KALÂM – كَلَام
Literally: Anything said, spoken or written. A word, saying, speech. A conversation or talk. A sentence, a book, speech or language. A phrase which expresses a purpose and a meaning.
The word of Allah (‘Azza wa jalla), the Qur'an, or any revealed book.
An attribute of Allah (‘Azza wa jalla). His attribute of Kalâm is pure above and beyond letters and voices. It is Pre-Eternal and Post-Eternal.
“The Second Haqiqah: This is Ilahî discourse, which proceeds from the attribute of Kalâm. According to the mystery of the âyah: لَوْ كَانَ الْبَحْرُ مِدَادًا لِكَلِمَاتِ رَبِّى 1 Ilahî discourse is infinite. The clearest sign demonstrating the existence of a being is his speech. This haqiqah, therefore, constitutes an infinite testimony to the existence and wahdah of the Pre-Eternal Mutakallim.” The Rays (170)
بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
قُلْ لَوْ كَانَ الْبَحْرُ مِدَادًا لِكَلِمَاتِ رَبّ۪ى لَنَفِدَ الْبَحْرُ قَبْلَ اَنْ تَنْفَدَ كَلِمَاتُ رَبّ۪ى وَلَوْ جِئْنَا بِمِثْلِه۪ مَدَدًا2
[This mighty âyah is a vast, elevated, broad ocean. One would have to write a large volume in order to describe all its jewels. So postponing those precious jewels to another time, for now, I shall explain a few rays of a subtle point in order to recall those haqiqahs. Appearing faintly to me, they struck my attention a few days ago during the tasbîhât of salâh, which is an important time for me. I did not write them down at that time and they gradually grew fainter. So in order to hunt down a manifestation of those points before they are lost altogether, I shall say a few words as though encircling them.]
First Word: In respect of being an Ilahî attribute like ‘Ilm and Qoudrah, pre-eternal Kalâm is also infinite. Certainly, if the seas were ink for something infinite, they would never be able to complete them.
Second Word: The clearest and most powerful thing that makes understood someone's existence, is his speech. To hear someone's speech proves his existence as clearly as a thousand proofs, indeed, as clearly as seeing him. Thus through its ma’nâ al-isharî, this âyah says:
"If the seas were ink to the extent of Ilahî Kalâm, which demonstrates Ar-Rabb Zuljalâl's existence, and the trees were pens, and they were to write His Speech, they would never come to the end of them. That is to say, just as any speech points to the existence of the one who spoke it to its own extent at the degree of witnessing, so too the extent that the above speech points to and tells of the One Who spoke it-Al-Ahad As-Samad One-is beyond measure so that if all the seas were ink they would still be insufficient for writing it."
Third Word: In accordance with the hikmah of establishing, verifying, and convincing of a haqiqah, in teaching the haqiqahs of îmân to all classes of men, the Qur'an of Miraculous Exposition apparently repeats the same haqiqah. This âyah is in effect a ma’nawî answer to the entirely unjustifiable attacks of the Jewish ‘ulamâ, who were ahl al-‘ilm and ahl al-kitâb of that time, on the Noble Prophet ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalam concerning this, in the face of his being unlettered and not learned. It is as follows:
The honoured âyah says: "The repetition in different and miraculous ways for numerous instances of hikmah, like verification and persuasion, of a haqiqah containing numerous benefits and results, and, in order to establish them in the hearts of the ‘awâm in particular, the repetition of matters like the pillars of îmân comprising thousands of haqiqahs each of which has the value of thousands, does not arise from restricted speech or intellectual deficiency or lack of capital. Indeed, the Qur'an is taken from the endless, infinite pre-eternal treasury of Ilahî Kalâm, and being turned to al-‘âlam ash-shahadah on account of al-‘âlam al-ghayb, speaks with man and the jinn, rûh, and the malâikah, resounding in the ears of every individual. If the seas were ink, sentient beings scribes, plants pens, and particles the pens' nibs for counting the words of pre-eternal Kalâm, the source of the Qur'an, they would still never come to the end of them. For they are finite, while Kalâm is infinite."
Fourth Word: It is clear that the issuing of speech from something unexpected increases the speech's importance, making itself heeded. Especially the speech-like voices of large bodies like the clouds and the atmosphere, they make everyone listen to them. The sounds of a gramophone the size of a mountain would attract attention even more. And the samâwî voice of the Qur'an, which takes the levels of the samâwât as gramophone records, pours forth to make the head of the globe of the earth listen to it. Also through the power of the radio, the molecules of air are like the receivers and transmitters of its letters. Alluding to the fact that the air molecules each become like mirrors, tongues, needle points, and ears to Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm's letters, and indicating how important, valuable, significant, and living are those letters, ma’nâ al-isharî of the âyah says: "The Qur'an, which is Kalâm of Allah, is so living and valuable that if all the seas were to become ink, and the malâikah scribes, and minute particles points, and plants and hairs pens to the number of the ears that listen to it and hear it, and to the number of the sacred words that enter those ears, they could still never come to the end of them."
No, they could never come to the end of them, because if Janâb-i Haqq multiplies man's weak and lifeless speech millions of times in the air, for sure each word of the Peerless Sovereign of the Samâwât and Earth's Kalâm, which looks to the earth and the samâwât and addresses all conscious beings in the earth and samâwât, will comprise words to the numbers of particles of air.
Fifth Word: This consists of Two Letters.
The First Letter: Just as the Attribute of Kalâm has words, so also does Qoudrah have embodied words and ‘Ilm too has wise words of Qadar; these consist of all beings. Living beings, and small creatures in particular, are each Rabbânî words which point to the Pre-Eternal Mutakallim in a way more powerful than Kalâm. And if the seas were ink they could never come to the end of them. That is, the âyah looks to this meaning too in allusive fashion.
The Second Letter: All the ilham received by malâikah and men, and even by animals, are a sort of Ilahî Speech. The words of this speech are certainly infinite. It means that the âyah is telling us how numerous and infinite are the ilham and words of Ilahî command which the innumerable cohorts of Absolute Sovereignty continually receive.” The Flashes ( 347 - 349)