1/3 of the Quran

May 17, 2007

Chapter 112 a.k.a. Surat al-Ikhlas (Sincerity) is well-known to many of us. Some people would ask Rasoolullah (SAW) about Allah (SWT) and in response, Surat al-Ikhlas was revealed in Makkah. For many it is the surah we recite most-often in our prayers. However, do we recite it so often because of its length and conciseness or do we recite it for its virtue and reward? What is the translation of the meaning of Surah al-Ikhlas?

Verse 1: Say, He is Allah, the One
Verse 2: Allah, the eternally Besought of all
Verse 3: He begets not nor was begotten
Verse 4: And there is none comparable unto Him

What is the value of this surat? Rasoolullah (SAW) asked the Sahaba, “Would any of you be able to recite a third of the Quran in the course of a single night?”
The Sahaba responded, “Who would be able to do that, O Rasoolullah?”
After reciting Surat al-Ikhlas, Rasoolullah (SAW) continued that it is worth a third of the Quran (this story can be found in Bukhari).

Subhana’Allah, we can be granted the reward of reciting one-third of the Quran by reciting these four short ayat. Indeed, Allah (SWT) is the most merciful. Indeed, Allah (SWT) is Ar-Rahman!

Why is Surat al-Ikhlas worth one-third of the Quran? From reading the Quran, one can realize that it is divided into three parts: legal rulings, narrations, and tawheed. Surat al-Ikhlas comprises the Names and Attributes of Allah (SWT) as it covers tawheed and the oneness of God.

Let us attempt to explain some of this beautiful surat. We can do this by concentrating on two Names of Allah (SWT) mentioned here, Al-Ahad and As-Samad. According to Imam al-Qurtubi, Al-Ahad affirms the oneness of existence that cannot be shared by anyone thing or anyone else. Similarly, Imam al-Qurtubi explains As-Samad as “the One whose dignity and sovereignty reaches the extent where all things in existence depend on for all their needs.” Surely, this quality cannot be ascribed to anyone except Allah (SWT) as it is only He who is Perfect in all of His Names and Attributes.

Surat al-Ikhlas is the perfect answer to Muslims who ascribe a shape and body to their gods. Indeed, Allah (SWT) is free of any resemblance to creation. We cannot worship an idol made out of gold, as this is not god. Allah (SWT) has no partners and He has neither children nor parents. A scholar was once sent to medieval Europe to debate a Christian priest. The Christian king greeted the scholar and the scholar met the king and priest with smiles and asked the priest how his family was doing. Unfortunately, the priest practiced celibacy and had no family. The king’s face turned angry as he said to the Muslim scholar, “Do you not know that this man is a priest. He has freed himself of such needs and impurities.” The scholar responded, “Subhana’Allah, how can your priests be free of these qualities and needs and then you assign them to Allah (SWT).”

We all should strive to learn and love Surat al-Ikhlas. Rasoolullah (SAW) appointed a man to lead the prayer for a group of the Sahaba when the group was traveling. The Sahaba complained to Rasoolullah (SAW) that the appointed man would always finish his recitations with Surat al-Ikhlas. Rasoolullah said, “Ask him why he does so.” The Sahaba asked the man and he responded, “I do so because it mentions the qualities of the Beneficent, and I love to recite it (in my prayer).” Rasoolullah (SAW) said to the Sahaba, “Tell him that Allah loves him” (this story can be found in Bukhari and Muslim).

However, when reciting this surat, we must remember we cannot recite this in lieu of reciting an entire one-third of the Quran. Imam Ibn Taymiyyah wrote that indeed one would receive reward to the same degree of reciting one-third of the Quran for reciting Surat al-Ikhlas. However, this would not be the same reward for reciting an actual one-third of the Quran.

Regardless, we all need to love and understand the great blessings of this beautiful surat. It teaches us pure and undefiled monotheism, the true way of Islam. This is what we need to teach others when we do dawah. When talking about Islam with non-Muslims, we should always bring everything back to tawheed. Surely, there is only one God, the Most Merciful, the Most Beneficent.

[Taken in part from Shaykh Salman al-Oadah]


3 Responses to “1/3 of the Quran”

  1. hasan Says:

    The Risale-i Nur collection is a six-thousand-page commentary on the Quran written by Bediuzzaman Said Nursi in accordance with the mentality of the age.

    DOWNLOAD Risale-i Nur Pdf books
    Just click the links below

  2. Nur Says:

    So, if I recited al-Ikhlas three times in a row, I would receive the reward of reciting the entire Qur’an, and all of its letters thereof. I know greed is not a good attribute, but it would be nice to know that one could receive over 32 million rewards for reciting the entire Qur’an? I did the math according to the Hadith where the Prophet (saw) said that a person who recites one letter of the Qur’an receives one reward for each letter, multiplied by then, thereby making it ten rewards. If my source of information is right, there are over 320,000 letters in the Qur’an, therefore if one were to recite the Qur’an its entirety, they would receive over 32,000,000 (thirty-two million) rewards for doing that, G-d-willing.

    I’m only taking it literally on purpose, because it shows how Mercifcul and Compassionate Allah really is to His creation. It proves the verse wherein He says that He does not want hardship for us, but ease.

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