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al-Tahwiyyah: Pt 11- There is Nothing Like unto Him

The Greeks would elevate their own heroes to the level of godhood through a process termed apotheosis. Heracles was one such man who they honoured as a god beneath Allāh!

وَلا تُشْبـِهُهُ الأَنامُ



He does not resemble mankind.

Allāh does not resemble any of His creation; not in His Lordship, His Deification, nor in His Attributes.
Allāh, the Most High, said: ‘There is nothing like unto Him’, making it clear to His creation that He is not from them nor like them, nor are they like Him.
The author is negating both the notion of anthropomorphism, which is the attribution of humancharacteristics or behaviour to Allāh, and also deification, which is to make a creature God-like. 
To deify someone is to attribute to him something which is exclusively meant to be attributed to Allāh. The Greeks would elevate their own heroes to the level of godhood through a process termed apotheosis. Heracles was one such man who they honoured as a god beneath Allāh!
To anthropomorphise is to conceive of the Creator in a fashion analogous to the created. Allāh has Himself said: ‘There is nothing like unto Him; and He is All-Hearing and All-Seeing.’ There is no anthropomorphism (tamthīl) in the attributes which Allāh has affirmed for Himself or which His Messenger has affirmed of Him. This is because His attributes are different from their attributes. He knows but not as we know; He acts but not as we act; and He sees but not as we see. One cannot strike an analogy between the creation and the Creator, as in reality there is no likeness between the two entities.
What is the Defining Criteria by Which We Understand Anthropomorphism?
This has been discussed in detail in point number two: ‘There is nothing like Him’.
1) We only know about Allāh through revelation
2) Before the advent of the Prophet SAW it was impossible for someone to claim they knew all of Allāh’s Names and Attributes
3) With Revelation we came to know His Names and Attributes

4) We learnt the actual words used that He used to Name Himself and the Attributes He gave himself. These words have abstract meaning which was understood by those that came to know of them. However, has anyone seen Allāh in order to say that Allāh has the Attribute of a hand which looks like such and such? This is a level of knowledge unknown to all and cannot even be explored or conceived by the human mind.

Notes: Sheikh Haitham al-Haddad’s explanation of al-Aqeedah al-Tahawiyyah will soon be published as a hardback book. Islam21c have exclusive rights to share extracts from the book for its readers, and will be posting certain sections of the book on a weekly basis. The book: al-Aqeedah al-Tahawiyyah, is a short text outlining the aqeedah of Ahl al-Sunnah in short statements. Each extract posted is a complete explanation of any one of those statements. Edited by Asim Khan
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About Shaikh (Dr) Haitham Al-Haddad

Dr. Haitham al-Haddad is a jurist and serves as a judge for the Islamic Council of Europe. He has studied the Islamic sciences for over 20 years under the tutelage of renowned scholars such as the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia as well as the retired Head of the Kingdom's Higher Judiciary Council. He specialises in many of the Islamic sciences and submitted his doctoral thesis on Islamic jurisprudence concerning Muslim minorities. Shaikh Haitham is highly respected having specialised knowledge in the field of fiqh, usul al-fiqh, maqasid al-shari'ah, ulum al-Qur’an, tafsir, aqidah, and fiqh al-hadith. He provides complex theories which address the role of Islamic jurisprudence within a western environment whilst also critically re-analysing the approach of Islamic jurists in forming legal rulings (ifta’) within a western socio-political context. He has many well known students most of whom are active in dawah and teaching in the West. The shaikh is an Islamic jurist (faqih) and as such is qualified to deliver verdicts as a judge under Islamic law, a role he undertakes at the Islamic Council of Europe as Islamic judge and treasurer. Dr Haitham al-Haddad also sits on various the boards of advisors for Islamic organisations, mainly in the United Kingdom but also around the world.

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