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Having the Proper Intention Upon Reading the Qur'aan

13th October 2015

In order for the person to be rewarded by Allaah سبحانه و تعالى for his recital and in order for the reader to maximise his guidance from the Qur'aan he must make his intention such that he is not reading the Qur'aan for any worldly benefit. Instead, he must read it solely for the sake of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, to please Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and to get His guidance. This must be something clear in his conscience before he begins his reading of the Qur'aan. 

The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, "Surely, all actions are but driven by intentions and, verily, every man shall have but that which he intended." [1] 

Shaykh Salaahud-Deen Al-Khaalidi notes, "The knowledge, understanding and pondering over the Qur'aan is a pure blessing from Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and a mercy from Him. And the mercy of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is not granted to someone whose heart is filled with confusion, deception and deceit." [2] 

The question of a proper intention is of extreme importance with respect to every act of worship. However, it is of special importance with respect to reading and memorising the Qur'aan. This is because memorising the Qur'aan or reading it in a beautiful voice is often an act for which one becomes well-known. In other words, the word spreads quickly that a specific person has a beautiful recitation or has memorised so much of the Qur'aan. Therefore, it is relatively easy for Shaytaan to come to such a person and affect his intention. Instead of reading and learning the Qur'aan for the sake of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, to some extent his learning and reading is being done for the sake of show and the accolades that he is receiving from the Muslims around him. 

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم alluded to this fact when he said, "Certainly, the majority of the hypocrites [in their deeds] from among my Nation (Ummah) are its Quranic reciters (Qurraa'uhaa)." [3] 

This hadeeth is not in reference to complete hypocrites who are hiding their disbelief and who, therefore, fall outside of the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم. Instead, it is referring to Muslims whose reading, memorising and learning of the Qur'aan is sometimes tainted by the fact that they are seeking the praise and adoration of the people. [4] 

In essence, this hadeeth is a warning from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم to those who wish to learn, memorise and recite the Qur'aan. It is a warning concerning a dangerous disease that can creep up on such people. Even though they put many, many hours into memorising and reading the Qur'aan in the most beautiful manner, due to their improper intention during some of that time, they may memorise the entire Qur'aan but they may not be blessed with a complete and true understanding of the Qur'aan. 

Similarly, there are many others, including the true and complete hypocrites, Christian missionaries and non-Muslim Orientalists, who read the Qur'aan but their reading is not a sincere reading to be guided by it. Instead, most of them read the Qur'aan only to find fault with it or as a means of publishing some work. Hence, it is not surprising to see such people reading the Qur'aan while it has no lasting effect on them and it does not guide them to the straight path. If a person sincerely seeks to get the guidance of the Qur'aan, he must turn to the Qur'aan with the intention of reading it for the sake of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and with the intention of finding and following the truth, whatever the truth may be. [5] 


[1] Recorded by Imaam al-Bukhaaree, Imaam Muslim and others. 

[2] Mafaateeh Li-It'aamul Ma'al-Qur'aan (Jordan: Maktab al-Manaar, 1985), p. 47. 

[3] Recorded by Imaam Ahmad and others. According to Shaykh al-Albaanee رحمه الله is it saheeh; Shaykh al-Huwaini also considers it an acceptable hadeeth. See, Saheeh al-Jaami', vol. 1, p. 263; and Shaykh al-Huwaini's footnotes to Kitaab Fadhaail, p. 295 

[4] Cf., Imaam Muhammad az-Zabeedi رحمه الله, Ittihaaf as-Saadatul-Muttaqeen bi-Sharh Ihyaa 'Uloomud-Deen (Beirut: Daar al-Kutub al'Ilmiyyah, 1989), vol. 5, p. 21. 

[5] How to Approach and Understand the Quran, pp. 109-111

posted by Seifeddine-M on 13th October 2015 - 1 comment


Aayan wrote on 14 Sep 2018
We should make a habit of reading Quran with translation on daily basis so that we get to know about the precious knowledge of this Holy book.
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