بسم لله الرحمن الرحيم
Sheikh Ali Al Faqeehi states, Az-Zujaaj mentions that it has two meanings. So if you were to take it on its apparent it would imply that He (Allah) is manifest by why of the intellect due to the proofs and evidence of His existence and His oneness. However if you take its meaning from the usage of the Arab (when they say), “So and So ascended (the verb used is ظهَرَ) above the roof; (meaning) whenever he is elevated. Thus it is from being elevated and Allah The Exalted is above everything.
In conclusion, from Allah’s names is Ath-Thahir meaning it is He who has risen over (ascended) everything and is above everything. [كتاب التوحيد لابن منده مع تعليقات الشيخ الفقيهي]
Ibn-ul-Qayyum said, His (Allah) state of being elevated (ظاهِرِيته) means the state of being above everything. [طريق الهجرتين]
This interpretation that we find repeated by the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah is derived directly from the statement of the Messenger -sallahu alayhi wa salaam- when, while supplicating, he said “O Allah, you are Al-Awwal there is nothing before you, and You are Al-Akhir and there is nothing after you, You are Ath-Thahir and there is nothing above you, and You are Al-Batin and there is nothing closer than you…” Collected by Muslim.
In this supplication the Prophet -sallahu alayhi wa salaam- explained the intent and meanings of these names making it binding upon all to affirm.
Compiled by Najeeb ibn Yusuf Al Anjelesi