We can neither confirm nor deny that Allaah 'walks' or 'runs'
Fatwa No: 296836

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. Some Salafi student of knowledge said that you cannot affirm or deny anything about Allaah that He or the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, have not affirmed or denied. So he said that you cannot say that Allaah does not walk around, he then said that he is not saying this, but as Allaah has not said it himself, we have to just leave it and can neither affirm or deny it. He said that this is our manner with Allaah.1) Is this correct? 2) If someon were to ask a question like does or can Allaah walk around if He wants to or run, then what should we say? No, Yes, I do not know, or Allaah knows best?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Ahlus-Sunnah affirm the Attributes that Allaah affirmed for Himself to Him and deny what He Himself has denied from Him. Ahlus-Sunnah believe that Allaah is not similar to His Creatures and that He is Perfect and above any deficiency.  Please refer to fatwa 88618.

As regards the matters upon which there is no affirmation or denial, then Ahlus-Sunnah do not affirm them nor deny them; this is because we receive matters of belief from Allaah and His Messenger  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). Imam Ibn Al-Majishoon  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

What Allaah described Himself with or the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) described Him with, then we describe Him in the same manner that He described Himself with or the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) described Him with, and we do not add any other Attribute to Him; we do not deny what He described Himself with nor deny what the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) described Him with, and we do not try to know what He has not described Himself with…” This was quoted from him by Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him in his Fataawa.

As regards describing Allaah as ‘running’, then some scholars hold the view that it means the literal meaning based on the apparent meaning of the hadeeth: “He who comes to me walking, I will come to him running.” However, some other scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah hold the view that the hadeeth is just a comparison in order to give the close meaning of this description and that it is not meant to describe Allaah with this very description.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

For example, Allaah says in the Qudsi hadeeth, “He who draws closer to Me by a hand's span, I will draw closer to him by an arm's length.” A person cannot authoritatively assert that the closeness that is meant here is the tangible closeness; there is no doubt that what comes to the person’s mind is the abstract meaning. The saying of Allaah (in the Qudsi hadeeth): “He who comes to me walking, I will come to him running.” A person cannot assert by this as well that Allaah really runs; but what comes to the person’s mind is that Allaah hastens to give reward and that Allaah is faster to reward the person than the person is in doing a good deed; it is for this reason that the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah differed in opinion about this issue.” 

Allaah knows best.

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