The essence of Allah’s actions is only known to Him. The salaf, did not question the essence of Allah’s actions and accepted them as they are. Such questions occurred to the minds of upcoming generations causing fitnah and the scholars had to counter them by interpreting Allah’s actions so that the Muslim minds could be prevented from creating anthropomorphic (human like) view of Allah ﷻ.
Since Quran is in classical Arabic there is much figurative speech involved in the language therefore many verses related to Allah’s actions need to be understood keeping the language in mind. For instance: "He Istawa (rose over) the Arsh (Throne)." His ‘rising over’ the throne is to be understood in the same manner as we understand figurative speech in the sentence ‘the president’s seat got toppled’ where it’s not the actual ‘seat’ but it is his power that is lost which means he is the president no more. For instance the Prophet ﷺ said: “The Muslim is he who the Muslims are safe from his tongue and his hand.” The ‘hand’ here is not only physical hand but also his power and influence to harm others. Istawa (rising above or established) implies His ‘power’ and Arsh (throne) represents His ‘sovereignty’ as per scholars which means He is in complete control of the entire sovereignty of the universe. When understanding Allah’s actions we need to always keep in mind: “There is not anything like Him (whatsoever)”, this is because figurative interpretation of His actions are also not a final interpretation. Figurative interpretation is only to help the human mind grasp the meaning so they can be prevented from falling in to error. The true essence of Allah’s actions is only in His complete knowledge.
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