Allah () only accepts deeds that are correct and sincere. A sincere deed is one done for Allah () 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:
- The reader should begin with ta’wwuth ﺗَﻌَﻮّذ (seeking refuge in Allah from Shaitaan), be it at the beginning of the surah or the middle. This is according to Allah’s () words:
فَإِذَا قَرَأْتَ ٱلْقُرْءَانَ فَٱسْتَعِذْ بِٱللَّهِ مِنَ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنِ ٱلرَّجِيمِ
‘So when you recite the Quran, seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the expelled.’
(Surah Nahl ;16:98)
- The reader should read with khushu (humility) out of respect for the Qur’an. Allah () says:
لَوْ أَنزَلْنَا هَـٰذَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ عَلَىٰ جَبَلٍۢ لَّرَأَيْتَهُۥ خَـٰشِعًۭا مُّتَصَدِّعًۭا مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ ٱللَّهِ ۚ وَتِلْكَ ٱلْأَمْثَـٰلُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
‘If We had sent down this Qur’an upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and breaking down from fear of Allah…’
- The reader should read with thoughtfulness, reflecting about the meaning of what one reads
أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ ٱلْقُرْءَانَ أَمْ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَآ
‘Then do they not reflect on the Qur’an…’
- The reader should beautify his/her voice during reading – without pretence. Bara’ ibn Azb said: ‘the Messenger of Allah () said:“Beautify the Qur’an with your voices”. 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.
- The reader should read the Qur’an using tajweed and recite it in the best way.
- The reader should attest to the truth of Allah’s words and witness to the call and testament of the Prophet ().
- The reader should ask Allah () for His bounty at a verse of mercy and to seek refuge with Allah () 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