Assalamualaikum ustaz. What is the ruling if I recite the Quran while lying down because I would always do this before sleeping?
Waalaikumussalam wrt, wbt.,
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Reciting the Quran is included in the category of dhikr to Allah SWT (remembering Allah SWT). Thus, we see some mufassirin defined the word dhikr in the Quran as reciting the Quran. Among the verses which states this is a statement of Allah SWT:
وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَن ذِكْرِي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنكًا وَنَحْشُرُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَعْمَىٰ
“And whoever turns away from My remembrance - indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind."
Surah Taha (124)
Imam al-Qurtubi commented on the phrase وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَنْ ذِكْرِي said:
أَيْ دِينِي، وَتِلَاوَةِ كِتَابِي، وَالْعَمَلِ بِمَا فِيهِ
“He who (turns away) from My religion, reciting My book (al-Quran) and (turn away) from practising what is stated in it.”
Refer Al-Jami’ li Ahkam Al-Quran, Al-Qurthubi (11/258)
Hence, it is clearly stated that reciting the Quran is included in the category of zikrullah. Thus, coming back to the above presented question, here we share the statement of Allah SWT:
الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَٰذَا بَاطِلًا سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
“Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying], "Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above such a thing]; then protect us from the punishment of the Fire.”
Surah Ali ‘Imran (191)
Imam al-Nawawi argued based on the above verse, stating his opinion that it is permissible to recite the Quran when a person is standing, sitting or lying on the bed. He said:
وَلَو قَرَأَ قَائِمًا أَو مُضْطَجِعًا أو فِي فِرَاشِهِ أو عَلَى غَيرِ ذَلِكَ مِنَ الأَحْوَالِ جَازَ وَلَهُ أَجْر
“If a person recites the Quran while he is standing, lying on his bed or in other positions, it is permissible and he is rewarded.”
Refer Al-Tibyan fi Adab Hamalat Al-Quran, Al-Nawawi (pg. 80)
To conclude, we would like to state that the ruling of reciting the Quran when a person is lying down is permissible. This shows that Islam is a religion of ease and flexibility.
Although, it should also be explained that the most perfect way of reciting the Quran is when a person is sitting properly, focused and calm, looking down (towards the mushaf) the same way he is sitting in front of his teacher. Wallahua’lam.
Lastly, we pray to Allah SWT so that we are given the correct understanding in religion. Amin.