We believe that the Quran is uncreated. However, would it be fair to say that the Quran we have is in "created form"?

When we recite the words of the Quran, are the "words" uncreated? Not to mention that my knowledge of the words, the Arabic, etc of the Quran are also created. Wouldn't that entail that the words of the Quran are now in created form? Or that something created (i.e my act of recitation) is now in perfect similitude to the words that Allah spoke, something uncreated? How can the created replicate what is uncreated?

2 Answers 2


There was a rift during the 800s ACE called the Mihna where the dominant thought (at least among the government) was the Mu'tazilla belief that the Quran was created since logically God "must have preceded his own speech". The Mu'tazilla came to this conclusion after studying the Greek classics and thinkers.

A few caliphs of the Abbasid Caliphate oppressed dissidents, the biggest one being the famous scholar Ahmad Ibn Hanbal who protested against this belief and said the Quran is always Uncreated. He was then imprisoned and tortured by the caliphs at the time until the popular support and thinking turned into Ahmad Ibn Hanbal's favor, so they then released him.

The issue was finally settled when the famous scholar Abu Hasan al-Ash'ari, who's also the founder of the Ash'ari School of Theology, founded a middle ground between the strict literalists (Atharis) and the Mu'tazilla. The middle ground established by Al-Ash'ari was that the Quran is the uncreated word of God, that is, it was not created by God, but like God has always been. And it is to be created when it takes on a form in letters or sound. The Ash'ari School eventually became the dominant School of Theology within Islam and it still is.

He believed that the Quran was uncreated and eternal, yet its ink and paper, individual letters and words were created.

Islamic Philosophy from Its Origin to the Present: Philosophy in the Land of Prophecy p. 125

Therefore, when we use the word, “Qur’an,” to refer to God’s Attribute of Speech, it is uncreated. When we are using the word, “Qur’an,” to refer to the physical text, or what we memorize and recite, those things are all created and they are not the attribute of speech. Therefore, to remove any confusion all one needs to understand is that the physical text as well as the memorized or recited words are not the actual attribute even if we use one word, “Qur’an,” to refer to both.


  • For sure, a qualified answer (+1 from my side). What I wanted to point out (-2 from whoever) is that we can not know it, and although the Ashari position is moderate, the Ashari didn't know it either...
    – Jeschu
    Dec 25, 2022 at 13:12
  • I didn't downvote you brother. I personally haven't analyzed all the evidences in this matter and I understand there are differences of opinion among the Islamic community on this in regards to some things. But I think that the Quran itself not being created is unanimously agreed upon currently by all schools of thought and theology in mainstream Sunni Islam since Mu'tazilla and schools like it haven't really existed for the longest times.
    – YoMango
    Dec 25, 2022 at 22:19

There have been long debates around this topic, see Wikipedia.

Blood of believing Muslim has been shed around this question, from both sides, although God forbids to kill believers, and Muhammad (p.b.u.h) admonished his companions not to quarrel on details.

We have no knowledge. Only God really knows it. Those who won the fight between Muslims had no knowledge, and those who lost the fight had no knowledge, either.

So let's just do His Will as we understand it and leave to Him what we cannot know.

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