A is for Ayat Al-Kursi
It’s the first day of the A to Z challenge! I’m beginning the month with a verse from the Qur’an: Ayat Al-Kursi. Chapter 2 (Al-Baqara, The Cow), verse 255. I probably recite this verse more than any other verse in the Qur’an (unless you count bismillah). I can’t give an estimated number, but I recite it several times a day.
The translation is interesting and pretty poetic. It basically describes God and some of his qualities, and the whole verse follows somewhat of a circular pattern. I won’t go into details, but if you’re interested in learning about the meaning of this verse, check out Nouman Ali Khan’s lecture on it. It’s only about 15 minutes and is really interesting.
The real reason why I recite it so much is primarily for the practical use. I’ve learned from many people (quoting Hadith) that it is good to recite Ayat Al-Kursi when in a situation of danger like riding in a car or plane. At my Muslim elementary school, we got in the habit of reciting Ayat Al-Kursi before taking any important test. I also learned from a trusted teacher of mine that there are huge benefits to reciting Ayat Al-Kursi after the five daily prayers.
Because of its supposed protective qualities, I have gotten in the habit of saying Ayat Al-Kursi in any anxiety-inducing situation: before taking a test, if I’m about to give a presentation, when I feel afraid, when walking around my house in the dark of the night, and I dare not be in a car without first reciting my dua and this ayah. It has almost become a coping mechanism for me. By reciting the words of the Qur’an, I am reminding myself that God is always with me and there to protect me. I know that he’s there even if I don’t say anything, but by saying it, I am acknowledging that in that moment, I am totally relying on God for my success and safety.
Below is an English translation of the verse. It is one of the longer verses of the Qur’an:
God: there is no god but Him, the Ever Living, the Ever Watchful. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. All that is in the heavens and in the earth belongs to Him. Who is there that can intercede with Him except by His leave? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, but they do not comprehend any of His knowledge except what He wills. His throne extends over the heavens and the earth; it does not weary Him to preserve them both. He is the Most High, the Tremendous.