Some people say that Allah is above the heavens (according to one of the ayahs of the
quran), and may scholars say that Allah exists without a place, since only the creation has
the characteristic of needing a place and We know the ayah "Laysa-ka-mislly-he-shay" -
(proving allah does not resemble his creation), is he everywhere, existing without a place, or
above the heavens?
Praise be to Allaah,
The people of Sunnah and Jamaa’ah (Ahl al-Sunnah) believe that Allaah is exalted above His creation
because of the evidence of the Qur’aan, Sunnah, consensus of the scholars, common sense and man’s
innate instinct (fitrah).
(1) The Qur’aan describes the "exaltedness" or "highness" of Allaah in different ways, as His being High and Above, and by describing how things come down from Him, and go up to Him, and by stating that He is above heaven. For example (interpretations of the meaning):
". . .and He is the Most High, the Most Great." [al-Baqarah 2:255]
"Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High." [al-A’la 87:1]
"And He is the Irresistible, above His slaves . . ." [al-An’aam 6:18]
"They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded." [al-Nahl 16:50]
(Things coming down from Him):
"He arranges (every) affair from the heavens to the earth . . ." [al-Sajdah 32:5]
"Verily We: it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e., the Qur’aan). . ." [al-Hijr 15:9]
(Things going up to Him):
". . . To Him ascend (all) the goodly words, and the righteous deeds exalt it . . ." [Faatir 35:10]
"The angels and the Rooh (Jibreel) ascend to Him . . ." [al-Ma’aarij 70:4]
(Allaah is above heaven):
"Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven, will not cause the earth to sink with you . . .?" [al-Mulk 67:16]
(2) The Sunnah: many reports were narrated "mutawaatir" (i.e. with a large number of narrators at every stage of the isnaad, such that it is impossible for them all to have agreed on a lie) from the Prophet (Peace & Blessings of Allaah be upon Him), describing his words and deeds and things of which he approved. For example, he used to say "Subhaana Rabbi al-A’laa (Glory be to my Lord Most High)" in sujood, and in some ahaadeeth he is reported to have said "By Allaah Who is above the Throne."
Among his deeds is the gesture of pointing up with his finger, when addressing the people in the greatest gathering, on the Day of ‘Arafaah during his Farewell Pilgrimage. He asked the people, "Have I not conveyed the message?" and they said, "Yes!" He asked again, "Have I not conveyed the message?" and they said, "yes!". He asked a third time, have I not conveyed the message?" and they said "Yes!" Each time, he said: "O Allaah, bear witness!" - pointing up to the sky and then at the people. He also used to raise his hands towards heaven when he made du’aa’, as it reported in tens of ahaadeeth. This is proof via his actions that Allaah is exalted and high.
An example of an approval of the Prophet (Peace & Blessings of Allaah be upon Him) which indicates that Allaah is exalted and high is the hadeeth concerning the young slave girl, to whom the Prophet (Peace & Blessings of Allaah be upon Him) said: "Where is Allaah?" She said: "In heaven" He asked, "Who am I?" She said, "The Messenger of Allaah." So he said to her master: "Set her free, for she is a believer."
This young girl was uneducated, as many are, and she was a slave, but she knew that her Lord is above heaven. Some misguided people deny that Allaah is above heaven, and say, "He is neither above nor below; neither to the right nor to the left. He is everywhere!"
(3) The consensus of the scholars: the salaf agreed that Allaah is above heaven, as is reported by scholars such as al-Dhahabi, may Allaah have mercy on him, in his book Al-‘Aluw li’l-‘Aliy al-Ghaffaar.
(4) Common sense: highness is a quality which is associated in people’s minds with perfection. If this is the case, then it should be attributed to Allaah because every absolute perfection should be attributed to Him.
(5) The innate instinct of man (fitrah). There should be no dispute that man instinctively knows that Allaah is above heaven. Whenever something overwhelming befalls a person, and he turns to Allaah for help, he looks towards heaven, not in any other direction. But it is strange that those who deny that Allaah is above His creation still raise their hands in supplication to no other direction than towards heaven.
Even Pharaoh, the enemy of Allaah who disputed with Moosaa about his Lord, told his minister Haamaan (interpretation of the meaning): "O Haamaan! Build me a tower that I may arrive at the ways, - the ways of the heavens, and I may look upon the god of Moosaa . . ." [Ghaafir 40:36-37]
He knew in his heart of hearts that Allaah is real, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): "And they
belied them (those aayaat) wrongfully and arrogantly, though their own selves were convinced thereof
. . ." [al-Naml 27:14]
These are a few of the indications that Allaah is above the heavens; this proof comes from the Qur’aan, the Sunnah, the consensus of the scholars, common sense, man’s own instincts and even the words of the kuffaar.
We ask Allaah to guide us towards the Truth.