Shaikh al-Albaani

Translations From His Works

Category: Where is Allaah

The Extremist Sufi Saying, ‘Allaah is a monk in a church …’ The Disbelief of Those Who believe in the Unity of Being [Wahdatul-Wujood] |End


Then he عليه السلام implemented this method with a Companion of his: it reached him that Abdullaah ibn Amr ibn al-Aas–the Companion, the son of a Companion, may Allaah be pleased with them both–it reached him that his father married him off to a girl from Quraish.  He [i.e., Amr ibn al-Aas] visited her one day and asked her about her husband [i.e., his son].

So she said to him, ‘There is no problem with him except that he has not yet approached our bed. He stands to pray at night and fasts during the day,’ i.e., he got married but didn’t get married.

This was difficult upon Amr so he complained about his son to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. So he عليه الصلاة والسلام said to him, ‘O Abdullaah! It has reached me that you spend the night in prayer and fast during the day and that you do not approach women [i.e., your wife].’ He said, ‘It is as such, O Messenger of Allaah!’

And this hadith is long and I will summarise it by saying that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم laid down a methodology for him which he could worship Allaah through and gather, as they say today, between the right of the body and the right of the nafs on the other hand, and the right of the soul, i.e., worship.

So he said, and he used to stand all night finishing the Quraan in it, and would always fast, he said regarding the recitation of the Quraan and this is at the end of the story which is long, he said, ‘Read the Quraan in three nights. For whoever reads it in less than three has not understood it.’

And concerning that which was connected to fasting he told him initially to fast three days every month, and a good deed is rewarded tenfold, so it would be as if you would have fasted the entire month, so Abdullaah would reply, ‘O Messenger of Allaah! I am a youth and have strength. I can do more than that.’

And here you will notice the difference between that generation and our generation of today.

A youth in his prime, whose father married him off to a girl from Quraish, he turns away from her and [instead] stands to pray all night and fast during the day and … so on and so on.  And when the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم tells him to take it easy upon himself he replies to him saying, ‘O Messenger of Allaah! I am a youth and have strength. I can do more than that.’

Today you have the opposite of that.

A youth will grow up upon obedience to Allaah and all around him you will find people repelling him, both those near to him and those distant: firstly the father, secondly, the mother, they will say to him, ‘You’re still a youth. You can worship later.’

Look at the difference between that time and this.

The point is that eventually he صلى الله عليه وسلم told him to fast a day and miss the next for such was the Fast of Dawud عليه السلام who would not flee from the enemy when he met them.

[But] Abdullaah replied, ‘O Messenger of Allaah! I want better than that.’  He replied, ‘There is nothing better than that.’

So where is this pretentious ascetic Sufism, contradicting the Quran and Sunnah [by going further than what the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم instructed his Companions with].

Thus, that which in Sufism truly agrees with the Quraan and the Sunnah, then remove this name [i.e., ‘Sufism,’ from it] and remain on the Book and the Sunnah and the methodology of the Pious Predecessors.

And whatever opposes the Book and the Sunnah, then we throw it aside.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 632.

The Extremist Sufi Saying, ‘Allaah is a monk in a church …’ The Disbelief of Those Who believe in the Unity of Being [Wahdatul-Wujood] |3


And from that are two hadiths reported in Sahihs Bukhaari and Muslim. One of them is the hadith of Anas ibn Maalik, may Allaah the Most High be pleased with him, who said some people came to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم but did not find him.

They asked his family about his worship, about his standing for prayer at night and during the day, and his relationship with women [i.e., his wives].  So his family spoke about what they knew and said that he عليه السلام would fast and eat, stand to pray at night and [also] sleep, and would marry women.

Anas said that when they heard that they regarded it as being little, i.e., they thought that the Prophet’s worship was little, because they pictured: the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله ليه وسلم sleeps at night?  Surely, he must stay awake all night?!  Likewise, he breaks his fast? Surely, he must fast all the time?! And he marries women?

And some people say that, ‘Knowledge was lost between the thighs of women.’ [i.e., due to concern about their intimate relationships with their wives.]  How can the Prophet marry four, eight or more?

So they regarded his worship as being little–but then they turned to themselves and said, ‘This is the Messenger of Allaah. Allaah has forgiven him his past and future sins.’

The reality is that these statements emanate from people … who had newly embraced Islaam, because it is not possible that a person who understood his Prophet’s صلى الله عليه وسلم sublime perfection which has no comparison, to say, ‘Why does the Prophet marry? Why does he sleep? Why does he eat? Allaah has forgiven him his sins …’ It is not befitting that such statements be said, but it happened as such.

The important thing is that they turned to themselves and said, ‘This is the Messenger of Allaah, Allaah has forgiven him his past and future sins.  So we must toil and exhaust ourselves and worship Allaah until He forgives us.’

What was the way to achieve that, in their opinion?

One of them said, ‘As for me, I will fast and never break it.’  The other said, ‘As for me, I will stand in prayer and not sleep.’  And the third said, ‘I will never marry women.’

Then they left.

After some time the Prophet عليه السلام came and was told about them. So he صلى الله عليه وسلم gave a short sermon and said, ‘What is the matter with a people who say such and such? I fear Allaah more than you do, and I am the most obedient and dutiful among you to Him. As for me, then I fast and break the fast, I pray at night and sleep and I marry women. So whoever turns away from my Sunnah is not from me.’

Here is the point, ‘So whoever turns away from my Sunnah is not from me.’  So these righteous Sufis of old, I am not referring to Ash-Sha’raani’s group and his likes and [those who believe in] the Unity of Being. No. These people departed from the guidance of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and so came with old Buddhist, Indian ways which they inherited, and maybe they were foreigners [non-Arabs] who entered Islaam and did not understand it properly.  Thus coming up with a way of punishing the soul under the assumption of purifying it.  And here is your Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم saying, ‘So whoever turns away from my Sunnah is not from me.’

The Extremist Sufi Saying, ‘Allaah is a monk in a church …’ The Disbelief of Those Who believe in the Unity of Being [Wahdatul-Wujood] |2


As you must have heard by now, Abu Talhah Daawood ibn Ronald Burbank, passed away in an accident in Jeddah along with his wife today.  It is truly distressing news, and one can only take comfort in the fact that they were on their way to perform Hajj, were in ihraam and that they died in a fire, one who does so being regarded as having died the death of a martyr, and one who dies in ihraam is raised in ihraam, saying the talbiyyah.  His sons were able to leave the vehicle and then the explosion caught Daawood and his wife, and as far as I have heard, the janaazah will be held in Makkah tomorrow.

May Allaah have mercy on them both, forgive us and them, accept their righteous deeds and forgive them their shortcomings, and grant them both a place in Firdous, wa sallallaahu alaa Muhammad, aameen.

There is a paragraph or two written about the accident in this article.


Here’s is today’s post, continuing from the first post.

Shaikh al-Albaani said, “There is a type which is less [severe] than it, and it is the person who has deviated in his conduct from that which the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was upon by burdening the soul with more than it is able to bear, in the name of refining it. And here we say: we, as Muslims, are not in any need whatsoever of a means which we–in order to nurture ourselves–take on through a way other than that of our Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.

How so when in the hadith which Imaam Ahmad reports in his Musnad and others in their collections from Jaabir ibn Abdullaah al-Ansaari, may Allaah the Most High be pleased with him, [there occurs that he] said that, ‘One day the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم saw a page in the hand of Umar ibn al-Khataab which he was reading. He said, ‘What is this, O Umar?’ He said, ‘This is a page a man from the Jews wrote for me.’ So he عليه الصلاة والسلام said, ‘O Son of al-Khattaab! Are you all puzzled/bewildered as the Jews and Christians were puzzled/bewildered?’ [Compiler’s note: it is as though the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم is saying, ‘Are you puzzled/bewilderd about the Truth and not sure that you are upon it such that you have to return to the narrations of the Jews?’] By the One in Whose Hands is the soul of Muhammad! If Moses were alive he would have no alternative but to follow me.’’

So if Moses, the one whom Allaah spoke to and to whom He revealed the Torah directly, met the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم it would not be possible for him to follow his Torah–rather he would have no choice but to follow our Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.

Thus: how is it with us today that in the name of Sufi Islaam we nurture ourselves through a certain method of burdening [ourselves] under the impression that it is a [way of] refining the soul that orders evil, [doing so by] being severe/harsh against it.

They have very strange and odd stories. One of them, and this was in the time of the early generations whose righteousness has been testified to, [and was a time when] Sufism had started to raise its horns, … as for that which followed later in the time of ash-Sha’raani–and what will make you understand what ash-Sha’raani was, then narrate [the reality about him] and there is no harm in doing so … amongst them would be someone who would wear the coarsest of garments and then immerse himself in the Tigris River on a bitterly cold day. Then he would stand on the roof of his house, the cold wind whipping his face. [When asked], ‘What is this?’ He replied, ‘Refining the soul.’

This is not a refining of the soul, it is punishing it.

And the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, in Truth–and we need to recognise the effect of this statement in our knowledge and Islamic [way of] life today–, ‘I have not left anything which will bring you closer to Allaah except that I have ordered you with it, and I have not left anything which will distance you from Allaah and bring you closer to the Fire except that I have forbidden you from it.’”

The Extremist Sufi Saying, ‘Allaah is a monk in a church …’ The Disbelief of Those Who believe in the Unity of Being [Wahdatul-Wujood] | 1


Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab

Questioner: The Sufis have recently come to our city, what advice can you give us?

Al-Albani: There is an old difference between the Muslims about the Sufis. The reality is that this name, Sufism [tasawwuf], and those who affiliate themselves to it, the Sufis, have many different meanings.

We know from our interaction with many of them that when the proof is established against them they say, ‘Sufism is nothing except clinging to the manners of Allaah’s Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, like abstaining from the world and desiring the Hereafter,’ this is what they say when the proof is established against them.

Thus we say that if this is what Sufism is in your opinion, then the difference between us and you regarding the word remains. Remove this word, ‘tasawwuf,’ because it has become a word having a great many meanings. One of which we mentioned just now, [i.e.,] sticking to noble manners and abstaining from the world and turning to the Hereafter. There is no need for us to use this name whose meaning is dubious when referring to that affair which [the Muslims] are united upon, i.e., sticking to the manners of Allaah’s Prophet عليه السلام and abstaining from the world and devoting oneself to the Hereafter.

But the reality is that [the word] tasawwuf [Sufism] has meanings far removed from this correct meaning [mentioned above]. And sometimes this distance [from the Truth] takes the one who is upon it out of the fold of Islaam, and sometimes it will place him among one of the misguided groups.

As for the first group [i.e., the people who have left the fold of Islaam], then it refers to those who believe in what the people of knowledge refer to as the creed of unity, or The Unity of Being/Existence [Wahdatul-Wujood] to be more precise. The Unity of Being, which is pure denial [of Allaah, ilhaad], means Nature, as expressed by naturalists (believers in naturalism), i.e. there is nothing but matter.

One of them says, ‘Everything that you see with your very eye is Allaah.’ So it’s nature, everything that you see with your eye is Allaah!

A second says:

And the dog and the pig are nothing but our God.
And Allaah is nothing but a monk in a church.

A third [Ibn Arabi, the Sufi] says:

God [Rabb] is man and man is God
How I wish to know who the one ordered (to perform worship) is

If you say man (is the one ordered), then that is a denial (of the presence of a God, based on the concept that God is man and man is God!)
And if you say God, how can He be obligated?!

A fourth:

When the Magians worshipped the fire
They worshipped nothing but the One, the Irresistible Subduer
[i.e., Al-Qahhaar, Allaah]

All of these are statements written down in their books through which they seek blessings. A belief [aqidah] such as this takes one outside the fold of Islaam, for it is a creed greater in disbelief than that of the Jews and Christians.

This reminds me of the saying of one their extremists, ‘The Jews and Christians only disbelieved because the Jews restricted Allaah to being in Uzair, and the Christians confined Him to being in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit–but as for us, we have generalized Him to be in all things.’

For this reason from their words of remembrance [dhikr]–and their dhikr is not from that of the Muslims, that which the Prophet mentioned [when he said], ‘The best form of remembrance is, ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah,’–their remembrance is, ‘He, He …’

And they [also] say other phrases which, regretfully, some of the general masses with us in Syria have latched on to. You’ll find one of them sitting, wanting to remember Allaah, and so he will say, ‘There is nothing other than Him.’ What does, ‘There is nothing other than Him,’ mean? [This is incorrect because] there is a Creator and then there is the creation.

So this is the creed of The Unity of Being [Wahdatul-Wujood], wording which is mentioned by some people, but they have not paid attention to the misguidance found therein.

Like these phrases totally is the saying of many of the common folk and their scholars, ‘Allaah is present in all that exists, Allaah is everywhere …’ [this is] the creed of The Unity of Being [Wahdatul-Wujood], but along with that it is the creed [aqidah] of the Ash’aris and Maturidis of the end of time.

[They say], ‘Allaah is in all places,’ this [i.e., where we are sitting right now] is a place, is Allaah here?  What is here?  Zaid, Bakr, Amr, matter, a wall, air and so on–is Allaah here?!

‘The Most Gracious rose over the [Mighty] Throne [in a manner that suits His Majesty],’ [Taa Haa 20:5]  This is the creed of the Salaf as-Saalih.

So this type of Sufism is the severest of the most severe forms of disbelief found on the face of the earth.

[Translator’s note: The following is another example of the extremists amongst them: ‘Sulaimaan bin Ali bin Abdullah al-Tilmisaani d. 690AH.  He is highly revered among Sufis.  The Shaikh of Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said about him, “He used to make all forbidden things lawful.  To such an extent that some of the reliable people reported that he said:

‘The daughter, the mother, all (foreign) women–all of them are one and the same–there is nothing forbidden in that for us.  It is only the ones who are veiled that say that that is haraam.  So we in reply say to them: ‘It is haraam for you (not us).”  (Majmoo’atur-Rasaa’il (1/184).

This Sufi Tilmisani once passed by a mangy, scabby dead dog on the street whilst he was talking to his companion about Wahdatul-Wujood (the Unity of Being/Existence).  So his companion said to him, “Is this also the Essence (Dhaat) of Allaah?” pointing to the dead dog.  So Al-Tilmisani replied:

“Yes.  Everything is His Essence.  There is nothing that is outside His Essence (Dhaat).”

High is Allaah above what the Sufis ascribe to Him!’

(Majmoo’atur-Rasaa’il (145) of Ibn Taymiyyah).]

The Extremist Sufis and the Unity of Being [Wahdatul-Wujood] | End


So this discussion [that we’re having] is concerning refining such wording–so clarify what you mean.

From the goals that the Legislator laid down is a refinement of the terminology used, so when referring to Allaah’s Knowledge, instead of us saying, ‘Allaah is present in all that exists … Allaah is present everywhere,’ we should say, Allaah surrounds (comprehends) all things in (His) Knowledge,’ because the first expression, i.e., ‘Allaah is present in all that exists,’ is connected to the aqidah of the extremist Sufis who say, ‘There is no He but He,’ so [according to them] there is no [distinction between] Creator or created, as one of them said:

When the Magians worshipped the fire
They worshipped nothing but the One, the Irresistible Subduer [i.e., Allaah]

Because [according to these people] Paradise, the Fire, the Creator, the creation, all of these things have no reality, and in summary [they say], ‘There is no He but He,’ they say, ‘Everything that you see with your very eye is Allaah!’

Thus it does not befit a Muslim to say a word which he will be compelled to explain afterwards. [So] make a clear statement–and there is nothing clearer than the Quraan, Allaah surrounds (comprehends) all things in (His) Knowledge.’

As for you saying a sentence and then saying after it [having being compelled to explain it], ‘By Allaah! I mean such and such …’ then [in answer to this] the Prophet عليه الصلاة والسلام said … and this was part of his disciplining us and teaching us manners, manners which if we followed we would have succeeded, [he said], ‘Do not say something which you have to make an excuse for before the people.’ [Compiler’s note: Reported in Sahih al-Jaami’ no., 742 with the wording, ‘And do not say something which you have to seek an excuse from …’]

And in another shorter narration there occurs, ‘Beware of that which you must seek an excuse from.’

So don’t say, ‘Allaah is present in all that exists, Allaah is present in all that exists,’ because you will face many objections and much criticism which you will have no way of answering.

It will be said to you, ‘The place which a Muslim is forced to go to two or three times a day, a place which he wishes he wouldn’t have to enter, is your Lord there too?’ Likewise, with [places such as] sewers etc., a Muslim does not say this.

So take back this statement of yours.  Do not say it.

This is complicated, so what should we believe and what should we say? [What should we say] instead of, ‘Allaah is everywhere?’ Namely, when we speak about the One who is worshipped Himself, i.e., Allaah, [which is] the Name of Supreme Greatness [Ismul-Jalaalah], known amongst all Muslims, [what should we say?]

We know that the saying of some of them that ‘Allaah is everywhere,’ is a mistake and that what is meant is His Knowledge, so we say [to these people]: when referring to Divine Knowledge let your wording be correct, say, Allaah surrounds (comprehends) all things in (His) Knowledge.’

But when we speak about Allaah the Mighty and Majestic, about the Divine Dhaat what should we say?

It has been reported from one of the Salaf, Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak, who is from the major Shaikhs of the Imaam of the Sunnah, Imaam Ahmad, may Allaah have mercy upon him … he said in a statement which gathered and included [a summary of the topic at hand], he said, ‘Allaah the Blessed and Most High is above His Throne in His Essence [bi dhaatihi]. Separate and distinct from His Creation. And He is with them in His Knowledge.’

The previous discussion [that], Allaah surrounds (comprehends) all things in (His) Knowledge,’ is an explanation of this last sentence, ‘And He is with them in His Knowledge.’

But at the beginning of this statement [of Ibn al-Mubaarak] he spoke about the Diving Dhaat, he said that Allaah the Blessed and Most High is above His Throne in His Essence [Dhaat], he based this statement upon many aayahs from the noble Quraan, [such as], ‘The Most Gracious rose over the [Mighty] Throne [in a manner that suits His Majesty],’[Taa Haa 20:5] ‘To Him ascend (all) the goodly words, and the righteous deeds exalt it (the goodly words i.e., the goodly words are not accepted by Allaah unless and until they are followed by good deeds),’ [Faatir 35:10]

And in the famous hadith, ‘Have mercy on those on earth and the One above the Heavens will have mercy on you,’ it is as though this hadith is an excerpt from His Saying, the Blessed and Most High, ‘Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allaah), will not cause the earth to sink with you, then behold it shakes (as in an earthquake)? Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allaah), will not send against you a violent whirlwind? Then you shall know how (terrible) has been My Warning?’ [Mulk 67:16-17] Imaam Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak, the Shaikh of Imaam Ahmad, is expressing [the meaning of] these ayaahs [quoted above] and others [in that statement of his].

The Haafidh of Damascus, adh-Dhahabi, collected such statements in a book particular to this topic, which is printed and is called ‘The Ascendancy of the Most High, the Oft-Forgiving’ [Al-Uluww lil-Aliyyil-Ghaffaar]. In this book, he collected those aayahs which talk about this characteristic of the Divine Dhaat, i.e., the characteristic of being totally and absolutely above all creation.

The aayahs, hadiths, sayings of the Companions, narrations from the Salaf, amongst whom are the four Imaams, [which adh-Dhahabi collected in that book] all talk about what Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak gathered in that one sentence, ‘Allaah the Blessed and Most High is above His Throne in His Essence, separate and distinct from His Creation …’ so he nullified the belief of indwelling [hulool], Allaah being the One in no need of any of His Creation.

But this ascendancy which it is not possible for the human intellect to grasp or imagine does not mean that any secret is hidden from Him, Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak said, ‘And He is with them in His Knowledge.’

So this brief sentence has collected [the meaning contained in] tens of aayahs and hadiths and sayings from the Salaf, so that the creed of the Muslim can be correct and far removed from that of ‘the Unity of Existence’ [Wahdatul-Wujood] and far removed from [believing in] ‘indwelling’ [hulool] which some of the misguided sects affirm.

Allaah the Blessed and Most High is above His Throne in His Essence, separate and distinct from His Creation and He is with them in His Knowledge.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 69.

The Extremist Sufis and the Unity of Being [Wahdatul-Wujood] | 2


Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab

Thus, when a heedless Muslim says that Allaah is present in all that exists he will intend one of two things by it, and they are totally contradictory: the true existent, i.e., Allaah, and the possible existent, i.e., the creation. If he intends this meaning, then he has fallen into a creed other than wahdatul-wujood, i.e., [he has fallen into] hulool [divine indwelling].

You know, for example, that some Islamic groups believe that Allaah enters/dwells within certain esteemed–according to them–personalities.

You will see these Alawites or Ismailis for example, maybe you have read a lot about the Ismailis whose leader is the Aga Khan, every year he would be weighed in gold in America.

So they believe that the one worshipped transmigrates into him, indwells in him; this is called hulool.  It is less than wahdatul-wujood which we just spoke about.

Wahdatul-Wujood is referring to something which cannot be separated one from the other, in hulool Allaah is separate and distinct from His creation as the scholars say but, according to them [i.e., the extremist Sufis] obviously, He has indwelled and transmigrated into a person.

So when this person who says that Allaah is present in all that exists means that there are two existents, then that means that one of them entered the other, instead of entering a person He entered the entire universe. This, of course, is disbelief and absolutely no Muslim doubts that it is.

And if by [the statement], ‘Allaah is present in all that exists,’ he intends the first meaning, i.e., there is no Creator or created, there is only one thing, then this disbelief is much more severe.

You see these Muslims who fast and pray along with us and we pray behind them etc., if you were to say to one of them, ‘‘[Your statement that] Allaah is present in all that exists,’ does it mean one of these two meanings?!  Does it mean the total unity of existence that the Sufis refer to, i.e., that there is no Creator or created, or does it refer to indwelling [hulool], i.e., that Allaah created the creation then entered it?’–I do not think that a Muslim can believe such a creed as either of these.

So, why do you use this statement?  Why don’t you emulate the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم who said, ‘None of you should say, ‘My soul has become evil [khabuthat],’ but he should say, ‘My soul has become remorseless [laqisat].’  The meaning of [the Arabic word], ‘khabuthat’ is the same as ‘laqisat,’ ‘laqisat’ means ‘khabuthat,’ but the Prophet wanted us to talk about ourselves with kind words even though the meaning is the same.

So what is wrong with us? When we talk about our Lord the Blessed and Most High it is not allowed for us to say a word which can give an impression of disbelief or misguidance.

In reality, when such topics are discussed and most of the people present take heed [of the point being made], as though some of them had hitherto been in heedlessness, some of them will say, ‘We don’t mean that Allaah the Blessed and Most High has entered all of His Creation Himself,’ and we didn’t say that they did intend that, for if they had–and this is another topic–it would be disbelief, but the point being discussed now is about refining the terminology [being used].

So, [we ask these people], ‘What do you mean by, ‘Allaah is present in all that exists?’ [They reply, saying,] ‘His Knowledge.’

How beautiful!

Without doubt, Allaah has encompassed all things in His Knowledge, He has encompassed all things, the Blessed and Most High–but the wording used is incorrect.

You want to talk about Allaah’s Knowledge, then say, ‘Allaah surrounds (comprehends) all things in (His) Knowledge.’ [Talaaq 65:12], a text from the Noble Quraan [itself], ‘Allaah surrounds (comprehends) all things in (His) Knowledge.’ [Say], ‘Not a secret in the earth or the heavens is hidden from Him.’ [But] don’t say that Allaah, the One who is worshipped and possesses every characteristic of perfection and Who is free from every shortcoming–don’t say that, ‘Allaah is everywhere,’ [or] ‘Allaah is present in all that exists,’ instead say, ‘He surrounds (comprehends) all things in (His) Knowledge.’

The Extremist Sufis and the Unity of Being [Wahdatul-Wujood] | 1


Al-Albani: All of you must have heard of a group called the Sufis, and of a [type of] knowledge, or Sufi spiritual path [sulook] known as tasawwuf.

The people who ascribe themselves to this tasawwuf are of differing ranks, some of them have overstepped all limits and left Islaam in the name of Islamic Sufism, left Islaam just as a strand of hair is pulled out of dough [i.e., totally].  Why?

Because their interpretation of aayahs from the noble Quraan [is so incorrect that it] and philosophy and apostasy are one and the same. In the eyes of the scholars of the Muslims they are known as the people who believe in Wahdatul-Wujood [lit: the unity of existence], the ones who say the same thing as the atheists, but their wording differs from that of the atheists, they say, ‘There is nothing except one.’ So [according to them] the universe that we see is Allaah. For this reason they are called people who believe in Wahdatul-Wujood.

The Muslims say that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah [Laa ilaaha illallaah], in this sentence there is an affirmation and a negation. There is a negation of whoever might interpret falsely (the presence of another god), then the affirmation that Allaah is the one and only God, the Most High.

As for those Sufis, then they say, ‘There is no He but He.’ They then paraphrase it and make it a form of remembrance which they repeat for themselves, [saying], ‘He, He …’ This is a dangerous deviation as you can see, i.e., a denial of the true existence of Allaah, and following on from that, a denial of the legislation, no Islaam … no Judaism, no Christianity–because there is no [differentiation between the] slave and the Lord, a Lord who obligates others to worship Him and a slave who is obligated to worship. For this reason one of them said:

God [Rabb] is man and man is God
How I wish to know who the one ordered (to perform worship) is

If you say man (is the one ordered), then that is a denial (of the presence of a God, based on the concept that God is man and man is God!)
And if you say God, how can He be obligated?!

[According to them] there is no He but He. So in the end: He is He!

There are words that emanate from Muslims who bear witness [by saying] Laa ilaaha illallaah Muhammad Rasulullaah, these people are not atheists but they will sometimes utter words which lead them to that false aqidah. This is something very dangerous and hardly any but a few are safe from it.

Now in our normal gatherings [you will hear] one of them say whether on a particular occasion or not, ‘Allaah is present in all that exists,’ [this statement of theirs] equals, ‘There is no He but He.’

You will hear [this statement] many times, ‘Allaah is present in all that exists,’ and after close scrutiny of its meaning and purport and what it entails one can see that it equates to the saying of the Sufis–the extremists amongst them obviously–who openly declare that, ‘There is no He but He.’

There are Two Existents Not One

Because if we were to ponder over the declaration of truth which is when a believer truly says, ‘None has the right to be worshiped except Allaah,’ [then we will find] that it establishes two existences.

‘None has the right to be worshiped except Allaah,’ negates the false deities which are worshipped other than Allaah, and they are present [as is mentioned, for example,] in the Quraan in the statement of Noah to his people, “And they have said, ‘You shall not leave your gods, nor shall you leave Wadd, nor Suwa’, nor Yaghuth, nor Ya’uq, nor Nasr.’” [Nooh 71:23] These were idols worshipped instead of Allaah, for that reason when Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, sent Noah عليه السلام to his people he ordered them to worship Allaah alone.

So, ‘None has the right to be worshiped …’ is a negation of the false deities which are present. ‘… except Allaah,’ is an affirmation of the existence of the Truth, i.e., Allaah the Blessed and Most High.

So there are two existences.  It is not possible for a Muslim who, firstly, understands his Islaam and who, secondly, believes that Allaah created him, not to affirm two [separate] existents.

The scholars of tawheed refer to the First Existent, i.e., that of the Creator the Most High, He exists in His Essence, i.e., is eternal, having no beginning. So His existence is termed as being the necessarily existent [Waajibul-Wujood].

As for the other existent then it is [called] the contingent or possible existent which is mankind and all creation. Allaah the Mighty and Majestic said to it, ‘Be!’ And it was. So it was preceded by nonexistence in contrast to the existence of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic–for He is the First having no beginning, as you all know.

A Refutation of Those who Accuse Ahlus-Sunnah of Confining Allaah to a Place | End


And I had already spoken to him about the fact that Allaah was and there was nothing with Him … so there was nothing there [with Him], thereafter He said, ‘Be!’ and the creation was.  If we conclude that we haven’t reached the Throne yet and in your opinion those angels are above the Throne: then what is above the Throne?  Nothing or something [wujood/existence/being/entity]?

The Azhari Shaikh: No, nothing.

[So I said] because we had agreed that nothing was in existence before Allaah the Blessed and Most High created the heavens and the earth … Allaah was and nothing was with Him … so before Allaah created anything there was nothing–so when your knowledge leads you to understand that the Kuroobiyoon angels are above the Throne and that nothing from the universe is there after that, the creation having ended … [thereafter] when the Salafis say that Allaah the Blessed and Most High rose over, i.e., ascended over, the [Mighty] Throne–why do you accuse them of having confined Allaah the Mighty and Majestic to [a place in] His universe when there is no universe there?

For the universe is limited and restricted and in our opinion the end of the universe and its highest part is the Throne and in your opinion it is the Throne and then above it are the ‘Kuroobiyoon Angels,’ and then nothing after that.

So the correct aqidah according to both the intellect and the text is truly that of the Pious Predecessors–because they did not say that Allaah is in a place, as you [falsely] assume, because there is no ‘place’ beyond the Throne, only total and complete nonexistence [of anything] except Allaah the Blessed and Most High.

But what is the matter with you when you fled from that which you accused the Salafis of, [something] which they are [in fact] free of–since [we say that] Allaah is not in a place because there is no universe or place after the [Mighty] Throne, Allaah having ascended over it–but what’s the matter with you fleeing from affirming this attribute for Allaah the Blessed and Most High, i.e., the attribute of declaring Him completely free of any likeness to His creation and not ascribing the qualities of the creation to Him [tanzeeh], because He is not in the universe.

So how is it that you say He is everywhere, you confine Him to being inside His universe which He created after it was not in existence?

So you are the Mushabbihah, and you are the Mujassimah [anthropomorphists].

And we the Salafis are nothing other than those who go by what Allaah the Most High said, ‘There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer,’ [Shuraa 42:11] and upon this aayah, upon [the meaning contained in] its beginning and end, we declare Him, the Most High, to be totally and utterly free of any likeness to His creation and do not ascribe the qualities of the creation to Him [tanzeeh], whilst affirming [His] Attributes as befits His Majesty and Exaltedness.

Fataawaa Jeddah, 17.

The video:

A Refutation of Those who Accuse Ahlus-Sunnah of Confining Allaah to a Place | 2


Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab

Al-Albani: Do you agree with me that Allaah was and there was nothing [in existence] with Him?

The Azhari Shaikh: Of course.

Al-Albani: Was the Throne there when Allaah was?

The Azhari Shaikh: No.

Al-Albani: So Allaah was and there was nothing with Him and then He created the Throne?

The Azhari Shaikh: Yes.

I carried on with him in this manner and then said: We are now on earth, what is above us?

The Azhari Shaikh: The sky.

Al-Albani: Then?

The Azhari Shaikh: The second.

And we carried on like this until we came to the seventh. Then I said to him, ‘What is above the seventh?’

The Azhari Shaikh: The Throne.

I said–and here is the crux of the matter– what is above the Throne?

The Azhari Shaikh: The Kuroobiyoon Angels.

So this was the first time in thirty years that I heard this name. I said, ‘What? The kuroobiyoon angels are above the Throne?’ We know that it is the Creator of the Throne who is above the [Mighty] Throne according to the aforementioned aayah and the Salaf’s interpretation of it [which states that] He rose over the Throne, i.e., ascended over it, and as those relied upon in this matter said:

And the Lord of the Throne is above the Throne but
Without describing Him as being in a place or being connected [to the Throne]

So Allaah is in no need of the worlds, but for the first time I was [now] hearing that it is the kuroobiyoon Angels that are above the Throne, [so I asked him], ‘Do you have an aayah which establishes, firstly, that there are angels called, ‘The kuroobiyoon Angels?’

The Azhari Shaikh: No.

Al-Albani: Okay. Do you have a hadith in which a mention of them has been made with this name?

The Azhari Shaikh: No.

Al-Albani: So then where did you get this aqidah that above the Throne are the Kuroobiyoon Angels?

The Azhari Shaikh: This is what our Shaikhs at the noble Azhar University taught us.

So I said how strange. I know that [from what] the Azhari scholars teach their students in their lectures concerning that which is connected to the principles of aqidah and Usool al-Fiqh is that, ‘[Points of] aqidah are not established through aahaad hadith which are authentic,’ so how have they taught you a point of aqidah that is not mentioned in the Quraan nor the Sunnah? How have you come to believe this?

He was dumbfounded.  I continued and said to him, ‘Imagine that those angels who you call the Kuroobiyoon are above the [Mighty] Throne–what is above them?

So he stopped.  Baffled.

And I had already spoken to him about …

A Refutation of Those who Accuse Ahlus-Sunnah of Confining Allaah to a Place | 1


 

Questioner: Who are the kuroobiyoon [Cherubim] Angels?

Al-Albaani: Who are the kuroobiyoon Angels? As far as I know, there is no hadith in which a mention of this name has been made of the Angels, ‘the kuroobiyoon Angels.’ And in reality for thirty years this name had not passed by me in the hadiths which I had read in hundreds if not thousands of books, most of which were manuscripts, until [finally] I heard a mention of them in Mina during Hajj.

I was sitting during a calm, beautiful night during the days of Munaa speaking to some of our Egyptian, Syrian and other brothers from Ansaar as-Sunnah, when a Shaikh came in, gave salaam, sat down and started listening [to what was being said]. After I stopped speaking for a short while he entered the discussion and started speaking.

It became apparent from what he said that he was from those who had studied at Azhar University and who harboured a hatred against the Salafi da’wah or the da’wah to tawheed, and that he was affected by some of the false claims which are attributed to the group of tawheed in all the Muslim lands, whether here or Egypt or Syria or any other place.

So he started to attack and say that the Wahaabi da’wah was a good call but [the problem was] that they liken Allaah to the creation.

So I asked him, ‘How is that?’

He replied that they say that Allaah the Mighty and Majestic–Subhaanallaah he was declaring the Quraan to have a mistake without even realising it–he said, ‘They say that Allaah rose over the Throne.’

So I said, ‘Is that their saying or the saying of the Lord of all the worlds?’

He corrected himself and said that they explain the aayah to mean that Allaah is sitting on His Throne. I said to him: my brother, the difference between them and those who oppose them is not in likening the Lord of the worlds to the creation since they are united that it is falsehood.

Rather, the difference is in whether it is correct to interpret [the word used in the aayah] ‘istiwaa’ [rose over] to mean isteelaa [conquered] or is the correct interpretation that istiwaa means ista’laa [ascended over]? So I started talking about this topic at length.

And naturally the summary of the Salafi creed in this issue is that Allaah has the characteristic of being above all things [fawqiyyah]. So he latched on to this [statement] and said, ‘Is it possible [to believe] that Allaah the Mighty and Majestic is above the Throne? That would mean that we have situated him in a place.’

So I said to him, ‘No, this is a mistake on your part and we declare ourselves to be free from a belief which confines Allaah the Mighty and Majestic to a place whereas He is the All-High, the Most Great.’ Then I started to debate with him in a specific way and so said to him …’

Last Post and PDF of the Discussion on the Ascendancy of Allaah


Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab

This is the last post from the lecture.  Now what’s the point of reading this and not helping to spread it?  Forward the PDF to whoever you can, here it is: Ascendancy

Al-Albaani: At this moment we are in a house [of Allaah, i.e., a mosque], a place that is from the most excellent of places as occurs in the Saheeh [where it is mentioned] that the Prophet of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم was asked about the best and worst of places, so he said that the best places are the mosques and the worst are the marketplaces.

In the marketplace there are places that are even worse than the market [itself], like the lavatories for example, so the marketplace is from the worst of places as you just heard, and even worse than it are the lavatories, in some markets there are bars, pubs, brothels and so on.

Is Allaah the Mighty and Majestic in these places in His Essence [based upon the aayah], ‘… and He is with you wherever you are?’

Never!

Rather He is above His Throne as Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak said—but He is with you in His Knowledge, no secret is hidden from Him in the earth or the heavens.

So let not the intending meaning of this aayah be difficult for anyone to understand: Allaah’s [Dhaat] Essence, Allaah’s [Dhaat] Essence is free of all creation, ‘Allaah was and nothing was with Him.’

So, ‘… and He is with you wherever you are …’ He is with you wherever you are in His Knowledge.

No person says, ‘By Allaah, I’m [here] between the four walls [of this place], so there is a veil between me and my Lord such that He cannot see me,’ no, no one says this except an unbeliever who denies the existence of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic.

The same is said about aayahs like, ‘…Indeed, I am with you both.  I hear and I see.’ [Taa Haa 20:46]

The last part of this aayah explains its first part, and its first part the last, ‘… Indeed, I am with you both.  I hear and I see.’  This sentence is an explanation of His Saying, the Most High, ‘… Indeed, I am with you both …’ how? ‘I hear and I see.’

So He was with them when He sent them to Pharaoh and ordered them to remind him [of Allaah] and to make him fear [Allaah].  Allaah said to them, ‘Fear not.  Indeed, I am with you both.  I hear and I see.’

So this sentence, ‘… I hear and I see,’ is an explanation of His Saying, the Most High, ‘… Indeed, I am with you both,’

He is not there [Himself] as someone who would lead an army would be, or present as the head of an army would be–no, it is not like that–Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, is free and in no need of the world.  He regulates the universe from the heavens to the earth while having ascended and being above The Throne, as He, the Most High, has stated.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 741-742.

The video:

 

A Discussion on the Ascendancy of Allaah, the Most High, and a Critique of the Belief that He is Present in all Things | 5


For this reason [concerning] the saying that Allaah is not inside the universe nor outside it, Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy on him, said describing two groups both of whom are upon misguidance, with one being more misguided than the other, [he said] that the one who likens Allaah to some of His creation [mushabbih] worships an idol, he worships something present, but he has likened Him to the idols which the polytheists would worship instead of Allaah.

The one who likens Allaah to His creation worships an idol. And the mu’attil worships something nonexistent.

Who is the mu’attil? It is the one who says that Allaah, ‘… is not inside the universe nor outside it.’

The one who says that He is inside the universe is a mushabbih [someone who has likened Allaah to His creation], and such a person is upon misguidance [since], ‘… there is nothing like unto Him …’ [Shuraa 42:11]

And the one who says that, ‘Indeed Allaah the Mighty and Majestic is not inside the universe nor outside it,’ has denied the very existence of Allaah the Blessed and Most High, such a person is more astray than the first.

Now listen to the detailed explanation given by some of them about the statement, ‘Allaah is not inside the universe nor outside it,’ I want to end with this so that you can be upon clear guidance about the fact that everyone who opposes the creed of the Book and the Sunnah and the methodology of the pious predecessors is upon manifest misguidance.

Their proponent from the scholars of rhetorical speech says that, ‘Allaah is not described as being above, nor below, nor to the right, or the left, not in front, nor behind, not inside the universe nor outside it, not connected to it nor separate from it.’

Tell me, by your Lord, is this not the description of something nonexistent?

Interjection: Yes.

Al-Albaani: If any intellectual person who has been given some understanding, intelligence and eloquence was asked, ‘Describe a nonentity to us, something which is nonexistent, something which is not real.’

It will not be possible for him to describe such a nonentity with more than what these people have described the one they worship with, when they said, ‘He is not above nor below, not to the right nor the left, not in front nor behind, not inside the universe or outside of it, not connected to it nor separate from it.’

As for us then we say, ‘… there is nothing like unto Him …’ [Shuraa 42:11] ‘The Most Gracious rose over the [Mighty] Throne [in a manner that suits His Majesty],’ [Taa Haa 20:5]

Interjection: Following on from the first question, what is the explanation of His Saying, ‘… and He is with you wherever you are …’ [Al-Hadeed 57:4] and Indeed, I am with you both; I hear and I see? [Taa Haa 20:46]

Al-Albaani: Before answering this question, and its answer is short inshaa Allaah, I want to remind you of the principle that I mentioned in the previous statement: we must interpret the Quraan with the Quraan, then the Sunnah, then the sayings of the Salaf.

So whoever wants to find out the meaning of this aayah, ‘… and He is with you wherever you are …’ he should study the Salafi tafsirs some of which I cited to you as examples: the tafsir of Ibn Jarir at-Tabari, that of Ibn Kathir the Damascene and whoever followed their example.

Interjection: Al-Qurtubi, O Shaikh, he is asking about al-Qurtubi.

Al-Albaani: I know your question. It is sufficient for me to say whoever followed their example.

Naturally, it is not upon every Muslim to be a scholar, but if he is not a scholar then he must be someone who asks, as is the case now with the previous questions [that were asked in this sitting] and those that followed them and the question we are asking right now.

I want to make mention of the fact that my answer now will be based upon this principle regarding tafsir. So without exception the scholars of tafsir [in interpreting this aayah], ‘… and He is with you wherever you are …,’ said, ‘i.e., with His knowledge,’ ‘… and He is with you wherever you are …’ ‘… with His knowledge,’ i.e., nothing whatsoever is hidden from Him in the earth nor in the Heavens. For this reason, Imaam Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak, may Allaah have mercy on him–and he is one of the unique and rare Imaams of the Salaf, from the hadith scholars and faqihs … he said, ‘Allaah the Blessed and Most High is above His Throne bi dhaatihi [in His Essence].’

This is a topic whose explanation has preceded in some detail. So he [i.e., Ibn al-Mubaarak] mentioned three matters whose meaning, at the very least, it is obligatory upon every Muslim to be well-grounded in, using his intellect and then his heart with which he believes, [and those three matters are]:

  • Firstly that, ‘Allaah the Blessed and Most High is above the Throne in His Essence.’
  • Secondly, ‘That he is separate and distinct from His creation,’ which strikes down the aforementioned fallacy of Him being present in all things, no, rather He is, ‘… separate and distinct from His creation,’ i.e., He is free and self-sufficient from all the worlds according to the text of the Noble Quraan, this is the second point.

Let me repeat and say it again: Allaah the Blessed and Most High–and I am not the one saying this, I am quoting what Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak said–so I say that he said, ‘Allaah the Blessed and Most High is above His Throne in His Essence,’ this is the first point. ‘Separate and distinct from His creation,’ i.e., not inside it but rather outside and free from having any need of the creation.

  • The third, and here is that which establishes the point [we are discussing now], ‘And He is with them in His Knowledge.’ Namely, the
    the previous question [about the aayah], ‘… and He is with you wherever you are …,’ [is that He is] with them in His Knowledge, not that He is with them everywhere in His Essence, that is falsehood according to the Legislation and the intellect.

Thus it is not fitting that [the idea that Allaah is with them] in His Essence/Himself should rush to the mind of the questioner [when hearing], ‘… and He is with you wherever you are …,’ i.e., this is a meaning which a Muslim is far removed from thinking in his dreams let alone while awake.

Why?

A Discussion on the Ascendancy of Allaah, the Most High, and a Critique of the Belief that He is Present in all Things | 4


Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab

Reciprocating this misguidance is another which is even greater: [the claim] that Allaah the Mighty and Majestic is not inside the world nor outside it.

The one who says that Allaah the Mighty and Majestic is inside the world, i.e., the one who says that Allaah is everywhere or Allaah is present in all things, has affirmed Allaah’s existence but he has likened Him to His creation [tashbeeh], and tashbeeh is false and futile, ‘… there is nothing like unto Him …’ [Shuraa 42:11], for this reason this [belief] is misguidance.

But the one who is even more misguided is the one who says, ‘Indeed Allaah is not inside the world nor outside of it.’ Half of this sentence is true: Allaah [indeed] is not inside the world. This is a correct statement. He is, rather, above all of the creation.

[But] as for following this statement with their saying that, ‘… nor is He outside of the world …’ then in the language of the scholars this is called ta’teel [neutralisation] of the existence of The Truth [i.e., Allaah], i.e., a denial of the existence of The Truth. Since as we mentioned just now in the hadith of Imraan ibn Hussain, Allaah the Mighty and Majestic was and there was nothing with Him.

Allaah was and there was no created thing with Him, but afterwards He created these things as can be seen, it is obligatory to have faith in that, that there are two existences, as we mentioned.

So if Allaah the Mighty and Majestic was not inside the world–and this is the truth–when someone adds to that saying, ‘… and neither outside it …’ it means that there is no deity.

It is to belie [His very Existence], a total denial and rejection [of it].

It is a return to the creed of the extremist Sufis, and I don’t say a return to the creed of the Sufis, because the Sufis are of two types. From them are extremists and those less than them.

The extremists are the ones who say that that which is present is one, at the head of these Sufis is Ibn Arabi who said that that which is in existence is one. As for the Muslims then they say, ‘Laa ilaaha ilallaah.’

So this aayah, ‘So know that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah …’ [Muhammad 47:19] affirms two existences: that of the One who is worshipped, The Truth, and that of the false deities.

As for Ibn Arabi and whoever was misguided by him, then they say that that which is in existence is one, and they have [other] terms through which they make their shirk and misguidance clear.

So for example they say that everything you see with your eye is Allaah, everything that you see with your eye is Allaah, it is Allaah, that which is in existence is one. What do you see, you see a man, a stone, a tree, the sky, the earth–all of this universe is Allaah, this is the creed of the atheists, the creed of communists–there is no god.

This results in the total and utter rejection of the existence of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic.

So when it is said that Allaah is not inside the world and nor outside of it then it means that that which is in existence is one, this is [as we stated] the creed of the extremist Sufis [who say that] everything you see with your eye is Allaah.

When the people of Noah worshipped the idols as is mentioned in the Quraan, ‘And they said, ‘You shall not leave your gods. Nor shall you leave Wadd, nor Suwa, nor Yaghuth, nor Ya’uq nor Nasr.’ [Nooh 71:23] Did they worship other than Allaah? The answer, according to the extremists from the Sufis, is that when the Magians worshipped the fire, they didn’t worshipping anything other than The One, the Irresistible Subduer.

This is total and utter rejection.

So when it is said that Allaah is not inside the world nor outside it … this [incorrect] creed [mentioned above] which today is said to be that of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah has returned. There are people who spread books, commenting on them, comments being an overstatement, stating that this creed, i.e., ‘… that Allaah is not inside the world nor outside it,’ is that of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah,

Allaah the Mighty and Majestic was and nothing was with Him, so He is now just as He was before–He is in no need [self-sufficient] just as before He was in no need of the entire creation. When He brought those created things into existence He said that He rose above them, ascended, ascended, i.e., rose above.

And to clarify this [point of] creed, a little sound intellect must be used.

After we have established through the texts of the Book and the Sunnah that Allaah the Mighty and Majestic is above all created things and not inside them, we must thereafter discuss [this issue] with those people who deny Allaah’s existence totally, even if they say that there is a deity, [and even if they say] Laa ilaaha ilallaah–but since they say that Allaah is not inside the world nor outside it then they have rejected the existence of Allaah–so we say to these people: you are [in agreement] with us that Allaah was and nothing was with him. So when He created the creation one of three things must [be true]:

  1. When He created the creation, Allaah must have entered into His creation, and they are in agreement with us that Allaah is not in every single place so thereafter the second remains:
  2. When He created the creation, Allaah must have placed it above Himself, and this is falsehood, for Allaah is above all things.
  3. Thereafter only the third option remains, that when Allaah created the creation, He rose over it, [that He] ascended over it–and this is what is becoming of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic.

A Discussion on the Ascendancy of Allaah, the Most High, and a Critique of the Belief that He is Present in all Things | 3


Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab

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.

A Discussion on the Ascendancy of Allaah, the Most High, and a Critique of the Belief that He is Present in all Things | 2


Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab

Let us stop here for a short while to remind ourselves of one of the principles of correct tafsir which, if a Muslim holds on to, will place him upon guidance from his Lord, and which, if he deviates from, will cause him to go far astray.

Tafsir of the Quraan must be done with the Quraan, this is the first principle: the Quraan is explained by the Quraan, and by the sayings of the Prophet عليه السلام then with the authentic narrations reported from our righteous predecessors.

One must stick to this method when explaining the noble Quraan, especially in those things in it which are connected to the most unseen of the Unseen, i.e., Allaah the Blessed and Most High, connected to worshipping Him or [connected to] any of His Attributes.

So these aayahs have to be explained upon this methodology: the Quraan is explained with the Quraan, then the Sunnah then the authentic narrations reported from the righteous predecessors.

I had mentioned to you before in previous sittings that for a Muslim today to be upon guidance from his Lord and to be an upright traveller on the Straight Path it is not enough to [just] say, ‘I take from the Book and the Sunnah.’

One has to do this [of course] but on its own this is not enough. There has to be the Book, the Sunnah and a third thing: [following] what the righteous predecessors were upon.

I will establish for you through some texts … and I don’t want to repeat the topic but will just remind you of His Saying, the Blessed and Most High, ‘And whoever opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him and follows other than the way of the Believers We shall keep him in the path he has chosen and burn him in Hell–and evil it is as a destination.’ [Nisaa 4:115] it would have been enough to say in this noble aayah, ‘And whoever opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him, We shall keep him in the path he has chosen …’  but Allaah the Mighty and Majestic added another sentence to the one just mentioned, saying, ‘…and follows other than the way of the Believers …’

This is a very important sentence, because it means that there is no way of understanding the Book and understanding the Sunnah except through our righteous predecessors.

Now, and as I said I don’t want to repeat what was said before for fear of repetition and boredom, the saying of some of the people of today following on from that of some of the people of theological rhetoric or scholars of theological rhetoric that Allaah is everywhere–do we find these words, this sentence, this belief in the words of the pious predecessors?

Allaah forbid!

The statements of the pious predecessors only contain that which complies and is in agreement with the aayahs and hadiths which affirm Allaah’s attribute of ascendancy over all of the creation.

‘… and then He rose over the Throne …’ [Al-A’raaf 7:54] ‘To Him ascend (all) the goodly words, and the righteous deeds exalt it (the goodly words i.e. the goodly words are not accepted by Allaah unless and until they are followed by good deeds),’ [Faatir 35:10] ‘The angels and the Spirit [Jibreel] ascend to Him …’ [Al-Ma’aarij 70:4]

‘Have mercy on those on earth and the One above the Heavens will have mercy on you,’ Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven …’ [Al-Mulk 67:16]

Many aayahs and hadiths, let alone the sayings of the Salaf as-Saalih, which all come together in renouncing this misguidance that Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, is everywhere, and which affirm that Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, does not have a ‘place’ [makaan] but rather that He is as He said, ‘The Most Gracious rose over the [Mighty] Throne [in a manner that suits His Majesty],’ [Taa Haa 20:5] And they explained, ‘rose over, [istawaa]’ to mean, ista’laa [ascended/rose over].

As for those people who say that Allaah is everywhere, then they have misinterpreted the aayah and dispensed with it in opposition to the [correct] methodology to be employed when explaining the Quraan which I mentioned to you just now, because they said that, ‘rose over, [istawaa],’ means, ‘conquered [istawlaa].’

Along with the fact that this is a khalafi explanation [i.e., not an explanation from the Salaf but rather from those who came later and opposed them] not having a basis in any word from the statements of the pious predecessors … then along with that it also opposes the tafsir of the Salaf as-Saalih.

This aayah, ‘The Most Gracious rose over the [Mighty] Throne [in a manner that suits His Majesty],’ [Taa Haa 20:5] was explained by the Salaf to mean ista’laa [he ascended/rose over].

And the statement of Imaam Maalik, the Imaam of the place of migration [of the Prophet], may Allaah have mercy on him [is well-known]–when that questioner came to him and said, ‘O Maalik, ‘The Most Gracious rose over the [Mighty] Throne,’ how did He rise over?’

Imaam Maalik replied, ‘The istiwaa [rising over] is known …’ i.e., it is highness and ascension, ‘… and the ‘how’ …’ i.e., that which that person was asking about, ‘… is unknown, and asking about it is an innovation. Remove this man for he is an innovator.’

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