All praise is due to Allāh Who made the holy Qur’ān spring of the hearts, healing for the chests and light for the minds. I bear witness that there is no deity save Allāh, having no associates. I also bear witness that our Master Muḥammad is the Servant of Allāh and His Messenger. He was the best amongst those who recited the Qur’ān with measured recitation, followed its teachings and pondered upon its meanings, thus tasted its sweetness. May the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon our Master and Prophet Muḥammad, his family and all of his companions and those who follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.
O Observers of Fasting! We shall be talking today in our khuṭbah, the merits, virtues and blessings of the Qur’ān, vis a vis its recitation and also listening to it, especially during the month of Ramaḍān in which Allāh the Almighty has revealed the holy Qur’ān. The Most Exalted says,
شَهرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلقُرءَانُ هُدى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَٰت مِّنَ ٱلهُدَىٰ وَٱلفُرقَانِ
The month of Ramaḍān [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’ān, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. (Q. 2:185)
So, the holy month combines two great aspects: it is the month of fasting and in it the holy Qur’ān was revealed. These two (fasting and Qur’ān) are allowed to intercede for the Muslim on the Day of Judgment as the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) said, “The fast and the Qur’ān will intercede for the servant of Allāh on the Day of Judgement.”
You are urged, therefore, to recite the holy Qur’ān frequently for it is conducive to bring blessings and mercy for the believer. Allāh the Most Exalted says,
وَهَٰذَا كِتَٰبٌ أَنزَلنَٰهُ مُبَارَك فَٱتَّبِعُوهُ وَٱتَّقُواْ لَعَلَّكُم تُرحَمُونَ
And this [Qur’ān] is a Book We have revealed [which is] blessed, so follow it and fear Allāh that you may receive mercy. (Q.6:155)
Indeed, the holy Qur’ān is the best, most eloquent and sweetest of speech.
This has been accentuated by Allāh the Almighty for He says,
ٱللَّهُ نَزَّلَ أَحسَنَ ٱلحَدِيثِ كِتَٰبا مُّتَشَٰبِها مَّثَانِيَ تَقشَعِرُّ مِنهُ جُلُودُ ٱلَّذِينَ يَخشَونَ رَبَّهُم ثُمَّ تَلِينُ جُلُودُهُم وَقُلُوبُهُم إِلَىٰ ذِكرِ ٱللَّهِ
Allāh has sent down the best statement: a consistent Book wherein is reiteration. The skins shiver therefrom of those who fear their Lord; then their skins and their hearts relax at the remembrance of Allāh. (Q. 39: 23)
The holy Qur’ān is the words of Allāh, the Lord of the Worlds, whose wisdom is never-ending and miracles are everlasting. At the recitation of its verses, the ears listen with rapture and the hearts feel intense joy. Such sweetness of the Qur’ān was tasted by Al Walīd Ibn Al Mughīrah when he heard it before converting to Islām. Thereupon he said, “By Allāh, indeed it is possessed of great sweetness and adorned with great beauty. Its top is indeed fruitful, and the lowest part of it is gushing forth with bounty; it dominates and cannot be dominated.”
So, the holy Qur’ān has delight to it that man can taste with his hearing sense as well as his heart, and can perceive it with his soul and mind.
An illustration of this can be seen in the following Ḥadīth.
A man came to Allāh’s Apostle (SAW) and said, “I saw in a dream, a cloud having shade. Butter and honey were dropping from it and I saw the people gathering it in their hands, some gathering much and some a little…” Abū Bakr said, “O Messenger of Allāh (SAW)! Allow me to interpret this dream.” The Prophet (SAW) said to him, “Interpret it.” Abū Bakr said, “The cloud with shade symbolises Islām, and the butter and honey dropping from it, symbolises the Qur’ān, its sweetness dropping and some people learning much of the Qur’ān and some a little.
On the same matter, Al Ḥasan Al Baṣrī, may Allāh have mercy on him, said, “Seek the sweetness (of faith) in three things: in prayer, in the recitation of the Qur’ān and in Dhikr (remembrance of Allāh). If you find it, then be happy.”
O Servants of Allāh, this brings us to a question on how to find the sweetness of the holy Qur’ān like the Prophet (SAW) and his companions has done? The answer to this question is that the sweetness of the holy Qur’ān will be found by those who love and glorify it, feeling that it is a speech from Allāh the Almighty addressed to them. In this regard, it was narrated that ‘Abdullāh Ibn Mas῾ūd, may Allāh be pleased with him, said, “Whoever wants to know if he loves Allāh, the Most Exalted, then let him look at the Qur’ān. If he loves it, then he loves Allāh the Almighty, for the Qur’ān is the words of Allāh.”
So, whoever loves the words of Allāh, he should recite them often. Truly, the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) used to find the sweetness of the Qur’ān in reciting it carefully and in tranquillity. As such, each letter of his recitation would be clear. So he would recite each Sūrah over prolonged period in line with Allāh’s orders:
وَقُرءَانا فَرَقنَٰهُ لِتَقرَأَهُۥ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ عَلَىٰ مُكث وَنَزَّلنَٰهُ تَنزِيلا
And [it is] a Qur’ān which We have separated [by intervals] that you might recite it to the people over a prolonged period. And We have sent it down progressively.” (Q.17: 106)
That is to say: to read for them gradually so that the reciter as well as the listener would be able to contemplate on its meanings and taste its delight. Undoubtedly, the sweetness of the Qur’ān increases if it is recited often and with measured recitation. Allāh, the Most Exalted, says,
وَرَتِّلِ ٱلقُرءَانَ تَرتِيلًا
And recite the Qur’ān with measured recitation. (Q. 73: 4)
More to the point, reciting the holy Quran at night is another way of tasting its sweetness. Allāh the Most High says,
إِنَّ نَاشِئَةَ ٱلَّيلِ هِيَ أَشَدُّ وَطا وَأَقوَمُ قِيلًا
Indeed, the hours of the night are more effective for concurrence [of heart and tongue] and more suitable for words. (Q.73: 6)
This means, it is of more agreement between the heart and tongue, takes away sleepiness, and brings more rewards. For this reason, the Prophet (SAW) has urged Muslims to recite the holy Qur’ān at a feel for night that they might taste its sweetness. He (SAW) said,
If anyone prays at night reciting regularly ten verses, he will not be recorded amongst the negligent; and if anyone prays at night and recites a hundred verses, he will be recorded amongst those who are obedient to Allāh; and if anyone prays at night reciting one thousand verses, he will be recorded amongst those who receive enormous rewards.
Please know that the delight of the holy Qur’ān is something that is achieved by whoever listens to its verses attentively so as to apprehend them by his heart and understand them by his mind. Allāh, the Most Sublime, says,
إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَذِكرَىٰ لِمَن كَانَ لَهُۥ قَلبٌ أَو أَلقَى ٱلسَّمعَ وَهُوَ شَهِيد
Indeed in that is a reminder for whoever has a heart or who listens while he is present [in mind]. (Q. 50: 37)
The Almighty enjoined upon His servants to listen to His words when they are recited and promised those who do so to attain His Mercy. The Most Merciful says,
READ ALSO: Taking Advantage of Five Before Five
وَإِذَا قُرِئَ ٱلقُرءَانُ فَٱستَمِعُواْ لَهُۥ وَأَنصِتُواْ لَعَلَّكُم تُرحَمُونَ
So when the Qur’ān is recited, then listen to it and pay attention that you may receive mercy. (Q. 7: 204)
Following Allāh’s commands, the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) used to listen to the holy Qur’ān attentively and finds in that a great delight. On this account, he (SAW) once said to ‘Abdullāh Ibn Mas῾ūd, may Allāh be pleased with him,
Recite the Qur’ān to me.” ‘Abdullāh said, “Shall I recite (the Qur’ān) to you while it has been revealed to you?” He (SAW) said, “I like to hear it from others.” ‘Abdullāh said, “I recited Sūratu’n-Nisā’ until I reached to (the verse that says): ‘so how [will it be] when We bring from every nation a witness and we bring you, [O Muḥammad] against these [people] as a witness?’ Then I raised my head and saw tears falling from his eyes.
Furthermore, when our Master Muḥammad (SAW) walked on the road, the sweetness of listening to the holy Qur’ān used to also make him stop in attention to it. It was narrated in this regard that he (SAW) once was walking on his way when he heard Abū Mūsā Al Ash῾ārī, may Allāh be pleased with him, reciting the Qur’ān. The following day, the Prophet (SAW) said to Abū Mūsā, “If you were to see me, as I was listening to your recitation (of the Qur’ān) yester-night (you would have felt delighted). You are in fact endowed with a sweet voice like that of Dāwūd (David) himself.”
In His Book, Allāh the Almighty has described the effect of listening to the recitation of the Qur’ān on the people of knowledge and how they ponder on its meanings and taste its sweetness. The Most Exalted says,
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلعِلمَ مِن قَبلِهِۦٓ إِذَا يُتلَىٰ عَلَيهِم يَخِرُّونَۤ لِلأَذقَانِۤ سُجَّداۤ وَيَقُولُونَ سُبحَٰنَ رَبِّنَا إِن كَانَ وَعدُ رَبِّنَا لَمَفعُولا وَيَخِرُّونَ لِلأَذقَانِ يَبكُونَ وَيَزِيدُهُم خُشُوعا
Indeed, those who were given knowledge before it – when it is recited to them, they fall upon their faces in prostration, and they say, ‘Exalted is our Lord! Indeed, the promise of our Lord has been fulfilled.’ And they fall upon their faces weeping, and the Qur’ān increases them in humble submission. (Q. 17: 107-109)
With this in mind, let us seek Allāh’s favour to teach us from the Qur’ān that which is beneficial to us and make us remember from it that which we have forgotten. O Lord of the Worlds, we pray to You to grant us the delight of pondering upon the meanings of the holy Qur’ān and the sweetness of following its teachings.
May Allāh direct us all to the blessings of the Glorious Qur’ān and the Sunnah of His Messenger (SAW).
أَقُولُ قَوْلِي هَذَا وَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ لِي وَلَكُمْ وَلِسَائِرِ المُسْلِمينَ وَالمُسْلِمَاتْ فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهْ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
I say this and ask Allāh for forgiveness for me and you, so invoke Him for forgiveness, for He is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
الحمد لله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على سيد المرسلين وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين
All praise is due to Allāh, the Lord of the Worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon our Master Muḥammad, his pure family, companions, and all those who follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.
O Worshipers, please be aware that the sweetness of the holy Qur’ān is only attained by those who listen attentively when it is recited and recite it in measured recitation so as to understand its meanings. Besides reciting the Qur’ān, a Muslim who hears the Qur’ān being recited is enjoined to maintain absolute silence and listen to it with rapt attention. By so doing, the mind would be made to humbly remember Allāh. The remembrance of Allāh is described as greatest virtue. This Qur’ān states clearly thus:
ٱتلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيكَ مِنَ ٱلكِتَٰبِ وَأَقِمِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ إِنَّ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ تَنهَىٰ عَنِ ٱلفَحشَاءِ وَٱلمُنكَرِ وَلَذِكرُ ٱللَّهِ أَكبَرُ وَٱللَّهُ يَعلَمُ مَا تَصنَعُونَ
Recite that which has been revealed to you of the Book and observe prayer, surely, prayer restrains one from indecency and bad deeds, and remembrance of Allāh is indeed the greatest virtue, and Allah knows what you do. (Q. 29:45)
In the above verse, the word ‘prayer’ here signifies the five daily obligatory prayers (Ṣalawāt). Therefore the injunction to recite the Qur’ān is also definitely fulfilled through it as recitation of the Qur’ān forms part of every rak‘ah of the daily prayers. Besides, recitation of the Qur’ān in a very mindful manner affords the reader the opportunity of studying it in order to properly understands it and be familiar with its teachings. Imām al-Ghazālī in this regard, discusses the involvement of the tongue, the mind and the heart in the process of thorough recitation of the Qur’ān. He asserts that the part of the tongue is to pronounce the words correctly, that of the mind is to interpret the meaning, while that of the heart is to be positively influenced by it.
In furtherance to this, Imām al-Ghazālī opined that the reader of the Qur’ān must feel he is hearing the words, not from himself but directly from Allāh. That way, one is carried to a state of meditation on the words of Allāh especially when a particular portion is read several times. When the regular habit of reading the Qur’ān in this manner is formed, the reading becomes prayer for oneself. Apart from the verses in prayer forms which make the reader automatically pray for himself when he reads them, the intimacy with the words of Allāh gives a believer a sense of security and nearness to Allāh. That kind of feeling would make him avoid such deeds, thoughts or words which are indecent and which negate the teachings of the Qur’ān.
It is also conducive to be tasted by those who follow the commandments of the Qur’ān so that it becomes a cure for their affliction. Allāh the Almighty accentuated the healing aspect of the Quran for He says,
وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ ٱلقُرءَانِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاء وَرَحمَة لِّلمُؤمِنِينَ
And We send down of the Qur’ān that which is healing and mercy for the believers. (Q.17: 82)
Furthermore, the fruits of reciting the verses of the Book of Allāh are reflected in following its commands. Allāh the Most Gracious has praised the companions of our Master Muḥammad (SAW) for reciting the Qur’ān as befitting to its status. The Almighty says,
ٱلَّذِينَ ءَاتَينَٰهُمُ ٱلكِتَٰبَ يَتلُونَهُۥ حَقَّ تِلَاوَتِهِ
Those to whom We have given the Book recite it with its true recital. (Q. 2: 121)
In interpretation of this Āyah, Ibn ‘Abbās, may Allāh be pleased with him, said it meant: “those who follow its lawful acts and avoid its prohibited ones.” So, they implement its orders in an appropriate manner.
Indeed, those who recite the Qur’ān with its true recitation will see in it messages from their.
O Allah, please confer Your blessings and grant peace upon our Prophet Muḥammad (SAW), his family and all of the companions.
May Allāh be a pleased with the Rightly Guided Caliphs: Abū Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmān and ‘Alī, and all of the noble Companions.
O Allāh, we seek Your grace to make us amongst those who remember you much and are steadfast on performing acts of worship. O Allāh, please forgive us all.
O Allāh, we seek refuge in Your perfect words from the evil of that which descend from the sky and from the evil of that which ascends in it, and from the evil of what is created in the earth and the evil of that which comes out of it. O Allāh we seek refuge in You from the trials of the night and the day, and from the visitations of the night and day, except for one that knocks with good. Indeed, You are the Most Merciful.
© Mubin Olatoye Raji