Short Answer: The Quran is only the Quran if it’s in the original Arabic in which it was revealed; all else is merely translation and interpretation. So, the reward would not be the same if you read it in another language. But, don’t lose heart! When someone struggles to read the Quran in Arabic, when Arabic is not his first language, he receives double the reward!
Salam Dear Brother,
Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.
Must I Read The Quran in Arabic to Receive the Rewards?
First, as for the reward, the answer is no, the reward is not the same.
But let me explain: reading the Quran in Arabic has the reward of one hasanat for each letter read, where one hasanat is the reward for a good deed.
As an authentic hadith in At-Tirmidhee says:
Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah, he will have a reward. And that reward will be multiplied by ten. I am not saying that “Alif, Laam, Meem” is a letter, rather I am saying that “Alif” is a letter, “laam” is a letter and “meem” is a letter.
Double The Reward!
Reading the Quran in Arabic, when Arabic is not the reader’s first language, has double the reward!
Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
Certainly the one who recites the Quran beautifully, smoothly, and precisely, he will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. And as for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, then he will have TWICE that reward. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
This hadith is a firm proof against such whisperings. Dedicate yourself to the Quran, whether you are an Arab or not!
The excuses have been eliminated and the path cleared for you to embrace the Quran. And inshaAllah you will find a teacher or a study circle to help you.
Read The Quran in Your Own Language, Too!
Reading the Quran in English (or in the reader’s own language) is obviously beneficial in understanding the translation and meaning of the Arabic.
This is something every Muslim is required to do.
Each Muslim should have read and understood all of the Quran before they die. Then, we will have no excuse that ‘we didn’t know’ when we are questioned on the Day of Judgment.
The Only True Quran is the Arabic Quran
The Quran is only the Quran in Arabic, therefore, care must be taken that one has a good translation or access to a scholar.
A translation is only man’s attempt to explain the Word of Allah. It is not sufficient to read and make one’s own interpretation.
Neither should the Quran be quoted in translation unless the translation has been checked with the Arabic. This is to avoid any unintentional mistakes, misinformation and distortion.
Don’t Just Read: Reflect On The Deep Meanings
Indeed to reflect on Allah’s verses is a form of worship (dhikr) that will draw one close to Allah Most High.
This reflection is not a reckless and wandering one, rather it includes a study of the classical tafseer of the verses under study, as this would fulfill Ibnul-Qayyim’s great advice:
“Such as reflecting over a book which a person has memorized and he expounds it so that he may understand what its author intends by it.”
Indeed the Book of Allah is not a book like other books, it is the timeless Speech of Allah, not something created. It is the study guide for life and death and what comes after.
It deserves very careful study, much more than anyone else’s speech.
We should know what the Prophet (peace be upon him) said and how he interpreted it.
We must also understand how his immediate followers interpreted the Quran, as he taught them directly.
Otherwise, we may allow the contamination over the ages to cloud or confuse our understanding and cause us to understand some things not intended by Allah Most High, and therefore go astray, thinking we are worshiping Allah.
I hope this helps answer your question.
Salam and please keep in touch.
(From AboutIslam’s archives)