The Qur’an is Allah’s word. He says: ‘If any of the idolaters seeks asylum with you, grant him protection so that he may hear the word of Allah and then convey him to his place of safety. That is because the idolaters are people who lack knowledge’.
This means that the Qur’an, its letters, words and meanings, is Allah’s word. It is unlike the speech of creatures and is bestowed from on high, not created. Allah initially narrates it and inspires Gabriel, the Holy Spirit, with it who then imparts it to Muhammad’s heart.
The Prophet received it in parts and recited it to people. As Allah says: ‘We have divided the Qur’an into parts so that you may recite it to people with deliberation. We have indeed bestowed it from on high, step by step’.
When people recite the Qur’an, write it down in books, or memorise it, it retains its status as truly being Allah’s word. In truth, words are attributed to the one who says them first, not to the one who quotes them. Recitation is different from what is being recited, and writing is different from what is written, just as memorisation is different from what is memorised. The same applies to all deeds. The deed is that of the reciter, writer or memoriser, but the words are Allah’s own.
He says: Say: ‘The Holy Spirit has brought it down from your Lord in truth, so as to strengthen the believers, and to provide guidance and good news to those who surrender themselves to Allah’. We know fully well that they say: ‘It is but a man that teaches him [all] this’. But the man to whom they so maliciously allude speaks a foreign tongue, while this is Arabic speech, pure and clear.
b. Al-Kullabiyyah, al-Ash[aris and al-Maturidis.
These confirm that Allah’s word refers to the meaning which has always existed with Allah. As for the letters and sounds, these are created to express or emulate that meaning, which is not renewed and is independent of Allah’s will. Thus, they limit the ‘word’ to the meaning, but not the letters and sounds. They consider what Adam and Eve heard in heaven and what Moses heard when he was by the Tree creatures, not the actual words of Allah.
To refute their argument we say that speech always refers to both aspects together. What a person tells himself is not called speech in the real sense of the word. Besides, what they say is in conflict with the Qur’an, the Sunnah and the unanimity of scholars.