PROOFS FROM AUTHENTIC PROPHETIC TRADITIONS
Authentic Prophetic traditions, as well as traditions of the Prophet's companions, with whom Allaah is pleased, and works of the Four Imaama and of the rest of the pious predecessors contain many textual as well as inferential proofs of Allaah's Loftiness. Allaah, the Exalted, praises His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and confirms his veracity and truthfulness by saying: "Nor does he speak of his own desire. It is only revelation revealed (to him.)"  And Allaah says:
"And whatsoever the Messenger commands you, adhere to it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain from it."
1. And the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "I have been given the Qur'aan and similar to it therewith." 
2. The purified Sunnah is what the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam meant by saying: "and similar to it therewith". The Sunnah is the second source of the Shari'ah of Islamic laws. Many traditions deal with the attribute of Allaah's Loftiness. The following are selected authentic traditions to whose authenticity all scholars of the hadith at all times have testified.
3. The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam reported his eventful journey from Makkah to Jerusalem (al-Mi'raj)  and from there up to the heavens as follows: Jibreel took me up to the lowest heaven and requested its guards to open its gate. He was asked, 'Who is this?' He answered, 'Jibreel.' 'Who is with you?' They inquired. 'Muhammed sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam' He answered. They inquired. 'Has he been invited?' 'Yes'. Jibreel replied. Then someone greeted saying, 'He is most welcome'. The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam continued, when the gate was opened, I entered and met Adam there. Jibreel said to me, 'This is your father, greet him'. Adam greeted me back, saying: 'Welcome, pious son and pious Prophet'. Then Jibreel ascended to the second heaven and requested its guards to open its gate. The questioning that took place in the lowest heaven was repeated before the gate was opened. The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam described what he saw in every heaven, until finally he was taken up to the seventh heaven where obligatory prayers were prescribed to him. This authentic mutawatir  hadith speaks clearly in plain words and straightforward manner which is not liable to misconstruction or farfetched interpretations. The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam was taken up to his Rubb from one heaven above the other. The Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama'ah believe that the Mi'raj was neither an illusion nor a vision, rather real and essential. Had Allaah been everywhere, why would the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam be taken all the way up to the seventh heaven? Allaah would have prescribed to him the Salaah on earth rather than in the seventh heaven.
4. Adullah bin Amr reported that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "Be merciful to those on earth, so that the One above the heavens will be merciful to you."  Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "The angels of death usually attend the dying person. If he is pious, they would address his soul saying, 'O good soul! Come out of the good body, and rejoice in the annunciation of mercy and provision from the Rubb Who is well pleased with you'. The angels would keep coaxing it with these words until the soul emerges from the body. Then it would be taken up to the heaven where permission to open the gates of the heaven would be sought. The guards would inquire, 'Who is this?' 'So and so', the angels would answer. The guards would say: 'O good soul! You are welcome'. The soul would be flattered by such words and finally be taken up to heaven above which is Allaah."  It is quite evident that Allaah, the Exalted, is above the seven heavens. Otherwise, why would the souls and the believers deeds be taken up to the heavens to reach Allaah?
5. Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "The angel of death used to appear to people whose souls he would collect. When he came to the Prophet of Allaah, Musa alayhis-salaam to collect his soul, Musa punched out his eye. The angel of death ascended to his Rubb, the Glorious, and said to Him, My Rubb! You have sent me down to Musa who punched out my eye. Had he not been honored by You, I would have given him hard time..." The angel of death descended to Musa from the heaven to collect his soul. He did not come to him from east, west, north, or south, nor did he emerge from the earth, and then he ascended to His Rubb Who is above the heavens.
6. Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "There are hundred levels in Jannah which Allaah has prepared for the Mujahideen who fight in His cause. Between on level and another is a distance which is equal to that between the earth and the heaven. When you ask Allaah, azza wajull, ask Him for Firdaws, because it is situated in the midst and Highest point of Jannah from where the rivers of Jannah spring, and above it is the 'Arsh of the Most Merciful." 
7. Mu'awiyah as-Sahmi reported: "I had some sheep which I kept between Uhud and Juwaniyyah with a slave-girl to look after them. One day, I went out to check on my sheep and discovered that a wolf had devoured one of them. Since I am just a human, (I became angry) and struck the girl. Later on, I came to the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and reported to him the incident. He terrified me with the gravity of my action. I said, 'Messenger of Allaah'! Shall I free her (as an expiation of my sin.) He said 'Call her over'. When I did, he asked her, 'Where is Allaah?' She said, 'Above the heavens'. Then he asked her, 'Who am I?' She said, 'The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam'. Thereupon, the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam ordered me, 'Free her. She is a believer'."  The above hadith, according to Shaikh Kahlil al-Harras, is a luminous proof of the Loftiness of Allaah, the Exalted. Here is a man who wronged his female slave by striking her, and wanted to expiate his sin by giving her freedom in return. The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam chose one particular question, 'Where is Allaah?' Then the slave girl gave him the correct answer, 'Above the heaven'. The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam declared her to be a believer. Does not the above the hadith stand as a solid proof that Allaah is above the heaven? Doubtlessly, that slave girl, the shepherdess, knew her Rubb more than those ignorantly claim that Allaah is everywhere!
8. Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "Our Rubb, the Blessed, the Exalted, descends to the lowest heaven every night, during the last third of the night, and says: 'Anyone calls Me, I will respond to him? Is there anyone asking for anything? I will give it to him? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, I will forgive him?' "  The words of the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam: 'Our Rubb, the Blessed, the Exalted, descends to the lowest heaven', clearly indicate the essential Highness or Loftiness of Allaah, the Exalted. Were Allaah to exist everywhere, there would be no need for the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam who knew Allaah best, to say, 'Allaah descends', nor would there be a reason to distinguish one portion of the night from another. There is only one answer to this: Allaah, the Blessed, the Exalted, is above the seven heavens, and above the great 'Arsh.
9. Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "Allaah will descend to His slaves on the Day of Resurrection."  It is the Day when Allaah will come down to pass His judgment.
10. In another tradition, the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "Allaah will gather the first and the last of His slaves for an appointed certain Day, when they will remain for forty years with their eyes uplifted towards heaven waiting for the decisive judgment. Allaah will then descend in coverings of clouds from His 'Arsh to the Kursi."
THE STANDPOINT OF THE COMPANIONS Radiallaahu 'anhum
1. Zainab, the wife of the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, used to claim excellence over the rest of his wives by telling them, 'It is only your parents who gave you in marriage to the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, while it is Allaah Who gave me in marriage to him from above the seven heavens.' 
2. In another narration, she said to the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, 'It is the Rahmaan, the Merciful, Who married me to you from above His 'Arsh.'
3. Ibn Abbas, may Allaah be pleased with him, said to Aa'ishah, the wife of the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam when she was on her death bed: "Of all his wives you were the most beloved to the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and he used to live only the pure. Allaah, the Exalted sent down your exoneration from above the seven heavens which was brought down by Jibreel. There is not a single masjid of the masajid of Allaah but the verses of your exoneration  are recited in it day and night." Aa'ishah, the wife of the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam in this world and in the world to come, Mother of the Believers, whom the pervasive-minded sect tried to dishonor, but Allaah, the Exalted, exonerated her honor and condemned those who spread the lies against her.
4. In his speech subsequent to the death of the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, Abu Bakr as-Saddiq said: "He who was worshipping Muhammed sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, (let him know that) Muhammed is dead, and he who was worshipping Allaah, (let him know that) Allaah is above the heaven Ever-Living, never dies'." 
5. Ibn Umar passed by a shepherd and asked him, 'Do you have a sheep fit for slaughter? 'Its owner is around', the shepherd answered. 'Tell him that the wolf devoured it'. Ibn Umar said to him. Thereupon, the shepherd uplifted his head towards the heaven and said, 'Then where is Allaah?' Ibn Umar responded, 'By Allaah. It is I who should have said, 'Where is Allaah.' He later on bought off the sheep and the shepherd and freed the latter and gave him the sheep. 
6. Abdurrahman al-Mahdi  said: "There is no one more evil among the people of whims than the followers of Jahm. All their deviant beliefs revolve around one theme; 'There is no one above the heaven.' I believe, by Allaah, that they should not be married from, nor to inherit Muslims nor to be inherited by Muslims." This opinion of Ibn Mahdi is shared by many among the pious predecessors.
7. Wahab b. Jareer said: "Beware of the opinions of Jahm's followers, for they try to convince people that there is nothing above the heavens. Their statements are only from Iblees's revelation, and it is only infidelity".
THE STANDPOINT OF THE FOUR RENOWNED IMAAMS
Imaam Abu Hanifah 
Abu Muti' Al-Balkhi reported:"I asked Imaam Abu Hanifah about a person who says, 'I do not know whether my Rubb is, above the heavens or on earth?' Abu Hanifah, may Allaah grant him His mercy, said: 'A person who makes such a statement becomes an apostate because Allaah, the Exalted says, 'The Merciful has ascended above the 'Arsh, and the 'Arsh of Allaah is above His heavens'. I further asked Abu Hanifah, 'What if such a person admits, Allaah is above His 'Arsh, but exclaims, I do not know whether His 'Arsh is above the heavens or on earth'. Abu Hanifah responded: 'If he denies that the 'Arsh is above the heavens, he is an apostate."  If the person apostatizes by saying that he did not know where is the 'Arsh of Allaah, then by right a person who denies the Loftiness of Allaah altogether is definitely worse than an apostate.
Imaam Maalik 
Abdullah bin Nafi' reported: Maalik bin Anas said:'Allaah is above the heavens, but His knowledge encompasses everything. Nothing escapes His knowledge.' 
Imaam Ash-Shafi'ee 
Imaam ash-Shafi'ee said:"The creed which I hold is the same creed the Muslims before me were holding, namely, the Testimony of Faith: "There is no god worthy of being worshipped except Allaah, that Muhammed is the Messenger of Allaah, and that Allaah is above His 'Arsh, above the heavens. He descends to the lowest heaven whenever He wishes."  Imaam ibn Khuzaimah, a Shafi'ite himself, said: "Whoever disacknowledges that Allaah is above His 'Arsh, above His seven heavens, and that He is separated from His creatures, is a Kafir, (unbeliever). Such person must be ordered to repent and disavow his belief, or else he must be beheaded and thrown on a garbage dump so that neither Ahlul-Qiblah  nor Ahludth-dthimmah  be annoyed by the foul odor of his carcass."  Abu Bakr Muhammad at-Tamimi, a Shafi'ite Imaam of Naisaboor, said:"I do not pray behind a person who denies the attributes of Allaah and does not recognize that Allaah is above His 'Arsh." 
Imaam Ahmad 
He was asked: "Is Allaah above His 'Arsh, above the seventh heaven, separate from His creatures, and is His knowledge and power encompassing everything everywhere? He replied: 'Certainly, He is above His 'Arsh and nothing escapes His knowledge."  All of the above show that the entire Muslim ummah, in the past and present, is in unison regarding the belief in the Loftiness and Supremacy of Allaah, the Exalted.
Adherents of certain deviant sects promote a false belief that Allaah is omnipresent Who inheres in His creation. Rational arguments are deadly available to refute the blasphemy of the Jahmites and those who try to revive their belief today. To prove that Allaah is above His 'Arsh, and above the seventh heaven in a manner that suits His Majesty, the Imaam of Ahlus-Sunnah, Ahmad bin Hanbal, may Allaah be pleased with him, refuted their belief more than one thousand years ago, when he wrote: "Where Allaah is and Where He is not - An exposition of the denial of the Jahmites that Allaah is above the 'Arsh."
We asked them "Why do you deny that Allaah is above the 'Arsh when He has said: 'The Merciful has the 'Arsh?  And again,' 'Who in six days created the Heavens and the earth then the 'Arsh,'  They replied: "He is under the seven earths as He is on the 'Arsh; He is in heaven, on earth and in every place; there is no place where He is not, nor is He is one place to the exclusion of any other." And they quoted the verse: "And He is Ilaah in the heavens and He is Ilaah on the Earth!" If you wish to prove the falsehood of the Jahmites who claim that Allaah exists everywhere, not in one particular place, ask them, 'Is it not true that Allaah was existent when there was nothing in existence?' The Jahmites' answer would be: "Certainly, there was nothing before Allaah." Then ask them, "Did Allaah create the creation within Himself or outside of Himself?" The Jahmites would be compelled to choose on of the following three answers:
1. If the Jahmites assert that Allaah created the creation within Himself, they would then become apostate instantly by claiming that the Jinn, humans and Satans are all dwelling within Allaah.
2. If the Jahmites assert that Allaah created the creation outside Himself but dwelled in them afterwards, they would also become apostate instantly by claiming that Allaah dwells in His creatures.
3. But if the Jahmites say that Allaah created the creation outside Himself and has never dwelled in them, they would by giving this answer, join the folds of Ahl-As Sunnah, for by giving this answer they denounce their own deviant beliefs.
Allaah, the Exalted, described Himself in the Torah too that He is above His creatures. Ka'bul-Ahbaar said: "Allaah, azza wajall,  said in the Torah, 'I, Allaah Am above My slaves, and My 'Arsh is above My creatures, and I am upon My 'Arsh running the affairs of My slaves. Nothing is hidden from Me neither in heaven nor on the earth." 
Finally, it may be worthwhile to say that even the enemy of Allaah, Fir'awn (Pharoah), who flagrantly claimed to be a god of his people, knew where Allaah is more than the followers of Jahm today. Allaah says: And Fir'awn said, 'O, Haman, build for me a tower that I may reach the ways; the ways to heavens so that I may have a look at the Ilaah of Musa.'  Now consider the words of Fir'awn who wanted Haman to build a tower for him that he might climb all the way to the heavens to see the Rubb of Musa, for Musa already told him that Allaah to Whom he is inviting him is above the heavens, and compare this with the groundless argument of the Jahmite off-shoots of today. A Muslim wonders how could those who believe that Allaah is Omnipresent rationalize such assertion knowing that Allaah, the Omnipotent, will collect the earth in His hand and fold the heavens in His right hand, as evidenced by the following divine stern warning. And they have not venerated Allaah with the veneration that is due Him, for on the Day of Resurrection, the earth will be collected in His hand and the heavens will be folded up in His right hand.  Were the above verse to be the only proof of Allaah's Loftiness, it would have been more than sufficient. It is certainly sufficient to those who fear Allaah and give Him the true veneration that is due to Him.
The first three Muslim generations whose righteousness the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam testified for, and whose merits surpassed the merits of all succeeding generation. They are the Companions of the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and the two generations that followed them. They all believed in the apparent meaning of the Qur'aanic ayaat that deal with the divine attributes without giving them farfetched interpretations based on Greek philosophies.
The Believer must believe that there is none like unto Allaah, the Exalted, in His essence, attributes, nor His actions. He must also believe that Allaah stands in need of none of His creatures. Neither a thing nor a place encompasses Him. He is above His 'Arsh, above the seventh heaven, and above all His creature essentially and realistically not allegorically.
There is none of His creatures that touches Him. Based on this it is not permissible to say that Allaah is everywhere, or He inheres in any of His creatures, for Allaah was when there was nothing. He who asserts that Allaah is not outside the universe, not only denies the existence of Allaah, but he worships a non-existent god. We ask Allaah to keep us on the straight path of His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and his Companions and to make us join their company on the Day when neither wealth nor offspring would avail. Walhamdu lillahi Rabbil-aalameen.
This discourse has been based mainly on two books: Ithbat Uluwil-Lah, by Usamah bin Yusuf al-Qassas, may Allaah grant him His mercy, and Ar-Rahman alal Arsh Istawa, by Dr. Awad Mansoor
6. Q 4:59
7. Q 87:1
8. Q 87:1
9. Q 16:50
10. Q 20:2
11. Q 7:54
12. Q 67:17.18
13. Q 6:3
14. Q 58:7
15. Q 58:1
16. Pantheism is the belief that Allaah and the universe constitute one being, as opposed to the fundamental belief of the Oneness of Allaah and the separateness of His creations, as stressed by Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama'ah.
17. Imaam al-Bukhaaree, Imaam Muslim and others.
18. Q 2:150
20. Q 35:10
21. Ar-Rooh is Jibreel, peace be upon him.
22. Q 70:4
23. Q 32:5
24. Q 3:55
25. 'Istawa' p.t. is derived from the verb sawiya and its derivative form istiwaa' to mount on the Throne. The Ash'arites, the Mu'tazilites, the Jahmites, and those who uphold their belief, hold the attribute of Istiwaa' to be only symbolic, whereas Ahlus-Sunnah accept this and the other essential attributes of Allaah literally without drawing parallels.
26. Q 7:54
27. Q 53:4.527 Q 53:4.5
28. Abu Dawood.
29. Imaam al-Bukhaaree, Imaam Muslim and others.
30. This is the strongest category of the authentic ahadith.
31. Imaam al-Bukhaaree, Imaam Muslim, and others.
32. Imaam Ahmad, al-Hakim, and others.
33. Imaam al-Bukhaaree, Ahmad, and others.
34. Imaam Muslim, Abu Dawood, and others.
35. Imaam Maalik, Imaam al-Bukhaaree, Imaam Muslim, and others.
36. At-Tirmidthi and others.
38. The verses in question are in surat An-noor #24:11 thru 20.
39. Imaam al-Bukhaaree and others.
41. He was a great scholar and a leading authority in the Prophetic traditions, and a contemporary of Imaam ash-Shafi'ee, (135-198H.)
42. Al-Bukhaaree, adth-Thahabi and others.
43. Abu Hanifah, one of the four Imaam was prominent jurist living from 80 to 150 AH.
44. Sharhut-Tahawiyyah, p.288
45. Maalik bin Anas, one of the four Imaams, was prominent jurist and traditionist (93-179 H).
46. Abdullah bin Ahmad, as-Sunnah, and others.
47. Abdullah Muhammad bin Idris ash-Shafi'ee one of the prominent four Imaams. Prominent jusrit (150-204 H).
48. Al-Juyoosh al-Islamiyyah, Ibn al-Qayyim, p.93
49. The Muslims in general.
50. Christian or Jewish subjects of a Muslim country.
53. Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Hanbal, the great Imaam, was nicknamed the Imaam of Ahlus-Sunnah. This name was to become in Islam the watchword for uncompromising belief. Imaam Ahmad, may Allaah be pleased with him, was a hero and victim of the violent inquisition during the reign of the Caliph al-Ma'moon, who ordered his subjects, under pain of severe punishment, to adopt the belief that the words of Allaah of which the Qur'aan is composed are created, thus resembling the belief of the Christians. Imaam Ahmad, who refuted to endorse this belief was subjected to harassment, imprisonment, and torture.
54. Al-Juyoosh al-Islamiyyag, Ibn al-Qayyim, p.123.
55. Q 20:4
56. Q 25:60
57. Azza wajall, Allaah is the Powerful, the Glorious.
58. Ath-Thahabi and others.
59. Q 40:36,37
60. Q 39:67