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Do All Family Members Have to Listen During Quran Lessons?

03 December, 2022
Q If a teacher is teaching the Quran in a home, does everyone at home need to listen to the Quran lesson? I am told by one of the teachers that since the Quran is the word of Allah, everyone in the house should listen to it. I wish to know whether this view is sound.


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.

In this fatwa:

  • Listening to the Quran is one of the most noble and rewarded deeds. A true believer tends to listen to the words of Allah and feels his heart attached to them wherever he may be.
  • Family members with genuine and valid considerations are exempt from the imperative of listening to the Quran during the Quran lesson.

In responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

When to Listen to the Quran Attentively

The Quran is the speech of Allah. So, we must pay utmost respect to the Quran and try to listen to it as much as possible. Allah says:

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{When the Quran is being recited, pay attention and listen attentively so that you may receive Allah’s mercy.} (Al-A`raf 7:204 )

According to many interpreters of the Quran, the above verse applies most specifically to recitation of the Quran during prayer. And it obliges the followers to listen to the recitation attentively.

There is, however, no reason to limit such listening to the case of prayer; it also extends to general conditions. Thus, we must try to listen to the recitation of the Quran whenever and wherever possible. An exception to this rule is when one has valid reasons that prevent him/her from doing so.

Who is exempted from listening to Quran?

Where people have other business to attend to that prevents them from listening to the Quran, they are exempt from listening. As Imam Ibn al-Mundhir has stated, this is the consensus of scholars on this issue.

Also, a person reciting the Quran needs to exercise consideration for others who are busy with a business that precludes them from paying due respect to the Glorious Book.

Hence, the habit of people reading aloud in the mosque when people ought to attend to other obligations, such as offering sunnah prayer would fall into this category.

The Prophet (PBUH) retired to the mosque. He heard them (the people) reciting the Quran in a loud voice. He removed the curtain and said: Lo! every one of you is calling his Lord quietly. One should not trouble the other and one should not raise the voice in recitation or in prayer over the voice of the other. (Abu Dawud)

That people with genuine and valid considerations are exempt from the imperative of listening to the Quranic recitation has been the general understanding of Muslims throughout history. It was the common practice in Islamic countries that under a single roof of a mosque, various teachers held their classes concurrently. Among them were the Quran teachers, scholars of jurisprudence, scholars of Hadith, linguists, etc. No one ever objected to this practice by saying that all classes must be discontinued when Quranic lessons are being held as everyone must listen to the recitation of the Quran by the reciter. That would only be utterly absurd and highly impractical.

📚 Read Also: 7 Reasons for the Closure of Hearts Toward the Quran

A word of advice on listening to Quran lessons

Having stated the above, we must add a further note. If a person is able to do his chores and listen to the Quran concurrently—which is probably possible if one is driving, cooking, cleaning, etc.—that is even better. In that way, he/she surely stands to gain the blessings of listening to the Quran. Thus, he becomes worthy of receiving the mercy that is bound to descend upon those who are busy with such a noble deed.

Almighty Allah knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.