How should we understand Allah’s throne being over the waters?

The Details of the Question

There is Verse in Quran which say that , Allah swt Throne was on the Water , Which water ? , What is that water?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

“He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days - and His Throne was over the waters - that He might try you, which of you is best in conduct. But if thou wert to say to them, “Ye shall indeed be raised up after death”, the Unbelievers would be sure to say, “This is nothing but obvious sorcery”. (Hud, 11/7)

“Allah’s throne being over the waters” is one of the mutashabih verses. Therefore, “Allah knows better what is meant by it.” The views of tafsir scholars on this issue are as follows:

Maraghi makes the following interpretation regarding the verse above:

When Allah created this realm (or before that) His throne of majesty was above water. The Throne (Arsh) of Rahman is from the realm of Ghayb (the Unseen), and we cannot perceive it with our senses. We cannot describe it with our thoughts either. We do not know the reason why Allah has established Himself on it. We cannot know the nature of His command coming from there for the administration of this magnificent realm. It is narrated that Umm Salama, Imam Malik and Rabi said, “Istiwa is known, but its nature is unknown”.

It is understood from the verse that before the formation of the heavens and the earth, another thing that was created outside the Throne was water. That is, Allah made it the origin and root of all living beings.

It is necessary to deal with the sentence “His Throne was over the waters” by comparing it with the verse “Then, He established Himself above the Throne”. (al-A’raf 7/54) In both, the throne is a metonymy; it does not mean the throne of the sultanate but reign and sultanate. “Allah’s throne” means His reign and sultanate, dominion and power. In that case, the fact that the Throne is above the water does not have a meaning dependent on the place and the thing. Compared to “Then, He established Himself above the Throne”, “the Throne being on the water” is another expression related to the establishment (istiwa) mentioned in the verse. (Elmalılı Tefsiri) (Elmalıli Commentary)

Will you please click on the links given below;

How should we understand the mutashabih (ambiguous) verses in the Quran?

What is the wisdom behind the mutashabih verses in the Quran?

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