com https://sunnah.com/mishkat/8/66; bold and capital emphasis mine)
Astonishingly, the Muslim scripture not only engages Allah but goes so far as to address him as its very lord and god!
But all of this raises some interesting problems. Seeing that the Quran cannot be separated from the Islamic deity one is left wondering how is it able to pray and communicate with Allah?
Does this not show that Allah is composed of multiple inseparable personalities-in fact over roughly six thousand personalities if we count the surahs and individual verses of the Quran as being actual living, sentient agents-which are able to interact and argue with one another?
Worse still, since it is the Quran and its individual parts that intercede and save Muslims from hell doesn’t this prove that it is the Islamic book that is the true savior and mediator of Muslims?
With this being so, doesn’t this therefore imply that Islam posits over six thousand potential saviors and mediators seeing that even individual verses of the Quran are said to be able to intercede for those that recite them?
Or should we assume that it is actually one savior since these are not separate beings that intercede, but approximately six thousand inseparable but distinct personalities that are essentially one, seeing that they all exist as a single book which is itself inseparable from Allah?
As if this wasn’t shocking enough, Muhammad is reported to have taught that the Quran not only saves and intercedes, but that it also condemns folks to hell!
Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, “On the Day of Resurrection the Believers will assemble and say, ‘Let us ask somebody to intercede for us with our Lord.’ So they will go to Adam and say, ‘You are the father of all the people, and Allah created you with His Own Hands, and ordered the angels to prostrate to you, and taught you the names of all things; so please intercede for us with your Lord, so that He may relieve us from this place of ours.’ Adam will say, ‘I am not fit for this (i.e. intercession for you).’ Then Adam will remember his sin and feel ashamed thereof. He will say, ‘Go to Noah, for he was the first Apostle, Allah sent to the inhabitants of the earth.’ They will go to him and Noah will say, ‘I am not fit for this undertaking.’ He will remember his appeal to his Lord to do what he had no knowledge of, then he will feel ashamed thereof and will say, ‘Go to the Khalil–r-Rahman (i.e. Abraham).’ They will go to him and he will say, ‘I am not fit for this undertaking. Go to Moses, the slave to whom Allah spoke (directly) and gave him the Torah .’ So they will go to him and he will say, ‘I am not fit for this undertaking.’ and he will mention (his) killing a person who was not a killer, and so he will feel ashamed thereof before his Lord, and he will say, ‘Go to Jesus, Allah’s Slave, His Apostle and Allah’s Word and a Spirit coming from Him. Jesus will say, ‘I am not fit for this undertaking, go to Muhammad the Slave of Allah whose past and future sins were forgiven by Allah.’ So they will come to me and I will proceed till I will ask my Lord’s Permission and I will be given permission. When I see my Lord, I will fall down in Prostration and He will let me remain in that state as long as He wishes and then I will be addressed.’ (Muhammad!) Raise your head. Ask, and your request will be granted; say, and your saying will be listened to; intercede, and your intercession will be accepted.’ I will raise my head and praise Allah with a saying (i.e. invocation) He will teach me, and then I will intercede. He will fix a limit for me (to intercede for) whom I will admit into Paradise. Then I will come back again to Allah, and when I see my Lord, the same thing will happen to me. And then I will intercede and Allah will fix a limit for me to intercede whom I will let into Paradise, then I will come back for the third time; and then I will come back for the fourth time, and will say, ‘None remains in Hell but those whom THE QUR’AN HAS IMPRISONED (in Hell) and who have been destined to an eternal stay in Hell.’” (The compiler) Abu ‘Abdullah said: ‘But those whom THE QUR’AN HAS IMPRISONED IN HELL,’ refers to the Statement of Allah: “They will dwell therein forever.” (16.29). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 3 https://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=60&translator=1&start=0&number=3)
Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, “The believers will be kept (waiting) on the Day of Resurrection so long that they will become worried and say, “Let us ask somebody to intercede far us with our Lord so that He may relieve us from our place.”… (Qatada said: I heard Anas saying that) the Prophet said, “So I will go out and take them out of Hell (Fire) and let them enter Paradise, till none will remain in the Fire except those whom QURAN WILL IMPRISON (i.e., those who are destined for eternal life in the fire).” The narrator then recited the Verse:– “It may be that your Lord will raise you to a Station of Praise and Glory.’ (17.79) The narrator added: This is the Station of Praise and Glory which Allah has promised to your Prophet. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 532v https://sunnah.com/bukhari/97/66)
On the authority of Anas from the Prophet, who said… There remains in Hell-fire only those whom THE QUR’AN HAS CONFINED and who must be there for eternity. There shall come out of Hell-fire he who has said: There is no god but Allah and who has in his heart goodness weighing a barley-corn; then there shall come out of Hell-fire he who has said: There is no god but Allah and who has in his heart goodness weighing a grain of wheat; then there shall come out of Hell-fire he who has said: There is no god but Allah and who has in his heart goodness weighing an atom. It was related by al-Bukhari (also by Muslim, at-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah). (40 Hadith Qudsi, Hadith 36 https://sunnah.com/qudsi40/36)
What this shows is that the Muslim scripture is identical with Allah in his function as judge and in his authority to punish disbelievers!
To summarize our discussion:
The Quran cannot be separated from Allah since it is one of his essential attributes, specifically his attribute of speech.
The Quran is uncreated since all of Allah’s attributes are uncreated.
The Quran and its parts are sentient, omniscient persons or beings who intercede and save all those that recite the Muslim.
The Quran and its individual surahs and/or verses will intercede for Muslims at the day of judgment, thereby saving them from hell. This in turn means that the Quran and its individual parts are the Muslims’ true saviors.
The Quran has decreed and consigned specific individuals to everlasting torment. This shows that the Quran is Allah’s partner in judgment, making it Allah’s co-judge.
This places Sunni Muslims in a huge, embarrassing dilemma since the above data proves that Allah is a being who simultaneously consists of over six thousand uncreated, omniscient conscious entities/beings/persons, some of whom are subordinate to certain others and worship the other!
So much for the claim that Islam teaches the purest form of monotheism, even more so than either Judaism or Christianity!
With the foregoing in perspective it is time to discuss what the Islamic sources teach in respect to Jesus: https://answeringallah.com/what-about-jesus-unveiling-islams-other-ilah-besides-allah/