Some Muslims have taken the position that an exception was made in the case of the last of the Prophets, Muhammad (saws), whom Allaah caused to travel up through the heavens and go even beyond the point where angels were allowed to go. Some scholars, among them Imaam an-Nawawee (See his commentary on Saheeh Muslim, vol. 3, p. 12) use the following verses in Soorah an-Najm to support this position.
“When he was on the uppermost horizon. Then he came close and descended. Until he was two bow’s lengths away or closer. And He revealed to His slave that which He revealed The heart did not lie about what it saw. Will you argue with him about what he saw? And verily he saw him yet another time. By the lote-tree of the uppermost boundary.” (53: 7-14)
They assert that these verses are in reference to the Prophet Muhammad (saws) seeing Allaah. (Sharh Kitaab at-Tawheed min Saheeh al-Bukhaari, pp. 115-6) However, when Masrooq asked the Prophet’s wife ‘Aa’ishah, about these verse she replied,
“I was the first person from this Ummah (Muslim nation) to ask the messenger of Allaah about that and he replied: ‘Verily it was Jibreel, May Allaah’s peace be on him. I never saw him in the form in which he was created except these two times; I saw him descending from the heavens and the greatness of his size filled all that was between the sky and the earth.” ‘Aa’ishah then said, “Haven’t you heard that Allaah, Most High, said, ‘Eyes can not catch Him but He catches all eyes. He is the Subtle, the Aware?’ (Soorah al-An‘aam, : 103) And haven’t you heard that Allaah said, “Allaah will not speak to any man except by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or by sending a messenger (Angel) and revealing what He wishes. Indeed He is Transcendent and All-Wise’? (Soorah ash-Shooraa, : 51) [Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, pp. 111-2, nos. 337 & 338]
Accordingly, the verses from Soorah an-Najm, when considered in the light of the Prophet’s (saws) own explanation, do not in any way support the mistaken belief that Prophet Muhammad (saws) saw Allaah.
At the beginning of the preceeding narration of ‘Aa’ishah, the taabi‘ee, Masrooq, asked her if Prophet Muhammad (saws) saw his Lord, and she replied,
“My hair is standing on end because of what you have asked! Whoever tells you that Muhammad (saws) his Lord has lied!”
And when Aboo Tharr asked the Prophet (saws) if he saw his Lord, the Prophet (saws) replied,
“There was only light, how could I see Him?” (Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, p. 113, no. 341)
The Prophet (saws) on another occasion explained the significance of the light and that it was not Allaah himself, saying,
“Verily Allaah does not sleep nor is it befitting for Him to sleep. He is the One who lowers the scales and raises them. The deeds of the night go up to Him before the deeds of the day and those of the day before those of the night, and His veil is light.” (Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, p. 113, no. 343)
Note that the narration attributed to Ibn ‘Abbaas which is collected by Ibn Khuzaymah in Kitaab at Tawheed, which states that the Prophet (saws) saw Allaah with his own eyes, is inauthentic.
(al-‘Aqeedah at- Tahaawiyyah, p. 197)
Thus, it can be said with certainty that the Prophet Muhammad (saws) , like the prophets before him, did not see Allaah, Most Great and Gracious, in this life. Based on this fact, the claim of those who are supposed to have seen Allaah in this life is proven false. If the prophets, whom God has preferred over all of mankind, were unable to see Him, how could any other man, no matter how righteous and pious he may be? The claim that one has seen God is, in fact, a statement of heresy and disbelief, because it implies that the one who makes such a claim is greater than the prophets.
- WHERE IS ALLAH? Refutation to the belief that Allah is Everywhere (mohammedirfan.wordpress.com)