Praise be to Allah.
There is nothing in the Quran or Sunnah to
indicate that Jibreel (peace be upon him) or any other angel has seen Allah,
may He be exalted, and it is well known that this is one of the issues of
the unseen which cannot be proven except on the basis of evidence.
In the hadeeth (report) of the M’iraj
(Prophet’s ascent to heaven) it says that Jibreel (peace be upon him)
ascended with our Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) to a
level where the scratching of the pens could be heard, but there is no proof
that either of them saw Allah (may He be glorified and exalted) in that
The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah
be upon him) said: “Then I passed by Ibrahim, and he said: ‘Welcome to the
righteous Prophet and the righteous son.’ I said: ‘Who is this?’ He said:
‘This is Ibrahim (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).’” Ibn Shihab
said: And Ibn Hazm told me that Ibn ‘Abbas and Abu Habbah al-Ansari used to
say: The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Then I
was taken up until we reached a level where I could hear the scratching of
the pens.” Ibn Hazm and Anas ibn Malik said: The Prophet (blessings and
peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah enjoined upon my ummah (followers)
fifty prayers, and I went back with that until I passed by Moosa…”
Narrated by al-Bukhari, Muslim.
The scholars differed concerning this
seeing: some of them affirmed it and some of them denied it.
Ibn Hajar al-Haythami (may Allah have
mercy on him) was asked: Do the angels see Allah, may He be exalted?
Shaykh ‘Izz al-Deen ibn ‘Abd al-Salam
stated that they do not see Him, and he quoted evidence at length to support
that, and he was followed in that by some scholars, but he was refuted by
the statement of the imam of Ahl al-Sunnah, Shaykh Abu’l-Hasan al-Ash‘ari
(may Allah be pleased with him) who said that they do see Him. This was
mentioned in his book al-Ibanah fi Usool al-Diyanah. He was followed by al-Bayhaqi
who narrated it with its isnad (chain of narration) from ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Amr
ibn al-‘As and another sahabi (companion). This was also followed by Ibn al-Qayyim
and al-Jalal al-Balqeeni. According to a hadeeth that was classed as saheeh
(authentic) by al-Hakim, Jibreel never saw his Lord before the Prophet
(blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) prostrated before his Lord on
that occasion, but this does not necessarily mean that he did not see Him
after that or that others of the angels do not see Him. The view that only
Jibreel could see Him is invalid.
End quote from al-Fatawa al-Hadeethiyyah.
Shaykh Ibn Baz (may Allah have mercy on
him) was asked: Do the angels see their Lord in this world or does He send
revelation to them from beyond a screen?
He replied: Allah knows best.
End quote from Fatawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Barraak (may
Allah preserve him) was asked:
There is evidence to suggest that they do
not see Him. There is the verse in Soorat Ghafir in which Allah, may He be
exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “Those (angels) who bear the
Throne (of Allah) and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord, and
believe in Him, and ask forgiveness for those who believe (in the Oneness of
Allah) (saying): ‘Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and
knowledge, so forgive those who repent and follow Your Way, and save them
from the torment of the blazing Fire!’” [40:7].
The word “believe” in this verse may point
to such a meaning -- is this correct?
The fact that Allah, may He be glorified
and exalted, says of the angels who bear the Throne and who are around it
that they believe in Him does not necessarily mean that they do not see Him,
or that some of them do not see Him, or that other angels do not see Him,
just as (aspiring to) see Him does not contradict faith. Similarly, the fact
that Allah spoke (to some of the Prophets) is not contrary to faith. Ibrahim
(blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) saw how Allah brought the dead
back to life and that increased him in faith, as Allah says (interpretation
of the meaning):
“And (remember) when Ibrahim said, ‘My
Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.’ He (Allah) said: ‘Do you not
believe?’ He [Ibrahim] said: ‘Yes (I believe), but to be stronger in
Allah spoke to Moosa (peace be upon him)
from behind a screen, and that does not mean that he did not believe. To sum
up, there is no contradiction between faith and seeing Him. This is borne
out by the fact that Moosa (peace be upon him) asked his Lord to let him see
Him so as to increase him in faith: “… he said: ‘O my Lord! Show me
(Yourself), that I may look upon You.’” [7:143]. Yes, after seeing Allah,
faith will no longer be regarded as belief in the unseen, so it is possible
that the bearers of the Throne and those who are around it may have seen
Allah and thus attained the highest level of certainty. By the same token,
when the believers see their Lord on the Day of Resurrection, they will move
from certainty based on knowledge to certainty based on seeing, for when
they see Allah they will believe in Him with the faith of having seen and
they will find the deepest joy in this; they will be blessed with seeing Him
and hearing His words. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Some faces that Day shall be Nâdirah
(shining and radiant).
Looking at their Lord (Allah).” [22-23].
We ask Allah for the joy of looking upon
His noble Countenance. And Allah knows best.
End quote from Fatawa al-Islam al-Yawm.
To sum up: This is a matter of the unseen
and it is not permissible to affirm it or deny it except on the basis of
evidence. The correct approach is to refrain from asking about it.
And Allah knows best.