There is a Hadith recorded by Imam Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3570 and others where Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu) narrates a Salah he learns from the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to ease his memorization of the Quran. There seems to be dispute by the Muhaddithun about the strength of this narration.
Is it of sufficient strength that we can act upon it?
The Muhaddithun have indeed differed on the authenticity of this narration. Difference of opinion of this kind is common in every field.
However, in this instance, one reason for the difference seems to be the extent of information available to each Muhaddith.
Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has determined that all the causes for its weakness (besides one) are inapplicable, due to other supporting chains.
My esteemed teacher, Al-Muhaddith Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah (may Allah protect him) has also supported the authenticity of this narration in his footnotes to Al-Qawlul Badi’, pg.476. He has provided an answer to the one defect that remained unanswered previously.
The Hadith is therefore suitable for practice.
Imam Tirmidhi (rahimahullah) has declared it sound (hasan gharib).
‘Allamah Sakhawi (rahimahullah) states that many people have tried this and physically found its promised effect.
( Al-Qawlul Badi’, pg.476)
Translation of the complete narration
Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallahu ‘anhu) narrates:
We were by Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam), when ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (radiyallahu ‘anhu) approached and said:
‘May my father and mother be sacrificed for you, this Quran slips away from my memory, and I don’t seem to have ability to retain it.’
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) replied:
‘O Abul Hasan, shall I not teach you some words which Allah will benefit you with, and those you teach it to, and it will help establish what you learnt?’
He [Sayyiduna ‘Ali -radiyallahu ‘anhu] said:
‘Of course, teach me O Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam).’
He [Rasulullah – sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam] said:
When the night of Jumu’ah [Friday] arrives and you are able to establish prayer in the last portion of the night, for this time is witnessed, a du’a in it is readily accepted, for my brother Nabi Ya’qub (alayhis salam) said to his sons, soon I shall seek forgiveness for you from my Rabb, he said it was until the night of jumu’ah approached, if you unable then the middle of the night, and if that you can’t manage then establish prayer in the first portion, perform four rak’ahs reciting:
in the first rak’ah Surah Fatihah and Surah Yasin,
in the second rak’ah Surah Fatihah and Surah Hamim Dukhan,
in the third rak’ah Surah Fatihah and Surah Alif Lam Mim Sajdah and
in the fourth rak’ah Surah Fatihah and Surah Tabarakal Mufasal,
when you complete the tashahud then praise Allah, and glorify Allah in an excellent manner, then send salutations upon me and be excellent in it and upon all the Ambiya then seek forgiveness for the believing men and women and your brothers preceded you in iman, then say at the end of that:
‘O Allah, have mercy on me by abandonment of sins forever, so long as You keep me remaining. And have mercy on me from taking upon myself what does not concern me, and provide me good sight for what will make You pleased with me. O Allah, Originator of the heavens and the earth, Possessor of glory, and generosity, and honor that is not exceeded. I ask you, O Allah, O Rahman, by Your glory and the light of Your Face, to make my heart constant in remembering Your Book as You taught me, and grant me that I recite it in the manner that will make You pleased with me. O Allah, Originator of the heavens and the earth, Possessor of glory, and generosity, and honor that is not exceeded. I ask you, O Allah, O Rahman, by Your glory and the light of Your Face, to enlighten my sight with Your Book, and make my tongue free with it, and to relieve my heart with it, and to expand my chest with it, and to wash my body with it. For indeed, none aids me upon the truth other than You, and none gives it except You, and there is no Might or Power except by Allah, the High, the Magnificent.’
O Abul Hasan, do this for three, five or seven Fridays, you will be answered by the permission of Allah. By the One who sent me with the truth, it has never failed a believer.
Ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallahu ‘anhu) said:
By Allah, ‘Ali did not wait except five or seven and come to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) in the similar gathering, and he said:
‘I use to previously take four verses or so, and when I use to recite them they would be forgotten, but today I can learn forty verses or so and when I recite them it is as if the kitab of Allah is in front of me, and I use to listen to a Hadith, and when I use to repeat it, it used to be forgotten, but today I listen to many Hadiths, and when I narrate them I don’t err in a single letter.’
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said to him at that point:
‘A believer, by the Rabb of the Ka’bah, O Abul Hasan.’
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar