Quora answer: What does God look like?

Apr 08 2013


God does not look like any thing.

In Greek there is a special kind of knowledge called Nous. This is the knowledge of the gods as numinous.

But according to Islam there is no special faculty for knowing God.

However Quran states words to the effect:

  • Everywhere you look, there is the Face of God.
  • Everything is in annihilation except the Face of God.

The god we are talking about is The God, El, Yhwh, Allah. who claims:

There is no god, only Allah.

God as such has two standings.

One is Sifat, his attributes which conform to the 99 names. Where 99 is an indicator of limitlessness by convention. Example God is al-Ahad (One, as in Unique) and al-Samad (self-sufficent).

Iklas (sincerity) the Sura says words to the effect:

Say He: Allahu Ahad (One)
Allahu Samad (self-sufficient)
He did not beget anyone,
nor did anyone begit Him,
And no one is equal to Him.

The other is Dhat which is the inner coherence of the Sifat which is what is generally called the Godhead which is unknowable.

However, Sifat is associated with meaning and Dhat with the Sensory. (cf Meaning of Man Sidi Ali al-Jamal).

This brings us back to nous which has both the comprehension of the ineffable and the sensory as given as part of its range of meanings.

Thus although there is no faculty by which we know God, we can still say that perhaps there is knowledge of God which is like nous which is both a knowledge of the sensory and also a comprehension of the numinous.

By the way the Dhat is associated with the HE (male third person pronoun associated used by God of himself). This is also a convention associated with the dignity of the male in ancient near eastern societies, but actually has nothing to do with gender. The word Dhat is actually feminine, and is considered a grammatical error. So Dhat has a transgressive quality. Generally it is considered s the “essence” that relates all the attributes to each other which is beyond our comprehension.

It is said failure of knowledge IS Knowledge when it comes to God.

God said in the bible, take no other gods before me and make no idols. So any visualization of God is a breaking of this covenant. There is no representation of God.

However, God may give signs of Himself like the burning bush at Tuba.


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