a) The impossibility of the revelation of the Quran
The Quran presents the concept of God in a way which makes the revelation itself impossible:
- i) “… nothing is like him, he is the All-hearing, the All-seeing” (Q. 42:11)ii) Muslims believe in the doctrine of mukhaalafa مخالفة, ‘unlikeness’, which means there is no likeness whatsoever between Allah, and his characteristics on the one hand and all that pertains to creatures on the other.iii) Muslims believe the Quran is unlike human speech; it is eternal and uncreated (The Creed of Imam al-Tahawi = al-Aqidah al-Tahawiyyah).iv) Muslims believe that whatever comes to your mind, Allah is not that, but something else.
The above claims demonstrate that it is impossible to use human language to talk about Allah, because human language can only deal with human concepts. As the Quran isn’t in human language (human languages are created, the Quran isn’t) and because whatever we might think of Allah using human language and concepts he is other than that, we can’t say anything about Allah using human language. That means, if the Quran is credible in what it says about Allah’s nature and characteristics, then it cannot be a revelation from Allah. The language of the Quran is Arabic which we know to be of human origin as it developed from earlier Semitic languages. Logically, of course, we have two options: we either believe it is false, or we believe it is true. But if it’s true, it means nothing can be said about Allah using human language - including the claim that nothing can be said about Allah using human language. So, therefore, what it says about Allah rules out the revelation of the Quran. Of course a Muslim could insist that the Quran is not created and that it is not in human language. But that would mean we will never be able to understand what it says, including the names and attributes of Allah, or that it is not of human origin.
Therefore, since the Quran is written in human language, it cannot be an expression of Allah, it cannot be a revelation from Allah, nor can it be Allah’s word. That is to say if the Quran is true about who Allah is, it cannot be true about what the Quran is, and vice versa.