Saturday, 11 December 2010

Q: "Where is Allah?"


“Unfortunately you believe that Allah has no place and no direction therefore is nowhere. Thus you are in a way saying that he does not exist."
[End of Quote]

Lets have a look...

The saying "Allah existed eternally without a place, and He is now as He ever was" is related - without chain - from 'Ali ibn Abi Talib -- Allah be well-pleased with him.

[As cited by 'Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi (d. 429) in his al-Farq Bayn al-Firaq (p. 256).]

Imam Abu Hanifa (d. 150)

said: "Had He been in a place and needing to sit and rest before creating the Throne, then the question 'Where was Allah?' would have applied to Him, which is impossible."
[Abu Hanifa, Wasiyya al-Imam al-A'zam Abu Hanifa, ed. Fu'ad 'Ali Rida (Beirut : Maktabat al-Jamahir, 1970) p. 10.]

The Ash'ari Imam Ibn 'Abd al-Salam
said in his statement of doctrine: He was before He brought place and time into existence, and He is now as He ever was.
[ Ibn 'Abd al-Salam, al-Mulha fi I`tiqad Ahl al-Haqq in his Rasa'il al-Tawhid (p. 11).]

The position of Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari is similarly summed up by Abu al-Qasim ibn 'Asakir: The Najjariyya said: 'The Creator is in every place without indwelling (hulû l) nor direction (jiha).

Ibn 'Ata' Allah al-Sakandari (d. 709)
cites it as one of his Hikam (#34).
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) -- Allah bless and greet him -- said:
"Allah was when there was nothing else than Him, and His Throne was upon the water, and He wrote in the Reminder (al-dhikr) all things, and He created the heavens and the earth."
Narrated from 'Imran ibn Husayn by al-Bukhari, Sahih, book of the Beginning of Creation.]


The Hashwiyya and Mushabbiha


'The Creator took His place (hâ llun) on the Throne, the Throne is His location (makâ n), and He is sitting on top of it."

' Al-Ash'ari took a middle ground and said: 'Allah existed when there was no place; then He created the Throne and the Footstool (al-'arsh wa al-kursî ) without ever being in need of place, and He is, after creating place, exactly as He was before creating it.' [In Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari (Saqqa ed. p. 150).]

This is the position of al-Ash'ari also as given by Ibn Jahbal al-Kilabi (d. 733):
"The words of the Shaykh [Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari] concerning direction are: 'Allah was when there was no place, then He created the Throne and the Footstool, without ever needing place, and He is, after creating place, exactly as He was before creating it.'" [In Tabaqat al-Shafi`iyya al-Kubra (9:79).]

Ibn Jahbal also says in his Refutation of Ibn Taymiyya:
We say: Our doctrine is that Allah is pre-eternal and pre-existent (qadî m azalî ). He does not resemble anything nor does anything resemble Him. He has no direction nor place. He is not subject to time nor duration. Neither "where" (ayn) nor "at" (hayth) applies to Him. He shall be seen, but not as part of an encounter, nor in the sense of an encounter (yurâ lâ 'an muqâ bala wa lâ 'alâ muqâ bala). He was when there was no place, He created place and time, and He is now as He ever was. This is the madhhab of Ahl al-Sunna and the doctrine of the shaykhs of the [Sufi] Path - may Allah be well-pleased with them.7
30. Muhammad ibn Mahbub, Abu 'Uthman al-Maghribi's servant, said: "Abu 'Uthman said to me one day: 'O Muhammad! If someone asked you: Where is the One you worship, what would you answer?' I said: 'I would answer: He is where He never ceased to be.' He said: 'What if he asked: Where was He in pre-eternity?' I said: 'I would answer: Where He is now. That is: He was when there was no place, and He is now as He ever was.' Abu 'Uthman was pleased with my answer. He took off his shirt and gave it to me."8

Al-Shaykh al-Akbar Muhyi al-Din ibn 'Arabi said in the chapter of Islamic doctrine in al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya: [144] He has no conceivable likeness whatsoever (laysa lahu mithlun ma'qul), nor can minds represent Him. Time does not confine Him, nor place lift nor transport Him. Rather, He was when there was no place, and He is now as He ever was. [145] He created fixity (al-mutamakkin) and place (al-makâ n),9
brought time into existence, and said: "I am the One, the Ever-Living."10

Preserving His creations in no way tires Him. Attributes which do not describe Him and are devised by creatures do not apply to Him.11
[146] Exalted is He far above being indwelt by originated matters, or indwelling them, or that they be after Him or that He be before them. Rather, we say: 'He was and there was nothing with him.'12

For the words 'before' and 'after' are among the locutions of Time, which He invented.13
Sulayman ibn 'Abd Allah ibn Mu-hammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab (d. 1817CE), the Wahhabi founder's grandson, said: Whoever believes or says: Allah is in person (bi dhâ tihi) in every place, or in one place: he is a disbeliever. It is obligatory to declare that Allah is separate (bâ 'in) from His creation, established over His throne without modality or likeness or examplarity. Allah was and there was no place, then He created place and He is exalted as He was before He created place.14

The Imams strongly refuted those who suggested that the Throne existed together with Allah. Among these refutations is al-Bayhaqi's section entitled "The Beginning of Creation" in al-Asma' wa al-Sifat,15

and Ibn Hajar who wrote the following in his commentary on the twenty-second chapter of the Book of Tawhid in Sahih al-Bukhari: Al-Bukhari named the Chapter on the Throne: "Chapter entitled: {And His Throne was upon the water} (11:7) {And He is Lord of the tremendous Throne} (9:129)." In this way he mentioned parts from two Qur'anic verses, and it is good to state this second part after the first one, to respond to those who misunderstood the hadith: "There was Allah, and there was nothing before Him; and His throne was upon the water," mistakenly thinking that it meant that the Throne was always alongside Allah [i.e. existing without beginning]. This is an incorrect position, as is the belief of some thinkers that the Throne is the Creator and the Maker! Perhaps those who held this, such as Abu Ishaq al-Harawi, used for evidence the hadith of ibn Abbas from Mujahid narrated through Sufyan al-Thawri: "Allah was on His throne before He created anything; the first thing He created was the pen,"16

and this "first" is interpreted as the creation of Heavens and Earth and their contents. 'Abd al-Razzaq mentioned in his commentary on Allah's saying: {And His Throne was upon the water} (11:7) that this (the Throne) was the beginning of His creation before He created the heaven, and that His Throne was made from a red emerald.

Thus al-Bukhari's mention of "The Lord of the tremendous Throne" alludes to the fact that the Throne is a servant and that it is lorded over. He ends his chapter with the hadith: "There, I saw Musa holding the leg of the Throne."17

By confirming that the Throne has legs, the author proves that it is an object that was put together, possessing constituent parts. Any such object must have been created. End of Ibn Hajar's words.18

Al-Munawi quotes the following conclusion on the verse of the Throne upon the water:
Al-Tunisi said that the verse {And His Throne was upon the water} (11:7) contains a clear proof that direction is impossible for Allah -- may He be exalted -- because the Throne settled (istaqarra) upon the water, therefore, since natural custom was broken by the settlement of that huge mass (jirm) - the largest of all masses - upon the water, contrary to the habitual fact that such a mass - or, rather, much less than it! - does not usually settle upon the water: it becomes known with certitude that istiwâ ' over it is not an istiwâ ' of settledness nor fixity.19

7 In TSK (9:41).
8 In TSK (9:43).
9 Or: "He created place and all that takes place."
10 I.e. I am in no need of either of you.
11 Lâ tarji'u ilayhi sifatun lam yakun 'alayhâ min sun'ati al-masnû 'â t.
12 The Prophet ( said: "Allah was when there was nothing else than Him, and His Throne was upon the water, and He wrote in the Reminder (al-dhikr) all things, and He created the heavens and the earth." Narrated from 'Imran ibn Husayn by al-Bukhari, Sahih, book of the Beginning of Creation. There are other wordings of this hadith such as the wordings: kâ na allâ hu wa lâ shay'a ma'ahu / ghayruhu / qablahu - "Allah was and there was nothing other than Him /together with Him /before Him." Narrated from Burayda by al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak (2:341), who declared it sound (sahî h) - al-Dhahabi concurred - and from 'Imran ibn Husayn by Bukhari, Ibn Hibban with two sound chains in his Sahih (14:7 #6140, 14:11 #6142), and Ibn Abi Shayba in his Musannaf.
13 From 'Uthman Yahya's edition of al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya (1:164), Part Three of "The Meccan Conquest," chapter entitled "Attachment Comprising the Essential Creed of All, Which is the Doctrine of the People of Islam Agreed To Without Examining the Proof Nor the Presentation of Evidence."
14 In his al-Tawdih 'an Tawhid al-Khallaq fi Jawab Ahl al-'Iraq (1319/1901, p. 34, and new ed. al-Riyad: Dar Tibah, 1984).
15 Cf. Al-Bayhaqi, al-Asma' wa al-Sifat, chapter entitled "The Beginning of Creation": Allah ( said: (He it is Who produces creation then reproduces it( (30:27). 'Abd Allah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'As narrated that the Prophet ( said: "Allah foreordained (qaddara) all the destinies (al-maqâ dî r) before creating the heavens and the earth by fifty thousand years." [Narrated from 'Abd Allah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'As by al-Tirmidhi (hasan sahî h gharî b) and Ahmad; also by Muslim with the following wording: "Allah inscribed (kataba) the destinies of all created things before creating the heavens and the earth by fifty thousand years, while His Throne stood upon the water (wa 'arshuhu 'alâ al-mâ ')."] 'Imran ibn Husayn narrated ... that the Prophet said - Allah bless and greet him: "Allah was when there was nothing other than Him. His Throne stood upon the water...." His words "Allah was when nothing was other than Him" indicate that there was nothing else other than Him - neither water, nor the Throne, nor anything else, since all of that is "other than Him." His words: "His Throne stood upon the water" means that He then created water, and He created the Throne upon the water, after which He inscribed all things in the Remembrance, as we narrated in the hadith of 'Abd Allah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'As.
16 Narrated from Mujahid from Ibn 'Abbas by 'Abd ibn Humayd as mentioned by al-Suyuti in al-Durr al-Manthur for the verse {Lo! We have created every thing by measure} (54:49).
17 Part of a longer hadith narrated from Abu Hurayra by al-Bukhari, Tirmidhi (hasan sahî h), and Ibn Majah; and from Abu Sa'id al-Khudri by al-Bukhari, Muslim, and Ahmad.
18 Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari (1959 ed. 13:409f.). Ibn Hajar elsewhere (6:290 #3019) examines the different versions of the hadith "Allah was and there was nothing other than/ with/ before Him" to conclude that the evidence pointed to the creation of water first, then the Throne, then the Pen.
19 In al-Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir, under the entry for the hadith: "Allah inscribed the destinies of all created things before creating the heavens and the earth by fifty thousand years, while His Throne stood upon the water." Narrated from 'Abd Allah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'As by al-Tirmidhi (hasan sahî h gharî b) and Ahmad; also by Muslim with the following wording: "Allah inscribed (kataba) the destinies of all created things before creating the heavens and the earth by fifty thousand years, while His Throne stood upon the water (wa 'arshuhu 'alâ al-mâ ')." Blessings and peace on the Prophet, his Family, and all his Companions.

GF Haddad
(Edited by ADHM)

Q: "Where is Allah?"

Imam Abu Hanifa (d. 150AH) says in his Wasiyya:

"Had He been in a place and needing to sit and rest before creating the Throne, then the question 'Where was Allah?' would have applied to Him, which is impossible... We assert that Allah is established on the throne without His need (haja) nor settlement (istiqrar) upon it, for He it is Who preserves the Throne and other than it without needing any of them." [Wasiyyat al-imam al-a`zam Abu Hanifa, ed. Fu'ad `Ali Rida (Beirut : Maktabat al-Jamahir, 1970) p. 10.]
Imam Abu Hanifah answers those who ask:
 "Where is Allah?"

In his book "Al-Fiqh al-Absat" Imam Abu Hanifah said:
"قلت: أرأيت لو قيل أين الله تعالى? فقال - أي أبو حنيفة -: يقال له كان الله تعالى ولا مكان قبل أن يخلق الخلق, وكان الله تعالى ولم يكن أين ولاخلق ولاشىء, وهو خالق كل شىء "

Scan: Here

Abu Ja`far al-Sadiq: “Whoever claims that Allah is in something, or from something, or on something has associated a partner with Allah1, because if He was in something, then He would be confined; and if He was on something, then He would be carried; and if He was from something, then He would be something that has a beginning.”

It was said to Yahya ibn Mu’adh al-Razi:
“Tell us about Allah!” 
He said: “One god.” Then someone said: “How is He?
He said: “An absolute ruler with absolute power.”
Then someone said: “Where is He?
He answered: “Seeing and Hearing.”
The person who asked said: “I was not asking about that.”
He replied: “Other than that would be an attribute of a creation. As for the attribute of Allah; it is as I told you.”

There are some people who used Quran and Hadiths to prove Allah only exists above the Throne in a particular space or area and even sits there or is established on the Throne.  They misquote Quran and interpret methaphoric and allegorical verses literally.
Which leads to Anthropomorphism 
Just like the Jews and the Christians...
Quoting from the Bible
The Bible says: “Revelation 4:2-11
And when the living creatures give glory and honour and thanks to Him Who sits on the throne, to Him Who lives forever and ever, (10) the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him Who sits on the throne, and will worship Him Who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, For Thou hast maintained my just cause; Thou dost sit on the throne judging righteously. [ Bible book of ’Psalms 9:4 ]”

Bible says:
* “God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne.” [Psalms 47:8 ]
* “...I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.” [ Isaiah 6:1]
* Isaiah Chapter 6, it is written : “1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple."



Quote: Allah throne Means Jaloos

The Wahabi/Salafi Sheikh Ibn Uthmayeen said:

^Uthmayeen Himself said, Allah throne Means Jaloos

Scan of sheikh Uthameyeen fatwa:

Click here to enlarge scan

Ibn Uthmayeen
again said:
In his pseudo work: “Aqidat Ahlus Sunnah Wal-Jama’ah” he states after mentioning Yunus:3
واستواؤه على العرش: علوه عليه بذاته علوَّاً خاصاً يليق بجلاله وعظمته لا يعلم كيفيته إلا هو.
[We believe that He "created the Heavens and the Earth in six days, then He settled Himself on the throne; He manages everything" (10:3).] His “settling on the throne” means that He [Allah] is sitting in person (bi-dhaatih) on His throne in a way that is becoming to His majesty and greatness. No one save He knows the kayfiyyah [of the sitting].
Scanned page:
Click Here to enlarge scan

Do not follow the Jews and Christians in Aqeeda

The Holy Prophet [salehalawaalihi wasalam]
warned us:
“Oppose the People of Book
(Jews & Christians).”
[Musnad Ahmad 2234]

Imam Ali (RA)
Ijma of Sahabas [ra] held the view that Allah has no makaan (place, station). ,
Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (’alayhis salaam) is recorded to have said:
كان- الله- ولا مكان، وهو الان على ما- عليه- كان
“Allah was without place, and He is now as He was [then].”
[(الفرق بين الفرق لأبي منصور البغدادي [ ص / 333 ]
Imam Abi Mansur Al-Baghdadi
also quotes Imam ‘Ali (radhiya Allahu ‘anhu) as saying,
إن الله تعالى خلق العرش إظهارًا لقدرته لا مكانا لذاته
“Verily Allah , the exalted, created the throne to manifest His power, not as a place for his essence.”
Imam Abu Mansur Al-Baghdadi said in his book Usulud-Din, in summary:
Our colleagues differed regarding this Ayah. Some said that it is among the Ayahs that are mutashabihat and its meaning is not known by other than Allah, and this is the saying of Malik. Others said that istawa is something that Allah did to the `arsh that He called istawa, and this is the saying of Abul Hasan Al-Ash`ari. Others again said that istawa means that He is attributed with aboveness over the `arsh in status, not physical aboveness. The correct saying in our view, is that al-`arsh in this Ayah means the Dominion and istawa is its action, meaning that the Dominion did not settle in equilibrium for anyone but Him.

In case anyone is wondering who Abu Mansur is?

Al-Dhahabi described him in his book Siyar A`lam An-Nubala’ as:
the great, outstanding, and encyclopedic scholar.... He used to teach 17 different subjects and his brilliance became the source for proverbs.” 
Al-Dhahabi said further that he would have liked to write a separate, more complete article about him, and quoted Abu `Uthman As-Sabuni saying:
Abu Mansur is by scholarly consensus counted among the heads of the scholars of belief and the methodology of jurisprudence, as well as a front figure of Islam.”
Imam Zaynul-’Aabidin (ra)
Ali ibn Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (radhiya Allahu ‘Anhu) stated,
أنت الله الذي لا يحويك مكان 

“You are Allah , who does not occupy place!” 
[It-haaf As-Saadat Al-Muttaqin 2/24 ]

Beliefs of Classical Scholars

Imam An-Nasafi (710 AH) states in his Tafsir:
إنه تعالى كان ولا مكان فهو على ما كان قبل خلق المكان، لم يتغير عما كان.
“Verily He, the exalted, was without place, and He is as He was before creating (the entity of) ‘place’, not changing as He was [Tafsīr An-Nisfi Surah Taha Volume 2] 

The Shaykh Abul Abbas shihad ud din Ahmad ibn Muhammad Al-Qastalānī Al-Masrī (d. 933 AH) said in his Sharh (gloss) of Sahīh Al-Bukhārī:

ذات الله منزه عن المكان والجهة 

“Allah ’s essence is free from space (makān) and direction (jihah [Irshād As-Sārī 15/451] 
He also stated when explaining the verse, “…Looking at their Lord” [Qur’an 75:23]:

بلاكيفية ولاجهة ولا ثبوت مسافة 

“Without modality, without direction, without establishing distance.”

[Irshād As-Sārī 15/462]

The Maliki Qadhi Ibn Rushd the Elder (d. 520), said:

ليس- الله- في مكان، فقد كان قبل أن يخلق المكان 

Allah ta’alaa is not in a space, for He was before ’space’ was created.”

[Quoted by Ibn Al-Haaj in Al-Madkhal] 

He also stated, 
فلا يقال أين ولا كيف ولا متى لأنه خالق الزمان والمكان 
It is not to be asked ‘Where’, ‘How’, or ‘When’ for He created The time as well as space.”

[Ibid 3/181] 

He also stated,

وإضافته- أي العرش- إلى الله تعالى إنما هو بمعنى التشريف له كما يقال: بيت الله وحرمه، لا أنه محل له وموضع لاستقراره 

And the ascription of the ‘Arsh (throne) to Allah ta’alaa is with the meaning of honouring Him, just as it is said ‘The House of Allah and Its Sanctity”. It is not because it is His place or the abode for which he sits (istiqraar).”

[Al-Madkhal 2:149, Also Ibn Hajr in his Fat-hul Baari]


Beliefs of Salafs and Classical Scholars

Shaykh Muhammad Al-Khatib al Bhagdadi stated (d 977 AH): 
وقال الشيخ محمد الخطيب الشربيني المصري مانصه “ثبت بالدليل القطعي أنه- تعالى- ليس بمتحيز لئلا يلزم التجسيم 
It is established by the absolute proofs that He, the exalted, is not localized in space (mutahayyiz) as that necessitates tajsīm (anthropomorphism).”
He (rahimahullah) also said quoting the exegete Imam Qurtubi

قال القرطبي- المفسّر-: ووصْفه- تعالى- بالعلوّ والعظمة لا بالأماكن والجهات والحدود لأنها صفات الأجسام، ولأنه تعالى خلَق الأمكنة وهو غير متحيز، وكان في أزله قبل خلق المكان والزمان ولا مكان له ولا زمان، وهو الآن على ما عليه كان ” ا.هـ. أي موجود بلا جهة ولا مكان. 
“And Allah , the exalted, ascribed to himself ‘Uluww (highness) and ‘Athmah (greatness), and this is without spaces (Al-amākan), directions, and limits as these qualities are attributes of ajsam (bodies or created things). That is also due to the fact that He, the exalted, created space and He is not localized in space (mutahayyiz), and He was in sempiternity before He created space and time, while there was no space for Him nor time. He is now as He was (exalted be He).” Al-Khatīb then says, “Meaning existing without direction or place.”
Ibn Hajar Asqalani [rah] said:
وإضافته- أي العرش- إلى الله تعالى إنما هو بمعنى التشريف له كما يقال: بيت الله وحرمه، لا أنه محل له وموضع لاستقراره 
“And the ascription of the ‘Arsh (throne) to Allah ta’alaa is with the meaning of honouring Him, just as it is said ‘The House of Allah and Its Sanctity”. It is not because it is His place or the abode for which he sits (istiqraar).” [Al-Madkhal 2:149, Also Ibn Hajr in his Fat-hul Baari]

Salaf us Saliheen

Imam Malik [rah] believed Istiwa[ throne of Allah] cannot be conceived or imagined or taken literally 
كنّا عند مالك بن أنس, فجاء رجل, فقاليا أبا عبد الله, الرحمن على العرش استوى, فكيف استوى؟ قال: فأطرق مالك رأسه حتى علاه الرحضاء على رأسه, ثمّ قال: الاستواء غير مجهول, والكيف غير معقول, والإيمان به واجب, السؤال عنه بدعة, وما أراك إلا مبتدعا. فأمر به أن يخرج. 

“We were with Màlik ibn Anas when a man came and said: “O Abâ ‘Abd Allah, al-Raämàn made istiwà on the throne. How did he make istiwà?” Màlik bowed his head [in thought] and sweat appeared on him, then he said: “Istiwà is not unknown [that is, it is known to be a fact whatever it means because it was mentioned in the Qur’an], but howis not something we can conceive [since He is other than whatever we imagine Him to be ]. Moreover, it is obligatory for us to believe in it [whatever it might mean] and asking about its meaning is a deviant innovation (bid‘ah), and I think that you are a deviant innova-tor.” Then he ordered him to be put out.
[al-Baihaqá reported another account of this incident with a full chain of narration by way of Yàäyà ibn Yaäyà ibn Bakár al-Nisàbârá (142-227 = 759-840)] 

Imam Malik [rah] believed Istiwa[ throne of Allah] cannot be conceived or imagined or taken literally ...continued: 
“After reporting the above, al-Baihaqá added that a similar answer was reported from the distinguished teacher of Màlik, al-Rabá‘ah ibn Abá ‘Abd al-Raämàn (d. 136 h. / 753), Al-Baihaqá reported with a chain of narration reported: 
سئل الربيعة عن قول الله تبارك وتعالى (الرمن على الأرش استوى) كيف استوى؟ قال الكيف مجهول والاستوى غير معقول ويجب علىّ وعليك الإيمان بذلك كله. 
Al-Rabá‘ah was asked about His word, blessed and exalted is He, “The Merciful made istiwà,” how did he make istiwà? He said, “How He did is unknown, and the istiwà is in-conceivable, while belief in it is mandatory for me and you. 
so even Imam Malik [rah] believed in Istiwa [rah] but never took it literally as you do or thought it can be conceived or imagined

Imam Qurtubi (rah) on Allegorical verses -
Called people like (Wahabis/Salafis) idol worshippers for anthropomorphism 
I have been watching some people trying to spread that "all" attributes of Allah are to be taken on its literal meaning, some are even making fun of it like Nirvana did and tried to make a sketch of Allah (Naudhobillah) 

The simple and explicit answer regarding not to delve into Mutashabihaat is given in Quran itself, I have already used that ayah as a proof but some people still delve into it so I considered it necessary to given classical commentary on the ayah from leading Mufasir of Quran i.e. Imam Qurtubi (Rahimuhullah)! He is amongst the top most Mufasireen and scholars, Muslims uphold the magnificence and usefulness of his marvelous Tafsir work called “Jami ul Ahkaam ul Quran” 

In it he explains the beautiful ayah of Quran which talks about It having both Plain and allegorical verses. 

Quran states: He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say:

"We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:" and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.(3:7)

The mainstream Ahlus Sunnah always battled against the literalists by simply attributing the meanings of Mutashabihaat onto Allah Ta’la alone, for example Hands of Allah, foot, shin, laughter, his descent, his establishment etc... The true and actual meaning of these are known by none but Allah, however while explaining to ultra-curious laymen the best opinion is to interpret them into what suits Allah’s Majesty.

The Original Arabic Reference!
Imam Qurtubi (rah) writes: 

قوله تعالى: { فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ٱبْتِغَاءَ ٱلْفِتْنَةِ وَٱبْتِغَاءَ تَأْوِيلِهِ } قال شيخنا أبو العباس رحمة الله عليه: متبِعو المتشابه لا يخلو أن يتبعوه ويجمعوه طلباً للتشكيك في القرآن وإضلالِ العوامّ، كما فعلته الزنادقة والقرامِطة الطاعنون في القرآن؛ أو طلباً لاعتقاد ظواهر المتشابه، كما فعلته المجسِّمة الذِين جمعوا ما في الكتاب والسنة مما ظاهره الجِسمية حتى ٱعتقدوا أن البارىء تعالى جسم مجسم وصورة مصوّرة ذات وجه وعين ويد وجنب ورجل وأصبع، تعالى الله عن ذلكٰ؛ أو يتبعوه على جهة إبداء تأويلاتها وإيضاح معانيها، أو كما فعل صبِيغ حين أكثر على عمر فيه السؤال. فهذه أربعة أقسام
الأوّل: لا شك في كفرهم، وأن حكم الله فيهم القتل من غير ٱستتابة
الثاني: الصحيح القول بتكفيرهم، إذ لا فرق بينهم وبين عباد الأصنام والصور، ويستتابون فإن تابوا وإلا قتلوا كما يفعل بمن ٱرتدّ
الثالث: ٱختلفوا في جواز ذلك بناء على الخلاف في جواز تأويلها. وقد عرف أنّ مذهب السلف ترك التعرّض لتأويلها مع قطعهم بٱستحالة ظواهرها، فيقولون أمِرّوها كما جاءت. وذهب بعضهم إلى إبداء تأويلاتها وحملِها على ما يصح حمله في اللسان عليها من غير قطع بتعيين مجمل منها
الرابع: الحكم فيه الأدب البليغ، كما فعله عمر بصبيغ 

Verdicts which shake the foundation of Literalists 

The Exalted said: {But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings} Our Shaykh, Abul Abbas (Rahimuhullah) said: Furthermore, the followers of the allegorical verses (mutashabih) are not free from: Following it and collecting it, seeking to raise doubts in the Qur’an and (seeking to) misguide the laymen as done by the Zanadiqah (deviants), the Qaramitah, and the refuters of the Quran. Or seeking to believe in the "Outward (Zawahir)" meanings of the mutashabih as done by the Mujasmiya (deluded ones who give physical traits to Allah), those who collected from the Quran and Sunnah whatever gave a physical meaning when taken literally (dhahir). To the extent that they believed that the Creator is a physical body and a fashioned form, possessing a face and other things: hand, eye, side and finger. Exalted is Allah from that, with the most Supreme Exaltation. Or they sought out these (mutashabih) with a view to manifest its interpretations and clarify its meanings. Or (they did) like Subaygh when he asked ‘Umar about them (the mutashabih) excessively. 

So there are four categorical (verdicts) on them: 

The First: There is no doubt about their disbelief (kufr) and that the judgment of Allah concerning them is execution without even asking them to repent. 
The Second: The most sound (opinion) is to make takfīr on them (to consider them to be kafirs), since there is no difference between them and worshipers of idols and images. And they should be asked to repent. Thereafter, either they’ll repent, or if not, they should be executed as is done to an apostate (murtad). 

It is impossible to take them literally 

The Third: There is a difference of opinion concerning that (action) based upon the difference of opinion in the permissibility of (various) interpretations. And it is known that the madhhab of the Salaf (pious predecessors) was to leave the undertaking of interpreting them while being certain that the literal meaning (Zawahir) was impossible. So they would say, “Let it pass as it came!” And some of them (the Salaf) took the madhhab of manifesting its interpretations by interpreting it with meanings consistent with the (Arabic) tongue without definitively confirming a specific possible meaning. 

The Fourth: The judgment for him is to be taught a profound lesson as Amir ul Momineen Umar ibn al Khattab did to Subaygh [Tafsir ul Qurtubi i.e. Jami ul Ahkaam ul Quran under 3:7] 
‏حدثنا ‏ ‏عبد الله بن مسلمة ‏ ‏حدثنا ‏ ‏يزيد بن إبراهيم التستري ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏ابن أبي مليكة ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏القاسم بن محمد ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏عائشة ‏ ‏رضي الله عنها ‏ ‏قالت 
‏تلا رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏هذه الآية 
‏هو الذي أنزل عليك الكتاب منه آيات محكمات هن أم الكتاب وأخر متشابهات فأما الذين في قلوبهم زيغ فيتبعون ما تشابه منه ابتغاء الفتنة وابتغاء تأويله وما يعلم تأويله إلا الله والراسخون في العلم يقولون آمنا به كل من عند ربنا وما يذكر إلا أولو الألباب ‏ 
‏قالت قال رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏فإذا رأيت الذين يتبعون ما تشابه منه فأولئك الذين سمى الله فاحذروهم 


Narrated Aisha: Allah's Apostle recited the Verse: "It is He Who sent down upon you the Book, in which some verses have clear meaning, they are the substance of the Book, and others are those, in the meaning of which there is doubt. Those in whose hearts there is perversity pursue doubtful one desiring deviation and searching their own viewpoint of it, and its right interpretation is known to Allah alone. And those of firm knowledge say, 'We believed in it, all is from our Lord and none accept admonition save men of understanding". (3.7) Then Allah's Apostle said, "If you see those who follow thereof that is not entirely clear, then they are those whom Allah has named [as having deviation (from the Truth)] 'SO BEWARE OF THEM'. [Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 70]

From Imam Shafi [rah] quoted by Imam Suyuti [rah] in Al-Ashbah wa An-Nadha'ir
Al-Hafidh As-Suyutiyy copies the statement of Imam Ash-Shafi‘iyy that Al-Mujassimah (those who believe that Allah has bodily attributes i.e. present-day wahhabis) are blasphemers.
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From Classical book Tabsirah Al-Adillah Imam Abu Muain
Maymun Ibn Muhammad An-Nasafiyya has stated in his book Tabsirah Al-Adillah that:
the one who affirms a place to Allah has blasphemed.
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Imam Bayhaqi [rah]
Imam Bayhaiqyy in al-Asma' wa as-Sifat :
al-Hafidh Abu Bakr al-Bayhaqiyy said: "Some of our companions used as evidence to deny a place for Allah, the saying of the Prophet:"O Allah You are adh-Dhahir so there is nothing above You, O Allah, You are al-Batin so there is nothing beneath You". So if there is nothing above Him and nothing below him is that He is not in a place."
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Abu Hanifa [rah] and Mullah Ali Qari [rah] Opinion of Abu Hanifa from Mullah Ali Qari in Minah ar-Rawd al-Azhar fi Sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar said:
He said in his explanation of the book al-Fiqh al-Akbar, pages 333 - 334:
“To answer this [i.e. the false assumptions], we can cite the Shaykh, Imam Ibn Abdus-Salaam, who in his book al-Hal Ramuz, said that Abu Hanifah, may Allah have mercy on him, said: "Whoever says:" I do not know if God is in heaven or on earth has committed kufr, because it has assigned a place to God (al-Haqq), and one who thinks that God is in a place is an anthropomorphic (mushabbih)." There is no doubt that Ibn Abdus-Salam is one of the scholars most reliable and secure, therefore it is obligatory to believe in what he reported."
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Abu Hanifa [rah] and Mullah Ali Qari [rah] In the same book as above, p.355, he says:
"Those who were unjust, who are among those who LIED concerning Allah, or claimed things that included the confirmation of a PLACE to Allah, a DIRECTION in front of [Him] and confirmation of distance [between Him and His creatures] and everything like that is a kafir"
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Classical Scholars

Imam Abu Mansur al-Baghdadiyy[rah] In his book Usul ad-Din, pages 337-338, Imam Abu Mansur al-Baghdadiyy refutes Mujassimah (those who attribute a body (jism) to Allah). On page 337, he said:

"As for Jismiyyah (those who attribute to God a body) of Khurasan among Karramiyyah, declaring them unbelievers is mandatory, because they affirm that Allah HAS A LIMIT , and an end to the bottom, and that He would connect with the throne,and also their saying that there are created things that occur in Allah."
He continues to say:
"By allowing [the belief] that Allah has created things that occur in Him, they ruin for themselves the evidence of the Oneness of God. That means, that bodies are created because they have created things in them . Thus, according to their own reasoning, they can not prove that the world has a beginning, and therefore they have no way of knowing the Creator of the world. Consequently, they do not know... Everyone who disagreed with them, have agreed on the fact that they (al-Mujassimah) are people of hell, so in that respect, they are the worst of all deviant sects."
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Imam Abul-Barakat Abdullah Ibn Ahmad Nasafiyy [rah] in his magnificent Tafsir
wrote on page 164, volume 2 of his Tafsir of Qur'an:
"About the ayah:
وَلِلّهِ الأَسْمَاء الْحُسْنَى فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا وَذَرُواْ الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي أَسْمَآئِ
"And Allah has the Perfect Names, so invoke Him by these Names, and stay away from those who demonstrate ilhaad [atheism] to these names." Surah al-'Araf verse 180.
"It is atheism (ilhaad) then to call Allah "body" (jism) or 'atom/smallest particle' (jawhar) or "reason" ( 'aql) or "cause" ('illah) ."
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Imam Qurtubi [rah]
Imam al-Qurtubiyy said in his Tafsir, in the first verse of Istiwa in Qur'an, volume 1 pages 254, Surah Al-Baqarah verse:
"This verse is part of the problematic verses and people concerning this verse and similar verses are divided into three groups. Some have said, "we read, and we believe without doing explaining, and this is the opinion of many of the imams. It is as has been reported from Imam Malik, may Allah have mercy on him, that a man was asked about the verse "ar-Rahmanu 'alal-arshi-stawa and he said "The istawa is not unknown, and how (kayf) is inconceivable, and belief in it (istiwa) is obligatory and questioning on this subject is a [bad] innovation, and I see you're a bad person! So he ordered the man to be thrown out. Some others have said, "we read and we explain by what is apparent in the language. And this is the saying of anthropomorphists (mushabbihah). And others said: "We read and we interpret them and we prohibit the act of taking them as the apparent meaning.
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Wahhabiyyah/salafi scholar:
Ibn Uthmayeen said:
In his work “Aqidat Ahlus Sunnah Wal-Jama’ah” he states after mentioning Yunus:3,

واستواؤه على العرش: علوه عليه بذاته علوَّاً خاصاً يليق بجلاله وعظمته لا يعلم كيفيته إلا هو.
[We believe that He "created the Heavens and the Earth in six days, then He settled Himself on the throne; He manages everything" (10:3).] His “settling on the throne” means that He [Allah] is sitting in person (bi-dhaatih) on His throne in a way that is becoming to His majesty and greatness. No one save He knows the kayfiyyah.

scan page:
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Imam Qurtubi [rah] Fatwa of kufr applies on Ibn Taymiyyah perfectly In his Tafsir named "an-Nahrul-Madd", the Grammarian Abu Hayyan al-'Andalusi reported about Ibn Taymiyah having this belief.
He said: In his handwriting, a book of Ahmad Ibn Taymiyah, who was contemporary with us, which he called "Kitab-ul-‘Arsh", I read: “Allah sits on al-Kursi and has left a space for the Messenger of Allah to sit with Him.”
At-Taj Muhammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn ‘Abdil-Haqq al-Baranbari pretended that he is a promoter of his ideas and tricked him, until he took it from him; we read that in it.
[The author of "Kashf-uz-Zunun" reported that about him also in Volume 2, page 1438.] This reporting of Abu Hayyan was omitted from the
old printed copy. However, the manuscript confirms it.
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Imam al-Nawawiyy said in his book of fiqh al-Majmu' in 18 volumes, volume 15 page 470:
"Chapter: If both spouses, or one of them-apostatize, then, if it occurred before the consummation of the contract (ie before any intercourse between them): the separation is effective. 
 And if it was after the consummation of the contract, the separation is effective after the expiry of the statutory waiting period ('iddah).
 Therefore, they go back to Islam (ie if they again become both Muslims) before the expiry of the statutory waiting period, then they are still in their marriage contract, but if they do not return (to Islam) then the separation is effective."
Here he explains that committing apostasy breaks the marriage contract under certain conditions.This is a point of fiqh and not belief, but we do present this because it is an important consequence in terms of what was related from the scholars who said clearly that believing that God is in one place is blasphemy (kufr)
Ibn Hajar haythami [rah] quoting viewpoint of Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik,Imam Shafi [rah] and Imam Ahmed [rah]
Ibn Hajar Al-Haytamiyy said:
" Know that al-Qarafiyy and others narrated from al-Shafi'iyy, Malik, Ahmad and Abu Hanifah that those who say that Allah is in a direction, or has a body, have committed blasphemy -- and they deserve this verdict."
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From Abu Dawood
In his commentary of Sunan Abu Dawud, volume 5 page 102, al-Imam Abu Sulayman al-Khattabiyy said:
"[Here he relates their word:] If someone asks" how is it that God 'yanzil? (if translated literlly, one might say 'descends')' He (an ignorant person) will reply: "God yanzil" as He Wills ". And if he asks, "Does God moves when" yanzil "or not? He (an ignorant person) will answer: "He wants if He moves, and if He wants, He does not move."

I (al-Khattabiyy) say: This is a monumental mistake, and God the Exalted, is not ascribed with movement because movement and stillness succeed in the same substance, and certainly can be attributed with movement, can be attributed with immobility, and both states are physical properties [attributes of body] that come into existence, and are attributed to creatures. But God is free from these two states, there is nothing like Him. If this "shaykh", may Allah guide us and him [meaning: may Allah guide him to the proper belief] had followed the path of the as-Salaf as-Salih ("the Pious Predecessors"), he would not enter himself in what is meaningless, because they did not utter anything that was similar to that monstrous (blasphemous) error. "
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Imam Bukhari opinion in Sahih Bukhari [rah]
Imam Al-Bukhari in his Sahih explains the term "wajh [face]"
to mean "Dominion".
Which the Wahhabiyyah/salafis say: means "literal and physical face of Allah”
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From Sahih Muslim and Imam Nawawi [rah]
The following is a translation of some of what Imam An-Nawawiyy said in explaning hadith of Slave girl which khawarij/wahabi used to prove Allah is only in sky :
He said: This is one of the "hadiths of the attributes," about which scholars have two positions.
The first is to have faith in it without discussing its meaning, while believing of Allah the Exalted that "there is nothing whatsoever like unto Him" (Qur'an 42:11), and that He is exalted above having any of the attributes of His creatures.
The second is to figuratively explain it in a fitting way, [scholars who hold this position adducing that the point of the hadith was to test the slave girl: Was she a monotheist, who affirmed that the Creator, is Allah alone and that He is the one called upon when a person making supplication (du'a) faces the sky--just as those performing the prayer (salat) face the Ka‘bah, since the sky is the qiblah of those who supplicate, as the Ka‘bah is the qiblah of those who perform the prayer--or was she a worshipper of the idols which they placed in front of themselves? So when she said according to the literal translation, "In the sky", it was plain that she was not an idol worshiper...

Al-Qadi ‘Iyad stated: There is no disagreement among Muslims, one and all--their legal scholars, their hadith scholars, their scholars of theology, both those of them capable of expert scholarly reasoning and those who merely follow the scholarship of others--that the textual evidences that mention Allah the Exalted being [if translated literally] "in the sky", such as His words that [if translated literally would say], "Do you feel safe that He who is in the sky will not make the earth swallow you," and so forth, are NOT as their literal sense (dhahir) seems to imply, but rather, all scholars interpret them in other than their ostensive sense..
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al-Imam Abu Hasan al-Ashariy, al-Hafidh Abul Qasim Ibn Asakir said, on page 150:
"Similarly, the Najjariyah say 'that the Creator is in all places without the confinment and without direction', while the Hashawiyyah and the Mujassimah say 'He is confined to the throne, the throne is His place, and He is sitting on it.' As for al-Imam al-Ash'ariyy, he chose a path that is between the two, and he said that God existed when there was no place, then He created the Throne and kursiyy. He did not need the place, and He is, after creating the place, as He was before He had created it."
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Ibn Kathir on Mujassamiya

Imam Ibn Kathir (rah) has given a wonderful explanation of 7:54 (and guess what some people have tried their bestto forge it and change the quote completely opposite to what he actually said, but of course they had to be caught)
He wrote: [Then He ‘established’ (istawa) upon the Throne" – (Qur’an 7:54)], People have too many positions on this matter, and this is not the place to present them at length.[
فللناس في هذا المقام مقالات كثيرة جداً ليس هذا موضع بسطها ] On this point, we follow the position of the righteous early Muslims (salaf)—Malik, Awza‘i, Thawri, Layth ibn Sa‘d, Shaf’i, Ahmad, Ishaq ibn Rahawayh, as well as others among the Imams of the Muslims, ancient and modern—(namely) to let it pass as it has come, without saying how it is meant [، وهو إمرارها كما جاءت من غير تكييف], without any resemblance (to created things), and without nullifying it (wa la ta‘til): "THE OUTWARD (LITERAL) meaning that comes to the minds of anthropomorphists is negated of Allah [، والظاهر المتبادر إلى أذهان المشبهين منفي عن الله] for nothing created has any resemblance to Him: "There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him, and He is the All-hearing, the All-seeing" (Qur’an 42:11)

[Tafsir Ibn Kathir under 7:54]


Note: English translation of tafsir ibn Kathir is forged and edited, this is present in Arabic books of ibn Kathir where he exposed literalists and their kufr .

Refutation of Wahhabi/salafi 
Anthropomorphism - Mujassism
Forgetting of Allah - to be taken allegorically not literally like wahhabi/salafis do.

Imam Tabari [rah] :  "Today We forget you as you have forgotten this day of yours" (Qur'an 45:34),
which the early Muslims used to interpret figuratively, as reported by a scholar who was himself an early Muslim (salaf) and indeed, the sheikh of the early Muslims in Qur'anic exegesis, the hadith master (hafiz) Ibn Jarir al-Tabari who died 310 years after the Hijra, and who explains the above verse as meaning:
"‘This day, Resurrection Day, We shall forget them,’ so as to say,
‘We shall abandon them to their punishment.’"
Now, this is precisely ta’wil, or interpretation in other than the verse’s ostensive sense.
Al-Tabari ascribes this interpretation, through his chains of transmission, to the Companion (Sahabi) Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be well pleased with him) as well as to Mujahid, Ibn ‘Abbas’s main student in Qur'anic exegesis (Jami‘ al-bayan, 8.202). 

Shin [leg] of Allah - to be taken allegorically not literally like wahhabi/salafis do.

Imam Tabari [rah]:  Of the Qur'anic verse:
"On a day when shin shall be exposed, they shall be ordered to prostrate, but be unable" (Qur'an 68:42),
al-Tabari says, "A number of the exegetes of the Companions (Sahaba) and their students (tabi‘in) held that it [a day when shin shall be exposed] means that a dire matter (amrun shadid) shall be disclosed" (Jami‘ al-bayan, 29.38) -
the shin’s association with direness being that it was customary for Arab warriors fighting in the desert to ready themselves to move fast and hard through the sand in the thick of the fight by lifting the hems of their garments above the shin. This was apparently lost upon later anthropomorphists, who said the verse proved ‘Allah has a shin,’ or, according to others, ‘two shins, since one would be unbecoming.’ Al-Tabari also relates from Muhammad ibn ‘Ubayd al-Muharibi, who relates from Ibn al-Mubarak, from Usama ibn Zayd, from ‘Ikrima, from Ibn ‘Abbas that shin in the above verse means "a day of war and direness (harbin wa shidda)" (Jami‘ al-bayan., 29.38)
All of these narrators are those of the Sahih or rigorously authenticated collections except Usama ibn Zayd, whose hadiths are Hasan or ‘well authenticated.’

Shin [leg] of Allah - wahabi/salafis interpret it:

Muhin Khan and Hilali the famous Wahabi translators write in footnote of this verse:
“All that has been revealed in Allah’s Book as regards the [Sifat] Qualities of Allah Azz wajjal, the Most High, like his Face, Eyes, Hands, “SHINS (LEGS)”, his coming his (Istawa) rising over His Throne and others…..the religious scholars of the Qur’an and the Sunnah believe in these Qualities of Allah and they confirm that these are really his Qualities, without Ta’wil (interpreting their meanings into different things)”
[Page No 81 in the footnote]
Muhsin Khan changed Shin into Shins (Legs) , which is both wrong in Lughwi and Sh'ai sense and is also clear Anthropomorphism, hence you are wrong, muhsin khan convert a singular into plural for sure to justify their anthropomorphism, but you made a confusing statement as if we dont know if they are many or not.
Laughter of Allah - to be taken allegorically not literally like wahabi/Salafis do.
Imam Bukhari [rah]
Hadith related in Sahih al-Bukhari from Abu Hurayra that the Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,
Allah Most High laughs about two men, one of whom kills the other, but both of whom enter paradise: the one fights in the path of Allah and is killed, and afterwards Allah forgives the killer, and then he fights in the path of Allah and is martyred,
The hadith master al-Bayhaqi records that the scribe of Bukhari [Muhammad ibn Yusuf] al-Farabri related that Imam al-Bukhari said, "The meaning of laughter in it is MERCY
(Kitab al-asma’ wa al-sifat, 298)

Coming of Allah - to be taken allegorically not literally like wahhabi/salafis do.

Imam Bayhaqi [rah]
The Hadith master (hafiz) Ibn Kathir reports that Imam al-Bayhaqi related from al-Hakim from Abu ‘Amr ibn al-Sammak, from Hanbal, the son of the brother of Ahmad ibn Hanbal’s father, that:
Ahmad ibn Hanbal figuratively interpreted the word of Allah Most High,"And your Lord shall come . . ." (Qur'an 89:22),as meaning: "His recompense (thawab) shall come."
Al-Bayhaqi said, "This chain of narrators has absolutely nothing wrong in it"

(al-Bidaya wa al-nihaya,10.342)
In other words, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, like the Companions (Sahaba) and other early Muslims mentioned above, sometimes also gave figurative interpretations (ta’wil) to scriptural expressions that might otherwise have been misinterpreted anthropomorphically.

Imam Ibn Hajr al Asqalani (rah) says:
إذا حملوه , وإن كان حامل العرش وحامل حملته هو الله , وليس قولنا إن الله على العرش أي مماس له أو متمكن فيه أو متحيز في جهة من جهاته بل هو خبر جاء به التوقيف , فقلنا له به ونفينا عنه التكييف إذ ليس كمثله شيء وبالله التوفيق . وقوله " فوق عرشه " صفة الكتاب , وقيل إن فوق هنا بمعنى دون , كما جاء في قوله تعالى ( بعوضة فما فوقها ) وهو بعيد , وقال ابن أبي جمرة يؤخذ من كون الكتاب المذكور فوق العرش أن الحكمة اقتضت أن يكون العرش حاملا لما شاء الله من أثر حكمة الله وقدرته وغامض غيبه ليستأثر هو بذلك من طريق العلم والإحاطة , فيكون من أكبر الأدلة على انفراده بعلم الغيب , قال : وقد يكون ذلك تفسيرا لقوله ( الرحمن على العرش استوى ) أي ما شاءه من قدرته وهو كتابه الذي وضعه فوق العرش

When we say: "Allah is above the Throne" (Allah `ala al-`arsh), it does not mean that He is touching it or that He is located on it or bounded by a certain side of the Throne Rather, it is a report which is transmitted as is, and so we repeat it while at the same time negating any modality, for there is nothing like Him whatsoever, and from Him is all success.
As for "over His throne" (in the hadith) it refers to the Book. Some have taken it in the sense of "upwards from His Throne," as in Allah's saying: "a gnat, or anything above it" (2:26), but this is far-fetched. Ibn Abu Jamra (d. 695) said: "It may be said from the fact that the Book is mentioned as being "above the Throne" that the divine wisdom has decreed for the Throne to carry whatever Allah wishes of the record of His judgment, power, and the absolute unseen known of Him alone, so as to signify the exclusivity of His encompassing knowledge regarding these matters, making the Throne one of the greatest signs of the exclusivity of His knowledge of the Unseen. This could explain the verse al-rahmanu `al al-`arshi istawa as referring to whatever Allah wills of His power, which is the Book He has placed above His Throne."

Al-Qushayri :
The establishment of His Throne in the heaven is known, and His Throne in the earth is the hearts of the People of Pure Monotheism (ahl al-tawhid). He said: { and eight will uphold the Throne of their Lord that day, above them} (69:17), and [concerning] the throne of the hearts: { We carry them on the land and the sea} (17:70). As for the throne of the heaven: the Merciful established Himself over it (`alayhi istawa); and as for the throne of the hearts: the Merciful conquered it (`alayhi istawla). The throne of the heaven is the direction of the supplication of creatures, while the throne of the heart is the locus of the gaze of the Real - Most High -. Therefore, there is a huge difference between this throne and that!
[In Lata'if al-Isharat (4:118)]

Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ash`ari said:
"The establishment of Allah - Most High - on the Throne is an action He has created named istiwa' and related to the Throne, just as He has created an action named ityan (coming) related to a certain people; and this implies neither descent nor movement."
[As cited in `Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi, Usul al-Din (p. 113).]

Al-Bayhaqi confirms this: "Abu al-Hasan `Ali al-Ash`ari said that Allah - Most High - effected an act in relation to the Throne, and He called that act istiwa', just as He effected other acts in relation to other objects, and He calledthose acts 'sustenance' (rizq), `favor' (ni`ma), or other of His acts."
[Al-Bayhaqi, al-Asma' wa al-Sifat (2:308)]

This is also the interpretation of Ibn Hazm (d. 456) - although a vehement enemy of Ash`aris - who explains istiwa' as "an act pertaining to the Throne [In his al-Fisal fi al-Milal (2:125).]
Abu al-Fadl al-Tamimi on position of Imam Ahmad said:
“mentioned that two positions were reported from Imam Ahmad concerning istiwa': One group narrated that heconsidered it "of the Attributes of act" (min sifat al-fi`l), another, "of the Attributes of the Essence" (min sifat al-dhat)."
[bn Abi Ya`la, Tabaqat al-Hanabila (2:296)]

Ibn Battal mentions that Ahl al-Sunna hold either one of these two positions: "Those that interpreted istawa as `He exalted Himself' (`ala) consider istiwa an Attribute of the Essence, while those who interpreted it otherwise consider it an Attribute of act”
[In Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari (1959 ed. 13:406) ]

Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ash`ari
Al-Tamimi further related that Ahmad said:
“[Istiwa']: It means height/exaltation (`uluw) and elevation (irtifa`). Allah - Most High - is ever exalted (`ali) and elevated (rafi`) without beginning, before He created the Throne. He is above everything (huwa fawqa kulli shay'), and He is exalted over everything (huwa al-`ali `ala kulli shay'). He only specified the Throne because of its particular significance which makes it different from everything else, as the Throne is the best of all things and the most elevated of them. Allah - Most High - therefore praised Himself by saying that He { established Himself over the Throne }, that is, He exalted Himself over it (`alayhi `ala). It is impermissible to say that He established Himself with a contact or a meeting with it. Exalted is Allah above that! Allah is not subject to change, substitution, nor limits, whether before or after the creation of the Throne”
[bn Abi Ya`la, Tabaqat al-Hanabila (2:296-297)]

Sufyan al-Thawri
Sufyan al-Thawri (d. 161 AH) interpreted istiwa' in the verse { The Merciful established Himself over the Throne } (20:5) as "a command concerning the Throne" (amrun fi al-`arsh)
as related by Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni and quoted by al-Yafi`i in the latter's book Marham al-`Ilal al-Mu`dila fi Daf` al-Shubah wa al-Radd `ala al-Mu`tazila ("Book of the Resolution of Difficult Problems for the Removal of Doubts and the Refutation of the Mu`tazila"):
The understanding of istiwa' as the turning of Allah - Most High - to a particular command concerning the Throne is not far-fetched, and this is the ta'wil of Imam Sufyan al-Thawri, who took as corroborating evidence for it the verse: { Then turned He (thumma istawa) to the heaven when it was smoke](41:11), meaning: "He proceeded to it" (qasada ilayha)
[ al-Yafi`i, Marham al-`Ilal (p. 245) and Abu al-Ma`ali Ibn al-Juwayni, al-Irshad (p. 59-60)]

Imam Al Tabari (rah) on Istiwa in Quran
Al-Tabari said, in his commentary on the verse { Then turned He (thumma istawa) to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens } (2:29):
The meaning of istiwa' in this verse is height (`uluw) and elevation... but if one claims that this means displacement for Allah, tell him: He is high and elevated over the heaven with the height of sovereignty and power, not the height of displacement and movement to and fro.

The above position is exactly that of the Ash`ari school, as shown by Abu Bakr ibn al-`Arabi's and Ibn Hajar's numerous comments[Respectively in `Arida al-Ahwadhi (2:234-237) and Fath al-Bari (3:37-38, 6:136 [Jihad], also Tawhid ch. 23 last par.) to that effect directed against those who attribute altitude to Allah in their interpretation of His `uluw such as Ibn Taymiyya.
Ibn Taymiyya
stated and Refuted by several classical scholars "The Creator, Glorified and Exalted is He, is above the world and His being above is literal, not in the sense of dignity or rank."[In al-Ta'sis al-Radd `ala Asas al-Taqdis (= Talbis al-Jahmiyya 1:111)]

^This doctrine was comprehensively refuted by Ibn Jahbal al-Kilabi (d. 733 AH) in his Radd `ala Man Qala bi al-Jiha ("Refutation of Ibn Taymiyya Who Attributes A Direction to Allah - Most High -")
(ref)Its text is quoted in full in Ibn al-Subki's Tabaqat (9:35-91) and its translation is forthcoming insha Allah.
And Refuted by Shaykh Yusuf al-Nabahani (1265-1350) in his Raf` al-Ishtibah fi Istihala al-Jiha `ala Allah ("The Removal of Doubt Concerning the Impossibility of Direction for Allah"),
(ref for above) Reproduced in full in al-Nabahani's Shawahid al-Haqq

Ibn Battal
and Abu Mansur al-Baghdadi quoted by Imam Ibn e Hajar (Rah) attribute the interpretation as istila' chiefly to the Mu`tazila.

Ibn Hajar said:
“The Mu`tazila said its meaning is "establishing dominion through subjugation and overpowering" (al-istila' bi al-qahr wa al-ghalaba), citing as a proof the saying of the poet:
Bishr established mastery over Iraq without sword and without shedding blood.
The anthropomorphists (al-jismiyya) said: "Its meaning is settledness (al-istiqrar)."

he explanation of istawa as istaqarra in the verse {Then He established Himself over the Throne} (32:4) is actuallyreported from al-Kalbi and Muqatil by al-Baghawi - in his commentary entitled Ma`alim al-Tanzil (al-Manar ed. 3:488) - who adds that the philologist Abu `Ubayda [Ma`mar ibn al-Muthanna al-Taymi (d. ~210)] said "He mounted" (sa`ida). Pickthall followed the latter in his translation of the verse as {Then He mounted the Throne}. It is a foundational position of the "Salafis" as stated by Imam Muhammad Abu Zahra: "The `wahabis' and Ibn Taymiyya assert that settledness takes place over the Throne...

Ibn Taymiyya strenuously asserts that Allah descends, and can be above (fawq) and below (taht) `without how' (naoozbila).... and that the school of the Salaf is the affirmation of everything that the Qur'an stated concerning aboveness (fawqiyya), belowness (tahtiyya), and establishment over the Throne."

reference: ► Abu Zahra, al-Madhahib al-Islamiyya (p. 320-322)

Some of Ahl al-Sunna said: "Its meaning is He elevated Himself (irtafa`a)" [b/] and others of them said: "Its meaning is sovereignty (al-mulk) and power (al-qudra)."
Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari (1959 ed. 13:409)

Ibn Battal
and Ibn al-Jawzi on Istawa
As Ibn Battal alluded, "establishing dominion and sovereignty," "subduing," and "conquering" no more suppose prior opposition in the face of the Creator than do His Attributes of "All-Victorious" (Zahir) "All-Compelling" (Qahhar), "Prevailer" (Ghalib), or "Omnipotent" (Qahir) presuppose resistance or power on anyone's part. This is confirmed by the verses: { He is the Omnipotent (al-qahir) over His slaves } (6:18, 6:61) and { Allah prevails (ghalib) in His purpose } (12:21). Al-Raghib said: "It means that everything is alike in relation to him" and he did not say: "became alike."

Ibn al-Jawzi mentions another reason for permitting this interpretation: "Whoever interprets { and He is with you } (57:4) as meaning `He is with you in knowledge,' permits his opponent to interpret istiwa' as 'subduing' (al-qahr)
In Daf` Shubah al-Tashbih (1998 al-Kawthari repr. p. 23)


Master of Deception/ Lies


Hardcore Anthropomorphist

Ibn Taymiyyah

Ibn Taymiyyah
وللّه ـ تعالى ـ استواء على عرشه حقيقة، وللعبد استواء على الفلك حقيقة،
Translation: “The establishment of Allah over the Throne is real, and the servant's establishment over the ship is real”
[Majmua al Fatawa Volume 5 Page No. 199]

Imam Ibn Hajr al Asqalani (rah) said
“Ibn Taymiyyah was attributed with anthropomorphism because of what he wrote in his books like Aqeedah Hamvia, Al-Waastiya and others that Allah's Face and Hand and Shin are “REAL” attributes, and Allah is sitting on the Arsh (Throne) “In person”.
(Naoozubila Min Zalik)
[Imam Ibn Hajr al Asqalani in Al-Durar al Kameena, Volume No. 1, Page Nos. 49-50]

May Allah save every Muslim Iman and Aqeeda from Deviant beliefs of some and help us in following Quran,Sunnah,Salafs and classical scholars of Islam.


By Aamir Ibrahim
 Edited by ADHM

What is Meant 

When We Say

Allah is Above What He Created

Ibn Fûrâk, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ibn Fûrâk,
Abû Bakr al-Asbahânî al-Shâfi`î
(d. 406AH)

Imam Ibn Fūrāk al-Shafi

Indeed, they have released a statement and they have said:
‘In (fī) the east and in the west and in the heavens and in the earth.’
It has been said that if this is valid then it means ‘above’ them (fawqaha). The use of the word fī (in) to mean fawqa (above) is clear in the language and prevalent.
For example, we have His statement, Mighty and Majestic:
“You may travel about in “You may travel about in (fī) the land…” [Al-Tawba 9:2] i.e. above it.
There is also His statement: “…and have you crucified in (fī) palm trunks.” [Taha 20:71]
The scholars of tafsīr say that the meaning is ‘on palm trunks’, and based on this His statement:
“Or do you feel secure against Him Who is in do you feel secure against Him Who is in (fī) heaven…” [AlMulk 67:16] can be interpreted to mean fawqa (above) heaven. It is clear in the [Arabic] language that is used to mean fawqa.
He, Blessed and Exalted, has also said:
“ He is the Absolute Master over (fawqa) His slaves” [Al-Anʿām 6:18] and He said:
They fear their Lord above (fawqa) them.” [Al-Nahl 16:50]
The Muslims explain that Allah the Exalted is above His creation, and this takes precedence over the former [i.e. being in His creation].
Thus, His statement: “It is He who is God in heaven and God on earth.” [AlZukhruf 43:84] is also interpreted to mean ‘God above heaven and God above earth.’ A verse of poetry also says that “the slave was being crucified in (fī) palm trunks” meaning on palm trunks.

Know that when we say that Allah, Mighty and Majestic, is above what He has created that does not mean that He is above in terms of a physical place, or that He has risen above physical places by a certain distance and He supervises these places by applying Himself to something from them.
Rather, our saying that He is above them carries two senses; one of them means that He is the Absolute Master, in charge of them and establishing His all encompassing power over them, as well as His comprehensive mastery over them and them being under his direction, progressing in accordance with His knowledge and His will.
The second sense is that He is above them meaning He is distinct (mubāyin) of His creation. He is different in terms of His attributes and qualities, and that which is possible for temporal beings, such as defects, imperfection, incapacity, problems, and needs, are not befitting of Him at all and it is not possible for him to be attributed with any of them.
It is also commonplace in the language that it is said that
‘so - and- so is above so - and - so’1 , and what is meant is a higher rank and position.
Allah, Mighty and Majestic, is above His creation in both senses while the third sense is impossible for him, which is, being confined in some direction, or in a specific place as opposed to another place.
Thus, when we say that He is above (fawqa) things in this sense we also interpret the statement that He is in (fī) them with the same meaning. We have already noted in the [Arabic] language that in (fi) and on (‘alā) can be used as synonyms as we have demonstrated in the examples from the Qurʾānic āyāt as well as poetry.
What if someone asks: ‘If you allow for it be said that He is in (fī) heaven and in (fī) earth meaning that He is above (fawqa) them, do you also allow for it to be said that He is in (fī) everything with the interpretation you gave?’
It has been explained that we only use such language if it has been conveyed in traditions or revelation, and it is not for us to use analogy with regards to any of this terminology [when it is in relation to the Names and Attributes of Allah].

1 Translator: cf. Surah Yusuf 12:76 – Above (fawqa) every man of knowledge, there is someone more knowledgeable”
Surah Āl Imran 3:55: and to place those who follow you above (“and to place those who follow you above (fawqa) those who disbelieve”

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Imam Ibn Fūrāk al-Shafi
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