Al-Bukhari interprets the face of God as a metaphor

Muhammad Ibn Isma’il Al-Bukhari writes:

كُـلُّ شَـيْءٍ هَـالِـكٌ إِلَّا وَجْـهُـهُ إِلَّا مُـلْـكُـهُ وَيُـقَـالُ إِلَّا مَـا أُرِيـدَ بِـهِ وَجْـهُ الـلَّـهِ

Everything is perishable except His face: “Except His sovereignty.” (28:88) And one says: “Except that by which one sought the favor of God.” [Sahih-ul-Bukhari, page 1197]

Ahmad Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani writes:

قَـوْلُـهُ إِلَّا وَجْـهُـهُ إِلَّا مُـلْـكُـهُ فِـي رِوَايَـةِ الـنَّـسَـفِـيِّ وَقَـالَ مَـعْـمَـرٌ فَـذِكْـرُهُ وَمَـعْـمَـرٌ هَـذَا هُـوَ أَبُـو عُـبَـيْـدَةَ بْـنُ الْـمُـثَـنَّـى وَهَـذَا كَـلَامُـهُ فِـي كِـتَـابِـهِ مَـجَـازُ الْـقُـرْآنِ لَـكِـنْ بِـلَـفْـظِ إِلَّا هُـوَ

“His statement “except His face: except His sovereignty” (28:88). In the narration of An-Nasafi it says: “Ma’mar said.” Then he mentioned it and this Ma’mar is Abu Ubaidah Ibn Muthanna and this is his statement in his book Majaz-ul-Qur’an. However with the wording: “Except Him.” [Fath-ul-Bari, Volume 8, Page 505]


Why Did he not say: “He has a face, but not like our face”?

Leave a Reply