Where is Allah?

Categories'Aqaid [183]

Fatwa ID: 06196

 

Answered by: Maulana Syed Johir Miah

 

Question:

 

Whilst growing up, when we would ask our parents “where is Allah?” They would reply “everywhere”. I have been told this is not the correct answer. My children have started asking me this question. Please could you advise as to what is the correct and best answer to give?

 

 

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

 

Answer:

 

Allah (عز و جل) says in the Quran

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُواْ لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُواْ بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ ﴿١٨٦﴾

And when My bondsmen ask thee regarding Me, then verily I am Nigh; I answer the call of the caller when he calleth unto Me, so let them answer Me and believe in Me, haply they may be rightly directed.

(Surah Baqarah, Verse 186)

 

 

Allah (عز و جل) also says in the Quran

لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ ﴿١١﴾

“There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him.” (Surah Shuaraa, Verse 11)

 

وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ ﴿٤﴾

“And there is none like unto Him.” (Surah Ikhlas, Verse 4)

 

 

الرَّحْمَنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى ﴿٥﴾

The Lord of Mercy was established on the throne.

” (Surah Ta-Ha, Verse 5)

 

 

 

أَمْ أَمِنتُم مَّن فِي السَّمَاء أَن يُرْسِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ حَاصِبًا فَسَتَعْلَمُونَ كَيْفَ نَذِيرِ ﴿١٧﴾

“Have you become fearless of Him who is in the sky if He makes you sink into the earth, and it starts trembling at once?”

(Surah Mulk, Verse 17)

 

 

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ مَا يَكُونُ مِن نَّجْوَى ثَلَاثَةٍ إِلَّا هُوَ رَابِعُهُمْ وَلَا خَمْسَةٍ إِلَّا هُوَ سَادِسُهُمْ وَلَا أَدْنَى مِن ذَلِكَ وَلَا أَكْثَرَ إِلَّا هُوَ مَعَهُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كَانُوا ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا عَمِلُوا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ ﴿٧﴾

Have you not seen that Allah knows whatever is in the heavens and in the earth? There is no secret talk between the three but He (Allah) is the fourth of them, and nor (a talk) of five but He (Allah) is the sixth of them. And less than this or more than this wheresoever they may be but He (Allah) is with them. Later on the Day of Resurrection, He will inform them of what they did. Surely Allah is All-Knowing of all things. (Surah Mujadalah, Verse 7)

 

 

وَهُوَ مَعَكُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنْتُمْ

“And He is with you wherever you are.” (Surah Hadid, Verse 4)

 

 

وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ وَنَعْلَمُ مَا تُوَسْوِسُ بِهِ نَفْسُهُ وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ ﴿١٦﴾

And certainly, We created the man and We know what his soul whispers to him. And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein. (Surah Qaf, Verse 16)

 

 

A Bedouin said, O Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم), is our Lord near, so we call him, or far away, so we call him? Then the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was silent, and Allah (سبحانه و تعالى)revealed.

وإذا سَألَكَ عِبادِي عَنِّي فَإنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدّاعِ إذا دَعانِ إذا أمرتهم أن يدعوني فدعوني استجبت

And when My bondsmen ask you regarding Me, then verily I am Nigh; I answer the call of the caller when he calls unto Me. 1

Likewise, Hasan (رحمه الله) related the Sahaba ( رضى الله عنهم ) asked the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), “Where is our Lord?

So, Allah (عز و جل) revealed the verse

وإذا سَألَكَ عِبادِي عَنِّي فَإنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدّاعِ إذا دَعانِ الآيَةَ 2

 

 

Imam Abu Hanifa (رحمه الله) states;

لَو قيل أيْن الله تَعالى فَقالَ يُقال لَهُ كانَ الله تَعالى ولا مَكان قبل ان يخلق الخلق وكانَ الله تَعالى ولم يكن أيْن ولا خلق كل شَيْء وهُوَ خالق كل شَيْء

“If it is asked, ‘Where is Allah?’ It will be said to him that Allah Most High existed when there was no place, before creating the creation. And Allah Most High existed when there was no ‘where’, no creation, nothing; and He is the Creator of everything.” 3

 

 

Imam Abu Hanifa (رحمه الله) also states;

قالَ لا اعرف رَبِّي فِي السَّماء اَوْ فِي الأرْض فقد كفر وكَذا من قالَ إنَّه على العَرْش ولا ادري العَرْش أفِي السَّماء اَوْ فِي الأرْض

“He who says that I do not know if my Lord is in the sky or the earth has indeed committed disbelief. Likewise, he who says that He is on His Throne, but I do not know whether the Throne is in the sky or the earth [has also committed disbelief].” 4

 

Imam Malik (رحمه الله) was asked about the verse

﴿الرحمن عَلى العرش استوى﴾ [طه ٥]

The Lord of Mercy was established on the throne. (Surah Ta-Ha, Verse 5)

 

 

So he (رحمه الله) said;

: «الاستواء معلوم، والكيف مجهول، والإيمان به واجب، والسؤال عنه بدعة.

“Al-Istiwâ is known, and the ‘how’ is unknown and to have belief in it is obligatory, and to question it is an innovation.”5

 

 

Imam Tahawi (رحمه الله) states,

وتَعالى عَنِ الحُدُودِ والغاياتِ والأرْكانِ والأعْضاءِ والأدَواتِ لا تحويه الجهات الست كسائر المبتدعات

“He (Allah) is beyond having limits placed on Him, or being restricted, or having parts or limbs. Nor is He confined by the six directions like all the created things.” 6

٤٩ – والعرش والكرسي حق And the Arsh and the Kursi is true7

 

 

٥٠ – وهو مستغن عن العرش وما دونه

Allah is independent of the Arsh and other things.8

 

 

Hence, Allah’s presence is not in the manner and mode of the presence of the created things.

 

The view of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah is that Allah existed from infinity before He created place, direction and time and he remains as He always has been.

 

The conclusion is that one must have the belief that Allah (عز و جل) is pure from space and time.

 

Therefore, 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 (سبحانه و تعالى)is limitless.

 

However, we must believe that His knowledge encompasses everything, and he knows, sees and listens to everything.

 

 

 

Only Allah knows best.

Written by Maulana Syed Johir Miah

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 قالَ ابْنُ أبِي حاتِمٍ: حَدَّثَنا أبِي، حَدَّثَنا يَحْيى بْنُ المُغِيرَةِ أخْبَرَنا جَرِيرٌ عَنْ عَبْدَةَ بْنِ أبِي بَرْزَةَ السِّجِسْتانِيِّ، عَنِ الصُّلْبِ بْنِ حَكِيمِ بْنِ مُعاوِيَةَ بْنِ حَيْدَةَ القُشَيْرِيِّ عَنْ أبِيهِ عَنْ جَدِّهِ، أنَّ أعرابيا قال يا رسول الله ﷺ، أقَرِيبٌ رَبُّنا فَنُناجِيهِ، أمْ بَعِيدٌ فَنُنادِيهِ؟ فَسَكَتَ النَّبِيِّ ﷺ فَأنْزَلَ اللَّهُ: وإذا سَألَكَ عِبادِي عَنِّي فَإنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدّاعِ إذا دَعانِ إذا أمرتهم أن يدعوني فدعوني استجبت، ورواه ابن جرير «١» عن محمد بن حميد الرازي، عن جرير به، ورَواهُ ابْنُ مَرْدَوَيْهِ وأبُو الشَّيْخِ الأصْبَهانِيُّ مِن حَدِيثِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ أبِي حُمَيْدٍ عَنْ جَرِيرٍ بِهِ.

Tafseer, Ibn Katheer, 371-372/1, Dar Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, 1419 H.

 

 

2 وقالَ عَبْدُ الرَّزّاقِ «٢» أخْبَرَنا جَعْفَرُ بْنُ سُلَيْمانَ عَنْ عَوْفٍ عَنِ الحَسَنِ قالَ سَألَ أصحاب رسول الله ﷺ أيْنَ رَبُّنا؟ فَأنْزَلَ اللَّهُ ﷿ وإذا سَألَكَ عِبادِي عَنِّي فَإنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدّاعِ إذا دَعانِ الآيَةَ

Tafseer, Ibn Katheer, 372/1, Dar Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, 1419 H.

 

 

3 Al-Fiqhul Akbar, Imam Abu Hanifa, 161/1, Maktabatul Furqan, Arab Emirates, 1419 H

 

 

4 Al-Fiqhul Akbar, Imam Abu Hanifa, 135/1, Maktabatul Furqan, Arab Emirates, 1419 H.

Al-Fiqhul Absat, Imam Abu Hanifa, 135/1, Maktabatul Furqan, Arab Emirates, 1419 H.

 

 

5

الاستواء معلوم، والكيف مجهول، والإيمان به واجب، والسؤال عنه بدعة

Tafseer Qurtubi, Shamsud Deen, 219/2, Darul Kutub Misriyyah, Cairo, Egypt, 1384 H.

Tafseer Maturidi, Abu Masur Al-Maturidi, 137/1, Darul Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 1426 H.

وسئل مالك بن أنس عن قوله: ﴿الرحمن عَلى العرش استوى﴾ [طه ٥] فقال: «الاستواء معلوم، والكيف مجهول، والإيمان به واجب، والسؤال عنه بدعة».

Al-Lubab Fee Uloomil Kitab, Ibn Adil, 41/5, Darul Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 1419 H.

 

 

6 Al-Aqidatut Tahawiyyah, Point: 38

 

 

7 Al-Aqidatut Tahawiyyah, Point: 49

 

 

8 Al-Aqidatut Tahawiyyah, Point: 50

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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