The Etiquettes of Reading the Quraan - al-Uthaymeen

All praise is due to Allah - the One whose legislation is succumbed to by those who worship, whose Greatness is feared by those who bow and prostrate, for the goodness of calling Him do the keen stay up at night without sleep, for the pursuit of His reward do the keen exert their efforts in striving against their selves.
Allah speaks with speech that is too sublime to be comparable to the speech of the created. And from amongst His speech; is the Book which He revealed to His Messenger Muhammad (sallallahu aleihi wa sallam); we read it night and day and repeat it. It does not cease to provide inspiration when repeated, nor does it cause tediousness or grimace.
I praise Allah in the manner of one who yearns to stand before of His door; un-lost. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, having no partners – the testimonial of those who are sincere to Allah and worship him. And I bear witness that Muhammad is his servant and messenger; who established the obligation of worship and more. May the Salaat of Allah be upon him and his companion Abu Bakr as Siddeeq; who filled hearts of hatred with joy - repelling it, upon 'Umar who continues to strengthen Islam and support it, upon 'Uthman who did not hesitate when the Shahadah came to him, upon 'Ali who smites the seed of disbelief with his sword and harvests it, and upon the rest of his family and companions - a continuous Salaat that does not cease for eternity and a complete Salaam.
My brothers and sisters; indeed this Quran before you; that you recite, listen to, memorize and write, is the speech of Allah your Lord, the Lord of creation, the God of the first and the last. It is His firm rope and His straight path. It is the blessed remembrance and the manifest light. Allah truly spoke it in a manner befitting his magnificence and loftiness. He revealed it to Jibreel the trustworthy, one of the close noble angels, who then revealed it to Muhammad's heart - صلى الله عليه وسلّم - so that he may be of the warners, in a clear Arabic language.

Allah described Quran

 with great descriptions in order that you may glorify and respect it; He – the Elevated – said:
{The month of Ramadaan in which the Quran was revealed, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the Criterion (between right and wrong).} [Al Baqarah: 185]
{This is what We recite to you (O Muhammad - صلى الله عليه وسلّم -) of the Verses and the Wise Reminder (i.e. the Quran).} [Aal 'Imraan: 58]
{O mankind! Verily, there has come to you a convincing proof (Prophet Muhammad - صلى الله عليه وسلّم -) from your Lord; and We sent down to you a manifest light (this Quran).} [An Nisaa: 174]
{Indeed, there has come to you from Allah a light (Prophet Muhammad - صلى الله عليه وسلّم -) and a plain Book (this Quran). Wherewith Allah guides all those who seek His Good Pleasure to ways of peace.} [Al Maa-idah: 15]
{And this Quran is not such as could ever be produced by other than Allah (Lord of the heavens and the earth), but it is a confirmation of (the Revelation) which was before it [i.e. the Taurah (Torah), and the Injeel (Gospel)], and a full explanation of the Book (i.e. the laws decreed for mankind) – wherein there is no doubt – from the Lord of the 'Alameen (mankind, jinn, and all that exists).} [Yunus: 37]
{O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord (i.e. the Quran, enjoining all that is good and forbidding all that is evil), and a healing for that (disease of ignorance, doubt, hypocrisy and differences) which is in your breasts, – a guidance and a mercy (explaining lawful and unlawful things) for the believers.} [Yunus: 57]
{A Book, the Verses whereof are perfected (in every sphere of knowledge), and then explained in detail from One (Allah), Who is All-Wise Well-Acquainted (with all things).} [Hood: 1]
{Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Quran) and surely We will guard it (from corruption).} [Al Hijir: 9]
{And indeed, We have bestowed upon you seven of Al-Mathaani (seven repeatedly recited Verses), (i.e. Surat Al-Fatihah) and the Grand Quran. Look not with your eyes ambitiously at what We have bestowed on certain classes of them (the disbelievers), nor grieve over them. And lower your wings for the believers (be courteous to the fellow-believers).} [Al Hijir: 87-88]
{And We have sent down to you the Book (the Quran) as an exposition of everything, a guidance, a mercy, and glad tidings for those who have submitted themselves (to Allah as Muslims).} [An Nahl: 89]
{Verily, this Quran guides to that which is most just and right and gives glad tidings to the believers (in the Oneness of Allah and His Messenger Muhammad - صلى الله عليه وسلّم -), who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a great reward (Paradise). And that those who believe not in the Hereafter, for them We have prepared a painful torment (Hell). } [Al Israa: 9-10]

{We have not sent down the Quran to you (O Muhammad - صلى الله عليه وسلّم -) to cause you distress, but only as a Reminder to those who fear (Allah). A Revelation from Him (Allah) Who has created the earth and high heavens.} [Taha: 2-4]
{Blessed is He Who sent down the Criterion (of right and wrong, i.e. this Quran) to His slave (Muhammad - صلى الله عليه وسلّم -) that he may be a warner to the 'Alameen (mankind and jinn).} [Al Furqaan: 1]
{And truly, this (the Quran) is a revelation from the Lord of the 'Alameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists), which the trustworthy Rooh [Jibreel (Gabriel)] has brought down upon your heart (O Muhammad - صلى الله عليه وسلّم -) that you may be (one) of the warners, in the plain Arabic language. And verily, it (the Quran, and its revelation to Prophet Muhammad - صلى الله عليه وسلّم -) is (announced) in the Scriptures [i.e. the Tawraah (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] of former people. Is it not a sign to them that the learned scholars of the Children of Israel knew it (as true)?} [Al Shu'araa: 192-197]
{And it is not the Shayateen (devils) who have brought it (this Quran) down. Neither would it suit them nor they can (produce it).} [Ash Shu'araa: 210-211]
{Nay, but they, the clear Ayaat [i.e. the description and the qualities of Prophet Muhammad - صلى الله عليه وسلّم - written in the Tawraah (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] are preserved in the breasts of those who have been given knowledge (among the people of the Scriptures).} [Al 'Ankboot: 49]
{This is only a Reminder and a plain Quran. That he or it (Muhammad - صلى الله عليه وسلّم - or the Quran) may give warning to him who is living (a healthy minded – the believer), and that Word (charge) may be justified against the disbelievers (dead, as they reject the warnings).} [Yaaseen: 69- 70]
{(This is) a Book (the Quran) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings, that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember.} [Saad: 29]
{Say: "That (this Quran) is great news} [Saad: 67]
{Allah has sent down the Best Statement, a Book (this Quran), its parts resembling each other (in goodness and truth) (and) oft-repeated. The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it (when they recite it or hear it). Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah. That is the Guidance of Allah. He guides there with whom He wills; and whomever Allah sends astray, for him there is no guide.} [Az Zumar: 23]
{Verily, those who disbelieved in the Reminder (i.e. the Quran) when it came to them (shall receive the punishment). And verily, it is an honourable well-fortified respected Book (because it is Allah's Speech, and He has protected it from corruption). Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it, (it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise } [Fussialt: 41-42]
{And thus We have sent to you (O Muhammad - صلى الله عليه وسلّم -) a Rooh (a revelation, and a mercy) of Our Command. You knew not what was the Book, nor what was Faith. But We have made it (this Quran) a light wherewith We guide whosoever of Our slaves We will. And verily, you (O Muhammad - صلى الله عليه وسلّم -) are indeed guiding (mankind) to a Straight Path.} [Ash Shuraa: 52]
{And verily, it (this Quran) is in the Mother of the Book (i.e. Al Lawhul-Mahfoodh) with Us, indeed exalted, full of wisdom.} [Az Zukhruf: 4]
{This (Quran) is a clear insight and evidence for mankind, and a guidance and a mercy for a people who have Faith with certainty.} [Al Jaathiyah: 20]
{Qaaf. By the Glorious Quraan. .} [Qaaf: 1]
{So, I swear by the setting of the stars. And verily that is indeed a great oath, if you but know. That (this) is indeed an honourable recitation (the Noble Quran). In a Book well-guarded (with Allah in the heaven, i.e. Al Lawhul-Mahfoodh). Which (that Book with Allah) none can touch but the purified (i.e. the angels). A Revelation (this Quran) from the Lord of the 'Alameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists).} [Al Waaqi'ah: 75-80]
{Had We sent down this Quran on a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and rent asunder by the fear of Allah. Such are the parables which We put forward to mankind that they may reflect.} [Al Hashr: 21]
{Say (O Muhammad - صلى الله عليه وسلّم -): "It has been revealed to me that a group (from three to ten in number) of jinn listened (to this Quran). They said: 'Verily, we have heard a wonderful Recitation (this Quran)! 'It guides to the Right Path, and we have believed therein, and we shall never join (in worship) anything with our Lord (Allah).} [Al Jinn: 1-2]
{Nay! This is a Glorious Quran, (Inscribed) in Al-Lauh Al-Mahfûz (The Preserved Tablet)!} [Al Burooj: 21-22]
These many tremendous descriptions that we have mentioned, as well as others that we haven't, all allude to the magnificence of this Quran and the obligation of glorifying it, having the proper etiquette and being distant from playing and joking around while reading it.

From the etiquettes of reciting the Quran

 Having sincerity for Allah the Elevated when doing so
 because reciting the Quran if amongst the virtuous forms of worship as was previously explained. Indeed Allah said:
{So, call you (O Muhammad - صلى الله عليه وسلّم – and the believers) upon (or invoke) Allah making (your) worship pure/sincere for Him } [Ghaafir: 14]
He also said:
{Verily, We have sent down the Book to you (O Muhammad - صلى الله عليه وسلّم) in truth. So, worship Allah (Alone) by doing religious deeds sincerely for Allah's sake only.} [Az Zumar: 2]
He stated:
{And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone }[Al Qayyimah: 5]

The Messenger of Allah - صلى الله عليه وسلّم – said:
"Read the Quran, and seek the Face of Allah the Mighty and Majestic by doing, so before there come a people who recite it for the present and not for the future." [Collected by al Imaam Ahamad]
[The meaning of 'the present' is that they would seek worldly gains by reciting the Quran [i.e and not the reward of the afterlife.]
To read with an attentive heart
 to contemplate over what you are reading and to understand its meanings. Your heart will then have fear and know that Allah is speaking to you with this Quran, because the Quran is the speech of Allah the Majestic.
 To read while in a state of purification
  because this is a way of glorifying the speech of Allah the Mighty. A person should not read the Quran while in a state of Janaabah until he/she performs Ghusl if water is available or Tayammum if it is not, or he/she is unable to use water due to illness.
A person in a state of Janaabah may practice the remembrance of Allah and supplicate to Him with what is in the Quran as long as he/she do not have the intention of reciting the Quran. For example, one may say: 'La Ilaha ila ant, Subhaanak inee kuntu min adh Dhalimeen' (There is no diety worthy of worship other than You, praise be to You, indeed I am from the oppressors), or 'Rabana laa tuzi' Qulubana ba'd idh Hadaytana wa Hab lana min ladunka Rahmah, inaka antal Wahaab' ("Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower.").' [i.e. The Du'aa is the same du'aa that is found in the Quran but one should not have the intention that he/she is reciting the Quran, but only have the intention of making Du'aa.]
Not to read the Quran in unclean areas
 or areas where one cannot hear their own recital because reading in such cases is an indignity towards the Quran. It is not permissible for a person to read the Quran in the bathroom or other areas specified for reliving oneself. This is not befitting of the noble Quran.
To seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytaan
when intending to read due to the saying of Allah:
{So when you recite the Quraan, seek refuge with Allaah from Shytaan} [an-Nahl: 98]
[Refuge should also be sought from the Shaytaan] so that he does not divert the reader from reciting or from perfecting his/her recital. Regarding the Basmalah [i.e. saying Bismilaah]; if the person starts reading from the midst of a Surah he/she should not say Bismilaah.

If the person is reading from the beginning of a Surah he/she should say the Basmalah with the exception of Suratut Tawbah, for there is no Basmalah at the beginning of it. This is because the Sahaabah – may Allah be pleased with them – were not sure, while writing the Mashaf, whether it was a separate Surah or part of Surat al Anfaal, so they separated them without a Basmalah. This Ijtihaad is in line with reality without doubt, for if the Basmalah was revealed in the beginning of this Surah it would have remained preserved by the preservation of Allah the Mighty as He said:
{Verily, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Quraan) and surely We will guard it (from corruption).} [Al Hijr: 9]
That the reciter beautifies his voice with the Quran
This is due to a Hadeeth that was collected by both al Bukhaaree and Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurayrah – may Allah be pleased with him:
"Allah has not listened to anything as He has listened to a prophet with a beautiful voice humming with the Quran audibliy."
They also collected a Hadeeth by Jubayr ibn Mut'im – may Allah be pleased with him – who said:
"I heard the prophet - صلى الله عليه وسلّم - recite at Toor in the Maghrib prayer, I haven't heard anyone with a more beautiful voice or recital than him - صلى الله عليه وسلّم".
However, if there is someone around the reciter who may be disturbed by the recital, such as someone trying to sleep, or someone who is praying and son on, one should not recite out loud disturbing them, because the Prophet - صلى الله عليه وسلّم – went to some people who were reciting out loud in their prayers and said:
"Indeed a person who is praying is calling upon his Lord, so he should concentrate on what he is calling with and you should not raise your voices over others while reciting the Quran."
It was collected by Maalik in al Muwata and Ibn Abdil Barr said: 'It is an authentic Hadeeth.'
To recite the Quran with Tarteel (slow and pleasant tone and style)
due to the saying of Allah the Elevated:
{And recite the Quraan (aloud) in a slow (pleasant tone and) style. } [Al Muzzammil: 4]
So one should take his time reading it, you shouldn't read it in a rushed manner. This would facilitate its understanding and the proper recital of its letters and words. In a Hadeeth collected by al Bukhaaree, Anas – may Allah be pleased with him – was asked about the recital of the Prophet - صلى الله عليه وسلّم - so he said:
"It was prolonged, he then recited; Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem and extended ar Rahmaan and ar Raheem."
Ummu Salamah – may Allah be pleased with her - was asked about the recital of the Prophet - صلى الله عليه وسلّم; she said:
"He used to separate his recital Ayah by Ayah; Bismil Laahir-Rahmaanir-Raheem – Al hamdu lilaahi Rabbil 'Alameen – Ar Rahmaanir Raheem - Maaliki yawmid Deen…" [Collected by Ahmad, Abdu Dawood and at Tirmdihee.]
Ibn Mas'ood – may Allah have mercy upon him – stated:
"Do not scatter the Quran like the scattering of sand, and do not recite it like a poem, pause at its wonders and move your hearts with it. Reaching the end of the Surah should not be the objective."
There is no problem in speed that does not contribute to a flaw in the articulation of the Quran, or cause one to skip some of its letters, or join two words that are not supposed to be joined, for indeed defects in the articulation are prohibited because this changes the Quraan.

To prostrate if one comes by an Ayah of prostration
while in a state of purification, whatever the time is, whether during the day or night. One should say the Takbeer for the prostration and say; 'Subhaana Rabbil 'Alaa.' Then supplicate and rise from prostration without the Takbeer or giving the Salaam, because this has not been related from the Prophet - صلى الله عليه وسلّم - , except if this prostration is during the prayer. In this case one must say the Takbeer before and after the prostration due to the Hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah – may Allah be pleased with him – that he (Abu Hurayrah) used to say the Takbeer throughout the prayer, when he bowed [and prostrated] and when he rose, and he used to narrate that the Messenger - صلى الله عليه وسلّم - used to do that as was collected by Muslim. Ibn Mas'ood – may Allah be pleased with him – stated:
"I saw the Messenger say the Takbeer in every bow [and prostration] and rising, and every sitting and standing." It was collected by Ahmad, an Nasaa-ee and at Tirmidhee who authenticated it.
This [ruling] is general for the prostration in the prayer, whether it is for the prayer itself or the prostration of recital.

 Etiquettes of Reading the Quraan by Ibn Kathir

Understanding of the origin of the words
This is an indication to the greatness of the words being read, and the bounty of Allah; Glorified is He, to His creation when He addressed His creation with these words.

Putting into the heart the understanding that these are not the words of man.
Through this the reader should think about the characteristics of Allah the Exalted.

Presence of the heart while reading
Through this the reader should throw away other thoughts while reading the Qur’an.

Pondering the meaning
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.

Understanding the meaning
This means interacting and reacting to every verse according to what is proper for it.

This means that the reader feels that every message in the Qur’an is meant especially for him personally.

External Manners for reading the Qur’an 
1. Purity of body and clothes and place, using sawak.

2. Facing the Qiblah. 

3. Seeking refuge from rejected Satan and reading the basmalah.
4. Not reading when yawning.

5. Avoiding cutting off reading to talk with people.

6. Stopping at a verse of warning and seeking protection with Allah, and stopping at a verse of mercy and asking The Merciful for His Bounty.

7. Humbleness and crying when reading. Imam An-Nawwawi may Allah be Merciful to him said: Crying when reading the Qur’an is a characteristic of those who know Allah (know Him through His names and Characteristics) and the feelings of the righteous.
These are some of the ettiquettes of reciting the Quran, so abide by them, be keen upon practicing them and seek the reward of your Lord through them.
O Allah, make us amongst those who venerate Your prohibitions, and amongst those who succeed in attaining Your rewards, and amongst those who inherit Your Gardens, and forgive us and our parents, as well as all the Muslims, with Your Mercy yaa Rahmaan Yaa Raheem. And may the Salaat and the Salaam be upon our prophet Muhammad, and upon all his family and companions.


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