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Ayat al-Kursi: The Greatest Protection


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أَعُوْذُ بِاللّٰهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيْمِ
اَللّٰهُ لَآ إِلٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَىُّ الْقَيُّومُ ، لَا تَأْخُذُهُۥ سِنَةٌ وَّلَا نَوْمٌ ، لَهُ مَا فِى السَّمٰـوٰتِ وَمَا فِى الْأَرْضِ ، مَنْ ذَا الَّذِىْ يَشْفَعُ عِندَهُٓ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِۦ ، يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيْهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ ، وَلَا يُحِيْطُوْنَ بِشَىْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِٓ إِلَّا بِمَا شَآءَ ، وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمٰـوٰتِ وَالْأَرْضَ، وَلَا يَـُٔوْدُهُۥ حِفْظُهُمَا ، وَهُوَ الْعَلِىُّ الْعَظِيْمُ.


I seek the protection of Allah from the accursed Shayṭān.

Allah, there is no god worthy of worship but He, the Ever Living, The Sustainer of all. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him Alone belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except with His permission? He knows what is before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His Kursī extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation does not tire Him. And He is the Most High, the Magnificent. (2:255)


Aʿūdhu bi-llāhi mina-sh-Shayṭāni-r-rajīm. Allāhu lā ilāha illā Huwa-l-Ḥayyu-l-Qayyūm, lā ta’khudhuhū sinatuw-wa lā nawm, lahū mā fi-s-samāwāti wa mā fi-l-arḍ, man dhā’lladhī yashfaʿu ʿindahū illā bi-idhnih, yaʿlamu mā bayna aydīhim wa mā khalfahum, wa lā yuḥīṭūna bi-shay’im-min ʿilmihī illā bi-mā shā’, wasiʿa kursiyyuhu-s-samāwāti wa-l-arḍ, wa lā ya’ūduhū ḥifẓuhumā wa Huwa-l-ʿAlliyu-l-ʿAẓīm.


Ubayy b. Kaʿb (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) reported that he had a vessel in which he kept dates. He found that its quantity was decreasing. So he kept guard on it one night and saw a creature that resembled an adolescent boy. Ubayy greeted him and he returned his greeting. Ubayy then asked him, “What are you, a jinnī or a human?” He replied, “A jinnī.” So he said to him, “Show me your hand.” So he showed him his hand, and it looked like a dog’s paw with dog’s fur. He said, “This is how the jinn are created. The jinn know that there is no one amongst them who is stronger than me.”

Ubayy asked him, “What caused you to do what you did?” He replied, “We heard that you are a man who loves charity, and we came to take our share from your food.’” Ubayy asked him, “What will protect us from you?” He replied, “Reading Āyah al-Kursī from Sūrah al-Baqarah [i.e. the verse above]. If you read it in the morning, you will be protected from us till the evening. And if you read it in the evening, you will be protected from us till the morning.”

Ubayy said: “The following morning, I went to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and told him about what had happened. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The evil one spoke the truth.” (Ḥākim 2108)

Brief Commentary

• Āyat al-Kursī begins with ‘Allah’. According to many scholars, ‘Allah’ is the Greatest Name of Allah, and is the most frequently mentioned Name in the Qur’ān, appearing over 2,500 times.

• ‘Allah’ refers to the One who is adored and worshipped. Thus, the āyah begins by establishing the greatest truth: that Allah is the sole being that deserves to be worshipped.

• It then describes Allah as the “Ever Living (al-Ḥayy)”: The one who has all the attributes of life in the most complete form e.g. hearing, seeing, knowing, power etc. Al-Ḥayy is the one who will never die, and nor is He touched by even the ‘smaller death’ (sleep). His life is absolutely perfect, and He alone gives life.

• Since He alone is the absolute source of life, and possesses the attributes of perfect life, it only makes sense that He alone is “The Sustainer of all (al-Qayyūm)”. Al-Qayyūm is the one who maintains all; but needs none to maintain Him. Everything within the heavens and the earth is dependent on Allah and needs Him to sustain and manage their existence. He, however, is completely Self-Sustaining, and independent of any of His creation.

• Whoever needs to sleep will always be deficient in maintaining and sustaining the affairs of His subjects. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Allah does not sleep, and it is not befitting that He should sleep” (Muslim). Not only does Allah not sleep, he does not even feel drowsy: ‘Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep’ This is also very comforting, as we do not need to worry about the heavens and planets falling on us, or to worry that He may be unavailable when we may need Him.

• ‘To Him Alone belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth’: Allah is the Master and Owner of all. He is the Owner and King of everything in the heavens and the earth. Nothing happens in this world except that Allah has willed it. Everything is subject to His will and decree. We are only custodians of what we have been given, not the true owners. Once we firmly believe that what we own is only a loan from Allah for a limited time, we will feel content and humble. We will empty our hearts from greed and stop chasing worldly pleasures. Whether we are tested with wealth or poverty, our hearts will remain attached to the True Owner of the heavens and the earth: Allah. This part of the verse also grants believers solace, as they know who to turn to for all their needs.

• After mentioning His ownership and complete dominion, Allah says, ‘Who is it that can intercede with Him except with His permission?’ This further explains Allah’s oneness and uniqueness. No one even comes close to sharing His power and will. Only those He will give permission to on the Day of Judgement (such as our beloved Messenger ﷺ) will be allowed to intercede.

• ‘He knows what is before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills’: Allah’s knowledge is not just limited to the present. It also encompasses the past, and extends to the future.

This belief should fill our hearts with awe and fear, as everything we do is within Allah’s knowledge. Likewise, it should make us content with our decree, as it was decreed by the One Who knows how things will develop in the future.

• All the technological advancements that we see now are only due to Allah granting us the permission to encompass this knowledge. Thus, we should always remain humble, and thankful to Allah.

• We are then introduced to one of Allah’s greatest creations, allowing us to ponder on Allah’s greatness: ‘His Kursī (footstool) extends over the heavens and the earth’: The Prophet ﷺ said, “The seven heavens in comparison to the Kursī is nothing but like a ring thrown in a desert, and the excellence of the Throne of Allah over the Kursī is like the excellence of that desert over that ring.” (Bayhaqī)

• If the Throne of Allah is this great, and Allah Has created it and is bigger than His creation, then how great is Allah!

• By knowing this, it is then no surprise that ‘their preservation tires Him not’ as the heavens and the earth are insignificant in size to Him. Allah cares for and provides sustenance to billions of beasts and creatures: those that crawl in the land, those that swim in the ocean, and those that fly in the sky. And yet, He never becomes tired.

• The ending ‘And He is the Most High, the Magnificent’ perfectly summarises the verse, as the whole verse is describing the greatness of Allah. These are two of the majestic Names of Allah. Allah is Great in Himself. All of His Names and Attributes are great and most perfect. Allah is Great in His might, and Great in His knowledge. Everything that He does is Great. Allah is far, far above any weakness or defect. No one can overpower Him, and He is Greater than anything we can imagine.

Benefits & Action Points

The Greatest Ayah

• The main theme of all of the morning and evening adhkār is tawḥīd (the Oneness of Allah), and at the forefront is Āyat al-Kursī.

• Āyat al-Kursī is the greatest verse of the Qur’ān. This is because the verse beautifully describes who Allah is. The most majestic verses in the Qur’ān are the verses that talk about Allah, as there is no topic of discussion which is more grandiose, more majestic and more beautiful than Allah (ʿazza wa jall). The āyah starts off with one word ‘Allah’; and then goes on to mention 20+ of Allah’s Names and Attributes.

• Āyat al-Kursī is a gift to us from Allah, our Creator and Master. We were created to worship and know Allah; and in just a few lines He has perfectly summarised to us who He is, including His Greatness, His Power, His Knowledge, His Kingdom, and ultimately His Oneness. There is nothing on earth that will teach us about Allah better than this āyah.

• lbn al-Jawzī (raḥimahullāh) writes, “By Allah, if an intelligent believer recited Sūrah al-Hadīd, the end of Sūrah al-Hashr, Ayat al-Kursī, and Surah al-Ikhlās with deep thought and contemplation, his heart would burst open out of the awe (of Allah), and he would be baffled by His Greatness.”

• Āyat al-Kursī contains the Greatest Names of Allah (al-Ḥayy and al-Qayyūm), as mentioned by the Prophet ﷺ (Abū Dāwūd). When we ask Allah by these Names, our duʿas are accepted.

• Āyat al-Kursī has a tongue and two lips that glorify Allah at the leg of the Allah’s Throne (as reported in Aḥmad).

Recite it 8x a Day

• Memorise this verse and recite it every day. It is sunnah to recite Āyah al-Kursī every day:

1) Before sleeping: “When you lie down in your bed, recite Āyat al-Kursī from beginning to end; a guardian angel will stay by you and no devil will approach you, until you wake up in the morning” (Bukhārī).

2) After every farḍ prayer: “Whoever reads [Āyat al-Kursī] after every obligatory prayer, there is nothing that will prevent him from entering Paradise except death” (Nasā’ī).

3) In the morning and evening: “Reading Āyat al-Kursī from Sūrah al-Baqarah. If you read it in the morning, you will be protected from us (i.e. the devils) till the evening. And if you read it in the evening, you will be protected from us (i.e. the devils) till the morning” (Ḥākim).

• By reading this verse a multiple number of times daily, we refresh our knowledge of Allah, renew our īmān in Him, and affirm His Oneness.

A Powerful Source of Protection

• A great portion of the morning and evening duʿās revolve around asking Allah for protection. By starting off the adhkār with Āyat al-Kursī, we begin to appreciate the greatness of Allah. This should help us to be more attentive and optimistic when reciting the remainder of the adhkār.

• Āyat al-Kursī is one of the strongest means of protection from the devils. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “In Sūrah al-Baqarah, there is a verse which is the best verse of the Qur’ān. It is never recited in a house except that the Shaytān leaves: it is Āyat al-Kursī” (Ḥākim).

Living by Āyat al-Kursī

• By knowing that the entire universe belongs to Allah and that He possesses the ultimate power and knowledge, we rely only on Him. Knowing that He always takes care of us and is the Perfect Manager of the entire creation makes us love Him and place our hope in Him.

• Since He is the Magnificent, we are in awe of Him and always humble ourselves to Him. He is the Only one who possesses all of these unique attributes, so we submit ourselves to Him and worship Him Alone.


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