In this article we are going to review the statement of Imaam al-Tahawi in corroborating the belief of the Salaf regarding the Qur'an. But before we do so, a quick review is necessary:
In Part 2 we established the statement of the Salaf (القرآن كلام الله منه بدأ وإليه يعود), "The Qur'an is the speech of Allaah, it commenced with Him (as speech) and to Him shall it return" and we explained the reason why this statement was made, at which point in history it was made and the intent behind it. History is crucial in exposing the deceptions of the contemporary Jahmites and the first important point of refutation that was made in Part 1 was the origin of the denial of Allaah speaking and acting through will and choice (ikhtiyaar), which comes from the star and idol-worshipping Greek Philosophers of 4th century BC, and how the Mu'tazilah carried this belief to the Kullaabiyyah and how the Kullaabiyyah formulated their doctrine of Kalaam Nafsee on the back of this corrupt belief which clashes with every revealed Book and every sent Messenger and the companionship of every Prophet. Another historical note is now going to be made, and this is:
What Exactly Were the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah Intending When They Said the Qur'an is Created?
So what we want to know from history is exactly what were the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah referring to when they said "the Qur'an" is created? And in turn, this forces a second question: For what did the Salaf make takfir of the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah in the second and third centuries before Ibn Kullaab came along? In other words, what was the battle centered around?
As we have already established, the doctrine of kalam nafsee only appeared after the early third century hijrah from Ibn Kullaab. Which means that it was impossible for the dispute between the Salaf of the second century and between the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah to be centred around the Kalaam Nafsee (meaning in the self of Allaah). So The answer to this is very simple, since history cannot be falsified or changed. The Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah were intending the Arabic Qur'an, the Qur'an that everybody knows, the Qur'an that is heard, written, memorized. It was the words of this Arabic Qur'an that the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah said were created. This is because the entire ummah, in fact every single nation on the face of the Earth, was agreed that speech (Kalaam) is both meaning and wording, and that is why it was not until the third century when Ibn Kullaab came along and innovated a third saying that the Imaams of the Sunnah raised the issue and began to refute it such as al-Imaam al-Bukhaaree (see here). Prior to this the matter was never contested, and the Salaf held that the Qur'an is the actual speech of Allaah in meaning and wording together, spoken by Allaah with a Voice that is unlike the voices of the creation, which was heard by Jibreel and conveyed to Muhammad (sallallaau alayhi wasallam). We shall discuss Foudah's doubts about Voice (Sawt) in a separate article. But the historical fact here is that the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah intended the Arabic Qur'an, since the whole ummah never knew except one Qur'an, the Arabic Qur'an. Thus when the Jahmiyyah said, "The Qur'an is created" they meant the Arabic Qur'an. And when the Salaf said "The Qur'an is not created" they meant the Arabic Qur'an. And thus, there were only two views, that of the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah and that of the Righteous Salaf. A third view was not innovated until well into the third century after hijrah by Ibn Kullaab that was then popularized by al-Ash'ari in the days he was a Kullaabi.
Now if Saeed Foudah claims other than this historical fact, that there was some other Qur'an (i.e. the kalam nafsee) that was the subject of dispute in the second century hijrah other than the Arabic Qur'an, then let him bring us his evidence. And this Jahmite fraudster can not and will not ever bring anything of the sort. This is because the view he himself is pushing (as we shall see), is the very view of the Mu'tazilah who are his predecessors in this belief of kufr, that this Arabic Qur'an was not spoken by Allaah with actual speech but it is merely a created entity amongst the entities that can be attributed to Allaah in the same way other created entities are ascribed to Allaah (Allaah's House, Allaah's Messenger, Allaah's She-camel). Save that Saeed Foudah is a con-man who uses very clever wording to make things sound and appear otherwise (as we shall see in a detailed treatment of his speech inshaa'Allaah).
So we now have numerous matters of historical record in front of us:
a) the Greek Philosophers denying the first cause acts through will and choice (ikhtiyaar), this was adopted by all the factions of Kalaam without exception and they refer to Allaah's speaking and acting through his will and choice as hawaadith (events) (see clarification) b) the kalam nafsee doctrine arose through Ibn Kullaab's inability to answer the doubt of the Mu'tazilah regarding hawaadith which itself is taken by the Mu'tazilah from the Greek Philosophers of negating ikhtiyaar (choice) from their first cause, and this is what carried through to the Ash'aris and Maturidis by way of the Kullaabiyyah, Mu'tazilah and Jahmiyyah c) the kalam nafsee doctrine is founded upon the alleged poetry of a Trinitarian Christian called al-Akhtal and it came to surface after the tribulation of the creation of the Qur'an after the early third century hijrah and it involves a distortion of the language of the Arabs, d) the dispute between the Mu'tazilah and the Salaf was regarding the Arabic Qur'an and nothing else.
So once note is made of these undisputed historical facts we come to the statement of Imaam al-Tahawi (rahimahullaah), and we repeat and emphasize again that history is crucial in exposing those attempting to validate false doctrines by relying upon the ignorance of the audience of the chronology in history.
Imaam al-Tahawi's Affirmation and Defence of the Creed of the Ash'aris Against the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Kullaabiyyah and Ash'ariyyah and Maturidiyyah
وإن القرآن كلام الله ، منه بدا (بدأ) بلا كيفية قولا ، وأنزله على رسوله وحيا ، وصدقه المؤمنون على ذلك حقا ، وأيقنوا أنه كلام الله تعالى بالحقيقة ، ليس بمخلوق ككلام البرية ، فمن سمعه فزعم أنه كلام البشر فقد كفر ، وقد ذمه الله وعابه ، وأوعده بسقر ، حيث قال تعالى : (سأصليه سقر) ، فلما أوعد الله بسقر لمن قال : (إن هذا إلا قول البشر) علمنا وأيقنا أنه قول خالق البشر ، ولا يشبه قول البشر... ولا نجادل في القرآن ، ونشهد أنه كلام رب العالمين ، نزل به الروح الأمين ، فعلمه سيد المرسلين ، محمدا صلى الله عليه وسلم ، وهو كلام الله تعالى لا يساويه شيء من كلام المخلوقين ، ولا نقول بخلقه
And that the (Arabic) Qurʾān is the speech (kalām) of Allāh. It emerged, commenced from Him - without kaifiyyah - as speech (qawlan). He sent it down to His Prophet as revelation (wahiy) and the believers accepted it as such in reality. And they had firm conviction that it was (indeed) the speech of Allāh, the Exalted in reality. It is not created like the speech of the created beings. So whoever heard it [the Arabic Qurʾān] and claimed it is the speech of man, has disbelieved. Allāh has rebuked him, censured him and promised him His punishment, when He said, "I will roast him in Hellfire" (74:26). Thus, when Allāh threatened the one who said, "This is but the speech (qawl) of man" (74:25), we come to know and have firm conviction that it is the speech (qawl) of the Creator of humanity, and it does not resemble the speech of man... And we do not dispute about the Qurʾān. We testify that it is the speech (kalām) of the Lord of the Worlds. The trustworthy spirit descended with it, and he taught it to the chief of the messengers, Muhammad (sallallāhu alayhi wasallam). It is the speech of Allāh, the Exalted, nothing from the speech of created beings compares to it. And we do not speak with [the doctrine] of the creation of the Qurʾān.
Notes on al-Tahawi's Creed on the Qur'an
There is such a refutation and annihilation of Saeed Foudah in these words, that one is amazed at how bold and brazen Jahmites like him are in fabricating lies against the Imaams of Ahl al-Sunnah in broad daylight and with no shame, imputing to them what they never said or intended. Saeed Foudah's deception can be clearly demonstrated by assuming his doctrine of uncreated kalam nafsee and created Kalaam lafdhee and then imposing that understanding upon al-Tahawi's speech and seeing if al-Tahawi's speech can bear such meanings. In contrast, we can also see whether al-Tahawi's speech is perfectly in line with the refutations of the Salaf against the Jahmiyyah, Mut'azilah and Kullaabiyyah. So let's start:
And that the (Arabic) Qurʾān is the speech (kalām) of Allāh.
Either al-Tahawi is speaking about the kalam nafsee (upon Foudah's) doctrine, or he is speaking of the created Qur'an (lafdhee) or he is speaking of the Arabic Qur'an which is the kalam of Allaah upon the definition of kalam known in the Arabic language and in fact in all nations that it is meaning and wording together. So there are only three options. So if he is speaking of the Kalaam Nafsee then the meaning of this sentence becomes "And that the Kalaam Nafsee is the Kalaam of Allaah" a redundant repetition, as this is simply saying, "The Kalaam of Allaah is the Kalaam of Allaah". Or if he is speaking of the kalaam lafdhee (Foudah's created Qur'an) then the meaning becomes, "And the [created] kalam lafdhee is the Kalaam of Allaah." So you can start to see the idiocy and lunacy right from the very first sentence in that Foudah's Mu'tazilee creed becomes exposed by the very first sentence of Imaam al-Tahawi! Foudah would never make a career criminal in academic fraud. The Mu'tazilah attributed the Qur'an as speech to Allaah, but only in the sense of created things attributed to Him, such as "Allaah's House", "Allaah's Messenger" and so on. As we proceed, you will realize the matter reduces down to total agreement between the Ash'aris and Mu'tazilah in reality, whilst playing with words to make it look otherwise. Though some of the Ash'aris are a bit more honest. Read the frank admissions here (ar-Razi), here (al-Juwaynee) and here ( al-Buti). If however, we carry this first sentence upon the way understood by the Salaf, then al-Tahawi's speech stands and makes sense and agrees perfectly with historical record, that the Arabic Qur'an that we hear, recite and read is the actual speech of Allaah in both meaning and wording together, and all of it is uncreated (in meaning and wording), however the mediums of conveyance are created (voice of the reciter, ink and paper in the mus-haf), this is because information (knowledge) is independent of the means of conveyance. The Qur'an is the knowledge of Allaah, He spoke this Qur'an, and its meanings and wordings are independent of how they are conveyed amongst the creation (voice of the reciter, ink and paper in the mus-haf), but in whatever way they are conveyed, they remain the uncreated speech of Allaah, the Exalted, since these words commenced from Him as His uncreated speech. His speech is uncreated because His essence is uncreated. And our speech is created because our essences are created. And Allaah is eternally one who speaks whenever He wills. This is the belief of the Salaf as is clear from thousands of their statements. This is the creed al-Tahawi is affirming.
It emerged, commenced from Him - without kaifiyyah - as speech (qawlan).
Pay attention here. The views amongst the Ash'aris are that the Qur'an was expressed by Jibreel, or by Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) or Allaah created it in the Preserved Tablet (hence the wording came directly from Allaah and is attribute to Him). Upon either of these three interpretations, al-Tahawi's statement would not make sense. Upon the view that it was expressed in wording first by Jibreel, then al-Tahawi's statement is invalidated as it would be clearly inaccurate and false. Upon the view that it was first expressed in wording by the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), al-Tahawi's statement is alsoo invalidated. Upon the view that Allaah created the wording in the Preserved Tablet and from there it was taken by Jibreel who dictated it to the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), then here the statement of al-Tahawi is invalidated too, since he should have said, "It emerged, commenced from Him - without kaifiyyah - as something written [in the Preserved Tablet]." However, al-Tahawi clearly stated "qawl" and he negated a "kaifiyyah" and this means that Allaah spoke it with actual speech whose reality is uknown to us (without kaifiyyah), only this interpretation and understanding can possibly be true. Whether, the word (بدأ) or (بدا) is used is irrelevant at this stage (we shall look into this in detail when we analyze Saeed Foudah's commentary in detail in a separate article). This is because al-Tahawi clearly stated (قولا), "as speech" and upon the doctrines of the Ash'aris, it only started and appeared as speech with Jibreel (and in written form from the Preserved Tablet). So it is not possible to reconcile this speech of al-Tahawi with the doctrine of the Ash'arites.
He sent it down to His Prophet as revelation (wahiy) and the believers accepted it as such in reality. And they had firm conviction that it was (indeed) the speech of Allāh, the Exalted in reality.
Either the uncreated Kalaam Nafsee is intended here, which is impossible from numerous angles, because the Ash'aris say at the same time that this is a singular indivisible meaning in the self of Allaah. So either the entire Kalaam Nafsee was sent down (all of Allaah's knowledge and speech) or a part of it that relates to the Qur'an was sent down, but the doctrine does not allow this, since the eternal meaning in the self of Allaah is not divisible to them. So clearly the Kalaam Nafsee cannot be intended here. Or the kalaam lafdhee is intended in which case the statement of al-Tahawi quoted above can actually bear this interpretation. So we will give that to Saeed Foudah. But only upon the doctrine of the Mu'tazilah! The Qur'an is a created entity ascribed to Allaah metaphorically Thus, upon Foudah's corrupt and futile doctrine it can be argued that al-Tahawi's statement reads that Allaah sent down the created manifestation of the meaning in His self which is in the Preserved Tablet, and that this created manifestation (kalaam lafdhee) is taken by the believers as the speech of Allaah from the angle that He determined and originated its wording in the Preserved Tablet. So from here it becomes clear that Saeed Foudah is simply upon the doctrine of the Mu'tazilah of ascribing a kalaam lafdhee to Allaah metaphorically speaking. The only difference is that the Mu'tazilah say the Qur'an was created "laa fee mahall" (in no space) and the Ash'aris say in the Preserved Tablet. Beyond this, what the Ash'aris say is "Kalaam Nafsee" the Mu'tazilah simply say is Allaah's wish (iraadah) and knowledge (ilm) which are both synonymous with His essence, indicating there is no real substantial difference between them. Read here (ar-Razi), here (al-Juwaynee) and here ( al-Buti). Al-Tahawi then said (وأيقنوا أنه كلام الله تعالى بالحقيقة), "And they had firm conviction that it was (indeed) the speech of Allāh, the Exalted in reality." This creates huge problems for the neo-Jahmites. Upon Foudah's doctrine, from the context, this can only be in relation to the created Kalaam lafdhee (the Arabic Qur'an), so if its "in reality" (bil-haqeeqah) the speech of Allaah, all we have here would be an emphatic form of the Mu'tazilee doctrine that the speech Allaah creates in others (as speech in humans or as writing in tablets) can be ascribed to Him metaphorically speaking (majaazan). But this appears as a clear contradiction. Al-Tahawi says it is Allaah's speech in reality and what he means is what the Salaf meant. Yet the Mu'tazilah and Ash'aris have to maintain it is Allaah's speech metaphorically (majaazan). So this is a contradiction. But this allows the Ash'aris in particular to say, "Yes it really is the speech of Allaan and it appeared from Him." That's what they will say whilst concealing their belief that they hold it to be created, that it is something Allaah created in the Preserved Tablet. So what we have in reality is the doctrine of the Mu'tazilah, clothed to appear otherwise. Some of them are frank and readily admit the conceptual agreement with the Mu'tazilah: Read here (ar-Razi), here (al-Juwaynee) and here ( al-Buti). But Foudah is a serial con-man who has not got the guts to admit all of this.
It is not created like the speech of the created beings.
It's getting hotter and hotter and harder to breathe for Jahmites like Saeed Foudah, as their fraud starts to dissolve in the intensity of the heat in the statement of al-Tahawi. Remember, al-Tahawi can only ever be speaking of either the kalam nafsee (uncreated) or kalam lafdhee (created) if we assume the doctrine of Jahmite Ash'aris to be correct. Now in this statement he simply cannot be speaking of the kalaam lafdhee as that is created according to Foudah and all intellectually defunct Jahmites. So he must be speaking here in this sentence of the Kalaam Nafsee. But this creates a problem in what follows next.
So whoever heard it [the Arabic Qurʾān] and claimed it is the speech of man, has disbelieved.
It is only possible to hear the Arabic Qur'an (created Kalaam lafdhee) according to the Jahmite Ash'ari doctrine, so this would show (if Foudah is correct) confusion and contradiction in al-Tahawi's speech if we assume he is propounding the same doctrine as Saeed Foudah claims he is. In that case, in one sentence al-Tahawi is speaking about the Kalaam Nafsee, then in the next sentence he quickly shifts to the kalaam lafdhee. This really is a revilement upon al-Tahawi. What al-Tahawi is speaking of here is the claim of Walid bin al-Mughirah al-Makhzumi that the Qur'an is the speech of Muhammad (and not the speech of Allaah), intending by this that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) made up this speech and claimed it was from Allaah and that Allaah never spoke this speech. However, Saeed Foudah tries to twist and distort this part of al-Tahawi's speech as we shall see later, when he claims that this means "whoever claimed it is letter and Voice, has disbelieved" and this is a fabrication upon al-Tahawi just as it is a fabrication against Allaah, the Sublime and Exalted, as it relates to these verses which were revealed in connection to Waleed bin al-Mughirah. More on this in a separate article. Al-Tahawi continues:
Allāh has rebuked him, censured him and promised him His punishment, when He said, "I will roast him in Hellfire" (74:26). Thus, when Allāh threatened the one who said, "This is but the speech (qawl) of man" (74:25), we come to know and have firm conviction that it is the speech (qawl) of the Creator of humanity, and it does not resemble the speech of man.
In other words, Walid bin al-Mughirah is promised with the Fire, and he was promised the Fire for stating the Qur'an is the speech (qawl) of Muhammad and not the speech (qawl) of Allaah, the Exalted, and this establishes that the Qur'an is the speech of Allaah. And it is not possible for Walid bin al-Mughirah to be referring to the kalam nafsee, rather it can only have been the kalam lafdhee (that he was hearing from the Messenger), and upon this it becomes clear the Saeed Foudah's doctrine and that of the As'haris as a whole is identical to that of the Mu'tazilah who said the speech Allaah creates can be ascribed to Him but not as an attribute of the self. This is exactly what Foudah and all Jahmite Ash'aris believe but try to conceal it with deceptive words. They would have to read the above section of al-Tahawi's creed as follows: That since Allaah promised the Fire for Walid bin al-Mughirah, it means that the created Qur'an (kalam lafdhee) cannot have originated with Muhammad but from Allaah, that Allaah is the one who created it (in the Preserved Tablet) and hence it is attributed to Him, not as an attribute (as that is only the Kalaam Nafsee) but in the same that we say "Allaah's House" and "Allaah's Messenger", exactly as the Mu'tazilah say. Read here (ar-Razi), here (al-Juwaynee) and here ( al-Buti). Remember, if we are speaking about a Qur'an that is heard, it can only be the (created) kalam lafdhee, and hence al-Tahawi's speech, "...we come to know and have firm conviction that it is the speech (qawl) of the Creator of humanity..." can only mean, upon Foudah's doctrine, "...the speech (qawl) created by the Creator of humanity..." as in what He created in the Preserved Tablet of speech consisting of letters and words. To ascribe all of this to al-Tahawi is a fabrication against al-Tahawi, a vicious slander against him and the attribution of the kufr of the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah to al-Tahawi. May Allah exonerate this Imaam from such slanders.
And we do not dispute about the Qurʾān. We testify that it is the speech (kalām) of the Lord of the Worlds. The trustworthy spirit descended with it, and he taught it to the chief of the messengers, Muhammad (sallallāhu alayhi wasallam). It is the speech of Allāh, the Exalted, nothing from the speech of created beings compares to it. And we do not speak with [the doctrine] of the creation of the Qurʾān.
It is impossible to maintain that all of this passage is in relation to the Kalaam Nafsee. Since it would mean that Jibreel (alayhis salaam) descended with this Kalaam Nafsee, and taught it to Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Since the Ash'arites maintain (in one of their views) that Jibreel took the Qur'an only from the Preserved Tablet, then it is impossible to maintain this passage is about the Kalaam Nafsee. Rather, it has to be the kalaam lafdhee which they maintain is created, and this poses a problem in light of the very last sentence in the paragraph above (which interestingly Saeed Foudah did not have any comment for). So upon this, it would be as if al-Tahawi is saying:
And we do not dispute about the (created) Qurʾān (kalam lafdhee). We testify that it is the (created) speech (kalām) of the Lord of the Worlds. The trustworthy spirit descended with it (from the Preserved Tablet in which it was created by Allaah), and he taught it to the chief of the messengers, Muhammad (sallallāhu alayhi wasallam). It (the created Kalaam lafdhee) is the speech of Allāh, the Exalted, nothing from the speech of created beings compares to it. And we do not speak with [the doctrine] of the creation of the (created) Qurʾān (the Kalaam lafdhee).
If you look at the last sentence, it is a blatant contradiction. And Saeed Foudah would never be able to read out that statement of al-Tahawi whilst keeping a straight face and without knowing in his soul that he is a liar in what he is professing, and without knowing in his soul that it is impossible to carry this paragraph upon the Kalaam Nafsee.
In this article we illustrated the impossibility of imposing the Jahmite Ash'ari doctrine of Kalaam Nafsee and kalaam lafdhee upon the speech of Imaam al-Tahawi. Not by any imaginitive gymnastic skill is it possible to maneuvre that doctrine of kufr into the speech of Imaam al-Tahawi. This now sets the stage for us to look in more detail at Saeed Foudah's commentary and in particular the six main points that can be derived from his commentary on al-Tahawi's statements regarding the Qur'an (they were listed in Part 1 of this series).