Etiquette of Completing the Qur’an – Imam an-Nawawi


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Etiquette Of Completing the Qur’an

Below is an abridged extract from Imam an-Nawawi, taken from his book, “Tibyan fi Adab Hamalutul Qur’an” under the section of “The Etiquette of Completing the Quran.”

في آداب الختم وما يتعلق به فيه مسائل الأولى في وقته قد تقدم أن الختم للقارئ وحده يستحب أن يكون في الصلاة وأنه قيل يستحب أن يكون في ركعتي سنة الفجر وركعتي سنة المغرب وفي ركعتي الفجر أفضل وأنه يستحب أن يختم ختمة في أول النهار في دور ويختم ختمة أخرى في آخر النهار في دور آخر وأما من يختم في غير الصلاة والجماعة الذين يختمون مجتمعين فيستحب أن تكون ختمتهم يقول أول النهار أو في أول الليل كما تقدم وأول النهار أفضل عند بعض العلماء

“There are several issues concerning completing the recitation of the Qur’an;

  1. When to complete: The first etiquette concerns its timing. As previously mentioned, it is preferable for someone reciting the Qur’an on his own that (it is completed) during the Prayer. Some have preferred for it to occur in the two sunnah rak’ah of Fajr or the two sunnah rak’ah of Maghrib or Fajr prayer itself as being the best (times). Others have preferred for the completion of the Qur’an to occur in the beginning of the day for one turn (of recitation) and at the end of the day for next turn. When someone completes the recitation outside of Prayer or a group completes while assembled together, it is recommended that it be at the beginning of the day or in the beginning of the night, as we previously mentioned. According to some scholars, though, the beginning of the day is better.

Advice to the Bearer of the Qur’an

Advice to the Hamil al-Qur’ān (Bearer of the Qur’ān)

  1. Ikhlas (sincerity). Have a sincere intention when studying the Qur’ān – this is inextricably linked to the condition of the Heart. Sincerity is key in understanding the Qur’ān.
  2. Approach the Qur’ān with a readiness to follow the guidance. Sayyid Qutb writes, “We should return to it to find out what kind of person it asks us to be, and then be like that. During this process, we will also discover the artistic beauty in the Qur’ān, the marvellous tales in the Qur’ān, the scenes of the Day of Judgment in the Qur’ān, the intuitive logic of the Qur’ān, and all other such benefits, which are sought in the Qur’ān by academic and literary people. We will enjoy all these other aspects, but these are not the main object of our study. Our primary purpose is to know what way of life is demanded of us by the Qur’ān, the total view of the universe which the Qur’ān wants us to have, what is the nature of our knowledge of God taught to us by the Qur’ān…and the kind of legal and constitutional system it asks us to establish in the world.”
  3. Ask the help of Allah سبحانه وتعالى to understand the Qur’ān.
    When faced with problems in understanding the Qur’ān,  one should supplicate to Allah سبحانه وتعالى for help and guidance while continually studying and trying to understand. It is mentioned that when Abdullah ibn Masood (ra) would recite the words of Allah, “And say, My Lord, increase me in knowledge,” (20:114) he would say, اللهم زدني علمًا وإيمانًا ويقينًا O Allah, increase me in knowledge, faith, and conviction.”[118] It is also reported that when Ibn Taymiyyah encountered difficulty in understanding an Ayat of the Qur’ān, he would take refuge in a large mosque in a desolate area, place his forehead on the ground (in sajdah) and repeat, “O teacher of Ibrahim! Grant me understanding.”
  4. Appreciate the magnificence of the Divine Speech.

Have you read this Book yet?

“And it was not [possible] for this Qur’ān to have been produced by other than God….there is no doubt [it is] from the Lord of the worlds.”
Qur’ān 10:37

From the micro to the macro level, our knowledge of the physical world has grown astronomically in recent times. The nucleic acid double helix, more commonly known as DNA, the existence of sub-atomic particles or the discovery of the expansion of the universe are examples of discoveries which have caused paradigm shifts in our understanding of the universe. We have amended our theories by updating valid ones and by rejecting false ones. Published literature is a reflection of this reality. Every book represents the knowledge available to a writer at a certain time and place. As a result, books become obsolete after some time due to the information being found to be either false or incomplete, raising the need for them to be revised or re-written.