In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
2- When a Muslim follows the commands of Allah and obeys Him sincerely, Allah will bestow guidance upon him and will help him throughout his life.
3- This love and obedience to Allah means that the believer will adhere to whatever Allah orders him to do and act according to His commands.
4- Thereupon, Allah will be his hearing, meaning that the believer will listen to Allah only and follow His commands.
In his fatwa, the late Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh `Abdul-`Aziz ibn Baz, states:
The meaning of this part of the hadith is that when the believing servant of Allah strives to draw closer to Him by performing obligatory acts of worship, as well as voluntary acts, Allah will draw him closer to Him, and will raise him from the level of faith to the level of ihsan (perfection of faith), so that he will begin to worship Allah as if he can see Him, and his heart will be filled with knowledge of his Lord.
The servant of Allah will feel great love and awe, will fear Him, and will glorify and venerate Him. When his heart is filled in this way, he will not feel attachment to anything other than Allah, and the person will no longer be overcome by any of his whims or desires, and his wishes will coincide with those of his Lord and Master.
At that point the person’s speech will be nothing but dhikr (remembrance of Allah), and his only movement will be to obey His command. So when he speaks, he speaks for the sake of Allah; when he hears, he hears for the sake of Allah; when he looks, he looks for the sake of Allah; i.e., he acts with the help and guidance of Allah and for the sake of Allah in all things.
So he will only listen to that which Allah loves; he will only look at that with which Allah is pleased; he only uses his hands and walks for those purposes which please his Lord and Master. It does not mean that Allah is actually his hearing and his sight, or that Allah is his hand and his foot.
Exalted be Allah above any such thing, for Allah is above the Throne and He is Exalted above all His creation. What is actually meant is that He guides him with regard to his hearing, seeing, walking and striking.
Hence, it was narrated in another version that Allah says: “Through Me he hears, through Me he sees, through Me he strikes and through Me he walks,” meaning that Allah guides him concerning his actions, words, hearing and seeing.
This is what it means according to Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah. At the same time, Allah answers his prayers, so if the servant of Allah asks Him, He will surely give; if he seeks His help, He will surely help him; if he seeks refuge with Him, He will surely grant him refuge.
The late Muslim scholar Sheikh Ibn `Uthaymeen, adds:
You see that Allah has mentioned one who worships and the 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 the One Who is asked, the One Who gives and one to whom it is given, one who seeks refuge and the One Whose refuge is sought.
The hadith refers to two, who are distinct from each 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 mean that the Creator is a part or an attribute of the created being.
Exalted be Allah far above all such things! Rather, the apparent and true meaning is that Allah guides His slave with regard to his hearing, sight and striking, so he hears purely for the sake of Allah and by the help of Allah, while following the commands of Allah. The same applies to his seeing, his striking and his walking.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.
Source: Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamqa.info