quranskyA Muslim believes in the sacredness of the Speech of Allah, as well as its honour and virtue that surpasses the speech of all others. He also believes that the Noble Qur'an is the Word of Allah, which no falsehood can approach, before it or behind it. Whoever speaks in accord with the Qur'an, has spoken the truth. Whoever judges according to it, has judged justly. Its devoted people are the people of Allah and His special people. Those who stick to it shall be successful and victorious. Those who turn away from it are the destroyed, the losers.

A Muslim's faith in the grandeur and greatness of the Book of Allah is increased by what has been stated about it by the one who received its revelation, the best of creation, our leader Muhammad bin 'Abdullah, Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), who said:

“Read the Qur'an, for it shall come as an intercessor for its companion on the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim)

Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) also said:

"The best of you is he who learns the Qur'an and teaches (it to) others.” (Al-Bukhari)

Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) also said:

“The people of the Qur'an are Allah's people and His special servants.” (An-Nisaa'i, Ibn Majah, and Al-Hakim with a Hasan chain)

And: “The hearts get rusty like iron gets rusty “ The people asked, "O Messenger of Allah! What will cleanse it?" He said,

“Reciting the Qur'an and remembering death.” (Al-Bayhaqi in Shu'ab Al-Iman with a weak chain)

One of the Prophet's worst opponents came to him and said, "O Muhammad, read the Qur'an to me." Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) read to him:

{Verily, Allah enjoins Al-Adl and Al-Ihsaan, and giving (help) to kith and kin, and forbids Al-Fahshaa', and Al-Munkar, and Al-Baghy (i.e. all kinds of oppression).} (16:90)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) hardly finished reciting the verse when his opponent [an unbeliever] asked him to repeat it, astonished at its lofty wording, sacred meaning and clarity. He was possessed by its great ability to influence man. He did not wait long but immediately raised his voice to state his confession concerning it and declare his testimony concerning the holiness and greatness of Allah's Word. He said,

"By Allah, it has a sweetness. It is full of elegance. Its lowest portion is for foliage and its highest portion is for fruits. No human can say such." (Ibn Jarir At-Tabari. The opponent was Al-Walid bin Al-Mughirah according to a narration with a good chain recorded by Al-Bayhaqi )

A Muslim and believer, then, must even more so allow what it allows and forbid what it forbids. He must abide by its manners and behavior according to how it teaches one to behave.

Etiquette with reciting the Qur'an

When the person recites the Qur'an, he should adhere to the following manners:

1. He should recite it under the best circumstances, including being in a state of purity, facing the Qiblah and sitting in a respectable, honorable manner.

2. He should recite the Qur'an slowly and not be hasty in his recitation. He should not recite it in less than three nights. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever recites the Qur'an in less than three nights did not understand it.” (The Four Sunan, and At-Tirmithi said it is Sahih)

Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) ordered 'Abdullah bin 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, to recite the entire Qur'an once every seven days. (Al-Bukhari)

'Abdullah bin Mas'ud, 'Uthman bin 'Affan and Zayd bin Thabit, may Allah be pleased with them, used to complete the entire Qur'an once a week.

3. He must have fear of Allah and humility while reciting the Qur'an. He should demonstrate sorrow and should cry, or he should try to cry if he is not able to cry. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Recite the Qur'an and cry. If you cannot cry, then try to make yourself cry.” (Ibn Majah with a good chain)

4. One should also beautify his voice while reading the Qur'an. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Beautify the Qur'an by your voices.” (Ahmad, Ibn Majah, An-Nasa'i and Al-Hakim who said it is Sahih)

Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) also said:

“He is not one of us who does not make his voice beautiful with the Qur'an.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) also said:

“Allah has not permitted anything like He has permitted a Prophet to recite the Qur'an in a good voice." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

5. He should recite in private if he fears that he would be reciting for show or reputation only or if he were to disturb those people who were praying. Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: 'The one who recites the Qur'an loudly is like one who gives charity openly, and the one who recites the Qur'an silently is like the one who gives charity in secret.'" (Hasan, Sunan an-Nasa'i)

It is known that it is preferred to give charity secretly unless there is some benefit to doing it publicly, such as encouraging others to follow one's precedent. The same is true for reciting the Qur'an.

6. A person should recite the Qur'an while thinking about and pondering over its meaning, with due respect and presence of mind, in order to understand its meaning and purport.

7. A person should not be one who recites the Qur'an while he is heedless and going against what it says. In that case, he could be the cause for his own cursing by himself. For example, if he reads the verse: “No doubt! The curse of Allah is on the oppressors." (11:18)

And: “Curse of Allah upon those who lie.” (3:61)

And he is a liar or a wrongdoer, then he is simply cursing himself.

The following narration will demonstrate how wrong those people are who turn away from the Book of Allah, who are heedless of it and spend their time in other pursuits. It is narrated that in the Tawrah it states that Allah has said:

"Are you not ashamed of yourselves in front of Me? If a letter comes to you from some of your brethren while you are walking on the road, you will stop and sit by the side of the road, read the letter, and understand it word by word, in order not to miss anything. This is the Book that I have revealed to you. Look how I have clearly explained everything in it. How many times have you passed by it to ponder over its lengths and widths and then you turn away from it? It is something lighter in your eyes than your brethren. O My servant! If one of your brethren sits next to you, you turn to him with all of your attention and listen to his every word with your entire heart. If someone then talks to you or disturbs you, you will motion to him to stop. Here I am coming to you and speaking to you but you turn your heart away from Me. In your sight, I am less important than one of your brethren!"

8. A person should strive to have the characteristics that are descriptive of those people who are Allah's people and His special people. Abdullah bin Mas'ud, may Allah be pleased with him, once said,

"The reciter of the Qur'an must be known by his night while the people are sleeping, by his day while the people are not fasting, by his crying while the people are laughing, by his devotion and fear of Allah while the people are mingling, by his silence while the people are talking, by his humility while the people are boasting and by his grieving while the people are rejoicing."

Muhammad bin Kafa said,

"We would recognize the reciter of the Qur'an by the yellowness of his skin that indicated spending the night in prayer and reciting the Qur'an."

Wuhaib bin Al-Ward narrated that someone said to a man, "Do you not sleep?" He answered,

"The marvelous nature of the Qur'an chased away my sleep."

And Dhun-Noon has said in lines of poetry:

"The Qur'an has stopped, by its promises and threats, the eyes from sleeping at night. 

They understand from the Great Lord His Speech, an understanding that makes the necks submit and surrender."

Source: Extracted from “Manhaj ul Muslim” published by Dar us Salam