I believe that the Qur’aan is the word of Allaah and is not created, but how can we reconcile between this and the hadeeth which says that Soorat al-Baqarah and Aal ‘Imraan will come on the Day of Resurrection like two clouds pleading on behalf of their companions. This definitely rules out the idea that these two clouds are part of the Essence of Allaah. Similarly there are other ahaadeeth about Soorat Tabaarak in the grave, and other soorahs of the Qur'aan which will appear in created form and defend a person in the Hereafter?.
The Muslim believes that the Holy Qur'aan is the Word of Allaah, which He spoke in a manner that befits His Majesty and might, may He be glorified.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And if anyone of the Mushrikoon (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah) seeks your protection then grant him protection so that he may hear the Word of Allaah (the Qur’aan) and then escort him to where he can be secure, that is because they are men who know not”
Imam al-Aajurri said in al-Sharee’ah (1/84):
You should realize, may Allaah have mercy on us and you, that the belief of the Muslims whose hearts are not devoid of the truth and who have been guided aright, is that the Qur'aan is the word of Allaah, and is not created, because the Qur’aan is part of the knowledge of Allaah, and the knowledge of Allaah cannot be created; exalted be Allaah far above that. This is indicated by the Qur’aan, the Sunnah, the words of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) and the words of the imams of the Muslims (may Allaah have mercy on them). No one denies this but an evil Jahami, and the Jahamis are kaafirs according to the scholars.
Allaah said to His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): ‘O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allaah — to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). It is He Who gives life and causes death. So believe in Allaah and His Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), the Prophet who can neither read nor write (i.e. Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), who believes in Allaah and His Words [(this Qur’aan), the Tawraat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) and also Allaah’s Word: “Be!” — and he was, i.e. ‘Eesa (Jesus) son of Maryam (Mary), عليهما السلام], and follow him so that you may be guided’”
This refers to the Qur’aan.
And Allaah said to Moosa (peace be upon him) (interpretation of the meaning):
“O Moosa (Moses) I have chosen you above men by My Messages, and by My speaking (to you). So hold that which I have given you and be of the grateful”
There are many similar verses in the Qur’aan. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Then whoever disputes with you concerning him [‘Eesa (Jesus)] after (all this) knowledge that has come to you [i.e. ‘Eesa (Jesus) being a slave of Allaah, and having no share in Divinity]”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:61]
and He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, if you follow their desires after that which you have received of knowledge (from Allaah), then indeed you will be one of the Zaalimoon (polytheists, wrongdoers)”
Allaah is All-Knowing, All-Hearing, All-Seeing and He speaks and all of His attributes are eternal and existed before He created anything. The one who says anything other than that is a kaafir.
We will quote some Sunnahs, reports and scholarly opinions which will prove this point; rather when the one who has knowledge and reason hears them, they will increase him in knowledge and understanding, and when the one in whose heart is deviation hears them, if Allaah wants to guide him to the path of truth, he will change his mind, but if he does not change his mind, the calamity will be greater for him. End quote.
Whoever would like to know more may refer to the mutawaatir evidence mentioned by al-Aajurri which shows that the Qur'aan is the word of Allaah and is not created.
The idea that the Qur’aan is created is not derived from the Qur’aan and Sunnah, rather it is based on rational evidence that led them to deny some of the attributes of Allaah, may He be exalted. That was when they said that the attributes can only exist in created beings, and they reached this idea through a series of misconceptions that they called “evidence that this world is not eternal”. Then after that they looked in the Holy Qur'aan and distorted all the evidence that goes against this concept that they came up with, and they compiled every specious argument that could be indicated. Among the specious arguments they cling to is that which was mentioned by the questioner, which is mentioned in saheeh ahad reports – even though with regard to ‘aqeedah they do not quote anything but mutawaatir reports as evidence – that the Qur’aan will come on the Day of Resurrection in a specific form to intercede for its companions. They said that this indicates that it is a created being, as nothing can be described as coming and going except something that is created.
It was narrated that Abu Umaamah al-Baahili (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Read the Qur’aan, for it will come on the Day of Resurrection interceding for its companions. Read the two bright ones, al-Baqarah and Soorat Aal ‘Imraan, for they will come on the Day of Resurrection like two clouds or shadows, or like two flocks of birds in ranks, pleading on behalf of their companions” Narrated by Muslim (804).
Clouds and shadows refer to things that shade a man from above his head, and two flocks of birds in ranks refers to birds that spread their wings in the air. Sharh Muslim by al-Nawawi (6/90).
And it was narrated from Buraydah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Qur’aan will come on the Day of Resurrection, like a pale man, and will say: I am the one that kept you awake at night and made you thirsty during the day” Narrated by Ibn Majaah (3781); classed as saheeh by al-Busayri in al-Zawaa’id and by Ibn Hajar in al-Mataalib al-‘Aaliyah (4/66). Al-Albaani said in Da’eef Ibn Majaah: It is da’eef but may be classed as hasan. It was classed as hasan because of the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (2829).
This is an ancient argument that was answered by Imam Ahmad and other imams of Sunnah.
Ibn Qutaybah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Ta’weel Mukhtalaf al-Hadeeth (258):
What was meant by the words “al-Baqarah and al ‘Imraan will come like two clouds” is that their reward will come to the one who read them and will shade him on the Day of Resurrection, and the reward will come to a man in his grave, and it will come to a man on the Day of Resurrection and argue in his defence. … End quote.
See: al-Radd ‘ala al-Zanaadiqah wa’l-Jahamiyyah, by Imam Ahmad (42-43).
Ibn Battah said in al-Ibaanah al-Kubra (5/476):
The Jahamis resorted to distorting the meaning of some ahaadeeth. So as to deceive those who have no knowledge of hadeeth. What was meant in the ahaadeeth when it said that “the Qur’aan will come, and al-Baqarah will come, and prayer will come, and fasting will come” is that the reward for all that will come, and all of this is explained in the Qur'aan and Sunnah.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant) shall see it.
8. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant) shall see it”
The apparent meaning of these words is that he will see both good and evil, but he will not see good and evil, rather he will see the recompense for them, namely both reward and punishment.
Similarly, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“On the Day when every person will be confronted with all the good he has done, and all the evil he has done, he will wish that there were a great distance between him and his evil. And Allaah warns you against Himself (His punishment) and Allaah is full of kindness to (His) slaves”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:30].
This does not mean that these deeds that you did will come in that form, in the form of evil, rather you will see the recompense for all of that in the form of reward and punishment.
So it may be said that the Qur’aan will come, and that prayer will come, and that zakaah will come, and that patience will come, and that gratitude will come, but what will come will be the reward for all of that. End quote.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah sad in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (8/408):
When the Jahamis argued with Imam Ahmad and others of Ahl al-Sunnah saying that the Qur'aan was created, on the basis of the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Al-Baqarah and Aal ‘Imraan will come like two clouds or shadows, or like two flocks of birds in ranks” or “The Qur’aan will come like a pale man” and so on.
They said: The one that comes and goes can only be something created.
Imam Ahmad responded to them by saying that Allaah, may He be exalted, has described Himself as coming and going, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Do they then wait for anything other than that the angels should come to them, or that your Lord (Allaah) should come, or that some of the Signs of your Lord should come”
“And your Lord comes with the angels in rows”
Yet despite that, this cannot be taken as evidence that He is created, according to consensus, rather one may say His command or decree has come. Similarly the Mu’tazilah who say that the Qur'aan was created, interpret this verse as meaning that His command or decree has come. So why can’t it be said that the coming of the Qur'aan refers to the coming of its reward, and that what is meant by “al-Baqarah and Aal ‘Imraan will come” is the coming of their reward, and their reward is created? This was stated by more than one scholar, and they explained that what was meant by the coming of al-Baqarah and Aal ‘Imraan was their reward, to answer the Jahamis who claimed that the coming and going of the Qur'aan meant that it was created. End quote.
In Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (5/398) it says:
Ahmad and other imams of Sunnah interpreted this hadeeth as meaning that the reward of al-Baqarah and Aal ‘Imraan will come, as something similar was said about the coming of one's deeds in the grave and on the Day of Resurrection – what is meant is the reward for one's deeds. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Read al-Baqarah and Soorat Aal ‘Imraan, for they will come on the Day of Resurrection like two clouds or shadows, or like two flocks of birds in ranks, pleading on behalf of their companions.”
This hadeeth is in al-Saheeh. Because it enjoins reading them and states that they will come pleading on behalf of the reader, it is known that what is meant by that is the reader’s recitation of them, which is his deed, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us that his deed, which is his recitation of them, will come in the form that he mentioned, just as he told us that other deeds will also come. End quote.
From the above it is clear that it is not valid to quote these ahaadeeth as evidence that the Qur’aan is created, because what is referred to in them is the reward for reading the Qur'aan, just as what is meant in the verse “So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant) shall see it” [al-Zalzalah 99:7] is that he will see the reward for good.