Allah calls Himself As-Samad— The Eternal, Satisfier of Needs, the Refuge and Absolute— on one occasion in the Quran. As-Samad is the unchangeable one on whom the entire creation depends. He is the one unaffected by any circumstance and the only one able to fulfil all needs in the most perfect way, without Himself being in need of anything or anyone!
The Eternal, Everlasting Refuge, Satisfier of All Needs
Samad comes from the root saad-meem-daal, which points to two main meanings. The first main meaning is to reach or attain, or to aim toward something. The second main meaning is to turn to and to need, and the third is to remain unchanged and unaffected. The fourth main meaning is to be everlasting and eternal.
This root appears just once in the Quran, as the noun samad. The example is al-samadu (“The Eternal, Absolute”).
Linguistically, samad means something that is not affected by circumstances or something that is solid. Sumood refers to the concept of being firm and steadfast.
As-Samad is the the One who is not changed nor affected by anything in the creation, He is the eternal and absolute refuge to seek and depend on for all needs and desires.
As-Samad Himself says: Say, ‘He is Allah , [who is] One, Allah , the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, nor is there to Him any equivalent.’ [Quran, 112:1-4]
A description of Allah
The only place in the Quran Allah ‘azza wa jall calls Himself As-Samad is in Surah Al-Ikhlaas; the virtuous surah mentioned in the authentic hadith in Muslim to equal one-third of the Quran. This short, but amazingly beautiful and profound surah is a description of Allah Himself, His Oneness, His samad’yyah and His incomparability. Allah revealed this surah as a powerful answer to the people of Makkah who asked the Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to describe His Lord and His ‘lineage.’
What is ikhlaas (sincerity)? It is doing deeds purely for Him and to seek His pleasure, because He is Al-Ahad, the One and Unique. It is turning to Him for our needs and desires and desire Him only, because He is As-Samad, The Eternal and Satisfier of Needs, and it is to live by the fact that there is no one equal to Him in any of His attributes!
How can you live by this name?
1. Recite and live by Surah al-Ikhlaas.
Recite Surah Al-Ikhlaas often to gain reward, but not only that; learn to understand each word and live by the names of Allah mentioned in it. Love to recite this surah and talk about it to others as you are describing your Lord. Learn how to correctly recite it and convey it to at least one other person and teach your children the history and/or tafseer (explanation) of this virtuoussurah in which As-Samad is mentioned in order to instil love of Allah in their hearts.
2. Realize your dependence on Him.
One of the meanings of As-Samad is the One who is independent and self-sufficient. If you look at a manager, for example, one who has a high position with authority over others, it still takes one note from his superiors to end his career. This person is not samad. Then look at what we need tu survive as human beings; air, water, food, and even love. Why do we often act like as if we are independent? Especially during good times when we are healthy and wealthy we tend to forget we are even dependant on As-Samad for the strap of our shoe. So remind yourself daily that you are dependent on Him.
3. Call upon Him.
Here’s a beautiful supplication the Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to make as part of the morning:
“يَا حَيُّ يَا قَيُّومُ بِرَحْمَتِكَ أَسْتَغِيثُ أَصْلِحْ لِي شَأْنِي كُلَّهُ وَلَا تَكِلْنِي إِلَى نَفْسِي طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ”.
O Ever Living One, O Eternal One, by Your mercy I call on You to set right all my affairs. Do not place me in charge of my soul even for the blinking of an eye (i.e. a moment). [Al-Haakim, saheeh] Memorize this dua’ and say it with true desire, fully realizing your dependence on As-Samad!
4. Desire As-Samad.
Turn to As-Samad in good and bad times and rely on Him, resting assured He is the Eternal Refuge and the One who will satisfy your needs in the way He knows is best for you. If you truly believe in As-Samad, your strongest desire will be to meet Him and your only fear will be that of His displeasure. So strive to be a real servant of Allah. The disbeliever is a slave of his desires, or of fashion, his belly, and his money. So beg Him to decrease the love for this world in your heart, including love of being praised by people, and replace it with a firm desire for His pleasure alone.
To learn how to live by the beautiful name of Allah Al-Ahad, click here.
Wallahu ta’alaa ‘alem
O Allah, As-Samad, we know that You are the only Eternal Refuge. Make us realize we need you at all times and aid us to be of those who turn to You only for our needs. Adorn us with a strong desire to please You alone, ameen!
The Understand Quran Academy Team