Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “It is not given to any human being that Allaah should speak to him unless (it be) by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or (that) He sends a Messenger to reveal what He will by His Leave. Verily, He is Most High, Most Wise.” [al-Shoora 42:51].
Abu Hurayrah said: “Some people said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, will we see our Lord on the Day of Resurrection?’ He said, ‘Do you have any doubt about seeing the sun on a cloudless day?’ They said, ‘No, O Messenger of Allaah.’ He said, ‘Do you have any doubt about seeing the full moon on a cloudless night?’ They said, ‘No, O Messenger of Allaah.’ He said, ‘You will see Him just as clearly on the Day of Resurrection…’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 6088). It is clear that the idea that Allaah will not be seen in this life was well-entrenched in the minds of the Sahaabah. They were asking about the Hereafter, and this is what the Prophet’s answer also referred to.
Abu Dharr said: “I asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), ‘Have you seen your Lord?’ He said, ‘(There is) light, how could I see Him?’” This light, which prevented him from seeing Him, is a veil of light, which is further explained in the hadeeth of Abu Moosa, who said, “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stood up and told us five things: ‘Allaah does not sleep, and it is not befitting that He should sleep. He lowers the scale and lifts it. The deeds in the night are taken up to Him before the deeds of the day, and the deeds of the day before the deeds of the night. His veil is the light. If He were to withdraw it (the veil), the splendour of His countenance would consume His creation as far as His sight reaches.’” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad and Muslim, 263).
Further clear evidence comes in the hadeeth which warns against the Dajjaal (antichrist): “Written between his eyes is (the word) kaafir, which will be read by everyone who hates his works, or every believer will read it. Know that none of you will see your Lord until he dies.” (Reported by Muslim, 5215).
So any claim that anyone but the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) can see Allaah in reality is impossible, according to the consensus of the scholars. However, there is some disagreement among the scholars as to whether or not the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw Allaah on the night of the Mi’raaj. The correct view is that he did not see Him physically, with his own two eyes, because when he was asked about this, he said, “(There is) light, how could I see Him?” According to another report, he said, “I saw light.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not see Him, but he saw His veil of light.
The question of whether Allaah may be seen in a dream does not contradict the fact that Allaah cannot be seen in reality in this world, because all the texts quoted above speak about physical vision when one is awake, not the “vision” of the heart when one is asleep. Proof that the latter kind of vision is possible is to be seen in the hadeeth about the dispute of the “chiefs on high” (the angels). Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said, “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, ‘My Lord came to me tonight in the most beautiful form.’ I think he said, ‘in a dream. He said, “O Muhammad, do you know what the chiefs on high disputed about?” I said, “No.” He put His hand between my shoulder-blades and I could feel its coolness on my chest (or just beneath my throat), then I knew everything that is in the heavens and on earth. He said, “O Muhammad, do you know what the chiefs on high disputed about?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “About expiation, and expiation is staying in the mosque after prayers, walking to join congregational prayers, and doing wudoo’ properly in adverse conditions. Whoever does that will live a good life and die a good death, and will be as sinless as the day his mother bore him.” He said, “O Muhammad, when you pray, say Allaahumma innee as’aluka fa’l al-khayraat wa tark al-munkaraat wa hubb al-masaakeen, wa idha aradta bi ‘ibaadika fitnatan fa’qbudni ilayka ghayra maftoon (O Allaah, I ask you to make me do good deeds and avoid evil deeds, and to make me love the poor and wretched. If You want to test Your slaves, then take me unto You without subjecting me to the trial). One’s status in Paradise may be raised by spreading the greeting of salaam, feeding others, and praying at night when people are sleeping.”’” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 16026; and by al-Tirmidhi, 3159, who said it is a saheeh hasan hadeeth).
TO BE CONTINUED… INSHA ALLAH