Ash'aris believe: The Quran is created
believe that Allah's Speech subsists in His Essence and is without sound or letters, and therefore, Allah could not have said
The Mu'tazilas believed that the Quran is Allah's Speech; and Allah's Speech is created.
Ash'aris believed that the Quran is not Allah's Speech, so while Allah's Speech is uncreated, the Quran remains created.
the Ash'ari, in his al-Irshad, admits that the Ash'aris and the Mu'tazila agree that the Quran is created:
difference with the Mu'tazila is only semantical (ikhtilaf fil-'ibara wal-tasmiya), whereas they are in agreement with the
Ash'aris in meaning and essence. For the meaning of what the Mu'tazilas say is: These expressions (in the Quran) are Allah's
creation, and we do not deny that they are Allah's creation. We do, however, refuse to refer to the creator of this Kalaam
(i.e. the Quran), as the one to speak it. So we have agreed in essence, while disagreed, after our agreement, on naming
Him (as mutakallim with this Quran)"
al-Taftazani says in his Sharh of al-Nasafi's creed:
"He said: 'al-Quran
is Allah's Speech and not created'. Note that he followed the word 'Quran' with 'Kalam Allah', due to what the scholars say:
The Quran is Kalam Allah, and not created. It is not said: 'al-Quran is not created', lest it comes to mind that that which
is composed of sounds and letters is eternal, as the Hanbalis believe out of ignorance and obstinacy!"
says in refutation of the Mu'tazila:
"As for their argument that the Quran is described with the qualities of the creation
and the characteristics of Huduth (contingent) from composition, arrangement, descent, and that fact that it is in Arabic,
audible, eloquent and a miracle, until the end of their argument. This is only an argument against the Hanbalis, and not
against us. Because we believe that the arrangement (in the Quran) is emergent/created. The discussion is restricted to the
al-Bayjuri the Ash'ari theologian says in his Sharh Jawharat al-Tawheed:
"it is still only
permitted to say “The Qur’an is emergent (or created)” in a classroom setting"
Ibn al-Jawzi says
in al-Muntadham of al-Ash'ari:
"The people never differed that this audible Qur’an is Allah’s Speech, and that
Gabriel descended with it upon the Prophet – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. The reliable imams declared
that the Quran is eternal, while the Mu’tazila claimed that it is created. Al-Ash’ari then agreed with the
Mu’tazila that the Quran is created and said: ‘This is not Allah’s Speech. Rather, Allah’s Speech
is an Attribute subsisting in Allah’s Essence. It did not descend on the Prophet, nor is it audible.’ "
al-Jawzi would often say on the pulpit:
"The heretics (the Ash'aris) claim; i) there is none in the Heavens, ii) neither
is there Qur’an in the Mushaf, and iii) nor is there a Prophet in the grave; ‘your three shameful facets’"
Ibn al-Jawzi writes, while complaining about certain Ash’arites indoctrinating the masses with the
Ash’arite dogma: “A group of Persian (a’ajim) heretics arrived in Baghdad and mounted the pulpits to sermon
the masses. They would claim, in most of their gatherings: There is no ‘Speech of Allah’ on this earth, and
is the mushaf anything but paper, galls and vitriol? Allah is not in the Heavens, and the slave-girl to whom the Prophet
said: ‘Where is Allah?’ was dumb and therefore pointed towards the sky, meaning: He is not from the idols worshipped
on this earth.
They then said: ‘Where are the ‘letterists’, who claim that the Quran is composed
of letters and sound? Rather, the Quran is only an expression of Jibril!’ They continued in this vein, until the sacredness
of the Quran diminished from the hearts of many.”
He then mentions at length, the arguments for the orthodox
approach towards the Quran, and commends Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal for his rigid stance on the issue, which united the Muslims
on one belief: the Quran, which is contained in the Mushaf, is the uncreated Speech of Allah. He then denigrates al-Ash’ari,
saying: “Then, people did not differ in this issue, until there appeared ‘Ali b. Isma’il al-Ash’ari,
who at first, held the beliefs of the Mu’tazilites. It then occurred to him, as he claimed, that Allah’s Speech
subsists in the Divine Essence (sifah qa’imah bil-that). His claim, therefore, necessitated that the Quran we have is
Ibn Qudama says in his refutation of the Ash'aris on the topic of Quran:
* "There is no
dispute amongst all the Muslims that anyone who rejects a verse from the Quran, or a word, which is agreed upon, or even a
letter which is agreed upon, is a Kafir... Whereas al-Ash'ari rejects the entire Quran and says: none of that is the Quran,
rather it is the speech of Jibril"
* He says: "What is amazing is that they are not bold enough to manifest their
belief in public, nor do they explicitly state it except when they are alone. Even if they were the rulers, or governors of
countries, and you were to attribute this belief to them, they would detest it and condemn it, and become obstinate. They
would only pretend to honour the Quran respect the Mushaf, and stand up upon seeing it, whereas when they are alone they
say: There is nothing in it but paper and ink, what else is there in it? And this is from the actions of Zanadiqah”
One of them said to Ibn Qudamah: I affirm that this Mushaf is actually the Quran, but it is not the eternal Quran, to which
Ibn Qudamah replied: ‘So, do we have two Qurans?! … Some of our [Hanbali] companions said: ‘You (the
Ash’aris) are the rulers and the governors over Islamic countries, so what prevents you from making your belief manifest
to the common folk?
* He said: ‘We do not know of a sect from the heretics who hide their beliefs, and who
are not bold enough to manifest them, except the Zanadiqah and the Ash’aris.’
* He said: ‘His
belief (i.e. al-Ash’ari’s) is similar to that of the Mu’tazilah without doubt, except that al-Ash’ari
wants to deceive. So he states his belief which appears to be agreeing with the beliefs of the people of truth. He then gives
an explanation to his belief with a Mu’tazili twist.
* He says: ‘The reality of the Ash’ari doctrine
is that there is no God in the heavens, nor is there a Quran on this earth, and nor is Muhammad a messenger of God’.
He says: ‘What is amazing is that their leader (i.e. Abul-Hasan al-Ash’ari) who established their beliefs was
a man not known for his religion or piety, nor was he known for any of the Sacred sciences. In fact, he belongs to no science
except the science of blameworthy Kalam. All the while they acknowledge that he spent 40 years adhering to Mu’tazili
doctrine, and then pretended to have retracted from it, however, nothing could be seen from him after his repentance except
al-Saffarini al-Hanbali says in his Sharh of his own Athari creed:
the Mu’tazilites are in agreement with the Ash’arites, while the Ash’arites are in agreement with the Mu’tazilites,
that this Quran contained within the two covers of the Mushaf is created and anew. The only difference between the two
factions is that the Mu’tazila did not affirm any other Speech for Allah except this (the Quran, which they thought
was created), whereas the Ash’arites affirmed al-Kalam al-Nafsi (self-speech/talking to oneself/inner-speech) subsisting
in Allah’s essence. Whereas the Mu’tazilites say, the Speech of Allah is created (and not subsisting in Allah).
The Ash’aris do not consider it (the Quran) the Speech of Allah. Yes, they call it ‘the Speech of Allah’,
but only metaphorically, and that is the belief of the majority of their predecessors."
And it is
to this extent that Haafidh Ibn Asaakir would grant the salams to Ibn Qudamah. Ibn Qudamah would not reply back. When he was
reproached by some as to why he did not respond back with the salams his reply was
“he believes in kalaam nafsi (kalam nafsi i.e. that Allah is eternally speaking within
Himself and that He does not speak at any given moment in time or basically He is eternally speaking within Himself) So therefore I too respond back with the salams in silence (within my heart).”
silence an Ash'ari
Just ask him: Who said: