English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 112: Al-Ikhlas — The Unity (Revealed at Makkah: 4 verses)

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Introduction:

This is really the concluding chapter of the Holy Quran, the two following chapters only showing how the protection of the Lord is to be sought. It gives the sum and substance of the teachings of the Quran, which is the declaration of the Unity of God. Ikhlās means purification from dross and this chapter is so-called because it purifies the Unity of God of all dross of polytheism. It is one of the earliest revelations.

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Translation:

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

112:1 Say: He, Allah, is One.
112:2 Allah is He on Whom all depend.
112:3 He has no offspring, nor is He born (of anyone);
112:4 and none is like Him.1

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Commentary:

  1. This, a very early revelation, points out the fundamental errors of many religions, including Christianity, in its four short sentences. The first verse pro­claims the absolute Unity of the Divine Being, and deals a death-blow to all forms of polytheism, including the doctrine of the Trinity. In v. 2 Allah is said to be Ṣamad, which the Holy Prophet 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 negatives 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. V. 3 points out the error of those religions which describe God as being father or son, such as the Christian religion. V. 4 negatives such doctrines as the doctrine of incarnation, according to which a mere human being is likened to God. Thus four kinds of corruption of the belief in the oneness of God 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 (v. 4).

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