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Reciting Quraan without understanding is unproductive; I want to get married

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

I am twenty five years old, I completed memorization of the Quran at age 15. Alhamdulillah I am clear that reciting Quran without understanding is very unproductive and I should be reciting it understanding the full meaning. Aside from that I want to look for answers that are true. I like a girl who is very good with Hijab, and I’ve seen her pray five times a day. I know her because she visited India same time as me and I know her from my family tree. With knowledge of her friend, we made a group and came to know she liked me and I like her but within the halal boundaries which is what Allah wants from me as a slave of Allah. I am using the ability of a practicing person of praying to Allah, talking about it. and I want to get married soon. I am finishing my bachelors in clinical life science in two semesters inshallah, and will study for two more year to have Masters. I don’t want to wait that long. What advice can you give to make my relationship halal. We are in a group chat together, but I got guided by my father and cousin brother to not chat alone with her. But allahu Alam. It is a very positive and strong liking on both sides. Please advice me on what should be done as well as pray for me. I want to please Allah, khalas.

Her father and my mother both strictly say padhai karo.(study right now) 

Jazakallahu Khair


In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

Brother in Islaam,

We take note of the contents of your query. We pray that Allaah Ta’aala blesses you in your studies and grants you a righteous and loving wife who shall complete you Deen.

It is pleasing to note that you have been blessed with the ability to commit the Qur’aan to memory. Indeed, this is a great bounty of Allaah Ta’aala upon you. He has chosen your heart, from millions, for this great task. Value this blessing and uphold the characteristics that a haafiz ought to maintain. May Allaah Ta’aala accept from you and make you from the true people of the Qur’aan.

There are various matters in your query that you refer to:

-Reciting the Qur’aan without understanding is unproductive:

This notion is incorrect. Reciting the words of the Qur’aan in Arabic and understanding its meaning are two separate acts of worship. Both together constitute the Qur’aan and are equally important[1].

The words of the Qur’aan are the kalaam (words) of Allaah Ta’aala. To understand that and recite the kalaam of Allaah Ta’aala out of love is full of virtue. Millions of people perform salaah without understanding the meanings, yet their salaah is valid. Moreover, despite not understanding, many experience spiritual enhancement by mere recitation of the words.

Reflect upon the following:

Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said,

من قرأ حرفا من كتاب الله فله به حسنة، والحسنة بعشر أمثالها، لا أقول الم حرف، ولكن ألف حرف ولام حرف وميم حرف.[2] 

Translation: “Whosoever recites one letter from the book of Allaah, for him will be one reward, and one reward is multiplied by ten. I do not say that Alif Laam Meem is one letter, rather alif is one letter, laam is one letter and meem is one letter.” (Tirmidhi 2910)

If we analyze this Hadith, we find that this Hadith refers to the recitation of the words of the Qur’aan. There is no mention of understanding its meaning. Moreover, the example given by Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is Alif Laam Meem. This phrase is such that no one, save Allaah Ta’aala, knows its meaning. Hence, it is clear that one will be rewarded for merely reciting the words of the Qur’aan, although he does not understand its meaning.

Moreover, Shari’ah has put great emphasis in correcting one’s recitation and pronunciation (Tajweed). This plays a great role in the validity of one’s salaah. Perfection in recitation demands abundance of tilaawah.

On the other hand, Allaah Ta’aala also encourages us to understand and reflect upon the meaning of the Qur’aan. He says,

كِتَابٌ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ لِيَدَّبَّرُوا آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ

Translation: “(This is) a Book (the Qur’aan) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings, that they may ponder over its verses, and that men of understanding may remember.” (Saad v.29)

By learning and understanding the meaning of the Qur’aan, one brings life to his prayers. He enhances his communication with Allaah Ta’aala.

In conclusion, reciting the words of the Qur’aan and understanding its meanings are both equally important, although the need for the former is greater. It will be incorrect to give preference to one over the other. One should take out time daily for both, reciting and understanding.

To read the Qur’aan even without understanding the meaning is an expression of love for the kalaam of Allaah Ta’aala and respect for Him. When a lover receives a gift from the beloved, he cherishes it and keeps it close to him all the time.

-Practicing person has the ability to pray to Allaah Ta’aala:

Allaah Ta’aala is Ar-Rahmaan and Ar-Raheem, the Most-Merciful and the Most-Benevolent. His infinite mercy and grace encompasses both the righteous and the transgressor. Consider the following verse:

أَهُمْ يَقْسِمُونَ رَحْمَتَ رَبِّكَ

Translation: “Are they the ones, then, who apportion the mercy of your Lord?” (Az-Zukhruf v.32)

Allaah Ta’aala accepts the du’aas of his servants when they call upon Him. Even when the non-Muslims invoke Him, He responds to them. Consider the following verse:

فَإِذَا رَكِبُوا فِي الْفُلْكِ دَعَوُا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ فَلَمَّا نَجَّاهُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ إِذَا هُمْ يُشْرِكُونَ

Translation: “Thus when they (the polytheists) embark on ships (and face danger at sea), they call upon Allaah (for rescue) with all sincerity, devoting their religion to Him (alone). Yet when He delivers them (safely) ashore, immediately they associate gods (with Him, once more).” (Al-‘Ankaboot v.65)

Hence, even if a Muslim is non-practicing, he should not shy away from praying to Allaah Ta’aala. Verily, Allaah Ta’aala extends His infinite mercy and forgiveness to one and all.

Ponder over the following. Allaah Ta’aala says,

قُلْ يَاعِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ 

Translation: “Say (O Prophet): (Allaah declares to humanity) O My beloved servants! Those (of you) who have committed (sins in great) excess against their own souls, never despond of the mercy of Allaah! For, indeed, Allaah forgives the sins, one and all. Indeed, it is He (alone) who is All-Forgiving, the Mercy-Giving.[3]” (Az-Zumar v.53)

وَإِنِّي لَغَفَّارٌ لِمَنْ تَابَ 

Translation: “And, indeed, I am Most-Forgiving of whoever repents.” (TaaHaa v.82)

Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said,

قال الله تبارك وتعالى: يا ابن آدم إنك ما دعوتني ورجوتني غفرت لك على ما كان فيك ولا أبالي، يا ابن آدم لو بلغت ذنوبك عنان السماء ثم استغفرتني غفرت لك، ولا أبالي، يا ابن آدم إنك لو أتيتني بقراب الأرض خطايا ثم لقيتني لا تشرك بي شيئا لأتيتك بقرابها مغفرة[4]

Translation: “Allaah, Blessed is He and Most High, said: ‘O son of Adam! Verily as long as you call upon Me and hope in Me, I will forgive you, despite whatever may have occurred from you, and I do not mind. O son of Adam! If your sins were to reach the clouds of the sky, then you were to seek forgiveness from Me, I will forgive you, and I do not mind. O son of Adam! If you come to me with sins nearly as great as the earth, and then you meet Me not associating anything with Me (as partners), I will come to you with forgiveness nearly as great as it.” (Tirmidhi 5408)

By Allaah, this Hadith gives hope to every Muslim, practicing or non-practicing. Allaah Ta’aala awaits for his dear servants to turn to Him.


-Making your relationship halaal and getting married:

Almighty Allaah says,

وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الزِّنَى إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَآءَ سَبِيلاً 

Translation: “And come not near unto adultery. Verily! It is an abomination and an evil way.” (Al-Israa v.32)

Shari’ah has emphasized on chastity, thereby prohibiting unregulated interactions between the sexes. Accordingly, it will be impermissible for you to be in contact with her, irrespective of whether it is alone or under the surveillance of someone.

Once a suitable match is found, the marriage should not be delayed. You may have the nikaah done now and consummate it after your studies. We advise you to identify an influential person, mutual to both families, and request him to intercede on your behalves. You should also perform Salaatul Haajah and make du’aa to Allaah Ta’aala.

And Allaah Ta’aala Knows Best.

Muajul I. Chowdhury

Student, Darul Iftaa

Astoria, New York, USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


[1] أصول البزدوي (1/ 21) 

أما الكتاب فالقرآن المنزل على رسول الله المكتوب في المصاحف المنقول عن النبي – عليه السلام – نقلا متواترا بلا شبهة ، وهو النظم والمعنى جميعا في قول عامة العلماء وهو الصحيح


[2] سنن الترمذي (5/ 175)

2910 – حدثنا محمد بن بشار قال: حدثنا أبو بكر الحنفي قال: حدثنا الضحاك بن عثمان، عن أيوب بن موسى، قال: سمعت محمد بن كعب القرظي يقول: سمعت عبد الله بن مسعود، يقول: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «من قرأ حرفا من كتاب الله فله به حسنة، والحسنة بعشر أمثالها، لا أقول الم حرف، ولكن ألف حرف ولام حرف وميم حرف» ويروى هذا الحديث من غير هذا الوجه عن ابن مسعود «، رواه أبو الأحوص، عن ابن مسعود،» رفعه بعضهم ووقفه بعضهم عن ابن مسعود “،: «هذا حديث حسن صحيح غريب من هذا الوجه» سمعت قتيبة بن سعيد، يقول: «بلغني أن محمد بن كعب القرظي ولد في حياة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم» ومحمد بن كعب يكنى أبا حمزة “

[3] Adapted from The Gracious Quran by Ahmad Zaki Hammad

[4] سنن الترمذي (5/ 548)

3540 – حدثنا عبد الله بن إسحاق الجوهري البصري قال: حدثنا أبو عاصم قال: حدثنا كثير بن فائد قال: حدثنا سعيد بن عبيد، قال: سمعت بكر بن عبد الله المزني، يقول: حدثنا أنس بن مالك، قال: سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: ” قال الله تبارك وتعالى: يا ابن آدم إنك ما دعوتني ورجوتني غفرت لك على ما كان فيك ولا أبالي، يا ابن آدم لو بلغت ذنوبك عنان السماء ثم استغفرتني غفرت لك، ولا أبالي، يا ابن آدم إنك لو أتيتني بقراب الأرض خطايا ثم لقيتني لا تشرك بي شيئا لأتيتك بقرابها مغفرة “: هذا حديث حسن غريب لا نعرفه إلا من هذا الوجه

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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