(The Eternal)

As-Samad Meaning:

The All Absolute, The Master, The Self-Sufficient

Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is As-Samad (in Arabic: ٱلْصَّمَدُ), He is the one whom refuge is sought in times of adversity. He is eternal and satisfies every need as it should be satisfied.

Mentions of As-Samad:
From Quran & Hadith

From the root sad mim dāl (ص م د) which occurs only once in the Qur'an. It has the following classical Arabic connotations: to endeavor, to reach or attain something, to turn to, to need, to direct oneself toward, or aim toward something, to set up, to erect something, to be impenetrable, solid, to remain unaffected, unchanged, to be sublime, and everlasting.

There are several meanings of as-Samad. We've covered some of these aspects in the previous names, so less time will be spent here elaborating on those qualities. The first is the idea of self-sustaining, being self-sufficient and independent of all things (see also #63, al-Qayyum). The name is mentioned in Surah Ikhlas shortly after being told that Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is al-Ahad (The Unique / The Sole One). These names come together to paint a picture that He is indeed alone, indivisible, and unique. There is no deity outside of Him who we can sufficiently rely upon. So we turn to Him alone for all our needs, and He is enough for the believer. All our troubles, needs, and wants are handled perfectly in the care of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ. The Tafheem ul-Qur'an states, "His being As-samad also requires that He alone should be the Deity." For if He was not unique and alone, then He could not be called as-Samad.

قُلْ هُوَ ٱللَّهُ أَحَدٌ
ٱللَّهُ ٱلصَّمَدُ

Qul huwal laahu ahad
Allah hus-samad

English Translation:
"Say, “He is Allah, [who is] One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge." (Qur'an 112:1-2)

The other common interpretation of as-Samad is the master who has complete control. "Ibn Abbas, 'He is the Master Who is perfect in His sovereignty, the Most Noble Who is perfect in His nobility, the Most Magnificent Who is perfect in His magnificence, the Most Forbearing Who is perfect in His forbearance, the All-Knowing Who is perfect in His knowledge, and the Most Wise Who is perfect in His wisdom. He is the One Who is perfect in all aspects of nobility and authority. He is Allah, glory be unto Him. These attributes are not befitting anyone other than Him. He has no coequal and nothing is like Him. Glory be to Allah, the One, the Irresistible.'" [1]

Abdullah bin Buraidah Al Aslami narrated from his father, who said: “The Prophet ﷺ heard a man supplicating, and he was saying: ‘O Allah, indeed, I ask you by my testifying that You are Allah, there is none worthy of worship except You, the One, As-Samad, the one who does not beget, nor was begotten, and there is none who is like Him (Allahumma inni as’aluka bi annī ashhadu annaka antallāh, la ilaha illa ant, al-ahadus-samad, alladhi lam yalid wa lam yūlad, wa lam yakun lahu kufuwan ahad).” He said: “So he said: ‘By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, he has asked Allah by His Greatest Name, the one which if He is called upon by it, He responds, and when He is asked by it, He gives.’” [2]

The believer benefits from knowing that Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is as-Samad. No one but Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ could fulfill all our needs, so we turn to Him and ask for His mercy. Ibn Abbas was privileged to be so young, and having accepted Islam, He had immediate access to the Prophet ﷺ who would often give Him advice. So one day, he was praying behind the Prophet ﷺ, and the Prophet ﷺ turned to Him and gave him this advice. "He said: 'O boy! I will teach you a statement: Be mindful of Allah and He will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you will find Him before you. When you ask, ask Allah, and when you seek aid, seek Allah's aid. Know that if the entire creation were to gather together to do something to benefit you - you would never get any benefit except that Allah had written for you. And if they were to gather to do something to harm you - you would never be harmed except that Allah had written for you. The pens are lifted and the pages are dried.'" [3]

We recognize for all our needs, be it spiritual, physical, or material, the source is Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ who as-Samad, the eternal refuge.

[1] Tafsir by Ibn Kathir | commentary of surah ikhlas ayah 2
[2] Sahih (Darussalam) Jami at-Tirmidhi 3475
[3] Hasan (Darussalam) Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2516

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