What is the order of reciting Al-Mu‘awwithataan and Al-Ikhlaas mentioned in the Sunnah? Is it permissible to recite them in a different order? Should I read every chapter thrice then recite the other one thrice? What is the Sunnah directive in such matters? Does this order apply to blowing onto the hands and reciting Al-Mu‘awwithataan before sleeping? Should I seek refuge through them outside and inside the prayers?
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.
As for reciting Al-Ikhlaas and Al-Mu‘awwithataan thrice and their order in relation to the Thikr after the prayers, they have to be recited according to their order in the Mus-haf. As for their order with other Thikr, they can be recited before or after the recommended Thikr after prayer. Most of the Thikr that one should say after prayers has no specific order. As for the way of reciting the Chapter of Al-Ikhlaas and Al-Mu‘awwithataan after prayers, it is permissible to recite the three chapters as a whole thrice. It is also permissible to read every chapter thrice. This is a flexible matter.
Concerning the way of reciting Al-Ikhlaas and Al-Mu‘awwithataan and blowing before sleeping, it was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: “When the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, went to bed every night, he would hold his hands together and blow into them, and recite into them Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad, Qul A‘oothu bi Rabb Al-Falaq and Qul A‘oothu bi Rabb An-Naas. Then he would wipe them over whatever he could of his body, starting with his head and face and the front of his body, and he would do that three times.” [At-Tirmithi] And the right way is to read first then blow into your hands although it is not apparent in the text of the Hadeeth.
The author of Sharh Sunan Ibn Maajah said: “He said in Al-Mafaateeh: the apparent meaning (in the previous Hadeeth) is that he used to blow first then recite. He said: No one expressed this opinion. It also does not make sense. This may be a slip on the part of the narrator or the writer.”
As for seeking refuge with Allaah by reading Al-Mu‘awwithataan outside the prayers, it is permissible and there are many narrations to support this.
Seeking refuge with Allaah by reading Al-Mu‘awwithataan inside the prayers is permissible, but you should not intend that it is for Ruqyah only. You should intend firstly that it is for recitation. It is permissible to combine the intention of the Ruqyah with that of recitation.
Allaah Knows best.
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