57) Reciting the Holy Quran

Before discussing the recitation of the Holy Quran and how to do that, it would not be out of place to briefly discuss the greatness and glory of the Holy Quran.

As to the greatness of the Holy Quran, it will suffice to say that both the Shiite and Sunni scholars have reported the Holy Prophet (SAW) as saying: “Verily, I am leaving among you two weighty (very important) things. You will not go astray after me as long as you adhere to them. One is greater than the other is; the Book of Allah and my household. They will never separate from one another until they shall come to me at the Pond (in Paradise).”1

From this tradition, it is inferred that what happens to one of them shall happen to the other too and being separate from one of them means the separation from the other.

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) has been reported by Imam Sadiq (AS) as saying: “I am the first person who is present before God Almighty; then, the Book and my household, and then my nation. I shall ask them what they have done to the Book of God and my household!”

No one can express the treasons committed against these two valuable things in history. If one wishes to understand it well, he has to study carefully the truths of the Holy Quran and the infallible Imams of guidance and observe what offences have been made against them from the time of the Holy Prophet (SAW) up to the present time.

About the recitation of the Holy Quran, Fodhayl ibn Yasar has reported Imam Sadiq (AS) as saying: “What prevents a merchant, who is engaged in business in the market, from reciting a chapter of the Holy Quran when he comes home and before going to bed? For every verse which he recites ten good deeds are written and ten of his bad deeds are written off.2

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) has been reported by Imam Baqir (AS) as saying: “Whoever recites ten verses (from the Qur'an) every night shall not be considered among the unmindful. Whoever recites fifty verses will be among the rememberers. Whoever recites a hundred verses will be among the obedient and worshippers. Whoever recites two hundred verses will be among the humble ones. Whoever recites three hundred verses will be among the winners (of Paradise). Whoever recites five hundred verses shall be among the mujtahids. Whoever recites a thousand verses, there shall be a Qintar (quintal) for him, and each Qintar is equal to fifteen thousand weights of gold, and the weight is twenty-four carats, the east of which is like the Mount of Uhod and the biggest is as the distance between the heavens and the earth.”3

This tradition has been reported in Usool al-Kafi, Amali of Sheikh Sadooq, Thawab al-A’maal and Ma’ani al-Akhbar.

Benefits of the Reciting of the Holy Quran

1- Reciting the Holy Quran entitles you to be among the rememberers, the obedient, the humble ones, the delivered, the jurisprudents, and not the unmindful. It will entitle you to the reward of the charity of a Qintar.

2- Whoever recites a verse from the Quran, ten good deeds will be written for him and ten bad deeds will be written off.

3- Whoever recites the Quran only by looking at it and not by heart, will benefit from his eyes and will diminish the chastisement of his parents even if they are unbelievers.4

4- Whoever recites the Quran by looking at it, not reciting by heart, will torment Satan.

5- Whoever recites the Quran by looking at it will not only enjoy the reward of recitation but also his looking at the Quran is a kind of worship. In this relation, Abu Tharr reports: “I heard the Messenger of Allah say: ‘Looking at Ali ibn Abi Talib is worship, as the looking kindly and mercifully at one’s parents is worship, and the looking at the Quran and the Ka’ba is also worship.”5

6- Reciting every chapter of the Quran, as mentioned in Usool al-Kafi, has special benefits such as being safeguarded against certain diseases and the torment of the grave. Increased sustenance, relieving of pain, happiness, reward of a martyr, forgiveness of sins, safety, and entering paradise are other benefits.

How to Recite the Quran

Imam Baqir (AS) has been reported as saying: “Reciters of the Quran are of three kinds; the first is one who recites the Quran and takes it as an article of commerce, flatters the rulers, and shows off before people. The second is one who learns the art of recitation of the Quran and spoils its boundaries (rulings). Allah may not increase such kinds of reciters of the Qur’an! The third is one who recites the Quran, considers it as a cure for his ailment, passes the night with it, spends his days with thirst with it, spends his times with it in the mosques, and leaves his bed for it. By this kind of the people of the Qur'an, God repels the enemies, and by them, God sends down rain from the sky. (I swear) by Allah! This kind from among the reciters of the Quran are rarer than red sulfur.”6

To recite the Quran distinctly and in a well-measured way is very important. Abd ibn Solaiman narrates: “I asked Imam Sadiq (AS) about the meaning of “and recite the Quran in a well-measured way”, the Imam said: ‘Ameerul Mo’minin (a.s.) has said: ‘Recite it clearly, and do not cut it like the cutting of the hair (or do not read it like poetry), and do not scatter it like the scattering of sand (or do not read like prose). Reflect on its wonders and motivate with it your hard hearts. Never think how to finish the Surah quickly.’’”7

If we think deeply as by whom, for whom, and with what purpose this divine Book and this Greater Weight was revealed, we will come to know about its significance.

The Holy Quran is the Book of tranquility, healing, life, salvation, and liberation. The Holy Quran is the source of knowledge and sciences for all generations. The Holy Quran contains law, ethics, manners, religious rulings, faith, medicine, history and stories. The Holy Quran orders of prayer, fasting, Hajj, enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, taking the friends of God for friends and denouncing the enemies of God.

The Holy Quran is power, supply, and asset. The Holy Quran is light, ship of deliverance, sources of happiness and fortune. The Holy Quran is not a divan of a poet, but it is a well-adorned heavenly book. The Holy Quran is both guidance and a firm Rope extended between God and human beings. The Holy Quran has seven layers of meaning with each layer having seven other layers. The Holy Quran contains explicit, implicit, summary, restricted, and unrestricted verses. The Holy Quran is about guardianship, government, immunity, traditions, parables, obligations, and rulings.

Asbagh ibn Nabatah narrated: “I heard Ameerul Mo’minin (AS) say: ‘The Quran was revealed in three parts; the first part is about us (the Ahlul Bayt) and about our enemies, the second part is about traditions, examples and maxims, and the third part is about religious duties and commandments.”8

Finally, the Quran is a book that no one can appreciate unless he can communicate with it, that is the Messenger of Allah and the infallible Imams of guidance.

Whenever Imam Sadiq (AS) wanted to recite the Quran, he would say: “O Allah! Make my look at it as worship, my reading as reflection on it, and my reflection on it as taking of lessons. Make me among those who take advice from it to keep away from sins. Do not put a seal on my ear when reciting it. Do not put a veil on my eyes when reciting it. Do not make my reciting the Quran as the reciting of one who does not reflect on it, but make me reflect on its verses and orders, and resort to the laws of Your religion. Do not make my look at it as neglectful and my reading void. Surely, You are Kind and Merciful.”9

What is important concerning the Quran is to act according to it, for the doing according to the Quran is the ultimate goal of the Imams of guidance as seen in the benediction after reading the Quran: “O Allah! Make me among those who take lawful what is lawful in it (the Qur'an) and unlawful what is unlawful in it, and believe in its explicit and implicit verses. And Make it (the Qur'an) a good companion to me in the grave and at my resurrection. Make me among those whom You promote to the highest position by reading each verse of it (the Qur'an). Amen, O Lord of the worlds!”

Another issue, which has to be observed in relation to the Quran, is that one has to keep silent when it is being recited (loudly). Abdullah ibn Abi Ya’foor narrated: “I said to Imam Sadiq (AS): ‘When a man is reciting the Quran, is it incumbent on the one, who is hearing it, to keep silent and listen to it?’ The Imam (AS) said: ‘When the Quran is being recited in your presence, it is incumbent on you to remain silent and listen.’”10

Reading the Quran frequently has been highly recommended. It has been related that Imam Reza (AS) used to read the Quran from the beginning to the end within three days and said: “If I decide I can do it in less than three days, but I never read a verse without reflecting on it and knowing on what occasion it was revealed. That is why I finish the reciting of the Quran in three days.”11

About Nafeesah, the granddaughter of Imam Hasan (AS), it has been written that she had dug her grave with her own hands and had read the Quran six thousand times.12

As for Borayr, it is said that “every night, he read the Quran from the beginning to the end.”13

The secret behind reciting the Quran frequently is because the Qur'an is a builder of man, a law of prosperous life and happiness for human beings, besides its divine knowledge and sciences. Hence, it is incumbent on human beings to understand its different dimensions, to get familiar with its life-giving message and with the religious charter of Islam. Little reading of the Quran means little information, and not reading it means lack of information, whereas reading it frequently entails further understanding of this divine Book.

  • 1. Sunni and Shiite books.
  • 2. Wasa’il al-Shiah, vol. 4, p. 851.
  • 3. Ibid., p. 852.
  • 4. Ibid., p. 853.
  • 5. Wasa’il al-Shiah, vol. 4, p. 854.
  • 6. Al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 459
  • 7. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 92, p. 215.
  • 8. Al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 459.
  • 9. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 92, p. 207.
  • 10. Wasa’il al-Shiah, vol. 4, p. 861.
  • 11. Wasa’il al-Shiah, vol. 4, p. 863.
  • 12. Tohaf al-Ahbab, p. 393.
  • 13. Montaha al-Aamaal, vol. 1, p. 378.