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O Allah, You are the First

O Allah, You are the First
Explanation of a Hadith on ascribing a place to Allah
Imam al-Hafidh al-Bayhaqi
 “O Allah, You are the first: there is nothing before You; and You are the last: there is nothing after You. You are the Manifest (al-Zahir): there is nothing above You. You are
the Hidden (al-Batin): there is nothing below You.”[ Sahih Muslim, kitab al-dhikr wal-du`a wal-tawba wal-istighfar, bab ma yaqulu `ind al-nawm wa-akhd al-madhja,
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What was mentioned towards the end of the Hadith is an indication of denying Allah Tal’a has a place and denying the slave is alike to Allah Tal’a, wherever he was, in proximity or remoteness. Allah, the Exalted, is al-Dhahir. Hence, it is valid to know about Him by proofs. Allah Tal’a is al- Batin. Hence, it is invalid that He would be in a place.
Some of our companions used as a proof to refute the place to Allah Tal’a the saying of the Prophet Sallalaahu Alaihi Wasallam: ‘You are al-Dhahir and there is nothing above You, and You are al-Batin and there is nothing underneath You.’ Therefore, if there is nothing above Him and nothing underneath Him, He is not in a place. [Al-asma’u wal-sifat, page 400 (Kawthari edition). Al-Raghib al-Isfahani (d. 425 H) explained that Allah Tal’a  is the Manifest because His existence is intuitively evident to us through everything we see in the creation, while He is the Hidden because we can not comprehend the nature of His existence. (Mufradat al- Qur`an; Damascus, Dar al-Qalam; Beirut, Dar al-Shamiyya, 1992, p.131)
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