Friday, August 19, 2011

How can we understand the divine descent during the night in different countries?


It is narrated in the hadeeth that “Allaah descends every night to the lowest heaven during the last third of the night…” When does the last third of the night begin, and when does it end? And how does Allaah descend in different countries?.

Praise be to Allaah.


There are mutawaatir ahaadeeth from the
Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) which prove that Allaah descends. The Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) said: “Our Lord descends to the lowest heaven every night when the last third of the night remains, and He says, ‘Who will
call upon Me, that I may answer him? Who will ask of Me, that I may give him? Who will ask Me for forgiveness, that I may forgive him?’” 

Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah are unanimously
agreed that Allaah descends in a manner that befits Him, and that He is not like His creation at all in any of His attributes, as He says
(interpretation of the meaning): 

“Say (O Muhammad): He is Allaah, (the)

Allaah‑us‑Samad [Allaah — the
Self‑Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, (He neither eats nor drinks)].

He begets not, nor was He begotten.

And there is none co‑equal or comparable
unto Him”

[al-Ikhlaas 112:1-4] 

“There is nothing like Him, and He is the
All‑Hearer, the All‑Seer”

[al-Shoora 42:11] 

According to Ahl al-Sunnah wa'l-Jamaa'ah, we
must accept the verses and ahaadeeth that speak of the attributes of Allaah as they are, without distorting them, denying any of His attributes,
trying to imagine how they are or trying to liken Him to any of His creation; at the same time we must believe in them and believe that what is
said in these texts is true, without likening Allaah to His creation or discussing the nature of His attributes. Rather their view concerning His
attributes is like their view concerning His essence: Ahl al-Sunnah wa'l-Jamaa'ah affirm the Essence of Allaah without discussing how it is, or
likening Him to any of His creation, and thus we must also affirm His attributes without discussing how they are, or likening these attributes to
the attributes of any of His creation. The descent of Allaah happens in every country in a manner that befits Allaah, because the descent of
Allaah cannot be likened to the descent of any of His creation. He is described as descending in the last part of the night in all parts of the
world in a manner that befits His Majesty, may He be exalted. No one can know how He descends just as no one can know how His Essence is, except

“There is nothing like Him, and He is the
All‑Hearer, the All‑Seer”

[al-Shoora 42:11 – interpretation of the

“So put not forward similitudes for Allaah
(as there is nothing similar to Him, nor He resembles anything). Truly, Allaah knows and you know not”

[al-Nahl 16:74 – interpretation of the

The first and last third of the night differ
according to the season. If the night is nine hours long then the time of descent begins at the onset of the seventh hour, until dawn comes. If
the night is twelve hours long then the last third begins at the beginning of the ninth hour until dawn comes, and so on, depending on how long or
short the night is in each place. And Allaah is the Source of strength. 

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