It is perhaps important to start off with a discussion concerning the ‘attributes of Allah‘.
When we talk about God what does that even mean? What is it that makes God, God?
The difference between a potential attribute and an actual attribute. –
For example; Allah is known as the giver of death. But to say that, ‘Allah is the giver of death even when there is nothing to give death to’ it speaks an untruth about Allah, for the simple fact that Allah is not giving death to anything.
We human beings are perceiving the amr-the commands of Allah [swt] through the lenses of space-time.
So it has been deduced that there is that which would be essential to making God, God.
Sovereign -All powerful.
All Knowing- Ignorance is not something befitting of God.
Not we could think of this as a multiplicity of attributes but they are not. The human language lacks a sufficient concept or model to put it simplisticly.
Where as our brothers from the Ahl Sunnah they believe that all of these attributes are necessary and eternal.
For example The Forgiving. Well Allah [swt] doesn’t have to be forgiving and the proof of that is that there are some who are simply not forgiven.
But this flows from the attribute of power.
All the other attributes that Allah [swt] claims for himself come from these essential attributes.
However, Ahl Sunnah will say that Allah ‘swt’ has always been ‘the giver of death’ even
Now we don’t have any thing definitive from the Blessed Messenger [saw] that weighs in on this matter. Nor do we have anything definite from the companions or those first three generations of Muslims.
What we have are in reality two positions.
1 Is textual based. One takes clear textual evidence.
2. The other imposes theological and philosophical considerations upon the Qur’an.
“Indeed, We have made it an Arabic Qur’an that you might understand.” (Holy Qur’an 43:3)
“And thus We have revealed to you an inspiration of Our command. You did not know what is the Book or [what is] faith, but We have made it a light by which We guide whom We will of Our servants. And indeed, [O Muhammed], you guide to a straight path.” (Holy Qur’an 42:52)
The Holy Qur’an is not ‘Kalam al-nafsi’, the Holy Qur’an is created.
What is not meant is Allah’s knowledge of the books. No one will doubt the eternity of Allah’s knowledge.
The eternity of knowledge does not imply the eternity of the known, otherwise all things that have come into being would be eternal!
So let us look at our brothers from Ahl Sunnah: Both the Ash’ari and the Athari.
So the Athari affirm that this is an attribute of Allah [swt] that is eternal.
So the question is has Allah [swt] always been speaking or simply always carried the attribute of speech?
The internal debate between our Sunni brothers: Ash’ari vs Athari.
The extreme positions taken among them:
To say you can’t say the mushaf is created. You can’t say that your recitation is created. Certainly anyone can see that these are extreme positions.
And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah. [9:6]
‘It is the speech of the noble messenger.”