Say: He is Allah, The One (Q.112:1)

It is claimed that ‘Ahad’ in Q.112:1 does not mean ‘One’ but rather ‘one of’[1] and these mischief-makers then translate the verse as follows:

“Say: He, Allah, is one of”.

This is a major and basic error in Arabic grammar and the claimant of this states that the Qur’an should have used the following words:

Qul Huwa Allahu Al-Wahid(un).

The fact that he makes this claim in open and shares it with the world without any embarrassment is laughable. Let’s take a look at some basic grammar rules that are taught in the very first class of Arabic[2]:

  • A door is called ‘Baab’
  • A wall is called ‘Jidaar’
  • And is called ‘wa’
  • If we were to say a door and a wall, we would say ‘Baabun wa jidaar’
  • If we were to say a wall and a door, we would say ‘Jidaarun wa baab’
  • The ending word does not take the vowels of ‘un’ at the end and there is a stop there whereas the words before that take the ‘un’ at the end
  • The ‘un’ exists at the end of every word but is silent on the last word of the sentence – please note that the ‘un’ can be ‘an’ and ‘in’ as well depending on the grammatical structure – there are other rules for that, but they are not relevant here
  • If we make the door and the wall specific, we would add ‘al’ (the) before them and so ‘the door’ and ‘the wall’ would become ‘al baabu wal jidaar’ – the ‘un’ would be replaced with ‘u’

Keeping the above basic rules in mind, we see that the verse of the Qur’an has no problems: ‘Qul Huwa Allahu Ahad(un)’ is the correct way to write it and since the sentence ends with ‘Ahad’, the ‘un’ becomes silent. If we were to say that Allah is One and The Greatest, we would say ‘Allahu Ahadun wal Akbar’. Writing it as ‘Allahu Ahad wa Akbar’ would be grammatically incorrect.

Notice in the above how the sentence ends with ‘wal’ Akbar? This is because we are writing ‘The Greatest’ and as we saw earlier, usage of ‘al’ or ‘the’ makes it definite or specific. This sentence ‘Allah is One and Greatest and King’ would be written as ‘Allahu Ahadun wa Akbarun wa Malik(un)’. We can see here that ‘un’ is added to each of the words while on the last one, it is silent.

This is proper Arabic grammar!

The mischief-makers quote Michael B. Schub[3] as follows:

“ahadun: The rules of the ‘Arabiyya’ [i.e. Classical Arabic] require wahidun here.”

Michael B. Schub quotes this as a passing reference as his focus is on the second verse and the word Samad in it. He then he quotes Farhat J. Ziadeh on the explanation of why Ahad has been used and calls it: a quite plausible contention. Looking at the paper by F. Ziadeh[4], we find the following:

The pre-Islamic Arab poets molded the language and additions or changes to the language or its grammar were led by them. Based on his paper, it would be concluded that the Qur’an too changed or added to Arabic grammar, and this is not a hidden fact; the Qur’an has changed genders of things which are now, to this day, used as per the Qur’an. The Qur’an is the highest book of Arabic and is the reference point from which to understand words.

Now let’s look into the Arabic word ‘Ahad’ and how it is different from ‘Wahid’ from Lane’s Lexicon:

It is interchangeable with وَاحِدٌ in two cases: first, when it is used as an epithet applied to God: (Mṣb:) for الأَحَدُ, as an epithet, is applied to God alone, (Mṣb, Ḳ,) and signifies The One; the Sole; He who has ever been one and alone: or the Indivisible: or He who has no second [to share] in his lordship, nor in his essence, nor in his attributes: (TA:) you say, هُوَ الوَاحِدُ and هُوَ الأَحَدُ: and in like manner, أَحَدٌ, without the article, is used as an epithet specially in relation to God, and is interchangeable in this case [but not in other cases] with وَاحِدٌ: therefore you do not say رَجُلٌ أَحَدٌ nor دِرْهَمٌ أَحَدٌ and the like [but رَجُلٌ وَاحدٌ and دِرهَمٌ وَاحِدٌ, &c.] (Mṣb.) [See also وَاحِدٌ, in art. وحد.] In the phrase in the Ḳur [cxii. 1], قُلْ هُوَ ٱللّٰهُ أَحَدٌ [Say, He is God, One God], أَحَدٌ is a substitute for ٱللّٰهُ; for an indeterminate noun is sometimes a substitute for a determinate noun, as in another passage in the Ḳur, xcvi. 15 and 16. (Ṣ.) Secondly, it is interchangeable with وَاحِدٌ in certain nouns of number: (Mṣb:) you say أَحَدَ عَشَرَ [masc.] and إِحْدَى عَشْرَةَ [fem.] (Ṣ) [meaning Eleven: and in these two cases you may not substitute وَاحِدٌ and وَاحِدَةٌ for أَحَدٌ and إِحْدَى: but] in أَحَدٌ وَعِشْرُونَ [One and twenty, and the like,] أَحَدٌ is interchangeable with وَاحِدٌ. (Mṣb.) Ks says, When you prefix the article ال to a number, prefix it to every number; therefore you should say, مَا فَعَلَتِ الأَحَدَ العَشَرَ الأَلْفَ الدِّرْهَمَ [What did the eleven thousand dirhems?]: but the Basrees prefix it to the first only, and say, ما فعلت الأَحَدَ عَشَرَ أَلْفَ دِرْهَمٍ. (Ṣ.)

There are many examples which the anti-Islamic claimant puts forward; however, he skipped the basics and went forward with an agenda.

We could have discussed the examples presented by the anti-Islamic preacher(s); however, for each of them, we would refer back to the above definitions and hence, it would be redundant and serve no benefit.

What is interesting is that for translations of the Qur’anic passages they quote, they do not stick to one translator; for each verse, they choose a different translation. Furthermore, they do not explain why non-Muslim translators of the Qur’an translated Q.112:1 as ‘Say: He is Allah, the One! If the Muslims tried to hide ‘one of’ with faulty translations, why didn’t the non-Muslim translators point that out and correct it?

A quick two-minute look at Lane’s Lexicon should be sufficient to understand how deceptive these missionaries are!

Indeed, Allah knows best.

References and footnotes:

[1] Is Allah really one or only “one of”?

[2] [Learning Qur’anic Arabic] Phase 2 – Episode 1

[3] True Belief – a New Translation and Commentary on Sura 112, ZAL, 22 (1990), p. 81

[4] Prosody and the Initial Formation of Classical Arabic by Farhat J. Ziadeh


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