As-salaam wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh
TAFSEER SOORAH IKHLAAS (112)
Name of the Soorah
This chapter is most commonly known by the title Soorah al-Ikhlaas (The Chapter on Sincerity)
from the phrase akhlasa lillaahi (to be without hypocrisy towards God, to be sincere towards God [Qaamoos of al-Fayroozabaadee])
or the term ikhlaas properly signifies the assertion of oneself to be clear of believing in any beside God [Taaj al-‘Aroos of Murtadaa az- Zabeedee]
. However, it was also sometimes referred to as Soorah at-Tawheed (The Chapter on Monotheism)
by early scholars. In many statements of the Prophet (PBUH) and his companions, this chapter was most commonly referred to by the whole first verse Qul huwAllaahu ahad. However, this variation in the names does not in any way indicate changes or contradictions within the Qur’aan because the majority of chapter titles were chosen by the companions of the Prophet (PBUH) and scholars of later generations for identification purposes.
There are, however, a few chapters which the Prophet (PBUH) referred to by titles. For example, the 18th chapter was commonly called Soorah al-Kahf (The Cave)
. AbuDardaa related that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Anyone who memorizes the first ten verses of Soorah al-Kahf will be protected from Dajjaal.” Sahih Muslim, vol. 2, pp. 386-7, no. 1766.
It was not until the third century after the hijrah (ninth century C.E.) that people began the practice of writing chapter names in the Qur’aan, numbering the verses and adding symbols in the margin indicating the divisions of the Qur’aan.
There were also symbols indicating the ends of the verses and places for recitational pauses (such as ط and لا )
. Most scholars of that time were initially opposed to these additions fearing that their widespread acceptance might lead to these symbols being considered a part of the Qur’aan in later times.
Al-Halleemee, one of the major Qur’aanic scholars of that time said:
“Writing in the tenths and fifths, names of the
chapters and the numbers of the verses are all
despised, based on Ibn Mas‘ood’s statement, ‘Free
the Qur’aan from any additions.’ However, vowel
marks, are allowed because they do not have form
similar to that of the text of the Qur’aan. They are
only necessary indications of correct pronunciation
and their presence does no harm.”
In time, however, the opposition of the early scholars was overwhelmed by the will of the masses and such additions became common place.