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Meanings of Surah al-Ikhlaas and its Virtues

The Meanings of Surah al-Ikhlaas and its Virtues

Surah al-Ikhlaas is the 112th surah of the Quran. Despite having just four verses and being one of the shortest surahs of the Quran, it is still one of the most important chapters. Learning this surah is often the first step for any young child or a new Muslim. It is a very popular choice for recital during Salah (prayer) due to its short length and deep meanings, thus Surah al-Ikhlaas for kids is a popular option.

This surah was revealed during the Makkan period and is known to be one of the earliest revelations received by the Prophet (PBUH). The surah contains a short but comprehensive overview regarding Tawheed (Oneness of Allah).

The extra reverence given by Muslims to this surah is based on evidence from the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH). This surah has immense virtues and is generally referred to as being “one-third” of the Quran.

The concept of God in His genuine form is what is contained in Surah al-Ikhlaas. The aim of this surah is to remove all false misconceptions about Allah. Those misconceptions are replaced with the simple reality of Tawheed.

If anyone reads this surah and comprehends the meaning completely and acts according to it, they are safe from shirk. Shirk, i.e., polytheism is the only unforgivable sin in Islam.

Click here to know about the many different forms of astaghfar.

Surah khlaas in Arabic:

قُل هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ. اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ. لَم يَلِد وَلَم يولَد. وَلَم يَكُن لَهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ

Surah Ikhlaas transliteration:

Qul hu wallahu Ahad. Allah us samad. Lam yalid wa lam yoo lad. Wa lam ya kullahu kufu wan Ahad.

Surah al-Ikhlaas meaning:

It begins with the affirmation that Allah is One. Allah is the Eternal Refuge. He does not beget, nor is He given birth to, and He has no equal.

The first verse

This verse is an absolute expression of Allah’s monotheism. He is the One and Only Ultimate Being and Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. The verse starts with “Qul,” a command for people to utter the words contained in this surah.

The key to the importance of this verse is its simplicity. Declaring that Allah is One is the most straightforward and uncomplicated way of expressing Allah’s Oneness. At the same time, if one sits and ponders over it, they can understand the many implications contained in the verse.

The Arabic word “Ahad” utilized in this verse emphasizes the unique Oneness of Allah. It portrays Allah as the Exclusive One, which is the reality. He is the One and Only being worthy of being worshipped.

The second verse

This is another verse that seemingly has a simple meaning but can be quite complex. The name, “As-Samad,” has several meanings. All the meanings serve to glorify His Lordship. The shortest way to summarize the meaning of As-Samad is that it means that Allah is completely self-sufficient. He is also our Master, and we all need Him. On the other hand, He needs no one.

All beings besides Allah have needs. Without the needs being fulfilled, they cannot function properly. His Perfection and Uniqueness is such that He is unlike all the rest of mankind. The aspect of self-sufficiency also provides food for thought for disbelievers and idol-worshippers regarding what they worship. For Muslims, it helps us to remember that Allah does not need our worship; however, we need Him.

The Arabic word “Samad” has not been used elsewhere in the Quran. Hence, the powerful meanings behind the word are reserved for Surah al-Ikhlaas. This word negates all forms of human traits from Allah’s being – He is not like his creation in any way.

The third verse

This verse serves to obliterate the claims of Christians and others who claim that God was born. Allah was always in existence and will always remain in existence. Therefore, no concept of birth can be attached to Him.

It is a strong characteristic of false religions that they fail to establish this fact, ending up giving Allah human traits. In Surah An-Nisa, Allah warns not to say three, for He is certainly One, and having a son is something that is beneath Him.

Bearing children is an attribute of created beings, such as humans and animals. Allah has no female partner. The reality of birth and its procedures and the process of childhood, etc., do not conform to Allah’s traits. He is entirely unlike anything that is in the Heavens or on Earth. That is why He is the One, the Unique.

The fourth verse

This verse is similar to the first verse, but it is in the negation form. Allah is the One; therefore, there is nothing that is similar to Him. Nothing can come close to Him, or His attributes. He is the only Self-Sufficient One. Everyone is else is dependent on Him. All other beings have some weaknesses, except Him. There is no other entity that can claim to be One of a kind, besides Allah, the almighty.

This surah, therefore, contains a concise explanation of the fundamentals of Tawheed. The first and last verses focus on Allah’s Uniqueness and Oneness, whereas the two middle verses discuss His independence and self-sufficiency (which counters idol-worshippers), and Him being uncreated and unborn (which counters the People of the Book).

Surah Ikhlaas benefits

Reciting al-Ikhlaas is equivalent to one-third of the Quran

There are multiple Hadiths in Sahih Al-Bukhari that serve as proof that Surah Al-Ikhlaas is equivalent to a third of the Quran. In one of these Hadith, the Prophet (PBUH) asked his Companions if they can recite one-third of the Quran in a night. After their unconfident response, he said that Surah Al-Ikhlaas is equal to a third of the Holy Quran.

Allah will build a palace in Paradise

In Musnad Ahmad, the Prophet (PBUH) said that one who recites Surah Al-Ikhlaas ten times fully, will be granted a palace in Heaven by Allah. Moreover, in Sahih Al-Bukhari, when a man confessed his love for Surah Ikhlaas to the Prophet (PBUH), he replied that the man’s love for it will take him to Jannah.

Allah’s greatest name

According to a Hadith in Sunan Abi Dawud, Surah Al-Ikhlas contains Allah’s Greatest Name. If He is asked with it He grants, and if He is made supplicated by it He responds.

Allah loves one who recites Surah al-Ikhlaas

In Sahih Al-Bukhari, we learn that a man loved to recite Surah Al-Ikhlaas in Salah, so the Prophet (PBUH) said that Allah loves him.

Surah Ikhlaas as protection

In Sahih Al-Bukhari, we discover that the Prophet (PBUH) would cup his hands together, recite Surah Al-Ikhlaas, Surah Al-Falaq, and Surah An-Nas every night prior to sleeping and blow over it, after which he rubbed his hands over as much of his body as he could three times. The Prophet (PBUH) also told us, in Musnad Ahmad, to recite these three surahs every night.

Wrapping Up

Surah Al-Ikhlaas, a concise yet profound chapter of the Quran, emphasizes the Oneness and uniqueness of Allah. Its significance is exemplified through its virtues in Hadiths, equating its recitation to one-third of the Quran, assuring Paradise, and invoking Allah’s love and protection. This chapter encapsulates the fundamental principles of Tawheed, making it a pivotal element of Islamic faith and practice.