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Listening to recitation of the Qur’an with translation.

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

My question is regarding Learning and listening Quran.

In Hadiths and all we can see lot of virtues and rewards are offered for those who recite Quran. I like to play Quran in Arabic with translation in English and our local language using my computer. When I listen to it I get a lot of changes in my life. I get lot of satisfaction. I am not an Aalim.

My doubt is will I get the same virtue and reward which Allah have offered for those who recite Quran. Also I find that while understanding meaning of Quran, it is easy to by heart Quran suras. Also my wife and family members are not much inclined to Deeni mood. So I think it is better to play and listen Quran in Arabic with translation so that it be will helpful for them also.


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

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Listening to the recitation of Qur’an has immense virtue. In the current lifestyle which is perpetually plagued with immoral and vile music, listening to the pristine words of Allah Taāla is a source of serenity. While the world drowns itself in the rhythm of pop charts, those whom Allah endows with mercy choose to listen to the recitation of the Qur’ān.

In fact, listening to recitation of the Qur’ān in nothing short of a blessed Sunnah of the beloved Rasulullah salallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. It is mentioned in one narration that Rasulullah salallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam requested Abdullah ibn Masūd radiallahu anhuma to recite some Qur’ān for him. Sayiduna ibn Masūd radiallahu anhu showed his amazement at Rasulullah salallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam’s request since the Qur’ān was revealed on none other but Nabī salallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam himself. Rasulullah salallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam commented that he wishes to hear someone else recite it.[1]

Moreover, in one narration it has been mentioned that while the reciter of the Qur’ān cherishes specific rewards, the listener of the Qur’ān receives multiple rewards as well.

It is reported on authority of Abu Hurairah radiallahu anhu that Rasulullah salallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “Whosoever listens to a verse from the book of Allah the All Mighty and High, multiple rewards are written down for him, and whosoever recites it, then for him is a (specific) light on the day of reckoning.”

(Musnad Ahmad 14/191)[2]

It is equally important that we understand the Qur’an and the injunctions it imparts on us. Through the Qur’an Allah Taāla gives us the guidance we require to set our lives in conformity with the natural disposition (fitrah). The Qur’ān instills these traits of natural disposition into us. We will not be able to accomplish this unless we understand the purport and meaning of the Qur’ān. Hence, it is very crucial to take out time, read and understand the meaning of the Qur’ān.

However, this endeavor should be a conscious and intentional one. If one sits down to listen to the Qur’ān and its meaning so that one will learn from it, then it will have immense benefits. But, if this is done as a habitual filling of the background voice, then this will be a great disrespect to the word of Allah. In such a case the exercise will be futile and fruitless. In essence, there are etiquettes to listening to recitation of the Qur’ān as well as its meaning.

While we suggest that you take your time out for this effort, we caution you to understand the parameters of doing so as well. The Qur’an presents five types of Ulūm. These five are :

1.      Ilmul Ahkām (knowledge of rulings) e.g. Wajib, Sunnah, Mustahab actions etc. from the acts of worship as well as other fields of life.

2.      Ilmul Jadal (Knowledge of debating) e.g refutations or wrong ideologies and distinguishing the incorrect assertions from Jews, Christians, hypocrites and others.

3.      Ilmut Tadhkīr bi alā’ Allah (Knowledge of reminder to recognizing Allah) e.g. How the skies and the earths were created; how we as created ones are in need of The One who created them etc.

4.      Ilmut Tadhkīr bi ayām Allah (Knowledge of the incidents of past) e.g all the information about what transpired to the previous nations for rejecting Allah and His signs; The bounties of Allah upon those who accepted Allah’s oneness etc.

5.      Ilmut Tadhkīr bil maut wa mā bad al maut (Knowledge of death and what proceeds its) like the day of reckoning, hereafter, accountability etc.[3]

From these five fields, a listener may benefit from all except the first (i.e Ilmul Ahkām). Ilmul Ahkām has its own defined rules and principles. Only those who have studied the field of deduction of these laws can address these verses without confusing and making mistakes. For example, it will be futile for someone who has not studied these principles to try and find out what the faraidh (obligatory acts) in a Salah are. It will be extremely difficult for a layman to try and understand it from the Quranic verses. For such a task one requires a vast knowledge of Hadīth to formulate and understand the explanation of the verses which expound on these rulings.

Having said that, we encourage you to gather your family and sit down to listen to the Qur’ān and its meaning attentively and take benefit from it. It will also be ideal for you to educate your family about these etiquettes as well. Please read further on these etiquettes at : http://www.askimam.org/fatwa/fatwa.php?askid=5d2746eda63e83151d673632cbb81d4a

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mawlana Faisal bin Abdul Hameed
Student, Darul Iftaa

Checked and Concurred by,
Mawlana Faraz ibn Adam.

[1]  وعن ابن مسعودٍ – رضي الله عنه – قَالَ: قَالَ لِي النَّبيُّ – صلى الله عليه وسلم: «اقْرَأْ عَلَيَّ القُرْآنَ» ، فقلتُ: يَا رسولَ الله، أَقْرَأُ عَلَيْكَ، وَعَلَيْكَ أُنْزِلَ؟! قَالَ: «إنِّي أُحِبُّ أَنْ أسْمَعَهُ مِنْ غَيْرِي» فَقَرَأْتُ عَلَيْهِ سُورَةَ النِّسَاءِ، حَتَّى جِئْتُ إِلَى هذِهِ الآية: {فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جِئْنَا مِنْ كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ بِشَهِيدٍ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ عَلَى هَؤُلاَءِ شَهِيدًا} قَالَ: «حَسْبُكَ الآنَ» فَالْتَفَتُّ إِلَيْهِ، فَإذَا عَيْنَاهُ تَذْرِفَانِ. متفقٌ عَلَيْهِ (رياض الصالحين (ص: 293))

[2]  حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو سَعِيدٍ، مَوْلَى بَنِي هَاشِمٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبَّادُ بْنُ مَيْسَرَةَ، عَنِ الْحَسَنِ الْبَصْرِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، قَالَ: مَنِ اسْتَمَعَ إِلَى آيَةٍ مِنْ كِتَابِ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ، كُتِبَ لَهُ حَسَنَةٌ مُضَاعَفَةٌ، وَمَنْ تَلَاهَا كَانَتْ لَهُ نُورًا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ )مسند أحمد ج 14 ص191)

[3]  الفوز الكبير في اصول التفسير ، ص 19 ، دار البشائر الاسلامية

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