E – Istiwaa (Rise over) – 2.Proofs from the Sunnah
Allah is Above the Throne – From the Sunnah
It is narrated from Abu Hurairah (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (SAW)said, “Two groups of angels come to you, one group in the night and one group in the day, they gather at the times of Fajr and Asr. The ones who spent the night rise to Allah and Allah asks them whilst he knows fully aware, “How did you leave my slaves.” The angels reply, “They were praying when we reached them and they were still praying when we left them.” (Humaam ibn Munabeh in ‘Saheehfah as-Saadiqah’ (p.89), Ahmad in his ‘Musnad’, Ibn Khuzaimah in ‘Kitaab at-Tawheed’ (p.78) Uthmaan Daarimee in ‘Radd Alal-Jahmiyyah’ (p.30))
Imaam adh-Dhahabee (rh) narrates from Abu Hurairah (ra), the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said that Allah will say, “For the reason of my might, where are the people who love each other, today I will give them the shade of my Throne. Where there is no shade apart from my shade” (Hadeeth Mutawaatir). This establishes that the Throne is in fact real, and not something ‘metaphorical.’
Abdullah bin Amr reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: “Be merciful to those on earth, so that the One above the heavens will be merciful to you” (Bukhari/Muslim).
Zaynab (ra), the wife of the Prophet (SAW)used to claim excellence over the rest of his wives by telling them, “It is only your parents who gave you in marriage to the Prophet (SAW)while it is Allah Who gave me in marriage to him from above the seven heavens” (Bukhari).
Narrated Abu Huraira, “I heard Allah’s Apostle (SAW)saying, Allah divided Mercy into one-hundred parts and He kept its ninety-nine parts with Him and sent down its one part on the earth, and because of that, its one single part, His creations are Merciful to each other, so that even the mare lifts up its hoofs away from its baby animal, lest it should trample on it” (Bukhari).
Jabir ibn Abdullah said, “The Messenger of Allah (SAW) 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.’” [Muslim]
Abu Sa’eed said that the Messenger of Allah (SAW)said, “Do you not trust me when I am trusted by Him Who is above the heavens? Revelation comes to me day and night.” (Bukhari/Muslim)
- Abu Musa al-Ash’ari narrated that the Messenger said (SAW)“Allah does not sleep and he ought not to. He descends the Qist (justice) and raises it up. Deeds of the night are ascended to Him before the day. His veil is Light, if He unveils it, the light of His Face will burn everything that sight reaches” (Muslim).
- ‘Abdullah. Ibn ‘Abbas reported: A person from the Ansar who was amongst the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (SAW)reported to me: As we were sitting during the night with Allah’s Messenger (SAW)a falling star gave a dazzling light. Allah’s Messenger (SAW)said: What did you say in the pre-Islamic days when there was such a shot (of meteor)? They said: Allah and His Messenger know best (the actual position), but we, however, used to say that that very night a great man had been born and a great man had died, whereupon Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said: (These falling stars) are shot neither at the death of anyone nor on the birth of anyone. Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, issues Command when He decides to do a thing. Then (the Angels) supporting the Throne sing His glory, then sing the dwellers of heaven who are near to them until this glory of God reaches them who are in the heaven of this world. Then those who are near the supporters of the Throne ask these supporters of the Throne: What your Lord has said? And they accordingly inform them what He says. Then the dwellers of heaven seek information from them until this information reaches the heaven of the world. In this process of transmission (the jinn snatches) what he manages to overhear and he carries it to his friends. And when the Angels see the jinn they attack them with meteors. If they narrate only which they manage to snatch that is correct but they alloy it with lies and make additions to it (Muslim).
Narrated Salman al-Farsi: The Prophet (SAW) said: Your Lord is munificent and generous, and is shy to turn away empty the hands of His servant when he raises them to Him (Abu Dawud).
Mu’awiyah as-Sahmi reported: “I had some sheep which I kept between Uhud and Juwaniyyah with a slave-girl to look after them. One day, I went out to check on my sheep and discovered that a wolf had devoured one of them. Since I am just a human, (I became angry) and struck the girl. Later on, I came to the Prophet (SAW)and reported to him the incident. He terrified me with the gravity of my action. I said, ‘Messenger of Allah!’ Shall I free her (as an expiation of my sin.) He said ‘Call her over.’ When I did, he asked her, ‘Where is Allah?’ She said, ‘Above the heavens.’ Then he asked her, ‘Who am I?’ She said, ‘The Messenger of Allah (SAW)Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (SAW) ordered me, ‘Free her. She is a believer’” (Muslim, Abu Dawud, and others).
It is important to remember that whatever the Prophet (SAW) said about the religion is the truth. Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an, Your companion has neither gone astray nor has erred. Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. It is only an Inspiration (revelation) that is inspired (revealed). (53:2-4)
The last hadith listed here is the most important. It establishes the validity and importance of not only asking the question where is Allah, but more importantly, the correct answer to it. To give any answer other than this is to oppose the Sunnah. It also shows that the Prophet (SAW)established that the girl was a ‘true believer’ based simply on her answer to these questions. This is because it establishes beyond a shadow of a doubt that her conception of tawheed was correct, and in opposition to the tawheed of the Arabs of jahiliyyah.
There is another narration of a similar hadith, except the girl was unable to speak. So when he asked her where is Allah, she pointed at the heavens, and when he asked, ‘Who am I?’ she pointed at the heavens and pointed at him, indicating you are the one sent by Him.
Lastly, there is a passage from Nudhmul Faraa’id of al-Albaanee also explaining the issue,
On the authority of Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (radi Allaahu ‘anhu), on the authority of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi was-sallam) that he said, “The Most Merciful of those who give mercy is Ar-Rahmaan – Blessed and Exalted is He. Show mercy to those on earth, and the one above the heavens will show mercy to you. And ar-Rahm (the womb) is derived from Ar-Rahmaan, so whoever keeps good relations with it, Allah keeps good relations with him, and whoever cuts it off, Allah cuts him off.
And he said in this hadith “fee” and its meaning here is above (a’laa), just like Allah saying “Say: travel fee (upon/in/on) the land…” [6:11]. So the hadeeth is from the many evidences about Allah – the Exalted – being above (fawq) all of the creation. And “fee” is that which al-Hafidh adh-Dhahabee utilizes in his book al-’Uluww. And indeed this is what I concluded from the summarization of it near me. And I put that down in my explanation of the introduction. And I took from it ahadeeth and athaar (narrations), and I put them above the weak reports. May Allah make it easy for it to be published. And all praise is due to Allah.