In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
According to authentic ahadeeth, Ayat al-Kursi is the greatest ayah of the Qur’an. Ahadeeth carry statements featuring its merits and blessings.
Imam Ahmad recorded that ‘Ubayy ibn Ka’ab said that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked him about the greatest ayah in the Book of Allah, and ‘Ubayy answered, “Allah and His Messenger know better.” When the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam repeated his question several times, ‘Ubayy said, “Ayat ul Kursi.” The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam commented,
لِيَهْنِكَ الْعِلْمُ أَبَا الْمُنْذِرِ، وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، إِنَّ لَهَا لِسَانًا وَشَفَتَيْنِ، تُقَدِّسُ الْمَلِكَ عِنْدَ سَاقِ الْعَرْش
“Congratulations for having knowledge, O Abu Al-Mundhir! Be He in Whose Hand is my soul! This ayah has a tongue and two lips with which she praises the King (Allah) next to the leg of the Throne.”
This hadeeth was also collected by Muslim, but he did not include the part that starts with, “By He in Whose Hand…”
Why is this ayah called the greatest ayah in the Qur’an? It is because it talks about the Greatness of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. It contains the most Majestic Names of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala such as Al-Hayyi Al-Qayoom. We have learned whoever calls upon Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala by using these Names, in sha Allah, his du’a [supplication] will be answered.
This ayah is a mean of protection in this world and the Hereafter.
According to a hadeeth in an-Nasai, the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: If someone recites Ayah Al-Kursi after every obligatory prayer, nothing stops him from entering Paradise except death. (Make it a habit of reciting this ayah after every obligatory prayer without talking to anyone. Be consistent in this habit. Such a person will be under Allah’s special care.)
Imam Bukhari recorded that Abu Huraira radhiAllahu ‘anhu said, “Allah’s Messenger assigned me to keep watch over the Sadaqah [charity] of Ramadan. A person snuck in and started taking handfuls of foodstuff. I caught him and said, ‘By Allah, I will take you to Allah’s Messenger.’
He said, ‘Release me, for I am meek and have many dependents and am in great need.’ I released him, and in the morning Allah’s Messenger asked me, ‘What did your prisoner do yesterday, O Abu Huraira?’ I said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! He complained of being needy and of having many dependents, so I pitied him and let him go.’ Allah’s Messenger said, ‘Indeed, he told you a lie and will be coming again.’ I believed that he would show up again, for Allah’s Messenger had told me that he would return. So, I watched for him.
When he (showed up and) started stealing handfuls of foodstuff, I caught hold of him again and said, ‘I will definitely take you to Allah’s Messenger.’ He said, ‘Leave me, for I am very needy and have many dependents. I promise I will not come back again.’ I pitied him and let him go.
In the morning Allah’s Messenger asked me, ‘What did your prisoner do last night, O Abu Huraira?’ I replied, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! He complained of his great need and of too many dependents, so I took pity on him and set him free.’
Allah’s Messenger said, ‘Verily, he told you a lie; he will return.’
I waited for him attentively for the third time, and when he (came and) started stealing handfuls of the foodstuff, I caught hold of him and said, ‘I will surely take you to Allah’s Messenger as it is the third time you promised not to return, yet you returned.’
He said, ‘Let me teach you some words which Allah will give you benefit from.’ I asked, ‘What are they?’ He replied, ‘Whenever you go to bed, recite Ayat Al-Kursi- Allahu la ilaha illa Huwal-Hayyul-Qayyum, till you finish the whole ayah. (If you do so), Allah will appoint a guard for you who will stay with you, and no Shaytan will come near you until morning.’ So, I released him.
In the morning, Allah’s Messenger asked, ‘What did your prisoner do yesterday?’ I replied, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! He claimed that he would teach me some words by which Allah will grant me some benefit, so I let him go.’ Allah’s Messenger asked, ‘What are they?’ I replied, ‘He said to me: Whenever you go to bed, recite Ayat Al-Kursi from the beginning to the end, Allahu la ilaha illa Huwal-Hayyul-Qayyum. He further said to me: (If you do so), Allah will appoint a guard for you who will stay with you, and no Shaytan will come near you until morning.’ (One of the narrators) then commented that they (the Companions) were very keen to do good deeds.
The Prophet said, ‘He spoke the truth, although he is a liar. Do you know whom you were talking to, these three nights, O Abu Huraira?’ Abu Huraira said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘It was Shaytan.’”