Sunday, May 3, 2009

Etiquettes When Reciting the Qur'an

Etiquette When Reciting the Qur'an
 Muhammad bin Ahmad Al-Qurtubi

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks are due to Allāh, the Lord of the al-ā’lamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, sallallāhu alayhi wa sallam, is His Messenger.

It is very significant, for readers of the Qur'an, to observe the following:

• Do not touch the Qur'an except when in the state of ritual purity (Wudhu’), and only recite it when you are in that state.

• Brush the teeth or use a wooden tooth stick (Siwāk), remove food particles from between them, and freshen your mouth before reciting.

• Sit up straight if (reading whilst) not in prayer, and do not lean back.

• Face the direction of prayer (Qiblah) when reciting.

• Rinse your mouth out with water if you cough up mucus or phlegm while reciting.

• Stop reciting when you yawn, for when reciting, you are addressing your Lord in intimate conversation, while yawning is from the Devil.

• At the beginning of your recitation, seek refuge in Allāh  from the accursed Devil by saying the Isti'aazah (i.e., "A'uudzu Billaahi min Ash-Shaytaanirraajeem", which means: "I seek refuge in Allāh  from Satan, the accursed."), whether beginning to read from the beginning of a Surah (Quranic chapter) or from some other part that one has reached.

• Once you have begun, do not to interrupt your recitation from moment to moment with human words, unless absolutely necessary.

• Seclude yourself when reciting it, so as not to be interrupted by someone, forcing you to mix the words of the Qur'an with a reply, for this nullifies the effectiveness of having taken refuge in Allah from the Devil at the beginning.

• Recite it slowly without haste, distinctly pronouncing each letter.

• Try to comprehend what is being said in every verse.

• Pause at verses that promise Allah's favour, long for Allah Most High and ask of His bounty. At verses that warn of His punishment, ask His protection from it.

• Ponder over the stories of past civilisations and individuals, taking heed and benefiting from their example.

• Learn the meanings of the Qur'an's unique lexical usages.

• Pay attention to each letter so as to clearly and fully pronounce every word, for each letter earns one ten good deeds.

• Whenever one finishes reciting, attest to the truthfulness of Allāh, and that His messenger Muhammad sallallāhu alayhi wa sallam has delivered His message; do this by saying: "Our Lord! You have spoken the truth; Your Messengers have delivered their tidings, and bear witness to this. O Allah, make us of those who bear witness to the truth and who act with justice." After this, supplicate Allah with prayers.

• Try not to select certain verses from each chapter to recite, instead, aim to recite whole chapters at a time.

• If you put down the Qur'an, do not leave it open.

• Do not place other books on top of the Qur'an; it should always occupy a higher position than all other books, regardless of whether they are books of sacred knowledge or not.

• Place the Qur'an on your lap when reading, or on something in front of you, but not on the floor.

• Do not let a day go by without looking at least once at the pages of the Qur'an.

• Do not trivially and playfully quote the Qur'an at the occurrence of everyday events as by saying, for example, when someone comes: "Eat and drink in satisfaction for what you put forth in the days past" [Al-Juma'ah, 69:24] when food is brought out, and so forth.

• Do not recite the Qur'an to the tunes of songs.

• When writing the Qur'an, do so in clear, elegant handwriting.

• If someone else is reciting, do not recite in a way in that would disturb him.

• Do not recite it in marketplaces, places of clamour and frivolity, or where ill-mannered people gather.

• Do not use the Qur'an as a pillow, or lean upon it.

• Do not toss it when handing it to someone else.

• Do not miniaturize the Qur'an, mix into it what is not of it, or mingle worldly adornment with it by embellishing or writing it with gold.

• Do not write it on the ground or on walls, as is done in some new mosques.

• Do not to enter the lavatory with a paper or anything else on which the Qur'an is written, unless it is encased in leather, silver, or other materials, for then it is as if kept in the heart.

• If you write it (on paper) and immerse that paper in a glass of water to drink it (for cure or other purpose), then make a noble and worthy intention, for Allah only gives to one according to his intention.

• And if you finish reading the entire Qur'an, immediately begin reading it again, so it does not become something that has been abandoned.

[Excerpted with modifications from Islam Web published on Monday, 24August 2006, Via Islam Web]

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