Qaadee Abu Bakr al-Baqillani (Early Ash'ari): Allah Is Above The Throne Without That Necessitating He is A Body Or Contained By Space
Posted by Abu.Iyaad on Saturday, June, 27 2009 and filed under Articles
Key topics: Al-Uluww Throne Abu Bakr Al-Baqillani Al-Uluww Throne Abu Bakr Al-Baqillani

Who is Abu Bakr al-Baqillani?

He is the Qaadee Abu Bakr al-Baqillani who was born around the middle of the fourth century (hijri) and died in 403H (around 1013CE) in Baghdad. He is a prominent Ash'ari theologian and is touted by the Ash'aris as one of their luminaries - and Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah has words regarding him, stating in meaning that he was amongst the better ones of the Ash'aris - as he was closer to the truth in certain affairs.

He is the author of the book: "At-Tamheed al-Awaa'il wa Talkhees ud-Dalaa'il" - a book which focuses on the issues of creed, and it is found with a different name in the Paris manuscript, "at-Tahmeed fee ar-Radd 'alal-Mulhida was-Raafidah wal-Khawaarij wal-Mu'tazilah".

Concerning The Question: Where is Allaah?

Al-Baqillani says in at-Tamheed (pp.300-301)

Chapter: And if someone says: Where is He? It is said to him: Asking where (al-ayn) is asking about place (al-makaan) and He is not one that a place (makaan) is permitted to enclose (yahwee), and nor [one that] places can encompass. Except that we say: Indeed He is Above His Throne, [but] not with the meaning of a body [being as such] through contact and adjacency, Exalted is He above that with a Lofty Exaltation.

Benefits From This Quotation

And in this text from this early Ash'ari Scholar there are a number of points:

  • al-Baqillani's affirmation of Allah's being above the Throne at the same time as His negation of Allaah being enclosed or contained in space (makaan). So he combined between affirming being above the Throne and negating enclosure by space.

  • al-Baqillani's affirmation of Allaah being above the Throne without that necessitating that He is a jism (body).

  • al-Baqillani's narrating of the question "Where is He?", and proceeding to say, "...except that we say: Indeed He is above His Throne ..." - and see this article for more on this subject from al-Baqillani.

Al-Baqillani is one of the most important figures in the formulation of the Ash'ari madhhab, as he was the first to really outline many of the foundations for it. The earlier Ash'aris, like al-Baqillani, even though they were affected by Ilm ul-Kalaam and entered into the philosophical ramblings, had sounder positions in certain areas - due to their not having been completely engrossed in such theological philosophy, unlike the later ones, like al-Juwaynee and ar-Raazee.

The above exposes the nature of the fraud perpetrated by the Ash'ari figureheads today who misguide many naive and sincere Muslims, who, desiring to make tanzeeh of Allaah, the Most High, think the only way it can be done is to abandon the expressions of the Qur'aan and the Sunnah, treating their apparent meanings to necessitate tashbeeh, kufr and shirk and to adopt instead the expressions of the foreign Mushrik Philosophers relating to substance (jawhar), body (jism), non-essential, incidental, temporal attributes (a'raad), events (hawaadith) and so on.

So it is as if Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, and His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) consistently used expressions and words necessitating tashbeeh, and kufr and shirk, without ever - not even once - explaining to the Ummah that the apparent meanings are not intended, whilst the expressions and words of the foreign Mushrik Philosophers (in both negation and affirmation) are the only words through which the Tawheed of the Messengers can be understood - and essentially this is what the Ash'aris (Kullaabi Jahmites) of today are implying.

So as an example when a Sunni says, "Allaah is above His servants, ascended over His Throne" speaking with that on the basis of the verses in the Qur'an where Allah explicitly states that Allaah is above His servants, and has ascended above the throne:

And He is al-Qaahir, above His servants

and also:

Ar-Rahmaan has ascended above the Throne

The Mu'attil (negator, such as a Kullabi Jahmite) says,

Saying Allaah is above is specifying direction for Allaah, and anything that is in a direction must be contained by space and anything that is contained by space, must be a body, and as you have declared Allaah to be a body, this is kufr

So you see from these people that they consider the ramblings of the Philosophers and the principles they derived from them to be better guidance than what Allaah and His Messenger spoke with ... and how they can't see through this misguidance, Allaah knows best.

But coming back to al-Baqillani, the point here is that al-Baqillani affirms that Allaah is above His Throne, without that necesitating Tajseem or confining Allaah to a space, and the Early Ash'aris had sounder positions in certain areas compared to the later ones who got completely taken for a ride with Ilm ul-Kalaam and had to admit at the end of their lives what a waste it all was, such as what has been said by ar-Raazee and al-Juwaynee and others.