C – ‘Uluww (Highness of Allah) – General Overview
This has 3 connotations, Allah is highest in 1) His Control, 2) His Power, and 3) His Essence.
In reality, this is something that does not need to be proved, but because of the statements of some deviant groups on this issue, it has become necessary.
The proofs regarding this issue are too many to enumerate. This post will serve to give a brief overview of some of the proofs and their categories. Some of the ayaat are not fully quoted here, as they will be quoted in full in later articles.
First is the explicit ayaat mentioning Allah’s rising over the Throne. Also many hadith indicate that the Throne is above the heavens.
There are references also to things being “raised” (rafa’a) to Him, such as good deeds, (35:10, 4:158, 3:55). Also there are examples of good deeds being lifted up to Him with the word sa’ada.
There are also proofs showing Allah is “fis-Samaa’” and this means above (67:16-17). It should be noted that fee can also mean in, however, in this context it means above. This is also the case in the hadith of the slave-girl. One proof for this is the ayah 20:71, where Fir’awn says he will crucify the people fee date-palms. Obviously this means on them and not “in” them. Another proof for this is Allah’s saying to “travel fil-’ard (in the earth).” No one takes this to mean to be actually in the earth, but upon the earth.
Many of Allah’s Names also indicate His Transcendence, such as al-’Alee, al-A’laa, Ta’aala, al-Muta’aal, al-Qaahir, and many others showing He is above everything in His Power and Essence.
Another clear proof is the incident of al-Israa’ wa al-Mi’raaj.
The scholars of the early generations also said there is ijmaa’ (scholarly consensus) on this issue. Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal also argued this point from a logical perspective by saying, “Either Allah created us in Him, or outside Him. If it was inside then this is a statement of kufr. If outside, then Allah would choose best the direction for Him to be – i.e. being above the creation.” (rough translation).
The most undeniable proof, however, may be that of the fitrah. It is ingrained in us to look up, or to point up, to raise our hands up to Allah in supplication. Allah created us upon this pure fitrah, and even non-Muslims point up when referring to Allah.