Does a person who attributes space (place) to Allah become an unbeliever according to Abu Hanifa's book "Fiqhul-Akbar"?

The Details of the Question
Abu Hanifa writes the following in his book '' Fiqhul-Akbar'': A person who says, "I do not know whether my Lord is in the sky or on the earth" becomes an unbeliever. Similarly, a person who says, "Allah is on the Throne" and also a person who says, "I do not know whether He is on the throne, in the sky or on the earth" becomes an unbeliever. What does it mean?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Abu Hanifa’s book that explains principles of belief is called "al-Fiqhul-Akbar". Abu Hanifa states that it is not possible to attribute space and place to Allah, who is free of space and place.

Various works were made on this book. One of them is the explanation (sharh) made by Aliyyul-Qari. Aliyyul-Qari explains the words of Abu Hanifa mentioned above as follows:

Allah states the following: «He is the Irresistible (watching) from above over his worshippers...» (1) Allah’s superiority over His creatures is not in terms of space and place. On the contrary, it is in terms of being superior and lofty. As a matter of fact, the view adopted by Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah is like that. In addition, Mutazila, Kharijites and other people of bid’ah also hold the same view. However, some people who attribute direction and side to Allah and the group of Mujassimah are excluded. Allah is free and away from what they say.

Some hadiths and verses indicating His attribute of loftiness and superiority are evidence that will prove Allah’s attribute of loftiness for the scholars of salaf. However, all of them are interpreted as the loftiness expressed by His attributes of ghalib (winner), qahir (supreme) and hakim (dominant).

The issue narrated from Abu Muti' al-Balhi is like this: When he asked Abu Hanifa the state of a person who says, «I do not know whether my Lord is in the sky or on the earth», Abu Hanifa answered as follows: He becomes an unbeliever. For, Allah said, «(Allah) Most Gracious is firmly established on the Throne (of authority).» (2) His Throne is over the seven skies.

Sheikh al-Imam Ibn Abdussalam states in his book called “Hall ar-Rumuz” that Abu Hanifa said, «A person who says I do not know whether my Lord is in the sky or on the earth» becomes an unbeliever. For, this statement gives a wrong idea that Allah Almighty is in a place. If a person holds a wrong view like this, he is from Mushabbiha. He likens Allah to His creatures, which can never be true. Abu Hanifa states that we need to avoid things that will mean attributing space and place to Allah. (3)


(1) al-An'am, 6/61.
(2) Taha, 20/5.
(3) see Aliyyul-Qari, Fıkh-ı Ekber Şerhi, Hisar Publishing House.

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