June 22, 2024
In Islam, "Wahi" (وحي) is the term used to refer to the divine revelation received by prophets and messengers from Allah Almighty. According to Muslim scholars, Wahi is a form of direct communication between Allah and the prophets, in which Allah conveys His guidance and commands to the prophet. Wahi is also termed as Kalamullah.

Understanding the Kalamullah

In Islam, “Wahi
(وحي) is the term used to refer to the divine
revelation received by prophets and messengers from Allah Almighty. According
to Muslim scholars, Wahi is a form of direct communication between Allah
and the prophets, in which Allah conveys His guidance and commands to the
prophet. Wahi is also termed as Kalamullah.

The term Wahi is derived
from the Arabic root word “Wahy” which means “to
reveal” or “to inspire” secretly. The concept of Wahi is
an essential part of Islamic belief, as it is through Wahi that Allah
communicates His message to humankind.

Muslim scholars have described Wahi
as a form of inspiration that is conveyed to the prophet through various means,
such as through the angel Jibreel (Gabriel), through dreams, or through direct
communication with Allah. The Wahi is considered to be a pure and
infallible source of guidance, as it is directly from Allah and not influenced
by any human or cultural biases.

Muslims believe that the final and
complete Wahi was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
through the Angel Jibreel, which is recorded in the Quran, the holy book of
Islam. The Quran is considered the ultimate and final revelation from Allah and is the primary source of guidance for Muslims.

The other word used for Wahi
in Quran is Kalamullah. Kalamullah, literally, refers to the
Divine Speech. Originally, Kalamullah is not composed of Makharij (phonics)
and letters, because Allah Almighty is free of human-like organs and limbs.
Sounds (phonics) are produced by using certain instruments like jaws, teeth, tongue,
pallet, throat, pharynx, muscles, nerves, and brain. We can’t produce sounds
without these instruments. Moreover, we need air to breathe and make sounds.
Allah Almighty does not have a physical form, so, He is free of all such instruments.
Consequently, Allah Almighty does not speak like humans.

When we study the nature of Wahi/Kalamullah
mentioned in Hadiths, we find that it is free of Makharij (phonics). Kalamullah
is a secret code communicated to the Prophet’s heart. The Prophet Muhammad
(peace be upon him) decoded this Divine Communication in the form of the Quran.

Despite all of these facts, Allah
Almighty commanded us to believe in the revelation of the Quran. He titled the Book
revealed to our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) Arabic Quran. Allah
Almighty said:

And thus We have sent it
down as an Arabic Qur’an and have diversified therein the warnings that perhaps
they will avoid [sin] or it would cause them remembrance.

Indeed, We have sent it down as an Arabic
Qur’an that you might understand.

And indeed, the Qur’an is the revelation
of the Lord of the worlds.
The Trustworthy Spirit has brought it down. Upon
your heart, [O Muhammad] – that you may be of the warners – In a clear
Arabic language.

It is also clearly
described that Quran is not human work. The disbelievers objected repeatedly
that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) produced the Quran, but Quran
explicitly refuted their objection and stressed that it is not Muhammad’s work,
but it is Divine Revelation. Even Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had no
authority to change any word or phrase from the Quran.

And when Our verses are
recited to them as clear evidence, those who do not expect the meeting with Us
say, “Bring us a Qur’an other than this or change it.” Say, [O
Muhammad], “It is not for me to change it on my own accord. I only follow
what is revealed to me. Indeed I fear if I should disobey my Lord, the
punishment of a tremendous Day.” [

It is evident from these verses that the Quran (Kalamullah)
is originally revealed in the form of an abstract Arabic message to the Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is not a parable of a different Quran that may
exist in the Divine Self. There is only one Quran in Divine Self, inscribed in Lawh
, preserved in the Prophetic heart, and inscribed in Mushaf
(Codex). We are unable to trace any reference to two different types of Quran,
in any sacred texts.

We believe that Allah Almighty is All-Knowing even before
the creation of heavens and earth. His eternal Knowledge does not evolve or change
over time. We also believe that He is Omnipotent, so He is capable of speaking
any language of the world, or even the languages we are ignorant of, without
human-like instruments. Still, Kalamullah (Divine Speech) is not
identical to human speech. No Divine Attributes resemble human attributes. The
Prophet (peace b upon him) did not use optical or auditory senses to conceive and
understand Kalamullah, but he relied upon his heart.

So we need to reconcile these two facts:

The Quran is sent down in the form of an Arabic message.

Originally, Kalamullah does not contain Makharij and Huroof.

As we mentioned above, Allah Almighty is highly capable of
Speaking Arabic, without human-like instruments. That is why originally, Kalamullah
does not contain Makharij and Huroof. It means Almighty Allah speaks
without Makharij, which are human actions in reality. But, being Kalamullah
free of Makharij does not necessitate that Kalamullah is also always
free of audible sound. So, it is not valid to decide whether Kalamullah
is always audible or otherwise. It all depends on Allah’s Will. However, when
we listen to somebody reciting Quran, we listen to Kalamullah in reality,
instead of its parable.

The Makharij (phonics) and Huroof (Letters) that
represent Klamullah contain Kalamullah in reality. In other
words, Makharij and Huroof communicate Kalamullah to the
human brains. Human beings need to be organized Makharij and Huroof to
understand Kalamullah, while Kalamullah does not need these human
actions to exist. When we recite or write Quran, Kalamullah acts like the spirit
of Makharij and Huroof. Human beings is composed of spirit and
body. Nobody says that spirit and body are two different human beings. Likewise,
Kalamullah—spirit and  our Makharij
are not two different things. Our recitation and inscription contain Kalamullah,
so our recitation is nothing but Kalamullah and inscribed words from
Quran are nothing but Kalamullah. The same was true for Ancient Scriptures including, Torah, Zaboor, and Injil.

Now, we concluded that our recitation and inscribed Mushaf
is nothing but Quran. Though we know that human actions are considered
creations, recitation, and inscription of the Quran are not mere human actions,
but these contain eternal and infallible Kalamullah. Because we can’t
separate Klamullah from our recitation and inscription that is why we
can’t say our recitation and inscription are also creations, necessarily.

Yes, paper or animal skin and ink are definitely creations;
it is not Klamullah itself, because before writing these items were
separate from Kalalmullah and in case of erasing we can again separate Klamullah
from paper and ink. However, due to containing Kalamullah, tangible Mushaf
is as venerable as the abstract Kalamullah. This is why most Muslim scholars forbade touching the Quran in a state of ritual impurity.

In summary, Imam Ahmad’s stance that Quran is not a
creation, even our own recitation and inscription is not a creation is valid but
a stronger position, as compared to the opposite. This is why, this stance has
been reported from the early generations, while the opposite stance was not
supported by early scholars.

We are unable to grasp the reality of Kalamullah completely,
due to our limited understanding and wisdom. Despite certain evident Quranic
narratives, when we try to grasp the deeper meanings of these narratives, their
grey areas are where we need to be extremely careful. For these grey areas, we must
create space for the Muslims, who fail to grasp these deeper meanings. Don’t
condemn them for their incompatibility to understand these deeper meanings.


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