Counted amongst the most important chapters of the Quran, Surah Al Ikhlas is also referred to as The Sincerity, The Purity and Surah Tawheed. Consisting of four verses known as Surah Ikhlas Ayat, it is the 112th chapter of the Quran, which focuses on the unity and oneness of god. It is believed that this Surah was revealed during the Quraysh conflict with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) when they challenged the distinguishing attributes of the god worshipped by the Prophet. As it exclusively focuses on Tawheed (the indisputable concept of monotheism and the oneness of god), Al Ikhlas is not just this Surah’s name but also the title of its contents.
Significance of Surah Al Ikhlas in Islam: Held in particularly high regard by Muslims worldwide, Surah Al Ikhlas is considered to be equal in value to one-third of the entire Quran. This is because all of the Quranic teachings are essentially based on three principles, the first of which is the oneness of god. Surah Al Ikhlas affirms the concept of Allah’s oneness and invalidates all forms of idolatry and polytheism. This solidifies the significance of Surah Al Ikhlas as the entire foundation of Islam is built on the absolute belief in Allah’s oneness. As per Islam, there is no other god besides Allah. He has no associates, partners or helpers.
Surah Al Ikhlas Ayats
Surah Al Ikhlas has four Ayats, all of which together support Shahada, one of the pillars of Islam, which emphasizes that there is no true deity besides Allah. Its first Ayat proclaims the oneness of Allah. The second Ayat declares that Allah is As-Samad, which means he has all the characteristics of perfection. This Ayat proclaims that he is the one who everybody depends on, but he doesn’t depend on anyone. It also indicates that he is unlike his creation. The Surah’s third Ayat states that neither was he born nor did he ever give birth. And, the fourth and final Ayat declares that he is beyond comparison and that no one is equal to him.
Benefits of Reciting Surah Al Ikhlas
Several Hadiths clearly underline the virtues of Surah Al Ikhlas. Reciting this Surah offers the same reward as reciting a third of the Quran. It is believed that Allah will gather all the good of this world and the next one for those who recite this Surah. It is also believed that all the sins of those who don’t abandon the recitation of this Surah will be forgiven by Allah along with the sins of his/her parents and children. Reciting Surah Al Ikhlas is believed to be the means of earning Allah’s love and attaining paradise. It also banishes poverty and increases sustenance. In addition, the constant recitation of this Surah makes a person worthy of having the archangel Jibreel participate in his/her funeral prayer.
Surah Al Ikhlas Hadiths
There are numerous Hadiths that underline the significance and virtues of Surah Al Ikhlas. And, some of these Hadiths are as follows:
Abu Said Al-Khudri narrated, “A man heard another man reciting Surah Al Ikhlas repeatedly. He went to the Prophet and informed him thinking that the recitation of this Surah alone was not enough. Allah’s Apostle replied, “By him in whose hand my life is, it is equal to one-third of the Quran.”
Aisha, peace and blessings, narrated, “The Prophet sent an expedition under the leadership of a man who led his companions in the prayers and finished his recitation with Surah Al Ikhlas. When they returned, they mentioned this to the Prophet. He said, “Ask him why he does so.” When they asked him, he replied, “I do so because this Surah states the qualities of the merciful Allah and I love to recite it.” When the Prophet heard this, he said, “Tell him that Allah loves him.”
Abu Said narrated, “The Prophet asked his companions, “Is it difficult for any of you to recite one-third of the Quran in one night?” They replied, “Who among us has the power to do so?” Allah’s Apostle said, “Allah (the) one, the self-sufficient master whom all creatures need.”
Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi, “Say Surat Al Ikhlas and al-Mu’awwidhatayn three times in the morning and the evening; they will suffice you from everything.”
Aisha narrated, “Whenever the Prophet went to bed every night, he cupped his hands together and blew over them after reciting Surah Al Ikhlas, Surah an-Nas and Surah al-Falaq. Then, he rubbed his hands over every part of his body he could, starting with his face, head and front. He did that three times every night.”
Imam Ahmad recorded Ibn ‘Umar saying, “I watched the Prophet reciting twenty-four or twenty-five times in the two Rak’ahs before the morning prayer and the two Rak’ahs after the sunset prayer, say: O ye infidels! (Surah Al-Kafirun) and say: He is Allah, one.”
Imam Malik ibn Anas recorded that Ubayd bin Hunayn said that he heard Abu Hurayrah saying, “I went out with the Prophet and he heard a man reciting Surah Al Ikhlas. So, the prophet said: It is obligatory. I asked: What is obligatory?” and he replied: Paradise.”
All these hadith highlight that Surah al Ikhlas is an important chapter in the Quran and Islamic scholars recommend reciting it as well as understanding its message.
Surah Al Ikhlas FAQs
What does the term Ikhlas mean?
The term Ikhlas means removing everyone else besides Allah from worship and serving only him. It means to purify one’s heart by eliminating all polytheistic intentions and non-godly attachments.
Where was this Surah revealed?
The subject of whether this Surah was revealed in Medina or Makkah is a matter of much debate. It is more probable that it was revealed in Makkah.
What is Tawheed?
Tawheed means the oneness or unification of god as per Islam. It is Islam’s central and the most important concept, on which the entire faith is based.
What is Shahada?
It is the Islamic declaration of faith that pronounces the unwavering belief in the oneness of god. As per Shahada, attributing divinity to anyone or anything else is considered an unpardonable sin.
Is Tawheed only about monotheism?
No, Tawheed is not only about avoiding worshipping multiple gods but also about relinquishing the strife for social status, egoism and money.