Living Islam Today
A Magazine for Muslim Americans
Vol. 1 Issue 1             Spring 1420/ 2000



In the name of Allah, the Compassionate Source of All Mercy

What is the proper time limit for reciting the whole Qur'an?

          Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr:  My father got me married to a lady of a noble family, and often used to ask my wife about me.  She used to reply, "What a wonderful man he is!  He never comes to my bed, nor has he approached me since he married me."  When this state continued for a long period, my father told the story of the Prophet (saw) who said tom my father, "Let me meet him."  Then I met him and he asked me," How do you observe Saum (fast)?"  I replied, "I observe fast daily."  He asked, " How long does it take for you to finish the recitation of the whole Qur'an?"  I replied, "I finish it every night."  On that he said, "Observe Saum (fast) for three days every month and recite the Qur'an (and finish it) in one month."  I said, "But I have the power to do more than that."  He said, "Then observe Saum (fast) for three days per week."  I learn the Qur'an and teach it (to others)."

          In our time, as in former times, the urge to do more, to go beyond what is required to achieve extra piety is as strong as ever. 
     The Blessed Prophet once remarked that "...extremism destroyed those before you..." and this maxim rings clear in our modern climate of extremes. 
     Islam seeks to promote a balanced, sustainable way of life; one that can be employed by every man or woman. 
     In this hadith, we see an example of the type of religious piety that can go beyond the bounds and what the Blessed Prophet counseled one overly zealous man to do instead.