(Un)Created(?) – Quran Desecration, part 2

A question for the Muslim community: why we are offended when the Qur’an is desecrated? (See previous post for details.) Echoing the grand debate most associated with the Mutazilah, the Qur’an is either created, or uncreated. If it is uncreated, then that means the Qur’an is co-eternal with God, meaning that something else exists with God. So, as a second “eternal,” I can understand why Muslims would be upset; of course, it also means that they are only superficially believers in tawhid. To be offended, is to deny what it means to be Muslim.

If you argue that the Qur’an is created, then yes, it is the Divine Word, but is not the rest of creation the result of God’s Majesty? Is it any less worthy of respect? Man is imbued with the Spirit (ruh, 32:9) of God. Is that part of God’s presence on earth less worth than the Word? What of God’s favors would you deny (3:19, 3:21, 3:101, 4:150, 10:17, 55:13-55:77)? Should we not be having protests in the streets for the death of Muslims at the hands of Muslims (Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, etc.)? Should we not be having protests in the streets every time a Muslim kills someone (5:32)? Enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong (22:41) is not applicable only to Muslims. If killing a Muslim is wrong, because a Muslim is a human being, and human being is God’s creation, than to kill anyone is wrong. So Muslims who are offended by the desecration of Qur’an because it is God’s creation, there are other of God’s creation being desecrated every moment; where is the horror? Are we acting as though Islam had never come?

I understand the powerful symbolic meaning of flushing the Qur’an; it shocks and horrifies me as one of the key markers of my identity. However, the Qur’an is only one aspect of God’s presence on earth; taqwa, God consciousness, has to be more than simply washing before reading the Word. Preserve the text and the message.

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7 thoughts on “(Un)Created(?) – Quran Desecration, part 2

  1. The Quran is a book, created by a publisher and printed by the hands of man. It is no more sacred than a Harry Potter book. The words inside, their meaning, and their telling, have inspired hundreds of millions of people and created a legacy of great Islamic civilisations. The words are eternal and these are from God. Americans may have flushed the book, but many Muslims have long ago flushed the words.

  2. Ghostdog has it pretty much right, I think. I’m baffled by the protest response. It’s as if people look (rightly or wrongly) for any excuse to wreck havoc. I wouldn’t treat with contempt (the word “desecrate” has as little meaning for me as the word “blasphemy”) any one’s scripture, but I don’t see the report as a reason for the protests.

  3. Created or Uncreated?

    A post at Islamicate provides a brief explanation of the debate over the createdness or uncreatedness of the Qur’an — in the context of the current scandal over whether or not a Qur’an was flushed down a toilet in Guantanamo Bay….

  4. “…but I don’t see the report as a reason for the protests.”
    It merely confirm to many Muslims that this is a “war on Islam”. Do not see these protests in isolation.

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