The Attribute of Descent
The second question of Fatwa No. 1643
Q 2: I had a discussion with a person educated in modern sciences. He was a teacher at the university of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. He said: “Your Lord descends during the last part of every night to the lowest heaven.” I told him that there is no doubt about that and I completed the Hadith for him. He said: “If this is true, then it means that your Lord does not rise over the throne as mentioned in the Qur’an: The Most Gracious (Allâh) rose over (Istawâ) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). The last part of the night exists continuously on the earth according to the rotation of the earth around itself with Allah’s Might until the Day of Judgment.” Then I stopped talking.
A: There is no contradiction between the descent of Allah (Exalted be He) to the first heaven in the last third of every night in different areas and His Istiwa‘ (Allah’s rising over the Throne in a manner that befits Him).
He (Exalted be He) is not similar to His creation in any of His Attributes. He can descent as He wills in a way that suits His Majesty during the third part of the night to every country. Doing so does not contradict His Loftiness and His Istiwa’. We do not know the manner of His Descent or the manner of His Istiwa’. This is exclusively for Him alone. As to creatures, it is impossible for them to descend at a place and be in another place at the same time. But Allah (Exalted be He) is above all things Potent. No one is to be compared or measured to Allah. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says:
So put not forward similitudes for Allâh (as there is nothing similar to Him, nor He resembles anything). (Surah Al-Nahl 16:74),
There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer (Surah Al-Shura 42:11).
It becomes clear from what we have mentioned that there is no contradiction between His descent and His Istiwa’ and that the difference of countries have no effect in this point.
May Allah guide you and us to what pleases Him and grant us understanding and realization of the truth. He is the answerer of invocations!
May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!
Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’
Member Member Deputy Chairman Chairman
`Abdullah ibn Qa`ud `Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan `Abdul-Razzaq `Afify `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz