Where Is Allah ?
Allaah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) has the Attribute of Al-Uluww (Highness or Transcendence) and that is why this issue of “where is Allaah” comes under the category of Tawheedul-Asmaa was-Sifaat (Maintaining The Unity Of Allaah’s
Names and Attributes).
So where is Allaah?
Allaah is present over His Mighty Throne above the seven heavens. It is not like
some people think Allaah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) is present here, there and
everywhere. This is not true. Allaah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) tells us that He is
above the heavens, over His Throne. He (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) says:
“The Most Gracious (Allaah) “Istawa” (rose over)
the (Mighty) Throne (in a
manner that suits His Majesty).”
And He (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) also says:
“Do you feel secure that He, Who is Over the heaven (Allaah),
will not cause the earth to sink with you, and then it should quake?
Or do you feel secure that He Who is over the heaven (Allaah), will
not send against you a violent whirlwind? Then you shall know how
(terrible) has been My Warning.”
Allaah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) says many times in the Qur’aan: The angels arise
up to Him, the angels descend, He sends down the rain, that He sent down the
Qur’aan, and other such statements which make clear the belief that Allaah is
separate from His creation and high above them.
Also there is the Hadeeth of Mu’awiyah as-Sahmi (Radiya ‘Llahu ‘anhu) who
“I had some sheep which I kept between Uhud and Juwaniyyah with a slave-girl
to look after them. One day, I went out to check on my sheep and discovered
that a wolf had devoured one of them. Since I am just a human, (I became
angry) and struck the girl. Later on, I came to the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa
sallam) and reported to him the incident. He terrified me with the gravity of my
action. I said, ‘Messenger of Allaah’! Shall I free her (as an expiation of my sin).
He said ‘Call her over’. When I did, he asked her, ‘Where is Allaah?’ She said,
‘Above the heavens’. Then he asked her, ‘Who am I?’ She said, ‘The Messenger
of Allaah (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)’. Thereupon, the Messenger of Allaah
(Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) ordered me, ‘Free her. She is a believer’.”
Look carefully at this Hadeeth. Why did the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)
in order to determine whether the girl was a believer or not, not ask her whether
she believed in Allaah (ie His existence)? It is because the vast majority of the
people at the time of the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) believed in Allaah’s
Existence but they directed their worship to other than Allaah (Subhanahu wa
ta’ala) by way of intermediation. This is the danger of not believing that Allaah
(Subhanahu wa ta’ala) is above His Throne separate and distinct from the
creation – it leads to the worship of creation.
Also the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) reported his eventful journey from
Makkah to Jerusalem and from there up to the heavens (al-Israa wal Mi’raj).
The summary of that report is:
“Jibreel took me up to the lowest heaven and requested its guards to open its
gate. He was asked, ‘Who is this?’ He answered, ‘Jibreel.’ ‘Who is with you?,’
they inquired. ‘Muhammad’ (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) He answered. They
inquired. ‘Has he been invited?’ ‘Yes’. Jibreel replied. Then someone greeted
saying, ‘He is most welcome’.” The Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)
continued, “when the gate was opened, I entered and met Aadam there. Jibreel
said to me, ‘This is your father, greet him’. Aadam greeted me back, saying:
‘Welcome, pious son and pious Prophet’. Then Jibreel ascended to the second
heaven and requested its guards to open its gate.” The questioning that took
place in the lowest heaven was repeated before the gate was opened. The
Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) described what he saw in every heaven,
until finally he was taken up to the seventh heaven where he spoke to Allaah
(Subhanahu wa ta’ala) and the obligatory prayers were prescribed to him.
This authentic Hadeeth speaks clearly in plain words and a straightforward
manner which is not liable to misconstruction or farfetched interpretations. The
Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) was taken up to his Rubb from one heaven
above the other. The Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah believe that the Mi’raj was
neither an illusion nor a vision, rather real and essential. Had Allaah (Subhanahu
wa ta’ala) been everywhere, why would the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)
be taken all the way up to the seventh heaven? Allaah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala)
would have prescribed to him the Salaah on earth rather than in the seventh
These are some of the numerous proofs from the Qur’an and Sunnah that Allaah
(Subhanahu wa ta’ala) is not everywhere in terms of His dhatt (Self). In fact,
Ibnu Abil Izz (Rahimahu ‘Llah) said: “And if these proofs by themselves were
gathered up, they would reach about one thousand in number.”
Imaam Badee ud-Deen Shah as-Sindee (d1416) (Rahimahu ‘Llah) states
Hafidh Abu Abdullah ibn Battah (d387H) said in the book Al-Ibaanah:
“The Muslims from the Companions and the Tabieen have consensus upon the
fact that Allaah is above His Throne, above the heavens, separate from the
Look at what Imaam Abu Hanifah (d150H) (Rahimahu ‘Llah) said about this issue.
Abu Muti’ Al-Balkhi reported:
“I asked Imam Abu Hanifah about a person who says, ‘I do not know whether my
Rubb is, above the heavens or on earth?’ Abu Hanifah, (Rahimahu ‘Llah), said: ‘A
person who makes such a statement becomes a disbeliever because Allaah, the
Exalted says, “The Merciful has ascended above the ‘Arsh”, and the ‘Arsh of
Allaah is above His heavens’. I further asked Abu Hanifah, ‘What if such a person
admits, Allaah is above His ‘Arsh, but exclaims, I do not know whether His ‘Arsh
is above the heavens or on earth’. Abu Hanifah responded: ‘If he denies that the
‘Arsh is above the heavens, he is a disbeliever.”
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