Asāsut Taqdis (The Foundation of The Divine Sanctification)

Imam Fakhred-din Rāzi

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Chapter 1: Proof of Allah's Sūrat (Attribute, Shape)

Know that this name Sūrat (Attribute, Shape) never mentioned in Qur'an but has entered into the Hadith (Prophetic Narration):

'Indeed Allah created Adam according to Hu's/his Sūrat (Form, Attribute)' said the Prophet.

الجامع الصغير. الإصدار 3,22 - لجلال الدين السيوطي
المجلد الثالث >> باب: حرف الخاء
3928 - خلق الله آدم على صورته، وطوله ستون ذراعا، ثم قال: اذهب فسلم على أولئك النفر - وهم نفر من الملائكة جلوس - فاستمع ما يحيونك فإنها تحيتك وتحية ذريتك، فذهب فقال: السلام عليكم، فقالوا: السلام عليك ورحمة الله، فزادوه "ورحمة الله" فكل من يدخل الجنة على صورة آدم طوله ستون ذراعا، فلم تزل الخلق تنقص بعده حتى الآن
["خلق الله آدم على صورته": أي على صورة آدم التي كان عليها من مبدأ فطرته إلى موته، لم تتفاوت قامته ولم تتغير هيئته، بخلاف بنيه فإن كلا منهم يكون نطفة ثم علقة ثم مضغة ثم عظاما ... وقيل الضمير (راجع) لله تعالى، بقرينة رواية "خلق آدم على صورة الرحمن (أي أعطاه من الصفات ما يوجد مسماها عند الله عز وجل، كالموت والحياة والعلم والكلام والرحمة، والتي لم تعط بمجموعها للحيوان ولا للملائكة ولا للجن، وإن كان الاشتراك فقط في مسميات هذه الصفات وليس في عينها، حيث أن المشترك بين قدرة العبد وقدرة الخالق هو الاسم فقط، وهكذا بشأن جميع الصفات، فقدرة الله غير مخلوقة وغير محدودة، بينما قدرة العبد مخلوقة، محدودة، تحتاج على الدوام إلى الحي القيوم، الذي يمسك السماء أن تقع على الأرض إلا بإذنه)]ـ
التخريج (مفصلا): أحمد في مسنده ومتفق عليه [البخاري ومسلم] عن أبي هريرة
تصحيح السيوطي: صحيح

Linguistically speaking, the sentence has several different options for the pronoun:

1. Allah created Adam according to 'his' Sūrat (Attribute, Shape) i.e. 'his' is referring to a person other than Allah and Adam himself.
2. Allah created Adam according to 'his' Sūrat (Attribute, Shape) i.e. 'his' is referring to Adam himself.
3. Allah created Adam according to Hu's (ITs) Sūrat (Attribute, Shape) i.e. Hu refers as the third person absent pronoun towards Allah.

If the pronoun does not refer to Allah or Adam:

1. As the first human being, Adam is used in the Hadith to indicate the features of 'his' pronoun are that of human being in general as we know. Meaning all humanity has the same features as Adam.

2. Some had said that Adam was a monstrously large creature that did not resemble the current human beings; therefore the verbiage negates that allegation, then saying that Adam was created according to 'his' and 'his' to mean human being in general again. So Adam was not a monster.

If the pronoun does refer to Adam himself and this is the most preferred and logical use of 'his':

1. Allah created Adam and magnified him by commanding all angels to prostrate to him and punish those who did not. However in return, if Adam did something wrong the recompense was the highest, so when he disobeyed and ate from the forbidden tree, Adam along side other creatures were thrown out of the Paradise. In doing so Allah changed the other evicted creature's creation when upon this earth e.g. peacock and snake while left Adam, honored, still in the original form. The use of pronoun 'his' means that Allah did not alter the primordial creation of Adam, upon descend on this earth.

2. Some philosophers claim that human being as always been born from the fetus and so on, so the use of 'his' in the Hadith indicates that Adam was created in the original form of a human being without the usual processes of biological inception. 

3. Again the philosophers claim that human being went through very large period of time and intervention of the cosmos and its substances in order for the Man to be, 'his' here means Adam was created promptly from 'his own blueprint' and from nothing else. 

4. 'Allah created Adam according to 'his' Sūrat (Attribute, Shape)' and 'his' referring to Adam means that Allah created Adam without the intervention of any other creature i.e. Allah was alone without the help of anything else to create Adam. Otherwise the pronoun 'his' would have changed into theirs or 'by means of theirs' and so on.

5. If Sūrat (Attribute, Shape) is to mean Attribute, the Hadith means that Allah created Adam according to 'his' or Adam's own noble design and blueprint i.e. all the other human beings from the first to the last, no matter what conditions do posses the nobility, knowledge and power of Adam, peace be upon him.

If the pronoun does refer to Allah i.e. Allah's Sūrat (Attribute, Shape), there are several interpretations:

1. Sūrat (Attribute, Shape) then means an Attribute like Mercy and so on, Attributes that Allah bestowed upon Adam.

2. Allah's Sūrat (Attribute, Shape) then would mean the grandness and superiority of the said Attributes by juxtaposition to Allah's Name.

3. Al-Ghazali: Adam and the other human beings are not biological beings, they are something that came from Allah and the verbiage of the Hadith emphasize that.

4. Dara: Hu's Surat means that the blue-print for Adam came only from Allah, and the possession pronoun means the blue-print belonged to Allah.

© 2006-2002,  Dara O. Shayda, Ahmad Bukhari