Khalid Zaheer
“I am convinced about the veracity of my opinions, but I do consider it likely that they may turn out to be incorrect. Likewise, I am convinced about the incorrectness of the views different from mine, but I do concede the possibility that they may turn out to be correct.” — Imam Shafa’i

Reciting Qu'ran without meanings

Is there a sawab in reciting the Qur'an without understanding its meanings?

My understanding is that sawab (return, badla) is offered by the Almighty on every meaningful act of piety which you do to please Him. Thus if you offer a glass of water to a thirsty person to enable him to quench his thirst out of his sympathy and for pleasing the Almighty,
You will get rewarded by Him. Likewise if you recite the Qur’an to get guidance through it -- the very purpose for which the Qur’an was revealed -- you will get rewarded for it. If you recite the Qur’an to get your recitation (the way to pronounce it) corrected, that too makes sense, although the reward for it would be lesser. If you recite the Qur’an to memorize its text, that is again a meaningful act because you would need the memory of it while saying your prayers. However, reciting the Qur’an for the mere purpose of earning sawab is something that makes no sense.
"A person is reciting the Qur’an to earn sawab." This statement is grammatically complete but otherwise conveying an incomplete message. Sawab is the reward for a meaningful exercise done to please God. Reading the Qur’an to understand it and to get guided is a meaningful exercise.
Reading it to correctly pronounce its words is meaningful too. Reciting it to memorize it also makes sense. But what does it mean when one says he is reciting the Qur’an for none of these purposes but to earn reward (sawab) from God Almighty? Will God be pleased by the fact that He revealed
the Qur’an to guide people and they are reading with a predetermined purpose not to understand it at all? In case of religious disputes, they are listening to the scholars of their liking but not bothering to know what the Qur’an is saying even though it was the Qur’an, according to the book
itself, which was to be consulted in case of disputes? Would God be pleased with this kind of attitude or would He be displeased with it? Would He delighted by the fact that intelligent people are using their intelligence to learn about worldly matters but when it comes to religion they sheepishly follow the rulings of individuals without ever bothering to know what the book of Allah is saying? Would He not be disgusted by the pathetic approach of those people who condemn others for not believing in His book but they themselves don't even bother to know what it says?

Khalid Zaheer

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