Is there a narration which states something to the effect that reciting Surah Al-Ikhlas 12 times brings the reward of 4 khatams of Quran?
I have not seen this narration. The Famous narration of Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and others state that reciting Surah Al-Ikhlas once is equal to 1/3rd of the Quran.
(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 5013 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 811)
It is therefore hoped that by reciting this surah thrice, one will receive the reward of an entire Quran recital. Hence by reciting it 12 times one can expect to get the reward of 4 complete recitals.
(Fathul Bari, Hadith: 5015)
This interpretation is also supported by ‘Allamah Sindhi (rahimahullah) in his footnotes on Sunan Nasai. (vol. 1 pg. 155, Hadith: 995)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala