Surat-ul-Ikhlaas

{This is an extract from the Sharh of Dr. Muhammad Khalil Harras of Aqeedatul-Waasitiyyah by Sheikh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah}

It is proved from the authentic Ahadith that this Surah (Surat-ul-Ikhlaas) is equal to one third of the Qur’aan. The ‘Ulama’ (Scholars) have made several statements in this connection and among these, the statement copied by Sheikh ul-Islam from Ibn Abbas is most authentic. The substance of this statement is that the Qur’aan consists of three fundamental objectives:

1. The ‘dos and don’t s’ which comprise the commandments and practical ways, and these form the subject matter of the discipline of Fiqh (jurisprudence) and ethics.

2. The tales and narratives which include the stories of the Messengers of Allaah and their communities. Such disasters have also been described which befell those who denied the Messengers of Allaah; they also mention the promises, the rewards and the dooms.

3. The knowledge of Tawhid (Islamic Monotheism) and the description of those matters which relate to the Names of Allaah and His Attributes and to believe in them is necessary for the worshippers of Allaah. This is the most important among all three.

Surat Al Ikhlaas comprises this third objective and gives a general description of it. It is therefore correct to say that this Surah is equal to one third of the Qur’aan.

A question is raised regarding how this Surah contains comprehensively the entire knowledge of Tawhid and its principles which form the centre of belief and rationality in one Allaah.

The answer to this lies in the fact that Allaah’s Command: {Say: “He is Allah, (the) One.} negates partnership with Him in every sense, whether it concerns His Self or His Attributes, or His Deeds. It likewise demonstrates the distinctiveness of Allaah in greatness, perfection, magnificence and majesty. That is why the word Ahad (One) will not be used for anyone except Allaah. This word is more emphatic that Waahid (One).

Ibn Abbas has done the explanation of this phrase Allaahu-us-Samad {Allaah, the Eternal, the Absolute} which his statement which is as follows:

The Master Who is perfect is His mastery; the Great One Who is perfect in His greatness; the Tolerant Who is perfect in His tolerance, the Omnipotent Who is perfect in His omnipotence; the All-Knowing Who is perfect in His knowledge; the One Who is perfect in all types of nobility and greatness- that Self is only Allaah- the Most Revered and the Most Powerful. He alone has these qualities for they do not apply to anyone else except Him. No one is equal to Him, and no one is like Him. {The complete statement of Ibn Abbas is reported by Ibn Kathir with additional wording}

The explanation of As-Samad  has also been done as follows: The One Who has no fear; toward Whom all creatures turn; and Whom they seek after in all their needs and works.

Affirmation of Oneness of Allaah includes negation of polytheism and similitude. And the affirmation of all the meanings of Samad includes all the noblest Names and exalted Attributes. This is called Tawhid of Affirmation.

The other type, that is Tawhid of purity has been derived from the statement of Allaah: {He begets not, nor was He begotten; And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.}

Moreover, this interpretation can also be derived in a general sense from {Say: “He is Allah, (the) One.}. That is, nothing came out of Him nor has He come out of anything; and that He has no equal, no likeness and no similarity.

A blessing/calamity

A slave that is blessed with knowledge is indeed experiencing a great blessing. Allaah said:

“It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah.” [Surat Al-Faatir: 28]

“…Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge. And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do.” [Surat Al-Mujadilah: 11]

This is the slave who has been given beneficial knowledge, which is knowledge that manifests in to good actions.

On the authority of Zaid ibn al Arqam that the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) used to say:

“O Allaah, I seek refuge from knowledge that is not beneficial, a heart that does not fear, a self that is not satisfied and supplications that are not answered” [Sahih Muslim, At-tirmidhi and An-Nasaa’i]

Knowledge (religious), however, can be a calamity, a disease and a reason for punishment if the slave commits either of the following:

1-      Concealing the knowledge he has. Allaah said:

“Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the guidance, which We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book, they are the ones cursed by Allah and cursed by the cursers.” [Surat Al-Baqarah: 159]

2-      Not acting upon the knowledge. Allaah said:

“Enjoin you Al-Birr (piety and righteousness and each and every act of obedience to Allah) on the people and you forget (to practise it) yourselves, while you recite the Scripture [the Taurat (Torah)]! Have you then no sense?” [Surat Al-Baqarah: 44]

The Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“The two feet of the slave will not move, until he is asked about his life and how he spent it, his knowledge and what he did with it, his wealth; how he earned it and spent it, and his body and how he used it.” [Narrated by Abi Burza Al-Aslami in At-Tirmidhi- Saheeh]

We learn from this hadith that we will be asked about what we did with our knowledge. It becomes imperative, therefore that those who have knowledge teach it, and act upon it, so they are not punished for this knowledge that they possess.

The Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“The similitude of the one who teaches the people good, while forgetting himself in like that of a lamp (i.e. a candle); it gives light to the people and burns itself” [Narrated by Jundub ibn Abdillah in At-Tabarani- Saheeh]

Ibn Al-Qayyim described the one who has knowledge, and conveys it to the people but does not do it. He said (رحمه الله):

“Corrupt scholars sit in front of the door to Paradise calling people to it through some words, while they are doing deeds that lead to the hellfire. Whenever their words call people to Paradise, their deeds do not conform to their words. If such words were true they would have been followed by them. They seem to be leaders while they are really highwaymen.” [Al-Fawaa’id]

There is a severe punishment for the one that commands the people to good while he does not do it and forbids the evil while he indulges in it as the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“A man will be brought and put in Hell, and he will go around and around in Hell like a donkey of a (flour) grinding mill. All the people of Hell will gather around him and say: ‘O So-and-So! Didn’t you use to order other to good and forbid them from evil?’ That man will say: ‘I used to order others to do good but I myself never used to do it, and I used to forbid others from evil while I myself used to do it.’”  [Agreed upon]

This person’s punishment is severe showing how great it is to not act on what you preach.  Another example of the consequences of not acting on one’s knowledge is seen in the hadith of Anas (رضي الله عنه) where the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“I saw on the night of Israa, people with their lips being pinched with tools of fire. I said: ‘O Jibreel, who are they?’ He (Jibreel) said: ‘These are the khutabaa’ (preachers) of this Nation; those that say what they don’t do” [Narrated in Ibn Hibban, authenticated by Sheikh Al-Albani]

As we can see therefore, the responsibility that comes with knowledge is of two types:

1-      To work according to knowledge earned and this is for one’s own self

2-      Not to conceal one’s knowledge, because the people of this time are very much in need of it, and spreading knowledge benefits one’s own self as well as others.

It should be known that this knowledge is very valuable and whoever possesses it has been given, by Allaah, something that can either raise his rank to a superior level or it can be a calamity for him and destroy him such that he is thrown in to the pits of the Hellfire.

May Allaah help us to act on our knowledge and to teach it and may He protect us from the punishment of not doing so. May the Salaah and the Salaam of Allaah be upon the Messenger, his family, and his companions. 

Source: Muwahidoon

The rights of children

Ibn al-Qayyim (رحمه الله) said:

“Whoever neglects to teach his son that which will benefit him, and ignores him, has done something very bad indeed. Most children go astray because of their parents who neglect them and fail to teach them the duties and Sunnahs of their religion. They neglect them when they are young so they do not benefit themselves or benefit their parents when they grow up.” [Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi]

The right of children is that they are brought up with the necessary Islamic knowledge, when it comes to Tawheed of Allaah in His Lordship, His Names and Attributes and His right to be worshipped alone. They should be educated in the fiqh of tahaarah (purity), salaah, zakaah, sincerity to Allaah and all other aspects of the Deen. They should be taught to fulfil the rights of Allaah upon them, as well as the rights of the creation upon them. This knowledge will benefit them in the dunya as well as in the akhirah and neglecting such a critical aspect can end up destroying them.

Ibn al-Qayyim (رحمه الله) said:

“How many people have caused misery to their own children, the apples of their eyes, in this world and in the Hereafter, by neglecting them, not disciplining them, encouraging them to follow their whims and desires, thinking that they were honouring them when they were in fact humiliating them, that they were being merciful to them when in fact they were wronging them. They have not benefited from having a child, and they have made the child lose his share in this world and in the Hereafter. If you think about the corruption of children you will see that in most cases it is because of the parents.” [Tuhfat al-Mawlood]

If we teach our children the beautiful manners of this deen, and we do not neglect them now, they will not neglect us when we are old and fragile, by the permission of Allaah. We want that our children will be of those who pray to Allaah:

“My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small.” [Surat Al-Israa: 24]

and

“Our Lord, forgive me and my parents and the believers the Day the account is established.” [Surat Ibrahim: 41]

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) said:

“Allaah has called them abraar (righteous) because they honoured (barru) their fathers and children. Just as your father has rights over you, so too your child has rights over you. [Al-Adab al-Mufrad]

He also narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The ruler is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of his household and is responsible for his flock. A woman is the shepherd of her husband’s house” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]

We have the responsibility of raising our children correctly and they can either be a source of our sorrow or a source of our joy and ongoing deeds after death, as the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“When a person dies, all action is cut off for him with the exception of three things: Ongoing charity, knowledge which benefits, or a righteous child who makes supplication for him.” [Al-Adab al-Mufrad, graded Sahih by Sheikh Al-Albani]

May Allaah make us able to fulfil the rights He has over us, as well as the rights our children, our parents and the people have over us. May He send His Salaah and Salaam upon the final Messenger, Muhammad, his wives, his companions and all those that followed them in righteousness until the Day of Resurrection.