The Name of Allaah Adh-Dhaahir is mentioned once in the noble Qur’an in Surat al-Hadeed (57:3):
“He is the First (nothing is before Him) and the Last (nothing is after Him), the Most High (nothing is above Him) and the Most Near (nothing is nearer than Him). And He is All-Knower of everything.”
The meaning of the Name
Al-Farraa’ said: “Adh-Dhaahir is above everything with His Knowledge, and Al-Baatin is nearest to everything with His Knowledge.” [Ma’aani al-Qur’an]
Ibn Jarir said: “Adh-Dhaahir is Dhaahir (high) over everything and everything is lower than Him. He is the Most High over everything, nothing is higher than Him.” [Jami’ul-Bayaan]
Az-Zajjaj said: “Adh-Dhaahir is the OneWho appears (is easily perceived) to the intellect (or ‘those with intellect’)having proofs and evidences of His Existence and signs of His Oneness. This meaning is concluded from the apparent meaning of the word “Dhahara”.
Moreover, if you take it from the language of the Arabs and say,(so-and so) dhahara the roof, it means surmounted the roof. It is derived from highness, and Allaah (Ta’ala) is uppermost over everything. Highness refers to the Highness of His Grandeur, Power and Nobility.” [Tafseer al-Asmaa]
Al-Khattabi said: “Adh-Dhaahir is He Who is apparent with His proofs and signs that indicate the affirmation of His Ruboobiyyah (Lordship) and correct Oneness. Adh-Dhaahir could also mean He Who is above everything by His Ability. Also, the appearance (Dhuhoor) could mean Highness and could mean Predominance.” [Sha’n ad-Du’aa]
Al-Haleemi said: “Adh-Dhaahir means He Who is apparent (to everyone) by His Actions. By this Attribute no one can deny His Existence nor negate its affirmation.” [Al-Minhaaj]
The Impact of Belief in this Name
1- Allaah (Ta’ala) is Adh-Dhaahir, the Most High, nothing is above Him. He is the uppermost One and this is the utmost perfection in Highness such that nothing exists above Him.” [Shaikh ul-Islam ibn Taymiyyah]
The direction of the ‘Uluw (i.e. the upward direction) is the most noble direction, as is established in the selves (of creation).
Shaikh ul-Islam ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullaah) explained that the ‘Uluw [transcendence (Highness)] of Allaah is proven in the following ways:
The intellectual evidences:
a) It is proven intellectually that Allaah is separate from His creation, and it is proven that the world,sinceit is spherical,has two real directions, upward (highness) and inward. Hence, Allaah (Ta’ala) should be either inside it or outside it; and since He (Ta’ala) is separate from the world, then He should be above it (upward).
b) Allaah’s ‘Uluw (Highness) is a matter that is established in the Fitrah (natural instinct or disposition) of the creation. The creation naturally acknowledges and believes the fact that Allaah is above the whole world, and all the nations are in consensus about that. That is why,whenever anyone intends to supplicate or ask for something, they take refuge in the direction of the sky (i.e. upward); their hearts are directed upward rather than in any other direction. The strange thing is that those who deny the transcendence (Highness) of Allaah themselves raise their hands upward in the direction of the heavens when they invoke Allaah.
c) Allaah (Ta’ala) is attributed with ‘Uluw of adh-Dhaat, i.e. the Highness of Allaah in His Essence, ‘Uluw of Power and ‘Uluw of the Sifaat, i.e. Highness in Attributes. The ‘Uluw of adh-Dhaat means that Allaah (Ta’ala), in His Essence, is above everything and everything is below Him; Most Majestic and Mighty is He. This means that He is more Perfect than the world. ‘Uluw of Power implicitly indicates that He is Omnipotent over the whole world. Since Allaah is separate from the whole world, out of His Perfect Highness He should be above the world and not next to it or below it. Allaah’s ‘Uluw is an Attribute of Perfection and therefore, it necessitates that it is an affirmed Attribute of Allaah because He is qualified with the Attribute ofPerfection inall aspects.
Accordingly, if one says that Allaah is either above the world or under it on its right or left, then which of these descriptions denotes perfection? The answer is, “Allaah is above the world,” because if He is “under it” then He would be less perfect then the created matter! And if He is in the same place as the created, then Allaah (Ta’ala) would be equal to creation in perfection. Thus, it necessitates that Allaah (Ta’ala) is above everything.
d) He (Shaikh ul-Islam ibn Taymiyyah Rahimahullaah) affirmed the descent of Allaah to the nearest heaven, as quoted in an authentic narration, that He (Ta’ala) is Adh-Dhaahir (the Most High), nothing is above Him, saying: “The creed of the Salaf and the Imaams of this nation state that despite His (Allaah’s) descent to the nearest heaven, He is still above the Throne, and never does He come below the creation, nor can the creation surround Him. Rather, He is the Most High in His Nearness and the Most Near in His Highness.” [Dar’u at-Ta’aarud with abbreviation]
2. The descent of Allaah, the Exalted, does not negate or contradict the Name Adh-Dhaahir.
Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullaah) also said: “The best thing to do with regards the Names and Attributes of Allaah (Ta’ala) is to consider the wordings of the texts; such that one affirms what Allaah and His Messenger have affirmed and negate what has been negated. Allaah (Ta’ala) affirms His Attribute of Descent, and His Coming (on the Day of Resurrection), and negates having a rival with him.
Al-Bukhaari (Rahimahullaah) and others give proof for the negation of giving resemblance to Allaah, saying that He (Ta’ala) descends in a manner whichsuits His Majesty, and there is nothing like it (His descending). He descends, but not like the descending of the creation; just as there is no similarity to Him in the rest of His Attributes. He (Ta’ala) is free from resembling His descent with the descent of the creation or their movement and transition.
The created being descends, i.e. descends from up to down, and accordingly the attribute of transcendence is removed from him and others become higher than him.
However, there is nothing higher than the Lord, the Exalted. He is the uppermost, the Most High, and He is always uppermost and always has been, despite His nearness to His slaves (by His Knowledge) and coming close to them and descending whenever He wills and His coming whenever He wills. He is the Most High with His Nearness and the Most Near with His Highness.
The created being is incapable to join between these two attributes (Highness and Nearness) just as he isincapable to be the first, the last, and the most high and most near simultaneously.
It was said to Abu Sa’eed al-Kharraz: ‘With what have you known Allaah?’ He said: ‘By joining between (or combining) two contradictory (attributes).’ He meantby joining between attributes which are contradictory (not possible) with regards to the human.
Any attribute that contradicts His Perfect Attributes is negated from Him and He is freed from it. He (Ta’ala) says in Surat al-Baqarah (2:255):
“Allaah La illaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber nor sleep overtake Him.”
In Surat al-Furqan (25:58), He (Ta’ala) says:
“And put your trust [O Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)] in the Ever Living One Who dies not.”
slumber and sleep are negated attributes for Allaah (Ta’ala).
It is not permissible to attribute Allaah with any of these attributes because they are deficient attributes and to Allaah belong onlyPerfect Attributes.
Similarly, it is not permissible to say: ‘He is the lowermost that suits Him!!!’ Exalted be He, He is the uppermost One, the Most High, and never is He the lowermost, because it is a deficient characteristic and Allaah is free of that.
His (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) statement, ‘You are the most Near, nothing is nearer than You,’ [Muslim], does not require Him to be in the lowermost as the ignorant ones claim, who do not know the reality of highness and lowness. They think that the heavens and all what theycomprise come underneath the earth either at night or in the day time, and this is wrong. The heavens cannot be except above the earth,even though the orbit is spherical surrounding the earth; however, He is the Most High above the earth in a real highness and in all aspects.” [Majmoo’ at-Fatawa]
3. Shaikh Abdur-Razzaq al-Badr (Hafidhahullaah) said: “Knowing that Allaah the Most High is above His servants, disposing their affairs, and thattheir deeds ascend to Him etc., necessitates directing the heart to Him Alone, showing humility before His Hands, submitting to His Grandeur and imploring Him Alone. Allaah (Ta’ala) says in Surat al-Hajj (22:62):
‘That is because Allaah – He is the Truth (the only True God of all that exists, Who has no partners or rivals with Him), and what they (the polytheists) invoke besides Him, it is Baatil (falsehood). And verily, Allaah He is the Most High, the Most Great.’
Whoever does not believe in Allaah’s Dhaahiriyyaah (Highness) is lost and his heart is distracted.His heart does not have a Qiblah to direct it (his heart) towards it (Qiblah), nor does he have one whom he worships and asks for his needs.”
- Al-Barr (The Most Subtle, Kind, Courteous, and Generous)
- Al-Muhsin (The Perfect, the Good-Doer)
- Al-Wahhab (The Bestower)
- Al-Awwal (The First)