Praise be to Allaah by Whose Grace all good things may be achieved and by Whose Blessing and Mercy a group of sisters and good women have been able to memorize His Book. We see in them the fulfilment of Allaah’s promise to make the Qur’aan easy to memorize and remember, as Allaah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And We have indeed made the Qur’aan easy to understand and remember, then is there any that will remember (or receive admonition)?” [al-Qamar 54:22]
O Sister who has memorized the Qur’aan, congratulations!
Allaah has used you to preserve His Book on earth. You are one of those through whom Allaah has kept the promise He made when He said (interpretation of the meaning): “Verily We: it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e., the Qur’aan) and surely, We will guard it.” [al-Hijr 15:9]
O Sister who has memorized the Qur’aan, do not underestimate the worth of what you have done.
What is in your heart is knowledge. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Nay, but they, the clear aayaat, are preserved in the breasts of those who have been given knowledge…” [al-‘Ankaboot 29:49]
In your heart is a Book which cannot be washed away with water. It was said in the sacred Scriptures concerning this ummah that “their gospel is in their hearts.”
O (female) bearer of the Qur’aan, you are indeed envied by people.
This envy is the kind of envy that is permissible. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“You should not envy anybody except for two: a man to whom Allaah has given the Qur’aan, so he recites it night and day, so that another man says, ‘If I were given what he has been given I would so the same as he does’; and a man to whom Allaah has given wealth, so he spends it appropriately, and another man says, ‘If I were given what he has been given I would so the same as he does’.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 6974)
The permissible kind of envy is al-ghibtah, which means wishing for what another person has, without wishing for him to lose that blessing.
O Sister who has memorized the Qur’aan, O citron-blossom of this world!
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The believer who reads the Qur’aan is like the citron, whose fragrance is good and whose taste is good.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, no. 5007; Muslim, 1328. Muslim entitled the chapter in which this report is found, Baab Fadeelat Haafiz al-Qur’aan – the virtue of the one who memorizes the Qur’aan).
The phrase “its fragrance is good and its taste is good” attributes the quality of taste to eemaan (faith) and the quality of fragrance to recitation of the Qur’aan (because taste is more tangible and longer lasting than fragrance). The wisdom behind using the citron as a metaphor rather than any other fruit that also has both a good taste and a good fragrance is because the peel of the citron is used as medicine and the oil that is extracted from its seeds has a number of benefits. It was said that the jinn do not approach a house in which there are citrons, which is an appropriate analogy to the Qur’aan, which the shayaateen (devils) do not approach. The outside of its seeds is white, which is an appropriate analogy for the heart of the believer, and it has other qualities: it is big, it looks nice, it may be of different colours, it is soft to the touch, it is delicious to eat, it has a pleasant flavour, it aids digestion and it is good for the stomach.
O Sister who has memorized the Qur’aan, do you know the status you have reached?
Your mother ‘Aa’ishah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The one who reads the Qur’aan when he has already learned it by heart is with the righteous, noble travellers (safarah).” (al-Bukhaari, 4556).
The “travellers” are the angels, because they travel to Prophets with messages from Allaah. Or it was said that the safarah are the scribes who write down deeds. The righteous are the obedient who obey Allaah, and the proficient is the one who reads well and has memorized perfectly, who does not hesitate when reading or find reading difficult, because he has memorized it well and reads it proficiently. Al-Qaadi said:
"Saying that he is with the angels could mean that in the Hereafter he will have a position close to that of the travelling or recording angels, because he shares their attribute of carrying the Book of Allaah. Or it could mean that he does what they do and follows the same path as them."
The proficient reader is of a higher status and will receive a greater reward, because he is with the travelling or recording angels, and it was not reported anywhere that this reward and high status will be given to anybody else. How can one who does not pay attention to the Book of Allaah, memorizing it, reciting it properly and often, and conveying it to others, catch up with one who does pay attention to it until he becomes proficient? And Allaah knows best.
‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It will be said to the companions of the Qur’aan, ‘Read and increase in status, recite as you used to recite in the world, for your status will be at the last aayah you recite.’” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 2838. He said, this is a saheeh hasan hadeeth).
“It will be said” refers to the time when the person enters Paradise. “The companion of the Qur’aan” means the one who persistently recited it and acted in accordance with it. “Increase in status” means ascend through the levels of Paradise. “Recite” means read with tarteel (slowly and precisely), and do not rush in reading. “As you used to recite in the world” means with proper pronunciation (tajweed) of the letters and pausing where one should pause. “Your status will be at the last aayah you recite” – al-Khattaabi said:
"It was reported that the number of aayaat of the Qur’aan will be like the number of levels in Paradise in the Hereafter, and it will be said to the reader, 'Go up as many levels as the aayaat of the Qur’aan that you recited.' So whoever recited the entire Qur’aan will reach the highest level in Paradise in the Hereafter, and whoever recited a part of it will reach a level commensurate with what he read. The extent of the reward will depend on the amount of Qur’aan read."
O Sister who has memorized the Qur’aan, congratulations! You have filled your heart with the words of Allaah and have responded to His invitation.
‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:
“This Qur’aan is a banquet from Allaah, so take as much of it as you can. I know of nothing more devoid of goodness than a house in which there is nothing of the Book of Allaah. The heart in which there is nothing of the Book of Allaah is as desolate as a house in which nobody lives.” (Reported by al-Daarimi, 3173).
O (female) bearer of the Qur’aan, blessings and congratulations be upon you! If you are sincere now, you will be saved from the punishment of Hell.
Abu Umaamah (rahimahullah) used to say:
“Read the Qur’aan and do not be content merely to have these Masaahif (copies of the Qur’aan) hanging up. Allaah will not punish a heart that has memorized and understood the Qur’aan.” (Reported by al-Daarimi, 3185).
O (female) bearer of the Qur’aan, congratulations! For the Book of Allaah will intercede for you and will be your adornment on the Day of Resurrection, and if you remain steadfast it will be greater than the adornment you wear now.
Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Qur’aan will come on the Day of Resurrection and will say, ‘O Lord! Adorn him’, so he will be given a crown of honour to wear. Then it will say, ‘O Lord! Increase it’, so he will be given a garment of honour, then it will say, ‘O Lord! Be pleased with him,’ so Allaah will be pleased with him. Then it will be said to him, ‘Read and increase in status,’ and for every aayah his reward will increase.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 2839. He said, This is a saheeh hasan hadeeth).
O mother of the daughter who has memorized the Qur’aan, congratulations to you for your daughter!
Buraydah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “I was sitting with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and I heard him say:
‘Learn Soorat al-Baqarah, for learning it is a blessing and neglecting it is regret, and the magicians cannot contend with it.’
Then he kept quiet for a while, then he said,
‘Learn Soorat al-Baqarah and Aal ‘Imran, for they are the zahraawaan which will shade the one who learns them on the Day of Resurrection, as if they are two clouds, or two rows of birds spreading their wings. The Qur’aan will meet its companion on the Day of Resurrection when his grave is opened for him, looking like a pale man, and it will say to him, ‘Do you know who I am?’ He will say, I do not know you.’ It will say to him, ‘Do you know who I am?’ He will say, I do not know you.’ It will say, ‘I am your companion the Qur’aan, who made you thirsty on hot days and kept you awake at night. Every merchant will benefit from his trade, and today you will benefit too.’ He will be given power in his right hand and immortality in his left, and on his head will be placed a crown of dignity. His parents will be given two garments the like of which could never be made by the people of this world and they will say, ‘How did we earn these?’ It will be said, ‘Because your child learned the Qur’aan.’ Then it will be said to him, ‘Read and go up through the levels and rooms of Paradise. He will keep on ascending as long as he reads or recites.’” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 21892; classed as hasan by Ibn Katheer; see also al-Silsilat al-Saheehah by al-Albaani, 2829).
O Sister who has memorized the Qur’aan, staying at the top is harder than getting there.
Abu Moosa reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Keep checking your knowledge of the Qur’aan, for by the One in Whose hand is my soul, it is more easily lost than a camel that is hobbled.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 4645).
The phrase translated as “keep checking your knowledge” means reviewing the Qur’aan regularly and reading it constantly, making oneself review it and not falling short… It is in the nature of camels to try as much as possible to break loose, so if one does not take care to keep them tied, they will run away. Similarly the one who has memorized Qur’aan will lose it if he does not take care of it, and this tendency is worse than the tendency of camels to break free. Ibn Battaal said:
- "This hadeeth is in accordance with the two aayaat (interpretation of the meanings): ‘Verily, We shall send down to you a weighty Word' [al-Muzzammil 74:5] and: ‘And We have indeed made the Qur’aan easy to understand and remember…’ [al-Qamar 54:22]. So whoever focuses on the Qur’aan and tries to memorize and review it, it will be made easy for him, but whoever neglects the Qur’aan, will lose whatever he has learned of it.” (Fath al-Baari).
Ibn ‘Umar said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
‘The Qur’aan is like a camel that is hobbled. If its owner (or companion) takes care of it he will keep it with him, but if he slackens, it will run away from him.’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 4643).
O Sister who has memorized the Qur’an, do not give up this high status after attaining it.
Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Fath:
“The salaf differed concerning the issue of forgetting the Qur’aan. Some of them said that this is a major sin. Al-Dahhaak ibn Muzaahim said: ‘There is no one who learns the Qur’aan and then forgets it, but it is because of a sin that he committed, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned…” [al-Shoora 42:30], and forgetting the Qur’aan is one of the greatest misfortunes that can happen…’”
It was reported that Abu ‘Aaliyah said:
“We used to think that one of the greatest sins was for a man to learn the Qur’aan then neglect it until he forgets it.” (Its isnaad is jaayid.)
It was reported via Ibn Seereen with a saheeh isnaad that they used to dislike the one who forgot the Qur’aan and spoke against him in the strongest terms… Neglecting to recite Qur’aan results in forgetting the Qur’aan, and forgetting it indicates that one does not take care of it and that one is neglecting it… Neglecting the Qur’aan leads to one returning to ignorance and returning to ignorance after gaining knowledge is a terrible thing indeed. Ishaaq ibn Raahawayh said:
“It is disliked (makrooh) for a man to go more than forty days without reading the Qur’aan.”
O Sister who has memorized the Qur’aan, study it much and live according to it.
Al-Dhahabi said in al-Siyar: 'Abu ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Bishr said:
"I have never seen anyone who was better at recalling whatever he wanted of the aayaat of the Qur’aan than Abu Sahl ibn Ziyaad. He was our neighbour and he would always pray and read Qur’aan at night. Because he studied the Qur’aan so much, it is as if it was before his eyes.”'
O Sister who has memorized the Qur’aan, so long as you have learned it by heart, let it protect all your faculties from committing sin.
Al-Qurtubi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his Tafseer:
“The bearer of the Qur’aan and seeker of knowledge must fear Allaah with regard to himself and be sincere towards Allaah in his deeds. If he does anything that is disliked, he must hasten to repent and return to Allaah. Let him start to be sincere in his pursuit of knowledge and in his deeds, for the reserve and caution required of the bearer of the Qur’aan is greater than that which is required of others, just as he will have a reward that is greater than that of others.”
O (female) bearer of the Qur’aan, do not let the fact that you have memorized the Qur’aan tempt you to forget about your actions.
It was reported by Shu’bah from Qutaadah that:
“The believer who reads the Qur’aan and acts in accordance with it will be with the righteous honourable travellers.” This addition (to the Hadeeth) explains the meaning, and the analogy applies to the one who reads the Qur’aan and does not go against its commands and prohibitions, not the one who merely recites it.”
O (female) bearer of the Qur’aan, appreciate the value of what is in your heart and give it its due. As you have been elevated to this high status by memorizing the Qur’aan, you have duties and responsibilities commensurate with this status. Memorizing the Qur’aan is not a trophy to be hung up or a certificate to be decorated, nor is it a prize to be given out. It is a trust which must be fulfilled.
The bearer of the Qur’aan should have the best of attributes and characteristics.
Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Ayyaad said:
“The bearer of the Qur’aan is the bearer of the banner of Islaam. He should not pass time in idle pursuits with those who pass their time in this way, he should not be negligent with those who are negligent, and he should not indulge in foolish talk with those who talk foolishness, out of respect for the rights of the Qur’aan.”
He should be strong at heart, steadfast in his adherence to the truth. When the Muslims fought the liar Musaylimah and their standard-bearer Zayd ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him) was killed, Saalim the freed slave of Abu Hudhayfah came forward to carry the flag. The Muslims said, “O Saalim, we are scared lest we are defeated because of you.” He said,
“What a bad bearer of the Qur’aan I would be if you were to be defeated because of me.”
When his right hand was cut off, he carried the banner in his left. When his left hand was cut off, he held the banner in his arms, saying, “Muhammad is no more than a Messenger!” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:144 – interpretation of the meaning] and: “And many a Prophet fought (in Allaah’s Cause) and along with him (fought) large bands of religious learned men…” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:146 – interpretation of the meaning]. (Al-Jihaad by Ibn al-Mubaarak)
O (female) bearer of the Qur’aan, beware of looking down on those who have not memorized the Qur’aan, for maybe the one who does little but has a valid excuse will succeed (attain Paradise), whilst the one who memorized the Qur’aan but became proud will be a loser.
‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr said: “A man came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: ‘Teach me what to recite, O Messenger of Allaah.’ He told him,
‘Recite three of the soorahs that start with Alif, Laam, Ra’.’
The man said, ‘I am old, my heart is tired and my tongue is heavy.’ He said,
‘Then recite from the soorah that starts with Ha’-Meem.’
The man said the same as he said before. He said,
‘Recite three of the soorahs that start with the word sabbih (glorify).’
The man said the same as he said before. Then the man said, ‘But teach me, O Messenger of Allaah, a comprehensive soorah.’ So he taught him to recite Idha zulzilat al-ard (Soorah al-Zalzalah, #99). When he had finished, the man said, ‘By the One Who sent you with the truth, I shall never do more than that,’ then he went away. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said,
‘The man has succeeded, the man has succeeded.’”
(Reported by Abu Dawood, 1191. The men of its isnaad are thiqaat and ‘Eesa ibn Hilaal al-Sadafi was classed as thiqah by Ibn Hibbaan. Al-Haafiz said in al-Taqreeb: sudooq. Al-Bukhaari and Abu Haatim said: his hadeeth is not saheeh, so perhaps because of this al-Albaani reported this hadeeth in Da’eef Sunan Abi Dawood, 300).
O (female) bearer of the Qur’aan, do not expect praise and appreciation from people.
Try not to let their praise and adulation influence you, and always be sincere towards Allaah.
Yes, they should respect the bearer of the Qur’aan, because she has the words of Allaah in her heart, and it is a part of glorifying Allaah to respect the bearer of the Qur’aan, who neither goes to extremes nor neglects the Qur’aan. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
“The bearers of the Qur’aan are surrounded by the mercy of Allaah, honoured with the words of Allaah and clothed with the Light of Allaah. Whoever supports them supports Allaah, and whoever is aggressive towards them disrespects the rights of Allaah, may He be exalted.
The author of al-Fawaakih al-Dawaani quoted the words of the scholars:
‘Backbiting about a scholar or a bearer of the Qur’aan is more serious than backbiting about anyone else.’”
At the same time, the bearer of the Qur’aan should not feel too proud about her memorization of the Book, for her lack of sincerity may mean that she is no longer counted as one of them.
A Du’aa’ (Supplication) For You
O Allaah, Originator of the heavens and the earth, Owner of Majesty and Honour and Glory that never fade away, we ask You, O Allaah, O Most Merciful, by Your Glory and the Light of Your Countenance, to guide these women who have memorized the Qur’aan and to make their hearts always remember Your Book, as You have taught them.
Help them to recite it in a manner that will earn them Your pleasure. O Allaah, Originator of the heavens and the earth, Owner of Majesty and Honour and Glory that never fade away, we ask You, O Allaah, O Most Merciful, by Your Glory and the Light of Your Countenance, we ask You to light their way with the light of Your Book, to make their tongues recite its words, to purify their hearts and expand their hearts with it, to help them ease their distress and the distress of all the Muslims, male and female, through it. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad. Aameen.