When the word ‘attribute’ [ ṣifa ] is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is not a hand, leg, shin, head, or any other body part. When the word ‘attribute is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is a quality which subsists in an entity, such as power, knowledge, will, and the like. As for hand and head and so on, these words do not indicate attributes. If we were asked about the attributes of man, we could not say: ‘He has a head, hand, and leg.’ Nay, these things are descriptions [ waṣf ] of man and not his attributes [ ṣifa ]. Man’s attributes would be that he is a thinker [ mufakkir ], articulate [ nāṭiq ] and possesses will [ murīd ].
If someone asks about what is man composed of, the answer is that man is composed of hands, legs, a head, a stomache, a back, and so on. In answering this question, the physical parts of man are mentioned and not things like mercy, knowledge, will and other qualitative attributes. These things are attributes of man; not parts. There is a huge difference between parts and attributes.
[Naqd al-Tadmuriyya, Shaykh Sa'id Foudah]