Qur'an: Reading and the acceptable pace

Q546 :In a book I read that Umar, the companion of the Prophet, used to read the Qur'an once every night and Imam Al Shafie used to read it 60 times in the month of Ramadhan, making an average of twice a day. As a general rule, in how many days should we read the Qur'an?

A546 : Allah has ordered us in the Qur'an to recite his revelations slowly and with deliberations. Scholars have understood this to mean that we should try to emphasize the meaning of what we are reading. Moreover, we have to pronounce each word and sound it out. While scholars of the Qur'an make it permissible to use three different speeds in reading the Qur'an, they insist that even the fastest must take care of the pronunciation so that words are understood properly and sounds are given their features. In order to do that, perhaps the faster reader who knows the Qur'an by heart could read one part in twenty minutes. Since the Qur'an is divided into thirty parts, this means that such a very fast reading takes ten hours. A person who knows the Qur'an well and reads it with average speed will probably need 15 to 16 hours to finish it; while a person who recites it properly will need between 45 minutes and one hour to finish one part. This means that he may need thirty hours to finish it. In the light of the above, and knowing that neither Umar ibn Al Khattab nor Al Shafie read the Qur'an like parrots, but were keen to understand it properly and to contemplate its meaning, we can say without hesitation that the report mentioned in that book is incorrect. To imagine that a person could finish the Qur'an in one night is to think that a human being could sit for eight or ten hours reading at high speed without getting tired or stopping to take his breath or to have a drink or to relieve himself. Such an approach to the Qur'an is alien to Islamic practices. Scholars say that on average a person should read about one part of the Qur'an everyday which means that he finishes it once over a whole month. Many people do better than that and read two parts a day in order to finish the Qur'an twice in the same period. A person who has learnt the Qur'an by heart needs to read more every day to maintain his memorization with reasonable accuracy. Such a person needs perhaps to read three parts every day. Scholars of the Qur'an recommend such a person to read five parts a day and say, "He who reads five parts does not forget what he has memorized."

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )