The Virtue of Memorizing the Qur’an: Sheikh Muqbil

Sheikh Muqbil ibn Haadee al-Waadi’ee was asked:

نص السؤال: هل حفظ القرآن الكريم واجب على المسلم أم التدبر والعمل به ؟

Question: Is memorizing the Qur’an an obligation for the Muslim, or is contemplating it and acting in accordance with it what is obligatory?

نص الإجابة: التدبر بمعانيه والعمل به وأحكامه هو الواجب ، وأما الحفظ ففضيلة عظيمة ؛ ” الماهر بالقرآن مع السفرة الكرام البررة ، والذي يقرأه ويتتعتع فيه وهو عليه شاق له أجران ” ، ويقول النبي – صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم – : ” يقال لصحاب القرآن : اقرأ وارتق ورتل كما كنت ترتل في الدنيا فإن منزلتك عند آخر آية تقرأءها ” ، وكان النبي – صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم – يشجع أصحابه على حفظ القرآن وعلى تعلم القرآن فقال كما في حديث عقبة بن عامر عند مسلم : ” لئن يغدو أحدكم إلى المسجد فيتعلم آيه خير له من ناقة ، وآيتين خير له من ناقتين ، وثلاث وأربع خيرٌ له من أعدادهن ” . ـ

Response: Contemplating its meanings and acting in accordance with it and its rulings is what is obligatory. As for memorization, then that is a excellent virtue.

The one who is skilled in the Qur’an will be with the noble righteous recording angels, and the one who recites while experiencing difficulty in doing so, stumbling over it, will have two rewards.

And the Prophet (ﷺ) also said:

It will be said to the one who has any of the Qur’an memorized, “Recite and ascend in rank. Recite in the same manner and speed that used to recite during the worldly life, and your rank will be at the last ayah that your recite.”

And the Prophet (ﷺ) used to encourage his companions to memorize the Qur’an and to study the Qur’an, just as he said in the hadeeth of ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir recorded by Muslim:

If any one of you goes out to the masjid in the morning and learns a single ayah, that is better for him than a camel. And two ayaat would be better for him than two camels. And three or four would be better for him than the same number of camels.

فهي فضيلة عظيمة ومنزلة رفيعة ” خيركم من تعلم القرآن وعلمه ” ، وكان النبي – صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم – يرى لحفظة القرآن منزلة عظيمة في عهده ، فقد قال ذات مرة وسالم مولى أبي حذيفة يصلي فوقف النبي – صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم – يستمع لقراءته وقال : ” الحمد لله الذي جعل في أمتي مثل هذا ” ، وفي ذات ليلة مر على أبي موسى الأشعري وهو يصلي فسمع صوته وأعجبه وفي الصباح قال : ” يا أبا موسى لو رايتني وأنا أستمع لقراءتك ” وكان قد قال : ” لقد أوتي أبو موسى مزماراً من مزامير آل داود ” ، فقال أبو موسى : لو علمت أنك تستمع لحبرته لك تحبيراً أي زينته لك تزيناً . ـ

So memorizing the Qur’an is an excellent virtue and holds a high position.

The best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it.

And the Prophet (ﷺ) used to hold the memorization of the Qur’an in great standing during his time, for once when Saalim Mawla Abi Hudhayfah was praying, the Prophet (ﷺ) stopped to listen to his recitation of the Qur’an and said, “Praise be to Allah who placed the likes of this person in my ummah.” And one night he passed by Abu Moosaa al-Ash’ari while he was praying and was amazed when he heard his voice, so in the morning he said, “O Abu Moosaa, if you had seen me, I was listening to your recitation.” And he also said, “Abu Moosaa has been given a melodious voice like the melodious voices of the family of Dawood.” And so Abu Moosaa replied, “If I had known that you were listening, I would have refined it for you” – meaning, I would have made it more beautiful for you.

فالقصد أن حفظ القرآن منزلة رفيعة وكان الصحابة يتنافسون في هذا والتابعون ، وأنا أقول : الذي يحفظ القرآن يكون في مواعظه أبلغ من الذي لا يحفظه لأنه ما شاء الله يستحضر الآيات ويذكرها ، وكذلك أيضاً تسهل عليه كثيرٌ من العلوم إذا كان يحفظ القرآن والله المستعان . ـ

So the point is that memorization of the Qur’an holds a high status and the Sahabah used to compete in that, as did the Taabi’oon. And I say: one who has memorized the Qur’an has something more ready and effective in terms of a reminder than one who has not memorized it, for he is able – as Allah wills – to bring its ayaat to mind and remember them. And also in that vein, many of the fields of Islamic knowledge will be made easier for him when he has memorized the Qur’an. And Allah is the One whose aid is sought.

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