No Group Of People Gather In One Of The Houses (Masjids) Of Allah تعالى, Reciting The Book Of Allah And Studying It Amongst Themselves, Except That Tranquillity Will Descend Upon Them, Mercy Will Cover Them, The Angels Will Surround Them, And Allah Will Mention Them To Those With Him
This shows the virtue and preference for sitting in the mosques, reciting and studying the Quran. And this applies to both studying the Quran as well as teaching it; there is no difference with regards to their virtues. Recorded in “Sahih al-Bukhari,” Uthman Ibn Affan narrated that the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم said:
“The best of you are those who learn the Quran and teach it.”
Abu Abdur-Rahman as-Sulami said, “And that is exactly what has caused me to sit right here.” He used to teach the Quran during the leadership of Uthman Ibn Affan رضي الله عنه so much that even his teaching reached al-Hajjaaj Ibn Yusuf.
So although such virtue may be generally applied to other forms of religious knowledge, gathering in the mosques to study the Quran has explicitly been mentioned here.
And sometimes, even the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم would ask someone else to recite the Quran so that he may listen to his recital as Ibn Masood رضي الله عنه used to recite to him and the Nabi صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم said:
“Indeed, I like to hear it from someone besides myself.”
Umar رضي الله عنه used to also instruct someone to read to him and his companions while they would listen. He would sometimes ask Abu Musa رضي الله عنه, and other times Uqbah Ibn Amir رضي الله عنه.
Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه narrated that the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم said:
Allah has angels that go from place to place searching for people of the remembrance of Allah. So when they find a particular people mentioning Allah, they call out (to other angels), “Come here to your objective.” They then envelope them (the people) with their wings reaching up to the sky; Their Lord asks them, yet He is more knowing than they are, “What are My servants saying?” The angels reply, “They are glorifying you (saying: Subhan Allah), declaring Your greatness (saying: Allahu Akbar), praising You (saying: al-Hamdulillaah), and exalting You.” He asks, “Have they seen Me?” They reply, “No, by Allah, they have not seen You.” He asks, “And what if they saw Me?” The angels reply, “If they saw You, they would be even stronger in worshipping You, stronger in glorifying and praising You, and they would exalt You even more.” Allah further asks, “So what are they asking of Me?” They reply, “They are asking You for Paradise.” He asks, “And have they seen it?” “No, by Allah, oh Lord, they have not seen it.” Allah asks, “What if indeed they do see it?” The angels answer, “If indeed they did see it, they would be even more eager for it, even stronger in seeking it, and their desire for it would greatly increase.” Allah then asks, “So from what are they seeking protection?” “From the Fire,” the angels reply. Allah again asks, “And have they seen it?” They answer, “No, by Allah, oh Lord, they have not seen it.” He says, “And what if they saw it?” They answer, “If they saw it, they would be even stronger in fleeing from it, and fear it much more.” Allah then says, “I call you all to witness that I have forgiven them.” One of the angels says, “There is a person not from among them; he only came for some need.” He says, “They are all sitting together and because of them, their companions will not be saddened.”
Imam Muslim also recorded a Hadith from Muawiyah رضي الله عنه that the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم once came upon a group of his companions sitting together in the mosque, so he asked them:
“What has caused you to sit?” They replied, “We have sat to remember and mention Allah, and praise and thank Him for guiding us to Islam and bestowing the blessing of it upon us.”
He further asked:
“By Allah, you sat for no other reason than that?”
They said, “By Allah, that is the only reason we have sat together.” The Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمsaid: “As for me, I did not ask you to swear because I was accusing you of anything. Rather, Jibreel (the angel Gabriel) came to me and informed me that Allah is boasting about you to the angels.”
And there are many other Ahadith with similar meanings.
So Allah تعالى Messenger mentions that the reward for those who sit in the mosque to study the book of Allah is of four types:
1. Tranquillity descending upon them. Also, al-Baraa Ibn Azib narrated a Hadith in which he said:
A man was once reading Surah al-Kahf (18) while he was with his horse. A cloud then covered him and began to encircle and draw closer so much that his horse fled from it. The next morning, he went to the Prophet and told him about that to which he said: “That was the tranquility descending because of (the recitation of) the Quran.”
Abu Saeed رضي الله عنهalso narrated that Usayd Ibn Hudhayr رضي الله عنه was reciting one night and his horse came to him. He kept reading and then another horse came and then another. He then stopped reciting and said, “I was afraid they would trample upon Yahyaa (his son).” So he went to them and noticed a shade over his head with what appeared to be like lamps in it. It began to ascend up into the sky until he could no longer see it. The next morning he mentioned it to Nabi صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم who replied:
“That was the angels listening to you. If you would have kept reciting, the people would have been able to see that which was concealed from them.”
2. They will be covered with mercy. Allah تعالى says:
“Indeed, the mercy of Allah is near to the good-doers.” [Surah al-Araaf, 7:56]
3. The angels will envelop them. This is mentioned in the Hadith at hand.
4. Allah تعالى will mention them to those (angels) who are with Him. Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه narrated that the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم said:
Allah says, “I am as my servant thinks of Me. And I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself, and if he mentions Me in a gathering, I mention him in an even better gathering (i.e. the angels).”
These four virtues are for any group of people who gather to mention and remember Allah just as the Hadith in “Sahih Muslim” states in which Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه and Abu Saeed رضي الله عنه both narrate that the Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم said:
“No people sit and mention Allah except that the angels surround them, mercy covers them, tranquillity descends upon them, and Allah will mention them to those (angels) who are with Him.”
Allah تعالى Himself also says:
“So remember Me, I will remember you.” [Surah al-Baqarah, 2:152]
As for Allah remembering and mentioning His servant, it is His praise of him among the highest gathering of angels, boasting of them and commending them. He also says:
“Oh you who believe, remember Allah with much remembrance. And exalt Him morning and afternoon. It is He who praises you as well as the angels that He may take you out of the darkness into light.” [Surah al-Ahzaab, 33:41-43]