Adaab (etiquettes) of reciting The Quran


Assalamualaykum Question Increasingly persons with little or no pain in the legs are sitting on comfortable sofas at home & on chairs in the Masjid reciting Qur’an as they would read a newspaper, their excuse being it’s not a sin is it? How should one sit when reciting Qur’an? What naseehah can be offered to relatives & friends who see no problem sitting on a chair, sometimes with legs stretched out, reciting Qur’an?




In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.


The Holy Qur’ān is the Word and timeless Speech of Allah Ta’ā la, the strong rope of Allah, revealed as a light and guidance to mankind. There are many Aayahs of the Quran and Ahaadith of Rasûllullah (Sallahu alaihi wasallam) that speak of the importance of the Holy Qur’ān. Allah Ta’ā la says:

الَّذِينَ آتَيْناهُمُ الْكِتابَ يَتْلُونَهُ حَقَّ تِلاوَتِهِ أُولئِكَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ وَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِهِ فَأُولئِكَ هُمُ الْخاسِرُونَ

Those to whom We have given the Book recite it with its true recital. They [are the ones who] believe in it. (Al-baqara: 121)

And Allah Ta’ā la says:

وَأُمِرْتُ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ (91) وَأَنْ أَتْلُوَا الْقُرْآنَ فَمَنِ اهْتَدى فَإِنَّما يَهْتَدِي لِنَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ ضَلَّ فَقُلْ إِنَّما أَنَا مِنَ الْمُنْذِرِينَ (92)

[Say, O Muhammad],.. And I am commanded to be of the Muslims [those who submit to Allah]; and to recite the Qur’an.” And whoever is guided is only guided for [the benefit of] himself; and whoever strays – say, “I am only one of the warners.” (Naml: 91-92)

Abu Umaamah (radhiallahu anhu) relates that Rasûllullah (Sallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Read the Qur’an, for verily it will come on the Day of Standing as an intercessor for its companions.” [Muslim]

There are great rewards promised for the reciter of the Holy Qur’ān: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah, he will be credited with a good deed, and the good deed gets a ten-fold reward. I do not say that Alif-Laam-Meem is one letter, but Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter and Meem is a letter.” [At- Tirmidhi].

The Holy Qur’ān is definitely one of the greatest gifts that Allah has bestowed on this human and is the most sacred and revered book ever. As Muslims, we must show respect, reverence, dignity and honour for the Holy Qur’ān. This is what is referred to as Aadaab or etiquettes of the Holy Qur’ān.

InshaAllah we shall mention some of the etiquettes of the Holy Qur’ān, but firstly the answer to your specific question.

A person is permitted to recite the Qur’ān in any posture – standing, sitting on the floor, sitting on a chair/sofa, walking, sitting in a car, lying down etc. Reciting the Qur’ān in these positions is permitted providing that reciter in not in the state of Janaabat (in a state of heavy/sexual impurity) and not adopting a posture to purposely disrespect the Qur’ān. If he is reading from the Holy Qur’ān (Mus-haf / text), then the respect for that holy text will demand that he does not lie down or stretch his legs out and that he places the Qur’an in a slightly elevated position. Having clarified this, it is definitely better because of the dignity and reverence of the Qur’ān, to recite it while seated, facing the Qiblah, understanding what one is reading, and contemplating its meanings – in this way we can completely benefit from our recitation.

The Hadith of Aishah (radhiallahu anha) is mentioned in Sahih AlBukhari and Muslim:

عَائِشَةَ رضي الله عنها قالت : كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( يَتَّكِئُ فِي حَجْرِي وَأَنَا حَائِضٌ ثُمَّ يَقْرَأُ الْقُرْآنَ ) رواه البخاري(297) ، ومسلم (301)

قال ابن رجب في فتح الباري: وفي الحديث دلالة على جواز قراءة القرآن متكئاً ، ومضطجعاً ، وعلى جنبه ، ويدخل ذَلِكَ في قول الله عز وجل : ( الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ قِيَاماً وَقُعُوداً وَعَلَى جُنُوبِهِمْ )

Aishah (radhiallahu anha) narrates: “The Prophet (ﷺ) used to lean on my lap and recite Qur’an while I was menstruating”. (Bukhari 297/ Muslim 301). Ibn Rajab (rahimahullah) mentions in his famous commentary on Sahih AlBukhari Fath hul-Bari: “In this Hadith there is proof of the permissibility of reciting the Qur’ān reclining, lying down or on his side; and this meaning is also found in the Aayah: (People of understanding are) those remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth. (Surah Al-Imran 191)”.

و عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقْرَأُ الْقُرْآنَ وَرَأْسُهُ فِي حَجْرِي وَأَنَا حَائِضٌ‏

Aishah (radhiallahu anha) narrates: “The Prophet (ﷺ) used to recite the Qur’an with his head in my lap while I used to be in my periods”. (Bukhari 47549)

Imam Ghazali mentions in his book Adab Tilawtil Quran while commentating on the Aayah:

الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُ‌ونَ اللَّـهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُ‌ونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ

(People of understanding are) those remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth. (Surah Al-Imran 191)        “Of all the conditions of the Qur’ān reader the best is that he reads the Qur’an during prayer standing and inside a mosque. This is one of the most excellent acts of man. If, however, he reads it without ritual ablution or while reclining on his side on a bed, he has also excellence, but this excellence is of a lower grade.”

Now we will mention some of the Aadaab or etiquettes of the Holy Qur’ān.

  1. Firstly to ensure that one’s body and clothes are clean.

  2. Perform wudhu and then sit facing the qiblah in an extremely dignified manner.

  3. To use Miswaak before reciting the Qur’an.

  4. To place the Qur’an in a slightly elevated position. Never place it on the ground.

  5. Do not proceed fast, but read with measure and correct pronunciation.

  6. Submit your heart to the subject-matter of the verses you are reading. For instance, on reciting an ayaat containing a message of mercy, the heart should be filled with delight. And on an ayaat of chastisement, the heart should tremble with fear.

  7. Reading should be in a low voice, if insincerity is apprehended on your own part or disturbance is caused to others. Otherwise read in a loud voice.

  8. Read in a melodious voice, because there are numerous ahaadith laying emphasis on this.

  9. Dwell upon the meanings and enjoy reading it

  10. Once one has begun, not to interrupt one’s recital from moment to moment with human words, unless absolutely necessary.

  11. Be careful that one does not put their back towards the Quran or spread their legs towards the Quran or sit in a high place when the Quran is beneath.

  12. Do not place other books upon the Quran, this should always be higher than all other books.

  13. And if one finishes reciting the entire Qur’an, to begin it anew, that it may not resemble something that has been abandoned.

May Allah, out of His mercy and kindness, grant all of us the ability to read the Quran according to these rules of reverence. (Ameen)

Ref: SUNNATS by Mufti E. M. H. Salejee. al-Jami’ li Ahkam al-Qur’an by Imam Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Qurtubi. Adab Tilawtil Quran by Imam Ghazali.

In conclusion, the Quran should be shown utmost reverence as it is the word of Allah himself. It is a blessing and mercy to this Ummah. The more respect we show to the Quran, the more blessing and guidance we will attain from it.



Mufti Khaleel Ali