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When were Surat al-Falaq and Surat an-Nas revealed?

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Publication : 11-09-2023

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Question

When were Surat al-Falaq and Surat an-Nas revealed? Is the hadith about the eleven knots which were tied to bewitch the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) sahih?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

The hadiths indicate that the Mu‘awwidhatayn (Al-Falaq) and An-Nas) were revealed in Madinah.

This is mentioned in the hadith of ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Amir, who said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Do you not see verses that have been revealed tonight, the like of which has never been seen? {Say, "I seek refuge in the Lord of daybreak} [Al-Falaq 113] and {Say, "I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind} [An-Nas 114].”

‘Uqbah ibn ‘Amir (may Allah be pleased with him) accompanied the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in Madinah, and these two surahs were revealed after the bewitching incident.

‘Abd ibn Humayd narrated in al-Muntakhab (1/228): Ahmad ibn Yunus told me: Abu Mu‘awiyah told us, from al-A‘mash, from Yazid ibn Hayyan, from Zayd ibn Arqam, who said: A Jewish man bewitched the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), and he fell sick. Jibril came to him, bringing down al-Mu‘awwidhatayn, and said: A Jewish man has bewitched you, and the item used for witchcraft is in the well of So-and-so. So he sent ‘Ali, who brought it to him, then he instructed him to untie the knots and recite verses, so he started reciting and untying, until the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) got up as if he had been released from restraints. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did not say anything to that Jewish man about what he had done to him, and he never confronted him with it.

The narrators of this isnad are trustworthy (thiqat); it was classed as sahih by the commentators on the book, and by Shaykh al-Albani in as-SIlsilah as-Sahihah (6/617).

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said:

He said: Because of that, al-Mu‘aawidhatayn were revealed. End quote.

This was narrated by ath-Tha‘labi from Ibn ‘Abbas in a mu‘allaq report, and from ‘A’ishah, also in a mu‘allaq report.

The isnad going back to ‘A’ishah is sahih. It was narrated by Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah in his Tafsir from Abu ‘Ubaydillah, from Hisham ibn ‘Urwah, from his father, from ‘A’ishah. In it, it says: And {Qul a‘udhu bi Rabb il-falaq} [Surat al-Falaq] was revealed."(At-Talkhis al-Habir  6/2689).

As for the number of knots being eleven, no sahih hadith has been narrated concerning that.

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

As-Suhayli stated that the number of knots was eleven, so it was appropriate that the number of verses of the Mu‘awwidhatayn should be eleven, so that with every verse, one knot was undone.

I say: al-Bayhaqi narrated in ad-Dala’il something similar with a da‘if isnad, in the story in which it is said that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was bewitched… At the end of the hadith, it says that they found a string in which there were eleven knots, and Surat al-Falaq and Surat an-Nas were revealed, so every time he recited a verse, one knot came undone.

Ibn Sa‘d narrated with a munqati‘ (interrupted) isnad from Ibn ‘Abbas that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) sent ‘Ali and ‘Ammar, and they found a string in which there were eleven knots, and he mentioned a similar report."(At-Talkhis al-Habir 6/2689-2690).

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A