Is it obligatory to listen to the Qur’an when one is reciting next to you or if it is playing in a store? -Shaykh ibn al-’Uthaymeen

In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful

Is it obligatory to listen to the Qur’an when one is reciting next to you or if it is playing in a store?

By Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-’Uthaymeen may Allah have mercy on him 

Question: What is the ruling of remaining silent when the Qur’an is recited? Is it obligatory or highly recommended? Also, if the Qur’an is playing [over the speaker] in a grocery store how can one work and at the same time deal with customers?

Answer: Listening to the recital of the Qur’an is obligated [only] at the time when a person is being led in the loud prayers [Maghrib, ‘Eshaa, Fajr, Jumu’ah, ‘Eid etc]. This is why Imaam Ahmad said regarding Allah’s statement,

وَإِذَا قُرِئَ ٱلۡقُرۡءَانُ فَٱسۡتَمِعُواْ لَهُ ۥ وَأَنصِتُواْ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تُرۡحَمُونَ

“So, when the Qur’an is recited, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy” (al-‘Araaf: 204)

“It is unanimously agreed that this is regarding the prayer”.

There comes a narration on the authority of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, that he said:

إِنَّمَا جُعِلَ الإِمَامُ  لِيُؤْتَمَّ بِهِ

“The Imam was only made to be followed.” (Bukhari)

And he said,

وَإِذَا قَرَأَ فَأَنْصِتُوا

“And when he [the Imaam] recited, then remain silent.” (Muslim)

As for when the Qur’an is being recited [outside of prayer] next to you then it is not required for you to listen. Rather, you should read the Qur’an by yourself, remember Allah by yourself, and review the books that are in front of you. Even if the reciter is right next to you, and that is because you did not want to listen to his recital [in the first place].

As for what some people do by playing a recording of the Qur’an in the store, and at the same time there is vain talk or prohibited speech, then I haven’t seen this, but I fear that it may be an insult to the Qur’an. It would suffice them to put on headphones and then listen to the Qur’an. That is because the Qur’an is the most noble and greatest Speech and to put it in a place where there is vain talk and falsehood is not befitting. Therefore, we advise our brothers who listen to the recordings of the Qur’an in their stores, and they desire good in shaa Allah, to not do this because I fear that this will be from the aspect of disrespecting the Qur’an.

Source: Fataawaa Nur ‘ala ad-Darb: Book of the Sciences of Qur’an, Volume 2, Question #772.

Translated by: Abu Awzaa’ee AbdusSalaam

الفقير الى الله

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