What is the meaning of the word ‘Al batalah’ in the Hadith regarding Surah Baqarah?
You are referring to the Hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim.
Sayyiduna Abu Umamah Al Bahili (radiyallahu ‘anhu) said: “I heard Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) say, ‘…Recite Surah Baqarah, for [reciting it and practicing on it] is a blessing and abandoning it will be a cause of grief and regret, and [those involved in witchcraft] cannot confront it.’”
(Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 804)
Mu’awiyah ibn Sallam, one of the narrators of this Hadith has explained that ‘Al batalah’ refers to magicians and those who are involved in witchcraft [since the action they are involved in is ‘batil’ i.e. false. Thus they were named after their action]. Other commentators explain that ‘Al batalah’ means the lazy ones, which would mean since the Surah is lengthy, the lazy ones are unable to recite it and ponder over its meanings.
(Refer: Mirqatul Mafatih, Hadith: 2120, and Fathul Mulhim, Hadith: 1843)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
This answer was collected from HadithAnswers.com. The answers were either answered or checked by Moulana Haroon Abasoomar (rahimahullah) who was a Shaykhul Hadith in South Africa, or by his son, Moulana Muhammad Abasoomer (hafizahullah), who is a Hadith specialist.