The Quran

Commentaries for 112.2

Al Ikhlas (The unity) - الإخلاص

112.2 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Allah, the eternally Besought of all!) the Master whose glory is at its peak and for Whom all created beings are in need; it is also said that (al-Samad) means: He Who does not eat or drink; it is also said that this means: He Who does not have an interior; it is also said that this means: the Everlasting; and it is also said this means: the Sufficient; and it is also said this means: He who does not have an entrance or exit.
112.1-2 Asrar - Kashf Al-Asrar
Say: “He is God, One; God, the Self-Sufficient....”
“O MuḤammad! The estranged have asked you about My lineage. Say: 'God, One.'” God is one and unique, one in Essence and attributes, one in exaltedness and power, one in divinity and lordhood, one in beginninglessness and endlessness. He is worthy of Godhood, knower of God-work, generous and lovingly kind, gentle and ever-merciful, the good God. He is the knower of secrets and whispers, the holder of the highest horizon, the creator of the Throne and the earth, near to everyone familiar, worthy of every laudation, the light of solicitude, apparent in the hearts of His friends, hidden from the eyes, manifest through artisanry.
O far from the eyes, You and my heart are in one place!
You are apparent to the heart but not to the eyes.
God, the Self-Sufficient. It is He from whom sufficiency is sought in needs and in whom refuge is sought in turns of fortune. The Self-Sufficient is He whom the servants need and require. The hope of the disobedient and the destitute is in Him, the remedy of trials comes from His generosity, the happiness of the poor is in His majesty and beauty. Blessed is he whose intimate is His name, exalted is he whose portion is remembering Him, happy is the heart that is bound to Him, pure the tongue that is mentioning Him, delighting in life is he whose days pass in love and affection for Him!
One person is joyful in paradise, another in the Friend. The Friend is the portion of him whose aspiration is all He.
I have an eye, all of it filled with the form of the Friend.
Happy am I with my eye so long as the Friend is within it.
Separating the eye from the Friend is not good-
either He's in place of the eye, or the eye itself is He.
The Self-Sufficient is He who is hallowed beyond comprehension by the knowledge of created things, the perception of their eyes, or the view of their recognitions. The Self-Sufficient is He in whose majesty intellects are bewildered, in whose beauty intelligences are distracted, in perceiving whose secret core understandings are incapable, from whose command thoughts are turned upside down, from whose severity livers are bloodied, and from whose recognition hearts melt.
The Pir of the Tariqah said, “The others are lost in His existence, and the traces and vestiges are effaced in the witnessing of His rightful due.”
An existence whose limits open up to nonexistence is a metaphorical existence, not the existence of the Haqiqah. O poor man, read the verse of your nonexistence from the tablet of eternity and raise the flag of your nonbeing in the world of His Being. Become confounded in the contemplation of the eternal Witness and become unaware of your own awareness. Put your being into bowing and prostration, and tear the cloak of metaphorical existence before the existence of the majesty of the Haqiqah. Say to Him,
“When I'm with myself, I'm less than nonexistence, less.
When I'm with You, I'm the whole world.
Take me and keep me, gratis, even if gratis I'm expensive.”
It has also been said that every verse of this surah is a commentary on the previous verse. When it is said, “Who is He?”, you should say “God.” When it is said, “Who is God?”, you should say “One.” When it is said, “Who is the One?”, you should say, “the Self-Sufficient.” When it is said, “Who is the Self-Sufficient?”, you should say, “He who begets not, nor was He begotten.” When it is said, “Who is it that begets not, nor was He begotten?” You should say, “equal to Him is none.”
It has also been said that He unveils the secret cores with His word He, He unveils the spirits with His word God, He unveils the hearts with His word One, and He unveils the souls of the faithful with the rest of the surah. It has also been said that He unveils the enraptured with His word He and He unveils the tawḤīd-voicers with His word God. He unveils the recognizers with His word One, the ulama with His word Self-Sufficient, and the intelligent with His words He begets not, nor was He begotten, and equal to Him is none.
“O MuḤammad, say to the enraptured: He. That is enough intimation and allusion for them. Do not speak of name and attribute, for they are jealous. They cannot see or hear anyone mentioning the name and attribute of the Friend, even though He is all of their heart, eyes, and tongue.” This is as they say:
In my passion for You the work reached the point where I won't let my own eyes see Your face.
“Say to the recognizers: God. Their feet are on the carpet of solitariness. They are so drowned in the name God that they do not have any concern for negating others.
“Say to the tawḤīd-voicers: One, for their spirits take help from the light of tawḤīd and the repose of their spirits is in finding tawḤīd.
“Say to the knowers: God, the Self-Sufficient. They have taken the baggage of their need to the threshold of the self-sufficiency of the Possessor of Majesty. They will not come back without gifts.
“Say to the intelligent: He begets not, nor was He begotten, and equal to Him is none. You who have intelligence, at least perceive and know that He has no wife or child, no family or relatives, no likeness or similar: Nothing is as His likeness, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing [42:11]. “O MuḤammad! I called you 'beloved,' and the meaning of love is conformity and being the friend's deputy in every state. O MuḤammad! When your enemy speaks bad of you, I will answer. When he speaks bad of Me, you too should answer and discharge the rightful due of love in the meaning of conformity. The unbeliever ʿUqba called you a poet. I answered for your sake and as your deputy: 'It is not the words of a poet' [69:41]. When they speak ill of Me, you answer them: 'Say: He is God, One.' Ḥārith called you a soothsayer. I answered: 'It is not the words of a soothsayer' [69:42]. When someone calls Me ineffectual, you answer: 'God, the Self-Sufficient.' Walīd Mughayra called you a sorcerer: 'This is naught but sorcery passed along' [74:24]. I answered with a threat: 'I shall roast him in Saqar' [74:26]. Abū Lahab said to you, 'May you perish!' I answered: 'Perish the hands of Abū Lahab' [111:1]. You also, if the Magi say I have a peer and a spouse, answer 'He begets not, nor was He begotten.'”
112.2 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
God, the Self-Sufficient, Besought of all (Allāhu’l-samad constitute a subject and a predicate) [al-samad means] the One Who is always sought at times of need,
112.1-4 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Similar was recorded by At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Jarir and they added in their narration that he said,
(As-Samad) is One Who does not give birth, nor was He born, because there is nothing that is born except that it will die, and there is nothing that dies except that it leaves behind inheritance, and indeed Allah does not die and He does not leave behind any inheritance.
وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَّهُ كُفُواً أَحَدٌ
(And there is none comparable to Him.) This means that there is none similar to Him, none equal to Him and there is nothing at all like Him.'' Ibn Abi Hatim also recorded it and At-Tirmidhi mentioned it as a Mursal narration. Then At-Tirmidhi said, "And this is the most correct.''
A Hadith on its Virtues
Al-Bukhari reported from `Amrah bint `Abdur-Rahman, who used to stay in the apartment of `A'ishah, the wife of the Prophet, that `A'ishah said, "The Prophet sent a man as the commander of a war expedition and he used to lead his companions in prayer with recitation (of the Qur'an). And he would complete his recitation with the recitation of `Say: He is Allah, One.' So when they returned they mentioned that to the Prophet and he said,
«سَلُوهُ لِأَيِّ شَيْءٍ يَصْنَعُ ذَلِكَ؟»
(Ask him why does he do that.) So they asked him and he said, `Because it is the description of Ar-Rahman and I love to recite it. So the Prophet said,
«أَخْبِرُوهُ أَنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى يُحِبُّه»
(Inform him that Allah the Most High loves him.)'' This is how Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith in his Book of Tawhid. Muslim and An-Nasa'i also recorded it. In his Book of Salah, Al-Bukhari recorded that Anas said, "A man from the Ansar used to lead the people in prayer in the Masjid of Quba'. Whenever he began a Surah in the recitation of the prayer that he was leading them, he would start by reciting `Say: He is Allah, One' until he completed the entire Surah. Then he would recite another Surah along with it (after it). And used to do this in every Rak`ah. So his companions spoke to him about this saying; `Verily, you begin the prayer with this Surah. Then you think that it is not sufficient for you unless you recite another Surah as well. So you should either recite it or leave it and recite another Surah instead.' The man replied, `I will not leave it off. If you want me to continue leading you (in prayer), I will do this; and if you all do not like it, I will leave you (i.e., I will stop leading you).' They used to consider him to be of the best of them to lead them in prayer and they did not want anyone else to lead them other than him. So, when the Prophet came they informed him of this information and he said,
«يَا فُلَانُ، مَا يَمْنَعُكَ أَنْ تَفْعَلَ مَا يَأْمُرُكَ بِهِ أَصْحَابُكَ، وَمَا حَمَلَكَ عَلَى لُزُوم هَذِهِ السُّورَةِ فِي كُلِّ رَكْعَةٍ؟»
(O so-and-so! What prevents you from doing what your companions are commanding you to do, and what makes you adhere to the recitation of this Surah in every Rak`ah) The man said, `Verily, I love it.' The Prophet replied,
«حُبُّكَ إِيَّاهَا أَدْخَلَكَ الْجَنَّة»
(Your love of it will cause you to enter Paradise.) This was recorded by Al-Bukhari, with a disconnected chain, but in a manner indicating his approval.
A Hadith that mentions this Surah is equivalent to a Third of the Qur'an
Al-Bukhari recorded from Abu Sa`id that a man heard another man reciting
قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ
(Say: "He is Allah, One.'') and he was repeating over and over. So when morning came, the man went to the Prophet and mentioned that to him, and it was as though he was belittling it. The Prophet said,
«وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ إِنَّهَا لَتَعْدِلُ ثُلُثَ الْقُرْآن»
(By He in Whose Hand is my soul, verily it is equivalent to a third of the Qur'an.) Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i also recorded it. Another Hadith Al-Bukhari recorded from Abu Sa`id, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah said to his Companions,
«أَيَعْجِزُ أَحَدُكُمْ أَنْ يَقْرَأَ ثُلُثَ الْقُرْآنِ فِي لَيْلَةٍ»
(Is one of you not able to recite a third of the Qur'an in a single night) This was something that was difficult for them and they said, "Which of us is able to do that, O Messenger of Allah'' So he replied,
«اللهُ الْوَاحِدُ الصَّمَدُ ثُلُثُ الْقُرْآن»
("Allah is the One, As-Samad'' is a third of the Qur'an.) Al-Bukhari was alone in recording this Hadith.
Another Hadith that its Recitation necessitates Admission into Paradise
Imam Malik bin Anas recorded from `Ubayd bin Hunayn that he heard Abu Hurayrah saying, "I went out with the Prophet and he heard a man reciting `Say: He is Allah, the One.' So the Messenger of Allah said,
(It is obligatory.) I asked, `What is obligatory' He replied,
(Paradise.)'' At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i also recorded it by way of Malik, and At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih Gharib. We do not know of it except as a narration of Malik.'' The Hadith in which the Prophet said,
«حُبُّكَ إِيَّاهَا أَدْخَلَكَ الْجَنَّة»
(Your love of it will cause you to enter Paradise.) has already been mentioned.
A Hadith about repeating this Surah
`Abdullah bin Imam Ahmad recorded from Mu`adh bin `Abdullah bin Khubayb, who reported that his father said, "We became thirsty and it had become dark while we were waiting for the Messenger of Allah to lead us in prayer. Then, when he came out he took me by my hand and said,
(Say.) Then he was silent. Then he said again,
(Say.) So I said, `What should I say' He said,
قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ
وَالْمُعَوِّذَتَيْنِ حِينَ تُمْسِي وَحِينَ تُصْبِحُ ثَلَاثًا، تَكْفِكَ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ مَرَّتَيْن»
(Say: "He is Allah, One,'' and the two Surahs of Refuge (Al-Falaq and An-Nas) when you enter upon the evening and the morning three times (each). They will be sufficient for you two times every day.)'' This Hadith was also recorded by Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i. At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih Gharib.'' An-Nasa'i also recorded through another chain of narrators with the wording,
«يَكْفِكَ كُلَّ شَيْء»
(They will suffice you against everything.)
Another Hadith about supplicating with it by Allah's Names
In his Book of Tafsir, An-Nasa'i recorded from `Abdullah bin Buraydah, who reported from his father that he entered the Masjid with the Messenger of Allah, and there was a man praying and supplicating saying, "O Allah! Verily, I ask you by my testifying that there is no God worthy of worship except You. You are the One, the Self-Sufficient Sustainer of all, Who does not give birth, nor were You born, and there is none comparable to Him.'' The Prophet said,
«وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَقَدْ سَأَلَهُ بِاسْمِهِ الْأَعْظَم، الَّذِي إِذَ
A Hadith about seeking a Cure by these Surahs
Al-Bukhari recorded from `A'ishah that whenever the Prophet would go to bed every night, he would put his palms together and blow into them. Then he would recite into them (his palms), `Say: He is Allah, One', `Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of Al-Falaq', and `Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of mankind.' Then he would wipe whatever he was able to of his body with them (his palms). He would begin wiping his head and face with them and the front part of his body. He would do this (wiping his body) three times. The Sunan compilers also recorded this same Hadith.
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ - اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ - لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ - وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَّهُ كُفُواً أَحَدٌ
(1. Say: "He is Allah, One.'') (2. "Allah As-Samad.'') (3. "He begets not, nor was He begotten.'') (4. "And there is none comparable to Him.'') The reason for the revelation of this Surah has already been mentioned. `Ikrimah said, "When the Jews said, `We worship `Uzayr, the son of Allah,' and the Christians said, `We worship the Messiah (`Isa), the son of Allah,' and the Zoroastrians said, `We worship the sun and the moon,' and the idolators said, `We worship idols,' Allah revealed to His Messenger,
قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ
(Say: "He is Allah, One.'') meaning, He is the One, the Singular, Who has no peer, no assistant, no rival, no equal and none comparable to Him. This word (Al-Ahad) cannot be used for anyone in affirmation except Allah the Mighty and Majestic, because He is perfect in all of His attributes and actions. Concerning His saying,
اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ
(Allah As-Samad.) `Ikrimah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "This means the One Who all of the creation depends upon for their needs and their requests.'' `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas, "He is the Master Who is perfect in His sovereignty, the Most Noble Who is perfect in His nobility, the Most Magnificent Who is perfect in His magnificence, the Most Forbearing Who is perfect in His forbearance, the All-Knowing Who is perfect in His knowledge, and the Most Wise Who is perfect in His wisdom. He is the One Who is perfect in all aspects of nobility and authority. He is Allah, glory be unto Him. These attributes are not befitting anyone other than Him. He has no coequal and nothing is like Him. Glory be to Allah, the One, the Irresistible.'' Al-A`mash reported from Shaqiq, who said that Abu Wa'il said,
(As-Samad.) is the Master Whose control is complete.''
Allah is Above having Children and procreating
Then Allah says,
لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ - وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَّهُ كُفُواً أَحَدٌ
(He begets not, nor was He begotten. And there is none comparable to Him.) meaning, He does not have any child, parent or spouse. Mujahid said,
وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَّهُ كُفُواً أَحَدٌ
(And there is none comparable to Him.) "This means He does not have a spouse.'' This is as Allah says,
بَدِيعُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ أَنَّى يَكُونُ لَهُ وَلَدٌ وَلَمْ تَكُنْ لَّهُ صَـحِبَةٌ وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَىْءٍ
(He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth. How can He have children when He has no wife He created all things.) (6:101) meaning, He owns everything and He created everything. So how can He have a peer among His creatures who can be equal to Him, or a relative who can resemble Him Glorified, Exalted and far removed is Allah from such a thing. Allah says,
وَقَالُواْ اتَّخَذَ الرَّحْمَـنُ وَلَداً - لَقَدْ جِئْتُمْ شَيْئاً إِدّاً - تَكَادُ السَّمَـوَتُ يَتَفَطَّرْنَ مِنْهُ وَتَنشَقُّ الاٌّرْضُ وَتَخِرُّ الْجِبَالُ هَدّاً - أَن دَعَوْا لِلرَّحْمَـنِ وَلَداً - وَمَا يَنبَغِى لِلرَّحْمَـنِ أَن يَتَّخِذَ وَلَداً - إِن كُلُّ مَن فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ إِلاَّ آتِى الرَّحْمَـنِ عَبْداً - لَّقَدْ أَحْصَـهُمْ وَعَدَّهُمْ عَدّاً - وَكُلُّهُمْ ءَاتِيهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ فَرْداً
(And they say: Ar-Rahman has begotten a son. Indeed you have brought forth (said) a terrible evil thing. Whereby the heavens are almost torn, and the earth is split asunder, and the mountains fall in ruins, that they ascribe a son to Ar-Rahman. But it is not suitable for Ar-Rahman that He should beget a son. There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto Ar-Rahman as a slave. Verily, He knows each one of them, and has counted them a full counting. And all of them will come to Him alone on the Day of Resurrection.) (19:88-95) And Allah says,
وَقَالُواْ اتَّخَذَ الرَّحْمَـنُ وَلَداً سُبْحَانَهُ بَلْ عِبَادٌ مُّكْرَمُونَ - لاَ يَسْبِقُونَهُ بِالْقَوْلِ وَهُمْ بِأَمْرِهِ يَعْمَلُونَ
(And they say: "Ar-Rahman has begotten a son. Glory to Him! They are but honored servants. They speak not until He has spoken, and they act on His command.) (21:26-27) Allah also says,
وَجَعَلُواْ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ الْجِنَّةِ نَسَباً وَلَقَدْ عَلِمَتِ الجِنَّةُ إِنَّهُمْ لَمُحْضَرُونَ
سُبْحَـنَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ-
(And they have invented a kinship between Him and the Jinn, but the Jinn know well that they have indeed to appear before Him. Glorified is Allah! (He is free) from what they attribute unto Him!) (37:158-159) In Sahih Al-Bukhari, it is recorded (that that the Prophet said),
«لَا أَحَدَ أَصْبَرُ عَلَى أَذًى سَمِعَهُ مِنَ اللهِ، يَجْعَلُونَ لَهُ وَلَدًا، وَهُوَ يَرْزُقُهُمْ وَيُعَافِيهِم»
(There is no one more patient with something harmful that he hears than Allah. They attribute a son to Him, while it is He Who gives them sustenance and cures them.) Al-Bukhari also recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said,
«قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: كَذَّبَنِي ابْنُ آدَمَ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ ذَلِكَ، وَشَتَمَنِي وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ ذَلِكَ، فَأَمَّا تَكْذِيبُهُ إِيَّايَ فَقَوْلُهُ: لَنْ يُعِيدَنِي كَمَا بَدَأَنِي، وَلَيْسَ أَوَّلُ الْخَلْقِ بِأَهْوَنَ عَلَيَّ مِنْ إِعَادَتِهِ، وَأَمَّا شَتْمُهُ إِيَّايَ فَقَوْلُهُ: اتَّخَذَ اللهُ وَلَدًا، وَأَنَا الْأَحَدُ الصَّمَدُ، لَمْ أَلِدْ وَلَمْ أُولَدْ، وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لِي كُفُوًا أَحَد»
(Allah the Mighty and Majestic says, "The Son of Adam denies Me and he has no right to do so, and he abuses Me and he has no right to do so. In reference to his denial of Me, it is his saying: `He (Allah) will never re-create me like He created me before.' But the re-creation of him is easier than his original creation. As for his cursing Me, it is his saying: `Allah has taken a son.' But I am the One, the Self-Sufficient Master. I do not give birth, nor was I born, and there is none comparable to Me.'') This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Ikhlas, and all praise and blessings are due to Allah.
112.1-4 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The first addressee of this Command is the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) himself for it was he who was asked: "Who is your Lord and what is He like? Again it was he who was commanded to answer the question in the following words. But after him every believer is its addressee. He too should say what the Holy Prophet had been commanded to say.
That is, "My Lord to Whom you want to be introduced is none but Allah." This is the first answer to the questions, and it means: "I have not introduced a new lord who I want you to worship beside all other gods, but it is the same Being you know by the name of Allah." "Allah" was not an unfamiliar word for the Arabs. They had been using this very word for the Creator of the universe since the earliest times, and they did not apply this word to any of their other gods. For the other gods they used the word ilah. Then their beliefs about Allah had become fully manifest at the time Abraha invaded Makkah. At that time there existed 360 idols of gods (ilahs) in and around the Ka`bah, but the polytheists forsaking all of them had invoked only Allah for protection. In other words, they knew in their hearts of hearts that no ilah could help them on that critical occasion except Allah. The Ka`bah also was called Bait-Allah by them and not Bait-ilahs after their self-made gods. At many places in the Qur'an the polytheistic Arabian belief about Allah has been expressed, thus:
In Surah Az-Zukhruf it has been said: "If you ask them who created them, they will surely say, 'Allah'." (v. 87)
In Surah Al-`Ankabuu: "If you ask them, `Who has created the earth and the heavens and Who has subjected the moon and the sun?' they will surely say: Allah... And if you ask them, `Who sent down rainwater from the sky and thereby raised the dead earth back to Iife?' they will surely say: `Allah'." (vv. 61-63)
In Surah Al-Mu'minun: "Say to them, `Tell me, if you know, whose is the earth and all who dwell in it?' They will say, `Allah's'... say to them, `To Whom do the seven heavens and the Glorious Throne belong?' They will say, `To Allah'... Say to them, `Tell me, if you know, Whose is the sovereignty over everything? And Who is that Being Who gives protection while none else can give protection against Him?' They will surely reply, `This power belongs to Allah'." (vv. 8489).
In Surah Yunus: "Ask them: Who provides for you from the heavens and the earth? Who has power over the faculties of hearing and sight? Who brings forth the living from the dead and the dead from the living? Who directs the system of the universe? They will surely reply, `Allah'." (v. 31)
Again in Surah Yunus at another place: "When you set sails in ships, rejoicing over a fair breeze, then all of a sudden a strong wind begins to rage against the passengers and waves begin to surge upon them from every side and they realize that they have been encircled by the tempest. At that time they pray to Allah with sincere faith, saying: `If thou deliverest us from this peril, we will become Thy grateful servants.' But when He delivers them, the same people begin to rebel on the earth against the Truth." (w. 22-23)
The same thing has been reiterated in Surah Bani Isra'il, thus: "When a misfortune befalls you on the sea, all of those whom you invoke for help tail you but He (is there to help you), yet when He brings you safe to land, you turn away from Him." (v. 67)
Keeping these verses in view, let us consider that when the people asked: "Who is your Lord and what is He like to Whose service and worship you call us?" the answer given was "Huwa Allah: He is Allah." This answer by itself gives the meaning: "My Lord is He Whom you yourself acknowledge as your own as well as the whole world's Creator, its Master, Sustainer and Administrator, and He Whom you invoke for help at critical times beside all other deities, and I invite you to His service alone." This answer comprehends all the perfect and excellent attributes of Allah. Therefore, it is not at all conceivable that the Creator of the universe, its Administrator and Disposer of its affairs, Sustainer of all the creatures living in it, and the Helper of the servants in times of hardship, would not be living, hearing and seeing, that He would not be an All-Powerful, All-Knowing, All-Wise, All-Merciful and All-Kind Sovereign.
The scholars have explained the sentence Huwa-Allah Ahad syntactically, but in our opinion its explanation which perfectly corresponds to the context is that Huwa is the subject and Allahu its predicate, and Ahad-un its second predicate. According to this parsing the sentence means: "He (about Whom you are questioning me) is Allah, is One and only one. Another meaning also can be, and according to language rules it is not wrong either: "He is Allah, the One."
Here, the first thing to be understood is the unusual use of ahad in this sentence. Usually this word is either used in the possessive case as yaum ul-ahad (first day of the week), or to indicate total negative as Ma ja a a-ni ahad-un (No one has come to me), or in common questions like Hal `indaka ahad-un (Is there anyone with you?), or in conditional clauses like Inja'a-ka ahad-un (If someone comes to you), or in counting as ahad, ithnan, ahad ashar (one, two, eleven). Apart from these uses, there is no precedent in the pre-Qur'anic Arabic that the mere word ahad might have been used as an adjective for a person or thing. After the revelation of the Qur'an this word has been used only for the Being of Allah, and for no one else. This extraordinary use by itself shows that being single, unique and matchless is a fundamental attribute of Allah; no one else in the world is qualified with this quality: He is One, He has no equal.
Then, keeping in view the questions that the polytheists and the followers of earlier scriptures asked the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) about his Lord, let us see how they were answered with ahad-un after Huwa-Allah.
First, it means: "He alone is the Sustainer: no one else has any share or part in providence. and since He alone can be the Itch (Deity) Who is Master and Sustainer, therefore, no one else is His associate in Divinity either."
Secondly, it also means "He alone is the Creator of the universe: no one else is His associate in this work of creation. He alone is the Master of the universe, the Disposer and Administrator of its system, the Sustainer, of His creatures, Helper and Rescuer in times of hardship; no one else has any share or pan whatever in the works of Godhead, which as you yourselves acknowledge, are works of Allah.
Thirdly since they had also asked the questions: of what is your Lord made? what is His ancestry? What is his sex? From whom has He inherited the world and who will inherit it after Him? -all these questions have been answered with one word ahad for Allah. It means:
(1) He alone has been, and will be, God for ever; neither was there a God before Him, nor will there be any after Him;
(2) there is no race of gods to which He may belong as a member: He is God, one and single, and none is homogeneous with Him;
(3) His being is not merely One (wahid) but ahad, in which there is no tinge of plurality in any way.
He is not a compound being, which may be analyzable or divisible. which may have a form and shape, which may be residing somewhere, or may contain or include something, which may have a color, which may have some limbs, which may have a direction, and which may be variable or changeable in any way. Free from every kind of plurality He alone is a Being Who is Ahad in every aspect. (Here, one should fully understand that the word wahid is used in Arabic just like the word "one" in English. A collection consisting of great pluralities is collectively called wahid or one, as one man, one nation, one country, one world, even one universe, and every separate part of a collection is also called one. But the word Ahad is not used for anyone except Allah. That is why wherever in the Qur'an the word wahid has been used for Allah, He has been called itah wahid (one Deity), or Allah-ulWahid-al-Qahhar. (One Allah Who is Omnipotent), and nowhere just wahid, for this word ' is also used for the things which contain pluralities of different kinds in their being. On the contrary, for Allah and only for Allah the word Ahad has been used absolutely, for He alone is the Being Who exists without any plurality in any way, Whose Oneness is perfect in every way.
The word used in the original is samad of which the root is smd. A look at the derivatives in Arabic from this root will show how comprehensive and vast this word is in meaning. (Lexical discussion of the meanings of the derivatives is omitted).
On the basis of these lexical meanings the explanations of the word asSamad in the verse Allah-us-Samad, which have been reported from the Companions, their immediate successors and the later scholars are given below:
Hadrat 'AIi. 'Ikrimah and Ka'b Ahbar: "Samad is he who has no superior. "
Hadrat 'Abdullah bin Mas`ud, Hadrat `Abdullah bin `Abbas and Abu Wail Shaqiq bin Salamah: "The chieftain whose chieftancy is perfect and of the most extraordinary kind."
Another view of Ibn 'Abbas: "Samad is he to whom the people turn when afflicted with a calamity." Still another view of his: "The chieftain who in his chieftaincy, in his nobility and glory, in his clemency and forbearance,. in his knowledge and wisdom is perfect. "
Hadrat Abu Hurairah: "He who is independent of all and all others are dependent upon him. "
Other views of 'Ikrimah: "He from whom nothing ever has come out, nor normally comes out:" "Who neither eats nor drinks." Views containing the same meaning have been related from Sha'bi and Muhammad bin Ka'b al-Kurazi also.
Suddi: "the one to whom the people turn for obtaining the things they need and for help in hardships. "
Sa'id bin Jubair: "He who is perfect in all his attributes and works."
Rabi' bin Jubair: "He who is immune form every calamity."
Muqatil bin Hayyan: "He who is faultless."
Ibn Kaysan: "He who is exclusive in his attributes."
Hasan Basri and Qatadah: "He who is ever-living and immortal."
Similar views have been related from Mujahid, Ma'mar and Murrat alHamadani also.
Munat al-Hamadani's another view is : "he who decides whatever he wills and does whatever he wills, without there being anyone to revise his judgment and decision."
Ibrahim Nakha'i: "He to whom the people turn for fulfillment of their desires."
Abu Bakr al-Anbari "There is no difference of opinion among the lexicographers that samad is the chief who has no superior and to whom the people turn for fulfillment of their desires and needs and in connection with other affairs." Similar to it is the view of Az-Zajjjaj, who says "Samad is he in whom leadership has been perfected, and to whom one turns for fulfillment of one's needs and desires."
Now, let us consider why Allahu-Ahad has been said in the first sentence and why Allah-us-Samad in this sentence. About the word ahad we have explained above that it is exclusively used for Allah, and for none else. That is why it has been used as ahad, in the indefinite sense. But since the word samad is used for creatures also, Allah-us-Samad has been said instead of Allah Samad, which signifies that real and true Samad is Allah alone. If a creature is samad in one sense, it may not be samad in some other sense, for it is mortal, not immortal; it is analyzable and divisible, is compound, its parts can scatter away any time; some creatures are dependent upon it, and upon others it is dependent; its chieftaincy is relative and not absolute; it is superior to certain things and certain other things are superior to it; it can fulfill some desires of some creatures but it is not in the power of any creature to fulfill all the desires of all the creatures, On the contrary, Allah is perfect in His attributes of Samad in every respect; the whole world is dependent upon Hun in its needs, but He is,not dependent upon needs; everything in the world turns to Him, consciously or unconsciously, for its survival and for fulfillment of the needs of everyone; He is immortal and Ever-living; He sustains others and is not sustained by anyone; He is Single and Unique, not compound so as to be analyzable and divisible; His sovereignty prevails over entire universe and He is Supreme in every sense. Therefore, He is not only.Samad but As-Samad, i e. the Only and One Being Who is wholly and perfectly qualified with the attribute of samad in the true sense.
Then, since He is As-Samad, it is necessary that He should be Unique, One and Only, for such a being can only be One, which is not dependent upon anyone and upon whom everyone else may be dependent; two or more beings cannot be self-sufficient and fulfiller of the needs of all. Furthermore, His being As-samad also requires that He alone should be the Deity, none else, for no sensible person would worship and serve the one who had no power and authority to fulfill the needs of others.
The polytheists in every age have adopted the concept that like men, gods also belong to a species, which has many members and they also get married, beget and are begotten. They did not even regard Allah, Lord of the universe, as supreme and above this concept of ignorance, and even proposed children for Him. Thus, the Arabian belief as stated in the Qur'an was that they regarded the angels as daughters of Allah. The Prophetic communities too could not remain immune from this creed of paganism. They too adopted the creed of holding one saintly person or another as son of God. Two kinds of concepts have always been mixed up in these debasing superstitions. Some people thought that those whom they regarded as Allah's children, were descended from him in the natural way and some others claimed that the one whom they called son of God, had been adopted by Allah Himself as a son. Although they could not dare call anyone as, God forbid, father of God, obviously human mind cannot remain immune against such a concept that God too should be regarded as a son of somebody when it is conceived that He is not tree from sex and procreation and that He too, like man, is the kind of being which begets children and needs to adopt a son in case it is childless, That is why one of the questions asked of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) was: what is the ancestry of Allah? and another was: from whom has He inherited the world and who will inherit it after Him?
If these assumptions of ignorance are analyzed, it becomes obvious that they logically necessitate the assumption of some other things as well.
First, that God should not be One, but there should be a species of Gods, and its members should be associates in the attributes, acts and powers of Divinity. This not only follows from assuming God begetting children but also from assuming that He has adopted someone as a son. for the adopted son of somebody can inevitably be of his own kind. And when, God forbid, he is of the same kind as God, it cannot be denied that he too possesses attributes of Godhead.
Second, that children cannot be conceived unless the male and the female combine and some substance from the father and the mother unites to take the shape of child. Therefore, the assumption that God begets children necessitates that He should, God forbid, be a material and physical entity, should have a wife of His own species, and some substance also should issue from His body.
Third, that wherever there is sex and procreation, it is there because individuals are mortal and for the survival of their species it is inevitable that they should beget children to perpetuate the race. Thus, the assumption that God begets children also necessitates that He should, God forbid, Himself be mortal, and immorality should belong to the species of Gods, not to God Himself. Furthermore, it also necessitates that like all mortal individuals, God also, God forbid, should have a beginning and an end. For the individuals of the species whose survival depends upon sex and procreation neither exist since eternity nor will exist till eternity.
Fourth, that the object of adopting some one as a son is that a childless person needs a helper in his lifetime and an heir after his death. Therefore, the supposition that Allah has adopted a son inevitably amounts to ascribing all those weaknesses to His sublime Being which characterize mortal man.
Although all these assumptions are destroyed as soon as Allah is called and described as Ahad and As-Samad, yet when it is said: "Neither has He an offspring nor is He the offspring of another", there remains no room for any ambiguity in this regard. Then, since these concepts are the most potent factors of polytheism with regard to Divine Being, Allah has refuted them clearly and absolutely not only in Surah Al-Ikhlas but has also reiterated this theme at different places in different ways so that the people may understand the truth fully. For example let us consider the following verses:
"Allah is only One Deity: He is tar too exalted that He should have a son: whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth belongs to Him." (AnNisa': 171)
"Note it well: they, in fact, invent a falsehood when they say, `Allah has children'. They are utter liars," (As-Saaffat: 151-152)
"They have invented a hood-relationship between Allah and the angels, whereas the angels know full well that these people will be brought up (as culprits)" (As-Saaffat: 158)
"These people have made some of His servants to be part of Him. The fact is that man is manifestly ungrateful. " (Az-Zukhruf: l 5 )
"Yet the people have set up the Jinn as partners with Allah, whereas He is their Creator; they have also invented for Him sons and daughters without having any knowledge, whereas He is absolutely free from and exalted far above the things they say. He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth: how should He have a son, when He has no consort? He has created each and every thing." (Al An'am: 100-102)
"They say: the Merciful has offspring. Glory be to Allah! They (whom they describe as His offspring) are His mere servants who have been honored." (AI-Anbiya: 26)
"They remarked: Allah has taken a son to himself. Allah is AII-pure: He is Self Sufficient He is the Owner of everything that is in the heavens and the earth. Have you any authority for what you say? What, do you ascribe to Allah that of which you have no knowledge?" (Yunus: 68)
"And (O Prophet,) say: praise is for Allah Who has begotten no son nor has any partner in His Kingdom nor is helpless to need any supporter." (Bani Isra'il:111)
"Allah has no offspring, and there is no other deity as a partner with Him." (Al-Mu'minun: 91)
In these verses the belief of the people who ascribe real and adopted children to Allah, has been refuted from every aspect, and its being a false belief has also been proved by argument. These and many other Qur'anic verses on the same theme explain Surah Al-Ikhlas fully well.
The word kufu' as used in the original means an example, a similar thing, the one equal in rank and position. In the matter of marriage, kufu' means that the boy and the girl should match each other socially. Thus, the verse means that there is no one in the entire universe, nor ever was, nor ever can be, who is similar to Allah, or equal in rank with Him, or resembling Him in His attributes, works and powers in any degree whatever.
112.2 Tustari - Al-Tustari
God, the Self-Sufficient, Besought of all.He said:The Self-Sufficient, Besought of all (al-Ṣamad) is the Master (al-Sayyid) who is resorted to for all needs (ḥawāʾij) and exigencies (ʿawāriḍ). The meaning of [al-Ṣamad] is the One who is resorted to (al-Maṣmūd ilayhi).Then he said:The Self-Sufficient, Besought of all is the One who has no need of food and drink.
112.1-4 Wahidi - Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi
(Say: He is Allah, the One! Allah, the eternally Besought of all…) [112:1-4]. Qatadah, al-Dahhak and Muqatil said: “A group of Jewish people went to the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and said to him: 'Describe to us your Lord, for He has revealed His description in the Torah. Tell us: what is He made of? And to which species does He belong? Is He made of gold, copper or silver? Does He eat and drink? Who did He inherit this world from? And to whom will He bequeath it?' And so Allah, gloried and exalted is He, revealed this Surah. It is Allah's specific lineage. Abu Nasr Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Mihrajani informed us> 'Ubayd Allah ibn Muhammad al-Zahid> Abu'l-Qasim ibn Bint Mani'> his grandfather Ahmad ibn Mani'> Abu Sa'd al-Saghghani> Abu Ja'far al-Razi> al-Rabi' ibn Anas> Abu'l-'Aliyah> Ubayy ibn Ka'b who related that the idolaters said to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace: “What is the lineage of your Lord?” and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Say: He is Allah, the One! Allah, the eternally Besought of all). The eternally Besought of all (al-Samad) is Him Who (begetteth not nor was begotten) for anyone who is begotten will certainly die and whoever dies will be inherited. Allah does not die nor is He inherited. (And there is none comparable unto Him), He does not have anyone who resembles Him or is like Him (Naught is as His likeness…) [42:11]. Abu Mansur al-Baghdadi informed us> Abu'l-Hasan al-Sarraj> Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allah al-Hadrami> Surayj ibn Yunus> Isma'il ibn Mujalid> Mujalid> al-Sha'bi> Jabir who said: “The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, was asked: 'O Messenger of Allah, tell us about the lineage of your Lord!' And so this Surah (Say: He is Allah, the One!...) was revealed”.