What is the decree on reading the chapters of al-Ikhlas, al-Falaq and an-Nas? Are there any hadiths regarding the issue?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

It is sunnah to mention Allah, to say effective prayers and to ask for forgiveness after prayers. Those supplications (duas) and dhikrs are made immediately after the fard prayer in the morning and afternoon prayers, and after the last sunnah in the noon, evening and night prayers. For, asking for forgiveness (istighfar) completes the missing parts of the prayer; dua is a way of getting shares from thawabs after approaching Allah.

The Prophet (pbuh) uttered various duas and dhikrs after prayers. The narrations regarding the issue are as follows:

The dhikrs after the prayer are made silently. However, if the imam wants to teach them to the congregation, he can utter them aloud until the congregation learns them; or, he can make dhikr and dua, and ask for forgiveness aloud.

The imam turns toward the congregation after the prayer; he turns his left side toward the mihrab a bit. 1 Samura said,

"When the Prophet (pbuh) led the prayer, he would turn his face toward us when the prayer ended." 2

1. One should say "astaghfirullah" three times or the following:

"Astaghfirullah al-azim alladhi la ilaha illa huwal-hayyul qayyum wa atubu ilayh."

"I ask forgiveness from Allah, who is the Magnificent and the One whom there is no deity worthy of worship except He, the Ever-Living and Sustainer and I repent to Him."

The evidence for it is the following hadith reported from Thawban:

When the Prophet (pbuh) saluted, - according to another narration - when he finished prayer - , he would say "astaghfirullah" three times and "Allahumma antassalamu wa minkassalam, tabarakta ya dhal jalali wal ikram." 3

" O Allah, You are Peace and from You is Peace. Blessed are You, O Possessor of Glory and Generosity!"

2. After the prayer, one should read Ayatul-Kursiyy, the chapters of  al-Ikhlas, al-Falaq, an-Nas and al-Fatiha. The evidence for it is the following hadith reported from Husayn b. Ali: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

"If a person reads Ayatul-Kursiyy after fard prayers, he will be under the protection of Allah."4

A hadith reported from Abu Umama is as follows:

"If a person reads Ayatul-Kursiyy and the chapter of  al-Ikhlas after every fard prayer, nothing but death can prevent him from entering Paradise."5

The following is stated in another hadith reported from Uqba b. Amir:

"The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) ordered me to read the chapters of al-Falaq, and an-Nas after every prayer."6

3. Ibn Shihab az-Zuhri said,

“If a person who reads the chapters of  al-Ikhlas, al-Falaq and an-Nas seven times immediately after the imam salutes after the Friday prayer without saying anything, his wealth and children are protected up to the next Friday.” (see Kanzul-Ummal, h. No: 4985)

However, this narration is weak since there is a narrator called Ibn Lahia in the chain of narrators of this hadith.

Footnotes:

1. ad-Durru1-Muhtar, I, 595, al-Qawaninul-Fiqhiyya, 66, ash-Sharhus-Saghir, I, 410 ff. al-Muhadhdhab, al-Mughni, I, 559 ff. Kashshaf, I, 426 ff.
2. Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Dawud report the following hadith from Bara b. Azib: "When we performed a prayer behind the Prophet (pbuh), we wanted to stand on his right because his face would turn toward us after the prayer." Naylul-Awtar, II, 306
3. That hadith was reported by the congregation except Bukhari. Naylul-Awtar, II/ 300; Ahmad, Muslim, Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah reported the following from Hz. Aisha: "When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saluted after the prayer, he would sit long enough to say (Allahumma antassalamu wa minkas-salam tabarakta ya dhal-jalali wal-ikram)." (ibid, 305)
4. Tabarani narrated that hadith.
5. The chain of the narrators of the hadith is sound. Some scholars talked about it. Nasai and Tabarani narrated it and added ‘Qul huwallahu ahad’. Ibn Hibban narrated it in his Sahih. Subulus-Salam, I/200
6. There are a few ways of narration for that hadith. The hadith is hasan or sound. Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Nasai and Tirmidhi narrated the hadith but Tirmidhi said “gharib” about it. Some Hanbalis said, "There is a great secret in this supplication about keeping the evil deeds away."

(Prof. Dr. Wahba Zuhayli, İslam Fıkhı Ansiklopedisi)

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