لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ
He begets not, nor is He begotten. (112:3)
The polytheists in every age have adopted the concept that like men, there is a species of gods with many members. These gods get married, beget and are begotten. They did not even regard Allah, Lord of the universe, as supreme and above this concept of ignorance, and even proposed children for Him.
Thus, the Arabian belief as stated in the Qur'an was that they regarded the angels as daughters of Allah. The communities of Prophets also did not remain immune from this creed of paganism. They too adopted the creed of holding one saintly person or another as son of God. Two kinds of concepts have always been mixed up in these debasing superstitions. Some people thought that those whom they regarded as God's children, were descended from Him in the natural way, while others claimed that the one whom they called son of God, had been adopted by God Himself as a son. Although they could not dare call anyone, God forbid, as father of God, obviously human mind cannot remain immune against such a concept that God too should be regarded as a son of somebody when it is conceived that He is not free from sex and procreation and that He too, like man, is the kind of being which begets children and needs to adopt a son in case it is childless, That is why one of the questions asked of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) was: what is the ancestry of Allah? and another was: from whom has He inherited the world and who will inherit it after Him?
If these assumptions of ignorance are analyzed, it becomes obvious that they logically necessitate the assumption of some other things as well:
First, that God should not be One, but there should be a species of Gods, and its members should be associates in the attributes, acts and powers of Divinity. This not only follows from assuming God begetting children but also from assuming that He has adopted someone as a son. For the adopted son of somebody can inevitably be of his own kind. And when, God forbid, he is of the same kind as God, it cannot be denied that he too possesses attributes of Godhead.
Second, that children cannot be conceived unless the male and the female combine and some substance from the father and the mother unites to take the shape of child. Therefore, the assumption that God begets children necessitates that He should, God forbid, be a material and physical entity, should have a wife of His own species, and some substance also should issue from His body.
Third, that wherever there is sex and procreation, it is there because individuals are mortal and for the survival of their species it is inevitable that they should beget children to perpetuate the race. Thus, the assumption that God begets children also necessitates that, God forbid, He should Himself be mortal, and immortality should belong to the species of Gods, not to God Himself. Furthermore, it also necessitates that like all mortal individuals, God also, God forbid, should have a beginning and an end. For the individuals of the species whose survival depends upon sex and procreation neither exist since eternity nor will exist till eternity.
Fourth, that the object of adopting some one as a son is that a childless person needs a helper in his lifetime and a heir after his death. Therefore, the supposition that Allah has adopted a son inevitably amounts to ascribing all those weaknesses to His sublime Being which characterise mortal man.
Although aII these assumptions are destroyed as soon as Allah is called and described as Ahad and As-Samad, yet when it is said: "Neither has He an offspring nor is He the offspring of another", there remains no room for any ambiguity in this regard. Then, since these concepts are the most potent factors of polytheism with regard to Divine Being, AIlah has refuted them clearly and absolutely not only in Surah AI-Ikhlas (Ch. 112) but has also reiterated this theme at different places in different ways so that the people may understand the truth fully. For example Iet us consider the following verses:
"Allah is only One Deity: He is far too exalted that He should have a son: whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth belongs to Him." (AnNisa': 171)
"Note it well: they, in fact, invent a falsehood when they say, `Allah has children'. They are utter liars," (As-Saaffat: 151-152)
"They have invented a blood-relationship between Allah and the angels, whereas the angels know full well that these people will be brought up (as culprits)" (As-Saaffat: 158)
"These people have made some of His servants to be part of Him. The fact is that man is manifestly ungrateful. " (Az-Zukhruf: l 5 )
"Yet the people have set up the Jinn as partners with Allah, whereas He is their Creator; they have also invented for Him sons and daughters without having any knowledge, whereas He is absolutely free from and exalted far above the things they say. He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth: how should He have a son, when He has no consort? He has created each and every thing." (AlAn'am: 100-102)
"They say: the Merciful has offspring. Glory be to Allah! They (whom they describe as His offspring) are His mere servants who have been honored." (AI-Anbiya: 26)
"They remarked: Allah has taken a son to Himself. Allah is AII-pure: He is Self Sufficient. He is the Owner of everything that is in the heavens and the earth. Have you any authority for what you say? What! do you ascribe to Allah that of which you have no knowledge?" (Yunus: 68)
"And (O Prophet,) say: praise is for Allah Who has begotten no son nor has any partner in His Kingdom nor is helpless to need any supporter." (Bani Isra'il:111)
"Allah has no offspring, and there is no other deity as a partner with Him." (Al-Mu'minun: 91)
In these verses the belief of the people who ascribe real or adopted children to Allah, has been refuted from every aspect, and its being a false belief has also been proved by argument. These and many other Qur'anic verses of the same theme explain Surah Al-Ikhlas fully well. (Tafheemul Quran)