Ordinarily the Quran can be completed 2, 3, 4, 6, 12, 36, 48, or 120 times a year differing from person to person depending on ability and external constraints. The first four are appropriate for the person who has difficulty reciting (the halted reciter), twelve is fitting for the fluent non-Hafidh[note]Of course these highlight the minimum and that which is practical. If one can recite more all the better.[/note], and the latter three are suited for the hafidh.
The halted reciter (2, 3, 4, 6)
Twice is the minimum[note]See Ibn Humam[/note] and simple enough to achieve. Read approximately five sides a day (perhaps a side after each salah) - that will be one juz in six days, five juz in a month and thirty in six months; hence two completions every year.
Read a quarter juz every day to finish in four months, a third to finish in three months and half to finish in two months; hence, attaining three, four or six completions every year respectively.
On average a halted reciter takes one hour to recite a juz and as such they will need to spend 12, 15, 20, or 30 minutes daily to attain the objective of 2, 3, 4, and 6 completions respectively. Know this that those who struggle to recite, Allah almighty doubles their reward and so they can be on a par with the fluent non-hafidh; there 6 completions will become 12. This only requires 2, 3, 4 or 6 minutes after or before every salah. Indeed Allah almighty is generous and has made it easy.
The fluent reciter (12)
The fluent non-Hafidh should complete the Quran once a month which in turn will result in 12 completions in a year. This is the recommendation given by the messenger of Allah, Muhammad (peace be upon him). This is ideally attained by reading one juz daily.
However, since months differ between 29 and 30 days which cannot be predicted beforehand, as such a small break-up may be required of the Juz usually once every three months[note]See hadith relating to Eid. It is suggested in the hadith that rarely will three consecutive months have the same number of days. This is the natural order in which the error of sighting corrects itself. So it is likely that three months will equal to 89 (30, 30, 29) or 88 (29, 29, 30) days and rarely 90 (30, 30, 30) or 87 (29, 29, 29) days.[/note] with a completion in either 29 or 27 days[note]29 days completion is easily understandable. 27 days results from unavoidable missed day or a series of over reading. For instance, a person reads 30, 30 juz in two months which were both 29, they will be 2 days up and so they pray with a 27 day schedule keeping one day in lieu in case of error. Allah knows best. So whilst 29 is ideal, 27 is practical.[/note]. To complete in 29 days use the Quran which have been divided into 580 rukus; read 20 ruku daily (2029=580). To complete in 27 days use the Quran which have been divided into 540 rukus; read 20 ruku daily (2027=540)[note]I thank Ml. Gulfraz Khan (may Allah almighty raise his status) for informing me of this detail.[/note]. These are just techniques and aids for calculation for those who are sticklers for neatness; there is no religious significance except that one completes one Quran a month.
On average a fluent non-hafidh reciter takes approximately 30-40 minutes to complete a juz and as such it only requires 6-8 minutes before or after every salah to attain their objective of 12 completions. Know this, Allah almighty rewards tenfold for every word (letter) recited of the Quran and as such this group can reach a par with those achieving 120 completions. Allahu Akbar! glory is to Allah, the most generous and kind, who gives despite our weaknesses and misgivings.
The Hafidh (36, 48, 120)
The hafidh should recite three Juz a day which will result in one completion in ten days and so three in a month; 36 completions in a year. This is the starting prescription given by the prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) to the companion[note]Abd Allah b. ‘Amr b. ‘As (may Allah almighty be pleased with him).[/note] who held the Quran in his heart.
Those with more vigour may read one manzil[note]Approximately, 4.2 Ajza (sing. Juz)[/note] daily and so complete the Quran in seven days - that will be four completions in a month and 48 in a year. Moreover, recite 10 Juz a day and complete in three days. This is the limit set by the prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) and advised against more for he feared anything more will become a burden and unsustainable. That will be 10 completions in a month and 120 in a year.
On average the hafidh takes 20 minutes to recite a juz. Therefore they require 60, 100 or 200 minutes every day respectively. The Huffaz carry the Quran in their heart and as such, they are not restricted by the confines of those who do not share their privilege. Time is a gift given to them and it should be that they have no moment which is redundant; their travelling, sitting and in-between moments are utilised with the Quran. As is known, Allah gives tenfold on the Quran, so one who completes 36 Qurans is as if they completed 360. It is as if they completed a Quran every day. Indeed, the huffaz are in an envious position. Honour is for them in this world and in the hereafter they will be enrobed and crowned for they were the protector of that which is most sacred.
Let it not be that we spend our life reading the word of man and neglecting the words of the almighty for that is foolhardy. Glory is to Allah for it is him we love and it is his love we seek; we seek his favour and protection. The Quran is the favour and it is the protection in this world and the hereafter. Let us recite to the best of our capability. Let us recite regularly and consistently for his sake alone. Indeed Allah Almighty is generous and kind; he does not let any good deed go wasted.
Muhammad Saifur Rahman
14 Ramadhan 1433
2 August 2012
Author: M. Saifur Rahman Nawhami