Today I wish to tell you about a zikr, which is part of the sunnah [practice] of the Holy Prophet (sa). This Zikr is composed of prayers revealed by God the Exalted and if this Zikr is recited with attention to its meanings, one attains the understanding of Tauhid, the Oneness of Allah the Almighty enters into the protection and refuge of Allah the Exalted and is saved from all kinds of evils.
The Holy Prophet (sa) before going to sleep, always used to recite Ayatul Kursi, Surah Ikhlas, Surah al-Falaq and Surah an-Naas three times and blow into his hands. (These are the last three Surahs of the Holy Qur’an and the Ayatul Kursi.) Then he used to rub his hands over his body in a way that he would start form the head and go down as far as his hands could reach. Thus, something which he used to practise regularly, came to be his Sunnah [his established practice]. Such a deed should be practiced by every Muslim.
We Ahmadis whom the Promised Messiah (as) has additionally instructed to act upon every aspect of the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (sa). We should make special efforts to adopt this practice. We should offer these prayers regarding these as a highly important sacred duty. With these prayers, we not only seek our personal spiritual and worldly benefits but also seek to safeguard against any discord, disturbance or the evil caused by envious people and the enemies.
The Holy Prophet (sa) adopted this practice with such regularity that during his last illness, Hazrat ‘Aisha would personally recite these prayers, blow them into his hands and rub his own hands across his body. Hazrat Uqba bin Amir narrates that the Holy Prophet (saw) recited the last three chapters of the Holy Quran to me and advised that O Uqba! Do not let a night go by until you have recited them.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) was the person who obeyed and complied with all the instructions and commandments of Allah the Almighty the most. Only then did he guide others to do the same.
The Holy Prophet (sa) said about the Surah Al-Ikhlas i.e. the chapter which begins with ‘say, ‘He is Allah, the One’, that this is equivalent to a third of the Holy Qur’an’”. Why did the Holy Prophet (sa) declare this small chapter to be one third [of the Holy Qur’an]? The reason for this is that Allah the Exalted revealed the Holy Qur’an to prove and establish the unity of God. Thus, the unity of God has been mentioned very elaborately and comprehensively in this chapter. Hence, by pondering on its words and acting in accordance with them, one develops the true comprehension of the unity of God and one’s deeds and actions will reflect this belief. Mere recitation of this chapter is not enough, one needs to recite it, develop the understanding of the unity of God and act in accordance with it.
Hazrat Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, relates in one narration that “the Holy Prophet (sa) appointed an individual as the leader of an expedition and sent him to one of the battles. This person would lead his companions into prayer and would finish the recitation with Surah Al-Ikhlaas. When asked why, he said that I do so as this is an attribute of the Gracious God. This is the reason I enjoy reciting it. Upon this, the Holy Prophet (sa) said that ‘Allah the Exalted also loves him.” In Bukhari there is a narration by Hazrat Anas (ra) regarding an Imam who always recited Surah Ikhlas in every part of every Salat, when asked by the Holy Prophet (sa) the reason for this practice, the Imam responded by saying: ‘This Surah is very dear to me.’ The Prophet (sa) said ‘Your love of this Surah has made you enter paradise.’”
Hazrat Abi bin Ka’ab narrates: “When the idolaters asked the Holy Prophet (sa), tell us about the ancestry of your Lord? As a response to this, Allah the Almighty revealed Surah Al-Ikhlaas. Therefore, Samad is the One who is not a father to anyone and no one is His father. There isn’t anything that has been created that will not perish and will be succeeded by something else. Whereas, Allah Almighty will neither perish nor does He have a successor. There is nothing like Him.”
The Holy Prophet (sa) said: ‘People ask who created Allah Almighty?’” These questions were raised during the time of the Holy Prophet (sa) and today as well. The Holy Prophet (sa) said: “When you see such people, recite ‘Say, He is Allah, the One’ until you have recited this entire Surah” i.e. recite the entire Surah Ikhlaas and ponder over its meaning and you will realise that there is nothing that created Allah Almighty and He has always existed and will remain till eternity. He said, “Then they should seek refuge [with Allah] from Satan so he is not be able to cause them any harm.” Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) narrates: “I was with the Holy Prophet (sa) when the Prophet (sa) heard a person reciting ‘Say, He is Allah, the One’, the Holy Prophet (sa) said ‘it has been assigned.’ I enquired ‘What has been assigned?’ The Prophet (sa) responded: ‘Heaven has been assigned for this person because of the sincerity he is reciting this with.’”
“Once a man came to the Holy Prophet (sa) and complained about his poverty. The Holy Prophet (sa) stated: ‘Whenever you enter your home, and someone is inside, say, ‘peace be upon you’, and if no one is there, then send greetings of peace and security upon yourself by saying ‘peace be upon you’. And recite ‘Say, He is Allah, the One’ once.’ So, this person followed these instructions and Allah Almighty increased his provisions tremendously.” Therefore, when a person acquires the knowledge of the Unity of God and acts upon it, and recognizes that God Almighty possesses all the powers, then Allah Almighty blesses such person immensely. Allah Almighty says that He grants provision for the righteous through means that are beyond their imagination.
Hazrat Anas bin Malik (ra) narrates: “A person came to the Holy Prophet (sa) and said: ‘I am fond of Surah Al-Ikhlaas.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) responded: ‘Your love for this Surah will lead you to paradise.’” There is a narration that the Holy Prophet (sa) said: “Whoever recited Surah Al-Ikhlaas one hundred times in prayer or otherwise, Allah Almighty made it incumbent upon Himself to release them from [hell] fire.” Thus, this is the importance of Surah Al-Ikhlaas. When we recite this in the evenings, we should keep the oneness of God Almighty in mind and then recite it. When we consider that God Almighty is Ahad [One], at the same time we should ponder over the status and rank of Him being Samad. Samad means the being that is not dependent upon anyone nor will it ever cease to exist or perish. The Promised Messiah (as) has explained this matter in the following way: “Samad means that with the exception of Him [i.e. God Almighty], all things are mortal and perishable.”
The three Qul [Surah Al-Ikhlaas, Surah Al Falaq and Surah An Nas] are highly majestic and powerful chapter of the Holy Quran and these verses are a prayer of such magnitude that through them one falls under the protection of God Almighty. Such as person does he go to waste and remains free from all evil. There is no better way than this to seek the protection of God Almighty. In relation to Surah Al Falaq and Surah An Nas, the Holy Prophet (sa) that these contain everything.” Hazrat Abu Sa’eed Khudri (ra) narrates that “the Holy Prophet (sa) would seek protection from the evil eye of men and Jinn through these chapters”. The Holy Prophet (sa) then said: ‘When you offer your prayers, you should recite these two chapters.’” The Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘recite these two chapters when you sleep and when you wake up.’”
Thus, such is the importance of these two chapters and it is even more significant to recite them in this day and age, not only to seek one’s personal spiritual progress and to be safeguarded against the onslaughts of Satan but also to seek protection at the community level from the evil ploys hatched against it. Nowadays, on the one hand the anti-Islam powers are very cunningly making efforts, and on the other hand the so-called Muslim scholars and leaders are creating chaos and disorder. The Muslim scholars are strengthening the satanic forces and giving them more opportunities by fuelling the general Muslim’s opposition against the Promised Messiah (as). Similarly, atheism is also on the rise.
Elaborating on Surah Al-Falaq, the Promised Messiah (as) states: “You, who shall be the target of the enemies of the Promised Messiah should recite the prayer seeking refuge with God Almighty from the evil of mankind; from its internal and external evils. From the Lord of dawn, in other words He is the one from whom light originates, and He has complete control over it. This light is a spiritual light which has emerged with the advent of the Promised Messiah. I also seek refuge with God from the evil of the night which is the darkness due to the rejection of the Promised Messiah.”
The clerics of Pakistan are at the forefront in the opposition of the Promised Messiah (as). Therefore, in these circumstances, the Ahmadis of Pakistan should in particular seek to continue this Sunnah, tradition. The Promised Messiah (as) states: “In Surah Al-Falaq where it states, ‘the evil of the night when it overspreads’ is in fact a prayer to seek protection from the evil of the night. Ghasiq means night and Waqab means when night and darkness has overspread. The evil of the night when in it overspreads is in fact the evil of the darkness due to the rejection of the Promised Messiah from which protection has been sought.”
One should regularly recite these prayers in order to remain established on Tauhid, the oneness of God, and also to be saved from the evil of the night. The current state of the Muslims is drawing our attention towards greatly pondering over the recitation of these chapters, so that we can be saved from this darkness. “And from the evil of those who blow into knots to undo them” is also a prayer to be protected from the evil of those who blow into knots. In other words, from those people who in their efforts to oppose Islam and Ahmadiyyat, very shrewdly create malice and enmity in the hearts of people. Then, in Surah Al-Nas, it mentions the attributes of God Almighty being the Lord, the King and the One Who is truly Worthy of Worship. After mentioning these it seeks refuge with God from the evil ploys of Satan.
In this day and age, atheism and materialism is on the rise. Materialism has such a strong influence on society that some youth become swayed by it. Therefore, when recite these prayers and blow on ourselves we should also blow on our children, so that our children are also protected from all kinds of evil and remain established on faith and develop a true comprehension of the oneness of God Almighty. May God Almighty enable all of us to understand the subject matter of these chapters and follow the example of the Holy Prophet (sa).
May we understand the true meaning of the oneness of God Almighty and we never prostrate before anyone besides Him and nor deem anyone else to be the fountainhead of all powers. Not only in our heart but through every action of ours, we should demonstrate that it is God alone Who is the fountainhead of all powers. He is the source of all light and grants every kind of grace. Instead of relying on other people, we should only prostrate before God Almighty in order to seek protection from the evil of mankind. We should pray that may God Almighty enable us to always remain established on the spiritual light we have received after accepting the Promised Messiah (as) which is in fact a reflection of the true light that emanates from the Holy Prophet (sa).
May we never become those who fall astray in darkness. May we always remain attached with Khi lafat which is among the rewards of God Almighty. May God Almighty protect us from every kind of evil that can cause us harm, be it a religious evil or a worldly evil. May God Almighty protects us from the evil of the envier when he envies and from him causing us any harm. May we always believe God Almighty to be our Lord and Provider and remain in His protection. May we believe God Almighty to be the greatest of all kings and have firm belief in his Kingship. May we fulfil the due rights of the one who is truly worthy of worship and come into His protection at all times. May we remain in His protection from the evil of those who conspire to hatch evil ploys. May we seek to purify also our own hearts from creating any discord and for this we should continue to seek God Almighty’s protection. May God Almighty enable us to do this and enable us to regularly recite these verses before sleeping and blowing on ourselves in accordance to the instruction of the Holy Prophet. May God Almighty grant us the ability to do so.