Above The Throne ? | ইসলামী বিশ্বকোষ ও আল-হাদিস

Above The Throne ?

Imam Ibn al-Jawzi:

"After they imagined a huge image on the Throne, they took to interpreting away all that contradicts its being located on the Throne.
So I ask you where is Allah?…They also said that the statement of Allah should come unto them in the shadows of the clouds (2:210) must be understood literally to mean they declare it forbidden another.  

They the coming of His very Essence. 
So they declare it permissible one year and said:' We affirm this according to its external sense!'
Then they placated the commonality by adding:'But we do not affirm limbs.'
It is as if they said: 'So-and-so is standing but he is not standing.'
Those are less intelligent than  Juha......

[Ibn al-Jawzi, Sayd al-Khatir (p. 91-95).]

This well-known incident is confirmed both internally through Ibn Taymiyya's own writings, 
and externally as related in Ibn Hajar's Durar:
(Najmal-Din Sulayman ibn `Abd al-Qawi) al-Tufi (al-Hanbali) said:

"They ascertained that he had blurted out certain words concerning doctrine which came out of his mouth in the context of his sermons and legal decisions, and they mentioned that he had cited the hadith of Allah's descent, then climbed down two steps from the minbar and said:
"Just like this descent of mine" and he was categorized as an anthropomorphist."
 [Ibn Hajar, al-Durar 1:153.]

After they imagined a huge image on the Throne, they took to interpreting away all that contradicts its being located on the Throne.
The problem arises when individuals say things like Allah:
has 2 eyes, 2 hands and limbs”… etc



"Above The Throne"

Wahabi/salafi says:
1. “Unfortunately you believe that Allah has no place and no direction therefore is nowhere. Thus you are in a way saying that he does not exist."

Wahabi/salafi says:
2. "I know where my creator is because that is what we have been clearly taught from the quran and it is clear cut not maybe or but!"

Wahabi/salafi says:
3." I have given you proof of ^various quran and hadith to suggest that Allah is above the thronein a way that befits his majesty.

^Wahabi/salafi says:
4. "Now you give me clear proof that Allah has no direction and has no place from the quran and hadith."

Wahabi/salafi says:
"Please don't use the arguement that i have taken these verses literally as that is weak. Also do not use any scholar modern or early but the quran 
and sahih hadith."
^Wahabi says:
"This is my challenge to you.”

^"...clearly taught..."
(end of quote)

We Muslims have NEVER denied that Allah isabove the throne, we just deny your definition of aboveness

Your problem is just as same as JUHA!

Juha was told by his mother to guard the door, he took it off its hinges and walked away with it, whereupon the house was ransacked. When his mother blamed him he said:
‘you only told me to watch the door, not the house! 


^Wahabi/salafi said:

“Unfortunately you believe that Allah has no place and no direction therefore is nowhere. Thus you are in a way saying that he does not exist."


The Holy Prophet
(Sallallahu Alaihe-e-Wa-Sallam)
(peace be upon him)
is related to have said in
Sahih Muslim:
“O Allah, You are the first: there is nothing before You; and You are the last:there is nothing after You. You are the Manifest (al-Zahir): there is nothing above You. You are the Hidden (al-Batin): there is nothing below You.”
[ Sahih Muslim, kitab al-dhikr wal-du`a wal-tawba wal-istighfar, bab ma yaqulu `ind al-nawm wa-akhd al-madhja, #7064]

Imam Abu Hanifa (d. 150) said: 
"Had He been in a place and needing to sit and rest before creating the Throne, then the question 'Where was Allah?' would have applied to Him, which is impossible." 
[Abu Hanifa, Wasiyya al-Imam al-A'zam Abu Hanifa, ed. Fu'ad 'Ali Rida (Beirut : Maktabat al-Jamahir, 1970) p. 10.]

The Ash'ari Imam Ibn 'Abd al-Salam
said in his statement of doctrine:
He was before He brought place and time into existence, and He is now as He ever was.
Ibn 'Abd al-Salam, al-Mulha fi I`tiqad Ahl al-Haqq in his Rasa'il al-Tawhid (p. 11).]

' The Hashwiyya and mushabbiha said:
'The Creator took His place (hâ llun) on the Throne, the Throne is His location (makâ n), and He is sitting on top of it."
Imam Al-Ash'ari said:
'Allah existed when there was no place; then He created the Throne and the Footstool (al-'arsh wa al-kursî ) without ever being in need of place, and He is, after creating place, exactly as He was before creating it.'
[In Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari (Saqqa ed. p. 150).]


Al-Aqeedah at-Tahaweeyah

50. He is independent of the Throne and what is beneath it.51. He encompasses everything and is above it, and what He has created is incapable of encompassing Him

The saying of the Wahhabis that the instinct of every human will lead to a conclusion that Allah is inclined towards an upward direction, i.e., towards the Arsh, is refuted by the proofs that can be witnessed in those who live around us and who hold different beliefs.

This is because among the people are those who believe that this worldly Sky whose color is light blue is Allah. Also among the people are those who believe that Allah is a mass of light.

All these matters have been explained by the hadîth Master,

Imâm Ab al-Faraj Ibn al-Jawzî

who belongs to his [Imâm Ahmad's] school.
He has cleared the Imâm's name of such foul slanders and has provided explicit proofs exposing the lies of the slanderers.

"The Flaming Falcon Swooping Down on the Dissenters of the Hanbali Madhhab"

Ibn al-Jawzi:
“I have observed that some of our companions have written about matters of creed in a way that is not proper. There are three in particular: Abu ‘Abd Allah ibn Hamid, his disciple, Qadi Abu Ya’ la, and Ibn al-Zaghuniwho composed books by which they have disgraced the madhab.

They held the attributes of God to be subject to human understanding and perception. They heard that God, Glorified and Exalted be He, Created Adam on his image, upon him be blessings and peace. On that basis, They acknowledged for Him an image and a physical form, a face attribute to His essence, two eyes, a mouth, uvulas, molar teeth, and lights for His face which represent His majestic splendor, two hands, fingers, a palm, a little [pinky] finger, a thumb, a chest, a thigh, two shins, and two feet. [They even went so far as saying]: “We have not heard any mention of the head.” They [then] said: “It is possible for Him to touch and to be touched, and to bring the slave close to His being.” 

One of them said: “[…] He breathes. Then they calm the common people by saying. “[These attributes] are not taken as commonly understood.”

Ibn al-Jawzi continues: 

“You have made this madhhab such a shameful disgrace that when it is said,“Humbali,” it is understood that he is someone who likensGOD to His creation. You have then made your way to be that of bigotry and intolerance…”

“They adopted the literal meanings of the names and ascriptions and called them attributes-an invented designation, of which they have no evidence, neither from transmitted knowledge of the text, nor reason.”

[Daf` Shubah al-Tashbih bi Akuff al-Tanzih]

And beware of what Ibn Taymiyya, his student Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya and others wrote; he [Ibn Taymiyya] is a man who took his lusts for his Lord, for which Allâh led him astray despite his learning, sealed upon his hearing and heart, and put a veil upon his sight; and who can guide him after Allâh let him be misguided? 

Why should He not, when these heretics have gone past the boundaries set by the Sharî`a and trampled them?

Yet they imagine that they are the guided ones, that they are guided by their Lord Almighty when the truth is that they are not. Rather, they are on the wrong path, the most heinous, misleading way and most abominable traits. They are afflicted by vices and have incurred a great loss. May Allâh humble their followers and wipe the earth clean from their likes!”

Al-Imam Abu Hamed Al-Ghazaliy, rahimahu Allah, in Al-Ihya said:
“Allah, the Exalted, existed eternally and there was no place. He is not a body, jawhar (atom), or property, and He is not on a place or in a place."



This is likening Allah to his creation
Ibn ˆAbbaas said,“Ponder about everything, but do not ponder about the Self of Aļļaah.” (Fatĥu-l-Baariy 13/383 )

He said this because such dwelling leads one to draw analogies between the Creator and the created, which is blasphemy. It contradicts the belief in Aļļaah’s Oneness, as it involves the heretical belief that Aļļaah has an equal in some aspect. It also contradicts the Quranic “Absolutely nothing resembles Him.”

“O Allah, You are the first: there is nothing before You; and You are the last:there is nothing after You. You are the Manifest (al-Zahir): there is nothing above You. You are the Hidden (al-Batin): there is nothing below You.”

We can discuss Quran/Hadith and sayings of the Salaf regarding proofs or figurative interpretation until we run out of ink, andturn blue ourselves, but we will not get anywhere.

What I really want to know is, how is it that you accept to believe in self contradictory beliefs? And do not simply tell me, “because I follow the Salaf,” because if you accept to believe in self-contradictory beliefs, how can you claim to have knowledge of what the Salaf said?
According to You the Wahabies Allah is literally above the throne without ever leaving it, AND literally in the sky of the world in the last third of the night
(i.e. always, because the Earth is round, so it is always the last third of the night somewhere.)

Do you see a problem here?

Then You say it is blasphemy to say that Allah is inside His creation (even though the sky of the world is below the other six created skies above it)…. Then, seemingly just to add to this mess, some of them also say that He is literally in the seventh sky.
Not only that, you also say He is literally encompassing the world and yet you also say it is kufr to believe He is mixed with it.

So in your belief, He is encompassing the world (thus a surface outside creation’s borders), and in the first Sky (deep inside creation, below 6 other skies), and yet it is kufr to say He is mixed with creation or enters it. Perhaps we could call this a“self defeating belief system?” It is certainly no different from the christian belief that 1=3.

On top of this they explain that this mess of contradictory statements represents the simple belief that human nature inclines towards, and is free of complications. Yet when you try to show the contradictions in what they are saying, they shout: “KALAM!! Why do you use your mind?? Why do you engage in Philosophy?! It is Bidˆah. If you do not find all this intuitive, then there is something wrong with your natural inclinations (Fitra)!”

What it boils down to then is that they are exactly like the christian priests who tell their followers, “do not mix faith with reason, follow your heart!” As the scholars say, “Blasphemy is one nation.”

wahabi/salafi said:
Quote: “Now you give me clear proof that Allah has no direction and has no place from the quran and hadith.

23- He is not in need of anything.
Allah Ta’ala said in 
Surat Al-Ikhlas, ayah 2:

Allah, Ta’ala, is The Creator who is attributed with the attributes of Perfection. 
Hence, He is not in need of anything. Being in need implies imperfection which would contradict and nullify the meaning of Godhood. Every creation has needs, and therefore they are dependant.
Among the needs is the place and time, both of which are a creation of Allah. We need a place and a space to exist in, because we are a physical mass. Allah, Ta’ala, is not like us, and therefore is not in need of a space or place. He, Ta’ala, exists without a place, because He is The Creator of place. The same applies to time. Allah is The Creator of time, therefore, it does not apply to him, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.
Anthropomorphists or (Al Mujassima) believe that Allah Ta’ala resides in a place or partially contained in a place above the 7th heaven, and they believe if Muslims say Allah is not in any specific place this would lead to negating Allah’s presence.
Because to them, if Allah exists then He must be in a place.
They fell in the pitfall of applying the standards of creation on The Creator, may Allah safeguard us from this blasphemy.

wahabi said:
“I know where my creator is because that is what we have been clearly taught from the quran and it is clear cut not maybe or but!”

A creation can only think, imagine and delude about another creation, and as we intellectually grow our intellectual thinking capacities and imaginations grow with us, and we can imagine and think about more things. This very process reflects our imperfection. If one is perfect, then one should be able to know and imagine everything. It is impossible sometimes to imagine another creation such as the extent of space, or the mechanism of some cells in our body, or the laws of physics,….etc.. it is impossible to imagine some of the creation!!, hence, it definitely is impossible to imagine The Creator.

Allah Ta’ala said in Surat Maryam, ayah 65:
“Is there anything similar to Him”?
Allah Ta’ala, also said in Surat Al-Ihklas, ayah 4:
“ nothing is equal or similar to Him”

The above mentioned ayahs, among a lot more in the Qur’an, constitute the basis of Islamic belief in Allah. He is not the creation.
Delusions cannot apply to Him, minds cannot encompass Him, thoughts cannot conceive Him, imaginations cannot grasp Him.

8- No imagination can conceive of Him, and no understanding can comprehend Him. He does not resemble the creation.

Allah Ta’ala, said in Surat Al-Nah’l, ayah 60:
“ Allah Has the Perfect attributes”
Allah Ta’ala said in Surat Ashura, ayah 11:
This ayah firmly established that nothing is like Him, therefore everything we imagine or capacitate is something, and Allah is similar to nothing.

Islam stresses and emphasizes on this very important point in Tawheed (monotheism). As breaking this rule, would automatically invalidate the state of Tawheed; simply: 

The Creator is distinguished from the creation.

Hence, our imaginations and our intellectual capacity are all part of us, a creation. The creation can never encompass The Creator. In other words, imperfection cannot encompass perfection. One cannot define some creations that are complex and advanced, with no comparison, The Creator cannot be imagined by a created imagination of a created human being.

Al-Imam Than-noon Al-Masri,
may Allah have Mercy on his soul, said:

“ Whatever you imagine in your mind, Allah is different than that”.

Because no matter what one may imagine, it is still a creation with limited capacity, which can only imagine another creation, if that!

9- He does not resemble the creation.
Allah Ta’ala, said in Surat Al-Ikhlas, ayah 4:
“ He has no equals or similars"

He does not resemble the creation is very important, and is the core of Islamic monotheism. Simply stated, Allah Ta’ala, does not resemble any creation in any and all ways. Many people depart Islam to blasphemy imagining that God looks like a human being with limbs, organs, lives in a place up in the skies, rests, descends and ascends, comes and goes, sleeps and rests, or that He is a light!!!!!…etc. All these deviations are because they tried to conceive God in their imaginations, that lead them to compare Him with things the mind knows and understands, therefore, they fell into blasphemy.

Examples are also numerous, among them what Allah said in Surat Taha, Ayah 5:
“ Ar-rahmaan (The Merciful) Istawa over the Arsh”

Many people who attempted to translate the Qur’an into other languages or those half-knowledgeables who attempted to dive in the science of Tafseer(Qur’anic interpretations) without proper academic knowledge in Tafseer, and they knowingly or unknowingly disembarked into an unknown territory for them which led many of them to commit serious mistakes.
Some have interpreted the above ayah with:

“Allah is firmly established on the throne”.

They committed at least two errors in their effort to interpret and understand the ayah, one in arbitrarily interpreting the Arabic word Istawa as established, and the other interpreting the word Al-Arsh as the Throne.
This ayah is clearly among the ayat Mutashaabihaat, and submission to Allah in its true meaning is the safest way. This kind of irresponsible and erroneous interpretation may lead to misguidance, chaos and confusion. And if some imagination are led to imagine, then that is the pathway to blasphemy, may Allah safeguard us all.

Whereby Istawa can have many meanings!!!

In the Qur’an itself, the word Istawa have seven (7) different meanings. In the Arabic language Istawa has more than twelve (12) different meanings. Picking and choosing one meaning rather than the other is the source of the problem.


al-Bayhaqiyy and Ibnul-Jarud
related that the
Messenger of Allah, said:

روى البخارىُّ والبيهقىُّ وابنُ الجارود أن رسولَ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال:
"كان الله ولم يَكُنْ شَىءٌ غَيْرُهُ".

Which means:
Allah existed eternally and nothing else existed.”

This hadith proves

that only Allah existed without a beginning, i.e., before creating any of the creation. There was nothing withAllah: no place, no space, no sky, no Earth, no light, and no darkness. It is determined in the rules of the Religion and the judgments of the sound mind that Allah, the Exalted, does not change.

Hence, it is impossible that after having been existing without a place, Allah will change and dwell in a place, because this is a development.

The development is a sign of needing others,
 and the one who needs others is not God.

Human nature is to apply imagination to the unknown, and they must learn not to do that when speaking of Allaah.

A Dangerous Belief:

Humans are curious by nature. That curiosity led some since Adam, alayhi assalam, to try to imagine The Creator. Many could not simply submit to God and His attributes of perfection. Instead, they attempted to imagine Him, and since all they can imagine is what their created imagination can do, they imagined Him like a human being but with supreme and unlimited powers.
The idea that seeped into the human mind that God looks like an old man with all that it comes with it, limbs, organs, hair, face, lips, teeth, tongue, beard, two hands, fingers, two legs, two feet,…..basically a total human being!!! Also that He –according to them- resides in the 7th heaven or in a place above that where he can watch the universe and manage it, while sitting firmly on the chair of the throne!!!
And Angels are surrounding him, while He is a very bright mass of light!!!!. Hence, Know, may Allah guide us and you, that those who believe in God as such, are actually worshipping an idol they imagined in their minds, and definitely not worshipping The Creator. Such a devious belief departs its people from Islam to blasphemy immediately.

Anthropomorphism in the current Torah and Bible:

Anthropomorphism is not only written in the old and new testament, but unfortunately is widely propagated by both Jewish and Christian scholars.
Clear and unambiguous statements in the above mentioned books affirming anthropomorphism are negated by other verses in the Torah and the Bible reflecting remnants of the pure Tawheed that was the base of those books, and clearing The Creator from resembling anything else.

The wahabi doctrine 
of flawed 

Al-Qurţubiyy states:

I say accordingly that Aļļaah’s aboveness and His highness refers to His highness of glory and attributes and greatness. That is, nothing is above Him when it comes to the meanings of greatness that are necessarily ascribed to Him, and there is nothing that shares His aboveness with Him. Rather He is the most High in the absolute sense, subĥaanah.
(Tafsiir Al-Qurţubiyy, 7 / 220)

Note that because aboveness in location is relative, unlike the absolute aboveneness that Al-Qurţubiyy affirms, those who believe in it are bound to attribute flaw to Aļļaah.

In Al-Asnaa Al-Qurţubiyy says this explicitly:

It is said to them [the anthropomorphists who believe Aļļaah is in a place or direction, etc.]:
“If Allaah was specified by a specification, formed by a form, limited by a limit and end, existing in a specific direction, [or] changing by emergent [previously non existing] attributes in Himself, then He would have been emergent and specified by whatever He was specified with in terms of quantity and form, and [thus] requiring a specifier [for the quantity and form], and if He required a specifier, then He would have been in need and emergent. And if this is invalid, then it is true that He is without a limit or an end, and that He is Self-existent in the sense that He does not need a place to confine Him or a body to be in, or something to hold Him, or another that He gets help from. His attributes of His self do not change by His actions or leaving them. (Al-Asnaa, 2/21)

In short, Al-Qurţubiyy says that believing Allaah’s aboveness is one of direction/ location necessitates believing He has a flaw. This is because it necessitates likening Him to things that need a creator to specify it.

It also necessitates another flaw:

This additional flaw is that they will either have to say that Aļļaah can create a body above Himself, and thereby become below, or that He cannot, and have thereby attributed to Him lack of power to create bodies anywhere He chooses.

They have also made Him, according to their belief, dependent on creating something below Himself, in order to achieve aboveness.

No wonder then, that Ibn Taymiyyah said Aļļaah must create something or another.
According to him, the Creator would lose His aboveness if He did not!

Such is the dilemma of the relative aboveness doctrine of wahabism.

[Al-Asnaa Fii Sħarĥi Asmaa’-illaahi-l-Ĥusnaa. Al-Qurţubiyy. 1995: Daar Aş-Şaĥaabah Li-t-Turaatħ.
Jaamiˆu Aĥkaami-l-Qur’aan. Al-Qurţubiyy (671 AH), Sħasuddiin. Ed. Aĥmad Al-Farduuniyy & Ibraahiim Aţfiisħ. Kairo, Egypt: Daar ˆaalam Al-Kutub Al-Mişriyyah, 1384.]


Sayyidina Ali (ra): reported to have said “al-Istiwa is not unknown, and the modality is altogether inconceivable. To affirm it is obligatory and to ask questions about it is an innovation, this is because Allah was, when there was nothing, and He created place before there was a place, and He is in no need for a place”.
[Reported in Tafsir Madaarik al-Tanzeel wa Haqaa’iq al-Ta’weel by an-Nasafi, under surah Taha (20) ayat (5)]

Imam `Ali ibn Abi Talib said: "A people of this Nation (of the Prophet Muhammad shall return to being blasphemers when the Day of Judgment is near." A man asked, "O Prince of the Believers! What is their blasphemy for? Is it for inventing something, or for denying something?" `Ali replied: "It is for denial. They deny their Creator; they say that He is attributed with a body and limbs."
The scholars taught people the rule that“whatever you can imagine in your mind, Aļļaah does not resemble it.”

Ibn ˆAbbaas said, “Ponder about everything, but do not ponder about the Self of Aļļaah.” (Fatĥu-l-Baariy 13/383) He said this because such dwelling leads one to draw analogies between the Creator and the created, which is blasphemy. It contradicts the belief in Aļļaah’s Oneness, as it involves the heretical belief that Aļļaah has an equal in some aspect. It also contradicts theQuranic “Absolutely nothing resembles Him.”

Imam Abu Mansur al-Baghdadi related in his book, al-Farqu bayn al Firaq, that Imam 'Ali, said:"Allah existed eternally and there was no place, and He is now as He was before.

Imam Zayn ul-Abidin said: “glory be to you who has no place”
[documented in Imam Murtada Zabidis’s sharh al ihya ulum ud deen, with a mutasil isnad]

Imam Abu Hanifah, the Faqih of as-Salaf, said in his book Al-Fiqh al Absat: "Allah existed eternally and there was no place. He existed before creating the creation. He existed, and there was no place, creation, or thing; and He is the Creator of everything."

Imam Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal said: “Aļļaah taˆaalaa did not change or experience any substitution (in His attributes), and has not been attributed with any limits before creating the ˆArsħ and not after creating it (Iˆtiqaad Al-Imaam Al-Mubajjal Ibn Ĥanbal, P. 297).”
In other words, Aļļaah is not in a place above the ˆArsħ.

Imam Ash-Shaafi'i stated, "Verily, He the exalted was, without makaan (station or place). He created Makaan and He was upon His attribute of eternality just as He was before he created makaan. It is not permitted upon Him to change his essence or to change in His attributes." [It-Haaf As-Saadah Al Muttaqeen 2/24]

There are many narrations from Imam Maalikabout when asked about the meaning of the istawaa ascribed to Aļļaah. One of them states that he said, “Al-Kayf marfuuˆ”, and yet another “Al-Kayf ghayr maˆquul.”
These statements mean that the kayf is impossible, i.e. istawaa cannot have a modality, because Aļļaah’s attributes do not have a modality. These narrations are stronger than the one that says “the kayf is unknown,” and agree with the famous saying of the Salaf “bilaa kayf,” which means “without a how,” i.e. without a modality.

Al-Qaraafiyy, who is among the greatest scholars in history, and an expert on the school of Imaam Maalik in particular, said:
“The meaning of Maalik’s saying “the istiwaa’ is not unknown” is that our minds guided us to the istiwaa’ that befits Aļļaah and His Majesty and Greatness, which is istiilaa’ (control), and not sitting or the like, which cannot be for other than bodies. As for Maalik’s saying “the kayf is impossible,” it means that Aļļaah Himself is not attributed with what the Arabs used the word “kayf” for, which are temporary states and bodily appearances, and this is impossible, because it is impossible that Aļļaah should be attributed with such meanings(Dħakħiirah, 13/243).”
Note that the word kayf and kayfiyyah later came to be used in the sense of “reality of,” which is synonymous with “kunh,” and does not mean “modality.” Az-Zarkashiyy said in Al-Baĥr Al-Muĥiyţ:

The answer is the what is meant by firm in knowledge is the one’s that are firm in knowledge of Aļļaah, and knowing Him, and that there is no way to comprehend the kunh (reality) of His Self, attributes and actions by other than Him, as in the saying of (Abu Bakr) Aş-Şiddiiq “inability to reach comprehension, is comprehension” and it has been said:
The ĥaqiiqah of a person is not comprehended by a person
So how about kayfiyyah of Al-Jabbaar who has beginningless existence (1/368)”
As one can see, Az-Zarkakshiyy uses ĥaqiiqahand kayfiyyah as synonyms to mean reality or “kunh.” Accordingly, whenever a respected scholar says “the kayf is unknown” then we should understand that he means by it this figurative usage, namely “reality,” and not “modality.”

Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami said: "Know that al-Qarafi and others narrated from al-Shafi`i, Malik, Ahmad and Abu Hanifah that those who say that Allah is in a direction, or has a body, have committed blasphemy -- and they deserve this verdict."

Imam Ahmad Ibn SalamahAbu Jafar at Tahawiyy, who was born in the year 237 after Hijrah, wrote a book called Al Aqidah at Tahawiyyah. He mentioned that the content of his book is an elucidation of the creed of Ahl as Sunnah wal Jama^ah, which is the creed ofImam Abu Hanifah, who died in the year 150 after al Hijrah, and his two companions, Imam Abu Yusuf al-Qadi and Imam Muhammad Ibn al Hasan ash-Shaybaniyy and others.

He said in his book: "Allah is supremely clear of all boundaries, extremes, sides, organs and instruments. The six directions do not contain Him--these are attributed to all created things."Such is the saying of Imam Abu Jafar who is among the heads of as-Salaf.
He explicitly stated that Allah is clear of being contained by the six directions. The six directions are above, below, in front of, behind, right, and left.

Hadith of Nazul 

Ibn Hajr al Asqalani (rah) also explains thehadith of Nazul as: 

وقال ابن العربي : حكي عن المبتدعة رد هذه الأحاديث , وعن السلف إمرارها , وعن قوم تأويلها وبه أقول . فأما قوله ينزل فهو راجع إلى أفعاله لا إلى ذاته , بل ذلك عبارة عن ملكه الذي ينزل بأمره ونهيه , والنزول كما يكون في الأجسام يكون في المعاني , فإن حملته في الحديث على الحسي فتلك صفة الملك المبعوث بذلك , وإن حملته على المعنوي بمعنى أنه لم يفعل ثم فعل فيسمى ذلك نزولا عن مرتبة إلى مرتبة , فهي عربية صحيحة انتهى . والحاصل أنه تأوله بوجهين : إما بأن المعنى ينزل أمره أو الملك بأمره , وإما بأنه استعارة بمعنى التلطف بالداعين والإجابة لهم ونحوه

Translation: Imam(Abu Bakr) Ibn al-`Arabi(rah) said: "It is reported that the innovators have rejected these hadiths, the Salaf let them pass as they came, and others interpreted them, and my position is the last one.
The saying: "He descends" refers to His acts not His essence, indeed it is an expression for His angels who descend with His command and His prohibition. And just as descent can concern bodies, it can also concern ideas or spiritual notions (ma`ani).
If one takes the hadith to refer to a physical occurrence, then descent would be the attribute of the angel sent to carry out an order.
If one takes it to refer to a spiritual occurrence, that is, first He did not act, then He acted: this would be called a descent from one rank to another, and this is a sound Arabic meaning."
In sum it is interpreted in two ways: the first is: His command or His angel descends; the second is: it is a metaphor for His regard for supplicants, His answering them, and so forth.

وقد حكى أبو بكر بن فورك أن بعض المشايخ ضبطه بضم أوله على حذف المفعول أي ينزل ملكا , ويقويه ما رواه النسائي من طريق الأغر عن أبي هريرة وأبي سعيد بلفظ " إن الله يمهل حتى يمضي شطر الليل , ثم يأمر مناديا يقول : هل من داع فيستجاب له " الحديث . وفي حديث عثمان بن أبي العاص " ينادي مناد هل من داع يستجاب له " الحديث . قال القرطبي : وبهذا يرتفع الإشكال , ولا يعكر عليه ما في رواية رفاعة الجهني " ينزل الله إلى السماء الدنيا فيقول : لا أسأل عن عبادي غيري " لأنه ليس في ذلك ما يدفع التأويل المذكور

Translation: Abu Bakr ibn Furak said: Some of the masters have read it yunzilu (He sends down) instead of yanzilu (He descends), that is: He sends down an angel. This is strengthened by Nisa'i's narration through al-Aghurr from Abu Hurayra and Abu Sa`id al-Khudri: "Allah waits until the first part of the night is over, then He orders a herald to say: Is there anyone supplicating so that he may be answered?..."There is also the hadith of `Uthman ibn Abi al-`As: "The gates of heaven are opened (in the middle) of the night and a herald calls out: Is there anyone supplicating so that he may be answered?..." Al-Qurtubi said: "This clears all ambiguity, and there is no interference by the narration of Rufa`at al-Jahni whereby "Allah descends to the nearest heaven and says: No-one other than I asks about My servants" for there is nothing in this which precludes the above-mentioned interpretation. [Fath ul Bari, 3:339 - Dar ul Fikr]

وقال البيضاوي : ولما ثبت بالقواطع أنه سبحانه منزه عن الجسمية والتحيز امتنع عليه النزول على معنى الانتقال من موضع إلى موضع أخفض منه , فالمراد نور رحمته , أي ينتقل من مقتضى صفة الجلال التي تقتضي الغضب والانتقام إلى مقتضى صفة الإكرام التي تقتضي الرأفة والرحمة

Translation: Al-Baydawi said:"Since it is established with decisive proofs that the Exalted is transcendent above having a body or being circumscribed by boundaries, it is forbidden to attribute to Him descent in the sense of displacement from one place to another place lower than it. What is meant is the light of His mercy: that is, He moves from what is pursuant to the attribute of Majesty entailing wrath and punishment, to what is pursuant to the attribute of Generosity entailing kindness and mercy.""[ibid]

Imam Ibn Hajr al Asqalani (rah) also states in his Fath al Bari that:

قال ابن المنير : جميع الأحاديث في هذه الترجمة مطابقة لها إلا حديث ابن عباس فليس فيه إلا قوله " رب العرش " ومطابقته والله أعلم من جهة أنه نبه على بطلان قول من أثبت الجهة أخذا من قوله ( ذي المعارج ) ففهم أن العلو الفوقي مضاف إلى الله تعالى , فبين المصنف أن الجهة التي يصدق عليها أنها سماء والجهة التي يصدق عليها أنها عرش كل منهما مخلوق مربوب محدث , وقد كان الله قبل ذلك وغيره , فحدثت هذه الأمكنة , وقدمه يحيل وصفه بالتحيز فيها والله أعلم 

Translation: And by including the hadith of Ibn `Abbascontaining the words: "Lord of the mighty Throne" into this chapter, Bukhari warned those that might predicate spatial elevation to Allah (`uluw fawqi) that both the direction in which the heaven is believed to be and that in which the Throne is believed to be are created, lorded over, and brought into existence by Allah Who existed before all that and before everything else. Thus these places were created, and his existence, being eternal without beginning, precludes reference to him as being bounded by them. And Allah knows best.

Imam Ibn Hajr al Asqalani (rah) explains in his Fath al Bari again

وقيل مناسبة التسبيح في الأماكن المنخفضة من جهة أن التسبيح هو التنزيه فناسب تنزيه الله عن صفات الانخفاض كما ناسب تكبيره عند الأماكن المرتفعة , ولا يلزم من كون جهتي العلو والسفل محال على الله أن لا يوصف بالعلو لأن وصفه بالعلو من جهة المعنى والمستحيل كون ذلك من جهة الحس

Translation: The reality that the two directions of "above" and "below" are impossible for Allah but it does not mean that he cannot be described with the attribute of elevation (`uluw), for such description is only to denote highness, not that of sensory perception (Ibn Hajar, Fath al-bari 6:240 - Kitab ul Jihad, Published by Dar ul Fikr)

(Edited by ADHM)