Since the Quran calls Hz. Isa "kalam (speech/word)", can it be said that Hz. Isa is not a makhluq (a being that was created later)?
- What does the concept "kalimatullah" mentioned in the Quran mean?
Submitted by on Thu, 19/07/2018 - 16:41
Dear Brother / Sister,
Hz. Isa was created by Allah's order “Kun (Be)” as a miracle without a father; therefore, he was given the name “Kalimatullah” as an honor. In addition, the phrase Safiyyullah is used for Hz. Adam, Kalimullah for Hz. Musa, Khalilullah for Hz. Ibrahim and Habibullah for the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
In the Quran, it is stated in three places that Hz. Isa is "a Word from Allah". (Aal-i Imran 3/39, 45; an-Nisa 4/171) Elmalılı Muhammed Hamdi states that along with meaningful sounds and writings, certain beings that indicate a partial or general meaning by affecting the brain with the sense of seeing when one looks at the realm can be called kalima (word) and that it is necessary to understand Hz. Isa's being a word like that. On the other hand, Elmalılı attracts attention to the fact that the use of the word (kalima) with an indefinite article in the phrase "bikalimetin minhu" indicates the strangeness in the creation of Hz. Isa, a difference that is contrary to the style of creation that is known and hence his creation of without a father in a miraculous way. According to Elmalılı, that kalima is named as Maryam’s son Masih Isa emphasizes that Hz. Isa is Maryam’s son, not Allah’s son, as it is the case in the trinity belief of Christians therefore, he states that Isa needs to be attributed to Allah as a word and to Maryam as a son. (see Hak Dini, the interpretation of Aal-i Imran verse 45)
Hz. Isa stated the following in order to remind those who wanted to give him any attributes other than being a human: “I am indeed a servant of Allah.” (Maryam, 19/30) He did not say to them, “Accept me as a deity.” On the contrary, he gave them the following advice: “Verily Allah is my Lord and your Lord: Him therefore serve ye: this is a Way that is straight.” (Maryam, 19/36)
- Allah’s speech is evaluated in two ways: the one that is pre-eternal, the one that is a makhluq.
The speech that is pre-eternal is its aspect that is regarded as Allah’s attribute. Allah’s names and attributes are pre-eternal just like His being. His attribute of speech is pre-eternal, not makhluq, just like His attributes of knowledge, power and will. For instance, the Quran is not makhluq since it comes from Allah’s attribute of speech as revelation; it is “Kalam qadim”. However, the letters and words written in Mushaf, which are like the copies of that kalam, are makhluq; they were written afterwards. To claim the opposite of it is not based on any evidence. It is known by everybody that Hz. Isa was created thousands of years ago. If a person said Hz. Isa existed three thousand years ago, let alone being a pre-eternal being, his words would be regarded as insane delusions.
- It is necessary to consider a concept that is regarded as Allah’s speech in two ways:
Firstly: The Quran and the other heavenly books that are the products of revelation, which come from Allah’s attribute of kalam (speech) and that are evaluated as kalam / words that we know.
Secondly: The embodied/material kalam and words that come from His attribute of power and that are written with the ink of power.
To sum up, all of the beings except the revelations coming from Allah’s attribute of speech and the book of the universe, which consists of them, are an embodied book consisting of embodied words. All of the sentences and words of that book are makhluq; they were created afterwards. The reason why Hz. Isa is called “Allah’s word” in the Quran is his creation without a father. So to speak, though there was no father’s sperm, which is an ink of divine power, he was created based on a verbal command, being produced in the factory of “kun-fa yakun”. That is, Allah said “be” and he came into being. Since the order was verbal, Hz. Isa was given the name “Allah’s word” because he was the product of that order.
- There is nobody denying that Hz. Maryam was born afterwards. It is impossible to claim that a child who was produced in the womb of his mother, who was created afterwards, and who gave birth to him, is pre-eternal and it is illogical and irrational. (To view the issue closely, see Aal-i Imran, 3/35-60; Maryam, 19/16-36)
The Quran informs us that Hz. Isa is a slave. It is necessary for those who bring evidence from the Quran to take this into consideration first:
“‘They say: "(Allah) Most Gracious has begotten a son!" Indeed ye have put forth a thing most monstrous! At it the skies are ready to burst, the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall down in utter ruin, That they should invoke a son for (Allah) Most Gracious. For it is not consonant with the majesty of (Allah) Most Gracious that He should beget a son.” (Maryam, 19/88-92)
“…But said Christ: "O Children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord." Whoever joins other gods with Allah,- Allah will forbid him the garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help.” (al-Maida, 5/72)
“…I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet.” (Maryam, 19/30)
“They do blaspheme who say, "Allah is Christ the son of Mary."...They do blaspheme who say, ‘Allah is one of three in a Trinity.’…” (al-Maida, 5/72, 73)
“…Many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food…” (al-Maida, 5/75)
“O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not "Trinity" : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above hawing a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.” (an-Nisa, 4/171)
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We advise you to read the following article “The meanings of Kalimatullah in the Quran” written by Prof. Dr. Veli Ulutürk:
When I read the Quran, the statement "yet would not the words of Allah be exhausted" would attract my attention. What could Kalimatullah be? I wanted to search this concept for a long time. As a matter of fact, Fakhruddin ar-Razi (606/1210), the great tafsir scholar, says, "There are ambiguous, deep and high aspects related to the issue of Kalimatullah." (1) This statement shows how right I am in my curiosity. God Almighty provided me the opportunity and I made a research on kalimatullah, which is a Quranic concept, in the resources of lexicology and tafsir. You will see some of the things I have determined. However, Allah knows the best about everything. If this research is of any use to anybody, I will thank Allah and feel fortunate.
First, let us deal with the lexical meaning of "kalima":
The root KLM has two basic meanings: 1. Narrative, expressive speech. 2. Wounding. Then, this root expanded one single word, story, ode, even if it is long, were also called kalima. Its plural forms are kalimat and kalim.2 A poet states the following in a line in which he uses both meanings: "True words are influential like the deepest wound." Another poet states the following "A wound made by the tongue is like a wound made by the hand. 3 They say, "The wound caused by the tongue is more severe than the wound caused by the hand." That is, one of them has a material and the other a spiritual effect.
Kalima is used for a single noun, verb or letter as well as a sentence and speech. 4 When we say kalima ash-shahada, we mean the sentence that includes two statements of witnessing.
As it will be seen in the explanations to come, we can translate the word kalima as “word” in the most comprehensive sense. It can be said that word is enough for the meaning of kalima in most verses. As a matter of fact, Allah states in the Quran that Hz. Adam, who was expelled from Paradise, took some words from Allah through revelation in order to repent: "Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration, and his Lord Turned towards him; for He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful." (al-Baqara, 2/37)- The word kalimat used in that verse means words. Hz. Adam repented with those words taught to him and God Almighty accepted his repentance. Some tafsir scholars state that the words of repentance that Hz. Adam took from Allah are as follows: “They said: ‘Our Lord! We have wronged our own souls: If thou forgive us not and bestow not upon us Thy Mercy, we shall certainly be lost.’” (al-A'raf, 7/23) 5
It is also stated in the Quran that Hz. Ibrahim was tested through some words: “And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands, which he fulfilled: He said: ‘I will make thee an Imam to the Nations.’ He pleaded: ‘And also (Imams) from my offspring!’ He answered: ‘But My Promise is not within the reach of evil-doers.’” (al-Baqara, 2/124). There are various explanations about the words that Hz. Ibrahim was tested through in tafsir books. They are the orders that God Almighty held Hz. Ibrahim responsible for. 6 Asking him to sacrifice his son Ismail might be one of them. That is, those words are certainly Allah's words that tested Hz. Ibrahim. 7 Doubtlessly, Allah knows the best about everything.
Allah's Word is Complete/Full.
"The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfilment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all." (al-An'am, 6/115). Tabari (310/923) says the word of your Lord mentioned in the verse is the Quran. As a matter of fact, the Quran is called kalamullah and Arabs call even an ode of a poet kalima. 8 Fakhruddin ar-Razi states that the phrase "your Lord" in the verse is something like promise, threat, reward and penalty, that Allah's words occurred in the pre-eternity and that nothing will occur after that. He says, "The things that are in the Quran are of two types: News and offer. If it is of news, Allah's word is complete in terms of trueness. If it is of offer, it is complete in terms of justice." 9 “The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfilment in truth and in justice” Allah’s verses like "This day have I perfected your religion for you…" (al-Maida, 5/3) 10 might mean your Lord’s decrees and religion were completed. It means Allah's book is the Quran and nobody can distort it. 11 These complete words of Allah remind us the following prayer of the Prophet (pbuh): "I take refuge in Allah’s complete words from all kinds of devils, poisonous insects and evil eyes that affect people." 12
Allah Shows the Truth with Words
"Behold! Allah promised you one of the two (enemy) parties, that it should be yours: Ye wished that the one unarmed should be yours, but Allah willed to justify the Truth according to His words and to cut off the roots of the Unbelievers;- That He might justify Truth and prove Falsehood false, distasteful though it be to those in guilt." (al-Anfal, 8/7-8). The meaning of justifying the truth mentioned in the verse is showing and strengthening the truth 13, which can be done by making the truth dominant. Our Sublime Lord will realize, strengthen and explain the truth and Islam with His words, that is, evidences. 14 Allah wants to realize the statement Lailaha illallah through His words, that is, His order, by ordering jihad, not directly by creating. For, crime and sin, or degrees and pardoning occur in the things that are done as a result of Allah’s words and orders and man’s will and obedience. 15 And Allah by His words doth prove and establish His truth, however much the sinners may hate it! (Yunus), 10/82). "(…And Allah blots out Vanity, and proves the Truth by His Words. For He knows well the secrets of all hearts." (ash-Shura, 42/ 24). According to an explanation, Allah realizes the truth with His orders, decrees and Book. 16
Kalimatullah is High
"If ye help not (your leader), (it is no matter): for Allah did indeed help him, when the Unbelievers drove him out: he had no more than one companion; they two were in the cave, and he said to his companion, "Have no fear, for Allah is with us": then Allah sent down His peace upon him, and strengthened him with forces which ye saw not, and humbled to the depths the word of the Unbelievers. But the word of Allah is exalted to the heights: for Allah is Exalted in might, wise." (at-Tawba, 9/40)
According to the narration from Ibn Abbas, the word unbelief mentioned in the verse above means associating partners with Allah and the word of Allah is kalima at-tawhid, that is, “La ilaha illallah”. Allah damned, defeated, destroyed and annulled unbelief. Allah made kalimatullah, which is His religion and oneness, dominant and exalted. 17 There are tafsir scholars who think that the word unbelief is the implication of the words of the polytheists to catch and kill the Prophet in Dar an-Nadwa during the migration or that it is polytheism and that kalimatullah is Allah’s making their plans fail or kalima at-tawhid or calling to Islam.18 It is also stated that it means the evidence and decrees of Allah are superior and high. 19
Kalimatullah is Allah's Promise and Predestination
In some verses, word of Allah means Allah's promise of victory to believers or His word and predestination that He would not punish deniers in this world but in the hereafter. "Rejected were the messengers before thee: with patience and constancy they bore their rejection and their wrongs, until Our aid did reach them: there is none that can alter the words (and decrees) of Allah. Already hast thou received some account of those messengers." (al-An'am, 6/34). That is, the previous prophets were also denied and their followers were tortured but kalimatullah, Allah’s help and victory, came to them in the end. "Already has Our Word been passed before (this) to our Servants sent (by Us), That they would certainly be assisted, And that Our forces,- they surely must conquer. So turn thou away from them for a little while." (as-Saaffat, 37/171-174) "Allah has decreed: "It is I and My messengers who must prevail": For Allah is One full of strength, able to enforce His will." (al-Mujadala, 58/21). It is interesting that it is stated in the verse that the victory of the prophets is a predestination and decree of Allah. This promise of help by Allah to prophets and believers is kalimatullah 20; and the following threat to deniers and rebels is also a word, that is, a law and predestination of Allah: "…And the Word of thy Lord shall be fulfilled: "I will fill Hell with jinn and men all together." (Hud, 11/119). Allah states like that because He knew and pre-ordained this state with his pre-eternal knowledge. For, they will deserve Hell with their denial and rebellion. 21 As a matter of fact, He states the following in the Quran: "Thus is the word of thy Lord proved true against those who rebel: Verily they will not believe." (Yunus, 10/33) "Those against whom the word of thy Lord hath been verified would not believe-Even if every Sign was brought unto them,- until they see (for themselves) the penalty grievous." (Yunus, 10/96-97)
The phrase “the word of your Lord” in the verses above is sometimes expressed very clearly as “decree of punishment” in some other verses: "Is, then, one against whom the decree of Punishment is justly due (equal to one who eschews Evil)? Wouldst thou, then, deliver one (who is) in the Fire?" (az-Zumar, 39/19). "...The answer will be: "True: but the Decree of Punishment has been proved true against the Unbelievers" (az-Zumar, 39/71). However, God Almighty will realize it in the hereafter. Those who are people of Hell deserve it in this world. Despite this, Allah leaves the majority of their punishment to the hereafter but for a few exceptions since He states that He will punish them there. "…Had it not been for a Word that went forth before from thy Lord, (tending) to a Term appointed, the matter would have been settled between them..." (ash-Shura, 42/14) "Mankind was but one nation, but differed (later). Had it not been for a word that went forth before from thy Lord, their differences would have been settled between them." (Yunus, 10/19). Tabari states the following in the interpretation of the verse above: "If Allah had not said He would destroy a nation only after their time was due, the matter would have been settled and the decree would have been made so that the people of unbelief among them would be destroyed and the believers would be saved." 22 The postponement of this punishment to the hereafter expresses that it is a boon for the rebels, that the offer is still valid for them and that Muslims should show patience in the face of the bad deeds from unbelievers and oppressors. It is said that the following sacred hadith is an expression of it: "My mercy has prevailed over My wrath." Since Allah’s mercy prevails, it becomes necessary for the mercy that prevails to lengthen the veil on the ignorant people and give them respite until the time of meeting. 23 It also expresses that Allah will not punish anybody without evidence and that everybody will live and see those evidences in their lives until death when the test ends. 24 That is, God Almighty gives people respite up to a certain time. Since He is a being that does not break His promise, He pays attention to that respite and His pre-destination and decree. 25 "What! Have they partners (in godhead), who have established for them some religion without the permission of Allah? Had it not been for the Decree of Judgment, the matter would have been decided between them (at once). But verily the Wrong-doers will have a grievous Penalty." (ash-Shura, 42/21) 26 Besides, some tafsir scholars claim that the postponement of the destructive penalty for this ummah is also in question when they go astray. The reason for this is Hz. Muhammad: "But Allah was not going to send them a penalty whilst thou wast amongst them…" (al-Anfal, 8/33); or, because believers and people with righteous goods will come from their descendants. Or, it is because of a wisdom that Allah knows and we do not know. 27
The Word of Allah Does not Change
The word of Allah about His promise of help and victory to prophets and believers and related to other issues does not change and cannot be changed. 28 The statement "None can change His words" is repeated in several verses. 29 Various explanations similar to one another have been made for this statement of the Quran. Kalimatullah means Allah's book. No prophet or book that will abrogate it will come. It means nobody will be able to distort and change it. For, the polytheists said, "Bring us a reading other than this, or change this." (Yunus, 10/15) 30
There is nobody that will be able to change Allah's words means there is no body that can make a decree opposite to His decree or nobody that can reverse His decree in the world or the hereafter. 31 There is nobody that can change Allah's decrees. They cannot be changed or eliminated since they are pre-eternal and post-eternal. The words of Allah might be Allah’s things that do not change like His promise, threat, reward and penalty. It is like the knowledge mentioned in the verse "The Word changes not before Me" and the Prophet’s hadith "Everything was written about the things to happen up to the Day of Judgment and the pen (ink) dried", that is, the decree was made irreversibly. It means Allah's decree occurred in the pre-eternity; nothing else will take place after that. 32 It also means there is nobody that can change the occurrence of the things that He states in His book or the time when they will occur. 33 It also means Allah's words cannot be changed and that He does not break His promise. 34 For, The following is stated in the Quran:"…For Allah never fails in His promise." (Aal-i Imran, 3/9) "Our Lord! Grant us what Thou didst promise unto us through Thine messengers, and save us from shame on the Day of Judgment: For Thou never breakest Thy promise." (Aal-i Imran, 3/194). "For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present and in the Hereafter; no change can there be in the words of Allah. This is indeed the supreme felicity." (Yunus, 10/ 64). In that case, the news, decrees and words given by Allah reached the end. There is nobody that can change them since they are the truest and fairest. 35
Kalimatullah is Hz. Isa
The majority of tafsir scholars agrees that Allah’s word mentioned in Aal-i Imran, 39, 45 and an-Nisa 171 is Hz. Isa. 36 For, the verses are clear. “While he (Zakariyya) was standing in prayer in the chamber, the angels called unto him: ‘Allah doth give thee glad tidings of Yahya, witnessing the truth of a Word from Allah, and (be besides) noble, chaste, and a prophet,- of the (goodly) company of the righteous.’” (Aal-i Imran. 3/39) "Behold! The angels said: ‘O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah.’" (Aal-i Imran, 3/45) "O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not "Trinity" : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above hawing a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs." (an-Nisa, 4/171) It is clearly stated in those verses that Hz. Isa is a word of Allah. Tafsir scholars explain Hz. Isa's being a word of Allah as follows:
God Almighty created Hz. Isa without a father with His order, that is, His word "be"; therefore, Allah calls him His word. 37 As a matter of fact, Allah created Adam from soil without a mother and father. "The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be". And he was." (Aal-i Imran, 3/59)
The phrase “bikalimatin minhu” (with a word from Him) means a prophethood from Allah and "a piece of news from Him". That is, the angels gave Maryam the glad tiding of Isa by Allah and His word, with which He ordered prophethood to be placed into her; that is, they gave her the glad tiding that Allah would create a child from her without a father. 38 It is also stated that kalima means glad tiding. Abu Ubayda states that the word is the book and what is meant by it is the Gospel. As a matter of fact, Gospel means glad tiding. 39
Hz. Isa spoke when he was a baby. Allah gave him the book when he was a baby. He became a preacher that spoke at that age and an adult proclaimer. (Maryam, 19/30)
A word includes meanings and facts. Hz. Isa may have been given this name because he teaches people divine secrets and facts. Allah guides people through Hz. Isa himself and his word. He may have been called kalimatullah because of it. 40
Hz. Isa's glad tiding existed in the books of the prophets before him. When he emerged, they may have said "This is that word." When a person gives some news and when it comes true, he says, "That is it. My word has come."
Since Hz. Isa caused the word of Allah to appear and the doubts and distortions to be eliminated, it will not be wrong to call him kalimatullah (a word of Allah) instead of the spokesman of Allah. As a matter of fact, a person who is very generous is sometimes called the embodiment of generosity. It is known that Hz Isa conveyed divine truths to people with an eloquent and effective style. 41
It is reported from Azhari (980/1572) that kalima also means a child. Kalimatullah also means Allah's power and will. 42 The fact that kalima, which means Hz. Isa in verses 39 and 45 of the chapter of Aal-i Imran, is used without a definite article expresses that it is an odd word, a verb and effect, a meaningful work, an unusual creation and a right. 43
Finally, according to the narration from Ibn Abbas, people name Allah's creatures as they wish; similarly, Allah named Hz. Isa as kalima (word); kalima means Isa. 44
Hz. Isa is also called ruhullah along with kalimatullah. Tafsir scholars explain it as follows:
Allah revives man with spirit; the divine truths brought by Hz. Isa revive man spiritually; therefore, he is called ruhullah (spirit of Allah). 45
People customarily use the word spirit for very clean things. Hz. Isa was created from Jibril’s breath, not from a drop of sperm. It definitely deserves to be described as spirit. He may have been called spirit because he became a means for the religious lives of people. As a matter of fact, Allah states the following about the attributes of the Quran: "And thus have We, by Our Command, sent inspiration to thee: thou knewest not (before) what was Revelation, and what was Faith..." (ash-Shura, 42/52)
Spirit (ruh) also means mercy. Hz. Isa became mercy for the people, guiding them both in their religion and in the world. Besides, ruh also means blowing in Arabic. Hz. Isa may mean a blowing (breath) of Jibril. For, Hz. Isa came into being when Jibril blew into the collar of Maryam upon the order of Allah. 46
Spirit may also be a sacred command and a divine secret that Allah sends to His slaves in the way that He wishes. Hz Isa’s being called ruhullah may also be an exaggeration. 47
Allah's Words will Never be Exhausted
"If the ocean were ink (wherewith to write out) the words of my Lord, sooner would the ocean be exhausted than would the words of my Lord, even if we added another ocean like it, for its aid." (al-Kahf, 18/109). "And if all the trees on earth were pens and the ocean (were ink), with seven oceans behind it to add to its (supply), yet would not the words of Allah be exhausted (in the writing): for Allah is Exalted in Power, full of wisdom." (Luqman, 31/27)
Allah’s endless words mentioned in the verses above were explained as our Lord’s knowledge, wisdom and information. Seas are finite no matter how big and vast they are imagined. Allah’s knowledge is infinite. No matter how abundant finite beings are, they cannot be enough for and catch up with what is infinite. 48 When a finite being is added to or multiplied by another finite being, the product is always finite. All of the waters of the seas cannot be even a droplet compared to the knowledge of Allah. 49
Qatada (118/736), a Tabiun tafsir scholar, states that the polytheists said for the Quran, "It is only a word that is about to be exhausted." Thereupon, Allah sent down verse 27 of the chapter of Luqman. That is, if all the trees on earth were pens and the ocean (were ink), with seven oceans behind it to add to its (supply), yet would not the words of Allah be exhausted. It is also narrated that this verse was sent down as an answer to the Jewish scholars. According to what Ibn Abbas narrates through Ibn Ishaq from Ikrima, the Jewish scholars said, "O Muhammad! Do you mean us or your own nation with the verse "…The Spirit (cometh) by command of my Lord: of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you"? (al-Isra, 17/ 85) The Prophet said, "Both." They said, "Do you not read in the Quran that the Torah, which includes explanations for everything, was sent down to us?" The Prophet (pbuh) said, "The Torah is little compared to Allah’s knowledge. In your opinion, it has what is enough for you." Thereupon, Allah sent down that verse related to the question they asked. 50
Allah's words will not be exhausted means the wonders of His art will not be exhausted. Then, the word kalima in those verses means wonder. The explanation for it is that wonders occur based on Allah’s order "Be". It is permissible to use the thing that causes for the thing that is caused. For instance, people say for a drug to a patient, "This is your cure"; similarly, the reason why Hz. Isa is called a word is that his being born without a father is something that astonishes people and a wonderful art. 51
The strongest sign for the existence of a being is its speech. Hearing a person’s word proves the existence of a person like seeing him. Therefore, Allah’s divine speech, that is the Quran, which consists of His words, proves and shows the existence of God Almighty. It is not possible to count the words of the pre-eternal speech, which is also the source of the Quran. Seas and trees will not be enough to do it.
As it is known, sounds spread in space through sound waves. The devices that enter the frequency receive them. God Almighty’s speech and the words of that sacred speech are reproduced as many times as the number of humans, jinn, angels, the ears of all conscious beings on earth and in the sky and even sound waves. Neither seas nor trees can be enough to catch up with the words of the divine speech reproduced as many times as the number of sound waves.
Almighty Allah virtually speaks to His slaves through the holy book He sent. This speech is like a general speech with humans but He also speaks to them privately through the heart telephones of His slaves with true inspirations with which He makes His existence felt by them. This speech is in the form of private inspirations, which are a kind of means of information, to every creature based on their special talents. Those inspirations are a kind of divine words and speech since they include private information. As it is stated in the sentence "Ways going to Allah are as many as the breaths of His creatures", neither seas nor trees can be enough to catch up with those private words.
There are two kinds of tongues; one of them is the tongue of speech and the other is the tongue of disposition. The words of the tongue of speech are words and the words of the tongue of disposition are various states. As a poet puts it, “Wa fi kulli shay’in lahu ayatun; tadullu ala annahu wahidun (There is a sign in everything showing His oneness)”. This great universe is like a big book according to that state. This universe and everything created in it are words of disposition showing the loftiness of the Sublime Creator. Suppose that trees and seas are enough for the words of disposition that exist in the book of beings, other trees and seas will be necessary to write them again since the drops of the seas and the atoms of the trees are words of disposition, which will continue like and endless chain. Then, the words of God Almighty will not end; that is, the words of disposition that indicate His magnificence and loftiness will not end. This shows that there is no exaggeration whatsoever in the meanings of verse 109 of the chapter of al-Kahf and verse 27 of the chapter of Luqman.
There are words in which God Almighty’s attribute of kalam becomes manifest along with embodied words in which God Almighty’s attribute of power becomes manifest. His attribute of knowledge also has words related to qadar. They are all beings. Every small creature that has life is a divine word each. They indicate Allah, who is a pre-eternal Speaker, more strongly than the words in the form of speech because they are not mere words but actions. When all of the invisible beings are taken into consideration, it will be seen that even if the seas were ink and trees were pens, they would not end His words. 52
Since divinity has all of the divine names and dominical attributes, how can they be known when one does not know the realm of beings, where they are seen and they appear? 53
Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi (623/1240) states the following: "The Quran states that creation took place with the command "Be" at once and that all creatures are divine words: "For to anything which We have willed, We but say the word, "Be", and it is." (an-Nahl, 16/40); "Nun. By the Pen and the (Record) which (men) write..." (al-Qalam, 1) Therefore, everything in the realm of beings is like a letter in reality in divine knowledge. (...). Then, those letters assumed the attribute of visibility, came together and formed those realms and beings. 54
Since the beings were created from Allah’s command of creation “Be” as it is understood from the clear expression of the verse, all beings are like the words of the great book of the universe. Every being, from an atom to the globe, is a word of Allah. Those words are the translators of the Quran, which is the verbal speech of Allah. Those two groups of divine words – we call both of them books – approve and explain each other verbally and actually. For, both of them are manifestations of the names and attributes of the same Lofty Being. As the great tafsir scholar Imam Fakhruddin ar-Razi (606/1210) puts it, Allah's creation and His wonders in the beings that He created, that is, His astonishing creation and the facts of divine arts in those beings will never end. 55 Neither trees nor seas will suffice to write those visible and invisible beings and the divine arts and facts in those beings. Seas and trees will be exhausted but the words of my Lord will not be exhausted.
Kalimetullah, which we determined to have been mentioned forty-two times in the Quran as a singular word, plural word and in compounds/phrases, opens such horizons in man’s treasure of knowledge. Our words, which are limited, have been exhausted regarding the issue but the words of our Lord, which are divine truths, will never be exhausted. He is the one that knows the inside of everything and He knows best the truth behind words.
"I glorify Allah, who astonishes people’s minds with His art and works
I glorify Allah, who paralyzes understandings with His power."(Ziya Paşa)
1) Imam Fakhruddin ar-Razi, at-Tafsirul-Kabir, XVIII. 144, Egypt, 1357/1938.
2) Abul-Hasan Ahmad bin Faris, Mu'jamu Maqayisil-Lugha, V, 131, 2nd impression, Mustafa al-Babi al-Halabi edition, Egypt, 1392/1972.
3) Abul - Qasim Husayn bin Muhammad ar-Raghib al-Isfahani, al-Mufradat fi Gharibil-Kur'an, p. 439, Beirut, nd.
4) M. Murtaza az-Zabidi, Tajul-Arus min Jawahiril-Qamus, IW, 49, Beirut, nd; Ibn Manzur, Lisanul-Arab, XII, 523-525, 1388/1968, Beirut; Abul-Fida Ismail Ibn Kathir, Tafsirul-Qur'anil-Azim, I, 371, Beirut, 1388/1969.
5) Abu Ja'far Muhammad Ibn Jarir at-Tabari, Jami'ul-Bayan'an Ta'wili Ayil-Qur'an, I,234-245, Darul-Fikr, Beirut, 1408/1988; Abul-Barakat Abdullah an-Nasafi, Madarikut-Tanzil wa Haqaiqut-Ta'wil, I,43, Istanbul, 1984; Kadi al-Baydawi, Anwarut-Tanzil wa Asrarut-Ta'wil wa Tafsirul-Jalalayn in its indented notes , I,50, al-Halabi, Egypt, 1388/1969.
6) Ibn Kathir, I, 165-166.
7) Baydawi, I,80; Jalalayn, the same page.
8) Jami'ul-Bayan, VIII, 9.
9) Tafsiru Kabir, XIII, 161-162; See. Shihabuddin Mahmud al-Alusi, Ruhul-Ma'ani., XV, 257, Beirut, 1405/1985.
10) Raghib al-Isfahani, p. 440.
11) Alusi, VIII, 10.
12) Bukhari, Anbiya, 10; For a different version, see Muslim, Dhikr. 54-55.
13) Razi, XVII, 144.
14) Ibn Kathir, IV, 114; IV, 126.
15) Elmalılı Muhammed Hamdi Yazır, Hak Dini Kur'ân Dili, IV. 2371; Tabari. IX, 188; XI, 149.
16) Baydawi, I,455; Nasafi. II, 169; III, 106, 284; Alusi, XI, 166.
17) Tabari, X, 137; Ibn Kathir, II, 358; Razi. XVIII, 69.
18) Baydawi, 1.452; Nasafi, II, 127; Alusi, X, 98-99.
19) Alusi, VIII, 10.
20) Alusi, V, 137.
21) Tabari, XII, 144; Ibn Kathir, II, 465.
22) XI, 98, 114: Nasafi, II. 157; Alusi, XI, 90.
23) Razi, XVII, 63.
24) Ibn Kathir, II, 411; 170.
25) Tabari, XXV. 16; XXIV. 129; XV, 21; XII, 123.
26) See also the following verses: Hud, 116110; Taha, 20/129: al-Mu'min, 40/6; Fussilat, 41/45.
27) Alusi, XVI, 280
28) Alusi. XV. 257; Tabari XV, 233.
29) See Al-An'am, 6/64,115: Yunus, 10/64; al-Kahf, 18/27.
30) Raghib al-Isfahani, p.440; Tabari, VIII, 9; Ibn Kathir, III, 80; Baydawi, I, 328.
31) Ibn Kathir, 11,508.
32) Razi. XIII, 161-162.
33) Tabari, VIII, 9.
34) Nasafi, II, 169; II, 10, 30.
35) Baydawi. I, 328.
36) See. Tabari, III. 252-253, 269; Ibn Kathir, I, 361; Razi, VIII, 38, 50; Nasafi, I. 156, 158; 265; Alusi, III, 160; VI, 25; Elmalılı, II, 1095, 1101-1102; III, 1536.
37) Raghib al-Islahani, p.439-440.
38) Tabari, III, 269.
39) Alusi. III, 147.
40) Alusi, III, 160; Raghib al-Isfahani. p. 439-440; Nasafi, I, 265.
41) Razi, VIII, 38, 50: Alusi, III, 160.
42) Zabidi, IX, 49.
43) Elmalılı, II, 1101-1102.
44) Tabari, III, 269.
45) Razi, VIII. 38.
46) Razi, XVIII, 38; XI, 115-116; Alusi, VI, 25.
47) Alusi, VI, 25.
48) Baydawi, II, 27; Nasafi, III, 27; Razi, XXI, 179; Alusi, XVI, 51; Elmalılı, V, 3296.
49) Ibn Kathir. III, 108.
50) Ibn Kathir. III, 451; Alusi, XXI, 100-101: Abul-Hasan Ali bin Ahmad al-Wahidi, Asbabun-Nuzul, p. 245, 288, Beirut, 1410/1990
51) Razi, XXV, 156-157; Alusi, XXI, 100-101.
52) A committee headed by Hekimoğlu İsmail, Yeni Ansikolpedi, Kelime, Kelimat and İlhâm items, II, 675, (Osmanlıca Lem'alar, p. 898) II, 551 (Şualar, p. 128 Mektûbat, p. 448); 11,674 (İşâratu'l-İ'câz, quoted from p. 157). Timaş yayınları. İstanbul, 1989.
53) Mehmed Ali Ayni, Muhyiddîn İbn Arabî Şeyh-i Ekberi Niçin Severim, p. 81, Evkâf-ı İslâmiye Printing House, Istanbul, 1339-1341.
54) M. Ali Ayni, p. 19.
55) Tafsiru Kabir, XXV, 156-157.
Questions on Islam
- Prophet Isa [Jesus] (Peace be upon him)
- What purpose does Prophet Moses’ have by using these words in his prayer; "O my Lord! Expand me my breast, Ease my task for me. And remove the impediment from my speech. So they may understand what I say:”? (Surah Taha, 20/25-28)
- Are angels Allah's daughters?
- Christians interpret Ruhul-Quds as Allah's spirit. Is Hz. Isa (Jesus) Allah's spirit?
- What should our style of speech be like? What are the appropriate manners for speaking? What about the appropriate manners for listening?
- Prophet Ibrahim [Abraham] (Peace be upon him)
- Can I get information about the high ethics of Hz. Muhammad (PBUH)?
- What are the attributes of Allah? How many types of attributes are there?
- What does Mithaq, that is the ‘covenant’ in qalu bala, mean? Why do we not remember the promise we made in the realm of the souls? Will it make us free of responsibility not to remember that promise?
- Is it not disrespect to call the Prophet Isa (Jesus) “O Jesus, son of Mary”?