Ruling on going back to Soorat al-Faatihah and the first few verses of Soorat al-Baqarah after completing the Qur'aan
The scholars differed concerning the ruling on what many Qur'aan reciters do when completing the Qur'aan, which is starting a new recitation, by going back to Soorat al-Faatihah and reading it along with the first five verses of Soorat al-Baqarah only. The difference of opinion is reflected in the two following views:
The first view is: that this is prescribed and is mustahabb. This is the view favoured by the reciters and was stated by some of the scholars. They quoted a number of things as evidence for this view, among which is the following:
the hadeeth narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas, from Ubayy ibn Ka’b, from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), which says that when he recited “Qul A’oodhu bi Rabbi l-Naas”, he would start again with al-Faatihah, then he would recite al-Baqarah up to the verse (interpretation of the meaning): “and they are the successful” [al-Baqarah 2:5]. Then he would recite du’aa’ al-khatmah (du’aa’ for completing the Qur’aan), then he would get up.
This was narrated by al-Daarimi, as attributed to him by al-Suyooti in al-Itqaan (1/295), and he said it was narrated with a hasan isnaad. It was also narrated by al-Haafiz Abu ‘Amr al-Daani and al-Haafiz Abu’l-A’la’ al-Hamadhaani, as narrated from them by Ibn al-Jazari in al-Nashr (688-694), and by al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali al-Jawhari in Fawaa’id Muntaqaah (2/29). They all narrated it via one isnaad:
Al-‘Abbaas ibn Ahmad al-Barti, ‘Abd al-Wahhaab ibn Faleeh al-Makki narrated to us, ‘Abd al-Malik ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Sha’wah narrated to us, from his maternal uncle Wahb ibn Zam’ah ibn Saalih, from Zam’ah ibn Saalih, from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Katheer, from Darbaas the freed slave of Ibn ‘Abbaas, and from Mujaahid, from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas, from Ubayy ibn Ka’b, from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
This is a da’eef (weak) isnaad, for two reasons:
The first is that it hinges on Zam’ah ibn Saalih. Al-Dhahabi said in al-Kaashif: He was classed as da’eef by Ahmad. Al-Haafiz said in al-Taqreeb: (he is) da’eef and his hadeeth is maqroon according to Muslim.
The other reason is that there is confusion concerning its isnaad for two reasons. The first is this hadeeth quoted above from Darbaas and from Mujaahid, who are mentioned together in the isnaad.
The second is from Darbaas alone, and Mujaahid is not mentioned with him. Ibn al-Jazari quoted the isnaads like this in al-Nashr (2/420-425).
According to a version narrated from Wahb ibn Zam’ah ibn Saalih, from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Katheer, from Darbaas, from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas… in a marfoo’ report. No mention is made in this isnaad of Zam’ah.
He said following that: a ghareeb hadeeth, which we know only through this isnaad. Its isnaad is hasan but al-Haafiz Abu’l-Shaykh al-Asbahaani and Abu Bakr al-Zaynabi narrated it from Wahb from his father Zam’ah,… and this is the correct isnaad.
I say: This suggestion is correct, because it is what appears in most reports. On that basis there is no way to class its isnaad as hasan, because it hinges on Zam’ah ibn Saalih who is da’eef, as stated above.
How can it be hasan when it includes Darbaas the freed slave of Ibn ‘Abbaas, who is majhool – as Abu Haatim said and was followed in that by al-Dhahabi and al-‘Asqallaani? Yes, he was mentioned with Mujaahid in some reports, as in the version narrated by al-Jawhari and others, but even if that is correct, the fault in it is still the same, namely Zam’ah. And Allaah knows best. end quote.
Al-Silsilah al-Da’eefah (no. 6134).
A marfoo’ hadeeth in which it says:
A man said: O Messenger of Allaah, which deed is most beloved to Allaah? He said: The one who reaches (the end) then keeps going. He said: Who is the one who reaches (the end) then keep going? He said: The one who reads the Qur’aan from the beginning to the end, then when he reaches the end he starts again from the beginning.
This hadeeth was narrated via two isnaads:
The first is muttasil: via Saalih al-Murri, from Qataadah, from Zaraarah ibn Awfa, from Ibn ‘Abbaas. It was narrated with this isnaad from Saalih al-Murri by al-Haytham ibn al-Rabee’ – as quoted by al-Tirmidhi (no. 2948) – and by ‘Amr ibn ‘Aasim – as quoted by al-Bazzaar (2/213) – and by ‘Aasim al-Kilaabi, ‘Amr ibn Marzooq and Zayd ibn al-Habbaab in al-Mustadrak (1/757), and by Ibraaheem ibn Abi Suwayd al-Dhaari’ – as quoted in Mu’jam al-Tabaraani (12/168).
The second is mursal, via Saalih al-Murri, from Qataadah, from Zaraarah ibn Awfa, from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), without any mention of Ibn ‘Abbaas. It was narrated from Saalih al-Murri with this isnaad by Muslim ibn Ibraaheem, as quoted by al-Tirmidhi (no. 2948); Ishaaq ibn ‘Eesa, as quoted by al-Daarimi (2/560); ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mu’aawiyah al-Jumahi – as quoted in al-Nashr by Ibn al-Jazari (p. 699). Al-Tirmidhi regarded as more correct the report of the one who narrated it as mursal, and said: This is a ghareeb hadeeth; we do not know of it from the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas except through this isnaad, and it is not qawiy (strong). This – meaning the mursal report – in my view is more saheeh than the hadeeth of Nasr ibn ‘Ali from al-Haytham ibn al-Rabee’. End quote.
There is a corroborating, marfoo’ report in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah which was narrated by al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak (1/758), in the isnaad of which there is Miqdaam ibn Dawood who is da’eef al-hadeeth. See: Lisaan al-Mizaan (6/84). There is another corroborating report from Zayd ibn Aslam from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), which is mursal. Abu ‘Amr al-Daani gives its isnaad in al-Nashr (p. 700).
This hadeeth was classed as da’eef by a number of scholars, including its narrator Imam al-Tirmidhi, al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar, as it says in al-Futoohaat al-Rabaaniyyah (3/248) and Shaykh al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Da’eefah (no. 1834).
The action of the righteous salaf; this Sunnah was part of their traditions.
Ibn al-Jazari (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Al-Haafiz Abu ‘Amr also narrated with a saheeh isnaad from al-A’mash, from Ibraaheem who said: When they completed the Qur’aan, they regarded it as mustahabb to read a few verses from the beginning. This is a clear statement of the validity of the view favoured by the reciters and held by the salaf. End quote.
Al-Nashr (2/449, p. 703).
Al-Haafiz Abu ‘Amr al-Daani said:
The fact that Ibn Katheer – meaning the famous reciter – did that is indicated in the narrated texts and the reports are mawqoof and do not go back to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). There are many other reports narrated from the Sahaabah, Taabi’een and those who come after them. End quote from al-Nashr fi’l-Qiraa’at al-‘Ashar by Ibn al-Jazari (p. 688).
The fact that the Muslims followed this Sunnah in all regions.
Ibn al-Jazari (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
This action was done in all Muslim regions according to the recitation of Ibn Katheer and others, to such an extent that there was hardly anyone who completed a reading of the Qur’aan but he would immediately start another, whether he completed what he started or not, and whether he intended to complete it or not. That became part of the Sunnah of completing a reading of the Qur’aan among them, and they describe the one who did that as “the one who reaches (the end) then keeps going”, i.e., the one who reaches the end of the Qur’aan and then starts again from the beginning. End quote.
Al-Nashr (p. 694).
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
It is mustahabb when finishing a complete reading, to start another one immediately after completing it. This was regarded as mustahabb by the earlier and later generations, and they quoted as evidence for it the hadeeth of Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him). End quote.
Al-Tibyaan fi Adaab Hamalat al-Qur’aan (p. 110).
Al-Suyooti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
It is Sunnah when comp’leuting a reading of the Qur'aan to start another immediately after completing it, because of the hadeeth of al-Tirmidhi and others... End quote.
Al-Itqaan (1/295). See also: Sunan al-Qurra’ wa Manaahij al-Mujawwideen (p. 227).
The second view is that it is not allowed and is not mustahabb. This was stated by Imam Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him).
The basis for this opinion is that this action was not narrated from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him). He would review the Qur'aan with Jibril once every year, and he reviewed it with him twice in the year in which he died, and no one has transmitted anything to us about this practice which is followed today.
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Abu Taalib said: I asked Ahmad when he recited “Qul a’oodhu bi Rabbi l-naas”, whether he recited anything of al-Baqarah? He said no, and he did not regard it is mustahabb to follow his completion of the Qur'aan with the recitation of anything. Perhaps he had no verification of any saheeh report to indicate that. End quote.
It says in al-Furoo’ (1/554):
He should not read al-Faatihah and the first five verses of al-Baqarah. al-Aamidi said: meaning before the supplication. And it was said that it is mustahabb. End quote.
Ibn Muflih said in al-Adaab al-Shar’iyyah (2/319):
If one finishes reciting Soorat al-Naas, he should not add al-Faatihah and five verses of al-Baqarah. He said in the commentary: Perhaps he did not have any proven saheeh report. And it was said: it is permissible after the du’aa’, or it is mustahabb.
Al-Qaadi said, after mentioning the meaning of this report from the hadeeth of Anas which was narrated by Ibn Abi Dawood – meaning the hadeeth which mentions “The one who reaches (the end) then keeps going” –: The apparent meaning of this is that this is mustahabb. The answer is that what is meant is to encourage repeated reading of the entire Qur’aan, time after time. There is nothing in this to indicate that the du’aa’ should not come immediately after completing the Qur’aan. End quote.
Imam Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Some of them understood from this that every time one finishes reading the entire Qur’aan, he should read the Opening of the Book (al-Faatihah) and three verses of Soorat al-Baqarah, because he has reached the end then kept going by starting again from the beginning.
None of the Sahaabah did this, nor did the Taabi’een, and none of the imams regarded it as mustahabb.
The hadeeth “The one who reaches (the end) then keeps going” may mean either of two things. One is that every time he reaches the end of a soorah or juz’, he keeps going and moves on to the next; the second is that every time he completes the Qur’aan he starts it again from the beginning. End quote.
I’laam al-Muwaqqi’een (4/306).
The second view is more likely, based on the evidence, in sha Allaah, because there is no proven evidence that such a thing is mustahabb, rather the apparent meaning of the Sunnah indicates the opposite, as explained above. This view is favoured in the answer to question no. 12032.
But we should note that this issue, even though we have pointed out what we believe is more correct, is a matter of ijtihaad, and it is not a definitive matter. If someone has sound evidence that the salaf used to do that, or he believes that the hadeeth narrated concerning it is saheeh, then he is not innovating or going astray, rather he should not be denounced.
Similarly, those who follow the view that we regard as more correct should not be denounced. Rather Imam al-Jazari (may Allaah have mercy on him), who is one of those who say that this is prescribed, says:
Whatever the case, we do not say that this is binding upon every reader, rather we say what our imam Faaris ibn Ahmad and others said: Whoever does that has done well, and whoever does not do it, there is no blame on him. End quote.
Al-Nashr (p. 704).
And Allaah knows best.