The Prophet (PBUH) said that reciting Surah Ikhlas equals one third of the Quran. In another hadith he said that no one would be able to surpass the person who recites SubhanAllahi wabihamdi 100 times in the morning and 100 times in the evening except for one who does more. I recite SubhanAllahi wabihamdi 100 times in the morning and 100 times in the evening and I recite Surah Ikhlas 1000 times in a day. Should I stop reciting Surah Ikhlas and start reciting SubhanAllahi wabihamdi more? Which one would give me more reward?
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.
There is no doubt that Soorah (chapter) Al-Ikhlaas is equivalent to one-third of the Quran; however, there is no authentic proof regarding the virtue of reciting it a thousand times every day. As for what is reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Whoever recites ‘Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad’ a thousand times would have bought himself from Allaah", it is not proven that the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said so. As-Suyooti mentioned it in Al-Jaami‘ As-Sagheer from Al-Khiyaari in his Fawaa'id from Huthayfah and Shaykh Al-Albaani judged it to be Mawdhoo‘ (i.e. fabricated) in Dha‘eef Al-Jaami‘.
The number mentioned in our Sharee‘ah regarding reciting Soorah Al-Ikhlaas in every day and night is only three times in the morning and in the evening as it is mentioned in the statement of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: “Reciting ‘Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad’ and Al-Mu’awwithatayn [the last two Soorahs of the Quran] three times in the evening and in the morning will protect you against everything.” [Abu Daawood]
The same applies to reciting it along with Al-Mu’awwithatayn three times before sleeping. As for reciting it regularly a thousand times every day and adhering firmly to that, then there is no evidence for this in our Sharee‘ah. Accordingly, our dear questioner should not adhere to that nor should he do it regularly.
It was mentioned in the Fataawa of the Permanent Committee: "One should not adhere to repeating a Soorah or verse for a specific number of times unless this was proven from the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. That is because such is an act of worship that should be prescribed only by Sharee‘ah."
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said regarding the one who recites Soorah Al-Ikhlaas a thousand times: "If he says that reciting ‘Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad’ which is equivalent to one-third of the Quran is something legislated, then he is truthful, but who determined repeating it one thousand times?" [End quote]
So, dear questioner, strive hard to recite the Athkaar (remembrances of Allaah) prescribed in Islam every day and night and to recite a great deal of Athkaar in general, without adhering to a certain number that has no evidence in Sharee'ah, for this actually has more merit and a greater reward.
Allaah Knows best.
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