By their emphasis on reason in establishing religious truth, the rationalists, the modernists, and the Jahmites assert the preeminence of reason over the divine revelations. Whereas the Loftiness of Allah which is clearly enunciated in the Qur'an and the Sunnah, is beyond the reach of reason.
The true believers, contrary to the rationalists, believe that the 'Arsh of Allah is above the seven heavens. They also believe that having created the seven heavens and the earth and what is in them, Allah, the Exalted, has mounted His great 'Arsh. Allah says: "Declare your Rubb, the Supreme, to be far removed from every imperfection or impurity."
The "Supreme", linguistically, is in the superlative signifying that Allah is higher than everything and is above all things in essence, power, and invincibility. Commenting on this verse, Ibnul-Qayyim, may Allah grant him His mercy, said:
All Muslims in the past and in the present, when supplicating Allah or imploring His help, they always raise their hands with palms towards the heaven. They do not lower their hands with palms towards the earth, nor do they turn them right or left, nor towards any other direction. They raise their hands up, knowing that Allah is above them. The Muslims also say in prayer while prostrating, "I declare my Rubb, the Supreme, to be far removed from every imperfection or impurity."
If Allah is everywhere, as the deviated sects allege, why then the above verse does not read, 'Declare your Rubb, (around you), (below you), or (everywhere)?' Allah says:"They fear their Rubb above them."
This verse refers to the angels who are above us, and above them is our Rubb, the Blessed, the Exalted. Lest anyone be confused, Allah confirms in this verse that He is above the angels who are the residents of the heavens:"The Compassionate has ascended the 'Arsh.
And:"And verily, your Rubb is Allah who created the heaven and earth in six days, and then ascended the 'Arsh.
Allah also says:"Are you sure that He Who is Above the heaven will not cleave the earth beneath you? Or are you sure that He Who is above the heaven will not send against you a stone-charged hurricane."
The renowned exegetes and commentators are agreed that the One Who is above the heaven is none but Allah Who has mounted His Arsh and is above it in the manner which suits His Majesty.
Those who believe that Allah is everywhere base their argument on verses such as:"And He is Ilaah in the Heavens and He is Ilaah on the Earth!"
The term, 'Ilaah' is classical Arabic means, 'the worshipped'; thus the meaning of the above verse is, "It is He Who is worshipped in the heaven and worshipped on the earth". It would have been redundant were the verse to speak about the existence of Allah in the heaven and on the earth, for the term Illah' is an adjective of Allah, while the pronouns, 'He' in the verse is used in lieu of the name 'Allah', therefor, when the name 'Allah' replaces the pronoun 'He', we get the proper meaning of the verse: 'And it is Allah Who is worshipped in the heaven and on the earth'. But according to the deviated sect who consider the term, 'Ilaah' as 'Allah', we get the redundant meaning, 'And Allah is Allah in the heaven and Allah is on the earth,' a sentence which is grammatically, linguistically and logically incorrect.
Qatadah, a renowned exegete, interpreted this verse as: 'He is worshipped in the heaven and on the earth'.
Imam al-Aajurri said: 'al-Ilaah, is the worshipped. He is worshipped in the heaven as He is worshipped on the earth'.
The Omnipresence of the Divine
And He is Allah above the heaven and on the earth He knows your private and public affairs. And He knows what you achieve.
Those who deny that Allah is above His Arsh, dubiously argue that this verse supports their argument. Their argument is refuted by realizing that this verse refers to the knowledge of Allah, according to the renowned exegetes, not His essence. They further assert that this verse signifies that the knowledge of Allah encompasses all things in the heavens and on the earth. The reference to the divine knowledge is made clearly by repeating the clause, 'He knows' twice in this verse, that is to say: "Allah, the Exalted, knows the hidden and the open, and He knows what you achieve".
Had the verse ended with the word, 'earth', one might take their dubious argument into consideration, but Allah, the Exalted, makes it abundantly clear that it is His knowledge, not His essence that encompasses all things.