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] …’