Q&A (Fatwa)

#1150: The Meaning of the Creation of Adam in His Own Image


It was reported in an Hadith that the messenger of Allah (Salallahu alayhi wa salam) said ” Allah created Adam (AS) in his own image”

What is the the view/explanation of the scholars on this Hadith.




The Hadith to which you refer is the Hadith that was recorded by Imam Muslim from Abu Hurayrah radiyallahu anhu that the Rasul salallahu alayhi wasallam said:

إِذَا قَاتَلَ أَحَدُكُمْ أَخَاهُ فَلْيَجْتَنِبْ الْوَجْهَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ خَلَقَ آدَمَ عَلَى صُورَتِهِ

“Whenever any of you fights his brother, let him avoid hitting the face for indeed Allah Created Aadam in his own image”

And in the recording of Imaam Al-Bukhaari, the Rasul salallahu alayhi wasallam said:

خَلَقَ اللَّهُ آدَمَ عَلَى صُورَتِهِ طُولُهُ سِتُّونَ ذِرَاعًا فَلَمَّا خَلَقَهُ قَالَ اذْهَبْ فَسَلِّمْ عَلَى أُولَئِكَ النَّفَرِ مِنْ الْمَلائِكَةِ جُلُوسٌ فَاسْتَمِعْ مَا يُحَيُّونَكَ فَإِنَّهَا تَحِيَّتُكَ وَتَحِيَّةُ ذُرِّيَّتِكَ فَقَالَ السَّلامُ عَلَيْكُمْ فَقَالُوا السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ فَزَادُوهُ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ فَكُلُّ مَنْ يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ عَلَى صُورَةِ آدَمَ فَلَمْ يَزَلْ الْخَلْقُ يَنْقُصُ بَعْدُ حَتَّى الآن

Allah created Adam in His Image, sixty cubits (about 30 meters) in height. When He created him, He said (to him), “Go and greet that group of angels sitting there, and listen what they will say in reply to you, for that will be your greeting and the greeting of your offspring.” Adam (went and) said, ‘As-Salamu alaikum (Peace be upon you).’ They replied, ‘AsSalamu-‘Alaika wa Rahmatullah (Peace and Allah’s Mercy be on you) So they increased ‘Wa Rahmatullah’ The Prophet added ‘So whoever will enter Paradise, will be of the shape and picture of Adam Since then the creation of Adam’s (offspring) (i.e. stature of human beings is being diminished continuously) to the present time.”

The Imaam Mullah ‘Ali Al-Qaari Al-Harawi rahimahullah mentioned in his book “Mirqaatu Al-Mafaatih Shar’h Mishkaatu Al-Masaabih” that there are 3 interpretations that have been made of this Hadith.

The first, that Allah created Aadam in the form of Allah and that Aadam was created exactly as Allah is. There is no doubt that the holders of this opinion and Believers in it are Kaafirs without a doubt. This is because Allah has made it clear in the Qur’an where He said – tabaaraka Wa Ta’ala:

ليس كمثله شيء وهو السميع البصير

“There is none like him and He is the All-Hearing the All-Seeing”.

Whosoever believes that there is anything in creation that is like Allah in exact either physical, or by any attributes is Kaafir in the Message of Allah and the Messenger.

The Second, that Allah created Aadam in the form of Aadam and the pronoun that is attached to the word ‘form’ returns to Aadam.

Shaykhu Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullah said in the Majmu’atu Al-Fataawah that the holders of this position held it as a way of combating the position of those who said Aadam was created in the exact form of Allah. He said:

“There was no dispute among the Salaf of the first three generations that the Pronoun in the Hadith is attributed to Allah Ta’ala for this is well known from various Narrations from a very significant number of the Sahaabah, and the context of the Hadith in itself implies this… Rather, what happened is that when the Jahmiyyah Creed became widespread in the third century, it made a group of people to interprete the pronoun as being attributed to other than Allah ta’ala (and this position became widespread) to such an extent that this came to be quoted from some well known Ulamaa that are renown for their Knowledge and Sunnah in all of their matters such as Abu Thawr, Ibn Khuzaymah, the father of Shaykh Al-Asfahaani and other than them. For this reason, they were rebuked by the Imaams of the Din and other than them of the Ulamaa of Sunnah”

This position therefore is weak.

And the reason for its weakness and wrongness is the Hadith that was recorded by Ibn Abi Aasim in As-Sunnah from Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar that the Rasul salallahu alayhi wasallam said:

” لا تقبحوا الوجوه فإن ابن آدم خلق على صورة الرحمن”

“Do not humiliate the faces (of others) for indeed the son of Aadam was created in the image of Ar-Rahman”

And this Hadith is Sahih as was graded by Is’haaq Ibn Raahawayh, Imaam Ahmad and others. We are aware that some of the Ulamaa have considered it Weak. But the stronger position is that it is Sahih.

The third, and this is the strong and correct position, that Allah created Aadam in Allah’s design.

What that means is in two implications as was mentioned by Shaykh Muhammad bn Saalih Al-Uthaymin:

1. Allah created Aadam in the form and design of Allah. What it means is the form was designed by Allah, the design was done by Allah and the creation was made by the Hands of Allah.

This mention therefore is an indication of honor and respect that must be regarded to the human form and the respect that is to be given to the human face for it is a design of Allah.

2. That it is Allah’s form by way of general attribution such as eyes and face.

It is confirmed from several Ahaadith that Allah has attributes that are commensurate and rightfully possessed by Him as deemed fit.

One of the attributes of Allah is that He sees. So Allah sees and human sees but Allah is the Most and All-Seer.

Human hears and Allah hears but Allah is the Most and All-Hearer.

This is the strong position on this matter and it is the one that reconciles the wordings of the Ahaadith and interprets the verses of the Qur’an. For it is of the attributes of the Kuffaar that they try to, by way of interpretation, negate the attributes of Allah and claim that the Intellect rejects the existence of those attributes of Allah.

And Allah knows best

Barakallahu fikum
Jazakumullahu Khayran.

Abū Āsim

25th Rabī’uth Thāni, 1443AH.



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