Clarification on the Ahruf and Qiraa’aat of the Qur’an: ibn Hajr

In his Saheeh, under the book of the Virtues of the Qur’an, Imam al-Bukhari included a long hadith of the dispute between ‘Umar and Hisham which ended with the Prophet saying:

إِنَّ هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ أُنْزِلَ عَلَى سَبْعَةِ أَحْرُفٍ فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ

This Qur’an was sent down in seven ahruf [dialects], so recite whatever of it is easy for you.

[Saheeh al-Bukhari #4992]

In one part of his celebrated explanation of Saheeh al-Bukhari, al-haafidh ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalaani included the following valuable content regarding the ahruf [dialects] and qiraa’aat [modes of recitation] of the Qur’an, as well as important information about the number, canonization, and conditions for acceptance of the qiraa’aat, in his explanation of that hadith:

قال أبو شامة : وقد اختلف السلف في الأحرف السبعة التي نزل بها القرآن هل هي مجموعة في المصحف الذي بأيدي الناس اليوم أو ليس فيه إلا حرف واحد منها ، مال ابن الباقلاني إلى الأول ، وصرح الطبري وجماعة بالثاني وهو المعتمد . وقد أخرج ابن أبي داود في ” المصاحف ” عن أبي الطاهر بن أبي السرح قال : سألت ابن عيينة عن اختلاف قراءة المدنيين والعراقيين هل هي الأحرف السبعة ؟ قال : لا ، وإنما الأحرف السبعة مثل هلم وتعال وأقبل ، أي ذلك قلت أجزأك . قال : وقال لي ابن وهب مثله . ـ

Abu Shamah said:

The salaf differed regarding the seven ahruf in which the Qur’an was revealed: are all of the seven ahruf present in the mushaf that is in people’s hands today, or is it only one harf that we have? al-Baaqilaani leaned towards the first position, while al-Tabari and the majority of scholars explicitly stated the second, which is the generally-accepted position.

In Kitaab al-Musaahif, ibn Abi Dawud brings a report from Abu’l-Taahir ibn Abi’l-Sarh wherein he said,

“I asked ibn ‘Uyaynah about the differences between the reciters of al-Madinah and Iraq – are these the seven ahruf?” “No,” he replied, “the seven ahurf are only things like ‘approach’, ‘come here’ or ‘come on’.” Whichever one of those you say would suffice.”

And he also said:

ibn Wahb also told me something similar.

والحق أن الذي جمع في المصحف هو المتفق على إنزاله المقطوع به المكتوب بأمر النبي [ ص: 647 ] – صلى الله عليه وسلم – وفيه بعض ما اختلف فيه الأحرف السبعة لا جميعها ، كما وقع في المصحف المكي ” تجري من تحتها الأنهار ” في آخر ” براءة ” وفي غيره بحذف ” من ” وكذا ما وقع من اختلاف مصاحف الأمصار من عدة واوات ثابتة بعضها دون بعض ، وعدة هاءات وعدة لامات ونحو ذلك ، وهو محمول على أنه نزل بالأمرين معا ، وأمر النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – بكتابته لشخصين أو أعلم بذلك شخصا واحدا وأمره بإثباتهما على الوجهين ، وما عدا ذلك من القراءات مما لا يوافق الرسم فهو مما كانت القراءة جوزت به توسعة على الناس وتسهيلا ؛ فلما آل الحال إلى ما وقع من الاختلاف في زمن عثمان وكفر بعضهم بعضا اختاروا الاقتصار على اللفظ المأذون في كتابته وتركوا الباقي . قال الطبري : وصار ما اتفق عليه الصحابة من الاقتصار كمن اقتصر مما خير فيه على خصلة واحدة ، لأن أمرهم بالقراءة على الأوجه المذكورة لم يكن على سبيل الإيجاب بل على سبيل الرخصة . ـ

And the correct understanding is that everything in the mushaf is agreed to have been revealed by Allah – without any room for doubt about this – and written by the command of the Prophet, and that it contains some of the differences found between the seven ahruf but not all of them. For example, there is what comes at the end of surah al-Baraa’ [i.e. surah al-Tawbah] in the mushaf of Mecca:

تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ

… beneath which rivers flow [compare to 9:100] Continue reading

Know that Allah is Severe in Punishment and that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah says in surah al-Maa’idah:

اعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ وَأَنَّ اللَّـهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Know that Allah is severe in punishment and that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful [5:98]

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di commented on this in his tafsir by writing:

أي: ليكن هذان العلمان موجودين في قلوبكم على وجه الجزم واليقين، تعلمون أنه شديد العقاب العاجل والآجل على من عصاه، وأنه غفور رحيم لمن تاب إليه وأطاعه. فيثمر لكم هذا العلمُ الخوفَ من عقابه، والرجاءَ لمغفرته وثوابه، وتعملون على ما يقتضيه الخوف والرجاء.ـ

meaning: Let these two pieces of information be present in your hearts with certainty and assurance – that you know that He is severe in punishment – whether it be immediate or delayed – towards those who disobey Him, and that He is forgiving and merciful towards whoever repents to Him and obeys Him.

So this knowledge should produce a fear of His punishment and a hope for His forgiveness and reward in you, and you should behave in a way that reflects that fear and that hope.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 271]

See also: Follow Allah’s Path, and Do Not Follow Other Paths: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan

See also: Imam al-Nawawi on Hope and Fear

Connections and Links between Surahs: al-Zarkashi

In his well-known manual of the Qur’anic sciences, Burhan fee ‘Uloom al-Qur’an, sheikh Badr al-Deen al-Zarkashi dedicated an early chapter to the discussing the munasabat, or relationships and connections between different verses and surahs of the Qur’an. After defining the topic, discussing some of its history and mentioning some of the different opinions regarding this field of study, he wrote the following:

قال : والذي ينبغي في كل آية أن يبحث أول كل شيء عن كونها مكملة لما قبلها أو مستقلة ، ثم المستقلة ما وجه مناسبتها لما قبلها ؟ ففي ذلك علم جم ، وهكذا في السور يطلب وجه اتصالها بما قبلها وما سيقت له ” . ـ

He [Wali al-Deen al-Malwi] said:

What one ought to do with every ayah is first to look at whether this functions as a completion of what came before it of as an independent ayah on its own. Then, if it is an independent ayah on its own, how does it relate to the ayah before it? There is considerable knowledge to be found in this. And it is like this for the surahs too; one should look for how each is linked to what preceded it and how it supports it. Continue reading

Assorted Qur’an Benefits #5

What follows is a collection of posts originally published on our Facebook page in December 2014:

♦ Allah’s Beautiful Names

At the end of surah al-Hashr, Allah mentions a series of His beautiful names and then says:

لَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ

“To Him belong the most beautiful names” [59:24]

In part of his commentary on this, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di wrote:

ومن حسنها أن الله يحبها، ويحب من يحبها، ويحب من عباده أن يدعوه ويسألوه بها

From the their beauty is that Allah loves them, and He loves those who love them. And He loves those of His slaves who call on Him and ask Him with them.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 1007]

♦ A Note on Allah’s Amazing Signs

In his book of thematic tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di devoted a section to listing of benefits from the story of the Aṣḥaab al-Kahf found in surah al-Kahf. He began this chapter by writing:

 ففيها آيات بينات وفوائد متعددة : منها: أن قصة أصحاب الكهف وإن كانت عجيبة فليست من أعجب آيات الله، فإن لله آيات عجيبة وقصصا فيها عبرة للمعتبرين ـ

These clear ayaat contain numerous benefits. One of them is that the story of the Aṣḥaab al-Kahf – although it is amazing – is not even from the most amazing signs of Allah. For indeed to Allah belong amazing ayaat, and the stories in them are a lesson for those who take admonition.

[Tayseer al-Lateef al-Manaan fee Khulaasah al-Tafseer al-Qur’an pg. 401]

♦ The Completeness of Man Revolves Around Two Affairs

Ibn al-Qayyim wrote:

كمال الإنسان مداره على أصلين: معرفة الحق من الباطل، وإيثار الحق على الباطل، وما تفاوتت منازل الخلق عند الله في الدنيا والآخرة إلا بقدر تفاوت منازلهم في هذين الأمرين

The completeness of man revolves around two affairs:

1) Recognition of the truth from falsehood, and
2) Giving priority to the truth over falsehood.

And the stations of the created beings in the dunya and in the hereafter vary in the sight of Allah according to the variance of their stations regarding these two affairs.

[Jawaab al-Kaafi pg. 99]

♦ The Strong Prohibition Against Shedding Blood Unlawfully

In surah al-Maa’idah, Allah mentions the story of the two sons of Adam and the murder of one by the other, and then He says:

مِنْ أَجْلِ ذَٰلِكَ كَتَبْنَا عَلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَ‌ائِيلَ أَنَّهُ مَن قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ‌ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا

Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. [5:32]

In his tafsir of this ayah, Imam al-Baghawi wrote:

قال سليمان بن علي قلت للحسن : يا أبا سعيد : هي لنا كما كانت لبني إسرائيل؟ قال : إي والذي لا إله غيره ما كانت دماء بني إسرائيل أكرم على الله من دمائنا

Sulayman ibn ‘Ali said, “I said to al-Hasan [al-Basri]: O Abu Sa’eed, does this apply to us as it applied to the Banu Israa’eel?”

He replied: Yes, by the one whom there is no deity other than Him, the blood of Banu Israa’eel is not more noble in the sight of Allah than our blood!”

[Tafsir al-Baghawi 3/48. And al-Haafidh ibn Kathir mentioned the same narration in his tafsir with a slightly different wording (see tafsir ibn Kathir 3/94)]

♦ A Relationship Between Deeds in this Life and Rewards in the Next

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di wrote the following beautiful words for whomever can appreciate the Arabic in his book of thematic tafsir:

ومن سَبَقَ في الدنيا إلى الخيرات فهو السَّابقُ في الآخرة إلى الجنات

Whoever hastens in the this life towards acts of good, then he will be a forerunner in the hereafter towards the Gardens.

[Tayseer al-Lateef al-Manaan pg. 118]

♦ The Middle Path in Seeking Knowledge

Some of the Salaf used to say:

لَا يَنَالُ الْعِلْمَ حَيِيٌّ وَلَا مُسْتَكْبِرٌ

Neither the shy person nor the prideful person will obtain knowledge.

[Tafsir ibn Kathir 3/474]

♦ The Importance of Reflection

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali writes about the virtues of reflection and deep thought on the blessings of Allah and His signs, words, promises, etc, and taking one’s self to account for sins and mistakes, etc, [التفكّر]:

وقد قيل إن هذا التفكر أفضل من نوافل الأعمال البدنية روي ذلك عن غير واحد من التابعين منهم سعيد بن المسيب والحسن وعمر بن عبدالعزيز وفي كلام الإمام أحمد ما يدل عليه وقال كعب لأن أبكي من خشية الله أحب إلى من أن أتصدق بوزني ذهبا

And it has been said that reflection is better than optional bodily acts of worship. This has been narrated from a number of the Taabi’een, among them are Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib, Hasan [al-Basri], and ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez. And there is a statement from Imam Ahmad which supports this. And K’ab said, “That I would cry out of reverential fear of Allah is more beloved to me than if I were to give my whole weight in gold as charity.”

[Jaami’ al-‘Uloom w’al-Hikam 2/91-92]

Learn more about these and other mufassiroon (those who explained the Qur’an) with our Mufassir Profiles

See here to read more assorted Qur’an benefits

The Themes of Surah Qaaf and When to Recite it: Tafsir ibn Kathir

In the beginning of his explanation of surah Qaaf, after discussing how the Sahabah used to divide their reading of the Qur’an, al-haafidh Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir mentioned a number of narrations about when the Prophet used to recite surah Qaaf and its major themes:

قال الإمام أحمد : حدثنا عبد الرحمن بن مهدي ، حدثنا مالك ، عن ضمرة بن سعيد ، عن عبيد الله بن عبد الله ; أن عمر بن الخطاب سأل أبا واقد الليثي : ما كان رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – يقرأ في العيد ؟ قال : بقاف ، واقتربت . ـ

Imam Ahmad relayed … that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab asked Abu Waaqid al-Laythi, “What did Allah’s Messenger used to recite for the ‘Eid?” He replied, “Qaaf (50) and Iqtarabat [i.e. surah al-Qamar (54)].”

ورواه مسلم وأهل السنن الأربعة ، من حديث مالك ، به . وفي رواية لمسلم عن فليح عن ضمرة ، عن عبيد الله ، عن أبي واقد قال : سألني عمر ، فذكره . ـ

Muslim and the authors of the four Sunan relayed a hadith from Maalik to this effect. And in the narration of Muslim … on the authority of Abu Waaqid, who said, “‘Umar asked me…” and then he mentioned the rest of the hadith.

حديث آخر : وقال أحمد : حدثنا يعقوب ، حدثنا أبي ، عن ابن إسحاق ، حدثني عبد الله بن محمد بن أبي بكر بن عمرو بن حزم ، عن يحيى بن عبد الله بن عبد الرحمن بن سعد بن زرارة ، عن أم هشام بنت حارثة قالت : لقد كان تنورنا وتنور النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – واحدا سنتين ، أو سنة وبعض سنة ، وما أخذت ( ق والقرآن المجيد ) إلا على لسان رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – كان يقرؤها كل يوم جمعة على المنبر إذا خطب الناس . ـ

رواه مسلم [ أيضا ] من حديث ابن إسحاق ، به . ـ

In another hadith, Ahmad relayed … that Umm Hishaam ibn Haarithah said: Continue reading

The Dispute Between ‘Umar and Hisham: Ibn Hajr

Imam al-Bukhari mentioned the following narration in his Saheeh, in the section on the merits of the Qur’an:

حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ عُفَيْرٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي اللَّيْثُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي عُقَيْلٌ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي عُرْوَةُ بْنُ الزُّبَيْرِ، أَنَّ الْمِسْوَرَ بْنَ مَخْرَمَةَ، وَعَبْدَ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنَ عَبْدٍ الْقَارِيَّ، حَدَّثَاهُ أَنَّهُمَا، سَمِعَا عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ، يَقُولُ سَمِعْتُ هِشَامَ بْنَ حَكِيمٍ، يَقْرَأُ سُورَةَ الْفُرْقَانِ فِي حَيَاةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَاسْتَمَعْتُ لِقِرَاءَتِهِ فَإِذَا هُوَ يَقْرَأُ عَلَى حُرُوفٍ كَثِيرَةٍ لَمْ يُقْرِئْنِيهَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَكِدْتُ أُسَاوِرُهُ فِي الصَّلاَةِ فَتَصَبَّرْتُ حَتَّى سَلَّمَ فَلَبَّبْتُهُ بِرِدَائِهِ فَقُلْتُ مَنْ أَقْرَأَكَ هَذِهِ السُّورَةَ الَّتِي سَمِعْتُكَ تَقْرَأُ‏.‏ قَالَ أَقْرَأَنِيهَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم‏.‏ فَقُلْتُ كَذَبْتَ فَإِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَدْ أَقْرَأَنِيهَا عَلَى غَيْرِ مَا قَرَأْتَ، فَانْطَلَقْتُ بِهِ أَقُودُهُ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقُلْتُ إِنِّي سَمِعْتُ هَذَا يَقْرَأُ بِسُورَةِ الْفُرْقَانِ عَلَى حُرُوفٍ لَمْ تُقْرِئْنِيهَا‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ أَرْسِلْهُ اقْرَأْ يَا هِشَامُ ‏”‏‏.‏ فَقَرَأَ عَلَيْهِ الْقِرَاءَةَ الَّتِي سَمِعْتُهُ يَقْرَأُ‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ كَذَلِكَ أُنْزِلَتْ ‏”‏‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏”‏ اقْرَأْ يَا عُمَرُ ‏”‏‏.‏ فَقَرَأْتُ الْقِرَاءَةَ الَّتِي أَقْرَأَنِي، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ كَذَلِكَ أُنْزِلَتْ، إِنَّ هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ أُنْزِلَ عَلَى سَبْعَةِ أَحْرُفٍ فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ ‏”‏‏.‏

… al-Miswar ibn Makhramah and ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Abd al-Qari told us that they both heard ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab say:

I heard Hisham ibn Hakeem reciting surah al-Furqan while the Prophet was still alive, so I listened to his recitation and I noticed that he recited it differently in several ways from how Allah’s Messenger had recited it to me. I nearly struck him while he was still praying, but I held myself back until he completed the prayer and then I grabbed him by his shawl and said, “Who taught you this surah that I just heard you recite?” He said, “Allah’s Messenger recited it to me.” I said, “You have misspoken, for Allah’s Messenger recited it to me in a different way than how you recited it.”

So I immediately set off to see Allah’s Messenger, taking him along with me. I said to the Prophet, “I heard this person recite surah al-Furqan in some ways other than how you taught it to me.”

Allah’s Messenger said, “Let him go. Recite it, Hisham.” So he recited it in the way I had heard him recite it before. Then Allah’s Messenger, “That is how it was sent down,” and then said, “Recite it, ‘Umar.” So I recited it in the way I had been taught, and Allah’s Messenger said, “That is how it was sent down. This Qur’an was sent down in seven ahruf [dialects], so recite whatever of it is easy for you.”

[Saheeh al-Bukhari #4992]

While there has been much differing among the scholars as to the meaning of the seven ahruf, the correct meaning – inshaAllaah – is that they are different dialects of the Arabic language in which the Qur’an was revealed. However, as scholars have pointed out, ‘Umar and Hisham were both from the tribe of Quraysh and thus shared the same dialect. This raises the question: if they shared the same dialect, why would they differ in which harf they recited the Qur’an in?

The great scholar of hadith ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalaani addressed this point in his explanation of Saheeh al-Bukhari by writing:

قوله : ( فإن رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – قد أقرأنيها ) هذا قاله عمر استدلالا على ما ذهب إليه من تخطئة هشام ، وإنما ساغ له ذلك لرسوخ قدمه في الإسلام وسابقته ، بخلاف هشام فإنه كان قريب العهد بالإسلام فخشي عمر من ذلك أن لا يكون أتقن القراءة ، بخلاف نفسه فإنه كان قد أتقن ما سمع .ـ

Regarding ‘Umar’s statement, “For Allah’s Messenger recited it to me…” Continue reading

The Great Status of Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari: al-Dhahabi

In his massive biographical encyclopedia, Imam al-Dhahabi mentioned the following quote in his entry on the great commentator on the Qur’an, Muhammad ibn Jareer al-Tabari:

وقال الخطيب محمد بن جرير بن يزيد بن كثير بن غالب : كان أحد أئمة العلماء ، يحكم بقوله ، ويرجع إلى رأيه لمعرفته وفضله ، وكان قد جمع من العلوم ما لم يشاركه فيه أحد من أهل عصره ، فكان حافظا لكتاب الله ، عارفا بالقراءات ، بصيرا بالمعاني ، فقيها في أحكام القرآن ، عالما بالسنن وطرقها ، صحيحها وسقيمها ، وناسخها ومنسوخها ، عارفا بأقوال الصحابة والتابعين ، عارفا بأيام الناس وأخبارهم ، وله الكتاب المشهور في [ ص: 270 ] ” أخبار الأمم وتاريخهم ” ، وله كتاب : ” التفسير ” لم يصنف مثله ، وكتاب سماه : ” تهذيب الآثار ” لم أر سواه في معناه ، لكن لم يتمه ، وله في أصول الفقه وفروعه كتب كثيرة واختيار من أقاويل الفقهاء ، وتفرد بمسائل حفظت عنه .ـ

al-Khateeb said:

Muhammad ibn Jareer ibn Yazeed ibn Katheer ibn Ghaalib – He was one of the leaders of the scholars. His position carried authority, and his opinions were referred back to due to his knowledge and virtue.

He has amassed such a great amount of knowledge that none of his contemporaries matched him in that, for he had memorized the Qur’an, was well-acquainted with its various recitations, insightful into its meanings, expertly versed in the legal rulings of the Qur’an, knowledgeable of the sunnah and their chains of narration – whether they be authentic or otherwise, abrogating or abrogated -, familiar with the positions of the Sahabah and the Tabi’oon, and well-informed of historical facts and biographies. Continue reading

Allah has subjected everything in the creation to mankind: Tafsir al-Shawkaani

Allah says in the middle of surah Luqman:

أَلَمْ تَرَوْا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ سَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَأَسْبَغَ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعَمَهُ ظَاهِرَةً وَبَاطِنَةً

Don’t you see that Allah has subjected whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth to you and has amply bestowed His favors both apparent and hidden, upon you? … [31:20]

In part of his explanation of this ayah, sheikh Muhammad al-Shawkaani wrote:

 لما فرغ – سبحانه – من قصة لقمان رجع إلى توبيخ المشركين وتبكيتهم وإقامة الحجج عليهم فقال : ألم تروا أن الله سخر لكم ما في السماوات وما في الأرض قال الزجاج : معنى تسخيرها للآدميين الانتفاع بها . انتهى ، فمن مخلوقات السماوات المسخرة لبني آدم أي : التي ينتفعون بها الشمس والقمر والنجوم ونحو ذلك . ـ

After completing the story of Luqman, Allah returned back reprimanding and criticizing the mushrikoon and establishing proofs against them. So He said:

أَلَمْ تَرَوْا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ سَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ

Don’t you see that Allah has subjected whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth to you?

al-Zujaaj said, “The meaning of ‘subjecting them to mankind’ is that they can benefit from them.”

Included in the created things of the heavens which have been subjected to mankind are all the things which they take benefit from, such as the Sun, the Moon, the stars, and so on. Continue reading

Reciting Surah al-Baqarah in One’s Home: al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah

The Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Fataawaa of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia [al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah] received the following question:

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: لا تجعلوا بيوتكم قبورًا، فإن البيت الذي تقرأ فيه سورة البقرة لا يدخله شيطان . هل المقصود بقراءة سورة البقرة مرة واحدة في البيت عندما يسكن فيه صاحبه ، أو كل عام، أو كل ليلة؟ وهل تكفي القراءة من المسجل ويحصل بها المقصود، أم لا؟

Question: The Prophet said, “Do not make your houses into graves, for the house in which surah al-Baqarah is recited – the shaytaan does not enter it.” Is the meaning of reciting surah al-Baqarah that a person recites it once in his home during the time that he is living there, or is it every year, or every night? And would a recitation from a cassette tape suffice and achieve the objective here or not?

The Committee responded with the following:

ليس لقراءة سورة البقرة حد معين، وإنما يدل الحديث على شرعية عمارة البيوت بالصلاة وقراءة القرآن، كما يدل على أن الشيطان يفر من البيت الذي تُقرأ فيه سورة البقرة، وليس في ذلك تحديد، فيدل على استحباب الإكثار من قراءتها دائمًا لطرد الشيطان، ولما في ذلك من الفضل العظيم؛ لأن كل حرف بحسنة والحسنة بعشر أمثالها كما جاء في الحديث الآخر. وبالله التوفيق، وصلى الله على نبينا محمد وآله وصحبه وسلم . ـ Continue reading