When to Read Sūrat al-Kahf on Friday
Ml Yusuf Karaan
30 January 2024
Is there a specific timeframe during which Sūrat al-Kahf must be read on Friday?
السلام عايكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
Imām al-Shāfiʿī mentions that recitation of Sūrat al-Kahf is Sunnah starting from the eve of Friday (Thursday night) and throughout the day thereafter. We find two hadith pertinent to the issue at hand. The first is found in Faḍāʾil al-
Qurʾān of al-Qāsim ibn Sallām:
Abū Saʿīd al-Khudrī said: Whosoever is to recite Sūrat al-Kahf on Friday shall receive a light that illuminates the span of distance between him and the Kaʿbah.
The second hadith is found in Al-Sunan wal-Aḥkām of Ḍiyāʾ al-Dīn al-Maqdisī:
ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿUmar narrates that Rasūlullāh (SAW) said: Whosoever is to recite Sūrat al-Kahf on Friday shall have his sins of that week forgiven, and a light raised from beneath his feet that reaches into the clouds, providing him light on the Day of Judgement.
He does not confine this period to the time when the Imām ascends the pulpit, as the sole evidence for such confinement is a narration found in Sunan Saʿīd ibn Manṣūr:
Khālid ibn Maʿḍān said: Reciting Sūrat al-Kahf every Friday before the Imām comes [to ascend the pulpit] shall be an atonement for [one’s sins] that week, and light shall go forth from him illuminating the span of distance between himself and the Kaʿbah.
This here narration fails to hold up before scrutiny, as firstly, these words are ascribed unto a Tābiʿī scholar, Khālid ibn Maʿdān and not Rasūlullāh (SAW) and secondly, the chain of transmission leads up to a person by the name of Faraj ibn Faḍālah, a decidedly unreliable transmitter.
That being said, the scholars are generally tolerant when it comes to hadith of virtue (Faḍāʾil) and still choose to act upon inauthentic hadith such as the one above. Imām Aḥmad for instance reportedly read Sūrat al-Kahf habitually while walking to the mosque for Jumuʿah.
وﷲ تعالى أعلم
And Allah knows best
DUAI Fatwa Department