Tuesday 25 Rabi‘ at-akhir 1443 - 30 November 2021
English

Virtues of Ayatul Kursi: What Are They?

Question

What are the virtues of Ayatul Kursi? 

Summary of answer

Ayatul Kursi is the greatest verse in the Quran. Ayatul Kursi is never recited in a house but the Shaytan leaves. For more about the merits of Ayatul Kursi, see the detailed answer.

Praise be to Allah.

Ayatul Kursi: The Greatest verse in the Quran

Imam Ibn Kathir (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his Tafsir of Ayatul Kursi from Surat al-Baqarah:

“This is Ayatul Kursi, which has a high status. It was reported in a sahih hadith from the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that it is the greatest ayah in the Book of Allah… It was narrated from Ubayy, i.e., Ubayy ibn Ka’b that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked him which ayah in the Book of Allah was the greatest. He said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He repeated it several times, then he said, “Ayatul Kursi.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Congratulations upon your knowledge O Abu’l-Mundhir. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, it has a tongue and two lips, and it glorifies the Sovereign (i.e., Allah) at the foot of the Throne.” This was also narrated by Muslim, without the phrase “By the One in Whose Hand is my soul…”.

Ayatul Kursi: Protection from the jinn

It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allah ibn Ubayy ibn Ka’b that his father told him that he had a vessel in which he kept dates. He used to check on it and found that the number was decreasing. So he kept guard on it one night and saw a beast that looked like an adolescent boy. He said: “I greeted him with salams and he returned my greeting, then I asked him, ‘What are you, a jinni or a human?’ He said, ‘A jinni.’ I said to him, ‘Show me your hand.’ So he showed me his hand, and it looked like a dog’s paw with dog’s fur. I said, ‘Do all the jinn look like this?’ He said, ‘I know no one among the jinn who is stronger than I.’ I said, ‘What made you do what you did [i.e., taking the dates]?’ He said, ‘We heard that you are a man who loves charity, and we wanted to have some of your food.’” Ubayy asked him, “What will protect us from you?” He said, “This ayah, Ayatul Kursi .” Then the next day he [Ubayy] went to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and told him (about what had happened) and he said, “The evil one spoke the truth.”…

Imam Ahmad narrated: Muhammad ibn Ja’far told us, ‘Uthman ibn ‘Itab told us, he said: I heard Abu’l-Sulayl saying: a man from among the Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) addressed the people until a large number had gathered around him, then he climbed onto the roof of a house and addressed the people, saying: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘Which ayah of the Quran is the greatest?’ A man said, ‘ “Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists…” [al-Baqarah 2:255 – Ayatul Kursi – interpretation of the meaning].’ He said: he put his hand between my shoulders and I felt coolness in the centre of my chest, or he put his hand on the centre of my chest and I felt coolness between my shoulders, and he said, ‘Congratulations on your knowledge, O Abu’l-Mundhir.”

It was narrated that Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) whilst he was in the mosque and sat down. He said, ‘O Abu Dharr, did you pray?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘ Get up and pray.’ So I got up and prayed, then I came and sat down. He said, ‘O Abu Dharr, seek refuge with Allah from the devils of men and jinn.’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, are there devils among men?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what about salah?’ He said, ‘It is the best, so let whoever wants to, do a little of it and let whoever wants to, do more of it.’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what about fasting?’ He said, ‘It is obligatory and it is good, and the reward with Allah is greater.’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what about sadaqah (charity)?’ He said, ‘Allah multiplies it many times over.’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what (charity) is best?’ He said, ‘What a person gives at times of hardship, or what he gives in secret to a poor person.’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, which of the prophets was first?’ He said, ‘Adam.’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, was he a prophet?’ He said, ‘Yes, a prophet to whom Allah spoke.’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, how many messengers are there?’ He said. ‘Three hundred and umpteen, a great crowd.’ And once he said, ‘(Three hundred and) fifteen.’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what is the greatest thing that has been revealed to you?’ He said, ‘Ayatul Kursi, “Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists…” [al-Baraqah 2:255 – interpretation of the meaning].’” (Narrated by al-Nasai).

 Al-Bukhari narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) appointed me to guard the Ramadan zakah. Someone came and started taking some of the food. I grabbed hold of him and said, ‘I am going to take you to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)!’ He said, ‘Let me be, for I am in need and I have children and am in great need.’ So I let him go. The following morning, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘O Abu Hurayrah, what did your prisoner do last night?’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, he complained of being in great need and having children to look after, so I took pity on him and let him go.’ He said, ‘But he was lying, and he will be back.’ So I knew that he would come back, because of what the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had said. I lay in wait for him, and he came and started taking some of the food. I grabbed hold of him and said, ‘I am going to take you to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)!’ He said, ‘Let me be, for I am in need and I have children. I will not come back again.’ So I took pity on him and let him go. The following morning, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘O Abu Hurayrah, what did your prisoner do last night?’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, he complained of being in great need and having children to look after, so I took pity on him and let him go.’ He said, ‘But he was lying, and he will be back.’ So I lay in wait for him on the third night, and he came and started taking some of the food. I grabbed hold of him and said, ‘I am going to take you to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)! This is the third and last time. You said that you would not come back, then you did come back.’ He said, ‘Let me go, and I will teach you some words by which Allah will benefit you.’ I said, ‘What are they?” He said, ‘When you lie down in your bed, recite Ayatul Kursi, “Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists…” [al-Baraqah 2:255 – interpretation of the meaning] until the end of the ayah, then you will have a protector from Allah and no shaytan (devil) will come near you until morning comes.’ Then I let him go. The following morning, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘What did your prisoner do last night?’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, he claimed that he would teach me some words by which he said Allah would benefit me, then I let him go.’ He asked, ‘What are they?’ I said, ‘He told me, when you lie down in your bed, recite Ayatul Kursi, from the beginning to the end of the ayah, “Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists…” [al-Baraqah 2:255 – interpretation of the meaning]. And he told me, you will have a protector from Allah and no shaytan (devil) will come near you until morning comes.’ And they [the Sahabah] were always keen to do good.’ The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘He indeed told you the truth, although he is a liar. Do you know who you have been speaking with for the past three nights, O Abu Hurayrah?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘That was a shaytan (a devil).’”

 According to another report, “… ‘I was taking food to a very poor family among the jinn.’ So he let him go, and he came back on the second night and then the third night. I said, ‘Did you not promise me that you would not come back? I will not leave you today until I bring you to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).’ He said, ‘Do not do that. If you let me go, I will teach you some words which, if you say them, no one among the jinn, great or small, male or female, will come near you.’ He said, ‘Will you do that?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘What are they?’ He said, ‘“Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists…” [al-Baraqah 2:255 – interpretation of the meaning], and recited Ayatul Kursi until the end. So he let him go and he went away and did not come back. Abu Hurayrah told the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) about that, and the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to him: “Did you not know that before?” This was narrated by al-Nasai from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ubayd-Allah from Shu’ayb ibn Harb from Isma’il ibn Muslim from Abu’l-Mutawakkil from Abu Hurayrah. We have noted above that something similar happened to Ubayy ibn Ka’b, so these are three separate incidents. Abu ‘Ubayd said in Kitab al-Gharib: Abu Mu’awiyah told us, from Abu ‘Asim al-Qaffi, from al-Shu’bi from ‘Abd-Allah ibn Mas’ud, who said: “A man from among the humans went out and was met by a man from among the jinn, who said, ‘Will you wrestle with me? If you throw me to the ground I will teach you an ayah which, if you recite it when you enter your house, no shaytan will enter.’ So he wrestled with him and threw him to the ground. He said, ‘I see that you are very small and your forearms are like the front paws of a dog. Are all the jinn like this, or only you?’ He said, ‘I am strong among them. Let us wrestle again.’ So they wrestled again and the human threw him to the ground. So he (the jinni) said, ‘Recite Ayatul Kursi, for no one recites it when he enters his house, but the Shaytan leaves, farting like a donkey.’” It was said to Ibn Mas’ud, “Was that man ‘Umar?” He said, “Who else could it have been, other than ‘Umar?” …

Ayatul Kursi: It is never recited in a house but the Shaytan leaves

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “In Surah al-Baqarah there is an ayah which is the best of all the ayats of the Quran. It is never recited in a house but the Shaytan leaves: Ayatul Kursi.” This was also narrated via another isnad, from Zaidah from Hakim ibn Jubayr. Then he said, its isnad is sahih although they [al-Bukhari and Muslim] did not narrate it. It was also narrated by al-Tirmidhi from the hadith of Zaidah, with the wording, “Everything has its pinnacle and the pinnacle of the Quran is Surah al-Baqarah. In it there is an ayah which is the greatest in the Quran: Ayatul Kursi.” Then he said: (it is) gharib, we do not know it except from the hadith of Hakim ibn Jubayr. Shu’bah discussed it and classed it as da’if (weak). It was also classed as da’if by Ahmad, Yahya ibn Ma'in and other imams. Ibn Mahdi classed it as matruk and al-Sa’di classed it as false.

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab went out one day to some people who had prepared a meal. He said, “Who among you can tell me which is the greatest ayah in the Quran?”  Ibn Mas’ud said, “You are asking one who knows. I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say, ‘The greatest ayah in the Quran is ‘Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists…’ [al-Baraqah 2:255 – interpretation of the meaning].”

Ayatul Kursi contains the greatest name of Allah

Concerning the fact that it includes the greatest name of Allah, Imam Ahmad said: “It was narrated that Asma bint Yazid ibn al-Sakan said: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say about these two ayahs (interpretation of the meanings) -- “Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists…” [al-Baraqah 2:255] and “Alif-Lam-Mim. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Quran, and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings.] Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), Al-Hayyul-Qayyum (the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists)” [Al 'Imran 3:1-2] – that they contain the greatest name of Allah.’” This was  also narrated by Abu Dawud from Musaddid and by al-Tirmidhi from ‘Ali ibn Khashram, and by Ibn Majah from Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah, all three of them narrating from ‘Isa ibn Yunus from ‘Ubayd-Allah ibn Abi Ziyad . Al-Tirmidhi said: it is sahih hasan.

 It was narrated in a marfu’ report that Abu Umamah said: “The greatest name of Allah, which if He is called by it, He responds, is in three (surahs): Surat al-Baqarah, Al ‘Imran and Ta-Ha.” Hisham, i.e., Ibn ‘Ammar, the khatib of Damascus, said: “In al-Baqarah, it is ‘Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exist’  [al-Baraqah 2:255 – interpretation of the meaning]. In Al ‘Imran it is ‘Alif-Lam-Mim. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Quran, and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings.] Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), Al-Hayyul-Qayyum (the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists)’ [Al ‘Imran 3:1-2 – interpretation of the meaning]. And in Ta-Ha it is ‘And (all) faces shall be humbled before (Allah), Al-Hayyul-Qayyum (the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists)’ [Ta-Ha 20:111].”

Benefits of reciting Ayatul Kursi after prayer

Concerning the virtue of reciting this ayah after the prescribed prayers , it was narrated that Abu Umamah said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever recites Ayatul Kursi immediately after each prescribed prayer, there will be nothing standing between him and his entering Paradise except death.” This is how it was narrated by al-Nasai in al-Yawm wa’l-Laylah, from al-Hasan ibn Bishr. It was also narrated by Ibn Hibban in his Sahih from Muhammad ibn Humayr, who is al-Homsi, and is also one of the men of al-Bukhari. The isnad meets the conditions of al-Bukhari.

 And Allah knows best.

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Source: Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid