In how many days should we recite or read the Quran completely? There are many views prevalent about this subject. There are a view points about the maximum number of days also that one should take care of while reciting and completing the Holy Quran. However, our discussion and emphasis shall only be about the minimum number of days in which the recitation of the whole Quran should be completed.
I shall start with a hadith reported by Imam Abu Dawud in his Sunan.
Hadith number 1:
It was reported from Abu Salamah, from Abdullah bin Amr (RA) that the Prophet (PBUH) said, “Recite the Quran in one month.” He responded, “I find myself (more) energetic.” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Recite it in twenty (days).” He responded, “I find myself (more) energetic.” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Recite it in fifteen.” He responded, “I find myself (more) energetic.” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Recite it in ten.” He responded, “I find myself (more) energetic.” So he (the Prophet, PBUH) said, “Recite it in seven and do not do more than that.”
(Hadith number 1388, Chapters pertaining to the Month of Ramadan, Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 2).
Having read the narration mentioned above, we can infer that the Prophet (PBUH) has instructed us to complete the recitation of whole Quran in not less than seven days I.e. a week.
Is that all?
No, that’s not all. Let us refer to another hadith in order to shed some more light on the subject:
Hadith number 2:
It was reported from Yazid bin Abdullah, from Abdullah bin Amr (RA), that he said, “O Allah’s Messenger (PBUH)! In how many days should I recite Quran?” He (the Prophet, PBUH) replied, “In one month.” I said, “I am capable of more!” – and he made it less, until he said, “Recite it in seven.” So he (Abdullah bin Amr, RA) said, “I am capable of more!” But he (the Prophet, PBUH) said, “He who recites it in less than three (days) will not understand it.”
(Hadith number 1390, Chapters pertaining to the Month of Ramadan, Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 2).
This narration brings forward the minimum period of three days. The allowance for minimum period of three days is also mentioned in another hadith reported by Imam Ibn Majah in his Sunan:
Hadith number 3:
It was narrated from Abdullah bin Amr (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “No one properly understands who reads the Quran in less than three days.”
(Hadith number 1347, Chapters of Establishing Prayer & Sunnah regarding them, Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 2).
The ruling on this subject is summarized as follows:
It is recommended to recite or read the Quran completely in a period not less than seven days (i.e. a week). This is Mustahab (i.e. recommended).
It is allowed to o recite or read the Quran completely in a period as less as up to three days, though not recommended. This ruling is Mubaha (i.e. allowed, though not recommended).
No one should recite or read the Quran completely in less than three days. Doing so is Makrooh.
I want to highlight a practice of completing recitation of whole Quran in one single night. This practice is more prevalent in countries like India, Pakistan etc. Such practice is adopted by some memorizers of Quran to organize what they call ‘Shabinah‘; it refers to reciting whole Quran in one single night in nawafil prayers, mostly in Tarawih during Ramadan. I appeal to all such brothers (both, those who recite whole Quran in one night during ‘Shabinah’ in the month of Ramadan and those who attend it): Please give up this practice. This practice was disliked by our Prophet (PBUH), and hence falls under the category of Makrooh.
Further, when we read the ahadith mentioned in this discussion carefully, we see that our beloved Prophet (PBUH) has said that if someone recites the whole Quran in less than three days, then he/she will not be able to understand it. I wish to emphasize the phrase ‘understand it‘.
Understanding and adopting the teachings of Quran
My dear brothers and sisters, Quran should not just be recited or read. It should be understood as well. Understanding and adopting the teachings of Quran in one’s life is what Allah wants us to do. That is the only thing that shall keep us on the right path.
We should get inspiration from how Syedna Umar bin Al-Khattab (RA) learned Quran. It would have been an easy task for him to memorize whole Quran in a short span of time, given the intensity of faith in his heart, his devotion to Islam and Arabic being his native language. But instead, he took almost five years to completely memorize the Quran. He would read some verses, then stop, understand the verses, then adopt the teachings of those verses in his personal life. Then he would move ahead to learn the next set of verses. This is the way he learned, understood and memorized Quran.
Nowadays people keep on memorizing Quran in abundance, Masha’Allah; but what about understanding? I won’t talk about the understanding abilities of scholars of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc. (except a few); the lesser talked about this aspect, the better it is.
And Allah knows best.
May Allah forgive me if I am wrong and guide us to the right path…Ameen.