Is God physically visible, either in this world or the next?

Question:

Can God be seen, either in this world or the hereafter? Apparently many Sunni scholars believe that He can be seen in the hereafter at least?

Answer:

Nearly all Sunni theologians believe that God will be seen in the Hereafter and it is also possible to see Him in this world, whether in sleep or when awake. Their main reason for this dogma is some ambiguous Ayaat and numerous Hadiths that they regard as authentic. The Shi’a theologians on the contrary, but unanimously, believe that our vision can only grasp objects that are physical, stand within our sights, have colour, and light reflects on them.

The Almighty Allah is beyond all of these and hence it is impossible¬†for Him to be¬†physically seen, whether in here or in the hereafter. The ambiguous Ayaat also must be interpreted by the established Ayaat, such as: “No vision can grasp Him, but He grasps all vision.” [6:103]. Also see the Holy Quran: 7:143, 4:153, 25:21. The narrations about seeing God as bright as the full moon and similar narrations are all fabricated and are nothing other than Israelite narrations.

The Imams of Ahlul-Bayt (a.s) have explicitly and unambiguously denoted the dogma of seeing God whether in here or in the hereafter. They have however, confirmed that God is visible both in here and in the hereafter by the reality of faith and certainty of heart.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei