Allaah’s attribute of non-resemblance to creation

Aļļaah is not attributed with attributes like those of creation. He must be attributed with non-resemblance to creation. This is the meaning of the statement in the Quran:

ليس كمثله شيء

Meaning: “He absolutely does not resemble anything at all in any way” (Asħ-Sħuuraa, 11)

Created things may differ from one another. However, their uniqueness towards one another is not like Aļļaah’s attribute of non-resemblance to creation.

It must be understood that Aļļaah is not different from creation in the same way that created things differ from one another[1]. Otherwise He would resemble His creation in the attribute of non-resemblance to creation.

It becomes important then to have a look at how created things may achieve uniqueness from one another. For example, if two entities differ, this difference will be detectable through one of our five senses as follows:

1.            Eyes: color and shape

2.            Hearing: sound

3.            Touch: temperature, softness, wetness, heaviness

4.            Taste: sourness, bitterness, sweetness, and other qualities of taste.

5.            Smell: sharpness, mildness, and other qualities of smell.

Created uniqueness then, is through shape, color, sound and other physically tangible qualities as mentioned here[2]. There are also two other ways created things may differ from one another, even if they are identical in all of the senses mentioned above. Namely, they may differ in space and in time. There may even be other ways of created uniqueness, but that is not important here. What is important is the following:

Aļļaah’s attribute of non-resemblance to creation involves denying that He is something that has color, shape or any other physically tangible quality. It also involves denying that He is in space or time.

[2] Another way of saying this is that such qualities involve possibilities. That is, they are not necessarily the way they are in the mind’s eye; one could have imagined them to be different. This is true for all things that may change. Such things need specification of their aspects, such as: Which shape? What color? What sound? What place? At what time? Etc. This means that they need a Creator to bring them into existence according to specification. See also the article: Bodies have limits but not Allaah.


3 Responses to Allaah’s attribute of non-resemblance to creation

  1. Far says:

    AsSalaamu Alaikum, Brother.
    Very good article. May Allah keep us all on the straight path

  2. Esmaeel says:

    How to respond to the argument that the non-resemblance mentioned in the verse, is only a partial non-resemblance and not absolute ? They would use “Seeing”, “Hearing”, etc as examples to argue this.

    The fact that Allah is not subject to space-time properties can be argued from basis of establishing the Eternality of Allah. But when argued from non-resemblance, it gets a bit fuzy. We would have to ascribe to negative theology to affirm Allah’s attributes and not positive.

    Also, how to respond to those who argue by suggesting that this verse on non-resemblance is from the mutashabihha verses ?

    • There is nothing about creation that is not created. No aspect. To say that Allaah resembles some creation partially is therefore to say that He is part created. This implies denying the oneness of Allaah and is kufr. Never ever call drawing resemblance between Allaah and His creation “positive”. Who comes up with such things??

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