Recitation of Al-Qur'an (Tilawatul Qur'an)

It is highly recommended to recite or read Al-Qur'an, the final word of Allah , at all times, at least completing it twice in a year. The reports from the companions show how some of them completed Al-Qur'an in five days, some in four while others in three days.

Imam An-Nawawi (raa) said:
“The speed must depend on the condition and situation of the person and what he or she does for a living.”

The recitation of Al-Qur'an should not be the reason to become slacked in your other responsibilities. The speed of your recita­tion must be regulated by the ability to understand, because Al-Qur'an encourages the reciter to ponder about what he or she reads.

Allah states: “Here is a Book which We have sent down unto thee, full of blessings, that they may meditate on its signs, and that men of understanding may re­ceive admonition.” (Al-Qur'an, 38:29)

In a hadith by 'Aishah (raa), reported by Al-Bayhaqi, she said:

“The house in which Al-Qur'an is recited is seen by the heavenly world as the stars are seen by the earthly world.”

As a preparation for reading, it is recommended to have cleanliness, (taharah), by making wudu before settling down to recite Al-Qur'an. for the recitation of Al-Qur'an is worship, 'ebadah, namely the best form of remembrance of Allah (dhikir). The Messenger of Allah (saas) disliked making dhikir without cleanliness.

Allah (SWT) states in Al-Qur'an: “And that is indeed a mighty adjuration, if you but knew. That this is indeed a Qur'an most honorable, in a book well-guarded, which none shall touch but those who are clean.” (Al-Qur'an 56:76-79)

It is not a sin, however, to read without wudu if you are un­clean from minor impurities that entail wudu before prayer. If you feel like using the restroom for urination, passing wind, etc., stop and go relieve yourself completely, and make Wudu then return to resume your reading. If you are defiled from ma­jor impurities, that is, the ones which entail complete bath, (ghusl), it is prohibited to read Al-Qur'an during the state of defilement, the agents of which include discharge of semen, sexual intercourse, bleeding as a result of childbirth, and men­struation.

However, it is allowed for these people to look in Al-Qur'an while not holding it, and they may read it with their eyes and their hearts, but not recite it. [Note: one shouldn't en­courage reading Qur'an in a state of defilement, but rather en­courage Ghusl first.]

The place you choose to sit to recite Al-Qur'an should be clean from any filth or bad odor. This is why it is prohibited to read it the restroom. While reading the Qur'an, it is recommended to face the direction of Al-Qiblah.

Allah (SWT) says: “When you do read Al-Qur'an, seek Allah's pro­tection from Satan, the rejected.” (Al-Qur'an 16:98)

In the event that you are interrupted during reading, it is advis­able to repeat ta'awwudh before you resume. As for the phrase of ta'awwudh, the following is reported:
“A`uwudhu billah (As-Sa mee'u, Al-'Aleem) iminash Shaitan ir Rajeem.”
“I seek refuge with Allah (The All Hearing, The All-Knowing) from Satan, the rejected.”

In Islam we are commanded to start every act, spiritual or non-spiritual, big or small, with Basmalah, that is: “Bismil llahir­Rahmanir-Raheem” (In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.) The reason is to seek Allah's blessings for the action you are about to embark on. Undoubtedly, no deed is more deserving or worthy of Basmalah than the 'ebadah of reading Al-Qur'an. With the revelation of Bismillahir-Rahmanir Raheem, Allah has educated His Messenger (saas) to make it an unceasing habit of saying Bismillah before reading and before every act.

In a hadith by Ibn Hibban (raa), the Messenger of Allah (saas) has been reported as saying:
“Beautify the recitation of your Qur'an with your voices.”

It is recommended to start again after each completion of Al-Qur'an. In a hadith reported by Tirmidhi (raa), the Messenger of Allah (saas) has been reported as saying:
“The best deeds in the sight of Allah are the deeds of the one who completes Qur'an and resumes again, the one who reads Al-Qur'an from the beginning to the end, and whenever he finishes he resumes again.”
It is undesirable to stop reading to converse or talk to someone, laugh or play or look at something that takes away your atten­tion, unless there is a valid reason, as has been reported by Al-Bukhari, by the way of Ibn 'Umar (raa).

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