Manners of Reciting The Holy Qur'an
By now we know that the Qur'an is a special book and deserves respect. Now let us look at some of the manners of reciting the Qur'aan. It is the right of the Tilaawa (recitation of the Qur'an) that we follow the rules when reciting the Qur'an.
1. Perform Wudhoo before you prepare to read the Qur'an.
Allah says: None can touch it (the Qur'an) save the purified ones (56:79). Once Imam Ja'far As-Saadiq (a) asked his son Ismaa'eel to read the Qur'aan. The latter said that he was not in Wudhoo. The Imam said in that case he could recite it but should not touch the writings of the Qur'an. Therefore, it is advisable to use a stick or pen to point to the words or sentences of the Qur'aan you are reading if you are not in Wudhoo.
2. Read Du'aa before Tilaawa.
Reading of the Du'aa helps to keep our focus and reminds us of what we need to take from the Holy Book. Ma'soomeen (a) have recommended a number of Du'aas. The Du'aa taught by Imam Ja'far As-Saadiq (a) appears in this booklet with Qur'aan lessons.
3. Always say A'oodhubillaahi minash shaytaanir rajeem
(اَعُوْذُبا اللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيْم) when you begin reading the Qur'aan. It means: I seek refuge in Allah from the cursed Shaytaan. This is what Allah instructs us to do in Aayah 16:98.
4. Next say Bismillaahir rahmaanir raheem
(بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم ) The meaning of this phrase is: In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Whenever Imam Moosaa Al-Kaazim (a) wished to make a point to Haroon Rasheed using Aayaat from the Qur'aan, the Imam would begin with A'oodhubillaah . . . followed by Bismillaah . . .
5. Sit facing Qiblaah when reciting the Qur'an. Please note that this is the best direction to face. However where it may be difficult or impossible to face Qiblaah when reading the Qur'an (for example if your desk is facing another direction) then it is all right not to face the Qiblaah.
6. Recite the Qur'an with Tarteel as instructed by Allah in Aayah 73:4. This means that we should recite the Qur'an in a good voice with rhythm instead of plain reading.
7. Recite the Qur'an slowly Allah said to the Prophet do not move your tongue with it (Qur'an) to make haste therein (75:16). The aayaat of the Qur'an should be recited in slow tones with each word being pronounced clearly. The Prophet (s) advised Muslims not be concerned about finishing a Soorah when reciting the Qur'an.
8. Be Humble when reciting the Qur'aan. The Prophet (s) says that the best recitor is he who is humble when reciting the Qur'aan and realizes his own insignificance. Some people exhibit their insignificance and the awe of talking to Allah through weeping. This is a good sign. Prophet Muhammad (s) said: Eyes that weep when reciting the Qur'an will be shining with delight on the Day of Resurrection.
9. Try to understand the recitation. Holy Qur'aan is a book of Guidance (2:2). It is necessary for us to understand the message Allah sent all people through Prophet Muhammad (s).
10. Read from the Qur'an by looking at the writings instead of reciting from your memory. In a Hadith from one of our Imams it is said that mere looking at the writings of the Qur'aan carries reward.
11. Interact with the Qur'an. Imam Ja'far As-Saadiq (a) says that it is important to react to the aayaat of the Qur'an when reciting it. When we come across aayaat on Paradise, Mercy and Grace of Allah, Good Outcome in the hereafter, we should hope for these in our hearts. On the other hand if we are reading aayaat that warn us about the punishment, fire, Hell, etc. we should pray to be saved from these.
12. Open your heart and mind to the Qur'an and ponder over what you read. Allah often invites us to think and ponder over the contents of the Qur'an. In 47:24 Allah says: Do they not then think deeply in the Qur'an, or are their hearts locked up?
13. Perform Sajdah where required to do so In the entire Qur'an there are 15 places where performing of Sajdah is required. At 4 places it is Waajib (obligatory) to do Sajdah if we were to read or listen to these sections of the Qur'an. For the rest of the places it is Mustahab (recommended) to do Sajdah.
14. Say Sadqallaahul 'Aliyyul 'Azeem(صَدَقَ اللهُ العَلِيُّ العَظِيْمُ) every time you end a recitation of the Qur'an. The meaning of this phrase is: Allah, the Sublime, the Great, is truthful in what He has said
15. Read one of the Du'aas after Tilaawa. The Ma'soomeen have taught a number of Du'aas, from these two have been included with Qur'an lessons. In these Du'aas, amongst other things, we pray to the Almighty to enlighten us through the Qur'an and make us follow the teachings of the Qur'an.
Hadiths in the lessons taken from: Forty Hadiths (1), Virtues of The Qur'an, Department of Qur'anic Affairs, 1998. Wasaa'ilush Shi'ah, v. 27. 3. Al-Kaafee, v. 2 4. Bihaarul Anwar, v. 89/92.