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Living in a Hindu country i keep on hearing phrases like Allah\God is everywhere , Allah is in your hearts, Every heart has Allah etc. I understand that they may not literally mean by saying Allah is in your heart , If that is the case what do they mean by saying this and What does the Quran and Sunnah say regarding this matter?

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According to Shia, it is correct but not literally and thus needs some clarification, see here. Similarly Allah is not in the skies or over the throne and etc in the sense that we usually say someone is somewhere. –  owari Feb 21 '13 at 16:25
what about in the hearts? –  Islam Feb 22 '13 at 3:14
Allah is transcendent over His creation, which means that He is separate from and above His creation. Saying that Allah is in one's heart is ridiculous, and it originates mostly from pagan ideologies. Nothing to do with the Qur'an or the Sunnah, as user Abdullah has so nicely explained in his answer below. –  Najeeb Jul 10 '14 at 2:40

2 Answers 2

Where is Allah?

This is a very fundamental issue of the belief of the muslim and like other beliefs we should see what Qur'an and Sunnah says about it and not take the views of people who do "logical babble". After all, logic is not where we take our religion from, but the revelation. I am not going to talk from myself (with my logic) here but just mention Surah and Hadith and after that, sayings of Scholars (few). But, Inshaa Allah, the Qur'an and Hadith should be enough to conclude what is the right belief and what is wrong and kufr.

So, here are the evidences and we can make a conclusion:

Allah is above His Throne

Proofs from Qur'an

Allah says in Surah Taha :

الرَّ‌حْمَـٰنُ عَلَى الْعَرْ‌شِ اسْتَوَىٰ

The Most Beneficent (Allah) Istawa (rose over) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty).

There are six other places in Qur'an where Allah has mentioned the He is over His Throne:

Surah Al-A'raf, Surah Yunus, Surah Ar-Ra'd, Surah Al-Furqan, Surah As-Sajdah, Surah Al-Hadid.

Please go through these Suwar and if you need, their translations (Muhsin Khan). Allah repeatedly mentions in these that He is over His Throne.

Proofs from Hadith

Hadith 1

Narrated Abu Huraira:

I heard Allah's Messenger (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) saying, "Before Allah created the creations, He wrote a Book (wherein He has written): My Mercy has preceded my Anger." and that (Book) is written with Him over the Throne."

وَقَالَ لِي خَلِيفَةُ بْنُ خَيَّاطٍ حَدَّثَنَا مُعْتَمِرٌ، سَمِعْتُ أَبِي، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ، عَنْ أَبِي رَافِعٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ لَمَّا قَضَى اللَّهُ الْخَلْقَ كَتَبَ كِتَابًا عِنْدَهُ غَلَبَتْ ـ أَوْ قَالَ سَبَقَتْ ـ رَحْمَتِي غَضَبِي‏.‏ فَهْوَ عِنْدَهُ فَوْقَ الْعَرْشِ ‏"‏‏.‏

Hadith 2

Anas bin Malik said: Zainab bint Jahsh used to boast to the other wives of the Prophet and say: "Allah married me to him from above the Heavens." And the Verse of Hijab was revealed concerning her.

أَخْبَرَنِي أَحْمَدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى الصُّوفِيُّ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو نُعَيْمٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا عِيسَى بْنُ طَهْمَانَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ، سَمِعْتُ أَنَسَ بْنَ مَالِكٍ، يَقُولُ كَانَتْ زَيْنَبُ بِنْتُ جَحْشٍ تَفْخَرُ عَلَى نِسَاءِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم تَقُولُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أَنْكَحَنِي مِنَ السَّمَاءِ ‏.‏ وَفِيهَا نَزَلَتْ آيَةُ الْحِجَابِ ‏.‏

Now, in Qur'an Allah uses "Istawaa" and certain sects have misinterpreted it to prove Allah is everywhere. However, such interpretation is unacceptable in arabic language. What did the Imams of the past regarding such interpretation?

Reported by Sufyaan Ibn Uyaynah (198 H):

"I was at Rabii'ah Ibn Abi Abdir-Rahmaan's place (d. 136 H), and someone asked him: 'Ar-Rahmaan (Allah) is Istawaa over the throne. How was He Istawaa?' So, he replied: 'Al-Istawaa is not an unknown (word), but how did He Istawaa, this cannot be understood (by our limited mind), believing in it is obligatory, and questioning regarding it is an innovation (Bid'ah). " (Mukhtaswar-ul-ulli 132)


Reported by Bishr Ibn Umar (207 H):

I heard more than one muffassir saying: 'Ar-Rahmaan (Allah) is Istawaa over the Throne- means he is elevated over the Throne'"

(Al-Laalakaai 13/397662)

Allah is above

Surah An-Nahl

يَخَافُونَ رَ‌بَّهُم مِّن فَوْقِهِمْ وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُ‌ونَ

They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded.

Surah Al 'An'am

وَهُوَ الْقَاهِرُ‌ فَوْقَ عِبَادِهِ ۚ وَهُوَ الْحَكِيمُ

And He is the Irresistible, above His slaves, and He is the All-Wise, Well-Acquainted with all things.

Allah is above the heaven

Surah Al-Mulk

أَأَمِنتُم مَّن فِي السَّمَاءِ أَن يَخْسِفَ بِكُمُ الْأَرْ‌ضَ فَإِذَا هِيَ تَمُورُ‌ ﴿١٦﴾ أَمْ أَمِنتُم مَّن فِي السَّمَاءِ أَن يُرْ‌سِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ حَاصِبًا ۖ فَسَتَعْلَمُونَ كَيْفَ نَذِيرِ‌

Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allah), will not cause the earth to sink with you, then behold it shakes (as in an earthquake)? Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allah), will not send against you a violent whirlwind? Then you shall know how (terrible) has been My Warning?

I hope by all these plain proofs from Qur'an and Sunnah is enough to prove that Allah is above the Heaven, Above the throne. and People should realize that when they deny Allah is above the Heavens or Above the throne, they are denying ayats from the Qur'an.

You can read more proofs here which I used as a reference for this answer.

Regarding Ma`iyyah of Allah

It is often (wrongly) used to misinterpret "Allah is everywhere".

Surat Al-Ĥadīd

هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضَ فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ عَلَى الْعَرْ‌شِ ۚ يَعْلَمُ مَا يَلِجُ فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ وَمَا يَخْرُ‌جُ مِنْهَا وَمَا يَنزِلُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَمَا يَعْرُ‌جُ فِيهَا ۖ وَهُوَ مَعَكُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ‌

He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days and then Istawa (rose over) the Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). He knows what goes into the earth and what comes forth from it, what descends from the heaven and what ascends thereto. And He is with you (by His Knowledge) wheresoever you may be. And Allah is the All-Seer of what you do.

Similarly, Surat Al-Mujadila.

But, this only means the encompassment of all the creation, the believer and disbeliever, the righteous and wicked, with His Knowledge, He Sees what they do, and Hears what they says. Nothing escapes Allah's knowledge.

Also, refer to this useful website : http://www.abovethethrone.com

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Why do people say Allah is in hearts? –  Islam Feb 27 '13 at 4:53
@Ali Ask people. It makes no sense to me. Allah is the turner of hearts and our hearts are between His two fingers. It is not from Sunnah to say Allah is in hearts. –  Abdullah Feb 27 '13 at 6:45
(Allah is above His Throne) is more of a metaphor. –  Hakim Sep 8 '14 at 14:46

My understanding and belief is that Allah is not confined in space (even if that space is infinite). What I believe is that Allah can instantaneously access (and control) every point in the Universe unconstrained by the laws of physics. But I don't know anything about how He looks like or how He exists relative to our Universe.

Even a simple concept like "space", implied by asking "where" Allah exists is something that we, humans (religious and atheists), do not understand quite well. For example, some hotly investigated physical theories (e.g., string theory) that have no roots in religions claim that space itself is 10-dimensional and that we might be confined to live on a 3-dimensional membrane in that hyperspace (called Bulk). I just use that information (although it has never been confirmed by experiment) to understand things like the Quranic verse that says "Satans see you from where you can not see them" (possibly they are living in the bulk unconstrained to a 3-d membrane). But this again tells me nothing about how Allah exists relative to the Universe.

When it comes to Allah, I just believe He exists (based on my own purely logical arguments) and that His nature transcends ours (again based on those same arguments) and He is beyond our senses.

I ask Allah to grant us the bounty of seeing (or perceiving) Him in the hereafter.

ليس كمثله شئ

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nice explanation. So can you explain a taweel of the saying "Allah is in your heart" –  Islam Feb 27 '13 at 4:55
Allah can only be described as He described Himself without alteration, adaptation or incarnation. So I insist that no one can claim an interpretation (i.e., a mental or physical image) of the above mentioned verses. Anything we can think of, Allah is completely different from it (لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ). For me, not being able to conceive an image or place for Allah does NOT diminish my firm belief of His existence, because both issues are independent (again on logical basis, that some people may not like :)). –  Ahmed Nassar Feb 27 '13 at 10:40
So I understand that statement "Allah is in your heart" or "Allah is in the hearts of His righteous slaves" (although I couldn't find its Sanad) in light of the verse: وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ He can answer our supplications even if those supplications stay in our hearts and we don't utter them. So that statement is again a witness of His omnipresence, but not in the narrow "spatial sense". –  Ahmed Nassar Feb 27 '13 at 10:41

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