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Manners of Reciting the Qur'aan

1st October 2015

A Muslim should do his best to ponder over the meaning of the Qur'aan and understand what Allaah سبحانه و تعالى wants from him. Therefore, he should pick the best time, place and atmosphere for its recital. This is why the scholars of Islaam have discussed the manners that one should attend to while reading the Qur'aan. This will put the person in the proper spiritual and mental atmosphere to benefit from the Qur'aan. As al-Khaalidi stated, 

"In order for the recital of the Qur'aan to be beneficial and in order for it to reap its fruits and the proper results of pondering, acting and being affected by it, and in order for it to be performed in the manner of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم and his noble Companions رضي الله عنهم, there are certain etiquette that the one who recites must take note of and adhere to before and while reciting the Qur'aan.' [1] 

Some of the manners that the scholars have mentioned concerning reciting the Qur'aan come from the Qur'aan, Hadeeth and guidance of the Companions رضي الله عنهم of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. Others actually have no direct source in the Qur'aan or Hadeeth. At the same time, though, they have been offered by the scholars, based on their experience of reading the Qur'aan, as they felt that they would also be helpful to others who read the Qur'aan and wish to gain the guidance that it offers. [2] 

Note once again that the means and the goal cannot be confused. All of these different etiquette are not means for exoteric reasons but they are for the purpose of being able to best understand and grasp what one is reading. [3] 

The goal is the heart: the heart must be completely attuned and realise what is being read. In a lengthy passage, Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله aptly describes what is needed for one to benefit from one's reading of the Qur'aan. His discussion is based on the verse, 


"Verily in this is a message for any who has a heart and understanding or who gives ear and is earnestly present." (Soorah Qaaf, 50:37) 

Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله states that in a most succint manner, this verse describes exactly the conditions that one must meet in order to benefit from hearing Allaah's revelation سبحانه و تعالى. He must have a "heart"; this is the "receptacle" that is to receive the message. If this receptacle is not ready, is not open to the message or is dead to the message, it will not be able to receive anything, even if the lips should happen to be reading the message. 

Second, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentions that "the person must give ear"; in other words, he must be listening intently, a type of listening wherein the person tries to comprehend what is being said. 

Third, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى states that "he is present." Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله states that this means that his heart is present and attuned to what is being said. 

Therefore, if the Qur'aan finds the proper receptacle - which is the living heart wanting Allaah's guidance سبحانه و تعالى - and the proper conditions are met - wherein the person is listening attentively to what Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is saying - and there are no obstacles - such as the heart not being attuned by turning its thoughts to other things while the tongue alone is reading Allaah's message سبحانه و تعالى - then the proper and desired effect will result: the person will benefit from the Qur'aan and it will serve as a reminder and guide for him. [4] [5] 


[1] Mafaateeh lil-It'aamul Ma'al-Qur'aan, Jordan: Makataba al-Manaar, 1985, Salaahud-Deen al-Khaalidi. 

[2] Many scholars have discussed the etiquettes regarding the recitation and reading of the Qur'aan. See, for example, Etiquette with the Quran, by Imaam an-Nawawi (رحمه الله): 

[3] In essence, the same can be said about reciting the Qur'aan in "the most beautiful manner." The goal of this beautification is not simply to make the Qur'aan pleasing to listen to in an artistic sense. The goal is to make the listener moved by the Qur'aan and make him feel Allaah's Words سبحانه و تعالى. In fact, by definition, the one who recites the Qur'aan most beautifully is the one who recites it in a way that one feels that he is having the fear of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. This is indicated in the hadeeth which states, "The person who has the best recitation is the one who, when he recites, you see that he fears Allaah." (Recorded by Imaam al-Baihaqi رحمه الله in Shu'ab al-Eemaan, Imaam al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadi رحمه الله in Tareekh Baghdaad, Imaam Muhammad Ibn Nasr رحمه الله in Kitaab as-Salaah and others. According to Shaykh al-Albaani رحمه الله, it is saheeh. See Saheehul-Jaami', vol. 1, p. 100.) 

[4] Al-Fawaa'id, p. 3. 

[5] How to Approach and Understand the Quran, pp. 100-103 

posted by Seifeddine-M on 1st October 2015 - 0 comments


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