The meaning of the Hadith – Allah created Adam in His Image
Q: A Hadith was reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) in which he prohibits making the face ugly, and states that Allah (Exalted be He) created Adam in His image. What is the correct belief regarding this Hadith?
A: This Hadith is authentically reported from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) in which he said: “If any of you strikes (another), let them avoid the face, for Allah created Adam in His image.”
In another narration: “In the Image of Ar-Rahman (The Gracious).”
This does not mean Tashbih (comparison) or Tamthil (likening Allah’s Attributes to those of His Creation).
According to the view of scholars, this means that Allah (Exalted be He) created Adam hearing, seeing and talking as He wishes.
These are also the Attributes of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He), for He is All-Hearer, All-Seer, Speaker and has a Face (Glorified and Exalted be He).
Yet, that does not mean Tashbih or Tamthil, since the Image of Allah is completely different from the image of any creature. Rather, it means that He is Hearer, Seer, has a Face and Speaker if He wishes. Similarly, Allah (Exalted be He) created Adam in the same image; possessing hearing, sight, face, hands and feet and speech when he wants to talk.
Yet, his hearing is not like Allah’s and so is his sight and speech.
His face does not also resemble Allah’s Face for there is no match to Allah’s Attributes (may He be Exalted and Glorified). Rather, they befit Him (Glorified be He) alone.
The servants (of Allah) have characteristics that befit them as well. Such characteristics are doomed to extinction, defect and weakness. However, the Attributes of Allah are Perfect without defect, weakness or extinction.
For that, Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.
He (Glorified be He) says: “And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.”
Accordingly, it is not permissible to strike or make the face ugly.
Fatwas of Nur `Ala Al-Darb > Volume 1 > Chapter on `Aqidah > Chapter on Allah’s Names and Attributes > The meaning of the Hadith: “Allah has created Adam on His Own Image.”