• Aliyah Khan from ELEVEN

The Benefits of Short Surahs

We’d struggle to admit it, but we’ve all been there – rushing our prayers. Perhaps we were short of time, had to get to someplace else, or simply had our worldly affairs take precedence over the quality of our prayer. When we’re pressed for time, I assume many of us would opt to read quick and short surahs – and while I can’t speak for everyone, I’ve pondered about whether choosing to do that meant I was compromising the value of my prayer, or that I was not doing a good enough job because I chose to read the shorter surahs.


Then about a week ago, I coincidentally chanced upon a TikTok that completely changed my perspective. The video started by stating that many of us read surah Al-Ikhlas almost “every single raka’at because it’s quick and we want to get salah over with”.


The TikToker then shared an anecdote of when a companion of the Prophet (PBUH) would recite a certain surah every single raka’at and the companions praying behind him would get really frustrated. When he was asked why he did this, he said: “Because it’s the description of the Most Merciful and I love it”. Then Prophet Muhammad (PBUH said: “Tell him that Allah loves him (Bukhari)”.


The TikToker rounded up the video by saying “We recite this surah (Al-Ikhlas) because we want it to super fast and to get over our prayer but if we made the intention that we’re still gonna recite that same short surah but we’re reciting it because we want to go to paradise with it, we’re reciting it because it’s the description of the Most Merciful and we love Him, perhaps it will be one of the reasons that God loves us.”


I think about this a lot, especially when I read surah Al-Ikhlas during my prayers. The video made me realise that intention is of paramount importance in our religion, and that short surahs don’t make your prayer of lesser value!


Sometimes the meaning of the surahs we read every day in prayer is lost on us, so here are four short surahs and the summary of their meanings and benefits:



Surah Al-Asr Surah Al-Asr tells us that all humankind is at a loss. The only people who are exempt from this loss are those who believe in God and perform good deeds. Benefits of reading this surah:

  • The person who recites surah Al-Asr in his regular prayers will have a shining face on the Day of Judgment

  • The reciters of this surah will be patient in adversity and will be considered the people of truth

  • If this surah is recited after ‘Isha prayers and kept, it will be a safety from the tyrant ruler in whose presence one is brought’

  • This surah is best for increasing the love and harmony between people

  • Recitation of surah Al-Asr increases patience and steadfastness

Surah Al-Kauthar Surah Al-Kauthar was revealed when the people of Quraysh were opposed to the Prophet (PBUH). Allah SWT reminded the Prophet PBUH that He has for the Prophet Al-Kauthar, a river in paradise. Kauthar is the river from which believers will be given a drink on the Day of Judgment. Benefits of reading this surah:

  • The individual, who recites Surah Al-Kauthar in any of his supplications or Duas, will drink from the wellspring of Kauthar in the hereafter.

  • The reward for reciting Surah Al-Kauthar is compared to ten times the number of cattle slaughtered on Eid-ul Adha every year until the Day of Judgment.

Surah Al-Kafirun Surah Al-Kafiroon emphasises to the non-believers that their religion and Islam are different from one another. It is a reminder to Muslims that they should abide by their religion and not anyone else’s. Benefits of reading this surah:

  • The recitation of Surah Al-Kafirun takes off Shaitaan and keeps one safe from Shirk.

  • The Holy Prophet Muhammad said that reciting Surah Al-Kafirun carries the reward of reciting a quarter of the Holy Qur’an.

  • Recitation of this surah before sleeping keeps one safe the whole night.

  • If a person dies while reciting this surah or after he has done it, he dies a martyr.

Surah Al-Ikhlas Surah Al-Ikhlas explains the oneness of Allah SWT and who He is. Benefits of reading this surah:

  • The recitation of Surah Al-Ikhlas is compared to reciting one-third of the Qur’an.

  • Reciting Surah Al-Ikhlas will give protection against every kind of affliction and calamity

  • A means of forgiveness of sins

  • A house in Jannah. Prophet Muhammed (SAW) said: “Whoever recites Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad ten times; Allah will build for him a house in Paradise.” (Saheeh al-Jaami)

  • Success in business

  • An increase in the recitation of Surah Al-Ikhlas is a means of attaining the love of Allah

  • Surah Al-Ikhlas is a means of eliminating poverty

  • The constant recitation of Surah Al-Ikhlas increases the presence of the angels at the time of death

  • Whoever recites Surah Al-Ikhlas in his obligatory prayers, Allah grants him good in this world as well as in the next life and forgives him, his parents and children

Reading up on the meaning and benefits of these surahs was an enlightening experience for me. It reaffirms the fact that there is still so much goodness we can attain from simply sparing a moment in our day to read these surahs, whether in prayer or not! The next time you find yourself pressed for time to complete a prayer – slow down and be rest assured that despite opting to read shorter surahs such as the ones above, there is still a multitude of benefits you will receive and that your prayer is still as valid.

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