a hand with the shahada finger pointing

This is post #23 in our series on Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma (click the link to see all posts in this series).

Allah says, in Surah Tawheed, also known as Surah Ikhlas:

قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ

اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ

لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ

وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ

Translation: Say, “He is Allah , [who is] One, Allah , the Eternal Refuge [As-Samad], He neither begets (gives birth to) nor is born, Nor is there to Him any equivalent.” [Surah Ikhlas]

The tafseer of this great surah, Surah Ikhlas is very, very extensive; volumes of books have been written on it. One of our writers, Abdul-Ahad, may Allah bless him and increase him in his nearness to Allah, has written very extensively about this surah. Therefore, I will suggest to you some great readings about this great surah, and instead, break down the Arabic grammar word by word.

Tafseer of Surah Ikhlas

Grammatical Analysis

  • Qul (قُلْ): Say. It is a command (fi’l amr), both to the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam), in response to the question of the mushrikeen “tell us the lineage of your Lord,” and to us. There are four surahs that begin with qul–surah Ikhlas, Surah Naas, Surah Falaq, Surah Kafiroon. (We completed tafseer of all these surahs already, walhamdulillah.)
  • Huwa (هُوَ): He, or it. One of the most common words you’ll come across. It’s technically third-person, singular, and masculine. In this case, it refers to Allah.
  • Allah (اللَّهُ): This word is called laf dhuw jalaala (the honorable name) when we refer to it. Because it’s not proper to say “Allah is mansoob (having fatha on the last letter)” or “Allah is marfoo’ (having damma on the last letter)” when we speak about grammar.
  • Ahad (أَحَدٌ): Ahad means “one.” Then again, wahid also means one; the difference is that, if I said I have wahid books, it means I have one book. Or two books. Or more books–“I have one book.” On the other hand, if I said I have ahad books … that means I have one and only one book. Not two. Not three. Just one. So here, he is Allah, Al-Ahad–the one, the unique (perhaps unique is a better translation of ahad).
  • As-Samad (الصَّمَدُ): This is one of the names of Allah. It means the one who everybody depends on, but the one who doesn’t depend on anyone. Like if there was a fund-raiser and there’s only one person in the community who has the money, and he pays it–he can be described as samad. Allah is AS-Samad, THE samad, who we all depend on.
  • Lam (لَمْ): Lam is a particle of negation similar to laa or maa or other negations. Lam makes mudaari’ (present/future-tense) verbs majzoom (having sukoon on the last letter).
  • Yalid (يَلِدْ): Yalidu is mudaari’ (present/future-tense), singular, and masculine. It’s from the verb walada, which means to give birth to. It’s majzoom (yalid and not yalidu) because of lam.
  • Wa (وَ): Wa by itself, means “and.”
  • Yuwlad (يُولَدْ): This is the passive form of yalid (evidenced by the damma and fatha on the first and second letters). So “yalidu” means “he gives birth to,” and yuwladu means “he was given birth to.” It’s also majzoom, with sukoon, because of lam (it’s connected by the wa, which carries over the grammatical case, too).
  • Yakun (يَكُن): Yakunu is the mudaari’ of kaana (he was). It means “he is.” Again, it’s majzoom because of lam.
  • Lahu (لَّهُ): Lahu is the preposition “li” (for), and hu is the majroor version of huwa. So li + huwa = lahu, roughly translated as “for him.”
  • Kufuwan (كُفُوًا): If you look in the fiqh books about the chapter of orphan girls, they must be married to someone of the same “kufwan,” someone of the same level and status and rank as she is. So here, it’s saying that there’s nobody at the same level as Allah–because he is Al-Ahad.

Wallahu ta’ala ‘alam.

Action Items:

  • Memorize This Surah. If you haven’t already, memorize it; it’s very short and easy (and it rhymes!). And if you feel lazy, remember–there are literally thousands of children under the age of 7 who have done this. It’s that easy.
  • Share Some Tafseer. If you have links to other (authentic) tafseer of this great surah, post a comment insha’Allah and share it with the world.


  • Touched by an Angel: Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma. By Muhammad Alshareef. 2009.