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

part 3 pakka
This is a list of statements by the scholars, after the generation of the salaf, who confirmed the attribute of istiwa’ and Allah’s elevation over His creation.

The order is according to the date of death.

From year 301 to 400 Hijri

1. Al-Hafidh Ibn al-Akhram (d. 301 H.) said in a will he wrote:
«We say that Allah is on the Throne, and his knowledge encompasses this world and hereafter.» (1)

2. Ibn Jarir at-Tabari (d. 310 H.) said in his interpretation of the meaning of istiwa’ :

«And istiwa’ in the speech of arabs has many meanings among which is … …» and he mentioned several meanings the last of which is «and from its (meaning is) : elevation and rising, like one saying: “A person istawa on his couch”, meaning: rose over it. And the most proper meaning (out of those meanings) for Allah’s saying: {Then He Istawâ to the heaven and made them} [2:29] : He rose over them and ascended, and disoposed them with his power, and created the seven heavens. (2)

He also said: «As for Allah’s saying: {and then He Istawâ over the Throne} it means Rose over.» (3)

And said: «{The Most Beneficent (Allâh) Istawâ over the Throne} Allah, Exalted is He, says: The most beneficent rose over and ascended His Throne.» (4)

And he said, interpreting Allah’s saying {Fir’aun (Pharaoh) said O chiefs! I know not that you have a god other than me, so kindle for me (a fire), O Hâmân, to bake (bricks out of) clay, and set up for me a lofty tower in order that I may look at the God of Mûsa (Moses); and verily, I think that he (Mûsa) is one of the liars.} [28:38] :

«{And verily I think that he}, in what he says that he has another God above the Heavens (fis-sama’) that he worships, and that He is the one who supports him and makes him victorious, and is the one who sent Musa to us; {is one of the liars}.» (5)

And he said: «{And He is with you wheresoever you may be} He is saying: And He (Allah) is a witness on you people wherever you may be, He knows you, He knows your actions, your moving about and your places of rest, and He is on His Throne above His seven heavens.» (6)

And said: «He meant by his saying {He is their fourth} [58:7] : He is watching them with His knowledge while He is on His Throne.» (7)

3. Ibn Khuzaimah ash-Shafi’i (d. 311 H.) said:
«And she [Aishah, radiya Allahu ‘anha,] said: “Glory be to the one whose hearing encompasses all the sounds.” Allah,- jal wa ‘ala-, heard the words of the mujadilah (She That Disputeth;The pleading woman) from above the seven heavens, and risen (mustawen) above His Throne, while some of it was hidden from someone who was present and close to her. (8)

He also said, after mentioning the Prophet’s -salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam-, hadith ”If you ask Allah ask Him the firdaws for it is the middle of Paradise, and the highest part of Jannah, and above it is the Throne of the Most Gracious. From it the rivers of Paradise gush forth.“ [Sahih Bukhari] :

«The report states that the Throne of our Lord is above His Paradise, and He – jal wa ‘ala- informed us that He is risen over His Throne; so our Creator is High above His Throne which is above His Paradise.» (9)

And he said: «All those reports prove that the Creator and Originator is above the seven heavens, not as the mu`attilah [i.e. ones who divest Allah from His Attributes] claimed, which is that the one they worship is with them in their houses.» (10)
And he said: «Whoever does not believe that Allah -Ta`ala- is above His Throne, and that He has risen above His seven heavens, then he is a disbeliever in his Lord, and should be asked to repent, then he either repents or his head is to be cut off.» (11)

4. Abu Bakr Ahmad as-Sibghi ash-Shafi`i (d. 342 H.) said:
«The arabs use ‘fi’ (i.e. in) in the place of `ala (on; above), Allah -`aza wa jal-, said {so travel freely ‘fi’ the earth}, and He said {I will surely crucify you ‘fi’ the trunks of date palms} that means “on the earth” and “on the trunks of date palms”. Such is the case with {‘fi” the heavens} which means “on the Throne above the heavens”, as it had been authentically reported from the Prophet, sala Allahu ‘alayhi wa salam. (12)

5. Ibn al-Qurti al-Maliki (d. 355 H.) said in the introduction of his book “Tasmiyat Ar-Rowat `an Malik”:

«Praise be to Allah, the One who is worthy of all praise, the One who guides, and the One who shows the right path! Praise be to Allah … the One who is the most deserving of all thanks! The only One, the One whom all creatures need. He is glorified from having an example or a similar or an equal, He is high above his Throne and near with his knowledge.» (13)

6. Abul-Qasim at-Tabarani (d. 360 H.), the compiler of “al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer”, said in his book “As-Sunnah”:

«Chapter: What was reported regarding Allah’s Istiwa’ over his Throne, and that He is separate from His creation», then he narrated Abu Razeen’s hadith: I said “O Messenger of Allah! Where is our Lord?”, and the hadith of the eight mountain goats, the Throne being on their backs, and Allah is above the Throne, and other hadiths.» (14)

7. Abu Bakr Al-Ajurri (d. 360 H.) said:
«And that which the people of knowledge believe in is that Allah -`aza wa jal- is on his Throne above His heavens and that His Knowledge encompasses everything.»

He also said: «Chapter: Adducing the ways that proved to those with rational minds that Allah –`aza wa jal- is on His Throne, above the seven heavens, and that His knowledge encompasses everything, and nothing in the heavens or in the earth is hidden from him.» (15)

8. Abu Ahmad al-Karaji al-Qassab (d. 360 H.) said:
«He is above the heavens, above the Throne with no doubt, and his knowledge encompasses all the places.» (51)

And he said: «And his saying {They fear their Lord above them} is a proof that Allah -Jal Jalaloh- is above the heavens with His Essence, and only His Knowledge, that encompasses everything, is in the world. And this is by God from among the great disasters, that the ignorance of the Mu’tazilah and Jahmiyah and their silly minds make us prove what is apparent for a black Nubi.» and he mentioned the hadith of the slave girl. (52)

9. Abu Ash-Shaykh al-Asbahani (d. 369 H.) said:

«Mentioning the Throne of the Lord -Tabaraka wa Ta`ala- and His kursi, the greatness of their creation, and the elevation of the Lord over His Throne.» Then he mentioned some reports that prove this, including that of Ibn Mas`ud –radiallahu anhu-, in which he said “And the Throne is above water, and Allah is above the Throne, and none of your deeds is hidden from him.” (16)
10. Abu al-Husain Muhammad al-Malti al-Shafi`i (d. 377 H.) said in his book “at-Tanbeeh wa ar-Rad”:

«As for the interpretation of Allah’s saying {Indeed your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and then He rose (istawa) over the Throne. He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly, and (He created) the sun, the moon, the stars subjected to His command. Surely, His is the creation and commandment. Blessed is Allah, the Lord of the worlds} there is preceding in it, He says His Istiwa’ over the Throne was before the creation of the heavens and the earth, and Allah –The Exalted- is above the Throne, so that is its interpretation.» (17)

11. Ibn Abi Zayd Al-Qairawani al-Maliki (d. 386 H.) said in his book “al-Jami`“ :

«From among that which the ummah agreed upon in the matters of religion and from the Sunnah which opposing it is an innovation and a misguidance Is that Allah, blessed is His Name…» And he mentiones several things, one of them being: «and that He is above the Heavens, above the Throne, and not on earth, and that He is everywhere with His Knowledge.» Then he mentioned the rest of the beliefs and said in the end: «Everything that we have mentioned is the belief of Ahlu-Sunnah and the Imams of the people in fiqh and hadith, and it is the belief of (Imam) Malik. Some of it is quoted from his speech, and some of it is known from his madhhab.» (18)

He also said in the introduction of his famous treatise (Risalah) : «And He is over the glorious Throne with His Essence (bi-thatihi), and He is everywhere with His knowledge.»
The scholars who have bore witness that this is the belief of Imam Ibn Abu-Zayd
– Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan al-Muradi al-Qayrawani al-Maliki (d. 489 H.), the author of the treatise “Al-eema’ ila Mas’alat al-Istiwa”, said: (And the sixth is the opinion of At-Tabari (19), Ibn Abu-Zayd, al-Qadi Abdul-Wahhab, and a group of the scholars of hadith and fiqh, and it is what is apparent from some of the books of al- Qadi Abu-Bakr, May Allah be pleased with him, and Abul-Hasan … that He (Allah) – Glorified Be He- has risen (mustawen) over his Throne with His Essence (bi-dhatihi) – and in some places they would say “above His Throne”.) And then al-Qurtubi said –after narrating what al-Muradi said-: (and it is the opinion of Ibn Abdul-Barr and (Abu Umar) at-Talamanki and others from Andalus; and al-Khattabi (20) in his book “Shi`ar al-Deen” (his statement is to come).) (21)

Abu Bakr Ibn al-`Arabi al-Maliki (d. 543 H.) said “Then a group of people added to it, and said ‘He is above the Throne with His Essence’, and upon it is the Shaikh of – Al-Maghrib, Abu Muhammad Ibn Abi Zayd.” (22)
And among those who bore witness to that too is his student Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Mawheb and his statement is to come.

12. Ibn Battah Al-Ukbari al-Hanbali (d. 387 H.) said in “Al-Ibanah al-Kubra” :

«Allah is on His Throne, and He encompasses His creation with His Knowledge of them, and His seeing of them.»
13. Abu Sulaiman Al-Khattabi (d. 388 H.) said in “Shi`ar Ad-Deen”:
«And He (Allah) said, narrating about Fir’awn (Pharoah) that he said: {O Hâmân! Build me a tower that I may arrive at the ways; The ways of the heavens, and I may look upon the God of Mûsâ} so the aim of the disbeliever occured in the direction that Musa told him about, that is why he didn’t look for Him in the height of the earth or its width, nor did he descend to the lower layers of the earth. so it indicates, as we recited from these ayat, that Allah Subhanahu is above the Heaven (fis-sama), has risen (mustawen) above the Throne, and if he was in every place, there would be no meaning to this specification (i.e. to search for Allah in direction above), and no benefit in it. *And it has been the habit/practice of the Muslims, people of knowledge and laymen, to make duaa to their Lord, while invoking Him, to raise their hands to the Heavens, and that is because it is widely known to them that their Lord Who is invoked is above the Heavens (fis-sama) Subhanahu.* » (61)

14. Muhmmad bin Ishaq Ibn Mandah (d. 395 H.) said:
«The recited verses and the reported Hadiths proving that Allah -`aza wa jal- is on the Throne, above His creation, separate from them, and the beginning of the creation of the Throne and the water. Allah -‘aza wa jal- said: {The Most Beneficent rose (istawâ) over the Throne} [20:5]».

And said on another page: «Another proof that the Throne is above the heavens and that Allah –Ta`ala- is above His creation, separate from them.» (24)
15. Ibn Abi Zamanin al-Maliki (d. 399 H.) said, after mentioning the hadith of Allah’s Descent:
«And this hadith indicates that Allah -`aza wa jal- is on His Throne above the heavens, and not in the world, and this is also clear in the Quran and in more than one hadith.» (25)

From year 401 to 500 H.

16. Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Mawhab al-Maliki (d. 406 H.), the student of Ibn Abi Zayd, said in his explanation of the treatise of Imam Muhammad Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani:

«As for his statement “He (Allah) is above His glorious Throne by His Essence”, the meaning of the word ‘fawq’ (above) and ‘ala’ (over/on) in Arabic is the same and the confirmation of this is in the Quran and the Sunnah. Allah -Ta’ala, said {And then He rose (istawa) over (`ala) the Throne} and He said {The Most Beneficent over the Throne Rose (istawa)}. He also said {They fear their Lord above (fawqa) them} ». Then he narrated the hadith of the slave girl and of the Mi’raj (Ascension) to the lote tree of the utmost boundary, and then he said «The word “fi” in the language of the Arabs can have the meaning: ‘fawqa’ (above). Allah said {so walk ‘fi’ its paths thereof} and {‘fi’ the trunks of date palms} and {Do you feel secure that he who is ‘fi’ the heaven} The scholars of tafseer said: He means ‘fawqa’ (above/over), and it is the view of (Imam) Malik from what he understood from at-Tabi’in (i.e. successors of the companions) whom he has met, from their understanding from the companions (Sahabah), from what they understood from the Prophet, which is that Allah is ‘fi’ the heavens, meaning above them. This is why shaykh Abu Muhammad (26) said: “He is above His Throne” and then he made it clear that His elevation over the Throne is bidhatihi (with His Essence) because He is separate from His creation without asking how, and He is everywhere with His Knowledge and not with Hisself.» (27)

17. Abu Zakariya Yahya bin `Ammar al-Hanbali (d. 422 H.) said in his treatise:

«We do not say what the Jahmiyyah said: That He (Allah), the Exalted, is combined with everything, and we do not know where He is. But we say: He, by His Essence, is over the Throne, and His knowledge encompasses everything; that His Knowledge, His Hearing, and His Sight is aware of everything. And that is the meaning of {and He is with you wherever you may be} [57:4] and what we said is what Allah and His Messenger said. » (28)
18. 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 –`aza 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.» (55)

19. 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), Has Risen (mustawen) 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 al-haqiqah (literal), and not majaz (metaphorical).» (56)

20. Abu Nu`aim Al-Asbahani Al-Sufi (d. 430 H.) 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 eternally”; 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 (i.e. rising) of Allah on it, they (the Salaf) affirm it without speaking about its kayfiyyah (description/reality), or resembling it to creation; And that Allah –The Exalted- 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 Has Risen (mustawen) above the Throne, above the heavens, and not on earth.» (57)

21. Abu `Amr ad-Dani al-Maliki (d. 444 H.) said in his urjuzah of Sunnah:
His speech is pre-eternal ** and He is above His Great Throne (29)

22. Abu Nasr as-Sijzee al-Hanafi (d. 444 H.) said: «And the belief of the people who follow the truth is that Allah, glorified is above the Throne with His Essence (bidhatihi) without contact.» (30)

23. Abu Uthman as-Sabuni al-Shafi’i (d. 449 H.) said in his book “Aqeedat as-Salaf Ashab al-Hadith”:

«The people of Hadith believe and testify that Allah -subhanahu wa Ta`ala- is above His seven heavens, on His Throne as He said in His Book in surat Yunus {Surely, your Lord is Allah who created the heavens and the earth in six days and then rose (istawa) over the Throne, disposing the affair of all things. No intercessors (can plead with him) except after his permission} [10:3]» (31) and he mentioned the verses of the Istiwa’ over the Throne, and other verses on the Elevation of Allah, some of which we have already mentioned in part 1 of this series.

24. Ibn Abdul Barr al-Maliki (d. 463 H.) said:
«As for what he said to the slave girl in the hadith: ”where is Allah?“, then upon this is the jama`ah of Ahl as-Sunnah, who are ahl al-Hadeeth, and its narrators, who have a very high understanding of it, and the rest of its transmitters, they all say what Allah, exalted is He, said in His book {The Most Beneficent istawâ over the Throne} [20:5], and that Allah, ‘aza wa jal, is above the heavens, and that His Knowledge is everywhere; this is what is apparent (dhahir) from the Quran in Allah’s saying {Do you feel secure that He, who is over the heaven, will not cause the earth to sink with you, and then it should quake} [67:16] and His saying -‘azz wa jal- {To Him ascend (all) the goodly words and the righteous deeds exalt it} [35:10], And His saying {The angels and the Ruh ascend to him} [70:4].» (32) Please refer to other statements of this Imam in the second part of this series.

25. Sa`d bin Ali az-Zanjani as-Shafi`i (d. 471 H.) said in his explanation of his poem on Sunnah:

«It is not from the meaning of Istiwa that He is in contact with the Throne, or that He is dependent on it, or that it supports Him, or that He fits it; for all of that is negated in describing Him –Glorified be He-, but He is Risen with His Essence (bi-dhatihi) on His Throne without asking how, as He informed about Himself. The Muslims have agreed that Allah is the Most High and Supreme, and the Quran states this, in His saying {Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High} [87:1]; … for Allah is the elevation of the Essence, elevation of the Attributes, and the elevation of subduing and dominance.» (50)

26. Abul Khattab Ahmad al-Muqre’ al-Hanbali (d. 476 H.) said in his poem on Sunnah:

And when the Most Gracious appeared to the mountain ** it collapsed from fear like slivers
And to Musa Spoke his Lord, above His Throne, ** at the mountain of Tur, and he was submissive (33)

27. Abu Ismail al-Ansari al-Harawi al-Hanbali al-Sufi (d. 481 H.) in his book “As-Sifat”:

«Chapter: Proving the Istiwa’ of Allah over His Throne, above the seventh heaven, separate from His creation; from the Quran and Sunnah.» In which he mentioned the proofs of that from the Quran and Sunnah, and then said: «It is in many reports that Allah -‘aza wa jal- is above the seventh heaven, over the Throne by Hisself, and He sees what you are doing; His Knowledge, Ability, Hearing, Sight, and Mercy, are everywhere.» (34)

Year 501 to 700 H.

28. Abu Muhammad Al-Baghawi Ash-Shafi`i (d. 510 H.) said:
«And Allah –aza wa Jal- said {The Most Gracious over the Throne Istawa} [20:5], and Allah –The Exalted- said {Then He 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 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.» (58)

29. Ibn Abi Ya`la al-Hanbali (d.. 526 H.) said:
«All praise be to Allah! The Most High! The Most Great! The All Hearing! The All Seeing! The One with the wide grace, the consecutive favors, the complete and perfect blessings, and the reaching evidences! He rose high, and was above His seven heavens, and then He Rose (Istawa) over his Throne. He knows the secret and that which is yet more hidden.» (35)
30. Abul Qasim Isma`il al-Asbahani al-Shafi’i (d. 535 H.) said in his book “al-Hujjah fi Bayan al-Mahajjah”:

«Chapter: Clarifying that the Throne is above the heavens, and that Allah -‘azza wa jal- is above the Throne.» (36) and he reported narrations that prove that.

31. `Adi bin Musafir al-Hakkari al-Shafi’i (d. 555 H.) said in his creed:

«And that Allah is on the Throne, separate from His creation, as He has described Himself in His book and on the tongue of His Prophet, without asking how. He has encompassed everything with His Knowledge, and He is ever All-Knower of everything. Allah -Exalted is He- said {The Most beneficent rose over His Throne}.» (48)

32. 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.» (62)

33. Abdul Qader al-Jilani al-Hanbali as-Soufi (d. 561 H.) said in his book “al-Ghunyah”:

«And that Allah, exalted is He, created the heavens topping one another, and created the seven earths below one another, and between the highest earth and the lowest heaven is the distance of five hundred years, and between each heaven and the other the walk (distance) of five hundred years … And Allah, exalted is He, is over the Throne and below Him are veils of fire, light, and darkness, and what He only knows.» (37)

34. Abdul-Ghani al-Maqdisi al-Hanbali (d. 600 H.) said in his book “as-Sifat”, after relating verses and ahadith that prove Allah’s Elevation and Istiwa’:

«And in this issue there are proofs from the Quran and the Sunnah, quoting it would make the book very long. The one who denies that Allah is in the direction of elevation, after these verses and Hadiths, has went against the Book of Allah, and is a denier of the Sunnah of The Messneger of Allah -salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam-.»

He also said, after reporting the hadith of the slave girl: «Who is more ignorant, has a sillier mind, and is more mislead than he who says: It’s not permissible to ask “Where is Allah?”, after the professing of the Prophet Muhammad, sala Allahu ‘alayhi wa salam with his saying ”Where is Allah?“ [sahih Muslim].» (38)

35. Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi al-Hanbali (d. 620 H.) said:
«{Fir’awn said: O Haman! Build me a tower that I may arrive at the ways. The ways of the heavens, and I may look upon the God of Musa, but verily I think him to be a liar} Meaning: “I think Musa is lying in claiming that Allah, his God, is above the Heaven”. And the opposer in this matter denied this, and (by this he) has claimed that Musa is a liar in this (i.e. that Allah is above the Heaven) by certainty. In addition, he is apposing the Lord of the worlds, implying that his truthful and trustworthy Prophet –sallallahu alayhi wa sallam- has erred; and (the opposer) has left the way of the Sahabah, Tabi`een, the previous Imams, and the rest of creation. And we ask Allah to keep us safe from the innovations in religion by His Mercy, and to guide us to following his path.» (39)
36. Ibn As-Salah Ash-Shafi`i (d. 643 H.) wrote on the poem about the Sunnah, attributed to Abul Hasan al-Karaji Ash-Shafi`i (d. 532 H.) :«This is the belief of Ahl As-Sunnah and Ashab Al-Hadeeth.» (59)
And 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 with His Essence (bi-dhatihi) ** on His Throne, with His knowledge of the matters of the unseen (60)

37. Abdul Kareem bin Mansoor al-Mawsili al-Shafi’i al-Athari (d. 651 H.) :

Abu Zakariyah as-Sarsari al-Hanbali wrote a poem in which he praised the belief of Shaykh Abdul-Kareem al-Athari after reading his book on creed ‘”l-Mu`tamad fi al-Mu`taqad”. He said in this poem, highlighting the belief of the shaykh:
And his belief in Istiwa’ is that of Malik ** and the righteous predecessors, the people of grace

And he said (i.e. Abdul Kareem): He Istawa (rose) over His Throne with His Essence (bi-dhatihi) ** and do not say (that it means) istawla (i.e. seized) for saying that is not the truth

And His creation are separate from Him, and He’s separate from the creation ** and He knows the secret and the apparent
And {We are nearer to him than his jugular vein} is interpreted ** to be by knowledge, and what has a similar meaning, so understand

Allah rose over the Heavens above His slaves ** The proof is in the Quran, not broken
And take the affirmation of the faith of the slave girl ** as a complete transmitted evidence, not an incomplete one (in its chain) (49)

38. Abu Zakariya Yahya as-Sarsari al-Hanbali as-Sufi (d. 656 H.) said:

I testify that Allah, may His praise be exalted ** is an Eternal, Supreme, and Glorified God
All-Hearing, and All-Seeing, He has no similar in His Attributes ** He Sees from above seven heavens and Hears
The creation of the seven heavens and the earth is wide ** And His kursi from His creation is wider
He finished His creation and then Istawa (rose) above His Throne ** And there is no place in the world that is free of His Knowledge
And whoever says that Allah, by His Essence (bithatihi) ** is everywhere; is a hasty ignorant (40)

39. Abdur-Razzaq ar-Ras`ani al-Hanbali (d. 661 H.) said in his poem (41) in praising the Sunnah and dispraising innovation:
And say: My Lord, above the Heavens, Has Risen ** over His Throne, and cut every illusion
And say that asking “Where?” is permissible, for the text is ** confirmed (42), authentic, and apparent and not hidden

40. Abdur-Rahman al-Maqdisi al-Hanbali (d. 682 H.), the nephew of Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi, said:

«A proposition: “Except for the mute, he points with his head towards the heavens” … when it is confirmed, he points to the heavens with his head, because this pointing substitutes talking, and pointing to the heavens indicates his intention to say the name of the One Who is above the heavens; And as such said al-Sha`bi. This is indicated by the hadith reported by Abu Hurayrah that a man came to the Prophet -salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam- with a foreign slave girl and said: “O Messenger of Allah! I have to free a believing slave, can I free this one”; So the Prophet- salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam- asked her: ”Where is Allah?“, so she pointed to the heavens…» … so the Messenger of Allah – salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – affirmed her Iman (i.e. belief) by her pointing to the Heavens, her meaning that Allah –Subhanah- is above it.» (44)

Year 701 H. and after

41. Ibn Shaykh al-Hazzamiyyin al-Hanbali (43) (d. 711 H.) said:
«When the slave is certain that Allah –Ta`ala- is above the Heavens, High over His Throne, without restricting or describing, and that He is now with His Attributes as He was in eternity; there becomes a qiblah for one’s heart in his prayer, and his duaa. And whoever doesn’t know his Lord to be above the Heavens, on His throne, then he remains lost, not knowing the direction of the One he worships; although he might know Him by His Hearing, His Sight, and His eternity; and knowing this without that (i.e. being above the Heavens on the Throne) is an incomplete knowledge, contrary to the one who knows that his God, whom he worships, is above everything …» Then he said: «And he is to believe that He (Allah) is in elevation, close to His creation and with them by His Knowledge, Hearing, Seeing, encompassment, Ability, and Will; and His Essence is above everything, above the Throne.” (53)

42. Taqiuddeen Ibn Taimiyyah al-Hanbali (d. 728 H.) said in al-aqidah al-Wasitiyyah:

«What we mentioned of belief in Allah includes belief in what Allah has revealed in His Book (the Qur’an), what has been continuously reported from His Messenger (peace be upon him), and what the early generation of the Ummah unanimously agreed upon: That Allah, The Glorified, is above His heavens on His Throne, and exalted above His creatures; and that He, The Glorified, is with them wherever they are knowing what they are doing. He summed it up in His saying {He is the One Who created the heavens and the earth in six days; Then He rose over the Throne. He knows what goes into the earth and what comes out of it, and what descends from heavens and what ascends into it; He is with you wherever you are; Allah sees all what you do.} [al-Hadid 57:4]. His saying {He is with you} does not mean that He is mixed with creation; the language does not indicate this, it goes against what the Salaf of the Ummah agreed upon, and is contrary to the innate nature (fitrah) that Allah created in creation; the moon is one of Allah’s signs to be found amongst the smallest of His creatures, and it is placed in the skies, and it is with the traveler, and non-traveler wherever they are; and Allah – The Glorified- is above the Throne watching His creation, ruling over them, and other such meanings of His Lordship.»

43. Ibn Abd al-Hadi al-Hanbali (d. 744 H.) said: «And He –Subhanah- is above His heavens over His Throne, and He has come close to His slaves and descended to the dunya heaven. His Elevation above His creation is of the essence (dhati), and is known by the intellect, innate nature (fitrah), and the consensus of the Messengers, thus absolutely nothing is above Allah.» (45)

44. Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah Al-Hanbali (d. 751 H.) said: «He –Subhanahu- is above His Heavens on His Throne, separate from His creation.» (54)

45. Ibn Abi al-Izz al-Hanafi (d. 792 H.) said in his explanation of al-‘Aqeedah al-Tahawiyah: «Thus Allah is above His Throne while holding it and its carriers by His power.»

And he said: «And whoever hears the hadiths of the Messenger -salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam- and the words of the salaf, will find innumerable evidences of Allah’s Elevation, and there is no doubt that when Allah created the creation, He did not create them in His divine Essence, Exalted is Allah from this!» Then he reported the evidences of Allah’s Elevation from the Quran, the Sunnah, from the statements of the salaf, and reasoning. (46)
46. Shihab ad-Deen al-Alusi al-Hanafi (d. 1270 H.) said:
«He –Glorified is He- is in the direction of elevation in a manner that befits Him, while negating the necessities of it that are impossible for Allah -Subhanahu wa Ta’ala-. The proofs from Quran, Sunnah, and athar, that Allah -Ta`ala- is such, are innumerable, and it is difficult to collect them all. And in what a person finds in himself from the natural, necessary tendency towards the direction of elevation, in both the states of aspiration and fear, is a strong attestation for that.» (47)


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

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




(1) “Tareekh al-Islam” (2/378), and “Tadhkirat al-Hufadh” (2/223) both by al-Dhahabi.
(2) “Jami` al-Bayan `an Ta’weel ‘ay al-Quran” by at-Tabari [i.e. Tafsir At-Tabari] (1456-457) – Tahqiq at-Turki
(3) Jami’ al-Bayan [Tafsir at-Tabari] (13/411)
(4) Tafsir At-Tabari (16/11)
(5) Tafsir At-Tabari (19/581)
(6) Tafsir At-Tabari (22/387)
(7) Tafsir at-Tabari (22/368)
(8) “Tawheed wa Ithbat Sifat al-Rab” by Ibn Khuzaymah (1/107)
(9) Tawheed wa Ithbat Sifat al-Rab (1/241)
(10) Tawheed wa Ithbat Sifat al-Rab (1/273)
(11) “Ma`rifat `Ulum al-Hadith” by al-Hakim (p.285) he said I heard Muhammad Ibn-Saleh Ibn-Hani’ saying I heard Abu-Bakr Muhammad Ibn-Ishaq Ibn-Khuzaymah saying …. etc.. Ibn-Qudamah also narrated it through al-Hakim in ‘Ithbat Sifat al-‘Uluw (p.185)
(12) “al-Asma’ wa as-Sifat” by al-Bayhaqi (p.324) with a sahih chain.
(13) “Siyar A’lam al-Nubala’” by al-Dhahabi (16/78)
(14) “al-‘Ulw lil `Aliy al-Ghaffar” (p.227-228), and Kitab Al-‘Arsh (2/316) both by Adh-Dhahabi.
(15) “al-Sharee’ah” by al-Ajurry (8/1075,1079,1081)
(16) “al- `Adhamah” by Abu Ash-Shaykh al-Asbahani (2/543)
(17) “al-Tanbih wa al-Rad `ala al-Ahwa’ wal-Bida`” by al-Malti al-Shafi’i (p.85) Tahqiq Yaman al-Mayadini
(18) “al-Jami` fi al-Sunan wa al-Adab wa al-Maghazi” by Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani (p.107-108,117)
(19) He is Abu Ja`far Ibn Jarir at-Tabari, the author of the famous Tafseer.
(20) Abu Sulayman al-Khattabi (d. 388 H.)
(21) “al-Asna fi Sharh Asma’ Allah al-Husna” by Abu Abdullah al-Qurtubi (2/123); and “al-`Uluw” by al-Dhahabi (p.261)
(22) “al-`Awasim Min al-Qawasim” by Ibn al-`Arabi (p.215) – Tahqiq `Ammar Talibi
(24) “Kitab al-Tawheed wa Ma`rifat Asma’ Allah wa Sifateh” by Ibn Mandah (3/185,187)
(25) “Usul as-Sunnah” (Riyadh Al-Jannah) by Ibn Abi Zamanin (p.113)
(26) Abu Muhammad Abdullah Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qairawani
(27) “al-Uluw” by Adh-Dhahabi (p.264); and “Ijtima’ al-Juyush” by Ibn Al-Qayyim (2/187-190)
(28) “Al-`Uluw” (p.245), and “al-‘Arsh” (2/340,348) both by al-Dhahabi. Part of it is also in “al-Hujjah fi Bayan al-Mahajah” by Ismail al-Asbahani (2/107)
(29) “Siyar A’lam al-Nubala’” by al-Dhahabi (18/81-82), and Tareekh al-Islam by the same author (30/101)
(30) “Risalat al-Sijzy ila ahl Zabeed fi al-Rad ‘ala Man Ankar al-Harf wa al-Sawt” (p.126) – Tahqiq Muhammad Bakareem, Dar al-Rayah, 1414H.
(31) “Aqeedat al-Salaf wa Ashab al-Hadeeth” by as-Sabuni (p.44); “al-‘Arsh” by al-Dhahabi (2/350); “al-Uluw” also by Al-Dhahabi (p. 247)
(32) “Al-Istidhkar” by Ibn Abdul-Barr (7/337)
(33) “Dhail Tabaqat al-Hanabilah by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (1/107)
(34) “al-‘Arsh” (2/364) and Siyar A’lam al-Nubala’ (18/514) both by Al-Dhahabi.
(35) Tabaqat al-Hanabilah by Ibn Abi-Ya’la (1/5)
(36) al-Hujjah fi Bayan al-Mahajjah by Ismail al-Asbahani (2/83)
(37) al-Ghunyah Li Talibi Tariq al-Haqq by Abdul-Qader al-Jilani (1/121,123)
(38) “Kitab al-Sifat” by Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi (p.75-76)
(39) “Ithbat Sifat Al-Uluw” by Abdullah Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi (p.65)
(40) “Dhayl Mir’aat al-Zamaan” by al-Yunainy – in the bio of Abu Zakariyah Yahya bin Yusuf al-Sarsari al-Hanbali
(41) The Algerian magazine ‘al-Islah’ – issue 12 (P.75-76) read and commented on by ‘Ammar Tamalat
(42) It is the hadith of the slave girl whom the Prophet, sala Allahu ‘alayhi wa salam, asked Where is Allah It is in Saheeh Muslim.
(43) He is `Imad Ad-Deen Abu Al-Abbas Ahmad bin Ibrahim Al-Wasiti As-Sufi, known as “Ibn Shaykh al-Hazamiyyin”.
(44) “al-Sharh al-Kabeer” by Abdur-Rahman Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi (27/321-322)
(45) “al-Sarem al-Manki fi al-Rad ‘ala al-Sibki” by Ibn Abd al-Hadi (P.229)
(46) Sharh al-‘Aqeedah al-Tahawiyah by Ibn Abil-`Izz al-Hanafi (1/372,379-380)
(47) “Ghara’ib Al-Ightirab” by Shihab Ad-Deen Al-Alusi, in the ending of the book.
(48) “I’tikad Ahl-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah” by `Adi bin Musafir al-Hakkari (P.30)
(49) “Waq` al-Qarid” by Yahya al-Sarsari (p.22)
(50) “Ijtima` al-Juyush” by Ibnul Qayyim (p.197-198)
(51) Nukat al-Quran by Abu Ahmad al-Karaji (3/694)
(52) Nukat al-Quran (2/68-69)
(53) “Risalat Ithbat Al-Istiwa wal Fawqiyah” (p.49-50) by Ahmad bin Ibrahim al-Wasiti, known as “ibn Ash-Shaykh al-Hazamiyyin”. Tahqiq Adnan bin Hamud –Maktabat Ath-Thaqafa Ad-Diniya – Cairo.
(54) “Madarij As-Salikeen” by Ibn al-Qayyim (2/41) Tahqiq Ridwan Jami` Ridwan.
(55) Sharh Usool I`tiqad Ahl AsSunnah by Al-Lalikai (3/387-388)
(56) “Al ‘Uluw li al‘Alee Al-Ghaffar” by Ad-Dhahabi (pg. 246)
(57) Kitab Al-Arsh by Adh-Dhahabi (2/345-346); Al-Uluw (p.243)
(58) “Sharh As-Sunnah” by abu Muhammad al-Husain Al-Baghawi (1/169-171)
(59) Kitab Al-Arsh by Adh-Dhahabi (2/342), Ad-Dhahabi said – after mentioning the verses of poetry by Al-Karaji 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 something similar in his book “AL-Uluw” when speaking about the poetry of Al-Karaji.
(60) Kitab Al-Arsh and Al-Uluw by Adh-Dhahabi.
(61) Ibn Al-Qayyim transmitted it in his sharh of Sunan Abi Dawud (13/35-36). Al-Qurtubi transmitted what is between the two asterisks ( * ) in “Al-Asna fi Sharh Asma’ Allah al Husna wa Sifateh (p. 170), Tahqiq Al-AshaHasunah, and attributed it to Al-Khattabi in “Shi’ar Ad-Deen.
(62) Al-Intisar fi Ar-Rad `Ala Al-Mu`tazilah Al-Qadariyah Al-Ashrar by Al-`Amrani (2/607)

Via : Um Abdullah al-Misawi



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