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Allah’s In-Comparability


Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatul laahi wa barakatuh, I am a brother learning the religion, and I have a question which is to do with aqeedah, which is a very important issue, I believe in all of Allah’s names and attributes, I accept he is the one and only, none other deserves to be worshipped, if you do worship besides Allah such as a hindu God or do grave worship, you are not a Muslim, rather the contrary, first of all, I believe nothing is like Allah, he is incomparable, but my question is essentially, Allah knows everything we know, so does that mean there is a similarity?, Allah’s knowledge is unlimited and there are no mistakes, but ours is the opposite. Also, another similar question, the Quran is Allah’s speech, his attribute, so is that incomparable as well, doesn’t that share similarity with other Arabic books, they may use the same words for instance, so a similarity, is it not? I asked it on a forum last year, these same questions, a brother said, Allah knows what we know, but his knowledge is unlimited and is always right, ours is limited and we can make mistakes, so we share some things but overall, they are dissimilar, incomparable, he also said the same for my second question. Essentially, Allah’s words are incomparable overall, very dissimilar, but they share somethings with other books. He said something along the lines of that. I’m not sure what is right, hence why I’m asking this question Brother can you please answer this question, it is a real problem for me. Jazakullah khair

Salaamun Alaykum
Thank you for your question. Allah (SWT) says in the Holy Qur’an:  لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ – Nothing is like Him (42:11). On the other hand however, He also describes himself with attributes that His creatures also have:  وَمَكَرُوا مَكْرًا وَمَكَرْنَا مَكْرًا وَهُمْ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ –  They devised a plot, and We [too] devised a plan, but they were not aware (27:50) and many such examples so does this mean that He IS similar to His creatures? In order to answer this, we must distinguish between different levels of similarities. Firstly, there are similarities on the level of essence (ذات) and secondly, there are similarities on the level of attributes and characteristics (صفات). When Allah (SWT) says “Nothing is like Him” it could mean on the level of essence or the level of attributes. However, it cannot mean the latter since His creatures also have the characteristics of knowing, being powerful, having life etc just as Allah is describes Himself with these attributes. It is therefore clear that what is meant is that there is NO ESSENCE similar to Allah (SWT). He is completely unique as everything is dependent on Him whereas He is completely independent. Even when it comes to the attributes – in reality – although we are described as having knowledge, for example, it is in no way comparable to the knowledge of Allah (SWT) such that we can say that His creatures are similar to Him! He has all the beautiful and perfect characteristics by essence and everything else is granted these characteristics because of Him.
Fi Amanillah,