Question: I know that from the Sunnah Allah descends to the lowest heaven in last third of every night; but night times are different all over the world; if it is night time here it is day time in another country; so how we can understand that Allah descends here but not some other place in the world where it is not yet night time?
This question is about the specific details of how Allaah descends. So the four-part answer given by Imaam Maalik (d.179)to a similar question should suffice us:
1) Descending is something well known.
2) The actual way Allaah descends is not known to us.
3) Belief in it is obligatory.
4) Seeking after its specific details is bid’ah.
Moosaa ibn John Richardson
Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah gives a lengthy explanation of this – which is another of the doubts of the Jahmiyyah – in his book “Sharh Hadeeth in-Nuzool”, towards the end of it (p.320 onwards), and the essence of it is is that this question only arises when it is presumed that the kaifiyyah of Allaah’s Descent is like the descent of created beings, for when you presume that, then this doubt arises. So as Imaam Malik said, as mentioned by Br. Moosaa, regarding Istiwaa and as Abu Ja’far at-Tirmidhi (the faqih of Bagdhad, d. 295H) said,as mentioned by ad-Dhahabi in al-Uluww (p. 231), regarding the nuzool:
the Nuzool is ma’qool (understood), and the kayf is majhool (unknown), to have faith in it is obligatory and asking about it is an innovation.
And in summary, we hold that:
– Allaah descends without Him leaving the Throne, He remains above the Throne
– Allaah descends without coming under or beneath the heaven – and as the Salaf said to the Jahmiyyah who raised such doubts in relation to the nuzool, “We believe in a Lord who does whatever He wills”
– To all people in all parts of the earth, alongside the variation in the night and day, Allaah’s descent is for them during the last third of their night – and we are not able to understand the kaifiyyah of that – just like we are not able to understand the kaifiyyah of how Allaah will do the hisaab (accounting) of all the people at the same time.
Ibn Taymiyyah says, “As for the nuzool that is not of the type of the nuzool of the (created) bodies of the servants, then it is not impossible that it occurs at the same time for a great number of the creation … and this is like His reckoning of His servants on the Day of Judgement, He will reckon all of them within a single hour, and all of them will be alone with Him, just like a man is alone with the moon on a clear night, and He will make him affirm his sins, and that one being reckoned will not see that He is reckoning others besides him” (p.334)
And then Ibn Taymiyyah brings ahaadeeth in this regard, and he also mentions the hadeeth of Allaah responding ot the servant when he recites al-Faatihah in the prayer, so Allaah says, “My servant praised me” and so on, and this is to every one who prays, at the same time, and likewise Allaah sees everyone all at the same time, and he provides for everyone all at the same time, so likewise, the nuzool – if we remove that presumption of “kayf” that is prohibited which is that the nuzool is like that of the created bodies – then we are not subject to this doubt, and then we are able to affirm it for Allaah without tashbeeh and tamtheel and without any caution in that.
And in all of this there is sufficiency for the believer who affirms what Allaah affirmed for Himself without takyeef and without ta’teel and without tamtheel.
-=amjad bin muhammad=-