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Are Humans Created in the Image of God?

In a recently held interfaith discussion, the Christian and Jewish representatives explained that humans have God's image. They quoted from the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament. They referred to the English Bible as only a few can refer to the original language of the Torah or Injeel.

There is not much difference in various translations of the Bible. The Young's Literal Translation reads: "And God prepares the man in His image; in the image of God He prepared him, a male and a female He prepared them." All other translations read, "So God created man in his image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."

The Muslim representative concurred with them and said Islam also believes that human beings have the image of God. He quoted a hadith (sayings of Prophet Muhammad) from Sahih Muslim ( book of Hadith) that reads, "When anyone of you quarrels with his brother, he should avoid his face for Allah created Adam in His image." (Hadith 4731)

Even though the speaker did not mention this, but there is another hadith in Sahih Bukhari ( a book of Hadith) that gives a slightly different version: "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah created Adam in his (image) form, and his height was sixty cubits….(Hadith 5873)

Do the three monotheistic religions have the same opinions on this issue, or is there a difference. If the Muslim representative's claim accepted, then one has to come up with a newer understanding of several Quranic verses that inform the believers that there is nothing like him (42:11) or "No one can comprehend him by vision, but He comprehends everything. He is the All-Subtle and the All-Aware. (6:103) or "Moses prepared for receiving Directives, which Allah revealed to him and said, "O my Rabb (Lord), show Yourself to me so that I may behold you." Allah replied: "You shall not see Me, but look towards the mountain - if it remains firm in its place then you shall see Me. "When Allah disclosed His glory on the mountain and caused it to crumble into pieces, Moses fell into a swoon. When he came to himself, he exclaimed:" You are much above our imagining. I turn to You in repentance and am the first of those who believe." (7:143) "And there is none co-equal or comparable to Him." (112:4)


So, creating Adam or the first human being in His image is a questionable idea. It becomes more problematic when we look at the description of human beings in the Quran.


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© Aslam Abdullah