The meaning of this part of the hadeeth is that when the
believing slave strives to draw closer to Allaah by doing obligatory acts of
worship, then naafil acts, Allaah will bring him closer to Him, and will
raise him from the level of eemaan (faith, belief) to the level of ihsaan,
so he will start to worship Allaah as if he can see Him, and his heart will
be filled with knowledge of his Lord, love and awe for Him, fear of Him, and
glorification and veneration of Him. When his heart is filled in this
manner, any attachment to anything other than Allaah will disappear, and the
person will not longer be attached to any of his whims or desires, and he
will have no wish for anything except that which his Lord and Master wants.
At that point the person will not speak except to remember Allaah, he will
not move except to obey His command. So when he speaks, he speaks for the
sake of Allaah; when he hears he hears for the sake of Allaah; when he
looks, he looks for the sake of Allaah; i.e., he acts with the help and
guidance of Allaah and for the sake of Allaah in these matters. So he only
listens to that which Allaah loves; he only looks at that with which Allaah
is pleased; he only strikes with his hands and walks with his feet for
purposes with which his Lord and Master is pleased. It does not mean that
Allaah is his hearing and his sight, and Allaah is his hand and his foot.
Exalted be Allaah above that, for Allaah is above the Throne and He is
Exalted above all His creation. Rather what is meant is that He guides him
with regard to his hearing, seeing, walking and striking. Hence it was
narrated in another version that Allaah says: “In Me he hears, in Me he
sees, in Me he strikes and in Me he walks,” meaning that Allaah guides him
in his actions, words, hearing and seeing. This is what it means according
to Ahl al-Sunnah wa'l-Jamaa'ah. At the same time Allaah answers his prayers,
so if he asks Him, He will give; if he seeks His help, He will help him; if
he seeks refuge with Him, He will grant him refuge.
Adapted from Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hukam, 2/347; Fataawa Noor ‘ala’l-Darb, tape 10, by Shaykh Ibn Baaz, may Allaah have mercy on him.
Whoever suggests a meaning other than this is wrong and is transgressing the limits and showing disrespect towards Allaah, and he is going against the Arabs’ own understanding of their language and what they understand by such words. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 1/145 9: You see that Allaah has mentioned one who worships and One Who is worshipped, one who draws close and the One to Whom he draws close, one who loves and the One Who is loved, one who asks and One Who is asked, One Who gives and one to whom it is given, one who seeks refuge and One Whose refuge is sought. The hadeeth refers to two who are distinct from one another, one of whom is not the other. If that is the case, than the apparent meaning of the words “I am his hearing, his sight, his hand and his foot” cannot be that the Creator is a part or an attribute of the created being. Exalted be Allaah far above that. Rather the apparent and true meaning is that Allaah guides this slave with regard to his hearing, sight and striking, so he hears purely for the sake of Allaah, by the help of Allaah, following the commands of Allaah. The same applies to his seeing, his striking and his walking.