Creation of the Koran
The Composition of the Koran ( Arabic خلق القرآن Chalq al-Qur'ān , DMG ḫalq al-qurʾān ) is atheological doctrine relatedto the Koran in the field of Islam , which is based on the two scholars al-Jaʿd ibn Dirham (d. 724) and Jahm ibn Safwān (d. 746) goes back and says that the Quran was created by God. With this doctrine, the two scholars opposed the position taken by other Muslim scholars, according to which the Koran, as God's speech , is pre-existent, i.e. has already existed from all eternity. During the ninth century, the doctrine of the constitution of the Koran in the Abbasid state was temporarily elevated to state doctrine, while those who opposed itwere persecutedunder the mihna . Later this doctrine found its way into the dogmatics of the Islamic currents of the Muʿtazilites and Ibadites .
In Sunni Islam with its Hanbali character, the doctrine of the composition of the Koran is rejected as heretical. The theologian Ibn Kullāb developed a compromise position with regard to the Chalq al-Qur'ān by distinguishing between the content ( maʿnā ) and the expression ( ʿibāra ) of the Qur'an and advocating the doctrine that only the content is uncreated, the form of expression is created. This position was later taken over by the Ashʿarites . In the present, the controversy over the composition of the Koran has lost much of its importance. The followers of the doctrine of Chalq al-Qur'ān are referred to in the Islamic heresiography according to Jahm ibn Safwān as Jahmites (nahmīya) .
Background: the doctrine of the preexistence of the Koran
In the first decades after the death of Muhammad, a supernatural being and preexistence was ascribed to the Koran. There are some passages in the Koran itself from which such a pre-existence can be derived. So in sura 85 : 22 there is talk of a well-kept tablet (lauḥ maḥfūẓ) on which the Koran should be located, and in sura 97 : 1 it is stated that God sent the Koran down in the Lailat al-Qadr . From the companion of the Prophet ʿAbdallāh ibn ʿAbbās it is narrated that from the description of the Koran in sura 38 : 29 as a "reading in Arabic, there is nothing crooked " (qurʾānan ʿarabīyan ġaira ḏī ʿiūairǧ) , he concluded that he was not creating must be.
The Kufic scholar Sufyān ath-Thaurī (st. 778) is said to have started his ʿAqīda with the belief: “The Koran is God's speech, uncreated, it began from it and it returns to it.” The view that the The Koran, as God's speech in the beginning, was evidently well received by the general public. The Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mun wrote in a letter to his governor of Baghdad shortly before his death in 833: “The multitude and large majority of the subjects and the inferior people who do not think and consider, and not the arguments and using the guidance that God provides, and not being enlightened by the light of science, […] put God and the Koran, which he revealed, on the same level. They all agree that it is initially eternal (qadīm) , exists from the first moment and that God did not create, produce or create it. ”Al-Ma'mūn suggested that this idea of the preexistence of the Qur'an was used by Christian Teachings about the pre-existence of Christ .
In Shiite circles the doctrinal formula was developed that the Koran was neither created nor creator, but, as divine speech, a characteristic of God. This position is said to have been taken in particular by the sixth Shiite Imam Jafar as-Sādiq (st. 765). HA Wolfson suspects that with the addition that the Koran is also not a creator, one tried to distance oneself from Christian positions, according to which the pre-existence of Christ includes that Christ is also the creator of the world.
Jad ibn Dirham and Jahm ibn Safwān
Resistance to this doctrine of the preexistence of the Koran first formed in the last decades of Umaiyad rule. During this time, Jad ibn Dirham and Jahm ibn Safwān are said to have championed the teaching that the Koran was created by God (maḫlūq) . Jad, who was a teacher of the later caliph Marwān ibn Muhammad and was executed by Chālid al-Qasrī in 742/43 , is also narrated that he held the view that God could not have spoken to Moses, as is stated in the Koran . Tilman Nagel suspects that with this denial of a communicative contact between God and man, Jad aimed to preserve the transcendence of God.
Jahm, who was possibly a student of Jad and later served as secretary to the Murji'ten Harith ibn Suraij in Transoxania , also had a very abstract image of God that he had developed in conflict with the Sumanīya, a probably Buddhist sect. He said that there could be nothing besides God that was eternal like him at the beginning. He also referred to heaven and hell as well as the original text of the Koran, the so-called Umm al-Kitāb, which, in his opinion, all had to be created in time. One of the reasons for Jahm's insistence that the Quran must be created was his strict rejection of anthropomorphism . According to Ahmad ibn Hanbals' report , he took the view that God never spoke and did not speak either. Unlike his creatures, God has no physical body, which is why he can only create speech that can be perceived by humans.
A legendary account in Ibn al-Athīr's world chronicle gives the doctrine of the creation of the Koran a longer chain of tradition. According to this, Jahm ibn Safwān is said to have adopted this teaching from Ja ibd ibn Dirham, who in turn took over from the Shiite heretic Bayān ibn Samʿān, Bayān of Tālūt, the nephew and son-in-law of the Jew Labīd ibn al-Aʿsam, who is reported to have tried to to bewitch the prophet Muhammad with a spell. Labīd ibn al-Aʿsam for his part represented the doctrine of the creation of the Torah . Then Tālut wrote a book about it for the first time. The main purpose of this legend is certainly to discredit the proponents of the doctrine of the Qur'an's creation, but it cannot be ruled out that this teaching is of Jewish origin, because the Babylonian Talmud and the Midrashim do indeed contain statements about the creation of the Find Torah.
Early adherents and opponents of the Chalq al-Qur'an
Jahm was able to win some followers with his doctrine of the composition of the Koran, especially among the Hanafis and Murji'ites . They are referred to in the sources as Jahmites (Ǧahmīya) . He was probably also able to convince Abū Hanīfa himself. Al-Khatib al-Baghdādī (d. 1071), reported that Khalid al-Qasrī him to because of his commitment to the Khalq al-Quran Tauba had asked and got it so well ibn tensions between Abu Hanifa and his student Hammad Abi Sulaiman be. The Syrian traditionist Abū Zurʿa ad-Dimashqī (d. 894) even expressed the opinion that Abū Hanīfa was the first to publicly advocate the doctrine of the composition of the Koran.
A particularly ardent follower of Chalq al-qur'ān was the Murdschi'it and Hanafit Bishr al-Marīsī (d. 833). To justify this teaching he relied in particular on the two words of the Koran in Sura 43: 2–3 “With the clear script! We have an Arabic Koran made . Perhaps you would be sensible "and. Sura 42 : 52" We have him, however, to a light (sc the Koran.) Made with which we guide whom our servants, we want to "expand the use of the word" we. ... made ”he concluded that God must have created the Koran.
Many Muʿtazilites also adopted the doctrine of the composition of the Koran, such as Abū Bakr al-Asamm (st. 817) and Abū Mūsā al-Murdār (st. 840), who both wrote separate writings on the question. Al-Murdār promised hellfire to those who believed in the iniquity of the Quran.
The Jahmites, i.e. the followers of the Chalq al-Qur'ān, also had many opponents. Sufyān ath-Thaurī, an avowed opponent of the Murji'a, regarded anyone who claimed that the Qur'an was created as an unbeliever . In the Iraqi city of Wāsit the traditionarian Yazīd ibn Hārūn (d. 821) railed against this teaching and cursed Jahm ibn Safwān. He also declared Bishop al-Marīsī and Abū Bakr al-Asamm to be unbelievers whose blood is allowed to be shed because of their commitment to this doctrine.
Other scholars deliberately stayed out of the conflict over the creation of the Quran. For example, the Hanafit Abū Yūsuf forbade praying behind an imam who claimed that the Koran was created or uncreated. Since Abū Yūsuf was the chief Qādī of the Abbasid state under Hārūn ar-Raschīd , this may have been the official state position on this question at the time.
The Mihna and the interrogation of Ahmad ibn Hanbal
An important change in the conflict between proponents and opponents of the doctrine of the constitution of the Qur'an resulted from the fact that the Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mūn sided with the former in 833. In the same letter in which he rebuked the popular belief that the Quran was pre-existent, he decreed that all Qādīs and hadith scholars, especially those in public office, should take an oath on the doctrine of the constitution of the Koran. The inquisition procedure set in motion, called Mihna , was also retained under his two successors al-Muʿtasim and al-Wāthiq . Al-Ma'mun himself was of the opinion that whoever does not acknowledge that the Qur'an was created has no tawheed because he endows something that God has created with the quality that belongs to God alone, namely eternity.
It is widely believed that Bishr al-Marīsī played a key role in the establishment of the mihna. He is said to have passed on the doctrine of the creation of the Koran to Ahmad ibn Abī Du'ād (st. 854), the leading theologian under al-Ma'mūn and his two successors. It is also noticeable that al-Ma'mun, in his letters to the governor of Baghdad Ishāq ibn Ibrāhīm, relied on the same scriptural evidence as the Bishop for this purpose to justify the Chalq al-qur'ān. Bishop al-Marīsī is also said to have advised Ishāb ibn Ibrāhīm himself on the implementation of the Mihna.
One of the most prominent victims of the Mihna was Ahmad ibn Hanbal , who is said to have said before the Mihna: "Nothing of God is created, and the Koran is of God" (laisa šaiʾ min Allāh bi-maḫlūq wa-l-qurʾān min Allāh) . Because of his refusal to adhere to the doctrine of the composition of the Koran, he was arrested and beaten several times. The Muʿtazilit al-Jāhiz , who wrote a treatise on the composition of the Koran, reproduces a dialogue that is said to have taken place during one of Ahmad's interviews during the caliphate of al-Muʿtasim. Accordingly, Ahmad ibn Hanbal was asked by Ahmad ibn Abī Du'ād: “Is it true that a thing can only be uncreated or created?” When Ahmad ibn Hanbal answered in the affirmative, Ahmad ibn Abī Du'ād asked further: “Is the Quran one Thing? ”-“ Yes. ”-“ Is it true that only God is uncreated? ”-“ Yes. ”-“ So the Koran is created! ”. As a result, Ahmad ibn Hanbal is said to have talked himself out of the fact that he was not a Kalam scholar. Ahmad ibn Hanbal is said to have defended his view of the Koran with the argument that God's speech should be judged in the same way as his knowledge: just as it is not possible that God's knowledge is created, it is also not possible that his speech can be created is. Ahmad ibn Abī Du'ād rejected this conclusion by analogy with a reference to the abrogation attested in the Koran : “Is God not able to pick up a verse by someone else or to take away this Koran and send another for it, when all this is in the Koran Is written down? ”When Ahmad ibn Hanbal admitted this, Ahmad ibn Abī Du'ād added:“ Would this also be possible with regard to knowledge and could God change his knowledge and replace it with another? ”Since Ahmad ibn Hanbal had to deny this , was - at least according to the report of al-Jahiz - his objection to the composition of the Koran refuted.
Al-Jahiz tried to show in his report that Ahmad ibn Hanbal himself had admitted the correctness of the doctrine of the constitution of the Koran and rejected the view that he had only done this from Taqīya . Conversely, however, a literature emerged among the Sunni Muslims of the East that tried to prove exactly the opposite. It was told that the representatives of the doctrine of the iniquity of the Koran had defended their teaching so successfully before al-Ma'mun that he himself had doubts.
The Mihna was not abolished until 848 by the caliph al-Mutawakkil . Al-Mutawakkil's turn in religious policy went so far that those who rejected the iniquity of the Koran ran into difficulties. The Muʿtazilit Abū ʿAlī al-Jubbā'ī is quoted by Abū l-Hasan al-Ashʿarī as saying that one can no longer stay in Baghdad without confessing that the Koran was uncreated. Not only those who taught the quality of the Qur'an, but also those who refused to admit to its inexactness were now considered heretical Jahmites.
The adoption of the doctrine by the Ibadites
The Iraqi Ibadit ʿAbdallāh ibn Yazīd al-Fazārī (st. Between 795 and 815) also belonged to the early adherents of the doctrine of the creation of the Koran. Probably through his mediation, this doctrine also gained a foothold early on in the Ibadite -oriented Rustamid State, whose territory extended over large parts of the Maghreb in the 9th century. A letter of the Rustamidic Imam Abū l-Yaqzān (856–895), which was evaluated by V. Cremonesi, shows how deeply this dogma was already rooted among the Ibadites of the Maghreb at this time. Abū l-Yaqzān had visited the Abbasid Empire in his youth on a trip to the Orient and witnessed the traditionalist reaction to the Mihna under al-Mutawakkil. In his missive he endeavored to encourage his subjects to believe in the Chalq al-Qur'an and gave this doctrine an official character, similar to what al-Ma'mun had done in the Abbasid Empire. In doing so, he also consciously opposed the religious policy of the Aghlabid state, in which a Maliki orthodoxy had ruled the shots since the establishment of Sahnūn ibn Saʿīd and the Muʿtazilites were persecuted. A peculiarity of Abū l-Yaqzān letters, in which he brought together all the known arguments for the creation of the Koran, was that he presented the Koran as an act of God.
The Imam's letter led to this teaching becoming an integral part of Ibadi dogmatics in the Maghreb. In later Ibaditic ʿAqīda confessional writings from the Mzab and the Jabal Nafusa it is only stated succinctly that the person who believes in the inhumanity of the Koran is outside the Ibadite community. In Oman , the other center of the Ibadites, the counter-thesis, the doctrine of the inhumanity of the Koran, still had many followers until the middle of the 9th century. In the 12th century, the Omani Ibadit Ibn an-Nazar wrote a Qasīda in which he defended the eternity of the Koran. In modern times, however, there is a consensus among the Ibadites of the East and West about the composition of the Koran.
Differences regarding the creation of the Quran
There were some doctrinal differences among those who accepted the Qur'an to be made, on what exactly is created in the Qur'an's creation and how it is done. Abū l-Hasan al-Aschʿarī dedicated a longer section in his doxographic work Maqālāt al-islāmīyīn to these doctrinal differences, which contains a lot of information on them.
One group assumed that the created Quran is a body (ǧism) . To this group belonged Jahm himself, the two Muʿtazilites Abū Bakr al-Asamm and Jafar ibn Mubashschir (st. 851) and the Ibadit ʿAbdallāh ibn Yazīd al-Fazārī (st. Between 795 and 815). Within this camp there were again different positions. Some assumed that the Koran is a body that was created by God on the well-kept tablet (al-lauḥ al-maḥfūẓ) and that it is conveyed to the persons concerned through recitation, written down and memorized . Jafar ibn Mubashshir and al-Fazari, on the other hand, said that God created the Koran on the well-kept tablet without it being able to be transmitted because it could only be in one place. What is heard, memorized and recorded in writing is only the reproduction (ḥikāya) and the image (miṯl) of the Koran. Another group assumed that the Koran is a body that consists in God himself without having a place. Then when the Koran is recited, written down or memorized, God creates it anew every time. Finally, a fourth opinion was that the Koran is only embodied when it is recited, written down or memorized.
A second group assumed that the Koran was an accident . There were also different positions within this group. Some assumed that the Koran was an accident on the well-kept blackboard. If someone recites the Koran, fixes it in writing or memorises it, then God creates the Koran anew as a second creation (ḫalqan ṯaniyan) without affecting the Koran on the well-kept tablet. Among those who held this doctrine was Dirār ibn ʿAmr (st. 815). He is reported to have said: “The Koran comes from God as creation and from me as recitation and action, for I am reciting the Koran and what is heard is the Koran. God rewards me for that. I am the doer and God the creator. ”According to another position, there is no second creation, but the created Koran is only what people recite, fix in writing and memorize, while the Koran on the well-kept blackboard is an uncreated accident. Abū l-Hudhail and Abū ʿAlī al-Jubbā'ī , on the other hand, taught that God created the Koran on the well-kept blackboard as an accidental, but that it also exists at every place where he memorized, recorded in writing or recited because that Talk of God can be in different places at the same time. There were also various other positions in this group.
Of Ibn al-Rawandi is narrated that he rejected the views of the Koran as a body or accident and took the view that he is a content (ma'nā min al-Ma'aanee) and an entity (Ayn min al-A'yan) was. Finally, there was the notion that the Quran was an attribute of God.
The defense of the doctrine by ʿAbd al-Jabbar
Sunni theologians, who believed that the Quran was uncreated, collected scriptural evidence to prove the correctness of their view. Abū l-Hasan al-Ashʿarī, for example, said that the Qur'anic word from sura 7:54: "Is not his (ie God) entitled to create and command" proves that the word of God, and thus also the Qur'an, is outside of the created World stand. His indirect disciple al-Bāqillānī , who devoted an entire chapter in his treatise At-Tamhīd to the Muʿtazilite Chalq al-Qur'ān, mainly relied on arguments based on the Koran in his refutation. One of the most important scriptures he used was the Qur'anic word from Sura 16:40 , in which God says of himself: "Rather, our speech, if we want anything, is that we say to him: 'Be!' - and then it is. ”From this, al-Bāqillānī concluded that God creates with his speech. But if speech is necessary for the creation of things, then it cannot itself be created.
A detailed defense of the doctrine of the creation of the Koran against objections from the Sunni side can be found in the seventh volume of the "Summa on the Issues of the Confession of Unity and Justice" (al-Muġnī fī abwāb at-tauḥīd wa-l-ʿadl) of the Muʿtazilite ʿAbd al-Jabbar ibn Ahmad . He deals with a total of twelve such objections and rejects them with counter-arguments. Here is a selection:
- First objection: The Koran cannot be called “created” (maḫlūq) because the sources of the religious law (šarʿ) do not use this term. - Answer: The use of terms does not depend on their use in the sacred texts. Apart from that, the term is used in these texts. In the Qur'an, God is called “the creator of all things” (Sura 13:16); and in the hadith it says: “God was without there being anything else. Then he created the Dhikr (= Koran) ”and“ God created the Koran in Arabic ”.
- Second objection: The use of the term “created” for God's speech suggests that it is a lie, as Abraham says to the idolaters in Sura 29 : 17: “You create the work of lies”. - Answer: "Lies" (ifk) in this verse do not mean "lies", but the idols that they made.
- Third objection: The majority of the Islamic community does not use the term “created” for the Quran. - Answer: There is no obligation to follow the majority, only a general consensus . That being said, many scholars use the term in this way.
- Fourth objection: calling the Qur'an “created” can be accused of disbelief . So it is better not to use the term. - Answer: On the contrary, someone who declares the Qur'an to be uncreated must be declared unbelieving because this teaching suggests that he is a dualist who believes in a second primordial eternal being next to God.
- Fifth objection: The companions of the Prophets and the Muslims of the second generation (tābiʿūn) did not use this term for the Koran. - Answer: That is true, but they said that it was God's act. The reason they don't use "create" is because there was no disagreement about the issue at the time.
- Eighth objection: Applying the term “created” to the Koran would imply that it can die. - Answer: That is not correct, as the term "created" is also used for inanimate things.
In a concluding remark, ʿAbd al-Jabbār mentions another text from Islamic tradition, according to which Mohammed is said to have said: "God created the Torah with his own hand". From this he deduced, like a conclusion by analogy , that God must also have created the Koran with his own hand.
The compromise solutions of Ibn Kullāb and the Ashʿarites
While the Hanbalites , i.e. those scholars who orientated themselves on Ahmad ibn Hanbal, held steadfastly to the doctrine of the uncreated Koran and believed that inhumanity applies not only to the heavenly source, but also to the Koran, which is recited by people , memorized and fixed in writing, the Sunni theologian Ibn Kullāb developed a compromise position with regard to the Chalq al-Qur'ān already during the mihna , with which he came a little towards the Muʿtazilites. This compromise position consisted of distinguishing between the content (maʿnā) and the form of expression (ʿibāra) of the Koran and developing the doctrine that only the content is uncreated, the form of expression is created.
This position was later adopted in a slightly different form by al-Buchari (d. 870) and the Ashharites . Al-Buchari meant that the speech of God was uncreated, but the utterance of the Koran ( al-lafẓ bi-l-qurʾān ) was created. He was therefore subjected to an embarrassing cross-examination in Nishapur . The Ashʿarites differentiated between the “internal speech” (kalām nafsī) of God, which is with God, and the “ spoken speech” (kalām lafẓī) of God, which is manifested in the revealed and recited Koran. Ash-Shahrastani summarizes their position in such a way that they considered the Quran to be eternal (qadīm) , but on the other hand assumed that what people are holding in their hands is not actually God's speech.
In the Waṣīyat Abī Hanīfa , a Hanafi confessional which reflects this Ashʿari view and was widely commented on in the early modern period, it says: “We confess that the Koran is the uncreated speech of God. He is his revelation, his sending down and his attribute, which is not identical with him, but also not different from him. Rather, it is an attribute in its verification, written down in the manuscripts, recited through the tongues, preserved in the hearts, but not settling in them. Ink, paper, and writing are all created because they are the work of men. The work of the created (sc. Man) is namely also created. God's speech, on the other hand, is uncreated because the scriptures, letters, words and verses are all signs of the Koran for human needs. The speech of God does exist in him, but his meaning can only be understood through these things. But whoever says that the speech of God is created is a kaafir with regard to God. "
The Ashʿarite position regarding the Koran spread over large parts of the Islamic world. In North Africa it was the subject of Ibadi polemics, which mainly turned against the Ashʿarite concept of "inner speech".
In modern times there were various scholars and thinkers who spoke out in favor of a rehabilitation of the Mu mtazilite position on the constitution of the Koran, including Muhammad Abduh and the Algerian-French Islamic scholar Mohammed Arkoun.
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- ↑ Cf. al-Ašʿarī : al-Ibāna ʿan uṣūl ad-diyāna . 1994, p. 82.
- ↑ Cf. van Ess: Theology and Society . 1997, Vol. IV, p. 629.
- ↑ See Peters: God's created speech. 1976, p. 2f. and aṭ-Ṭabarī: Taʾrīḫ al-rusul wa-l-mulūk. Vol. II, pp. 1112f.
- ↑ See Wolfson: The philosophy of Kalām . 1976, p. 240f and aṭ-Ṭabarī: Taʾrīḫ al-rusul wa-l-mulūk. Vol. II, p. 1118, lines 10f.
- ↑ Cf. van Ess: Theology and Society . Vol. I, p. 376.
- ↑ See Wolfson: The philosophy of Kalām . 1976, p. 244.
- ↑ See Wolfson: The philosophy of Kalām . 1976, p. 266.
- ↑ See Tilman Nagel: History of Islamic Theology. Beck, Munich, 1994. p. 102.
- ↑ See Tilman Nagel: History of Islamic Theology. Beck, Munich, 1994. pp. 102f.
- ↑ See Martin: “Createdness of the Qurʾān” 2001, p. 468b.
- ↑ Cf. Ibn al-Aṯīr: Al-Kāmil fī t-tārīḫ . Ed. CJ Tornberg. Brill, Leiden, 1865. Vol. VII, p. 49, lines 7-11. Digitized
- ↑ See Martin Schreiner: The Kalâm in Jewish literature . Berlin 1895. p. 3f. Digitized
- ↑ Cf. van Ess: Theology and Society . 1997, Vol. IV, p. 628.
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