Tafsir of al-Ikhlas
I was just wondering if you would be able to check some of our tafsirs and tell me if any of our Imams have ever commented on the words "qul hu Allahu ahad" by pointing out that the word "ahad" is a sifa mushabbiha which is used to denote a fixed and essential attribute (tamakkun al-wasf). In other words, clarifying that it is linguistically impossible for Allah's essence to be subject to division or parts - contrary to the Corporalists who have given Allah literal parts. If any comments can be found to a similar effect that would assist me.
wa alaykum as salaam wa rahmatullahi!
Thank you for your question and patience! As for your inquiry, our imams--specifically ar-Rassi, al-Haadi, and al-Mansur Abdullah b. Hamza, upon all of them be peace--said something to the effect that the attribute ahad in itself negates plurality because of its denotation of exclusivity and uniqueness. I've never read any of them use the term siffat mushabbiha though; however, the concept you mentioned can be implied from their statements.
Even if the Corporealists say that it means the number one, we say that it does not denote parts. Imam ar-Rassi (as) makes an interesting analogy in one of his treatises. He says:
One of the meanings of ‘one’ is the first the singular. That is regarding calculating and numbering, which is clear, since there can be no enumerating of something without it. If you were to say “One and two,” the second number is only by means of the first. because of the first being before two, two could not be before the first. More numbers could not be enumerated unless the number one is counted, for it is the means by which all other numbers are counted and enumerated. It is increased and it is the means of increasing. Had it not been for one, there would be no increase. Everything that is increased in number is due to the number one increasing it.
The number one makes singular (identifies) what is other than it. It precedes any other number that it increases. Many numbers are increased and decreased by means of it. Therefore, the number one is that by which all else is increased and decreased. By means of it, numbering is increased. it remains for its abundance. and by it there is decrement. Accounting is set, the little is rendered a lot and a lot is rendered a little because of it. It differentiates a little from a lot.
Likewise, one can say that Allah is One—meaning the First of all things. By means of Him, all else exists. He is the One that causes all else to be, He arranges it Himself without any other. He is not altered by increasing it, decreasing it, or nullifying it . He does not change due to anything that changes. He—Glorified be He—is the one that creates it. He does not change nor do any changes encompass Him. Rather, change occurs to that which He created.
Hopefully this helps! And Allah knows best!
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