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Fatwa Number : 3485

Subject : Interpretation of the Statement: "Allah is Separated from His Creations"

Classified : Divinities

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa


Question :

What is the interpretation of the statement "Allah is separated from His creations" which is stated in the books about Islamic doctrine?


The Answer :

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

Speaking about Almighty Allah and His divine attributes is a serious matter. Therefore, it is incumbent upon every responsible Muslim not to indulge in this matter without having the required knowledge to do so. In general, he/she must believe that Allah's existence is definitive and can`t be negated, to Him belongs all the attributes of perfection and majesty, and that he must be cleared from resembling His creations. The evidence on this the verse in which Allah the almighty says, "there is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He is the One that hears and sees (all things)."{Ash-Shura, 11}.

In specific, the statement "Allah is separated from His creations" is stated in the books of Ahlu`s-Sunnah Wa`l-Jama`ah. It has two interpretations: Acceptable and Invalid. The acceptable meaning is that Allah doesn`t resemble any of His creations and that it isn`t permissible to say that He is above the universe spatially and that there is a distance between them, and this is the meaning intended in the books of Ahlu`s-Sunnah Wa`l-Jama`ah. As for the invalid meaning which is intended by the proponents of Tajseem (anthropomorphism), it claims that Allah the Almighty is separated from the universe and that there is a distance between them.

Al-Baihaqhi said, "The word "separated" means that Allah neither contains His creations nor they contain Him, and that there is no physical connection between them. It doesn`t mean that He the almighty is above the universe spatially and that there is a distance between them."{Al-`Asmaa` Wa al Sifaat, 2/309}. Imam Abu Ja^far at-Tahawiy as-Salafiy said: "Allah is supremely clear of all boundaries, extremes, sides, organs, and instruments. The six directions don`t contain Him, for these are attributed to all created things."

Some people may claim that the view of Ahlu`s-Sunnah Wa`l-Jama`ah isn`t true because it defies reason and logic. This claim isn`t true as it is based on the invalid concept of Tajseem. Ahlu`s-Sunnah Wa`l-Jama`ah negate Tajseem and so they don`t support the view that He the almighty is above the universe spatially and that there is a distance between them. Such a thing is characteristic of bodies. Thus, you can`t relate such attributes to Allah because He isn`t a body, and by analogy, you can`t say that a wall hears or sees because it is inanimate. Kindly refer to {Asas At-Taqhdees, p.15} by Fakhir Ad-Deen Ar-Razi.

The true Islamic creed makes it incumbent upon a Muslim to believe that Allah the Almighty is clear from existing with a place, side, and space, because He isn`t a body, and affirming that he is leads to negating His Divinity. Al-Baihaqhi said, "Divinity negates Tajseem and all Muslims believe in Allah`s divinity. Therefore, Tajseem must be negated in order to affirm divinity." {Al-A`sma` Wal Sifaat, 1/236}

In conclusion, the statement " Allah is separated from His creations", which is included in the books of Ahlu`s-Sunnah Wa`l-Jama`ah, must be understood in the sense that Allah doesn`t exist with a place, he is cleared from all attributes that don`t befit His Majesty, such as Tajseem, sides, space, resembling His creations. Also, it isn`t permissible to understand that the aforestatement means that He is above the universe spatially and that there is a distance between them, because this is untrue and contradicts the creed and Ijma`/unanimity of Ahlu`s-Sunnah Wa`l-Jama`ah. And Allah the almighty knows best.




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