Fatwas of Ibn Baz> Volume 6> Important questions and their answers> The Meaning of: “Allah created Adam in His Own Image”
Q4: “Allah created Adam in His Own Image.” Does this mean that all the characteristics of Adam are also Divine?
A: It is authentically reported from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) in the Two Sahih (authentic) Books of Hadith (i.e. Al-Bukhari and Muslim) that he (peace be upon him) said: Allah created Adam in His own image In a narration by Ahmad and some scholars of Hadith, the same Hadith reads: in the image of Al-Rahman (the Most Merciful). In the first Hadith, the pronoun refers to Allah. Some scholars like Ahmad (may Allah be merciful to him), Is-haq ibn Rahawayh and the Imams of the Salaf (righteous predecessors) said: “We have to accept the Hadith in a way befitting Allah without Tashbih (comparison), Tamthil (likening Allah’s Attributes to those of His Creation) or Ta`til (denial of Allah’s Attributes). It does not necessarily mean that His Image (Glorified be He) is like the image of human beings. Similarly, attributing a face, hand, fingers, feet, leg, anger, and the like attributes does not entail that Allah’s Attributes are like those of the human beings. He (Glorified be He) is described as what He tells about Himself and what His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) said in a way befitting Him, without being in similitude with any of His Creatures. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: “There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” [Surah al-Shura 42:11].
We have to accept this in the way that the Messenger intended without Takyif (descriptive designation of Allah’s Attributes) or Tamthil. The meaning – Allah knows best – is that He created Adam in His Image with a face and ability to hear, speak, see and do whatever he wants. It is not necessarily that the image is the same. This is a general rule according to the Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream), meaning that the Ayahs (Qur’anic verses) and Hadiths speaking about Divine Attributes should be accepted as true without Tahrif (distortion of the meaning), Takyif, Tamthil or Ta`til. They confirm His Names and Attributes without Tamthil and exalt Him above being similar to His Creatures without Ta`til, contrary to those who commit Bid`ah (innovation in religion) of Al-Mu`attilah (deniers of Allah’s Attributes) and Mushabihah (those who liken Allah’s Attributes to those of His creation). The hearing, seeing and knowledge of the creature is never like those of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He), for none of His creatures can be compared to Him. Indeed, there is nothing like Him, for the Attributes of Allah are perfect and infinite, with no shortcomings. As for the attributes of the creatures, they are finite and imperfect.
May Allah grant us success. Muslim, Sahih righteousness, upholding ties of kinship, and good manners, no. 2612; and Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 2, p. 251.
Fatwas of Ibn Baz> Volume 25> Book on Hadith, First Section> Book on Iman>Degree of the authenticity of the Hadith: Allah created Adam in His own image
33- What is the authenticity of the Hadith that reads: Allah created Adam in His Own Image.
Q: The following Hadith is recorded in the Sahih collection of Al-Bukhari, Book of Asking Permission: Allah has created Adam in His own image It falls within the subject of Asking Permission and the Beginning of Creation. Its exact wording is: “Allah created Adam in the image of the Beneficent.” Ibn Hajar (may Allah be merciful to him) commented: It is soundly reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated that Allah (Exalted be He) created Adam in the Image of the Beneficent. How authentic is this Hadith?
A: This information contained in this Hadith is sound. The Hadith is Sahih (authentic) as confirmed by Is-haq, Ahmad and others. It means that Allah is All-Hearer and All-Seer but it does not conclude that His Hearing or Seeing resemble those of human beings. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: “There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” [Surah al-Shura 42:11]. This denotes that Allah (Exalted be He) created Adam in His Own Image and endowed him with the faculties of hearing, seeing and speech and with hands and feet. Yet, Allah’s (Exalted be He) Image does resemble that of human beings, High Exalted be He above having likes or peers.
Allah (Exalted be He) says: “There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” [Surah al-Shura 42:11] And, “And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.” [Surah al-Ikhlaas 112:4] and, “Do you know of any who is similar to Him?” [Surah al-Maryam 19:65] And, “So put not forward similitudes for Allâh (as there is nothing similar to Him, nor He resembles anything).” [Surah an-Nahl 16:74]. Muslim, Sahih righteousness, upholding ties of kinship, and good manners, no. 2612; and Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 2, p. 251.  Al-Bukhari, Sahih, Book on manumission of slaves, no. 2560; Muslim, Sahih, Book on righteousness, upholding ties of kinship, and good manners, no. 2612; and Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 2, p. 251.
Fatwas of Ibn Baz> Volume 28> Book on subject related to `Aqidah> the Creed of Ahl Al-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (those adhering to the Sunnah and the Muslim community)> Questions>Degree of authenticity of Hadith: Allah created Adam in His own image
Q9: What is the degree of authenticity of the following Hadith: “Allah created Adam in His own image.” Or “… In the Merciful’s image”?
A: Yes, it is a Hadith Sahih (authentic Hadith). Allah (Exalted be He) created Adam in His own image i.e. He can hear, see, speak, with eyes, hands, and feet. However, the Hadith does not imply any Tamthil (likening Allah’s Attributes to those of His Creation), for Allah (Glorified be He) states: “There is nothing like Him” [Surah al-Shura 42:11] And: “And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.” [Surah al-Ikhlaas 112:4].
This is the explanation of the Hadith by scholars of Ahl-ul-Sunnah (those adhering to the Sunnah) such as Ahmad, Is-haq and others (may Allah have mercy on them all). Musnad, Ahmad, vol. 2, p. 244. – Related by Imam Ahmad, Section on the Companions who narrated a large number of Hadiths, the rest of the previous chapter, no. 8092; and Al-Tabarany in Al-Mu`jam Al-Kabir, vol. 12, no. 13580.
Al-Imaam Ibn Baaz (rahimahullaah) discusses the hadeeth: Allaah Created Adam upon His Image
Question: A hadeeth has been reported from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in which he prohibits cursing the face (literally saying ‘may Allaah make your face ugly’), and it mentions that Allaah (Subhaanahu) created Adam upon His Image. So what is the safe belief in reference to this hadeeth?
Answer: The hadeeth is confirmed from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), that he said: “When one of you hits (someone else), then let him avoid the face, for indeed Allaah created Aadam upon His Image.” And in another wording (of this hadeeth) he said, “upon the Image of Ar-Rahmaan (the Most Merciful).” And this (hadeeth) does not necessitate resembling or likening Allaah (to His creatures).
The meaning of it with the people of knowledge is that Allaah created Adam hearing, seeing, and speaking if he wished to do so (i.e. Aadam had these attributes). This is also the description of Allaah, for verily He is Hearing, Seeing, and Speaking if He wishes, and He has a Face, Magnificent and Exalted is He.
However, this does not mean resembling or likeness. Rather, the Image that is for Allaah is not like the image that is for the creation. It only means that He is Hearing, Seeing, and Speaking if and whenever He wishes to do so. And thus did Allaah create Aadam as one who is hearing, seeing, and possessing a face, and a foot. However, the hearing (of one) is not like the hearing (of the other), and the seeing (of one) is not like the seeing (of the other), and the speaker is not like the (other) speaker. Rather, Allaah has attributes that are befitting His Majesty and His Sublimity, and the slave (of Allaah) has attributes that are befitting him. The attributes of the slave (of Allaah) is exposed to cessation and deficiency, whereas the attributes of Allaah are perfect and not exposed to deficiency, cessation of being, or ending. For this reason, Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic said, “There is nothing like Hime, and He is the All-Hearing, All-Seeing.” And He, Glory be unto Him, said, “And there is none comparable or coequal to Him.” Thus, it is not permissible to strike the face (of someone), nor to curse the face (saying ‘may Allaah make your face ugly’).
Answered by Ash-Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz
Source: The program Noorun ‘alaa ad-Darb, on tape number 30.
Translated by Aqeel Walker