Tawheed Of Deobandis On The Scale Of Ahlus Sunnah
All praise is due to the Rabb of the worlds, and May Allaah exalt the mention on His chosen Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam), and upon his family, his Companions, and those who truly follow them until the Day of Judgment.
Correct understanding of Tawheed (Islamic monotheism) and possessing sound ‘aqeedah (beliefs) is the bedrock of Islam, we would like to point out a very basic ‘aqeedah issue which differentiate’s between Ahlus Sunnah (People of Sunnah) and Ahlul Bid’ah (People of innovation). It is Affirmation of al-Uluww (ascension) for Allaah Subhanahu Wa Taala.
Deobandi’s claim to possess Correct Islamic ‘aqeedah and sound manhaj (methodology) of Salaf-Us-Saliheen, thus they consider themselves to be from the Ahlus Sunnah (People of Sunnah). But these people do not realize that simply calming to be from the Ahlus Sunnah, doesn’t make an individual or group to be from Ahlus Sunnah.
The below fatwa was issued by Dar ul uloom Deoband India in reply to the Question. Where is Allaah according to aqeedah of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah ? Is He (Allaah Subhanahu wa Taala) Everywhere or above His throne عرش? They replied that according to aqeedah of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah, Allaah Subhanahu wa Taala is Everywhere.
اللہ سبحانہ و تعالی کی موجودگی کے بارے میں اہل سنت والجماعت کا عقیدہ کیا ہے؟ کیا ان کے مطابق اللہ ہرجگہ موجود ہے یا وہ عرش پر ہے؟
اہل سنت والجماعت کا عقیدہ ہے کہ اللہ تعالیٰ ہرجگہ موجود ہے
The above fatwa of Deobandi’s clearly contradicts The Noble Quran, authentic hadith and the Ijma (consensus) of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah, because the correct ‘aqeedah with regard to this issue is that, Allaah Subhanahu Wa Taala is above His throne, and none except the Ahlul Bid’ah (People of innovation) consider Allaah ( Subhanahu Wa Taala) to be everywhere.
Let’s, analyze their faulty claim under the light of Noble Quran, authentic hadith and as per the manhaj (methodology) of Salaf-Us-Saliheen. (generally refers to the first three generations of Muslims i.e. the Sahabah, the Tabi‘in and the Taba‘ at-Tabi‘in, as these three generations are looked upon as examples of how Islam should be practiced), we will present proof after proof to answer this basic question proving beyond the shadow of doubt that Allaah is above the Throne.
The first Pillar of Iman (Faith) is to Believe in Allaah, having faith in Allaah means to believe with Certainty and conviction that Allaah is the Lord and Sovereign of all that exists, that He is the Creator, Planner and Sustainer of the entire universe, that He Alone — and without a partner – deserves to be worshipped, all that is worshipped other than Him is worshipped in vain, that Allaah has the most exalted and perfect attributes, and that He is far Above from having any fault or defect.
Among the most exalted and perfect attributes is that He (Allaah Subhanahu Wa Taala) is above His heavens over His Throne, and that He is the Exalted, Most High. He is Above all things, and there is nothing that is above Him.
الرَّحْمَٰنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَىٰ
“The Most Gracious (Allaah) rose over (Istawa) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). (20:05)
Further Allaah Subhanahu Wa Taala Says :
أَأَمِنتُم مَّن فِي السَّمَاءِ أَن يَخْسِفَ بِكُمُ الْأَرْضَ فَإِذَا هِيَ تَمُورُ
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)? (67:16-17)
It is important to point out here that the literal translation of ‘fis-sama’ is ‘in’ the heavens. The scholars of tafseer have explained it according to the Arabic language for ‘fi’ in this context to have the meaning of above as it is not possible for Allaah to be surrounded by His creation i.e. the heavens. Also, sometimes the word ‘fi’ is used in the meaning of ‘ala’ (on) as mentioned in another verse :
وَلَأُصَلِّبَنَّكُمْ فِي جُذُوعِ النَّخْلِ وَلَتَعْلَمُنَّ أَيُّنَا أَشَدُّ عَذَابًا وَأَبْقَىٰ
“..I will surely crucify you ‘fi’ (on) the trunks of palm-trees..”(20:71)
Now, obviously the ‘fi’ in this verse refers not to ‘in’ but to ‘on’ as one cannot be crucified within a trunk!
Now, let’s see the evidences from the Sunnah and Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam)
The Sunnah of the Prophet is the explanation of the Quran. One cannot take the Quran alone without letting the Sunnah tag along. Like the Quran, the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam) made it extremely clear.
Some of the ahadith on this matter are quoted next : Abdullah ibn Amr ibn (radiallaahanhu) Al-As related that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam) said, “Allaah grants mercy to the merciful. Be merciful to those who are on the earth, (then) He Who is fis-Sama (above the heavens) will be merciful to you.” [Reported by Imaam Abu Dawood & Imaam At-Tirmidhi (rahimahumaallaah)]
It is even reported by Jabir ibn Abdillah (radiallaahanhu) said : “The Messenger of Allaah said in his speech on the day of Arafah : ‘Did I convey (the Message).’ They said : ‘Yes.’ While raising his finger to the sky and then pointing at them, he said : ‘O my Lord, be a witness.” [Reported by Imaam Muslim (rahimahullaah)]
Finally, justice cannot be done to this topic without mentioning the hadith about the slave-girl, whose faith was affirmed by just two questions, one being ‘Where is Allaah?’ :
Muawiyah bin Al-Hakam As-Salmi (radiallaahanhu) said : “I had a slave-girl who used to herd sheep for me. One day I discovered that a wolf had killed one of her sheep, and I’m a man from the children of Adam, I get upset like they get upset, and I slapped her in the face. Then I went to the Prophet who impressed upon me the seriousness of my act. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, should I not set her free?’ He said, ‘Bring her to me.’ He asked her, ‘Where is Allaah’, She said, ‘He is above the sky.‘ He said, ‘Who am I?’ She said, ‘You are the Messenger of Allaah.’ He said, ‘Free her, for she is a believer.’ [Reported by Imaam Muslim (rahimahullaah)]
Lastly, lets see the sayings of Ahlus Sunnah.
Imam al-Dhahabi (rahimahullaah) reports in al-Siyar (12/494): ‘Amr bin Tamim al-Makki said: I heard Muhammad bin Isma’il al-Tirmidhi [who] said: I heard al-Muzanee saying, “The Tawheed of any [person] is not valid, sound until he knows that Allaah the Exalted is over His Throne, with His attributes.” I said to him, “Like what?” He said, “Hearing, seeing, knowing.”
Imaam Ad-Dahhaak 105H (rahimahullaah) : “..He (Allaah) is above the Throne and His knowledge is with them wherever they may be..” ref : “Mukhtasar al-Uluww” of Imaam adh-Dhahabi (rahimahullaah), (p. 133). It was related by Abu Ahmad al-Assaal, and Abu Abdullaah bin Battah, and Abu Umar bin Abdul-Barr with good chains of narration. And Muqaatil is thiqah (trustworthy) Imaam.
Imaam Sulaymaan at-Taymee 143H (rahimahullaah) : “ If I was asked ‘Where is Allaah?’ I Would Say Above The Heaven” ref : “Mukhtasar al-Uluww” of Imaam adh-Dhahabi (rahimahullaah), (p. 133).
Imaam Muqaatil bin Hayyaan 150H (rahimahullaah) : “..He (Allaah) is above His Throne..” ref : “Mukhtasar al-Uluww” of Imaam adh-Dhahabi (rahimahullaah) (p. 137)
Imaam Abdur-Rahmaan al-Awzaa’ee 157H (rahimahullaah) : “..We Used to Say Whilst the Taabi’oon Were Many: ‘Allaah the Mighty and Majestic Is Above His Throne’..” ref : “al-Asmaa was-Sifaat” of Al-Bayhaqi (rahimahullaah) (p. 408).
Imaam Muhammad bin Yusuf al-Firyaabee 212H (rahimahullaah), Shaykh of Imaam al-Bukhaaree (rahimahullaah), : “..Whoever Says Allaah Is Not Above His Throne is a Kaafir..” ref : “Khalq Af’aal il-Ibaad” of Imaam al-Bukhaaree (rahimahullaah) (p. 15).
Imaam Abu Haatim ar-Raazee (rahimahullaah) said : Abu Imraan at-Tarsoosee narrated to us, saying : I said to (Imaam) Sunayd bin Daawood (d 226H) , “Is He (Allaah) , the Mighty and Majestic, above His Throne, separate and distinct from His creation (baa’inun min khalqihi) ? He said, “Yes.” ref : “Mukhtasar al-Uluww” of Imaam adh-Dhahabi (rahimahullaah), (p. 183).
Imaam Qutaybah bin Sa’eed 240H (rahimahullaah) : “..This Is the Saying of the Imaams of Islaam and the Sunnah : ‘We Know Our Lord To Be Above the Seventh Heaven, Above His Throne’ just as He, lofty is His Majesty, said, “Ar-Rahmaan ascended above the Throne”. ref : “Mukhtasar al-Uluww” of Imaam adh-Dhahabi (rahimahullaah), (p. 187).
Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal 241H (rahimahullaah) : ..Yes, He (Allaah) is over His Throne, and nothing escapes His knowledge..” ref : “Mukhtasar al-Uluww” of Imaam adh-Dhahabi (rahimahullaah), (p. 189). Note : This al-Qattaan is thiqah (trustworthy) from the Shaykhs of al-Bukhaaree. He died in 253H, al-Khallaal heard from him, and the isnaad is saheeh.
Imaam Zakariyyaa as-Saajee 307H (rahimahullaah), said : My father said : “..The saying regarding the Sunnah that I saw our Companions upon, the people of hadeeth whom we met is that Allaah, the Most High, is above His Throne, above His heaven…” ref : “Mukhtasar al-Uluww” of Imaam adh-Dhahabi (rahimahullaah), (p. 223).
We conclude with conversation which took place between Imaam Harb bin Ismaa’eel al-Kirmaanee (rahimahullaah) (d. 280H) and Imaam Ishaaq bin Raahawaih (rahimahullaah), the Scholar of Khurasaan (d. 237H ) “I (Harb bin Ismaa’eel al-Kirmaanee) said to Ishaaq bin Raahawaih, “His, the Most High’s saying, ‘There is no secret gathering of three, except that He is the fourth…’, how do we speak regarding it? He said : Wherever you may be, He is closer to you than your jugular vein, but He is separate and distinct from His creation (baa’inun min khalqihi) Then he (Ishaaq) mentioned from [Abdullaah] Ibn al-Mubaarak (d. 181H), his saying : He is over His Throne, separate and distinct from His creation (baa’inun min khalqihi). Then he (Ishaaq) said : The most apparent and manifest thing in that regard is His, the Most High’s saying : ar-Rahmaan ascended above the Throne (Taha 20:5). It was reported by al-Khallaal in “as-Sunnah” from Harb”. ref : “Mukhtasar al-Uluww” of Imaam adh-Dhahabi (rahimahullaah), (p. 191). Note: Harb bin Ismaa’eel al-Kirmaanee is from the associates of Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal (rahimahullaah).
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Some Ayats in the Quran are used by Ahlul Bidaah to prove their claim that Allaah is everywhere. Among them are the verses pointing to Allaah’s closeness to His Creation to the point of being closer than the jugular vein. But how then, if one accepts that this is proof that Allaah is everywhere, will one refute all the countless arguments/verses/ahadith that were presented here. Is it then that there is contradiction in the Book of Allaah, the Sunnah and that all the Imaams and the scholars have preached falsehood? No. rather the claim that Allaah is everywhere is misinterpretation to the point of being disbelief. These verses merely point to the fact that His Knowledge, His Seeing, His Hearing and His Power is everywhere. Only this explanation will allow one to be in compliance with all the other proofs from the Quran, the Sunnah and the Ijma of the companions and Salaf -Us- Saliheen.
َفمَن يُرِدِ اللَّهُ أَن يَهْدِيَهُ يَشْرَحْ صَدْرَهُ لِلْإِسْلَامِ ۖ وَمَن يُرِدْ أَن يُضِلَّهُ يَجْعَلْ صَدْرَهُ ضَيِّقًا حَرَجًا
“And whomsoever Allaah wills to guide, He opens his breast to Islam, and whomsoever He wills to send astray, He makes his breast closed and constricted.. (6:125)
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