The Sufi Ashari Maturidis deny Allah is above the heavens outside the creation however all of the salaf including the four imams are in agreement that Allah is above the heavens outside of the creation.
Abu Bakr: Abdullah Ibn Umar reported: “When the Messenger of Allah was taken (passed away). Abu Bakr entered and kissed his forehead and said: “May my father and mother be sacrificed on you! You were good in life and in death.” Then he remarked: “He who worshiped Muhammad, then Muhammad is dead. (But) he, who worships Allah, then Allah is above the sky, He lives and does not die.” Reported by ad-Daarimee in ar-Radd ‘alal Jahmiyyah, with a hasan (good) isnad (chain of narration).
Ibn Taymiyyah writes, ‘the early generations of Muslims and their Imams were in complete and unanimous agreement that the Lord is separate and distinct from His creation (as he is above the heavens outside the creation).’ Al-Furqaan bayna Awliya ar-Rahmaan wa-Awliya ash-Shaytaan’ by Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah on p.111.
Imam Adh-Dhahabee collected more than two hundred sayings of the early scholars affirming that Allah is above the heavens outside of the creation in his book al-’Uluw. This comment is in the book ‘The Ever-Merciful Istiwa Over the Throne’ by Shaikh Abdullah as-Sabt who deals with this subject in details.
al-Balakhee reported that he asked Abu Haneefah’s opinion about a person who says that he does not know whether his Lord is in the Heavens or on earth? Imam Abu Haneefah replied: “He has disbelieved, for Allah says: ‘The Most Merciful is above the Throne’ (Soorah Taahaa:5) and His Throne is above His Seven Heavens.” Al-Balakhee then asked: “What if he said that Allah is above the Throne, but he does not know whether the Throne is in the Heavens or on earth? Imam Abu Haneefah replied: “He has disbelieved because he has denied that Allah is above the Heavens and whoever denies that He is above the Heavens, has disbelieved.” Recorded by Ibn Abil-Izz al-Hanafee in the explanation of ‘Al-Aqeedah at-Tahawiyah (p. 288)’
Imam Malik (d.179H): Abdullah Ibn Naafi reported that Malik Ibn Anas said: “Allah is above the sky and His Knowledge is in every place, not being absent from anything.” Reported by Abdullah Ibn Ahmad in As-Sunnah (p.5), Aboo Dawood in al-Masaa’il (p.263), Al-Aajuree in ash-Sharee’ah (p. 289) and al-Laalikaa’ee (1/92/2).
Abdullah Ibn Mubarak (d. 181H): Alee Ibn al-Hasan Ibn Shaqeeq reports, I asked Abdullah Ibn al-Mubarak: “How are we to know our Lord?” He replied: “He is above the seventh Heaven above His Throne. We do not say as the Jahmiyyah [Jahmiyyah are the followers of Jahm Ibn Safwan, who was the first one to publicly declare the denial of Allah’s Attributes. He was killed and crucified by Khalid Ibn Abdullah Al-Khusari, Prince of Iraq. This took place during the era of the Tabioon, (students of the Companion). All the scholars at his time called him a Kafir on account of plainly denying the Attributes of Allah] say, He is here on the earth.” This was mentioned to Ahmad Ibn Hambal, he stated: “That is how it is with us (i.e. how we believe).” Reported by ad-Daarimee in ar-Radd ‘alal-Mareesee (p.24 and 103) and ar-Radd ‘alal-Jahmiyyah (p. 50) and Abdullaah Ibn Ahmad in as-Sunnah (p.7, 25, 35 and 72).
Imam Muhammad Ibn Idrees ash-Shafi’ee (d. 204H): Abu Thawr and Abu Shuaib both reported that ash-Shafi’ee said: “The saying which I found and hold regarding the Sunnah, those which I have seen Sufyan, Malik and others believing in are; ‘the testification, ‘None has the right to be worshiped but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah’, Allah is above His Throne over the Heavens, He draws near to His creation as He wishes and descends to the lowest Heaven as He wishes….” Mukhtasar al-’Uluww (l96)
Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (d. 241H): It was said to Abu Abdullah (Imam Ahmad): “Allah is above the seventh Heaven, over His Throne, separate from His creation. His Power and Knowledge are in every place.” He said, “Yes, He is above the Throne and His Knowledge is in every place.” Reported by al-Khallaal in al-Mukhtasar.
In conclusion Allah is above the heavens separate and distinct from his creation. Therefore the idea that Allah is not above the heavens is not based upon the view of the four imams or any of the salaf. In fact Imam Abu Haneefah said: “…whoever denies that He (Allah) is above the Heavens has disbelieved.” recorded by Ibn Abil-Izz al-Hanafee in the explanation of ‘Al-Aqeedah at-Tahawiyah (p. 288)’.