Did you ever notice that any Quran recited in Salah is always recited when we are in the standing position? We do not recite Al-Fatiha or any other Sura in the sitting position, nor during our Rukuu (bowing), nor during our prostration. Why?
The standing position is man’s most dignified, honourable and respectful position possible. And because this Quran speaks the most honourable and noble Speech, it is thus only befitting for the most noble Speech to be recited while in the most dignified and respectful of positions. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wassallam tells us that he was prohibited from reciting the Quran while in Rukuu (bowing) and while in sujood (prostration).
The Quran is the Speech of Allah, The Most High, and is due our utmost respect. But how many a time have we recited it absentmindedly, without any feeling or emotion, without any reflection on its powerful words? For many of us, if asked what of Allah’s prohibitions did we just recite, we would have no answer. What of Allah’s commands did we just recite? We cannot recall! People stand behind their Imam in prayer. He recites of Hell and Heaven, and they are off drifting of food and drink.
If ever were we to conduct a historic interview with a powerful ruler, how attentive would we be? We would grant not only our submissive ears but all our hearts as well, wouldn’t we? In fact, we would be so in tune that we’d probably even memorize this ruler’s every word as he speaks! So how can we not be mindful of what we’re reciting when it is Allah who speaks to us in this meeting??
“Will they not seek to understand this Quran or are there locks upon their hearts??”(47:24).
So we are to recite with feeling, aware that we are talking to Allah and He is speaking to us. But how do we know what to feel with any given verse? Ibn Al Qayyim gave us basic guidelines to help us even if we lack thorough knowledge of tafseer. He says that:
1. If a verse speaks of Allah’s favors upon you, His names, His attributes… then it is Love that should fill your heart.
2. If a verse speaks of Allah’s mercy, forgiveness, the people of Heaven… then it is Happiness, Comfort, and Hope that should fill your heart.
3. If a verse speaks of Allah’s wrath, punishment, destroyed civilizations… then it is Fear and Worry that should fill the heart.
Thus we are always in a state between Love, Hope and Fear when reciting Allah’s words.