Tafsir Surah

Ihklas Part 1

part 2


all creation from 4 elements
Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani   Goto Part 2

al-Ikhlas is one of the most important Surahs in the holy Qur’an.

In this surah Allah described Himself by Himself.  He said, “Say (O Muhammad): He is Allah the One, the Self-Sufficient master whom all creatures need; He neither eats nor drinks.” This was revealed when the Prophet (s) was calling the people to believe in the Creator and to disbelieve in the idols,  he said, “What you are worshipping is wrong. Come to the worship of Allah swt.” So the mushrikīn asked him, “Then describe for us what you are calling us to and speaking about. “Siff la na rabbuka.”   How can someone describe Allah? The Prophet (s) was asked by Jabir,

huuu“What did Allah create first?” “Awwala ma khalaq Allahu nurī ya Jabir!”

( He created Nūr.)

  What is nūr? how can we describe nūr? Is it like the electric light? You can see by means of it. Now if you turn off all the lights, you can see nothing. It has becoming dark. Nūr ash-Shams we say, light of the sun.
  If the sun doesn’t appear the day doesn’t come. Then what is it? Night.? You cannot see anything.
  Nur al-Qamar, the light of the moon, if it does not appear, then you can see nothing.


  So why then did Allah create the Prophet's)’s light first?

What do we understand from the Hadith,
Awwala ma khalaq Allahu nurī ya Jabir!” – “the first thing that Allah created was my light.”
 It is dark. It is not existing.
If you go now and you turn off all the lights in this mosque, you can see nothing. It ‘is non-existent, because you cannot see.
 When the light comes, then you see existence coming. So why then did the Prophet (s) say, “Awwala ma khalaq Allahu nurī ya Jabir!” what does this tell us? {Noon, wal Qalam, ALR, HM, N}
  Why did Sayyidina Jabir ask this brilliant question? Allah inspired  him to ask this so that  the Sahaba would understand. Allah wants to bring everything into existence. So to do that he must bring light. He must bring the magnificent light that makes everything  appear. That is why you can see throughout this universe. { Nur-I-Muhammad}    
So Allah’s first creation was “My Light”. Muhammadu Rasulullah is everything created.
  • That is wrapping all of the creation. La ilaha ill Allah is for heavens, describing the Creator. Muhammadu rasulullah is a description of creation.
  • Allahu nūr us-samawati wal-ard. With this light you are able to see.
  •  So when the Unbeliever asked Muhammad (s) to describe Allah, that was not an easy task. So Allah said to the Prophet (s),
“Ya Muhammad say to them. Hū Allahu Ahad.” no one understands except the Prophet (s).
  • When He says to them “Say” it is Allah saying it. It is Allah that is saying that. You cannot understand that word Allah.
  •  You cannot describe them, but you can tell them not to worship what is false. Tell them Allah is one. Everything you are doing, we cannot accept, but we have to tell you that Allah is One. That is for unbelievers to understand. How can they understand deeper than that?
But Allah is saying to him, Qul hū Allah. Say Hū – that unknown.
  • We say, when we want to express something in Arabic, regarding something that is not present, we say , in the absent form.
  •  Qul: Hū. That one who is absent, whom no one can describe, His name is Allah.
  •  No one knows that identity, hūwīyya, that Essence.

  •  It cannot be described in ordinary words. It can only be described in the most beautiful Names and Attributes. No one can know the reality. Who can know the reality of it except Allah swt?
Hū Allahu Ahad. Allah is the name that encompasses all the beautiful names. All beautiful Names come under Allah,. Allah is the name of the essence. All the Names and Attributes describe the essence but no one knows the Essence. That Allah, about whom there are 99 Names, but in fact, in reality, the Names are infinite. Under one Name all those Names are encompassed. That Name is one and that Name is Allah.  All those Attributes refer to One, nothing else.   That name that is encompassing all names and attributes. How many letters is it composed of?

Alif Lam Lam Hah. Allah. Four letters.

  •  Always Alif represents, being the first letter of the name Allah, if you look at al-asma’ al-husna. What is the first letter of al-asma’ al-husna. You cannot say Rahman, you say ar-Rahman. You cannot say Razzaq, you say ar-Razzaq. All of them begin with Alif. Alif is always standing. In the form of up, never down. It describes akhirah. Islam. Alif. Iman, Alif. Ihsan, Alif. Everything related to akhirah must begin with Alif.
    If you take away the Alif, what is left remaining of the Beautiful Name of Allah:
  • lam Lam hah – lilahi. What does it mean: for the sake of Allah, or He has this, it belongs to Him. So that first letter shows you the meaning of the name Allah.
  •  If you take it away it shows you ma sīwallah, what is other than Allah, the Creation{lam, lam ,ha}. Without him it cannot be. Alif refers to Allah.
  •  If you take it away, it becomes dunya, all that is other than Him. When you say to them Allah, you think He did not describe that information about that beautiful Name Allah from beginning to end.
  • If now you remove the first lam, what is left? La hah. Lahu.
  • Everything is for Him. You don’t own yourself, or anything He owns it.
    When the Prophet (s) is being revealed, He understands these meanings.   What then is left if you take away Hah? It is .
Back to .  Whatever you knew you still are back to where you were – you know nothing, He is completely unknown.

Kuntu kanzan makhfīyyan, fa aradtu an ‘urif fa-khalaqtul khalq. If you take the first letter which belongs to akhirah The “Alif” it is lillahi {remains is for Dunya}.   “ALIF”  For Allah-

  •  “LAM”= Heavenly Kingdom, lam al-malakut {subtleties and Energies Unseen}, the kingdom of akhirah. if you take away the first lam, then
  •   “LAM”= Earthly Kingdom second LAM which represents Earthly kingdom, {all Mass of Planets etc..} lam al-Mulk and earthly kingdom,
  •    When you take away these two kingdoms what is left –
  •   “Hu”. = That means there is nothing except him. {Al-Hadi}
  • In between Alif and Hah, it means that between the beginning and end, the kingdoms of dunya and akhirah.
  •   Between the Alif and the hah. Between the akhirah and the hidden.
  • That is “tell them O Muhammad what you are describing is One.” Ahad.
  • He did not say Wahid.
  • Ahad. More strong than Wahid. Unique one, no resemblance to Him. Laysa ka-mithili shay.
That word "Allah"{ Value Alif=1 Lam=30, Lam=30 Ha=5 =1+60+5=66,} { 66th name of Rasul is Sayedena Haqq} is the name encompassing all beautiful names.
  •  When it is revealed to the Prophet (s) it comes to Him with all its manifestations.
  •  With all the knowledge that it contains and the infinite description of infinite names are produced and given to the Prophet (s) Muhammad (s) and he is dressed with each and every one of them.
  •  Allah dressed him showing the importance of Qul hū Allahu Ahad.
  •  I am the one with no partner he is telling Muhammad (s).
  •  Now when Allah is telling him is he not showing him as well?
  •  Did he not take him up on ascension?
  Every verse of Qur’an is a dress, is a tajalli and it is a light, Allah’s Ancient Words. When we recite Qul hū Allahu Ahad. We are reciting what the Prophet (s) recited. You are opening in the same way that the Prophet (s) has showed us as revealed to Jibraeel. What kind of pleasure do you want more than that? When you follow what was revealed to the Prophet (s) and through the same voice to Jibraeel from Jibraeel to Sayyīdina Muhammad. We are saying “Qul hū Allahu Ahad.” When a person has read the way the Prophet (s) revealed it, can Allah punish that one? He will send a tongue, [used] to produce a sound that recited the sound of the Qur’an that Allah [?? to hell] - you cannot imagine it?   That is why the Prophet (s) said, “There will not be a house left in a civilized place, or madar, a tent in jungle or desert, except that Islam will enter it.” Look now, everywhere people are saying the name of Allah and the name of Muhammad (s). People are now taking about the Qur’an and reading it, and they are not Muslim. How did the Prophet (s) know that? ? He said that Islam is going to enter every place. Sayyīdina Musa did not say that. Sayyīdina ‘Isa did not say that. Who told the Prophet (s)? Qul hū Allahu Ahad.   When Allah revealed that surah to him,
  •  He dressed him with all that – ‘ulūm al-awwalīn wal akhirīn. {Secret of Rasuls Soul between Al-Ahad- Ahmad the difference between is the Meem of Muhammad}
  •   Sūrah al-Ikhlas. There is no other Sūrah called Ikhlas, it means sincerity.


Anyone who can understand that Surah of Sincerity is given the title ‘abd.

  • Everyone except the Prophet (s) ‘That is because the real servant is the one who can understand the limits of a servant before his lord. That is what the Prophet (s) understood. He understands the limits. That is why He specified our Prophet (s). Wa annahu qama ‘abduhu
       He did not address anyone except the Prophet (s) in that way ‘Abd Allah.
  •  It means he is the real person I have created perfect chosen to be worthy of that title, the servant of Allah { Ihsan Kamel}. It means if he did not understand the knowledge and the secrets from the time he was revealing Qul hū Allahu Ahad.
  • He would never have named him ‘Abd Allah. That is given to our Prophet (s). That is a name for someone who can dress all these lights and that was given only to him, in truth that name was only given to him.
       Now people can call themselves ‘Abd Allah, Abdur Rahman, they are imitation. Allah did not call anyone else ‘Abd Allah except Sayyīdina Muhammad. You can call yourself anything you like. But Allah only gave that title to the Prophet (s).   O Muslims, the reality is not easy to understand. Normal tafsir normal commentaries are easy. We recite. We understand Allah is One – that is it. Is that what the Prophet (s) was supposed to understand.   Awlīya’ullah, Grandshaykh and Mawlana Shaykh say that what Allah revealed to the Prophet (s) on each letter of the Qur’an, he revealed it in 12,000 oceans of knowledge. And they say that all that is written in bookstores, libraries, from ‘ulama, etc., if you add together and know it is but a drop in the ocean of the knowledge of the Prophet (s).  

Huu al-Wahid al-Ahad. There are two different names.

  •        Ahad describes the Essence. There is no description of the essence, it is described as Ahad.
  •  All the other names al-Karīm, ar-Ra’uf, etc. all describe One Ahad.
  • Wahid all the names that describe the essence point to Wahid.
  •   All these names point to Wahid.
  •  That Wahidpoints to is Ahad.
  •   There is no way to have a description there.
 As many names as there are to describe an entity Wahid.        That entity is Ahad. If you have all these worlds and heavens as oceans of ink and trees becomes pens, you cannot describe Allah swt’s Name or lack thereof. Allah’s words and Allah’s knowledge will never end, and the ink and trees will disappear and end and Allah’s Knowledge will never end.
That is huge. So what is our knowledge then?
If people go now  to all five oceans { 5 Oceans 5 Levels of Heart }and turn them to ink, and how many billions of trees, are in the world? Allah knows. If we make them into pens, and use that ink and write it in the knowledge of dunya. Will it finish or not?  Today we have super computers, and all that is written today can be put into one  super computer.  So it means our knowledge ends, it ends, it is limited. Allah’s knowledge with all its ink and pens will never end. So how can we think we know something? We know nothing.  
Wal Ahad ismun li man la yusharik fī mulkihi? Al-Wahid li man la yusharik fīhi? Al-Ahad Hū al-dhat wahduha. 
Al-Ahad is the real Essence by itself.
  •  Al-Wahid, the One, is a description of may different Names that describe that existence.
  •   It is the Divine Presence of the Names.
  •  Not the Divine Presence of the Essence.
  •  The Essence of the Creator no one knows.
       You know that thru His Names. So He described His Names only. Not His Divine Essence. That is why he said, wa ilahukum ilahun Wahid.”{Illaha not Allah} He described the Names. He did not describe the Essence.
  •  That is ghaybun mutlaq. He is describing the names, not the essence.
  •   Wa ilahukum ilahun Wahid. Your Lord is one Lord.
  •  There is no ilah except Him, the Merciful, the Beneficent.
So what are we then running for? That is why in old times, when sitting and studying, this was the science. Not the science of today. I’m not saying don’t study. But that is what was important for everyone.   Sitting after midnight, learning these words, entering into this knowledge.
  •  Is there any possibility of dunya after that?
  •  They are swimming in the Divine Presence.
  •  Now we know there is a presence of Divine Names and
  • Presence of Divine Presence.
  • So what are we running after in this dunya? That is why you see them in the past, pious and sincere.
       Not like today. Today you go to a mosque to sit, you hear this and that. It does not help you  to make your mind understand how small you are compared to creation. Not to Allah, hasha. You cannot compare him to anything. Even when they were showing two astronauts trying to fix a satellite . I was looking at it, and at first I could not see the  astronauts. Then I saw something like an ant on an elephant. The astronaut looked like an ant  when compared to something very huge. What do you think about yourself, tiny miny, micro, nano, compared to this huge world, to the universe. That is why if we Muslims will go back to our tradition, our sincerity our love of Allah swt and His Prophet (s), do you think that Allah will let us down. Do you think that Allah will not support us? Today we are down, others are stepping on us, why? Because we have lost our tradition. There is nothing to think about except dunya, dunya, dunya. What did Sayyīdina Ali say, “Do for the dunya as if you are living forever and lie for akhirah as if you will die tomorrow.
We are losing our children, our culture, our heritage, our Islam. How are we going to face our Lord? That is why the mushrikīn came and asked the Prophet (s) show us Allah. That is why Sūrah al-Ikhlas was revealed. I am skipping something but my eyes went there.  
The tawhīd, to repeat it on one’s tongue, the tawhīd of the Essence, the repetition of the kalimat at-tawhīd,… it is in reality praise itself by itself.  
The Servant of the One (al-Ahad),        the one who gave him understanding of that knowledge, and dressed him with it, [Ahad refers to the Essence] wahīdun.       
He is unique in his time and he is sahib az-zaman, owner of the time wa lahul qutbīyyat al-kubra he is the highest of Qutubs and he is standing by that name that Allah described him by that.       
Abd al-Wahid is the one whom Allah unveiled to him His Beautiful Names. And we leave to whom was that ‘ilm given tomorrow.          Allah swt said, “Say O Muhammad! He is Allah the One!” and we have explained last session that Allah is revealing to the Prophet (s) to tell the idol-worshippers “Ya Muhammad, Say! Explain about Me.” Allah is introducing something to the unbelievers about Himself.   If you look at the Surahs that are after it,
  •  Sūrah al-Falaq and
  •  Sūrah al-Nas ,  he is not introducing himself there.
  •  In Ikhlas He is describing Himself as the One without partner.
  • In Sūrah al-Falaq He says, “Say: I seek refuge with Allah” there is no description there of the lordship.
  •  Also Sūrah an-Nas is the same, saying “say I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind.” No description of ??
       That is completely different - Sūrah al-Ikhlas. That is special. From what Awlīya’ have inherited, they have inherited a drop from an ocean. We reached the explanation of ismu Ahad. Ahad is the name that cannot accept anyone to share anything in that essence. That is the name of the Essence of the reality of Allah swt.
  • That Essence is only known, when Allah said, “Ya Muhammad, the complete absent, the unknown reality that is unknown is known by the name Allah.” He is only known by His Name.
  •  How can someone with limited eyes see the one who created above you, impossible?
  • This whole world, this whole planet earth, Allah has made every human being on this planet to make a prostration to one direction.
  •  To the direction of Ka‘aba. Wherever you are on the planet.
  •  Those who are in the west pray east and those in west pray east, those in the north pray south and those in the south pray north.
  • That means there is something, a center for this whole planet, that everyone on it has to direct himself in prostration, worshipping his Lord swt.
  •  Look this world, if you look at the map, and you have a map, and the picture of the world, can the Ka‘aba be seen? Although you have to know that it is there existing and make a prostration in that direction, but because physically compared to the earth, you cannot see it. You can only see the mosque here where you are.
  •  So you, compared to this earth, are not even a point on this earth planet.
  •  This whole earth is not a point or might be epsilon, the smallest imaginable entity is epsilon. {The Dot Under the BA}
  •  This whole earth compared to the universe is epsilon, that means it does not exist.
  • The whole universe compared to the Greatness, not of the Essence of Allah swt, to the greatness of the Name only is like an epsilon that does not exist. It is nothing.

So Ahadiyya is not like Wahidiyya.

Ahad is the description of the Essence and its Name and that essence cannot accept anyone to share with it anything. That Essence is described, to understand that is given the name Allah, the Creator.
 The name ism al-jami‘ al-asma’i was-siffat. The reality of Wahidīyya, in Holy Qur’an is mentioned as: wa ilahukum ilahun Wahid.
That Name can describe all these Attributes and infinite numbers of Names.
  •   As we said, al-Wahid, wa ilahukum ilahun Wahid, your Lord is One Lord, it directs you and describes for you the Divine Presence of the Names and Attributes. Only to understand His Beautiful Names.
  • Thru His Names you can understand His Signs.
  • Al-Karīm sending you favors.
  • Al-Hakīm, sending you wisdom.
  • Al-Wasi‘, al-Razzaq, through these Names you can understand the description wa ilahukum ilahun Wahid – “He your Lord is One.”

So wa ilahukum ilahun Wahid, that Wahid

  • I s a relationship between human beings, Allah wants human beings to know Him.
  • So thru that Name they know Him. That is where the relationship is built.
  •  So you are worshipping that One to be worshipped, al-Wahid.
  •  So Wahid shows the relationship between Creator and created.
Ahad is complete unknown, you cannot understand it or reach it and no one can understand or share form that reality. That is ghaybun mutlaq, absolute unknown/unseen. 
  •   From that name Wahid, creation appeared. { Number 11 describes the Mirror Allah Creation in His Image Divine Mirror}
  •  Not from the name Ahad. Ahad is beyond that.
  •  From Wahid which describes the names and attributes.
  •  From that name al-Qadir { AQL , A= Al-Aleem , Qaf= Al-Qadir L= first LAM Mulk Malakut} appeared and creation is created.
  • So Wahid is the center of everything that cannot accept any description.
You cannot understand. That was given to the Prophet (s), say to them He is Ahad.
  • That is what Sayyīdina Bilal was saying when in torture. He was saying “Ahad, Ahad.”
  • Because the Prophet (s) took the Sahaba from the dunya, they sought the love of Allah and sought that reality fro the name that was hidden. So they want to ascend further, so He was saying, “Ahad, Ahad!”
If you have a circle {Circle represents Creation Huwa Awwal=1, Huwa Akhir=9 between 1-9 is all creation , All creation is in Quran, All Quran is in Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Raheem 19 Letters }and you have a line { represents Infinity},
  • How many points on that line are equal to each other? Infinite number.
  •  If you have a circle, how many points in the center are similar to each other. One.
  •  So the center and focus is one{ One Allah, One Ahmad}.
  • There is no way to have partners.
  •  Circumference how many points are equal to each other?
  •  They are all the same. These are asma’ was-siffat.
  • These are Attributes and Names.
  •  They all form the center, they have equal relationship but the center cannot be described in the circle. We are speaking only in order to understand. You cannot understand the center.
  •  It is one, unique. { La Illaha IlAllah Muhammad RasulAllah}
  •  The whole circumference are Names and Attributes. How many are there on the circumference. You cannot limit their number.
  • There is no limitation to Allah’s Greatness. So asma’ ul-husna have no limitation. Most people know 99 but there are more. Some scholars know 1000 but no one can go to infinite. But Allah is greater than Names and Attributes. Therefore there are infinite Names and Attributes.
What kind of ocean are you entering? You think that when Allah revealed to the Prophet (s) it is what they translate, “Say: He is Allah the One.” When you enter these scholars’ oceans or these Awlīya’-ullah’s oceans in these meanings, you will be drowned.   You cannot emerge. What is this dunya it is nothing. We are running day and night. No problem you run - but don’t forget akhirah. One leg in dunya and one in akhirah. That is for balanced people. For unbalanced people there are two types: those who are completely crazy in dunya life. And then those who are crazy in Allah’s love. And in the middle are the majority.   Half and half. Not many are going to give up everything for akhirah. Some scholars say we are working for akhirah. But you see they are still connected [to dunya].   Those who are vagabonds in the way of Allah. Gypsies. Where do they go? How they lie? They lie anywhere. These ascetics lie anywhere also. You see a lot of homeless on the streets. He was telling me one day, Dr. Qaysar . they sell spaces on the street. They have shifts. Every street is monitored by one wrestler, mafia. So he gives him 8 hour shift.   They sell the street. But you might not know that one of these homeless on the street is a waliullah. Monitoring who is going and who is coming. Allahu akbar.   So what happened. When these kummel,
  • those endowed with perfect Knowledge of Allah, ma'rifa ullah, seekers of the way,   when they entered the Oceans of the Attributes,
  •  Wahidīyya, and Ahadiyya, their minds explode.
  • They cannot continue. They were bewildered - hayyara.
  • They saw themselves nothing. All their knowledge is nothing. Because their knowledge of 60 or 80 years of age they will leave hear and go to eternal life and see knowledge that will drown them.
  •  Why do they have to suffer in the dunya ad-deniya. Tell me one person here who does not have a problem. If anyone has no problem raise your hand.
  So that is why these perfect sincere people they acknowledged, their helplessness.   Aqarar al-‘ajz to reach the reality of knowledge.
  • They knew that the only one that can understand the reality of tawhīd, the only …??
  • No one can understand the reality of tawhīd except the Creator. And that is why He Called the Prophet (s) Muhammad on the night of Ascension.
  • To tell him the reality of that oneness,
  •  la ilaha ill-Allah muhammadu rasulullah that is written on every leaf in paradise.
  • That is there reality given to the Prophet (s) Muhammad (s) from tawhīd.
That is why Allah gave that reality to ‘Abd al-Ahad, ‘Abd al-Wahid and ‘Abd us-Samad. And He said, “Qul Hū Allahu Ahad. Allahu as-samad.