The Attribute of Istiwa'

Q 1: What is the ruling on offering Salah (prayer) behind someone who says that Allah is in the Heavens and on Earth as a means to free Allah from the attribute of space and place?

A: According to the `Aqidah (creed) of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (those adhering to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream), Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) Himself is High above His creation. He makes Istiwa' (Allah's rising over the Throne in a manner that befits Him) above the Throne in a way that suits His sublimity and Majesty. This is affirmed in Allah's saying: The Most Gracious (Allâh) rose over (Istawâ) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). His saying: And He is the Most High, the Most Great. And His saying And He is the Irresistible, (Supreme) above His slaves And Allah said regarding Prophet `Isa (Jesus) ibn Maryam (son of Mary) But Allâh raised him [‘Isâ (Jesus)] up (with his body and soul) unto Himself (and he عليه السلام is in the heavens). And He (Glorified and Exalted be He) is the only God in heaven and earth, as He (Exalted be He) says: It is He (Allâh) Who is the only Ilâh (God to be worshipped) in the heaven and the only Ilâh (God to be worshipped) on the earth. He knows all about His creatures, as He (Exalted be He) says: And He is with you (by His Knowledge) wheresoever you may be. Thus, whosoever (Part No. 3; Page No. 201) thinks that Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) is with His Dhat (Essence) on Earth, they are going against the Qur'an, Sunnah, Ijma` (consensus), and following the Madh-hab of Hulul (pantheism) that proclaims that Allah is present everywhere. The sound legal ruling should be explained to whoever says this, and in case they stick to their opinion, not out of ignorance, rather obstinacy, then they are Kafirs (disbelievers) and Salah behind them is not permissible.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.