Posted by: faqir | December 26, 2009

Ibn Hajar al-Haytami Explains the Meaning of Allah’s Speech to Musa

Translated from his work, Fatāwa al-Hadīthiyya

Question: What is the meaning of Allāh’s Speech (kalām) to Mūsā (`alayhi salām)? Can others hear it?


Even though Allah’s Speech (kalām) is not from the same genus of the speech of creation, those whom Allāh has honored can hear it, from His messengers and angels, be it with an intermediary (wasīta) or not.

“It is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration.”  1
“ To Moses Allah spoke direct.” 2

Some of the Mālikī Imāms said: Whoever denied that Allah spoke to Mūsā repentance is sought from him; if he repents that is good, otherwise he is to be killed.

Some of the latter day scholars said: In reality all speech (kalām) belongs to Allāh and ascribing it to others is (majaz) for if it is pre-eternal, it is His attribute (sifa) and if it is emergent then it is from His action because it is from His creation and will, so having said that, the Ummah is agreed that Allāh is the One who speaks (Mutakallim)

According to the Ash`arīs the kalām is established with Allāh’s entity and is called kalām nafsī [uncreated eternal speech with Allāh].

The Mu`tāzila denied that and said: Him being Mutakallim is that He created kalām.

And the consensus (ijmā`) is that He spoke to Mūsā, due to the explicit Ayāt stating that; this refutes them in their claim of it not being permissible. And they differed in the quality of hearing the kalām nafsī:

The people of the Dhāhir said: we believe in it and we don’t speak about it, them intending by this that it is from the ambiguous (mutashabbih).

The Bātiniyya said: Allāh created understanding in Mūsā within his heart and did not create hearing for him [to hear this kalām].

The Madhhab of Ahlul Sunnah is that Allāh created understanding in his heart as well as hearing within his two ears and the rest of his body by which he heard the kalām of Allāh without a voice or letter and without any intermediary.

The Mu`tāzila claimed, while traversing upon their corrupt Madhhab in denying kalām nafsī, that Allah created understanding in his heart and a voice in the tree that he heard.


1 Qur’ān, Sūrat al-Shūrā 42:51
2 Qur’ ān, Sūrat al-Nisā 4:164

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