Muhammad Asad, The Message of the Qur’ān; Translated and Explained by Muhammad Asad (1980)

The hundred-twelfth sūrah

Al-Ikhlāṣ (The Declaration of [God’s] Perfection)

Meccan Period

As reported in a great number of authentic Traditions, the Prophet was wont to describe this sūrah as “equivalent to one-third of the whole Qurʾān” (Bukhārī, Muslim, Ibn Ḥanbal, Abu Dāʾūd, Nasāʾī, Tirmidhī, Ibn Mājah). It seems to have been revealed in the early part of the Mecca period.

In the name of God, the most Gracious, the Dispenser of Grace:

(1) SAY: “He is the One God:
(2) “God the Eternal, the Uncaused Cause of All Being.1
(3) “He begets not, and neither is He begotten;
(4) “and there is nothing that could be compared with Him.”2

1 This rendering gives no more than an approximate meaning of the term aṣ-ṣamad, which occurs in the Qurʾān only once, and is applied to God alone. It comprises the concepts of Primary Cause and eternal, independent Being, combined with the idea that everything existing or conceivable goes back to Him as its source and is, therefore, dependent on Him for its beginning as well as for its continued existence.

2 Cf. note 2 on 89:3, as well as sūrah 19, note 77. The fact that God is one and unique in every respect, without beginning and without end, has its logical correlate in the statement that “there is nothing that could be compared with Him” – thus precluding any possibility of describing or defining Him (see note 88 on the last sentence of 6:100). Consequently, the quality of His Being is beyond the range of human comprehension or imagination: which also explains why any attempt at “depicting” God by means of figurative representations or even abstract symbols must be qualified as a blasphemous denial of the truth.

Cite this page

Muhammad Asad, The Message of the Qur’ān; Translated and Explained by Muhammad Asad, Dar Al-Andalus Limited, 3 Library Ramp, Gibraltar, Consulted online at “Quran Archive - Texts and Studies on the Quran” on 27 Sep. 2022: http://quran-archive.org/explorer/muhammad-asad/1980?page=1004