Reciting surah An-nas aloud by imam before prayer


Is it the practice of the Prophet to read an-nas aloud like before prayer? Because I have heard some imam reciting after ikomah and before prayer!


Yes, I have seen it done in certain parts of Southeast Asia. It is true that after iqamah and before the takbir of ihram the Holy Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) and the Four Rightly-Guided Caliphs (Allah be well-pleased with them) would only issue commands to straighten the rows; and there is also the du`a of wasila that is sunnah to say both after adhan and (in the Shafi`i madhhab) iqamah, so it is not related that they recited Surat an-Nas at that time. Nevertheless:

(i) the Holy Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) described that particular moment as a time of answered prayers (ijabat ad-du`a), so any du`a is Sunnah whether softly or aloud, and the best du`a of all is the Divine Speech Itself; and

(ii) that particular Sura is a literal implementation of the Divine command since Allah Most High says:

فَإِذَا قَرَأۡتَ ٱلۡقُرۡءَانَ فَٱسۡتَعِذۡ بِٱللَّهِ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ ٱلرَّجِيمِ

{So when you recite the Quran, seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytan} Surat an-Nahl 16:98

And Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril Haddad

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