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Where Is Allah (swt)?

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No soul has authority over another. Guidance and straying is a matter between God and you.

 

 

 

aakwrAllahwbHu

 

 

 

By Mufti Muhammad Ibn Adam

 

Q:) How should a Muslim respond to where Allah Almighty is? As this is great Aqidah confusion between the ummah?

 

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

 

 

The issue of “Where is Allah?†is something that was never debated or made a matter of dispute among the Muslims throughout the ages and eras. Unfortunately, due to immense ignorance about our deen, certain Muslims spend and waist their precious time arguing about petty and trivial issues and forget about their real duties and responsibilities.

 

The belief (aqidah) one must have regarding his Lord and Creator is that Allah Almighty is One, there is nothing like Him, there is nothing that can overwhelm Him, there is no god besides Him and He is Eternal without a beginning and Enduring without end. He will neither perish nor come to an end and nothing happens except what He wills. No imagination can conceive of Him and no understanding can comprehend Him. He is different from any created being.

 

Allah Most High says about Himself:

 

“There is nothing whatever unto like Him.†(Surah al-Shura, 11).

 

And He says in Surah al-Ikhlas:

 

“And there is none like unto Him.†(112: 4).

 

Due to the above and other texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah, one of the major beliefs a Muslim must have regarding Allah Most High is that there is no creation that is similar to Him. If Allah is regarded to be similar or resemble or have any qualities of His creation, then that would constitute disbelief (Kufr).

 

Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (Allah have mercy on him) states:

 

“Whoever thinks that Allah has a body made of organs, then he is an idol-worshipper…Whosoever worships a body is regarded a disbeliever by the consensus of all the scholars, the early scholars (salaf) and the late (muta’akhirun)†(Iljam al-Anam an Ilm al-Kalam, 6-8).

 

If one believes that there is nothing similar to Allah in any way, then his Aqidah is correct and there is no need for disputes and arguments. I believe that there isn’t a Muslim that really believes that Allah is similar to his creation in any way, thus disputes and arguments must be avoided. Yes, if one does believe that Allah has hands, feet, face, etc…that is similar to his creation, then without doubt this person would come out of the fold of Islam.

 

Regarding the question, “where is Allah?†firstly, it should be remembered that this is not something that one will be asked about on the day of Qiyamah. We are in need of people really learning about the basics of Islam, rather than engaging themselves in these matters. Those that argue and cause destruction with such issues are normally ignorant about even the basics of Salat, Zakat, Hajj, etc… We need to really wake up and smell the coffee!

 

Secondly, this question in itself is wrong. We ask regarding the whereabouts of a person that lives in time and space. For example, I encompass time, meaning I live in time, and I have a body that needs to fill some space.

 

However, Allah, Mighty and Majestic, is the creator of time and space. If we limit Him to any time or space, then this would imply that we resemble Him to his creation by giving Him a body, as space is limited. If one was to say that Allah is everywhere, then this is wrong, as ‘everywhere’ is limited and ends somewhere, whereas Allah is not limited.

 

Similarly, to say that Allah is on earth, sky, moon, sun, throne, etc… is also wrong, as all these things are limited and to limit Allah to any created thing is Kufr.

 

Imam al-Tahawi (Allah have mercy on him) states in his famous al-Aqida al-Tahawiyya:

 

“He (Allah) is beyond having limits placed on Him, or being restricted, or having parts or limbs. Nor is He contained by six directions as all created things are.†(P. 9).

 

Imam al-Nasafi (Allah have mercy on him) states:

 

“He (Allah) is not a body (jism), nor an atom (jawhar), nor is He something formed (musawwar), nor a thing limited (mahdud), nor a thing numbered (ma’dud), nor a thing portioned or divided, nor a thing compounded (mutarakkab), nor does He come to end in Himself. He is not described by quiddity (al-ma’hiya), or by quality (al-kayfiyya), nor is He placed in space (al-makan), and time (al-zaman) does not affect Him. Nothing resembles Him, that is to say, nothing is like Him.†(See: Sa’d al-Din al-Taftazani & Najm al-Din al-Nasafi, Sharh al-Aqa’id al- Nasafiyya, 92-97).

 

In conclusion, one must have the Aqidah that Allah Most High is pure from space and time. It is wrong to say that He is everywhere and it is also wrong to believe that He is on something, as all these are limited whereas Allah Almighty is limitless. However, we must believe that His knowledge encompasses everything, and he knows, sees and listens to everything.

 

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

 

(you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetcentral-mosque(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/aqeedah/where.htm"]Source[/url]

 

 

 

Extracts from what I wrote elsewhere:

 

 

Is God everywhere?

 

God is "here" without being physically present at one place, and He is "there" without being absent from another place. "Where" doesn't apply to God-- He is "everywhere", without being physicaly here or physically there.

 

 

What about the verse which says Allah is the fourth when there are three, and the sixth when there are five?

 

58:7 Have you not considered that Allah knows what is in the heavens and what is on the earth? There is in no private conversation three but that He is the fourth of them, nor are there five but that He is the sixth of them and no less than that and no more except that He is with them [in knowledge] wherever they are. Then He will inform them of what they did, on the Day of Resurrection. Indeed Allah is, of all things, Knowing.

 

The above verse was regarding secret counsels against the Prophet (sAahwaah) and the believers: Allah AWJ reminds men and warns them that their secrets are never a secret from Allah. Indeed, Allah encompasses all things.

 

Physicality doesn't apply to God. When it is said that God is above (or over), it doesn't refer to a physical looming of one thing over another thing, subhaana Hu. Likewise, God being the third wouldn't mean His being physically present as the third. Nearness does not imply His physical presence and remoteness doesn't imply being farther from His reach.

 

 

 

Alhamdu lillahi Rabbil aalameen

 

 

 

la ilaaha illaa Allaahu Al-‘Atheemu Al-Haleemu, la ilaaha illaa Allaahu Rabbul ‘arshil-‘atheemi,

la ilaaha illaa Allaahu Rabbus-samaawaati wa Rabbul-ardhi wa Rabbul-‘arshil-kareemi

there is no god except Allah, the All-Mighty, the Forbearing; there is no god except Allah, the Lord of the Mighty Throne;

there is no god except Allah, Lord of the heavens, Lord of the earth and Lord of the noble Throne.

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Allah is in your heart and in your mind. If he is not there, then you are not a Muslim.

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jazak Allah

brother hamza

alhamdulillah your post is very

educating

alhamdulillah

(when mentioning the GREAT

ENTITy of Allah i would remove comments of creatures about creatures--please)

salaam

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The Qur'an, prophet Muhammad, Sahabah and a majority of the esteemed Salaf never said that Allah is physically nowhere, nor have they attempted to describe in what manner He exists or anything of the sort. When asked the question, they said exactly what the Qur'an has said: Allah rose above His throne.

 

 

The Belief of the Pious Predecessors

Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jama'ah

Regarding Allah's Istiwa' & Elevation above His creation

 

Introduction

 

This article summarizes the creed of the pious predecessors and As-hab Al-Hadith (Ahl Al-Athar), whom are Ahl As-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah, with regards to the Attribute of the Istiwa’, and Allah’s Elevation above His creation.

 

The creed of the Pious Salaf, Ahl As-Sunnah in this matter:

 

1. Allah Almighty is above the throne, above the heavens, above all of His creation.

 

Evidence from the Qur'an

 

- Allah says – translation of the meaning- :

{The Most Gracious Rose (Istawa) above the Throne} [20:5]

And the Throne is the highest of all creation, as it is above the heavens and all of creation, it is the roof of creation.

 

- {They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded} [16: 50]

{From Allâh, the Lord of the ways of ascent. The angels and the Rûh ascend to Him in a Day the measure whereof is fifty thousand years} [70:3-4]

And ascension is: Rising, meaning: the angels rise to Allah Almighty because He is above.

 

- {And because of their saying, "We killed Messiah, son of Maryam, the Messenger of Allâh," – but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared so to them and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture.For surely, they killed him not. But Allâh raised him up to Himself..} [4:157-158]

 

- {Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven, will not cause the earth to sink with you, and then it should quake?} [67:16]

Abu Bakr Ahmad As-Sibghi (d. 342 H.) said: «The Arabs would sometimes use the word 'fi' to mean 'alaa' (on; above). Allah the Exalted said: {So travel 'fi' the earth} [9:2] and {I will crucify you 'fi' the trunks of palm trees} [20:71]. The meaning is 'on the earth' and 'on the trees'. The phrase 'fi as-samaa' is used in the same way, meaning: on the throne, above the heavens, as it has authentically been reported from the Prophet peace be upon him.» (1)

 

For more clearification regarding this, please see the article on the meaning of “fi as-sama†.

 

- {He is the First and the Last, the Most High and the Most Near. And He is All-Knower of every thing} [al-Hadid: 3]

The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: â€When any one of you intends to go to sleep, he should lie on the bed on his right side and then say: "O Allah. the Lord of the Heavens and the Lord of the Earth and Lord of the Magnificent Throne, our Lord, and the Lord of everything, the Splitter of the grain of corn and the datestone (or fruit kernal), the Revealer of Torah and Injil (Bible) and Criterion (the Holy Qur'an), I seek refuge in Thee from the evil of every- thing Thou art to sieze by the forelock (Thou hast perfect control over it). O Allah, Thou art the First, there is naught before Thee, and Thou art the Last and there is naught after Thee, and Thou art Adh-Dhahir and there is nothing above Thee, and Thou art Al-Batin (Innermost) and there is nothing dunak. Remove the burden of debt from us and relieve us from want.“

Dunak in this hadith means: near, meaning nearer in knowledge.

 

Ibn Jarir At-Tabari (d. 310 H.) said: “and His saying {Adh-Dhahir}, He is saying: And He is dhahir over everything below Him, and He is High above everything, nothing is higher than Him. {Al-Batin} He is saying: and He is the batin of everything, nothing is nearer to anything than Him, as He said: {And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein} [50:16].†(2)

At-Tabari says in the Tafsir of that ayah [50:16] : “With knowledge of what his own self whispers to him.â€

Ibn Abi Zamanin (d. 399 H.) said: “ Adh-Dhahir is the High above everything He created, and Al-Batin is His inward knowledge of His creation (i.e His knowledge of the hidden), {And He is All-Knower of every thing} [Al Hadid: 3].†(3)

 

Evidence from the Sunnah (Hadith):

 

- Hadith of the slave girl:

Mu’awiyah as-Sahmi reported: «I had some sheep which I kept between Uhud and Juwaniyyah with a slave girl to look after them. One day, I went out to check on my sheep and discovered that a wolf had devoured one of them. Since I am just a human, (I became angry) and struck the girl. Later on, I came to the Prophet -Sallallahu alahi wa Sallam- and reported to him the incident. He terrified me with the gravity of my action. I said, "Messenger of Allah! Shall I free her (as an expiation of my sin.) He said â€Call her over.“

When I did, he asked her: â€Where is Allah?“ She said: "fi as-sama (above the Heavens)"

Then he asked her, â€Who am I ?“ She said: "The Messenger of Allah -Sallallahu alahi wa Sallam-".

Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah -Sallallahu alahi wa Sallam- ordered me, â€Free her for she is a believer.“ [saheeh Muslim]

 

- In the of the farewell pilgrimage (Hajj), the Prophet –Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam- said: â€I have left among you the Book of Allah, and if you hold fast to it, you would never go astray. And you would be asked about me (on the Day of Resurrection), (now tell me) what would you say?“

They (the audience) said: “We will bear witness that you have conveyed (the message), discharged (the ministry of Prophethood) and given wise (sincere) counsel.†He (the narrator) said: “He (the Holy Prophet) then raised his forefinger towards the Heaven, and pointed it at the people (saying) : â€O Allah, be witness. O Allah, be witness,“ saying it thrice. [sahih Muslim]

In this hadith, the Messenger of Allah was testifying Allah Azza wa Jal at that moment, and not making duaa for one to say that he pointed above because it is the qiblah of duaa.

 

As for the statements of the pious predecessors and scholars of Sunnah, these are compiled in the second and third parts of this article, please refer back to them.

 

2. That Allah Istawa (Rose) over/above His throne.

 

Allah Almighty says –translation of the meaning-:

{Ar-Rahman above the Throne Istawa} [20: 5]

{Then He Istawa over the Throne} [7:54], [10:3], [13: 2], [25:59], [32:4], [57: 4]

 

The Meaning of Istiwa' :

The Tabi`ee Mujahid (d. 102 H. said: “ Istawa (meaning) : Rose (`alaa) above the

Throne.†(4)

Bishr bin Umar Az-Zahrani (d. 207 H.) said: “I heard more than one of the commentators (scholars of tafsir of the Quran) say: {Ar-Rahman above the Throne Istawa}: Ascended (Irtafa`a).†(5)

The linguist Abu Al-Abbas Tha`lab (d. 291 H.) said: {Istawa over the Throne} Rose above (`alaa).†(6)

Ibn Jarir At-Tabari (d. 310 H.) said in his commentary (tafsir) regarding the first verse [20:5] : “Ar-Rahman above His Throne Ascended and Rose (Irtafa`a wa `alaa).

And said regarding the meaning of the second verse in the second verse said "Meaning: Rose (`alaa) above it."

 

3. That Allah Almighty Rose (Istawa) over His Throne because He {(He is the) Doer of whatsoever He wills} [85:16], and not because He is in need of the Throne, for Allah is independent from the Throne and other than the Throne.

 

Allah said –translation of the meaning-:

{Verily, Allâh stands not in need of any of the `Alamîn (mankind, jinn, and all that exists)} [29:6]

{He is Rich (Free of all needs). His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth.} [10:68]

{O mankind! it is you who stand in need of Allâh. But Allâh is the Rich (Free of all needs), the Worthy of all praise} [35:15]

Abu Ja`far At-Tahawi (d. 321 H.) said in his famous Aqeedah (creed) : "And He is independent of the Throne and what is below it, He encompasses everything, and is above it.â€

 

4. Allah is separate (ba’en) from His creation:

 

Meaning: Nothing of Allah’s Essence is in His creation, nor any of His creation is in His Essence. Nothing from His creation encompasses Him.

Allah Ta’la said: {Ar-Rahman above the Throne Istawa}

And all of His creation is below the Throne, and Allah is above the Throne.

 

Ibn Al-Mubarak (d. 181 H.) : It was related that Ibn Shaqiq said to Ibn Al-Mubarak: "How do we know our Lord?"

He said: «By (knowing) that He is above the 7th Heaven over the throne, that He is separate from His creation.» (7)

Ishaq Bin Rahwaih (d. 238 H.) : Harb Alkaramani said to Ishaq: "In regards toAllah's saying: {There is no Najwâ (secret counsel) of three but He is their fourth…} [58:7], What would you say (about its meaning) ?

He said: «Wherever you may be, He is closer to you than your jugular vein, and He is separate from His creation.» Then he related what Ibn al Mubarak said: «He is over His Throne, separate from His creation.» Then Ibn Rahwaih said: «The highest and most clear thing in that is His (Allah’s) saying: {Ar-Rahman over the Throne Istawa (Rose)}.» (8)

 

5. The Istiwa of Allah Almighty does not resemble the istiwa of creation, rather, we believe that Allah istawa over His Throne in a manner befitting His Majesty, not like that of creation.

 

Allah said –translation of the meaning- : {There is nothing like Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer} [42:11] and {And there is none coequal or comparable to Him} [112:4]

 

6. The kayfiyyah (reality; how-ness) of Allah’s Istiwa is unknown to us, as Allah has not informed us, nor did His Messenger –sallallahu alayhi wa salamm-, on the details of this matter, and it is not permissable to ask about the kayfiyyah of His Attributes. Allah Almighty alone knows how He Rose (Istawa) over His Throne, and our duty is to believe and submit.

 

Imam Malik (d. 179 H.) said in his famous statement, answering someone who asked him “How did He (Allah) Istawa?â€:

«The Istiwa is not unknown, the how-ness is not comprehendible, asking about it is an innovation, and believing in it is compulsory.» This saying of his is famous amongst scholars.

Wakee` bin Al-Jarrah (d. 197 H.) said regarding the Hadiths about Allah’s Attributes: «We accept these Hadiths as they came, and we do not say: 'How is this?’ nor 'Why this came?» (9)

Abu Bakr Al- Isma`ili (d. 371 H.) said: "... and that He, Almighty, Has Risen (Istawa) over the Throne without (asking) how, for Allah Almighty has stopped at Him Rising over the Throne and did not mention how His Istiwa was.†(10)

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Statements of the Pious Salaf:

 

The Sahabah (Companions) –Radiyallahu Anhum-:

 

1. Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq (radhi allahu anhu):

Abdullah Ibn Umar –May Allah be pleased with him- reported: “When the Messenger of Allah -Sallallahu Alaihi wa-Sallam- passed away, Abu Bakr - May Allah be pleased with him- ascended the minbar, praised Allah and said: «O people ! if Muhammad was your god whom you worship then your god has died, and if your God is the one above the heaven (fis-sama') then your God did not die. Then he recited: {Muhammad is not but a messenger. (Other) messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels (to unbelief)?…} [3:144]’ until he completed the ayah.» (1) Its isnad (chain) is hasan.

 

2. Abdullah Ibn Masud –May Allah be pleased with him- said: «Between the lowest heaven and the one after it is the distance of five hundred years, and between every two heavens is the distance of five hundred years, and between the seventh heaven and the Kursi is the distance of five hundred years, and between the Kursi and the water is the distance of five hundred years, and the Throne (Arsh) is above the water, Allah the Almighty is above the Throne (fawqa Al-Arsh). And nothing is hidden from Allah of your deeds.» And in another narration «He knows what you are upon». Its grading is: hasan. (2)

 

After the Sahabah until 200 H. (Hijri year)

 

3. Abu Hanifah An-Nu`man (d. 150 H.) :

At-Tahawi said in “Al-Aqeedah At-Tahawiyahâ€, in which he wrote the beliefs of Imam Abu Hanifah and his two companions: Abu Yusuf and Muhammad bin Al-Hasan :

“And the Throne and Kursi are true, and He is independent from the Throne and what is beneath it, He encompasses everything (? Is above it.â€

 

His saying: “And Is Above it†meaning: “He is above everything†is affirmation of the elevation of Allah Azza wa Jal above all of creation, including the Throne.

 

And his saying in another section of the book: “Nor is He contained by the six directions as all created things are.†Is a negation of the creations’ encompassing of Allah –Azza wa Jal- , for the “He is not contained by the six directions†that is creation, He is above the six directions and all creation. This is a reply to the Hulooliyah and Jahmiyyah who said that Allah is in His creation, and that He is everywhere - Exalted is Allah above that-.

 

It was also narrated in al Fiqh Al-Akbar that Imam Abu Hanifah said: “Whoever says: ‘I do not know if Allah is above the heaven or on earth’, then he has disbelieved, Allah Ta`ala said: {The Most Gracious over the Throne Istawa (Rose)}; If he then says: ‘I do say this ayah but I don’t know if the Throne is above the heaven or on earth’ then he has disbelieved too.†(3)

 

And that is because in both statements he is doubting Allah’s elevation, him not knowing if Allah is above His creation or not. And in it is also the belief in the possibility of Allah being inside His creation –Exalted is Allah above that- . So by that he is denying the Islamic texts, and believing in the permissibility of Allah residing in His creation, and both (4) are kufr (disbelief).

 

4. Ibn Ishaq (d. 150 H.), the author of as-Seerah which Ibn Hisham abridged, said: «Allah Ta’ala says to His Prophet Muhammad -Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam- : {Indeed your Lord is Allâh, Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and then He rose over (Istawâ) the Throne} [7:54], and He said: {And He it is Who has created the heavens and the earth in six Days and His Throne was on the water} [11:7], so it was as He (Allah) described Himself, for there was nothing except water, the Throne above it, and upon the Throne is The One Who possesses majesty, might, power , dominion, ability, forbearance, knowledge, mercy and grace, the One who does as He pleases…» (57)

 

5. Malik Bin Anas (d. 179 H.) : A man came to him and said: “O Abu Abdullah [Allah said:] {Ar-Rahman upon the Throne Istawa}, how was His Istiwa?

Imam Malik lowered his head and began to sweat profusely, then he said: «Istiwa is not unknown, the Kayf (how) is uncomprehendable, believing in it is obligatory, and asking about it is innovation, and I do not think that you are anything but an innovator.» , then he ordered that the man be let out. (5)

 

- Abu Bakr Ibn Al-Arabi Al-Maliki said, when speaking about Hadeeths on Allah's Attributes: «And the madhhab of Malik -Rahimahullah- is that each one of them [the hadiths of Attributes] its meaning is known, that is why he said to the one who asked him: "Al-Istiwa' is known, and the kayfiyyah [its reality, how it is] is unknown.") (59)

 

And it has been narrated that Imam Malik said: «Allah Azza wa Jal is above the heaven (fi as-sama') and His Knowledge is everywhere, not being absent from anything.» (6)

 

From the scholars who testified that this is the belief of Imam Malik are: Abu Hatim Ar-Razi, Ibn Abi Zayd al-Maliki, Muhammad bin Mawhib al Maliki, Abu Al-Qasim Al-Lalka'i, and Abu Nasr as-Sijzee. (Their statements can be found in this article.)

 

6. Hammad bin Zayd (d. 179 H.) said: «Verily they – the Jahmiyyah- are revolving around saying: There is no ilah (diety) above the heavens (fis-Sama).» Sahih. (7)

 

7. Ibn Al-Mubarak (d 181 H.) : Ali Ibn al-Hasan Ibn Shaqeeq reported: I asked Abdullah Ibn al-Mubarak: “How are we to know our Lord –Azza wa Jal-? â€

He replied: «He is over the seventh Heaven over His Throne. We do not say as the Jahmiyyah say: that He is here on the earth.» (8) Sahih.

In another narration he said: «That He is above the seventh Heaven, on the Throne, separate from His creation.» (9) Its grading: Hasan.

 

8. Abu Yusuf Al-Qadi (d. 182 H.) and Muhammad bin Al-Hasan Ash-Shaybani (d. 189 H.) the companions of Abu Hanifah rahimahum Allah: Their belief in this has been mentioned previously when mentioning the belief of Imam Abu Hanifah rahimahum Allah.

 

9. Jarir Ibn Abdul-Hamid Ad-Dabbi (d. 188 H.) said: «The beginning of the speech of the Jahmiyah is honey, and the end of it is poison, verily they are only trying to say: that there is no ilah (diety) above the heavens.» (10)

 

10. Abu Mu`adh Khalid bin Sulaiman Al-Balkhi (d. 199 H.) said: “«al-Jahm (11) bin Safwan was on crossing of Tirmidh, and he had an eloquent tongue, but he had no knowledge and had no sitting with the people of knowledge. He then spoke to the Sumaniyah, and they said to him: ‘Describe for us your Lord whom you worship.’ So he entered his home and didn’t come out (for some time), then he came out to them after several days and said: ‘He is the air, (He is) with everything, and in everything, nothing is free from Him.’ Abu Mu`adh said: “The enemy of Allah has lied, Allah is above the heavens (fis-sama’), on the Throne as He described Himself.â€Â» (12)

 

The Pious Salaf from 201 to 300 H.

 

11. Sa`eed bin `Aamir Ad-Dab`i (d. 208 H.), one of Imam Bukhari’s teachers, said: «The Jahmiyyah have said worse than the Jews and Christians, the Jews, Christians and the people of religions have agreed that Allah –Tabaraka wa Ta`ala- is over the Throne, and they (the Jahmiyyah) said: ‘There is nothing over the Throne.'» Sahih. (13)

 

12. Muhammad bin Yusuf Al-Firyabi (d. 212 H.), another one of Imam Bukhari’s teachers, said: «Whoever says: ‘Allah is not over His Throne’ is kafir (a disbeliever).» Sahih (14)

 

13. Muhammad bin Mus`ab Al-`Abid (d. 228 H.) said: “Whoever claims that You (Allah) do not speak and is not seen in the hereafter, then he is a kafir (disbeliever) in Your Face (and) does not know you. I bare witness that You are above the Throne, above the Seven Heavens, not like the heretics, the enemies of Allah, say.» Sahih. (15)

 

14. Abu Abdullah Ibn Al-A`rabi (d. 231 H.) :

Abu Sulaiman Dawud bin Ali said : We were at Ibn Al-A`rabi’s, and a man came up to him and said: “O Abu Abdullah, what is the meaning of Allah’s saying: {Ar-Rahmanu upon the Throne Istawa} ?

He (Ibn Al A’rabi) said: “He is on His Throne like He informed –Azza wa Jal-.â€

So the man said: “O Abu Abdullah, that isn’t what it means, what it means is: Istawla (conquered).â€

So Ibn Al-A’rabi said to him: “Keep silent ! What is it with you and this; It is not said: ‘One has conquered something’ unless there is an opposition in it. Then whoever of the two defeats the other, it is said: istawla (conquered)...†Sahih. (16)

 

15. Qutaibah bin Sa`eed (d. 240 H.) said: «This is the saying of the Imams that is taken in Islam and the Sunnah» – he then stated a number of beliefs one of them being: «And we know Allah above the seventh Heaven on His Throne, as He said: {Ar-Rahman Istawa (Rose) over the Throne * To Him belongs what is in the heavens and what is on the earth and what is between them and what is under the soil.} [20:5-6]» Sahih. (17)

 

16. Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (d. 241 H.) : Abu Yusuf bin Musa Al-Qattan said: "It was said to Abu Abdullah Ahmad ibn Hanbal: ‘Allah –Azza wa Jal- is above the seventh Heaven on His Throne separate from His creation, and His Ability and Knowledge is everywhere?’

He replied: «Yes, (He is) over the Throne, and no place is free from His Knowledge.»†Sahih. (18)

Some of the scholars who testified to this being the belief of Imam Ahmad Rahimahullah:

His two companions Abu Hatim Ar-Razi (227 H.) and Harb al-Karmani (280 H.), Abu Qasim Al-Lalikai (418 H.), and Abu Nasr As-Sijzee (444 H.). Their statements are to come.

 

17. Muhammad bin Aslam At-Toosi (d. 242 H.) said: "Abdullah bin Tahir said to me: ‘It has reached me that you do not raise your head up to the Heavens’, so I said with my head like this, up towards the Heaven, for some time, then I said to him: «And why do I not raise my head up to the Heaven? Do I not hope for goodness except from the one above the Heaven ?».†(58)

 

18. Al-Harith Al-Muhasibi As-Sufi (d. 243 H.) said: «As for His saying: {The Most Gracious Istawa (Rose) over the Throne} [20:5], {And He is the omnipotent, above His slaves} [6:18], {Do you feel secure that He,Who is over the heaven...} [67:16] …» – He mentions a number of ayat, then he says: «This necessitates that He is above the Throne, above the things, transcendant from entering His creation, nothing is hidden from him, for He has clearified in these ayat that His Essence (dhatuhu) is above His slaves because He said: {Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven ..} [67:16], meaning above the Throne, and the Throne is above the heavens.â€. (19)

 

19. Khushaish bin Asram (d. 253 H.) said in “Al-Istiqamah†: «And Jahm denied that Allah is above the heavens but not the earth, and the Book (The Quran) is evident in that Allah is above the heaven and not the earth, by His (Allah’s) saying to Isa Alayhi As-Salam: {And (remember) when Allah said: "O Esa! I will make you sleep and raise you to Myself } [3:55], and His saying: {For surely, they killed him not. But Allah raised him up to Himself} [4:157-158], and He said: {He manages and regulates (every) affair from the heavens to the earth; then it (affair) will go up to Him} [32: 5]…» He mentions several more ayat, then he says: «If He was on earth like He is above the Heavens, nothing would come down to earth from the Heavens, but it would ascend from the earth to the Heavens like it descends from the Heavens to the earth, and there have come reports from the Prophet – Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam- that Allah is above the heavens without (being on) the earth.» Then he mentions some hadiths on that.

- He also said: «Whoever disbelieves in an ayah in the Book of Allah (Quran) then he has disbelieve in all of it (the whole Quran), so whoever denies the Throne then he has disbelieved in all of it, and whoever denies the Throne then he has disbelieved in Allah, and there have come reports that Allah Has a throne, and that He is on His Throne.» (20)

 

20. Muhammad bin Yahya Adh-Dhuhali (d. 258 H.) : Abu Amr Al-Mustamli wrote: “Muhammad bin Yahya was asked about the Hadith of Abdullah bin Mu`awiyah who reported the Prophet –Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam- saying: ‘Let the Slave know that Allah is with him wherever he was.’

He replied: «He means that Allah’s knowledge encompasses everything there is, and Allah is over the Throne.» (21)

 

21. Abu Zur`ah Ar-Razi (d. 264 H.) : Ibn Abi Hatim Ar-Razi said: “I asked my father and Abu Zur`ah concerning the Madhhabs of the Ahlus Sunnah in regards to the Principles of the Religion, and what they found the scholars upon (in belief) in all the lands, and what they believe from that?

 

So they said: «We have reached the scholars in all the lands – The Hijaz, Iraq, Sham and Yemen –, and from their Madhhab was: …», They then mention a number of beliefs one of them being: «And that Allah –Azza wa Jal- is on His Throne separate from His creation, as He described Himself in His Book (The Quran) and on the tongue of the Messenger –Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam- without (asking) how, He encompasses everything with Knowledge: {There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer} [42:11].»

 

22. Isma`il bin Yahya Al-Muzani Ash-Shafi`i (d. 264 H.) said: “He is High on His Throne, and He is close by His Knowledge from His creation, His Knowledge encompasses all matters.â€

And he said: “He is High on His Throne, separate from His creation.†(22)

 

23. Abu Hatim Ar-Razi (d. 277 H.) : Abu Al-Qasim Al-Lalikai said: “I found in some of the books of Abu Hatim Muhammad bin Idrees Ibn Al-Mundhir Al-Handhali Ar-Razi –Rahimahullah- from what was heard from him, saying: «Our madhhab and choosing is the following of the Messenger –Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam-, His companions, their successors, and who followed them with kindness, the madhhab of Ahl Al-Athar like Abu Abdullah Ahmad bin Hanbal, Ishaq bin Ibrahim (Ibn Rahwaih), Abu Ubaidullah Al-Qasim bin Sallam, and Ash-Shafi`i….» And he mentions a number of other Imams, then he lists a number of beliefs, one of them was:

«Allah is on His Throne, separate from His creation: {There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer} [42:11]’.» (23)

 

24. Abu Isa At-Tirmidhi (d. 279 H.) said: “Allah’s Knowledge, His Ability, and His sovereignty is everywhere, and He is on the Throne as He described Himself in.†(24)

 

25. Harb bin Isma`il Al-Karmani (d. 280 H.) said in his “Masa’il": «The following is the madhhab of the people of knowledge, Ashab Al-Hadeeth, and Ahl As-Sunnah who are holding on to it, who are taken as an example in it from the companions of the Prophet –Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam- until this day, and I have met whom I’ve reached from the people of Hijaz, Sham and other than them, and whoever opposes any of these beliefs, or criticizes its expresser, then he is an innovator and has left the Jama`ah, and has faded from the tradition of the Sunnah and the path of the Truth (Haqq). And this is the madhhab of Imam Ahmad, Ishaq bin Ibrahim bin Mukhallad (Ibn Rahwaih), Abdullah bin Az-Zubair Al-Humaidi, Sa`eed bin Mansur and others from whom we sat with and took knowledge from them, and from their saying was: …»

 

He then mentions a list of beliefs one of them being: «And He (Allah) is on the Throne above the Seventh Heaven, below Him are veils of fire, light and darkness, and what only Allah knows. So if an innovator or an opposer used the following ayat as evidence: {And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein} [50:16] and: {There is no Najwa (secret counsel) of three but He is their fourth, nor of five but He is their sixth, nor of less than that or more but He is with them wheresoever they may be} [58:7], and other ayat the are from the Mutashabih from the Quran, the say (to them):what is meant is the Knowledge (of Allah), because Allah –Azza wa Jal- is on the Throne, above the high Seventh Heaven, He knows everything, and He is separate from His creation, no place is free from His Knowledge.†(25)

- Ibn Abi Hatim Ar-Razi said in “Ar-Rad `Ala Al-Jahmiyyahâ€: Harb bin Isma`il Al-Karmani told me: «The Jahmiyyah are the enemies of Allah, they are the ones who claim that the Quran is created, and that there is no known place for Allah, that He is not on a throne, nor a kursi, and they are kuffar (disbelievers) so beware of them.» (26)

 

26. Uthman Ad-Darimi (d. 280 H.) said: «And the Muslims have agreed that Allah is above His Throne, above His Heavens.» (27)

He also said: «Allah –Tabaraka wa Ta`ala- is above His Throne, above His heavens, separate from His creation, so whoever doesn’t know Him like that, then he doesn't know His God Whom he worships.» (28)

 

27. Abu Bakr bin Abi `Asim (d. 287 H.) said in “As-Sunnah†:«Chapter: What was reported regarding Allah being above the heaven without (being on) the earth.â€, then he narrated the hadith of the slave girl in which the Prophet - Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam- asked her “Where is Allah?†(29)

 

28. Abu Ja`far bin Abi Shaybah (d. 297 H.) said: «He is above the Heavens and above the Throne by His Essence (bi-dhatihi) free from His creation, separate from them. His Knowledge is in His creation, they cannot leave His Knowledge.» (30)

 

29. `Amr bin Uthman Al-Makki As-Sufi (d. 297 H.) said in “Adab Al-Murideen wa At-Ta`arruf Li-‘Ahwal Al-`Ibadâ€, chapter: What the devils come to the repenters with: «If they resisted him (the devil), and saught refuge with Allah –Azza wa Jal- then he will whisper to them in the matter of the Creator to ruin their Tawheed…» Then he mentions a lot of them, then he says:

«For He –Ta`ala- is the One Who said: {I am Allah} [28:30] not the tree, He is the One Who comes before He comes, not His command, the One Who is mustawwen (I.e. Done Istiwa, Has Risen) above His Throne by the Greatness of His Majesty save all other places.†(31)

 

The Testimony of the Scholars who came after the era of the Pious Salaf, that this belief is the belief of the Salaf, the belief of the Muslims, the belief of Ahl Assunnah and Ashab Al-Hadith.

From 301 to 500 H.

 

30. Abu Al-Hasan Al-Ash`ari (d. 324 H.) said in “Maqalat Al-Islamiyeenâ€, Chapter: “Their disagreement regarding the Creator, is He in a place and not in another? Or not in a place? Or in every place?â€, in which he mentions several opinions by different sects, then he says:

“Ahl As-Sunnah and Ashab Al-Hadeeth said: … and that He is on the Throne as Allah Azza wa Jal- said: {Ar-Rahman Istawa (Rose) over the Throne} [20:5], and we do not speak ahead of Allah, but we say that He Istawa without (asking) how “ (32)

 

31. Abu Bakr Al-Ajurri (d. 360 H.) said: “So His Knowledge –Azza wa Jal- encompasses all of His creation, and He is on His Throne, and this is the belief of the Muslims.†(33)

 

32. Ibn Abi Zayd Al-Qairawani Al-Maliki (d.386 H.) in “al-Jame` “: “What the Ummah has agreed upon from the matters of religion, and from the Sunnah which its opposition is bidah and misguidance, is that Allah -Tabaraka Ismuh- …†He mentions a number of beliefs, one of them being:

“And that He is above His Heavens on His Throne without (being on) the earth, and that He is everywhere by His Knowledge.â€, then he says at the end: “And all that we have mentioned previously is the belief of Ahl As-Sunnah and the Imams of the people in fiqh, and Hadeeth, and all of it is the belief of (Imam) Malik, from him it has been reported, and it is known from his madhhab.†(34)

 

33. Ibn Battah Al-`Ukbari Al-Hanbali (d. 387 H.) said in “Al-Ibanah alKubrah†: “And the Muslims from the Sahabah, Tabi`een, and all the people of knowledge from the believers, are upon agreement that Allah –Tabaraka wa Ta`ala- is on His Throne above His heavens separate from His creation, and His Knowledge encompasses all of His creation, no one rejects this or denies it except ones who are upon the beliefs of the Hulooliyah (35).â€

34. Ibn Abi Zamanin Al-Maliki (d. 399 H.) : “And from the beliefs of Ahl As-Sunnah is that Allah –Azza wa Jal- created the Throne, and singled it with elevation above everything He Created, then He Istawa (Rose) above it however He wanted, as He said about Himself in His saying: {The Most Gracious over the Throne Istawa (Rose) * To Him belongs what is in the heavens and what is on the earth and what is between them and what is under the soil.} [20:5-6] (36)

 

- He Also said: “And from the belief of Ahl As-Sunnah: is that Allah –Azza wa Jal- is separate from His creation, veiled (hidden) from them by veils.†(37)

 

35. Muhammad bin Mawheb Al-Maliki (d. 406 H.) said in his Sharh of Ibn Abi Zayd’s “Risalah†: “And the word “fi†(in) in the language of the Arabs can have the meaning “fawqa†(above), like His saying: {Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven} [67:16] …{and I will surely crucify you fi (on) the trunks of date palms} [20:71]. The people of Tafsir said: He means “above itâ€, and it is the saying of (Imam) Malik from what he understood from the Tabi`een, from what they understood from the Sahabah, whom understood it from the Prophet –Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam- that Allah is fis-sama’ (in the heaven) meaning: above it, on it.†(38)

 

36. Abu al-Qasim Al-Lalaka'i Ash-Shafi`i (d. 418 H.) said: "What has been reported regarding Allah’s –Ta`ala- saying: {The Most Gracious over the Throne Istawa (Rose)} [20-5] and that Allah is on His Throne above the heaven. And He –Azza wa Jal- said: {To Him ascend (all) the goodly words, and the righteous deeds exalt it} [35:10], and He said: { Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven} [67:16], and He said: {And He is the Irresistible (Supreme), above His slaves} [6:18]. So these ayat prove that He (Allah) is above the heaven, and His Knowledge is everywhere, His earth and His heaven. And this was reported from the Sahabah: From Umar, Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn Abbas, and Um Salamah. And from the Tabi`een: Rabee`ah bin Abi Abder-Rahman, Sulaiman At-Taimi, and Muqatil bin Hayyan. And this is the sayin gof the Fuqaha: Malik bin Anas, Sufyan Ath-Thawri, and Ahmad bin Hanbal.†(39)

 

37. Abu Umar At-Talamanki Al-Maliki (d. 429 H.) said in “Al-Wusul Ila Ma`rifat Al-Usulâ€: “The Muslims from Ahl As-Sunnah are upon consensus that the meaning of His saying: {And He is with you (by His Knowledge) wheresoever you may be } [57:4] and what is similar to it from the Quran is: by His Knowledge, and that Allah –Ta`ala- is above the Heavens by His Essence (bi-dhatihi), Mustawen (I.e. Done Istiwa, Has Risen) above His Throne however He willed.

 

And Ahl As-Sunnah said regarding His saying: {The Most Gracious over the Throne Istawa (Rose)} [20:5]: That the Istiwa from Allah on the Throne is upon the haqiqah (literal), and not majaz (metaphorical).†(40)

 

38. Abu Nu`aim Al-Asbahani (d. 430 H.) said in “Mahajjat Al-Wathiqeen†: “And they are upon consensus that Allah is above His heavens, and that He is high above His Throne, and did Istiwa on it, not conquering it (mustawlen) as the Jahmiyyah said (41).“ (42)

 

He also said in his book on creed: “ Our way is the way of the Salaf (predecessors) who followed the Quran, Sunnah, and the consensus of the Ummah, and from what they believed was: that Allah is perfect with all His eternal Attributes since eternityâ€, he then mentions a number of beliefs one of them being: “And that the Hadeeths that have been affirmed from the Prophet –Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam- regarding the Throne, and the Istiwa (rising) of Allah on it, they (the Salaf) affirm it without speaking about its kayfiyyah (how-ness), or resembling it to creation; And that Allah –Ta`ala- is separate from His creation, and His creation are separate from Him, He does not dwell in them, and He does not intermix with them: He is mustawen (i.e. Done Istiwa: Has Risen) above the Throne, above the heavens, without the earth. (i.e. He is above the Heavens and not on earth.)†(43)

 

39. Abu Nasr As-Sijzee Al-Hanafi (d. 444 H.) said in “Al-Ibanahâ€: “Our Imams such as Sufyan Ath-Thawri, Malik, Hammad bin Salamah, Hammad bin Zayd, Abdullah bin al-Mubarak, Al-Fudail bin `Iyad, Ahmad bin Hanbal, and Ishaq bin Rahwaih, are upon agreement that Allah –Subhanahu wa Ta`ala is by His Essence (bi-dhatihi) above the Throne, and His Knowledge is everywhere.†(44)

 

40. Abu Uthman As-Sabuni Ash-Shafi`i (d. 449 H.) in “Aqeedat As-Salaf Ashab al-Hadeeth†: “And Ashab al-Hadeeth believe and testify that Allah –Subhanahu wa Ta`ala is above His seven heavens, on His Throne, as is expressed in His book (the Quran) in His saying in Surat Yunus: {Surely, your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days and then rose over (Istawa) the Throne} [10:3] †And he mentions the ayat on Allah’s Istiwa and other ayat regarding Allah’s Elevation, some of them were mentioned in the first article in this series, then he said: “And the scholars of the Ummah and the Imams of the Salaf –May Allah have mercy upon them- did not differ in that Allah is on the Throne, and His Throne is above His heavens, they affirm in that what Allah –Ta`ala- affirmed, and they believe in it.†(45)

 

41. Ibn Abdul-Barr Al-Maliki (d. 463 H.) in “At-Tamheed†when explaining the hadeeth regarding Allah’s Nuzool (Descent): “And in it is evidence that Allah –Azza wa Jal- is above the heaven on the Throne, from above seven heavens, as the Jama`ah said. And it is from their evidences against the Mu`tazilah and Jahmiyyah in their saying that Allah –Azza wa Jal- is everywhere, and not on the Throne.†(46)

He also said in “Al-Istidhkar†: “And Allah –Azza wa Jal- is above the heaven on the Throne, from above seven heavens, and His Knowledge is everywhere, as the Jama`ah of Ahl Assunnah Ahl Al-Fiqh and Athar said.†(47)

 

From 501 to 750 H.

 

42. Abu Muhammad Al-Baghawi Ash-Shafi`i (d. 510 H.) said: “And Allah –Azza wa Jal- said: {The Most Gracious over the Throne Istawa (Rose)} (20:5], and Allah –Ta`ala- said: {Then He Rose (Istawa) over the Throne} …†and he mentions a number of ayat and hadith on Allah’s Attributes, then He says:

 

“This and its likes are Allah’s Attributes which have been reported by narration, it is obligatory to believe in it, and to pass it upon its dhahir (apparent meaning) avoiding tawil of it, and avoiding tashbeeh (resembling Allah to creation), believing that the Creator –Subhanahu wa Ta`ala- does not resemble in His Attributes any of the attributes of creation, the same as His Essence not resembling the essences of creation, Allah –Subhanahu wa Ta`ala- said: {There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer} [42:11]. And upon this was the Salaf of Ummah, and scholars of the Sunnah.†(48)

 

43. Yahya Al-`Amrani Ash-Shafi`i (d. 558 H.) said: “Ashab Al-Hadeeth and Sunnah believe that Allah –Subhanahu- is by His Essence (bi-dhatihi) separate from creation, on His Throne Istawa (Rose) above the Heavens, without contact, and His Knowledge encompasses everything.†(49)

 

44. Ibn Qudamah Al-Maqdisi Al-Hanbali (d. 620 H.) said: “Allah –Ta`ala- has described Himself with Uluw (elevation) above the heavens, and similarly He has been described by His Messenger Muhammad, the seal of the prophets; something upon which all of the scholars from the pious companions held a consensus, as did the Imams from the jurists The reports concerning that became so numerous, that a level of certainty was achieved, and Allah has united the hearts of the Muslims upon this, and made it a natural instinct in all of His creation, and therefore you see them when some calamity befalls them that they look with their eyes to the sky, and raise their hands towards it, waiting for alleviation of calamity from their Lord, and they utter [this belief] with their tongues, no one denies this except a heretic, a fanatic in his heresy, or someone who is infatuated with making taqlid of him (the heretic), and following him in his innovation†(50)

 

45. Ibn As-Salah Ash-Shafi`i (d. 643 H.) wrote on the poem about the Sunnah, attributed to Abul Hasan al-Karji Ash-Shafi`i (d. 532 H.) : “This is the belief of Ahl As-Sunnah and Ashab Al-Hadeeth.†(51)

Some of what came in the poem is the following:

The belief of Ashab Al-Hadeeth has risen ** by the people of Allah’s religion to the highest of ranks

****

 

Their beliefs is that The Ilah (Allah) is by His Essence (bi-dhatihi) ** on His Throne with His knowledge of the matters of the unseen (52)

 

46. Abu Abdullah Al-Qurtubi (d. 671 H.) said in “Al-Asna fi Sharh Asma’ Allah Al-Husna†after mentioning 14 sayings regarding Allah’s Istiwa : “And the most correct of these beliefs, although I do not subscribe to it nor do I choose it, is what is manifest in the ayat and hadiths, that Allah –Subhanahu wa Ta`ala- is on His Throne as He said in His Book, and upon the tongue of His Prophet without (asking) how, separate from all His creation, this is the sum of the belief of the Pious Salaf from what has been transmitted from them by the Trustworthy narrators.†(53)

He also said in His Tafsir: “And the first Salaf –May Allah be pleased with them- did not negate the direction (54) (above), nor did they utter that (its negation), Rather, they, and the rest, uttered in affirmation of that (i.e. direction above) for Allah –Ta`ala-, just as His Book spoke of it, and His Messengers informed of it. And none of the Pious Salaf denied that Allah Istawa (Rose above) His Throne in reality (haqiqatan). And the Throne was specified with that (Istiwa) because it is the greatest of His creation, and the Salaf didn’t know the kayffiyah of the Istiwa (i.e. How it is), for its reality is not known.†(55)

 

47. Adh-Dhahabi Ash-Shafi`i (d. 748 H.) said at the end of his book “Al-Uluw Lil-`Alee Al-Ghaffarâ€: “And Allah is above His Throne as is the consensus amongst the first Muslims (the Salaf), and what has been transmitted from them by the scholars.â€

He also said in “Kitab Al-`Arshâ€: “The evidence that Allah –Ta`ala- is above the Throne, above the creation, separate from them, and is not inside any of it (creation), and that His Knowledge is everywhere, is the Book (Quran), the Sunnah, and the consensus of the Sahabah, Tabi`een, and the Imams of guidance.†(56)

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From year 301 to 400 Hijri

 

1. Al-Hafidh Ibn al-Akhram (d. 301 H.) said in a will he wrote:

«We say that Allah is on the Throne, and his knowledge encompasses this world and hereafter.» (1)

 

2. Ibn Jarir at-Tabari (d. 310 H.) said in his interpretation of the meaning of istiwa' :

«And istiwa' in the speech of arabs has many meanings among which is ... …» and he mentioned several meanings the last of which is «and from its (meaning is) : elevation and rising, like one saying: "A person istawa on his couch", meaning: rose over it. And the most proper meaning (out of those meanings) for Allah's saying: {Then He Istawâ to the heaven and made them} [2:29] : He rose over them and ascended, and disoposed them with his power, and created the seven heavens. (2)

He also said: «As for Allah's saying: {and then He Istawâ over the Throne} it means Rose over.» (3)

And said: «{The Most Beneficent (Allâh) Istawâ over the Throne} Allah, Exalted is He, says: The most beneficent rose over and ascended His Throne.» (4)

And he said, interpreting Allah's saying {Fir'aun (Pharaoh) said O chiefs! I know not that you have a god other than me, so kindle for me (a fire), O Hâmân, to bake (bricks out of) clay, and set up for me a lofty tower in order that I may look at the God of Mûsa (Moses); and verily, I think that he (Mûsa) is one of the liars.} [28:38] :

«{And verily I think that he}, in what he says that he has another God above the Heavens (fis-sama') that he worships, and that He is the one who supports him and makes him victorious, and is the one who sent Musa to us; {is one of the liars}.» (5)

And he said: «{And He is with you wheresoever you may be} He is saying: And He (Allah) is a witness on you people wherever you may be, He knows you, He knows your actions, your moving about and your places of rest, and He is on His Throne above His seven heavens.» (6)

And said: «He meant by his saying {He is their fourth} [58:7] : He is watching them with His knowledge while He is on His Throne.» (7)

 

3. Ibn Khuzaimah ash-Shafi'i (d. 311 H.) said:

«And she [Aishah, radiya Allahu 'anha,] said: "Glory be to the one whose hearing encompasses all the sounds." Allah,- jal wa 'ala-, heard the words of the mujadilah (She That Disputeth;The pleading woman) from above the seven heavens, and risen (mustawen) above His Throne, while some of it was hidden from someone who was present and close to her. (8)

He also said, after mentioning the Prophet's -salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam-, hadith â€If you ask Allah ask Him the firdaws for it is the middle of Paradise, and the highest part of Jannah, and above it is the Throne of the Most Gracious. From it the rivers of Paradise gush forth.“ [sahih Bukhari] :

«The report states that the Throne of our Lord is above His Paradise, and He - jal wa 'ala- informed us that He is risen over His Throne; so our Creator is High above His Throne which is above His Paradise.» (9)

And he said: «All those reports prove that the Creator and Originator is above the seven heavens, not as the mu`attilah [i.e. ones who divest Allah from His Attributes] claimed, which is that the one they worship is with them in their houses.» (10)

And he said: «Whoever does not believe that Allah -Ta`ala- is above His Throne, and that He has risen above His seven heavens, then he is a disbeliever in his Lord, and should be asked to repent, then he either repents or his head is to be cut off.» (11)

 

4. Abu Bakr Ahmad as-Sibghi ash-Shafi`i (d. 342 H.) said:

«The arabs use 'fi' (i.e. in) in the place of `ala (on; above), Allah -`aza wa jal-, said {so travel freely 'fi' the earth}, and He said {I will surely crucify you 'fi' the trunks of date palms} that means "on the earth" and "on the trunks of date palms". Such is the case with {'fi" the heavens} which means "on the Throne above the heavens", as it had been authentically reported from the Prophet, sala Allahu 'alayhi wa salam. (12)

 

5. Ibn al-Qurti al-Maliki (d. 355 H.) said in the introduction of his book “Tasmiyat Ar-Rowat `an Malikâ€:

«Praise be to Allah, the One who is worthy of all praise, the One who guides, and the One who shows the right path! Praise be to Allah … the One who is the most deserving of all thanks! The only One, the One whom all creatures need. He is glorified from having an example or a similar or an equal, He is high above his Throne and near with his knowledge.» (13)

 

6. Abul-Qasim at-Tabarani (d. 360 H.), the compiler of "al-Mu'jam al-Kabeer", said in his book “As-Sunnahâ€:

«Chapter: What was reported regarding Allah's Istiwa’ over his Throne, and that He is separate from His creation», then he narrated Abu Razeen's hadith: I said "O Messenger of Allah! Where is our Lord?", and the hadith of the eight mountain goats, the Throne being on their backs, and Allah is above the Throne, and other hadiths.» (14)

 

7. Abu Bakr Al-Ajurri (d. 360 H.) said:

«And that which the people of knowledge believe in is that Allah -`aza wa jal- is on his Throne above His heavens and that His Knowledge encompasses everything.»

He also said: «Chapter: Adducing the ways that proved to those with rational minds that Allah –`aza wa jal- is on His Throne, above the seven heavens, and that His knowledge encompasses everything, and nothing in the heavens or in the earth is hidden from him.» (15)

 

8. Abu Ahmad al-Karaji al-Qassab (d. 360 H.) said:

«He is above the heavens, above the Throne with no doubt, and his knowledge encompasses all the places.» (51)

And he said: «And his saying {They fear their Lord above them} is a proof that Allah -Jal Jalaloh- is above the heavens with His Essence, and only His Knowledge, that encompasses everything, is in the world. And this is by God from among the great disasters, that the ignorance of the Mu'tazilah and Jahmiyah and their silly minds make us prove what is apparent for a black Nubi.» and he mentioned the hadith of the slave girl. (52)

 

9. Abu Ash-Shaykh al-Asbahani (d. 369 H.) said:

«Mentioning the Throne of the Lord -Tabaraka wa Ta`ala- and His kursi, the greatness of their creation, and the elevation of the Lord over His Throne.» Then he mentioned some reports that prove this, including that of Ibn Mas`ud –radiallahu anhu-, in which he said “And the Throne is above water, and Allah is above the Throne, and none of your deeds is hidden from him.†(16)

 

10. Abu al-Husain Muhammad al-Malti al-Shafi`i (d. 377 H.) said in his book "at-Tanbeeh wa ar-Rad":

«As for the interpretation of Allah's saying {Indeed your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and then He rose (istawa) over the Throne. He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly, and (He created) the sun, the moon, the stars subjected to His command. Surely, His is the creation and commandment. Blessed is Allah, the Lord of the worlds} there is preceding in it, He says His Istiwa' over the Throne was before the creation of the heavens and the earth, and Allah –The Exalted- is above the Throne, so that is its interpretation.» (17)

 

11. Ibn Abi Zayd Al-Qairawani al-Maliki (d. 386 H.) said in his book “al-Jami`“ :

«From among that which the ummah agreed upon in the matters of religion and from the Sunnah which opposing it is an innovation and a misguidance Is that Allah, blessed is His Name…» And he mentiones several things, one of them being: «and that He is above the Heavens, above the Throne, and not on earth, and that He is everywhere with His Knowledge.» Then he mentioned the rest of the beliefs and said in the end: «Everything that we have mentioned is the belief of Ahlu-Sunnah and the Imams of the people in fiqh and hadith, and it is the belief of (Imam) Malik. Some of it is quoted from his speech, and some of it is known from his madhhab.» (18)

He also said in the introduction of his famous treatise (Risalah) : «And He is over the glorious Throne with His Essence (bi-thatihi), and He is everywhere with His knowledge.»

The scholars who have bore witness that this is the belief of Imam Ibn Abu-Zayd

 

- Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan al-Muradi al-Qayrawani al-Maliki (d. 489 H.), the author of the treatise "Al-eema’ ila Mas'alat al-Istiwa", said: (And the sixth is the opinion of At-Tabari (19), Ibn Abu-Zayd, al-Qadi Abdul-Wahhab, and a group of the scholars of hadith and fiqh, and it is what is apparent from some of the books of al- Qadi Abu-Bakr, May Allah be pleased with him, and Abul-Hasan … that He (Allah) - Glorified Be He- has risen (mustawen) over his Throne with His Essence (bi-dhatihi) – and in some places they would say "above His Throne".) And then al-Qurtubi said –after narrating what al-Muradi said-: (and it is the opinion of Ibn Abdul-Barr and (Abu Umar) at-Talamanki and others from Andalus; and al-Khattabi (20) in his book "Shi`ar al-Deen" (his statement is to come).) (21)

Abu Bakr Ibn al-`Arabi al-Maliki (d. 543 H.) said “Then a group of people added to it, and said ‘He is above the Throne with His Essence’, and upon it is the Shaikh of - Al-Maghrib, Abu Muhammad Ibn Abi Zayd.†(22)

And among those who bore witness to that too is his student Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Mawheb and his statement is to come.

 

12. Ibn Battah Al-Ukbari al-Hanbali (d. 387 H.) said in “Al-Ibanah al-Kubra†:

«Allah is on His Throne, and He encompasses His creation with His Knowledge of them, and His seeing of them.»

 

13. Abu Sulaiman Al-Khattabi (d. 388 H.) said in "Shi`ar Ad-Deen":

«And He (Allah) said, narrating about Fir'awn (Pharoah) that he said: {O Hâmân! Build me a tower that I may arrive at the ways; The ways of the heavens, and I may look upon the God of Mûsâ} so the aim of the disbeliever occured in the direction that Musa told him about, that is why he didn't look for Him in the height of the earth or its width, nor did he descend to the lower layers of the earth. so it indicates, as we recited from these ayat, that Allah Subhanahu is above the Heaven (fis-sama), has risen (mustawen) above the Throne, and if he was in every place, there would be no meaning to this specification (i.e. to search for Allah in direction above), and no benefit in it. *And it has been the habit/practice of the Muslims, people of knowledge and laymen, to make duaa to their Lord, while invoking Him, to raise their hands to the Heavens, and that is because it is widely known to them that their Lord Who is invoked is above the Heavens (fis-sama) Subhanahu.* » (61)

 

14. Muhmmad bin Ishaq Ibn Mandah (d. 395 H.) said:

«The recited verses and the reported Hadiths proving that Allah -`aza wa jal- is on the Throne, above His creation, separate from them, and the beginning of the creation of the Throne and the water. Allah -'aza wa jal- said: {The Most Beneficent rose (istawâ) over the Throne} [20:5]».

And said on another page: «Another proof that the Throne is above the heavens and that Allah –Ta`ala- is above His creation, separate from them.» (24)

 

15. Ibn Abi Zamanin al-Maliki (d. 399 H.) said, after mentioning the hadith of Allah's Descent:

«And this hadith indicates that Allah -`aza wa jal- is on His Throne above the heavens, and not in the world, and this is also clear in the Quran and in more than one hadith.» (25)

 

From year 401 to 500 H.

 

16. Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Mawhab al-Maliki (d. 406 H.), the student of Ibn Abi Zayd, said in his explanation of the treatise of Imam Muhammad Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani:

«As for his statement “He (Allah) is above His glorious Throne by His Essenceâ€, the meaning of the word 'fawq' (above) and 'ala' (over/on) in Arabic is the same and the confirmation of this is in the Quran and the Sunnah. Allah -Ta'ala, said {And then He rose (istawa) over (`ala) the Throne} and He said {The Most Beneficent over the Throne Rose (istawa)}. He also said {They fear their Lord above (fawqa) them} ». Then he narrated the hadith of the slave girl and of the Mi'raj (Ascension) to the lote tree of the utmost boundary, and then he said «The word "fi" in the language of the Arabs can have the meaning: 'fawqa' (above). Allah said {so walk 'fi' its paths thereof} and {'fi' the trunks of date palms} and {Do you feel secure that he who is 'fi' the heaven} The scholars of tafseer said: He means 'fawqa' (above/over), and it is the view of (Imam) Malik from what he understood from at-Tabi'in (i.e. successors of the companions) whom he has met, from their understanding from the companions (Sahabah), from what they understood from the Prophet, which is that Allah is 'fi' the heavens, meaning above them. This is why shaykh Abu Muhammad (26) said: "He is above His Throne" and then he made it clear that His elevation over the Throne is bidhatihi (with His Essence) because He is separate from His creation without asking how, and He is everywhere with His Knowledge and not with Hisself.» (27)

 

17. Abu Zakariya Yahya bin `Ammar al-Hanbali (d. 422 H.) said in his treatise:

«We do not say what the Jahmiyyah said: That He (Allah), the Exalted, is combined with everything, and we do not know where He is. But we say: He, by His Essence, is over the Throne, and His knowledge encompasses everything; that His Knowledge, His Hearing, and His Sight is aware of everything. And that is the meaning of {and He is with you wherever you may be} [57:4] and what we said is what Allah and His Messenger said. » (28)

 

18. Abu al-Qasim Al-Lalaka'i Ash-Shafi`i (d. 418 H.) said:

«What has been reported regarding Allah’s –Ta`ala- saying {The Most Gracious over the Throne Istawa (Rose)} [20:5] and that Allah is on His Throne above the heaven. And He –`aza wa jal- said {To Him ascend (all) the goodly words, and the righteous deeds exalt it} [35:10], and He said } Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven} [67:16], and He said }And He is the Irresistible (Supreme), above His slaves} [6:18]. So these ayat prove that He (Allah) is above the heaven, and His Knowledge is everywhere.» (55)

 

19. Abu Umar At-Talamanki Al-Maliki (d. 429 H.) said in “Al-Wusul Ila Ma`rifat Al-Usulâ€:

«The Muslims from Ahl As-Sunnah are upon consensus that the meaning of His saying {And He is with you (by His Knowledge) wheresoever you may be} [57:4] and what is similar to it from the Quran is by His Knowledge, and that Allah –Ta`ala- is above the Heavens by His Essence (bi-dhatihi), Has Risen (mustawen) above His Throne however He willed. And Ahl As-Sunnah said regarding His saying {The Most Gracious over the Throne Istawa (Rose)} [20:5] That the Istiwa from Allah on the Throne is upon al-haqiqah (literal), and not majaz (metaphorical).» (56)

 

20. Abu Nu`aim Al-Asbahani Al-Sufi (d. 430 H.) said in his book on creed:

«Our way is the way of the Salaf (predecessors) who followed the Quran, Sunnah, and the consensus of the Ummah, and from what they believed was that Allah is perfect with all His eternal Attributes eternallyâ€; he then mentions a number of beliefs one of them being “And that the Hadeeths that have been affirmed from the Prophet –sallallahu Alayhi wa sallam- regarding the Throne, and the Istiwa (i.e. rising) of Allah on it, they (the Salaf) affirm it without speaking about its kayfiyyah (description/reality), or resembling it to creation; And that Allah –The Exalted- is separate from His creation, and His creation are separate from Him, He does not dwell in them, and He does not intermix with them, He Has Risen (mustawen) above the Throne, above the heavens, and not on earth.» (57)

 

21. Abu `Amr ad-Dani al-Maliki (d. 444 H.) said in his urjuzah of Sunnah:

His speech is pre-eternal ** and He is above His Great Throne (29)

 

22. Abu Nasr as-Sijzee al-Hanafi (d. 444 H.) said: «And the belief of the people who follow the truth is that Allah, glorified is above the Throne with His Essence (bidhatihi) without contact.» (30)

 

23. Abu Uthman as-Sabuni al-Shafi'i (d. 449 H.) said in his book “Aqeedat as-Salaf Ashab al-Hadithâ€:

«The people of Hadith believe and testify that Allah -subhanahu wa Ta`ala- is above His seven heavens, on His Throne as He said in His Book in surat Yunus {Surely, your Lord is Allah who created the heavens and the earth in six days and then rose (istawa) over the Throne, disposing the affair of all things. No intercessors (can plead with him) except after his permission} [10:3]» (31) and he mentioned the verses of the Istiwa' over the Throne, and other verses on the Elevation of Allah, some of which we have already mentioned in part 1 of this series.

 

24. Ibn Abdul Barr al-Maliki (d. 463 H.) said:

«As for what he said to the slave girl in the hadith: â€where is Allah?“, then upon this is the jama`ah of Ahl as-Sunnah, who are ahl al-Hadeeth, and its narrators, who have a very high understanding of it, and the rest of its transmitters, they all say what Allah, exalted is He, said in His book {The Most Beneficent istawâ over the Throne} [20:5], and that Allah, 'aza wa jal, is above the heavens, and that His Knowledge is everywhere; this is what is apparent (dhahir) from the Quran in Allah's saying {Do you feel secure that He, who is over the heaven, will not cause the earth to sink with you, and then it should quake} [67:16] and His saying -'azz wa jal- {To Him ascend (all) the goodly words and the righteous deeds exalt it} [35:10], And His saying {The angels and the Ruh ascend to him} [70:4].» (32) Please refer to other statements of this Imam in the second part of this series.

 

25. Sa`d bin Ali az-Zanjani as-Shafi`i (d. 471 H.) said in his explanation of his poem on Sunnah:

«It is not from the meaning of Istiwa that He is in contact with the Throne, or that He is dependent on it, or that it supports Him, or that He fits it; for all of that is negated in describing Him –Glorified be He-, but He is Risen with His Essence (bi-dhatihi) on His Throne without asking how, as He informed about Himself. The Muslims have agreed that Allah is the Most High and Supreme, and the Quran states this, in His saying {Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High} [87:1]; … for Allah is the elevation of the Essence, elevation of the Attributes, and the elevation of subduing and dominance.» (50)

 

26. Abul Khattab Ahmad al-Muqre’ al-Hanbali (d. 476 H.) said in his poem on Sunnah:

And when the Most Gracious appeared to the mountain ** it collapsed from fear like slivers

And to Musa Spoke his Lord, above His Throne, ** at the mountain of Tur, and he was submissive (33)

 

27. Abu Ismail al-Ansari al-Harawi al-Hanbali al-Sufi (d. 481 H.) in his book “As-Sifatâ€:

«Chapter: Proving the Istiwa' of Allah over His Throne, above the seventh heaven, separate from His creation; from the Quran and Sunnah.» In which he mentioned the proofs of that from the Quran and Sunnah, and then said: «It is in many reports that Allah -'aza wa jal- is above the seventh heaven, over the Throne by Hisself, and He sees what you are doing; His Knowledge, Ability, Hearing, Sight, and Mercy, are everywhere.» (34)

 

Year 501 to 700 H.

 

28. Abu Muhammad Al-Baghawi Ash-Shafi`i (d. 510 H.) said:

«And Allah –aza wa Jal- said {The Most Gracious over the Throne Istawa} [20:5], and Allah –The Exalted- said {Then He Istawa over the Throne} …» and he mentions a number of ayat and hadith on Allah’s Attributes, then He says:

«This, and its likes, are Allah’s Attributes which have been reported by narration, it is obligatory to believe in it, and to pass it upon its dhahir (apparent meaning) avoiding tawil of it, and avoiding resembling Allah to creation, believing that the Creator –Subhanahu wa Ta`ala- does not resemble in His Attributes any of the attributes of creation, the same as His Essence not resembling the essences of creation, Allah –Subhanahu wa Ta`ala- said: {There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer} [42:11]. And upon this was the Salaf of Ummah, and scholars of the Sunnah.» (58)

 

29. Ibn Abi Ya`la al-Hanbali (d.. 526 H.) said:

«All praise be to Allah! The Most High! The Most Great! The All Hearing! The All Seeing! The One with the wide grace, the consecutive favors, the complete and perfect blessings, and the reaching evidences! He rose high, and was above His seven heavens, and then He Rose (Istawa) over his Throne. He knows the secret and that which is yet more hidden.» (35)

 

30. Abul Qasim Isma`il al-Asbahani al-Shafi'i (d. 535 H.) said in his book “al-Hujjah fi Bayan al-Mahajjahâ€:

«Chapter: Clarifying that the Throne is above the heavens, and that Allah -'azza wa jal- is above the Throne.» (36) and he reported narrations that prove that.

 

31. `Adi bin Musafir al-Hakkari al-Shafi'i (d. 555 H.) said in his creed:

«And that Allah is on the Throne, separate from His creation, as He has described Himself in His book and on the tongue of His Prophet, without asking how. He has encompassed everything with His Knowledge, and He is ever All-Knower of everything. Allah -Exalted is He- said {The Most beneficent rose over His Throne}.» (48)

 

32. Yahya Al-`Amrani Ash-Shafi`i (d. 558 H.) said: «Ashab Al-Hadeeth and Sunnah believe that Allah –Subhanahu- is by His Essence (bi-dhatihi), separate from creation, on His Throne Istawa (Rose) above the Heavens, without contact, and His Knowledge encompasses everything.» (62)

 

33. Abdul Qader al-Jilani al-Hanbali as-Soufi (d. 561 H.) said in his book “al-Ghunyahâ€:

«And that Allah, exalted is He, created the heavens topping one another, and created the seven earths below one another, and between the highest earth and the lowest heaven is the distance of five hundred years, and between each heaven and the other the walk (distance) of five hundred years … And Allah, exalted is He, is over the Throne and below Him are veils of fire, light, and darkness, and what He only knows.» (37)

 

34. Abdul-Ghani al-Maqdisi al-Hanbali (d. 600 H.) said in his book “as-Sifatâ€, after relating verses and ahadith that prove Allah’s Elevation and Istiwa':

«And in this issue there are proofs from the Quran and the Sunnah, quoting it would make the book very long. The one who denies that Allah is in the direction of elevation, after these verses and Hadiths, has went against the Book of Allah, and is a denier of the Sunnah of The Messneger of Allah -salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam-.»

He also said, after reporting the hadith of the slave girl: «Who is more ignorant, has a sillier mind, and is more mislead than he who says: It's not permissible to ask "Where is Allah?", after the professing of the Prophet Muhammad, sala Allahu 'alayhi wa salam with his saying â€Where is Allah?“ [sahih Muslim].» (38)

 

35. Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi al-Hanbali (d. 620 H.) said:

«{Fir'awn said: O Haman! Build me a tower that I may arrive at the ways. The ways of the heavens, and I may look upon the God of Musa, but verily I think him to be a liar} Meaning: "I think Musa is lying in claiming that Allah, his God, is above the Heaven". And the opposer in this matter denied this, and (by this he) has claimed that Musa is a liar in this (i.e. that Allah is above the Heaven) by certainty. In addition, he is apposing the Lord of the worlds, implying that his truthful and trustworthy Prophet –sallallahu alayhi wa sallam- has erred; and (the opposer) has left the way of the Sahabah, Tabi`een, the previous Imams, and the rest of creation. And we ask Allah to keep us safe from the innovations in religion by His Mercy, and to guide us to following his path.» (39)

 

36. Ibn As-Salah Ash-Shafi`i (d. 643 H.) wrote on the poem about the Sunnah, attributed to Abul Hasan al-Karaji Ash-Shafi`i (d. 532 H.) :

«This is the belief of Ahl As-Sunnah and Ashab Al-Hadeeth.» (59)

And some of what came in the poem is the following:

The belief of Ashab Al-Hadeeth has risen ** by the people of Allah’s religion to the highest of ranks

***

Their beliefs is that The Ilah (Allah) is with His Essence (bi-dhatihi) ** on His Throne, with His knowledge of the matters of the unseen (60)

 

37. Abdul Kareem bin Mansoor al-Mawsili al-Shafi'i al-Athari (d. 651 H.) :

Abu Zakariyah as-Sarsari al-Hanbali wrote a poem in which he praised the belief of Shaykh Abdul-Kareem al-Athari after reading his book on creed '"l-Mu`tamad fi al-Mu`taqad". He said in this poem, highlighting the belief of the shaykh:

And his belief in Istiwa' is that of Malik ** and the righteous predecessors, the people of grace

And he said (i.e. Abdul Kareem): He Istawa (rose) over His Throne with His Essence (bi-dhatihi) ** and do not say (that it means) istawla (i.e. seized) for saying that is not the truth

…

And His creation are separate from Him, and He's separate from the creation ** and He knows the secret and the apparent

And {We are nearer to him than his jugular vein} is interpreted ** to be by knowledge, and what has a similar meaning, so understand

Allah rose over the Heavens above His slaves ** The proof is in the Quran, not broken

And take the affirmation of the faith of the slave girl ** as a complete transmitted evidence, not an incomplete one (in its chain) (49)

 

38. Abu Zakariya Yahya as-Sarsari al-Hanbali as-Sufi (d. 656 H.) said:

I testify that Allah, may His praise be exalted ** is an Eternal, Supreme, and Glorified God

All-Hearing, and All-Seeing, He has no similar in His Attributes ** He Sees from above seven heavens and Hears

The creation of the seven heavens and the earth is wide ** And His kursi from His creation is wider

He finished His creation and then Istawa (rose) above His Throne ** And there is no place in the world that is free of His Knowledge

And whoever says that Allah, by His Essence (bithatihi) ** is everywhere; is a hasty ignorant (40)

 

39. Abdur-Razzaq ar-Ras`ani al-Hanbali (d. 661 H.) said in his poem (41) in praising the Sunnah and dispraising innovation:

And say: My Lord, above the Heavens, Has Risen ** over His Throne, and cut every illusion

And say that asking “Where?†is permissible, for the text is ** confirmed (42), authentic, and apparent and not hidden

 

40. Abdur-Rahman al-Maqdisi al-Hanbali (d. 682 H.), the nephew of Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi, said:

«A proposition: "Except for the mute, he points with his head towards the heavens" ... when it is confirmed, he points to the heavens with his head, because this pointing substitutes talking, and pointing to the heavens indicates his intention to say the name of the One Who is above the heavens; And as such said al-Sha`bi. This is indicated by the hadith reported by Abu Hurayrah that a man came to the Prophet -salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam- with a foreign slave girl and said: "O Messenger of Allah! I have to free a believing slave, can I free this one"; So the Prophet- salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam- asked her: â€Where is Allah?“, so she pointed to the heavens…» … so the Messenger of Allah – salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam – affirmed her Iman (i.e. belief) by her pointing to the Heavens, her meaning that Allah –Subhanah- is above it.» (44)

 

Year 701 H. and after

 

41. Ibn Shaykh al-Hazzamiyyin al-Hanbali (43) (d. 711 H.) said:

«When the slave is certain that Allah –Ta`ala- is above the Heavens, High over His Throne, without restricting or describing, and that He is now with His Attributes as He was in eternity; there becomes a qiblah for one's heart in his prayer, and his duaa. And whoever doesn’t know his Lord to be above the Heavens, on His throne, then he remains lost, not knowing the direction of the One he worships; although he might know Him by His Hearing, His Sight, and His eternity; and knowing this without that (i.e. being above the Heavens on the Throne) is an incomplete knowledge, contrary to the one who knows that his God, whom he worships, is above everything ...» Then he said: «And he is to believe that He (Allah) is in elevation, close to His creation and with them by His Knowledge, Hearing, Seeing, encompassment, Ability, and Will; and His Essence is above everything, above the Throne.†(53)

 

42. Taqiuddeen Ibn Taimiyyah al-Hanbali (d. 728 H.) said in al-aqidah al-Wasitiyyah:

«What we mentioned of belief in Allah includes belief in what Allah has revealed in His Book (the Qur'an), what has been continuously reported from His Messenger (peace be upon him), and what the early generation of the Ummah unanimously agreed upon: That Allah, The Glorified, is above His heavens on His Throne, and exalted above His creatures; and that He, The Glorified, is with them wherever they are knowing what they are doing. He summed it up in His saying {He is the One Who created the heavens and the earth in six days; Then He rose over the Throne. He knows what goes into the earth and what comes out of it, and what descends from heavens and what ascends into it; He is with you wherever you are; Allah sees all what you do.} [al-Hadid 57:4]. His saying {He is with you} does not mean that He is mixed with creation; the language does not indicate this, it goes against what the Salaf of the Ummah agreed upon, and is contrary to the innate nature (fitrah) that Allah created in creation; the moon is one of Allah's signs to be found amongst the smallest of His creatures, and it is placed in the skies, and it is with the traveler, and non-traveler wherever they are; and Allah – The Glorified- is above the Throne watching His creation, ruling over them, and other such meanings of His Lordship.»

 

43. Ibn Abd al-Hadi al-Hanbali (d. 744 H.) said: «And He –Subhanah- is above His heavens over His Throne, and He has come close to His slaves and descended to the dunya heaven. His Elevation above His creation is of the essence (dhati), and is known by the intellect, innate nature (fitrah), and the consensus of the Messengers, thus absolutely nothing is above Allah.» (45)

 

44. Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah Al-Hanbali (d. 751 H.) said: «He –Subhanahu- is above His Heavens on His Throne, separate from His creation.» (54)

 

45. Ibn Abi al-Izz al-Hanafi (d. 792 H.) said in his explanation of al-'Aqeedah al-Tahawiyah: «Thus Allah is above His Throne while holding it and its carriers by His power.»

And he said: «And whoever hears the hadiths of the Messenger -salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam- and the words of the salaf, will find innumerable evidences of Allah's Elevation, and there is no doubt that when Allah created the creation, He did not create them in His divine Essence, Exalted is Allah from this!» Then he reported the evidences of Allah's Elevation from the Quran, the Sunnah, from the statements of the salaf, and reasoning. (46)

 

46. Shihab ad-Deen al-Alusi al-Hanafi (d. 1270 H.) said:

«He –Glorified is He- is in the direction of elevation in a manner that befits Him, while negating the necessities of it that are impossible for Allah -Subhanahu wa Ta'ala-. The proofs from Quran, Sunnah, and athar, that Allah -Ta`ala- is such, are innumerable, and it is difficult to collect them all. And in what a person finds in himself from the natural, necessary tendency towards the direction of elevation, in both the states of aspiration and fear, is a strong attestation for that.» (47)

 

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The responses of the prophet Muhammad, the Sahabah or the Salaf was not "Allah is here and there without really being here and there, and saying that He is anywhere would be likening Him to His creation" and such. It was "Allah is above His throne/creation". Allah even says that He rose above His throne, in a multitude of places in the Qur'an, and that is what Islam teaches us.

 

There is nothing to argue here and only a misguided Muslim would claim that Allah did not rise above His throne. A misguided Muslim would also attempt to explain what "above His throne" means. Where Allah is has been stated clearly in the Qur'an and in the Hadiths. Let's leave it at that instead of making up philosophical debates about the essence of God and his physicality (or lack thereof). These, as Imam Malik said, are matters of innovation that should not be argued about.

 

For anyone who would rather take the opinion of a handful of scholars on this, please refer to this Hadith:

 

Mu’awiyah as-Sahmi reported: «I had some sheep which I kept between Uhud and Juwaniyyah with a slave girl to look after them. One day, I went out to check on my sheep and discovered that a wolf had devoured one of them. Since I am just a human, (I became angry) and struck the girl. Later on, I came to the Prophet -Sallallahu alahi wa Sallam- and reported to him the incident. He terrified me with the gravity of my action. I said, "Messenger of Allah! Shall I free her (as an expiation of my sin.) He said â€Call her over.“

When I did, he asked her: â€Where is Allah?“ She said: "fi as-sama (above the Heavens)"

Then he asked her, â€Who am I ?“ She said: "The Messenger of Allah -Sallallahu alahi wa Sallam-".

Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah -Sallallahu alahi wa Sallam- ordered me, â€Free her for she is a believer.“ [saheeh Muslim]

 

Topic closed.

 

Salam.

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