My question is: what is the daily amount that the Muslim must commit to read of the Qur’an so that he may be among the people of Allah and the closest to Him? If he stops reading for a while, does that cancel out this virtue?
Praise be to Allah
Ibn Maajah (215) and Ahmad (11870) narrated that Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Verily Allah has His own people among mankind.” They said: O Messenger of Allah, who are they? He said: “They are the people of the Qur’an, Allah’s own people and those who are closest to Him.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah.
Al-Minnaawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
That is, those who memorise the Qur’an and act in accordance with it are the people of Allah, who are as close to Allah as a person’s family is to him. They are called thus by way of honouring them, just as (the Ka‘bah) is called the House of Allah.
Al-Hakeem at-Tirmidhi said: This only applies to the reciter whose heart is free from ailments and his behaviour is free of misconduct. No one could be one of Allah’s own people except one who is cleansed of sin both outwardly and inwardly, and does acts of obedience to Allah. Then he will be one of Allah’s own people.
End quote from Fayd al-Qadeer (3/87).
It is not sufficient for a person just to recite Qur’an in order to be one of the people of the Qur’an, unless he also acts in accordance with it, adheres to its limits and follows its teachings.
Al-Haafiz Muhammad ibn al-Husayn al-Aajurri (may Allah have mercy on him) wrote some good words concerning that which are worth noting. We shall quote some of his words here. He (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
For the one whom Allah has enabled to learn the Qur’an and has favoured him over others who have not learned the Qur’an, and he wants to be one of the people of the Qur’an, one of Allah’s own people and those who are closest to Him, it is essential for him to make the Qur’an the cause of joy and comfort for his heart, so that he will rectify the ailments of his heart through the Qur’an, and he should follow the teachings of the Qur’an and acquire the noble attitude and behaviour that will make him stand out from other people who do not read the Qur’an.
The first thing he should do is be mindful of Allah in private and in public, by being prudent with regard to how he acquires his food, drink, clothing and accommodation. He should be aware of the time and the environment in which he lives, and the extent of corruption among the people of his time. He should be careful with people lest they have a negative impact on his religious commitment. He should focus on his own affairs and strive his utmost to rectify that which is wrong in his own attitude and behaviour. He should guard his tongue and be careful in his speech, speaking on the basis of knowledge if he thinks that speaking will serve a purpose, and remaining silent on the basis of knowledge if he thinks that remaining silent will serve a purpose. He should not interfere in that which does not concern him, and he should be more fearful of his own tongue than of his enemies. He should laugh little at things at which people laugh, because of the bad consequences of laughter. He should have a cheerful countenance when meeting people and speak words of kindness, and he should not backbite anyone, look down on anyone, revile anyone, rejoice in the misfortune of anyone, transgress against anyone or envy anyone. For he has taken the Qur’an and Sunnah, and understanding of Islamic teachings, as his guide in the acquisition of every good attitude. He should guard all his physical faculties against doing that which is forbidden. If words of truth are spoken to him, he should accept them, whether they come from one who is younger or older than him. He should seek prominence from Allah, not from other people. He should hate arrogance and fear lest he fall into it. He should not earn a living by means of the Qur’an or try to use the Qur’an to meet his needs, and he should not use it as a means of establishing connections with people of authority. He should not sit with rich people to recite Qur’an for them so that they might honour him (with gifts). He should be content with little, and thus it will suffice him. He should guard himself against worldly adornments and that which could make him transgress the limits, following the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah. When he eats, drinks, clothes himself, sleeps, engages in intimacy with his wife, interacts with his brothers in faith and visits them, he should do so on the basis of what he has learned of the teachings of Islam. He should commit himself to honouring his parents; if they seek his help in doing something that is pleasing to Allah, he should help them, but if they seek his help in doing something that is displeasing to Allah, he should not help them. If he disobeys them with regard to a sinful matter, he should still treat them with kindness, so that they might give up the intended evil deed which was not appropriate for them to do. He should uphold the ties of kinship and dislike severing ties; if someone cuts him off, he should not cut him off in turn. If anyone disobeys Allah with regard to him, he should obey Allah with regard to that person. He is gentle and kind in all his affairs, patient in teaching good; the one who is learning from him will feel at ease with him and the one who sits with him is happy to do so, for sitting with him is beneficial. He refers to knowledge and understanding as a way that guides him to everything that is good. When he studies the Qur’an, he does so with focus of mind. His main aim in doing so is to understand what Allah has made obligatory for him, which is to follow His commands and heed His prohibitions. His concern is not when will I complete the soorah? Rather his main aspiration is: when will I realise that Allah is sufficient for me and I need no one else? When will I be one of the pious? When will I be one of the doers of good? When will I be one of those who put their trust in Allah? When will I be one of those who fear Allah? When will I be one of the patient? When will I be able to understand the words of Allah? When will I understand what I am reciting? When will I be able to gain control over my nafs and restrain its desires? When will I truly strive in Allah’s cause? When will I pay heed to the warnings of the Qur’an? When will I be so focused on remembrance of Allah that I will not be distracted by anything else?
Whoever is like this, or is close to it, then he is truly reciting the Qur’an as it should be recited, paying proper care and attention to it. The Qur’an will be a witness, an intercessor, a comforter and a protection for him. Whoever is like that will benefit himself and his family, and will be a source of goodness for his parents and his children in this world and the hereafter.
End quote from Akhlaaq Hamalat al-Qur’an (p. 27).
The one who wants to be included in the words of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) about the people of the Qur’an being Allah’s own people and those who are closest to Him should not complete the Qur’an in more than a month.
Al-Bukhaari )1978) narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Read the Qur’an (once) every month.” He said: I am able to do more, and he kept (insisting that he was able to do more in shorter periods of time until the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)) said: “[Read it (once)] every three days.”
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The correct view in their opinion is seen in the hadith of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr, according to which the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) ended up reducing it to seven days. First of all he instructed him to read it once every month, then he set the limit between one month and one week.
It was narrated that he first instructed him to recite it once every forty days, which would make it at a slow, relaxed pace, and reading it in three days is for one who wants to strive hard. End quote.
Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (13/407-408).
What this means is that it is best to complete the Qur’an between one week and one month, and if someone is busy, then he has a concession allowing him to complete it in forty days.
No day should pass without him looking in his Mus-haf and reciting the words of his Lord. So he should have a daily portion that he always reads, and the minimum of that should be approximately one juz’ of the Qur’an, although the more he does the better. In addition to that, he should reflect and act upon what those verses contain of morals and manners.
Imam Ahmad narrated in az-Zuhd (p. 128) that ‘Uthmaan (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I do not like any day or night to pass me by without me looking in the Book of Allah – referring to reading from the Mus-haf.
Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The scholars disliked a day to pass without the individual looking in his Mus-haf. End quote.
Shaykh Ibn Jibreen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Those who read the Qur’an throughout the year are the people of the Qur’an, who are Allah’s own people and the closest to Him.
The Muslim should be concerned with the Qur’an, and be among those who recite it as it should be recited, regarding as permissible what it permits and as forbidden what it forbids, acting in accordance with the verses that are clear in meaning, believing in the verses that are ambiguous in meaning, pausing and wondering at what it tells of wondrous things, contemplating the likenesses it gives, learning lessons from its stories and what it contains, and putting into practice its teachings, because the Qur’an was revealed to be acted upon and put into practice, even though recitation in itself is a righteous deed that brings reward.
Whoever would like to be among those who remember Allah, should be among those who recite the Book of Allah as it should be recited, reciting it in the mosque, reciting it in his house, reciting it in his workplace, never neglecting the Qur’an; he should not recite it only in the month of Ramadan.
So when you read the Qur’an, strive hard and do your best, such as completing it in five days, or in three days. It is better for the individual to have a daily portion that he recites after ‘Isha’, or after Fajr, or after ‘Asr, and so on. If you do that, you will find that the Qur’an will have an impact on you, and you will start to love the words of Allah and find pleasure, sweetness and joy in the Qur’an; at that point you will never become bored of listening to it or of reciting it.
These are the attributes and characteristics of the believer who should be one of the people of the Qur’an, who are Allah’s own people and those who are closest to Him. End quote.
Fataawa ash-Shaykh Ibn Jbreen (59/31-32)
Whoever has a daily portion of Qur’an, then gives it up for a valid reason such as travelling, sickness and the like, will not be harmed by that, because of the report narrated by al-Bukhaari (2996) from Abu Moosa (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “If a person falls sick or travels, Allah will decree for him a reward like that of what he used to do when he was not travelling and was healthy.”
The one who wants to be among the people of the Qur’an should not give up his daily recitation without a valid excuse. The companion of the Qur’an does not neglect it or let himself be distracted from it.
And Allah knows best.