From the Adhkar (invocations and Remembrances said at certain times on a regular basis) that the honorable Prophet (peace be upon him) used to recite whenever he went to bed (at night) what was mentioned in the Hadith that was authentically reported in Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim on the authority of the mother of the believers, `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) went to bed at night, he used to put his hands together then blow into them and would recite Surat Al Ikhlas, Surat Al Falaq, and Surat An-Nas then wipe wiht them [his hands] as much as he could of his body. He would start with his head and face and the front of his body thrice. [Sahih Al Bukhari (No. 5017) and Sahih Muslim (No. 2192)].
This is a great Dhikr for seeking protection from Allah, a shield for a person, and a protection for him by the will of Allah lest anything may harm him in his sleep, or an evil hits him, or any harmful animal or killing insect might harm him, especially a person is always unheedful while asleep. If he busies himself with this great Dhikr when he goes to bed, Allah will provide protection for him and a person shall be in the custody of Allah until the morning. This reflects the importance of reciting this Dhikr every night when a Muslim goes to bed in order to get that shield and protection. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to keep to this Dhikr every night and never abandoned it. What confirms the great care of the Prophet (peace be upon him) for this Dhikr is what was authentically reported from some ways of the Hadith that `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: "When he got sick, he commanded me to do that for him." [Sahih Al Bukhari (No. 5747)]. It was authentically reported in the books of authentic Hadiths on the authority of `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) during his fatal ailment used to blow (on his hands and pass them) over his body while reciting the Mu`auwidhat (Surat An-Nas and Surat Al Falaq). When his disease got aggravated, I used to recite them for him and blow (on his hands) and let him pass his hands over his body because of its blessing." [Sahih Al Bukhari (No. 5751)].
So, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to recite this Dhikr despite his severe sickness! He used to recite these Surahs, blow into his hands, and commanded `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) to hold his hand and pass it over his body because he could not do so due to sickness. The saying of `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) in the Hadith: "When he went to bed," meaning: "when he laid down on bed and covered himself." As for her saying: "every night," indicates the preservation of the Prophet (peace be upon him) on this Dhikr at all nights. As for her saying: "put his hands together," meaning: "put his hands together tightly while they were open from the side of the face so that he could blow into them. As for her saying: "then blow into them," meaning: "the hands," and blowing is different from spitting and it means the egress of air from the mouth slightly with no saliva. As for her saying: "then he wiped with them [his hands] as much as he could of his body." is a proof that it is part of the Sunnah to wipe with them as much as a person can of his body. It is worthy to know that wiping the face and the body is only after this Dhikr and should not be done after every Dhikr or invocation; because there was no authentic Hadith reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) in this regard. Therefore, the Shaykh of Islam, Ibn Taymiyah (May Allah bestow mercy on him) said: "As for the Prophet's wiping his face, there is only one or two Hadiths in this regard." [Al Fatawa (12/519)]. As for her saying: He would start with his head and face and the front of his body, it contains a proof that it is part of the Sunnah that a Muslim should start with the top of his body, starting with his head and face and the front of his body then ends up with the back. It is part of the Sunnah that a Muslim should do that thrice as the Messenger (peace be upon him) did. The first Surat of these three Surahs contained the qualities of the Lord (Exalted be He), moreover they were dedicated to explain these qualities. Therefore, Surat Al Ikhlas was named as such because it contains the scientific monotheism of Allah (may He be Exalted). If it is said to someone, who is Allah and he answered only by reciting this Surah, the answer will be complete. The One who is characterized by perfection and majesty; He has the most Beautiful Names, the perfect Attributes, and dignified actions which are unparalleled and unique. The meaning of "As-Samad" is the One who is supplicated for needs. The upper and the lower creatures are in dire need to Him. They ask Him for their needs because He is the Perfect and the Mighty in all His Attributes. Because of His perfection, He never begot nor begotten and for His Sufficiency, He has no peer: not in His Names, Attributes, nor His Actions.
As for Al Mu`widhatayn, they contain seeking Allah's Protection against all evils. Surat Al Falaq contains seeking protection from Allah, the Lord of the daybreak Who also splits seeds from the evil of what he has created. This includes all creatures: humans, jinn, and animals, so a person seeks the protection of the Creator against the evil of these creatures. Then Allah specified after this generalization by saying: {and from the evil of the darkening (night)} i.e., the evil in the night when it covers the earth, releasing many of evil spirits and harmful animals. {And from the evil of those who blow in the knots} i.e., malignant sorcerers who use knots in their sorcery. {and from the evil of the envious when he envies}. An envious is the one who loves the removal of grace for the envied which includes the evil eye because evil eye does not come out but due to envy. So, this great Surah includes all kinds of seeking refuge against all evils, general and particular.
As for Surat An-Nas, it contains seeking refuge in the Lord of the people, their owner, and their God against the accursed Satan, which is the origin of all evils. [Tafsir As-Sa`dy (may Allah bestow mercy on him (p. 937-938)].
So, a Muslim should keep reciting these three Surahs every night when he goes to bed as the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to do in order to gain the protection of Allah and to sleep well.
May Allah grant us success!

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