Where is Allaah?
Allaah is the proper name applied to the true God who exists necessarily by Himself comprising all the excellent Divine names and attributes of perfection. Allaah is One and Unique. He has no son, no partner, nor equal. He is the sole Creator and Sustainer of the universe. Every creature bears witness to His Oneness, Divinity, and Ruboobiyyah [Ruboobiyyah, inf. of Rubb], and to the uniqueness of His attributes and names.
His essence does not resemble the essences. He does not inhere in anything, nor does anything inhere in Him. "There is none like unto Him." He is the One, the Sole, the Indivisible. He is the Rubb [Some translate the term 'Rubb' into 'Lord', the meaning of 'Rubb' is far more comprehensive than to be restricted to a single word such as 'Lord'. Rubb, means, among other things, the Creator, the Sustainer, the Provider, and the One in whose hands is the disposal of all affairs], who accomplishes all affairs, Allaah is the Omnipotent and the Omniscient.
His knowledge comprehends in perfect manner all things, hidden or manifest. He is greater than can be encompassed by the knowledge of His creatures. He knows everything, and He is aware of all that takes place in the earth and the heavens. Allaah, the Supreme, is the Rubb of everything and has a free hand in disposal of all affairs. His mercy encompasses everything. He is far removed from injustice or tyranny. He is wise in all His actions, just in all His decrees. His justice ensures order in the universe in which nothing is out of order.
Whenever a believer is in need or distress calls on Him, He responds. Allaah has revealed His final Scripture, the Qur'aan, to that last of His Messengers, Muhammed sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam who was responsible for conveying the Message of Islam to mankind. He is the Exalted Allaah. Glory is due to Him.
Allaah, the Exalted, has described Himself in His Book, and by the tongue of His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam as Sublime, Supreme, and Lofty. The Qur'aan is full of proofs relevant to the Loftiness of Allaah.
Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama'ah believe in and confirm all of the attributes of Allaah without distorting their meaning, and that Allaah is above His seven heavens, above His 'Arsh, and separated from His creatures, and His creatures are separated from Him.
This discourse will provide the Scriptural proofs of the Loftiness of Allaah is an indivisible part of the inherent faculty of knowing Allaah with which Allaah has created mankind. Although the aqeedah of Loftiness of Allaah is part of man's innate knowledge and cannot be subjected to hypothetical of philosophical argumentation, there are some deviated sects who follow their whims and deny this intuitive and self-evident fact. For this reason, they have twisted Scriptural proofs and distorted them, and manipulated the texts to conform with their deviant argument.
All of the divine attributes are intrinsically related to the attribute of divine Loftiness. Therefore, accepting or rejecting them must be based on accepting or rejecting the Loftiness of Allaah. Whoever believes that Allaah is above His 'Arsh [The Throne of Allaah] and separated from His creatures, also believes in the rest of the attributes of Allaah, and believes as well that the heaves and the earth submit to His will, and that He is the Great Rubb of the worlds. Allaah does whatever He wills and rules according to His Own wishes. Glory be to Him.
Denial of the divine Loftiness is one of the basic doctrinal heresy promoted by the Jahmites [Jahmites are the followers of Jahm bin Safan (d. 128-745), a radical heretic. Among other things, they deny that Allaah, the Exalted, is above His Arsh, and they allege that He is everywhere] and their off-shoots of today in order to confuse the Muslims' minds. Denying this divine attribute also leads by necessity to the denial of the attribute of the istiwaa of Allaah above His Arsh. There is no doubt that the denial of the attributes of Allaah clashes with the clear Qur'aanic verses in which the unique essential attributes and beautiful names of Allaah confirmed. These attributes must be affirmed as identical with Allaah.
The essential divine attributes of Allaah constitute an integral part of His essence and are not superadded to it. They are accepted literally by Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama'h without questioning the 'how' of these attributes. To deny them is clear unbelief and heresy. It is for this reason this discourse has been prepared to deal with the creed of Loftiness of Allaah, or the question, 'Where is Allaah?' with the Scriptural evidences from the Qur'aan and the authentic prophetic traditions, as well as the traditions of those early Muslims, the pious predecessors.
Allaah, the Exalted, commands the believers to refer their disputes and differences to His Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam saying: "And when you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allaah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allaah and the Last Day." 
Therefore, the words of Allaah, the Exalted, as well as the words of His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam must be held as the ultimate and decisive judgment. No judgment or decision should take precedence over theirs whether in issues related to the divine attributes, or any other religious issue.
By their emphasis on reason in establishing religious truth, the rationalists, the modernists, and the Jahmites assert the preeminence of reason over the divine revelations. Whereas the Loftiness of Allaah which is clearly enunciated in the Qur'aan and the Sunnah, is beyond the reach of reason.
The true believers, contrary to the rationalists, believe that the 'Arsh of Allaah is above the seven heavens. They also believe that having created the seven heavens and the earth and what is in them, Allaah, the Exalted, has His great 'Arsh. Allaah says: "Declare your Rubb, the Supreme, to be far removed from every imperfection or impurity." 
The "Supreme", linguistically, is in the superlative signifying that Allaah is higher than everything and is above all things in essence, power, and invincibility. Commenting on this verse, Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allaah grant him His mercy, said: All Muslims in the past and in the present, when supplicating Allaah or imploring His help, they always raise their hands with palms towards the heaven. They do not lower their hands with palms towards the earth, nor do they turn them right or left, nor towards any other direction. They raise their hands up, knowing that Allaah is above them. The Muslims also say in prayer while prostrating, "I declare my Rubb, the Supreme, to be far removed from every imperfection or impurity."
If Allaah is everywhere, as the deviated sects allege, why then the above verse does not read, 'Declare your Rubb, (around you), (below you), or (everywhere)?' Allaah says: "They fear their Rubb above them." 
This verse refers to the angels who are above us, and above them is our Rubb, the Blessed, the Exalted. Lest anyone be confused, Allaah confirms in this verse that He is above the angels who are the residents of the heavens: "The Compassionate has rose over the 'Arsh." 
And: "And verily, your Rubb is Allaah who created the heaven and earth in six days, and then rose over the 'Arsh." 
Allaah also says: "Are you sure that He Who is Above the heaven will not cleave the earth beneath you? Or are you sure that He Who is above the heaven will not send against you a stone-charged hurricane." 
The renowned exegetes and commentators are agreed that the One Who is above the heaven is none but Allaah Who has rose over His Arsh and is above it in the manner which suits His Majesty.
Those who believe that Allaah is everywhere base their argument on verses such as:"And He is Ilaah in the Heavens and He is Ilaah on the Earth!"
The term, 'Ilaah' is classical Arabic means, 'the worshipped'; thus the meaning of the above verse is, "It is He Who is worshipped in the heaven and worshipped on the earth". It would have been redundant were the verse to speak about the existence of Allaah in the heaven and on the earth, for the term Illah' is an adjective of Allaah, while the pronouns, 'He' in the verse is used in lieu of the name 'Allaah', therefor, when the name 'Allaah' replaces the pronoun 'He', we get the proper meaning of the verse: 'And it is Allaah Who is worshipped in the heaven and on the earth'. But according to the deviated sect who consider the term, 'Ilaah' as 'Allaah', we get the redundant meaning, 'And Allaah is Allaah in the heaven and Allaah is on the earth,' a sentence which is grammatically, linguistically and logically incorrect. Qatadah, a renowned exegete, interpreted this verse as: 'He is worshipped in the heaven and on the earth'.
Imaam al-Aajurri said: 'al-Ilaah, is the worshipped. He is worshipped in the heaven as He is worshipped on the earth.'
The Omnipresence of the Divine Knowledge
Those who deny that Allaah is above His 'Arsh, dubiously argue that this verse supports their argument. Their argument is refuted by realizing that this verse refers to the knowledge of Allaah, according to the renowned exegetes, not His essence. They further assert that this verse signifies that the knowledge of Allaah encompasses all things in the heavens and on the earth. The reference to the divine knowledge is made clearly by repeating the clause, 'He knows' twice in this verse, that is to say: "Allaah, the Exalted, knows the hidden and the open, and He knows what you achieve".
Had the verse ended with the word, 'earth', one might take their dubious argument into consideration, but Allaah, the Exalted, makes it abundantly clear that it is His knowledge, not His essence that encompasses all things. Another dubious argument is presented by those who deny the fact that Allaah, the Exalted, is above His 'Arsh, by alleging that the following verse supports their argument.
The above verse, they contend, signifies that Allaah is essentially everywhere. This argument is refuted by the prominent exegete, Ibn Katheer who says: "This means that Allaah is well acquainted with their utterances, and private talks and thoughts."
Al-Qurtubi commented on this verse saying: "He knows and hears their private counsel. This is evidenced by the fact that the opening and concluding clauses of this verse confirm the knowledge of Allaah."
Al-Qasimi says: "The scholars among the Prophet's companions, who transmitted the meaning of the Qur'aan to their successors, held this verse to mean that Allaah is above His 'Arsh, but His knowledge is everywhere."
The linguistic analysis of this verse proves the following points:
Authentic Prophetic traditions, as well as traditions of the Prophet's companions, with whom Allaah is pleased, and works of the Four Imaama and of the rest of the pious predecessors contain many textual as well as inferential proofs of Allaah's Loftiness. Allaah, the Exalted, praises His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and confirms his veracity and truthfulness by saying: "Nor does he speak of his own desire. It is only revelation revealed (to him.)"  And Allaah says:
"And whatsoever the Messenger commands you, adhere to it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain from it."
Imaam Abu Hanifah 
Abu Muti' Al-Balkhi reported:"I asked Imaam Abu Hanifah about a person who says, 'I do not know whether my Rubb is, above the heavens or on earth?' Abu Hanifah, may Allaah grant him His mercy, said: 'A person who makes such a statement becomes an apostate because Allaah, the Exalted says, 'The Merciful has ascended above the 'Arsh, and the 'Arsh of Allaah is above His heavens'. I further asked Abu Hanifah, 'What if such a person admits, Allaah is above His 'Arsh, but exclaims, I do not know whether His 'Arsh is above the heavens or on earth'. Abu Hanifah responded: 'If he denies that the 'Arsh is above the heavens, he is an apostate."  If the person apostatizes by saying that he did not know where is the 'Arsh of Allaah, then by right a person who denies the Loftiness of Allaah altogether is definitely worse than an apostate.
Imaam Maalik 
Abdullah bin Nafi' reported: Maalik bin Anas said:'Allaah is above the heavens, but His knowledge encompasses everything. Nothing escapes His knowledge.' 
Imaam Ash-Shafi'ee 
Imaam ash-Shafi'ee said:"The creed which I hold is the same creed the Muslims before me were holding, namely, the Testimony of Faith: "There is no god worthy of being worshipped except Allaah, that Muhammed is the Messenger of Allaah, and that Allaah is above His 'Arsh, above the heavens. He descends to the lowest heaven whenever He wishes."  Imaam ibn Khuzaimah, a Shafi'ite himself, said: "Whoever disacknowledges that Allaah is above His 'Arsh, above His seven heavens, and that He is separated from His creatures, is a Kafir, (unbeliever). Such person must be ordered to repent and disavow his belief, or else he must be beheaded and thrown on a garbage dump so that neither Ahlul-Qiblah  nor Ahludth-dthimmah  be annoyed by the foul odor of his carcass."  Abu Bakr Muhammad at-Tamimi, a Shafi'ite Imaam of Naisaboor, said:"I do not pray behind a person who denies the attributes of Allaah and does not recognize that Allaah is above His 'Arsh." 
Imaam Ahmad 
He was asked: "Is Allaah above His 'Arsh, above the seventh heaven, separate from His creatures, and is His knowledge and power encompassing everything everywhere? He replied: 'Certainly, He is above His 'Arsh and nothing escapes His knowledge."  All of the above show that the entire Muslim ummah, in the past and present, is in unison regarding the belief in the Loftiness and Supremacy of Allaah, the Exalted.
Adherents of certain deviant sects promote a false belief that Allaah is omnipresent Who inheres in His creation. Rational arguments are deadly available to refute the blasphemy of the Jahmites and those who try to revive their belief today. To prove that Allaah is above His 'Arsh, and above the seventh heaven in a manner that suits His Majesty, the Imaam of Ahlus-Sunnah, Ahmad bin Hanbal, may Allaah be pleased with him, refuted their belief more than one thousand years ago, when he wrote: "Where Allaah is and Where He is not - An exposition of the denial of the Jahmites that Allaah is above the 'Arsh."
We asked them "Why do you deny that Allaah is above the 'Arsh when He has said: 'The Merciful has the 'Arsh?  And again,' 'Who in six days created the Heavens and the earth then the 'Arsh,'  They replied: "He is under the seven earths as He is on the 'Arsh; He is in heaven, on earth and in every place; there is no place where He is not, nor is He is one place to the exclusion of any other." And they quoted the verse: "And He is Ilaah in the heavens and He is Ilaah on the Earth!" If you wish to prove the falsehood of the Jahmites who claim that Allaah exists everywhere, not in one particular place, ask them, 'Is it not true that Allaah was existent when there was nothing in existence?' The Jahmites' answer would be: "Certainly, there was nothing before Allaah." Then ask them, "Did Allaah create the creation within Himself or outside of Himself?" The Jahmites would be compelled to choose on of the following three answers:
Allaah, the Exalted, described Himself in the Torah too that He is above His creatures. Ka'bul-Ahbaar said: "Allaah, azza wajall,  said in the Torah, 'I, Allaah Am above My slaves, and My 'Arsh is above My creatures, and I am upon My 'Arsh running the affairs of My slaves. Nothing is hidden from Me neither in heaven nor on the earth." 
Finally, it may be worthwhile to say that even the enemy of Allaah, Fir'awn (Pharoah), who flagrantly claimed to be a god of his people, knew where Allaah is more than the followers of Jahm today. Allaah says: And Fir'awn said, 'O, Haman, build for me a tower that I may reach the ways; the ways to heavens so that I may have a look at the Ilaah of Musa.'  Now consider the words of Fir'awn who wanted Haman to build a tower for him that he might climb all the way to the heavens to see the Rubb of Musa, for Musa already told him that Allaah to Whom he is inviting him is above the heavens, and compare this with the groundless argument of the Jahmite off-shoots of today. A Muslim wonders how could those who believe that Allaah is Omnipresent rationalize such assertion knowing that Allaah, the Omnipotent, will collect the earth in His hand and fold the heavens in His right hand, as evidenced by the following divine stern warning. And they have not venerated Allaah with the veneration that is due Him, for on the Day of Resurrection, the earth will be collected in His hand and the heavens will be folded up in His right hand.  Were the above verse to be the only proof of Allaah's Loftiness, it would have been more than sufficient. It is certainly sufficient to those who fear Allaah and give Him the true veneration that is due to Him.
The first three Muslim generations whose righteousness the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam testified for, and whose merits surpassed the merits of all succeeding generation. They are the Companions of the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and the two generations that followed them. They all believed in the apparent meaning of the Qur'aanic ayaat that deal with the divine attributes without giving them farfetched interpretations based on Greek philosophies.
The Believer must believe that there is none like unto Allaah, the Exalted, in His essence, attributes, nor His actions. He must also believe that Allaah stands in need of none of His creatures. Neither a thing nor a place encompasses Him. He is above His 'Arsh, above the seventh heaven, and above all His creature essentially and realistically not allegorically.
There is none of His creatures that touches Him. Based on this it is not permissible to say that Allaah is everywhere, or He inheres in any of His creatures, for Allaah was when there was nothing. He who asserts that Allaah is not outside the universe, not only denies the existence of Allaah, but he worships a non-existent god. We ask Allaah to keep us on the straight path of His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and his Companions and to make us join their company on the Day when neither wealth nor offspring would avail. Walhamdu lillahi Rabbil-aalameen.
This discourse has been based mainly on two books: Ithbat Uluwil-Lah, by Usamah bin Yusuf al-Qassas, may Allaah grant him His mercy, and Ar-Rahman alal Arsh Istawa, by Dr. Awad Mansoor
6. Q 4:59
7. Q 87:1
8. Q 87:1
9. Q 16:50
10. Q 20:2
11. Q 7:54
12. Q 67:17.18
13. Q 6:3
14. Q 58:7
15. Q 58:1
16. Pantheism is the belief that Allaah and the universe constitute one being, as opposed to the fundamental belief of the Oneness of Allaah and the separateness of His creations, as stressed by Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama'ah.
17. Imaam al-Bukhaaree, Imaam Muslim and others.
18. Q 2:150
20. Q 35:10
21. Ar-Rooh is Jibreel, peace be upon him.
22. Q 70:4
23. Q 32:5
24. Q 3:55
25. 'Istawa' p.t. is derived from the verb sawiya and its derivative form istiwaa' to mount on the Throne. The Ash'arites, the Mu'tazilites, the Jahmites, and those who uphold their belief, hold the attribute of Istiwaa' to be only symbolic, whereas Ahlus-Sunnah accept this and the other essential attributes of Allaah literally without drawing parallels.
26. Q 7:54
27. Q 53:4.527 Q 53:4.5
28. Abu Dawood.
29. Imaam al-Bukhaaree, Imaam Muslim and others.
30. This is the strongest category of the authentic ahadith.
31. Imaam al-Bukhaaree, Imaam Muslim, and others.
32. Imaam Ahmad, al-Hakim, and others.
33. Imaam al-Bukhaaree, Ahmad, and others.
34. Imaam Muslim, Abu Dawood, and others.
35. Imaam Maalik, Imaam al-Bukhaaree, Imaam Muslim, and others.
36. At-Tirmidthi and others.
38. The verses in question are in surat An-noor #24:11 thru 20.
39. Imaam al-Bukhaaree and others.
41. He was a great scholar and a leading authority in the Prophetic traditions, and a contemporary of Imaam ash-Shafi'ee, (135-198H.)
42. Al-Bukhaaree, adth-Thahabi and others.
43. Abu Hanifah, one of the four Imaam was prominent jurist living from 80 to 150 AH.
44. Sharhut-Tahawiyyah, p.288
45. Maalik bin Anas, one of the four Imaams, was prominent jurist and traditionist (93-179 H).
46. Abdullah bin Ahmad, as-Sunnah, and others.
47. Abdullah Muhammad bin Idris ash-Shafi'ee one of the prominent four Imaams. Prominent jusrit (150-204 H).
48. Al-Juyoosh al-Islamiyyah, Ibn al-Qayyim, p.93
49. The Muslims in general.
50. Christian or Jewish subjects of a Muslim country.
53. Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Hanbal, the great Imaam, was nicknamed the Imaam of Ahlus-Sunnah. This name was to become in Islam the watchword for uncompromising belief. Imaam Ahmad, may Allaah be pleased with him, was a hero and victim of the violent inquisition during the reign of the Caliph al-Ma'moon, who ordered his subjects, under pain of severe punishment, to adopt the belief that the words of Allaah of which the Qur'aan is composed are created, thus resembling the belief of the Christians. Imaam Ahmad, who refuted to endorse this belief was subjected to harassment, imprisonment, and torture.
54. Al-Juyoosh al-Islamiyyag, Ibn al-Qayyim, p.123.
55. Q 20:4
56. Q 25:60
57. Azza wajall, Allaah is the Powerful, the Glorious.
58. Ath-Thahabi and others.
59. Q 40:36,37
60. Q 39:67