Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Question: Assalamu alaykum
Has reading Qur’an from a smartphone or a tablet the same merit as reading it from a mushaf?
Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh
I pray you are well.
In general scholars such as Imam al-Ghazali in his book Ihyaʾ Ulum al-Din and Imam al-Nawawi in al-Tibyan (which has been very capably translated) state that it is superior to recite the Qur’an from a physical copy because looking at it, and touching it is rewarded. Therefore, although you would not be touching a physical copy when reading from a digital device, you would certainly be looking at the words, which is rewarded.
However, it seems that reciting from a physical copy is still superior due to the extra element of touch. Some leading scholars in our time hold that one should not resort to a digital device in the presence of a physical copy as the reward for reading from the latter is greater, and because the words on the digital medium are merely a representation of the Qurʿanic text, and not the actual text itself.
Having said this, the above is for someone who is able to reflect of the meanings of the Qurʿan the same, regardless of him reciting from memory or by looking at the script. If, however, one focuses on the meanings, or reflects better using one particular method then that one is superior for him (al-Nawawi, al-Tibyan).
May Allah make the Qur’an the spring of our hearts. Amin
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.
Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.
In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.
His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.
When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.