Questions & Answers on the Qur’aan – By | Shaykh Saalih Al-Fawzaan

AUTHOR: Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan
SOURCE: The end of his treatise “Tadabbur al-Qur’aan”

These are some questions and answers related the subject of this lecture, which we wanted to include here in order to complete the benefit:

[1] Question: It has been mentioned in a hadeeth that the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “The sins of my ummah were displayed before me, and so I didn’t see anything worse than that (sin) of a man who memorized a verse (from the Qur’aan) then forgot it.” What does this hadeeth mean?

[1] Answer:I am not aware of this hadeeth nor did I come across it in my research. However, I will note that forgetfulness is of two types: The first type is when forgetfulness occurs due to someone becoming confused and distracted or due to some sickness that has stricken him. In this case, he will not be held accountable for his forgetfulness. The second type is if the forgetfulness occurs due to him turning away from reciting the Book of Allaah. In this case, the person will be held accountable for his action, since he forgot it due to negligence.

[2] Question: Noble Shaikh, I try to read the Noble Qur’aan and I love the Book of Allaah greatly. However, the matter becomes difficult for me and I am not able to complete my recitation. What is the solution to this problem?

[2] Answer: The solution can be found in that which Allaah has instructed when He said: “So when you recite the Qur’aan, seek refuge in Allaah from the outcast Devil. Verily, he has no power over those who believe and put their trust in their Lord (Allaah). His power is only over those who obey and follow him and those who associate partners in worship with Him (i.e. Allaah).” [Surah An-Nahl: 98-100]

Allaah has instructed us to seek refuge in Him from the outcast Devil before reciting the Qur’aan. This is so that Allaah can remove and distance this enemy from us.

And you must also always reflect on the Qur’aan, since reflecting on it is one of the things that will cause you to be conscious about it liand incite you towards the noble Qur’aan. All of your longing should not be geared towards just completing a surah or finishing up a juz and so on. Rather, your objective in reciting the Qur’aan should be to reflect and ponder upon the meaning of what you recite from the verses of Allaah. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would prolong his recitation during the Night Prayer, and he would not pass upon a verse related to Allaah’s Mercy except that he would stop and ask Allaah (for Mercy), nor would he pass upon a verse in which (Allaah’s) punishment was mentioned except that he would stop and seek refuge in Allaah (from that). All of this shows that he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would recite the Qur’aan whilst reflecting on it and having a conscious and attentive heart.

[3] Question: What is your advice to the youth concerning the simplest way to memorize the Book of Allaah?

[3] Answer: The Qur’aan is simple and easy to memorize. Allaah says: “And We have indeed made the Qur’aan easy to understand and remember, so is there anyone who will remember it?” [Surah Al-Qamar: 17]

The problem lies in a person’s determination and the truthfulness of his intention. So if a person has true determination and a strong interest in the Qur’aan, Allaah will facilitate and make easy his memorization of it. There are also some other things one could do to help in memorizing the Qur’aan such as allotting a specific suitable time every day for attending classes with one who teaches the Qur’aan in the masjid. All praise be to Allaah, the teachers today are many. You will not find a neighborhood except that amongst them there lives one who teaches the Qur’aan. This is a great opportunity that didn’t exist in previous times. So a person should choose anyone of the many gatherings or anyone of the many teachers present today and constantly attend these gatherings/sittings with a teacher daily until he completes the Qur’aan.

You should also constantly repeat over and over again what you recite, until it becomes firmly established in your heart and mind. You must also act upon (what you learn from) the Book of Allaah, for that is the greatest means of learning the Qur’aan. Allaah says: “So be dutiful to Allaah and Allaah will teach you. And Allaah is the All-Knower of everything.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 282]

[4] Question: Noble Shaikh, there are many books of tafseer, so which tafseer do you advise (us) to read. May Allaah reward you well.

[4] Answer: The books of Tafseer are many, all praise be to Allaah. This is from the blessings of Allaah. However, these books of Tafseer vary – amongst them are those that are long and in depth and those that are short and abridged, as well as those that are free from errors and those that contain errors, particularly in matters of Creed. What I advise my brothers from amongst the youth to read is the Tafseer of Ibn Katheer for it is the greatest of tafseers and the one that uses the best way and method (for interpreting the Qur’aan) in spite of it being abridged. This is since he (i.e. Ibn Katheer) has interpreted the Qur’aan using the Qur’aan first, then by using the Prophetic Sunnah, then with the statements of the Salaf, and finally by using the requisites of Arabic, the language in which it was revealed. So it is a precise and reliable tafseer.

There is also the tafseer of Al-Baghawee and the tafseer of Ibn Jareer At-Tabaree, which is a comprehensive and all-inclusive tafseer. These tafseer books are trustworthy. There is also the tafseer of Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan As-Sa’adee, which is an excellent tafseer using simple expressions which contain tremendous knowledge.

As for the remaining tafseer books, they are good in some aspects, however they have errors in them, especially in matters of Creed. It is not proper for anyone to read these types of tafseer books except for the person that is proficient in knowledge to the point that he is able to take the good from it and avoid its errors. But as for the beginner, he is not able to do this, so he must take from the tafseer books that do not contain dangers and errors, such as the Tafseer of Ibn Katheer, the Tafseer of Al-Baghawee and the Tafseer of Al-Haafidh Ibn Jareer. All of these books of tafseer are valuable and excellent, all praise be to Allaah.

[5] Question: What are the most important lessons that a student of knowledge should begin with, and what advice do you give him? Also, what do you say concerning someone that makes excuses for himself from studying when we desire to take him to attend lessons and lectures?

[5] Answer: The student of knowledge (in Riyadh) must enroll himself in one of the educational institutes under the Imaam Muhammad bin Su’ood Islamic University for they have excellent curriculums that are arranged according to the levels of the students – step by step – the first year, then the second year, then the third and the fourth. There is a curriculum for each year, which differs from the curriculum of the previous year and they progress in levels after each year. These are curriculums that have been chosen by our scholars and teachers who did well in establishing these institutes and selecting syllabuses for them.

So I advise the student of knowledge to enroll in one of these institutes, however he is able to do that. Thereafter, he should register with one of the collegiate faculties of the University, such as the faculty of Sharee’ah, the faculty of Usool-ud-Deen, the faculty of Hadeeth and its Sciences, the faculty of the Arabic Language and so on. If the student of knowledge is not able to enroll in one of these institutes and collegiate faculties, he should try to make time to sit in the classes of the scholars who teach in the masaajid. And they, all praise be to Allaah, are many and the classes they give cover a wide range of Islamic sciences.

I advise the student of knowledge to firmly adhere to these classes, whether those given in the University or those held in the masaajid. So it is not enough for him that he attend classes one week then is absent from them for several weeks afterward or that he attend one month, then is absent for several months. This person will not benefit at all. This is since if he misses out on receiving some of the knowledge, there will remain a void in his mind and comprehension and he will miss out on much good. So the student of knowledge must have diligence, a strong interest and eagerness.

[6] Question: Noble Shaikh, what is your opinion concerning what some people do today in that when the Imaam passes by a verse related to (Allaah’s) punishment during prayer, they seek refuge in Allaah (out loud) even though they are praying, and when he passes by a verse related to (Allaah’s) Mercy, they supplicate to Allaah. What is the ruling on this? May Allaah reward you.

[6] Answer: there is no doubt that this is something prescribed in the supererogatory prayers since the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would do it in the recommended prayers. As for the obligatory prayers, then I hold that is not legislated to do this since the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would not do this in the obligatory prayers. Rather, he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would only do this in the recommended prayers. So the one following in prayer should remain silent for the Qur’aan during prayer and not say anything at all. Allaah says: “And when the Qur’aan is recited, then listen to it and be silent in order that you may gain mercy.” [Surah Al-A’raaf: 204]

Imaam Ahmad, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: “This ayah was revealed concerning the prayer” – meaning: The reason it was revealed was with regard to the prayer.

So the one following in prayer should listen to the recitation of his Imaam during the obligatory prayer and not supplicate (to Allaah) upon hearing a verse related to Mercy or seek refuge in Allaah (by saying ‘Audhu billaah) upon hearing a verse related to punishment. This only applies to the recommended prayers.

[7] Question: Noble Shaikh, there is an Imaam in one of the masaajid in Riyadh that has a beautiful and pleasant voice when reciting the Qur’aan. This is such that people have begun to go pray with him in large amounts from remote areas, leaving off the masaajid in their vicinities. They do this during the prayers in which the Qur’aan is recited out loud and especially during the nights of Ramadaan for Taraaweeh. Is this permissible? Please benefit us, may Allaah reward you.

[7] Answer: Yes, this is a phenomenon that exists today, and it is that many people gather together in one of the masaajid, coming from distant areas, just for this masjid. This is something that is not encouraged, and I don’t consider it to be a good practice, since it is better to pray in and frequent the masjid that is in the vicinity of your home. The reason for this is because there is less of a burden in doing this and also because it is less likely that one will do this for showing off or to be seen by the people. Furthermore, there may occur personal differences and division between the Imaam of the abandoned masjid and his former congregation who no longer pray with him. If the people abandon their masaajid and instead go to pray in specified masaajid, the other masaajid will become inactive and close down. So I don’t approve of this. It is better for the residents of an area to pray in the masjid of that area.

Secondly, if too many people accumulate in one masjid, this may lead to people praying in the streets. And praying in the streets is not permissible except in cases of emergency, such as during the ‘Eid prayer or the Jumu’ah prayer, for in these occasions, the masjid becomes constricted and it is permissible to pray in the streets in these situations – when the masjid is overcrowded, since this is not done in other than these occasions. So if the result of too many people gathering in one of the masaajid is that the people will end up praying in the streets, on occasions other than the Jumu’ah prayer, then this is not permissible because praying in the streets is only allowed in cases of emergency.

[8] Question: Noble Shaikh, what is the ruling on one who recites the Qur’aan whilst not having wudoo, regardless of whether he recites from memory or from the mus-haf?

[8] Answer: It is permissible for a person to recite the Qur’aan without having wudoo if he recites from his memory. This is since nothing prevented the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) from reciting the Qur’aan except for Janaabah (sexual impurity). He (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would recite the Qur’aan whilst in a state of wudoo and without it.

As for the mus-haf, it is not permissible for someone who has broken his wudoo to touch it, regardless of whether it is the minor form of impurity or the major form. Allaah says: “No one touches it except for the pure.” [Surah Al-Waaqi’ah: 79] This means: “Those who are pure and free from impurities, uncleanness and Shirk.” Also in the hadeeth, the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) wrote a letter to his vice-regent ‘Amr bin Hazm in which he instructed him: “No one should touch the mus-haf except for the purified.” 

This is also the view that has been unanimously agreed upon by the four Imaams – that it is not permissible for one in the state of impurity – whether major or minor state – to touch the mus-hafexcept from behind a covering, such as when the mus-haf is in a box or a bag or if one touches it using one’s garment or sleeve as a barrier.

[9] Question: What is your opinion concerning someone who preoccupies himself with the significant affairs of the Muslims, such as Calling to Allaah and raising the youth upon the noble Qur’aan and the purified Sunnah, but does not find time to memorize the Qur’aan? What is your advice to these kinds of people?

[9] Answer: It is obligatory upon the Caller to first become qualified before he sets out on Da’wah (Calling), by way of studying the noble Qur’aan, its meanings and interpretation, and by way of studying the prophetic Sunnah, as much as he is able to, reading its explanation and learning the religious laws. So it is obligatory upon the Caller to Allaah to be qualified. No one is fit for Da’wah (Calling) except for he who has knowledge. Allaah says: “Say: This is my path, I call to it upon clear insight – I and those who follow me.” [Surah Yoosuf: 108]

“Clear insight” here refers to knowledge and wisdom. Allaah says: “Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good admonition.” [Surah An-Nahl: 125]

Therefore, an ignorant person is not fit to carry out the Da’wah since perhaps he might mess up the Da’wah by making lawful the forbidden or making unlawful the permitted. Or he may be severe on a matter that does not require that harshness be applied and so on. So there must be conditions for the Caller, amongst which the most fundamental of these conditions is that he acquires knowledge by which he can call the people to the Religion of Allaah.

Also, perhaps doubt-raising arguments may be presented to the Caller for which he will need to provide answers. So if he is ignorant, how can he respond to these doubts?

How can he reply to the objections of his opponents? How can he confront the deviants, sinners and confused individuals? If he doesn’t have knowledge, he will indeed face defeat in front of them. So the Caller must have knowledge of the Qur’aan, the prophetic Sunnah, the Hadeeth, Fiqh (Jurisprudence), ‘Aqeedah (Creed) and all of the other Islamic sciences.

Published: July 14, 2005 | Modified: July 14, 2005

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