In our city there is a man who recites Qur’aan well and is humble in his prayer. People come to him from distant cities. What is the ruling on those people coming? Is it valid, or do they come under the prohibition mentioned in the hadeeth: “No one should travel especially to visit a mosque except three: al-Masjid al-Haraam [in Makkah], al-Masjid al-Aqsa [in al-Quds/Jerusalem] and my Mosque [in Madeenah]”? (Narrated by al-Bukhaari in Fadl al-Salaah, 1197). We hope that you can advise us.
We do not see anything wrong with that, rather that comes under the heading of travelling in order to seek knowledge and gain understanding of the Qur’aan and to listen to it from one who recites it with the best voice. Travelling for that purpose does not come under the heading of the kind of travel that is forbidden. Moosa (peace be upon him) undertook a great journey with al-Khidr (peace be upon him) to the place where the two seas met, in order to seek knowledge. The scholars among the Sahaabah and those who came after them continued to travel from one region to another, from one country to another, in pursuit of knowledge. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever follows a route in pursuit of knowledge, Allaah will make easy for him a path to Paradise.” (Muslim, al-Dhikr wa’l-Du’aa’, 2699)