Question Answer

A scholar expressed in his talk the view that Allah Ta'ala is not everywhere. Allah's presence according to the Qur'an is only on the Arsh which is above the heavens. Please comment on this opinion.

This scholar happens to be a member of the deviant sect. Just as the Qur'an Majeed says that Allah Ta'ala is on the Arsh (Throne) so too does it say that Allah Ta'ala is in the east and in the west, and that He is at all times with every single person wherever he/she may be. In short, the Qur'an teaches the Omnipresence of Allah Azza Wa Jal. This is sufficient to debunk the baseless claim of the scholar.

In support of his averment, the scholar advances the argument that if Allah Ta'ala is everywhere as some Muslims believe, it would mean that He is also present at places of evil such as casinos, brothels, etc. In his opinion Allah Ta'ala is 'everywhere' in knowledge only.
What is the correct view of the Shariah? He says that according to Imaam Abu Hanifah (RA) the one who believes in the Omnipresence of Allah Ta'ala is a kaafir.

Firstly it is false to claim that the belief of Divine Immanence is the belief of `some' Muslims. On the contrary, the belief that Allah Ta'ala is cloistered exclusively on the Arsh is the erroneous belief of some Muslims, namely, the deviant Salafis. The vast majority - the entire Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama'ah, believes in the Divine Omnipresence.
Secondly, the negation of Omnipresence is the mere opinion of the scholar who is a blind muqallid of his deviant Salafi imams. The personal opinion of a scholar cannot negate and abrogate the Qur'an Majeed. His opinion is the product of corrupt logic, unsubstantiated by Shariah argument.
Thirdly, the consequence of Divine Presence in evil places is ludicrous and disrespectful. The scholar has trapped himself in this absurd line of argument because he has analogized Allah Azza Wa Jal with the created human being. He understands our belief of Divine Immanence in terms of human presence. Allah Ta'ala sees and He hears. But He does not have physical eyes and ears like man. The scholar's argument is like saying that the belief that Allah Ta'ala sees and hears leads to the conclusion that Allah Ta'ala has physical eyes and ears like the human being. Warning against the commission of this dangerous blunder of comparing Allah Ta'ala with created beings, the Qur'an Majeed states: "Do not draw analogies for Allah." (Surah Nahl aayat 74).
This is the fundamental error of some scholars. Their belief envisages the at­tribution of anthropomorphic attributes for Allah Azza Wa Jal, The Eternal Being. With regard to `presence' in an evil place, the scholar should understand that Allah Ta'ala is in fact, the Creator of even evil. It is He who has created the evil Iblees. It is He Who has created the evil nafs. It is He Who has created all the other evils on earth. All such creation is subject to His Wisdom which is unfathomable by the created human mind which is finite and extremely limited and deficient in relation to encompassing Divine Realities.
The perfection of man's intelligence with which Allah Ta'ala has adorned and elevated him, is in relation to himself. It is perfect and adequate for comprehending the Path termed Siraatul Mustaqeem which leads straight to Jannat and to Allah Ta'ala. The cognitive power of man's Aql is not infinite, hence he lacks the ability to transcend the limitations of his intelligence. Thus, when the Qur'an says Allah is on the Throne, we say, ‘He is on the Throne and we do not know how.' When the Qur'an says that Allah is in the east and the west, we say: `Allah is in the east and the west, and we do not know how.' When the Qur'an says Allah is nearer to us than our jugular vein, we say: `Allah is nearer to us than our jugular vein, and we do not know how." When the Qur'an says that Allah Ta'ala is the third One present in the company of two persons, and the fourth in a company of four persons, we say: `Allah is the third and the fourth One 'present, and we do not know how."
The cumulative quotient of the va­riety of Qur'anic verses and Ahadith narration pertaining to Allah's presence is the affirmation of the attribute of Divine Omnipresence - Allah is here, there and everywhere in total rejection of the belief which leads to the kufr conclusion of anthropomorphism for Allah Ta'ala.
The Arsh is a thing created by Al­lah Ta'ala. It is a wondrous creation created in space which Allah Ta'ala has created. Limiting and confining Allah's presence to a created item leads to the assignment of dimensional limitations for the Eternal Being. This attribution of weakness and defect which is a quality of created beings is kufr when related to Allah Ta'ala.
The averment that the divine pres­ence refers to divine knowledge is baseless. It is the product of the scholar's defective mind and corrupt logic. His view has no substantiation in the Shariah. The fact that this scholar and the other deviates of his ilk seek to impose the corrupt product of his rationalizing on the Ummah testifies for their deviation. While they berate the rational interpretation of the illustrious Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen, they blindly submit to and follow their personal desires and opinions.
The scholar should not cite Imaam Abu Hanifah (RA) as a daleel in his favour. He did not understand what exactly Imaam Abu Hanifah had implied.

Is it ok to participate in these cruises which have casinos, music, dancing, bars etc?

Although going for a cruise in itself is not haram, however, the evils and prohibited forms of entertainment that are associated with conventional modern day cruises are extremely harmful to ones Iman and spirituality.
Hence, Muslims are urged not to go on such types of cruises.

I wanted to know in the days of menses if women can read Masnoon dua's and the Durood Sharif. I know that we cannot touch or recite the Qur'an but some people say that you can recite Masnoon dua's and Durood Sharif.

A woman in her menses is permitted to recite Masnoon dua's.
She is also permitted to recite dua's that have been mentioned in the Holy Qur'an, provided that she recites these dua's with the intention of making a du'a and not with the intention of tilawat. Further, a woman in her menses may recite Durood Sharif without any objection.