An-Nahj al-Asma Fii Sharh Asma Allahu al-Husna by Shaikh Muhammad an-Najdi
The Name of Allaah Al-Waahid is mentioned twenty two times in the noble Qur’an.
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat al-Baqarah (2:163):
“And your Ilaah (God) is One Ilaah (God – Allaah), Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (there is none who has the right to be worshipped but He), the Most Gracious (the Entirely Merciful), the Most Merciful (the Especially Merciful).“
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) also says in Surat an-Nisa’ (4:171):
“…Say not: ‘Three (trinity)!’ Cease! (It is) better for you. For Allaah is (the only) One Ilaah (God)…”
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says on the tongue of Yusuf (‘Alayhis-Salaam) in Surat Yusuf (12:39):
“O two companions of the prison! Are many different lords (gods) better or Allaah, the One, the Irresistible?”
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat ar-Ra’d (13:16):
“…Say: ‘Allaah is the Creator of all things, He is the One, the Irresistible.'”
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat as-Saffat (37:4-5):
“Verily your Ilaah (God) is indeed One (i.e. Allaah); Lord of the heavens and of the earth, and all that is between them, and Lord of every point of the sun’s risings.”
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) also says in Surat az-Zumar (39:4):
“Had Allaah willed to take a son (or offspring), He could have chosen whom He willed out of those whom He created. But glory is to Him (He is above such things)! He is Allaah, the One, the Irresistible.”
The Name Al-Ahad is mentioned only once in the Qur’an and that is in the beginning of Surat al-Ikhlaas (112:1):
قُلۡ هُوَ ٱللَّهُ أَحَدٌ
“Say [O Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)]: ‘He is Allaah, (the) One.'”
The meaning of these two Names:
Ibn Jarir (Rahimahullaah) said as regards Allaah’s Statement,
وَإِلَـٰهُكُمۡ إِلَـٰهٌ۬ وَٲحِدٌ۬ۖ
“And your Ilaah (God) is One Ilaah (God – Allaah).”
We have mentioned previously the meaning of Uloohiyyah which means the worship of the creation for Him [Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala)]. Accordingly, the meaning of His Statement, “and your God is One God, Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped except Him), the Most Gracious (the Entirely Merciful), the Most Merciful (the Especially Merciful)”, is that He is the One Who deserves to be worshipped and His obedience is due upon you O Mankind! You are obliged to worship one Deity and one Lord. So do not worship with Him others nor ascribe partners with Him in worship. Whatever you associate with Him in worship is created by Him, your Ilaah, as He has created you, and your Ilaah is One, there is no peer like unto Him.” [Jami’ul-Bayan]
Al-Khattabi (Rahimahullaah) said: “Al-Waahid is the Single, the One, without associates. It is said that Al-Waahid is the One, none like unto Him, Who has no partner or peer. He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) is not like anything else; everything other than Him is unique from one aspect only, there is nothing like unto Him.
The difference between Al-Waahid and Al-Ahad:
Al-Waahid is the One, there is nothing like unto Him in His Essence, whereas, Al-Ahad is the One in His Attributes, in which there is none like unto Him.
As for the word Waheed, it is used to describe someone with a unique or different quality from others. The correctness of calling Allaah with this Name is not clear to me in its correctness, and I don’t see calling someone Abdul-Waheed to be good. Rather, I prefer the names Abdul-Waahid and Abdul-Ahad.” [Sha’n ad-Du’a]
Al-Baihaqi said: “Al-Waahid is the only One Who is without associate. It is said that Al-Waahid is the One, Whose Being is not divided nor there is a resemblance to Him nor a partner.” [Al-I’tiqad]
Shaikh as-Sa’dee (Rahimahullaah) said: “He is the One Who is singled out in all aspects of perfection, such that nothing else shares these with Him. It is obligatory upon the servant to single Him out Alone in belief, saying and action by acknowledging His unrestricted Perfection and His Uniqueness and singling Him out Alone with all types of worship.” [Tayseer al-Kareem]
The impact of belief in these two Names:
1. Allaah, the Exalted, is the Ilaah (God) the One and Only One (Al-Waahid, Al-Ahad); no one deserves to be worshipped except Him, Who has no partners associating with Him in worship. He is One in His Essence, in His Attributes and in His Actions, as He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) said in Surat ash-Shura (42 :11):
لَيۡسَ كَمِثۡلِهِۦ شَىۡءٌ۬ۖ وَهُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡبَصِيرُ
“There is nothing like Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.”
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat Maryam (19: 65):
هَلۡ تَعۡلَمُ لَهُ ۥ سَمِيًّ۬ا
Do you know of any who is similar to Him?””
And He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat al-Ikhlaas (112: 4):
وَلَمۡ يَكُن لَّهُ ۥ ڪُفُوًا أَحَدٌ
“And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.”
It is not permissible to resemble our Lord, the Exalted, with any of His creation because He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) informed us about Himself and He knows best about Himself, that He is not like any of His creation. Whatever thoughts that come across your mind, you should know that Allaah is not like it. He is Al-Waahid, the One Who has no peer, or partner; there is none comparable or coequal to Him.
He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) commanded (His creation) to single Him out with worship and no one else. He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat at-Tawbah (9: 31):
وَمَآ أُمِرُوٓاْ إِلَّا لِيَعۡبُدُوٓاْ إِلَـٰهً۬ا وَٲحِدً۬اۖ لَّآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَۚ
“And they were not commanded except to worship one Ilaah (God), there is no deity (worthy of worship) except Him.”
And in Surat az-Zumar (39: 2):
فَٱعۡبُدِ ٱللَّهَ مُخۡلِصً۬ا لَّهُ ٱلدِّينَ
“So worship Allaah (Alone) by doing religious deeds sincerely for Allaah’s Sake only.”
Whoever has taken other than Him as Ilaah (God) or has taken besides Him another Ilaah (God), then he has disbelieved and gone astray.
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat az-Zumar (39: 64-66):
قُلۡ أَفَغَيۡرَ ٱللَّهِ تَأۡمُرُوٓنِّىٓ أَعۡبُدُ أَيُّہَا ٱلۡجَـٰهِلُونَ
ولقد أوحي إليك وإلى الذين من قبلك لئن أشركت ليحبطن عملك ولتكونن من الخاسرين.
بل الله فاعبد وكن من الشاكرين
“Say [O Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to the polytheists]: ‘Do you order me to worship other than Allaah? O you fools!’ And indeed it has been revealed to you [O Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)], as it was to those (Allaah’s Messengers) before you: ‘If you join others in worship with Allaah, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers.’ Nay! But worship Allaah (Alone and none else), and be among the grateful.”
And He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat al-Ma’idah (5: 17):
لَّقَدۡ ڪَفَرَ ٱلَّذِينَ قَالُوٓاْ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ هُوَ ٱلۡمَسِيحُ ٱبۡنُ مَرۡيَمَۚ
“They have certainly disbelieved who say that Allaah is the Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary).”
He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) also says in Surat al-Ma’idah (5: 73):
لَّقَدۡ ڪَفَرَ ٱلَّذِينَ قَالُوٓاْ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ ثَالِثُ ثَلَـٰثَةٍ۬ۘ وَمَا مِنۡ إِلَـٰهٍ إِلَّآ إِلَـٰهٌ۬ وَٲحِدٌ۬ۚ وَإِن لَّمۡ يَنتَهُواْ عَمَّا يَقُولُونَ لَيَمَسَّنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنۡهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
“Surely, disbelievers are those who said: ‘Allaah is the third of the three (in a Trinity).’ But there is no Ilaah (god) (none who has the right to be worshipped) but One Ilaah (God -Allaah). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall on the disbelievers among them.”
How would other than Allaah be worshipped when He the Exalted, the Glorious is singled out with creating, sustaining and providing His creation with all necessary means and help; to Him Alone belongs the extension (of provision) and the withholding of it, elevating and lowering, benefiting and harming. He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat al-A’araaf (7: 191-192):
أَيُشۡرِكُونَ مَا لَا يَخۡلُقُ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا وَهُمۡ يُخۡلَقُونَ
وَلَا يَسۡتَطِيعُونَ لَهُمۡ نَصۡرً۬ا وَلَآ أَنفُسَہُمۡ يَنصُرُونَ
“Do they attribute as partners to Allaah those who created nothing but they themselves are created? No help can they give them, nor can they help themselves.”
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) has warned the minds of the people and their instincts of this matter in many places in the Qur’an. One of the greatest evidences is what is mentioned in Surat an-Naml about His great creatures and their attitudes. He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in verses (27: 59-65):
قل الحمدلله وسلام على عباده الذين اصطفى…..
“Say (O Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)]: ‘Praise and thanks be to Allaah, and peace be on His slaves whom He has chosen (for His Message)! Is Allaah better, or (all) that you ascribe as partners (to Him)?’ Is not He (better than your gods) Who created the heavens and the earth, and sends down for you water (rain) from the sky, whereby We cause to grow wonderful gardens full of beauty and delight (better than your gods)? It is not in your ability to cause the growth of their trees. Is there any god with Allaah? Nay, but they are a people who ascribe equals (to Him)! Is not He (better than your gods) Who has made the earth as a fixed abode, and has placed rivers in its midst, and has placed firm mountains therein, and has set a barrier between the two seas (of salt and sweet water) (better than your gods)? Is there any god with Allaah? Nay, but most of them know not. Is not He (better than your gods) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generation after generation (better than your gods)? Is there any god with Allaah? Little is that you remember! Is not He (better than your gods) Who guides you in the darkness of the land and the sea, and Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His Mercy (rain) (better than your gods)? Is there any ilaah (god) with Allaah? High Exalted be Allaah above all that they associate as partners (to Him)! Is not He (better than your so-called gods) Who originates creation, and shall thereafter repeat it, and Who provides for you from heaven and earth (better than your gods)? Is there any god with Allaah? Say, ‘Bring forth your proofs, if you are truthful.’ Say: ‘None in the heavens and the earth knows the Ghaib (unseen) except Allaah, nor can they perceive when they shall be resurrected.’”
2. These verses indicate Allaah’s Oneness in creating, initiating the creation, and disposing all affairs; no one else. None deserves to be worshipped except Him. Notice that every verse ends with:
“Is there a deity with Allaah?”
I.e. is there a deity with Allaah worshipped with Him? Allaah’s Oneness in creation and disposal of affairs has been clearly shown to every mindful person. High is Allaah above whatever they associate with Him.
For the sake of Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism), Messengers are sent and Books are revealed, and regarding this the people are separated and divided into believers and disbelievers, happy and wretched. This is the meaning of the word “Laa Ilaaha Illa Allaah,” which all the Messengers called their people to.
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat al-Mu’minun (23: 23):
“And indeed We sent Nuh (Noah) to his people, and he said: ‘O my people! Worship Allaah! You have no other Ilaah (God) but Him.’”
This is the call of the first Messenger whom Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) had sent after Shirk had been invented on the earth for the first time; then afterward the Messengers came in succession, all of them calling to this Word and commanding their people to abide by it, as Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat al-Anbiyaa’ (21: 25):
وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن قَبۡلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِىٓ إِلَيۡهِ أَنَّهُ ۥ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّآ أَنَا۟ فَٱعۡبُدُونِ
“And We did not send any Messenger before you [O Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)] but We revealed to him (saying): Laa ilaaha illa Ana [none has the right to be worshipped but I (Allaah)], so worship Me (Alone and none else).”
The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) commanded his envoy to the people of Yemen to begin his call with Tawheed (singling Allaah out with worship), as it is quoted in the Hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbas (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu), who narrated that when Allaah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) sent Mu’adh (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) to Yemen, he said to him, “Verily, you will come to a people from the people of the Scripture, so let the first thing that you call them to be the testimony that none has the right to be worshipped but Allaah.“ In another narration he (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “That they single out Allaah Alone.” He (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) then said: “If they obey you in that, then instruct them that Allaah has obliged them to perform five prayers (Salaat) every day and night …“ [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
The slave will not enter Islam unless and until he believes in the Oneness of Allaah and that is by testifying that no deity (god) deserves to be worshipped except Allaah. No righteous and good deed will be accepted from him unless he fulfills the Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism), therefore, the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) did not call his people to establish the Salaat first nor pay Zakaat, but rather he called them to faith first, as Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat an-Nisa’ (4: 124):
وَمَن يَعۡمَلۡ مِنَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ مِن ذَڪَرٍ أَوۡ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤۡمِنٌ۬ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ يَدۡخُلُونَ ٱلۡجَنَّةَ وَلَا يُظۡلَمُونَ نَقِيرً۬ا
“And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a (true) believer [in the Oneness of Allaah (Muslim)], such will enter Paradise and not the least injustice, even to the size of a speck on the back of a date-stone, will be done to them.”
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) also said in Surat al-Isra’ (17: 19):
وَمَنۡ أَرَادَ ٱلۡأَخِرَةَ وَسَعَىٰ لَهَا سَعۡيَهَا وَهُوَ مُؤۡمِنٌ۬ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ ڪَانَ سَعۡيُهُم مَّشۡكُورً۬ا
“And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it, with the necessary effort due for it (i.e. does righteous deeds of Allaah’s Obedience) while he is a believer (in the Oneness of Allaah— Islamic Monotheism), then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated, (thanked and rewarded by Allaah).“
And there are other verses which show that Allaah has set the condition of belief for the acceptance of the righteous deeds.
3. Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) is Al-Waahid, Al-Ahad (the One and only One) He is the One worshipped in truth and other than Him is worshipped in falsehood. It is not permissible to direct any act of worship to other than Him, whether it is Salaat (prayer), Du’aa (supplication), or slaughtering or vowing or reliance or hope or fear or humbleness (submissiveness) or obedience. Rather, they should be as our Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has commanded, saying:
“Say: ‘Verily, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allaah, the Lord of the whole world. No partner has He. And this I have been commanded and I am the first (among you) of the Muslims (i.e. those who submit to the Will of Allaah).’”
4. It is quoted in a correct, authentic Hadeeth that whoever attributed or ascribed a son to Allaah, then he has abused Allaah (Ta’ala), Exalted be He above what they say.
Ibn ‘Abbas (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Allaah said: ‘The son of Adam tells a lie against Me though he has no right to do so, and He abuses Me though he has no right to do so. As for his telling a lie against Me, it is that he claims that I cannot recreate him as I created him before; and as for his abusing Me, it is his statement that I have a son (or offspring, etc.) No! Glorified am I! I am far from taking a wife or a son (or offspring, etc.).“ [Saheeh al-Bukhaari]
5. There are many authentic Ahadeeth which emphasize the virtue of Tahleel (saying, Laa Ilaaha Illa-Allaah) and Tawheed of Allaah, in order to renew the Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism) and belief in Allaah the Glorified and His Oneness. The impact of that is encouraging the Muslim to perform the good and righteous deed. As for the bases (source) of the righteous deed, then this is the pure Tawheed.
Among these Ahadeeth is the Hadeeth of Abu Hurairah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) who said, “Whoever said,
لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له الملك وله الحمد وهو على كل شيء قدير
“Laa Ilaaha Illa-Allaah (None has the right to be worshipped but Allaah (Alone) Who has no partner, to Him belongs the Kingdom (of the universe), and for Him are all the praises, and He has the power to do everything,” one hundred times a day will get the same reward as given for manumitting ten slaves; and one hundred good deeds will be written in his account, and one hundred sins will be deducted from his account, and it (his saying) will be a shield for him from Satan on that day till the night, and nobody will be able to do a better deed except the one who does more than he.” [Al-Bukhaari – The Book of Invocation]
Of them is that which is said after the obligatory prayers.
6. The Surah which carries in it these two Names, is considered one third of the Qur’an as it is quoted in the Saheeh Hadeeth.
- Ar-Rabb (The Lord)
- As-Subbooh (The Perfect, Who is praised and glorified extensively)
- Al-Shakir and Al-Shakur
- The Name of Allaah: Al-Qareeb (The Most Near)