Wed 23 Jm2 1435 - 23 April 2014
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They read Qur’aan before Taraaweeh prayer then complete it in the prayer

We are in America. There is a Qur’aan circle after iftaar, from 7.15 until 7.30, then they pray ‘Isha’, followed by Taraaweeh. In the Qur’aan circle, one of the Muslims reads Qur’aan, using a microphone so that both men and women can hear. The plan is to read 12 pages, then to complete 8 pages in Taraaweeh, so that in one night they can complete one juz’ and thus complete the whole Qur’aan by the end of the month. Is gathering to read the Qur’aan in this manner Sunnah or is it bid’ah? 
Is it better to read Qur’aan to the congregation during Taraaweeh or in a Qur’aan circle?.

Praise be to Allaah.

There is nothing wrong with you having this gathering. For one person to read Qur’aan whilst the others listen is something that is prescribed in sharee’ah; the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions did that. 

It was narrated that Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to me: “Recite Qur’aan for me.” I said: “O Messenger of Allaah, should I recite it to you when it was revealed to you?” He said: “I like to hear it from someone else.” So I recited Soorat al-Nisa’ to him, until I reached this verse (interpretation of the meaning): 

“How (will it be) then, when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these people?”

[al-Nisa’ 4:41] 

He said, “That’s enough for now.” And he turned to me with his eyes flowing with tears. 

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4763; Muslim, 800. 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz said: 

It is prescribed for the Muslims during this blessed month to study the Qur’aan together, day and night, following the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) with whom Jibreel used to study the Qur’aan every year in Ramadaan, and he studied it with him twice in the last year of his life, and with the aim of drawing closer to Allaah, and pondering the meanings of the Book of Allaah in order to benefit from it and act upon it. This is the way of the righteous salaf and the believers, male and female, should occupy themselves with the Qur’aan, reciting it, pondering its meanings and referring to the books of tafseer in order to benefit from it and learn more. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 11/319, 320. 

It is better when reading Qur’aan to also learn the rulings of the Qur’aan, and understand it meanings. So if you add to reading some tafseer (commentary) on what you read or on part of it, then you will combine many good things, such as following the Sunnah, studying the Qur’aan together, teaching the Muslims and helping them to ponder the Qur’aan. 

If this completion of the Qur’aan is done in Taraaweeh prayer that is better than it being done outside the prayer. 

Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] said in al-Fataawa al-Kubra (2/297): 

The command and encouragement to recite Qur’aan applies more to the one who is praying than to anyone else, for reciting the Qur’aan in prayer is better than reciting it outside of prayer. The reports which speak of the virtue of the one who recites Qur’aan refer to the one who is praying more than anyone else. End quote. 

If it is difficult for the people to complete the Qur’aan in the prayer, they can combine two good things: studying the Qur’aan before the prayer, and reciting the rest during the prayer, as you are doing. 

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was the most generous of people, and he was at his most generous during Ramadaan when Jibreel would meet with him. He would meet him on every night of Ramadaan and study the Qur’aan with him. And the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was as generous as the wind in doing good. 

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3048; Muslim, 2308. 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: 

Can it be understood from the fact that Jibreel (peace be upon him) studied Qur’aan with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) every night in Ramadaan, that it is good to complete the Qur’aan (in this month)? 

He replied: 

It may be understood that it is mustahabb to study the Qur’aan and that the believer should study it with those who will benefit him and help him, because the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) studied with Jibreel (peace be upon him) for a reason, because Jibreel was the one who had brought it from Allaah, so he was the emissary between Allaah and the Messengers. 

Undoubtedly the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would benefit from his study with Jibreel, such as learning the variant recitations (huroof) of the Qur’aan and the meanings intended by Allaah. If a person studies with someone who will help him to understand the Qur’aan and help him to pronounce it properly, this is what is desirable, just as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) studied it with Jibreel. The point is not that Jibreel was better than the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), but Jibreel was the messenger who brought it from Allaah and conveyed to the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that which Allaah had commanded him, namely the Qur’aan and its pronunciation and meanings. So the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) benefited from Jibreel in these ways. This does not mean that Jibreel was better than the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), for he is the best of mankind and is better than the angels. But there was a great deal of goodness in their studying the Qur’aan together, for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and for the ummah, because it was studying what had come from Allaah in order to benefit from what had come from Allaah. 

There is another benefit in that, which is that studying together at night is better than doing so during the day, because this study used to take place at night, and it is known that the night is better for studying than the day because one is better able to focus and concentrate then. 

Another benefit is that studying together is prescribed in sharee’ah, and it is a righteous deed even if it is done at times other than Ramadaan, because it benefits both parties. Even if there are more than two, it doesn’t matter, because each of them can benefit from his brothers and they can encourage one another to read. It may be that a person would not be motivated to read if he sits on his own, but if he has a companion or companions to study with him, that will encourage him to read, as well as the benefits they will all share of studying and learning together. 

It may be understood from that that the imam’s reading the whole Qur’aan to the congregation during Ramadaan is a kind of this studying together, because it enables them to listen to the whole Qur’aan. Hence Imam Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him) liked the one who was leading them in prayer to complete the Qur’aan with them. This is akin to the practice of the salaf who used to like to hear the whole of the Qur’aan, but this does not mean that he should hasten and rush and not be deliberate in his reading and humble, focused and at ease in his prayer. Rather paying attention to these matters is more important than reciting the entire Qur’aan. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 11/331-333 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was also asked: 

Many imams are keen to complete the Qur’aan in Taraaweeh and they strive to let the congregation hear the entire Qur’aan. Is there anything wrong with that? 

He replied: 

This is a good deed, so the imam may recite a juz’ or less each night, then read more during the last ten nights so as to complete the Qur’aan. This applies if it is easy for him to do so and will not cause any hardship… The great scholar Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) wrote a chapter in his book Jala’ al-Afhaam fi’l-Salaati wa’l-Salaam ‘ala Khayr al-Anaam, in which he described how the salaf were keen to complete the Qur’aan; we advise you to read this chapter in order to learn more. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 11/333, 334. 

See also the answers to questions no. 46088, 1505, 4039

And Allaah knows best.

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