During this blessed month of Shahru Ramadan, we will meditate upon various Surahs of the Quran Majid, so that we can become closer to our holy book, during its month of revelation.
In our previous meditation we reflected on the opening aya of Surah Al-Ikhlas and the meaning of the name of Allah (SWT). In this meditation we will, in sha Allah, meditate upon the remaining ayats in this Surah.
In the second aya, Allah (SWT) says ‘Allahus samad’ (the eternal absolute). Imam Jaffar-as-Sadiq (AS) teaches us the meaning of the word samad.
When we look at the word samad, the way that it is written in Surah Al-Ikhlas, it has five letters (alif, lam, saad, mim and dal). However, when we pronounce it, we only pronounce three letters (saad, mim and dal).
Imam (AS) says that the alif reperesents Allah’s (SWT) indivisible oneness (ahadiyah) and the lam represents Allah’s (SWT) divinity (ululiyah). The reason why these letters are written but not spoken is that they show that Allah’s (SWT) indivisible unity and divinity are hidden and cannot be known through the senses and, also, that Allah (SWT) cannot be compared to people. They are written but not said because in the spoken form (where they are absent), they are an indication that our intelligence cannot perceive Allah (SWT) but in the written form (where they are present), they show that Allah (SWT) manifests and appears in the hearts of those who he chooses to appear to.
The three letters that are both written and spoken represent the following. The saad represents Allah’s (SWT) sincerity, as he is sidq in his actions, sidq in his speech and sidq in the way he summons his slaves to sincerity. The mim represents his sovereignty in reality (malik) and the dal represents his permanence (dawam), as Allah (SWT) is eternal.
In the third aya, Allah (SWT) says ‘Lum yalid walum yulad’ (he begets nor was He begotten, he has no children nor was he born). In this aya, Allah (SWT) is giving an answer to three types of beliefs, firstly to those who claimed that angels were Allah’s (SWT) children. Secondly, to those who claimed that that Isa (AS) (Jesus Christ) was the son of god. Thirdly, to those who claimed that Allah (SWT) took Isa (AS) (Jesus Christ) as his son.
In this aya, Allah (SWT) says ‘Lum yalid’ which is in the past sense, meaning that he never had a son as to do so would negate his position and of the attributes of his names.
Allah (SWT) is telling Rasulullah (SAW) that if they have thought this, it is incorrect and Muhammad (SAW) should tell them what the truth is.
Then, by saying ‘Walam yulad’ Allah (SWT) is saying that just as he never had a child, he was never born. This is because if someone is born, they take the characteristics of their mother or their father or of both parents. The concept of birth is for the creations of Allah (SWT) and is bashr (human characteristic), not for the creator, whose characteristics are his alone and not taken from anyone else.
In the final aya, Allah (SWT) says ‘wallum yakullaho qufuwan ahad’ (nor is there to him any equivalent). As Allah (SWT) is not born (and has not taken his characteristics from his parents) nor has children (and has not given his characteristics to his children), there is nothing equivalent to him.
It is because Allah (SWT) has no equivalent that no one can give what he can. This Surah, Surah Al-Ikhlas, is the Surah in which Allah (SWT) is telling us about himself and, through reciting it, we receive a barakat of which there is no equivalent.
One time, a poor person came to Rasulullah (SAW) and complained of his poverty. Rasulullah (SAW) said that when he entered his house, he should say salaam to anyone who was in the house and, if no one was there, he should just say salaam to himself. After this, he should recite Surah Al-Ikhlas once.
The poor person did this and Allah (SWT) gave him so much that he had enough for himself and, more importantly, had enough to help those around him.
May Allah (SWT) give us the understanding to always seek refuge in Allah (SWT) at all times as Allah (SWT) has no equivalent as he did not develop his attributes from a parent nor share them with a child. May Allah (SWT) continue to give us what no one else can and may we only turn to him in our difficulties. Aamin.