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Confused About Two Ayats of the Quran

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Maulana Tammim Mohamadou


I hope you are doing well Insha’Allah. I am seriously confused about two ayats of the Quran. I really need someone to clear my confusion in a logical manner. In one ayah of the Quran ALLAH ﷻsay about himself that ”laisakamislihi shay” there is nothing like him. While in ayat al noor ALLAH ﷻ says ALLAH is the noor of heavens and earth and then gives examples of his noor by stating that this noor is like light coming out from a fire of zaytoon (as continued). So, my major confusion is while in one place ALLAH says there is nothing like him and no example can comprehend him because there is nothing like him in the second place ALLAH himself is comparing his noor and giving its examples.

Is my understanding wrong? because on the face value these two ayas seems contradictory. I know it’s because of my lack of knowledge that’s why I am asking this question. Please Answer. Thank you.

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


We thank you for getting back to us for your clarification and we will try to answer your question to the best of our ability in shā Allah and we pray Allah ﷻ to give us Tawfiq for that, Āmīn!

So let us begin by giving some explanations of each verse apart then we will try to answer your question and discuss if any need for reconciliation, in shā Allah.

  1. Surah Shurah(42:11)

فَاطِرُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ جَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا وَمِنَ الْأَنْعَامِ أَزْوَاجًا يَذْرَؤُكُمْ فِيهِ لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ

He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth. He has made for you pairs from among yourselves, and pairs from the cattle. He makes you expand in this way. Nothing is like Him. And He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.


In Tafsir ibn Kathir, it is mentioned about “لَيْسَكَمِثْلِهِشَىْءٌ”: [means, there is nothing like the Creator of these pairs, for He is the Unique, the Self-Sufficient Lord, Who has no peer or equal.]

In Tafsir Tabari, it is mentioned:[it has two meanings:

  1. “ليس هو كشيء”: He is not comparable to a “thing” (in all creation)
  2. “ليس مثل شيء”: there is not a “thing” like (in comparison to Him)]

In Tafsir Qurtubi, it is mentioned: [He is not resembling anything of His creatures, nor are they resembling Him.]

So, it is evidently established that Allah ﷻ is not resembling His creation and this is absolute.

  1. Surah Noor (24:35)

۞ٱللَّهُ نُورُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِوَٱلْأَرْضِۚمَثَلُنُورِهِۦكَمِشْكَوٰةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ ۖٱلْمِصْبَاحُفِى زُجَاجَةٍ ۖٱلزُّجَاجَةُ كَأَنَّهَا كَوْكَبٌ دُرِّىٌّ يُوقَدُ مِن شَجَرَةٍ مُّبَـٰرَكَةٍ زَيْتُونَةٍ لَّا شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلَا غَرْبِيَّةٍ يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِىٓءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ نَارٌ ۚنُّورٌعَلَىٰنُورٍۗيَهْدِىٱللَّهُلِنُورِهِۦ مَن يَشَآءُۚوَيَضْرِبُٱللَّهُٱلْأَمْثَـٰلَ لِلنَّاسِ ۗوَٱللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is that of a niche in which there is a lamp; the lamp is in a glass – the glass looks like a brilliant star – it is lit by (the oil of) a blessed tree, the olive, which is neither eastern nor western. Its oil is about to emit light even if the fire has not touched it – (it is) light upon light. Allah guides to His light whomsoever He wills. And Allah describes examples for the people, and Allah knows everything well.


In Tafsir Maarif-ul-Quran, it is mentioned: [Tafsir Mazhari has explained that Nur is in fact that condition, which is initially perceived by man’s sense of sight, and then through that perception, he comprehends all those things which can be seen by eyes, such as in the case of rays of the sun and the moon, which on falling on a solid mass brightens it up, and then through the reflection from solid mass brightens other things.

Hence, it is evident that the word Nur cannot be used for Allah Ta’ala in its literal or common meaning because He is free from body and materiality. Therefore, there is consensus among the scholars that the use of word Nur for Allah Ta’ala in the verse under reference is purported for Munawwir, meaning the one who brightens, or maybe the master of brightening is referred to here as Nur, in the same way as the possessor of grace is sometimes called Grace, or the possessor of justice is called the Justice.

So, the meaning of the verse is that Allah bestows Nur to earth and the heaven, and to everything living there, and the Nur is purported to be the Nur of righteousness. Ibn Kathir has reported the explanation put forward by Sayyiduna Ibn `Abbas (رضي الله عنهما)said that: “Allah is the Guide of all living in the heavens and the earth”.]

In Tafsir al-Baghawi, it is mentioned that [“﴿مَثَلُ نُورِهِ﴾” means like the light of AllahTa’ala in the heart of the believer, and it is the light by which He guides.]

So, it is also clear that Allah ﷻ is talking here of the effect of the Nur of Allah ﷻ upon the heart of the believer and not a giving a “like (Tashbih i.e., resemblance)” to Him.

As a result, and based on some extracts from well-known tafsir works, we can simply understand that what is mentioned in Surah Nur is not in contradiction to what Allah ﷻ said in Surah Shurah because the absolute statement is that Allah ﷻ is not resembling in anything to His creation and nor the creation resembling Him in anything.

We hope that this will answer your question, in shā Allah.

For further details, we invite you to read Tafsir Ma’arif-ul-Quran which is available in English to increase your understanding of the Qur’an and if possible, to study tafsir works under the guidance of reliable and reputable scholars. Hence, do not hesitate to check out Darul Ilm Birmingham course offering as well, in shā Allah.

Only Allah (ﷻ) knows best.

Written by Maulana Tammim Mohamadou

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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