It is said in a Hadith that if a Muslim recites this verse forty times during illness and dies then his death will be that of Martyrs (Shahid). And if he gets well then his sins will be forgiven. This verse (Ayah) also strengthens one’s du’a if recited during du’a. (Al-Hakim)
What is the authenticity of this Hadith and what is the verse?
Your question is made up of two Hadiths:
1) Sayyiduna Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“The du’a Yunus (‘alayhis salam) which he made while in the belly of the whale, ‘La ilaha illa anta subhanaka inni kuntu minaz zalimin‘, no Muslim makes du’a using these words except that Allah will accept that du’a”
(Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3505. Declared authentic –sahih– by Imam Hakim and ‘Hafiz Dhahabi concurs. Mustadrak, vol. 1 pg. 505)
2) Sayyiduna Sa’d ibn Malik (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said regarding the verse ‘La ilaha illa anta subhanaka inni kuntu minaz zalimin‘, Whomsoever reads this verse forty times during illness and passes away in that illness will be granted the reward of a martyr, if he is cured then he will be cured in the condition that all of his sins are forgiven”
(Mustadrak Hakim, vol. 1 pg. 506)
However, this Hadith has been reported with an extremely weak chain. The Muhaddithun have severely discredited the reliability of a narrator of this Hadith. ‘Allamah Dhahabi (rahimahullah) states, ‘His narrations are like fabrications’.
(Mizanul I’tidal, vol. 3 pg. 256 -number: 5998-)
This narration should therefore not be quoted.
This du’a is certainly a powerful du’a. Allah Ta’ala says:
“When [Yunus ‘alayhis salam] called out in the darkness [of the whale’s belly], La ilaha illa anta subhanak inni kuntu minaz zalimin. So we responded to his du’a and rescued him from distress. Similarly we rescue the Believers”
(Surah Ambiya, Verses: 87 and 88)
A person may recite this du’a as many times as he wishes. Insha Allah, Allah will remove all distress through the barakah of this du’a.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar