بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ
Question: Is it possible to see Allah in this life?
Allah says about Himself in Surah Hadeed the following:
He is the First (He existed when nothing was created), He is the Last (He will continue to exist when everything will come to an end) He is the Seen, (Manifest) and He is the Hidden. (57:3)
If we should take the literal meaning, it means that He could be seen. Allah also says:
Allah testifies to the fact that there is no god but He and the angels testify and those endued with knowledge, standing firm on justice. (3:18)
To testify to a fact here means to see Him. Only the selected few will be able to do so. It is a fact, as the Lord rightly says:
No vision can grasp Him, but He is able to see everything. (6:103)
It means that except for Prophet Muhammad (pboh) on the night of the Miraj, no other creature will be able to view Him in the physical domain of space and time, with their physical eyes.
Out of His Mercies, He has made available a pathway of ascent for human beings. He says about it that He is Zil Ma’arij, (The Possessor of the Ascending Stairways). (70:3)
It means that creatures have the power to ascend higher and higher towards Him according to their capacities and because of His Mercies. The angels cannot get very close to Him, because they questioned His decision to appoint Adam as His Khalifah on the earth. So too, all other Messengers, etc. expressed some form of limitations regarding their understanding of Him and the way He works.
It was only Prophet Muhammad (pboh) who was blessed with limitless capacity. This was because Allah says that: Nor does he say anything of his own desire. (53:3).
The Prophet (pboh) was totally submissive and never questioned any matter pertaining the working of the Lord; as a result he was able to ascend two bow’s length or even closer to Him. (53:9)
Because he had no stains on his qalb, ruh or nafs, he could have ascended very close to his Lord, and get a full view of Him. The same thing will happen to the righteous when they will be stationed in Paradise.
The condition of experiencing the Lord is to have: no stains on the qalb. (83:14); and also to have no smoke around the ruh. (6:82).
Anyone who can develop themselves free from such will be able to have a vision of the Lord (Al Zahir) according to the extent of their spiritual development. Prophet Muhammad (pboh) is reported to have said that: Among my followers there will be those who will be higher in status than the Messengers of Bani Israel. This means that they will be blessed with greater ascent than those Messengers.
But is it possible to rationalize such an experience; definitely not; so that the selected few who will be blessed with such an experience, will never let anyone know about what they saw.
This issue existed even in the time of the Prophet (pboh) as it is reported that Hazrat Ayesha said that anyone who say that the Prophet (pboh) saw Allah, is not telling the truth. The Prophet (pboh) never commented on it.
Those who are blessed with experience of being close to Allah will never speak about it to any, as that is a personal matter; and is not something to advertise.
So that you will get differing views about this matter, but only the Lord knows best.
May Allah bless us.