About Quran

Memorize or Understand the Qur’an?

Memorize or Understand the Qur'an? 1

I read the Qur’an but I do not understand Arabic. I do not get anything out of reading the Qur’an. Should not I start reading it in English? There are these people who keep telling you to memorize the Qur’an and speak about the much rewardMemorize or Understand the Qur'an? 2 you gain through memorization. There are so many hafizs out there who memorize the Qur’an and do not even understand what it means. Should not we tell people to read the Quran instead of memorizing it?

When I hear this discussion, I realize something: to every action there is deep opposite reaction. We have two extreme in the community. We have on the one hand people who emphasize memorizing the Qur’an and give no attention to understanding at all. You just become a trophy when you memorize the Qur’an; you are going to lead tarawih; you are going to recite beautifully and people say what an awesome recitation and tajweed you have; yet, you have no concept of what is being said.

That is one extreme. It gives rise to the other extreme, that is, since there are people who are just reciting the Qur’an for no purpose and are just making these beautiful sounds without knowing the actual message, then let’s forget about memorization, we should focus all our energies on reading and understanding the Qur’an.

These are two extremes. How to strike balance and get the best of both memorization and understanding? Watch this video by Ustadh Nouman Khan.