Ask Imaam

In the book Aqaaid of the Muslim it is stated:Clearly Allah is everywhere in the Heavens and the Earth.I have learnt that we should believe that:Allh Exists without a place.Can you please clarify?

In the name of Allah al-Rahman al-Rahim

Correct Islamic Belief is a first and foremost priority of a believer. Study of ‘Aqa’id should take place with a learned person known to adhere to the Creed of the Ahl al-Sunnah. Such a study should cover beliefs regarding Allah (Most Transcendent is He) and His Divine Attributes.  Books should be read as a supplementary with the guidance of the teacher.

Allah states in the Qur’an:

 “Nothing is like Him, and He is the All-Hearing, All-Seeing.”

[Surah Shura Verse 11]

The correct Islamic Belief is that Allah created time and place and He Exists without a place as the great Imams of the Ahl al-Sunnah have elaborated in their works. That which is stated from the book mentioned by the questioner is an incorrect, erroneous belief which the Mutakallimin (Scholars of Theology) have refuted in their works.

The Mutakallim Imam ibn Furak al Ash’ari  (may Allah shower him with mercy) has said:

"Know that al-Thalji used to have the opinion of al-Najjar  in the statement "Allah is everywhere" and that is the view of the Mu'tazilah.  This interpretation is rejected according to us due to the fact that it is not allowed to say that Allah is in a place or in all places".

[Mushkil al-Hadith pg 63]

Al-Imam al-Hafizh al- Bayhaqi mentions in ‘al-I’tiqad’:

 “In many verses there is indication upon the nullification of the statement of those from the Jahmiyyah that claimed that Allah is everywhere in His Being (bidhatihi). And the statement of Allah Most Transcendent {And He is with you wherever you may be} He intended by it through His Divine Knowledge not with His Divine Being.”

[Al-I'tiqad, pg 112]

In an answer to a question in al-Fatawa al-Ridwiyyah the Mujaddid Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (may Allah shower him with mercy) says:

 “Amr’s saying that there is no such place no corner where the Being (Dhat) of Allah is not present is a statement of Kufr because it is the establishing of a place for the Dhat of Allah. The verdict of kufr upon this has been passed in Fatawa Tatarkhaniyyah, Tariqah Muhammadiyyah, Hadiqah Nadiyyah, Fatawa Alamghiriy, Jam’i al-Fusulayn and other works.”

[Al-Fatawa al-Ridwiyyah Vol 14 pg 620]

The Mujaddi Imam Hujjat al-Islam al-Ghazali (may Allah have mercy on him) states:

 “So do not become confused and entangled in the places of erring in this matter. From that is the error of the one who says: ‘He (Allah) is everywhere’. Every person who attributed place or direction to Him erred and deviated and the extent of his contemplation returned back to the manner of dealing with the tangible realities of animals and did not go beyond physical bodies and that which is associated with them. The first of the levels of Iman is to surpass these and in that a person becomes a human let alone becoming a Believer.”

[Al-Arba'in fi Usul al-Din pg 296]

Answered by Mawlana Ibrar Shafi