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Al-‘Aqeedatu at-Tahaawiyyah – The Belief of the People of the Sunnah with Regards to the Quraan: Shaykh Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Azeez bin Maani

The Great Qur’aan is the speech of Allaah – its words and the meanings behind them. So it is not said that the Qur’aan is words, not the meanings, as the people of I’tizaal say. Nor that the meanings but not the words, as the astray Kulaabiyyah[1] affirm, and those who follow them in their misguidance from the people of rhetoric.


Ahlus Sunnah wa’l Jama’ah say and believe that the Qur’aan is Allaah’s speech, revealed and uncreated – its words and the meanings are the very Speech of Allaah. Jibra’eel heard it from Allaah; the prophet sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam heard it from Jibra’eel and the companions heard it from the prophet. It is what is written in the mus-hafs, memorised by the hearts and recited by tongues.


The haafith Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said (561-563):


And like this, the Qur’aan is His speech,        That which is heard literally in explanation

It is the speech of my lord – all not some,     Its words and meanings – neither are created

The revelation of the Lord of all that exists   The words and meanings with no deviation


Shaykh Muhammad Naasir ud-Deen al-Albaani: Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah related this statement of the author, may Allaah have mercy upon him, in Majmoo al-Fataawa (12/507), using it as an evidence.


The explainer Ibn Abil-‘Izz, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said, (p. 179, 4th edition), ‘And this, that at-Tahhaawi said, may Allaah have mercy upon him, is the truth that the evidences from the Book and Sunnah indicate, to those who deliberate over them, and the unadulterated fitrah [natural disposition] that has not been altered by doubts, reservations and false opinions.


The people are split into nine factions in this issue…’


And then he mentioned them, and from them: ‘The third: that it has one meaning that stands with the essence of Allaah – orders and prohibitions and relaying of news so if it is expressed in Arabic, it is Qur’aan, and if in Ibraaniyyah, it is the Torah. And this is the opinion of Ibn Kulaab and those who agree with him, such as al-Ash’ari and others.’

He then said, ‘The seventh: That His speech includes the meaning of standing up with His essence and is that which He created in other than Him. And this is the view of Abu Mansoor al-Maatoreedi.

The ninth: That He does not cease to be speaking if He Wills, when He Wills and how He Wills. He speaks with a voice that can be head and the kind of speech He speaks is old, even if the specific words are not old. And this is what is established on the a’imma of hadeeth and Sunnah[2].’


And his statement ‘Allaah’s speech, from Whom it originated as speech without asking how’ is a rebuttal of the Mu’tazilah and others, as the Mu’tazilah claim that the Qur’aan did not originate from Him, as has preceeded.


The explainer said (p.194-195), ‘At-Tahhaawi’s speech rebuts the opinion of those who say it is a single meaning that cannot be heard, as that which is heard, revealed, written and read is not the Speech of Allaah, but an expression of it, as Tahhaawi, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said ‘The Speech of Allaah, from Whom it originated.’


Others from the Salaf stated similarly, where they said, ‘From Him it originated and to Him it will return[3].’


They state ‘From Him it originated’ because the Jahmiyyah from the Mu’tazilah and other than them, used to say that He created speech in a place and the speech originated from that place. So the Salaf said ‘From Him it originated…’ i.e. He spoke it, so from Him it originated, not from some of the creation, as Allaah said, {The revelation of this Book (the Qur’an) is from Allah, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise} [Az-Zumar: 1]; {but the Word from Me took effect} [as-Sajdah: 13]; {Say (O Muhammad ) Ruh-ul-Qudus [Jibrael (Gabriel)] has brought it (the Qur’an) down from your Lord with truth} [an-Nahl: 102].


And the meaning of their saying ‘…and to He it will return’ is that it will be lifted from the chests and mus-hafs such that not a single aayah will remain within the chests, nor in the mus-hafs, as has been related in a number of aathaar[4].

The meaning of his statement ‘without any how’ is that the way in which He speaks is not known.

‘In true speech’, i.e. it is not metaphorical.

‘That He revealed to His messenger as revelation’, i.e. He revealed it to him upon the tongue of His messenger – the angel Jibraeel heard it from Allaah and the messenger Muhammad sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam heard it from the angel and recited it to the people.


Allaah said,     ﴿وَقُرۡءَانً۬ا فَرَقۡنَـٰهُ لِتَقۡرَأَهُ ۥ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ عَلَىٰ مُكۡثٍ۬ وَنَزَّلۡنَـٰهُ تَنزِيلاً۬                  

And (it is) a Qur’ân 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-Isra’: 106]


And He said,    ﴿نَزَلَ بِهِ ٱلرُّوحُ ٱلۡأَمِينُ عَلَىٰ قَلۡبِكَ لِتَكُونَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُنذِرِينَ بِلِسَانٍ عَرَبِىٍّ۬ مُّبِينٍ۬

Which the trustworthy Rûh [Jibril (Gabriel)] has brought down; (193) Upon your heart (O Muhammad SAW) that you may be (one) of the warners, (194) In the plain Arabic language. [Al-Shuara: 193-195]


And contained within this is the attribute of Allaah’s being in ascension.


[1] Ascribe to ‘Abdullah bin Sa’eed bin Kulaab, who died in 240AH, as in as-Siyar (11/174). And they are a faction that have deviate from the methodology of the Salaf. See Tham al-Kalaam (4/343) by al-Harwi and Majmoo al-fataawa (6/217-233 and 13/131-135).

[2] And the Imaam Abee Nasr as-Sijzee (d. 444AH) has a letter to the people of Zabeed refuting those who reject the letter and sound that has been published by Daar ar-Rai’ah in Riyaadh.

[3] And this has preceded as a statement of the Imaam ‘Amr bin Deenaar, may Allaah have mercy upon him. And more comprehensive than this is the statement of Imaam Ahmad, may Allah have emrcy upon him, ‘I met the people, scholars and fuqahaa in Mecca, Madinah, Koofah, Basrah, Shaam, Thughoor, Khurasaan and saw them upon the Sunnah and Jama’ah and asked the fuqahaa about this and they all said that the Qur’aan is Allaah’s uncreated speech, from Him it originated and to Him it will return.’ Reported by ad-Diyaa al-Maqdasi in Ikhtisaas al-Qur’aan (p.21).

[4] From them is that which has been established on Shaddaad bin Ma’qil, who said that Ibn Masood said, ‘Indeed, the first thing that you will lose from your religion is trust and the last thing you will lose is the salaah. A people will pray who have no religion and this Qur’aan that is among you will be lifted.’ Ma’qil said tat he asked, “O Abu Abdur Rahmaan how will that come to pass while Allaah has established it in our hearts and we have established it in our mus-hafs?” He replied, ‘It will be risen in one night, such that it will not remain in the chest of any, nor in any mus-haf’ then he recited {And if We willed We could surely take away that which We have revealed to you by inspiration (i.e. this Qur’an)} [al-Isra: 86]

Reported by ‘Abdur Razaaq (3/362); Ibn Abee Shayba (10/534); at-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer (9/153); al-Bukhaaree in Khalq af’aal al-Ebaad (367); al-Bayhaqi in as-Sunan al-Kubra (6/289). And its chain is Hasan.

And in Sunan ad-Daarimi (3607) on his authority with a Saheeh chain, ‘The Qur’aan wil surely be raised that night, such that an aayah will not remain in a mus-haf, nor in the heart of any.’


Translated by Aqeel Ahmed

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