The meaning of the Hadeeth “Allaah created Adam in His Image”

Question: A Hadeeth was reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) in which he prohibits making the face ugly, and states that Allaah (Exalted be He) created Aadam in His image. What is the correct belief regarding this Hadeeth?

Answer: This Hadeeth is authentically reported from the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) in which he said: If any of you strikes (another), let them avoid the face, for Allaah created Aadam in His image In another narration: In the Image of Al-Rahmaan (The Gracious) This does not mean Tashbeeh (comparison) or Tamtheel (likening Allaah’s Attributes to those of His Creation). According to the view of scholars, this means that Allaah (Exalted be He) created Aadam hearing, seeing and talking as He wishes. These are also the Attributes of Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He), for He is All-Hearer, All-Seer, Speaker and has a Face (Glorified and Exalted be He). Yet, that does not mean Tashbeeh or Tamtheel, since the Image of Allaah is completely different from the image of any creature. Rather, it means that He is Hearer, Seer, has a Face and Speaker if He wishes. Similarly, Allaah (Exalted be He) created Adam in the same image; possessing hearing, sight, face, hands and feet and speech when he wants to talk. Yet, his hearing is not like Allaah’s and so is his sight and speech. His face does not also resemble Allaah’s Face for there is no match to Allaah’s Attributes (may He be Exalted and Glorified). Rather, they befit Him (Glorified be He) alone. The servants (of Allaah) have characteristics that befit them as well. Such characteristics are doomed to extinction, defect and weakness. However, the Attributes of Allaah are Perfect without defect, weakness or extinction. For that, Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. He (Glorified be He) says: “And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.” Accordingly, it is not permissible to strike or make the face ugly... read more here.

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