It is very significant, for you, dear reader of the Quran, to observe the following:
· Do not touch the Quran except when in the state of ritual purity
(Wudhoo), and only recite it when you are in that state.
- Brush your teeth with a wooden tooth stick (Siwak), remove food particles from between them, and freshen your mouth before reciting.
- Sit up straight if (reading whilst) not in prayer, and do not lean back.
- Face the direction of prayer (Qiblah) when reciting.
- Rinse your mouth out with water if you cough up mucus or phlegm while reciting.
- Stop reciting when you yawn, for when reciting, you are addressing your Lord in intimate conversation, while yawning is from the Devil.
- At the beginning of your recitation, seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Devil by saying the Isti'athah (i.e., "A'oothu Billahi min Ash-Shaytanirrajeem", which means: "I seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the accursed."), whether beginning to read from the beginning of a Soorah (Quranic chapter) or from some other part that one has reached.
- Once you have begun, do not to interrupt your recitation from moment to moment with human words, unless absolutely necessary.
- Seclude yourself when reciting it, so as not to be interrupted by someone, forcing you to mix the words of the Quran with a reply, for this nullifies the effectiveness of having taken refuge in Allah from the Devil at the beginning.
- Recite it slowly without haste, distinctly pronouncing each letter.
- Try to comprehend what is being said in every verse.
- Pause at verses that promise Allah's favour, long for Allah Most High and ask of His bounty. At verses that warn of His punishment, ask His protection from it.
- Ponder over the stories of past civilisations and individuals, taking heed and benefiting from their example.
- Learn the meanings of the Quran's unique lexical usages.
- Pay attention to each letter so as to clearly and fully pronounce every word, for each letter earns one ten good deeds.
- Whenever one finishes reciting, attest to the truthfulness of Allah, and that His messenger Muhammad has delivered His message; do this by saying: "Our Lord! You have spoken the truth, Your Messengers have delivered their tidings, and bear witness to this. O Allah, make us of those who bear witness to the truth and who act with justice." After this, supplicate Allah with prayers.
- Try not to select certain verses from each chapter to recite, instead, aim to recite whole chapters at a time.
- If you put down the Quran, do not leave it open.
- Do not place other books on top of the Quran; it should always occupy a higher position than all other books, regardless of whether they are books of sacred knowledge or not.
- Place the Quran on your lap when reading, or on something in front of you, but not on the floor.
- Do not let a day go by without looking at least once at the pages of the Quran.
- Do not trivially and playfully quote the Quran at the occurrence of everyday events as by saying, for example, when someone comes (what means): "Eat and drink in satisfaction for what you put forth in the days past" [Quran: 69:24] when food is brought out, and so forth.
- Do not recite the Quran to the tunes of songs.
- When writing the Quran, do so in clear, elegant handwriting.
- If someone else is reciting, do not recite in a way in that would disturb him.
- Do not recite it in marketplaces, places of clamour and frivolity, or where ill-mannered people gather.
- Do not use the Quran as a pillow, or lean upon it.
- Do not toss it when handing it to someone else.
- Do not miniaturize the Quran, mix into it what is not of it, or mingle worldly adornment with it by embellishing or writing it with gold.
- Do not write it on the ground or on walls, as is done in some new mosques.
- Do not to enter the lavatory with a paper or anything else on which the Quran is written, unless it is encased in leather, silver, or other materials, for then it is as if kept in the heart.
- If you write it (on paper) and immerse that paper in a glass of water to drink it (for cure or other purpose), then make a noble and worthy intention, for Allah only gives to one according to his intention.
- And if you finish reading the entire Quran, immediately begin reading it again, so it does not become something that has been abandoned.
Author: Muhammad bin Ahmad Al-Qurtubi