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What is the Meaning of Hadith: ‘God Created Man in the Form of the All-Merciful One’?


The extravagant interpretation of this by some Sufis does not accord with the fundamentals of belief. Some ecstatics among them went so far as to claim man’s spiritual nature as being ‘in the form of the All-Merciful’ Immersed in the confusing trance of their contemplation, they are perhaps to be excused for expressing views contrary to the truth. But those in their right minds must, on consideration, judge as unacceptable those of their views that are contrary to the fundamentals of belief. Otherwise, they too are in error.

The Pure and Holy God orders and administers the whole universe as easily as if it were a palace or house, and turns the galaxies as easily as if they were particles and sends them travelling through space with wisdom and grace.  He dispatches the minutest particles as if they were obedient officials.  Such a One has no equal or match, nor partner nor opposite. Also, according to the meaning of the verse,

There is nothing whatever like to Him, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing,

He has no form or likeness or peer, nothing resembles nor is similar to Him. On the other hand, according to the sense and in the mode of comparison indicated by the verse,

And His is the highest similitude in the heavens and the earth, and He is Exalted in Might, the All-Wise.

His acts and attributes, His Names, may be conceived of. That is, allegory and comparison in regard to the acts of God is permitted. Then, the meaning of the hadith intends us to understand: ‘Man is in a form that in its totality reflects the Divine Name, the All-Merciful’

Certainly, as we explained above, the Divine Name, the All-Merciful, is evident through the light of a thousand and one Names on the face of the universe, and on the face of the earth through innumerable evidences of God’s absolute Lordship. In the same way, full manifestation of the Name, the All-Merciful is evident, in miniature, in man’s comprehensive form, just as it is on the face of the earth and of the universe.

(Said Nursi, The Words 1, Kaynak AS, Izmir/Turkey 1997; 871 Sok. No.47 Konak-Izmir-Turkey)


This article has been adapted from Risale- i Nur Collection.