Clarification on the hadeeth


Junior Member

Assalamu Alaikum

There's a Hadeeth
Narrated By Abu Huraira
Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) said, "Our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior,
comes every night down on the nearest Heaven to us when the last third of
the night remains, saying: "Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may
respond to invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him
his request? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may
forgive him?"
Saheeh Buhkhari (021:246)

I Believe in this hadeeth totally, but i just want to know what this
means by Allah (subhana Wata'ala) COMING DOWN when the last third of the
night remains. Because as we all know that when the earth rotates, the
last third of the night will be witnessed by people residing in different
countries IN A SEQUENCE. So that means, 24 hrs a day, the earth will be
witnessing the last third of the night but in different parts. So this
means that Allah (subhana wata'la) REMAINS in the nearest heaven
throughout the day. Which means that all our prayers should be answered
whether we make it at night or in the day times if we are sincere.


Does the hadeeth simply imply that the people who's praying or making
dua' in the last third of the night, their prayers are more likely to be answered by Allah, meaning, Allah is closer to him and answers his
prayers when the person is making in the last third of the night,
regardless of whether its daytimes in other parts of the world? And
there's nothing like Allah actually coming down...?

I welcome any comments on this issue. And i would prefer any scholar's
comments on this issue.

Wa Alaikum salam.


abou haytam

Junior Member
There is no contradiction between the fact that Allaah descends to the lowest heaven and His having risen above the Throne (istiwaa’)
When asked "Where is Allah ?"
I reply "Above the seven Heavens and the Arsh"
But taking the Hadith regarding that Allah descends to the lowest heaven in the latter part of the night.
If someone asks where is Allah and they state it is the latter 3rd of the night now. What reply should you give. Another point is that some people say it is the latter part of the night all the time (somewhere on the earth at a paticular point in time) From this they conclude that Allah is not above His Arsh.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly, we have to know the ‘aqeedah (belief) of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah concerning the names and attributes of Allaah. The belief of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah is to affirm the names and attributes which Allaah has affirmed for Himself, without distorting or denying them, discussing how they are or likening them to anything else. They believe that which Allaah has commanded them to believe, for Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“There is nothing like Him, and He is the All Hearer, the All Seer”

[al-Shooraa 42:11]

Allaah has told us about Himself. He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Indeed, your Lord is Allaah, Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and then He rose over (Istawaa) the Throne (really in a manner that suits His Majesty).

[al-A’raaf 7:54]

“The Most Gracious (Allaah) rose over (Istawaa) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty).

[Ta-Ha 20:5]

and there are other aayahs which mention that Allaah rose over His Throne.

The rising of Allaah over His Throne, which means that He Himself is High and above the Throne, is of a special nature which befits His Majesty and Might. No one knows how it is except Him.

This was proven in the saheeh Sunnah, where it is narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that Allaah descends during the last third of the night. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Our Lord descends every night to the lowest heaven when the last third of the night remains, and He says, ‘Who will call Me that I might answer him, who will ask of Me that I might give him, who will ask My forgiveness, that I might forgive him?’” (narrated by al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Tawheed, 6940; Muslim, Salaat al-Musaafireen, 1262)
According to Ahl al-Sunnah, the meaning of this descent is that Allaah Himself comes down to the lowest heaven in a real sense, as befits His Majesty, and no one knows how that is except Him.

But does the fact that Allaah comes down mean that He vacates the Throne or not? Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said concerning a similar question: we say that this question is based on unnecessary and excessive questioning, and that the one who asked this is not to be thanked for his question. We ask, are you more keen than the Sahaabah to understand the attributes of Allaah? If he says yes, we tell him, you are lying. And if he says no, we tell him, then be content with what they were content with. They did not ask the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), ‘O Messenger of Allaah, when He comes down, does He vacate the Throne?’ Why do you need to ask this question? Just say, He comes down. Whether or not the Throne is vacated is not your business. You are commanded to believe the reports, especially concerning the essence of Allaah and His attributes, for this matter is above rational thought.

Majmoo’ Fataawa Shaykh Muhammad al-‘Uthaymeen, 1/204-205

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said concerning this matter:

“The correct view is that He descends and that He does not vacate the Throne. A person's soul remains attached to his body night and day until he dies, but when he is asleep it ascends… It was said, night varies, and the last third of the night comes sooner in the east than in the west, so the descent of Allaah to the lowest heaven, of which His Messenger spoke, happens in the east first and then in the west...”

See Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Taymiyah, 5/132

Rising over (istiwaa’) and descending are two of the practical attributes which have to do with the will of Allaah. Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah believe in that, but in this belief they avoid likening Allaah to any of His creation or discussing how He is. It cannot occur to them that Allaah’s descending is like the descending of any of His creatures or that His rising over the Throne is like the rising over of any of His creatures, because they believe that there is nothing like unto Allaah and He is the All-Hearer, All-Seer. They know on rational grounds that there is a great difference between the Creator and His creatures, in their essence, attributes and actions. It cannot occur to them to ask how He descends, or how He rose over His Throne. The point is that they do not ask how His attributes are; they believe that there is a ‘how’, but it is unknown, so we can never imagine how it is.

We know for certain that what is narrated in the Book of Allaah or the Sunnah of His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is true and is not self-contradictory, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Do they not then consider the Qur’aan carefully? Had it been from other than Allaah, they would surely, have found therein many a contradiction”

[al-Nisaa’ 4:82]

because contradictions in the reports would mean that some of them were showing others to be false, and this is impossible in the case of that which Allaah and His Messenger tell us.

Whoever imagines that there are any contradictions in the Book of Allaah or the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), or between the two, it is either because of his lack of knowledge or because he has failed to understand properly or to ponder the matter correctly, so let him seek further knowledge and strive to think harder until the truth becomes clear to him. Then if the matter is still not clear to him, let him leave it to the One Who is All-Knowing and let him put a stop to his illusions and say, as those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say, “We believe in it; the whole of it (clear and unclear Verses) are from our Lord” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:7 – interpretation of the meaning]. Let him know that there is no contradiction in the Qur’aan and Sunnah and no conflict between them. And Allaah knows best.

See Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 3/237-238

Imagining that there is a conflict between Allaah’s descending to the lowest heaven and His having risen over the Throne and His being high above the heavens stems from making a comparison between the Creator and the created being. For man cannot imagine the unseen things of His creation, such as the delights of Paradise, so how can he imagine the Creator, may He be glorified and exalted, the Knower of the Unseen. So we believe in what has been narrated of His rising over (the Throne), His descending and His being High and Exalted. We affirm that (and state that it is) in a manner that befits His Majesty and Might.

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Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
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abou haytam

Junior Member
"Questions about Allaah's descending"

lowest heaven and says: 'No one asks more about my servants thatn myself. Who is asking me, so I can give to him? Who is calling uon me, so I can answer him? who is seeking my forgiveness, so I can forgive him?'". I got two questions about this hadith.
Does Allah descend to the lowest heavnes, or to the earth. There is another hadith saying that Allah comes in the shadow of the clouds and some animals know it except for jinn and mankind. I am confused, does Allah descend to the lowest heavens and animals sense it or he descends to earth?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly: The matters that you have asked about are matters of the Unseen which man cannot know except via Revelation – i.e., the Qur’aan and Sunnah. Undoubtedly the divine descent ends at the lowest heaven, and Allaah does not descend to the earth, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stated: “Our Lord descends to the lowest heaven,” he did not say: to the earth.

Secondly: With regard to what you mentioned about Allaah coming in the shade of the clouds, and that some animals recognize that, after researching in the available books of hadeeth, and studying the words of the scholars of deep knowledge who spoke of the issue of the descent of the Lord – may He be exalted – to the lowest heaven, we did not find anything to indicate that any such thing can be proven. What we have to do is to affirm that which was affirmed by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), which is that Allaah descends to the lowest heaven, and that He descends in a manner that befits Him, and we refer knowledge of anything other than that to the One Who knows it, may He be exalted and glorified, for He is the All-Knowing, All-Wise.

But it states in the Holy Qur’aan that when Allaah comes on the Day of Resurrection to pass judgement, He will come in the shade of the clouds, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Do they then wait for anything other than that Allaah should come to them in the shadows of the clouds and the angels? (Then) the case would be already judged. And to Allaah return all matters (for decision)”

[al-Baqarah 2:210]

But this will happen on the Day of Resurrection.

And it should be noted that there is no contradiction at all between our belief that Allaah is above all things and that He is the Exalted, the Almighty, and our belief that He descends to the lowest heaven, for the highness of Allaah is one of His essential attributes which cannot alter or change – i.e., it cannot be other than it is described at any time – so there is no contradiction between them, firstly, because the texts refer to both of them (i.e., His descending and His highness), and the texts cannot say anything that is impossible as is well known; and secondly, because there is nothing like unto Allaah in all His attributes, so His descending is not like the descening of any of His creatures so that one could say that it contradicts the idea of His being exalted.

And Allaah knows best.

See: Kitaab al-Sunnah by Ibn Abi ‘Aasim, 215; Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen.

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