The True Creed of Salaf Regarding Allah’s Istiwa’ & Elevation above His creation { Part 2 }


part 2 pakka

Statements of the SALAF regarding the Attribute of Istiwa and the elevation of Allah above His creation.

The testimony of the scholars who came after them that this is the creed of the Pious Salaf, and Ahl-Assunnah wal-Jama`ah.
Note: The order is according to the date of death.

Statements of the Pious Salaf:

The Sahabah (Companions) –Radiyallahu Anhum-:

1. Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq (radhi allahu anhu):
Abdullah Ibn Umar –May Allah be pleased with him- reported: “When the Messenger of Allah -Sallallahu Alaihi wa-Sallam- passed away, Abu Bakr – May Allah be pleased with him- ascended the minbar, praised Allah and said: «O people ! if Muhammad was your god whom you worship then your god has died, and if your God is the one above the heaven (fis-sama’) then your God did not die. Then he recited: {Muhammad is not but a messenger. (Other) messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels (to unbelief)?…} [3:144]’ until he completed the ayah.» (1) Its isnad (chain) is hasan.
2. Abdullah Ibn Masud –May Allah be pleased with him- said: «Between the lowest heaven and the one after it is the distance of five hundred years, and between every two heavens is the distance of five hundred years, and between the seventh heaven and the Kursi is the distance of five hundred years, and between the Kursi and the water is the distance of five hundred years, and the Throne (Arsh) is above the water, Allah the Almighty is above the Throne (fawqa Al-Arsh). And nothing is hidden from Allah of your deeds.» And in another narration «He knows what you are upon». Its grading is: hasan. (2)After the Sahabah until 200 H. (Hijri year)

3. Abu Hanifah An-Nu`man (d. 150 H.) :
At-Tahawi said in “Al-Aqeedah At-Tahawiyah”, in which he wrote the beliefs of Imam Abu Hanifah and his two companions: Abu Yusuf and Muhammad bin Al-Hasan :

“And the Throne and Kursi.are true, and He is independent from the Throne and what is beneath it, He encompasses everything (? Is above it.”

His saying: “And Is Above it” meaning: “He is above everything” is affirmation of the elevation of Allah Azza wa Jal above all of creation, including the Throne.
And his saying in another section of the book: “Nor is He contained by the six directions as all created things are.” Is a negation of the creations’ encompassing of Allah –Azza wa Jal- , for the “He is not contained by the six directions” that is creation, He is above the six directions and all creation. This is a reply to the Hulooliyah and Jahmiyyah who said that Allah is in His creation, and that He is everywhere – Exalted is Allah above that-.
It was also narrated in al Fiqh Al-Akbar that Imam Abu Hanifah said: “Whoever says: ‘I do not know if Allah is above the heaven or on earth’, then he has disbelieved, Allah Ta`ala said: {The Most Gracious over the Throne Istawa (Rose)}; If he then says: ‘I do say this ayah but I don’t know if the Throne is above the heaven or on earth’ then he has disbelieved too.” (3)

And that is because in both statements he is doubting Allah’s elevation, him not knowing if Allah is above His creation or not. And in it is also the belief in the possibility of Allah being inside His creation –Exalted is Allah above that- . So by that he is denying the Islamic texts, and believing in the permissibility of Allah residing in His creation, and both (4) are kufr (disbelief).

4. Ibn Ishaq (d. 150 H.), the author of as-Seerah which Ibn Hisham abridged, said: «Allah Ta’ala says to His Prophet Muhammad -Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam- : {Indeed your Lord is Allâh, Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and then He rose over (Istawâ) the Throne} [7:54], and He said: {And He it is Who has created the heavens and the earth in six Days and His Throne was on the water} [11:7], so it was as He (Allah) described Himself, for there was nothing except water, the Throne above it, and upon the Throne is The One Who possesses majesty, might, power , dominion, ability, forbearance, knowledge, mercy and grace, the One who does as He pleases…» (57)

5. Malik Bin Anas (d. 179 H.) : A man came to him and said: “O Abu Abdullah [Allah said:] {Ar-Rahman upon the Throne Istawa}, how was His Istiwa?

Imam Malik lowered his head and began to sweat profusely, then he said: «Istiwa is not unknown, the Kayf (how) is uncomprehendable, believing in it is obligatory, and asking about it is innovation, and I do not think that you are anything but an innovator.» , then he ordered that the man be let out. (5)
– Abu Bakr Ibn Al-Arabi Al-Maliki said, when speaking about Hadeeths on Allah’s Attributes: «And the madhhab of Malik -Rahimahullah- is that each one of them [the hadiths of Attributes] its meaning is known, that is why he said to the one who asked him: “Al-Istiwa’ is known, and the kayfiyyah [its reality, how it is] is unknown.”) (59)

And it has been narrated that Imam Malik said: «Allah Azza wa Jal is above the heaven (fi as-sama’) and His Knowledge is everywhere, not being absent from anything.» (6)

From the scholars who testified that this is the belief of Imam Malik are: Abu Hatim Ar-Razi, Ibn Abi Zayd al-Maliki, Muhammad bin Mawhib al Maliki, Abu Al-Qasim Al-Lalka’i, and Abu Nasr as-Sijzee. (Their statements can be found in this article.)

6. Hammad bin Zayd (d. 179 H.) said: «Verily they – the Jahmiyyah- are revolving around saying: There is no ilah (diety) above the heavens (fis-Sama).» Sahih. (7)

7. Ibn Al-Mubarak (d 181 H.) : Ali Ibn al-Hasan Ibn Shaqeeq reported: I asked Abdullah Ibn al-Mubarak: “How are we to know our Lord –Azza wa Jal-? ”

He replied: «He is over the seventh Heaven over His Throne. We do not say as the Jahmiyyah say: that He is here on the earth.» (8) Sahih.

In another narration he said: «That He is above the seventh Heaven, on the Throne, separate from His creation.» (9) Its grading: Hasan.

8. Abu Yusuf Al-Qadi (d. 182 H.) and Muhammad bin Al-Hasan Ash-Shaybani (d. 189 H.) the companions of Abu Hanifah rahimahum Allah: Their belief in this has been mentioned previously when mentioning the belief of Imam Abu Hanifah rahimahum Allah.

9. Jarir Ibn Abdul-Hamid Ad-Dabbi (d. 188 H.) said: «The beginning of the speech of the Jahmiyah is honey, and the end of it is poison, verily they are only trying to say: that there is no ilah (diety) above the heavens.» (10)

10. Abu Mu`adh Khalid bin Sulaiman Al-Balkhi (d. 199 H.) said: “«al-Jahm (11) bin Safwan was on crossing of Tirmidh, and he had an eloquent tongue, but he had no knowledge and had no sitting with the people of knowledge. He then spoke to the Sumaniyah, and they said to him: ‘Describe for us your Lord whom you worship.’ So he entered his home and didn’t come out (for some time), then he came out to them after several days and said: ‘He is the air, (He is) with everything, and in everything, nothing is free from Him.’ Abu Mu`adh said: “The enemy of Allah has lied, Allah is above the heavens (fis-sama’), on the Throne as He described Himself.”» (12)

The Pious Salaf from 201 to 300 H.

11. Sa`eed bin `Aamir Ad-Dab`i (d. 208 H.), one of Imam Bukhari’s teachers, said: «The Jahmiyyah have said worse than the Jews and Christians, the Jews, Christians and the people of religions have agreed that Allah –Tabaraka wa Ta`ala- is over the Throne, and they (the Jahmiyyah) said: ‘There is nothing over the Throne.’» Sahih. (13)

12. Muhammad bin Yusuf Al-Firyabi (d. 212 H.), another one of Imam Bukhari’s teachers, said: «Whoever says: ‘Allah is not over His Throne’ is kafir (a disbeliever).» Sahih (14)

13. Muhammad bin Mus`ab Al-`Abid (d. 228 H.) said: “Whoever claims that You (Allah) do not speak and is not seen in the hereafter, then he is a kafir (disbeliever) in Your Face (and) does not know you. I bare witness that You are above the Throne, above the Seven Heavens, not like the heretics, the enemies of Allah, say.» Sahih. (15)

14. Abu Abdullah Ibn Al-A`rabi (d. 231 H.) :
Abu Sulaiman Dawud bin Ali said : We were at Ibn Al-A`rabi’s, and a man came up to him and said: “O Abu Abdullah, what is the meaning of Allah’s saying: {Ar-Rahmanu upon the Throne Istawa} ?
He (Ibn Al A’rabi) said: “He is on His Throne like He informed –Azza wa Jal-.”

So the man said: “O Abu Abdullah, that isn’t what it means, what it means is: Istawla (conquered).”

So Ibn Al-A’rabi said to him: “Keep silent ! What is it with you and this; It is not said: ‘One has conquered something’ unless there is an opposition in it. Then whoever of the two defeats the other, it is said: istawla (conquered)…” Sahih. (16)

15. Qutaibah bin Sa`eed (d. 240 H.) said: «This is the saying of the Imams that is taken in Islam and the Sunnah» – he then stated a number of beliefs one of them being: «And we know Allah above the seventh Heaven on His Throne, as He said: {Ar-Rahman Istawa (Rose) over the Throne * To Him belongs what is in the heavens and what is on the earth and what is between them and what is under the soil.} [20:5-6]» Sahih. (17)

16. Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (d. 241 H.) : Abu Yusuf bin Musa Al-Qattan said: “It was said to Abu Abdullah Ahmad ibn Hanbal: ‘Allah –Azza wa Jal- is above the seventh Heaven on His Throne separate from His creation, and His Ability and Knowledge is everywhere?’
He replied: «Yes, (He is) over the Throne, and no place is free from His Knowledge.»” Sahih. (18)

Some of the scholars who testified to this being the belief of Imam Ahmad Rahimahullah:

His two companions Abu Hatim Ar-Razi (227 H.) and Harb al-Karmani (280 H.), Abu Qasim Al-Lalikai (418 H.), and Abu Nasr As-Sijzee (444 H.). Their statements are to come.

17. Muhammad bin Aslam At-Toosi (d. 242 H.) said: “Abdullah bin Tahir said to me: ‘It has reached me that you do not raise your head up to the Heavens’, so I said with my head like this, up towards the Heaven, for some time, then I said to him: «And why do I not raise my head up to the Heaven? Do I not hope for goodness except from the one above the Heaven ?».” (58)

18. Al-Harith Al-Muhasibi As-Sufi (d. 243 H.) said: «As for His saying: {The Most Gracious Istawa (Rose) over the Throne} [20:5], {And He is the omnipotent, above His slaves} [6:18], {Do you feel secure that He,Who is over the heaven…} [67:16] …» – He mentions a number of ayat, then he says: «This necessitates that He is above the Throne, above the things, transcendant from entering His creation, nothing is hidden from him, for He has clearified in these ayat that His Essence (dhatuhu) is above His slaves because He said: {Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven ..} [67:16], meaning above the Throne, and the Throne is above the heavens.”. (19)

19. Khushaish bin Asram (d. 253 H.) said in “Al-Istiqamah” : «And Jahm denied that Allah is above the heavens but not the earth, and the Book (The Quran) is evident in that Allah is above the heaven and not the earth, by His (Allah’s) saying to Isa Alayhi As-Salam: {And (remember) when Allah said: “O Esa! I will make you sleep and raise you to Myself } [3:55], and His saying: {For surely, they killed him not. But Allah raised him up to Himself} [4:157-158], and He said: {He manages and regulates (every) affair from the heavens to the earth; then it (affair) will go up to Him} [32: 5]

…» He mentions several more ayat, then he says: «If He was on earth like He is above the Heavens, nothing would come down to earth from the Heavens, but it would ascend from the earth to the Heavens like it descends from the Heavens to the earth, and there have come reports from the Prophet – Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam- that Allah is above the heavens without (being on) the earth.» Then he mentions some hadiths on that.

– He also said: «Whoever disbelieves in an ayah in the Book of Allah (Quran) then he has disbelieve in all of it (the whole Quran), so whoever denies the Throne then he has disbelieved in all of it, and whoever denies the Throne then he has disbelieved in Allah, and there have come reports that Allah Has a throne, and that He is on His Throne.» (20)

20. Muhammad bin Yahya Adh-Dhuhali (d. 258 H.) : Abu Amr Al-Mustamli wrote: “Muhammad bin Yahya was asked about the Hadith of Abdullah bin Mu`awiyah who reported the Prophet –Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam- saying: ‘Let the Slave know that Allah is with him wherever he was.’

He replied: «He means that Allah’s knowledge encompasses everything there is, and Allah is over the Throne.» (21)

21. Abu Zur`ah Ar-Razi (d. 264 H.) : Ibn Abi Hatim Ar-Razi said: “I asked my father and Abu Zur`ah concerning the Madhhabs of the Ahlus Sunnah in regards to the Principles of the Religion, and what they found the scholars upon (in belief) in all the lands, and what they believe from that?

So they said: «We have reached the scholars in all the lands – The Hijaz, Iraq, Sham and Yemen –, and from their Madhhab was: …», They then mention a number of beliefs one of them being: «And that Allah –Azza wa Jal- is on His Throne separate from His creation, as He described Himself in His Book (The Quran) and on the tongue of the Messenger –Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam- without (asking) how, He encompasses everything with Knowledge: {There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer} [42:11].»

22. Isma`il bin Yahya Al-Muzani Ash-Shafi`i (d. 264 H.) said: “He is High on His Throne, and He is close by His Knowledge from His creation, His Knowledge encompasses all matters.”
And he said: “He is High on His Throne, separate from His creation.” (22)

23. Abu Hatim Ar-Razi (d. 277 H.) : Abu Al-Qasim Al-Lalikai said: “I found in some of the books of Abu Hatim Muhammad bin Idrees Ibn Al-Mundhir Al-Handhali Ar-Razi –Rahimahullah- from what was heard from him, saying: «Our madhhab and choosing is the following of the Messenger –Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam-, His companions, their successors, and who followed them with kindness, the madhhab of Ahl Al-Athar like Abu Abdullah Ahmad bin Hanbal, Ishaq bin Ibrahim (Ibn Rahwaih), Abu Ubaidullah Al-Qasim bin Sallam, and Ash-Shafi`i….» And he mentions a number of other Imams, then he lists a number of beliefs, one of them was:

«Allah is on His Throne, separate from His creation: {There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer} [42:11]’.» (23)

24. Abu Isa At-Tirmidhi (d. 279 H.) said: “Allah’s Knowledge, His Ability, and His sovereignty is everywhere, and He is on the Throne as He described Himself in.” (24)

25. Harb bin Isma`il Al-Karmani (d. 280 H.) said in his “Masa’il”: «The following is the madhhab of the people of knowledge, Ashab Al-Hadeeth, and Ahl As-Sunnah who are holding on to it, who are taken as an example in it from the companions of the Prophet –Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam- until this day, and I have met whom I’ve reached from the people of Hijaz, Sham and other than them, and whoever opposes any of these beliefs, or criticizes its expresser, then he is an innovator and has left the Jama`ah, and has faded from the tradition of the Sunnah and the path of the Truth (Haqq). And this is the madhhab of Imam Ahmad, Ishaq bin Ibrahim bin Mukhallad (Ibn Rahwaih), Abdullah bin Az-Zubair Al-Humaidi, Sa`eed bin Mansur and others from whom we sat with and took knowledge from them, and from their saying was: …»
He then mentions a list of beliefs one of them being: «And He (Allah) is on the Throne above the Seventh Heaven, below Him are veils of fire, light and darkness, and what only Allah knows. So if an innovator or an opposer used the following ayat as evidence: {And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein} [50:16] and: {There is no Najwa (secret counsel) of three but He is their fourth, nor of five but He is their sixth, nor of less than that or more but He is with them wheresoever they may be} [58:7], and other ayat the are from the Mutashabih from the Quran, the say (to them):what is meant is the Knowledge (of Allah), because Allah –Azza wa Jal- is on the Throne, above the high Seventh Heaven, He knows everything, and He is separate from His creation, no place is free from His Knowledge.” (25)

Ibn Abi Hatim Ar-Razi said in “Ar-Rad `Ala Al-Jahmiyyah”: Harb bin Isma`il Al-Karmani told me: «The Jahmiyyah are the enemies of Allah, they are the ones who claim that the Quran is created, and that there is no known place for Allah, that He is not on a throne, nor a kursi, and they are kuffar (disbelievers) so beware of them.» (26)

26. Uthman Ad-Darimi (d. 280 H.) said: «And the Muslims have agreed that Allah is above His Throne, above His Heavens.» (27)
He also said: «Allah –Tabaraka wa Ta`ala- is above His Throne, above His heavens, separate from His creation, so whoever doesn’t know Him like that, then he doesn’t know His God Whom he worships.» (28)

27. Abu Bakr bin Abi `Asim (d. 287 H.) said in “As-Sunnah” :«Chapter: What was reported regarding Allah being above the heaven without (being on) the earth.”, then he narrated the hadith of the slave girl in which the Prophet – Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam- asked her “Where is Allah?” (29)

28. Abu Ja`far bin Abi Shaybah (d. 297 H.) said: «He is above the Heavens and above the Throne by His Essence (bi-dhatihi) free from His creation, separate from them. His Knowledge is in His creation, they cannot leave His Knowledge.» (30)

29. `Amr bin Uthman Al-Makki As-Sufi (d. 297 H.) said in “Adab Al-Murideen wa At-Ta`arruf Li-‘Ahwal Al-`Ibad”, chapter: What the devils come to the repenters with: «If they resisted him (the devil), and saught refuge with Allah –Azza wa Jal- then he will whisper to them in the matter of the Creator to ruin their Tawheed…» Then he mentions a lot of them, then he says:

«For He –Ta`ala- is the One Who said: {I am Allah} [28:30] not the tree, He is the One Who comes before He comes, not His command, the One Who is mustawwen (I.e. Done Istiwa, Has Risen) above His Throne by the Greatness of His Majesty save all other places.” (31)

The Testimony of the Scholars who came after the era of the Pious Salaf, that this belief is the belief of the Salaf, the belief of the Muslims, the belief of Ahl Assunnah and Ashab Al-Hadith.

From 301 to 500 H.

30. Abu Al-Hasan Al-Ash`ari (d. 324 H.) said in “Maqalat Al-Islamiyeen”, Chapter: “Their disagreement regarding the Creator, is He in a place and not in another? Or not in a place? Or in every place?”, in which he mentions several opinions by different sects, then he says:

“Ahl As-Sunnah and Ashab Al-Hadeeth said: … and that He is on the Throne as Allah Azza wa Jal- said: {Ar-Rahman Istawa (Rose) over the Throne} [20:5], and we do not speak ahead of Allah, but we say that He Istawa without (asking) how “ (32)

31. Abu Bakr Al-Ajurri (d. 360 H.) said: “So His Knowledge –Azza wa Jal- encompasses all of His creation, and He is on His Throne, and this is the belief of the Muslims.” (33)

32. Ibn Abi Zayd Al-Qairawani Al-Maliki (d.386 H.) in “al-Jame` “: “What the Ummah has agreed upon from the matters of religion, and from the Sunnah which its opposition is bidah and misguidance, is that Allah -Tabaraka Ismuh- …” He mentions a number of beliefs, one of them being:

“And that He is above His Heavens on His Throne without (being on) the earth, and that He is everywhere by His Knowledge.”, then he says at the end: “And all that we have mentioned previously is the belief of Ahl As-Sunnah and the Imams of the people in fiqh, and Hadeeth, and all of it is the belief of (Imam) Malik, from him it has been reported, and it is known from his madhhab.” (34)

33. Ibn Battah Al-`Ukbari Al-Hanbali (d. 387 H.) said in “Al-Ibanah alKubrah” : “And the Muslims from the Sahabah, Tabi`een, and all the people of knowledge from the believers, are upon agreement that Allah –Tabaraka wa Ta`ala- is on His Throne above His heavens separate from His creation, and His Knowledge encompasses all of His creation, no one rejects this or denies it except ones who are upon the beliefs of the Hulooliyah (35).”

34. Ibn Abi Zamanin Al-Maliki (d. 399 H.) : “And from the beliefs of Ahl As-Sunnah is that Allah –Azza wa Jal- created the Throne, and singled it with elevation above everything He Created, then He Istawa (Rose) above it however He wanted, as He said about Himself in His saying: {The Most Gracious over the Throne Istawa (Rose) * To Him belongs what is in the heavens and what is on the earth and what is between them and what is under the soil.} [20:5-6] (36)

– He Also said: “And from the belief of Ahl As-Sunnah: is that Allah –Azza wa Jal- is separate from His creation, veiled (hidden) from them by veils.” (37)

35. Muhammad bin Mawheb Al-Maliki (d. 406 H.) said in his Sharh of Ibn Abi Zayd’s “Risalah” : “And the word “fi” (in) in the language of the Arabs can have the meaning “fawqa” (above), like His saying: {Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven} [67:16] …{and I will surely crucify you fi (on) the trunks of date palms} [20:71]. The people of Tafsir said: He means “above it”, and it is the saying of (Imam) Malik from what he understood from the Tabi`een, from what they understood from the Sahabah, whom understood it from the Prophet –Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam- that Allah is fis-sama’ (in the heaven) meaning: above it, on it.” (38)

36. Abu al-Qasim Al-Lalaka’i Ash-Shafi`i (d. 418 H.) said: “What has been reported regarding Allah’s –Ta`ala- saying: {The Most Gracious over the Throne Istawa (Rose)} [20-5] and that Allah is on His Throne above the heaven. And He –Azza wa Jal- said: {To Him ascend (all) the goodly words, and the righteous deeds exalt it} [35:10], and He said: { Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven} [67:16], and He said: {And He is the Irresistible (Supreme), above His slaves} [6:18]. So these ayat prove that He (Allah) is above the heaven, and His Knowledge is everywhere, His earth and His heaven. And this was reported from the

Sahabah: From Umar, Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn Abbas, and Um Salamah. And from the Tabi`een: Rabee`ah bin Abi Abder-Rahman, Sulaiman At-Taimi, and Muqatil bin Hayyan. And this is the sayin gof the Fuqaha: Malik bin Anas, Sufyan Ath-Thawri, and Ahmad bin Hanbal.” (39)

37. Abu Umar At-Talamanki Al-Maliki (d. 429 H.) said in “Al-Wusul Ila Ma`rifat Al-Usul”: “The Muslims from Ahl As-Sunnah are upon consensus that the meaning of His saying: {And He is with you (by His Knowledge) wheresoever you may be } [57:4] and what is similar to it from the Quran is: by His Knowledge, and that Allah –Ta`ala- is above the Heavens by His Essence (bi-dhatihi), Mustawen (I.e. Done Istiwa, Has Risen) above His Throne however He willed.

And Ahl As-Sunnah said regarding His saying: {The Most Gracious over the Throne Istawa (Rose)} [20:5]: That the Istiwa from Allah on the Throne is upon the haqiqah (literal), and not majaz (metaphorical).” (40)

38. Abu Nu`aim Al-Asbahani (d. 430 H.) said in “Mahajjat Al-Wathiqeen” : “And they are upon consensus that Allah is above His heavens, and that He is high above His Throne, and did Istiwa on it, not conquering it (mustawlen) as the Jahmiyyah said (41).“ (42)

He also said in his book on creed: “ Our way is the way of the Salaf (predecessors) who followed the Quran, Sunnah, and the consensus of the Ummah, and from what they believed was: that Allah is perfect with all His eternal Attributes since eternity”, he then mentions a number of beliefs one of them being: “And that the Hadeeths that have been affirmed from the Prophet –Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam- regarding the Throne, and the Istiwa (rising) of Allah on it, they (the Salaf) affirm it without speaking about its kayfiyyah (how-ness), or resembling it to creation; And that Allah –Ta`ala- is separate from His creation, and His creation are separate from Him, He does not dwell in them, and He does not intermix with them: He is mustawen (i.e. Done Istiwa: Has Risen) above the Throne, above the heavens, without the earth. (i.e. He is above the Heavens and not on earth.)” (43)

39. Abu Nasr As-Sijzee Al-Hanafi (d. 444 H.) said in “Al-Ibanah”: “Our Imams such as Sufyan Ath-Thawri, Malik, Hammad bin Salamah, Hammad bin Zayd, Abdullah bin al-Mubarak, Al-Fudail bin `Iyad, Ahmad bin Hanbal, and Ishaq bin Rahwaih, are upon agreement that Allah –Subhanahu wa Ta`ala is by His Essence (bi-dhatihi) above the Throne, and His Knowledge is everywhere.” (44)

40. Abu Uthman As-Sabuni Ash-Shafi`i (d. 449 H.) in “Aqeedat As-Salaf Ashab al-Hadeeth” : “And Ashab al-Hadeeth believe and testify that Allah –Subhanahu wa Ta`ala is above His seven heavens, on His Throne, as is expressed in His book (the Quran) in His saying in Surat Yunus: {Surely, your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days and then rose over (Istawa) the Throne} [10:3] ” And he mentions the ayat on Allah’s Istiwa and other ayat regarding Allah’s Elevation, some of them were mentioned in the first article in this series, then he said: “And the scholars of the Ummah and the Imams of the Salaf –May Allah have mercy upon them- did not differ in that Allah is on the Throne, and His Throne is above His heavens, they affirm in that what Allah –Ta`ala- affirmed, and they believe in it.” (45)

41. Ibn Abdul-Barr Al-Maliki (d. 463 H.) in “At-Tamheed” when explaining the hadeeth regarding Allah’s Nuzool (Descent): “And in it is evidence that Allah –Azza wa Jal- is above the heaven on the Throne, from above seven heavens, as the Jama`ah said. And it is from their evidences against the Mu`tazilah and Jahmiyyah in their saying that Allah –Azza wa Jal- is everywhere, and not on the Throne.” (46)

He also said in “Al-Istidhkar” : “And Allah –Azza wa Jal- is above the heaven on the Throne, from above seven heavens, and His Knowledge is everywhere, as the Jama`ah of Ahl Assunnah Ahl Al-Fiqh and Athar said.” (47)

From 501 to 750 H.

42. Abu Muhammad Al-Baghawi Ash-Shafi`i (d. 510 H.) said: “And Allah –Azza wa Jal- said: {The Most Gracious over the Throne Istawa (Rose)} (20:5], and Allah –Ta`ala- said: {Then He Rose (Istawa) over the Throne} …” and he mentions a number of ayat and hadith on Allah’s Attributes, then He says:

“This and its likes are Allah’s Attributes which have been reported by narration, it is obligatory to believe in it, and to pass it upon its dhahir (apparent meaning) avoiding tawil of it, and avoiding tashbeeh (resembling Allah to creation), believing that the Creator –Subhanahu wa Ta`ala- does not resemble in His Attributes any of the attributes of creation, the same as His Essence not resembling the essences of creation, Allah –Subhanahu wa Ta`ala- said: {There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer} [42:11]. And upon this was the Salaf of Ummah, and scholars of the Sunnah.” (48)

43. Yahya Al-`Amrani Ash-Shafi`i (d. 558 H.) said: “Ashab Al-Hadeeth and Sunnah believe that Allah –Subhanahu- is by His Essence (bi-dhatihi) separate from creation, on His Throne Istawa (Rose) above the Heavens, without contact, and His Knowledge encompasses everything.” (49)

44. Ibn Qudamah Al-Maqdisi Al-Hanbali (d. 620 H.) said: “Allah –Ta`ala- has described Himself with Uluw (elevation) above the heavens, and similarly He has been described by His Messenger Muhammad, the seal of the prophets; something upon which all of the scholars from the pious companions held a consensus, as did the Imams from the jurists The reports concerning that became so numerous, that a level of certainty was achieved, and Allah has united the hearts of the Muslims upon this, and made it a natural instinct in all of His creation, and therefore you see them when some calamity befalls them that they look with their eyes to the sky, and raise their hands towards it, waiting for alleviation of calamity from their Lord, and they utter [this belief] with their tongues, no one denies this except a heretic, a fanatic in his heresy, or someone who is infatuated with making taqlid of him (the heretic), and following him in his innovation” (50)

45. Ibn As-Salah Ash-Shafi`i (d. 643 H.) wrote on the poem about the Sunnah, attributed to Abul Hasan al-Karji Ash-Shafi`i (d. 532 H.) : “This is the belief of Ahl As-Sunnah and Ashab Al-Hadeeth.” (51)

Some of what came in the poem is the following:
The belief of Ashab Al-Hadeeth has risen ** by the people of Allah’s religion to the highest of ranks
****
Their beliefs is that The Ilah (Allah) is by His Essence (bi-dhatihi) ** on His Throne with His knowledge of the matters of the unseen (52)

46. Abu Abdullah Al-Qurtubi (d. 671 H.) said in “Al-Asna fi Sharh Asma’ Allah Al-Husna” after mentioning 14 sayings regarding Allah’s Istiwa : “And the most correct of these beliefs, although I do not subscribe to it nor do I choose it, is what is manifest in the ayat and hadiths, that Allah –Subhanahu wa Ta`ala- is on His Throne as He said in His Book, and upon the tongue of His Prophet without (asking) how, separate from all His creation, this is the sum of the belief of the Pious Salaf from what has been transmitted from them by the Trustworthy narrators.” (53)

He also said in His Tafsir: “And the first Salaf –May Allah be pleased with them- did not negate the direction (54) (above), nor did they utter that (its negation), Rather, they, and the rest, uttered in affirmation of that (i.e. direction above) for Allah –Ta`ala-, just as His Book spoke of it, and His Messengers informed of it. And none of the Pious Salaf denied that Allah Istawa (Rose above) His Throne in reality (haqiqatan). And the Throne was specified with that (Istiwa) because it is the greatest of His creation, and the Salaf didn’t know the kayffiyah of the Istiwa (i.e. How it is), for its reality is not known.” (55)

47. Adh-Dhahabi Ash-Shafi`i (d. 748 H.) said at the end of his book “Al-Uluw Lil-`Alee Al-Ghaffar”: “And Allah is above His Throne as is the consensus amongst the first Muslims (the Salaf), and what has been transmitted from them by the scholars.”
He also said in “Kitab Al-`Arsh”: “The evidence that Allah –Ta`ala- is above the Throne, above the creation, separate from them, and is not inside any of it (creation), and that His Knowledge is everywhere, is the Book (Quran), the Sunnah, and the consensus of the Sahabah, Tabi`een, and the Imams of guidance.” (56)

 

Part 1 – Link : The True Creed of Salaf Regarding Allah’s Istiwa’ & Elevation above His creation {Part 1 }

Part 3 – Link : The True Creed of Salaf Regarding Allah’s Istiwa’ & Elevation above His creation { Part 3 }

—————————————————–

Foot Notes :

Source :

(1) Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah (20/560-562); Ar-Rad `Ala Al-Jahmiyyah by Ad-Darimi (p.44-45); Musnad Al-Bazzar (1/182-183)
(2) Al`Adhamah by Abu Ash-Shaykh AlAsbahani (2/688-689); Al-Mujalasah wa Jawahir Al-`Ilm by Ahmad ad-Daynuri (6/406); An-Naqd by Ad-Darimi (1/422); Sharh I`tiqad Ahl AsSunnah wal Jama`ah by Al-Lalikai (3/395-396); Ithbat Sifat Al-Uluw by Ibn Qudamah (p.151-152) and others.
(3) The text of Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar is taken from “Sharh Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar” by Abu Mansur Al-Maturidi.
(4) The doubting of Allah’s Elevation above all of creation, and the belief in the possibility of Allah being in His creation.
(5) Al-Asma wa Sifat by Al-Bayhaqi (2/305-306)
(6) “As-Sunnah” by Abdullah bin Ahmad bin Hanbal (1/280)
(7) Siyar A`lam An-Nubala’ by Adh-Dhahabi (7/461); Tadhkirat Al-Huffadh by Adh-Dhahabi (1/168). And in another narration, Hammad bin Zayd said: “Verily, they are trying to say that there is nothing above the heaven.” (Musnad Ahmad (45/566) with a sahih chain.
(8) “As-Sunnah “ by Abdullah bin Ahmad (1/111) with a sahih chain.
(9) Ar-Rad `Ala alJahmiyyah by Ad-Darimi (40) with a hasan chain.
(10) Kitab Al-Arsh by Adh-Dhahabi (2/191) from the route of Ibn Abi Hatim Ar-Razi who narrated it in “Ar-Rad `ala Al-Jahmiyyah”.
(11) The head of the Jahmiyyah sect.
(12) “Kitab Al-Arsh” by Adh-Dhahabi (2/201) from the route of Ibn Abi Hatim Ar-Razi who narrated it in “Ar-Rad `ala Al-Jahmiyyah”. Al-Bayhaqi also narrated it with a sahih (authentic) chain in “Al-Asma was-Sifat” (2/337).
(13) Khalq Af`al Al-Ibad by Imam Al-Bukhari (2/17) Tahqiq: Fahd al-Fehaid.
Also, Adh-Dhahabi narrated it in “Kitab Al-Arsh” (2/207) through the route of Ibn Abi Hatim who narrated it in his book “Ar-Rad `Ala Al-Jahmiyyah”.
(14) Khalq Af`al Al-Ibad by Imam Bukhari ( 2/39)
(15) “As-Sunnah” by Abdullah bin Ahmad (1/173) with a sahih chain. “Kitab As-Sifat” by Ad-Darqutni (p.72-72); “Ar-Rad `Ala Man Yaqulu bi-Khalq Al-Quran by An-Najad (p.71); “Tarikh (Baghdad) Madinat As-Salam by AlKhatib Al-Baghdadi (4/452).
(16) Sharh Usool I’tiqad Ahl Assunnah by Lalikai (3/399) with a sahih chain.
(17) Shi`ar Ashab Al-Hadeeth by Abu Ahmad Al-Hakim (p.40-41), with a sahih chain.
(18) Sharh I`tiqad Ahl AsSunnah by Al-Lalikai (3/402); And it was narrated by al-Khalal in “As-Sunnah” from his Shaykh Yusuf bin Musa Al-Qattan, as is mentioned in “Kitab al-Arsh” by Adh-Dhahabi (2/247), and “Al-Uluw” (p.176), so the chain is sahih.
(19) Fahm Al-Quran wa Ma`anih by Harith Al-Muhasibi (p.349-350)
(20) At-Tanbih wa Al-Rad `Ala Ahl AlAhwa’ wal Bida` by Muhammad Al-Malti Ash-Shafi`i , chapter: Al-Firaq wa Dhikruha.
(21) Al-Uluw Lil-`Ali Al-Ghaffar by Adh-Dhahabi (p.186), through Al-Hakim who said: I read from the handwriting of Abu Amr Al-Mustamli… etc.
(22) Sharh As-Sunnah by Al-Muzani (p.79-82)
(23) Sharh Usool I`tiqad Ahl AsSunnah by Al-Lalikai (1/180-182)
(24) Al-Jame` Al-Kabir (known as Sunan At-Tirmidhi) (5/327)
(25) Hadi Al-Arwah Ila Bilad Al-Afrah by Ibn Al-Qayyim (p.827 & 835-836)
(26) Kitab Al-Arsh by Adh-Dhahabi (2/262)
(27) Naqd Ad-Darimi `Ala Bishr Al-Mirrisi (1/340)
(28) Ar-Rad `Ala Al-Jahmiyyah by Ad-Darimi (p.39)
(29) Kitab As-Sunnah by Ibn Abi Asim (1/342)
(30) Al-Arsh wama Ruwiyah Fihi by Abu Ja`far bin Abi Shaybah (291-292)
(31) Kitab Al-Arsh by Adh-Dhahabi (2/272)
(32) Maqalat Al-Islamiyeen by Abul Hasan Al-Ash`ari (1/260), Tahqiq Muhammad bin Abdel Hamid.
(33) Ash-Shari`ah by Abu Bakr Al-Ajurri (3/1076)
(34) Kitab Al-Jame` fi As-Sunan wal Adab wal Maghazi by Ibn Abi Zayd Al-Qairawani (p.107-108 & 117)
(35) Ones who believe that Allah is in His creation, that He is everywhere.
(36) Riyadh Al-Jannah bi-Takhrij Usool As-Sunnah by Ibn Abi Zamanin (p.88)
(37) Riyadh Al-Jannah (p.106)
(38) Al-Uluw by Adh-Dhahabi (p.264)
(39) Sharh Usool I`tiqad Ahl AsSunnah by Al-Lalikai (3/387-388)
(40) Al Uluw by Adh-Dhahabi (p.246)
(41) The Jahmiyyah said that “Istawa” on the Throne means “IstawLa” on the Throne, which means: conquered or overcame the Throne.
(42) Aqawil Ath-Thiqat by Mar`I Al-Karami (p.90); Lawame` Al-Anwar Al-Bahiyah by Abu Al-`Awn Al-Isfaraini (1/196-197)
(43) Kitab Al-Arsh by Adh-Dhahabi (2/345-346); Al-Uluw (p.243)
(44) Kitab Al-Arsh (2/341); Siyar A`lam An-Nubala (17/656); Al-Uluw (p.248)
(45) Aqidat As-Salaf wa Ashab Al-Hadeeth by As-Sabuni (p.44); Kitab Al-Arsh by Adh-Dhahabi (2/350)
(46) At-Tamheed Lima Fi Al-Muwatta min Al-Ma`ani wal Asanid by Ibn Abdel Barr (7/129)
(47) Al-Istidhkar by Ibn Abdel Bar (2/148)
(48) Sharh As-Sunnah by Al-Husain Al-Baghawi (1/169-171)
(49) Al-Intisar fi Ar-Rad `Ala Al-Mu`tazilah Al-Qadariyah Al-Ashrar by Al-`Amrani (2/607)
(50) Ithbat Sifat Al-Uluw by Ibn Qudamah Al-Maqdisi (p.63)
(51) Kitab Al-Arsh by Adh-Dhahabi (2/342), Ad-Dhahabi said – after mentioning the verses of poetry by Al-Karji on Allah’s Elevation on the Throne – : “Currently there are copies of it there, from it is a copy with the handwriting of Shaikh Taqi Ad-Deen Ibn As-Salah, at the begining of it is written: ‘This is the Creed of Ahl Assunnah and Ashab Al-Hadeeth’, with his handwriting – Rahimahullah-.”; Adh-Dhahabi mentioned the same in his book “AL-Uluw” when speaking about the poetry of Al-Karji.
(52) Kitab Al-Arsh and Al-Uluw by Adh-Dhahabi.
(53) Al-Asna Fi Sharh Asma’ Allah Al-Husna by Al-Qurtubi (2/132)
(54) What Al-Qurtubi rahimahullah meant by direction (jiha) is the word: fawq (above), he didn’t mean that they used the word “direction” but they used the word “above” meaning the direction above, so the meaning of his statement is: “And the first Salaf –May Allah be pleased with them- did not negate that Allah is above, nor did they utter that He is not above, Rather, they, and the rest, uttered in affirmation of aboveness for Allah –Ta`ala.”, and this interpretation is in accordance with what we have provided from the authentic statements of the Salaf in this article.
(55) Jame` Li-Ahkam Al-Quran by al-Qurtubi (9/239)
(56) Kitab Al-Arsh by Adh-Dhahabi (2/5)
(57) Al-Adhamah by Abu Ash-Shaykh Al-Asbahani (2/460)
(58) Siyar A’lam Nubala by Adh-Dhahabi (12/202), and Al-Uluw by Dahabi (p. 191), with a good chain.
(59) `Aridat Al-Ahwathi Sharh Sahih At-Tirmidhi by Abu Bakr Ibn Al-Arabi (3/166)… He is not Ibn Arabi who advocated the belief in whdat al-wujud

 

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Via :  Um Abdullah al-Misawi

 

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