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If your toddler asks "where is Allah", what to answer?

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd April 2014 16:08
When I was a 5 year old, I asked my momma "where is God?" and she pointed her finger to the sky "oh He is up there, up up uuuuuuupppppppppp above...." lol, and she wasn't practicing muslim yet at the time. But that kind of simple answer satisfied my toddler mind. And I never thought of asking "where is God" until I learned from Salafi book that said the same (in the sky, up above the Throne, upward), then I started learning a correct aqeedah from Sh. Mangera and "whoa.... so God is outside the boundaries of time, space, exists without a place, etc etc okay!".

Now my question is if I have a child one day and he is as inquisitive as mine (just in case) asking "mummy, where is God?" what to answer, then??

The answer "up there" is really simplistic for any toddler, but will it be any sin for me and will it misguide him? For 23 years I used to believe God is up there residing in the sky due to my mom's answer one of them, though I think it's understandable -- no blaming.









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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd April 2014 16:14

Coloratura wrote:
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Is it permissible for a Muslim to believe that Allah is in the sky in literal sense?

In this connection, a hadith has been related by Malik in his Muwatta' and by Muslim in his Sahih, that Muawiya ibn al-Hakam came to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and told him, "I am very newly from the Jahiliyya, and now Allah has brought Islam," and he proceeded to ask about various Jahiliyya practices, until at last he said that he had slapped his slave girl, and asked if he should free her, as was obligatory if she was a believer. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) requested that she be brought, and then asked her, "Where is Allah?" and she said, "In the sky (Fi al-sama)"; whereupon he asked her, "Who am I?" and she said, "You are the Messenger of Allah"; at which he said, Free her, "for she is a believer" (Sahih Muslim, 5 vols. Cairo 1376/1956. Reprint. Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1403/1983, 1.382: 538). Imam Nawawi says of this hadith:

 

This is one of the "hadiths of the attributes," about which scholars have two positions. The first is to have faith in it without discussing its meaning, while believing of Allah Most High that "there is nothing whatsoever like unto Him" (Qur'an 42:11), and that He is exalted above having any of the attributes of His creatures. The second is to figuratively explain it in a fitting way, scholars who hold this position adducing that the point of the hadith was to test the slave girl: Was she a monotheist, who affirmed that the Creator, the Disposer, the Doer, is Allah alone and that He is the one called upon when a person making supplication (du'a) faces the sky--just as those performing the prayer (salat) face the Kaaba, since the sky is the qibla of those who supplicate, as the Kaaba is the qibla of those who perform the prayer--or was she a worshipper of the idols which they placed in front of themselves? So when she said, In the sky, it was plain that she was not an idol worshipper (Sahih Muslim bi Sharh al-Nawawi. 18 vols. Cairo 1349/1930. Reprint (18 vols. in 9). Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1401/1981, 5.24).
 

It is noteworthy that Imam Nawawi does not mention understanding the hadith literally as a possible scholarly position at all. This occasions surprise today among some Muslims, who imagine that what is at stake is the principle of accepting a single rigorously authenticated (sahih) hadith as evidence in Islamic faith (`aqida), for this hadith is such a single hadith, of those termed in Arabic ahad, or "conveyed by a single chain of transmission", as opposed to being mutawatir or "conveyed by so many chains of transmission that it is impossible it could have been forged".

 

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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd April 2014 16:52
The simplest answer is how Allah answered in the Qur'an when it was asked "Where is Allah". Say, Allah is Qareeb (close).

You can check Tafsir ibn Kathir of the ayah in surah al-baqarah.

youtu.be/h8dAJ2JmB_Y
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 13th April 2020 03:57
Maulana Ilyas Ghumman DB says that if a layman asks where is Allah, he should be told that Allah swt is everywhere. This is the position of the ahlus sunnah wal jama'a.
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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 13th April 2020 04:35
abuzayd2k wrote:
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That's always been my favorite way to answer.
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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 13th April 2020 05:11
In Need of Teaching wrote:
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I think this solution, exacerbates the confusion, rather than answer it. A child may turn around and say or think, is God under my bed? One could slightly change that phrase and say that God's signs are everywhere, but that doesn't actually answer the initial question either.

This by no means is the best answer, but I've always been blunt with my children. That no one knows where God is (except that he's always near) in the sense that he can feel what's in your heart, listen to your thoughts and hear you, regardless of where you may be. Allah knows best.
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#8 [Permalink] Posted on 13th April 2020 09:57
Intrepid wrote:
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I doubt kids will ask that. They usually have pure and innocent minds and just know they must behave all the time as Allah is watching.

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#9 [Permalink] Posted on 13th April 2020 11:08
abuzayd2k wrote:
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No, this is not the position of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamaat including Asharees and Maturidees.

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#10 [Permalink] Posted on 13th April 2020 12:28
Muadh_Khan wrote:
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My mistake, sorry. Maulana said the technical answer is that Allah swt is free of the constraints of time and space but for the layman who might not understand what lamakaan and lazamaan means, tell him Allah swt is everywhere.
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#11 [Permalink] Posted on 13th April 2020 12:34
abuzayd2k wrote:
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He is stretching the simple answer but it is in the general ballpark of the Aqeedah of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamaat and Jazakallahu Khayran for correction.

It is the opinion of experts in Aqeedah that majority of Deobandi Ulama are clueless on Aqeedah subtleties. Moreover, Akabir of Deobandees were on the Aqeedah of the Salaf which today's (younger generation) are not.

Follow Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (RA) and you cannot go wrong as he was an expert in this field.
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#12 [Permalink] Posted on 13th April 2020 22:14
Shaykh Khalid Abdul Sattar HA of Ilm Essentials

"Allah is where he should be".
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#13 [Permalink] Posted on 14th April 2020 04:38
Muadh_Khan wrote:
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Brother,

1) I am curious to know who the names of some of the Aqeedah experts that you referred to.

2) Is there any specific book of Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (R.A) on this subject that you recommend?

Jazak-Allah
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#14 [Permalink] Posted on 14th April 2020 09:16
muslimman wrote:
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W-Salam,

  • Withheld because I do not want the Forum members to start backbiting Ulama, let them train their anger and slander on me
  • His Tafseer is exemplary for general and for specific and detailed discussion, read the last book of his like "Bawadirun-Nawadir" for detailed discussions



ia800201.us.archive.org/23/items/Bawadir-un-nawadirByShay...

This is in English but doesn't answer the question in the context of this thread...Those who have done their background work can extrapolate

www.deoband.org/2009/01/quran/quran-commentary/he-allah-m...


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#15 [Permalink] Posted on 15th April 2020 11:58
Muadh_Khan wrote:
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Jazak-Allah for sharing the info and the links,

I have heard praise of Bawadir un Nawadir from Ulama and it seems a very interesting book.
Maulana Thanvi's (R.A) tafseer is also considered excellent however I have heard (not sure where) that it is not too simple to comprehend hence it is better for a layman to study it under the guidance of an Aalim, which is not possible for me in the current circumstances.

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