islamic topics

Islamic viewpoint on ‘God made man in His own image’

Islam does not agree with this statement. Allah (SWT), God, has attributes which belong to Him alone, such as His being the Creator, the Provider, the One God, etc.  These are characteristics which a created being cannot acquire.

Allah’s perfect attributes that exist in Him include al-Qaadir (the All-Powerful), al-‘Aleem (the All-Knowing), al-Hakeem (the Most Wise), al-Samee’ (the All-Hearing), al-Baseer (the All-Seeing). As Muslims, we must believe in all the attributes that have been narrated from Allah or from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in a manner that befits Allah, whilst also believing that He does not resemble any of His creation in any of His attributes, just as He does not resemble them in His Essence. In Surah Al-Ikhlas (Absoluteness), Allah says:

“Say (O Muhammad): He is Allah, (the) One.

Allaah-us-Samad [Allah — the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, (He neither eats nor drinks)].

He begets not, nor was He begotten.

And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.”

In another chapter, Allah says in the Quran,

“There is nothing like Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer” [al-Shoora 42:11]

Man is encouraged to strive to acquire the characteristics implied by some of the attributes and names of Allah (God). That means striving to acquire those attributes which would be befitting for a created being to acquire. These refer to the characteristics which Allah likes His slaves to acquire, such as knowledge, strength, mercy, forbearance, generosity and forgiveness, etc. For example, Allah is All-Knowing and loves those who are knowledgeable; He is Strong and He loves the strong believer more than He loves the weak believer; He is Generous and loves those who are generous; He is Merciful and He loves those who show mercy; He is Forgiving and loves forgiveness, etc. But when applied to Allah, these attributes are perfect and greater than when applied to any created being, because there is nothing like unto Allah in His attributes and actions, just as there is nothing like unto Allah in His Essence. Rather it is sufficient for a person to have a share in the sense of these attributes, in a manner that suits him and within the limits set by Islamic law.

The great scholar Ibn al-Qayyim in his books ‘Uddat al-Saabireen and al-Waabil al-Sayyib, said:

“Because Allah is indeed the Appreciative (al-Shukoor), the most beloved of His creation to Him are those who have the characteristic of gratitude (al-shukr), just as the most hated of His creation to Him are those who are lacking in this characteristic or who have the opposite characteristic. This applies to His Beautiful names: the most beloved of His creation to Him are those who have the characteristics implied by His names, and the most hated of His creation to Him are those who have the opposite characteristics. Hence He hates those who are ungrateful, those who do wrong, those who are ignorant, hard-hearted, miserly, cowardly and ignoble. He is Beautiful and loves beauty; He is All-Knowing and loves those who have knowledge; He is Merciful and loves those who show mercy; He does good and loves those who do good; He is the Concealer and loves those who conceal; He is Powerful and condemns those who act helpless, and the strong believer is more beloved to Him than the weak believer; He is forgiving and loves forgiveness; He is One and He loves that which is odd-numbered; everything that He loves is connected to His names and attributes; and everything that He hates is the opposite of that.” (p. 310)

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References: islamqa.info / islamhouse.com


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2 comments… add one
  • Sameena

    “There is nothing like unto Allah in His attributes and actions, just as there is nothing like unto Allah in His Essence.”
    “:..and the strong believer is more beloved to Him than the weak believer”. Let us strive to be strong believers and accept whatever Allah tells us in the Quran, instead of thinking on our own and trying to imagine Allah’s Attributes with our limited understanding.

  • faris

    Its ABSOLUTELY wrong to make an image of Allah in your brain… Its written in Surah Ikhlas “Wa lam yakul-lahu kufuwan ahad” meaning And there is none like unto Him. So there in nothing in the universe which can be compared to Him.

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