In the book Ar-Risalah (The Message) by Abul-Qasim al-Qushayriyy, Imam ^Aliyy ibn abi Talib said:
الإمام عَلِيَّ بْنِ أَبي طالِبٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قالَ : لا يقال أين لمن أيّن الأين
Means: The question of ‘where’ [i.e. location] does not apply to the One who created the whereabouts.
Imam Abu Hanifah, in his book Al-Fiqh Al-Absat said:
نَقَلَ الإِمامُ أَبُو مَنْصُورٍ الْمَاتُرِيدِيُّ في شَرْحِهِ عَلى الْفِقْهِ الأَكْبَرِ أَنَّ الإِمامَ أَبا حَنِيفَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قالَ :
كان قبل المكان كان ولم يكن أين ولا خلق وهو خالق كل شىء
Means: Allàh’s existence is eternal and eternally place did not exist. His eternal existence was before creating the creation.
He eternally exists and eternally there was no place or any other creation and He is the Creator of everything.
Beneficial Information: When Muslims lift their hands and face towards the sky when performing du^aa (supplicating to Allàh for something beneficial), it does not mean that Allàh exists in the skies. Imam An-Nawawiyy said:
في شَرْحِ صَحِيح مُسْلِم يَقولُ الإِمَامُ النَّوَوِيُّ : السَّمَاءُ قِبْلَةُ الدُّعَاء.
Means: The skies are the direction for du^aa. Muslims lift their hands and face towards the skies, because it is the direction for the du^aa, just as the Ka^ba (Mecca) is the direction for all Muslims around the world face towards it when praying to Allàh.
Muslims face the Ka^ba not because Allàh resides in it, but face towards it in obedience to Allàh, because Allàh ordered us to do so when we pray.
Muslims don’t worship the Ka^ba or any other creation, we only worship Allàh. Muslims lift their hands and face towards the sky when performing du^aa. This is because it is from the skies that the mercies and blessings from Allah descend. So no attention is given to the Mushabbihah / المشبهة who say the skies are the direction to perform du^aa (i.e. supplication) to use it as their so-called proof Allàh occupies the skies.
Mushabbihah are cornered when you remind them that the Prophet at times made du^aa and his forehead was facing the ground while praying. The Messenger of Allàh, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
قال رسول اللَّه صلى اللَّه عليه وسلم :
مَا في السَّمَاءِ مَوْضِعُ أَرْ بَعِ أَصَابِعَ إلا وَفِيهِ مَلَكٌ قَائِمٌ أَوْ رَاكِعٌ أَوْسَاجِدٌ يَذْكُرُ اللَّهَ تَعَالى.
رَوَاهُ الترمذي عن أبي ذر الغفاري
Means: There is no space in the sky equal to the width of four fingers, except one would find an Angel worshipping and glorifying Allàh, either standing, Ruku^ [bowing position] or Sujud [prostration position].
The Angels stay as such until the Day of Judgement, worshipping Allàh their Creator. This saying of the Messenger of Allàh is another proof that Allàh does not exist in the skies. This is because those Mushabbihah who claim that Allàh exists in the upper skies are claiming Allàh is in between the Angels and His size is the width of four fingers? This is impossible, because the Creator is not a body, object, size, form or shape.