Ayat-e-Karima is a dua that Hazrat Younis A.S (Jonah in English) prayed to Allah Almighty; when he was swallowed by the fish.
In the Holy Qur’an, this verse is mentioned in Surah e Anbiya, Verse # 87.
Ayat e Karima is short but powerful dua. It has two parts; the first one Tawheed with glorification (the first tenet of Islam) and the second one is repentance (humility & subservience).
The Arabic text of Ayat e Kareema as in the Qur’an is:
The English translation of Ayat e Karima is:
There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.
For a better understanding of how to say this prayer, its English transliteration goes as:
La ilaha illa anta subhanaka inni kuntu minaz-zalimeen.
Contextual Background of Ayat e Kareema
A short contextual background of Ayat e Karima is; it was recited by Hazrat Younis (A.S) in the stomach of a whale. When he gave up on his people and left them without Allah’s permission; as a punishment, Allah SWT ordered a whale fish to swallow His Prophet. He remained in the belly of the fish for three days.
To read the story of Hazrat Younis A.S, visit this page.
Ayat e Karima is the words of Hazrat Younis with which he asked for Allah’s forgiveness. Consequently, Allah forgave him and the whale fish ejected him on the shore.
“And [mention] the man of the fish, when he went off in anger and thought that We would not decree [anything] upon him. And he called out within the darknesses, “There is no deity except You; exalted, are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.” it continues on, “So We responded to him and saved him from the distress. And thus do We save the believers.” – Surah Anbiya, Ayat # 87
Benefits & Significance of Ayat-e-Karima
About the significance of Ayat e Karima, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) has said,
“I know words that will cause Allah to remove one’s distress. These are the words (of supplication) of my brother Yonus (AS).” – (Tirmidhi)
Hence, if a person is in some kind of problem or great distress, recitation of this ayat can relieve him.
In another Hadees, the Prophet (PBUH) said,
“The supplication made by the Companion of the Fish (Prophet Yunus) in the belly of the fish was (Ayat-e-Karima). If any Muslim supplicates in these words, his supplication will be accepted or responded to.” – (Tirmidhi)
According to Mufti Muneer Ahmed Akhoon as he has told in this YouTube video; according to a Hadees, if someone makes dua after reciting Ayat e Karima 41 times, his prayer will be accepted.
Furthermore, Hazrat Sa’at Ibn E Malik (R.A) narrates that,
“I heard Prophet SAW Saying: Should I not inform you of Allah’s Greatest Name (Isme Azam) when dua is invoked with it, it is accepted and what is asked for thought it is given? This is the supplication through which Yunus AS called Allah from within three darkness. This is as under La ilaha illa anta, Subhanaka, Inni kuntu minaz-zalimin.
A man asked: O Rasulullah, Is this dua special for Yunus AS or for all the believers? Prophet SAW said: Have you not heard the words of Allah (in the Quran): And We delivered Yunus(AS) of his distress, thus We grant deliverance to all believers [Quran].
Rasulullah ﷺ further mentioned: “Any Muslim who supplicates with these words forty times during his illness, then he passes away during his illness, he will be given the reward of a martyr and if he gets cured, then he will get cured in the state that all his sins are forgiven”. Mustadrak Hakim 
Other reported benefits of Ayat e Kareema:
As Allah listens to the person who recites Ayat e Karima, and He relieves him from the suffering; so the ayat can literally help a person in all the conditions.
If it can make the impossible possible for Hazrat Yunus (A.S), we cannot limit the results of reciting this dua.
However, reported impacts of the dua are:
- It can cure an incurable disease.
- Solve marriage-related issues.
- Fulfill right desires.
- Free a person from a tyrant.
- Eliminate any kind of suffering or problem.
In short, nothing is beyond the scope of its benefits. It only takes Allah’s ‘kun’ and it happens.
- For how many times should we recite Ayat e Karima in a day?
There is no fixed count. Moreover, our intention and seriousness matter over quantity. Reciting it one time wholeheartedly is better than repeating it 10000 times without seriousness.
- Can we read Ayat e Kareema without wudu?
Yes, you can recite it no matter you are in or without wudhu.
- What is this ayat good for?
Ayat e Karima is a supplication to Allah. We testify to Allah’s oneness and glorify Him. In the second part, we humbly repent for our wrongdoings and sins. In return, it alleviates our (any sort of) pains and sufferings with Allah’s blessings.
- Is Ayat e Karima Jalali?
Ayat e Kareema is called heavy (Jalali) and it is usually suggested that there should be a limit in reciting it per day. Nothing of the sort has been mentioned by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) or followed by his companions. So, these are mere fabrications. There is no limit to its recitation and similarly, there is no harm or side effect of reciting it limitlessly.
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