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CHAPTER CXII.

ENTITLED SURAT AL IKHLAS (DECLARATION OF GOD'S UNITY).

Revealed at Makkah.

INTRODUCTION.

"THIS chapter," says Sale, "is held in particular veneration by the Muhammadans, and declared by a tradition of their Prophet to be equal in value to a third part of the whole QurŠn. It is said to have been revealed in answer to the Quraish, who asked Muhammad concerning the distinguishing attributes of the God he invited them to worship." Whether, as Muir seems to think, this is the confession of faith adopted by Muhammad immediately after his call to the prophetic office or not, it seems clearly to be one of the earliest chapters of the Quran.

Probable Date of the Revelation.

Muir places this chapter among the earliest Makkan Suras. NoŽldeke places it near the end of the first period, or about the fourth year of the Call. I agree with Muir, inasmuch as a creed of a later date would have been more diffuse in style.

Principal Subject.

The unity of God declared ... 1-4

IN THE NAME OF THE MOST MERCIFUL GOD.

R 1/38.

(1) Say, GOD is one GOD; (2) the eternal GOD; (3)

(1,2) One God. See note on chap. ii 164, and Prelim Disc. pp. 118, 119, note.


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he begetteth not, neither is he begotten; (4) and there is not any one like unto him.

(3) He begetteth not. This is directed against the Makkan idolaters, who worshipped angels, whom they called "daughters of God." See Prelim. Disc., pp. 38, 39.

Neither is he begotten. The primary allusion here is to the idolatry of the Quraish, noticed in the preceding note, but afterwards was made to apply to the Jews, who are said to have called Ezra the son of God, and to the Christians who worship Christ, the Son of God. See notes on chaps. ix. 30, and iv. 169.

(4) This verse, with those which precede, expresses a Bible truth. The whole chapter is made up of Scriptural phrases.


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