APPENDIX 1: Prophets Readings
What the Prophet Particularly Read or Emphasized
There are certain Surahs or Ayahs of the Qur'an which, it is reported, the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, used to recite more often in particular Prayers or on specific occasions, or which he especially extolled by describing their excellent merits and special rewards. You should know them.
The Hadith given below are not meant to prove the superiority of one part of the Qur'an over another. Nor should you ignore the rest of the Qur'an and occupy yourself in reading and memorizing these at the expense of the rest. These selections are useful only because one cannot memorize and read everything every day and because one usually needs to habituate oneself to the reading of a definite portion regularly. What could be better than to follow the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, and hope for the rewards he has promised.
It is important to remember that the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, used to recite the whole of the Qur'an at least once in the month of Ramadan. He also recited long portions in the night-prayers, as much as Surah al-Baqarah and Al 'Imran in one rak'ah.
What the Prophet Recited in Various Prayers
In the Fajr Prayer
He used to recite Qaf (50) and similar Surahs, reports Jabir Ibn Samurah (Muslim).
He recited al-Waqi'ah (56) (Tirmidhi).
I heard him reciting al-Takwir (81), reports 'Amr Ibn Hurayth (Muslim).
He recited, while in Makka, al-Mu'minun (23), until verse 45 or 50, reports Abdullah Ibn al-Sa'ib (Muslim).
He recited al-Kafirun (109) and al-Ikhlas (112), reports Abu Hurayrah (Muslim).
He recited al-Falaq (113) and al-Nas (114), reports 'Uqbah Ibn 'Amir (Ahmad, Abd Da'ud).
He recited verses from al-Baqarah (2: 136) and Al 'Imran (3: 64), reports Abdullah Ibn 'Abbas (Muslim).
Abu Bakr al-Siddiq is reported to have recited al-Baqarah (Muwatta').
'Uthman Ibn 'Affan very often used to recite Yusuf (12) (Muwatta').
'Umar Ibn al-Khattab recited Yusuf (12) and al-Hajj (22) (Muwatta').
'Umar wrote to Abu Musa to recite tiwal mufassal [from Surah Muhammad (47) to al-Buruj (85) (Tirmidhi).
The Prophet recited al-Kafirun (109) and al-Ikhlas (112) in the two rak'ahs before Fajr, reports Abu Hurayrah (Ibn Majah).
In the Fajr Prayer on Fridays
He recited al-Sajdah (32) in the first rak'ah, and al-Dahr (76) in the second, reports Abu Hurayrah (Bukhari, Muslim).
In the Zuhr and 'Asr Prayers
He used to recite al-Layl (92) and, according to another version, al-A'la (87), and similarly in 'Asr, reports Jabir Ibn Samurah (Muslim).
He used to recite al-Buruj (85) and al-Tariq (86) and similar Surahs, reports Jabir Ibn Samurah (Tirmidhi).
'Umar wrote to Abu Musa to recite awsat mufassal [from Surah al-Buruj (85) to al-Bayyinah (98)] (Tirmidhi).
In the Maghrib Prayer
I heard him reciting al-Mursalat (77), reports Umm al-Fadl (Bukhari, Muslim).
I heard him reciting al-Tur (52), reports Jubayr Ibn Mut'im (Bukhari, Muslim).
He used to recite al-Kafirun (109) and al-Ikhlas (112), reports Abdullah Ibn 'Umar (Ibn Majah), especially on Friday nights, reports Jabir Ibn Samurah (Sharh al-Sunnah).
He recited al-Dukhan (44), reports Abdullah Ibn 'Utbah (Nasa'i).
He recited al-A'raf (7), reports Aishah (Nasa'i).
He recited al-Kafirun (109) and al-Ikhlas (112) in the two rak'ahs after Maghrib, reports Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud (Tirmidhi).
'Umar wrote to Abu Musa to recite qisar mufassal [from Surah al-Bayyinah (98) to al-Nas (114)] (Tirmidhi).
In the 'Isha' Prayer
He instructed Mu'adh Ibn Jabal to recite al-Shams (91), al-Duha (93), al-Layl (92), and al-A'la (87); and not longer Surahs like al-Baqarah, reports Jabir (Bukhari, Muslim).
I heard him reciting al-Tin (95), reports al-Bara' (Bukhari, Muslim).
In the Jumu'ah and 'Id Prayers
I heard him reciting al-Jumu'ah (62) in the first rak'ah, and al-Munafiqun (63) in the second, in the Jumu'ah, reports Abu Hurayrah (Muslim).
He used to recite al-A'la (87) and al-Ghashiyah (88) in the Jumu'ah and both the 'Id Prayers, and if the Jumu'ah and 'Id fell on the same day he recited the same Surahs in both, reports al-Nu'man Ibn Bashir (Muslim).
He used to recite Qaf (50) and al-Qamar (54) in al-Adha and al-Fitr, reports Waqid al-Laythi (Muslim).
What the Prophet Recited at Various Times
After getting up from sleep, he looked towards the sky and recited inna fi khalqi's-samawat . . . till the end of the Surah' [Al 'Imran 3: 190-200], reports Abdullah ibn 'Abbas (Bukhari).
In the Morning and Evening
Al-Ikhlas (112), al-Falaq (113), al-Nas (114) three times: Recite them in the morning and in the evening and they will suffice you for every purpose, reports Abdullah Ibn Khubayb (Tirmidhi, Abd Da'ud).
Ayatu 'l-Kursi and Ha Mim . . . al masir (al-Mu min 40: 24): Anyone who recites them in the morning 'will be protected because of them till the evening and anyone who recites them in the evening will be protected because of them till the morning', reports Abu Hurayrah (Tirmidhi)
Last three Ayahs of al-Hashr (59: 22-4): if one recites these in the morning, 'seventy thousand angels ask forgiveness for him until the evening, and if he recites it ig the evening they do so until the morning', reports Misqil Ibn yasar (Tirmidhi).
Three Ayahs of al-Rum (30: 17-19) 'If one recites it in the morning, he is rewarded for whatever good he neglects during the day, and if he recites it in tlle evening, he is rewarded for whatever good he neglects during the night', reports Abdullah Ibn 'Abbas (Abd Da'ud)-
Before Going to Bed or During the Night
Recite Ayatu 'l-Kursi when going to bed (2: 255): He confirmed that 'a protector from Allah will then remain over you, and Satan will not come near you, until the morning', reports Abu Hurayrah in a long Hadith about his encounter with Satan (Bukhari).
When he went to his bed, 'he joined his hands and breathed into them, reciting into them . . . [al-Ikhlas], . . . [al-Falaq], . . . [al-Nas]. Then he would wipe as much of his body as he could with his hands, beginning with his head, his face and the front of his body, doing that three times', reports 'Aishah (Bukhari, Muslim).
Recite the last two verses of al-Baqarah: 'Who reads them during the night, they would suffice him', reports Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud (Bukhari, Muslim).
Last part of Al 'Imran (3: 190 200): it will be rewarded like the night vigil.
Al-Dukhan: (44) 'Seventy thousand angels will ask forgiveness for him in the morning', reports Abu Hurayrah (Tirmidhi).
Recite Musabbihat [al-Isra' (17), al-Hadid (57), al-Hashr (59), al-Saff (61), al-Jumu'ah (62), al-Taghabun (64), ai-A'la (87)]: 'He used to read them before going to sleep and say "they have a verse better than one thousand verses"', reports al-'Irbad Ibn Sariyah (Abd Da'ud, Tirmidhi).
Al-Sajdah (32) and al-Mulk (67): 'He did not sleep unless he had recited them', reports Jabir (Ahmad, Tirmidhi).
What the Prophet Said About the Excellent Merits of Various Parts
The Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, is reported to have said:
Surah al-Fatihah (I)
'Shall I not teach you the greatest Surah in the Qur'an', said he, and then taught al-Fatihah and described it as the great Qur'an [recital] I have been given', reports Abu Sa'id al-Mu'alla (Bukhari).
'Rejoice in the two lights brought to you which have not been brought to any prophet before you': al-Fatihah and the last verses of Surah al-Baqarah (2: 2854), said an angel to the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, reports Abdullah Ibn 'Abbas (Muslim).
'By Him in whose hands is my soul, nothing like it has been sent down in the Tawrah, nor in the Injll, nor in the Zabdr, nor in the Qur'an', reports Abu Hurayrah ( Tirmidhi) .
'It is a healing for every sickness', reports 'Abd al-Malik Ibn 'Umayr (Darimi).
Surah al-Falaq and Surah al-Nas (113 and 114)
'The like of these have never been seen', reports 'Uqbah Ibn Amir (Muslim).
'No seeker of refuge can seek refuge with anything like these two', reports 'Uqbah Ibn 'Amir (Abd Da'ud).
Surah al-Ikhlas (112)
'Is any of you incapable of reciting a third of the Qur'an in a night?' asked he, and then proceeded to instruct: recite al-Ikhlas, 'for [by the One in whose hands is my life], it is equivalent to [reading] a third of the Qur'an', reports Abu Sa'id al-Khudri (Bukhari, Muslim).
'Tell him that Allah loves him', said he about a man who recited it in every Prayer because it described the Most-merciful, reports 'A'ishah (Bukhari, Muslim).
'Your love for it will admit you into Paradise', he said to a man who loved al-Ikhlas, reports Anas (Tirmidhi), Bukhari).
Surah al-Kafirun (109)
'It is equivalent to a quarter of the Qur'an', report Abdullah Ibn 'Abbas and Anas Ibn Malik (Tirmidhi).
Surah al-Nasr (110)
'It is equivalent to a fourth of the Qur'an', reports Anas (Tirmidhi).
Surah al-Takathur (102)
'Cannot one of you recite one thousand verses in one day' asked he, and then said 'cannot one of you recite al-Takathur', reports Abdullah Ibn 'Umar (Baihaqe).
Surah al-Zalzalah (99)
'It is equivalent to half the Qur'an', report Abdullah Ibn 'Abbas and Anas Ibn Malik (Tirmidhi).
Ayatu 'l-Kursi (al-Baqarah 2: 255)
'Do you know which Ayah in God's Book is greatest', he asked, and then showed his approval when told that this was Ayatu 'l-Kursi, reports Ubayy Ibn Ka'b (Muslim).
Amana 'r-rasul . . . (al-Baqarah 2: 285-6)
'No prophet before has been brought a light like it', reports Abdullah Ibn 'Abbas (Muslim).
'In whichever home these are recited for three nights, Satan does not come near it', reports al-Nu'man Ibn Bashir (Tirmidhi).
'It is from the treasures of God's mercy from under His Throne that He has given to this Ummah. There is no good in this-world and that-world which it does not include', reports Ayfa' Ibn 'Abd al-Kila'i (Darimi).
'Learn them and teach them to your women and children, for they are a blessing, a recitation, and a supplication', reports Abu Dharr (Hakim).
Surahs al-Baqarah and Al 'Imran (2 and 3)
'Read the two radiant ones al-Baqarah and Al 'Imran for they wiII come on the Day of Resurrection like two clouds, or two shades, or two flocks of birds, pleading for their companions', reports Abu Umamah (Muslim).
'The Qur'an will be brought on the Day of Resurrection, along with its companions who used to act by it, at the front being Surah al-Baqarah and Al 'Imran like two black clouds or canopies with light, or two flocks of birds pleading for their companion', reports al-Nawwas Ibn Sam'an (Muslim).
Surah al-Baqarah (2)
'Do not turn your homes into a graveyard [by giving up reading the Qur'an]. Satan flees from a house in which Surah al-Baqarah is recited', reports Abu Hurayrah (Muslim).
'Recite Surah al-Baqarah: for to hold on to it is a barakah (blessing), to leave it is a regret', reports Abu Umamah (Muslim).
'Everything has a hump, and the hump of the Qur'an is al-Baqarah', reports Abu Hurayrah (Tirmidhi).
Surah al-An'am (6)
'So many Angels accompanied its revelation that the horizon was covered with them', reports Jabir ( Hakim).
Surah al-Kahf (18)
'Whoever learns and preserves, in heart and practice, the first ten Ayahs of al-Kahf, he will be protected from al-Dajjal', reports Abu al-Darda' (Muslim).
'Whoever recites Surah al-Kahf on a Friday, light will shine brightly for him till next Friday', reports Abu Sa'id (Hakim).
Surah Ya Sin (36)
'Everything has a heart and the heart of the Qur'an is Ya Sin. Anyone who reads it, God will write down for him ten readings of the Qur'an', reports Anas (Tirmidhi).
'Whoever reads Ya Sin, seeking Allah's pleasure, his past sins will be forgiven, so recite it over the dying among you', reports Ma'qil Ibn Yasar (Baihaqi).
Surah al-Fath (48)
'I like it more than anything under the sun', reports 'Umar (Bukhari).
Surah al-Rahman (55)
'Everything has an adornment, and the adornment of the Qur'an is al-Rahman', reports Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud (Baihaqi) .
Surah al-Waqi'ah (56)
'Whoever recites Surah al-Waqi'ah every night will not go hungry', reports Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud (Baihaqi).
Surah al-Mulk (67)
'This, containing thirty verses, intercedes for a man till his sins are forgiven', reports Abu Hurayrah (Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Abd Da'ud).
'I love that it be in the heart of every believer', reports Abdullah Ibn 'Abbas (Hakim).
Surah al-A'la (87)
'He loved this Surah', reports 'Ali (Ahmad).