Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: In our schools children are taught that Allah is everywhere so that they know that Allah is seeing them wherever they go and He knows whatever they do. Is this statement disbelief?
If a person says: “Allah is in my heart” meaning by that that faith is in his heart, is he a disbeliever?
Answer: assalamu alaykum
This statement is certainly not disbelief, nor does it make one a disbeliever, and nor is it problematic as generally understood by Muslims.
The Qur’an itself states in reference to God that, “He is with them wherever they are” (58:7) and “He is with you wherever you are.” (57:4). There is agreement amongst the exegetes that this refers to the knowledge of God. These verses demonstrate that the Qur’an did use such expressions but their context clearly indicates that this relates to knowledge and not God being present everywhere in His essence. [al-Tabari, Jami al-bayan; al-Razi, Mafatih al-ghayb]
Therefore, it would be permitted to use the expression, “God is everywhere” provided that it does not lead to confusion or unsound beliefs. In situations where it may, one should simply clarify the statement in the manner scholars of the past did.
The same ruling would apply to an expression such as “God is in my heart.” Rather, the metaphorical intent behind this expression is almost immediately known to most people since it is rare and odd for one to believe that such a statement is expressed by someone to indicate that God is literally in his heart.
[Ustadh] Salman Younas
Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.