Shaikh ul-Islaam said, in 'Minhaaj us-Sunnah'
(1/216), "The people have three sayings about the application of (the word)
'al-jihah'. A group negates it, another affirms it and the other explains the matter: and
this divergence is found amongst the affirmers of the Attributes of the companions of the
four Imaams and their likes. The dispute of the People of Hadeeth and Sunnah, however,
regarding the denial and affirmation of it is a dispute regarding the word itself, it is
not a dispute concerning the meaning. For this reason, a group from the companions of
Ahmad, such as the Taimees , al-Qaadee in one of his two sayings negates it and another
group the majority of which affirm it, and this is also the second of the two sayings of
al-Qaadee. This (difference) is because the word 'al-jihah' (direction) sometimes refer to
that which exists and can sometimes refer to that which does not exist. It is also known
that there is nothing in existence save the Creator and the created. So when something
that exists that is other than Allaah is intended by the word 'al-jihah', it is from the
creation of Allaah, and nothing from the creation surrounds or encompasses Allaah, the
Most High . And if by 'al-jihah' (direction) something which does not exist is intended
- and that is whatever is above the world, then there is nothing above it save Allaah
alone." End of his words.
The summary of this discussion is that Allaah is
above the Throne, the aayaat and ahaadeeth in this regard are overwhelming; that the
Imaams of Islaam and their associates and companions have spoken with this and that
whoever makes it binding that their saying leads to limiting and confining Allaah, then he
has forged a lie against them twice: Firstly, since he fabricated against them that which
they did not say, and made binding upon them (i.e. from their belief concerning Allaah)
that which they did not make binding upon themselves and which they did not themselves
say, in fact they criticised and denied it. Secondly, that this necessity which the
philosophers talk about (i.e. the implication of affirming Allaah is above the Throne,
above the Heavens, over His creation) is in reality falsehood and even in the words of
others amongst the Ahl ul-Kalaam (such as Ibn Rushd) it is not correct and binding, rather
it is falsehood according to them. Therefore, the actual dispute concerning the word
'al-jihah' (direction) is amongst the People of Truth and it is a difference with respect
to the word not the meaning, since they are unanimously agreed upon the denial and
negation of Allaah being encompassed and surrounded, and this is the meaning which is
forbidden. So whoever says, 'The word 'al-jihah' (direction) is used because its meaning
is that Allaah is above the Throne' and whoever says, 'The word 'al-jihah' is not to be
used because it has not been narrated or reported (from the Salaf), rather it should just
be affirmed that Allaah is above the Throne', then both of them have negated the meaning
which is prohibited (i.e. that Allaah is limited and confined) and they have followed the
aided truth. And by all of this, the deceit and suspicion is unveiled from its very
foundation, and Allaah is the Guide.
1 I.e. that affirming Allaah is above the creation,
above His Throne, necessitates that He is confined and limited to a place.
2 i.e. something can only be said to be in a 'place'
or 'location' if it is surrounded by other things/objects. For it is in reference to these
objects that something is said to be in a certain 'place' or 'location' and these
surrounding objects constitute a holding place for it.
3 In other words there is a place at which the
external surface of something stops and teminates and is distinct and separate from that
which is besides it.
4 And in this is a denial of the very existence of
5 Refer also to the Creed of the Imaam of Siyar,
Imaam adh-Dhahabee, in his book 'al-Uluww'.
6 They are 'Abdul-'Azeez bin al-Haarith and his two
sons 'Abdul-Waahid and 'Abdul-Wahhaab, and al-Hufaid Rizqullaah bin Abdul-Wahhaab, all of
them are Taymees. Refer to 'Tabaqaat ul-Hanaabilah' of Ibn Abee Ya'laa (2/139, 82, 250).
7 As has preceded in the second point above.