Assalamu alaykum.

Firstly I apologise if my question is language-related, I am a convert who has not managed to learn arabic yet.

My question is about the usage of both first person "I" and third person "He" in Qur'an: why is there an alternation?

Surah Al Baqara ayah 29 : It is He who created for you all of that which is on the earth. Then He directed Himself to the heaven, [His being above all creation], and made them seven heavens, and He is Knowing of all things.

ayah 41 : And believe in what I have sent down confirming that which is [already] with you, and be not the first to disbelieve in it. And do not exchange My signs for a small price, and fear [only] Me. ayah

I thank you for your effort in answering my question, or redirecting me should an answer already exist on this website.

  • I think this has already been addressed before. – Medi1Saif Sep 2 '20 at 20:07
  • Do you mind showing me where? I wish to learn about this – Reuben Victoor Sep 3 '20 at 21:21
  • See here and here. This is what I could find by a quick search. I don't know whether that is all I've seen so far nor whether the answer(s) given are satisfactory enough. – Medi1Saif Sep 4 '20 at 8:01
  • Also, see here – The Z Sep 4 '20 at 21:40
  • This is relevant: islamqa.info/en/answers/209022 – UmH Sep 5 '20 at 3:44

As nobody among us is a Messenger of Allah, we can not know how revelation takes place. However, we can observe by that Muhammad (p.b.u.h) received it as a direct speech of Allah (spoken with We or I), as well as a direct speech of the Angel (introduced with Say: ..., and using He). We will never know how revelation took place but it is interesting that we can have a glance on it reading the Holy Qur'an.

In the first post of this answer I also mentioned the thesis that the Quran - that often contains the same message in different verses - may contain repetitions of prior revelation repeated by the Prophet (p.b.u.h). I have studied this question and I found out that there is no such evidence; especially the usage of He for the same message in a later Surah has no regularity that woud support this thesis.

  • Allah speaking in third person does not mean it is the speech of someone else. He can speak about Himself in the third person. – The Z Sep 4 '20 at 22:16

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