Where is Allah?
By Mufti Ebrahim Desai
POSTED: 25 RAMADAN 1422, 11 DECEMBER 2001
Q.)Where is Allah azza wa jaal? I have understood that
He is on His Arsh (The Heavenly Throne), but a sister asked me for evidence about this. Can you explain this please?
A.) Saadu-deen Taftazani has explained the aspect of
“Where is Allah” in the following words, “And he is not at any place.”
Imaam Maalik was asked about the ayat in Surah Taha, “Allah is above His Ársh”, he answered “Being above (Istawaa) is known but the reality is unknown and – questioning that – is innovation.”
Jaaluddin Suyyuti also comments on the verse saying, “Istawaa (being above) according to whatever is appropriate for Allah.”
(Jalaalayn vol. 2 p. 260).
However, the verse does not speak about the Zaat(person) of Allah Tala being on the Ársh but it is to indicate the establishment and control of the Kingdom of Allah by Himself.
And Allah Knows Best.
My question to you is…. Where is Allah swa? If you say everywhere thenwhy did Allah say in the Quran that I am on the Arsh e Muallah.?
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
Where is Allah ?
Mufti Ebrahim Desai says in his Istiftaa # 14455 on Askimam:
Allah Ta’ala is pure and free from all similarities to human beings. By confining Allah to a specific place, like the Arsh, a form is automatically being attributed to Allah. Once a form/shape is attributed to Allah, a deficiency is being attributed to Allah Ta’ala. Since, time and place are both created things.
Allah was how He was and still is the same. He is not affected by the passing of time. It is, therefore, improper to say Allah is on the Arsh. Similarly, it is improper to say Allah is everywhere. The best and safest option is the stance adopted by our Salaf (pious predecessors), i.e. to believe in Allah as He is without delving into the details on these issues.
It is further mentioned inIstiftaa # 8290,
Saadu-deen Taftazani rahmatallah alayh has explained the aspect of ‘Where is Allah’ in the following words, ‘And he is not at any place’.
Imaam Maalik Rahmatallah alayh was asked about the Aayat in Surah Taaha,
‘Allah is above His Ársh’, he answered ‘Being above (Istawaa)is known but the reality is unknown and – questioning that – is innovation.’
Jaaluddin Suyyuti Rahmatallah alayh also comments on the Aayat saying, ‘Istawaa (being above) according to whatever is appropriate for Allah.
(Jalaalayn vol. 2 p. 260).
However, the verse does not speak about the Zaat of Allah Taãla being on the Ársh but it is to indicate the establishment and control of the Kingdom of Allah by Himself.
With regards to the view of Mufti Mahmood Hasan Saheb rahmatallah alayh, it is imperative to read the whole fatwa and understand it completely. For this reason we have reproduced the Fatwa below.
“It is the Aqeeda of Ahl Sunnah Wal Jama’a that Allah is everywhere, knower of every aspect (big or small), and nothing is hidden from Him. It is established from the Explicit Sources and Fortified Proofs. Allah say,
“لا يعزب عنه مثقال ذرة فى السماوات و لا فى الارض ولا اصغر ولا اكبر الا فى كتاب مبين
“But unlike other things, Allah is not restricted to one specific place, because He is not voluminous entity. He is eternal and time and space are His creation. The how can He be restricted within the place?
ولا محدود ولا معدود ولا متبعض ولا متجز ولا شريك منها ولا يجرى عليه الزمان
( شرح عقائد نسفى صـ 32)
And in some texts where a specific place is mentioned, then there the intended meaning is not that place is restricted for Allah rather what is intended is that Allah’s attribute of knowledge or some other attribute empowers upon that place.”
(Fatawa Mahmoodiya Vol.6 Pg.67)
From this text we understand that the statement “Allah is everywhere” has two aspects.
1. That its explanation according to Mufti Mahmood Saheb rehmatullah alayh is given as “knower of every aspect (big or small), and nothing is hidden from Him”.
2. And also that the above is substantiated by the last part of his fatwa where the attribute of Allah’s Knowledge empowers every bit of this universe and more.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah
WHERE IS ALLAH ?
Q; How should a Muslim respond to where Allah
Almighty is? As this is great Aqidah confusion between the ummah.
Question # q-23200832
Date Posted: 04/02/2004
A; In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most
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 knows best
Muhammad ibn Adam
Leicester , UK
By Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Posted: 11 Safar 1424, 13 April 2003
Q.)I have been reading articles on the subject of Wahdatul Wujood, and have been very confused. In the Qur’an, Allah says He is above his throne… Allah fawq al-‘Arsh. HE IS ABOVE HIS THRONE.
This literally means He is above his throne, however he sees all. How come the Deobandis say that Allah Ta’la is actually and physically everywhere?
Allah can see everything, but is He physically everywhere? This doesn’t make sense.
Please answer with evidence from Qur’an and Sunnah, so I can also tell my friends. Jazak’Allahu Khayr and may Allah Ta’la preserve you Ameen. [Owais Saab]
A.)Saadu-deen Taftazani has explained the aspect of ‘Where is Allah?’ in the following words: ‘And He is not at any place’.(Sharh Aqaaid)
Imam Malik was asked about the Ayat in Surah Taha, ‘Allah is above His Ársh’, he answered: ‘Being above (Istawaa) is known but the reality is unknown and – questioning that – is innovation.’
Jaaluddin Suyyuti also comments on the Ayat saying, ‘Istawa (being above) according to whatever is appropriate for Allah.(Jalaalayn vol. 2 p. 260).
However, the verse does not speak about the Zaat (Person) of Allah being on the Ársh but it is to indicate the establishment and control of the Kingdom of Allah by Himself.
The Ulama of Deoband do not say that Allah Ta’ala is physically present everywhere.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best