Quran Tafsir - Surah Al-Ikhlas (112)

As-salamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullah my dear brothers and sisters and congratulations to all of the viewers on this period, the period of the birth of Imam Ar-Ridha, salawat Allahi wa as-salamu alayh.

We continue with our tafsir of the Holy Qur'an, looking at Surah 112 known as Surat ut-Tawhid. How many times have you been asked the question related to God's existence? Or related to defining God? Or someone who blatantly just comes to you and tells me, 'Tell me about your Lord? What is your Lord? Describe to me your Lord? What type of answer would you give that person?

It's a very difficult question. You know, I don't mind if someone comes and asks me a question about the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his family. I'm ready to answer that question. I could talk about his 63 years in this world. Or if someone comes and asks me about Imam Ali 'alayhi as-salam. They tell me 'Tell me about Imam Ali 'alayhi as-salam.' I'll be able to talk about say, the words of wisdom of Imam Ali 'alayhi as-salam. Or they ask me about Muharram, Karbala, Ashura, how long could you talk about that for? You could talk about that for hours on end.

When someone asks you about your Lord, give me the definition of God, explain to me God. I want to know how you relate to God, it becomes a completely different conversation because I believe that in the world today, there is no difference between what we are seeing in discussions generally in the world regarding God, compared to one thousand four hundred years ago.

This book is not a book of history. This book is trying to let you understand the same discussions that you are having, and the same debates that you're undertaking, is exactly the same discussions that were happening at the time of the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him and his family. The question every human being in the world, one way or another will always ask is, does God exist? Do you agree with that?

Now in the world, how many different groups of people do we have when it comes to the definition of God or dare I add gods? You've got some people who fall into the category of being Atheist. Yes, they don't believe that God exists. There are others who fall in the category of being Agnostic. Something out there, but I can't necessarily plug the gap by saying it is God or Allah or whatever other name you want to give it.

There are others out there who say that, look we are Deists, we believe that there is a God, but this whole idea that God is part of your life, how we for example, congregate and read Du'a and expect God to answer, there's no such thing. Listen, God creates everything. And then after that, there is no real communication, for example, between the creation and the Creator.

Then you have, for example, monotheists. We try and categorize ourselves as the followers of the name of this Surah. What's the name of Surah? Tawhid. Now I know some of you are looking at me and saying, 'Sayyidna, the name's Surat ul-Ikhlas. And you have a point, because Ikhlas is one of the names. But let's focus on Tawhid because in reality you can not have sincerity in any act, unless you have an understanding of your Lord. Otherwise the act can be done for my best friend, to show off to others, whereas true Ikhlas emerges when one understands true Tawhid. So what you have with Surat ut-Tawhid is this Surah that is so meritorious, that the number of different traditions associated with the Surah are phenomenal.

How many of you have heard that if you recite Surat ut-Tawhid once, it's as if you've recited one third of the Qur'an. Would you believe that there is a Hadith that states if you recite Surat ut-Tawhid once, it's like it's one third of the Qur'an, one third of the Bible, one third of the Torah, one third of the Zabur. Why? Because originally, those books, what was their main message? Tawhid. Originally, the Bible and the Torah, the Zabur, the Qur'an, what is their main message originally? That a person believes in one God. Of course, what later happened with that theology isn't our concern just yet.

But when a person tells me 'Sayyidna, did you know that if you recite Surat ul-Ikhlas, for example, or Surat ut-Tawhid once, that's like you've completed one third of Qur'an?' I say 'No, Imam said one third of the Qur'an, one third of the Bible, one third of the Torah and one third of the Zabur.

Likewise, you would find that sometimes there are traditions where the Imams love this Surah so much and one man in particular loves this Surah more than any other. Now I'll come to him later on. But the Imam's love this Surah so much that you'll even find they would eat certain food from a bowl where that Surah was engraved. There is a tradition that Imam As-Sadiq, 'alayhi as-salam, had some, let say pickle, an oil. He was eating it from a bowl that had Surat ul-Ikhlas engraved around it.

We have at home a small bowl. You know our mums, sometimes they buy these things and us guys are looking at them thinking, this is just klawaat [nonsense], I don't know what this is. Like there's a small silver bowl with like a whole Surah around it, and your mum will pour water and then say drink and you'll turn around saying, mum and what difference? And you'll drink from a cup or I'm going to drink from a plate it's all the same. We don't realize that in our parents generation and their parents and their parents, they carried a lot more faith sometimes than we do. I won't deny that a lot of it is taqleedi, but that's for another day, but there was a lot more faith. And that faith, that anything that has the Qur'an on it, is a blessing.

I go to some people's house these days and I see, I look around the house and I see some wonderful art. And I'm a big fan of art. I love seeing art. I'm wondering where is the Surah of the Qur'an? Or for example, where is the flag of Imam Al-Husayn 'alayhi as-salam? I'm not saying get a massive flag like the ones the guys have over here, but what I'm saying is that, get a small flag. Now, that bowl Imam As-Sadiq around it, it was engraved, which Surah?

Would you also believe, I don't think any of you here are dentists, are you? No one here is a dentist. Your brother's a dentist. Dentists, if I'm going to go to them and I've got a toothache, dentists are great. But you know, sometimes that pain can be so awkward. Now in those days, I don't think, you're budding dentist, we've got big hopes on you! InshaAllah, you look after us when you graduate in 50 or 60 years time InshaAllah. We have so much hopes in you Minhal and if I'm ever going to have a toothache, I'm going to remember Abu Baseer.

Abu Baseer, a companion of the Imam Al-Baqir and Imam As-Sadiq, salawatu Allahi wa salaamuhu 'alayhi ma. Abu Baseer narrates how he had a toothache and what does Imam say to him? Imam says to him, 'Put your hand over that area where the tooth is hurting you, recite Surat ul-Fatiha, recite Surat ul-Ikhlas and then recite Surah 27 verse 88. Let's all go there quickly. You guys should now be at the fastest pace and you the viewers as well. Surah 27 verse number 88, if I'm not mistaken. "Wa tara al-jibaala tahsabuhaa jaamidatan wa hiya" (27:88). What? this is a very important line over here. "Tamurru marra as-sahaab" (27:88). 'And you see the mountains, you think them to be solid and they shall pass away as the passing of the clouds.' Now they pass away as the passing of the cloud, that ache will pass away quickly.

Someone here might say to me 'Sayyidna, listen. Do you know the technology that we have these days?' I'm like I'm all for technology, but I'm not going to let go of mystical tradition. The world that we live in today is devoid of metaphysical discussions anymore. The world that we live in today becomes so entrenched in post modernity that in some cases, not all, there is a place for post modernity, but in some cases, you live in a world where the moment you mention heritage, the moment you mention spirituality related to God, not relative to any human being, then people start saying 'No!'

But for us, what's wonderful is that Suwar, like Surat ul-Ikhlas. Even there is a study of looking at the Qur'an. I ask all of you, when you saw me looking at Surat ul-Falaq and Surat ul-Nas a couple of days ago, did you wonder 'Why is he looking at the verses when he's probably memorized it?' Believe you me, I have memorized them. I have memorized Surat ul-Falaq and Surat ul-Nas. And would you believe I've memorized Surat ul-Ikhlas! So why am I looking here? It's because there's even barakah for my eyes looking at the words of the Qur'an.

The Qur'an being a Shifa for ad-sadr, a sadr which Shaytan is trying to get through. "Yuwaswisu fee suduri an-nas"(114:5). I want my chest to be guarded literally and metaphorically. And that's why you find someone like Muhsin Fayz Kashani, wonderfully giving a spiritual piece of advice - Recite 50 Ayahs of the Qur'an a day. 50 Ayahs, any 50, doesn't have to be a specific 50. 50 ayats, it brings that comfort.

And one of the best Suwer that brings this comfort for you and for the dead, might I add. When you go to anyone's grave, you go to the maqbara or the qabrastaan, sit by the graves, recite this Surah, Surat ul-Ikhlas 11 times. And you're rewarded for every number of people who are in that maqbara.

You know what? There are certain schools in Islam that say you cannot read Qur'an for the dead. You cannot, for example, give a hadiya of the Qur'an for the dead. Whereas for us, in the School of Ahlul Bayt, know the Qur'an can be read as a hadiya for those who have died. Therefore, let's go to the Surah and let's see what's being said. Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim. By the way, have you noticed I haven't explained Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim? In the future I will, but not just now, because I sometimes think that maybe us explaining Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim may take a number of sessions. Let's stick to what's happening.

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim. "Qul." In "Qul a'oodhu bi Rabb il-falaq" (113:1) and "Qul a'oodhu bi Rabb in-nas" (114:1), we talked about how 'Qul' is the idea of complete submission. That look, I'm not going to walk around like a bad boy anymore. I walk through an alley way, in a certain part of London at 2:00 a.m. I'm no bad boy. I need Falaq, I need Nas. So, the Qul there, Say, means admit that you aren't as brave as you think you are. Here no, here is Say to him, who is asking you, 'Tell me about your Lord, what is He?' Say to him, reply to him.

Abdullah, the son of Suriya, Abdullah, the son of Suriya, was a member of the Jewish community. And he had come and asked the Prophet, peace be upon him and his family, what seems like the most basic question. But I tell you what? It's probably the most difficult question. 'Tell me about your Lord, what is He? Tell me. You're a Muslim, yeah? And you haven't just inherited because Mummy and Daddy told you you're Muslim, you really believe in this religion. Tell me what your Lord is.' The Holy Prophet, peace be upon his family, waited for the revelation a couple of days. You see, sometimes when we come to Surat udh-Duha, I'll show you how Wahi sometimes comes every day and sometimes the emails stop sending for a while, ok?

Now, when you come here, the Holy Prophet's waiting until Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala then reveals to him "Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim. Qul!" Say to him. Say what? To the person who is asking the question, "Qul" - say, "Huwa." Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala's male? Why not Qul hiya? How many times when you talk about God, it's always God's, you know, He's like, really Merciful. He is Merciful. Why's is not she? Is God male or female? I want all of you to focus on this area. How many times you find people saying 'You know what? Why is God a male? Why does God have to be male? Why is God not a female? One of our close friends Sayed Sajjad Radhawi, always you'll find him when he talks about God, he'll say, "she said" Why? Purposely, because hold on a minute, God is neither male nor is He female. But look what I just said. God is neither male, nor is He female. So now even when we talk about God, He created me, why not She created me?

I'll ask you a question. You ever seen a female sun? Have you ever seen a female sun or no? There's no female sun. Is there a female sun, like the sun, sun. Is she, you know, the sun, she's shining bright. Someone's like 'Sayyidna, there's no female sun'. Well, in Arabic one differentiator we need to make, which you can't make in English, and that is the difference between male and masculine. Female and feminine. Sometimes you hear dhakkar and sometimes you hear mudhakkar. Sometimes you have unthaa and you hear muannath. Now when you come to this in the Qur'an, I asked you, the sun is a female? You're like, bro, what are you chatting about? It's the sun. I said, the sun is a female. Say no, the sun is neither male or female. So why in the Qur'an, Allah Subhahan wa Ta'ala tells me she is a female? Someone is 'Like, what do you mean?'

Look in Surat Yaseen, all of you have read Surat Yaseen. And I bet you all going to be used to this this particular Ayah. Which Surah is Surat Yaseen, by the way, guys? Well done, Surah 36. Surah 36 of the Holy Qur'an, I go to about verse 38, I would imagine. Verse 38 probably. "Wa ash-shamsu tajree", some of you would have memorized this Ayah. "Wa ash-shamsu tajree limustaqarrin lahaa"(36:38). Hold on why, why lahaa? It's a female? The sun's a female? No, in Arabic, maybe similar in Spanish but not in English. English, he-male, she-female. Arabic we have the male and the masculine. Two completely different. And we have female and the feminine. The sun, is it a female? No. Likewise the moon is a male? Is the moon a male? No, you wouldn't say to me the moon is a male.

But when you look at the next verse, you go to verse number 39, "Wa al-qamara qaddarnaahu manaazila" (36:38). So now we have the sun. Some people would think that we know the sun is not a female. So when we are looking therefore in the Arabic language, in contrast to English, we have male and that is completely different from that which is described in the masculine form. And in Arabic, the masculine is the default. It's not that we are sexist and we are trying to be against females.

The masculine is normally the default in Arabic, and we are not the only ones. In the Bible, how many times you said He created the. In the Torah, is the same. Because when you are looking, for example, at different languages, they all have different structures. For us, in Arabic, the sun, we don't see it as being a male or a female. But when you are talking of the feminine versus the masculine, it's completely different from the male and for the female.

Let's return "Qul Huwa". Huwa? Ok, Huwa, Huwa. What's happening here with Huwa? This is very interesting. So, say He again. We are not referring to masculine, we are not referring to feminine. Huwa, the 'ha' has a meaning and the 'waw' has a meaning. Now, this is where you go to Ahlul Bayt and the depths of tafsir. Normally, what's English going to give you? Say he, Aali Muhammed say no.

The letter 'ha' means something and the letter 'waw' mean something. The letter 'ha' means you cannot give an exact fitting description of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. And the letter 'waw', you see, this word which seems so innocuous, look at the meaning. The letter 'ha,' I cannot give a fitting description to Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala. The letter 'waw' is that my senses can never perceive Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala.

Do you think this small word in the Qur'an, my Lord who's given me this Holy Book, is He just going to put any word in there or some words have a huge meaning? When in the answer to the question, he puts 'huwa,' that means He's telling me there's a secret in 'huwa.' Night of Badr, Imam Ali 'alayhi as-salam, goes to sleep. In his dream, he sees Prophet Khidhr. Now, Prophet Khidhr is everywhere. I hope we get to see Prophet Khidhr one day, but you know, he's in every story. He's got this huge role, like he's there at the beginning, he meets Moses, he meets the Prophet, he meets Imam Ali, he is going to be with Imam Mehdi. He's just got this magnificent role. And Prohet Khidhr alayhi as-salam, teaches a particular supplication which is to be recited in the Battle of Badr.

Now the next day is the Battle of Badr, and shortly we are going to talk about Abu Lahab and the Meccans and so on. But the next day is the Battle of Badr and Imam Ali alayhi as-salam, hears a Du'a. This Du'a make sure that you recite it when you are about to go to a big interview or a big meeting. "Yaa Huw, yaa man la il-Allah illa Huw." Ya Huw? Here, this huwa is not just, 'Oh, I'm connecting' or I'm about to give, for example, as some try to mention dhamir ash-sha'in and things like, no, no. This has even a profound meaning. Imam Ali 'alayhi as-salam said 'Ya Rasul Allah, I saw Prophet Khidhr in my dream. And he said to me, recite this Du'a and the Du'a was "Ya Huw, yaa man la ilaha illa Huw." Rasul Allah, salla Allahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, said to him 'O Ali, recite it for within it is greatest name of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala'.

So here what do we have? Qul Huwa. Look how mundane some of the way we were taught Qur'an. Say He, say He? This Surah, which is one third of the Qur'an is only just 'Say He?!' No! Even within the letters there is a deeper spiritual meaning. "Qul Huwa Allahu" (112:1). Now I'm replying to the one who is saying to me 'What is Allah? Describe to me Allah.' I now hear the Holy Prophet saying "Qul Huwa Allahu" (112:1). Of course, Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala is that Ism which is, you know, it is Jaami' or it brings in all of the attributes, The One Who is to be Worshipped, ok? "Qul Huwa Allahu Ahad" (112:1). Say to him, 'Allah is One.' Is it really that simple? Allah is One. It seems so simple, but then someone say 'Sayyidna, is it one as in number?' When we are replying back to Abdullah who's asked, we all believe. When you ask a Muslim 'What you believe about God?' They say 'There's only One God.' Don't we always say that? We always say there's only One God.

One, as in number? Why wouldn't it be one as number? Wahid, ithna, thalaatha, arba'a, khamsa, sitta, saba'a, thamania, why wouldn't it be one as number? What is the danger? Ahsant. If it is a number, then it can be multiplied, can be divided. Nobody described this better. In a certain incident, Imam Ali 'alayhi as-salam in the Battle of Jamal. Battle of Jamal is in, you know, its literally all swords blazing and you have got, 25 years after the Prophet Peace be upon him and his family has died, his companions all killing each other.

Now, Muslims love to throw the odd, Jewish guy in the middle as if he's caused all the trouble and people love to say it's a fitna and so on. I think it's pretty obvious, you know, what is going on. And this beduin, he just comes out the middle of the battlefield, he is like 'Where's Ali?' They're like, 'What's the, what's the issue? What do you want?' He goes, 'I want him to tell me, does he believe God is one?' Now, people are like 'Listen bro, we are in the middle of the biggest punch up 25 years after Rasul Allah salla Allahu 'alayhi wa'alihi died. We, the people of the Prophet want to kill each other.' And Imam Ali 'alayhi as-salam, hears him. When Imam Ali 'alayhi as-salam hears him, 'Bring him, this is the whole question surrounding why we are fighting today.'

He said, 'You asked me, do I believe Allah is Ahad? There are four possibilities, two of them are correct, two are incorrect. Note these down. First possibility is that Allah is Ahad, meaning number one, wahid. Can't be, because then we end up falling into which trap? They said, God is 2, they said God is 3, they said God is 4, they said God is 15. Are there religions in the world who have more than one God? Yes.

Second possibility, which is an impossibility, is that God is like one of the people. Wahid min an-naas. You know, sometimes you hear the phrase, 'hadha wahid min an-nas, hadha wahid min ash-shabab, hadha wahid min al-jama'a'. Can Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala be the same as His creation? No! Did some people make Allah one of His creation in their accusation of Allah becoming a creation? Yes. There are those who believed, for example, in incarnation. God coming in the form of a human being. So those two "Qul Huwa Allahu Ahad" (112:1), ahad in number? No. Ahad, in terms of the same His people? No.

Ahad meaning: "maku ahad ishabah", when you say that, you say 'There's no one who is similar to Him.' Ahad, none is like Him. And at the same time, indivisible. You cannot divide Him into Allah in my imagination, Allah in reality cannot be divided. So therefore, when he replied back to the Jewish person who asked the question, he replies by saying, "Qul Huwa Allahu Ahad" (112:1), Say Allah is One. Never should we fall in the trap of thinking ahad means the number one. But it doesn't stop there. Doesn't stop there.

He continues. And this area, by the way, where we said ahad is huge because there are Muslims in the world today, in their definition of Allah Subhana wa Taala is completely different from each other. Completely different. When you want to study Tawhid further and want to study Ahad Tawhid, they all are, you know, related to each other. You will have discussions of attributes of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, the Essence of Allah. Are the attributes part of His Essence or are the attributes separate from His Essence? Then you have discussions concerning Tawhid al-Af'aal, Tawhid al-'Ibadah.

All of these discussions bring about differences in the Muslim community concerning Tawhid, and that's why, without the guidance of Aali Muhammad, you can end up with the wrong understanding of Tawhid. Sometimes Aali Muhammad, in their Ahadith would say, 'Don't talk about Allah being Ahad or Tawhid, stay away!' Because if you're not fit to understand these things, you end up being like those groups who, for example, said His attributes are one thing, His Essence is another. You end up being like those groups who said Allah has a hand. Allah has a hand? Allah has feet? Allah has eyes? Someone says 'What do you mean Allah doesn't have eyes? He told Nabi Nuh build the ark under Our Eyes.' He said "Yadu Allah fawqa aydeehim" (48:10). His hand was above their hand. Even further that he sits on a Kursi. You can't sit on a Kursi unless you are of a particular physical form.

There are those, even in Islam who didn't understand the meaning of Ahad. Some of them said Allah sits on a throne, He has a long beard, He has a, one of them even said Allah jogs. Now, what I'm not understanding is if my Lord can be contained in a certain place, that means my Lord can be defined. And that which is defined is limited, and that which is limited should not be worshipped. Why am I worshipping the one who is so limited that can be defined in a certain place?

"Qul Guwa Allahu ahad, Allahu as-Samad" (112:1-2). Who here can define for me Samad please? You've all obviously recited Surat ul-Ikhlas. The dear viewers have recited Surat ul-Ikhlas all their lives. I want one person to tell me what the meaning of Samad is. And if the Muslim community is not able to tell me the meaning of Samad, then our neglect of the Holy Qur'an is something we are going to have to change InshaAllah. I guarantee you, that there are so many Muslims out there, they will judge this person, they'll bring down from this person, they'll attack this person, baba forget these qusas (stories), focus on knowing the meaning of the word Samad.

"Allahu as-Samad" (112:2), how is it normally translated? Allah is needless. Would that be one of the translations? Allah is not in need? What is Samadiyya? The Jewish person is asking the Prophet 'Tell me about your Lord.' The Prophet replied to him by saying that 'He is One.' And then he said "Allahu as-Samad" (112:2). I'm not stopping at One, that's not enough. "Allahu as-Samad" (112:2). There was one explanation of "Allahu as-Samad" (112:2), which is unique.

From the Imams of Ahlul Bayt, salawaatu Allahi wa salaamuhu 'alayhim, and that's why every time you want an understanding Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, the only place you could get it in Islam is with Aali Muhammad. Go to all Tafaseer of the Qur'an online, on the Internet now, they always will never quote Imam As-Sadiq or Imam Al-Baqir or Imam Ali 'alayhi as-salam. Isn't that true? There are many tafaseer online, they stop at Rasul Allah, then they have nothing else to quote.

One of the Imams of Ahlul Bayt, do you know what he said? He said, look at the word Samad, you'll know the meaning, it's within. And the way he explained is unbelievable! "Qul Huwa Allahu Ahad, Allahu as-Samad" (112:1-2). Or do I say Allahhu ul-samad? Which one? "Allahu as-Samad" (112:2). Do you agree? He said the Alif and Laam and Saad and Meem and Daal, all of them are the definitions of Samad. How? Alif and Laam, you don't recite them in this word, do you? He goes 'Likewise Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala's samaddiyya is that He's subtle and hidden from all of us.' Look how subtle the Alif and Laam is. "Qul Huwa Allahu Ahad, Allahu as-Samad" (112:1-2). Where's the Alif and Laam? He says 'Same way the Alif and Laam is subtly hidden, likewise your Lord is subtly hidden.' One part of Samadiyya.

Second part, Saad. He is Sadiq. Third part, what do we have? Or the fourth part, what do we have? Meem, He is the Maalik. He is the Highest Master, not in need of any loan, not in need of any help. Fifth one, Daal, daaim. I think in the Munajat of Imam Ali 'alayhi as-salam "Mawlaya, Ya Mawlaya, anta ad-da'imu wa ana az-zal, wa hal yarhumu az-zal illa al-da'im." Samadiyya means, although He is Hidden and Subtly Hidden, that our senses cannot see Him, His message is full of truth. He is the Master and Owns Everything and that He is Eternal and Everlasting. "Allahu as-Samad" (112:2).

Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib 'alayhi as-salam in Nahjul Balagha, Sermon Number One of the Nahj, gives the most unbelievable description of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. Many scholars, when they talk about Surat ul-Ikhlas and Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, never talk about Imam Ali's description from the Nahj. "Praises due to Allah, Whose Worth cannot be described by speakers. Who am I to describe? Whose Bounties cannot be counted by calculators and whose claim to obedience cannot be satisfied by those who attempt to do so. Whom the height of intellectual courage cannot appreciate and the divings of understanding cannot reach. He, for whose description, no limit has been laid down, no eulogy exist, no time is ordained, no duration is fixed. He bought forth Creation through His Omnipotence, dispersed winds through His Compassion, and made firm the shaking earth with rocks. The foremost in religion is the acknowledgment of Him."

Sermon One of Nahjul Balagha. "The perfection of acknowledging Him is to testify Him. The perfection of testifying Him is to believe in His Oneness. The perfection of believing in His Oneness is to regard Him Pure, and the perfection of His Purity is to deny Him attributes. Because every attribute is a proof that it is different from that to which it is being attributed. And everything to which something is attributed is different from the attribute. Thus, whoever attaches attributes to Allah, recognizing, recognizes His Like and whoever recognizes His Like regards Him as two. And whoever regards Him as two, recognizes parts for Him and whoever recognize parts for Him, mistook him. And whoever mistook Him, pointed at Him. And whoever pointed at Him admitted limitations for Him and whoever admitted limitations for Him numbered Him."

Have you seen description of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala like Amir ul-Mu'minin? There is not one person living around the Prophet, peace be upon him and his family, who could describe God like Ali ibn Abi Talib. And there is none like his wife Fatimah, in her description in the Khutba, given after Fadak was confiscated. How many of you have read the description of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala alone? The complement of Surat ul-Ikhlas is who? Is Imam Amir ul-Mu'minin 'alayhi as-salam. The way he describes Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala in different moments is unbelievable!

"Lam yalid wa lam yulad" (112:3). 'No material nor any spiritual thing is born out of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala.' You know how when we think of something, it's borne out of our mind. We don't do that when we talk of Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. Look, we get to a stage where I can't explain Allah's Essence. You know, when you get to that, no man's land stage, I think everyone at home has had that moment where you're like, 'Ok, let me try and understand God.' And for some reason, when it happens with me, I start thinking blue skies. And then I'm trying think hold on to what's there before God, what's this, what's that and then you get to a no man's land phase.

The reality for me is that I cannot compare Allah to His Creation. Me, I may think of something and it's created. For Allah, He's not in the dimension of time for Him to be, for example, cornered into the dimension of time. So what we have is, no one can say that Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala is created and Imam has a lovely answer to this. Imam in his answer, he says 'If He's created by someone, He's got to share His Glory with that One.' And then he says 'And if He gives birth or for example, He has children, then they have to have a share of His Inheritance.

"Lam yalid wa lam yulad" (112:3). And that's why we differ in the Qur'an with those who start saying, God the father, God the son, God is the mother, the mother of God. If you look, for example, in Surah 5 verse number 73, I'm sure you've all come across this ayah in Surah 5 verse 73. And many people always ask about the Trinity and the Qur'an and there are different ayahs in Surat ul-Maidah, in Surat-un Nisa, about the Trinity in the Qur'an. But when you look, when the Qur'an comes to talk about the Trinity, the verse says" Bismillah al-Rahman, al-Rahim. Laqad kafara al-ladheena qaloo inna Allaha thalithu thalatha" (5:73). 'Certainly they disbelieve those who say, surely Allah is the third of the three.'

This ayah is an ayah, which shows you that we have a complete difference of opinion to those who say that Jesus is, for example, the son of God, but at a certain time, he is God. Then you ask many questions concerning, well, if he is God on Earth, whose he speaking to when he prays? For example, if he's praying, whose he praying to? When he goes back to being God in Heaven, is it God there? Is it Christ there? Who are we looking forward to seeing there? So there is a clear difference that exists with the Trinity. And so what you have, sometimes people say "Allahu as-Samad" (112:2). The definition of Samad is "Lam yalid wa lam yulad" (112:3). Imam Al-Husayn 'alayhi as-salam, has this discussion, that if someone asks you 'What is Samadiyya?' "Lam yalid wa lam yulad" (112:3).

"Wa lam yakul lahu" (112:4). I sometimes hear people say, "Kufwan ahad, kufu wan ahad, Kufu an ahad" (112:4), all of these are different readings. There's no real issue there. But is there anything when you're looking?Can anything be compared to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala? The reality is No. As much as you look at human beings, the greatest of the greatest of the greatest, even those human beings will say that we are simply servants of the Lord.

And that's why I have no doubt that in that description you have with Imam Ali 'alayhi as-salam, Imam Ali loved reciting Surat ul-Ikhlas. Number one, he's the embodiment of Ikhlas. Number 2, you know where he'd recite it? Shi'a, we have a unique thing in our Salaat ul-Jamaat, we recite really small suwar don't we? Non-Shi'a at Fajr, now I rate the guy's memory, but 171 verses later, bro we all need to get to bed. And not only do we all need to get to bed, but that 79 year old standing next to me is about to pass away. You doing Surat ul-Baqarah and Surat ul-Fajr, that 79 year old is on the verge of collapsing. Many of our Mawlanas, you'll see them reciting Surat ul-Ikhlas because Imam Ali 'alayhi as-salam used to love it. And they complained about him, they complained.

There was a sari'a which the Prophet had sent, expedition. Imam Ali leading it. He asked the companions 'How did you find his leadership?' The reply here is unreal. By the way, in some Non-Shi'a literature, they don't write Ali, they say 'rajul' [a man]. They were scared of the authorities that if you narrate something crazy Imam Ali, you may end up being in prison or some of them just hated Imam Ali. So, He said 'How did you find the expedition under Ali?' Said, they said 'Yeah it's good. But he recited, the only problem was he read Surat ul-Ikhlas in every Salah.' I beg you, is that a problem? Ya'ni, how much haqad, must you have? You know, when you've got people who just love picking things.

He says to him 'Ali, did you recite Surat ul-Ikhlas every Salah?' He says 'Yes, I did.' He said 'Why?' He said 'I love it.' He said 'You did not love it until Allah loved you.' Meaning that, that Surat ul-Ikhlas was a favourite of Aali Muhammad. That's why Imam Ali 'alayhi as-salam says in Salaat ul-Jama'at, think of the eldest. Completely different from other schools in Islam, whether the eldest could end up having his Janazah in the middle of a rukah.

For us, small Surah, comfortable, relaxed, enjoy Salah. Long Surah, we start thinking about every meeting we have tomorrow. One third of the Qur'an if you recite it, it's like reciting Surat ul-Ikhlas. You recite Surat ul-Ikhlas twice, two thirds of the Qur'an. You recite it 3 times, it's the complete Qur'an. Same with Imam Ali, alayhi as-salam, the Prophet said, 'If you love him with your heart, that's one third of faith and you love him with your tongue, that's two thirds of faith. And if you give your hands away to him, that's complete faith.'

Wa as-salamu alaykum wa rahmatullah, wa barakatuh. We are off to the Adhaan break and we'll come back looking at Imam Ali's Uncle, Abu Lahab.