Response to two points raised about the structure of the first verse of Surah al-Ikhlās [112: 1]

Following are the two points:

  1. a) The word الله (Allāh) is an undefined noun in this verse, that a pronoun (هو) may be used, since there is no mention of any name preceding it.
  2. b) The word ‘Ahad’ in the first verse is not a definite article (ma’rifa). Rather, it is an indefinite article (nakira), as there is no ( الـ ) in the beginning to make it definite, and therefore the translation of the verse shouldn’t have a ‘the’ before ‘One’.
Surah al Ikhlās (chapter 112)


Answer to part (a): The ‘هو’(He) is ضمير الشأن (pronoun of someone not mentioned before) in this verse, and the noun is الله (Allah) which succeeds it immediately after it, perfectly as it should be. The reason behind this structure lies in the historical context of the revelation of this Surah. The pagans enquired to the Prophet ﷺ to describe to them his lord, so Allah revealed this Surah [[1]]. He revealed it in the way which answers their enquiry directly, since they asked “Describe to us your lord”, Allah revealed the Surah as {Say: He is Allah, the One}. It is like someone asking “who is he?” about a definite thing to both the questioner and the answerer, and then receiving an answer as “He is…”.


Answer to part (b): The name ‘Allah’ is in the nominative state – indicative of which – is the damma (ُ) over it; and the word أحد (One) is also in the nominative state – indicative of which – is the tanween (ٌ) over it. This sentence structure proves that the word ‘One’ is a description of the word ‘Allah’ (موصوف وصفة), and hence when translated into English, is demanding of a ‘the’ in between the two.



And Allah knows best.

(Sunday, 14th of March, 2021)




[1] Musnad Ahmad (133/5); Jāme’ at-Tirmidhi 3364; al-Bayhaqī in “al-asmā’ was-sifāt” #50, #607, #608; Ibn Khuzayma in “at-Tawhēd” 45; ad-Dārimī in “ar-radd ‘ala al-jahmiyyah” #27; Ibn Hajar said in “al-fath” (356/13) that al-Bayhaqī reported it with a sound chain of narration; and al-Albānī graded it Sahih in “Sahih Sunan at-Tirmidhi” 268

Author: ahmad7890

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