The damage of pseudo-scholars in corrupt times – Abdullah ibn Mas’ud

By Ustadh Abdus Shakur Brooks

Imām Bukhārī narrates in his Sahīh Collection that the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said:

اصبرو فانه لا يأتي عليكم زمان الا و الذي بعده اشر منه

“Be patient, verily a time will not come upon you except that the time after it is eviler than it.”

Ibn Mas’ūd said about this hadīth:

ما ذاك بكثرة الامطار و قلتها و لكن بذهاب العلماء ثم يحدث قوم يفتون في الامور برأيهم فيثلمون الإسلام و يهدمونه

”That is not due to abundance or depletion of rain, but it is due to the disappearance of the ‘Ulamā [educated scholars] then the occurrence of a “people” [not ‘ulamā!] who give fatwā [verdicts] according to their own opinions [meaning unqualified opinions] corrupting/bending [the meaning] of Islām and destroying it”.

The fact that Ibn Mas’ūd used the word “a people will come” shows that they are not scholars but pretenders; which is inferred from the fact that he referred to the first group as “scholars”, whereas the second group, he referred to them as merely “people”. It also indicates that such people will be mistaken by the common folk to be scholars, since they “give fatwā” and because they are assumed to be scholars by the common folk, their opinions are respected; although they are contrary to the practice of  Islam. In this way the pretenders distort and help in destroying a true representation of Islam, as Ibn Mas’ūd mentioned.

Much of what we see happening today under the claim of “contextualisation and reform” is a result of what Ibn Mas’ud is talking about. Anyone will notice that those who are consistent in such claims, tend to focus on issues that conflict with societies whose moral compass is dictated by godless people; who openly disregard religion as a premise altogether and openly show disregard towards Islam as a religion. Much of it is done as a desperate attempt  to convince such societies that “our religion” is suitable for their standard of life, or to make permissible what is known to be forbidden in search for desirable ease.

There is no doubt some type of contextualisation must apply in the modern world when it is necessary, which is embodied by jurisprudence.

To “contextualise” means to take the foundations of something and make it applicable to the times in a meaningful way, or to grant dispensations in areas recognised by the Sharī’ah. Some of what we see today is not that, but rather unwarranted and unqualified reasoning by those who wish to change the rules and regulations of matters well established in Islam.

The Seventy-Seven Branches of Faith – Imam al-Bayhaqi [d. 458 A.H]

The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said

“There are some 60 or 70 branches of faith. The highest is to bear witness that ‘There is no god but Allāh and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allāh’ (lā ilāha illallāhu muhammadur rasūlullāh). The lowest is the removal of harm from the road. Modesty is also of faith.” [1]

The “Seventy-Seven Branches of Faith” [2] is a collection of Qur’anic verses and Prophetic narrations compiled by Imām al-Bayhaqī [d. 458 A.H], Allāh be well pleased with him. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true faith [imān]. These seventy-seven branches are some of the essential attributes and characteristics that a true believer should have or strive towards having.

Complete Iman in reality consists of three components:

  1. Confirmation by heart of all the essentials of Iman
  2. Confirmation by tongue of all the essentials of Iman
  3. Confirmation by actions of all the essentials of Iman

Thus, the ”77 Branches of Faith” are divided into three categories:

  1. the first of which concern the intention, belief and action of the heart,
  2. the second concern the use of the tongue,
  3. and the third concern all the remaining parts of the body.

Abdul Hakim Murad, professor of Divinity at Cambridge University, was the first to translate this work into the English vernacular.[3] As the book is no longer in print, here then are theSeventy-Seven Branches of Faith:

30 Qualities are Connected to the Heart

  1. To belief in Allāh Most High.
  2. To believe that everything other than Allāh was non-existent. Thereafter, Allāh Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence.
  3. To believe in the existence of angels.
  4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Qur’an, all other books are not valid anymore.
  5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ alone.
  6. To believe that Allāh Most High has knowledge of everything from before-hand and that only that which He sanctions or wishes will occur.
  7. To believe that Resurrection will definitely occur.
  8. To believe in the existence of Heaven.
  9. To believe in the existence of Hell.
  10. To have love for Allāh Most High.
  11. To have love for the Messenger of Allāh, ﷺ.
  12. To love or hate someone solely because of Allāh.
  13. To execute all actions with the intention of religion alone.
  14. To regret and express remorse when a sin is committed.
  15. To fear Allāh Most High.
  16. To hope for the mercy of Allāh Most High.
  17. To be modest.
  18. To express gratitude over a bounty or favour.
  19. To fulfill promises.
  20. To exercise patience.
  21. To consider yourself lower than others.
  22. To have mercy on the creation.
  23. To be pleased with whatever you experience from Allāh Most High.
  24. To place your trust in Allāh Most High.
  25. Not to boast or brag over any quality that you posses.
  26. Not to have malice or hatred towards anybody.
  27. Not to be envious of anyone.
  28. Not to become angry.
  29. Not to wish harm for anyone.
  30. Not to have love for the world.

7 Qualities are Connected to the Tongue

  1. To recite the Testimony of Faith [Kalimatu-sh Shahādah] with the tongue.
  2. To recite the Qur’ān.
  3. To acquire knowledge.
  4. To pass on knowledge.
  5. To make supplications [du’a] to Allāh Most High.
  6. To make invocations [dhikr] of Allāh Most High.
  7. To abstain from the following:
    • lies,
    • backbiting,
    • vulgar words,
    • cursing, and
    • singing that is contrary to the Sharī’ah.

40 Qualities are Connected to the Entire Body

  1. To make ablution [wudū], take bath [ghusl], and keep one’s clothing clean.
  2. To be steadfast in offering the prayer [salāt].
  3. To pay the tithe [zakāt] and Sadaqatu-l Fitr.
  4. To fast.
  5. To perform the Hajj.
  6. To make i’tikāf.
  7. To move away or migrate from that place which is harmful for one’s religion [din].
  8. To fulfill the vows that have been made to Allāh Most High.
  9. To fulfill the oaths that are not sinful.
  10. To pay the expiation [kaffārah]for unfulfilled oaths.
  11. To cover those parts of the body that are obligatory [fard] to cover.
  12. To perform the ritual slaughter [Udhiya/Qurbani].
  13. To enshroud and bury the deceased.
  14. To fulfill your debts.
  15. To abstain from prohibited things when undertaking monetary transactions.
  16. To NOT conceal something true which you may have witnessed.
  17. To get married when the nafs desires to do so.
  18. To fulfill the rights of those who are under you.
  19. To provide comfort to one’s parents.
  20. To rear children in the proper manner.
  21. To NOT sever relations with one’s friends and relatives.
  22. To obey one’s master.
  23. To be just.
  24. To NOT initiate any way that is contrary to that of the generality of the Muslims.
  25. To obey the ruler, provided what he orders is not contrary to the Sharī’ah.
  26. To make peace between two warring groups or individuals.
  27. To assist in noble tasks.
  28. To command the good and forbid the evil.
  29. To mete out punishments according to the Shari’ah, IF it is the government.
  30. To fight the enemies of religion [din] whenever such an occasion presents itself.
  31. To fulfill one’s trusts (amana).
  32. To give loans to those who are in need.
  33. To see to the needs of one’s neighbour.
  34. To ensure that one’s income is pure.
  35. To spend according to the Sharī’ah.
  36. To reply to one who has greeted you.
  37. To say yarhamuka-Llāh [Allāh have mercy on you!] when anyone says alhamduliLlāh [all praise is for Allāh] after sneezing.
  38. To NOT cause harm to anyone unjustly.
  39. To abstain from games and amusements contrary to the Shariah.
  40. To remove pebbles, stones, thorns, sticks, and the like from the road.

 

References:

[1] Sahīh Bukhārī
[2] Al-Bayhaqī, Shu’ab al-Īmān.
[3] al-Qazwīnī, 1300. Mukhtasar Shu’ab al-Imān. Translated from Arabic by TJ Winter, 1990. India: The Quilliam Press.
[4] AA al-Tahanawi. The 77 Branches of Faith. F. Rabbani on Sunni Path website [Online] Available from: http://spa.qibla.com/issue_view.asp?HD=7&ID=103&CATE=24.  [Accessed 30 Dec 2013].
[5] Jalali. The 77 Branches of Faith. [Online] Available from: http://taqwa.sg/v/articles/77-branches-of-faith/. [Accessed 30 Dec 2013]

 

Faith & Reason: Emotion is not Enough

By Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

“When those bombs exploded in London, I felt my faith itself rocked,” confessed a friend of mine. Many people find their beliefs shaken by the flow of events, in their own lives or in society. Why? It would appear that most people’s religious commitment is based largely upon emotion— rather than knowledge, understanding, or spiritual realisation. The danger with emotions is that they are fickle. The “heart” is termed qalb in Arabic because it is given to taqallub— “turning over completely”. Thus, a heart only emotionally attached to religion can suddenly find itself swept away by worldly concerns, or shaken and left without religious inspiration.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said that,

“Whomever Allāh wishes well for, He gives deep understanding (fiqh) in matters of religion.” {Bukhārī 71, Muslim 1037}

This fiqh (deep understanding) is knowledge that is coupled with understanding —‘ilm is to know something; fiqh is to know something deeply, with understanding. Imām Nasafī, the great Hanafī jurist and exegete, explained that this deep understanding has a transformative effect—if true, it invariably results in action, for the one who truly understands acts in accordance with their realisation. This acting—with the hearts and limbs —is likely to be consistent and steadfast, because it results from deep understanding. On the other hand, action based on the impulses of emotion is like student activism—one sees a flurry of activity for a period of time, and then it ends when one “moves on” in life with marriage, a career, and related concerns.

Even more dangerous than loss of religious commitment is the losing of one’s very faith. Imām al-Laqqānī says in Jawhara at-Tawhīd:

اذ كل من قلد في التوحيد   ✻    ايمانه لم يخل من ترديد

[Whoever believes through mere following / Their faith is not safe from creeping doubts.]

In the turbulent world we live in, many things can happen that challenge one’s beliefs. Faith based on emotional attachment to the way of one’s parents or community is easily eroded by creeping doubts. Often, these doubts grow because one is unable to respond to the intellectual and spiritual challenges one faces as an individual and citizen in a global community where Muslims live under questioning eyes.

A similar thing often happens to Muslims in academia. It is no doubt important for Muslims to get involved in academia, and to be active participants in the intellectual debates of our age—whether related to Islam, or more general.

However, when Muslims enter academia unequipped—but with the best of intentions and the noblest of goals—they put their religious commitment and very soundness of faith on the line. The challenges are not simple; and simple emotional attachment and religious goodwill isn’t enough.

What happens time and again is that such Muslims either succumb to prevalent academic currents that run counter to basic Islamic understanding, or become disillusioned and fail to make a meaningful contribution.

Imām Taqī al-Dīn al-Subkī mentioned that there are three conditions for engaging in the study of scholastic theology:

(a) Sound knowledge of the religious sciences, to know what is right;
(b) Sharp intellect, to be able to reason soundly and engage others’ arguments;
(c) A strong religious practice, so that the intellectual challenges one faces do not spiritually drain and weaken one.

These three conditions are critical for Muslims living in the modern world, if they wish to base their religious commitment on solid ground.

The question arises: how is this done, realistically? Here, we have to turn to our tradition. The transmission of our religion and its preservation has been through studying with scholars, and keeping their company.

This is the means of gaining knowledge with understanding—knowledge itself may be gained haphazardly through books, but understanding can’t. The Prophet ﷺ said,

“Knowledge is only through learning (ta‘allum).”
{Haytamī, Majma ‘al- zawā’id I.340, from Bazzār, with a trustworthy chain of narrators}

Learning (ta‘allum) entails studying under a teacher (mu‘allim). This gives one understanding, a living example of the knowledge one gains, and also a guide to turn to when confused. After all, “Asking is the cure for confusion,” as the Prophet ﷺ told us {Abū Dawūd 336, Ibn Mājah 572, with a sound chain}.

This means of learning also ensures that one’s understanding is well-rounded, and balanced—without the extremism of emotional calls to merely outward activism, for learning is a calming process that imbues one with the capacity for restraint and reflection. Living examples of piety and faith stir one towards spiritual transformation. And, ultimately, it is only the spiritual transformation that results from fiqh—deep understanding that results in consistent action—that sustains religious commitment.

Seekers Guidance

Existence of God

By Shaykh al-Azhar `Abdul Halīm Mahmūd
Translated by Muhammad William Charles 

Imagine a house whose rooms are well provided with luxurious furniture, standing on a high mountain surrounded by a thick forest; suppose that a man came across this house, but could not find anybody nearby. Suppose that he thought that the rocks from the mountain had been scattered around, and then automatically collected together to take the shape of this splendid palace with its bedrooms, chambers, corridors, and fittings, that the trees in the wood had split of their own accord into boards, and formed themselves into doors and beds, seats and tables, each taking its place in the palace; that the fibers from the plants and wool and hair of the animals of their own accord had changed into embroidered cloth, and then were cut into carpets, pillows, and cushions, and dispersed about the rooms and settled onto sofas and chairs; that lamps and chandeliers by themselves had fallen into this palace from all directions and fixed themselves into the ceilings, singly and in groups; would you not conclude that this must be a dream or a legend, or the reasoning of someone disturbed in his mind?

What, then, do you think of a palace whose ceiling is the sky, whose floor is the earth, whose pillars are the mountains, whose ornamentation is the plants, and whose lamps are the stars, moon, and sun? In the correct judgment of the intellect, can it be of lesser importance than this house? Is it not more likely to direct the attention and mind to a Shaping Creator, Alive, Self-Subsistent, Who created and shaped, and Who determined and guided?

And do you think that if a man brought millions of printing letters and began to move them around day after day, week after week, year after year, that he would obtain from them by chance, a composition which is a book of literature, philosophy, or mathematics?

As the Orientalist David Santillana said, even after moving them around for generations, after all his toil he would still be left with individual letters. If this is so, as Santillana continues, how can we imagine that this universe, with the perfection and harmony between its individual parts and their amazing compatibility with each other, could ever have come about through random movement in a limitless void, as the materialists imagine? There is no doubt that rational people would agree with Aristotle that ‘Every order bespeaks the intelligence behind it.’

The above manner of demonstration [that is, the cosmological proof] is the method which Kant, the greatest philosopher of Germany (2), declared to be the clearest and strongest proof of the existence of God.

——————————————————————————–

1) Existence of God: Abd al-Halīm Mahmīd, The Creed of Islām, by (Lahore: Suhail Academy, 1981, reprint), p. 33-34.

2) Sabri Efendī, the Grand Muftī of the Ottoman Empire just before its collapse, in his masterly work on theology, al-fasl, regarded Kant to be the greatest European philosopher after the Renaissance.

Argumentation without Knowledge

“Realise brothers that argumentation without knowledge causes the loss of much good and leads the ones arguing to invalidate a path from one of the paths of the sharī`ah. . . We have taken an oath that we would not open the door of argumentation without knowledge with anyone. Acting in that by the words of the Prophet, ‘No one argues about the religion except an infidel or an apostate in the religion.’

We qualified the blameworthiness of argumentation by our words, ‘without knowledge’ in order to exclude those who argue with knowledge about the religion of Allāh `azza wa jalla. For that type of argumentation is obligatory.

However, no servant attains the rank of knowledge and is called someone who can argue with knowledge except if he knows all of the paths of the sharī`ah. It says in the prophetic tradition, ‘Verily the sharī`ah came in three-hundred and thirteen paths. There is not a single path from among them which a servants takes except that by means of it his Lord will enter him into Paradise.’ this has been related by at-Tabrānī and others. For if a person knows all of these paths and he sees a path which contradicts these paths, then he has the right to argue concerning it. However, if he is ignorant of even a single path, then it is not possible for him to enter into dispute or perhaps he will invalidate by his arguments one of the paths of the sharī`ah; or perhaps he refuses to act by it and loses much good. As a result he becomes counted among those who reject the sharī`ah.”

[Excerpt taken from Shaykh ‘Uthmān ibn Fodio’s, Najm al-Ikhwān]

The Way of Sunni Islam – The Creed of Imam Al-Haddad, the great Hadrami scholar

The Way of Sunni Islam

The Creed of Imām Al Haddād, the great Hadrami scholar.

Imām al-Haddād said (may Allāh bring us benefit from him):

“Praise belongs to Allāh alone. May Allāh bless our master Muhammad, and his Family, and Companions, and grant them peace. We know, assent, believe, confess with certainty, and testify, that there is no god but Allāh, Alone without partner. He is a Mighty God, a Great King. There is no lord beside Him, and we worship none than He. He is Ancient and Pre-Existent, Eternal and Everlasting. His firstness has no beginning, neither has His lastness any end. He is Solitary, Self-Subsistent, neither begetting nor begotten, matchless, without partner or peer. There is nothing that resembles Him, yet He is the Hearer, the Seer. [42:11]

“And we confess that His holiness (Exalted in He!) renders Him beyond time and space, beyond resembling anything in existence, so that He cannot be encompassed by directions, nor be subject to contingent events. And that He is Established on His Throne in the manner which He has described, and in the sense which He has intended, in a Establishment befitting the might of His Majesty, and the exaltation of His glory and magnificence. And that He (Exalted is He!) is Near to everything in existence, being closer to man than his jugular vein. [50:16] He is Watchful and Seeing over all things. He is the Living, the Self-Subsistent, slumber overtakes Him not, nor sleep; [2:255] He is the Originator of the heavens and earth; when He decrees a thing He only says to it Be! And it is. [2:117] Allāh is Creator of all things, and He is Guardian over everything. [39:62]

“And that He (Exalted is He!) is over all things Powerful, and of all things Knower; His knowledge is all-embracing and He keeps count of all things. Not an atom’s weight in the earth or in the sky escapes your Lord. [10:61] He knows what goes down into the earth and that which comes forth from it, and what descends from heaven and what ascends into it. He is with you wherever you may be, and Allāh is Seer of what you do. [57:4] He knows the secret thought, and what is even more concealed. [20:7] He knows what is in the land and the sea. A leaf cannot fall but that He knows it, nor is there a grain amid the darkness of the earth, nor a wet or dry thing, but that it is recorded in a clear Book. [6:59]

“And that He (Exalted is He!) wills existent things, and directs events. And that nothing may exist, whether good or evil, beneficial or harmful, except by His decree and will. Whatever He wills is, whatever He does not, is not. Should all creatures unite to move or halt a single atom in the universe, in the absence of His will, they would be unable to do so.

“And that He (Exalted is He!) is Hearer, Seer, Speaker of a Speech that is pre-existent and does not resemble the speech of creatures. And that the Mighty Qur’an is His ancient speech, His Book which He sent down upon His Messenger and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

“And that He (Glorious is He!) is Creator of all things and their Provider, Who disposes them as He wills; neither rival nor opponent is there in His realm. He gives to whomsoever He wills and withholds from whomsoever He wills. He is not questioned about His actions, rather they are questioned. [21:23]

“And that He (Exalted is He!) is Wise in His acts, Just in His decrees, so that no injustice or tyranny can be imaginable on His part, and that no one has any rights over Him. Should He (Glorious is He!) destroy all His creatures in the blink of an eye, He would be neither unjust or tyrannous to them, for they are His dominion and His slaves. He has the right to do as He pleases in His dominion, and your Lord is not a tyrant to His slaves. [41:46] He rewards His slaves for obeying Him out of grace and generosity, and punishes them when they rebel out of His wisdom and justice.

“And that to obey Him is an obligation binding upon His bondsmen, as was made clear through the speech of His messengers (upon them be peace). We believe in every Book sent down by Allāh, and in all of His messengers, His angels, and in destiny, whether good or bad.

“And we testify that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, whom He sent to jinn and to mankind, to the Arabs and the non-Arabs, with guidance and the religion of truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religion, though the polytheists be averse. [9:33] And that he delivered the Message, was faithful to his trust, advised the Nation, did away with grief, and strove for God’s sake as is His due, being truthful and trustworthy, supported by authentic proofs and norm-breaking miracles. And that Allāh has made it incumbent upon His bondsmen to believe , obey, and follow him, and that a man’s faith is not acceptable – even should he believe in Him – until he believes in Muhammad ﷺ and in everything that he brought and informed us of, whether of the affairs of this world or the next. This includes faith in the questioning of the dead by Munkar and Nakīr about religion, tawhīd and Prophethood, and in the bliss which is in the grave for those who were obedient, and the torment which it contains for the rebellions.

“And that one should believe in the Resurrection after Death, the gathering of bodies and spirits to stand in the presence of Allāh the Exalted, and in the Reckoning; and that His slaves will be at that time in different states, some being called to account, some being exempted, while others shall enter the Garden without reckoning. One should believe in the Scales in which good and evil deeds will be weighed; and in the Sirat, which is a bridge stretched over the depths of Hell; and in the Pool [ hawd] of our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, the water of which is from the Garden, and from which the believers shall drink before entering the Garden. And in the Intercession of the Prophets, followed by the Truthful Saints [siddiqun], and then the ulema, the virtuous [salihun] and the other believers. And that the Greatest Intercession is the prerogative of Muhammad ﷺ. And that the people of tawhīd who have entered the Fire shall be taken out of it until not one person in whose heart there lies an atom’s weight of faith shall remain in it eternally. And that the people of polytheism and disbelief shall abide in the Fire eternally and for evermore, their suffering shall not be diminished; neither shall they be reprieved. [2:162] And that the believers shall abide in the Garden eternally without end , wherein no tiredness shall affect them, and from which they shall not be expelled. [15:48] And that the believers shall see their Lord with their eyes, in a way befitting His Majesty and the Holiness of His Perfection.

“And that the Companions of the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ were virtuous, that their status was of various ranks, and that they were just, good, and trustworthy. Is not lawful to insult or denigrate any of them. And that the rightful successor [ khalīfah] to the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ was Abū Bakr al-Siddīq, followed by ‘Umar al-Fārūq, then ‘Uthmān al-Shahīd, then ‘Alī al-Murtadā, may Allāh be pleased with them and with all his other Companions, and with those who follow them with excellence until the Day of Judgement, and with us also, by Thy Mercy, O Most Merciful of the Merciful!”

Such is the rightly-guided creed, which conforms to be the Book and the Sunnah. No male or female Muslim should be ignorant of it. Without affirming it one’s faith is not sound. It is not a condition that every person should be able to articulate it fluently; rather, what counts is what lies in the heart.

Source: Miftāh al-Jannah [The Key to The Garden] of Habīb Ahmad Mashhūr bin Tā-Hā al-Haddād. Translated by Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi

“Where” is Allāh? Everywhere or on His Throne?

Bismillāh-ir-Rahmān-ir-Rahīm, Wal-Hamdu lillaāhi Rabb-il-’Ālamīn. Was-Salātu Was-Salāmu ‘alā Sayyidinā Muhammadin Khātimin-Nabiyyīna wa Imām-il-Mursalīn.

Firstly, the question itself is invalid. The word ‘where’ means: in, at or to what place or position. In other words, it refers to a place, directionality, location etc. So what the questioner is really asking is, “What is the location of Allāh?” This is an invalid question because Allāh is free from place directionality and is not contingent to time and space.

Those who say “Allāh is above the Heavens, above the throne (literally)” or say “Allāh is everywhere (literally)” may fall out the fold of Islām. Here’s why:

The first statement limits Allāh to a place, which implies that He is a body or a particle; as directionality and space is only applicable to bodies and particles. This is anthropomorphism and you’ll see all the books of ‘Aqīdah warned us against such belief. When it is mentioned in the Qur’ān that Allāh is above the Heavens and the Earth, and Above His throne, that’s not his physical place, but rather He is above all of His creation in rank and status, and free from all needs and imperfections. If He was “on” something, that’d mean He’s being carried. If He was “in” something, that’d mean He’s being contained. And if He was “from” something, that’d mean He was created. All of these are imperfections and Allah – Exalted beyond measures – is Perfect and free from all imperfections.

The second statement is pantheism. Because those who say it, say it in response to the first statement, because first implies Allāh has a limit and by teaching the second it’d imply that He has no limit. This is pantheism, and not the creed of Ahlus Sunnah wal-Jamā’ah (The People of the Prophetic Way and Majority of Scholars). However, if someone said Allāh is everywhere with His Knowledge, then that’s something we affirm, but if someone asks “Where is Allah” and you say “Everywhere”, that’s heresy.

Sayyidunā ‘Alī (Allāh be pleased with him) said:

“Allāh existed when there was no place, and He is now where He has always been [i.e. without place].”
(Al-Farq bayna al-Firāq, Pg. 333)

Imām Abū Hanīfah (Allāh be pleased with him) said:

“If it is asked, ‘Where is Allāh?’ It will be said to him that Allāh, Most High, existed when there was no place, before creating the creation. And Allāh, Most High, existed when there was no ‘where’, no creation, nothing; and He is the Creator of everything.”
(Al-Fiqh al-Absat, P: 21)

Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalānī (Allāh be pleased with him) said:

“Some of the Mu`tazila (Heretics) have claimed that Allāh was everywhere on the basis of the hadīth “If one of you stands in prayer, let him not spit in front of him for Allāh is in front of him.” This is evident ignorance, because the hadīth then states that he should spit under his foot, which invalidates their principle. The hadith also constitutes a refutation of those who say that Allāh is on the Throne  *in person*.”

Sulaymān ibn ‘Abdul Wahhāb (Allāh be pleased with him) said:

“Whoever believes or says: Allāh is in person (bi dhatihi) in every place, or in one place: he is a disbeliever (kāfir). It is obligatory to declare that Allāh is distinct from His creation, established over His throne without modality or likeness or examplarity. Allāh was and there was no place, then He created place and He is exalted as He was before He created place.”

Related Posts:
Is Allah Everywhere or is He on His Throne?
Did the Maliki Jurist, Ibn Abi Zayd, believe Allah is literally above the Throne?
How do we understand the attributes of God?