“Mustahabb to recite Sūrah al-‘Alaq in the first ‘Ishā of Ramadān…” – (Hanbali Fiqh)

Answered according to Hanbali Fiqh by TheHanbaliMadhhab.com

Imām Ahmad (r) held the opinion that it is Mustahabb to recite Sūrah al-‘Alaq in the first ‘Ishā [1] of Ramadān as it was the first Sūrah of the Qurān to be revealed, in the month of Ramadān.

[Tabaqāt Ibn Abī Ya’lā & Ikhtiyārāt al-Ba’lī]

Shaykhu-l Islām Ibn Taymiyyah (r) also agreed with this.

Our father, Sh. Walīd al-Manīsī (h), commented on the above saying:

❝Things like this indicate that not all reports have reached us, because it’s not like Imām Ahmad (r) to consider that issue Mustahabb based on his mere opinion, rather he must’ve had basis for this from the Salaf, either from a Sahābī or a Tābi’ī, which hasn’t reached us. However, Imām Ahmad (r) considering this Mustahabb is sufficient for us as a proof for the existence of a basis in this matter.❞

‘Allāmah al-Buhūtī (r) also expressed the same in Kasshāf al-Qinā’, that the Imām (r) must’ve had evidence for it.

[1] It can be read either in ‘Ishā or Tarāwīh as per the two Riwāyahs from the Imām. Both stated in al-Kashhāf.