Imaam adh-Dhahabi on the Jahmites and the Later Mu'tazilite and Ash'arite Theologians That Negate Allaah Being Above The Creation
Imaam ad-Dhahabee, in Mukhtasar al-uluww (p.146), brings the statement of Hammaad bin Zayd (d. 179H):
Sulayman bin Harb said: I heard Hammad bin Zayd saying: "They are circulating around [the issue of] of wanting to say that there is no deity above the heaven". He means the Jahmiyyah.
Then he comments upon this, saying:
I say: the saying of the Salaf and the Imaams of the Sunnah, indeed, that of the Companions, and of Allaah, His Messenger and the Believers is that Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic is above the heaven, and that Allaah is over the Throne, and that Allaah is above His seven heavens, and that He descends to the lowest heaven, and their proof for that are the texts and the narrations.
And the saying of the Jahmites: That Allaah, the Blessed and Exalted, is in all places, lofty and exalted is Allaah from their saying. Rather, he is with us wherever we may be with His knowledge [and not with His Essence].
And the saying of the later Mutakallimoon (Theologians): That Allaah is not above the heaven, and nor over His Throne, and nor over the heavens, and nor on the earth, and nor inside the universe and nor outside the universe and nor is He separate and distinct from His creation and nor connected to them.
They said: All of these things are the attributes of bodies (ajsaam), and Allaah is far above [being a] body.
So Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Athar said to them: We do not delve into that, and we say what we have mentioned [of Allaah being above the Throne etc.] following the texts (in that), and even if you claim [what you claim]... we do not speak with your saying. For these attributes of negation [you use] are [but] the qualities of the non-existent. Exalted is Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic from non-existence. Rather, He exists, distinguished from His creation, described with whatever He described Himself with, [namely] that He is above the Throne, without how (kayf).
Hammaad bin Zayd was to the Iraqis the same as what Imaam Malik was to the Hijazis in loftiness and knowledge.