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AQD024E: al-'Uluw - From Authentic Narrations

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As we have understood, from the teachings of Salafussolih, our pious predecessors, among them al-Qadi AbuYusuf (d: 182H), al-Hafiz Ibn Mandah (d: 395H), Ibn Battah al-‘Ukbariy (d: 387H) and others, at-Tawhied is classified into 3 categories; ar-Rububiyah, al-Uluhiyah and al-Asma’ wa as-Sifat. One of the Attributes (Sifat) of Allah is al-‘Uluw, meaning High, Exalted and Elevated above His creations.

From Authentic Narrations in the Traditions (Sunnah) of Rasulullah :

1. “al-‘Uluw”:

Rasulullah shallallahu 'alayhi wasallam said while doing Sujud, the Prostration in Salat:

“Glory be to Allah the Most High – سبحان ربي الأعلى” [Muslim: 772]


2. He is in the Heavens the Skies well above His Creations:

a) “ألا تأمنوني وأنا أمين من في السماء – Don’t you trust me when I am the trustworthy one to the One Who is in the Sky?” [al-Bukhariy: 4094 & Muslim: 1073]


b) The Hadits of Jariah
Jariah, the slave-girl, when the Messenger of Allah asked her: “Where is Allah?”
She replied: “In the Sky.”
Then Nabi shallallahu 'alayhi wasallam continued: “Who am I?”

She answered: “You are the Messenger of Allah.”
The Messenger of Allah did not correct her reply and continued, and eventually said: “Free her cause she is a true believer.” [Muslim: 537]
Based on this narration, asy-Syafi‘ie rahimahullah ruled out in his fatwa (fiqh ruling) of freeing a mukmin/believer slave as a eligible kaffarah (religious expiation), he said:
“When the slave is a true muslim, free him/her fully…I prefer if the slave is being tested by questioning him/her…as in the hadis of Mu‘awiyah bin al-Hakam: the Messenger of Allah asked her: Where is Allah?, she replied: In the Sky… set her free – و أحب إلي لو امتحنها...و ذكر حديث معاوية..فقال لها رسول الله: أين الله؟ قالت: في السماء..فأعتقها”. [Manaqib asy-Syafi ‘ie: 1/394, al-Umm: 266-267]

3. “above - فوق”:

- The hadits: among his supplications, Rasulullah said:
“You are the Most Prominent Exalted, and none is above You… – و أنت الظاهر فليس فوقك شيء” [Muslim: 2714]

4. “rose over – Istiwa’ His Throne or the Sky”

- “When Allah completed His creations, He rose over His Throne – لما فرغ الله من خلقه استوى على عرشه”  [Bukhariy, Muslim & Ahmad from Abu Hurairah - Sahih al-Jami' :5214]


5. “ascend – العروج”

- “The Angels take shifts in overseeing you, angels in the night and angels in daytime…then those who spent their night overseeing you will ascend and they will be asked by Him, though He knows best, better than them – يتعاقبون فيكم ملائكة بالليل وملائكة بالنهار......ثم يعرج الذين باتوا فيكم فيسألهم وهو أعلم بهم...” [Bukhariy: 530,6992, Muslim:632]

- All the hadits of Mi‘raj and there are plenty, among them: “When I was made to ascend the sky, I saw/met Idries on the Fourth Sky – لما عرج بي رأيت إدريس في السماء الرابعة [at-Tirmidzi: dan Ibn Hibban – Sahih al-Jami' :5212]


6. “rise – الصعود”

- The Hadits: “Nothing will rise to Allah except the good (sincere and righteous deeds) – ولا يصعد إلى الله إلا الطيب” [Bukhariy: 6993]


7. “elevate - رفع”

- The hadits: Verily, the deeds of the night will be elevated to Allah before the deeds of the day and likewise the deeds of the day will be elevated before the deeds of the night – إن الله يرفع إليه عمل الليل قبل عمل النهار و عمل النهار قبل عمل الليل” [Muslim: 179]


8. The opposite of ascend, that is descend from Him.

- Among his supplications: “O Allah, the One Who descended The Book, moves the clouds… – اللهم منزل الكتاب ومجري السحاب” [Bukhariy: 2804-2861, Muslim:1742]

- His Descend: the Hadits: “Our Lord, The Most Exalted descends every night to the closest sky to the earth, when it is the last third of the night… – ينزل ربنا تبارك وتعالى … كل ليلة إلى السماء الدنيا حين يبقى ثلث الليل الآخر” [Bukhariy: 1094, Muslim:758]


Translated By: Ustadz Abu Mazaaya
Source: Sifatu ‘Uluw al-‘Aliyi al-‘Afuw
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