Book of the Virtues of the Qur'an

The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari

by Imam Bukhari
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley

Chapter 69. Book of the Virtues of the Qur'an

I. Chapter. How the Revelation descended and the first of it to be revealed.

Ibn 'Abbas said that "muhaymin" (5l:48) means "trustworthy." The Qur'an is the gurantor of every Book before it.

4694. It is related that Ibn 'Abbas and 'A'isha said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, remained for ten years in Makka while the Qur'an was being revealed to him, and for ten years in Madina."

4695. It is related that Abu 'Uthman said, "I was informed that Jibril came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, while he was with Umm Salama. He began to speak and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, asked Umm Salama, 'Who is this?' She replied, 'It is Dihya.' When he left, she said, 'By Allah, I only thought it was him until I heard the khutba of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in which reported what Jibril had said,' or words to that effect." Ubayy said, "I asked Abu 'Uthman, 'From whom did you hear this?' He replied, 'From Usama ibn Zayd.'"

4696. It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "There is no Prophet who has not been given [miracles] such that the people believe in him. That which I have been given is Revelation which Allah has revealed to me. I hope that I will be the one with most with the most followers on the Day of Rising."

4697. It is related that Anas ibn Malik reported that Allah made the revelation continuous to His Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, before his death so that that was the period of the most revelation up until his death. Then the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, died after that.

4698. Jundub was heard to say, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was ill and did not rise to pray at night for one or two nights. A woman* came to him and said, 'Muhammad, I only think that your shaytan has left you!' Then Allah revealed, 'By the brightness of the morning and the night when it is still, your Lord has not abandoned you nor does He hate you.' (93:1-4)"

[* Umm Jamil, the wife of Abu Lahab.]

II: The Qur'an was revealed in the language of Quraysh and the Arabs

"An Arabic Qur'an" (12:2) and "in clear Arabic language" (26:195)

4699. It is related that Anas ibn Malik said, "'Uthman commanded Zayd ibn Thabit, Sa'id ibn al-'As, 'Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr, and 'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn al-Harith ibn Hisham to write out copies of the Qur'an. He told them, "When you and Zayd ibn Thabit disagree about the Arabic of the Qur'an, you should write it in the language of Quraysh. The Qur'an was revealed in their tongue.' They did that."

4700. It is related from Safwan ibn Ya'la ibn Umayya that Ya'la used to say, "I used to want to see the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, while he was receiving revelation. While the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was at al-Ji'rana, shaded by a garment above him in the company of some of his Companions, a man wearing perfume came to him and said, 'Messenger of Allah, what do you think about a man who goes into ihram in a cloak after putting on scent?' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, waited for a time and then revelation came upon him." 'Umar beckoned to Ya'la to come and put his head (under the cloth). His face was red and he was breathing heavily. That continued for a time and then it left him. He said, "Where is the man who just asked about 'umra?" The man was brought to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he said, 'Regarding the scent which you put on, wash it off three times. As for the cloak, remove it. Do the same for 'umra as you do for hajj.'"

III: The Collection of the Qur'an

4702. It is related that Zayd ibn Thabit said, "After the slaughter of people in the Battle of Yamama, Abu Bakr sent for me. 'Umar was with him. Abu Bakr said, ''Umar came to me and said, "Many Qur'an reciters were killed in the Battle of Yamama, and I fear that heavy casualties will be inflicted on the Qur'an reciters in other places and therefore much of the Qur'an will be lost. I think that you should collect the Qur'an together."' Abu Bakr said, 'I said to 'Umar, "How can I do something which the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did not do?" 'Umar said, "By Allah, it is better." 'Umar kept at me about it until Allah opened my breast to that. I think what 'Umar thinks about that.'"

Zayd continued, "Abu Bakr said, 'You are an intelligent young man and we have no suspicion about you. You used to write down the revelation for the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. Therefore you are to search out the Qur'an and collect it.' By Allah, if he had obliged me to move one of the mountains, that would not have been weightier for me than what he commanded to do of collecting the Qur'an. I said, 'How can you do something which the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did not do?' Abu Bakr said, 'By Allah, it is better.' Abu Bakr continued to keep at me until Allah opened my breast to what Allah had opened the breasts of Abu Bakr and 'Umar. So I began to search out the Qur'an and collect it from the palm stalks, thin white stones, and the breasts of men until I found end of Surat at-Tawba with Khuzayma al-Ansari which I did not find with anyone else: 'A Messenger has come to you from among yourselves. Your suffering is distressful to him...' (9:128)" The copy of the Qur'an in which the Qur'an was collected remained in the possession of Abu Bakr until Allah took him, and then it was with 'Umar until Allah took him, and then it was with Hafsa bint 'Umar."

4703. Anas ibn Malik reported that Hudhayfa ibn al-Yaman came to 'Uthman while the people of Syria were conquering Armenia and Azerbaijan with the people of Iraq. Hudhayfa was alarmed by the difference in their recitation. Hudhayfa said to 'Uthman, "Amir al-Mu'minin! Deliver this Community before they disagree about the Book as the Jews and Christians differed!" So 'Uthman sent a message to Hafsa, saying, "Send us the pages in your possession and we will copy them and then return them to you." So Hafsa sent them to 'Uthman. He ordered Zayd ibn Thabit, 'Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr, Sa'id ibn al-'As, and 'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn al-Harith ibn Hisham to transcribe copies. 'Uthman said to the group of the three Qurashis, "When you and Zayd ibn Thabit disagree about any of the Qur'an, write it in the dialect of Quraysh. It was revealed in their language." They did that. When they had copied it out, 'Uthman returned the pages to Hafsa and he sent a copy of what they had copied out to every region and commanded that every sheet or copy which had any other form of the Qur'an should be burned.

Kharija ibn Zayd ibn Thabit added that he heard Zayd ibn Thabit say, "I missed one ayat of Surat al-Ahzab when we copied out the Qur'an which I used to hear the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, recite. So we searched for it and found it with Khuzayma ibn Thabit al-Ansari: "Among the believers there are men who have been true to the contract they made with Allah." (33:23)

IV: The scribe of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace

4703. It is related that Zayd ibn Thabit said, "Abu Bakr sent for me and said, 'You used to write down the revelation for the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. Therefore you are to search out the Qur'an and collect it.' So I searched it out until I found the last two ayats of Surat at-Tawba with Abu Khuzayma al-Ansari and I did not find them with anyone else: 'A Messenger has come to you from among yourselves. Your suffering is distressful to him, he is deeply concerned for you...' (9:128)"

4704. It is related that al-Bara' said, "When it was revealed, 'Those believers who stay behind are not the same as those who do jihad in the way of Allah' (4:95), the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Summon Zayd. He should bring the tablet, inkpot and shoulder-blade (or the shoulder-blade and the ink-pot).' Then he said, 'Write: 'Those believers who stay behind are not the same ...' 'Amr ibn Umm Maktum, the blind man, was behind the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he said, 'Messenger of Allah, what do you command me? I am a blind man.' Then in place of it was revealed: 'Those believers who stay behind – other than those forced by necessity – are not the same as those who do jihad in the way of Allah.'"

V: The Qur'an was revealed in seven modes (ahruf)

4705. It is related that Ibn 'Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Jibril recited to me in one mode. Then I asked him to repeat it and I continue to ask him for more, and he finally recited it in seven modes."

4706. It is related that 'Umar ibn al-Khattab was heard to say, "I heard Hisham ibn Hakim reciting Surat al-Furqan while the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was alive. I listened to his recitation and he was reciting it in various modes which the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had not recited. I almost grabbed him in the prayer, but I waited until he said the salam [to end the prayer]. Then I grabbed by his cloak and demanded, 'Who recited to you this sura which I heard you reciting?' He answered, 'The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, recited it to me.' I said, 'You lied! The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, recited it to me differently to how you recited!' So I led him off to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'I heard this one reciting Surat al-Furqan in a different way to how you recited it to me!' The Messenger of Allah , may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Release him. Recite, Hisham.' So he recited it to him in the way which I had heard him reciting.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'That is how it was revealed.' Then he said, 'Recite, 'Umar,' and I recited it in the recitation he had taught me. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,  'That is how it was revealed. This Qur'an was revealed in seven modes, so recite whatever you find easy of it.'"

VI: The arrangement of the Qur'an

4707. It is related that Yusuf ibn Mahik said, "I was with 'A'isha, the Umm al-Mu'minin, when an Iraqi came and said, 'What kind of shroud is best?' She said, 'Bother you! How will it harm you?' He said, 'Umm al-Mu'minin, show me your copy of the Qur'an.' 'Why?' she asked. He said, 'In order that I might arrange the Qur'an according to it. It is recited out of its proper order.' 'A'isha said, 'What harm will there be to you whichever part you read first? The first to be revealed was a sura of the Mufassal in which the Garden and the Fire is mentioned.* When many people joined Islam, then the halal and haram were revealed. If the first thing to be revealed had been, 'Do not drink wine,' people would have said, 'We will never give up wine.' If it had been revealed. 'Do not fornicate,' they would have said, 'We will never give up fornication.' When I was still a young girl who played, it was revealed to Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in Makka, "In fact the Hour is their promised appointment and the Hour is more disastrous and bitter!" (54:46) Surat al-Baqara (2) and Surat an-Nisa' (4) were revealed while I was with him.' Then she produced the copy of the Qur'an for him and dictated to him the order of the suras."

[*i.e. Surat al-'Alaq (96) or Surat al-Mudadaththir (74). The Mufassal begin with Surat Qaf (50), although other things are said.]

4708. It is said that Ibn Mas'ud was heard to say, "The suras Banu Isra'il, al-Kahf, Maryam, Taha and al-Anbiya' were among the first that I learned and they are part of the earliest Qur'an that I learned."

4709. It is related that al-Bara' said, "I learned 'Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High' (87) before the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came [to Madina]."

4710. It is related that Shaqiq said, "'Abdullah said, 'I learned the Naza'ir which the Prophet. may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to recite in pairs in each rak'at.' Then 'Abdullah got up and 'Alqama went in with him. When 'Alqama came out, we questioned him and he said, 'They  [the Naza'ir] are twenty suras from the beginning of the Mufassal, according to the order of Ibn Mas'ud, and they end with the suras starting with HaMim: "HaMim the Smoke" (44) and "About what are they asking one another?" (78:1)'"

VII: Jibril used to review the Qur'an with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace

It is reported from 'A'isha that Fatima, peace be upon her, said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, confided to me, 'Jibril used to review the Qur'an with me every year, but this year he reviewed it with me twice. I only think that my time is approaching.'"

4711. Ibn 'Abbas said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was the most generous of people, and he was at his most generous during the month of Ramadan because Jibril used to met him every night in the month of Ramadan until it ended. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to review the Qur'an with him. When Jibril met him, he was more generous with good than the blowing wind."

4712. It is related that Abu Hurayra said, "He (Jibril) used to review the recitation of the Qur'an with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, once a year. He reviewed it twice in the year in which he died. The Prophet used to do i'tikaf for ten days every year. The year in which he died he did i'tikaf for twenty days."

VIII: The reciters among the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace

4713. It is related that Masruq said, "'Abdullah ibn 'Amr mentioned 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud and said, "I continue to love him. I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'Take the Qur'an from four persons: 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, Salim, Mu'adh ibn Jabal and Ubayy ibn Ka'b.'"

4714. It is related that Shaqiq ibn Salama said, "'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud delivered a speech to us and said, 'By Allah, I learned about seventy suras directly from the mouth of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. By Allah, the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, know that I am the one among them with the most knowledge of the Book of Allah, but I am not the best of them."

Shaqiq said, "I sat in his circle and I did not hear anyone rejecting what he said about that."

4715. It is related that 'Alqama said, "While we were in the city of Homs, Ibn Mas'ud recited Surat Yusuf (12). A man said, 'That is not how it was revealed.' He said, 'I recited it to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he said, "You did well." He noticed the smell of wine from the man and said to him, 'Will you both lie about the Book of Allah and drink wine?' He had the hadd punishment carried out on him [for drinking wine]."

4716. It is related from Masruq that 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud said, "By Allah. There is no god but Him. There was no sura revealed of the Book of Allah but that I know where it was revealed, and there is no ayat revealed of the Book of Allah but that I know about what it was revealed. If I had known that someone had better knowledge of the Book of Allah than I do, and he was at a place which could be reached by camel, I would have ridden to him."

4717. It is related that Qatada said, "I asked Anas ibn Malik, 'Who knew all the Qur'an in the time of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace?' He replied, 'Four, all of whom were from the Ansar: Ubayy ibn Ka'b, Mu'adh ibn Jabal, Zayd ibn Thabit, and Abu Zayd.'"

Thumama corroborated it from Anas.

4718. It is related that Anas ibn Malik said, "When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, died, only four knew all the Qur'an: Abu'd-Darda', Mu'adh ibn Jabal, Zayd ibn Thabit, and Abu Zayd." He added, "We inherited from him (Abu Zayd)."

4719. It is related from Ibn 'Abbas that 'Umar said, "Ubayy was the one of us with the best recitation, yet we leave some of the words of Ubayy. Ubayy said, 'I took it from the mouth of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and will not leave it for anything.' Allah Almighty says, 'Whenever We abrogate an ayat or cause it to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or equal to it.' (2:106)"

IX: The Excellence of the Fatiha of the Book

4720. It is related that Sa'id ibn al-Mu'alla said, "While I was praying, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, called me, but I did not answer. Then I went to him and said, 'Messenger of Allah, I was praying.' He said, 'Does not Allah say, "Respond to Allah, and to the Messenger, when He calls you " (8:24)?' Then he said to me, 'Shall I will teach you the greatest of the suras in the Qur'an before you leave the mosque?' He took my hand and when we wanted to leave, I said, 'Messenger of Allah, you said, 'I will teach you the greatest of the suras in the Qur'an."' He said, '"Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the worlds." It is the Seven Mathani and the Immense Qur'an which I was given.'"

4727. It is related that Abu Sa'id al-Khudri said, "While we were on a journey, and we had made camp, a slavegirl came and said, 'The chief of the tribe has been stung and our men are away. Can any of you treat him [with some incantation]?' A man went with her although we did not know that he any knew incantations (ruqayya). He did that and the man recovered and ordered that thirty sheep be given to him and he gave us milk. When we returned, we said to him, 'Were you good in incantation? Did you used to perform incantations?' 'No,' he replied. 'The only charm I used was the Umm al-Kitab.' We said, 'Do not say anything until we arrive (or until we ask the Prophet , may Allah bless him and grant him peace.)' When we reached Madina, we mentioned that to the Prophet , may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he asked, 'How did you know that it is an incantation? Divide and give me a share as well.'"

This is related from Ma'bad ibn Sirin from Abu Sa'id al-Khudri.

X: The excellence of Surat al-Baqara (2)

4722. It is related from Abu Mas'ud that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Whoever recites the two ayats..."

It is related from Abu Mas'ud that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "If someone recites the last two ayats of Surat al-Baqara at night, they will be enough for him."

4723. It is related that Abu Hurayra said, "The Messenger of Allah,  may Allah bless him and grant him peace, put me in charge of guarding the zakat (al-fitr) of Ramadan. Someone came to me and began to take handfuls of food. I grabbed him and said, 'By Allah, I will take you to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace!' – and he recounted the hadith. In the end, he said, 'When you go to bed, recite the Throne Verse. You will have a protector from Allah with you and shaytan will not come near you until morning.' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'He told you the truth even though he is a liar. That was Shaytan.'" (see 2187)

XI: The Excellence of Surat al-Kahf (18)

4724. It is related that al-Bara' ibn 'Azib said, "A man recited Surat al-Kahf while a horse was tied with two ropes beside him. A cloud descended over him and came closer and closer and the horse began to shy away. In the morning he went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and mentioned that to him. He said, 'That is the sakina which descended for the Qur'an.'"

XII: The Excellence of Surat al-Fath (48)

4725. It is related that Aslam said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was travelling at night on one of his journeys and 'Umar ibn al-Khattab was travelling with him. 'Umar ibn al-Khattab asked him about something and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did not answer. Then he asked him again and he did not answer. Then he asked him yet again and he did not answer. 'Umar ibn al-Khattab said, "May your mother be bereft of you, 'Umar! You have pressed the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, three times and each time he has not answered you.'" 'Umar said, 'I spurred my camel on and then went ahead of the Muslims, fearing that some Qur'an would be sent down about me. It was not long before I heard someone shouting for me." I said, 'I was afraid that some Qur'an might be sent down about me! I went to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and greeted him and he said, 'Tonight a sura has been sent down on me which I love more than that on which the sun rises. Then he recited, "Truly We have granted you a manifest victory." (48:1)'"

XIII: The excellence of "Say: He is Allah, Absolute Oneness" (112)

The isnad contains 'Amra from 'A'isha from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace ...

4726. It is related from Abu Sa'id al-Khudri that a man heard another man reciting, "Say: He is Allah, Absolute Oneness," (112) and repeating it. In the morning, he went to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and mentioned that to him. It seemed that the man thought it was insufficient. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "By the One who has my soul in his hand, it is equal to a third of the Qur'an!"

Abu Sa'id al-Khudri added, "My brother, Qatada ibn an-Nu'man told me that in the time of the Prophet , may Allah bless him and grant him peace, a man stood in the night prayer and recited before dawn, the sura which begins "Say: He is Allah, Absolute Oneness" and nothing more. In the morning, a man went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace ...

4727. It is related from Abu Sa'id al-Khudri that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to his Companions, "Does any of you find it impossible to recite a third of the Qur'an in a night?" That was hard on them and they asked, "Who among us is able to do that, Messenger of Allah?" He said, " The sura which begins 'Say: He is Allah, Absolute Oneness' (112) is a third of the Qur'an."

It is related mursal from Ibrahim, and with an isnad from ad-Dahhak al-Mashriqi.

XIV: The excellence of the Refuge Suras (113 and 114)

4728. It is related from 'A'isha said, "When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was ill, he would recite the Refuge suras over himself and then blow without spit. When his pain was intense, I used to recite it over him and rub his hand, seeking its blessing."

4729. It is related that 'A'isha said, "When the Prophet,  may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went to bed every night, he cupped his hands and blow blew on them and recited, the suras which begin 'Say: He is Allah, Absolute Oneness'  (112), 'Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of Dawn' (113), and 'Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of people' (114). Then he would wipe his hands over as much of his body as he could, beginning with head, face and the front of his body. He did that three times."

XV: The descent of the Sakina and the angels when the Qur'an is recited

4730. It is reported that Usayd ibn Hudayr said that while he was reciting Surat al-Baqara in the night with his horse tethered beside him, the horse became agitated. When he was silent, the horse quieted. Then he recited and the horse became agitated again. He fell silent and the horse became quiet. Then he recited again and the horse became agitated, so he stopped. His son Yahya was close to the horse and he feared that the horse might step on him. When he moved him from the place and looked towards the sky, he could not see it. In the morning, he told the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, who said, "Recite, Ibn Hudayr! Recite, Ibn Hudayr!" He said, "Messenger of Allah, I was afraid that it would tread on Yahya since he was close to it. I lifted my head and went to him. Then I looked up to the sky and there was something like a cloud containing lamps. I went out so that I would not see it." He asked, "Do you know what that was?" "No," he answered. He said, "Those were the angels who had come near to your voice. If you have continued reciting, the people would have seen it in the morning as it would not have been concealed from them."

'Abdullah ibn Khabbab also has this hadith from Abu Sa'id al-Khudri from Usayd ibn Hudayr.

XVI:  The one who said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did not leave anything except what is between these two covers."

4731. It is related that 'Abdu'l-'Aziz ibn Rufay' said, "I and Shaddad ibn Ma'qil visited Ibn 'Abbas. Shaddad ibn Ma'qil asked, 'Did the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, leave anything [meaning other than the Qur'an]?' He answered, 'He did not leave anything except what was between these two covers.' He said, 'We visited Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyya and asked him [the same question] and he replied, 'He only left what was between these two covers.'"

XVII: The excellence of the Qur'an above all other words

4732. It is reported from Abu Musa al-Ash'ari that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The metaphor of a believer who recites the Qur'an is that of a citron - its scent is fragrant and its taste is good. That of someone who does not recite the Qur'an is that of a date - it has no scent but its taste is sweet. The metaphor of someone impious who recites the Qur'an is that of basil - its scent is fragrant but its taste is bitter. The metaphor of someone impious who does not recite the Qur'an is that of colocynth - its taste is bitter and it has no scent."

4733. It is related that Ibn 'Umar reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Our time as compared to the communities before you is like the time between the 'Asr prayer and sunset. Your metaphor and that of the Jews and the Christians is like a man who hires some workers. He says to them, 'Who will work for me until the middle of the day for a qirat?' The Jews did. Then he says, 'Who will work for me from the middle of the day until 'Asr?' The Christians worked. Then you worked from 'Asr until Maghrib for two qirats each. They said, 'We did more work but had a smaller payment!' He asked, 'Have I wronged you all in that to which you are entitled?' 'No,' they answered. He said, 'That is My favour which I give to whomever I wish.""

XVIII: The command to hold to the Book of Allah Almighty

4734. It is related that Talha said, "I asked 'Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa, 'Did the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, make a will?' He replied, 'No.' I asked, 'Then how was the will prescribed for people? Were they commanded to do it when he did not make a will?' He replied, 'He bequeathed the Book of Allah.'"

XIX: "The one who did not intone* the Qur'an in a good voice"

And the words of Allah, "Is it not enough for them that We have sent down to you the Book which is recited to them?" (29:51)

4735. It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ""Allah does not listen to anything so gladly as He listens to a Prophet with a good voice intoning the Qur'an aloud."

His companion ('Abdu'l-Hamid) said, "He meant reciting it aloud."

4736. It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah does not listen to anything so gladly as He listens to a Prophet with a good voice intoning the Qur'an aloud."

Sufyan said that it means that he is sufficed by it so that he has no need of anything else.

[* "Intone (yataghanna)" is literally "sing", in the hadith "The one who does not intone the Qur'an in a good voice is not one of us," meaning "the one who does not make his voice good with the Qur'an is not one of us." ]

XX: Envying someone who knows the Qur'an

4737. It is related that 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, '"You can only have envy for two things: for a man to whom Allah has given the Book of Allah* and he gets up and recites it throughout the night, and for a man to whom Allah has given wealth and he spends it throughout the night and the day.'"

4738. It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "You can only have envy for two things: a man whom Allah has taught the Qur'an and he recites it throughout the night and throughout the day. His neighbour hears him and says, 'Would that I had been given the like of what so-and-so has been given so that I could do the like of what he does!' And there is a man to whom Allah has given wealth and he spends it properly and so another man says, 'Would that I had been given the like of what so-and-so has been given so that I could do the like of what he does!'"

[* Meaning memorisation and understanding of the Qur'an.]

XXI: "The best of you is the one who learns the Qur'an and teaches it."

4739. It is related from 'Uthman that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The best of you is the one who learns the Qur'an and teaches it."

He said, "Abu 'Abdu'r-Rahman had the best recitation in the amirate of 'Uthman until the arrival al-Hajjaj." He said, "That is what put me into this position where I am."

4740. It is related from 'Uthman ibn 'Affan that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The most excellent of you is the one who learns the Qur'an and teaches it."

4741. It is related that Sahl ibn Sa'd said, "A woman came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and stated, 'I have given myself to Allah and His Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.' He said, 'I am not in need of women.' A man said, 'Marry her to me.' He said, 'Give her a garment.' He said, 'I do not have the wherewithal.' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Give her something, even if it is only an iron ring.' The man claimed that he had nothing. He said, 'What do you know of the Qur'an?' He replied, 'Such-and-such.' He said, 'I have married her to you for that amount of the Qur'an which you know.'"

XXII: Reciting the Qur'an by heart

4742. It is related from Sahl ibn Sa'd that a woman came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, "Messenger of Allah, I have come to give myself to you (to dispose of in marriage)." He raised his eyes to her and looked  at her and then lowered his head. When the woman saw that he had not made any decision about her, she sat down. One of his Companions stood up and said, "Messenger of Allah, if you have no need of her, then marry her to me." He asked, "Do you have anything [to give her]?" He said, "By Allah, no, Messenger of Allah." He said, "Go to your family and see if you can find something." The man went and returned and said, "No, Messenger of Allah, I did not find anything." He said, "Look, even if it is an iron ring." He went and then came back and said, "By Allah, Messenger of Allah, no. I did not even find an iron ring, but I have this waist-wrapper." Sahl said, "He did not have a cloak and so she could have half do it." The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "What will see do with your waist-wrapper? If you wear it, she will have none of it, and if she wears it, you will have none of it." The man sat down for a long time and then got up. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saw him going away and commanded someone to call him. When he came back, he asked, "What do you know of the Qur'an?" He replied, "I know this sura, that sura, and that sura," and he named them. He asked, "Do you recite that by heart?" "Yes," he replied. He said, "Go, I have married you to her for what you know of the Qur'an [i.e. to teach it to her]."

XXIII: Learning the Qur'an by heart and making a habit of reciting it

4743. It is related from Ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The metaphor of someone who knows the Qur'an is that of a hobbled camel. If he attends to it, it stays with him. If he lets it go, it wanders away."

4744. It is related from 'Abdullah that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "It is very bad that someone says, 'I forgot such-and-such ayat.' He has been made to forget. Learn the Qur'an by heart. It slips from the breasts of men quicker than camels slip away."

4745. The like is related from Mansur. Bishr corroborated it as did Ibn Jurayj.

4746. It is related from Abu Musa that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Make a habit of reciting the Qur'an. By the One who has my soul in His hand, it slips away free quicker than a camel gets loose from its hobble."

XXIV: Reciting while on a riding animal

4747. It is related that 'Abdullah ibn Mughaffal was heard to say, "I saw the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, on the day that Makka was conquered reciting Surat al-Fath while he was on his camel."

XXV: Teaching the Qur'an to children

4748. It is related that Sa'id ibn Jubayr said, "That which you call Mufassal is the Muhkam. Ibn 'Abbas said, 'The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, died when I was ten years old and I had memorised the Mukham.'"

4749. It is related from Sa'id ibn Jubayr that Ibn 'Abbas said, "I learned the Muhkam in the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace." Sa'id said, ""I asked him, 'What is the Muhkam?' He answered, 'The Mufassal.'"

[On this the commentator says that the age of ten may refer to the age at which he memorised the Qur'an rather than his age when the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, died.]

XXVI: Forgetting the Qur'an. Can one say, "I forgot such-and-such an ayat"?

The words of Allah Almighty, "We will cause you to recite so that you do not forget – except what Allah wills." (87:6-7)

4750. It is related that 'A'isha said, "The Prophet,  may Allah bless him and grant him peace, heard a man reciting in the mosque and said, 'May Allah have mercy on him. He reminded me of such-and-such an ayat from such-and-such a sura."

Hisham added, "I left them out of such-and-such a sura."

It is corroborated from Hisham.

4751. It is related that 'A'isha said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, heard a man reciting a sura at night and said, 'May Allah have mercy on him. He reminded me of such-and-such an ayat which I forgot from such-and-such a sura.'"

4752. It is related from 'Abdullah that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "It is bad for someone to say, 'I forgot such-and-such an ayat.' Rather he was made to forget."

XXVII: The one who did see any harm in saying, "Surat al-Baqara" or "Surat such-and-such"

4753. It is related from Abu Mas'ud al-Ansari that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "If someone recites the last two ayats of Surat al-Baqara, they will be enough for him for that night."

4754. It is related that 'Umar ibn al-Khattab said, "I heard Hisham ibn Hakim ibn Hizam reciting Surat al-Furqan while the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was alive. I listened to his recitation and he was reciting it in various modes which the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had not recited. I almost grabbed him in the prayer, but I waited until he said the salam. Then I grabbed by his cloak and demanded, 'Who recited to you this sura which I heard you reciting?' He answered, 'The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, recited it to me.' I said, 'You lied! The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, recited it to me differently to how you recited!' So I led him off to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'I heard this one reciting Surat al-Furqan in a different way to how you recited it to me!' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Release him. Recite, Hisham.' So he recited it to him in the way which I had heard him reciting.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'That is how it was revealed.' Then he said, 'Recite, 'Umar,' and I recited it in the recitation he had taught me. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'That is how it was revealed.' This Qur'an was revealed in seven modes, so recite whatever you find easy of it.'"

4755. It is related that 'A'isha said, "The Prophet , may Allah bless him and grant him peace, heard a man reciting at night in the mosque and said, 'May Allah have mercy on him. He reminded me of such-and-such an ayat which I missed from such-and-such a sura."

XXVIII: The slow recitation of Qur'an (tartil)

The words of the Almighty, "Recite the Qur'an distinctly" (73:4) and His words, "We have divided up the Qur'an so you can recite it to mankind at intervals." (17:106)

What is disliked of rattling it off as one rattles off poetry

"Yufraqu" (44:4) is to divide. Ibn 'Abbas said that "faraqnahu" (74:4) means "We divided it."

4756. It is related that Abu Wa'il said, "We went to 'Abdullah in the morning and a man said, 'Yesterday I recited all the Mufassal.' Ibn Mas'ud said, 'This is like the rattling off of poetry. We heard the recitation (of the Prophet) and I remember the middle length suras which the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to recite. They were 18 suras of the Mufassal and two suras beginning with Alif-lam-ha'-mim.'"

4757. Sa'id ibn Jubayr related that Ibn 'Abbas said about the words of Allah the Almighty, "Do not move your tongue trying to hasten it" (75:16), "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to experience hardship when Jibril descended with the revelation and he used to move his lips [for committing it into memory instantly]. That was hard on him and was recognised in him. So Allah the Almighty sent down the ayat in the sura which begins, 'No! I swear by the Day of Rising!' (75:1), 'Do not move your tongue trying to hasten it. Its collection (to collect it in your breast) and recitation are Our responsibility. So when We recite it, follow its recitation,' (When We reveal it, then listen to it.) 'IThen its explanation is also Our responsibility.' (75:19) He said, 'It is up to Us to make it clear on your tongue.' He said, 'When Jibril came to you, he would listen and when he left, he would recite it as Allah had promised him."

XXIX: Prolonging sounds in recitation

4758. It is related that Qatada said, "I asked Anas ibn Malik about the recitation of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he said, "He used to prolong the sounds."

4759. It is related that Qatada said, "Anas was asked, 'What was the recitation of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, like?' He said. 'It was elongated.' Then he recited, 'In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, Most Merciful,' prolonging 'bismi'llah', prolonging 'ar-Rahman' and prolonging 'ar-Rahim.'"

XXX: at-Tarji' (Quavering while reciting)

4760. It is related that 'Abdullah ibn Mughaffal said, "I saw the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, reciting while he was on his she-camel or his camel which was moving. He was reciting Surat al-Fath or part of Surat al-Fath softly and  he was reciting with his voice quavering."

XXXI: Having a good voice while reciting the Qur'an

4761. It is related from Abu Musa that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to him, "Abu Musa, you have been given one of the flutes of the family of Dawud."

XXXII: Someone wanting to listen to someone else recite the Qur'an

4762. It is related that 'Abdullah said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to me, 'Recite the Qur'an to me.' I said, 'Shall I recite it to you when it was revealed to you?' He said, "I like to listen to it from someone else."

XXXIII: Someone listening to a recitation telling the reciter, "Enough"

4763. It is related that 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to me, 'Recite (the Qur'an) to me.' I said, 'O Messenger of Allah, shall I recite to you when it was sent down to you?' He said, 'Yes.' So I recited Surat an-Nisa' to him until I reached this ayat, 'How will it be when We bring a witness from every nation and bring you as a witness against them?' (4:41) He said, 'That is enough now,' and I turned to him and his eyes were flowing with tears."

XXXIV: How much of the Qur'an should be recited

The words of Allah Almighty, "So recite as much of it as is easy for you." (73:20)

4764. It is related that Ibn Shubruma said, "I looked to see how much of the Qur'an is enough for a man, and I did not find a sura with less than three ayats. Therefore I said that it is no proper for anyone to recite less than three ayats."

[Meaning in the prayer]

'Alqama mentioned that he met Abu Mas'ud while he was doing tawaf of the House and he mentioned what the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had said: "If someone recites the last two ayats of Surat al-Baqara, they will be enough for him for that night."

4765. It is related that 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr said, "My father married me to a woman of noble lineage. He used to go to her and ask her about her husband. She would say, 'What an excellent man! He has not slept in our bed and has not uncovered us when we came to him!' When this went on for a long time, he mentioned that to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, who said, 'Let me meet him.' I later met with him and he asked, 'How do you fast?' "Every day,' I replied. He asked, 'How long do you take to recite the entire Qur'an?' I answered, 'I do it every night.' He said, 'Fast three days every month and recite the entire Qur'an once a month.' I said, 'I am strong enough to do more than that.' He said, 'Then fast three days a week.' I said, 'I am strong enough to do more than that.' He said, 'Then fast the best fast: the fast of Dawud. Fast one day and break the fast the next, and do a full recitation once a week.' Would that I had accepted the allowance of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace!' That was when he was old and weak. He used to recite a seventh of the Qur'an to some of his family in the daytime. He used to read it to check it in the daytime so that it would be easier for him in the night. When we wanted to gain some strength, he would not fast some days and then fast days to make them up, since he disliked abandoning anything he was doing before the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, died.

Abu 'Abdullah said that one of them said "over three days," "over five days", but most of them say "seven".

4766. It is related that 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, asked me, 'How long do you take to recite the entire Qur'an?'"

4767. It is related that 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr said, "The the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Recite the Qur'an over a month.'" I said, 'I feel strong,' until he said, 'Recite it in a week, but do not do more than that.'"

XXXV: Weeping when the Qur'an is recited

4768. The following hadith is related via 'Amr ibn Murra: "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to me..."

It is related that 'Abdullah said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Recite (the Qur'an) to me.' I said, 'O Messenger of Allah, shall I recite to you when it was sent down to you?' He said, 'I want to hear it from someone else.' He said, I recited Surat an-Nisa' to him until I reached this ayat, 'How will it be when We bring a witness from every nation and bring you as a witness against them?' (4:41) He said, 'That is enough now,' or 'Stop!' and I turned to him and his eyes were flowing with tears."

4769. 'Abdullah said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to me, ''Recite (the Qur'an) to me.' I said, 'Shall I recite to you when it was sent down to you?' He said, 'I want to hear it from someone else.'"

XXXVI: The sin of somonewho recites the Qur'an to show off or to earn by it or to feel proud by doing it

4770. It is related that 'Ali said, "I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'At the end of time there will come a people young in years with foolish dreams. They will speak very well, but they will pass through Islam as an arrow passes through game. Their faith will not go beyond their throats. Kill them wherever you find them. There will be a reward for those who kill them on the Day of Rising.'"

4771. It is related that Abu Sa'id al-Khudri said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'Some people will emerge among you whose prayer will make you think little of yours in comparison, whose fasting will make you think little of your fasting, and whose actions will make you think little of your actions. They will recite the Qur'an, but it will not go beyond their throats. They will pass through the deen as an arrow passes through game. One looks at the arrowhead and sees nothing, looks at the shaft and sees nothing, and looks at the flights and sees nothing, and one is in doubt about the notch.'"

4772. Abu Musa reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The believer who recites the Qur'an and acts on it is like a citron - its scent is fragrant and its taste is good. The believer who does not recite the Qur'an but acts on it is like a date - it has no scent but its taste is sweet. The metaphor of a hypocrite who recites the Qur'an is that of basil - its scent is fragrant but its taste is bitter. The metaphor of a hypocrite who does not recite the Qur'an is that of colocynth - it has no scent and its taste is bitter."

XXXVII: "Recite the Qur'an as long as your hearts agree about it."

4773. It is related from Jundub ibn 'Abdullah that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Recite the Qur'an as long as your hearts agree about it. When you disagree about it, then stop."

4774. It is related from Jundub that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Recite the Qur'an as long as your hearts agree about it. When you disagree about it, then stop."

It is corroborated from Abu 'Imran. Hammad ibn Salama and Aban do not consider it to be marfu'.

It is reported from Abu 'Imran that he heard Jundub say this.

This is reported from 'Umar, but Jundub is sounder and the more frequent transmission.

4775. It is related that 'Abdullah heard a man reciting an ayat when he had heard it differently from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He took him by the hand and brought him to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, who said, "Both of you are good, so go on reciting. He added, "Those before you disagreed and were destroyed.'"