Tafsir Surah Ikhlas
The name for this chapter of the Quran means “sincerity” in English. This Surah has been called one-third of the Quran because it describes the basic essence of Islamic belief.
This Surah is especially good for da’wah, or calling others to Islam. No matter what level of Islamic knowledge you have, you can refer to Surah Ikhlaas to inform people about Islam.
So, if someone asks you: “What is Islam? What do you Muslims believe in?”
You can simply begin with the first verse of this Chapter: “Say: He is Allah, One.”
And you’ll be 100% correct.
Continue reading for the full explanation.
1. Say: “He is Allah, One.”
This sentence right here pretty much sums up what Islam is all about.
God. Is. One.
We are commanded, in this verse, to tell those who question Allah’s progeny, His make up, His beginning, and His end, to say: “He is Allah, One.”
The pagans during the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to ask him the same thing. They wanted to know if Allah was made of gold or silver because their idols were made of similar materials.
But this verse explains the essential characteristic of Allah.
All other faiths violate this simple command either explicitly or implicitly.
- The Jews say: “We worship Ezra.”
- The Christians say: “We worship Jesus.”
- The Zoroastrians say: “We worship the sun, the moon, and fire.”
- The pagans say: “We worship idols.”
- Allah commanded His messenger to say: “He is Allah, One.”
This is a message for the members of all these faiths that do not worship Allah according to Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism). He does not share His Essence, or His Divinity, or His Lordship with anyone.
There is no second-in-command. No heir. No successor.
And He is One.
2. Allah is Sought by All, but Needs No One.
In this verse Allah refers to Himself by one of His perfect attributes, As-Samad.
Samad can be translated many different ways:
- The Irresistable.
- The Eternal.
- The Absolute.
- The Master Whose Control Is Complete.
- The Master Who Is Perfect In His Sovereignty, Majesty, And Nobility.
- And finally, the best of them all: “The Chief Who Has No Superior And To Whom All Creation Turns To for Fulfillment Of Their Desires And Needs, Therefore, All Need Him, But He Is In Need Of No One.”
Simply put, Allah’s no joke.
3. He begets not, nor was He begotten.
This is a response to the pagans of Mecca who asked Prophet Muhammad (pbuh): “Who is Allah’s father? Who is His mother?”
They believed that Allah must have a beginning and therefore must have an ancestry. There are many atheists today who use this same logic. They say: “If Allah created everything, then who created Allah?”
As humans, our intellect is incapable of imagining something with no beginning. We are used to everything having a beginning, a genesis, a creator.
But this is just one of the limits that Allah has put upon us. We must accept that Allah was not created and He has created everything. He was not born from anyone as He is in no need of the biological process.
How can Allah have a peer or an equal? How can He have a father or a son?
The Christians say: “God the Father, the son, and the holy ghost.”
Hindus believe that their god Brahma committed incest with his daughter to bring about creation.
Sayings such as this are actually cursing Allah and are deserving of His sternest punishment.
Allah has no children, nor is He anyone’s child.
4. And there is none equal to Him.
The word “KUFUWAN” means something equal, or an example of, or similar.
Allah owns everything. He has created everything. He if Glorified and Exalted and far removed from anything that is compared to Him.
This verse shows that there is NOTHING comparable to Him in nature, person, or attributes. Everything that exists, exists only because He allows it to exist.
So how can He be compared to anything?
This is why you should be careful when you mention Allah’s attributes.
When you say “The Eyes of Allah,” you should not assume that His eyes are like our eyes.
When Allah mentions His hands, do not think that His hands resemble your hands.
You must accept Allah’s attributes as existing without comparing them to anything else. If Allah says He has hands, just accept the fact that He has hands but they are not going to resemble anything you’ve ever seen.
This is the primary strength of Islam. This is simple, uncompromising Islamic monotheism that affirms that Allah is far above and beyond any comparison we can dream up.