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God does not resemble the Creation

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم

Imam Fakhrud-dîn Ibn `Asâkir (620 H) said: « Allâh existed before the creation. He does not have a before or an after, an above or a below, a right or a left, an ahead or a behind, a whole or a part. It must not be said: When was He, Where was He, or how was He? Allâh exists without a place. He created the universe and willed for the existence of time. He is not bound by time or designated with place. »

The belief that Allâh, ta`âlâ, exists without a place is the creed of the Messenger of Allâh MuHammad, the Companions, and those who graciously followed them, and the creed of all prophets from Adam `alayhi ssalâm. Allâh said in the Qur’ân, in Surat Ash-Shura, ayah 11:

{ لَيْسَ كمثلهِ شىءٌ وهوَ السَّميعُ البصيرُ }

which means: « There is absolutely nothing like Allâh whatsoever, and He has the attributes of Hearing and Seeing. » This ayah absolutely clears Allâh of resembling the creations. It comprises that Allâh, ta`âlâ, is absolutely different from the creations in the Self, Attributes, and Actions. Hence, it shows that Allâh, ta`âlâ, exists without a place, because whatever exists in a place is, by nature, i.e., composed of particles, i.e., it is a body, occupying a space. Allâh, ta`âlâ, is clear of occupying spaces.

Al-Bukhariyy, al-Bayhaqiyy and Ibn al-Jarud related that the Messenger of Allâh MuHammad said:

« كان الله ولم يَكُنْ شَىءٌ غَيْرُهُ »

which means: « Allâh existed eternally and nothing else existed. » This Hadîth proves that only Allâh existed without a beginning, i.e., before creating any of the creation. There was nothing with Allâh: 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 Allâh, the Exalted, does not change. Hence, it is impossible that after having been existing without a place, Allâh 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.

Imam Abu ManSûr al-Baghdadiyy related in his book, Al-Farqu Baynal-Firaq, that Imam `Aliyy, the fourth of the caliphs, may Allâh reward his deeds, said:

« كان الله ولا مكان، وهو الآن على ما عليه كان »

which means: « Allâh existed eternally and there was no place, and He now is as He was [without a place]. »

Imam Abu Hanifah, who is one of the authorities of Salaf, said in his book Al-Fiqh al-Absat: « Allâh existed eternally and there was no place. He existed before creating the creation. He existed, and there was no place, creation, or thing. He is the Creator of everything. »

Imam AHmad Ibn Salamah, Abu Ja`far at-Tahawiyy, who was born in the year 237 after Hijrah said in his book:

« تَعَالى عن الحُدُودِ والغَاياتِ والأَركانِ والأَعضَاء والأَدَوَاتِ لا تَحوِيهِ الجِهَاتُ السّتُّ كَسَائِرِ المُبْتَدَعَاتِ »

which means: « Allâh is supremely clear of all boundaries, extremes, sides, organs, and instruments. The six directions do not contain Him, for these are attributed to all created things. » Such is the saying of Imam Abu Ja`far who is among the heads of Salaf. Abu Ja`far explicitly stated that Allâh is clear of being contained by the six directions. The six directions are above, below, ahead, behind, right, and left.

See: Allah Exists Without a Place. God does not resemble His Creation