Allah is NOT in the midst of, or surrounded by the heavens BUT He is above the heavens

Q 2: What is the evidence that Allah is in the heavens?

A: The `Aqidah (creed) of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (those adhering to the Sunnah and the Muslim main body) is that Allah is in the heavens, above all of His Creation, and that He has risen above the Throne, as He (Glorified be He) states:

<<Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allâh), 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 (Allâh), will not send against you a violent whirlwind? Then you shall know how (terrible) has been My Warning>> (Surah Al-Mulk 67:16-17)

and He (Exalted be He) states:

<<To Him ascend (all) the goodly words, and the righteous deeds exalt it (i.e. the goodly words are not accepted by Allâh unless and until they are followed by good deeds)>> (Surah Fatir 35:10)

and states:

<<He manages and regulates (every) affair from the heavens to the earth; then it (affair) will go up to Him>> (Surah Al-Sajdah 32:5)

and in Surah Ta-Hah:

<<The Most Gracious (Allâh) rose over (Istawâ) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty)>> (Surah Taha 25:10)

and (Glorified be He):

<<Indeed, your Lord is Allâh, Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and then He rose over (Istawâ) the Throne (really in a manner that suits His Majesty)>> (Surah Al-Ara’f 7:54)

in seven places in the Qur’an.

Furthermore, it was authentically reported in the Hadith regarding the Kharijites that the prophet (peace be upon him) states:

“Don’t you trust me though I am the trustworthy man of the One in the Heavens, and I receive the news of Heaven (i.e. Divine Inspiration) both in the morning and in the evening?”


when the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked a slave girl, “Where is Allah?” She replied, “In the heaven.” He (peace be upon him) then asked her, “Who am I?” She said, “You are the Messenger of Allah.” He (peace be upon him) said (to her master), “Release her, for she is a believer.” [Related by Muslim]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also stated:

The Compassionate One has mercy on those who are merciful. If you show mercy to those who are on the earth, He Who is in the heaven will show mercy to you. [Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and Al-Tirmidhi who classified it as a Hasan Sahih Hadith, and Al-Hakim who classified it as Sahih and Al-Dhahabi agreed with him].

And there are many other Hadith to this effect.

Sheikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said that this does not mean in any way that Allah is in the midst of, or surrounded by the heavens, as none of the Salaf (righteous predecessors) of this Ummah (community) or its Imams ever stated that; rather they agreed that allah is established on His Throne above the heavens and is distinguished from His creation with no similarity whatsoever between Him and His creation in terms of His Attributes, Names, or Power.

Then he quoted the saying of Al-Imam Malik that Allah is above the heavens and His knowledge encompasses everywhere and every thing, until he (Malik) said whoever believes that Allah is in the mist of, or surrounded by the heavens and that He needs His Throne or any of His creation, or that His rising above the Throne is similar to that of any of His servants sitting on a chair, then he is astray, Mubtadi` (one who introduces innovations in religion) and Islamically ignorant.

Likewise, whoever believes that Allah is not above the heavens and rising above His Throne and Muhammad was not carried to heaven or the Qur’an was revealed to him, is Mu`atil (denying Allah’s attributes), astray and Mubtadi`.  [Quoted from the collection of Fatwa by Ibn Taymiyyah.]

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
Bakr Abu Zayd     Salih Al-Fawzan     `Abdul-`Aziz Al Al-Shaykh     `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz

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