Recitation of the whole of the
Qur’ān in a ceremonial gathering for the purpose of obtaining the blessings of
God in order to protect ourselves or our loved ones against harm has become a
very common practice in the subcontinent. One seldom finds this practise
prevalent in any other Muslim country.
We should first understand that the
directives of Islam fall into two categories. One which concerns man and God,
about which explicit instructions in their minutest details have been given to
us e.g. Salāh, Fasting, Hajj, Zakāh etc. Any voluntary increase or decrease in
any of these details would fall under religious innovation (bid‘ah) which is
totally forbidden. The other category concerns man and his fellow human beings
which cover such areas as the social, economic, political, penal and educational
systems etc. In this category, the basic principles have been laid out and it
falls on the individuals of a certain age and society to formulate systems
according to these principles.
The above mentioned practise of Khatm-i-
Qur’ān, it is evident, falls in the first category. The best way to prove the
authenticity of any act is to look for its instruction and approval in the
Qur’ān or in the practises of the Prophet (sws). Since this cannot be found in
any of the above it can safely be placed under the category of bid‘ah like any
other addition to religion. The Prophet (sws) has said that any addition in the
circle of Islam is a bid‘ah and every bid‘ah is a transgression and fuel for the
fire of Hell.
The irrationality of this practice can
be detected if we ponder for a moment on what the subject matter of the Qur’ān
is. The main topic which the Qur’ān stresses on is the after life and many
arguments are given to support this point which is so important that once
someone wholeheartedly believes in it, it changes the course of his life. Now
how can a person start to analyse these arguments when he cannot even understand
what he is reading. He can read it 50 times and call his neighbours and friends
to help him but he would be no wiser than what he was at the start. And after
all that how can he hope that Allah will reward him or bless him for such
blatant indifference and negligence towards his Word and commands.
Therefore the very essence of Khatm-i-
Qur’ān is against the spirit of Islam and all that it signifies.