As-Samad (The Eternal Refuge)

Ali Jaber Al-Fayfi

Here, we shall delve into the world of Eternal Refuge to get some inspiration from the meaning of As-Samad.

All the world would not be able to harm you if Allah did not will it to be so…

And all the world would not be able to dispel an evil from you if Allah willed it for you….

The Eternal Refuge

If the weakness has built around you a confining prison and you are unable to escape…

If the needs have surrounded you, the ordeals have attacked you, the worries have encircled you, and your soul has attempted to escape to the oblivion… In this time, you are in a bad need to seek His eternal refuge…

Allah’s name, “As-Samad”, the Eternal Refuge, shall supply you not only with what you really need to be strong in this life but also with what shall make you encounter your reality with dignity and transcend your psychological issues with persistence!

Commence with As-Samad into a new era trusting that tomorrow is going to be much better than today!!

In the Shadows of the Meaning of As-Samad

The name “As-Samad,” is a great distinction with strong letters, lofty in meaning, rare in comparison, without any equal, with special majesty.

Here, we shall delve into the world of Eternal Refuge to get some inspiration from the meaning of As-Samad:

As-Samad is the One whose eternal refuge is sought by all creation. I.e., they see Him as the only resort in times of strife. We shall delve further into this meaning…

As-Samad is the One sought after for all desires, the One called upon in the time of ordeals, the One who is run to in awe at the time of disasters.

As-Samad was mentioned in one of the greatest and shortest surahs of the Holy Qur’an. It is Surah Al-Ikhlas, which consists of the equivalent of one third of the Holy Qur’an because of its great significance:

﴾Say, ”He is Allah, {who is} One, (1) Allah, The Eternal Refuge.”﴿

The creature needs victory, so he pleas, saying: Oh Allah…

Then he needs help, so he pleas: Oh Allah…

Then he needs a reminder, so he pleas: Oh Allah…

Then he needs guidance, so he pleas: Oh Allah…

Then he needs mercy, so he pleas: Oh Allah…


He has surrounded you with a bunch of needs to make you in need of surrounding yourself with His names and qualities; this is the meaning of the Eternal Refuge.

In every situation of your life you will find yourself in need of Him. Therefore, if you do not return to Him by your will, you will return to Him by compulsion.

The farmer, when the time of harvest is delayed and he finds himself in a very bad need to collect the yield, and when water becomes sparse, looks at the sky and says: Oh Allah!

Passengers on board a ship in the time of mountain-like waves, when they are surrounded with doubtful ideas of living or dying, they don’t have anything to say except: Oh Allah!

If the captain of a plane declared that the wheels of it are struggling to roll on the landing, so he is going to stay in the air until the problem is solved, the passengers on board the plane would forget all important matters and think only about the One in whose hand is the realm of all things and who protects while none can protect against Him.

In the hospital when your eye is chasing the electrocardiogram, staring at the sinus rhythms and your patient’s breathing is fading, his heart beats are shrinking, the sinus rhythms are gradually slowing down—in this moment you forget the nurse and from your head the doctor’s face evaporates and you utter in urgency: Oh Allah, please be his support!

 The thoughts of disbelief

A Bedouin Sheikh called Al-Hossain came to the Prophet, peace be upon him, and the Prophet questioned him: “How many deities are you worshiping, O Al-Hossain?” He replied: “Seven—six in the earth and one in the heaven.” The Prophet, peace be upon him, continued: “Who is for your frightening moments?” He replied:

“The one who lies in the heaven.” “And who is for the moments of your desires?” He said: “The one who is in the heaven.” Therefore, the Prophet (PBUH) commented, saying: “Leave those who lie in the earth and worship the One who is in the heaven.” Then Al-Hossain converted to Islam ‹¹› !

Al-Hossain has understood the meaning of the Eternal Refuge, because the one to whom you run in the time of awe and desire is the only One who deserves to be prostrated to!

Belief in Allah is the easiest concept in existence; it neither needs books nor philosophy nor introspection nor analysis to understand it. It is a word. Say it with sincerity and leave it to disband the thoughts of disbelief…

The Holy Qur’an summarizes all of this in the ayah:

﴾Say, “Allah [revealed it].” Then leave them in their [empty] discourse, amusing themselves.”﴿

The word “Allah” is enough to mute the greatest lies in life…

In the depth of each human being, deep inside each cell, and around each artery, there are entities that know Allah very well, and they prostrate to and praise Him…

The Planets

He created in the souls of His slaves a need to love Him!

There is a sort of sacred love in the hearts of His slaves that can’t be quenched except by prostrating to Him, walking around His Kaaba, standing between His hands, waking up from sleep to pray to Him, and sacrificing all your desires for His pleasure.

All of this worldly life with its components is just made up of messages saying to you: “The One you are looking for is above His Throne hearing you ﴾The Most Merciful [who is] above the Throne established﴿

A man chases a woman until they are alone, so he asks her to give him herself but she refuses! He tries to persuade her, saying, “No one sees us except the planets.” She replies confidently, “Where is the One who established them in the heavens?”

Where is Allah?!

He can be found in a heart clinging to the Eternal Refuge, deliberating upon Him and His names and attributes, totally believing that He is the Omniscient, the All-Aware, the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing, the All-Encompassing!

And your complete seeking of Allah’s refuge is like seeking to pray in the Kaaba.

The heart should be like this, distributing all the desires in all their destinations, but the central destination should be only for Allah…

Place the right and left sides of your heart on what you wish, but the front place, leave it only for the satisfaction, deliberation, and love of Allah.

And you forget Him….

If you’ve searched for something and it was hard to find, leave it and occupy your time with Allah.

He is the One who destined for this thing to be lost, so seek His refuge and say, “O Allah, find for me my lost possession,” then He will find it! He wants you to be busy with Him, not with your lost thing, but you get busy with it and forget Him!!

Sheikh Ibn Taymiyyah ,may Allah have mercy on him, has deep, precious words about this subject. Thus, meditate on them with your heart then keep them with you on your journey, fighting against your pains, ordeals, and desires. He says

“ A slave would be inflicted by a hardship, so his plea would be for fulfilling his need and releasing his ordeals. So he stays praying and supplicating. Even this is considered worship and obedience. Then it would be his intention in the beginning of the matter to achieve these needs: sustenance, victory, and ultimate health. Praying and supplicating would open for him a new door of belief, love, and deep trust in Allah, along with great happiness from mentioning and praying to Him. Then, what would be more beloved and more wonderful than this ordeal which he was inflicted by. This is from the mercy of Allah on all of His worshipers. He guides them from secular needs to lofty religious purposes.”

Because of the lack of precipitation and the arid life in the time of Moses, peace be upon him, he went forth with his people who were composed of thousands of men, women and children. On his way he found an ant also searching for water, lifting its hands in the sky, seeking the refuge of Allah. Moses knew that this seeking of Allah’s refuge and the submission to the will of Allah was going to end only in a heavy rain. Therefore, he ordered his people to return, because they came to survive from the supplication of the ant. They returned with the rumble of thunder above them and sprinkles of rain falling on their heads!

In my childhood, I used to hear the prayer of some of the reciters of the Qur’an. They would supplicate, “Our Lord! We have come to Your gateway (mosque) and anchored our mounts thereto. May You not dispel us.” 

Seek His Eternal Refuge

You should believe that if He did not give permission for the medicine to be effective in your body, your diseases would stay with you. Therefore, seek His Eternal Refuge to be cured…

You should believe in the depth of your heart that if He did not keep the rushing automobiles away from you, you would be among the dead. Therefore, seek His refuge to be guarded…

You have to be certain that if He did not surround you with His care when you ride on board a ship, you would be bait for the ocean fish. Therefore, seek His refuge to be with you …

This is why you seek His eternal refuge to feel at ease, to release your tension, because without Him you run, gasp, and strain.

Give me all your ears, those who are frenzied by the waves at sea or those who see death coming to haunt their souls. The winds of ups and downs are aggressively blowing. You will hear all of them, regardless of their different religions, howling his name: “O Allah!”

﴾It is He who enables you to travel on land and sea until, when you are in ships and they sail with them by a good wind and they rejoice therein, there comes a storm wind and the waves come upon them from every place and they expect to be engulfed, they supplicate Allah, sincere to Him in religion, “If you should save us from this, we will surely be among the thankful.”﴿

He planted inside of you a need to say His name. There would be peace spreading in all of your soul, if only you said, “O Allah.” And if you do not say it willingly, you will say it by compulsion. If you do not mention it out of belief, you will mention it out of obligation. And if it was not your word in prosperity, it will be your word in affliction!


Why do we wait for a sudden strife to bring us back to Him? A dilemma to remind us of His name? A disaster so that we return to the mosques?

Does He not deserve to be sought and submitted to even when you are not in ordeals, disasters, and strife?

Is all of what He has given us of life, health, belief, peace, and happiness little so we do not kneel down before Him except with an affliction that makes us forget all of our delusions? In the middle of this affliction, nothing can stay in our minds except Allah!

Fix the compass of your heart towards Him, then walk to Him, even crawling on your knees. In the end, you will reach Allah.

﴾And to Allah belongs the East and the West. So wherever you [might] turn, there is the Face of Allah. Indeed, Allah is All-Encompassing and Knowing.﴿

If you sought someone’s help in the morning and he obliged you, he might slam the door in your face at night.

If he supported you against someone, he might support someone against you the next time.

If he gave you today, he might deprive you tomorrow.

But Allah….is incomparable!

﴾He is the Ever-living: there is no deity except Him, so call upon Him, [being] sincere to Him in religion.﴿

He is All-Giving per day and per night. He supports you against all people if you are oppressed. His door is always open, with generosity per day and per night, the most generous of all, therefore all creatures seek His eternal refuge. If you attempted to seek eternal refuge in other than Him, you will find that you are lost and disappointed. This is the reality!

 If you asked other than Him, the person might ignore you, or he might answer your order but after a long period, or answer but not in the required manner, or he might answer completely but with disgrace. And he might not humiliate you, but your soul would be in submission to him rather than to Allah…

Don’t attribute equals to Allah

A long time ago, I entered a Vice-Chancellor’s office at a university, and I had written a note to him concerning my school, explaining to him some details. He said to me, “Do not proceed. This is nonsense!”

People do not want to hear what you have to say if they think what you’re saying is nonsense, whereas Allah loves to listen to you even if what you’re saying truly is nonsense! He likes the slave who is persistent in praying ….Thus, why do you complain to the others and leave Him?

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said to Ibn Abbas:

“If you ask, then ask Allah.”‹¹› If there is a need to ask; so make the order to be for Allah!

A saying by Abo Hamid Al-Ghazaly that captured my attention was about a true believer discussing the greatest name of Allah:

“Avoid attributing equals to Allah, then ask Him in your prayer using any of His names, and He shall answer your prayer …”

This is the gist of the name As-Samad. Place Allah in your heart, then say anything that will be to His satisfaction. The result will be heavenly.

Any sudden change you face is a mere message that says to you, “You have a God, so go and seek His refuge…”

Sickness is a message that makes you kneel down in submission to Him….

Poverty is a letter that says prostrate to Him…

Weakness is a call that says to you derive your power from the All-Powerful…

Everything in life shouts in your face: “There is a God. Seek His eternal refuge!”

In the above-mentioned hadith of Ibn Abbas, the Prophet (PBUH) says,

“Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you.” ‹₂›

In front of you!!


Look to any direction you wish, but plant in your heart two eyes that are banned to look except upon His greatness!

Speak what you desire, but place in your heart a tongue that is forbidden to speak except with His mentioning!

Listen to anything, but create in your heart an ear that can’t recognize except His words!

Walk anywhere you desire, but carve in your heart steps that end with the Throne of the King of Kings!

Cling to Him with your heart, soul, thoughts, body, will, dreams, and fantasies…

If you grab a pen to write, question yourself if it shall please the Exalted in the heavens or not?

If you were about to utter a word, question yourself if it shall satisfy Him or not?

If you stand to do something, ask yourself if it shall be approved by Allah or not?

Create a clock and hang it up at the top of your heart which chimes:

What does Allah want? What does Allah want? What does Allah want?

Deliberate upon Him all the time. And if you wake up in the middle of the night, mention Him and remember that all of your imagination is black without Him being there, your mind is ruined without Him being mentioned within it, your dreams are swamps except with the mention of the Ever-Living who does not die, and then the dreams change to that of rivers, trees, and singing nightingales.

Pride …

If you teach your soul to cling to His eternal refuge, in time it will feel shy to demand a lot of secular needs because they are not what you were created for. All of your hopes should be attached to the life of the Hereafter…

The Caliph, in his wandering around the Kaaba, said to Ibn Omar: “Ask me for anything you need.” Ibn Omar looked at him with confidence in the Eternal Refuge and said, “From the matter of this life or the Hereafter?” The other replied: “The Hereafter is in the hand of Allah, but from the matter of this life I can provide.” So he said, “I did not ask for this life from the One who owns it, so how dare I ask it from the one who does not own anything of it?!”

Seeking the eternal refuge of the Greatest makes you great without taking any interest in the owners of the dust (i.e., owners of created things, such as houses, cars, etc.)...

This worldly life is a field in which the deep believers have no interest …

A prince once upon a time said to the great Sheikh Ibn Taymiyyah, “We have heard that you are seeking sovereignty over our kingdom!”

With dignity, Ibn Taymiyyah raised his head and said, “All of your kingdom is not as precious as two cents!”

A man who directs his face to Allah all night-- how can be humiliated by a piece of jewelry in the morning?

A fact

The moment when you cling to Him for the sake of answering to your needs, is the same moment when what you need appears in your right hand!

There is no way for any desire to be achieved except by way of Allah. There is no existence of any provision except in the hand of Allah. There is no possibility of anything happening except by the will of Allah. He is the Only, and there is no might nor power except through Him.

A cell does not have the right to move, nor an atom to be formed, nor a drop to evaporate, nor a leaf to fall, except by way of His might and power!

All the world would not be able to harm you, if Allah did not will it to be so, and all the world would not be able to dispel an evil from you, if Allah willed it for you! Consequently, direct your face to Him, lean your back on Him, and trust all of your matters to Him…. He is As-Samad: The Only, Self-Sufficient Master, who neither begets nor is begotten, nor is there to Him any equivalent. O our Lord, tie our hearts to You, and make us not in any need to ask or question except You. Make us seek Your refuge only, not of any one of Your creatures…


  1. Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi in his book Jami` at-Tirmidhi (3820-12/452) In spite of the disbeliever’s disbelief, when he hears the Qur’an, he feels its greatness… From the stories of the life of the Prophet, peace be upon him, when he recited Surah An-Najm to the disbelievers of Mecca at the Kaaba and upon finishing the recitation, all of them prostrated—even those who had burned the Prophet, peace be upon him, harmed him, and had planned to assassinate him! They prostrated to Allah! A great believing power burst into their cells and arteries quickly leading them to prostrate to Allah.
  2. Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi in his book Jami` at-Tirmidhi (2516-4/667)
  3. Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi in his book Jami` at-Tirmidhi (2516-4/667)

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