(The Unique)

Al-Ahad Meaning:

The Sole One, The Incomparable.

Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is Al-Ahad (in Arabic: ٱلْأَحَد), He is incomparable, unequaled, and indivisible. Al-Ahad is the One who was, is, and will ever remain alone. No one can ever be equal to Him in the essence of all His beautiful attributes.

Mentions of Al-Ahad:
From Quran & Hadith

From the root a-h-d which has the following classical Arabic connotations: to be one, to be the only one, one alone, sole to unite, unify.

As we mentioned previously al-Wahid and al-Ahad are two names which describe tawhid (the oneness) of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ. He is the one who can neither be divided nor duplicated making Him the one and only. This is the starting point of what it means to be a Muslim, the core belief from which everything else stems. That is why in the shahadah we testify, la ilaha illa allah, "there is no god but Allah." He is said to be the one who existed before anything else existed. In this sense, He was the first.

The scholars note that there is a difference between al-Ahad and al-Wahid, although both refer to His oneness. The difference is al-Ahad speaks to Allah's uniqueness. He is alone in His attributes and no one is comparable to Him. We may think of ourselves as seeing, but it is Allah who is the all-seer, we may think of ourselves as knowledgeable, but it is Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ who is the all-knowing. We try to connect and emulate to His noble attributes but we will always be constrained in some respect. In this regard, al-Ahad is unique, the sole one.

Unlike al-Wahid, which is mentioned many times throughout the Qur'an. The name al-Ahad appears only in one place, and that is in Surah Ikhlas.

قُلْ هُوَ ٱللَّهُ أَحَدٌ

Qul huwal laahu ahad

English Translation:
"Say, “He is Allah, [who is] One," (Qur'an 114:1)

وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُۥ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌۢ

Wa lam yakul-lahoo kufuwan ahad (section 1)

English Translation:
"Nor is there to Him any equivalent." (Qur'an )

Sa'īd b. al-Musayyib reported in mursal form that the Prophet said, “If anyone recites ten times ‘Say, He is God, One’, a palace will be built for him in paradise because of it; if anyone recites twenty times two palaces will be built for him in paradise because of it; and if anyone recites it thirty times three palaces will be built for him in paradise because of it.” ‘Umar b. al-Khattāb said, “I swear by God, messenger of God, that we shall then produce many palaces for ourselves;” to which he replied, “God's abundant grace is even more comprehensive than that.” [1]

The Love For Surah Ikhlas:
Anas said: One of the Ansar used to lead the Ansar in Salat in the Quba' mosque and it was his habit to recite Qul Huwal-lahu Ahad whenever he wanted to recite something in Salat.

When he finished that Surah, he would recite another one with it. He followed the same procedure in each Rak'a. His companions discussed this with him and said, "You recite this Surah and do not consider it sufficient and then you recite another. So would you recite it alone or leave it and recite some other."

He said, "I will never leave it and if you want me to be your Imam on this condition then it is all right; otherwise I will leave you."

They knew that he was the best amongst them and they did not like someone else to lead them in Salat. When the Prophet ﷺ went to them as usual, they informed him about it.

The Prophet ﷺ addressed him and said, "O so-and-so, what forbids you from doing what your companions ask you to do? Why do you read this Surah particularly in every Rak'a ?" He repiled, "I love this Surah." The Prophet ﷺ said, "Your love for this Surah will make you enter Paradise." [2]

Abu Darda reported Allah's Apostle ﷺ as saying: Is any one of you incapable of reciting a third of the Qur'an in a night? They (the Companions) asked: How could one recite a third of the Qur'an (in a night)? Upon this he (the Holy Prophet ﷺ) said: "'Say: He is Allah, One' (Qur'an 112) is equivalent to a third of the Qur'an." [3]

The believer benefits in knowing that Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is al-Ahad. As the title of the Surah Ikhlas (meaning 'sincerity') suggests, we turn to Him with purest intentions to seek His mercy, love, and acceptance. We also learn of the extensive rewards that's gift-wrapped for the believer in reciting Surah Ikhlas.

We also realize what it means to be truly unique. Allah is the One and only Creator (al-Khaliq), the One and only Provider (ar-Razzaq). But just like the other names, we must ask ourselves how can we be unique amongst ourselves. What admirable qualities do I possess or wish to develop? What are attributes honorable in the sight of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ? It's easy to conform and blend in with the masses. In fact, we may unconsciously do this so as to not stand out and be picked on. Instead, we should recognize how Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ made us unique and embrace who we are and how we look instead of trying to mimic something or someone else.

[1] Mishkat al-Masabih 2185
[2] Sahih al-Bukhari 774b
[3] Sahih Muslim 811a & Riyad as-Salihin 1010

skip_previous play_arrow skip_next

Free 99 Names of Allah Course

Join us for our email series, three times a week.

Jazakallah Khairan! Check your inbox!