Yasin Heart of Quran?


Salafi friends ask about the validity of  ahadith explaining about surah Yasin as heart of Qur’an and that reading it upon deceased moslem can intercede the reader and the deceased.  Could you provide me the level of validity of the hadiths and their sources? Thank you.


The hadith:

إن لكل شئ قلباً وقلب القرآن يس ومن قرأ يس كتب الله له بقراءتها قراءة القرآن عشر مرات

“Truly everything has a heart and the heart of Qur’an is {Yasin}; and whoever recites {Yasin}, Allah shall record for him, because of that recitation, the recitation of the Qur’an ten times” is narrated through Muqatil b. Hayyan, from Qatada, from Anas b. Malik (Allah be well-pleased with him) by al-Tirmidhi, al-Darimi and others with chains all containing Harun Abu Muhammad, who is unknown. So this specific hadith is in itself weak (da`if) but since it concerns a meritorious deed, it can be put into practice in Islam. There is a practical consensus (ijma` `amali) of the early and late masters of hadith that as long as a hadith is not forged it can be used, and there is vocal agreement that this rule holds especially true for meritorious deeds as in this hadith, especially when its content is subsumed under an already-existing principle in the Law, namely that the recitation of the Divine Speech reaps unfathomable rewards. For further reading on this important rule see http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=7&ID=513&CATE=2

One contemporary scholar went further than the grade of weak and declared the above hadith a forgery. He claimed that one of the narrators in the chain of Imam al-Tirmidhi and Imam al-Darimi, Muqatil, the narrator from Qatada, was Muqatil b. Sulayman who is considered an arch-liar (kadhdhab), on the strength of a claim to that effect by Abu Hatim al-Razi and al-Dhahabi. However, al-Tirmidhi and al-Darimi explicitly identified Muqatil as Muqatil b. Hayyan who was (i) trustworthy (thiqa), (ii) most certainly a student of Qatada, (iii) thus identified in all manuscripts of al-Tirmidhi, and (iv) confirmed as being the correct Muqatil in this chain by al-Mizzi in Tuhfat al-Ashraf and Ibn Kathir in Jami` al-Masanid wal-Sunan. Now, in the knowledge of hadith, chains and narrators, al-Tirmidhi and al-Darimi tower above Abu Hatim, and al-Mizzi towers above al-Dhahabi. So the charge of forgery is rejected.

Hafiz Ibn Hajar said in his documentation of the hadiths of al-Zamakhshari’s Kashshaf that the segment “Everything has a heart and the heart of Qur’an is {Yasin}” is also narrated from Abu Hurayra (Allah be well-pleased with him) by al-Bazzar in his Musnad through Humayd al-Makki mawla Aal `Alqama who is unknown, so that chain is also weak but it serves to strengthen the veridical basis of the above narration.

The same segment is also narrated with a different chain by Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal and Abu Ya`la al-Mawsili in their Musnads, both of them through the Companion Ma`qil b. Yasar from Abu Hurayra (Allah be well-pleased with them), from the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace). The full wording is:

البقرة سنام القرآن وذروته, نزل مع كل آية منها ثمانون ملكاً, واستخرجت { الله لا إله إلا هو الحي القيوم} من تحت العرش فوصلت بها ـ أو فوصلت بسورة البقرة ـ ويس قلب القرآن لا يقرؤها رجل يريد الله والدار الاَخرة إلا غفرله, واقرؤوها على موتاكم

“Al-Baqara is the apex (sanaam) of the Qur’an and its summit (dhurwa). With each of its verses 80 angels descended. {La ilaha illa Huwa al-Hayy al-Qayyum} was brought out from under the Throne and it was connected to it – or [the narrator said] it was connected with Surat al-Baqara. {Yasin} is the heart of the Qur’an, no man reads it desiring Allah – Blessed and Exalted – and the abode of the hereafter except he is forgiven. Read it over your dying/deceased (mawtaakum).”

The latter chain contains two unknowns so it is also weak but still serves to further strengthen the above narration. As everyone in the field knows, Imam Ahmad recommended his entire Musnad (almost 28,000 hadiths) to his son, saying: whatever you find in this book it is usable in the Religion.

Finally, also from the Companion Ma`qil b. Yasar directly from the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) but with a weak chain also containing one unknown:

اقرءوا يس على موتاكم

– “Iqra’u {Yasin} `ala mawtakum – Recite {Yasin} over those of you who are dying/deceased.” Narrated by Abu Dawud in his Sunan.

«اقرؤوها على موتاكم» يعني يس

– “Iqra’u `inda mawtakum, ya`ni {Yasin} – Recite at [the bedside/graveside of] those of you who are dying/deceased – meaning {Yasin}.” Narrated by Ibn Majah in his Sunan and Ahmad in his Musnad.

These two narrations together with the previous narration of Imam Ahmad together show that reading Surat {Yasin} over the dead or dying has an acceptable basis in the Law.

It has also been narrated that: “There is no dying one on whom Surat {Yasin} is recited except Allah eases it for him,” and “Whoever enters cemeteries and recites {Yasin}, Allah diminishes their punishment that day and he has good deeds to the number of the dead,” and “There is in the book of Allah one Sura that will intercede for the one who recites it on behalf of more people than there are in the tribes of Rabi`a and Mudar and that is {Yasin}” but none of these is authentic, and Allah knows best.

Regarding the meaning of the Arabic word mawtaakum `Abd al-Haqq ibn al-Kharrat al-Ishbili (d. 582) said in his book al-`Aqiba (p. 255 no. 576): “The meaning of this hadith may be that the recitation is done over the person at the time the person is dying, or that it be done at their grave.” Al-Qurtubi said the same according to al-Suyuti (in Sharh al-Sudur) who adds: “I say: the vast majority of the scholars take the former meaning, while Ibn `Abd al-Wahid al-Maqdisi al-Hanbali [and others] take the latter view in the monograph he compiled on the topic. Both apply.”

And Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril

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