It is authentically reported in the Two Sahihs on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them) that Jibril (peace be upon him) would meet the Prophet () every night of Ramadan, and he would rehearse the Quran with him. In another narration: The Messenger of Allah () would read out the Quran to him.
Mudarasah of the Quran is a prophetic Sunnah, which some Muslims neglected today and others completely abandoned, despite its many great benefits.
In this article, we will try to shed light on these benefits, but after explaining the meaning of “Mudarasah” and its legality and approach.
Let us start with the meaning.
Linguistically, Dirasah means practicing something very often. The verb ‘darasa’ has many senses. Among its meanings is ‘to read.’ In the sentence ‘darasa al-kitaba darsan wa dirasatan’ signifies that someone studiously reads a book for memorization and comprehension; ‘darasa al-kitaba mudarasatan wa dirasan,’ to study; ‘daarasa fulanan,’ to study and read with a pair; ‘tadarasa al-kitaba,’ he studied the book, and committed himself to reading and memorizing it so that he would not forget it; midraas is the place where the Book of Allah is studied; madras is the place where science is taught; mudarris (lit. teacher) is one who is given to much reading and studying books; madrasah (lit. school, pl. madaris) is derived from all the above root words.
Like mukhasamah, musharakah, mudarabah, the word ‘mudarasah’ signifies plurality, in the sense that the action is shared by two or more participants. It is said: khasama zaydun ‘amran’ [Zayd disputed with ‘Amr,] ‘shaaraka al-tullabu fi al-mihrajan’ [the students participated in the festival,] ‘daaraba al-fuqara’u al-Aghniyaa’ [the poor speculated with the rich,] to denote plurality of action. According to this pattern, the word ‘mudarasah’ is formed. Mudarasah is used in the sense of ‘group reading,’ denoting that a group of people would read in turns. Tadarus has the morphological pattern ‘tafa’ul’ which denotes collective participation in reading and learning. It is said: ‘tadarasa al-Qawmu al-Qur’an,’ meaning that people recite the Quran and ponder over its meanings.
The legality and even desirability of mudarasah of the Quran is proven by verses from the Noble Quran and hadiths from the honorable Sunnah. As for the Quran, we recite the words of Allah, the Almighty, describing the pious scholars from among the people of knowledge, “Be pious scholars of the Lord because of what you have taught of the Scripture and because of what you have studied” [Quran 3: 79]
This is also evidenced in the Sunnah by the Prophet’s actions. He () used to study the Quran with Jibril (peace be upon him) during the nights of Ramadan. Muslim narrated in his Sahih on the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that he reported Allah’s Messenger () as saying: “For those people who assemble in one of Allah's Houses (mosques) and recite the Book of Allah and teach it to one another, there will descend upon them the tranquility and mercy will cover them and the angels will flock around them and Allah will mention them in the presence of those near Him.” This hadith is the most clear-cut tradition in this regard.
The legality and importance of mudarasah is attested by the saying of the Prophet (): “Commit yourself to the Quran, for by Him in whose Hand is my soul, it is surely more prone to break away (be forgotten) faster than camels released from their tying ropes.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Committing one’s self to the Quran in the hadith means to involve in mudarasah; mudarasah means reciting the Quran punctually so that it will may not be forgotten; and the wording also came in a pattern that denotes interaction.
In order for mudarasah to be successful and correct, its application must be based on two rules:
The first rule: reading, contemplation and insight; this rule is applied by two complementary things; the first: reading the Quran with understanding, comprehension and knowledge. Allah, the Almighty, said: “Then do they not reflect upon the Quran, or are there locks upon [their] hearts?” [Quran 47: 24] Allah also said: “Say, "I only advise you of one [thing] – that you stand for Allah, [seeking truth] in pairs and individually, and then give thought."” [Quran 34: 46] This is because understanding, awareness, and knowledge are the avenues leading to action.
The second: being imbued with the principles of the Quran; this means adopting the Quran and applying them in reality and in all aspects of life, starting with oneself and ending with society. Allah, the Almighty, said: “So remain on a right course as you have been commanded, [you] and those who have turned back with you [to Allah], and do not transgress,” [Quran 11: 112] and “So they who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him – it is those who will be the successful.” [Quran 7: 157]
The second rule: Dealing with the Quran as if one is the recipient of its revelation. Allah, the Almighty, said: “Indeed, this is a reminder, so whoever wills may take to his Lord a way.” [Quran 73: 19]
The reader of the Quran and one who studies it should read the Quran in this manner, i.e. the manner of the recipient of the revelation, obeying its commands and directives.
Mudarasah of the Quran has many benefits, which we can summarize as follows:
It leads to knowledge and learning. Knowledge in general and the knowledge of the Quran in particular cannot be attained except by collaboration and interaction with others. The individual attainment is nothing compared to collective attainment, especially when the people knowledgeable of the Quran are involved. Allah, the Almighty, said: “Be pious scholars of the Lord because of what you have taught of the Scripture and because of what you have studied.” [Quran 3: 79] Piousness is achieved through joint learning and teaching of the Quran and its mudarasah.
The Messenger () only learned the Quran, understood its verses, and comprehended its meanings and purposes through studying with Jibril (peace be upon him). Likewise, the noble Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) learned the Quran and understood it through studying it under the Messenger () and attending his sessions. The same applies to those who came after them.
Mudarasah of the Quran helps the Quran memorizer to review, recall, assimilate and reflect upon it. He () said “Commit yourself to the Quran, for by Him in whose Hand is my soul, it is surely more prone to break away (be forgotten) faster than camels released from their tying ropes.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
He () urged the believers to commit themselves to the Quran and study it among themselves, lest it should be forgotten. Non-application of the Quran is another consequence of deserting it. A person on his own is weak, but he gets stronger in the company of his brethren; this is experienced by all those who involve in mudarasah of the Quran and reviewing knowledge with others.
Mudarasah of the Quran is a way to achieve the meaning of interdependence and harmony among Muslims. It is a basic objective that Islam has been keen on, in order to inculcate collective thinking and collective behavior. This purpose is noticeable in most Islamic acts of worship, as the collective meaning in it is present and prominent.
Mudarasah of the Quran is a way of purifying the soul with the virtues of goodness, adorning it with the values of righteousness, and guiding it to the path of guidance. Allah, the Almighty, said: “Certainly did Allah confer [great] favor upon the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves, reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book [i.e., the Quran] and wisdom, although they had been before in manifest error.” [Quran 3: 164]
Through this mudarasah, good souls are purified, the path of goodness becomes distinct from evil one, and meanings and values would be attained, unlike in the case of individual reading.
Mudarasah of the Quran is a means for bringing down mercy and tranquility on the believers, and a reason for the angels to surround them with protection, care and support; this is evidenced by the Prophet’s () saying: “For those people who assemble in one of Allah's Houses (mosques) and recite the Book of Allah and teach it to one another, there will descend upon them the tranquility and mercy will cover them and the angels will flock around them and Allah will mention them in the presence of those near Him.” (Reported by Muslim)
Mudarasah of the Quran is an important matter for correct recitation and accurate pronunciation. Allah, the Almighty, said: “and recite the Quran with measured recitation.” [Quran 73: 4] The reciter of the Quran is required to do it skillfully and diligently. Mudarasah is the way to do so. It is established among the scholars that the Quran is not received through individual recitation. Rather, it should be practiced orally, received from the Quran recitation scholars who are known for meticulousness and perfection, and practiced under their mentorship.
In summary, the main purpose of mudarsah of the Quran is to extract and deduce the Quranic principles and compile them into a practical program that includes the most important scientific, educational, Dawah-related, theoretical, and practical aspects, which must be realized in all areas of life.