Ethics of Reading the Quran

Ethics of Reading the Quran

So, you are now ready to read the Quran. You do realize that this is no ordinary text. Therefore, you do not approach it in no ordinary manner. It is very important to know about the ethics of reading the Quran. When we want to read the holy book of Allah, we have to be careful that we observe certain things. In this article on, we will explore the following topics:

Being in a Purified State Is the First Among the Ethics of Reading the Quran

One of the first things that we must consider before beginning recitation of the Quran is our state before we approach it. It is recommended that we make ablution or wuḍū (وُضُو) before starting to read the Quran, as it is only in this state that we should touch the illuminant text of the Quran. Of course, if you are using your smartphone, it is okay to touch the screen where the text of the Quran is without wudu. However, having wuḍū and ghusl (غسل), if one needs to perform it, before Quran recitation is mustahabb (مُسْتَحَبّ) and causes us to receive greater reward.

Of course, it is not obligatory to make wudu but you have to be careful not to touch the text of the muṣḥaf (مُصْحَف) (book) of the Quran. Therefore, it is much more convenient to make wudu as you can freely touch the pages and text of the Quran. If a man or woman is in an impure state, e.g. junub: جُنُب, meaning they have had intercourse, reciting more than seven verses of the Quran is makrūh (مکروه) meaning it is disliked by Allah until the person performs the major ablution or ghusl. Reading a verse that contains a wājib  sajdah  (السَّجدَةُ الوَاجِبَة) in such a state is unlawful (حرام). Moreover, a woman who is menstruating is not allowed to touch the text of the Quran or read verses that contain a wajib sajdah, until she is purified from menstruation. However, she is allowed to read other verses of the Quran, of course, without touching the text.

Facing the Qiblah Is One of the Important Ethics of the Reading the Quran

One of the ādāb (ءَاداب) or ethics of reading the Quran is facing in the direction of the Kaaba, otherwise known as the qiblah, during the recitation. This act is recommended and not obligatory. So, if someone knows the qiblah it would be wise to face the direction of the place where the Quran was revealed, and if one does not know the qiblah, it is completely fine to recite the Quran facing any other direction.

As for in what position the reciter must be in while reciting the Quran, it is strongly recommended that the reciter sits in an upright position on his two knees. It is disrespectful to the Quran to recite it while holding the Quran in a lying down position, and some even consider it a sin. Like we said at the beginning, this is no ordinary word.

Some people might ask, is it okay to recite the Quran without hijab? The answer is, it is perfectly fine as long as there are no non-mahram men. Unlike prayer where a Muslim woman must wear full hijab, it is not necessary to wear hijab for reading and reciting the Quran. Of course, the private parts must be covered which is the minimum hijab for both men and women. And, reciting the Quran while taking a shower is makruh (disliked) if the person is fully unclothed.

Sending Salutations on the Prophet and His Progeny as One of the Ethics of Reading the Quran

The next etiquette that is highly recommended to observe before beginning your recitation of the Quran is sending salutations on the Prophet and his noble and pure progeny:

اَللّهمَ صَلِّ عَلی مُحَمَّد وَ آلِ مُحَمَّد

“O Allah, send your salutations on Muhammad and on the progeny of Muhammad.”

It is also mentioned that an act that will help us on the day of neglect (Day of Judgement) is the constant salutation to Prophet Muhammad and his family (peace be upon him and his family). It is indeed a satisfactory feeling to remember the one who brought the Quran to us before we approach the Quran itself.

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Learn more about Prophet Muhammad by clicking here!

Seeking Refuge in Allah and Beginning With His Name Is Among the Most Important Ethics of Reading the Quran

Seeking refuge in Allah from the outcast Satan, an act known as the isti‘ādhah (اعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم), is one of the most important ethics of reading the Quran that must be observed by every reciter. Of course, it is important to note that by simply pronouncing “I seek refuge in Allah from the outcast Satan” in Arabic is not enough. That is, one must really seek refuge in Allah in practice. In other words, one must remember Allah and not think of evil things and detach himself completely from Satan and only think of Allah and His words.

The second most important ethical act that must be done before reciting the Quran is beginning with saying the bismillah (بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم). Of course, it is said that if the verse you are reciting is a verse about punishment of wrongdoers or a verse about God’s anger at them, saying the isti‘ādhah suffices.

We all know that the Quran is very beautiful due to its eloquence and with all its rhymes and rhythmic nature. The Noble Prophet has said that it is recommended to recite the Quran with a good and melodious voice because it adds to its beauty. The Prophet has said, “Beautify the Quran with your voices, for indeed a good voice increases the beauty of the Quran.”[1] To learn reciting the Quran melodiously, you must listen to the recitation of authentic reciters and try to imitate their style of recitation.

To better your recitation and prefect your articulation of the recitation, you should considering reciting the Quran with tajweed.

Remaining Silent While the Quran Is Recited

Though you may not be reciting the Quran, the Quran is the word of Allah. Therefore, when it is recited, one must remain silent while listening to it carefully and pondering on its meanings. The Quran itself has pointed this out in a verse that reads:

وَإِذَا قُرِئَ ٱلْقُرْءَانُ فَٱسْتَمِعُوا۟ لَهُۥ وَأَنصِتُوا۟ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ ﴿204﴾

And maintain silence and listen [carefully] when the Qur’ān is recited, that you may receive mercy. 2

If, God forbid, someone neglects this and purposely does not listen to the Quran and does not remain silent when the Quran is being recited, he has disrespected the Quran, which is a sin.

All of these ethics were discussed in details in our “How to Read Quran” course. We highly recommend you go over them there as well.

Where and When to Recite the Quran?

As for the time and place of reciting the Noble Quran, there are certain places that reciting the Quran brings more reward. For example, reciting the Quran in the mosque or a specific room in the house that someone has designated as the place for worship of Allah brings more reward for the reciter. On the contrary, reciting in some places brings less reward such as in the bathroom where it is makrūh.

The best times to recite the Quran are after the morning prayers, before sleep, and especially during the entire month of Ramadan. Nevertheless, reciting the Quran at other times is perfectly fine even during zawal (زوال) when the time of the noon prayer comes.


Being in an “Islamically” pure state, reciting in the direction of qibla, seeking refuge in Allah from Satan and beginning with the name of Allah, sending salutations to the Prophet and his progeny, reciting the Quran with a beautiful voice, remaining silent while the Quran is being recited, and reciting the Quran in an appropriate and recommended place and time were some ethics that you must consider when you want to recite the Quran. Hopefully and God willing, by bearing these ethics in mind, you will be able to reap the most benefits from reciting the Quran.

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Abu Mahdi
Abu Mahdi
I'm Abu Mahdi, one of the writers of this blog. I have a BA in English literature and an MA in English language teaching. I am also a teacher and reciter of the Quran in the field of reading the Quran, tajweed, and maqamat. Currently, we are working on a course for learning tajweed of the Quran here on Islam4u.

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