He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days;
then He mounted the Throne. ... (Pickthall Translation)
-- Sura 57:4
It was We Who created man,
and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him:
for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein. (Yusuf Ali)
-- Sura 50:16
Is the throne of Allah at your jugular vein? That question is silly, so it seems. Obviously one can easily understand these verses to mean, that Allah is near to you and to everyone equally since he is not in any location in particular. Allah is "everywhere" in the sense that there is no place that is without his presence. What about the throne? The throne symbolizes the power and sovereignty of Allah's rule. One does not need to understand it as a physical location. And in fact, Yusuf Ali translates it as if it is not an act of sitting down on the throne (which is the literal meaning of the Arabic), but as a metaphorical expression for his power.
He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days,
and is moreover firmly established on the Throne (of Authority). ...
This would solve the question if each mentioning of Allah's throne could always be understood metaphorically. But what then do we make of this following ayat?
And He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days -
and His Throne was upon the water -
that He might try you, which of you is best in conduct. ...
-- Sura 11:7
Is the water also metaphorical? Even though it may not be entirely clear where this water was (the ocean, the rain clouds, ...?), this seems to be clearly a statement of location for this throne and is no longer metaphorical. Also, the Arabic is past tense, and the question is then: Is the throne still upon the water, and if not, where has it moved to? And then there are these verses:
He rules (all) affairs from the heavens to the earth:
in the end will (all affairs) go up to Him, on a Day,
the space whereof will be (as) a thousand years of your reckoning."
-- Sura 32:5
The angels and the spirit ascend unto him in a Day
the measure whereof is (as) fifty thousand years:
-- Sura 70:4
If Allah is nearer to us than our jugular vein, why is there any need for the "affairs" (?), angels and the spirit to travel at all to reach Allah? Is there any interpretation of Sura 32:5 and 70:4 which does not involve a physical "distance" between the earth and Allah that has to be bridged?
Sura 50:16 could be understood that Allah is equally near everywhere, and there is no place you can go to be nearer to Him than were you are at this time.
Then why does anyone or anything have to travel to reach Allah?
Contradictions in the Qur'an
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