AQD025E: al-'Uluw - Concensus of the Scholars

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Since we have understood that He is as He the Most High described Himself: “There is nothing like unto Him – ليس كمثله شيء” (al-Qur’an: asy-Syura: 42:11) with regards to His Divine Attributes or in simple words: Whatever description we use to describe Him, The Exalted, is in reality not the same to the descriptions of His creations except by the meaning of the words literally. His Attributes are Most Perfect and Distinct.

Ijma‘ (concensus) of the Scholars:

1. Imam al-Auza‘ie rahimahullah (died: 157H) said:
We and the Successors (at-Tabi‘un), all of us say that Allah is above His Throne...

2. Imam Ibn Katsier rahimahullah (died: 774H) ) in his interpretation of verse 3 Surah al-An‘am, said:

Scholars have differed in their opinions in understanding this verse {And He is Allah in the heavens and on earth. He knows what you hide, and what you reveal, and He knows the (recompense) which you earn (by your deeds)} after they’ve all agreed unanimously, rejecting the view of the Jahomites – the first sect to say that “Allah is everywhere – Allah fie kulli makan”[1]

From the sayings of our Pious Predecessors:

1. ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ud radhiyallahu'anhu , (as-Sahabie) Companion of Rasulullah shallallahu 'alayhi wasallam said:
“إرحم من في الأرض يرحمك من في السماء – Be kind to those on earth and the One (Allah) in the sky will be Merciful to you” [2]

2. ‘Abdullah ibn Mubarak rahimahullah [3]:
Imam ‘AbdulLah bin Ahmad quoted that ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak said: “....I bear witness that You are above Your Throne above the seven heavens. And this is not as the enemies of Allah say, the heretics.” [4]
“We know that our Lord is above the seven heavens over the Throne, and we do not say as the Jahmiyyah say that he is here, pointing with his hand to the earth.” [5]

“We do not say (believe) like what the Jahomites say “that Allah is on this Earth”, instead (we say) He (Allah) rose over His Throne.” “How can we know our God (Allah)?” He replied: “He is above the Heavens, He rose over His Throne.” [6]

3. Abu Haniefah rahimahullah (80-150H)
Abu Haniefah [7], when asked of his opinion of the one who says, I do not know whether Allah is above the heavens or on the earth, he responded by saying: “He has disbelieved, because Allah says: The Most Merciful rose above the Throne [8], and His Throne is above His seven heavens.” 
He was then asked, what if he said: “Allah is above His Throne but he does not know whether the Throne is in the heavens or on the earth?” Abu Haniefah replied: “He has disbelieved, because he has denied that He is above the heavens and whosoever denied that He is above the heavens has disbelieved.” [9]

4. Imam Mālik rahimahullah (93-179H):
Imam Mālik [10] said: Allah is Above the heaven, and His knowledge is in every place, nothing is hidden from Him.” [11]
5. Imam asy-Syāfi‘ie rahimahullah (150-204H):

Al-Imam Adz-Dzahabie in his treatise “al-‘Uluw” said: Syeikhul Islam Abul Hasan al-Hakkari and al-Hafiz Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisiy, both of them narrated with Isnad (chain of narrators) both ended at Abu Tsaur and Abu Syu‘aib (disciples of asy-Syafi‘ie – the former in Iraq and the latter in Egypt) and both of them narrated that al-Imam asy-Syafi‘ie [12], the Defender of al-Hadiets, may Allah bless him with His Mercy, said:

“The belief in accordance to the Sunnah that I myself steadfast to and I witnessed those whom I met (among the Great Scholars) like Sufyan and Malik (both his teachers; the former in Mecca and the latter in Medina) and many others, is to testify that There is no God worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is His messenger and that Allah is on His throne, above the skies, He makes His Divine Being closer to His servants in the manner He wishes and He Descends to the world’s sky in the way He pleases…then he mentioned a few other principles of Aqiedah.” [13]

6. Wahab bin Jareer rahimahullah (died: 206H):
He said: “The Jahomites (al-Jahmiyah sect) are innovators, to them Allah does not Istiwa’ on (rose over) His Throne.” [14]

7. Imam Muhammad bin Yusuf rahimahullah [15]:
 He said: “Whoever says that Allah is not above His Throne, he is a Kafir.” [16]

8. Ibn Ma‘dan said:
I asked Sufyan ats-Tsauriy rahimahullah [17] with regards to the verse: {And He is with you (by His Knowledge) wheresoever you may be...} [18]
He replied: “His Knowledge” [19]

9. Imam al-Hafiz al-Lalaka-i rahimahullah (died: 418H):

He made this conclusion, after he listed a number of verses [20] as evidences for al-‘Uluw as a Divine Attribute of Allah:
“These verses evidently show that He is above the sky yet His Knowledge encompasses every place on Earth and in the Sky. This is narrated from the Companions; from‘Umar, Ibn Mas‘ud, Ibn ‘Abbas and Ummu Salamah .
Likewise from the Successors (at-Tabi‘un – the dicsiples of the Companions); Rabie‘ah bin ‘Abdir Rahman, Sulayman at-Taymee, Muqatil bin Haiyan and among the Scholars of Fiqh who held the same belief; Malik bin Anas, Sufyan ats-Tsauriy and Ahmad bin Hambal.”[21]

There are many others, but what has been presented is sufficient, Insyaa Allah.

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


[1] Syarh Usul I‘tiqad Ahlis Sunnah wal Jama’ah: 3/438 by al-Imam al-Lalaka-i (d: 418H) and it is also a Sahih Hadiets from the sayings of Rasulullah as narrated by at-Tabaraniy (from Jarier’s narration), and at-Tabaraniy also narrated, as well as al-Hakim from ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ud – Sahih al-Jami‘: 896.[3] ‘Abdullah bin al-Mubarak bin Wadih al-Hanzali, at-Tamiemiy al-Marwazi, Mawla Bani Hanzalah al-Marwazi, Tabi‘ie tsiqah (a trustworthy narrator among the Successors), a great scholar of fiqh, mujahid – a warrior, died 181H – as-Siyar:1299. 4]

[2] Tafsier al-Qur’an al-‘Aziem (Tafsier Ibn Katsier): surah al-An‘am verse 3. The same goes to the philosophical principle: “Allah Maujoud bi la makan – Allah is present without a place” which can also mean “Allah is nowhere” a statement of blasphemy since it is not supported with any evidences from the Quran nor the Sunnah not even from the sayings of the Pious Predecessors as we clearly see in tis article.

[3] “as-Sunnah” of Imam ‘AbdulLah bin Ahmad with tahqeeq of al-Qahtaanie

[4] Ibid.

[5] Al-Arba‘ien fi as-Sifat; Khalq Af‘al al-‘Ibad authored by al-Imam Bukhariy (194-256H)

[6] Abu Haniefah, an-Nu‘man bin Tsabit al-Koufi, known as the Founder of Madzhab Hanafi – the Hanafi School of Fiqh (80-150H).

[7]the verse in Surah Ta-ha: 20:5.

[8] al-Uluw of adz- Dzahabee, Syarh al-‘Aqeedah at-Tahawiyyah of ibn Abie al-‘Izz al-Hanafee

[9]Imam Darul Hijrah, Malik bin Anas bin Malik bin Abi ‘Amir al-Asbahi al-Madani, known as the founder of Maliki Madzhab (93-179H)

[10] Al-Albanee said in his notes to Mukhtasar (no. 130), reported by ‘Abdullah in as-Sunnah (pg. 5), and likewise Abu Dawood in Masa-il (pg. 263) and it s sanad is saheeh and he includes a refutation of the lies that Kawtharee employs to try and discredit this isnad

[11] Imam the Defender and Preserver of as-Sunnah, Muhammad bin Idries, al-Muttalibi al-Qurasyi, asy-Syafi‘ie known as the founder of Madzhab Syafi‘ie, 150-204H.

[12] Narrated by Adz-Dzahabie (d:748H) in “Mukhtasar al-‘Uluw”: 176 and al-Imam Ibn al-Qayim in “Ijtima‘ al-Juyusy al-Islamiyah”: 94. Do refer to: Majmu‘ al-Fatawa: 4/181 and ‘Aun al-Ma‘bud: 13/41 and 47 too.

[13] Ibn Hazim, al-Azdiy al-Basriy, al-Imam Ahmad recommended others to narrate from him as he himself did in his Musnad,

[14] Khalq Af‘al al-‘Ibad authored by al-Imam Bukhariy (194-256H)

[15] bin Ma‘dan, a contemporary to ‘Abdullah bin al-Mubarak (d: 181H). Adz-Dzahabiy mentioned him in as-Siyar: 1372, and he is not ‘Abdullah bin Yusuf (d: 218H), the teacher of al-Bukhariy and among the narrators mentioned in Sahih al-Bukhariy.

[16] Khalq Af‘al al-‘Ibad: pg.15 authored by al-Imam Bukhariy (194-256H)

[17] Sufyan bin Sa‘ied bin Masruq bin Habieb… bin Milkan bin Tsaur (97H-161H). Among the most prominent scholars of his time.

[18] Al-Qur’an: al-Hadied: 57: 4

[19] Khalq Af‘al al-‘Ibad by al-Imam Bukhariy, Syarh Usul I‘tiqad Ahlis Sunnah wal Jama’ah: 3/445 by al-Imam al-Lalaka-i (d: 418H) and narrated by ‘Abdullah bin Ahmad in as-Sunnah: 72.

[20] Al-Qur’an: Fatir: 35:10, Al-Qur’an: al-Mulk: 67:16, Al-Qur’an: al-An‘am: 6:18

[21] Syarh Usul I‘tiqad Ahlis Sunnah wal Jama’ah: 3/429-430 by al-Imam al-Lalaka-i.





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