Say, “Who is Lord of the heavens and earth?” Say,” Allah”. Say, “Have you then taken besides Him allies not possessing [even] for themselves any benefit or any harm?” Say, “Is the blind equivalent to the seeing? Or is darkness equivalent to light? Or have they attributed to Allah partners who created like His creation so that the creation [of each] seemed similar to them?” Say, ” Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the One, the Prevailing.”
This verse is instruction from Allah swt to His Messenger in dealing with those who associate others with Allah. The verse can be divided into three parts.
1) Who is the Lord and Sustainer of the Worlds?
2) How do you justify worshiping other gods and is what you claim they provided to you similar to that which Allah swt has provided to you?
3) Allah is the One, the Prevailing.
Allah swt removes their argument at the end of the verse, reaffirming that He is the One (al Wahid) and the Prevailing (al Qahhar).
Al Wahid is one of the most important attributes for Muslims to know, understand, and apply in every action. It is the essence of what we believe. Allah swt is One, He is the Lord and Master. All of His other attributes are understood within the context of this characteristic. It should remind us that He swt has complete power over all things and our lives will be successful when they rotate around conviction in this characteristic. He does not need a single atom in the universe to exist or a single creature to obey Him. He is Al Wahid, the One above all things and in need of nothing. He dominates over everything with His Power. Everyone and everything is subservient to Him and helpless before Him; nothing is outside of His authority and His sovereignty. He looks after each with full attention and care; never in need of sleep or rest. Therefore, none who strive for true faith should attribute the gift of life or the provisions of life to anyone other then Al Wahid.
Allah swt says in the Qur’an
“ Whatever is in the heavens and the on earth, doth declare the Praises and Glory of Allah: to Him belongs the Dominion, and to Him belongs Praise: and He has power over all things. It is He who has Created you; and of you are some that are unbelievers, and some that are Believers: and Allah sees well all that you do. He has created the heavens and the earth in just proportions and has given you shape, and made your shapes beautiful: and to Him is the final Goal. He knows what is in the heavens and He knows what you conceal and what you reveal: Indeed Allah knows well the secrets of all hearts.” 64-1-4
Allah swt knows us, every step we take and every struggle we face. He sends a clear reminder in these verses. We need to remember this in good times and difficult times. When we perceive things to be going well, then remember the source of all things and give thanks to Him swt. Similarly when we perceive things to be going badly, know that He is the same God, the One, and the door to His Love and Comfort is open.
The concept of the Oneness of God is not uniquely an Islamic concept. Both the Old and New Testaments have the same teaching. However, over time people have strayed from the true oneness. The human mind is so limited and we are unable to fully grasp His infiniteness and His magnanimity. Claiming any deity with Allah is not unique to earlier peoples, for we see it even in our own time. While people today do not worship the sun or stars, they worship people who are just as helpless as thy are. Or they worship concepts such as prestige, wealth, and power.
As Muslims, the knowledge that God is beyond our ability to fully comprehend Him, is the very thing that protects us from trying to divide Him swt into something we see as more rational. Perfect tawhid, which we all strive for, means not only that God is one, but that He cannot be divided. These divisions create partnerships with god and establishing partnership with Allah swt is a weighty sin. We need to reflect each day on why and for whom we do the things that we do. If it is for anyone other than Allah swt, then we need to reevaluate our priorities and make Allah swt our focus and goal.
In response to a group of people who approached Abu Hanifah with the intention to take his life, Abu Hanifa asked if they were to see a ship full of gold traveling back and forth from shore to shore loading and unloading its load without any person there to guide it, would they believe it? They said “no”. Abu Hanifa then said: “Pity upon your intelligence. If a mere ship cannot sail smoothly without a sailor, how then can it ever be possible that this entire universe runs so perfectly without a controller?”
The Beloved Prophet, Peace be upon him, said,
“Whoever testifies that there is nothing worthy of worship in truth except Allah alone, Who is without partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, and that ‘Isa is the slave of Allah, His Messenger, and His Word which He bestowed in Maryam and a spirit from Him, and that Paradise & Hell-fire are realities, Allah will admit him into Paradise, whatever his deeds might be.” –Sahih al Bukhari
The name Al Qahar, the Prevailing, is also mentioned in this verse. Al Wahid and Al Qahar are repeatedly together throughout the Qur’an. Allah swt is reaffirming after His Oneness, that while He is one, He is the Prevailing One. He is not over powered by anyone and no one can claim any of His attributes because they will eventually perish, but Allah is Al Qahar and will Prevail above all things. Pharaoh tried to wipe out half of his people because he thought he could then succeed in maintaining his power and control, but the Power of Allah prevails beyond all others.
The realization of these attributes of Allah come from reflecting on the universe and all the signs that Allah swt has placed in front of our eyes. Every day we witness the changing of the night into day and back into night again. Our bodies are in a weakened and vulnerable, yet necessary, state of sleep but Allah continues, unchanged. He is Allah the One, the Prevailing.
In conclusion, we leave you with this verse:
O mankind! An example has been made, so listen carefully. Those whom you call upon besides Allah cannot create a single fly, even if they were to join together to do it. And if a fly steals something from them, they cannot get it back. How feeble are both the seeker and the sought! ( Surat al-Hajj, 22:73)
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