Questions and Answers from Shiekh Bin Baz rahimallah
Fifth question: What is the ruling on whoever claims to have seen Allah in a dream? Is it true, as some say that Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal saw Allah in a dream more that a hundred times?
A: Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah be merciful to him) and others mentioned that it is possible for a person to see his Lord in a dream, but what they see will not be the truth, because nothing resembles Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted), Who says: There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. So nothing
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of His creation resembles Him. However, someone may see in their dream that their Lord is speaking to them, yet, whatever visions they see is not Allah, because there is nothing like Him, so none is co-equal or comparable to Him.
Shaykh Taqy Al-Din (may Allah be merciful to him) mentioned in this regard that this may vary according to the situation of the person who sees it. The more righteous and good the person is, the closer their dream will be to what is true and correct. However, He is different from whatever they see, because the basic principle is that there is nothing like Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted).
However, a person may hear a voice that says so and so or does such and such, without seeing any image that resembles any created being. This is because nothing resembles Allah (may He be Exalted). It was narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) saw his Lord in a dream, from the Hadith of Mu`adh (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had seen His Lord. It was also narrated via a number of Isnads (chain of narrators) that he saw his Lord and that Allah put His Hand between the Prophet’s shoulders so that he felt its coolness on his chest. Al-Hafizh Ibn Rajab wrote an essay on that, entitled “Ikhtiyar al-Awla fi Sharh Hadith Ikhtisam al-Mala’ Al-A`la”. It indicates that the Prophets might have seen their Lord in their dreams. However, seeing the Lord in this world with one’s eyes does not happen.
Moreover, the Prophet (peace be upon him) had said that no one would see their Lord until they die, related by Muslim in his Sahih. When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was asked: “Did you see your Lord”, he said: “I saw Light” and in another narration: “Light, how could I see Him” (Both were related by Muslim from the Hadith of Abu Zhar (may Allah be pleased with him)).When `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) was asked about this, she said that no one in the worldly life shall see Him, for seeing Allah (may He be Exalted) in Jannah is the greatest delight presented to the Mu’minun (believers). Therefore, it only occurs to the people of Jannah (Paradise) and Iman (faith/belief) in the Hereafter as well as the Mu’minun in the place of standing on the Day of Resurrection. This world is the abode of trial and testing shared by both good and evil people. It is not a place for seeing Allah (may He be Exalted), as seeing Him is the greatest delight; therefore Allah (may He be Exalted) has saved it for His Mu’min servants in the abode of honor on the Day of Resurrection. With regard to seeing Allah (may He be Exalted) in a dream as many people claim to have seen, this varies according to the situation of the one who sees. Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah be merciful to him) said it is pursuant to their virtue and piety, for some may imagine that they have seen Allah when that is not the case, since Satan may appear to them and make them think that he is their Lord. It was narrated that Satan appeared to `Abdul-Qadir al-Jilany on
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a throne above the water, and said: “I am your Lord, and has relieved you of all the obligations upon you”, then shaykh `Abdul-Qadir said: “Shut up, O enemy of Allah, you are not my Lord, because the commands of my Lord can never be dropped from those who are Mukallafin (persons meeting the conditions to be held legally accountable for their actions)” – or words to that effect. The point is that seeing Allah (may He be Exalted) during wakefulness cannot happen to anyone in this world, nor the prophets (peace be upon them), according to the Hadith of Abu Dhar. This is also indicated by Allah’s Saying to Musa (Moses) (peace be upon him) when he asked his Lord to let him see Him. Allah (may He be Exalted) told him: You
cannot see Me However, the Prophets and some of the righteous may see Him in a dream in a manner that does not resemble any of His creation, as stated above in the Hadith of Mu`adh (may Allah be pleased with him). However, if there is a command to do something that goes against Shari`ah (Islamic Law), this is a sign that they have not seen their Lord, but rather Satan. If someone sees Satan, he may tell, “Do not pray, for you have been exempted from obligations”; “You do not have to pay Zakah (obligatory charity), fast Ramadan, or honor your parents”, or “It does not matter if you eat Riba (usury/interest)” …and so on – all such things are signs that the person seen in the dream is Satan, not Allah (may He be Exalted). Regarding the reports that Imam Ahmad had seen his Lord, I do not know if they are authentic or not. It is said that he saw his Lord, but I do not know about the credibility of that.