Transcendence (Exaltation): Belief Of The Sunni, The Way Of The Prophet

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i. Transcendence (Exaltation)

Allah is not a body possessing form, nor a substance restricted and limited: He does not resemble other bodies either in limitation or in accepting division.

He is not a substance and substances do not reside in Him; He is not a quality of substance, nor does a quality of substance occur in Him.

Rather, He resembles no existent and no existent resembles Him. Nothing is like Him and He is not like anything. Measure does not bind Him and boundaries do not contain Him. Directions do not surround Him and neither the earth nor the Heavens are on different sides of Him.

Truly, He is controlling the Throne in the manner in which He said and in the sense in which He willed – in a state of transcendence that is removed from parallel and touch, residence, fixity of location, stability, envelopment, and movement.

The Throne does not support Him, but the Throne and those who carry it are supported by the Subtleness of His Power and are constrained by His Firmness. He is above the Throne and Heavens and above everything to the limits of the earth with an aboveness which does not bring Him nearer to the Throne and the Heavens, just as it does not make Him further from the earth.

Rather, He is Highly Exalted above the Throne and the Heavens, just as He is Highly Exalted above the earth. Nevertheless, He is near to every entity and is “nearer to the worshipper than his juggler vein” and He witnesses everything since His nearness does not resemble the nearness of bodies, just as His Essence does not resemble the essence of bodies.

He does not exist in anything, just as nothing exists in Him: Exalted is He that a place could contain Him, just as sanctified is He that no time could limit Him.

For, He was as before He had created time and place, and just as He was, He is now. He is distinct from His creatures through His attributes. There is not in His Essence any other than Him, nor does His Essence exist in any other than Him.

He is Exalted from change and movement. Substance does not reside in Him and the quality of substance do not befall Him. Rather, He is in the attributes of His Majesty beyond cessation. And He is in the attributes of His Perfection. He is not in need of an increase in perfection. In His Essence, His Existence is known by reason (in this life).

In the Everlasting Life, His Essence is seen by the eyes of the righteous as a favor from Him, and a subtlety as a completion of favors from Him through their beholding His Gracious Face.

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