Short Answer: Allah is Extremely Merciful (Beneficial) to all humanity and He is Especially Merciful (Beneficial) to the believers. We could consider rain as a similitude. Rain is a blessing from Allah, in general, it falls everywhere. In other words, you will get some benefit for listening to the recitation of the Quran if Allah wills. Note that passive listening is not the same as listening and repeating it to oneself or indeed, reading. So, someone listening passively who doesn’t believe in the Quran, or even by someone who does, is unlikely to get the same benefit as someone who actively listens and recites at the same time; or who reads and understands what they are reading.
Thank you for your very interesting question.
Before considering benefit, what are we doing? An action. Who is the action for? Our benefit, but Who will give that benefit? Not the words, but the Being (Allah) Who said the words. We are hearing/reciting words, not just any words, but the words of Allah (God). Do we expect the words to give us benefit from themselves? No! The benefit comes from the Hearer, the Listener – Allah.
Allah is Al-Rahman (The Extremely Merciful), Al-Rahim (The Especially Merciful).
Al-Rahman also carries a wider concept.
One simple way to understand this is that Allah is Extremely Merciful (Beneficial) to all humanity and He is Especially Merciful (Beneficial) to the believers. We could consider rain as a similitude. Rain is a blessing from Allah, in general, it falls everywhere. In other words, you will get some benefit for listening to the recitation of the Quran if Allah wills.
Ayat al Kursi [Quran 2:255]
Recite it after every prayer
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Whoever recites Ayatul Kursi after every Fard Salat (Obligatory prayer). Only death is keeping him/her from entering Jannah (Paradise). (As soon as he/she dies, they will enter Jannah)” [Sunnan Nasai’i]
Reciting Ayatul Kursi after one Fard (Fard Salat) (the person) will stay in Allah’s protection until the next Salat. [Tibrani Fil Kabeer]
Benefit to our Home and Children
Imam al-Mahamli (May Allah be pleased with him – ra) narrates in his “Fawaid” from Ibn Masud (ra): A man said: O Messenger of Allah pbuh teach me something through which Allah will benefit me. The Prophet pbuh said:
Recite Ayatul Kursi, Allah will protect you, your children, also protect your house rather even the houses which are near to yours. [Imam Suyuti in Dur ul Munthur, (2/6)]
Imam Bayhaqi (ra) states that the one who recites Ayatul Kursi before falling asleep, Allah gives protection to his/her home and his/her Family. (Marqat Sharah Mishkaat, Mulla Ali Qaderi, vol. 2 pp. 583)
Listening to this (or any) Ayah
Note that passive listening is not the same as listening and repeating it to oneself or indeed, reading. So, someone listening passively who doesn’t believe in the Quran, or even by someone who does, is unlikely to get the same benefit as someone who actively listens and recites at the same time; or who reads and understands what they are reading.
A person may listen to or read the Quran, but not touch it without being in a state of ritual purity. It is better for him to have performed ablution and purified his self and his mind to concentrate on what he reads or hears. It is as if Allah is talking direct to the listener/reader and the words should interact with the person’s heart.
Despite the importance and benefit of listening to the Quran, reciting its’ Arabic text aloud has clear superiority over simply listening. The heart, as well as the body, connects more deeply to the Quran when a Muslim recites it aloud, with full concentration, than when they passively listen to it.
The Prophet (pbuh) said:
“If anyone recites a letter from Allah’s Book, he will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets ten times the award. I do not say Alif-Lam-Meem is one letter, but Alif is one letter, Laam is one letter and Meem is one letter,” [Al-Tirmidhi]
It is known the Quraish, the leading personalities in Makkah at the time of the Prophet (pbuh), used to slip out at night, and make their way to the Ka’ba to listen to the Prophet (pbuh) reciting the Qur’an out loud. They would hide; and if they met by chance, they would make excuses as to why they were there.
We can conclude that listening attentively to the Quran when it is being recited, and remaining quiet while doing so, is a good deed.
Both of these Actions Reinforce Each Other
Listening to the recitation of the Quran softens the recipients’ heart; the place where true faith resides, and causes the soul to become tranquil.
If a person has a weak command of Arabic, they should still strive to recite the Quran as best as they can.
Simultaneously, they should strive to gain the requisite knowledge that will help them improve their Quran recitation.
The Prophet (pbuh) said:
“The one who recites the Qur’an while he is proficient in its recitation will be with the honourable and obedient scribes (angels), and the one who recites the Qur’an while it is difficult for him to recite, will have a double reward.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Allah says in the Quran:
“And when the Qur’an is recited, give ear to it and pay heed, that you may obtain mercy.” [Qur’an 2:204]
Ibn Taymiyah said: “By means of this listening, Allah guides His slaves and sets straight their affairs in this world and the Hereafter.”
Al-Sadi said, “As for listening to it, this means that one hears it with an attentive heart, pondering the meaning of what one is listening to. The one who adheres to these two commands when the Book of Allah is recited will attain a great deal of good, beneficial knowledge, ongoing and renewed faith, increased guidance and insight into his religion. [Tafsir Al-Sadi]
This indicates that one should listen to the recitation of the Quran, intently and without distractions. The admonition to listen intently and remain quiet applies even when one is listening to recordings of Quran recitation.
Listening is not passive; it requires an effort and includes trying to understand what is being said.
Why only accept one verse? Why not consider the whole book and its’ benefit? The Quran is consistent within itself. It is from one source. In reading it, try to read the opening chapter then, read from the back. These chapters are short and generally on one topic. The second chapter is full of legal aspects of Islam, this can come later. Alternatively, choose from the Index or the Table of Contents. I would recommend Muhammad Azad’s or Saheeh International translations.
If you are searching for protection, the Quran offers total protection as it shows the path to be followed in life. Islam is holistic it covers all aspects of how to live one’s life. The benefit is in this life and in the next life as well.
May Allah grant us all the benefits of listening to the Quran, Ameen.
And Allah knows best.
I hope this helps.
Salam and please keep in touch.
(From Ask About Islam archives)
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