In this first part of Shaykh Faraz Rabbani’s explanation, we learn about the effect of Sura al Waqi‘a on the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, and his Companions.
Sura al Waqi‘a is one of the most beloved suras of the Qur’an. It has a comprehensive summary of key themes. It is also one of the most dramatic suras in its message that conveys a great sense of urgency from beginning till end.
This is why the scholars and the righteous from the earliest times till our times have placed great emphasis and found tremendous benefit in this sura. So much so that some of the scholars of the spiritual path would tell students to recite it daily, sometimes even twice a day, because of what it it contains of meanings that remind us of the urgency of this life.
Some of those who are reductionist in their religious outlook say nothing has been related about the virtues of Sura al Waqi‘a. That is a type of religious blindness, because much has been related about Sura al Waqi‘a, both from the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, as well as from the Companions and the early generations.
It Makes the Hair Gray
One of the great early Muslims, Imam Masruq, said that whoever seeks to have all knowledge possessed by all peoples of the first communities and the last, and the knowledge of this life and the next, should recite Sura al Waqi‘a, because it contains all the knowledge that truly matters.
This is not a light saying. If we look at the Sunna of the Prophet, blessings and peace upon him, we see that the Prophet, blessings and peace upon him, did not develop gray hair till very late in his life. But then suddenly his hair started going gray.
The Companions noticed that some of his hair started growing gray so they asked him about it. The Prophet, blessings and peace upon him, explained that it was there was a number of suras that made his hair grow gray. He said, blessings and peace upon him, that his hair was made gray by Sura Hud 11, al Waqi‘a, al Mursalat, al Naba’a, and al Takwir.
These are from the mid-sized suras whose central theme is the reality and urgency of the hereafter. Of course it is not the sura that made the hair go gray, but its message. This message was so profound that it it had a physical effect on the Prophet, blessings and peace upon him.
It Shields Against Poverty
It is related from Uthman ibn Affan that he entered upon Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud in his final illness. Uthman asked, “What ails you?” He said, “My sins.” Uthman asked, “What do you long for?” He said, “The mercy of my Lord.” Uthman asked, “Should we not call the doctor?” He said, “The doctor made me sick.”
Uthman asked, “So should we arrange your stipend?” He said, “I don’t need it.” Uthman asked, “Should we not apportion it for your daughters?” He said, “My daughters have no need for the state stipend.” Uthman was surprised because everyone is concerned about their children.
Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud, noting his wonderment, then said, “My daughter’s don’t have any need for that stipend. I have ordered them to recite Sura al Waqi‘a for I have heard the Messenger of Allah, Blessings and peace be upon him, say, “Whoever recites Sura al Waqi‘a every day will not be affected by poverty or neediness.”
The Narrations and Its Acceptance
The hadith as ascribed to the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, has weakness in it. But this hadith has been related from many of the Companions, with many different narrations. Some of them ascribing it to the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him. Some of them from their own words.
Many of the Imams both early and late generally held that there is a sunna basis to affirming
- 1) a special virtue for Sura al Waqi‘a and
- 2) that Sura al Waqi‘a is a protection from neediness.
From that is what is related by Imam al Bayhaqi and also from Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud, that the Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him, said, “Whoever recites Sura al Waqi‘a every night will not be affected by neediness, ever.” It is similarly related from Ibn Abbas and others.
Anas relates that the Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him, that the Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him, said, “Sura al Waqi‘a is the enriching [the one that frees of need] so recite it, and teach it to your children.”
This too has some weakness in it: in its ascription to the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him. But you see that it is widespread amongst the early Muslims, particularly the Companions and the Followers (Tabi‘in).
If you look in the Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shayba and other such compendiums which have a lot of the narrations from the early Muslims, you see many, many narrations on the virtue and importance of Sura al Waqi‘a and it being a freeing of need.
The wisdom of these virtues that were narrated and accepted goes back to the themes of Sura al Waqi‘a.