Tag Archives: Al-Qur’an


Qur’an Played On Telephones, Phonographs and other Electronic Devices

The following question was asked of a marja`:

Is it permissible using phonographs and similar devices today for the broadcast of ayat of the Noble Qur’an or is this not permissible?

The marja,` Imam `Abdul Qadir ibn Badran Ad-Dumi (d. 1346 AH), may Allah preserve him, answered with what follows:

It is compulsory to respect and honour the Noble Qur’an whenever it is recited and read as whether it is read by an angel, man, jinn, or coming from an inanimate object, it does not cease being the Qur’an.

It is respected in and of itself and not due to its recitation and what it is written upon or what tools are used to convey it. The ayat of the Qur’an, if it is conveyed by the phonograph or it is exiting as sound from it does not cease being referred to as Qur’an.

Allah, Exalted be He, has named the speech of organs and limbs as speech just as He said they would speak on the Day of Judgement:

The limbs shall say, “Allah caused as to speak that which had been spoken of and had come to pass.” Surah Fussilat (41), ayah 26

In this ayah, He did not say that they were whistling or clapping, as is thought by some of the laity. Now the recitation of the Qur’an in any way whatsoever in disrespectful places of heedlessness is not permitted as there is clear text from the scholars on this matter.

The Imam, Abul Wafa’ `Ali ibn `Aqil Al-Baghdadi, one of the greatest scholars of Baghdad in the fifth age, in his book entitled, the Subsciences, said of the following:

“Oh, how many statements and actions are counted by the laity as coming from places of righteousness are counted by the scholars as sin. An example of this would be reciting the Qur’an in the markets. The people in the markets are shouting by calling out and making sales and it is not possible for them to listen to the Qur’an’s recitation during this time.

Thus to do that is the take the Qur’an lightly as it is being recited in places where it will not be respected.”[1] 

So the conveying of the Qur’an through phonograph or other means, its recitation or conveyance in coffee houses, markets and pathways is a greater form of disrespect.

An example of this would be his recitation in the markets and even if it was not a greater disrespect it does not take away from the fact that the Qur’an is being disrespected by doing this action.

Moreover, the phonograph and similar objects are tools and objects of sport and the Qur’an was not sent down for sport or play. It was indeed sent down so that the people might reflect on its signs and ayat, act by what is in the Book.

This is not the case for things like ghazal poetry, stanzas and rhythmic poetry that has such tools that are designed to give pleasure to the attendees and move their hearts towards it.[2] Allah, Exalted be He, has already told us:

TaHa. The Qur’an was not sent down upon you to give you hardship. It is only an admonition for the one has piety. Surah TaHa (20), ayat 2-3

Which remembrance is coming to pass for the one who is lazing around and sitting in coffee houses, market place stumps? The Exalted One has explicitly mentioned that He did not send down the Qur’an except as admonition.

He did not send it down in order that it might give hardship to His Ummah and then they would bring it around to places where it does not belong. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said that one of the Signs of the End of Time was that the people will take the Qur’an as a sport and play with instruments.

Moreover, Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, said:

And when the Qur’an is recited, then listen to it and remain silent at the time. Surat ul-A`raf (7), ayah 204

Thus the point of evidence that can be taken from the ayah is that the action is clear for the one that is not known is that the intent of the ayah is general. What is mentioned is proof that the intent is what is recited and not the reciter, that which is read and not the reader.

This is from the generality of the miracles of the Qur’an as the Qur’an and its recitation is without an individual, recited without a month. So just as it is not permissible for the reader to recite the Qur’an in places where people are heedless, likewise it is not permissible to emit it from objects that are used for the heedlessness of people.

In the case of the Qur’an, it is compulsory to respect it, whether the reader speaks it or the phonograph or any other tool that might be used for the action. If it is said, “The phonograph emits the sound in a whistling, crackling fashion and it is not like voices and the sounds that people make. Thus the same ruling cannot be applied.”

Our response to that would be that we are not content to say that the thing omitted from the phonograph and similar objects is buzzing or sound alone. Rather, we name this speech just as the speech of limbs mentioned in the ayah is also speech.

We do indeed grant the point that it is a crackling or whirling made by the object but this reproduces the sound that is understood and this is the recitation. So it is therefore compulsory to respect what is coming from the object as it is giving forth the Qur’an. And Allah is the One that gives success. [3]

[1] Al-Adab ush-Shar`iyyah wa Minah il-Mar`iyyah, vol.2, pp. 278-279 by Imam Shams ud-Din Ibn Muflih Al-Maqdisi (d. 763 AH)

[2] (trans. note:) This does not mean that one does not enjoy listening to the Qur’an; the difference is that the musical experience is one of enthrallment through feelings coming from inside out based upon what the person interprets of the verses or poetry. In the case of the Qur’an, the feelings of enjoyment, reflection, grandeur and reflection are coming from the Revelation and penetrating the very soul, which will produce a different impact and the physical signs of this will be utterly different than that of music.

[3] Taken from Al-Mawahib ur-Rabbaniyyah fil-Ajwibati `An il-Ajwibat il-Qazaniyyah: Al-Ajwibatu `An As’ilati Ba`d il-Mudun, pp. 252-253


Figure 1A: The Imam of Reciters in this era, Shaikh Mahmud Khalil Al-Husari.


This is one of the great biographies on one of the most dedicated and talented reciters of our time. Please enjoy this great look back, conducted completely in Arabic, at one of the bright stars of the Ummah. I truly hope you enjoy this well put together presentation.



Figure 1A: The Imam leading people in prayer.

The video below shows a very good presentation of recitation in the narration of Hafs from `Asim by the Imam of Reciters in this age, Mahmud Khalil Al-Husri. Please enjoy and reflect on the deeper significance of the ayat and his adherence to the rules of stopping, recitation, maqamat and so many other things.

Book Review: PENGUIN CLASSICS: The Koran

Figure 1A: The 2014 edition of N.J. Dawood's translation: The Koran
Figure 1A: The 2014 edition of N.J. Dawood’s translation: The Koran

I first came across this translation in the year AD 1993 while I was in the University and friends kept asking me what would be a good translation for them to read if they were interested. One in particular, a Jewish friend named Mark Reed, asked if there was a place I could direct to to obtain a good Qur’an translation. In Oregon at the time, Bordens Books was the only option. Linda, the friendly barrista/bookselleress was happy to help and she said the book would be at the bookstore in one week.

Once I paid in advance and she gave a confident smile, I knew that it would be good. N.J. Dawood’s The Koran arrived and Mark was excited to pick it up. He read through it hungrily and questioned me about it to the same degree. The edition I had ordered was from AD 1993 and was still heavily reliant on the original AD 1956, which used the Arabic words for crucial Islamic theology rather than anglicising them.

I was recently shown a new edition, this time AD 2014. At the onset, I was unhappy, as it had been anglicised. No! But it was too late. In AD 1993, outside of N.J. Dawood, the only other translation I preferred and still prefer was the Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall, but the revised translation was still new and not in wide enough circulation. I also did not want to offer a King James translation of the Qur’an with Elizabethan English as is present in `Abdullah Yusuf Ali and I was weary of the theological and historical errors in his translation as well.

Someone reading the Dawood translation will find the words readable, with few footnotes, a concise but adequate index and also an introduction that gives the reader a good window into the noted historical events relevant at the time of the revelation of the Qur’an.