Search In Fatwa

Superiority of Some Soorahs or Verses Over Others


Is it permissible to have a favorite chapter or verse from the Quran, or should we love all chapters and verses equally?


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

If you are asking about loving some of the Soorahs or verses more than others, then we hope that there is nothing wrong with that, for one of the Companions loved Soorah Al-Ikhlas [Quran 112] and repeated it in every prayer, as in the Hadeeth on the authority of Anas, that a man recited Soorah: {قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ} (Say, "He is Allah, [who is] One), in every Rak'ah [in which there recitation after Al-Faatihah], so the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) asked him about the reason and the man replied: “O Messenger of Allah! Indeed, I love it.” So, the Messenger of Allah said: “Your love for it shall have you admitted into Paradise.” [Al-Bukhari and Ibn Hibban]

However, if you are asking whether there are some Soorahs (Chapters) and verses in the Quran that are better than some other Chapters and verses, then the entire Quran is the word of Allah Almighty, and it is obligatory to love all of it and believe in all of it. All of the Quran is the truth, goodness, and blessing.

However, the majority of the jurists are of the view that some of the Quran is better than others.

They quoted as evidence what was reported in the Quran and Sunnah which indicates this superiority, such as the saying of Allah (which means): {We do not abrogate a verse or cause it to be forgotten except that We bring forth [one] better than it or similar to it. Do you not know that Allah is over all things competent?} [Quran 2:106] His Saying (which means): {We bring forth [one] better than it}, indicates that some verses are better than others.

Also, Ubay ibn Ka’b  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “O Abul-Mundhir [this is the nickname of Ubay ibn Ka’b]! Do you know which verse in Allah's Book is the greatest?” I replied: “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He repeated the same question and I said, “ {اللهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ}.(It is 'Allahu laa ilaaha illa Huwa al-Hayul-Qayoom (Allah! none has the right to be worshipped but He, the Ever Living...)'.” [Quran 2:255] Thereupon he [the Prophet] patted me in the chest and said, "Rejoice by this knowledge, O Abul-Mundhir!” [Muslim]

The Prophet’s  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) question “Which verse in Allah's Book is the greatest?”, indicates that the verses vary in greatness. But some scholars are of the view that there is no superiority of some verses [or parts] of the Quran over others.

Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him attributed the view of superiority to most scholars, as he said in Majmoo’ al-Fatawa:

The view that some of the words of Allah is better than others is the view that was reported from the righteous predecessors, and this is the view held by the jurists among the Imams of the Four Schools of jurisprudence and others.” [End of quote]

Besides, An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Sharh Saheeh Muslim when explaining the previous Hadeeth while reporting the difference of opinion among the scholars about that:

Al-Qaadi Iyaadh said: ‘This Hadeeth is evidence about the view on the permissibility of preferring some parts of the Quran over others, and preferring the Quran over all other books of Allah.’ He said: ‘There is a difference of opinion among the scholars about this. Abul-Hasan al-Ash'ari, Abu Bakr al-Baqilaani, and a group of jurists and scholars prevented this, because preference of parts [or verses] over others indicates lack of perfection of that which is less favored than others, whereas there is nothing in the words of Allah that lacks perfection. These jurists and scholars interpreted the general saying about the greatness and superiority of some of the verses and Soorahs over others with the meaning of greatness or better; Is-Haaq ibn Rahawayh and other scholars of theology are of the view that this is permissible [i.e. to favor some verses or Chapters over others] and said that this is due to the greatness of the reward of the reciter of those verses. The chosen view is the permissibility of saying that this verse or Soorah is greater or better in the sense that the reward given to it is more than that given to others, which is the meaning of the Hadeeth.” [End of quote]

Al-Qurtubi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in the introduction to his Tafseer:
The scholars differed in opinion regarding favoring some Soorahs and verses over others and favoring some of the Names of Allah over others. A group of scholars said: ‘There is no preference of some over others, because all of it are the words of Allah; the same thing applies to His Names, there is no preference of some over others. This is the view held by Abul-Hasan al-Ash'ari, Qadhi Abu Bakr ibn at-Tayyib, and Abu Hatem Muhamad ibn Hibban al-Basti, and a group of jurists. Its meaning was reported from Maalik as well. Yahya ibn Yahya said, “Preferring some of the Quran over other is wrong ... and another group of the scholars held the view that it is permissible to favor some parts over others. As for the content of the Saying of Allah (which means): {And your god is one God. There is no deity [worthy of worship] except Him, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.} [Quran 2:163] and Ayatul-Kursi [Quran 2:255], the last verses of Soorah al-Hashr [Quran 59:22-24] and Surat al-Ikhalas [Quran 112], that indicate the Oneness of His Names and Attributes, is not found, for example, in Soorah al-Masad [Quran 111:1] and similar verses. The preference is only in the miraculous meanings and their abundance, not in terms of Attribute and this is the truth. Those who are of the view about the permissibility of preference, is Is-Haaq ibn Rahawayh and other scholars of theology, and this is the view chosen by Abu Bakr al-‘Arabi and Ibn al-Hassar.” [End of quote]

Allah knows best.

Related Fatwa