A Discussion on the Ascendancy of Allaah, the Most High, and a Critique of the Belief that He is Present in all Things | 3
by The Albaani Blog
The summary of what can be said in nullifying this misguided saying, ‘Allaah is everywhere,’ [is that] researching this topic is long and in this regard I advise that the book called, Al-Uluww lil-Aliyyil-Ghaffaar or lil-Aliyyil-Adheem [‘The Summary of the Ascendancy of the Most High, the Oft-Forgiving’] of Haafidh adh-Dhahabi be read, and it is more appropriate that the summary of this book be read since it deals with the topic more succinctly, being a refinement, written by me, of the original.
In ‘The Summary of the Ascendancy of the Most High, the Oft-Forgiving,’ he [i.e., Imaam adh-Dhahabi] mentioned aayahs which establish that Allaah the Mighty and Majestic has the characteristic of being above all created things, and that He is not in a place, along with many good hadiths which are in harmony with the texts of the Quraan [stating] that Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, is above all creation. Then [he mentioned] Salafi narrations from the Companions and their followers and their followers all the way up until the time of Imaam adh-Dhahabi, to just after the seventh century of the year of the Flight [Hijrah].
Tens if not hundreds of scholars who nullified this falsehood that, ‘Allaah is everywhere,’ and who established that Allaah is above all of creation.
From the clearest examples of that is the hadith of the slave girl–the authenticity of which the scholars of hadith are united upon–the summary of which is that a man from the Companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم whose name was Mu’aawiyah ibn al-Hakam used to have a slave girl who would tend to his flock of sheep in Uhud. A wolf came and attacked the sheep. As a result her master became angry and slapped her on her cheek–and then regretted what he had done.
So he came to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah! I have to expiate [for that sin] by freeing a slave and I have a servant-girl,’ i.e., he was asking the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم whether freeing this servant-girl would fulfil his penance (kaffaarah) of freeing a slave.
He told him to bring her and so when she came, the Prophet of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘Where is Allaah.’ She replied, ‘Above the Heavens.’ He said, ‘Who am I?’ She said, ‘You are the Messenger of Allaah.’ He said to her master, ‘Free her, for she is a believer.’
The Prophet of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم regarded the testimony of the slave-girl that Allaah was above the Heavens to mean that she doesn’t only testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah but that she also believes that Allaah is One in His Essence, the only One who should be worshipped, One in His Attributes.
So beware of falling in to this misguidance, because we hear it [often]. We’ll be in a gathering and it will be as though someone is remembering Allaah saying, ‘Allaah is present in all things,’ don’t you hear this phrase? This is present amongst us [i.e., the Muslims], ‘Allaah is present in all things.’
There are two existences. The first is the necessarily existent [waajibul-wujood], i.e., Allaah, and there was nothing with Him, as you heard [previously].
The second are the contingent/possible existents, i.e., the creation.
So we have a [type of] existence, and Allaah the Mighty and Majestic has an eternal existence. He has no beginning or end.
So [their incorrect belief that] Allaah is present in all things [would necessitate that He] is present inside our existence which we are in right now. This is the meaning of that misguidance that, ‘Allaah is everywhere,’ so beware of saying, ‘Allaah is everywhere,’ or, ‘Allaah is present in all things.’ No, [this is not true].
There is no misguidance greater than this, because it negates that which we have mentioned and which has been reported in the Quraan and the Sunnah and the Salafi narrations which state that Allaah the Mighty and Majestic is above all created things.