Surat Ya-Seen is one of the Makkan surahs of the Qur’an, containing eighty-three verses, with frequent pauses and short phrases which has a strong effect on the believing soul. Its main subject matter is the same as other Makkan surahs; it speaks of Tawheed (the Oneness of Allah and of His Lordship) and the punishment for those who disbelieve in that. The issue that is focused on in this surah is the issue of the Resurrection.

There are a number of ahadith which speak of the virtues of this surah, most of which are, however, false and fabricated, and some of which are slightly weak (da’if). We have not found any sahih hadith which speaks specifically of the virtues of Surat Ya-Seen.

What Imam Ibn Katheer quoted from some of the scholars, that one of the qualities of this surah is that “it is never recited in the event of some difficult matter but Allah makes it easy” is ijtihad on their part, for which there is no evidence from the Qur’an or Sunnah, or from the words of the Sahabah. Such ijtihad cannot be attributed to Allah or His Messenger, rather it can only be attributed to the one who said it, who may be right or wrong.

However, the majority of scholars (including the Hanafis, Shafi’is and Hanbalis) are of the view that it is recommendable to recite Surat Ya-Seen in the presence of one who is dying, and they quoted a number of things as evidence for that, but the evidence is not free of some weakness.

Ahmad and Abu Dawood narrated that Ma`qil ibn Yasar said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Recite Ya-Seen for your dying ones.”

This hadith is da`if (weak) and was classed as such by al-Nawawi in al-Adhkaar. Ibn Hijr said in al-Talkhees: Ibn al-Qattan described it as da`if because there is some problem with it and it is mawquf…. Ibn al-‘Arabi narrated from al-Daraqutni that it is a hadith whose isnad is weak and whose text is unknown elsewhere, and there is no saheeh hadeeth on this topic.

Sheikh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked: Is reciting Surat Ya-Seen for one who is dying proven in the Sunnah or not?

He replied: Reciting Surat Ya- Seen for one who is dying is Sunnah according to many scholars, because the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Recite Ya-Seen for your dying ones.” But some of the scholars spoke about this hadith and said that it is da`if. According to those who classed it as saheeh, reciting this surah is Sunnah, and according to those who classed it is da`if it is not Sunnah.

As for surat al-Waqi`ah, there is no authentic hadith regarding its virtue.