Surah 42: al-Shūrā
42:11 The splitter apart of the heavens and the earth, He made for you from yourselves pairs and from your cattle pairs, thereby multiplying you. Nothing is as His likeness, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.
The Creator of the seven heavens and the seven earths is God, and in creation He is one and unique. He gives being to nonbeings, from what was not He brings forth what is, and He is not similar to any being. His power has no slackening, His strength no shortcoming, and His measure is far from perception. His act has no instrument, His artisanry no cause, His doing no contrivance. He created the tremendous Throne and made it the crown on the head of being's realm. He created the tiny dust mote and concealed it from the eyes. In terms of power, the Throne is like a dust mote, and in terms of wisdom, the dust mote like a Throne. If you look at the world of power, the Throne will appear to you as a dust mote, and if you look at the world of wisdom, the dust mote will come to you as a Throne.
Judging on the basis of the world of unneediness and the exalted divine majesty, in reality there is no need for the existence of creatures, so their realm of being appears to be an intrusion. Nonetheless, He Himself says, “'We created you so you would profit from Us, not so that We would profit from you.' When I created you, I did not create you to seek profit from you or to join My exalted majesticness with your existence.
Her own face had itself as a moon,
her own eye had itself as collyrium.
Rather, I created you so that you would seek profit from Me and you would take your own share from My bounty.”
The attribute of bounty stood up seeking the obedient, the attribute of severity stood up seeking the disobedient, and the attribute of majesty and beauty stood seeking the passionate. He had a severity and a gentleness to perfection, a never-ending majesty and beauty. He wanted to scatter these treasures. He placed the throne of gentleness on the head of one person in the garden of bounty, He put the burning brand of severity on another's liver in the prison of justice, He melted one in the fire of majesty, and He caressed another in the light of beauty.
He lit up the candle of the invitation: “And God invites to the Abode of Peace” [10:25]. Thousands of thousands of the helpless and grief-stricken threw themselves on the candle and burned, but nothing whatsoever was decreased from the candle or added to it.
I sorrow for Him who does not sorrow for me.
I obey the command of Him who took my heart.
I buy His iniquity and disloyalty with a hundred spirits-
He will not buy my love and loyalty for a barleycorn.
Nothing is as His likeness, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing. God is a Lord similar to whom there is nothing and no one. He has no peer, none with the same attributes, and no spouse. In attributes and descriptions, in power and knowledge, in acceptance and rejection, in marks and proofs, there is no one like Him. If this is not someone's belief, he is not with Him in the religion.
This verse corrects the deviation of two groups: the group that says there are no attributes, and the group that says there is resemblance. Not having attributes is nonbeing, but God is being. Resemblance comes from partnership, but God is pure of partners and partnership. Those who allow resemblance are outside the precinct of the submission, and those who negate attributes are heretics.
God says, “Nothing is as His likeness.” He does not say, “Nothing is there,” for attributes are there. No attributes, however, are like His attributes. He is hearing, but none is hearing like Him. He is seeing, but none is seeing like Him. This is just like what He says in another place: “Is He who creates like him who does not create?” [16:17]. God has attributes worthy of Him, and the creatures are far from that. Created things have attributes worthy of them, and the Creator is pure of that.
The created thing is what exists because God gave it existence, and God exists because He abides in His own beginninglessness, being, and subsistence. The created thing lives through its soul and nourishment, in a measure and a time. God is alive through His own life, His own subsistence, His own firstness and lastness, without when, how many, and how. The created thing is an artisan through contrivance, tools, striving, and measure. God is Artisan through power and wisdom, without tool, contrivance, or cause-whatever He wants, as He wants, when He wants.