Refuting misconceptions concerning the eternity of Allah's Words

Q 4: In the Glorious Qur’an we read: Mûsâ (Moses) said: “Verily, I seek refuge in my Lord and your Lord We also read: And Fir‘aun (Pharaoh) said: “O Hâmân! Build me a tower We also read many other quotations throughout the Glorious Qur’an. How then can they be a part of the Qur’an, the ancient Words of Allah?


A: Words refer to both wording and meaning. They may also refer to only one of them based on textual evidence. However, one who quotes words directly, literally, and without changing the meaning is only a reporter. In such a case, words are ascribed to the one who spoke them. But if the reporter, while maintaining the meaning, quoted the words liberally, the wording is said to be his own while the meaning is said to belong to the one who spoke them. To the latter category belong the occurrences in the Qur’an narrating the history of past nations, such as the one in which Allah (Exalted be He) says: Mûsâ (Moses) said: "Verily I seek refuge in my Lord and your Lord from every arrogant who believes not in the Day of Reckoning!" (Part No. 4; Page No. 7) To the same category also belongs Allah’s Statement: And Fir‘aun (Pharaoh) said: "O Hâmân! Build me a tower that I may arrive at the ways - The aforementioned two Ayahs are called Qur’an and ascribed to Allah’s Words in terms of wording and phrasing, for being worded and phrased by Allah, not Musa (peace be upon him) or Pharaoh. They are in that sense Allah’s Words not those of Musa or Pharaoh. They are ascribed to Musa or Pharaoh as far as the meaning is concerned. They are a paraphrasing of their actual uttered words. In any case, both the wording and the meaning are eternally known by Allah Who ordered that they be recorded in Al-Lawh-ul-Mahfuzh (the Preserved Tablet). Later, Musa and Pharaoh uttered these words in their language the same as written in Al-Lawh-ul-Mahfuzh. Then Allah related their words in His Own wording and phrasing at the time of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and they were ascribed to them (i.e., Musa and Pharaoh who spoke them) respectively.As for describing the Words of Allah as "ancient," neither the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) nor the Imams of Salaf (righteous predecessors) were reported to have described Allah’s Words as ancient. In fact, Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama‘ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream) maintained during the time of the (Creation-of-Qur’an) Trial that the Qur’an is the uncreated Word of Allah while their opponents described it as created. Thus, describing Allah’s Words as "ancient" is a novel term. If we were to assume that, we would say that Allah’s Words are ancient as to type and new as to events. Actually, Allah (Exalted be He) still speaks and will continue to speak as He wills. On the Day of Resurrection, He will address believers and disbelievers as He wills, as authentically reported in the Two Sahih (authentic) Books of Hadith (i.e. Al-Bukhari and Muslim) on the authority of `Ady ibn Hatim (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: (Part No. 4; Page No. 8)  There will be none among you but his Lord will speak to him, and there will be no interpreter between him and Allah. There are also many other Hadith to the same effect.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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