What is the ruling on memorizing Quran without understanding, i.e. without understanding the Arabic or knowing the basic tafseer of the ayaat?
Memorizing Quran without understanding the meaning is not the way of Prophet Muhammad’s Companions and the Pious Predecessors. We do not say it is forbidden but this is not what Allah wishes us to do. There is a hadith recited by the Companion Abder-Rahman As-Salmi:
كنا إذا تعلمنا عشر آيات من القرآن لم نتعلم العشر التي بعدها حتى نعرف حلالها وحرامها وأمرها ونهيها.
We used to learn ten verses of Quran and not start the next ten verses until or unless we learn the Halal and Haram of the first ten verses, and what to do and what not to do.
Allah said that this Quran was revealed for us to act according to it. How can you act and respond to the commands and rulings of Quran if you don’t understand it?
Understanding the Quran is a priority over memorizing it. At the time of the Companions, the people who understood and acted upon the Quran were the majority, whilst the Companions memorizing it were little in number. These days the memorizers of Quran are a lot and those who understand and act upon it are little in number.
It is a great virtue to memorize Quran but understanding it is more important.
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