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13.FORM OF GOD
Further, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explained: "Defi-1 iiB-^nitely the Qur'an refutes a material form of W Allah but it has not refuted the pure spiritual form."Now Mahaprabhu began to discuss Allah's form. Mahaprabhu clearly states that Allah has a spiritual form which is the same as saying that Allah has no form, meaning no material form like ours because Allah has nothing to do with the forms of this temporary illusory world. Our present bodily forms are material and therefore are subjected to the material laws of birth, disease, old age and death. Since Allah is God, He is the Creator and Governor of these laws, so He is above them. His form is eternally the same, unlimited, having no beginning or end, again different from our present material bodies which do go through a process of being born, getting diseased, growing old and finally dying. Therefore Allah eternally has a pure spiritual form which is perfect and inconceivable. It can never be touched or influenced by the material energy. The understanding that Allah has a spiritual form is understanding on the most advanced level. To consider Allah completely formless is, to say the least, an inferior thought. Since the statement that Allah has no form deprives Him of something which even the lower creatures have, such a statement is offensive. Therefore the most perfect understanding is that Allah has a form which is absolutely spiritual and has little to do with any material form whatso¬ever.Let us see if there are any verses in the Holy Qur'an which support this statement of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
God has Eyes
The form of Allah is very different from these material forms which we have here. These bodies are limited and full of shortcomings, destined to deteriorate, malfunc¬tion, suffer and eventually disintegrate. However Allah's form is spiritual, supreme, unlimited, eternal and blissful. Each one of Allah's spiritual senses can perform all the functions of His other senses. Allah definitely has senses by which He perceives all things as we will real¬ize from the following statements of the Holy Qur'an.We find numerous verses in the Holy Qur'an describ¬ing the various bodily features of Allah. For example, Allah's ability to see and the nature of His eyes are described in the following way:"Allah sees well whatever you do." (Qur'an 2.265)"Build the ship under Our (Allah's) eyes and by Our inspiration." (Qur'an 11.37)This particular verse from sura "Hud," or "The Prophet Hud" is connected with the story about Allah's prophet, Noah (Qur'an 11.25-48).Allah sent Noah to his nation. When Noah proclaimed his prophethood, he said to the people, "I am here to warn you that you serve none but Allah, for I fear the severe retribution to be distributed out to you on the Day of Judgment."
Nevertheless, the chieftains of his nation, with an air of total disbelief said, "You are a mortal like us; no one will follow you and we deem you a liar.""O my people," Noah replied, "Allah knows best what is in everyone's heart and He will reward them accordingly.""O Noah! Let befall us that with which you threaten us; and so prove the genuineness of your statement," they challenged.
To which Noah replied, with a grave air, "Only Allah will bring it upon you if He wants; and you will find no means of escape.""What you have been telling us is no more than your fanciful invention," they persisted.Allah then told Noah reassuringly, "None except those that already have faith in you will believe your words. Do not be distressed at the non-believers' activities. Build an ark under My very eyes, and by My inspiration. Do not pray to me on behalf of the wrong-doers, for they are destined to be drowned in the devastating flood that is yet to come."Eager to execute Allah's order, Noah began building an ark. He intended the ark to be a huge heavy vessel, strong and suitable for remaining afloat in order to brave the great Flood, so that the righteous could be saved by it. From dawn till dusk, he was ardently and assiduously engaged in the arduous task of constructing the ark. Construction of the ark was now in rapid progress. Whenever the chieftains of his nation walked by, they discred¬ited him and jeered at his attempt. Such an outrageous ridicule of Noah by the unscrupulous sinners, from their own viewpoint, was but natural. Since here was the once proclaimed Prophet, doing the humble work of an ordi¬nary carpenter! Here in the huge flat plain of the Mesopotamian basin, drained by the majestic Tigris River,over 800 to 900 miles away from the sea of the Arabian Gulf! Yet Noah talks of an extensive destructive oceanic flood! So, there was little reason why they should stop mocking Noah. They continued their mockery until water sprang up from the ground and started gushing and rushing forth with unprecedented violence, while there was an awe-inspiring torrential downpour from among the dark, menacing clouds. This clearly gave warning of the disastrous flood about to inundate the area.
Allah said to Noah, "Let both genders of every species board the ark, including your household."Noah now started helping the people and animals of both genders onto the ark and, spotting his son at some distance, he anxiously cried out to him, "Oh my son! Come and join us. Sever your connections with the non-believers."In spite of that, his son smugly said, "I shall seek out shelter in some mountain that will save me from the water."To which Noah sagely replied, "This day there is none except the believers who would be saved from the ravages of the great flood, since it is Allah's wish and command that none but those upon whom He bestows mercy shall be saved." A thick wall of furious waves suddenly separated father and son; for a brief while, they lost sight of each other. Now the sudden rush of the turbulent waves subsiding into a mere pool of subdued waters, Noah could see his son being relentlessly and speedily taken away at a considerable distance along with the nonbe-lievers, a picture of irrevocable doom. Leaving the non-believers to their inevitable fate, the believers began their journey. Finally, the ship, which now carried tired but elated people and animals, came to rest on Mt. Al-Judi. Thus Allah's order was carried out.
Allah then said to Noah, "Now go down from the mountain with blessings from Me upon you and the nations that are yet to spring from those with you."So those who truly seek Allah's light and guidance, sincerely bending their will to His Will are easily allowed to become the recipients of Allah's grace. Despite their human shortcomings, they are promoted to higher lev¬els on account of their faith, trust and striving for the right course of actions. They are given Allah's Peace, which gives the soul real deep calmness and strength accompanied by a river of blessings, which incessantly flows from spiritual life. Since Noah had served Allah with great devotion, Allah directly guided him, instructed him; and even bestowed upon him confidential knowledge of His spiritual eyes.Thus, there is clear evidence from the Holy Qur'an that Allah hasAynun, 'Eyes'. Of course, the Eyes of Allah are different from our eyes. Unlike our eyes which are very limited and imperfect, His Eyes are spiritual, unre¬stricted and have unlimited power to see. We cannot even see our hands in the dark. Allah, however, can see the seeable and unseeable. He observes every corner of His vast creation.There is another testimony about God's eyes in the Sahih Al-Bukhari (4.649):
"Narrated by lbn 'Umar: The Prophet mentioned Masih Ad-Dajjal (pseudo messiah) to the assembled people, proclaiming, Allah is not one-eyed while Masih Ad-Dajjal is blind in the right eye and his eye looks like a bulging out grape. While sleeping near the Ka'ba last night, I saw in my dream a man of brown color. The best, one can see amongst brown colored people. His hair was so long that it fell between his shoulders. His hair was lank and water was dribbling from his head and he had his hands on the shoulders of two men while circumambulating the Ka'ba. I asked them, 'Who is this?' They replied, This is lesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary).' Behind him I saw another man who had short and curly hair and was blind in the right eye, resembling Ibn Qatan in appearance. He had placed his hands on the shoulders of a person while performing circumambulation around the Ka'ba. I asked, 'Who is this?' He replied, 'Masih Ad-Dajjal.'"
Here the Holy Prophet Muhammad compared the eyes of Allah with the eyes of a human being. He mentioned that "Allah is not one-eyed," which means that Allah has two eyes like humans. The false messiah, Masih Ad-Dajjal, was blind in the right eye but the Holy Prophet Muhammad said, "Allah is not one-eyed." So Allah has two spiritual Eyes.
It is also mentioned in the Sahih Al-Bukhari (5.17):"narrated by Abdullah bin 'Umar that Allah's Messenger said, 'On the Day of Judgement Allah will not look at him who drags his robe (behind him) out of conceit (with pride)."Here is evidence from the Holy Prophet Muhammad himself that Allah will not look at proud people on the Day of Judgement. If Allah looks at some people and does not look at others, this means Allah has eyes to look.
God has the sense of hearing
There are a number of verses in the Holy Qur'an which explain that Allah hears everything. The fact that Allah can hear automatically implies that He possesses the sense of hearing; but His hearing and the sense by which he hears are both transcendental. His ability to hear is neither limited nor conditioned unlike ours. Allah can simultaneously hear every murmur and sigh in every part of the entire universe.For instance, in the 50th ay at of the 34th sura ("Saba," or "The City of Saba"), it is written that Allah "hears all things":"It is He Who hears all things, and is (ever) near." "Allah is Hearer, Knower." (Qur'an 2.224) Thus, Allah possesses the spiritual organ of hearing. Allah's spiritual Ears are eternal, perfect and have un¬limited potency. He can hear everything that is audible and inaudible.
God has the sense of speech
In the Holy Qur'an there are many verses which de¬scribe how Allah spoke with angels. Prophets and man¬kind. If one can and does speak, then he must also have the sense by which one speaks. Since Allah can speak, He does have the sense of speech; but it is spiritual and beyond the limits of time and space. He can and does speak to all living entities simultaneously in a variety of sounds and languages throughout this whole universe.For example, in the sura "Al-lrnran," or "The Family of 'Imran" of the Holy Qur'an (3.77), it is stated:"As for those who sell the faith they owe to Allah and their own solemn plighted word for a small price, they shall have no portion in the future. Allah will neither speak to them nor iook at them on the Day of Judgment, nor will He cleanse them. They shall have a grievous chas¬tisement."
Ustad Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments:
"Even on sinners — ordinary sinners — Allah will look with compassion and mercy. He will speak words of kindness and cleanse them of their sins. But those who are in active rebellion against Allah and sin against their own light, — what mercy can they expect?"15This means that on the Day of Judgment Allah will look upon some people and speak to them. Thus Allah has the sense of speech.A very interesting incident has been described in the sura "Al-Baqarah," or "The Cow":"When your Lord said to the angels, 1 will create a viceroy on the earth,' they inquired: 'Will You place there one who will make mischief and shed blood, while we praise You and glorify Your holy (name)?' To which He said, 'Surely I know what you know not.'" (Qur'an 2.30)This verse relates to an incident, which occurred when Allah decided to create a human being, namely, Adam. (Qur'an 2.30-39)Allah informed the angels about His decision by saying: "1 will create a viceroy on the earth." But the angels objected. They predicted that the humans will do harm and shed blood.Allah assured the angels: "Surely I know that which you do not." Then Allah created the human form from clay and enlivened it by placing a soul in it. This first human being was named Adam. Allah then taught Adam all the names of God as well as the names of all the animals and plants.
Allah brought Adam to the angels and said, "Now let me see if you are able to say the names that 1 have taught Adam."
But the angels could only reply: "We have no knowl¬edge besides that which You have taught us."Allah then told Adam, "O Adam! Inform them of these names of creation."After Adam had informed the angels of these names as well as their own, Allah said, "Did I not tell you that I know the secret of the heavens and the earth? I know all that you disclose and hide. Now prostrate yourselves be¬fore Adam." All the angels fell prostrate before Adam. Only Iblis (Satan) disobeyed the order of Allah out of pride.Allah asked him: "O Iblis! What hinders you from fall¬ing prostrate before he whom 1 have created with My hands? Are you too proud to do so, or are you one of the high and exalted?"Iblis replied: "I am better than Adam. You created me from fire, whereas him from clay."Allah said: "Go down from here. Now you are an out¬cast. My curse is on you till the Day of Judgment."Iblis replied: "Then, by Your might, I surely will bewil¬der everyone of them, except the single-minded slaves of Yours."Thus it is understood from this statement by Iblis (Sa¬tan) that he, Iblis, has power over only those who are not "single-minded slaves" of Allah or souls surrendered to Him. Those who are devotees of the Supreme Lord cannot be affected by the demoniac influence of Satan. In contrast, those who are non-devotees are easily be¬wildered by Iblis and fall victim to his plots. This illus¬trates the glory of pure devotion to Allah.
Allah said: "I shall fill hell with you and those that will follow you."Then Allah said to Adam, "O Adam! You and your wife live in the Garden, and eat the fruits freely. But do not come near this tree, otherwise you will become a wrong¬doer. Iblis is your and your wife's enemy. If you listen to him, he will lead you away from the Garden of Paradise to a life of hardship."Later Iblis whispered to them that he might manifest to them that which has been hidden from them. Iblis said: "O Adam! Shall I show you the tree of immortality and power that does not waste away? Your Lord forbade
you from approaching this tree to prevent you from be¬coming angels or becoming immortal." Iblis swore to them, saying, "I am a sincere adviser to you." Thus he led them on with deception and cunningness. When they tasted the fruits of the forbidden tree, they became bash¬ful and they began to hide themselves by covering their bodies with leaves from the Garden. Thus Iblis bewil¬dered them, causing them to deviate from the righteous path, whereupon they became deprived of the happy state of life they were in.
Then Allah summoned them and said, "Did I not forbid you from going near that tree? I informed you that Iblis is your arch-enemy. Since you have disobeyed My order, you shall fall down from here to the earth; once there, you will be inimical to each other. There you shall be provided a habitation and food for a while."From this incident we can understand how freely Allah spoke to angels, Iblis and Adam. This means that Allah has the sense of speech, or a spiritual Mouth. Allah can and does speak unlimitedly using His spiritual Mouth.
God has a Face
There are many verses in the Holy Qur'an which describe Allah's face. A scrutinizing study of these verses leaves no doubt as to whether Allah has a face or not.The prominent Muslim scholar Al-Ashari (9th century AD) declared in his creeds:"We confess that Allah has a face, without asking how."For instance, the Holy Qur'an says:"Send not away those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His Face." (6.52)"Those who patiently persevere, seeking the Face of their Lord." (13.22) "Keep yourself along with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His Face." (18.28)"That is best for those who seek Allah's face." (30.38)"But that which you give in charity, seeking Allah's face, will increase manifold." (30.39)One meaning of the word *wajh' is Tace' or lself. Abdullah Yusuf Ali in his commentary to (30.39) writes:"Seeking the Face of Allah, i. e. out of our pure love for the true vision of Allah's own Self."16The word 'self indicates individuality. This means Allah has individuality; He is not an abstract object. If we apply the above mentioned interpretation to the words wajhallahi, Allah's face,' Allah is then referred to as an individual. In other words, He is a Person. Thus the expression Allah's face' indicates that Allah is a Person and He has a Face.Furthermore, it is stated in the Holy Qur'an:
"To Allah belong the East and the West, and wherever you turn, there is Allah's Face." (2.115)"Everything will perish except His (Allah's) face." (28.88)"All that is on earth will perish.But the Face of your Lord full of Bounty and Honor will continue to exist (forever)." (55.26-27)From all these quotations the existence of Allah's Wa/'/i, or vFace', is undeniably apparent. We can understand from the above mentioned verses (Qur'an 55.26-27) that everything in this material world is temporary but only Allah's Face is eternal. Wajh or 'Face,' is an indispens¬able part of a Person and expresses personality. Also the word //cram (Honor) in these verses is very important. Two meanings are prominent in this word Ikram. The first meaning is generosity coming from a generous person; and the second meaning is honor given to a venerable person. One who has a face and is called Ikram must be a person. The use of the two words Wajh and Ikram in the above verse is no accident or over¬statement; rather, the Holy Qur'an's mention of these particular attributes of Allah is calculated to highlight the undeniable fact that Allah is a Person with transcen¬dental attributes. Allah's Face is highly impressive, radi¬ating youthfulness and freshness of life. His enchanting smile captures and melts the hearts of His devotees. It is said that anyone who observes the beautiful smile of the Supreme Lord will never forget the elevating experi¬ence and so obtains perfection.
God has Hands
In the Holy Qur'an we can find a number of verses which clearly indicate Allah's possession of hands. Not only that but in one of the verses the right hand of Allah has particularly been referred to; so, logically, Allah must have a left hand too. Since Allah has two hands according to the Holy Qur'an, it is only too clear that Allah has a form.The prominent Muslim scholar Al-Ashari (9th century AD) declared in his creeds:"We confess that Allah has two hands, without asking why."Also the Holy Prophet Muhammad states in the Holy Qur'an:"Say: Generosity is in Allah's hands." (3.73)"He (Allah) said: vO Iblis! What prevents you from pros¬trating yourself to one whom 1 have created with My hands?'" (38.75)"They have made no just estimate of Allah, such as is due to Him. On the Day of Judgment the whole of the earth will be but His handful, and the heavens will be rolled up in His right hand." (39.67)We can understand from this last verse that on the Day of Judgment Allah will be able to enclose the whole earth in the palm of His hand and he will roll the heav¬ens up with His right hand.Furthermore the Holy Qur'an says:"The hand of Allah is above their hands." (48.10)"Blessed be He in Whose hands is the sovereignty, and He is able to do all things." (67.1)"The Jews say: Allah's hand is tied up.' Their hands are tied up and they are cursed for saying so. Nay, both His hands are widely outstretched." (5.64)So the Holy Qur'an gives a clear description of the hands of Allah and His palms. Of course, some people try to give secondary or metaphorical interpretations of the hands of Allah, but first of all,we can see how Allah explains that He has a right hand, implying that He also has a left hand.
The existence of Allah's left hand is confirmed by one close associate of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, namely Muslim bin Yes'ar:"The Prophet said, Eerily God created Adam, and touched his b^ckwith His right hand, and brought forth from it a family, and God said to Adam I have created this family for paradise, and their actions will be like unto those of the people of paradise. Then God touched the back of Adam with His left hand, and brought forth another family, and said I have created this family for hell, and their actions will be like unto those of the people of hell."17
Thus the description of Allah's two hands, a left and a right, leaves no doubts that Allah has hands.Even the metaphorical expressions that we use correspond to tangible objects. For example, we often say, "The power is in the hands of the King." This is because the King has hands. The lion is also the king of the ani¬mal kingdom but we never say, "The power is in the hands of the lion," because it is ridiculous to imagine a lion with hands instead of its forelegs. Thus, we cannot make light of the fact that Allah has hands. Allah Himself lays great stress on the existence of His hands; how then can one dare deny their existence? Thus, irrefutably, Allah has two hands, both right and left.born or created but ever-existing. The Form of the Supreme Lord does not deteriorate; nor is it subjected to old age. Allah is ever-youthful.It is also recorded in tradition from Bukhari and Muslim, that once the Prophet of Islam said, "Allah-Taala (God Most High) created Adam in His own sura (form, image)."From this clear evidence of the Holy Prophet Muhammad himself we can understand that Allah, God, has a Spiritual Form.
God has an Image
A thorough, scrutinizing study of the Holy Qur'an provides one with compelling evidence of the existence of Allah's form. It is explained that Allah has a Sublime Image. So how can one who has an image be formless? The very mention of the word Image' signifies the existence of a form. So, it is illogical to say that while Allah has an image, He is formless. Although Allah is beyond mundane logic, by using spiritual logic (which is based on the revealed scriptures) we can easily understand that if Allah has a Sublime Image this means He has a Sublime Form, which is transcendental to material time and space.Thus Allah says in the Holy Qur'an: "Allah's is the Sublime Similitude." (16.60) "It is He (Allah) Who produces creation, then reproduces it and for Him it is most easy. To Him belongs the Sublime Similitude in the heavens and the earth." (30.27) Here the word masal means similitude, resemblance, likeness, or image. And Allah said that His similitude, resemblance, likeness, or image is sublime in the heavens and on the earth. This means that among all images of all creation His Image is far superior and paramount. Of course, Allah's Image or Form is not material but spiritual. His Form is primeval and eternal. It is not born or created but ever exiting The form of the supreme lord does not deteriorate nor is it subjected to old age Allah is ever youthful.It is also recorded in tradition from bukhari and muslim that once the prophet of islam said Allah taala (God most highland)created adam in his owm sura(from image)From this clear evidence of the holy prophet muhammad himself we can understand that allah,god has a spiritual form.
God can be seen
It is explained in the Holy Qur'an that on the day of Judgment believers will be able to see Allah. Once the Holy Prophet Muhammad said that he observed Allah in a most lovely form.18 These two statements alone provide enough evidence for us to conclude that Allah can be seen. Since we cannot see anything that is formless, so Allah must have a form, which we will be able to see. Allah's form is completely spiritual and overflowing with unlimited sublime qualities. It is also true that Allah is unseen, which means He is not seen with ordinary material eyes. Only by the causeless mercy of Allah can one see Him. If Allah grants someone spiritual vision then he will be able to see Him. The Holy Prophet Muhammad and some other Prophets of ancient times were granted such vision. In the hereafter, however, all believers will see Allah. Some scholars say that only His eyes will be visible and others say His whole face; while still others say that every part of His form will be seen.I9
So in the sura "Al-Qiyamat," or "The Resurrection" it is said:"Some faces, that Day, will beam,Looking towards their Lord." (Qur'an 75.22-23)
The meaning of these ayats is that when righteous souls go to Allah, they will be able to see their Lord and their faces will shine with immense joy. It is explained that they will "look towards their Lord." This means that Allah will be the object of their gaze. So it is very clear that Allah (Who is seen) occupies some space. Anyone who occupies some space must have a form. This means that Allah, Who does occupy some space, has a form; but His form is spiritual and never limited or conditioned by material space. The transcendental form of Allah is brighter than billions of suns. This brightness prevents one from seeing the form of Allah. Even so, Allah, out of His causeless mercy, can remove His blinding effulgence in order to reveal His form to His pure devotees.
It is also confirmed by Abu Huraira in the Sahih Al-Bukhari (1.770):"The people said, 'O Allah's Messenger! Shall we see our Lord on the Day of Resurrection?' He replied, 'Do you have any doubt in seeing the full moon on a clear night when there are no clouds?' They replied, 'No, O Allah's Messenger!' He said, Do you have any doubt in seeing the sun when there are no clouds?' They replied: "rlo, O Allah's Messenger!' He said, 'You will see Allah (your Lord) in the same way. On the Day of Resurrection, people will be gathered and He will order the people to follow what they used to worship. So some of them will follow the sun, some will follow the moon, and some will follow other deities; and only this nation (Muslims) will be left with its hypocrites. Allah will come to them and say, 'I am your Lord.' They will say, 'We shall stay in this place till our Lord comes to us and when our Lord will come, we will recognize Him.' Then Allah will come to them again and say, 'I am your Lord.' They will say, Tour are our Lord.' Allah will call them, and As-Sirat (a slippery bridge on which there will be clamps and hooks like the thorn of Sa'dan) will be laid across Hell and I (Muhammad) shall be the first amongst the Messengers to cross it with my followers."
Thus the Holy Prophet Muhammad explained that on the Day of Resurrection, or on the Day of Judgment liv¬ing beings will see their Lord as they see the full moon on a clear night, or the sun when there are no clouds and they will recognize Him.Once the Holy Prophet Muhammad said:"His (Allah's) glory is His veil. If He (Allah) were to lift the veil, the effulgence of His Being will consume every¬thing as far as the sight of His creatures can reach."20Nevertheless, Allah, out of mercy, allows the pure devotees to see His form unharmed. Thus Allah is not an abstract power or energy but a living Being Who has a supreme, spiritual form, for righteous people will be able to see Him on the Day of Judgment.There is another piece of evidence in the Sahih Al-Bukhari (1.529):"Narrated by Jarir: We were with the Prophet and he looked at the moon on a full-moon night and said, 'Cer¬tainly you will see your Lord as you see this moon and you will have no trouble in seeing Him. So if you can avoid missing (through sleep or business, etc.) a prayer before the sunrise and a prayer before sunset, you must do so.' He then recited Allah's Statement: 'And glorify the praises of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before (its) setting.' (Qur'an 50.39)."Thus the Holy Prophet Muhammad explains that if one really wants to see God lie should continuously praise the Lord, specially before sunrise and before sunset, then he will certainly see the Lord.
God has an Abode
One morning in Mecca, the Holy Prophet Muhammad proclaimed to his followers that at night he was taken to the heavens and after penetrating the 7th layer of the heavens, he reached Allah's Abode where he received divine knowledge from Allah and returned.Mow, where does Allah reside? Where will the pure devotees meet Him? The Holy Qur'an (70.3-4) informs us of Allah's residence in the sura "Al-Ma'arij," or "The Ways of Ascent":"Allah, the Lord of the ascending stairways.(Whereby) the angels and the spirit ascend unto Him in a Day which has the duration of fifty thousand years."Here the word "ma'arij" is very significant. Ma'arij means stairways, or the way of ascent. This word is infused with profound spiritual meaning. Can we reach Allah, The Most High? He very graciously grants this privilege to the angels. But the way is not easy; nor can it be traversed in a day. Thus the Abode of Allah can be attained by the angels only through the special way of as¬cent, which takes 50,000 earth years.Another explanation is given in the sura "Al-'Imran," or "The Family of tmran":"Allah! With Him is a more excellent abode." (Qur'an 3.14)
"And Allah summons to the.Daris Salam, or the Abode of Peace and leads whom He will to a Straight path." (Qur'an 10.25)From these ayats we can easily understand that Allah has a supreme abode, the Daris Salam, where He per¬sonally resides. If someone has a residence where there are devotees to associate with, then he must have a form. An abstract thing has neither residence nor associates.
Allah is not an abstract thing but a Living Being Who has His own abode where He resides. Pure devotees of the Supreme Lord by His causeless mercy will attain Allah's eternally blissful abode and will associate with Him per¬sonally. This clearly means Allah has an eternal spiritual form.God sits on the Throne The Holy Qur'an also mentions a particular item of Allah's paraphernalia, namely a throne. There are many verses, which explain that Allah has a Throne on which He sits, surrounded by angels etc. Unless one has a form and is located in a particular place, he can neither sit on a throne nor be surrounded by anyone. Since Allah does sit on a throne and is surrounded by angels, no sane man will deny that Allah has a form, Needless to say, this form is spiritual and invisible to the common eye.Thus the Holy Qur'an states:
"Your Guardian Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days, then He settled Himself on the Throne." (7.54)"Truly, your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and the earth in six Days. He then established Himself upon the Throne, directing all things." (10.3)In verses (7.54) and (10.3), the word 'istawa' with the suffix 'a/a, means to sit firm and unshaken,' to be firmly established,' or to mount.' So Allah is firmly seated on His Throne from where He directs all things.Furthermore it is stated in the Holy Qur'an:"It is He (Allah) Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days and His Throne was upon the water." (11.7)"The Beneficent One is firmly established on the Throne." (20.5)"Glorified be Allah, the Lord of the Throne." (21.22)"And you (O Muhammad) will see the angels surrounding the Throne on all sides, singing the praises of their Lord." (39.75)"It is He Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days; then Me mounted the Throne." (57.4)"And the angels will be on its sides, and eight will bear the Throne of their Lord above them, that Day." (69.17)
Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments:
"The angels will be on all sides, arrayed in ranks upon ranks, and the Throne of the Lord on high will be borne by eight angels. ... The number eight has perhaps no special significance, unless it be with reference to the shape of the Throne or the number of the angels. The Oriental Throne is often octagonal, and its bearers would be one at each corner."21This verse and commentary indicates that Allah's Throne has a particular shape and on the Day of Judg¬ment the angels will be able to carry Allah on His Throne.Thus from these ayats we can understand that Allah has Arsh, or a Throne. He sits on His Throne surrounded by angels and on the Last Day they will carry Him on His Throne. Therefore Allah is not merely an abstract en¬ergy or power. He is the supreme living One with a form, Who is the Proprietor of energy and power. If this is not so, how can Allah be in a particular place and sit on the Throne? So Allah does have a form; however, one should bear in mind that His form, throne, and paraphernalia are all spiritual and transcendental.
God moves in and around His creation
In the Holy Qur'an, it is mentioned that Allah travels through His creation.Once the Holy Prophet Muhammad also said, "Allah, the Almighty descends to the firmament of the world in the last third portion of every night" (Bukhari, Muslim).22It is also stated in the Sahih Al-Bukhari (2.246):"Narrated by Abu Huraira: Allah's Messenger said, "Our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, comes down every night to the nearest heaven to us during the last third of the night and He says: (Is there anyone) who invokes Me, (demands anything from Me) so that I may respond to his invocation? (Is there anyone) who asks Me for something so that I may grant him his request? (Is there anyone) who seeks My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?'"Thus Allah freely moves in space according to His sweet will. If Allah can change His location and move in space, then obviously He is not a mere abstract light. A light, which is dependent on its source, can only spread in space according to the movements of its source. So light cannot move in space; it can only spread. Just as a lamp is the source of its light, so Allah is also the Source of the spiritual light emanating from His supreme form, which moves in space unrestricted, spreading His glori¬ous light. This means that Allah has a transcendental form, which is not subjected to the limits of material space.
So it is stated in the Holy Qur'an:"Will they wait until Allah comes to them in canopies of clouds, with angels (in His wake) and settle the ques¬tion? But to Allah do all questions go back (for decision)." (2.210)
"And your Lord shall come with angels in ranks." (89.22)"See they not how He (Allah) visits the land, reducing it of its outlying parts? (When) Allah dooms there is none that can postpone His doom, and He is swift at reckoning." (13.41)Once again Allah said in thesura nAl-Anbiya," or "The Prophets":"See they not how We visit the land, reducing it of its outlying parts? Can they then be the victor?" (Qur'an 21.44)These ayats enable us to realize that Allah is not an abstract thing but a spiritual Being Who can be in a particular place and change His location at will. This is yet another proof that Allah has a form. He can freely move in and around His entire creation unlimitedly and unrestrictedly, occasionally visiting our planet.Furthermore, the Holy Qur'an (22.6) says that Allah "is able to do all things." If Allah can do all things, then logically we can conclude that He does have a form!Thus, nobody can deny the fact that Allah has spiritual Eyes, Ears, Mouth, Face and Hands because these bodily limbs of Allah are explicitly mentioned in the Holy Qur'an. Moreover, the Holy Qur'an mentions the Sublime Image of Allah, His Abode and His Throne, on which He sits. If Allah has spiritual Eyes, Ears, Mouth, Face and Hands, how can we deny that He has a spiritual Form? First of all, how can His limbs exist separately and, sec¬ondly, if Allah is the source of everything and if all things belong to Him, how it is possible that He does not have a form but we do? It is offensive to say that Allah cannot have a form because that is equal to saying that Allah is less than His creations, which all have forms. It is also offensive to consider that Allah's form is limited as our forms are in this world. If He has all things, He has a
form too. If this is not so, He would be incomplete. Certainly, He does not have a form which consists of material elements and deteriorates. He has a spiritual form which consists of pure spirit. His Form is not ordinary, but Supreme, Eternal, Blissful, Transcendental and beyond the power of our imagination or description.Let us also see what is the opinion of prominent Mus¬lim scholars.The eminent Muslim scholar Al-Ashari (9th century AD) declared in his creeds, "We confess that Allah has a face, without asking how. ... We confess that Allah has two hands, without asking why."Many Muslims on the basis of Quranic verses: (48.10); (25.60); (7.52); (10.3); (32.3); (11.9); (57.4); (75.22-23); (22.60 and 74); (31.27); (42.9); (58.1) believe that Allah possesses a head, mouth, eyes, ears, hands and feet just like those of a human being. In the opinion of Abu Mo'ammar ol-Hodhali, a preacher in Baghdad, anyone who denies this understanding is an infidel. Adherents of the school of the famous traditionistand lawyer Ahmad b. Hanbal have the same opinion. The school's chief later exponent, Ahmad b. Taymiya, called the Mo'tazelites infidels and Ghazzali a heretic. On one celebrated occasion, after quoting the Qur'an in a sermon, he said to the congregation as he stepped down from the pulpit of the great mosque at Damascus, "Allah will step down from His Throne in the same way as I am stepping down from this pulpit."23
Abu' Amer ol-Qorashi, a Moor from Majorca declared that it was heretical to understand the sentence, "There is nothing similar to Him (Allah)" in the Qur'an (42.9) as meaning what it says; it meant, in his opinion, that nothing resembles Allah in respect of His divinity, because "Allah possesses limbs and organs like yours and mine."As proof of God's possession of such limbs and organs, Abu' Amer ol-Qorashi cited the description of the Last Judgment in the Qur'an (68.42), and then slapped his thigh and said, "Allah has legs just like mine."24Since everything in God's creation has form, how can God have no form? Then creation would have something that God does not have. That would mean that God is less than His creation, or in other words, that the complete (God) is incomplete, which is simply illogical. The complete whole must contain everything within and beyond our experience, otherwise He cannot be complete.Furthermore, all the great scriptures of the world instruct us to love God. How can we love something formless or void? That's impossible. We are all individual liv¬ing beings, and we want to love other individual living beings — not some dark oblivion in outer space. We want persona] relationships, and the ultimate, sublime relationships exist between the Supreme Lord and His devotees.
It is an obvious truth that Allah's form is completely spiritual and transcendental, unlike ours which is subjected to birth, old age, disease and death. Though Allah's form is beyond the limits of our material sense perception, it undoubtedly exists.