Wahabi contention: Al-Baaqillaaniyy believed Aļļaah’s aboveness to be in the sense of location

The wahabis are claiming that Al-Baaqillaaniyy is an “early ‘Ashˆariyy” and quote him to show, as they claim, that the so called “early ‘Ashˆariyys” believed Aļļaah to be in a location above the Arsh. They quote him, saying:

And if someone says: Where is He? It is said to him: Asking where (al-ayn) is asking about place (al-makaan) and He is not one that a place (makaan) is permitted to enclose (yahwee), and nor [one that] places can encompass. Except that we say: Indeed He is Above His Throne, [but] not with the meaning of a body [being as such] through contact and adjacency, Exalted is He above that with a Lofty Exaltation.

As you can see, Al-Baaqillaaniyy explicitly denies place, and even the validity of asking “where?” Yet the wahabis claim that this is somehow different from saying Aļļaah’s aboveness is not in the sense of direction or location. In other words, they claim that he means that Aļļaah is located above the throne, in a direction to be pointed at, yet not a body. We have shown previously that this is a nonsensical idea.

This is not what Al-Baaqillaaniyy means, and I suspect they know that, but they will go very far in defending their ideas, even forgery and lies. An example being when they claim that there is a difference between “bringing into existence in Himself” and “creating in Himself” to defend their idea that Aļļaah brings about changes in Himself, a plain kufr belief. The father of their kufr and verbose word games, Ibn Taymiyyah, was much more explicit than they are, openly stating that Aļļaah has a size and six limits, i.e. a body, even if he does not usually call it that.

Here is an explicit statement showing that Al-Baaqillaaniyy did not mean that Aļļaah is in a direction:

And Aļļaah, (تعالى) is neither ascribed with directions, nor that He is in a direction. 1

قال الباقلاني في كتابه الإنصاف : والله تعالى لا يوصف بالجهات، ولا أنه في جهة. 2

He also said:

If someone said, “How is He?” then it is said to him, “If you mean by howness composition, form or kind, then (the answer is that) He has no form or kind to tell you about. If you meant by “how is He?” to ask, ”What is His attribute?” then the answer is that He is attributed with Life, Knowledge, Power, Hearing and Seeing. If you meant by “How is He?” to say, “How does He deal with His creation?” then the answer is: “By justice and grace.” 3

قال الباقلاني (ت 403 هـ) في [التمهيد : "فإن قال قائل وكيف هو قيل له إن أردت بالكيفية التركيب والصورة والجنسية فلا صورة له ولا جنس فنخبرك عنه. وإن أردت بقولك كيف هو أي على أي صفة هو فهو حي عالم قادر سميع بصير. وإن أردت بقولك كيف هو أي كيف صنعه إلى خلقه فصنعه إليهم العدل والإحسان" اهـ

So for those who need to be spoon-fed, I hope that would be enough. All Al-Baaqillaaniyy is doing is saying that Aļļaah is ascribed with aboveness, but not in the sense of direction, just as many of the Salaf did, like Aţ-Ţabariyy. They did not explain it further, and simply left it at that. This is what we call tafwiiđ. Then there are those that explain it further, such as Al-Qurţubiyy in this quote.

Note that the wahabis have also claimed explicitly or implied that Abuu Ĥaniifah, Al-Qurţubiyy, An-Nawawiyy and Al-ˆAsqalaaniyy believed Aļļaah to be in a direction. We have shown previously shown this to be false. If you are interested, click on their names to see.

1Abuu Bakr Al-Baaqillaaniyy (338 h. – 403 h.), Al-Inşaaf, 177.

2الباقلاني, الإنصاف, 177.

3Abuu Bakr Al-Baaqillaaniyy (338 h. – 403 h.), Tamiid, 300.


11 Responses to Wahabi contention: Al-Baaqillaaniyy believed Aļļaah’s aboveness to be in the sense of location

  1. upon-sunnah says:

    you basically saying saying that, baqilanni didnt have a stable aqeedah, he held a contradictiry believe in Allah, thats contradiction, we actually dont know his position about the attributes of allah. he was sometimes a wahabi,ad sometimes a jahmi

  2. upon-sunnah says:

    im still wondering why people just believe whatever you throw at them without doing any research, alhamdulillah we have the books in the bookstores and some of them can be read from online, i still cant understand why they dont bother to research what the scholars really wrote as oppose to accept whatever you put on the board, may allah protect us from blind following.

  3. upon-sunnah says:

    baqilaniy simply donesnt call above the arsh a place

    • The surface of the throne is a place according to all known definitions of place. Moreover, he says: “Indeed He is Above His Throne, [but] not with the meaning of a body.” The meaning of bodily aboveness is direction, distance and size (i.e. limits). In other words, it is an aboveness of status.

  4. Abdullah Khan says:


    Read post #12 for reply to your post at:


    It is a good refutation of you Asharis

    • That was not a reply to the post, and this is not a link hub for figure worship sites. As for thinking this is a good refutation; you think it is because you believe that Allaah is a body, i.e. something with a size. For this reason, you think that any apparent wording aiding this idea is a proof for you. However, Allaah is not a body, because if He was, then He would need a creator to specify His shape/figure, just like any other shape. That is why Allaah told us that He does not resemble anything. In other words, if you know Allaah, then you will have a basis for understanding the scriptures, but if not, then you will not understand.

  5. Souphienne says:

    Bismillah wassalam’aleykum Shaykh,

    There is the same problem with Ibn Kathir also.
    For Wahabi people Ibn Kathir’s Tafsir is correct according to their view!
    It would be nice when you have time to deal with him also incha Allah as it is one of their favorité sunni scholar…
    Barrak Allahou fikoum for your work!!

  6. Mrs B says:


    assalamualaykum shaykh

    I need help understanding this concept or statement about Allah being everywhere , when Allah cannot be in place/ space please help

    • You must not think of His Self at all. Allaah cannot be imagined. He is not said to be everywhere, because He is not in a place at all. To say or believe that Allaah is everywhere, or somewhere in particular, like the Sky, or have doubts about it makes one a non-Muslim. To become Muslim again one must reject such beliefs and with the intention to return to Islam say: “I firmly believe that there is no god but God, and Muhammad is His messenger” or any statement equivalent in meaning.

      Aļļaah does not resemble anything that one can imagine in the mind. This is because an imagination has a beginning, is therefore a creation, and cannot be like Allaah, as He does not have a beginning in any sense at all. Based on this, the scholars taught people the rule that “whatever you can imagine in your mind, Aļļaah does not resemble it.” Similarly, the cousin of the Prophet Muĥammad, and famous companion, Ibn ˆAbbaas said, “Ponder about everything, but do not ponder about the Self of Aļļaah.” (Fatĥu-l-Baariy 13/383) He said this because such dwelling leads one to draw analogies between the Creator and the created, which is blasphemy. It contradicts the belief in Aļļaah’s Oneness, as it involves the heretical belief that Aļļaah has an equal in some aspect. It also contradicts the Quranic “Absolutely nothing resembles Him.”

      Accordingly, Aţ-Ţaĥaawiy stated in his creed: “Whoever attributed to Aļļaah an attribute that has a meaning among the meanings that apply to humans has committed blasphemy.” Note the categorical sense of “a meaning,” which tells us that this is true for any meaning that applies to humans, not just some. For example, having a direction, a body, changing or the like.

      What you should keep in mind then, is that neither Allaah nor His attributes can be imagined, and reject any idea contrary to this belief. So we believe that Allaah exists but His existence is not like ours, He has Power, but His Power is not like ours, and so on. Take a look at this article.

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