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08-08-2010 @ 6:04 PM    Notify Admin about this post
Abul-'Abbaas Moosaa ibn John Richardson (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Posts: 1280
Joined: Sep 2002
The following question was sent to me by PM, and I could not respond throught the PM system here, so I will post the answer here in the Aqeedah forum:

Regarding this Perfect ayah: "And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright." (Al-Baqarah, ayah 186)

So of course, we understand this to mean "Allaah is near by His Knowledge." Right?

Then I read in Shaikh al-'Uthaymeen's Notes on 'Aqidah al-Wasitiyah (pg. 147-148, English) about Allaah's attribute of Closeness. And he (rahimahullaah) said: "The closeness of Allaah, the Most High, is His nearness to creation. The Book and the Sunnah affirm this."

Then he mentioned the ayah above as well as the hadeeth of the Prophet (salallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), who said "You are calling upon One who is hearing, seeing and near." [Bukhari no. 4202, and Muslim, no. 2704]  

Then the shaikh (rahimahullaah) wrote: "It is closeness which is real that befits Allaah, and it does not contradict His Highness because He encompasses everything, and nothing is compared to Him due to the fact there is nothing like Him."

Of course, there is no contradiction; Allaah is The Most High, above all of His creation. And this is not my question, baarakAllaahu feek.

My question is: The shaikh did not mention "By His Knowledge."

Before reading the shaikh's words here I was taught that is "Allaah is close by His Knowledge." This is in the tafsir, the The Noble Qur`an translation, etc...

Why did the shaikh not mention it? Is this correct, but by itself not sufficient? Can you explain this to me?  Obviously, I want to believe what Allaah commands me to believe, and not be on the side of interpretation or distortion. Aoodhubillaah!

Allaah is close/near.

Allaah is close/near, by way of His Knowledge, Seeing, Hearing, etc.

Allaah is close/near, while He is above His creation.

Allaah is close to a dying person through the closeness of His Angels.

All of the above statements are correct, and they are the ways that the scholars speak about the closeness of Allaah.

It is permissible to speak generally without details, by saying simply, "Allaah is close."  There is nothing wrong with this, especially when people keep in mind the description in the proper context, descriptions of the Lofty and Exalted One who bears no resemblance to His creation, and His perfect Attributes are distinctly unique to Him, being Attributes of absolute perfection.

And Allaah knows best.

ibn John

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