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Hisham Kabbani
  Exposing Kabbani 16 : Allaah's Uluww in the Light of the Way of the Salaf
Author: Abu Hudhayfah
Article ID : NDV070016  


The correct belief in respect of Allaah’s Attribute of ‘Uluww (being above His Throne) is exactly as described by Imaam Aboo Haneefah:

Aboo Mutee’ al-Hakam ibn ‘Abdullah al-Balkee said: "I asked Aboo Haneefah about the one who says: ‘I do not know whether my Lord is in the sky or the earth.’" So he said: ‘He is a kaafir, for Allaah, the Most High, says: "The Most Merciful has ascended over the Throne" and His Throne is above the heavens.’ So I said: "If he says: ‘I say that He ascended above the Throne but I do not know whether the Throne is in the heavens or the earth.’" He said: ‘If he denies that He is above the sky then he is a kaafir.’ (Sharh ‘Aqeedah at-Tahaweeyah p.288 of ibn Abil-’Izz al-Hanafee, and Mukhtasar al-’Uluww no.118 of adh-Dhahabee)

This narration also explains the statement of Aboo Haneefah given by Kabbani:

"He said in his al-Fiqh al-akbar: ‘Allah has no limits, nor any rivals... He who says: ‘I do not know if my Lord is in the heavens or on earth’ is a disbeliever, and he who says: ‘He is on the Throne, and I do not know whether the Throne is in the heaven or on the earth,’ he is also a disbeliever.’ Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi explained this to mean: ‘The reason is that by such words he suggests a place for Allah and this is idolatry.’" (Kabbani, p.136)

Why did Aboo Haneefah impute with kufr one who does not know whether Allaah is in the heavens or on earth? According to al-Maturidee it is because this suggests a place for Allaah but this ignores Aboo Haneefah’s words from the first quote: "If he denies that He is above the sky then he is a kaafir." Additionally, al-Maturidee’s own conclusion would only stand if the individual had actually affirmed that Allaah was in a particular place - heaven or earth - but this is not the case since the individual says: ‘I do not know if my Lord is in the heavens or on earth’.

Again, Imaam Aboo Haneefah’s declaration of kufr is clear from the first quotation. The one who does not know whether Allaah or His Throne is above the heavens or earth is disregarding the verse cited as proof by Aboo Haneefah: "The Most Merciful has ascended over the Throne" since this, as Aboo Haneefah concluded, clarifies that Allaah is above His Throne, above the heavens. Just as one of the teachers of al-Bukhaaree, Muhammad ibn Yusuf, said in continuation of the creed of the Salaf: "The one who says that Allaah is not over His Throne is a kaafir..." (Khalq Af’aalul-’Ibaad no.66 of al-Bukhaaree)

Ibn Abil-’Izz writes:

"Do not pay any attention to those who reject this narration from those who ascribe themselves to the Madhab of Aboo Haneefah, for a group of the Mu’tazilah and other than them attribute themselves to him but differ with him in a large number of his beliefs. And those who oppose some of the beliefs of Maalik, ash-Shaafi’ee and Ahmad also attribute themselves to them. And the story of Aboo Yusuf asking Bishr al-Mareesee to repent when he denied that Allaah is above His Throne is well known, reported by ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Abee Haatim and others."

(Sharh ‘Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah, p.288)

Why should this not be the position of Aboo Haneefah when it is in full conformity with the verses of the Qur’aan, the hadeeth of the Prophet sallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the sayings of the Salaf of this Ummah (of which he is undoubtedly one).

Allaah, the Most High, says:

"Behold! Allaah said: O ‘Eesa, I will take you and raise you up to Myself." (Soorah Aali-’Imraan 3:55)

"They fear their Lord who is above (fawq) them." (Soorah an-Nahl 16:50)

The Messenger of Allaah sallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: "Do you not trust me and I am the trustworthy servant of Him Who is above the sky. The news of heaven comes to me in the morning and the evening."

(al-Bukhaaree and Muslim from Aboo Sa’eed al-Khudree)

He sallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also said: "Those who are merciful will be shown mercy by the Most High. Have mercy upon those on the earth, then He who is in the sky will have mercy upon you."

(Ahmad, Aboo Dawood, al-Bukhaaree in at-Tareekh al-Kabeer, al-Haakim who authenticated it and adh-Dhahabee agreed. At-Tirmidhee graded it as hasan saheeh in his Sunan)

Also the lengthy hadeeth in which the Prophet sallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam describes the journey of the righteous soul through the heavens after death: "... thereafter it is taken up to the sky which is then opened for it. It is said: ‘Who is this?’ So (the Angel) says: ‘It is so and so.’ It is said: ‘Welcome to the blessed soul,’ and it does not cease to be referred to as this until it reaches the heaven in (above) which is Allaah, the Most High." (Ahmad, as well as al-Haakim who declared it to be authentic to the standard of al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)

Imaam Maalik: "Allaah is above the sky and His Knowledge is in every place, not being absent from anything." (Aboo Dawood in al-Masaa’il p.263, al-Aajuree in ash-Sharee’ah p.289, and others)

Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee: "The saying which I hold regarding the Sunnah and which I found those whom I have seen holding such as Sufyaan, Maalik and others, is affirmation of the testification that none has the right to be worshipped but Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, that Allaah is above His Throne over His heaven, He draws near to His creation as He wishes and descends to the lowest heaven as He wishes..."

(Mukhtasar al-’Uluww no.118 of adh-Dhahabee from Abu Thawr and Abu Shu’aib, both reporting from ash-Shaafi’ee)

Imaam al-Awzaa’ee (d.157H): "We, whilst the students of the Successors were many, would say that indeed Allaah, the Most Perfect, is above His Throne and we believe in what is related in the Sunnah about the Attributes."

(al-Bayhaqee in al-Asmaa was-Sifaat (p.408). Ibn Hajar graded its isnaad as being jayyid in Fath al-Baaree 13/406)

Shaykh ul-Islaam Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak (d.181H): "He is above the seventh heaven above His Throne and we do not say as the Jahmiyyah say: ‘He is here on the earth’."

(Khalq Af’aalul-’Ibaad no.13 of al-Bukhaaree, ar-Radd ‘alal Mareesee pp.24, 103 and ar-Radd ‘alal-Jahmiyyah p.50 of ad-Daarimee and ‘Abdullaah ibn Ahmad in as-Sunnah pp.7, 25, 35 and 72)

The verses, ahadeeth and sayings of the Salaf with this meaning are many.

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