Sunday 20th of June 2021
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The importance of Surah al-Ikhlas (The Purity): Part 1

The importance of Surah al-Ikhlas (The Purity): Part 1

First of all, we shall take a cursory glance at its sublime content:

قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَد

That is, He is One in Essence as well as in Attributes. So, He is also One in worthiness to be the Worshipped Being {ma‘bud}.

اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ

That is, He is free from want and all things are in need of Him, and He is Alone in being free from want.

لَمْ يَلِدْ

That is, He does not reproduce an equal for Him to have a peer and a match.

وَ لَمْ يُولَدْ

That is, He is the First and the Last. He is not created to have emerged from something.


وَ لَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كفُواً أَحَد

That is, He has neither equal nor spouse; neither peer nor partner.

This surah negates all layers of polytheism, superstitions, delusions, and deviant beliefs from the Sacred Essence of God, while presenting to us pure and pristine tawhid.

In the prayer, after Surah al-Fatihah, one of the surahs of the Qur’an must be recited. The person praying might choose any surah; of course, with the exception of the four surahs in which prostration is obligatory.

Among the surahs recited in prayer, Surah al-Ikhlas (or at-Tawhid) is preferable and in the traditions it is thus enjoined: ”You have to read this surah in at least one of the rak‘ahs of prayer everyday so as to be among those who are praying.”‌(1)
In terms of importance, this surah is equal to one third of the Qur’an, nay one third of the Tawrah, Injil (2) and Zabur (3). If this surah is also recited after the prayer as a prayer supplement, God shall give the person the goodness of this world and the hereafter.

This surah is short, yet its content is very sublime. As Imam Sadjad (A.S) said, ”Since He knew that meticulous and insightful individuals shall emerge in the future, God revealed this surah as well as the initial verses of Surah al-Hadid.

Recital of this surah is enjoined not only in prayer. In fact, frequent recitation of it removes the evil of tyrants and ensures one’s house from mishaps and perils.

Sa‘d ibn Mu‘adh, one of the companions and commanders of the army of the Messenger of Allah, was buried in the cemetery of Baqi‘ in Medina. The Prophet (PBUH) participated in the burial rites for him barefooted and saying: ”Ninety thousand angels have come to participate in the burial of Sa‘d.”‌ The Prophet (PBUH) asked Jibra’il (Archangel Gabriel) (‘A.S): ”What is the reason behind your coming down as well as that of all these angels for the burial of Sa‘d ibn Mu‘adh?”‌ Jibra’il (A.S) replied: ”In whatever state””standing, sitting, riding, or walking””he used to recite the surah, ”Say, ‘He is Allah, the One’.”‌

Concerning the circumstances surrounding the revelation of this surah, we read that the Jews, Christians and the idol-worshippers asked the Prophet (PBUH) about God: ”Describe your God to us.”‌ In reply to them, the Prophet (PBUH) recited this surah. This surah serves as the ”identity card”‌ of God.


 (1): The traditions regarding the merits and importance of this surah have been recorded in Tafsir Burhan. In this volume, we shall only quote some of these traditions.

(2): Injil: the scripture revealed to Prophet ‘Isa (Jesus) (A.S) in its original form. {Trans.}

(3): Zabur: the scripture revealed to Prophet Dawud (David) (A.S) in its original form. {Trans.}

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