There are worldly and spiritual benefits of reading the Quran including:
- It is an act of worship that is rewarded
- You will be given higher degrees in Paradise
- Is a source of spiritual light in this world and a provision for the next
- Reading in the masjid brings tranquility and mercy
- It will intercede for you on the day of judgement
- Guides to the correct choices in this world
- You are reading Allah’s spoken words
If we give due reverence to the Quran and consider it as the words of the Almighty, and we attempt to visualize the real beauty and limitless bounty of the Creator, then one of the benefits is that our hearts will be swayed by emotions of heavenly love. We will find guidance in our worldly affairs and in matters of the hereafter; we will find healing and mercy. There are innumerable benefits of reading and contemplating the verses of the Quran.
Rules and etiquettes before reading the Quran
To gain the maximum benefit, it is incumbent on the reader of the Quran to observe the rules of reverence for its recitation as one who is devoid of reverence misses the special blessing. We should read the Quran with the emotions of love and awe.
It has been written that if a person feels his shortcomings in exercising due respect and reverence while reading the Quran, he will continue to progress along the path of closeness to Allah, but a person who regards himself as already knowledgeable and with pride will not advance further.
The following are some of the rules attached to showing due reverence to the Quran:
- Use a miswak (a twig from a special variety of tree used for brushing teeth).
- Perform wudhu (ritual ablution) before touching the Quran.
- Sit in a quiet place facing towards the Qiblah (direction towards Mecca) if possible.
- Place the Quran on a slightly elevated position.
- Read with an attentive heart, pausing and reflecting on the verses.
- Do not read at speed, but read with measure and pronunciation.
- Try not to talk to others while reciting.
The Rewards of Quran recital
The reading/recitation of the Quran, with or without understanding its verses, are regarded as acts of worship. Allah has commanded that the Quran be read:
‘Recite, (O Muhammad), what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer.’
An understanding of the verses brings about a deeper knowledge and wisdom than just recital.
The following are some of the many Hadith (sayings of the Prophet) regarding the virtues:
Uthman (RA) narrates that the Prophet (SAW) said: ‘The best amongst you is he who learns the Quran and teaches it.’
As the Quran is the basis of Islam, and the preservation and propagation of the Quran depends the very existence of this faith, so the virtue of learning and teaching the Quran becomes evident. There are levels of excellence though, with the highest being to learn the Quran and teaching it with its meanings and the least being to learn its words only.
Hadith on reading the Quran
Aisha (RA) narrates that the Prophet (SAW) once said: ‘One who is well versed in the Quran will be in the company of those angels who are scribes, noble and righteous, and one who falters in reading the Quran, and has to exert hard for learning, gets double the reward.’ This is for the reading and for the extra effort required due to faltering.
Abdullah ibn Umar (RA) reports that the Prophet (SAW) said: On the Day of Judgement, it will be said to the man devoted to the Quran, ‘Go on reciting the Quran and continue ascending the levels of Jannah (paradise) and recite in the slow manner you had been reading in the worldly life; your final abode will be where you reach at the time of the last ayah of your recitation.’ Commentators on this hadith explain that for each ayah (verse), the reciter will be elevated to a higher level in Paradise. From other sources, it appears that there are many levels in Paradise.
Ibn Masud (RA) narrates that the Prophet (SAW) said: ‘Whoever reads one letter of the Book (Quran) is credited with one blessing and one blessing is equal to tenfold the like thereof in its reward…..’ This affirms that whereas, ordinarily for the purpose of reward an act as a whole is taken into account but in the case of the Quran it is not so, parts also count as a separate reward.
Abu Zar (RA) says that he requested the Prophet of Allah (SAW) to give him some lasting advice. The Prophet (SAW) said: ’Stick to the reading of the Quran, because it is a noor (light) in this life and a provision for the Hereafter….’ So all the help required for this world and the hereafter can be found in the Quran.
Worldly benefits of reciting the Quran
The previous hadith mostly mentioned the benefits and rewards pertaining to life after death. The following hadith and statements mention some of the benefits which can be found here and now:
Abu Hurairah (RA) narrates that the Prophet (SAW) said: ‘Never do a people collect in one of the houses of Allah (masjids) reciting the Quran and reading it out to one another but Sakeenah (tranquillity) descends upon them, rahma (mercy) enshrouds them, the angels throng around them and the Almighty Allah mentions them, in the assembly of the angels.’
Acquisition of any rewards mentioned here are so sublime that even if one devotes his life to acquire it, it will be worthwhile, but here so many are mentioned just with this one practice.
Ataa bin Abi Ribaah (RA) says the Prophet (SAW) is reported to have said: ‘Whoever reads Surah Yaseen (No. 36) in the beginning of the day, all his needs for that day are fulfilled.’ There are many such benefits of reciting this Surah. You can find more benefits of particular Surahs in another section titled ‘Surahs for physical and spiritual help’.
Some men came to Umar (RA) to question him during his khilaafah about the leadership of Mecca, they asked, ‘Who do you use to govern Mecca?’ He said, ‘Ibn Abzaa.’ They asked, ‘And who is Ibn Abzaa?’ Umar (RA) replied, ‘A freed slave from those we freed.’ They remarked, ‘You left a freed slave in charge of the people of the Valley (the noble tribes of the Quraysh)?!’ So he answered them, ‘Verily he is a reader of the Book of Allah and is knowledgeable about the obligations of the Muslims. Haven’t you heard the statement of your Messenger: ‘Verily Allah raises some people by this Book and lowers others by it.’
From childbirth, through to upbringing, marriage, nurturing a family, interaction with friends and relatives, as well as on what and how to relate with people and one another even at the point of death; the Quran is the complete guide on how a meaningful Muslim life could be structured and lived.
Narrated Abu Musa: The Prophet (SAW) said: ‘The example of a believer who recites the Quran is that of a citron (a citrus fruit) which is good in taste and good in smell. And the believer who does not recite the Quran is like a date which has a good taste but no smell. And the example of an impious person who recites the Quran is that of Ar-Rihana (an aromatic plant) which smells good but is bitter in taste. And the example of an impious person who does not recite the Quran is that of a colocynth which is bitter in taste and has no smell.’
Acting on the Quran
To realise the potential of the Quran as guidance, it is vitally important that the teachings of the Quran are strictly acted upon.
Allah says: ‘And this [Qur’an] is a Book We have revealed (which is) blessed, so follow it and fear Allah that you may receive mercy.’
Excellence of Memorizing and reading the Quran
The person memorizing the Quran has been assured many benefits. Among them are:
Ali (RA) reports that the Prophet (SAW) said: ‘Whoever reads the Quran and memorises it and regards what is makes lawful as lawful and its unlawful as forbidden, will be admitted to Jannah (Paradise) by Allah. Allah will also accept his intercession in respect of ten of his family members on whom Jahannam (Hell) was binding.’ (Tirmidhi)
Ibn Abbas (RA) reports that Rasulullah (SAW) said: ‘He in whose heart there is no part of the Quran is like a decrepit house’. (Tirmidhi)
The purpose of describing the beauties and virtues of the Quran in the above paragraphs is to cultivate a love for it. Love for the Quran is needed for developing a love for Allah. Love for one leads to love for the other. Study of the Quran itself makes one realize that there is no excellence elsewhere that cannot be found in the Quran.