Sam Shamoun in his spree of deceitful attacks on Islam alleges that according to certain Hadith narrations Adam, may Allah bless him, was created “in the very height and shape of Allah!”
Let us take a look at the narrations and send another of his arguments to the cemetery of the lies.
The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him, said:
إِذَا قَاتَلَ أَحَدُكُمْ أَخَاهُ فَلْيَجْتَنِبْ الْوَجْهَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ خَلَقَ آدَمَ عَلَى صُورَتِهِ
“When any one of you fights with his brother, he should avoid his face for Allah created Adam in his [or His own] image.” (Sahih Muslim, Hadith 4731)
Meaning of the narration:
Al-Nawawi (d. 676 A.H.) in his commentary to this Hadith writes;
“And scholars have differed on its meaning. One group [of scholars] said subject of ‘his image’ is person who is fought with, and this is the evident from the narration of Muslim. Another group said, the subject is Adam and this is a weak opinion. And (yet another) group (of scholars) said it refers to Allah Almighty. And (in that case) it is (only) to emphasize the esteem (of a human) and importance just like the Almighty says, “Camel of Allah”, and as it is said of the Holy Ka’ba, “House of Allah” and likewise. And Allah knows the best!” (Sharah al-Nawawi 8/440)
So as per three interpretations mentioned by al-Nawawi the narration can be translated as;
1. “… he should avoid his face for Allah had created Adam in his (one who is hit) image.”
This would signify that for the fact of the person being in the image of Adam one must show respect and avoid hitting his face if it ever comes to it. Al-Nawawi said this is the evident meaning.
2. “… he should avoid his face for Allah created Adam in his (Adams’s) own particular image.”
But as al-Nawawi said this is a weak interpretation for it makes little sense in the context.
3. “… he should avoid his face for Allah created in His own image.”
As al-Nawawi explained this would signify human respect and honor in the sight of Allah that it has been related to Almighty himself just as the Holy Ka’ba is referred to as, “the House of Allah.” (See Genesis 28:19 for a parallel, namely “Bethel”) This certainly is far from giving any anthropomorphic notion. Just as the “House of Allah” does not mean Allah is literally sitting in the Holy Ka’ba but shows the sanctuary’s importance similarly “His own image” tends to convey the respect a human deserves and face is the actual identity of a person.
It also highlights the respect Islam gives to a human. Following narration clarifies this further;
Ibn Abbas narrated: Once as the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him, turned his gaze to the Ka’ba, he said, “Blessed be you the House of Allah, How great are you! And how is great is your right but the in the sight of Allah the right of the believer is greater than your right.” (Shu’b al-Iman, Hadith 3853. Classified as Sahih by Albani in Sahiha 3420)
If Holy Ka’ba can be called the “House of Allah,” just like “Bethel,” without bringing in any mental picture , why a similar expression cannot be used for something more respectable without any suggestion of anthropomorphism?
Generally Muslim translators follow the third interpretation. Dr. James Robson also translated it likewise in his translation of Mishkat al-Masabih. I however believe the first one is also perfectly valid.
Second narration that Sam uses and infact is more excited about goes as;
عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ خَلَقَ اللَّهُ آدَمَ عَلَى صُورَتِهِ طُولُهُ سِتُّونَ ذِرَاعًا فَلَمَّا خَلَقَهُ قَالَ اذْهَبْ فَسَلِّمْ عَلَى أُولَئِكَ النَّفَرِ مِنْ الْمَلَائِكَةِ جُلُوسٌ فَاسْتَمِعْ مَا يُحَيُّونَكَ فَإِنَّهَا تَحِيَّتُكَ وَتَحِيَّةُ ذُرِّيَّتِكَ فَقَالَ السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ فَقَالُوا السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكَ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ فَزَادُوهُ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ فَكُلُّ مَنْ يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ عَلَى صُورَةِ آدَمَ فَلَمْ يَزَلْ الْخَلْقُ يَنْقُصُ بَعْدُ حَتَّى الْآنَ
The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah created Adam on his form and his height was sixty cubits. When He created him, He said, 'Go and greet that group angels and listen to how they greet you. It will be your greeting and the greeting of your descendants.' He said, 'Peace be upon you,' and they said, 'Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah,' and they added, 'and the mercy of Allah.' Everyone who enters the Garden will be in form of Adam. People have been getting shorter until now." (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 5873. Translated by Aisha Bewley. Emphasis mine)
Clearly in the colored text both the pronouns refer to one and the same subject i.e. Adam, may Allah bless him, and in that case there is no confusion.
However Sam Shamoun gives the same translation and plays with the punctuation (i.e. letter case). He puts it as;
Hammam related from Abu Hurayra that the Prophet said, "Allah created Adam on HIS FORM and HIS HEIGHT was sixty cubits. When He created him, He said, 'Go and greet that group angels and listen to how they greet you. It will be your greeting and the greeting of your descendants.' He said, 'Peace be upon you,' and they said, 'Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah,' and they added, 'and the mercy of Allah.' Everyone who enters the Garden will be in form of Adam. People have been getting shorter until now."
Sam has been intellectually dishonest for not mentioning that he took the liberty to change the letters to the uppercase for he knew this will throw the spanner into his work.
Below I give the translation of the narration by an orientalist, Dr. James Robson. He translated the same narration quoted in Mishkat al-Masabih as;
“Abu Huraira reported God’s messenger as saying that when God created Adam in his form with a height of sixty cubits He said with reference to some angels who were seated, “Go and salute those persons and listen to what they say in reply, for it is the salutation to be used by you and your offspring.” He went and said, “Peace be upon you,” and they replied, “Peace and God’s mercy be upon you.” So they added in reply to him, “And God’s mercy.” The Prophet said, “All those who enter paradise will have Adam’s form and a height of sixty cubits; but created beings have continued to diminish till now.” (Mishkat al-Masabih, Translated by Dr. James Robson, Vol. 2 Book XXIV, Chapter I, Sh. Muhammad Ashraf Publishers, Lahore, 1991 p.969. Emphasis Mine)
This more lucid translation by a non-Muslim exposes Sam’s lie. Evidently the form in which Adam is said to be created is his own and Adam’s height was sixty cubits. Neither the form nor the height refers to Allah. And this simply razes to dust Sam’s structure of lies.
Keep the real capitalization used by Ustadha Aisha Bewley, and the translation by Dr. James Robson in mind and then read the classical commentaries given below. This will clarify everything insha’Allah!
The actual meaning of the narration:
Hafiz Ibn Hajr (d. 852 A.H.) explaining this narration writes;
“And the meaning is, Allah Almighty created him (i.e. Adam) in his very form without making him to grow in various conditions and did not make him to pass through the stages in the womb like his children do. But Allah made him a complete grown up man from the time soul was blown into him. Then it is followed by the words, “his height was sixty cubits,” this also refers to Adam and it is said the words, “on his form” means that no one is like him (Adam) in creation.” (Fath al-Bari 10/106)
Before him al-Nawawi said the same in his commentary to Sahih Muslim.
“And from this narration is clear that “his form” refers to Adam. And this means in his first inception he was created on his very form in which he lived on the Earth and died thereon. And that his height was sixty cubits and he did not grow in various stages like his progeny do. And his form in the paradise was the same as on the Earth and it did not change.” (Sharah al-Nawawi 9/224)
On the two other narrations Sam refers to:
From Sam’s page it seems that two narrations support the contention that subject of “his image” is Allah. They appear on his page as;
"Do not say 'May Allaah deform your face' [a form of cursing in Arabic], for the son of Adam was created IN THE IMAGE OF THE MOST MERCIFUL.”
The fact is the narration is weak with this wording. As to what is quoted from a scholar that “those who classed it as saheeh are more knowledgeable” than those who said it is dubious, it does not help. It does not help because we have a science of narration and Shaykh Albani has explained that the two chains through which it is reported are problematic. The chain through which Ibn Abi Aasim narrates it has four (4) problems. And another chain is also weak. See Silsala Ahadith Da’ifa No. 1176. And once we have known the issues with a chain then it does not matter who all authenticated it.
The second narration is;
"When any one of you fights let him avoid the face, for Allaah created Adam in the image of His Face."
It is an error to say that Albani simply accepted it. Infact what he said is, “Its chain is Sahih and narrators are those of Bukhari and Muslim except teacher of the compiler (Ibn Abi Aasim) and he is trustworthy as mentioned earlier but I doubt the veracity of the words ‘image of his face’ for what is preserved through authentic chains is ‘in his image.’” (Zilal al-Jannah, research on Ibn Abi Aasim’s ‘al-Sunnah’, Hadith 516)
If the chain of narrators is fine but words are different than those generally reported though other valid chain, the report is graded as “Shaadh” i.e. Strange which is a kind of weak narrations.
Moreover as I explained even if we take this to refer to Allah it does not say what Sam wants it to. See the third interpretation given for the Narration 1 above.
Sam again resorted to dirty tricks and has been exposed once more. Ahadith do not give any anthropomorphic idea at all!
Indeed Allah knows the best!
 Last accessed on May 13, 2011