2. Appearance of Allah
Allah also has Outer Attributes. No one knows the quality of His Appearance, and He cannot be imagined thereby. However, it has been described what Outward Attributes Allah possesses.
There are different groups that have their own interpretation of this. For example, there are groups like the Asha'irah that claim that Allah has no Outer Attributes and that they should be taken figuratively.
In the Sunnism it is different. Allah does possess Outer Attributes and that they are described in the Quran and Ahadith. It is taken literally as it is, according to Sunni Muslims, without comparing Allah to His creation. And this is what corresponds to what the pious predecessors (Salaf Saliheen) of Islam believe.
There are also groups that claim that Allah has limbs. They compare The Creator with the creation and see no difference there. That is a form of extremism, for Allah says in the Quran:
And nothing or no one is comparable to Him.
Surah Al-Ikhlas verse 4
Below you will see what the Outer Descriptions of Allah are as reported in the Quran and Hadith. And also you get to see the sayings of the Salaf Saliheen (pious predecessors) to perceive the correct interpretation of His Attributes.
What Outward Attributes Allah possesses as He described Himself:
Eyes of Allah
It is narrated that Allah has Eyes. His Eyes cannot be compared with His creation, nor should they be interpreted figuratively, because the Salaf Saliheen took His Attributes literally without any interpretation.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said:
"Allah is not hidden from you; He is not one-eyed”, pointing his hand to his eye, adding: "Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal is blind in the right eye, and his eye looks like a bulging grape."
(Sahih al-Bukhari 7407)
Ad-Dārimi (pious predecessor) said:
“The explanation of the saying of Allah's Messenger, 'Verily Allah is not one-eyed' is that He is the All-Seeing who has two Eyes, not like the one-eyed [Dajjal].”
(An-Naqd 'ala Bishr Al-Mareesee, p.48)
The Hands of Allah
His Hands do not resemble those of the creation. He has two Hands that are totally Unique. It is an act of disbelief within Islam to compare His Outer Attributes with those of creation. And it is an innovation to delve into how they look like.
(Allah) said: "O Iblees! What prevents you from prostrating before the One whom I have created with both My Hands? Are you too proud or are you one of those who is exalted?"
Abdur-Rahman Bin Al-Qasim (pious predecessor) said:
"It is not permissible for anyone to describe Allah except with that with which He Described Himself in the Quran. One cannot compare Allah's two Hands, nor his Face with anything. He should say: 'He (Allah) has two Hands as He Described Himself in the Quran, and He has a Face as He Described Himself'. He must stop at what Allah Described about Himself in the Quran, there is no resemblance to Him, nor any like it, He is Allah la ilaha illa huwa (no one has the right to be worshiped but Him)."
(Narrated by Ibn Abi Zamanin in “Usool As-Sunnah” page 75)
The Fingers of Allah
In the Hadith we see that the Prophet (ﷺ) says that Allah has Fingers. When it is said that He has Fingers, you should say that it is so without comparing His Fingers to those of creation. He is unique and nothing and no one resembles Him.
Abdullah b. amr b. al-'As reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say:
"Verily, the hearts of all the sons of Adam are between the two Fingers. He turns that in any direction He wills." Then Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said: "O Allah, the Turner of hearts, turn our hearts to Your obedience."
(Sahih Muslim 2655)
Feet of Allah
These too do not resemble His creation. He is unique and nothing and no one resembles Him. It is not authorized to ask what His Feet look like, for that is an innovation and every innovation is error.
Ibn Abbas (pious predecessor) said:
"The Kursi (footstool), is the place of the two Feet."
(Al-'Arsh number 61 by Ibn Abi Shaybah)
Abu Musa al-Ash'ari (pious predecessor) said:
"The Kursi (footstool), is the place of the two Feet."
(Al-'Arsh number 60 Ibn Abi Shaybah)
His Form is not like ours, nor does it resemble ours. Believing that Allah has a Form is what is right, and interpreting His Form figuratively is incorrect. This Attribute is to be taken literally like all Attributes.
Ibn 'Abbas narrated:
that the Prophet ﷺ said: "My Lord, blessed be He and the Most High, came to me in the best Form. So he said: 'O Muhammad!' I said: 'Here I am, my Lord, and I am at your service.' He said, "What is the most exalted group concerned with?" I said, '[Lord] I don't know.' So He placed His Hand between my shoulders, until I felt the coolness between my chest, so I knew what was between the east and the west. He said, 'O Muhammad!' I said: 'Here I am oh my Lord, and I am at your service.' He said, "What is the most exalted group concerned with?" I said: 'In the acts that raise the ranks and the acts that make atonement, and in recording the footsteps to the jama'ah, Isbagh Al-Wudu is in trouble, and he waits for the Salat after his Salat. And whoever watches over prayer, he will live in goodness and die in goodness, and his sins on that Day will be as if his mother bore him.”
(Sunan Tirmidhi 3234 (Hasan))
Abu 'Eesa At-Tirmidhi (pious predecessor) commented on this hadith:
“The appearance of Allah is mentioned in the dream of the Prophet (ﷺ), and the appointment of the placing of His Hand on which the Prophet (ﷺ) felt coolness on his chest is mentioned in this hadith. It is impossible for us to know what the Form of Allah is and what His Hand is like.”
(Commentary on hadith 3234)