Aqida Tahawiyya – 8

لَا تَبْلُغُهُ الْأَوْهَامُ، وَلَا تُدْرِكُهُ الْأَفْهَامُ

No imagination (wahm) can conceive of Him and no understanding (fahm) can comprehend Him.

The daleel for this is:

يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِهِ عِلْمًا ﴿١١٠﴾
He (Allah) knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them (in the Hereafter), and they will never compass anything of His Knowledge. [Ta-Ha 20:110]

An important principle of ahlu sunnah is:

لا يعلم كيف هو الا هو سبحانه وتعالى
No one knows what Allah is like except Allah himself.

The daleel for this is the above ayah in surah Ta-ha. Another daleel is the Hadith:

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ قَالَتْ فَقَدْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لَيْلَةً مِنَ الْفِرَاشِ فَالْتَمَسْتُهُ فَوَقَعَتْ يَدِي عَلَى بَطْنِ قَدَمَيْهِ وَهُوَ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ وَهُمَا مَنْصُوبَتَانِ وَهُوَ يَقُولُ اللَّهُمَّ أَعُوذُ بِرِضَاكَ مِنْ سَخَطِكَ وَبِمُعَافَاتِكَ مِنْ عُقُوبَتِكَ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْكَ لاَ أُحْصِي ثَنَاءً عَلَيْكَ أَنْتَ كَمَا أَثْنَيْتَ عَلَى نَفْسِكَ
Aisha reported: One night I missed the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, from bed and when I looked for him my hand touched his feet while he was in prostration. They were raised and he was saying, “O Allah, I seek refuge in your pleasure from your anger and in your forgiveness from your punishment, and I seek refuge in you from you. I cannot fully praise you, for you are as you have praised yourself.” It was related by Muslim.

This hadith is a daleel because if the prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) knew fully the reality of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) he would have been able to fully praise him.

Another daleel is the Hadith Qudsi:

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

قَالَ اللهُ أَعْدَدْتُ لِعِبَادي الصَّالِحِينَ مَا لَا عَيْنٌ رَأَت وَ لَا أُذُنٌ سَمِعَتْ وَلَا خَطَرَ عَلَى قَلْبِ بَشَرٍ فاقْرأُوا إنْ شِئْتُمْ : فَلَا تَعْلَمُ نَفْسٌ مَّا أُخْفِيَ لَهُمْ مِنْ قُرَّةِ أَعْيُنٍ
Allah said: I have prepared for My righteous servants what no eye has seen and no ear has heard, not has it occurred to human heart. Thus recite if you wish (1): And no soul knows what joy for them (the inhabitants of Paradise) has been kept hidden (Quran Chapter 32 Verse 17). (1) The words “Thus recite if you wish” are those of Abu Harayrah. It was related by al-Bukhari, Muslim, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.

Since it has been said about the Jannah which is a creation of Allah ‘wa laa khadara alaa qalbil bashar – not has it occured to human heart’ then it is impossible that we can imagine how Allah the creator really is.

Extra Benefit: Someone might say how can there be something in Jannah which the eye has not seen and the ear has not heard when we’ve also been told that there is milk, honey, wine, different types of fruits etc in Jannah? Abdullah ibn Abbas has answered this by saying ‘that which is in the dunya and that which is in the jannah only share the names but the reality of that which is in the jannah we are not able to know’.