Etiquette of reciting the Qur'an


The etiquette of reciting the Qur'aan

Recite the Glorious Qur'an with eagerness and fervour and put all one's heart and soul in the recitation.

Engage oneself in the recitation of the Qur'an most of the time and never feel weary of reciting it. Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) has affirmed: "Allah has ordained that any man who engages himself in the recitation of Glorious Qur'an so constantly that he finds no time to send prayers to Me, I shall provide him more without asking than those who ask." [At-Tirmithi] Further than this, the Nabi of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) observed: "The servant gets nearest to Allah by means of reciting the Glorious Qur'an."  [At-Tirmithi] Instructing the people to recite the Qur'an, Nabi (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) also observed: "The man who has studied the Glorious Qur'an and recites it daily can be likened to a basket full of musk whose sweet smell is making the whole atmosphere fragrant. And the man who has studied the Glorious Qur'an but does not recite it may be likened to a bottle full of musk whose mouth has been sealed with a stopper." [at-Tirmithi]

Recite the Glorious Qur'an with the sole motive of seeking guidance. Do not recite the Qur'an for the sake of gaining popularity, or establishing a reputation for good harmonious recitation or making a name for piety. These are base motives and he who recites the Glorious Qur'an with these motives in mind can obtain no guidance from the Qur'an.

Keep in mind the glory and value of the Qur'an and as you observe the etiquette of keeping your person neat and clean while reciting the Glorious Qur'an, so also you must purge your heart of evil thoughts, wicked passions and impure purposes. The heart that is tainted with evil and wicked thoughts and passions cannot appreciate and admire the glory of the Qur'an, nor can the bearer of such an evil heart grasp the meanings and realities of the Qur'an. Hadrat Ikrama (radhiyAllahu anhu), whenever he opened the Glorious Qur'an, he often fainted. He used to say "These are the words of my Creator and Glorious Lord." 

Recite the Qur'an with the conviction that on this earth, this Book is the only source of Guidance for mankind. Meditate and reflect deeply over the meanings of the Qur'an from this viewpoint and try to grasp the realities and learn the wisdom contained in this Book. Do not recite it rapidly but form the habit of reading slowly, distinctly, and with careful understanding of the meanings and try to ponder over the message conveyed to us. Hadrat Abdullah bin Abbas (radhiyAllahu anhu) often remarked: "I consider it far better to recite small Surahs like Al-Qari'ah and Al-Qadr with understanding and care than to read through the longer Surahs of Al-Baqarah and 'Ale`-Imran at a rapid pace without careful understanding of the meanings of the words. Nabi (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) once recited this one verse over and over again all through the night: "If Thou punish them, Surely! they are slaves, and if Thou forgive them, Surely! Thou only Thou are the Mighty, the Wise." 

Recite the Qur'an with full determination to adapt one's life to the injunctions of the Qur'an and to reform the pattern of your living in the light of the guidance provided by it. Make constant endeavors to order one's life in conformity with the Qur'anic injunctions and purge one's life of all impurities. The Glorious Qur'an like a mirror will clearly reflect each blot and spot on one's character. It is entirely one's own responsibility to wash off these blots and stains from one's life provided by the Guidance within the Qur'an.  

Before commencing Tilaawat:

  1. Take care to be completely neat and clean before you sit down for recitation. Do not touch the Glorious Qur'an without performing an ablution (wudhu) and recite it sitting in a clean and tidy place. Perform Wudhu. It is a sin to touch the Qur'aan without Wudhu.
  2. It is permissible to recite the Qur'aan from memory without handling the Qur'aan.
  3. It is not permissible for a person, on whom ghusl is compulsory, to recite the Qur'aan at all even from memory.
  4. Observe proper covering of one's private area when reciting Qur'an. One should wear proper head-dress when reciting the Glorious Qur'an. A male should wear something on his head (turban, koofi, etc.), and a female should cover her hair as if she were to perform Salaat.
  5. Use a Miswaak and ensure that the mouth is thoroughly cleansed of any strong or offensive smell such as garlic, raw onion, cigarettes, cigars, tobacco etc.
  6. Sit in a secluded place(if possible) facing the Qibla in an extremely dignified manner and recite the Qur'an with your head bowed in humility, with utmost care, complete attention, eagerness of heart and in a proper manner. Allah affirms: "(."  [38 : 29].The respect for the Qur'aan should be regarded as binding on every Muslim at all times.This is) a Book that We have revealed upon you, full of blessing, that you may ponder its revelations, and that men of understanding may get guidance from it
  7. One should not lean against anything or stretch out one's legs or lie down whilst reciting. 
  8. The Qur'aan must be placed on an elevated position such as a rihaal (Qur'aan stand), desk or pillow. Do not place the Qur'aan on the musallah (carpet) or the Mimbar or any place on which people stand or sit. When not reciting Qur'an, the Qur'an should be kept on a high shelf, above all other books and literature. No book should be ever above nor should any book be on top of the Qur'an. Never let the Qur'an touch the ground.
  9. The use of Itr is recommended before recital.

Compiled by Al-Islaah Publications using the following Source references:

1.Waterval Islamic Institute


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