Reading the Qur`an vs. listening to...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Reading the Qur`an vs. listening to an audio recitation


Does reading the Qur`an directly from the mus-haf entail the same reward as listening to a recording of the Qur`an?


Reading the Glorious Qur`an and listening to its recitation with reflection are both considered among the best acts of worship. Ibn Mas`ud (may God be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Whoever recites a letter from the Book of God, will be recompensed with a good deed and a good deed is multiplied tenfold. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Mim is one letter, but Alif is one letter, Lam is one letter and Mim is one letter” [recorded by At-Tirmidhi].

'Abdullah bin Masud also narrated the following: The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told me, “’Recite to me’. So I said, ‘O Messenger of God! How can I recite to you, when it [the Quran] was sent down to you?!’ He said, ‘Yes [recite].’ So I recited the chapter of Al-Nisaa` until I reached the verse: ‘(How (will it be) then, when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these people.)’ Whereupon he (the Prophet) said, ‘That is enough for now’. Then I turned to him and there were tears in his eyes’" (recorded by Bukhari).

When distinguishing between acts of worship there is no recourse but to depend on evidence. If no evidence is found to accord one act of worship priority over another, then we must be silent about the matter and direct every worshipper to do what God opens his heart to. Whoever prefers to read the Qur`an should do so more frequently and whoever prefers to listen to it attentively should do so more frequently.

Making tilawah (reciting) of the Qur`an includes listening to it as well as reading. More than that, it is reading while moving the tongue when pronouncing the words of God and looking at the mus-haf; it for these reasons that recitation is preferable. In any case, a Muslim should vary his efforts. He should recite the Qur`an at times and listen to it attentively at others. He should also do what he, in his heart, believes to be closer to humble submission, reflection and understanding of the verses of the Qur`an.
And God knows best.

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