In-shaa‘ Allah, this can serve to help people in countering the claims of the Wahhabis and their doctrine.
<<<Among the core misguided beliefs of the Wahhabis is that the Creator allegedly “rose above” the `Arsh (ceiling of Paradise) after originating the creations.>>>
Let it first be said that truth does not contradict itself. And the greatest truth is the true belief in the Creator. The True Belief in the Creator is that the Creator existed before the creation–before darkness and light, distance and direction, time and place. That being so, we know that the Creator cannot be imagined. And we should know that the Creator does not develop or change (for change is related to time), and the Creator exists without being in a direction or a location (for the Creator of direction and location did not materialize in them after creating them). The Creator does not have a form or dimensions and is not a spatial entity. This is the Muslim belief.
Any Verse or Hadith that some interpret and ascribe to Allah being situated in a location or direction or occupying space or having any type of dimensionality should NOT be taken literally. This isn’t a matter of inventing fanciful interpretations, but understanding the nature of language. For instance, when the Muslims say Allah is “Exalted,” we do not mean by direction, but by status. This type of non-literal usage is evident in Arabic and in English.
The issue of literal/non-literal usage is not a problem for the Sunni Muslims, but it is for the Wahhabis. The Wahhabis are the ones who CLAIM that every Verse and hadith in reference to Allah must be taken literally… and then they violate this principle they put forth (by taking MANY such Verses and Hadiths non-literally).
Now in dealing with the Wahhabis, we should establish that words have meanings (literal and non-literal). As for the term literal, it means:
“taking words in their usual or most basic sense without metaphor or allegory.” (And non-literal means the opposite of doing so.)
We have established that words have meanings. To claim that Allah literally “rose over” the `Arsh means that He was not always situated “Most High” (which is the Wahhabi belief)–for “to rise” means to go from a lower position to a higher one. Hence, prior to this alleged “rising above” (according to the Wahhabis), Allah was (allegedly) below (something) and being situated below is (for the Wahhabi) an imperfect Attribute for the Creator. (Again to clarify: the Muslim belief is that Allah is not a spatial entity, and location and direction are inapplicable to Allah, as are other spatial characteristics.)
Allah existed BEFORE space and direction. Allah is not a spatial entity. Going from one place to another entails occupying space. The CREATOR of space isn’t of space (this was mentioned above, but this is the main point that the Wahhabis (quasi-Salafis) fail to grasp).
The word “hand,” for instance, is an English word (the Wahhabis claim that Allah has a LITERAL “h-a-n-d”). The literal meaning of “hand” is a body part–the organ of grasping at the end of the wrist. To claim that Allah has a “literal hand”–a word familiar to anyone who knows English–but that “literal hand” is not a body part is in itself a contradiction.
It’s like this:
hand = organ of grasping at the end of the wrist
The Wahhabi says: Allah has a literal organ of grasping at the end of the wrist… but it is not a literal organ of grasping at the end of the wrist. (Nonetheless, the Wahhabis do say that the Earth will fill God’s (alleged) hand on the Judgment Day–so indeed, the Wahhabis believe Allah has an “organ of grasping.”)
Now if the person is speaking of a “yad,” (an Arabic term) and he says that the word “Yad” (in reference to Allah) is not a body part, then he has not taken the literal meaning of the word “yad.” (“Yad” and “hand” have MULTIPLE MEANINGS in their respective languages.) If he takes the literal meaning (i.e., a body part), then he is an object worshiper. If he does not say the Yad of Allah is a literal body part, then he has done what the Sunnis do–namely, accept a non-literal meaning. But according to the Wahhabis, taking the non-literal meaning is “distortion of the Scripture” or indulging in “philosophy” (more on that below, in-shaa’ Allah).
The Wahhabi may claim Allah has a literal-real-actual Yad–but he does not know what the Yad of Allah is. If he doesn’t know what the Yad of Allah is, then how does he DARE TRANSLATE it into another language (and call it a literal “h-a-n-d”), and ascribe to Allah what He did not ascribe to Himself!?!
Regarding this matter, one can either follow the method of affirming Allah has a Yad that befits Him–hence, it is NOT a body part and does not have spatial characteristics (like, having a size, being situated in a location, being connected or disconnected from objects, having a form, etc.) and not otherwise similar to the “yads” of the creations.
The other alternative is for one to interpret the Verse (or Hadith) in a way that conforms with one of the non-literal meanings of the term “yad,” (such as, power, control, oath, etc.)–while NOT contradicting the principle that the Creator ABSOLUTELY does not need or resemble the creations.
The difference between the Sunnis and the Mujassimah/Mushabbihah (object-worshipers/resemblers) is that the Sunni negate all spatial and temporal characteristics for the Creator of space and time (b/c Allah does not need or resemble the creations). As for the Wahhabis (i.e., Mujassimah/Mushabbihah), they pray to an unidentified deformed extraterrestrial shadow-casting smiling face object with fingers, two feet, and one tibia. The Sunnis say that Allah is ABSOLUTELY different from the creations. The Wahhabis say that Allah is a giant object… but not quite identical to other objects.
The Wahhabis claim that Allah is situated beneath Jesus. Muslims believe that Jesus is in the Second Heaven. The Wahhabis say Allah comes down to the First Heaven in the last third of the night (and it should be noted that it is ALWAYS the last third of the night somewhere on Earth). The Second Heaven is situated ABOVE the First Heaven–therefore, the Wahhabis are claiming that the Creator of Jesus is situated underneath Jesus.
As for the accusation of “philosophy,” what Wahhabi means is that he does not recognize (i.e., accept) the principle of “non-contradiction.” The principle of non-contradiction says that “a thing cannot both be and not be in the same regard at the same time.” For instance, a person cannot say that in 2015 New York City was larger (in population) than Dallas, TX… and Dallas was larger (in population) than New York City (in 2015). We know BY COMMONSENSE that both statements can’t be true. We know by natural intelligence that anyone who states such would be making a false statement.
Likewise, it is by natural intelligence, we recognize that if one claims:
–Allah is literally situated “Most High” (as in location)
–Allah literally descends (i.e., goes down) in the last third of the night to the First Heaven (which is beneath the six other Heavens and beneath Paradise)
We can conclude that such a statement is false. A thing cannot be situated literally “most high,” while at the same time be situated beneath other things.
One need not study philosophy at university to realize that this a contradictory claim–and a contradictory claim must be regarded as false.
Again, this whole problem stems from people indiscriminately picking up and reading books–or indiscriminately listening to speakers–while not understanding the proper Creed. These people are reading IMPROPERLY TRANSLATED books and statements and getting misconceptions about the Creator. They end up falling into tajseem (object worship) and praying to a giant deformed extraterrestrial entity. And when one shows the Wahhabi (quasi-Salafi) the CONTRADICTIONS in their doctrine, they reject the use of reason and common sense. And it is this rejection of reason that fuels the fanaticism of the Wahhabis and their various splinter groups, such as, so-called ISIS, Boko Haram, and Al-Qaeda. And this is one of the reasons why the Wahhabis pose such a great menace to humanity today.