Assalaamu alaykum. I know that stating that the Qur'an is created is kufr (disbelief). But what is the ruling on saying that one does not know whether it is created or not and declining to investigate or make a decision on the matter? Is it true that Imam Abu Hanifa refused to give a fatwa on this issue, and if so, why? May Allaah reward you.
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
The Quran is the speech of Allaah that was revealed and not created. Refraining from declaring this is definitely an innovation and a misguidance. Those who refrained from giving their opinion on whether the Quran is created or not created were known as Al-Waaqifah and Ash-Shaakkah. The majority of the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah dispraised them and severely reprimanded and condemned them. Ibn Taymiyyah said:
“(The group of) Al-Waaqifah is rebuked and is considered a misguided group who does not say whether the Quran is created or not created; this stern opinion about them is authentically proven from the majority of the scholars, such as Ibn Al-Maajishoon, Abu Mus’ab, Wakee’ ibn Al-Jarraah, Abul-Waleed, Abul-Waleed Al-Jaaroodi the companion of Ash-Shaafi'i, Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Abu Thawr, Is-haaq ibn Raahawayh, and many other scholars whose number only Allaah knows.”
For more benefit on this issue and the position of the righteous predecessors on it, you may refer to the book entitled Al-‘Aqeedah As-Salafiyyah fi Kitaab Rabil Bariyyah authored by Al-Jedee’ in chapter: Al-Waqf fi Al-Quran.
As regards Imaam Abu Haneefah his view is the same as the view of Ahlus-Sunnah, that the Quran is the speech of Allaah that was revealed and not created; and it was not confirmed from him that he said what is contrary to this. The book Usool Ad-Deen ‘Inda Abu Haneefah authored by Dr. Muhammad al-Khamees, reads:
“Imaam Abu Haneefah's belief in the Quran is the belief of the Imaams of the salaf (righteous predecessors) of this nation, and this is what was authentically proven by the Quran and the Sunnah, that the Quran was revealed and not created; it began from Him and to Him it will go back. These are the words of the Imaam quoted from al-Fiqh al-Akbar: 'The Quran is not created;' and he said in Al-Wasiyyah, 'We acknowledge that the Quran is the speech of Allaah, and it is not created.
I have not come, in the books that are attributed to him, across a statement that is contrary to this view.
Based on the above, the scholars, such as Imaam Ahmad and Bishr ibn Al-Waleed, At-Tahaawy, Al-Laalakaa’i, Ibn Taymiyyah, and Ibn Hajar, have consecutively ignored the narrations that say that Abu Haneefah said that the Quran was created, and they decisively asserted that the view of Abu Haneefah is that he did not say that the Quran was created.
At-Tahaawi also held the same view, as he, when clarifying the belief of Abu Haneefah and his two companions, said, “They were convinced that the Quran is the speech of Allaah in reality and that it is not created.” At-Tahaawi did not refer to something that is contrary to this.” [Summarized]
Allaah knows best.
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