“And We are closer to Him than his jugular vein…”

and-we-are-closer-to-him-than-his-jugular-vein

In the name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy.

There are a number of Aayaat in the Qur’an which speak about the “closeness” of Allaah, the most High, to His creation. Unfortunately many people have misunderstood such Aayaat, wrongfully thinking that they necessitate Allaah is in every place in His Dhaat (His Essence).

This belief of Allaah being everywhere opposes the belief of the righteous Imaams of the early generations including the four imaams: Abu Haneefah, Maalik, Ash-Shaafi’ee and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (may Allaah reward them on our behalf).

The Aayaat that they have misunderstood, amongst others, include,

{We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein} [50:16-17]

{It is Allah who is [the only] deity in the heaven, and on the earth [the only] deity} [84:43]

{He is with you wherever you are} [57:04]

{He said: Fear not, surely I am with you both (Moosa and Haroon)} [20:46]

If a person looks at these Aayaat, disregarding their context and what comes before and after them, as well as ignoring many other Aayaat which affirm where Allaah is – if a person was to look at the above Aayaat with this view then he would [wrongfully] assume that Allaah is indeed everywhere.

Points to consider

1. The first reason for this misunderstanding is choosing to ignore the context of the Aayaat above, and other similar Aayaat. If a person considers the context, he will clearly see that the “closeness” of Allaah is in His attributes of Knowledge, Seeing, Hearing etc. and does not relate to His Essence.

I will mention below the full Aayaat so the context becomes clear to the reader,

{It is Allah who is [the only] deity in the heaven, and on the earth [the only] deity. He is the Wise, the Knowing} [84:43]

{It is He who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne. He knows what penetrates into the earth and what emerges from it and what descends from the heaven and what ascends therein; and He is with you wherever you are. And Allah is All-Seeing of what you do} [57:04]

{Indeed We created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein} [50:16]

{He said: Fear not, surely I am with you both (Moosa and Haaroon): I hear and see} [20:46]

As you can see from the above Aayaat, the context of Allaah being “with” and “close” to creation is in His attributes of Ruboobiyyah (seeing, knowing, hearing etc.…) and not in His Dhaat (His Essence).

2. In addition to the above, Allaah (the Most High) clearly mentions His Essence being above the Heavens and above the Throne. He said,

{Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven, will not cause the earth to sink with you, then behold it shakes (as in an earthquake)?

Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven, will not send against you a violent whirlwind? Then you shall know how (terrible) has been My Warning?} [67:16-17]

Allaah (the Most High) clearly states that He is above the Heavens, and yet His Tasarruf (control and actions) are everywhere upon the earth.

3. To emphasise the meanings stated above, we can summarise by saying:

‘Allaah is above the Throne in His Essence [1], and He is everywhere in His attributes of Ruboobiyyah such as Knowledge, Ability, Help, Hearing and Sight.’

4. The above summary has been affirmed very clearly by various statements of the Companions (may Allaah be pleased with them).

Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said, “The Throne is above the Water, and Allaah is above the Throne, and none of your actions are hidden from Him” [2]

He also said, “The Throne is above the water, and Allaah (the Most High) is above the Throne, and He knows what you do.” [3]

In fact the Ijmaa’ (unanimous agreement) of the Companions, Taabi’een and Atba’ At-Taabi’een has been authentically narrated that they all affirmed the above meaning.

Ibn Zayd Al-Qayrawaani (born: 310h) said: “From the religious matters that the Ummah has unanimously agreed upon…is that He (Allaah) is above the Heavens, upon His Throne not in the earth, and He is in every place with His knowledge.” [4]

5. A person must also consider the evil and lowly conclusions that can be drawn from the belief that Allaah is everywhere. There are places upon this earth of impurity and dirt that we cannot say Allaah is there.

I ask Allaah, the Most High who is above His Throne, that He guides us to what is correct, and guides us to following the Sunnah of His Prophet in His beliefs, statements and actions.

May peace and blessings be upon His Prophet, and his wives, companions and those who followed his guidance.

Written by the one in need of Allaah,
Abul Abbaas Naveed Ayaaz
Nelson, Lancashire
11th Safar, 1437h
24th November, 2015

 

FOOTNOTES

[1] If a person says that the wording ‘in His Essence’ is innovated and the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) did not mention it, then the reply is that we only mention these words in reply to the deviated belief that Allaah is everywhere. Otherwise we would have no need to say this.

[2] Collected By Al-Bayhaqee in Al-Asmaa Was-Siffaat

[3] Collected by Ad-Daarimee in Ar-Radd Alaa Al-Jahmiyyah

[4] Al-Jaami’ fee as-sunnan wal-aadaab wal-maghaazee wat-taareekh

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Abul Abbaas, Naveed Ayaaz

He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2010. He currently resides in Nelson, Lancashire.

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