Can one recite the Qur’an without understanding the meaning? -Shaykh ibn Baaz

In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful

Can one recite the Qur’an without understanding the meaning?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Aziz bin Abdillah bin Baaz may Allah have mercy on him

Question: Is it permissible to recite the Qur’an without understanding the meaning? We hope that you can clarify this matter.

Answer: Yes, it is permissible for the believing man and woman to recite the Qur’an without understanding the meaning. However, it is legislated to contemplate and ponder the Qur’an until it is understood. This can be done by returning to the books of Tafsir. If one is able then they should return to the books of Tafsir and the books of the Arabic language until they can benefit. The Muslim should also return to the people of knowledge and ask them regarding the verses that they have issues understanding. And the sole purpose and ultimate goal of carrying out these methods is to ponder over the Qur’an, because Allah the Most High said,

كِتَـٰبٌ أَنزَلۡنَـٰهُ إِلَيۡكَ مُبَـٰرَكٌ۬ لِّيَدَّبَّرُوٓاْ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُوْلُواْ ٱلۡأَلۡبَـٰبِ

“(This is) a Book (the Qur’ân) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember.” [Saad: 29]

Therefore the believer should ponder and reflect over the meanings of the Qur’an and give special attention to its recital. If the believer doesn’t benefit from the meaning completely then he will at least benefit from most of the meanings. The believer should recite the Qur’an until he/she are able to benefit from the Speech of their Lord, are able to know what is intended by that Speech, and are able to act upon what they have learned. Allah said,

أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ ٱلۡقُرۡءَانَ أَمۡ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبٍ أَقۡفَالُهَآ

“Do they not then think deeply in the Qur’ân, or are their hearts locked up (from understanding it)?” [Muhammad: 24]

Our Lord has encouraged and motivated us to ponder and reflect over His Speech. So when the believing man and woman recites the Book of Allah, then it is obligatory to ponder and reflect over the verses. They should give great care to what they recite until they benefit from the Speech of Allah, understand its meanings, and implement what they know. The Tafaasir authored by the scholars like Ibn Kathir, Ibn Jarir (at-Tabari), al-Baghawi, ash-Shawkaani, and other than these Tafaasir, the books of the Arabic language, and asking the people of knowledge about verses will aid one in understanding and implementation.

Source: Fee Rawdatil Qur’an p. 51-53

Translated by: Abu Awzaa’ee AbdusSalaam

الفقير الى الله

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