Reciting the Qur’an

QIRA’AH AL-QUR’AN قراءة القرآن

AL means “a specific book,” QUR means “meant to be read,” AN means “continuously.” Therefore, AL-QUR’AN means “a specific book meant to be read continuously. [Peace TV]


  • At the time of the Prophet ﷺ, there were different kinds of Arabs speaking different dialects of Arabic. He once encountered a group of people who said “AM” instead of “AL.” For example: “AL-KITAB” to “AM-KITAB,” “RASUL AMLAH” instead of “RASUL ALLAH.”
  • These dialects were actually captured in the Qur’an originally called AHRUF. The Qur’an was revealed in different ways to accommodate different people with different dialects of Arabic, because it was not standardized at the time. Even to this day, there are different kinds of Arabs and they spoke different kinds of Arabic.
  • Umar ibn Al-Khattab (radiyallahu anhu), in his wisdom, when he was compiling the Qur’an into one single document (Mushaf), burned the other Ahruf and only preserved one of them, which was the one original Qurayshi Harf. The different ways of Qira’at (recitation) came from that one hard copy of the Qur’an which he preserved.
  • The different Qira’at are the different ways that the one Quraishi Harf can be read and each one of them is correct.


Umar ibn Al-Khattab (radiyallahu anhu) said: “I heard Hisham bin Hakim bin Hizam reciting Surah Al-Furqan in a style different from that in which I used to recite it, and in which Allah’s Messenger had taught me to recite it. I was about to dispute with him (on this style) but I delayed till he had finished (the recitation). Then I caught hold of his cloak and brought him to the Messenger of Allah and said: O Messenger of Allah, I heard this man reciting Surah Al-Furqan in a style different from the one in which you taught me to recite. Upon this the Messenger of Allah told (me) to leave him alone and asked him to recite. He then recited in the style in which I beard him recite it. The Messenger of Allah then said: Thus was it sent down. He then told me to recite and I recited it, and he said: Thus was it sent down. The Qur’an was sent down in seven dialects. So recite what seems easy there from.” [Sahih Muslim, Book 4,  #1782]


  • The Ahruf are the various ways that the verses of the Qur’an are read.
  • Imam Al-Qurtubi said, “Every variation of a word in the Qur’an is said to be a Harf.”
  • When we say the Harf of Ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu anhu), it means the way that he used to recite that verse or word. [Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’an, ch.10, p.172]


  • Al-Duha 93:1-3

                “Wadduha. Wallayli idha saja. Ma wadda aka rabbuka wama qala.

                “Wadduheh. Wallayli idha sejeh. Ma wadda aka rabbuka wama qaleh.”


Reciting it is a blessed time

  • “…For without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction.“ [Ar-Ra’d 13:28]
  • Angels will surround us and the mercy of Allah will descend upon us. “So, when the Qur’an is recited, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy.” [Al-Araf 7:204]
  • Best to recite on the last 3rd part of night.Establish prayers from the declining of the sun to the darkness of the night, and be particular about the recital of the Qur’an at the dawn of the morning,  for the recital of the Qur’an at the dawn is witnessed. [Al-Isra 17:78]

It will be an intercessor

  • “Read the Qur’an, for it will come forward on the Day of Judgment to intercede for its readers.” [Muslim]
  • Example: Al-Baqarah, Ali Imran, Al-Mulk

Double reward

  • For the one who recites it with difficulty, he will be getting 2 rewards, one for his recitation and two, for his difficulty in reading.
  • “Whoever recites the Qur’an being skillful in it will be with the honorable angels. And whoever recites the Qur’an with hesitation as it is difficult for him will have a double reward.” [Al-Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi & Ibn Majah]


  1. Niyyah
  2. Taharah and Wudhu
  3. Al-Isti’adhah/At-Ta’awwudh
  4. At-Tasmiyah/Al-Basmalah
  5. Kushu
  6. Tartil
  7. Individualization
  8. Pondering On The Meaning
  9. Implementation
  10. Sit/Dress Respectably


  • Ikhlas (sincerity) for the sake of Allah only. “Deeds are by intentions.“


  • Purity of body and clothes and place
  • In the state of Wudu. “Which (that Book with Allah) none can touch but those who are pure from sins (i.e. angels).” [Al-Waqi’ah 56:79]
  • Use Siwak to freshen one’s mouth before reciting, since it is the way through which the Qur’an passes.


  • Sunnah before reciting to seek refuge with Allah from Shaytan. “When you read the Qur’an, seek Allah’s protection from Satan the rejected one.” [Sad 38:77-78]
  • Saying A-‘U-DHU BILLAHI MINASH-SHAYTANIR RAJIM(I seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the outcast)
  • It means to prevent the Shaytan
  1. From affecting our religious and worldly affairs
  2. From hindering us from what we are commanded
  3. From luring us into what we are prohibited from.
  • Virtues
  1. Cleanses the mouth from foul speech that has indulged in.
  2. Purifies the mouth and prepares it to recite the speech of Allah.
  3. Entails seeking Allah’s help and acknowledging His ability to do everything.
  4. Affirms the servant’s meekness, weakness and inability to face the enemy of his inner evil.
  • Proofs
  1. If an evil whisper comes to you from Shaytan, then seek refuge with Allah. [Al-Araf 7:200]
  2. My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings (suggestions) of the Shayatin (devils). [Al-Mu’minin 23:96-98]
  3. And if an evil whisper from Shaytan tries to turn you away (O Muhammad ) (from doing good), then seek refuge in Allah. [Fussilat 41:34-36]
  • Is it required in Salah?
  1. Majority of opinion: Isti`adhah (in the prayer and when reciting the Qur’an) is recommended and not required.
  2. Therefore, not reciting it does not constitute a sin. However, it is better to do it.
  • Meaning of Shaytan
  1. Literal: one who transgress.
  2. Rootword 1: Shatana (the far thing) because Shaytan has a different nature than mankind, and his sinful ways are far away from every type of righteousness. Rootword 2: Shata (burned), because it was created from fire. Both meanings are correct but the former is better.
  • Every human has a personal Shaytan
  1. And so We have appointed for every Prophet enemies ـ Shayatin (devils) among mankind and Jinn, inspiring one another with adorned speech as a delusion (or by way of deception). [Al-An’am 6:112]
  2. When one is angry: “Two men disputed with each other in the presence of the Messenger of Allah and the nose of one of them became swollen because of extreme anger. The Messenger of Allah said, (I know of some words that if he said them, what he feels will go away, ‘I seek refuge with Allah from the cursed Satan.’)”


  • Saying “BISMILLAHIR RAHMANIR RAHIM” (In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)
  • Opinions on Basmalah
  1. It is a separate Ayah before every Surah (i.e. not part of a Surah)
  2. It is an Ayah (i.e. part of a Surah)
  3. It is a part of an Ayah (i.e. also part of a Surah)
  • There are 114 Basmalah in the Qur’an
  1. At-Tawbah/Al-Bara’ah 9 – only Surah without Basmalah
  2. An-Naml 27:30 – only Surah with 2 Basmalah
  • Basmalah in Al-Fatihah during Salah (both are correct)
  1. Those who agree that it is Ayah #1 recite it aloud in Salah, just like the rest of the Ayat (Abu Hurairah recited it aloud)
  2. Those who disagree that it is Ayah #1 recite it silent in Salah (4 Caliphs, Hanifa and Hanbali, Mu’awwiyah was criticized when he read it silently but in the next Salah, he recited it aloud)
  • Reciting Basmalah with the other Ayat
  1. Recite Ayat clearly, with a pause between Ayat, not in a hurry.
  2. The Basmalah of the next Surah after Al-Fatihah is recited silently.
  • Virtues of Basmalah
  1. Saying Basmalah makes Shaytan as small as a fly and he becomes humiliated but cursing Shaytan makes him large as a house and he becomes arrogant.
  2. We start everything in Allah’s name asking for His help, guidance and answer (Khutbah, entering comfort room, Wudu, eating, drinking, sexual relations…)


  • Humbleness and crying when reading. Imam An-Nawwawi said: “Crying when reading the Qur’an is a characteristic of those who know Allah (know Him through His Names and Attributes) and the feelings of the righteous.”


  • Moderately, clearly, slowly. “Or a little more; and recite the Qur’an in slow, measured rhythmic tones.” [Al-Muzzammil 73:4]
  • Recommended to beautify one’s voice but Haram in a song-like manner. Narrated Abu Musa (radiyallahu anhu) that the Prophet ﷺ said to him: “O Abu Musa! You have been given one of the musical instruments of the family of Dawud.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, #1823]


  • Individualization: To feel that every message in the Qur’an is meant especially for him personally
  • Presence of the heart while reading.
  • To understand that these are not the words of man, but an attribute of Allah Almighty.
  • Interact and react to every verse according to what is proper, meaning to stop at a verse of warning and seek protection with Allah and similarly, to stop at a verse of mercy and ask bounty from Him.
  • There is less reward in reciting the Qur’an without understanding the meaning. The Qur’an was revealed for guidance and this can be achieved through recitation accompanied with pondering.


  • Deeming lawful what it permits and deeming forbidden what it forbids.


  • To sit up straight and not lean back.
  • Better to face the Qiblah.
  • To dress up  for the reciter is engaged in an intimate discourse with his Lord.
  • To stop reading when one yawns, because yawning is from the Shaytan.
  • Avoid cutting off reading to talk to people.


  • It depends on the situation of the believer, but read it every day regularly, even a a page only.
  • If you want to finish the whole Qur’an once in a month, then read 1 part/day. If once in a week, then read about more than 4 parts/day.


  • It is the only book that is read again and again without boredom. Reading it is considered worship, and that includes Hadith Qudsi and Tafsir.
  • Narrated Ibn Umar (radiyallahu anhu), the Prophet ﷺ said: “The example of the person who knows the Qur’an by heart is like the owner of tied camels. If he keeps them tied, he will control them, but if he releases them, they will run away.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, #1819]
  • Narrated Abu Musa (radiyallahu anhu), the Prophet said ﷺ: “Keep on reciting the Qur’an, for by Him in Whose Hand my life is, the Qur’an runs away (is forgotten) faster than camels that are released from their tying ropes.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, #1821]

Dua for completing the Qur’an

[From different sources including my own notes accumulated during long years of study]

What is Tafsir?


  • Meaning: Branch of Islamic learning devoted to explanation, interpretation, commentary of the Qur’an by recognized Islamic scholars
  • Plural: Tafasir
  • Rootword: Fassara (meaning: to explain)
  • Mufassir (plural: Mufassirun) – one who writes Tafsir
  • Aim: To know and understand the Quran, explain its meanings, extract its legal rulings and grasp its underlying reasons


  1. Qur’an: when one verse is used to explain another verse
  2. Hadith: where the Prophet ﷺ commented on the meaning of a particular verse; and those comments were passed down to us.
  3. Sahaba: if nothing is found in the first 2 sources, the Mufassir has to resort to what they interpreted about various verses.
  4. Tabi’un: they grew up with the Sahaba who interacted with the Prophet ﷺ, and had often asked about the meanings of verses.


1. Interpreting the Qur’an by the Qur’an: what is made brief in one verse is detailed in another verse.

2. Interpreting the Qur’an by the Hadith: most important external aids upon which scholars based Islamic history and law.

  • [We sent them] with clear proofs and written ordinances. And We revealed to you the message that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them and that they might give thought. [An-Nahl 16:44]
  • And We have not revealed to you the Book, [O Muhammad], except for you to make clear to them that wherein they have differed and as guidance and mercy for a people who believe. [An-Nahl 16:64]

3. Interpreting the Qur’an by the History: extremely important to explain how the Qur’an was revealed – when and under which circumstances.


1.  The Qur’an is made easy to understand [no one is allowed to divert its literal meaning]

  • Alif, Lam, Ra. [This is] a Book whose verses are perfected and then presented in detail from [one who is] Wise and Acquainted. [Hud 11:1]
  • It is sent down in clear language. [Ash-Shu’ara 26:195]
  • A Book whose verses have been detailed, an Arabic Qur’an for a people who know. [Fussilat 41:3]
  • A verse repeated 4 times – And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember? [Al-Qamar 54:17, 22, 32, 40]

2. The Prophet ﷺ said: “The one who interprets the Qur’an from his own point of view and he was right then he erred.” [no guessing should be made; Haram to do Tafsir using solely one’s own opinion]

3. Abu Bakr (radiyallahu anhu) said: “Which land should me, and which sky shall I be beneath if I say about the Qur’an what I do not know.” [meaning he cannot imagine himself in a position]

[Main source: Tafsir Ibn Kathir, other different sources including my own notes accumulated from long years of study]

Tafsir: Surah Al-Fatihah

الفاتحة AL-FATIHAH

  • Place of revelation: Makkah
  • It is the greatest Surah.
  • Seven repeatedly-recited verses (minimum 17 times/day).  And We have certainly given you, [O Muhammad], seven of the often repeated [verses] and the great Qur’an. [Al-Hijr 15:87]
  • It is actually a prayer and the rest of the Qur’an is the answer.
  • It cures the believer from denial, ignorance and astray.
  • It is a proof that Islam is the greatest blessing of all. So anyone who knew the truth and obeyed it, then he is worthy for the Straight Path.


  • Al-Fatihah because it is the Opener of the Book, the Surah with which prayers are begun.
  1. Um Al-Kitab because a) the Qur’an starts with it b) the prayer is started by reciting it c) it contains the meanings of the entire Qur’an.
  2. Al-Hamd because of a Hadith Qudsi, “The prayer [i.e. Al-Fatihah] is divided into two halves between Me and My servants.’ When the servant says, `All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of existence,’ Allah says, ‘My servant has praised Me….
  3. As-Salah because reciting it is a condition for the correctness of Salah.
  4. Ash-Shifa (the cure) because it is a cure from every illness.
  5. Ar-Ruqyah (Asking Allah remedy through supplication). There is the story of the Sahabi (companion) who used Al-Fatihah as a remedy for the tribal chief who was poisoned.


  • Allah is the Greatest Name of Allah, because it is referred to when describing Allah by the various attributes.
  • Proper noun of  God which is exclusively His.
  • From Al + Ilah = Allah (The Only One True God worthy of worship).
  • The word ‘Allah’ is mentioned 4 times and 15 of His other names are mentioned in Surah Al-Hashr.


  • Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim are two names derived from RAHMAH (mercy), but Ar-Rahman carries a broader scope of meanings pertaining to the mercy of Allah with His creation.
  • Ar-Rahman, which is exclusively for Allah, is a name that encompasses every type of mercy that Allah has. Ar-Rahim is what affects the believers.
  • Ar-Rahman is general, for all creations, in this world only. Ar-Rahim is specific, exclusively for believers, in the Hereafter. “He is Ar-Rahman with all the creation and Ar-Rahim with the believers.”


  • Allah praise Himself and also ordering His slaves to praise Him that He is worthy of praise due to His blessings and guidance (faith and good deeds).
  • A praise that Allah praised Himself with, indicating to His servants that they too should praise Him, due to Allah’s innumerable favors and bounties.
  • The best Dhikr (remembering Allah) is LA ILAHA ILLALLAH and the best supplication is AL-HAMDU LILLAH.


  • Al-Hamd is general, which is to praise someone who is praiseworthy for his characters without him done something good to you. This is only for Allah so we praise Him for His High Qualities and Supremacy. If someone asked how are you, you always have to answer ‘Alhamdulillah.’
  • The letters Alif and Lam before the word Hamd serve to encompass all types of thanks and appreciation for Allah.
  • Ash-Shukr is specific, which is to praise someone especially in return for a favor. If someone gave you money, you simply say ‘Thank You’ (not Alhamdulilah).


  • Since the praise of Allah, Who is being sought for help, was mentioned, it was appropriate that one follows the praise by asking for his need. We stated that Allah said, “One half for Myself and one half for My servant, and My servant shall have what he asked….”
  • This is the best method for seeking help, by first praising the one whom help is sought from and then asking for His aid, and help for one’s self, and for his Muslim brethren by saying: “Guide us to the straight path.”
  • This method is more appropriate and efficient in bringing about a positive answer to the pleas, and this is why Allah recommended this better method.
  • Asking for help may take the form of conveying the condition of the person who is seeking help.
  • Also, one may first mention the attributes of whoever is being asked, such as what Dhun-Nun said:  (And [mention] the man of the fish, when he went off in anger and thought that We would not decree [anything] upon him. And he called out within the darknesses, “ LA ILAHA ILLA ANTA There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.” [Al-Anbiya  21:87]
  • Further, one may praise Him without mentioning what he needs. The meaning of guidance mentioned in the Surah implies being directed and guided to success.


  • Ar-Rabb is the owner who has full authority over his property. Ar-Rabb, linguistically means, the master or the one who has the authority to lead. All of these meanings are correct for Allah.
  • When it is alone, the word Rabb is used only for Allah. As for other than Allah, it can be used to say Rabb Ad-Dar, the master of such and such object.
  •  He is Lord because of His Actions, as being the Creator, Administrator, Caretaker, Sustainer, Guide…
  • Rabb contains a warning while Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim encourages. Allah has described Himself by AR-RAHMAN, AR-RAHIM after saying RABB AL-‘ALAMIN, so His statement here includes a warning, and then an encouragement. Surely, your Lord is swift in retribution, and certainly He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. [Al-An’am 6:165]


  • Al-‘Alamin is plural for ‘Alam, which encompasses everything in existence except Allah. The word ‘Alam is itself a plural word, having no singular form. The ‘Alamin are all the different creations in the heavens and the earth, on land and at sea (mankind, jinn, angels, animals, all that exists…)
  • “Every type of creation is an ‘Alam.” Allah also said: “Alam encompasses everything that Allah created, in this life and in the Hereafter.”
  • ‘Alam (CREATION) is derived from ‘Alamah (SIGN) because it is a sign testifying to the existence of its Creator and to His Oneness.’


  • Allah mentioned His sovereignty of the Day of Resurrection, but this does not negate His sovereignty over all other things. For Allah mentioned that He is the Lord of existence, including this earthly life and the Hereafter.
  • Allah only mentioned the Day of Recompense here because on that Day, no one except Him will be able to claim ownership of anything whatsoever. On that Day, no one will be allowed to speak without His permission.
  • Malik:  the only true King/Owner (of everything and everyone) on the Day of Judgment. He owns everything, no one owns anything even the smallest of things
  • The most despicable name to Allah is a person who calls himself the king of kings, while there are no owners except Allah.
  • Yawmid-Din: the reckoning (reward and punishment).
  • It reminds the believer of this Day so he will prepare for it by doing good deeds and avoiding bad deeds.


  • ‘Ibadah (literal: subdued), implies the utmost love, humility and fear.
  • We obey and worship Allah alone and we ask help in all our needs only to Him.
  • It proves that all kinds of worship cannot be directed to anyone except Him.
  • It removes negative feelings as abuse, arrogance, show-off.


  • Asking Him to teach us and lead us to the right way.
  • Asking Him to let us be strong in this way until we meet Him.
  • No other straight way except Islam, the enlightened way to eternal happiness, to Jannah, to Allah.
  • Why does the believer ask Allah for guidance during every prayer and at other times, while he is already properly guided? Has he not already acquired guidance?
  • The answer to these questions is that if it were not a fact that the believer needs to keep asking for guidance day and night, Allah would not have directed him to invoke Him to acquire the guidance. The servant needs Allah the Exalted every hour of his life to help him remain firm on the path of guidance and to make him even more firm and persistent on it.
  • It describes the honest person as being straight and the wicked person as being crooked.


  • Refers to the way of those who are guided (prophets, martyrs, righteous…)


  • Refers to those who knew the truth but denied it. They earned Allah’s anger (Jews and anyone like them)


  • Refers to those who went astray (Christians and anyone like them)


  • Not an Ayah of Al-Fatihah
  • Sunnah to say it after reciting Al-Fatihah (recommended for those who are not in Salah and strongly recommended for those who are in Salah)
  • Asking Allah to accept our supplication
  • When any of you says in the prayer ‘Amin’, and the angels in heaven say ‘Amin’ in unison, his previous sins will be forgiven. [Muslim 1:307]

[Main source: Tafsir Ibn Kathir, other different sources including my own notes accumulated from long years of study]