An-Nawawiyy did not believe that Aļļaah is something that is in a location/direction

An-Nawawiyy said in his commentary on Muslim’s ĥadiitħ collection:

المنهاج شرح صحيح مسلم بن الحجاج , النووي , دار إحياء التراث العربي , 1392 – (3 / 19): اِعْلَمْ أَنَّ لِأَهْلِ الْعِلْم فِي أَحَادِيث الصِّفَات وَآيَات الصِّفَات قَوْلَيْنِ : أَحَدهمَا : وَهُوَ مَذْهَب مُعْظَم السَّلَف أَوْ كُلّهمْ أَنَّهُ لا يُتَكَلَّم فِي مَعْنَاهَا ، بَلْ يَقُولُونَ : يَجِب عَلَيْنَا أَنْ نُؤْمِن بِهَا وَنَعْتَقِد لَهَا مَعْنًى يَلِيق بِجَلَالِ اللَّه تَعَالَى وَعَظَمَته مَعَ اِعْتِقَادنَا الْجَازِم أَنَّ اللَّه تَعَالَى لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْء وَأَنَّهُ مُنَزَّه عَنْ التَّجَسُّم وَالِانْتِقَال وَالتَّحَيُّز فِي جِهَة وَعَنْ سَائِر صِفَات الْمَخْلُوق ، وَهَذَا الْقَوْل هُوَ مَذْهَب جَمَاعَة مِنْ الْمُتَكَلِّمِينَ ، وَاخْتَارَهُ جَمَاعَة مِنْ مُحَقِّقِيهِمْ وَهُوَ أَسْلَم . وَالْقَوْل الثَّانِي : وَهُوَ مَذْهَب مُعْظَم الْمُتَكَلِّمِينَ أَنَّهَا تُتَأَوَّل عَلَى مَا يَلِيق بِهَا عَلَى حَسَب مَوَاقِعهَا ، وَإِنَّمَا يَسُوغ تَأْوِيلهَا لِمَنْ كَانَ مِنْ أَهْله بِأَنْ يَكُونَ عَارِفًا بِلِسَانِ الْعَرَب وَقَوَاعِد الْأُصُول وَالْفُرُوع ، ذَا رِيَاضَة فِي الْعِلْم

Know that the scholars, with regard to the ĥadiiths and aayahs that mention attributes, have two sayings:

One of them, and it is the saying of most of the Salaf, or all of them, is that one does not speak about their meaning. Instead they say, “we must believe in them and be sure that they have a meaning that befits the greatness and glory of Aļļaah, with the firm belief that Aļļaah does not resemble anything, and that He is clear of having a size, movement, a location in a direction, and all other attributes of creation. This saying is the saying of a number of the Kalaam scholars, and it is the chosen saying of a number of scholarly authenticators and verifiers, and it is the safest path.

The second saying, and it is the choice of most kalaam scholars, is that they are interpreted according what befits the context. This interpretation, however, is only acceptable from someone that is qualified by being an expert in the Arabic language (i.e. as used and understood by the companions) as well as the rules and principles of the religion, both in fundamentals and details, and this (work of interpretation) is a kind of exercise of (one’s) knowledge (i.e. for those qualified). [1]

المنهاج شرح صحيح مسلم بن الحجاج , النووي , دار إحياء التراث العربي , 1392 – (6 / 36-37): قَوْله صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ( يَنْزِل رَبّنَا كُلّ لَيْلَة إِلَى السَّمَاء الدُّنْيَا فَيَقُول : مَنْ يَدْعُونِي فَأَسْتَجِيب لَهُ ) هَذَا الْحَدِيث مِنْ أَحَادِيث الصِّفَات ، وَفِيهِ مَذْهَبَانِ مَشْهُورَانِ لِلْعُلَمَاءِ سَبَقَ إِيضَاحهمَا فِي كِتَاب الْإِيمَان وَمُخْتَصَرهمَا أَنَّ أَحَدهمَا وَهُوَ مَذْهَب جُمْهُور السَّلَف وَبَعْض الْمُتَكَلِّمِينَ : أَنَّهُ يُؤْمِن بِأَنَّهَا حَقّ عَلَى مَا يَلِيق بِاَللَّهِ تَعَالَى ، وَأَنَّ ظَاهِرهَا الْمُتَعَارَف فِي حَقّنَا غَيْر مُرَاد ، وَلَا يَتَكَلَّم فِي تَأْوِيلهَا مَعَ اِعْتِقَاد تَنْزِيه اللَّه تَعَالَى عَنْ صِفَات الْمَخْلُوق ، وَعَنْ الِانْتِقَال وَالْحَرَكَات وَسَائِر سِمَات الْخَلْق . وَالثَّانِي : مَذْهَب أَكْثَر الْمُتَكَلِّمِينَ وَجَمَاعَات مِنْ السَّلَف وَهُوَ مَحْكِيّ هُنَا عَنْ مَالِك وَالْأَوْزَاعِيِّ : أَنَّهَا تُتَأَوَّل عَلَى مَا يَلِيق بِهَا بِحَسْب مَوَاطِنهَا . فَعَلَى هَذَا تَأَوَّلُوا هَذَا الْحَدِيث تَأْوِيلَيْنِ أَحَدهمَا : تَأْوِيل مَالِك بْن أَنَس وَغَيْره مَعْنَاهُ : تَنْزِل رَحْمَته وَأَمْره وَمَلَائِكَته كَمَا يُقَال : فَعَلَ السُّلْطَان كَذَا إِذَا فَعَلَهُ أَتْبَاعه بِأَمْرِهِ . وَالثَّانِي : أَنَّهُ عَلَى الِاسْتِعَارَة ، وَمَعْنَاهُ : الْإِقْبَال عَلَى الدَّاعِينَ بِالْإِجَابَةِ وَاللُّطْف . وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَم .

The saying of the Prophet (صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) (literal unmeant translation):”Our Lord descends every night to the sky of the world, then says ‘who calls me, so that I will answer him?” This ĥadiitħ are one of the ĥadiitħs mentioning attributes. There are two famous ways of the scholars regarding them, that have been explained previously in the chapter on belief. Their brief description is that one is the approach of most of the Salaf, and some Kalaam scholars, which is to believe it is true in a sense that befits Aļļaah, and that its apparent, usual meaning for us, is not meant, and one does not speak about its meaning. This is accompanied with the belief that Aļļaah is clear of having attributes of created things, and of movement, movements, and all descriptions that are for created things. The other approach is that of most Kalaam scholars, and groups among the Salaf, and they are narrated here from Maalik and Al-‘Awzaaˆiyy, is to interpret these according to what befits the context. Accordingly, they interpreted this ĥadiitħ in two ways. One of them is that of Maalik and others, which is to say that it means: Aļļaah’s mercy, orders and angels descend, just as it is said, “the king did so and so”, when it was actually his followers that did it. The other interpretation is metaphorical, and its meaning is: “accepting those who call by answering them and showing them mercy.”[2]

[1]Al-Nawawiy, Sharĥ Saĥiiĥ Muslim Li-l-Nawawiy (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihyaa’ Al-Turath Al-Arabi, 1392), 3/19.

10 Responses to An-Nawawiyy did not believe that Aļļaah is something that is in a location/direction

  1. uponsunnah says:

    there yoeu go again quoting a scholar to corroborate your belief.
    Allah informs us in his book,(And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to All�h and His Messenger , if you believe in All�h and in the Last Day That is better and more suitable for final determination.{4:59}.
    we have differ in this matter lets reffer it to Allah and his messenger, why do you refer it to ibn hajar al qurtubee,an nawawi,and so forth? why dont you reffer it to the book of allah and the sunnah of his messenger if your a true believer in Allah and the day of judgement?
    I reffer it back to allah and his messenger
    1-“And when Allah said: ‘O Jesus! I will take you and raise you to Myself’.”[3:55]
    2-“To Him ascend (all) the goodly words, and the righteous deeds lift them.”[35:10]

    3-“From Allah, the Lord of the Places of Ascent, the angels and the Ruh (Gabriel) ascend to Him in a day the measure whereof is of fifty thousand years.”[70:3-4]

    4-And He is the Subduer, above His slaves, and He is the All-Wise, Well Acquainted with all things.”[6:18]

    i reffer it to his messenger.
    1-Abu Hurairah narrates that the Messenger said, “Whoever donates the equal of a date from whatever was collected righteously, and only good is ascended to Allah, then, He will accept it (the charity) with His Right and raise it for its giver till it becomes like a mountain.” [Bukhari]

    2-Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al-As related that the Messenger said, “Allah grants mercy to the merciful. Be merciful to those who are on the earth, (then) He Who is fis-Sama (above the heavens) will be merciful to you.” [Abu Dawood & At-Tirmidhi]

    2-((Allah wrote out in a book with Him over the throne that His Mercy preceded His Wrath)), [Transmitted by al-Bukhaaree]
    3-It is reported on the authority of Al-‘Abbas (ra) that Allah’s Messenger said:

    “Do you know what is the distance between the heaven and the earth?” We said: “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said: “The distance between them is five hundred years and the distance between one heaven and the next is five hundred years and the dimension of each heaven would take five hundred years to travel and there is a sea between the seventh heaven and the `Arsh which has between its lowest and highest ends the distance equvalent to that between the heavens and the earth. And Allah , Most High, is above that and nothing is withheld from Him of the deeds of the sons of Adam.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood and others)

    4-Will you not trust me, though I am the trusted of He who is above the heaven?”{bukharee and muslim}

    please give us 4 proofs from quran and 4 proofs from sunnah that indicates allah existe without a place please please please dont tell me such and such scholar said this and that, just from the book of allah and his messenger if your a true believer.

    • It appears finally that you are willing to be try to be logical, which is nice. Before continue, however, I think you will agree that no fruitful discussion can take place without agreement on terminology and underlying premises. At the most basic level, we need to clarify what is meant by proof. I feel this is the case based on what you said. First, because you asked for 8 proofs, this tells me that we do not understand this term in the same way. Second, I have mentioned very many proofs on this site, according to my understanding of the term. So to clarify, please concisely answer the following:

      1. What is a proof? What does it do? What are its hindrances and prerequites?
      2. In light of the answer to (1.), why do you need more than one?
      3. Also, and again in light of your answer to (1.) why does it have to be in the Qur’aan or the Sunnah?

      If you can please provide a concise answer to this, we can continue this dialogue.


  2. uponsunnah says:

    my brother we answer a question witha question,did i ask you for too much?
    2-the reason why i want more than one proof is so i can be co9nvinced without the shadow of doubt that allah is not above the arsh.
    3- it has to be from the quran and due bto the statement of Allah And when ye judge between man and man, that ye judge with justice: Verily how excellent is the teaching which He giveth you! For Allah is He Who heareth and seeth all things.
    4- 65. But no, by the Lord, they can have no (real) Faith, until they make thee judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against Thy decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction.

    so my soul wont find no resistance against the decision of Allah and his messegenr.

    please dont tell me qurtubee says this ibn hajar says,since their statement can be taken or rejected cause their faillible,besides allah didnt tell us to reffer our differences to them.

    we have differ in this matter let us take it back to Allah and his messenger if we are true believers.

    • No, you did not ask too much. I am sorry if I did not make myself clear. I asked the questions to help you understand my request, not to play games. I may be tough in my responses, even hateful and mocking, but I never play games to escape. I also assure you that I intend to carry this through to the end. You asked me a question, and I asked for a clarification of your terms, so that I can completely understand what you are asking. In other words, you used words to ask the question that you asked. Words are used to communicate meanings. The words that you used to communicate your question refer to meanings that you have in mind. The words that you used tell me made meanings come to my mind. Words are sounds from our throats to communicate meanings. Meanings are something totally different. They are perceptions of concepts in our minds. Words without meanings are useless. I want to make sure that the meanings that you had in mind when using the words that you used are the same as the meanings that I perceive from the words that you used. Otherwise how can I answer your question? So I am just asking for a clarification. I am not just answering a question with a question. The purpose of my questions was to communicate clearly exactly what my request for clarification is, that is all. That way we can come to the bottom of it faster, in sħaa’ Aļļaah. In short, it is not unreasonable for me to ask for a clarification to a request that you initiated. I hope we can at least agree on that.

      • Abu Sa'eed says:

        Abu Adam said: “Words without meanings are useless.”

        Then why do you allow tafweed?

      • About tafweed, I will answer that when we the time comes for it. Now we need to sort out the terminology. In the meantime, you can search the site for what I have said previously. Tafweed does not mean denying meaning, it means not specifying a meaning due to lack of conviction of which one is meant of 2 or more possibilities. Thank you for being concise.

  3. Muhammad Ahmad says:

    The belief that Allàh exists without a how and without a place is the creed of the Messenger of Allàh (peace and blessings be upon him), the Companions and those who graciously followed them and it shall be until the Day of Judgment. The proof of this precious statement is what is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, chapter: 42 verse: 11
    لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَىْ ءٌ. سورة : الشّورى
    Means: Absolutely nothing like Allàh in any way whatsoever. This muhkamat verse reflects the core of Tawhid and the clearest verse in the entire Qur’an that when it is recited, the meaning is totally clear Allàh is absolutely clear from resembling the creations in everyway. Hence, it is also proof that Allàh exists without a place, because whatever exists in a place would be made up of particles (i.e. it would be a body occupying a space) and the Creator is not a body that occupies a space. The words body, place and space mean that which has depth, height and width. And what has depth, height and width is a creation beyond any doubt.

  4. Muhammad Ahmad says:

    The word Transcendence comes from a Latin origin which means to rise beyond. However, when Muslims use the word Transcendence to Allàh, it refers to the belief that Allàh is beyond and clear of all objects, change, similarity and imagination. It does not imply that He is beyond in the physical sense of being beyond the universe in a way which requires Him to physically surround it, or to be near to it or even separate from it since that would imply that He has limits and therefore a body. Allàh is neither inside of His creation nor outside of it and keep in mind that entering and exiting are attributes of things which occupy space. Entering and exiting are just like movement and stillness which apply to the attributes of bodies only. The Creator of bodies is not a body, nor similar to any of the bodies in any way whatsoever. The concepts of physical separation and connection relate to bodies, not to Allàh. If they said a body cannot be separate or connected to another body unless it has a limit, then this is true. It is not true, however, that Allàh is a body, so it is not true that He must have a limit. Hence, it is not true that Allàh is either physically outside or inside the world. This is a misleading notion called ‘false dichotomy’, which is when someone argues and gives you a choice between two things, none of which are true. Like if someone said, “the stone is either blind or seeing, which is it?” The problem with this question is that a stone is neither said to be blind nor seeing. That is, you neither say: “the stone is blind” nor “the stone is seeing.” So when they say: “Allàh is either inside or outside, which is it?” They are using a false dichotomy to trick you into thinking that there is no other alternative. This is not correct, because the two choices a person has about something existent is first, “is it in a place or not?” If the answer to that choice is “in a place,” then one may ask, “is it inside or outside area so and so?” If the answer is, “not in a place (i.e. the existence of Allàh)”, then the blasphemous question if asked: “is Allàh inside or outside area so and so?” is pure nonsense and contradicting. To illustrate in terms of the example of the stone question “is the stone blind or seeing?” which was “no, the stone is not blind?” Since the answer is “no”, it makes no sense to ask, “does the stone have sight?” The Wahabies believe and say: “What is not limited cannot be above,” assumes that Allàh’s aboveness is physical in their ill understanding of Islam. Muslims believe and say: “Allàh is above us in status and power, not in a physical location.” By saying that Allàh’s aboveness is one of status and power, we have chosen the most beautiful and acceptable meaning of ‘aboveness’ when attributed to Allàh and we have avoided attributing a limit to the Creator of limits. Abu Nu^aym reported in his book, Al-Hilyah that Imam ^Aliyy ibn abi Talib said:
    الإِمامُ سَيِّدُنا عَلِيُّ بْن طالِبٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ : … من زعم أنَّ إلهنا محدود فقد جهل الخالق المعبود. رَوَاهُ إنتهى.
    Means: He who claims that our Lord is limited, then he is ignorant about the Creator Who is worshipped. On another note, being physically above something else can only be for something physical, and there is no greatness in being physically above something anyway. The Wahabies today even use philosophical arguments, something they simultaneously claim to be against. Another one of their contradictions is a landmark of their lack of sound mind and hypocrisy. They (Wahabies) say: “Beneath is not as noble as above and the most suitable qualities are attributable to Allàh. So if being above is more noble than being beneath, obviously common sense will tell you that Allàh will not be in the direction which is not suitable for His perfection.” This rule the Wahabies claim is not in agreement with the teachings of Islam. The reason being, the Prophets and Messengers of Allàh (peace and blessings be upon all of them) are the highest in rank than all the other creations of Allàh. In the Holy Qur’an, chapter: 6 verse: 86
    وَكُلاًّ فضَّلْنَا عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ. سورة : الأنعَام
    Means: Allàh gave every Prophet high status over the rest of the creations. Therefore, the Prophets and Messengers of Allàh lived beneath (on earth), not in (the skies above) like the Angels. The Messenger of Allàh, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
    قال رسول اللَّه صلى اللَّه عليه وسلم : مَا في السَّمَاءِ مَوْضِعُ أَرْ بَعِ أَصَابِعَ إلا وَفِيهِ مَلَكٌ قَائِمٌ أَوْ رَاكِعٌ أَوْسَاجِدٌ يَذْكُرُ اللَّهَ تَعَالى. رَوَاهُ الترمذي عن أبي ذر الغفاري
    Means: There is no space in the sky equal to the width of four fingers, except one would find an Angel worshipping and glorifying Allàh, either standing, Ruku^ [bowing] or Sujud [prostration]. The Angels stay as such until the Day of Judgement, worshipping Allàh their Creator.

  5. uponsunnah says:

    your proof of allah not being above the throne has to be from thje quran and sunnah due to tjhe statement of Allah (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to All�h and His Messenger (), if you believe in All�h and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination.

    just answer my question to the best of your ability, and please let it be from quran and sunnah.

    • To answer you to the best of my ability, I need to know what you understand from the word proof. I already know that you want it from the Quran, and the Sunnah. This is why I did not ask where you want it from, but what your understanding of proof is. I never said that Allaah is not above the throne. I said He is not in a location above the throne.

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