Etiquette with Respect to the Word of Allah, the Noble Quran by Sheikh Abu Bakr Al-Jazairee 


A Muslim believes in the sacredness of the Speech of Allah, as well as its honor and virtue that surpasses all other speech. He also believes that the Quran as the Word of Allah, which no falsehood can approach from before it or behind it. Whoever speaks in accord with the Quran, 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. The Prophet (pbuh) said:

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

Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) also said:

“The best of you is he who learns the Quran and teaches others.” (Al-Bukhari)

Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) also said:

“The people of the Quran are Allah’s people and His special slaves.” (Al-Bukhari)

Another Hadith states:

“The hearts get rusty like irons gets rusty.” The people said, “O Messenger of Allah (pbuh), what is its cleansing?” He said, “Reciting the Quran and remembering death.” (Al-Baihaqi)

One of the Prophet’s most staunch opponents came to him and said, “O Muhammad, read the Quran to me.” Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) read to him the Verse:

“Verily, Allah enjoins Al-Adl and Al-Ihsan, and giving (help) to kith and kin, and forbids Al-Fahsha, and AL-Munkar, and Al-Baghy (i.e. all kinds of oppression)…” (16:90)

The Prophet (pbuh) had hardly finished reciting the Verse when his opponent [an unbeliever] ask 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 eloquence. Its lowest portion is for foliage and its highest portion is fruits. No human can say such.” (Ibn Jarir At-Tabari)

A Muslim and believer, then, must even more to 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 Quran 

When the person recites the Quran, 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 Quran slowly and not be hasty in his recitation. He should not recite it in less than three nights. The Prophets (pbuh) has said: “Whoever recites the Quran in less than three nights did not understand it.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) ordered Abdullah ibn Umar (r.a) to recite the entire Quran once every seven days. Abdullah bin Mas’ud, Uthman bin Affan and Zaid bin Thabit (r.a) used to complete the entire Quran once a week.   

3. He must have fear to Allah and humility while reciting the Quran. He should demonstrate sorrow and should cry, or he should to cry if he is not able to cry. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Recite the Quran and cry. If you cannot cry, then force yourself to be like crying.” (Ibn Majah)

4. The person should also beautify his voice while reading the Quran. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Beautify the Quran by your voices.” (Ahmad)

Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) also said:

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

Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) also said:  

“Allah has not permitted anything like He has permitted a Prophet to recite the Quran 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 who were praying. Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said: “The one who recites the Quran aloud is like who publicly gives charity.”

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 the reciting of the Quran.

6. A person should recite the Quran 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 Quran 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 Zalimun (polytheist, wrongdoer, oppressors),” (11:18)

“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 wrongs 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 Torah 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 slave! 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 ton 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 r.a once said, “The reciter of the Quran 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 Ka’b said, “We would recognize the reciter of the Quran by the yellowness of his skin that indicated his spending the night in prayer and reciting the Quran.” Wuhaib bin Al-Ward r.a narrated that someone said to a man, “DO you not sleep?” He answered, “The marvelous nature of the Quran chased away my sleep.” And Dhun-Noon has said in lines of poetry,

 “The Quran has stopped, by its promises and threats, the eyes from sleeping at night,

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

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