From the Merits of Reciting Qur’an and its Types
Sheikh Muhammad Bin Saleh Bin ‘Uthaymeen
My Brothers: Allah (SWT) says, “Those who rehearse the Book of Allah, establish regular Prayer, and spend (in Charity) out of what We have provided for them, secretly and openly, hope for a commerce that will never fail”
There are two ways to recite the Book of Allah. The first is by believing what you read, following its rulings, doing what it commands, and staying away from what it forbids. We will talk about this in another sitting inshallah.
The second way is just vocalization. This is also known as Qira’a (recitation). There have been many texts that talk about the virtues of this type, whether it be reciting the Qur’an, surahs, or just ayahs. Utman Ibn Affan narrates that the Prophet (SAW) said, “The best of you is who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.” (Bukhari) In the Saheehayn on ‘Aisha (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said, “A person who recites the Qur’an, and reads it fluently, will be in the company of the obedient and noble angels, and he who reads the Qur’an haltingly and with difficulty will have a double recompense.”
In the Saheehayn as well on the authority of Abu Musa Al Ashari (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said, “The example of a believer, who recites the Qur’an and acts on it, is like an orange (utrujjah) which tastes nice and smells nice. And the example of the believer who does not recite the Qur’an but acts on it is like a date that tastes sweet but has no smell.” In Saheeh Muslim on the authority of Amama (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said, “Recite the Qur’an for it will come n the Day of Judgment as an intercession for it’s companion.” Also in Saheeh Muslim on the authority of Aqbah bin ‘Amir (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said, “Would one of you not go to the Masjid and learn or recite two verses from the Book of Allah, the Mighty and the Majestic. That would be better for him than two she-camels. And three verses would be better for him than three she-camels. And four verses would be better than four she-camels, and whatever their number may be of camels.” In Saheeh Muslim as well on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (SAW) said, “No people meet in the house of Allah reciting Qur’an and teaching it to each other, but the angels surround them, mercy covers them, tranquility descends on them, and Allah mentions them to those who are with Him.” The Prophet (SAW) also said, “Maintain the Qur’an. For verily, by He in Whose Hand Muhammad’s soul is in, it (the Qur’an) is more intense in escaping (memory) than a camel from its rein.” (Agreed upon) He (SAW) also said, “None of you should say, ‘I forgot such-and-such an ayah.’ Rather he was made to forget.” (Muslim) On the authority of Abdullah Ibn Masood, that the Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah, he will have a reward, and this reward will be multiplied by ten. I am not saying that ‘Alif, Laam, Meem’ (a combination of letters frequently mentioned in the Holy Quran) is a letter, rather I am saying that ‘Alif’ is a letter, ‘Laam’ is a letter and ‘Meem’ is a letter.” (Tirmidhee) Also on the authority of Ibn Masood that the Prophet (SAW) said, “This Qur’an is the Banquet of Allah. Learn as much as you can from His banquet. This Qur’an is the Rope of Allah, and it is the Clear Light and Useful Healing. It is a protection for the one who clings to it and a rescue for the one who follows it. It is not crooked and so puts things straight. It does not deviate so as to be blamed. Its wonders do not cease. It does not wear out with much repetition. So recite it. Allah will reward you with ten good deeds for every letter of its recitation. I am not saying that ‘Alif, Laam, Meem’ (a combination of letters frequently mentioned in the Holy Quran) is a letter, rather I am saying that ‘Alif’ is a letter, ‘Laam’ is a letter and ‘Meem’ is a letter.” (Hakim)
My brothers: These are the benefits of reciting the Qur’an. These rewards are for those that anticipate it along with Allah’s pleasure. A big reward for an easy action and the loser is the one who lets this opportunity pass. There are specific rewards for reciting certain surahs. In Saheeh Bukhari on the authority of Abu Saed bin al Mo’lee (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said to him, “Surely I will teach you the greatest surah in the Qur’an (Fatiha).” The Fatiha is the seven-oft repeated verses of the Qur’an. From its greatness is that it is a pillar of prayer. A prayer is invalid without the Fatiha. As the Prophet (SAW), “No prayer is valid without the opening of the Qur’an.” (Agreed upon)
Some other surahs are Al-Baqarah and Ali-‘Imran. The Prophet (SAW) said, “Learn how to recite Surah Al-Baqarah for there is a blessing in it, and there is sorrow for abandoning it, and it is unbearable for the idle and that Al-Baqarah and Ali-‘Imran are like two flowers which will shade those who learned them by heart on the Day of Judgment, as if there were two large clouds or two flocks of birds.” (Muslim) Abu Hurayrah narrates that the Prophet (SAW) said, “The house in which Al-Baqarah is recited will not be entered by the Shaytan.” (Muslim) That is because it contains ayatul-kursi as the Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever recites ayatul kursi at night…then the Shaytan will not approach them until they wake.”
On the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas that Jibreel (AS) said to the Prophet (SAW), “This is a door in the heaven which has been opened today, and it has never been opened before today, and an angel has come down through it. This is an angel who has come down to the earth, and he never came down before today. He [that angel] gave the greeting of Salaam and said: ‘Rejoice, for you have been granted two lights which have not been given to any Prophet before you: the Opening (chapter) of the Book (chapter Al-Faatihah) and the closing verses of chapter Al-Baqarah. You will not read even one letter of them but you will be granted reward.” (Muslim)
Another specific surah is surah Ikhlaas. In the Saheehayn on the authority of Abu Sa’eed al Khudri, that the Prophet (SAW) said, “By He who my soul is in His hand, indeed it is equal to one third of the Qur’an.” Also Al-Falaaq and An-Naas have virtues associated with them. So strive much my brothers in reciting much Qur’an in this blessed month. Jibreel (AS) used to review the Qur’an with the Prophet (SAW) once every Ramadhan, except the year that the Prophet (SAW) passed away. In that year Jibreel (AS) reviewed with him twice to make it strong and firm. Our pious predecessors (RA) used to increase in reciting the Qur’an during Ramadhan. Azzuhree used to say that when Ramadhan came it is just reciting of the Qur’an and feeding of the poor. And Imam Malik (RA) used to stop his sittings of hadeeth and would only focus on the Qur’an. Qatada (RA) used to constantly finish the Qur’an every seven nights, and during Ramadhan every three nights, and during the last ten days of Ramadhan, every night. Ibrahim Anakhee used to finish it during Ramadhan every three nights, and in the last ten days every two nights. And Al-Aswad (RA) used to recite it every two nights throughout the month.