Q 2: What is the
evidence that Allah is in the heavens?
The `Aqidah (creed) of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream) is that Allah is in the heavens, above all of His Creation, and that He has risen above the Throne, as He (Glorified be He) states:
Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allâh), will not cause the earth to sink with you, and then it should quake?
Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allâh), will not send against you a violent whirlwind? Then you shall know how (terrible) has been My Warning.
And He (Exalted be He) states:
To Him ascend (all) the goodly words, and the righteous deeds exalt them (i.e. the goodly words are not accepted by Allâh unless and until they are followed by good deeds)
(Part No. 2; Page No. 384) and states:
He manages and regulates (every) affair from the heavens to the earth; then it (affair) will go up to Him
and in Surah Ta-Hah:
The Most Gracious (Allâh) rose over (Istawâ) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty).
And His (Glorified be He) Saying:
Indeed, your Lord is Allâh, Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and then He rose over (Istawâ) the Throne (really in a manner that suits His Majesty).
Is mentioned in seven places in the Qur'an.Furthermore, it was authentically reported in the Hadith regarding
Al-Khawarij that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
Don't you trust me though I am the trustworthy man of the One in the Heavens, and I receive the news of Heaven (i.e. Divine Inspiration) both in the morning and in the evening?
Moreover, the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked a slave girl, "Where is Allah?" She replied, "In the heaven." He (peace be upon him) then asked her, "Who am I?" She said, "You are the Messenger of Allah." He (peace be upon him) said (to her master), "Release her, for she is a believer."
Muslim. The Prophet (peace be upon him) also stated:
The Compassionate One has mercy on those who are merciful. If you show mercy to those who are on the earth, He Who is in the heaven will show mercy to you.
Abu Dawud and
Al-Tirmidhy who classified it as a Hasan Sahih Hadith, and
Al-Hakim who classified it as Sahih, and
Al-Dhahaby agreed with him. (Part No. 2; Page No. 385) And there are many other Hadith to this effect.
The Shaykh of Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said that this does not mean in any way that Allah is in the midst of, or surrounded by the heavens, as none of the Salaf (righteous predecessors) of this Ummah (community) or its Imams ever stated that; rather they agreed that
Allah is established on His Throne above the heavens and is distinguished from His creation with no similarity whatsoever between Him and His creation in terms of His Attributes, Names, or Power. Then he quoted the saying of
Imam Malik that Allah is above the heavens and His knowledge encompasses everywhere and everything, until he
(Malik) said whoever believes that Allah is in the midst of, or surrounded by the heavens and that He needs His Throne or any of His Creation, or that His Rising above the Throne is similar to that of any of His Slaves sitting on a chair, then he is astray, Mubtadi` (one who introduces innovations in religion) and Islamically ignorant. Likewise, whoever believes that Allah is not above the heavens and rising above His Throne and Muhammad was not carried to heaven or the Qur'an was revealed to him, is Mu`attil (denying Allah's Attributes), astray and Mubtadi`. Quoted from the collection of Fatwas by Ibn Taymiyyah.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.