have given many examples of this, and they may be referred to. Here we shall only indicate one or two minor points, and the share of understanding of one or two classes. For example:
He begets not, nor is He begotten * And there is none like unto Him.1
The share of understanding of this of the ordinary people, which forms the most numerous class: “Almighty God is above having mother and father, relatives or wife.” While the share of a middle class: “It is to deny the divinity of Jesus (Peace be upon him), and the angels, and anything which has been born.” For although denying something impossible is apparently purposeless, according to the rules of rhetoric, a necessary statement is intended, which gives it purpose. Thus, the purpose of denying son and begetter, which are particular to corporality, is to deny the divinity of those who have offspring and parents and equals; and it is to show that they are not worthy of being worshipped. It is because of this that Sura al-Ikhlas is beneficial for everyone all the time. The share of a more advanced class: “Almighty God is above all relations which suggest giving birth and being born. He is exempt from having any partners, helpers, or fellows. His relations with all beings are those of Creator. He creates through His pre-eternal will with the command of “Be!,” and it is. He is far beyond having any relation which is contrary to perfection, or is compelling, necessitating, or involuntary.” And the share of understanding of a higher class still: “Almighty God is pre-eternal and post-eternal, He is the First and the Last. Neither in His essence, nor in His attributes, nor in His actions, has He in any way any equal, peer, like, or match, or anything similar, resembling, or analogous to Him. Only, in His acts, there may be comparisons expressing similarity:
And God’s is the highest similitude.”2
You can draw analogies with the above for other classes, which all receive different shares, like those who have attained knowledge of God, the lovers of God, and the truly sincere.
A Second Example:
Muhammad is not the father of any of your men.3
The share of understanding from this of the first class: “Zayd, the servant of God’s Noble Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him), whom he also addressed as ‘my son,’ divorced his stately wife because he did not find himself equal to her. On God’s command, the Messenger (PBUH) took her. The verse says: ‘If the Prophet calls you son, it is in respect of his Messengership. In regard to his person, he is not your father, so that the women he takes should be unsuitable for him.’”