Gathering in the Houses of Allah to Recite and Study the Qur’an: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan

Abu Hurayrah narrates that Allah’s Messenger once said, in part of a longer hadith, that:

وَمَا اجْتَمَعَ قَوْمٌ فِي بَيْتٍ مِنْ بُيُوتِ اللَّهِ يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ، وَيَتَدَارَسُونَهُ بَيْنَهُمْ؛ إلَّا نَزَلَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ السَّكِينَةُ، وَغَشِيَتْهُمْ الرَّحْمَةُ، وَ حَفَّتهُمُ المَلاَئِكَة، وَذَكَرَهُمْ اللَّهُ فِيمَنْ عِنْدَهُ

No people gather together in one of the Houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah and studying it among themselves, except that sakeenah descends upon them, and mercy envelops them, and the angels surround them, and Allah mentions them in the midst of those who are with Him.

[Sahih Muslim #2699]

In his explanation of Imam al-Nawawi’s forty ahaadeeth, sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan provides the following commentary on this part of the hadith:

هذا فيه أن طلب العلم ينبغي أن يكون في المساجد ؛ لأنها بيوت الله ، ومأوى الملائكة ، وفيها السكينة والرحمة ، فينبغي أن يكون طلب العلم في المساجد ، لا في المخيمات ولا في الاستراحات – ولا مانع أن يكون هناك مجلس علمي ، أو هناك مدرسة يدرس فيها العلم ، لكن المسجد أفضل ، مهما أمكن أن تكون الدراسة في المسجد فذلك أفضل ، وإذا كان هناك مجلس علمي منضبط فلا بأس ، لكنه أقل أفضلية من المسجد ، (وَمَا اجْتَمَعَ قَوْمٌ فِي بَيْتٍ مِنْ بُيُوتِ اللَّهِ ) يعني : المساجد (يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ) يقرؤونه ويتعلمون قراءته على وجه الصحيح ويحفظونه ؛ لأنه هو أصل العلم ، (وَيَتَدَارَسُونَهُ بَيْنَهُمْ) يفهمون معانيه ، وليس المقصود الحفظ فقط وأنك تحفظ القرآن وتتقنه بالقراءات العشر ، لا ، هذا وسيلة وليس هو المقصود ، والمطلوب أنك تتفهم وتفقه معانيه وتعمل به : أولا : تقرؤه  ثانيا : تفهمه   ثالثا : تعمل به . والعمل بالقرآن هو المطلوب ، ولكن حفظه وتجويده وتفهم معانيه وتفسيره على الوجه الصحيح ، هذه وسائل العمل بالقرآن الكريم . ـ

This hadith includes the fact that seeking knowledge ought to take place in the masaajid, for they are the houses of Allah and the place which the angels frequent, and they contain tranquility and mercy. So seeking knowledge ought to be done in the masaajid, not in tents or hotels [as is sometimes done for conferences]. But there is nothing to prevent there being schools of other gathering places for knowledge in which religious knowledge is studied; however the masjid is better; if it is possible to have the lessons in the masjid then that is better. If there is some place established for systematic religious study, then this is not a problem, however this is less virtuous than if it were to take place in the masjid.

No people gather together in one of the Houses of Allah” – meaning, the masaajid – “reciting the Book of Allah” – reciting it, learning its recitation in the correct way and memorizing it, for the Qur’an is the foundation of knowledge. “And studying it among themselves” – comprehending its meaning. The goal is not memorization only, that you memorize it and perfect the ten different recitations. No, that is a means and not the goal. The desired objective is for you to comprehend it and understand its meanings and to act in accordance with it.

○ Firstly, that you recite it.

○ Secondly, that you understand it.

○ And thirdly that you act in accordance with it.

Acting in accordance with the Qur’an is what is sought, while memorizing it, reciting it with tajweed, understanding its meanings and explanations in the correct way are all just means to the end of acting in accordance with the Qur’an

قوله : (إلَّا نَزَلَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ السَّكِينَةُ) الهدوء والطمأنينة والراحة . ـ

His statement, “except that sakeenah descends upon them” – meaning, calmness, tranquility, and peace of mind.

قوله : (وَ حَفَّتهُمُ المَلاَئِكَة) الملائكة تؤيد المؤمنين ، تنزل على طلبة العلم تؤيدهم ، وتدفع عنهم الشياطين ، وتنزل على المجاهدين في سبيل الله تسددهم وتشجعهم على القتال ، وتنفر عنهم العدو ، فهي تنزل على المؤمنين في مواطن الجهاد ، ومواطن العمل الصالح ، تساعد المسلمين وتعينهم ، (وَ حَفَّتهُمُ المَلاَئِكَة) يعني : أحاطت بهم فلا ينفذ إليهم شر ولا أحد ، (وَذَكَرَهُمْ اللَّهُ فِيمَنْ عِنْدَهُ) أي : في الملأ الأعلى ، فيذكرهم الله ذكر تشريف ، ويخبر بهم الملأ من الملائكة ، ويباهي بهم ملائكة ، فهذا يدل على فضل طلب العلم ، ووجوب إعطائه كثيرا من الوقت والعناية ، فمن كان يريد هذه المزية فليعط من وقته ومن جهده لطلب العلم ، على أهل العلم ، وفي بيوت الله عز وجل ، ويعمر بيوت الله بطلب العلم . ـ

His statement, “and the angels surround them” – the angels support the believers. They descend to where those seeking knowledge are and aid them, and they repel the shayaateen away from them. They descend to where those who are striving in the path of Allah are and aid them and bolster them with courage to fight and frighten their enemies to flee from them. So they descend to the place of jihaad, and also to the places of righteous good deeds, to aid and support the Muslims. “And the angels surround them” – meaning, they encircle them so that no one and no evil can reach them. “And Allah mentions them in the midst of those who are with Him” – meaning, in the loftiest gathering. Allah mentions them with an honorable mention and informs the gathering of angels about them, and the angels boast about them. So this demonstrates the virtue of seeking knowledge, and the obligation to give it a considerable amount of your time and attention. For whoever desires this quality, then he should make time for exerting himself in the pursuit of knowledge, from the scholars, in the houses of Allah, and he should regularly frequent the houses of Allah to seek knowledge.

[al-Minhah al-Rabbaaniyyah fee Sharh al-Arba’een al-Nawawiyyah pg. 268-269]

For another excerpt from the same work, see: Naseehah to the Qur’an: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan

See also: “The best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it”: ibn Kathir

See also: The Need for Teaching Tafsir: Ibn ‘Uthaymeen

See also: Studying the Qur’an and the Softening of Hearts: ibn Kathir

See also: Generosity and Studying the Qur’an during Ramadan – Ibn Hajr

See also: On the Importance of Studying the Book of Allah and its Tafsir

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4 thoughts on “Gathering in the Houses of Allah to Recite and Study the Qur’an: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan

  1. Pingback: The Need for Teaching Tafsir: Ibn ‘Uthaymeen | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: Naseehah to the Qur’an: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: Studying the Qur’an and the Softening of Hearts: ibn Kathir | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: Generosity and Studying the Qur’an during Ramadan – Ibn Hajr | Tulayhah

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