Ramadan: “Completing the Recitation of the Qur’an…”


“Completing the Recitation of the Noble Qur’an”

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It is highly meritorious to complete the full recitation of the Noble Qur’an (khatmah) in the blessed month of Ramadan. The reward is immense and it is a deed that follows the early pious predecessors (al-salaf).

Reports from some of the early salaf:

  1. Ibrahim al-Nakha`i said: “al-Aswad used to complete recitation of the Qur’an during Ramadan every two nights.”[1]

فعن إبراهيم النخعي قال : كان الأسود يختم القرآن في رمضان في كل ليلتين

  1. Qatadah used to complete the Qur’an in seven days and when Ramadan came, he would complete it every three days. When the last ten days entered, he would complete it every night.[2]

وكان قتادة يختم القرآن في سبع ، فإذا جاء رمضان ختم في كل ثلاث، فإذا جاء العشر ختم في كل ليلة

  1. al-Rabi` ibn Sulayman said: ‘al-Shafi`i would to complete the entire Qur’an sixty times in the month of Ramadan’.[3]

وقال الربيع بن سليمان : كان الشافعي يختم القرآن في رمضان ستين ختمة 

  1. al-Qasim the son of al-Hafiz ibn `Asakir said: ‘My father used to pray in congregation and read Qur’an regularly. He would complete it every week and every day in Ramadan’.[4]

كان أبي مواظباً على صلاة الجماعة وتلاوة القرآن، يختم كل جمعة، ويختم في رمضان كل يوم

Although these amazing acts of recitation of the Qur’an are feats to try and emulate, Imam al-Nawawi cautions against reading to the point of boredom:

والاختيار أن ذلك يختلف باختلاف الأشخاص، فمن كان يظهر له بدقيق الفكر، لطائف ومعارف، فليقتصر على قدر يحصل له كمال فهم ما يقرؤه، و كذا من كان مشغولا بنشر العلم، أو غيره من مهمات الدين، ومصالح المسلمين العامة، فليقتصر على قدر لا يحصل بسببه إخلال بما هو مرصد له. وإن لم يكن من هؤلاء المذكورين فليستكثر ما أمكنه من غير خروج إلى حد الملل والهذرمة

“The preferred view is that [s: recitation] varies from person to person. The one who is seeking to deeply understand [the Qur’an] and ponder its subtle meaning should limit himself to as much as he can understand fully when he reads. Likewise, the one who is busy spreading knowledge or other important religious works, or working for the general public interests of the Muslims, should limit himself to what will not cause him to neglect his work. If he is not among the categories mentioned here, then he should do as much as he can without reaching the point of boredom…”[5]


  • Recitation and study together is highly beneficial.
  • Recitation to the point of boredom should be avoided.
  • Recitation that leads to neglect of other duties and obligations should be avoided.


[1] al-Dhahabi, Siyar al-A`lam al-Nubala’, vol.4, p.51.

[2] Ibid., vol.5, p.276.

[3] Ibid., vol.10, p.36.

[4] Ibid., vol.20, p.562.

[5] al-Nawawi, al-Tibyan fi Adab Hamalat al-Qur’an, p.76.


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