Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Surah Al-Ikhlas

Surah Al-Ikhlas.

Surah Al-Ikhlas is the 112 chapter of the Holy Quran. It contains only 4 verses and is regarded one of the shortest surah of the Quran. Surah Al-Ikhlas is known as one third of the Quran.

From Bukhari 6.534: Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri: The Prophet said to his companions, "Is it difficult for any of you to recite one third of the Qur'an in one night?" This suggestion was difficult for them so they said, "Who among us has the power to do so, O Allah's Apostle?" Allah Apostle replied: " Allah (the) One, the Self-Sufficient Master Whom all creatures need.' (Surat Al-Ikhlas 112.1--to the End) is equal to one third of the Qur'an."

So this means that if you read it for three times, the reward is as though you have recited one whole Quran.

I have read and heard many tafsir, tadabbur and explanation of this short but heavy surah.

But all the explanation and elaboration by various scholars about Surah Al-Ikhlas  just do not uncover the secret that I feel surrounds this Surah.

For starters, in other chapters of the Quran, the name of the Surah is given because that word (which represents the name) is mentioned somewhere in the Surah. For example, the word Baqarah is mentioned in Surah Al-Baqarah. (Although Fatihah is not found in Surah Al-Fatihah but since Fatihah means the Opening and considering that Surah Al-Fatihah is the first chapter of the Quran, it is easy to apprehend why that surah is called the Opening.) But this is not the case for Surah Al-Ikhlas. Being the 112 chapter, with only 4 verses, there is no mention of the word Ikhlas in Surah Al-Ikhlas.

So there must be a reason why it is called Surah Al-Ikhlas right?

I know many scholars have explained why they think is the reason for this surah to be named Surah Al-Ikhlas but I am just not contented with their explanation.

I know Surah Al-Ikhlas is about the description of Allah. Let’s read it:

(1) Say, "He is Allah, [who is] One
(2) Allah, the Eternal Refuge, Absolute.
(3) He neither begets nor is born,
(4) Nor is there to Him any equivalent."

See how beautiful the verses flow? First it says that there is only one God. Then, it says that we are all dependent on this one God because He is Everlasting and Absolute when we are all nothing as compared to Him. It means He who is independent of others and others are dependent on Him.  Faultless. Thereafter, it says Allah did not originate from anything and neither is He subservient to another God. This third verse indicates the Oneness of Allah where there is none before Him or after Him. The last verse reaffirms the status that there is none like Him.

Glory be to Him… See how beautiful Surah Al-Ikhlas describes Allah?

But I still cannot grasp its secret. I mean, I know (or I think I understand) the meaning of all the four verses but I don’t quite comprehend how the characteristics of Allah is summarized to be called Surah Al-Ikhlas. 

 Ikhlas means purity. Some scholars have said that if you believe in Allah as per the four verses, it should set your self free from any form of disbelief and impurity. Hence you become pure. Become Ikhlas.

Yes, that's a pretty decent rational but I am sure there is more to it.

Every time when I sit to contemplate the nexus between ikhlas and the four verses, I would conclude in my head that maybe my heart is not pure or ikhlas enough to understand the true meaning of Ikhlas. *sigh*

Or maybe my knowledge has not reach as certain level for me to understand it. My mental capacity is not ready to comprehend the meaning. Or I am not wise yet to grasp its meaning. *sigh* 

Even if this was the case, I will not stop to think about it because I have made a prayer that I wish for Allah to allow me to understand the true meaning of Surah Al-Ikhlas one day and Allah answers all of our prayers. So in due time, I am confident to be able to feel satisfied with this Surah. Boy I can’t wait to be able to feel the joy and comfort of understanding these four verses and its name.

Till then, let’s go and read Surah Al-Ikhlas. Read it three times at least so that you get the reward of reciting one whole Quran.
God knows best.
Blog adjourned.

1 obiter dictum:

Asad said...

Watch this video by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, He says that Surah Ikhlas gives people a pure understanding of the oneness of Allah. Also, he points out that the surah has had many other names including "Qul huwa Allahu Ahad" and "At-Tauheed" (Divine Oneness).