Allah - Neither Inside of His Creation nor Outside of it

 Allah- — -Neither Inside of His Creation nor Outside of it

This man doesn’t know what is necessary of the Creator, and what is impossible of Him.

Indeed,His existence is not like the existence of atoms (jawāhir) and bodies which must have a location. “Below” and “above” only apply to what can be faced and gotten opposite to. Now,what is gotten opposite to has of necessity to be bigger, smaller, or equal towhat is opposite it––but this is what applies to bodies. Whatever faces bodies may be contacted, and whatever can be in contact withbodies, or be separate from them is originated since it is known [in science of Kalām] that the proof that atoms (jawāhir) are originated is their capacity to be contacted or separate. Thus, whoever permits [contact and separation] for God makes Him originated. If they maintain that Hemay not be originated inspite of His being susceptible to contact and separation, we will not be left with any means todemonstrate that atoms are originated.

Furthermore, if we conceive of a thing transcending space and location [namely,God], and another requiring space and location [namely, bodies], then we may neither declare the two to be contiguous nor separate since contiguity and separateness are among the
consequences of occupying space, afinite existence. Then, what is finite has to have dimensions, and what has dimensions needs thatwhich particularises its dimensions [and whatever has a need cannot be the God and Originator of the cosmos].

Further more, from another point of view, it can be pointed out that He is neither in this world nor outside it because entering and exiting are inseparable attributes of things which occupy space. Entering and exiting are just like movement and stillness and all otheraccidents which apply to bodies only.

Notice that Ibnal-Zaghūnī claims above [Ibnal-Jawzī had quoted from one of his books] that He did not create things in His Essence (dhāt); therefore, he presumes it is established that they are separate from Him. [In refutation of this claim] we declare [that is,Ibn al-Jawzī] that the Essence of the Transcendent God(dhātuhūal-muqaddasah) is beyond having things created in it, or that things should occur in it. Now, material separation in relation to Him requires of Him what it requires of substances [namely,that He be defined byfinite limits].Indeed,the definition of location is that what occupies it prevents a similar thing from being found there; [whereas,nothing is similar to God in anyway].

It  is apparent that what [these anthropomorphists] presume is based on sensory analogy. Their inability to conceive of a reality beyond material experience led them into be wilderment, and to liken the attributes of the Transcendent God to the attributes of originated things [that is,to commit tashbīh].Indeed, the be wilderment of some of them reached such a degree that theydeclared:“Thereason God mentioned His ascension (istiwā’) on the Throne is that it is the nearest thing to him.” Obviously, this is preposterous because nearness in terms of distance can only be conceived of in relation to bodies [whereas, in relation to the Transcendent God who is not a body, it is inconceivable]. Others declared that the Throne is opposite what confronts it of the Divine Essence (dhāt), but notopposite the entire dhāt. This, ofcourse, is explicit in saying that God is like a body (tajsīm), and that He is susceptible to division.I amat a loss to understand how a person [who believes such heretical nonsense] has the audacity to ascribe to our school of law [that is, the Hanbalī madhhab]!

Reference :

1 Ibnal-Jawzī, Daf’  Shubahal -Tashbīh(Cairo,Maktabah Kullīyatal-Azharīyah,1991),pp,21-22
2  Abū’l-Faraj‘Abdal-RaCmān b.‘Alīī al-Baghdādī (d.597H.)


Shaykh Ibnal-Jawzī al-hanbalī

Translated by : Muhammad William Charles