Contents > Chapter 3: Pantheism, Wahdat al-Wajood or Moksha > Misconception Cleared


Misconception Cleared

A number of Qur’aanic verses indicate the nearness of Allah to His creations, one among them is “He is with you, wherever you are...”[1]


The nearness of Allah to His slaves refers to His Absolute Knowledge, as is also explained by Imam Ibn Katheer (rahimahullah) in his Tafseer of the above mentioned verse. He says, “meaning, He is Watching over you and Witnessing your deeds wherever you may be, on land or on sea, during the night or the day, at home or in open areas or deserts. All of that is the same before His Knowledge and all of it is under His Sight and Hearing. He hears your speech and sees wherever you are…”


Thus, the nearness in the Qur’aanic verses is not by the Essence of Allah, but in Knowledge. Allah is As-Sameeh (the All-Hearer), Al-Baseer (the All-Seer) and al-Aleem (the All-Knower). He does not need to be among His creation to know their actions and conditions.


Imam Ibn Katheer (rahimahullah) writes in the Tafseer of the verse, “and Indeed, We have created man, and We know what his self whispers to him. And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.” Means, His Angels are nearer to man than his jugular vein. Those who explained ‘We’ in the verse to mean, ‘Our Knowledge,’ have done so to avoid falling into the idea of incarnation or indwelling; but these two creeds are false according to the consensus of Muslims. Allah is praised and glorified, He is far hallowed beyond what they ascribe to Him. The words of this verse do not need this explanation (that ‘We’ refers to ‘Allah’s Knowledge’), for Allah did not say, ‘and I am closer to him than his jugular vein.’ Rather, He said, “And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.’ Just as He said in the case of dying person, “But We are nearer to him than you, but you see not.”[2]

[1] Soorah al-Hadid (57): 4.

[2] Soorah al-Waqi’ah (56): 85.