How Do We Understand the Verse, “There Is Nothing like Him”?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


Allah says in Quran, “There is nothing like him.” I read that “likeness” here is absolute. But, according to the Quran, they denied our Prophet’s (Allah bless him and give him peace) messengership because he is a man like them. We are aware that the same Arabic word is used. As a result, “likeness” here isn’t absolute because Prophet isn’t the same man as them.

If you say, contextually, this is not discussing Absolute similarity. But aren’t other Quranic verses and Hadiths the context of the verse – There is nothing like Him? Please clarify this.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

The Quran and the Prophetic Sunna clearly state that Allah Most High is the absolutely unique. [Laqqani, Jawhara al-Tawhid]

Allah Most High says, “And there is none comparable to Him.” [Quran, 112:4]

Also, “(He is) the Originator of the heavens and the earth. He has made for you spouses from among yourselves, and (made) mates for cattle (as well)—multiplying you (both). There is nothing like Him, for He (alone) is the All-Hearing, All-Seeing.” [Quran, 42:11]

Seemingly Similar

The above tenet of faith is absolute. Allah Most High is completely different from His creation. However, in the Quran and Sunna, one word may be used to describe Allah Most High and a creation of Allah Most High.

For example:

  • King (Malik);
  • Rahim (Merciful);
  • Ra’uf (Compassionate).

In reality, the similarity between these words being a description of Allah and a description of creation is only in the term used. In reality, only Allah is the King, the Merciful, and the Compassionate. [Laqqani, Jawhara al-Tawhid]

Any usage of these qualities for humans is merely metaphorical or understood as manifestations of the truth of these qualities from Allah Most High to His creation. [Ibid.]

Additionally, all of Allah’s qualities are inherent, absolute, and without a beginning or end. Thus, even if a human were described with such words, for them, these qualities are contingent (i.e., from Allah), relative, and temporal; hence, there is no resemblance. [Ibid.]

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch teaches Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences.

He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he studied for three years in Dar al-Mustafa under some of the most outstanding scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib.

In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Quran and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Quranic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.