Remembered often for its length and long Ayat, Surat Al-Baqarah’s virtues are often forgotten. The intent of this short article is to present some of its virtues and the real value it should hold for all of us.
The text of the following passage is taken verbatim from the abridgement of Tafsir Ibn Kathir (entitled Misbah Al-Muneer by Sh. Safi Ur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri) . In order to reference and authenticate all of the narrations and Ahadith for this passage, I will translate and summarize the footnotes from the 2000 15 volume Tafsir Ibn Kathir, a masterpiece for Hadith students, as most of the narrations have been edited with a large number of them authenticated by a group of Hadith scholars.
A quick note before presenting the passage. A number of this narrations are inauthentic so they should not be taken as being the words of the Prophet (peace be upon him) or his Sahabah. They were mentioned along with their complete chains by Ibn Kathir to disclaim his own responsibility. In addition, his work was directed towards a knowledgeable audience who could investigate these chains and differentiate between the authentic and inauthentic. Since this is practically impossible nowadays, footnotes have been added from the 2000 Arabic edition of Tafsir Ibn Kathir wherever possible to indicate the authenticity of the report in question.
The Virtues of Surat Al-Baqarah
In Musnad Ahmad, Sahih Muslim, At -Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i, it is recorded that Abu Hurayrah
said that the Prophet said, “Do not turn your houses into graves. Verily, Shaytan does not enter the house where Surat Al-Baqarah is recited .”
Also, `Abdullah bin Mas` ud said, “Shaytan flees from the house where Surat Al-Baqarah is
heard .” This Hadith was collected by An-Nasa'i in Al-Yawm wal-Laylah, and Al-Hakim recorded it in his Mustadrak, and then said that its chain of narration is authentic, although the Two Sahihs did not collect it. In his Musnad, Ad-Darimi recorded that Ibn Mas` ud said, “Shaytan departs the house where Surat Al-Baqarah is being recited, and as he leaves, he passes gas .” Ad-Darimi also recorded that Ash-Sha`bi said that `Abdullah bin Mas` ud said, “Whoever recites ten Ayat from Surat Al-Baqarah in a night , then Shaytan will not enter his house that night . (These ten Ayat are) four f rom the beginning, Ayat Al-Kursi (255), the following two Ayat (256-257) and the last three Ayat .” In another narrat ion, Ibn Mas` ud said, “Then Shaytan will not come near him or his family, nor will he be touched by anything that he dislikes. Also, if these Ayat were to be recited over a senile person, they would wake him up .”
Further, Sahl bin Sa` d said that the Messenger of Allah said, “Everything has a hump (or, high peek), and Al-Baqarah is the high peek of the Qur'an. Whoever recites Al-Baqarah at night in his house, then Shaytan will not enter that house for three nights. Whoever recites it during a day in his house, then Shaytan will not enter that house for three days .” This Hadith was collected by Abu Al-Qasim At -Tabarani, Abu Hat im Ibn Hibban in his Sahih and Ibn Marduwyah.
At -Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Maj ah recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, “The Messenger of Allah sent an expedition force comprising of many men and asked each about what they memorized of the Qur'an. The Prophet came to one of the youngest men among them and asked him, ‘What have you memorized (of the Qur'an) young man.’ He said, ‘I memorized such and such Surahs and also Al-Baqarah.’ The Prophet said, ‘You memorized Surat Al-Baqarah?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ The Prophet said, ‘Then you are their commander.’ One of the noted men (or chiefs) commented, ‘By Allah! I did not learn Surat Al-Baqarah, for fear that I would not be able to implement it.’ The Messenger of Allah said, ‘Learn Al-Qur'an and recite it , for the example of whoever learns the Qur'an, recites it and adheres to it , is the example of a bag that is full of musk whose scent f ills the air. The example of whoever learns the Qur'an and then sleeps (i.e. lazy) while the Qur'an is in his memory, is the example of a bag that has musk, but is closed tight.’”
This is the wording collected by At -Tirmidhi, who said that this Hadith is Hasan. In another
narration, At -Tirmidhi recorded this same Hadith in a Mursal manner, so Allah knows best .
 Quite often, when people are referring to Tafsir Ibn Kathir in the English language, they are speaking about this condensation, which is not the Tafsir in its entirety but a simplified version.
 This Hadith is Sahih (authentic).
 Its narrators are all trustworthy and are the narrators of the Two Sahih collections.
 Its chain is Hasan (acceptable).
 Its chain is Munqati’ (broken), because Ash-Sha`bi did not hear from `Abdullah bin Mas` ud.
 Similarly, this also follows the same route of Ash-Sha`bi from `Abdullah bin Mas` ud.
 This Hadth is Da’if (weak).
 This Hadth is Da’if (weak).