Allah is Independent of aII and all are dependent on Him. (The Holy Quran, 112:2)
The word used in the original is صمَد (samad) of which the root is s-m-d. A look at the derivatives in Arabic from this root will show how comprehensive and vast this word is in meaning. (Lexical discussion of the meanings of the derivatives is omitted).
On the basis of these lexical meanings the explanations of the word as-Samad in the verse اللَّهُ الصَّمَد Allah-us-Samad, as reported from the Companions, their immediate successors and the later scholars are given below:
Hadrat 'AIi. 'Ikrimah and Ka'b Ahbar: "Samad is he who has no superior. "
Hadrat 'Abdullah bin Mas`ud, Hadrat `Abdullah bin `Abbas and Abu Wail Shaqiq bin Salamah: "The chieftain whose chieftancy is perfect and of the most extraordinary kind. "
Another view of Ibn 'Abbas: "Samad is he to whom the people turn when afflicted with a calamity."
Yet, another of his view: "The chieftain who in his chieftaincy, in his nobility and glory, in his clemency and forbearance,. in his knowledge and wisdom is perfect. "
Hadrat Abu Hurairah: "He who is independent of all and all others are dependent upon him. "
Other views of 'Ikrimah: "He from whom nothing ever has come out, nor normally comes out:" "Who neither eats nor drinks." Views containing the same meaning have been related from Sha'bi and Muhammad bin Ka'b al-Kurazi also.
Suddi: "the one to whom the people turn for obtaining the things they need and for help in hardships. "
Sa'id bin Jubair: "He who is perfect in all his attributes and works."
Rabi' bin Jubair: "He who is immune form every calamity."
Muqatil bin Hayyan: "He who is faultless."
Ibn Kaysan: "He who is exclusive in his attributes."
Hasan Basri and Qatadah: "He who is ever-living and immortal."
Similar views have been related from Mujahid, Ma'mar and Murrat alHamadani also.
Murrat al-Hamadani's another view is : "he who decides whatever he wills and does whatever he wills, without there being anyone to revise his judgement and decision."
Ibrahim Nakha'i: "He to whom the people turn for fulfilment of their desires."
Abu Bakr al-Anbari "There is no difference of opinion among the lexicographers that samad is the chief who has no superior and to whom the people turn for fulfilment of their desires and needs and in connection with other affairs." Similar to it is the view of Az-Zajjjaj, who says "Samad is he in whom leadership has been perfected, and to whom one turns for fulfilment of one's needs and desires."
Now, Iet us consider why Allahu-Ahad has been said in the first sentence and why Allah-us-Samad in this sentence. The word AHAD is exclusively used for AIIah, and for none else. That is why it has been used as AHAD, in the indefinite sense. But since the word Samad is used for creatures also, Allah-us-Samad has been said instead of Allah Samad, which signifies that real and true Samad is Allah alone. If a creature is samad in one sense, it may not be samad in some other sense, for it is mortal, not immortal; it is analyzable and divisible, is compound, its parts can scatter away any time; some creatures are dependent upon it, and upon others it is dependent; its chieftaincy is relative and not absolute; it is superior to certain things and certain other things are superior to it; it can fulfil some desires of some creatures but it is not in the power of any creature to fulfil all the desires of all the creatures.
On the contrary, Allah is perfect in His attributes of Samad in every respect; the whole world is dependent upon Him in its needs, but He is not dependent upon needs; everything in the world turns to Him, consciously or unconsciously, for its survival and for fulfilment of the needs of everyone; He is immortal and Ever-living; He sustains others and is not sustained by anyone; He is Single and Unique, not compound so as to be analysable and divisible; His sovereignty prevails over entire universe and - He is Supreme in every sense. Therefore, He is not only Samad but As-Samad, i e. the Only and One Being Who is wholly and perfectly qualified with the attribute of samad in the true sense.
Then, since He is As-Samad, it is necessary that He should be Unique, One and Only, for such a being can only be One, which is not dependent upon anyone and upon whom everyone else may be dependent; two or more beings cannot be self-sufficient and fulfillers of the needs of all. Furthermore, His being As-samad also requires that He alone should be the Deity, none else, for no sensible person would worship and serve the one who had no power and authority to fulfil the needs of others. (Tafheemul Quran)
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Compiled by Dr. Ishaq Zahid
Aug. 5, 2007