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The following is a reply made by an Arab brother using the nickname “sary” in response to Christoph Heger’s polemic about the uncreatedness of the Qur’an, and is reproduced here and translated into English for the benefit of our readers.
As for the article of that Christian, it is really laughable and reflects compound ignorance. Its aimed conclusion lies in two allegations:
1. “The allegation that the Muslims’ belief in uncreatedness of the Qur’an makes it a god in association with Allah Ta’ala”: We answer it with the fact that Muslims do not consider the Qur’an an independent identity that equals Allah (Glory be to Him) for it is not self-emerging speech; it is His Speech whom He spoke and revealed on the heart of His Prophet. His Speech is an integral Attribute of His. Adjective is adherent to its object [or subject], so God’s Attributes stands by Him and are as eternal as He. How come they separate the adjective from its object (or subject)?
The consequences of such reasoning is that all Allah’s Attributes are gods with Him, so Allah’s Hearing is a god, Allah’s Sight is a god, Allah’s Knowledge is a god and Allah’s Wrath is a god. Moreover, the ‘community’ of gods will include the Torah, the Injeel, the Zaboor and the rest of what Allah has spoken1 and is speaking and that whom His Angels and Messengers hear which is endless and uncountable “Say: if the ocean were ink (wherewith to write out) the words of my Lord, sooner would the ocean be exhausted than would the words of my Lord, even if we added another ocean like it, for its aid.” (Holy Qur’an 18:109) No sane person would say this unless Mr. Heger believes that God’s Attributes are created, then he will negate the eternality of His Attributes like Knowledge, Hearing, Sight, .. etc.. so God was ignorant, blind and deaf till He created these attributes! Far Exalted is He above this, for He is eternally Omniscient, All-Wise, All-Hearing and All-Seeing.
It is not said that we worship the Holy Qur’an; we merely pray to Allah with it and worship Him with reciting, believing and following it the same way we ask Him with calling His Most Beautiful Attributes “The Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah: so call on Him by them” (Holy Qur’an 7:180).
2. “The allegation that the Messiah is a god with Allah for it is His Word and God’s Word is uncreated”: We answer that the Messiah (peace be upon him) is not the Word, but was created with the Word. This is what the Holy Qur’an states when He Ta’ala says, “The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: Be: and he was.” (Holy Qur’an 3:59) His specialization with being described as Allah’s Word in contrast to other creatures is due to his creation with it directly2 in violation of all causes and rules whom Allah Ta’ala established in His creation.
It is further noteworthy that the Orthodox Jewish conception of Torah also views it as uncreated by a specific act of God’s will and primordial. The Torah is reported (sometimes as either 947 generations3 and sometimes as 2,000 years4) to have existed before the Creation, and that God took counsel with it at the creation of the world. Is Christoph Heger prepared to pass the same judgment on Judaism as well, namely that by virtue of the doctrine of the uncreatedness of the Torah, Judaism is not a monotheism?
- We do not believe that the Qur’an is eternal, but that it is the divine quality of speech is the one which is eternal. To be more detailed; it is well accepted that Attributes and Qualities of Allah are eternal because He is Eternal and these are His Attributes. These Attributes are divided into two categories: (a) attributes of Zat (i.e., Self or Essence) and they are adherent to Allah like Living, Knowledge, Ability, Greatness, etc., and (b) attributes of Af’al (i.e., Acts) like Creation, Giving, Taking, Speech, etc., these Attributes are eternal in kind, but temporary in action, i.e. Allah is always the Creator but He creates whenever He wills, He is always Speaker but He speaks whenever He wills.
So when we say that the divine quality of speech is eternal, we never mean to say that the Qur’an — which is the product of this quality — is consequently eternal. Thus the opposite of Heger’s allegation is true and we do not believe the Qur’an to be co-eternal with Allah. Allah eternally has the quality of Speech and He — at a certain point of time — spoke (takallama) with the Qur’an. [⤺]
- Everything has a direct cause and an indirect cause. We often attribute things to their direct causes; when we see green fertile land, we comment, “Look at the effect of rain!” while God is the actual maker. But if a living plant were seen growing on a hard stone, we would comment, “Look at the making of God!” so the actual cause is revealed due to lack of a direct one. Based upon this argument, since the direct cause of Jesus’(P) birth is absent, he is attributed to an indirect cause which is the Word because everyone is created with God’s Word for He says to any creature, “Be” and he is. This is the reason why he(P) is described as a “Word of God”, in reference to his miraculous birth and absence of the usual direct cause. [⤺]
- Talmud tractate Zebahim 116a, etc. [⤺]
- Genesis Rabba, ch. 8 [⤺]