The Vision of Allah in the World and the Hereafter

The Vision of Allah in the World and the Hereafter The Vision of Allah in the World and the Hereafter


by Dr. G. F. Haddad



Allah Most High made our Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – hear His Speech without intermediary on the Night of Ascension, and of Musa – upon him peace – also He took the Covenant with­out intermediary, but our Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – enjoyed an additional state: in addi­tion to hearing the words addressed to him, an unveiling of vision.

–         Al-Qushayri.[1]


An example of the ambiguous verses are the individual letters that open certain suras. Another example is the affir­mation of the vision of Allah Most High with the sight of the eyes in real­ity in the hereafter, according to the explicit text of the Qur’an: (On that day will faces be resplendent, looking towards their Lord) (75:22-23). For He exists with the Attribute of perfection, and the fact that He can be seen both by Himself and others, is among the characteristics of perfection; moreover, the believer is apt to receive such bestowal of the gift of Allah. However, the affirmation of direction is precluded. It fol­lows that the description of the vision is among the ambiguities, ans so it is obliga­tory to acquiesce to it while believ­ing in its reality.  – Al-Pazdawi.[2]



            Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr in al-Intiqa’ and others relate that Malik and al-Shafi‘i ad­duced as proof of the believers’ vision of Allah Most High in the hereafter the verses: (That day will faces be resplendent, Looking toward their Lord) (75:22-23) and (Nay! Verily, from their Lord, that day, shall they [the transgressors] be veiled) (83:15).[3]


            Imam Ibn Khafif stated in his al-‘Aqida al-Sahiha:


30. The believers shall see Allah on the Day of Resurrection just as they see the full moon on the nights when it rises. They will not be unfairly deprived of seeing Him.


31. They will see Him without encompassment (ihâta) nor delimitation (tahdîd) within any given limit (hadd), whether from the front, the back, above, below, right, or left. …


97. Sight in the world is impossible.


The Mu‘tazila and some other groups such as the Shi‘a held that Allah could not be seen at all, even on the Day of Resurrec­tion. They rejected the sound hadiths to the contrary, claiming that such vision necessitated corpo­reality and direc­tion, which were precluded for Him. In contrast, Ahl al-Sunna held that Allah will most certainly be seen by the believers without our specifying how, adducing the verse (That day will faces be resplen­dent, Looking at their Lord) (75:22-23) and the mass-narrated hadiths to the effect that such vision will be real. Al-Ash‘ari authored several refuta­tions of the Mu‘tazili and Shi‘i view, and early Hanbalis considered that the belief that Allah will not be seen on the Day of Resurrection entails kufr.[4] The totality of the scholars of Ahl al-Sunna both excluded modalities of encompassment, delimitation, direction, and other corporeal qua­lities and, at the same time, held that Allah will be seen by the believers in the Hereafter without specifying how. However, they differed whether such unqualified sight was possible in the world as well.


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