As a young kid in primary school I was asked to draw ‘God’, but I believed that it is blasphemous to draw my Creator and I didn’t know what my creator looks like, and I also believed that the Creator has no gender (because the word ‘He’ is just used out of respect instead of something silly like ‘it’, that is what I thought, but I hadn’t studied this anywhere), thus my teacher allowed me to not take part in this drawing activity. This was my belief about ten years ago, is it correct or incorrect ?
I have watched youtube videos and different sheikhs say Allah (swt) sits on a throne in a place, has a face, a shin, hands, fingers, feet e.t.c; you see back in primary school the other children that did draw images, drew someone sitting on a throne, with all these things i.e. hands, fingers, face, feet e.t.c. So this has prompted me to ask you, is my belief wrong that Allah (swt) is not like the creation or what; I am very confused after watching those youtube videos because they were quoting from authentic sources but I don’t know if those verses are literal or what do they mean ?
In the Holy Qur’an, Allah (swt) clearly and expressly states:
“there is nothing like unto Him” (Surah 42, Ayah 11)
Your belief is correct. God is Unique and Absolute, and there is no likeness to Him in His creation. Therefore, attempting to ‘draw God’ is impossible and any assertion that one has drawn God is impermissible.
The ayah that speaks about God sitting on the Throne, and the Hand of God or the Face of God, are not literal in a material sense. They are conveying a concept to us, and since the only way of making us limited creatures understand is through words, these words are used. For example, the ‘Face of Allah’ refers to the actions of God or the Signs of God, and the Throne refers to God’s Dominion and Authority. All these verses must be interpreted in accordance with the above clear verse which expressly states “there is nothing like unto Him”.
An example can be added from the human world. When we say that the throne of the Queen extends to Australia and Canada, everyone understands that we do not mean her actual physical throne. Or if one says, I always have my face towards heaven, everyone understands that they do not mean the actual face. The figure of language is always understood from the context. Anyone who does not understand the figure of speech does not know the language. The more stylish a text the more figure of speech is used. As the Quran is a highly stylish and eloquent text we should expect such figures of speech to abound in it.
Answered by: Dr Ali Alsamail
Certified by: Sheikh Mohammad Saeed Bahmanpour