A Spiritual Commentary
The subject of the present commentary is on Suratu 'l-Ikhlas or the Chapter of Single-Hearted Sincerity. The word ikhlas carries the meaning "to purify" or "to refine" from all impurities. The very concept of refining and purifying signifies the removing all impurities, leaving nothing but the very essence of that which was sought, which, in this case, is Allah. Thus, whoever knows Allah and affirms His Oneness reaches the level of purity or sincerity of heart.
"Purity of heart," it has been said "is to will one thing wholly" and the one who achieves that level is described in Arabic with the adjective, "mukhlis," that is, sincere. The virtue of single-hearted devotion to Allah goes to the heart of the religion of Islam. So it is not surprising that tradition holds that reading this chapter three times equals a reading of the entire Qur'an, for the Qur'an in its essence is a totally uncompromising proclamation of Divine Unity.
About the Author
World-renowned author and religious scholar, Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani has devoted his life to the promotion of the Sufi teachings of love, peace, acceptance and compassion and has a long background of opposing extremism in every form. Shaykh Kabbani is founder of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order of America and chairman of the Institute for Spiritual and Cultural Understanding. Shaykh Kabbani received a degree in chemistry and went on to complete his medical studies. He also holds a degree in Islamic Divine Law, and received license to teach, guide and counsel students in the Sufi path from Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Adil al-Qubrusi, late world leader of the Naqshbandi-Haqqani Sufi Order. His published works include: Classical Islam and the Naqshbandi Sufi Order (2004); Keys to the Divine Kingdom (2004); The Approach of Armageddon : An Islamic Perspective (2003); Encyclopedia of Islamic Doctrine (7 vols. 1998); Encyclopedia of Muhammad's Women Companions and the Traditions They Related (1998, with Dr. L. Bakhtiar); Angels Unveiled (1996); The Naqshbandi Sufi Way (1995) and Remembrance of God: Liturgy of the Sufi Naqshbandi Masters (1994).