Imâm Al-Awzâ’î – Allâh have mercy on him – said:
We used to say – while the Tâbi’ûn were abundant – that Allâh is above his ‘Arsh (Throne), and we believe in what is present in the Sunnah about His attributes.
Al-Baihaqî, Al-Asmâ` wa Al-Sifât and Al-Dhahabî, Siyar A’lâm Al-Nubalâ` in his biography of Al-Awzâ’î.
In Majmû’ Al-Fatâwâ, Shaykh Al-Islâm Ibn Taymîyah says that this narration is reported by Al-Baihaqî in Al-Asmâ` wa Al-Sifât with a sahîh chain of narrations. He then states, “Al-Awzâ’î here cited – and he is one of the four great imâms of the period of the Tâbi’ Al-Tâbi’în (the students of the students of the Companions): Mâlik, imâm of the people of Al-Hijâz; Al-Awzâ’î, imâm of the people of Shâm; Al-Layth, imâm of the people of Egypt and Al-Thawrî, imâm of the people of ‘Irâq – Al-Awzâ’î here cited that belief in Allâh being above the Throne and in His other revealed attributes was well known and widespread in the period of the Tâbi’în. He said this following the emergence of the creed of Jahm, who denied that Allâh is above His Throne and negated His attributes, so that people would know that the creed of the Salaf was contrary to this.”