On the occasion of revelation of this Surah, a tradition from Imam Sadiq (as) says:

“A Jew asked the holy Prophet (S) to describe the identity or to relate the geneology of Allah. He remained silent and gave no answer for three days, then, the Messenger Angel brought (him) this Surah and he (S) gave them their answer.” (Majma’-al-Bayan, vol. 10, p. 564.)

Some other narrations denote that the Jew who asked this question was, Abdullah ibn Suriya, one of the known chiefs of the Jews. Another narration says that ‘Abdullah ibn Salam asked this question from the holy Prophet (S), in Mecca, and believed (in Islam). But, he kept his faith concealed.

Another narration says that the pagans of Mecca asked such a question. (Al-Mizan, vol. 20, p. 546.)

In some narrations it is also said that the Christians of Najran asked the question.

There is no contradiction in these narrations because the question may have been asked by all of them, separately, which is, itself, an evidence to the extraordinary importance of this Surah, which answers the questions of different persons from various groups.

1قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ
112|1|Say, “He is God, the One.
2اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ
112|2|God, the Absolute.
3لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ
112|3|He begets not, nor was He begotten.
4وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ
112|4|And there is nothing comparable to Him.