It was in this blessed month when the first Ayat of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa salam):
ALLAH subhanahu wa ta'ala says:
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِيۤ أُنْزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ ٱلْهُدَىٰ وَٱلْفُرْقَانِ
The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Qur’ān was revealed as guidance for mankind, and as clear signs that show the right way and distinguish between right and wrong.
Surat al-Baqarah, Aya 185
But the Asha'irah say that what was revealed to the Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa salam) is created! They regard the Arabic Quran as created!! So they opposed the Lord of the worlds and they opposed his Messenger (salallahu 'alayhi wa salam)! And they opposed the Sahaba (radhiallahu 'anhum) and the Tabi'in and the Atba' al-Tabi'in and they opposed all (normal) muslims!!
But they don't say it openly and try to hide their belief! But we do understand what they're saying!
The Asha'irah agree with the Mu'tazila that the Quran that was sent down to the Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa salam) is created, but they don't like it when it becomes known that they agree with Mu'tazila on the matter of the Quran!
They regard the whole Quran that was sent down to the Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa salam) as created! The Regard every single Aya - from the the first Aya of Surat al-Fatiha till the last Aya of Surat an-Nas - as created!!
Imam Ibn Qudamah (rahimahullah) said in "al-Munadhara fil Quran" the following:
And the focus of [these] people [the Ash'arites] is to [say] the Qur'an is created and to agree with the Mu'tazilah, but they love that this should not be known about them, so they embarked upon [sophistry] that [amounts] to arrogant rejection of observable reality, and rejection of the realities, and opposition to the consensus (ijmaa), and throwing the Book and the Sunnah behind their backs, and speaking with something that no one before them has said, neither Muslim nor Disbeliever.
And it is strange that they are not daring enough to proclaim their [real] saying openly, and nor to explicitly state it, except in secluded gatherings, even if they were [ones] in authority (i.e. rulers) and were the leaders of the state. And if you were to quote [to others] from their saying that they believe, they would hate it and reject it and become arrogant over it.
They do not outwardly show except veneration of the Qur'an, and respect of the masaahif (copies of the Qur'an), and standing up (maintaining respect for it) when seeing it. But in the secluded gatherings, they say, "There is nothing in them (the masaahif) except paper and ink, and what else is in them [but that]?"
And I had quoted some of what had been said by one with whom there was a debate - between me and him - and he became angry and it was burdensome to him, and he is one of the greatest of rulers in the land. And he did not reveal explicitly his saying until I was in seclusion with him, and he said, "I wish to say to what is in the innermost part of myself, and you (in turn) say to me what is in the innermost part of yourself", and he made their saying (that of the Ash'aris) clear to me, along the lines of what we have [already] quoted from them. And when I presented some verse, making it binding upon him [to accept] that they indicate the Qur'an is these [very] surahs (chapters) [in letter and word], he said, "And I say this is the Qur'an (as well). But this is not the eternal Qur'an." I said, "So do we have two Qur'ans?". He said, "Yes, and what will happen if we have two Qur'ans?"
When I quoted this saying from him (to others) he became angry.
And some of our companions said to him: "You are the rulers (wulaat ul-amr), the leaders of the state, so what prevents you from openly proclaiming your saying to the general folk, and calling people to speak with it between them."
So he was refuted and did not [thereafter] respond to me.
And then he said:
And we do not know amongst the people of innovation, any faction who conceal their saying, and do not have the boldness to proclaim it (openly) except the Heretics (Zanaadiqah) and the Ash'ariyyah.
And Allaah, the Exalted, order His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to openly proclaim the religion, to call to it, and to convey what Allaah revealed to Him, so the Most High said:
O Messenger! Proclaim (the Message) which has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message. Allah will protect you from mankind. (Al-Ma'idah 5:67)
So if their saying - as they claim - is the truth, then why do they not openly proclaim it and call the people to it?
And how is it lawful for them to hide it and conceal it, and to proclaim openly what is different to it, deceiving the public [into thinking they] believe other than it? Rather, if their saying was the truth that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), His Companions, and the Imaams of the religion after them were upon, how come not one of them openly proclaimed it? And did they all concur upon concealing it?
Or how was it lawful for the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to conceal it from his ummah whilst he had been ordered to convey what had been revealed to him, and had beed threatened against concealing anything from it with His saying:
And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message. (Al-Ma'idah 5:67)
And how was it possible for him to make the people presume (something) in opposition to the truth?
And if you want to know what the Asha'irah believe regarding the Quran and that there is no difference between them and the Mu'tazila on this matter (except a semantical one), then read this:
THE ASH'ARIS AND THE MU'TAZILA AGREE THAT THE QURAN IS CREATED AND THEIR DIFFERENCE IS A SEMANTICAL ONE
Ramadhan al-Buti, a contemporary Ash'ari scholar, says the following in his book " كبرى اليقينيات الكونية " ("Kubra al-Yaqiniyyat al-Kawniyya") regarding the difference between Ash'aris and the Mu'tazila on the matter of the Quran:
And here the Mu'tazilah separated from the majority [meaning of the Ash'ari Scholars] since they do not ascribe an eternal attribute to Allaah with this meaning [that of the Ash'aris] whose name is "al-kalaam" or "al-kalaam an-nafsee".
They (the Mu'tazilah) had said:
Indeed, the sense, meaning (madlool) of the expressions (ibaaraat) to which you have applied the name of "al-kalaam an-nafsee" returns in reality to the attribute of knowledge (ilm), if this meaning is information (khabar), and returns to the attribute of wish, desire (iraadah) if it is a command (amr) or prohibition (nahee) (and you will already know that they consider the wish, iraadah and the command, amr, to be a single meaning). As for the expressions themselves, then their words are haadithah, makhlooqah (recent, created) from Allaah - just as we have all agreed (upon this) - for they are not the attribute of Allaah, the Most High, but they are a creation from amongst His creatures, and the [word] "Kalaam" is nothing but an explanation of this (meaning).
When you reflect upon what we have mentioned, you will have grasped the point of difference between the Mu'tazilah and Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah [he means the Ash'aris], and it is:
There is a meaning of the words of the Qur'an from which the command (al-amr), prohibition (an-nahee), information (al-khabar) are composed of and which are directed to mankind and which is eternal (qadeem) [referring here to the meaning, ma'naa]. So what is the name of this meaning (ma'naa)?
The Mu'tazilah [say]: It's name is knowledge (al-ilm) if it is informing with knowledge (ikhbaar), and wish, desire (al-iraadah) if it is command or prohibition.
The majority (meaning of the Ash'aris) [say]: It's name is "al-kalaam an-nafsee", and it is an attribute in addition to both knowledge (ilm) and wish (iraadah), which is established with the essence of Allaah.
As for the speech (al-kalaam) which is the wording (al-lafdh), then they are agreed (the Ash'aris and Mu'tazilah) that it is created (makhlooq), and that it is not established with His, the Sublime's essence - with the exception of Ahmad bin Hanbal and some of his followers. For they held [the view] that these letters and voices are also eternal in and of themselves, and that they are the meaning of the attribute of al-kalaam (speech).
And we do not enter - after you have come to know the point of agreement and difference [between the Ash'aris and the Mu'tazilah] - into anything of debate and argument that have arose regarding this study [of this subject], due to our belief that [short] discourses are easier than [all of that].
And though we believe what the majority [i.e. of the Ash'aris] have tended to that the meaning (ma'naa, present with Allaah) which is the [original] sense, or meaning (madlool) behind of the expressions (ibaaraat), is name is "al-kalaam an-nafsee", and that it is an attribute in addition to both the attribute of knowledge and wish (al-ilm wal-iraadah), except that the Mu'tazilah are all agreed, entirely, with the majority [meaning of Ash'ari scholars] in affirming this meaning for Allaah, the Most High, and that it is an eternal attribute established with His essence, even if they do not call it "Kalaam" like we do.
And most of what you hear of the alarming reverberations of the historical difference in this matter, then the origin of it [all] is the difference between Ahmad bin Hanbal (radiallaahu anhu), and the other sects such as the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah.
So Ramadhan al-Buti says that both the Ash'aris and the Mu'tazila believe that only the meaning that subsist in ALLAH ta'ala is uncreated, while the wording (lafdh) of the Quran (meaning: this Arabic Quran that we know and that was sent down to the Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa salam)) is created (wal 'yadhubillah)!!
And the only difference here is a semantical one, because the Mu'tazila said that this meaning is part of 'Ilm and Irada of ALLAH ta'ala, while the Ash'aris said that this meaning should be called "Kalam al-Nafsi"!
Now we ask: Did Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) oppose the Mu'tazila so much regarding the matter of the Quran only because of a semantical difference??? And did the Mu'tazila imprison him because of a semantical difference??? NO, NEVER!!!
Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) and all of the Salaf believed that the Quran that was sent down to the Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa salam) is uncreated!
May ALLAH ta'ala protect us from such misguidance (i.e. saying that the Quran is created!) and guide the people of kalam!
(Note: This is my last post for this ramadhan and I don't think that I will be able to answer to any replies!)