5

One question always bothers me about tahajjud. I hope some one can help me with it. A hadith says:

“Our Lord Descends to the lowest heaven during the last third of the night,” And I am in this part of the earth third part of the night. But on the other side of the earth is afternoon. (SeekingOfTruth.com)

But Allah swt is all above the universe. So is Allah swt in the lowest heaven all the time? Hope my question is not so stupid. :)

  • 1
    Well a salafi view might be take it as is don't ask about how (it's a 'aqidah matter)! Others may try to interpret it. – Medi1Saif Jul 14 '16 at 7:51
  • Salaam! Do you know the source of the hadith? – infatuated Jul 19 '16 at 12:32
2

When it comes to Allah we must always think of verse (42:11)

... There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (Sahih International)

... There is not anything like Him (whatsoever), and He is The Ever-Hearing, The Ever-Beholding. (Dr. Ghali)

... nothing like a likeness of Him; and He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (Shakir)

so we don't know how HE might do something nor how HE exactly, but we have been informed by Quran or sahih ahadith that HE does it.

Your question is logical and rational, but our imagination and our experience always automatically sets in our mind how any of HIS creation would perform something, as we can only compare something with something we have seen or experienced. So we start from a bad comparison: yes for a human or any of Allahs creation being at multiple places at the same time or any other thing which seems beyond our imagination wouldn't sound rational nor realistic.But when it comes to Allah, this is already quoted in the Quran:

... and He is with you wherever you are ... (57:4)

Yes one could start interpreting this verse, for example HE is in our heart, but sahaba and the tabi'yn and the scholars of the early centuries disliked interpretation of Allah's actions and attributes etc..

But as a part of our faith we are asked to believe that HE doesn't have any kind of limitation in HIS actions and could do anything:

... He only says to it, Be, so there it is. (2:217)
see also: (3:47), (3:59), (6:73), (16:40), (19:35), (36:82) and (40:68).

beyond this some linguistic based interpretation have been made about this hadith. Note that shi'a apparently reject this hadith.

So as a conclusion we should affirm that Allah descends, but be aware that HIS descent is unlike that of any of HIS creatures. Which means it is not bound by any limitation which may come in mind when we would project it on any of HIS creation.

Here's a fatwa about the qualification of this hadith which discusses some of the interpretations on it.

This fatwa in Arabic provides an answer of scholars on your Question and is more or less a summary of this one (also in Arabic). See also this fatwa in which you may find some of the quotes.

  • The fact I was thinking is that, when it is the last part of the night in some countries, its day time in other countries, as said, the last part of the time/tahajjud prayer time is best time to communicate with Allah, so, when some countries having the best time to communicate with him, the other countries aren't. We Do know that He can Descends anywhere at the same time, but He isn't doing so. tahajjud is the best time to ask anything good from Him. He kept different time to different regions. this made me thoughtful. – Nadia Ali Jul 19 '16 at 10:45
  • I was thinkinng when I missed tahajjud prayer the previous night, that if I pray for those things at my noon, when its the tahajjud time in some other places, Allah wont consider it as the same. – Nadia Ali Jul 19 '16 at 10:45
  • 1
    this is nice that Allah made us organized.. – Nadia Ali Jul 19 '16 at 10:57
2

I don't know if that hadith is really said by our prophet, or what it really means, I will talk about how I understand Allah and time, based on Quran and try to provide an opinion, rather than a solid answer to your question, as noone can provide it because noone knows what Allah is doing at a given time, other than always seeing and hearing us and being close to us (Verse 50:16).

There is Allah, a being that is not created, a being that exists indefinitely, with no start and with no end, without a need, with no equivalent (Surah 112). There is everything else, created by Allah, all need Allah for their existence; the universe we live in, space, stars, planets, earth, angels, humans, jinn, animals, plants, other possible universes and creations we don't know of. From the creation I have witnessed so far, the soul, the intelligence and the free will are among the top of the creation in terms of their beauty and complexity.

As the creator, my understanding is that Allah is not "in" the creation. Again, in my understanding, all the creation is a part of Allah, an extension of Allah, and always controlled, monitored and logged by Allah (Verse 72:28). I think about it like an online world, where everything is hosted on a server (Verse 27:75), all the creation, all the events, all characters (humans and all others) and their actions are being logged (Verse 18:49). Allah does as It wills, when and the way It wills (Verse 3:47). There are things about Allah and the creation we (humans) can know and understand to an extent and there are things that we can never know and understand.

Now, let's focus on time.

I consider time as the flow. Flow of actions, flow of life, flow of planets around their orbits, flow of rivers, flow of thoughts, etc. Every flow has a start and an end. Between the start and end, or between the different points of that flow, one can make a measurement, even though that measurement may differ from being to being. How a human perceives the flow (the time) may be different than how an animal or a plant or any other being perceives it.

Allah has no start and no end, as I understand it. Hence, there is no flow for Allah in the same manner there is for us. At least not in the exact way that we perceive, measure and record (Verses 10:45, 17:52, 22:47, 23:112-114, 32:5, 70:4).

As you implied, when it is late night for us, it may be morning, noon, afternoon or evening for others on the other sides of the Earth, but that is how we perceive and measure the time as human beings. With the light of the things I explained above, I think of Allah to exist anywhere and everywhere, any time and every time.

1

From Chapter Tawhid/Ikhlas: الله الصمد

Allah, the Eternal, Absolute.

If Allah is at some place, then he is bound to that place and not elsewhere. He becomes limited.

So that and many other examples from Qur'an are in a manner of honoring/glorifying Allah. It means he's at the pinnacle and were categorically (not physically) beneath him.

Otherwise we have other verses in Qur'an where it says: ید الله، بیت الله which mean hands of God, house of God.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.