Fifth Mystery: The explanation of the hadith, “Allah created man in the form of the All-Merciful One.


There is a Hadith which goes something like this:

“Allah created man in the form of the Most Merciful.”1

It has been interpreted by some Sufis in an extraordinary way, unfitting for the tenets of belief. Some of them who were ecstatics even considered man’s spiritual nature to be in the form of the All-Merciful. Since ecstatics are mostly immersed in contemplation and confused, they are perhaps to be excused in holding views contrary to reality. But on consideration, people in their right senses cannot accept ideas of theirs that are contrary to the fundamentals of belief. If they do, they are in error.

Indeed, the Most Pure and Holy Deity, Who administers with order the whole universe as though it were a palace or house, and spins the stars as though they were particles and causes them to travel through space with wisdom and ease, and employs minute particles as though they were orderly officials, has no partner, match, opposite, or equal. So too, according to the meaning of the verse:

There is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He hears and sees [all things],”2

He has no form, like, or peer, and there is nothing resembling Him or similar to Him. However, according to the meaning of the following verse and its parabolic comparison,

And His is the highest similitude in the heavens and the earth, and He is Exalted in Might, Full of Wisdom,”3

His actions, attributes, and names may be considered. That is to say, allegory and comparison may be used in connection with His actions. One of the many things intended by the above-mentioned Hadith is: “Man is in a form that displays the divine name of All-Merciful in its entirety.” Yes, as we explained before, the divine name of All-Merciful is manifested through the rays of a thousand and one names on the face of the universe, and is apparent through the innumerable manifestations of Allah’s absolute dominicality on the face of the earth. Similarly, its complete manifestation is apparent in a small measure in man’s comprehensive form, the same as on the face of the earth and the face of the universe.

The Hadith suggests also that the evidences of the Necessarily Existent One offered by such proofs, mirrors, and manifestations of the Most Merciful as animate creatures and man are so certain, clear, and obvious that just as it may be said of a shining mirror which reflects the image of the sun: “That mirror is the sun,” indicating the clarity of its brilliance and evidence, so it has been said and may be said: “Man is in the form of the All-Merciful One,” indicating the clarity of his evidence and completeness of his relation. It is in consequence of this mystery that the more moderate of those who believed in the Unity of Existence said: “There is no existent but He,” as a way of expressing the clarity of this evidence and perfection of the relation.

O Allah! O Most Merciful One! Most Compassionate One! For the sake of “In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate” have mercy on us as befits Your Compassionateness, and allow us to understand the mysteries of “In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate” as befits Your Mercifulness.  AMEN.


1. “Indeed, Allah created Adam in the form of the Most Merciful.” Bukhari, Isti’dhan 1; Muslim, Birr 115; Musnad, Janna ii, 22, 244, 251, 315, 323, 434, 463, 519.

2. Qur’an, 42:11.

3. Qur’an, 30:27.

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Sixth Mystery: It explains the value of Divine Mercy.

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