Sunday 19 May 2019

99 Attributes of Allah: As Samad - The Eternal, The Everlasting, The Satisfier of Every Need

As Samad is one of the 99 attributes of Allah. Linguistically, samad means something that is not affected by circumstances or something that is solid or something that is absolute. Sumood refers to the concept of being firm and steadfast. In other words, As an attribute of Allah, As Samad is the the One who is not changed nor affected by anything in the creation, He is the eternal and absolute refuge to seek and depend on for all needs and desires.

In Surah Ikhlas, Allah Himself explains this attribute: [Quran, 112:2]

اَللّٰهُ الصَّمَدُ​ ۚ‏ 
2. Allah, the Absolute.   
The verse means: Allah, Who is in need of none and of Whom all are in need. The word used in the original is samad of which the root is smd. A look at the derivatives in Arabic from this root will show how comprehensive and vast this word is in meaning.

On the basis of these lexical meanings the explanations of the word as-Samad in the verse Allah-us-Samad, which have been reported from the companions, their immediate successors and the later scholars are given below:
  • Abu Hurairah: He who is independent of all and all others are dependent upon him.
  • Ali, Ikrimah and Kab Ahbar: Samad is he who has no superior.
  • 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 fulfillment of their desires and needs and in connection with other affairs. Similar to this is the view of Az-Zajjaj, who says Samad is he in whom leadership has been perfected, and to whom one turns for fulfillment of his needs and desires.
1) He is Allah , [who is] One, Allah , 2) the Eternal Refuge. 3) He neither begets nor is born, 4) nor is there to Him any equivalent.’  [Quran, 112:1-4]
Here it will be worthwhile to compare the verse 1 and 2, as why Allahu-Ahad has been said in the first sentence and why Allah-us-Samad in this sentence. About the word ahad there is no dispute that it is exclusively used for Allah, 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, Allall-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 fulfill some desires of some creatures but it is not in the power of any creature to fulfill 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 anyone; everything in the world turns to Him, consciously or unconsciously, for its survival and for fulfillment 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 analyzable 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.

Allah provides everything for His creatures, but He is not dependent on them for anything:
I have only created humanity and the Jinn to worship Me. I seek no livelihood from them, nor do I ask that they should provide Me with sustenance. (51:56-57)
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 fulfiller 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 fulfill the needs of others.

You may refer to our post "99 Attributes of Allah" for complete list of 99 attributes of Allah Almighty with meaning and explanation.

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |
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