Four Quls

Last Four Chapters of the Holy Quran starting with ‘Qul’

by Nasir Ahmad

Chapter 112: Al-Ikhlas — The Unity

بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ

Bis-mil laa-hir Rah-maa-nir Ra-heem.
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

قُلۡ ہُوَ اللّٰہُ اَحَدٌ ۚ﴿۱﴾

1. Qul hu-wal laa-hu A-had.
1. Say: He, Allah, is One.

اَللّٰہُ الصَّمَدُ ۚ﴿۲﴾

2. Al-laa-hus Sa-mad.
2. Allah is He on Whom all depend.

لَمۡ یَلِدۡ ۬ۙ وَ لَمۡ یُوۡلَدۡ ۙ﴿۳﴾

3. Lam ya-lid, wa lam yoo-lad,
3. He begets not, nor is He begotten;

وَ لَمۡ یَکُنۡ لَّہٗ کُفُوًا اَحَدٌ ٪﴿۴﴾

4. Wa lam ya-kul la-hoo ku-fu-wan A-had.
4. And none is like Him.

In this chapter, the unity of Allah has been perfected from every aspect. We are directed to say: Allah is One. The word Huwa (He) points towards the inner nature of man, which attests to the existence of Allah. It is possible for this faculty to be suppressed for a time in the gaiety and intoxication of this world’s life, but it can never be effaced. Whenever man finds himself in difficulty or pain or feels his own utter helplessness and weakness, his nature involuntarily and visibly reaches out to that Supreme Being in search of protection, for it knows that it can obtain help from that Source just as it is the nature of an innocent child to turn spontaneously to his mother when he is suffering pain, difficulty or loneliness.

The word Ahad (One) used in the first verse expresses the Unity of Allah to the highest degree of perfection. This means that He is One in His person, One in His actions also. In fact, there is not the slightest possibility of duality in Him.

Today, Science, after exhaustive research, has established the fact that the peculiar nature of all things and their inherent powers are all working towards one purpose. This proves beyond doubt that the Power that has overall control of everything, the One Supreme Lawmaker and Regulator Who guides each one to its appointed goal of perfection, is One.

A Christian father [priest] argues that when one uses the number one, the number two, or a second god, has to come. Perhaps someone should point out to him that if that proposition is correct, that is, when one says one, two must follow, then when one says three, the number four inevitably has to follow.

In the Holy Quran, two words are used for one: wahid and ahad. Wahid means one or the first of a series, whereas ahad means one, after which nothing is to follow.

This is really the concluding chapter of the Holy Quran—the two chapters that follow only show how the protection of the Lord is to be sought. It also gives the sum and substance of the teachings of the Holy Quran, which is the declaration of the Unity of the Divine Being, and deals a deathblow to all forms of polytheism, including the doctrine of the Trinity.

In the second verse Allah is said to be Samad, which the Holy Prophet [Muhammad] (pbuh) is reported to have explained as meaning the Lord to Whom recourse is had in every need, so that all have need of Him and He has need of none. This statement negates the doctrine according to which soul and matter are co-eternal with God and God stands in need of them to bring about creation. The doctrine prevails in India and could not have been known to the Holy Prophet [Muhammad] (pbuh).

The third verse points out the error of those religions which describe God as being father or son, such as the Christian religion.

The fourth verse negates such doctrines as the doctrine of incarnation, according to which a mere man is likened to God.

Thus, four kinds of shirk [setting up partners with Allah] are rejected here: a belief in the plurality of gods (v. 1), a belief that other things possess the perfect attributes of the divine Being (v. 2), a belief that God is either a father or a son (v. 3), and a belief that others can do that which is ascribable only to God.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said that this chapter (Al-Ikhlas) is one-third of the Holy Quran, for there is no doubt that one-third of the Holy Quran deals with the Unity of Allah, the essence of which has been distilled in this chapter.