The Mu'tazila argued, using reason alone, that the Quran was not co-eternal with God as "God must have preceded His Word". The Mu'tazila also held Tawheed, the Oneness of God, to be fundamentally true.
Could it be argued that they hit a roadblock because they defined two Absolutes for themselves - Tawheed and Reason? And that in attempting to govern their lives using two Absolutes, they got no thing more than confusion.
Does firmly accepting the tahlil, لا اله الاّ الله, require an individual to drop any and all conventional concepts such as "speech", "before", "after" etc, with respect to God, as concepts that have any essentially rational meaning? Does attempting to conceptualise God from within our very limited frames of reference limit Him to those frames of reference?
And, if the above is reasonable, can this reasoning be used to flip the argument about Quranic createdness on its head, whilst remaining (to a large degree) within reason? (..here goes!)
God is One. Therefore He and His Word are One. His Word is Being. Therefore God and Being are One. Conceptualising God as Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient only adds weight to this conclusion - God is not absent from this world in His Omnipresence, or we would all be facing a nihilistic hell. But He is not 'in' this world, at least not as some conceptually constructed form, because this would position our reason against Tawheed, which cannot be done.. He simply Is this world. As such, the Quran is co-eternal with Him, because it is Him through Tawheed.
Now is it possible to deduce that He is any 'thing' beyond this world? That would require us to conceptualise beyond this plane of existence. Given that our reason and our conceptual construction is 'of this world', in attempting to use our reasoning for going beyond this world, are we not simply 'dragging' what we think of as God into our conventional existence and turning Him into 'god' through conceptualising Him in our minds? Is conceptualising Tawheed overstepping our God given allotment?
(I say 'our reason' and 'our conceptual construction' because if Tawheed rules within this argument, de-limiting 'our reason' to 'reason' (in its essential form) here would create a clean cut between our world and the Divine - it would shatter Tawheed, which again, we cannot do! (the essence of reason cannot be 'of this world' - essence is God's alone)
For an argument that seems to be within some concept of 'reason', by remaining true to Tawheed the essence of 'reason' is kept outside of our human reach. This makes sense though, so long as we don't seek to claim the essence of reason from God within our reasoning, Tawheed remains, and is not difficult to feel out.
If no claim to an essentialist reasoning is made, then is anything essential other than Tawheed stated above? Within the above argument, is there any property you can attribute to 'my notion' of Tawheed other than my faith in it? Within the framework of Islam then, is stating 'this world is Tawheed, the next world is Tawheed, Tawheed Is All' unreasonable?
Is it also possible to argue that the Mu'tazila, in putting Absolute faith in their reason, broke with the tahlil, and therefore are - in the strictest sense possible - not Muslim?
Could you also somewhat justify their argument that saying "God is infinite" is denying Omnipotence 'finality'? After all, infinity is still no more than a conceptual construct. Is Tawheed the closest that our limited human minds can get to conceptualising God?
I know a lot of my above reasoning seems to stand against the core belief within Islam that the human realm is separated from the Divine realm, but is the human realm separate from Tawheed itself? I choose to make no claims about the Divine realm above, or the relation between the Divine and the conventional. In my opinion I only place faith in Tawheed as Truth and see what follows!
As a final point, I'm reading through the Quran (80% done now) and I don't recall any statement that draws an Absolute distinction between Tawheed and our plane of being. Is there such a demarcation?