Regarding Istiwaa Maulana Ashraf Alee Thanwee said in an explanation of a verse,
“This verse is an evidence that Allaah is not in a particular direction, (rather everywhere).” [Tafseer al-Bayaan pg.36), and Maulana Shabeer Ahmad Uthmaanee (the author of Fath al-Mulhim Sharh Saheeh Muslim) also said the same in his notes to the Qur’aan (pg.22 note.7)]
Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madanee, another eminent deobandee scholar wrote in refutation of the Aqeedah Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah, who he terms ‘Wahabiyyah’,
“The Wahabiyyah group take Istiwaa literally and establish a direction (for Allaah) from the verse, “The most Merciful rose over his Throne.” and other similar verses, which necessitate a body for Allaah.” (ash-Shihaab ath-Thaaqib (pg.64)]
In this defective understanding of the deobandee’s, Imaam Maalik (rahimahullaah) said when replying to the one who asked, ‘How did Allaah make Istawaa? (Ascension above the Throne)’,
“Al-Istiwaa is Known, and its how is unknown, to have faith in it is obligatory, and to question it is an innovation.” Then he said to the questioner, “I do not think except that you are an innovator,” and he ordered him to be expelled.”
[The sanad of this narration is good. See Mukhtasar al-Uluww of Imaam al-Albaanee and al-Asmaa was Sifaat (pg.516) of Baihaqee, Aqeedatus-Salaf Wa Ashaabul-Hadeeth (pg’s.17-18), also a supporting narration from Umm Salamah with a similar meaning in Aqeedatus-Salaf Wa Ashaabul-Hadeeth (pg.16), Laalikaa’ee in Shrah Usool al-Ei’tiqaad, Fath ul-Baaree (13/406), Imaam Dhahabee in al-Uluww (pg.65) and Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisee in Kitaab al-Uluww (no.82).]
A prominent Hanafee scholar, counted amongst the mujtahid of his madhhab Allaamah Nisfeee Hanafee said, says in his book ‘Tafseer Madaarik at-Tanzeel wa Haqaiq at-Ta’weel’ (2/56),
“We translate thuma Istiwaa to mean Istawlaa (conquer) that Allaah conquered the Arsh … and so Allaah subhaanahu wa ta’aala conquered the whole of the creation.” And he says to take the meaning of Arsh as Throne and Istiwaa to mean establishment is baatil like it is the Aqeedah of the Mushabihhah Sect (those who liken the creation with Allaah)
Regarding this we bring the words of the great Muhaddith Imaam Ibn Khuzaimah, author of ‘Saheeh Ibn Khuzaimah’ and student of the great Imaam of Hadeeth, Imaam Bukhaari.
Imaam Haakim mentions in ‘Ma’arifah Uloom Al-Hadeeth’ that Imaam Abu Bakr Ibn Khuzaimah said:
“The one who does not proclaim Allaah subhaanahu wa ta’aala is above His Arsh, then he commits kufr with Allaah and he must be given the instruction to repent. If he repents it is better otherwise his neck should be cut and it should be thrown on piles of rubbish so that the Muslims and disbelievers are not troubled by the smell of the body (his condition will be an advice). No Muslim can be his inheritor because it is the saying of the Messenger of Allaah sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam that the Muslim can not be the inheritor of the kaafir.”
[Ma’arifah Uloom al-Hadeeth (pg. 84), Aqeedatus-Salaf Wa Ashaabul-Hadeeth (pg’s 20-21) of Imaam Saboonee, Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah authenticated it]
The statement of the pious predecessors are numerous with regards to this issue which. Refer to the article, ‘The Sunnah of the Ascension of Allaah’.