Abu Haneefah's view on istiwaa' over Throne
Fatwa No: 326068

Question

Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu Shaykh. I would like to know whether the narration of Imam Abu Hanifa about Allaah, The Exalted, being above the throne is authentic (Sharh Aqeedah Tahawi). Some Deobandis (Asharis) are claiming that this narration is weak and munqati (discontinous). Can you please provide the full chain of this narration?

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 ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

Scholars have quoted many statements from Imaam Abu Haneefah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him that affirm the attribute of ʻuluww (highness) of Allaah as well as his istiwaa' (establishment) over the Throne. After careful research, we did not find any scholar who quoted otherwise from him. The Hanafi scholar Ibn Abi Al-ʻIzz said in Sharh At-Tahaawiyyah:

The statements of the Salaf (righteous predecessors) about affirming the attribute of ʻuluww are many. For instance, Shaykhul-Islam Abu Ismaaʻeel Al-Ansaari said in his book Al-Farooq with a chain of narration up to Muteeʻ Al-Balkhi that he asked Abu Haneefah about the person who says, 'I do not know whether my Lord is in the heaven or on the earth.' He (Abu Haneefah) said, 'He has committed kufr (disbelief), because Allaah says (what means): {The Most Merciful (Who is) above the Throne established.} [Quran 20:5], and His Throne is above seven heavens.' He further asked Imaam Abu Haneefah, 'What if he says, 'He is above the Throne but I do not know whether the Throne is in the heaven or on the earth.'' Imaam Abu Haneefah replied, 'He is kaafir (a disbeliever) because he denies that He is in the heaven. Whoever denies that He is in the heaven has committed kufr.' Another narrator added, 'Because Allaah is above the highest heaven, and He is supplicated upwards not downwards (i.e. people raise their heads towards the heaven and stretch their hands upwards towards Allaah).'” [Sharh Al-ʻAqeedah At-Tahaawiyyah]

Ibn Abi Al-ʻIzz also said:

No attention is given to the ones who rejected this from those who ascribe themselves to the School of Abu Haneefah; some Muʻtazilites and others attribute themselves to him while they hold many beliefs contrary to those held by him. Similarly, there are people who attribute themselves to Maalik, Ash-Shaafiʻi and Ahmad while they oppose them in some of their beliefs. The story of Abu Yoosuf asking Bishr Al-Mareesi to repent when he denied that Allaah is above the Throne is well known. It was cited by ʻAbd Ar-Rahmaan ibn Abi Haatim and others.

Al-Qaadhi Badr-ud-Deen ibn Jamaaʻah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him (d. 639 AH) wrote, “The honorable Taabi'i Imaam Abu Haneefah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote in his book Al-Wasiyyah, 'We assert that Allaah Almighty is established on the Throne without His need nor settlement upon it, for it is He Who preserves the Throne and other than the Throne without needing any of them.” [Eedhaah Ad-Daleel fi Qatʻ Hujaj Ahl At-Taʻteel]

Ath-Thahabi, Ibn Taymiyyah, and Ibn Al-Qayyim cited the narration reported by Ibn Abi Al-ʻIzz on the authority of Ibn Abi Mutee' as evidence to prove their argument in this regard.

Allaah knows best.

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