In a previous post: AL-QURAN: ISLAM’S UNCREATED SAVIOR AND MEDIATOR
We saw that traditional Sunni Islam teaches that the Quran is the speech, e.g. word, of Allah, and since it is Allah’s word it is uncreated by nature.
Note what Ibn Taymiyyah, the darling of Salafi Islam, wrote in this regard:
The Affirmation that the Qur’an is the Speech of Allah
Then, the author, may Allah have mercy upon him, mentioned the Ayat that proving that the Qur’an is the speech of Allah.
Many disagreements occurred surrounding this issue, between the Mu’tazilah and the People of the Sunnah, which resulted in a tremendous amount of evil being inflicted upon the People of the Sunnah. Among those that suffered harm for Allah’s sake regarding that was Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, may Allah have mercy upon him, the Imam of the People of the Sunnah. The one about whom some scholars said: “Allah, Glorified and Exalted is He, preserved Islam (or they said: aided it) by Abu Bakr during the day of Apostasy, and by Imam Ahmad during the day of the Mihnah (inquisition).”
The Mihnah was when Al-Ma’mun, May Allah pardon us and him, FORCED people to say THAT THE QUR’AN IS CREATED; such that he began to hold inquisitions with the scholars, AND HE KILLED THEM IF THEY REFUSED TO SAY SO… As for Imam Ahmad, and Muhammad bin Nuh, may Allah have mercy upon both of them, they refused that and said: “The Qur’an is the speech of Allah, revealed, NOT CREATED.”…
❖ Concerning His statement:
<The Word of Allah>, HE ATTRIBUTED THE WORD TO HIMSELF. He said: <The Word of Allah> This indicates that the Qur’an is the Word of Allah; and it is such.
❖ And the creed of the People of the Sunnah and the Jama’ah regarding the Qur’an is that they say: The Qur’an is the Word of Allah, revealed, NOT CREATED, it initiated from Him, AND TO HIM IT RETURNS…
— Concerning their saying: “not created” its evidence is His statement, Exalted is He:
<Surely, His is the Creation and the Command> (Al-A’raf 7:54)
So, He made the creation one thing and command another, because the use of a conjunction dictates variance, and the Qur’an is from the command, based upon His statement, Exalted is He:
<And thus We have revealed to you Ruhan (an Inspiration) from Our Command. You knew not what is the Book, nor what is faith. But We have made it a light wherewith We guide whosoever of Our slaves We will> (Ash-Shura 42:52)
So, if the Qur’an is a command, and it is different than the creation, IT IS THEREFORE NOT A CREATURE. This is because if it is a creature, then, division into two categories will not be correct. This is a textually revealed evidence.
As for the intellectual evidence, we say the Qur’an is the Speech of Allah. And the Speech is not an individual that maintains itself such that it can be separate from Allah. If it was an individual maintaining itself, separate from Allah, then we would have said that it is created. But, speech is an attribute of the one who utters it; if it is an attribute of the one who utters it and is from Allah, THEN IT IS NOT A CREATURE; because ALL THE ATTRIBUTES of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, ARE NOT CREATURES. (Commentary On Shaikh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah’s Al-‘Aqidah Al-Wasitiyyah, by The Virtuous Shaikh, Al-‘Allamah Muhammad bin Salih Al-‘Uthaymin [Darussalam Publications, 2008], Volume 1, pp. 569-570, 572-574; capital emphasis mine)
First: That the Qur’an is the Word of Allah, Exalted is He, and an Attribute of Allah, AND THE ATTRIBUTES OF THE CREATOR ARE NOT CREATURES…
The fourth view: That we say, if you allow that speech – which is a meaning that cannot stand on its own except with a speaker – is a creature, IT NECESSITATES THAT YOU ALLOW THAT ALL THE ATTRIBUTES OF ALLAH ARE CREATURES, since there is no difference. Therefore, say: His hearing is a creature; His seeing is a creature, etc. (Ibid., pp. 577, 580; capital emphasis mine)
We further saw that the Muslim scripture is depicted as a living conscious being which speaks to Allah:
991. Abu Umamah reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah saying, “Read the Qur’an, for it will come as an intercessor for its reciters on the Day of Resurrection.”
[Muslim]. (Riyad-us-Saliheen, Book Eight – The Book of Virtues, Chapter 180: The Excellence of Reciting the Qur’an, Number 1 https://sunnah.com/riyadussalihin/8/1; bold emphasis mine)
To sum up the orthodox Sunni view:
The Quran is the speech/word of Allah, and therefore one of his attributes.
The attributes of Allah are uncreated and inseparable from him.
The Quran is therefore eternally inseparable from Allah.
The Quran originates from Allah and shall return to him.
The Quran is a living, conscious, speaking attribute which interacts with Allah.
The reason why this is relevant to the Person of Christ is because both the Quran and the sunnah of Muhammad identify him as the very Word and Spirit of Allah!
For instance, the Muslim scripture teaches that Jesus is Allah’s personal Word that came forth from him as a Spirit who then entered into Mary, obviously for the purpose of becoming human:
When he was standing during prayer in his place of worship, the angels called him saying, “God gives you the glad news of the birth of your son, John who will be a confirmation of (Jesus) the Word of God. He will become a chaste, noble leader and one of the righteous Prophets. S. 3:39 (Muhammad Sarwar https://www.islamawakened.com/quran/3/st23.htm)
“Behold,” the angels told Mary, “God has given you the glad news of the coming birth of a son whom He calls His Word, whose name will be Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, who will be a man of honor in this life and the life to come, and who will be one of the ones nearest to God. S. 3:45 Muhammad Sarwar
People of the Book, do not exaggerate in [practicing] your religion and tell nothing except the Truth about God. Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, was merely God´s messenger and His word which He cast into Mary, and a spirit [proceeding] from Him. Believe in God [Alone] and His messengers, and do not say: ´Three!” Stopping [it] will be better for you. God is only One God; glory be to Him, beyond His having any son! He owns whatever is in Heaven and whatever is on Earth; God suffices as a Trustee, S. 4:171 (T.B. Irving https://www.islamawakened.com/quran/3/st47.htm)
This is why Christ in the Islamic tradition is called the Word of Allah (Kalimatullah) and the Spirit of Allah (Ruhullah):
Ruh-Ullah – Spirit of God, A special title given by Prophet Muhammad to Jesus (A. A.) (M. A. Qazi, Concise Dictionary of Islamic Terms [Kazi Publications, Chicago IL, 1979], p. 57; bold emphasis mine)
It is narrated on the authority of Ubadah b. Samit that the messenger of Allah observed: He who said: “There is no god but Allah, He is One and there is no associate with Him, that Muhammad is his servant and His messenger, that Christ is servant and the son of His slave-girl and he (Christ) HIS WORD which He communicated to Mary and is HIS SPIRIT, that Paradise is a fact and Hell is a fact,” Allah would make him (he who affirms these truths enter Paradise through any one of its eight doors which he would like. (Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Number 0043)
And Allah says, “When Allah will say, ‘O Jesus, son of Mary.’” This describes the question that Allah will put on the Day of Judgement to His Messenger and HIS WORD JESUS. This question will relate to the matter that the Christians deified Jesus, and his mother as gods. Allah will ask him whether he had ordered them to leave Allah aside and make deities out of him and his mother. This question will be put to prove the innocence of Jesus and the falsehood and concoction of those misguided people. (Sheikh ul-Islam Ibn Taimiyah, Sharh Al-Aqeedat-il-Wasitiyah [Darussalam Publications, 1996], p. 115; capital emphasis mine)
“Jesus continued his mission, aided by divine miracles. Some Qur’anic commentators said that Jesus brought four people back from the dead: a friend of his named Al-‘Azam, an old woman’s son, and a woman’s only daughter. These three had died during his lifetime. When the Jews saw this they said: ‘You only resurrect those who have died recently; perhaps they only fainted.’ They asked him to bring back to life Sam the [sic] Ibn Noah.
“When he asked them to show him his grave, the people accompanied him there. Jesus invoked Allah the Exalted to bring him back to life and behold, Sam the [sic] Ibn Noah came out from the grave gray-haired. Jesus asked: ‘How did you get gray hair, when there was no aging in your time?’ He answered: ‘O, Spirit of Allah, I thought that the Day of Resurrection had come; from the fear of that day my hair turned gray.’” (Stories of the Prophets by Ibn Kathir, translated by Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa Geme’ah, Office of the Grand Imam, Sheikh Al-Ahzar, edited by Aelfwine Acelas Mischler [El-Nour For Publishing and Distribution and Translation Est.; 38 Al-Madina Al-Monawara St., Toryl Al-Gadida], pp. 347-348; bold emphasis mine)
And since Jesus came forth from Allah it doesn’t come as a surprise that the Quran attests that Christ then returned back to him, with the only difference being that he went back from where he came from as a glorified man with the physical body he took from his blessed virgin mother:
When God said, ‘O Jesus! I will make Thee die and take Thee up again TO ME and will clear thee of those who misbelieve, and will make those who follow thee above those who misbelieve, at the day of judgment, then to me is your return. I will decide between you concerning that wherein ye disagree. S. 3:55 Palmer
But Allah raised him [‘Iesa (Jesus)] up (with his body and soul) UNTO HIMSELF (and he is in the heavens). And Allah is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise. S. 4:158 Hilali-Khan
Islamic tradition further affirms that Christ will be an intercessor at the last day:
Mention when the angels namely Gabriel said ‘O Mary God gives you good tidings of a Word from Him that is a boy whose name is the Messiah Jesus son of Mary He addresses her attributing him to her in order to point out that she will give birth to him without a father for the custom is to attribute the child to its father honoured shall he be in this world through prophethood and the Hereafter through his intercession and the high stations al-darajāt al-‘ulā cf. Q. 2075 and of those brought close to God. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Q. 3:45 https://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=74&tSoraNo=3&tAyahNo=45&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2; bold emphasis mine)
(Held in honor in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allah.) meaning, he will be a leader and honored by Allah in this life, because of the Law that Allah will reveal to him, sending down the Scripture to him, along with the other bounties that Allah will grant him with. `Isa will be honored in the Hereafter and will intercede with Allah, by His leave, on behalf of some people, just as is the case with his brethren the mighty Messengers of Allah, peace be upon them all. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir http://www.alim.org/library/quran/AlQuran-tafsir/TIK/3/45; bold emphasis mine)
Therefore, Jesus holds essentially the same status that the Quran does in Sunni Islam with one major difference being that One is Allah’s Word that became flesh whereas the other is the word that became a book!
To sum up the implications of Islam’s view of Christ:
Jesus is the Word of Allah, and therefore one of his attributes.
The attributes of Allah are uncreated and inseparable from him.
Jesus is therefore eternally inseparable from Allah.
Allah’s Word is a living, conscious, speaking attribute that interacts and converses with Allah
Jesus is therefore Allah’s living, conscious, speaking attribute who interacts and conserves with Allah.
Jesus came forth from Allah as a Spirit and entered into Mary in order to become flesh.
Since Jesus came forth from Allah he then returned back to him after leaving this world.
With the foregoing in perspective, it is clear that the Islamic teaching in regards to the Quran and Jesus proves that Allah is not the unipersonal Being that Muslims think he is. Rather, the plain teaching of Sunni Islam is that Allah is composed of multiple conscious entities that are inseparable from one another. Moreover, the Sunni view of the Quran and Jesus further implies that Allah, or at least some essential aspects of his very own nature, became a part of the physical creation when his speech and word became a book and a flesh and blood human being.
There’s simply no way around this dilemma for Sunni Muslims, since this is the inevitable and unavoidable implications that the Sunni position of the Islamic scripture and the Person of Christ Jesus cause for Muhammad’s followers. And unfortunately for Muslims, chanting Allahu alim, e.g., “Allah knows (best)” won’t solve the incoherence and irrationality of these particular Sunni beliefs.