|Selected Tafsir of the Qur`an|
Tafsir of Surah Ikhlaas (112)|
|Author: Shaikh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah|
|Source: Sharh Aqidatul-Wasitiyyah of al-Kharras (Notes extracted by Abu Iyaad)|
|Article ID : TFS020004  |
The Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah (i.e. the Sunnis) do not deviate from
those things which have been brought by the Messengers, for that is the Straight
Path, the path of those whom God has bestowed His favour upon from among the
Prophets, the Truthful, the Martyrs and the Righteous. It is in this collection
of what has been described about Almighty God by Himself in Surah
al-Ikhlaas (literally: "The Chapter of Purity") that makes it
equal to one third of the Qur'an. In this surah, Almighty God has
"Say! He is God, the One!
The Eternally Besought
He does not beget, nor is He begotten.
And there is
nothing comparable to
1. Whatever the Messenger of God, may the peace and blessings of God be upon
him, brought with him, that alone is real. It is obligatory to obey it and
forbidden to deviate from it as this alone is the Straight Path which has no
2. The Straight Path is only one and whoever deviates from it he
strays onto the wrong path, innovation and injustice. Almighty God commands (in
"And this is My Straight Path, so follow it and do
not follow the other paths lest they divert you from His
3. The Straight Path is that path of the Ummah (community of
Muslim believers) which lies in between the two extremes. Hence, the
supplication in every rak'ah (i.e. unit) of the prayer: "Guide
us to the Straight Path", that He should help, assist, guide, support
and lead us in those things which will help us to obey Him and keep us steadfast
on His Path. This is the Path of those who were favoured by God: the Prophets,
the Truthful, the Martyrs and the Righteous, and these are the best for keeping
4. The Concept of Tawheed has been explained in
Surah al-Ikhlaas by separating and purging it from Shirk
(associating others with Almighty God, polytheism and idolatry).
Ahmad's narration of 'Ubayy bin Ka'ab that the mushrikoon (i.e. pagan
idolaters) asked: "Oh Muhammed! Tell us the geneology of Your
Lordl", whereupon God revealed this surah.
authentic hadiths, it is proven that this surah is equal to
one third of the of the Qur'an. The substance of the statement of Ibn 'Abbaas (a
Companion of the Prophet) is as follows: that the Qur'an consists of three
a) Those commands and prohibitions which contain the laws and
practical ways. These form the subject matter of the science of
Fiqh (jurisprudence) and Ethics.
b) 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.
c) The knowledge of Tawheed
(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.
7. Surah al-Ikhlaas 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.
8. The answer to the question that how does
this surah contain comprehensively the knowledge of Tawheed
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
9. The Tafseer (commentary, exegis) of Ibn
'Abbaas for the verse "God! al-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.
Tafseer 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
11. Affirmation in the Oneness negates all forms of polytheism
and similitude. Affirmation of all the meanings of al-Samad includes
all the noble Names and the most exalted Attributes. This is the
Tawheed of Affirmation.
12. The Tawheed 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.
of of the concept of Tawheed in this surah. The afffirmation
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.