The meaning of Allaah’s `Arsh

Question: What is the meaning of Allaah’s `Arsh (Allaah’s Throne)?

Answer: According to Muslim scholars, and the Arabic language, `Arsh means a throne or a throne belonging to a king. The `Arsh of Allaah is an extremely large and great Throne; it is the greatest thing created by Allaah. It has four legs, and is carried by Angles. Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) is above the `Arsh as He (Glorified and Exalted be He) says about Himself: The Most Gracious (Allaah) rose over (Istawaa’) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). And: Indeed, your Lord is Allaah, Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and then He rose over (Istawaa’) the Throne (really in a manner that suits His Majesty). Thus, it is a significantly large `Arsh; none knows how great the size of its magnificence is except Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) Who created it (but we are told by the Prophet that it is very large). This `Arsh is like a dome stretching over the entire universe; it is the ceiling of the whole universe. It is also the ceiling of Paradise; nothing is above it except Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He). Thus, `Arsh in Arabic is a very large throne, and the thrones of kings are called `Arsh. It is mentioned in the Qur’aan that the hoopoe told Sulaymaan (Solomon) that Bilqees (the Queen of Sabaa [or Sheebaa] in Yemen, who ruled during the lifetime of Prophet Sulaymaan. She and her people were sun worshippers): …and she has a great throne. Yet, Allaah’s `Arsh is unique; there is no similarity between Allaah’s `Arsh and those of His Creatures. In general, we know from Arabic that `Arsh is a generic name standing for a throne. However, none knows the essence, nature, substance, or greatness of Allaah’s `Arsh except Allaah Himself (Glorified and Exalted be He). Yet, authentic Hadeeths of the Prophet (peace be upon him) are our authority in this matter... read more here.

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