Where Is Allah

Answered by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam

Question : Where is Allah

Answer : The issue of “Where is Allah?” is something that was never debated or made a matter of dispute among the Muslims throughout the ages and eras. Unfortunately, due to immense ignorance about our deen, certain Muslims spend and waist their precious time arguing about petty and trivial issues and forget about their real duties and responsibilities.

The belief (aqidah) one must have regarding his Lord and Creator is that Allah Almighty is One, there is nothing like Him, there is nothing that can overwhelm Him, there is no god besides Him and He is Eternal without a beginning and Enduring without end. He will neither perish nor come to an end and nothing happens except what He wills. No imagination can conceive of Him and no understanding can comprehend Him. He is different from any created being.

Allah Most High says about Himself:

“There is nothing whatever unto like Him.” (Surah al-Shura, 11).

And He says in Surah al-Ikhlas:

“And there is none like unto Him.” (112: 4).

Due to the above and other texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah, one of the major beliefs a Muslim must have regarding Allah Most High is that there is no creation that is similar to Him. If Allah is regarded to be similar or resemble or have any qualities of His creation, then that would constitute disbelief (Kufr).

Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“Whoever thinks that Allah has a body made of organs, then he is an idol-worshipper…Whosoever worships a body is regarded a disbeliever by the consensus of all the scholars, the early scholars (salaf) and the late (muta’akhirun)” (Iljam al-Anam an Ilm al-Kalam, 6-8).

If one believes that there is nothing similar to Allah in any way, then his Aqidah is correct and there is no need for disputes and arguments. I believe that there isn’t a Muslim that really believes that Allah is similar to his creation in any way, thus disputes and arguments must be avoided. Yes, if one does believe that Allah has hands, feet, face, etc…that is similar to his creation, then without doubt this person would come out of the fold of Islam.

Regarding the question, “where is Allah?” firstly, it should be remembered that this is not something that one will be asked about on the day of Qiyamah. We are in need of people really learning about the basics of Islam, rather than engaging themselves in these matters. Those that argue and cause destruction with such issues are normally ignorant about even the basics of Salat, Zakat, Hajj, etc… We need to really wake up and smell the coffee!

Secondly, this question in itself is wrong. We ask regarding the whereabouts of a person that lives in time and space. For example, I encompass time, meaning I live in time, and I have a body that needs to fill some space.

However, Allah, Mighty and Majestic, is the creator of time and space. If we limit Him to any time or space, then this would imply that we resemble Him to his creation by giving Him a body, as space is limited. If one was to say that Allah is everywhere, then this is wrong, as ‘everywhere’ is limited and ends somewhere, whereas Allah is not limited.

Similarly, to say that Allah is on earth, sky, moon, sun, throne, etc… is also wrong, as all these things are limited and to limit Allah to any created thing is Kufr.

Imam al-Tahawi (Allah have mercy on him) states in his famous al-Aqida al-Tahawiyya:

“He (Allah) is beyond having limits placed on Him, or being restricted, or having parts or limbs. Nor is He contained by six directions as all created things are.” (P. 9).

Imam al-Nasafi (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“He (Allah) is not a body (jism), nor an atom (jawhar), nor is He something formed (musawwar), nor a thing limited (mahdud), nor a thing numbered (ma’dud), nor a thing portioned or divided, nor a thing compounded (mutarakkab), nor does He come to end in Himself. He is not described by quiddity (al-ma’hiya), or by quality (al-kayfiyya), nor is He placed in space (al-makan), and time (al-zaman) does not affect Him. Nothing resembles Him, that is to say, nothing is like Him.” (See: Sa’d al-Din al-Taftazani & Najm al-Din al-Nasafi, Sharh al-Aqa’id al- Nasafiyya, 92-97).

In conclusion, one must have the Aqidah that Allah Most High is pure from space and time. It is wrong to say that He is everywhere and it is also wrong to believe that He is on something, as all these are limited whereas Allah Almighty is limitless. However, we must believe that His knowledge encompasses everything, and he knows, sees and listens to everything.

And Allah knows best
Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

Some Major Signs of Qiyamah

Answered by Mufti Muhammad Ibn Adam

Question: Some Major Signs of Qiyamah

Answer : There are many major and minor signs of that will occur before the Day of Judgment (qiyamah). Many of the minor signs have occurred and continue to do so. All the Prophets informed their people of the signs of Qiyamah. Our beloved Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace), being the last Prophet and knowing that Qiyamat will come upon this very Ummah, explained clearly and in detail the signs of the final hour, which have been recorded in many Hadith collections.

Some of the major signs are:

1) The coming of Imam Mehdi (Allah bless him)

2) The emergence of Dajjal

3) The dissention and return of Sayyiduna Esa (peace be upon him)

4) The emergence of Ya’juj and Ma’juj (Gog & Magog)

5) The smoke

6) Rising of the sun from the West

7) The beast

For more details on this topic in the English language, you may refer to the booklet titled ‘Major Signs before the Day of Judgment’, compiled by my dear friend Shaykh Ahmad Ali, who is a graduate from the famous Darul Uloom in Bury, UK.

And Allah knows best
Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

Having Doubts About Allah

Answered by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam

Question : Having doubts about Allah.

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful
Answer : Having doubts in Allah Almighty is natural and one should avoid being too concerned about them. In fact, doubts and evil thoughts are a sign of one’s faith.

Sayyiduna Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that once a group of people came to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and asked: “We experience such evil thoughts that it is impossible to bring them on our lips.” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Do you really experience these thoughts? Yes, they replied. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “They are clear signs of faith.” (Sahih Muslim)

Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Abbas (Allah have mercy on him) narrates that a Companion came to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him give him peace) and asked: “Sometimes I experience such thoughts that I would rather be reduced to charcoal than get them on my lips” (meaning that to speak of these thoughts was worse than burning in fire, m). The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “All praise is to Allah who restricted the devil’s designs to mere evil promptings.” (Sunan Abu Dawud)

The above two narrations cleary show that it is not unusual to have these evil thoughts neither is one more sinful or evil due to them. Even some Companions of the blessed Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) received these thoughts, as we have seen in the above narrations.

Therefore, one should not be worried on their account or feel sad and deterred, for these thoughts are signs of faith.

Some scholars have explained this by saying that a robber or thief only strikes at a place where he knows that there is wealth or money. He would not break into a place where there is no wealth. Similarly, when the devil (shaytan) whispers and puts these evil thoughts into anyone’s heart, then this shows that this person has the wealth of faith (iman) in his heart. If there was no wealth in that heart, Shaytan would have never entered it, thus one should not worry about these evil thoughts.

No sin on mere thoughts
It should also be remembered that one is not accountable for the evil thoughts that occur in the mind and heart as long as they remain thoughts.

Sayyiduna Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Verily Allah forgives my Ummah for the evil thoughts that occur in their hearts until they don’t say it verbally or act upon it.” (Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim).

Therefore, one does not come out of the fold of Islam due to experiencing these evil thoughts, neither is there any sin., as long as one remains a believer with his heart, mouth and action.

What to do?

When experiencing evil thoughts one should do the following:

1) Do not be worried about them, rather one should be happy, for the occurring of evil thoughts is a sign of faith. A saint said: “Shaytan can not tolerate a believer being happy, thus when he sees him being happy for receiving these thoughts, he stops from whispering them.”

2) When these thoughts come, one should occupy one’s self with something else. These thoughts will not disappear by simply desiring them to go, rather, one should get busy in some work or task.

3) One should seek Allah’s protection and refuge from the devil. Sayyiduna Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him &; give him peace) said: “The devil (shaytan) comes to one of you and says: “Who created this? Who created that? Until he says: “Who created your Lord?” When one experiences this, one should seek Allah’s refuge and stop the matter there”. (Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim).

4) Recitation of the following verse from Surah al-mu’minun may be beneficial:

“Rabbi inni a’uzu bika min hamazat ashayatin wa a’uzu bika rabbi an yahdurun”

Trans: O my Lord! I seek your protection from the instigations of devils and I also seek your protection from that they (ever) come to me.

Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

Establishing Matters of Aqidah With Hadith Ahad

Mufti Muhmmad ibn Adam

Question : Establishing matters of Aqidah with Hadith Ahad.

Could you please explain the difference between Ahad and Mutawatir Hadith? In particular, could you specify how many narrations make a Hadith Mutawatir? Also, are Ahad hadith taken into Aqidah or only Mutawatir?

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

Answer : A Hadith Mutawatir (continuous) is that which is related by whole groups of individuals from whole group of individuals, in multiple contiguous channels of transmission leading back to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give peace), such as that the sheer number of separate channels at each stage of transmission is too many for it to be possible for all to have conspired to fabricate the Hadith.

As such, a Hadith is classified as Mutawatir only when it fulfils the following conditions:

1) It is reported by such a large number of narrators that under normal circumstances it would be impossible for them to conspire a lie.

2) Such a number exists throughout the chain of narration, i.e. from the beginning to the end.

3) The reporters must base their report on sense perception, i.e. on something that is heard or seen.

4) That the narration necessitates certain knowledge for the listener. (Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani, Sharh Nukhba al-Fikr, P.21).

Example of a Mutawatir Hadith is:

“Whoever lies about me deliberately must prepare himself for a place in the fire of Hell” (Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih muslim).

Imam an-Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him) states that this narration has been narrated from approximately 200 Companions (Allah be pleased with them all) (Introduction to Sahih Muslim).

The Ahad or solitary Hadith (also known as Khabar al-Wahid) is the Hadith which fails to fulfil the requirement of Mutawatir. Ahad Hadith may be sound (sahih), good (hasan) or weak (Da’eef). It is a Hadith which does not impart positive knowledge on its own unless it is supported by extraneous or circumstantial evidence.

According to the majority of the four Sunni schools, acting upon Ahad is obligatory even if Ahad fails to engender positive knowledge provided certain conditions are met.

As far as establishing matters of Aqidah is concerned, the majority of the scholars are of the view that Ahad may not be relied upon as the basis of belief (aqidah), for matters of belief must be founded in certainty. Therefore, issues that revolve between belief (iman) and disbelief (kufr) can not be proven by Ahad narrations (See: Fawatih al-Rahmut, 2/136).

However, this refers to beliefs on which the actual Iman is dependent. As for Ahad narrations pertaining to subsidiary matters which are not essential to belief such as intercession (shafa’ah), etc…, these must be accepted and believed. Anyone who denies them is a sinner (fasiq) but not a Kafir, as he denies something which is not decisively proven (Abu Zahra, Usul al-Fiqh, P.85).

None of the previous scholars rejected any belief that was not established by Hadith Mutawatir. In fact, the great Hadith expert, Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani (Allah have mercy on him) states in his monumental commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari that, Ahad narrations are a source of evidence when the Ummah accepts it and acts upon it. It then has the power to become firm belief (Fath al-Bari, V.13, P.234).

Many beliefs have been established by Ahad narrations, yet they have not been rejected by the great scholars of this Ummah. Beliefs such as the intercession (shafa’ah) of the blessed Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give peace), descriptions of the angels, Jinn, Jannah, Jahannam, and much more.

In conclusion, matters of Aqidah can and have been proven by Ahad narrations and accepted by the majority of the Ummah. Yes, those integrals of Aqidah on which an individual’s Iman depends can not be established by Ahad narrations. As a result, denying beliefs that are proven by Ahad will not constitute Kufr, rather a sin.

And Allah Knows Best
Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK