In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
1. Say: “He is Allah, the Unique.”
2. “Allah, the Self-Sufficient.”
3. “He does not give birth, nor was He born.”
4. “And there is none equal to Him."
(1) Say: “He is Allah, the Unique.” This verse represents Allah’s own affirmation of His
unique Monotheism, His inimitable Unity. Thus, the first verse is a command to the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and whoever reads or recites this verse to affirm
Allah’s Unique Unity. He is one like whom there is no other. There are many unities in this
world, but they all are not unique as each unity has others similar to them. For example,
there is one Mount Everest, but there are other tall mountains similar to it. In the case of
Allah, there is no other unity similar to Him. All other unities can be divided into parts, while
Allah is unique in His unity and is as such indivisible.
(2) “Allah, the Self-Sufficient.” Allah’s uniqueness is realized in His self-sufficiency. On
the other hand, all created beings have needs and are dependent on others to fulfill their
needs. Allah is not in need of any of His creation in any way, as nothing they can do can
better or benefit His already perfect state. This attribute of self-sufficiency invites the believers
to reflect on the purpose and the goals of their worship. Most people worship as if
they are doing God a favor. The purpose of human creation is to worship Allah because all
human beings have a need to worship Him. He has no need for or from them. Human beings
need to worship and glorify God because obedience to divine law is the key to their success
in both this life and the next.
(3) “He does not give birth, nor was He born.” This verse describes another aspect of
Allah’s Unique Oneness. False religions generally represent God in human terms by either
giving Him human characteristics and or human form. This verse deals primarily with two
distinct characteristics of human beings and other living creatures in general: coming into
existence by being born and procreating by giving birth. “He (Allah) does not give birth,”
because there is nothing similar to him. A child is made from portions (sperm and ovum) of
the bodies of its parents which is why it is similar to its parents in form and characteristics. If
God gave birth, there would be another god like Him, which His uniqueness has already
negated. The Almighty also rejected the concept of having a child from the perspective that
bearing offspring usually requires a female partner similar in form to the male. Allah also
rejected offspring from the general perspective that it is not befitting, since to have a child
would reduce him to the status of His creatures. This answers the question of those who
claim that since it is agreed that God can do anything, He should be able to have a son if He
wished. It is not befitting because it would make God like His creatures. Furthermore people
have children out of a need for help to survive in this material world or out of the need for
continued existence through one’s progeny.1 By describing Himself as self-sufficient, Allah
also negated this possibility.
“Nor was He born” subtly rejects the notion that Jesus was God, because he was born.
For God to be born, He must first have not existed, which contradicts the basic unique divine
attribute of eternal existence.
(4) “And there is nothing equal to Him.” Allah closes the chapter with a restatement
of the opening verse. If God is unique, nothing can be equal to Him. If nothing is equal to
Him, then He alone is unique. If He alone is Self-Sufficient and all creation is in need of Him,
nothing in creation can be equal to Him. If He does not bear offspring, nor did anyone or
anything give birth to Him, nothing or no one can be equal to Him as every created being
came into existence after a period of non-existence. Every created being has something
similar to it, called its pair, or something resembling it, called its equal. If the Creator were
from one or other of these species He would have an equal and a similitude.
Thus, this chapter contains the genealogy and description of God, the Most Merciful.
It was revealed by Allah to refute beliefs attributed to Him by misguided people concerning
His similitude, bodily form, origin and offspring. For example, those who paint pictures or
make statues of Allah are claiming similitude, those who worship others besides Him claim
similitude, and those who attribute some parts of His creation to others besides Him claim
similitude. However, nothing is similar to Him in His Attributes, His Dominion or His Divinity. Therefore, only He alone deserves to be worshipped by His creatures.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
قل هو الله احد (1)
Say (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)): "He is Allâh, (the) One
الله الصمد (2)
Allâh-us-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks)
لم يلد ولم يولد(3)
He begets not, nor was He begotten. (3
ولم يكن له كفوا احد(4)
And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him."(4