B – The Issue of the Qur’an Being Created
This is a subset of the issue of Allah’s Kalam. That is because the Quran is the Speech of Allah, it is uncreated. The Mu’tazilah and Ash’aris have deviated in their understanding of the Qur’an. The end result of the beliefs of both of these groups is that either the Quran is created outright, or that the Quran we have is a created expression of what Allah(swt) said ‘internally’.
This issue is important, firstly because it is necessary for us to have the correct understanding of Allah(swt), it is part of our Tawheed, and secondly because these claims basically make the Quran null and void. If one says the Quran is created, or is not the Speech of Allah, then it destroys its relevancy and perfection. Since we know only Allah is of the utmost perfection, and His Attributes are perfect, then if the Quran is created, it must have some deficiency in it. The Kalam of Allah is what we know everything by, and to believe as the Ash’aris believe is to make the Quran no longer Divine.
The Caliph Ma’mun of the Abbasids had adopted the belief that the Qur’an was created. Bishr al-Mirisi and ibn Abee Du’aad (one of the followers of Jahm ibn Safwan) convinced him to make it the theology of the state at the time. Many scholars were executed over this issue and some said that it was created in order to save their lives. It was due to the famous trial of Imam Ahmed that it is pretty much universally accepted by the masses of the Muslims that the Quran is the uncreated Speech of Allah. The Ash’aris came approximately 100 years after the time of Imam Ahmed, when it was accepted that the Quran is Allah’s Speech, and this explains their somewhat confusing stance on the issue. They could not adopt the view of the Mu’tazilah since it was now openly rejected, but at the same time, they were trying to reconcile with their principles of philosophy they held to.
Amr ibn Deenar (d. 126AH) stated, “I have met the Companions of the Prophet(saw), and those that came after them for seventy years, all of them said, ‘Allah is the Creator, and everything besides Him is created, and the Qur’an is the kalam of Allah, from Him it came, and to Him it will return.” The narrations like this are mutawatir and come from the Imams of the first generations of Islam.
The first person to claim that the Quran was created was none other than Ja’d bin Dirham.
Most of the proofs for the Quran being the speech of Allah was mentioned in the previous post. One extremely obvious proof though, that I did not post there was the first 3 ayaat of Surat ar-Rahman,
Ar-Rahmaan. He taught (you) the Quran. He created man. [55:1-3]
What more needs to be said other than the fact that Allah(swt) Himself made the distinction?
Though this issue seems old, and we might wonder what significance it has for us, it should be noted that even modern day ‘progressive Muslims’ use this exact argument to justify re-interpreting the Quran. And this is exactly what Imam Ahmed feared, and why he stood firm during his trial, rahimahullah.