Question: Where is Allâh? There are those among the people who say Allâh is in the heaven, and there are those who say He is everywhere; which view is more correct?
Answer: Allâh the Mighty and Majestic said:
"Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven, will not cause the earth to sink with you, then behold it shakes (as In an earthquake)? Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allâh), will not send against you a violent whirlwind? Then you shall know How (terrible) has been My Warning?" [Mulk: 16-17].
Allâh the Mighty also said:
"The Most Beneficent Istawâ (rose over) the (Mighty) Throne." [Ta-ha: 5].
And He the Mighty said:
"…then He Istawâ (rose over) the Throne…" [Al-'Arâf: 54].
There are different meanings given by the People of Knowledge to Istawâ in the Verse and with regard to its meaning. Some said Istawâ 'He rose,' this is the view of Abu Al-Aaliyah. Some said Istawâ: 'He rose over the Throne,' this is the view of Mujâhid. Al-Bukhâri brought the two views in Muallaq form in his Sahîh in the Book of Tauheed (13/403).
And it is said the meaning of the Verse is 'He ascended,' and 'He established Himself.'
As for the meaning the people of Mu'tazilah Sect gave to it, they said Istawâ is Istaulâ ('He assumed control'); the origin of the word is from Al-Istilâ which means 'seizure.' Their proof for that is the statement of a poet:
Bishr has taken control of Iraq without a sword nor bloodshed.
This view is absurd.
'Allâh had been when there was nothing before Him.'
Allâh the Blessed said:
"He is the first (Nothing is before Him) and the Last (Nothing is after Him), the Most High (Nothing is above Him) and the Most Near (Nothing is nearer than Him). And He is the All-Knower of Everything." [Al-Hadîd: 3].
And His Speech:
"…He is the One, the Irresistible."
Thus it is obligatory that one believes that Allâh sits on His Throne without any manner, as Al-Imâm Mâlik said when he was asked as to the meanning of Istawâ; he said (may Allâh bestow mercy on him):
'Allâh rising over His Throne is known, the manner is unknown, belief in it is obligatory and asking after it is heresy.'
Allâh the Mighty said:
"…to Him ascend (all) the goodly words; and the righteous deeds exalt it..." [Fâtir: 10].
Allâh also said when talking about Eesa:
"…I will take you and raise you to Myself..." [Aal-Imrân: 55].
In the Sahîhayn, in the hadîth of Abu Hurairah (may Allâh be pleased with him) who said: 'The Messenger of Allâh (Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam) said:
'The night and day angels exchange duty about you, they will meet at Fajr and Asr Prayers, then those who stayed the night with you will go up and He will ask them while He knew about them: 'In what manner did you leave My slaves?' They will reply: 'We left them while they were observing Salâh and we came to them while they were observing Salâh.'
Also in the Sahîhayn in the hadîth of Abu Sa'îd Al-Khudrî (may Allâh be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allâh (Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam) said:
'Won't you trust me while I am the trustworthy one of He in the heaven; news of the heaven comes to me in the mornings and the evenings.'
Also in the Sahîhayn, in the hadîth of Abu Dharr, he said: The Prophet (Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam) said to me:
'Do you know where this sun sets?'
I replied: 'Allâh and His Messenger know best.'
'Verily it goes until it falls down below the Throne beside its Lord…'
In Sahîh Al-Bukhâri in the hadîth of Zaynab bint Jahsh (may Allâh be pleased with her) that she used to pride herself over other wives of the Prophet (Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam) by saying:
'It was your people that married you (to the Prophet), it was Allâh that married me (to him) from above the Seven Heavens.'
Also in Sahîh Muslim in the hadîth of Muâwiyah b. Al-Hakam As-Sulamiyy (may Allâh be pleased with him) who said:
'I had a female slave who used to tend a flock of mine – between Mount Uhud and Al-Jawwâniyyah. One day I checked in and saw that wolf had gone with a sheep from her flock, I am but a human, thus I felt as a human being would feel thus I hit her heavily on her face. Then I went to the Messenger of Allâh (Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam) who magnified the matter to me. I said: 'O Messenger of Allâh, won't I free her?' He (the Prophet (Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam)) said: 'Bring her to me.'
Then I brought her to him and he said to her: 'Where is Allâh?' She replied: 'Over the heaven.' He said: 'Who am I?' She replied: 'You are the Messenger of Allâh.' He (Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam) said: 'Free her indeed she is a believer.'
Also in the Sahîhayn in the hadîth of Abu Hurairah (may Allâh be pleased with him) who said: 'The Messenger of Allâh (Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam) said:
'When Allâh created (all the) beings He wrote in a Book which is with Him on the Throne: Indeed My Mercy preponderates My Anger.'
In Sahîh Muslim in the long hadîth of Jâbir (may Allâh be pleased with him) about the Farewell Hajj, that the Messenger of Allâh (Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam) said in his sermon on the day of Arafah:
'Nay, have I delivered?'
They replied: 'Yes.'
Then he began to point his finger to the sky and to them saying:
'O Allâh be a Witness.'
And Abu Dâwud reported in his Sunan in the hadîth of Abdullah b. Amr b. Al-Aas (may Allâh be pleased with both) that the Messenger of Allâh (Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam) said:
'Allah the Merciful shows mercy to those who are merciful; be merciful to those on earth, the One in the heaven will be merciful to you.'
At-Tabarâni also reported in the hadîth of Jarir; he heard the Prophet (Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam) say:
'Whoever is not merciful to those on earth, the One in the heaven will not be merciful to him.'
The hadîth is reported by reliable people as it is said in Mukhtasar Al-Uluww of Ash-Shaykh Al-Albâni (may Allâh bestow mercy on him).
All these proofs establish Allâh's Rise – may He be exalted and glorified – over His Throne. This is the position of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamâ'ah.
As for those who say: 'Allâh is everywhere;' those are the Jahmiyyah, the heretical sect that opposed the Sunnah in a lot of matters such as the issue of Ar-Ru'yah (seeing Allaah the Mighty on the Day of Resurrection by the believers), establishment of Allâh's Attributes, etc. the people of the Sect are the followers of Jahm b. Safwân in Kûfah, he was a heretic and deviant.
What their statement 'Allâh is everywhere' implies is that He can be in places of dirt. This is because the word Kull ('every') is one of those words that has the meaning of generality. But glorified and blessed is Allâh from what they say.
Among the doubts they cast is with this Verse:
"Have you not seen that Allâh knows whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is on the earth? There is no Najwa (secret counsel) of three, but He is their fourth, nor of five but He is their sixth, not of less than that or more, but He is with them wheresoever they may be; and afterwards on the Day of Resurrection, He will Inform them of what they did. Verily, Allâh is the All-Knower of everything." [Al-Mujâdilah: 7].
So also they cause doubt with the rest of the Verses of Ma'iyyah (that talk about Allâh being with His creatures); they cite them to negate Allâh's Rise over His Throne.
But the People of Sunnah merge the Verses of Ma'iyyah with the Verses of Uluww (that say Allâh is above) and say: Allâh the Mighty and Majestic is sitting on His Throne as it befits His Majesty and Greatness, and He is with is creatures with His Hearing, Sight, Ability and Knowledge.
The preposition ma'ah ('with') may not mean 'with' except with an indication, for it is said: 'We never ceased to travel except that the moon was with us' while it is known that the moon was not actually with them.
Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allâh bestow mercy on him) mentioned in his I'lâm Al-Muwaqieen [2/318]: 'The summary of the proofs for the establishment of the fact that Allâh is up reaches one thousand but the people of Jahmiyyah Sect reject all those with unclear proofs.
O lady, may Allâh make you achieve good, be upon knowledge and certainty that Allâh is above sitting on His Throne. Be wary of heretical beliefs for much of Jahmiyyah belief is what students study in schools; among that is the statement that 'Allâh is everywhere.' We seek aid from Allâh.
Adapted from: 'My sincere Advice to Women.'
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