DIY Series: Reading The Quran
In this episode of the DIY series, we will look into the topic of reading the Quran. What is the Quran? What is its objective? As I have never read the Quran before, where and how do I start?
Or perhaps, I have learnt how to recite the Quran but how can I turn it into a routine?
What is the Quran and why is it so important for Muslims?
The Quran is technically defined as the word of Allah s.w.t. revealed to Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. in Arabic, through the angel Jibril a.s. Each chapter, word, and letter, including the order, are all verbatim (tawqeefi).
Its recitation is a form of worship.
The Quran is a miracle. Even by the shortest chapter (Surah). It is transmitted without a doubt or uncertainty through a ‘massive testimony’ (tawatur). Its written form (in a book) is called the Mushaf.
Allah s.w.t. says in the Quran:
تَنزِيلٌ مِّنَ ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ, كِتَـٰبٌ فُصِّلَتْ ءَايَـٰتُهُۥ قُرْءَانًا عَرَبِيًّا لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ, بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا فَأَعْرَضَ أَكْثَرُهُمْ فَهُمْ لَا يَسْمَعُونَ
(Surah Fussilat, 41:2-4)
This verse explains many of the points mentioned earlier. It also tells us that the Quran delivers good news and gives warnings to its readers. The Quran also describes itself with 55 names, among which are:
Guide & Mercy:
هُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِّلْمُحْسِنِينَ
(It is a) guide and mercy for those who do good
(Surah Luqman, 31:3)
Conclusive Evidence & Light:
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ قَدْ جَآءَكُم بُرْهَـٰنٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَأَنزَلْنَآ إِلَيْكُمْ نُورًا مُّبِينًا
(Surah An-Nisa, 174)
Hence, the Quran is a guide, mercy and conclusive evidence of our faith and a light that illuminates the world and the individual from the darkness of ignorance that clouds the truth.
It is the central, sacred reality of Islam. Every aspect of the Shari’ah, whether in beliefs, practices or moral ethics, can be fundamentally referenced back to the Quran. Before the Prophet’s passing, he informs us in a Hadith:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّي قَدْ تَرَكْتُ فِيكُمْ مَا إِنْ أَخَذْتُمْ بِهِ لَنْ تَضِلُّوا كِتَابَ اللَّهِ وَعِتْرَتِي أَهْلَ بَيْتِي
O dear people. Indeed, I have left for you that which if you hold fast to them, you shall not be misguided (after me) – The book of Allah (the Quran) and the people of my house (my family).
What are the benefits of reading the Quran?
The Quran linguistically means recitation. Even if we may not understand the Quran, reciting the Quran is a form of worship that entails bountiful rewards:
مَنْ قَرَأَ حَرْفًا مِنْ كِتَابِ اللَّهِ فَلَهُ بِهِ حَسَنَةٌ وَالْحَسَنَةُ بِعَشْرِ أَمْثَالِهَا لاَ أَقُولُ الم حَرْفٌ وَلَكِنْ أَلِفٌ حَرْفٌ وَلاَمٌ حَرْفٌ وَمِيمٌ حَرْفٌ
Whoever recites a letter from the book of Allah (Quran), then he receives the reward from it, and the reward tenfold of it. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Mim is a letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter
Some are still making a lot of effort to learn how to recite the Quran. For them are special rewards as well. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said in a Hadith:
الماهِرُ بالقرآنِ مع السفرَةِ الكرامِ البرَرَةِ ، والذي يقرؤُهُ ويتَتعْتَعُ فيهِ وهو عليه شاقٌّ لَهُ أجرانِ
The one who is proficient in (reciting) the Quran will be with the honourable and righteous scribes (angels), and the one who recites the Quran and stumbles over it, will have double rewards.
There are multiple other Hadiths that praise those who recite the Quran, even more so if it is done regularly.
What other rewards are there for reciting the Quran?
There are too many rewards to mention but amongst them are:
- Intercession (Syafa’at):
اقْرَءُوا الْقُرْآنَ فَإِنَّهُ يَأْتِي يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ شَفِيعًا لأَصْحَابِهِ
Read the Quran, for it will come as an intercessor on the Day of Resurrection for its reciter
- Unimaginable rewards:
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَتْلُونَ كِتَـٰبَ ٱللَّهِ وَأَقَامُوا۟ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَأَنفَقُوا۟ مِمَّا رَزَقْنَـٰهُمْ سِرًّا وَعَلَانِيَةً يَرْجُونَ تِجَـٰرَةً لَّن تَبُورَ. لِيُوَفِّيَهُمْ أُجُورَهُمْ وَيَزِيدَهُم مِّن فَضْلِهِۦٓ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ غَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ
Surely those who recite the Book of Allah, establish prayer and donate from what We have provided for them—secretly and openly—(can) hope for an exchange that will never fail so that He will reward them in full and increase them out of His grace. He is truly All-Forgiving, Most Appreciative.
(Surah Fatir, 35:29-30)
- Peace and Serenity:
مَا اجْتَمَعَ قَوْمٌ فِي بَيْتٍ مِنْ بُيُوتِ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ وَيَتَدَارَسُونَهُ بَيْنَهُمْ إِلاَّ نَزَلَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ السَّكِينَةُ وَغَشِيَتْهُمُ الرَّحْمَةُ وَحَفَّتْهُمُ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ وَذَكَرَهُمُ اللَّهُ فِيمَنْ عِنْدَهُ(Sahih Muslim)
مَا اجْتَمَعَ قَوْمٌ فِي بَيْتٍ مِنْ بُيُوتِ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ وَيَتَدَارَسُونَهُ بَيْنَهُمْ إِلاَّ نَزَلَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ السَّكِينَةُ وَغَشِيَتْهُمُ الرَّحْمَةُ وَحَفَّتْهُمُ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ وَذَكَرَهُمُ اللَّهُ فِيمَنْ عِنْدَهُ
No group of people that assemble in one of the Houses of Allah to recite the Book of Allah, learning and teaching it, but tranquillity will descend upon them, mercy will engulf them, angels will surround them and Allah will make mention of them among those (the angels) who are with Him.
For a beginner, how do we read the Quran?
- Find the right teacher to guide you
The Quran is first and foremost an oral revelation before it was written. The Companions knew the Quran through Oral transmission and they memorised it by heart. Even the Prophet s.a.w. was revealed the Quran through the angel Jibril a.s. Allah s.w.t. records this in the Quran:
فَإِذَا قَرَأْنَـٰهُ فَٱتَّبِعْ قُرْءَانَهُۥ
So once We have recited a revelation (through Jibril a.s.), follow its recitation (closely).
(Surah Al-Qiyamah, 75:18)
In a Hadith, the Prophet s.a.w. used to recite the Quran regularly with Jibril a.s. and especially so during Ramadan.
وكانَ جِبْرِيلُ يَلْقَاهُ في كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ مِن رَمَضَانَ، فيُدَارِسُهُ القُرْآنَ
Jibril used to meet him (the Prophet s.a.w) every night in Ramadan and read the Quran with him
This is also why often in Ramadan, particularly before the pandemic, members of our community would form circles to recite the Quran together in what we call Tadarus Al-Quran. It is a traditional way of completing the Quran together with your circle while having each recitation looked after by one another.
Today, we can learn how to recite by constantly listening to recorded recitations or online videos, but the best way to Learn noorani qaida online to recite the Quran is by direct acquisition from a teacher (talaqqi) as seen from the example of our Prophet s.a.w. and his Companions r.a.
Alhamdulillah in Singapore, even with the pandemic around, there are a lot of classes and
knowledgequran.com available to teach us how to recite the Quran.
The bare minimum is to learn how to recite Surah Al-Fatihah as it is part of the integral (rukun) rites of Solat (obligatory prayer).
- Completing the Quran should not be the elementary focus or objective. Instead, It should be learning how to recite the Quran.
Fundamentally, one is required to learn and practice how to pronounce the Arabic letters and to know the tajweed (rulings for recitation). As a start, there are many methods (Qa’idah) to learn the Tajweed. Many Muslims in Singapore learn their way through methods such as:
- Qa’idah Baghdadiyyah
- Ar-Ruh Al-Amin
As mentioned, this is achievable by a teacher to guide us, let us know our shortcomings, project the right pronunciations to learn from and sharpen our recitation.
If we are very new to the Quran, what we want to avoid is to read it from the “beginning to the end”. The Quran is not arranged in a linear/chronological text that seeks to tell a story from the first chapter until the final chapter. Rather, it is divinely arranged –
verbatim and it contains different kinds of wisdom scattered throughout where the reader can piece them together,especially when they are able to see the remarkable inner unity and coherence of the Quran.
So for the beginner, there is no need to read the Quran in chronological order from the beginning of the pages except for Surah Al-Fatihah Instead, we can start with the short Surahs, also known as Al-Mufassal. Reading the longer Surahs, as a start, can overwhelm readers who are not used to it yet.
These shorter Surahs are mostly revealed to the Prophet s.a.w. in Makkah before the Hijrah. Hence, even in terms of content, they are easier to learn as they speak about the fundamental and universal message of Islam, particularly on the beliefs (Aqa-id) which are the basis of practices and legal rulings as well as other themes.