The Foundation – Surah Ikhlas

Bismillah walhamdolilah wasalatu wasalam ‘ala Rasool Allah

For the coming weeks we will concentrate our efforts in attempting to understand the surahs we often recite in the salat (i.e mainly surahs from the 30th juz of the Qur’an). Allah azza wa jal, the Most Wise, the Most Knowledgeable knew that these would be the most memorized surahs and thus made them short and easy. However, SubhanAllah…within these small and shorter surahs there is so much benefit that we can derive from them…its just amazing!Lets begin with the 112th surah of the Qur’an entitled Surat al-Ikhlas. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says:

قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ
Say: “He is Allah, One and Only (or Unique)”

(قُلْ)

Allah tells the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam to convey to the people of Quraysh, “He is Allah…” It is a command from Allah and it is a response to the question posed by the pagans, “What is the lineage of your God?”

Ibn al-Qayyim rahmatullilah alay has said that [qul] also afirms the fact that the Prophet sallalalhu alayhi wasalam was nothing more than a Messenger, he was one who conveyed the word of Allah to the people, and he did not speak from his own desires. Rather he only spoke that which was revealed to him.

(هُوَ)

Allah is genderless. The pronoun “it” does not exist in the arabic language and everything, living or non-living, is referred to using male or female pronouns and adjectives. So, the term [huwa] does not imply gender in any sense in the arabic language and we should understand it as the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam and the Sahabas radhiAllah anhum understood it.

(اللَّهُ)

Allah is the name of the Lord of the heavens and the earth. It is the name our Lord has chosen to call himself and it is said to be His Greatest Name.

Allah says in the Qur’an:

هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْمَلِكُ الْقُدُّوسُ السَّلَامُ الْمُؤْمِنُ الْمُهَيْمِنُ الْعَزِيزُ الْجَبَّارُ الْمُتَكَبِّرُ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

“He is Allah , other than whom there is no deity, the Sovereign, the Pure, the Perfection, the Bestower of Faith, the Overseer, the Exalted in Might, the Compeller, the Superior. Exalted is Allah above whatever they associate with Him”

Allah uses the name ‘Allah’ when describing His Names and Attributes. It is a proper name denoting the true God who exists neccessarily, by Himself, comprising all the attributes of perfection.

(أَحَدٌ)

al-Ahad is one of the infinate Names of Beauty which belong to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. This name implies uniqueness, independence, singularity, and indivisibility. Allah is al-Ahad; He who has no other to share in His Lordship, in His rights to be worshipped, or in His Names and Attributes. This is a perfection of tawheed, which is the basis of our life, the basis of our testimony of faith, and the greatest reason for us to enter into Paradise. For an amazing lecture series on this topic, please click here.

Another Name of Allah which is similar to ahad is waahid. They both basically mean, “one”, however there is a subtle difference between the two in usage and meaning. For example, when one says: maa fil bayti ahadun (there is no one in the house) it absolutely negates the possibility of anyone else being in the house. However, if we say: maa fil bayti waahidun (there is not one in the house) it leaves open the possibility of their being more than one person in the house; it does not negate absolutely. Thus, the name al-Ahad makes clear that there is nothing like Allah, He is the One and Only, He is Unique. It absolutely negates the possibility of their being any other ‘God’ besides Allah, the Most High; it negates the possibility of there being any other thing or person that is comparable to Allah — in His Lordship, in His rights to be worshipped, and in His Names and Attributes.

I ask Allah azza wa jal to place a love for this surah in our hearts. I ask Allah to give us comprehension of this ayat of the Qur’an and I ask Him, Subhana to bless us with the opportunity to increase the quality of our salat as we recite this beautiful surah.

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