Showing respect when someone is reading the Qur'an


As-Salamu `Alaykum. My parents have always told me that when someone is reading the Qur'an every one has to be on the same level. For example, if I am reading the Qur'an and I am sitting on the bed, but my sister is sitting on the floor, that is wrong. Either she has to come up to the bed, or I have to sit on the floor, but we both have to be sitting on the same level. Why is that?

Also take the next scenario: My brother is sitting in the next room and he is reading the Qur'an on the floor, but I am sitting on the bed, does the same rule apply, even though we are in separate rooms? Why or why not?


Wa`alaykum As-Salaamu Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

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

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear questioner, thank you very much for having confidence in us and we hope our efforts, which are purely for Allah’s Sake, meet your expectations.

First of all, we would like to stress the fact that a Muslim is ordered, even by the Qur’an itself, to listen attentively to the words of the Qur’an, show due respect to its recitation, and to contemplate over the verses recited. Allah Almighty says: “ And when the Quran is recited, give ear to it and pay heed, that ye may obtain mercy.” (Al-A`raf: 204)

In his response to the question, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, former president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), states the following:

“The Qur'an is the Word of Allah. It is the most sacred book. Muslims must respect this book and must honor it. Our outward postures reflect our inner feelings of love, devotion, reverence and submission to the Words of our Lord.

Reading the Qur'an is not like reading an ordinary book. It has some etiquette and manners. Imam Al-Ghazali mentions that one should perform ablution, be soft spoken and quiet, face the Qiblah, keep the head lowered and should not sit in a haughty manner, but sit as one sits before the Master.

Imam An-Nawawi adds that the mouth should be cleaned thoroughly, the place should be clean, the face should be oriented towards the Qiblah and the body should exhibit humility.

Muslims who see a person reading the Qur'an should also respect him/her and if the person is reciting it with an audible voice, then they should listen to the Qur'an and should be quiet.

Sitting on the same level is not required, although it is nice to do that to show respect for the Book of Allah. There is no need to exaggerate in this matter. The same level is not needed if one is not sitting next to the reader. There is certainly no need to ask every one in the house and in every room to sit on the same level.

May Allah bless your parents who taught you to respect the Book of Allah. However, remember that the Qur'an is for reading. Do not put it away from you, because you respect it too much. The Qur'an should be read every day and as often as possible. Allah says Almighty says: “Those to whom We gave the Book, they recite it as it ought to be recited. They believe in it.” (Al-Baqarah :121).

Whatever portion of the Qur'an is recited, it should be understood. We should know the meaning of Allah's Message and we should reflect on the words of the Qur'an. Allah says, “This is a Book that We have revealed to you, full of blessing, in order that they may ponder its revelations and that the people of understanding may reflect.” (Saad :29)”

If you have any further comments, please don't hesitate to write back!

May Allah guide you to the straight path, and guide you to that which pleases Him, Amen.