Sheikh Syed Abu Al-Ala Al-Maududi, states regarding the importance and significance of Surat Al-Ikhlas: “The Holy Messenger of Allah (upon whom be peace) held this Surah in great esteem, and he made the Muslims realize its importance and significance in different ways so that they recited it frequently and disseminated it among the people. For it states the foremost and fundamental doctrine of Islam (viz. Tauhid) in four such brief sentences as are immediately impressed on human memory and can be read and recited easily. There are a great number of the traditions of Hadith, which show that the Holy Prophet on different occasions and in different ways told the people that this Surah is equivalent to one third the Quran. Several ahadith on this subject have been related in Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Daud; Nasai, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Musnad Ahmad, Tabarani and other books, on the authority of Abu Said Khudri, Abu Hurairah, Abu Ayyub Ansari, Abu ad-Darda, Muadh bin Jabal, Jabir bin Abdullah, Ubayy bin Kab, Umm Kulthum bint Uqbah bin Abi Muait, Ibn Umar, Ibn Masud, Qatadah bin an-Numan, Anas bin Malik, and Abu Masud (may Allah be pleased with all of them). The commentators have given many explanations of the Holy Prophet’s this, saying. But in our opinion it simply means that the religion presented by the Quran is based on three doctrines: Tauhid, Apostleship and the Hereafter. This Surah teaches Tauhid, pure and undefiled. Therefore, the Holy Prophet (upon whom he Peace) regarded it as, equal to one-third of the Quran.
A tradition on the authority of Hadrat Aishah has been related in Bukhari, Muslim and other collections of the Ahadith, saying that the Holy Prophet sent a man as leader of an expedition. During the journey he concluded his recitation of the Quran in every Prayer with Qul Huwa-Allahu ahad. On their return him companions mentioned this before the Holy Prophet. He said: “Ask him why he did so.” When the man was asked, he replied: “In this Surah the attributes of the Merciful God have been stated; therefore, I love to recite it again and again.” When the Holy Prophet heard this reply, he said to the people: “Inform him that Allah holds him in great love and esteem.”
A similar incident has been related in Bukhari, on the authority of Hadrat Anas. He says: “A man from among the Ansar led the Prayers in the Quba Mosque. His practice was that in every rak`ah he first recited this Surah and then would join another Surah to it. The people objected to it and said to him: “Don’t you think that Surah Ikhlas is by itself enough? Why do you join another Surah to it? You should either recite only this surah, or should leave it and recite some other Surah. He said: “I cannot leave it, I would rather give up leadership in the Prayer, if you so desired. “The people did not approve that another man be appointed leader instead of him. At last, the matter was brought before the Holy Prophet. He asked the man, “What prevents you from conceding what your companions desire? What makes you recite this particular Surah in every rak`ah?” The man replied: “I have great love for it.” The Holy Prophet remarked: “Your this love for this Surah has earned you entry into Paradise.””

In his tafseer, Imam Ibn Kathir (may Allah have mercy on his soul) stated that this surah can be used as a protection and cure against evils and diseases. In this regard, he mentioned that Al-Bukhari recorded from `A’ishah that whenever the Prophet would go to bed every night, he would put his palms together and blow into them. Then he would recite into them (his palms), `Say: He is Allah, One’, `Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of Al-Falaq’, and `Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of mankind.’ Then he would wipe whatever he was able to of his body with them (his palms). He would begin wiping his head and face with them and the front part of his body. He would do this (wiping his body) three times. The Sunan compilers also recorded this same Hadith.