Qur'an: Are certain parts of the Qur'an superior?

Q538 :I am in the habit of reciting Surah 112 (Al-Ikhlas) often, but a scholar told me that approach was not the right one. He suggested that if I read this surah 1000 times at the same spot, I have actually sold my soul to Allah, which did not seem too attractive to me. Please comment.


A538 : There is a report which suggests that a group of Muslims complained to the Prophet about their local imam who often recited the surah you have mentioned which is entitled "Purity of faith" or "Al-Ikhlas." The Prophet asked him the reason for reciting the surah so often and the man answered that he loved it so much. The Prophet told him that Allah loves him because of his love of this surah. The surah is a very short one, perhaps the second shortest in the whole of the Qur'an. It is appropriate to quote it in order to understand what we are talking about. Its text may be rendered in translation as follows : "In the name of Allah, the Merciful the Beneficent. "Say : He is Allah the One and the Only God, the Eternal, the Absolute. He begot none, nor was He begotten, and there is none comparable to Him." It is clear that the surah summarizes the concept of the Oneness of Allah in a most clear and precise statement which allows no trace of polytheistic beliefs to creep into Islamic faith. Since Oneness of Allah is the basic concept of all divine messages, this surah is very important for anyone who wants to understand what the religion of Islam is all about. To a Muslim it serves as a constant reminder that he must always preserve his faith pure of any trace of polytheism. For this reason, we are recommended to recite this surah often, particularly in Sunnah prayer. The Prophet is known to have read this surah in voluntary prayers in particular and if we do the same we stand to earn more reward for our prayer because of following the Prophet's methods. Having said that, I have to add that at no time did the Prophet recommend us to recite this surah, or any particular one, so many times on the same occasion. The reverse is true. The Prophet has always recommended us to read the Qur'an and ponder over its meanings, so that we understand fully well what Allah's message is. We do not find any scholar of repute of any school of thought recommending the reading of passages of the Qur'an or phrases of glorification of Allah a large number of times, as some people these days suggest. When you consider the position of such people, you find that they do not have any proper knowledge of Islam. They are not scholars, although some people may give them credit for being so. This reflects on the ignorance of such people because they do not distinguish a real scholar from someone who may try to appear so. I am not clear exactly what this man has told about the value of reading this surah 1,000 times on the same spot. I imagine that what he meant is that by so doing, you bring yourself into the kingdom of Allah and as such you free yourself from the shackles of human beings who need reward in order to offset the punishment they may incur for sins they may commit. He may have used the term "selling your soul to Allah". I can tell you that this is totally alien to Islamic thinking. Islam does not promise us great reward for doing so. If you read this surah once or twice, with contemplation, and you understand the importance of the concept of the Oneness of Allah, you earn much greater reward than reading it a thousand times like a parrot without understanding it. What this man has suggested is total nonsense to which you need not pay any attention whatsoever.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )