Q & A: If Allah is not above then why did Prophet go up to meet his Lord?

Question: We Ahlus-Sunnah Wal Jama’ah negate (like the Salaf) negate direction for Allah (SWT) but what is the answer to the following question put forth by the Salafis that, “If Allah is not above then why did Prophet go up to meet his Lord?”

Answer: This is a nonsensical question. It is like asking, “why did Aļļaah will for the Prophet to have his first revelation by Makkah, and not in China?” You might ask them “why not?”

Aļļaah had willed for the Prophet to see Aļļaah when the Prophet was in the skies. That does not mean that it was a physical meeting. No, Aļļaah is not in a place or direction, and the seeing of Him is without Him being in a place or direction. This seeing could occur anywhere, as Aļļaah is not in a place, but Aļļaah willed for the Prophet to receive the ability to see Aļļaah while in the Sky.

Question: Please also provide an explaination to the negation of direction for Allah from Quraan, Sunnah & Aqeedah Tahawiyyah. In the past you have answered questions about alleged physical ascension and descent of Allah if you can shed some light on the above question, I would be grateful.

Answer: You should read “How are “Ar Rahmanu `alal `arsh istawa” and “Laysaka mithlihi shay`” different?

Author: Shaykh Abu Adam al Naruiji


19 Responses to Q & A: If Allah is not above then why did Prophet go up to meet his Lord?

  1. Attari says:

    Salam Alaikum Sheikh

    … and Barak Allahu feekum

    Can you please also clarify the hadith of the slave girl who responded “Allah is in the sky” and the Prophet alaihis salam approvingly (seemingly?) let her go without correcting her. The wahabis use that as a “refutation” against Asharis and Maturidis and always posit the question, “Why the Prophet, alaihis salam, did not correct the girl?”.

    • This hadīth, also called “the hadīth of the slave girl” cannot be taken literally and adopted as a belief for the following reasons:

      First, because this hadīth is singularly transmitted so it does not give certainty and the obligation of believing something about Allah can only be established by proofs that provide certainty. We are not allowed to base our belief on proofs that do not provide certainty. Its level of strength as a proof is further reduced by the other points mentioned below.

      Second, this narration is weak according to some scholars, not in the chain, but because there are other narrations which use different wording. For example, the authenticated and sound narration in the hadīth collection Musannaf ‘AbdurRazzāq, which reads, “Do you testify that ‘la ilāha ill-Allāh’ (there is none worthy of worship except Allah)?” In addition, although some narrations of this hadīth states that the Prophet called her a “believer”, not all of them state that.

      Third, the apparent meaning that Allah is in a direction with regards to His creation is rejected by thesound intellect as absurd.

      Fourth, the disputed text in the singular hadīth which literally states “Where is Allah?” does not fit with the well-known principles set forth to determine if someone is Muslim. The principle is that one asks them to testify that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His prophet and Messenger.

      Fifth, it contradicts sound hadīths in the same collection (Muslim) that clearly show that Allah is neither above nor below any created thing, namely, “You are Al-dhāhir so there is nothing above You. And You are Al-Bātin, so there is nothing below you.”

      Sixth, it contradicts the statement in the Qur’ān that means, “Absolutely nothing resembles Him in any way at all, and He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.” This statement is what the Muslims have taken as their basic guide in their belief in absolute terms, and any other statements in hadīth or Qur’ān are understood accordingly.

      Seventh, it contradicts the geographical reality that what is up in Saudi Arabia is down in the Fiji Islands. It also conflicts with the fact that the earth turns, so that what is up at one point in time is another direction at another time.

      For these reasons, the hadīth of the slave girl is given an acceptable figurative interpretation. Such an interpretation is to say that the word “ayna” (where) in Arabic is commonly used as a question about status, not only about place, such as in, “‘Ayna anta wa ‘Uthmān”, literally: “Where are you and ‘Uthmān?” meaning: “Where is your status compared to ‘Uthmān?” Her answer, literally translated as “in the sky,” means “very high”, just as one in English might use the expression “sky high”, without this meaning place, direction or distance. In other words, what she meant to say was that Allāh’s status is very high, unlike those worshiped idols on the ground.

  2. Attari says:

    Salam Alaikum Mohtaram Sheikh

    Actually this question can go on any topic in this blog. What would be the best way to deal with innocent new Muslims or (very) less knowledgeable born Muslims who “just don’t get it” with what constitutes a warning against fitnah and what is backbiting and slander. I’ve noticed on more than one occasion where if a certain less knowledgeable born Muslim or a new convert is told about the deviancy of the Wahabis and their books/scholars, they immediately go off on a tangent about how it is backbiting and/or slander and how its even worse if done to a “scholar”.

    The greatest irony is if someone makes an attempt to teach them the proper ways of the Ahlus Sunnah or refutes the wahabi filth or show them where and how they’ve gone wrong, they are warned about how it is a great sin to present ayah’s out of context or to give meanings and interpretations to ayah’s and ahadith based on one’s own nafs!!! Lately a lot of the wahabis have been singing this mantra.

    Some of these people may already be under the spell of the wahabis, or some are just innocently confused and probably get their information from any source right or wrong, a lot of which are also pretentious “Sunnis/Sufis” who compromise on the manhaj of the Ahlus Sunnah in the name of “adab” and “akhlaq” and “unity” and other sweet-sounding words and their whole “wahabis may be mistaken but we’re still one big happy family” pretentious attitude.

    How/why is it that a lot contemporary Sunni scholars propagate the viewpoint that wahabis are also Sunnis, which is unlike the pious scholars during the earlier days of this fitnah who patently disowned them, including ibn abdul Wahab’s own brother? One educated person gave the reason, “they are too huge in numbers to be classified as non-Sunnis”. Is this line of reasoning correct?

    Jazak Allah khair

  3. Redwan Ahmed says:

    ramadan mubarak

  4. As-Swaarim says:

    Assalaamu alaykum ,

    Keyfa halukum?

    Please be informed of our new site : As-Swaarim al-Maslool


    An explanation of who the shia rejectionists are : as described by themselves from their own books.

    Please spread the word.
    BarakaAllaahu feekum,

    p.s. : You can delete this ‘comment’ but please link to us on your blog.

  5. Irfan says:

    what are the faults in the below pic , which i have drawn based on the wahabi location of what they claim is Allah ?

  6. Attari says:

    As Salamu Alaykum

    This As-Sawarim character is severely deluded. The link he gave does have a few refutations to the stupidity of the Shias. However, the same blog links to stupid wahabi publications and websites being linked as “correct” aqaid.

    Now what was that Indian proverb regarding the deaf playing music and the mute singing to it? (something about one idiot refuting another idiot)

  7. uponsunnah says:

    this is soo contradictory,you claim that allah is not in a place or direction which necessitate him being a body,you claim that allah willed to meet the prophet in the sky, which implies that the moment that allah was in the sky he was in a direction a place,therefore a body

    • I do not think there was anything contradictory in what I said, because what I said is that Allaah is seen without being in a place, direction, or being at a distance. I also said “That does not mean that it was a physical meeting.” Sunnis say that the Prophet was taken to the Skies to see the wonders of the higher world, not to go to a meeting.

  8. uponsunnah says:

    did the prophet see allah from the nothingness? since according to yur logic allah only exist in our minds

    • In this world there are only bodies in existence, things with size, boundaries, color, shape, smell, etc. So when we see no body around us, we say there is nothing there. You thought therefore, due to your narrow mind, that if something is not a body it is nothing, i.e. not existing. We know that this is not the case, because we can prove that Allaah exists by showing that this world, a collection of bodies, must have a creator. That is how we know for sure that He exists. We also know that He cannot be a body, however, because we first proved Allaah’s existence by showing that bodies need a creator. Since Allaah does not need a creator, we must conclude that He is not a body. Download the PDF article in this post for more detail.

  9. uponsunnah says:

    Allah is not in this world, allah is outside of this world,i agree with yiour when you said in this world there is only bodies in existance.true that Allah exist outside the universe where there is no place, no space nothing except allah , not a single created thing only creator

    • If you had said “outside the world” to mean simply “not inside” I can swallow it as a figure of speech. You seem, however, to mean that Allaah is located outside, which means you think He is something with size and direction to be pointed at. This is a kufr belief. Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy stated {in brackets}: {This is a detailed remembrance of the belief of the People of the Sunnah and following {the Jamaaˆah}. Later he stated, as part of this remembrance,{Aļļaah is above} the status of {having limits, extremes, corners, limbs or instruments.} {The six directions} up, down, front, back, left and right {do not contain Him} because that would make Him {like all created things}. He also agreed that believing that anything else is an insult to Islam, for he said in the same remembrance: {Whoever attributed to Aļļaah an attribute that has a meaning among the meanings that apply to humans has committed blasphemy.} Note that he said this after having already pointed out that the six directions apply to all created things, which includes humans. In other words, the Sunni belief is that attributing a limit to Aļļaah makes one a non-Muslim.

  10. daud says:

    “Allah describes the vision seen by the eye of the heart: ‘The heart did not deny what it saw’ (Sura Najm 11)”

  11. daud says:

    Ibn kathir has mentioned that Ibn Abbas & others held the opinion of seeing Allah in the heart.

  12. Ibrahim AbdulTawwab says:

    Bismillah ir rahman ir raheem,
    As salamu ‘alikum wr wb, It is indeed very problematic to interpret the Hadith of the slave girl in a very literal understanding. It gives ammunition to Athiest to prove that atleast the ‘Islamic God’ is a farce.

    The whole of the atmosphere has been penetrated by planes, and satellites and no one has seen a body upon a throne, furthermore the most advanced telescopes which are searching the horizons have not turned up a body sitting, or even hovering over a throne.

    So we are in agreement this is not literal, there fore open to interpretation. If we take it literal than what the slave girl meant that Allah is in the sky and the Prophet(saw) being silent means he gave tacit approval to that particular statement rather than letting the girl continue to be questioned, than we have given Richard Dawkins, and Daniel Dennet all the ammo they need to show that the Muslim deity is non existant. Rememeber the burden of proof is upon the claimant.

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