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NEWSPRESS: AL-IKHLĀṢ

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This is the name of Him whose existence is the Beginningless and whose fixity is the Endless. No moment precedes Him and no term encompasses His majesty. He created heaven without pillar and put down the earthly cradle without bending. He thanks those servants who obey Him and accepts those who desire and aim for Him. He knows the hidden secrets of everyone, whether bowing or prostrating, standing or sitting, deviating or tawḥīd-voicing. He is the help of the grieved, the cave of the weak, the support of the disobedient, the aid of the prisoner, the backing of the poor. He fulfills everything He promises, and He is one, but not in number. He is solitary, single, not preceded by a parent, and not followed by a child. He is Self-Standing, Self-Sufficient. He begets not, nor was He begotten, and equal to Him is none [112:2-4].

The name of a Lord who is one and unique; one in Essence and peerless in attributes, separate from defects and worthy of Lordhood; His tremendousness is a shawl, His magnificence a cloak. He is solitary, single, beautiful, majestic, and not like us. He is all-merciful, ever-merciful, all-knowing, ever knowing, driver of judgments and decree, all-curtaining, all-forgiving, all-compeller, all-subjugator, magnificent without how or why. He is splendorous, requiter, praiseworthy, and lovingly kind; caresser of servants, caretaker, worthy of every laudation. His beautiful doing is eternal, His command exalted, His covenant gentle, His kingship without disappearance or annihilation. He is pure of defect, far from imagination, beyond reasoning, described by the attributes, recognized by the names.

112:1-2 Say: “He is God, One; God, the Self-Sufficient….”

“O Muḥammad! The estranged have asked you about My lineage. Say: ‘God, One.’” God is one and unique, one in Essence and attributes, one in exaltedness and power, one in divinity and Lordhood, one in beginninglessness and endlessness. He is worthy of Godhood, knower of God-work, generous and lovingly kind, gentle and ever-merciful, the good God. He is the knower of secrets and whispers, the holder of the highest horizon, the creator of the Throne and the earth, near to everyone familiar, worthy of every laudation, the light of solicitude, apparent in the hearts of His friends, hidden from the eyes, manifest through artisanry.

God, the Self-Sufficient. It is He from whom sufficiency is sought in needs and in whom refuge is sought in turns of fortune. The Self-Sufficient is He whom the servants need and require. The hope of the disobedient and the destitute is in Him, the remedy of trials comes from His generosity, the happiness of the poor is in His majesty and beauty.

Blessed is he whose intimate is His name, exalted is he whose portion is remembering Him, happy is the heart that is bound to Him, pure the tongue that is mentioning Him, delighting in life is he whose days pass in love and affection for Him! One person is joyful in paradise, another in the Friend. The Friend is the portion of him whose aspiration is all He.

The Self-Sufficient is He who is hallowed beyond comprehension by the knowledge of created things, the perception of their eyes, or the view of their recognitions. The Self-Sufficient is He in whose majesty intellects are bewildered, in whose beauty intelligences are distracted, in perceiving whose secret core understandings are incapable, from whose command thoughts are turned upside down, from whose severity livers are bloodied, and from whose recognition hearts melt.

It has also been said that every verse of this surah is a commentary on the previous verse. When it is said, “Who is He?”, you should say “God.” When it is said, “Who is God?”, you should say “One.” When it is said, “Who is the One?”, you should say, “the Self-Sufficient.” When it is said, “Who is the Self-Sufficient?”, you should say, “He who begets not, nor was He begotten.” When it is said, “Who is it that begets not, nor was He begotten?” You should say, “equal to Him is none.” It has also been said that He unveils the secret cores with His word He, He unveils the spirits with His word God, He unveils the hearts with His word One, and He unveils the souls of the faithful with the rest of the surah. It has also been said that He unveils the enraptured with His word He and He unveils the tawḥīd-voicers with His word God. He unveils the recognizers with His word One, the ulama with His word Self-Sufficient, and the intelligent with His words He begets not, nor was He begotten, and equal to Him is none.

“O Muḥammad! I called you ‘beloved,’ and the meaning of love is conformity and being the friend’s deputy in every state. O Muḥammad! When your enemy speaks bad of you, I will answer. When he speaks bad of Me, you too should answer and discharge the rightful due of love in the meaning of conformity. The unbeliever ʿUqba called you a poet. I answered for your sake: ‘It is not the words of a poet’ [69:41]. When they speak ill of Me, you answer them: ‘Say: He is God, One.’ Ḥārith called you a soothsayer. I answered: ‘It is not the words of a soothsayer’ [69:42]. When someone calls Me ineffectual, you answer: ‘God, the Self-Sufficient.’ Walīd Mughayra called you a sorcerer: ‘This is naught but sorcery passed along’ [74:24]. I answered with a threat: ‘I shall roast him in Saqar’ [74:26]. Abū Lahab said to you, ‘May you perish!’ I answered: ‘Perish the hands of Abū Lahab’ [111:1]. You also, if the Magi say I have a peer and a spouse, answer ‘He begets not, nor was He begotten.’”

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