Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said, in Majmoo ul-Fatawa (5/151):
The translation of which is:
A great principle regarding affirmation of His, the Most High's uluww, and (this affirmation) is necessary through the pure (sound) intellect, and the correct human innate, instinctive disposition (fitrah).
And [this is comprised in] it being said: Allaah existed and there was nothing with Him. Then He created the universe.
- Then either His creation was [already] inside of Him and then separated from Him, and this is impossible, lofty is Allaah from being in contact with the filthy (things) and other than them.
- Or His creation was outside of Him, then he entered into it, and this is also impossible, lofty is Allaah from that He should merge with His creation.
And there is no dispute regarding [the falsehood] of these two (explanations) between any of the Muslims.
- Or His creation was [created] outside of Noble Self and He did not mix with it. And this is the truth besides which no other [statement] is permissible, and nothing befits Allaah except this (saying).
And this principle of Imaam Ahmad, is from amongst his proofs against Jahmiyyah in the time of the mihnah (trial). And al-Ash'ari mentioned in "al-Maqaalaat", within the saying of [Abu] Muhammad bin Kullaab, whom Ash'ari took as his Imaam, that Allaah being above the universe is known through the intellect and that al-istiwaa (ascension above the Throne) is known through revealed text (as-sam') and through the narrations of the Messengers who were sent for the perfection of the innate dispositions (of the people). And there is not to be any change in Allaah's fitrah (with which He created mankind), and the Sharee'ah (also) came with this, in opposition to the people of misguidance from the Philosophers and others besides them, for they overturned the realities.