The Qur’an is great in goodness, rich in blessings, and abundant in gifts! There is no Muslim, male or female, who approaches the Book of Allaah but he will undoubtedly get some of its bounties, find of its good deeds, and attain from its gifts and goodness; regardless of the way he approaches the Book of his Generous Lord. If he recites it, he will be rewarded; if he listens to it, he will be rewarded; if he ponders upon its verses, he will be rewarded; if he adopts its manners, he will be rewarded; and if he accompanies it, he will be rewarded. And whoever lives his life with the Qur’an will be the happiest amongst the creation in this world due to his companionship with the Qur’an; the Book of his Great Lord. And this is one of the meanings of the Barakah (blessings) of the Qur’an which Allaah mentioned in Surat al-An’aam [6:155]:
وَهَـٰذَا كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ مُبَارَكٌ فَاتَّبِعُوهُ وَاتَّقُوا لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ
“And this is a blessed Book (the Qur’an) which We have sent down, so follow it and fear Allaah (i.e. do not disobey His orders), that you may receive mercy (i.e. be saved from the torment of Hell).”
The Qur’an is the Speech of Allaah. Allaah magnified His Speech and raised its status and made it a guidance for those who seek guidance. Whoever holds to the Book of Allaah will be saved and protected and whoever accompanies it will attain happiness in this world and the Hereafter. Allaah made His Book a light to enlighten the one in the darkness of Kufr, Shirk, ignorance, sins and disobedience to Allaah.
The Various Aspects of Dealing with the Qur’an and their Virtues
The Shar’ (Islamic Law) particularized and differentiated the people who deal with the Qur’an with specific rewards and specific virtues; for the reciter of the Qur’an there is a reward, for the listener of the Qur’an there is a reward, for the one who studies the Qur’an there is a reward, for the one who contemplates the Qur’an is a reward, and so on. Each category has a special reward. The purpose behind knowing the different aspects of dealing with the Qur’an is to emphasize that accompanying the Qur’an has a distinctive rank; it is not for everyone who recites the Qur’an, nor for everyone who memorizes the Qur’an, nor even to whoever busies himself with the Qur’an!
1) The Virtue of Reciting the Qur’an
One of the special characteristics of the Qur’an is that Allaah causes a virtue to be attained by reciting it.
The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever recites a letter from Allaah’s Book, then he receives the reward for it, and the reward of ten the like of it (i.e. ten similar to it). I do not say that Alif Lam Meem is a letter, but Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter, and Meem is a letter.” [Sunan At-Tirmidhi, no. 2910, and authenticated by Al-Albaani who graded it Saheeh]
All Muslims are equal in this reward and virtue, regardless if they are common people or Imaams, or from the Sahaabah or the Tabi’een. The good deed attained here is a consequence of mere recitation. This is a special virtue attained by a special dealing with the Qur’an (i.e. its recitation).
The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also said: “The one who is skilled in reciting the Qur’an will be with the noble, honorable scribes, and the one who recites the Qur’an and falters therein and finds it difficult will have a double reward.” [Muslim]
This Hadeeth also emphasizes that the reward is dependent on recitation. The reward is the same for the one who recites with Tadabbur (contemplating on the meaning) and the one who recites without Tadabbur, and the one who recites a letter from the Qur’an from his memory, and the one who recites from a Mus’haf. Similarly, the woman who recites the Qur’an in her house, and a man who recites from his Mus’haf, and a third person who recites from his memory, are all equal in reward.
2) The Virtue of Listening to the Qur’an
Allaah (Ta’ala) says in Surat al-A’raaf [7:204]:
وَإِذَا قُرِئَ الْقُرْآنُ فَاسْتَمِعُوا لَهُ وَأَنصِتُوا لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ
“So, when the Qur’an is recited, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy.”
The attainment of Rahmah (mercy) is linked to attentive listening to the Qur’an. One might not be reciting anything from the Book of Allaah, but just listening to it through public broadcasting, tape recorders, or any means, and one will be rewarded. This is because there are among the Muslims, those who are illiterate, so Allaah has opened for them gates of reward, so they are not deprived of the Book of Allaah.
There is no slave that approaches the Book of Allaah, but he will find reward and will not be deprived from any aspect. If he recites, he will be rewarded, and if he cannot recite or find the energy to recite, it is enough for him to listen and he will be rewarded! The greatest mercy is attained by the reciter of the Qur’an. Some of the Salaf used to say: “The mercy of Allaah is near, it is upon you to attain it even by just listening to the Qur’an.”
Listening to the Qur’an is an ‘Ebadah; an act of worship. The heart of whoever listens to the Qur’an profusely will be attached to the Qur’an, and this is a gate which makes the Muslim nearer to his Lord. He may hear a verse which moves his heart, makes his body shiver and causes his eyes to shed tears, and this becomes a gate of goodness for him, which he neither attained through memorization of the Qur’an nor recitation of it, but just by listening to the Book of Allaah, the Most Great.
3) The Virtue of Studying the Qur’an
The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “No people gather in one of the houses of Allaah, reciting the Book of Allaah and studying it together, but tranquility will descend upon them, mercy will overshadow them, the angels will surround them, and Allaah will mention them to those who are with Him.” [Muslim]
The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) mentioned two actions:
a) Tilawah (Reciting)
b) Tadaarus (Studying)
This means that one recites the Qur’an to another person, and the other person recites it to him. They study it by mentioning to each other what the verse or Surah consists of meanings, lessons, benefits, and admonitions. The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) mentioned four virtues for whoever implements this way of dealing with the Qur’an:
1 – Tranquility will descend upon them
2- Mercy will envelop them
3- The angels will surround them
4- Allaah will mention them to those who are near Him
Notice how the reward becomes greater when one’s degree of dealing with the Qur’an becomes higher. This is superior to mere recitation or listening because it consists of understanding the meaning of the Speech of our Generous Lord, the Most High; enjoying learning the sublime meaning of the Qur’an; and extracting its treasures, secrets, and wisdoms. In it is enjoyment of the wonders of the Qur’an and having one’s heart moved by its admonitions. Therefore, one attains the great rewards which are mentioned in the Hadeeth; the greatest of them being mentioned with names by Allaah to those who are with Him in the highest dominion. There is nothing greater and nobler than this. The person will return to his family as a human, but with tranquility in his heart, with mercy, having just left the sitting with Allaah’s honorable angels, and having been mentioned in the heavens by Allaah.
4) The Virtue of Tadabbur (pondering over the meaning of the verses) and Reflection over the Book of Allaah
Allaah (Ta’ala) says in Surat Saad [38:29]:
كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ لِّيَدَّبَّرُوا آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
“(This is) a Book (the Qur’an) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember.”
The greatest purpose behind the revelation of the Book of Allaah upon His Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is so that the believers will ponder over its verses. One reaches the level of Tadabbur by fulfilling the previously mentioned degrees, i.e. one will not have reached the level of Tadabbur except after he has recited the Qur’an profusely, listened to it profusely, studied it profusely, occupied himself with it, reflected over its meaning, lived with the Qur’an, and practiced what was studied. Thence, the Book of Allaah will leave an impression on the heart of the person.
One of the special characteristics of the Qur’an is the virtue of acting upon it. This is because Allaah did not reveal the Book except that it be a clear way and law for the Muslim nation to act upon, by taking what is mentioned lawful as lawful and forbidding what has been forbidden, contemplating its verses, and receiving its admonitions. Whoever takes the Qur’an as a light and acts upon its guidance; it will be a means for him to attain the greatest virtues.
📚 Musaahabah al-Qur’an by Shaikh Hasan Bukhaari
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