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The Quran => Q&As with Joseph Islam - Information Only => : Reader Questions August 10, 2012, 06:22:57 PM

: God's 'Arsh' (Throne) - What Does it Mean?
: Reader Questions August 10, 2012, 06:22:57 PM
Assalamu alaikum br. Joseph

Please can you tell me what is al-arsh?,What is its relationship with our universe?, What does the quran possibly mean by the statement: 'istawa alal arsh' refering to God?

Wassalam
: Re: God's 'Arsh' (Throne) - What Does it Mean?
: Joseph Islam August 10, 2012, 06:24:18 PM
Wa alaikum assalam

The Quran simply communicates in a language that its primary audience understood so that they may grasp its concepts and underlying message. At times the Quran advances appropriate similitudes in a manner that its audience may best relate to it.

What does a king do when on the seat of a throne (arsh)? It is an expression of power, autonomy, governance, sovereignty and dominion over a kingdom. It is not merely a reference to a physical seat.

God's kingdom encompasses the heavens and the Earth, the whole cosmic space, the Universe (2:107). The Quran calls God a 'king' (al maliku) and the Lord (Rab) of the Throne (arsh) -23:116.

In my humble view, it then becomes easier to understand the nuance intended by the term 'arsh' denoting God's absolute sovereignty in its widest possible remit governing all the affairs of the entire Universe.

If we note verse 7:54 and read 'istawa ala 'larsh' (ascended the throne) in context to the establishment of God creating the universe and the laws and taking power over it, we see it further elaborated in verse 13:2 with the term 'yudabbiru l-amra' (governing / disposing the affairs).

I hope that helps, God willing.
Joseph.