016 Quran is not a creature
The paper, ink and similar material parts (Mus'haf) of Quran which we take in our hands for reading is surely from the realm of Creation. That is to say, it is a creature. However, the statements it contains, the order and organization of those statements and the divine meaning conveyed by those statements, all belong to Allah (s.w.t.) Himself. And what is meant when we say "Quran" is those statements. They are the manifestations of Allah's attribute of speech (Kalaam) and they are not among the created. Therefore, it would be blasphemous to claim that Quran is a creature.
Some English sources include descriptions like "the Quran written by Mohammad", "Mohammad's book Quran" or "Quran's author: Mohammad". Such descriptions are resulted by a lack of proper knowledge regarding Allah, Islam and prophets.
The last prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.) was an ummi, that is, an illiterate. He did not author any book either. Quran was revealed to him directly by the angel Gabriel. In other saying, every letter, every word and every sentence of it belong to Allah.
Dear readers, the number of words many of us use in our daily life does not exceed 800 or 1000. And maybe some of our intellectuals speak and write 10 to 15,000 words. Cultural level of people is often measured by the number of words and terms they know because of each word denotes a concept, an idea, a piece of information. Shortly, the number of words and terms familiarized is a measure of the scientific and cultural level. When Allah (s.w.t.) created Adam, therefore, He expressed to His angels His pride on Adam's naming things. (See Al-Baqarah, 31 to 33). Despite this highlighting by the Sustainer of All Realms, humankind has managed to fully comprehend the importance of naming things only in the last a few centuries. And only in the last quarter century they have become able to grasp the deep meaning of the hadith of Rasulullah (s.a.w.):
"The highest of ranks is that of science" [Hadarat-ul-quds]
This is why the current era is called the "age of information". And I leave it to your discretion whether the World of Islam has been able to grasp the importance of this yet. In short, the systematic studies in the last a few centuries started by Linnaeus have enabled the classification of tens of thousands of plants, animals and microorganisms; new terms have been coined for hundreds of new diseases and thousands of new chemicals; and thousands of new technological products with new names have been introduced. So, hundreds of thousands of plants, animals, microorganisms, procedures, techniques, methods, products, space objects, home appliances have been named, and the number of entries in dictionaries has reached hundreds of thousands. All these are the most significant evidences showing how the divine will manifests and how the Sustainer of All Realms takes humanity towards a great development. Through the human, which He has created as the most honorable of all creatures, Allah (s.w.t.) has been reshaping the world, so to speak, which He has put into the service of the human and on which He has designated the human as His Caliph.
Despite all these, dear readers, the number of words and terms even in the most advanced dictionaries does not exceed one million whereas Allah's words are infinite just like his science:
"Say: If the ocean were ink (wherewith to write out) the words of my Lord, sooner would the ocean be exhausted than would the words of my Lord, even if we added another ocean like it, for its aid." [Kahf, 109]
How can ever the Creator be incapable of knowing and naming His creatures?
So Quran is a manifestation of the kalaam attribute of Allah (s.w.t.) and it was descended in the Arabic language, which was the richest language of that time and which, to this day, preserves its richness almost to the same extent, and Quran has also contributed many new concepts to the Arabic language.
The declaration by Allah (s.w.t.) to prophets of those principles which will ensure salvation in this world and in the hereafter for humans is called "revelation" ](wahy) . Revelation is the process of angel Gabriel's reading Allah's commands and prohibitions to prophets.
Quran was revealed verse by verse in 23 years.
This revelation took place in various ways:
"One of them was the 'true dreams' which came exactly true in the real world. The beloved wife of our Prophet, Aisha (r.a.) said, "The dreams of the Prophet (s.a.w.) used to come true precisely. His dreams were as clear as the light of morning." For about 6 months, Quran was revealed through dreams.
The second was the revelations which Gabriel (a.s.) brought in disguise of a human being. Gabriel often used to approach in disguise of Dihyah, which was a handsome Sahabah.
And Gabriel sometimes came without being seen, with a hum or rattle like sound. It is stated that verses of fear and agony were revealed like this.
Revelations were also inspired to the heart of the Prophet (s.a.w.) when he was fully awake. And they came in other ways as well.
When a revelation came, drops of sweat just like raindrops appeared on the blessed face of the Prophet even in cold winter days. In such situations, those around him were influenced in such a great extent that sometimes they could not even move their hands and arms. Once, Mohammad (s.a.w.) received a revelation while he was on a camel and the animal had to kneel down on its hind legs."
The Messenger of Allah (s.w.t.) used to memorize revelations and never forget them. The message of a verse from Quran:
"By degrees shall We teach thee (the Message), so thou shalt not forget," [A'la, 6]
The Prophet (s.a.w.) used to declare revelations coming to him to Ashab al-kiram so that they could also memorize them.
For 14 centuries, numerous atheists and enemies of Islam have been displaying a violent desire, greed and effort to change and corrupt Quran. Despite this fact, Quran has reached our time without any slightest change.
It is stated in a Qur'anic verse:
"We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)." [Hijr, 9]
It is not possible to make any alteration in Quran due to the reasons I will relate below.
When Gabriel revealed each verse, he also stated their sequence and to which surah they belonged to. Rasulullah (s.a.w.) used to instruct his revelation-scribes and they would write down the instructed verses. When a verse was revealed, almost everyone would memorize it and recite them in their prayers.
Besides, each year in the Ramadan month, Gabriel (a.s.) would come, sit face-to-face with Mohammad, the Prophet would recite and Gabriel would listen to him and correct any deficiency or error. This activity was called a "muqabala" (reciprocation). It continued regularly until the death of the Prophet (s.a.w.). After his death, this has been maintained by Moslems for centuries as his sunnah.
In muqabalah, often in our mosques, a juz (20 pages) is recited before each morning prayer. A hodja effendi and his several assistants recite and Muslims who have a good command of Quran (about 15 to 20 people) follow them and warn them in the case of any error in the recitation. A full recitation of Quran in this way is called a "khatm". So the "khatm al Quran" is completed with the month Ramadan.
Today, on the other hand, there are thousands of Hafizs who can recite the complete Quran from their memory.
Moreover, Muslims in tens of thousands of mosques and millions of houses in the world recite Quran in their prayers that they perform five times a day and, in this way, hundreds of Quran verses are imprinted in their brains. How possibly could they have altered it?
Therefore, it is absolutely impossible for any publisher to make any slightest alteration in Quran because any error would immediately be revealed in muqabalahs and in the repetitions of hafizs.
Be entrusted to Allah.
Dr. Ismail Ulukus