Allah (SWA) is free from space and time
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
It is the belief of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah that Allah (SWA) is free from any fixed abode and pure from any direction, nor is he confined to a boundary or a place or in need of any support.
The proof of this statement is that Allah (SWA) has said in the Holy Quran:
‘There is nothing like him’ (Surah Shura v.11)
This verse declares that Allah (SWA) is immune from resembling His creation. It includes that Allah (SWA) exists without a place for his existence. It is impossible that Allah (SWA) could be a corporeal entity because bodies need space and time whilst Allah (SWA) has absolutely no need for anything.
With regards to the understanding of divine attributes, which appear to be similar between the creator and creation, is as follows:
1. Mushabihah. They give such words its original and ordinary meaning and say that Allah (SWA) has a hand, face like his creation.
2. Mutazilah and Khawarij: They hold the belief that Allah does not have any external attributes (sifah)
3. Mufawidha: They would consign the specific meaning and details of such matters to Allah (SWA)
4. Muawilah: ‘Sometimes when the need arose some early (salaf) and later (khalaf) Muslim scholars gave such “problematic texts” a meaning such as the Hand means power etc’ (Darse Tirmizi p.200 v.2)
The latter scholars engaged in Tawill more than earlier scholars because of the harms these were causing to many of the believers.
The Ahlus Sunnah Wal-Jamaat say that the truth is that we accept these qualities for Allah (SWA) and no effort will be made to unravel the reality of it through opinion, kashf and ilhaam. As these qualities of Mustashabihat appear in the Holy Quran and Sunnah, we accept them as they are without any investigations. We do not interpret them as do the Mutazilas, so that we do not become deniers of the qualities of Mutashabihat as the Qadarias and Mutazilas and we do not say like the Mushabbihas that Allah (SWA) has limbs and organs.
Those qualities which Allah (SWA) attributes to Himself in the Quran and Hadith we believe in and we hand over the reality of the meanings to Allah (SWA). Allah (SWA) is All Hearing and All Seeing. However, His Listening and Seeing is not like our listening and seeing. In the same way that his Hands and Feet are not like our hands and feet. This is the view and belief of all pious predecessors and the four Imams of Fiqh.
Imam Abu Hanifah (RA) says “When Allah (SWA) mentions in the Holy Quran about His Face, Hands, Soul, Eyes, they are his qualities. It is not said that His Hand signifies His Power and Blessings, because it is a negation of His Qualities….”
This is also reported from Imam Malik, Imam Shafi, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal and the Scholars of Hadith. It is extremely difficult for a weak, incapable human being who has limited speech and understanding to properly explain the Perfect and Excellent Qualities of Allah (SWA). We can say this much that from the possibilities, these Qualities are the best and highest possible.
(Aqaaidul Islam – Moulana Idris Kandhlawi p.49-p.50)
The statement of Imam Jafar (RA) is to show that Allah (SWA) is free from space and time as was mentioned above. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find a reference for this statement to verify whether it is authentic or not.
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham