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The shaking of the Throne at the death of Sa‘d ibn Mu‘aadh was only because of the joy of the Lord, may He be exalted; it was not a reflection of any imperfection

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Publication : 08-09-2014

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Question

The hadith No 3803 In shahih bukhari volume 5 , Book of merits of Al Ansar says " Throne of ALLAH shook on the death of saad ibn Muaadh" Could you kindly explain what it means by the throne of ALLAH shook? The throne of ALLAH is upon which He subhana Wa taaala is Himself in a manner which befits him, Then how can the death of a creation shake that throne which represents His might and infinite power? He decreed death for the creation, does this not represent the weakness Of The Supreme nauzubillah? Kindly clarify on the subject

Praise be to Allah.

Firstly: 

Al-Bukhaari (3803) and Muslim (2466) narrated from Jaabir (may Allah be pleased with him): I heard the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “The Throne shook at the death of Sa‘d ibn Mu‘aadh.” 

Adh-Dhahabi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

This is mutawaatir (i.e., narrated by so many from so many that it is inconceivable that they could all have agreed upon a lie). I bear witness that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said it.

End quote from al-‘Uluw li’l-‘Aliy al-Ghaffaar (p. 89) 

He reported it in full in his book al-Fawaa’id (16) from Abu Sa‘eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The Throne shook at the death of Sa‘d ibn Mu‘aadh, because of the joy of the Lord, may He be glorified and exalted.” 

Its isnaad was classed as jayyid by al-Albaani in as-Saheehah (1288) 

In as-Sunnah by ‘Abdullah ibn al-Imam Ahmad (1058) it says: It was narrated that al-Hasan said: The Throne of the Most Merciful, may He be glorified and exalted, shook at the funeral of Sa‘d ibn Mu‘aadh (may Allah be pleased with him). Al-Hasan interpreted it as referring to joy at (the coming of) his soul. 

Secondly:

 We must accept the hadeeths that speak of the attributes of Allah as they are; this also applies to what is connected to those attributes of matters of the unseen. Al-Aajurri narrated in ash-Sharee‘ah (3/1146) that al-Waleed ibn Muslim said: I asked al-Awzaa‘i, ath-Thawri, Maalik ibn Anas and al-Layth ibn Sa‘d about the hadeeths which speak of the divine attributes. All of them said: Accept them as they come, without trying to interpret them. According to another report: Accept them as they come without discussing how (and their nature). Narrated by al-Bayhaqi in al-I‘tiqaad (p. 118). 

In the answers to questions no. 138920 and 178915 we explained that the belief of Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah with regard to the divine attributes is that they affirm them and they affirm their meanings on the basis of what they really are and in the light of what is indicated by the linguistic meaning of the word describing them; and they delegate to Allah knowledge of how they are and their essence, whilst believing that they cannot be understood as being indicative of any resemblance of the Lord or any of His attributes to any created being. 

So we believe that the Most Merciful rose over the Throne, and we believe that the Throne shook in a real sense at the death of Sa‘d ibn Mu‘aadh (may Allah be pleased with him). In some reports it says that that was because of the joy of the Lord, may He be exalted, as referred to above. But we cannot ask how did the Most Merciful rise over the Throne, just as we cannot ask how the Throne shook at the death of Sa‘d. Rather we let it pass and we believe in it without asking how or trying to interpret it or liken it to anything. 

Adh-Dhahabi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

The Throne is a creation of Allah that is subject to His control. If He wills that it should shake, it shakes by the will of Allah. Allah instilled in it a sense of love for Sa‘d, just as He instilled in Mount Uhud a sense of love for the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “O you mountains. Glorify (Allah) with him” [Saba’ 34:10] and “The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him” [al-Isra’ 17:44]. Then Allah included all things in that and said: “and there is not a thing but glorifies His Praise” [al-Isra’ 17:44]. And this is true. In Saheeh al-Bukhaari it is narrated that Ibn Mas‘ood said: We used to hear the tasbeeh of the food as it was being eaten. This is a broad topic and we have to believe in it. 

End quote from Siyar A‘laam an-Nubala’ (3/183-184) 

Al-Baghawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

It is more appropriate to understand these reports as they appear to be. The same applies to the words of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), “Uhud is a mountain that loves us and we love it.” The shaking of that which is inanimate with the Prophets and awliya’ (close friends of Allah) is not to be denied, as Uhud shook when the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthmaan were on it, and as the palm-trunk pillar shook with sorrow when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) left it (and began to use the minbar instead).

End quote from Sharh as-Sunnah (14/180-181) 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

The one who misinterprets that as meaning that the bearers of the Throne rejoiced must produce evidence to support what he says … even though the context and wording of the hadeeth are contrary to this interpretation.

End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (6/554) 

Thirdly: 

The fact that the Throne shook at the death of a created being does not suggest any imperfection on the part of the Lord, may He be glorified; what shortcoming is there in that? Whether we assume that the shaking was because of the joy of the Throne itself at the coming of Sa‘d’s soul, and its appreciation of that, according to what some of the scholars said,  or it was because of the joy of the Most Merciful, may He be glorified and exalted, and His loving to meet His slave Sa‘d ibn Mu‘aadh (may Allah be pleased with him), as it says in the hadeeth: “Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him, and whoever hates to meet Allah, Allah hates to meet him.” 

Narrated by al-Bukhaari (6507) and Muslim (2683) 

What imperfection can there be in the Throne because of that, let alone attributing any kind of imperfection to the Lord of the mighty Throne, may He be glorified and exalted?? 

The basic principle on which we must base our words is the soundness or otherwise of the hadeeth. We have previously stated that the hadeeth is sound beyond any shadow of a doubt, and that it is mutawaatir (i.e., narrated by so many from so many that it is inconceivable that they would all have agreed upon a lie) from the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). Then we quoted the views of the scholars concerning the way in which it is to be understood. 

The shaking of the Throne, the creaking of the sky, and so on are not attributes of the Most Merciful, may He be glorified and exalted, as we have pointed out; rather it is an attribute of the Throne, which is something created. 

Ash-Dhahabi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

The creaking of the sky has nothing whatsoever to do with the divine attributes; rather it is like the shaking of the Throne at the death of Sa‘d, and like the cleaving asunder of the heavens on the Day of Resurrection and so on.

End quote from al-‘Uluw (107) 

For more information, please see the answer to question no. 128724

And Allah knows best.

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