How should we understand Allah’s being everywhere and establishing Himself on the throne?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

1. As with all such issues and questions, a simple systematic analysis requires a fundamental consideration of the issue. The basis of the issue (if the question arises from doubt, that is, if the hesitation is that there should be a place of Allah) consists of imagining Allah being limited by conditions related to human beings and creatures such as space, time, need, cause and effect. However, when it comes to issues related to Allah, the situation becomes inextricable because the mind alone cannot take a step from the garden of space and time towards spacelessness and timelessness; it can only look from the gate. Maybe spiritual and conscientious observations can be a wing in these areas, as it is the case with saints. In short, as the poet states,

"This small mind cannot grasp those high realities / Because this scale does not weigh such a big weight."(1)

The Creator is completely different from the created things with His attributes. However, the manifestations of the Creator can be seen on the created things. Similarly, it is unthinkable for Allah to be like a human being. Another starting point of the question is the effort to assign a place to Allah, as in humans. Thinking of Allah as a material being with volume and mass causes this effort.

“The point that misleads us is this: Our mind thinks that every being must be in a place because we have encountered beings that have always been in a place and occupy a place so far. We cannot envision a being without a place. The mind starts out from what it knows in its imagination of Allah and thinks that Allah, who is free from place, should have a place. For this reason, it looks for a place inside or outside the universe. Being inside or outside of the universe is in question for the beings created by Allah. When you ask “Where?”, you start off with the assumption that Allah must have a place.”(2)

You know, when a cosmonaut went into space, he said, "I looked and looked but I could not see God in space."... And that is another version of our issue. It can be difficult to imagine being free from place in imaginations with a naked mind but, as it is seen above, it does not constitute even the slightest evidence that spacelessness is unacceptable. We were born and lived in a place. So, we are connected with place for the moment, and thinking about something separate from place can be exhausting for the brain. However, Allah is already the creator of place; it did not exist with Him; it was created afterwards by Allah. Therefore, He does not need a place. Pure reason cannot be aware of what is beyond matter. However, it can infer something through conscience, experience and spirit. Nevertheless, the issue may come close to mind with some examples:

“Spirit can be an example for us because, there is no imagination of space for the soul either. We cannot say that the soul is inside the body, but it is not outside either. For the soul, it is not possible to ask questions such as whether it is tall, short, heavy, light, blue, gray or where it is. For, being somewhere is a requirement of the body and substance, not the soul. Although the soul is not anywhere, it is everywhere in the body with its effects....”(3)

In addition to all this, we can understand in the depths of our conscience or with simple observations that Allah is always ready and omnipresent.

“Yes, Allah states the following: 'We are closer to them than (their) jugular vein.' (Surah al-Qaf, 50/16) It means Allah, who is closer to me than my jugular vein, is omnipresent and everywhere in a way that cannot be explained. 'Allah stands between a person and their heart.'(Surah al-Anfal, 8/24) So Allah (swt) is closer to me than my heart. If I say "There is Allah in my heart", it is true because He knows me better than I do. I might not be able to understand my own heart. Again: 'And you did not throw when you threw, but it was Allah Who threw.' (Surah al-Anfal, 8/17) According to the verse above, it means in the Battle of Badr and elsewhere, it was Allah (swt) who threw what the Prophet (pbuh) actually threw. So, He directly affects everything, even the throwing. So, Allah is everywhere... Those verses and similar ones show that our Lord is omnipresent with His Mercy and Compassion, with His Beauty, Majesty, Perfection, Power, Knowledge, Will and His other attributes and names."

Yes, Allah responds to every prayer of every being, encompasses every event that occurs everywhere with His knowledge, power and names, and knows what we think and what we wish. He knows and hears the prayer that a bacterium says with its unique language (for example, with its tongue of disposition). Therefore, Allah is always everywhere, free from substance, time and space, with His beautiful names in every place we know and do not know, with His deeds, with His Mercy and Compassion. He is closer to us than us; so, a short step towards our heart, a meaningful descent is enough to feel it...

“However, we are far from Him with our attributes...”

For example, sunlight, through its heat and seven colors, is present in all bright things in the world. It is seen and exists everywhere with light, heat and seven colors, which are its attributes. However, the sun itself is not present in any bright thing that it shines on and brightens in terms of its mass and form. So, the sun is present in all bright things with its attributes. However, in terms of its mass and form, it is not in anything in the world. Similarly, the attributes of Allah, who gives the sun that characteristic, are definitely too perfect for our mind to understand. Allah has encompassed everywhere with His attributes, power, knowledge and will. However, He is not in anything with His essence. That is to say, being present everywhere is in terms of His attributes. However, that He is not in any place is in terms of His essence because it is He who created space and He does not need space.

Besides, angels, some sincere servants of Allah, and jinn can be or be seen in several places at the same time. Allah is much greater than them. Water for a fish, air or soil for humans, the image on the television can be in several places or everywhere at the same time;

Can Allah, who is the creator of all of them, the possessor of infinite knowledge and power, who causes them to come into being, who makes them survive, who is Hayy (the Living), Qayyum (the Self-subsisting) not be everywhere with the manifestation of His names and attributes?

In brief; our capacity is limited with what we can see or predict. However, there are some things beyond that. If you tell a man who has never seen a fish in his life that fish can live in water, he will not believe it... The nature of fish is completely different; it can live in a different place. It is clear that Allah is not like us. He can exist in spacelessness... Although we cannot see or imagine Allah directly, we can access some information about Allah's attributes. By accepting what we do not fully understand, we can actually see Him somewhere out there, somehow, with any blessing, maybe through the eyes of the heart, maybe through the eyes we know, maybe through the eyes of conscience.... because "The mind does not need the eye to see.” (4) Neither do conscience and soul... Allah (swt) knows the best.

Footnotes:

1. İlimlerin Diliyle Allah, Şaban Döğen, Gençlik Yayınları (9.Baskı, Eylül 2000)-Montaj, Baskı ve Cilt: Bayrak Matbaası), p.273.
2. Deprem Nasıl Önlenir? Zafer Araştırma Grubu, Zafer Yayınları, p.157.
3. ibid, p.157
4. Özdeyişler, Ali Suad, Zafer Yayınları, November 1998, p.72.

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