Why Do We Start Gatherings by Reciting the Quran?

Answered by Shaykh Anas Al-Musa


Why do we start gatherings by reciting the Quran?


In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all worlds, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger sent as a mercy to the worlds, our Master and Prophet, Muhammad, and his Family and Companions.

Opening religious gatherings by reciting the Quran is permissible and indeed recommended. The best way to commence gatherings is with the Book of Allah (Most High). The purpose behind this is to seek blessings, success, facilitation, and acceptance from Allah (Most High) through the recitation of the Quran. Indeed, a gathering that opens with what pleases Allah (Most High) is deserving of His pleasure. A gathering that achieves the pleasure of Allah (Most High) is one in which His support, facilitation, and assistance are realized. Success is linked to the remembrance of Allah (Most High) in the Quran, as stated in the Quran:

“Stand firm and remember Allah often so you may triumph.” [Quran, 8:45], and also,

“Seek the bounty of Allah. And remember Allah often so you may be successful.” [Quran, 62:10]

Moreover, Allah (Most High) says:

“So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it.” [Quran, 99:7] and also,

“Whatever good you send forth for yourselves, you will (certainly) find (its reward) with Allah. Surely Allah is All-Seeing of what you do.” [Quran, 2:110]

Prophetic Sunna

Opening gatherings with the Quran also follows the example of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace); whenever he intended to begin a journey, he would start it by reciting the Quran. It is reported from Ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), when he would mount his camel for travel, would declare Allah’s greatness three times, then say:

“Glory be to the One Who has subjected these for us, for we could have never done so (on our own). And surely to our Lord we will (all) return.” [Quran, 43:13-14]

(Then he would say,) “O Allah, we ask You on this our journey for goodness and piety and for works that are pleasing to You. O Allah, lighten this journey for us and make its distance easy for us. O Allah, You are our Companion on the road and the One in Whose care we leave our family. O Allah, I seek refuge in You from this journey’s hardships, and from the wicked sights in store, and from finding our family and property in misfortune upon returning.”

And when he returned, he would say them again and would add,

“We return, repentant to our Lord, worshipping our Lord, and praising our Lord.” [Muslim]

Nikah Sermon

The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) also used to commence the marriage contract with a sermon that included some Quranic verses, known as the “The Sermon for Necessities (Khutbat al-Haja).” Abdullah Ibn Mas‘ud reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) taught us The Sermon for Necessities:

“Praise be to Allah; we praise Him, seek His help, and ask for His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils of ourselves. Whomsoever Allah guides, none can mislead, and whomsoever He misleads, none can guide. I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.”

Then, he would recite three verses:

“O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him].” [Quran, 3:102],

“O humanity! Be mindful of your Lord, Who created you from a single soul, and from it, He created its mate, and through both, He spread countless men and women. And be mindful of Allah—in Whose Name you appeal to one another—and (honor) family ties. Surely Allah is ever Watchful over you.” [Quran, 4:1]

“O  believers! Be mindful of Allah, and say what is right. He will bless your deeds for you and forgive your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has truly achieved a great triumph.” [Quran, 33:71]

Then, he would state his needs. Shu‘ba (one of the narrators) said I asked Abu Ishaq: Is this (sermon) used in the marriage sermon or otherwise? He said: In every need. [Abu Dawud al-Tayalisi, Musnad; Abu Dawud, Sunan; Darimi, Sunan]


The virtues of reciting the Quran—which are numerous—clearly indicate the reasons for beginning gatherings with the Quran. Abu Umama al-Bahili reported I heard the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) saying,

“Read the Quran, for it will come as an intercessor for its readers on the Day of Judgment. Read the two bright ones, Surat al-Baqara and Surat Ali ‘Imran, for on the Day of Judgment, they will come as two clouds or two shades or two flocks of birds in ranks, pleading for those who recite them. Read Surat al-Baqara, for taking it is a blessing and leaving it is a cause of grief, and the magicians (الْبَطَلَةَ) cannot handle it.” [Muslim]

Baqara and Ali ‘Imran are called the two bright ones due to their light, guidance, and the great reward they bring.

And the “batala (الْبَطَلَة)” mentioned in the hadith are the sorcerers.

The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) encouraged us to begin our affairs and inaugurate them with the remembrance of Allah (Most High), and the Holy Quran—undoubtedly—is the best form of remembrance. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,

“Every significant matter that does not begin with praise (of Allah) is deficient.” [Ibn Maja]

It has also been narrated as: “Every significant matter that does not start with the praise of Allah is cut off.” [Ibn Hibban]

The term “cut off” means it is deficient and lacks a blessing.

The Practice of the Prophet

It was the practice of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) to recite the Quran to his companions when they gathered together, and sometimes he would ask some of his companions to recite it. Abdullah Ibn Mas‘ud (Allah be pleased with him) said:

“The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to me, ‘Recite the Quran to me.’ I replied, ‘Shall I recite it to you when it was revealed to you?’ He said, ‘I love to hear it from others.’” He then recited from the beginning of Surat al-Nisa until the verse: ‘So how will it be when We bring a witness from every faith-community and bring you (O Prophet) as a witness against yours?’ [Quran, 4:41] Upon which he wept.” [Muslim; Bukhari]

Note: The permissibility of opening gatherings with the reading of the Quran is conditioned upon the matter being legitimately sanctioned. If the activity is prohibited, forbidden, or disliked, it is religiously impermissible to inaugurate it with the Quran due to the illegitimacy of the cause and because it may subject the words of Allah (Most High) to disrespect in an unlawful gathering.

May Allah bless the Prophet Muhammad and give him peace, and his Family and Companions.

And Allah knows best.

[Shaykh] Anas al-Musa

Shaykh Anas al-Musa, born in Hama, Syria, in 1974, is an erudite scholar of notable repute. He graduated from the Engineering Institute in Damascus, where he specialized in General Construction, and Al-Azhar University, Faculty of Usul al-Din, where he specialized in Hadith.

He studied under prominent scholars in Damascus, including Shaykh Abdul Rahman al-Shaghouri and Shaykh Adib al-Kallas, among others. Shaykh Anas has memorized the Quran and is proficient in the ten Mutawatir recitations, having studied under Shaykh Bakri al-Tarabishi and Shaykh Mowfaq ‘Ayun. He also graduated from the Iraqi Hadith School.

He has taught numerous Islamic subjects at Shari‘a institutes in Syria and Turkey. Shaykh Anas has served as an Imam and preacher for over 15 years and is a teacher of the Quran in its various readings and narrations.

Currently, he works as a teacher at SeekersGuidance and is responsible for academic guidance there. He has completed his Master’s degree in Hadith and is now pursuing his Ph.D. in the same field. Shaykh Anas al-Musa is married and resides in Istanbul.