Quarterly: Issue No 74
Al-Adhkaar - their TIME PERIODS
All Praise is due to Allah, Glorified be His Name, and the Blessings and Mercy of Allah be upon His beloved Messenger Muhammad, his family and all his companions. Ameen.
Scholars differ concerning the time for the evening adhkaar (zikr/supplications). There are three views on this subject. The first view is that it is between Salaatul ‘Asr and Salaatul Maghrib; the second view is that it is when the sun passes the zenith (which is when the time for Zuhr begins) until the sun sets and the first part of the night; and the third view is that it is from when the sun passes its zenith until halfway through the night.
The first view was held by Ibn al-Qayyim (ra). In al-Waabil al-Sayyib (p.127) he said: Concerning the two ends of the day, which are the period between dawn and sunrise and the period between ‘Asr and Maghrib. Allah says:
“O you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance. And glorify His Praises morning and afternoon [the early morning (Fajr) and ‘Asr prayers]” (Surah al-Ahzaab; Chapter 33: Verses 41-42)
With regard to the word aseel (translated here as afternoon), al-Jawhari (ra) said: it is the time from after Salaatul ‘Asr to sunset.
And Allah also says:
“and glorify the praises of your Lord in the ‘Ashiyy (i.e. the time period after the mid-noon till sunset) and in the Ibkaar (i.e. the time period from early morning or sunrise till before mid-noon)” (Surah Al-Ghaafir; Chapter 40: Verse 55)
Ibkaar means the beginning of the day, and ‘ashiyy means the end of it.
And Allah also says:
“and glorify the Praises of your Rabb, before the rising of the sun and before (its) setting” (Surah Qaaf; Chapter 50: Verse 39)
This is the explanation of what is mentioned in the Hadeeth of the one who said such and such in the morning and in the afternoon; what is meant is before the sun rises and before it sets, so the time for these adhkaar is after Fajr and after ‘Asr.
The second view held by some of the scholars when they were asked: Should the evening adhkaar be after Salaatul ‘Asr or after the sun sets or after Salaatul Maghrib prayer?
They replied: The evening adhkaar begin after the sun passes its zenith until it sets, and at the beginning of the night. The morning adhkaar begin from when dawn breaks until the sun passes the zenith. Allah says:
“and glorify the praises of your Lord before the rising of the sun, and before its setting” (Surah Ta-Ha; Chapter 20: Verse 130)
“And remember your Lord within yourself, humbly and with fear and without loudness in words in the mornings and in the afternoons [asaal]” (Surah al-A’raaf; Chapter 7: Verse 205)
The word asaal (translated here as “afternoons”) refers to the period between Salaatul ‘Asr and Salaatul Maghrib. And Allah also says:
“So glorify Allah when you come up to the evening (i.e. offer the Maghrib (sunset) and ‘Ishaa (night) prayers), and when you enter the morning (i.e. offer the (Fajr) morning prayer). And His are all the praises and thanks in the heavens and the earth; and (glorify Him) in the afternoon (i.e. offer ‘Asr prayer) and when you come up to the time, when the day begins to decline (i.e. offer Zuhr prayer)” (Surah al-Room; Chapter 30: Verse 18)
The third view (i.e. the time from after Zuhr prayer until halfway through the night) was held by Jalaaluddeen al-Suyooti (ra) as was quoted from him by Ibn ‘Allaan in al-Futoohaat al-Rabbaaniyyah ‘ala al-Adhkaar al-Nawaawiyyah (Volume 3 / Page 73).
It has also been noted that there are differences of opinion concerning the time for the morning adhkaar – is it the time between dawn and sunrise, or until the sun reaches its zenith?
The Saheeh recorded Sunnah indicates that Ayat al-Kursiyy should be recited among the adhkaar of morning and evening. This was narrated by al-Nasaa’i in ‘Aml al-Yawm wa’l-Laylah and al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer from Ubayy ibn Ka’b (RA), who said that he had a pile of dates from which some were disappearing, so he guarded it one night and he saw a beast that resembled a grown boy. He greeted him and he returned the greeting, and said: “What are you, a jinni or a human?” He said: “A jinni.” He said: “Stretch out your hand to me.” So he stretched out his hand and he saw that it was the paw of a dog with the hair of a dog. He said: “Is this the form of the jinn?” He said: “The jinn know that there is no man among them who is stronger than me.” He said: “What brought you here?” He said: “We heard that you love to give charity so we came for a share of your food.” He said: “What will protect us from you?” He said: “This verse that is in Surah al-Baqarah: ‘Allah! Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), Al-Hayyul-Qayyoom (the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists)…’ (Surah al-Baqarah; Chapter 2: Verse 255). Whoever recites it in the evening will be protected from us until morning, and whoever recites it in the morning will be protected from us until the evening.” The next morning Ubayy ibn Ka’b (RA) came to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and mentioned that to him, and he said: “The evil one spoke the truth.” The isnaad of this Hadeeth was classed as ‘jayyid’ by al-Mundhiri in al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, and was classed as ‘Saheeh’ by Sheikh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb (662).
The Sunnah also indicates that al-Mu’awwadhatayn (i.e. the last two surahs of the Noble Qur’an) are part of the adhkaar for morning and evening. Abu Dawood (5082), al-Tirmidhi (3575) and al-Nasaa’i (5428) narrated from Abdullah ibn Khubayb (RA) that he said: We set out on a very rainy and dark night, looking for the Messenger of Allah (SAW) to lead us in prayer. We caught up with him and he said: “Did you pray?” I did not say anything, and he said, “Say something,” but I did not say anything. He said, “Say something,” but I did not say anything. He said: “Say something,” and I said: “O Messenger of Allah, what should I say?” He said: “Say: ‘Qul huwa Allaahu ahad (Chapter 112) and al-Mu’awwadhatayn (Chapters 113 and 114) in the evening and in the morning, three times, and that will suffice you against everything.” This Hadeeth was classed as ‘hasan’ by Sheikh al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
With regard to reciting the verse of Surah at-Tawbah, there is a report narrated by Ibn al-Sunni in ‘Aml al-Yawm wa’l-Laylah (21) from Abu-Darda (RA), from the Prophet (SAW) who said: “Whoever says every day, in the morning and the evening, Hasbi Allah laa illaha illa huwa ‘alayhi tawwakaltu wa huwa rabb al-‘arsh il-‘azeem (Sufficient for me is Allaah, besides Whom there is no other god; in Him have I put my trust and He is the Lord of the mighty Throne), seven times, Allah will suffice him with regard to what he is worried about, in this world and in the Hereafter.” This Hadeeth was classed as ‘Saheeh’ by Shu’ayb al-Arna’oot in Tahqeeq Zaad al-Ma’aad (2/342).
The Ahaadeeth (plural of Hadeeth) quoted above indicate that there is no difference between these adhkaar; all of them may be said in the morning and in the evening. It is not correct to say that some of them should be said after the Adhaan and some should be said after Maghrib prayer.
But based on the three well-known scholarly opinions on the time for the evening adhkaar, which we mentioned above, the one who says them between ‘Asr and Maghrib prayers has said the adhkaar at the correct time. As for reciting them after the Adhaan or after the Maghrib prayer, this is in accordance with the view that the time for them extends until Maghrib prayer or until halfway through the night, as stated above.
There seems to be some overlap between the adhkaar of the prayer and the adhkaar for morning and evening time periods. The Sunnah indicates that Ayat al-Kursiyy and al-Mu’awwadhatayn are among those adhkaar which it prescribed to be recite following the prayers. Al-Nasaa’i narrated that Abu Umaamah (RA) said: The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Whoever recites Ayat al-Kurisyy after every prayer, nothing stands between him and entering Paradise except death.” This Hadeeth was classed as ‘Saheeh’ by al-Sheikh Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb (1595).
Abu Dawood (1523), al-Nasaa’i (1336) and al-Tirmidhi (2903) narrated that ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir (RA) said: “The Messenger of Allah (SAW) told me to recite al-Mu’awwidhaat (Chapters 113 and 114) after every prayer.” This was classed as ‘Saheeh’ by Sheikh al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
So whoever recites them after Fajr prayer, this will suffice for the adhkaar of prayer and the morning adhkaar, but he should recite the al-Mu’awwidhaat (Chapters 113 and 114) three times, as mentioned above in the Hadeeth of ‘Abd-Allah ibn Khubayb (RA). Whoever recites that after ‘Asr prayer, or after Maghrib prayer – according to the view that the time for the evening adhkaar lasts until then – that will also suffice for the adhkaar of prayer and the evening adhkaar.
May Allah grant us all the tawfeeq to make these Adhkaar every day and night. Ameen!
May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad, the WITNESS to all Mankind. Ameen.
O Allah! Your Forgiveness is far greater than my sins and I have more hope in Your Mercy than in my own deeds.
Requesting your humble duas!
Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir
Kyalami Glen, Gauteng
Johannesburg, South Africa