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Question: I understand that there is an obligation for all Muslims to read the Quran in full once in their life. Is it permissible for Muslims to read a transliterated version (i.e. Arabic language in roman script) in order to speed up the process. Will this be acceptable since you are reading it in Arabic, albeit phonetically. Please let me know as I am attempting to finish the Qur’an during Ramadhan but know I have a better chance if reading it in roman script.

The Qur’an is the source of guidance, mercy, healing, glad tidings and light for the faithful in this world and in the next. Therefore it is considered our duty and honour to read, reflect and act upon it as best as we can —if possible every single day of our lives. Allah says, “Those who read the Book of Allah, establish Prayer, and spend of that which We have bestowed on them secretly and openly, they look forward to imperishable gain, that He will pay them their wages and increase them of His grace. He is Forgiving, Thankful.” (Qur’an: 35: 29).

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Whoever reads the Qur’an while being expert in it, they will be with the noble and gracious scribes (angels); and those who read it while experiencing hardship and difficulty will merit double rewards.” (Reported jointly by Bukhari and Muslim); he further said, “Whoever reads even a single letter of the Qur’an will gain the reward of a great act of virtue.”

So I commend you for your zeal to read the Qur’an in spite of your difficulties in reading it. If reading from a transliterated book is the only way that you can read the Qur’an, then there is nothing wrong for you in making use of that method. After all, the purpose is to read it as best as you can.

Having said this, I must point out that the best and most authentic way to master reading of the Qur’an is by learning it from a trained reciter. If, however, it is hard to find one, then there is no harm in making use of whatever resources that are readily available; making use of a transliterated Qur’an is one of them. But it is best to use it only in conjunction with a recorded Qur’an that has been produced by a professional reciter. In other words, while reading from the transliterated Qur’an, you should follow the reading of the professional reciter who reads in a slow pace. Thus you will be able to gradually pick up the correct method of recitation. There is no dearth of recorded versions; you can easily find them in the major Islamic book stores. If you have difficulty in finding one, you may contact Sound Vision or IBS. May Allah bless you in your efforts; may He make the Sublime Word a true source of healing, mercy and light for all of us-aameen.

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