In many Muslim countries, there

Q 3: What is meant by the Hadith that states: Recite Surah Ya-Sin near your dead (your dying persons)?

A: It is narrated by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Al-Nasa'y, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban and Al-Hakim on the authority of Ma`qil ibn Yasar that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Recite Surah Ya-Sin near your dying persons. Imam Ahmad narrated it with the following wording: Surah Ya-Sin is the heart of the Qur'an; no one recites it, seeking Allah and the Hereafter, without being forgiven. Recite it for your dying persons. This Hadith was ranked as Sahih (authentic) by Ibn Hibban. However, it was ranked as a Hadith Ma`lul (a Hadith that appears to be sound, but thorough research reveals a disparaging factor in the chain of narrators or the text) by Yahya ibn Al-Qattan because it is Mudtarib (a Hadith with disagreement over a transmitter or the text), Mawquf (a Hadith narrated from a Companion of the Prophet) and because Abu `Uthman and his father - who are mentioned in the Sanad (chain of narrators) of this Hadith - are unknown. Al-Daraqutny said: This Hadith has a weak Isnad and an anonymous Matn (text of a Hadith) and there is no Sahih Hadith in this regard. Consequently, (Part No. 9; Page No. 42) we do not need any explanation for this Hadith as it is not an authentic one. Assuming that it is authentic, this Hadith means that Surah Ya-Sin should be recited near the dying person so that they may remember and that the last thing they can listen to before departing this life is the recitation of the Qur'an. It does not mean that Surah Ya-Sin should be recited for the dead person. Some people built on the surface structure of the Hadith and thus they deemed it Mustahab (desirable) to recite the Noble Qur'an for those who had already died since there is no authentic proof that contradicts this surface structure of the Hadith. However, this opinion is refuted by saying that if this Hadith means that Surah Ya-Sin should be recited for the dead person, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would have acted accordingly and this would have been reported to us, but this has not happened as we have mentioned previously. Supposing that this Hadith is Sahih (authentic), we can substantiate our opinion that it refers to dying persons with the Hadith narrated by Muslim in his Sahih (authentic) book of Hadith that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Dictate to your dying ones (to say): There is no God but Allah. So the Hadith refers to the dying person as in the story of Abu Talib, the paternal uncle of the Prophet (peace be upon him).May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.