Does Allah have hadd= a limit?
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
Everything Created has physical, intellectual, and emotional limits in Arabic Hadd=حد
Well, Allah Exalted He above all these limits and none like him, this can be described by the Noble Quranic verse:
“˹He is˺ the Originator of the heavens and the earth. He has made for you spouses from among yourselves, and ˹made˺ mates for cattle ˹as well˺—multiplying you ˹both˺. There is nothing like Him, for He ˹alone˺ is the All-Hearing, All-Seeing.” Quran (42:11)
“Say, ˹O Prophet, ˺ “He is Allah—One ˹and Indivisible˺; Allah—the Sustainer ˹needed by all˺. He has never had offspring, nor was He born. And there is none comparable to Him.” Quran (112)
The term “hadd=limit” is one of the modernized phrases that are not mentioned in the texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah. So, whoever uses it to refer to Allah Almighty and intends by it to prove the existence of the Lord Almighty, and that He is distinct from His creation, above his throne above heavens and is separate from them, nothing of his creations surrounds him. That is a correct notion.
All that being said in response to the sect of Jahmiyyah and other innovators who deny His supremacy, Glory be to Him, over His creation, and His Supremacy over His creation over His Throne:
As for the one who applies it to the Lord, the Most High, and means by it that He is limited to the created, and the creature surrounds him, then it is a false expression.
Imam Othman bin Saeed Al-Darami, may Allah have mercy on him, said:
And Allah Almighty has a limit that no one knows but Him, and it is not permissible for anyone to imagine a limit to an end in Himself, but he believes in the limit, and entrusts the knowledge of that to Allah.
And His place also has a limit, and he is on His Throne above His heavens.
These are two limits. End quote from Naqdh al-Darami ‘ala Bishr al-Muraisy (223-224).
Imam Ibn Abi al-Izz al-Hanafi, may Allah have mercy on him, said:
“It is understood that the limit is said to become separated by the thing and distinguishes it from other, Allah Almighty is not the case in His creation, nor by their existence, but is Qayyum Self-subsistent by himself, and establishes/ed the existence of all that exist the limit in this sense may not be a dispute
If one denies the existence of His Hadd=limit, he also becomes atheist too and denies the existence of his Lord too.
As for his knowledge it is unlimited.”
End quote from Sharh Al-Aqidah Al-Tahawiyah (1/263-264).
The term “direction” is also one of the general expressions, so whoever uses it to prove the direction of the supremeness of Allah Almighty, then it is a correct term, and whoever uses it to limit Allah Almighty in one aspect, like something of His creatures surrounds him, then using the “direction” to Allah in this sense is invalid.
Sheikh Ibn Uthaymeen, may Allah have mercy on him, said:
It came in some of the books of the people of speech that: It is not permissible to describe Allah as being in one direction at all, and they deny the Highness of Allah, thinking that the affirmation of the direction necessitates a limitation.
It is not like that, because we know that what is above the Throne is a nonexistence العدم world except Allah and nothing of any creatures whatsoever
The point of affirming it for Allah is in detail. As for its denial and affirmation, we do not say it; Because He did not intend that Allah is in one direction, nor that he is not in one direction, but we separate, so we say: Allah is on the side of the height.
Because the Messenger, may Peace be up on him, said to the maidservant: (Where is Allah?) and the use of (where) is on purpose to ask her about the location; She said: above the heavens.
So, she proved that, so the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, approved her and said: (Free her, for she is a believer).
So, the direction of Allah is not the direction of the low direction at all, and that is because of the necessity of elevation for Him by nature, intellect, and hearing, and it is not the direction of elevation that surrounds him.
Because the Almighty has expanded His Throne around the heavens and the earth, and it is the place of His Feet; How is the Almighty surrounded with any of His creatures?! This is impossible
Nothing surrounds Allah, and it cannot be said that something surrounds Him, because we say: What is above the Throne is nothing, then there is none but Allah above everything- Glory be to Him.
End quote from Majmoo’ Fatwas wa Rasa’il al-Uthaymeen (10/ 1131).
Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy on him, said:
“We said to those who denied the Highness: Do you want THE DIRECTION as something that exists like a creature?
ALLAH is not inside the creatures. Or want it beyond this world? There is no doubt that ALLAH is over the world SEPARATE FROM his creatures.
Likewise, we say to someone who says: Allah on one side: Do you mean by this that Allah is above the world? Or do you mean by it that Allah is involved in any of the creatures?
If you want the first, then it is right, and if you want the second, then it is invalid.”
End quote from Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (3/42).
Whoever says: Allah is not limited by sides, and by that he means that He, Glory be to Him, is distinct from His creation, and that none of His creatures surrounds Him, then this is true.
And if he intends to deny the exaltation of Allah Almighty and His being above His Throne and His supremacy over His creation, then this is falsehood and invalidity.
Therefore, when Imam al-Tahawi, may Allah have mercy on him, said in his
“The six directions do not contain Him like all other inventions / creations.”
Sheikh Ibn Baz, may Allah have mercy on him, said, commenting on this passage:
“His intention is the six created directions, and he does not mean the denial of Allah ’s elevation and His elevation over His Throne, because that is not included in the six directions, rather it is above the world and surrounds it.
End quote from “Al-Ta’liqa’ Al-Atari’ ‘ala Al-Tahawiyah’s Creed” (pg. 16) with Shamilah numbering.
Ibn Abi al-Izz al-Hanafi said in his explanation of the Tahaawiyyah creed:
People on the limit of Allah the “hadd=limit” are divided into three categories:
1)) A category that denied the limit.
2)) category that affirms it.
3)) third category that explain in detail.
They don’t completely deny it or completely prove it.
The last are the followers of the pious predecessors=The companions of the Prophet and their followers.
Allah knows Best.