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8 Short Surah Alternatives to Surah Ikhlas for Salaat

If your only go-to short surah is Surah Ikhlas, say no more! Performing prayer is an act of worship each of us should look forward to but often times our limited knowledge of surahs force us to keep repeating the same ones in every single prayer. This leads us to have a weaker connection with Allah SWT as prayer becomes a mundane chore. Our five daily prayers are meant to act as a source of a direct connection between Allah (SWT) and us. And so, by memorizing a handful of short surahs we’ll be able to better connect with our Creator and also feel our prayers to be more impactful.

Have you ever noticed that some of the short surahs in the Quran are quite simple to memorize? Often, we stick to one single surah (chapter)—usually surah Ikhlas—when praying, and while Allah (SWT) appreciates all of our efforts, there is beauty in memorizing other surahs and presenting them to our Lord. Here is a list of short surahs you can memorize to recite during salah:

Surah Al-Kawthar (108)

This is the shortest surah in the Quran. Kawthar (ٱلْكَوْثَرَ) means abundance in Arabic. Hence, by reciting this surah, Allah will grant your wishes to come true and increase your wealth.

Surah Al-Zalzalah (99)

This short surah discusses the reality of the Day of Judgment. It is said that whoever chooses to recite this surah, it is as if they have completed half the Quran (Tirmidhi). The surah has the power to forbid shaytan (the devil) from entering your home. Zalzalah (الزلزلة) means quake in Arabic which is why this surah is recited to protect one from natural disasters.

Surah An-Nas (114)

One of my favorite surahs, and also one of the most recited against the evil eye, is Surah An-Nas—سورۃ ٱلنَّاس (mankind). The benefits of this surah is protection from all evils of this world. Reciting this in the morning and at night will help contain any malicious intent or jealousy people may hurl your way. This surah reminds us that Allah (SWT) is our Creator, and it is He who is capable of all. It tells us to repent and seek protection from Him. 

Surah Al-Falaq (113)

This surah, similar to An-Nas, is meant to protect us from all evils of this world and is usually recited alongside An-Nas in day-to-day life to ward off jealousy or evil eye. It protects us from the evil we are unaware of, and the harm that we fear will plague our loved ones or us. Evil is not simply someone hurting us or an illness falling upon us, but rather it extends beyond just what we know or see. Reciting these two ayahs in the morning, night, and whenever we feel like a hasad (envy/evil eye) is thrown our way will ensure protection against all forms of harm.

Surah Al-Kafirun (109)

The surah is said to wash away your sins, protect you from hellfire, and even ward the evil of shirk from you. The beauty of this surah is the message it portrays which is to respect other religious beliefs and give respect to those who are of different faiths. It reminds us to hold our faith closely, be proud of it, and remain steadfast in prayers all while respecting those who may follow a path different from ours.  

Surah Ash-Shams (91)

The word shams (ٱلشَّمْسِ) in Arabic means sun. It is said that this short surah is meant to remind us of the bounties Allah (SWT) has provided for us on this earth.

Surah Al-Qadr (97)

The surah we recite consistently on Laylat Al-Qadr—the night the holy Quran was sent to our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Qadr (قدر,) means power/fate in Arabic. There are many benefits to reciting this surah. The surah describes the blessed night on which the Quran was revealed. Reciting this surah in prayer will count as if you have prayed the entirety of the month.

Surah Al-‘Asr (103)

Asr (العصر) means “the declining day” in Arabic. It is said that the benefits of reciting this surah daily will ensure that one has noor (light) emitting from their face on the Day of Judgment. The believers who recite this surah will be given the strength and patience to tolerate the hardships of this world.

While creating this list, I realized how much Allah (SWT) loves his creation. The smallest of surahs, comprising only three ayahs (verses) can have such profound impacts on our lives and in the hereafter. I feel compelled to say Alhamdulillah for Islam—we have so many opportunities to accumulate good deeds and secure our spot in Paradise. Reciting various surahs in our prayers allows us to engage better in our act of worship and dismisses prayer from becoming a mundane chore. I hope the above-mentioned surahs inspire you to memorize them and connect with them so that your prayers can become impactful!