Did the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) see Allah in Mi’raj (Ascension)?
I read a statement of Aisha (ra) meaning, “He who says Muhammad saw Allah with his eyes is regarded to have denied his religion” in a hadith book. According to our Ahl as-Sunnah belief, I know that the Prophet (pbuh) saw Allah with his spirit and body in Mi’raj. How can our mother Aisha, who was always with the Prophet (pbuh), be mistaken about it?
Submitted by on Mon, 30/05/2022 - 16:31
Dear Brother / Sister,
Three views are put forward about Allah’s being seen with the eyes:
According to the first view, eyes will not see Allah in the world but in the hereafter. As it will be mentioned below, Aisha (ra) expressed that view showing the following verse as evidence:
“No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision.” (al-An’am, 6/103)
“I said to Aisha (ra),
“O mother! Did Muhammad (pbuh) see his Lord?” She said,
‘What you have said makes my hair stand on end! Know that if somebody tells you one of the following three things, he is a liar: Whoever tells you that Muhammad saw his Lord is a liar.” Then, she recited the following verses:
“No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision.”1
“It is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or by the sending of a messenger to reveal, with Allah’s permission, what Allah wills.”2
Then, Aisha (ra) continued as follows:
“And whoever tells you that the Prophet knows what is going to happen tomorrow is a liar.” Then, she recited the following verse:
“Nor does any one know what it is that he will earn on the morrow.”3
“And whoever tells you that the Messenger of Allah concealed something is a liar.” Then, she recited the following verse:
“O Messenger! Proclaim the (message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou didst not, thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His mission. And Allah will defend thee from men (who mean mischief). For Allah guideth not those who reject Faith.”4
Then, Aisha (ra) continued as follows:
“The Messenger of Allah did not see his Lord but he saw Jibril (Gabriel) in his original form twice.”5
According to the second view, Allah will be seen both in the world and in the hereafter. Allah was seen in the world by the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh). However, it has been debatable whether the Messenger of Allah saw Allah with his eyes or with his heart and the view that he saw his Lord with his heart once or twice was preferred. Abdullah b. Abbas, Abu Salih, Suddi and Ikrima hold this view.
Ikrima states the following:
“Abdullah b. Abbas said, ‘Muhammad saw his Lord.” I said to him, Did Allah not say, “No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision”6?’ Abdullah b. Abbas answered as follows: ‘Woe on you! It is when Allah is seen with His light. What is seen is His light. Allah’s light was shown to Muhammad twice’. “7
Abdullah b. Shaqiq narrates:
“I said to Abu Dharr, ‘If I had lived during the time of the Messenger of Allah, I would have asked him something.’ Abu Dharr said, ‘What would you have asked him?’ Abdullah said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Have you seen your Lord?’ Abu Dharr said, ‘I asked him about it. He said, ‘I saw Him as a light.’“8
The following narrations exist in Muslim:
1. In the narration coming through Ata, Ibn Abbas said, “The Prophet saw Him with his heart.”
2. In the narration coming through Abul-Aliya, Ibn Abbas is reported to have said, “By Allah, he saw Him once again.”
It is stated in another narration that he said, “He is a light. How can He be shown to me?”9 That is, His light prevented me from Seeing Him.
As it is seen, the narrations above state that the Messenger of Allah saw Allah in this world with the eye of his heart.
“Abdullah b. Abbas met Ka’b in Arafat and asked him some questions. Thereupon, Ka’b shouted, “Allahu Akbar”. His call echoed in the mountains. Thereupon, Abdullah b. Abbas said “We are Sons of Hashim.” Ka’b said, “Allah divided His sight and talk between Muhammad and Musa – He talked to Musa twice and Muhammad saw Him twice.”10
According to the third view, Allah will be seen neither in the world nor in the hereafter. It is the view of Mu’tazila. It is contrary to verses and hadiths stating that Allah will be seen in the hereafter. Therefore, it is not a view to be taken into consideration. Some of the verses stating that Allah will be seen in the hereafter:
“O Some faces, that Day, will beam (in brightness and beauty);- Looking towards their Lord.”11
“Verily, from (the Light of) their Lord, that Day, will they be veiled.”12
The following Companions narrated sound hadiths stating that Allah would be seen in the hereafter: Abu Said al-Khudri, Abu Hurayra, Anas b. Malik, Suhayb Rumi and Bilal Habashi (r.anhum).13
1. al-An’am, 103
2. ash-Shura, 51
3. Luqman, 34
4. al-Maida, 67
5. Bukhari, K. Tafsir al-Quran surah 53, bab: l
6. al-An’am, 103
7. Tirmidhi, K. Tafsir al-Quran, Surah: 53, bab: 7, Hadith no: 3279.
8. Muslim, K. al-Iman, bab: 292, Hadith no: 178
9. Muslim, K. al-Iman, bab: 292, Hadith no: 178/ Tirmidhi, Tafsir al-Quran, Surah: 53, Hadith no: 3282
10. Tirmidhi, K. Tafsir al-Quran, Surah 53 Hadith No 3278
11. al-Qiyamah, 22-23
12. al-Mutaffifin, 15
13. Abu Jafar Muhammad b. Jarir at-Tabari, Taberi Tefsiri, Hisar Yayınevi: 8/32-36.
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