Is Allah Ta’ala everywhere?

QUESTION

1. what is the ruling on saying that Allah (swt) is “everywhere” or saying that he is on his throne?
2. Is it true that sheikh abdul qadir al jilani (rahmatullah alaih) was of the opinion that Allah is on his throne?
ANSWER

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh

At the outset we refer you to the verse of the Quran wherein Allah Ta’ala says:

ليس كمثله شيء

“There is nothing like Him (Allah Ta’ala)” (Surah al-Shura, 11)

One of the fundamental beliefs we should have regarding Allah Ta’ala is that there is no creation similar to Him. If Allah Ta’ala is described as being similar to His creation, then that would constitute Kufr (disbelief).

Imam Tahawi has stated:

وَمَنْ وَصَفَ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى بـِمَعْنَىً مِنْ مَعَانِي البَشَرِ فَقَدْ كَفَرَ،

“Anyone who describes Allah as being in any way the same as a human being has become a Kafir (unbeliever)” (Aqidah Al-Tahawi)

It is an established belief of the Muslims that Allah Ta’ala is not contained in a place or time.

Allamah Taftazani has stated:

ولا يتمكن في مكان

“And He (Allah Ta’ala) does not occupy space” (Sharh Al-Aqaaid, pg 40, Qadeemi Kutub)

Allah Ta’ala is the creator of time and space. If we limit Allah Ta’ala to time or space, then this would imply that we resemble Him to his creation, because the one who exists in a place would, by nature, be a body; thus attributing a body to Allah Ta’ala.

If one were to say that Allah Ta’ala is everywhere, then this is wrong, as ‘everywhere’ is limited and ends somewhere, whereas Allah Ta’ala is not limited. Imam Abu Hanifa has stated:

لا حد له
“He (Allah) does not have limits nor ends” (Al-Fiqh al-Akbar)

Imam Tahawi has stated:

وتعالى عن الحدود والغايات والأركان والأعضاء والأدوات 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 contained by six directions as all created things are.”

مُحيطٌ بـِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَبـِما فَوْقَهُ، قَدْ أَعْجَزَ عَنِ الإِحاطَةِ خَلْقَهُ.

“He encompasses all things and that which is above it, and what He has created is incapable of encompassing Him”


Similarly, to say that Allah is on earth, sky, moon, sun, throne, etc… is also wrong, as all these things are limited and to limit Allah Ta’ala to any created thing is Kufr. Imam Tahawi states:

وَهُوَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ مُسْتَغْنٍ عَنِ العَرْشِ وَما دونَهُ،

He is independent of the Throne and that which is beneath it.

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

كان الله ولم يكن شيء غيره

“Allah Ta’ala existed eternally and there was nothing else” (Bukhari, #3019)

This Hadith proves that Allah Ta’ala was alone before creating any of the creation. There was nothing with Him: no place, no space, no sky, no light, and no darkness. It is our belief that Allah Ta’ala does not change. Hence, it is impossible that after having been existing without a place, He would later be confined to space, like the throne. The simple question is: Where was Allah Ta’ala before Allah Ta’ala created His throne? Therefore, Allah Ta’ala cannot be confined to His throne.

Allah Ta’ala is not a body, nor is He a matter that has a mass and occupies space. Allah Ta’ala is The Creator of mass, matter, bodies and physics. Attributing Allah Ta’ala with a body or similar to a body or limb is Kufr.

In brief, it is incorrect to say that Allah Ta’ala is literally “everywhere” and “on his throne”. “Everywhere” is an area restricted within six dimensions. “Throne” is a restricted entity. Allah Ta’ala is the creator of Makaan (place) and the creator of Makaan (place) cannot be contained within his creation, ie, place. Books stating that Allah Ta’ala is everywhere intend thereby the absolute knowledge of Allah Ta’ala. (Fatawa Al-Mahmudiyya, vol 1, pg 244, Faruqiyya)

2. We are not aware of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jailani having such an opinion.

And Allah knows best

Wassalam

Ml. Talha Desai,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyya

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