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Ramadan Tafsir; Day 2: The Basic Essence of Islamic Belief

Today,s part of Rafeeqee Islamic mentoring activities, we will like to give the tafsir of Surah al-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 by explaining this chapter verse by verse and by that you’ll be 100% correct.

1. Say: “He is Allah, One.”

Commentary:

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.

Just Allah.

And He is One.

2. Allah is Sought by All, but Needs No One.

Commentary:

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.

Commentary:

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.


Commentary:

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

Important Lessons from The Surah

1. The Concept of Tawhid has been explained in Surah al-Ikhlas by separating and purging it from Shirk (associating others with Almighty God, polytheism and idolatry).

2. Imam Ahmad’s narration of ‘Ubayy ibn Ka’ab that the mushrikun (i.e. pagan idolaters) asked: “Oh Muhammed! Tell us the genealogy of Your Lord!”, whereupon God revealed this Surah.

3. From authentic ahadith, it is proven that this Surah is equal to one third of the of the Qur’an. The substance of the statement of Ibn ‘Abbas (a Companion of the Prophet) is as follows: that the Qur’an consists of three fundamental objectives:

Those commands and prohibitions which contain the laws and practical ways. These form the subject matter of the science of Fiqh (jurisprudence) and Ethics.
The tales and narratives which include the stories of the Prophets and Messengers of God and their communities. The punishments and disasters which befell those who resisted and denied the Messengers of God. Also, the promises, rewards, warnings and dooms.
The knowledge of Tawhid (the Unity of God) and the description of those matters which relate to the Names of Almighty God and His Attributes, which to have faith in is obligatory upon the servant of God (i.e. each Muslim). This has precedence over the first three.

4. Surah al-Ikhlas contains the third objective and a general description of it. Thus, it is correct to say that this Surah is equal to one third of the Qur’an.

5. The answer to the question that how does this Surah contain comprehensively the knowledge of Tawhid and its principles which form the essence of the belief in Almighty God. God’s command “He is God, the One” negates partnership with Him in every sense, whether it concerns His Self, Attributes or His Deeds. It also demonstrates the distinctiveness of God in His perfection, magnificence and majesty. The word Ahad is not used in affirmation for anyone besides God, since Ahad is more emphatic than Wahid.

6. The Tafsir (commentary, exegis) of Ibn ‘Abbas for the verse “God! As-Samad (i.e. the Eternally Besought of all).”: The Chief who is best in His Nobility. The Great one who is best in His greatness. The Tolerant One who is best in His toleration. The Omnipotent who is the best in His omnipotence, the All Knowing who is best in His knowledge. The Self which is perfect in all types of nobility and greatness – that Self is only God – the Most Revered and the Most Powerful. He alone has these qualities for they do not apply to anyone save Him. No one is equal to Him and no one is like Him.

7. The Tafsir is also as follows: The Self who has no fear, around whom all creatures turn and Whom they seek after for all their needs and actions.

8. Affirmation in the Oneness negates all forms of polytheism and similitude. Affirmation of all the meanings of as-Samad includes all the noble Names and the most exalted Attributes. This is the Tawhid of Affirmation.

9. The Tawhid of Purity is in the statement: “He does not beget not nor is He begotten. And there is none comparable to Him”. This statement can also be understood from the general statement: “Say! He is God! The One”. Nothing came out of Him nor did He come out of anything. He has no equal, no likeness and no similarity.

10. Domination of the concept of Tawhid in this Surah. The affirmation of Oneness for the Lord in total and absolute contradiction to all forms of Polytheism. His character of being “Eternally Besought of all”, which proves all His Attributes, that He cannot suffer from any defect, negation of father and son which is an implication of Him being in no need and that all is in need of Him. All is characterised in the statement of His being besought and His Oneness. Negation of an equal which includes negation of similarity, resemblances and likeness. This Surah includes all of these matters and is therefore rightly deserving of being called equal to a third of the Qur’an.

Kindly tell other to sign up today to Rafeeqee Islamic Mentoring Activities on www.rafeeqee.com in order to be part of this Online Ramadan Tafsir.
Jazaakumullaahu khayraan – See more at: https://www.rafeeqee.com/blog/ramadan-tafsir-day-1-simple-explanation-of-surah-al-fatiha/#sthash.QREO88v5.dpuf

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