About Allah (swt)
Notes edited by Omar K N


A note of caution!

Al-Junayd - like the Sunni Imams of his generation - hated theological disputes about Allah and His Attributes. He used to say:
"The least [peril] that lies within kalâm is the elimination of the awe of Allah from the heart. And when the heart is left devoid of the awe of Allah, it becomes devoid of faith." FIS247

Imam Shafi`i's advice is as follows:
"Take proofs from creation about the Creator,
and do not burden yourself with the knowledge of what your mind did not reach." FIS222

(A) Where

Our doctrine is that Allah (swt) is pre-eternal and pre-existent (qâdim 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 a part of face-to-face encounter, nor in the sense of a face-to-face encounter (yurâ lâ `an muqâbala wa-lâ `alâ muqâbala).
Sh. Ibn Jahbal al-Kilâbî; RIT164

He is now as He ever was.

They asked Yahyâ ibn Mu`âdh al-Râzî (radiAllahu `anhu):
- Tell us about Allah Almighty.
He replied: "He is One God." The questioner asked:
- What is He like (kaifa hû)? He replied:
"The Owner Who is Mighty." The questioner asked:
- Where is He? He said:
{ [Truly! Your Lord is] in the lookout* } (Sura 89:14). The questioner said:
- I was not asking you about that. Al-Râzî replied:
"All else is an attribute of the created. As for His own attribute [of where-about], I was not informed about it."(* also translated as "ambush".)

Imam Abu Hanifa wrote in his al-Fiqh al-Absat:
"If someone says, 'Where is Allah?' The answer for him is that Allah existed when there was no 'where,' no creation, nothing! And He is the Creator of everything."
RIT168, fn273

Abû `Uthmân said to me* one day:
"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.

Abû `Uthmân was pleased with my answer. He took off his shirt and he gave it to me. (*Muhammad ibn Mahbûb, Abû `Uthmân al-Maghribî's servant)

"Take proofs from creation about the Creator,
and do not burden yourself with the knowledge of what your mind did not reach."
This was Imam Shafi`i's advice FIS222

(B) What ...

When Pharao asked Musa: { And what is the Lord of the worlds? } (Quran, Sura 26:23), Musa (only) mentioned the most specific of Attributes, namely the power of Allah to invent and create and said:
{ Lord of the Heavens and the earth and all that is between them, if you had but sure faith. } (Quran, Sura 26:24)

(C) With ...

Allah said: { ... and He is with you wheresoever you may be. And Allah is seer of what you do. } (Quran, Sura 57:4) The literal meaning of this discourse indicates that the stipulation of this "being-with" and its requirement is that He is aware of you and knows about you. Hence, the meaning of the Salaf's statement: He is with them in His knowledge." And that is both the letter of the text and its real sense (zâhir al-khitâb wa-haqîqatuhu).

(D) How ...

Generally speaking if He wills a thing, it happens as He wills it at the time when He wills it, and in the manner that He wills.

{ When He has decreed something, He says to it only: ‘Be!’ — and it is.} Sura Ál ‘Imrán 3:47

- Through the asbáb, the means that let things happen on earth, with the idhn (Divine Permission) or the irádah (Divine Will) of Allah (swt). The doctrine* of Tawhíd (the Oneness & Uniqueness of Allah) will inform the believer of the obvious - that the means must not and cannot be confounded with the cause: which is God - Allah. The means include the angels and man himself, or anything else in creation or in the invisible world.
* from Latin doctrina teaching, learning, from doctor teacher, from doc

- But we need to remember:
{ He* cannot be questioned as to what He does, while they will be questioned. } * = Allah, Sura al-Anbiya’ 21-23

”He (i.e. Allah) is compassionate and loves those who are compassionate; merciful to His servants who show compassion. He conceals (faults) and loves those who cover the faults of His servants. He is clement and love those who pardon; forgiving and loves those who forgive; gentle and loves those who are gentle to others. But He is angered by those who are rude, rough or hard-hearted.

He is companionable and loves companionship (among people); forbearing and loves forbearance; good and loves goodness and its doers; just and loves justice. He loves to accept excuses and loves those who excuse others. Thus He recompenses His servant inasmuch as these attributes are present or absent in him.”

Ibn al-Qayyim, in Al-Wabil al-Sayyib (Beirut & Damascus: Maktabah Dar al-Bayan, 2006), 79.
From: The Beginning, the Void & Islam’s Cosmic Question


RIT: The Refutation of him who attributes direction to Allah
Author(s): Qadi Ibn Jahbal; Dr Gibril Haddad; Shaykh Sulayman Wahbi al-Ghawji al-Albani;
link: http://www.aqsapublications.com

FIS: The Four Imams and Their Schools, by Gibril Fouad Haddad

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latest update: 2020-01-30


* living Islam – Islamic Tradition *