The Foundation – Surah Ikhlas Part II

Bismillah walhamdolilah wasalatu wasalam ‘ala Rasool Allah

Asalamu ‘alaikum!

Continuing in our journey of understanding the 112th chapter of the Qur’an, Allah says:

اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ

Allah, the Self-Sufficient [Surah Ikhlas V.2]

Recall, the greatest name of the Lord of the heavens and the earth is Allah. This is the name that He has chosen to name Himself with, and it is the grand name to which all His other Names and Attributes are attributed to. This is seen in the saying of Allah:

هُوَ اللَّهُ الْخَالِقُ الْبَارِئُ الْمُصَوِّرُ لَهُ الْأَسْمَاء الْحُسْنَى يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ

الْحَكِيمُ

He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor of all things, the Bestower of forms. To Him belong the Best Names . All that is in the heavens and the earth glorify Him. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise [Surah Hashr V.24]

And so, of the Names which belong to Allah is as-Samad. Ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllah anhu is reported to have said in regards to meaning of as-Samad:

He is the Master [as-Sayyid] who is perfect in His sovereignty, the Most Noble [ash-Shareef] who is perfect in His nobility, the Most Magnificent [al-‘Azeem] who is perfect in His magnificence, the Most Forbearing [al-Haleem] who is perfect in His forbearance, the All-Knowing [al-‘Aleem] who is perfect in His knowledge, and the Most Wise [al-Hakeem] who is perfect in His wisdom.”

Since Allah is as-Samad, Self-sufficient, free of any need, it naturally leads to qualities and characteristics which are absolutely perfect. If we ponder about this, we realize that this name of Allah leads us to ponder about the purpose of our life. Allah says:

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ

And I have not created the Jinn and the Human beings except to worship Me [Surah Dhzariyat V.56]

And so the purpose of our life is clear. However, some could and do argue that if Allah has made the purpose of life to worship Him, that means Allah is in need of our worship. This is completely false for many reasons:

  • Allah’s name as-Samad makes clear that He is self-sufficient; He does not need us to worship Him
  • Our minds are not the final authority in matters of religion, rather it is the Speech of Allah and the sayings of our beloved Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam. People make up stuff (i.e. Allah needs us to worship Him) and take is authority over the Qur’an and Sunnah which is completely wrong.
  • The statement of Allah azza wa jal in the next verse:

مَا أُرِيدُ مِنْهُم مِّن رِّزْقٍ وَمَا أُرِيدُ أَن يُطْعِمُونِ

I seek not any provision from them (i.e. provision for themselves or for My creatures) nor do I ask that they should feed Me [Surah Dhariyat V.57]

And thus we come to know that our purpose of life is to worship Allah azza wa jal not because He is in need of it, rather because it is why we were created; we worship Him because He is worthy of it; we worship Him because it only brings benefit to ourselves.

Just in the first two verses of this surah we see the completeness of tawheed. Allah begins by stating and making clear that He is unique in all aspects; in His Lordship, His rights to be worshipped, and His Names and Attributes. There is no comparison to be made with Allah and anything else because Allah is unique, the One and Only. Then Allah says He is self-sufficient, making clear that He is not in need of us. Rather, since He is al-Ahad it also means He is as-Samad and thus has qualities of perfectness which only belong to Him. Since He is al-Ahad and as-Samad it leads one to think about the purpose of life and if one understands that Allah is the One and Only, Unique in all aspects, not in need of creation, characterized by Names and Attributes of Beauty and Perfectness it should lead them to worship Him alone.

Inshallah we will go a bit deeper into this concept next week. May Allah azza wa jal give us the ability to comprehend what we have read and to inshallah make it a means of attaining greater concentration and closeness to Allah during our salat.

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