Al-Ahad (The One Only, The Unique One)
This beautiful name of Allah Azzah wa Jall came only in the Surah Al-Ikhlaas verse 1. This surah is a great surah. According to a Hadeeth Shareef, the surah Al-Ikhlaas has such a high level that its reward is equal to reading one third of the Holy Quraan. This is because this surah states very purely the great Qualities and Tawheed of Allah Ta’ala.
Allah All-Mighty said in the surah Al-Ikhlaas verse one (its English translation is):
(112:1) Say:1 “He is Allah,2 the One and Unique;3
Explanatory note of Al-Ahad (note 3)
The scholars have explained the sentence Huwa-Allahu Ahad syntactically, but in our opinion its explanation which perfectly corresponds to the context is that Huwa is the subject and Allahu its predicate, and Ahad-un its second predicate. According to this parsing the sentence means: He (about Whom you are questioning me) is Allah, is One and only one. Another meaning can also be, and according to language rules it is not wrong either: He is Allah, the One.
Here, the first thing to be understood is the unusual use of ahad in this sentence. Usually this word is either used in the possessive case as yaum ul-ahad (first day of the week), or to indicate total negative as Ma jaa a-ni ahad-un (No one has come to me), or in common questions like Hal indaka ahadun (Is there anyone with you), or in conditional clauses like Inja-aka ahad-un (If someone comes to you), or in counting as ahad, ithnan, ahad ashar (one, two, eleven). Apart from these uses, there is no precedent in the pre-Quranic Arabic that the mere word ahad might have been used as an adjective for a person or thing. After the revelation of the Quran this word has been used only for the Being of Allah, and for no one else. This extraordinary use by itself shows that being single, unique and matchless is a fundamental attribute of Allah; no one else in the world is qualified with this quality: He is One, He has no equal.
Then, keeping in view the questions that the polytheists and the followers of earlier scriptures asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) about his Lord, let us see how they were answered with ahad-un after Huwa-Allah.
First, it means: He alone is the Sustainer: no one else has any share or part in providence and since He alone can be the Ilah (Deity) Who is Master and Sustainer, therefore, no one else is His associate in Divinity either.
Secondly, it also means He alone is the Creator of the universe: no one else is His associate in this work of creation. He alone is the Master of the universe, the Disposer and Administrator of its system, the Sustainer of His creatures, Helper and Rescuer in times of hardship; no one else has any share or part whatever in the works of Godhead, which as you yourselves acknowledge, are works of Allah.
Thirdly, since they had also asked the questions: Of what is your Lord made? What is His ancestry? What is his sex? From whom has He inherited the world and who will inherit it after Him? All these questions have been answered with one word ahad for Allah. It means:
(1) He alone has been, and will be, God forever; neither was there a God before Him, nor will there be any after Him.
(2) There is no race of gods to which He may belong as a member: He is God, One and Single, and none is homogeneous with Him.
(3) His being is not merely One (waahid) but Ahad, in which there is no tinge of plurality in any way:
He is not a compound being, which may be analyzable or divisible, which may have a form and shape, which may be residing somewhere, or may contain or include something, which may have a color, which may have some limbs, which may have a direction, and which may be variable or changeable in any way. Free from every kind of plurality He alone is a Being who is Ahad in every aspect. (Here, one should fully understand that the word waahid is used in Arabic just like the word one in English. A collection consisting of great pluralities is collectively called waahid or one, as one man, one nation, one country, one world, even one universe, and every separate part of a collection is also called one. But the word Ahad is not used for anyone except Allah. That is why wherever in the Quran the word waahid has been used for Allah, He has been called Ilah waahid (one Deity), or AllahulWahid- al-Qahhar (One Allah Who is Omnipotent), and nowhere just wahid, for this word is also used for the things which contain pluralities of different kinds in their being. On the contrary, for Allah and only for Allah the word Ahad has been used absolutely, for He alone is the Being Who exists without any plurality in any way, Whose Oneness is perfect in every way.
Allah is Ahad (Single and Unique) in all of His Attributes. For e.g. Allah’s Greatness is unique, His Power, His Rahmaniyyah, His Reward and His punishment, His Karam (Generous Qualiy) and so on.
We must understand that the Tawheed (absolute Oneness and Uniqueness ) of Allah is extremely important belief in which no one should fail.