1. Strive to be sincere when you learn and recite the Quran Abu Hurayra narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: The first man to be judged on the Day of Resurrection…is a man who learnt knowledge and taught it as well as recite the Quran. He will be brought forward, and acquainted with his blessings and he will recognise them. He will say, “What did you do for them?” The man will say, “I learnt knowledge and taught it as well as recite the Quran for Your sake.” He will say, “You lie, rather you learnt knowledge so it would be said, ‘A scholar!’ and you recited the Quran so it would be said, ‘He is a recitor!’ and it has already been said.” Then an order will be given and he will be dragged upon his face until he is thrown into the Fire…” (Related by Muslim)

1.2 Apply the teachings of the QuranDeem lawful what the Quran deems lawful, and deem illicit what the Quran deems illicit. Obey its commands and avoids its prohibitions. In the long narration the Messenger of Allah said: We came upon a man who was lying down on his back, and another man who was standing over him with a rock or stone and was breaking his head with it. Whenever he would strike him, the rock would roll away. Whenever he went to retrieve the rock, he would no sooner return than the other man’s head would heal and return to its previous state. Then the man would keep on striking him. I asked, “Who is this?” [The Prophet then explained the meaning of what he saw]: As for the one whose head would be constantly broken, he is a man whom Allah taught the Quran, but who would the sleep from it at night and not apply it during the day. That will be done to him until the Day of Resurrection.

1.3. Consistently recite and study the Quran Constant recitation and study ensures frequent revision and that one does not forget what one has memorised. Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with father and son) reported that the Messenger of Allah said: The example of the companion of the Quran is that of an owner of a tied camel: if he is vigilant over it, he will hold onto his camel; if he releases it, it will go away. (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Abu Musa (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet said: Maintain the Quran, for by the One in whose hand is my soul, it goes more intensely than do camels from their hobbles. (Related by al-Bukhari)

1.4. One should not say regarding his memorisation “I forget” rather say “I was made to forget Saying “I forgot” implies neglect of the Quran and the reprimand is for the one who allows such a situation through negligence. The Messenger of Allah said: Wretched is it for one of them to say, “I forgot such and sych verse.” Rather he was made to forget it. (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Messenger of Allah said when he heard a man reciting a chapter of the Quran: May Allah have mercy on him for he has indeed reminded me of such and such verse which I was made to forget from such and such chapter. (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

1.5. Obligation to contemplate the Quran(This is) a Book(the Qur’ân) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understandingmay remember. (Sad 38:29)

One should reflect on its teachings, aims and wisdoms. Through this one learns about one’s Lord, how to worhip him and how to distinguish between the righteous and the misguided. The more one reflects on the Quran, the more his knowledge, foresight and practical application of Islam will increase.

1.6. Permissability of reciting the Quran whilst one is standing, walking, riding, sitting or lying down Those who remember Allâh standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides… (Aali Imran 3:191)

In order that you may mount firmly on their backs, and then may remember the Favour of your Lord when you mount thereon, and say: “Glory to Him who has subjected this to us, and we could never have it (by our efforts). And verily, to Our Lord we indeed are to return! ” (Az-Zukhruf 43:13-14)

‘Abd Allaah ibn Mughaffal (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I saw the Messenger of Allah reciting Soorah al-Fath while he was riding his camel. (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

‘Aa`ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: While I would be menstruating the Prophet would recline in my lap and recite the Quran.

1.7. Requirement for ritual purity to touch the Quran Which none can touch but the purified (Al-Waqi’ah 56:79)

The Messenger of Allah sent a letter to ‘Amr Ibn Hazm, governor of Yemen, which contained various legal rulings including: And none can touch the Quran except the purified. (Related in al-Muwatta)

One may hold the Quran via a barrier because in doing so one is not physically touching the Quran. It is permissable to carry the Quran in one’s pocket but one cannot enter the toilet with it unless one fears by leaving it outside it will be stolen.

1.8. Permissability of reciting Quran from memory whilst in state of minor ritual impurityIt is caterogically forbidden to recite the Quran from memory or from a copy whilst in a state of major ritual impurity (such as after sexual relations or a wet dream). It is permissable to recite the Quran from memory but not from a copy whilst in a state of minor ritual impurity (such as after having answered the call of nature and so on). It is better and more complete to recite the Quran when in a complete state of purity but no criticism is due to the one who does so in a state of minor ritual impurity.

The scholars differ which one is better: to recite from memory or directly from the Quran? The majority opine the latter as there is greater precision and blessings of seeing the Quran. A third group say the matter depends on which will give greater humility and presence of heart in the circumstances and if the state is equal for both, then reading directly from the Quran is better as explained above. Imam al-Nawawi after discussing the issue says the sayings and actions of the pious predecessors confirm the detailed opinion.

1.9. Permissability of reciting Quran for menstruating women and those experienceing post-natal bleeding.There is no authentic proof which establishes that these two catergories of women may not recite the Quran although they are forbidden from touching it.

1.10. Recommendation to clean mouth with siwaak (tooth stick) before reciting QuranFrom good manners and veneration of the speech of Allah is to clean one’s mouth and give it a good smell with a siwaak (tooth stick) before recitation.

1.11. Sunnah of isti’aadhah (seeking refuge in Allah from Satan) and the basmala before reading the Quran So when you want to recite the Qur’ân, seek refuge with Allâh from Satan, the outcast . (An-Nahl 16:98)

There are three affirmed ways of making isti’aadhah from the reliable sources which are recommended to alternate in usage:-

1.a’oodhu billaahi minash-shaytaanir-rajeem,/br> I seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the outcast.

2.a’oodhu billaahis-samee’il-‘aleemi minash-shaytaanir-rajeem min hamzihi wa nafkhihi wa nafthih I seek refuge in Allah, the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing, from Satan, the outcast – from his pride, his poetry and his madness.

3.a’oodhu bis-samee’il-‘aleemi minash-shaytaanir-rajeem I seek refuge the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing, from Satan, the outcast.

The isti’aadhahkeeps Satan at a distance so that one’s heart can be better focussed on reflecting upon the Quran.

It is also an established Sunnah to recite the basmala before reciting the Quran to.

There is no authentic evidence to habitually end the recitation of the Quran with sadaqallaahul-‘azeem (“Allah, the Almighty, has spoken the truth”).

1.12. Recommendation to recite Quran clearly and slowly and dislike to recite it quickly and carelessly Or a little more; and recite the Qur’ân in a clear and slow style. (Al-Muzzammil 73:4)

Reciting Quran slowly and clearly giving each letter its due according to the rules of recitation allows for greater contemplation which is not achieved with hastiness. However to read quickly without compromise and negligence allowing greater amounts to be read can be deemed better in the way the former is like giving a single large jewel in charity whilst the latter is like giving many small jewels. The value of both is indeterminable. And Allah knows best.

1.13. Recommendation to prolong certain vowels when recititing the QuranWhen asked about the recitation of Prophet , Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “It was prolonged.” And to demonstrate he read, Bismillaahir-rahmaanir-raheem; he prolonged Bismillaah; he prolonged Ar-Rahmaan; and he prolonged Ar-Raheem. (Related in al-Bukhari)

1.14. Recommendation to beautify one’s voice during recitation and prohibition to recite it in manner resembling singingIn the narration of al-Baraa` Ibn ‘Aazib (may Allah be pleased with him) the Prophet said: Adorn your voices with the Quran. (Related in Abu Dawud. Authenticated by Al-Albaanee)

Imam Ahmad said, “The reciter should beautify his voice with the Quran and recite it with a sense of sadness and contemplation.”

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Reciting the Quran in a melodious way whereby it resembles the melody of a song is disliked and is an innovation, a ruling clearly mentioned by Malik, al-Shafi’i, Ahmad bin Hanbal and other imams as well.”

1.15. Crying when reciting or listening to the Quran‘Abd Allaah Ibn Ash-Shukhayr (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I went to the Prophet when he was praying and from his breast emerged a crying sound like the sound of a container in which water is boiling.” (Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa`i with a strong chain of narration)

The Messenger of Allah once said to Ibn Mas’odd (may Allah be pleased with him): “Recite to me.” Ibn Mas’ood answered: “I recite the Quran to you, and to you it was revealed?” The Prophet said, “Yes.” Ibn Mas’ood recited the Chapter of the Women until he reached, How then when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you as a witness against these people? [4:41] Then the Prophet said, “That is enough for you now.” Ibn Mas’ood later related, “I then tuned to him and saw tears flowing from his eyes.” (Related by al-Bukhari)

The author of the book says: “Yet it is amazing to see that people are prone to affectation, crying rivers of tears when they hear the imam make supplication in al-Qunoot (the collective supplication done in prayer after the final bowing on occasions). To such people we point out that the most complete of people are those whom Allah describes thus in His Book:

Allah has sent down the best statement, a Book, its parts resembling each other in goodness and truth, oft-repeated. The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it. Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah. (Az-Zumar 39:23)”

With regards to the narrations of a number of the Taabi’een (Successors) fainting or dying when listening to the Quran, then this is due to their comprehension of the power of the Quran whilst their hearts couldn’t bear it. This is a high-ranking state and they were genuine so they can be excused but this was not known to have occured to the Companions and their state is more complete and better. They had similiar emotions but remained strong and firm and this was the case for the vast majority of the pious predecessors.

1.16. Recommendation to recite aloud on condition others are not disturbedAbu Sa’eed (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah spent the night in the mosque and heard people reciting aloud. He removed the barrier that separated him from them and said: Lo! Each one of you is privately conversing with his Lord, so do not inflict harm upon one another. Let not some of you raise his voice in recitation over the voices of others. (Related in Abu Dawud. Authenticated by Al-Albaanee)

Reciting aloud is better because it requires more effort, benefits others, repels sleep, stimulates mental activity and so on. Reciting silently is better for the one fearing ostentatiousness. In both cases one must enuniciate the letters and words with tongue and lips, even if audible only to oneself, to receive the reward specified for recitation of the Quran otherwise silent reading for contemplation is still permissable.

1.17. Recommended period to finish the recitation of the entire QuranThe scholars have differed on the recommended period to finish the recitation of the entire Quran: two months, one month, ten days, seven days or three days.

The most correct opinion seems to be that there is no set limit but differs according to the strength of each individual since ‘Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) would finish reading it in one single night. This opinion has been related from Imam Ahmad and others.

Those involved in works of public benefit such as spreading knowledge or judging between litigants shouuld read that amount which allows him enough time to fulfill his other duties. Others should read as much as possible without casuing boredom or imprecise recitation from lack of concentration. Those who are blessed with insight and understanding should read at at a pace that achieves maximum comprehension. This is what has been mentioned by Imam an-Nawawi.

There is no authentic supplication specific to completing the Quran outside of the prayers although it has been related from a number of the pious predecessor including Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that they would make general supplications after finishing the Quran and it is regarded from those times when one’s supplications are answered as Imam Ibn al-Qayyim has mentioned. Similarly there is no authentic evidence for specifying supplications for having finished the Quran during prayers such as occurs in Ramadan.

1.18. Prophetic guidance to refrain from reciting Quran when sleepy‘Aa`ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: If one of you becomes sleepy during prayer then let him sleep (or rest) until his sleepiness goes away because if one of you prays while he is sleepy, he might try to ask for forgiveness but curses himself instead. (Related in Muslim)

1.19. Recommendation to recite Quran continously without unnecessary interruptions Naafi’ (may Allah have mercy upon him) narrated: When Ibn ‘Umar would recite the Quran, he would not speak until he finished his recitation. But I was with him one day when he was reciting the Chapter of the Cow. He continued until he reached a certain point and then said, “Do you know what this was revealed about?” I said, “No.” He said it was revealed about such-and-such matter and then he continued his recitation. (Related in al-Bukhari)

1.20. Prophetic practice to glorify (to say: subhaanallaah) Allah at verses of glorification, seeking refuge at verses mentioning punishment and asking at verses of mercy Hudhaifah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates regarding his prayer with the Messenger of Allah : He then began the Chapter on the Family of Imraan. He proceeded slowly with his recitation. When he came across a verse of glorifying Allah, he would glorify. When he came across a verse of invocation, he would invoke. And when he came across a verse wherein refuge is sought, he would seek refuge. (Related by Muslim)

1.21. Prophetic practice to prostrate at relevant versesIt is highly recommended that the recitor and the one intently listening prostrates at the fifteen marked out verses in the Quran and say subhaana rabbiyal-‘Alaa` then one of the related invocations for it (along with any personal supplications) e.g.

My face fell prostrate before He who created it and brought forth its faculties of hearing and seeing by His might and power. << So Blessed is Allaah, the best of creators.>> (Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa`i and al-Tirmidhi with a strong chain of narration)

O Allaah, record for me a reward for this, and remove from me a sin. Save it for me and accept it from me just as You had accepted it from Your servant David. (Related by al-Tirmidhi)

Chapter Taken From “The Book of Manners” by Sheikh Fuad Ash-Shulhoob