Bismillahi Wal Hamdullillah Was Salātu Was Salaamu ‘Alaa rasoolillahi Ammā Ba’d: (In the name of Allah سبحانه وتعالى and blessings upon the messenger ﷺ )
Two questions which most children and even adults tend to ask is Who is Allah and Where is He? The former usually answered right by stating that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah. The Self-Sufficient Supreme being Who begets not and nor is He begotten, Who doesn’t sleep, nor gets tired. The Everliving, The Self Sufficient Master Whom all creatures need, neither does He eat nor drink, and is not in need of any assistance. Our Creator, Owner of the day of judgement, Lord of the Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists) and there is none comparable to Him.
Subhanallah, Allah سبحانه وتعالى tells us so much of Himself and His attributes! Of course, those are only a few of the names He has described Himself.
However, one question which most adults especially some sects fail to get right, is Where in fact is Allah?
I have made this mistake in the past by saying He is in the Heavens. Allahu musta’an (Allah’s refuge is sought) but alhamdullilah I got corrected.
Allah سبحانه وتعالى tells us that He is above the 7 heavens on His Throne.
The Most Beneficent (Allah) Istawa (rose over) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). surah ta-ha ayah 20:5
It is Allah who created the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them in six days; then He established Himself above the Throne. You have not besides Him any protector or any intercessor; so will you not be reminded? Surah As Sajdah verse 4
The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to Abu Dharr when the sun set:
“Do you know where it goes?” I said: Allah and His Messenger know best.
He said: “It goes and prostrates beneath the Throne, then it asks for permission (to rise) and permission is given to it. Soon it will prostrate, but it will not be accepted from it, and it will ask for permission (to rise) but permission will not be given to it; it will be said to it: “Go back to where you came from.’ So it will rise from its place of setting, and that is what Allah, may He be glorified, refers to in the verse (interpretation of the meaning): “And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term (appointed). That is the Decree of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing” [Yaa-Seen 36:38].
‘Zaynab bint Jahsh, used to boast to the other wives of the Prophet, saying, ‘Your families arranged your marriages, but ALLAH ARRANGED MY MARRIAGE FROM ABOVE THE SEVEN HEAVENS.’
Mu’awiyah as-Sahmi reported: “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 (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) and reported to him the incident.
He terrified me with the gravity of my action. I said, ‘Messenger of Allah’! Shall I free her (as an expiation of my sin.)
He said ‘Call her over’. When I did, he asked her,
‘Where is Allah?’ She said, ‘Above the heavens’. Then he asked her, ‘Who am I?’ She said, ‘The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) ‘. Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) ordered me, ‘Free her. She is a believer’.”
Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
Those who are merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth and the One above the heavens will have mercy upon you.
Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 1924, Grade: Sahih
Allah سبحانه وتعالى however, also informs us that He descends in the last third of the night:
“The Lord descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the night remains and says: ‘Who will call upon Me, that I may answer Him? Who will ask of Me, that I may give him? Who will seek My forgiveness, that I may forgive him?’”
This hadeeth was narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) by approximately twenty-eight of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) and the Ahl al-Sunnah are unanimously agreed that it is to be accepted.
The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said,
‘There is no day on which Allaah frees people from the Fire more so than on the day of ’Arafah. He comes close to those (people standing on ’Arafah), and then He revels before His Angels saying, ‘What are these people seeking.” [Jaami’ut-Tirmidhee (3/377)]
All the above pieces of evidence mentioned which are not an exhaustive list, affirms the loftiness of Allah سبحانه وتعالى, the Mighty and Majestic above His throne, which is the methodology of the people of Sunnah.
Subhanallah we have some who claim that Allah is everywhere which is in fact wrong. The slave girl in the hadith mentioned above even knew her Creator more than those who claim that Allah is everywhere.
Now, we do not know how He rises over His Throne, or how He descends down in the last third of the night or comes close to the people standing on the day of Arafah but believing in it is an obligation and questioning it is wrong as Allah سبحانه وتعالى did not tell us this information.
It is sufficient for us to study what we know from the Quran and Sunnah.
‘Abdur-Rahmaan al-Awzaa’ee 157 AH (May Allah have mercy on him) said:
“Have patience upon the Sunnah, and stop where the people stopped (the Companions may Allah be pleased with them all) and speak with what they spoke with and hold back from what they held back and travel upon the path of the Salafu’s-Salih, for verily, what sufficed them will suffice you.”
Therefore, it is for us to know that our Creator, Allah سبحانه وتعالى does not live within us, He is not around us and He isn’t everywhere. We do not say He is around His creation. However, He is with us in terms of His protection, His Sight, His Hearing and many other attributes which He informed us of from the Quran and Sunnah.
Some also claim that one should not ask about the whereabouts of Allah but if Rasoolullah asked the slave girl of the whereabouts of Allah then does that not go against their claims?
May Allah increase us in understanding and Knowledge of His deen. Ameen
- Where is Allah? Lecture by Dr. Abdulilah Lahmami – http://www.salafisounds.com/where-is-allah-lecture-by-dr-abdulilah-lahmami/
- ‘Naṣīḥatī li-Nisā’ (My Advice to the Women) by Umm ʿAbdillāh al-Wādiʿīyyah, the daughter of the late Imām, Al-ʿAllāmah Muqbil ibn Hādi al-Wādiʿī – raḥimahullāh
Your Sister in Islam (Umm Yusuf / Mina)