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AQD037E: al-'Uluw - Refutation of False Claims: “We do not ascribe to Allah a place" (Part 1)

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Refutation of False Claims: “we do not ascribe to Allah a place; above the sky or ‘Arash/Throne as we glorify Him with utmost glorification” 

A. Refuting the Deviated Statement

Among Muslims, some of them would say:
“We glorify Allah with the utmost glorification and so we do not fix a location or place for Him, because by saying that (believing that Allah is at so and so place, the Sky/Throne for eg), we are saying that Allah is in need of a place just like His creations and a place itself is a creation of Allah. Therefore we say: He is everywhere, or He is Omnipresent or He exists without a place – الله في كل مكان ، الله موجود بلا مكان”
These are the refutations: 

Firstly - this false deviated statement: He is everywhere, or He is Omnipresent or He exists without a place – الله في كل مكان ، الله موجود بلا مكان”

In response, we say:

1. This statement or belief that “Allah is everywhere” or “Allah exists without a place” or “Allah is Omnipresent” refering to His Divine Being, do you have any verse of the al-Qur’an or as-Sunnah (the hadiets – authentic saying of Rasulullah), or any of the Pious Predecessors’ sayings to support it?

The truth is, you cannot find even one (unless you desperately quote from a scholar who came after 300H – when the influence of philosophy penetrated matters of ‘Aqeedah). What we have cited in this article of verses of the Quran, the pure Sunnah of the Messenger and sayings of our Pious Predecessors, in fact their consensus, proves that Allah is above His Creations, above the Seven Skies and He rose over His Throne.


B. Refuting the Deviated Interpretations of Quranic Verses

However, among the Muslims, those who are being infected by the philosophical “diseases”, stubbornly believe otherwise and they came out with the following argument to refute the belief that has been revealed by Allah and His Messenger as well as the belief of the pious and guided scholars in this matter.

They say: There are verses of the Quran that evidently state Allah is everywhere and He is with you wherever you are. For example:

  1. “for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein.”
  2. “He is with them when they plot by night, in words that He cannot approve..”
  3. “There is not a secret consultation between three, but He makes the fourth among them, nor between five but He makes the sixth, nor between fewer nor more, but He is with them, wheresoever they be:”
  4. “And He is with you wheresoever ye may be.”

They say: So these verses prove that Allah is everywhere.

That is their conclusion.

Our response:

- We, following the teachings of Allah, the Messenger and the Pious Predecessors, would like to know: “Are we to interpret the al-Quran by means of our own understanding? Base on our own interpretations? Is it permissible to take these verses literally and formulate a belief that “Allah is everywhere”? No!

- By right, we are to interpret the Quran and understand the Words of Allah by His Messenger’s interpretation and the understanding of the Companions and those who follow their path. We have brought all the evidences to proof the interpretation of the Messenger and the Pious Predecessors; points “B. from Authentic Narrations in the Traditions (Sunnah) of Rasulullah ”, “C. Ijma‘ (concensus) of the Scholars” and “D. From the sayings of our Pious Predecessors”.

We are safe when we believe in what they believed in and follow their path in this matter. All these verses refer to His Supreme Divine Knowledge not His Being/Self (Dzat) because His Being is above His Creations, as Imam Sufyan ats-Tsauriy explained:
And He is with you (by His Knowledge) wheresoever you may be.. He replied: “His Knowledge”  (see: “D” point no: 8) 
And the conclusion of Imam al-Hafiz al-Lalaka-i :
These verses evidently show that He  is above the sky yet His Knowledge encompasses every place on Earth and in the Sky.

Let us be clear with another important point. Actually, Allah has made it clear to us, those verses are relating to His Knowledge and not His Supreme Divine Being/Self.

Examine the following:

1) Verse 1: 
“It was We Who created man, and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein. Behold, two (guardian angels) appointed to learn (his doings) learn (and note them), one sitting on the right and one on the left. Not a word does he utter but there is a sentinel by him, ready (to note it).”  
So in this verse, even if we do not get the interpretation from as-Sunnah and others, the very verse taught us, it is with regards to the Knowledge of Allah, not His Being that is nearer to him than (his) jugular vein.


2) Verse 2:
“They may hide (their crimes) from men, but they cannot hide (them) from Allah, seeing that He is with them when they plot by night, in words that He cannot approve; and Allah ever encompasses what they do.”  
His Knowledge was with them and not that His Divine Being was with them that night.


3) Verse 3:
“Have you not seen that Allah knows whatever is in the heavens and on whatsoever is on the earth? There is no Najwa (a secret consel) 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: and afterwards on the Day of Resurrection He will inform them the truth of what they did. Verily, Allah is the All-Knower of everything”.  

4) Verse 4:
“He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days, and then rose over the Throne, He knows what goes into the earth and what comes forth out from it, what descends from heaven and what ascends thereto. And He is with you wheresoever you may be. And Allah is the All-Seer of what you do”.  
Imam Sufyan ats-Tsauriy clarified this as mentioned. Apart from that, this verse clarified with utmost clarity “then rose over the Throne, He knows” that He is above the Throne, His Divine Self but His Knowledge, not His Supreme Being, is with everything.


C. Verses from the Quran that Clarifies Allah rose over the Throne or the Skies and His Knowledge is with us

In fact, in many verses, Allah clarifies that He rose over the Throne or the Skies, and at the same time, He reminds us that His Knowledge is with us. Examples are these verses:
“He it is Who created for you all that is on earth; then He rose over towards  the heaven and made them seven heavens and He is the All-Knower of everything.”
         
“(Allah) the Most Gracious rose over the Mighty Throne…. And if you speak  (the invocation) aloud, then verily, He knows the secret and that which is yet more hidden.”  

Therefore, it is very clear to us now that there is no contradiction in these verses and Allah  the Most Gracious, His Being/Self is above the Throne, above the Seven Skies, in a manner suits His Majesty. He is not everywhere but nothing escapes His Knowledge .

This idea that He is with His Divine Being  is everywhere with us, may cause a non-believer to assume that “the Muslims believe that God can be with us even while we are in the toilet” or assumes that “He is in everything that we see”. As we have understood, this is the belief of the Deviated Sect, the Jahmites, among those who claim themselves as part Muslim ummah. So, it is not permissible for us to say: “Allah is everywhere” or “Allah is Omni-present” or “Allah exists without a place or location” since:
i. No evidence from the texts of al-Quran and as-Sunnah or from the scholars’ statements to support them.  
ii. All the evidences of the Quran proof contrary to these statements. Instead, all of these texts proof that “Allah  is above the Skies, He  is on and above His Throne in a manner that suits His Majesty.  

Continued in AQD038E: al-'Uluw - Refutation of False Claims: “We do not ascribe to Allah a place" (Part 2)

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

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