The Etiquette of reciting the Holy Quran

Qirat or recitation of the Quran has one basic requirement, that is, the Tarteel or the distinct intonation and pronunciation of the words. While reciting one has to keep in mind the fasl {division ) and wasl ( joining ) of words and sentences.

Hazrat Ali (a.s.) has said that Tarteel is delivering words according to their Makharij (outlets for sound or intonations). Uttering the words clearly and slowly and reciting with understanding and uttering the contents correctly is of prime importance. One should not recite the Quran with such speed that it might become incomprehensible and bore the listener. Neither the recitation be so slow that it takes long time and puts the listeners off.. “Khair al umoore ausatha” or it is better to follow the middle path.

The other important aspect of the recitation is the reading with understanding and thought. One should keep his eyes on the meanings of the Quran. While reciting the verses about Allah’s Blessings, one should seek Astaghfar (Allah’s Help and Foregiveness).

Imam Raza (a.s.) used to recite the Quran with feelings and tears. He used to cry when reference to the Heaven and Hell came during the reading of the Book. At these points he used to seek Allah’s Help. When the Imam (a.s.) recited the verse Qul huwallahu ahad , he used to say Kadhalik Allahu Rabbi three times. Similarly after reciting the verse Qul ya ayyuhal kaferoon in the prayer, the Imam used to say Rabbi Allaho Deenalislam three times. After reciting the verse Wat-teene wazaitune Imam Reza (a.s.) used to say bala wa ana zaalika min al shahedeen. On reciting the verse Ala uqsimo beyoumilqiyamah the Imam (a.s.) said Subhanaka Allahumma Balah. On reciting Sura e Fateha the Imam (a.s.) said Alhamdu lillahe Rab al Aalemeen. Whenever the Imam (a.s.) came across the words ya ayyuhal lazeena aamanu during the recitation of the Quran he would say slowly the words Labbaek Allahumma labbaek.

Hazrat Ali (a.s.) said that whenever one recited In Allaha malaekatahu yusalloona alan-nabi…. It should be followed by benediction (durood) whether during the prayers or while at the session of recitation. He said that after reciting the verse wat-teen one should say Nahnu ala zalika min al shahedeen.

Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) used to say deenilislam alaihi ahya-an wa alaihi amwaatu insha Allah after reciting the verse Qul ya ayyuhal kaferoon.

Imam Zain al Abedeen (a.s.) has said, “ If a person wishes to converse with Allah, he should recite the Quran. When he comes to the passages where Allah addresses the people, he should say labbaek Allahumma labbaek and in the passages where Allah addresses the Prophet (a.s.) or the people of the earlier times, he should feel that the communication is for his own benefit only. When he reads about the spread of victuals of the Heaven in the Quran, he should draw pleasure from the very thought of the delicacies. He should visualise that his Friend has made the spread for him. Sometimes Allah recounts His most superior qualities of Beneficence and Sustenence in the Quran, and at other places He talks of the unfathomable treasures of knowledge.

Thus Allah recounts his innumerable Bounties to His creatures in the Book and shows them the way of happiness and pleasure. He promises them a place in the Heaven and also warns them of the Hellfire. The gathering for the recitation of the Quran is the most wonderful gathering. In this gathering Allah is the Host and the courtiers the Prophets and their Vicegerents (a.s.). How could one not be happy in such a gathering! Due respect for such a gathering is very important. One should therefore purify oneself with ablution (Wadu) is necessary.



Before commencing the recitation of the Holy Quran one should do Ista aaza or seek the protection of Allah against the machination of the Satan. For this one should say Aa-uzu billahi. This has been mandated by the Quran..

There are two ways of doing the Ista-aaza. The first is saying, ‘ Aa-uzu billahi min al shaitan ir rajeem’ and the second is ‘Aa-uzu billahi samiul aleem min al shaitan ir rajeem’. According to some other traditions, one should say ‘Aa-uzu billahi min al shaitan ir rajeem in Allaha huwal fattahul aleem.’ But the first two methods of seeking Allah’s Help to ward off the Satan are very much in vogue.


It is advised to face the Kaaba while reciting the Quran, be it in loneliness or in congregation. One should not sit at the back of anyone while reciting the Quran.


One person told to Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) that he used to complete the recitation of the Quran in a single sitting in the night. (Abu Baseer ).

The Imam (a.s.) said,” It is better if you do one complete recitation of the Quran in one month. Quran should be recited with tarteel or slowly with proper pronunciation and punctuation. The reading should be such that the words are comprehensible to the reciter and the listener. Whenever there is mention of the Heaven in the Quran, the reciter should seek Allah’s help for his deliverence. Similarly when the Hell is mentioned, he should seek deliverence..One should recite the Quran more during the Holy month of Ramadan.”.

Ali bin Mugheera asked Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.), “ My father asked your ancestor, the Prophet of Islam (a.s.) about completing a recitation of the Quran in one night.. The Prophet said (a.s.), ‘ Yes! It can be done!’ “ Then Ibne Mugheera said,” My father used to complete forty recitations of the Quran or even more during the month of Ramandan.. I follow the same practice and on Idd al Fitr I complete one recitation to felcitate Holy Prophet (a.s.), one for Hazrat Ali (a.s.), one for Hazrat fatima Zehra (a.s.) and one each as tribute to each of the Holy Imams (a.s). This is my practice from the beginning and what Reward I could get for this? Will it be entered in the account of my deeds?”

The Imam (a.s.) said, “ Because of this practice Allah will treat you with these Infallible persons on the Day of Judgement” Ibne Jaseem was astonished and said, “ Is there so much reward for an insignificant person like me?”

The Imam (a.s.) said thrice, “ Balay, balay, balay ( Yes, yes, yes)!”


Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) has said one whose memory is weak should learn the Quran with more practice. Allah will give him more reward. The Quran should be recited in a good tone but not with rhythm.

It is not good for a person to memorise the Quran and forget it. The verses that he had memorized, and forgotten, will salute the reciter in the Heaven from an elevated place by saying,’ Salam alaik’. The person would respond to the greeting and ask who they were and why they were greeting him from that distanceThey will reply that they were the verses of the Quran that he had memorised and didn’t care to retain in his memory. If he had tyaken care to retain the memory, he would have been in the higher echelons of the Heaven with them!



The eyesight of a person will improve if he recites the Quran looking at it pages. Allah will reduce the punishment for the sins of this person’s parents, even if the father or the mother was an infidel.