The Qur’an is the word of Allah
Praise be to Allah. The Qur’an is the word of Allah, may He be exalted, and is not created
What is meant by that is that Allah, may He be exalted, spoke the words of the Qur’an, which Jibreel (peace be upon him) heard from Him, and brought down to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), and conveyed it to him.
All of the attributes of Allah, may He be exalted, are uncreated; they are eternal, with no beginning. The words of Allah are among these attributes, and that includes the Qur’an. Therefore the scholars said that the Qur’an is not created, because it is the words of Allah, and that is one of His attributes.
With regard to people’s actions, they are created. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“While Allah has created you and what you do [or make]” [as-Saaffaat 37:96].
وَٱللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ ٩٦
There are two issues that we must distinguish between:
The first is the words of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, that He spoke initially, and Jibreel (peace be upon him) heard them from Him, and the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) conveyed them to us. This is an attribute of Allah that is not created in its letters and words; the same applies to His voice with which Allah spoke initially, and Jibreel (peace be upon him) heard it from Him.
All of this comes under the heading of the words of Allah, nothing of which is created, no matter how it is written, recited or heard.
The second is the actions of the person, who is the vessel which carries the words of Allah, so he writes them in a book, reads them and hears them. All that comes from a person and that he does is created.
So the hand of the person is created, the ink with which he writes is created, the paper on which he writes is created, the person’s tongue is created, his voice that belongs to him is created. All of these are vessels in which people carry the word of Allah and transmit it and convey it.
More than one of the leading scholars have explained this issue and differentiated between these two matters. Foremost among them is the leader of hadith scholars, Imam Muhammad ibn Ismaa‘eel al-Bukhaari (may Allah have mercy on him). He wrote a book on this specific topic entitled Khalq Af‘aal al-‘Ibaad. Among other things he said in it (2/70):
Abu ‘Abdullah ibn Ismaa‘eel said: I heard ‘Ubaydullah ibn Sa‘eed say: I heard Yahya ibn Sa‘eed say: I always heard our companions say that people’s deeds are created.
Abu ‘Abdullah said: Their movements, voices, actions and writing are created. As for the Qur’an that is recited, recorded in the Mus-haf, written, and memorised in people’s hearts, it is the word of Allah and is not created. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Nay, but they, the clear Ayat (i.e the description and the qualities of Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) written like verses in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)) are preserved in the breasts of those who have been given knowledge (from the people of the Scriptures). But it is clear revelations in the hearts of those who have been given knowledge” [al-‘Ankaboot 29:49].
بَلْ هُوَ ءَايَـٰتٌۢ بَيِّنَـٰتٌۭ فِى صُدُورِ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُوا۟ ٱلْعِلْمَ ۚ وَمَا يَجْحَدُ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَآ إِلَّا ٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ
Ishaaq ibn Ibraaheem said: As for the vessels, who would doubt that they are created?
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
When we recite the Qur’an, we recite it with our voices that are created, that cannot resemble the voice of the Lord. The Qur’an that we recite is the word of Allah, conveyed from Him and not heard directly from Him. Rather we recite it with our voices. The words are the words of the Creator, but the voice is the sound of the reciter, as is indicated by the Qur’an and Sunnah, as well as common sense. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And if anyone of the Mushrikoon (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) seeks your protection then grant him protection, so that he may hear the Word of Allah (the Qur’an), and then escort him to where he can be secure” [at-Tawbah 9:6].
وَإِنْ أَحَدٌۭ مِّنَ ٱلْمُشْرِكِينَ ٱسْتَجَارَكَ فَأَجِرْهُ حَتَّىٰ يَسْمَعَ كَلَـٰمَ ٱللَّهِ ثُمَّ أَبْلِغْهُ مَأْمَنَهُۥ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌۭ لَّا يَعْلَمُونَ
And the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Make the Qur’an beautiful with your voices.”
End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (12/98). See also: Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (12/53)
The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas said:
What we are required to believe concerning the Qur’an, which is the view of Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah, as indicated by the Qur’an and Sunnah, is that the Qur’an is the word of Allah in a true sense. Its letters and meanings were sent down, not created. It came from Him and will return to Him. It is the word of Allah, may He be exalted, when it is recited and when it is written. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“(It is) in Records held (greatly) in honour (Al-Lawh Al-Mahfooz).
Exalted (in dignity), purified,” [‘Abasa 80:13, 14]
فِى صُحُفٍۢ مُّكَرَّمَةٍۢ ١٣
“A Messenger (Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) from Allah, reciting (the Quran) purified pages (purified from Al-Batil (falsehood, etc.)) Containing correct and straight laws from Allah” [al-Bayyinah 98:2-3].
رَسُولٌۭ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ يَتْلُوا۟ صُحُفًۭا مُّطَهَّرَةًۭ ٢
فِيهَا كُتُبٌۭ قَيِّمَةٌۭ ٣
The Qur’an that we read is the word of Allah, may He be exalted, but we recite it with our voices. So the words are the words of the Creator and the voice is the voice of the reciter.
End quote from Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah (3/21)
For more details on this issue, please see Mukhtasar as-Sawaa‘iq al-Mursalah by Ibn al-Qayyim (503-510)
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