.@shadihamid to ensure I don’t misrepresent you, here are parts of the book where you make descriptive claim re Muslim beliefs in the Quran as “God’s actual direct & literal speech” & that this makes Islam exceptional. What follows are my academic disagreements with you (thread):
If “Quran” means the recited Arabic sounds/letters/verses, then only Hanbalis & Mu’tazili say the Arabic Quran is God’s direct literal speech. Asharis, Maturidis, Ibn Sina, Ismailis & some Sufis believe God’s Speech is nonmaterial/uncreated & created Arabic Quran indicates to it
To be specific, Ashari & Maturidi theologians to this day say that Arabic Quran as words & verses is not God’s direct speech. It’s a created expression mediated by Gabriel or some other medium. Some believe God inspired His immaterial speech in Gabriel who then forms the words.
In classical era, Ismaili Muslim community, Islamic philosophers Farabi, Ibn Sina & few others believed that God inspired Muhammad with ideas/truths & Muhammad composed the Quran. It’s “argued” by al-Akiti, Griffel & myself that Ghazali even adopted this view in some sense
Finally, many modernist Islamic thinkers across world - F Rahman, Soroush, Shabeshtari, Nasr Abu Zayd, and other thinkers have taken this view that the Prophet formulated the Quran in response to his contexts from nonverbal divine inspiration. So this inspired Quran view persists
Now someone may say I’m just mincing words or nitpicking. But these positions I’ve described all express different “theologies of the Quran”. There is 1 Quranic text but as Shahab Ahmed said the Quran is conceived to be a different sort of object by various Muslim groups/schools
To those who say 99% of Muslims today see Quran as God’s literal speech: 1. How do we know that? What do they even think “speech” means and 3. These other views I describe prove that Islam includes many alternative models than what may be popular today and this maters.
We can draw analogy here with Quranic variants and presentation. Many Muslims believe the Quran was preserved letter for letter and vowel for vowel but pre modern islamic scholars by and large have more nuanced views of Quranic preservation and variants.
So should we say that all the pre modern Muslim ideas about Quranic variants and recitations is marginal because today’s Muslims don’t know about it? It’s the same for Quranic ontology - that 2 major Sunni Kalam schools have nuanced views of Quran vs God’s Speech is important
Finally @shadihamid if I’m misrepresenting your views I am more than happy to discuss with you on a YouTube live chat as we are both interested in such topics and it’s always nice to encountered a scholar with intersecting interests. Maybe @AkyolinEnglish can join us.
There are also legal & interpretive implications if one holds to Ashari, Ismaili or Mutazili views of revelation. I’ll be discussing these in my book that I’m supposed to write this year instead of being on twitter.

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More from @KhalilAndani

21 Feb
@shadihamid with respect; your claim is not accurate. Only Hanbalis say Quran’s words (oral / written) are God’s direct uncreated speech. Asharis/Maturidis/Ismailis/Philosophers ontologically distinguish Quran’s Arabic words from God’s Speech/Word. My entire thesis is about this
Further; Ashari & Maturidi & Ismaili views of Quranic ontology affect their Quranic hermeneutics & ethical theory. See Vishanoff & Farahat’s work and mine as well
There were early Christians fathers & later Christians who do affirm verbal biblical inspiration / dictation as well. One can’t validly claim Muslims are unique in this nor can you claim Muslim inerrancy beliefs are not paralleled among Christians.
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