Recitation of the Holy Quran and its Excellence
I. Hadrat ‘Uthman reported that the Messenger of Allah has said, “The best among you is he who learns and teaches the Qur’an.” [Sahih Bukhari, Vol 2, Page752]
II. Hadrat Mu’adh al-Juhani reported that the Messenger of Allah has said, “Whoever recited the Qur’an and acts according to its contents, on the Day of Resurrection his parents will be given to wear a crown whose light is better than the light of the sun in the dwellings of this world if it were among you. So what do you think of him who acts according to this?!” [Musnad aHmad, Vol 4, Page 446]
III. Hadrat ibn Mas’ud reported that the Messenger of Allah has said, “Whoever recites a letter of the Book of Allah (the Qur’an) he will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets a tenfold reward. I do not say that Alif-Laam-Meem are one letter; but Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter and Meem is a letter.” [Sunan Tirmidhi, Vol 2, Page 119 – Sunan Daarimi, Vol 2, Page 320]
There are 361, 267 letters in total in the Holy Qur’an. Thus, upon the recitation of the whole Qur’an one shall receive 3,212,670 rewards (good deeds).
IV. Hadrat Bara’ reported that when a man was reciting Surah al-Kahf, with a horse tied up with two ropes at his side, a cloud overshadowed him, and as it began to come nearer and nearer his horse began to jump. He went and mentioned that to the Holy Prophet in the morning who said, “That was the sakinah which came down because of the recitation of the Holy Qur’an.” [Sahih Bukhari, Vol 2, Page 749 – Sahih Muslim, Vol 1, Page 268]
V. Hadrat Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported that Hadrat Usaid ibn Huzair said that one night, when he was reciting Surah al-Baqarah with his horse tied beside him, it started jumping. But when he stopped reciting it also kept quiet. When he again resumed recitation it again started jumping. So he again stopped reciting and it also kept quiet. Then he again recited and the horse again started jumping. So he finished reciting, for his son Yahya was near it and he was afraid it might injure him. When he had moved him back, he raised his head to the sky and saw something like a canopy with what seemed to be lamps in it; and when he told the Holy Prophet of it in the morning he said, “you should have kept on reciting, O Ibn-e-Huzair, you should have kept on reciting.” He said, “I was afraid, O Messenger of Allah that it might trample on Yahya who was near it, so I went to him, and when I raised my head to the sky and saw something like a canopy with what seemed to be lamps in it, I went out but could not see them.” He asked, “Do you know what it was?” He said, “I do not.” He said, “Those were the angels who had drawn near to listen to your voice. If you had continued reciting, the people would have looked at them in the morning and the angles would not have concealed themselves from the people.” [Sahih Bukhari, Vol 2, Page 750 – Sahih Muslim, Vol 1, Page 269]
VI. Hadrat Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah asked Hadrat Ubayy ibn Ka’b, “What do you recite (from the Qur’an) in the prayer?” He recited Ummul Qur’an (Surah al-Fatiha). The Messenger of Allah said, “by Him in Whose power my soul is, nothing like it has been sent down in the Torah, the Injil (Bible), the Zabur, or the Qur’an. It is the Seven oft-repeated verses and the Mighty Qur’an which I have been given.” [Sunan Tirmidhi, Vol 2, Page 115]
VII. Hadrat Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah has said, “Everything has a heart, and the heart of the Qur’an is Yasin. Allah records anyone who recites Yasin as having recited the Qur’an ten times.” [Sunan Tirmidhi, Vol 2, Page 116 – Sunan Daarimi, Vol 2, Page 336]
VIII. Hadrat ‘Ata Ibn Rabah reported, “I heard that the Messenger of Allah said, ‘Whoever recites Yasin at the beginning of the day, his desires will be fulfilled.’” [Sunan Daarimi, Vol 2, Page 336]
IX. Hadrat Ma’qal ibn Yasar al-Muzani reported that the Holy Prophet has said, “Whoever recites Yasin seeking the pleasure of Allah, his past sins are forgiven. So, recite it over those of you who are dying.” [Mishkat Sharif, Page 189]
X. Hadrat ‘Ali Hadrat reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah say, “everything has an adornment, and the adornment of the Qur’an is (Surah) al-Rehman” [Sahih Bukhari, Vol 2, Page 750 – Sahih Muslim, Vol 1, Page 271]
XI. Hadrat Abu al-Darda’ reported that the Messenger of Allah asked, “Are any of you incapable of reciting a third of the Qur’an in a night?” They said, “How could we recite a third of the Qur’an?” He said, ARABIC TEXT “Say, He is Allah, One” is equivalent to a third of Qur’an.” [Sahih Bukhari, Vol 2, Page 753 – Sahih Muslim, Vol 1, Page 268]
XII. Hadrat Abu Musa al-Ash’ari reported that the Messenger of Allah has said, “keep revising (the learning by heart of) the Qur’an, because I swear by Him in Whose control my soul is, it is more slipping away than a camel which is tied with a rope.” [Sunan Daarimi, Vol 2, Page 325]
XIII. Hadrat Sai’d ibn ‘Ubadah reported that the Messenger of Allah has said, “Anyone who recites (i.e. learns off by heart) the Qur’an and then forgets it will meet Allah on the Day of Resurrection in a maimed condition.” [Sunan Abi Dawood, Vol 2, Page 207]
1. The Holy Qur’an (whether in salaah or outside) should be recited clearly, according to the rules of Tajweed. It should not be sung, as this is not allowed.
2. It is better to recite the Holy Qur’an by looking at it than off by heart. [Fatawa-e-‘Alamgiri]
3. It is Mustahab (act of great reward) to face the Qiblah, to wear nice clothes, to apply fragrance prior to the recitation of the Holy Qur’an.
4. When starting the recitation from the beginning of a Surah (outside of prayer) to recite, ‘Ta’wwuz’ (Au’dhu Billahi Minash Shaytanir Rajim – I seek the refuge of Allah from Satan, the cursed) is Mustahab.
5. When starting the recitation of the Holy Qur’an from the beginning of a Surah (outside of prayer) to recite ‘Tasmiyah’ (Bismillahir Rehmanir Raheem – Allah in the Name of, the Most Affectionate the Most Merciful) is Sunnah.
6. If one has started the recitation not from the beginning of a surah but from the middle of a surah, then upon commencing the recitation to recite both ‘ta’awwuz’ and ‘tasmiyah’ is Mustahab. [Bahar-e-Shari’at – Vol. 1]
7. If one has commenced reciting from Surah al-Tawbah (al-Bara’ah) then one should recite both ‘Ta’awwuz’ and ‘Tasmiyah’. If however, surah al-Tawbah comes in the duration of one’s recitation then one should continue and not recite the Tasmiyah. The commonly misunderstood ruling that if one starts the recitation from Surah al-Tawbah (al-Bara’ah) there is still no need to pray ‘Ta’awwuz’ or ‘Tasmiyah’ is wrong. The other misunderstood ruling is that Surah al-Bara’ah (al-Tawbah) comes in the middle of one’s recitation, then one should pray ‘Ta’awwuz’ but not ‘Tasmiyah’ is also wrong. [Bahar-e-Shari’at – Vol. 1, Chapter 3, Page 309]
8. In some places, (outside of prayer) some start the recitation with: “Laqad Ja’akum Rasoolum Min Anfusikum …” But they do not recite Tasmiyah. This is wrong, as to recite Ta’awwuz and ‘Tasmiyah’ before this ayah (if this ayah is the first to be recited) is Mustahab.
9. Likewise, some in the khatm start the recitation with either of these five verses:
“Wa Ilahukum Ilahuw Wahid…” or
“Inna RehmatAllahi Qareebum minal Muhsineen…” or
“Ma kana Muhammadun Aba Ahadim mir Rijalikum…”
…but do not recite ‘Ta’wwuz’ nor the ‘Tasmiyah’. This is wrong.
10. If all the people in a gathering recite the Holy Qur’an loudly then this is Haram. Often in an Urs or Fatiha (khatm gathering), all the people recite the Holy Qur’an aloud. This is Haram. If there are a few people in a gathering then all should recite quietly. [al-Durr al-Mukhtar, Bahar-e-Shari’at]
11. When the Holy Qur’an is recited loudly in a gathering then it is obligatory on all the people present to listen, if the reason for the gathering was to recite the Holy Qur’an. Otherwise, if only one person listened to the recitation, then it is sufficient regardless if the others are busy in their work or not. [al-Ghunniyah, Fatawa-e-Razawiyyah, Bahar-e-Shari’at]
12. It is Fard-e-Kifaya to memorise the whole of the Qur’an. To learn off-by-heart Surah al-Fatiha and another small surah or three short verses (ayat) equivalent in length to one short surah or one long verse equivalent to three short verses is Wajib-e-‘Ain (necessary for each person individually, to learn).
13. One should differentiate in pronunctiation the following letters, when reciting the Holy Qur’an: ARABIC LETTERS Tha, Sin, Shin, Swad, Ta’, Twa, Dha, Za, Dwa, Ża, Alif, A’ (hamza), ‘Ain, Ha (from the throat), ha (lighter), Qa’, Ka’, Da’ and Dwa’, Jim, and Za’. Otherwise, if one did not pronounce each and every letter correctly with its unique characteristic, then the prayer will not count because of the changes that shall be made in the meanings due to incorrect pronunciation. [Bahar-e-Shari’at]
14. Those who are not able to pronounce letters correctly such as Ha’ (from the middle part of the throat), Twa, ‘Ain, Swad and so on, should try their utmost best, in fact it is obligatory that they make an attempt to rectify their recitation so that the pronunciation of the letters is correct. Otherwise, namaz will be rendered void. [Fatawa-e-Radwiyyah Vol. 3 Page 95 and in Radd al-Muhtar Vol. 1 Page 409]
15. We see many teachers in madressahs who have not learnt how to pronounce each and every letter of the Arabic alphabet correctly, according to its unique characteristic. Moreover, they have not acquired the knowledge pertaining to the correct way of the recitation of the Holy Qur’an, by neglecting the rules of Tajweed. [Some teachers recite the letters Arabic text dha’, za’, zwa’ asjeem; qaf as kaf; sheen as seen; ghayn as gaaf. This is an act of great sin.] Therefore, what they teach children is incorrect and they shall be held accountable on the Day of Resurrection for teaching others the incorrect manner of reciting the Holy Qur’an. In fact, some even touch the Holy Qur’an without being in the state of purification. This is indeed strictly forbidden and Haraam, as Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala has clearly stated in the Holy Qur’an:
لا يمسه إِلا المطهرون
“which none do touch, but the purified ones.” [Surah:56 – al-Waqi’ah, Verse:79]
16. Many who have memorised the Holy Qur’an off-by-heart (have become hafiz) recite the Holy Qur’an in such a hastily manner that one cannot differentiate between the letters, let alone the words! Such that one can only hear the ya’lamun and the ta’lamun and the rest of the words are not recited correctly. On top of this, the common folk feel pride in these huffaz saying that “such and such a person can recite the Surah in 1 minute!” to recite the Qur’an in such a hastily manner is strictly unlawful and Haram. [Bahar-e-Shari’at – Vol. 3 Page 306]
17. It is permissible, without any disapproval, to recite the Holy Qur’an in those times in which to perform salaah is Makruh-e-Tehrimi. These times are:
Approximately twenty-minutes after sunrise.
At zawaal time (mid-day) till the beginning time for Zohar.
Approximately twenty-minutes before sunset.
However, it is better that one does not recite the Holy Qur’an in these times. One should recite durud sharif (invoke blessings and salutations upon the Messenger of Allah) instead. [Bahar-e-Shari’at Vol. 3 Page 230, al-Bahr al-Ra’iq Vol. 1 Page 251, Radd al-Mohtar Vol. 1 Page 262]