PERSON OF GOD

Sunnis say that Allah has body, not like the bodies we know. There is a vast material which can bc quoted here describing that be lief. But as all the Sunnis is nowadays are Ash’aritc (followers of Abull-Hassan Al-Ash'ari, I would like to note down his belief on this subject. He says:

"We confess that God is firmly seated on on His Throne.....We confess that God has two hands, without asking how.....We confess that God has two eyes, without asking how....We confess that God has a face We confirm that God has a knowledge....We affirm hearing and sight, and do not deny that, as do the Mu'tazila, the Jahmiyya, and the Khawarij....We affirrn that God has a power...."

(A.J. Arbery, "Revelation and Reason in Islam", pp.22-23; quoted from "Al-Ibarla" by Abul-Hasan Al-Ash'ari).

We, the Shi'at Al-Ithna Asharis (Twelve Imam Shia’sim) believe that Allah has not got a body:

"Verily, Allah is One, unique, nothing is like Him, He is Eternal; Hearing, Seeing, Omniscient, Living, Omnipotent, above every need, He cannot be describe in terms of substance, nor body, nor form, nor accident, nor line, nor surface, nor heaviness, nor lightness, nor colour, nor movement, nor rest, nor time, nor space. He is above all the descriptions which can be applied to His creatures."

"He is away from both extremes: Neither He is just a non-entity (as atheists and in a lesser degree Mu'tazilites implied), nor He is just like other things. He is Existent, not like other existing things". (Shaykh Al-Sadiq, I’ti’qadat’).

Of course, there are some verses in the Quran which ascribe the words used for limbs to the person of God. But according to the interpretation of our Imams, they are used in metapllorical, not literal, sense.

For example, the verse:

"Every thing is mortal except His Face" means 'exeept His Person'. Surely, even the Sunnis canllot say that only the Face of God will remain, while all His so-called limbs will die! Similarly, Allah has used the word ‘Hand’ in several places in the Quran. But it means His Power and His Mercy, as in the verse:

"But His Hands are outspread.".

 

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