Allah is not Imageless – Permanent Committee
The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ has reviewed the translation of the Fatwa request as well as the reply published in the monthly Madinah Magazine issued from Dacca in Bengalese, fifth issue, 35th year, August 1999, corresponding to Rabi` II, 1420.
The question submitted by a member of the Bengalese community in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia states: We used to believe that Allah exists everywhere and that He is Imageless. However, here in Saudi Arabia in a cooperation bureau a Bengalese translator delivered a lecture in which he stated that Allah (may He be Exalted) does not exist everywhere and that He is described as having a Hand, an Eye, and other Attributes. He further claimed that anyone who does not believe as such is a disbeliever. My question is: What is your opinion in this regard? Please explain it in the light of the Qur’an and Sunnah.
The reply (in Madinah Magazine) from Decca was as follows: Anyone who believes in such claims is either intensely ignorant, mad, or even a member of a deviant sect. Actually, Allah (may He be Exalted) is Imageless and exists everywhere and in everything and His Omnipotence encompasses all things. Moreover, Allah (may He be Exalted) has been described as such in many Ayahs as well as in many Hadith. Therefore, you should pay no attention to such nonsense so that you may not corrupt your Iman. This was the end of the reply.
Reply by Permanent Committee of Scholars :-
This reply is groundless and opposes the Qur’an, Sunnah, Ijma’, and sound ‘Aqidah as it indicates belief in Hulul (a Sufi term meaning indwelling) which means that Allah dwells everywhere even in dirty places (Exalted be He far above any such thing). The reply also involves denying some of Allah’s Attributes wherewith He has described Himself and His Messenger (peace be upon him) has described Him, i.e. being High above His Creatures, rising over His ‘Arsh (Throne), being Distinct from His Creation, and being Incomparable in any respect to His Creatures. It also involves denying the fact that Allah is described as having a Hand, a Foot, a Leg, a Face, two Hands, two Eyes, and other Attributes related to His Self and Actions as proved by the Qur’an and Sunnah.
Allah (may He be Exalted) says: (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 255) And He is the Most High, the Most Great. He (may He be Exalted) also says:(Surah Al-Mulk, 67: 16-17) Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allaah), will not cause the earth to sink with you, and then it should quake? Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allaah), will not send against you a violent whirlwind? The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Do not you trust me though I am the trustworthy person of the One in the Heavens?” Moreover, Allah (may He be Exalted) says:(Surah TaaHa, 20: 5) The Most Gracious (Allaah) rose over (Istawaa) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). The same fact is stressed in seven places in the Qur’an.
Furthermore, He (may He be Exalted) says:(Surah Al-Rahman, 55: 27) And the Face of your Lord full of Majesty and Honour will remain forever. He (may He be Exalted) says:(Surah Al-Qasas, 28: 88) Everything will perish except His Face.
Addressing Iblis (Satan), Allah (may He be Exalted) says:(Surah Sad, 38: 75) What prevents you from prostrating yourself to one whom I have created with Both My Hands. He (may He be Exalted) says:(Surah Al-Ma’idah, 5: 64) Nay, both His Hands are widely outstretched.
In the same regard, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The people will be thrown into the Fire and it will keep on saying, “Is there any more?” until the Lord of the worlds puts His Foot over it.” According to another narration of the Hadith, he (peace be upon him) said: …His Foot over it, whereupon its different sides will come close to each other, and it will say: Enough! Enough!”
To the same effect, Allah (may He be Exalted) says to Musa (Moses – peace be upon him):(Surah TaaHa, 20: 39) In order that you may be brought up under My Eye. Allah (may He be Exalted) says:(Surah Al-Qamar, 54: 14) Floating under Our Eyes. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Your Lord is not one-eyed.”
In the same context, Allah (may He be Exalted) says:(Surah Al-Qalam, 68: 42) (Remember) the Day when the Shin shall be laid bare (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) and they shall be called to prostrate themselves (to Allaah), but they (hypocrites, and those who pray to show off or to gain good reputation) shall not be able to do so. The Prophet (peace be upon him) interpreted the Ayah to mean that Allah (may He be Exalted) will uncover His Shin on the Day of Resurrection whereupon every believer will prostrate before Him out of reverence and there will remain those who used to prostrate before Him just for showing off and for gaining good reputation. These people will try to prostrate but they will not be able to do so.
In the same context, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “I saw my Lord (may He be Glorified and Exalted) in the best Soorah (form).” He also said: “Allah created Adam in the Soorah(Image) of The Most Beneficent.” This is in addition to many Nusus (Islamic texts from the Qurýan or the Sunnah) including Allah’s Attributes.
Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (those adhering to the Sunnah and the Muslim main body) believe in these Attributes and confirm their indications without Tashbih (comparison) or Tamthil (likening Allah’s Attributes to those of His Creation). Allah (may He be Exalted) says:(Surah Al-Shura, 42: 11) There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.
The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after stating such facts, deems it obligatory for the editor-in-chief of the monthly Madinah Magazine issued from Dacca, Bangladesh, Shaykh Muhiy Al-Din Khan, to publish this Fatwa and demand the person who replied to the Fatwa request to retract his allegations and declare his retraction in the same magazine. In fact, it is virtuous to admit the truth, which is the goal of the believers. Admitting the truth guides the people to the truth and distracts them from falsehood. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “If anyone calls others to follow right guidance, his reward will be equivalent to those who follow him (in righteousness) until the Day of Resurrection without their reward being diminished in any respect, and if anyone invites others to follow error, the sin will be equivalent to that of the people who follow him (in sinfulness) until the Day of Resurrection without their sins being diminished in any respect.”
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’ consisting of
Shaykh Abdul Azeez aal-shaykh, Shaykh Abdullah al-Ghudayyan, Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan, Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd
Reported in Musnad Ahmed, Sunan at-Tirmidhi & others.
Reported in Asma wa Sifaat of al-Bayhaqee, Al-Kabeer of at-Tabarani, Al-Sifaat of Daraqtuni, At-Tawheed of Ibn Khuzaymah & others