Question # 199: Can you listen to the Quran on the ipod and expect same merit as reading it from the ipod or Physical Quran?

Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: Listening to the Quran entitles one to the reward of using one’s time wisely; however, reciting Qur’an helps ponder over the meaning with humble focus of mind, which is better and greater in reward. 

Long Answer: The Qur’an is the word of Allah which was revealed to Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم). It is mustahabb (recommended) to read it and recite it frequently. This is one of the means of raising one’s status in Paradise, as it was narrated in the hadith of ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (رضي الله عنه) that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “It will be said to the companions of the Qur’an (i.e., those who read it much), ‘Read and rise in status, recite as you used to recite in the world, for your status will be commensurate with the last ayah you read.’”

Likewise, listening to the Qur’an is also mustahabb, as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) listened to the recitation of Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari (رضي الله عنه) and he said to him, “If only you could have seen me when I was listening to your recitation yesterday.” And the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) asked ‘Abd-Allah ibn Mas’ood (رضي الله عنه) to recite the Qur’an to him. ‘Abd-Allah said, “Should I recite it to you when it was revealed to you?” The Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “I like to hear it from others.”

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “A person will be rewarded for his good intention and for listening to recitation of the Qur’an, commentaries thereon and Prophetic ahadith, whether that is from the lips of a reciter or from a recorded voice on the radio or otherwise, although the basic principle with regard to listening to the recitation of the Qur’an, that was narrated from the early generations, is that it should be listening to the voice of the reciter himself, without any intermediary. And if a person recites Qur’an himself, pondering the meaning and with humble focus of mind, that is better and greater in reward.” (Fataawa wa Rasaa’il Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem)

(The above reply is based on various answers by Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid)

“Listening to the Quran entitles you to the reward of using your time wisely, but to get the reward for reciting the Quran, you need to recite it yourself.” (Fatwa of Dr. Main Khalid Al-Qudah, Member of the Fatwa Committee of Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.