Reciting ten verses at night
The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Whoever recites ten verses at night will not be recorded as one of the heedless.”
[Al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak - classed as Sahih by Al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb]
The Scholars discussed in some detail the following issue which relates to the above Hadith:
Is what is meant in the hadith reciting these verses in one’s prayer at night, or can this virtue be attained simply by reciting these verses at night, whether during prayer or otherwise?
Both are possible. The former is supported by the report narrated by Abu Dawood (1398) from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (radi Allahu anhu), who said: The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever prays qiyaam reciting ten verses will not be recorded as one of the heedless. Whoever prays qiyaam reciting one hundred verses will be recorded as one of the devout. Whoever prays qiyaam reciting one thousand verses will be recorded as one of those who collected a great deal of reward.” [Classed as Sahih by al-Albaani in Sahih Abi Dawood (1264)]
It says in ‘Awn al-Ma’bood: What is meant here is qiyaam al-layl. Hence Ibn Hibbaan narrated this hadith in the chapters on qiyaam al-layl in his Sahih (4/120), and gave it the title: “Statement that the one who prays qiyaam reciting ten verses is not heedless.”
This is also supported by the hadith of Abu Hurayrah (radi Allahu anhu) which says: “Whoever prays at night reciting one hundred verses will not be recorded as one of the heedless, and whoever prays at night with two hundred verses will be recorded as one of the sincere and devout.” [Narrated by al-Haakim (1/452) and classed as Sahih according to the conditions of Muslim, al-Albaani was of the view that it is da’eef, as it says in al-Sahihah (2/243) and Da’eef al-Targheeb (1/190)]
In the report narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah (2/180) it says: “The one who offers these prescribed prayers regularly will not be recorded as one of the heedless, and whoever recites one hundred verses at night will not be recorded as one of the heedless.” [Al-Albaani said in al-Sahihah (643): Its isnaad is sahih according to the conditions of the two Shaykhs (al-Bukhaari and Muslim)]
The fact that recitation is mentioned alongside the prescribed prayer suggests that the command is to recite it during the prayer, i.e., the night prayer.
Hence Ibn Khuzaymah narrated that hadith of Abu Hurayrah (radim Allahu anhu) in a chapter called “The virtue of reciting one hundred verses in the night prayer, because the one who recites one hundred verses in the night prayer will not be recorded as being among the heedless.” It was also narrated by Muhammad ibn Nasr al-Marwazi in his book Qiyaam al-Layl (164) in the chapters that speak of reciting in the night prayer.
And this virtue may also be attained by the one who recites this number of verses at night in general, whether that is during prayer or otherwise, before going to sleep or after waking up, if he wakes during the night. This general meaning was understood by many of the scholars when they narrated the hadith in their collections of hadith. Al-Daarimi (may Allaah have mercy on him) included it in a chapter called “The virtue of one who recites ten verses” (2/554). Al-Haakim included it in his Mustadrak (1/738) in a chapter called “Reports concerning the virtue of the Qur’aan in general.”
Al-Mundhiri included it in al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb (2/76) in a chapter called “Encouragement to recite Qur’an in prayer and at other times, and the virtue of learning it and teaching it.” He mentioned it a second time in a chapter entitled “Encouragement to recite adhkaar to be said by night and by day, not just in the morning and in the evening” (2/116).
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Adhkaar (1/255): Reciting Qur’an is the most important of adhkaar, which should be done regularly. No day or night should be without it and it may be attained by reciting a few verses.
Then he mentioned a number of ahaadith including the hadith of Abu Hurayrah that we have quoted above. End quote.
It is hoped that the one who recites ten verses at night will not be recorded among the heedless, whether he recites them during his night prayer or otherwise, for the bounty of Allah is great indeed.
In Sahih Muslim (789) it is narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (radi Allahu anhu) that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “If the companion of the Qur’an persists in reciting it by night and by day, he will remember it, but if he does not do that he will forget it.”
The apparent meaning of the hadith is that what is meant by qiyaam here (idha qaama = if [he] persists) is broader in meaning than the idea of praying qiyaam.
Al-Manaawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: i.e., if he commits himself to reading Qur’an at night and during the day, and does not neglect that… This is a recommendation to read Qur’an constantly, without singling out a specific time or place.
And Allah knows best!