Belief in the Throne of Allah
    
السبت 24 / رجب / 1432 هـ - الموافق 25 / يونيو / 2011 م


In Arabic - عربي



The Belief In The Throne of Allah


Prepared by: Um Abdullah al-Misawi
for: as-salaf.com




The Definition of al-Arsh (i.e. Throne) in the Arabic language:

Ibn Faris (d. 395 H.) said: «“Arsh”: the `Ayn, Ra’, and Sheen (i.e. Arabic letters that the word “throne” consists of) is a root meaning height in something which is built, then it was borrowed for use (as a metaphor) in other things». (1)

The Throne in the Arabic language refers to many meanings, the following are some:

- The chair of a king:

Al-Khalil Al-Farahidi (d. 170 H) said: “The Throne is the chair of the king”. (2)
Abu Mansour Al-Azhari al-Shafi`i (d. 370 H) said: “The meaning of 'Arsh' in the Arabic language is: the chair of the king, what proves that is the chair of the queen of Saba', Allah –Azza wa Jal- called it a “arsh”; He said: {Indeed, I found [there] a woman ruling them, and she has been given of all things, and she has a great `Arsh (throne)} [27:23] (3).
And in the hadeeth on the beginning of revelation, the Prophet –Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam- said: ”I was again called and I looked about but saw nothing. I was called again and raised my head, and there on the Throne in the open atmosphere he was sitting – meaning Jibril (Gabriel) alayhi assalam» [Saheeh Muslim], meaning he saw Jibril on a chair in the open atmosphere.


-The roof of the house:

Al-Khalil said: “The ‘arsh’ of a house is its roof”. (4)
Ibn Faris said: “The roof of a house is called ‘arsh’, Allah –Ta`ala- said: {Or (consider such an example) as the one who passed by a township which had fallen down upon its roofs (`urooshiha/plural).} [2:259], the meaning is that the roof falls and the walls fall upon it.” (5)

And other meanings.


The Throne of Allah –The Exalted-

The Throne (Arsh) of our Lord is mentioned in the Quran in many verses:
{He is the Ever-Forgiving, the All-Loving; the Possessor of the Throne, the All-Glorious.} [85:14-15]
{The Most Beneficent (Allâh) Rose over the Throne.} [20:5] and other verses. Scholars have explained that the meaning of "Arsh" in these verses is: a chair (befitting of His Majesty).

Ibn Qutaibah al-Daynuri (d. 276 H.) said, when replying to the ones who misinterpret the meaning of the Throne of Allah: «They asked for another meaning for the throne other than "chair", and the linguists do not know a meaning for it except the chair, the roofs, and what is parallel/similar to them.» (6)

Ibn Jarir at-Tabari (d. 310 H.) said in the explanation of Allah’s saying: { And you will see the angels surrounding the Throne} [39:75] : «Allah is saying: and you see O Muhammad, the Angels surrounding the Throne of the Most Beneficent. And what is meant by the Throne is: the chair”. (7) .
He also said in the explanation of the following verse: {The Owner of the Throne} [40:15] : «He (Allah) is saying: The Onwer of the chair that surrounds what is beneath it». (8)

Abu Ahmad Al-Karaji Al-Qassab (d. 360 H.) said: «And the Throne of Allah -The Almighty- also is His chair that He rose over (Istawa alayhi), and not (His) knowledge as some ignorant Jahmiyyah claim (it to mean).» (9)

Al-Bayhaqi (d. 458 H.) said, after mentioning Allah –Ta’la- saying {and eight (angels) will, that Day, bear the Throne of your Lord above them} [69:17] : «And the explanation of the scholars of Tafseer is that the throne is the chair, and it’s a tridimensional body, Allah –The Exalted- created it, ordered the angels to carry it, and made them circumambulating it as an act of worshiping Him; likewise he created a house (i.e. Ka`bah) on earth, and ordered the sons of Adam to circumambulate it, and to face towards it in prayer.” (10)

Abu al-Mudhaffar As-Sam`ani Ash-Shafi'i (d. 489 H.) said in the explanation of Allah’s –The Exalted- saying: {Say, "Who is Lord of the seven heavens and Lord of the Great Throne?"} [23:86]: “It means: the huge chair”. (11)

Al-Husain al-Baghawi ash-Shafi’i (d. 510 H.) said in the tafseer of Allah’s saying: {So exalted is Allah , the Sovereign, the Truth; there is none worthy of worship except Him, Lord of the Noble Throne} [23:116] : «It means: The fine chair». (12)
And he said in the explanation of ayah (85:15) : «Hamza and Al-Kasai' recited it: “AlMajeedi (glorious)’ with a kasra (below the last letter), describing the Throne, meaning: the great chair». (13)

Abu Abdullah Al-Qurtubi al-Maliki (d. 671 H.) said: «The Throne is a great, noble and honorable creation, there is no creation (existing) above it. Above its upper most part is nothingness (i.e. There is no existence above the Throne), and below its lowest part is Paradise; as it is its roof, according to the hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurairah –Radiyallahu anhu- that the Prophet –Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam- said: ”If you ask Allah, then ask him the (Paradise of) Firdaws, for it is in the middle highest point of Paradise, and above it is the Throne of the Most Merciful, and from it burst the rivers of Paradise.“ It was reported by Al-Bukhari, Ibn Majah and others.» (14)

Ibn Katheer (d. 774 H.) said in the introduction of his book "al-Bedaya wa al-Nehaya": «And He (i.e. Allah) raised the heavens without any pillars, and decorated it with shining planets, and placed therein a lamp and a luminous moon. And He administered above them a high wide dome shaped circular chair, that is the great Throne. It has great pillars, and is carried by noble angels.” (15)


As for the interpretation of the meaning of the Throne by some of the innovated sects, that it is: (Allah’s) dominion, and that it is the heavens, the earth, and everything that Allah created, then, Imam Abu Sa’eed Uthman Ad-Darimi (d. 280 H.) replied to this in his book “Ar-Rad ala Al-Jahmiyyah”, in the chapter on the belief in the Throne, he said:

«And we did not think that we would have to prove to anyone who professes Islam, the affirmation of the Throne and the belief in it, until we were tested with a deviant group, who busied us with proving to them what none of the ummah disputed in before...», then he said:
“This group claimed that they believe in the Throne and affirm it because it is mentioned in the Quran, so I said to some of them: ‘Your belief in it is like the belief {of those who say, "We believe" with their mouths, but their hearts believe not} [5:41], and like those who {when they meet those who believe, they say: "We believe”, but when they are alone with their Shayatin (devils - polytheists, hypocrites, etc.), they say: "Truly, we are with you; verily, we were but mocking."}[2:14]; do you affirm a Throne for Allah that is known and described to be above the seventh heavens, carried by the angels, and Allah is above (it) as He described Himself, separate from His creation?’, he didn’t affirm that, and hesitated in his answer, mixing things and did not declare it ... so a major leader from amongest them said to me: ‘No, but when Allah created creation, meaning the heavens and what is in it, he called all of that a throne of His, and then He Istawa on all of it.’
I said: ‘... Allah –The Exalted- has declared you liars in His book, and so did the Messenger –Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam-. Do you see your saying that His throne is His heavens, His earth, and all of His creation, so then what is the meaning of His saying: {Those (angels) who bear the Throne and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord} [40:7], are they the carriers of Allah’s throne or the carriers of His creation? And His saying: {And the angels will be on its sides, and eight angels will, that Day, bear the Throne of your Lord above them.}[69:17], do they carry the heavens , the earth, and what is in them, or the Throne of the Most Merciful? If you say what you have said, it would necessitate that you say that the Throne of Your lord is all of His creation, and you would negate the Throne that is the Throne … Allah –Tabaraka wa Ta`ala- said: {And He it is Who has created the heavens and the earth in six Days and His Throne was on the water}[11:7], and the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) said: ”Allah was, and there was nothing before Him, and His Throne was on water.“ [Sahih al-Bukhari]. In Allah’s saying, and in the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allah –Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam- an apparent proof, that the Throne was created above water, when there was no earth nor heaven, so why do you err people in what you deny?! But you affirm the Throne with your tongues to guard yourselves from the takfeer of the people of you, by the clear text (of the Book), and thus be executed (for apostasy), and in yourselves you are negators of it.»
(16)



Believing In The Throne:

Khushaish bin Asram (d. 253 H.) said in his book "Al-Istiqama": «Whoever disbelieves in an ayah in the Book of Allah (i.e. the Quran) then he has disbelieve in all of it (the whole Quran); so whoever denies the Throne, then he has disbelieved in all of it, and whoever denies the Throne then he has disbelieved in Allah, and there have come reports that Allah Has a throne, and that He is over His Throne.» (17)

Abu Ja'far at-Tahawi al-Hanafi (d. 321 H.) said in his famous creed “At-Tahawiyyah”: «The Arsh (Throne) and the Kursi are true».

Ibn Abi Zamanin al-Maliki (d. 399 H.) said in the “Chapter on the belief in the Throne” : «And from the saying of Ahl As-Sunnah is that Allah Azza wa Jal created teh Throne, and made it, especially, up high and above everything He created, then He istawa (i.e. rose) above it as He willed, as He informed about Himself in His saying: {The Most Beneficent over the Throne Istawa (i.e. Rose), To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and all that is between them, and all that is under the soil.}[20:5-6], and in His saying: {then (He) Istawa (rose over) the Throne. He knows what goes into the earth and what comes forth from it, what descends from the heaven and what ascends thereto.} [57:4], Glorified and Exalted be He who is far thus not seen; and is close with His Knowledge and Ability, thus hearing private conversations.» (18)



The Description of The Throne:

Following are some characteristics of the Throne of Allah:

1. Allah created his throne above water:

Allah -The Exalted- said: {And He it is Who has created the heavens and the earth in six Days and His Throne was on the water}[11:7].
The Messenger of Allah -Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam- said: ”Allah was, and there was nothing before Him, and His Throne was on water.“ [Sahih al-Bukhari].

2. It is the roof/ceiling of Paradise:

The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: ”If you ask Allah, then ask him the (Paradise of) Firdaws, for it is in the middle highest point of Paradise, and above it is the Throne of the Most Merciful, and from it burst the rivers of Paradise.“ [Sahih al-Bukhari, Musnad Ahmad, and others]

3. It is above the heavens, above all of creation:

The Sahabi Abdullah Ibn Masud –May Allah be pleased with him- said:
«Between the lowest heaven and the one after it is the distance of five hundred years, and between every two heavens is the distance of five hundred years, and between the seventh heaven and the Kursi is the distance of five hundred years, and between the Kursi and the water is the distance of five hundred years, and the Throne (Arsh) is above the water, Allah the Almighty is above the Throne (fawqa Al-Arsh). And nothing is hidden from Allah of your deeds.» In another narration: «He knows what you are upon». Its grading is: hasan. (19)

4. The Throne has pillars

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: ”The people will become unconscious on the Day of Resurrection and I will be the first to gain consciousness, and behold, I will Find Musa clinging to one of the pillars of the Throne. Then I will not know whether he regained consciousness before me or he has been exempted because of his unconsciousness at the mountain of Tur (at Sinai) which he received.“. [Sahih Al-Bukhari]

5. It has bearers of angels who carry it:

Allah –The Exalted- said: {Those (angels) who bear the Throne and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord} [40:7]
He also said: {And the angels will be on its sides, and eight angels will, that Day, bear the Throne of your Lord above them.}[69:17],


Related Articles:
- Allah's Elevation & Istiwa above the Throne (1): The Belief




(1) “Mu`jam Maqayees al-Lugha” by Ibn Faris (4/264)
(2) “Kitab al-`Ayn” by Al-Khalil Al-Farahidi (1/249)
(3) “Tahtheeb al-Lugha” by Abu Mansour al-Azhari (1/413)
(4) “Kitab al-`Ayn” (1/249)
(5) “Mu`jam Maqayees al-Lugha” (4/265)
(6) “Al-Ikhtilaf fi al-Lafidh wa al-Rad `ala al-Jahmiya wal Mushabbiha” by Ibn Qutaibah Al-Daynuri (pg. 47)
(7) “Jame` al-Bayan `an Ta'weel Aay al-Quran” (known as Tafsir of at-Tabari) by Ibn Jarir at-Tabari (20/271)
(8) Tafsir of at-Tabari (20/294)
(9) “Nukkat Al-Quran” by al-Qassab (1/626)
(10) “al-Asma’ wal Sifat” by Abu Bakr AlBayhaqi (2/272)
(11) “Tafseer al-Quran” by As-Sama`ani (3/487)
(12) “Ma`alim at-Tanzeel” by al-Baghawi (5/433)
(13) “Ma`alim at-Tanzeel” (8/388)
(14) “al-Asna fi Sharh Asma’ Allah al-Husna” by al-Qurtubi (pg. 157-158) Tahqeeq: Irfan bin Salim Al-Asha Hassona –first edition, 2005, Al-Maktabah Al-Asriya - Beirut .
(15) “al-Bedayah Wa al-Nehayah” by Ibn Katheer (1/3)
(16) “al-Rad ala al-Jahmiyah” by Uthman ad-darimi (pg. 26, 28, and 32)
(17) “al-Tanbeeh wal Rad ala Ahl al-Ahwa' wal Bida`” by Muhammad Aa-Malti Al-Shafi'I (pg. 113)
(18) “Usool alsunnah (Riyadh Al-Jannah)” by Ibn Abi Zamanin (pg. 88)
(19) “al-`Adhamah” by Abu Ash-Shaykh al-Asbahani (2/688-689); “Al-Mujalasah wa Jawahir Al-`Ilm” by Ahmad ad-Daynuri (6/406); “An-Naqd” by Ad-Darimi (1/422); “ Sharh I`tiqad Ahl AsSunnah wal Jama`ah” by Al-Lalikai (3/395-396); “Ithbat Sifat Al-Uluw” by Ibn Qudamah (p.151-152) and others.



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