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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Etiquette of Proper Recitation of Qur'an

Allah (S.W.T) only accepts deeds that are correct and sincere. A sincere deed is one done for Allah (S.W.T) alone and a correct deed is one done according to the rules of Sharia' (Islamic law). Therefore a reader should follow certain principles when reciting. The most important rules are as follows:

1. The reader to be free of that which breaks a minor ritual ablution (wudu) and to be free of that which breaks a major ritual ablution (ghusl). (The reader should be in a state of ritual purity).
2. The place (in which he reads) should be legally pure (tahar)
3. The reader should begin with ta'wwuth (seeking refuge in Allah from Shaitaan), be it at the beginning of the surah or the middle. This is according to Allah's (S.W.T) words: 'So when you recite the Quran, seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the expelled.' (Surah Nahl; 16:98)
4. The reader should say bismillah at the beginning of each surah, except surah Tauba.
5. The reader should read with spiritual openness (khushu) out of respect for the Qur'an. Allah (S.W.T) says: 'If We had sent down this Qur'an upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and breaking down from fear of Allah...' (Surah Al-Hashr ; 59:21)
6. The reader should read with thoughtfulness, reflecting about the meaning of what one reads. "Then do they not reflect on the Qur'an..." (Surah Muhammad ; 47:24)
7. The reader should beautify his/her voice during reading - without pretence. Bara' ibn Azb said: 'the Messenger of Allah (SWT) said: "Beautify the Qur'an with your voices" (1) and from Abu Harayra (R.A): "He is not of us, he who doesn't recite the Qur'an in a melodious voice." (2) The purpose of beautifying one's voice is to facilitate the understanding of the meaning and to move anyone that might hear it and to appreciate the beauty of the style and words. Reciting it melodiously to entertain (as a song would) is haraam (forbidden). A truly beautiful and melodious recital is that which depends on correct pronunciation and perfect application of the tajweed rules.
8. It is required of anyone who hears the Qur'an recited whether from a reader (Qari) or a radio/television/computer or other source, to listen and think about the verses. As Allah (S.W.T) has said: 'so when the Qur'an is read, then listen to it and pay attention that you may receive mercy" (Surah Al-A'raf ; 7:204)
9. The reader should read the Qur'an using tajweed and recite it in the best way.
10. The reader should hold back the urge to yawn during reading until it is gone.
11. The reader should attest to the truth of Allah's words and witness to the call and testament of the Prophet (S.A.W).
12. The reader should avoid interrupting a recitation for the purpose of talking to people, except when necessary.
13. The reader should ask Allah (S.W.T) for His bounty at a verse of mercy and to seek refuge with Allah (S.W.T) at verses of warning.

(1) Sunan Abi Dawood, v.2. Book of Prayer; Chapter: Istihbab at'Tarteel fee al'Qira'a. Hadeeth 1468 al-Maktaba al-Asriya Sayda, Beirut
(2) Sahih Bukhari, v. 9, The Book of Tajweed, p.188, printing Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi -Cairo, in the year 1378h. 1958 CE
Ref: Useful Tips from the Science of Tajweed, Al'Hajjah Hayat Ali Al Hussaini, translated by Dr Da'ad al Hussaini. P19


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