Tilawah: Attentive Reading/Following of the Qur’an


Tilawah is generally translated as recitation and most often used in the context of reciting Qur’an. However, linguistically it has two basic meanings: to read and to follow.

The reading part is obvious from the general translation. However, to demonstrate that tilawah also means to follow, consider this: the Arabs would call a baby goat that was just weaned off its mother a “tilwu” (from tilawah) because it would follow the mother everywhere.

Check out the video and its 2nd part ( for more details, the usage of the word in the Qur’an and its implications.



Tarteel: Clear, Well-Paced, Serene Recitation of Qur’an



There are a few words that are used in the Qur’an to describe the way Qur’an should be recited. I will focus on two of these words: tarteel (ترتيل) and tilawah (تلاوة). This post will discuss the meaning of the word tarteel, its usage in the Qur’an and its implications.

Meaning of Tarteel

Linguistically, tarteel is a noun related to the verb rattala (رتّل). Both these words originate from the word ratl (رتل).

The word ratl (رتل) means something that is beautifully composed. In Arabic: حُسْن تَناسُق الشي. The Arabs of the past would say someone who has has white, gapless teeth with no crookedness to have ratl (رتل) teeth.

As you can see from the imagery of teeth, ratl means something that is beautiful, harmonious and orderly.

Usage in the Qur’an

The word tarteel is used in two parts in the Qur’an.

Surah Muzzammil

يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُزَّمِّلُ ﴿١﴾ قُمِ اللَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا ﴿٢﴾ نِّصْفَهُ أَوِ انقُصْ مِنْهُ قَلِيلًا ﴿٣﴾ أَوْ زِدْ عَلَيْهِ وَرَتِّلِ الْقُرْآنَ تَرْتِيلًا ﴿٤﴾

O you who wraps himself [in clothing], (1) Arise [to pray] the night, except for a little – (2) Half of it – or subtract from it a little (3) Or add to it, and recite the Qur’an with measured recitation. (4)

Surah Furqan

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَوْلَا نُزِّلَ عَلَيْهِ الْقُرْآنُ جُمْلَةً وَاحِدَةً كَذَٰلِكَ لِنُثَبِّتَ بِهِ فُؤَادَكَ وَرَتَّلْنَاهُ تَرْتِيلًا ﴿٣٢﴾

And those who disbelieve say, “Why was the Qur’an not revealed to him all at once?” Thus [it is] that We may strengthen thereby your heart. And We have spaced it distinctly. (32)

Translations by Sahih International.

For an explanation on these two sets of ayahs and their relation to the linguistic meaning of tarteel, please refer to these videos:

Meaning and Implications of Tarteel

Putting together the linguistic meaning and its usage in the Qur’an, we can see that tarteel means three main things: clarity, well-paced and serene.

  • Clarity: making sure that every letter and every consonant is crystal clear. This can be derived from the imagery of the ratl teeth discussed above.
  • Well-paced: making sure that the recitation is decipherable. This can be derived from the usage of the word in Surah Furqan.
  • Serene: making sure the experience of recitation is a serene experience. This can be derived from the context of Surah Muzzammil and the description of the Prophet’s recitation.

I pray that Allah gives us the ability to recite the Qur’an with tarteel, ameen.


Truly Worshiping Allah

An excerpt from a khutbah discussing what it means to truly worship Allah.


– Allah says, ” يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمُ – O mankind, worship your Lord”. The word اعْبُدُوا has two origins: 1) to worship 2) to enslave/be a slave of someone
– Worshiping Allah is doing things that make Allah happy.
– Being a slave of Allah is being happy with what Allah does to us.
– Allah gives us several reasons to worship Him in the ayaat without even mentioning how to worship Him, highlighting how important it is to make the “why” a part of our discourse.

The discussion is based on the following ayaat from Surah Baqarah (2):


Description of the Qu’ran in the Qur’an – Aarij Anwer

A discussion on the description of the Qur’an – آيَاتٌ بَيِّنَاتٌ فِي صُدُورِ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ – as described in the ayaat from Surah Al-Ankaboot [29:49] and what it entails.

This is an excerpt from a longer speech given at one of my student’s Qur’an graduation party (finishing of memorization of the Qur’an).


Lessons from the Ayah of Wudu [5:6]

Ayah of Wudu:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُوا بِرُءُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَيْنِ وَإِن كُنتُمْ جُنُبًا فَاطَّهَّرُوا وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَىٰ أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَاءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنكُم مِّنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ لَامَسْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُوا مَاءً فَتَيَمَّمُوا صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا فَامْسَحُوا بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُم مِّنْهُ مَا يُرِيدُ اللَّـهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ حَرَجٍ وَلَـٰكِن يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهِّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles. And if you are in a state of janabah, then purify yourselves. But if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it. Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favor upon you that you may be grateful.

Surah Maidah (5), Ayah 6.


  1. Virtue of wudu: complete purification from sins.
  2. Wudu is an action of faith. Only a believer does wudu.
  3. Faith is not just a concept, it has real implications. It is saying and doing.
  4. Following the divine ordering = total submission and obedience.
  5. No difficulty is intended by any ritual. Rather, they are a purification and a completion of Allah’s favor.

How Awesome is the Believer – Hadith Explained

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: “عَجَبًا لِأَمْرِ الْمُؤْمِنِ إِنَّ أَمْرَهُ كُلَّهُ خَيْرٌ وَلَيْسَ ذَاكَ لِأَحَدٍ إِلَّا لِلْمُؤْمِنِ إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ صَبَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ”

The Prophet [S] said, “How awesome is the believer. Everything that happens to him/her is good for him/her. And this is only for the believer.

If something good happens to him, he is thankful and that’s good for him. If something bad happens to him, he is patient and that’s good for him.”

Authentically reported by Imam Bukhari and others.


The best, richest of people


“If you do what Allah has obligated upon you, you’ll be the best worshiper among the people.

If you leave what Allah has prohibited upon you, you’ll have the highest conscious of Allah among the people.

If you are happy with what Allah has given you, you’ll be the richest among the people.” -Abdullah bin Masood

أدِّ ما افترض الله عليك تكن من أعبد الناس واجتنب ما حرم الله عليك تكن من أورع الناس وارض بما قسم الله لك تكن من أغنى الناس. (ابن مسعود)


The Shaver

The Shaver

عَنْ أَبِي الدَّرْدَاءِ رَضِيَ الله عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: “أَلَا أُخْبِرُكُمْ بِأَفْضَلَ مِنْ دَرَجَةِ الصِّيَامِ وَالصَّلَاةِ وَالصَّدَقَةِ؟” قَالُوا: بَلَى يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، قَالَ: “إِصْلَاحُ ذَاتِ الْبَيْنِ وَفَسَادُ ذَاتِ الْبَيْنِ الْحَالِقَةُ”

The Prophet said, “Should I not inform you of something superior in rank to fasting, prayer and charity?”
The companions replied, “Of course, oh Messenger of Allah”.
The Prophet said, “The mending of ties between people is better in rank than fasting, prayer and charity, (as) the degeneration of the ties is the destroyer of the religion (literally, the shaver – not of the head, but of the deen)”.

[Reported by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi]

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم called breaking ties with fellow Muslims the shaver – الحاقة. It doesn’t shave the head, it literally shaves the religion of a person and leaves them with nothing.

A person who shaves the head has no hair left. The one who breaks ties with a fellow Muslim has no religion left! Think about it.

Hadith Islam

Sacrifice on Eid-ul-Adha


عَنْ أُمِّ سَلَمَةَ، زَوْجَ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، رَضِيَ الله عَنْهَا قَالَتْ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: “مَنْ كَانَ لَهُ ذِبْحٌ يَذْبَحُهُ فَإِذَا أُهِلَّ هِلَالُ ذِي الْحِجَّةِ فَلَا يَأْخُذَنَّ مِنْ شَعْرِهِ وَلَا مِنْ أَظْفَارِهِ شَيْئًا حَتَّى يُضَحِّيَ.”

أخرجه مسلم، والنسائي وابن ماجه

It is narrated from Um Salamah, the wife of the Prophet [RA] that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Whoever is sacrificing an animal (for Eid-ul-Adha) should not cut/trim his hair or his nails once the moon is sighted for the month of Dhul Hijjah until the sacrifice is made.”

[Reported Muslim, Nasa’i and ibn Majah]

Vocabulary from the Hadith

ذِبْحٌ – a sacrifice, particularly a slaughtered animal.

هِلَالُ – moon (in its early stages).

شَعْرِهِ  – his hair.

أَظْفَارِهِ  – his nails.

Lessons from the Hadith

– The ruling of not cutting the hair or trimming nails lasts from the beginning of Dhul Hijjah till the time of the sacrifice.

– If someone accidentally cuts the hair/trims the nails, there is no problem in that. If someone accidentally does it, they have to seek forgiveness from Allah. There is no ransom/expiation (fidyah) necessary.

– This is part of the rituals of Hajj and one of the rites (sha’aair) of Allah. Allah says, “ذَٰلِكَ وَمَن يُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ‌ اللَّـهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِن تَقْوَى الْقُلُوبِ – Thus it is. He who honors the symbols/rites set up by Allah shows the piety of his heart.” (22:32)

– Ibn al-Qayyim comments on this hadith: “The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم commanded to leave the hair and the nails in the first 10 days so that they can be cut/trimmed with the sacrifice. This – the cutting of hair/nails with sacrifice – is part of the perfection of the slaughter in the sight of Allah.

This is also evident in the aqeeqah; that when the slaughter is made for the newborn, “they should shave his head” (hadith). So this points to the fact that cutting/shaving of hair with slaughter is better and more suitable.”


Sh. Aarij Anwer


عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللهِ رَضِيَ الله عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: “أَفْضَلُ أَيَّامِ الْدُّنْيَا أَيَّامُ الْعَشْرِ، يَعْنِي عَشْرُ ذِي الحْجَّةِ

رواه البزار وابن حبان وصححه الألباني

It is narrated from Jabir ibn Abdullah [RA] that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,

“The best days of the world are the ten days, the ten days of Dhul Hijjah.”

[Reported by Bazzar and ibn Habban and authenticated by Sh Al-Albani]

Vocabulary from the Hadtih

أَفْضَلُ– the best.

أَيَّامِ – days.

الْعَشْرِ – the ten.

Lessons from the Hadith

– The scholars have explained that the best days are the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah and the best nights are the last ten nights of Ramadan. There are several reasons why these days are the best:

1) Allah [SWT] swore by them in Surah Fajr, v. 2.

2) These are the…

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