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Ayatul Kursi: The Greatest verse in the Quran

Ayatul Kursi: The Greatest verse in the Quran

The greatest thing that has been revealed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)

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).

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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…”.

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Ayatul Kursi: Protection from the jinn

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).’”

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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].”

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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.

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