Category: Beliefs
Fatwa#: 17739
Asked Country: Canada

Answered Date: Mar 20,2009

Title: Where is Allah swa? If you say everywhere then why did Allah say in the Quran that I am on the Arsh e Muallah.?

Question

Assalam u Alaikum warahmatullahi wabaraka thu.....Mufti Ibraheem Desahi..

My question to you is.... Where is Allah swa? If you say everywhere then why did Allah say in the Quran that I am on the Arsh e Muallah.?

Answer

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. (Al-Iemaanu billaah).

It is further mentioned in Istiftaa # 8290,

Saadu-deen Taftazani rehma tAllah alayh has explained the aspect of 'Where is Allah' in the following words, 'And He is not at any place'. (Sharh Aqaaid)

Imaam Maalik rehmat Allah 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 rehmatallah 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 rehmatallah 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 says,

"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

Wassalamu Alaykum

Darul Iftaa

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