Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: Assalamu Alaikum. I have learned in depth about the correct aqida of Muslims, the Attributes of Allah and that He exists without a place. My belief is fine, but I want to ask about the belief of a person who says “Allah sits on the Throne.” I am guessing this is kufr? Is it permissible to seek knowledge from the books of people who state this?
Answer: assalamu `alaykum
Allah does not resemble creation. This is decisively demonstrated in the Qur’anic statement, “there is nothing whatsoever like Him.” (42:11) Thus, Allah is not confined within time or space, nor is He described with limits, organs, and other such characteristics belonging to created things.
As for the statement that Allah “sits” on the throne, this is unsound. Imam Bayhaqi, the great hadith scholar and theologian, stated:
“The Begininglessly Eternal (al-qadim) is elevated over his throne but neither sitting, nor standing, not in contact with, not separate from the throne… For ‘contact’ and its opposite ‘separation’, ‘standing’ and its opposite ‘sitting’, are characteristics of created bodies.” [Kitab al-Asma’ wa’l Sifat]
Ibn Hajar `Asqalani similary cites Ibn Battal stating that the belief that Allah sits on the throne is a position held by the anthropomorphists. [Fath al-Bari] This is because “sitting” entails contact between two objects and “contact” only arises between objects that possess limits and extents, which in turn is indicative of these objects being created. Thus, we find Imam Tahawi stating clearly, “He is beyond having limits placed on Him.” [`Aqida al-Tahawiyya]
From this, we can understand that the position of Ahl al-Sunna is to preclude such characteristics for Allah. As for those who hold and promote these heterodox positions, their books detailing creedal aspects should be avoided and when read should be done by qualified individuals who possess the knowledge and insight to detect such problematic positions.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani