What is meant by reciting Qur’aan in a melodious voice?

Question: What is meant by reciting Qur’aan in a melodious voice?

Answer: Praise be to Allaah.

In the saheeh Sunnah it is encouraged to recite the Qur’aan in a melodious voice, i.e., making the voice beautiful when reciting it. It does not mean that one should recite it as if singing, rather what is meant is that one should make the voice beautiful when reciting. For example the saheeh hadeeth says: “Allaah never listens to anything as He listens to a Prophet with a beautiful voice reciting the Qur’aan out loud” and “He is not one of us who does not recite Qur’aan in a melodious voice when reciting it out loud.” What this means is making the voice beautiful, as stated above.

The meaning of the hadeeth quoted above refers to listening in a manner that is befitting to Allaah and it is not like the attributes of His creation, as is the case with all His other attributes. It may be said of His listening that it is like His other attributes, that it is in a manner that is befitting to Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, and there is nothing like unto Him, may He be glorified and exalted. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “There is nothing like Him, and He is the All‑Hearer, the All‑Seer” [al-Shoora 42:11]. Reciting in a melodious tone means reciting out loud and making the voice beautiful and with proper focus, so that the heart is moved, because the aim is to stir the heart with this Qur’aan, so that people will fear Allaah and so that they will find peace and benefit from it. An example of this is the story of Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari (may Allaah be pleased with him), when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) passed by him as he was reciting Qur’aan, and he started listening to him and said: “You have been given a beautiful voice like the beautiful voices of the family of Dawood.” When Abu Moosa came, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told him about that and Abu Moosa said: If I had known, O Messenger of Allaah, that you were listening, I would have made it very beautiful indeed. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not denounce him for that, which indicates that making the voice beautiful and being careful in reciting is something that is required, so that both the reader and the listener will focus properly and will both benefit.

[Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) (11/348-350)]

‘There is no compulsion in religion’

Question: Some friends say that whoever does not enter Islam, that is his choice and he should not be forced to become Muslim, quoting as evidence the verses in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed, all of them together. So, will you (O Muhammad) then compel mankind, until they become believers”
[Yoonus 10:99]
“There is no compulsion in religion”
[al-Baqarah 2:256]
What is your opinion concerning that?

Answer: Praise be to Allaah.

The scholars explained that these two verses, and other similar verses, have to do with those from whom the jizyah may be taken, such as Jews, Christians and Magians (Zoroastrians). They are not to be forced, rather they are to be given the choice between becoming Muslim or paying the jizyah.

Other scholars said that this applied in the beginning, but was subsequently abrogated by Allaah’s command to fight and wage jihad. So whoever refuses to enter Islam should be fought when the Muslims are able to fight, until they either enter Islam or pay the jizyah if they are among the people who may pay jizyah. The kuffaar should be compelled to enter Islam if they are not people from whom the jizyah may be taken, because that will lead to their happiness and salvation in this world and in the Hereafter. Obliging a person to adhere to the truth in which is guidance and happiness is better for him than falsehood. Just as a person may be forced to do the duty that he owes to other people even if that is by means of imprisonment or beating, so forcing the kaafirs to believe in Allaah alone and enter into the religion of Islam is more important and more essential, because this will lead to their happiness in this world and in the Hereafter. This applies unless they are People of the Book, i.e., Jews and Christians, or Magians, because Islam says that these three groups may be given the choice: they may enter Islam or they may pay the jizyah and feel themselves subdued.

Some of the scholars are of the view that others may also be given the choice between Islam and jizyah, but the most correct view is that no others should be given this choice, rather these three groups are the only ones who may be given the choice, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fought the kuffaar in the Arabian Peninsula and he only accepted their becoming Muslim. And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“But if they repent [by rejecting Shirk (polytheism) and accept Islamic Monotheism] and perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah), and give Zakaah, then leave their way free. Verily, Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”

[al-Tawbah 9:5]

He did not say, “if they pay the jizyah”. The Jews, Christians and Magians are to be asked to enter Islam; if they refuse then they should be asked to pay the jizyah. If they refuse to pay the jizyah then the Muslims must fight them if they are able to do so. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allaah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allaah and His Messenger  (Muhammad), (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued”

[al-Tawbah 9:29]

And it was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) accepted the jizyah from the Magians, but it was not proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) accepted the jizyah from anyone except the three groups mentioned above.

The basic principle concerning that is the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning):

“And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism, i.e. worshipping others besides Allaah), and the religion (worship) will all be for Allaah Alone [in the whole of the world]”

[al-Anfaal 8:39]

“Then when the Sacred Months (the 1st, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikoon (see V.2:105) wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush. But if they repent [by rejecting Shirk (polytheism) and accept Islamic Monotheism] and perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah), and give Zakaah, then leave their way free. Verily, Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”

[al-Tawbah 9:5]

This verse is known as Ayat al-Sayf (the verse of the sword).

These and similar verses abrogate the verses which say that there is no compulsion to become Muslim.

And Allaah is the Source of strength.

[Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat li’l-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 6/219]

Taking non-Muslims as friends

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Awliyaa’ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Awliyaa’ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them (as Awliyaa’), then surely, he is one of them. Verily, Allaah guides not those people who are the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers and unjust)”

[al-Maa’idah 5:51]

Shaykh al-Shanqeeti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

In this verse Allaah tells us that whoever takes the Jews and Christians as friends is one of them because of his taking them as friends. Elsewhere Allaah states that taking them as friends incurs the wrath of Allaah and His eternal punishment, and that if the one who takes them as friends was a true believer he would not have taken them as friends. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“You see many of them taking the disbelievers as their Awliyaa’ (protectors and helpers). Evil indeed is that which their ownselves have sent forward before them; for that (reason) Allaah’s Wrath fell upon them, and in torment they will abide.

81. And had they believed in Allaah, and in the Prophet (Muhammad) and in what has been revealed to him, never would they have taken them (the disbelievers) as Awliyaa’ (protectors and helpers); but many of them are the Faasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allaah)”

[al-Maa’idah 5:80-81]

Elsewhere Allaah forbids taking them as friends and explains the reason for that, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Take not as friends the people who incurred the Wrath of Allaah (i.e. the Jews). Surely, they have despaired of (receiving any good in) the Hereafter, just as the disbelievers have despaired of those (buried) in graves (that they will not be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection)”

[al-Mumtahanah 60:13]

In another verse Allaah explains that this is so long as they are not taken as friends because of fear or taqiyah (i.e., being friendly with them in order to avoid harm); if that is the case then the one who does that is excused. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Let not the believers take the disbelievers as Awliyaa’ (supporters, helpers) instead of the believers, and whoever does that, will never be helped by Allaah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:28]

This verse explains all the verses quoted above which forbid taking the kaafirs as friends in general terms. What that refers to is in cases where one has a choice, but in cases of fear and taqiyah it is permissible to make friends with them, as much as is essential to protect oneself against their evil. That is subject to the condition that one’s faith should not be affected by that friendship and the one who is behaves in that manner out of necessity is not one who behaves in that manner out of choice.

It may be understood from the apparent meaning of these verses that the one who deliberately takes the kuffaar as friends by choice and because he likes them, is one of them.

Adwa’ al-Bayaan, 2/98,99