Subject : An Answer to the Question, "Where is Allah?"
Fatwa Number : 3481
Date : 24-03-2019
Classified : Divinities
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

When my child asks me where is Allah, what answer should I give?

The Answer :

Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. Islam is Allah`s religion.

He has approved it to all mankind and with it He has sealed divine laws, perfected good character, and observed man`s nature and honor. Posing questions is a right for every person and every question, regardless of its subject, has an answer in Islam, because Islam adopts an integrated approach that rests on dialogue, wisdom and arguing in the best of manners. Allah the Exalted says, "Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way. Lo! thy Lord is Best Aware of him who strayeth from His way, and He is Best Aware of those who go aright."{An-Nahil, 125}. When a child asks: "Where is Allah?" He/she should be told that Allah is greater than everything, every place, and that He the Almighty doesn`t exist with a place. Rather, " there is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He is the One that hears and sees (all things).

."{Al-Shura, 11}. It is incumbent upon both parents and teachers to instill in the hearts of children that Allah doesn`t resemble His creation and that He is cleared from every attribute that doesn`t befit Him. Of course, this should be done using statements that suit the children`s intellectual and educational levels. As for the Islamic ruling on "Where is Allah," in principle, it isn`t permissible, because literally the word "Where" is used to ask about place while Allah the Exalted doesn`t exist with a place.

However, if this word "Where" was intended in a figurative sense. i.e. to ask about Allah`s status, then it is permissible. This meaning was included in the words of Caliph Uthman Bin Affan about Sa`sa`ah Bin Sawhan who spoke a lot in his presence. The Caliph said: O people, this man neither knows who is Allah, nor where He is……"{Al-Faa`il Fi Ghareeb Al-Hadeeth, 1/78}.

"Where is Allah" was also included in the Hadith about the slave girl: I said: Messenger of Allah, I have a slave girl whom I slapped. This grieved the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). I said to him: Should I not emancipate her? He said: Bring her to me. He said: Then I brought her. He asked: Where is Allah ? She replied: In the heaven. He said: Who am I ? She replied: You are the Messenger of Allah. He said: Emancipate her, she is a believer."{Related by Muslim}.

In his commentary on this Hadith, al-Hafiz Ibn Fork stated, "The apparent meaning of "Where" indicates that it is used to ask about place and this is its origin. However, linguists have used it in another sense. They say that it is used to ask about status. They also said that it is used to draw a distinction between two ranks, and isn`t intended for place and location. Be this a common use in the Arabic language, then when the Prophet (PBUH) asked that slave girl "Where is Allah" he (PBUH) wanted to know Allah`s status to her and in her heart." An-Nawawi said, "……This Hadith is about Allah`s attributes, and there are two opinions in this regard already mentioned several times in the Book of Eman/Faith.

The first is that we must believe in them without discussing their meanings along with believing that there is nothing like Allah whatsoever and clearing Him from resembling His creations. The second is giving an adequate interpretation as befits Allah, the Exalted. Proponents of the second opinion said that the idea is to test that she is a monotheist recognizing Allah as the one and only creator and Doer (without let) of all that He intends, and that when He the Exalted is invoked, the invoker turns to the direction of Heaven, just as the praying person turns to the direction of Kabah. This isn`t because Allah the Almighty is limited by the Heaven or the direction of Kabah; rather, Heaven is the Qibla of the invokers, just as Kabah is the Qiblah of the prayer performers. On the other hand, she could be a pagan. However, when she replied that Allah is in the Heaven, the Prophet (PBUH) realized that she is a monotheist and not a pagan."{Shareh Sahih Muslim, 5/24}

In conclusion, Allah is clear from existing with a place or to be asked about with "Where" in its literal sense-indicating place. He the Almighty is the creator of place and time, and it is incumbent upon us to teach that to our children and to answer their questions in accordance with their capacity and to the degree of making them realize that Allah is clear from resembling creations. And Allah the Almighty knows best.



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