Did the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) see his Lord on the night of the Mi’raaj?
Most of the Sahaabah were of the view that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not see Allaah with his eyes on the night of the Miraaj.
It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “Whoever told you that Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw his Lord was lying. He said that no vision can grasp him [cf. al-An’aam 6:103]…”
(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Tawheed, 6832).
It was narrated that Abu Dharr said: “I asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), ‘Did you see your Lord?’ He said, ‘ He is veiled by Light, how could I see Him.’” (Narrated by Muslim, al-Eeman, 261).
It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “ ‘The (Prophet’s) heart belied not what he saw, and indeed he saw Him at a second descent.’ [al-Najm 53:11-12] (This means that) he saw Him twice with his heart.” (Narrated by Muslim, al-Eemaan, 258).
Ibn al-Qayyim said: “ ‘Uthmaan ibn Sa’eed al-Daarimi said in his book al-Ru’yah that there was consensus among the Sahaabah that he [the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)] did not see his Lord on the night of the Mi’raaj. Some of them excluded Ibn ‘Abbaas and said that he was not one of those who said that. Our Shaykh says that this does not go against the facts, for Ibn ‘Abbaas did not say that he saw Him with the eyes in his head, and Ahmad relied upon this in one of the two reports narrated from him, where he says that he saw Him but he did not say that that was with the eyes in his head. The wording used by Ahmad is the same as that used by Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both). What indicates that what our Shaykh said about the meaning of the hadeeth of Abu Dharr is correct is the fact that in another hadeeth he said that His veil is Light. And Allaah knows best what the Light is that is mentioned in the hadeeth of Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him) where it says, ‘I saw Light.’”
Ijtimaa’ al-Juyoosh al-Islamiyyah, vol. 1, p. 12
Shaykh al-Islam (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Chapter: with regard to seeing Allaah, what was proven in al-Saheeh from Ibn ‘Abbaas is that he said: ‘Muhammad saw his Lord with his heart twice, and ‘Aa’ishah denied that he had seen Him. Some people reconciled these two reports by saying that ‘Aa’ishah denied that he saw Him with his eyes and Ibn ‘Abbaas affirmed that he saw Him with his heart. Some versions of the report narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas refers to seeing without specifying how, and others indicate that it was with the heart. Sometimes he says that Muhammad saw his Lord, and sometimes he says that Muhammad saw Him. There is no clear statement from Ibn ‘Abbaas which says that he saw Him with his eyes. Similarly Imaam Ahmad sometimes says that he saw Him and sometimes says that he saw Him with his heart. No one whom Ahmad heard said that he saw Him with his eyes. But some of his companions heard some of the words that did not specify how, and understood from that that he had seen Him with his eyes, just as some people heard the words of Ibn ‘Abbaas that did not specify how, and understood from that that he had seen Him with his eyes. But there is nothing in the evidence to prove that he saw Him with his eyes, and that was not narrated from any of the Sahaabah. There is nothing in the Qur’aan or Sunnah to indicate that, rather the saheeh texts which indicate that he did not see Him are more definitive. In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated that Abu Dharr said: ‘I asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Did you see your Lord?” He said, “He is veiled with Light, how could I see Him?”’ And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
‘Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allaah) [above all that (evil) they associate with Him]
Who took His slave (Muhammad) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid Al-Haraam (at Makkah) to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsaa (in Jerusalem), the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad) of Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.)’ [al-Isra’ 17:1]
If he had seen Him with his own eyes, that He would have mentioned that. The same applies to the words “Will you then dispute with him (Muhammad) about what he saw [during the Mi’raaj]?” [al-Najm 53:12 – interpretation of the meaning]. If he had seen Him with his own eyes, that would have been mentioned.
It is proven from the saheeh texts and from the consensus of the salaf (first generations) of this ummah that no one can see Allah with his eyes in this world, with the exception of the claim made by some that our Prophet Muhammad alone saw Him. But they are agreed that the believers will see Allah on the Day of Resurrection with their own eyes just as they see the sun and the moon (in this world).”
And Allah knows best.
Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, vol. 6, p. 509-510 (islam-qa)