Are there two surahs (chapters) called the best two surahs?

The Details of the Question

- If yes, what are they?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

A hadith narration regarding the issue is as follows:

Uqba b. Amir narrates:

I was leading the camel of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) during an expedition. The Prophet said to me,

“O Uqba! Shall I teach you two good chapters to be recited?” Then, he taught me the chapters of al-Falaq and an-Nas. However, he saw that I was not very happy with them. When he stopped for the morning prayer (fajr), he recited those two chapters in the congregational prayer. When he finished the prayer, he turned to me and said, “O Uqba! How did you see/find (those chapters)?” (Abu Dawud, Witr, 19, h. no: 1462; Ahmad b. Hanbal, IV, 144, 148, 150, 158)

Uqba b. Amir narrates:

While I was traveling with the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) between Juhfa and Abwa, suddenly a wind broke out it became very dark. Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) started to take shelter (in Allah) with the chapters of al-Falaq and an-Nas. He said to me,

“O Uqba! Take shelter with these two chapters. Nobody has been protected by anything like them.” (They are the most virtuous chapters with which to take shelter in Allah.)

Then, I listened to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) reciting those two chapters in the congregational prayer. (Abu Dawud, Witr, 19, h. no: 1463; Bayhaqi, as-Sunanul-Kubra, II, 394)

It is possible to translate the phrase “two good chapters” as ”two best chapters”. In that case, it is necessary to think of the meaning as “the two best chapters for taking refuge in Allah” because there are many chapters that are equivalent to, or even better than, the chapters of al-Falaq and an-Nas.

As it is understood from the hadith, when the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) told Uqba b. Amir that he would teach him “two good chapters”, he thought that the Messenger of Allah would teach him much longer chapters, but when the Prophet mentioned the chapters of al-Falaq and an-Nas, he was not very pleased with it.

In the narration of Nasai, it is expressed more clearly in the words of Uqba:

“When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was riding his horse, I followed him and put my hand on his foot; then, I said,

‘O Messenger of Allah! Teach me the chapters of Hud and Yusuf.’

He said, ‘You have not recited any chapters more eloquent in the eye of Allah than the chapters of al-Falaq and an-Nas.’(Nasai, Istiadha 1)

When the Prophet (pbuh) saw that Uqba was not very pleased, he recited the chapters of al-Falaq and an-Nas in the morning prayer, turned to Uqba and said, ‘How did you see/find them?’ Meaning, ‘You underestimated them, but I led the prayer with these two chapters though I usually recite longer chapters in the morning prayer.’

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