And I had already spoken to him about the fact that Allaah was and there was nothing with Him … so there was nothing there [with Him], thereafter He said, ‘Be!’ and the creation was. If we conclude that we haven’t reached the Throne yet and in your opinion those angels are above the Throne: then what is above the Throne? Nothing or something [wujood/existence/being/entity]?
The Azhari Shaikh: No, nothing.
[So I said] because we had agreed that nothing was in existence before Allaah the Blessed and Most High created the heavens and the earth … Allaah was and nothing was with Him … so before Allaah created anything there was nothing–so when your knowledge leads you to understand that the Kuroobiyoon angels are above the Throne and that nothing from the universe is there after that, the creation having ended … [thereafter] when the Salafis say that Allaah the Blessed and Most High rose over, i.e., ascended over, the [Mighty] Throne–why do you accuse them of having confined Allaah the Mighty and Majestic to [a place in] His universe when there is no universe there?
For the universe is limited and restricted and in our opinion the end of the universe and its highest part is the Throne and in your opinion it is the Throne and then above it are the ‘Kuroobiyoon Angels,’ and then nothing after that.
So the correct aqidah according to both the intellect and the text is truly that of the Pious Predecessors–because they did not say that Allaah is in a place, as you [falsely] assume, because there is no ‘place’ beyond the Throne, only total and complete nonexistence [of anything] except Allaah the Blessed and Most High.
But what is the matter with you when you fled from that which you accused the Salafis of, [something] which they are [in fact] free of–since [we say that] Allaah is not in a place because there is no universe or place after the [Mighty] Throne, Allaah having ascended over it–but what’s the matter with you fleeing from affirming this attribute for Allaah the Blessed and Most High, i.e., the attribute of declaring Him completely free of any likeness to His creation and not ascribing the qualities of the creation to Him [tanzeeh], because He is not in the universe.
So how is it that you say He is everywhere, you confine Him to being inside His universe which He created after it was not in existence?
So you are the Mushabbihah, and you are the Mujassimah [anthropomorphists].
And we the Salafis are nothing other than those who go by what Allaah the Most High said, ‘There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer,’ [Shuraa 42:11] and upon this aayah, upon [the meaning contained in] its beginning and end, we declare Him, the Most High, to be totally and utterly free of any likeness to His creation and do not ascribe the qualities of the creation to Him [tanzeeh], whilst affirming [His] Attributes as befits His Majesty and Exaltedness.
Fataawaa Jeddah, 17.