The Quran mentions the hand of Allah. Does it show that Allah has hands?
Submitted by on Wed, 05/05/2010 - 07:09
Dear Brother / Sister,
Salafi (the first three generations of pious Muslims) scholars did not comment on the ambiguous (mutashabih) Quranic verses. When misunderstandings about those verses emerged in time, ambiguous verses were explained. The view of the Ahl as-Sunnah scholars is that Allah is free from time and place.
The following is stated in the tenth verse of the chapter al-Fath, “the Hand of Allah is over their hands.” The mind decides that Allah, who is the creator of all of the material and spiritual realms, is free from having a hand. However, it is reported in the Quran that He has a hand. Here, the mind and the naql (texts) contradict. Then, it is necessary to accept the mind as a base and interpret the text.
The scholars of tafsir are divided into two groups regarding the interpretation of those kinds of ambiguous verses. The previous mufassirs called al-mutaqaddimin did not interpret the ambiguous verses and preferred keeping silent by saying, “Allah knows the best what is meant by them.” The scholars that came after them interpreted those verses acting upon the rule: “when the mind and the text contradict, the mind is given the priority and the text is interpreted”; they said what was meant by “hand” is “power”. It is an interpretation, and mufassirs are authorized to make such interpretations.
Besides, it is impossible that Allah, who does not resemble anything, who is free from incomplete attributes and the expressions that express incompleteness, who can be defined with all kinds of perfect attributes and qualities that express perfection, superiority and competence, has a hand like the hands of human beings. Therefore, Allah does not have a hand; however, it will be better to understand the hand as “the strength and power of Allah” figuratively.
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