Fiqh al-Akbar Commentary (al-Maghnisawi)

3. Sharh Fiqh al-Akbar_The Speech of Allah

The Speech of Allah

_Sharh Fiqh al-Akbar

Section: Fiqh al-Akbar: “wa ’l-qur’an kalam Allah … ghayr makhluq.”

Notes:

  • The Qur’an[1] is the speech of Allah.[2]
  • The Qur’an is written (maktub) in texts.
  • The Qur’an is memorised (mahfuz) in the hearts.
  • The Qur’an is recited (maqru’) by the tongue.
  • The Qur’an is revealed (munazzal) upon the Prophet.
  • The uttering of the Qur’an by the believer is created (makhluq).
  • The recitation of the Qur’an is created
  • The writing of the Qur’an is created.[3]
  • The speech of Allah exists in His own essence (qa’im bi-dhatihi).
  • The speech of Allah cannot be created because Allah’s essence cannot partake of divisible, particular or finite and created things.
  • The speech of Allah can be established by tawatur transmission and ijma` (consensus).[4]

Interface between Divine pre-eternal speech and human auditory and sensory mechanisms.

Pre-eternal archetype of Allah’s Speech is…>>  
Reflected in words, sounds, letters or letters, etc and is…>>>  
Mediated through Angels which means…>>>  
Men and woman can understand and hear it.[5]  
  • Whatever Allah mentioned of Moses, Pharaoh, Jesus, etc. are from His pre-eternal speech.
  • Allah spoke to Musa directly.[6]
  • Allah can speak to Musa or anyone else without mediation.
  • Human beings hear this speech through mediating tools (e.g. utterances, sounds, etc) in order to comprehend them.
  • Allah was the Speaker before Musa was even created and the dialogue happened between them.[7]

 **

  • Allah did not speak with originated speech.
  • Allah did not have knowledge of what Moses, Pharaoh, Jesus, etc. spoke when he/they spoke it but before they even spoke it.
  • What the pre-eternal speech signifies is inscribed on the Lawh al-Mahfuz prior to creation of the heavens and the earth without originated speech and without knowledge originating only after hearing it from them.[8]
  • The Tawrah, Injil, Zabur, etc are also the pre-eternal speech of Allah.[9]
  • These books contain the articulation of the pre-eternal speech of Allah for the language of the people at that time.[10]

 **

  • All of Allah’s attributes whether active or essential were His before creation.
  • Allah’s knowledge is not illusory (wahm), necessary (darurui), acquired (kasbi), conceived (tasawwuri) or asserted (tasdiqi).
  • Hence Allah is All-Powerful unlike we are; He sees unlike We do; speaks unlike we do; hears unlike we do, etc.[11]

 

 

 


[1] Here the term means the eternal speech of Allah which is one of His attributes and does not refer to the actual composition (nazm) which is the mushaf as we have it. See al-Maghnisawi, Sharh Fiqh al-Akbar, p.90.

[2] See also Abu Hanifah’s Kitab al-Wasiyyah, art. 9 and Fiqh al-Akbar II, art. 3, 26 as in Wesinck’s The Muslim Creed, pp.149-151 and 207 and 239 respectively.

[3] The writing, reciting and uttering of the Qur’an are created because they are human actions and human actions are ultimately created by Allah by the creative act of Allah but the Qur’an = the eternal Speech (kalam) of Allah and hence cannot be created. See -Maghnisawi, Sharh Fiqh al-Akbar, pp.90-91.

[4] See `Ali al-Qari, Minah al-Rawd al-Azhar, pp.95-96.

[5] See `Ali al-Qari, Minah al-Rawd al-Azhar, p.94.

[6] As mentioned in Q. 4:164.

[7] See al-Maghnisawi, Sharh Fiqh al-Akbar, p.95.

[8] See al-Maghnisawi, Sharh Fiqh al-Akbar, p.93.

[9] Based on Q. 2:75 & 9:6.

[10] See `Ali al-Qari, Minah al-Rawd al-Azhar, pp.99-100.

[11] See al-Maghnisawi, Sharh Fiqh al-Akbar, pp.95-96 and Ali al-Qari, Minah al-Rawd al-Azhar, p.112.

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