There are people who have memorized the Qur'an (hafiz[a]); I actually know one such person. It's really awe-inspiring.

Question: Does someone who has memorized the Qur'an still need to read it?

I'm wondering if these people still need to bother reading a hard copy of the Qur'an. What's the point if they've memorized it? Perhaps there's some practical reasons (e.g. imperfect memorization) or perhaps there's a more spiritual reason to actually read the Qur'an as a physical object.

  • 1
    I also know some who have memorised the whole quran and what i've notice is that they always read in the mushaf, often daily in order not to forget something. Even a man of old age who memorised it when he was very young does the same.
    – Kilise
    Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 10:44
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    1.During Ramadan there is special prayer called taraveeh in which people like to recite complete Quran (atleast one) . So in order to remember for a year long,imaams use to recite often. 2.Also if someone memorised Quran and forget it,then there is a punishment from Allah to them. There maybe more reasons.
    – Fawad
    Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 11:54
  • I made a major edit to my answer. Please see.
    – Thaqalain
    Commented Apr 9, 2017 at 16:39

3 Answers 3


In the Shia school of thought, several narrations from the Fourteen Infallibles (as) describe the benefits of looking at the holy verses and reading them from the book. So there must be more to it than just practising the memory.

The Messenger of Allah (blessings of Allah be upon him and his family) has said: “Nothing is harder for Satan to bear than a person who recites the Qur’an by looking at the pages (of the Qur’an).”

Thawab al-A’mal, Pg. 231

Imam Ja’far ibne Muhammad as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) has said that: “Reciting the Qur’an from the pages of the Qur’an (meaning to look at it and recite it - not from memory) lightens the punishment of one’s mother and father, even if they are both disbelievers.”

Usul al-Kafi,  Vol. 2, Pg. 613

Imam Ja’far ibne Muhammad as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) has said: “The Qur’an is the trust of Allah (given) to His creations, therefore it is desirable for every Muslim to look at this trust and to recite (a minimum of) 50 ayat (verses) of the Qur’an everyday.”

Usul al-Kafi, Vol. 2, Pg. 609

There is no ruling that a Muslim MUST read Qur'an. It's extremely recommended. Better to memorize its verses.More than that, it's recommended to the reflect in Qur'an. Even more than that it's important to apply Qur'an in our lives, use it as a touchstone.

Many of us have Qur'an at our houses as a decoration, many of us memorization of Qur'an without any reflection and many of us have reflection without any application. It's just that we can/should always get better and better. So a person that has memorized Qur'an has done very well, but 2 more major steps left to go for.

وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا

And the Messenger has said, "O my Lord, indeed my people have taken this Qur'an as [a thing] abandoned."Furqan : 30

carrying Qur'an like a donkey is about one who just reads Qur'an but doesn't apply:

مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ حُمِّلُوا التَّوْرَاةَ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَحْمِلُوهَا كَمَثَلِ الْحِمَارِ يَحْمِلُ أَسْفَارًا ۚ بِئْسَ مَثَلُ الْقَوْمِ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

The example of those who were entrusted with the Torah and then did not take it on is like that of a donkey who carries volumes [of books]. Wretched is the example of the people who deny the signs of Allah . And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.Al-Jum'ah : 5


أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ ۚ

Then do they not reflect upon the Qur'an Nisa' : 82

وَإِذَا قُرِئَ الْقُرْآنُ فَاسْتَمِعُوا لَهُ وَأَنصِتُوا لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

So when the Qur'an is recited, then listen to it and pay attention that you may receive mercy. A'raf 204

In addition from a psychological perspective the more you bond physically with something the better it gets. I mean if you read Qur'an in your head, or read it out loud, or also read it with the book in your hand, it will all be different.

Having that said the most important element of doing (reading/ listening / performing anything) is the presence of your conscience. Let me explain what I mean.

I'll go from bad to good:

Have you done your daily prayers but then you were thinking about how to solve a math problem and never realized how you began or finished your prayer? Or just read your prayers quickly just because you had to.

You've read your prayers but during some rak'ats you were thinking about what your colleague told you?

You've read your prayers but you were really just reading/saying it. You didn't truly mean what you said. Like reading 200 pages of a book but then if someone asks you what was it about you'd be like : "ummm...uhhh...it was about a guy fighting evil (not remembering any of the details"

You've read your prayers but this time you were paying attention to the words, when you said ایاک نعبد و ایاک نستعین you really really meant it. In your heart you were like " FIRMLY, my compassionate lord, I will only seek from you and not seek from others, you sustain me". When you say صراط الذین انعمت علیهم غیر المغضوب علیهم و لاالضالین you really try to purify yourself from the wrong path, you only want to be on the path of the prophet.

You've read your prayers and in addition to the above, you see heaven on your right and hell on your left, you see death imminent, you're fearful of your sins,etc.

Basically the most important thing is how deeply you translate (to your current moment) what you're reading/hearing

(The steps for reading Qur'an are very similar, but I feel this example better connects with our daily prayers. In Qur'an whether you just read it, or when you read verses of Akhlaq you look into yourself and say " What have I done?! I've deceived myself"...when you read verses about heaven and hell "you see death imminent and tell yourself this world is only to be traded for the value of paradies, when you see verses of Allah being just, you look into yourself and tell yourself it is me who's brought this misery upon myself, when you see verses that Allah aids his believers you become calm and patient, etc. )

And based on my experience when you're reading from Qur'an you're bringing your eyes' focus to the Qu'ran. If you're reading from memory then you could also be seeing someone moving in front of you, the reflection of light, notifications from your cellphone, etc.


Yes memorizing the Quran is an ever lasting process, because one meaning of the Quran is the continuous recitation (What is the literal meaning of the word "Qur'an"?).

For this reason our Prophet () has asked us to read it when ever possible and not to keep away from it saying:

"Keep on reciting the Qur'an, for, by Him in Whose Hand my life is, Qur'an runs away (is forgotten) faster than camels that are released from their tying ropes." (sahih al-Bukhari, sahih Muslim)

the comparison with a camel keeper has been quoted in other ahadith too:

"A man who knows the Qur'an well is like a man who has a hobbled camel. If he takes care of it, he keeps it, and if he lets it go, it gets away." (Muwatta' Malik, sahih al-Bukhari, sahih Muslim and sunan an-Nasa'i)

Forgetting a verse of the Quran on the other hand is considered a big sin especially if it is due to laziness:

"The rewards for my Ummah were displayed before me, even (the reward for) the dust that a man comes out of the Masjid with. The sins of my Ummah were displayed before me, and I have not seen a sin worse than a Surah or Ayah of the Qur'an which a man learned and then forgot." (Jami' at-Tirmdihi , sunan abi Dawod)

some scholars quoted in this context from the verse (9:67):

...They have forgotten Allah , so He has forgotten them [accordingly]. ...

How such a person would stand in front of his Creator is described in the hadith:

No man recites the Qur'an, then forgets it, but will meet Allah on the Day of Judgment in a maimed condition (or empty-handed, or with no excuse). (sunan abi Dawod)

It is even not recommended to say "I have forgotten such or such verse", but to attribute it by say "I've been made to forget such or such verse":

None of you should say: I forgot such and such a verse, but he has been made to forget. (sahih Muslim).

Because of all of this and beside the fact that reading or reciting from a Quran is a worship which has high rewards it is rather usual that people who memorize the Quran also read from it. Especially as it is a good book to remember Allah

And We have certainly made the Qur'an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember? (54:17, 54:22, 54:32 and 54:40)

It is also recommended to complete reading the Quran at most in 3 days and at least once each two months as stated in the answer of this post: Reading the Quran in Ramadan

Of course one must find his own "rhythm" and the feasible amount one can read, as reading or reciting without understanding or trying to understand isn't recommended too.

  • hah, never saw the verses from Surah Qamar before...thanks
    – Thaqalain
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 14:28

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