Ask Imaam

What do the scholars and muftis of the mighty Shariah say regarding this matter what is the belief of the Ahlus-Sunnah in regard to the Arsh and Kurs of Allah (Most High)?

The linguistic meaning of ‘Arsh in the Arabic Language is ‘a king’s throne’. The belief of the Ahl al-Sunnah regarding the ‘Arsh of Allah (Most High) is that it is Real and it exists, because Allah (Most High) mentions it in The Quran;

Allah (Most High) says:

“Those who bear the Throne and those around it sanctify their Lord with praise”

[Surah al-Mu-min, Verse 7]

And whilst proclaiming its greatness, He (Most High) said:

“and the Lord of the Tremendous Throne”

[Surah al-Mu’minun, Verse 86]

The belief of the Ahlus-Sunnah regarding the Kursi is that it is also real and it exists and is in front of the throne; Allah (Most High) mentions it in The Noble Quran:

“His Kursi encompasses the heavens and the earth”

[Surah al-Baqarah, Verse 255]

Also, it is mentioned in ‘Aqidah Tahawiyah:

 

In its commentary, ‘Allamah Muhammad bin Muhammad al-Babarti says: “some scholars said that the meaning of Kursi is the Divine Knowledge of Allah and the ‘Arsh is His Dominion”, after mentioning these statements, He states: “According to our scholars [of the Ahl al-Sunnah], the correct methodology is that all those things that are established in The Quran and The Sunnah and do not have any relation to action ['amal] then it is necessary that one does not preoccupy one’s self with their interpretation, rather, it is necessary to believe in their existence and the reality of their intended meaning.”

[Sharh' Aqidah al-Tahawiyah li Akmal al-Din Muhammad bin Muhammad al-Barbarti, pg 93]

It has become apparent that no interpretation of the ‘Arsh and Kursi will be made, but it is necessary to have faith in their existence.

In addition, The Quran and Hadith do not expound on the appearance of the ‘Arsh and Kursi.

Just as My master A’la Hazrat the Imam of the Ahl al-Sunnah al-Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (may Allah cover him with mercy) mentions in al-Malfuzh:

“The Jurist and the hadith scholars have not mentioned anything about the physical attributes of the Kursi, the philosophers say that it is the eighth heaven; it encompasses the seven heavens; it contains all the stars, but the Shari’ah does not mention this.”

Like this, the ignorant philosophers say that the ‘Arsh is the ninth heaven, as it does not contain any large star; however, it becomes apparent from Hadith that it encompass the heavens and the Earth, and it’s pillars are of yaqut (a precious stone). At this moment, four angels are carrying it on their shoulders and on the day of judgement, eight angels will carry it, as it is proven from The Majestic Quran:

“and on that day, the eight (angels) will bear above them the throne of your Lord”.

[Surah al-Haqqah, Verse 17]

The distance between the feet and knees of these angels is a journey of 500 years.

The reason Ayat al-Kursi is called Ayat al-Kursi is because the Kursi is mentioned in it:

“His Kursi encompasses the heavens and the earth”

[Surah al-Baqarah, Verse 255]

The Kursi is extremely vast; the Earth and the heavens before the Kursi are like a ring in an open field. My master A’la Hazrat the Imam of the Ahl al-Sunnah al-Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (may Allah cover him with mercy) further states that it has been narrated in authentic Hadith that they are like a ring in an open land whose borders cannot be seen: “in comparison to the Kursi, the seven heavens and the seven earths are like a ring [or a loop] in a vast land”.

[Tafsir Durr al-Manthur, Surah al-Baqarah, Taht al-Ayat 255 , Volume 2, pg 18 & Malfuzhat e A'la Hazrat, pg 509]

When everything else ceases to exist, the ‘Arsh and Kursi will be amongst those seven things which will not perish, just as it is mentioned in Sharh’ Aqaid Nasafiyah:

“[They will not perish] Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah (may Allah grant them victory) have said: Seven things will not perish the ‘Arsh, the Kursi, the Preserved Tablet (al-Lawh) the Pen (al-Qalam), Jannah and Jahannam with their people and the souls.  The statement of Allah indicates upon this:

“And the Day when the Trumpet shall be blown, then all those who are in heavens and those in the earth shall be unnerved but he whom Allah wills.”

[Surah al-Naml Verse 87]

Meaning Jannah, Jahannam with their people including the Angels of punishment and the Maidens of Jannah as is mentioned in ‘Bahr al-Kalam’ and similarly ‘al-Jawharah al-Munifah.”

[Hashiyah Sharh 'Aqaid Nasafiyah, Matbu'ah  Maktabah al-Madinah, pg 250]

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri

Translated by Zameer Ahmad