Sun 20 Jm2 1435 - 20 April 2014
72591

The virtue of reciting some verses of Qur’aan just before going to sleep

I heard a hadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), the meaning of which is, Whoever recites ten verses of Qur’aan at night before going to sleep, will not be recorded as one of the heedless. 
Is this hadeeth saheeh? If it is saheeh, then is it correct to recite Aayat al-Kursiy and Soorat al-Ikhlaas and al-Mi’wadhatayn by heart? Thus I will have recited my wird, and I will have recited more than ten verses. Or must it be ten verses read from the Mus-haf?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly: 

The text of the hadeeth referred to by the questioner is: 

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever recites ten verses at night will not be recorded as one of the heedless.” Narrated by al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak (1/742), and he said: This hadeeth is saheeh according to the conditions of Muslim although they (al-Bukhaari and Muslim) did not narrate it. It was also narrated by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb (2/81) 

It was also narrated that this was the view of a number of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them): 

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: Whoever recites ten verses at night will not be recorded as one of the heedless. A similar report was narrated from Tameem al-Daari (may Allaah be pleased with him). Both were narrated by al-Daarimi in his Musnad (2/554-555). 

Secondly: 

Is what is meant in the hadeeth reciting these verses in one’s prayer at night, or can this virtue be attained simply by reciting these verses at night, whether during prayer or otherwise? 

Both are possible. The former is supported by the report narrated by Abu Dawood (1398) from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays qiyaam reciting ten verses will not be recorded as one of the heedless. Whoever prays qiyaam reciting one hundred verses will be recorded as one of the devout. Whoever prays qiyaam reciting one thousand verses will be recorded as one of those who collected a great deal of reward.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood (1264). 

It says in ‘Awn al-Ma’bood: What is meant here is qiyaam al-layl. Hence Ibn Hibbaan narrated this hadeeth in the chapters on qiyaam al-layl in his Saheeh (4/120), and gave it the title: “Statement that the one who prays qiyaam reciting ten verses is not heedless.” 

This is also supported by the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) which says: “Whoever prays at night reciting one hundred verses will not be recorded as one of the heedless, and whoever prays at night with two hundred verses will be recorded as one of the sincere and devout.” Narrated by al-Haakim (1/452) and classed as saheeh according to the conditions of Muslim. But al-Albaani was of the view that it is da’eef, as it says in al-Saheehah (2/243) and Da’eef al-Targheeb (1/190). 

In the report narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah (2/180) it says: “The one who offers these prescribed prayers regularly will not be recorded as one of the heedless, and whoever recites one hundred verses at night will not be recorded as one of the heedless.” 

Al-Albaani said in al-Saheehah (643): Its isnaad is saheeh according to the conditions of the two Shaykhs (al-Bukhaari and Muslim). 

The fact that recitation is mentioned alongside the prescribed prayer suggests that the command is to recite it during the prayer, i.e., the night prayer. 

Hence Ibn Khuzaymah narrated that hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) in a chapter called “The virtue of reciting one hundred verses in the night prayer, because the one who recites one hundred verses in the night prayer will not be recorded as being among the heedless.” It was also narrated by Muhammad ibn Nasr al-Marwazi in his book Qiyaam al-Layl (164) in the chapters that speak of reciting in the night prayer. 

And this virtue may also be attained by the one who recites this number of verses at night in general, whether that is during prayer or otherwise, before going to sleep or after waking up, if he wakes during the night. This general meaning was understood by many of the scholars when they narrated the hadeeth in their collections of hadeeth. Al-Daarimi (may Allaah have mercy on him) included it in a chapter called “The virtue of one who recites ten verses” (2/554).  

Al-Haakim included it in his Mustadrak (1/738) in a chapter called “Reports concerning the virtue of the Qur’aan in general.” 

Al-Mundhiri included it in al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb (2/76) in a chapter called “Encouragement to recite Qur’aan in prayer and at other times, and the virtue of learning it and teaching it.” 

He mentioned it a second time in a chapter entitled “Encouragement to recite adhkaar to be said by night and by day, not just in the morning and in the evening” (2/116). 

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Adhkaar (1/255): 

Reciting Qur’aan is the most important of adhkaar, which should be done regularly. No day or night should be without it and it may be attained by reciting a few verses.  

Then he mentioned a number of ahaadeeth including the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah that we have quoted above. End quote.

It is hoped that the one who recites ten verses at night will not be recorded among the heedless, whether he recites them during his night prayer or otherwise, for the bounty of Allaah is great indeed. 

In Saheeh Muslim (789) it is narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If the companion of the Qur’aan persists in reciting it by night and by day, he will remember it, but if he does not do that he will forget it.” 

The apparent meaning of the hadeeth is that what is meant by qiyaam here (idha qaama = if [he] persists) is broader in meaning than the idea of praying qiyaam. Al-Manaawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: i.e., if he commits himself to reading Qur’aan at night and during the day, and does not neglect that… This is a recommendation to read Qur’aan constantly, without singling out a specific time or place. End quote. 

Thirdly: 

In the Sunnah it is recommended for the Muslim to recite certain verses when he goes to bed. 

Among the soorahs and verses which we are recommended to recite are the following: 

1 – Aayat al-Kursiy (al-Baqarah 2:255) 

It says in a mu’allaq report narrated in Saheeh al-Bukhaari (2311) that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) appointed me to guard the zakaah of Ramadaan, then someone came and started rummaging in the foodstuff … and at the end of the hadeeth he said: “When you go to your bed, recite Aayat al-Kursiy, for there will remain with you a guardian from Allaah, and no devil will approach you, until morning comes.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “He told you the truth although he is a liar. That was a devil.” 

2 – The last two verses of Soorat al-Baqarah 

It was narrated from Abu Mas’ood al-Ansaari (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever recites the last two verses of Soorat al-Baqarah at night, they will suffice him.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5009) and Muslim (2714). Ibn al-Qayyim said in al-Waabil al-Sayyib (132): They will suffice him against any evil that may harm him. 

It was narrated that ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: 

“I did not think that any sane person could sleep without reciting the last three verses of Soorat al-Baqarah.” 

In al-Adhkaar (220), al-Nawawi attributed it to the report of Abu Bakr ibn Abi Dawood, then he said: It is saheeh according to the conditions of al-Bukhaari and Muslim. 

3, 4 – Soorat al-Isra’ and Soorat al-Zumar 

It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would not go to sleep until he had recited Bani Israa’eel (Soorat al-Isra’) and al-Zumar. 

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (3402) who said: it is a hasan hadeeth. It was also classed as hasan by al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar in Nataa’ij al-Afkaar (3/65), and it was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi

5 – Soorat al-Kaafiroon 

It was narrated that Nawfal al-Ashja’i (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to me: “Recite Qul yaa ayyuha’l-kaafiroon then go to sleep at the end of it, for it is a disavowal of shirk.” 

Narrated by Abu Dawood (5055) and al-Tirmidhi (3400); classed as hasan by Ibn Hajar in Nataa’ij al-Afkaar (3/6); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood

6, 7, 8 – al-Ikhlaas and al-Mi’wadhatayn [i.e., the last three soorahs of the Qur’aan] 

It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went to bed every night, he would hold his hands together and blow into them, and recite into them Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad, Qul a’oodhu bi rabb il-falaq and Qul a’oodhu bi rabb il-naas. Then he would wipe them over whatever he could of his body, starting with his head and face and the front of his body, and he would do that three times. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5017). 

It was narrated that Ibraaheem al-Nakha’i said: 

They regarded it as mustahabb to recite these soorahs every night three times: Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad and al-Mi’wadhatayn. Al-Nawawi said in al-Adhkaar (221): its isnaad is saheeh according to the conditions of Muslim. 

Fourthly: 

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Adhkaar (221): 

It is better for a person to do all that has been narrated of this matter, but if he cannot do that he should do whatever he is able to do. End quote. 

It is not essential to read from the Mus-haf. It is sufficient for the Muslim to recite whatever he can from memory of the passages mentioned above, and Allaah will decree for him what He has promised. 

And Allaah knows best.

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