Is there a dalil regarding the prohibition against reciting the Quran aloud for it is like a person announcing his charity?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Al-Quran is a miracle revealed by Allah SWT to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH through the angel Gabriel. Furthermore, there are numerous advantages and rewards for those who recite and practice the holy verses of al-Quran as stated in the Quran and sahih hadiths of the Prophet PBUH. Among them are:
- From Abdullah bin Mas’ud RA, the Prophet PBUH said:
مَن قَرَأَ حَرْفًا مِنْ كِتَابِ اللَّهِ فَلَهُ بِهِ حَسَنَةٌ ، وَالْحَسَنَةُ بِعَشْرِ أَمْثَالِهَا ، لَا أَقُوْلُ آلم حَرْفٌ ، وَلَكِنْ أَلِفٌ حَرْفٌ وَلَامٌ حَرْفٌ وَمِيْمٌ حَرْفٌ
"[Whoever recites a letter] from Allah's Book, then he receives the reward from it, and the reward of ten the like of it. I do not say that Alif Lam Mim is a letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter."
Sunan al-Tirmizi (2835)
According to the above question, there is a hadith which narrates a comparison between a person who recites the Quran aloud and he is likened to a person who publicly gives charity.
- From Uqbah bin ‘Amir RA, the Prophet PBUH said:
الْجَاهِرُ بِالْقُرْآنِ، كَالْجَاهِرِ بِالصَّدَقَةِ، وَالْمُسِرُّ بِالْقُرْآنِ، كَالْمُسِرِّ بِالصَّدَقَةِ
“One who recites the Qur'an in a loud voice is like one who gives alms openly; and one who recites the Qur'an quietly is one who gives alms secretly.”
Sunan Abu Daud (1333) and Sunan al-Tirmizi (2919) [Syeikh Syu’aib al-Arna’outh evaluate the hadith as sahih and its sanad is hasan]
Imam al-Tibi when commenting on the hadith said, there is athar (narrations) stating the advantages of reciting the Quran aloud. Furthermore, there is also athar (narrations) regarding the advantages of reciting the Quran in a low voice. Thus, in harmonizing these wisdoms from the hadiths, it is concluded that it is prioritized to recite the Quran in a low voice if a person fears he would be from among the riya’ (show off/pretentiousness). While reciting the Quran aloud is prioritized for those who do not worry about this attribute (riya’) on the condition that he does not disturb others such as other people who are praying, sleeping or others. The reason is by reciting the Quran loudly, it would also benefit others who listen, learn and feel at ease and it is also an eminence of Islam for it is able to firms the heart of the person who is reciting it, motivates a person, preventing sleep (excessively) and instigate others to perform worship. Thus, if all of these can be achieved by him reciting the Quran aloud, it is prioritized for him to do so. (See Tuhfah al-Ahwazi, 8/191)
Among the athar or hadith which encourages the recitation of the Quran out loud is:
- From al-Barra’ bin ‘Azib RA, the Prophet PBUH said:
زَيِّنُوا الْقُرْآنَ بِأَصْوَاتِكُمْ
“Beautify the Qur'an with your voices.”
Sunan Abu Daud (1468) [Syeikh Syu’aib al-Arna’outh evaluate the sanad of the hadith as sahih]
Imam al-Khattabi said that the meaning from the above hadith is to beautify your voices when you are reciting the Quran and this is stated by various hadith scholars. (See ‘Aun al-Ma’bud, 239/4)
Moreover, according to Imam al-Nawawi, the above hadith means that a person should beautify his voice when reciting the Quran so that people will like to listen to the recitation. (See Fatawa Imam al-Nawawi, 293)
Considering the words of Imam al-Tibi, in determining the recitation of the Quran, whether it is to be recited aloud or in a low voice, the condition or situation of the person who is reciting it should be considered. If by reciting it aloud he will benefit himself and others around him, then it is prioritized for him to recite the Quran out loud. While, if he recites it in a low voice it will result in a greater benefit, then it is prioritized for him to recite the Quran in a low voice.
To conclude, reciting the Quran is a form of worship which is greatly rewarded. Furthermore, the hadith which states that a person who recites the Quran aloud is like a person who gives to charity publicly is sahih. However, in determining whether it is prioritized to recite the Quran aloud or in a low voice, it depends on the person who wants to recite the Quran, which will have greater benefit for himself and others around him. Lastly, may Allah SWT make us from among His slaves who love the Quran and make the Quran our best friend as well as receive its blessings in the hereafter. Amin.