Arsh is a great, elevated and a Noorani (luminous) creation. It is Wajib (obligatory) to have belief in it. (Tuhfa-tul-Mureed ‘Ala Jauhar-tu-Tawheed, pp.434) After creating the Noor of Muhammad صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, Arsh is the first creation of Allah Almighty. (Sharah-us-Sawi ‘Ala Jauhar-tu-Tawheed, pp. 390)
How big is Arsh?
Arsh is the biggest among all creation. Allah Almighty has established it over the seventh sky. (Tafseer-e-Kabeer, part 12, Hood, Taht-al-Ayah. 7, vol. 6, pp. 320)
Arsh is over Paradise
The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has said: ‘When you beseech in the blessed court of Allah Almighty, beseech for Jannat-ul-Firdaus because it is the central and supreme part of Jannah and the Arsh of Rahman is over it and the streams of Paradise evolve from it (Jannat-ul-Firdaus).’ (Bukhari, vol. 4, pp. 547, Hadees 7423) Arsh is the roof of Paradise.
What is Arsh made of?
There are different sayings about it. (1) It is created from Noor. (2) Created from green emerald. (3) Created from red Ruby. Imam Ibrahim Bajori رَحْمَةُ اللّٰهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه has said: We do not have definite knowledge regarding its fact therefore, it is better to remain silent rather than developing a definite opinion about it. The research regarding its shape is that Arsh is not round, but it is a Dome shaped. It is the roof of Paradise and provides shade to all the creation and the world as well. It has four pillars. (Tuhfa-tul-Mureed ‘Ala Jauhar-tul-Tawheed, Sharah-us-Sawi ‘Ala Jauhar-tul-Tawheed, pp. 390)
Even before the earth and the heavens
Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn-e-Abbas رَضِیَ اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُمَا has said: Every builder builds walls first and then constructs the roof on them, but Allah Almighty created the roof first and then the walls, because He عَزَّوَجَلَّ created Arsh before creating the earth and the heavens. Then He عَزَّوَجَلَّ created air then its wings and only He عَزَّوَجَلَّ knows the abundance of its wings. Then He عَزَّوَجَلَّ ordered air to lift water. The Arsh of Allah Almighty is on water, whereas, water is on air. After that, Allah Almighty created the Arsh-holding Angels. Allah Almighty does not need Arsh and Kursi; undoubtedly, He عَزَّوَجَلَّ existed before creating these two; although there was no space (created) at that time. (Al-Ans-ul-Jaleel, vol. 1, pp. 73 - 74)
Where was Arsh before the earth and the heavens?
Our Beloved and Blessed Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has said: Allah Almighty had written the destinies of the creation 50,000 years before creating the earth and the heavens. At that time Allah Almighty’s Arsh was on water. (Muslim, pp. 1094, Hadees 6748)
Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan Na’eemi رَحْمَةُ اللّٰهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه states: This water is not the water of sea, but natural water beneath the Arsh-e-A’zam, which is on the air and the air is on the Qudrat of Allah Almighty. This blessed saying does not mean that Arsh was placed on water, but it means that there was no hindrance between this water and Arsh. As we say heaven is on the earth, it means over the earth. This (narration) reveals that Arsh and water were created before all. (Mirat-ul-Manajeeh, vol. 7, pp. 562)
The Arsh-holding angels
Currently there are four Arsh holding angels. When the Judgement Day will take place, Allah Almighty will help them with further four angels. As Allah Almighty has said:
وَ یَحْمِلُ عَرْشَ رَبِّكَ فَوْقَهُمْ یَوْمَىٕذٍ ثَمٰنِیَةٌؕ(۱۷)
And on that day, eight angels will carry the Throne of your Lord above themselves.
[Part 29, Surah Al-Haqqah, Ayah 17]
Sadr-ul-Afadil Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Na’eemuddin Muradabadi رَحْمَةُ اللّٰهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه has stated under this Ayah: It is stated in a Hadees that the Arsh-holding angels are currently four. On the Day of Judgement four more angels would be added to help them, so they will be eight. Sayyiduna Ibn Abbas رَضِیَ اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُمَا states that this means eight rows of angels, whose number (quantity) only Allah Almighty knows. (Khaza’in-ul-Irfan, pp. 1050)
Three things hanging from Arsh
Our Beloved Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has stated: Three things are hanging from Arsh: (1) Relationship; it says: O Allah Almighty! I am just because of You; therefore, I should not be broken off. (2) Trust; it says: O Allah Almighty! I am just because of You; therefore, I should not be breached. And (3) Blessing says O Allah Almighty! I am (bestowed) from You; therefore, I should not be subject to ungratefulness. (Musnad-e-Bazzar, vol. 10, pp. 117, Hadees 4181)
Why does Arsh shiver?
There are many deeds mentioned in blessed Ahadees, that cause the Arsh to shiver. These (deeds) contain some wrongdoings on which due to the Divine wrath, the Arsh shivers. Therefore, read two blessed sayings of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم: (1) The praise of a transgressor attracts Divine wrath and Divine Arsh shivers. (Shu’ab-ul-Iman, vol. 4, pp. 230, Hadees 4886) (2) Marry and do not give divorce, because divorce shivers the Divine Arsh. (Jami’-us-Sagheer, pp. 197, Hadees 3289) Sometimes shaking of Arsh is due to mercy as stated by the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم that good intention clings to Arsh. When any bondman makes his intention true (meaning he acts according to his intention), Arsh starts shaking, then this bondman is forgiven. (Tareekh-e-Baghdad, vol. 12, pp. 444, Hadees 6926)
Who will be the first under the shade of Arsh?
The Noblest Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has said: Undoubtedly, on the Day of Judgement, the first one to get place under the shade of Arsh will be that person who granted the respite to the poor so that he gets something to pay off his debt or wrote-off his loan and said my wealth (money) is a Sadaqah to you for the pleasure of Allah Almighty and torn off the receipt of that loan. (Majma’-uz-Zawa’id, vol. 4, pp. 241, Hadees 6670)
Kursi (Divine throne)
Kursi is also a great Noorani creation of Allah Almighty. This is beneath the Arsh and is attached to it and is over the seventh sky. The distance between the seventh sky and Kursi is the journey of 500 years. And it is better to remain silent rather than forming a definite opinion regarding this (distance). Kursi is a separate creation of Allah Almighty than Arsh. Although every creation of Allah Almighty carries wisdom behind its creation, yet Allah Almighty does not need them at all. Therefore, He عَزَّوَجَلَّ has neither created Arsh to attain elevation nor created Kursi to sit. (Tuhfa-tul-Mureed, pp. 434 - 435)
How is Kursi?
Our Noblest Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said: Kursi and Qalam (pen) both are made of pearl. The length of the pen is equal to the journey of 700 years and the length of Kursi, even the knowledgeable ones don’t know. (Kitaab-ul-‘Azmat, pp. 101, Hadees 260)
The magnitude of Kursi
The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said: “The seven skies as compared to Kursi are like a ring lying in a desert and Arsh as compared to Kursi is so big like a desert to a ring. (Kitaab-ul-‘Azmat, pp. 83, Hadees 208) Sayyiduna Wahb Bin Munabbih رَحْمَةُ اللّٰهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه states: Kursi has four legs; every leg is longer than the heavens and earth. The entire world as compared to Kursi is like a mustard seed on your palm.” (Kitaab-ul-‘Azmat, pp. 95)