‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr narrates that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“It will be said [on the Day of Judgement] to the reciter* of the Qur’an: ‘Recite and be uplifted [in your rank]! And recite in the distinct manner (Tartil) as you used to recite in the world. For indeed your rank [in Paradise] will be according to the last verse you recite.'”
Al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban, Al-Hakim, Bayhaqi, Ibn Abi Shaybah.
The Hadith uses the word “Sahib.” This derives from the Arabic root verb of ‘Sa-Hi-Ba’ which means to accompany or to keep company with. The word Sahib can mean companion, friend, holder, keeper, or authority. Why then have I chosen to translate as reciter?
My intention behind it:
Many people translate this to mean the Hafidh of the Qur’an. I do not dispute that because the Hafidh is undoubtedly by definition a reciter. No one recites more than a true Hafidh of the Qur’an (revision, prayers, performances). Perhaps the truest translation ought to be companion, but what makes a companion of the Qur’an a companion? It is the constant contact (and implementation). In other words they are also by definition ‘reciters’.
If we understand it to mean reciter, this will give a source of inspiration and encouragement to everyone. Not just the Hafidh or companion of the Qur’an. I know many people who wish to memorise and out of that desire they always recite. Others just simply love to the recite the Qur’an every day. Others have made it a habit to always listen and recite. Others have made it a routine to always recite a Khatam. Many have memorised just portions or certain Suwar of the Qur’an which they always recite. Maybe out of their love, constant recital, and drive, they will be amongst those who are called onto to “recite and be uplifted!”
The levels or ranks of Paradise are in accordance to the number of verses in the Qur’an according to a few traditions. ‘Amr Ibn Al-‘As (May Allah be pleased with him) said: “Each verse in the Qur’an is one level in Paradise and a light in your houses.” (Imam Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali in his Secrets of reading the Qur’an). Lady ‘A’isha (Allāh bless her soul) said I heard the Messenger of Allah say: “The number of levels in Paradise are on the number of verses of the Qur’an, so whosoever from the people of the Qur’an enter Paradise then there is no level above it.” (Abi Shaybah, Bayhaqi, Daylami).
This is the route to the highest station in paradise – companionship!
- We should then seek to not only recite a regular full Qur’an, but we should aim to memorise as much as we can.
- Look at the amazing opportunity we have. We can be invited by Allah on the Day of Judgement to recite! The bonus: a higher rank in Paradise. Who knows, maybe the highest level.
- The importance of reciting distinctly and slowly, with ‘Tartil‘. Allah wants to hear it recited as He ordered it to be recited in Surat al-Muddathir. Tartil is mentioned in this Hadith three times – more than any other word!
- The way you recite in this world is important too. So when you memorise or recite make it your best. It’s, God willing, practice for the next world.
- If you think you can’t memorise the Qur’an [I know you can – see 99 Secrets] – What is stopping you becoming a reciter of the Qur’an?
Allah knows best.
May Allah make us amongst those who asked upon to recite.