SÛRA 112, الإخلاص

Translated and annotated by Joseph Kenny, O.P.



Ibn-Sînâ (980-1037), as I said in the previous issue of Orita, was one of the greatest philosophers of medieval times.[1]  His commentaries on sûras 113 and 114, presented in that issue, were examples of his تأويل (allegorical or free interpretation), while Sûra 112 is more an exercise in the metaphysics of philosophy of religion.[2]

It will be well to outline Ibn-Sînâ’s metaphysical presuppositions, for if they are not understood, the commentary may be incomprehensible.

In the first place, Ibn-Sînâ brought into prominence, like no philosopher before him, the real distinction between essence and existence in everything besides God.  Essence designates “what” a thing is, and is expressed in a definition.  An essence can exist now, or maybe only in the past or the future, or can simply be a possibility in the mind of God which never will exist.  For Ibn-Sînâ, existence is bestowed upon essence by God through a process of emanation.  Ibn-Sînâ views this from a Platonic dualistic perspective, after the manner he conceives of form as descending upon matter, and ideas as being downloaded from an Agent Intellect which is a spirit living on the moon. Because of this confusion, Ibn-Rushd rejected the whole distinction between essence and existence.  Thomas Aquinas, however, accepted the distinction as a cornerstone of his philosophy; yet he insisted that existence is not an extrinsic “accident”, but the “act” of essence, as form is the “act” of matter.

Essence is designated by other terms: “whatness” (ماهية), which the Latins called “quiddity”.  A whatness, such as human nature, can be common to many individuals.  When it individualized, for Ibn-Sînâ it becomes a “he/it-ness” (هوية), which I translate as “thisness”, a term that has no equivalent in Latin scholastic philosophy, but comes close to the idea of a “supposite”, i.e. a particular substance, such as “this man” and not “man” or “humanity” in general.

In the case of God, essence and existence are indistinguishable.  Although he frequently refers to the essence of God, Ibn-Sînâ prefers to say that God has no essence, that pure existence encompasses it all.  Ibn-Rushd and Thomas Aquinas insist that God does have an essence, which is the basis of his wisdom and exemplarity to all possible things, but it is identical with his existence.

Ibn-Sînâ was conscious of the formal exigencies of scientific methodology.  A perfect definition of a thing includes its causes and is a form of argument.  Yet a proof can be constructed from the causes that constitute a thing, or from phenomena that flow from a thing.  Among the causes that might be applied to God, in this commentary Ibn-Sînâ makes reference to material components and an outside generator, both of which he excludes from God, while he accepts an argument based on what flows from God as a necessary and proximate concomitant or adjunct (لازم).

Ibn-Sînâ’s discussion of the oneness of God here and in his other writings is firmly against positing any “accidents” in God, or any real distinction between God and his attributes, as the Ash`arite theologians held.  One might then suppose that the “concomitants” Ibn-Sînâ speaks of must be external to God.  But in this sûra they are either logical distinctions within God, some of them negative, such as oneness, which even Ash`arites agree are not separate realities, or positive extrinsic relations, such as the dependence of all things on him (denoted by the term “divinity”).

As for creation, Ibn-Sînâ follows al-Fârâbî in holding that from one thing (in this case, God) only one effect can follow.  Thus God creates only the first spiritual intelligence; the latter creates the next creature etc. through a chain of intermediaries.  Both Ibn-Rushd and Thomas Aquinas reject this position, which limits the power of God, reducing the flexibility of a voluntary power to a power of nature determined to one way of operating.  By the same reductionism, Ibn-Sînâ says that creation is a necessary and eternal act of God.  In this he is followed by Ibn-Rushd, but Thomas Aquinas rejects this position, which logically leads to pantheism, because creation then becomes something necessary for God, without which he could not exist.


In the nameof God the Merciful and Compassionate.  He [Ibn-Sînâ] – God show him mercy – said:  As for God’s statement, Say: He is God, the One, the absolute “He” is the one whose thisness is not dependent on another.  For anything whose thisness is derived from another, cannot be itself without the other being mentioned.  But anything whose self is from its essence is itself, whether [anything else] is mentioned or not.  But the existence of every possible thing is from another.  And if the existence of something is from another, the specification of its existence is also from another.  And that other thing is its thisness.  So the thisness of every possible thing is from another.  And the One whose thisness is from its essence is necessarily existent.  Likewise, everything whose whatness is distinct from its existence has its existence from another, and its thisness is not its whatness, nor is it itself by its essence.  But the First Principle is itself by its essence.  Therefore its existence is its very essence.  For the necessarily existent is “the God besides whom there is no other.”  That is, everything besides him is not itself by itself, but its thisness is from another.

The Necessarily Existent is itself by its essence; rather, its essence is that it is itself and not something else.  Its thisness and specification are a nameless factor which cannot be explained except by its concomitants.

Its concomitants are both positive and negative.  The positive concomitants are more firmly definable than the negative ones.  But the most perfectly definable concomitant is that which combines positive and negative aspects.  And that is the case when the thisness is divinity.  For everything else takes after divinity, but it does not take after anything else.  Divinity alone is like that among all existent things, for it is a positive concomitant that other things take after it, while its not taking after other things is negative.

Because of its majesty and immensity, the divine thisness can only be expressed by saying that it is itself, and his thisness can only be explained by its concomitants.  We have explained that some concomitants are negative and others positive, and that the most perfect definition and explanation of his thisness is by mentioning both aspects, and that the name of God the Most High includes the two together.  Therefore the verse goes on to mention God, so that “God” is like an uncovering and explanation of the meaning of the word “he”.

There are other subtle points in this verse.  One of them is that by defining God’s thisness by its concomitant, which is divinity, it implies that he has no components.  Otherwise, the passage from his thisness to his concomitants would be defective.

Another point is that when the verse explains God’s thisness by the concomitant of divinity, it goes on to say that he is one, and he is the ultimate of oneness – as if to say he is at the farthest limit of oneness, and he clearly has no components.  The verse avoids defining his thisness apart from its concomitants, and the phrase boils down to a thisness which is unexplainable. Instead of defining it by components, he confines himself to mentioning concomitants, and that is divinity at the extreme of oneness and the perfection of simplicity, such that our intellects are incapable of conceiving or grasping without the principles of its own illuminating light.

Another point is that the thisness of the First Principle has many concomitants, but in a certain order.  For the concomitants are caused, and from something that is one, true and simple in every aspect no more than one thing can come, while other things come from it in a chain descending in depth and in breadth.  For a proximate concomitant is more firmly definable than a remote one; thus the fact that a man can experience amazement is more evident than that he can experience laughter.  So anyone who wants to define the whatness of a thing from its concomitants will get a better definition the more proximate the concomitant is.  This point can be made more strongly from another consideration, namely, that a remote concomitant is not really caused by the thing itself, but by something else caused by it.  In fact, something that has a cause cannot really be known unless it is known through its causes.  But something that has no cause can only be known through its concomitants.

Because of this, if the whatness of a thing were to be defined from remote concomitants, that would not yield true knowledge of the thing.  But a true definition should include a proximate concomitant of the thing, something which points to the essence of the thing and not something else.  But the First Principle has no concomitant that precedes necessity of existence.  For he is necessarily existent, and by the intermediacy of his existence he is the principle of everything else.  The combination of these two factors constitutes divinity.

Therefore, after indicating by the word “he” that the real absolutely simple thisness, which can only be expressed by “he”, must be defined through its concomitants, the verse goes on the mention his most proximate concomitant, and that is divinity, which combines a negative and a positive concomitant. Praise be to him for his absolutely mighty status and dominating power!  For he is the term of all striving and the source of all that is requested.  The farthest reaching description and the best portrayal of him cannot reach the least trace of his majesty and greatness, but the limit we cannot go beyond in speaking about him is what God has recalled in his Mighty Book and included in his holy revelation and holy, clean, majestic and exalted symbols.

Here a question arises: Although others can know the whatness of God only through concomitants and negations, he, his majestic self, knows it [directly], for in his case, intellect, the act of knowing and the object of knowledge are one.  So why does the verse not mention these, but rather confines itself to mentioning concomitants?  We answer: The First Principle has no components whatsoever, for He is pure oneness and utter simplicity.  There is no plurality or duality in him at all.  His understanding of his essence does not mean that he understands components of his essence, for his essence has no components.  So how could he understand components in his essence?  Rather, from his essence, he only understands his thisness, pure, simple and transcendent from every sort of multitude.  This unity has concomitants; so if he mentions his thisness and explains it by proximate concomitants, he thereby points to his specific existence as really is.

Here we have a principle of wisdom: that the definition of simple things by their proximately perfect concomitants is like defining composed things by mentioning their components.  For a complete definition produces in the mind a concept corresponding to what is understood.  If the thing is composed, the definition must include its parts.  If it is simple, it must include its concomitants.  When the mind grasps these, then it similarly has an intellectual concept corresponding to the thing.  So a definition by proximate concomitants brings the mind to a knowledge that grasps the truth, and in this respect it resembles putting components into the definition of composite things.  A complete exposition of this principle can be found in my writings on logic, in the book, ash-Shifâ’.

When the Most High says “one”, he means the ultimate of unity.  Ultimate perfect unity can be verified only if there can be no stronger or more perfect unity than it.  For we understand something that is one by reference to what is ranged under it.  Thus what can be divided in no way is more one than what can be divided in some way.  And what is divisible intellectually is better than what is divisible by genus.  And what is potentially divisible by genus is more one than what is actually so divided and has a collective unity.  And the latter is more one than something actually divided that lacks a collective unity.  In that case its unity comes by reference to a principle, as when you speak of the sheath of a book or of a knife or of a medicine, or you say food or plants or a sweat-inducing exercise is healthy.[3]

After establishing that unity admits of stronger and weaker degrees, and that a one thing is measured by things ranged under it, and that the most perfectly one is what is unsurpassed by anything else in oneness – otherwise it would not be the ultimate in oneness nor would it be absolutely one, but only one in comparison with something lower – then the Most High’s declaration, “one” indicates that he is one in every respect, and that he is in no way multiple, neither with a logical multiplicity, such as the multiplicity of composition of genus and specific difference, nor with a multiplicity of intelligible parts, such as matter and form in a body, or sensible multiplicity, whether in potency or in act, as in a body.  And that becomes clear from the fact that he transcends genus and species, matter and form, accidents, sections and members, shapes and forms, and other forms of relationship that would compromise the perfect, simple and true unity that characterizes the noble face – He is too mighty and majestic for anything to be like him or be equal to him.

But if one objects saying: Grant that the case made in these questions boils down to this word [“one”].  But where is there proof for the case in this concept?  We answer: Its proof is that where the thisness of something is constituted by the composition of parts, its thisness is dependent on the presence of those parts, and it is not itself by its essence, but by another.  But the First Principle is himself by his essence, as the word of God indicated.  Therefore he has no parts. That is what I understand by this verse.  And God comprehends the secrets of his speech.

As for the statement of the Most Majestic, “God the steadfast,” there are two interpretations of “steadfast”: (1) “lacking any cavity,” and (2) “master”.  According to the first interpretation, the meaning is negative, pointing to the negation of whatness.  For everything that has whatness has a cavity and an inside, which is that whatness.  But what has no inside is existent without a whatness and without any expression of its essence except existence.  And what cannot be expressed except by existence is not capable of non-existence.  For if something which, insofar as it is itself, is existent, it is incapable of non-existence. Therefore the true Steadfast One is existent necessarily and absolutely from every aspect.[4]

According to the second interpretation, the meaning is positive, namely, that he is the master of all, that is, the principle of all.  It is possible that both interpretations are intended by the verse, and that the meaning is that the divinity must be like that, that its, divinity is an expression of the combined negative and positive meanings.

As for His Majesty’s saying, “He did not give birth nor was he given birth to,” after showing that everything is dependent on him and in need of him, and that he gives existence to all that exists, and that he pours out existence upon all whatnesses, he now explains that from him there is [not] generated a likeness of him.  For perhaps one might have imagined that, since his thisness requires divinity, which means an effusion on everything and bringing everything into existence, therefore there should perhaps have emanated from his existence another existence like his own, such as would be his child.  So His Excellence explains that no likeness of himself is born from him.  For anything that can have its likeness born from itself shares its whatness with another.  And anything whose whatness is shared with another is individuated by matter and what is related to it.  And the child of anything that is material or is related to matter is other than itself.

So the discussion comes to this: He did not give birth, because he was not given birth to.  But if one objects: “What indication is there in this Sûra that His Excellence was not given birth to?” – the answer is: Because he has no whatness or expression [of his identity] other than that he is himself (as was mentioned at the beginning of the Sûra) and his thisness is from his essence, it necessarily follows that he cannot have been given birth to by another. For if he were, his thisness would be derived from another, and he would not be himself by his essence.  And here he calls attention to a mighty mystery, for the definition offered by the Qur’ân to those who know what a child and marriage is refers to a mighty mystery: Generation implies that a likeness of a thing is separated from it, and if the thing separated is not a likeness of the source it cannot be called a child.  But nothing is separated from God, because separation implies being acted upon. And something can be acted upon only if its specific whatness is multiplied, and that by reason of matter, as we have explained.  And everything that is material is not its thisness.  But the whatness of the Necessarily Existent is its thisness.  Therefore nothing can be born from it and nothing can give birth to it.[5]

“And there is no match to him” – After explaining that he is not generated from another and that no like being is generated from him, he shows that there is no match to him, that is, nothing equals him in power of existence.  “An equal in power of existence” can be understood in two ways: (1) what would be equal to him in whatness, (2) what would not be equal to him in specific whatness, but would be equal to him in being necessarily existent.  But for anything to be equal to him in specific whatness is voided by the statement of the Most High, “He has not generated and he has not been generated.”  For everything whose whatness is shared with another has a material existence and is generated by another.  But he is not generated by another.

But were something to be equal to him in generic whatness, that is, being necessarily existent, that too is voided by this verse, because he would then have a genus and a specific difference and his existence would be generated from a coupling of his genus, which would be like a mother, and his specific difference, which would be like a father.  But he is not generated, [for the contrary] is voided by the beginning of the Sûra.  For everything whose whatness is composed of a genus and a difference does not have its thisness from its essence.  He, however, is himself by his essence.

Conclusion of this exegesis

Look at the perfection of the truths of this Sûra.  His Majestic Highness first pointed to his simple thisness which has no name other than it is “he”.  Then he mentioned divinity, which is the closest concomitant of that reality, and defined it more firmly, as we explained.  Then he went on to mention his oneness, for two reasons:

  1. So that it would not be said that he avoided giving a perfect definition, which should mention the components.  For he compensated by mentioning stable concomitants to show that in his essence he is one in every respect.
  2. He made oneness follow upon divinity, and not divinity follow upon oneness.  For divinity is an expression of his being independent of everything and everything’s dependence on him.  Whatever is like that is absolutely one; otherwise it would be in need of its parts.  So divinity as such requires oneness, but oneness does not require divinity.

He went on to say that God is steadfast, and indicated the real meaning of divinity by his steadfastness, which means that he is necessarily existent and that all other existing things have a beginning to their existence.

Next, he explained that no likeness of him was ever generated from him, because he is not generated from another.  And he explained that, if he is divinity to all existing things by way of pouring out existence upon them, he cannot pour out existence upon a likeness to himself, just as his existence cannot be an emanation from another.

He then proceeded to explain that there is nothing in existence which equals him in power of existence.

The section from the beginning of the Sûra to “God the Steadfast” is an explanation of his whatness and the concomitants of his whatness and his true oneness.  For he is not composed in any way.  The section from “He did not generate” to “And he has no match” is an explanation that nothing equals him in species or in genus, since nothing is generated from him and he is not generated from anything else, and he has no equal in existence.  This summary yields perfect knowledge of his essence.

Since the ultimate aim of trying to learn all sciences is knowledge of the essence of God, his attributes, and how his acts come from him, and this Sûra certainly shows, by way of exposition and intimation, all that is related to investigating the essence of God the Most High, therefore it is equivalent to a third of the Qur’ân.

This is what I have been granted to discover of the mysteries of this noble Sûra.

سورة الإخلاص
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

قال رحمه الله: قوله جل جلاله: «قل هو الله أحد»، الهو المطلق هوالذي لا تكون هويته موقوفة على غيره، فإن كل ما كان هويته مستفادة من غيره فمتى لم يعتبر غيره لم يكن هو هو، و كل ما كان هويته لذاته فسواءاً اعتبر أم لم يعتبر، هو هو. لكن كل ممكن فوجوده من غيره وكل ما كان وجوده من غيره فخصوصية وجوده من غيره، وذلك يكون هو الهوية. فإذا كل ممكن فهويته من غيره. فالذي يكون هويته لذاته هو واجب الوجود، وأيضاً فكل ما مهيته مغايرة لوجوده كان وجوده من غيره، فلا تكون هويته ماهيته، فلا يكون هو هو لذاته. لكن المبدأ الأول هو هو لذاته، فإذاً وجوده عين مهيته. فإن واجب الوجود هو الذي لا إله إلا هو، أي كل ما عداه، فهو من حيث هو هو ليس هو هو، بل هويته من غيره

وواجب الوجود هو الذي لذاته هو هو، بل ذاته أنه هو لا غير، وتلك الهوية والخصوصية معنى عديم الاسم، لا يمكن شرحه إلا بلوازمه.

واللوازم منها إضافية ومنها سلبية، واللوازم الإضافية أشد تعريفاً من الأمور السلبية، والأكمل في التعريف هو الازم الجامع لنوعي الإضافة والسلب، وذلك هو كون تلك الهوية إلهاً، فإن الإله هو الذي ينسب إليه غيره ولا ينسب هو إلى غيره. والإله المطلق هو الذي يكون كذلك مع جميع الموجودات، فاتساب غيره إليه إضافي، وكونه غير منتسب إلى غيره سلبي.

ولما كانت الهوية الإلهية مما لا يمكن أن يعبر عنها لجلالتها وعظمتها إلا بأنه هو هو، ثم شرح تلك الهوية إنما يكون بلوازمها. وقد بينا أن اللوازم منها سلبية ومنها إضافية، وبينا أن الأكمل في التعريف والشرح لتلك الهوية ذكر الأمرين، وبينا أن اسم الله تعالى متناول لهما جميعاً لا جرم، عقب قوله بذكر الله، ليكون الله كالكاشف عما دل عليه لفظ هو، كالشرح لذلك.

وفيه لطائف أخر، منها أنه لما عرف تلك الهوية بلوازمها وهي الإلهية، أشعر ذلك بأنه ليس له شيء من المقومات، وإلا لكان العدول عنها إلى اللوازم قاضراً.

ومنها أنه لما شرح تلك الهوية بلامز الإلهية، عقب ذلك بأنه الأحد، وهو الغاية في الوحدانية، كان فيه تشبيهاً على أنه لما كان في أقصى الغايات في الوحدة، ولم يكن له شيء من المقومات لا جرم، تعذر تعريف تلك الهوية إلا بذكر اللوازم، ويصير تقدير الكلام الهوية التي لا شرح لها، إنما ترك في تعريفها ذكر المقومات، واقتصر على ذكر اللوازم، وهي الإلهية لغاية وحدتها وكمال بساطتها، التي تتقاصر العقول عن اكتناهها والوقوف دون مبادئ إشراق أنوارها.

ومنها أن هوية المبدأ الأول لها لوازم كثيرة، ولكن تلك اللوازم مترتبة، فإن اللوازم معلولات، والشيء الواحد الحق البسيط من كل وجه لا يصدر عنه أكثر من واحد إلا على الترتيب النازل من عنده طولاً وعرضاً، ولأن اللازم القريب أشد تعريفاً من اللازم البعيد. فكون الإنسان متعجباً أعرف من كونه ضاحكاً. ولهذا من أراد تعريف مهية من الماهيات بشيء من لوازمها فمهما كان اللازم أقرب كان التعريف أشد، بل ليتذكر هذا الكلام من نمط آخر أشد تحقيقاً، وهو أن اللازم البعيد عن الشيء لا يكون معلولاً للشيء حقيقة، بل يكون معلولاً لمعلوله. والشيء الذي له سبب لا يعرف بالحقيقة إلا من جهة العلم بأسبابه. وأما الذي لا سبب له، فلا يعرف إلا من جهة لوازمه.

فلهذا التحقيق، لو ذكر في تعريف المهية شيء من لوازمها البعيدة، لم يكن ذلك التعريف تعريفاً حقيقياً، بل التعريف الحقيقي هو أن يذكر في التعريف اللازم القريب للشيء، الذي يقتضيه الشيء لذاته لا لغيره. والمبدأ الأول لا يلزمه لازم أقدم من وجوب الوجود، فإنه هو واجب الوجود، وبواسطة وجوده يلزمه أنه مبدأ لكل ما عداه، ومجموع هذين الأمرين هو الإلهية.

فلهذا لما أشار بقوله هو أن الهوية المحضة البسيطة حقاً، التي لا يمكن أن يعبر عنها بشيء سوى أنه هو، وكان لا بد من تعريفها بشيء من اللوازم، عقب ذلك بذكر أقرب الأشياء لزوماً له وهو الإلهية الجامعة للازمي السلب والإيجاب. فلهذا لما أشار بقوله هو إلى الهو، فسبحانه ما أعظم شأنه وما أقهر سلطانه، فهو الذي إليه منتهى الحاجات، ومن عنده نيل الطلبات، ولا يبلغ أدنى ما استأثر به من الجلال والعظمة والغبطة والبهجة أقصى نعوت الناعتين وأعظم وصف الواصفين، بل القدر الممكن ذكره، الممتنع أزيد منه هو الذي ذكره في كتابه العزيز، وأودعه في وحيه المقدس ورموزه المقدسة الطاهرة الجليلة الرفيعة.

ومنها قد يعن سؤال وهو أن مهيته تعالى، وإن كان لا يمكن لغيره معرفتها إلا بواسطة الإضافات والسلوب، إلا أنه جل جلاله عالم بها، فإن هناك العقل والعاقل والمعقول واحد، فلما لم يذكر تلك، واقتصر على ذكر اللوازم، فنقول: ليس للمبدأ الأول شيء من المقومات أصلاً، فإنه وحدة مجردة وبساطة محضة، ولا كثرة فيه ولا اثنينية هناك أصلاً، فعقله لذاته ليس لأنه يعقل من ذاته مقومات ذاته، فإنه ليس لذاته مقومات، فكيف يعقل لذاته مقومات، بل لا يعقل من ذاته إلا الهوية المحضة الصرفة المنزهة عن الكثرة من جميع الوجوه، ولتلك الوحدة لوازم: فإذاً ذكر الهوية وشرحها باللوازم القريبة، فقد أشار إلى وجوده المخصوص على ما هو وجوده عليه.

ولهذا أصل في الحكمة، وهو أن تعريف البسائط بلوازمها القريبة في الكمال، كتعريف المركبات بذكر مقوماتها. فإن التعريف البالغ هو أن يحصل في النفس صورة مطابقة للمعقول. فإن كان مركباً وجب أن يحصل فيها أجزاؤه، وإن كان بسيطاً وله لوازم، فمتى حصل في العقل كذلك، كانت الصورة العقلية مطابقة أيضاً، فيكون التعريف باللوازم القريبة موصلاً للذهن إلى حاق الحقيقة، ويصير في هذا الباب كتعريف المقومات في المركبات. وتمام تقرير هذا الأصل مستقصى في المنطق من تصنيفي في كتاب السفاء.

قوله جل جلاله «أحد»، مبالغة في الوحدة، والمبالغة التامة في الوحجة لا تتحقق إلا إذا كانت الواحدية لا يمكن أن يكون أشد ولا أكمل منها، فإن الواحد مقول على ما تحته بالتشكيك، والذي لا ينقسم بوجه أصلاً أولى بالواحجية مما ينقسم من بعض الوجوه، والذي ينقسم انقساماً عقلياً أولى مما ينقسم بالجنس، والذي ينقسم بالجنس انقساماً بالقوة، أولى بالواحدية مما ينقسم بالفعل وله وحدة جامعة، وهو أولى بالواحية مما ينقسم بالفعل وليس له وحدة جامعة، فإن وحدته بسبب الانتساب إلى مبدأ كما يقال طي الكتاب والمبضع والدواء، أو صحي للغذاء والنبات وللرياضة للفصد.

وإذا ثبت أن الوحدة قابلة للأشد والأضعف، وأن الواحد مقول على ما تحته بالتشكيك، والأكمل في الوحدة هو الذي لا يمكن أن يكون شيء أخر أقوى منه في الوحدة وإلا لم يكن في غاية المبالغة في الوحدة، فلا يكون أحداً مطلقاً، بل يكون أحداً بالقياس إلى شيء دون شيء، فقوله تعالى «أحد» دال على أنه واحد من جميع الوجوه، وأنه لا كثرة هناك أصلاً، لا كثرة معنوية، أعني كثرة المقومات كالأجناس والفصول، أو كثرة الأجزاء العقلية كالمادة والصوقة في الجسم، أو كثرة حسية بالقوة أو بالفعل كما في الجسم، وذلك يتضمن البيان لكونه منزهاً عن الجنس والفصل والمادة والصورة والأعراض والأبعاض والأعضاء والأشكال والألوان، وسائر وجوه النسبة التي تسلم الوحدة الكاملة والبساطة الحقة اللائقة بكرم وجهه عز وجل أن يشبهه شيء أو يساويه شيء.

فلئن قيل: هب أن دعاوي هذه المسائل صارت مندرجة تحت هذه اللفظة، فأين البرهان عليها في هذه الصورة؟ فنقول: برهانه أن كل ما كانت هويته إنما تحصل من اجتماع أجزاء كانت هويته موقوفة على حضور تلك الأجزاء، فلا يكون هو هو لذاته بل لغيره. لكن المبدأ الأول هو هو لذاته، كما دل عليه قوله هو الله، فإذاً ليس له شيء من الأجزاء. هذا ما بلغ إليه فهمي في هذه اللآية والله المحيط بأسرار كلامه.

قوله جل جلاله «الله الصمد»: للصمد تفسيرا،: أحدهما لا جوف له، والثاني السيد. فعلى التفسير الأول معناه سلبي، وهو إشارة إلى نفي المهية، فإن كل ما له مهية فله جوف وباطن، وهو تلك المهية. وما لا باطن له وهو موجود فلا مهية ولا اتعبار في ذاته إلا الوجود. والذي لا اعتبار له إلا الوجود فهو غير قابل للعدم، فإن الشيء من حيث هو هو موجود غير قابل للعدم، فإذاً الصمد الحق واجب الوجود مطلقاً من جميع الوجوه.

وعلى التفسير الثاني معناه إضافي، وهو كونه سيداً للكل أي مبدأ للكل، ويحتمل أن يكون كلاهما مراداً من الآية، وكأن معناه أن الإله هو الذي يجب أن يكون كذلك، أي الإلهية عبارة عن مجموع هذا السلب والإيجاب.

قوله جل جلاله: «لم يلد ولم يولد»، لما بين سبحانه أن الكل مسند إليه ومحتاج إليه، وأنه هو المعطي لوجوده جميع الموجودات، وهو الفياض للوجود على كل المهيات، بيّن سبحانه أنه [لا] يتولد عنه مثله. فإنه ربما سبق إلى الأوهام أنه لما كانت هويته تقتضي الإلهية التي معناها الإفاضة على الكل وايجاد الكل، فلعله يفيض عن وجوده وجود مثله حتى يكون ولداً له، بيّن سبحانه أنه لا يتولد عنه مثله، فإن كل ما يتولد عنه مثله كانت ماهيته مشتركة بينه وبين غيره فكل ما ماهيته مشتركة بينه وبين غيره فإنه لا يتشخص إلا بواسطة المادة وعلاقتها، وكل ما كان مادياً أو كان له علاقة بالمادة كان متولداً عن غيره.

فيصير تقدير الكلام هكذا: لم يلد لأنه لم يتولد، فإن قيل وأي إشارة في هذه السورة تدل على أنه سبحانه غير متولد، قيل لأنه لما لم يكن له مهية واعتبار سوى أنه هو هو الذي ابتدأ في أول السورة بذكره وكانت هويته لذاته، وجب أن لا يكون متولداً عن غيره، وإلا لكانت هويته مستفادة من غيره، فلا يكون هو هو لذاته. وعند هذا تنبه عن سر عظيم، وهو أن التحديد الوارد في القرآن على العالمين بالولد والزوجية يعود إلى هذا السر، وهو أن التولد إن ينفصل عن الشيء مثله، فإن ما لا يكون مثلاً  له لا يقال أن له ولداً، وإنما لم ينفصل عنه مثله لأن الانفصال يقتضي الانفعال، والشيء إنما ينفعل لو كثرت مهيته النوعية، وذلك بسبب المادة كما بينا. وكل ما كان مادياً لا تكون مهيته هويته، لكن واجب الوجود مهيته هويته، فإذاً لا يتولد عنه غيره وهو غير متولد عن غيره.

وقوله جل جلاله: «ولم يكن له كفوا أحد»: لما بين أنه غير متولد عن مثله، وأن مثله غير متولد عنه، بين أنه لا يكون له كفواً، أي ليس له ما يساويه في قوة الوجود.  والمساوي في قوة الوجود يحتمل وجهين: أحدهما أن يكون مساوياً في المهية، والثاني أن لا يساويه في المهية النوعية ولكن يساويه في وجوب الوجود. فأما أن يكون له ما يساويه في مهيته النوعية فذلك يبطله قوله تعالى:« ولم يولد»، فإن كل ما كان ماهيته مشتركة بينه وبين غيره كان وجوده مادياً وكان متولداً عن غيره، لكنه غير متولد عن غيره.

وأما إن يكون مساوياً في مهية جنسية وهو وجوب الوجود، فذلك أيضاً تبطله هذه الآية، لأنه يكون له جنس وفصل، ويكون وجوده متولداً من الازدواج الحاصل بين جنسه الذي يكون كالأم، وفصله الذي يكون كالأب، لكنه غير متولد أيضاً يبطله أول السورة. فإن كل ما كانت مهيته ملتئمة من الجنس والفصل لم تكن هويته لذاته، لكنه هو هو لذاته.

خاتمة لهذا التفسير

انظر إلى كمال حقائق هذه السورة وهو أنه جل وعلا أشار أولاً إلى هويته المحضة التي لا اسم لها غير أنه هو، ثم عقبه بذكر الإلهية التي هي أقرب اللوازم لتلك الحقيقة وأشدها تعريفاً كما بينا، ثم عقبه بذكر الأحدية لفائدتين:

الأولى لئلا يقال أنه ترك التعريف الكامل بذكر المقومات وعدل إلى ذكر اللوازم الثابتة ليدل على أنه في ذاته واحد من جميع الوجوه.

الثانية أنه رتب الأحدية على الإلهية ولم يرتب الإلهية على الأحدية، فإن الإلهية عبارة عن استغنائه عن الكل، واحتياج الكل إليه. وما كان كذلك كان واحداً مطلقاً، وإلا لكان محتاجاً إلى أجزائه، فإن الإلهية من حيث هي هي، تقتضي الوحدة، والوحدة لا تقتضي الإلهية.

ثم عقب ذلك بقوله الله الصمد ودل على تحقيق معنى الإلهية بالصمدية التي معناها وحوب الوجود، أو المبدأية لوجود كل ما عداه من الموجودات.

ثم عقب ذلك ببيان أنه لا يتولد عنه مثله لأنه غير متولد عن غيره، وبين أنه وإن كان إلهاً لجميع الموجودات فياضاً للوجود عليها، فلا يجوز أن يفيض الوجود على مثله، كما لم يكن وجوده من فيض غيره.

ثم عقب ذلك ببيان أنه ليس في الوجود ما يساويه في قوة الوجود.

فمن أول السورة إلى قوله «الله الصمد» في بيان مهيته ولوازم مهيته ووحدة حقيقته، وأنه غير مركب أصلاً، ومن قوله «لم يلد» إلى قوله «ولم يكن [له] كفواً أحد» في بيان أنه ليس له ما يساويه من نوعه ولا من جنسه، لا بأن يكون متولداً عنه ولا بأن يكون هو متولداً عنه، ولا بأن يكون موازياً له في الوجود وبهذا المبلغ يحصل تمام معرفة ذاته.

ولما كان الغرض الأقصى من طلب العلوم بأسرها معرفة ذات الله تعالى وصفاته، وكيفية صدور أفعاله عنه، وهذه السورة دالة على سبيل التعرض والإيماء على جميع ما يتعلق بالبحث عن ذات الله تعالى لا جرم، كانت معادلة لثلث القرآن.

فهذا ما وفقت إلى أن وقفت عليه من أسرار هذه السورة الكريمة.


[1] For further introduction, see “Sûras 113 & 114: Commented by Ibn-Sînâ,” Orita 35 (2003), 1-16.  See also my Philosophy of the Muslim world: principal authors and themes. Washington, D.C.: The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, 2003, also on my website: http://www.diafrica/nigeriaop/kenny, along with فلسفة العالم الإسلامي: الفلاسفة وأهم مواضيع كتابتهم, a much expanded Arabic version of the above. For his works, see my Bibliography of the works of the philosophers of the Muslim world.

[2] حسن عاصي: التفسير القرآني واللغة الصوفية في فلسفة ابن سينا (القاهرة: المؤسسة الجامعية للدراسات والنشر والتوزيع، 1983).

[3] What can be divided in no way is God.  What is intellectually divisible perhaps refers to the distinction between essence and existence, present even in spiritual creatures.  What is divisible potentially by genus is a higher genus, such as “body”.  What is divided actually but has a collective unity is a species, such as humanity, univocally applicable to all men.  Ibn-Sînâ concludes with the least type of unity, that of analogy.

[4] “Cavity” and “inside” are interesting metaphors for potentiality, illustrating its receptivity, as opposed to act, which is “outside”.  The only weakness of the metaphor is that it opens the door for a dualistic interpretation.

[5] Ibn-Sînâ admirably shows that God cannot give birth to a separate substance having the same nature as his own.  He does not address the Christian position that the Father generates the Word (and the two “breathe forth” the Spirit) within a single indivisible divine substance, so that the persons are only relationally distinct.