Shaikh al-Albaani

Translations From His Works

Tag: ascendancy

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 | 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.’

A Discussion on the Ascendancy of Allaah, the Most High, and a Critique of the Belief that He is Present in all Things | 1


 

Questioner: We hear some people say that Allaah سبحانه وتعالى is in all places and we hear [others] say that He is above His Throne, above the Heavens or the Seventh Heaven. [Could you] benefit us [with an answer], may Allaah reward you with good.

Al-Albani: Yes, in reality this is an important question connected to the present day situation of the ummah.

Since that which delights the heart is that there is an Islamic awareness, and I do [indeed] believe that there really is an awakening, but it is in its early stages.

Part of it is that, as you see, I’m almost about to reach my eighties, forty years ago I would not hear, ‘Allaah said … the Prophet of Allaah said …’ on the tongues of the preachers and admonishers or those directing the people except for very few indeed.

And when one of them would speak about an aayah, he would not know its tafsir properly because he wouldn’t know the principles upon which the noble aayah should be explained.  And if he reported a hadith from the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم he would do so without verifying its authenticity.

As for today, then I think that you have all witnessed along with me that many times you will hear, ‘This hadith is authentic … and this [hadith] is reported by Bukhari … by Muslim … that Ibn Jarir at-Tabari explained this aayah to mean such and such and Ibn Kathir the Damascene explained it to mean such and such …’ and so on.

So this, without doubt, is from the signs of an awareness, but as I said just now, we are still in its early stages.

You raised the question of Allaah’s Names and Attributes, so is what some of these people talk about [actually] from the Attributes of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic?

Rather, [is] what all of the general masses today, and some of their scholars, amongst them being some who associate themselves with the schools of thought of theological rhetoric or tawheed, like the Ash’aris or the Maturidis, let alone the Mu’tazilah who are barely mentioned nowadays apart from a few individuals who have gone astray following their misguidance–[is what some of these people talk about [actually] from the Attributes of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic?]

For part of the creed of the Ash’aris and the Maturidis, following on from that of the Mu’tazilah, is that Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, is everywhere–so is this from the Attributes of Allaah, the Blessed and Most High?

Is having a place from the Attributes of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic?

Us humans have a place, we are now in one of Allaah’s houses, we are in a place–but is Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, in a place?

The answer is that Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, is far removed from being in a place. For even while bearing in mind all of the differences in this issue and others, there is unanimous agreement amongst all of the Muslims that Allaah was and there was nothing with Him. Allaah was and nothing was with Him as occurs in the hadith of Imraan ibn Husain in Sahih Bukhari.

Thus Allaah was and there was nothing with Him, and there was no universe with Him, i.e., saying that Allaah is everywhere is from major shirk which negates the Oneness/Uniqueness [tawheed] of Allaah in His Names and Attributes.  How so?

Let us look at what Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, has described Himself with.

Did He describe Himself in an aayah or an authentic hadith as being everywhere?

I do not say that not only have such statements not been reported in a hadith, but rather that this is speech for which Allaah has sent down no authority [whatsoever]. That is because it opposes what Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, described Himself as.

And as for the aayahs in which Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, has described Himself stating that the characteristic of complete and total ascendancy over all of His creation is His, and that He is not in anything from His creation but rather that He is above every [single] thing from it–then [such] aayahs [are so numerous that they] cannot be counted.

Like the aayah …, ‘The Most Gracious rose over the [Mighty] Throne [in a manner that suits His Majesty],’ [Taa Haa 20:5]. ‘The Most Gracious rose over the [Mighty] Throne [in a manner that suits His Majesty] …’

The Misguided Saying of Some People that Allaah is Everywhere or Present in all Things


Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab

[Allaah’s Knowledge is All-Encompassing.  He has complete, total and perfect Knowledge of what was, what is, and what will be, but He is not everywhere]

The Shaikh was questioned about what many people say, that Allaah is everywhere or present in all things, so he answered:

This is manifest misguidance, [in opposition] to the clear text of the Quraan that, ‘The Most Gracious rose over the [Mighty] Throne [in a manner that suits His Majesty],’ [Taa Haa 20:5] and His Saying, the Most High, ‘Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High,’ [Al-A’laa 87:1] and He described His believing servants as those who, ‘… fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded,’ [An-Nahl 16:50] [and], ‘The angels and the Spirit [Jibreel] ascend to Him in a Day the measure whereof is fifty thousand years,’ [Al-Ma’aarij 70:4] [and], ‘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].

Many aayahs and hadiths which clarify that Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, does not stand in need of any of the worlds, that He is above all of His Creation, that He is not commixed with His Creation as these people who I pointed to say–[those who say] that Allaah is everywhere, Allaah is everywhere–exalted is He and high above what the oppressors say by great sublimity.

In an authentic hadith [there occurs], ‘Allaah was and nothing was with Him,’ where is the place which [He is supposedly] gathered in as these people who claim that He is everywhere say?  Especially when amongst these places are those which are clean, and those which are vile and filthy, [like] bathrooms, bars, pubs, brothels and so on.

How can they not declare Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, to be far above being everywhere even though He has said in more than one aayah that He rose over the [Mighty] Throne?

And in an authentic hadith [there occurs] that the Prophet عليه السلام asked a slave girl whose owner wanted to free her, ‘Where is Allaah?’ She replied, ‘Above the Heavens.’ He then asked her, ‘Who am I?’ She said, ‘You are the Messenger of Allaah.’ So he turned to her master and said, ‘Free her for she is a believer.’

The slave girl in the time of the Prophet has more fiqh than the faqihs of today, because if you were to ask many of them where Allaah is, they would reply, ‘Everywhere.’

A neighbour of mine says that Allaah is present in all things–these people are miskeens.

That which is present is created. Allaah was and there was nothing created. So after our Lord created the creation did He become part of it [bearing in mind] all the rubbish that it contains?!  [Never].  Exalted is He and high above what the oppressors say by great sublimity.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 178.

The video:

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