The Qur’aan was revealed by Allaah, not created

Posted on February 19, 2014


Q. Can you recommend a book in english that explains what it really means that the Qu’ran is not a creation ; and what we should believe in as Muslims?

A. Praise be to Allaah.

What we Muslims are obliged to believe is that which has come to us from Allaah, and that which the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has told us. Allaah has told us that He speaks, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And who is truer in statement than Allaah?”
[al-Nisaa’ 4:87] 

“and whose words can be truer than those of Allaah?
[al-Nisaa’ 4:122]

These two aayahs offer proof that Allaah speaks, and that His words are true, and there is no kind of lie in them at all.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And (remember) when Allaah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): ‘O ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)!…’”
[al-Maa’idah 5:116]

This aayah shows that Allaah speaks, and that His speech can be heard, so His speech has sound. And His speech includes words and phrases. The evidence that the speech of Allaah is composed of letters is the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):

“O Moosa (Moses)!
Verily, I am your Lord!”
[Ta-Ha 20:11]

because these words are composed of letters, and they are part of the speech of Allaah. And the evidence that the speech of Allaah has sound is the aayah (interpretation of the meaning]:

“And We called him from the right side of the Mount, and made him draw near to Us for a talk with him [Moosa (Moses)].
[Maryam 19:52]

Calling and talking can only happen with sound.

[See Sharh Lam’ah al-I’tiqaad by Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, p. 73]

Hence the belief of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah is that Allaah speaks in a real sense, when and as and with whatever He wills, with letters and sound, but this does not resemble the voices of created beings. The evidence that it does not resemble the voices of created beings is the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):

“There is nothing like Him, and He is the All‑Hearer, the All‑Seer”
[al-Shoora 42:11]

So it is known from the outset that this is the belief of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah. Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah believe that the Qur’aan is the word of Allaah, and among the evidence for this belief is the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):

“And if anyone of the Mushrikoon (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah) seeks your protection then grant him protection so that he may hear the Word of Allaah”
[al-Tawbah 9:6]

what is meant here is the Qur’aan, by scholarly consensus. The fact that Allaah mentions kalaam (speech, word) in idaafah(genitive or possessive construction) with Himself  indicates that the Qur’aan is His Word.

The belief of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah is that the Qur’aan is the word of Allaah which was revealed, not created; it began from Him and will return to Him.

The evidence that it is revealed is as follows (interpretation of the meanings):

“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’aan”
[al-Baqarah 2:185] 

“Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’aan) down in the Night of Al‑Qadr (Decree)”
[al-Qadr 97:1] 

“And (it is) a Qur’aan 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-Israa’ 17:106] 

“And when We change a Verse (of the Qur’aan) in place of another — and Allaah knows best what He sends down — they (the disbelievers) say: ‘You (O Muhammad) are but a Muftari! (forger, liar).’ Nay, but most of them know not.

Say (O Muhammad) Ruh‑ul‑Qudus [Jibreel (Gabriel)] has brought it (the Qur’aan) down from your Lord with truth, that it may make firm and strengthen (the Faith of) those who believe, and as a guidance and glad tidings to those who have submitted (to Allaah as Muslims).

And indeed We know that they (polytheists and pagans) say: ‘It is only a human being who teaches him (Muhammad).’ The tongue of the man they refer to is foreign, while this (the Qur’aan) is a clear Arabic tongue”
[al-Nahl 16:101-103]

– the One Who changes a verse in place of another is Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted.

The evidence that the Qur’aan is not created is the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):

“Surely, His is the creation and commandment”
[al-A’raaf 7:54]

So Allaah describes creation as one thing and commandment as another. The conjunction implies that the second thing mentioned is different, and the Qur’aan is part of the commandment because of the evidence of the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):

“And thus We have sent to you (O Muhammad) Rooh (a revelation, and a mercy) of Our Command. You knew not what is the Book, nor what is Faith? But We have made it (this Qur’aan) a light wherewith We guide whosoever of Our slaves We will”
[al-Shoora 42:52]

If the Qur’aan is part of the command or commandment, which is different from creation, therefore it is not created, because if it were created, this division of categories would not be correct. This is the evidence from the Qur’aan.

The rational evidence is that the Qur’aan is the word of Allaah, and words cannot exist in and of themselves so that they would have a distinct and separate identity.  If they did exist separately and distinct from Allaah, then we would say that they are created, but words are an attribute of the speaker. If they are an attribute of the speaker and they are spoken by Allaah, then they are not created, because the attributes of Allaah are not created.

[Sharh  al-‘Aqeedah al-Waasitah by Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 1/418-426-441]

We must believe this and be certain of it. We should not change the meanings of the verses of Allaah, for they clearly indicate that the Qur’aan is a revelation from Allaah.
Hence Imaam al-Tahhaawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The Qur’aan is the word of Allaah which came from Him in the form of speech, without any need for us to know how. He sent it down to His Messenger by Revelation, the believers believe that it is true and they are certain that it is indeed the word of Allaah and that it is not created like the words of human beings. Whoever hears it and claims that it is the words of human beings is a kaafir, who is condemned and warned of Hell, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

‘I will cast him into Hell fire’
[al-Muddaththir 74:26].

Since Allaah threatened with Hell the one who said, ‘This is nothing but the word of a human being’
[al-Muddaththir 74:26 – interpretation of the meaning], we know and are certain that it is the word of the Creator of mankind, and it does not resemble the speech of human beings.”

[Sharh al-‘Aqeedah al-Tahhaawiyyah, 179]

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid