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Chapter 112:
Al-Ikhlas — The Unity:

Revealed at Makkah: 4 verses

English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali


Introduction:

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 — and it gives the sum and substance of the teachings of the Holy Quran, which is the declaration of the Unity of the Divine Being. Ikhlas means purification of a thing from dross, and as this chapter purifies the Unity of God of all dross of polytheism, it is called al-Ikhas. The chapter is one of the earliest revelations.

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 begets not, nor is He begotten;

112:4 And none is like Him.a

Commentary:

4a. This, a very early Makkan 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 the second verse Allah is said to be Samad, which the Holy Prophet is reported to have explained as meaning the Lord to Whom recourse is had in every need (AH), 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.

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 negatives such doctrines as the doctrine of incarnation, according to which a mere man is likened to God.

Thus four kinds of shirk 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.

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