Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Allah is Present and Immanent

Sayyidina Abi Musa al-Ashari ؓ narrates that Prophet Muhammad said:

إِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ لَيْسَ بِأَصَمَّ وَلاَ غَائِبٍ هُوَ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَ رُءُوسِ رِحَالِكُمْ

“Verily, your Lord is not deaf nor absent; He is between you and between the heads of your mounts”

(Jami al-Tirmidhi #3374)

The Hadith refutes those Salafis who say it is incorrect to describe Allah as being hadhir (present), because being present is the exact opposite of being gha’ib (absent), and the Prophet specifically and emphatically negated absence for Allah. Furthermore, He said Huwa baynakum “He is between you”. We believe that Allahumma is established above His Throne, and that His holy essence is separate and distinct from the creation. This is what one may refer to as His transcendence. At the same time, we Muslims believe Allah is immanent, He is manifest and He is omnipresent, though not in His holy essence, rather, through His knowledge and power, which emcompass all things. For Him, nothing is distant or out of His control and awareness. This is the reality of His names and attributes al-Zahir (the manifest, immanent), and al-Batin (the hidden, transcendent):

هُوَ الْأَوَّلُ وَالْآخِرُ وَالظَّاهِرُ وَالْبَاطِنُ

He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Immanent and the Transcendent

(Sura 57:3)

وَهُوَ مَعَكُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ

He is with you wherever you are

(Sura 57:4)

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